Release Day Review and Author Interview: Godsend by Sloan Johnson

Synopsis:
 
You can’t choose who you fall in love with. Despite knowing from a young age that he was gay, Scott Murphy couldn’t imagine life without Shelly. He threw away the labels and had eleven amazing years with her, but now, he feels even more lost trying to figure out how to move on after Shelly’s death. After nearly a year of watching Scott fade away, Shelly’s father forces him to start living again. 

As much as Chris loathes the idea of attending a bereavement group week after week, it’s one of the only places he can go in this town, other than the bar, to not feel so alone. When there’s nothing to distract him or dull his senses, he spends too much time obsessing over how he should have been able to help his sister. When Scott shows up at his group session, Chris decides that maybe some good can come out of his sister’s death. 

There’s no denying that Chris is the first man to catch Scott’s attention in a long time, but how can he move on when just thinking of Shelly sends him to his dark place? 

The road to recovery won’t be an easy one, but Chris is determined to help Scott see that life is still worth living. But before Scott can allow himself to admit what he feels for Chris, he knows he has to reveal the full truth about Shelly’s death.

 

Author Interview:
Today at Two Chicks Obsessed, we are blessed with the
presence of someone I adore in person, as well as an author (although I haven’t
read any of her m/f books yet…don’t tell her!!!). Sloan Johnson is here to
answer five good questions about her new book Godsend.
TCO: A happy beautiful good morning to you, Sloan! Welcome
to Two Chicks Obsessed, we are delighted you came over to answer some burning
questions.  Thank you for taking a few
minutes out of your crazy week to interview.
SJ: Thanks for having me this morning! I’m not so sure about
beautiful, though. I mean, the sun’s shining, but I’m pretty sure it’s cold
enough to freeze the nuts off a bridge today!
1    TCO: **snort laugh** Okay, question number 1…I won’t give anything away
on this, I will let you dance around it all you want. But where did you get the
idea for such a difficult, and controversial subject to start this book? Was
there a specific thing that inspired you to write it?
SJ: There are times I asked myself that very question.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not at all in control of my
characters. They invade my head and I have to tell their stories. I will say
that I love writing about topics that force me to open my mind to new topics.
In the case of Scott and Chris, I think it’s a topic that a lot of people look
at and have an instant reaction, but when you stop and really think about both
sides of the situation, you may change your mind. That’s not my hope with this
book, at all, because I respect everyone’s right to their own opinions, but I
do hope that people will consider that there’s more than it seems on the
surface.
2   
TCO: What kind of reactions were you expecting when you
wrote this book, or were considering writing this book? And have those
reactions been what you thought or different?
SJ: I’ll admit, I was terrified by the time I sent out the
first advance copies of the book. It’s not a topic that is light and fluffy,
and it’s not one everyone can accept or enjoy reading. Luckily, not a single
person has torn me apart for how I handled either of the topics (because there
is a secondary that I think could have gone either way). I have, however, been
overwhelmed by messages from people who thought it was a beautifully painful
story.
3  
TCO:  Did you
have a goal (if so, what was it) in writing a story with such a controversial
topic?
SJ: The only “goal” I had was telling the story, and doing
it in a way that was respectful to those families who have lived through this
pain. More than once, I stopped writing because I wasn’t certain I was being
accurate in my portrayal of the situation or the process.
4  
TCO: So, what are the chances that we will see a
sequel, short story, bonus scene **bats eyes**…heck even a two sentence conversation again
between Chris and Scott?
SJ: I hate to say never, because that’s a sure way for them
to start talking to me again, but I don’t think there’s more story for Scott
and Chris. They’re happy where they are and it’s time to let them move on in
life. I will, however, say that I have a few things up my sleeve for bonus
scenes that’ll pop up from time to time!
5  
TCO: Last question…did you UGLY cry when you wrote IT?
Be honest!
SJ: Yes, yes, OMG yes!!! I had to take four smoke breaks
(yes, it’s an evil habit, I know) during the prologue because I was crying so hard
I couldn’t see the screen. And there were a few other times where tears flowed
down my cheeks, but nothing was as bad as those first few thousand words!
Thank you Sloan, so much for answering our five good
questions about Godsend!!!
Everyone, I cannot stress enough, you NEED to get this book.
What a story about love, loss, grief and recovery. (And yes, I ugly cried when
I read it…I might have called the lovely Ms. Johnson a few names via im…just
saying…)

Denise’s Review:

I was blessed to be able to read this amazing book ahead of its release, getting the chance to real soak into all the emotion that this book draws out of the reader.

I will not tell you that you won’t need tissues, you will…right from the prologue. You will likely need them later on as well. I will also not tell you that this book isn’t going to be a tough read, it is. However, what I will tell you is that you get such an in depth look into truly recovering and coming out the other side stronger from crippling grief, and finding a second chance at true love, that it makes this intense read so very worth every second.

Scott and Chris meet months after Scott’s wife Shelly died, after his father in law refuses to let him continue to wallow in his grief and makes him attend a group meeting focusing on recovering from such losses. As they begin to build a friendship, then a relationship, you can see all the real life challenges that this type of transition brings out. Guilt, remorse, backsliding into the all consuming grief cloud, all come into play here. Scott and Chris are both dealing with a loss, but Scott’s loss is compounded with the secret of how his wife died.

Scott is a stubborn man, expecting that he will never get over the loss of his wife, who he fell in love with despite always believing himself to be gay-an interesting switch up of the trope “gay for you”. He loved her as a best friend, and fell in love with her along the way. As he and Chris become closer, beginning a relationship, he finds that the guilt over finding love again that he expected isn’t there, believing that his wife Shelly would want him happy, but still struggling with the intense lows that come with dealing with such a devastating loss. Meanwhile, Chris is patient and loving, understanding how much Scott loved Shelly, always acknowledging that, and knowing that each day may bring new challenges, but they could face them together.

If you are looking for a light read, well, I’ll say you get some funny one liners in here, but you won’t find this to be a light read by any means. However, the love that slowly grows for these two men is such a beautiful winding course that it is worth all the tissues. Getting to see Shelly’s perspective is unique, and touching. And in the end, gaining some awareness of a growing issue in this country (you’ll see when you read the prologue) all combine to make this worth every minute of your time to read.

I can’t say strongly enough for you to pick this book up, settle in with a box of tissues, a cup of tea, snuggle into your reading nook, because you will be reading this from beginning to end, and loving every hard fought moment of it.

My final determination on this book is a strong five pieces of eye candy. So well done, and when you can hit my emotions as hard as this book did, you have won me over, Ms. Johnson (not that she had not already!!!).

Purchase Link for Godsend:

Amazon

Contact Sloan:

Facebook

Twitter: @authorsloanj

email: authorsloanj@gmail.com


This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.