Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Jennifer and Kellie Take Over to Talk About Treading Water

By: Jennifer Marriott and Kellie Harker

Type faster Jennifer, before Marie comes back...

Hi, we’re Jennifer and Kellie and we’ve taken over Marie’s blog. Well…..“taken over” might not be completely accurate. She did give us permission and all, but we are so excited to be here we can’t stop giggling like school girls. Marie asked us to share “our” story with you.

K - So last March, it was March right Jennifer?

J - Yep, March!

K - Ok, last March I finished Marie’s book The Fall and was left with lots of questions and emotions. I wrote a blog post about this being the first book I read that made me feel so much all at once.

J - Marie is a master at emotionally “messy” books.

K - Messy is exactly right, Jennifer! Feeling entirely too brave, I sent a link to Marie with a link to my blog,, and went back to bed. When I woke up hours later I realized Marie had posted a link to my blog on her twitter and Facebook page! Marie, HERSELF had come and commented and slowly other people started commenting as well.

J - Including me! That’s where I came in. In Kellie’s post she admitted she had read 120 books in the last year and I knew we’d be friends. I finally “met” someone who read as much as I did. We commented back and forth and got to ask Marie a lot of questions about her books and she took the time to answer each one. It was just awesome!

K - We can be honest, we were totally star struck.

J - SQUEE!!! We couldn’t believe she took the time to answer our questions. A few weeks later Kellie and I started emailing each other about this book or that book and at some point we decided to read a book together and then meet online to talk about it. We would start a book on a Monday and have an online discussion just between the two of us around Thursday. It was a virtual book club….with two very cool chicks as members.

K - Oh we should mention. We’ve never met. Jennifer lives in New Jersey and I live in Arizona. If we had met through a classified ad it would have read something like “Enjoys devouring romance novels, time alone with our Kindles and looking for someone to have long chats on the internet with about books” We both would have answered that ad..

J - So true! It was SO fun. Our friendship grew quickly from that point. We could no longer wait to finish a book before we started commenting. We were e-mailing and then soon we were texting every day. It started with texts about the characters, story lines and soon followed with our own personal lives, discussions about our children and families and all that fun stuff. Recently, we finished Treading Water and the text messages going back and forth were classic. When we finished the book we of course sent Marie our questions. Here is just sample of our texts to each other about Treading Water:

J - I’m at 57%. I swear at this point I would dump Jack.
K - What??? Dump jack? R U ill?
J - Are you reading? I don’t think I can move on.
K - Tell me when you get to the beginning of Part 3 and tell me what you’re thinking!
J - I think I’m about to cry. Poor Andi
K - My heart is absolutely broken for her. Can you imagine?

K - We tried to keep out any comments that would give the ending away for the few of you out there who may not have read it yet. Hurry though because the next book is coming out soon and you'll want to keep up. Marie didn’t pay us to say that either.

J - When Marie wrote back and graciously answered all our questions again she asked if we'd be willing to write a blog post about "Our Story" and share how we met, meet online to talk about the books and share the questions Marie gets after we finish her books.

K- I think we’re still star struck.

J – Ya think?!? Totally!!

Here are a few of the questions we posted to Marie about Treading Water. What do you think? Thanks for letting us stop in and tell a little about us. We met through Marie's books, quickly became close friends and share an absolute love for romance novels. Doesn't get much better than that! Come leave your comments and let us know what you think about the questions we were rattled with after reading Treading Water.

1. Was Andi Jack's "true love?"
2. Do you think Clare gave up on Jack too easily?
3. If Clare had not made the choice she had, what do you think would have happened between Jack and Andi?

Marie: Thanks so much to Jennifer and Kellie for sharing their totally cool story of how they met through my books. I LOVE that, of course! So, weigh in on their three questions and tomorrow I'll post my answers as well as a few other questions we talked about as we planned these blogs. On Friday, I'll give away copies of all three books in the Treading Water Trilogy, so make sure you comment today and tomorrow to be entered into the drawing. 


Mary G said...

How fun to read about you two! Thanks to the internet I've "met" lots of book lovers.
I met one of my dearest friends through an authors chat group & figured out we lived 5 minutes away from each other. Never thought my first on-line coffee date would be a woman LOL. My hubby and son don't get my book stuff (except for writing reviews) and it's a comfort to be with people that make you feel 'normal'.

I haven't finished TW yet but I know it's Marie's usual chest achy stuff.

And Jennifer & Kelly. I don't want to mess with the SQUEE factor but I met Marie in June at Lori Foster's event and she is one of the nicest, funniest, most down to earth people I've ever met.

Marie Force said...

Thanks for coming by Mary G! It was so great to finally meet you in person after years of emails!

Bex said...

Aw, it's another kind of love story -- one equally important as finding the right mate. Finding true and kindred friends can be as tough as finding that life partner, and I think it's so great that Marie's fabulousness (as a writer and a person) brought you two together! It was so fun to read your story!

bc2mc3 said...

Marie, I just finished the book yesterday and immediately had to find out when the next book comes out. Almost wrote you yesterday to ask but then saw it comes out later this month.

