Monday, August 26, 2013

Blog tour: Bully by Penelope Douglas

Title: Bully
Series: A Fall Away Novel, Book #1
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 17, 2013
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn


My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he'll barely even speak to me.

But he still won't leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way in hell I'll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back.

*This novel contains adult/mature young adult situations. It is only suitable for ages 18+ due to language, violence, and sexual situations.

**This book is the first in a series but can be read as a STAND ALONE. The next books will focus on side characters from this story.

4.5 Star Review  by Jen Hagen

“There were so many times when we were kids, growing up next door to each other, that I thought Jared was the greatest.  He was sweet, generous, and friendly.  And the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen…But that kid was long gone now.”

Jared and Tate were young best friends, until the one summer before freshman year when he went to stay at his dad’s place and came back a different person.  Now he is cruel and intimidating to Tate, and only to Tate. 

“I’d wracked my brain a thousand times trying to figure it out.  He was cold to most people, but he was downright cruel to me.  Why me?”

Tate has spent the last couple of years hiding from him, even going so far as to hide from him by spending her junior year of high school in France.  She has endured pranks and rumors from Jared that have forced her to be on guard all the time in school and to keep herself hidden.  Not only is it Jared that intimidates her, but also Jared’s best friend Madoc has been coerced into making Tate’s high school days a living hell.
“I’d be going home in tears again.  No doubt.”
Tate has now returned from her year abroad and unfortunately Jared hasn’t eased up on his cruelty. Tate’s best friend convinces Tate that she needs to start fighting back and not let Jared get the upperhand every time.   Tate isn’t letting Jared get the best of her for the duration of their senior year.  She is fighting back and performing acts that a stealth burglar would perform.  Jared is caught off guard by Tate’s daring performances.
“I underestimated you.  You haven’t cried yet, have you?...I promise you will be in tears by next week.”
A class assignment is where Tate is able to cut Jared to the core.  She uses it to her advantage to let him know how much he hurt her and how much she misses what they had. 
“Jared could push me, hurt me, take what he wanted, but showing him that he had hurt, but not broken me, was how I won.”
Jared and Tate seem to be on a whiplash tour of emotions – both of them causing the other to gain hope that their friendship can be saved.  But did Jared push it too far and is there any hope for their friendship to be saved following a viral incident?
“I told myself a hundred times today that he couldn’t be trusted.  He was a liar.  A bully.  But his words were getting to me.  He looked upset.  Either he was a really good actor, or…he was telling the truth.”
You will go on quite the ride with Tate and Jared.  This book deserves high praise for giving the reader an emotional journey throughout its course.  There is anticipation following every page turn and elation when you can savor in one of Tate’s small victories.  Both Jared and Tate have acts of anger embedded in them, but my particular favorite is Tate going ballistic on Jared’s car.  That in itself is worth the price of this book.  

Three Chicks interview Author Penelope Douglas

Three Chicks:  How long have you been teaching? 

I’ve been teaching for seven years. Five of them with all boys!

Three Chicks:  Did the story line for Bully come from any observations with your students or from something else?

Well, of course, bullying is always on a teacher’s mind. We watch for that like hawks. But I have to say the idea for an edgy high school romance came from reading Tijan, author of the Fallen Crest Series. I read Fallen Crest High last year and was blown away by the creative chances she took with a young adult storyline. I wanted to do something similar and break ground of my own. Not sure if I did, but I’m trying! 

Three Chicks:  Is Bully the first book you’ve written or the first one that you have written and self-published? 

Bully is the first book I’ve written. Ever. I was reading lots of New Adult and had a story to tell, so I gave it a shot. I remember that I started writing a serial killer story when I was sixteen on yellow legal pad, but my mother was pretty freaked out when she read it. Not sure what ever happened to that legal pad.

Three Chicks:  Bullying is such a sensitive subject. Given Jared’s history of abuse, do you think that helps to explain why he then abuse Tate? 

