We’re participating in the Indie Author Giveaway Hop, and are delighted to have Shackled by Angela Carling as our giveaway. This is Angela’s second book and it covers a very important subject, domestic abuse – specifically boyfriend abuse; however, it does that in a way that doesn’t lecture or preach.
The way we’re taught to be as girls sets us up, no matter how smart or competent or self-confident we seem, to easily fall prey to the predators in this world. This is a book that should be in every school library and should be read by every teen girl and every woman. One lucky reader will win an advance readers’ copy (ARC) of their very own!
When Lucy’s dad gets a job offer in Seattle, WA, after being out of work for two years in Minnesota, there’s no question that the family will move. They settle on a house in Federal Way, a suburb of Seattle. Lucy’s not thrilled about moving since she’ll really miss all of her friends and especially Lake Hubert. Still, she’s old enough to realize that in this horrible economy he was lucky to get a job anywhere – plus she’s really tired of living on pasta and beans, and doing without the things normal teenage girls have.
Starting her new high school in drizzly Seattle wasn’t something she was looking forward to but a really hot guy, Ryan, was there to greet her and to guide her to all of her classes. He made the transition super easy for her and gave her lots of great advice on the ins and outs of school. She couldn’t believe a guy as gorgeous as him had been assigned to help her but she was relieved that he was helping to make things so easy for her. She could get used to having someone like him around but knew he was only being kind to the new kid.
What really floors her is that even after his tour guide duties were finished, he continues to pay attention to her. What on earth could a guy like him see in someone like her? He has to be one of the most popular guys in school, given how hot he is, and she’s a shy newcomer with average looks at best. She can’t believe it when he asks her out on a date. It’s like she’s won the lottery. Wow, Seattle is going to be a great place to live!
Soon she and Ryan are inseparable. She makes friends with all of his friends, and Mason in particular is very solicitous. She and Mason have the same sense of humor and like to do outlandish things that the more serious Ryan can’t let loose enough to do. Lucy loves being in this new school, having a gorgeous boyfriend and doesn’t even care that Seattle is rainy nine months out of the year.
Then Ryan begins to want just the two of them to spend time together, and they stop seeing any of their other friends. It’s like he wants her all to himself. Still, she feels so safe and protected with him, and so loved, that she doesn’t question it at first. She’s never had anyone shower so much attention and love on her. She feels like a princess in a fairy tale.
But things in fairy tales don’t always go as planned. Soon Ryan’s attention becomes almost obsessive and Lucy is a little freaked out by it. Still, she’s never had this serious of a relationship and thinks maybe she’s blowing things out of proportion. After meeting Ryan’s FBI agent dad, she sees that he’s very intense too. Maybe that’s where Ryan gets his intensity and maybe that explains why he behaves the way her does.
“Brecken snorted at my response. ‘You’re not going for a job interview, just to meet his dad,’ she said, still not answering my question.
I gave up and tried another tack. ‘Have you ever met his dad?’
Brecken stopped painting her pinky nail for a second and looked at me. For a moment, her expression was subdued. ‘Once,’ she said, ‘at Ryan’s sweet sixteen party.’
‘And…’ I pressed.
‘I really like his Mom,’ she responded, already turning back to her nails.”
Lucy begins to question whether Ryan’s intense behavior is something she wants long term. She wants to enjoy being a teenager and he’s so serious about everything, and especially about her. His temper is something she’s ill equipped to handle and his apologies don’t seem to change how he behaves in the future. At the same time, she’s beginning to feel like a prisoner in their relationship but she’s embarrassed and humiliated to admit to anyone what’s going on. She still cares about Ryan but – what has she gotten herself into? Are things getting worse or is it her imagination? Is Ryan’s behavior really her fault? What is she going to do?
“Ryan debated in his mind but finally stood to meet his father’s gaze.
