Thursday, October 30, 2014

Boots and Backpacks Blog Tour ~ Excerpt and GIVEAWAY!

Hey Everyone! I'm pretty excited about being part of the Boots & Backpacks Blog Tour! Sounds like a fantastic book, and after reading the book blurb and the excerpt below, I can't wait to get my hands on at copy! I won't have to wait long as it's due to be released November 1, 2014!! Woot! Make sure to add it to your goodreads shelf! 

Meryton Press is also giving away an e-copy of Boots & Backpacks by KC Kahler here on my blog! You'll find that information at the bottom of this page. 


Boots & Backpacks
Pride and Prejudice on the Appalachian Trail, roughly

William Darcy counts down the last few months to his 30th birthday with dread. Orphaned as a child, his parents’ will includes a bizarre clause: Darcy must get married by his 30th birthday in order to inherit the family fortune. To make matters worse, the press knows about this deadline, as do the hordes of women chasing him in the hopes of becoming Mrs. Darcy. His family legacy hangs in the balance, but Darcy has little faith in the fairer sex. Will he find a woman he wants to marry, and quickly?

Elizabeth Bennet is determined to pursue her education and career without letting a man get in the way. When her traveling companion drops out, her planned hike on the Appalachian Trail is jeopardized. She meets the spoiled, snobby William Darcy just when he is desperate to escape the spotlight. No one will suspect that the Prince of Manhattan has gone backpacking! Darcy and Elizabeth form a tenuous partnership and begin a 300-mile journey that will transform them both.

In classic romantic comedy tradition, Boots & Backpacks follows our reluctant partners as they build trust, friendship, and even more. Six weeks together on America’s most famous hiking trail may turn out to be just what these two need!

Boots and Backpacks by KC Kahler


Notes: This is the scene from Chapter 1 where Darcy meets Elizabeth for the first time. Fair warning: he’s pretty unlikeable at the start of the story. I’ve previously posted the Prologue at my blog, where we get a glimpse of reformed Darcy. But here he is at his worst: 

