**FINALIST, USA Book Awards, Young Adult Fiction, 2012**
**FINALIST, Next Generation Indie Awards, Young Adult Fiction, 2013**
**Second Place/Quarter-Finalist in the YA category of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards**
A father’s selfish demands, broken booze bottles, and unconscious mothers are everyday fixtures in eighteen-year-old Samantha Becker’s life. Armed with her guitar and music to keep her comfort in a volatile world, Sam’s one dream to study classical guitar at Juilliard may very well be her salvation. But when her father’s careless actions lead to an “accident,” Sam’s ability to play the guitar dies along with her dreams of attending the renowned school. Losing all confidence in her future, Sam hides behind the emotional barriers that have protected her for years.
Just when Sam has given up, a budding friendship and an unexpected romance give her the hope she needs, forcing her to reevaluate all she’s ever known. With fresh conviction, Sam battles her father’s plans for her future, band mates using her for personal gain, and a permanent injury. But will it be enough? Julliard auditions are almost here. Time’s running out, and Sam must re-learn to play the guitar or give up her dreams forever.
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Amazon Kindle / Paperback / Barnes & Noble
Amazon Kindle / Paperback / Barnes & Noble
"When I discovered the guitar... it was at a time when I needed something, anything to rely on. I needed something to ease me through dark days with my mother. When my father screamed and blamed me, then rushed off to work or, eventually another woman"
I had had Freedom Road on my TBR list for a while but hadn't managed to get around to reading it, so I was incredibly glad when the author contacted me to be a part of her blog tour. Freedom Road was read with a deep ache in my heart. It was such an emotional read, but it was also interlaced with moments of beauty and hope.
Eighteen year old Samantha Becker finds her escape from the realities of her life in her guitar. After the death of her brother, her mother turned to the bottle and has lived there ever since. Her father is virtually non-existent and when he is there it's to yell and place blame. To ward herself against the hurt, Sam has built up a wall around her. She keeps everyone at a distance. But Sam has dreams. Her dream is to study classical guitar at Juilliard. It's a dream her father is dead against. And after an accident it seems that Sam will no longer be able to play the guitar and those dreams will no longer come to fruition. Sam becomes despondent at the prospect of losing the one thing that holds her together.
His words rolled around in my head. He used the word we. Never before had I been a part of a unit like that. I had never meant that much to someone.
But then Sam has two people enter her life at a time when she needs them the most. Tad, the twelve year old Grandson of her neighbour June, and Laird, the gorgeous, caring and supportive, guitar playing college student. I adored the characters in this book so much. Sam, who shows such amazing courage and determination. Tad, whose support and witty charm and devotion picked Sam up and helped her find her strength and Laird who saw beyond the walls and helped her push them down and be the strong person that he knows her to be.
Life's not all sunshine and rainbows.
And then there are the characters that you will of course have so much dislike for. Yes there were times, and they were many, when I didn't like her mum all that much but I could feel her pain. It was like a living, breathing thing that you could reach out and touch. But it was Sam's Dad who had my absolute displeasure for most of the book. He came across as completely uncaring. He showed no love whatsoever. How does a child grow and flourish in an environment like that?
T.M. Souders captures emotions onto the page perfectly. Her characters are complex and real. The way she writes is stirring and moving. Freedom Road was a truly wonderful read and had the book been longer I could have quite easily sat back and continued the journey with the characters. I'm not sure if the author has any plans for a sequel but I would definitely love to spend more time with Samantha, Tad and Laird as they enter the next stage of life.
5/5 Wonderful Stars!!
T.M. Souders was born in Johnstown, PA and grew up in the suburbs outside of Pittsburgh. She graduated in 2004, from Youngstown State University, with a degree in Psychology and minor in Women’s Studies. She is the author of bestselling women’s fiction novel, Waiting on Hope, as well as the novelette Dashing Through The Snow, and the three-time, award-winning YA novel, Freedom Road. She is the founder of The Serious Reader, a site dedicated to connecting with readers one book at a time. She currently lives in rural Ohio with her husband and children.
GIVEAWAY – Win a Freedom Road Prize Pack!
One 15oz. "I Love Freedom Road" Fan Mug / A CD of Samantha Becker's (the main character's) favorite Indie Music / a pair of purple tear drop earings / Sam's favorite YA book, "Revolution" in hardback by Jennifer Donnelly / Earbuds / A red, reusable cold drink to-go cup / 3 pack of mini notebooks with pen / 4 pack of mini candles / 3 pack of flip flop car air fresheners / Mike 'n Ikes / M&M's / SweetTarts / TM Souders bookmark & A Personalized Note from the author to YOU!
Eight-year-old Samantha Becker has the perfect life—a father and mother who love her and a baby brother on the way. When a car accident spurs her mother’s labor, she gives birth to a stillborn child and loses her chances of ever conceiving again. But the accident’s devastation does not stop there. Left with a father who hardly speaks to her and a mother who turns to booze, Sam’s world quickly falls apart. But her neighbor June and a timely gift may be the one thing that saves her….
Prelude is the eShort prequel to the novel Freedom Road. Approximately 10,000 words.
The author is offering Prelude, the eShort prequel to Freedom Road FREE to anyone who leaves a comment with the format they would like and an email address to send it to.