Christine Young

I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time

Christine Presents ~ Kicking Sideways by Dina Keratisis

Please welcome Dina Keratisis author of Kicking Sideways.

Dina will be awarding $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.


Kicking Sideways

by Dina Keratsis


GENRE: Contemporary Romance



What or who inspired you to start writing?
I think it’s a combo of nature and nurture. My parents love books and I don’t recall a time when books were not part of my life. As far as writing goes, my mother recalls that I’d be outside playing with the neighborhood kids when I’d suddenly run inside to grab a paper and pen. “What are you doing?” she’d ask. “Shh, Mama, I have to write,” I’d reply. I have no recollection of this, but I do remember needing to write, to create, from a young age. In high school, some of my favorite Saturday nights were not spent with friends, but with some good goth music, low light, and a pen and paper or sketchpad and charcoal.


How did you come up with ideas for your books?

An obsession with something – a song, a place, a dream, a face – something will drive me to drill that obsession down as far as I can go. The absolute lust for a decrepit Back Bay mansion drove me to research and finally write a novel about the old Charlesgate Hotel. The search for an elusive chocolate cake recipe and a dream about King Arthur led me to write Cake, A Fairy Tale and a minor character from Charlesgate, the love of Santa Cruz, and a bluegrass song inspired Kicking Sideways.


If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

Mike Sullivan from Kicking Sideways. He is steady and sure and takes life as it comes. At the same time, he is passionate. He enjoys the small moments. He has inner peace. When I first wrote Kicking Sideways, I identified with Mike, and I assumed he was most like me.


Cree was a harder study. She just poured out of me but she was difficult in that I did not always like her and she would not do what I wanted her to do. She is stubborn. Frustrating. And very dark. Some readers will not have patience for her.


During the edits for this re-issue, I realize that Cree is a lot like me and Mike is the person I hope to be. The realization was a little startling, really. Cree is tortured. She can’t get out of her own way. Mike is not.


If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your leading roles?

The characters in Kicking Sideways are especially tricky for me to cast. Mike is a creature of my mind. I know what he looks like but he is an idealized version of my first high school crush both physically and emotionally. A lot of actresses could play Cree, although I am hard pressed to think of one!


If I had to cast Mike, though, it’d be a “My Blueberry Nights” era Jude Law. For Cree, there is a photo of Patricia Arquette that reminds me of Cree but Patricia Arquette would not be the right actress in general. She has to be a queenly, cool blonde with gray, troubled eyes. Both photos are on my Pinterest page for Kicking Sideways. Always happy to hear reader suggestions!


Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Both. The characters and structure percolate in my head until one day I just start typing. I get to know my characters and figure out what they think the want versus what they really want/need. I make a visual chart for each character. When I get stuck, I refer to that chart. I write, outline a bit, then write some more. I know what the end will be, but I don’t know how I’ll get there. Mostly, I try to relax and enjoy the process. If I let the characters speak, they do.


I love putting together puzzles. Those Buried Treasure puzzles are a favorite. Has anyone out there done those? Dracula ‘s Castle is my favorite. Writing a novel is a bit like putting together a puzzle. You have to relax into the process and the pieces naturally gravitate to each other. Sometimes you refer to the picture on the puzzle box to remind yourself of the destination or for technical guidance, but there is no defined path to that expected outcome. Writing is the same.
Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you’ve gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?

Absolutely. My interest in books, music, ghosts, mythology, history, genealogy carry over into my novels. I have all these useless passions and facts in my head and writing a book is a good way to appease my obsessive nature and tie everything into one neat little package. A completed puzzle! I know it’s time to start a new novel when my brain starts to overflow with seemingly disconnected obsessions. My brain works and works at those passions until a novel is formed. I’ve come to believe that writing is some sort of compulsion, a cleaning frenzy. Kicking Sideways combines my obsessions with “The Lost Boys” and Santa Cruz, Halloween, a high school crush, the power of Little Women, transcendental philosophy, and the deconstruction of a song.


Do you have an all time favorite book?

Every one I read. Even the worst book I’ve read has wisdom to share. Books save lives. I firmly believe that. But if you ask which books I return to again and again: A Room With a View, Wuthering Heights, The Witching Hour, Paradise, Here on Earth, North and South (by Elizabeth Gaskell, although I love the John Jakes TV miniseries), and Middlemarch.
Who is your favorite actor and actress?

Viggo Mortensen. I fell in love with him after seeing “The Passion of Darkly Noon” and “Indian Runner.” He just melds into whatever character he is playing. Aragorn? Drool. Gary Oldman. Same morphing ability. He nailed Sid Vicious. Mark Ruffalo, Gene Tierney, Vivien Leigh, Toni Collette and Nicole Kidman.


