Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ryan Revisited by Sam Davis

One of the best things about attending book signings, besides totally fangirling all over your favorites, is finding new authors to read and befriend. As I was talking with Amy Miles, one of my favorites and the hostess with the mostest of Penned Con, she pointed across the aisle and said to me, "You need to go over there and meet Samantha Davis. She is a new author and this is her first signing. Her book is really good." Well, I don't know about you but when a guru speaks you listen. I marched my not so little hiney right over to that table and said, "Hi, My name is Valerie and Amy Miles just gave you a glowing recommendation. I want to buy your book but I'll have to come back because I need to take all these books up to my room." I know.......suave! In my defense I suck at small talk and my arms really were full of all the pre-orders I had picked up. Anyway, I did go back, I had a much more meaningful conversation with Sam and her husband Justin, bought the book and enjoyed the rest of the weekend 'getting to know them'.

(I would love to insert my picture with Sam, but apparently it has disappeared - which a running theme for me at Penned Con! :( So here is a pic of the book...)

Even though I often give off a confidence I don't feel I can't imagine what it feels like to work on something and put it out for the world to critique. Terrifying! I honestly and truly want the best for good people and I could tell that the Davis' were good people. So, I picked Ryan Revisited as my first Penned Con book to do whatever I can to help get the word out.

I read RR in the car on the 12 hour car ride back home. Because I always have lots of questions about books when I finish I approached Sam about a Q&A and she agreed. The questions contain content that is specific to the story line of the book so if you haven't read it, please don't proceed to the questions. The following review also contains spoilers!

Check out Sam's Author page for her bio and buy links for the book!


Stop here if you haven't read the book!!!!!! Continuing to read will result in spoilers!!!!!!

I have to be honest and say that it took me a few chapters to get into this book but after that I was committed. I think that I am such a black & white kind of person and the way the Prologue was written had me convinced she had a mental illness or something......I kept waiting to see what was 'wrong' with Ryan, but it was in front of me the whole time! We can chalk that up to a blonde moment! Outside of attending frat parties while in college I have had no experiences with the Greek system. This story was educational in that aspect and reaffirmed that I made the right decision to never take that route. LOL! It also made me ask a question that we should all ask ourselves. Who am I? The honest answer is that I am not just one thing, just as Ryan isn't just one thing. Unfortunately for Ryan her past has her struggling to figure out the answer to this question. She also struggles to see if the Ryan she is today is the Ryan she is supposed to be. She embarks on a quest to discover her true self and to find her place in this world. While I would have made different decisions than Ryan, her journey was her own and I enjoyed it!


1.) Ryan Revisited took me on a journey someplace I am not familiar with - the world of the Greeks! I have to ask - were you a Sorority girl? If so, which one? How much of the story is based on factual people or events?

Yes. I was the worst sorority girl ever. LOL Like Ryan, I came from high school in MT, so I didn't exactly "fit in" to the Southern sorority scene. LOL But I met some wonderful girls there, too. One of which was a best friend, and we were in each other's weddings. smile emoticon

Well... wink emoticon None of the characters or events in RR took place in real life. However, there was a teeter-totter-a-thon because I remember seeing the flyer, but I didn't go. LOL And the way sorority rush was organized is pretty similar to the way it happened when I rushed.

2.) Ryan really annoyed me in several different places but only because we are so different. What is/was it about her personality that made her react the way she did to her Father's leaving/returning? A lot of people (me) would have just said screw it! Are you like Ryan?

Ryan annoyed me a lot, too!! Correction--she made me so mad!! LOL Her character was built over the course of the novel through a lot of bad decisions and screwed-up thinking. Because Ryan didn't know how to process her father's loss and because she thought it was because of her, she was desperate for his approval. Not having a father in her life, left her void of identity. Constantly trying to fill the void with outside influences. She was chasing his affections and she let him influence her decisions and who she was because she hadn't yet figured out who she was on her own.

I can relate to the identity issues she had moving across country to two VERY different places and trying to fit in during such vulnerable stages of her youth. I struggled with trying to define me because I had to learn identity is rooted on the inside, like Ryan did. But nope, I'm not like Ryan in the sense of her daddy-issues. (But sadly, I've known a lot of Ryans.) My dad is awesome! Always has been and always will be. Loves me and supports me unconditionally! smile emoticon

3.) I am a 'right' fighter so I wasn't very happy with Ryan's decision to side with the majority to kick Savannah out of the house. Why did you decide to go that route vs. having her tell the truth or telling others to try & sway their vote?
*** I didn't like Callydee & had her pegged from the beginning! I know several real life versions of her. Ugh! smile emoticon

I wasn't happy with her decision, either. I also feel like she didn't have a good choice. That was what sent her to rock-bottom. She knew she had been forced into becoming like CD--reinventing herself yet again. That horrible decision and situation was the final straw for her to face her own issues. I think Ryan just wanted a clean break to fix what was going on inside her own heart and mind. I think maybe she felt like she could never win against CD. It would take someone like MB to do that.

