Monday, April 1, 2013

Blog Tour and Interview: Valerie and Brad from Bullet by Jade C. Jamison

 Bullet by Jade C. Jamison

An Epic Rock Star Novel

What if you discover the man you want is toxic?

She tasted a little bit of heaven with him, and now they’ve gone through hell and back, but can their relationship take anymore?

Valerie Quinn is a naïve college freshman when she meets on-the-rise rock star Ethan Richards. He’s an idealistic, handsome, reckless young man, but he’s captured her heart. She doesn’t give up on him and eventually his walls crumble down. By the time Valerie has given herself to him completely, she discovers he’s damaged and may be beyond help. Can she save Ethan and their relationship before he implodes, or will he self-destruct and take her with him?

Three Chicks had the pleasure of sitting down with Brad and Valerie from Bullet. 

Three Chicks:  Valerie, in the beginning Ethan wanted to be just friends, but Brad wanted more and Ethan didn't exactly treat you well as a friend either, so why choose him? Explain the hold that he had on you.

Valerie:  Oh…I wish I could explain.  It sounds lame, I know, but the heart wants what the heart wants.  Ethan was my first real love.  I’d had crushes in high school, but when Ethan and I went to that first concert…I just fell head over heels.  Even so, it seemed irrational.  What sealed the deal was losing my virginity to him.  He was so patient, so gentle, so…not like himself, you know?  And then I felt a deep connection to him after that.  There’s just something about sharing that intimate moment that pulled me closer to him.  Brad…I just thought it was some crazy irrational sexual attraction.  I didn’t realize at the time that you really could love your best friend.  I know better now.

Three Chicks:  Valerie, we understand how much you loved Ethan and part of you wanted to save him, but after the party that night when you were drugged, how did you forgive him so easily? 

Valerie:  As out of it as I’d been…well, I believed him when he told me I’d been a willing participant—and I might have been.  I don’t remember a lot of what I said or did up until I came to my senses and left the bedroom.  There’s a period of time that’s mostly blackness with a couple of flashes in my head.  If I really did say I was game (and I know Ethan was completely blitzed out of his mind too), I felt like I couldn’t hold that against him.  And…well, I loved him.  You forgive the people you love…even when it’s a stupid thing to do.

Three Chicks:  Valerie, why do you think it took you so long to realize or admit that you loved Brad?  Did you know that Brad's feelings for you had always been deeper than friendship?

Valerie:  I was blinded by what I thought was true love.  I so wanted to believe in Ethan, to help him, but—looking back—I think I did the exact opposite.  He put me up on this pedestal and he rarely let me get close…really close.  He always kept a part of himself shut off, and I kept thinking I could get through, and if I could get through…  Well, I never did.  I know now that he and I just aren’t right for each other.  Brad…like I said, I just believed what I felt for him was sexual attraction…and a deep friendship.  I was so naïve, so inexperienced that I didn’t know what I was feeling and then finally, when I did, I didn’t want to admit it, because that would mean I’d been denying something that had been in my face the whole time.
No…at first, I just thought it was that animal attraction we felt for each other.  I didn’t fully realize what he felt for me until we made love the first time.  And even then I didn’t want to believe it because I still hadn’t fully let go of Ethan yet…and also admitting it meant I would have to hurt Brad in the process.

Three Chicks:  Valerie, knowing your relationship with Ethan was toxic, why on earth did you marry him after he got out of rehab? You weren’t even dating at that point in time.

Valerie:  I still loved Ethan, toxic or not, and—yeah—I was stupid.  At first, I was so afraid that if I crushed him, that would be all he’d need to run back to the drugs.  I didn’t tell him “yes” at first.  I pondered it for a while, really searching my feelings, and I knew Ethan and I still hadn’t explored our relationship fully.  I believed him.  I believed he could be a good man.  I believed he loved me.  I do believe he loved me.  I just don’t think he knew how to treat me, and I don’t think he knew how to handle his feelings. But he convinced me that he’d changed. He wooed me until I believed him.  And he tried. He really did.

Three Chicks:  Valerie, if you could go back in time would you have done things differently?

Valerie:  No way.  If I changed anything, I wouldn’t have Christopher.  And I really appreciate and cherish what I have now.  I don’t know that I’d be as appreciative without having gone through what I had. I grew up so much. I can’t regret the bad. It’s made me who I am today.  And Brad and I are together.  Would we be if we’d gotten together back then? I don’t know…so I can’t regret anything.

Valerie:  When you told Ethan that you were pregnant you were scared of what his reaction might be, why? 

Valerie:  We’d only been married a month or two when Ethan said he didn’t want kids.  They’d tie him down.  Maybe when he was forty, he’d said, but not now, no way.  So when I found out…I was afraid to tell him.  But there was more to it than that.  I didn’t think he’d be a good dad.  I’m sure you can understand why. I was afraid for multiple reasons…and it didn’t feel real until I had to actually tell him.

