Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bel's Top 10 of 2014

Oh boy! I always have a tough time with narrowing down which ones to include. I realized in putting my Top 10 together that the books on this list are ones that my mind always travels back to. I figure if these books come to my mind as often as they do, then they must be it, right?

Winger by Andrew Smith
When I first picked up this book, I never suspected that it would affect me as much as it did. It wrenched my heart and the aftermath left me gutted for days. I’d do it all over again.

Play by Kylie Scott
One word: Mal. The second in the Stage Dive series delivered the funniest, hottest, most ridiculous scenarios. Mal's character made me laugh hard. He is the class clown who happens to be a freaking hot drummer, mischievous to the core and one of my top 5 fictional boyfriends. 

What a delightfully gradual fall! I fell head over heels for this one about a girl suffering from PTSD and the sensitive co-ed who befriends her. I'll repeat what I said in my review in that I wish I could experience this book for the first time over and over.

Breakable by Tammara Webber
I so loved Easy which is an all-time favourite and an obvious go-to choice for me. This sequel, Webber's solid writing shows us events told from Lucas’ POV, revisits his painful past and how he came to be the man he is today.

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
It was a difficult choice between this and Jordan's other NA title, Wild, which I loved also. I eventually went with this because its dark, gritty premise explored many thought-provoking questions about who has the potential for violence, if it can be accurately predicted and how to stave off that threat. Do potential offenders deserve humane treatment? And what if you could fight it?

The Geography of Me and You by Jennifer E. Smith
This was the ultimate in sweetness. Two strangers trapped in an elevator during a blackout in NYC. Their connection spans several states and even continents. And my favourite part about this book? The many lovely quotes to choose from.

Sway by Kat Spears
This one surprised me big time. The premise had me thinking it would be pretty funny, and it was. But it was also uncomfortable and wrong in places due to the main character's lack of a social filter. What caught me off guard was how much I ended up liking the at times loathsome, sarcastic and opportunistic protagonist.

The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski
This follow-up to The Edge of Never was so wonderful. The title alone eludes to hope. Camryn and Andrew create their own happiness and adventure, making it hard not to love them for it! 

So much awesome here! I have a special fondness for this one as I’ll always remember laughing out loud, reading it on the beach in the Bahamas. It’s smart, funny and witty. Honestly, you’ll fall in love with Oliver because he's the “forever boy”.

The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson
This is a very gripping story about a girl who’s transplanted to America from her war torn country that was once ruled by her dictator-father. Through her eyes, the reader gets to see life from a different cultural perspective. It’s an eye-opening and consuming read.


Okay, in some circles this may considered as "cheating" but I would be remiss if I didn't include some honorable mentions. Please forgive me but I just had to throw some more love out there...

Undone by Cat Clarke
A young girl dealing with her best friend's suicide seeks revenge on the popular group of high school kids she blames for his death. You'd think it would be all serious but it's sometimes charming tone and surprisingly funny moments help to offset the somber mood. The ending leaves plenty of room for interpretation.


The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi
You've read books about people coming to terms with being gay. In this, the main character has already accepted that fact but feels she must "fix" herself in order to help her mother heal emotionally from her father's death.

The Hook Up (Game On #1) by Kristen Callihan
Ms. Callihan doesn't know this but she almost owed me a brand new tablet because holy cow, this book is freaking hot!!

Beneath The Stain by Amy Lane
Two words: Amy Lane. She describes love in all its extremes so perfectly that it's hard not to be affected. Imagine if she did greeting cards! 

All right then. I've shown you mine, now let's see yours!  

~ Bel

Waiting on Wednesday (133)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights future releases that we are excitedly anticipating.

The Shadow Cabinet (Shades of London, #3)By Maureen Johnson
Publication Date:  February 10, 2015

The thrilling third installment to the Edgar-nominated, bestselling series.

Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.

Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they'll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself—and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.

