Blog Tour and Giveaway: Give Me Strength: Kate McCarthy

Quinn Salisbury doesn't think she's cut out for this whole living thing. Even as a young girl she struggled. Just when she thinks she's found a way to leave her violent past behind her, the only thing that's kept her going is ripped away, leaving her damaged and heartbroken.

Four years later, she is slowly rebuilding her life and lands a job as an assistant band manager to Jamieson, the hot new Australian act climbing their way to the top of the charts. There she meets Travis Valentine, the charismatic older brother of her boss, Mac.

From his commanding charm to his confidence and passion, Travis is everything Quinn believes is too good for her, and despite her apprehension, she finds their attraction undeniable and intense.

When her past resurfaces, it complicates their relationship. Instead of reaching out for help, Quinn pushes Travis away, until a staggering secret is revealed that leaves her fighting for her very life.

Torn between running and opening her heart to the man determined to have her, can Quinn find the strength within herself to fight for her future?

Give Me Love (Give Me # 1): 
Add to Goodreads   Buy: Amazon/B&N/Smashwords
★ Alternate POVs ★
"You can read these Alternate POVs even though you haven’t read the book yet. It will give you a little sneak peek as to what you can expect, like an excerpt would. Also, have I mentioned that the first one is from Travis’ POV and the second is from Casey’s POV?!?" ~Kimberly (Book Reader Chronicles)

Interview with Travis Valentine:
Tammy, Kim, and the beta readers have inquiring minds

Settled into the loft where Travis and Casey live, Travis sits us down at their dining table. We’re excited because Casey is home. He’s reclined on the couch, channel flicking when we’re ushered through the door. Travis pulls out our chairs and Casey brings us a wine each that he says Quinn bought yesterday for us, dithering in the store for half an hour trying to pick the right one.

“I don’t know about you, Kim, but my heart was pounding so hard at meeting these two stars of the Badass Brigade, that I thought it was going to fly right out of my mouth, and there we were, drinking wine with them!”

“I’m with you, Tammy. It was like being in the presence of celebrities. I was breaking out in a sweat I was that excited.”

So here’s how it went down.

1)   “We know your job keeps you super busy, so if you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?”

“Go to the beach with Quinn,” he tells us without hesitating. “Just the two of us. We have so many friends, that we never get time alone anymore.”

2)   “Describe Quinn using a song title and a few lyrics from it.”

Casey laughs at Travis from where he sits on the couch. “Can’t wait to hear this one!”

“Who invited you to this interview, dick?”

Casey clutches his chest in mock sadness. “You want me to get lost, Valentine? Wounded, man.”

Travis returns his attention back to us. “Beyonce isn’t my thing, but she’s a big favorite with Quinn, so it has to be a Beyonce song.”

“Dude!” Casey yells out.

Travis rolls his eyes at the both of us and we laugh a little breathlessly.

“What song?” we ask him.

“Halo, of course.”

We’ve shared some lyrics below for you because Travis was scratching his head to remember them!

Remember those walls I built?
Well, baby they're tumbling down
And they didn't even put up a fight
They didn't even make a sound
I found a way to let you in
But, I never really had a doubt
Standing in the light of your halo
I got my angel now

3)   Is there any part of your journey with Quinn you would change, anything you regret?

“Regrets are shit, but we all get them, right?” Travis sighs and somehow we found ourselves sighing along with him.

“The thing that gets me is that she never came to me sooner when she needed help. She’s had to rely on herself for so long, so I get that, I do, but…” Travis trails off for a moment. “I hate that she was scared.”

4)   Quinn refers to you as her knight in shining armor on more than one occasion, and we think she is spot on. However, if we’re to be honest we love that the most about you.  Would you use this word to describe the need you feel to fix those “broken?”

Travis shouts with laughter, scratching at the stubble on his jaw. “I remember her saying that once,” he tells us. “Something about earning my white knight points. I’m the guy that grew up with everything that people take for granted—a house, a mum and dad, brothers and well… Mac. We had it good—private schools, holidays, and whatever. It wasn’t until I met Casey that I…”

Travis trails off here and we both hold our breath.

“That you what?” we ask.

“Well I can’t really talk about that shit, but what I can say is that I’m proud of what I do. Maybe I don’t sleep so well at night because it’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is, right? And I have Quinn now.” He grins.