What is your favorite reality show?

Walking Dead and Outlander (*winks).


Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like to write a series?

I don’t write series, but I do connect all my books. I love reading standalone books that subtly reference other places or characters from that same author’s other books and so I strive to do that with my own books. Mike Sullivan, the hero in Kicking Sideways, originates as a minor character from the world of Charlesgate and Zylla and Jabe from that book make an appearance in Kicking Sideways. There is a subtle reference to Charlesgate in Cake, as well. All these interconnections make me forget the characters don’t really exist. Or maybe they do. Who knows? You did see “Lost in Austen,” right? It could happen.





Lucretia “Cree” Cabot spends her time saving everybody else to avoid facing her own haunted life. Between raising her younger brother and trying to open a women’s shelter, Cree has built an impenetrable wall around her heart. But when a tenant for Cliff Cottage appears at her door, he cracks her vigilantly controlled world, forcing her to look within to confront the emptiness inside.


Mike Sullivan, famous superhero artist, is searching for a peaceful summer break and a new perspective on life. A farm in sunny Santa Cruz seems like just the place. Looking to escape from his usual routine, he doesn’t count on falling for a woman who is as stubborn as the mule that lives in her barn. Yet beneath Cree’s prickly exterior, he finds a woman in pain—a woman with an immense capacity for love. Mike knows she is the only one for him, but will Cree find the courage to truly live and love before the best thing to walk into her life leaves her behind?







Cree looked at him blankly, her eyes a dull blade. “I just want it to be perfect for them. I want their bedrooms to be fresh and bright, not musty farmhouse wallpaper and someone else’s memories,” she despaired. “I want them to feel like they have a place to belong and start over.”


His heart tugged for her and fell just a little bit more in love with this practical woman who had enough poetry to want to save the world. He reached across the table and took her hand, tightened as she resisted, and was surprised when she succumbed.


“It’ll get done,” he whispered, giving her hand a little squeeze. “I promise.” Her hand melted in his and the burden dissolved from her face. She smiled tiredly before pulling her hand away to pick up a dish.


“Go hang out with your girlfriends for a couple of days.”


She looked down at the plate and walked to the sink.


“You do have some of those, don’t you?” he asked, suspicious.


“Not really,” she replied. “All my college friends moved away a few years ago and I haven’t met too many people around town.” Shrugging, she added, “I don’t mind when it comes down to it.”


“Cree likes to be alone,” Seth said. “She’s weird.”


“I’m one for haunting graveyards by myself as well. Nothing wrong with liking your own company, kid,” he said as an arm shot out and his hand caught Cree’s arm as she passed with another plate for the sink. “Nope,” he commanded. “Go sex wax your board or whatever you surfers do to prepare for a day with the sharks.” He took the plate from her as he released her wrist. “You’re taking tomorrow off.”





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Dina Keratsis is an award-winning author of romance fiction in which all roads lead to illumination and magic is found in the mundane. A New England girl, she has a penchant for punk rock, Scottish tea rooms and a mad crush on Sirius Black. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two children.






Twitter: @dinakeratsis










Dina will be awarding $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.
















15 comments on “Christine Presents ~ Kicking Sideways by Dina Keratisis

  1. Goddess Fish Promotions
    December 3, 2015

    Thanks for hosting!

  2. Dina
    December 3, 2015

    Thank you for having me over for virtual tea, Christine! I’ll be away for the day but look forward to chatting this evening.

  3. achristay
    December 3, 2015

    Welcome to my blog. I hope you have a great tour.

    • Dina
      December 3, 2015

      It was a fun interview. Kind of like going to a book psychiatrist! Thank you for hosting today.

  4. Eva Millien
    December 3, 2015

    Enjoyed the interview, sounds like a great read, thanks for sharing!

    • Dina
      December 3, 2015

      Thank you for reading, Eva.

  5. Victoria
    December 3, 2015

    Great post – thanks for sharing!

    • Dina
      December 3, 2015

      You are welcome, Victoria.

  6. Rita Wray
    December 3, 2015

    I enjoyed the interview.

    • Dina
      December 3, 2015

      Thank you, Rita. Have a great night! Hope you are curled up with a good book.

  7. Mai Tran
    December 4, 2015

    Longest plane ride you’ve ever been on?

    • Dina
      December 8, 2015

      Thank you, Ree!

    • Dina
      December 8, 2015

      You may be my favorite stranger.

  8. Ree Dee
    December 7, 2015

    I loved the interview and the excerpt. I can’t wait to learn more. Thank you.

    • Dina
      December 8, 2015

      Tank you, Ree!

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