Promotional Blitz, Review & Giveaway: A. Meredith Walters "Reclaiming the Sand."
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1ofJyXF
*THIS IS A STAND ALONE WITH NO CLIFFHANGER!*
Bully and victim.
Tormenter and tormented.
Villain and hero.
Ellie McCallum was a bully. No connection to anyone or anything. A sad and lonely existence for a young woman who had come to expect nothing more for herself. Her only happiness coming from making others miserable.
Particularly Freaky Flynn.
Flynn Hendrick lived a life completely disconnected even as he struggled to become something more than that boy with Asperger's. He was taunted and teased, bearing the brunt of systematic and calculated cruelty, ultimately culminating in a catastrophic turn of events that brought Ellie and Flynn’s worlds crashing down.
But then Flynn and Ellie grew up.
And moved on.
Until years later when their paths unexpectedly cross again and the bully and the freak are face to face once more.
When labels come to define you, finding yourself feels impossible. Particularly for two people disconnected from the world who inexplicably find a connection in each other.
And out of the wreckage of their tragic beginnings, an unlikely love story unfolds.
But a painful past doesn’t always want to let go. And old wounds are never truly healed…and sometimes the further you try to run from yourself the closer you come to who you really are.
I'm a complete and utter emotional wreck, a blubbering mess... and I don't think I've cried so much reading a book as I did when reading A. Meredith Walters "Reclaiming the Sand." Right from the start, that lump had taken up permanent residence in my throat and when the water works started, there was no turning them off. There was happy tears, sad tears angry tears and and most definitely tears of frustration but I wouldn't change it for the world. This book opened my eyes, made me think and ultimately gave me a sense of hope. It was beautiful yet in the same breath it was soul destroying.
He sees the beauty where others don't. He hears love when others only hear pain.
He gives me strength to become the person I've been terrified to be.
You will hate me.
You will love him.
I love him.
He has changed my world.
"Reclaiming the Sand" told the story of Ellie and Flynn.. two people you would never put together. I mean Ellie was an out and out bully who took great pleasure in hurting others and Flynn... well he was just a beautiful, quiet boy who didn't ask for trouble but somehow managed to attract it because of his Aspergers.
I tried desperately to understand Ellie's character and her behaviour towards Flynn... she was definitely a class A bitch on surface and her and her so called friends really knew how to push my buttons and wind me up. I tried to keep an open mind. I tried not to judge. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. I looked at every avenue: were they a product of a failed system? Most definitely. Was it as a result of poor parenting? Yes in some cases. Maybe a lack of discipline and guidance? Without a shadow of a doubt but there were moments it was hard not to hate this group of people. They were cruel, vindictive, spiteful and hurtful and there were so many pages where I sobbed my heart out. I think it was the chapters from Flynn's POV that ended up breaking me though because those scenes played out so clearly in my mind and all I could see was a group of bullies picking on a young, frightened, vulnerable individual who struggled to stand up for himself.
I hate being alone. I want people to talk to me. I want them to like me.
It makes me angry when I try to say something and people ignore me.
Or worse they laugh. They call me names. Lots of names. Mean names.
The more I got to know Ellie, her past and her secrets, the more I understood her character. Don't get me wrong, there is never an excuse for bullying but her life had been far from easy. The lack of self confidence, the lack of self worth, the viscous circle she was in... no hopes, no dreams.. it was heart breaking stuff.
I loved Flynn's character, although he was completely different to the heroes I'm used to reading about. There was an innocence, a purity that pulled me in, that made me want to protect him, to shelter him from the cruelty of the world. I connected to his honesty, to his strength and to the courage he displayed ... but mostly I fell in love with the simplicity of this man. He lived his life in a way that most of us could only dream of with few complications, doing what he loved... sculpting. It was beautiful. He was beautiful (and now I'm going to go and cry again).
He really was sort of amazing. After everything life had thrown at him, here he was,
whole and healthy. He hadn't become embittered or angry.
He had become content and fulfilled in a way I could never understand.
I think A. Meredith Walters depicted Flynn's character perfectly from his mannerisms right down to the traits of his condition. There was a continuation of certain aspects of his behaviour from his teenage years right through to adulthood and in real life, that's what happens... a condition doesn't just go away. Yes there were times I got frustrated by him but as I took a step back, I realised patience was key. Flynn had aspergers... it was a part of him and to love him meant to love all of him.
The relationship between Flynn and Ellie wasn't an easy one to read, especially the chapters told from years gone by when the friendship the two had shared had been a secret. At school, she taunted him, bullied him, called him names, shattered his confidence and broke his heart but behind closed doors, they shared something beautiful. It was bitter sweet to read because I could see the war raging in Ellie's mind: do the right thing or bow to peer group pressure and unfortunately it was the latter that won which ultimately destroyed the bond the teenagers had shared.
"You should do what makes you happy. You are smart. You are beautiful.
You can do anything. You don't belong here. You belong out there."
The growth I saw in both Flynn and Ellie's characters was awe inspiring. The battles they fought and won, the new experiences they embraced, the compromises and sacrifices they made... I felt such an immense sense of pride ... it's so difficult to understand until you read the book but I wanted the courage these two individuals had because that what it took to achieve everything they did... courage.
It didn't take me long to realise that A Meredith Walters was not going to make this a hearts and flowers love story... nope. What she did was give her readers a story that was realistic and right up until the last line I cried, as in big ugly hiccuping tears that drowned my eyes.
This book was different, it was amazing, it was inspiring, it was thought provoking. A Meredith Walters took a chance and did something very much unconventional and in my eyes it definitely paid off. The writing touched my soul and the characters have definitely left their marks on me. Be prepared to be put through the emotional wringer and make sure you have a box of kleenex to hand. Flynn and Ellie's journey will stay with me for a long time and when things get tough and I want to give up, I'll remember Flynn.
He was worth everything. Because Flynn Hendrick had taught me how to feel.
He taught me how to live. He had taught me how to love.
I rated "Reclaiming the Sand" 5 Inspirational Hearts
"I like being with you. I missed you," Flynn said, surprising me. Of all things for him to say, I had not expected that. It was such an innocent thing but it held so much weight.
He missed me.
After everything I had done to him.
He missed me.
I couldn't respond. I had nothing to say to that. I couldn't reciprocate because I hadn't missed him. I had spent most of the last six years despising him. Blaming him for things that weren't his fault. It had been easier to hate him than to hate myself.
"You stopped talking to me. After my birthday. You never called me again. Mom said to leave you alone. That you weren't my friend. But you were my friend. Because you told me I was and I believed you." His eyes were bright and even though he wouldn't look directly at me, I knew his eyes were wet..
I should tell him the truth. I should shatter his illusions of me before they could grow into something more dangerous.
His mother hadn't told him what I had done. She had saved him from that particular pain. I didn't know whether to be thankful or upset that sh e had done that. Because now here were, six years later, on the cusp of something not yet realized and i struggled.
I wanted to tell him. But I wanted to lie as well. I liked the way he looked at me. To Flynn Hendrick, Ellie McCallum was important. She was wanted. If i told him the truth about that night, I was sure that would all change.
A. Meredith Walters Bio:
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.
A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.
When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.
A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5416410.A_Meredith_Walters