Release Day + Giveaway – Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

I’m thrilled to help celebrate the Release Day Launch of Kate Jarvik Birch’s PERFECTED.

Praise for Perfected:
“Compelling, imaginative, and unique. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough!”
— Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls

About the Book
Title:
 Perfected
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Tour Organized By: YA Bound Book Tours

Synopsis
Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Keira Cass’s Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.

Excerpt
Chapter 1

“Remember… You’ll never be one of them,” Miss Gellner said, repositioning each of us on our divans in the sitting room so our gowns draped elegantly around our crossed ankles.

She stepped back and gazed at the group of us, her face pinched and stern like always, but I spotted a tiny glimmer of pride behind her rheumy eyes. Twenty girls: lovely, demure, quiet. She was pleased with us, even if she wouldn’t say it out loud.

Miss Gellner blinked, as if bringing herself back to the moment. “Things won’t change once you leave here,” she went on. “Simply because you’ll be pampered and spoiled, your life’s mission won’t suddenly be any different. Remember that. Your sole purpose is to enrich the lives of your new owners.”

As she said this, she lightly tapped her bamboo training stick against my back, not a hard whack the way she had done relentlessly when we first transferred from the Greenwich Kennel to the training center, where she and her staff could cultivate us into the sort of girls we were bred to be. This was just a warning tap, reminding me to sit so that my spine was a stem, and I was the flower resting atop it.

It was a pose we’d practiced daily for the past four years; during music and etiquette and dining, even during our nightly baths. But the fluttering in my stomach distracted me, drawing me down into myself. My whole body felt fluttery: my hands, my feet, even my eyes. I worried that the moment the two grand doors leading to the reception room swung open, I might flap away; a feather caught on the wind.

Next to me, Seven bit nervously at her bottom lip. It was weird to think that by tonight she’d have a new name, a real one. The breeders at Greenwich assigned us numbers as names at conception: One through Twenty, since twenty was the maximum number of girls they were allowed to have each year. I was Eight, but not for much longer. By tonight, I could be anything.

Across the room, Miss Gellner took a few steps towards the grand wooden doors, resting her hand lightly on the knob before she turned to face us one last time.

“I want you to keep your composure when they come in. I’ve spent four years preparing you for this moment.” She thumped her training stick on the ground for emphasis. “Four years. Don’t waste them. Each move that you make, every turn of your head and pout of your lip speaks to my effectiveness as a trainer and I won’t have that work tarnished. When I open these doors, I expect you to remember all the things I’ve taught you.”

The stiff lining of my dress rubbed against my rib cage and I ached to shift to a more comfortable position, but I held still, staring straight ahead at Miss Gellner with a soft smile placed carefully on my lips.

“Be sure to hold your tongues,” she went on. “You are not doing the selecting. Do not ask questions. Speak if spoken to, but keep your answers brief. We don’t want to scare away a potential buyer with a girl who has too forward a notion of who’s in charge.”

Beside me, the other girls were sitting silently. We were perfectly trained, all of us. And lovely, too. In our new dresses, we looked like royalty. Miss Gellner had picked out a different shade of gown for each of us, our first piece of clothing that was distinctly ours. She’d deliberated long and hard on the color choices. She wanted us each to look different. It wouldn’t do for the customers to think they were getting cloned girls even though there were plenty of differences between us to set us apart. Yes, we all had large eyes, spaced perfectly on our heart shaped faces. We all had small noses, long, thin necks, and rose petal lips. But we each had distinct coloring. Seven’s hair was nearly black. Sixteen’s eyes were green, the color of fresh summer grass, and Twenty’s skin was the same warm brown of the toasted bread that we were rewarded with on Sunday mornings. We were unique. One of a kind.

I was happy with the dress Miss Gellner had chosen for me. It was the palest shade of blue, hardly a color at all. These dresses would be the only item that would accompany us to our new homes. Our new owners would provide everything else.

“We’re lucky to have a number of congressmen and senators here today,” Miss Gellner went on. “Power, prestige, wealth, you’ll be surrounded by the best, which is why it is important that you be the best.” Miss Gellner sighed, nodding her head once. “All right girls. It’s time.”

