07 October 2014

Release Day Launch & Giveaway | Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

Buy Links:
Powell Books - http://bit.ly/1Edz6Zv

Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas is too young to remember her dad’s glory days as a pitcher for the Yankees. So when her father is offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, Annie is intrigued to see the baseball side of her dad. Of course, knowing he’ll be a mentor to hot young rookie pitcher, Jason Brody, certainly makes it more enticing.

After an awkward first meeting with “Brody” involving very little clothing and a much-too-personal locker room interview, Annie’s convinced she knows Brody’s type: arrogant, self-involved, bossy. As her dad grows closer to the pitching phenom, the friction between Brody and Annie increases. But when opening day arrives and it looks like both her dad and Brody may lose their dream jobs, Annie steps up and offers support. She and Brody call a truce that grows into friendship—and beyond. Falling for a rising star who’s quickly reaching a level that involves rabid female fans is not what Annie would call smart, except suddenly she’s getting hints that maybe this crush isn’t one-sided after all. Could someone like Brody actually fall for a girl like her?

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Who wouldn’t dig Annie Lucas? She’s a great daughter who wanted the best for her father. She can’t remember those days when her father was supposed to be one of those hotshots baseball players, so when he was offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, she encouraged him. She wanted to see what her father was like in the field.

Brody isn’t someone who you can easily bring home to your mother. This 19-year old sexy rookie might be the best pitcher in town but his past is not that glamorous. But it didn’t stop her jaws from dropping or her heart from beating as fast as his pitching ball goes. As her father goes closer to Brody and includes him in their little family, the friction between them increases. But when the opening day arrive, and both her dad and Brody’s job might be in jeopardy, she offered support and it started a friendship between the two of them. As they grew closer, and the more Brody spends time with her and told her some secrets he never told anyone, Annie’s infatuation (or attraction) intensifies. But there’s the playboy status, some model posting twitter pics with him, not to mention some bimbos coming out of his room. Falling for him might be a bad idea. But when the rising baseball star starts to give hints that the feeling was mutual, that changes everything.

But can someone like Brody fall for a high school girl?

I like Brody. He might not have a stellar past, but you can sense that he wanted to change. He was given a chance to make things right, and he was doing his best in not screwing it up. He tried to stop his feelings, since she was too young for him, not to mention her father is the coach, but he can only do much. When he finally crossed the line, he tried to make things better, but Annie wouldn’t let him. You’d love him, he knew she was young and he was so willing to suffer from blue-balls until she was ready. So there was this scenario which I was holding my breath, I nearly fainted while repeating ‘oh-my-gahd-oh-my-gahd’ faithfully like a mantra. It was an epic scene that had my heart stop for a second.

You’d love Jimmy too. He’s like the best dad in the world, and would die for Annie in a heartbeat. But he has some secrets on his sleeves to, something that he wasn’t proud of. Nevertheless, it might have surprised me, because I totally didn’t imagine him that way – but being the perfect, doting, and supportive father made up for that. Okaaay, he had some stupid moments there with his wife – in which me and Annie had the same stand, he’s so better off without her. Good thing he pulled his head out of his a** before he screwed something promising. Yay for him too!

It's sweet. It's romantic. It's swoon-worthy. It's surprising. It's heartwarming. Lot's of awww and oh-my-gahd moments. This was a great read. It’s something that starts out pretty slow, building all the anticipation, the romance and then finally it hits you straight in the heart. This is something you would like to read again, if only to read those witty and sassy Facebook statuses the characters posted all throughout the novel.

