Saturday, December 28, 2013

This Much is True Blitz + Giveaway

Fate brings them together. Fame & lies keep them apart. One truth remains...

She's become the Paly High girl with the most tragic story...
At 17, Tally Landon just wants to graduate and leave for New York to pursue ballet. Her best friend Marla convinces her to attend one last party--a college party--where she can be among strangers and evade the whisperings about her heartbreaking loss that follows her everywhere she goes. While at the party, she meets Lincoln Presley, Stanford's famous baseball wonder and has a little fun at his expense--when she lies about her age and who she really is--intent on being someone else for the night and escaping her tragic story.

His only focus is baseball, but he can't forget the girl he saved on Valentine's Day...
At 22, Lincoln Presley's star is on the rise; he's about to finish at Stanford and expected to be taken early in Major League Baseball's upcoming draft. His cousin's party serves as a welcome distraction. But then, he sees the girl from Valentine's Day he saved from that horrific car accident; and he can't quite hide his disappointment when she appears to look right through him and not remember him at all. He vows to learn her name at least before he leaves. What's the harm in getting to know this girl? What's the worst that can happen?

Fate soon tests these two star-crossed lovers in all kinds of ways...
And yet, despite the lies being told to protect the other, and the trappings of fame that continually separate them, and in lieu of the deception by those they've come to trust the most; one truth remains.

This much is true.

This Much Is True is a Best seller on Kindle in the following categories: Holiday Romance, Sports Romance, Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction Romance, Women's Fiction Literary, Women's Fiction Psychological, Hot New Releases, Top Rated Sports Romance, Top Rated Holiday Romance.
Author's note: THIS IS A STAND-ALONE NOVEL. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

What was left of my family, I did sneak off into the streets of St. Thomas and found a brief respite in the arms of one of the handsome locals. He didn’t know a word of English, and that suited me just fine. He seemed to like the fact that I chain-smoked one cigarette after another after we’d done the deed in all various ways possible at least a half-dozen times and I didn’t ask for money. Apparently, this was a refreshing change for him as well. At least, that’s what I was able to put together through his various hand gestures and his excited Spanish. He seemed to like the fact that I didn’t ask for anything except sex and silence.
But the risk factor to both my body and soul was patently high, and I almost lost it with him completely at one point. The shock of what I’d done with a complete stranger in a foreign country resonated with me on an ever deeper almost visceral level. And, as much as I’d felt something, however lascivious it was, fucking a foreigner—a complete stranger from a different culture—both pleased and shamed me on some incalculable, twisted level of my psyche. After that, I made a promise to myself—to do better, to be good. The harsh truth was far simpler. He made me feel something. Good or bad. I wasn’t sure; but I was disturbed by all this contemplative thought. Enough so, that when we returned home, I was intent on changing my ways. I was intent upon becoming the good daughter my parents so desperately needed. I would serve as Holly’s replacement in the only way I knew how: I would become more like her, at least for the foreseeable future, and effectively eschew my defiant and deviant ways for fucking a stranger—a foreign one at that. I’d be more careful. I’d be good.
Even so, here at Paly, despite my rather stealthy and unspectacular return to school and maintaining a somewhat earnest intent upon being more like Holly and focusing solely upon ballet, I’ve been unable to completely avoid the piercing spotlight. You would think after a long while that people would forget all about my sad circumstances—sans sister; but no, you would be wrong. A proverbial slow season of inevitable relationship breakups this spring keeps Holly’s fiery demise firmly planted into the hearts and minds of Paly’s student body and continues to hold their unwelcome attention upon me—sole survivor Tally—the victim’s sister. With Holly’s tragic end still reigning as the top newsflash for the year, I serve as the unwilling entertainment—fodder for the social headlines—starring in the lead role as the dead sister’s twin.
And I hear the whispers. The fervent gossip is everywhere around me.
Did you see her? How do you think she does it? Have you seen her mom? I hear her mom’s drinking again, and her dad works all the time at the hospital. It must be hard on them all, losing Holly like that. I don’t know what I’d do. She looks so sad. Do you think we should say something? Or, do you think she wants to be left alone? Have you seen Rob Thorn? I hear he’s thinking of transferring. It’s probably hard on the guy seeing his dead girlfriend’s face every day in the form of Tally Landon’s.
I do hear you, you know. I hear it all.
This is not attention that I am seeking. This is not a story I want to star in; but, apparently, I don’t have a choice in the matter. I’m counting the final hours that will lead me to the safe haven that only graduation can promise—a permanent respite from the self-serving gossip. A permanent break from high school is just what I need.

