Guest Post
September 30, 2016 posted by Nichole

The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati Playlist

The Weight of Zero Playlist

 

the weightThe Weight of Zero: Contemporary Young Adult, Delacorte Press

Release Date: October 11, 2016

 

Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disease, has almost triumphed once, propelling Catherine to her first suicide attempt. With Zero only temporarily restrained by the latest med du jour, time is running out. In an old ballet shoebox, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict its own living death on her again.

 

But Zero’s return is delayed due to unexpected and meaningful relationships that lessen Catherine’s sense of isolation. These relationships along with the care of a gifted psychiatrist alter Catherine’s perception of her diagnosis as a death sentence. This is a story of loss and grief and hope and how some of the many shapes of love – maternal, romantic and platonic – impact a young woman’s struggle with mental illness.

 

ADD ON GOODREADS

 

Website: www.karenfortunati.com

Twitter: @karenfortunati

Facebook: @AuthorKarenFortunati

 

Recognition:

 

 

Kirkus: “Catherine’s acerbically witty narrative voice is razor sharp and often raw, and the confessional tone of her present-tense narration makes clear how overwhelming her pain is…. An honest, informative, and ultimately optimistic novel about living with mental illness.”

 

 

I don’t usually listen to music as I write and I didn’t when I was drafting The Weight of Zero. But here’s how music factors into my creative process. Because of family demands during the time I was writing Weight, I spent a ton of time in my car  – maybe seventy percent actually driving and the other thirty percent waiting around in it. I brought my laptop everywhere, worried about the lost writing opportunities. But all that car time turned out to be some of the most fruitful creative moments for me. While driving, I’d listen to music and let Catherine’s story marinate. I’d think about a scene I’d just written or what should come next in the following chapter. I’d sound out dialogue (yes!) or focus on Catherine or her mom or her friends Michael or Kristal. Here’s where music would come in. The following songs are all on my phone and these seemed to nail Catherine’s emotions at different points in her story. I’d play these over and over again in the car and it would further root me in the emotion.

 

  • Cyndi Lauper: “Unconditional Love”
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter: “This Is Love”
  • White Stripes: “We’re Going To Be Friends”
  • Florence + the Machine: “Cosmic Love”
  • John Mayer: “Say”
  • Florence + The Machine: “Dogs Days Are Over”
  • Kelly Clarkson: “Catch My Breath”
  • Natasha Bedingfield: “Unwritten”

 

The pain of bullying is a significant theme in The Weight of Zero. I got chills when I first heard “Don’t Let Them In” by Kathleen Elle. Kathleen is a truly gifted musician and the daughter of my oldest friend in the world. I met her mother, Jeannine, in kindergarten and she has been one of my best friends since.

 

“Don’t Let Them In” has been honored by both Seventeen Magazine and Abercrombie and Fitch and is featured in anti-bullying campaigns by both companies in schools and on the Internet. I got a chance to speak with Kathleen a few months ago on her inspiration for writing this compassionate and inspiring song. She told me it was prompted after a bullying presentation at her high school, specifically in its focus on the bully and the bystander. Kathleen felt like the victims had been somewhat left out of the discussion. She came home that day and wrote this song.

 

Listen to “Don’t Let Them In” on Kathleen’s website: http://www.kathleenelle.com/track/874760/don-t-let-them-in?feature_id=198282

 

Follow Kathleen on Twitter @kathlee-e11e or on Facebook at: kathleene11e

“Don’t Let Them In”

 

You’re too fat you’re too tall too short don’t fit in at all, you’re not cool enough for me.

You’re too punk you’re too nerd too gay insert any word, just stay away from me.

 

Pre-chorus:

Blowin them off doesn’t work cuz what they say really hurts but they’re just too blind to see.

That their words cut like knives, they’re probably shortening your life, picking at you piece by piece.

 

Chorus:

Because the harder you try the harder you fall, some are never gonna like you at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t try to be something you’re not.

The harder you try the harder you fall, it’s not gonna help you out at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t let em break your heart.

 

Verse 2:

Wanna scream wanna shout, who said being different means they kick you out? Keep your identity.

Don’t stay up late at night picking at your flaws, you’ll never win the fight, you’re your own worst enemy.

 

Pre-chorus:

Blowin ’em off doesn’t work cuz what they say really hurts but they’re just too blind to see

That their words cut like knives they’re probably shortening your life picking at you piece by piece.

 

Chorus:

Because the harder you try the harder you fall, some are never gonna like you at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in, don’t try to be something your’e not.

The harder you try the harder you fall, it’s not gonna help you out at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em break your heart.

 

Bridge:

Although you’re crying on the inside don’t let them realize, they got to you.

I know you’re dying on the inside, here’s my shoulder I’ll let you cry, I got you.

 

Chorus:

Because the harder you try the harder you fall, some are never gonna like you at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t try and be something you’re not.

The harder you try the harder you fall, it’s not gonna help you out at all.

Don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em in don’t let ’em break your heart.

Blog Tour
September 27, 2016 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: The Lying Planet by Carol Riggs

the lying planet carol riggs Banner

The Lying PlanetThe Lying Planet by Carol Riggs

Published by Entangled Teen

Published on September 19th, 2016

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28246901-the-lying-planet?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Lying-Planet-Carol-Riggs-ebook/dp/B01L7BMGES

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lying-planet-carol-riggs/1124486255?ean=9781633757578

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/the-lying-planet/id1148592155

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-lying-planet

Amazon.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lying-Planet-Carol-Riggs-ebook/dp/B01L7BMGES

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Lying-Planet-Carol-Riggs-ebook/dp/B01L7BMGES

Entangled Publishing: http://entangledpublishing.com/the-lying-planet/

Promise City. That’s the colony I’ve been aiming for all my life on the planet Liberty. The only thing standing in my way? The Machine. On my eighteenth birthday, this mysterious, octopus-like device will scan my brain and Test my deeds. Good thing I’ve been focusing on being Jay Lawton, hard worker and rule follower, my whole life. Freedom is just beyond my fingertips.

Or so I thought. Two weeks before my Testing with the Machine, I’ve stumbled upon a new reality. The truth. In a single sleepless night, everything I thought I knew about the adults in our colony changes. And the only one who’s totally on my side is the clever, beautiful rebel, Peyton. Together we have to convince the others to sabotage their Testings before it’s too late.

Before the ceremonies are over and the hunting begins.


About the Author:

Carol Riggs

I’m a writer of Young Adult fiction. My YA sci-fi debut novel, THE BODY INSTITUTE, explores themes of body image and identity. My YA fantasy, BOTTLED, released July 7, 2016, from Clean Reads. My YA sci-fi, THE LYING PLANET (formerly called Safe Zone), will release September 19, 2016, via Entangled Teen. I live in the beautiful, green state of Oregon and have a Studio Arts degree. I’m an SCBWI member.

You’ll usually find me in my writing cave, surrounded by my dragon collection and the characters in my head. I enjoy reading–mostly young adult novels–as well as drawing, painting, and quilting. I also attend writing conferences, walk with my husband, and enjoy music and dance of all kinds.

Find me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/CarolRiggsAu…
Tweet with me on Twitter. @Artzicarol: https://twitter.com/artzicarol
Email me! carolriggsauthor [at] gmail [dot] com
BOOK TRAILER: http://www.entangledteen.com/the-body…


Read below for an excerpt from The Lying Planet:

Inside the enormous building, I walk by rows of empty bleachers. My footsteps slow as I near an imposing apparatus.

The Machine.

