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Holly Brandon Tells All About Her IRDA-Winning Book

Nothing’s as it Seems was the winner in the Chick-Lit category of the 2022 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Holly Brandon.

What is the name of the book and when was it published? 

Nothing’s as it Seems, 2021

What’s the book’s first line? 

Last night, I dreamt of him again.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Thirty-one-year-old Dr. Chastity (Chase) Ann Morgan’s continued search to fulfill her romantic fantasy of a perfect marriage takes her to an unexpected place when she begins to have vivid, déjà vu dreams of a mysterious, otherworldly man who calls out to her in the most alluring sing-song voice. While the recurring dreams aren’t helping one iota in her struggle with romance, a structural engineering job opportunity along with a man who may be “the one” sends her back to Europe. What unfolds is not quite what she has in mind, and her life becomes more complex than expected, especially when her quirky family’s dysfunctionalities pop up at the most inopportune times.

To top it off, a secret journal surfaces, which reveals things from the past. How it’s supposed to fit into Chase’s life only adds to her growing confusion as a cryptic past seeps into her future. Can Daphne, her ten-year-old psychic neighbor, provide direction when the little girl comes up with her convoluted myriad of clues? Only time will tell if the current events will assist or hinder Chastity’s destiny, especially when she has to decide if blind trust in love will lead to a day of reckoning.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

I am a hopeless romantic to the core. I dream of forever with a man when I can look him in the eyes and say, “I do,” again and again. Writing kept me going throughout my tedious studies. Don’t get me wrong; I love engineering. Still, I needed something to make me laugh, and I needed a way to turn the lemons into lemonade—meaning, the bad dates I was experiencing and the pain I was having because of my levator-ani-syndrome. Plus, it helped me accomplish all of my degrees. Writing is my happy place. It truly helped me heal.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

Chastity is based on my life. I learned a long time ago that it’s worth waiting and fighting for all good things. I wanted readers to see a character who has everything thrown at her—lack of success, inability to have children, loss of the things most cherished—but then decides to stick to her guns and fights. In the process, she may come out bruised, but she’s stronger, a survivor. The one lesson I hope everyone will see is that you can overcome any obstacle thrown your way if you fight hard enough. And never, ever let anyone tell you that your ideas and beliefs are crazy and ridiculous because that’s what makes us all so unique and special. Marriage is special, and waiting for the right man is worth it, even if you’re a thirty-year-old virgin.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

If you’ve ever met a man and said to yourself, he’s, “what dreams are made of,” except that he was a facade—the cover was beautiful, but the inside was a seedy, tainted nightmare. Then you’ll relate to my adventures and enjoy a very good laugh.

Is this the first you’ve written?

No. The first novel I wrote was Life in the Chastity Zone, which received many accolades; my top three awards include: IAN Book of the Year Awards, Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, and Feathered Quill Book Awards.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Ayn Rand because she’s created iconic books like The Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged.

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