Excerpt Tour ~ Figure Eight by Calia Read

figure-eightDear Selah,

Do you remember me?

Of course you don’t. So I’m going to give you a refresher course.

I’ve known you for years and years. We used to have beautiful conversations. There was no one that knew you better than me. We were handmade for each other.

Lately, it’s become achingly obvious you’re miserable. You’ve moved back home to take care of your ailing mother. You’ve been looking for a new job, but that’s not going well. Admit it: it’s all too much.

Everyone around you sees your suffering, but they’re not willing to help you.

Everyone but Jackson.

He comes into your life at the perfect moment and offers you everything you could want: a shoulder to lean on, love, and most importantly, hope.

But there’s no one that can compare to me. You seem to forget that I’m your figure 8. Your infinity. You try to run, but I will always find you.

Yours Truly,
Figure 8

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      From that first e-mail Jackson sent you, love attacked. And now you were given two choices: continue the conversation or ignore him and go about your life.

We both know what your decision was on that.

You take your phone with you everywhere. Even when it doesn’t ring you glance at the screen on the off chance that you somehow missed a text or call. Sometimes, and you’d be mortified if anybody found this out, you fall asleep clutching your phone. You’ve even had a few late night talks that ended up with you falling asleep with your phone to your ear like some love-struck high schooler.

Right now you’re a walking cliché. And you know it too. I can tell when you think about Jackson because your cheeks turn pink. You feel ridiculous yet you can’t help yourself.

What did I tell you, hmm? I knew you’d like my gift. I’d like to say that you can’t remember the last time you felt this way but I’d be lying. If you dug deep enough, you’d remember.

But I’m wasting time. Back to you. It’s been just mere days since you first started talking to Jackson. The spectacle between the two of you is so sweet, anyone within a mile radius of you and Jackson are liable to get a fucking cavity. No one would ever guess the two of you have just started talking. That’s how intense it was between the two of you.

I don’t mind it. I find it quite fascinating; gone are the days of you being a Negative Nelly. Jackson is your passport to a whole other world, one where you’re allowed to look at your problems in a whole other light. You’re a glass half-full kind of person. You haven’t found a job, yet you’re handling it well. Your savings account is slowly drying up. Yesterday, when you weren’t looking, I glanced at your bank account. I give it one month. Tops. Before you admit defeat and cancel Internet. After that it’s just a matter of time before creditors start knocking on you door.

Yet you moved some money around and wrote down a reminder to cancel the cable. And I could see you thinking to yourself. Shit. Will the Internet be next? 

But let’s be honest, you’re in bad times. But not that bad.

It sounds strange but I feel a bit conceited because this is going exactly how I planned. Nothing really fazes you.  Look at each new day as a fresh start. Last week I saw you write a few times this past week. It was nothing major but for a while it was getting to a point where a few words within a week felt like progress. You even sent Jackson a few chapters to read.

Simply put, you were starting to have a spark back in your eyes.

Yet you’re being greedy with my gift. A little too zealous if I’m being honest. You enjoy my gifts left, right, front and center and you take every single on. Yet you continue not to see me. But don’t worry, whether you like it or now, we’re going to meet.

Because I love you so much I feel the need to warn you to slow down because you’ve never seen the dark side of love. You’ve never seen how twisted and malignant it can become. How it can eat you alive from the inside out. How it can drive you completely and utterly insane.

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13319891_838523882920080_9005192063279712585_nCalia Read is the author of Unhinge, Unravel, Breaking the Wrong, Ruin You Completely, and Every Which Way. She lives in Texas with her husband and their five children.

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Review Tour ~ Figure Eight by Calia Read ~ Sarah A’s Review

figure-eightDear Selah,

Do you remember me?

Of course you don’t. So I’m going to give you a refresher course.

I’ve known you for years and years. We used to have beautiful conversations. There was no one that knew you better than me. We were handmade for each other.

Lately, it’s become achingly obvious you’re miserable. You’ve moved back home to take care of your ailing mother. You’ve been looking for a new job, but that’s not going well. Admit it: it’s all too much.