‘You said you wanted to make sure she never left, that she would be yours forever, or something close to that romantic nonsense. I have been telling you for years that a woman must be protected, sometimes from her own stupidity. How are you supposed to protect her if you don’t know where she is?’”
Angela Carling has done a brilliant job in Shackled of showing how easily any girl or woman can fall into the clutches of what I call a predator, a guy who will abuse them psychologically, emotionally, and potentially physically. Predators can sniff out people who are in vulnerable situations that turn them into potential prey. They’re manipulative and portray themselves as Prince Charming, just waiting to rescue a princess in distress. Lucy is in the perfect situation to be rescued. The only problem is that she doesn’t realize that her prince’s castle is actually a dungeon.
I think Shackled does an admirable job of presenting this issue in a very appealing and gripping story. It grabbed me on the first page and didn’t let go. I’d say this one should be required reading for every female from age 12 through adult. Don’t ever think you’re immune. Anyone can fall into this trap and, once in it, it’s very difficult to get out. Shackled is one hell of a roller coaster ride!
Can’t wait to read it?
Shackled was published on June 1, 2012, so it should be available from your favorite bookseller below. Just click the button to go there to get it.
I’d love to get your comments on Shackled, Angela Carling or her other work, and/or this review.
We also reviewed Angela Carling’s first novel, Unbreakable Love. To read that review, click here.
If you like this review, please “like” it, +1 it, and share it with your friends!
For those of you who want to know more about this issue:
A couple of statistics you should know:
• Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women.
• Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
We need to stop violence against women and girls now! Don’t become a victim, and if you’re already in a bad situation get help from someone you can trust!
Some Signs of an Abuser:
1) Extremely Charming (and manipulative): This guy comes across literally like Prince Charming or your very own Knight in Shining Armour in the beginning.
2) Isolation: He will want you all to himself, which may seem flattering at first but it’s not. He’ll slowly isolate you from all of your friends and family, even co-workers, possibly even moving you to a distant location or removing your transportation so you can’t leave him. All the while, he’ll have great logic for doing this.
3) Jealousy: He’ll be jealous when you even look or talk to other males, potentially accusing you of being interested in them romantically or having affairs with them.
4) Emotional/Psychological Abuse: You will be blamed for his behavior. He wouldn’t act this way if you didn’t make him. He will make threats that center around controlling you. For example: When they get angry, these are the guys who in later stages slam fists or feet into walls and tell you next time it could be your head. Or they might corner you and tower over you while they yell at you. This is insidious and escalating behavior that will cause you to lose all self-esteem over time.
5) Control: It’s all about control. In his heart, this guy doesn’t believe he deserves you and will lose you if he doesn’t control you completely. You can’t change that because it’s too deep seated. He may try to control how you dress and/or wear your hair, where you go, who you go with, how long you’re gone, who you talk to, your finances and your access to money, your work, etc.
a. He doesn’t abuse other people in his life (his boss, friends, family, strangers).
b. He will normally instantly stop the abuse if the phone rings or someone else comes into the room. Then he will look completely in control and you will look like the hysterical or out of control person. Sound crazy? It is but it’s not you who’s crazy – it’s your abuser.
c. Escalation – from emotional/physical abuse he may escalate to leaving bruises/marks where they won’t show. From there he will progress to more violence. Do whatever you have to do to get away before it gets to this escalated stage!
One lucky reader will win an advance readers’ copy (ARC) of Shackled by Angela Carling!
Once you’ve entered our giveaway, click on the link just below the Rafflecopter form to go to all of the other giveaways in the Indie Authors Giveaway Hop!
1) The deadline for entries is Tuesday night, 6/19/2012, at 11:59pm EDST. No entries after that date/time will be eligible.
2) This giveaway is open to entries with U.S. mailing addresses only because we do not ship books outside of the U.S.
3) You must be at least 15 years old to enter this giveaway.
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7) That’s it – it’s a very easy giveaway, so have fun and best of luck!
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