ThenGia had let Beppe into her life so easily, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. She’d held him when he’d hurt so badly he’d thought he might die; she’d talked him down when he’d been so angry he’d considered doing something he’d regret for the rest of his life.Gia had saved his life.At least once he needed to be strong for her.This right now, this moment, was theirs. It belonged to them, not to abusive or dead fathers, not to guilt, regret or sorrow, not to the past or the future.But will their love survive when tragedy separates them?“I have to go, Gia. I’m tired and I feel empty. I know you need me, but I have nothing left to give you. I need to heal.”“I miss you so much it’s hard to breathe.”NowBeppe was still Gia’s closest friend. But they’d never be anything more than that again. Remembering what it felt like to have the person you love most in the world torn away from you still hurt. Gia was determined never to be put into that position again.There was never lack of love, but can Beppe win Gia’s trust again?Forever“When I was broken you gave me pieces of yourself and made me whole again.”
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Stella“I’ve been in and out of hospitals for the past ten months. I’ve had half my liver removed and even though this time the doctors are very optimistic that they’ve removed all of the tumours, they can’t be sure. In another three months they want me here again for a check up. Right now I feel better than I’ve ever felt. I know the damn thing is gone, at least for the moment. Despite that, I can’t make any plans for the future, not yet. I need to go somewhere where nobody knows me, where I can relax and maybe even forget about all this. Where I can meet people who don’t think of me as the girl who lost her father and her brother in a car accident, and who has cancer. I want to have fun, even if it’s for a couple of months.”When Stella decides to visit her estranged cousin Lisa in Genoa, she has no idea Italy will give her a new reason to live.Max“Her gaze locked on a scene so beautiful, the picturesque beach paled in comparison. A lifeguard emerged from the water, his orange trunks stuck to his legs and water dripping all over him. He shook his head to get rid of some of the water in his hair and Stella felt as if everything started developing in slow motion – tiny drops of water slid from his neck down his broad chest and muscular arms, along a weaving tattoo on his right shoulder, and continued downwards towards his chest and washboard stomach, finally getting lost in the waistband of his trunks. A part of another tattoo peeked over his trunks on his left hip, the other part hidden under them. It was a total Baywatch moment.”Their love is epic. But there are too many things keeping them apart.“How could you keep this from me, Lisa? If you had told me the first day I met him, I would have avoided him like the plague. Nothing would have happened between us.”“I kept your secrets, too, Stella.”Are Max and Stella strong enough to fight not only for their love, but for their lives?
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Then, Now, Forever music playlist:
Song quotes edits made by my very talented friend Amber at grownupfangirl.com
Music is an essential part of my writing process. I can’t write in silence – it’s just weird. My taste in music is very eclectic – I can listen to almost anything. When I was writing Then, Now, Forever I had a wide range of artists and genres playing all the time. And when I say all the time, I mean all. the. time. My laptop was on for 16 hours a day, constantly playing music even when I wasn’t in the room. Walking back inside and finding one of my favourite songs playing always put me in the mood to write.
Even though I must have listened to hundreds of different songs while writing the book, the ones I chose for the official playlist are the ones I had on a loop while I was writing certain scenes. It’s amazing how someone, hundreds of miles away, a long time ago, has written a song and when you hear it, right at this moment, it means something very personal to you. Or, in my case, for my characters.
The theme song of Then, Now, Forever is Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors. It was like JT wrote it for Beppe and Gia. Every single line of the song resonates with my characters and their story.
Another song that reminds me of Gia and Beppe, especially of their relationship as teenagers, is Adam Lambert’s Never Close Our Eyes.
Beppe’s song has to be The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars. That was the song that I had on a loop for hours. It was the song that inspired Beppe’s character while I was still writing In a Heartbeat and concentrating on Max and Stella. It was the song that inspired Beppe and Gia’s whole relationship.
It is the song that defines the whole book.
