Monday, April 20, 2015

Blog Tour with Excerpt & Giveaway: Lessons in Pure Life by Audrey O'Conner @inkslingerpr @audrey_writes

Lessons in Pure Life by Audrey O'Connor
Publication date: April 6th, 2015

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Freshly minted grad Emilia Noble arrives in Costa Rica to teach English in the tropical community of Pacifica. Its carefree, pura vida lifestyle is a welcome contrast to her dark and wintry origins. Tossing caution aside like an old winter coat, she plunges headfirst into an exotic cocktail of sensory pleasure.

Diego is a local whose surfer body and cool detachment make Lia buzz with a long-lost thrill. Fascinated by her new environment, she can't help but wonder about the moody inner workings of the boy with triceps like Wolverine and a grimace to match.

Diego seems to have no problem ignoring Lia, though. Caught up in his family's conflicted attitude toward foreigners, he notices her only when it's convenient. But as Lia thrives in her new surroundings, Diego might just find reason enough to defy his embattled, insular father. When north and south are mixed together, the results are intoxicating.

Available at:

"Can someone put sunscreen on my back?" I ask Katherine and Genesis, but they don't hear me, busy poring over the trail map.

I look around. Diego's chatting amicably with a park ranger like they're old friends.

When I got on the bus this morning, I sat down in front of Katherine and chattered with her for a while as I untangled my headphones, rubbed sunscreen onto my face and neck, and pulled my hair through the back of my baseball cap. Ten minutes passed before I noticed Diego was part of our traveling group, startling me with his gaze. His body, usually standing tall, was slumped lazily in the seat, and I hadn't noticed him behind Jose. It was the first time I'd been totally myself around him, ignorant of his presence and therefore raw, unprocessed. When we arrived, he ambled around like it was no big deal, scanning the landscape with familiarity. Diego scans the scattering of people until his eyes stop on me, a clacketing roulette ball suddenly silent, end of play.

Red 23. That's me.

I'm standing a few paces away, trying to rub a blob of sunscreen onto my middle back. My arm is twisted behind me, eyes locked on Diego's.

He saunters toward me in his effortless way, on his own time, steadily forward. A graceful swagger.

It feels good to be the one he's approaching, even if it scares me. His arrogance has softened, or maybe it's that I'm starting to see how his sister wins every argument with him, knowing how to push him until he inevitably backs off.

The breadth of Diego's shoulders, his silhouette with the sun behind him, is thought-stopping instinct-activating.

And that's the problem. I should say something, anything.

"Pura vida, Diego," I pronounce, my accent rounder this time, silkier.

I have some more elaborate phrases in my vocabulary, but this will have to do. Think. Speak. Act normal.

"You missed a spot."

Cheeky. I turn to face him, questioning.

"Volteate, gringa," he says, almost cheerful as he gazes down at me.

"Que?" I ask, wary.

He rotates his finger, like Turn around. Wags the bottle, implying he'll put it on me, I think. Like he's my cabana boy. Gulp.

"Oh, you'll do me?" It comes out before I can rephrase it. "I mean--"

He feigns shock with raised eyebrows before looking away innocently.

"I mean, I could use some help," I mutter.

"Then turn around. Volteate."

About the Author:
Audrey O'Connor can't help but color outside the lines with big, bright markers. She's fascinated by the influence of popular culture on the female experience and inspired by creative boldness and the breaking of the dumb rules women are supposed to follow. Audrey lives in Chelsea, Quebec, where she can be found DJ-ing at local events or scanning a cafe for outlets for her laptop.