Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Blast: The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom (Excerpt + Giveaway!)

The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom

New Adult Contemporary Romance

393 pages; Published September 25th, 2013



One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?



When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.





Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.



As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.



With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.



With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?






16th
September
  
6.00 a.m.
  
Holy shit!
My head.
There are no
words.
Just pain.
Pounding. Pounding, pain.
Why? Oh why?
Oh why?
Oh yes,
that’s right. Champagne, Tequila, Beer, Wine.
That would
do it.
Oh, God, the
pain!
Water would
be very good right now, but water means keeping my eyes open and using my legs,
and I know that is going to hurt even more. Too much too cope with.
My mouth
feels like the Sahara with no oasis in sight. I would do anything for an Oasis
right now, or an Evian. Who am I kidding? I would do anything for tap water
right now.
I wonder if
I can crawl myself to the bathroom and just lay in the bath with my mouth
positioned under the tap for an hour.
I wonder if
the other girls got home okay?
I cannot for
the life of me remember anything. I have just woken up in my bed. I am just
thankful that it is my bed.
Wait a
minute. How did I even get home?
I have no
recollection of the walk across campus or the however many flights of stairs it
is to the dorm, and I most certainly do not remember entering my room and
getting into bed.
Shit.
I am
definitely in my room, so that is good. My unpacked boxes are still scattered
around and I can see remnants of last night’s whirlwind dress-up scattered
where I left them.
Wish I had
not bothered.
I have just
peeked under the duvet. I am also dressed, which I am pleased about,
considering.
As slowly as
I can manage without causing my brain to bleed or eyeballs to fall out, I sit
up. I need to get out of the tangle of silk dress and cotton sheets, which are
cutting off the blood supply to my legs.
Honest to
god, I think my brain may be about to explode. There is a searing pain above my
right eye, and a steady banging located in the back of my skull. It may be my
brain attempting an escape.
Okay. That’s
strange. There are three bottles of water lined up in a row next to my neatly
placed shoes. Where the hell did they come from? Meredith, perhaps?
Nope. It's
no good. I need to lie down again. I sat up way too soon.
  
The
Fresher’s Ball
  
7.00 a.m.
OH, FUCK! Oh
no, no, no, no, no.
I can’t
believe it! I have woken up and can now remember the Fresher’s Ball, in all its
high-definition 3D glory.
This is all
I can remember of how I broke every single one of my Uni rules. I am going to
write it down and then I am going to forget about it until the day I die, which
may very well be later today.
The
Fresher’s Ball completely rocks, but this may be because I break the ‘No
Drinking’ rule by consuming:
   
Half a
bottle of champagne
Three
tequila shots
Three
bottles of beer
Three
glasses of water (to keep a balance)
Two glasses
of wine
  
Note to
self: This amount of alcohol causes significant pain and memory misplacement.
   
Halfway
through the evening, the room is spinning in an alarming fashion and I am using
the wall as a support. I would like to move away from it and dance with my
roommates, but I am scared that: A. My legs will fall off, or B. I will be
sick. So instead I just stand and lean, sipping some more water.
The live
band is great, though unfortunately I have to look at them through one eye. If
I open both eyes, everything gets a bit blurry.
The lead
singer is damn hot: tall and slim with a shock of dark hair and flashing blue
eyes that I can see all the way over from my safety spot against the wall.
Ha ha! If I
open both eyes there are two of him!
One eye, one
singer. Two eyes, two singers. One eye, one singer. Two eyes, two singers.
I think he
may be glancing in my direction, but cannot be sure. Maybe he is just working
out if he needs to get someone to call an ambulance for me.
Oh no! I
probably look like I am winking at him. I am such an idiot!
I decide to
head back to the bar and get another bottle of water. Without a backwards
glance at the stage—let’s be honest
I am in no condition to be glancing anywhere—I make my way to the bar. Froebel
college is an old mansion house made up of a rabbit warren of rooms that I
stumble my way through until I find where they have hidden the bar. Once there,
I attempt to communicate with the barman for a bottle of overpriced water.
Sipping my
drink, I turn from the bar, but someone is blocking my path back to the exit. I
look up and see a pair of blue eyes twinkling down at me.
Ah, pretty,
blue sparkly eyes like the sky at midday. I appear to be completely at a loss
for words. Again.
A dark head
lowers to examine me closer.
“Ben,” he
introduces, holding his hand out to me, his blue eyes crinkling.
On closer
inspection, I see they are surrounded by the cutest freckles I have ever seen.
“Lilah,” I
respond, taking his hand. I don’t shake it, I just hold it.
That is so
not cool.
I hope I am
not still looking through just one eye. “You’re the singer guy, right?” At
least my tongue still works.
He flashes me a wicked smirk. “Singer guy,
I am,” he replies, his hand still holding mine.
I have no
urge to move away.
“You’re the
girl in the knock out white dress,” he adds.
I have
nothing to say to this, but he laughs all the same.
“Would you
like to go outside for some fresh air?” he asks, leaning forward slightly and
talking right into my ear. His warm breath sends shivers down my arm and
various other places.
“I should
find my friends,” I say. I don’t want to. I want to follow the blues outside,
but there is a teeny tiny part of my inebriated brain that knows this may be a
bad idea.
“Come on,
Lilah.” He tugs at my hand, and my willpower crumbles like a sandcastle in the
tide and I follow him without a second thought.
  
