Author: Jessica Roberts
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Tour Organized By: AToMR Tours
Bright, spunky Heather Robbins has escaped her small hometown and is anxiously beginning her freshman year of college. Rising above her rocky childhood, she’s found a place where good things are finally starting to happen: her own private apartment, refreshing college classes, and an intense attachment to a mysterious and rugged classmate, Nick Richards.
But when her dreamy college life turns out to be nothing more than a wonderful dream while resting in a coma, questions threaten.
Now, Heather must press forward to unlock the real past, and find the answers buried deep in her mind. What she unlocks instead is a roller coaster ride through flashbacks, embellished memories, and a whirlwind romance.
And when it’s all over and she comes face to face with the truth, will she lose everything she’s fallen in love with?
About the Author:
JESSICA ROBERTS grew up in the San Francisco, California Bay Area where she spent most of her time playing sports alongside her six siblings. She was crowned Miss Teen California her senior year of high school, and went on to Brigham Young University where she graduated in Human Development. Her love of family, church, writing, athletics, and singing and dancing keeps her life busy and fulfilled. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and three children.
And then all of a sudden Nick got up. While my brain was determining where he was going and if I’d gone too far, my eyes studied his physique as it strolled away from me. His t-shirt clung to the evident muscles of his upper back, hanging flawlessly in the hollow down to his waist. I’d never noticed something like that. To my eye’s dismay he hunched behind the counter. I was fascinated and confused by the draw I felt to him and the alien emotions pulling inside my stomach. Emotions I was certain I’d never processed before.
A few seconds later his eyes fastened on me. “Garbage?”
“What? Oh.” I stood, laughing sheepishly. “Yeah. I don’t have one. I mean, I need to get one.” I placed my clumsy hands on my hips and then glanced behind me because I didn’t know where else to look.
Visually I followed him as he wadded the white paper in his hand, snatched his keys off the counter, and strolled toward me. But because my eyes were nervously stiff I didn’t really see him. I twisted Creed’s ring around my finger; then my hand scratched the back of my neck; and then my foot propped behind me on its tiptoe and I almost lost my balance.
Say something! He’s leaving!
“You’re leaving already and I haven’t even finished my sandwich.” I scrunched my nose at what came out. “Not that I want you to stay or anything. I mean, it’s your choice to stay or leave but—”
His nearness cut me off. In the course of my bird-brained comments, he had been advancing toward me, finally stopping uncomfortably close to me. His lips were curved in a wicked grin and I swallowed with a bashfulness I rarely felt.
To my utter shock, a hot finger lifted my chin and our faces came even closer. Too close.
“Would you like that, if I stayed?”
My eyes dropped from his, but they only made it to his chest since he was holding my head in place.
“Actually, I have so much to do today,” I said, trying my best to sound bored. But my voice held a nervous quiver that most likely made him smile more.
Though he dropped his hand from my face, he didn’t back away and his deep voice rumbled through my head again. “Some of us attend class.”
My nose scrunched. Had I missed class this morning? Before I had time to pinpoint what day it was, he was gone.
Guest Post: The “New” Category In Books
I’ll never forget the day I packed up my childhood bedroom, crammed all my belongings into “The Jescort” (my 1984 white Ford Escort clunker), and headed off to college. It was a peculiar season in my life. I was without a guardian for the first time, I had almost no money to my name ($500 in my checking account and a new Visa with a credit limit of $1000), and I was moving to an unfamiliar town and state I’d only ever seen in pictures.
Yes, I was naïve and unprepared, but I was also a hopeful young woman on the threshold of womanhood, with a healthy desire to live out my dreams.
This desire began my senior year of high school when I decided to stop messing around and start making something of my life. It was also the year I developed a penchant for reading. Though I read the classics mostly – the Bronte sisters, CS Lewis, Jane Austin, etc. which fast became my favorites, I found that I was also drawn to the more modern, easily engaging Young Adult (YA) authors – Judy Bloome, VC Andrews, Beverly Cleary, and so on.