5)   "He broke me. He took every piece of me I had left, and he smashed it apart. Nothing fits properly any more. I was too damaged for someone like Travis--broken, missing pieces that would never be found, and put back together in a way that never quite fit properly."   Hearing how Quinn describes her life and her lack of worthiness regarding you just broke our heart; I’m wondering your thoughts.

“Honestly? It pissed me off, and not that she felt that way, but because she was brought up being told she was never good enough. She told me that when you’re shown everyday you’re unworthy, you tend to believe it. So that shit’s on David and Beth, not Quinn. It was up to us to show her that life isn’t all like that—that life can be beautiful too.”

I don’t know about you, Kim, but it was right here that I almost blurted out, “You’re beautiful,” but I restrained myself by having a sip of wine.

I almost did too, Tammy. I wanted to say that Quinn was a lucky girl, but after what she went through, having Travis, well, that’s a fairytale right there.

6)   “Describe your fantasy date with Quinn, now that life has calmed down.”

“Quinn and I like quiet nights at home.”

“Yeah, we all know what your quiet nights entail!” Casey yells out. We turn to look at Casey and catch him smirking.

Travis chuckled and I’m not going to lie, Tammy, my heart beat a little faster hearing his laugh. He’s hot!

It’s that Aussie accent, Kim. It gets me every time.

“We go out a lot,” he tells us with a sigh. “But a fantasy date? Somewhere secluded, like an island, only it wouldn’t just be a date, it would be for a whole year. And I’m not sure that would be enough,” he adds almost to himself.

7)   Favorite: Movie, TV Show, Sport, Color, Ice cream Flavor, Video Game

Travis scratches his head. “Right, okay. You really wanna know this shit?”

We both nod our heads because yes, we really do.
He shrugs. “Okay. Umm favorite movie is Gladiator. Russell Crowe in that movie.” Travis shakes his head. “That man can act. Quinn cries, you know, when he comes home and finds his family’s been murdered.”

He sighed heavily at that point, Kim, and I just wanted to wrap him up in a big, ole hug.

Me too, Tammy. Me too.

“That’s pretty hard to watch, that part,” he tells us.

Travis is rambling here, and we love it. He could read the back of a cereal box right now and we would still sit here hanging on every word.

“TV show,” we prompt.

“Oh, right. TV. I don’t watch TV but I do watch Underbelly. You might not know that show. It’s Australian, but it’s gritty and accurate, and I have respect for that.”

We make a note to google that show. “Sport? Color? Ice cream flavor? Video game?”

“NRL – my team is the Rabbitohs.”

“What’s NRL?”

His brows fly up, making us both shift under the intense disbelief. “National Rugby League. Australian football,” he adds when we both stare at him blankly. “And color? Really?”

We both nod, because, yes, really.

Ummm yellow.”



“Any reason?”

“That’s personal,” he winks. “Strawberry for the ice cream and I don’t play video games,” he fires off quickly as though anxious to stop talking about himself. Too bad. We’re not finished with you yet, Mr. Valentine.

8)   What is your favorite feature on Quinn?

“Aww hell, really? I have to answer that?”

“Yes. Yes you do.”

“Her back.”

“Her back?”

He clears his throat. “Next question.”

9)   We’re dying to know if you caught hell from Casey and Mitch the next morning when Quinn performed her famous disappearing act.

Travis laughs really loudly. “Like you wouldn’t believe. Most of it directed at how quickly Quinn couldn’t wait to leave.”

“I told him if she’d had a real man like me,” Casey calls out, “then you wouldn’t have been able to kick her out of my bed.”

“And what is it that makes you a real man then, Casey?” we ask.

Casey just grins and grabs his crotch.

Phew. It’s getting hot in here, isn’t it, Tammy?

You’re not wrong, Kim, which leads us into a very important question that I’ve been dying to get the answer to.

10)  Inquiring minds want to know—do you always go commando?

Travis shakes his head. “How is my underwear, or lack there of, interesting?”

We both raise our eyebrows, waiting for him to answer.

“Okay. Not always,” Travis concedes. “Just when…” he trails off.

“Just when what?” we prompt breathlessly, our eyes glancing downwards, both of us damning the fact we don’t have x-ray vision. Where are superpowers when you need them?

Travis shifts uncomfortably and we reluctantly drag our eyes upwards. Where were we? Oh that’s right underwear, and Travis not wearing any.

“Are you wearing any right now?” we ask boldly.


“Pity,” we mumble to each other.

After a bit of throat clearing, we move on.

