Monday, December 26, 2011

Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Welcome to the DON'T BREATHE A WORD blog tour! We are so excited to have the amazing Holly Cupala here with us today. Her latest book is set to release on December 3rd from HarperTeen. I absolutely LOVED her debut novel, Tell Me a Secret and Don't Breathe a Word is no different. It's incredible! Be sure to read below the sneak peek for awesome chances to win the book. 

But first, here's a little about Don't Breathe A Word:

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
Release Date: December 3, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen

About: Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words - tender words, cruel words - until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

Find Holly Cupala Online:
Website  |  Goodreads  |   Twitter   |  Facebook  |   Book Site

Purchase Don't Breathe A Word:

***Sneak Peek of Don't Breathe A Word***

Thanks to Cindy for hosting the DON’T BREATHE A WORD tour! I’m so excited to be here, and this is the very first day of the tour. Watch for chances to win books, swag, find out lots of secrets, and enter contests—the cover recreation contest starts today (December 26th) at Confessions of a Bookaholic!

So now for a sneak preview of DON’T BREATHE A WORD (coming January 3 from HarperTeen). This excerpt is from Chapter 2—the breaking point, just before Joy begins her plan of escape:

“Let’s go for a drive,” Asher had said, just a few days ago.

We didn’t talk about what happened the night before. His anger was expended, once I’d fallen asleep at his apartment and spent the night raging with fever and chills. He took care of me and brought me back to life. He bandaged my wounds and took away the hurt. Now we were at the tender point, the part I hungered for. He was always so kind afterward. 

But this time, he’d gone so far.  My skin throbbed at the memory.

“Where do you want to go?” I asked, once we were settled into his DeLorean, detailed every week to keep it satiny and fingerprint-free. He could have any car he wanted, but he chose one that required constant care. Like me. 

He gently lifted the seatbelt away from my hip and offered me my inhaler, then tilted my mouth to his so that I could taste his familiar mix of smoky and sweet. A warm tingle spread through me—even after the last twenty-four hours, he could still have this dizzying effect.  

“How about you choose, Joy.”

Normally this kind of statement would be a test. If I could navigate the land mines, I wouldn’t be punished. Not this time. A couple of crows picking at roadkill shot us curious looks, giving me an eerie chill.

I tucked my head onto the thickness of his shoulder, feeling it soften under my weight. He touched my hair, my shoulder, everywhere but where the pain was, as if soothing me. It was over now, and I wouldn’t run off with Neeta again without telling him. It was going to be better…he would stay close, watch over me. 

If I could walk this balance, everything would go back to the way it was in the beginning.
We passed a Starbucks on the way out of the neighborhood, where I used to go with Neeta. She could be there now with Ellerie and Ari, her new friends since Asher came along. They’d be sipping Frappuccinos, maybe talking about the trip. I hadn’t gotten a chance to ask Neeta what she meant, if she saw through it all. You’re different, Joy. 

I couldn’t risk running into them with Asher. As long as I stayed away, I could make sense of what happened, first with my brother and then last night. Seeing Neeta would jeopardize everything. I would crumble with one look, which would only make things worse.

 “We could go to the city,” I said. “Maybe get something to eat?” Though food was the furthest thing from my mind. 

He nodded, tipping his aviator sunglasses down over his eyes. I let out the air captured in my lungs. It was what he’d wanted all along. 

Seattle unfolded before us, the Puget Sound and the mountains and the entire city crammed into the low, wide windshield. The last droplets of summer rain strained to hold on as we sat in silence.

“You haven’t talked much since you got back,” he said. I fingered the Tiffany bracelet he’d given me, the one with the crow dangling from the edge of the plate. It identified me wherever I went, even to the ends of the earth. 

“It wasn’t a big deal. It’s just…Neeta and I haven’t hung out in a long time, and she thought we could visit Jesse at Western.” The truth was, I didn’t even know why I was going to see my brother until I got there.

We got off at the Olive exit, taking us into Capitol Hill. As we drove toward Broadway, the landscape changed from shiny to gritty, silk to leather, boutique to clothing exchange. Street parking became dense, and we circled to find a spot.

“I thought you didn’t hang out with Neeta anymore,” Asher said, with a hint of disdain. It was no secret he didn’t like Neeta. The words annoying and know-it-all came to mind, even if he had only ever treated her with the utmost politesse. 

 “We’re about to start senior year together,” I answered. “She thought we should go on a trip.” My skin felt like it was on fire, and I shifted for relief. 

The DeLorean growled to a stop at Olive and Harvard. Asher opened the winged door and left it up while he came for me, coolly noting the attention it attracted.

“So what did you do there? It had to have been good if you didn’t want to tell me about it. A party?” His question skewered me with dead calm. 

We joined the stream of pedestrians, dodging students and people talking to themselves, grimy homeless kids who probably hadn’t changed clothes in weeks. When my brother still lived at home, he would be down here all the time, handing out food and socks. Asher stayed close to protect me from the mumbling, smoking, unpredictable flow, the softness of his hand contradicting his words. 

 “No, no party,” I backpedaled. “We just stopped by to see Jesse, hung out, and came back.” Asher waited for more, for the point that would betray me. Usually I didn’t see my error until it was too late.
What I couldn’t tell him was that Jesse, the brother who always watched out for me, the one who found me when I’d stopped breathing, didn’t want to see me. He would feed the homeless and build houses in Mexico, but he’d had enough of me. There would be no help from him.

