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Saturday, January 30, 2016

FIGHTING SILENCE by Aly Martinez #TopReads2015 Interview

Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it's the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?

I've always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn't a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I'm on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.
Fighting for her.

Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

I think that's the sound I'll miss the most.

Each book in this series can be read as a standalone.


Which Page brother has given you the most trouble while writing?
Oh, this is easy. Flint. That man killed me. He was so cranky and crotchety all the time. It’s funny, every book, one of the characters is difficult. In Fighting Shadows, Ash was super simple, but Flint was a huge challenge. He was a judgmental asshole in the beginning…how do you make that endearing? HAHA!

Did the plot go exactly as planned or did you make some big changes while writing this series?  Anything that would shock us readers?
Ha! Nothing ever goes as planned. When I first plotted this series, Till wasn’t deaf. And up until the end of Fighting Silence, Flint wasn’t in a wheelchair. Yep. That totally came out once I started writing. At first they were just three poor kids trying to make it in an unforgiving world.

My plots change significantly as I write. I’m not a big outliner. And because of this, sometimes the characters do and say crazy stuff. I’ve given up trying to force them to bend to my will.

This series deals with MMA and disabilities.  What type of research did you do on both?
I had to do significant research on Till’s hearing loss. Honestly, when I’m writing, I do my best not to get into too many details when it comes to the medical stuff. Why? Because I’m not a doctor. I’m a romance author, and regardless of how much research I do, it would be impossible to get it 100% accurate. I try to be mindful of that.

As for the boxing element, the research was easy. I grew up on boxing. My father is a professional boxing trainer. I called dear old dad and got all the answers I needed. He even helped create some of the storyline for Fighting Silence to make it more accurate to professional boxing.

You mentioned awhile back that you have plans to write a couple of M/M books.  Can us gives us an update? 
Mmm, M/M! I am currently working on The Spiral Down. It is a M/M spin off of The Fall Up, based on Levee’s best friend Henry Alexander. I can’t wait to dip my toes into the incredible world of gay romance. Assuming all goes well with Henry, I have a few more up my sleeve.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Names are hard for me. Most of the time, I pick the names first and then build the character’s appearance around it. For the Wrecked and Ruined series, I went pretty tame with names. However, with On The Ropes, I wanted something different and I wanted to stick with the stone theme of Slate’s name. So we got Till, Flint, and Quarry.

What projects are you working on for 2016?
Next up for me is The Spiral Down. (My first M/M!)
After that I’m working on a book called, What If She Does. The guy in this book is a very different kind of hero for me. It should be interesting HAHA!


Food- Japanese. And I’m dieting right now so just thinking about this deliciousness is making my mouth water.

Exercise- If I exercise do I get Japanese food? HAHA!

Time of Year- Spring! I live in South Carolina so I love the warm weather before it become sweltering.

Color- It used to be orange when I was growing up. But I think that was just because it was different. I’ve always loved to stand out. Now that I’m older…I’d have to say blue.

Ice Cream flavor and topping- OMG. Of course you had to ask this question. I’m probably going to lose readers because of my answer. But I have to be honest, right?
I actually don’t like ice cream at all. HAHA! I’m more of a brownies, cake, and cookies kind of girl.

The Guys


“Too easy. Twice baked cheese potatoes,” Till said with a grin.
“Yes! Mine too. Shit, now I’m starving.” Quarry said, rubbing his stomach. “You think you can get Eliza to cook some tonight?”
“Not likely. We had ‘em last night.” Till’s grin grew. 
Quarry arched his eyebrow incredulously. “Seriously? I live ten minutes away. You couldn’t even give me a heads up she was cooking them? Asshole,” he mumbled under his breath.
Flint shook his head at his brothers. “You know he’s only giving you shit because you didn’t save him any of Liv’s brownies.”
Quarry crossed his arms over his chest, “Yeah well, I won’t be saving him any of the chocolate cake she was making when I left, either.”
Till’s jaw fell open as he gasped in shock. “The one she made for Blakely’s birthday?”
“Yep. That’s the one.” Quarry shrugged.
Flint smirked. “You two should really just work out a trade—Eliza’s cheese potatoes for Liv’s chocolate cake. And while I’m at it, I’d like to offer Ash’s rainbow cupcakes into the mix. I need some damn cheese potatoes too.”
Till leaned forward to catch Flint’s gaze. “Oh, that reminds me, I bought you a case of Ramen noodles at Costco last night.”
Flint curled his lip. “I’m gonna be sick.”


“I’ve taken up running since I retired. It’s miserable, but,” Till patted his stomach, “with all those cheese potatoes Eliza makes me, I have to do something to stay in shape.” He laughed.
Flint and Quarry glared.
“I’m more of a weights kind of guy,” Flint said. “Actually, I lifted an entire tray of Ash’s cupcakes a few days ago.” He shrugged innocently.
Till and Quarry glared.
“I hate exercise almost as much as I do both of these dickheads. But it’s a bit of a requirement for a boxer. It also means I can eat an extra piece of cake tonight so…whatever.” The corner of Quarry’s lips lifted, popping his dimple.
Till and Flint glared.

Time of Year

All three of the guys blinked blankly.
“Time of the year? Like season?” Till clarified.
“Yeah, I’m gonna need to skip this question, ya know…cause I’m not a bitch and all,” Quarry said crossing his arms over his wide chest.
Flint rolled his eyes. “You’ll have to excuse them. Summer. I love being outside.”
Quarry smirked and turned to face him. “Because it’s warm enough to get it on in the weeds with Ash?”
Flint punched him hard on the shoulder.
“Son of a bitch!”


“Red,” Till answered quickly.
“Neon green,” Flint said with a wide shit-eating grin.
“Oh sweet baby Jesus,” Quarry groaned at Flint’s answer. “I’d have to say pink.”
“Pink?” Flint and Till asked in unison.
“Well, maybe it’s only my favorite color after last night. Little surprise from Liv.” Quarry flashed a mischievous grin and then winked.
“Jesus,” Till breathed, shaking his head.

Ice Cream flavor and topping  

“Funny, I had a little chocolate syrup last night, too.” Quarry barked a laugh.
“Please ignore him. And publish nothing he says. Nothing. He likes chocolate. We all do.” Flint said with a charming smile before once again punching Quarry.
Till cleared his throat. “Not me. I like vanilla. With a little whipped cream.” He waggled his eyebrows and inched toward the door. “And so does Eliza.”
“Dude, she’s like my mom!” Quarry cried.
“Oh gross.” Flint grumbled.

Till laughed loudly as he rushed from the room.

aly martinez.jpg

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.



Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents 

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