October Releases

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Interview + Excerpt + Review: If Only by Lisa M. Owens

Interview with Lisa M. Owens

OBVB: Welcome to Offbeat Vagabond, Lisa! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
LO: Hello and thank you so much for having me! I have dreamed of being a published author ever since I was a little girl and I am thrilled that childhood dream has finally been made a reality! I am an avid reader and when I am not writing, I can usually be found curled up with a good book. I am a survivor of domestic violence and I hope that my words will help to give someone the courage to leave an abusive relationship.

OBVB: I saw that you started writing at the age of seven! What was your favorite short story or poetry you wrote back then?
LO: Actually, my absolute favorite story came a little bit later. When I was about eight, I entered a writing contest at my elementary school. Oklahoma writer Sandy Miller judged the contest and mine was one of the winners chosen. It was called The Successful Ballerina and I wrote it as well as doing the illustrations, which weren’t pretty! (I can barely draw stick figures…no joke!) The local newspaper came and took a group picture of the winners with Sandy Miller. I still have both my book and a copy of that newspaper article.

OBVB: What first attracted you Contemporary Romance?
LO: I have always enjoyed reading contemporary romance so for me, it just seemed like the logical place to go with my writing. You can write a scene as steamy as you want and just let your imagination run wild.

OBVB: What authors influenced you when growing up? Who is on your nightstand right now?
LO: Even as a child, I was an insatiable reader. My favorite books back then were Charlotte’s Web and Nancy Drew. As I entered my teenage years, I read a lot of R.L. Stine and Sweet Valley High.
Nowadays, my choice of novels are mainly romance, like Lisa Kleypas. One of my favorite authors is Sharon Sala. She is the type of writer that I have always dreamed of being. She covers real issues, like rape, murder or child abuse with an emotional pull that can leave you in tears.

OBVB: If Only is the beginning of your new series, right? Can you tell us what the book is about?
LO: If Only is the first book in what I have planned to be a five part series, all about women who get the second chance that they have always dreamed of. But you must be careful what you wish for…you might just get it. And as one or two of these women will figure out, what you may long for might not necessarily be what you need.
Bree Weston made the mistake of her life five years ago. She ended her engagement to her childhood sweetheart and walked straight into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. But her match made in Heaven soon turned into the marriage from Hell.
After finally finding the courage to file for divorce, she is celebrating with friends when she literally runs into her former fiancé. He is happily married with a baby on the way and she can’t help but wonder what might have happened if she would have married him instead.
She soon discovers her answer when she slips on a patch of ice and wakes up in his arms. But what is real and what is make-believe? And is she really getting the second chance that she has always longed for?

OBVB: If Only tackles the issue of domestic violence. How challenging was it for you to incorporate that in the book?
LO: Since I am a former victim myself, it was extremely difficult. Memories that I have been trying to bury for years suddenly bubbled to the surface. I even started having nightmares again but for me, it was a therapeutic experience. And I hope that it will help someone.

OBVB: How did you celebrate when your work was published?
LO: We went out to dinner at a very nice restaurant and then we saw a movie. I treated myself to a single margarita. Like Bree in my novel, I am not a big drinker.

OBVB: If you can write any book outside your genre, what would it be and why?
LO: I have always wanted to write a childrens’ book. Of course, I would have to find an excellent illustrator…

OBVB: Is there anything you must have or do when you are writing?
LO: I always have a picture of my two children on my desk. I believe that they bring me luck.

OBVB: What do you do when you are not writing?
LO: Reading. Spending time with my family.

OBVB: Last but not least, are there any other projects you are working on?
LO: I am currently working on the second part of my If Only series, about a woman who married for love but fourteen years later she finds herself facing an unplanned pregnancy, a husband who can’t keep a job and she is up to her eyeballs in debt. She begins thinking about her life and wondering how it would be different if she had married her wealthy friend instead. But as she soon discovers when she gets that chance, money can buy many things, but it cannot buy happiness. Or the love of a good man.
My other work in progress is about a wounded Marine who returns from Afghanistan to discover that his wife has abandoned him when he needs her the most. He must come to terms not only with the fact that his military career is over, but he must learn how to live with the aftereffects of the war as well. A chance encounter with a beautiful artist leaves him wondering if some things are meant to be. But can two people who have been abandoned by people they trusted overcome the odds and find happiness with each other?

OBVB: Thank you so much for coming by Lisa. Hope to have you here again.
LO: Thanks again for having me!!



Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have been different? Would she have had children by now? Would she and Scott still be together, after all this time? Those thoughts and more weighed heavily on her mind as she headed out of the bar. It had begun to snow, and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn’t help herself; she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse she couldn’t ignore, and then laughed out loud in spite of herself.
She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she began to make her way across. Bree was walking cautiously when one of her high heels slipped on a patch of ice. She could feel herself falling, and her breathing quickened as she began to panic, wishing she had waited for her friends before venturing off on her own. One shoe flew off as she landed, her head striking the curb. A sharp pain racked through the back of her skull, causing her to cry out. The last thing she saw was Scott’s face swimming before her eyes, and then her world went black.
* * * *
Bree awoke to a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves. His hot breath blew into her ear, sending shivers up and down her spine. She slowly opened her eyes as a man’s hand stroked her upper thigh, and she sighed happily.
Ooh, I must be dreaming. And it was such a delicious dream, too.
The man’s hand traveled up her thigh and then encircled her flat stomach. Out of the corner of her eyes, Bree could see a dark head pressing against her abdomen. Then she shivered as a tongue laved her belly button, going in and out erotically, making her feel as though her body was on fire. Bryan had never made her feel like this, and she hadn’t even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?
His hand continued traveling north, lovingly caressing her skin. He reached for her aching breasts, pressing her nipples roughly before he lowered his mouth to suckle them, first one, and then the other. Bree arched in anxious response to his touch. She longed to see his face, but she feared one look would make his magical touch disappear.
She ached all over, wanted his hands to caress her everywhere, and she longed to touch him. She opened her legs as he straddled her. His hair brushed her naked chest as he began kissing her. His tongue was driving her crazy with desire as he placed tender kisses along her neckline. He brushed her hair aside.
His morning stubble stung her delicate skin, but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone.
Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me,” he whispered, his voice husky.
That voice jerked her back to the present. The voice had haunted her dreams for
years. The voice of the man she just couldn’t seem to get over.
Scott,” she whispered.