A full three meters tall, the Machine’s silver arms flare out from a single seat, making it look like a predatory mutant octopus. A plexifiber dome encloses and protects it. A biolock secures access to the dome. It looks almost alive, as though it’s waiting, sleeping…conserving energy until it’s time for the graduation ceremony.

Shivers crawl down my arms. Eerie as it is, the Testing Machine is my ticket out of Sanctuary. It’ll show what I’ve contributed to the zone and prove I’m worthy to join the colony of Promise City. Thanks to the uncanny way it judges us—and the Board rewarding high scores and threatening banishment for low ones—productivity has skyrocketed. The Machine boggles my mind. For the last six years it’s been here, ever since kids were eighteen and old enough for the Testing to start up, it has held the power of life and death on this planet.

Literally.

A rowdy whoop echoes around the stadium, making me flinch.

“Hey, Lawton, ogling the beast?” a deep voice calls. “Making sure it’s recording every single one of your dedicated community services?”

I turn to find one of my friends wearing a helioball cap walking into the building. Nash Redmond. A ludmium-powered pruning device and a maintenance bucket dangle from his hands. Two of our other friends are on landscaping duty with him, carrying tools and wearing gloves. Leonard walks beside him, his lanky form mimicking Nash’s casual walk, but Peyton copies no one. Her petite, tomboyish body moves toward me with purpose. Her uniform is mismatched, an orange shirt paired with dark blue pants.

“Hey, Nash,” I say. After what we’ve seen at the education compound, I don’t know how he can act normal, almost cheerful. I give Peyton a half smile. “Why are you still hanging out with these guys?”

She grins, her slightly crooked teeth crisp and white against her naturally brown skin. “They’re insane. I adore insanity.”

“I hope you don’t regret it.” I toss a meaningful glance at the Machine, and it’s not reassuring that she shrugs. She’s changed over the seasons, gone renegade. Ever since that one Harvest Equinox party two years ago, when we stopped hanging out. Now she skips education sessions with Nash and Leonard and works at community service only long enough to log in her required hours. I doubt she’ll flunk and get banished, but she won’t score very high. Apparently the Machine doesn’t spur everyone into being more productive.

“Peyton doesn’t care, so why should you?” Nash asks me. “All we need to do is pass the Testing, not reach superhero-level scores. Take me, for instance. Do I look worried? No, because tomorrow at my ceremony, I’m gonna pass.”

The Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Giveaway (US and International)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Tour Schedule:

September 19th

Tome Tender – Promo Post

Elizabeth Delana Rosa – Promo Post

September 20th

Literary Meanderings – Promo Post

PBC – Promo Post

September 21st

NovelKnight – Interview

Shannonbookishlife – Review

September 22nd

Gracekalli – Review

September 23rd

A Leisure Moment – Review

September 24th

Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog – Guest Post

September 25th

Book Lovers Life – Guest Post

September 26th

The Book Beacon – Guest Post

September 27th

YaReads– Promo Post

Sleeps on Tables – Promo Post

September 28th

Just One More Chapter – Promo Post

The Crafty Engineer’s Bookshelf – Review

September 29th

Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review

September 30th

The Alchemy of Ink – Review

October 1st

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Promo Post

October 2nd

Never Too Many To Read – Review

RoloPoloBookBlog – Promo Post

cover reveal
September 26, 2016 posted by Nichole

Cover Reveal: Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Published by Entangled Teen

https://www.amazon.com/Proof-Lies-Diana-Rodriguez-Wallach/dp/1633756084/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/proof-of-lies-diana-rodriguez-wallach/1124230937?ean=9781633756076

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/proof-of-lies

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/no-one-left-to-trust/id1130767230?mt=11

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Proof-Lies-Diana-Rodriguez-Wallach-ebook/dp/B01HW6Z1DK/

https://www.amazon.ca/Proof-Lies-Diana-Rodriguez-Wallach-ebook/dp/B01HW6Z1DK/

proofoflies500x1500Some secrets are best kept hidden…

Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.

And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.

She’sthe only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.

Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

 

She will find her sister.

About the Author:

Diana

Diana Rodriguez Wallach is not the child of super spies, as far as she knows. But she is an avid traveler, and every scene in her books comes from a place she has lived or visited—from her senior year apartment in Boston, MA to the hotel where she stayed in Cortona, Italy. In addition to the Anastasia Phoenix series, Diana is also the author of the award-winning Amor and Summer Secrets series; the Mirror, Mirror short story collection; and essays in both Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories and Latina Authors and Their Muses. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing Instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two kids. But of course, this all could be a masterly crafted piece of disinformation…

Author Interviews
September 25, 2016 posted by Nichole

The Tokyo Cover Girls Blog Tour: Author Interview with Jackie Amsden

Tokyo Girls Banner

TokyoCoverGirlscover (1)The Tokyo Cover Girls by Jackie Amsden

Genre: contemporary YA

https://www.amazon.com/Tokyo-Cover-Girls-Jackie-Amsden-ebook/dp/B01EZ8VOH0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1466024516&sr=1-1&keywords=tokyo+cover+girls

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-tokyo-cover-girls

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1111578958

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-tokyo-cover-girls-jackie-amsden/1123768491;jsessionid=0A61A21AAB86A91A1111D53EC9043797.prodny_store02-atgap04?ean=2940153181349

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30051752-the-tokyo-cover-girls

New York has Jacobs, Paris has Chanel, Milan has Versace and Tokyo has . . . Hello Kitty toilet plungers? With its cute-obsessed catalogue and magazine market, anyone who is anyone knows that modeling in Japan means being at the bottom of the fashion industry. Blake, Jess, and Hailey are doing their best to survive yet another casting where pigtails and toddler-impressions are a must when they stumble upon the opportunity of a lifetime. The prestigious Satsujin company has selected them to compete for a campaign that will transform the winner from commercial nobody to haute couture superstar faster than you can say Vogue Italia.

blakefinal2md
jackie

Jackie Amsden worked as a fashion model in China, Japan, and Taiwan before retiring at the age of eighteen after one too many agent threats, nude photo shoot requests, and self-loathing-induced Pocky binges. If you’d like to learn more about her decent into the darker side of Asia’s candy-coated modeling industry sign up for free installments of her upcoming memoir, Toy Girl, at www.jackieamsden.com.

Haileyfinal2med

Read below for an author interview with Jackie Amsden:

Can you tell us about your book, The Tokyo Girls, in 40 words or less?

When three teens are offered the chance to compete for a high-profile clothing campaign, their dreams of becoming the world’s next models of the moment seem about to come true. Of course, nothing is ever what it seems in the fashion world. Just ask all those dead girls…

What was your favorite scene to write?

One of my trips to Tokyo I lived above a girl named Kirsten, an American model also signed to my agency. I based the Jess character on Kirsten and like her, Kirsten had an American-Japanese boyfriend named Taro. Taro was a funny, gorgeous business student and they were adorable together. Having never had a boyfriend myself at that time, I was naturally totally jealous of their relationship and had a desperate crush on him.

In one of the earlier drafts of my novel, I wrote a scene where Jess goes to see Taro at his home, an austere house in one of Tokyo’s upscale neighbourhoods, Yoyogi-koen. They eat some food, drink some wine, make out, and ultimately sleep together. In other words, do all the stuff I had fantasised about doing when I was seventeen. Maybe it was the wine I was drinking that day, but I had way too much fun writing that chapter.

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

So, apparently the pages I write when I’m drunk aren’t nearly as good as they seem at the time. In fact, they pretty much stink. Much as it killed me, I eventually had to cut the Taro-Jess love scene–but it will live on forever in my heart.

What theme song would you give to the Tokyo Girls?

