Saturday, March 7, 2015

Blog Tour, Review by Kristina & Giveaway: Touch Screen by L.B. Dunbar

Title: Touch Screen
Series: Sensations Collection #4
Author: L.B. Dunbar
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 3, 2015
The prodigal son. A second chance. The long kept secret. 


I had returned. I hadn’t been here for seven years. That last summer, I was angry. Once I got away, I didn’t want to come back. The irony was the career I sought to escape this small town was the very reason I was here. My first movie was a featured film of the Traverse City Film Festival. As an independent film director, my premiere brought me back home. Home. A place I didn’t recognize.

Or maybe home didn’t recognize me? 

I had it all in California: a girlfriend who was the daughter of a movie financier, a job that led to connections in the film industry, and a condo overlooking the ocean in Malibu. What I didn’t have was family. I had left them all behind. I was the prodigal son.

Now, the last person I expected to see was her. Britton McKay. She had been my summer love as a teenager. Not just once, but several summers. Until the last one. That was seven years ago. Now, she looked more beautiful than I remembered. Seeing her again, flooded me with memories long suppressed. She reminded me of everything I once had, and left behind. 

Now, she had returned too.

Can lost romance be rekindled? Can unanswered questions be revealed? 

Can I make this place my home again?


L.B. Dunbar reunites you with the Carter and Scott families as all are gathered for the annual film festival, a much anticipated wedding, and another summer weekend of Harbor Days.

I felt drawn to this woman and child, and I exited one of the French doors to walk along the pathway under another canopy. The beauty and her boy did not seem to notice me, and I tried to stay behind the columns that supported the overhang providing shade to this portion of the sidewalk as I peered nonchalantly at the beach. I glanced in their direction enough to notice wisps of her blonde hair around her tan face blowing out of her ponytail. She kept her eyes downward, focused on the boy, but I realized they had the same nose. Again, it seemed safe to assume this was her child.
She dipped the boy again and I heard his strong childish laughter. It was infectious and I smiled to myself. The woman kissed the boy again with several small pecks on his little red cheeks and neck, only now I could hear the sounds the mother made, loud and exaggerated, with each brush of her lips. The boy laughed harder, saying, “No, no, no,” but he squealed his enjoyment of each kiss and clearly wanted more. She stood him upright again and the child wrapped his arm around his mother, beginning to dance.
“Again,” the child pleaded, but the mother directed him elsewhere. They held hands as they stepped off the dance floor and into the white sand surrounding the pavilion. I hadn’t noticed they were both barefoot, and the woman bent down to pick up two pairs of shoes. She handed the child his and carried hers through her fingers. There was something strangely familiar about her as she walked across the sand away from me and toward the water line of the lake.
I stood straighter now, no longer leaning behind the barrier. I took no more notice of how much warmer I was outside in the blazing morning sun in my gray summer suit as I took a step into the sand, forgetting my leather dress shoes. The woman turned toward the child, walking backwards. Her tan legs were graceful beneath her white shorts. This blonde beauty shielded her eyes as if looking at something behind me, then she suddenly stopped walking. The child broke free of her hand and started running across the freshly combed beach toward the lake’s small white caps.
I made my way to the dance floor, the sand slipping under the hard soles of my dress shoes. I balanced on the edge of the cement structure with my heel and kept my gaze focused on her as she continued to stare back at the resort. Slowly, she lowered her hand from her eyes and tucked a piece of wayward hair behind her ears. I realized she was no longer looking behind me, but at me. The way she tucked her hair behind her ear made her instantly recognizable. Britton. Britton McKay had returned to northern Michigan, just as I had.

Anyone that knows me knows that I absolutely adore LB and anything she writes but as with the movies when you hear that there is a 3rd, 4th and especially a 5th sequel you get worried that it will be repetitive and that you won't love it as much as the first 2 but that is not the case here. The way LB weaves her tales is magical. She pulls you in right from the very first chapter, giving the right amount of detail about everything and everyone without going into too much detail as some authors tend to do. You can honestly envision the the way the town and places within the town are set up and what they look like, you can feel the way the characters felt when things were happening to them and you can picture yourself in the town with these people going to these places. Everything is just so realistic that you feel that it could be your town.

We have heard about Gavin since the very first book in the series. The son who went away against his fathers wishes and hasn't been back since. We've been curious about Gavin as little snippets about him have been told through the other 3 books but we really get to know him in this one.

This story is about summer love, teenage angst, coming of age and finally coming home. Not home as to where you live but where you belong. Gavin and Britton met when he was 15 and she was 13 while she was staying with her uncle one summer. When Gavin set his eyes on Britton he was a goner and just had to meet her and thus began their summer romance that lasted for 5 summers until he left to go back to college and never came back. When he finally comes home after 7 years to premiere his film for the towns film festival he catches a glimpse of Britton on the beach with a little boy and is transformed back to when they were teenagers. Although he has a girlfriend back in California he can't help but seek out Britton as if she is the moon he needs to follow to find his way home. When he finds out that she has a son he can't help but be drawn to this little ball of energy as much as he is his mother.

As most men are at 27 Gavin is selfish, confused and clueless to things that are staring him right in the face. Will Britton and Gavin be able to forgive each other and again find the passion that they had for each other during those long ago summers or will Gavin return to his old life in California? Well now you will have to read Touch Screen to find out. ;)

All of the books in The Sensations Collection are stand alones but they really should be read together so you can meet all of the wonderful characters that together form the Scott and Carter families. Whether it's writing small town love or rock star love, LB does not disappoint and she has quickly become my go to one click author for anything she writes.


