by Natalia Albrite
GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Olivia Meadows is excited to finish her senior year of college as a volleyball national champion beside her teammates and best friends. A complication arrives in the form of John Hunter, that guy, her brother’s best friend whom she has had a secret crush on since she was eleven years old. Effortlessly charming and handsome, with a body honed by years of playing football, John initiates his charm offensive and Olivia finds herself unable to resist him.
John Hunter is pumped to finish his senior year of college as a football national champion beside his teammate and best friend. The only thing missing is that girl, Olivia Meadows, his best friend’s little sister. He needed to sow some wild oats before settling down with Olivia but now he is ready for something serious with the girl he has always admired.
Be careful what you wish for. John and Olivia find themselves dealing with adult consequences very quickly and wondering if their young love can endure the pressures of adulthood. Will they find deeper love or implode from the pressures of their own making?
I spot Marcus in my dad’s hand-me-down Maxima with John in the front seat next to him. Oh jeez. John Hunter. He’s that guy. He’s the stuff of young girls’ dreams and I gave him up long ago by trying to turn my eyes to other guys. The way I see it, it’s like this: 1) he’s Marcus’s best friend and I have no interest in messing up their friendship; 2) he’s not an intentional player but he’s a player just the same; and 3) thank you, but I’ll skip the broken heart, please. I’ve grown up in proximity to this handsome devil for most of my life and he still manages to make my stomach drop when I see him.
It’s such a cliché to say that he’s tall, dark and handsome but clichés work for a reason—they’re inescapable kernels of truth. John is tall at a striking six feet and four inches. He’s dark with his almost-black hair and deep brown eyes. I can’t forget the handsome with his perfectly structured jaw line. Ridiculous. Just by looking at him, I can feel my adrenaline kicking in and the sweat gathering. Great.
I plaster an annoyed look on my face because that’s how we interact with each other. That’s part of our unwritten script. He plays the charming rogue and I play the cynical wallflower who is suspicious of all his kind gestures. He jumps out and does a half-bow. “Madame, your chariot,” he says as he gestures to the front seat.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
Hello there! I’m Natalia Albrite from Texas. Truth be told I claim many different parts of the state as my home: Austin, Midland, and Dallas but I was born in Dallas. I went to college in Austin and live here now. I’ve had many different jobs and besides what I’m doing now (artist/creator/general fun stuff doer), I’m proudest of having been an elementary public school teacher for ten years. Shout out to all the hard-working teachers out there!
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
That Guy and That Girl is a new adult contemporary sports romance (that was a mouthful). It’s set in 1992 which is Olivia and John’s senior year of college. It’s that exciting, terrifying year before we are thrown out into the world to be adults. I started in May of 2018 when I was looking to get back into writing for fun. I’d lost track of that along the way and I needed/wanted a project that was liberating and fun. I’ve read romance and adored it forever so this was a match made in heaven.
How do you create your characters?
My characters so far seem to either be eerily like me (yes, I really relate to Olivia) or they’re people I’d like to meet. Since I can’t meet them in real life, I create a fictionalized version and meet them in my imagination. I’m fascinated by athletes so I created John as a composite of real life athletes I’d love to meet.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
Books have been my refuge for as long as I can remember. I can’t go to sleep without reading first and I can’t imagine my life without books in it. So my inspiration is the thousands (millions?) of books I’ve read throughout my life that have provided so much for me whether it was entertainment, education, rest, or challenge. I got started as a way to relieve frustration with myself. I finally got tired of ignoring the voice that said, “go ahead, give it a try,” and I gave it a try. Now there’s no turning back!
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I write wherever I can find a quiet space. More than anything I need to be left alone. I have two children and a husband so I often get up early in the morning before they’re awake or I wait until they’re all out of the house during the day.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
My ideas usually come from the fantasies that I can’t seem to let go of. I can get a little obsessive and know now that the best way to relieve that obsession is to give it a voice through a creative project.
What do you like to read?
I love historical and contemporary romance most of all. I tend to gravitate towards contemporary stories with athletes in the mix although I’ve read plenty without. In historical romance, I’m always a sucker for a heroine that’s a wallflower—I love women who have amazing qualities bubbling under the surface that are only obvious to the discerning eye.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
My advice is very simple and straightforward: get started so you can finish! Seriously. Quiet any voices of doubt in whatever way you need to and yelling back is allowed. Get started and then push yourself to see it through all the way to the end.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Thanks for having me and I had fun reflecting on this great adventure I’ve begun!
Natalia is a lifelong reader and lover of romance novels. Before finally tapping away at her keyboard to create her own stories, she tried all sorts of professions: elementary school teacher, barista, seller of make-up, baker, and the list goes on. When she isn’t pursuing the arts, she’s hanging out with her husband, two wacky children, and full-figured Corgi.
This book will be $0.99 during the tour.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION :
Natalia Albrite will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.