Saturday, October 19, 2013

{5 STAR REVIEW & Blog Tour} Falling Behind by Dee Avila

Title: Falling Behind
Author: Dee Avila
Genre: Mature Young Adult
Release Date: June 2013
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Going into the her second year of high school in the rural town of Laton, Reese was ready to come out of her shell, experience life with her best friends and find a way to tell Titus she wanted to be more than friends. When Josh, the new student, shows up on the first day and a whirlwind relationship starts between him and Reese, she was in her own world and barely noticed her friend spiraling downhill. The night Josh pushed her to far her best friend died, causing her own world to spiral. 

Trying to move on from losing her best friend and ignore what Josh did to her, Reese pulls away from everyone. She had to overcome her fears and face her demons to be able to move forward.


The question behind the entire book is who will survive and who will not? Titus, Reese and Candice were best friends. They did everything together when they were younger and once they got in high school, things changed. Reese started dating Josh and Candice started dating Alex. The girls had their life outside of Ty but something was different in both of the relationships.

Dee Avila opened our eyes to two different subjects that happen in relationships all the time and no one talks about it. The viewers don’t say anything and the victims make excuses why and try to justify what is happening.

Reese experienced something mentally not wanting to give apart of herself away but emotionally doing it because Josh made her feel nothing was wrong. Each experience with Josh was an awful experience for Reese and on top of that, Josh was jealous of Ty and their friendship. 

Candice’s experience with Alex was a combination of everything but there was always a reason why it was done and was always promised that it wouldn’t happen again. She allowed this and Reese stepped in to protect her. The help was a little too late and there was consequences that everyone had to suffer.

Ty was the heart of this trio. He loved them but her was in love with Reese. Once Josh was out of the picture, she finally came around and things started looking up, or so they thought. There were a lot of challenges and they got through them but there was one that would take a toll on them both.  The love that they shared would pull them through it.

“I want to be me. I want you to be you. It’s who I’ve been falling in love with for years.”
This story is a wonderful story and has an ending that wants you to pull for all three but again, who will survive?

Kudos to Author Dee Avila!!! This book was a spectacular, must read!!!


Today on our blog, we are sitting down with Titus, Reese and Candice! Want to get in their heads? Hang around to see their interviews!! <3 p="">

Hey Titus, We really wanted to get in your head! Hope you don't mind if we pick your brain! Thanks for being here with us!

~What would you have done differently for Candice?
Ugh, there are things that I look back on now and wish I would have handled differently. I’m trying to move past that. But, to answer your question, I would have spoken up sooner. The first time I saw the bruises I should have went to her father, or my mother. I know how afraid she had to have been to speak up; I should have been her voice. I’m proud of Reese for speaking up.

~Reese was obviously the apple of your eye, why not break the promise that you had with Candice and start a relationship sooner?
I don’t break my promises. I didn’t understand the promise at the time but I knew it meant everything to her. I could see it in her eyes. Still, I wish I would have talked to her about it. If I was with Reese, like I wanted to be, then the events that happened to her wouldn’t have happened. I could have saved both of them.

~Will we see marriage and children in the future for you and Reese?
 (laughs) Ha, well seeing as we’re only just now ending our sophomore year in high school, I’d have to say we’ll see. I love her more than she knows. There’s a lot for us to get through before we can make that kind of commitment.

~Since losing Candice, what will you look for now to know when to step in and help your friends in any dangerous situations?
As soon as someone pulls away, that seemed to be the first sign with Candice and Reese. I know there are a million reasons why people pull away, but if you don’t confront it and find out what’s going on you could be leaving them to fight their own demons and no one should have to do that alone.

~You were/are Reese’s rock but you blamed yourself for everything. Do you still blame yourself and if so, why?
(Sighs) Yeah, I do. If Reese were here, she would be hitting me in the head. But it’s true, I could have saved them both. If I would have spoken up for Candice and too Candice, things would be different right now. I wouldn’t have a girlfriend who’s about to go to battle and I wouldn’t have lost one of my best friends. I feel like I failed them both. I am/was their best friend; being the guy in our group I should have protected them.  
Thanks for chatting with us Titus, I know some of the questions weren't easy!

Next up is the fabulous Reese! Thanks for taking the time to stop by our blog! Can't wait to chat!!!

~Titus was your best friend and you did have feelings for him, other than Josh, what held you back?
He didn’t like me that way. Or so I was told.

~What would you have done differently for Candice?
Spoken up sooner. Candice, (takes a deep breathe) Candice was difficult, she saw things her way and she truly believed she had the abuse under control. I don’t know much about their relationship, I should have but I don’t. The moment she stopped being the Candice I grew up with and love, I should have stepped in, said something. I didn’t do enough, I was scared she would hate me and instead of her being a live and hating me, now she’s gone. I would have convinced her to open up to me. To talk like we use to.

~Date rape too some people is just the physical aspect of it. What can you tell women and men the other side of it?
It is an emotional roller coaster. (Swipes tears off cheeks.) The battle within your mind, to me, is so much worse than the physical aspect of it. I knew what he was doing was wrong. But, at the same time I could justify it. If someone really loves you, they will wait until you’re ready. Guys and Girls, just because you said yes once does not mean you have to do it again. Just because they say they love you does not mean you have to say it back or give them sex for it. Sex at any age and in any relationship should be mutually consented.  

~If you were to see Josh today, what would you say to him to help him realize the mistakes that he made and how wrong he was, other than chopping his hands off?
Oh God, I don’t think I could say anything to him without beating the crap out of him. (laughs) Ok, maybe that’s not true. I’m little I can’t beat the crap out of him. I like to think he knows what he did. I honestly don’t think I could talk to him face to face. Let’s just say I could, I would tell him that maybe he should try listening to his next girl. If she’s not ready not to force her and never use LOVE as the reason to have sex. Many people have sex without love.  

Thank you for being here Reese! It has been great!

The leading lady herself! Hey Candice, ready to chat?!

~Do you know how much you were/are loved?
Ugh. Yes. I know if Reese didn’t love me as much as I loved her that she wouldn’t have told my dad. It doesn’t mean that at the time, I didn’t realize it.

~What advice would you give to women/men your age who are dealing with what you went through?
Tell someone, it’s the first step. It’s a huge step, that’s because it’s the most important.

~Do you think the promise that you and Titus, has not to date best friends, helped or ruined your relationship?
This question I have to be very vague as my story is being released soon and this is addressed in it. There were aspects to this promise that I wish I would have handled differently. With that being said, I believe it both helped and hurt our relationship.

~Is there anything that you want to say to Reese and Titus?
There is so much to say, I think my story brings a little of that to light.  What I can tell you and ask you pass on them to is that I’m sorry.

Candice, it's been surreal. Thanks for hanging out with us!

After chatting with this fabulous trio, if you haven't picked up this book already, you should. You really should.

Here's some more convincing for ya!

I always thought I would end up with Candice. She was the girl everyone wanted to be with and I was her best friend. Sure, we were boyfriend-girlfriend in elementary school; but by fifth grade, we had become just friends. Good friends. That’s when she introduced me to Reese. Reese was this shy little girl. She’s still shy, if you didn’t know her; and I suppose that is why I didn’t think things would happen as fast as they did between her and Josh.
Anyway, the day Candice had made me promise to never date Reese, she also kissed me.
It was one day last summer, she and Reese had one of their fights and Candice asked me to go with her to Black Bridge.
“Come on, Ty, there’s a train coming. Let’s hide by the track.” Candice’s eyes sparkled with excitement. “It’s the best rush, come on.”
I’d never been able to say no to Candice. After grabbing my shirt, we crawled up the levee and headed down to the train tracks.
The rusted metal bridge had braces every four feet, creating the perfect niche for teenagers looking for an adrenaline rush to hide. “Let’s duck down into this first niche,” I suggested.
“No way. To get the full effect, you have to be in the middle.” She pulled me along behind her to the center of the bridge. Smiling, she ducked down into the alcove.
I pushed back against the bridge wall and stared at the graffiti on the other side. The newest was a funny fish with sharp teeth, signed SPAZ. Everyone left their signature, here. Whether it was a gang sign, like F-14 for the Fresno County Dogs, or just a name and date, it was immortalized in spray paint for all to see.
I leaned forward looking left and right for the train that Candice swore she heard. It was coming from the south and I heard it before I felt the vibrations or saw it. I hoped it would be an Amtrak. They were shorter. I took in a lung full of air, wiping my sweaty palms on my shorts to hide my shaking.
Watching Candice chew her upper lip and search the track, I knew this was her first time.  Screeching metal on metal and the whirl of the train’s engine had her clutching my hand. My heart raced in panic, my chest tightening.
Burying her head in my shoulder, Candice said, “Hold me, I hate trains.”
Candice had always been one to do overly stupid things—things that scared her, things that made absolutely no sense, just to seem brave. I never completely understood it.
A Thunderous roar filled my ears as screeching metal grated on my every nerve. Each one of them was alive and pulsing in rhythm with the train. I opened my eyes to catch the tail end of the train pass by. Thank goodness, it was an Amtrak. My shoulder was sore where Candice had dug her nails in deep.
“Candice, we’re safe. Open your eyes.” I lifted her head, my finger on her chin. That was when Candice kissed me. I expected it to send my head reeling and my heart pounding, but it never happened. I didn’t feel a thing.
“Thanks for keeping me safe.”
She quickly jumped up and trotted down the tracks, heading home. Kissing her had proven to me there were no longer any feelings other than friendship.  
As we headed home, Candice grabbed my hand, stopping not far from her house. “I need to ask you something.” Her big hazel eyes searched mine as I nodded and waited for her to continue.
“I need you to promise me two things.”
“What?” My brows pinched together in concern. I never knew what to expect from Candice.
“Promise me you won’t tell Reese about our kiss, today,” she pleaded, dropping my hand and holding hers together in front of her as if praying.
Nodding, I said, “What else?”
“We’re best friends. The three of us. I think that.” She let out a long sigh and I rolled my eyes.
This was not new news. We’ve all been friends for quite a while, now. What was she getting at? “And?”
“And I think it’s best if we promise to never date each other and you promise me you’ll never date Reese.” She paused and I didn’t react or comment. If she didn’t want to date me, then why did she just kiss me? We’re sophomores in high school, I don’t play little kid games. Crossing my arms over my chest, I waited for her to continue. She quickly spat out the rest of her reasoning.  “I need both of you. Neither of you realize how much I’m going to need you this next year. And if you date, and I know you like her”—
My eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Huh?”
“I know you like her. I see the way you look at her. Watch her. I just need to know that you won’t date her this year. Not yet. In case, if you break up and never speak to each other again. I need you. I need you, both.”
“It’s that important to you?”
Candice nodded. “It is.”
Shaking her head she answered, “It just is. Please Ty, please promise me.” Candice blinked away the tears in her eyes and I wondered what had her so worried.
“I promise.”

Reese  Playlist
Survivor – Destiny’s Child
Seize The Day – Avenged Sevenfold
Self Esteem – Off Spring
I’m Just A Girl – No Doubt
Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold
If I Die Young – The Band Perry
You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
You Were Meant For Me – Jewel
Love You Like A Love Song – Selena Gomez


She Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
Almost Easy – Avenged Sevenfold
Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not – Thompsons Square
Animals – Nickelback
The Best Damn Thing – Avril Lavigne
Drunk On You – Luke Bryan
Felt Good On My Lips – Tim McGraw
I Don’t Want This Night To End – Luke Bryan
I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith
Lovers and Friends – Lil’ Jon and The Eastside Boyz
Never Say Goodbye – Bon Jovi


Scream – Avenged Sevenfold
Dear God – Avenged Sevenfold
Afterlife – Avenged Sevenfold
I’ll Be There For You – Bon Jovi
If I Die Young – The Band Perry
Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold
Stay – Lisa Lobe
Fiction – Avenged Sevenfold
Never Say Goodbye – Bon Jovi
Safe and Sound – Taylor Swift
Photograph - Nickelback
So Far Away – Avenged Sevenfold

I'm a wife and mother of four. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I use to write fairy tales when I was in grade school, but now I love writing about those tough high school years and how one decision can change the course of your life. Friendships, first loves and over coming the odds all interest me.

Three years ago, I decided life was too short to waste my stories by letting them collect dust on my shelves. I researched querying, took a few writing workshops and wrote the whole time. I first ventured away from what I normally wrote and tried a Paranormal Romance. That novel is tucked safely away. A year ago I chose to go back to my roots and write what I love - friendships, love and choices - how speaking out can save a life, maybe yours or a friends.

I talked to other authors and made wonderful friends. That's when I learned about self-publishing. I'm glad I followed through. I was so nervous to hit publish, but now I am grateful for the encouragement. It was the best decision I've ever made.

I'm usually in front of my laptop. When I'm not writing I am either trying to catch up on a weeks worth of laundry or on Facebook. I am a huge procrastinator. Usually close to a deadline, you can find me actually cleaning house just so I don't have to hit send. I think sending my books out to betas and my editor is the second scariest thing in the world. I love Rockstars and PB&J sandwiches. (Not the healthiest I know but it’s the fastest and it tastes good.)

I love meeting new people, find me on Facebook/deeavilaauthor
or Twitter @deeavilabooks.


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having us on your blog today! Thank you for the fantastic review and interviewing my trio. It was so much fun. :)