Blog Tour + Author Interview + GIVEAWAY!!! – When it All Falls Apart by Catherine Bybee

Interview with Catherine Bybee

For anyone wondering the plot of your newest release, you give a great sneak peek with the title—When it Falls Apart. What is “falling apart” in this novel?

All the threads that hold my heroine, Brooke, together are crumbling down around her. When it Falls Apart begins with Brooke’s romantic relationship crashing and burning. At the same time, in a different state, her father is circling the drain in the ICU. And for the cherry on the top of her “falling apart life”, Brooke has found herself demoted at work. In short, everything in Brooke’s life is dissolving around her.

Like all of your books, When it Falls Apart has a beautiful romance, however, there is a rawness about Brooke’s story. How was writing this novel different from your others?

If you read my notes both in the front and the back of this novel, you’ll soon realize that the story was very personal to me. Rawness comes from experience. The relationship Brooke has with her father is hauntingly familiar to me and my dad. The emotions that the heroine experienced when taking care of him were easy for me to grasp onto and write about. Sadly, the love story with Luca was completely made up and I didn’t have the support of a strong Italian family to help deal with the struggles, but I digress. 

Relationships with a parent who wasn’t there for you growing up are messy. When that parent ages and needs their child, sometimes that help comes with a bucketload of resentment, even if the child wishes they could stop those ugly feelings from creeping up on them. And THAT is the rawness you speak of.

Books, TV shows, and movies oftentimes glamorize what it means to care for a loved one. However, in When it Falls Apart you don’t sugar-coat anything about caregiving and the toll it takes on a person. How do you think readers who have been in similar situations will be affected by this story?

Justified. Validated. Accepted.

It’s a hard job taking care of an elderly family member. And if there aren’t other siblings to help, or won’t help, it’s made even more difficult. It’s difficult, gritty, dirty work that only has a bad ending…eventually. What I do hope my readers take away is that they’re not alone. That the struggle is very real and that if they don’t find balance (which is almost impossible at times) they will burn out completely and not be fit to help at all. I hope my readers are empowered to set boundaries and balance, so they come out on the other side of caring for an elderly loved one whole themselves.

Brooke gets virtually no support from her significant other, which has her reevaluating their relationship. She realizes she has settled and has to make some hard decisions. Do you think this happens too many times to women in real life?

100% Yes! There is a song by Taylor Swift with a line that says, and I’m paraphrasing here, I can be what you want for the weekend. But often that weekend ends up being a relationship that women hold on to or are convinced they can’t live without. Often it takes a huge shake-up to remove yourself from that situation. But once you’re away from the day to day dysfunctional relationship, the easier it is to see the dysfunction.

After her breakup and move, Brooke is not looking for a relationship. In fact, she tells her best friend: “I haven’t wiped off my smeared mascara from Marshall yet, the last thing I want is to jump into anything else.” Her crying over a man lasts all about two minutes when she meets Luca. Tell us about him.

Hmmm, Luca… he is the kind of man who doesn’t want a place on Brooke’s dance card…he wants to rip it up.

Luca is wired to help the people in his life. Brooke becomes a part of his inner circle simply by moving into the family building where he sees her every day.

Now, if Luca had flat out asked Brooke on a date, she would have run the other way…so no, he doesn’t go about it that way. He simply shows up and does not leave. Not when things get tough, or messy…or when his own past peeks its head in. Luca is a man who is right there at Brooke’s side without question or censor on why she does the things she does. His support and validation of her feelings is the part she was missing. Add in the hunky Italian single father and “Mamma Mia!”

At first, Luca is not thrilled that Brooke is renting a room in his family’s building. What changes his mind about her?

Her strength and vulnerability. I know that sounds contradicting, but some of the strongest women I know have a big vulnerable spot in their life that if you know them well enough, you see. The biggest smiles often hide the deepest pain. Luca sees her struggle and dedication to helping her elderly father and since family is first on Luca’s list, she passes his unconscious test.

Luca’s family, the D’Angelo’s, are incredibly close and share everything from ownership of the family restaurant to helping care for Luca’s daughter Franny. How is this different from Brooke’s relationship with her family?

