Collide – Guest Post & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today is the release date of one of the best books I’ve read this year, Collide by Melanie Stanford.

This book is a modernisation of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and the story in it is absolutely amazing!! I loved everything about it, namely the character development, so I’m very happy to receive two of the characters today for a character interview.

Please join me in welcoming Melanie, Jay and Maggie to our parlour, and please do not miss the opportunity to read this book. I’ll be posting my review very shortly, but I would like to tell you this one should not be missed!



Thanks Rita, for having me today! It’s awesome to find other fans of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South. It’s such a great book and miniseries, and I hope you enjoy my modern take on it.

COLLIDE is set mostly in Vegas. My Maggie leaves her small town behind to pursue her dream of becoming a contemporary dancer. My Jay is an enforcer to a loan shark who basically beats people up for a living (oh dear). But he’s hoping to quit all that and own his own boxing gym one day. Unfortunately, neither of them can get what they want because the other person is standing in their way. Is there a happy ending in sight? Read on as I interview Maggie and Jay… maybe they’ll give a few things away.

Melanie: How did you two meet?

Jay: I was at work…

Maggie: He was beating someone up. It wasn’t pretty.

Jay: *shrugs* It’s a job. Somebody’s gotta do it.

Maggie: I’m pretty sure they don’t.

Melanie: Moving on… What did you first notice about each other? Aside from the beating part.

Jay: She was tough. She stood right up to me. It was pointless, but I liked it. Plus, her legs.

Maggie: It was his eyes. Not the color, but the way he looked at me. It was totally intense, like he was memorizing everything about me, or like, taking me all in, if that makes sense.

Jay: *stares at Maggie exactly like that*

Melanie: *clears throat* What do you like best about each other?

Jay: Did I mention her legs?

Maggie: *rolls eyes*

Jay: Her courage. Her strength. Her faith in me. The way she makes me better.

Melanie: *tries really hard not to say, awwww*

Maggie: He said I make him better but it’s not true. That’s just his way, always trying to improve, to be a better person. And, despite the beating up stuff, he’s actually very kind and generous. You probably don’t believe me but it’s true. He’s done so much for me…

Melanie: Okay, before I start to cry… what do you like least about each other? And you can’t say “nothing.”

Maggie: Oh man, I could’ve made a list a mile long before, but now? Sometimes he has a hard time opening up. And he’s got a bit of a temper.

Jay: Which I’m working on.

Maggie: Which he’s working on.

Jay: Sometimes Maggie says or does stuff without thinking.

Maggie: Hey!

Jay: It’s true. How many times do you get up in people’s business?

Maggie: I’m just trying to be helpful.

Jay: You don’t have to all the time.

Maggie: *looks at me and shrugs*

Jay: She can’t help it.

Melanie: Alright, I’m going to lighten things up a bit. Do some rapid-fire questions. What’s your favorite song?

Jay: “I’m So Sorry” by Imagine Dragons

Maggie: “Song of the Caged Bird” by Lindsey Stirling.

Melanie: Biggest pet peeve?

Jay: whiners and fakers

Maggie: Hmm, I don’t know. Smokers? Or people who honk their car horns. And shout at each other. It’s so noisy here.

Melanie: Favorite book?

Jay: I don’t really read.

Maggie: I’m trying to get him to read Harry Potter but he won’t. *shoots him a dirty look* Mine is probably The Time Traveler’s Wife.   

Melanie: If you were a Disney character, who would you be?

Jay: *scowls* Seriously?

Maggie: He’d be Grumpy. *laughs* Just kidding. Maybe the Beast from Beauty and the Beast.

Jay: *scowls some more* She’d be Moana.

Maggie: Wait, you’ve seen Moana?

Jay: . . .

Melanie: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Maggie: No.

Jay: Yes.

Melanie: Last question. What can’t you live without?

Jay: Maggie.

Maggie: Dancing. And Jay.

And there you have it. I guess Maggie and Jay get their happy ending after all, but it wouldn’t be a North & South retelling if they didn’t! You’ll have to read COLLIDE to see the journey it takes them to get there.




When their worlds collide, neither will be left unscarred.

