Monday, August 4, 2014

**Spotlight Author Interview ~ Just Destiny ~ Theresa Rizzo**

I hope to have finished Just Destiny by the time this interview posts. I read rave reviews for it, so I one-clicked it, naturally, and asked Theresa if she'd mind doing an interview. Here is that interview and my review of Just Destiny will post soon. :)


Just DestinyJust Destiny by Theresa Rizzo
Release Date: March 31, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

What would you do if your whole world fell apart?
Jenny Harrison made some poor choices in the past, but marrying Gabe was the best thing she'd ever done. They had the perfect marriage, until a tragic accident leaves Gabe brain dead and her world in ruins.
Devastated by grief, she decides to preserve the best of their love by conceiving his child, but Gabe's family is adamantly opposed, even willing to chance exposing long-held family secrets to stop her. Caught in a web of twisted motives and contentious legal issues, Jenny turns to best friend and attorney, Steve Grant. Steve wants to help Jenny, but he has reservations and secrets of his own.
When something so private and simple turns public and complicated, will Jenny relent? What is Steve willing to sacrifice to help Jenny?

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve raised four amazing kids while I learned the craft and business
of writing. I grew up in Michigan, but have lived in New York, Illinois, California and finally, Colorado. I adore reading and writing romance and while my stories might stray from strict definitions of that genre, my books will always have a romance in it.

What do you do when you're not writing?

I love to take long walks with my husband and pup, read, landscape, make mosaics, play a little tennis, watch favorite TV shows like Big Bang, The Voice, Dancing With The Stars, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Downton Abbey—we watch a lot of TV.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either while growing up or as an adult?

Nope. When I was a kid, I loved the horse stories—Black Beauty etc and The little House on The Prairie, then as an adult I love romance—nearly all the subgenres, but I’ll stray outside romance a little to read Jodi Picoult and Harlan Coben occasionally, and of course, the Harry Potter series and Hunger Games were brilliant.

Why are readers going to love Just Destiny?

Because they’ll love Jenny and Gabe and sympathize with and root for Jenny—hopefully. 

The 20s are tough years for a lot of us, filled with youthful mistakes—we’ve all been there, and anybody who’s loved another, will understand Jenny’s heartbreak when her beloved husband dies.

Also, the story brings up several interesting questions: Is it anybody’s business other than the wife’s, if she wants to have her dead husband’s baby? Should there be any laws governing that situation? 

There are in other countries, but not in the US. 

And More than 120,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the US. Though 90% of people support organ donation, less than 45% of Americans have joined their state donor registry. Do you believe in organ donation? Have you signed up—if you do believe in organ donation? I do and I have.

*I do and I have, as well. :)

Is anything in the book based on real life experiences or is it all
purely imagination?

Pure imagination.

My husband was on a business trip on my birthday, so my sister and brother-in-law took me out to dinner to celebrate and I’d cut out this article in the newspaper about a woman being sued by her deceased husband’s family to keep her from having his baby after he was dead. 

The idea of having your dead husband’s baby seemed bizarre, but still it struck me as a frivolous, ridiculous lawsuit. I figured it wasn’t anybody’s business, after all once you get married, your body’s mine and mine’s yours, right?

My attorney sister got this puzzled look on her face and said, “Actually that’s a really interesting legal issue. I wonder if sperm is considered property . . .” 

And then my brother-in-law looked at her, saying, “I’m not sure I’d want you to have my baby after I’m gone.”

So we discussed some legal and moral implications of the situation and what had initially seemed so incredibly simple and private suddenly became complicated and intriguing, propelling me to do some research into the legalities and morality of the issue.

I was so fascinated with the idea that I had to build a book around it.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

This is a really great question! Hmm . . . I think my favorite chapter
is . . . chapter 15—several months after Gabe’s death and Jenny agrees to accompany Steve to a work Christmas party. This is the first time Jenny seems to set aside her grief for even a few hours to have a little fun and remember what it’s like to be alive and happy—if even for a brief time. It’s an uplifting chapter that made me feel optimistic that sometime in the future, Jenny will be able to be happy again.

What project are you working on now?

Right now I’m finishing polishing the pre-quell to Just Destiny. It’s a shorter book (about 180pgs) about Jenny and Gabe’s romance. How met and fell in love and how they became friends with Steve—it’s the set up to Just Destiny.

Thanks, Theresa!

Theresa RizzoTheresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. 

Theresa's debut book, He Belongs to Me, was a finalist in the General Fiction Category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards and won the romance category of The National Indie Excellence Award. 

Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty years. She’s raised four wonderful children who are now scattered across the country.

You can find Theresa on the web at, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

You can order Just Destiny at Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, Smashwords, and Amazon.


  1. Just Destiny sounds amazing! I knew it looked familiar to me, and that's bc I got it last week. I'll definitely work on making it a priority to read sooner rather than later. Thanks for the great interview!

    1. I didn't get to it while I was on vacation, Andrea. But it's a priority for me. I hope we both love it! :)

  2. Wow... That is a big issue to discuss... the legalities of using sperm after the partner died... that is a difficult one. Another awesome interview Brandee!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    1. It is definitely an interesting and possibly divisive topic, Naomi. I'm really looking forward to reading it. Thanks for stopping by, my dear!

  3. Oh man, this sounds like a tear-jerker and a half! Such a complicated issue - made even more complicated by strong emotions. I'm definitely adding this to my list, can't wait to see what you thought Brandee. Great interview :)


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