Book & Author Spotlight: Stacked Up by Sidney Halston
(Worth the Fight #6)
by Sidney Halston
Release Date: May 31, 2016
About Stacked Up
Opposites attract in this seductive novel from the author of Against the Cage (“Funny, steamy, scorching.”—Toni Aleo), with a chiseled MMA fighter falling for a single mom who could use a real man in her corner.
Working two jobs to support her infant daughter is harder than anything Penny Richards has ever done, but it sure beats living under the rules of her stepfather, a television preacher who demands a picture-perfect family. And if Penny hadn’t struck out on her own, she never would have met Travis Calhoun. The intensely physical heavyweight brawler has a way of drawing out her wild side. But Travis lives fast, with no responsibilities—and that just isn’t for Penny.
Most of the women in Travis’s circle wear tight clothes, high heels, and tons of makeup—not pearls or plaid headbands. But once he works past Penny’s inhibitions, Travis discovers a kindred spirit who longs to trust someone with her body, and her secrets. Still, Travis can’t help but wonder if this rich girl is just slumming it before she returns to her privileged life. Now it’s up to Penny to prove that she wants her hard-edged, hard-loving fighter just the way he is.
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Read my 4.5-starred review of Stacked Up.
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An Excerpt from Stacked Up
If there was one thing Travis knew with absolute certainty, it was that there wasn’t a single female on God’s green earth that could look more out of place in a strip club than Penny Richards. Her curly brown hair was held back with a headband thing that reminded him of a private school girl, and not the sexy ones he fantasized about. More like the pretty, yet awkward and out of place stuffy ones. She had black straight-legged pants and flats that looked completely practical and not at all sexy.
Even Ruby’s suggestive t-shirt looked unassuming on her. Maybe it was those damn pearls she rubbed when she was nervous. He was used to showy women with tight clothes, high heels, heavy make-up and poofy hair. Women that valued their own self-worth by the reactions they received from men. Men such as himself.
And, if any man in the place knew that her mouth was as fucking unexpected as a typhoon in Ohio, they’d be all over her. He hadn’t been exaggerating when he’d said it was the best kiss of his life, her kiss had been slow and sweet and quickly erupted into maddening need and desire.
The problem was that since he’d first laid eyes on Penny, something had clicked. He wasn’t sure what it was, but something had shifted inside of him. Something he wasn’t sure could be put back together to its original state. Maybe it was those big brown doe-like eyes that said everything but nothing all at the same time. Her naiveté, her awkwardness, her big easy smile that hid something he couldn’t seem to figure out.
He’d always thought it was strange that his friends had fallen head over ass in love with their girlfriends and never again saw another woman. The way they wanted to possess and protect their women had been incomprehensible to him.
USA Today bestselling author Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: "Just Do It"--Nike. And that's exactly what she did.
After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative, romantic side and wrote Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing.
Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she's not writing, you can find her reading and reading and reading. She's a reader first and a writer second. When she's not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn't have it any other way.
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A Q&A with Sidney Halston
THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME HERE!
1. What inspired you to write a series about mixed martial arts fighters and how do you feel about Worth the Fight being as successful and popular as it is today?
My husband has been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the last twenty years and that has morphed into MMA. I've always loved the camaraderie between the fighters. They beat each other up and then they hug it out. That was the original inspiration for the series--Jack and Slade's friendship. Of course, it couldn't end with Full Contact, so the other books were born.
I'm completely humbled by the success of the series. I never thought there would be more than 1 or 2 books. I really wanted Slade to have his book and wasn't sure if that would even happen, so seeing all the guys have their own books has been a dream come true.
2. Which among the six books in the WtF series was the most difficult to write and why? The easiest and why?
Stacked Up was the hardest because it was the final book and it was so bittersweet. I really wanted a scene where you had everyone there, and I was able to do that--and I cried the entire time I wrote it. It was also hard writing Belle, mostly because my characters are normally foul-mouthed fighters, not sweet little girls.
The easiest was Laid Out, which is weird to say because Cain was such a complicated character and the fact that he didn't speak much, made it hard. But, I loved Cain and Violet's story so much, the words just flowed out so easily. That's still my favorite book of the series.
3. Who among Jack Daniels, Slade Martin, Tony Marino, Cain Sorensen, Enzo Silva, and Travis Calhoun would you hope to walk down the aisle with, share a hall pass with, and keep in the friend zone?
UGHHH, that's a hard one. I think Cain to walk down the aisle, Slade for a hall pass (he's yum!), and Travis to friend zone just because he's so fun.
4. Who among Chrissy Martin, Jessica Cross, Francesca Silva, Violet Channing, JL Calhoun, and Penny Richards would you say was BFF material, the one you would be most jealous of if she came on to your husband, and the one you could never see yourself being friends with?
Ha Ha! I love these questions! Okay, Violet or JL as BFF. Or, wait... Oh this is hard, because I think I could be BFFs with Chrissy and Jessica too. Ugh, I guess if I had to choose, I'd pick Violet because I'm not fun enough to hang with JL (I wish I was), and the answer to the other two questions would be Francesca. I think I'd be jealous of her and I couldn't be her BFF. LOL. Although I think I'm the most like her out of all the characters. That's weird. I think you just psychoanalyzed me with this question.
5. If you and your husband went out on a double date with one of the couples, who would choose to double with and why?
I think Tony and Francesca would be the most fun because they're always arguing. But we have kids, so we could probably relate to Travis and Penny the most.
6. If you could spend a whole weekend on your own, away from writing, family, and other responsibilities, where would you spend it and what would your itinerary look like?
I think I'd stay in my own bed alone and reading or the same itinerary but somewhere overlooking the ocean (it could be close by, like Miami Beach)--reading, and maybe with a Black Label on the rocks, doing nothing else!
7. What words of wisdom would you give to aspiring writers who look up to you as their inspiration?
Keep writing. Seriously. Just write. It doesn't have to be in a neat organized fashion, but write. Then when you're done, you'd be surprised that there may actually be a story in there. You can always fix it later, but you have to at least start.
Note: Thank you to Sidney Halston for taking the time to answer my questions and to Lisa Filipe for facilitating. ♥
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