Every Breath You Take by The Police. It’s creepy, yet gorgeous and sexy at the same time. In The Tokyo Cover Girls, my goal was to create a world just like that.

Are you currently working on anything else?

The sequel!

What is currently in your TBR pile?

I’m always interested in books written by and about the modelling industry. Next on my list is a memoir, A Model Tells All by Ines C, about a woman from Serbia who spent 15 years in the industry and represented some of the biggest names in the fashion world. I’m also interested in reading The Stories Models Never Tell by Christine Hart, another modelling world veteran who started her career after completing a law degree at the age of 25.

Follow the rest of the tour!

September 15th

The Cozy Little Book Nook – Review

RoloPoloBookBlog – Spotlight Post

September 16th

Book Lover Promo – Spotlight Post

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Spotlight Post

September 17th

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

September 18th

VampyreLady’s Cover Reveals, Blog Tours, New Releases & All Things Bookish – Spotlight Post

Live to Read – Promo Post

September 19th

Alice’s Book Vault – Promo Post

September 20th

The Procrastinator’s Corner – Review

September 21st

Down the Bookhole – Spotlight Post

September 22nd

Bookrantings – Review

September 23rd

YA Book Divas – Review

September 24th

Little Miss Trainwreck – Author Interview

Book Lovers Life – Spotlight Post

September 25th

YaReads – Author Interview

September 26th

Lekeisha the Booknerd – Review

September 27th

The Book Beacon – Guest Post

Pandora’s Books – Promo Post

September 28th

Just One More Chapter – Spotlight Post

Noshelfcontrol – Author Interview

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Author Interviews
September 22, 2016 posted by Nichole

Olivia Decoded Blog Tour: Author Interview with Vivi Barnes

Olivia Decoded Banner

Olivia TwistedOlivia Twisted Synopsis (Olivia Twisted, #1):

 

Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Liv might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Liv and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…

 

Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted.

 

Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17343436-olivia-twisted

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Olivia-Twisted-Vivi-Barnes-ebook/dp/B00BRAFR4Q

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/olivia-twisted-vivi-barnes/1114511531

iBooks Buy Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/olivia-twisted/id620469564

Kobo Buy Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/olivia-twisted

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olivia-Twisted-Vivi-Barnes-ebook/dp/B00BRAFR4Q

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Olivia-Twisted-Vivi-Barnes-ebook/dp/B00BRAFR4Q

Entangled Publishing: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/olivia-twisted/


Olivia DecodedBook Title: Olivia Decoded (Olivia Twisted, #2)

Author: Vivi Barnes

Release Date: Sept. 6, 2016

Genre: YA Thriller

Olivia Decoded Book Synopsis:

This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.

 

This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.

 

I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse.

 

Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29500584-olivia-decoded

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Olivia-Decoded-Vivi-Barnes/dp/1633754901

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/olivia-decoded-vivi-barnes/1123733469

iBooks Buy Link: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/olivia-decoded/id1080308160

Kobo Buy Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/olivia-decoded

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olivia-Decoded-Vivi-Barnes/dp/1633754901/

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Olivia-Decoded-Vivi-Barnes-ebook/dp/B01BBXSJKM/

Entangled Publishing: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/olivia-decoded


About the Author:

ViviBarnes

Vivi Barnes was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. After college, she convinced her supportive husband to

move with her to be part of the sunshine and magic in Orlando, Florida. On a good day, she manages to divide her time writing, working, reading, goofing off with her three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes. Vivi is a proud member of SCBWI and attends conferences whenever she can.

Author Blog: https://4chicks.wordpress.com/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/ViviBarnes

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vivibarnes.author

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6926794.Vivi_Barnes

 

The Giveaway:

A signed copy of Olivia Decoded + a $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read below for an excerpt from the book:

“Wow, who gave you that?”

“My grandfather. He left it on my car seat this morning.”

“Oh, boo. I thought maybe you had a secret admirer or something.” I try not to smile at her obvious disappointment. Emerson’s been on me to date for months now. She knows I had someone back in Richmond who was special, but only that we broke it off before I moved here. She doesn’t know anything else about Jack. No one does, because what would I say? The last guy I dated is a criminal, and the last time I saw him was right after we got kidnapped by his horrible boss and almost died trying to escape. That’d go over really well.

“I don’t know, what do you think?” Emerson breaks into my thoughts as we walk down the hallway to our lockers.

“About what?”

She sighs. “Where Kade’s taking me tonight. Girl, you are not with it today, are you? Are you doing anything tonight?”

“My grandfather’s taking me to dinner.”

“Sweet. Not so romantic, but sweet.”

I smile. “Yes, he’s sweet. But a little over the top on gifts sometimes.” Even after eight months of living the wealthy life, I’d be happier if he gave me a gift card to a bookstore instead of extravagant jewelry I rarely wear.

My phone starts buzzing, and I pull it from my pocket. Grandfather’s text reads: What gift?

I frown, typing, The bracelet you left in my car. I snap a quick picture of the bracelet on my wrist and send it to him. Maybe his text was a hint to send a picture, though I doubt it. He’s usually pretty direct about things.

“What’s up?” Emerson asks.

“Looks like Grandfather forgot he left me the bracelet.” But even as I say it, it doesn’t sound right. He’s one of the sharpest people I’ve ever known, and he runs a financial institution.

“Maybe he gave it to one of his staff to put in your car.” Her voice has the usual bitter tone whenever she’s thinking of her parents. They’re hardly ever around, and when they are, they don’t pay much attention to her.

“Yeah, you’re probably right.” I don’t believe that, though. Even though it’s possible Mrs. Bedwin did put it there, I doubt it. Grandfather is the type to handle things himself when it comes to me. But Emerson’s parents travel so much for their business that they often let their staff handle things like birthdays and other events they think aren’t important. So as grateful as I am that Grandfather’s always there for me, I don’t like to rub that in Emerson’s face.

“Maybe you really do have a secret admirer,” she says hopefully.

I roll my eyes.“I doubt that.”

“Oh, really?” She stops in her tracks, her eyes fixed straight ahead. I follow her gaze, a sharp sense of dread creeping down my spine. A white rose is dangling from the vent in my locker.

A rose I know wasn’t placed there by my grandfather.

Read below for an author interview with Vivi Barnes:

Can you tell us about your newest book, Olivia Decoded, in 40 words or less?

After eight months apart, Liv and Jack find themselves thrown together to figure out who is stalking her and stealing from him.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Any of the romance scenes between Jack and Liv – for sure. Those are always my favorite. There is also one scene where Liv tells her best friend about her past – that one was a very emotional one for me to write.

What was the hardest scene to write?

Tying together the mystery of who is after Liv and Jack and making sure I didn’t leave any open holes – that was definitely the most challenging. My dear friend Marlana helped me do this and I dedicated the book to her.

What theme song would you give Olivia Decoded?

I’d give it Breathe No More by Evanescence because I listened to it over and over when writing that story. Haunting and beautiful. I gave Olivia Twisted Tainted Love (the version sung by Marilyn Manson) because I thought that was very fitting for that particular story.

Is this the last book in the series or will there be more?

I think it’s time to let Liv and Jack enjoy their lives (I’ve meddled with them enough, I think), so this will be the last story in the series.

What made you decide to write an Oliver Twist retelling?

I loved Oliver Twist as a child – more specifically, the movie Oliver!. I was going through a difficult time with scoliosis, and watching that movie helped because I thought “now there’s a kid with real problems!” Later, I thought it’d be cool to do a retelling, but instead using a female lead who falls in love with the Artful Dodger. And, of course, using hackers made more sense as a contemporary novel than pickpockets. Pickpockets are so 19th century! 😉

What else are you currently working on?

