Reading e-books before bed.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Tour Stop: Meant To Be by Karen Stivali

Welcome to my stop at the Meant To Be Virtual Book Tour, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.
Today, author Karen Stivali takes over my blog with a guest post.
You will also find details about the book and an excerpt after the post.
Don't forget to follow the tour for more information about this book.

by Karen Stivali

When people hear that the title of my novel is Meant To Be they often ask why I chose that name. The answer is simple. It’s a book about fate and destiny and how sometimes things are just meant to be.

There’s a saying that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I believe that’s true. I also believe that we don’t know who’s there for what purpose. People who we assume we’ll be friends with forever may only be with us for a fleeting time. Others who we might have thought were passing figures can wind up being the most significant people in our lives forever. That’s the premise of this story. You never know who your “lifetime” people will be.

This phenomenon has always fascinated me. It can be devastating to lose someone. Whether you’re separated by distance or death or simply because you grew apart with time, the absence of someone you cared about leaves a whole in your heart. Likewise when you realize that someone, a co-worker, an old roommate, a friend, has actually stuck by you through thick and thin and been a part of your life for years, it’s heartwarming. The unexpected importance has just as much or more impact than a loss. You just feel lucky to have the person in your life.

When friends turn into lovers or, better yet, spouses it’s the ultimate example of fate stepping in and working its magic. I love hearing couples describe how they met. So often it’s a variation on the same story. They met through mutual friends. They knew each other for ages then one day things changed. They lived in the same building for years before they bumped into each other, then sparks flew. Destiny brings people into our lives when we’re supposed to meet them.

When the main characters in Meant To Be, Daniel and Marienne, become neighbors they have no idea they’ll have such a significant impact on each other’s lives. They become friends, plain and simple. Neither of them is ever unfaithful to their partners---their marriages unravel on their own accord and would have whether or not they’d met one another. I’m often asked if this is a book about infidelity and it’s not at all. In fact, it’s about honoring commitments and staying in relationships well past the point where they stop working. It’s about putting other people’s needs in front of your own.

Loyalty, friendship, longing and love are the cornerstones of Meant To Be. It’s a story of falling in love in such a slow deep spiral that you don’t even realize it’s happened until you’re totally immersed in it. It’s a long, sweet prelude to a kiss.

Title: Meant To Be
Author: Karen Stivali
Published: August 26th 2012
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Sometimes you’re already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one.

When NYU professor Daniel Gardner’s career-obsessed wife convinces him to move to the suburbs, he hopes it’s a first step toward starting the family he longs to have. Instead of domestic bliss he finds his neighbor, Marienne Valeti. She loves her freelance design job, but must contend with a growing sense of isolation created by her husband’s indifference. A penchant for good books, bad movies, and Marienne’s to-die-for brownies sparks a powerful bond between them. Passion simmers, but they resist its lure, surrendering only in the seclusion of their minds. Their friendship helps them weather every hardship, from divorce to widowhood, leaving them both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.


“Wow. You look amazing,” he said.

She blushed under his gaze, and managed a “thank you”, careful not to slip in her stockings. She slid on her high heels and turned to him, noticing that he was staring. “I didn’t leave any tags on or anything, did I?” She turned in a quick circle, trying to look over her shoulder to check.

“No tags.” He smiled. “You’re perfect.”

Marienne made a face. “Okay.” She took a deep breath, feeling ever-so-slightly dizzy again. “You ready?” The dizziness grew stronger, so much so that she grabbed the doorknob to steady herself.

Daniel was at her side, instantly. “Are you okay?” Concern filled his eyes. “You went all pale.”

“I’m fine,” she said, breathing through her nose as she tried to clear her head. He looked ready to catch her, and she found his worrying quite sweet. “I haven’t been eating enough lately, that’s all.”

“Well eat something,” he said. “No sense in rushing to this thing if you’re going to pass out when we get there.”

“I’m not hungry.” She started to open the front door, but Daniel stopped her with his hand on hers.

He was standing so close to her she could smell him, the soapy scent of his skin, the faint sweetness of Coke on his breath, she wondered if perhaps she was developing some superhero-like sense of smell. For the briefest moment she thought he was about to kiss her, and she held her breath.

“Go eat something.” He took a step back as he removed his hand from hers. “We’re not going anywhere until you do.”

About Karen Stivali

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.

Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.

Karen has published three erotic romances with Ellora’s Cave: Marry Me (June 2012), Long-Distance Lovers (co-written with Karen Booth, March 2012) and Always You (Passionate Plume First Place Novella Winner, RWA 2012).

Karen’s first full-length novel, Meant To Be, will be published by Turquoise Morning Press on August 26, 2012. Its sequel, Holding On, will be released on November 26, 2012. A prequel to these novels, the short story All I Need, appears in the Foreign Affairs Anthology (Turquoise Morning Press, August 2012).

For more information about my current and upcoming projects please visit my website:
I can also be found on:

Follow the tour

October 1: BK Walker Books Etc.
October 2: Momof2BookReviews
October 3: Night Owl Reads
October 3: STOP 2 It's Raining Books
October 4: REVIEW ONLY Reviews by Molly
October 4: You Gotta Read Reviews - Guest
October 5: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
October 5: STOP 2 My Odd Little World


  1. Thank for sharing the post and excerpt.

  2. Thank you for the post and excerpt Karen :D! I really enjoyed both and can't wait to read your book.

  3. The title sounds like it fits the story very well.


  4. Goddess Fish PromotionsOctober 3, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Thank you for hosting Karen today.

  5. You're welcome. I really liked Karen's post. :)

  6. It's an interesting concept to think about--free will vs. destiny. I haven't quite decided which is more important, though I lean toward destiny. Congratulations on the release!


  7. I can not wait to read this book. After reading your guest post about staying in a relationship long after it is over is something I can relate and understand. I have added the book to my TBR pile. Thanks for sharing I cannot wait to read the book.


  8. I love knowing the significance of an author's title for a book. Adds a lot to the sentimental attachment the author has for the book, and sometimes even the reader experience.

  9. I love your interview and your comments about the title. It is so true. I think the book sounds awesome.

  10. I consider myself lucky that I got to keep this title for this book (a lot of times authors are asked to change the title due to publishing issues). This title was just perfect for this story. Thanks for the comment!

  11. Thank you---that's awesome to hear! Hope you enjoy the story. Thanks for commenting. :)

  12. Thank you! I loved writing this story because it was interesting to watch how fate can decide things. Thanks for commenting!

  13. Thanks to you both!

  14. Thank you! Thanks for commenting. :)

  15. Thank you! That's always great to hear. :) Thanks for commenting.

  16. You're welcome! Hope you enjoyed them. :) Thanks for commenting.

  17. Very nice post and story behind the title.



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