 “Hung out? And you couldn’t tell me about that?” Asher and I stopped in front of the Smoke Shop, the only place around here that imported the cigarettes he liked. A group of crows dive-bombed for a bit of french fry left on the street. He watched them with interest.

Air scraped in my throat like shards. I took a slow breath to calm my voice. I wouldn’t cry. I fumbled with my inhaler, and he steadied it in my hand. 

“Don’t,” he said, running his finger along the outline of my jaw and tracing up to the corner of my eye. “Just tell me the truth. Why did you take off like that?”

“Asher, I’m sorry, I didn’t think—”

“True. You didn’t think,” he cut me off. Then he smiled, and I couldn’t tell if it reached his eyes under his lenses. “I know it was a mistake. I forgive you.” He put his lips to mine, reminding me of that thrilling place between love and danger. I could barely feel the pain anymore. “It’s just…I missed you. I love you, Joy.”

Internally, something released. It wasn’t all bad, I would tell Neeta if I could. Sometimes he was incredibly, incredibly gentle. I loved him, too.  

What happened last night would never have to happen again. 

“Wait here,” he said. I’ll be right back.” Asher slipped into the shop and left me alone on the sidewalk. I knew better than to move.

And that’s when I saw him. The boy.

No, heard him… 

I’d met him once before, in an alley of shattered glass. 

I could see him better this time in the light. He was probably about my age, with dark brown hair hanging in pieces. Eyes a deep blue, skin rough and tan from exposure, body all wiry limbs. If he stood up, I thought, he would be well over six feet tall. 

His soft voice, a strain of guitar music reached out like a hand pulling me into an embrace.
He knows the use of ashes…he makes her shine with ashes…

The words sent shivers down my spine. 

The boy stopped, meeting my eyes with a strange kind of knowing, as if he’d been a part of my whole conversation with Asher. He must have recognized me, too. Maybe he remembered what he’d said to me, the last time we met. 

I saw how he treats you. If you ever need help, you know where to find me.  

On the ground, the boy seemed…safe. Even though the words he had once spoken to me were anything but. I didn’t know it then, but those words would change everything. 

When Asher came out of the shop, I was still standing there frozen—staring at the boy, our eyes locked with an intimacy both uncomfortable and comforting. Like he knew me. Could see right through me.
He could see the wounds, forming scars even now. Ashes. The words of his song echoed in my mind.
And I wasn’t sure I wanted that kind of knowing. I broke eye contact and darted into the nearest doorway. Asher followed, and we found ourselves in Hot Topic, surrounded by net stockings and studded boots. 

“What the hell was that about?” Asher hissed, and I braced myself. Until last night, it was only words.
Mercifully, a boot with four-inch heels distracted him. He ran a finger along them as if he were touching my skin. “These would look hot on you.”

A band tightened around my lungs. Instantly, I hated the boots. 

 “I want to see you in those.” Which, if it had been spoken by someone else, might have been completely sexy. But I knew what it meant with Asher. We would go back to his place, and I would put them on. He would start at my neck and work his way down, always leaving the crow bracelet alone. Would he unwrap the bandage? The thought of it made me hurt. 

Through the doorway, strains of guitar music drifted in and curled around me like threads of smoke. Meant to choke me or set me free? 

He wishes he could cure the scars…

I took out my credit card and gathered the boots. Asher came close enough for me to smell his mint and nicotine. He breathed his soft breath on my neck and his words into my ear: “I don’t like what you did last night, Joy. We’re going to have to fix it.”

That’s when I knew there was no way out…

Thank you again, Cindy, for inviting me to your blog, and I hope readers can’t wait for DON’T BREATHE A WORD…


As a part of the tour, we are giving away several copies of Don't Breathe a Word. Read these rules carefully to be sure you don't miss anything. 


There will be a weekly international winner for one copy of Don't Breathe a Word!
U.S. winners will receive a signed copy from Holly. International winners will receive a copy from book depository.

Fill out the form below for your initial entry.

Fill out the form again for each extra entry and be sure to leave your links.
  • +1 entry for each tour post you comment on. Be sure to leave the link to the post you commented on in the form.
  • +1 entry for each Tweeting, Facebooking, or blogging about this tour. Including the blog tour banner on your blog DOES count. Be sure to fill out form again to leave your link(s).
  • Fill out THIS FORM to enter.


  1. Don't Breathe A Word looks awesome! And thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Thanks for the sneak peek. Absolutely cannot wait to read this one, thanks!

  3. I am dying to read Don't Breathe A Word. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Thanks for the giveaway! This looks like such a great book!

  5. This sounds great! I'm trying to read more contemporary, and this sounds like a good one to add to my TBR.

  6. Thanks for the giveaway! The book seems great, so I'll be adding it to my TBR pile, even if I don't win.

  7. That was so great! I really like the name Asher too.

  8. I really want to read this! Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. Cindy, thank you so much for hosting me and for being part of the tour!! Your support of my books means a lot to me!

  10. holly is on my list of "authors to read." don't breathe a word sounds awesome.

  11. Wow, what a great review and thanks for the giveaway, can't wait to read DBAW!

  12. EEEK :) It sounds so good! Can't wait to read it. Great review and thanks for posting!

  13. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

  14. I'm dying to read this book!!! Thanks for the Giveaway:)

  15. Thanks for the sneak peek! I'll definitely be picking this one up soon :]

  16. What an intriguing excerpt! Asher's last words sound so ominous... Look forward to reading this book:)




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