Monday, July 1, 2013

PAINTED LINES by Brei Betzold BLOG TOUR review, alt. ending, giveaway

Scout has always wanted to follow in her family’s business of custom bike building. Being female never stopped her from getting greasy and slapping on paint with the best of them, and made her work even harder at opening up her own shop someday.

When an opportunity to win $500,000 dollars in prize money presents itself, Scout and her group of misfit friends sign on the dotted line to be filmed for a reality television show to win it. But like anything in life there’s always a catch to free money.

When nightmares of the past meet dreams of the future, Scout is forced to face her demons, or be quickly over run by the memories. In the midst of her inner turmoil, family will come home, and possibly a life she never expected to have could be within her grasp.

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PAINTED LINES on Goodreads:

Chrissy's 20 star review!

So I didn't like Painted Lines...... I fucking LOVED it! I had this amazing opportunity to beta read for this book and with all beta reading you offer your advice on what could make the story more appealing to other readers..... Nothing. I had nothing to offer because I literally felt like EVERYTHING was perfect. Brei did an amazing job on letting you connect with the character. 

This story is not for the light at heart. It's not lace, flowers and rainbows. It's a story of emotion that digs down so deep into your heart that you literally ache. 

Harper Lee AKA Scout (by the way this made me love this book more. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books.) had a very fucked up past. It's torturous and traumatic and when she describes the events that happened to her you can't help but cry. Fuck! No one should have to go through the pain that she went through. She suffers from PTSD even years later. 

She and her very close friends are entered into a reality tv show contest where she has a run in with her past. It sets off all the alarms and bells in her to fight. Fight for herself. She meets Thayne, and it wasn't perfect at first. There was no love at first sight. Over time Thayne helps Scout crawl out from under her armor. 

You literally watch Scout become the person she needs to be. She becomes stronger and learns to live. She learns lies about her past and has the strength to move forward. I was a sobbing fucking mess while reading this book. I felt and lived every single emotion in Scout. This book in my eyes is more than 5 stars and even more than 10 stars. To be able to find a book that you can feel and breath is hard but this did it for me. This is a 20 star book for me and will be sitting pretty in number one favorite books of 2013. 

Wendy's 5+++ *Mind Blown* review

I need to first start off by letting y'all know that I had the privilege to beta read this book for Brei. The first time she sent me a sort of outline of the story and I was a little intimidated by the whole premise of the story. BUUUTTT....I was immediately drawn to Scout. There weren't a whole lot of details pertaining to her past, but I could tell that this chick had lived thru something horrific, and yet she still managed to go on. After reading this outline for Brei, I messaged her and told her that I needed more. I wanted to know who all of the supporting characters were, I wanted to learn more about the nickname that Scout had inherited from her grandpa, I NEEDED to know more about Scout in general. So, Brei started sending me more and more and every bit of it was just another piece of the information that I had been craving. It was quickly determined that while reading this story I had become a part of it. Brei managed to pull me into Scout's world by simply giving her something worth fighting for after the horrendous experience from her childhood. 

We meet a ton of people in PL and I was concerned at first about how all of these characters would fit into this story. I think Brei does an awesome job of giving each supporting character a story of their own and brings them all together. Without "the guys" in Scout's life, I think we would have been missing something. I adored Simon, I wanted to party with Liam and I wanted to cuddle up with Kale. These three guys are going to be tough to get out of your head once they've gotten in. 

Then you'll meet Thayne! And let me just say that this guy will piss you off at first meeting him. He's a bit of a surprise and just what Scout needs in her life. Someone who wont back down, someone willing to TRY to break through her walls. I wanted to give Thayne a big ol' knuckle graze to the junk at first and then by the ending I was prepared to give him a big ol' stroke down there. The way he stands by him! 

So basically, I need to tell you how much you NEED to read Painted Lines!!! This story is gripping, it's painful, intense, emotional, and will have you clenching your chest at times. And, it will leave you smiling, a little giddy and extremely happy at the outcome that could have gone in a totally different direction. This is not your "normal" romance, this is not your "normal" HEA, but this story is something magical to be a part of. 

I still go back and re read parts of this book, mostly when I'm having a bad day. I'm constantly reminded that there are so many things in this life that could go wrong but that there are always worse things. Scout's story is a reminder to me that my life, while not perfect, is definitely better off than what some have had to go through. 