I listen to 30 Seconds to Mars all the time, writing or not. Their music has definitely influenced my writing and the stories I tell. For Then, Now, Forever I listened to their new album Faith, Love, Lust + Dreams constantly. While I was writing the book, I went to Italy for 4 days and saw 30 Seconds to Mars live. It was one of the most amazing concerts I’ve ever been to and logically it inspired me to write a whole chapter where Beppe and Gia, along with Max and Stella, go to a 30 Seconds to Mars show. It wasn’t planned before I actually went myself, but the experience was definitely worth writing about.
Another band which I adore is Three Days Grace. Usually, I prefer alternative to classic rock, but Three Days Grace’s sound is very old-school and very inspiring. They are one of the not too many bands that sound better live than in the studio.
Over and Over is a song I had playing throughout the book, as well as Gone Forever, Pain, Home and Wake Up.
Beppe has a tattoo with a quote from Rise Against’s song Rumours Of My Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated, so it had to make the playlist too.
Stupid Girl by Framing Hanley was on repeat when Gia was about to do something stupid, which was quite often.
Hurricane by 30 Seconds to Mars is an old favourite of mine. It asks an eternal question: “Would you kill to save a life?” It also paints a beautiful picture of a dysfunctional, yet perfect relationship – or at least that’s how I see it.
I listen to a lot of Green Day. A lot. When September Ends is a beautiful song, I’ll never get tired of it. It makes me all melancholy and dreamy, and puts me in the right mindset to write an angsty scene.
1. The Kill – 30 Seconds to Mars
2. Hurricane – 30 Seconds to Mars
3. Over and Over – Three Days Grace
4. Stupid Girl – Framing Hanley
5. Closer to the edge – 30 Seconds to Mars
6. Mirrors – Justin Timberlake
7. Do or Die – 30 Seconds to Mars
8. Up in the air – 30 Seconds to Mars
9. If I had you – Adam Lambert
10. What do you want from me – Adam Lambert
11. Californication – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
12. Gone forever – Three Days Grace
13. Never close our eyes – Adam Lambert
14. Pain – Three Days Grace
15. Home – Three Days Grace
16. Wake up – Three Days Grace
17. What goes around comes around – Justin Timberlake
18. Wait for me – Kings of Leon
19. Oh Love – Green Day
20. Let yourself go – Green day
21. When September Ends – Green day
22. Take me – Papa Roach
23. Getting away with murder – Papa Roach
24. Was it a dream – 30 Seconds to Mars
Hi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband Ted and my son Jason. I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job in 2010 when I decided that everything else I've tried bores me to death and I have to do what I've always wanted to do, but never had to guts to fully embrace. I've been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among another things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It's the only time that I'm truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time - my son has a bigger attention span than me.
When I'm procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Wii game by a six year old.
Don't be shy and get in touch - I love connecting with my readers. Blog:www.teodorakostova.blogspot.com
Without warning, Gia straightened her upper body and started pulling at the hem of Beppe’s shirt, pushing it up and trying to get it over his head. Beppe chuckled at her hasty moves and shifted to help her remove his tee. His exposed skin tingled with anticipation under Gia’s stare. She brushed the tips of her fingers over every scar, every bump and imperfection on Beppe’s chest. He had to rein in his desire to stop her. This right now, this moment, was theirs. It belonged to them. Nothing else mattered.
“Come here,” Beppe said softly, catching her exploring hands and pulling her back on top of him. Gia propped herself on her elbows and kept her face a few inches away from Beppe’s. “Don’t think, baby. Let it all go. Just feel.” Gia closed her eyes and her face twisted as if in pain. “Hey, look at me,” Beppe said softly, stroking his thumbs over her cheekbones. Gia opened her eyes and the struggle in them grabbed at his heart. “It’s just us now. It’s always been us. You and me, OK?”
“You and me,” Gia repeated and some of the pain in her eyes evaporated. She smiled tentatively and pressed her lips against his again, opening them wider with the tip of her wet tongue.