Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Jessica Alyse & The Road to Austin

September 27, 2017 Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, romance 71

I’m pleased today to introduce you to author Jessica Alyse & her latest book, The Road to Austin.

Jessica Alyse is a Louisiana girl with a heart for Texas. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she has a passion for storytelling, romance, and Jesus Christ. When she’s not writing, you can find her bookbinding, daydreaming about the day her stories are adapted into movies, or in the event of a football game, cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

You can connect with Jessica on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Her newest book, The Road to Austin, released August 30, 2017!

Natalie Hallie is a woman on a mission.
She needs to get home in time for her sister’s wedding.
Austin Brooks is a man of spontaneity. And he needs coffee.

To get to Austin, Texas, Natalie refuses to step foot on a plane. She’d rather accept a ride from the reckless and wild boy from her childhood who, in her opinion, hasn’t changed all that much. If she can just get through three days of his witty commentary and cheesy jokes, then life will return to normal. That is, if bad eggs, thieving monkeys, a tornado, a dilapidated motel, and a stolen truck don’t do her in first.

The world looks better in watercolor. Or so Austin believes. He finds it easier not to take life so seriously, unlike Natalie. Things change when they spend three days together and her long-buried feelings start to surface. That’s when Austin finds himself getting serious…about praying for Natalie’s heart.

On a journey where the skies aren’t always blue, graffiti isn’t always illegal, and bathroom breaks aren’t always a good idea, their lives collide. When secrets of her brother’s death, Austin’s past, and Natalie’s family come to light, they’ll learn there is more to life and love on the road to Austin.

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Hi Jessica! Welcome to the blog!

apples or oranges

Jessica: Apples. I prefer sweet over tangy…most days.

Carrie: Me too. If I want tangy, I pick up some Sour Patch Watermelon candy lol.

winter or summer

Jessica: Winter. I love the layered look during the cold months. Scarf, jacket, long sleeves, etc. Unfortunately it’s always summer in Louisiana. 😉

Carrie: Aaaaand that’s why I will (hopefully) never live in Louisiana. I’m grumpy enough about Kentucky’s general lack of a good winter haha!

dogs or cats

Jessica: Dogs. Because they have a way of making you feel loved and needed. Cats need nobody and they don’t like to cuddle – or at least, mine don’t.

Carrie: We are long-lost kindred spirits, Jessica! 😉

coffee or tea

Jessica: Coffee every time. I’m a caffeine junkie. Give me a hot cup of mocha on an early morning with a couple of awesome characters and I’m good to go.

Carrie: Ok, here we part ways a bit. I too need my morning shot of caffeine but I prefer it in the form of an ice-cold Diet Coke from McDonald’s.

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Jessica: I’m a huge Marvel fan and I’ve always kinda envied Ororo Monroe’s (X-Men’s Storm) ability to change the weather…and her super cute haircut. If I had to choose, I think it would be that. But for now, I’ll just stay with Writer Woman. 😉

Carrie: Writer Woman sounds awesome!! And if you do ever get Storm’s superpower, would you send some more snow my way?

Q: If you knew you were only going to be allowed FIVE books for the rest of your life, besides the Bible, which five would make the cut?

Jessica: The Lady and the Lionheart (Joanne Bischof), Never the Bride (Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge), A Tailor-Made Bride (Karen Witemeyer), Short-Straw Bride (Karen Witemeyer), and Meeting Mr. Right (Deb Kastner).

Carrie: Aaaaaahhhh!!! Kindred spirits. I’m telling you. Charlie Lionheart totally has my bookworm heart. And those two Karen Witemeyer books you mentioned are my faves of hers!

Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks? Any snacks/beverages that are a must when you sit down to write? 

Jessica: I’m a bit of a night owl (even though I adore mornings) so I write between 10 pm and 2 am. I like the room dim and quiet with my favorite music going in the background. That’s my personal formula for great ideas. As for must-have snacks and beverages, it’s a tossup between Dr. Pepper and coffee (even at 2 am) and any type of chocolate I can get my hands on. That’s pretty much how I’ve survived for the last year and a half while writing The Road to Austin.

Carrie: Well if you’re writing at 2 am, I’m pretty sure coffee is a must! LOL. Follow up question: When do you sleep? lol

Q: It sounds like Natalie has an … interesting… road trip ahead of her! What is an eventful road trip you’ve taken?

Jessica: I don’t take a lot of long-distance road trips (which is what led me to write Natalie and Austin’s crazy story) but my most eventful trip recently was incidentally on the way to my sister’s wedding in Texas (ironic, right?) where my family had a blowout on the Interstate and we drove for hours on a spare until we could find some place to have it changed. What should have been a four hour trip turned into eight. Fun stuff.

Carrie: Oh that sounds miserable.

Q: Natalie takes life seriously. Austin is more impulsive. Which character are you most like in your own approach to life? 

