Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the Ten Tiny Breaths Blog Tour! I am so excited to be taking part in this tour, hosted by InkSlinger Blog Tours. You can see the entire blog schedule here. My stop includes a review and guest post from author Kathleen Tucker.
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #1
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 2/12/13
Just breathe, Kacey. Ten tiny breaths. Seize them. Feel them. Love them.
Four years ago Kacey Cleary’s life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend, and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, holding her boyfriend’s lifeless hand and listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, twenty-year-old Kacey and her fifteen-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. Struggling to make ends meet, Kacey needs to figure out how to get by. But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle anything—anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.
Trent Emerson has smoldering blue eyes, deep dimples, and he perfectly skates that irresistible line between nice guy and bad boy. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey is determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their mutual attraction is undeniable and Trent is determined to find a way into Kacey’s guarded heart—even if it means that an explosive secret could shatter both their worlds.
When I learned KA Tucker had written a Contemporary Romance, I was thrilled. I adore her Casual Enchantment series (Love vampires? Read this series!), so I had high hopes. Then all the reviews began rolling in, and they were glowing. All my friends love Ten Tiny Breaths! I bought it, but was so busy that I kept putting it off. Then it was picked up by Atria. So I was happy to join a blog tour, and dive into this book that has so many readers buzzing.
So what did I think of Ten Tiny Breaths? I really liked it. It was an emotional story that I absolutely flew through once I got started. The story begins with Kacey and Livia fleeing their aunt and uncle's home, bound for Miami. Kacey is running from a painful past, and is desperate to protect her sister from their predatory uncle. Once there, the move into an apartment complex, and the people there will change their lives. But, no matter how much Kacey likes her new home and the people (Storm and Trent) who now occupy her life, she can't evade the pervasive trauma that constantly threatens to pull her under.
I have to say, I initially had a hard time with Kacey. I was completely sympathetic to her pain. I wanted to know her, and for her to find happiness. But gosh, she was really hard for me to connect with, or even like that much. Kacey was strong and brave, which I admire, but she was so off-putting and abrasive that she drove me a little mad. Now don't get me wrong, this is totally understandable, and I know that many people who have gone through her ordeals would react this way. I just personally had a hard time. But still, it is completely understandable.
But, I absolutely adored Livie and Storm. Livie is Kacey's glue, and pretty much her only reason to keep holding it together. I loved their bond, and loved that Livie pushed Kacey to move forward. Storm was a wonderful friend. She was sweet, caring, and so supportive, even though Kacey did her very best to push her away.
Now for the guy, Trent. Trent is the mysterious man next door who takes an instant liking to Kacey. Despite Kacey's best efforts to push him away, Trent is stubborn. He makes it clear that he's interested in Kacey, and though she fights it, she clearly returns the feeling. I loved their friendship, the things Trent did to try and win Kacey over. The two do share a nice physical chemistry, and I found the friendship between them to be fun and beautiful.
Ten Tiny Breaths was a nicely paced book. I found myself reading huge portions without even realizing it. And like her other books, I enjoyed Tucker's writing. I wanted to believe Kacey was getting better, that she could lead a happy life. But the road isn't smooth. There's a huge twist near the end that I totally saw coming, but still managed to make me gasp. I did like how the story veered from the relationship to Kacey's mental health. And though some parts of her treatment seemed unrealistic (I'll be the first to say my expertise with mental health treatment is limited to Psy 101 back in 1997), I felt that the treatment in general was so important to the story line's authenticity. And the ending? It was beautiful.
Ten Tiny Breaths is an emotionally intense story. There were lessons about personal responsibility, dealing with trauma, forgiveness, and moving forward. Ten Tiny Breaths was about letting go and learning to breathe.
I swallow, my mouth suddenly going bone dry. "I was in a bad car accident a few years ago. A drunk driver hit my dad's car. The right side of my body was crushed. I have dozens of steel pins and rods through my body, holding me together." Physically. Nothing but ten tiny breaths holds the rest of me together. ~56%
"Give me your heart, Kacey. I'll take everything that comes with it." ~70%
The Story Behind TEN TINY BREATHS
- I had the title and the cover picked out before I wrote a single word of the plot. I don’t know how but I knew they were both perfect for the idea floating around inside my head. The title became the theme, as did the water and the idea of being submerged by water. In ways, having that title and cover helped shape the story into what it is now.
- When I began working Trent into the plans, I had no idea how connected he was going to be. Without blatantly saying it here (because I don’t want to spoil the book up front), I briefly considered Trent playing an even more terrible role than he played. For those who have read it, I think you can connect the dots. I decided that would be too difficult for readers to digest and unnecessary so I scaled his “involvement” back a bit.
- Several people have asked me why Grand Rapids, Michigan and why Miami. I’ve never been to Grand Rapids, Michigan but I knew I wanted the beginning in the North East U.S., within driving distance to a large college but not in a large city. I did a bit of research and found “Grand Rapids.” The name stuck with me. And Miami? Well, I knew I wanted Florida. I mean, two girls leaving the chilly north to move somewhere are going to go to... the beach! That’s only logical.
- Previous to TTB, I published 3 YA paranormal fantasy novels. To say that publishing a New Adult Contemporary novel was a change for me would be an understatement. I didn’t even read contemporary romance until last summer (I tried a few times but couldn’t find books that interested me and there are so many incredible dystopian and fantasy books out there that I focused on those. They have both love stories and epic, disastrous situations. I love those kinds of books.) But then I read a few great contemps last summer that left me with a new vibe, one that allowed the creative juices to begin flowing.
- The hardest part of writing TTB for me was the intimate scenes. TTB is fairly tame compared to some of the NA books out there today but I was borderline epileptic trying to get words like “nipple” and “erection” on the page. I struggled for days over those scenes and was sure the MCs sounded like two thirteen-year-olds fumbling in the dark. The scenes seemed to work though.
Thanks for having me here today, Andrea!
Thanks for being here, Kathleen! Congrats on your success!
About the author
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.
Connect with Kathleen at:
Website | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog | (Author)Facebook | (Ten Tiny Breaths) Facebook