Despite my newfound love, I soon became frustrated by the lack of books that included topics I truly craved to read about. On one end there were “teen” books filled with fun yet overly predictable story lines, and on the other end, “adult” books that were flat-out irrelevant to my circumstance. After all, what did I know or care about a thirty-something year old depressed divorcee who spends her summer at a lake house and falls in love with her artist neighbor? Yawn.
No, what I really wanted to read about was leaving home and starting a life on my own: the awesome new apartment, the “leave-class-whenever-I-want-to” college experience, and the thrilling first feelings of falling in love. In truth, though still in high school, that was all I could think about.
It was back then that I realized the missing genre in books. I wondered why there wasn’t a category of writing to fill the gap between the teen years and adulthood, that 18-25 year old range, the pivotal transition period when a person has graduated from teen life but isn’t quite an adult yet.
Well, it seems I wasn’t the only one.
In November, 2011, St. Martin’s Press agreed that the Young Adult (YA) age range in books was too broad, and decided to introduce the “New Adult” category, a crossover category that spans between YA and Adult. Taken from Wikipedia:
New-adult Fiction or post-adolescent literature is a recent category of fiction for young adults first proposed by St. Martin’s Press . . . [who] wanted to address the coming-of-age that also happens in a young person’s twenties. They wanted to consider stories about young adults who were legally adults, but who were still finding their way in building a life and figuring out what it means to be an adult.
. . . This age group is considered to be the lucrative ‘cross-over’ category of young-adult titles that appeal to both the young-adult market and to an adult audience. Publishers of young-adult fiction now favor this category as it encompasses a far broader audience. The chief features that distinguish this category from Young-adult fiction are the perspective of the young antagonist and the scope of the antagonist’s life experience. Perspective is gained as childhood innocence fades and life experience is gained, which brings insight. It is this insight which is lacking in traditional young-adult fiction.
Is it any wonder, then, that New Adult books are already capturing the interest of teens and adults all over the world? Books like Easy by Tamara Webber, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire and Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park are three of many college-set books that are fast becoming big sellers.
And why not? Arguably, those college years are the most thrilling, independent, self-seeking, and decadent years of a person’s life. As a teen, it’s exactly what I wanted to read about. And as an adult, it really hasn’t changed that much; the magic of those years still resonates in me. Perhaps that’s why I, too, chose to write within this new genre.
My debut novel, Reflection, is a New Adult romance about a bright, spunky high school grad who leaves her rocky childhood and small hometown behind, and ventures off to college. True to the genre, Reflection is more than teen fluff yet fresher than the heavy, adult stuff. It’s a book about growing pains and growing up, living and surviving, dreaming and fulfilling one’s dreams.
So, what does this new genre mean for you and me, whether you’re eighteen, leaving home in a puttering, white Ford Escort to fulfill your dreams, or you’re thirty-something, living out your dreams by creating a family and home of your own?
I believe it means that there will finally be a place in the book world where all of us dreamers will feel right at home.
I thoroughly enjoyed the playlist Jessica set up for this book. I have yet to read it, yes (and I indent to so it soon, as should you!) but I’ve heard a lot about it, and this playlist seems to fit just perfectly. What do you think?
- Let That Be Enough by Switchfoot (Creed . . .)
- Whole Wide World by Mindy Gledhill (Heather leaving home for college)
- On My Mind by Kalai (The song Nick sings and plays on guitar in class)
- Fallin for You by Colbie Caillat (Heather’s perfect summer semester)
- True by Ryan Cabrera (Heather and Nick’s growing relationship)
- I’m Yours by Jason Mraz (The California trip – not spot on, but the lighthearted sincerity of the song evokes similar emotions. And besides, I love Jason Mraz.)
- Closer by Joshua Radin (The night of the phone call, moments before the accident)
- September by Daughtry (Waking from the coma)
Wanna listen to it? Yes? Me too!
I especially love Let That Be Enough by Switchfoot and September by Daughtry. Do you have any favorites?