At first I had a hard time getting into the characters but as usual, I got sucked into the story and by the time I finished, I was wishing the next book was out. I have mixed feelings about the triangle relationships that take place in this book. Very thought provoking and wondered how I would react as both the character in Jack's place and then in Clare's place. And I really still don't know.

In any event, once again I loved the story, as it really makes you think. And BTW, last night on NBC news was a piece on Block Island. I was excited that I knew about it.

Joy said...

How delightful. I need to find a "book buddy" who shares my Kindle download obsession. I am afraid to check my account to see just how many books I've downloaded over the last year... Luckily many were freebies or else I'd be really depressed over how much cash I spent getting my fix! :)

Mommy Wis(h)dom said...

It is so fun to read everyone's comments. We're still "squeeing".

@Mary - Our husbands don't get our need to read books either. I think that helped our friendship grow faster.

@Bex, Thank you!
@Bc2mc3 - So who do you think was Jack's true love? Jennifer and I differed on this one. It was an interesting triangle and you are right, very thought provoking.

@Joy WHen I wrote that blogpost I was appalled at how many books I had downloaded. Although, like you, I felt better knowing some were free and I tried to re-read. Has to be helpful, right?

Jennifer said...

Hello Everyone!

Thanks so much for your comments!

@Mary G - SO glad you get Kellie's and my relationship. Loved your "normal" reference. That's exactly how Kellie and I felt when we "met." Lol. Oh and hopefully WE will also get to meet Marie someday.

@Bex - YES! It is a "romantic" story isnt' it? In that girl-power love kind of way. I feel the same way and even mentioned that to Kellie in one of our many discussions.

@bc2mc3 - Marie is great at putting these emotionally complicated stories together. What would WE do in those situations? I personally love the angst.

@Joy - LOL! Yes, having a Kindle "book buddy" is awesome. And dangerous...that Click to Buy button is just too easy. Kellie and I have mentioned that we think we work just to support our addiction.

Taryn said...

WOW! What a wonderful story, Jennifer and Kellie. It's so nice to have close friends that share your book obsessions, isn't it? I thought I was a nut for having such a crazy book obsession but I met friends in an author chat and quickly became very close with two of them. We text like you guys now! I'm so glad you guys can share the love of books between you both. It's a great friendship to have.

I love that you had these two woman on your blog, Marie. :)

Mary G said...

LOL on the normal. This is before I got the kindle app on my iPhone. A few years ago, I went to a book bloggers meet and the first question one if them had: "who here buys a purse according to whether it not there's a spot for a book." We all put up our hands lol. We all started laughing & it really broke the ice.

Alison said...

Good Morning!

What a great story! I picked up reading again a couple years ago and as my addiction has grown I've started "meeting" some of the best people! It's so great to have people to talk books with, especially since my hubby cannot fathom how or why I spend hours reading!

mertime said...

Jennifer and Kellie how great for you two to find one another through Marie and her books! I think anyone that reads just a portion of one of her books is hooked for life! I am re reading some of her books as I wait for the end of the month for her next one to come out. I can't seem to get away from her books as no one matches up to her!
I was hooked on Treading Water from the second she posted the first chapter online. I think what Jack and Andy had was for sure true love. I don't think after happened to Clare anyone expected him to find love again, but then there she was and they were perfect together! I am glad Clare saw that and stepped aside to let them lead their new life.
Marie how wonderful for you to have these wonderful ladies on your blog! The bring out and say what so many of us feel about you! Love how you interact with all of us and leave us feeling star struck!

Ronlyn said...

I'm only half way through your post, but you two are cracking me up. It's it fun to meet fellow readers online like that??
*okay, off to finish*

Ronlyn said...

and..oh guys want ME to answer those questions??
I need permission before I do so because...well, I have some pretty strong feelings about this book. "Strong" might be too mild of a word for it, do you think Marie? *blinking innocently*
I need explicit permission to comment so I don't cause a riot. ;-)

Hope said...

I love this book, and was so happy when I heard it was going to be published for the world to read. I have some strong feeling about this book cause it was such an epic love story.

I do think that Jack and Andi were "in love" but true love I am not sure. Jack very much loved his wife and was 100% devoted to her until she started withdrawing after the rape. I am not a huge believer in soul mates, but I do believe that they are life mates.

I think that Clare knew that Jack wasn't completely committed to only her any longer and to make sure they both weren't miserable she did the honorable thing, because they still did love each other, but the marriage love was lost.

I think, eventually Clare and Jack would have split sooner or later anyway. There was a lot of time that was missing, and their lives had changed. I don't think that Clare would have been able to be "second" choice and would have made the choice anyway. I think after being with the girls and learning of the love they too had for Andi and that Andi was good for her family, she would have eventually let go.

Jennifer said...

You have Kellie's and my permission to comment away!!

Mommy Wis(h)dom said...

Kellie here again. Sorry to comment so randomnly, apparently work isn't real crazy about blog commenting all day. Pfft! Anyway...

@Mary G - An app for the Kindle on the Iphone? I am introuble!! Oh my!

@ Alison - Jennifer is always saying that Marie's books are always a sure thing.

@Mertime - I loved when Clare told Jack he couldn't stay because she'd always wonder if he stayed because he had to or wanted too. Favorite scene!!

