Tuesday, January 22, 2019

It's Release Day! ONLY A BREATH APART by Katie McGarry

 

Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. 


“Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART is now available!

 
About ONLY A BREATH APART:

They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.

The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.

A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she's psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…
 
     

Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.” ―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series

 

Add it to your Goodreads today!

    

READ AN EXCERPT
A scraping of a chair, a tray full of food and I glance over with my practiced smile in welcome. It’s not Camila, Evangeline, or anyone else from the group. It’s green eyes, red hair, a familiar mischievous smile that used to be reserved only for me, and my blood pounds with excitement as if someone lit a sparkler in my chest. Then I frown because I’m not supposed to feel this way. Not with him. Not with anyone.
Jesse Lachlin winks at me as he sits across from me like no time has passed from when we climbed trees together. “What’s up, Tink?”
Another thrill runs through me but then my muscles tighten. Stupid, antiquated reaction belonging to a dead past. “What are you doing here?”
Jesse pops a fry into his mouth, chews, then picks up another as if he has no intention of answering. I scan the cafeteria. Several people are watching us, curious as to why Jesse Lachlin is sitting with me, or is event at lunch, or even at school.
From the lunch line, Camila’s and Evangeline’s eyes are bugging out of their heads.
What is going on? Camila mouths.
I raise my eyebrows to inform her I have no idea. Jesse digs into his corn with his fork and that’s crossing a line. “Maybe you didn’t hear me, but I asked what you’re doing here.”
He lifts his eyes to meet mine and there’s a glimmer in them that causes my lips to flatten. Fantastic. He’s here to make my life a living hell.
“It seems obvious,” he says.
If he remembers anything about me, he should recall I was never known for my patience and that he should be speaking, and speaking soon. “Just answer the question.”
“I’m eating lunch.”
I honest to God groan in frustration. “There’s no room at the inn.”
He surveys the table, takes in the empty seats, my books, and then gives me a good look. A slow look. As if he’s trying to memorize every inch he’s drinking in. My cheeks redden because that somehow feels a little too intimate for lunch. Feels a little too intimate for someone I’m no longer friends with. It feels too intimate if we were friends.
I glance away, but I sense him still staring at me. God help me, I want to stare back.


   


 

Katie McGarry Bio: Katie is the author of the PUSHING THE LIMITS series, THUNDER ROAD series, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, and the upcoming YA novel, ONLY A BREATH APART. Her novels have received starred reviews, critical acclaim and have won multiple awards including being a multiple Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for YA Fiction, multiple RT Magazine's Reviewer's Choice Award Finalist for Best YA Fiction, including a win in the category, and she was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick.      

Monday, January 21, 2019

Cover Reveal: SEE YOU AGAIN by Heidi McLaughlin

Check out this lovely cover of 

Heidi McLaughlin's upcoming novel

SEE YOU AGAIN



See You Again
A Southport Shore Novel
by Heidi McLaughlin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Cover Designer: Diane Luger
Published by Loveswept

Purchase links:

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2RmO92E


Book Description:

A powerful love story of second chances for two people who are both running from the past, by the New York Times bestselling author of Forever My Girl.
It’s been fifteen years since Brooklyn Hewett has stepped foot in Southport.
After the accident that took Austin—the love of her life—away from her, Brooklyn fled, hoping to leave the pain behind her for good.
Raising her fourteen-year-old daughter has been the focus of her life ever since.
But when Austin’s mom asks her to renovate the Southport Inn, with an option to buy, Brooklyn knows it’s an opportunity too good to refuse.
Bowie Holmes should have been with his best friend the night he died. Instead, he was doing the unthinkable—and he’s never forgiven himself.
Fifteen years later, Bowie gets the job of a lifetime when he’s hired to help rebuild the Southport Inn.
There’s just one problem. One very big problem.
The designer is none other than Brooklyn Hewett, the one woman he despises more than anyone . . . and the one woman he has never been able to forget.