5.) This is not a normal love story & has not one but two triangles.
Manny - Ryan - Geoffrey and Manny - Ryan - Svea. Did you always know Manny & Ryan would end up together? Do Geoffrey & Svea get a HEA?

Ha! It's not your normal love story!! I think RR is triangle-ish, but in the sense that both R and M didn't know they still had an option in each other. They were never really trying to choose whether they wanted to be with each other. They were trying to cover up the pain of thinking they didn't think they could. smile emoticon 

Always. But my heart sure broke for G! Which again was kind of the point. That R's bad choices or failure to make tough decisions and act left casualties.

I would like to think so. Would you want to read that??? wink emoticon
BTW - YES! I would so read those stories.....maybe they end up together???? LOL!

6.) Do you have a Swedish background? If not, where did all that.come from? I've never had to look up so any words in a book before. LOL! I LOVE TOR! He would be my friend too!

Nope. Hahahaha!! You're so funny. I LOVE TOR, TOO!!! He is one of my favorites! I did A. LOT. of research on Tor! smile emoticon

7.) Father's play a major role in this book in how involved or absent they were/are in their kids' lives. What.is your relationship with your Father?

I kinda already answered this one, but my dad and I are very close. He was my second reader after Justin read it. He is NOTHING like Mr. Ester other than he is from the South and I attended his alma mater. Which I LOVED!! I absolutely loved attending college in the South. I am an Auburn girl through and through! War Eagle! LOL My dad is super awesome! smile emoticon

8.) I'm guessing Justin is a great Dad. If you had to give him a letter grade what would it be? Would it be different if you had boys? LOL!

Justin definitely gets an A++! He is such a man's man, but when it comes to his girls, he plays princess, dances as the prince, lets them "fix" his hair, and laughs at how many times he's found glitter on his person. LOL He takes them to theme parks, movies, but his favorite place to take them is "Fish & Bear Store," aka Bass Pro Shop! LOL He loves the outdoors (grew up in Montana), so he loves hiking, fishing, and exploring with them, too. A lot of Daddy-daughter dates happen when I'm writing. (Thank you, Justin xoxo) I know he'd be just as awesome as a father of boys, too. smile emoticon

9.) Do you think Manny & Ryan will have kids? How will Manny rate? 

Yes! I think M's quiet strength and his unconditional love will make him a great dad. He knows all too well the impact fathers have on their kids. He'll get to be the father to their kids that he and R never had!

Ok...these are.more personal than book related:

1.) Do you have a day job outside of writing?

I taught elementary school before my girls were born. Since then, I have worked at my church, done some freelance writing and editing, volunteered as a women's group leader several times, and have written for women's blog. smile emoticon

2.) What are your future writing plans? Anything in the works?

Keep writing! That's my plan. smile emoticon Now that I have signed with an amazing agent, Italia Gandolfo with Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management (ghliterary.com), I have someone prodding me along to get the next book done. smile emoticon I'm working on a totally different project right now than RR. Different genre entirely! It's title right now is The Sifting. Stay tuned!!

3.) Besides PC2016 do you have any other scheduled signings?

Right now PC2016 is the only big signing I have scheduled. I do have a local Barnes and Noble signing coming up on Aug 15 here in San Antonio. Any other signings will be posted on my website. www.authorsamdavis.com smile emoticon

4.) Who are some of your favorite authors? 

That's a tough question. I adore some amazing authors as people...AnnaLisa Grant, LP Dover, Shelly Crane, Rachel Higginson, Michele Miller, Amy Bartol, Fisher Amelie, Eric Asher, Casey Peeler...and a TON more! (But I haven't read all of them...YET!) It's easier for me to tell you SOME wink emoticon of my favorite books... Emma by Jane Austen, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Star-Crossed series by Rachel Higginson, Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie, Collide AND Significance both by Shelly Crane, Twilight Saga smile emoticon (seems like people either loved it or hated it. You?), The Outsiders, Where the Red Fern Grows, Hunger Games, Flat-out Love by Jessica Park, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire... so many more, but I'll stop now. smile emoticon

5.) Quick Fire Questions (because I was too lame to do it at PC!)

Coke or Pepsi?
Peanut Butter or Jelly?
Sweet or Salty?
Crunchy or Chewy?
Fruits or Vegetables?
McDonald's or Burger King?
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Salt or Pepper?
Fork or Spoon?