2014 Annual End Of The Year Survey

This end of the year survey is hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner. Go check out Jamie’s survey and link up your survey with hers.

So check out my responses to the survey questions and see if you agree or disagree with any of my answers.

reading-stats-2014

Number Of Books You Read:

127. Next year I need to hike up my Goodreads Challenge because I met my challenge back when it was still summer.

Number of Re-Reads:

I don’t think I had any re-reads this year.

Genre You Read The Most From:

 YA Contemporary

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

Oh crap-cakes, this is going to be hard. 
Contemporary

-The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
-Pointe by Brandy Colbert
-Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills
-Stronger Than You Know by Jolene Perry
-Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Fantasy

-The Young Elites by Marie Lu
-The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Dystopian

-Captive (Pawn #2) by Aimee Carter

Historical
-Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
Paranormal
-(Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
-Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

-The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
-Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

-Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley. This book surprised me in a wonderful way.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

-Pointe by Brandy Colbert

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

-Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn #3) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
-Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

-Anne Blankman

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

-Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

-The Young Elites by Marie Lu

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

-Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
-The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

-The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

-The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

-Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Lynn Armentrout
-Captive (Pawn #2) by Aimee Carter

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

-Adelina from The Young Elites

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
-Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

-Little Peach by Peggy Kern

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

 -Burn For Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“Maybe there were a hundred different ways to fall in love.” The Kiss of Deception

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

  -Longest book: Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4) by Katie McGarry (544 pages)
-Shortest book: Red At Night (e-novella) by Katie McGarry (84 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

-The Jewel by Amy Ewing 

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

-Gretchen & Daniel from Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
-Paige & Max from The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

-Erin and her mom from Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

-The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
-Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Lynn Armentrout

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

-17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

-Raffe from The Kiss of Deception

-Max from The Start of Me and You

-Daniel from Prisoner of Night and Fog

-Bodie from Faking Normal

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

 -Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

 -The Young Elites by Marie Lu
-The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

-Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

-Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills
-The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

-Pointe by Brandy Colbert. So good and so under-appreciated.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

-Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills
-The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

-Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
-Feral by Holly Schindler

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

-Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor. This book absolutely infuriated me.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

-Too numerous to count. I found some great ones though.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? 

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Lynn Armentrout.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

The Healing Process– Where I talked about life after the ending of an engagement and how I was doing since finding out I was being cheated on.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

-The virtual event that Bloomsbury held for their reviewers. It allowed us to see what books Bloomsbury had coming out in the Spring of 2015. It was such a fun event.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

-Again, Bloomsbury’s getting a lot of love from me. My best moment would have to be when I started receiving the upcoming catalogs in my email. It may sound weird, but that was when I really started to feel significant.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

2014 Debut Authors Bash– 101 views


8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

If We Were Having Coffee #1– This was cathartic for me and I was excited to do it. 

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

-Book Outlet. I’ve placed two orders with them and have gotten so many awesome books at majorly discounted prices.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

 -Aside from the Goodreads Challenge that I blew out of the water, I really didn’t reach any of the goals I had set for myself at the beginning of the year.
looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

 -The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

-What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi
-Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

This is going to be yet another difficult category
-Ensnared (Splintered #3) by A.G. Howard
-The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson
-Diamonds Are Forever ( The Secret Diamond Sisters #3) by Michelle Madow

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

 -Go to YallWest in April since BEA is still a bit pricey for me.
6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

                                            -The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
                                -Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills

So, tell me some of your favorite books of 2014.

Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria

Book Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaria
Publish Date: April 1st, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from a fellow blogger. 

Review:
This book is going to be a very hard book to review. First of all, you need to put away any preconceived notions you have about this book. I know I had to. Secondly, if you aren’t kicked in the feels by the time you finish reading it, then you are dead inside. Okay, maybe not dead inside, but at least for me, it was a book full of feels. It’s a book that I had a hard time getting into. It was slow at first and I was getting sad and disappointed by the fact that I wasn’t loving it.But it grows on you and before you know it, you don’t want to put it down.