She turned and threw open the doors. “Ladies… Gentlemen…” her voice boomed as she glided into the next room. “If you’ll kindly follow me, I’ll show you to the sitting room. You’ll have a chance to look over each of the girls before you make your decision. As I told each of you over the phone, the number on your tag will determine the order of selection.”

A moment later a stream of bodies and voices flowed into the room. I drew a breath and held it, trying to compose myself, but the fluttering inside me only grew worse. My vision blurred as the men and women pressed closer, talking loudly to one another.

“Oh my! They’re so little,” a woman cooed “They look like twelve-year-olds.”

“I can assure you, they’re sixteen,” Miss Gellner said. “They’re fully grown; all measuring in at exactly five feet.”

An older man grabbed a lock of my hair and rubbed it between his fingers. “Like corn silk,” he said to the woman next to him. “Did you say you were hoping for a blond or a red head? This one almost seems like a mix of the two.”

“And it does have beautiful eyes. Look, they’re practically turquoise,” she crooned. “But, I was hoping for a real red head. There’s an auburn one over there we should look at.”

I didn’t dare turn my head to watch them walk across the room to look at Ten.

A middle-aged couple finished looking at Seven and circled around me. I blinked a few times, finally bringing my eyes back into focus as the man’s dark eyes skated over me. He was obviously quite a bit older than me, but his jaw was much stronger than the other men I’d seen so far and his eyes were bright. A sprinkling of gray hairs dusted the dark hair at his temples. The woman beside him had probably been a beauty when she was younger, but now she was a different sort of beautiful: regal and refined. She was tall, even taller than Miss Gellner, with high cheekbones, a strong jaw, and long arched brows perched overtop piercing blue eyes. Even though she had lines around her eyes and mouth, her hair was almost as dark as Seven’s, without a hint of gray. Everything about her intimidated me.

“Now this has some promise,” the man said, looking into my eyes. “Do you like this one?”

“Oh, John, do we really need to do this?” The woman sighed, her eyes drifting around the room.

“Do what, Darling?”

“You can cut it with the ‘Darling’, too. It’s not like anyone’s listening. They’re busy choosing their own pets,” she said, gesturing towards the rest of the people in the room with an elegant sweep of her arm. “And you can stop pretending I have any say in your precious little project. You know I couldn’t care less about getting her.”

Her husband stepped forward, so close their bodies almost touched. “You know how it looks for us not to have one, don’t you? After all the time I spent getting this bill to pass. People are saying things. You don’t want them to think—”

She took a step away from him, eyeing an old man who had turned his attention to their conversation. “Whatever you say, Dear,” she interrupted. “I’m merely along for the ride.”

“You can’t argue that Ruby needs this,” the man said. “We agreed.”

Her face softened. “I know.”

He took a deep breath, and when he turned back to me, it was as if he’d flipped a switch, changing his face back to the same well-groomed look of prominence and stature I’d seen on it to begin with.

“Stand up and give us a little whirl, Love,” he said to me.

I hadn’t anticipated the weakness in my legs, but I stood and turned slowly, the way I learned in my Poise lessons. I kept my chin up, neck elongated, my arms held out ever so slightly from my sides as if my hands were brushing the skirt of a tutu.

The man smiled once I faced him again. “And what are your talents? The Kennel Trainer said that you each specialized in two.”

“My talents are piano, dance, and singing. Although my vocal range is not as diverse as some.”

His forehead creased, his eyes narrowing, and my stomach flipped. If Miss Gellner had been standing next to me, she would have lashed me with her stick. We’d practiced our lines over and over and still I said it wrong. There hadn’t been any need for me to point out my faults so blatantly. I should have only mentioned the piano and dance and not said anything about the singing. I was trying too hard to impress.

“Three talents?” he asked. “Marvelous. I suppose We’d be getting a little bit more bang for the buck if we go with you then, isn’t that right?”

The man’s phrasing confused me and I lowered my eyes to the ground and smiled softly the way we’d been taught to do if we ever didn’t know how to answer a question.

“So which is your favorite?”

“Favorite?” I asked.

“Which one do you like the most?”

“I’m quite good at all three as long as the song I’m singing is written for a mezzo soprano.”

“But certainly you have a favorite?”

