Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Podium Finish Blog Tour!

Podium Finish 

PodiumFinish Podium Finish With six months until the Olympic Games, seventeen-year-old Harper's life is pretty much perfect. She's fighting for the starting spot on Team USA Women's Hockey, and for the first time ever, she has a crush on a guy who likes her back. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she runs a risky play at practice and breaks her knee, thereby sentencing herself to six weeks in a cast and possibly ending her Olympic dream before it even starts. For seventeen-year-old Alex, being anything less than the best is unacceptable. That's why, after a miserable debut season at the senior level, the former junior national singles champion switches to ice dance. Her skating partner, Ace, is an "all skating all the time" type of guy, which would be fine, if he'd stop keeping secrets about the real reason he and his former partner broke up. Now is not the time for second thoughts, but how can Alex skate her best if she can’t trust her partner…or herself? As the pressure to make the Olympic team builds, the girls must rely on each other, because if there’s one thing they both know, it's that the only thing harder than skating to the top is staying there.
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My Review

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let me just say.. Podium Finish was unlike any other book I have read. Pond touched on a subject most YA and teens love, the Olympics. I think every young girl out there has a dream or two of being the beautiful girl in the showy costumes, twirling on the ice. I know I did. Pond caught my interest immediately with the title and the cover! 

Switching point of views between two girls who are roommates, but are in different sports gives this a fun way to see such opposite personalities, but yet both with the same goal... The podium. 

Being a sports fan and having been on a sports team myself, I can relate a little to the competitiveness that comes with a sport like hockey. There were many times when my heart got to pumping while reading about these young girls, Alex and Harper, in action. But the Olympics is so much more than sports. It is years and years of training, sacrifices, determination.... So much determination and hard work to just get to the team itself. The pressure these young teens are put under not only by themselves, but parents, friends and coaches is immense. I was so lost in this, I felt those pressures too. I just wanted to hug and love these roommates who were alone, away from family, having to deal with the pressures of it all.

This was such a great clean read with a little romance. It is so different from most of the YA I have read, it was a breath of fresh air. I am going to get this for my teen boys to read. Especially with the winter Olympics coming up, this will be the icing on the cake!

Check out the Excerpts below the rafflecopter!

  Beth Pond author picAuthor Beth Pond Beth Pond graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Hendrix College in 2012. In 2013, she taught in South Africa for 9 months as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant. Pond is currently completing her coursework at the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing MFA program. Her debut novel, Podium Finish, was released from Astraea Press in November 2013. When she’s not writing, Pond enjoys martial arts (she’s a black belt) and serving as a volunteer coach for her brother’s special needs baseball team.  
  Praise for Podium Finish Podium Finish is unlike any other book I have read, period. It is amazing that Ms. Pond could take two very different characters who are pursuing two completely different sports and tie them together as roommates at the Olympic Training Center. ~Crystal, Books are Sanity This is a great, fun book! This story is really 2 stories in one - bonus! ~Shelley Walker, Goodreads This book was truly enjoyable to read. ~Michele, Amazon Review Podium Finish is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. ~Ana, Amazon Reviewer  

Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/9/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway



Ace knocks a couple minutes later.

"He-ll-o, Juliet," he says.

"Wrong routine, Genius."

"Oh, that's right. We already kicked butt at that one."

Ace and I are sitting in fifth place, by the narrowest of narrow margins. Lindsay and Cory are behind us in sixth, 1.22 points back.

"Have you ever seen such a narrow margin in the Olympics?"

"No," he says. "That's crazy close, eh?" He sits down on my bed. This is the first time he's been in my room here.

"How'd you know that was my bed?"

"All the pink." He tosses a pillow at me. I brought two of my pillows with me to make this place feel a little more like home — my OTC home, not my Connecticut home. That place hasn't felt like home since I left, maybe even before that.

"Well, make yourself comfortable because we need to talk strategy."

"World domination strategy?"

"Would you stop joking? And yes, if we win the Olympics that would sort of be like world domination."

"Sorry. Jokes are just how I deal with the stress," he says. "I don't know what you want to strategize about. We need to skate as well as we can. Hopefully as well as we did at Nationals. Obviously this is a much bigger competition."

"Okay, what score do you think we'll need to make the podium?"

"At least tie our PB from Nationals to have a chance, but ideally higher. It's gonna be tough, Alex."

"No one ever said winning an Olympic medal would be easy."

"Look, I know you like to de-stress by crunching numbers, but if you try to predict everyone's scores, you're going to drive yourself crazy, lose sleep, and it will all be for nothing, so how about another kind of crunching numbers?"

"Like what?"

He shifts his weight to his side, digging his elbow into the mattress and pulls a deck of cards out of the back pocket of his jeans.

"Poker. If you win, we do a spy routine next year. If I win, it's a western theme."

"Western? What am I going to wear? Daisy Dukes?"

"You better win then."


We finish a slow lap around the rink then I tell Rye I want to see him speed skate.

"It's more impressive when I'm actually racing people."

"That's okay," I say.

"You just want an excuse to look at my butt."

"No. I'll just race you then if you're going to be like that."

"You'll still have a nice view of my butt."

If I were in 100 percent health, I would have punched him in the arm and bolted off, not caring that his skates are better designed for racing, not to mention the years of experience he has, and I would have raced my heart out, but I'm not in 100 percent health. A dull ache crept its way into my knee on the second turn of our slow lap together. It's not painful. It's the weakness Tyler was talking about, but nevertheless, that ache is a reminder that comebacks are a multistep process.

Rye takes off, crossing his right leg over his left leg to turn the corner of the rink, picking up speed on the straights. When he passes me, a rush of wind follows him. He rounds the first turn again, fingertips brushing the surface of the ice, body at a 45-degree angle, so low to the ice that if it weren't for his speed, he'd fall over, too much speed and he'd fall as well. I stand by the rink wall, and Rye whips by again, purposely getting close to me even though speed skaters normally try to stay as close to the inside of the track as possible.

"Show off!" I call, but he's already coming out of the turn and probably can't hear me.


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