GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Always Second Best
(Broken Dreams Book 3)
(Broken Dreams Book 3)
by Elodie Nowodazkij
Always Second Best is the third book in the Broken Dreams series by Elodie Nowodazkij. Also available: One Dream Only (FREE), One, Two, Three (currently FREE; read my blog post), and A Summer Like No Other.
Sometimes being first isn’t what you expected.
Seventeen-year-old ballerina Emilia Moretti is tired of always being second best. And she’s going to prove the world she deserves to be first. In her upcoming School of the Performing Arts showcase. In the eyes of her birth parents. And in the heart of the guy she loves. She spends hours rehearsing, hours dreaming about becoming number one, hours imagining how her entire life is about to change. But when nothing goes the way she planned, she’ll need to realize what it really means to be first.
Eighteen-year-old Nick Grawski doesn’t want to follow Daddy Dearest’s rules any longer. He’s going to prove he’s meant to be a dancer - not a lawyer - and he is not going to stay away from Em just because his father demands it. He needs to show Em that - this time around - he’s there to stay and that he won’t break her heart again. Even when her world goes down to shit, even when he finds out his dad may have been trying to protect him all along, even if being there for one another is harder than falling in love.
Always Second Best is a novel of hope and heartbreak and broken dreams. It’s a novel about falling in love and discovering that being first isn’t always what matters.
Excerpt from Chapter 17 / EM
“You’re either in love or you’re having a stroke,” Nonna says and chuckles.
“That’s so not funny,” I reply and she hugs me.
“If I can’t laugh about it, who else will?” she replies.
“No one. You shouldn’t be laughing about it and no one should be laughing about it.”
“I’d rather spend my last good years, or months or weeks, laughing at death coming than being afraid to look at it in the eyes, Bellisima.” She checks on the boiling polpette. “Have you eaten?”
“Not yet,” I reply. “They’re not going to be ready for another thirty minutes or so.”
“Why don’t you sit down with me and then we’ll eat,” she says and we settle at a table she has set on the side of the kitchen.
She puts her hand on mine. “Loving is scary. And sometimes getting hurt is worth it. I was hurt when your Poppa passed away. I was hurt when I lost your aunt and she was so little. But I don’t regret those loves because they didn’t mean to hurt me. I didn’t go into those relationships thinking how bad they were for me, but rather how good they made me feel.” She catches her breath. “If you’re afraid to get hurt, there's a good chance he's worth you giving him a chance. But if you know you’re going to get hurt, for no good reason, he’s not worth your time, and certainly not worth your love.”
“What if I already got hurt?”
“Maybe you both weren’t ready.” She leans forward. “You were not the only one who got hurt this summer, Bellisima. Nicholas did too.”
My eyes widen and she chuckles. “I’m old but I’m not blind. Now, tell me more about the recipe you used for the polpette.”
Praise for the Book
"The plot twists and winds through unexpected loops, one after another after another. Grief piles on top of grief. This book will slay you at times, but it will also put you as close to back together as it can. Which won't be all the way. Because Always Second Best is the kind of book that will stick with you, deep in your chest, for a long time after reading." ~ Riley Edgewood
"This book was as much a pleasure to read as the others, and the characters still grabbed, pulled me in and had me wishing life would finally go their way. [...] This is an emotional roller-coaster, which drags the characters through the toughest situations possible. [...] I recommend this to contemporary YA Romance fans as well as ballet lovers. There's a lot of heart in this story, which makes it hard not to fall in love with Em and Nick and hope they make it through." ~ Tonja Drecker
Guest Post by the Author
The Scary Moment Before Hitting Publish
As a self-publisher, I get to decide when my book is ready. I get to hit the “publish” button. But it never gets easier. And in my view, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Because being nervous in this case means that I care about the book, and I care about their journey. And yes, I need to work on being less anxious, but sometimes I also need to embrace it.
Emilia and Nicholas - Em & Nick - are two characters who are close to my heart. And letting them go in the world could probably be compared to when our parents let us go out of the door on that first day of class. They know it’s not going to be all pink and happy and laughter. But they are also convinced that we deserve the best.
Well, Always Second Best going out of the door, getting ready for the world, and I know Em & Nick will not only receive praise and love but there’s a big part of me that crosses my fingers that most of the world falls in love with them. Just like I did.
Part of the pre-order process on Amazon is that you need to upload your book 10 days before and in the self-publishing world, everything usually comes out faster, and I’m always scared out of my mind that maybe I should have just re-read it one more, maybe I should have just ask somebody else to give me feedback, maybe I should have scrapped the entire thing. And I’m the only one making that decision at that moment in time. (well, I do reach out to my friends in freaked out text messages or GChat for reassurance and they rock :P)
I keep my head high and my “delete” finger in check and I re-read the comments, and I make sure my little book is ready for all kinds of weather: for the negative reviews storm, for the positive reviews blue skies, for the “I loved this story” rainbows…
And I make sure I’m ready for that to: reaching out to friends, getting a hug from my husband, eating chocolate, watching a movie, going out, reading…
And then I hit “publish”…
And today, Always Second Best is available around the world.
And I cross my fingers you enjoy it at least half as much as I love it.
About the Author
Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she'd never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master's degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog, and their cat. She's also a serial smiley user.
Enter the blitz-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or the chance to name a character in Elodie’s next novel.