Love Sidelined Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Jason Jennings made a tough call two years ago when he left behind his status as a hard-partying star quarterback in order to serve the Lord. Recently returned from a mission now, he's ready to get back on the football field at UCAL. But despite turning his life around, his bad-boy reputation is proving hard to shake.

Allie Hollis is everything a cheerleader should be—beautiful, outgoing, and smart—but her brilliant smile hides a devastating secret. So when Jason begins to show interest in her, there's no question: her answer is no.

Yet, in the face of Allie's chilly response, Jason's gentle persistence pays off, and a tentative friendship grows. Their chemistry is obvious, but Allie's determination to steer clear of a relationship with Jason goes deeper than he realizes. When the truth of her painful history comes to light, the couple must decide whether they will remain on the sidelines or jump back into the game of love.


Life Is What It's Called - Which Jennings sibling is most like you? 
Tiffany Odekirk - This is a great question! The truth is, a little bit of myself goes into each of the characters I write; I don’t mean for it to happen, but I can’t help it. That said, I think I am most like Lucy Jennings. While her situation in life is considerably different than my own, she handles situations in much the same way as I do. I am least like Evie, which is probably why she was SO difficult for me write! She is so bold and sometimes acts without thinking—this is not me. I like to know all my options, and then I carefully consider each one. Just ask my husband what it’s like to go to the mall food court with me. Ha! 

Life Is What It's Called - How many books will follow the Jennings family?
Tiffany Odekirk - Six, I hope! All six of the Jennings children have a story to share. Publishing can be a funny industry though; So much goes into the decision for a publisher to even consider a book for publication—previous sales, number of reviews, marketability, and so much more! I hope to have the opportunity to share each of these stories with readers, but we will have to see. There are also a few secondary characters, and Jennings family ancestors who have stories that want to be told. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. 

Life Is What It's Called - If you could pick actors to play the Jennings family in a movie, who would you pick? 
Tiffany Odekirk - Okay this question is probably the most difficult one for me. Since I started writing, I haven’t had much time to watch movies or TV. Le sigh. But I’ll give this a try: Emmy is Emma Stone. Evie is Rachel McAdams. (Yes, I know they’re identical twins, but somehow their personalities make them look different in my mind, go figure.) Jason is . . . wow this is super difficult. Jason is just Jason. But maybe, Jeremy Irvine? Lucy is Catarina Scorsone (Amelia from Grey’s Anatomy). Charlotte is probably Amy Adams. Drew is Tom Holland. 

Life Is What It's Called - What do you hope readers will gain from this story? 
Tiffany Odekirk - I hope this story will provide a tiny bit of light and understanding into what a survivor may feel in the wake of abuse. Abuse is such a personal and complex trauma. Reading a story may be one of the only ways in which individuals who have not had such experiences will be able to “walk in a survivors’ shoes” so to speak. 

Life Is What It's Called - What is your favorite football team? 
Tiffany Odekirk - That’s an easy one! I love watching BYU football. Win or lose, I don’t care, it’s just fun to watch and support the cougars.

Life Is What It's Called - What inspired you to write Love Sidelined?
Tiffany Odekirk - You’re probably going to laugh, but it was a combination of my own experiences as a cheerleader and a song I heard while running on the treadmill at the gym—“Beneath Your Beautiful”. As I listened to this song, these Allie and Jason came to life in my mind. Their story was so clear that I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. I was so moved by their story that I had to write it down. Allie was the first character I ever wrote. I only intended to write her point of view, but Jason Jennings had a lot to say . . . and then so did all his siblings. The moment when my characters take over writing the story is one of my favorite parts of writing, and has happened in each of the books I’ve written so far.

Life Is What It's Called - What was the hardest part about writing this story? 
Tiffany Odekirk - Without a doubt, Allie’s part. She had a lot of pain in her past. She was trying to live according to her beliefs, without a supportive family and also trying to heal from her wounds. She is trying the best she can, but walking in her shoes was hard. Especially near the end of the story when she is no longer avoiding her past, but actively working through it. So many times, I wanted to reach in to the computer and give her a hug. I’m glad Jase was there to do it for me.


Love Sidelined is the third book with the Jennings family by Tiffany Odekirk. Normally, if there's a series with a family dynamic I would suggest reading them in order. With Odekirk's works, you can read them as a stand alone. I read her second book, Love Unscripted, first and I think if I had read her books in order my perspective on the characters may have been different.

Jason is a hard character for me to like. I think Odekirk nailed the star quarterback, confident, return-missionary characteristics and personality, but I don't typically feel comfortable around overconfident people so it was a little hard to relate to him. I enjoyed Allie's character, perspective and insights. It was also fun to revisit the other Jennings family members. I felt like this book dealt with some tough issues and wasn't a light fluffy read. The topics were things that need to be addressed in society and understood. A couple of the characters struggled with change, repentance, forgiveness, acceptance and introspection. There was a lot of different dynamics in this story and it would be interesting to talk about in a discussion or book club. There were several surprises in the story that I wasn't expecting. It was a page turner that I stayed up a little too late reading.

After reading the second book, Love Unscripted, I knew that Jason's story would be next. I felt like there were a couple of clues in this book about which Jennings family member would have their own story next, but I also felt like the author might have been misdirecting me.

I would recommend reading Odekirk's books. To learn more about Love Sidelined, click here.

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Please note that I received a free copy of this book. This is my honest opinion of the book. Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links that help maintain this blog. The giveaway winner and prize is run by the publisher.

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