22 September 2013

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

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.

No one knew what grief really is until you have experienced it. No one will know what death will do to a person until you are confronted by it – heads on, surprised, you don’t get to prepare. No one knew what falling in love really is until you get loss in the comfort of it and no one knew how awful a broken heart is until you feel the gruesome pain that is piercing your heart.

One summer changed it all for Alex Hart when she was fifteen– she lost people she loved, found someone she fell in love with and broke her heart. She wasn’t prepared to lose her parents and grief had consumed her. Until she met Andrew Foster, he helped her get through the pain and the loss. He held her, comfort her and be there for her when she cried her heart out. Just as when she thought that everything was going to be okay, she couldn’t find him anymore – no notes, no letters, no goodbyes.

Years later, she decided to head off to war serving in the medical corps. Going to war and leaving her grandparents behind is frightening and difficult for Alex. But it was her loss which made her stronger and makes it to a point to save as many lives as possible. What she didn’t expect to see in the war field, just before an accident happen was the face of the boy she once fell in love with.

My heart goes out to Alex – for everything that she had been through. Losing someone close to you, especially your parents without saying goodbye is hard, and to suffer it at a young age is just devastating. But she had her grandparents, and Andrew. Her relationship with her grandparents is just pretty awesome, only a few people had that kind of relationship – they were tight-knit and she’d rather spend time with her grandparents (not knowing how much time they’d left) than going anywhere else.

There was a time when I thought that Drew was a figment of her imagination. He was there, and suddenly he wasn’t. The time he entered into Alex’s life was perfect – it was the time she needed someone badly. He did, he offered friendship, his time, his expertise in throwing stones. Then suddenly he was gone. However, he too has some secrets that he keeps, no matter how much he wanted to stay, he can’t. He had to move, to run away.

Skipping Stones is about loss, love, and second chances. It’s about fate – when things are meant to be, no matter how long it takes, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter where you are – the universe will find a way to make it happen. I devoured this book for one day – pinning for Alex, hoping that Drew is real and wishing that both will have the ending they truly deserve. J.B. McGee ease her way into my heart – this book is something everyone, especially those who have suffered a great loss, should read.

*ARC Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

There’s one last stone in our pile. I glance down at it. “You want it?” I ask.

He shakes his head. “No.”

I glance into his brown eyes. “You want me to do this one?”


“What if I mess this one up?” I reach down and pick it up. “Like the whole bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, full count, two outs...”

He smiles. “I guess we’re about to find out how you do under pressure.”

I don’t care about the stone. I don’t care if I can skip it, or not. I just want to kiss him again. “You made the game up...”

“I did,” he quips proudly.

“Then you can change the rules.”

“I’m listening.”

“No matter what, I get another kiss. Either way it’s a prize.” I shrug.

“Ha. A prize either way. What’s your reasoning?” He chuckles.

“Either the prize for winning...skipping a stone, or a consolation prize for choking.”

“Deal.” He moves back and plops into the overgrown weeds. I’d call it grass, but I’m not sure I see any blades of grass. It’s mainly clover, wild onions, and dandelions. “How about if I give you a bigger kiss if you do it? That way you still have some incentive to do your best.”

I glance back over my shoulder. “Deal.”

I replay the instructions he gave me earlier. I turn so that my side is facing the water. I put the stone just right in my fingers. I look back to him, holding my hand out. “Like this?”

As my head turns, I freeze because it’s not Drew sitting in the field. It’s my father. As if freezing and not moving will make this real. It has to be a figment of my imagination. Our eyes are locked and he smiles as he gives me a thumbs up.

I feel a tear trickle down my face. I’m paralyzed, unable to move.

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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