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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pushing the Limits Blog Tour Stop 8

Stop #8

Today I am beyond honored to be hosting my good friend and critique partner, Katie McGarry on her blog tour. Pushing the Limits is getting great buzz, great reviews, and the book and Katie deserve all of this and more. I'll step back and let you read this amazing excerpt from Pushing the Limits. 

Echo and Noah both attend the same high school, but that’s where their similarities seem to end.  Their paths cross however, when, on the first day of school after winter break they both meet their newly appointed school social worker.  Katie McGarry wrote Pushing the Limits in alternating points of view, one chapter by Echo, the next by Noah.  Check out the excerpts below, taken from the first chapters of Katie’s debut novel.  Want to read from the beginning? Every stop on the blog tour features new excerpts – the complete tour schedule can be found here:

“Are you happy with your ACT and SAT scores? Do you want to retake the tests?” She folded her hands and placed them on top of my file. “Do you want to apply to more schools?”

I met my father’s tired gray eyes. Let’s see. Retaking the tests would mean my father hounding me every second to study, which in turn would mean me getting up early on a Saturday, blowing the whole morning frying my brain and then worrying for weeks over the results. As for applying to more schools? I’d rather retake the tests. “Not really.”

The worry lines forever etched around his eyes and mouth deepened with disapproval. I changed my tune. “My dad is right. I should retake the tests.”

Mrs. Collins scratched away in my file with a pen. My last therapist had been highly aware of my authority issues. No need to rewrite what was already there.

Ashley waddled back into the room and dropped into the seat next to me. “What did I miss?” I’d honestly forgotten she existed. Oh, if only Dad would, too.

“Nothing,” my father replied.

“I’m not a social worker,” she said. “I’m a clinical social worker.”

“Same thing.”

“Actually, it’s not. I went to school for a lot longer.”

“Good for you.”

“And it means I can provide a different level of help for you.”

“Do you get paid by the state?” I asked.


“Then I don’t want your help.” Her lips flinched into an almost smile and I almost had an
ounce of respect for her.

“How about we shoot this straight?” she said. “According to your file you have a history of violence.” I stared at her. She stared at me. That file was full of shit, but I learned years ago the word of a teenager meant nothing against the word of an adult.

“This file, Noah.” She tapped it three times with her finger. “I don’t think it tells the whole story. I talked to your teachers at Highland High. The picture they painted doesn’t represent the young man I see in front of me.”

I clutched the spiral metal binding of my calculus notebook until it stabbed the palm of my hand. Who the hell did this lady think she was digging into my past?

******Please visit I Am A Reader Not A Writer
for the next excerpt from Echo and Noah.******

She had white blond hair, an infectious laugh, and she liked Tim McGraw. Blue jeans were her clothing of choice and she killed me in a game of Crazy Eights. A boy had kissed her first and when I finally caught up, she was the first person I called.

In fact, she was the first person I called for everything.

I grew up knowing she was sick, but I never believed the disease would take her life. It’s a surreal experience, to attend the funeral of the person you loved most in life. It’s also a little maddening.

We were supposed to be invincible, she and I. We had dreams, we had plans. Death was never to separate us. But it did separate us and it left me very alone.

I think I started in the wrong place. I’d like you to meet Tiffany: my best friend. We met before we were Kindergarteners, shared practically every class together through college, and even shared a basement apartment.

She was beautiful, smart, sarcastic, funny and stubborn. Like any good friends, we fought. Like any great friends, we made up. Like any amazing relationship, we found ways to severely disagree with each other and still love each other regardless.

And several months before our twenty-first birthdays, she died. I would be lying if I didn’t say a part of me died with her.

She’s been dead for over fifteen years and there are days the grief hits me just as hard as the day we buried her. But I can say one thing for certain—writing has healed me.

When I sat down to write my young adult novel, Pushing the Limits, I knew immediately that Echo and Noah, my main characters, would have lost someone close to them. For Echo, I chose her brother, who was also her best friend. For Noah, I took away his parents—I took away his home and security. I took away his family.

When Tiffany died, I lost my best friend and I lost my security. I lost my emotional home. Tiffany was not blood-related to me but she was my family.

