Showing posts with label Xpresso Book Tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Xpresso Book Tours. Show all posts

Friday, August 17, 2018

"When Time Stands Still" by Sara Furlong Burr

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
When Time Stands Still
by Sara Furlong Burr

When Time Stands Still by Sara Furlong Burr

When Time Stands Still by Sara Furlong Burr is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
It’s been nearly a decade since Elle Sloan last saw Luke Hutchins. Close to ten years since she broke up with him over a single phone call, providing him with little explanation. Since the end of their relationship, Elle has done everything she could do to move on, marrying, proceeding forward with her life, almost allowing herself to completely forget about Luke.
Almost.
Out of nowhere, Elle receives a phone call from Luke’s mother. Luke has been in a horrific car accident and, a month later, has just awoken from a coma. However, instead of celebrating, his family is stunned to learn that Luke is suffering from amnesia and only remembers his life as it was before his breakup with Elle. Not wanting to tell Luke that he and Elle aren’t together anymore for fear it may compromise his recovery, Elle is asked by Luke’s family to come to the hospital to see him. Their hope is that she will slowly be able to jog his memory and cushion the blow.
Guilt-ridden over how their relationship ended, Elle readily agrees, finding herself transported back in time with Luke to the life they once shared and the future they could have had together.

Excerpt
I heard voices even before I stepped inside of the room. They were soft, but one by one, I was able to discern who was speaking. The first voice struck me like a freight train, catapulting me further back in time with each word he spoke. The second one made my heart skip a beat.
As I walked farther into the room, I saw another vision of my past sitting next to the hospital bed. His attention, at first, was entirely focused on the occupant in the bed, until movement from me diverted his attention to me. He locked eyes with me, surprise on his face quickly turning to an odd combination of contradiction. Anger, excitement, and suspicion all appeared to be waging war and were enough to give me whiplash just looking at him. Peter Monroe—or just Monroe, as he preferred to be called—had been Luke’s best friend since pretty much the dawn of each other’s existence. He’d aged. His boyish good looks had hardened into a man who would have been difficult to recognize to me, save for the same square chin, overly large nose, and mischievous eyes I had remembered so fondly.
Another step inside the room revealed a sight I had fought valiantly to keep from infiltrating my dreams for the last several years. Like Monroe, he didn’t notice my arrival at first, and I was grateful for that because the shock I was feeling at that moment would have undoubtedly transferred onto him. His head was turned, his eyes, from what I could see of them, were closed. Most of his features were facing Monroe, but from what little I could make out of them, he looked exactly how I remembered him. The rest of his body, however, was a different story.
His hair had begun to grow back after having obviously been recently shaved to prep him for surgery. On the side of his head that was visible to me, a bandage was secured to his scalp just above his ear and was wrapped around his head. Both of his legs had been broken and were secured with immobilizers, resembling large boots. He’d been through hell and back physically, and I feared he’d soon go through the same emotionally, all because of me.
Tears fell down my face before I even had the chance to realize they had formed. Not wanting Luke to see me upset, I dabbed my eyes with my sleeve and did my best to maintain my composure before he realized I was there. With a lump in my throat, I took a step closer to the bed, approaching it on the opposite side of Monroe. There another chair sat, which I was grateful for in the event my legs felt like they were going to give out on me. Monroe sat watching me expectantly, silently screaming at me to announce my presence and put an end to the torment Luke must have been going through since regaining consciousness.
Closing my eyes, I took a breath and spoke. “Luke.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I’m a sucker for second chance romances, especially when there is angst involved. I LOVE ANGST! There is nothing like the rip-your-heart-out-and-stomp-on-it theme, as long as the story has an HEA. I definitely give this one my highest recommendation!!” ~ fbpsmum
“Loved this newest book by Sara Furlong-Burr. It was a very easy read and hardly wanted to stop reading because you wanted to know what happened next. Love her style of writing.” ~ Deb Pachulski
“With themes of alcoholism, low self-esteem and rape/assault, this might not be the book for everyone, but I recommend this as a thoughtful read emphasizing the need to be happy with yourself first before trying to bring happiness to others.” ~ shrimp8406
“Excellent title, great characters, plenty of intrigue and a unique plot, not easy to find these days.” ~ designgirl
“Sometimes, it's impossible to know how to begin to describe a book that touches your heart. All I know is I read something beautiful and real and heartbreaking at once. Maybe because I'm of an age with the main characters and related so much to their stories, their lives. Or maybe because it reminded me of a piece of myself I'd forgotten. Either way, Burr has given us a gift with When Time Stands Still.” ~ Jennifer Silverwood

 

About the Author
Sara Furlong Burr
Sara Furlong Burr was born and raised in Michigan and currently still lives there with her husband, two daughters, a high-strung Lab, and three judgmental cats. When she’s not writing, Sara enjoys reading, camping, spending time with her family, and attempting to paint while consuming more amaretto sours than she cares to admit.




Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of When Time Stands Still and a $20 Amazon gift card (open internationally).

Links

Friday, August 10, 2018

"Infamous" by Allison Stowe

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Infamous
by Allison Stowe

Infamous by Allison Stowe

Infamous by Allison Stowe is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Enter the world of this YA thriller, where nothing is ever quite as it seems…
It’s been five years since the high profile kidnapping case which turned Cassie Waterson’s life upside down. The aftermath led her to become a household name – for months, she was splashed across TV screens, appeared in newspaper headlines, and featured in the furtive whispers of the residents of her hometown. But why? She hadn’t done anything significant. In fact, she’d done nothing at all; merely watched, motionless, as a shadowy figure lifted her baby sister off her feet, and bundled her into the back of a station wagon.
That single moment soon became Cassie Waterson’s life. Agonised by guilt, confused by the lack of punishment, scrutinized by the media circus… everyone claims to know Cassie now, but nobody does at all. The face she puts on for cameras, the voice she fakes for the talk shows… none of that is the reality behind the mask. Cassie is not the strong, confident girl who glares with certainty from the screen. Cassie doesn’t have her assuredness or her optimism about her sister coming home. Cassie is someone else entirely, and the only person who knows is the one person she must avoid… at all costs.
Every story has two sides, and the flipside of Cassie Waterson is Alexis Aldridge. Unknown, anonymous, kept hidden from the world by her fearful parents … Alexis is a conundrum, wrapped in darkness. While she and Cassie lead opposite lives, they both long for the one thing they miss: a sense of normalcy, and the freedom to be themselves.
Infamous is an unmissable YA mystery novel which will take you on twist after turn, and which provides suspense and surprises on every page.

Excerpt
Her father wasn’t facing her anymore. He was searching the lawn. Something clicked. Through Cassie’s blurred vision, she saw his eyes transform as the knowledge sunk in.
“Where’s your sister?” he asked.
That was it. She felt the truth finally make its way from her heart to her head. Her face contorted as she exploded into a crying fit. She couldn’t answer.
“Cassie!” he barked. “Where is she?”
By now he had stomped over and placed a firm hand on her shoulder. He shook her, but Cassie was trembling anyway, rendering his efforts to make eye contact useless.
She tried to speak but couldn’t; her sobs were blocking the airway to her lungs. She inhaled sharply.
“A lady came,” she started, sobbing again. “She took her. She had Sophie and I tried to stop her but she was too fast and then she was gone.” She got the words out in one breath, allowing her to give in to the tears once more.
After a moment of silence, her father sprinted in the direction of that corner, where Cassie had been hallucinating her sister’s return. He paused at the side entry gate, still braced to run. His head darted in all directions, looking for the car or a clue or his little girl, safely abandoned on the side of the road. Meanwhile, Cassie’s mother froze. Hours of sun bed-induced tanning seemed to reverse in seconds. Cassie had never seen her so lifeless. Her mouth hung open, jaw slightly shuddering as though grasping for words.
“Elizabeth! The police station!”
The words drew Cassie’s gaze back to her father. From the corner of her eye, she saw him dart off again, this time disappearing, just like that station wagon before him.
Cassie knew right then that her life before that moment would be irrelevant. She had been strolling down a path of life that ended with a “Do Not Enter” sign. She had no choice but to change direction, and it would lead her somewhere far away from that golden destination that she’d originally been headed.
Without washing her mascara-stained cheeks, her mother marched into the family SUV and set off for the police station. The next morning, the journalists arrived asking for pictures of Sophie. Cassie’s father greeted them. She remembered watching from behind the staircase railing as he slouched through the archway, from the foyer to the living room. He didn’t turn on the lights. He just stared at the photographs on the hand-carved mantle while Cassie wondered why he preferred the dark. After six full minutes, he chose one. Then he replanted it facedown on the surface and walked away.
So Cassie hunted through scores of albums, while her father lay paralysed in bed and her mother sat at the dining room table, with that same lifeless expression and a never-empty glass of wine. By afternoon, the local news had called for an interview. It took place on the porch, and Elizabeth was otherwise engaged. Ray, on the other hand, made it to the front door, but one glance of the yard sent him straight back into his ‘living dead’ state. He looked to Cassie, his body awkward and eyes uncertain. She told him she could talk to the camera people, and a moment later he offered a slow nod. He’d be just inside, he said. By evening, the story had caught the attention of national news carriers, and Cassie’s picture was being shown alongside her lost sister’s on television screens across North America.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Amazing book. Very suspenseful. Leaves you on cliffhangers a ton, which makes the book more exciting. Really good read. Recommended.” ~ jak3m3ns
“I really enjoyed Infamous. It is well written and shows the horrors that a family can face when something happens to their child. Overall, Infamous is a solid mystery that will keep you guessing up until the very end. Which the ending also has an additional twist I was really surprised about and in a way was very satisfying.” ~ R.R.
“I enjoyed this book tremendously. I couldn't put it down except for the part where I had to take a break because I couldn't see the page for my tears. I look forward to reading more by this author!” ~ Brittany Strickland Dunn
“I thought that this book was a very interesting read! I actually really enjoyed that it was set up as a dual-perspective YA because it gave you more information on both sides plus we were able to explore two countries - Canada and England!” ~ Jackie
“I really loved Infamous. The story is different; it's not recycled material we've seen over and over again. It goes with our society's obsession with crimes, media and (mis)information. And, most of all, it digs deep into characters that are wonderful to read. Sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic, the writing is solid from beginning to end.” ~ E

