Spotlight on Long Way Home by Katie McGarry, Plus Chapter Reveal & Giveaway!

Spotlight on Long Way Home by Katie McGarry, Plus Chapter Reveal & Giveaway!

Today we're spotlighting Katie McGarry's novel, Long Way HomeRead on for more about Katie and her novel, plus a chapter reveal, and giveaway!

 

Meet Katie McGarry!

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

 

 
Meet Long Way Home!
 
Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving. 
It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.
 
But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.
Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.
 

Excerpt--Chapter Two:

Violet

Quick—what do you get when a dentist marries a seamstress? Don’t know?
Answer: A badass man who joins a motorcycle club.
Don’t get it?

It’s okay, neither do I.

I’m completely lost as to why my father joined a motorcycle club. He wasn’t born into the lifestyle like so many members are. My grandparents were as middle class as they come. My grandfather was a dentist with a struggling practice and my grandmother was a dressmaker.

They got married and had my dad and he lived a very normal, boring life. Even grew up in a modest two-story house with a finished basement, white picket fence, MTV playing on the Zenith, and chalk drawings on the sidewalks.

As Dad got older, he played football, dated the cheerleader (my mom), and landed a partial scholarship to college. He went on to become an accountant. Happy middle class—that was my dad. Joining an MC didn’t make sense, but he did join and because of that decision he died.

As I watch the others standing in line laughing and chatting with their happy middle- class families, all I keep thinking is, that could have been me. I could have been the girl in the fuzzy blue sweater giggling with her jeans-on-dress-down-Friday wearing father.

But it’s not me, and I doubt I’ll ever understand why.

The crowd on the bleachers erupts into cheers, and an air siren wails into the cool mid-October evening. The home team, my high school team, scored a touchdown. Standing in line beside me at the ticket booth, my brother, Brandon, bounces on his toes while shoving his hands into his jeans pockets as he strains to see the football field.

He’s one of the many people I love so much that it’s painful. He’s also one of several people in my life I can’t seem to stop hurting.

“Do you think that was Chevy who scored?” It’s the first words he’s said to me since we left school this afternoon. He’s mad I dragged him into the school’s office and showed the vice-principal the bruise and cut on his arm caused by some jerk at lunch. My brother is a joke to most of the boys at our school, and Brandon can never understand why I can’t leave it alone.

It’s because of what happened at lunch that I was late to English today. Brandon was bleeding and I took him to the nurses’ office. The nurse gave him the option of calling Mom and going home, but I talked him into returning to class because Brandon has to learn how to keep his head high. Guys like the ones who hurt him will keep causing problems if they believe they’re getting to him. But guys like that also deserve to be punished, hence why I dragged Brandon into the vice-principal’s office after school.

“I asked if you think it was Chevy who scored,” Brandon repeats.

“I don’t know.” I breathe out the ache Chevy’s name creates. Chevy used to be my boyfriend. He used to be one of my best friends. He’s also one of the people it hurts to love.

“I couldn’t hear who they said scored,” my brother continues. “Everyone was cheering. Do you think we can find out once we get in? Do you think someone will tell us? Can you ask?” Brandon scratches his chin twice, and his cheeks turn red against his naturally pale skin.

The line is long, and he’s flustered we’re late. The late part is my fault. Part of it on purpose, part of it beyond my control. Either way, Brandon’s angry at me. It’s not new. Brandon’s natural state of emotion with me is anger. I’m the one who sets rules and boundaries while everyone else in his life is bent either on babying him or having fun.

Life is not fun and no one is doing either him or me a favor by trying to act differently.

Still, I love Brandon, and I hate that he’s mad at me so we’re here to watch my ex- boyfriend play football. As I said, life isn’t fun. But Brandon deserves a moment of happiness, especially since there are so many people at school determined to make him sad.

It’s midway through football season, and tonight our small town team is playing a big city school. Two powerhouses battling for dominance. Though I seem to be immune, the excitement around us appears to be contagious. A sea of blue sweatshirts, smiles and high fives.

