Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hey, guys!  Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you an interview with Katie McGarry, author of the highly anticipated YA contemporary Pushing the Limits -- due out on July 31st -- thanks to the folks at Harlequin Teen.  And they've also provided me with the opportunity to give away a finished copy to one of my lucky readers, so be sure to enter the contest at the end of this post for your chance to win the book that everyone has been talking about!

About the author:   Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and she remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings and reality television, and is a   secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour  and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. Katie loves to visit schools and talk to teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach.

Find out more about Katie McGarry and her books:
website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


What was your inspiration for writing Pushing the Limits?

I had two main inspirations: One, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write a story in which my characters felt strong enough to leave their pasts behind and create new futures for themselves. The first scene I ever saw in my mind was Echo and Noah leaving town after graduation. Two, I wanted to write two characters who were facing over- whelming issues and who, through battling these issues, found hope at the end of their journey.

How did you come up with Echo’s name?

Echo went through several name changes as I wrote the man- uscript. For a while, she had a very normal name, but it alwaysfelt off. It wasn’t until I looked at Echo from her mother’s point of view that I found her name. Echo’s mother loved Greek my- thology so it made perfect sense that she would name her chil- dren after the myths. I read several Greek myths and the mo- ment I found Echo’s, I fell in love. Echo, to me, was the girl who lost her voice. Thankfully, she finds it by the end.

Which character is the most “like” you?

All of them. I gave each character a piece of me (though some have larger slices of me than others). Overall, I’d say I’m a strange combination of Echo, Lila and Beth. Echo has my need to please, Lila has my unfailing loyalty to my friends and Beth encompasses my insecurities.

Did you experience friendships with Grace types when you were in high school?

Yes. And the more people have read this story, the more this question comes up. Grace has struck a stronger nerve in people than I ever would have imagined. It seems most of us have un- fortunately experienced a relationship where a person wants to “like” you and wants “be your friend,” but only if it serves their needs. In case anyone is wondering, that isn’t friendship.

Are there any parts of the story you feel particularly close to?

Yes. The relationship between Noah, Isaiah and Beth. Beyond my parents and sister, my nearest family members were over fourteen hours away. My friends became my family. The peopleI grew up with were more than people I watched movies with or talked to occasionally on the phone. These were people with whom I shared life’s most devastating moments, but also my hardest laughs. These were people who I would have willing- ly died for and I know they would have done the same for me. They shared my triumphs with smiles on their faces and con- gratulatory hugs. They held me when I cried and offered to beat up whoever hurt my feelings. These were also the same people who were more than happy to get in my face if they thought I was making a wrong decision.

Did anything that happens to Echo happen to you?

Sort of. I was bitten by a dog when I was in second grade and repressed the memory. It felt very strange to have no memory of an incident that other people knew about. It was even strang- er to have injuries and not have an inkling where they came from. In college, I finally remembered the incident when a dog lunged at me. I relived the horrible event and sort of “woke up” a few minutes later to find myself surrounded by people I loved. Even though I “remember” the incident, I still don’t remember the whole thing. I only see still frames in my mind and there is no blood in any of the memories.


This summer, Harlequin TEEN is thrilled to introduce first-time author Katie McGarry, a powerful new force on the contemporary YA scene.  Her publishing debut entitled Pushing the Limits is the compulsively readable story of a girl with scars on her arms, a boy with scars inside and the secrets each of them keep. Early buzz surrounding this book has already begun, including an enthusiastic review from PW -- "its suspenseful plot, dramatic conflicts, and tragic characters will keep readers engrossed" -- and Kirkus goes on to call it  "A probing, captivating story." Pushing the Limits is edgy, contemporary YA fiction at its very best.

Add to Goodreads
Title:  Pushing the Limits
Author:  Katie McGarry
Series:  stand-alone
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Publication Date:  July 31, 2012
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

You can find my review of Pushing the Limits here.  And below, you'll find the trailer for this awesome book:


  • US/Canadian residents only, sorry.
  • One entry per household.
  • Winner will be notified via email.  Winner will then have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected.
  • Prize will be shipped by promotional department directly to the winner.  I am not responsible for lost packages.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck & happy reading!


  1. Thanks so much for this giveaway! I really want to read this book so I'm hoping to win.
    My fav contemp of this year would have to be While He Was Away, by Karen Schreck. It was simply amazing!

    ~Emily@Emily's Crammed Bookshelf

  2. So far, my favorite YA contemporary is Lola and the Boy Next Door :)
    Thanks for the giveaway! I've been dying to read Pushing the Limits!

  3. This sound like one of those books I would pick up off my shelf and sit down with and devour. Blocking everyone out till I was done!

    Favorite so far is My Life Next Door.

    Thanks so much

  4. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, Something Normal, or The Fault in Our Stars. I can't choose! There have been so many awesome books. Thank you for the giveaway! I love that Echo was named for the Greek myth. :)

  5. Perfect Chemistry if that is considered contemp. Thanks!

  6. Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic. It was amazing!!

  7. Something Like Normal and Keep holding on

  8. Saving June by Hannah Harrington. Thanks for the giveaway! :D

  9. Honestly, I'm not sure what books are considered "contemporary". I have so many chick lit and YA books that I've read this year so far that I've given 4 to 5 stars and absolutely adored... but I'm not sure which would be considered contemporary. Sorry, not a good answer to your great question... lol! :)

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  10. I loved this book HARDCORE! Great interview!

  11. There are so many great new contemporaries! I loved The Fault in Our Stars, (of course) A Midsummer's Nightmare, and The Disenchantments, and a ton more! Thanks so much for the giveaway! Great interview!

  12. Was - The Fault in Our Stars - this year? If so, that's it. Thanks

  13. Probably Graffiti Moon. I adored that book!

  14. Breaking Beautiful! And Anna and Lola:)

    Thanks so much:)

  15. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!!

  16. This year? Hmm.....I'd have to say Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. :D

  17. Definitely Anna and the French Kiss. I've only read it this year! A little late for me, but I still love it! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. This year?... That's kind of a hard one because there's Fragile by M. Leighton, Thomas & January by Fisher Amelie, Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole, Easy by Tammara Webber, I'm not sure if it is YA but The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle...but I would have to say my absolute top so far is Going Under by Georgia Cates.

  19. I have yet to read any contemporary YA this year but am looking forward to this one!!

  20. I have only read one this year. The List.

  21. I really liked the miseducation of cameron post : ) the fault in our stars was really good too! thanks for the giveaway!!

  22. You know me, I've read tons of Contemp YA this year. I love most of them, but I think my favorite so far is A Midsummer's Nightmare. It was fabulous.

    Thsnks for the giveaway!

  23. So far... my favorite YA contemp this year is Lola and the Boy Next Door

  24. NOt sure when i read this (probably last year). But i loved Anna and the French Kiss.


  25. I have not read a YA contemporary novel this year. I have read more of the YA with a paranormal twist and just finished a really good one called Yesterday's Daughter. Pushing the Limits has been on my book radar and I think perhaps it is time for a contemporary don't you LOL Thank you for sharing with us and for this fun giveaway opportunity.

  26. I really loved The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. Thanks!

  27. I read Perfect Chemistry and loved it great book! Thank you for the great giveaway!

  28. I haven't read a contemporary novel released this year. I most recently read After by Amy Efaw. I really enjoyed that one!
    I would like to read this novel, A Midsummer's Nightmare, and The Fault in Our Stars. I've heard really great things about all three books!
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway! :)

  29. My favorite is probably Anna and the French Kiss(: ahh! too cute(: Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. Either, KEEP HOLDING ON, or PRETTY AMY. They were both awesome. :)

  31. Haven't read one yet - most of the ones I've read have been paranormal or future dystopian!

  32. Gosh, out of the 66 books I've read this year it is hard to narrow it down to just one. I guess I will go with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

  33. Id have to go with the most recent two I read, A need so beautiful and a want so wicked both by Suzanne Young. Amazing books!

  34. I just finished Uninvited by Leah Spiegel and after dealing with the decline of my grandpa, this book really lightened my spirits. Amazing book for me :)

  35. Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan :)


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