Laurel has gone through her parents divorce but nothing hurt as bad as it hurt when her big sister died. She blames herself for it and she’s convinced that her mom does also. Why else would her mom have moved so far away from her, leaving Laurel to split her time between her Aunt Amy & her dad.

Laurel starts off writing a letter to a dead person as part of a school assignment, but it gets bigger than that and soon she is writing many letters to many dead people. She talks about her friendships with Kristen, Tristan, Hannah & Natalie. She talks about maybe, possibly, falling in love with Sky. Most importantly she uses these letters as a way to grieve for May.

Through these letters, we grow to learn what exactly happened to May and what happened to Laurel as well. Laurel also learns that May wasn’t as perfect as she thought she was and that she was flawed but did her best to hide that from Laurel, most likely, because she wanted to protect her little sister.

I ended up loving this book, but it wasn’t an easy road and it wasn’t until about page 150 that I really began to fall in love with this book. From that point on, I spent most of the book in tears, even sobbing by the time I had finished the book. Dellaria broke me in the feels but in one of the most honest, and beautiful ways possible. I would love, love to give this book a full 5 stars but knowing how long it took me to even get into the book, I have to give it 4 stars. I would absolutely highly recommend it to anyone. 

Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Book Title: Faking Normal
Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Release Date: February 25th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Link: AmazonBook Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in “the Kool-Aid Kid,” who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
This book took me on an emotional ride from start to finish. This debut is an amazing one and Courtney Stevens manages to capture everything just perfectly. Books like this tend to be some of my absolute favorites and this one was no exception.

Over the summer things abruptly changed for Alexi. Now, in order to keep her secret quiet, she must act normal. Act like everything is okay. But it’s not okay. She seeks comfort in scratching her neck to try and dull the pain she’s dealing with. She retreats to her safe haven, her closet whenever she can

Her friends Heather and Liz have no idea what’s going on and Alexi knows she can’t tell them. It would ruin everything for them as well. Alexi believes that she can keep this secret because she doesn’t want her friends and family to have their worlds turned upside down as well.

Then comes Bodee Lennox. He was an unexpected surprise. He had his own demons to deal with and yet he was willing to help Alexi with hers.Slowly but surely Alexi begins to open up to him in a way that she hasn’t been able to open up to anyone since the summer.

In so many YA books, authors put certain topics as taboo topics. Yet Courtney does not. These teenagers talk about sex openly and not in a disgusting way. There’s no pressure to be in love before you have sex so it doesn’t get all preachy, which I am extremely thankful for. 

Before Alexi realizes it, she’s grown stronger emotionally and she’s ready to tell the world what happened. Even if it ruins the lives of her family and friends. She knows now that she has to do it. Bodee is the reason behind it. He encourages her to come forward with what she knows. He knows she doesn’t want to but he also knows that she needs to tell everyone so she can begin the healing process.

As much as this story was about Alexi and her journey to begin the healing process, this story was also about Bodee and how he was going to be his mom’s voice unlike before. Bodee was the standout character in this book. I loved him. Like a lot. He was amazing and the way he cared about Alexi was sweet without being cheesy.
I absolutely didn’t like her older sister Kayla. She seemed very immature for being 8 years older than Alexi. Yet at the end of this book, she turned into the sister that Alexi desperately deserved which of course made me really happy.
Before I forget, I need to gush about the writing for a bit. How absolutely gorgeous it was. It reminded me a lot of Katja Millay’s writing but Courtney still maintained her own voice in her writing. So it was beautiful, reminiscent of Katja Millay’s writing but it was still unique which I really loved. 
This book had all the feels and the amazing characters in it. It was an indescribable book. I am sure I’ll have a hangover from this book for awhile. It was that amazing and sob inducing. So sob inducing in fact that I ran out of kleenex and had to sob in my sweatshirt sleeve. Five stars to this amazing contemporary debut.

