Monday, August 5, 2013

YA Bound Presents A Book Blitz Kick-Off: Camp Boyfriend by JK Rock

Camp Boyfriend (Camp Boyfriend #1)
Release Date: 07/02/13
From Spencer Hill Press

Summary from Goodreads:

The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?

Excerpt #1:

…Seth continued to grip my hand. “Please hear me out, Lauren. This will only take a minute.” 

“Fine. But just for a minute. That’s it.” I plunked down on the rooftop and swung my legs over the edge, back hunched, arms crossed. 

All around us slept campers in lean-tos. By the moon’s low position, I guessed it was well past midnight. An owl hooted from a nearby pine, then took flight in a blur of white and grey. 

“Strix varia,” Seth breathed behind me. “Must be after a frog. Look at him dive.”

I tracked the bird to the river. The current made a soft shhhhh sound as it flowed over and around rocks and boulders. I’d forgotten how much I loved this time of night- the peaceful, natural feel of it. 

Seth’s shoulder brushed mine as he lowered himself beside me. Goosebumps broke out on my skin, every molecule in my bloodstream screaming to life. I took a steadying breath.

He wrapped an arm around me. “Cold?” 

I shook my head and edged away. “You said this would take a minute, so…?”

His finger pressed against my lips while the other hand pointed. My eyes widened at the sight of a portable field telescope set up to our left. Stargazing. As science geeks, it’d always been one of our favorite things to do together. I couldn’t believe he lugged the collapsible apparatus on the trip. Given the limited gear we were allowed to pack, he’d made some sacrifices to have this moment with me. 

“C’mon.” Seth scrambled across the roof, peered into the eyepiece, and focused the lens. He looked up. “Last year we talked about seeing the Perseids together and tonight’s a good clear night for viewing. I didn’t want you to miss it. Have a look.”

He remembered this meteor shower that only an astronomer would love. My heart leaped. Say no, I told myself sternly in spite of its sudden jump.

“Okay,” came out instead.

My eyes flew to the sky. I hadn’t forgotten about the meteor shower and our promise to watch the skies together, but I’d put it out of my mind when I brought Matt to camp. But now… this was science, right? We could be nerds for a few minutes without acting on our hormones, couldn’t we? This was exactly what I needed. To rediscover my passion for astronomy, a part of me that I’d ignored all year, mostly because my dad had checked out of my life.

And didn’t that make me a lot like Matt—spiting myself to get back at my dad for ignoring me? I felt ashamed of myself and my pettiness. 

Now, I knelt behind the telescope and looked down into the eyepiece. My breath caught at the otherworldly view. A streak of white light shown against an onyx sky dotted with twinkling stars. Behind it blazed another stream of periwinkle and azure blue.

Wonder filled me. I was transported, aware of the vastness of life and my tiny place in it. The familiar, otherworldly feel brought back my Aerospace Scholar ambition and memories of planetarium trips with Dad. 

I grabbed Seth’s hand, wanting him to share this amazing moment. But then his arms wrapped around me and he stared into my eyes, the stars reflected in his gaze.

Our breaths synchronized. He exhaled against my temple, making my chest flutter. I turned to tell him I had to go. But before I could speak, his lips captured mine.

My feelings for Seth rushed back with a pull as unstoppable as gravity itself. We tumbled against the roof, every nerve-ending awakening at his familiar touch. He was fantasy come to life. A forgotten dream remembered. 

Seth pulled back and looked down at me with his expressive eyes. “I’ve missed you so much, Lauren.” 

“Me too,” I admitted. 

He rolled us over so that I was on top. My hair hung down like a curtain, the dark strands blotting out the world….

Available from:
Excerpt #2: 

“If you don’t play football, what will you do this fall?” Thunder rolled through the camp, sending the last of the families scurrying indoors, leaving Matt and I alone in the narrow, shadowed space. 

Matt cupped the back of my head and he lowered his nose until it touched mine. “This,” he whispered, then captured my lips in a kiss more electrifying than the war nature waged outside. His mouth was gentle at first, but the pressure grew more insistent until we both gasped for breath. My head whirled and I thought I’d black out until he lowered me to the bench. 

The warmth of his bare chest seeped into my soaked tank, the drumming of his heart faster than the clattering rain. His lips left mine and travelled along my jaw to my earlobe. I shuddered when he lightly nibbled, the shock of pleasure intense. 

My hands slid along his back, the muscles bunching beneath my touch. I traced the ridge of muscle above his hip and felt him tremble, his breath growing ragged. But when his fingers tugged up the hem of my shirt I was the one who sounded winded. His palms skimmed upward against my ribcage until they cupped my flesh, driving me crazy. Only another kiss kept me from making a noise. The storm was loud, but I didn’t want to risk alerting others that we were behind the water curtain flowing in front of the dugout. 

