Monday, September 3, 2012

RECAPTURED DREAMS: Two Questions for Justine Dell

Ten years, the Atlantic Ocean, and several rungs in society have kept Xavier Cain from having Sophia Montel. Now twenty-seven, he’s spent his entire adult life building a fashion empire that could finally prove his worth to her family. When fate reunites him with Sophia at London’s premiere fashion show, one problem lodges in Xavier’s path: Sophia doesn’t remember him.

The only obstacle that has kept Sophia from Xavier is a horrific car crash that erased her memory at seventeen. She’s spent the last ten years fighting to reclaim a sliver of her past that her mother refuses to help her remember. When Sophia meets Xavier at the London show, however, all her fantasies come to life in one night of passion. Discovering he is the missing link, she is determined to find all the pieces to their love story and her memory.

Xavier wants forever. Sophia wants her memory. If they take this chance, they’ll have to start over. How far are they willing to go get what they want? And when the past catches up to them, can they handle the truths it has hidden?

As I mentioned Friday, Justine was my very first crit partner. We discovered each other in early 2010 on Nathan Bransford's forums. She has spent hundreds of hours reading and critiquing my work, and has unquestionably made it better. Of course, I've also read hers, and I can tell you that Recaptured Dreams has always been a favorite of mine. I read (and write!) adult romance, so this was right up my alley. I asked Justine a few questions about her book, which comes out in two weeks:

 In Recaptured Dreams, the clothes Xavier designs have an effect on Sophia's mood whenever she puts them on, even though she doesn't have any memories of him. How did you come up with that idea?

The idea of this story revolves around two people who shared similarities and passions when they were young. Strong ones. One of those passions was fashion. During the ten years the characters were apart, Xavier hoped he could find and draw Sophia back to him using his clothes. Since their connection was so strong when they were teenagers, it seemed fitting to make the items Xavier designed effect Sophia's mood and personality every time she slipped on one of his creations.

 We've known each other for awhile, and you've told me many times that you enjoy writing stories in which two people with a shared past reconnect in the present. But in this story, one of the characters doesn't actually remember that shared past. Can you talk a little about how you found a balance between rekindling an old romance and creating a new one in this story?

Like you said, one of my favorite things to do is reconnect people who have a past. As age people and grow, they sometimes realize relationships they used to have might be what they should have had all along; they just didn't see it. What didn't work in the past could work in the future sort-of-thing. In this book's case, Xavier's attraction and connection is so powerful, it actually draws Sophia back to him, so to speak. It was his connection I was able to build off of. And because his presence ignited little flickers of Sophia's long-forgotten past, it was like weaving together the perfect should-have-been. There wasn't a new connection to develop because, from the get-go, Sophia has an attraction, a draw to Xavier that she can't explain. I was able to build off both the characters in their separate ways, still focusing a great deal on what used to be and bringing the story forward to the what-can-be-now.

Okay! Thank you, Justine! To my fellow adult romance readers: doesn't that make you want to read the book? You can! You can pre-order at B&N, and it will be available on Amazon and Omnific on September 18th.

A bit more about Justine:

Justine lives in the Midwest, happily catering to her family, which consists of a horse-obsessed teenage daughter and four crazy dogs. She’s never moved from her hometown, but hopes to grow old in a much warmer climate.

During the day she works a normal job with college students who try their best to keep her young. They’ve done a good job thus far.  At night, said teenage daughter and her horse require mounds of love and attention. The weekends belong solely to her and her writing. That’s when she morphs into a sticky bug, unable to leave the confines of her computer chair.
She started writing three years ago after seeing a movie that set off a chain reaction she couldn’t have stopped if she’d wanted. It’s not a hobby for her; it’s an obsession. One she loves and one she loves to share.

Here's where to find Justine: Contact Justine by email:

Recaptured Dreams on Goodreads. And there's a giveaway going on right now--you can enter here.
Recaptured Dreams on Facebook.
Friend her on Facebook
Check out her Blog. She's hosting a huge giveaway throughout the month of September with lots of cool stuff, including a copy of Recaptured Dreams ...or maybe a signed hardcover of Sanctum!
Find her on Twitter.

ONE MORE THING: Justine will be giving away a copy of the ebook TODAY to one of my commenters!


  1. Oh so YOU'RE the Sarah she always speaks about on her blog!!! I had no idea! :o)

    Justine, congrats on your book. It sounds fabulous.

    Sarah, anyone ever tell you that you look like Renée Zellweger?

  2. What a compelling story. And that bit about the truths of the past reminds me of "Memento" - lots of dramatic possibilities here.

  3. Wait, I know I commented on this earlier. Where is my comment?!? Boo!

    Well, I'll just do it again. ;-)

    I can't believe it's been 2 years, Sarah, but it has been an amazing journey...and YOU are the reason I have made it this far. You are the bestest frieta ever. Thank you.


  4. I love this idea, but Justine already knows that!! Many congrats, my friend.

  5. Sounds like a very interesting story. Congrats to Justine!

  6. This sounds so awesome! I love the idea of being drawn together even when she's lost her memory. Very cool! Hooray for Justine! Can't wait to read this one~ <3

  7. This sounds like a great book and how lucky you both are to have each other as critique partners.

  8. Congrats to LTM! Random Number Generator chose you for a free copy of the ebook! ;-)


  9. Oh! I forgot to announce the winners of the bookmarks! Congrats to Rebecca Taylor and Carolyn Abiad! ;-)


  10. Nice to "meet" you Justine! Thanks, Sarah, for sharing Justine with us. I'll look forward to reading Recaptured dreams.

  11. Excellent interview Sarah and Justine.