Author Q & A: 

1. Were you a reader as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite authors/books?

Yes, I was a reader as a child. I can still remember finishing my first book, The Three Bears. I was in 
first grade and I read it all by myself to a second grader. Proud moment. Growing up my favorites 
included Judy Blume, S.E. Hinton, then transferred to Jane Austen, and anyone who wrote about 
love or angst.

2. What made you want to write about the 5 sensations?

Wow, this is a great question. As the concept for Sound Advice was born both from the storyline of a 
little girl who could, but would not talk (called selective mutism), and a father who repairs things 
with sound, I guess the idea just continued. A book themed around one of each of the five senses. 
Especially after I created Taste Test, the story of aa young man who desired to be a chef, but has 
many trials in his way to accomplish his dream, I knew I had to complete the set

3. If you could live inside one of your books for a day which would it be and why?

The Legend of Arturo King! I would love to hang with rock stars, be cool like that, and be the shy girl I am taken by a dangerous but loving man like Arturo.

4. Has any of your family members read any of your books?

My mother, my mother-in-law, and my second daughter have read most. My father-in-law even 
read two of them, and reading is not his thing, so I’m honored by his support. My husband hasn’t 
read any.

5. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?

Me. This is a dream come true and I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. After I started to have 
people who read, and liked, my stories, I think any reader has become my inspiration. It’s 
affirmation that I can write and people will like my storylines.

6. What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear in the book world is that I’d have to quit. For some reason or other, that I won’t 
make it, and people will hate my stories, and then my fantasy world would all fall apart.

7. What is your favorite snack to eat while reading/writing?

Popcorn. I love salty things, so sea salt popcorn is my favorite, which is hard to eat and type, but it’s 
inspiring food.

8. Besides writing and reading what is your favorite hobby?

I do like to garden which is a limited time as I live in Chicago. I have an extensive garden in my yard, love to arrange flower pots, and love greenery in general.

9. Is there anything you do to get yourself ready to write?

Mostly, it’s some daydreaming. I have an overactive imagination. I see a man who has a little girl and a story is born. Or I’m driving home from work and I’m thinking about teaching The Legend of King Arthur to my students, and another story is born when I think if King Arthur lived today, he’d be a rock star. I’ve learned to take copious notes if I can’t start a story right away (and I’ve even gotten out of the shower to jot things down then returned to the shower to rinse).

10. If you could tell younger LB one thing that you know now but didn't know then what would it be?

The list is long, but I guess the most important thing would be to take risks. I was very cautious, and 
still am in many ways. I would take more chances on myself and not listen to others who want to 
keep me down.

11. Who are your favorite authors now? 

Samantha Young, Jay Crownover, Mia Sheridan, Penelope Ward and Penelope Douglas. Kylie Scott, 
Christina Lauren, and Jennifer Armentrout as J. Lynn.  I don’t get to read as often as I’d like, so I tend to stick to my favorites, over and over again.

12. What are your favorite books now? 

I do love the Stage Dive series (Kylie Scott), the Marked Men (Jay Crownover) and anything by 
Samantha Young, but mainly her On Dublin Street series. I love when writers build a whole family or collection of friends around a storyline and I’m often vested enough that I follow any book added to the series.

13. If you could give your children or any child one piece of advice what would it be?

Never think you can’t do something, even if a teacher or parent, tell you you can’t. 
It’s the worst words to pass through our mouths and we say them without thinking. A dream can be 
crushed with those words. I know. A professor told me I could never be a teacher. Twenty years 
later, I proved her wrong after giving up the education major twenty years earlier because of her. 
My mother thought I could never write nor publish a book. She became a major source of 
determination that I would.
I’d like to say I was always a writer. I’d also like to say that I wrote every day of my life since a child. That I took the teaching advice I give my former students because writing every day improves your writing. I’d like to say I have my ten-thousand hours that makes me a proficient writer. But I can’t say any of those things. I did dream of writing the “Great American Novel” until one day a friend said: Why does it have to be great? Why can’t it just be good and tell a story?

As a teenager, I wrote your typical love-angst poetry that did occasionally win me an award and honor me with addressing my senior high school class at our Baccalaureate Mass. I didn’t keep a journal because I was too afraid my mom would find it in the mattress where I kept my copy of Judy Blume’s Forever that I wasn’t allowed to read as a twelve year old.

I can say that books have been my life. I’m a reader. I loved to read the day I discovered “The Three Bears” as a first grader, and ever since then, the written word has been my friend. Books were an escape for me. An adventure to the unknown. A love affair I’d never know. I could be lost for hours in a book.

So why writing now? I had a story to tell. It haunted me from the moment I decided if I just wrote it down it would go away. But it didn’t. Three years after writing the first draft, a sign (yes, I believe in them) told me to fix up that draft and work the process to have it published. That’s what I did. But one story let to another, and another, and another. Then a new idea came into my head and a new storyline was created. 

I was accused (that’s the correct word) of having an overactive imagination as a child, as if that was a bad thing. I’ve also been accused of having the personality of a Jack Russell terrier, full of energy, unable to relax, and always one step ahead. What can I say other than I have stories to tell and I think you’ll like them. If you don’t, that’s okay. We all have our book boyfriends. We all have our favorites. Whatever you do, though, take time for yourself and read a book.


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