Cover Reveal: As You Turn Away by Molli Moran

Title: AS YOU TURN AWAY (The Walker Boys #1)
Tentative release date: March 1, 2014
Genre: New Adult

Book Link: Goodreads
Cover Designer: Marie Landry

Synopsis: 
When Quinnlan Reynolds left home at 18, she escaped her small, Georgia town and her suffocating upbringing. She started a new life as a ballerina, and tasted freedom for the first time. But four years later, her first visit home turns tragic. Reeling, Quinn tries to piece her life back together again. But doing so is easier said than done when sexy Jonah Walker saunters back into her life.

Quinn shattered Jonah’s heart once, so getting involved with her isn’t something he’s sure he’s ready to do again. He became someone he didn’t recognize when he left home. He’s spent the last years burying his pain by keeping everyone in his life at arm’s length. Now he needs to get to know his family again, and finally become who he wants to be.

But neither Quinn or Jonah can stay away from each other, especially when old feelings resurface. Something is pulling them back together, and they can’t deny their chemistry for long. One Georgia summer could change both their lives forever, if they can work through their past to have a future together. 

Excerpt #3: Flashback | Dance With Me
“Dance with me.” He cupped her waist, which wasn’t exactly where his hand belonged, but they were alone, and he’d do what he pleased. Between school, and working the farm, not to mention Quinn’s family, they barely got any time together. But what time they did spend together meant more to Jonah than he knew how to say.
“Always.” Quinn stumbled on the next step, but recovered. She stared at her feet, watching as he led.
“1-2-3, 1-2-3,” he counted. He could feel the smile tickling his lips as they found a rhythm. Quinn was adorable when she concentrated, and even more so when she wanted to get something right.
“Well, you suck at ballet but you’re pretty good at waltzing. Someday you’ll have to tell me how you learned.” Quinn squeezed his hand. “And you’re not half bad at being a boyfriend.”
Jonah couldn’t hold back the grin any longer. “Boyfriend, huh? Is that what I am? That would make you my…girlfriend.”
“I mean…if you want to be…”
She was flushed, and flustered, and completely adorable. Jonah pulled Quinn into his arms, and kissed her lips. She melted against him, and he smiled against her mouth. The response was as automatic as the sun washing away the moonlight – it was something he simply knew would happen. Anytime he kissed her, happiness overtook him.

“Yeah.” He kissed her forehead, lips lingering. “I want to be.”


 Author Bio:

Molli is a Southern writer who doesn’t consider her day complete if she hasn’t written. She loves coffee and talking fast, things she attributes to being raised by Gilmore Girls. She’s a romantic at heart, and brings that to her books. When not reading or blogging, she can be found obsessing over Doctor Who, cuddling her various pets, or spending time with friends, family, or her girlfriend. 

Connect with the author:

Giveaway:
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Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway for Destiny (New Avalon #1) by Andrea Buginsky

Book Title: Destiny ( New Avalon #1)
Author: Andrea Buginsky
Published: September 16th, 2013
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Series: Book 1 in New Avalon series
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase LinkAmazon

Synopsis:
Constantly teased and taunted by the popular girls, Elena Baxter desperately wants to fit in. On her sweet sixteenth, she receives two shocking gifts: telekinesis and the surprising truth about her heritage. With high hopes that things will be different now, Elena returns to school to find that nothing has changed. Only this time her hurt feelings and frustration boil into something even she cannot understand. 
When her powers explode, chaos ensues and she learns that her new ability is greater than she ever desired. As she learns to control her powers, Elena discovers there’s so much more to her heritage than she ever imagined.
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my participation on a blog tour.

Review:
As someone who felt lonely all through high school, though I tried to hide it, I was hoping to connect well with Elena. Like her I was bullied constantly, but unlike her it was the boys that tormented me. Not the popular girls. Anyway,despite those minute differences, I was excited to read this and was confident that I would love Elena. But it just didn’t happen.If I can connect well with a main character,then the chances are good that I’ll love the book.
The genre of Fantasy has always been a favorite of mine and I did love the authors descriptions of Avalon. It sounded so magical and peaceful. It clearly brought Elena into a situation where she was no longer and outcast. Clearly a situation that Elena had longed for. The dialogue seemed strange, I’m not sure if it was stilted or just seemed that way because the dialogue was so simplistic.
The book itself seemed so short and I think that the book could have been improved upon if the book was longer. Certain parts seemed rushed and that really bugged me. I did love that Elena’s family was present in her life. Too often in YA books, parents are mentioned once or twice but never actually seen. That was not the case with this book.
Editing-wise it was perfect. Not a single editing issue in the entire e-book. That made me SO excited as often times debut books are poorly edited which leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t love it either. This really bums me out as the synopsis was so promising. I went into the book with high hopes,but those hopes were not met. So for that reason and many other reasons that I have mentioned, I have to give the book 3 stars.

