Last semester, Romy escaped from an abusive relationship with the guy she’d thought was the man of her dreams. This semester she’s putting herself back together, determined to reclaim her passion for art and for life. When she signs up for a painting class at the local art co-op, the possibility of passion becomes very real -- in the form of her teacher, Caleb. Both mysterious and seriously hot, Caleb bares his soul on his canvases, and Romy’s fascinated by what she sees.
Caleb is just trying to keep his head above water. Caring for his traumatized, unstable sister is getting harder every day, and his paintings are so dark and bleak that no one is buying. Teaching classes at the co-op is no longer enough, and now he’s going to have to sell more than just his art to the wealthy, sex-starved women in his classes. But when Romy comes along, she makes everything more complicated. She sees the truth in his paintings -- a truth no one else has realized, until now.
Romy and Caleb might have a real shot together -- one that could heal them both. But when ghosts from their pasts re-emerge, determined to keep them apart, will they be strong enough to hold on to each other?
On writing contemporary romance
Although Only Between Us is only the second contemporary romance novel I’ve published, I’ve written several manuscripts in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. At first, I thought writing contemporary would be tricky … or maybe impossible for me. When you write fantasy, there is always a magical solution--and the potential for a unicorn to show up. With sci-fi, when your characters face problems, you can invent a gadget or, you know, clone some people. But with contemporary romance, it’s just you and your characters, who live in the ordinary world. And it’s the writer’s job to make them evoke extraordinary feelings in the reader … without including an alien invasion in the plotline. That’s a pretty daunting task in today’s fast-paced world, where we all have access to nearly limitless entertainment.
Those thoughts were in my head when I started to write Spiral, and I struggled with anxiety about the story (especially because it covers some pretty tough topics). But I think I may have gotten out those first-romance jitters, because I ended up writing Only Between Us in 14 days (also, I have a day job). I wrote Everything Between Us, which comes out in November, in the 14 days after that. I fell so in love with the real, flawed, ordinary lives and problems of the characters that I couldn’t stop writing, and I didn’t want to leave them when I was finished.
The cool thing about that experience—and in reading all the new adult novels I’ve read since embarking on this wild journey—is that it reminded me how compelling non-magical, day-to-day, ordinary life can be. I mean, as a psychologist, I do know that, but I’d been writing speculative fiction in part because I thought I needed a break from all that reality. I guess it turned out that inventing my own was just as fun.
Why do you write or read contemporary romance? Which are your favorites? (Mine so far include Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park, Easy by Tammara Webber, and Faking It by Cora Carmack, and I’m currently reading Slammed by Colleen Hoover)
About the author:
Mila Ferrera lives in New England, where she has a family and a job and does various normal, everyday things, all while plotting novels in her head. She has a passion for writing new adult/adult romance featuring psychological twists and tortured heroes. Her own psychology internship involved plenty of consultation, but alas, no sexy Swedish doctors, and her decision to make one up is what sparked her self-publishing adventures. She's the author of SPIRAL (available now), ONLY BETWEEN US (9/3/13), and EVERYTHING BETWEEN US (11/5/13).
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