From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.
When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.
Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.
That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.
The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?
Emiline never talks about her past. She’s locked it away deep in the recesses of her heart and thrown away the key. As an adjunct creative writing professor, she watches as her colleagues are successfully published while struggles to find the inspiration to create something of her own.
Her personal life isn’t anything out of the ordinary either. She’s settled into a comfortable and yet passionless relationship with the boyfriend from her university days.
On the surface, everything seems to be fine. Until her best friend hands her a copy of the best seller from debut author – J. Colby.
She can hardly believe it when she finds that J. Colby is indeed her long lost first love, Jason Colbertson and All The Roads Between is the story of their forgotten history. It brings back all of the feelings that she fought so hard to leave behind. But the one thing that she could never quite get over is her love for Jase.
“I love you, Emiline. I loved you before I even knew what it meant.”
The last time Jason saw Em, she was being led away from him to a police car. He was never able to forget the first and only girl to ever own him – body and soul. Now that he’s found her again, he has to convince her to believe that they can share so much more than just shattered memories.
We can’t always control our circumstances, who our parents are, where we live, or how much money we make, but in those rare moments when we can shape our fate, when we do have the power to make our own happiness, we can’t be too scared to do it.
Swear on This Life is officially one of my favourite books of 2016! Renée has the most remarkable ability to place her readers in the middle of her story and have them live each joyful high and poignant low right along with her characters.
She masterfully sweeps her canvas with bright strokes of innocence, pain, desperation and hope. And by the end, she will have you believing that true love never really dies.
So Renée, all I can say is that I love all of your transformative words and your Jeff Buckley references with all of my broken heart…
Exclusive Excerpt -
During the winter we pretended our way through the classics, read every popular kid’s book and by spring of our sixth grade year, the spring of all the rain, we were ready to be outside and explore again. There was a creek about half a mile back from our houses, past the tree line. Because of all the rain that year, it had become more of a river with the strongest currents right behind where we lived. Every adult warned us to be careful, even my dead-beat dad would say, “You better use that big brain of yours and stay out of the creek. You want to go swimming, you can go to the pool in town.”
About The Author -
Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.
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