Brooke doesn’t have that family. She has a father who abandoned her as a little girl that she carved out a relationship as an adult, and now she’s charged with caring for. Even her previous romantic relationship didn’t support her unconditionally the way the D’Angelo’s do for each other. She’s rather dumbfounded when they start treating her like family. It’s a wonderful thing to watch happen.

San Diego’s Little Italy plays a huge part in the story. The community, language, and food are in full display. Tell us about your own experiences in your adopted city.

I love Little Italy, the food, the pace… the people. There are many places in San Diego that are overrun with the college scene, San Diego is a college town. But Little Italy is more family friendly. Very touristy, but there isn’t a day you don’t see locals hanging out. I go to the farmer’s market often. Pick up authentic Italian ingredients for my own home cooking. I try new restaurants and take all my friends there when they are visiting from out of town. Not to mention it was the closest thing to the “real Italy” that I could go during the travel restrictions. So why not write about it and tell the world of this small island within San Diego that shouldn’t be missed?

There are two more siblings in the D’Angelo family. Where will you be taking readers next with the series?

Chloe is a yogi. Think Bali!

And Giovanni loves wine… think Tuscany, Italy.

I cannot wait to show you what I have in store for these two!



“Oh my God, Carmen. He was standing at his car first thing this morning. Like ‘hop in, bella, let’s get stuff done today.’ Who does that?” 

Brooke had picked up the phone as soon as Luca was off in search of a dump guy. 

“We’re talking about the single, hot, Italian dad, right?” 

Brooke rolled her eyes. “Yes. Luca.” 

“Oy, oy, oy.” 

“Stop it. I need advice. And I need it before he gets back.” 

Carmen stopped teasing. “You don’t need advice. You need to relax. He sounds like one of the good ones. Let it happen.” 

Let it happen,” she mocked. “I don’t ‘let’ things happen. It happens to me and it’s never good.” 

“You didn’t used to be such a pessimist.” 

“Once upon a time the glass was half full. Not these days.” 

“Okay, Debbie Downer. You want my advice . . . here it is. Keep doing whatever it is you’re doing.” 

“I’m not doing anything. Zero effort.” 

“Really?” Carmen didn’t sound convinced. “Makeup . . . a nice dress?” 

Brooke hesitated. “Maybe . . . a little last night, but that was it.” 

Carmen chuckled. 


“Sorry. Okay . . . any red flags?” 

Brooke thought about that. “He loved his ex-wife.” 

“That’s a red flag?” 

“I guess not.” 

“Is he good to his mom?” 

Brooke looked back on the dinner the night before. “To the whole family. He takes being the oldest brother quite seriously.” 

“And his daughter?” 

All Brooke could do was smile. “Great dad. We should all be so lucky.” 

“He’s Italian, does he smoke?” 


“A lot of Italians smoke,” Carmen pointed out. 

“In Italy. The San Diego variety are less in that wheelhouse.” 

“That’s good.” Carmen sighed. “I don’t know what to tell you, Brooke. How does he kiss?” 

“He hasn’t kissed me,” Brooke nearly yelled. 

“Now then . . . we have a problem.” 

“There hasn’t been . . . I don’t even know if—” 

“Stop right there. He did not drive your sorry ass all the way to Upland to do grunt work all day if he wasn’t interested in kissing you, bellllaaa. More than that, you want him to.” 

Brooke closed her eyes, and even in her own head she couldn’t convince herself that Carmen was wrong. 

“Let it happen. You deserve some happiness, Brooke.” 

The van with the air conditioning repair guy pulled into the driveway. 

“I gotta go.” 

“I want a kissing update the next time we talk,” Carmen teased. 

“Love you,” Brooke said with a laugh.

“Back at ya, boo.” 

She hung up. 

Her best friend was such a dork.


About the Title

Title: When It Falls Apart

Author: Catherine Bybee

Release Date: June 21, 2022

Publisher: Montlake 


Brooke Turner has always had a complicated relationship with her father. But when his health takes a turn for the worse, she drops everything to care for him. He’s her dad, after all, and he needs her. What Brooke doesn’t anticipate is the unraveling of her long-term relationship and a cross-country move to San Diego’s Little Italy.