Author: Lisa M. Owens Format: PDF
Release Date: December 24, 2012
Pages: 107
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Paranormal

Buy here:

Synopsis from Goodreads

An accidental slip on a patch of ice gives Bree Sexton the opportunity she has always dreamed of—a chance to go back in time and make things right, changing her life and her future. A poignant tale of second chances, and a woman’s fight to find her happily-ever-after.

What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?

Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancé and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.

She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancé she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?


     If Only is an emotional story about a woman named Bree who has just divorced her abusive husband. Marrying him was a huge mistake, but an even bigger mistake was leaving the love of her life for him. Scott was the man of her dreams, but she fed into the lies Bryan told her and paid dearly for it. After celebrating her divorce, she happens to run into Scott and finds her feelings for him have never diminished. Sadly for her though, Scott is married with a baby on the way. Feeling more depressed than ever, she leaves the bar and hit her head on the concrete, hard. She wakes up, however, with Scott. She finds that they are married and happy. Has she been given a second chance or is this all just a dream?

     Wow, talk about a roller coaster ride. Goodness gracious! You will feel every emotion imaginable reading this book and it is only a little over 100 pages! Our main character Bree was great. You will instantly click with her. She is a woman who has been through with her devil of an ex-husband. Bryan was physically, mentally, and sexually abusive. His violent outbursts caused her to have three miscarriages. He controlled what she wore and who she was with. She can't believe she fell for the nice-guy routine when she was already engaged to her high school sweetheart, Scott. Scott was perfect and she regrets the stupid decision she made of leaving him.

    I love Scott and Bree's relationship. One could only pray to have a marriage like theirs. Bree would have moments that remind her of Bryan's viciousness and I love that Scott was there for her and did his best to let her know he was there. It was so sad to see because sometimes he didn't know what to do and Bree wouldn't confide in him when she should. I kept yelling at the book, "Tell him! Tell him so he can kick that guy's ass!" Trust me, you will be yelling that and more reading this book.

     I loved this story a lot. Now even though Bree is in some alternate universe, that doesn't mean Bryan won't make an appearance or he would be any different. She finds that Bryan is her and Scott's boss. They are authors for his publishing company. Bryan is there and he wants Bree no matter what. He will destroy any and everybody to get what he wants. But Bree knows he is still just as evil and this time she will do what she can to save herself and whoever else he has in his crossfires.

    What would happen if you made the biggest mistake of your life and could go back to fix it?  What a wonderful concept Owens has played with here. I loved it. Although I will say, this book will take a lot out of you. It was depressing. Not that it was the story in itself, but Owens had some pretty terrifying scenes of when Bree and Bryan were together. I had a few tears in my eyes during some of these scenes. I myself have witnessed abuse and it scared me that much more. I wanted to just reach in the book and go bats**t crazy on Bryan. If you are a woman, you will be wanting some justice, preferably with a baseball bat or any other blunt instrument. 

    This was a quick read that I really loved. It has loads of sexy scenes (did I mention Scott is mouthwatering?), sad moments, and intense moments? I really enjoyed it. There were some scenes that had me scratching my head though. Bree's mom, Karen, was a bit unnecessary especially given that she is walking piece of sh**. Also the second to last chapter in the book (chapter 16 I think) felt a little out of place. I feel like it should have been a few chapters back instead of where it ended. That may be me nitpicking, but it just felt misplaced. When you get to it, you might see what I am talking about. But overall, this is a beautifully written story that will have you bouncing every which way. This is one of those reads you have to prepare for. Like I said, you will feel every kind of emotion reading this and it is worth it.


*This book belongs to the following challenge*

Lisa M. Owens Bio
The writing bug bit Lisa M. Owens at an early age, she was writing short stories and poetry by the age of seven. At the age of eight, she entered a writing contest at her elementary school. About fifty books were written but Lisa’s was one of the thirteen writers chosen who received a certificate and the chance to meet Oklahoma writer Sandy Miller.

A former victim of domestic violence herself, Lisa worked at the courthouse for over seven years. Almost three of those years she worked on the Marriage License/Protective Order desk. She helped women file protective orders and worked closely with the staff and counselors at DVIS.

Frustrated with books who merely gloss over the subject of domestic violence, Lisa wanted to write a book that told the entire story. Her dream is for her words to help give someone the courage to leave an abusive relationship.

She resides in Oklahoma and has two children. This is her first published novel and she is currently working on the next novel of her If Only series.

Lisa enjoys hearing from her readers and can be reached at P.O. Box 9643, Tulsa, OK 74157-0643, or by e-mail, She can also be contacted on her website,

Follow Lisa M. Owens here:
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