Blogs

Why West Take Me On

April 12, 2014 at 11:56 AMKatie McGarry

 

Exciting news: I'm giving away a signed copy of Take Me On! But before I get to that, lets talk about West.

Whenever people ask me about West Young, I typically give the following answer:

West Young is a hot mess and I love every inch of him.

Every part of that statement is true. West is gorgeous, a senior in high school, the third of five children, and he’s also the son of one of the wealthiest men in the state of Kentucky. He goes to the best schools and has the best clothes and he should have an absolutely perfect life, but he doesn’t.

From the moment I first met West in CRASH INTO YOU, I hurt for him. West’s parents had three children. One was dying of cancer, so they decided to have more children—they decided they wanted another girl. West was the first result of that goal. How do you think this makes him feel? Wanted? Not wanted? Like a byproduct?

West feels deeply—very deeply with all his emotions. When he loves he loves and when he hurts he hurts and when he gets angry, West has no problem throwing a fist into some guy’s face. Combine all of this and that’s how I knew that West had a story to tell.  

He loves his sister Rachel, more than anyone can comprehend, and what happens to her in CRASH INTO YOU greatly affects him. So much so that West’s story, TAKE ME ON, takes place during the three-month gap between events in CRASH INTO YOU.  To be exact, it begins one week after a major turning point in CRASH INTO YOU.

There are certain subjects that I decided to tackle in TAKE ME ON that were hard for me to write about. TAKE ME ON is a very emotional book for me and it is a story that hurt to tell, but one that I am so proud that I did.  This one is special to me. It took a lot of strength and courage to write and I’m ready for West and Haley’s story to be out in the world.

Because TAKE ME ON needed to take place during the period of time that was fast-forwarded through in CRASH INTO YOU, I knew that I either told West’s story immediately after CRASH INTO YOU or his story would never be told. It needed to be told.

I needed to tell it.

Can TAKE ME ON be read as a stand-alone? Yes, I write all my books so that you can read them without having to read the others. You won’t be lost if you haven’t read the rest of the series beforehand. It may be interesting to see how the characters progress from one book to the next, but as I said, it’s not a necessity.

For those of you who want more Isaiah and Rachel, they are so in there. You’ll get peeks of what they went through during those harrowing three months.  And for my Abby fans—you might be pleased to know she plays a huge role in TAKE ME ON.

Why West? Because he’s a hot mess and I love every inch of him. Because he has a very emotional story that deserves to be told. I can’t wait for all of you to read TAKE ME ON when it’s released on May 27, 2014!

Pre-Order TAKE ME ON:  Amazon|BAM|Barnes&Nobles|BookDepository|Indie

Now for the giveaway. There will be no print advance reviewer copies of TAKE ME ON. I do *believe* that there will be copies available on Netgalley a few weeks before the release. But would you like a copy of Take Me On before then? Here is your chance. I just received my print copies and I'm so excited that I'm giving one away now. As a bonus, I'm also giving away a poster of the cover of TAKE ME ON! This giveaway is open internationally.

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Breaking the Rules

April 8, 2014 at 8:13 AMKatie McGarry

Hi everyone!

You guys have no idea how excited I am for this day to have arrived! I have sat on this news for months and it has been absolutely killing me, but this is it! Today is the day!

Drum roll please…

I am continuing Echo and Noah’s story!

In BREAKING THE RULES, Katie McGarry continues the story of Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchinson (PUSHING THE LIMITS) as the pair set out on a road trip so Echo can chase her dream of becoming an artist and for Noah to meet his remaining blood relatives, but as the realities of the world outside the walls of high school begin to press down on Echo and Noah the couple tries to discover if their love is strong enough to survive.

BREAKING THE RULES is a full length novel that starts a month or so into the trip Echo and Noah take after they graduated from high school. The time period of this book is between PUSHING THE LIMITS and DARE YOU TO.

BREAKING THE RULES will be released through Harlequin Teen in paperback and e-book formats on December 30, 2014 in North America. It will also be available in the United Kingdom and Australia around the same time period.

What’s even more exciting? There will be a brief teaser of BREAKING THE RULES in the back of TAKE ME ON (release date: May 27, 2014)!

