Young Adult Giveaway Hop

That awesome hopper Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not a Writer, is at it again with another giveaway hop! Amanda from Book Love 101 is the co-host.

I’m giving away ebooks of my mature YA Streamline to two winners.

Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone.
Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter–her father–is in prison for murder.
Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline.

To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter form. Good luck!

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Make sure to hop over to as many participating blogs as you can.

Crazy Stupid Love New Adult Giveaway

To piggyback on my first post of 2013 lauding the New Adult genre, I’m joining the Crazy Stupid Love New Adult Giveaway!

Crazy Stupid Love Button
Thank you to Talk Supe for hosting this fun hop.

Stop back February 21st – 28th when I will give away a gift card to purchase a New Adult book, and discuss MY favorite NA books. (And the list is quickly building!) I’m about to start Point of Retreat, the sequel to Slammed, and I can’t wait.

If all goes well, I’ll be writing my own NA story by then.

I’m also participating in giveaway hops before that, including the Bad Boy Rehab Hop, Young Adult Giveaway Hop, and Follower Love Giveaway Hop. See my sidebar for details.

Insecure Writers’ Support Group: New Year, New Adult

Happy New Year to all insecure writers out there! Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for bringing us together to vent, cajole, disclose, and lift up.

I write this post at midnight after just reaching 100,000 words on my WIP On Best Behavior. YAY! Of course I’m not finished yet but I’m only a couple of chapters away — home stretch, baby. And I feel extra giddy because it’s the third book of a trilogy. My first series!
Here’s my one complaint for today: Why does it take so loooooonnnggg to write? WAAH.
When you’re wrapping up one novel, do you already start mentally writing your next one? I have an idea for a New Adult romance percolating, and I can’t wait to get started…after I finish and edit On Best Behavior, and after a little break.
What’s the New Adult genre, you ask? If you’re unfamiliar with NA, it’s about characters ages 18-25. Read more HERE.
I love this time of life, particularly the university years. College and the beginning of graduate school was such a time of growth for me, and this potential for character change inspires me.
I’ve read some fantastic NA books, including Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia,  Slammed by Colleen Hoover, Easy by Tammara Webber (review HERE), and Where She Went by Gayle Forman (review HERE).
What do you think about New Adult? Love it? Hate it?
I think New Adult may be the hot genre of 2013. Do you agree? If not, which genre do you predict to be hottest?

Review: Pushing the Limits

With the Goodreads Choice Awards opening, I want to share my review for the book I voted as best Young Adult Fiction–truly one of the best reads of this year for me: Pushing the Limits.

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Heartbreaking Tale of Healing and Young Love

I love YA issue contemporaries, and this story is the best I’ve read. Thank you to all my GR friends who recommended this story. Yes, Rena…Mrs. Collins rocks!

Echo Emerson used to be the popular girl at her Midwestern high school. Sure, her controlling father and mentally ill mother had divorced, and her older brother had died fighting in Afghanistan, but she was managing okay. Until the night her mother stopped taking her medication for Bipolar Disorder. Echo emerged from that night covered in scars, with absolutely no memory for what happened. She went from popular to freak — withdrawn and scared.

Luckily for Echo, the school hires a new clinical social worker — Mrs. Collins — who meets with selected troubled students for therapy. (Echo doesn’t feel so lucky to meet with Mrs. Collins, but she doesn’t have much choice).

Another student Mrs. Collins targets is Noah Hutchins, the hot, dark boy in cheap clothes and a leather jacket. His backstory slays me. Noah’s parents died in a house fire, forcing him and his much younger brothers into foster care. And foster care hasn’t been pretty for Noah. The system labeled him as dangerous after he hit one abusive foster father, and now he has limited visits with his brothers. Every time Noah interacts with his adorable bros, I bawled. Jacob is eight and little Tyler’s only four.

The door opened and I automatically stood with the gifts still in my hands. Jacob flew through the door and rammed his body into mine. His head reached my stomach now. I tossed the presents on the table, lowered myself to Jacob’s level and wrapped my arms around him. My heart dropped. Man, he’d grown.

The scheming Mrs. Collins knows Echo wants a job and Noah isn’t working up to his potential in school, so she hires Echo to tutor Noah in Calculus and other subjects. They gradually disclose their pain to each other, starting with Noah:

“It doesn’t get better,” I said. “The pain. The wounds scab over and you don’t always feel like a knife is slashing through you. But when you least expect it, the pain flashes to remind you you’ll never be the same.”