Needless to say, I am completely and utterly in the throes of such passion for this book. I loved reading it while it was in the making, but even more so when it was all put together. I also love love LOVE the fact that Brei went on a spiral with the ending of this book. She and I talked for hours, even days, about how she should end this story. I was honored to have gotten a glimpse at the alternate ending and I'll be honest, I even tried to talk her into using it. I know...I'm a little disturbed, but I'm more than happy to say that I think Brei made the right choice in the way she ended this story for such a character as Scout. That girl needed to find her peace and have her love ending. 

And because I begged Brei for the alternate ending spot on the tour...Yes, I'm not above begging to get some things. Here is the ALTERNATE ENDING that could have been, to Painted Lines: 

It’s been a year since I lost her, it’s a scene I will never forget.  Walking into my apartment and finding him straddling her body, a knife embedded into her body.  I still wake at night reaching for her, praying that my dream had been just that, a dream.  I’m not sure what all happened in that apartment after we entered, I only remember holding her against my chest begging her to hold on, but I knew she had already left me. 
I have stopped trying to make sense of the whys. The only conclusion I ever came to was that it wasn’t the ending she deserved.  There are no answers to such a senseless act. There is not retribution befitting of the loss.  There was nothing to help console us, just a gaping hole where she should be.  I could find some bullshit existential reason, but in reality, it was just fucked up.  She lived a shit life, had a shit ending, and all for some psychopath’s amusement.  I could say something fucked up about how she changed my life, how she taught me so much, and while it’s true, I would give it all up just to see her smile.  Ma belle deserved more than that, she deserved more than to become a life lesson.
So I will remember her as she really was, a broken, scared girl who was given a shit hand.  A gorgeous, smartass girl who could make me laugh.  A scarred girl who had her flaws, had a laugh like wind chimes, and who was an artist.  My girl.  My beautiful.
So now, I go to where we said goodbye to her, to pay homage to a life that was too short.  She had lived with so much pain and horror, she didn’t deserve this.  She deserved to live her life, to find happiness, love, and peace.  I can only hope that she had felt that with her too brief time with me, because god knows she gave me all of those things and more. 
I knelt beside the place where we laid an angel to ground. I wanted to rail against the world, scream my loss to the universe, but instead I stared at the name of the girl I loved—love.  The beautiful, sad girl who stole my heart and took it with her.  I traced her name with my finger, smiling, remembering the conversation we had about her name.  The words following her name made me smile. There were so many more words to add to this memorial; lover, aunt, granddaughter, my perfection.

Harper “Scout”  Lee Lewis

Sister, Daughter, Friend

Our Beloved, Cherished Seraph
“I love you, belle,” I murmured wiping the tears from my face.
I sat there and remembered our short time together, knowing that I would never find another person like her.  I also knew deep down that she would want me to live my life for both of us. 
I stood and blew her a kiss. I would be back to visit, but it was time to live my life, if not for me, then for her, the girl who never knew what that meant.
60 years later…
“Mia Bella,” I whispered tracing the familiar words of her tombstone.  I had visited her twice a year—every year.  The day she was taken from me and the fourth of July—the two days of the year that I felt her closest to me.
“Bella, I’ve had a good life,” I murmured. “I watched my sister, Nikki, grow up to be a strong beautiful woman, marry a good man, and have a family.  I’ve also stayed close to your family, watching them grow in size.  You’d be so proud of them.  I tried to find someone to spend my life with, only problem is, you took my heart with you, which is fine, since it was yours to take.”
“Ah I miss you, Bella,” I wiped my eyes and looked around the place I had buried my love.
“I never was able to get over you, but I did pursue our dream.  The shop you always dreamed of has flourished over the years.  We’ve added to the family who’s worked there.  We’ve also lost family along the way.  Though I’m sure you already know that.  We thought of you each and every day.  I can’t remember a day when something didn’t bring you to our thoughts, our memories.”
“I don’t regret anything, Bella, other than that day.  Though I think each of us have regrets about the day we lost you.”
I brushed away some of the leaves around her grave, placed a kiss to my palm and pressed it against the closest thing I had to Scout, her memorial.
“I love you, Mia Bella, no one could ever take your place.  I know I will see you again, and that gives me the strength to live for both of us.  I love you, Mia Bella.”
With that, I turned and left leaving her to her slumber, content with my life.



2- swag packs
2- Painted Lines e-books 
2- signed paperbacks
2- necklaces inspired from Painted Lines
$25 Starbucks gift card in celebration of Scout's addiction

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