Tuesday, November 5, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Chasing Nikki Series by Lacey Weatherford

Welcome to our stop on the CHASING NIKKI Series Blog Tour. I'm excited for you to discover the beauty of a series loosely based on true life events, and the thrill of art imitating life, in Chase's case. Lacey and Chase are both smart, intriguing, talented- and fascinating people. I just know you'll enjoy reading Lacey's very touching and powerful story. And it doesn't hurt that Chase is not only a very cute and swoonworthy cover boy, but also a fun, complicated, and lovable character.
Take a peek at the excerpts. Grab the books. Get hooked- and start chasing Chase. Oh yes, you can totally stalk Chase Walker (Walden). And why wouldn't you? He's got a big, playful personality and a heart of gold to match. We can swoon and daydream- and giggle together while we wait for third book, CHASED DREAMS. Which Lacey is coauthoring with none other than Chase himself. Super cool, right?! So join me and Chase's legion of fans. Read CHASING NIKKI and FINDING CHASEtoday!
Thank you to the wonderful gals at Girls Heart Books Tours and Lacey Weatherford for providing both books for review.
Happy reading! ~Shell

Chase Walker used to be a good kid—charming, athletic, and with a bright future ahead, but that was before travesty struck his life, sinking him into deep despair. Caught up in a world of drugs and alcohol, he doesn’t notice time slipping away until he’s arrested for underage drinking one night.
Fed up with watching her son destroy his life, Chase’s mom relocates him to live in a small ranching community with his ex-military grandfather. Chase is far from happy about the situation until he meets, Nikki, the cute cheerleader who won’t give football players like him the time of day.
Chase enjoys a good challenge though and sets out to claim Nikki for his own. He soon discovers she’s more than a pretty face—she’s a balm to his troubled spirit also. But when tragedy strikes Nikki’s life too, suddenly Chase finds himself put to the ultimate test. Can he trust Nikki, and all that she’s taught him? Will it be enough?

Life hasn’t been easy for Chase Walker. He’s experienced tragedy, and at times he’s not sure he wants to continue living. But he made a vow to go on with his life, and he intends to keep it.
After getting a college scholarship to play football, Chase heads off to school, hoping his time on the field will help to bury the intense emotions that still linger in his heart. Fate doesn’t work that way though, and he soon finds himself having to face all the things he’s carrying inside, or he may miss the one shot he has to learn how to love again.

Chasing Nikki Excerpt
The bell rang, signaling the release of class, and I watched Nikki hurry from her seat and through the door without looking in my direction. I grabbed my books and hurried after, catching up to her in the hall.
She cast one glance from the corner of her eye at me and started walking faster. “Go away,” she said.
“Go out with me.”
“Go out with me. I like you.”
“You don’t even know me.”
“Exactly! That’s why you should go out with me. How am I going to get to know you otherwise?”
“Not going to happen.” She stopped at her locker and began twirling her combination.
“I’ll bring you flowers. What’s your favorite?”
No answer.
“What time should I pick you up? Is seven okay?”
“I’m not going out with you.”
“Why? What’s wrong with me? I brush my teeth, use mouthwash, and I wear oodles of deodorant.” I placed my hand on the locker next to hers and leaned in really close behind her. “My aftershave is really nice too. Can you smell it?”
She paused in the middle of sliding her books onto the shelf and turned to look at me. “It does smell good, but I’m still not going out with you.”
 “Ah ha! A compliment! I knew it was in there somewhere.” I smiled widely. “I guess I’ll cut my losses for today and run with my compliment. But don’t worry, Nikki,” I whispered into her ear. “I’ll ask you again tomorrow.”
She gave an exasperated sigh, and I laughed as I walked away.
“You’re a sucker for punishment, you know that right?” Brett said from where he was standing against the wall watching.
“Are you saying you doubt my skills?” I asked, stopping at my own locker to drop off my books.
“Yes,” he said bluntly.
“Ouch. I’m wounded. Guess I’ll have to prove it to you.”
“Why do you have to get her? Practically every other girl in the school is throwing herself at you, much to the dismay of the rest of us guys, I might add.”
“I don’t want every other girl.” I glanced down the hall catching Nikki staring at me with a perplexed look. “I want that one.” I flashed a wink in her direction and she quickly turned to hurry off with her friend.