@Ronlyn - Comment away! We are dying to know what you think. Jennifer and I had some strong opinions about this book. We love to hear yours as well.

@Hope - I agree with you, I wasn't sold on the "love of life" idea between Jack and Andi. Jennifer differed, she can explain her side as well. I think Jack and Clare were great together in the beginning but things changed and their time was over. Andi and Jack's time came and they took it. But if I had to choose one true love for Jack I'd be hardpressed. Did that make sense? I agree with you though. Jennifer, what do you think?

Ronlyn said...

Okay girls, here goes. Just remember you gave me permission. ;-)

1. Was Andi Jack's "true love?"
I counter this with the question: Do you believe someone can only have one "true love" in their lifetime?
Andi & Jack formed a relationship that was filled with hurdles and countless unimaginable issues. It's a relationship that Jack had to work hard to maintain, and in my opinion he hadn't had to work all that hard in his marriage. So, I believe both Andi & Clare were Jack's "true loves" at very different times in his life.

2. Do you think Clare gave up on Jack too easily?
No. The courage that Clare showed in taking a look at this completely new world that developed while she was absent and selflessly doing what she thought/felt was best for the people that meant the world to her had to be the hardest thing a person could do. There's nothing easy about giving up your dreams and your own personal sense of reality.

3. If Clare had not made the choice she had, what do you think would have happened between Jack and Andi?

Well, here's my kicker. If *I* were Andi, I'd have dumped Jack on his very fine ass long before Clare woke up. I was talking to Marie about this once and told her that if Jack were my friend I'd have advised him to divorce Clare when he decided he seriously wanted to pursue a relationship with Andi, or at the time he asked her to move in. I think Andi was in a terribly unfair by stepping into Clare's life, in Clare's house with Clare's kids and no one was willing to make a place for her as herself. Eventually that would have worn thin and Jack would have had to make a move to prove that he wasn't simply trying to replace Clare with Andi.

Are you sorry you gave me permission now? LOL

2. Do you think Clare gave up on Jack too easily? 3. If Clare had not made the choice she had, what do you think would have happened between Jack and Andi?

Marie Force said...

I've been really enjoying all the comments today! I'm glad you guys have liked hearing how Jennifer and Kellie met. What a kick!

bc2mc3, I saw the piece on Block Island! I was flipping out! The man in the wheelchair at the end is someone I knew as a kid. In all the years I've visited Block Island, I've never heard of Mary D's charity. Of course it's now going to find it's way in the McCarthy series! :-)

Mertime, I love your thoughts on Treading Water. I know there are some controversial issues in this book, and was prepared for some backlash. Luckily, it hasn't been too bad. I like to think that none of us knows what we'd do in any given situation until we are IN it, and that theme was really fun to explore in Treading Water. Thanks for chiming in!

Hope, I agree with you that they would've split eventually because Jack's heart was divided and Clare wasn't interested in sharing him with anyone. In so many ways she is the ultimate hero of this book because she was wise enough to make the difficult decision BEFORE things between her and Jack completely disintegrated. She was able to save her parental relationship with him, which comes into play BIG TIME in Marking Time. I admire her (yes, my fictional character) tremendously.

Kellie, you make a good point about there being a time for everything. Jack and Clare had their time and she was wise enough to know when it was over. Really, Jack had no choice but to take his cues from her. I've had readers who've said he should've fought more for the marriage after she decides to end it. I didn't see any point to that since his efforts would've been disingenuous at that point.

Ahhh, Ronlyn, we've had so many talks about this, haven't we? When writing the book, I felt very strongly that Jack COULD NOT divorce Clare and still come off heroically (as he needed to since, at the end of the day, this is a romance). I thought readers would vilify him for that move, and I continue to feel comfortable with the decision I made to keep them married. Also, you have to consider that from a strictly storytelling point of view, the stakes would've been much lower when Clare recovers if they were already divorced. What decision would have been left to make? I can definitely see what you mean about Andi sort of losing herself in the relationship, but in her (and my) defense on that one, she went into the relationship and Clare's house, with her eyes wide open. She knew what she was getting--and what she wasn't. While there may be some debate about who was Jack's true love, I can't see any debate as to who Andi's true love is.

What do you all say?

Ronlyn said...

oh, without a doubt Jack was Andi's true love. I mean, who would put up with all that baggage if they weren't head over heels in crazy love with the fool?

Yeah yeah yeah, he couldn't divorce Clare while she was sleeping...pppppppfffffffttttttt. (I say that in as joking and respectful manner possible! And for Marie I'll add a couple more exclamation points!!)

Taryn said...

I really need to stop reading these comments seeing as I haven't read the book yet and now I'm ruing it for myself!

Marie Force said...

LOL Ronlyn and your damned !!!! marks! You guys are getting to see some of my behind-the-scenes thinking today. When I was writing TW and I reached the point where Clare recovers, I remember thinking, well, this is a fine mess. How will you get him out of this cleanly? Keep in mind--he HAD to end up with Andi after all the time I'd invested in their relationship, and the only clean way out of the marriage for him was if Clare ended it. So as the writer/storyteller, you have to balance what the readers expect to have happen (in this case an HEA for Jack and Andi) with the realities of the situation. It was definitely an interesting dilemma for me, too. I vividly remember the moment I realized there was really only one way out of this for him, and that was if Clare pulled the plug on the marriage. It was fun to explore, in the opening chapters of Marking Time, the reality of Clare's "selfless" act. The reality sets in that he's really gone--forever--and it's kind of ugly for her. I love that part of MT, and I hope you guys will too!

