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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Falling Into Us: Jasinda Wilder


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THE STORY YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW...

When Kyle Calloway died, he took a part of Nell with him. She wasn’t the only one left to pick up the pieces, however; Kyle’s death left a gaping hole in the hearts and lives of his parents and his older brother Colton, and ultimately broke the will of the girl he loved.

THE STORY YOU NEVER IMAGINED...

Becca de Rosa is Nell’s best friend. When Kyle died, Nell was so devastated that no one could reach her, not even her best friend Becca. As she tries to help Nell through her grief, Becca’s own life is thrust into turmoil, and everything she knows is changed.

Jason Dorsey asked Nell out the week after her sixteenth birthday, but that date never happened. Instead, he ended up going out with Nell’s best friend, Becca. He had no way of knowing, then, how that one date would send him on a life-long journey with Becca. He had no way of knowing the tragedies and triumphs he would experience, or that in Becca, he might find the love of a lifetime.

THE HEARTACHE YOU’LL NEVER FORGET...



Book One: Falling into You: Goodreads/Amazon/B&N
Read Our 5 and 6 star reviews

I wasn't always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.
Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.

Colton didn't teach me how to live. He didn't heal the pain. He didn't make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.


Falling into Us is a companion story to Falling into You. It is not a sequel. It is during much of the same time period, but it is in Jason and Becca's alternating points of view. They were the friends that Nell set up for a date on the day she and Kyle finally admitted their feelings for each other(Nell stood Jason up and told him to call Becca to go out instead).


They connected immediately and soon became a couple. They were sweet, innocent sixteen year olds in the beginning and sharing many firsts. Jason had a hard home life, and was trapped in that bad situation. Becca's parents were controlling and overprotective. They both had high standards set by their parents that were hard to live up to at times. Their relationship progressed quickly emotionally with support, understanding, and acceptance. And they were a young couple learning about passion, lust and love together. They were adorable, real, and likable. Their biggest issue was having to hide from their parents and finding time together. 

"I've never done anything daring, anything against the rules. I've been good my whole life. I like being a little bad with you."

"...I always want more of you. I feel greedy, in a way. I just want to kiss you more, and touch you more. Like you said, it's dangerous. I feel like you're a drug, and I'm getting addicted to you. "

Becca was shy, sheltered, studious, and kind. I loved how Jason treated Becca with respect and complete adoration. He was never bothered by her stutter  and made her feel beautiful.  He was charming, protective, loving, and strong. He was a football star with a bright future and was counting down the days to get away from home. And Becca had empathy and support for Jason and what he was going through. Even though they had insecurities and serious home issues, together they were functional and devoted. The beginning of the book was sweet, but really I felt the book started moving more quickly around mid way as the tension and drama became more prominent. 

This story spans years from ages sixteen to mid twenties. There were tragedies, difficult situations, surprises and joy. I admired this couple's love and support for each other during the good and bad times. It was refreshing to have a couple that had a relationship that was not plagued by angst, denial, and little dramas.

...Because it feels so much like falling into love--Into you and me--Being in love is scary--So much like falling--A frightening descent into Beautiful madness--Yes, you and me--We're falling into Us--And I don't dare stop the fall-- Because I need it far too much. 

"I can't promise you forever Beck...I can't promise you forever, because that's not long enough. "

And we also get a little more of Kyle...and more of Nell's story...more of her after Kyle's loss and more importantly what happened after the first book cut off. I loved seeing more of Colt and Nell's progress in their love and healing. It was like getting a really good epilogue to their story and seeing into their future! 

This book centered around acceptance, love, and healing,. None of their lives were easy, but with each other they were able to rise to the challenge and face it together. The plot line was full and encompassed their journey over a span of years with some time jumps. The characters showed growth and progression. This was parallel story to Falling into You and not a regurgitation. Seeing it through Becca and Jason's eyes felt completely different and we had access to parts that were not in the first book both in that same time period and furthered the story since it went more into the future as well. I felt like I watched Jason and Becca grow up  in this book. And it also left me more fulfilled in Colt and Nell's relationship. 

When I originally heard there was going to be a second book in this series, I was just not sure how she was going to make it work. But Jasinda did and it worked flawlessly to round out the experience from Falling Into You  and make it even more complete. Jasinda is a brilliant author who pulls you into the story, makes you feel everything the characters feel, and touches you in so many ways. Even though I did not cry the big ugly cry in this one like I did in the first book,  there were still some emotional and tragic scenes that were difficult and heart wrenching. But there was also humor, sweetness,  passion, and happiness. I highly recommend this series and am looking forward to more from Jasinda in the future.