•Complimentary Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.•

Buy Links:
Powell Books - http://bit.ly/1Edz6Zv

He eyes me skeptically. “What kind of article?”
“It’s for Sports Illustrated,” I say without hesitation and then quickly realize that I don’t look nearly old enough to be a real reporter for a huge publication. “I’m an intern,” I add.
The skepticism falls from his face and he looks nervous, which gives me a boost of confidence. I walk closer and pull out the chair in front of the locker beside his, propping my feet up on the bench across from me. “Frank Steadman said you’d be willing to answer a few questions.”
            His mouth falls open, and he looks down at his towel and then back at me. Water drips from his hair and off his dark shoulders. “Um…okay,” he says. “Mind if I get dressed first?”
            I wave off his concerns, my face heating up, blowing my confident cover. But him getting dressed might allow enough time for Dad to return, and I’d rather not have to deal with that. I duck my head down, letting my hair hide my cheeks and flip open the first page of the notebook. “This will just take a minute… So, you’re nineteen? And you’re from Texas?”
            “Chicago,” he corrects.
            I had no idea where he was from but figured it sounded better if I pretended to know. I write down this information and then search my brain for some more questions. “Does the wind in Chicago affect your curveball? Do you throw into it or against it?”
            He gives me a funny look. “I…well…I just throw toward home plate.”
            My face gets even hotter. “Right, kidding. What’s your favorite color?”
I take my time writing orange in really big loopy cursive while I think of my next question. “What are your opinions on sushi?”
            His forehead wrinkles like I’ve just asked him to publicly declare a political party. “Raw fish and seaweed? I think it’s best eaten while stranded on a desert island with no other options.”
            “Very diplomatic.” I scribble down his answer. “How many strikes have you thrown in your career?”
            “Don’t know,” he says. “Do people actually count that stuff? Before the majors?”
            “Some of them do,” I say, though I have no idea. “If you could be any magical creature in the Harry Potter series, which would you choose?”
            “You said this is for Sports Illustrated, right?”
“Yeees, But it’s the…kids’ edition.”
“Oh, right.” He scratches the back of his head. “I guess maybe one of those elves.”
“A house elf? Seriously? They’re slaves.” I shake my head. “Why would you want to be an enslaved elf? They can’t even wear clothes.”
He grips his towel tighter and releases a frustrated breath. “Fine, I’ll choose an owl. That’s what I’d want to be.”
I snort back a laugh and drop my eyes to the page again.
“What? What the hell’s wrong with being an owl? They’re smart, they know geography and shit like that.”
“Owls in real life are actually pretty stupid. But no big deal, I’ll just relay that message on to the children of America. Jason Brody, temporary Royals pitcher, wants to be an owl when he grows up becausethey know geography and shit like that.”
Okay, I’m getting way too into this fake reporter role.
“Who says this is temporary?” he snaps.
“Your two-way contract.” Isn’t that how Dad explained it? He plays a few games then goes back to Triple-A, all without signing a real major league contract.
He yanks a pair of jeans from his locker and then grabs a bundled up orange T-shirt. “Well, I plan on kicking some ass on Opening Day and making this a permanent gig.”
“I think you need a reality check,” I say. “One game isn’t going to be enough--”
“Annie, what the hell are you doing?”
I leap off the bench and turn around to face Dad and Frank standing about five feet from me. “Introducing myself to your new pitcher.”
“Brody, what are you doing here, son?” Frank asks. “We’re off today.”
“Just getting in some cardio and weights.” His gaze darts from me to Dad to Frank. “I was just finishing up this interview for Sports Illustrated. The kids’ edition.”
“Well, we won’t keep you from getting your clothes back on, then,” Frank says, like he’s trying not to laugh. “And just for future reference, all interviews will go through the team’s publicity department so no one will be wandering in here, surprising you. Savannah will meet with you tomorrow to discuss publicity.”
Dad moves forward and extends a hand to Jason Brody. “Jim Lucas, nice to meet you, son. I’ve seen your spring training videos. You’ve got some real talent. I’m looking forward to working with you.”
Brody shakes Dad’s hand, his eyes still on me.
“And this is my daughter Annie,” Dad adds.
Brody glares at me. “Let me guess—you don’t work for Sports Illustrated?”

Meet the Author

Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast and longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former gymnastics program WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOUctor with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credentials, Julie is a committed—but not talented—long-distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar-weather survivor, and expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym-shoe addict.

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