Friday, April 4, 2014

Release event: Orange Blossom by Sarah Daltry

Orange Blossom, the penultimate title in Sarah Daltry's bestselling New Adult romance series, Flowering, is available now! The reading order and information about the other titles follows.
orange_blossom
Title: Orange Blossom
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover Design: Shoutlines Design
18+ New Adult Contemporary Romance


"I’ve never understood a year. A year was always a measurement of something bad for me. A year in my father’s prison sentence, a year since my mom’s death, a year left of school before I could get far, far away from here. Now, as I look down the end of my college career, with only a little more than a semester to go, a year seems like something magical. It has been a year since Lily chose me, since she sat with me on the old swing set and made a decision that I was worthy of her. And every minute of the entire year has been better than the last." 

 You already know their stories: Lily, the perfect princess, always living someone else's life. And Jack, the broken boy, who had stopped believing in hope. Somehow, though, they found each other and what was one night blossomed into a love story. Now, a year later, Jack and Lily are dreaming of the future. Despite all of his promises to himself that he would never be indebted to anyone, Jack makes a new promise - this time to Lily - that he will be there for her forever. But when life unravels for them, he starts to pull away, and Lily worries he's out of reach for good. When Jack does the unthinkable, Lily is left destroyed. Is it possible to have a happily ever after? Does love ever really save anyone? 

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  Excerpt:
obteaser2
He’s smiling. Not that smirk he gets when he’s bitter but also pleased about something. It’s not the smile that says that he knows happiness is temporary. When he lines up his Skee-ball shot, there is a smile on his face that is pure. Genuine. It’s like taking a step back and seeing Jack in a photograph. One from years before his life went crazy. He’s just a dorky kid playing Skee-ball and he’s so happy when he nails the shot. He does an awkward little dance and it’s the kind of thing about Jack that makes me love him. He’s gorgeous and sexy and aggressive yet sweet. He’s kind and considerate of me, both sexually and in general. But I don’t love Jack for that. I love him because there is light in the world in the space he takes up. I know he doesn’t see it, but he’s inside himself. From the outside, all I see is the absolute electricity and fire that fills the air around him. “That’s how it’s done,” he tells me when he finishes his game, wrapping up his ridiculous stack of tickets. I’m so going to lose, but I don’t care. He’s happy. I just almost wish I was better at this, so we could stay here longer, so that Jack could be this part of himself for as long as he needs. “I think you’re perfect,” I say. “Because I’m good at Skee-ball? Shit, that’s all it takes?” I shake my head. “No, but you tell me all the time. I don’t think I ever say it to you. I don’t like the idea of perfection. It’s too much of a standard to live up to, but I don’t think you even understand. It’s cheesy and probably cliché, but I just can’t imagine how I could breathe without you. How did I exist before this?” He looks down, uncomfortable because it’s one thing to tell Jack he’s hot or sexy; he can handle that and he gets cocky and ridiculous when I tell him that. But this part of him, this vulnerability, he buries it so deep that drawing attention to it makes him want to disappear. But I don’t want that. I want him to embrace it, because it’s sweet and beautiful. “Don’t look down,” I say and I lift his face to look at me. His eyes explode with light, the way fireworks do on New Year’s when the sky is like ink and then it’s suddenly on fire. I lean in and kiss him, feeling his hands tighten on my arms and his lips opening against mine. He’s scared. I can feel it in the way he kisses me today; he feels himself falling and he’s trying to hold on and I need to figure out how to be steady enough to hold him. “Trust me,” I plead. “Let me take some of what you’re feeling. I can handle it, Jack.” He nods. “Another day. Today, I just want to stay here, to be here with you, where it’s safe and comfortable and my entire world is this. Where strawberries and popcorn and Skee-ball and shitty plastic toys are the entirety of what exists.” He pauses. “I promise, Lily. I will. Soon. But let me hide from it. Just for a little longer?” “Okay, but don’t hide from me, okay?” I ask. “I’ll try,” he offers and it’s okay that he can’t promise. He’s honest and I would rather he is than say something he knows is a lie. I’m not fragile. I won’t break if he hurts me. I just don’t want him to worry about doing it. I never signed up for it to be easy. I knew from the start that it wouldn’t be. “Now, stop distracting me. Unless you want to concede defeat?” “Never gonna happen,” I say and I settle in to play more Skee-ball. I don’t really care about winning since whatever the prize ends up being is going to be more of him, regardless. But I try my best and actually win two games in a row. Of course, that’s as long as it lasts. When he beats me, by eight games, he gloats in his victory, but he ends up using his tickets to get me a green plastic piggy bank. The options are pretty bad, but I love that he picked the bank, because it’s hideous and cheap and we spent far more than we could even fit in the bank. I love it because I’ll never use it, but it will always be like this day – something that doesn’t really belong but needs to exist because the world is simply better for it being there. 

Series Reading Order: 
Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, and Blue Rose can be read in any order. There is some crossover in scenes between the titles, but each stands alone as one character's story. 
Star of Bethlehem is a direct continuation from Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley. Orange Blossom and Ambrosia (releasing June 6, 2014) follow.


FMN
Title: Forget Me Not (Lily’s Story)
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover: Shoutlines Design
18+ New Adult contemporary romance


This is a coming of age story, but it isn't always sweet and innocent. If dirty talk, bedroom toys, and threesomes offend you... this is not your book. 

