Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Side Effects by LJ Greene @authorljgreene @XpressoTours

Side Effects
LJ Greene
Publication date: December 13th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Who can you trust?

Ally Michels is fresh out of her MBA program at Cal and has landed her dream job at hot, up-and-coming video game developer, Jet Stream Studios, all thanks to her uncle, Jet’s largest venture capital investor. She’s feeling pretty good about her future until an inadvertent blurt in a company meeting brings down upon her the dangerous attention of Jet’s co-founder and chief developer, Marcus Abby.

Beautiful, brilliant, and vicious, Marcus is every bit the arrogant, deceitful founder her uncle warned her about. But in the power-fueled world of venture capital investing, things aren’t always what they seem. When Ally finds herself caught up in a play for corporate control, she must work with Marcus to save the company and an ideal she believes in, while navigating perilous family loyalties and fighting to hold onto her own integrity.

For Ally, there’s just one rule: never, ever trust Marcus Abby. Because the one man she needs to stop a high-stakes plot is the one man who has every reason to want her gone.

SIDE EFFECTS is an adult contemporary, twisty, underhanded, certainly unscrupulous . . . romance.

Goodreads / Amazon

Interview with LJ Greene

What made you want to become a writer?

For me, it happened accidentally. I was listening to a song in traffic one day back in 2010 and began musing about a different set of circumstances that the characters in the song might have. For about the next three years, I progressed their relationship in my head as a way to relieve night worrying, which is my unfortunate habit. That musing became Ripple Effects, my first novel. Because of its origins, Ripple Effects was written more like a series of vignettes. It has a different feel and pace than the other books in the collection. But through the process of putting it down, I found I loved storytelling as a way to examine the big themes in my own life. That’s why I wrote Sound Effects, my second novel, which is about a struggling artist (musician in that case). And for that book (and Aftereffects and Side Effects that followed) I was definitely more intentional about developing the storyline as a novel to maximize tension and pace. I’m enormously proud of those books and excited to share Side Effects as the final standalone in this collection.

What inspired you to write Side Effects?

This was the book I always wanted to write—a book about the kind of corporate shenanigans for which I’ve had a front row seat in my professional career for more than two decades now. And (!) it’s an enemies-to-lovers story (my favorite trope!) with a magnificently razor-sharp MC, who you love most when he’s at his worst. From a technical perspective, it’s the most difficult book I’ve written (secrets, plot twists, and writing a character who could rightly be considered a genius). I think I always knew I needed to work my way up to this one. But ultimately, I wanted to write Side Effects as a character journey toward self-acceptance, which to me feels like everyone’s journey right now, my own included. I’ve often wondered why some of the kindest people I know are so unkind to themselves. And today, coming out of a year that changed everything, kindness and joy felt very much required.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Side Effects?

Ah, Marcus. He’s that untouchable, slightly damaged, beautiful-in-a-scorpion-sort-of-way, secretly honorable man who steals every scene he’s in. Our Loki. Our Loki with a secret, nonetheless!

And then there’s Ally. She’s just beautifully straightforward – honest, principled, brave, devoid of artifice. In many ways, she’s Marcus’s perfect contrast.

But their dynamic is not intended to be about opposites. They have good reason to be enemies early on, but they also have good reason to come to need each other on many levels, which for me is the heart of any great enemies-to-lovers dynamic. It's Rey and Kylo Ren, or Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, or Belle and The Beast, for that matter. There is something ridiculously satisfying about watching two people who have every reason to distrust each other finally, believably, gloriously, discover that they’re meant for each another, after all.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Marcus Abby, one of the MCs in Side Effects, was an absolute joy to write. It was like indulging every fantasy I’ve ever had about the things I’d say if I didn’t care what anyone else thought. But a character like this can easily become a caricature or cliched if he’s not layered enough to give him depth to balance his sharpness. That’s what I love most about him. As the story progresses, you see so many angles to him that make him very real and endearing. To me, he’s one of the most vivid characters I’ve ever written.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

I have so many! But since I just finished Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, Diana Gabaldon jumps to mind. She’s a brilliant storyteller, in addition to being a great writer and I love how she tackles the longevity of marriage. For me, the Outlander series is most instructive of the fact that as a writer, you can pen almost any scenario you like, as long as you take the care to write it well. It’s been a good reminder for me in my own work, when storylines have sometimes gone places I wasn’t sure I could or should go. The Outlander series tackles everything from violence to intimacy to plural marriages to nose-picking with an equally deft hand. If you’ve only ever experienced Outlander through the television show, you’re missing out. The richness of the books is impossible to translate, even as I readily admit that Sam Heughan is about as perfect a Jamie as any reader of the series could ever hope for… 😊

Author Bio:

Romance author, obsessive multi-tasker, California native, music lover with no apparent musical talent, travel enthusiast, and cheese connoisseur.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Amazon

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LJ Greene said...

This was such a fun interview to do. Thank you so much for having me!

Giselle said...

Thanks for being on the tour! :)

Sherry said...

Sounds like a great book.

Stormy Vixen said...

Congratulations on your new release of Side Effects, which sounds like a twisty intriguing read that will keep me on the edge of my seat and I love the cover! Good luck with your book and the tour! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular holiday season!

Barbara Montag said...

I enjoyed reading the excerpt - well done!
Thank you for sharing this with us.

Coline T. said...

Sounds like a very intriguing book :-) thanks!