Saturday, April 9, 2016

Book Spotlight + Giveaway: Whatever It Takes by Lindsey Pogue

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Good morning to you, my favorite bookish people!

We're in the midst of moving, so half of our stuff is in one place and half is in another. The good news is, that I still have fabulous content to share with you while I'm too busy to read! This spotlight is no exception, because Lindsey Pogue and Whatever It Takes are in the spotlight today. Let's take a look.

Four years ago, I thought my life was pretty normal for a teenager. Three years ago, my world was shattered, and now I’m just trying to hold the pieces together. But regret and anger aren’t so easy to ignore.

I just need to catch my breath … for it all to go away …

I thought I might finally be ready to move on from that horrible night, but then he decided to come back.

He can’t come back … he’ll ruin me completely.

One horror-filled night changes the course of Samantha’s seemingly normal life. She’s ruined everything. Despite her determination to keep the family ranch up and running, her guilt makes it impossible to completely move on or forget.

Sam takes comfort in her quirky, endearing friends as she tries to balance between the girl she was and the woman she wants to become. Just when she thinks she’s finally making amends with her past, someone she never thought she’d see again returns, and Sam’s life is once again turned upside down. Both her head and her heart want different things, so she’s lost when, once again, she’s forced to make a decision that will inevitably change her life.
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Whatever It Takes sounds like an intriguing and emotional read. I feel like I already know Sam a bit, and I can't wait to read her story. After all, the choices we make in life dictate everything. Even the tough stuff, which is actually what Lindsey Pogue was kind enough to write a guest post about today. Please enjoy, add this book to your reading list, and then enter to win a copy! Happy reading!

Tackling the tough stuff… Let’s see. Life is tough. Sometimes it sucks and it’s hard to imagine it getting any better. While I’ve always been someone who occasionally enjoys losing myself in a hopelessly romantic story, I also need something I feel I can relate to. (Cue real life struggles and situations). In general, I enjoy books that convey the tough, real-to-life darkness that so many of us deal with throughout our lives, even if we never talk about them. Don’t get me wrong, I always need me some romance and lightheartedness too, but a mixture is nice. I didn’t have the easiest childhood, so perhaps it’s therapeutic in some ways to write characters with real problems. Life is real and gritty and hard and full of tears and anger, so trying to capture that really draws me into a character and the story when I’m writing.

**SOME PLOT SPOILERS AHEAD** Nothing in my stories is cookie-cutter and Whatever It Takes is no exception. Whether it’s death or family dysfunction or self-mutilation and coping, all the characters have some internal struggles beyond unrequited love and that sort of thing. Sure, they smile and play, but when they’re alone in the bowls of their darkest thoughts, they have dangerous desires and fears they have to navigate as well. That’s what I want to capture and explore.

Sam’s story is filled with sunshine and the smell of summertime, of horses and laughter and love, but she harbors a surmounting self-loathing and grinding regret that she can’t escape. There’s so much pain she doesn’t know how to deal with it. She’s self-destructive in many ways, and I hope that readers can appreciate her struggles the way they might empathize with a real person. There are plenty of us that have struggles in our lives, but it’s how we deal with them that make us who we are. The tough stuff might turn some people away from my stories, but I hope that the amount of humanity and heart and good and light that’s in each character will compensate for the harder stuff.

I think what writing for me boils down to is motivation. Motivation to pour myself into a character and story—to learn with them and feel what they feel. I want my characters to convey something real, even if they’re stuck between the pages of a book. Did I achieve that in my story? I don’t know, but if you feel even the slightest twinge of emotion for the characters, then I’ve written something I can be proud of and something that’s helped me grow as a person and as a writer. Oh, I should probably also mention that aside from writing, I work with at-risk youth. So, I have plenty of inspiration and admiration when it comes to young adults finding their place in life.

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Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, wrote her first YA manuscript in high school, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her—whether she’s traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next storyline or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey’s wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man.
Find her: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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