Distance from New York City: 25 miles
Forced matrimony in: 85 days

William Darcy was bored. Watching the Hursts get carpal tunnel syndrome wasn’t his ideal way to spend a Friday evening. But here he was, watching through the window into the next room as they closed on their new house.
Louisa and Langdon Hurst, who were expecting their second bundle of joy (their first kid was a bundle of something), had got it into their heads to move out of the city. After doing some research—namely sorting community census data by highest average household income—they had narrowed their search to northern Bergen County, New Jersey.
Caroline Bingley thought her sister crazy to be moving out of Manhattan, and Darcy had to agree. But Charles Bingley was, as ever, supportive of his older sister’s plans, even accompanying the Hursts the first time they met with a real estate agent. He then went along to see all 19 of the houses they viewed because he was enamored with “angelic” real estate agent, Jane Bennet. Apart from their house-hunting excursions, Bingley and Jane Bennet had gone on several dates, and Darcy had been subjected to his friend’s gushing about this paragon of womanhood to a nauseating degree. He wanted to see who had captured Bingley’s interest—a significant feat, since Bingley’s reputation as a playboy was second only to Darcy’s. Thus Darcy found himself in a real estate office in Ridgewood, NJ.
At the moment, Bingley was making googly eyes through the glass wall at Miss Angel as she sat at a table with her clients. She was beautiful, Darcy had to admit, though in a wholesome sort of way. She was also helpful and earnest, pointing out to her clients where to sign each form, all in triplicate. Darcy saw Langdon flex his hand in between signatures.
How much longer would this take? Darcy couldn’t expect any decent conversation from captivated Bingley. Caroline, who shared a couch at the front of the office with Darcy, was texting, which was fine with him. Lately, even more so than usual, every conversation with her devolved into a thinly veiled offer of sex. Darcy had never slept with Caroline Bingley, making her a member of the rarest Manhattan breed: young, attractive, ambitious females who had not slept with William Darcy. At first he had avoided it out of respect for her brother. But at this point, Darcy knew Caroline too well, and what is it they say? Familiarity breeds contempt. The less conversation he had with Caroline Bingley, the better.
The other two people in the room had introduced themselves as “Franny and Maddy,” and were apparently Jane Bennet’s mother and aunt. Bennet Realty was a quaint family affair, it seemed. Franny was the founder and Maddy another agent. Darcy had no desire to speak with either of them, though Franny was staring at him while she pretended to look at her computer screen.
Darcy stood and went to the storefront window, which faced a typical suburban main street. The train station was down the street and across the square. He knew that because Bingley had insisted they take the train rather than ride out with the Hursts. “That way, we’ll avoid a long wait while they finalize the sale.” He had sounded perfectly sincere.
Darcy should have known better. Now he had a tedious dinner to look forward to, though he did welcome the chance to watch how Miss Angel behaved toward Bingley.
As he was imagining a dull, taxing evening, Darcy noticed a trio of figures exit from an adjoining door onto the sidewalk. They were dressed from head to toe in white protective gear with gas masks strapped over their white hoods. They gathered near a van that said “Gardiner’s General Contracting” on it. 
The two taller guys began taking off their gear; one was a good-looking man, perhaps Darcy’s age, and the second was a prematurely balding man. Their clothes under the suits were soaked with sweat. The third, the smallest of the workers, turned and walked in exaggerated, slow-motion steps past the window where Darcy stood, like an astronaut walking on the moon. Two children coming from the opposite direction stopped and stared before the astronaut bent to say something to them, making them break out into giggles. Their mother ushered them on their way with a confused smile at the astronaut.
The astronaut turned back toward the van as he took off his gloves. The taller, younger man suddenly lunged forward and lifted the astronaut up onto his shoulder. Darcy heard a distinctly feminine screech from the other side of the window. The astronaut was a woman? She wiggled and fought her way out of her captor’s grasp, and when she stood on her own two feet again, she threw one of her gloves at his head. The older guy, probably the boss, yelled something—Darcy couldn’t make out the words—which was enough to stop their squabble.
The woman/astronaut then took off her mask and hood, unzipped the suit and stepped out of it. Like her co-workers, she was drenched in sweat, but the effect on her was a bit more appealing. She was young, in her early twenties, and wore paint-spattered shorts, a white tank top, and old sneakers that had seen better days. Her brown hair was pulled into a messy bun, though some strands had escaped and clung to her sweaty neck.
She had a great ass. Darcy noticed that right away. Her legs were toned, tanned, long and lean. Her arms were a bit too muscular and her breasts a bit too small for his tastes. But despite this and her masculine occupation, she was strangely, completely feminine. Not in a soft sort of way; she wasn’t voluptuous or dainty, primped or polished. He might call her graceful only because he could think of no other way to describe her. She had a raw sort of sexiness that seemed to be unintentional, yet unashamed too. With some chagrin, Darcy caught himself waxing poetic about this sweaty construction worker. Weird, he’d never thought of her type as his type before.
Two more workers appeared on the sidewalk. Darcy was certain they were men even before they took off their gear. The five of them stood near the van, talking and loading equipment. Miss Nice Ass joked and laughed with them. Then she bumped fists with the two late-comers, who crossed the street and climbed into a pickup truck before driving away.
The original three remained at the van talking. Suddenly, they all turned in unison and looked toward Darcy. He had the strangest impulse to shrink back from the window, as if he had been caught doing something he shouldn’t. The balding boss walked around to the driver’s side of the van. The good-looking guy came up to Nice Ass and kissed her before getting into the passenger side. Darcy wouldn’t be caught dead in such a public display—then again, no paparazzo was lurking around the corner waiting to snap a picture of Miss Nice Ass and her co-worker.
After the van drove off, Miss Nice Ass turned and walked straight to the door of Bennet Realty, heaving it open. A blast of hot, humid air preceded her as she entered. It was enough to break Bingley’s angel-induced trance.
“Lizzy!” He walked toward her, hand outstretched.
“Hey Charlie.” She smiled but held her hands up as a warning. “Sorry. I’m not fit for touching.”
Charlie? Who the hell was this Miss Nice Ass?
Bingley laughed. “Just come from work, then?”
“Yeah, we were stripping the woodwork in the apartment above Jane’s. Is your sister a New Jersey resident yet?”
“Not quite. Any minute now, I guess. You are coming to dinner with us to celebrate, aren’t you?”
“You might not want to wait for me. Clearly, I need a shower.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it, we’ll wait. Here, let me introduce my other sister…and my friend.” Bingley turned back toward Darcy and Caroline, motioning for them to join him. Caroline continued texting furiously. Darcy stepped forward.
“Elizabeth, this is William Darcy, my very good friend. Darcy, this is Elizabeth Bennet, Jane’s sister.”
Elizabeth looked at him with a small smile. “Hi,” she said.
“Hi. Nice to meet you.” Darcy couldn’t keep his eyes on hers, though she had very nice eyes. He was more interested in another part of her anatomy, made prominent through her wet top in reaction to the cooler temperature of the air-conditioned room.
She put one hand on her hip, and Darcy forced his gaze back up to her face. It was an average sort of face, not beautiful like her sister’s. But still, she did have nice eyes. And that ass.
She smirked at him. Perhaps dinner wouldn’t be so tedious after all.

