Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Blast Tour, Review & Giveaway ~ Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill

Welcome to the Virtual Book Blast Tour for Center of Gravity, an amazing new fictional suspense novel by author Laura McNeill available July 15th, 2015!! This Book Blast includes the blurb, my review, an excerpt, author bio, as well as an awesome giveaway! Check out all the details on the tour page

About the Book:
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Laura McNeill
Available Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardback, Audio
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 07-14-15                Pages: 318
Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true.

In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is grand.

Or is it?

When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It's temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.

If only Ava could believe her own excuses.

Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town —Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game?

Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.

My So-Called Review:
Center of Gravity is the first book I’ve read by author Laura McNeill and one I’d requested several months ago on NetGalley. I love a well done psychological thriller, they will always be at the top of my must read list. But with so many books stating similarities to Gone Girl and/or Girl on Train (I loved both of these) it’s become a tad difficult finding ones that truly stand out on their own merit.  I was slightly worried that this could possibly be the case here since the whole “husband isn’t who wife originally thought he was” type of storyline has been done before. But once I began reading I quickly realized that Center of Gravity is in that rare category of being a truly unique thriller with the psychological element done to perfection!

On the surface Ava seems to have the perfect life, she’s a completely devoted mother and wife with a handsome, caring husband and two beautiful sons, one adopted and one biological. As the story begins we soon realize, just as Ava does that her husband Mitchell isn’t at all who she first thought he was. Out of nowhere he becomes increasingly paranoid over the most innocent of things that Ava is doing. When he becomes controlling and unpredictable Ava is shocked and can’t understand what has happened to the man she fell in love with. Then suddenly Mitchell files for divorce, takes their boys away and makes it clear to Ava that she will never get them back. Ava is of course stunned and can’t understand how or why her world has crashed down so suddenly around her and when she tries to reason with Mitchell he just becomes hateful and nasty. Finally, Ava starts to wise up gets herself the help of a  lawyer who suggests she take matters into her own hands by digging around into Mitchell’s past.

Center of Gravity was creepy, thrilling and tense! I knew early on that I wouldn’t be able to stop reading it until I found out the whole truth behind Mitchell’s past and Ava got her boys back. Several times throughout this book I felt so bad for Ava and just wanted to reach inside this novel & punch Mitchell myself! As a mother and wife I could truly feel everything Ava felt, all of her anguish & despair just ripped me into a million shreds. I loved the multiple narrative style that the Laura McNeill used, I felt they really added to the fast pace of the story and my attention never wavered.  I would highly, highly recommended this for fans of psychological suspense/thrillers and I think the subject matter makes this an excellent choice as a Book Club read; it’s one I’m definitely bringing for vote at my next club meeting!

Many thanks to the publishers, Thomas Nelson Fiction and to NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

When your children are stolen, the pain swallows you whole. Logic fades, reason retreats. Desperation permeates the tiniest crevices of your mind. Nothing soothes the ache in your wounded soul.

Right in front of me, my sweet, charmed life fell to pieces. Everything destroyed; a hailstorm’s wrath on a field of wildflowers. All I’d known—gone. Foolish me, I’d believed in magic, clung tight to false promises. The lies, spoken from tender lips, haunt me now, follow me, and whisper into my ear like a scorned lover.

What’s left is emptiness.

Give up, a voice urges. Let go.

No! I argue back. My children aren’t gone. Not yet. Precious and delicate, tiny fossils, they exist in glass-boxed isolation. Hidden. Protected.

And so tonight, I run. Blood pulses through my legs, my muscles protest; my lungs scream for more oxygen. Thick storm clouds brew in the distance. The rain falls in blinding sheets. The force of it pricks my skin like needles, but the pain only makes me push harder.

I will rescue them.

Lightning flashes across the wet driveway. The bulk of his truck looms large in the black night. I skid to a stop and catch my breath, pressing a hand to my heaving chest.

They’re here. My children are here.

Thunder booms and crashes, nearer now, the wind whips my hair. A gust tosses tree branches to the ground. Birds cry and flutter to safety. An escaped sandbox bucket spins, clattering on the blacktop.

I grasp the railing and pull myself up the steps. At the top, the door’s shiny-slick with water and humidity. Mother Nature howls and drowns out my knocking.

“Hello! Can you hear me?” With my palm open wide, I slap at the barrier, willing it to open. I will rescue my children. I will rescue them . . . or I will die trying.

About The Author:

After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family. Her accolades in broadcasting include awards from the Associated Press, including Best News Anchor and Best Specialized Reporter.

Laura works at Spring Hill College as the school’s web content and social media manager and​ is active in her community—participating in fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, and Providence Hospital’s Festival of Flowers.

Laura was recently awarded a 2-book deal with Thomas Nelson Publishing, a division of HarperCollins. Her novel, Center of Gravity, set in Mobile, Ala., will be published in July of 2015. Laura is represented by Elizabeth Winick Rubenstein, president of McIntosh and Otis literary agency in New York.​ Her writing awards include those from William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, Writer’s Digest, RWA, and the Eric Hoffer competition.

She holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in interactive technology from the University of Alabama. She is a native of Upstate New York and currently resides near the Alabama Gulf Coast with her two children.


Giveaway provided by author, bloggers not responsible for prizing!
a Rafflecopter giveaway This event was brought to you by Goddess Fish Promotions


  1. Sounds like a good read—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

    1. I really enjoyed Center of Gravity, it's a great psychological thriller! I should have my review up later today, good luck in the contest & thanks for stopping by to post :)

    2. Jen - That's fabulous! Thank you so much <3 I really appreciate you hosting the book today!

      xx, Laura

    3. Thank you for stopping by to check out the book!!

    4. You're so very welcome Laura! And I've got my review up & added to this post :) Thank you for writing such a fantastic, creepy thriller!!!

  2. Hey Jen!

    I've nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award - I hope you can take part in it! Beautiful Blogger Award

  3. Jen - I would LOVE to Skype in and talk to everyone!!! (next book club meeting!) You name the time and date and I will be there!!! xo, Laura

    1. This is so awesome Laura, thank you so much!!! We are leaving next weekend for our final summer vacation so I'll actually miss July's meeting but I'll be bringing it in Aug to vote for our September read so I'll keep you posted :)