Friday, November 15, 2013

Blog Tour: Destiny by Cindy Ray Hale

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Destiny Clark, a young Mormon girl living in Tennessee, is wildly infatuated with Isaac Robinson, the headmaster's son at her Baptist high school. When they're cast together in the school's production of Les Misérables, Destiny is horrified to find that she has to be publicly humiliated by acting out her true feelings of rejection onstage.

As their rehearsals begin, Destiny realizes the unimaginable: Isaac has developed deep feelings for her despite their religious differences and the fact that he has a girlfriend.

But will they be able to find their place amongst the backbiters of their ultra-conservative world?

Weaving around Destiny and Isaac's alternating viewpoints, Destiny is the first book in a series inspired by the characters of Les Misérables and explores heartbreak, self-discovery, intolerance, and love.

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You can watch the book trailer here:


We neared my hammock spot, and Isaac stopped and peered at it through the remaining light that filtered through the orange leaves. “Wow, this is beautiful,” he said.

“This is my favorite place to come when I need to think,” I said quietly.
“It’s very peaceful,” Isaac said. “I can see why you like it.” He scrutinized me, his facial muscles fighting to find the appropriate expression. Confusion, worry…interest? Each battled for control of his features. “It must be really hard for you and your family, being the only Mormons at a school full of Baptists.”
I blinked in surprise. I hadn’t expected sympathy from the headmaster’s son. I imagined Dr. Robinson had been filling his mind with lies about Mormons since he was a small boy—especially after our family converted. There was a lot of anti-Mormon talk going around during that time, and Dr. Robinson hadn’t been the only person educating the congregation on what he thought we believed. Mormons hadn’t been the only ones being spoken against either. I’d heard plenty against Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“I’m surprised you even care,” I whispered.
“My dad may speak against your church, but I don’t necessarily feel the same way. The more he tries to convince me there’s something wrong with you, the more I want to learn about what you believe.”
I was stunned. These were the last words I’d ever expected to hear coming from Isaac’s lips in a million years. “I—I don’t know what to say.”
His eyes traveled across my face like he wanted to remember every feature, mud and all. “You know,” he whispered as he reached a hand up and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, “Even covered in mud, sticks, and dirt, you are still absolutely breathtaking.” I couldn’t move. I needed to tell him to stop, that this wasn’t right, but I was frozen, immobile.
His voice grew serious. “I have a confession. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you ever since our practice. Your voice…I felt so connected to you.” His eyes were intense. “I’ve hardly been able to sleep.”
We stood face-to-face as I stared up into his warm brown eyes. My heart was beating so fast I was sure it was going to explode. How many times had I hoped for this moment? I never in a million years had imagined such words would come out of Isaac’s mouth. His perfect, beautiful mouth. This was unreal, beyond my wildest daydreams. It was so hard to fight the desire to be with him. All my most unreachable dreams were suddenly, so unbelievably, about to come true. But they were forbidden. The right thing to do would be to pull away, turn from him, run back to the house. My head screamed at me to flee, but my heart begged me to stay.
I stared at him, memorizing his every feature. His dark hair, a little messy from crawling through the trees. The strong, clean lines of his jaw. His brown eyes that regarded me like I was something to be treasured. His perfectly smooth lips. Even the little smudge of dirt under his left cheekbone.
Especially the smudge of dirt.
“Why are you so perfect?” I whispered. I shouldn’t be encouraging him. I should be turning to leave. Walk away, Destiny. Now!
Isaac’s eyes softened like pools of melted chocolate. He leaned close. Too close. What if he was just playing with my heart? The lingering scent of his cologne mixed with pine enveloped me. My desire for him battled against my weakened resolve to keep the values I’d been taught. I’d promised myself a hundred times I’d only date good Mormon boys. When I’d watched Isaac from afar all those years, I’d thought it was harmless fun. I never thought I’d be in this situation.
Isaac reached up and slid the rubber band from my hair, allowing my hair to fall loosely around my shoulders.
“Beautiful,” he whispered. He traced a line down my jaw with his thumb. I raised my eyes to his. They were so dark, so full of promise, so forbidden. I wanted him to kiss me so badly my body trembled with anticipation. I lowered my gaze to his lips and decided in that moment to stop fighting. It was no use. I couldn’t do it anymore.
As though my focus on his mouth had encouraged him, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to mine, softly at first, and then with such fervor, such passion. I responded immediately, kissing him back as though my life depended on it. It was more potent, more perfect than any of my dreams. They didn’t even come close. His hands wrapped around the back of my neck, his fingers in my hair. He slid his arms down my back and wrapped them around my waist. We kissed until my knees went weak and I could hardly stand.
I pulled away, gasping for breath, but Isaac pushed me against the trunk of a giant oak tree and leaned in for more. He kissed me hungrily, like a starving man, desperate and wild.

About the Author:
Official Author pic
Wife. Mother. Writer. Cindy Ray Hale lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with her husband and four children. In addition to being a writer, she’s an avid reader and a social media junkie. She starts her morning by writing with a freshly-blended berry spinach smoothie next to her. She’s obsessed with Les Misérables, playing the piano, and stalking up-and-coming musicians on YouTube. Destiny is her first book and will be available for purchase November 2013.