Excerpt#2 from This Much Is True by Katherine Owen – Chapter Six

The effects of spiked punch begin to descend upon me. I again glance over at covetous actions of Charlie Masterson, who is now having a heated discussion with my best friend on the other side of the room, gesturing this way and that towards the more-than-casually-interested first guy, who gyrates on the dance floor by himself.
I start towards Marla, but she waves me off. Unsure of what I should be doing, I find myself in the middle of the dance floor. Alone. To hide my embarrassment at being caught up alone in the middle of the room, I pretend to take an ever-increasing interest in the sparkling lights that someone has meticulously trailed along the ceiling’s edge. A little glazed now, the lights shimmer at me; I swill my drink in salutation. The interested guy from earlier stands in front of me again.
Tall. Dark. Handsome. He is the cliché for sex on a stick, but he’s kept me company during the past half-hour. I brazenly take in this male-model look he has going on with his dark-brown wavy hair and his devastating, too-white smile and his tall lean body. Sure. Okay. Bring it on.
“I’m Linc,” he says during a respite from the loud music.
“As in President Abraham—”
“Not funny.” He sighs and shakes his head side-to-side and gets this disconcerted look. “Lincoln Presley.”
“Elvis is in the building then,” I deadpan.
He looks taken aback now. “What did you say?”
“I said…” I lose my train of thought because he is stunning—so good-looking, in fact—that these warning bells seem to go off in my head. I shake it to try to shut them off. “Never mind.” His look is weirding me out as if I know him from somewhere. “You remember,” I say softly. “Elvis?”
“I remember,” he says slowly and gets this expectant look. “Do you remember?”
I’m just staring at him open-mouthed. “No. My mom loved him when she was a teenager. I like a few of his songs…” My voice trails off because he looks disappointed by my answer, and I’m not sure why.
“Don’t you remember?” he asks again.
“Remember what?” I look at him blankly and then break his gaze and start toward the punch bowl for a fifth round.
He takes the glass from my hand and then hands me bottled water. “Drink this. That stuff has Everclear in it. You shouldn’t have any more of that unless you’re going for anesthetization.”
“Gallant. How noble of you,” I say with as much sarcasm as I can. Then I shake off his concerned hand on my arm, uncap the bottled water, and drink it down. “Happy now?”
He nods slowly and eventually smiles and then proceeds to take me in from head-to-toe in one long, practiced, seductive move. Smooth. I laugh because he’s so blatant about his interest in me now.
“How are you?” he asks when the music stops playing for a few welcome seconds.
An odd thing to ask of a stranger.
“I’m fine.” I give him a bewildered what-the-hell-are-you-asking-me-that-for? look.
He leans in. “Who are you?”
“Oh.” I half-smile. “Holly,” I say with an airy wave of my right hand. The lie comes so easily to my lips that I surprise myself with the ease in which I tell it.

Excerpt #3 from This Much Is True by Katherine Owen – Chapter Seven (early in chapter)
This sure thing has taken an odd turn. All I can do is helplessly watch as he places a saucepan on one of the burners he’s lit, deftly gathers a few things from his Viking refrigerator, wields a knife across a red bell pepper and white onion, and eventually adds it all to the pan.
Soon, the sizzling sound of vegetable sautéing in cooking oil dominates the space between us. He’s humming and seems to concentrate on the food preparation rather intently and generally won’t look at me. Intrigued by his surprising culinary efforts, I take the opportunity to study him, while he chops up raw chicken and adds it to the mixture. He drizzles in some balsamic vinegar from a fancy green bottle and minces up garlic and throws that into the saucepan as well. Within twenty minutes, the food smells delicious, and I secretly acknowledge that I’m starving, and he’s cooking me dinner, and I like that about him, and it’s this unexpected, incredible turn-on. Whoa, Tally, slow down. It’s dinner, not a date. Focus. Breathe.
“Can I ask you something?” He looks straight at me from across the granite countertop, where I sit precariously perched on one of the kitchen stools. His smile gets wider because he’s caught me openly staring at him. I blush. “Has anyone ever cooked for you?”
I cannot think up a lie fast enough. I’m trapped into responding, undone by the honesty I see in his face as he awaits my answer. I haven’t even begun to contemplate why it’s important to him. “No one has ever cooked for me. Usually…we do the deed, and I’m on my way.”
“Do the deed?” He gets this lopsided grin. It’s charming.
“You know what I mean.” My face gets uncharacteristically hot. What is going on with me?
“Do I? Is that what they say in Palo Alto these days? Do the deed?”
I can’t tell if he’s teasing or not. I’m not sure that it matters. The room’s suddenly become electrically charged with a lot of things being left unsaid between us and a lot of things that will never be said.
“Elvis,” I finally say, breathing softly. “I’m pretty much a sure thing…if you don’t piss me off,” I add, wagging my finger at him.
He laughs at the reference, playfully bites at my pointed finger but otherwise ignores my answer. Again.

