About the Book
Imagining him was harmless…until it wasn’t.
Romance novelist Meghan Townsend’s marriage is slipping, and no amount of prayer seems to help. She aims to recapture her husband’s waning attention by getting in shape and finds escape by crafting her own fictional love story. Taking inspiration for the hero from a new friend—the attractive, spiritual, and attentive Curtis Jameson—she pours her yearnings onto the page, and craves the kind of pulse-pounding romance found in her book, Racing Hearts…
In 1916 Corona, California, motorcars are all the rage, and racing them is what Meghan’s hero, Russell Keegan, does best. But when his competition vandalizes his car, the only mechanic available is a greasy woman in a man’s overalls.
After a racing accident claimed her father’s life, Winifred became the sole breadwinner for her family. She is disdained as a female mechanic, but her daddy’s trade is all she has left. Can she swallow her hatred of the races and take up Russell’s offer of big bucks to fix his car, or will she lose everything to mounting debt?
Under Meghan’s skillful pen, these two embark on a thrilling, adventurous romance. But she finds that writing those love scenes with Curtis’s face in mind takes her heart places it shouldn’t go. Will she realize in time that real life can be better than fiction?
Click here to get your copy!
In My Opinion
Authors must be creative to come up with their fictional stories, but April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro take it to the next level by giving readers a story within a story.
As Meghan’s attempts to reignite her marriage fail, she immerses herself more and more into the historical novel she’s writing. At times, the book parallels her life but basing her hero and someone she knows leads to temptations.
I loved the historical portion of this book. Winnie and Russell are great characters and the details of the Corona race are fascinating. I liked the contemporary part of the book but when things were getting so bad in her marriage, it bothered me that she didn’t just lay it all out there with her husband. After so many years of marriage and the trials they’d already weathered, the lack of communication was frustrating. If she’d sat down with him, gotten mad at him, something, so many of the questions and doubts she carried would have been solved.
Granted, without that tension, the modern day story would have simply been fluff and the warning to guard your heart wouldn’t be necessary.
Better Than Fiction will appeal to historical and contemporary romance readers alike.
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
About the Authors
April W Gardner writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our southeastern Native tribes. She is a copyeditor, military wife, and mother of two who lives in South Texas. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.
Michelle Massaro writes contemporary fiction, soaked in grace. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband of over two decades and their four children. She’s dabbled in homeschooling, teaching Creation Science, and leading worship. When she isn’t tinkering with words, Michelle enjoys old Rogers and Hammerstein movies, making kefir, and Sudoku. A new lipstick and a good French roast always make her happy.
More from April and Michelle
April and Michelle get a lot of questions about how exactly co-authors write a book. Who writes which part? Did you have any trouble, any conflict? Valid questions! But in the case of Better than Fiction, it was no trouble at all, and neither author can remember a single heated disagreement. In part, because they’d been critique partners for eons and were already working together seamlessly.
It also helped that the story is made up of two intertwining novellas. Each author had her own blank canvas to color on with the other looking on and offering feedback. The most enjoyable part of the process was the challenge of making sure the events in the life of
Michelle’s contemporary character (an author) influenced the characters’ decisions in April’s historical plot.
Why intertwining stories? The idea behind it was to show what it’s like to live in the mind of a writer, how her real life makes its way into her stories. The theme of emotional affairs was a good fit, as it is often all too easy for women—even Christian woman—to be drawn to another man and justify it as harmless friendship rather than admit she is looking to this person to fill a need that only God and her husband are meant to fill.
They decided to set the story against the backdrop of Michelle’s hometown of Corona, California in 1916 and the real-life Corona Road Race that took place in April of that year. It was the third race and, due to tragedy, the last.
From concept to “The End,” it took a span of about four years for Michelle and April to publish Better than Fiction, and as far as teamwork goes, it went off without a hitch. April was able to fly from her home in Georgia to stay with Michelle’s family and do research, and later, Michelle flew to Georgia for a concentrated writing weekend. The two had an amazingly fun time writing and working together.
Another question the authors get…will there be a sequel? Only time will tell.
To celebrate their tour, April and Michelle are giving away the grand prize bundle of a $20 Amazon gift card, themed mug and bookmarks, and handmade throw pillow that says, “Books, my happy place”!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 9
Among the Reads, October 9
Genesis 5020, October 10
Through the Fire Blogs, October 11
Betti Mace, October 11
Artistic Nobody, October 12
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 12
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 13
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 13
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 14
For Him and My Family, October 15
Remembrancy, October 15
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 16
Maureen’s Musings, October 16
Godly Book Reviews, October 17
Moments, October 17
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 18
Bigreadersite, October 18
Texas Book-aholic, October 19
For The Love of Books, October 19
janicesbookreviews, October 20
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20
A Reader’s Brain, October 21
Inklings and notions , October 22
Simple Harvest Reads, October 22