By giving this grief to Echo and Noah, I was able to examine my own. And while I gradually pushed my two characters forward and showed them how to slowly heal, I felt a part of my soul being pushed forward and I felt part of myself healing.

The most important aspect of my loss that I gave Echo and Noah is the realization that life does go on, but it doesn’t mean forgetting.

I often fear, because my best friend died so young, that people will forget her—and if that happens, then it means she is truly dead. Here’s the amazing part: I’m writing this blog post about how my loss, my grief, helped me write a book. She hasn’t been forgotten by me and now, she won’t be forgotten by those who read this post. Our friendship continues to live.


Harlequin Teen is giving away a finished copy of the book and a blue ribbon. They are also giving away a kindle, see

Rafflecopter does not seem to be working right now, so please leave a comment with a reason you can't wait to read Pushing the Limits OR a reason you can't wait to win this copy to give to a friend!

Good luck!


Blogger Krista Ashe said...

Ooh, sounds like a great book! Would love to have a copy on my classroom bookshelf!!

Congrats Katie!!

August 8, 2012 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Sarah E. Cruz said...

I would love to win this book for my sister, she is dying to read it!
Thanks for the giveaway:)


August 8, 2012 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Walkup said...

oooh, i'd love a copy of this. it sounds amazing!


August 8, 2012 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Sara R Stegosaurus said...

I'm not going to lie, this made me tear up. I dont know what I would do if I ever lost my best friend. I feel closer to her than I do to most of my family. Truly no one in this world understands me like she does and she never judges me or looks down on anything I say or do, but she does call me out when I need an awakening. I dont know what I would do without her =/

I would love to read this book because I have heard SO much about it. Not only that but the excerpt have been catchy, makes me want to keep reading. And I know that after I'm done, I'll be recommending it to everyone I come across that reads (I work at a library)

August 8, 2012 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Tiffany Drew said...

What a wonderful post, beautiful. It isn't often that someone comes into our lives that we have such a deep connection with and even though you lost her way before you should have, I'm sure the time you had together was amazing. I've had the same best friend for over 20 years, we share a birthday, and I know that if I ever lost her I'd be losing half of myself.

I've been anxious to get my hands on this book because I have seen it everywhere and have only seen positive things about it. It sounds fun yet deep at the same time and I can't wait to read it for myself.

August 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger Andrea @The Bookish Babes said...

What an amazing post! I can't wait to read Pushing the Limits. I can only imagine what a loss like that does. Thank you for sharing!

August 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An amazing post. My reason: to learn about the relationship Echo and Noah have! Aounds vsry good!

August 8, 2012 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Bookie Bee said...

Great post!! I have been following the blog tour and cant wait to read the next excerpt tomorrow. I have been hearing nothing but GREAT things about this book from absolutely everyone. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy! And oddly, my county library doesn't carry the title!
Thanks for the chance to win!


August 8, 2012 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Rachael Allen said...

What a beautiful and moving post. I can't wait to read this one!

August 8, 2012 at 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have heard so many great things about this book. So excited to read it! I'll be sure to pass along my copy to friends! Thanks for the giveaway!

August 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I would love to read this because there has not been one bad review and I want to get in on the action. I love to hear how people can change their lives. And my husband has a memory issue from an accident so I kinda read stories about others with a memory loss.
delivery.RN at gmail dot com

August 9, 2012 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Jude said...

It really sounds like my type of book, ad I've heard so many good things about it. I can't wait to finally read it!

Thanks for the giveaway!


August 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Lori T. said...

This post was very endearing and made me want to go give my best friend a great big hug. It also makes me want to read PUSHING THE LIMITS even more. Thanks, Katie!

August 9, 2012 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I have been enjoying the excerpts and interviews on this blog tour, and even though contemporary YA isn't a genre I normally read (more into dystopian and paranormal) there is just something about this book that is grabbing me. I cannot wait to read it!

the imagine tree at aol dot com

August 9, 2012 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger GoGreen said...

I can't wait to read Pushing the Limits because it has gotten great reviews and I enjoy star crossed romances.


August 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Bridget Howard said...

I love YA contemporary and I have heard such amazing things about this book and I can't wait to read it!!! I also have to say that I loved Masque of the Red Death I know that's not related to this post but I thought I would say it anyway :)!!!

August 12, 2012 at 8:01 AM  

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