Everyone around you sees your suffering, but they’re not willing to help you.

Everyone but Jackson.

He comes into your life at the perfect moment and offers you everything you could want: a shoulder to lean on, love, and most importantly, hope.

But there’s no one that can compare to me. You seem to forget that I’m your figure 8. Your infinity. You try to run, but I will always find you.

Yours Truly,
Figure 8

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I’m reeling from this book.  Just circling back and back and back trying to figure out when was the first time I had an inkling of what was going on and I find myself feeling a lot like Selah; I think I knew the whole time but I didn’t want to acknowledge it.  There were times I wasn’t sure if the book was full of tiny, almost imperceptible, errors or if I was crazy or if it was intentional and made to make me feel crazy.  Honestly, I’m still not sure; though, I suspect the latter.

This is a book that has so many layers, so many facets and secrets, telling any one of them would destroy the experience that is Figure Eight.  There are so many beautiful things that happen in this book, so many things I desire to dissect and tell you about in great detail, but to do so would ruin the sublime magic that Calia Read wove with this story.  More so than almost any other book I’ve read, Figure Eight must be read with no foresight as to what is going to happen; the experience of being Selah, of living what she lived in these pages is important and intense.

Calia Read constantly amazes me with her words, the way she constructs each sentence to draw you in and then makes you question every second of the words you’ve read is unique and wildly impressive.  I am in love with her writing and the important stories she tells.  Her stories are consistently among the most wonderfully written and compelling books I’ve read.  I always find myself wanting more story, while simultaneously being totally satisfied that the story is complete and left exactly where it should be.  It’s not an easy balance to strike, but Ms. Read is near perfection in finding that balance in all of her books.

I have discovered that from a distance it is incredibly easy to read people. In the shadows, people don’t notice you. They let their guard down. Let you into their life without even knowing it. After a while their movements become predictable and you start to feel more intimate with them. You know when they’re irritable or sad. Happy or anxious. And while they keep desperately seeking a cure- all for their afflictions, you stand there in shadows, knowing what they need. My last gift was what you needed. But you barely noticed. You were too busy with your despair.

Ah, despair, despair, despair. Too many people get caught in that bitch’s web. And the sad truth is that they never find their way out. They never find their figure eight.

They never find me.

Yet the truth of the matter is that you didn’t find me. You got lucky and had the tables turned.

You may not see me yet. But you will.

Something as big as me takes time to acclimate to. Until then I’m going to give you another present. This one you’re going to take notice of. It is truly something.

I’m actually quite proud of myself with this one. It’s so good that I’m going to let you think that fate, kismet or whatever bull shit you call it, was responsible for it. Besides, I have a million more gifts just waiting for you, that I can take credit for.

Each one is bigger and better than the last.

You’ll see.

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13319891_838523882920080_9005192063279712585_nCalia Read is the author of Unhinge, Unravel, Breaking the Wrong, Ruin You Completely, and Every Which Way. She lives in Texas with her husband and their five children.

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Cover Reveal ~ Figure 8 by Calia Read

 

figure-eightDear Selah,

Do you remember me?

Of course you don’t. So I’m going to give you a refresher course.

I’ve known you for years and years. We used to have beautiful conversations. There was no one that knew you better than me. We were handmade for each other.

Lately, it’s become achingly obvious you’re miserable. You’ve moved back home to take care of your ailing mother. You’ve been looking for a new job, but that’s not going well. Admit it: it’s all too much.

Everyone around you sees your suffering, but they’re not willing to help you.

Everyone but Jackson.

He comes into your life at the perfect moment and offers you everything you could want: a shoulder to lean on, love, and most importantly, hope.

But there’s no one that can compare to me. You seem to forget that I’m your figure 8. Your infinity. You try to run, but I will always find you.

Yours Truly,
Figure 8

Title: Figure Eight
Author: Calia Read
Age: Adult
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Cover Designer: Cover Couture
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13319891_838523882920080_9005192063279712585_nCalia Read is the author of Unhinge, Unravel, Breaking the Wrong, Ruin You Completely, and Every Which Way. She lives in Texas with her husband and their five children.

