Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blog Tour - HARDER by Robin York + Playlist + Giveaway

Advance praise for HARDER:

“Bursting with chemistry, emotion, and heart, Caroline and West’s story will take your breath away!”—Katy Evans, New York Times bestselling author of the REAL series

“Robin York writes exceptionally real characters in achingly real situations. Harder had a hold on my heart and didn’t let go until the very end.”New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack


In Robin York’s provocative new novel, two young ex-lovers find themselves together again in the shadow of tragedy—and an intense, undeniable attraction. 

Caroline still dreams about West. His warm skin, his taut muscles, his hand sliding down her stomach. Then she wakes up and she’s back to reality: West is gone. And before he left, he broke her heart.

Then, out of the blue, West calls in crisis. A tragedy has hit his family—a family that’s already a fractured mess. Caroline knows what she has to do. Without discussion, without stopping to think, she’s on a plane, flying to his side to support him in any way he needs.

They’re together again, but things are totally different. West looks edgy, angry at the world. Caroline doesn’t fit in. She should be back in Iowa, finalizing her civil suit against the ex-boyfriend who posted their explicit pictures on a revenge porn website. But here she is. Deeply into West, wrapped up in him, in love with him. Still.

They fought the odds once. Losing each other was hard. But finding their way back to each other couldn’t be harder.

Advance praise for DEEPER:

“The perfect new adult story . . . West will make you swoon!”New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy

“Beautifully written and full of swoony tender moments, toe-curling chemistry, and delicious, twisty angst . . . Stop whatever you’re doing and read this book.”—Christina Lauren, author of the Beautiful Bastard series

Robin York Bio:

Robin York grew up at a college, went to college, signed on for some more college, and then married a university professor. She still isn’t sure why it didn’t occur to her to write New Adult sooner. Writing as Ruthie Knox, she is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary romance, including RITA-finalists About Last Night and Room at the Inn. She moonlights as a mother, makes killer salted caramels, and sorts out thorny plot problems while running, hiking, or riding her bike.

Buy Links:


A Harder Playlist by Robin York

Hi everybody! I’m excited to be sharing this playlist from Harder with you guys today.

I’ll confess, though, that I’m cheating a little -- because this is also a playlist for Deeper. My good friend and writing partner Mary Ann Rivers made it for me. She knows West and Caroline better than anyone else, having read the scenes as I wrote them, day by day, and offered me countless suggestions for making the book better. Which is why I feel totally comfortable stealing the playlist she made for the book and passing it off as my own. Plus, I can vouch for the awesomeness of this playlist, because I listened to it when I wasn’t trying to write.

Spotify playlist: HARDER

  1. “Prove It” by Television
  2. “I Don’t Mind” by The Buzzcocks
  3. “The Sinking Feeling” by The The
  4. “Just Like a Woman” by Charlotte Gainsbourg & Calexico
  5. “Jenny” by The Mountain Goats
  6. “These Days” by The Rentals
  7. “Come As You Are - Live Version” by Nirvana
  8. “Books Written for Girls” by Camera Obscura
  9. “The Size of Our Love” by Sleater-Kinney
  10. “Life in a Northern Town” by The Dream Academy
  11. “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes
  12. “Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear
  13. “Angel of the Morning” by Juice Newton
  14. “Call Me Margaret” by Agent Ribbons
  15. “Listen the Snow Is Falling” by Galaxie 500
  16. “Your Ghost” by Kristin Hersh

The songs that resonate most with Deeper for me are, first, the live version of “Come As You Are” by Nirvana, from MTV Unplugged. I love the raw quality of Cobain’s voice here. He sounds like he spent last night screaming, or possibly weeping uncontrollably, strung-out, shaking in a corner, and now he’s got to perform this song, which he does. He performs the hell out of it. This is a West-in-Silt song, broken, desperate, yearning.

The next standout song for me is “Books Written for Girls” by Camera Obscura, which, first, I just love the sound of this song. It’s like a five-year-old girl in an eyelet dress, rocking back and forth from toes to heels, singing a song about Satan. It sounds young and poignant, but if you listen closely it’s about things beneath the surface—people who aren’t as they seem. “People get shattered in many ways,” she sings. “They can disappoint you if you see through their perfect smiles.” This is a Caroline-and-Nate song: it’s about a relationship where the woman is judged and feels it. But it’s also a song about moving on, about change. “I think separation is okay,” she says. “You’re no star to guide me anyway.” Damn straight. Caroline finds her own stars in this book, her own guiding lights.

But my very favorite song here, my West-and-Caroline-happy-ending song, is “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes. Because of this:

Yours is the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
Now I don't know where I am
I don't know where I've been
But I know where I want to go

And so I thought I'd let you know
That these things take forever
I especially am slow
But I realize that I need you
And I wondered if I could come home

I would kind of like to put all the lyrics in here, but I know you probably wouldn’t read them, and anyway you should listen to the song, because it’s beautiful. It’s a song about rebirth. It’s about finding the right person, connecting, starting over, and even though you’re not sure quite where you’re headed, knowing you’re going to be okay together.

Which is West and Caroline, to an absolute T.

After months of seeing my friends talk about DEEPER by Robin York, I finally decided to jump on board and read it.  I figured it was a good time to do so, since at the time, HARDER was to be released in just a few weeks.  The problem with my timing was that after devouring DEEPER I was aching to read the sequel.  Lucky for me, the ARC became available only two days later.  It was an extremely painful two days.  LOL.

HARDER begins right where DEEPER ended.  Beyond that I'm afraid of saying anything because I do not wish to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't read DEEPER.

When Caroline and West meet, she is broken, emotionally devastated, and in no place to begin a relationship.  Their love grows from a slow building friendship.  Their love is real and flawed and beautiful.  

Caroline and West come from completely opposite backgrounds.  They each come with a ton of emotional baggage, but their acceptance of each other is just lovely.  Each character goes through a complete metamorphosis, both being beaten down by their circumstances but fighting their way back to being better than they were before.

Robin York writes with a fascinating amount of honesty and passion.  These stories are heartbreaking and then so beautiful at the same time.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves rooting for the underdog.

Overdose by Little Daylight
Deep in my heart there's a fire burning
I need you like a drug
Whoa-oh you keep me wanting
Whoa-oh I've come undone

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