“We have some reader questions for you. This one’s from Barb: You mention that you have seen so much and the thought of not being able to handle your job has crossed your mind. What was the worst case you have worked, and have you finally opened up to Quinn more about the intensity of your job and these mind taxing cases.”

“I’m not really allowed to talk about cases publicly, sorry, Barb, but having Quinn around helps. I can keep doing what I do because I have her.”

“Natalie: Coby has been missing in action. What’s he been up too and will we see more of him in the future?”

“Coby’s cool. He’s been around. I think the whole Evie thing shook him up and he’s been trying to keep a low profile. Being the big brother of a famous singer has put him in the spotlight a little too much, especially when he has to escort Evie to functions when Jared’s away on a case. He doesn’t like it. He’s a bit shy.” Travis laughs.

“Orchita: Seeing as you’re Casey’s BFF and all that, what do you think is happening to Casey, what with all the Jared/Evie HEA stuff that's happening.”

Travis looks over to Casey and grins. “Casey thinks the ladies love him.”

Casey spreads his arms out wide, looking down at himself before looking at us. “What’s not to love?” He winks at us and I think both our hearts stopped. “Seriously though, Jared and Evie are getting married. That’s cool. I’m happy for them both.”

“Shelley: What were your first impressions of Tim?”

Travis nods at Casey. “Casey hired him, but yeah, Tim, he’s… enthusiastic. He’s good at his job.”

“Why did you hire Tim, Casey?” we ask.

Casey shrugs. “We were hiring and he needed a job.”


“Tim doesn’t have any family,” Travis tells us.

Casey frowns, looking suddenly angry. “Small-minded people think that being gay makes you somehow inferior. We look back on slavery and shake our heads, women not being able to vote and we shake our heads, and this? This will be the same. Man, you shouldn’t get me started on this subject.”

“Inequality gets you angry obviously?” we ask.

“Losing the people who are supposed to love you unconditionally pisses me off more,” Casey growls.

We both shiver. Casey just does that to us.

“Well thanks for having us in your home, Travis, and answering our questions.”

He nods at us. “Anytime. We’re actually about to head out to dinner with the crew if you wanna join us and meet the rest of the team?”

On that note, we’re afraid we had to cut the interview short because we had a dinner to get to.

This is the sequel to Give Me Love. It is recommended that you read Give Me Love before this book.

Every time I found something special, it was snatched away.

Quinn Salisbury didn't do anything wrong. She just suffered through a difficult childhood and abusive step-father and eventually got a little bit of justice herself...at least for awhile. Her best friend Lucy is determined to get her out and make her live a little. And she has one wild night with a stranger that rocks both of their worlds.

Little did she know that her new job and her one night stand had a connecting factor. Soon Travis is right smack dab in the middle of  her life.  Quinn is now the new assistant for Mac and the band Jamieson,so all of our old friends from Give Me Love are back : the room mates, the band and the "Bad ass brigade."  And since Mac's brothers, including Travis and their security company are all tied in with the band, they are always around. But she fits right in, knows her stuff, and is enjoying her new role and friends. 

Travis...Oh my...He is all kinds of bad ass alpha, hot and sexy. He made me shiver when he opened his mouth. His passion, his protectiveness, his magnetism, and that bit of vulnerability when dealing with Quinn did me in. sigh. Seeing the deep emotions under the tough exterior just made him more appealing to me. 

Quinn--the most precious gem to ever enter my life. That she'd been hurt and so severely damaged she'd lost the strength to live and hope, just about broke my f***ing heart. She was sweet and endearing, made me laugh and left me in tears. 

Quinn is sassy, strong, but also broken and felt unworthy. She wants to protect those around her and not cause trouble for anyone. But she is cute, sweet, caring, and quickly became part of the group despite her reservations. She is so insecure and scared that she falls back on her coping mechanisms of avoidance and running at times. Their chemistry was smoking. Oh my! I wanted to yell, "Sure, go run away Quinn...I'll take Travis." I really loved them together though, even though they did have issues. 

He is making me want things I knew I couldn't have. I was too damaged for someone like Travis--broken, missing pieces that would never be found, and put back together in a way that never quite fit properly.

Just as Quinn's life is taking a turn for the better with a new job, a new group of friends, and a new guy she could be interested in, she is threatened again. A chain of events spirals out of control bringing endangering Quinn and dragging them all into a dangerous mess. But even though she has new people to support her and rely on, sometimes that is not enough. 

"But I can only fight for you for so long before you have to start fighting for yourself, and for us, and it hurts that you won't even try. I know I said I'd be strong for you, and I always will be whether you want me to or not, but you have to be strong too because I need you just as much."

