Friday, April 24, 2015

review || STILL LIFE { blog tour }

Still Life Banner Tour

Still Life by A.M. Johnson 

Release Date: April 13, 2015 
Book Tour: April 20 – May 1 
Hosted by: SBB Promotions

Loss… a word Elizabeth Haddington knows only too well. Despite the tragedies she’s endured, she’s been able to rise from the adversity she’s faced and begin her life again. Being a self-assured and strong woman, she knows she doesn’t need anyone to make her whole.

Hate, pain, and twisted memories are all Sawyer Bryant’s ever known. He’d slowly lost who he was and what he should’ve become. His only escape was the military… Eight years later, as an ex-Navy SEAL, he’s forced to confront his father and their disturbed and violent past.

Then one day, his life is turned upside down, when he glimpses a woman singing in her car at a set of traffic lights. Thinking he’d never see her again, amazingly he finds her performing with her band at the local bar. This chance encounter brings these two lost souls together. Once Sawyer gets a taste of her melodic voice, there’s no turning back.

For Elizabeth, when she meets Sawyer… she realizes she’s fallen hard. But is this really love she’s feeling or does love build slowly over time? What happens when fate turns things around on you, creates flashes you can’t turn from… moments that will shape your life?

They are faced with the choice of darkness surrounding them or to rid themselves of the guilt and pain and move toward the light.

This story is about life’s moments. How they can make you or break you, and one man’s hope that…  Love, won’t judge him.

Still Life Teaser 2

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about A.M. Johnson || Amanda Marie Johnson was born and raised in Valrico, Florida. She’s now surrounded by mountains with her husband and three children in Ogden, Utah. She attended Weber State University and graduated with her A.S.N. She is a full-time registered nurse and works on the mother/newborn unit. Reading and writing have always been something she is passionate about. She loves to write about the human experience, love and happily ever afters. Still Life is her debut novel.

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{ excerpt } .
It was unseasonably warm for late September, with the windows down in my car I enjoyed the dry breeze as I pulled up to the traffic lights. My eyes were drawn to the car next to me. She was enjoying the warm spell too. Her windows were down and she was blaring some unknown music from her stereo. The side of my mouth pulled into a grin as I watched. She didn’t notice me watching at first. She sang freely, her voice strong and beautiful. The song was feminine and the guitars were light. She had long very dark hair pulled into a high ponytail. I was transfixed.

Suddenly, she started and bit her bottom lip. Her once tall posture and confidence waned. Slowly, she glanced over to look at me, chagrin written all over her face. I couldn’t tell, was she blushing? She was embarrassed to have been caught that’s for sure, her solo concert abruptly ended. I gave her a huge smile. She just bit her lip again and looked forward, sinking into her seat. I watched as she fidgeted uncomfortably, waiting for the light to change. She was so pretty. No, not pretty, but plainly beautiful. I suddenly had a crazy urge to call out to her, ask her name when she sped off. The car behind me honked their car horn and I was sharply pushed from my reverie.

I pulled into my apartment complex. I felt dejected. I wanted to see that girl again.

I focused on that memory while I looked down at her in that hospital bed. I tried to stop the bleeding, she’d lost so much blood. She was here now, eyes closed, her silky hair ran through my fingers. This small touch caused shivers to run up my spine. I placed a small kiss on her cool cheek. Resting my forehead against hers, her breathing light and steady, blew against my lips. We’d get through this. We had to, there was no other choice…

Still Life Teaser 1
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{ review } .
Rating: ★★
This story...

Our two players are Sawyer and Elizabeth, and the story is told in both of their views -- something that I appreciated, but also made me wish certain scenes were told in the opposite view point. But for the most part, the views were fine.

Something else that I appreciated was that the story itself took place over a grand amount of time. It takes place over a good year. There are points in the telling of their story that the time changes were too much, too fast, but I understand the need to get a full story in without making the book eight-hundred pages long.

And this story? Had the ability to be a super long one. 

This was another one of those stories that has a prologue that is torn from the pages further in -- and the pain and love that Sawyer feels for the woman in the hospital bed just seeps through the words on the page.

Sawyer is an ex-Navy SEAL with an abusive past, a guilty conscious, and the belief that he's never going to be good enough. Elizabeth's past, too, is rocky; she watched her mother kill herself after her father killed himself. At ten, Elizabeth lost her family and moved in with her best friend's family.

Elizabeth and her best friend, Todd, had the makings to make this one of those best-friends-turned-lovers story, and I'm actually very glad that this story didn't end up that way. Todd, though, has a very hard time letting Elizabeth go, even though he knows she wants nothing more than friendship.

Sawyer first sees Elizabeth jamming out in her car at a stop light, and knows right then that he wants to see her again. Unfortunately, he had no way to get her name or number, and he was afraid that was that. Turned out, though, that his new roommate is best friends with her.... And is in a band with her...

Everything about Sawyer and Elizabeth's relationship was natural. There wasn't any one thing that made the relationship seem forced. It moved along like an everyday relationship would. Sawyer's past holds him back in some aspects of their budding relationship, but after some much needed advice from his friend, Mack, she fights for him -- he's not the only protective one in this relationship.
...I had never once felt so safe in my entire life. I knew I could be with her forever and be the guy I'd always hoped I was still underneath all the garbage I thought had finally permeated.
There's was a relationship that would take work, love, and trust -- but both proved to the other, again and again, that they were in it for the long haul. I can't wait to see more of them (hopefully!!) in the next book, STILL WATER. Could it possibly be Todd's??? That man needs a happily ever after, even though there were parts I really disliked the kid.

"...You bring me peace, you're like a balm to me wounds, and you help me breathe again. I can't help but want you, want all of you."
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