Friday, December 13, 2013

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: On Solid Ground by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

Today, I have the tour for On Solid Ground by Michelle Kemper Brownlow, hosted by Inkslinger PR, on the blog. This is an incredible and powerful series and I'm excited to share my review with you. Check it out below and enter the giveaway.

On Solid Ground
(In Too Deep #2)
Author: Michelle Kemper Brownlow
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: November 27, 2013
Genre: Contemporary
Source: eARC from the author via Xpresso Book Tours

Gracie survived an emotionally abusive relationship that wrecked her. Her ex, Noah, systematically chipped away at her self-esteem through intimidation, humiliation and infidelity which left Gracie unable to trust her own perception of his intentions. But after falling head over heels for Jake, her best friend and the man who stood by her through it all, she is ready to experience life in the way it was meant to be lived. However, Gracie may find it impossible to simultaneously heal from the trauma of abuse while navigating a relationship with Jake. Can she put her heart on hold in order to heal her soul? The sequel to the five-star debut novel, In Too Deep, chronicles Gracie's steps toward healing as she falls deeper in love, reaches out for help, stands on her own, steps out of her comfort zone, faces her biggest fears, and reconnects with a sensual, talented soul from her past all in hopes of finding herself on solid ground.

What a healing journey that Gracie has ventured on. She has come so far since In Too Deep and her emotional strength and growth was inspiring. In Too Deep was intense and emotional and it broke me. I was so happy to see Gracie was able to put the pieces back together and learn how to heal. Coming back from everything she's been through isn't easy and she faces more obstacles that threaten to hinder her healing process. However, Gracie is strong and she doesn't break that easy!

On Solid Ground starts off six weeks after Grace finally broke free from Noah for good and with the help of Jake, she is working her way towards happiness and healthiness. There's a fun loving, secure Gracie inside and she just needs to channel that girl and put the one Noah created aside. Jake was her saving grace in In Too Deep and he is her sounding board while she grows and strengthens. Jake is freaking amazing and he truly loves Gracie. He supports her in every way by giving her the space she needs and allowing her friendship with Calon to blossom and grow, despite his jealousy and insecurities about it.

I thought I would hate Calon because I was afraid he would come in between Jake and Gracie and I am all about Team Jake! Calon definitely harbors feelings for Gracie but he never tried to make a move on her and he helped pull confidence and self-assurance from her by helping her with her music. His friendship, help and support was instrumental in Gracie's healing and I was glad he came back into her life. She confides in Calon about everything that happened to her with Noah and he becomes another source of support for her. He's been through some difficulties in his life and Gracie is able to help him too and spending time with Becki helps Calon move on from his feelings for Gracie. 

While Gracie is trying to heal, Noah still holds a piece of her because he embedded himself so deep in her psyche. This causes a little strain on her relationship with Jake because he loves her so completely and it hurts him to see Gracie so vulnerable each time the damage Noah caused seeps back into their lives. Each time Noah tried to weasel his way back into Gracie's life, I wanted to junk punch him and when therapy helps Gracie remember things she suppressed that Noah did to her, he instantly made my fictional hit list. That dude is seriously evil and I was so glad to see that he got his in the end.

Gracie is so creative and that side of her was suppressed in her relationship with Noah. It becomes an integral part of her healing process as the old Gracie begins to emerge. Learning the guitar and writing music and poetry give Gracie an outlet and when she is encouraged to sing and play, she starts building self-confidence. It was so beautiful to see Gracie grow and not only get back to herself, but become a completely new person too. As much as she loved Jake, she could see that she was relying on him too much for the strength that she needed to find within and pull from herself. Taking a step back from her relationship with Jake only solidified her love for him and allowed herself to heal enough to give her heart to him completely. I absolutely loved the ending! Gracie has been to hell and back and Jake has loved her and supported her through it all. They deserve a life full of happiness together.

Michelle once again creates an emotionally intense story that pulled my heartstrings and took my breath away. Because she broke me with In Too Deep, she had to continue the story so my heart could be put back together. I loved the dual POV between Jack and Gracie, as well as the introduction of some excellent new characters, especially Calon. We also got to know Becki a lot better and I was so happy that Gracie had such a strong and supportive team behind her. This is such an inspiring story and no matter what difficulties we face in life, we are all strong enough to climb out of the darkness. We just have to find the strength within.


To follow the rest of the tour, click here.

Michelle Kemper Brownlow has been a storyteller her entire life. Her debut wason the high school cheerleading bus granting requests to re-tell her most embarrassing moments for a gaggle of hysterical squadmates.

Earning her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Art Education and then marrying her very own “Jake,” she moved to Binghamton, NY where she taught high school. After having two children she quit work and finished her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Binghamton University.

The Brownlow family of four moved to Michelle’s hometown of Morgantown, PA while the children were still quite young. A few years after moving, her family grew by one when they welcomed a baby into their home through the gift of adoption. The family still resides in PA, just miles from where that high school cheer bus was parked.

Michelle has been an artist for as long as she can remember, always choosing pencils and crayons over toys and puzzles. As a freelance illustrator, her simple characters play the starring roles in numerous emergent reader books published by Reading Reading Books.

“Writing is my way of making sense of the world. When I give my characters lifeon the pages I write, it frees up space in my mind to welcome in new stories that are begging to be told,” says Brownlow.


Check out Book 1 in the series, In Too Deep.
Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?


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  1. I agree this one was really inspiring. I love how Gracie just grew so much and got her strength and confidence back. I was doubtful about Calon until the night he texted Jake, then I loved him!

  2. Wonderful review, Chelsea! This series sounds incredibly character oriented and very emotional, too! Gracie sounds like a protagonist I could easily connect with and root for - but really all the characters sound very fleshed out. I def. have to give this one a try!

  3. Yay! Lovely review Chelsea! I completely agree with everything you said! I was so happy Gracie had such an amazing support system behind her. And I was glad MK didn't take Calon's character in the direction I originally thought. I felt it worked out perfectly!


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