Saturday, April 17, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway!!!! Plans by Natalie Smothers

free myspace comments  Plans

By Natalie Smothers 
I didn't want this book to end!
Sometimes unexpected love just happens if you let your heart lead the way instead of your brain. If you think about it to much, it won't happen. This is Danya's dilemma.

The story is about Danya, a young college student attending SVA .  She has her mind set on doing her thesis on the work of Dr. Patrick Dahlberg. An architect genius except there is a problem, Dahlberg is a reclusive egotistical jerk! But she has a plan and with a little perseverance it works. What she doesn't expect is to fall in love with him.  This was my favorite part of the story! They only knew each other for a couple of months and then tragedy struck. Roll forward a few years. Danya is working in the kitchen at Shimamura, a schoolfor gifted children. She meets a student name Nathan and finds out he thinks Patrick is like a god!  Well, I'm not going to say any more you'll just have to read the book!

Product Description from Amazon:

"I heard she used to be a big time photographer...then one day she just stopped taking pictures. Nobody knows why." All great things start out as something small, a connection formed between two unexpected sparks, foundations built through trial and time and trust, future plans mapped out in baby steps. But sometimes an unexpected connection borne of love and faith can bring us back to ourselves and our best laid plans.

I'm excited that Natalie agreed to do an interview with me!!

Hello Natalie! Tell us a little about yourself.

I've been writing since my grandmother gave me an old, clunky typewriter when I was a kid. I thought it was the coolest thing to be able to put my ideas down on paper and have my cousins read them, even if I did use almost all the correction tape. My head has always been full of characters and stories, which of course made me "the writer kid" by default and landed me the job of writing the 8th grade play, editing the class magazine and, currently, being the spellchecker at my day job.
I'm originally from Texas and have lived in Colorado, Wisconsin and Chicago, all of which gave me unique perspectives and ideas about how different parts of the US really are. I also travel as much as possible so I'll be able to write about different places accurately - I'm a HUGE stickler for accuracy; the notes and background I have for Plans is thicker than the book itself!

Is Plans your first book?  

Plans is my first full-length novel. I've also written two novellas/novelettes that were both mainly for fun. The first one "How to Save the World in Just Ten Days" was written as a sort of send-up of sci-fi stories - I tried to make it as ridiculous as I could while still telling an actual story, so the science is pretty out there. The second, "Minor Side Effects" is a more serious zombie story that has actually gotten some great reviews from readers and other writers. It's also pretty short so people tend to pick it up in order to get an idea of my writing style.

How did Plans come about?

I actually started writing Plans while I was on leave from work dealing with some health problems. I was arranging some of my other character sketches and came up with the idea of Patrick's character almost out of nowhere. Once I had a good idea of who he was, I thought to myself "okay, you've got this incredibly smart, incredibly talented jerk. Now you've gotta make him attractive to someone." I didn't realize at the time I'd be coming up with two different someones!

In your book Plans , Patrick was an architect genius and Nathan followed his footsep's. Why Architecture?

Architecture is an area that really fascinates me, maybe because the process of putting an idea down on paper and bringing it to life is one that is very dear to me as a writer. I was really taken with a building I saw on the drive between Manitowoc (where I was living in Wisconsin) and Milwaukee and wondered what kind of a mind would come up with such a design. That was when I was coming up with Patrick's character and it really fit with his detail-oriented, somewhat off-the-norm way of thinking. Architecture is also a field that has changed a lot in a relatively short time. In doing my research I had a lot of architects and students tell me that almost all designs are done with computer programs now and my immediate thought was "Patrick wouldn't go for that at all." 

(no Patrick would definitely not go for that!) 
Who are your inspirations?

I'm inspired a lot by writers like Christopher Moore, who is able to write books with characters and plots that are completely bizarre and yet make them seem as normal as choosing paint samples. His characters are just so wonderfully crafted. I'm also a big fan of comics and graphic novels, especially ones with characters that are larger than life who could also be the guy who lives next door to you. Templar, Arizona is one of my longtime favorites.

Are you writing another book?

Currently I'm working on another novel that was actually one I had half-written and abandoned a year or two before I ever came up with Plans. I re-read what I had, thought "this is awful" and immediately started thinking about how I could rescue it. I finished the research and background in February and have just started sketching out some of the scenes. It is very tentatively titled Brace Yourself.

(can't wait!)
One last thing , can you take a picture of your work area?

Attached is a photo of the work area I had when I was working on the book in Chicago, before I even had a desk! I'm between offices right now, so my writing area is usually the dining room table, but it's basically just a pile of papers. I can't wait to have a desk again! The corner of my apartment was MUCH more organized!

Natalies Website: Natalie's Books
Thank you so much Natalie for taking the time to do this interview!

And now for the best part!!! Natalie has  offered a signed copy of Plans to a lucky winner!! 

To enter you must be a follower and  comment with a valid email address.

For extra entries:
Tweet (leave a link)
Post on your blog
Become a fan on Natalies Facebook Fan Page :

Please leave separate comments for each.

Ends May 1, 2010.  Sorry US only please.

Thanks again Natalie!

Best regards,


Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

This sounds like a great book, and I'd love to enter the giveaway.

I'm a follower here...and my e-mail is

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I just tweeted about this giveaway here:

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I just blogged about this giveaway here:

Suko said...

Great review and interview!

I'd love to read this book. :)


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

I'm a follower, thank you,

Bill ;-)

billsmith2003 (at) gmail (dot) com

Hope you'll check out my book giveaway:

Suko said...

I will post this giveaway in my blog's sidebar.

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway. Thanks!


Barb said...

i tweeted about this giveaway.

bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

Barb said...

I would love to read this book. Please enter me.

bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

Alyce said...

I would love to be entered!

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Alice Teh said...

Hi Natalie, no need to enter me for the giveaway, but just thought I'd say hi to both you and the author.

Her work area or table sounds like mine. LOL!

Sandee61 said...

I'm a follower and would love to be entered in your giveaway for "Plans". It sounds great!
Thank you.



susan said...

the book looks good, please enter me. thanks

Debbie F said...

I'm a follower!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Debbie F said...

Please include me! Thanks

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Tenny Kusuma said...

I'm a new follower. I'd love to read this book. Thanks!!

Tenny @ Simply A Mom

Tenny Kusuma said...

Just followed you on twitter. @santoso10ny.
Just RT this review and giveaway.

Tenny @ Simply A Mom

Anonymous said...

Loved your thoughts and the interview. If she's a fan of Christopher Moore I bet I'd be a fan of hers :)

stacybooks at yahoo

Sarah E said...

Please enter me in this giveaway!

I follow.

familyhistree at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sarah E said...

I'm a Facebook fan (Sarah Emmerson).

familyhistree at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sarah E said...

I tweeted:

familyhistree at yahoo dot com

Sarah E