I’m currently writing a humorous middle grade novel about a boy whose parents own a movie theater. Hoping to finish that one soon!

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

I absolutely loved Every Falling Star by SunJu Lee and Elizabeth McClelland. It’s a haunting memoir about a boy’s life in North Korea and his subsequent escape. I’d say it’s my favorite recent book. Right now I’m thoroughly enjoying The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts–it’s so adorable and fun!

What top 3 books are in your TBR pile?

Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

A Princess of Landover (it’s a final book in the “Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold” series by Terry Brooks. I read the series a long time ago and never realized there was this last one available!)

Book Reviews
September 14, 2016 posted by Pavan

Words in Deep by Cath Crowley Blue Blog Tour: Book Review

Hi Everyone!

Today I get to share my review of Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley! I am so thrilled to be part of this blog tour! 

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Goodreads: 

This is a love story.
It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets.
It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.
Now, she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal and looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind

 

 

 

Review:

I’ve read one book by Cath Crowley before and that was Graffiti Moon.  I simply adored Graffiti Moon so I had high hopes for Words in Deep Blue. And thankfully those hopes were met! I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and cannot wait to read more from Cath Crowley! Unfortunately due to Uni assignments this won’t be a long review but I hope I can show you how much I loved this book still!

The writing in this novel is simply beautiful. I loved how the whole story just seemed to flow effortlessly. Also having the letters woven throughout the book was wonderful to read. It added a bit of an extra ‘kick’, especially since the letters weren’t only between our main characters. I kept wanting to skip ahead to see who was writing the mystery letters to George, Henry’s sister. I felt a lot more connected to the characters of the novel through these letters, they are like behind the scenes looks at everyone.

The only small issue I had with Words in Deep Blue were our main characters Rachel and Henry. In the beginning of the novel I just didn’t connect with either of them. I know Rachel was still grieving for her brother but I just didn’t feel that hard hitting grief as much as I could have. And Henry, well Henry just annoyed me at times. He was too wishy-washy for my liking, but I suppose that is realistic to people in general when they believe they love or are meant to be with someone. I am happy to say as I kept reading I found that I did grow towards both Rachel and Henry which was a definite plus!

The romance was quite sweet to read. I enjoyed seeing Rachel break out of her grief a bit and let herself  go, as well as Henry wising up to what was in front of him. However, this was not the only romance happening in the book. And once you find out what I mean by this you’ll understand why I was in tears during a certain part of this book! You definitely get all the feels in Words in Deep Blue!

The secondary characters really added depth to Words in Deep Blue. I enjoyed seeing that the world was still going round for everyone else in the novel and didn’t just stand still because we were focused on Rachel and Henry.

Words in Deep Blue is an amazing novel! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it originally and in no way was I let down. If you are looking for a book full of complex characters, a love of books, letters and poetry then this is for you!

 

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for the review copy!

 

Pages: 352

Publication Date: August 30th,  2016

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30336056-words-in-deep-blue

 

Rating: ★★★★½

 

 

 

Blog Tour
September 8, 2016 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy “Must Read YA Contemps by Monica Murphy”

daring the bad boy banner

Daring the Bad BoyDaring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy

Published by Entangled Crush

Published on August 22nd, 2016

Genre: YA contemporary/romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30332862-daring-the-bad-boy?ac=1&from_search=true

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daring-the-bad-boy-monica-murphy/1124207006?type=eBook

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Daring-Bad-Boy-Monica-Murphy-ebook/dp/B01JGMCCGM

Entangled Teen: http://entangledpublishing.com/daring-the-bad-boy/

Truth or Dare was never this much fun…

 

Annie McFarland is sick of being a shy nobody. A session at summer camp seems like the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself—gain some confidence, kiss a boy, be whoever she wants to be. A few days in, she’s already set her sights on über-hottie Kyle. Too bad her fear of water keeps her away from the lake, where Kyle is always hanging out.

 

Jacob Fazio is at Camp Pine Ridge after one too many screw-ups. Junior counseling seems like punishment enough, but the rigid no-fraternizing-with-campers rules harsh his chill. When a night of Truth or Dare gets him roped into teaching Annie how to swim, she begs him to also teach her how to snag Kyle.

 

Late-night swim sessions turn into late-night kissing sessions…but there’s more on the line than just their hearts. If they get caught, Jake’s headed straight to juvie, but Annie’s more than ready to dare him to reveal the truth.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains references to drinking, sexual situations, adult language, and an intense bad boy hero who will melt your heart.


 

About the Author:

Monica

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is a traditionally published author with Bantam/Random House and Harper Collins/Avon, as well as an independently published author. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance. She is also USA Today bestselling romance author Karen Erickson.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives with her family in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere, along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through many angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5934418.Monica_Murphy

Twitter: @MsMonicaMurphy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monicamurphyauthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonicaMurphyauthor

Newsletter: http://monicamurphyauthor.us6.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=f1ced7b830&id=f985eea9cd


 

Read Below for an excerpt from Daring the Bad Boy:

Annie

“Don’t forget to pack extras of everything,” Mom stressed, her voice high, her entire demeanor anxious. She really didn’t want me to leave, though she was the one who’d suggested I go to camp in the first place. And I guess I can’t blame her, since I am her only child, but it’s just for a few weeks—I had to be wait-listed, and when a spot opened up for the second session, I begged my parents to let me go.

But with the way she’s fretting over my leaving, I realize she needs to cut the umbilical cord sometime. At least I’ll be outside getting fresh air, not stuck in the air-conditioned house with my nose in a book. That’s how I usually spend my summers.

Well, no more.

Not that there’s anything wrong with reading, but…it was my escape, my safe place. I’m tired of living in someone else’s imaginary world—I want to live in my world for once. But it’s hard making a new impression on people you’ve known your entire school life, some of them since preschool.

To them I’m quiet little Annie McFarland. The girl who cried so hard on the first day of kindergarten that she blew a bubble of snot out her nose. The girl who was so petrified to perform in the third-grade Christmas play that her knees literally knocked together and everyone could hear them. The girl who had a major crush on Wade Johnson in sixth grade and wrote him a heartfelt Valentine’s Day poem—and he shared it with all his friends.

I endured their teasing for the rest of the school year. Sixth grade was definitely not my favorite year.

Yeah. I could go on and on.

I’d just finished my sophomore year, and while everyone was busy pairing off, being social, actually doing something with their lives, I was stuck. Stuck in my quiet shell, stuck with the nerd-girl label, stuck as the teacher’s pet. I hated it.

More than anything, I was beyond ready for a change.

“Extra T-shirts, extra shorts.” Mom ticked off the items with her fingers, her gaze meeting mine. “Extra, um, feminine products.”

My cheeks went hot. “I’ve already packed extra everything.” I waved a hand at my open but mostly stuffed duffel bag.

“Okay, good. Good. Wouldn’t want you to run out of necessities. Though I fully plan on sending you care packages. And there’s parents’ weekend, too, so I can always bring you whatever you might need.” Mom was rambling. A sure sign she was upset.

“Mom.” I went to her and took her hand, giving it a squeeze. “I don’t leave for another twenty-four hours. It’s not time to cry yet.”

“I’ll just miss you.” She brushed a stray hair away from my forehead, her gaze soft. “You’ve never left us like this before, for this long. A whole month, hundreds of miles away. With strangers.” She stressed the last word.

That was my favorite part of the plan. Being with strangers, people who don’t know the real me. I could totally reinvent myself. Be whoever I wanted to be. I could demand they call me Ann, tell them I’m the most popular girl at my school, and win the attention of all the hot boys within hours of my arrival.

