18 December 2013

Title: Staying on Top (Whitman University #4)
Author: Lyla Payne
Publisher: (December 10th 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: Sam Bradford has it all—he’s the #2 tennis player in the world, plenty of girls want to date him, and he’ll never want for money. At least, that’s what he thought until his accountant stole everything and disappeared. Interpol has no idea where to start, and neither does the American F.B.I., so Sam figures he’ll just have to take care of his body and play a few extra years to make it back.

When Blair Paddington, the accountant’s daughter and a friend of a friend at Whitman, shows up and claims she can help Sam get his money back he’s torn between wanting justice and the very real possibility that Blair is just as big a con man as her father. When she promises not only money, but justice, Sam agrees—but only if he can go along on the search.

The two of them set off on an adventure neither rich kid is prepared for—cheap hostels, the same clothes three days in a row, and nothing but a backpack of possessions—so they can fly under the radar as college lovers on a winter break. In spite of Blair’s shady family, her daring and resourceful personality strike Sam’s interest and he finds himself falling for the one girl he shouldn’t.

When they finally find her father, the truths that come to light not only make Sam question his affection for Blair, but could cost him more than money—if they can’t work together one last time, neither of them may be going home. Ever.

Author Interview:

Hey Lyla, it’s always awesome to have you here! I’m happy and more than excited to welcome you back again and as always you are more than welcome anytime!

So, how about we get started? 

First if you had 5 words to describe Staying on Top, what would they be?

Different, Fun, Deceptive, Slow Burn, Experience

With writing the fourth book in the Whitman University series, is it becoming easier or harder to continue writing these amazing characters?

Each set of main characters is different, so they’re all challenging in different ways. Blair was one of the harder ones, but Kennedy is still the hardest. Sam was pretty easy. 

In this installment the main character is Sam Bradford, what makes him stand apart from your past male characters?

Sam is the most easygoing of the lot, except for perhaps Cole, but what really makes him different is the way his entire world has been shaken at the outset of the book. In a lot of ways, he’s being confronted with the idea that who he is (which he happens to like) may be making him vulnerable.

Since we’re so close to the New Year, what would Sam’s perfect New Year’s Eve date be?

Sam loves Melbourne, and since the tennis season starts there, it seems like that’s where you’d most likely find him. As for a specific activity, he’s a man of two worlds. I think he’d love a swanky party, perhaps with some of his fellow pros, but would tug Blair away for a barefoot walk on the beach and a bottle of champagne before midnight.

Tennis has been such a huge part of a couple of your male characters lives. What does the sport mean to you and what was it about the sport that appealed to you in writing it into your characters lives?

I love tennis – the sport, the world it creates, and the personalities that reside inside it. It’s interesting, I think, that it’s not a sport loved by Americans, but it’s the second most popular sport in the world. Much like soccer, it’s a place where there is plenty of money and notoriety to be found, just not necessarily in the States.

It’s been fun kind of mashing up and playing with the stories/appearances/personalities of some of my favorite players. Quinn Rowland is mostly Andy Roddick, with maybe a little Fernando Verdasco tossed in for a boost in ego. Sam Bradford reminds me a little of Milos Raonic, a little of Bernie Tomic, and a smidge of Nole Djokovic (when it comes to handling fans).

And lastly, what can you tell your old friend Lisa here about Whitman University, #5? Are we finally getting Sebastian’s book??? Pretty please? I really need to see how his story is going to play out.

Book 5 is going to be Sebastian’s book!! It doesn’t have a title yet but my brain has been tinkering with the plot. I think it’s safe to say that Seb will never be the nicest guy around, but for this one girl, he would do just about anything.

Lyla, thanks again for the time and the visit. I always love having you here and I look forward to reading Staying on Top and what’s next for you and your books.

Author Photo

About the Author:

I’ve long had a love of stories. A few years ago decided to put them down on the page, and even though I have a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where I found a home. I’ve published Young Adult under a different name, but when I got the idea for Broken at Love (my first New Adult title), I couldn’t wait to try something new – and I’m hooked. In my spare time I watch a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), play a ton of tennis, and dedicate a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.  

Links: Goodreads STAYING ON TOP Goodreads page Tumblr Website: http://lylapayne.blogspot.com Facebook Twitter: @lyla_payne    

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