Hopefully many others will enjoy this book. It just wasn’t for me.

Connect With The Author:

Twitter: @andreabuginsky

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Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Book Title: Gated
Author: Amy Christine Parker
Published Date: August 6th, 2013
Published By: Random House Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA/Mystery
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:

Pioneer is her leader.

Will is her Intended.

The end of the world is near.

Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound’s underground fortress–the Silo.

Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she’d rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.

Disclaimer: This book was a personal purchase.

Review:
I have always had such a fascination with cults. The idea that one person is a leader and he has followers,in this case called his flock,is so interesting to me. The idea that these people so blindly follow him without even questioning him at all is simply mind boggling to me. These people in these cults are essentially brainwashed much like the followers of major cult leader Warren Jeffs, were. 

These cults seem to recruit certain types of people. People who have experienced significant heartache,like the death of a child or the death of a parent.Or even people who are poor or unmarried. Those types of people are the ones least likely to question the leader, in this case his name was Pioneer. The cults tend to stray away from recruiting people who are more confident and strong minded.

Lyla’s family experienced a nightmare when her sister Karen disappeared ten years earlier when Lyla was only 5. 2 years later Pioneer recruited Lyla and her parents to be the beginnings of his flock that would reside in the Community.Ten years later Lyla remembers little of her old life as she has assimilated into her life in the Community.Will is her future husband, no one questions that. They have been intended for each other since Lyla was fourteen years old.

Yet this isn’t your typical cult as it is not driven by religion.It is what is known as a doomsday cult. Pioneer believes that the end of the world is near and he is making sure that once it does end, the entire Community can live in the Silo where they will be safe. But a chance meeting between Lyla and an Outsider by the name of Cody, threatens to unearth everything that Lyla has held dear to her. Suddenly the quiet Lyla is questioning everything about the Community and about Pioneer. That way of thinking could cost her, her life as well as the lives of those she loves.

The last third of the book is so heartbreaking and I had tissues in my hands during the ending of it. By the end of the book, my tissues were in shreds and my eyes were red and puffy. Amy Christine Parker did an amazing job with this book.I will definitely buy anything else she writes as this was a spectacular debut. 5 stars to this compelling, riveting and heartbreaking book that broke the formula of books about cults.

Cover Reveal: Crossing Paths by Melanie Stinnett

Cover Reveal
for
Crossing Paths by Melanie Stinnett

Design by Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations.
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Synopsis:
The crossing paths of friendship, family, love, and loss are often complicated.

June Deckert and Caroline Smith sparked a friendship in college that carried them through graduation. Although they are complete opposites in every way, they have spent the last four years inseparable.

That is, until now.

June finds herself falling for a man who seems unattainable. As she works side by side with him on a new media campaign, their feelings for each other come alive. But when his actions start to speak louder than words, she wonders if she’s missing something.

Meanwhile, Caroline is fighting against her feelings for a recent acquaintance, and she decides to keep her new love interest a secret from June. Overwhelmed by these new emotions, her moods change swiftly, swinging up and down like a yo-yo.

While June and Caroline try to maneuver their way through new relationships, Caroline starts lying to June to protect her from a truth that threatens to break her heart and tear them apart. 

In the end, Caroline’s deceit will test their friendship, and June will have to decide if her chance at love is worth putting her heart on the line.

