Monday, December 2, 2013

KEEP ME STILL by Caisey Quinn (review)

Hey all! Shelley here to bring you something special today. It is our extreme pleasure to be part of Caisey Quinn's KEEP ME STILL Blog Tour. Personally, I couldn't be more thrilled to have watched Caisey rise and stake her claim in YA and New Adult Contemporary Romance. She has a fresh and exciting voice. She's intelligent and romantic, and isn't afraid to push the envelope and force issues. She does that here with her latest series, and she more than exceeded my expectations.

We were lucky enough to be granted a fun guest post from Caisey and an ARC for review- which will follow Caisey's spot. Of course there is also a GIVEAWAY so be sure to enter.
And now, without further ado, Tsk, Tsk, What to Read, by way of our dear friends at Inkslinger PR, present to you--- Caisey Quinn and KEEP ME STILL...

Layla Flaherty had the perfect life, or close to it. Until a stranger gunned her parents down right in front of her, leaving her with seizure inducing PTSD. After years of trying to pass as normal and failing miserably, she resigns herself to being invisible. But new to town Landen O’Brien sees her, and he likes what he sees. Much to Layla’s surprise, he doesn’t freak out when she has a seizure in front of him. He does the exact opposite, calming her until the tremors subside. But Landen has secrets of his own. Secrets that both bind them together and tear them apart.
Scarred by loss, Layla leaves her hometown of Hope Springs, Georgia, hoping to put her painful past behind her and start over in college in California. When she runs into Landen at freshmen orientation, she has a choice to make. Reinforce those steel walls she's built up around herself or give the only boy who can keep her still a second chance.
Landen’s more than ready to tear down those walls but this time when they come crashing down, they might bury her.

Six Social Media Miracles That Happened to Me

People often ask how I use social media to promote my books and author platform. When they ask this, I almost laugh out loud. If it weren’t for social media, I don’t know that anyone, anywhere would have ever even heard of my books.

When I first began this journey as an author, I was headed in a much more traditional route. Or I hoped I was at the time because I didn’t know there were other options. And then circumstances beyond my control delayed the publishing process and I had a choice to make. Self-publish Girl with Guitar while the ABC show Nashville was creating a trend for it, or wait and hope the trend lasted long enough to where people would still read it a year from now or whenever it finally got published.

So I did what I always do in a crisis. I Tweeted Emily Tippetts.  Which brings us to Miracle #1.
Because Emily is the helpful, wonderful, insightful individual that she is, she held my hand and told me what I needed to know about getting started in self-publishing. When I was done crying in the corner from the overwhelming amount of information, we buckled down and did what needed to be done to get the book ready. (I say we because I literally could not have done it without her. Bless her.)

Once I had an ARC, I started author-specific Facebook, GoodReads, and Twitter accounts. Which is where Miracle #2 occurred. People Followed me. (Sorry to sound like a cult leader, but you know what I mean). They liked my page and began messaging me about the book.

After a few ARCs were out, Miracle #3 occurred. I was welcomed into a precious group of ladies that wanted to chat about books, boots, boys, and all the things I was interested in. They still beta read for me and I’ve even written a book with one of them!

Miracle #4 occurred when other authors, such as Rachel Harris, found me online and said “Hey, that sounds like a cool book. Can I read it?” Miracle #5 was that they didn’t hate it. Just kidding, well, not really. But Miracle #5 was actually that I got to chat and Tweet and Facebook and GoodReads message with readers as the book was released. One precious reader/blogger who is now an author herself offered to do a blog tour for me. I never could have afforded to do that back then, so it was a huge deal to me for someone just to volunteer out of the kindness of her heart. And then another blogger turned friend, who is also now an author, put together a release day blitz for Girl with Guitar. I didn’t even know what that was at the time. They were just super precious ladies who’d chatted with me on Twitter and volunteered to help me out. Like I said, miracles.

And then Miracle #6 was that a very special group of ladies were willing to join a street team/crazy Facebook group called the Backwoods Belles that exists specifically to help me (and author Elizabeth Lee├čthat lady I mentioned chatting online with and then writing a book with) promote our books. They are all so very special to me and I can’t imagine continuing to do this without their enthusiasm and support.

So, while I know social media has its negatives, and I myself have to be careful not to let it suck me in and keep me from writing/editing/etc., I am so very thankful for it. For the people I’ve met through it on this amazing journey and for everyone who continues to chat with me online.

Thank you so much for having me!

Wonderful people I referred to in this post (that I may or may not have named above):

Emily Tippetts, Elizabeth Lee, Erica, Ashley, Tessa, Taryn, Casey Peeler, Rachel Harris, Rachel Brooks, and each and every single Backwoods Belle. (There are 50 of them so I won’t name them, but if you come across one you will probably know because they are just that fantastic.)

 Caisey Quinn lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, daughter, and other assorted animals. She is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series as well as several New Adult Romance novels featuring country girls finding love in unexpected places.

  Amazon     Barnes and Noble    Kobo

Two words. BLOWN AWAY. I was already a HUGE fan of Caisey Quinn. You may have heard me mention that a time or two- or ten. I freaking LOVE her. So I could not wait to read KEEP ME STILL. It sounded amazing.
Well now that I've read it- along with the prequel, LET ME LEAVE, and the follow up novella, HOLD US CLOSE, let me tell you, amazing does not even come close to how much I fell for this story. It's unlike any contemporary I've ever read. And this year alone, I've read some very different, unique, and truly fantastic tales. KEEP ME STILL made them pale in comparison.

So where- and how do I even begin to explain why this book has touched me so profoundly? Caisey took extraordinary people, put them in extraordinary circumstances, and let them loose on each other. It's a story that is fun, exciting, touching, heartbreaking, and absolutely stunning.

When I say it blew me away... folks, I am not exaggerating. I fell hard and fast for both Layla and Landen. They come from completely different worlds. Live lives that couldn't be farther apart. Both have secrets. Nightmares... dreams. And when they come together??? SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION.

Theirs is in no way and easy story to tell. Their relationship begins on rocky ground. After Layla is humiliated and hurt from an episode at school, Landen comes to her rescue and they become inseparable. But his he her knight in shining armour, or will his own afflictions come between them?

There are so many layers to this story. So many elements that make it difficult for each of our lovebirds to be themselves. To love completely and truly trust one another enough to really let the other one in. It's beyond anguishing. It hurt my head and my heart. I cried more ugly tears than I ever remember before. And I'm a crier, people!!! I'm very much an emotional reader, so that's saying a LOT.

I was so moved by the heartache and pain these two have endured their entire lives. What they've experienced in their young existence has been completely different from the other, but make no mistake, they both suffer. Tremendously. And with each other they've found solace and some peace. And genuine happiness. They are magical together. They bring each other to life. They provide one another with a safe place.

Through pain and sacrifice, friendship and love, a little faith, and a lot of hope, they embark on a journey together that can only be described as monumental... Earth shattering and life changing. It's not perfect. It's often times scary, but it feel more real and genuine, that days and weeks after I am still affected.

This is a story meant to touch your heart and soul, open your eyes, and rock your world. If Layla and Landen don't leave you begging for more... well, I'm not sure we're from the species. It's moving and tragic. A love story to be witnessed and experienced. It's intelligent, all consuming, and incredibly sincere. It's modern day-coming of age at it's best. Yes, it's that freaking phenomenal.

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