Taryn, quit reading! LOL! We're ruining the book for you!

Taryn said...

LOL I'm trying not to but it sounds so good!

Ronlyn said...

Having Clare make that decision and then to move on with her own life in a pseudo parallel line to that of Jack and Andi, continue to co-parent and all of that adds a wonderful dimension in the end of TW as well as in MT.
*focusing on TW here....Taryn go away*
The journey for Jack to discover himself and become a better "him" in TW is what kept me from drowning him in his sleep. In my imagination of course. Despite my vicious ranting to Marie that Jack was a world class ass, I always felt for him and the situation he found himself in. I rarely agreed with the decisions he was making, but I felt for the guy.

Mary G said...

Oh my Kellie re the iPhone app. I had downloaded a bunch of ebooks on the kindle app on my PC waiting for the day that I would get an ereader. I downloaded the app on my iPhone & was just about to yell for my son's help to download and the books started synching & literally sinking into my iPhone. I love lying in bed, finishing a book and just buying another one while hubby sleeps peacefully beside me lol. One click shopping is my new addiction.

mertime said...

Marie Force: Wow I really should have proof read my comment before posting it, lol.
I am re-reading some of your books while waiting for the end of the month! I am reading Love at First Flight AGAIN right now and still on the second time around can't seem to put it down, lol.
I think everybook may have controversial issues but because everyone loves your books and loves you I don't think there are any problems. And you are right, no one knows what they would do in any given circumstance until they are actually in it. Treading Water was one of my favorites by you and I can't wait to read on in a few days with the new book! I still say release it now though instead of making us all wait.

Jennifer said...

Back Again!

Isn't this fun, Ladies?!?! : ) goes:

@Taryn - I'm starting to think that Marie is somewhat of a match-maker. If you read the other comments, a few have mentioned meeting friends through her books too.

@Mary G - LMAO on the purse! Frankly, I was so glad when the Kindle was invented so I can read publicly without people giving me the eyeroll when they saw the steamy book covers.

@Alison - If you read my comment to @Mary G - one of those people giving me that eyeroll was my hubby. LOL.

@mertime - Yep! I'm with you on the opinion that Andi was Jack's true love. I will elaborate on that when I respond to @Ronlyn and @Hope.

@Hope - I definitely appreciate your point of view. Soulmates vs Life Mates. Interesting... *I* personally do believe in soulmates. One question Kellie and I didn't include in the post is what do we think would have happened had Jack met Andi while married to Clare (no coma - no rape). My opinion is that it would've really rattled Jack but he would've remained faithful to Clare as long as he could but in the end would have asked for a divorce from Clare to be with Andi because although he was happy with Clare he wasn't fulfilled like he was with Andi.

@Ronlyn - You and Kellie share the same opinion - that Jack basically had 2 true loves.
Reagrding Clare letting go of Jack too soon: I felt Clare should have made her decision AFTER living with Jack and the girls again. At that point, she and Jack would have really been able to see how they were together post coma. For me, if I was Andi, I would have been more secure in Jack's return knowing there really were NO romantic feelings between himself and Clare any longer. Full closure with no doubts.
On the other hand, I turned into a big Clare fan by the end of the book. I thought what she did was the "right" thing to do although I don't know if I could have made that decision myself.

Oh and THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for mentioning what an ass Jack was being. Kellie and I totally agree on this point. Totally insensitive of Jack asking Andi to move-in to Clare's house and life. Bad on Andi though for not asking for more out of him. *I* personally would never have moved into that house. NO WAY! And one thing to also mention, I thought it was funny that it was so important to Jack to marry Andi before the twins were born but had NO problems sleeping and carrying on a whole affair with Andi while married to another woman. LOL!!

P.S. NO, we don't regret giving you permission, @Ronlyn.

Julia P said...

I love reading these blogs! Ok, I don't think Andi was Jack's true love because that belittles the relationship he had with Clare. I agree that they we each his true loves at the time. I am a happily married mom and I had a hard time coming to terms with that. I hope I am my husband's true love. I think Jamie summed it up perfect by telling Jack if Clare was never injured he wouldn't have taken the feeling he had for Andi any further then a friendly working relationship. Because he was in a committed relationship. I think Clare rocks for doing what she did and seeing that he wasn't 100% hers anymore. I think Jack and Andi would have always wondered what if... If Clare didn't make the decision for him. Sharing kids would have kept them in each others lives and Andi would have suffered through that the most. Can't wait for Clare's story!!!!

Jennifer said...

@mertime - Love at First Flight was the VERY first Marie Force book that I read and is still my all-time favorite of all her books. There's just something special about that first one. sigh....

Ronlyn said...