Though I doubted any of that would really happen. Just because I’m with people who don’t know me doesn’t mean my real self won’t make an immediate appearance. It’s hard for me to open up to new people. Plus, I really don’t like it when someone calls me Ann—I think Annie’s a much cuter name. And I’ve never gotten the attention of a hot boy in my entire life. Well, I have—hello, Wade Johnson—but that was unwanted attention. That I’m great at.

I’d like to change that particularly annoying trait of mine.

Okay, I’m not drop-dead gorgeous with a bubbly, flirtatious personality, not by a long shot. I’m not a hideous troll, either, but come on. Hot guys have never noticed me—unless they’re six and I’m blowing snot bubbles out my nose. Or I write really bad poetry that makes adolescent boys howl with laughter. And that’s not the way I want boys to notice me.

“I’ll be fine,” I reassured Mom, offering her a smile in return, which somehow only seemed to upset her more. Her chin got all wobbly, and she yanked me into her arms, holding me close. I let her smother me with Mom love for a few minutes before I disentangled myself from her embrace. “Seriously, it’s going to be okay. I’ll write you and Dad as much as I can.”

“Which shouldn’t be very much at all. I want you to meet new people and try new things. You need to stay busy and have fun. Don’t worry about us.” She wagged her finger at me before her hand dropped to her side. “I know you feel a little stifled here, so this will be good for you.”

Mom understood. She always had. We moved here when I was two, back to Dad’s hometown; he felt right at home because he was home. Mom, on the other hand, was still considered an outsider, and they’d always treated her that way. So she knew what it was like, to feel like you didn’t fit in. She understood my problems at school, when Dad always blew them off. Not that he was mean about it. He just didn’t get it.

“It’s going to be great,” I told Mom with a genuine smile. My heart did a funny little flip in the center of my chest and I breathed deeply, telling myself everything really would be great.

Going to camp was going to change my life.

***

Jake

One month earlier

“You’re going. I know this is a last-minute decision and you’re probably pissed that you have to leave tomorrow, but too damn bad, Jacob. You’re out of here.” Dad’s voice was firm, simmering with anger. His eyes blazed with barely withheld fury as he glared at me. He was super pissed, but what else was new? “And that’s final. No arguments, no defiance, no threats that you’ll run away. The second you leave this house without my permission, I’m calling the cops. And they will lock you up. Thanks to your latest mishap, that’s guaranteed.”

I stared at him, my arms crossed in front of my chest, my jaw clenched so tight I felt like I could crush my teeth into powder. My uncle’s summer camp held good memories. Back when I was a kid and had no cares in the world, and my main priorities had been swimming in the lake and hanging out with friends.

But those days were a long time ago.

Now I didn’t want to go back. There was no point. I was a different person. Not just older, but freaking wiser.

Well. Maybe not wiser. I kept fucking up, like I couldn’t help myself. That latest mishap Dad was talking about? Stealing hubcaps off fancy cars in the middle of the night with my so-called friends. We’d been drinking. I’d been dared. The moment the cops showed up, they all bailed on me. Every last one of them, and I was royally busted. They booked me like a real criminal, taking my photo, getting my fingerprints. I’d nearly pissed my pants I was so scared.

Never let them see it, though. Just kept my mouth shut and glared at everyone. When Dad showed up to bail me out, I almost went weak with relief. I believed I was home free—until he got me into the car and proceeded to yell the entire drive home.

That was the first clue that I’d have to finally pay for my sins.

Dad went with me to my court appearance and asked to speak to the judge. I thought he would plead my case. Tell the scowling middle-aged woman with glasses perched on the tip of her nose that I really was a good kid. I just needed another chance.

Nope. Dad chucked me so far under the bus, I still have tire marks across my stomach. He told the judge I was a screwup, a failure, a disappointment, and that he was afraid for my future. He then promised her if she gave me community service, he’d make sure I did my time by working at my uncle’s summer camp under strict supervision.

She’d agreed.

And now here I am, going to camp and having to work with a bunch of asshole kids who’ll give me nothing but crap over the next two months. The only thing that was giving me hope? The possibility there would be plenty of pretty counselors with a bad-boy fetish. I’ll be willing to fulfill whatever fantasy they have, as long as we can do it on the down low. My uncle gets one whiff of me doing something wrong, and I’m a dead man. I’ll end up in juvenile hall or, worse, in freaking jail. My dad’ll make sure I pay for my mistakes.

“Fine,” I muttered, dropping my head so I didn’t have to look him in the eye. Seeing the disappointment there, all the anger and frustration, I couldn’t take it anymore. “I’ll go.”

His deep sigh of relief was loud, and hearing it didn’t make me feel any better. We sat in the living room, Dad in his recliner, me on the couch. I let my arms drop to my sides and took a deep breath, glancing around the room. It was small, narrow, no pictures on the wall, no homey touches. A total bachelor pad, Dad had told me when we moved in to the place, like that was going to appeal to fourteen-year-old me.

After Mom died, Dad sold our house—too full of memories, he’d said, his expression pained—and we rented this shitty little two-story condo. A temporary move, he’d reassured me. The place was old but centrally located in single-dom paradise. As in, there were plenty of divorced women who lived in this complex who were hot for my dad.

And it sucked. Mom’s dying had completely messed with my head. But Dad’s moving us away from the only home I’d ever known had pushed me over the edge. The more trouble I got into, the more attention I received. It didn’t matter if it was bad or good; at least someone was looking at me. Acknowledging me. Telling me I mattered.

Sort of.

“Spending the summer with your uncle Bob is just what you need,” Dad said, his expression softening, the anger slowly dissipating because I didn’t protest or get angry. Why fight it? At least at camp, I’d have some freedom.

I’d be working my ass off and under Uncle Bob’s thumb all the time, but what else could I do?

“Though just because you’re surrounded by a bunch of young girls doesn’t mean you should touch any of them.” The pointed look Dad sent my way almost made me want to laugh.

Almost.

“They’re off-limits. Forbidden. The campers, at least. You have to follow your uncle’s rules. The counselors, they’re your peers, but I wouldn’t recommend you messing around with any of them, either. You don’t need the distraction.” He paused. “You mess up once, and you’ll end up in juvie. Understand?”

I nodded. Whatever. I’d mess around with whoever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I’d freaking need the distraction so I wouldn’t lose my mind having to work for Uncle Bob all summer long.

“You’ll get out of here.” Away from my friends. “You’ll meet new people.” Who aren’t my friends. “You’ll earn a little money and save it up.” So I can buy my own cigarettes or weed or whatever I want and not have to ask for cash from you. “And you might learn a thing or two.”

Yeah, right.

But instead of saying any of that, I nodded like I agreed and stood, finally meeting his gaze. His eyes weren’t blazing with so much frustration anymore, and I felt like I’d jumped over the first hurdle. “I’d better go pack, then,” I told him, and left the room.

Never looked back once, either.


Read below to find out some of Monica Murphy’s Must Read YA Contemps!

I love a good YA contemporary story, especially if there’s lots of romance involved. I can’t help it — I’m a sucker for a good romance. And while I could probably make this list extra, extra long, I will try and contain myself and only share a few.

PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry – Wow, this book just blew me away. I devoured it in one sitting – on Halloween, when my kids were dying to go trick or treat and I kept putting them off. And while I’m only mentioning this one book, trust me, read all of Katie’s books. They’re wonderful. And now I’m lucky enough to call this fantastic woman my friend. She is one of the most genuine people I know. She’s amazing.

pushing-the-limits

PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles – This is the first contemporary romance I read in a long time, back after it first came out. I fell madly in love with Alex. Madly. In. Love. Ah, this book gave me all the feels! I adore it and will pull it out to reread every few years.

perfect-chemistry

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West – I went on a Kasie West reading spree this summer and I have zero regrets. I love her easy style, I love all of her characters and as I read one book after another, I started to realize something…the places she described, I felt like I’d been there before. Turns out, she lives not too far from me. We’re practically neighbors! Which means I need to invite her to coffee soon so I can gush over her amazing books!

distance between us

NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW by Amanda Grace – I really enjoyed this book. Olivia hates how distant her relationship is with her twin brother Liam, who is her best friend. She also hates how Liam is dating Zoey, a girl she really doesn’t like. But then she realizes she likes Zoey…a lot. And Zoey likes her too. But what about Liam? Talk about a love triangle. A really well written one too.

noone needs

MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick – Such a well written book. So much yearning and angst and swoony moments. I just realized I never read The Boy Most Likely To and it’s sitting on my Kindle, just waiting to be consumed. I know what I’m doing later tonight…

my life

THE WAY I USED TO BE by Amber Smith – This book blew me away. It was so painful yet beautifully written and real. Achingly real. Tough subject matter – Eden is raped by her brother’s best friend, and she doesn’t tell anyone. This secret slowly tears her apart as the book is told in four parts, throughout her high school years. A powerful story that I still think about.

THE WAY I USED TO BE

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven – I can’t say enough about this book and how much it moved me. Violet and Fitch are such fantastically drawn characters, I felt like I was living their story along with them. This book explores mental illness in such a real, raw way. I reread it recently and cried all over again.

all the bright places

Bonus mention – All the books from the Entangled Crush line! I haven’t read one that’s disappointed me yet. They’re all so fun and light and cute! My most recent read from the line was RESISTING THE REBEL by Lisa Brown Roberts and it was so good! Caleb is a perfect book boyfriend.

resisting

I could go on and on but I think I need to stop now. Before this post turns into the never ending list of must read YA contemporary books…. :)

The Tour Schedule:

August 29th

Alice’s Book Vault – Promo Post

Just One More Chapter – Promo Post

August 30th

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

The Book Beacon – Promo Post

August 31st

Bookish Escapes – Review

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Promo Post

September 1st

Daydreaming Books – Review

Read Love Blog – Review

September 2nd

Dana’s YA Bookpile – Guest Post

September 3rd

Beanie’s Book Blog – Review

September 4th

PBC – Promo Post

September 5th

The Cozy Little Book Nook – Review

September 6th

Never Too Many To Read – Review

September 7th

We Found Wonderland in Books – Author Interview

September 8th

A Leisure Moment – Review

YaReads – Guest Post

September 9th

RoloPoloBookBlog – Review

Swoony Boys Podcast – Character Interview

September 10th

The Bookish Introvert – Review

September 11th

Adventures in Writing – Review

Novel Knight – Promo Post

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Blog Tour
September 5, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Blitz: FIGHTING TO BE FREE by Kirsty Moseley

 

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fightingTitle: FIGHTING TO BE FREE

Author: Kirsty Moseley

Series: Fighting To Be Free, #1

On Sale: September 6, 2016

Publisher: Forever

Trade Paperback:  $14.99 USD

eBook: $3.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

 

All his life, people have told Jamie Cole that he was born bad. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. But that doesn’t matter now. Because after a lifetime of demons, Jamie has finally found an angel.

 

Ellie Pearce learned the hard way that boys can’t be trusted. But the night she meets Jamie, something shifts. He’s different: brooding, a bit dark, determined to change. The connection they share is intense, compelling. Ellie tries to resist, but with each breathtaking kiss, she can’t help falling deeper.

 

Things between Ellie and Jamie are perfect—and perfection can’t last. When fate goes horribly wrong, Jamie’s only hope of saving his family is to strike a deal with the devil. Most of all, Jamie wants to prove he’s the person Ellie believes him to be. But if she learns just how much he’s been hiding, Ellie won’t be able to believe anything Jamie has ever told her…

 

The original Wattpad sensation, with 6 million reads online – fully revised and with brand new content!

 

BUY THE BOOK HERE

 

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THE FIGHTING TO BE FREE SERIES

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Fighting To Be Free, #1

Worth Fighting For, #2

 

Series Page on Goodreads

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

kristy

Kirsty Moseley has always been a passionate reader with stories brewing in her head. Once she discovered Wattpad, she finally posted a story. Seven million reads later, she self-published her debut novel, The Boy who Sneaks in my Bedroom Window, which later became a finalists for the 2012 Goodreads’ Choice Awards. Kirsty lives in Norfolk, England with her husband and son.

 

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FOLLOW FOREVER ONLINE

 

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Book Information

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2cl1nI2

 

Buy The Book Here

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The Fighting To Be Free Series

Series Page on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2cfbSJG

 

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Follow Forever Online

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Read below for an excerpt!

He rolled onto his side, reaching out his hand and pulling me against him as he slowly ran his hands down my back.

“That was incredible, Ellie,” he murmured, kissing my nose. He was grinning from ear to ear as he stroked his fingers across my cheekbone.

I smiled and sighed contentedly. “Yeah, it was.” And it really had been. That was incredible; he had been soft and tender, his hands seeming to explore every part of me as he’d taken my body to heaven and back again. He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me tightly against him, tangling our legs together as he just looked at every inch of my face with a small, satisfied smile on his lips.

“You don’t have much stuff,” I stated after we’d been silently cuddling on his bed for a couple of minutes.

He frowned. “Uh, no, I haven’t even been here a week.”

“Where were you living before?” I probed, wanting to hear the sound of his sexy voice some more. He shifted uncomfortably, and I took the hint that he didn’t want to talk about it. “That’s okay, you don’t have to say.” I rolled so that I was on top of him and sat up, straddling him. He ran his hands up my thighs and rested them on my hips, just watching me with a satisfied smile on his face.

I sighed. It was time to go. This was where it got a little awkward. What was I supposed to say? Thanks and good-bye? “So, I guess I should get going. Would you mind calling me a cab?” I asked, climbing off him and looking around the room for my clothes.

The bed creaked behind me. “You’re going? Why?” I didn’t need to look to know he would be frowning—I could hear the shock in his tone.

I smiled at him over my shoulder. He was sitting up on the bed, a little pouty expression on his face as he watched my every move. “Well, I’ve never had a one-night stand before, but I thought that was how it worked: You have sex and then you leave,” I joked as I pulled on my panties.

He shook his head. “No, I mean, why do you have to go now? You can stay the night; I’ll drive you home in the morning.”

“You want me to stay the night?” I asked disbelievingly.

He pushed himself up off the bed and walked to me in all his naked glory. I couldn’t keep my eyes off his body. “Yeah, I want you to stay the night,” he confirmed, smiling his sexy smile at me, making my stomach flutter.

Oh, I can definitely stay the night!

 

Book Reviews
September 5, 2016 posted by Nichole

Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers #1) by Sarina Bowen

27190530The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold…

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

My Review:

The first half of Rookie Move was really good. I was sweeping through the pages, devouring every word, and staying up way too late at night. As a sports fan, I really appreciated reading about hockey players. I’m not overly familiar with hockey but, let me tell you, I need to start watching it!

At the beginning of Rookie Move, I did have a slight problem with how cliché this book was. There’s already quite a few hockey new adult books out there, and this one read pretty similar to some of the other ones. While the storyline was completely different, it just felt like something that I’ve already read before. There wasn’t really anything that unique going on in this book.