"You gave me everything that helped me find myself. Your support gave me confidence, your determination made me fight, and your strength helped me find my own."

Even though I love the romance and passion of the main couples in this book series, part of the fun is all of interactions of the other characters. It really is about the whole group: Mac, Evie, Henry, Jake, Frog, Cooper and the security team Jared, Travis, Casey, Mitch, and Coby. They are all one big crazy family that stand together, don't take crap from others, and will kick each other's asses if needed(or at least hold them down.) And they pulled Quinn right into their fold. The heroes are tough talking alphas with soft sides, and the heroines are feisty, brave, impulsive, and trouble when left to their own devices. And the things that come out of their mouths, make me laugh out loud. I loved seeing the progression of Jared and Evie's story from book one as well. 

"If something upsets one of us, it upsets all of us. That's how we roll."~Henry

There is action, suspense, danger, passion and love. It kept me enthralled from page one and never let up til the end. There were surprises, twists, and turns. I was grasping my kindle, holding my breath, and hoping for the best the whole time. And it all comes down to a pulse pounding race against the clock. Travis totally stole my heart, but some of it is also still filled Casey and I am looking forward to more with him. 

Kate writes in an engaging fast paced style that is humorous, fun and almost frenzied at times. The characters' interactions are so quick witted and hilarious and you fall into a frantic rhythm with them. It keeps you totally interested and I swear I am getting better at the "Aussie-isms." I really just want to move into the Duplex and hang out with this crazy crew. I love every one of them. They all have unique, strong  personalities and their love for each other shines through. This has become one of my favorite book series because it has it all...rock stars, commandos, emotion, romance, humor, and suspense. 

I cannot wait for Casey's book Give Me Grace. Casey has been one of my personal faves since the beginning and I am already intrigued by their story.

"But Casey is so f***ing all that, he could have a show all his own and screw calling it Supernatural, you could call it Badassnatural because that guy is so F***ing cool he was born an ice cube."~Tim

Thanks to Kate McCarthy for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

"He broke me. He took every piece of me I had left, and he smashed it apart. Nothing fits properly any more. I was too damaged for someone like Travis--broken, missing pieces that would never be found, and put back together in a way that never quite fit properly."

I came across this quote and it totally reminded me of my first impression of Quinn. I think it describes her perfectly... 

"I'm beautifully broken, perfectly imperfect, beautiful in my flaws. All together, I am a beautiful disaster."~Author Unknown

Every day seemed to become a new torment for Quinn, her past the proverbial monster under the bed. The history of this character has left her so shattered that she battles her inner demons on a daily basis to overcome her struggles of reservation and wariness, feelings of unworthiness, anxiety, fear, and haunting memories that have caused her to shut down. It was simply breathtaking watching her flourish under Travis's gentle and loving but firm affections and personality. The heroine is beyond broken, her earlier years full of violence and tragedy. The anguish Quinn has survived would be unimaginable to most people. Simply put, Quinn is not just a survivor she is an inspiration. I'll admit, I am biased when it comes to Quinn, as a beta reader, I had a front row seat that allowed me the opportunity to connect on personal basis with this character. I loved being able to observe her changes as she blossomed and developed with depth and maturity.

"Courage is fighting fear head on, baby. As long as you have that, you'll get through."

This quote is a favorite of mine. I think it is the true definition of Give Me Strength. While GMS was packed with action and suspense, the underlying tone of the story lies more towards the faith, courage, and strength Quinn had to find within herself and others. Her story isn't always an easy one, it is sometimes heart wrenching and brutal. However, the heroine rises above her past to shine through all that. Her journey towards self-discovery is inspiring. 

"Travis was light and safety, beauty and passion, laughter and love...and hope. Travis was everything."

Travis came out of nowhere; I swear I had no real desire to get to know him. His character in Give Me Love was fun, but he didn't really hold my interest. Well, I guess Travis showed me because that man grabbed on to my heart and refused to let go, even a little bit. I quickly fell head over heels for this alpha male, with a heart of gold and patience to match. I adored the fact that while he was slow to open up, he was the type of man to assist those he deemed weaker than himself, even if it was at his own expense. Travis wasn't just sexy and naughty with a bit of an edge, his character held a depth I haven't seen in a long time. I loved that he stayed to true to who he was. The hero didn't need to be an arrogant controlling ass to get his point across (not that I don't mind those types occasionally), without any room to doubt his actions he proved to Quinn how important and special she was to him...repeatedly. In his eyes, she wasn't unworthy or damaged. She was anything but. Travis is a perfect balance for Quinn, since she is so skittish and wary, anything more forceful and dominate would have been over the top.

