AUTHOR INTERVIEW & REVIEW: Back To Life by Danielle Allen

Back To Life Blog Tour Banner

Book Description:

download2Sahara Lee has spent the last ten years living with the guilt of a tragic accident and its aftermath. That night irrevocably changed the outgoing, fun-loving college freshman into an introverted, workaholic with no social life. Sahara isolates herself from everyone and everything that reminds her of home in an effort to forget what happened. Using art as a substitute for love, Sahara throws herself into music and art as a way to feel something other than the guilt that haunts her. She accepts her lonely existence as penance for the role she played in the accident. That is, until she meets Tyree Barker, the good looking entrepreneur with baggage of his own.

Blindsided by a legal loophole, Sahara is suddenly forced to confront the past she’s been running from. Juggling the guilty feelings of her past and the unexpected feelings of her present, Sahara’s future becomes complicated as she heads down a path of forgiveness, love, and heartbreak…and not in that particular order.

Back to Life reminds you that living and existing are two completely different ways to go through life. Grief will break you but guilt, guilt will destroy you. And once that happens, what can bring you back to life?

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How long have you been writing, what inspired you to start?

I’ve always been a storyteller. (Ask my family!) But it wasn’t until I added writing a novel to my 30 by 30 list that I was motivated enough to actually take the time to write it. So I sat down one Saturday and said “let’s do this!”

5 best things about being a writer?

Top 5 Best Things About Being A Writer:

#1 Being able to express myself creatively. Whatever I’m feeling, I can write. I love that type of freedom because I have an overactive imagination!

#2 Using words to transport a reader into the fictional lives of fictional characters birthed from my imagination is awesome. I love it!

#3 Losing myself in a character and writing from that individual’s perspective is cool because I’m able to live vicariously through the character. I mentally put myself in their shoes and try to conjure up how this fictional character would react in this real life situation.

#4 Having people read (and like!) what I’ve written makes me happy.

#5 Being able to invoke some sort of emotion from a reader. It can be happiness, sadness, heartbreak, humor, etc. Being able to touch someone with my words is an awesome feeling!

What are three things about you that might surprise your readers?

#1 The smell of fresh cut grass makes me frown. Seriously…it grosses me out.

#2 I love karaoke. But I can’t sing. At all.

#3 I wrote Back to Life in 7 weeks…with a full time job and an active social life.

Top 5 favorite scenes from Back to Life

My top favorite scenes without giving anything away:

#5 The accident— Getting a glimpse into the night that changed Sahara’s life

#4 The first night at Ty’s loft—the striptease and everything that happened afterwards

#3 Sahara’s birthday—Ty’s final gift

#2 The first kiss—in Thomasville

#1 The ending!

What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?

The ending was a lot of fun to write because it truly made me feel a whole lot of different things over the course of a few paragraphs. As I wrote it, I listened to the songs that were involved and I felt everything I wanted the reader to feel. And now, listening to those songs takes me back to the hallway.

Please tell us about your characters.

Sahara Michelle Lee is an art obsessed, music junkie with an incredible job, fabulous wardrobe, dispensable income, upscale loft, and a guilty conscience. Sahara is bogged down with so much sadness and guilt, she forgot how to live.

Tyree Barker is a good looking entrepreneur who has spent his entire adult life following in his grandfather’s footsteps. His first priority has always been success…until his world is rocked by Sahara Lee. And he brings her back to life.

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2013?

I am currently working on the sequel to Back to Life. When I first started writing Back to Life, I intended for it to be a stand-alone novel. But the story started writing itself and a second book was necessary. The expected release date is December 2013/January 2014. So the wait won’t be long!



As he pulled off his tie, he licked his lips seductively. Putting on ‘Whenever Wherever Whatever,’ he quickly undressed, uncrossed my legs, and crawled between them. His naked body felt so hot against mine. He kissed me before he moaned against my mouth, “I was trying to wait for your birthday baby girl. You made it so hard for me. All of those nights with you lying next to me braless, wearing those short shorts.” His eyes dropped to my lips and then my breasts and then back to my eyes. He kissed me again, sliding his hand down the side of my body.