Jessica: Definitely Natalie. I prefer a schedule, routine, and plan A, B, and Z. I like to play things safe and know where I’m going before I get there. On the flip side of that coin, I’ve got a lot of Austin in me, too, because I tend to lay everything out and then wing it when the time comes. Any INFJ’s out there can probably relate. I make lists, but then I forget where they are.

Carrie: <raises hand> INFJ here. Totally get it.

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from The Road to Austin?

Jessica: Besides how amazingly awesome these two characters are? I pray the readers walk away inspired and hopeful. I pray they hear Austin telling them how beautiful they are, inside and out, and Natalie telling them to keep pushing forward because they’re worth it.

Carrie: Love this answer!

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Jessica: I’m currently working on part two of Natalie and Austin’s story. It will be the third and final book to the series and will revolve around their version of happily ever after…and what it means to fight for love. Sign up for my newsletter at JessAlyse.com to stay updated.

Thanks so much for having me, Carrie. This was so much fun. I look forward to hearing from the readers, so please stop by my Facebook page and let me know what you thought of Natalie and Austin’s story. Facebook.com/writer.jessalyse

Carrie: Come back anytime now that we are clearly best buds! 😀


Jessica is graciously offering a signed copy of The Road to Austin to one of my readers (US only). This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? Are you more like Natalie (a planner) or like Austin (impulsive)?

Carrie

71 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Jessica Alyse & The Road to Austin”

  1. Sydney @Singing Librarian Books

    Fun interivew. 🙂

    I’d have to say I am definitely more like Natalie. I am a big planner. And I always hate it when things don’t go as I’ve planned. But I’ve gotten better at not stressing out so much when this happens.

    • Jessica Alyse

      Sydney, you and Natalie could be best friends. She too hates when things don’t go as planned – and that’s pretty much how the entire trip is. Fortunately, Austin is the calm to her storm when things get off track.

  2. emilee

    I am a mix of both but my husband is a planner, not impulsive in the least. Cute cover!

    • Jessica Alyse

      Emilee, they say opposites attract – which is also my favorite type of love story. Thanks for the compliment. I’m getting ready to release a behind the scenes shot of my cover’s photoshoot. Stop by my Facebook page tomorrow so you don’t miss it!

  3. Winnie Thomas

    I’m definitely a planner. I sometimes spend so much time planning that I don’t get anything done. 🙁 My husband is much more spontaneous than I am. He gets things done, but sometimes has to do things over because he hasn’t done enough of the planning. 😀 I really would like to be more impulsive and spontaneous, but at this point in my life, I doubt it’s going to happen. 😀

    • Jessica Alyse

      Winnie, it sounds like you and your husband are a real-life Austin and Natalie. I can SO relate to your planning delimna. I’ll spend 90% of my day making lists and charts, and before I know it I’m having to postpone what I had planned. I wish you luck in your journey to spontaneity. Maybe Austin will lend you some inspiration. 😉

  4. Patty

    I would say more like Natalie. My husband would be more like Austin, so I guess we balance each other out.

    When I was about 8 years old my family took a cross country road trip (from Michigan to Washington state!) I really wasn’t old enough to remember a lot about it. Would love to have the time to do something like that someday as an adult.

    • Jessica Alyse

      Patty, you and your husband sound like another Austin and Natalie. I don’t get to take a lot of road trips, either, which is what lead me to write a road-trip-themed story. I wanted that sense of adventure and I hope you get to experience it in real life sometime soon. Don’t forget to take Natalie and Austin along with you, they make great road trip companions!

  5. danielle hammelef

    I’m definitely a planner, but I’d secretly love to be more impulsive. I guess it’s not a secret anymore….

    • Jessica Alyse

      Danielle, definitely not a secret anymore. 😉 I hope you take a page out of Austin’s book and find yourself inspired by his outlook on life. In his words, spontaneity is the cornerstone of creativity. I hope you’re able to embrace your impulsive side one day.

  6. Shannon

    I am definitely a planner. I wish I was a bit more impulsive, actually. Not too much, but a bit.

    • Jessica Alyse

      Shannon, here’s to hoping The Road to Austin inspires your impulsive side. You and Natalie have that in common. She was able to experience a little of Austin’s spontaneity toward the end of their trip and embrace it for herself – may you experience it in your journey as well (but not not too much.)

  7. Perrianne Askew

    I think I’m more impulsive, so more like Austin, but I do have a planning gene as well. Thank you for the fun interview & giveaway opportunity.

    • Jessica Alyse

      Perrianne, first thing first, I love your name. You and Austin would get along very well. If you don’t mind riding shotgun, he’s always up for a random adventure. Thanks so much and good luck!