It definitely had a hand in shaping the young man he became. I’m hoping to better draw the connections in Until You, so people will understand his mindset. Not excuse it, just understand it. Does he get a pass for his actions towards her?  No, of course not. I always knew Jared and Tate’s story wasn’t over. There is still work that needs to be done, and I had planned to address that in Rival as a subplot. However, the feedback has encouraged me to re-evaluate my plan and give Jared an opportunity to tell his story. I’m so grateful that readers have embraced these characters and want to hear his side.

Three Chicks:  There are some very strong secondary characters in Bully. After Until You and Rival, do you see yourself continuing with this story or do you have plots for other books in mind? 

After Rival, I only planned for one more book. Jax’s story (which is untitled). I also want to bring Ben in as a stronger presence.  

Three Chicks:  Do you have plans to continue writing part time and teaching or will you be writing full time? 

My plan is for 2013-2014 to be my final year teaching. I enjoy it tremendously, and I’ve loved warping, I mean shaping, young minds, but I’ve fallen in love with writing and have a dozen stories in my head right now that want out!

Three Chicks:  How do you manage to find time with a busy family life and a job to write-do you set aside time each day; do you write as an idea forms in your head-what is your typical writing process like? 

For Bully, I wrote evenings and weekends. It was very stressful to try to be an attentive parent, but writing became so important to me, too. I had started to feel like I was living the same day over and over again. Go to work, make dinner, bath time, and bedtime, you know? Writing has made me feel like I have new goals all of the time, and it’s a much more exciting life now.   

Three Chicks:  Did you ever in your wildest dreams think Bully would have the response it has had from readers?  After all, word about it is spreading like wildfire. 

Uh, no. I thought maybe fifty people would download it. My editor encouraged me to make it free for a few days for exposure, but I still had no idea what I was in for. I didn’t even know what a blog tour was at that time. Suffice it to say, I am doing cartwheels over the response and still can’t believe strangers email me with how much they loved what I wrote.

Penelope Douglas is a writer and teacher in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to "just get the degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, the show Sons of Anarchy, and she shops at Target almost daily.

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  1. Thanks for the post. This sounds like a very good book, I am excited to read it.

  2. I haven't read Bully yet but its in my TBR pile. Thanks for the giveaway! !!

  3. Thank you for sharing and for the interview!

  4. Bully was one of my favourite reads this month!!! Amazing chemistry between Tate and Jared <3

  5. This is on my TBR shelf too. It looks wonderful! TY!

  6. I read this yesterday and loved it
    You did a great job with a tough subject

  7. Bully sounds really good! Thanks!

  8. Wow this looks good. Definitely adding it to my GR TBR list!

  9. This is a book that I want in paperback. I can't wait to read it. I have known kids that have been bullied and I always told them to fight back so I think I will really enjoy this book.

  10. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. Sounds like an amazing story. Moving it to the top of my TBR!!

  12. I really enjoyed this book I recieved when it was free on amazon and I was hesitant to read it because of that but I did and loved it I would definetely paid to read this one.

  13. This is one of my favorite books this year. I keep going back and reading and rereading highlights of it. I can't wait to read Rival.

  14. Thanks for the giveaway. I love this book and can't wait for the next books!

  15. I just finished this book and loved it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Loved this book! Can't wait for more from this author. Thanks for the Giveaway!

  17. Loved Bully and can't wait for Until You!!!

  18. Thanks for the giveaway! Looking forward to reading this!

  19. Can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. This is a book I hope to read real soon :) Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. OMG! I loved the hell out of Tate and Jared's story! Amazing storyline! Would love to win this!!!

  22. I have not read Bully yet but I want to it sounds good and the thinks I have seen are great it will be one I do read thank you for the amazing chance to win.

  23. Awesome interview. The book sounds really interesting! Thank you for the giveaway!

  24. I'm so glad Penelope is going to be writing full-time next year! Great Q&A :) Awesome Review and Quotes! This book made me emotional too!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  25. Looking forward to reading this. I have heard great things about tis book.

  26. Very generous giveaway, thank you :)


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