“But, Katie,” you say. “We can’t wait that long for an excerpt.”

Never fear! I will be taking part in a Twitter party hosted by @harlequinTEEN on Wednesday, April 23rd from 7:00-8:00 pm EST. If you join the TAKE ME ON Twitter party, you will be able to download limited exclusive content from BREAKING THE RULES for free that night.

Trust me, you don’t want to miss this excerpt. It’s from Noah’s point of view!

Who is excited for more Echo and Noah? Tell me below in the comments!

 

 

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Happy Birthday Red at Night

March 31, 2014 at 4:25 PMKatie McGarry
 
Happy birthday to Red at Night (April 1, 2014 release date)!

Last year, I was asked to participate in Harlequin’s More Than Words program and I quickly agreed. As from Harlequin’s More Than Words website, the program’s mission and objectives are to:

1-Raise awareness about worthy causes that are of concern to women

2-Provide financial assistance to these important charities

3-Engage employees, authors and readers and the general public in worthy causes and provide opportunities for them to make a difference

I was asked to write a short story for Nikki Berti’s Goodie Two Shoes Foundation. This is an amazing foundation that provides new shoes and socks to disadvantaged children and children in crisis.

Inspired by Nikki Berti and the Goodie Two Shoes Foundation, I wrote the e-short story, Red at Night.

In Red at Night, Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She's the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He's a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella's favorite refuge…the local cemetery.

Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah's friends. Once he's sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won't have time for her anymore. Too bad she's already fallen for him….
 
I wish I could say that Stella was a character that I couldn’t connect with, but I could. There is so much in the world that we can take for granted: shelter, clothing,…shoes. Nikki Berti and the Goodie Two Shoes Foundation not only provide new shoes that fit to children, she also provides hope.

While I was never personally helped by Nikki Berti as a child, I did have other people in my life who provided hope to me. For that, I thank them.

Click to find out more about the Goodie Two Shoes Foundation and how you can also help bring shoes and hope to disadvantaged children.
 
Red at Night is currently available at the following e-retailers: Amazon|Barnes&Nobles|GooglePlay|Harlequin|Kobo
 
In celebration of Red at Night, I'm giving away a signed paperback of Pushing the Limits and Dare You To, and a signed hardback of Crash Into You.  This is open internationally.
 

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Red at Night and Giveaway

March 22, 2014 at 10:47 PMKatie McGarry

Hi everyone!

A few exciting things to announce.

1. Red at Night will be published in Australia for free on April 1st!  Woo hoo! Remember, this is a digital only short story.

2. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement on April 8th! 

3. There is one week left until Red at Night will be released (April 1st). To celebrate, here is a teaser from the moment before Stella and Jonah's first kiss. Also, I'm giving away signed paperbacks of Pushing the Limits and Dare You To, and a signed hardback of Crash Into You. This giveaway is open internationally!

This is from Jonah's point of view:

My hand eases from her hip to her face, my thumb brushing against her cheek. Stella leans into me—all soft curves, all feminine, a heat that sparks and smolders at the same time. Her head tilts up as I lower mine and I know the moment our lips touch, any hope I had of returning to my old life will no longer exist.
 
To pre-order Red at Night for free visit here:
Amazon|Barnes&Nobles|Harlequin

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Exciting Things

March 17, 2014 at 9:17 PMKatie McGarry

Several exciting things to announce this week! First off, I'm sharing another preview of my newest e-novella, Red at Night. Red at Night will be released on April 1, 2014 and it is currently for free on Amazon and Harlequin's website.

 This preview is from Stella's point of view:

I expect Jonah to release my hand when we get to the office, but instead he joins me. The secretary’s eyes flicker between us, and Jonah says, “I need a few minutes alone before class.”
“Okay,” she answers. “Your parents told us what happened. Why don’t you go into the sick room and lie down. I know Mrs. Collins would be willing to talk with you if you wanted.”
He says nothing to her, but he squeezes my hand. Knowing that this will probably be the last time I’ll be so close to him, I squeeze back. Instead of the smile I was hoping to see in return, Jonah lets go of my fingers and cups my face with both hands.
The heat from his skin radiates into mine and I swear his warmth rushes into my bloodstream. My heart stops as he angles my head to look at him. His thumbs sweep over my cheeks and the air around us crackles.
Crap, I just got dizzy.
“Are you Miss Vaughn?” says a female voice behind me.
Jonah lowers his hands and I slam my fingers onto the counter so that I don’t drop to the floor. Um, am I? “Yes.” That sounded correct.