Unforgettable (Country Roads, #4)By Shannon Richard
Publication Date: January 13, 2012

One long, hot summer would never be enough...

Attorney Hannah Sterling lives a life she's worked hard for. So when she unexpectedly inherits an inn, Hannah decides to take that long overdue holiday and settle her eccentric grandmother's estate. She knew there would be challenges, but what's hardest about returning to Mirabelle, Florida, is facing the man who gave her the most passionate summer of her life-and then broke her heart.

Nathanial Shepard never forgot the redheaded goddess who lit up his world and got away. Now that she's home, Shep vows to make up for their years apart-and if the fire in her kiss is any indication, they're well on their way. But when a devastating secret from their past threatens their future, Shep must fight to heal Hannah's heart. Because this time, their love will truly be unforgettable...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Nat's Top Ten of 2014

It's that time of year again.  Time to share our favorites of 2014.  As always, it was a difficult decision.  But I forced myself to choose and I'm pretty happy with this list.  What were your favorite reads this year?  Share in the comments below!

Here Without You (Between the Lines, #4)

Here Without You by Tammara Webber 

An excellent ending to the Between the Lines series.  I've always loved how Webber made me fall in love with the one character I hated most.  In this final installment, Reid gets the opportunity to improve relationships with all the important people in his life - his dad, mom, Dori.  AND he has the opportunity to meet his very young son.

The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After

The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After by Julia Quinn

I had already read most of the 2nd Epilogues in this book.  And I won't lie.  Re-reading them was an absolute joy.  But the reason this book made it to my Top Ten is due to the included novella, Violet in Bloom.  I've always wanted to read Violet Bridgerton's (everyone's favorite matriarch) story and boy did Julia Quinn deliver. I cried and I laughed and it was so, so beautiful and heartbreaking and, and, and...So, yeah.  If you are a fan of the Bridgertons and you haven't read this one, you must.  You simply must.

The Bells of Times Square

The Bells of Time Square by Amy Lane

Oh, Amy.  I never think it's possibly for your books to get any more amazing. And then you throw this at me.  An exquisite story about the forbidden love between two American soldiers during the height of WWII.  You know from page one that there is no happily ever after for Nate and Walter.  But just as in the case of the Violet Bridgerton novella, the absence of a happily ever after doesn't take away from the beauty and wonder and hope of Nate and Walter's love story.

Oxford Messed Up

Oxford Messed Up by Andrea Kayne Kaufman

What a lovely surprise.  This one had been sitting on my TBR shelf for almost three years.  I don't know what made me pick it up but boy am I glad I did.  A captivating story about a young woman with extreme OCD and her new loo-mate that triggers her anxiety in every possible way.  They fall for each other over a mutual love of Van Morrison.  I loved that this book took the heroine's  mental illness so seriously and did not condescendingly try to make the reader believe that falling in love was a cure for her daily struggles.  Also, I learned to absolutely adore Van Morrison thanks to this author.  Thank you, Ms. Kaufman!

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)

Take Me On by Katie McGarry

I've loved every single Katie McGarry book to date.  But I never thought I would love one more than Pushing the Limits.  I was wrong.  This was amazing.  A young, female, non-paranormal MC that is both emotionally AND physically strong.  An entitled young man that has had enough of his dysfunctional home life and makes the decision to live without the privileges he is used to.  McGarry doesn't pull any punches when portraying the lives of people that struggle daily to have the very basic of needs met.

Unstoppable (Country Roads #3)

Unstoppable by Shannon Richard

This book was absolutely precious.  The heroine, Melanie, is the kind of girl I always admire.  The one that is both driven but also very domestic.  And the love of her life was stinkin' adorable. Shannon Richard managed to take the cluelessness of a Jill Shalvis' alpha male and the steady traits of my favorite forever boys and create an extremely likable and amusing hero. This one got an immedidate re-read and will definitely be one I go back to when I'm looking for a satisfying comfort read.


