Title: Most Beautiful Words
Author Name: Raine O’ Tierney
Publication Date & Length: October 10, 2014 – 200pgs
Twelve-year-old Autumn’s world is shattered when her beloved Great-Pop, Tommy Johnson, suffers a stroke that leaves him comatose. With everyone around her resigning themselves to the inevitable, Autumn is the only one not willing to give up. She and Great-Pop have more secret stories to share with each other, after all. More stories about Roy McMillan—the great love of Tommy’s life whom he lost fifty years ago.
Autumn struggles to keep Great-Pop on this side of death’s door. But how can she compete with the beautiful and mysterious Valley—a place of surreal magic where the sun never fully sets? Especially when there’s someone familiar in the Valley who will do everything he can to keep Great-Pop from returning to her.
This is not merely a book about two men who fell in love at a time when they had to keep everything secret. It’s also not merely a book about a dying man and his relationship with his beloved great-granddaughter. It’s about how all relationships are complex and multi-faceted and how love doesn’t just have one size or shape.
I loved the main narrator, Autumn, and her spirit. At twelve, she came across as perfectly realistic. She’s at once very innocent and young, yet she knows a lot about complicated grown-up things. It’s her journey of self-discovery that’s most relatable, even for adults. She’s learning how to both let go and hang on, something most people struggle a lifetime to discover.
I think I started crying by chapter three and sniffled on and off for the duration of the story (I completely lost it by the end). But as weird as this may sound, it was a happy kind of sad. Be prepared to invest in a lot of tissues when reading this one.
I don’t have a single negative thing to say about this book. I have a child around the same age as Autumn, and this book is definitely appropriate for me to share with him. (Other parents may not agree; there are references to intimacy, though nothing graphic, and it’s clear in the story that Autumn’s Great-Pop has shared them with her.) Everyone should read this book, and I’m of the opinion we should share it with our kids and talk with them about the themes.
I give it 5 stars.
Called “Queen of the Sweetness” (well, two or three people said it anyway!) Raine O’Tierney loves writing sweet stories about first loves, first times, fidelity, forever-endings and…friskiness?
Raine O’Tierney lives outside of Kansas City with her husband, fellow Dreamspinner Press author, Siôn O’Tierney. When she’s not writing, she’s either asleep, or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers. Writing for 20+ years (with the last 10 spent on M/M) Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!
- Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
I call it my writing cove. I’ve got dried roses, absinthe, a 1940s Royal Arrow Typewriter, an apothecary set, urban decay photography, and original artwork. It’s my favorite place in the world.
- Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
There’s usually some part of myself in each of my MCs—even if it’s just something I would say or something I would do. Sometimes I try to work through issues along with my MCs which is an interesting process.
- If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
I would definitely be a librarian which…as luck would have it…I do for my not-so-evil day job! J I’m very lucky to be able to do the two things I love the most. Work for the library and write.
- Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
I wish I had known beforehand how emotionally taxing the whole process can be. And I do mean the whole process. Drafting, editing, crying because you now think you’re the worst writer in the world, sharing with friends, finding a beta, re-editing, crying some more, getting it ready for submission, and so on… I think I would have started therapy before I tried to publish had I known how much would go into the process emotionally speaking. ^_~
- Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
You know, it might be different with my other works, but for this one? I’m satisfied. My family, unfortunately, thinks the whole story is about them…but even so, I wouldn’t change the way I wrote it.
- How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
Usually totally randomly. I’m inspired by totally random things, because I’m a very random person! Sometimes my dachshund will give me a quizzical look, and voila! Inspired!
- What’s next for you as a writer?
I have two releases in December: X-Mas Cake (A Modern Fairytale) from Beaten Track Publishing and Bowl Full of Cherries from Dreamspinner Press, then in January the M/M romance I wrote with my husband, Alchemy Ever After comes out from Dreamspinner Press, and finally in March, my YA I’ll Always Miss You is released from Harmony Ink. In the meantime, writing writing and more writing!
- Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
I live in a small suburb outside of Kansas City, Missouri and I definitely think it influences how I write. You’ll find locations in KC either directly references or the landscape of Missouri discussed.
- What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
I am fond of absolutely everything if it’s well written! I like science fiction and romance and fantasy and horror and I’ve even enjoyed a western or two (with no romance plots whatsoever!)
- Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
Sushi. God, I spend so much money on sushi. And video games.