Luca D’Angelo is the oldest of three children and a single father to a young daughter. When his mother rents the top floor of their house to Brooke, he’s angry. Who is this beautiful stranger with no ties to the neighborhood? Can she be trusted in such close proximity to his family?

As Luca learns of Brooke’s difficult journey with her ailing father, his heart softens. And Brooke, who witnesses Luca’s struggle as a single parent, develops feelings for him, too. But when it all falls apart, will love heal their wounded hearts?

About the Author

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee has written twenty-eight books that have collectively sold more than five million copies and have been translated into more than eighteen languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite Series, the Weekday Brides Series, the Most Likely To Series, and the First Wives Series.

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Interview & Author Spotlight: Cecilia Tan author of Slow Satisfaction


As you guys saw a short while ago, I was able to get my hands on an ARC of Slow Satisfaction, book 3 in the ‘Struck by Lightening’ Series, and I was fortunate enough to chat with the author Cecilia Tan for a bit.

Me:  Thank you so much for the time today – now that we’ve come even further in the journey with James and Karina, I wanted to talk a bit more about you and what you do.  How did you get started writing in this genre and when did you decide that it was something that you wanted to do? (write and write the style)

Cecilia:  I’ve literally always written erotic stories and stories about love, from my earliest childhood attempts to write. Long before I ever read any erotic fiction, I was writing the sex scenes I thought were missing from books. I didn’t read my first romance until I was in college and I didn’t start reading erotica until after I had published my first book of erotic short stories, Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords, back in 1992. I thought I was going to be a science fiction writer, and I tried writing a lot of stories in that genre, but when I wrote Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords I knew I was doing the right thing. I’ve never looked back. That was 22 years ago and I’ve been writing erotic BDSM fiction ever since.

Me: That’s quite a jump from sci-fi to erotica, but i can see why one category is more enticing for lack of a better word to write.  I’m thankful for the change in direction at least, and I’m sure a lot of readers are.  Where did you get your inspiration from for the characters? The Artist who wants to get away from it all and the Girl trying to find herself?

Cecilia:  When you put it that way, they’re both aspects of me! The Artist wants freedom to create but he’s always trying to figure out how much of himself to reveal through his art, how much to give to the fans who love him. James guards his heart very fiercely but ultimately comes to decide that the reason he’s been doing that is he’s been waiting for someone like Karina to give it to, someone who can love him for who he is inside. The Girl trying to find herself is trying to find that balance between pleasing others and pleasing herself. Ultimately she finds she can’t do a good job of pleasing others unless she knows her own preferences first. That’s not only true in the bedroom (and the dungeon) but in other aspects of life, as well. As a romance writer I’m always balancing how much of my own heart to put into my books and what things I like with the needs and expectations of readers.
Me:  I certainly follow you on that one, with the dichotomy of both characters -and being able to pull something of yourself really shows in the way that you wrote both characters, since they have a depth and personalization that makes it seem more real than fantasy.  Are any of the other characters based loosely on yourself or friends/family?

Cecilia:  My friends and family are great but they don’t make good characters. Every character springs into my mind with a lot of backstory and baggage ready to be unpacked. Each one represents something in my subconscious, not in my real life.

Me:  I’m sure a few folks that you are close to are breathing a sigh of relief on that one. that could lead to trouble either for someone taking a scene the wrong way or being overly complemented. Looking outside of inspiration, let’s go to motivation and advice.  What advice would you give someone who wants to be an author?

Cecilia: Write, and then get feedback on what you write. Whether that’s through a class or MFA program or writers group or fanfic community, use that feedback to find out for yourself what effect your words have on people. Your craft is about mastering those words so that the effect you create in the reader is the one you intend. You can only learn that part of the craft by getting feedback. That’s how you’ll refine your unique voice.

Me:  Well thanks again for taking the time to chat with me, and I’m sure that my readers appreciate it as well.  I can’t wait to see what’s next and I wish you the best of luck.  Congrats with this latest installment in the Struck by Lightening’ Series, and I have to say, you gave us exactly what we were hoping for as things come to a head with the characters.