Thanks to Jasinda Wilder for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Excerpt:
I’d been friends with Nell Hawthorne since third grade, and I’d had a crush on her nearly that long. Frankie had been dead right when he’d said everyone knew except Nell herself and Kyle. And Kyle might have known, but chose to ignore it; I wasn’t honestly sure.
When you’ve spent nearly ten years crushing on someone you don’t dare ask out, the idea of asking her out on a date is terrifying. I also knew if I didn’t take the bet, I’d be the laughingstock of the entire football team.
“Fuck. Fine. I’ll ask her out tomorrow.” I hated being pressured into it, but I also knew I’d probably never do it otherwise. “You’ll all owe me a bill by practice tomorrow.”
   Frankie and Malcolm both shook my hand, since they were the only ones actually participating in the bet.
I went through practice on autopilot, running the plays and catching the ball without really thinking about it. My brain was running a million miles a minute, by turns planning out what I’d say and freaking about getting it wrong.
*   *   *
 By the time I got to school the next day, I was a nervous wreck. It didn’t help that Dad had gotten home from work early and worked me over pretty hard. Practice would be rough today with the bruises clouding my ribs and back, but I was used to it by now. It made me tough, he said. It was for my own good, he said. He was right, in a way, though; it did make me tough.
No tackle would ever hurt as much as his fists.
I had fourth-period western civ and fifth-period U.S. government with Nell, and I was planning on making my move between classes. I’d walk her to her locker and ask her as we exchanged books. I stood outside Mrs. Hasting’s first-floor classroom, waiting for Nell to show up for fifth period. I had to bite on my cheek to hide the wince when Malcolm playfully half-tackled me from the side, driving his brawny shoulder straight into a bruise. I shrugged him off, forcing out a laugh as we wrestled until Happy Harry the Hippy Hall Monitor strolled past, calling out a cheerful “Knock it off, you crazy ruffians.” 
Happy Harry was everybody’s friend. He looked like John Lennon, with long shaggy brown hair, a scruffy beard, and round glasses. He’d smoked way too much pot in the sixties and hadn’t ever really left that decade, mentally. He was Principal Bowman’s brother, and was perpetually placid, nice to everyone almost to a fault, and always smiling. He never had to ask anyone anything twice, since even the most hard-ass goth liked Harry.
“So, you’re gonna do it after class, right?” Malcolm asked me in a confidential mutter, flashing a triple-folded hundred-dollar bill between his index and middle fingers.
I reached for the bill, but he danced out of the way. “Yeah, I am,” I said. “Hang out by the our lockers between fourth and fifth period.” 
I rubbed my side where a purple-yellow bruise the size of a grapefruit shadowed my ribs and around to my back, the same spot where Malcolm had hit me with his tackle.
Kyle’s voice came from behind me. “Your dad go after you again?”
Kyle was the only person other than my mom who knew Dad beat me. I’d made Kyle promise to never tell anyone, though. Telling wouldn’t do any good, since Dad was the captain of our town’s police force. He’d bury any reports, intimidate any social workers who tried to get in his way. It had happened before. I’d made the mistake of telling a gym teacher in eighth grade that the bruise on my stomach was from my dad hitting me, and the teacher had gone to a social worker. The gym teacher had been transferred to a different district within a week, and the social worker had been fired.
I’d missed a week of school, out “sick.” In reality, I’d been in too much pain to get out of bed. The bruises on my body had taken over a month to disappear. I’d never tried to tell anyone after that. I spent as much time at school, at football practice, or at Kyle’s house as I could. Anything to stay out of Dad’s way. It suited him, since he’d never wanted kids in the first place. I was a disappointment to him, he claimed. Even when I made varsity my freshman year, I was a disappointment. Even when I broke the district record for most receptions in a single season that same freshman year, I was a useless piece of shit. I hadn’t beaten Dad’s record, and that was all that mattered.
See, Dad had been All-State three years in a row during high school and then had gone on to play as a starting WR for Michigan State, and was widely praised as one of the best players in college football. He’d then been scouted by the Kansas City Chiefs, the Minnesota Vikings, and the New York Giants. He’d torn his ACL his first game with the Giants, though, and it had been a career-ending injury. He’d returned to his hometown here in Michigan and joined the police force as a bitter, angry man. When the first Gulf War happened, he’d joined the Army and done two tours with the infantry, and had come back even more fucked up from the things he’d seen and done.
