*About C.J*C.J. English is an Amazon Kindle Best Selling Author in Love and Romance. She made her debut with the sexy and scandalous memoir AFFAIRYTALE.
C.J. lives happily ever after with the man of her dreams and their growing family. She is a lover of life and sushi, wine and wandering, and lives as whole-heartedly as she writes.
When not spending quality time with her family or laptop, you can find her in the kitchen with a stop watch trying to set a new world record for slicing vegetables. C.J. is a passionate vegetarian and consistent rule breaker in writing and in life.
C.J's debut novel, Affairytale
I had an affair. The most forbidden and seductive affair, and fell in Love.
He was a rare gentleman, intelligent and gorgeous; a man every woman desired. Every cell in my body was telling me that he was my happily ever after. I was stuck in a marriage of mediocrity, I ached for red silk romance and carry me away passion, but not with my husband. I craved Him. Living without him was cruel and unusual punishment, even for my wandering heart.
Affairytale is a tantalizing memoir of sultry encounters, hidden grottos and secret hillside cabins. From the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes to the Southern shores of Maui you’ll fall in love with this tell-all memoir that pulls back the veil on infidelity and gives you rare look into hearts and bedroom of a real life extramarital affair. Woven with original love letters and scandalous text messages, this engrossing true love story is sure to break then win your heart.
True Love always finds a way.
Sometimes...it starts with an affair.
What inspired you to write such a personal book?
I was actually writing a weight loss/cookbook when Affairytale wouldn’t leave me alone! I dont know exactly what the initial spark of inspiration was, but once it was there, it wouldn’t let me sleep at night until I was finished.
Did you find it hard to put such intimate details about yourself out there for others to read?
At first, yes. But early on in the writing process I decided that if I was going to do this, I would do it as wholeheartedly as I could and not hold back. I cringed at myself many times for the things I did and wrote, but ultimately made peace with telling it like it happened no matter the consequences or embarrassing moments.
For the most part this was your story with Grant and your feelings alone. Did you leave Levi and Dani out of most of the story to protect them or was it to focus the story on your feelings about Grant?
Thank you for asking. The absence of Dani in the book did not mean the absence of Dani in my life. I choose to keep her out as much as possible for her sake, and for the readers. Carving pumpkins and watching chick flicks wouldn’t have made for a very thrilling read.
Regarding Levi, I put as much in about Levi and our time together as was necessary for the reader to get a good picture of what was real, then nothing more. I wrote volumes more than what was published, and out of respect for Levi those memories will stay only with me.
I actually really liked that it was you on the cover of the book because I could picture you clearly while reading and didn't have to make up my own image. What was the reason you chose to be your own cover model?
Thank you! I too like seeing a picture of the character right away so I know what they look like as I read. I dont want to have to make them up in my head. I didn’t put myself on the cover for that reason but I’m glad it turned out to be a perk in that way.
To maintain the truthfulness of the story, I felt it appropriate to put the real people of the story on the cover. I contemplated hiring models, even looked for some but I never found the right ones and it just didn’t feel right putting fake characters on a non-fiction memoir.
The only picture out there that is not me, is the one with the piano in the background. I was 8 months pregnant when we took those photos and would have broken the piano had I sat down on it! A friend stood in for me on that one. All of the other cover and promo shots of me and Grant are on the affairytalebook pinterest site as well as my stand in and my 8 month prego belly!
Meaning no offense, but cheating is a touchy subject for most people and they don't agree with it. How do you deal with the negativity that comes from writing such a book?
Glad you asked the question, and I don’t mean for my answer to sound snotty. However I’d like to point out the inconsistencies in how people feel about cheating depending on what medium they are absorbing it from. For example, Scandal, the #1 show in the country, revolves entirely around cheating. Grey’s Anatomy captivated us for 11 seasons and the whole female world fell in love with a cheating couple falling in love. So why is it that when there is cheating in books, it is perceived and often loathed, but not when it’s on TV? I highlight this observation because it makes me wonder what the real motives are when someone criticizes a book about an affair yet their evening plans include a bottle of wine and Scandal on the DVR?