Excerpt 1:
As I push open the door, he is leaning against the counter, just finishing off a glass of water. His head is tilted back slightly, getting the last drop, before he swallows. I never knew drinking water while covered in sweat could look sexy. I close my eyes to limit the visual stimulation as I try to ward off the blush I feel creeping into my cheeks.
“You took your sweet time getting in here,” he states.
When I open my eyes, he is standing closer to me with his hip resting against the kitchen island.
I walk toward the door that leads to the backyard and pause briefly to face him. “Um, well, I had to traverse the mountain of holiday decorations in the entryway.”
Laughing, he steps toward me and places one of his hands against the door just above my shoulder as his opposite hand takes hold of my hip. Before I know what’s happening, my back is pressed tightly against the door.
“I was hoping we could talk tonight,” he says softly.
My heart begins beating quickly, and it feels like it’s in my throat. “Really?”
He nods and leans in closer to me, his nose brushing against the skin just below my ear. “Have you told June?” he whispers, touching his lips to my neckline.
Goose bumps rise all over my body, and I feel certain that I might faint at any moment. “No,” I respond in a voice so hushed that even I have trouble hearing it.
His lips trace the line of my jaw. Each time he moves to another place on my skin, the prior space feels numb and neglected. When I feel his hand tighten on my hip, my body tenses in response. Just as he is about to reach the corner of my lips, the doorknob turns, and the door jolts against my back. My eyes widen in concern, and Liam hangs his head, sighing in what seems like frustration.
He looks into my eyes as the door continues to shake, and then he nods his head toward the other door. Continuing to hold his weight against the door, he releases his body’s pressure from mine, and I walk slowly backward through the opposite doorway.
I hear a loud thud as the door closes behind me. As June begins yelling something unintelligible, I hold my hands over my mouth, attempting to stifle a laugh. Liam runs through the door at lightning speed, closely followed by June.
Although she stops when she sees me, she’s still yelling loudly. “One day you’re going to regret playing all these nasty jokes on me. I could have gotten a concussion!  You are such a buffoon!” She clenches her teeth and stomps her foot like a small child. “Hey, Caroline. I didn’t know you were here.”
“Just got here a few minutes ago,” I say, trying to act nonchalant. Glancing up the stairway to the wooden railing across the upstairs loft, I catch a glimpse of Liam smiling.
“I’m thirsty. Let’s get a drink,” I say, giving Liam a small smile in return before I walk out of sight.
Excerpt 2:
When I was ten years old, I got a trampoline. My first thought wasn’t about how it would impact my life. I thought about the special tricks I could learn, like bouncing my friends higher than any sane adult would allow. The moment I ripped through that wrapping paper, I was ecstatic as I stared at the picture of three happy kids jumping with their limbs flailing through the air. The box was gigantic, but I found a way to hug that box with more emotion than any other hug I had ever given.
Of course, my dad had to put it together right away. We sat in the backyard with metal pieces and tools surrounding us. The large round fabric was spread out, obscuring the grass from the sun.
Two weeks later, when I was happily jumping up and down, the unimaginable happened. One moment, I was free as a bird, flying through the air, and then falling, bending the fabric toward the ground. As I took my next flight, I could have never predicted what occurred next. When my feet left the trampoline, I raised my hands out from my sides with a huge grin across my face. While my body was in the air, I glanced toward the front of the empty house next door, and suddenly, my world changed.
A petite young girl with blonde hair flowing around her shoulders slid off the seat of a moving van. She was smiling and laughing as she ran up the sidewalk. My body descended, but my heart was still floating above. Then, it came crashing down moments after my eyes lost sight of her.
My young mind had no words for the emotion that planted its seed that day. I should have known then that I would fall in love with her. Instead, with everything in my being, I fought against loving her for the next three years.
About the Author:

I have enjoyed reading and writing since I was very young. Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of spending time with my mom or grandma reading a good book. Over the years, it never crossed my mind that writing my own novel would be an attainable goal. After reading several independently published novels by Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover and others, I decided I needed to give that dream a chance.

When I’m not reading and writing, I enjoy spending time with my three favorite guys: my husband and my two little boys.

In addition to being an author, I work as a Speech Language Pathologist to provide therapy to adults who are dealing with speech, language, cognition or voice deficits. My day job is rewarding in many different ways and I love having the opportunity to help others in a time of need.

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