Monday, August 25, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: Designs on You

Please welcome author Carrie Pack, who is here to discuss her latest release, Designs on You. She is also going to answer my infamous Rick Reed questions, and I've reviewed her book, so look for my review. Carrie will be awarding a $25 Barnes and Noble GC, via Rafflecopter,  to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To see the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

DESIGNS ON YOU. Full Moon Dreaming Blog

The Questions
1)      You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?
This is going to sound so cliché, but I’d pick my husband. He’s really resourceful and can make me laugh. He’s also really good under pressure. I think I could be stuck anywhere with him and not go crazy. For our item, I’d make sure we had a fire starter. What can I say? I’m practical… And we watch a lot of Naked and Afraid.
2)      Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?
Thoroughly Modern Millie — it’s really just a story about a girl trying to make it on her own, but then things get crazy. Plus it makes me laugh. I’d want to be Millie, though, because if your life is going to be a musical, you might as well be the lead. Plus, I have a new life rule that if you can be played by Julie Andrews, you should always pick that character.
3)      Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scenario using them:  night, union, minute
As the last minute slipped away and night closed in around them, a loud cry arose from the back of the room. “Strike!” the man yelled. Murmurs of agreement began to fill the room as the union leader struck his gavel on the table, trying to quiet the noise. But no one would listen; it was too late. By the time the sun rose, their fate would be sealed. Without the support of the propulsion union, the Humans would lose the election to the Nemetians, and they would be stranded on this planet, 6 million light years from Earth.
4)      You’ve just been let loose in the world of fiction, with permission to make love to anyone you want. Who do you choose and why?
The only thing coming to my mind right now is Jon Snow, but I think that’s largely to do with the huge crush I have on Kit Harrington, rather than George R.R. Martin’s writing skills. Is that cheating?
5)      What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?
I like simple things: going out to dinner or staying home and watching a movie, but one of our favorite things to do is going to Disney World. One of the perks of living in Florida.
6)      When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?
I almost always begin with plot. It may not be much of one, but it’s at least a loose idea. Designs on You was like that. “What if a bored graphic designer falls in love with a model?” The characters always come later. It took me a while to develop Scott, but I knew what his journey was going to be right away.
7)      If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
People tell me I look a lot like Jennifer Morrison. I think she’d make a great Hollywood version of me. She’s much more glamorous than me.
8)      Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
I’m not much of a horror person, mostly because I am a HUGE chicken when it comes to scary books and movies. But I can tell you the one that scared me the most: Pennywise from Stephen King’s It. I still have nightmares about that book and movie.
9)      Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?
The entirety of NASA’s Apollo program. I am obsessed with every detail from the physics behind it all to the guys who worked mission control to the astronauts themselves. I think I’ve read every book written on the subject. If you mean an actual moony-eyed crush, does a young Harrison Ford count as historical?
10)  Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
I have stories to tell that I’m not sure I’m ready to write, but that’s not really the same thing, is it? For me, part of writing is talking about things that maybe the world isn’t ready for. Think about some of the most profound books in history—To Kill a Mockingbird, Beloved, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World—they’ve all been banned at some point. You could argue the world wasn’t ready for those, but they are also considered great works of literature. I think the point of creativity is to talk about things that make us a bit uncomfortable. So I would still tell my story, even if the world wasn’t ready.  

Designs on You
by Carrie Pack



If graphic designer Scott Parker has to design one more cupcake company logo, he might lose it. So when he is tasked with retouching photos for a big fashion client, a stunning, lanky model mesmerizes Scott and occupies his fantasies long after the assignment is finished.

When the model is assigned to one of Scott’s projects, Scott discovers that the object of his desire is nothing like what he imagined. Despite Jamie Donovan’s aloof and dismissive behavior, Scott struggles to forge a friendship with him, all the while trying to keep his attraction at bay.

Will Jamie follow through on signals that he may be interested, or will he forever be the beautiful man in the photograph, an untouchable fantasy?



