Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Inside Out (Off the Map #3) by Lia Riley [Review + Giveaway]

When Talia first moved from California to Australia to study abroad, she never dreamed she'd find the love of her life. Bran understands her like no one ever has before. And despite the numerous challenges they've faced, they've always managed to figure out how to stay together. But this time they'll face their toughest hurdle yet. Is their love strong enough to keep them together?

Now Available in Paperback (Forever Trade) - July 28, 2015 

4 Supernova Stars

Inside Out is the third book in the Off the Map series.  This concludes Bran and Talia’s story. Carry Me Home, is the next book and it is Tanner’s (Talia’s ex-boyfriend) story.

Every time I start and finish these Off the Map books, I feel like I just ran a marathon.  Bran and Talia sure have issues. Inside Out is a bit different from the previous two books. For one, it’s less angsty and two, everything they do it’s to better the relationship.

Talia is currently in Africa working for the Peace Corps.  She is suddenly severely sick and is rushed to the hospital. Bran cuts his trip short to be with Talia.  Talia needs to recover from her illness and Talia and Bran agree to go to the states on a three month visa.

Even though Talia and Bran are serious, they still haven’t defined the relationship.  Both of them don’t know what will be next after the three months, but for now, they stay at Talia’s dad’s place. 
Talia continues to work on her issues.  She still has OCD and slight paranoia of getting sick.  Talia’s dad isn’t too fond of Bran. She also deals with her dad shacking up with his girlfriend.  Talia’s dad and girlfriend are about to have a baby and this surprises Talia.  Her dad is going to have a baby in his forties. Talia starts to pull back because of the stress.

Talia fickle me in the beginning because I really wanted her to stop focusing on her issues and just let Bran help her.  It doesn’t last long though. 

“I’ve seen Bran at his worst, know his best, and somehow reconcile the two.”

“He’s broody, unpredictable, and twists my brain like a pretzel, but my love for him isn’t a word, it’s an involuntary, instinctive act, like breathing.”

“I’m not a breakable, weak girl. I’m a woman who wants her man, in every way he can give it.”

Sometimes I think to myself, what else can happen to this poor girl? It’s kind of awkward that she is staying at her dad’s house with her boyfriend, but it’s better than being separated. I feel for Bran, he has to sleep in another room.   There’s plenty of steam even though Talia isn’t as easily accessible to Bran. 

Bran has his own issues too. Something happened on his trip and he’s trying to get over it.  He doesn’t tell Talia. Bran also has to deal with his father’s pressure and trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. I liked Bran more in this book. I found him more level –headed and willing to work with Talia towards the relationship than against it.

“Show me the way back to you”

“Here’s the deal. We face our fears, you and me. Whenever there is something we are nervous about, we must confront it. Support each other. Face the darkness”

I would describe Inside Out as the book of closure.  Both Talia and Bran work towards healing past hurts.  Talia confronts her mother and Bran confronts his past.  It’s a bit heavy, but it moves the book in a positive direction.

Plenty goes on in the book and like I said, it wraps the couple’s story nicely. If you are a fan of Bran and Talia’s story, you will not be disappointed.

An ARC Provided

 What's five facts about yourself?

1.     I’ve visited every continent except Asia
2.     I’m a Virgo but can’t keep a clean house to save my life.
3.     While I’m an avid reader, I LOVE watching serial shows with my husband. Favorites include: Vikings, Game of Thrones, Mad Men (I’ll miss you Don Draper) and Orange is the New Black.
4.     I have a thing for grey characters (as evidenced from my show choices). I’m always fascinated by a world that’s not black and white.
5.     I prefer green M&M’s. They really do taste the best.

 When do you find the time to write?

By never sleeping. Joking! Sort of. I write after my kids go to bed. I write in the morning before my kids wake up. Soon we’ll have Baby #3 so I’ll probably be writing standing up rocking an infant in a sling. Writing to me is part of my mental health program…if I don’t get words out, I get a little batty. No one wants their mama batty.

 What's your favorite part about being an author?

Looking at a finished book and thinking, ”Whoa, I made you. Those words…I wrote those.” It always surprises me.

What inspired you to continue the Sideswiped story?

For me, New Adult is about authenticity. I wanted to show realistically what happens when you fall in forever love at an early age. What might you be forced to give up? Where should compromises be made? I met my own husband when I was twenty-one and struggled with many of these issues. If I have a “book of my heart” at this point, it would be Sideswiped. There’s a lot of me and my feelings (although fictionalized situations) in that book.

 Why did you go to Australia and how did it influence you to write the series?

