Thursday, June 16, 2016

Weightless by Kandi Steiner: Release Blitz Review & Excerpt


I remember the lights.

I remember I wanted to photograph them, the way the red and blue splashed across his cold, emotionless face. But I knew even if my feet could move from the place where they had cemented themselves to the ground and I could run for my camera, I wouldn’t be able to capture that moment.

I had trusted him, I had loved him, and even though my body had changed that summer, he’d made sure to help me hold on to who I was inside, regardless of how the exterior altered.

But then everything changed.

He stole my innocence. He scarred my heart. He took everything I thought I knew about my life and fast-pitched it out the window, shattering the glass that held my world together in the process.

I remember the lights.

The passionate, desperate, hot strikes of red. The harsh, cruel, icy bolts of blue.

They symbolized everything I endured that summer.

And everything I would never face again.

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“I just don’t understand,” he said as he began rolling the ball up my calf. I moaned out loud, realizing that area was packed with trigger points, as he had called them.

“Don’t understand what?” I asked, still holding my breath as he rolled over my other calf. I leaned up on my elbows and turned my head back to meet his eyes.

He paused, holding the ball in place as he gazed back at me. “How could I never have noticed you before?”

I swallowed, almost more afraid of the brief tenderness I caught in his eyes in that moment than the usual hardness that existed there.

Shrugging, I answered his question just above a whisper. “I’m easy to miss.”

I held his eyes for a moment more before laying my chest back to the ground, resting my head on my arms. He started rolling the ball up my hamstrings and I closed my eyes tight. I thought I might explode from the mixture of pain and pleasure that rocked through my body. After a few moments, he spoke again.

“Maybe I just wasn’t looking.”

About the Author:

Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her "freedom of press." She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn't working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine - not necessarily in that order.

Social Media Links:

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Review by Michelle:

As soon as I was introduced to Kandi Steiner's Weightless and read the intense, heartbreaking and gripping blurb, I knew right away, this was a book I just had to read. What I soon came to realize was that though the blurb hinted at the main theme of the book, this story centered around something entirely different than I expected. While I'm not in love with a misleading synopsis, the story that we did end up with was far more captivating, engrossing, and packed full of feels than ever anticipated.

At first I found myself on the disappointed side as I was expecting the tragic story of a young girl who was shattered by an event perpetrated by a loved one only to find out that much of the book is not about this event at all, and though implied by both the synopsis and the title, Natalie's problem was one I was not expecting nor one I usually enjoy reading about. While I love to read about real life, realistic girls, I really love it when those girls are confident and sexy and have the courage and strength that I have often found myself lacking. When it comes to rehashing the issues and insecurities that I myself have had for most of my life, thoughts and feelings that others may enjoy relating to and find inspirational, I usually try to steer clear and had really hoped that this book would be so much more. I soon came to find that, in fact, it is! Oh my goodness, the FEELS! After the first few chapters I was so sucked into the story, so consumed by Natalie's growth and burgeoning relationship that I found I was, in fact, not only far from put off by her diffidence, but even inexplicably and irrevocably drawn to Natalie and her developing confidence and strength as well as her mysterious and brooding hero.

What seemed to be a simple story of a girl in need of the validation of a boy in order to feel good about herself morphed into a much more complex story that takes the reader on a turbulent ride filled with just about every feel imaginable. From angst and anxiety, lust and tension, from grief and frustration, to longing and connection, from heartache and heartbreak, to inspiration and adoration, this highly emotional story has it all. A moving journey that strengthens and changes Natalie, one that can also stimulate and motivate us all.

Other than all the warm and fuzzies, all the nerve-wracking anxiety, all the tearful despair, and each and every emotion elicited so strikingly, my favorite part was the way that Natalie embraced the moment at all times. Often we read about characters that are scared of the future, those that are afraid to get hurt down the line, and those that are guarding their heart in order to avoid any possible potential problems, but when Natalie decides that whatever happens, even utter devastation, it is worth every second of bliss in the here and now, it was wonderful and refreshing, and made me evaluate my own outlook and devote more time to living for the moment and enjoying what we have right now.

Although I had my suspicions about the him to which the blurb alludes and his offenses, in the end I found the twist it hints at to be overly dramatic and really pretty unnecessary actually. The true crux of the story was just angsty, joyful, misty, and riveting enough without the extra layer of embellishment. I guess I was sort of driven by the less is more philosophy with this story. While the two different parts of the story came together nicely in the end, they almost felt like two totally different books and I really almost wish they were.

Weightless is an eloquently stirring story. It is an unexpected and consuming experience full of pure and stunning emotion. My first Kandi Steiner read and I can't help but kick myself for waiting so long as I feel I have been missing out on something truly special all this time. The good news is, I may have shown up late to the Kandi Steiner party, but I won't let another book by this author pass me by. It may have been my first, but it certainly will not be my last.

*complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4 Stars

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