@Jennifer-I'm spinning off your thought that Jack & Clare should have stayed together for awhile after she woke up: If you were Clare and woke to find your husband had twins on the way with another woman while you'd been in a coma, would you let him back in your house/bed? I really don't think I would.
Sure that would have shown his commitment to Andi, but IMO he never did/had to show that commitment until Clare forced his hand. And, yeah, without a doubt I think Andi should have demanded more from him than what he was accepting. But, that pesky Author-Lady has things like "reasons" and "story arcs" and "plot points" for writing it the way she did. *sticking my tongue out at Marie*
IMO, it would be hard enough (putting my Andi hat on for a moment) to uproot my life and my son's life and then try to be a step-mom-but-not to Jack's daughters and seamlessly stand by, doing it without that commitment from Jack would have sent me running. Reminds me a bit of those political wives who stand by their husbands as they admit to having affairs at a press conference.

Ronlyn said...

I went off on a tangent and didn't answer the question about what I think would happen if Jack had met Andi prior to Clare's withdrawl.

IMO, nothing. He would have been attracted to her, but he'd have maintained his professional relationship as appropriate. Despite him engaging in this relationship with Andi while still being married to Clare, I don't believe Jack was an adulterer.
He was happy with the status quo with Clare. He was happy being "that guy" and having it all and not having any waves, etc. I believe that he would have stood by Clare until he was 110.

Marie Force said...

mertime, so glad you're loving Love at First Flight the second time around! That's nice to hear!

Jennifer said: One question Kellie and I didn't include in the post is what do we think would have happened had Jack met Andi while married to Clare (no coma - no rape). My opinion is that it would've really rattled Jack but he would've remained faithful to Clare as long as he could but in the end would have asked for a divorce from Clare to be with Andi because although he was happy with Clare he wasn't fulfilled like he was with Andi.

I disagree with this (and you will see that in what I post tomorrow). As Jamie so wisely pointed out, if all things were normal with Clare (no rape, no coma) Jack never would've acted on his attraction to Andi. He might've looked, he might've wondered, but he would not have acted. He would not have divorced his wife and risked his family, his relationship with his daughters. That's just not who he was. And while I know some of you had issues with him moving Andi into the house he shared with Clare, they did that to spare the girls having to give up their home when they'd already lost so much. I think he says that at one point. And Andi understood the importance of keeping things as normal as possible for the girls in this extraordinary situation. She loved him so she did what she could to accommodate him and his kids.

Yes, it was important to him to be married to Andi when the twins were born, but I can't see how he had "no problem" carrying on an affair when he was still married. I think he had a lot of angst and guilt over that and struggled with it greatly. It certainly wasn't like he saw Andi and said, hey baby, let's get it on. LOL! It took a lot of encouragement from Frannie and his mother and Jamie for him to be able to take the first step with Andi because he was still true to Clare.

Ronlyn has heard me say this a lot: people like to look at issues like these as black and white. I happen to believe that most of life takes place in the murky gray area between black and white where not everything is clear cut and obviously right or wrong.

Ronlyn said...

Marie says "Ronlyn has heard me say this a lot: people like to look at issues like these as black and white."
What she means is, "Ronlyn and I have argued bitterly over this point and she's finally conceded that I may have a point."

Marie Force said...

Just got this comment from someone on Facebook:

Amanda Gehman
I think we should have something here on your page similar to Jennifer and Kellie and be able to have a "book club" of your books and everyone can chat about them while they are reading them. Doesn't have to be the most reacent as there are new followers daily and we read the books more than once, but I thought it would be cool.

I told her I would look into how we could set that up under the forums on FB.

Ronlyn, thanks for your thoughts about what Jack would've done if all things were normal. I totally agree with your assessment. Yes, they'd been through a bit of a rough patch before the book opened, but that was because of the rape. If that hadn't happened, there's no rough patch and thus no discontent.

Marie Force said...

I don't recall conceding anything, Howe. I seem to recall helping you to see the light in the gray area. HAHAHAHA!

Jennifer said...

@Marie Force - OMG! Kellie and I would totally be into that type of book club chat. We were just talking about this about 1 hour ago actually. YEY!!

Marie Force said...

I'm totally up for it! We may have to use a Yahoo group though. I am not seeing any options for a chat forum on Facebook. Does anyone else have ideas about how we could set that up?

Marie Force said...

Ohhh, wait, maybe a private group on FB?

Julia P said...

I agree with Ronlyn about Jack never straying. I also think he and Clare would have lived a very happily life. He would never have cheated.

Ronlyn said...

Marie, your changing pictures are throwing me off. Pic a photo and stick with it woman!

I forgot what I was going to say. Damn it. I hate when that happens.

Marie Force said...

I'm feeling slightly book schitzo today, Ronlyn. What can I say?

Ronlyn said...

I remember now...and I'm desperately trying not to mention Marie being schtizo head may explode from the effort.

The fact that there are no right or wrong answers to the situations in this book (this entire trilogy actually) is what makes it so intriguing. Plus, being able to talk to Marie and other readers and "debate" the rights or wrongs of it make reading the books even more fun.
I'd love to hear people's thoughts on the girls. Marie and I have disagreed on this (shocker, I know) many times, but do you think staying married "for the girls" and having the girls have that expectation for years on end was fair?

Marie Force said...