The last 50% of this book was just a little boring and repetitive. I hate to say that. You know, I really love this author and I read everything she writes. I just kind of felt like the same things kept happening over and over and over again. Leo would worry about getting traded. Georgia would whine about her dad potentially finding out about his adult daughter dating her ex boyfriend. Georgia would fight her attraction for Leo and tell him that they couldn’t work out again. Leo would have something going on with his teammates. The same things just kept happening over and over and over again. Really, some of the scenes were so close to being identical. I ended up doing a lot of skimming during the last half of the book.

I have to point out that Rookie Move does have some trigger warnings in regards to rape. Nothing graphic is mentioned or described. However, the main female character is a victim of rape and is still in the recovery process of that trauma. I appreciated the fact that the author approached that difficult subject with sensitivity and caution. At no point did I feel unsafe or uncomfortable. However, it is a topic that is mentioned throughout the entire book.

One thing that I would have really liked to see more improvement on were the sexy scenes. They were just kind of bland and didn’t really interest me all that much. I would have liked to see some more wildness between Leo and Gigi. Self control going out the window and wild monkey you-know-what. I’m pretty big on my sexy scenes in NA and adult contemporary books, so I was a bit disappointed that those scenes didn’t reach their full potential.

Another thing that slightly bothered me was how dramatic this book was. I don’t tend to like a lot of drama in my books. The drama seemed to keep on coming with this one. It almost felt like watching a daytime soap at times. I would have appreciated if the drama had been toned down just a bit…

Let me be completely honest that other readers will probably like this book more than I did. Yes, I had my complaints. However, what it really came down to is that I’m not interested in guys like Leo. There was no attraction to him whatsoever. I would categorize Leo as more of a “good boy.” He was very attentive to Georgia’s needs (not a bad thing!), he cared a lot about his team, and he was a great boyfriend. All good things! All things that I love! However, he was just so bland. He didn’t have that spark in him. I tend to prefer slightly more bad boys in my books….boys who are spontaneous and unpredictable. Those two words just don’t describe Leo.

Overall, this wasn’t my favorite book, but I can see why other readers will really enjoy it. I’m not going to rate this one. Honestly, I just don’t find it very fair to rate it since I really skimmed 50% of it. If you really enjoy lower key NA books with a really good boy type, this one is for you. If you’re like me and tend to prefer more intense sexy moments and bad boy leads, this one maybe is not quite right for you. It’s just a matter of preference.

Blog Tour
September 4, 2016 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: The Summer Before Forever by Melissa Chambers

the summer before forever banner

The Summer Before ForeverThe Summer Before Forever by Melissa Chambers

Published by Entangled Teen

To be released August 22nd, 2016

Genre: YA Contemporary

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Before-Forever-Melissa-Chambers-ebook/dp/B01JGMQDZ8#nav-subnav

Entangled Teen: http://entangledpublishing.com/the-summer-before-forever/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-summer-before-forever-melissa-chambers/1124233252;jsessionid=679C567CFA097FBB24E06FFB99DD096A.prodny_store02-atgap08

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29902748-the-summer-before-forever

Some boys break your heart. Others teach you how to heal it.

Chloe Stone’s life is a hot mess. Determined to stop being so freaking skittish, she packs up her quasi-famous best friend and heads to Florida. The goal? Complete the summer bucket list to end all bucket lists. The problem? Her hot soon-to-be stepbrother, Landon Jacobs.

Landon’s mom will throttle him if he even looks at his future stepsister the wrong way. Problem is, Chloe is everything he didn’t know he wanted, and that’s…inconvenient. Watching her tear it up on a karaoke stage, stand up to his asshole friend, and rock her first string bikini destroys his sanity.

But there’s more than their future family on the line. Landon is hiding something—something he knows will change how she feels about him—and she’s hiding something from him, too. And when the secrets come out, there’s a good chance neither will look at the other the same way again…

About the Author:

melissa chambers

Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She’s a member of SCBWI and RWA including several local and online chapters thereof. She holds her B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee.

Website: http://www.melissachambers.com

Twitter: MelChambersAuth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaChambersAuthor

Newsletter: http://melissachambers.com/?page_id=539

Read Below for an excerpt from The Summer Before Forever:

Chloe

It’s not like I didn’t know better. How many times has it been drilled into my brain—into the brain of every child over the age of three. Don’t get into a car with a stranger. But can the guy you’ve been melting for since the start of sophomore year really be considered a stranger…even if you never officially met him before?

I accidentally gun the gas as I squirm a little. Eight hours in a driver’s seat is hell on any behind.

It’s done. It’s over. In fact, I’m lucky. I got out of the nightmare with all my firsts still intact…well, most of them. Not quite the first kiss I have been waiting for these past sixteen years. But how juvenile is it anyway that a girl on the brink of seventeen would go un-kissed? Sweet sixteen and never been kissed—endearing. Seventeen and never been kissed—circus freak. At least that’s out of the way.

Jenna rouses in the passenger seat, yawning. “Oh my God. There’s the ocean.”

So it is, Captain Obvious. My Honda Civic starts its ascent up a fairly frightening looking bridge over an inlet.

“How long have I been asleep?”

“Couple of hours.”

She grabs her phone and squints at the screen. “Service. Thank God.”

I can’t help but smile. “What would Jenna Quigley do without social media for a day?”

“I have my fans to consider,” she says.

I give her a look.

“Kidding.”

Oh, but if only she was kidding. It’s amazing what placing eighth in a karaoke contest can do for one’s ego. Okay, so it was the most popular singing competition on any major network, but same difference.

She flips through her phone. “Oooh. I almost forgot. You’re going to love this one.”

Jenna and I are two of the most unlikely best friends in the history of friendships, but one thing that does bring us together is our shared love of music.

Unfortunately, our tastes couldn’t possibly be further apart on the spectrum.

“You’ve said that about the last five songs you played for me,” I say.

She holds up her free hand, the thumb on the other still scrolling. “I swear this is one of your people, not mine.”

She sets her phone down and stares at me with those huge green eyes as the synthpop sounds of St. Lucia fill my car.

I eye her. I wouldn’t call St. Lucia one of my people, but he definitely doesn’t suck. And as far as artists go that break the barrier between her pop roots and my alt rock ones, this is one I can live with. Besides, this song is highly danceable. My upper body moves to the beat without my permission.

She points at me. “See! I told you you’d love it.”

I let a smile through. “I don’t hate it. How did you get into him?”

“Mason,” she says.

And with that name, my shoulders still. Not that there’s anything wrong with Mason. He’s not the one who tried to force himself on me. No, that particular honor goes to his best friend, Trevor. I haven’t told Jenna yet. She’ll be crushed when she finds out—and then murderous. With the summer in front of us, I need to keep her living in blissful ignorance. If I don’t, she’ll blow up to Mason about it, and then it will become this huge deal around school.

As far as she’s concerned, Trevor and I kissed, and there was no spark.

“So this kid who’s going to be your stepbrother—what’s his name?” Jenna asks.

Here we go. I suppose I’ve put this off long enough. “I probably should mention… He’s not really a kid.”

“Great. Is he some pervy preteen who’s going to be peeping through the crack of my bedroom door?”

“Not exactly.” I don’t know if he’s pervy or not, but I do know he’s not a preteen. He’s only a year older than us. It’s stupid, but I’m not ready for Jenna to find out yet. If I’d told her when I found out, she’d have found him on social media and wrapped him around her pinky before we even arrived. I just want a chance to get to know him at the same time rather than the two of them being old buds and best friends before we even arrive…or worse, dating.

I stare past the road out into the sparkling ocean spread in front of us. Secretly, I’m hoping he’s more like me than he is like her. I’ve never had a brother. God, I need that right now. A guy I can trust, who’s got my back. I have these ridiculous fantasies of this guy who immediately takes me under his protective wing as he kickboxes Trevor in the balls for what he tried to make me do…for what he swears we will do someday.

