10 February 2014

Book Tour and Giveaway: Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard

Porcelain Keys
by Sarah Beard.
Audience/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Music.
Publication: February 11th 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media.
Aria s life is full of secrets--secrets about her mother s death, her father's cruelty, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart s melody into something beautiful. Porcelain Keys is a captivating love story that will resonate long after the last page is turned.

Reviewed by Kelly.

You know how when you start a book and it grabs you in the beginning and you can’t stop until it’s done?
Then you know how when you finish a book and you can’t stop thinking about it for days?
Well, that’s how it was with me and this book!

This book has all your emotions going. There is sorrow, guilt, forgiveness, grieving, overwhelming heartache, messed up family, abuse, unrequited love, second chances, musically gifted talents, artistically gifted talents, loss of family and finding a new family. I was overcome with emotions many times, crying, laughing, and sighing. There was one time where my heart was beating so hard (yes, I know it is just a book but that’s how it grabbed me) when something happened that I didn’t yet expect. Then our dinner was ready and I was agitated because, I wanted to see how it would play out, but I had to feed the family! Gah! When we were done eating, I picked up my kindle which was on the table, and started reading again without putting away my dishes. My hubby silently cleaned everything up for me. I just couldn’t let it go.

Aria has had it rough since her mom died. Her father becomes abusive and fails her terribly as a father. He is not the same father he was when Aria’s mom was alive. Her dad won’t allow her to play her piano that her mother gave her lessons on or even to take lessons or allow her to expand on her talents by writing either. He has hidden away all her mother’s things as well. Whenever he finds out that she played the piano, he would hit her and she would go to the neighbor’s tree house where she keeps a sleeping bag and some supplies. Then one morning in the tree house, Aria hears someone coming up the tree. She is afraid that her dad finally found her hiding place, but it turns out to be the grandson (whose name is Thomas) of the owner of the house. He sees the bruises, but he doesn’t push her to explain. They become friends and then more.

Thomas has his own secrets. They don’t fully surface until the end.

Aria plays the piano and where I don’t; I could totally understand and visualize what the author was trying to convey in her music. Emotions come with the music and Aria would use those emotions while playing the piano until she wanted to put the emotions away. They were too painful. Her teachers tell her everyone has tragedy and you have to focus on that why you play certain pieces otherwise it is just mechanical. I could feel it while reading. Weird, but the writing was so good, I could feel it too.

I wished I had highlighted one section of Thomas and Aria talking about their “Even if”‘s. If you read it, highlight it because it is a statement that will capture your heart.

When I wrote this review, there were 17 ratings on goodreads- all 5 stars!

The book trailer is perfect!

Praises for Porcelain Keys...

"Emotionally rich, elegant description, beloved characters--Sarah Beard delivers a fresh,
new novel that will go on my list of classics." --Stephanie Fowers, author of With a
"Aria is a heroine worth rooting for, and the plot is an emotional melody that weaves a
spell so potent, it can only be broken by reaching the end. And even then, I couldn’t stop
thinking about Aria and her story." --Heather Frost, author of The Seers Trilogy
"Emotionally gripping, this beautifully crafted young adult romance will pull at readers’
heartstrings from tragic beginning to happy ending. A must-read for fans of
contemporary romance, both young and seasoned. " --Julie Ford, author of Replacing
"Porcelain Keys is a fresh, heart-wrenching take on boy-meets-girl. Using fantastic and
musical imagery to tell the poignant love story of Aria and Thomas, the author leads the
reader to a swelling crescendo as if we're part of the song—and what a beautiful song it
is." --Cindy C. Bennett, author or Geek Girl and Rapunzel Untangled
"A lyrical love story that will leave your heart singing. Porcelain Keys is a masterpiece
with emotional depth, young love, and family angst. Beard takes us on a journey of selfdiscovery,
second chances, and ultimately, sweet resolution." --Heather Ostler, author
or The Siren's Secret

Guest Post; What Inspired You to Write Porcelain Keys...