#scandal by Sarah Ockler

This is a wonderful satirical look at high school and the pitfalls of social media.  #scandal was often funny and sometimes uncomfortable.  It was also fast-paced.  I found myself being anxious to see what happens next.  I would recommend this book to pretty much any reader of any age.

In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)

In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

This was the first Kristan Higgins book I ever read.  And because of it, I quickly devoured the others in the Blue Heron series.  This one remains my favorite in the series.  Emmaline might be my favorite heroine of the year. Plenty of self-deprecating and physical humor in this one.  It was a great mix and had me laughing non-stop while still keeping me on edge with the romance.

What I Thought Was True

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Huntley Fitzpatrick has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary YA authors.  This is a realistic and thoughtful novel about how we can survive and move on from our mistakes and how those mistakes don't have to be the only thing that define us.

The Moment of Everything

The Moment of Everything by Shelly King

Yep.  I saved the best for last.  This was my absolute favorite book of the year.  A story about an unemployed woman discovering herself while forming relationships with the people that all share a love of the same used bookstore.  I could go on and on about how perfect this book is.  But, instead, I will just point you to my review of what I consider to be THE BEST book of the year.

Nat's Review of The Best Book of the Year

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Peek In The BiblioBin #129

Welcome to our Stacking the Shelves post! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the BiblioBin) has been created by the lovely ladies at Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.

For Review:

Tear You Apart (Beau Rivage #2) by Sarah Cross


Unmaking Hunter Kennedy by Anne Eliot

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins

Won Through LibraryThing:

Owning Violet (The Fowler Sisters #1) by Monica Murphy

Friday, December 26, 2014

Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan

Archer's Voice (A Sign of Love)* * * 1/2

When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer's Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY SAGITTARIUS. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.


This is almost embarrassing to admit but, a few months ago, I did a book search for virgin heroes.  I had just watched the first episode of Outlander and, although the big de-flowering scene didn’t happen until episode 7, I was reminded of the quote from the book:

“As yet too hungry and too clumsy for tenderness, still he made love with a sort of unflagging joy that made me think that male virginity might be a highly underrated commodity.”

Anyone who has read Outlander knows this quote and scene well.  There IS something seductive about a virgin hero.  And the reason that it is seductive will differ from person to person.  For some it will be the attraction of having a more experienced heroine taking on the role of teacher in the bedroom and maybe even out of it.  For others it might be the allure of reading about a man that is both emotionally AND sexually bound to one person.   And, for people like me, it’s the charm of having a hero that is vulnerable in a way that most fictional heroes aren’t.  Oh, and as Clare Fraser said, there is something fairly hot about all that “unflagging joy.”

So back to my point which is my search for virgin heroes…In that search I kept seeing Archer’s Voice come up.  I’ve kept it on my radar and bought it recently when it was yet again recommended to me.  And as a gift to myself for finishing three reviews I let myself take a break from review books and indulge in this one. 
After a horrible crime takes away Bree Prescott’s only family and leaves her with flashbacks that she re-lives daily, she desperately runs away from her home state of Ohio to a spot in Maine that she used to visit with her parents.  She doesn’t know how long she’ll stay in Pelion.  She only knows that she’ll be there long enough to get a job and save up some cash until she moves onto the next place or goes back home.  After a drugstore run, Bree manages to drop her newly bought supplies in the parking lot.  How embarrassing.  Even more embarrassing is the quiet unkempt guy that helps her pick it all up.  Not only does he hand her back some tampons (gah!) but he doesn’t respond to a single thing she says.  Just stares at her uncomfortably and walks away.  But even during their odd meeting there seems to be an instant connection that she can’t define. 
It doesn’t take long for Bree to learn that the strange guy she met is the town freak, Archer Hale.  After being shot when he was 7 years old, he lived with his uncle who raised him on his very secluded property in Pelion.  I personally loved Bree’s response to people when she was told his story.  Her response was essentially, “And you all just stood around and didn’t help him or become his friend?”