He liked to get drunk after work, and he’d tell me horror stories. Unlike most combat vets I’d heard of, Dad liked to talk about his experiences. Only with me, though, and only when he was at the bottom of a fifth. He’d tell me about the buddies he’d seen shot, blown up by IEDs, hit by snipers and RPGs. If I tried to leave, he’d lay into me. Even drunk, Dad was formidable. The ACL injury had ended his career as a professional wide receiver, but it hadn’t made him any less physically intimidating. He stood several inches taller than me, wide through the shoulders with thick biceps and corded forearms, his short-cropped salt-and-pepper hair beaded with sweat as he swayed in front of me. He had quick, hard fists, and even drunk he was accurate. He knew where to hit to cause the most pain. I’d gotten better at blocking and dodging, which Dad encouraged. He wanted me to be a man, a warrior. Men don’t feel pain. Men can run plays with bruised ribs and battered kidneys. Men don’t cry. Men don’t tell. Men break records.
Kyle knew all this—he understood it as much as anyone who didn’t live it could, and he never told.
“Yeah, but I’m fine.” I hated sympathy.
Kyle just met my eyes, staring me down, assessing. He knew I’d never admit to being in pain, so he’d gotten better at gauging how bad off I was. “You sure? Coach wants to run tap-dance drills today.”
“Shit,” I muttered.
Tap-dance drills were usually run with the coach or the QB throwing a ball and the receiver practicing catching it near the sidelines, tap dancing to stay in bounds with one or both feet. Coach liked to run these drills with full interference, so I’d learn to make the catch while a defender tried to stop me. What this meant was I’d spend most of the practice getting tackled over and over again. With already-bruised ribs, I’d be lucky if could walk off the field under my own power.
“No, I’m fine,” I said. “We’re playing Brighton on Friday, and they like to double-team me. I need the practice.”
Kyle just shook his head. “You’re such a stubborn asshole.”
I laughed. “Yeah. But I’m the best motherfucking wide receiver in the state. There’s something to be said for Dad’s ‘training program.’” I made air quotes with my fingers as I said the last part.
“What was that word Mr. Lang used yesterday? Talking about the Spartans and how they trained their warriors?” Kyle dug a Powerbar out of his bag and opened it, handing me half.
“Agoge,” I answered.
“That’s it,” Kyle said, chewing noisily. “Just pretend you’re a Spartan, training in an agoge.”
“It wasn’t a building, I don’t think,” I said, eating my half. “It was more of a lifestyle, a program. And yeah, that’s basically it. Mike Dorsey, Spartan agoge trainer.”
“Am I gonna have to drag you off the field again?” Kyle asked, only half joking.
“Probably,” I answered.
“We’ll hit up the hideout after practice, then.” Kyle took off for his fifth-period science class on the other end of the school, hustling so he wouldn’t be late.
“Sounds good,” I said, calling after him.
The hideout was a spot out in the woods behind my house. There was an old lightning-struck oak tree with huge spreading branches bending low over the ground, forming a cave-like canopy. Over the years Kyle and I had turned the spot into a clubhouse of kinds, weaving branches together and old boards and pieces of tin from the junkyard around the thick trunk so that we had an enclosed area. We’d dragged old chairs, some crates, even a ratty old couch in there. It was our secret, and even now, when we were old enough that we should be embarrassed about having a secret clubhouse, we still kept it secret. My cousin Doug had once somehow looted several cases of cheap beer from a liquor store, and he’d given me a couple of them, so Kyle and I often went to the hideout to drink together.
For me, though, the hideout was just that, somewhere I could go to get away from my dad. I’d spent the night there on several occasions, to the point that I kept an old wool blanket in one of the crates.
My conversation with Malcolm and then Kyle had taken most of the seven minutes before fifth period, so I was surprised when Nell still hadn’t shown up for class. I thought I’d shit myself if I got myself all psyched up to ask her out and then she didn’t show up for class.
Then she appeared, hair loose around her shoulders, smiling and laughing. Becca was on one side of her, Jill on the other. Those three girls were, in my opinion, the three hottest girls in the entire school, and I could never decide how to rank them in terms of who was the hottest. It depended on my mood, most days. I knew Nell the best, since I’d spent most of my life daydreaming about her like a little puppy, but Becca was just as hot in a different way. She was shorter and curvier than Nell, and Becca had long curly black hair, so tightly curled that it was a thick mass of springy ringlets, whereas Nell’s hair was a perfect shade of strawberry blonde. Becca’s skin was the color of dark caramel, where Nell’s was like ivory, white and pale. Nell was outgoing and cheerful, whereas Becca was quiet and painfully shy, but brilliantly smart.
Jill was almost lost in the shuffle when she was with Becca and Nell. She just couldn’t compete, if you ask me. If you looked at her when she was on her own or with other people, Jill was hot for sure, but she just wasn’t in the same league as Nell and Becca. Jill was a Barbie doll, like, for real. Tall, impossibly proportioned, naturally shock-blonde hair and blue eyes. She was the sweetest girl you’d ever meet, and yeah, I know, guys shouldn’t use the term “sweet,” but it just fit. Jill was sweet as a spoonful of sugar. She was also a stereotypical bubbly blonde in that she was almost unbelievably air-headed and kind of shallow. She was loyal as hell to her friends, though, and I liked that about her.