Suffocated by her small-town life, Maggie Hale runs away to Las Vegas to pursue her dream as a contemporary dancer. But Vegas doesn’t turn out like she imagined. She doesn’t make it into Essence Dance Theater and the only job she can find is working in a greasy diner—again.

Jay Thornton wants to quit enforcing and own his own boxing gym one day. But his loan shark boss saved him from the streets as a kid and he owes the man everything. Cutting ties isn’t so simple.

When Maggie pledges to pay back a friend’s loan, she becomes Jay’s next mark. Sparks fly between them, but choosing each other could mean the end of both their dreams.

COLLIDE is inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s NORTH & SOUTH


  You can find Collide at:





Melanie Stanford writes romance and YA of different genres. Her first novel, SWAY, a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, debuted December 2015 from Samhain Publishing and was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Since Samhain’s closure, Melanie decided to republish SWAY herself, along with the rest of her Romance Revisited series: CLASH, a Romance Revisited novella, COLLIDE, and a third novel coming 2018. She also has short stories featured in the Austenesque anthologies THE DARCY MONOLOGUES and THEN COMES WINTER.

Melanie reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives outside Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow.










Melanie would like to offer to one of our readers a 25 $ Amazon gift card so that you can obtain any of her books. To enter the giveaway click here.

Good Luck everyone!


Filed under JAFF

30 responses to “Collide – Guest Post & Giveaway

  1. Sophia Rose

    What a fun character interview! I love this pair.


  2. Patricia Finnegan

    Just began reading sway over the weekend. Can’t wait to read more by you.


  3. alp1788

    Love North and South variations. This one is definitely going on the TBR list.


  4. J. W. Garrett

    Thanks Rita for hosting today. Melanie, I have both books and look forward to this new launch. What a creative idea. Of course Rita… this is right up your alley as you love N&S. It was my GoodReads friends that encouraged me to read N&S. However, it was the discovery of the fan fiction stories that really set me off on the journey to read the adaptations and variations. What a fun journey. Blessings on the launch and success of this work. JW


  5. I love North & South and am so happy to see a modern variation of it. Wonderful interview with Maggie and Jay. I wonder if Mama Thornton and Fanny is in this?


  6. Christina Boyd

    I was fortunate to read an advanced copy. Fantastic, clever story! I think it’s your best yet, Melanie! Congratulations.


  7. Sally

    Thanks Melanie! Sounds like a good book.


  8. evamedmonds

    Congratulations on your new book. I recently rewatched North and South miniseries so I would love to read your retelling. I have to get over the boxing part, though. Thank you for the interview and giveaway.


  9. Glynis

    I love North and South but so far I usually only read sequels and variations about Darcy and Elizabeth.
    However this sounds really good so I may be tempted.
    I must admit I can feel for Melanie and her loud music, I like to play loud music in my car (although it’s mostly to drown out my voice as I do enjoy singing along and as my children will tell you I can’t sing. In fact when my daughter is driving she won’t play anything i might know!!)
    Anyway I will add this to my wish list.


  10. caroleincanada

    Congratulations! I loved the interview and all the scowling! Looking forward to reading this. My dad loved watching boxing…can’t say that I am, but appreciate the technical and fitness aspects of it.


  11. What a great post! Oh Rita, I remember you messaging about losing yourself in ‘Collide’, and how much you liked it. Congrats for releasing yet another fabulous book, Melanie!!


  12. Mary Preston

    A wonderful Guest Post thank you.


  13. What a great couple, love love love North and South so am rather curious about this book 😀


  14. caracoleta07

    It’s always good to hear about N&S variations.
    This was a lonely character interview. I went “Awww” at their song choices and I think the Disney question got the best responses ^_^

    I’d also like to use a TARDIS only to travel to the past 😀


  15. What a cute interview!Would love to read this N&S modern variation!!


  16. leighdreyer

    Going on my TBR list now.


  17. leighdreyer

    Going on my TBR list right now!


  18. I LOVED reading North and South! But I’ve never read a variation… Thanks for sharing 🙂


  19. Maria

    Too bad you can’t see my heart-shaped eyes at the moment.. love this interview! 😍


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