Okay ladies, I set up Marie Force Book Talk on Facebook under my profile. I added Ronlyn, Amanda (mertalk), Jennifer and Kellie to the group. If you'd like to join, let me know!

Julia P said...

I would like to join the Facebook page.
About the question on the girls, I think after the accident it was important to stay married for the girls was important. I think when Andi moved in and then got pregnant it should have been time to talk to the girls and get their opinions on this matter. They are older girls and had a relationship with Andi. These girls wouldn't let their mom get a bad impression of Andi and they showed me a lot in that.

Marie Force said...

Julia, what's your name on Facebook so I can add you?

Joy said...

Add me too, please, Marie! I'm on both your pages... you should be able to find me.

Stephanie O. said...

I've never been part of a blog, and I'm finding it very fascinating. I'm happy to know that I'm not the only one that has these kinds of question when reading a Marie Force book. I would so join an online book club. I love to get lost in her books, and i would love to have other people to talk about them.

Julia P said...

Julia Morrall Page. Thanks!

Kara C said...

Late to the party, as usual, and not even at my best. For example, when reading the post: " I’m at 57%. I swear at this point I would dump Jack."??
I totally read that as "I swear at this point I would jump Jack." While I like Jack fine, I'm fairly sure my thoughts halfway through TW were not, boy I'd like to jump that man. ;-)
That being said, I love this book and the fact that, like any of Marie's books, it gives me every single thing I look for in a romance without following a formula.

Marie, you rock. {{{said in a very subdued, end-it-with-a-period way}}}

Mommy Wis(h)dom said...

Wow Ladies! This was so fun. I had no idea so many other people were sitting around wondering the same things Jennifer and I were talking about.

@Ronlyn - One of the texts messages we didn't include so we wouldn't give things away (although these comments certaintly did) was "He should have pulled that plug!" LOl Admittedly that sounds harsh, but I was a Team Andi from the beginning and I didn't want "That Clare" ruining it. lol! Back to the point though - I thought staying married was a bit much. So he was supposed to spend the rest of his life married to a woman in acoma?!! I think an appropriate amount of time should pass before he slipped the divorce decree by her bedside. Please know Im laughing as I type this.

Im looking forward to talking with everyone again on Facebook about the next book!! Its been so fun reading everyones point of views.

bookaddict said...

Hi Jennifer ,kellie and Marie

I have had such enjoyment reading all the comments on TW on your blog . It sounds like you have such fun in your reading and that's how it should be .
I have not read the book yet but I have read all the reviews and the discussion on the Amazon site and truly don't think my heart can take all the angst . It sounds so heartbreaking and sad .

Its sounds like a no win situation for all concerned but my heart I feel angry/resentful at Jack and see his relationship with AndY as a betrayal ...yes, yes I get it ...Clare was in a coma and he grieved and everyone had given up hope and his family wanted him to move on but still.. I can't help it ..I feel let down by him .
I think of people that have been in coma for years and their spouse have lovingly and unstintingly cared for them and fought for them and willed them to come back every minute of every day .They have kept the hope alive and never given up .THAT is what I would have wanted from the hero of a romance .Someone who thinks that as long as there is hope anything is possible and would never give up on you until the bitter end .

20 years of history ,of loving,and living and raising a family shouldn't be overshadowed by a two year old relationship . In my mind that is the tragedy of it all .

Yes ,Claire was the one who gave him his marching orders but in truth he had already deserted her when he got another woman pregnant.She will have woke up and seen how her family have gone on without her and felt so abandoned.My heart literally aches for her .Instead of finding a family behind her a hundred percent she will have seen that they have moved on and replaced her and would have recognized Jacks divided loyalties . Who wants to be second best ?
I don't think she so much as gave him up as saw he had already abandoned her emotionally and was forced to give him up .
He should have been helping her through extensive rehab and recovery ,making good on his vows to be by her side through sickness instead she is having to face his relationship with Andi. He accepts the divorce and hightails to his lover ...Yeh what a man !!!!!!
I feel horrid for saying all this and yes for feeling like this ,especially as everyone has said there are no baddies in TW .
I am not really upset about Andy leaving .She knew the score and so once Clare woke up it was only right that she moved out . She had a relationship and got pregnant to a married man and once the wife woke up she was the OW .

Sorry if my reaction is OTT (its embarrassing how much TW has taken a hold of my mind ) .I'm going to lay the blame for my obsessing exactly where it belongs .With Marie for writing such a compelling and heart wrenching plot,lol .

Ronlyn said...

I'm LOL at the text to pull the plug. I think Marie was the recipient of several of my reactions, but I was on the other side of the fence: firmly Team Clare.

There are so many opinions about TW because it is a really gut wrenching situation. There are no wrong opinions. that being said, the nuances of the story lines as well as the subplots that haven't even been mentioned...all of those details are what create the story. Not just the relationship triagle of Andi, Jack & Clare.

oklanannie said...

What a great blog today. So many feelings flying around and some new concepts now whirling around in my mind to consider as if I didn't have enough already. (Note to Marie, I really needed to add at least three and maybe four exclamation marks already but I held myself back.)

