Excerpt Book Blitz: Pucked by Rachel Walter

Pucked
By: Rachel Walter
 
 

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Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, captain of the Warriors Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present. If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life. He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warriors’ number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations. Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held. With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path.

Can she find her true self before her world burns around her? When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul? Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the puck?

**Warning- Several abuse topics are discussed in this story, which includes parental alienation, physical abuse, alcohol abuse, and mild drug abuse.**

 



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Riley

“This or that?” Audrey asks.
I drum my fingers on the armrest as I think. “Music or movies?”
She glances at me sideways. “Music. Fiction or non-fiction.”
“Fiction. Dancing or singing?”
She laughs. “Dancing in the rain. Dancing on ice or falling on ice?”
“I practically danced on the ice tonight!” I snort. “I don’t fall…often.”
“I don’t mean that kind of dancing.”
“Like? A slow dance or something?” She nods. “And shall I ask Rob to be my partner?”
“Well, you could do a crazy one armed, one legged, booty shakin’ dance after a win,” she offers.
I laugh, loudly. “Where do you come up with this?” She shrugs a shoulder as she merges with interstate traffic. “In that case, fall. High heels or bikini wax?”
“You say fall because you’re a chicken. Do you even know what a bikini wax is?”
“If it’s like the name…then yes, and I’m not a chicken.”
“You are too, and I’d choose high heels. Feathers or snow?”
“You’d break your ankle! Snow. I’m still not a chicken,” I argue.
“I’d likely break both, but you are a chicken.”
“Will you stop calling me a chicken?”
The sound of her laughter centers me, I was meant to be right here with her. Just to hear her voice, her laugh…
“I will stop when you do a one armed, one legged, booty shakin’ dance on ice for me.” I hang my head. “Oh, and it has to be after a win, on home ice, and everyone has to see it.”
“Not gonna happen, Aud.”
“Same as usual, Chicken?” she asks as we pull into McDonalds drive-thru.
“Not a chicken, yes.”
“Okay.” She waits with the window cracked for an employee to take our order. A feminine voice comes through, asking what we’ll have. “One chocolate shake for the chicken and one vanilla shake for the tomboy,” she replies with a laugh.
“How many piece chicken nugget?”
Audrey laughs harder. “No chicken please, just the two shakes.”
“See, a sign you should knock the chicken shit off.”
“Not a chance, Chicken.” She clucks for good measure.
“No electricity or no plumbing,” I ask, hoping to pull her away from the teasing.
“No electricity, Chicken. One girl or all the girls?”
“One,” I say, burning a hole in the side of her head.
“Aw, a romantic chicken. I don’t think I’ve ever heard about one of those.” She tilts her face toward mine. Both of us just staring at the other, with very little space between us. My eyes fall shut and I lean back further into my seat. Way to make things awkward again, idiot. Chicken.
“Pink or purple?” I ask.
She groans, passing me the milkshakes the guy in at the window handed her. “Purple. Doer or dreamer?”
I chew on the inside of my cheek as I work the straws out of their wrappers. “Doer.” I’m too much of a dreamer. Or planner, but I don’t follow through.

 

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Rachel Walter is a wife and mother first and a coffee-addicted,chuck-wearing, hockey-watching, snark-spewing author second. She primarily writes Young Adult, but enjoys challenging herself in other genres, like Adult Contemporary. In 2012, Rachel began writing her first novel, True Connection, which she published in 2013. True Connection was re-released in 2014 as part of a boxed set, Pandora, which landed on USA Today’s Best Seller list. When she’s not writing or making images for her Instagram feature, #authorslog, she can be found doing almost anything in south central Pennsylvania, where she lives, to avoid washing dishes.
Social Media links
snapchat: rachelw_auth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Rachel_Walter

Review: Unrequited Alice by Sarah Louise Smith

Unrequited Alice
by Sarah Louise Smith

“I stared at my suitcase, contemplating the following three facts:
1.After months of planning, it was finally time for Hannah’s hen weekend.
2.In just one more month, she’d be getting married to Ed.
3.I really had to fall out of love with Ed before the wedding.”

A bridesmaid really shouldn’t be in love with the groom…but Alice just can’t help herself. Ed is her perfect man, and she can’t get him out of her head.

Until she meets Toby – who offers to help her move on. But what if he’s just setting her up for an even bigger fall?

Alice had always been in love with her oldest friend’s boyfriend, Ed. She knew she wouldn’t have any space inside his heart especially now that he was gonna marry Hannah. Tough as it was, she still organized her friend’s hen weekend in Niagara Falls, hoping to extinguish any more feelings she had for Ed.

And then she met Toby over the weekend. Toby, who was hot and cold. Toby who, like Alice, held a torch for someone else, someone like her brother’s fiance. Toby, who unconsciously crawled to Alice’s heart, making her forget about Ed, but still failing with this unrequited love.

Alice is a character I’d love to comfort and confront at the same time. This girl has got a lot of love to give, and it pains me to see her conflicted and distressed over the men who didn’t love her back. Between Ed and Toby though, I’d place my bets for Toby right from the start because he’s such a kindred soul. Hannah, her oldest friend, was unfortunately lame and selfish, I disliked her instantly, and I don’t know why.

The thing about unrequited love is, it suffocates your heart, taking it all in, somehow wishing for something that doesn’t really belong to you. Yes, such is the tragedy of unreciprocated feelings. I know, I’ve been there, I’ve wallowed in it, I’ve lucked out, and in the end, I moved on. But that’s another story.

Unrequited Alice is a light romantic story that is heavy on the feelings. The story about two people not sharing the love isn’t really new to me. Surprisingly though, in this book, I was able to relate with the main characters and felt the instant connection I don’t usually get from other books. Sarah Louise Smith got me reading this in the break of dawn and reluctantly finishing it the next day. I didn’t want to part with Alice, I didn’t want to forget about the Niagara Falls, I didn’t want to forget about the wedding dances and the flights from London to New York and vice versa.

In the end, love prevailed. How it happened, it’s up to you to work on it. Read this and you’ll know.