Title: By A Thread (By A Tread #1)
Author: R.L. Griffin
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary
Length: 8 hours and 23 mins
Stella’s future was set, and it was a bright one. She was engaged to a man she adored, and was headed to law school in the fall. Tragically, her perfectly planned future ends just as it was beginning.
With no ties to family or friends, Stella finds herself alone in a new city, spiraling out of control. Her typical day comes to a close with her passed out on the floor; sometimes clothed.
Luckily, her new roommate, essentially a stranger, is dead set on getting Stella past her grief and back to functioning within society. Putting one foot in front of the other, she climbs up from the bottom of a bottle. Even with all her progress, Stella walks through life unfeeling, numb. Defiant, she sends out warning signals for the world to keep away. But, is that what she really wants?
With the steadfast help of a few tight knit friends, she gradually begins to feel again. She starts to savor the flavor of food again; lets herself notice how the handsome bartender glances at her. Still, after allowing herself a fling, she wonders if she will ever be able to let go of her shattered past, fully enjoy the present, or get over what she thought would be her perfect future and with the man who destroyed her heart.
Story: 4 stars
I read this book about almost a year ago, and it was really interesting to hear the story again via audio. I formed new impressions of some characters, and given what I know of the series storyline, was growling at one character most of the book. The who and why behind the growling, if you are not familiar with the story, will be apparent when you finish this book.
This series would be considered Romantic Suspense, but of the 3 books, the majority of the book has a sad theme to it. The heroine, Stella, battles heartbreak/depression, and as our hero, George, struggles to break down the walls she has built around her heart. The author creates the suspense in a unique way. She throws at you an EPIC prologue. The story then rewinds and lead up to that prologue. The author, who may be a masochist, makes you wait, and wait, and wait . . . *shakes fist at her* to find out what that prologue meant. And when you learn what happened, you want to strangle multiple people in the story.
Performance: 4 stars
This story only has one narrator, and I thought she did a good job of capturing Stella. To be frank, the author’s voice is kind of seductive, so putting that Southern voice with how Stella is physically described, and you can see why most men in the story were fawning over her. The only issue I had was she used that same sexy voice for Stella’s mom. Awkward!
Overall: 4.5 stars
I enjoyed this story the first go around, and liked it even more adding the audio element. Even though how I knew how the story played out, my heart was still racing at times, and breaking at others. The storyline is unique and keeps you guessing. Truths are revealed and trust is broken. You may not like Stella at times, but your heart will feel for her at the end of this story.
INTERVIEW WITH R.L. GRIFFIN
What inspired you to write the By A Thread series?
I woke up with a scene in my head of a drunk girl in a bar where the bartender called her roommate to come get her. It’s such a small scene in BaT, but that started everything. It’s bizarre what creates an entire story.
Was the series as emotional to write as it was to read?
You know, I loved writing this series. Seamless after 80% and Heart in Wire were surprisingly emotional for me. I actually cried writing a scene in Seamless. I hardly every cry.
There is a lot about law and politics in this series, and it’s easy to see that you have an understanding of the complexities of that world. Can you share your background for those who don’t already know it?
Sure. I used to be a political junkie. I interned in the Senate during the Impeachment trial. I watched Meet the Press every week until Tim Russert died. I lived in DC until 2003 and loved every single day (with the exception of several months on 9/11 and after). I worked for the Department of Justice for several years in a couple of different departments. I had enough after watching the plane hit the Pentagon that morning, I was on the road right outside of the Pentagon, being swabbed for anthrax and then all the shootings. So I decide to move. I decided on Atlanta. I miss DC at least once a week.
There are moments where I severely disliked some of the characters in the By A Thread series. Are those moments easier or harder to write?
Stella was easy and difficult to write. She had a mind of her own and did things that are cringe worthy. There are several really big decisions she made that hurt me and I wish I could just write want I wanted, but she wouldn’t let me. My mom and I actually got into a heated discussion about one of them, but I said this is what she is doing. She won’t let me do what I want. So, I’m sort of crazy…
When did you decide to make audio versions of the series and how involved were you in the process?
I got a ton of requests for audio books, so I looked into it. I got a ton of auditions and Hollie’s voice during the audition made the hair stand up on my arms. I was pretty involved. It is a very different and surreal experience listening to your words instead of reading them.
Are any of your characters based on people you knew in real life?
Not even one.
Where did you come up with the “oh my shit” saying? It’s very catchy.
Stella came up with me. I never said it before I wrote By A Thread. It is catchy though. I find myself saying it now.
Since you’ve lived in both cities, which do you love more, DC or Atlanta?
Not even a contest, DC hands down.
As you know, I gifted my Mom By A Thread to read, and her one comment was: Stella sure does drink a lot. *facepalm* Anywho, has anyone in your family read the series and if so, what were their reactions?
My mom and dad read it first, so I could even see if it was worth working on. My mom was like no one acts like this. No one can drink this much. I said, yes they do. If you are able to take a year off and numb your pain after a tragedy you don’t know what you would do. I’m a huge believer in doing what you need to do to get by, make it through. We shouldn’t judge so harshly. Stella was a mess, but her entire life had been turned upside down in an instant. I’m pretty sure I’d do stupid shit too.
My 86 year old grandmother read it and told me it was “raunchy,” which was probably the best thing I’ve ever heard. The raunchiest doesn’t keep her from demanding all the books when they come out. Pretty cool.
*finishes reading synopsis for Razorblade Kisses* Why are you trying to kill me? ; )
Razorblade Kisses is trying to kill me so join the club.
Are you writing anything currently? If so, can you give us a hint on what it is about?
Razorblade kisses I’m in the revision stage and it goes to the editor this fall. Sunshine & Whiskey is totally fun. A breath of escapism in my world of dirty, emotional stories. My sister asked me for rainbows and unicorns and I needed some after RBK, so I’m writing that now. May 2015 release. I’m writing a fantasy story for my 10 year old nephew and that’s up on www.wattpad.com. I also have 3 other stories percolating. People keep asking for Billy’s story, but I don’t know what I’ll write after Sunshine & Whiskey.
What are you currently reading?
This is Where I Leave you by Jonathan Tropper.
Who is your favorite author?
That’s not a quick or easy question. I have like a million favorites. Seriously.
Favorite romance novel?
First one I can think of is Love in English. I don’t like conventional romance stories.
Favorite Batman actor?
Henry Cavill Superman…sorry. I’m not good at following rules.
The Vampire Diaries or True Blood?
Wine or whiskey.
Thanks RL, XOXO