TREADING WATER was an amazing book and I fell for Jack hook, line and sinker. I do know that I fall into the category of believing in a very gray and murky area and that there are no perfect answers. I also don't believe that there is anyway for a person who has never personally faced a situation like this to state an exact action or reaction they would take. We can all sit back and say, "oh I would do this or I would do that" but really, we don't know what we would do beyond a doubt until it hits us in the face.

I'm not even going to touch on the part I think Clare played in ending the marriage. My thoughts weren't even mentioned so I'm going to take the chicken's way out and keep it to myself. In many ways I admire Clare and in other ways, I had many questions regarding the actions she took.

I think any person who is open to love can have more than one true love. Whether or not one true love lasts a lifetime is in the luck of the draw. There are too many things that may come to pass that prevent any of us from having only one love for a lifetime.

"Treading Water" is so much more than a romance novel. It makes you think, it makes you feel, it makes you question, and it opens up a great arena for debate.

Marie, please add me to the new Facebook blog. I'm looking forward to the upcoming discussions.

Jennifer and Kellie, your story of friendship is wonderful. Nothing better than a new friend to share the love of books and characters with for years to come. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I'm now looking forward to sharing books with you both as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you ladies, I've read over 100 books since my husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas last year. And I'm happy to say I discovered Marie when I snagged "Love at First Flight" as a freebie. I now have a collection on my Kindle that is called "Marie Force"!

I also wondered, when reading "Treading Water", if anything would have happened between Jack and Andi had Clare's accident not occurred. There was an instaneous attraction, wasn't there? I can't imagine Jack stepping over that line, though.

Do I think Clare gave up too easily? I think maybe she understood that he had already mourned their love and moved on, so it would have done her no good to try to cling to him. He was already gone. And most definitely, she would have spent her life wondering if he was going to return to her every time he walked out the door. Purgatory, right? I think she made the only decision she could, although my heart still breaks for all of them.

Mary G said...

Anne - so eloquent as always.

Obviously I haven't read as far as most of you. I guess my question is minor compared to the angst I'll be reading about later. I just wonder how many people could actually afford to put their comatose spouse in a separate home. Would you do that if you could afford to. I understood why Jack did that, don't get me wrong.

Marie Force said...

Please post your full name so I can add you to the book club group. Same for anyone else who wants to be added, I need your full Facebook name. Thanks!

Mary G said...

Do you need mine. I posted my request somewhere.

Mommy Wis(h)dom said...

@Anonymous - Well said. I agree with you. It was the only decision that could be made.

@Bookdaddict - I had a moment in the beginning (Pre Andi) where I was upset that Jack could turn his back on Clare. I kept coming back to "what does he do now?" His wife is in acoma but it wasn't as if he went looking for Andi. As love often does it falls in your lap when you are least expecting it. When it's least convenient! So in that that I couldn't blame Jack. I'd be interested in hearing what you think after you've read the book and see if your opinions change. It's so easy to fall in love with these characters and support the decisions they make when you know why they are doing what they do. Come back and share your thoughts once you've finished.

Wow - Ladies I am overwhelmed and so excited by todays blogpost. Thank you all so much for reading our blog and bringing the comments. I know Jennifer feels the same. She'd be here to comment as well, but she either has her nose to her Kindle or is already in bed. East Coasters!!!

Come back tomorrow ladies and I can't wait to read the next book together and hear everyone's thoughts.

Marie Force said...

You guys were busy while I was out at family night at the movies. We saw Tower Heist. We all loved it.

Julia, I never thought Jack stayed with Clare for the girls. I thought he did it because it was the right thing to do. Of course the girls figured into it, and it was important to him that he be someone they could still look up to and admire, but he didn't stay with Clare because of them. At least not in my mind. LOL

Kara, thanks for your restraint because if you jumped Jack, I'd have to hurt you. He's mine. And if it wasn't for Andi, he'd be living here with me in all his fabulousness. :-) I have big love for him. He proved to me that I COULD write a book. Did I mention this was my first one? :-)

Anne, thank you--as always--for your eloquent (stealing that from Mary) comment. Now of course I want your full opinion on what Clare did. LOL!

Anon, I agree that Clare would've been in purgatory if she'd been left to deal with Jack, Andi and their three sons. Very good word for it!

Ronlyn said...

Mary, yes, I would do that if I could afford to. That was part of my arguments with Marie: that Jack could still care for Clare financially (as well as emotionally) and still move on with Andi. That pesky Author insisting on keeping everything as she originally wrote it. ;-)

Marie Force said...

Ah yes, I knew there was something I forgot to address... Jack moved her into the condo because he could afford to and because given the choice, he'd rather have her there than in an institution type of place. What can I say? The guy had money, and he used it to care for Clare. :-)

formerteach said...

Sorry to join in so late, but I've been working today. No one listed one of my concerns - Jack must have the very best insurance possible to have all that 24/7 care for Claire. I know he has money, but health care what it is today. . . lol

Wish I could have joined in earlier - I'll try harder tomorrow.

formerteach said...

great minds think alike - especially at night!

Stephanie O said...

Stephanie Oliva. Thanks

Mary G said...

Gotcha Ronlyn & Marie
Paying for home care is better than having her institutionalized. I somehow missed that. I just felt it bothered him to have her there. He could have paid for home care in his own home right?
I missed something there.

