Author Interview & Giveaway: Katie McGarry - Pushing the Limits

The Larks are BIG fans of Katie McGarry and her debut novel, Pushing the Limits. We are so excited that Katie was able to spend some time visiting the Nest today. Jen and I truly appreciate Katie taking the time to answer some of our questions.

Also, the wonderful people at Harlequin Teen are offering up a copy of Pushing the Limits to our readers. The giveaway details can be found after the interview.

Jen @ Reading Lark: Noah, Echo and Aires are really unusual names for characters; it seems to us that Noah just about managed to save himself from drowning in sorrow, Echo is dealing with the ripples of a horrific event in her past, and Aires died in a war... are we over thinking it, or did you have any particular reason why you wanted to go with those names? 

Katie: Nope, you aren’t reading into the names. I purposely chose them for a reason. 

Noah was a man who had to stand by his own convictions when the rest of the world told him he was wrong. It’s a strong sturdy name and the meaning behind it fit my Noah perfectly. 

 For Echo and Aires, I put myself in their mother’s shoes. She loved Greek mythology and she was a very free spirit so she would have been creative when naming her children. 

 Ares is the Greek god of war, but when I was researching names, I found that sometimes Ares was referred to as Aires. I liked the name Aires and because my character Aires dies in a war, I thought it was a perfect name. 

 Echo was my most difficult character to name. I scanned through Greek myths and the moment I found the nymph Echo’s story, I knew I had found the right one. In the myth, Echo lost her voice. I feel that my Echo also lost her voice, but she definitely finds it in the end. 

Jen @ Reading Lark: There was a lot in this book about the foster system, both negative stories and positive sides. How did you research that aspect of the story, as it could be quite a contentious subject to write about? 

Katie: As with any subject, I researched by reading articles and by talking to people who have had involvement with the subject matter whether professionally or personally. 

Jen @ Reading Lark: Pushing the Limits made both of us cry big ugly tears, for both happy and sad reasons, which as readers we love! Do you have a book which made you sob? 

Katie: Ruta Sepetys’ YA novel Between Shades of Gray reduced me to sobs. I absolutely loved the story and I highly recommend it to everyone! 
*Note: Andrea agrees with this! Such an amazing book...

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Echo's condition was one that I found intriguing. There are so many people out there who block out trauma in their lives. Piecing together Echo's past was one of my favorite elements of the book. What was your reasoning behind Echo suppressing her memories? 

Katie: I was bitten by a dog in second grade and repressed the memory until I was in college. It’s an awful feeling to know that something horrible has happened to you and that you have no memory of it. It’s even worse when everyone else seems to know the answers. I wanted to give Echo the emotions I experienced while she had to figure out the politics of high school. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: It's a Reading Lark tradition so I have to ask, what is your favorite bird? 

Katie: Each time I see a yellow finch, I lovingly think of the best friend I lost several years ago so that would definitely be my favorite bird.

Katie's Website

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Barnes & Noble

About Pushing the Limits (Harlequin TEEN, August 2012, $17.99 U.S. / $19.99 CAN.): 

 "My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has...welll...issues. How do you think I am doing?" - opening line of Pushing the Limits 

 No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. Echo and Noah couldn’t be more different, but they find themselves united by a common goal: to sneak into their court- ordered social worker’s case files in order to learn the truth about themselves and their families. What they didn’t count on is falling in love -- and now Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again. 

About Katie McGarry: 
 Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and she remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. Katie loves to visit schools and talk to teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach.

Now it's time for the Giveaway! Here are the basics:

- Harlequin Teen is providing one copy of Pushing the Limits; prize will not be shipped by Reading Lark
- You must be 13+ years of age to enter
- Giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada
- You must fill out the Rafflecopter form below
- Giveaway runs from August 15-31. The winner will be contacted via email on September 1st and has 48 hours to confirm their win before a new winner is chosen.

Good Luck!


  1. Oh I think this is just too awesome - how sad am I? I am commenting on my own interview because I am STILL so excited about this!! I hope LOTS of people read & LOVE Pushing The Limits just as much as I did!!

    BIG LOVE to HarlequinTEEN for getting on board with the Larks and being so awesome!! *squeeeeeee!!*

  2. lol! Ditto! Pushing the Limits was one of my best reads this year! It's seriously all kinds of awesome! I'm still floored by how talented Katie McGarry is...a blockbuster of a debut!

  3. I love that Katie did research to make the character's experiences as real as possible! I really can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the interview and great giveaway!

  4. I officially what this book like NOW. I loved the interview and can't wait for more :D

  5. I don't think anyone will be disappointed in this book! Good luck with the giveaway!

  6. I can't wait to read this! :) I heard it's a good book!

  7. Loved the interview and can't wait to read this

  8. Pushing the Limits is really alot like my life. I have had alot of trama in my life that i blocked out so many different occasions, only to have my mom tell me years later, or some things came to me almost 20 years later. Can't wait to read this. Thanks for the giveaway joannies

  9. Hi again i think i got these comment sections mixed up. Don't say anything. This will happen to all of you when your time comes. Just wait till your a GREAT GRAND MA lol. Now i don't know hat to say so i will just say i love the review you gave and it reminded me of things that have happened in my own life. Can't wait to read. Thanks joannies

  10. This story really resonates with a lot of people, I think.

  11. sounds really good, been seeing many post about this book, I didn't recognize it as the same book when I was seeing a different cover for it, that I didn't like, I had passed it up, but now, it catches my eye, then started to read the reviews. Now I am interested in reading it. Can't wait.

  12. This book sounds really great! & I've heard rave reviews! Would love to have it on my shelves! Can't Wait! BTW - great interview! :)

  13. I can't wait to read this!!! If I don't win, I'm buying it. :)


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