Book and Author Spotlight: Six Month Rule by A.J. Pine

Six Month Rule
(Kingston Ale House #2)
by A.J. Pine
Release Date: July 18, 2016
Entangled Select Contemporary

About Six Month Rule
She created the game, but the rules are about to change.

Taurus: Hold fast to your single-minded nature today—no matter how long her legs or how lush her red lips.
Gemini: You were a shining star last night, but reality can be a real—well, you get the picture. Just remember: Tall, dark, and British equals no corner office for you.

Will Evans never wanted a reason to stay.
Holly Chandler wants nothing more than for him to go.
But neither one is prepared for what can happen in six months. Because it doesn’t matter what you want when what you need walks out the door.

Holly’s been busting her butt to make partner at Trousseau, and there’s no way she’s going to let some stuck-up British arsehole get in her way—no matter how drop-dead gorgeous he is. But that doesn’t mean she can’t have a little fun in the process. She has a six-month rule: date just long enough for the honeymoon phase to wear off, then walk away before anyone gets hurt. If they both know the rules up front, walking away will be a piece of cake. Or maybe not…

Read my five-plus-starred review of Six Month Rule.

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About A.J. Pine
A.J. Pine  writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, A.J. has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, the books she writes have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes). And a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, superheroes, and a certain high-functioning sociopath detective. You’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago ‘burbs.

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A Q&A with A.J. Pine
1. The Kingston Ale House series feels different compared to your two previous ones (If Only... and Only You). What was your inspiration behind the series and was it a conscious decision to make your cast of characters older in terms of age in comparison to your past casts? 

So, the last book I wrote before starting this series was One Life, the second book in my Only You series. That was a heavy book that dealt with death and addiction. I loved that book, loved writing it, but when I was done I was emotionally drained. It was time to think about what to write next, and I just really had the need to write something a little lighter. My love of romance started with the movies—When Harry Met Sally, to be precise. I loved that they met on a road trip, and then I had this random thought of a guy driving the woman he loves across the country—to another man, and The One That Got Away (book 1 in the series) just came from there. I love writing New Adult, but to go a little lighter and more comedic, I don't know. The characters for that sort of tone felt a little older to me. And that's how the Kingston Ale House crew was born. 

2. What was your particular inspiration the second book, Six Month Rule? 

Holly was the initial inspiration. I always knew she'd be book two, and I knew she was someone who'd never been in love--that she always thought throwing herself into her work and loving what she did was all she needed to be happy, which is why (she rationalizes) all her relationships fizzle after six months. Hence her six month rule for relationships. Then I needed the guy who could show her that it's all about balance, that you don't have to give all of yourself to just one part of your life. And who better to do that than a man who's still learning that lesson himself? Will is consciously trying to be more present in his daughter's life, to not put career above all else, and basically thinks wanting anything for himself (which is all he used to care about) is selfish. He and Holly are at opposite ends of the spectrum, both at different extremes. And maybe—just maybe—they can teach each other how to meet in the middle. Plus, as far as inspiration goes, I just really, really wanted to write a British hero. 

3. If the book were made into a movie, who would you cast in the roles of Will Evans and Holly Chandler? 

I think I can see will as maybe Henry Cavill or possibly Theo James. They both do that stoic thing really well. I mean, Superman or Four? Holly really can't go wrong. And in this movie they'd both get to use their British accents. Haha. I think Emma Stone would be a great Holly. She can wear the hell out of high fashion but also make you laugh and put the hero in his place when needed. 

4. With Will being a Brit, who are you three favorite British personalities and which one would you marry, have a one-night stand with, and keep in the friend zone? 

Ack! Cruel question mostly because I'm a sucker for that accent, so how do I put any of them in the friend zone? LOL. Okay, um, I'm going to cheat and choose a Scot for my first—Ewan McGregor. Scotland is still part of Great Britain for the time being, so that counts, right? I'd marry him. Then, Benedict Cumberbatch for the one-night stand because that voice. Ugh. Who to put in the friend zone? It's got to be a Brit I'm not attracted to but still like. Um, sorry Daniel Radcliffe. You're super swell, but you're too young for the other options. Harry Potter to the friend zone.

5. Have you ever checked your horoscope and let whatever was written affect what you were going to do for that day? 

Ha. No. But I had a roommate once who checked hers daily and believed in it whole-heartedly...when it said something good. LOL. I did read a lot of horoscopes while writing Holly's chapters, though, and now I have the Magic Eight Ball app on my phone (the Batman version), so maybe I should start letting smart phone fortune direct my days. 😉

6. What's your zodiac sign and does the description for it sound anything like who you are? 

I am a Cancer, and as I write this it is actually my birthday, so let's see what cancer says about me today...This is from "You might need some time alone today to bring yourself back to center, Cancer. Independence is a keyword, so keep it in the back of your mind." LOL. I think this probably holds true every day. As for the description, Cancers are described as loyal and caring but also moody and temperamental. Quite the contradiction, but I'd say it's fairly fitting. Only I'm not prone to temper tantrums or outbursts. I keep my moodiness private and only share it with those in my inner circle of trust. Haha. 

7. What's one hard and fast rule that you live by? 

Marathoning shows on Netflix is good for my soul. (Currently marathoning Once Upon a Time.)

8. Which one celebrity would you choose to apply Holly's six-month rule with and why? 

Oooh, you are all about the torturous questions! Um...Chris Evans because after six months with Captain America I could maybe close out the year with Sebastian Stan/Winter Soldier. Did I just cheat? I think I did. Cap and Bucky forever. 

9. Could you give us a teeny, tiny idea who and what the third book in the series will be about, when is it due for release, and can we hold out hope for a fourth book afterwards? 

The third book is Annie's book with a hero that has not been introduce in the series yet. It's scheduled to release mid-October, and who better to pair a bookstore owner with than an author whose book she hates? And there will be a book four. Book four is Jeremy (Annie's brother and one of my favorite characters whose been in the whole series). His book is already written, just waiting to be edited. 

10. What words of advice would you give aspiring writers who look up to you as their inspiration? 

Wow. I really still feel like I'm so new at this and still finding my own way. The best thing I can say is that if you really, truly love what you do, then just keep writing no matter what setbacks come your way because good things will happen, but things happen at a different pace for everyone. At the end of the day, I'm doing something I wholly and truly love, and I'm grateful that I get to share what I do with others. But even if I don't know if/when the next publishing deal is coming, I'm gonna keep doing it because writing feeds the soul. Well, writing and Netflix. 😉

Note: Thank you to A.J. Pine for generously taking the time to answer my questions and for the kindness she showed me as we corresponded through email and to Riki Cleveland for initiating contact between Amy and me.