Archer Hale was seven when his world was irreparably damaged.  Tragedy left him in the care of his only living uncle.  A kind man but also a very paranoid one.  Between Uncle Nate’s need for seclusion and Archer’s inability to communicate, Archer spent the following 16 years alone.  He communicated with his uncle but when Nate passed away, he had no one.   Needless to say Archer is unsure how to act around pretty much everyone in any kid of social situation.  So when the young woman at the drugstore spoke directly to him he was at a complete loss.  The only response he was capable of was to walk away. 

Bree begins spending her free days down on the beach near Archer’s home.  Each time, on her way there and back she stops.  She is curious about the strange man that, according to what she has learned from the locals, has suffered extreme loss and lives a secluded life, only coming to town when he needs supplies.  But she never has the courage to enter his property and say hi until one day her dog makes the decision for her by taking off through Archer’s slightly open gate.  

That first official meeting is both hilarious and a little heartbreaking because even though this story is mostly told through Bree’s POV, the author does an amazing job of showing Archer’s loneliness, fear and social ineptitude.   The two of them slowly become friends.  Archer finds in Bree a friend that can (and is willing) to communicate with him.  Bree finds a friend that is compassionate, understanding and quietly intelligent.   Their friendship blooms into something more, of course.  And that initial spark that Bree felt in the parking lot of the drugstore becomes huge and hot between them.  But both of these young people have a lot of issues to work through.  Archer especially.  They have to work through a lot before they can get their happy ever after. 

What I appreciated most about this book was how believable the connection was between Bree and Archer.  The circumstances surrounding each of their lives, particularly Archer’s, could have made this love story seem a bit predatory.  But by allowing Archer to have a presence (albeit, small) outside of his home and by establishing their instant connection before they officially meet, I found their love story not only believable but also engaging.

I have read some reviews where readers complained that the story was too slow.  I personally thought that it could have been drawn out even more.  Not for the benefit of the love story but the benefit of Archer’s growth.  You can’t live that long without human contact AND not being able to communicate regularly and not be seriously affected.  I felt that maybe he would have been more socially inept than he was.  And at one point, when he decides he needs to leave Pelion to experience a bit more of the world, I felt that maybe he should have taken more time than he did. 

But those complaints are small compared to all the things I enjoyed about Bree and Archer’s story.  The humor, the angst, the slight melodrama, two kind and likeable main characters….Oh, and let’s not forget the “unflagging joy.”  Seriously, some of the intimate scenes between Bree and Archer about set my e-reader on fire.  

If you are looking to indulge in a sizzling and angsty New Adult story, then Archer’s Voice is amazingly gratifying. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

That's What HE Said Thursday #9

Image courtesy of Kei at The Lovely Pages Review

That's What He Said is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies at Chapter Break, where we spotlight a quote from our book crush to the object of his desire. We like to pretend it's us.

What better way to celebrate our book boyfriends?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Merry Christmas! This week's quote, chosen by Nat, is somewhat Christmas-related but very, very bookish. Enjoy!

"Luckily, I always travel with a book, just in case I have to wait in line for Santa, or some such inconvenience."

~ Dash in Dash and Lily's Book of Dares 
by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (132)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights future releases that we are excitedly anticipating.

Tear You ApartBy Sarah Cross
Publication Date: January 27, 2015

An edgy fairy tale retelling of "Snow White" set in the world of Kill Me Softly for fans of Once Upon a Time and Grimm.

Faced with a possible loophole to her "Snow White" curse, Viv goes underground, literally, to find the prince who's fated to rescue her. But is life safe in the Underworld worth the price of sacrficing the love that might kill her?

Geek Girl
By Holly Smale
Publication Date:  January 27, 2015

Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. 

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves. 

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did. 

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill Shalvis

Merry Christmas, Baby (Lucky Harbor, #12.5)
* * * *

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis brings you a heartwarming tale that could only happen in Lucky Harbor . . .


