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Monday, December 18, 2017

Gaining Visibility by Pamela Hearon - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Julia has the feeling she's invisible, she's in her late forties and has survived breast cancer. She went through multiple surgeries and doesn't feel as good about herself as she used to anymore. Her daughter has moved to Alaska, her ex-husband has found someone else and is living a frivolous life in Hawaii. Julia loves her mother-in-law, who's like a mother to her, and regularly visits her at the nursing home. Besides having her own business Julia's life has become pretty empty, but she's been through a lot and has come out on top, so it's time to be kind to herself and do something she loves.

Julia travels to Italy where she wants to hike the Cinque Terre. However, she doesn't get very far because of a mild injury. She does meet someone interesting though. Vitale is an artist, who's quite a bit younger than Julia, he's in his early thirties, but there's a connection. Julia recognizes his talent and wants Vitale's name to become well known. She can help him with his passion. Vitale wants to spend time with her, not only for his career, but to get to know her better. He is the first person in a long time who truly sees Julia. Can Julia and Vitale help each other to be happy again?

Gaining Visibility is a beautiful story. Julia is a strong and courageous woman. She went through several surgeries after her cancer diagnosis and this makes her feel differently about herself. She's no longer young and notices she's being looked at in a different way. I loved Pamela Hearon's honest and open way of writing about this topic. It's something that happens to a lot of women and I admired how she elaborately describes the awful feeling of not being seen and turns it into a wonderful story. Julia might have been given the idea that she doesn't matter any longer, but that doesn't make it true and I loved that message very much.

Pamela Hearon has a heartwarming writing style that immediately appealed to me. I loved Julia's spirit and determination and she and Vitale have a special bond that greatly impressed me. Gaining Visibility is an original love story with many unexpected twists and turns and plenty of terrific layers. Both Julia and Vitale are gorgeous people inside and out and their story blew me away from the start. I always love it when an author manages to surprise me. I was impressed and amazed by Gaining Visibility and loved it from beginning to end and highly recommend it. It's a fantastic novel filled with tenderness and dedication, questions about life and living and the most stunning true love.


If you love original emotional stories with beautiful romance you should definitely read Gaining Visibility.

About Pamela Hearon

Although she now makes the Midwest her home, Pamela Hearon will forever remain a Southern gal. Born and raised in Kentucky, the values, humor, and dialects of the South infuse her writing with down-home warmth-no matter how exotic the setting.

Writing was always one of Pamela’s favorite pastimes. Childhood stories and angst-filled teenage poetry eventually led the way to book-length fiction, and the pastime became a passion.

Pamela is an avid reader, gardener, and enjoys traveling with her husband, searching for that next story that begs to be written. A vacation spent traipsing through the sheep fields and the moors of England in search of the legends of King Arthur inspired the story for her first novel, The Timestone Key.




1. Could you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I’m a retired school teacher who spent the last half of her career teaching Language Arts to eighth graders (which gives me a head start on sainthood). I met my husband on a blind date, solidifying my belief in romance. We have three grown children and four grandchildren. We travel a great deal of the time, and I keep a journal wherever we go. I’m always on the lookout for the perfect setting for that next story.

2. In Gaining Visibility you share some experiences that are based on a difficult time in your personal life, was that hard to do and how do you prepare for something like that?

Yeah, writing about breast cancer wasn’t something I could handle right after my surgeries. But as my body healed, I realized how blessed I was to have caught the disease at such an early stage, so the writing became good therapy for me. I don’t think anything could’ve prepared me to write about the experience. It was simply a matter of letting time work its magic, getting me beyond the fear of yesterday and into the joy of today.

3. Could you describe the main characters of your book in six words each?

Julia—loyal, hesitant, sexy, generous, stubborn, unsettled

Vitale—intense, hard-working, self-assured, sensuous, moody, dependable

4. What inspired you to write about a woman who feels invisible?

Turning fifty! ☺ There comes a time in every woman’s life when she feels like she’s camouflaged by her age. I want her to know she’s not alone. We’re all in this together.

5. There’s quite an age difference between your main characters, which I think is fabulous. Can you describe the beauty of a relationship like that?

I’m glad the age difference worked for you because it was one of the most challenging parts of the entire story. I want to convince the reader that despite what society wants us to believe, age truly is only a number, and true love is a dance of the soul. Despite his fewer number of years, Vitale lived through much—enough to make him Julia’s emotional equal—and her inward beauty reflected outward, making her his equal in that realm, so they were perfect for each other.

6. How did your writing journey start?

I don’t remember my journey starting because I’ve been writing my entire life. My mom has a cedar chest filled with poems, short stories, and essays I wrote that date back to my elementary school years. My parents recognized my talent and encouraged me to major in journalism. But that wasn’t the type of writing I wanted to spend my time on, so instead I majored in English and became the proverbial English teacher/frustrated novelist. One day, I decided it was time, so I sat down at the computer and wrote my first novel. And now I’m working on number eleven.

7. For Julia it’s important to reach personal goals, how did you get the idea to set a large part of her story in Italy?

I love Italy—one of the most romantic places on earth—and I have a journal full of details from a vacation there. Julia’s character arc needed her to go someplace that would set her completely out of her comfort zone, but it also had to be someplace where she would realistically feel comfortable traveling alone. Italy seemed the perfect fit … and did I mention how tantalizing I find Italian men?

8. Julia is dealing with the scars of breast cancer, how do you write difficult scenes like that and is there any advice you have for women in similar situations?

Difficult scenes have to be written in stages. I work on them until I can’t, and then I step away for as long as it takes to get my emotion under control. I want to feel the emotion as I’m writing it, but if I feel too much, I find myself backing away. So I write the heavy stuff in spurts. The emotion transfers onto the page in manageable segments, so it stays authentic throughout. I guess that’s my advice to others. Have an escape that steps you away for a while. Manage it in spurts.

9. You write all kinds of romantic stories in different genres, what does romance mean in its core for you?

Romance is hope personified. It’s a promise that no matter how bad it gets, it can get better. There’s a happily-ever-after for everyone.

10. What are your plans for the future?

The next adventure is a three-month RV trip to Alaska. And writing the next book. Always writing the next book.


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of Gaining Visibility by Pamela Hearon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Gaining Visibility sounds like a poignant, uplifting and exhilarating story about one woman's personal journey in regaining her confidence and finding love again.

  2. great interview, makes reading a book so much more interesting when you know something about who wrote it xx

  3. This sounds amazing and real! Can't wait! Thanks for the great review!

  4. The story sounds wonderful and to be left alone after having so many heart breaks and still be hopeful. I'd like to read this book.

  5. Wow this sounds like such an interesting book with so much hope and love! The world needs more of that!

  6. Having been married and divorced twice this sounds like a very heartfelt read.