Ty sat back on his knees and pulled my wet panties down my legs. He tossed them off the side of the bed before he leaned up and removed my bra, tossing that as well. He ran his hands down my belly, resting them on my hips. Taking my right leg, he put it on his shoulder and kissed my ankle. I shut my eyes and felt the sensation of him kissing down my leg, past my knee, and up my thighs. He moved to the left leg and kissed his way up. When he got to my knee, I was surprised by his thumb as it entered me. “God, you’re wet,” he groaned against my ankle. Removing his thumb slowly, he trailed it over my sensitive sex before reentering it inside me.

I moaned and rotated my hips against his hand. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more than I want him in this moment, I acknowledged as I opened my eyes. He intensely watched me with lust filled interest as he replaced his thumb with two of his fingers and found my g-spot. The familiar pull caused me to moan and close my eyes again. The hunger and longing I’d felt for this man culminated into that moment.

“Sahara, tell me what you want for your birthday,” Ty asked quietly through gritted teeth.

“I want you,” I panted. My voice trailed off in a raspy breath as I felt his tongue replace his fingers.

His fingers returned when his mouth found my sensitive bundle of nerves and he toyed with it. Kissing his way up my body, he found my hard nipples and sucked them with the same wet suction and gentle strength. No man has ever made me this hot before. Not even…, I couldn’t even finish the thought because Ty’s expertise maneuvered over my body in a way that eliminated thoughts of any other man.

When he reached my lips and kissed me, I couldn’t control myself. I wrapped my legs around his waist and rotated my hips into him. This is how a man is supposed to make you feel, I thought as I reached between us and started stroking him. He whispered my name and I took that as an opportunity.

I rolled us over so that I was in control. I kissed him on his lips making a direct beeline down his muscular chest and his rippled abs. I hovered over him and lightly scraped my teeth over the tip, watching it twitch. Giving it a slow, sensual kiss, I took him in my mouth. Wrapping my hands around the base, I licked him up and down applying pressure and suction. My slurping mouth wasn’t drowned out by ‘Whenever Wherever Whatever’ on repeat in the background.

Ty wrapped his hand in my hair and guided my mouth to take him down further. Ty made the sexiest noise I’ve never heard in my life from the back of his throat. I continued to work him up and down until he couldn’t take it anymore and tried to pull me off of him. I craved the sound of his desire for me. I knew I wanted to feel him inside me and that I should stop, but the sound of his moaning spurred me on. Bringing pleasure to the man I love was the ultimate pleasure.

“Sahara, you’re about to make me cum,” he growled as his hips jerked, pushing him deeper down my throat. “Baby girl…” he moaned under his breath as I slowly pulled off of him, releasing him from my mouth. “That was…,” he let out a deep breath slowly before he finished, “amazing.”



Back To Life was a wonderful story about a girl who is living with the guilt of a tragic accident from ten years ago and shuts herself off from everyone by focusing on art and music.  The guy in this amazing book has baggage of his own.  Events unfold and throw them together and force Sahara to deal with her past.  Can these two deal with all their issues — past and present — to find their HEA?

I really enjoyed this story because the characters were not perfect and had troubled pasts….I can’t wait to see what Danielle has for the sequel.

***Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review***

About The Author:

download3I am a married event planner and life coach. My awesome friends and family and my amazing husband make my life sweet. I love to have fun and enjoy the life I’ve been blessed with. I love shopping and football with equal fervor. I’m an amateur movie critic (i.e. my husband and I watch and critique a lot of movies for fun). I love to read and I enjoy sharing my love of books with anyone who will listen. I love music. A good lyric with a good melody can paint a vivid picture and invoke such a range of emotions. I have a soft spot for most mediums of creative, artistic expression.

With degrees in psychology, human services, and marriage and family counseling, I have a unique perspective on life, love and the pursuit of happiness. As an author, I combine an active imagination and life experiences to create stories that are easily relatable and intentionally intriguing. I want to offer you a peek into someone else’s life and for you to get lost in their story, their trials, their triumphs. My ultimate goal is to create a character or a story that stays with you long after you’ve put the book down.

So in a nutshell: I plan. I teach. I read. I write. I watch. I critique. I shop. I play. I love.

To know me is to love me.



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