Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Going After The Heart by Kristen Beairsto (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with CBLS Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Going After The Heart by author Kristen Beairsto!

Author Guest Post

The Discovery

Thanks so much for having me!!!

Do you remember the last time someone suggested a book to you? Or do you remember when you were first introduced to one of your favorite authors?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately after recently buying some new books for my eight year old daughter. The girl has caught the reading bug from me and has been sampling a variety of books lately. (I have to mention, as a prime example of hilarious irony, she hates to write.) We’ve talked about the type of books I read when I was her age and she’s started exploring new series. I love seeing the excitement in her face when she tells me about a story she’s reading. I can’t help but remember when I was younger and discovered a new series or author. And I remember the times when I excitedly shared a book or author I loved with someone and that person later telling me they loved the recommendation. There’s just something special about finding someone that feels the same appreciation for an author or book.

When was the last time you recommended a book or author to someone? When was the last time you received a recommendation about something to read? Was it everything it was promised? :)

About The Author

In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends. Much to her husband’s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry. During those rare times she’s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.

As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader. She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read! The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts. Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre. Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristen’s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on.

Going After The Heart by Kristen Beairsto ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: CBLS Promotions

Book Review

Going After The Heart by Kristen Beairsto
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: December 17, 2012
Format: Paperback - 234 pages / Kindle - 453 KB / Nook - 657 KB
ISBN: 148129542X
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

BUY THE BOOK: Going After The Heart

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by CBLS Promotions.

Book Description:

Lizzy Bergstrum thought she finally reached a point in her life when she could honestly say she had it all. A thriving writing career. A wonderful daughter. And a marriage to the love of her life. But looks can apparently be deceiving because her husband just walked out on her and their eight year old daughter hates her.

Gavin Bergstrum can’t handle the direction his life has taken. Not only did he get laid off from his job, but his wife seems to barely remember he exists. Convinced he’s tried his best to change things, he begins to wrestle with the possibility of divorce. But he can’t think straight in the same house as Lizzy. Hating to leave his daughter, but needing time to think and come to terms with what he feels he needs to do, Gavin decides to return to his small home town in Oregon and stay at his family ranch with his father and brothers.

In shock, Lizzy gives Gavin his space. But as time passes and he doesn’t say a word about their marriage, Lizzy decides it’s past time she takes matters into her own hands. Without a word, she follows Gavin to Oregon.

Now facing a daughter who blames her for everything, an irritated husband, and a small town that feeds on the drama, Lizzy finds herself trying to figure out how to convince Gavin to give her another chance, teach her daughter it takes two to make a successful marriage, and overcome her own insecurities – all without compromising who she is.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Book Excerpt:

Startled, Lizzy shot up into a sitting position. She discovered Gavin standing on the other side of the glass door. Belatedly, she recognized the relief at the fact he now stood fully clothed in jeans and a T-shirt. Yes, wouldn’t do to be thinking about sex with the man at the moment.

She glanced at the alarm clock on the nightstand behind her. Ten minutes to midnight. Pushing herself up off the bed, she made her way over to the door and opened it.

“How the heck did you get up here?” Lizzy demanded without preamble.

This master bedroom lay on the second floor and the porch through which the slider led out to was a wraparound porch without access to the lower level.

Pushing past her inside the room without waiting for an invitation, “The old oak in the back is easy to climb and has a branch hanging low to step over to the porch railing.”

Lizzy gaped at him, crossing her arms and not bothering to close the door. He would not be staying long if she had anything to do about it. 

After striding into the room a couple of yards, he turned to face her. “What?”

“Using the front door never occurred to you?” She shook her head in disbelief.

Crossing his arms, his gaze narrowed. “I didn’t want Sky to know I was here.” He glanced over at the closed bedroom door. Before she realized his intention, he strode over to it and flipped the lock.

“What are you doing?” she demanded, irritation rising easily at his high handedness and her exhaustion.

He turned back to her with a determined expression. “I already said, I don’t want Sky to know I’m here.” 

Rolling her eyes, a frustrated sigh slipped out. “What do you want, Gavin?” What’s so important it couldn’t wait until tomorrow?”

Crossing his arms again, he moved closer to her, she assumed so as to not risk Sky hearing their voices. “Why are you here, Lizzy? I talked to you and Sky yesterday and neither of you mentioned anything about coming here.”

Snorting, “You didn’t talk to me yesterday. You asked me to pass the phone to Sky before I even finished saying hello when I picked up the receiver. And Sky never said anything because she didn’t know anything about it until I woke her up this morning.”

“Damn it, Lizzy, I told you I’d come home after my head cleared some. You had no right to come here,” he ground out.

“And how was I supposed to know how long that would be? It’s been three months. Three months. What the hell was I supposed to tell Sky about when her father would be coming home? You haven’t said one word to me in three months other than can I talk to Sky? I have no idea what’s going on with you, Gavin, so what choice did I really have than to come here,” she tossed back at him, the anger from the last couple of months rising in her.

Gavin’s scowl turned lethal. “Are you thinking you can come here and make everything magically better?”

At her wit’s end, Lizzy squeezed her eyes closed and pinched the bridge of her nose with her thumb and finger. It was a toss up between who got to her more, her daughter or her husband. Tired of all of it, Lizzy decided to not hold back. Not that anyone would accuse her of holding back in the last five minutes, she thought sarcastically.