My mind raced, trying to think over all the scenarios we’d spoken about like this one in our Conversation class, but I drew a blank. Those classes were meant to help us understand our new owner better, not to help them understand us. I couldn’t come right out and tell him that I had a favorite. Miss Gellner would be outraged. Maybe I could try to change the subject? But then he might realize I was doing it to avoid his question, and he would know that I really did have a favorite.

It was too complicated an interaction.

The woman smiled slyly. “Maybe she doesn’t understand your question John. Sure, she’s pretty, but they weren’t bred for brains.”

“I thought you said you wanted to stay out of this.”

She raised her hands and took a step back without saying another word.

The man tried again. “What I mean to say is: which one of your talents do you prefer? Is there one that makes you particularly happy?”

I swallowed, hoping to push down the rock that had lodged itself in my throat. “Well sir, if there’s one that you prefer, I’m sure I’d be delighted to perform for you.”

The man sighed and shook his head. “Never mind. Why don’t you sit back down?”

I smiled once more and sank back onto the divan, trying to hold my head high even though my eyes burned.

For the next hour, the groups of men and women circled around the room. They were all so much bigger than I’d imagined they’d be, not only in their physical stature, but their presence, as if the room couldn’t contain them. They gobbled up the air.

Finally Miss Gellner moved us into the concert room. We’d each been assigned one talent to demonstrate to give the clients a better taste of what they’d be buying. Four and Five would each be performing an adagio en pointe, a few girls were playing the flute and the cello, but the majority of us would be playing the piano or singing.

Maybe it should have bothered me that I wouldn’t stand out, but all I could think about as we sat down in the velvet seats arranged along the edges of the room was Debussy’s First Arabesque in E major, the song Miss Gellner had chosen for me to play. It wasn’t an elaborate song. I could play solos that were so much more difficult like the piece by Prokofiev that I learned last year, but I was glad she hadn’t chosen that one. Sure, I wouldn’t be able to show off my finger work playing the First Arabesque, but that didn’t matter. I could already feel the notes of the song moving up through my fingers and arms, a soft vibration that settled somewhere at the base of my neck like the warm hand of a friend.

We moved in order: One, Two, Three, Four, on and on until finally it was my turn. As I climbed the stairs to the small stage at the front of the room and sat on the tufted cushion of the piano bench, it was as if a white curtain had been drawn down between the crowd and me. I took a deep breath, savoring the moment before I placed my hands on the keys and started to play.

My fingers floated over the ivories for only a short four minutes, but my heart and mind quieted. I didn’t know if the other girls felt this way when they were playing, as if they were all alone and the rest of the world melted away leaving the air awash in soft color. I’d always been too embarrassed to ask. What if it meant that I had something wrong with me?

Those four minutes didn’t last long enough and before I knew it my fingers had stopped, hovering over the keys as the last notes died away. A polite spattering of applause brought me back to the room full of strangers. As I stood, I glanced out into the audience, allowing myself to imagine which of these people might be my future owner. Toward the back of the room I spotted the man with the salt and pepper hair and his wife. Neither of them was clapping, but for just a second he held my gaze and nodded ever so slightly.

That small gesture made my face burn with shame. He knew that I lied to him before when he’d asked me which one of my talents was my favorite. Of course it was piano, but I could never say it out loud. I was supposed to bring pleasure to my new masters, not to find pleasure for myself.

A cold sweat broke out across my back and I shivered, sitting back down on my chair to watch the remainder of the performances. If he could read me so easily, maybe everyone else could, too.

About the Author
Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical.

Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids.

Where to find Kate Jarvik Birch
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal – No Ordinary Bloke by Mary Whitney

About the Book
Title: No Ordinary Bloke
Author: Mary Whitney
Genre: Contemporary Romance (18+)
Release Date: August, 2014
Cover Design: Jada D’Lee Designs
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
I’m not a philosophical kind of bloke, but I know something about luck. A childhood on the wrong side of advantage will teach you that.

It’s all a matter of chance. It’s both your circumstances and the chances you take. So I’ve always been a gambler and a ladies’ man — they love me and I love them.

Now I’ve found one like no other — an American, Allison Wright. When I met her, the fates were on my side, but too soon I learned the odds were against me.