About the Author
Allison Stowe
Allison Stowe is the author of the YA novel, Infamous. Raised in a generic Toronto suburb, Allison spent her childhood posting fan fiction online in hopes of influencing The WB’s writing rooms. She wrote her first novel at age 13. It was based on her favorite TV show, and upon submission, she learned of copyright law.
In 2010, she graduated with a BA (Hons) in Journalism from Ryerson University, where she was the Managing Editor of the online newspaper. During her brief journalistic career, Allison wrote for Chatelaine magazine and TV Guide Canada (essentially achieving a life dream). Shortly after graduation, she relocated to Brighton, UK, and refocused her attention on her second passion – helping young people.
While studying for her MSc in Educational Psychology at UCL, Allison wrote Infamous as a way to fulfill her instinct to keep writing. When she isn’t writing about the lives of young adults, or watching prime-time teen dramas, Allison mentors university students who’ve been diagnosed with mental health issues. She lives in London, UK, with her fluffy ginger cat, Sawyer. Infamous is her debut novel.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of five signed copies of Infamous by Allison Stowe (open internationally).

Links

Friday, August 3, 2018

"The Impossibility of Us" by Katy Upperman

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
The Impossibility of Us
by Katy Upperman

The Impossibility of Us  by Katy Upperman

The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
The last thing Elise wants is to start her senior year in a new town. But after her brother’s death in Afghanistan, she and her mother move from San Francisco to a sleepy coastal village.
When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family. Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more.
But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact - Mati is Afghan.
Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, The Impossibility of Us asks - how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love?