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Series Review ~ The Sloan Brothers by Calia Read

EWW AMAZONSeverine

I made a pact with my best friend that when we went to college neither one of us would fall in love. We were going to enjoy ourselves and this new adventure. She didn’t keep her side of the pact, but I was determined to.

Then I met Macsen Sloan.

 He was quiet and kept to himself. He was nothing like his cocky, basketball star brother, Thayer.
Macsen
Severine Blake was like every beautiful girl — she crooked her finger, expecting every guy within a mile to come crawling. Not only that, but she was sarcastic, opinionated and sometimes a complete bitch.
We were polar opposites. I knew that, she knew that. But what gave me a second glance at her was that my brother was watching from afar.
He wanted this girl.
Yet she wanted me first.
Thayer
I saw her first.
She was at a party, dancing with some guy, completely oblivious that I was staring.
I knew nothing about her, yet I wanted to because I could see that her snark was just a front. She was hiding her true self.
I just never anticipated her falling for my brother.
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BTW AMAZONEmilia Wentworth would do anything for her sister.

For three years, Emilia has lived in the past, feeling her sister’s pain and hating those who are to blame, including one of the Sloan brothers.

Finally, she has had enough. The only way to be free is to create a Burn List with all the people who have ever hurt her sister.

As she crosses each name off, she gets closer and closer to her final target. But, things aren’t always as they seem.

Loyalties are tested.

Boundaries are crossed.

And the truth is revealed.

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RYC AMAZONI met Mathias Sloan in a club.
Truth.
I told him I was twenty-four.
Lie.
I told him my name was Olivia.
Lie.
I thought that I would have a one-night stand and be done with him.
Truth.
I didn’t know that he was my new piano instructor for the next six months…
Truth.
We would come together and fall apart. After him, every man was ruined.
Truth.
If I knew what I know now, I wouldn’t have walked to him. I would’ve turned and run…
LIE.

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The Sloan brothers.  Tortured, beautiful men.  Broken, yet stronger than anyone has a right to be.  If I took anything away from these books, it was that.  There are rare few authors who are able to make series focusing on several characters and can make each one dynamic and completely individual from the others.  Calia Read did just that in this series.  Even the secondary characters had a strong independent presence.  Every time that I read something by her I am once again blown away by how complex and sublime each person she allows on her page is.

Every Which Way

Every Which Way was the first glimpse we had into the complicated dynamics of the Sloan brothers.  It first comes when they are both vying for the attentions of Severine Blake.  It is quickly evident that not all competition is brotherly with them.  There is something more, something significant and painful, that is fueling their rivalry.

Severine was the very definition of a spitfire, in every aspect of her life; save her love life.  She was deeply guarded when it came to matters of her heart; often to her own detriment.  It was easy to see why each of the brothers was enamored with her.  I loved Severine; she was fierce, staggering, the exact opposite of what her name might suggest.  Her ability to hold her own with even the most aggressive of opponents instantly endeared her to me.  It was this that made me hurt for her when she made the safe, but obviously not right, choice when it came to the brothers.  Her fear was well-founded after watching the heartbreak her mother suffered time and again at her father’s hands.

Thayer and Macsen seemed to be complete opposites on the surface.  Thayer’s gregarious lightness opposed to Macsen’s introspective darkness.  Beneath those surface layers, it was easy to see how much of the same hurt and insecurity the brothers carried.  How much anger was brewing inside.  They were both broken, but in very different ways, by the same person.  Their differences in dealing with their pain were what truly set them apart.  Thayer found something that soothed his soul, gave him a place to literally leave it all on the court.  Macsen turned his pain on himself and did his best to destroy any good that he obtained.  Because of those differences, Thayer was more able to hold his own against such a huge personality as Severine was, Macsen lost the parts of himself he knew in her sweeping grandeur.