It was a High School Musicalmoment: the three hottest girls in school, striding side by side down the middle of the sun-bathed hallway, Nell in the middle, everyone watching her, admiring her, talking about her. And then she stopped right in front of me, smiling at me, saying hi to me, and I was frozen, gaping, stunned.
Someone bumped me from behind, hard, knocking me out of my reverie. Malcolm stumbled past me, coughing. “My bad, bro. I didn’t see you there.” He nodded at Nell and the others. “Hey, whassup girls? Lookin’ fine today, I see. Lookin’ real fine, don’t you agree, Jason?” Malcolm liked to “play up his blackness,” as he put it, especially when he was trying to be funny, which was most of the time.
I glared at him, then turned my attention to Nell. “Hey, Nell. What’s up?” Lame. Lame. So lame.
She grinned at me. “Hi, Jason.”
Becca and Jill had kept walking, stopping at their lockers a few feet away. This spot, the humanities hallway on the first floor near the lunchroom and the adjacent outdoor courtyard, was the prime focal point of our high school’s social world. It was where everything happened. You asked girls out there, you challenged guys to fights there, you broke up there. If you were popular, it was where you hung out and got seen, where the leaders of the various cliques held court. So, of course, being one of the stars of the football team, I had to ask her out there. Nell was popular, but she was the kind of girl who didn’t have a clique. She was cool with everyone, popular because she was beautiful, smart, and the daughter of the second most influential man in our town, second only to Kyle’s dad, and she was Kyle’s best friend. Kyle, of course, was the god of the high school. He was the star quarterback, All-State at sixteen, the son of a senator, and so good-looking it was stupid. He had the perfect life. Best friends with the hottest girl in school, rich, good-looking, popular, athletic, awesome parents. He even had a badass car, a classic Camaro SS his older brother had rebuilt and then left behind when he ran off at seventeen. The only reason I didn’t hate Kyle was that he was my best friend and I’d known him since kindergarten, and I could tell everyone the story of when he peed his pants in third grade and I’d covered for him.
  Everyone was watching me. They knew something was going down. Malcolm and Frankie had probably told everyone they knew, which was everyone, that I was asking Nell out, so the whole crowd of “cool kids” was standing in the hallway, not even pretending not to watch.
I couldn’t puss out now. Damn it.
I swallowed the ball of dry nerves and clenched my trembling hands into fists at my sides. “So, Nell. I was thinking. You wanna go out with me tonight? Seven o’clock?” My voice hadn’t shaken or squeaked, and I’d sounded suitably nonchalant.
Nell’s eyes widened and she sucked in a surprised breath, then let out an excited squeal before chomping her teeth together to stop it. “Yes! I mean, yeah, sure. I’d love to. Where are we going?”
I had actually done some prep for this, thank god. “I was thinking Bravo.”
She grinned again. It was an expensive place for high schoolers, and you had to have reservations, especially on a Friday night. I had an agreement with my dad: I would focus on my grades and football, and he’d make sure I didn’t need to work. I got a two-hundred-dollar bonus for every game we won, plus twenty dollars for every touchdown I scored. Our team was undefeated so far this year, and I’d already scored six touchdowns in the four games we’d played.
Yeah. My dad really pushed me to succeed at football. Winning was everything, second only to being “a real man.”
“Don’t you have to make reservations to get in there on Fridays?” Nell asked.
I just grinned cockily and shoved my fist in my hip pocket. “Yep.”
She narrowed her eyes at me. “How could you be so sure I’d say yes?”
I grinned even more widely, mainly to cover my hammering heart. “Well, you did, didn’t you?”
She couldn’t hold the serious look for long. “I’ll see you at seven, then.”
I nodded and pushed past her into our classroom, ignoring the hushed whispers. I slumped into my seat in the back by the window and pretended not to see Nell doing the girly whispered freak-out with Becca and Jill. I wanted to have a whispery freak-out myself, but I couldn’t, because I was a man, and men didn’t show emotions.
Nell settled gracefully into her seat a few rows over and in front of me. She set her backpack on the floor beside her foot and bent over to open it, using the opportunity to steal a glance at me, blushing and smiling when she saw me looking right at her. I wondered in the back of my head if she would let me kiss her.
Probably not, but it sure would be cool if she did.
Jasinda Wilder Facebook/Website/Twitter/Amazon/Goodreads

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading.
Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre.
She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio.
You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake.

Jasinda is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.
Tour hosted by Shhmomsreading



Giveaway:

Grand Prize Giveaway:    Kindle PaperwhiteFirst Place Winner:  $100 Amazon GiftCardSecond & Third Place: 2 Signed Paperback Copies of Falling Into Us



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