Saturday, 9 August 2014

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW & REVIEW - Elle Brooks - Debut Novel Promises Hurt

Title:  Promises Hurt
Author:  Elle Brooks
Release date:  2 August 2014
Purchase Link:  AMAZON US


 I wasn't planning on falling for Ethan Jamison, hell I wasn't planning on our paths ever crossing. He’s the most popular guy at school and a complete player. Me; I’m the perpetual good girl, trying to carry out one last request. But when you make a promise, how far do you go to see it through?

~ Blair

It’s a running joke that I’m a terrible liar, if only people knew the truth. My whole life has been spent making excuses and deflecting questions. I was pretty good at it until Blair Thomas entered my world. She saw through the mask that everyone is so willing to accept. She makes me want to tell her all my secrets, but can she promise to keep them?

~ Ethan


I pull onto my drive and Blair looks over before carrying on playing ball.  I always leave the basketball outside by the garage so I can go out and shoot hoops to clear my head.  She lines up her shot and it rims the basket before falling through.

“Nice shot, Kobe Bryant.”

She turns to look at me; her eyebrows are pinched together in confusion.  It’s pretty damn cute.


I groan, “Seriously, you’ve never heard of Kobe Bryant.  Shit.”
She laughs and pics her bag up from resting against the garage door.  “Honestly, do I really look like a sports fan to you?”

I raise my eyebrows and take that as an invitation to check her out, her hair is piled up all messy on top of her head and she’s wearing one of those t-shirts again, only this one’s red.  I suppress a laugh when I realize it says, ‘Don’t trust atoms.  They make up everything.’  My eyes continue their descent and stop at her legs, her sexy-as-sin legs.  I’m sure I’ve just let out a groan.  She’s wearing a pair of denim cut-offs and some beat up black Chucks.

“No, you don’t look like a sports fan, to be fair.  I’d say you look like a librarian, but then the short shorts kind of threw me.”  I wink and stride towards the door to stop from staring at her legs any longer.  I can already feel myself getting hard, and the last thing I need is my dick tenting the cargo shorts I’m wearing.  It would be beyond awkward.

“A librarian?  Really?  Huh…. I was going for geek chic, guess I missed my mark,” she says, following me into the house.

I look back and she’s smiling looking around at the pictures that line the hall.  She seems to be oblivious to me watching her, lost in her own thoughts scanning each photo.  It would be so nice to be that carefree in my own home, instead of constantly being on edge and worrying about what I’m gonna do next to set the asshole off.

"So your dad's a cop, huh?" she asks eyeing the picture of him in his uniform, receiving some award a couple years ago.

"Yeah, has been since I was born."  My words are laced with disdain, I can't help it.

"You look really alike.  Everyone always tells me that I look like my mom - she loves it when people ask if we're sisters.  I'm pretty sure they're saying it just to be nice to her, but she eats that shit up.  I never know whether to be pissed or not that they think I look like a forty-year-old."

I narrow my eyes and give her a once over.  "Don't worry, you definitely don't look a day over thirty-five."

She tilts her chin at me.  "Wow, you're just full of compliments today."  She nudges my arm with her shoulder and then instantly takes a step away.  I'm guessing it's not in her character to be as flirty as she's being.  At least I hope this is flirting.



Firstly, tell us a little about yourself?  Something more than is in your Bio. 

Ok, so I’m a little neurotic. I drink way too much coffee. I love to run, it’s where I do my thinking. I’ve completed a couple of half marathons and ran the 2013 London marathon. I read so much that I now feel naked if I’m not holding my kindle, and I’m a complete shoe whore! Obsessed is not a strong enough word.

How did writing begin for you? How long have you been writing?
I know this is your debut novel, but have you worked on anything before Promises that you have not published?

I’ve always wanted to write a novel. It’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I started writing last year, when I turned the big 30…I had a mini emotional meltdown that I was no longer in my 20’s and some guy called me ma’am for the first time! I realized that I wasn’t getting any younger and I’d always said that I would write a novel before I was 30. Fail! So one night after drinking way too much wine, I found myself sitting at my Mac and daring myself to do it. Promises Hurt is the first thing I’ve ever written, aside from my college dissertation. The rest is history.

How did Promises Hurt come to be your first Novel? What brought you the idea? Is it from experience that you write or totally fictional?

Ooh, good question! I had a vague idea that I wanted to write Blair and Ethan’s story… I knew how I wanted it to begin and end straight away, but no idea of how to get there. It really was a case of sitting down and just allowing the words to flow. My writing is fictional, but it’s definitely inspired by some of my own experiences.

Who or what is your inspiration?

I think mainly I’m inspired by other Indies, They have all been brave enough to take a chance, write a book and then release it out into the open for people to judge.  

Do you have a favorite author that you admire or look to for advice?

I have so many favorite authors, each to suite what type of mood I’m in. But my go too, has to be Colleen Hoover. Her books warm my heart. I don’t read the words that she writes; I feel them.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? How do you relax?

Spare time? Sorry you’ve lost me…what’s that?

On a serious note though, I’m terrible with time management, I hardly ever have spare time. Running helps me relax, along with sitting with a LARGE glass of wine, a good book and a little music.   

What types of books to you enjoy reading?

I will pretty much read anything! I like to try throw in a classic every now and again, but really, I don’t mind reading any genre except horror, Stephan King did a pretty stellar job on scaring the living crap out of me when I was younger. I tend to shy away from scary stories now. My main requirement in a book is that it makes me FEEL. I love, love, love a book that can have me in tears – good or bad.

How many books will be in the Promises series?  Please tell me they will have HEA. I can't bear to stand knowing that Ethan may not wake up.

I’m planning on three books. Promises Hurt and Forgotten Promises will be a duet, with Forgotten Promises being the concluding part to Blair & Ethan’s story. The third book will focus on the sub-characters; that’s all I’m giving away. J

Do you have other stories in the works?

I do! But I need to focus on finishing ‘The Promises Series’ before I re-visit any of them. I can’t wait!

What does writing bring to you?  How does writing make you feel?

You know that feeling when you’re on a rollercoaster? The anticipation and nervous fluttering in your stomach, right as you reach the top. You know you wanted to be there, you got on the ride of your own free will; but now you’re thinking shit! Because you are about to make the terrifying decent. That’s what writing brings to me. The feeling of absolute terror and pure exhilaration all wrapped up together in a ridiculously addictive little package. Writing the book is the slow climb to the top of the rollercoaster…letting people read it is the descent.

How do you connect with your readers?  What is the best way for readers/fans to get in touch with you?

I’m almost always online, so that’s definitely the best way to catch me. I will always respond to an email or Facebook message. It’s the least I can do. I love receiving messages from readers, even when it’s to shout at me for the cliffy! J

What is your greatest achievement?

Oh no…I hate this question ugh. Every job interview I ever went on, this question was always asked. Every single time without fail I’d be there thinking – answer just answer, make something up…anything! Why aren’t you answering?  It stumps me – I can never answer It. Truth is I don’t know, define greatest; the biggest thing I’ve ever achieved? The hardest or most challenging? The most philanthropic?

How do you find the time to write?

I have to make the time. I love writing, so I generally substitute doing something else with it…normally the housework!

by Trish


Congratulations Elle Brooks on a wonderfully captivating story which drew me in and left me sobbing with tears.  You made me feel everything for these characters.  

This story captivated me from the moment I read the prologue.  It had me shedding tears the first few chapters in and I devoured every word until the end – the cliffhanger shattered me and I just can’t wait for book 2.  I need it like yesterday.

This story takes us on a journey of two slightly lost/broken souls (Blair and Ethan) who are both missing something in their lives – until they find each other. 

Blair Thomas is your typical high school girl.  She lost her best friend and misses her desperately.  They were inseparable.  It’s almost like a little piece of her is missing.  Blair now keeps to herself.  She’s a book nerd, introverted, quirky, caring and smart.  And so so beautiful -  inside and out.  

Her friend Emily left her a list…. A bucket list… something she wanted Blair to finish for her.  It’s something Blair feels she needs to do for Emily.  But what will the bucket list entail?  Will it bring Blair happiness or hurt?

Ethan Jameson is your popular high school playboy.  He’s outgoing, a member of a band, gorgeous and harboring a secret.  A secret that no-one knows and one he’s counting down the days to free himself of.

The two meet when Ethan needs a math tutor.  Their initial meeting is fun and light.  You can tell from that first initial meeting that they are going to be friends....

Ethan & Blair

“Shit, no, I wasn’t checking you out! I mean…. Um, I wasn’t staring at yoru…fuck, well I kinda was but I mean, shit; I was just trying to read what your shirt says.”

Holy crap, this guy’s more awkward than I am.  I laugh but it comes out more of a snort, not my most attractive feature.

It says “come to the nerd side we have pi’. You know, pi as in the math term, that’s what the symbol represents.”

But Ethan, almost instantly, feels more for Blair.  He doesn’t understand why he’s having these feelings.  He doesn’t even know her.  

Blair crushes on Ethan too, but it isn’t until later that she realizes what he means to her.


“I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anyone as much as I want you,” I whisper into her cheek.  “Can I keep you.”

Ethan hasn’t had a great home life.  He’s beaten by his dad a number of times which made me furious.  I wanted to junk punch is dad so much.  But Ethan, puts up with it because it won’t be long and he will be out the door and on his way to College….The struggle he has with his home life is so painful, that I cried for Ethan.  I wanted so much for Ethan to walk away.

Will Ethan confide in anyone about what’s going on?  How will they deal with it?  How will they help him?


“I’m glad you’re here,” she says and my shoulders relax.  I exhale a deep breath an meet her eyes.

“I only ever want to be where you are,” I tell her, and it’s the truth.  She doesn’t know it, but she brings me a peace I never knew existed.

As Blair and Ethan move through their journey, we see them both forming a strong, long lasting bond where they both truly find comfort in each other.  They share their lives with one another, they share their secrets.  

They both have things they need to deal with and together they bring out the best in each other – but will their secrets pull them apart?

Will Blair be the one to make Ethan feel worth again?

Will Ethan be the one to help Blair with her grieving pain?

I loved how this story developed with each back story and each POV and then it came together.  The highs and lows, the happiness and hurt, the love and anger.  Watching Blair and Ethan grow and their stories unfold was just precious.  

The ending just crushed me though.  I wasn’t expecting a cliffhanger and was hoping there was more after that last line….Elle Brooks – you left me with my heart in my throat…I need more, I want more.

The book really had me feeling every emotion there is.  I laughed, I cried, I felt happiness, love, passion, hurt and anger.  

It was beautifully written and Elle developed her characters perfectly throughout this story.  The build up for each scene was surprising and I was turning the pages quicker than I could read…  I felt like I knew them, it was so easy to connect with them.  

I adored this beautiful love story so much that I truly can’t wait long for book 2.  It consumed me.  It was beautiful, just brilliant.

Congratulations again Elle Brooks on a stunning debut novel.


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