I Will Not
Talk to Boys
. . .
Much
  
Hold on a
minute. It gets worse.
Outside, he
takes a crumpled packet of cigarettes out of his jeans pocket. I cannot help
but focus on his hand sliding into the tight space of his dark blue jeans.
I am a dirty
pervert.
He offers me
one, and I automatically accept.
Well, that
is a pile of Crap!
I have
broken all four of my cardinal rules within twenty-four hours of starting Uni.
Well done,
Delilah!
I offer
myself an imaginary clap on the back.
“I wasn’t
winking at you, by the way.” I assure him.
“What?”
“Um,
nothing.”
“So you here
as a guest or a student?” he asks, leaning in and lighting my ciggie for me.
“Student,” I
reply, attempting not to slur.
He lifts an
eyebrow at this.
“Yes, I know
I am old!” I retort. I should just walk away but my legs are not responding to
any command my brain makes. Apart from the one that instructs me to stand there
like a dick.
“Hardly.”
The blues hold mine.
“Twenty-five
is pretty old compared to all the spring chickens in there.” I motion my head
to the hall behind me full of dancing teenagers.
Motioning of
head is not such a great idea. My vision is about 5 seconds behind.
“I’m
twenty-five,” blue-eyed Ben informs me.
“Oh.”
“So what are
you studying?”
He is
standing really close, very close indeed. I seem to be staring at his lips as
he speaks, they are all I can focus on. Everything else is blurred or doubled.
I take a
long drag of my cigarette.
“History,” I
tell him, waiting for the laugh. None comes. “So, have you been with the band
long?”
“Ten years.”
“Wow! That’s
a long time.” It really is.
“Yeah, I
guess.” He throws his cigarette away and I follow suit. He still does not move
away from me. This guy obviously does not follow the rules of etiquette
regarding personal space.
 “You don’t recognise me, do you?”
Of all the
questions I am expecting, this one is not it. “No. Should I?”
“I played at
a Christmas party last year. You were there.”
I stare at
the blues as he speaks; they are a little mesmerising. Let’s just hope I have my
mouth closed.
I remember
the band now, and I vaguely remember him. Well, not him exactly, but something
about the colour blue. John had been a complete arsehole that evening, not
leaving me alone for a minute. It had been suffocating and in the end we had
left early. The evening was so bad I have forced myself to never think about it
again.
“Sorry,” I
offer. I kind of am.
“I think I
prefer the white dress to the red.”
What?! He
can remember the dress I was wearing nine months ago! I am about to say something
. . . anything . . .
Then he is
kissing me: his mouth warm and firm on mine.
WHAT ON
EARTH AM I DOING?
It should be
strange, but it is not as strange as you’d think. I automatically lean in and
slide my hands into his black hair, pulling him down closer. His hand grazes
down my back and over my left butt cheek. I am not complaining though. Nope,
no complaints here. None at all.
Just like
that my knees start to go. His arms slide around me holding me up and I think
he may be chuckling, but I am not sure. It is hard to hear anything above the
roaring in my ears.
This is the
point I realise I am going to be sick all over a complete stranger I have just
snogged.
“I think I
should help you home,” he says into my ear.
“What? No
way! If you think I am going to let you take me home so I will have sex with
you, you’re sorely mistaken! I am not some gir—” My words are cut off by his
lips. I try to protest but soon give up. It is not the most convincing protest
I have ever made. I have protested more over cold toast.
“I am not
taking you home so I can take advantage of you,” he says after finally pulling
away so I can gasp a breath.
“You are
really rather drunk and I think you should let me help you home,” he continues,
a smile playing on his lips. He is probably right.
I can barely
stand up, though I am not sure if that is through lack of oxygen whilst kissing
or from too much booze.
“Besides,”
he says with a twinkle of blues, “when I do have sex with you, I would
rather you were a little more sober.”
I start to
protest again but his arms lift me up and throw me over his shoulder in a very
unflattering fireman lift.
“Where do
you live, Lilah?” he asks.
He is never
going to know, so I tell him, just so he has to admit he
does not have a clue.
To my
immense surprise he just starts striding off across campus.
I try to
think of ways to get down, but in the end just give up and stare at his rather
tidy arse as my eyesight starts to go black.
  
This is all
I remember.
So kill me
now.
I can’t
believe that I got drunk enough to snog a stranger, even a hot one. What a
complete bloody idiot. I may never, ever leave this room again. Ever.
I am going
back to sleep. Hopefully when I wake up I will realise that this has all been a
hideous nightmare.






Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.







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