"I don't know who I am, Travis. I don't think I've ever known."
"I know who you are." "Please tell me." "You're a survivor, and on the inside that makes you more beautiful than you could possibly imagine. Do you think I want perfect? No one is ever that. Perfect is for people who don't know how to be real."

Travis is Quinn's first foray after years of closing herself off to the world. I was intrigued and captivated by their emotional and physical chemistry, even though it was more of a quiet chemistry compared to Evie and Jared's, it still packed a punch. It still held an edge of intensity. Travis has a way with words that reached out and wrapped Quinn up in a warm protective blanket. He never allowed her to falter or feel alone. I loved this about him, his protective nature gave her the freedom to find her own footing. Travis wasn't just Quinn's light at the end of the tunnel she was also his. Quinn gave Travis that something special he was missing in his life, his reason to wake up in the morning, someone to treasure and love. Their love provided them a protective shield, allowing Travis and Quinn the needed peace and security to get through anything thrown at them. Their relationship has become one of my favorites. 
One of my favorite things about a series is the reoccurring characters and the roles they play. I know without a doubt that when I sit down and open a book in the Give Me series, I will always have fun with this bunch. Therefore, when I am given tid bits into their lives, I totally eat it up; these juicy teasers make me yearn for their journey, their happily ever after. Which brings me to Mac and Jake...um, can I just say the sparks between these two flew off the pages. Whatever in the world is going on between them seems to be heating up to a boil; it's only a matter of time before that kettle blows! There is no denying their interactions are scene-stealers. Mac and Jake always seem to find a way to snag my sole attention when they are in a room together (UNLESS Casey is in it). I'm not sure if my anticipation will hold out for another two books or so, especially if Kate keeps building up the tension and chemistry between them.

I also found myself growing more fond of Henry. It seemed as though readers were granted a deeper look into his character this time around. I am placing a bet that he is going to be one tough cookie to crack. That man may seem light and lovable, however, I think looks can be deceiving and he is going to take us all by surprise, revealing some dark secrets that he keeps close to his chest.
I swear each time I get a sneak peek into the mystery of Casey my heart shatters. All I want to do is hug him (well OK that isn't all I want to do, but still...). Underneath his boy next-door personality and sexy as hell exterior lies a dangerous man full of layers and secrets that leaves the reader yearning to be the one who unravels them. He never fails to make my insides melt and my heart skip a beat. I promise Casey will leave you just as captivated, breathless, and begging for more, as he did me.

"No, Travis. You don't get it. What it's like for people like us to have trust shattered like that."

As much as I LOVED Travis, I am a true Casey girl. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to not so patiently waiting for his book to release, is it January yet? In the meantime, I will just enjoy Travis...all over again.

I think it is safe to say, that I am a definite fan of one Kate McCarthy. It seems as though she has always had a place on my must-reads shelf, and it is hard to believe, Give Me Strength is her second book published to date. I absolutely adore this series, and I see growth in her writing with each book she publishes. The Give Me series is an engaging and well-developed series that provides us with action packed twists and turns, captivating romances, and entertaining quirky characters.

Thank you, Kate McCarthy, for the opportunity to beta and review an ARC of Give Me Strength in exchange for my honest opinion.

Kate McCarthy
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Kate McCarthy grew up in a small town outside of Port Macquarie, Australia. Raised in a house just a short walk to the beach, Kate enjoyed the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere and friendships that come from being raised in a friendly, small town area.

She now resides in Brisbane, Australia, a city in the state of Queensland where she works as an accountant, along with a sideline wedding cake business and her writing.

She is married with two children, has two dogs and house in the suburbs, and a pile of friends and family dotted all over the country that help keep her sane.

When she’s not busy running after naughty kids, filthy dogs, crunching numbers, piping buttercream and writing books, you can find her curled up in bed in the early hours of the morning reading new books and re-reading old favourites. Her favourite books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward in which she longs to eventually join the brotherhood and change her name to Phierce Mutha.


Giveaway begins September 17, 2013, and ends at 12:00 AM on September 30, 2013.

  • $100 Amazon Gift Card
  • 2 signed paperbacks (one international & one for residents in Australia)
  • 10 ebooks of Give Me Strength


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