About Heidi:
Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.

Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL and her brother, Racicot.

When she's isn't writing one of the many stories planned for release, you'll find her sitting court-side during either daughter's basketball games.

Heidi's first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Roth, in theaters January 19, 2018.

To stay connected with Heidi visit www.facebook.com/authorheidimclaughlin  or heidimclaughlin.com



Social Media:


Pre Order Bonus


Would you like to receive a limited edition copy of the first 20,000 words of See You Again by Heidi McLaughlin in print? Just preorder and click to fill out this short form.


Friday, January 18, 2019

HANDLE WITH CARE - Cover and Excerpt Reveal


COVER & EXCERPT REVEAL



Handle With Care
by Helena Hunting
St Martin's Paperback
Available August 27th, 2019

Read an Excerpt

NOTE: This is an unedited excerpt and is subject to change.

     I’m startled out of my thoughts when my brother jumps up and shouts a bunch of profane nonsense, hands flailing like he’s trying to swim on land, or approximate the chicken dance while on an LSD trip.

     “You can’t do this! It’s absolute bullshit!” Armstrong yells.

     I look around the table, trying to piece together what I missed.

     “I’m sorry, Armstrong. I know this is a shock, but we feel it’s in the company’s best interest to put Lincoln at the helm during this transitional stage,” G-mom says firmly.

     At the helm? I look to G-mom who’s busy not looking at me.

     Armstrong jabs at finger at himself. “But I’m the one who’s put in all the time here! I deserve to run the company! Lincoln doesn’t know the first thing about Moorehead. All he knows how to do is dig wells and forage for food in the wilderness. How are those valuable assets here?” He turns his attention to our mother. “Did you know about this? How can you let this happen? Look at him. How can that be the face of our company? He looks like he crawled out of a gutter and mugged a twenty-year-old college kid on a bender. How is this better for our bottom line?”

     My mother clasps her hands in front of her. “I’m sorry, Armstrong, but this decision wasn’t mine to make. I know this is hard for you, but your grandmother and fath—”

     Armstrong stomps his foot, exactly as a toddler would. “The company is mine! Lincoln can’t have it!”

     I raise a hand, half to quiet my brother and also to find out what the freaking deal is. “Whoa, let’s back this bus up. Can someone explain what’s going on?”

     “You’ve been appointed as the CEO of Moorehead Media, according to the will,” Christophe—no R, because that would make it far too pedestrian a name—my father’s lawyer says.

     I’m working on trying to remain calm as I address my grandmother. “You didn’t say anything about me being CEO. You said you needed my help.”

     “Running the company, yes,” she says through a practiced, stiff smile.

     It’s her warning face, but seriously, when she said she needed my help for a few months I figured it meant I’d be keeping Armstrong in line while she sorted out who was going to take over the company, which I realize now was a stupid assumption.

     “I didn’t think that meant CEO. How am I going to run a company with this dickhead on staff?” I motion to my brother.

     “The name calling is unnecessary,” G-mom replies.

     “Lincoln’s not even part of this family! He hasn’t attended one event in the past five years except for Dad’s funeral. He didn’t bother coming to my wedding and now he’s going to run the company? How is that fair?”

     I snort. “Your wedding was an expensive joke.”

     He crosses his arms over his chest. “I was set up. Amalie had cold feet and made me out to look like the bad guy.”

     The woman beside him shoots him disgusted look.

     Armstrong clears his throat and tugs at his collar. “My wedding is not the real issue. The point is that you’ve never involved yourself in any part of this family and now you think you can come in and take over. I will not stand by and let this happen!” He keeps jabbing his finger at me, as if he’s engaged in a finger sword fight.

     I lean back in my chair and lace my fingers behind my neck. Armstrong has always been reactive. And self-absorbed. For a while it seemed like he finally had it together—back when he was engaged. But ever since that fiasco of a wedding he seems to have come completely unglued. Again. But worse this time. “Someone needs a timeout.”



