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Monday, September 8, 2014

On Tour: The Other Side of Gemini by LG McCann - Review + Q&A

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LG McCann is now on tour with CLP Blog Tours with her book, The Other Side of Gemini. Please visit her page for more blog stops.

The Other Side of Gemini
by LG McCann 

Genre: Adult, Chick Lit, Friendship
Publication: July, 2014
Format: kindle
Source: ARC, CLP Blog Tours
Connect: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook 
Buy: Amazon

Sylvia Miloche is a successful book editor by day, D-list party girl by night, and has been dating New York City’s favorite playboy James Ryan for five years. But things are far from perfect. When the New York Post catches James with an intern, Sylvia’s already precarious life comes crashing down.

Lindsay Sekulich is a high school science teacher, wife, and mother of three in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. Her high school reunion is quickly approaching and that means the secrets of her bad-girl past, all of which she’s kept hidden from her husband, could come spilling out, revealing who she once was and the horrible things she’s done.

When Sylvia emerges in Scottsdale, seeking refuge in her hometown from the relentless gossip blogs, Lindsay finds herself alternately elated and terrified. The two were inseparable as teens, but a tragedy just before their senior year tore them apart. Sylvia, once a carefree, joyful girl always up for adventure, is a beaten down and broken adult. Now Lindsay must make a choice: rescue the friend who saved her in high school, or keep it all hidden to save her marriage from almost certain destruction.

I received a copy of The Other Side of Gemini by LG McCann from the author/CLP Blog Tours as part of the book tour.

The Other Side of Gemini was not what I’d expected to read, judging from the title, or the cover. This book was a story of Sylvia and Lindsay. They were best friends until one night that changed everything. Ten years later, Sylvia was a successful book editor. But her boyfriend, James, left her after the New York Post catches him with an intern.  Lindsay moved back to hometown. She’s a science teacher, and she’s married to Paul with three kids. But, Paul had absolutely no idea about his wife’s wild past. With their high school reunion is approaching, Lindsay has to convince Sylvia to go to the reunion with her before her husband found out what she has been hiding from him. 

I really enjoyed reading this book. I love watching Sylvia and Lindsey’s relationship in their past and present. Their friendship was a bit dark, and emotional. I was a bit shocked to find out the reason why their friendship ended after high school. The supporting characters were amazing. I keep wondering what’s Paul’s reaction was going to be if he found out about his wife. I think LG McCann did a really great job in writing the book. This is definitely a great story of friendship.

Q&A with LG McCann 

1. Please introduce yourself and your book.
Hi! I'm LG. My first novel The Other Side of Gemini was recently published by Soul Mate Publishers. I turned 30 this year, just got my first dog, and have to keep reminding myself that Gemini is finished and that I can't make any more revisions when I think of something I want to change (which still keeps happening!).

My book is a little Thelma & Louise, a little Valley of the Dolls, a little My So-Called-Life, and even a little Romy & Michele. It has the glossy life, the mom life, relationships good and bad, coming-of-age, wacky situations, and, of course, plenty of humor and love.

2. How do you come up with the idea of the book? What is your inspiration?
There wasn't any one inspiration for the book. There were a lot, actually, like my strongest friendships (my soul mates), my nastiest heartbreaks, my crazy jobs, and New York City.

I always start my books with my characters. The plot starts to reveal itself as I write my characters, often jumping from scene to scene, never linearly, just spending time in their worlds and in their heads. I rarely start a book with a plot in mind, and that was mostly the case with Gemini. All I knew was that I wanted to write a story about two best friends, one of whom lived in New York City, and their high school reunion. The kickoff to the book really started when I decided that Sylvia had been cheated on and had found out in a very public manner. The plot formed with each new anecdote I wrote, and once I finally had all the pieces, it was just a matter of sewing them together in the right order.

Life is my inspiration. Just as the characters form the plot, life informs my characters. I like to take little bits of little things I see every day and figure out if I can use them and where I can put them. Recently, I was trying to decide what to do about a character's career. I didn't want him to be a cop, but he needed to be a defender/protector-type. I was having a hard time choosing a career that inspired reverence. Driving to my day job one morning, a huge pickup truck passed me on the highway with a bumper stick that read COMBAT MEDIC. That was it! It was the last piece of information I needed to complete the character's basic story. Things like that are a really big deal.
3. Are there any scene in the book that resemble real experiences?
I don't think I should be telling this story, especially not on the internet, but I'm going to anyway...

There's one scene in the book where Lindsay and Sylvia, as teenagers, get into a car with two boys they don't know. The girls were used to catching rides home from parties with guys they didn't know well, if at all, but they learn it's a bad idea after one particular night: Instead of taking them to their houses, their supposedly chivalrous chauffeurs basically kidnap them and take them to a grungy apartment in a seedy part of Phoenix against their will.