Excerpt#4 from This Much Is True by Katherine Owen – Chapter Seven (later in chapter)

He opens his eyes at my somewhat involuntary movements and tugs at my hair and pulls me toward him. He gently kisses my forehead. His lips travel down the side of my face and then reach the sensitive spot at my neck. I practically melt at his subtle seduction at a soul level, while my body heats up under his careful ministrations. Oh, God. Why is he doing this to me?
“We used to have a ranch when I was about eight years old,” he says so softly that I strain to hear him. “My dad liked to train wild horses. He always said it just takes patience and time, and that you don’t tame a horse as much as you come to understand it.”
“Am I the wild horse in this scenario?” I ask faintly. My pulse races out of control. I bury my face into the dampness of his shirt thoroughly embarrassed by my unusual emotional breakdown. I catch my breath and hold it and will myself to pull it together.
“I’m not sure,” he says. “But you definitely need saving.”
“Does that line work with all the girls you bring here?”
“I don’t bring girls here.”
“Oh.” I slide out of his arms and stand up, intent on achieving balance on a physical level as well as an emotional one because for some inexplicable reason I already know that it’s vital to initiate some kind of distance from this guy. He scares me on some deep cosmic level because I like him too much already, and, as it is, I have more than enough fears to battle on a daily basis. “I should go.”
“What if you didn’t? Go?” Linc pauses for a full minute and seems to just draw me in with his kind face.
He’s good-looking. At a detrimental level. The kind of guy you would be seen in public with and most girls would cattily be saying: “Why her? Why did he choose her?” I catch my lower lip between my teeth, embarrassed at the calculating assumptions I’ve made about him in such a short amount of time. We’ve gone from the prospect of a one-night stand to a relationship. The first I often employ, and the second I will never entertain. Ever.
It dawns on me that I’ve been staring at him again. His eyes are incredible, and I get lost in them again because there’s a part of me that clearly wants to jump into the alluring deep end with him and another part of me that uncharacteristically hesitates mightily. I can’t look away from him. It’s disconcerting and enthralling at the same time.
I take in air in the faint hope of clearing away all these wayward thoughts of him. Then I absently wipe at my face with an embarrassed hand wave in the next. I’m supposed to be Holly—perfect and sweet, not Tally—bitchy and on edge. What am I doing here? And I cried in front of him. I haven’t cried since the day we buried Holly.
“I should go.” I attempt to smile and extend my arm around the great room.“Really. This has been…illuminating.
He raises an eyebrow, surprised by my exceptional vocabulary, perhaps.
Me, too.
He reaches for my hand and pulls me to him. I experience this inevitable solace as his arms go around me and hold me there.
“Don’t go, Holly,” he whispers.
And then he kisses me.
So I stay because when a girl wants to be someone else, she can be.

Dark. Edgy. Contemporary. Romantic. Were we describing me? Or my fiction? Sorry.
I drink too, not enough water. I swear too much for God and my mother, and I slip these into my fiction. Sorry.
I'm impatient, a perfectionist, a wordsmith, a dreamer, which ends up being good and bad. I'm a workaholic; ask my "fam-dam-ily".
I've written four novels in as many years: "When I See You, "Not To Us", Seeing Julia" as well as my latest release "This Much Is True".

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