We move up in line and seeing we’re two people away from the ticket window, I pull money out of my back pocket and offer Brandon a five dollar bill while keeping a five for myself.

Brandon’s eyes widen, and he pushes the glasses sliding down his nose back up. “What’s the money for?”

“To buy your ticket.” I flash a smile, hoping he’ll see I’m calm and then he’ll remain calm. My brother is fourteen, a little over three years younger than me. I’m a senior and he’s a freshman. While there are many things we have in common, like our pale skin with freckles, crazy bright red hair, and our father’s blue eyes, there are also so many ways we’re different.

Our minds tinker differently. Not better. Just differently. Brandon’s a little slower on some things, a lot faster on others, and he’s often very anxious around people and in social situations.

“Can’t you do it for me, Vi?” Of course I’m Vi to him now, meaning I’m officially out of the doghouse, and I almost consider folding.

Almost. My brother needs to learn how to handle simple situations on his own.

“You can do it,” I encourage. “Just hand her the money, ask her for one student ticket, and then she’ll hand you your change along with the ticket. The whole exchange will take seconds.”

Brandon shrinks, and even though he’s as tall as me, he reminds me of when we were children and I held his hand as we rode the elementary bus because he was scared.

“I don’t like the way the lady at the ticket booth looks at us. I’ve seen her around town and she makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong when I haven’t.”

My heart sinks, and my fingers play with the bracelets on my wrist. “Any dirty look she gives is for me, not you.”

That’s only partially true. The woman working the ticket counter enjoys giving both of us her evil eye. I could claim that’s her resting bitch face, but when she doesn’t notice me or my brother, she actually smiles.

We live in a small town. Brandon’s the weird kid, and after a picture of me making out with a guy made the rounds on social media, I’m the town whore.

Before the infamous picture, I had forever been labeled a child of the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club because my father was a member. I can’t decide if in the ticket taker’s eyes whore is better than Terror spawn. She probably assumes the two are related.

“Vi,” he starts again, but my muscles tense as my patience wears thin.

“It’s just a ticket.” This time the calm in my voice is forced and so is the smile. “I need you to be able to buy a ticket.”

Brandon’s shoulders slump forward, and I hate that I snapped, but if he can’t buy a ticket to a football game, how can he buy himself food when he grows older?

There are months remaining until I graduate from high school, and even if I figure out how to take him with me when I leave, I won’t be around to take care of him forever. He needs to learn to take care of himself. It’s what we all have to learn.

The people in front of us walk off with tickets. A mom, a dad, a brother, a sister. Middle class and grinning from ear to ear. I seriously hate each and every one of them for being happy. I know, that makes me bitter, but sometimes bitter happens.

“You can do this.” I take Brandon’s hand in mine and give a reassuring squeeze. “I know you can.”

Brandon swallows hard, but nods. A combination of nervous energy and pride rushes through my veins as he grasps my hand in return and fists the cash in his other hand. He’s going to face his fears. The lift of my lips is genuine now. My brother believes in himself, and I believe in him and maybe we’re both going to be okay.

Right as Brandon takes a courageous step forward, two black leather vests slip in front of us and staring back at me is a half skull with fire blazing out of its eye sockets.

The world surrounding me turns red, and my blood begins to boil. “There’s a line and you just cut.”

Eli, one of my father’s once best friends, glances over his shoulder and winks at us as he pulls out his wallet. Like always, he has dark hair cut close to his head, plugs in his ears and a huge grin like we should be glad to see him. “I got you covered.”

Fabulous. Here comes the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club riding in on their black Harleys determined to save the day of people who really need to learn how to save themselves.

“No really, we got this,” I insist.

I try to muscle my way past to pay, but Eli’s right-hand man, Pigpen, plants himself in front of me like the towering sack of testosterone and annoyance that he is. Then he’s on the move and I somehow find myself away from the ticket booth.

“Surprised to see you here, Violet.” Pigpen is in his late twenties and thinks he’s all handsome with his blond hair and big muscles. Because he was a Navy SEAL or Army Ranger or something outrageous like that, he also thinks he’s awesome, but he doesn’t impress me. “Surprised you’re here, but happy to see you. You haven’t been at a game all year.”

