Monday, June 19, 2017

Book Reviews & Interview - Put It Out There, What Are the Chances? and And Then What? by D.R. Graham


Review by Anniek 

Derian went to live with her mother in Vancouver after her father died in a tragic accident. A year later she moves back to Britannia Beach because she wants to be home. Her grandfather owns an inn and Derian can live with him. Derian helps him out with the day to day chores at inn and breakfast is her specialty. The inn is old and is in desperate need of renovations. Will her grandfather be able to keep running it?
 
Trevor lives next door to Derian. They have been best friends forever. Derian, however, would love for them to step out of the friend zone. Derian has a crush on Trevor, but she isn't sure if he feels the same way. Sophie is Derian's best friend and she is determined to help Derian to get a boyfriend. There are several boys who are interested in her, so this should not be a problem. Will Derian eventually end up with the guy she likes the most? 

Derian has had visions for as long as she can remember. Trevor and Sophie know about this and are trying to help her. Derian feels frustrated about the fact that she sees these images and fragments, but doesn't know when the real thing will happen or if she can stop it from taking place. Because of that she is practicing to develop her ability. Derian is a very sweet person. She cares about others, like her grandfather and friends, and is a responsible girl. Derian helps her grandfather as much as she can and she is a good student. In school she stands up for people who are being picked on and I loved that about her. She's a beautiful main character, both inside and out. 

There is one sentence in Put It Out There that really stood out for me:

'Don't forget to be proud of what makes you unique.'

This is a powerful message. I think we all have our insecurities, no matter what age we are. We are all our own person and that's exactly what makes us so special. D.R. Graham writes about wonderful and interesting characters. Britannia Beach sounds like a great place to live and it's a perfect setting for Derian's story. Put It Out There is the first book in the Britannia Beach Series and it ends with a fantastic cliffhanger. I'm really curious about the evolvement of Derian's ability and her love life and can't wait to read the next book.


Review by Suze

Derian and Sophie have one last summer in Britannia Beach. Deri has been accepted at two different universities, but she hasn't made up her mind yet. Sophie is very much in love, but Deri's love life has been pretty uneventful. She's always had a crush on Trevor, but he isn't available. Mason is, he's kind and generous and he's back in town after a year abroad, so Deri finally has the chance to get to know him better. Who will Deri end up with and will her summer be everything she hoped it would be?

What Are the Chances? is another great Britannia Beach story. I liked Deri a lot, she's strong, resilient and incredibly smart. She also has visions that are giving her a glimpse of something that's going to happen in the future. Because of those visions she can sometimes act just a little bit sooner, which leads to plenty of gripping scenes. Deri is brave and she's always there for the people she loves. She puts herself in danger if she has to, but helping them is more important to her than her own safety. I loved this admirable character trait.

Deri has to choose between two interesting guys. Mason is rich and popular, but beneath the cool exterior there's a sensitive, big-hearted and incredibly sweet guy. I liked him from the beginning. He's honest about his feelings and knows what he wants. Trevor is a bit of a hero. He's always helping people, both professionally and in his free time. He's tough, but he's careful with Deri's feelings. He's been giving her plenty of headaches over the years, but that's about to stop. I was curious to see where their relationship would lead.

D.R. Graham's writing has a nice, easy flow. I loved reading about Britannia Beach, Deri's friendships and her dates. She's an interesting main character and I liked that little extra magic that's being added to the story by the visions she has. It's a fabulous angle and it perfectly suits the life changing rescue missions that are being described in this book. I really liked the second Britannia Beach story and the ending is lovely and really romantic.
 

Derian is a student and she has to work hard for her grades. While she lives in the same city as Trevor she doesn't see him that often. When the stress is getting too much, her best friend Sophie asks her to go to Mexico with her to enjoy the sun and relax for a few days. It's the perfect opportunity for Deri to catch up with Sophie and unwind. However, Sophie isn't the only old friend Deri meets in Acapulco. Mason is back in Deri's life and this leads to a dangerous adventure she'll never forget.

And Then What? is the third story about Deri and her friends. I enjoyed reading about Deri's relationship with Trevor. It's complicated and there's a lot they still have to learn. Deri has spent most of her time studying and has almost forgotten what it's like to have fun. She's a serious and hardworking girl and fortunately Sophie is there to make her take a much needed break. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen when they were in Mexico. It's a thrilling journey with plenty of surprising twists and turns.

Deri loves the people who are important to her with all her heart and she's always sweet and gentle. She's understanding, forgiving and loving, which I liked about her character. She has a lot to think about when she's in Mexico and during her journey she discovers what's important to her. The trip is far from uneventful and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't wait to find out how the story would end.

