Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: It Started with a List by Tinia Montford @XpressoTours

It Started with a List
Tinia Montford
Publication date: January 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

A BUCKET LIST. THE POPULAR GUY. A LONER. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

Time’s up for Vassa Blackwell.

With her college graduation looming, Vassa reflects on the past four years. After a devastating betrayal from her closest friend leaves her ostracized, she trusts no one. Now she is mega disappointed. No wacky misadventures, no drunken nights, and no regrettable mistakes that you can NEVER tell your parents. Work and class, class and work. That’s it. College is supposed to be the best years of your life… Right?

Vassa feels as though she’s cheated herself out of a full college experience. Notable with romance and boys and stuff. So, she makes a college bucket list. Then the worse thing ever happens. Her list falls into the hands of Lazarus Gilbert. King of the baseball team, sworn enemy (in her opinion), and her annoying upstairs neighbor. He thinks he’s found something fun to do. She thinks she’s in trouble. That’s until she discovers there’s more to Lazarus than he lets on…

With the pressures of post-college decisions and failing classes, can they complete the bucket list before the semester runs out? Are Vassa and Lazarus just too different to get along? Will they both come out winners in the end, or will she retreat to her safety-zone? Is it too late for her to learn to live and let live, and let love enter her heart?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER ONE

Subject line: Spring Graduation

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation, Vasilisa!

Please respond “YES” if you plan to attend the May Commencement Ceremony or “NO” if you do not plan to attend the May Commencement Ceremony.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Robert Peña
Degree Audit and Graduation Adviser
Office of the Registrar

“Is this mat hypoallergenic?” asked the customer standing in front of her.

It was simple, respond yes or no. Her concentration broken, Vassa rocked back and forth on the barstool, biting her lip. She had been about to respond to the email and now her finger hovered over the reply button as the customer stared. Life as she knew it was coming to a shrieking halt.

If she said no, her mother would kill her. She was an only child and her mother had been waiting years for this moment. Just last night, her mother ranted about her search for the best dress to show off her “perky C-cups” at Vassa’s graduation.

The customer cleared her throat, and Vassa shut the device. Right, she was at work. She couldn’t deal with her own life going kaput. Most of the time she was at the campus library, a slave to studying, but in her rare free time, she satisfied the nonsensical questions of San Francisco’s rich and elite housewives at the yoga studio.

If Vassa wasn’t a hop, skip, and a jump away from the poorhouse (with mounting student loan debt) and adamantly saving to move to New York City, she would have told this woman to shove it, but she was already on probation with her manager after the last yoga mat incident.

Vassa plastered on her intensely fake smile and perked up her voice. “I know it’s a popular brand. It’s slip- and sweat-resistant for our extra moist individuals.”

The woman narrowed her eyes. “Are you calling me moist?”

Vassa blinked and shook her head. “No, no. I mean . . . I sweat. All the time. The moment I wake up, my pits are like a leaky faucet. I’ve put deodorant, tissue, sponges, just about anything to stop these things. Nothing, I mean nothing, works. Then my feet? Gosh, just when I go to do a downward dog, I’m sliding across the room…”

Vassa trailed off at the look of disgust on the woman’s face. Okay, TMI.

“Do you have any in black?”

Vassa’s eye twitched and her smile faltered, but she kept it together. Pointing to the bin of yoga mats, she said, “All our products are on display.”

“I’ll keep looking.” The woman looked Vassa up and down before tilting her head up and sauntering away.

She opened her laptop again. The email was still there, waiting for her response. She slammed the laptop shut. Bending down, she grabbed her nearly empty pack of key-lime-pie-flavored Twizzlers. It was what she had whenever she felt overwhelmed. Tangy and sweet, light and creamy, the candy took the edge off.

Graduation was near and she had accomplished nothing remotely fun.

The top twenty hits mixed with chatter wafted in through the window from the restaurant next door. She worked at Vibe and Flow for multiple reasons: She could be on her laptop most of the time and do her schoolwork. It had a casual dress code. It was in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco, Vassa’s third-favorite neighborhood. There was great food and entertainment, but . . . You were bound to walk down the street and find some strange folks in leather or a homeless person screaming their head off. And being a receptionist at any yoga studio in the city required her to be bubbly and friendly. Something she wasn’t, exactly.

I thought it would change me.

Sometimes Vassa wished she had a different life. She wished she was braver and prettier and just . . . happy.

Four years had passed her by, and she was still the same girl from high school. She always thought she had enough time to be someone different. I’ll go to that party next time. I’ll go to the students’ rendition of Cats next time.

Graduate school was her goal. Her eyes were set on Iowa State or Harvard or Stanford. Those places weren’t just letting in any Tom, Dick, or Harry off the street. She had to be competitive. So she’d put her future ahead of fun.

The Twizzlers bag crinkled as she reached for another.

Pair that soul-sucking revelation along with no play and the worst semester of her life, and she knew something needed to change. She needed to change.

Maybe she could start with goal she had since she was a freshman. Get totally wasted.

Who was she kidding? She was a square.


Author Bio:

Tinia (TUH-NIA) Montford is a Pisces who’s a sap for romance, especially when there’s (tons of) kissing. Loves eighties sitcoms and will consume anything with chocolate. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in English and Graphic Design.

She is a world traveler having climbed a volcano in Nicaragua, scaled Angkor Wat in the blistering sun, and roamed the Acropolis of Athens. Oh, she also dabbles in short stories occasionally.

If you can’t catch her writing, you can bet she’s overindulging on poke bowls, listening to the same four songs, or chilling with her adorbs doggie. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Fiction.

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2 comments:

Giselle said...

Thanks for being on the tour! :)

Sherry said...

Sounds like an interesting book.

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