Wild child Chloe Thompson can't believe how much things have changed. She still can't get enough of her sexy husband Sawyer, but he seems to prefer working to thinking about impending fatherhood. So tonight, a very pregnant Chloe is escaping her troubles at the town Christmas party.

Sheriff Sawyer Thompson hopes surprising Chloe at the party will give him a chance to set things right. But as the snow begins to fall and the wind rages, he wonders whether he can make it back in time. While mother nature conspires to keep Sawyer and Chloe apart, an unexpected arrival will require them to kiss and make up . . . and ring in the happiest holiday Lucky Harbor has ever seen. 13,000 words


The very first Jill Shalvis book I ever read was Head Over Heals (Lucky Harbor #3).  So I considered it absolutely necessary to add it to my TBR pile while I worked to satisfy my annual compulsion to mainline Christmas romances. 

Chloe is about a bazillion months pregnant and Sawyer is going out of town.  It’s his last chance to earn the extra cash that is allowing them add an additional room to their house.  Understandably, Chloe is upset.  But she isn’t only upset about him leaving.  No matter how much confidence Chloe exudes, inwardly she is always feeling insecure.  Add the pressure of an unplanned pregnancy and she is slowly convincing herself that Sawyer doesn’t really want her or their baby.  

But thanks to family and friends and the mysterious gifts she keeps receiving, she manages to keep her head above water until Sawyer comes home and they can work things out.  Unfortunately, a snowstorm has half the town of Lucky Harbor (including Chloe) stuck at a holiday party and Sawyer stuck on the road.   On top of it all, it looks like the baby isn’t waiting for its parent to make before making a big arrival.

It was too much fun reading about Chloe and Sawyer again.  I had forgotten about how much of a free spirit she is.  It’s almost exhausting.  And her sticky fingers are absolutely hilarious.  It’s a miracle her sister, Tara, hasn’t strangled her yet.  On top of the constant amusement Chloe provides, there is the usual Lucky Harbor hijinks - mainly those caused by the boundary-crossing Lucille.  That woman will do anything for a few FB page hits.

If you are a fan of the Lucky Harbor books or if you are just a fan of happy sentimental holiday stories with Shalvis’ signature quirky heroines then Merry Christmas, Baby is a must read.


Monday, December 22, 2014

A Peek In The BiblioBin #128

Welcome to our Stacking the Shelves post! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the BiblioBin) has been created by the lovely ladies at Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.

For Review:

Rebound (Boomerang #2) by Noelle August

Unforgettable (Country Roads #4) by Shannon Richard

The End of Feeling by Cindy Bennett


The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

The Love List Collection by Jennifer Conner, Sharon Kleve, Angela Ford, Joanna Jaytanie

Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan

Uninvited (Uninvited #1) by Sophie Jordan


Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer

Friday, December 19, 2014

You and Everything After (Falling #2) by Ginger Scott

* * * * *

I’m that teenaged girl who has MS. You haven’t met me, but you’ve seen me around. You probably know my sister. We’re twins, and she’s the pretty one. Maybe you’ve heard about my reputation, how much I like to hook up at parties—how easy it is to get me in bed, get what you want, and forget about me after.

Forget what you think you know. I’m leaving that girl behind.

College is all about new beginnings. So from now on—I’m just Cass. And the rest…it isn’t written yet. And no one else gets to write my story for me.
“Tyson Preeter doesn’t do can’t.”

That’s exactly what I want people to think when they see me. I am strong, invincible, confident, intelligent—arrogant. I’m the man who always finds a way around, over and through—until there’s nothing left. Since losing my ability to walk six years ago, I’ve relearned life. I don’t need sympathy. I don’t want charity. And I don’t do love.

It’s better this way, saves my disappointments for me, and me alone, and it saves my strength for everything I want.

But Cass Owens is about to wreck everything. She’s about to steal all of my strength away from me, because she needs it more. She’s about to break all of my rules, and break down all of my walls. She’s about to own me…completely.