Finding Chase Excerpt
“Chase, I can take care of this. You’ve got a house full of people here for your goodbye party tonight. You need to come inside.”
Pausing, I wiped my arm across my sweaty brow and glanced in the direction of the house. “I don’t really feel like partying. Maybe you can make excuses for me? I’ll grab some leftovers when I come in later.” I gave a pleading, hopeful look as he stared, his lips pursed.
“Son, come sit with me for a spell.” He waved his hand toward some of the bales on the ground.
Sighing, I finished stacking the one I’d been moving and climbed down. I sat beside him, my elbows resting against my knees.
“You’ve got to be one of the best kids I know.” He clapped me on the back. “I may have had my doubts in the beginning, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy your age work as hard as you.”
This was high praise coming from him. “Thanks,” I mumbled. “I’m just trying to help out.”
“I have to say, I don’t like it one bit.”
His words threw me.
“What?” I glanced up, confused. I thought he appreciated my help.
“You’ve got your whole life to work yourself to the bone, Chase. You need to enjoy being a kid. Go be with your friends—laugh, be silly, do some crazy things. Hang with the guys for a while, or try dating again. There are some very pretty girls who’d love to find a handsome guy like you paying them attention.”
I clenched my jaw, grinding my teeth together. “I can’t do that.” I got up and grabbed another bale.
“What do you think Nikki would say about how you’re behaving?”
Hearing her name made me feel like I’d been sucker punched in the gut. I dropped the hay. “Don’t go there. Please, Grandpa. It still hurts too much.” I struggled to maintain my composure.
“I had a dog once that got tangled in a loose barbed wire fence. His name was Barley.”
Wait. We’re talking about dogs now?
“He cut himself real good on his hind leg. I helped him get free, but he ran off before I could put any salve on the wound and dress it proper. He wandered around the edges of the property, limping, but whenever I’d come after him, he’d hightail it away before I could catch him. Finally, one day I found him laying in the field over yonder. His leg was swollen real bad, and I could tell he had a pretty serious infection going on. I knew if I didn’t cut him open and drain it, he was going to die, so I pulled out my pocketknife and sliced into it. Ole Barley, he howled like the dickens and even nipped at me pretty sharply. Green smelly puss shot from that thing, though, and I knew he had to feel a lot better getting rid of the pressure. I carried him to the house and cleaned the wound as best I could. It was touch and go for a while, but finally his leg started healing, and he made a full recovery. Barley and I were pretty close after that. He was a good dog.”
I folded my arms. “Is there a point to this story?”
He stood and walked in front of me. “The point is, sometimes you’ve got to lance your wounds, and let all the infection and poison pour out of your soul so it doesn’t eat you alive from the inside out. Sometimes we fail to see there are people around us who love us, and they are waiting to help, but we don’t let them. Instead, we choose to let things fester, going off on our own—licking wounds as we try to heal ourselves.” He put his hands on my shoulders. “Don’t let this happen to you, Chase.”
I blinked back the tears which threatened and looked away. I knew what he was saying, but I couldn’t give in. It was too hard—too much. “I can’t let it out,” I whispered. “It’s . . . too strong.” 

 Lacey Weatherford was born in Ft. Meade Maryland while her father was serving in the military. She has been a life long resident of Arizona, spending most of her time growing up in the small rural town of Clay Springs.
It was while she was attending the small country school in Clay Springs, that she read her first "big" book at the age of eight. It was a Nancy Drew novel and Lacey was instantly hooked. She read every book that she could find in the series and decided that she wanted to write stories too.
Lacey spent a lot of time at the library from that time forward, even volunteering in her later teen years and early twenties. She would don a crazy clown outfit for the Friends of the Library fundraisers in an effort to help get the new town library built.
 When she and her husband moved away from the area, Lacey took the opportunity to take some creative writing classes at the local college to help further along her interests. Several years later, they were blessed with the opportunity to move back to Clay Springs with their family. The town had finally succeeded in building their library and Lacey had the opportunity to be President of the Friends of the Library for a very short time, before relocating.
Lacey and her family still live in the White Mountains of Arizona, where she continues to write young adult novels that have a fantasy/fairytale or paranormal bent to them, as well as being sure to include a great romantic storyline!

