Blog Tour: Loving Kate by D. Kelly (Book 3 of The Acceptance Series)
It’s crowded, but since it’s a weeknight, it’s not nearly as packed as usual. Since I’m about to lose my bull riding virginity I’m thankful for the slightly smaller crowd. As promised, Mike goes first but the ride operator isn’t as gentle on the men and he flies off pretty quickly. I think he might have wacked his balls against the hand hold on his way down. He winces a bit as he gets up.
“You okay?” I ask him, giggling, but I’m truly worried about his man parts.
He pulls me in close, his breath caressing my ear. I’m holding my breath as he whispers, “I think my baby makers are broken.” I laugh as he places a kiss on my cheek. “Good luck, baby, now go ride that bull like you’d ride me.”
He says it loud enough for everyone to hear and if I thought I was going to go deaf from the music before that was nothing compared to the whooping and hollering of the crowd. Of course the ride operator uses it to his advantage “What’s your girl’s name?” he yells across to Mike.
There’s a devious gleam in Mike’s eyes as he replies “Jessica, but all her good friends call her Jess.” He nods that he’s got it and after I’m straddled onto the bull, he holds nothing back.
“Alright, everyone, let’s hear it for our new friend Jess! Now, we all heard her boyfriend tell her to ride our bull like she rides him at home, so I think we’re in for a show.”
My cheeks were already flushed from the alcohol, my palms sweaty from nerves, but the embarrassment zinging through me makes my entire body burn. I catch Mike out of the corner of my eyes, laughing and shrugging his shoulders in a semi apology. At least he had the decency to not give my real name.
The bull starts off nice and slow, periodically gyrating a few times in a forward motion, but I’m able to hold on with just one hand. I don’t really know how long this goes on, maybe a minute or so, when I hear the announcer tell Mike over the PA system that he’s a lucky man. At this point, he’s done being nice and the bull starts bucking around like crazy. I’m able to hold it together for about another thirty seconds or so before I go flying off.
Someone helps me to my feet and I stumble over to Mike as the crowd starts chanting ‘kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss’. Hell, at this point what does it matter? Mike’s eyes seek permission from mine as I wrap my arms around his neck and pull him close. He kisses me and the crowd goes wild. It’s just like the kiss we shared in my bed a few days ago—a little more than just friends, but not exactly like lovers. Whatever it is, I allow myself to feel it and the crowd cheers their approval.
See what Sarah thinks of the final book, Loving Kate!
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. As a fan of the series, it’s always interesting to get a behind the scenes view of what going on.
About the book and the series
Who was more difficult to write, Mike, Daniel, or Kate, and why?
I think Kate was probably the most difficult character to write. Writing a main character who is as conflicted as Kate is and still keeping a realness to her was hard. I wanted the readers to feel her emotions. I hope that I was able to succeed.
Was there anything about their story that surprised you as it unfolded?
There were definitely a few things but most of them would spoil the plotline. I will say that going in I really didn’t realize that these books were going to focus so much on friendship. But I’m so glad they do because I think that the friendship aspects might be my favorite part of the books. You really see how important it is in Catching Kate.
This series has been full of emotions, turmoil, and angst. How do you balance the sorrow with the happy?
I pulled from my personal memories. Life is messy and learning to balance the good with the bad takes time. I should clarify that all these things didn’t happen to me but similar feelings of love and loss happen to everyone. I just pulled from the deepest part of myself to find it that balance.
Is there a message in this series you want readers to grasp?
I think one constant thing you will see in these books is a message of forgiveness and strength. This group of friends never tears each other down, instead lifting each other up and not holding mistakes against each other. They know how to forgive and that’s something we all need more of in our lives. Forgiveness.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
That is such a hard question but the answer is no. I fell in love with this last book and I know that some people won’t enjoy it. We hope for the best when we conclude a story and there were a lot of different ways this book could have gone. But at the end of the day a majority of readers are looking for an HEA and I tried to make this book something that would resonate with them.
What do readers have to look forward to from you next?
A few things…Chasing Cassidy will be a summer release and it’s a different twist on being left at the altar one I hope the readers will enjoy. Just an Illusion which is part of The Illusion Series will be out this fall and I warn you now you will ugly cry. It’s a series about a world famous band and each book with either focus on a member or someone related to the story. There will be a Christmas novella to wrap up The Acceptance Series that focuses on Jake and April. I’m working on something now but it’s in the early stages so I don’t have much to say about it just yet. Lastly, next year you’ll see a spin off series about a few characters from The Acceptance Series so you might see some of your faves make some cameo appearances.
What inspired you to write your first book?
It’s really more of a who and that who is my husband. I’ve always been a writer just nothing serious. Letters, journals, reports, you name it. I debated a long time about writing a book and he constantly encouraged me until I finally did it.
What is your favorite book and why?
Another hard one! I don’t think I could ever pick my favorite book but I will share the one that has stayed with me the longest. Autumn Street by Lois Lowry is a phenomenal story. It is a tragically sad story filled with empathy, love, loss, and friendship. I read it when I was eight or nine and pick it up every so often and read it again. It was my first ugly cry book.
What is your favorite quote?
I love quotes and have quite a few favorites but this one, which as far as I know is an unknown author, is one that has always resonated with me. “Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have to give.”
When I’m not writing I like to?
Spend time with my family and friends. Oh and of course get some reading in. My TBR is way too long.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To stop caring what other people think or what they want for me and do what makes me happy. I’d also remind myself often that you have to love your family but you don’t have to like them. Family is what you make of it and close friends are often times all the family you could ever need.
Favorite snack and/or beverage while writing?
Starbucks lattes and chocolate covered caramels or a plate of fresh fruit.
Favorite romance book?
This is so hard! I’d have to say all-time favorite is The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm a wife, a mom and a dog lover. I'm also a taxi, problem fixer, extreme multi-tasker and my kids biggest fan in anything that they do. I love to write, so when my career suddenly derailed I turned back to my love of writing. I married my high school sweetheart... how cool is that? Margaritas and sarcasm make me happy. Chocolate makes that happiness grow exponentially. People who make me laugh are my favorite kind of people. I believe Karma is a bitch who slaps back hard and that mean people suck. I'm California born and raised, I love the beach but hate the sand. The Acceptance Series is my first series with more books to come soon.