And I’m about to let her.

Ever since I read that sneak peek that was included at the end of This Is Falling, I’ve been itching to get my hands on You And Everything After. Ty and Cass’s brief but memorable encounter at Sally's diner had me so excited for more of them. It was just too much to ask to be patient. Theirs appeared to be an unlikely match though it was apparent they were seriously in to each other. This is their story and it’s every bit as wonderful as This Is Falling.

We were already well aware of Ty’s disability and his "no-relationships, no-attachments" philosophy. Cass’s revelation that she suffers from MS was surprising as never let on about it previously. Cass is desperate to break out of the bubble wrap her parents have encased her in because of it. At college, no one knows about her condition, more importantly, they know nothing about her sordid high school past. It’s a chance to start anew though she still has those moments of doubt that can’t be erased so easily. Ty initially sees a sexy and vivacious young woman whose sassiness matches his own wit. Call it kismet or coincidence, he becomes her personal trainer and from there their relationship gets deeper. He believes in her and encourages her to pursue her dream of playing soccer again. Unfortunately, pursuing this dream also means facing old rumors that have resurfaced.

As Cass learns to battle her problems, Ty has to also face his own past - that being his ex-girlfriend Kelly who still has a hold over him. Realizing that Cass is the first girl since Kelly that he has fallen for is unnerving but he’s not stupid. He knows how happy he is with her and wants her to be just as happy. In This Is Falling, Ty comes off as a jerk … a lot. He has those moments here too and he fesses up to them. Only this time, you get to see where it’s coming from and how his jerk demeanor is not only his defense against attachments but also a way to keep others from feeling sorry for him.

One of the joys of reading You and Everything After is seeing the camaraderie between the Preeter brothers again but from Ty’s point of view this time. They have the typical sibling relationship and he clearly loves Nate. It’s amazing how he can be his brother’s biggest supporter of pursing his baseball dream even when his own died after his accident. The other dynamic of interest is that between Cass and her twin sister Paige.  She longs for some independence and space but also for Paige to have her back no matter what. This has been a divide between them since high school. Ty’s belief in her is the very thing she has been missing from her family. She doesn’t need coddling, she needs people in her corner. And that's exactly where Ty is with his firm resilience and no bull attitude.

“Yeah, I heard you. You have MS. I can’t feel my legs. La di f***in’ da. Are we training or what?” His expression hasn’t changed once, and the armor I just started to build up around my heart is already cracking.

Ginger Scott has fast become one of my favourite writers. I simply love how she describes these very personal, life-altering experiences, getting to the heart of matters without making it feel like an afterschool special. These people, with their innermost vulnerable pieces that are slowly put back together, eventually become their own champions by the end. And speaking of the end, Scott's done it again by giving us another sneak peek, this time into Paige's story. So now I get to "patiently" wait for book number 3, The Girl I Was Before. In the meantime, please catch up with the Falling series, the Preeter boys, and these fascinating, strong women who love them!

~ Bel

*** Interview ***

I knew I'd wanted to interview Ginger for a while now but coming up with questions is always hard since there's just so much I'd want to know. Thankfully, Ginger was gracious enough to discuss her work and give us an insight into her writing process.

Let’s start with the inspiration for the Falling series. How did that come about? And did you have an idea that you’d have three books-worth to share?

It all started with an ASU baseball game. I was sitting in the grass, near the bullpen, on the third base side, and the players were stretching. I started watching this college girl in front of me, sitting on a blanket by herself. She was staring at one of the players, and he kept looking at her. It was all just very flirtatious, but there was something so precious about it. It sparked this idea of these two characters, and I pulled out my ticket stub and scribbled it full of notes. I had the character names and basic story outlined and stuffed in my purse by the ceremonial first pitch. I knew it would be three books by the time I got my cast of characters down. Ty's character was so rich, and I needed to explore him more. And then Paige was so different from the other two girls, and that just felt like it needed to be shown as well. When I realized what I had in this series, I got super excited!

