Monday, August 11, 2014

Pivot and Slip by Lilah Suzanne: One Question, Review & Excerpt

Pivot and Slip
by Lilah Suzanne

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance

Former Olympic hopeful Jack Douglas traded competitive swimming for professional yoga and never looked back. When handsome pro boxer Felix Montero mistakenly registers for his Yoga for Seniors class, Jack takes an active interest both in Felix’s struggles to manage stress and in his heart, and discovers along the way that he may have healing of his own to do.

Faced with the ghosts of his athletic aspirations, can Jack return to his old dream or carve out a new path, and will their budding romance survive the test of Felix’s next bout in the ring?

Carly's One Question

Today I'm pleased to be featuring author Lilah Suzanne as first blog on her book tour. She's here today to tell us all more about her new release!

Carly: Welcome to my blog Lilah! Pivot and Slip is your first published book and I was impressed with the quality of writing, strong characters, and unique storyline. Can you tell us about what inspired you to write this story, your writing process, and what we can look forward to from you in the future?

Lilah: Thank you! A lot of the initial spark for the story came from wanting to explore dreams and failures, and what it’s like to pick up the pieces and move on from that. Or can you even move on? Both the characters, Felix and Jack, cope with the loss of a dream in very different ways, and it’s something I’ve had to go through in my own life as well. I really wanted to explore these two people who needed something from each other, who understand each other and find hope in the other person. 

My writing process is very characters first. I need to understand them and hear their voices before I know what their journey will be. After that I outline pretty loosely, I know what needs to happen in each chapter, I know where I’m going, but the story usually takes on a life of its own from there. I definitely feel like I’m just along for the ride sometimes! If a story is really working, I tend to write quickly, almost to the point where I find it difficult to do anything else, then go back and make changes as needed.

And on that note, what’s next is my second book, a story that took off on me as I was editing Pivot and Slip. My novel Spice is a romantic comedy about a sex advice columnist whose own love life is sort of a mess, and will be out early next year. I’m very excited about it! It was a blast to write and should be a pretty fun read.

Carly: It sounds fun Lilah. I hope you'll be willing to stop back again after it's released!

Felix settled his hands on Jack’s shoulders, positioning him directly in front of the punching bag. “Now, plant your feet, like that, yeah. And bend your knees.” Felix’s hands slid from Jack’s shoulders and down his arms as he moved in closer, speaking into Jack’s ear from behind.

“Keep your arms tucked in. You always want to remember to be defensive and not just go in for the attack. Keep your guard up.”

Jack bent his arms in front of his face and tried bouncing on his toes, though he imagined the effect was more Tigger than Tyson. Felix chuckled, his warm breath puffing against Jack’s neck and spreading heat across his skin.

“Focus on using your shoulders and legs for strength.” Felix’s hands trailed back up, from shoulder to shoulder, then fleetingly touched Jack’s thighs. “You have really strong shoulders. I always admired that about swimmers.” He lips brushed Jack’s ear. “Always had a thing for blonds, too.”

Jack shivered with the touch but narrowed his eyes and tried to focus on sending energy to his core, on breathing deeply, on trying not to think about the heat of Felix’s body; the tremors left in the wake of his hands; the heady scent of him, inviting and inebriating; his voice murmuring low in Jack’s ear, breath hot against the shell.

“Excellent focus. Now, Jack.”

He hit the bag one-two, one-two, one-two, the blows reverberating through the gloves and his skin and humming in his bones.

“Good, right?”

Jack turned, his eyes finding Felix’s hopeful and searching.

“Yeah,” Jack replied. “That was… pretty intense.”

Felix circled around him and reached out to remove the gloves from Jack’s tingling hands.

“That was power. Strength. The only time I ever felt safe was when I was fighting, as strange as that sounds.” Felix tucked the gloves under one arm, opening and closing one dangling strap with a harsh rip of velcro.

“It makes sense,” Jack shrugged. “Like you said, you have to keep your guard up.”

Felix offered a half-smile. “Maybe I could try letting it down a little.”

Jack’s heart gave a little flutter in his chest. “Well in that case, I solemnly swear that I will not knock you out.”

