Friday, October 10, 2014

Sideswiped Blog Tour

SIDESWIPED by Lia Riley (October 7, 2014; Forever E-Book; $3.99)
Sometimes in order to find yourself, you need to venture off the map.

Talia and Bran broke all the rules and navigated dark and stormy emotional waters to be together and now that they finally seem to have found their way back to each other, the winds of change threaten to blow their love off course yet again…

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It was only meant to last the summer . . .

Talia Stolfi has seen more than her share of loss in her twenty-one years. But then fate brought her Bran Lockhart, and her dark world was suddenly and spectacularly illuminated. So if being with Bran means leaving her colorless NorCal life for rugged and wild Australia, then that's what she'll do. But as much as Talia longs to give herself over completely to a new beginning, the fears of her past are still lurking in the shadows.

Bran Lockhart knows that living without the beautiful girl who stole his heart will be torment, so he'll take whatever time with her he can. But even though she has packed up her life in California and is back in his arms for the time being, she can't stay forever. And the remaining time they have together is ticking by way too fast. Though fate seems determined to tear them apart, they won't give up without a fight-because while time may have limits, their love is infinite . . .


Talia passes out hard from the travel and epic reunion sex. I’m too amped for

sleep, so I lie in the dark and trace her spine. Can you love someone too much? No point

being afraid, might as well jump in it with both feet. I press my mouth to her neck and

she undulates, responsive even from her dreams. If miracles were real, I’d swear we were

designed to fit together.

I loop my arm around her waist and hold fast, until our breathing syncs. I’m

drifting off when she jerks—hard—once, twice. Her body recoils as she unleashes a lung-
tearing scream.

“Talia, wake up. Come on, sweetheart, talk to me.” I clamber over her, hunching

protectively. “Open your eyes. It’s Bran. I’ve got you. I’m not letting go.” I keep talking

while she flays my chest like she’s drowning under ice, desperate to find a break in the


“Can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I...where am...oh God. Bran.”

“I’m right here.” I cradle her while she draws another unsteady gasp. Her hair

plasters her forehead in sweaty wisps.

“Give me a minute. I’ll be fine.” She pushes herself to a half-sit and sways

with disorientation. “This...this happens sometimes...panic attacks or night

terrors...whatever. They seem to come when I drop my guard. Or, I don’t know, maybe

it’s the meds. Those pills make me feel like a toxic waste dump.”

“Have you been bad this summer?” The muscles in my neck cord. It shreds my

guts to see her hurting. I’d do anything, any fucking thing, to carry her pain. I don’t fully

understand the inner workings of OCD but she’s explained that for her, the condition

comes in waves. Everything will be rolling along fine, more or less, and then bang—

a giant squid grips her brain. She fights hard for recovery, a warrior even when she

believes she’s nothing but a coward.

“No, not really.” She grinds her eyes with the backs of her hands. “I kinda danced

around the edge of the rabbit hole a few times but never fell inside.”

My muscles release some tension. “Try to go back to sleep. You need the rest.

Don’t worry, I’ll keep watch, okay?”

“I’m sorry to be such a psych job. It’s totally shaming.”


Her chin tips down. “Can you talk to me for a little while? Get me out of my

fuckball head?”

“Hey now, I got mad love for that head, Captain.” I kiss her brow, acting chill

even though I’m scared. How can I get her to settle? Then it hits me. “I want to take you

surfing again.”

“Mmmm, that’d be nice.”

“Picture yourself out there, in the water, on a board, under the shooting stars.”

“With sharks eyeballing me from the depths?”

“Nah, they’re all busy hunting sea lions or some bloody mischief. This is you,

the sea, and the sky. A set rolls in. You can’t make out the wave. The board lifts and you

feel the momentum building. There’s fear deep in your belly, sensible, because you can’t

see what’s coming or where you’re going. You fight the self-protective instincts, give

yourself over, and the next thing you know—you’re having the ride of your life.”

“Thank you.” She flips in my arms so we’re belly to belly. “I mean it. That was

beautiful, really, really beautiful. I’m so excited to be here, for right now—to live in the

moment. But it’s like I have this...this weird mental stutter. My thoughts keep skipping

over the same annoying question like a scratch on vinyl: What will we do?” Tears spill

from the corners of her eyes, course silently toward her chin. “My visa.”

Talia’s been granted a three-month student visa to complete her senior thesis in

history. In all its benevolent generosity, the Australian government expanded her time in

the country by an extra month.

Four months—the sum of our allotted time.

“They’ll make me leave.”

“Don’t believe everything you think.” I wipe her damp cheeks.

“Can you tattoo that on my forehead?”

Maybe it’s my imagination, but the brass alarm clock on the dresser clicks louder.

Another second gone.

Another second gone.

“I’m not losing you to some shithouse immigration policy, Captain. We will be all

right in the end.” I’ve no idea how the hell I’m going to solve this drama but I will figure

it out. “We have to hope, otherwise we’re sunk.”

She jerks with surprised laughter.


She hiccups and covers her mouth with her hand, shoulders shaking. It takes me a

second to realize she’s giggling.

“I’m funny to you right now?” This girl drives me every sort of crazy.

“I’m not laughing at you.” She works her lips together and unsuccessfully

smothers the smile. “It’s—”

“Forget it.” I instinctively stiffen.

“Bran the Optimist.” She grabs my wrists, lifts my palms to her face, and plants a

kiss in the center of each one. “I like this side of you.”

“Never mind. I was being dumb.”

“You were awesome.” She pecks the tip of my nose. “And for the record, I love

your stupid face.”

I give her a begrudging kiss back. “I love yours too.”

Love isn’t enough of a word.

I wasted almost an entire year of my life implementing a scorched earth policy,

not caring who I left burned and broken in my path.

Talia was my oasis. My salvation.

“Don’t give the visa a second thought.” I nestle her against me, rubbing her lower

back in easy circles. “I’ll sort this out, I swear to you.”

Even if I don’t have the first fucking clue.


About the author:

Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments. A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn't mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

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