Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Blitz and Massive Giveaway, Including a Voyager Tablet: Surfacing by Kristin Halbrook

Surfacing by Kristin Halbrook
Publication date: December 10th 2014
Genres: Mystery, New Adult


Katie Sawyer has spent the past three and a half years cultivating the perfect UCLA experience. She has the perfect boyfriend: a football star. She has the perfect social life: she’s President of Delta Gamma. But her perfect best friend, Chelsea, just drowned. Worse, the body tumbled out of the closet in Professor Griffin’s chem lab.

Katie’s fairy-tale façade hides a past she would like to forget, but Chelsea’s death brings every old emotion to the surface. If she’s going to move on from her hurts, Katie has to pull her not-so-perfect self together and search out the identity of Chelsea’s killer, even if it means turning to Josh Hunter for help. It’s not easy. Josh infuriates her. Once upon a time, they were next door neighbors and best friends. They were confidants. They were even teenagers fumbling and exploring each other in the dark. He knew everything about her. He owned her heart. That was before things changed.

Now, secrets are surfacing. Chelsea was seeing someone. And she was pregnant when she died. Katie must come to terms with Chelsea’s other life…and face the fact that she has some secrets of her own. Even if it means letting the past–and Josh Hunter–back into her life.

A college Clueless meets Veronica Mars, Kristin Halbrook’s new adult mystery is full of sexy romance and twists that will keep you guessing until the end.


I twirled my pencil and checked the clock, focusing on what students in the class were wearing, what they were doing, who they were looking at. Anything to keep my mind from drifting off into clouded corners of thought. Almost forty minutes had passed and Chelsea hadn’t shown up. I furrowed my brow.
Across the room, Terrell Watson and Murphy Klein flicked wadded balls of paper at each other like they were still in high school, not seniors in college. Science nerds. I stifled the giggle that bubbled up in my throat. Chelsea always called us science nerds. We were the only science majors in DG and that had made us instant BFFs three years ago when we first met. If we could take a class together, we did. We helped each other with everything, but were highly competitive, too. Her grade in this class was slightly higher than mine right now, but I was owning Physical Biochem.
Someday, she and I would take science academia by storm, with our brains and our fashionable redesigned lab coats. Because we were girls who wanted to have it all.
I jotted down some lab notes, then looked up to find Professor Griffin glance anxiously at Chelsea’s usual spot next to me. He and Chelsea had always been kind of flirty. He caught my eye when he noticed me looking at him and looked away quickly. I frowned. It wasn’t like Chels to miss class, and she had been gone from our room before I was awake this morning. Where was she? I pulled my phone into my lap, sneaking glances at Griffin, and turned it on with one hand while writing more notes with my other hand. Once fired up, I sent her a text full of question marks.
Professor Griffin cleared his throat and I thought I was done for. But his planned words were cut off by the slightly muffled sound of a ringtone behind us. The whole class paused and looked up, turning towards the tall cupboards at the back of the room.
I knew that ringtone. That bell sound that made Chelsea stop whatever she was doing to see who was thinking about her at that moment.
But loads of people would have had the same ringtone, surely. My thumb moved lightly over my phone screen. A heavy feeling built in the pit of my stomach. I looked down. Typed Hey woman! and sent it to Chelsea. My ears pricked up.
The ringtone came from the cupboards again.
Had Chelsea come late last night to study and left her phone behind? That would explain why she was missing classes. She always relied on my alarm to get us up in the morning, but if she’d stayed over somewhere else and forgot her phone, she probably overslept.
So why hadn’t she come back here to look for it?
The class was still puzzling over the sound in the closet, but no one moved toward it. Instead, one person after another looked at me, realizing I held my own phone in my palm. I set the phone on the top of my table and rose. Locked eyes with Professor Griffin, whose face was a mixture of curiosity and apprehension. Thought about telling him that I’d check out the sound. Laughing about how Chelsea was always losing something. But I couldn’t get my throat to work properly. My swallow was thick.
The screeching of the legs of my chair against the linoleum floor made me wince. I stood and crossed the few steps to the back of the room, the silence in the room causing a vacuum in my ears, like the retreat of an ocean wave. I couldn’t explain the way my hand shook as I lifted it to the door handle, or the way my heart raced like a manic hummingbird. I tried to shake off the feeling. Just a missing phone. But I bit back a whimper caused by something sinister in the air and opened the closet.
For a split second, the world froze. All was silent. Light filled my vision.
Then, a buzzing started between my ears. My head spun. I took a step backwards to avoid the sickening thud of one hundred and twenty pounds of flesh slamming into the floor.
Within seconds, people leaped out of their seats and toward me. Professor Griffin tried to make his way through the band of students cloistered around the body.
My hands swayed at my sides, feeling weightless, disconnected from the rest of my body, my stomach seemed to exist outside the tiny space allotted it beneath my skin, filling with everything in the room, with a heaviness that threatened to bury me under the thin linoleum floor. I was positive of what I’d seen, yet wasn’t quite sure what was happening, couldn’t believe in the truthfulness of it. I looked to the ground behind me, to the same place everyone else was looking, I could see a swirl of something that I could have sworn looked just like Chelsea’s thick mahogany hair spread out on the floor, even if it was matted in places. I turned without a thought and pushed through my classmates. Reached down to touch that beautiful hair. What was happening here?
“Oh, God,” I heard someone say. Someone with a deep, teachery kind of voice. “Oh, God. Chelsea.”
Chelsea? No. Why would he say her name? She would be here soon enough, making up time, laughing at herself, her slowness, her unusually lagging schedule.
But then Professor Griffin turned the body over and even with the pale, bruised skin I could see who was lying on the floor. Air flew from my lungs. Empty chest. No oxygen. I felt arms around me, tight, pulling me away from my best friend.
“Get back,” I heard. Someone screamed. Then someone else. Spots burst before my eyes, bright spots against a black background. Chelsea? Oh my god. That was her on the ground. Her body and her hair. And her face but it looked so strange and I had never seen her looking so strange before. That’s my best friend on the floor, I told the thick air around me with lips that wouldn’t move and sound that wouldn’t form.
We couldn’t move, like wax figures in a horror museum. But it didn’t last. There was a sound. A loud, high-pitched one. And the newest scream that pierced the eerie silence, I was pretty sure later, when I thought back on this moment, was my own.