I wanted to challenge myself with writing a New Adult and at the time, most stories were American-set. I fell in love during a study abroad trip to Australia. It’s where I met my husband and it changed the entire course of my life. So I wanted to explore that rush of giddy love you can have in a foreign country, and then, because I’m a cruel and twisted person, put that love to the test. Throw in geographic distance. Career choices. Visa issues. All the real life icky stuff that forces a couple to decide if what they have is real or a fantasy. I really made Bran and Talia earn their happy ending J

Thank you for answering my questions Lia!

I actually got to meet Lia Riley at a book signing. I told her I felt like I was in Australia after reading her books and she told me she lived there (which makes sense). She also told me she did her best to make it feel authentic. I told her I couldn’t tell if it was or wasn’t. I felt completely absorbed in that country.   I wished I asked her about her OCD issues since some of it was written in Talia’s personality. Next signing! More Photos HERE

Who was I when I first fell in love with Bran?

A person who had courage to stare down an unfeasible situation and say, Sure, I’m up for the challenge.

Who was I when Bran threw himself at me like a wounded animal, all claws, abandonment fear, spit, and fang?

A person who accepted that the moon has two sides, light and dark.
Who am I now?

I feel like a lost soul rocking in the corner, fresh out of ideas.
Bran pushes me through the long line until it’s our turn at the passport desk.
“How long do you plan to stay in the United States?” The customs official glances from Bran’s face to his passport photo and back again.

My stomach squirms like a writhing snake. We’ve avoided any discussion about future plans, focused instead on the short term. I had to accept the reality that I couldn’t return to the Peace Corps, even with the medical separation. I was too sick, too shattered. Our discussions about the logistics of leaving Africa were easier to concentrate on than the looming issue of what we were going to do with each other. I treated the topic like an abandoned lot, filled with weeds and rusting cars, a subject to walk past and pretend to ignore.

Now a stranger is forcing the issue.

“Until this one gets better.” Bran cocks his head in my direction.

The woman scoots forward, peers at me with a faint frown. “May I see proof of a return ticket, sir?”
Bran digs out the photocopy of his itinerary. When we bought the tickets, he had to borrow money from his dad. He hasn’t said much, but I know the fact must eat at him. Add another bitter drop to my guilt bucket—soon it’s going to overflow.

“You’re on a temporary tourist visa.” The customs agent flips the passport to a blank page and stamps with obvious relish. “You have three months, starting now.”

Here we go again.

Visa issues.

Ticking clocks.

People imagine international romance is excitement, hot accents, and adventure. They don’t want to hear about the bureaucratic drudgery that threatens to harden the arteries of even the most passionate hearts.

I thought I was going somewhere.


I am an idiot Icarus who flew too close to the sun.

Bran leans forward, his lips hover an inch from my ear, his breath a hot caress on my cool skin. “You okay, Captain?”


“What are you thinking, thinker?”

“I’m just sitting here, a sitter.”

We roll past an American flag overhanging a framed photo of the president. His smile seems smug, as if to say, You really thought you’d get away?

Yes, sir. I kind of did.

“We’re up next.” Bran hands a final customs form to yet another officer who waves us toward big silver doors that open and shut like gnashing teeth. On the other side is California. I can’t shake the disorienting sense we’re heading in the wrong direction.



Bran crossed an ocean for me. I have to find the way out of this black swamp, but I’m manacled to an island of self-doubt, and the tide is rising.


Upside Down #1- REVIEW -
Side Swiped #2 -
Inside Out #3 -
Carry Me Home #3.1 (Novella) 
Upside Down Purchasing Links
Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.
 Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.
Amazon - B&N - Kobo -  BAM! - iBooks - GooglePlay
Side Swiped Purchasing Links
It was only meant to last the summer . . .
Talia Stolfi has seen more than her share of loss in her twenty-one years. But then fate brought her Bran Lockhart, and her dark world was suddenly and spectacularly illuminated. So if being with Bran means leaving her colorless NorCal life for rugged and wild Australia, then that’s what she’ll do. But as much as Talia longs to give herself over completely to a new beginning, the fears of her past are still lurking in the shadows.
Bran Lockhart knows that living without the beautiful girl who stole his heart will be torment, so he’ll take whatever time with her he can. But even though she has packed up her life in California and is back in his arms for the time being, she can’t stay forever. And the remaining time they have together is ticking by way too fast. Though fate seems determined to tear them apart, they won’t give up without a fight—because while time may have limits, their love is infinite . . .
Inside Out Purchasing Links
Amazon - B&N -  iBooks - GooglePlay - Kobo - BAM

After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment