TROUBLE ME by @BeckAndersonID : Review and Interview #song #titles

Today I welcome author and friend Beck Anderson to the blog to review her latest release Trouble Me (Fix You #2) and ask her about her intriguing series titles!

Stick around to the end to read an excerpt from Use Somebody (Fix You #3).

Trouble Me (Fix You, #2)Trouble Me by Beck Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love Lasts Through Life’s Troubles

Beck Anderson’s debut novel Fix You was a 5 star read for me. I wasn’t the only one who loved the story as evidenced by its nomination for two RITA awards. Its sequel Trouble Me keeps up the humor and depth, even adding in a suspense element, as Kelly and Andrew’s relationship progresses.

Boise was an unusual setting for book one, and in this story we visit the raw, rough Oregon coast as well as more urban settings like NYC and LA.

When movie star Andrew drives his girlfriend Kelly and her two sons to Oregon, he feels choked up by emotion:

I feel full to bursting. I have a family. A beautiful family. I have this girl, this glorious woman to the right of me now, who let me into her life when I probably least deserved it.

The abundance almost makes me scared.

I’ve never had so much to lose before.

That’s a great setup for what’s to come. And at that point Andrew doesn’t know he’ll have even more to lose when his family expands.

Meanwhile, Kelly continues her passion for running, which led her to meet Andrew in the first place.

Whenever I go on walks or runs, I stake out the neighborhood, figure out which house I’d claim as mine.

I TOTALLY do that! There’s one house in a nearby neighborhood I’ve stalked for years.

One of my favorite parts of the story is the marriage proposal running gag. After a lame first attempt, Andrew decides to make it fun:

He pulls out the twist tie from the hot dog bun package. It’s twisted in the shape of a ring. “Kelly Reynolds, will you marry me?”

I laugh and hold out my hand. “Where’s the Eye of the Tiger?”

“I’ve arrived at a brilliant idea. I’m going to propose multiple times — so many times you can’t stand it. And you won’t be able to tell which is the official, last, ‘real’ proposal.”

As his father says, “Andrew never can do something without a production. We knew from the time he was five he’d be an actor.” Ha ha.

The proposals are clever and funny. Perhaps a subtitle for this story could be “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”.

I also laughed at the incident in the trailer when Andrew and Kelly pull a prank on a mean actress. When the trailer’s rockin’, don’t come-a-knockin’!

Things get more serious when somebody obsessed with Andrew tries to kill him. I had a good inkling who Crazy was from the get-go, based on the strangeness of conversations between the characters. The ending was quite suspenseful.

I love the idea of titling the books after songs, and the title I heard for book three sounds great!

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And now we hear from Beck about her book titles!

Why I picked the song titles I did:

Fix You – The idea that someone needed to be “fixed” after she was broken was intriguing to me, and the song is basically how Chris Martin is trying to fix his grieving lover after the death of a loved one. I think the key is that he says, “I will try to fix you.” Everybody wants to make things better for another person, to fix it for her when she is struggling or for him when he is struggling. But what became kind of a central theme for me in the book Fix You is that all people are broken and flawed in some way. That’s the human condition – that’s what life does to us. Life’s not easy. But how you move forward is not by being fixed, but by loving someone. So that’s where that song came into play. It just really seemed to speak to the theme of the novel but in an unexpected way.


Trouble Me – Another song title that maybe feels like it means one thing initially but also means another. In conversation it means “can I trouble you for some help” – can I bother you? And the song, by 10,000 Maniacs, basically takes that meaning a step further – lean on me, trouble me and burden me with your problems when you need help. I really liked that because in a relationship that deepens, like Kelly and Andrew’s does in book two, you have to lean on each other, and you can’t keep your troubles from the other person. You have to be brave enough to be vulnerable, to be “needy.” The other connotation is that there will be trouble in Trouble Me, and I liked that, too, because things get complicated, dare I say, dangerous, in the book.

Use Somebody – There’s a theme going on here. When I first heard this song by Kings of Leon I thought it was about a total jerk who “used” women up and cast them aside. But if you listen to the lyrics, it’s actually someone who could “use somebody” in his life – he needs someone. The lyrics are actually really sweet. The person works hard to be someone who the other person could “use,” too, i.e., be the kind of person this woman would need or want in her life. Not surprisingly, I feel like this play on the phrase is PERFECT for this story, because it centers on Jeremy, Andrew’s agent, meeting a woman when the boys are on a “man-cation” flyfishing in Eastern Idaho. Is Jeremy simply “using” the person he meets or could he really “use” someone like her?

Since we’re talking about Use Somebody, here’s a sneak peek:

My name is Jeremy King, and I am one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood.

I may or may not have a best friend. I may not have any friends past that at all.

