Author Karina Halle Shows Some Discretion
For as long as I can remember, escapism has been a big part of my life. Whether it was getting lost in my favorite films and TV shows or discovering new places and cultures as I traveled around the world, I've always had the itch to lead other lives than my own. One of the best and easiest ways to do this of course was through reading, and later, writing. It shouldn't be a surprise then to know how much I love creating the perfect escape in my novels, ones that whisk readers (and myself) off to exotic destinations, falling for deliciously sexy men, all without leaving the comfort of your home. After all, even when I was young and single and traveling all over, I dreamed about meeting the perfect guy around every corner and the whirlwind romance that would follow. I remember one time I was supposed to meet a guy on a blind-date in Paris but he stood me up. Guess I've been trying to rectify that situation through my stories ever since!
When I write, I try to capture that same hopeful feeling that I had back in the day. I tend to write very real, flawed and relatable heroines because I personally believe that connection is one of the best ways to get lost in a book. If you don't feel a connection or you can't understand where a character is coming from, then it gets hard to really put yourself in the story. The stakes don't feel as high because you don't feel there's anything to lose. But when a character is the "every girl," someone that you get and can relate to, then it's easier to put yourself in their shoes. What they feel, you feel, and there you are, living another life.
My novel Discretion is a good example of that. We have our every girl, Sadie, who is an American student trying to figure out what she wants out of life during a summer trip to Europe. She's not sure if she's taken the right path in school and is uncertain about her future, she's broke, she has a complicated relationship with her mother because of her mother's mental illness, and to make matters worse her long-term boyfriend dumps her while abroad. To me, Sadie represents so many young women right now who are looking for answers about life while trying to discover who they really are and dealing with all the bullshit in between.
Enter the insanely sexy French billionaire Olivier Dumont. The heir to the Dumont fashion dynasty (think Chanel), Olivier meets Sadie under dramatic circumstances - he saves her from a mugger. At first Sadie doesn't know who Olivier really is and is distrustful of him (you can't blame her, she's literally having the worst trip ever and her opinion of men is at an all-time low). But over time she becomes drawn to Olivier, seeing a part of him that he doesn't show many people. It helps that he's handsome as sin and devilishly charming. It also helps that he's extremely rich. In fact as Sadie gets to know him, she does so in a famous luxury hotel on the French Riviera, a hotel that Olivier happens to own. Talk about your wildest fantasy!
Here we have escapism at it's most decadent. You have the relatable average girl getting swept off her feet by sexy, rich French man in a gorgeous and exotic setting. Yet despite the novel's soap opera tendencies (because, believe me, the Dumont family is a family of suspenseful secrets and sin), there's something realistic about the whole relationship. Sadie and Olivier may seem very different on the surface but underneath they're two lost souls recognizing something in each other. Even Olivier, for all his wealth and privilege, feels conflicted with what he wants out of life, discovering that happiness isn't found in money and fame but something else. Or someone else. It turns for both of them that what they're looking for may just be in each other.
But taking a chance on love always brings a lot of risk and when it comes to Sadie and Olivier, the risks may end up being more than they bargained for.
Are you ready to find out more and escape with Discretion?
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