Welcome everyone and happy friday!
Today we have two awesome authors on From Top to Bottom Reviews: Roan Parrish and Avon Gale. Or rather they brought their characters Amory Vaughn and William Fox. 😉
As you might have heard already, these two teamed up to write a book together and we had the pleasure of sitting down with Amory and William for an interview! Scroll down to read it, but be warned: both Jude and I were transformed into puddles of goo reading it. It’s just so <3!
Responsible, disciplined William Fox channeled his love for art and his faith in the rules into being an FBI Art Crimes agent. Right and wrong, justice and injustice—the differences are clear, and Will has spent his career drawing a line between them. Maybe his convictions have cost him relationships, but he’s not willing to compromise what he knows is right. Until the night he meets Amory Vaughn.
As the head of his family’s philanthropic foundation, Vaughn knows very well that being rich and powerful can get him almost anything he wants. And when he meets endearingly grumpy and slightly awkward William Fox, he wants him more than he’s wanted anything. Vaughn is used to being desired for his name and his money, but Will doesn’t care about either.
When Vaughn falls back on old habits and attempts to impress Will by stealing a painting Will admires, their nascent bond blows up in his face. But Vaughn isn’t willing to give up on the glimpse of passion he saw the night he took Will apart. Before Will knows it, he’s falling for the man he should have arrested, and Vaughn has to realize that some things can’t be bought or stolen. Love has to be given freely. But can a man who lives by the rules, and a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, ever see eye to eye?
Heart of the Steal is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It features a Southern gentleman who thinks he’s always right, a buttoned-up FBI agent who secretly likes his buttons unbuttoned, and wall sex. And desk sex. And picnic blanket sex.
“So, William. You came. But something tells me the sentiment behind my invitation has gone rather astray.”
“Then you admit that you left the Staunton painting and a note outside my apartment,” he said flatly, and my eyes narrowed.
“Have I miscalculated your interest?”
William looked like he couldn’t decide whether to laugh or yell. It was smoldering.
“You have miscalculated my profession,” he responded. We were standing close enough to kiss, and when he reached a hand into his jacket, my breath caught. I wanted to help him strip it off and kiss that spot of barbeque sauce off his perfect mouth.
But he didn’t take his jacket off. He slipped his hand out holding something from his pocket. A badge.
An FBI badge.
I was lightheaded. I spent three beats of my heart wondering what the medical diagnosis would be for dying of sheer irony.
We had a lot of fun coming up with the questions and absolutely loved the answers both of them gave. Just <3! Hope you enjoy it too!
Tell us something about your partner that they don’t realize about themselves?
Amory: William thinks that he is realist, but his urge to protect others stems from an almost Arthurian sense of justice and fairness. Oh, and he nearly always falls for it when I make him think things are his own idea. Ah, William.
Will: I’m not as good at these kinds of things as Vaughn, so I’m not sure my answers will be very pretty. But if I had to say one thing, I’d say Vaughn might not have ever admitted just how lonely he was. He doesn’t like when he can’t control his environment, but loneliness is a thing that you can’t fix yourself. You have to open yourself up to another person, and that’s scary. Believe me, I know. I don’t think this is true now – at least I hope it isn’t – but yeah, that’s my answer
What is something you’d never admit to each other?
Will: There are certain….activities….Vaughn has gotten up to that I’m not supposed to find attractive. Activities that he’s very good at, because he’s got all that charisma, influence, confidence and intelligence. I am absolutely not going to admit how much it, ah. Interests me.
I’m not admitting it, but I’m pretty sure he knows anyway.
Amory: I’d never admit to William how deep my possessiveness runs. I have promised him not act unethically on his behalf, but there are moments when I have to stop myself from ripping the world apart just to make his day a little easier.
What is the most romantic thing your partner has done for you?
Amory: Once, he went out in the middle of a storm to find the kitten I wouldn’t admit I was worried about, and he didn’t even make fun of me for it afterward.
Will: Despite grand theft larceny?
The thing about Vaughn – he’s very good at being romantic. He brought ridiculously high thread-count sheets to a hotel when he came with me on a work trip, knowing I’d like them. He’s thoughtful like that. He does things because he wants to make me happy, and make my life easier (even if it sometimes ends up the opposite). He’s a thoughtful and generous man, and I could tell you a lot of stuff that he does like that.
But the most romantic thing, to me, is that he’s himself with me. He’s Amory. And he doesn’t want me to be anyone but William, even though I know I frustrate the hell out of him on a daily basis. He’s interested in me, and that’s…yeah, that’s pretty romantic to me.
While we’re talking about romantic gestures, what would the perfect date be like if you were not allowed to spent any money?
Amory: I know William thinks I’d be lost without my billions, but really my tastes are very simple, at the heart of things. William. Naked. On any surface. At any time. Oh, is that not romantic? I thought our first date was quite romantic. A walk through the woods to one of my favorite spots, a picnic basket full of Will’s favorite foods. Yes, I spent money on groceries, and that wine wasn’t cheap, but compared to the private jet excursion I was considering…
Will: So, you mean, all the dates I plan?
I like nature, and being outside. I also like climbing mountains, but thankfully, Vaughn gets that it’s a thing I like to do by myself. We did have a picnic on our first date, it was very memorable.
I like going on walks. This might sound boring, but I find it calming. And I like going on walks with Vaughn, because it gives me a chance to focus on him – just him – and for us to talk. I’m also pretty happy spending the night in reading or watching a movie. Spending time together regardless of the environment.
The love for art is something you both have in common, so of course we got to ask about your favourite artist or paintings/sculptures you particularly like. And would you consider yourself to be artistic?
Will: My favorite artist is JMW Turner. I like how he paints things like natural disasters, but in watercolor. It makes chaos look so…elegant. It might explain a few things about why I fell for Vaughn, in fact. But I’m not very artistic, no. I can appreciate art, but let’s just say my sister got all the “creative” genes in the family.
Amory: I don’t tend to have favorites. What I like best is to watch other’s acquisitions or desires and see what they love so much about a piece. Though, if I had to name an artist I’m currently taken with, a young art student James Novack promises to be one to watch.
I have no technical artistic aptitude, but I hope I am not unduly flattering myself when I say that I strive to make of life a work of art. William would say that was the height of pretention, but I think he appreciates the results.
And finally: Did the first impression you had of each other remain true, or did things turn out to be different than initially perceived?
Amory: Upon first impression, I thought William was stern, humorless, surprising, and begging to be kissed. All of those things turned out to be true. What I couldn’t possibly have predicted from our first meeting was the way his eyes go soft when I combe my fingers through his hair. The way he leans into me when he’s tired, as if I’m the only thing that could take his weight. How every now and then he will make a joke, and it will shock both of us so much that we collapse together in laughter like schoolboys. I couldn’t have predicted quite how brave he is, or how generous. I had no idea that he would make me want a different life. I had no idea at all.
Will: The first time Vaughn asked me out, I refused and called him a liar. I was angry, because Vaughn is everything I wanted – and I don’t mean money or any of that. He was interesting. He was challenging. And I thought I couldn’t have him, and I said a few things I shouldn’t have. I reduced his personality to something that isn’t true. Vaughn was – is – often manipulative. Sure. But I’m stubborn and hard-headed and it takes me forever sometimes to understand puns. Vaughn is charming, generous, romantic, affectionate, and wickedly funny. People are always more complicated than you think. And that’s a thing I learned from him.
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.
She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.
Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.
Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.