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Helena Hunting
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.
Social Media Links:



Tuesday, January 15, 2019

THE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR by Roni Loren: Review and Giveaway


THE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR 
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #3
By Roni Loren
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 1, 2019
384 Pages 

How hard would you fight for the one you love?

Taryn Landry was there that awful night fourteen years ago when Long Acre changed from the name of a town to the title of a national tragedy. Everyone knows she lost her younger sister. No one knows it was her fault. Since then, psychology professor Taryn has dedicated her life’s work to preventing something like that from ever happening again. Falling in love was never part of the plan…

 Shaw Miller has spent more than a decade dealing with the fallout of his brother’s horrific actions. After losing everything—his chance at Olympic gold, his family, almost his sanity—he’s changed his name, his look, and he’s finally starting a new life. As long as he keeps a low profile and his identity secret, everything will be okay, right? 

When the world and everyone you know defines you by one catastrophic tragedy…
How do you find your happy ending?

MY THOUGHTS

I have loved every book in this series. It's surprising to write this because I was extremely hesitant to start this series when my book club selected it because of the subject matter. This is something that has directly affected my life, so it's with caution that I even consider reading books about school shootings. I went in with the idea that if the story upset me for any (many) reason(s), I would stop reading it. I gave myself the freedom to make that decision. But I didn't need to. And what I've found is a story that I've connected with, characters that I care about, and an opportunity for a bit of healing. 


THE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR is by far the most heart-wrenching book of the series. Readers learn of the traumas experienced by the siblings in the aftermath of the school shooting. There are so many victims - those affected directly and indirectly and the author presents this with compassion. And she effectively expresses that this is something that never goes away. 

This Quote
"Move on. Was that a thing people really did after something ripped your entire world in two? Move forward, maybe, but moving on seemed like a ridiculous expectation."
↑↑↑↑↑
I wrote this in my review of THE ONE YOU CAN'T FORGET: (Roni Loren) gets it.

What I like about THE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR:
  • The author creates thoughtful characters. Taryn is definitely a favorite. She thinks critically and rationally, without judgment and with empathy.  
  • I love the friendships and companionship expressed between the characters. 
  • Shaw is a character I couldn't help but fall for.

More Favorite Quotes
"I can just…be myself for better or worse. That feels like a special kind of freedom.”

"Wanting to have your own happiness isn’t a betrayal. That isn’t selfish. You deserve that. Wouldn’t Nia want that for you?

I've highlighted a bunch of favorite quotes, but these really stick with me.

THE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR may be my favorite of the series, but I'm not going to be too quick to give it that title because I've loved all of them for different reasons. And I'm thrilled there is another book coming in the series because I don't want it to end!


Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. I've purchased a finished copy of this title for my personal library. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


Get Your Copy Today
Indiebound: http://bit.ly/2QHrEoH
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/2QFdLas
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2QJPG2k

Or take a chance to win a copy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Excerpt Reveal" ONLY A BREATH APART by Katie McGarry

   

Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?


“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. 

“Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART will be available on all retailers on January 22, 2019!

   
About ONLY A BREATH APART:

Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.

Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.

Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no.Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.
 
   

"Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce."

―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series


 

Add it to your Goodreads today!

      