“So? What’s his name?” Jenna repeats.

“I don’t remember,” I lie.

She glares at me. “Well, what has your dad told you about him?”

I hit the blinker, and we turn toward our home for the next two months. “You think my dad and I have actual conversations?”

Jenna sits up and gasps, staring out the window. “No. Freaking. Way.”

A massive stone archway with sleek, aqua letters reading Sea Glass Cove welcomes us into a resort covered in pastel beach bungalows, a crazy big golf course, and a pool that looks like it was hijacked from Atlantis.

“Why didn’t you tell me your dad was loaded?” Jenna asks.

“He’s not,” I say. “This is his fiancée’s house.”

She snickers. “Score, Mr. Stone. Your dad must be hotter than I remember.”

I make a face. “Gross, Jenna.”

“Does he have a huge penis?” She pokes me in the side.

I swerve. “You’re going to get us killed, nasty.”

Jenna stabs a finger across my face. “265, there it is.”

I turn into the driveway of a two-story baby blue house. A black Jeep sits next to a shiny red Porsche SUV in front of my Honda. All this belongs to my future stepmother. Geez. Does my dad have a huge penis?

I open the door, and the salty sea air hits my face like the smell of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. Florida, even the humidity that’s so thick I think I might need an asthma inhaler, is my temporary escape for the summer.

I know I have to go back home to Cliff Ridge eventually, but when I do, the evil Trevor will be gone for college. As much as the next two months are going to win the award for most awkward daughter/dad summer ever, it’s better than the alternative of spending it back home looking over my shoulder.

I open the trunk and start gathering our bags.

“Cute,” Jenna says.

I glance at the house next door. “Yeah, you won’t find lavender houses in Cliff Ridge.”

“Not the house,” Jenna says out of the corner of her mouth.

“Let me get that.”

I look up to put a face with the unfamiliar male voice. Holy Zac Efron. Who in the… Oh no. I bet this is—

“Hey.” He grins at Jenna. “Which one of you is my new little sister?”

Jenna’s eyes go wide and she elbows me in the side. “Thank God not me.”

Great. Just…great.

He gives her a mischievous lift of an eyebrow, and then shifts his gaze to me. “Chloe?”

This guy has got the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen and short, shaggy, dark hair that falls all around his face in that totally messy and totally doesn’t care kind of way. Standing at least six feet tall, he towers over me, but I’m used to that. A light sprinkling of freckles decorates his tanned face, whereas I look like I’ve been hiding under a UV protected rock my whole life.

I scratch my eyebrow. “Yeah. Landon, right?”

“I thought you couldn’t remember his name,” Jenna mutters.

I cut my eyes at her in warning. He offers me his hand, and I take it.

“So you’re the new sister. You’re my first.” He gives the slightest hint of a smile and lets go of my hand. We watch as he wrangles our big roller bags out of the trunk and carries them both by the handles into the house.

Jenna rests an elbow on my shoulder. “Who needs to use the rollers when you’ve got muscles like that?”

She looks at me for a reaction, but I turn to the trunk to avoid her.

“So, some kid brother you got there,” she says. “What the hell, Chlo?”

I tug the rest of the bags out of the trunk and load us both down with them. “I said he wasn’t a kid…exactly.”

Jenna points to his backside as he climbs the front porch steps. “Not a kid, exactly? That is a full-fledged man. His boy parts grew up years ago.”

I anchor a canvas bag to her right shoulder. “Don’t be gross.”

I shut the trunk, and we make our way toward the house.

Landon holds the door open for us, and we scoot past him into the foyer. It’s weird stepping into this house that I guess will be my home in a way. My dad lives here after all, but it’s not really his…at least not yet. I glance around at all the white and aqua stuff, including a pristine white couch. God, I hope I don’t spill anything on that.

“This is a beautiful house,” I say.

“My mom’s a real estate agent. She’s into decorating houses and stuff.”

I glance around. “Is my dad here?”

“They just texted. They’ll be here in just a little while. They’re getting dinner stuff.” He smiles. “I think they’re going all out for your first night.”

I suppose that warms my heart a tad. Doesn’t really make up for my dad’s virtual complete absence from my life for the past five months, but who’s keeping score.

“Where will we be sleeping?” Jenna asks with innuendo.

“Upstairs. Follow me.”

As he leads us up the stairs Jenna points at his behind again and gives a thumb’s up. I give my throat a slice in warning, and it just eggs her on.

He hauls our suitcases into a pale yellow room. Jenna tosses her bags on one of the twin beds, and I sit down on the other.

“I’ll let you settle in. Nice to meet you, Jenna…Chloe.”

“Likewise,” Jenna says as he shuts the door to our room behind him.

I glare at her.

She flops onto the bed she claimed. “What’d I do?”

“We’re going to be here two months,” I say pointedly.

“So?”

“So if you hook up with him now and things go sour next week, it’s going to be a long two months.”

She sighs and sits up. “Point taken. Besides that, he’s just the first one we’ve seen. I bet there are a whole slew of them down at the beach. Let’s go.” She rips into her suitcase and comes up with a hot pink bikini.

“I want to wait for my dad to get home. You go.”

“That’s cool. I’ll wait with you.” She pulls her phone out of her pocket and flips through one of her seven or eight social media apps, I assume.

“Ah, look at my sweetie.”

“Who?” I ask. It could be anyone.

She glowers at me. “Mason.”

I nod. Of course. They hooked up the same night I had my fiasco with Trevor. Jenna never clarifies what she means by hooked up. I’m guessing it’s somewhere between a peck on the cheek and full-on sex.

I hang clothes in one of the two closets, and then pull out the bag with my shower stuff. As I go to set my shampoo down on the corner of the tub, I notice a bottle of men’s body wash. I realize that the door I assumed was to a linen closet is actually too big to be a closet door. I creep toward it and give it a little shove. It leads to another bedroom. A guy’s bedroom.

Gray, t-shirt material sheets pool on the unmade bed. A football poster decorates one wall, while another poster of Kate Upton in a bikini hangs on another. At least sixty or seventy hardbacks line the shelves of a bookcase. I check the door, and then take a few steps closer to read the titles—biographies, many of world leaders or prominent figures in history. I spot one sitting on his desk with a bookmark peeping out of it. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

He’s redeemed for the Kate Upton poster.

A classic tennis racket in a wooden case sits on a shelf above his bed. A toddler-sized jersey hangs in a frame on one wall next to a shelf housing a single trophy. I come closer and read the plaque. The Mean Green Gorillas, Team Participant. I can’t help but giggle.

“I don’t come in your room and laugh at your stuff.”

I jump a mile and spin around.

Landon lounges against the doorframe.

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The Tour:

August 22nd

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

Just One More Chapter – Promo Post

August 23rd

Bookish Fangirl – Promo Post

August 24th

books are love – Review

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Promo Post

August 25th

Folded Corners & Smudged Screens – Review

August 26th

Insanity.Today – Author Interview

August 27th

Bookish Escapes – Review

August 28th

Great Reads from Librarian Laura – Review

August 29th

Readingwithwrin – Review

The Book Cellar – Promo Post

August 30th

Addicted to Books – Review

August 31st

The Book Beacon – Guest Post

September 1st

The Procrastinator’s Corner – Review

September 2nd

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Promo Post

Jessica Calla Author – Review

September 3rd

A Leisure Moment – Review

Pandora’s Books – Promo Post

September 4th

Gabriella M Reads – Review

YaReads – Review