D.R. Graham writes about love, romance, friendship and adventures in a fabulous descriptive way. I liked that Deri is broadening her horizons in And Then What? She's growing up and I admired the person she's become very much. She's a fantastic main character and I loved reading about her again. I enjoyed finding out more about her love life and was curious to see which decisions she would make. The Britannia Beach series has wonderful characters and I loved this amazing dynamic series.

Advice

The Britannia Beach books are all about the same main character, Derian. When you start reading the series you should begin with Put It Out There and read the stories in their correct order.
 
About D.R. Graham

 
D.R. Graham is an author of sweet and edgy young adult and new adult novels for Harper Collins and Entangled Publishing. She worked as a social worker with at-risk youth before becoming a therapist in private practice. The clients she works with are children and teenagers, and her romance, suspense, and psychological thrillers deal with issues relevant to teens and new adults in love, transition, or crisis. She is also an award-winning columnist for the Richmond News. She currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband.

Find out more at


Interview

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thanks for inviting me to do this interview, Suze. Hi everyone, my name is Danielle and I write both young adult and new adult fiction under the name D.R. Graham. I was born in Yukon Territory, Canada and I grew up in Vancouver, where I live now with my husband. I'm also a psychotherapist in private practice.

2. In Put It Out There Deri has a special ability. If you could have an ability yourself what would you choose and why? And what's the inspiration behind Deri's gift?

Hmm, I'd probably want the special ability of being able to teleport from location to location since I'm not a huge fan of airplanes. Deri's gift comes from my fascination with intuition. I've met people who are particularly intuitive and sense things that others can't, so I thought it would be interesting to write a character who is able to do that.

3. What kind of hobbies do you have? ( when you're not reading or writing)

I enjoy hiking and yoga and I dabble a little in photography, but writing is my favorite hobby.

4. You've chosen Britannia Beach as the location for your story, what's so special about this place?

I grew up near Britannia Beach, which is located north of Vancouver, near Squamish and Whistler, British Columbia. We call it the Sea to Sky corridor and it has some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the world. Nestled between Howe Sound and the mountains, it's the perfect wilderness setting for the historic inn Derian grew up in and for the search and rescue adventures that take place in the books too.

5. Could you sum up the main characters of your series in 6 words each?

Derian Lafleur: bookish, sweet, loyal, intuitive, small-town, inexperienced.

Trevor Maverty: brave, loyal, honorable, dependable, closed off

6. You're a columnist for the Richmond News. Do you have a favorite topic to write about?

I haven't written for the Richmond News since starting Britannia Beach but when I do write columns I tackle topics that relate to my profession as a psychotherapist--anxiety coping strategies, substance abuse prevention, communication skills, conflict management etc..

7. What kind of books do you like to read yourself?

I like to read young adult contemporaries, either edgy or romantic. Actually, I like all books that have at least one thread of romance in them.

8. Do you have a routine while writing your story? What does your writing process look like?

I don't really have a specific routine. I write whenever I have time, which is usually in the evenings, on weekends, and Wednesdays. I typically start with a very random idea, then I sit at the computer and see what comes out. The characters introduce themselves and tell me what's going to happen next. Then, after I've finished about three drafts, I go over the story and structure the plot with a standard three-act screenplay format and plot points. That sometimes means moving scenes around and cutting unnecessary scenes. Then I send it to my critique partner and she tells me what's not working.

9. You are a therapist. Is there something you can advice that every person will benefit from?

Breathe. Everything else will work itself out. Just breathe.

10. If you could change one thing in the world what would that be and why?

I would make the world a more respectful place. If we all had unconditional respect for ourselves and for those who are different from us, we would be more confident, tolerant, and happy.

11. What can we expect from you in the future?

I'm working on a few upcoming projects: two new adult contemporary romances, a cross-over historical romance, a young adult psychological thriller, and an edgy young adult drama set in the seventies. I'm still writing one and the others are all in various stages of the publishing process, either on submission with agents, submission with publishers, or in the editing phase.

12 comments:

  1. I loved the first book in this series, especially the chemistry between Deri and Trevor which doesn't come across as well in the second and third book.

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  2. Sounds like a great series!

    --Trix

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  3. "Don't forget to be proud of what makes you unique." - That's a great line.

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  4. I love the covers of these books!

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  5. The interview makes me really want to visit Britannia Beach.

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  6. This book is now in my wish list

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  7. Oh, that young adult psychological thriller story sounds appealing.

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  8. thank you for these review and the interview, this is a new author for me but i'm tempted to try it especialy after the sentence you picked because i do love this message

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  9. I love psychological thrillers. Great interview, thank you.

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