I'm so happy to welcome back to my blog Lisa Nowak! In case you missed Lisa the last time she was here, her book RUNNING WIDE OPEN was featured back in November. Like all prolific writers, Lisa has a brand new book out, and this is the first stop of her blog tour. Thank you, Lisa!
DRIVEN by Lisa Nowak (Webfoot Publishing, May 2, 2012)
(Even though Driven is part of the Full Throttle series, it's more a companion book than a sequel and it works as a stand-alone. It features both a tough female character and a realistic romantic element (as opposed to the he's-hot-therefore-I-love-him type of romances in so many YA books).)
The last thing on 16-year-old Jess DeLand's wish list is a boyfriend. She'd have to be crazy to think any guy would look twice at her. Besides, there are more important things to hope for, like a job working on cars and an end to her mom's drinking. Foster care is a constant threat, and Jess is willing to sacrifice anything to stay out of the system. When luck hands her the chance to work on a race car, she finds herself rushing full throttle into a world of opportunities-including a boy who doesn't mind the grease under her fingernails. The question is, can a girl who keeps herself locked up tighter than Richard Petty's racing secrets open up enough to risk friendship and her first romance?
And now for an interview with Jess, the main character of DRIVEN!
Q: Hi Jess. I understand you’re the crew chief of your friend Teri Sue’s race car. That’s not a typical hobby for a 16-year-girl. How did you get interested in cars?
Jess: That was my dad’s doing. When I was little, he had a Mustang we used to work on together.
Q: But you don’t do that anymore?
Jess: He’s not around now. When I was eight, he took off in his semi to haul a load of strawberries to North Dakota, and I haven’t seen him since.
Q: That must’ve been awful. So your dad instilled this passion in you, and when you got older you bought a car and fixed it up? Can you tell me a little about that?
Jess: Sure. It’s a ’72 Pinto with a 351 Windsor. That’s a small block V-8—not exactly the four-banger that comes stock in an economy car. It took me two years to go through everything to make it mechanically sound. I did the work at school, and my shop teacher expected me to let the guys in class help. Can you believe that? I didn’t want those jokers messing with my car. Boys don’t pay attention to detail. Anyway, it was my project, and I wanted to do it my own way.
Q: That makes perfect sense to me. So your dad is out of the picture, and I understand your mom drinks. That must make things pretty rough for you at home.
Jess: Who told you that? There’s nothing wrong with my life. I mean, sure, my mother has a few beers now and then—lots of parents do. There’s nothing unusual about that.
Q: Maybe we should talk about something else. What about Cody? I hear he’s not what you expected.
Jess: True. I thought he was a jerk. You know, the kind of guy who flirts with a homely girl then laughs about it with his buddies behind her back. But he’s not like that at all. I think the air of cool he projects is just a cover. There’s a lot going on under the surface. He’s still pretty upset about that wreck his uncle got into at the track last year.
Q: So Cody’s boyfriend material?
Jess: I don’t know about that. I haven’t had a lot of friends these past few years, and it’s kind of nice to finally have someone to talk to. I don’t want things to get weird with him, you know? But I’ve got to say, there’s something about Cody that melts me like a Hershey bar on a hot dashboard. He understands me like no one else ever has.
Q: That sounds like a great foundation for a relationship. Maybe you should give him a chance.
Now for the giveaway! In honor of the release of DRIVEN, Lisa has offered up an ebook copy of
RUNNING WIDE OPEN by Lisa Nowak (Webfoot Publishing, June 2011)
To enter, simply comment on this blog post. And please include a way for me to get in touch with you when you win. The contest will be open through Friday, May 18 at 11:59 pm.
Good luck and thanks for reading!