“Jamie, just make sure you maintain eye contact with the camera,” Scott says. “Direct it all at the lens.” What he means is, take all that anger, desire, passion, frustration, whatever it is that is holding him back, whatever he’s feeling, and channel it into his work. Let it go. He lowers his voice and leans in so only Jamie can hear him. “Direct it all at me if you have to.”

Jamie seems to understand because he nods, his eyes fixed on Scott’s as his breathing picks up, and if it weren’t for the camera and all the lights between them, Scott would swear they’re back outside that bathroom, suspended in the second before Jamie kissed him. Then Jamie locks his gaze on the camera lens three feet from his face, determination apparent in the set of his jaw, and a hushed anticipation settles over them. Jamie blinks twice and relaxes into the posture that Scott instantly recognizes as his model’s stance; he’s ready to go.

Scott smiles and ducks behind the camera, using the viewfinder rather than the digital display. There’s an intimacy in it, seeing Jamie through the focused view of the lens, and Scott is awestruck. It’s like seeing Jamie for the first time, all of his emotions raw and his soul laid bare—and it’s nothing like the pictures Scott used to get off to. This is Jamie the person, the one who is Scott’s friend, not Jamie the model or the insane erotic fantasy that Scott had created around him. In that moment of realization, the shock of Jamie’s beauty shoots through Scott like fireworks—a sharp point of light that erupts into a shower of sparks in his chest. He holds his breath and snaps the shutter. Zach had left it on a rapid-fire setting, so he shoots about ten frames at once, catching the subtle changes in Jamie’s expression.

He glances down at the display; even at only three inches wide, he can tell the shots are what they’re looking for. Scott lifts the camera back up and smiles. “All right, Jamie, let’s try that again, and this time I want you to really take a risk. Try something new and don’t hold back.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A former graphic artist, Carrie Pack turned to her early career experience as the backdrop for her first novel. She lives in Florida with her husband, where she teaches advertising writing at a local college.

 And now my review:

Designs on You
Author: Carrie Pack
Publisher: Interlude Press
American release date: August 16, 2014
Format/Genre/Length: Novel/M/M Contemporary Romance/178 pages
Overall Personal Rating:

Scott Parker has a job many gay men would envy—he gets to look at pictures of gorgeous male models for his agency. The current campaign he’s working on is for One West—a major client. Yvonne complains to Scott that the model, Jamie, is too short for the client’s picky taste, but she hired him anyway, because he is drop-dead gorgeous. Tired of looking at cupcakes, Scott offers to touch up Yvonne’s photos, which she’s all for.

Scott finds Jamie Donovan to be perfect—at least in looks. Scott decides he’s finally ready to dive back into the dating pool, as he tells his straight roommate, Ben. But he doesn’t do anything about actually getting a date.

When Yvonne comes down with the flu, Scott is sent to handle the One West shoot, which brings him face to face with the model he’s been fantasizing about. He’s been warned that Jamie is bitchy, and he discovers that’s true. But Scott finds himself drawn to him anyway. There’s just something about him. When Scott tries to tell Jamie he just wants to be his friends, Jamie doesn’t believe him. Even so, he’s sending mixed signals and driving Scott crazy trying to get past the shell he’s erected around himself.

This is a very sweet, very romantic story. Scott is obsessed with the beautiful model, and his actions at first are almost stalkerish. Plus he is insecure about the ten years that divides them. His quest to reach the inner Jamie is the bulk of the story. We don’t get a real feel for Jamie. I think he could have been fleshed out more. Giving him a POV would have helped, I think. Without that, sometimes I wondered what Scott saw in him, other than the obvious.

My biggest criticism is the author’s use of 1st person present tense to tell the story. I have no problem with this POV, and write in it myself. In this case, though, it didn’t feel right and didn’t give the immediacy I think the author was going for. It distracted more than it illuminated.

That being said, this is a sweet romantic story, which I think will please its readers.

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