Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Katie McGarry's ONLY A BREATH APART Excerpt!


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!



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.


Amazon | Kobo | Google Play | B-A-M | Barnes & Noble | iBooks


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!

      Excerpt: SCARLETT 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.   Katie McGarry Bio: 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.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

#NonfictionNovember Wrapup Post

Although this readathon doesn't officially end until the 30th, I know that I will not be reading any nonfiction before then so I am completing my wrap up now.

I was pretty satisfied reading 3 nonfiction books this month.

The Secret by Rhonda Bryne. There is nothing new in this book but I still enjoyed refreshing myself on the concepts behind the law of attraction. Probably would have packed more of a punch if it was not quite as repetitive. A solid 3 out of 5. I liked it.

Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, One Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. This was the History Book Club selection for November. I liked the way she blended her thoughts into what Ona could have been thinking or feeling etc but since it was nonfiction, I wish there was just a bit more to the story. It is really hard to write a book such as this one since there is so very little written documentation. It just wasn't enough to write an entire book around we thought. I gave this one a solid 3 out 5. I liked it.

 Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I am a big fan of several of her shows so I was excited to read this one this month. I thought that it was interesting. I enjoyed her stories but didn't quite buy that she was so uncomfortable with all the attention she gained since she appeared to be such a diva. I thought that she had some really good takeaways...nothing new but a good reminder of things we should already know and practice. 3 out of 5. I liked it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Right now...

Right now I am reading In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis.

Right now I am watching Blacklist on Netflix.

Right now I am packing to move back to my BFFs house for a couple of weeks.

Right now I am hoping that the tree will be removed from our house within a couple of weeks. Yay!

Right now I am amazed that I have read so much this month so far.

Right now I am sad that Dancing with the Stars is over.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Nonfiction November Week 4: Nonfiction that Reads Like Fiction

Nonfiction November theme for this week is nonfiction that reads like fiction. You can see what others chose over at What's Nonfiction?

Week 4: (Nov. 19 to 23) – Reads Like Fiction (Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction): Nonfiction books often get praised for how they stack up to fiction. Does it matter to you whether nonfiction reads like a novel? If it does, what gives it that fiction-like feeling? Does it depend on the topic, the writing, the use of certain literary elements and techniques? What are your favorite nonfiction recommendations that read like fiction? And if your nonfiction picks could never be mistaken for novels, what do you love about the differences?

This was an interesting prompt. I love a well written nonfiction book that feels like fiction. This can be a tricky thing for authors to pull off though. I want it to be very fact based without a lot of assumptions from the author. A book that fits this prompt is one that I read just this month.

Our history book club pick, Never Caught: The Washington's Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, read very much like fiction. The author did a wonderful job of bringing the story to life. This was a difficult thing to do as so little was recorded about Ona.

Drawing from newspaper ads, interviews and customs of the time, Dunbar did a really good job of fleshing out Ona's world. This isn't a story that I had ever heard before. After reading this, my thoughts on the Washington's have definitely changed.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Tome Topple Round 7 Announcement

Tome Topple's rules are simple. Read books with more than 500 pages. There are challenges but they are optional. I have several books on my TBR that I have been wanting to get to that are over 500 pages so this is the perfect time to read them. 

I hope that I can find a nonfiction book to read as well so that I can double up and have it count towards #nonfictionNovember. Posted to my Twitter asking for ideas and received such good suggestions.

Optional Challenges to Help You Pick Your Tomes:

1. Read more than one tome.
2. Read a graphic novel (still over 500 pages!)
3. Read a tome that is part of a series.
4. Buddy read a tome (check the Goodreads group to find a buddy).
5. Read an adult tome (not YA or middle grade).

My current list of possibilities:

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Monsters of Men (Walking Chaos Book #3) by Patrick Ness
The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty by G.J. Meyer
The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk novel by Dean Koontz
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

My Goals:

I would like to finish 3 tomes.
I would like to do 3 challenges.
I would like to read one nonfiction.


Sam: Twitter and Youtube

Caz: Twitter and Youtube
Sarah-Jane: Twitter and Youtube
Adriana: Twitter and Youtube 
Si├ón: Twitter and Youtube
Sam: Will Read for Booze and Twitter

Let me know. Are you participating? Leave me your link so that I can see your TBR and cheer you on!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

When Love is Enough...for Now

I posted this to my Facebook page last night. I feel like someone that reads my blog needs to hear this too. Perhaps you are going through something terrible and this will give you hope...even if it's just a glimmer of hope, it will be worth it for me to post and share. 

Love fiercely. And let people love you.