“Matt,” I gasped, loving the feel of his hands on me, the pressure of his hips against mine. I was as hot as a stoked furnace, heat sizzling everywhere at once. My fingers buried themselves in the thick hair at the nape of his neck and I pressed my lips to his, wanting more of him. 

He pulled me up and onto his lap. My hair dripped down my back as my head lolled, his mouth leaving a trail of fire along my neck before dipping lower to my clavicle and lower still. I kissed his brow, his temple, and his square jaw while his mouth explored. I wanted it to go on and on, but suddenly he pulled back, his chest rising and falling like one of those old-time bellows I’d seen on a school field trip. 

His face was fierce, intense, every handsome feature sharpened. His hungry eyes were backlit with fire as they roamed over me. Why had he stopped? 

“Lauren,” he said when it seemed he’d finally caught his breath. I’d never seen him this winded, not even after the endless sprints of football practice. “If we go any farther I won’t be able to stop.” His eyes searched mine, willing me to understand what he was saying. 

“Oh.” My cheeks went up in flames and scrambled off his lap. Thank god the heavy waterfall had obscured us from view. I repositioned my bra and tugged down my tank top. I pinched the bridge of my nose, feeling a headache coming on. 

“Hey.” Matt lifted my chin until I was forced to meet his warm blue-green eyes, the color as inviting as a Caribbean vacation brochure. “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. You’re my girlfriend. I love you.” 

My heart seized. He’d dropped the L-bomb. We’d skirted around the word for months, saying things like, “I love that about you” or just a casual “Love ya” that sounded like friends. But this. It was huge. What to say? The obvious answer was no answer, but a fierce need to return the words clawed to the surface and fought its way out. 

“I love you too.” 

He crushed me against his chest, his hands twining in my frizzing waves. I did love him, I marveled. His warmth. His sense of humor. His strength of purpose and conviction. But was I in love with him? That was the bigger question. One I had no clue how to answer.

"Fun, romantic and giddy, Camp Boyfriend brings real romance to summer camp with grace, humor and passion." - Carrie Jones, New York Times Best-selling Author of the NEED series

Excerpt #3: 

“Who needs a cabin, when we can be alone like this?” 

He cradled my face and lowered his mouth. His lips began to move incrementally along my jawbone. We were very alone out here, more so than we’d ever been before. Back at Turtle Creek, there’d always been friends nearby and a curfew hanging over our heads. Now? The possibility of being together was all too real. 

“Matt,” I breathed around the catch in my throat, knowing we shouldn’t complicate things between us. Especially when I’d only promised him four weeks. 

Tough to remember when his hungry lips met mine. His arms tightened around me and his fingertips ran through my hair. My lips parted under his, my hands trapped between his chest and mine. Underneath my palms his heart drummed. 

His hands moved forward until he cupped my face then pulled away. He made a soft, ragged sound as he gazed down at me. 

“God, you’re beautiful,” he murmured, eyes more intense than I’d ever seen them. My pulse raced when his lips drifted down to my clavicle and along the neckline of my shirt. His hands skimmed across my back, making me shudder in a way that had little to do with the water temperature. When his strong fingers circled to the front and rubbed my ribcage, my body tingled in pleasure. 

And yeah, I was sending out the wrong message. Trying to shake off the feelings, I grabbed his hands and nudged him away. I treaded water and tried to slow my breathing. Matt looked like he’d run wind sprints. 

“Too much?” he asked, still the southern gentleman despite the wicked gleam in his eye. 

I nodded, wanting to say more but needing time to puzzle things out. We stayed out as long as we dared, and we needed to be in our beds before our counselors got back from their meeting. 

Back at my cabin, I just barely beat Emily when I slipped inside. My friends might have given me the third degree except that our counselor was right behind me and we all had to fake sleep since it was well past curfew. Grateful this once for the early bedtime, I dried off, put on sleep shorts and a tank, and snuggled under the covers. I turned over and pounded my pillow, Matt’s face intruding every time I tried imagining Seth’s. 

Who knew I’d have a First Kiss of Camp with two boys? Or that they’d both confuse me so much. I’d thought my feelings about them were clear before I came here. But Seth surprised me by letting me go so easily that it hurt. And Matt had given me a few surprises too, forgiving me when I didn’t necessarily deserve it and fighting for me like I was more than a nerd masquerading in designer clothes. 

