Review: Catching Jordan

BLURB:

(from goodreads)


ONE OF THE BOYS


What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?



REVIEW:

It’s been weeks since I first read this book, and I still catch myself thinking back to the characters. Well, to Jordan in particular. Part of it is because I joined the 2013 Feminist Reads Challenge. Jordan certainly falls in the category of a strong female lead.



She was a high school quarterback and the best in her state, and her dream was to play college football. Except nobody wanted a female player, let alone a quarter back. One school offered her a full scholarship, but they never intended for her to play. They planned to use her for recruiting and advertising like a football pinup girl.



What absolutely amazed me about the writing on this was how the author gave Jordan weaknesses within her strengths. Okay, me saying that doesn’t make any sense, but if you read the book, you’ll probably know what I mean…



#1. Jordan always had to be the best. So afraid of being undervalued or made fun of because she was a girl, she turned everything into a competition. Sometimes when you are strong, you don’t really have to be the best.


Henry picks up an even bigger rock and throws it into the river. It makes a much larger splash than mine. Damn it.

I search for a bigger rock, find one and pick it up, launching it into the river. My splash totally kicks Henry’s splash’s ass.



#2. Jordan hid any of her softer side from others, like tears or her interest in creative writing and poetry.


After throwing the ball up and catching it for the thousandth time, I wedge the flashlight under my chin and begin to write:

The whole school knows about Saturday night
Saturday, disappearing with Ty was the right decision
Right as eating peanuts at a baseball game
Right as the sound of coffee grinding on a Saturday morning
Today? Confused as hell

I can’t believe how much I’m beginning to love writing. Not just getting thoughts out of my head, but the challenge of finding creative words and rhythms and fun descriptions.

Right as the smell of smoke following fireworks

Still, writing’s a weak thing to be doing. At least compared to playing quarterback. Or eating those scalding 911 wings that made me and Ty cry at the Titans game.

The door to the shed suddenly slams open and Henry crawls in next to me, watching as I hide my journal behind a watering can.



#3. Jordan did her best to hide her feminine side too. No makeup, didn’t even comb her hair some times, never wore dresses. As if she was ashamed of being a girl.


Instead of my usual ratty “Titans” and “Blue Buckle Moon Pie Ten-Mile Race” T-shirts, I pick out a plain black fitted tee. I know, I know—I’m wild. But seriously? For me, this fitted tee is totally dressing up, and it shows off my boobs. I don’t think too many people even realize I have boobs.



And the story arc brought her in touch with her deeper side. I loved, LOVED how Jordan changes throughout the course of the story. She finds her own place of strength as she brings the feminine side and the tomboy side together. She finds peace and contentment with herself.



But the best part is the relationship with her father. I’m a sucker for reconciliation stories! And the author is a MASTER at reconciliation. Jordan’s dad is a professional football player, and he supports Jordan’s older brother on his college football career but then won’t even go to Jordan’s high school games.



All because he watched his friend get killed in a game and was concerned about Jordan’s ability to handle the bigger guys. Jordan is tall for a girl, about 6 foot, and weighs 160 pounds or so. But 160 pounds against 250 is a big difference.



You’ll have to read for yourself how they resolved their issues, but let me just say it was awesome.



The romance is perfect. Jordan doesn’t always make the perfect choices, and that makes the story even better. She settles for the wrong guy and has to find her way to the right one!



My favorite quote:


“Okay,” Ms. Bonner says, going to a closet at the back of the room, “Now that we all have partners, all husbands should come pick up their projects.”

Pick up their projects? Shrugging, I stand up and stretch my arms. Henry also stands. “No way, dude,” I say. “I’m the man in this relationship.”

“Oh yeah, absolutely,” he says, grinning. He sits back down as I walk to the closet to see the project, which turns out to be one of those fake electronic babies. Oh good God. Ms. Bonner hands me a fake baby boy. The doll has those creepy glass eyes that look like they’re staring straight into my soul. I hold the doll out in front of me like it’s a flaming bag of poo and carry it back to Henry.

“Congratulations, Mommy,” I say, dropping the doll into his hands. “You could’ve told me I knocked you up.”



If you haven’t read it, you’ll really like this one. Check it out!



Read for the 2013 Feminist Reads Challenge

Romance is in the Air Blog Hop



TWO WINNERS will EACH receive an eBook copy of Playing Hooky and an eBook copy of Daughter of the Goddess!


Valentine’s Day.


And my 21st birthday.

Whoop-de-doo.

Just another college day full of classes and more homework than is humanly possible.

…until Jason, my best-friend-since-kindergarten, shows up to take me out for the day.

Like old times: the two of us on a wacky adventure, playing hooky from real life. With his lopsided grin and tickets to a circus full of misfits and monsters, he introduces me to a whole new world—one full of magic and mystery—and turns my reality upside down.

Except nothing goes as planned, and we end up running through the city to find a missing siren before someone brews a love potion with her blood.

Sirens and love potions, witches and elves, and Valentine kisses. Nothing will be the same for me again.






The Heart.

