Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review, Tour & Giveaway--Skipping Stones by J.B. McGee

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They say there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Not everyone will grieve in this order, nor will everyone go through every stage. It’s during the stage of denial when Alex Hart meets Andrew Foster. He takes her one-step closer to acceptance: the stage when new, meaningful relationships are formed. The stage when the realization occurs that this is now the new state of normal.

Just when Alex thinks she is on her way to healing, she enters the bargaining phase. That’s the phase where you wonder what you could have done differently. You wonder “what if?” Specifically, what if the ones you loved hadn’t left you?

Leaving…this is what makes heading off to war so difficult and frightening for Alex. She knows all too well what it’s like to be the one on the losing end of life, which is why she’s made it her personal mission in life to save as many lives as possible. The extreme high she gets from treating trauma victims turns into Alex’s own form of therapy, or so she thinks.

When faced with her world being turned upside down, Alex may just find that her true therapy is in the one who has always saved her.

Having read all of the authors 'This'  series books, I was really excited to get my hands on Skipping Stones.  Surprisingly, this story was completely not what I expected but in a good way.  This is a beautiful story about family, love loss and second chances that spans over fifteen years.

The story begins with 15 year old Alex Hart going on her summer vacation to her grandparents home, Memaw & Papa.  Her parents wanted her to go to Europe with them but her favourite place on earth is her grandparents home. Little did she know that when she kissed her parents goodbye, it would be the last time.  A tragic accident occurs and they are both taken from her. 

"Oh what I'd give to just have three wishes.  But there are no genies, and there's no way, it seems, to regain what I've lost"  Alex

She runs off to her comfort zone, the creek near her Papa & Memaw's house.  She has spent many summers there with her father and Papa.  What she didn't  expect down there was meeting a boy, Drew Foster.  He is 17 years old, has eyes the colour of chocolate milk and is hot.  Drew is new to town so unfamiliar to Alex but there is something about him that just draws her in.  She is broken and grieving and he seems to be the only person she needs.

"He's soothing me.  Or maybe it's something else, maybe he's saving me" - Alex

Over three weeks they begin to fall in love with each other as he teaches her how to skip stones down at the creek.  Every day without fail he is there and he is just so sweet, he gives her something to look forward to and be happy about.

"I'll teach you how to breath again.  I'll teach you everything" - Drew

Then one day he is gone.  Alex once again has to deal with loss.  Everyone in her life who she loves leaves her.  She feels abandoned and alone. 

She has her Memaw and Papa and what loving grandparents they are, they have been together for 60 years and love each other madly, it's really beautiful reading how they are with each other and how devoted they are to Alex. 
 I thought it was really sweet that a teenage girl was happy to hang out with her grandparents and snuggle on her Papa's lap.  Most 15 year old kids I know would want to spend summer with their friends. Papa always share his wisdom with Alex and she adores him.

"God won't give you more than you can handle.  You know that because there have been times when you didn't think you'd make it, but you did" - Papa

We then jump fifteen years ahead and Alex is 30 years old and has been to medical school and is in the military about to be deployed to Afghanistan.  When she is there she is sure she sees Drew, she knows his voice and those eyes but maybe she was just wishing for the man who still has her heart.    A few months later she returns home to Memaw and Papa and there is a knock at the door, it's Drew.  What is he doing back here?

I inhaled this book, I loved this sad but beautiful story.  The innocence of first love and how beautifully this was told.

I give it 4+ stars.

Author Links

A Note from J.B. McGee 


J.B. McGee was born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina. After graduating from South Aiken High School, she toured Europe as a member of the 1999 International Bands of America Tour, playing the clarinet. While attending Converse College, an all-girls school in Spartanburg, South Carolina, she visited Charleston often. It quickly became one of her favorite vacation spots. She met her husband, Chad, during Christmas break her freshman year, and they married in 2001 and she moved back to her home town. 

In 2005, the couple welcomed their first son, Noah. J.B. finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina-Aiken in 2006. During her time studying children's literature, a professor had encouraged her to become a writer.

In 2007, she welcomed their second child, Jonah, and she became a stay at home mom/entrepreneur. In 2009, the found out their two children and J.B. have Mitochondrial Disease. In 2011, a diagnosis also was given to Chad. Please take a moment and learn more about Mitochondrial Disease. Awareness is key to this disease that has no cure or treatments.

J.B. McGee and her family now reside in Buford, Georgia, to be closer to their children's medical team. After a passion for reading had been re-ignited, J.B. decided to finally give writing a shot. Broken (This Series), is her first book and first series. 

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