Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Tour & Giveaway : 9 Letters by Blake Austin

9 Letters
by Blake Austin

Release Date:
February 24th, 2016

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Book Tour Hosted by:
TRSOR Promotions

Author via BT host

eARC received in exchange of honest review


Luke Cawley is a broken man. After his wife's tragic death, he lost everything that mattered in the world. Now, his life is filled with hard days, harder nights, and a steady stream of alcohol and the wrong kind of women. Nothing helps. Until the letters arrive on Luke's doorstep. 

Nine envelopes. Nine messages. Nine chances to find his way back. 

Rae Goode is looking for the real thing. After fighting her way out of a string of bad relationships, she's ready for something different--something true. She meets Luke while piecing her life together, and right away she can tell that he's different. Drawn together by fate and the desire to heal, Rae and Luke discover new ways to mend their broken hearts--one letter at a time. 

Discover Blake Austin's debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love.

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I was about twenty minutes early for my shift, but I got up to the bar, grabbed a rag, started wiping it down, bussing some dishes. 

"Damn, Luke," Jake said, watching me work. "You win the lotto or something? Royals win the pennant last night and I forgot to watch?" 

"I'm just in a good mood, that's all," I said. 

I thought about it a moment longer, decided I should tell him more. Impart some wisdom learned from my not-particularly-advanced years. 

"When everything's dark for so damn long and your eyes get used to it," I said, "just a little glimmer of sunshine lights up the whole world." 

He nodded, then grabbed a bus bin and headed back into the kitchen. 

Warren though, Warren wasn't impressed. He was sitting by one of the daytime barflies, but he'd stopped talking and was just watching me. I was on thin ice, and I knew it. I couldn’t afford to lose my job. A heartbroken, drunk, angry widower is probably as unemployable as the average ex-con. 

I came on at the end of the day shift. Warren liked tending bar during the day, because it meant just shooting the shit with the regulars. That day I had a smile for every customer, sparse words of wisdom like day drunks want to hear. Tending bar wasn't my dream. But to hell with letting that make me lazy. I kept the place clean, I poured drinks like I cared. 

I was getting into the swing of it when happy hour kicked in and a few more people filtered through the door. Couple of middle-aged bikers, a retired couple that parked their RV out front. 

The door swung open again, letting in a little bit of that early-evening cold, and I glanced up to see a crowd of three women, with two men. One of the women was a reddish blonde, radiant. Sort of stole the light out of the room. It was Rae. Our eyes met and her smile gave the room back its light. 

She'd been in jeans at the shelter, but she was in a blue dress now and she looked damn fine in either. Took my mind right off Maggie, faster than I thought it would be possible. I met her eyes, and she gave out a little gasp and giggle. I was probably smiling in surprise myself. 

The crowd came over to the bar. I'd thought the other four were two couples, but I realized pretty quick that the black girl with the afro was dating the quiet white guy in a beard and glasses and tattoos, and that the other guy was trying to impress Rae. He had a John Deere hat, but his clothes were way too clean for me to buy it that he worked on a farm. I hated him, right off. I probably would have hated him if he was the best guy in the world, though. The other girl, she was tall, latina, and for some indiscernible reason was interested in the poser farmer. 

Most of the time, I'm awful at reading people. But for some reason, at work I can tell you everything about everyone who walks in the door. About who's into who, about who had a bad day at work. Who wants to get drunk and miserable, who wants to get drunk and happy, who wants to get drunk and start trouble. Maybe it's some magic of the job, maybe it's just how people carry themselves at a bar. Helps with tips, that's for certain. You wingman right, and the money flows in. 

Warren, he likes to upsell them drinks when he's doing that. Get them excited about the top shelf. Not me. 

"Hey, Rae," I said. 

"Luke," she said. 

John Deere looked at me like I was the scum of the earth. And maybe I was, but if I was the scum then he was... I don't know, something worse than scum. Wannabe scum. 

She introduced me to her friends. Nicole had the afro, her boyfriend was Eric. The girl with bad taste was Irina, and John Deere had some name but honestly it went in one ear and out the other. He was John Deere to me. Yeah, maybe I'm an asshole. 

"So, how do you know this guy?" Deere asked, tossing me a look that said I clearly wasn’t good enough to be friend with someone like Rae. 

"Oh, he came in just the other day. Adopted the sweetest dog, a bloodhound." She turned to me, flashing that dimple high on her cheek. "How is he? You guys call a truce yet?" 

"King's great," I said. "I mean, he's probably at home right now, eating everything I've ever owned, but I figure I was due for a purge anyway, right?" 

It was a lame attempt at humor, but Rae laughed. 

"What can I get you all? Friend of Rae's is a friend of mine." 


I love books written in a male's POV. When I read the blurb of 9 Letters, I knew that I wanted to add it on my TBR list. I already knew that this was going to be a touching reading escape.

9 Letters is the story of Luke Cawley. We begin Luke's journey a year after his wife has passed away. It's been one year since his wife is gone and the pain still remains. Luke lives his life in a state of numbness until nine letters arrive. Nine letters written by his wife. As days go by, Luke finally sees life in a different light because of the words of encouragement that his wife wrote in those letters. This is the beginning of a healing journey for Luke. With each day that passes he feels more alive and he is determined feel and love again. He never expected to find Rae in his healing journey. The more time he spends with her, the more their friendship turns into something more. Together, they will turn the page on the past and take a step toward their future.

9 Letters is Blake Austin's debut novel. It was a very enjoyable and eye-opening reading journey. I could feel Luke's pain when reading his story. My heart broke for him and I wanted him to find himself again through all these emotional scars. This book is completely told in Luke's POV. My connection to his character was instant and I was captivated by him. Each letter that he opened was like a soothing balm on his tormented heart. 

I liked Rae's character and how she made Luke smile and feel again. Her story touched my heart and I wanted her to be happy again. I do have to admit that it took me a good part of the book to connect with her. I did end up finding my connection to her, but it did slow things down in the story for me. Nonetheless, that does not change the fact that this is a great debut novel by Blake Austin. If you are looking for an emotional read this is the book for you. It makes you see that with little steps come big rewards.


I give, 9 Letters, by Blake Austin 3.5 healing, emotional, life is made out of little steps stars!


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About the Author:
Blake Austin is a guitar playing father of one, who lives in Los Angeles. He's written music for as long as he can remember and was inspired to add book writing to his repertoire. 9 Letters is his debut novel. 

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