Second exciting piece of news! There will be a huge announcement from me on Tuesday, April 8th so stay tuned!

Third piece of exciting news! Dare You To paperback giveaway! Win 1 of 15 finished copies of the paperback of Dare You To on Goodreads! Contest ends on March 31, 2014.

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Red At Night Teaser

March 10, 2014 at 12:11 PMKatie McGarry

Hi everyone!

On April 1st, only three more weeks away, and my latest novella, Red at Night will be released. Today I'm sharing with you a teaser from the book.

Red at Night is currently for free on Amazon and Harlequin's website. I am still trying to find out if it will be released with other e-retailers and other countries. I appreciate your patience with this and I promise to let you know the news as soon as I do.

Stella
“My grandma used to pick dandelions and rub them under my chin and if my skin turned yellow it meant I was nice.” On the other side of the cemetery, an industrial mower springs to life and happily hums. I pick the largest dandelion of the bunch and hold it out to him. “Come here.”
“Why?”
I shrug. “Because if you don’t you’re going to go home and be ticked because you should have.”
It’s a clear day. Bright blue sky with an occasional fluffy cloud. He takes a particular interest in one that resembles a duck. Obviously he’s going to need more coaxing. “We’re surrounded by a couple hundred dead people. Think there’s someone here who left regret-free? Take a risk and come here. Or are you scared the dandelion will tell on you?”
“Tell what?” He angles himself in my direction now, and I like what I see of his sweet build. He readjusts his baseball cap to expose freshly cut light brown hair, and there’s a sharp ache in my chest when I meet his blue eyes.
I know him. Rather, I know his friends…But his eyes possess the same sadness as old man Rick’s and I have a choice: I can be like this kid and his friends or I can be better…I can be more. That decision is often why I’m here, and if Lydia’s taught me anything it’s that life can be short.
Inhaling deeply, I twirl the flower in my hand, knowing tomorrow I’ll regret this. “Come here and find out.”
 

In Red at Night, Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She's the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He's a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella's favorite refuge…the local cemetery.

Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah's friends. Once he's sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won't have time for her anymore. Too bad she's already fallen for him….

 

 

 
 
 

 

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Crossing The Line in Print

February 24, 2014 at 10:47 PMKatie McGarry

Hi everyone,

We have several exciting things to discuss this week!

1. Crossing the Line, the short story featuring Echo's best friend Lila, will be available in print for the first time. It is being offered as bonus content in the back of Take Me On (release date, May 27, 2014).  Crossing the Line will also be added to the back of the e-book version of Take Me On. Included in the bonus material is the anticipated Crossing the Line epilogue.

Amazon|BAM|Barnes & Nobles|BookDepository|Indie|iTunes

2. The cover for Take Me On was released this past week. What do you guys think?

 

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help. 

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her—fighting for her—is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future. 

Haley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

 


 

 

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Crossing The Line

February 18, 2014 at 2:59 PMKatie McGarry

Hi everyone!

This week I have two exciting things to announce!

1. Harlequin Teen will be revealing the cover for Take Me On on Thursday, February 20th.

2. I am thrilled to share with you the cut prologue from my first short story, Crossing the Line.

Here is a description of the book:

Lila McCormick first met Lincoln Turner when tragedy struck both their lives. But she never expected their surprise encounter would lead to two years of exchanging letters-or that she'd fall for the boy she's only seen once. Their relationship is a secret, but Lila feels closer to Lincoln than anyone else. Until she finds out that he lied to her about the one thing she depended on him for the most.

Hurting Lila is the last thing Lincoln wanted. For two years, her letters have been the only thing getting him through the day. Admitting his feelings would cross a line he's never dared breach before. But Lincoln will do whatever it takes to fix his mistakes, earn Lila's forgiveness-and finally win a chance to be with the girl he loves.

 

       Prologue

 

Lila

 

December, two years prior to the start of Crossing the Line

 

My best friend, Echo, doesn’t look good in black. It makes her natural pale skin appear whiter than normal, as if she’s been sucked of all her blood. Maybe she has been drained. Last night, in a moment of silence after we cried and remembered her brother, she told me that she thought that her heart had stopped beating—that she felt dead inside.

 

I feel dead inside. Echo’s older brother, a guy who treated me like his little sister, died in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan.

 

The small groups of people in milling in the large room of the funeral home alternate between uncomfortable small talk and glancing at Echo and the dysfunctional cast of characters that she claims as a family. At least the rest of the mourners have a group to hang out with. Me and Echo’s group of friends left hours ago, but I stayed. Echo and I have been best friends since birth. She needs me.

 

I sigh. By sitting in the corner it’s obvious, I don’t belong here. I’m not a friend of Echo’s all-business father. I’m not related to her crazy mother or her epically airheaded step-mother. I’m not a chosen friend of her brother’s. I’m Echo’s best friend.  Aires’ “adopted” sister. An outsider. Yet, I stay.

 

“Help me,” Echo races to my side. Her curls bouncing near her shoulder.

 

I stand. This is the reason why I’m here. “Name it. I’ll do anything.”

 

Her bloodshot eyes match the color of her red hair. “I’ve got to get out of here.” She swats at the tears threatening to spill from the edges of her eyes. “Mom and Dad are fighting and Ashley keeps trying to talk to me and I just need a few seconds.”

 

“Okay.” I snatch my purse off the floor. “Where do you want to go? My house? For a drive? Are you hungry?”

 

She shakes her head. “No. I just need a few minutes—outside. But there’s a problem.”

 

“What?”

 

Echo glances at the newest group of mourners to enter the room. “That’s Josh’s family.”

 

Josh, Josh, Josh. The name is familiar, but the bells aren’t ringing.

 

“Aires’ friend,” she says then chocks on a sob. “The one who…”

 

Died. The one who died alongside of Aires. To comfort her, I link my fingers with hers. “I thought they lived...” I have no idea. “Far away.”

 

“They do, but Josh’s mom got a hold of Ashley and the two of them talked and Josh was buried yesterday and they asked if they could come here today and Ashley wants me talk to Josh’s brother and he’s the same age as us and I can’t, Lila. I can’t.”

 

The tears escape from her eyes and the answering tears form in mine.

 

“What do I say to him?” she continues. “I don’t know how to make him feel better. I don’t know how to make me feel better.  For hours people have told me how sorry they are and I have to listen to their stories and to their words and I’ve had to smile and I’m done smiling and I need a break.”

 

“Okay,” I say a bit too strongly and with a squeeze of her hand. Echo’s brief break from perfect caught her father’s attention and his accusing glare. Only she hasn’t noticed yet.

 

“Okay,” I say again. “You go outside and I’ll talk to Josh’s brother.”

 

Echo nods. “Thank you.”

 

“Whatever.” I wave away her gratitude. It’s not needed because this is what friends do. “Now go.”

 

She does and when Echo’s safely out of the room, I rub my hands against my black dress and head toward the casket. Echo’s parents talk to a couple about their age. And, I’m assuming, due to the same matching grief stricken dark circles under their eyes, the couple is Josh’s parents. About a foot behind them, stands a middle school aged looking girl and a boy about my age.

 

This is who Ashley must want Echo to talk to.

 

He’s cute. My height. Black hair. His face has a boyish charm. He stands with his hands shoved into his black pants and his head and shoulders slumped forward. My heart aches as I approach him. He lost his brother. What do you say to someone who has lost a part of their soul?

 

His sister spots me first and immediately turns her back to me. That’s okay. I take no offense. I’d want to ignore me too: a stranger pushing their way into a personal misery.

 

“Lila,” says Echo’s stepmother, Ashley, in her patented high voice. “Where’s Echo? I want her to meet Lincoln.”

 

Nope, sorry, not going to happen. I fake the smile that parents love. “I’ll introduce them.”

 

As I turn my head back toward Josh’s brother, I’m startled to see gorgeous dark blue eyes searching mine. I tilt my head, suddenly curious about the boy in front of me. “Hi. I’m Lila.”