Later Noah asks Echo:

“Think Mrs. Collins put the two most depressed people together on purpose?” I flashed a smile to keep the honesty of the statement from corroding the remainder of my heart.
Echo’s hand retreated. “Wow, I thought I was the only person at this school faking every moment.”

When they compare their scars, they reveal their immense insecurity, starting with Echo:

“It’s not the same. You’re strong. You helped people. I…I trusted the wrong person and I go all pathetic and don’t remember a thing. Anyhow, you’re a guy. Scars on guys are, like, sexy. Scars on girls…that’s just…ugly.” And there, I said it — out loud.
His hold on my hand tightened and his eyes darkened into thunderclouds. “F that. There is no shame in trusting your mother. She f’ed up. Not you. As as for that pathetic bullshit — f that too. You are not pathetic. You had the guts to return to school and continue to live your life like nothing happened. Me? I lost it all and flushed anything left of me down the damn toilet. Now that’s pathetic.”

Beautiful! If only Noah could give himself the same compassion. But these two do grow emotionally in the story, and I thought the ending was both happy AND realistic — my favorite.

This story truly moved me and I want to recommend it to everyone I know. I can’t believe this is a debut novel! I can’t freaking wait to read the continuation of Echo and Noah’s journeys.

View all my reviews

And now bounce with Omnific Publishing! Instructions HERE.

 

Did I Notice Your Book?

Thanks to Ciara Knight and Ninja Alex Cavanaugh for this clever blogfest!

Here are the guidelines:

Post about a book you’ve noticed.

You can choose a book that you’ve read, something you saw on a blog or social media site, Goodreads, or a sales website. Anything that caught your eye because of a great cover, blurb or reviews, but DON’T tell the author that their book has been noticed. Instead, shout out on social media sites, and encourage others to do the same, until the author finds his/her book.

Leave a blog comment at Ninja Captain Alex or Ciara Knight when the author finds their book. 

I’ve actually noticed TWO books recently (hopefully that’s not cheating?)

First, I met author Kyra Lennon on the A to Z Blog Challenge in April, when she posted compelling excerpts about a soccer romance (I love sports romances.)

Then I blink and suddenly her debut novel Game On had already been released! How could I have missed it?

That cover bends it like Iniesta!

Naturally I had to get my hands on Kyra’s novel and I loved it. Here’s my 5 star REVIEW.

Just yesterday I noticed another book, this one by my pub sister Alison Oburia. Her romantic suspense (also a favorite genre) Between the Lies launches in one week (10-23-12) and I can’t wait to read it.

Doctoral student Cari Lopez’s academic life is in a rut, but when she comes home to discover a stranger asleep on her doorstep, her personal life becomes immediately more interesting. British accountant Tristan Saunders is a kindred spirit—with a fantastic accent—and there’s a connection kindling, but Cari soon learns he’s made an enemy of the Bulgarian mafia. His trip to the US is far from a vacation.

The enemy is hidden, yet ominously present and always watching. And though they’ve known each other merely a few days, Cari and Tristan are soon on the run for their lives.

Alison Oburia’s layered storytelling reveals a tale of international intrigue and complex relationships, which is distilled to its essence in two hearts. Not everything is as it appears, and people are not who they seem to be. Faced with deception at all angles, Cari must sort out what’s real. If she’s to stay alive—and possibly fall in love, she has to find the truth…between the lies.

Doesn’t that sound great? I’m totally into the Mafia, romance, and suspense.

I look forward to checking out what books YOU have noticed. Have fun today.

GLBT Madness Hop

Thank you to Carole and The Romance Reviews for hosting the GLBT Madness Hop!

I’m now in my early 40’s and I’ve seen some wonderful improvements in acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender folks in the course of my lifetime. Still, homophobia remains, especially in certain pockets of culture.

Athletics is a culture that’s dear to me but sadly still struggling with tolerance of GLBT issues. I witnessed a close friend grapple with the coming out process on my college swim team, and his battle really influenced me to become a heterosexual ally.

I wrote about this experience in my fictional short story Swim Recruit, which I’m offering for free. Heterosexuals can make a huge impact by fighting against homophobia. I’m also offering an iTunes gift card to download great music by gay artists like the Indigo Girls!
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Click this button to visit the next blog on the hop! The Romance Reviews GLBT Madness Hop