Don’t feel sorry for me, or I will kick you in the balls.

This may be why I have no friends.

But let me tell you what I do have.

I own a Tesla Model S, white. I paid cash for a house in the Hollywood Hills that Bela Lugosi built and Ava Gardner lived in. If you don’t know who these people are, you are a dumb ass and should go look them up right now if I am supposed to put up with you for the rest of the book.

I’ll wait for you to put some of their movies in your cart on Amazon. You can watch them later.

I mean, really. Ava Gardner was married to Frank Sinatra, for Christ’s sakes. Please don’t tell me you haven’t heard of him.

You should stop reading now, too, if you have any illusions that in finding any kind of love, I will change in some way and sprout a heart of gold. The only gold I have is on my wrist – Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, thank you very much.

I am a loyal friend. I take care of people who take care of me.

I am fierce, and I am the fiercest in my field. Do not cross me.

And I have everything I want.

Go away if you think I’m going to have one of those scenes where I look out at the ocean and feel all hollow and run through the rain to knock on some chick’s door and profess my love to her.

I rep movie stars, but never once for a minute have I ever thought that life works the way movies do.

Wow, I can’t wait! Sounds awesome. Thanks, Beck.

Review of Wallbanger by @Alice_Clayton

Looking for a laugh? How about a thousand laughs? Check out this fun contemporary romance.

Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1)Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Woman in Search of Her O, And Clive the Cat Steals the Show

While I giggled throughout Alice Clayton’s debut novel The Unidentified Redhead, this book stepped up the zany fun to the point I was laughing almost every page! Added to the humor was compelling characterization, crisp dialogue, and emotional punch that made this a definite 5 star read for me.

Interior designer Caroline Reynolds (hey I just realized that’s the name of the evil vice president from the TV show Prison Break) moves into a San Francisco apartment. Her mischievous cat Clive comes with her, but her orgasm does not. It’s been missing for months after a not-so-sexy rapid-fire bed battle with her ex Cory, and Caroline is climbing the walls to get it back. It doesn’t help when her bedroom wall bangs with the sexcapades of her neighbor Simon and his “harem”, including the spankee, giggler, and meower. The meower totally turns Clive on.


They say when a soldier loses a leg in battle, sometimes, late at night, he can still feel twinges of that leg — phantom pain, they call it. I lost my O in battle, the battle of Cory Weinstein, that machine-gun fucker — and I was still feeling the aftershocks. I’d been feeling twinges of the phantom O all week long.

One night Caroline dons a pink nightie to get in the mood and starts fantasizing about George Clooney. She’s about to recapture her missing O when the banging interrupts her, and she flies next door to chew out her man-whore neighbor. It’s the beginning of a hilarious wallbanger of a romance.


Caroline has no filter, much to the delight of her best friends Sophia and Mimi:

“So, has he been wall banging at all this week?” Sophia asked.

“Relatively quiet, actually. Either he really listened to me and is being neighborly, or his dick finally broke off in one of them and he’s sought medical attention,” I said, a little too loudly. 

The table of businessmen must’ve been listening pretty closely as they all choked a little just then and shifted in their seats, perhaps crossing their legs in unwitting sympathy.

Like Caroline, I am dying to visit Spain, and when she discovers that Simon is an international photographer with an upcoming trip to Spain, she likes him even more. When Simon discovers Caroline bakes bread, he goes all mushy. Clive thinks they’re both nuts.


“You smell GREAT when you’re all worked up,” he said, waggling his eyebrows at me like the devil.

“Seriously, you pick women up with lines like that?” I turned away from him to take off my jacket and squeeze my thighs together maniacally.

Clive came bounding out of the bedroom when he heard my voice and stopped short when he saw Simon. Unfortunately, he had little traction on the hardwood floor and skidded rather ungracefully under the dining room table, Trying to regain his dignity, he executed a difficult four-foot leap from a standing position onto the bookshelf and waved me over with his paw. He wanted me to come to him — typical male.

I dropped my gym bag and sauntered over. “Hi, sweet boy. How was your day? Hmm? Did you play? Did you get a good nap?” I scratched behind his ear, and he purred loudly. He gave me his dreamy cat eyes and then turned his gaze to Simon. I swear he cat-smirked at him.

“Zucchini bread, huh? You want some more, I take it?” I asked.

“I know you have more. Simon says gimme it,” he deadpanned, making his finger into a gun.

“You’re oddly into your baked goods, aren’t you? Support group for that?”

Clive gets jealous of any man pursuing “the feeder” Caroline. This balloon won’t last long.


While the last fourth of the book didn’t hold quite the screwball humor and pacing of the prior chapters, overall I loved the story. I adored the unique POV of the last chapter. I thought Clive might turn the bottles of sand into a litter box!


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