And it goes downhill from there. :) 

Ooh! I'm so looking forward to reading Boots & Backpacks! Thank you, KC Kahler, for sharing this excerpt with us! 

About the author:

KC Kahler has worked as a writer and editor in both non-profit and academic settings. Until discovering Jane Austen Fan Fiction several years ago, KC’s writing had been limited to the dry and technical, which is a shame, since she considers herself witty and sparkling. Her first novel, Boots & Backpacks, will be published in 2014 by Meryton Press.

KC lives on a four-acre slice of Penn’s Woods with her husband and two dogs. They enjoy hiking, gardening, and being beer snobs.

Connect with KC Kahler

Blog Tour Stops:

10/27: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm 
10/28: Review at Songs and Stories
10/30: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…
10/31: Review at Wings of Paper
11/1: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Love for Jane Austen 
11/2: Review at The Delighted Reader
11/3: Excerpt at More Agreeably Engaged
11/4: Excerpt & Giveaway at The Calico Critic
11/5: Review at Warmisunqu's Austen
11/6: Guest Post & Giveaway at Stories From the Past

~ ~ ~ GIVEAWAY TIME! ~ ~ ~

Meryton Press is giving away one (1) e-copy (Kindle or Nook) of Boots & Backpacks to one lucky person! Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.

Thank you, Meryton Press!

  • One e-copy (kindle or nook) to one winner.
  • Open Internationally.
  • To enter you MUST fill out the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment.
  • Last day to enter: Nov. 6th, 2014

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please, leave a comment! We'd love to hear from you! Remember to enter the giveaway you MUST fill out the Rafflecopter (shown above). Please don't leave your email in the comments. If you need any help entering, email me! Just click on the icon at the top of the sidebar. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays ~ Oct. 22, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following questions.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

What am I currently reading? I just started reading Icons by Margaret Stohl, co-writer of the Beautiful Creatures series. While I was at the LA Festival of Books back in April, I came across Ms Stohl at a booth, signing books! I was thrilled to find she had begun writing a dystopian series! So I bought Book 1 from her, and, of course, had her sign it. I'm looking forward to reading Icons!

What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading Sincerely Yours: Yours by Design, Book 2 by Robin M. Helm. I should have my review up soon! I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
I also finished reading A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare for an online class I'm taking. Reading from No Fear Shakespeare, which has both the original text and modern language side-by-side, made it much easier to understand! :) 

What do I think I'll read next? I'm thinking about reading 
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen. I've never read anything by Ms Dessen, but I have two of her books sitting in my TBR pile, so I thought I'd give it a go! Plus, this will count towards my 2014 TBR Book Challenge! Yay! 

FTC Disclaimer: Book links are to Amazon. I'm an Amazon Associate, and if you should purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks! 

What are you reading? 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Some Boys by Patty Blount ~ My Review

Some Boys by Patty Blount 

Publication Date: August 5th, 2014 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire 
Pages: 339 
Received: I purchased my own copy.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Some boys go too far. 
Some boys will break your heart.
But one boy can make you whole.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this fast-paced, edgy young adult novel. It deals with the tough subject of rape; rape by a friend, and because you were friends, no one believes you. They think you asked for it, that you wanted it, that you said, “yes.” Everyone takes his side, because he's the golden boy, star of the lacrosse team ...he is Zac. Suddenly, you’re the school slut, and your so-called friends desert you. Grace finds herself in this position. Every day is a challenge to get through, but she's not going to let them beat her. I loved that about Grace: her strength.

When Grace gets in trouble at school, she receives detention and finds herself serving time with Zac’s best friend, Ian. 

Ian has had a crush on Grace for a long time, but now, because of Zac, she is off limits, and the last thing he wants to do is spend time with her.  They are put to work while serving detention, cleaning lockers over spring break. Awkward at first, they agree not to talk about what happen with Zac, but as the week wears on and the more he gets to know Grace, Ian can’t help but find out the truth. 

What I didn't like about this story, or found unbelievable, is a video posted on FB by the accused, Zac. The video is of Grace during the sexual encounter. She is intoxicated and incoherent (not fighting him) and this is his proof that it was consensual. I have a hard time believing a video like that would be allowed to stay up. And why wasn't Grace receiving any counseling other than one call to the Rape Crisis Hotline? 

To me, the writing felt a little choppy in the beginning.  I think the reason for this is that the author slowly released the information of what happened at the time of the rape. As the picture became clearer the flow of the story was much better, and I was drawn in and couldn’t put it down. I practically read it straight through! 