This scene still makes me nervous, and not just because it was vaguely inspired by a real-life event. Actually, the real-life event was much less scary and, ultimately, kind of hilarious.

A very good friend and I were drowning our stress at a rooftop bar in Manhattan. We met and were dancing with two handsome, young Middle Eastern men who liked to flaunt their wealth. After we had all grown tired of the bar, the guys invited us to hang out with them in DUMBO (a fancy, revamped part of Brooklyn). They told us it a club, that there would be dancing and drinks. It didn't sound sketchy at the time.

I figured we would be taking a cab, but when we reached the pavement, the guys' friend pulled around in a shiny new BMW. My friend and I were directed into the back seat. I wasn't at all comfortable with being in a stranger's car, especially given how inebriated I was. But my friend insisted that we would be fine--that we were going to have fun! (Side note: She and I both lived in Harlem at the time and it was a really long subway ride home from DUMBO.) I don't know why I listened to her. A few blocks later, I panicked and tried to jump out of the car at a stoplight, but the driver just sped up and whizzed through the red light, keeping me in. He then locked the doors and continued to lock them every time I tried to get out (which happened a few times).

Before I knew it, we were crossing the Manhattan Bridge into a part of New York that I did NOT know! It's all a blur after that for me, because I was panicking the whole time, imagining the worst-case scenario. I didn't know if we were going to be ball-gagged and raped or filleted and hung up in some creepy closet. The men led us into a shiny new apartment building, past an old, greying doorman, and into an elevator. They punched the button for the highest floor and we rode to the top. When the elevator stopped, the doors opened and the guys walked out ahead of us. Thinking quickly, I grabbed my friend by the back of her coat as she moved to follow them and pulled her back in, simultaneously hitting the CLOSE DOOR button and praying the guys wouldn't notice. Just as the doors closed, we saw them run back toward us, but we were safe. We sprinted out of the elevator as soon as it hit the lobby and ran down the gleaming, tiled corridor to the front doors.

"You didn't see us!" I shouted at the old doorman as we whizzed past him. "You didn't see us!"

My friend beckoned for me to keep moving, and then we heard them: the guys had caught the other elevator and were right on our heels. We sprinted--sprinted!--and soon found ourselves under the Manhattan Bridge. We hid behind a parked car and watched as the guys stood at the entrance to their building and looked up and down the street for us. They didn't linger long; they gave up quickly and went back inside.

After my friend relieved herself under the bridge, we took a very expensive cab ride back over the bridge to Manhattan and made it home safe and sound.

In retrospect, I like to think they were weren't bad guys, that they were probably just messing with us. Still, it was super creepy, the situation was incredibly sketchy, and we shouldn't have been that dumb.

4. What do you like most about writing this book? 
Finishing it! No, I'm kidding. Finishing it was actually bittersweet after four years of working on it. My favorite time of the day to write is after dark. I love to have a desk lamp on in a dark room, with a glass of wine (or maybe a bottle) next to me, and just get sucked into my writing. I will become so engrossed in the story that I'll have forgotten what I wrote the next morning (and not because of the wine). Getting lost in my characters and their worlds is so much fun. After I knew Lindsay and Sylvia really well, from so many angles, getting lost in their scenes became even more exciting.

5. What's the happiest thing you've been told recently?
The four sweetest words of the moment are "I loved your book!" I'm even hearing from people who I haven't spoken to since middle school. I'm loving all the encouraging words and being able to connect and reconnect with a lot of people.

6. What are you working on right now?
I'm so excited about my new project. It's a new women's fiction novel about a woman who runs her family's ski resort. It deals with the emergence of dark family secrets, having to grow up and take responsibility, and learning to let people in. There's a little thrill, a few laughs, and even some sexy times. It's been really fun to work on so far.

7. Anything you would like to say to your readers?
Just... THANK YOU! Especially for making it all the way to the end of this interview. Feel free to write to me, Tweet me, or find me on Facebook! I love hearing from people, especially readers. And maybe the occasional pervert. (KIDDING! Perverts need not apply.)

Author Bio:

LG McCann was born and raised in the Last Frontier. She spent her formative years on her family’s ski resort near Fairbanks where, if she wasn’t bombarding customers with rocketlaunched Barbie dolls, she was in the cubby under the stairs making up stories. After enduring the rest of her adolescence in Anchorage, LG tried her hand in the Lower-48, where she graduated from Hollins University summa cum laude with a double major in English and Film & Photography.

After six years in New York City, where she acquired unique experiences working in reality TV, the non-profit sector, and the publishing industry, LG still hadn’t found her calling. She still just wanted to be in that cubby making up stories. She wanted to write. These days, that’s exactly what she’s doing. But when she’s not writing or proofreading (or at her day job), you’ll most likely find LG playing in her garden, cooking with her partner Jonathan, attempting complex yoga moves, or passing out from exhaustion on her couch with her fuzzy assistant Emmy Cat.

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