Every Which Way may have been Severine’s love story, but more than that it set up a family dynamic that left me clamouring for to find out more about the boys.  Their story was a perfect counterpoint to what was happening in Severine’s love life.  Just as one thing was working out, another was falling apart, abysmally.

Breaking the Wrong {Spoilers for Every Which Way}

Breaking the Wrong held more secrets within it pages than I could have imagined.  Calia Read managed to keep twisting me in circles, even after I was certain I had figured everything out.  For me, that’s everything.  I’m rarely surprised by plot twists, but there were a couple in this book that I didn’t quite see coming.

Emilia made a few brief appearances in Every Which Way, I was instantly drawn to her character and was euphoric to see that she would be playing a key role in this book.  She was so different than Severine had been I was unsure if she would win me over completely, but she did.  After getting to know her through the pages, I felt much more akin to her.  She kept herself well-hidden and had a wall a mile high built around herself, something I was quite able to relate to.  It was when she started to disassemble that wall that I truly found my love for her.  Her brokenness was so perfect for Macsen’s I was sure, no matter what, they would find a way to one another.

I was completely torn on Macsen after Every Which Way.  I knew he held so much hurt, that he seemed to find a perverted comfort in that pain, I wasn’t sure he would ever let it go enough to find happiness.  Throughout Breaking the Wrong he changes a lot.  He learns how to be himself.  How to love himself.  How to forgive himself.  Macsen becomes a person worth loving, and who is able to give real love in return.  His character arc was impressive, and I was ecstatic to take that journey with him.

Every single situation in Breaking the Wrong was predicated on the lies of another.  It was truly a lesson on the destructive nature of fallacies, no matter how small.  The ache that was caused my watching Macsen, Emilia, and their families deal with the fallout of actions and words of other people was palpable.  Knowing that, had everyone just been honest, their pain would have been lessened was heartbreaking.  This book broke my heart, it stomped on it, then patched it back together and made it mostly whole again.  I still ached for the brothers and the damage their past had inflicted on their tender souls.

Ruin You Completely

Mathias’ story.  I had been desperately waiting for this.  He completely entranced me from his first appearance in Every Which Way.  It was easy to see that the man we met in those few scenes was deeply tortured and in desperate need of salvation.

Mathias is my favorite of the brothers.  His desperate love of music and need for control in everything he did was easily relatable to me.  He further called to my soul with the deep and far-reaching pain he so beautifully carried with him.  It was evident from the beginning there was so much more to Mathias than just the gruff exterior he projected to the world.

Katja grew on me.  As much as we know about her, I still think there is a lot more that we didn’t get to see from her.  I deeply appreciated her passion for music and in knowing that aspect of her I knew she was a perfect match for Mathias’ desperation.  I felt like we were just scratching the surface with her, though.  Someone who pours so much of themselves into one thing has to have so many more layers, more than could possibly be fleshed out in one book.

The timeline for Ruin You Completely was much longer than those of Every Which Way and Breaking the Wrong; thankfully it was written in such a way that it didn’t feel that way.  There was so much tension and buildup, by the time that I got about halfway through the book I was so wound up in the Mathias/Katja drama I couldn’t dream of putting the book down.  I needed some relief.  Needed a moment of weakness.  They were few and far between, which made me all the more interested in seeing if they would both get the resolution they deserved.

****

With each installment in the Sloan Brothers series, the stories grew; they graduated from college romances to something more redemptive, something that gave hope to even the most broken of souls.  Every Which Way started pulling back the blinds on the darkness of the brothers’ relationships and their very damaging pasts.  Breaking the Wrong laid much of that past bare.  Ruin You Completely added another dimension to the past and left me needing to know more about the brothers, their pasts, and the glimpse of happiness they were starting to find.  Each boy may have found love, but they all still have a long road to find a way to be free from the darkness surrounding them.

4.5Feathers2

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EWW AMAZON

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BTW AMAZON

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RYC AMAZON

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SLOAN SERIES

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calia readCalia Read lives in Arizona with her husband and their five kids.

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