 Goodreads    Facebook    Twitter   Website

Chasing Nikki
 Kobo    Smashwords

Finding Chase

I'm just gonna say it right now. I LOVE CHASE WALKER. He is the boy I would have fallen for, rooted for, mourned for, and consoled... from afar. Oh yes, I would have stalked him relentlessly. I feel obsessed with him NOW. And this is only from book one. Holy hell. I'm a hopeless case. And a complete crumpled on the ground mess.
Chase is far from perfect, but he's real. And I love him for that. He doesn't deny his faults or shortcomings. He accepts his mistakes and does the best he can to survive circumstances that would drive any normal teen to do the things he does. He's in pain. The life he's enjoyed and loved is forever changed. And he just can't cope. And that's where this story begins.
From the start CHASING NIKKI tugs at your heartstrings. Seriously, if you're a crier like me, get a truck load of tissues. I exaggerate NOT. It's all about the feels. The. Feels. Oh, my GAWD.
I immediately connected with Chase. Felt his pain. Loved his snarky sense of humor and biting sarcasm. Understood his anger. Lived his need to dull everything, and his attempts to forget. It's a lonely place and I was happy to see his family was there when he needed them most.
Chase fought his mother every step of the way when she felt she'd run out of options to help her broken son get back on track. At times you felt as if she wasn't really there for Chase, but she was hurting along with him. It was hard to watch her try to deal with him when she was suffering herself. She didn't always do the right thing, but you could hardly blame her. She had her own pain and a life she had to try to maintain for them both. They were both failing and she made the only choice she thought might save them. 
She takes him from the only life he's ever known. His lifetime friends. His home. All in hopes of giving him a new start...
Can Chase get past his pain and anger? Will he let anyone in? You wonder if he'll give himself and the possibility of being happy again a chance. This kid needs some big breaks. But they'll only come if he gives in to his vulnerabilities and loses that chip on his shoulder. That of course means letting people in.
Relationships are key to Chase's success. And the last thing he's looking for. Luckily, he gets a little help from fate... A beautiful girl that's off limits. And someone he didn't think was in his corner, or on his side.
I loved the relationship he repaired with his grandfather. The wise, sarcastic, and tough old codger. And the new ones he built as he started a new life. One he was reluctant and afraid to begin. It's a wonderful journey to recovery. Or so it seems. I did say to get the tissues, didn't I?
I won't give away the events that turn Chase's life around AGAIN, but I will say that this is a story that shook me to my core. We talk about books that elicit strong feelings. That touch our souls, and stay with us long after we've closed them. THIS is one of those books. It touched me in such a personal and powerful way. It made me feel emotions I'd been attempting to tuck away in an effort to move on. At this moment it still brings tears to my eyes. But don't let that deter you. Do not despair.CHASING NIKKI is beautifully written. It's real. And it's a story that begs to read. 


WARNING: IF you haven't read CHASING NIKKI, I suggest you do so before reading this review. As much as I try not to spoil, it's impossible not to make mention of a few details in the first book in order to express the emotions raging within me going into this next installment. You have been warned. For the rest of you, here's a new tissue...

As SO much happens in CHASING NIKKI, I'm finding it difficult not to give away everything that's taken place to explain why I'm in pieces when I start reading this book. I'm still trying to hold my heart in my chest. I feel shattered. Blown away and torn to pieces. I'm not sure how anyone survives such events- and frankly, much hits too close to home. *hiccups from sobbing*
BUT, I've stuffed my nose with tissue, gathered up my guts and my strength. And mustered all the hope I can that Chase can get through the worst of circumstances and be the man he's meant to be. Now, I know what you're thinking. It didn't end badly. Chase made a vow. Felt a flicker of hope. Began to pick himself up and carry on. Surrounded by friends. Throwing himself back into football. His future is a promising as ever. I knew in my heart it couldn't be that easy.
You don't move on that quickly or freely from the one who saved you. The person who showed you your worth. Dared you to dream. To reach for the stars. You never forget your first love. Especially when they are taken from you in such a dramatic way. There is too much raw emotion. Too much pain. Too much you can't change or contain. It's a daily battle within yourself to survive.
And so we stand literally on the edge as Chase struggles to fight his desires to followNikki. Their memories and plans constantly playing in his head. And her haunting voice all too real. Going to school and having to move from the family that has become everything to him, doesn't make missing her any easier. The only thing really saving him now? That vow.
Chase packs up and heads to ASU with his best friends in hopes of throwing himself back into football. It's a whole new world with new challenges, rivals, and new possibilities.
FINDING CHASE doesn't have quite the dramatic twists that CHASING NIKKI did, but it certainly has enough excitement and conflict to keep you engaged and wondering what will happen next. Of course Chase manages to pull your heartstrings. Dealing with reckless desires, endless guilt,and someone hell bent on making his life more miserable than it already is, he had me fighting tears, anger at unfair and outrageous circumstances, and fearing he might not be able to keep his head above water.
Despite all the turmoil and obvious inner struggles, Chase might just find what he's really looking for. Of course not before we're toyed with and once again put through the wringer. I had moments where I held my breath. Gritted my teeth. Seethed with rage and disgust.    Shook my head from disbelief with tears in my eyes and yelling, "how much more can one kid take?" And then moments of absolute joy. Oh yes, this one sent me on another hellishly good emotional rollercoaster with a most perfect ending.
So what is FINDING CHASE all about? Embracing family and friends. Cherishing memories. CHASING dreams. Second chances. And never, ever giving up.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment