Thursday, February 4, 2016

#IABBAddict: Pucked by Rachel Walter

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Author: Rachel Walter

Title: Pucked

Pages: 328

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Date published: February 8, 2015

Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, captain of the Warrior’s Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present. If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life. He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warrior’s number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations. Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held. With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path. 

Can she find her true self before her world burns around her? When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul? Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the puck?

**Warning- Several abuse topics are discussed in this story, which includes parental alienation, physical abuse, alcohol abuse, and mild drug abuse.**


I growl and force my anger into my next swing. The puck completely misses the net, bouncing off the cement wall.
Audrey’s not leaving this town. Yeah, she’s trying to care for Hannah, but she’s leaving me.
My hopeful heart drops and I kick the bag again, using the blade of the plastic stick to set up the new line of victims. Each puck has a different face.
My father.
For leaving us the way he did for another woman.
He gets another.
He broke my mother’s heart to the point that she’s not even the same woman she was five years ago.
He started this domino effect of bullshit, and for that, he gets a third.
My mother.
For letting a man break her down so badly that she can’t function properly.
She gets another.
She’s forgotten that she’s a mother. I’m not old enough to care for my baby sister properly, not in the parental way she deserves. I still need a mom, but at least I’m old enough to figure things out on my own.
My mother gets another puck just for hurting my baby sister by ignoring her like she does. It smashes into the wall.
Another puck with her face, because it’s her fault that Audrey wants to stay here. Audrey can see that Hannah needs a mother. So why can’t Mom see it?
I kick the bag again, lining up another row.
She gets one more, for bringing another man into our house, causing a whole different world of shit for us.
I tap a puck forward, glaring at it.
This one’s for Ted.
I purposefully miss the net this time. Smashing the puck into the wall so hard I hear it crack as it rattles across the floor.
One more for Ted.
His alcohol addiction nearly ended everything I know and love in one night with his drunken rage.
My mother gets another puck. This one’s for bringing the man that beat her, almost to death, in front of my baby sister last year back into our home. I purposefully crash it into the wall again.
I smash yet another into the cement wall.
For bringing the man who hit my baby sister because she wouldn’t stop crying, back into our lives.
For asking my Audrey out and kissing her.
My stick hooks around the last puck.
It gets my face.
For being a coward and not asking my girl to be my girl, for not telling her how I’ve felt for years, for lying, and for hurting her feelings. This puck gets my face for not being a stronger man and calling the police to press charges against Ted.
The puck glances off the post and flies my way.
On instinct, I drop to my knees so I don’t get hit, and hear a soft gasp followed by an echoing thud of a body hitting the floor.


What inspired you to become an author? 
I kind of fell into it actually. I’ve always loved telling stories, and mastered the art of captivating my audience at a young age. I tried poetry but that wasn’t for me, and then I attempted writing a children’s story. I didn’t know anyone who could illustrate for me and I wasn’t ever really sure how to write in a way that a child would enjoy. As I was writing notes and attempting different ways to write, we moved and I lost the notebook with those notes. Life kind of exploded for a while and then one night I started writing my first novel. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it or if I would even finish it. Also, I didn’t tell anyone about it until I had more than half rewritten on my laptop. I don’t think I really knew I wanted this until I had completed it and was writing half of the second book. I shared the story with a handful of people close to me and they enjoyed it. That’s when I was like, “Okay, I want this. I need to do this. I know that. But now what do I do?” 

I assume all authors also love to read, so what book inspired your love of reading? 
S.E. Hinton – The Outsiders. I vaguely remember liking to read as a young girl, but the further I got in school I had to read what the teachers chose, and I didn’t like them or didn’t like reading a little bit at a time. It wasn’t until 9th grade that I “had” to read The Outsiders. It was the first book I read in one night. It was the first book to make me cry and laugh and completely FEEL. That book opened to floodgates and I became addicted to finding books that made me feel. 

How old were you when you wrote your first story? 
24 years old

Who are some of your favorite authors now? 
J.K. Rowling, Madeline Sheehan, Claudia Christian Hall, and P.D. Martin to name a few.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? 
In my personal life I’m a planner but while I write – total pantser.

Are your characters based on people you know? 
In a way, yes. I inject personality traits in each of my character from friends and family members. 

What are some of your writing rituals? 
When writing, I need music but if I’m editing, total silence. I also had random snack cravings. There was a scene in Pucked that mentions mall food and soft pretzels – because for some reason, writing those characters made me want soft pretzels like crazy. 

How do other books influence your writing?  
I’m not really sure. I try to avoid following a storyline of someone else’s, though sometimes ideas are born from the same muse and that’s how you get the “similar” books. I avoid reading the genre I’m writing for fear I’d subconsciously take something from that book. So I’m currently writing a young adult paranormal romance, I’ll read young adult or adult, but not a paranormal romance. I know other authors do it differently, but I can’t bring myself to do it. If any book makes me FEEL, I will reread it many times to feel it again. Part of me knows that it’s the structure and wording that made it happen, so that when I get back to my own work and read through it, I can spot how I need to structure a scene to its maximum potential. It sounds more complicated than it is, but I don’t know how else to explain it.

How do you get motivated to sit down and write with all the real world interruptions? 
Some days that motivation never comes and I’ve had to learn to be okay with that result. I try not to guilt or force myself into writing because that gives me more to rewrite later.  

Which one of your books is your favorite? 
That’s awkward for me to answer, each one is special to me in its own way, but I would say Pucked.

If you could have a writing retreat anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be and why? 
Scotland. I’ve always fantasized about the castles there and I think it would be really cool to be able to write in a beautiful and historic place like that. Maybe near a small village to walk around and get a different view for the creative juices.

If your main character were an alcoholic beverage, which beverage would they be and why? 
Riley would be a blackberry bourbon because he’s cold on the outside and warm on the inside. Audrey would a fireball because she’s so full of life, and she’s quite the firecracker at times.

If you could live in a fictional world, which world would you choose and why? 
I would live in a Harry Potter book because I want to go to Hogwarts…Actually, I mostly want to go through brick at 9 ¾ because it looks fun! Lol.

What’s the best way to hide a body?  
Some secrets should never be told. ;)

This or That

Coke or Pepsi? Root Beer
Paperback or e-reader? Either
Facebook or Twitter? Instagram
Peeta or Gale? Peeta
Edward or Jacob? Emmett
Money or love? Love 
Tattoos or bare? Tattoos 
Hairy or smooth? A little bit a scruff
Call or text? Face to face
Hot or cold? Hot 
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Both 
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Halloween or Christmas? Memorial Day
McDonald’s or Burger King? Neither
Batman or Spiderman? Iron Man and Deadpool
Oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip? Oatmeal raisin 

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