I’ll never forget the day I began writing Porcelain Keys. It was a blistering summer afternoon, and the swamp cooler was working in overdrive in the upstairs hallway, pushing a damp breeze into the kitchen. I’d just put down my baby and toddler for a nap, and I had a million things to do. We’d recently moved into a new house, and the unpacking and cleaning seemed endless. But that afternoon in the rare quiet, I was struck with an overwhelming feeling. There was something inside of me that needed to be expressed, and it compelled me to sit down in front of my laptop at the kitchen table. I didn’t really know what I would write. I just knew that I had to write something.
Out came a scene of a college-aged girl who was grieving over a boy who had gone missing in high school. I don’t know why I wrote this scene, other than that I had recently read The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks and the idea of long lost love had been churning in the back of my mind for a few weeks. This particular scene didn’t even end up in my book, but it sparked all the questions that led me to my story. The funny thing is, when I sat down to write that first scene, I had no intention of actually writing a novel. All I knew was there were suddenly all these questions about this girl and boy that had to be answered. Who were they? Why did he leave her? What happened to him after he left? What was their history together? As I began writing down the answers to these questions, a story emerged. The more I wrote, the more I fell in love with these characters and wanted to finish their story.
When I started writing this book, my main character, Aria, had a pretty good family life. It was perfect, actually. She came from the perfect home with perfect parents and had a perfect upbringing. Her only trial in life was that the boy she loved had left town and hadn’t contacted her for a couple years. Well, after reading some of my first draft to my husband, I realized how dry and clich├ęd the story felt, and how plastic my character’s emotions were. So I started brainstorming about how I could connect emotionally to my character. I had recently taken a writing class, and I remembered the teacher saying “write what you know.” What did I know about adolescence? What had been my experience?
My adolescence had been a very dark time in my life. My parents had a rocky marriage, and my dad spent my high school years gripped in the throes of a drug addiction. It was a very scary, sad time for me, and I struggled with depression and insecurity. But I didn’t want to write about my own life. I wanted this story to be different than my own. So I took some of my own experiences and I twisted and reshaped them until they were something new. My dad was not an alcoholic, and he was never violent like Aria’s dad is, but I know what it feels like to watch someone you love destroy themselves through addiction. I know the feelings of worthlessness that come when you’re the child of someone who makes bad choices. I know what it’s like to feel alone, even while surrounded by a crowd. So I took all these feelings, and I infused them into Aria. All the things she feels in her story are emotions I have felt at one time or another in my own life. It’s not a story about me, and it would be a stretch to say it is even semi-autobiographical, but it is definitely colored by my own experiences.
Because Porcelain Keys is a highly emotional story, it felt natural to make Aria a musician. I don’t remember consciously making that choice, I just remember it feeling right. When words fail, music speaks. And for Aria, there are so many things that are not safe to say with words. So she says them with music.
The writing of Porcelain Keys has been a long, evolutionary process. But the key plot elements have always remained the same. It has always been a story about second chances, forgiveness, and the healing that can come through unconditional love.
**I have to add here that my dad eventually overcame his drug addiction, and he has long since repaired the relationships that were damaged by it. He is an amazing, inspiring person and has been clean now for 14 years.

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SARAH BEARD is the author of Porcelain Keys, a YA contemporary romance. She has a degree in communications from the University of Utah and splits her time between writing and raising three energetic boys. She is a cancer survivor and hopeless romantic, and enjoys reading, composing music, and traveling with her family. She lives with her husband and children in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can follow Sarah on twitter at @authorsarahb, or at facebook.com/authorsarahbeard.

Buy The Book :

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

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  1. Hi! Is this open internationally? The book looks great and I'd love a chance to win it. Thanks :)

    1. Sarah said it isn't released internationally yet, but she is willing to ship it to the winners if they are outside of the country! :)

  2. This book sounds so interesting! And I really like that cover. Definitely caught my attention. I hope I win to learn more about the story. Thanks for the giveaway! :D

  3. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

  4. Great review and guest post. This sound good.

  5. I haven't read a good historical in a while. This book looks very tempting!

  6. This book sounds so intriguing. I love this mystique that the title holds to this story. Thanks for the book description.