To my readers- make sure to pick up a copy of ‘Slow Satisfaction’



and don’t forget to Enter the Giveaway Here for a signed copy of the trilogy!

Interview / Author Spotlight – Lan LLP; author of Beginning with Forever

Hi all, as you saw just a few days ago, I participated in a blog tour of Beginning with Forever, the first book in the Forever series.  Given I’m clearly a fan, I was given the opportunity to ask a few questions to our author, and she was more than kind enough to give me some of her time.  Before we dive into those questions, here’s a bit more on Lan LLP:

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Author Bio:

Over a long year ago, I picked up a pen to jot down the first sentence of my vivid imagination. Those initial words were the seeds that grew into my flowering romance book, “Beginning with Forever.” With all my heart, I wrote, rewrote, edited, re-edited and now, I’m finally ready to share it with all of you. My one and only aspiration for this book is to have readers embrace my story and characters with their heart.If I can make someone laugh till their gut hurts, hate the villain with vengeance, cry till their eyes dry out, fall in love all over again, and drool over the hero or feel any other emotions, than I’ve succeeded my goal.
I’m the sappiest person in the world when it comes to romance. Don’t smirk! I believe in love at first sight, Prince Charming or in my book,Mr. Hot Billionaire, and happy endings. In my heart, every women deserves all three, and they will when they lose themselves in my books. Your fantasy can become a reality with just the flip of a page, so come join me.


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Now onto the Interview :

Me: Before I get into it, thank you so much for taking your time to talk – after reading this first installment of the Forever series, I’m hooked!  So, how did you get started in writing erotica – what inspired you?  And, are there any authors in the genre that you gravitate towards or are inspired by?

Lan: I began writing as a challenge from my friends after we all read 50 Shades of Grey. They wanted me to create my version of CG. I would say E.L James and Sylvia Day are authors who inspired me.

Me:  I can see how you could get taken with that challenge.  I was getting a hint of Christian with Carson, so I can see the start.  How did you come up with the inspiration and the back story for this series and these characters?  A lot of authors give us the leading man as a CEO of a successful business, but for Lillian?

Lan:  I wanted to write a billionaire love story that was different from everyone else’s. With my love for the tropical islands and my familiar medical background, I put those two together and came up with Lillian’s character. I kill cancer for a living and always pray that we’d find a cure for it one day. This is how I came up with Carson’s background.

Me: Impressive!  I really like to see when an author’s life ties into their work from a different POV.  What do you consider to be your biggest challenge and success in writing / publishing?

Lan: The biggest challenge is getting my book out to readers. I’ve read so many amazing books by indie authors like myself that don’t receive the recognition they deserve.

Me:  Not surprising at all – although i think that you started writing at a peak time when it’s very common for authors to go the ePub route and find a self-publishing outlet.  What advice would you give to budding authors?

Lan: Always believe in your work no matter what some people tell you. You’ll never be able to please everyone so chuck it up as your book wasn’t a good fit for the person who didn’t like your book.

Me:  I love that advice – i tend to be very careful when i’m reviewing as well – since i know that authors take great pride in their work.  I can’t love everything, but that doesn’t always put me off a writer.  Fortunately here, I’m a fan from the beginning! What’s next on the list for you to write – what are the next works that you have coming out and where can my readers find them?

Lan: My second book, Finding our Forever, is with the editor right now. It will be released in Sept. I’m currently working on the final book of the Forever series, ‘Ending with Forever,’ My first book, Beginning with Forever is currently only available via Amazon.

Me:  Thank Goodness that september isn’t so far away – i don’t know what i’d do personally if i had to wait too long to see what happens.  the cliffhanger – AMAZING! Lastly, anything more that you’d like to share?

Lan: I want to thank all of you who’ve given my book a chance to win over your heart. Stick with the series and you’ll be completely stuck on Carson and Lillian and all their adventures. It won’t be a dull ride. I promise.

Me:  If the future keeps us on the same tight rope as this first book, I know that you won’t disappoint, and I’m looking forward to what’s next from you in this series and in anything else that you write.  Good luck and thank you again for taking the time to chat!