"No one tells you when you start school just how homesick you will be, or how hard it will be to start life over with no direction and no friends or family. No one says that becoming your own person is terrifying." 

I never wanted anything but Derek, my brother's best friend. When I chose a college, it didn't seem to matter that he would be an hour away. We could survive it. After all, we were in love. But almost immediately, things change between us. I blame myself. Maybe I'm just not sure how to be a girlfriend and independent. Life seems to be getting away from me - and then there's Jack, the guy down the hall. He's rude and vulgar and my parents would be shocked by him, yet every single time I see him, I feel like I'm being pulled toward him. It's physical, sure, but there's something in Jack's eyes - and I want to know him. I know I don't always make the right choices, and I'm the only person at fault when everything falls apart. How do I tell Derek, the guy who was supposed to be everything, that I don't feel like fighting for him anymore? And do I run to Jack, when I know his past is way too much for me to handle when I've just turned 19? Finally, where do I end up in all of this? Can I be more than just someone else's idea of what I should be?

LotVTitle: Lily of the Valley (Jack’s story)
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover: Shoutlines Design
18+ New Adult contemporary romance


Jack's story isn't pretty. He's suicidal, depressed, and he uses meaningless sex and alcohol to survive. However, the story is about finding light in the darkness, but sometimes the road there isn't always easy to walk. 

"No one tells you about pain. They tell you that it hurts, that sometimes it's consuming. What they don't tell you is that it's not the pain that can kill you. It's the uncomfortable numbness that follows, the weakness in your body when you realize your lungs may stop taking in air and you just can't exert enough energy to care. It's the way taste and color and smell fade from the world and all you're left with is a sepia print of misery. That's when the shift starts - the movement from passive to active. I fall asleep, hoping that the morning will bring back the pain. At least the pain is a thing." 

I'm a plague, a cancer. My mom is dead - and my father is in prison for it. I survived high school because college was my way out. I needed to escape, to get away from my family and the people who tortured me, but it hasn't grown any easier. I don't pretend that I'm a good person. I drink far more than I should, and I use my best friend, Alana, because together, we thrive on destroying each other - as well as the parts of us we hate. I don't believe in love, but sex is fun and it also makes me feel something. The morning I see Lily, the beautiful princess who smells inexplicably like strawberries every time I see her, I realize I'm in trouble. I should hate her. I want to hate her, because the alternative terrifies me. 

However, as she continues to crash into my life (often literally), I can't avoid feeling something that is the one thing I swore I would never feel. I can't fall in love, because people like me don't live in a world where love saves anyone. She just won't go away, though, and I don't know if I can keep running. The voices and the darkness hover over me and they threaten to bring me back to the safety of my hate, but the stupid scent of strawberries lingers on the horizon, as something like hope.

BR_frontTitle: Blue Rose (Alana’s story)
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover Design: Shoutlines Design


Warning: This book deals with topics of abuse and may trigger reactions in people who have experienced those things in their own lives. It remains a story about healing, but it's not always an easy journey. 

"Four. My life has been shaped by four people. Four men, to be more specific. My father, my stepfather, my best friend, and my boyfriend. The first two shaped it in horrible ways, but what I am, who I am, is all because of four men." 

Over the last twenty years, I've learned how to keep secrets. It doesn't really matter, since everyone already seems to think they know everything about me. So I hide. I avoid confrontation, I treat Xanax like a magic pill that will make it all go away, and I become everything they think I am. A slut. A whore. Nothing but trash. I can only name two guys who have ever made me feel like I was more than that. Jack is my best friend and I've loved him since I met him. Now, though, he's in love... with someone else, and I guess I need to get over him. Somehow. 

And then there's Dave. The guy I never gave a chance. The guy I used almost as much as people used me, because I wanted to pretend I was someone worth loving. Two years have passed since we last spoke, but I don't know how to stop thinking about him. My new therapist is making me face my past, and she tells me that life inevitably changes without our permission. I believe it, but I know what I am. I hear what she's saying to me, and I want to try again with Dave, to help Jack find joy, to love myself, and to move on. I just wonder if anyone can do that, really.

SoBTitle: Star of Bethlehem
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover: Shoutlines Design
18+ NA contemporary romance


This is a holiday novella-length story that follows Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley. 

"With you, Jack, it was the first time I ever felt real. It was the first time anyone looked at me and saw substance. It was the first time I wanted to make someone see me." 

Jack: New Year's Eve. I've somehow managed to get here, and now I'm wearing a hideous and unreasonably itchy sweater, because I want to impress Lily's family. I want to do anything for this girl who has made me believe in second chances. 

Lily: The house is beautiful and shining with light, but it feels empty. At least until Jack gets here. I know how desperately he wants this - a family, love, a home. If I can be the person who can give it to him, it's all I need, but I hope I can keep him from seeing how hollow it all really is. 

About the Author: 
Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She's written works in various genres - romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn't as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she's been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships - romantic, familial, friendly - because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn't matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future - human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah's stories. 

Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun. When Sarah isn't writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window. Sarah has also written Bitter Fruits, an urban fantasy romance, and Backward Compatible, a gamer geek romantic comedy. 

Author Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter   

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