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Author: Donna K. Weaver
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Release Date: June 1, 2013
FTC FYI: Received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads | Rhemalda Store
When twenty-five-year-old Lyn sets off on her cruise vacation, all she wants is to forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. What she plans is a diversion uncomplicated by romance. What she gets is Braedon, an intriguing young surgeon. He's everything her fiancé wasn't, and against the backdrop of the ship's make-believe world, her emotions come alive.
Unaware of the sensitive waters he navigates, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship—on the very anniversary Lyn came on the cruise to forget. Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs off in a panic.
But it's hard to get away from someone when you're stuck on the same ship. Things are bad enough when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise's snorkeling excursions. Then paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped, and Lyn's fear of a fairy tale turns grim.
A Change of Plans is an entertaining read full of adventure and romance. There are also funny and sweet moments that break up the tension.
Lyn is a great main character. In some ways she seems like an average woman-down to earth and just looking to get away with a friend to try to forget some heartbreak. But she's also very strong (shown by the martial arts she practices on board and by the way she handles her trials).
When I saw that pirates were involved, I pictured a speedboat taking on the cruise ship (similar to news reports in the past few years). Even though a little boat taking on the huge cruise ship has really happened, I thought having the pirates come into play during an excursion felt more realistic.
The story covered more time than I expected. The pace of the beginning was pretty good, but the main action probably didn't occur until about half way through the book. I was expecting closure a lot sooner than it happened, but A Change of Plans is almost like two adventures in one. There was a little bit of a lull for me in the middle, but I really enjoyed the second half of the story.
As far as content, there are a few swearwords, some violence (not graphic) and sex is implied.
*What inspired you to write A Change of Plans?
I was thinking about getting back to work on my personal history that I’d started a very long time ago. It occurred to me that, unless I wanted it to be a cure for insomnia to any descendants that I might want to learn more about writing. Plus, it might be good to see if I could even write a full length novel. I was too late for the 2009 NaNoWriMo, so I did my own in January 2010. I wrote 80,000 words and fell in love with taking the bits and pieces of story I’ve always entertained myself with and making a complete tale.
*Who is your favorite character in your book, and why?
That’s a tough one. I love the main characters, of course, but I’m into quirky, too. I’ve got a couple of secondary characters I love. One is Jack Randolph, the father of the love interest. The other one is Jori, the oh-so broken, hunky Finnish model who wants to be an artist when he grows up. He wasn’t in the first draft of the book, but I needed something and created him to accomplish it. It didn’t work, so I considered writing him out again. I couldn’t I found I’d become too attached to him. So attached that he got his own book, that I’m editing right now.
*What are your hopes/goals as an author, and what other projects do you have in mind?
I want to have fun and to keep learning, keep getting better. I’ve always loved books, so being able to create some of my own is too much fun to give up. I’ve got three completed novels that I’m in the process of editing. One is Jori’s book that I mentioned earlier, and the other two are part of a YA fantasy duology that will eventually get a prequel. I’ve got about 50,000 words into a SciFi story that needs to be a trilogy. By the time I get through these other books, I hope to be at a level where I can take on the SciFi. I have plans for two other companion novels to A Change of Plans sometime in the future.
*Do you have any unusual habits while you write?
Define unusual. Aren’t authors a rather eclectic group anyway? I have a desk and a computer. I even have Dragon software that I use for new writing. When I got that for NaNo last year, it really upped my word count and I finished the first draft of Jori’s book in 18 days. Of course, I’ve found that I’m not quite the pantster I thought I was. I just write really, really long outlines—like about 50,000 words. My real writing takes place in the editing. That’s why my first edit takes so long.
*What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I work full-time, so that takes quite a chunk out of my day. My husband and I are both gamers. We love RPGs like Baldurs Gate and Champions of Norath. We love to play StarCraft2. These are things were can take a little time with and then go do something else. I read. A lot. Though most of that, anymore, is through audiobooks. I don’t have as much time to physically sit down and read a book anymore.
*What is your favorite book, and why?
I don’t know that I could ever pick just one book or even a series. With Harry Potter, I embraced my inner geek, so much so that I ended up being a moderator over at The Leaky Cauldron’s forum, Leaky Lounge. Those were some crazy times before the release of Deathly Hallows.
*Do you like having books you enjoy made into movies? What is the best/worst adaptation you've seen?
There are a handful of books that I think the movie adaptations were actually better than the book. One of those was Jaws. The book was too complicated with hints of the Mafia and Brody’s wife having an affair with the oceanographer. I much preferred the man against beast elements of the film. As for the worst film adaptation: Starship Troopers. It makes me livid every time I think of it. That was a freakin’ awesome book and one of my favorites. They totally screwed it up.
*If money were no object, where would you like to go, and what would you like to do while you are there?
What? Just one place? I’m a Navy brat who started school in South Korea and spent two year in the Philippines. I joined the Army and served in Nürnberg, Germany (my oldest son was born there—he lives in China now after serving an LDS mission in Russia). I visited Ireland a couple of years ago and would love to go back, but there’s a part of me that would like to go back and see those places I lived as a child or even a young adult.
What I really wish is that we could really apparate like in Harry Potter so I could travel and still sleep in my own bed. But if money and time was no object, I would take a cruise around the world.
About the Author:
Because she sailed the Pacific three times as a child, she loves cruising and wishes she could accrue enough vacation time to do more of it with her husband.
Donna and her husband have six children and eight grandchildren who live all over the world.
At fifty, Donna decided to study karate and earned her black belt in Shorei Kempo.
After recording city council minutes for twenty years, Donna decided to write something a little longer and with a lot more emotion--and kissing.
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