I’m crazy thrilled to get to talk about Lia Riley’s debut novel, UPSIDE DOWN. I’m honored to have read this book prepublication and to call Lia my friend. Her words give me all the feels as a reader and all the inspiration as a writer. I’m so happy for you, Lia! UPSIDE DOWN is on of my absolute favs. Happy, happy release day!

Lia and I wanted to do something extra fun for her release today, so you’ve got TWO giveaway opportunities! Enter the rafflecopter after the fabulous UPSIDE EXCERPT for a great Australian themed prize pack. To win an ARC OF BOOK TWO (you heard me), SIDESWIPED,  play along with our little game right here.

Lia is a brave soul who is not afraid to admit when she makes a mistake, especially when it comes to pop culture bloopers. She made
upsidedownblooper2Maleficentupsidedown_blooper1Hans a couple in UPSIDE DOWN, which were remedied before publication. I credit myself with finding one of these, and it will forever be one of my favorite inside jokes with Lia
(and now with you too). So, Lia is sharing her pop culture snafus with you. To enter to win an arc of SIDESWIPED (arc available most likely next month), all you have to do is leave a comment on this post sharing a pop culture mistake you’ve made. Get creative. This can include messing up character names, song lyrics, you name. Lia will show you hers if you show her yours.  Can you tell what’s wrong with both or either of these? Here’s a hint for my favorite one. Thanks for sharing, Lia. Readers, make sure you comment and share yours!
UPSIDE DOWN by Lia Riley
(August 5, 2014; Forever E-Book; $3.99)

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

Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to Australia. Everything is going to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. 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.

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“A few meters more, you’re almost there.”

It’s like we’re at the end of some old-school adventure tale, one where the heroes are stoic even as the blizzard rages, avalanches fall, and death hovers like a benevolent ghost.

Well, Bran is the hero.

I’m like one of the minor sidekicks who goes down during some important turning point. My death might even inspire the hero on his journey or teach him a valuable lesson. But at this point in the flick, the minor sidekick should be well and truly dead. Not white-knuckling a column of dolerite rock, thighs gripping the stone like it’s the world’s best lover.

“That’s it, Talia,” Bran’s voice is encouraging. “You’re holding tight, that’s great. Now, I’m going to need you to release your left hand and reach up a few inches to grab the next hold.”

I grit my teeth. The way he talks, you’d think I’m scaling Everest. Or at least Kilimanjaro. Instead—

“’Scuse, us, we’ll be by in a tic. That’s the way, Andy, right around the lady.”

I’m the lady. Andy is a kid who doesn’t look a day over seven who scrambles past me in a flurry of Spider-Man shoes and gap-toothed smiles. His parents bring up the rear, smiling up at their wild monkey child with obvious pride.

And they aren’t the first group to pass me.

Five Swedish women, a couple, and a guy who looked to be in his mid-seventies have also shot past me during the course of the last quarter hour.

The top is so close I can taste it. Bran is being nothing but encouraging, but below me is a twenty-foot drop. Not enough to kill me, unless I fall with some sort of suicidal intent, but enough to make me feel incredibly uneasy about the boulder field.

Bran eases toward me. “Talia, take my hand.”

“Can’t let go.”


“No.” This is it; this is the reason. Bran isn’t going to admit it here, while I’m bordering on a panic attack on a trail being conquered by elementary school children and senior citizens, but there’s no doubt this is A REASON to lose interest in me. I’m giving him a big capital-lettered reason, but I can’t stop. I physically can’t let go.

“Talia. Take a deep breath.”

“Breath taken.”



“Give me your hand, no bullshit. I want your fingers in mine. You’ll be safe. I’m going to keep you safe. I need you to trust me.”

Somehow I do it. I give him my fingers. He assists me up. We’re doing this together. My head clears the boulder and I can see the steel marker that identifies the summit ahead. Holy shit, he’s right. I’m going to reach the top.

A few more steps, easy now, and we’re there. The kid in the Spider-Man shoes munches a Vegemite sandwich. I want to scoop him up in a smooshy squeeze. Except his parents would likely object, so I switch gears to give Bran a long and passionate kiss.

“I knew you’d get here,” he says.

“I didn’t.”

He turns me to see the view, his hands tight around my waist. “Your place is here, Captain, in the sun,” he whispers in my ear. “Don’t ever forget that.”

About the author: 

After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, LIA RILEY Lia Riley_Photo Credit Kitti Hommescoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. 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. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.
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