As a follow up, knowing that some of the inspiration of this series came from a challenge from friends after reading FSOG, I wanted to get our author’s POV on how she feels that the genre has changed or expanded based on the overall general acceptance of FSOG and what it means for writers and readers.

Lan:  Personally, I believe FSOG has helped many writers push their limits instead of staying within a ‘safe’ boundary. They’re not afraid to write their darkest, sexiest secret desires because it’s finally acceptable to admit it out loud.

Amen to that – is what I say to her response.  I feel like there was a lot of taboo before everyone got onto the bandwagon, and from a girl who began reading romance in middle school and got into the ‘good stuff’ of erotica in college, it’s great to see that now it’s ok to be a fan and to be a budding author of the genre.  You can put it on paper and not feel like you have to hide.

Thank you all for continuing to support my blog, and i hope that you continue to support the Forever series and Lan LLP.

Author Spotlight / Interview with Shannon Thompson: Take Me Tomorrow

Hi All – and Happy Friday.  As you saw earlier this week, I recently received a copy of Take Me Tomorrow – the intro to a new Dystopian series, and I’ve had the chance to chat with the author and wanted to share this with you:


Please Tell us something about yourself and how you became a writer.
My name is Shannon A. Thompson, and I’m a young adult author, poet, and blogger. Aside from that, I’m also an avid reader, coffee addict, and self-proclaimed cat lady. (But I love dogs, too!) I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but I began taking it seriously after my mother died very suddenly. She had always encouraged me to write, and her death made me pursue my dreams immediately.

How did you get started in writing in this genre – what inspired you?  Are there any authors in the genre that you gravitate towards or are inspired by?
I began writing for young adults because I was a young adult when I first pursued publication, and then, I simply fell in love with the genre, but I also have poetry, military fiction, and contemporary fiction published, so I definitely don’t lock myself into one genre. Just like life, there are too many aspects to reading to stay in only one part of it. That being said, Meg Cabot had a huge influence on my paranormal writing, and I love Billy Collins, Edgar Allan Poe, Cassandra Clare, Lynne Ewing, and more. 
How did you come up with the inspiration for Tomo and the back story for this series?  
Take Me Tomorrow is a young adult, dystopian novel that revolves around the existence of a clairvoyant drug. In other words, you take a pill, you see the future. This novel was inspired by a single conversation my father and I had about drug use and what drugs might be like in the future. That being said, I am very passionate about understanding drugs within society because my mother was a drug addict, and her addiction ultimately killed her. Take Me Tomorrow may be fiction, but many of the aspects found in the novel are real reflections on drug use in society. You can actually read more about this on my website:
What do you consider to be your biggest challenge and success in writing / publishing?
My biggest challenge is always myself, and I believe this to be true for most writers. Sure, we could say that bad reviews are hard, but – in reality – it comes down to whether or not we can brush off all of those difficult moments in order to continue to believe in ourselves and our words fully. My biggest success is coming back from a period of time that I quit publishing. Five years passed between publishing my first novel and my second novel, and I could’ve easily never published again, but I didn’t, and returning from that – with the help of others – feels like the biggest accomplishment I could ever do. 
What advice would you give to budding authors?
My personal mantra is “write with passion; succeed with self-discipline.” This may not work for many, but for me, it reminds me of why I write in the first place: because I am passionate about writing and it is a part of my writing soul.  But there’s also a lot of work that goes into this that goes beyond writing, like marketing, and there are difficult days we have to get through with a smile on our face. 
What’s next on the list for you to write – what are the next works that you have coming out and where can my readers find them?
AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. is planning to release Death Before Daylight, book 3 of The Timely Death Trilogy, in late 2014 or early 2015. I’m also hoping to re-release my first novel, November Snow, by November of 2015, and I have many more novels to come! 
Lastly, anything more that you’d like to share?
I’m always available on my website:
If you’re a writer or a reader, wanting to speak with me, feel free to email me at 
As a wrap on this – i want to thank Shannon again for letting me pick her brain a bit, and I look forward to what’s next.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to pick up TMT – then click the image below and please take a chance on it.