“I’ve been busy,” I say.
“Is that what you call avoiding anyone from the Terror? Busy?”
“Works for me.”
“Hi, Pigpen!” Brandon is lit up like a firefly who was convinced the rest of his species

was extinct. Eli, of course, enjoying the role of savior, has his arm around Brandon’s shoulder as they join us.

“Hey, Stone.” Pigpen calls my brother by the stupid nickname the club created for him. “How’s it going?”

“Good. They bought our tickets, Vi!”

“Yep, they sure did, because little ol’ me couldn’t handle the big ol’ ticket booth on my own.” Heavy on the sarcasm and then a hard glare at Eli. “Brandon was going to buy his own ticket.”

Eli rolls his neck like he’s the one who owns the right to be annoyed. “Most people say thank you.”

“You’re missing the point.”

Eli pats my brother’s back. “Why don’t you head in with Pigpen? I’d like to catch up with Violet.”

Brandon bounces like a damn puppy dog given a treat and then rushes off into the stadium, leaving me with Thing Two. And to think my brother called me Vi. The little traitor.

“Pigpen,” I call out. “Don’t leave him.”

I forced my brother to tattle today and while the football game will make him smile, I’m also taking a calculated risk that the people he told on won’t be here. If they are here, I’m betting they won’t mess with Brandon as long as I’m around.

“You worry too much,” Pigpen answers without glancing back.
When it comes to my brother, they don’t worry enough about the right problems.
Eli watches as Brandon and Pigpen go into the stadium. Instead of taking a left for the

bleachers, they go right for the concession stand, and I’m contemplating how to stab

Pigpen in the jugular. Concession food brings my brother into a near state of euphoria, and because of the crappy day my brother and I had, I wanted to be the one that made him happy with a hot dog, nachos and a slushy.

Motorcycle men around the world, as far as I’m concerned, can just plain suck it.

Eli turns to me, and my heart aches. Good God, he reminds me of Chevy. An older version, but still the relation is clear. Like Chevy, Eli’s a McKinley. Chestnut hair, dark eyes, broad shoulders. I’ve often wondered if Chevy will be Eli’s clone when he grows older. Eli is Chevy’s uncle. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if Chevy resembled Eli as he aged, but it’s the fear of Chevy becoming the warrior and convict that Eli is that drove Chevy and me apart.

Eli eyes me warily as he pulls on the plug in his ear. Still, the man has that grin he uses to try to convince people he’s easygoing. But I don’t buy it. Not even God could count all the demons dancing in his soul.

To be fair, Eli used to be one of my favorite people, but he and I haven’t gotten along very well since my father’s death. In fact, I haven’t gotten along with anyone associated with the Terror since Dad died a year ago.

“Hi, Violet.”

“Brandon was going to buy his own ticket.” I work hard to keep my voice steady. “You can’t keep swooping in and doing things for him. He’s got to learn how to fend for himself.”

“It’s good to see you, too,” Eli says like I never spoke. “I’m glad you brought Stone. I know how much that kid loves to see Chevy play.”

“Maybe you didn’t hear me, so I’ll try to be a little more direct,” I say. “Stop butting in with my brother. You don’t help. None of you help.”

“How’s your mom?” Eli continues, once again like the conversation on my end isn’t happening.

“Moping around like always. Know what would help her? A job or a hobby or a purpose. None of which she will get as long as you guys keep popping in and taking care of her.” I’m sensing the theme, but doubt Eli will. Logic complicates his thinking process.

The glint of frustration in Eli’s eyes gives away that he hears me, yet he keeps up the charade. “Tell your mom me and some of the guys from the club will be over to help with the house. Mow the yard. Pay the bills.”

A dangerous anger curls within me. “I’m tired of explaining to you we don’t need the Reign of Terror’s help. In fact, we’d be better off without any of you.”

“Is it impossible for us to talk without fighting?” Eli snaps.