I love a story with a strong protagonist. Grace kept her head up, but there came a point when she wanted to give up, and I cried with Grace. I really love Ian, too, even though I wanted to shake some sense into him for blindly following Zac.  I also liked Ian’s father, who seems like a jerk at first, but says some nice things to Ian about Grace and gives him a few reasons to not think so highly of Zac.

Although this story deals with rape and the aftermath, the actual rape is not recalled, just the parts leading up to and after. But there is plenty of cussing, especially the use of GD and JC.

I truly enjoyed Some Boys

Buy: Amazon
Add: goodreads

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon - I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

Connect with Patty Blount

Back in September, I was part of the Some Boys Blog Blitz. The book intrigued me so much, I bought my own copy! You can check out that post here and read an excerpt. 

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays ~ Oct. 8, 2014

Wow! It's Wednesday! These days are just flying by! It's time for...
W... W... W... Wednesdays, which is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following questions.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

What am I currently reading? I'm currently reading Sincerely Yours: Yours by Design, Book 2 by Robin M. Helm. I've only read chapter 1 at this point, so I don't have much of an opinion, but I did have to laugh when 1800s Darcy was learning about Jane Austen Fan Fiction! Especially, when Helm slipped in a plug for her first series, Guardian.  If you don't know, the Yours by Design series is a Pride and Prejudice variation where the Darcy from the 1800s and Darcy from the 21st century trade places. You can read my review of the first book here.

What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. It was really good! Very much like the movie, but I now wish I had read the books first. I will read the rest, but probably not as quickly as I had anticipated. 

What do I think I'll read next?  I'm not sure. I'm taking a Shakespeare course, and I have some reading to do for that. I'm also studying writing and doing some algebra, which is keeping me very busy. 

FTC Disclaimer: Book links are to Amazon. I'm an Amazon Associate, and if you should purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

What are you reading?

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen by Shannon Winslow ~ My Review

The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen by Shannon Winslow 

Publication Date: August 6th, 2014 
Publisher: Heather Ridge Arts 
Pages: 266 
Received: e-copy from the author for my honest review 
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A Novel ~ wherein she tells her own story of Lost Love, Second Chances, and Finding her Happy Ending.

I loved The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen! Shannon Winslow has rewritten the ending of Jane’s life and has given her the happily ever after that we all hoped Jane would have. It is beautifully written, and it’s a story I think Jane herself would be proud of.

The story is written from Jane’s perspective as she sets out to pen Persuasion. At the same time, she also begins a journal recalling the first time she meets Captain Devereaux and writes of all of her time with him that so parallels that of Anne Elliot’s. 

In her twenty’s, Jane meets and falls in love with Captain Devereaux. Her parents do not approve of the marriage, and Jane will not go against their wishes. Captain Devereaux goes away angry, and Jane doesn’t see him again for another four years. Unfortunately, this meeting does not end as well as Anne and Captain Wentworth second meeting. No, Jane has to wait much longer than Anne for her happy ending.  

Not only are there many parallels to Persuasion, I see many similarities to other aspects of Austen’s books. Just as Elizabeth calls out Darcy for eavesdropping on one of her conversations, Jane calls out Captain Devereaux:

“Do not you think, Captain Devereaux, that I expressed myself uncommonly well just now, when I was giving my opinion of Giaour?”

Captain Devereaux also has a friend, a Captain Bothwell, who reminds me a little of Captain Wentworth’s friend, Captain Benwick. Although, he is not as depressed as Captain Benwick, he has suffered an injury that prevents him from sailing again. Bothwell and Jane become quite good friends. 

I also love how Jane quotes her characters or speaks about them as if they are real people. And I delighted in little conversations like this one between Cassandra and Jane: 

“Now you sound just like Lizzy Bennet. How delightful!"
“You know that she is my model in all things.”  
“I thought it was the other way round, Jane - that Lizzy was patterned after yourself. Either way, I am sure Captain Devereaux must have felt the point of your wit!”

The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen is a wonderful read, with a plausible ending that was cleverly done! It warmed my heart to know Jane knew what it was to love, to love deeply, and to be loved back! Well done! This book is the first I’ve read by Shannon Winslow, but it won’t be the last! I would highly recommend The Persuasion of Miss Austen for your reading pleasure! 

FTC Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of the story from the author for my honest review.

Buy: Amazon
Add: goodreads

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon: I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

Connect with Shannon Winslow

To read a lovely guest post by Shannon Winslow where she talks of love letters and The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen, click here.

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you! 
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