02 September 2013

Crossing by Stacey Benefiel - Book Tour, Book Review, Giveaway

Released: May 8th 2013
Publisher: Write Free
Purchase: Amazon

Due to heavy subject matter, Crossing is recommended for readers 17+. 
He stole her lipstick…and her heart. 
Twenty-year-old Dani Walker can’t believe her luck when she’s paired up with the gorgeous Liam Garrett as her Acting I scene partner – or when he ends up in her bed. 
Being a Plain Jane with a mouth on her hasn’t exactly served Dani well in the guy department. In fact, she’s had nothing but one night stands. Still, she lets go of her insecurities and falls for Liam, despite feeling like he’s holding something back. 
When Dani finally discovers Liam’s secret, she must learn the true meaning of accepting the ones we love for who they are, or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

Crossing was an interesting read. Oh well.. who the heck am I kidding, I had a jaw-dropping moment somewhere in between.

Dani walker must have been very lucky to get paired with a hot guy on her acting class, much more he befriended her, kissed her and finally ended up in her bed. Liam was a prince charming Dani was just dreaming about. He was out of her league, but now he's her boyfriend! He's sweet, thoughtful supports her acting career and was always there for her. Everything was okay between them, but somethings off. Just like what Liam said to her that she should trust her gut - now her gut tells her something is very wrong and she could not put her fingers on it. 

When she finally discovers what he's been hiding - she was surprised and did a double take for a second. Because his secret is a make or break deal - she must learn to accept him and love him for who and what he is, or she might just lose the best thing that has ever happened to her and break her heart in the process. 

I expected something else entirely, especially when the blurb talked about the lipstick stuff. I thought... but Stacey Benefiel had something entirely surprising at her sleeves. Crossing was different among any other books I have read lately. True, it was unexpected, unusual and it was something I had to digest, read again and made sure I had it correct before I was able to digest it. But Stacey made it to a point that this book was tasteful, and honest. She gave her readers a healthy dose of reality. This book - its plot and its character made its way to my heart. I may have read thousands of books, and forget some of them but this one - will MOST PROBABLY stick. 


“I thought I’d had enough of harsh words,

And when I said to Chase, ‘If THEY call me a desperate fag-hag one more time I’m going to shoot myself in the face,” I didn’t mean it.

I didn’t mean it.

But my words, like THEIRS, bloomed in his brain.

The fag to my hag. My best friend.

My heart since we were thirteen-year-old embodiments of confusion riding bus #86 to Heartland Middle School.”

I take a step closer to Liam and hold my hands up like I’m a coach drawing a play on a dry erase board.

“After four years of relentless. After four years of IGNORE THEM and IT GETS BETTER, Chase’s first and last fist fight went down like this:

I mark an X. “He was grabbed by the collar of his jacket by a boy not much bigger than him, but who had heterosexual macho man confidence on his side, and yanked down hard on to the asphalt. Chase’s head bounced once and then he rolled onto his side.”

I mimic drawing arrows. “I’m walking from the school to the parking lot to meet Chase at his car and I watch this happen.

Get up! The voice in my head screams. But instead all Chase does is cover his face with his hands.

Other people see. Some walk on by and some join in. The hum of their accusations reaches my ears.

I stand frozen clutching my Hello Kitty binder to my chest, my fingernails clawing that pussy’s eyes out, as two boys start kicking the crap out of my best friend.

In the kidneys, in the balls. A heel to his shoulder. A crack!

I start running across the parking lot, wishing my loud mouth would work. Why is it failing me when I need it most? Wishing I had enough courage to draw their attention away.

At the edge of the circle they’ve formed around him, there is a break and Chase glances up at me.

I feel their harsh words in their stares, lasering in on me and think,

‘I can stop being his friend and they won’t hurt me anymore, because he is always going to hurt.’

He isn’t even standing up for himself.

One word out of Chase’s mouth:


He’s wrong.

I’m one of THEM now.

To save myself, I back away slowly.

I tear my heart out and dropkick it into the bloodthirsty crowd.”
I back up a step. “Later that night I send him a text:

I’m sorry.

I’m pathetic.

I probably could’ve taken Robbie Johnson on, he’s always had that limp.

No answer.

The next day at school, the hum is louder. My parking lot transformation was a sham and I’m glad of it.

I search for my friend.”

Turning to the side, I make myself tall, like I’m towering over someone.

“Oh, pooooooooor hag. Ding dong her fag is dead.”

I turn to the other side and cower.


Surely THEY hadn’t beaten him to…”

Back to towering, I make a finger gun and put it to my face.


I shrink to cowering.

“What? I heard myself saying again, but I knew.

Chase had taken my words and made them his own.”
I shift my gaze away from Liam and utter the last line: “I didn’t mean it, but he did.”

Then, I wait a beat before looking back at him. I wish I’d waited longer. Liam’s eyebrows are drawn together tightly into a scowl and his lips are pursed. He’s pissed. I’ve said something stupid and I don’t even know what it was. My monologue sucks.

“Okay well, I can tell you hated it and now I’m mortified. Awesome.” I rush over and grab my backpack.

“Dani, no—”

“Forget it,” I say flustered, already heading for the door.
Stacey Wallace Benefiel is the author of the Zellie Wells trilogy, FOUND, the Day of Sacrifice series, The Toilet Business - a collection of essays,CROSSING, and multiple short stories.

She sometimes goes by S.W. Benefiel or Reina Stowe, but knows she's not foolin' anybody.

Stacey lives in an orange house in Beaverton, OR with her two young children.