Where to Stalk Cindy:

- Website
- Website for destiny
- Blog
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Google+
- Pinterest

Rachel's Ten Books She'd Like to Live In:

1. The Hobbit. If I could live next door to Bilbo, that would be perfect. 
2. Harry Potter. Teaching at Hogworts would be awesome. 
3. Pride and Prejudice. I could totally take Lizzie's place being the mistress of Pemberly. 
4. The Fellowship of the Ring. I know it's kinda the same place as The Hobbit, but I'd really love to live in Rivendale with the elves or in Minas Tirath with Aragorn as my king.
5. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks. If I could live in a world where Mermaids existed that would seriously just rock!
6. Wings by Aprilynne Pike. I was entranced by the fairy land of Avalon. She built a beautiful world.
7. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. It would be so cool if all those paranormal creatures were real.
8. The Tiger Saga by Colleen Houck. Hanging out with a couple of tiger shapeshifting attractive Indian princes in the jungle and this huge mansion really would be pretty amazing.
9. The Twilight Saga. I wouldn't mind saying a brief hello to vampire Bella and Edward and their cute kid, but honestly I just want to hang out with Jacob Black because he's the best character in the series.
10. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. Damar fascinated me. I loved reading about Harry and how she hung out with giant cats and learned to sword fight and use magic. The handsome king was a nice bonus too.

Meagan's Review:

I've been thinking and struggling to write this review for a few days. There are just not enough words to describe what this book did to me. This book hit so close to home for me. I grew up as a Catholic. I attended Catholic private schools until College. While in grade school and high school there were Catholics, non-Catholics, Baptist and a few other kids from different religions and I truly can't ever remember them being teased or anything for their religion. But I do remember the teasing. The cruelty that people do. I never really found myself fitting into any group in particular because I was "different". One thing I'll never understand about people is their prejudice against those that are different. One of my favorite class' in high school was world religion. And while I am a practicing Catholic I still accept other religions. I kind of look at the different religions as different ways for different cultures and people to find their way to a higher bonding experience to and with God. Not everyone speaks the same language or looks the same so why should it stand to reason that there's only one religion that everyone has to follow? But that's just my personal opinion. Beyond that I really enjoyed getting a better understanding of the practices and beliefs of practicing Mormons.

Now beyond that little tid bit I can honestly say that Cindy wrote an AMAZING book and I've been super excited to read this and it didn't disappoint. Because I was one of those kids who was never in a popular group and/or was teased I know what it feels like to be the outcast. I could immediately relate to Destiny and her character. Between school and home life it was kind of creepy the similarities that this book created for me. That is how amazing Cindy is; to create that type of character that pretty much almost anyone could relate to. Destiny and her family used to be Baptists and several years ago switched to becoming Mormons. However, they stayed in the Baptist school system. And OMG the  hostility showed toward Destiny is ridiculous and let me tell you I'd befriend her and my mouth would run and run and run some more because OMG boys are dumb. 

Anyways the dynamic the surrounds Destiny is this; her older brother Michael is protective and I love him!!! His best friend is Preston and I love him too. (I can say that there have only been 2 other books that I've read where I've not rooted for the main guy character...the one you're supposed to love, but I've loved the underdog or the guy who's always been there or just that other guy you really want the girl to I can add a 3rd book/author to that list.)He's also the one I really wish Destiny would end up with.....I'm holding out hope. Isaac is the popular guy with whom Destiny has a huge crush on. He dates the horrid cow Aspen and also thinks very badly of Mormons and yet he's intrigued by Destiny. Kinda a hypocrite if you ask me....but hey I also am kind of bias because again I like Preston. Hannah is Isaac's cousin and best friends with Destiny. I really like her...she's open honest and pretty much wears her words on her sleeves. I love the immediate relationship that Destiny and Hannah develop. Aspen, Jessie, Will, Olivia (sometimes...ohhh she's Destiny's younger sister), Headmaster of the school and even sometimes Destiny's mom are all cows. That's how I feel about them and the blinders set before them. Evan (Hannah's boy......friend?) Hudson (friend), Lucas (brother to Hannah), and Megan (Preston's sister) are also some memorable names to mention.  

Okay so this story is of Destiny's sophomore year of school. While there are a lot of things that happen the biggest is that Destiny is finally getting into the musical choir of her dreams. Not only that but she is going to play a major role in the play Les Misérables....only it's going to be kinda awkward. So Destiny has had a major crush on Isaac for awhile now....even though he's with Aspen and there's the whole religion thing in the way. In the play she has to play the role she plays in real life. Watching Isaac and Aspen love together and stand on the sideline loving him. I'm excited to see how the play plays out in the next book. 

Outside of school Isaac plans an idea that.....turns out interesting. On some level I know some of it's real...but I'm still a little concerned about it. But beyond that he begins to have feelings for Destiny. Singing together and "hanging out" throw these two together to learn a little more about each other. One of my favorite scenes was paintballing. The tension between Preston and Isaac is tense. Preston is a Mormon and goes to the same church as Destiny and their families are super close. So close that the prank Destiny plays on Preston is nothing short of amazing and I like that night in the kitchen for other reasons too. But beyond that I learned that Destiny won't/can't date until she is 16 (part of her religion) and when it's discussed there's a moment between Preston and Destiny that was never there before. That's the moment I fell in love with him and I'm hoping. Also Preston's role with his family and everything.....*sigh* I just can't help but love him. But when Isaac starts to come around more you can see Preston try to step up his game some, but it's still kind of awkward. 

Isaac and Destiny have this attraction/relationship/romance thing and no one wants it. Not either of their family or friends (except Hannah) want it and that's a struggle. Will Isaac and Destiny make it work somehow? What about religion? What about PRESTON? That's my main question lol. The play? Awkwardness among people? Will this community ever accept Mormons? I can't wait till February to find out what happens next for Destiny.....I NEED TO KNOW NOW!!!!!!!!! *smiles sweetly* I just I want to know what is going to happen next and how far things will go. And what choices will be made. This was an amazing book by an even amazinger author...who I've loved getting to know over these last few months and can't wait to read the rest of this series and other works she comes out with because everything I'm sure will be pure awesomeness because she is such a talented and brilliant writer!!! This is a must read so make sure to pick up your copy and get lost in Destiny's story. 



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