Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Virtual Book Tour J. Whitney Williams - Chosen Path

Erotic Romance
Date Published: 4/28/2017

Yumiko Itsumoto wants it all. An accomplished artist and feared attorney, she gets what she wants, all else be damned. Now she wants love, even if it means charting a new course for her life, but changing course can be dangerous.  In mere moments, she tumbles from the dizzying pinnacle of success into a bottomless abyss of murder and treachery.  Yumiko will not live happily ever after—not this time—but can she at least find a way to stay alive?

Editor's review 

Author J. Whitney Williams follows CARRIED AWAY—his surprisingly intelligent and deftly written debut—with a story that is even sexier, more thrilling and more enthralling than the first.
Again taking the reader on a trip across the world, meeting strange people in strange places via a prodigious narrator, CHOSEN PATH follows Yumi, a powerful and apparently dispassionate supporting character introduced in book one. But appearances deceive. Here, the reader is immersed in Yumi—into the very depths of her complex mind, her conflicted yet determined soul, her insatiable sex drive.
When Yumi encounters the woman who she presumes to be the fiancĂ©e of the love of her life—perhaps her only true love—she has every reason to seize the opportunity that presents itself to erase the woman from both of their lives forever. It’s no wonder Yumi is the prime suspect for the unfortunate woman’s swift and seemingly heartless murder. Unable to recall herself, Yumi assumes the worst, too. It wouldn’t be the first tragic fate to befall someone who stood in her way—or the last—and cameras don’t lie.
In CHOSEN PATH, Williams explores the very essence of what makes us human. The protagonist, a uniquely flawed yet extraordinarily likable woman of many talents and trades, demonstrates the jealousy and manipulation we see in ourselves and despise in others. At the same time, we’re drawn to Yumi. Geisha. Samurai. Assassin. Pseudo-royalty. Nothing happens to her; she creates. If we all shaped our own circumstances, our destinies, as adroitly as she, what paths would we choose and where would they lead us?


At the most elegant teahouse in Gion Kobu, Matron Kazaharu lowered a teacup from her ageless face.
“Willow-sensei.” Miharu-chan’s whisper crept over her shoulder. “A man in a cheap suit just asked—”
Matron Kazaharu—Willow-sensei, as the students called her—did not need to hear the rest. “It breaks my heart, Ambassador, that I am called away. I must beg your forgiveness and your leave.”
All at the table stood as she did, and the guest spoke.
“Of course, Lady Willow-Wind. It has been such a privilege to…” Blah blah blah blah blah. She had to move fast.
She had warned Emi-chan to expect the detective’s eventual return, but it seemed he had arrived while she was away. Willow could only blame herself. She scheduled Miharu as Emi’s backup. Any other woman might have discerned her gambit at first sight of him, but that poor girl would not know a man had been seduced if he engraved his name on her forehead with a diamond-tipped erection.
When Miharu refused him, he would have bolted like a spooked deer. Willow could not recall having previously chased a man, but unusual circumstances require innovative techniques.
Shimizu. He, and his story, was simple. What Willow read of him moved her. Like so many, he had married for infatuation mistaken for love, and more than a decade passed before he came to know so. His wife bore him one child, a now-adult son, to whom he had become mostly estranged. Had there been no child, the poor soul could still be married, thinking infatuation the most love one could feel.
He lost himself in his work because someone once—perhaps no more than once—told him it was important. That—his naivety—drew her attention. Even in a job that showed him the worst parts of human nature, something good and decent still lived within him. It shone from his heart like the morning star.
He was handsome, too, handsome enough to be sexy, yet sex is but a single feather. Within minutes of their first meeting, Lady Willow-Wind had decided to spread her stately wings. She would return that star to the sky.

About the Author 

A mathematician by training and computer programmer by trade, J. Whitney Williams lives and works under the X in Texas, thinking too much and speaking too little.

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Interview with J Whitney Williams

- Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

My first book, Carried Away, began as pure smut, but the mechanical hows-its of copulation do not entertain on their own. I want to know who and why.

Yumiko is a good example. She began with all the depth of an inflatable doll, the seductive geisha. Her career as a sex toy only lasted about ten minutes. Why was she there? Why was she seducing people? She must have had an ulterior motive, some plan as brilliant as it was nefarious. I gave her one, and she lived for several weeks as the vindictive geisha/attorney/hustler. What would her life be like, as such? What toll would it take on her, to be absolutely relentless? Those questions made Yumiko a dynamic character, and Chosen Path is how I answer them. Eighty-thousand words later, the inflatable geisha had grown a soul.

So stories will advance on their own, characters will think and act according to their own tendencies. With each pass of retelling, the characters grow a little bit deeper, like the wheel-ruts on a dirt road. Their definitions become sharper, and their actions change accordingly. It all comes from asking, “Why would a person do these things?” The more times you can ask why, the more interesting the characters, and the story, gets. Going back to Yumiko’s creation, after deciding she was swindling people, I ask why she would do so. She is viciously intelligent, and thinking so much more quickly than everyone around her has made her impatient. She saw her victims as inhibiting social progress with their blind adherence to tradition. Closed-mindedness makes her angry. And you wouldn’t like her when she’s angry…

In that way, finding the beginning and middle of a story is easier than finding its end. To find the end, I have to identify the theme. What is the novel about? What is the moral of the story? It is very much akin to sitting down at the end of each day and asking yourself what you should learn from your own experiences. Some days, the answers to that question can be profound.

- How did you do research for your book?

The emotional make-up of each character, though not the events of their lives, are threads from the tapestry of my own soul. As such, learning to empathize with them, to think the way they do, was only a matter of introspection. As for matters of fact, there is a tremendous number of wonderful sources that anyone can read for free. Anything an author can learn or experience adds depth and texture to his writing.

- Do you have another profession besides writing?

I write software, so perhaps I should answer “no.” 

- If you could go back in time, where would you go?

The past might be fun to visit, but I would not want to live there. We are living in an amazing future, and, on balance, it gets better every day.

- What is your next project?

My first book left several loose ends I wanted to tie up.  Yumiko’s story was only one of them, but it exploded into novel of its own.  Fiction is like a system shoved out of equilibrium.  Plot is the resolution of some struggle, the motion of a system returning to a steady state in which everyone is happy and wise.  Some of my characters remain unhappy and unwise.  They’ll have their chance.

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