READ AN EXCERPT

I’m defying my parents by attending a funeral. Reckless and adventurous teenage behavior, I know. Most seventeen-year-olds lie to their parents so they can go on a date with a forbidden boy or attend a party where there will be questionable behavior. Me? I’m outright lying to my dad, and it’s because Jesse Lachlin’s grandmother died.
The entire way here I’ve questioned my sanity, but I don’t know how I’d live with myself if I stayed home. Jesse Lachlin used to be my childhood best friend. We were inseparable. We had the type of friendship people strive to have, and then, a few years ago, he cut me so deeply that I still bleed. But ten-year-old me would have never abandoned a hurting Jesse. So today I’m not only honoring the memory of Jesse’s grandmother, but also the memory of our dead friendship.
On my way to the funeral, the high grass of the field swats at my legs, but I don’t mind the sting. I love walking barefoot in grass, I love the smell of the earth and I love that brief feeling of freedom open spaces can provide.
It’s the dog days of August. The type of hot that starts when the sun rises and makes you sweat through your clothes within minutes. While my skin and palms are on fire, the pads of my feet are cool against the dirt. The heat is unwelcome, but the sky is deep blue and the sun is bright, and for that, I can be grateful.
Walking out of the field, I stop short of crossing the one-lane road to slip on the flats that dangle from my fingertips. My mother would be mortified if she knew I was entering a church in a cotton daisy-print sundress. It’s not one of the dresses with stiff fabric and impossible back zippers she would have picked for me at an overpriced department store. It’s the type that’s machine-washable and breathable. The type of dress Jesse’s grandmother would have given her stamp of approval.
I can practically hear my mother heavily sigh and mumble my name, Scarlett, as if it were her personal, private curse word. Mom believes there’s a certain way to dress and behave, and I’m breaking all sorts of her rules today. Watch out, world. I’m officially rebellious.
I smile to myself because I’m the opposite of rebellious. For the last few years, I’ve followed every rule. I’m the teacher’s pet and the girl with straight A’s. I’m the poster child of perfection, and have earned every snarky ice princess comment Jesse’s friends whisper about me in the school hallways because he and I no longer speak.
There are only six cars in the parking lot of the white church, and that makes me frown. I thought more people would have wanted to attend. Jesse’s mud-covered pickup is there, and so is an unnaturally clean black Mercedes that belongs to his uncle. This ought to be interesting. Jesse and his uncle have a mutual hate for each other that runs deeper than any root of any tree.
Movement to my right and I slowly turn my head. Shivers run down my spine at the sight of Glory Gardner. Even though I’m seventeen and too old for ghost stories, I still can’t shake the ones regarding this woman. Girls would whisper over lunch boxes that Glory was a witch. As I grew older, I understood that witch meant con artist. She claims she can read palms, tarot cards and “sees” spirits from beyond the dead. All for a glorious fee.
She’s a beautiful woman—long dirty blond hair that’s untamed, even in a bun, and she has an eclectic taste in clothing. Today she wears a white peasant shirt and a flowing skirt made of material that shimmers in the sun.
Glory watches me like I watch her, with morbid curiosity. I knew her as a child, back when Jesse and I ran wild in the fields near her home, but we haven’t talked in years.
She stands under the shade of a towering weeping willow. There are lots of those trees around here. Mom says it’s because there is too much water in the ground. I say it’s because the people in this town have cried too many tears. Mom doesn’t like my answer.
I tilt my head toward the church, an unspoken question if Glory will be joining me. She shakes her head no. I’m not shocked. According to rumors, Glory will go up in flames if she enters the house of God. But who knows? Maybe I will, too.
The church is one of those picturesque, historical, one-room school buildings squeezed between a cornfield on one side and a hay field on the other. A huge steeple with a bell attempts to reach the heavens, but like anything created by a human, it falls tragically short.
The foreboding wooden door makes no noise as I open it, and I’m able to slip in without a huge, squeaking announcement. Orange light filters in through the dark stained glass windows, and its struggling beams reveal millions of dancing particles of dust.
On the altar, there’s no casket, but there is an urn. My heart dips—Suzanne is dead. I used to wish she were my grandmother, and many times, she treated me as if I belonged to her. Suzanne was the epitome of love, and the world feels colder now that she’s gone.
Choosing a spot in the back, I drop into a pew, and as I scan the church my stomach churns. How is it possible that this place is so barren?
Besides the Funeral Brigade, or the FB, as I like to refer to them, there aren’t many people here. The FB are the older group of woman who attend every funeral in our small town even if they didn’t know the person. Attending funerals isn’t my idea of fun, but who am I to judge?
The FB sit directly behind the one person the town believes to be the lone sane member of the Lachlin family, probably because he isn’t blood related—Jesse’s uncle.
On the left side of the church is Jesse. Only Jesse. And that causes a painful pang in my chest. Where are his stinking friends? The anarchists in training who follow Jesse wherever he goes? Where is the rest of the town? Yes, Suzanne was polarizing, but still, where is any respect?
Quietly, so I don’t draw attention to myself, I slip from the right set of pews to the left. Someone should be on Jesse’s side, and it’s sad it has to be me.
A door at the front of the church opens, and the pastor walks out from the addition the church build on as a small office ten years ago. I would have thought any pastor assigned to this place would be as ancient as this church. Sort of like an Indiana Jones Knights Templar scenario where he lives forever as long as he stays inside. But no, he’s the youngest pastor from the main, newer church in town. His name is Pastor Hughes, and he’s a thirty-something black man with a fit build who is just cute enough that he should be starring in a movie.
The pastor looks up, and he flinches as if startled. I peek over my shoulder then sigh. Clearly, he’s surprised to see me. Flipping fantastic.
His reaction, and the fact he won’t stop staring, causes every person to turn their heads. Lovely. I’ve had dreams like this where I enter a room and become the center of attention. Only in my dreams it’s at school, it’s my classmates and I’m naked, but still, this is disconcerting.
Eventually, the FB and Jesse’s uncle return their attention to the front, but Jesse doesn’t. He rests his arm on the back of the pew, and it’s hard to ignore that he’s made me his sole focus, but I do my best to act as if I don’t notice.
To help, I concentrate on what my mom taught me as a child—to make sure the skirt of my dress is tucked appropriately so that my thighs don’t show. I then fold my hands in my lap and straighten to a book-on-head posture. I can be the ice princess people claim me to be.
Five pews separate me and Jesse, and it’s not nearly enough. My cheeks burn under his continued inspection. Jesse has done this a handful of times since our freshman year. Glance at me as if I’m someone worth looking at, someone worth laughing with a little too loud and smiling with a little too much. Then he remembers who I am and snaps his gaze to someone else.
But he’s not looking away now.