The God of Love seeks a bride who is pure in heart and full of life—full of soul. Instead of a woman, he finds a child with laughter in her heart. Waiting for her to grow up, he befriends her, pretending to be nothing more than a blue-eyed boy with wild, tangled hair.

The Soul.
Left on the temple doorstep, a young girl turns the lives of the priestesses upside down . . . until one summer day before her eighteenth birthday, a traveling oracle tells her she is to marry a stranger in a foreign land.

The Nightmare.
An ancient demon—half-man, half-snake—wants to destroy anything the gods love. When she was a child, he haunted her dreams, but now he stalks her across the countryside. If he catches her, he’ll devour her





a Rafflecopter giveaway







Good Luck!!!

Follower Love Giveaway Hop


Follower Love Giveaway Hop

February 5th - 11th



One Winner will receive an eBook copy of PLAYING HOOKY!!!

Valentine’s Day.

And my 21st birthday.

Whoop-de-doo.

Just another college day full of classes and more homework than is humanly possible.

…until Jason, my best-friend-since-kindergarten, shows up to take me out for the day.

Like old times: the two of us on a wacky adventure, playing hooky from real life. With his lopsided grin and tickets to a circus full of misfits and monsters, he introduces me to a whole new world—one full of magic and mystery—and turns my reality upside down.

Except nothing goes as planned, and we end up running through the city to find a missing siren before someone brews a love potion with her blood.

Sirens and love potions, witches and elves, and Valentine kisses. Nothing will be the same for me again



One Winner will receive an eBook copy of DAUGHTER OF THE GODDESS!!!


The Heart.
The God of Love seeks a bride who is pure in heart and full of life—full of soul. Instead of a woman, he finds a child with laughter in her heart. Waiting for her to grow up, he befriends her, pretending to be nothing more than a blue-eyed boy with wild, tangled hair.

The Soul.
Left on the temple doorstep, a young girl turns the lives of the priestesses upside down . . . until one summer day before her eighteenth birthday, a traveling oracle tells her she is to marry a stranger in a foreign land.

The Nightmare.
An ancient demon—half-man, half-snake—wants to destroy anything the gods love. When she was a child, he haunted her dreams, but now he stalks her across the countryside. If he catches her, he’ll devour her








a Rafflecopter giveaway









Thank you for participating!

Ashes & Ice Release Day Blitz


She is desperate to remember.
He is aching to forget.
Together, they are not broken.
But together, one may not survive.

Jade wakes up with no memory of her past and blood on her hands.

Plagued by wicked thoughts, she searches for answers. Instead, she finds a boy who doesn't offer her answers, but hope. But sometimes, when nightmares turn into reality and death follows you everywhere, hope is not enough.

LUST. LOVE. LOSS.
Sometimes, all that is left are Ashes and Ice




Purchase Here: Amazon










EXCERPT: 

“Have you ever been in love?”


I spill my popcorn on my lap. “I, uh, what?” I say, swiping off the kernels. The question catches me off guard.

“You know, in love.”

“No. No, I haven’t.” I shift on the couch, needing more space between us. “What about you?”

“Nah.” She flicks her hand toward me as if she is brushing away nonsense, but the hard look in her eyes says something different.

“Why?”

She points to the TV screen and the couple making out there. “Figured if you had been, then you could explain that to me.”

The guy sweeps the girl up and carries her into bed before they… you know. “Uh, sex?”

She bursts out laughing. “That too. But I was talking about what it feels like to be, you know, in love. Totally, without question. Like, does that,” she points to the screen again, “exist?”

“Yeah, I think it exists.” I think of mom and dad—the way they kissed every morning, hugged a few moments longer than anyone else, laughed so hard they cried, and cuddled, shutting out the world, looking more content than these fakers on the screen. “It exists. And in real life, it’s better than that crap.” I say, suddenly uncomfortable by the moaning coming from the TV.

“I thought you said you’ve never been in love?”

“I haven’t. But I’ve seen it. And I haven’t ever seen anything come close to that in the movies.”

She opens her mouth as if about to ask a question, but then closes it and smiles, accepting my answer. “Well, it’s good that there may be something in life to look forward to.” She drops a kernel of popcorn in her mouth.

“May be?”

“Well nothing is guaranteed. Who knows, I may die an old spinster.” She’s smiling, but her eyes aren’t.

I think about the movie store guy’s possessive eyes, Jesse’s chair fiasco, and Dominic’s leering, my heart. “I doubt that.”




MEET THE AUTHOR

Rochelle grew up dreaming up stories. When she entered high school, she tucked away her creative side and jumped head-first into academics, work, and service projects. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science and Communication when she was twenty years old.

After years away from her writing, Rochelle picked up a pen and started fleshing out a character sketch that she outlined when she was twelve. That sketch was the start of the Ashes and Ice story. Rochelle lives in the DC metro area with her husband and daughter. By day, she works as a behavioral therapist. By night, she is a dreamer and is busy tapping out new stories on her keyboard.


Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


Purchase Here: Amazon





Lady Amber's Tours


Playing Hooky Setting: A Winter Wonderland


Picture credit goes to A Few of My Favorite Things blog


Research taught me that I can't just add a bunch of snow and cold wind and call it an Alaskan winter. Negative 40 degrees requires special gear: thermal long underwear, polar jackets, lined rubber boots... And that's just to go from your car to the grocery store. Any long-term exposure needs a lot more planning.

Cattle are kept indoors during the winter, and skis are used to navigate the university campus in Anchorage. Studded tires are an absolute must for your car.

I discovered that an Alaskan winter is really a whole new world, and I wish, wish, WISH we could live there. I want to stay on Kodiak Island, where Emma & Jason are from, and go to the week-long Whale Festival and hike in the woods to see the Kodiak bears.

I want to go fishing and mountain biking and kayaking like Emma & Jason do every summer, and I want to get all bundled up and drink hot cocoa in the winter.



EXCERPTS:

EMMA'S POV
TALL WITH WIDE shoulders, Jason is muscular from hard labor (construction and welding) and athletic adventures (kayaking and mountain biking). The perpetual scruff movie stars work hard to perfect shadows his jaw, and his tousled black hair kept short. He cuts it every week because it grows too fast, like at least a half inch a day. With the hazel green eyes and the confident grin he usually wears, he’d make any girl swoon.


Well, any girl but me. I’d more likely hit him upside the head with a broom than swoon over him.

“Coffee’s in the kitchen. I need to get dressed and showered; then we can go for pastries at the bakery around the corner.” Just off campus, there’s a scrumptious little shop, but I never have time in the mornings. I turn back to my room but then stop. “Oh, how do I need to dress for the day?”

“Sure.” He runs his hands through his hair, but his eyes are too busy following my ass to pay attention to anything I said.

“Jason.” I snap my fingers. “Up here. What do I need to wear?”

His gaze shifts to my face, and he grins, not even having the decency to flush. “Dress warm.”

Good. So we’re going to have an adventure.


JASON'S POV
OUTSIDE, A BRISK wind brushes against my skin, bringing the flavors of winter—cold snow and log fires and something ancient that stirs a longing in my blood.

But today, Emma is with me, and I can ignore the hollow ache around my heart. The angry fire burning inside my gut calms in her presence.

She’s short, barely coming up to my shoulder, and she has the cute little nose and the short, blonde curls of a cheerleader. Only hers are uncombed and wild.

If I told her how she’d make a cute cheerleader, she would tear me apart. She could flay a man alive with that sharp tongue of hers. And I love every stormy minute of having her as my best friend.

Leading her out to my truck, I watch her hips sway and appreciate how she fills out her faded jeans—the ink stains on the thighs and the dirt at the cuffs indicate she grabbed them off the floor of her room. She’s bundled into her white ski jacket with the fur trim, and the only patch of skin I can see is around her eyes, but I can’t help but think of those pink cotton panties riding up her right cheek and giving me a glimpse of the best ass I’ve ever seen.

My big blue truck with its studded tires waits in the back of the parking lot. My mom has loads of money, but I bought a fixer-upper, an old run-down truck with even more broken parts than rust spots.

With a shiny coat of blue paint and the Hemi engine I added, you’d never know what a sorry state it was in when I first dragged it home by way of tow truck. Mom only shook her head and said, “Just keep it simple.”

She meant don’t add any magic to it, but she needn’t have worried. I wanted to make it run using sweat, grime, and my own two hands. Now I own my own car shop, and I do paint detail work and restore old cars, turning junk into art. Then I sell the cars on eBay and ship them all across the country.

Fixing and customizing cars—that’s my winter job, when tourist season is over and the snow traps me inside, but all summer, I lead tours around our Kodiak Island. People pay loads of money to anyone who will help them take pictures of whales and bears or find the best fishing spots.

“How forlorn he looks. I think he missed us.” I pat the roof of the truck.

“It’s a car.” Emma laughs and tosses two sets of skis into the bed of the truck. This is Alaska. Don’t leave home without them.

“Shh, it’s a truck and you’ll hurt his feelings.”

“I thought cars were all female.”

“Without boy cars, how will you get any baby cars?” I waggle my eyebrows at her and lean forward to catch a whiff of her scent. No perfume, just raw Emma scent.

She arches an eyebrow. “Oh, you finally figured that out, did you?”

I grin down at her. When we were kids, she explained the birds and the bees to me, but I insisted I washed up on the ocean beach. Emma never believed me.

When I got older, I learned we were both right.







Playing Hooky

available at Amazon | B&N

Valentine’s Day.

And my 21st birthday.

Whoop-de-doo.

Just another college day full of classes and more homework than is humanly possible.

…until Jason, my best-friend-since-kindergarten, shows up to take me out for the day.

Like old times: the two of us on a wacky adventure, playing hooky from real life. With his lopsided grin and tickets to a circus full of misfits and monsters, he introduces me to a whole new world—one full of magic and mystery—and turns my reality upside down.

Except nothing goes as planned, and we end up running through the city to find a missing siren before someone brews a love potion with her blood.

Sirens and love potions, witches and elves, and Valentine kisses. Nothing will be the same for me again.