Felix tipped his head, eyes low, lips softly curved.

“I think it may be a little too late for that, Jack.

My Review
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

All Felix Montero has ever known is fighting. His strength, determination and success in the ring is what defines who he is. When his career is threatened, Felix feels his identity slipping away and doesn't know how to find redefine himself, or if he even can.

Jack Douglas gave up swimming without a second thought, and though he still enjoys the peace of the water, he's okay with himself and the choices he made. At least that's what he thought up until Felix walked into his classroom by mistake and turned his life upside down.

Both men have lost sight of what is most important in life without ever realizing that there was something lacking until unexpected changes snuck up, caught them unaware and forced them to face the choices of their past. Working together just might be the only way to accomplish what neither man could do on his own. If they have the courage to face life head on and not run away they may be able to help a few other people along the way.

I was impressed with the quality of writing, strong characters, and unique storyline that Lilah Suzanne crafted for her first published novel, Pivot and Slip. Felix, Jack, and the supporting characters are deliciously entertaining. Balancing laughter with touching emotions, this novella is a great first effort and I wouldn't hesitate to read more books by Lilah Suzanne in the future.

Buy Links

About the Author
Lilah Suzanne is a LGBTQ romance writer who believes in kindness, dreams, the power of love, and unrelenting obnoxious optimism. She has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fanfiction community. Visit Lilah's Official Website to learn more about her upcoming stories.

1. Lilah will be awarding a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter.
2. A free Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour.
Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the tour for more chances to win!


  1. Thanks so much for the review and question! And I'd love to come back after Spice is released!

  2. Hi Lilah, you are a new to me author and I look forward to reading Pivot and slip. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate it :)

    2. Good luck in the giveaway. I hope you enjoy Pivot and Slip as much as I did.

  3. Thanks so much for the review!


    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting.

  4. What do you think the hardest thing about writing a MM romance is compared to a straight couple?

    1. I really tend to approach the story from a character perspective; who these people are, how they feel, what are they thinking, etc. So from that point of view it's not really so different from m/f. It's a love story, and I'm really pleased to be part of a company that is committed to putting out more diverse love stories. That said, sometimes the pronouns can get confusing! Using he/she is much less frustrating than he/he and trying to differentiate which "he" I mean.

      Thanks for the question! It was a good one!

    2. I know this question was for Lilah, but having written both m/m and m/f stories myself I can't help but add my two cents.

      For me, love is love, and the characters let me know who they are meant to be with. I'll hear a voice in my head that says "My name is Eric, but everyone calls me Peter, and I'm going to tell you about how I fell in love with Nancy." or "I'm Ethan and my next door neighbor is Andrew. He's perfect for me, but I don't know it yet." After that, the rest is gravy! :D

  5. Thanks so much for the review. The book sounds great. Thanks for letting us in on how you do your writing. Thank you again for the givewaway

    1. I really enjoyed writing about my process, thank you for reading!

  6. I like that the author is sharing with us a fictional story she can relate to as she has experienced a similar loss and adjustment in he life. I am new to the M/M genre but I am a supporter of the LGBT community and I am looking forward to looking further into your book. Congratulations on your first release!

    1. This story is definitely close to my heart, so I really appreciate the support! And thanks so much!

  7. I like the cover and the blurb, this goes definitely to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Thank you! I feel so lucky to have that incredible cover!

  8. Wow, I cannot name one thing I don't like about this, as I love the cover, the review, the excerpt and the little interview, that may have only asked one question but it was one loaded with many answers :) I also know what it is like for one dream to end and the fight to start another, so I will really enjoy the inspiration journey of these two men, when I get a chance to read the book - newly added to my wish list :) thanks Carly & Lilah

    1. Oh gosh, thank you! This story means a lot to me and I really hope will it resonate with people who may have gone through something similar. (And I agree, one great question by Carly!)

  9. I really enjoyed this post. I believe this is a book that I'll not be able to put down. Thanks for the amazing giveaway.

    1. Wow, thanks so much! That really means a lot to me. I hope you enjoy it!

  10. Great excerpt! Thank you for the giveaway.