  
About Katie McGarry:
 Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. 

 Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.


      

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2019 Sign-Up


I'm joining the 2019 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Andi's ABC's. I read mostly contemporary romance and I'm trying to up my review game (more thoughtful, more often), so this makes complete sense.

My Challenge Level: Grand Slam
Read 21+ books

Want to join the challege? Check out the details below.

Reading Challenge Details:

  • Runs January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019 (books read prior to 1/1/2019 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime you want, though the sign up linky will close Nov. 15, 2019. 
  • The goal is to read as many Contemporary Romance books as you’d like. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down. Remember, the idea is to challenge yourself.
  • Books that qualify for this challenge can be young adult, new adult, or adult. Books can be M/F, M/M, or F/F. Books must be a work of fiction (sorry, nonfiction does not qualify for this challenge).
  • Romances with the following elements do not qualify for this reading challenge: paranormal, historical, time-travel, fantasy, science fiction, or mystery/suspense/thriller.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are 100 pages in length (give or take), as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Use the hashtag #ContRom2019 when posting your reviews/updates/re-caps/monthly topics on social media.
  • To join this challenge, grab the 2019 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge button below and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. This will be your “update post” when doing the monthly link up.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc., so as long as you have a dedicated shelf for the 2018 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge (your designated “update post” for the monthly link up) and your profile is not private. The point of linking up is to have a place where people can see what you’re reading.

Levels:

  • 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books
  • 2nd Base: read 6 – 10 books
  • 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books
  • Home Run: read 16 – 20 books
  • Grand Slam: read 21+ books
Monthly Link-Up and Giveaway Details found at Andi's ABC's.

I'll post updates here and on Twitter and Instagram @actinupjoli using #ContRom2019 I can't wait to chat about the books we're reading.

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