Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway - The Truth About Us by Tia Souders

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The Truth About Us by Tia Souders
Publication Date: September 7, 2018

The present is built on the past. But what if your past is a lie?

When 18 yr old Abigail Bridges’ grandmother dies, she leaves behind a mysterious letter asking her to unravel a hidden family secret.

There is only one rule: tell no one.

But meeting strangers in the dark and receiving old journals dating back to the Holocaust isn’t what she bargained for. Neither is a chance encounter with the enigmatic, brown-eyed Kaden Oliver, who makes her want to discard her usually reserved nature.

After a key clue goes missing, Abigail ignores her grandmother’s rule and tells Kade everything. Together, they begin to unravel a terrifying secret. The truth may set others free, but for Abigail, it will tear her family apart.

Now, she must decide between continuing to uncover her families’ lies or burying the past once and for all.

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My dearest Abigail,
Ten years ago, I discovered a family secret, one that could very much change our lives forever. Up until that point, I thought myself to be a strong woman. I prided myself on living my life without fear. I thought I’d be brave in the face of adversity, but when faced with difficulty, often times, we react differently than imagined. It’s these moments, the choices we make when faced with a critical decision, that determine true strength and character.
I’m afraid I took the easy route. I’m afraid I failed.
If you’re reading this, I’m gone from this world—off to a better place—somewhere I hope I won’t be punished for turning the other cheek. You see, over ten years ago, I stumbled upon a lie. This lie turned into secrets. And secrets into more lies.
I should’ve pushed, questioned, and revealed what I knew, allowing the truth to uncover itself, but I didn’t. Instead, I buried what I learned, making excuses for myself and hiding behind my denial. The mind is a powerful thing. Tell yourself something enough and you believe it.
Combining with denial was my lack of concrete proof. I won’t go into detail now, but I had speculation, a hypothesis if you will, and little else. By the time an opportunity for more information presented itself, it was too late. I had already locked the secrets away, and the one person who knew of my search for answers was silenced.
My darling, I am sorry to say in my final moments on this earth, I regret my choices. Now, the burden of proof is on you. Only one other person knew about this. To my knowledge, he had the missing pieces to the puzzle. He harbored the proof you will need to be believed. Unfortunately, you will receive no answers from him now.
But the answers are out there somewhere. Waiting to be found. I am sure of it. If only I had the time to find them now, maybe I could right this wrong.
My hope is for your curiosity and your love for me to be a driving force in your motivation to uncover our family’s past, our history. But if it’s not, I have left you a trust fund. There is a substantial amount of money sitting in a bank account in your name, enough to pay for college and start a new life for yourself upon graduation.
As my cancer worsened and my time drew near, I gave my lawyer implicit instructions. One was to release the trust to you, but not until you have received all of my letters and unraveled the truth. Another, was that on the night of my funeral, he was to arrange a special meeting. Be at Myer’s Community Park at ten o’clock tonight. There, you will receive your first clue.
Be brave, my Abby. This secret is our past. Revealing it will be your future.
Abby clutched the letter in her hands, turning to the clock on her nightstand. It was seven o’clock. Three hours before she was supposed to be at the park, and she had no idea what to do.


Road to Publication

The path to publication can be a long road. When I first started writing seriously a little over eight years ago, I had a lot of ambition and dreams, but no real vision of where I might go with my work. With a baby and little sleep, I didn’t want to waste anymore time, so I pushed through writing classes, critique groups, and honed my skills, while banking away an idea for my first book.

Close to three years later, my first novel was born. I queried, cried, and went through the process of crushing rejection like a lot of authors, and then I learned about the indie world of publishing and I took a leap.

Needless to say, I have learned a lot since those early years.

Fast forward eight years, and not only am I no longer in my twenties--not even close--but this process has taught me a lot about myself. I’ve learned it’s okay to need a break. I’ve learned I’ll work harder than I ever dreamed and won’t give up until I reach my goals. I’ve learned I can be obsessive and need to work to control this part of me in order to keep my sanity. I learned that family can come first, but I can still work on my career because it’s all about balance. Most importantly, I’ve learned I can do this, and do this well.

I am now about to release my third young adult novel and my seventh book (if you include a pen name). With each new project comes a new experience. THE TRUTH ABOUT US has been a bumpy road. To say I struggled with this novel is an understatement. There were times I wanted to give up. There were times I hated the process and questioned my talent and skill as a writer. Writing a book with a mystery was new to me and more than challenging. Weaving together this story has been the hardest of all the books I have written, but so worth it.

When I first brought the idea for THE TRUTH ABOUT US to the table, I knew I wanted to write a book that had something to do with the Holocaust. It has always been an event in history that I have found excruciatingly unimaginable, and I have always loved books centered around this period; however, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to present a modern book with a twist on the past. I didn’t simply want to write another story of a young girl living the atrocities of what happened during that time. There are so many absolutely incredible books like that already. Instead, I wanted to write about a girl in present time, facing the atrocities of the past. A past and familial ties she didn’t know existed. And so, the idea for THE TRUTH ABOUT US was born.

It’s with a great honor I bring this book to the world. I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to birth another YA mystery or not (if I try, I may end up with a full head of gray hair), but maybe you can give this one a read. Tell me if it’s worth it. Tell me if I should write another…

About the Author

Tia Souders is the author of young adult novels MORE THAN A NUMBER and BETTER THAN THIS, as well as the women's fiction novel WAITING ON HOPE. When she isn’t writing, she’s likely working with her hubby renovating their century home. She’s a wine-loving, coffeeholic with a sweet tooth and resides on a farm in rural Ohio with her husband and children.

She loves chatting about books and has always wanted to join a book club but her introverted self won't let her. She loves connecting with readers, so reach out!

Visit her at tiasouders.com

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