 

He inhales deeply before answering, “I’m Lincoln.”

 

***

 

 “Where were you when you found out?” Lincoln asks.

 

Lincoln and I sit on the dropped tailgate of my Dad’s Chevy S-10 in the back parking lot of the funeral home. When I saw Echo come back in, I asked him to go out. I only meant to distract him for a few minutes, but I’ve been surprisingly comforted by his presence.

 

“Home,” I say.  I think about how I stared through the window at the bare trees swaying in the cold wind as I replayed the announcement over and over again. For possibly an hour, my eyes never left the trees and the words never seemed true: Aires was dead.

 

“Me too,” he says.

 

I shiver, imagining what it must have been like for Lincoln to hear of his brother’s death.

 

His head snaps in my direction. “Are you cold?”

 

“No.” Actually, I am, a little. I burrow myself further into my wool jacket. For December, the temperature’s not so bad, but it’s not exactly warm. What’s important is that for the first time since learning about Aires’ death, I’m not the one offering all the comfort. I belong. Lincoln is willingly grieving with me.

 

“Do you want to go back inside?” he asks.

 

No. “Do you?”

 

He shrugs. “I asked first.”

 

But I don’t want to answer first. “We can if you want too.”

 

“Lila…” Lincoln sighs heavily. “This is the first time in what seems like forever that I even feel slightly okay. So, unless you want to go in, no, I’m fine out here.”

 

Smiling feels wrong, yet it happens anyway. “Yeah, me too.”

 

He shifts to get comfortable and his knee bumps into mine for a moment. My heart stutters. Stop it, Lila. He’s grieving. You’re grieving. You’re both in a relationship.

 

Lincoln rests his hands on his thighs while his shoulders tense. “I’m not sure how I’m supposed to do it,” he says. “How am I supposed to go back to school? Or work? Or home? Or anything? How do I go back to my normal life without him?”

 

Lincoln chokes on the last word and quickly ducks his head so that I can’t see his eyes. As with Echo, my fingers automatically seek his. The moment we touch, he grabs onto me like a man about to drown at sea. “I’m so sorry, Lincoln.”

 

He squeezes my fingers as a response, but keeps his head averted.

 

I place my other hand over our combined fingers. “And I’m always here if you need me.” But I’m not. He lives faraway. “You can write me and, I swear, I’ll write you back.”

 

Lincoln nods and my heart shatters when he faces me. Tears fill his eyes. “I loved him, you know? I loved him.”

 

I nod as my own eyes become wet. “I know. I do. I swear I understand.”

 

 

Stay tuned for the much anticipated Crossing the Line epilogue.

 

 

 

 

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What I Thought Was True

February 15, 2014 at 10:22 AMKatie McGarry

Hi everyone!

This week I am so honored to be giving away an ARC of Huntley Fitzpatrick's amazing book, What I Thought was True. I have read this fantastic book and let me tell you it is absolutely amazing. So much so, that I offered to give it a blurb:

"Hauntingly raw, romantic, and beautiful." -- Katie McGarry, Crash Into You


Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her idyllic Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past--or the island--Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true--about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself--with what really is.


What I Thought was True will be released on April 15th. In the meantime, I'm giving away an ARC of What I Thought was True.  This is an international giveaway.

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Meet the author of What I Thought Was True...

 

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Cover Reveal

February 14, 2014 at 7:48 AMKatie McGarry

Hi everyone!

Happy Valentines Day! My present to you: the cover reveal for my next novella, Red at Night.

Here is the description:

In Red at Night, Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She's the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He's a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella's favorite refuge…the local cemetery.

Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah's friends. Once he's sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won't have time for her anymore. Too bad she's already fallen for him….

Red at Night does take place in the Pushing the Limits universe and you'll see a familiar face. Stella and Jonah's story is very special to me and I wrote it to highlight Harlequin's More than Words program.

Here is the exciting news: Red at Night is available on April 1, 2014 as an e-book only and, right now, it is FREE!

I'm also thrilled to announce that the cover for Take Me On will be revealed on Thursday, February 20th!

Here is the cover for Red at Night:

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