September 25, 2012

Virtual Blog Tour: Away from the Spotlight by Tamara Carlisle

Today I'm happy to have Tamara Carlisle with me. Tamara is celebrating the release of her book, Away from the Spotlight, and has agreed to stop by and visit with us today. Oh, and Tamara will be awarding two $25 Amazon GCs to randomly drawn commenters during the tour!  So make sure you leave her a message!  Welcome, Tamara!

Away from the Spotlight includes a love triangle. So long as it doesn’t appear contrived, a love triangle can ratchet up the drama, show a side of a character that might not otherwise be shown, and/or spur a character to take or fail to take certain actions. And what woman wouldn’t love to have two men competing for her affections?

The Drama 

Law clerk, Shannon Sutherland, meets co-worker, John Maher. Soon after meeting John, Shannon learns that John is in a long-term relationship and realizes she has no chance with him as a result. John and Shannon then settle into a close friendship. Unbeknownst to Shannon, John is equally taken with her, but remains in his relationship without Shannon knowing of his feelings for her.

As the novel begins, Shannon meets Will MacKenzie. Shannon and Will quickly fall in love. However, when Will and Shannon appear to have problems, John is right there. While still in his long-term relationship, John consoles Shannon and serves as a listening ear. Later, John’s girlfriend leaves him and he becomes single, but Shannon is no longer single. John tries to spend time with Shannon, taking advantage of the fact that Will is away for a period of time. Shannon realizes what John is up to and distances herself from him. However, when Will and Shannon again have problems, John is right there - again.

Who is Shannon supposed to be with? Will, whose career requires somewhat of an itinerant lifestyle and provides a host of complications? Or, John, whose career and lifestyle is identical to that of Shannon? While Shannon’s preference is clear for the most part, does the story play out that way? Does she have a choice?

Character Development 

In addition to the dramatic element, the love triangle serves the additional purpose of drawing the reader into Shannon’s life outside her relationship with Will. Shannon is no shrinking violet waiting to blossom under the love of a good man or be rescued by her prince. Regardless of how amazing her relationship with Will is, Shannon is an independent, well-educated, career woman with a life that is more than being someone’s girlfriend or wife. In that regard, she serves as a good role model and the story provides an example of a good relationship that complements a woman’s life rather than becomes a woman’s life.

Also, when Will sees Shannon and John together at one point in the story, he behaves in a way that shows what he was like before he met Shannon. Now that I think about it, to some degree, Shannon saves Will!

Catalyst for Action or Inaction 

The involvement of a third party can also spur action or inaction on the part of one or more characters. In Away from the Spotlight, as I noted before, Will sees Shannon and John together at one point in the story. That incident serves to delay a reconciliation between Will and Shannon. Will’s subsequent behavior then places him right back in the path of Shannon and leads to that reconciliation, albeit after a delay.

Timing Is Everything

Shannon and Will meet when they are both at the right place at the right time. Both were single and ready to fall in love when they met. The timing between John and Shannon was off for a long time. Did it remain that way? You’ll have to read Away from the Spotlight to find out.

Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me to join you today!

In the closing weeks of law school, Shannon Sutherland meets handsome and charming Englishman Will MacKenzie. Initially swept off her feet, Shannon finds that Will has a secret that, once discovered and the consequences realized, could destroy their fledgling relationship. Will and Shannon take great pains to have a normal relationship but, ultimately, find it impossible to do so. Will the pressures of their careers and the temptations of others drive Will and Shannon apart? Can Will and Shannon live a happy life away from the spotlight?


“I promise nothing will separate us again. Just like it said in our vows, ‘Til death do us part.’”

“Well, about fifty percent of all marriages are ‘til divorce do us part.’”

“We’ll be in the other fifty percent.”

“How do you know?” I was still worried.

“Because I love you and I am not stupid enough to make the same mistake twice. Unless you have any plans to break us up?”

“No. I wasn’t worried about me. I was worried about you.”

“We’re good then?”

“Yes, I guess so.” I could hear a little sigh of relief on the other end of the phone. “Other than Saturday, have you ever noticed how we have a lot of these kinds of conversations over the phone or out in public?”


“I wonder why that is.” “Because when we’re alone together, we can’t keep our hands off each other,” Will said in a sexy voice.

“I guess that’s true. Do you think we’ll ever be able to have them when we’re alone together?”

“If you mean, ‘do I think that we’ll be able to keep our hands off each other at some point,’ I certainly hope not. But I do think we might be able to figure out how to multitask.”

Tamara Carlisle is a former attorney and business consultant. Away from the Spotlight is her first published work of fiction. She currently is working on two additional novels: one is about love in the music industry and the other is a work of paranormal fiction. Tamara currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her British husband and daughter. For further information, go to

Tamara’s Goodreads Author Page also includes a blog detailing trivia relating to Away from the Spotlight.


Unknown said...

Thank you, Sarah, for having me here today! I'm looking forward to checking in from time-to-time throughout the day and chatting about love triangles or anything else of interest.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Tamara today.

Sarah Grimm said...

You're very welcome, Tamara! Happy to have you.

Susan Shay said...

I'm wondering, what spotlight is the title referring to?
You might have mentioned it, but I missed it. Lots going on this morning.

Sarah Grimm said...

Since Diane had a bit of trouble posting, I'm adding this comment for her:

I'm sure it was my fault, but tried twice to comment, didn't go thru.
So will just say here that plot sounds interesting. Like Susan S, tho, I'd like just a smidge of insight into significance of title, Tamara.

Best of luck,

Diane O'Key

Unknown said...

Good morning! I'm in California so I'm a bit behind everyone. Susan and Diane, thanks for joining us this morning! Hero, Will MacKenzie, is a famous actor trying to have a normal life outside the "spotlight." In other words, Will wants a public life as it relates to his profession (with the "spotlight" focused on his movies), and a separate, private life where that "spotlight" is not focused on him and the details of his life. The "spotlight" on his private life means that he has difficulty living in a house that is not behind gates (due to crowds in the street and people trying to get into his house), is chased by fans and paparazzi (and any woman in his life is similarly hounded), needs personal security from time-to-time, and has lies printed about him in the press. Hope this answers the question. Let me know if you want more clarification.

LisaRayns said...

It looks great - Best of luck with your release!

Ilona Fridl said...

Tamara, fellow rose here! First, congrats on an interesting story. I love the push-pull of the relationship. I wish you much success.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Lisa and Ilona, for your kind words and for joining us this morning!

Anonymous said...

Sounds intriguing--congratulations on the release!


Unknown said...

Thanks and I appreciate your joining us today!

MomJane said...

What an absolutely fascinating story line. I loved the excerpt.

Unknown said...

Thanks, MomJane - glad you liked it. The story was fun to write.

kyrsa said...

I have read the book and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one

Unknown said...

Thanks, Kyrsa! I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for joining us this afternoon - I appreciate it!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Sarah, for having me today. This was fun! I look forward to following your blog.

Mary Preston said...

A well written love triangle can be very exciting to read.


Unknown said...

Marybelle, I hope I did a good job of it. Thank you for stopping by today!

Sarah Grimm said...

You're welcome, Tamara. You can come back any time.

Unknown said...

I appreciate that, Sarah! Thanks again for everything!

Unknown said...

Congratulations to Mary P. and Shannon R. for winning the Amazon $25 gift cards! I appreciate everyone who joined me on my tour. Please stay in touch on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads!