29 July 2014

Title: Upside Down (Off the Map #1)
Author: Lia Riley
Publisher: Grand Central/Forever, 384 Pages (August 5th, 2014)
Add to: Goodreads
Order here: Amazon, Barnes and NobleAmazon UK, Amazon AustraliaKobo

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: Book #1 in the OFF THE MAP series
New Adult Contemporary Romance

If You Never Get Lost, You’ll Never Be Found

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.

Excerpt & EXCLUSIVE Alternate Point Of View Scene!

Set Up: A Californian exchange student to Australia narrowly misses being mowed down during a fight between a guy in a koala suit and an angry businessman.

(actual excerpt from UPSIDE DOWN)

          “Hey there.” I kneel next to the koala and place my hand on his mangy, threadbare fur shoulder. “You all right? Thanks for standing up for me.”

          Stony silence ensues.

          “Um…”I look around, helpless. No one pays us any attention. “Is there someone I should call—”

          “I’m fine, just taking a nap.” The koala’s freakish frozen smile is a sharp contrast to the deep and surly Australian accent.

          “Well, I can’t leave you here.” I reach to take his arm, help him to his feet.

          He jerks back. “I’m sure you mean well, but time to piss off. Show’s over.”

          “Wow. Nice, real nice. Jesus, sorry I bothered.” I stand and wipe my palms on my scalloped-edged skirt, shouldering my bag, irritated at my hurt feelings. “Guess no good deed goes unpunished.”

          “Sorry to let you down, sweetheart.” He brushes off his arms. “I’m no knight in shining armor.”

          “Duly noted.” I take a step backward. When he threatened the suit on my behalf, he meant every word. In some way, I knew, deep down, that he’d keep me safe. So why rush to my defense and then push me away?

          And why overanalyze?

          This is a dude in a koala suit. He clearly lacks vital screws.

          The dive Jazza selected for our not-a-date squats across the street. I give the koala a frosty parting glare and stalk away. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I swear he watches me go.

          Whatever, cuckoo koala.

          Tonight’s plan was to seek adventure, and an altercation with an escapee from the Island of Dr. Moreau must count to that end. Time to grab a beer and chalk the encounter up to a good story for once I’m back home.

(special A Life Bound By Books behind-the-scenes peek into hero POV)

          The koala mask is half-cocked. The only thing in my field of vision is the white dress riding her perfectly curved thigh. Shit. Figures I’d have my ass handed to me in front of a hot girl. It’s all I can do not to flinch when her hand settles on my shoulder. “You all right?” she asks.“Thanks for standing up for me.”

          When you’re in the gutter--literally--what’s there to say? Nothing.

          “Um…” She trails off. People step over my splayed legs.No one pays any attention, except her. Her fingers tighten on me, and for a second, I’mnot alone.

           “Is there someone I should call—”

          “I’m fine, just taking a nap.” Go find the lucky guy you’re wearing that cute-as-hell dress for.

          “Well, I can’t leave you here.” Her voice is husky, a little sexy. The American accent lends an extra dose of optimism to her forced cheer. Shemoves to help me to my feet.

          Pity parties aren’t my scene. “I’m sure you mean well, but time to piss off. Show’s over.”

          “Wow. Nice, real nice. Jesus, sorry I bothered.” She stands andwipesher palms on her skirt, erasing me from her skin. “Guess no good deed goes unpunished.”

          “Sorry to let you down, sweetheart.” Girls like her aren’t meant for bastards like me. “I’m no knight in shining armor.”

          “Duly noted.” She pauses a moment, as if waiting for me to redeem myself. Yeah, not likely.At last, she turns, tosses her head and crossesLygon Street, heading toward the grotty pub on the corner.Her hips swing in a way that makes me an idiot. Muscles clench deep in my stomach asI push to my feet, walkingbefore my brain has a chance to hit the brakes. This is a bad idea, but no one ever accused me of being a bloody genius. Here’s the plan: Have a pint at the bar and prove the unsettled feeling in my heart is a side effect from adrenalin.

          The American girl won’t be anything, at least not to me.

About the Author:
Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn't mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound pretty sweet.

She and her family live in Northern California.

Find Lia Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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