“You know what, Gavin, you lost the right to know what I was thinking the minute you decided it was better to walk out the door rather than try to take two minutes to just talk to me,” she told him evenly, too tired to hide the weariness that came out in the words.

Opening her eyes, she refused to feel guilty about the satisfaction she felt in seeing she stunned him with the statement.

“Go back to your father’s house, Gavin. You’re not really interested in talking to me, only trying to blame me for ruining your solitude. If you’re really interested in finding out why I came here, come talk to me when you’ve calmed down and are actually interested in listening to what I’m saying.”

With that, she went into the bathroom on the other side of the room, calmly closing the door behind her. Gavin didn’t make any sounds in the other room, but when she came out, he was gone.

My Book Review:

Every now and then a contemporary romance story comes along that not only whisks the reader away with a tale of passion and love, but also depicts the reality of issues within a relationship or marriage. In Going After The Heart, author Kristen Beairsto weaves a wonderful tale that mixes enough romance, humor and emotions that will keep the reader engaged and eagerly turning the pages.

Lizzy and Gavin Bergstrum have been together for fifteen years, with ten of the years as a married couple. As in any marriage, there are the typical ups and downs that they have faced together, but three months ago Gavin up and left Lizzy when he couldn't take being low on Lizzy's priority list any longer. Lizzy is an author whose career has taken off within the last few years, it has taken more and more of her attention, leaving very little left over for their eight year old daughter Sky, and even less for Gavin or their marriage. The final straw that broke the camel's back was when Gavin had tried within the past eight months, and three more times the week before her left, to tell Lizzy that his salesman's position with a hardware manufacturer was in jeopardy due to the economy, but she was always too busy or traveling on her latest book tour, and never found out that he did get laid off. Gavin left for his father's ranch in Selma, Oregon to clear his head, but when three months go by without either one of them addressing the issues in their marriage, Lizzy travels to Oregon with Sky, who blames her mother for the separation, to confront Gavin and hopefully repair their marriage. Can Lizzy and Gavin go after the heart of the matter by figuring out what they really want, or will it destroy their marriage for good?

Going After The Heart is an enjoyable romantic story that follows the trials and tribulations of Lizzy and Gavin Bergstrum's marriage. Set in the picturesque small town of Selma, Oregon, nestled in a valley of the Siskiyou Mountain range, author Kristen Beairsto weaves a sweet romantic tale written in the third person narrative that alternates between Lizzy and Gavin's perspective on what has gone wrong in their marriage. After a bit of glaring and growling, their undeniable mutual attraction draws them back together to decide what they really want from each other and their marriage. Mixed with humor, passion, romance and emotions, this fast paced story captivates the reader's attention and transports them into Lizzy and Gavin's life as they work out the issues that tore apart their marriage. And if that isn't enough, the author gives the reader an added bonus with another love story interwoven within the storyline between Gavin's younger brother Graham and next door neighbor Clare Wilder. In this romance, Clare has been in love with Graham since she was a kid, but alas ... Graham never seemed to notice her, or did he?!

This is a story that has a wonderful touch of reality that every reader can relate to when it comes to issues within relationships that motivates people to fight for love and their family. I really enjoyed the mixture of romance, passion, humor and emotion that ran throughout the story. The author does a really good job of interweaving flashbacks of Lizzy and Gavin's relationship in the past with the present. I think it made it easier for the reader to relate to both of the characters, and be able to follow along with their individual perspective of their relationship.

With a really fun cast of characters (especially Gavin's four lovable younger brothers and his father Ray) whose dialogue and interactions kept me laughing, smiling and sighing; a richly detailed description of the setting that easily transports the reader to the picturesque small mountain town of Selma, Oregon and the Bergstrum family ranch; and a heartwarming storyline filled with romance and family drama; Going After The Heart simply has everything that a reader could ask for in a contemporary romance story.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win 1 of 5 eBook Copies of Going After The Heart

Giveaway Info: 
Prize is 5 eBook copies (1 each to 5 winners) of Going After the Heart from Kristen Beairsto. Contest is tour-wide and ends June 16. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

VBT Schedule:
May 13: Bunny's Review (Guest Post)
May 15: Have Novel, Will Edit (Guest Post)
May 15: MsRomanticReads (Author Interview)
May 16: Book Reviews & More by Kathy (Guest Post)
May 17: Love in a Book (Author Interview)
May 18: Jody's Book Reviews, Giveaways & Tours
May 19: Musings And Ramblings (Review)
May 20: Aspired Writer (Guest Post)
May 23: Storm Goddess Book Reviews (Guest Post/Review)
May 24: Regina May Ross's
May 28: Rachel Brimble Romance (Author Interview)
May 30: Dawn's Reading Nook
June 2: Janna Shay's Fair Play (Guest Post)
June 4: Author Raine Delight's World 
June 6: Sweet n' Sassi (Review)
June 7: 4 the LUV of SANITY (Guest Post/Review)
June 7: Harlie Williams, Writer (Author Interview)
June 9: Samantha Holt (Guest Post)
June 11: Harlie's Books (Guest Post/Review)
June 11: Jersey Girl Book Reviews (Guest Post/Review)

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