Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
As Big as the Sky by Amy Aislin
Sam McAuley isn’t having a great start to the summer. Served with papers? Great. He’s being sued. Perfect, pristine yard overrun with chickens? What the—? Clearly, the new guy running the animal rehabilitation centre next door has no idea what he’s doing.
It’s one town to the next, one school to the next, one job to the next for Bo Novak. Everything is temporary. Even his current job—running his sister’s animal rehab centre while she’s away on a four-month leave—is temporary. And he does know what he’s doing, thank you very much. Sure, things don’t always run smoothly, but the stick-in-the-mud next door could be a little nicer about it.
One overheard conversation, an olive branch, and a baseball game might show these guys that being at odds isn’t really what they want, and that what they want might just be each other.
As Big as the Sky was first published in August 2017. This new edition has a brand new cover but no content changes.
Bo’s shoulders were hunched, his blond hair sticking to his forehead, likely from having worked up a sweat while working in the warm air this morning. His T-shirt clung to him as he took a deep breath and plucked a piece of grass out of the ground.
He looked pensive as he threaded the grass through his fingers. To Sam, he seemed alone and dejected. Sam had always seen him with his head held high and a fiery spark in his eyes. He couldn’t even reconcile this version of Bo with the one he was used to seeing.
Even though he wasn’t at all Sam’s type, Sam had to admit Bo was really cute.
Sam opened his mouth to speak, but Bo’s phone rang before he could say anything. Bo took a look at the caller ID and his shoulders slumped further before he drew them back and answered the call.
“Laura, hey!” Bo’s enthusiasm sounded a bit forced to Sam, but what did he know? “Oh yeah, everything’s great. It’s just me and your chickens right now, and PomPom. Schnee went home yesterday.” He listened for a minute, then said, “I spoke with them yesterday. They’re going to be sending me a pigeon later this week, maybe two. It’s actually pretty quiet right now. May was busier.”
Sam turned to leave, not wanting to intrude, but the sound of his name stopped him.
“Sam’s been great, yeah.” That definitely sounded forced. “Yeah, he helped me fix the lawn mower, just like you said.”
The lawn mower. The one Laura had texted him about a couple days ago, letting him know Bo was going to be coming around for help with it. But Bo never had, probably because on Bo’s first day, when he’d come over to Sam’s to introduce himself, Sam had snapped at him for stepping on his poor seedlings in his front garden.
“Jesus, watch where you’re going! These won’t grow if you trample them. Don’t you pay attention to what’s around you?” That about summed up what Sam had said to interrupt Bo’s friendly, “Hi, I’m Bo!”
Sam had watched Bo’s face fall before he drew himself up—exactly like he had before answering Laura’s call—fisted his hands on his hips and said, “Well, excuse the hell out of me. But who plants flowers right on the edge of the sidewalk? What if a kid on a bicycle accidentally ends up riding over them? You gonna yell at them too?”
It had been a fair question. One Sam hadn’t had an answer to. Not that he expected kids to be biking along on the small gravel sidewalk. Burnhamthorpe Road was a fairly busy street with an eighty-kilometre an hour speed limit. Yet instead of saying so to Bo, he’d rethought his strategy and moved his seedlings up closer to his porch. Just in case.
The question now was, why was Bo lying to Laura? The fact that he was making Sam out to be some helpful, generous neighbour only served to make him feel like a bigger heel for the way he’d treated Bo the past few weeks.
I was really looking forward to being his friend. A fist squeezed his lungs at the thought that he’d so disappointed Bo. Truth was Sam had been looking forward to meeting Bo too, ever since Laura told him Bo was coming to take over running Big Sky for the summer. But then the shit had hit the fan and he’d taken out his frustrations on poor Bo. Who’d only wanted to be his friend.
Bo finally finished his phone call. Setting his phone on the stair behind him, he let out a long breath and went back to staring at the horizon. Sam walked toward him and cleared his throat to get his attention.
When Bo spotted him, his expression went from brooding to annoyed in less than a second. He rolled those big brown eyes and stood.
“Are you kidding me? I fixed my damn fence,” he growled.
“You might want to check your side because I’m pretty sure that’s where the problem is.”
“I—” know, he tried to say, but Bo interrupted him again.
“Or did you come here to complain about something else? Is PomPom snorting too loudly? Did the water from his pail accidentally get onto your side of the yard? Is there some stench that’s bugging your delicate sense of smell?”
Sam knew he deserved that. He’d done nothing but harp on Bo since he arrived.
“Was my sitting here too loud for you?” Bo kept going. “Is Your Tall Perfectness bothered by the sound of almost non-existent wind in the trees?”
Your Tall—what? Thrown for a moment, it took Sam a second to respond. “I came to apologize.”
That shut Bo up.
I knew this book was going to be fun when it started out with two neighbors feuding over rogue chickens and pygmy goats with intestinal issues. This was an amusing little gem and I enjoyed every page.
Bo is helping his sister by running her animal rehab center while she attends a wildlife rehabilitation course for the next four months. Despite dropping everything and putting his life on hold for her, Laura treats him with disrespect and indifference. I really wanted to tell Laura off so badly! To make matters even worse, poor Bo has had numerous unpleasant encounters with her neighbor. Sam has been unfair to Bo. He has complained and snapped at him nonstop for several weeks. I later learned the reason and once Sam lets his guard down, you realize what a real sweetheart he is.
The two finally make a truce and a friendship develops. It doesn’t take long for friends to blossom into much more. This book was filled with many quaint and endearing side characters as I especially loved Sam’s family. They made Bo feel special and welcomed. The scenes with the various critters really was the icing on the cake as Bo is a natural with all animals except evil chickens. I will let you figure out his aversion for yourself.
Bo has insecurities due to an unstable childhood and I really was furious at how wrong his sister judged his character. Sam is there to offer support and that made me love him even more. He is the perfect person to make Bo feel whole and secure. If you enjoy low angst, sweet and humorous reads, this story will be the pick me up you need. I absolutely recommend this adorable, animal-friendly tale. Happy Reading!
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement.***
~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
This is a reissue, a new cover but no new words. It’s one of those times when I’m glad a book is reissued since I missed this sweet novella the first time around.
The guys in this book are my kind of guys, dummy, slightly nerdy, and very caring. It’s also a little morality tale—don’t judge someone based on what you’ve heard, you might miss out on the best thing to ever happen to you. Sam certainly learns this when his neighbour’s brother takes over her animal sanctuary. He’s definitely wearing glasses tinted by her view of Bo, a view that we soon realise is not fair. I loved how the guys were with each once they took the time to see past their expectations. There are some nice little twists brought around because of a mutual love of comics as they find in each other what they’ve been missing.
If you’re looking for a short, sweet read that will leave you warm and happy, this is the book for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate this wonderful re-release, Amy is giving away a signed copy of As Big as the Sky!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Amy’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.
An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group, Amy Aislin’s Readers, to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her newsletter.