Hello all! If New Adult contemporary romance is something you like to read, we have one to add to your TBR list. We are one of today's stops on The Art of Letting Go blog tour. There's an excerpt, Top Tens list to enjoy, and a giveaway to enter.
The Uni Files: Year One- The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom
New Adult contemporary adult
ebook, 393 pages
Published September 25th 2013 by Soul Mate Publishing
One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?
When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.
Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.
As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.
With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.
With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?
By the time there was a knock on my door, I was ready and completely geared up. I enhanced my normal minimal makeup routine with smoky eyes and lashings of eyeliner. The crazy fuzz cut was managing to look quite funky. I could not guarantee it would hold.
I am rewarded for my efforts by Meredith dropping her drink all over the floor and Beth announcing very loudly that she may fancy me after all. I cringe at her loud voice, shushing her with my hand, which they both think is hilarious.
“Don’t worry, Lil, he has already walked over with Jayne. You would have heard them leave had you not been so busy singing. “
“Bite me. “
“You look lovely, Lilah,” Meredith says, seeming very sincere, and I give her a big hug.
I should own up to the fact that I have had a few sneaky drinkies in my room whilst getting ready.
We head out of the door and run across to Digby. Well, I totter, but at a reasonable pace despite the stilettos.
As we push through the doors, I have the immense satisfaction of seeing Ben, who is sitting in the corner, choke on his beer. I give a little half-interested wave of my hand, acknowledging that I have seen him, and saunter over to the bar.
Trev gives a low whistle when he sees me, and proceeds to give me a drink on the house.
Blimey! Who would have thought that getting dressed up would have had this much effect? I should have done it ages ago. There is a DJ playing, but as yet there is no one on the dance floor, so we stand at the bar and make girly chitchat.
Jayne comes over from her table and high fives me. “Well done. Lilah! The whole football team wants to give you a shot. “
I blush furiously and swat her away. Shame for them, there is only one member of the team from which I would be open to offers.
After a while, Tristan arrives. He actually spends so much time on campus I don’t know why he does not enroll and just study here as well. He gives me a wink as he leans in to say hi.
“Going all out, Lil?”
“Better believe it,” I respond with a wink of my own.
I feel completely amazing. For the first time in my entire life, my confidence is at an all-time high. I grab a drink and start mingling around, greeting people I recognise. It takes them all a moment to register who I am, and then I get a lot of hugs. It's great, but then again it's a bit worrying. Do I walk around looking like scruffy moose the rest of the time? The only person who doesn’t come and speak to me is Ben. I maturely decide to ignore this. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the blues flash as he watches me talk to a couple of the guys from History class. Ha! Stick that, sucker.
Five vodkas later and the Lilah dancing machine is out in full force. There are not that many people on the dance floor but I don’t care. I dance away quite merrily until I realise that the room is spinning rather a lot. I try to slow my pace but the room is still spinning which makes me realise that it must be my head and not the crazy dance I am performing.
“I am going out for a smoke,” I tell Meredith, who is doing something I would rather not witness with Tristan on the dance floor.
Outside, I lean against my tree (yes, it is mine) and merrily smoke away. As I smoke I start to sober up a little bit. What on earth am I doing? My whole reasoning for the day begins to make no sense to me at all.
I don’t want to get back together with Ben because I want him to go to the States and have his great career.
It was me who suggested being friends.
It is me who has enjoyed the last week of being friends and the casual flirting that has been simmering under the surface.
It is me who knows that eventually I am just going to have to let go of him being a part of my life.
So why the f*** am I dressed up to the nines attempting to get his attention?
By the time I am on my second cigarette, leaning against the tree with my eyes shut, I am feeling like a complete idiot and just want to go back home and get changed into my comfy jeans and a hoodie.
I feel a hand slide down my arm. I don’t have to open my eyes to know who it is. I would know that touch anywhere.
“What are you doing out here, Lilah? It is freezing. “
I don’t bother opening my eyes, but wave my cigarette in the general direction of his voice, hoping I don’t set his hair alight.
“Look at me,” he says, his voice soft and very close to my ear.
I open my eyes and meet his. “Hey,” I say.
“Hey,” he whispers back.
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Top Ten Favourite BooksOkay before I start on my top ten favourite books I just need to point out to everyone how incredibly hard I found this top ten to do.
I have lived my entire life with my head in a book and to narrow it down to ten, or even put my favourites in some kind of order is really difficult.
- Katherine by Anya Seton. This is a historical romance novel written in the 60’s and it completely changed the course of my life. I borrowed it from my mum’s book shelf when I was 13 and never looked back. I fell in love with medieval history, I fell in love with Chaucer (I can actually read fluent middle-English) and I fell in love with John of Gaunt who still inspires me all these years later. And if you don’t know who he is then I suggest you read Katherine and get yourself acquainted.
- Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This book is just engrossing and I love the way that Zafon challenges you to fall in love with a character when you know you shouldn’t. It is very very clever and it always sticks in my mind that I would love to write a book like that one day.
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Because you know I am a historian….(and yes I am laughing) this book is so evocative the scenery is breath-taking and I love the fact it is not about romance, well not primarily. It is about protecting those that you love. I also enjoy the twist on Dracula’s character even if some of the historical facts are slightly unpalatable.
- Until I Find You by John Irving. This is classic, original, challenging and downright awesome. Irving really pushes his readers and I like that. You pick up one of his books and know it will not be an easy read but it will be so worth it at the end-and it always is. This book is about a man trying to find his father who was addicted to tattoos and he follows his path all over America from one tattoo parlour to the next trying to find him. Bloody brilliant!
- The Tennant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontè. Everyone should read this book to find out what a true love story is.
- Persuasion by Jane Austen. Same as the above. For me this book is just the epitome of love: Longing, hope, regret and all the other feeling that we live with every day of our lives. This is why I used this novel in The Art of Letting Go because really for me there is no love greater than that of Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot. To say you are sorry is the third hardest thing. To admit a mistake is the second hardest and to forgive is the ultimate act of love.
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I loooove this book so much. But I can’t read it too often because I lose sleep. Matthew Clairmont is probably one of the sexiest male characters I have ever fallen in love with.
- I am going to cheat here and put a series in. The Wolves of Mercy Wood Series i.e. Shiver, Linger and Forever by Maggie Steivfater. I love this series, it is beautifully written and full on crushworthy.
- The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. So clever and a classic that is often overlooked. I have read this book about ten times.
- The Go-Between by L P Hartley. Sensational and changed the way I look at books. I studied this for my A-Level English Literature and I remember being knocked sideways by the fact a book could have an unhappy ending and I live my life by the opening line. “The past is a different country they do things differently there…”
Sapphire Solitaire Necklace (open worldwide)
One prize package for US and one for the UK:
candy, ebook, signed post card and a $20 gift card (£10 UK)