Kristin Halbrook Author Q&A

You have a Young Adult novel out now (NOBODY BUT US) and another one coming out next year (EVERY LAST PROMISE), in addition to your New Adult debut, SURFACING. What are some of the differences between writing YA and NA?

I love writing both Young Adult and New Adult. It’s been interesting seeing some of the differences in my writing style between the two, but also noticing what is the same. My Young Adult novels are upper YA, so there’s not a lot of disparity in content. Having said that, my New Adult projects definitely feature more sexytimes as an essential part of the plot. I also feel like the plot itself takes a bit more spotlight in my New Adult projects, which is fun, while my Young Adult books feel a bit more character-driven and perhaps more crafted at the line level. Still, whether I’m writing New Adult or Young Adult, the books are definitely “me” and are getting the best of my ability.

What are your inspirations?

SURFACING, in particular, is inspired by two of my favorite things to watch: Veronica Mars and the movie, Clueless. I like writing emotionally complicated characters who have to face their own demons as they are also trying to come to terms with an event that doesn’t have easy answers. There is a mystery element to this book, but it isn’t quite at Nancy Drew levels. It’s a little more about finding oneself than about finding a villain, even though there certainly is a villain!

I have also been inspired by the setting. I love the beach as much as Katie does, which is why it plays such a role in this story. And I’m a huge fan of female friendships and of women living together and interacting on a daily basis, which is why I chose to set this, and all the companion books, in the Delta Gamma sorority. It’s a good place to explore female dynamics in a real and empowering way.

SURFACING has a mystery element. Do you think that makes it different from other New Adult books?

SURFACING does have a mystery element, and I think it’s something that’s a little different than a lot of what’s out there right now in New Adult. But it also has a lot of the elements that I think New Adult readers like to see: identifiable female characters, great men, sexual tension and personal growth in a turbulent life stage. I like to think I’ve taken the popular contemporary romance and given it a little twist with the mystery.

Do you have favorite characters in your books?

Not usually. I sometimes like my characters, I sometimes dislike them. Either way, I always love writing them. I do have to admit, though, that Josh is a really, really, really good guy (in so many ways) and also, you know, hot, and if I had to pick a book boyfriend, it would be him.

What are your future New Adult plans? Any previews you can give us?

I have lots of fun plans for my future New Adult projects! Right now, several more books featuring the ladies from Delta Gamma are in the works. Some of the characters you’ll see in SURFACING get their own turn in the spotlight, and there will even be a change of setting for a couple of them to some of my own favorite places to visit (Scotland! Snow-capped mountains!). Hopefully, I’ll be able to share previews soon, so stay tuned! A good place to keep up with what’s new is my twitter @KristinHalbrook or my Tumblr page:

Surfacing Dream Cast:

Katie: She’s cute and motivated. Into the beach and the sciences. The perfect actress effortlessly pulls off her big brains and her great heels, plus a steely gaze that hides her vulnerabiilty. Easy, right? Ha! But I think Claire Julien fits the bill. Photo:

Josh: He has a great smile, a fantastic body from all that soccer players, and eyes that show his emotions. The actor who plays him should feel approachable and look great in shorts and soccer socks. Josh Bowman fits. Bonus: No need to take on a different character name! Photo:

Chelsea: The best friend of best friends, Chelsea’s beautiful, dark looks are from her mix of Hispanic and Italian heritages. Odette Annable’s hauntingly lovely eyes are a good fit. Photo:
Damon: A quick perusal of the Friday Nights Light cast and the perfect Damon is there: the rich-boy football player could be played to a T by Taylor Kitsch. Photo:

Carolina: She picks up the role of Katie’s best friend, offering a shoulder and some love when Katie needs it most. Michelle Ang’s work on several popular international teen dramas is great training for this role. Photo:


When she was little, Kristin Halbrook wanted to be a writer, the President of the USA or the first female NFL quarterback. The first one stuck. Even when pursuing other dreams, she always took time to write, including stories for adults, teens, and children. She is the author of Nobody But Us (HarperTeen, 2013) and the forthcoming Every Last Promise (HarperTeen, April 2015). Surfacing is her new adult debut.

When she's not writing or reading, she's spending time with three pixies, her Mad Scot soulmate, and one grumpy cocker spaniel; traveling across oceans and time; cooking and baking up a storm; and watching waves crash and suns set on the beach. She currently lives, loves and explores in The Emerald City, though she occasionally makes wispy, dream-like plans to move to Paris or a Scottish castle one day (if just temporarily).

Author links:


Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
  • 7" Voyager Tablet (found on the rca website:
  • Signed copies of All Lined Up and Finding It by Cora Carmack, 
  • Print copy of A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers, 
  • Print copies of Best Kind of Broken and Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Thx for a chance to win an awesome prize! Congrats on the book😊