Your characters face some heavy issues – autism (How We Deal With Gravity), post-traumatic stress (This Is Falling), MS and disability (You And Everything After).  What was it like getting inside their minds to write their stories?

I like to pull at the threads of things that sometimes slip by unnoticed. Writing the autism story was deeply personal and important to me, and it was a story I had been wanting to pen for quite some time. I have a fairly deep understanding of autism given my experience with it through family and friends as well as my volunteer work with an organization here in Arizona. For me, getting inside the heads of Gravity's characters was both an honor and a risk--something I wanted to get exactly right. 

I drew from my reporting experience a great deal in writing This Is Falling. I've covered scenes similar, eerily similar, to the one that played out in Falling, and in many ways, Falling let me tell a side of that story I don't think gets shown often--the lingering effects and how a tragedy like the one in the book touches so many lives.

Getting inside the minds of Ty and Cass was my biggest challenge yet. I wanted to tell their stories right, honorably and accurately. I was extremely blessed to have guidance
from two close friends affected by MS and paralysis, and I took their advice on every single note they made. I was intimidated by Ty and Cass, and I think that's a good thing. It kept them honest.

How much of your personal experiences factor in to your writing?

I think my personal experience is always woven into the fabric of my stories in some way, though probably with far less drama. I have an ongoing promise with myself to write feelings accurately, even when it might be uncomfortable. I like to make people react as they would in real life, and sometimes, that means admitting how I may react or how someone has treated me at one point in my life. It's all part of falling in love, feeling new feelings, growing up. I think if I didn't tap into my personal experiences I'd be missing out on some of the ingredients for realism.

In You and Everything After, Ty mentions how superstitions and rituals are important in sports. Do you have any rituals or routines that help you write?

I do! I have a lot of go-to music; The National tends to play often. I also have a very nerdy outlining method that would probably look like organized chaos to anyone else (alright, maybe organized isn't an entirely accurate term). I also get in a serious groove when I'm about six or seven chapters from the end, and I will have power nights--all in a row--where I sit in bed, laptop in front of me, husband hiding under covers trying to drown out typing, while I literally am so obsessed with seeing where the story goes that I forgo sleep. I even know how it's going to end! It's all crazy.

Now for a bit of fun… the BiblioJunkies motto is “books, boys, pie”.  So …

What was your favourite book in school?

I have to answer this three ways: Junior High, the book "Forever" by Judy Blume. High School: "Gatsby." And in college: "Friday Night Lights."

If you could cast Nate and Ty Preeter, who would they be? 

It's funny, I tend to agree with a lot of readers on this one, and I like the idea of Liam Hemsworth in both roles. Would that be weird?

Finally, can you attribute a dessert to each of the following characters: Rowe, Nate, Cass, Ty? What’s your favourite dessert?

Rowe is a chocolate chip cookie, sweet and all-american, but in need of milk.

Nate (while also the milk) is a s'mores! Oh my god is he so a s'mores!

Cass is a lemon torte, sweet and sour, and sort of ready to fight.

Ty is fudge. Pushy, decadent, rich, filling, taunting and impossible to resist!

My ultimate dessert is the perfect slice of wedding cake. It's my favorite food in the world. Moist white cake, multiple layers of butter cream, a hint of raspberry or lemon or both, and the width of a tire. And now I want a piece!

Wow! I love that that one tiny observation at the baseball game led to these two phenomenal stories in the Falling series! Thank you Ginger for taking the time to answer my questions. And congratulations once again on You and Everything After! Check the links below to learn more about Ginger and her books.

Connect with Ginger:

Website    I    Facebook    I    Twitter    I    Goodreads

Buy links:

This Is Falling    Amazon    I    Barnes & Noble    I    Kobo       

You and Everything After    Amazon    I    Barnes & Noble    I    Kobo        

How We Deal With Gravity    Amazon   I    Barnes & Noble    I    Kobo