I reached out to my prayer warriors today for prayer because I just flat out need a miracle or three or ten. I won't call her out by name in case she doesn't want me to but one of my warriors said that of course she would pray extra for us and then a few minutes later she sent me this. I needed to hear from God and today He spoke through her...
Hebrews 11:8 NIV
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
I responded with tears in my eyes because I said I needed to hear from Jesus and I did. I know that He has us. I see a light at the end of the tunnel but am unsure if it's the sun or the lights of a freight train. But seeing that verse, I know that we are going to be fine. Actually, I always knew that we were going to be fine but now I FEEL like we are. I don't know how that is going to happen...hence the needed miracle...but I know it.
To every single person who has showed us the slightest bit of kindness, you have NO IDEA what it means to me. Checking in on us, asking if we are ok, trying to make me laugh, bringing meals, offering a place to stay, taking us in (Jennifer, Cathy, Nikki and Chris!), helping me run errands (Amanda!), sending cards and cash, setting up a gofundme page (Amber!) sharing the gofundme page, or giving to the gofundme page, every single thing means the absolute world. Life as gotten back to normal for most of you but for us, we are still without a house, separated from our dog, bouncing to different places, living out of Walmart bags.
I haven't been able to process what all Cole lost in his room. I have been trying to reconcile the facts that Christmas will be slim this year because there is a freaking tree in our house with Christmas will BE this year because we aren't underneath said tree. How amazing that the tree turned the other way. Why hit the house at all but it turned the other way! It didn't land in the very spot that all three of us were sitting.
I have said it so many times that in the midst of this mess, I have learned who my true friends are. I have learned just how much we are loved. And with tears in my eyes, I say the biggest thank you that I could possibly say. Friends have been posting a daily thank you for November. Well this one is mine for the entire month. If you have showed us the slightest, tiniest kindness THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.
And if you read this far, you are a super star and deserve a cookie. I didn't intend to write a War and Peace sized post but I certainly did.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Playing the Comparison Game

Recently I have been talking to friends in the book community about blogs. It seems on the one hand that they are all but dead. On the other hand, there are still ones that I follow that have a ton of interaction.

When I restarted my blog, I did so with no expectations. I post when I have something to say. I do not check stats. I do not notice my views. I am no longer upset when a post gets no interaction because I write and post for me. It's fun. And I will do it as long as it is fun. When it stops being fun, I will stop posting again.

Sometimes it doesn't matter if anyone else gets it...just that you do. I write and post because I want to. Not to impress anyone and get anything but just because I enjoy it.

Do I sometimes wish that I had a ton of followers who commented on my posts? Of course. But being in this bookish community is what it's all about. Just being a part of something bigger than me. Something that I enjoy so much. The bookish community is amazing and I am glad that I am a tiny part of it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Backlist Books I Want to Read

Today's theme for Top Ten Tuesday is backlist books I would like to read. It seems that ever since I started my blog, I have read more books from debut authors or books that are brand new. I have almost completely stopped reading older books. It used to be that I found an author I enjoyed and read everything they had out. 

I deleted almost all of my TBR list on Goodreads but there are some that I know I'd like to read.

This one has been on list for quite a while. I hear nothing but good things about it. Why have I not gotten to it yet?!

This one has been on the list for a while too but what makes this one even worse? I own a copy and still haven't read it.

I absolutely adore the magical realism in Addison Allen's books. I read several when I first found her but stopped when I started getting ARCs that needed my attention. She is high on my list of authors to get back to reading.

This one sounds good. I have picked it up a couple of times but never actually started reading it.

I need to find a copy of this because I really want to read it!

I broke a personal rule to never watch a tv show/movie without reading the book first. That's why this one hasn't been read. I already know the story. I think I will love the book even more than the show but some other shiny new book always pulls my attention away from this one.

I really enjoyed the first one in this duology. Sort of back on a dystopian kick so this one is being read soon...finally!

Jesse the Reader talks about this one so when I saw a copy on the library book sale shelf, I had to grab it. Owning it is another reason to read it soon!

Another one that Jesse mentioned. I never picked this one up because I loathe the cover but he made it sound so interesting. Want to get to this one soon.

A couple of my favorite booktubers have mentioned this one. Sounds like something I would definitely enjoy!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Nonfiction November Week 2: Pair Ups

Week 2 of Nonfiction November! This week's theme is pair ups. 

Week 2: (Nov. 5 to 9) – Fiction / Nonfiction Book Pairing (Sarah’s Book Shelves): This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story.

One of my favorite things to read about is World War II so I am going to suggest Sons and Soldiers again.  It would pair so well with one of my favorite books of all time - All the Light We Cannot See.  

Reading about this subject isn't always easy but I think that it is important to learn from the past. Both of these books are well written and engaging. 

If you're participating in Nonfiction November, share your link below. I would love to see what you are reading!

Friday, November 2, 2018

October Wrap Up

After the terrible hurricane ruined our house and our month, I was pleasantly surprised at how many books I completed. I am unable to focus on reading when I am stressed and overwhelmed so to read 9 seems really good!

 Was very excited to read this one and it didn't disappoint. Solid 4 out of 5.

I have read several by her now and they are all ok. This one was her first book (I think?) and it showed. Needs a good editor. A few nuggets of awesomeness in the midst of a lot of blah. Rounded to 3 out of 5 for Goodreads.

 This was for a buddy read with one of my favorite booktubers. Cute story and perfect for October! 4 out of 5.

 Reread this one with friends and knew that I was not going to like it as much this time around. 3 out of 5 because I still enjoyed the story even with all the problems I now have with it.

 Godsgrave was my most favorite read of the month. My pretend author boyfriend knocked another one out of the park. 5 out of 5.

 This was the Light Fiction Book Club pick of the month. I ended up rating it higher because the last paragraph is writing perfection. Cute story and I love his techy characters.

 Finally read this one after hearing about it everywhere. I have no idea what to think of this one because it's just strange and hard to describe. 3 out of 5.

The hurricane messed up our book club meeting for this one so we had a meeting last night. I wasn't wowed but I didn't hate it. The ending annoyed me though. 3 out of 5.

The third one in this series and I continue to enjoy them. 4 out of 5 and a great ending to my reading month.

What did you read this month?