Q&A and Giveaway! Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

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If I had to recommend a YA contemporary read with romance and a heartfelt storyline, Katie McGarry's Pushing The Limits would definitely be one of the first books to come to mind! The book was released in the middle of summer, but if you still haven't had a chance to check out Katie McGarry's amazing debut novel, then the giveaway below may be perfect for you! But first, you can read this Q&A with the author which is also featured as a nice little extra at the end of Pushing The Limits...

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Q: What was your inspiration for writing Pushing the Limits? 
A: I had two main inspirations: One, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write a story in which my characters felt strong enough to leave their pasts behind and create new futures for themselves. The first scene I ever saw in my mind was Echo and Noah leaving town after graduation. Two, I wanted to write two characters who were facing over- whelming issues and who, through battling these issues, found hope at the end of their journey.

Q: How did you come up with Echo’s name?
A: Echo went through several name changes as I wrote the manuscript. For a while, she had a very normal name, but it always felt off. It wasn’t until I looked at Echo from her mother’s point of view that I found her name. Echo’s mother loved Greek mythology so it made perfect sense that she would name her children after the myths. I read several Greek myths and the moment I found Echo’s, I fell in love. Echo, to me, was the girl who lost her voice. Thankfully, she finds it by the end.

Q: Which character is the most “like” you?
A: All of them. I gave each character a piece of me (though some have larger slices of me than others). Overall, I’d say I’m a strange combination of Echo, Lila and Beth. Echo has my need to please, Lila has my unfailing loyalty to my friends and Beth encompasses my insecurities.

Q: Did you experience friendships with Grace types when you were in high school?
A: Yes. And the more people have read this story, the more this question comes up. Grace has struck a stronger nerve in people than I ever would have imagined. It seems most of us have unfortunately experienced a relationship where a person wants to “like” you and wants “be your friend,” but only if it serves their needs. In case anyone is wondering, that isn’t friendship.

Q: Are there any parts of the story you feel particularly close to?
A: Yes. The relationship between Noah, Isaiah and Beth. Beyond my parents and sister, my nearest family members were over fourteen hours away. My friends became my family. The people I grew up with were more than people I watched movies with or talked to occasionally on the phone. These were people with whom I shared life’s most devastating moments, but also my hardest laughs. These were people who I would have willingly died for and I know they would have done the same for me. They shared my triumphs with smiles on their faces and congratulatory hugs. They held me when I cried and offered to beat up whoever hurt my feelings. These were also the same people who were more than happy to get in my face if they thought I was making a wrong decision.

Q: Did anything that happens to Echo happen to you?
A: Sort of. I was bitten by a dog when I was in second grade and repressed the memory. It felt very strange to have no memory of an incident that other people knew about. It was even stranger to have injuries and not have an inkling where they came from. In college, I finally remembered the incident when a dog lunged at me. I relived the horrible event and sort of “woke up” a few minutes later to find myself surrounded by people I loved. Even though I “remember” the incident, I still don’t remember the whole thing. I only see still frames in my mind and there is no blood in any of the memories. 

About Author Katie McGarry:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and she remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. Katie loves to visit schools and talk to teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach.

Giveaway! Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Media Masters Publicity, I'll be giving away ONE finished copy of Katie McGarry's Pushing The Limits to a lucky reader! Here are more of the details:
  • please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter
  • must have a US / Canada mailing address
  • giveaway will end at 12:00 am on September 14, 2012 (I know, I know, short deadline this time around. It's completely my fault for not posting this sooner. Sorry!)
  • winner will be contacted shortly afterwords 
  • do not leave your email address in the comments
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can purchase a copy of Pushing The Limits at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, Chapters/Indigo, etc. Don't forget to check out Katie McGarry's website, follow her on Twitter, and "like" her Facebook page.

And if you missed it before, you can watch the Pushing The Limits book trailer on an earlier post I wrote!

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  1. Right now, I am reading "On Dublin Street" by Samantha Young! and I don't want it to end.... I have heard great things about Pushing the Limits. I have read many reviews on it. I would love to win!

  2. I am dying to read this book. I've only heard good things and it sounds like such an awesome contemporary! I feel like I really haven't read very many romantic contemporary novels! Thanks for the giveaway, Liz!

  3. I just read Crash and it was pretty amazing but the Brenna Blixen series by Liz Reinhardt is simply the best!!

  4. It has had such great reviews and all the blurbs sound great.

  5. I am excited to read Pushing the Limits because I have heard great things about it and I think it sounds really good!!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. I actually read Pushing the Limits (as soon as it came out I made sure to pick it up at the library!) and I loved it. Besides Pushing the Limits (duh!) I loved Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles.

  7. :D
    I really liked this book when I read it :D
    Good luck to everyone :D

  8. I've heard so many awesome things about Off Limits! My fave contemporary YA romance (at the moment) is You Against Me. Wonderful story :)

  9. the book looks like a good one. I hope everybody has a chance. Me included.

  10. I love contemporary YA, and everyone says that this one is the best. Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. I've been wanting to read Pushing The Limits since I first heard of it. It's just the right mix of character and mystery. I'd love to win it.

  12. I'm seeing this book everywhere and every time it has been with an awesome review. I'm dying to read it now!

  13. I'm excited bc.the buzz about this book is absolutely crazy!!! And I'm obviously out of the loop!

  14. I heard nothing but good things about this book so I'm excited to read it :)