Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Say You'll Remember Me
Published by Harlequin on June 1st 2015
Genres: Death & Dying, General, Love & Romance, Motorcycles, Social Issues, Transportation, Young Adult
An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns into an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.
We got the chance to chat with Katie about her new series and swoony boys and books! Check out what she had to say and then see my thoughts about Nowhere But Here!!
Describe the Thunder Road series in 5 words.
Explosive. Secrets. Sexy. Emotional. Family.
You write swoony boys really well – what is your inspiration?
My inspiration for my swoony boys is my husband. He’s is by far the sexiest and most romantic person I know. I give each of my heroes a small sliver of the man I married. I often receive messages from fans wishing that my male characters were real. Here’s the good news—there really are awesome guys out there. I know because I married one.
Of all of your books, do you have a favorite scene you wrote and if so, what was it and why is it your favorite?
There are several scenes in NOWHERE BUT HERE that I absolutely loved to write. This is a book that I had been wanting to tell for years and was thrilled when I finally was able to write it. Favorites? There’s a scene between Emily and her father that inspired the book, there’s a scene between Emily and her grandmother that broke my heart, and then there are several scenes between Emily and Oz that took my breath away.
My favorite scene between Emily and Oz? At the beginning of the book, Oz is asked to look after Emily from a distance and Oz messes up. Emily is in danger and Oz has to make some fast decisions to keep her safe and that includes hiding with Emily in a tight spot. The two are already attracted to one another, but personality wise, they are at war. It’s a highly explosive scene that I can’t wait for my readers to discover!
Were there any scenes that had to be cut that you wish would have stayed in?
There wasn’t a scene that I had to cut in NOWHERE BUT HERE, but there was a scene I had always wanted to write, but couldn’t find a spot for it in the manuscript.
Emily’s father is a highly respected member of a motorcycle club, and I wanted to write a scene where Oz, a son of another member of the club, taught Emily the basics of driving a motorcycle. I hope one day to be able to write that scene and share it as bonus content.
Did any of your characters surprise you by doing something you didn’t expect?
Yes! Emily has a lot more sass and spunk than I had originally known when I had started the manuscript. Let’s just say that she doesn’t have a problem blackmailing Oz to get what she wants and she may or may not do that blackmailing with a kiss.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
I sometimes find myself talking out loud to the characters in my manuscript.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People who don’t open doors or offer to help people that need it. I was recently at an airport where a woman was traveling with her infant. She had her purse, her baby bag, a stroller she was told would have to be broke down before she boarded, and her baby. Lots of people were lined up around her so they could hurry on. It was obvious she needed help, and not one person near her offered to carry a single item. I threw away my lunch so I would have extra hands, pushed my way through the crowd and offered to carry her stroller onto the plane. One act of kindness can go a long way for a person. It can also help brighten your day.
When you read a real book, what do you use as a bookmark?
When it is a borrowed book, I usually use what is on hand. Typically it is my son’s Pokémon card. When it is my private copy—I dog ear.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished SWEET by Tammara Webber and it was emotional and amazing!
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep going! I was rejected more than my fair share while trying to get published. I’m living proof that dreams do come true. Keep going! You can do it!
What’s next for you? Are you working on anything right now that you can tell us about?
I’m currently working on the second book in the THUNDER ROAD series. This book will follow the story of Razor, a secondary character from NOWHERE BUT HERE. Razor has a story that causes my heart to beat very, very fast while writing.
Favorite Song Ghosttown by Madonna
Favorite Book Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Favorite TV Show/Movie The Walking Dead
Favorite Word Hope
Favorite Color Purple
I adore Katie McGarry – she does bad boys like no one else, and Nowhere But Here takes her new adult bad boys to a whole new level!
At seventeen, Emily lives a pretty quiet life with her family and friends in Florida… but when she was ten she found out that the man she calls Dad isn’t her biological father and every year she tolerates his one visit to see her but never really digs deeper because he made the choice to give her up. Her mom raised her by herself and that means more to her than someone who shows up in her life suddenly claiming to want to know her.
An email from her father turns her life into a tailspin. Someone has died and that means the family is heading back to the town that her mother fled when she found out she was pregnant.
But Emily hasn’t been let in on a lot of what really happened in her mother’s past and ultimately hers. The story her mom told her may not be exactly how everything went down and it turns out that the only person Emily seems to find herself trusting is Oz…
Emily’s real father is the leader of the bike club, Reign of Terror. They aren’t exactly like some of the clubs out there… Most of the members work with the security company the club runs and Oz is bound and determined to be patched into both the club and the security detail. But Eli, Emily’s dad, decides to have him watch over his daughter instead of work with the team out on the roads, and what starts as merely tolerating each other starts to grow into much more.
I’ll be honest, I struggle with the whole motorcycle club plot lines… I’ve always struggled with the antiquated roles and the rules that those in charge demand be followed. And I think that’s probably what I struggled with here.
So, putting that aside, what I really liked was the relationship between Oz and Emily. It certainly wasn’t insta-love and I thought McGarry did a really good job of building them as separate characters before getting them together, and while the chemistry between these two was good… I wouldn’t say it was explosive… which is something I love about her other books.
I did enjoy getting to know all the characters and am definitely looking forward to the next books in the series!
As usual, just the right amount of swoons and romance and a quick pace moves this story along and despite their completely different lives and the many secrets between them, you’ll find yourself cheering for these two to find their happily ever after.
Thank you to Harlequin Teen for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
GIVEAWAY is US ONLY