Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway! "On Solid Ground" by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

On Solid Ground
(In Too Deep #2)
by: Michelle Kemper Brownlow

Gracie survived an emotionally abusive relationship that wrecked her. Her ex, Noah, systematically chipped away at her self-esteem through intimidation, humiliation and infidelity which left Gracie unable to trust her own perception of his intentions. But after falling head over heels for Jake, her best friend and the man who stood by her through it all, she is ready to experience life in the way it was meant to be lived. However, Gracie may find it impossible to simultaneously heal from the trauma of abuse while navigating a relationship with Jake. Can she put her heart on hold in order to heal her soul?

The sequel to the five-star debut novel, In Too Deep, chronicles Gracie’s steps toward healing as she falls deeper in love, reaches out for help, stands on her own, steps out of her comfort zone, faces her biggest fears, and reconnects with a sensual, talented soul from her past all in hopes of finding herself on solid ground.

4.5 Stars

I want to start right off by saying that I had been looking forward to this book ever since I finished book one, In Too Deep. Michelle Kemper Brownlow is an author that managed to evoke a lot of emotions from me while reading. This, along with her writing style, are just some of the reasons I’ve been a fan of hers.  If you haven’t read that intense and emotional first book, you need to do so before picking up this sequel.

“It was as if Noah haunted me and still had the power to make me feel small and weak.”

On Solid Ground picks up pretty much where the first book ended. We have Gracie and Jake coming into terms with the emotional abuse Noah put Gracie through the last couple of years. We’re are basically taken through Gracie’s journey to self-healing and re-discovering who she really is. We see her make some difficult decisions in order to become the strong and independent girl she once was…the girl she wants to be again.

“I want all of you, Gracie. You’ve got my entire heart. You take up the whole thing. I want to have your whole heart, not just part of the piece Noah isn’t still holding.”

Jake. *sigh* Jake is truly wonderful. So, so patient and understanding. He truly loves Gracie enough to stand back and just be her best friend again… be what she needs him to be, even if it kills him. Giving her the space and independence she needs isn’t always easy for Jake, but loving Gracie makes it all worth it for him.

“I live to love you, Gracie. This is it for me. You are it. I’m not going anywhere.”

I absolutely, 100% LOVE Jake. He is just the guy Gracie needs in her life… in every single way. They have a few ups and down throughout the book, but you can tell their love is one that lasts a lifetime. They are truly and genuinely in love and want what is best for each other.

“The most beautiful girl on the planet, who held my heart, was throwing all caution to the wind and climbing inside my soul, where her home was.”

In this book, Michelle introduces us to Calon. Panties, meet floor. Ohmygosh. This guy. Calon is SO intense, HOT, caring, sweet, gentle, aaaaaand… did I mention he is the lead singer of a band? Oh, yeah. THAT too. *sigh* His story is one that shattered my heart into a million pieces. I desperately NEED him to get his happy ending. He surely deserves one just as much as Gracie.

Calon is responsible for a lot of Gracie’s healing just as Jake is. His friendship and connection with Gracie is what brings out her inner artist. You see, as a healing method…a therapy of sorts, Gracie starts to play guitar and eventually, sing. Calon helps her become more confident, he inspires her to actually ‘go for it’. Simply put, Calon becomes an important person in Gracie’s life.

At around 80% into the book, the plot picks up BIG TIME. I literally gasped and found myself reading with my mouth open a few times. *Total shock face* Yep. Even my husband asked what the heck I was reading that I kept whispering “oh, crap” so many times. Hahaha!! There were a few twists that I did not see coming…at all.  

This book is mainly told from Gracie and Jake’s point of view with the exception of a few chapters that surprisingly enough, are told from Calon’s POV and one from Becki’s. Becki. Talk about a fun and crazy best friend. I mean, the things that come out of her mouth!! *giggles* That girl has no filter and I love that. She is real, sincere, genuine, and down to earth.

“…don’t look down ‘til you find your heart on solid ground.”

The ending of this book made me smile. I was extremely happy seeing a more confident and happy Gracie set and accomplish goals, one step at a time. On Solid Ground is a beautifully written and inspiring book that I recommend you pick up!

“You are it, Gracie, you are my forever.”

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In Too Deep Series

In Too Deep
(In Too Deep #1)

Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?

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Read my 5 Stars Review: here

About the Author:
Michelle Kemper Brownlow

Michelle Kemper Brownlow has been a storyteller her entire life. Her debut was on the high school cheerleading bus granting requests to re-tell her most embarrassing moments for a gaggle of hysterical squadmates.

Earning her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Art Education and then marrying her very own “Jake,” she moved to Binghamton, NY where she taught high school. After having two children she quit work and finished her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Binghamton University.

The Brownlow family of four moved to Michelle’s hometown of Morgantown, PA while the children were still quite young. A few years after moving, her family grew by one when they welcomed a baby into their home through the gift of adoption. The family still resides in PA, just miles from where that high school cheer bus was parked.

Michelle has been an artist for as long as she can remember, always choosing pencils and crayons over toys and puzzles. As a freelance illustrator, her simple characters play the starring roles in numerous emergent reader books published by Reading Reading Books.

“Writing is my way of making sense of the world. When I give my characters life on the pages I write, it frees up space in my mind to welcome in new stories that are begging to be told,” says Brownlow.

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