Marie Force said...

He moved her out of the house when Frannie pointed out that the girls never brought their friends home anymore because there house was like a hospital. That's when he decided to move her out, even though he really didn't want to. In the end it was better for all of them to remove the reminder of all they had lost from their everyday life.

Mary G said...

That's right I remember that now. I have to get back to
this book. Thanks Marie. How lucky we are to get to know the author's mindset. This would have made book reports fun in school. LOL.

Amy said...

"Treading Water", like "The Fall" and "The Wreck", is emotionally messy. You're absolutely right with the comment that Marie is the master of the messy, Kellie and Jennifer.

I think the question about Clare "giving up to easily" on Jack is an interesting one. There is a fundamental reason why Clare didn't disclose the reason she was pulling away from Jack and I don't think it's fear (entirely). She was a sassy, well-connected, wealthy woman. Most folk like that are not easily victimized or intimidated. My point is her lack of canodr reveals a lack of intimacy that may have been felt prior to the car accident. Just sayin'.

That being said, I've been married for almost 14 years. My husband travels a lot and is my best bud and confidante. However, when my friends joke or comment that he's never home and "what if he found someone else", my response is always, "if he thinks he can find someone better than me, he's welcome to her." I wonder if this is the attitude with which Clare approached her break up with Jack. There was underlying weakness, Jack found a better deal with someone else, so she loved him enough to let him go. Let's not forget that it's not love if you have to clutch people with both hands to get them to stay with us.

Jennifer said...

Sorry for the abscence. Children can do that to you. Grrr....

THANK YOU to EVERYONE who has responded to this posting. This is just SO FUN!!!

@Amy - MY husband travels extensively as well and I get the same comments from people. How do you do it? Are you ever afraid he's going to cheat? I always tell them the same thing. I do it because I just do. If someone wants to cheat, they don't have to travel 3000 miles to do it. They can do it right in their own home town.

@oklanannie - I'm impressed! You didn't read the book and yet you really knew all the nuances of it and character details. Wow! Look, bottom line as Marie said in an earlier response and repeated by many, we do not know what we would do unless WE were in that situation, with the same exact people, circumstances, etc. I believe Jack did the BEST he could. To the very end, he stayed true to being a GOOD man. And a GREAT woman let him go because she lost a big part of him in the time they lost.

Marie Force said...

Jennifer, quick note--Oklannie did read the book. In fact, she read an advance copy. :-)

Marie Force said...

I love this:
That being said, I've been married for almost 14 years. My husband travels a lot and is my best bud and confidante. However, when my friends joke or comment that he's never home and "what if he found someone else", my response is always, "if he thinks he can find someone better than me, he's welcome to her."

I totally agree! And I think Clare would have agreed too before everything that happened to change her life.

Just a reminder that my answers to Jennifer and Kellie's questions are posted today on the blog! Let's continue the conversation!

Jennifer said...

@oklanannie - SORRY!!! My bad!

bookaddict said...

@Mommy Wis(h)dom
I have avoided reading TW so far because I need a solid HEA in my romance and I didn't think TW would give me this .
I'm firmly team Clare and as there isn't a HEA for Clare in TW I know that has colored my feelings towards Jack and Andi.
However ,after reading everyones comments here ,I really feel I need to pluck up some courage and give Jack a chance . At the moment I feel they got their happiness at Clare's expense and that leaves a really bad feeling in my heart .

The subject matter itself is so emotive that it make you think 'what if '. I suppose in my 'what if ' I'd like to think that my hubby would wait longer than a couple of years before moving on from me . Is that selfish or what ? lol !!

I will read it and let you know how how I feel after .

Ronlyn said...

Clare does get a traditional HEA, in MARKING TIME. And I would argue a very non-traditional-working-on-it HEA in TW.

Jennifer said...

@bookaddict - Clare's story wasn't finished when TW ended. Like Ronlyn said, she gets her own story in Marking Time. Also, without having read TW I can see how you would feel that Jack didn't wait for Clare but you have to understand that he was told by the doctors that Clare had a less than 1% chance of waking up. He actually did not even have to keep her "living" at that point but he did and he cared for her the way we would want any of our husbands to care for us in that same situation. : )

bookaddict said...

Thanks Ronlyn and Jennifer for the assurances . I do feel slightly more optimistic about starting TW.

I know I come across as unfair to Jack but In my defence i don't begrudge him having a lover while Clare was in a coma . Its how things develop after Clare wakes up that makes my heart ache .

I keep thinking that throwing all this s#it at someone just out of a prolonged coma can't be right in any shape or form.

Yes ,he gave her all the care money could buy when in a coma but what about the prolonged after care and emotional support she needs now she is awake. She needs her family the most now . They all need time to slowly restablish and rebuild broken and shattered bonds and relationships .
I feel they didn't get enough time to work on their marriage /familial relationships before Clare set Jack free .
Maybe Clare didn't mean it ( we women are contrary creatures lol..! ) and wanted Jack to fight for their marriage instead of being a martyr to it . I don't know.. ..just putting my thoughts out there :).

I'm going to make sure I have both books (TW and MT )to hand before I start reading TW so I can read them back to back