An Author You Should Know: Stacy Campbell

Dream Girl Awakened by Stacy Campbell

Dream Girl Awakened by Stacy Campbell

On the outside, Aruba Dixon has a life other women envy: a beautiful home, her handsome husband, James, and a gorgeous son. Inside, Aruba knows the truth. When her husband quits his fifth job in seven months, she’s done. Aruba wants a better husband, and she has the perfect man in mind—her friend Victoria’s husband.

Victoria Faulk is a head-turning stunner—and she tells herself so every day. Between shopping, assigning tasks to her nanny, and making sure her daughter doesn’t smudge the walls of her million-dollar home, Victoria can’t fathom having sex with her husband. But when he grows distant, Victoria backpedals to the good old days to regain his affection. Will it be too late?

Tawatha Gipson feels it’s high time she found a husband. So do her four children by four different men. Each time Tawatha thought she’d snagged a ring and a man, something goes wrong. When she spots James Dixon at the jobsite, she’s determined to have him by any means necessary.

As these women’s lives intersect and collide, they learn the grass is greener on the other side…but it isn’t always easy to hop the fence.

Dream Girl Awakened is Stacy Campbell’s debut novel and it does not disappoint. Aruba is married to James but she wants her best friend Victoria’s husband, Winston. Aruba and Victoria have two very different lifestyles as Aruba’s husband James is about to quit his 5th job in 7 months while Victoria’s husband is hugely successful. And, not only is James a habitual job jumper, he has a ‘friend’ on the side named Tawatha.

Victoria is mainly focused on spending on husband’s money and not on nurturing her marriage with Winston. She makes the grave mistake of sharing all of the details of her marriage to Aruba and because of this Aruba sees an opening to become more than just friends with Winston. I found myself shaking my head at Victoria and did not sympathize with her as the story played out because most women know not to discuss how great sex is and/or the fact that sex is not happening in their relationship.

“I don’t care how bad things get in your marriages when you grow up. If your life isn’t in danger, and if you and your husband can make it to someone prayerful and tactful, only go to that individual. People begrudge you the smallest things. Before you know it, a little secret shared can be hurled back in your face and cause your relationship a world of hurt.”

Victoria is the definition of a high maintenance woman and she gets what she deserves. And, Aruba will learn the hard way if the grass is truly greener on the other side. Dream Girl Awakened by Stacy Campbell is an excellent debut and I look forward to reading more from this author!

forgive me

In this fast-paced sequel to the debut novel, Dream Girl Awakened, five characters come to grips with their pasts amidst broken friendships, infidelity, grief, and loss.

Aruba Dixon has hit rock bottom. After two years of marriage, her second husband has died of Lou Gehrig’s disease, and she finds herself wanting to end it all. A botched suicide attempt makes her parents reach out to her ex-husband, James, for assistance. Up until that late-night phone call, James is living the golden life of success and wealth, but now everything is about to spin out of control… Meanwhile, Tawatha Gibson is grateful for the chance to be free again. After serving five years in prison, she is released on a technicality. Though shunned from those she loves most, Tawatha clings to the dream that she will be given another chance to start anew. But when her daughter, Aunjanue, learns about her release from prison, she’s not sure she can celebrate her mother’s freedom, let alone forgive her.

Then there’s Victoria Faulk, who struggles with forgiving and forgetting. After a messy divorce, she wrestles with feelings of inadequacy and doubt. When her new beau, Emory Wilkerson, proposes in front of family and friends, she knows she’ll never be happy until she forgives the one person who hurt her—her old “friend,” Aruba Dixon.

As the events unfold around the lives of these women, they face the challenge of letting go of the past and building new bonds. Will they come full circle and learn to move on, or will their past mistakes follow them forever?

It is always nice when I pick up a sequel and I don’t have to fill in the gaps from whatever time may have lapsed from the previous one in the series. Forgive Me does an excellent job of continuing the story from Dream Girl Awakened. It is hard to write this one without giving spoilers so I will focus on the author’s writing style.

The tone throughout the entire book was to my liking. It flowed perfectly and somehow in spite of some major personality flaws I was able to feel personally connected to each character. I don’t know if there was ever a title that fit more appropriately to the content within the book then Forgive Me. This book is all about forgiveness and what it entails to reach not only the point to forgive but to accept forgiveness from others. Stacy’s debut novel, Dream Girl Awakened was one of my favorite books of 2013 and it brings me such great joy to know that she avoided the sophomore slump with Forgive Me!!! I highly recommend this book!!!

1. Set the mood for us…when you’re writing, you have to…Listen to soft music and keep a notepad handy.
2. What has been the most surprising and upsetting part of your literary journey? I am most surprised that my writing dream came true. I had been a closeted writer for years but was afraid to take it to the next level. The most upsetting part is facing fear each time I sit down to write. It doesn’t go away, but I keep showing up at the page every day.
3. When you’re not writing, what authors do you enjoy reading? What are you currently reading? When I’m not writing, I read a wide variety of authors. Stephen King, Victoria Christopher Murray, Renee Swindle, Matthew Quick, the list goes on and on. I read the work of others to study their writing style and to challenge myself to get better. I am currently reading Kicking In the Wall by Barbara Abercrombie. When I am writing a novel, I tend to read craft and exercise books. I don’t want anyone else’s voice or style creeping into my manuscript.
4. If you had to write your life story, what would the title be? How does that title portray your story? The Southern Girl Chronicles. The total portrays my love for all things southern and the fact I’m truly a country girl at heart.
5. What are three things readers might be surprised to learn about you? I love to cook, I am the mother of an autistic child, and I’ve had gray hair since I was a small.
6. Why do you think your writing matters? I think my writing matters because I offer readers an escape from everyday life with my words and a glimpse at really flawed people.
7. What can your fans look forward to next? My next book is titled Wouldn’t Change A Thing. It is the story of Atlanta architect Antoinette Williams. On the morning of her engagement party, a local newspaper inadvertently runs an unsilhouetted photo of her family, thus exposing their history of mental illness. The secret life she and a cousin carefully crafted comes tumbling down, and she is forced to take stock of her choices and lies as well as reconnect with her immediate family.
8. Thank you again for allowing me to interview you on Tiffany Talks Books. Are there any last words for those who are reading this interview? Thank you so much for interviewing me. I want to thank all the readers who’ve read my work and have reached out to me. You keep me going on the days the characters play hide-and-seek.


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