And there it is. Eli finally showing his true colors. “This isn’t a fight. My voice hasn’t risen high enough to draw a crowd, and I have yet to say f*** so we’re still in the land of civil.”

Eli opens his mouth to respond when his cell buzzes. He reaches for his phone, checks the text and a shadow falls over his face. I’ve seen that look hundreds of times growing up and that expression means whatever is going on in his precious club is more important than me, more important than staying.

It’s the look my father had right before he left me for the last time.

Why don’t I want the club involved in my life or Brandon’s? Because Brandon doesn’t need people who promise they’re going to stick around to take care of him, but then abandon him the moment their cell pings. My brother deserves better than that. I deserve better now, and I deserved better when Dad was alive.

“Gotta go?” The bitterness drips in the sing-song sway of my voice.
The black gaze Eli shoots me is his confirmation. “This conversation isn’t over.”
Yes, it is. “I’ve got to take care of my brother while you guys go off and play.”
I walk away from Eli because someone in Brandon’s life has to be responsible.

Someone has to be the grown-up and considering the other people in Brandon’s life are determined to stay irresponsible, the burden falls to me. 

 

And don’t miss Chapter One and Chapter Three of LONG WAY HOME! 
January 11: Check out Chapter One Here!
January 13 (Chapter Three): Vilma’s Book Blog

 
 
 

Long Way Home

By: Katie McGarry

Release Date: January 31, 2016 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

One winner will receive a signed copy of NOWHERE BUT HERE, one signed copy of WALK THE EDGE, and one advanced reviewer copy of LONG WAY HOME. International.

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Featured Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Featured Review: Eerie by C.M. McCoy
 

Comments 21

Already Registered? Login Here
Vivien on Thursday, 12 January 2017 20:35

I love this series. I am so bloody excited for this book. I cannot wait!!!

0
I love this series. I am so bloody excited for this book. I cannot wait!!!
John on Monday, 16 January 2017 21:54

The cover design is very fresh, and I learned something from the synopsis!

0
The cover design is very fresh, and I learned something from the synopsis!
Courtney Gendreau on Monday, 16 January 2017 22:35

The cover design looks great. Not too much not too little. I looks like a great read!

0
The cover design looks great. Not too much not too little. I looks like a great read!
Susan Light on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 09:34

Love Katie McGarry's books. I cannot wait to read Razor and Violet's story.

0
Love Katie McGarry's books. I cannot wait to read Razor and Violet's story.
Jen on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 21:24

I LOVE this cover! And I just saw on-line today that it was the artists daughter who is on the cover, so neat! I can't wait to read this book!

0
I LOVE this cover! And I just saw on-line today that it was the artists daughter who is on the cover, so neat! I can't wait to read this book!
Dianna G. on Saturday, 21 January 2017 20:20

Love how trendy the cover looks! The synopsis sounds great; I have seen good reviews on other blogs about this book. I wonder, though, are the clubs like gangs?

0
Love how trendy the cover looks! The synopsis sounds great; I have seen good reviews on other blogs about this book. I wonder, though, are the clubs like gangs?
Mindy on Saturday, 21 January 2017 21:40

I can't wait for this series!!!

0
I can't wait for this series!!!
Samantha Lashley on Sunday, 22 January 2017 20:32

Love the cover, I love when series covers meld perfectly. Can't wait for Violet's story! Synopsis, as always, pulls me right in!

0
Love the cover, I love when series covers meld perfectly. Can't wait for Violet's story! Synopsis, as always, pulls me right in!
Irma Jurejevčič on Friday, 27 January 2017 10:17

I love this series! I adore and crave Katie's books. This is already on my TBR list and I'm so excited to read it.

0
I love this series! I adore and crave Katie's books. This is already on my TBR list and I'm so excited to read it.
Caity Dooley on Saturday, 28 January 2017 00:45

I love the font on the cover, though I have sadly not been able to read the first book yet. This series has been on my tbr for such a long time

0
I love the font on the cover, though I have sadly not been able to read the first book yet. This series has been on my tbr for such a long time