Published by Self-Published on February 19th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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One man diving into the past.
One woman emerging from the depths.
At the age of seventeen, Amelia Baide won silver at the Olympic Games and was the second-fastest woman in the pool. Then one tragic night she crashed into a lake and was dragged out without a pulse. Now twenty-four, she is still haunted by it and hasn’t swum again. Until this year’s anniversary of the accident. It is a day unlike any other and a strange turn of events finds Amelia back at a swimming pool.
Harry Jamieson had eyes for one girl while women and the media had eyes for him. As a trainer of Olympic athletes, he was an in-demand man. Until one boozy morning after … But from bad luck to pure chance he runs into his old flame, Amelia, at a swimming pool no less. She doesn’t remember a thing from the night of the crash.
And Harry knows every single secret.
The pair joins forces—a comeback for Amelia and Harry’s ultimate coaching opportunity. But dodging waves is hard to do, and even the strongest swimmer may sink.
Where We Belong is a second-chance love story for young and old, for swimming enthusiasts and romantics at heart.
I have to admit that the first thing that caught my attention was the beautiful cover. It was the synopsis however that had me intrigued about this book. For me, the concept of this book was all too fascinating since we rarely come across stories that involve swimming, competitive swimming at that! And just as I expected this book was everything that I could have hoped for and so much more!
There were so many elements that I enjoyed about this story. The most important of which was the heroine – Amelia Baide. She was so close to obtaining her Olympic Gold but after a tragic accident she could barely look at a pool again. At the seventh anniversary of the incident however, it was as if fate guides her back and she finds herself where she belongs.
Everything seemed to fall right into place, providing her with another opportunity to fulfill her goals. She was out of shape and was lacking on time (not to mention the personal issues she was going through too) but even if she had all those odds stacked against her she wasn’t letting go of this dream. I could not help but be inspired by her perseverance and admire her for drive and her determination.
Guiding her along the way was her coach Harry Jamieson. From the very beginning their relationship was what I would describe as “complicated”. They always had this “thing” even way back when but never acted upon it. Now that they were older and more mature, the feelings between them evolved into so much more but there’s a catch…Amelia is already in a relationship and Harry has this secrets about her accident that he isn’t privy to share.
I would have to say that this was another reason that I was became so enraptured in this story. I was anxious to know what these life-changing secrets were and how they would affect Amelia. I was also curious how this complicated relationship between Amelia had with her coach would affect her training. She was so focused though it seemed that no matter what came her way she could take it headon without a backward glance. Again this was how great her character was.
One more reason I found compelling about this story were the details added in with regards to professional swimming. I’ve personally watched plenty competitions but never realized just how intense training was or how stressful the actual competitions could be. Some may think that these elements are tedious and boring but the author balanced those elements well into the romance making it further complimentary to the overall story.
I thought the writing was terrific. It was good enough to where I felt pulled so deep into Amelia’s world to the point where when she was in competition I could feel her restlessness and her also excitement. Having my own heart racing, it felt I was right there with her – with my fingers crossed, hoping and wishing that she out swam her personal best. This gift is something so rare in debut authors that I can not express just how excited I am to see where she goes from here.
I immensely enjoyed this inspirational story that undoubtedly would appeal to romance readers looking for a book about acceptance, forgiveness and second chances both in life and in love.
Liezel: First off, I would like to thank you for stopping by Liezel’s Book Blog for this interview.
This being your first (of hopefully many) book/s there is hardly any information that can be found about you, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Eve: You cracked me – I’m a super secret ninja. No, not really! I LOVE swimming as you might have realised from my book. I’d prefer to swim above almost anything. Except for a Ferrari. Or a muscled, dark-haired, slightly bearded, intelligent and witty man. I also go for emotional stories. I love anything that challenges my views on family, love, and the human condition.
Liezel: What inspired you to write “Where We Belong”?
Eve: A long-standing love of mine for exploring this subject in fiction, and the desire to see more stories out there about swimming and romance because hey! there aren’t enough.
Liezel: Can you tell us if you have a background in competitive swimming or any other sport? If not, can you briefly describe your process in getting the inside scoop of such an athlete?
Eve: In a previous life, approximately 874 years ago when I was a young’n I used to swim competitively. I am proud I got those years of being an athlete, as now I am a lazy lump who sits at my computer. But I purposely withheld from broadcasting my history or achievements in my biography or my website. I’d rather discuss it in personal conversations such as this lovely interview. I want this story to shine for itself. 🙂
But to be frank apart from the level of success Amelia achieved, the nature of Amelia as an athlete and Harry’s coaching was drawn from my experiences and memories. 🙂
Liezel: What was the most challenging part to write in this story?
Eve: There’s a certain scene towards the end between Amelia and her sister. The power of the climaxing emotions and the whirlwinds of feelings from sadness to anger to confusion truly knocked me off my feet. I was breathless as I tapped away at my keyboard. Their journey is important to Amelia’s character. I believe healthy and true love takes hard work. In the end her and Harry needed that moment between her and her sister in order to help their own issues. And it was because there was so much riding on that moment that I loved the struggle I had while writing. *sob*
Liezel: Is there a message in your novel that you would want your readers to grasp?
Eve: I have a dedication at the beginning of the novel that goes like this.
For everyone who hasn’t succeeded.
You just haven’t finished your journey yet.
— Daddy, you’ve taught me all I know about embracing the fighting spirit. This one’s for you.
Anyone can do anything and I believe it’s important to realise no one—not even your own demons whispering in your left ear—should dictate if you deserve to dream and do. Your heart and soul should. In a world where everything is quick and easy and fast, I realised as I worked on this story that it became so much more that a romance and a swimming dream. If you believe you can do something it’s always worth pushing yourself to get there.
Liezel: If “Where We Belong” were to become a movie, who do you see playing Amelia Baide and Harry Jamieson?
Eve: *scuffs shoes on concrete* *shuffles shyly* I already cast my characters during the writing phase. hehe!
Henry Cavill for Harry (name is totally a coincidence lol) And Emma Stone for Amelia (but she’d need contacts)
Liezel: I enjoyed your writing and I am looking forward to your next book. Can you tell me what you are working on next? And when do you expect it to be released?
Eve: hm, well I am in the stages of planning my next book and sorting through my ideas and such. I’m totally in love with it, but it’s messy and all in bits right now. It will be another adult romance/family drama genre book, though.
And I might just leave you hanging there 😛 and not because I don’t love my readers, but for the exact opposite reason.