The criticism I’ve received has been surprisingly less than I expected. The individuals critical of my past actions and behavior don't personally bother me, I’m more hurt when someone hates the writing!
Looking back, do you think you should have spilt with Levi sooner since you were so unhappy?
Part of the book focused on your struggle with your back pain, how is your back doing today?
Whoop!Whoop! Pain free baby! Pain free.
I’d kiss that surgeon’s feet every day if I could. He saved my life. It’s been 5 years this summer since the surgery and my back has held up through two pregnancies and is doing well.
Do you have any advice for people in a similar situation as yours?
Do the best that you can do for the moment you're in. If you can say you did that, then have no regrets.
Are you working on anything else for us?
Yes. I’m working on the possibility of leaving my day job so I can write more! Every writer's dream right? Then I can finish the next book in less than 3 years.
Fun QuestionsFavorite genre to read?
Favorite vacation spot?
Hawaii AND Alaska
Mexican. Always Mexican.
Cats or Dogs?
E-book or Paperback?
Winter or Summer?
Only with a bloody corona and the man of my dreams otherwise I don't love it. Summer.
Do I like non-fiction books? No. Do I like cheating in my books? No. But I loved this book!
This is a story of pain, loss, and love. C.J made a mistake when she was young and that mistake resulted in a loveless marriage and feelings of hopelessness. C.J and Levi grew apart from each other but both felt obligated to stay in the relationship.
The summer that C.J met Grant there was an instant attraction and she found herself crushing on him. Thinking about him all the time and secretly hoping that their playful flirting could one day turn into more. And it did...
I was a little weary about reading this because it is the real life story of C.J's love life. So as I write this review I'm not just judging the book, in a way I'm judging her. I kept hearing how amazing the story was and that it would be worth a try but was still iffy about it. But then when C.J contacted me about reviewing it I felt like it was fates way of telling me I was meant to read this story, and I am so glad I listened.
"I wanted to find someone who belonged with me like the stars belonged with the sky."
Reading about the fights and the horrible things that were yelled back and forth between Levi and C.J was eye opening. A part of me wanted to pick a side and feel bad for one of them while hating the other, but it just wasn't possible. The marriage wasn't perfect by any means and it was a little cringe worthy to think about being so unhappy with someone that at one time you thought you would spend your life with. It amazes me that C.J was so willing to put her thoughts and words from this time on paper for everyone to read, and I have to give her props for being so courageous.
After reading this, I truly believe that Grant is C.J's soul mate. I'm a person that believes we all have that other half of us out there, and it may not be a romantic relationship we have with them, but they exist. We just can't all be as lucky as C.J and find them. Her love for Grant was like a real life fairytale, it just took a little work to get the happily ever after.
"Levi was the man I couldn't live with, and Grant was the man I couldn't live without."Affairytale isn't just the memoirs of C.J, it's also a love story and a story that gives hope to those who need it. It shows that real love isn't as easy as books and movies and music make it out to be. You may go through heartbreak and have to jump over obstacles, but you will eventually find the one. You just have to be patient.
Personally, when I read, I do it to take me away from reality and to give me an escape when I need it. This wasn't just another work of fiction, though, yet it still managed to do the same. Only on a deeper level because I knew it was a true story and I actually liked having that knowledge while reading.
I'm going to say the clichéd thing that every reviewer has said at least once in their life - I could not put this book down! It drew me in from the second I read the prologue and I wanted to smack everyone that interrupted me while I was reading. This writing was lyrical and flows through you like a song. I can't describe it any other way than that.
I would like to just say that C.J and Grant don't actually sleep together until after C.J has moved out and left Levi. I usually hate cheating in books but I didn't have a problem with the affair in this one. I think everyone should give this book a try and not let the cheating aspect stop you.