Excerpt
I lower my camera, letting it hang from the woven strap around my neck. Absently, I toss Bambi’s tennis ball, not so far this time, because I’m watching a tall figure move down the beach. He’s a ways south, but I can tell he’s somewhere near my age—a small miracle in this town.
He’s wearing dark track pants and a hooded sweatshirt, and his hair’s black, standing out in sharp contrast to the pale sand.
He strides into the surf, fully clothed.
The air is cool and crisp, and the ocean is frigid. He’s up to his knees when a white-capped wave breaks hard against his middle, driving him back a few steps. I expect him to wade out, back to the beach, but he presses forward, undeterred, immersing his lower half completely. He uses his hands against the surging breakers like he thinks he can control them, like he’s unaware of the water’s absolute power.
I’m no fearmonger—that’s more in keeping with my mom’s personality—but the Pacific’s scary along this strip of the coast. I’ve seen surfers in dry suits, but unless you’ve got a board, this isn’t a swimming beach. Thanks to the California Current, the water’s bitter cold and the undertows are unreal. There are sharks, too. Big ones, which normally feed on harbor seals and sea lions, but are probably ravenous for breakfast at the moment and would likely settle for a nice big bite of boy.
“Hey!” I call as he moves farther into the swells. Stupid, because there’s no way he can hear me over the wind and the waves.
What he’s doing . . . It’s so unsafe.
Without a second thought, I take off in his direction, clutching my camera so it doesn’t knock against my chest. Bambi chases me, nipping at my heels.
He’s up to his shoulders when I reach the dragging footsteps he left in the sand. I watch him jump as waves distend, then advance beyond him in a race for the beach. His head bobs the way Bambi’s ball does after landing in the surf. If he goes any deeper, he could be sucked out to sea.
“Hey!” I scream again, waving my arms.
He doesn’t hear me, or doesn’t want to, because he pushes off and paddles farther out.
He’s an adrenaline-seeking dumbass, or he’s suicidal. I keep my eyes on his dark hair and peel off my sweatshirt, trying not to strangle myself with my camera’s strap in the process. I toss it into the sand and take half a second to wrap my Nikon in its fabric, praying my beloved camera doesn’t get stolen or lost to an aggressive wave.
Then I bolt into the ocean.
I lose my breath immediately.
The water is millions of sharp pins sinking into my flesh. The breakers are powerful, but I battle them, keeping my eyes trained on the boy. Distantly, I hear Bambi’s distressed barking. I spare a quick glance over my shoulder as I slog through the deepening water; she’s still on the shore, hopping around. Silly dog will follow her ball into the water, but not me.
Again, I shout at the boy.
Again, no response.
Death wish, I think. And then: Me, too.
By the time I reach him, a good thirty yards offshore, I’m numb.
My teeth are chattering and I’m not calling out anymore because my tongue’s immovable. Treading to keep my head above water, I make a grab for his shoulder. He wrenches his head around and I realize, too late, that I’ve startled him. He jerks out of my grip.
“I’m trying to help you!” My voice is scratchy and my throat feels raked over.
He shakes his head. No.
“You can’t be out here—it’s dangerous!”
As if to illustrate my point, a rogue wave crashes over our heads.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“A poignant reminder that the world isn’t black and white, The Impossibility of Us crackles with chemistry and will fill you with hope.” ~ Gina Ciocca, author of Last Year’s Mistake, Busted, and A Kiss in the Dark
“The Impossibility of Us is such a sweet story of tolerance, hope, and love. It’s a timely one too. As we mourn the rise of bigotry and xenophobia, stories like this offer reassurance that there is still goodness in the human spirit. Katy Upperman does not shy away from including problematic opinions among her characters, but she also shares intelligent, thoughtful and poetic responses to them. This is the age old story of star cross’d lovers retold beautifully for the challenging world we live in today.” ~ Caroline Leech, author of Wait For Me and In Another Time
“Tender, romantic and realistic, The Impossibility of Us is the story of a strong girl growing stronger and a boy surrendering to the power of a love that seems impossible… It will linger in your mind and your heart.” ~ Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door, What I Thought Was True, and The Boy Most Likely To
“Katy Upperman’s The Impossibility of Us runs the gamut, from laughs to swoons, from goosebumps to tears. It’s a soaring, beautiful romance, for sure, but there are also so many powerful messages about loss, desertion, racism, tolerance, love, equality, selflessness, friendship, family, and kindness. Touching, well written, and impressively honest, The Impossibility of Us is not to be missed.” ~ Marci Lyn Curtis, author of The One Thing and The Leading Edge of Now


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Just before her senior year of high school, seventeen-year-old Elise is forced to move to the tiny town of Cypress Beach. An encounter with a strange boy on the beach will lead to something she never expected to find this far from her beloved San Francisco. Will she be strong enough to overcome the prejudices of her family in order to seek her own happiness? And is it true that, in the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson, “’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”?
The story is told in the first-person present tense from the points-of-view of Elise and Mati, with Mati’s story told in non-rhyming verse. This stylistic choice suits his voice, as the short sentences give us a sense that English isn’t his first language while, at the same time, making him sound poetic rather than stilted. The poetry theme is continued further by implying that his viewpoint is comprised of the actual entries in his notebook that, as an aspiring writer, he carries with him everywhere. In addition, the narrative is interspersed with quotes by Muslim poet Rumi. This book provides a fascinating look into the lifestyle and culture of Muslims and at the prejudices they must face in their day-to-day lives.
Beautiful and heartbreaking in equal measures.
Warnings: mild coarse language, sexual references, racism.

Some of My Favorite Lines
“Our world, no matter how beautiful, no matter how fulfilling, will forever feel off-kilter because Nicky was taken from it.”
“We’re all on a deadline. Every day’s a step toward extinction. Why not make the best of our time?”
“… his face breaks into a sunrise smile, casting light over the beach.”
“I don’t want to find love—I want it to find me. I want it to crash into me. Knock me down. Seize me.”
“I can’t decide if I’m right, or if my family’s right, or if right falls somewhere in the middle, in that gray area between their intolerance and my suddenly smitten heart.”
“Butterflies flap hopeful wings in my stomach. It’s strange to feel happiness amid this place drenched in somber memories. Strange, but not wrong.”
“My heart … It sings.”
“I realize he’s as upset as I am, and we’re such a mess, such a perfectly beautiful mess, I don’t care if time screeches to a halt and we’re frozen in this dreary room for eternity. At least I’ll be frozen with him.”
“I miss her like twilight misses the sun.”


About the Author
Katy Upperman
Katy Upperman is a graduate of Washington State University, a former elementary school teacher, and an insatiable reader. When not writing for young adults, Katy can be found whipping up batches of chocolate chip cookies or exploring the country with her husband and daughter. Kissing Max Holden was her debut novel; her sophomore novel, The Impossibility of Us, was  released in July 2018.



Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman (US/Canada only).

Links