  8. April Gardner

    A planner! Must have a plan. 🙂

    The premise of this book sounds DARLING. I’m not into contemporary settings, but I’d read this one in a flash. Especially since I live 1 hr from Austin. I was there last month, visiting the Graffiti Park at Castle Hill. Hoping I win this one! But if I don’t, I’ll get it anyway. 🙂

    • Jessica Alyse

      April, that is so good to hear. I pray you’ll enjoy it as much as I did writing it. I won’t lie, I melted my own heart when I created Natalie and Austin. Their personalities shine in this book. I adore Austin, Texas after doing the research and visiting Castle Hill is on my bucket list. I’m not giving away any spoiler alerts, but I have a feeling you’re going to fall in love with Austin. And you might also find yourself admiring Natalie. Feel free to stop by my Facebook page and let me know how you liked the story after you finish. I love hearing from readers!

  9. Carol Alscheff

    I am probably a mix of both leaning a bit more towards impulsive. Your book sounds great. I would enjoy winning it.

    • Jessica Alyse

      Carol, you would get along well with both Natalie and Austin. They balance one another out without losing their personalities. Good luck with the giveaway.

  10. Paula S.

    I’m a planner- make lots of lists but then I, too, forget where I stashed them. I’d rather read than do the stuff on my lists! My hubby is very : plan out look at all the angles. We’ve been married 48 years so , yes it works! If I have to get something done, i do it!

  11. Judy Weaver

    I’m a planner, but every now and then can just go with the flow. Great interview!

    • Jessica Alyse

      Judy, you’re a lot like Natalie and Austin both, since they balance each other out so well. Love your ability to just go with the flow. Thanks!

  12. carylkane

    I am most like Natalie! I’m a planner that can go with the flow. Thank you for the fun interview!

  13. Bobbie Gore

    I’m a planner, but I have my own method for planning. It’s detailed, but it’s also unique and other people might not understand my plan. Still, it works well for me.

  14. Penny Mooney

    I just got this book and can’t wait to read and review! It sounds so good and since I am from Texas it thrills me. Thank you for the books you write. It is on my TBR list also. xoxoxo

    • Jessica Alyse

      Penny, you make my heart smile. I can’t wait to hear what you think about Natalie and Austin’s story. Texas is the home of my heart and if you’re thrilled by this one, make sure you check out my novella (book one of the series,) it’s set in Houston. Thanks so much for your comment, I appreciate it.

  15. Vivian Furbay

    I am definitely a planner and like to have each day written down on my planner/calendar. This sounds like a good book. Wonder what monkeys have to do with it.

    • Jessica Alyse

      Vivian, I can totally relate. I’m in love with my personal planner. Thanks so much for your comment, if you get a chance to read it, I pray you’ll like it. The monkeys are a result of Austin’s spontaneity during their road trip and let me tell you, Natalie is not happy with it. 😉

  16. Michelle Lunsford

    I think this book had me at “and he needs coffee”. 😉 Seriously, this sounds like both a fun and a heart-warming read. Another to add to my ever-growing ‘to read’ pile.

    • Jessica Alyse

      Michelle, in that case, you’re so going to love Austin. Coffee is his second greatest love, after Jesus. I can’t wait until you get to read it. I’d love to hear what you think of Natalie and Austin’s crazy love story!

  17. Karen Sargent

    I’m a Natalie who would really like to be more of an Austin! 🙂 I think I’ve missed out on some fun in life because I’m such a planner. My youngest daughter is all Austin. She’s 18 now and in her first year of college. Watching her grow up has been hard on me because we are so opposite in this way. 😀 But I’ve also learned a lot from her. Sometimes things have a way of working out even if every last intricate detail isn’t planned ahead of time. And the stress of planning (or not) doesn’t weigh on her.

    • Jessica Alyse

      Karen, that’s so sweet and inspiring. I love your respect for your daughter. If you get a chance to read Natalie and Austin’s story, I pray that his colorful outlook will inspire you to embrace the fun in life more often…because if there’s anything Austin loves, it’s a good time surrounded by the ones he loves.

    • Jessica Alyse

      Julie, in that case, you’re going to love Natalie and Austin. I like to say he has his head in the clouds and she has her feet on the ground. They balance one another in the sweetest of ways.

  18. Abby Breuklander

    I’m definitely a planner, spontaneous is not a word that’s ever been in my vocabulary!

  19. Becky Smith

    I just wanted to say that this is such a good book! I’m so glad that I read it!!!

  20. Jessica Alyse

    Becky, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! That makes my heart smile. I’m praying you’ll enjoy the next part of Natalie and Austin’s story just as much!

    • Jessica Alyse

      Becky, thanks so much! I hope you’ll enjoy the first book just as much as the second. Stop by Facebook and let me know what you think when you finish!

    • Jessica Alyse

      Caitlin, another Austin! He’s witty and adventurous and would take a random vacation in the middle of the week just because. 🙂

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