As my eyes drifted closed, Seth’s sun-tipped curls and lightly freckled face finally came into focus. He’d want to know what I decided when he came back and wouldn’t like my answer. I’d done nothing wrong tonight, but I couldn’t stop feeling like I’d betrayed him—us. 

I might have had a FKOC with both guys. Now I needed to figure out which one would have the last.

About the Authors:

J. K. Rock is the writing partnership of sisters-in-law Joanne & Karen Rock. Separately, they write adult romance. Together, they dream up Young Adult books like CAMP BOYFRIEND, the first in a three-book series. The summer camp stories continue with CAMP PAYBACK (4/14) and CAMP FORGET-ME-NOT (8/14), plus bonus free novellas in between stories. 

Visit to learn more about the series and the free prequel novella, CAMP KISS, which you can download here.

***Author Links***

Excerpt #4:
“Can I ask you a question?” I’d been dying to ask him this for years, but the old me had been too afraid.

“Shoot.” He wrapped his arms around his knees and locked a hand around his other wrist.

I gathered my courage. “Why did you want to break up every year after camp?”

In the quiet that followed, I traced the white stitching on the embroidery that outlined Madison’s initial.

When Seth finally answered, his voice was low.

“It’s easier to end things on good terms than risk something going wrong during the school year.”

“Why assume the worst?” I’d never given him reason to doubt me.

“I saw what my dad went through after my mom left us.” He reached for a stick to shove the logs around in the dusty fireplace as I marveled that he’d finally admitted what I’d suspected. When Seth’s mom abandoned him, she’d left a huge hole. No wonder he had trust issues. Still, we could have worked through that if he’d given me a chance. Opened up to me like this before.

“I always figured I’d wait to get serious with anyone until I was… really sure,” he continued.

“And you were never sure of me?”

His crooked grin made a surprise appearance, but his tone was dry. “I was hoping this would be the year we’d be ready to take that step.”

Something inside me collapsed. My chest felt so tight that for a minute I couldn’t breathe. We’d been so close to developing something amazing.

“Instead, I showed up with someone else.”

Outside, the wind rubbed tree limbs against the cabin, making a squeaking scrape.

“It wasn’t just that.” He put the stick down and looked at me. Really looked me. “You showed up as someone else. Someone I didn’t recognize with a new look, clothes, interests.”

I opened my mouth to protest but stayed silent when I followed his gaze to my trendy sneakers.

“I didn’t know who you were anymore,” Seth went on. “Since when did you prefer dancing to stargazing, tanning to pursuing your Aerospace Scholar dreams? That wasn’t the Lauren I knew. Loved.”

I flinched. Who knew a verb tense could cut as deep as a knife? Seth no longer loved me because I’d changed.

How ironic that I’d come back to camp to get back to the things I’d loved, especially Seth. But Matt had stopped that chance and, suddenly, I was glad he had. What was so wrong with liking dance and astronomy? Cheering and the science club? The popular and the outsider cliques? The problem was, I hadn’t realized I could do both, be both. If I’d gone back to Seth, I would never have learned that.

I looked over at my drying wedge sandals by the fireplace. They were awesome, even if they had slowed us down. And yeah, I was the girl who worried about weather-induced hair frizz.

So maybe I had changed. And Seth had a point about letting my dreams lapse. But why couldn’t he see through the make-up and clothes to the person who still thrilled at the site of a meteor shower and drew constellations on her notebook covers?

I laid back, tired of justifying myself. “That girl’s gone, Seth. I’m different now.”

Seth stretched beside me. His amber eyes searched mine in the shadows between us, a wistful smile lifting the corners of his mouth.

“It’s not a bad thing,” he agreed, his fingers toying with my curls. “I just miss the old you sometimes.”

I closed my eyes and enjoyed his touch, knowing it wasn’t going any further. After all, he cared about someone else, someone I’d never be again.

“Sometimes…” I edged a little closer to ease the empty ache inside. “…so do I.”           

Grand prize - Signed copies Amanda Ink's SUN, Jennifer Armentrout writing as J. Lynn's FRIGID and JK Rock's CAMP BOYFRIEND. Also included, advance sneak peek copy Laurie Halse Anderson's THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY and Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian's FIRE WITH FIRE, plus an "I love my Camp Boyfriend" tee shirt, friendship bracelets, 'I <3 Camp' temporary tattoos, and a bookmark with the download code for CAMP KISS.

Three other winners will receive $10 Amazon gift cards

Book Blitz Hosted by:

1 comment:

JK Rock said...

Thank you so much for giving us a spot on the blog! We really appreciate it :-).

We wanted to share some other fun news... the prequel novella, Camp Kiss, is now available for Kindle if readers would prefer to read in that format. It's a .99 download at