Three Chicks:  Valerie, did you really believe your pregnancy would be the motivation he needed to change or is that something you told yourself to get through it?

Valerie:  I don’t know.  Maybe a little of both.  When he told me he would change, I so wanted to believe him. I loved him, had invested so much in him, and I was carrying his child.  I wanted him to change. I believed it. Did I believe it to get through it? It’s quite possible. Yeah, probably.

Three Chicks:  Valerie, do your parents know everything that went on between you and Ethan?

Valerie:  No.  Not even close.  I know my parents’ limits.  I kept a lot from them.  I tended to just give them the good news or a light version of the bad stuff.  They worried enough about me.  They didn’t need to hear about all the bad stuff. They never knew about my relationship with Clayton either.

Three Chicks:  Valerie, is there anything that you learned about yourself or love from the time you spent loving Ethan?

Valerie:  I learned to be strong.  And I also, eventually, learned to see the forest for the trees.  It was almost like I’d been living in a haze and once it lifted, everything was clear.  Brad had been my navigator the whole time, and I’d just been too stupid to know it. I also learned that sometimes love can’t solve everything, no matter what you read in fairy tales. Sometimes love just isn’t enough. That was a hard pill for me to swallow.

Three Chicks:  Valerie, do you still talk to Jet?

Valerie:  Absolutely.  Clay’s become one of my closest friends.  He’s one of the sweetest men I’ve ever known…although he’d never admit to it.  Don’t tell.

Three Chicks:  Brad, who was your musical inspiration growing up?

Brad:  Who wasn’t?  Wow.  That’s tough.  Metallica (of course), Slayer, Anthrax, Cannibal Corpse, Pantera, Ministry, White Zombie, Marilyn Manson.  I could go on and on.

Three Chicks:  Brad, the day you met Valerie you told her that you would wait for her.  Did you know then that you were in love with her?  What was it about her? I mean to tell a woman that you would wait for her after knowing her for less than a day.....

Brad:  I wasn’t in love with her that day, but I was drawn to her.  It sounds cliché, but I was like a moth to a flame.  There was something about her…she felt like a kindred spirit.  She told me later she thought it was sexual attraction, and I suppose there was some of that, but it was more for me.  And when I told her that…I didn’t really mean years.  I don’t know what I was thinking then (I was just a kid), but I just figured, you know…like most girls at that age…she’d be over him in a few months.  So…a few months later, I did put the moves on her…only to find she was still hung up on Ethan.  But when she joined the band, I knew I had to put an end to anything like that. By then, though…I did love her.  I couldn’t understand why she cared about Ethan like she did, but it made me love her more…that she was so dedicated, so deeply invested in him.  And Ethan meant a lot to me too, so it was kind of nice to have someone by my side who understood.  My feelings for her were a double-edged sword, really.  But every day I loved her more…not just in the romantic way, but as a friend.  And I finally decided if that was all it would be, I’d learn to live with it.

Three Chicks:  Brad, it seemed like you and Valerie, did most of the work for the band.  You two were the only ones who worked outside of it. Did it bother you to put more into the band then the rest of the members did?

Brad:  Of course it did.  That’s why I finally lectured the other guys.  They seemed to think that if they just showed up at a concert three or four times a week, they’d become big, bad famous rock stars.  And, sure, we were making a little money, but it finally pissed me off that they weren’t doing dick to help.  There was so much that had to be done, only so many hours in the day, and it was just Valerie and me working our asses off.  They all contributed more after I sat them down and told them what we needed.

Three Chicks:  Brad, how hard was it to watch the woman you loved be treated the way Ethan treated her?

Brad:  What do you think?  It was hard as hell.  It fucking killed me, ate me up inside.  But what could I do?  She was addicted to Ethan, just like he was addicted to his drugs.  I knew I had to just stand back and be there to pick her up when she needed it. I hoped she’d eventually wake up.

Three Chicks:  Brad what was going through your mind when you found out Valerie was marrying Ethan, especially the day you asked her if she loved him?

Brad:  Part of me felt like I’d died inside.  I couldn’t believe it.  We’d finally shared something so special…and then Ethan pulled on that leash and she went running back.  I really couldn’t believe it at first. It felt like a joke. Once I got over the initial shock, I knew I needed to talk to her.  I wanted to make sure Ethan was what she really wanted and not what she thought she wanted.

Three Chicks:  Brad, do you think Ethan made the move on Val to spite you?  To us it seemed he wanted her so that you couldn’t have her, we know he loved her in his own way, but there was always tension between you two when it came to her.

Brad:  No.  Ethan can be a real prick, but I don’t think he did it just to spite me.  I mean…maybe that was part of it.  I don’t know.  But I do think he loved her.  I just don’t think he knew how to handle that love or how to treat her.  Ethan went through a lot of shit before he met Val.  You have no idea.  I really do think he loved her the best way he knew how.  He just wasn’t good at it.  Yeah…there was tension.  I tried to be honest with him about how I felt about her.  He wouldn’t tell me at first if Val was just a friend or a girlfriend…and she wouldn’t say much either, just that she didn’t know.  But he’d just shit on her, and that’s when I decided it was okay for me to make a move.  And then after that.  Forget it.  I think the only reason why he and I are still friends after all that shit is because we’re like brothers.  He’s the only man I’d ever let get away with any of the shit he did.

Three Chicks:  Brad, did Val’s relationship with Clayton/Jet bother you?

Brad:  Hell, yeah.  That was pure jealousy. But Jet’s a good guy. I respect him and we’ve always gotten along. And he treated her so well. I could see how happy she was, and I let it go.  I wanted her to be happy.  At least Jet treated her like a woman and a lady.  And…something inside her changed.  She blossomed like you wouldn’t believe.  She had this sparkle in her eye when she was with him that she’d never had with Ethan.  She smiled and laughed more. He was good for her…and if I had to lose her to anyone, I could have lived with Jet.

Three Chicks:  Brad, I'm sure being in a band and as hot as you are you have had your fair share of women while on the road.  But you never seemed to flaunt it, was that because of Valerie or just not your style to flaunt the woman you are with?

Brad:  Oh, it was all because of Valerie. I suppose I didn’t ever want a woman to feel trashy either, but it was mostly for Val’s benefit. I know she knew I had my share of relationships, but I didn’t want her to know the details. I tried to keep them as low key as possible.

Three Chicks:  Brad, the night you beat up Ethan, do you think that had anything to do with him going back into rehab?

Brad:  I don’t know. I don’t think so, because he got even worse after that. He moved in with some drug addict and she overdosed.  I think that might have been the wake-up call he’d needed.

Three Chicks:  Brad, how is your relationship with Ethan today?

Brad:  Better. Ethan’s cleaned up. Yeah, we’ve seen it before, but I see him really trying with his son. I’m hopeful. He’s still my brother. Always will be. So…even when our relationship’s strained, it’s still there.

Three Chicks:  Brad, what was it like that first time you and Valerie were together? 

Brad:  Everything I’d ever dreamed. I couldn’t believe it was happening and never wanted it to end.  It left me speechless.

Three Chicks:  Brad, how does it feel to finally have the woman you love, love you back? 

Brad:  Fulfilling. Like my life has meaning.

Three Chicks:  Brad, what song would you say reminds you of Valerie?

Brad:  One I wrote for her.  I’m not the best writer; that’s Val’s job, but the song I wrote came from my heart, and there were certain things I was thinking of when I wrote it. Also a song called “Metal Forever” that Ethan and Valerie wrote together, just because it always seemed like her theme song…if that makes any sense.

Three Chicks:  Brad, what is going on with the band?

Brad:  We’re getting ready to tour to support our third album.  Best stuff we’ve ever done.

Three Chicks:  How are the wedding plans going or has there been a wedding already?

Valerie*holds up left hand to show off ring*  We decided to just go to the Justice of the Peace.  Why wait when you know what you want? I’d already had the big pompous wedding, and I didn’t need to do it in front of lots of people.

Three Chicks:  How is the pregnancy going and do you know what you are having?

Valerie:  Any day now!

Brad:  Our tour starts in a month, so this kid better hurry up.  Val’s not kidding when she says, “Any day now!”  Her due date was yesterday.  This kid is stubborn…just like her mama.

Valerie:  Can you just see him holding a baby girl?  My heart melts.

Three Chicks:  What song describes where you guys are in life right now?

Brad:   “Forever and Always,” Bullet For My Valentine

Three Chicks:  Valerie, what do you love most about Brad?

Valerie:  What’s not to love?  He’s solid…he’s honest, caring, faithful, my anchor.  My rock.

Three Chicks had a great time and want to thank Brad and Valerie and of course Jade Jamison for giving us the chance to sit down and chat with them.

About the Author:
Jade C. Jamison was born and raised in Colorado, moved from one city/town to the next, and she’s decided she likes it so much she wants to stay…although travel is not out of the question.  She lives in a big town in Colorado (not unlike Winchester!) with her husband and four children.  She is working on becoming a crazy cat lady.  Okay, so maybe not.

Still want more?  Jade has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Theater, a master’s degree in English, and a master of fine arts in Creative Writing.  Obviously, she loves school and the student loan folks love her.  She works in human services by day, teaches English and creative writing at night, and—in between playing soccer mom and community leader—writes like a fiend.  Someday soon, she’ll narrow it down to just writing, but let’s get all those kids off to college first.

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