Mary WhitneyAbout the Author

Mary Whitney blames Laura Ingalls Wilder and Margaret Mitchell for her obsession with romance novels. At an early age, Mary fell in love with the Little House series and its dreamy hero, Almanzo Wilder, who only wanted Laura to be Laura. Like many women, Mary later graduated to the ultimate, tall and dark bad boy, Rhett Butler, who loved Scarlett despite her flaws.

Mary has lived around the U.S., and after a first career in the non-profit world and politics, she’s settled in Northern California with her husband and daughters. She spends her days writing characters she hopes somehow capture the romance of Rhett and Scarlett and Almanzo and Laura. She’s a firm believer in what Rhett says to Scarlett: “You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.

Where to Find Mary Whitney
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

YA Book Review – Lost in Starlight (Starlight Saga #1) by Sherry Soule

Synopsis
Star reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.

Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.

They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova. 

Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, über snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life.

My Review
I thoroughly enjoyed Lost in Starlight by Sherry Soule. Her youthful voice, fun and quirky characters, and intriguing plot hooked me from the first chapter. There were a lot of similarities to Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Obsidian — the main character runs a review blog, but in this case horror films and not books, there’s a hot alien with unusual eye color, an equally hot alien ex-girlfriend, a secret alien society, and oppressive government involvement. But there were also enough differences that I found myself lost in the story and stopped trying to compare the two.

Plot
The plot moves along, the dialogue is witty, and I’m ready to read the rest of the series whenever it’s available. To me, that’s solid storytelling. There were a few things that kept it from being a full five-star review. For one, I felt like there were a few gratuitous kissing scenes. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE kissing scenes, they are among my favorite types of scenes. But they tend to lose their effect when there are so many of them, and nothing really develops. I’m not saying that things needed to escalate, but if there is no escalation, we don’t need the play-by-play for every kiss. If it’s just more of the same, it’s okay to gloss over it to keep the plot moving forward.

Another issue I had was that Sloane seemed to overthink things to the point that I didn’t feel like she was developing as much as I’d hoped. She seemed stuck, and given her situation, that’s understandable, but the reader doesn’t need to revisit the same points with her over and over again.

Characters
Sloane is fantastic. She’s strong, smart-mouthed, funny, and confident. I love that she’s not super skinny and that she’s mostly content with her size 12/14 body. That really sets her apart from so many other young adult protagonists. I love her crazy purple hair. In fact, my daughter just had her hair colored and chose purple, so when I read about Sloane, she was already somewhat endeared to me just because of that. And I can personally relate to having big boobs in high school and the utter obsession boys have at that age of talking to your chest.

I adore her two best friends. Both of them are interesting, non-stereotypical, loyal, and exactly the kind of girls I’d want to have for my besties. Hayden is pretty cool, too, although I’m still trying to piece him together. In some ways, he’s a selfish teenage boy who just happened to fall in love with the wrong girl, but manages to do the right thing at times. In other ways, he seems far older than 18 and he talks way more than any teenage boy I’ve ever met. But all things considered, he’s not your average teenage boy, which makes him interesting and unpredictable.

About the only characters I found lacking to the point of distraction were Tama and Darion. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say I had a hard time believing their actions. It’s possible we’ll get a little more insight into them in the next book in the series, but for this story, I had to suspend a lot of disbelief to get through their scenes.

Bottom Line
Lost in Starlight is a fast-paced, fun read that left me wanting to read more.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Lost in Starlight (Starlight Saga #1)
Author: Sherry Soule
Publisher: Moonlight Publishing
Pages: 293
Category: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
LinksGoodreads | Amazon | Kobo

About the Author
Sherry Soule lives with her family and one very spoiled black cat in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the bestselling author of the adult novel, “Immortal Eclipse” and the popular YA series: Spellbound. Sherry writes thrilling tales of romance and suspense, often mingled with a dash of the mystical and a splash of trendy fashion. Her love of literature began when she was a young girl and it has continued throughout her life.

Her published novels do not include any graphic sex scenes or explicit violence, nor excessive profanity, so that all of her novels can be read and enjoyed by both teens and adults.

Sherry’s debut novel, “Beautifully Broken” was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance in the 2011 Wizard and Witch/Sorcery category by The Romance Reviews (TRR). Her adult novel, “Immortal Eclipse” is a *TOP PICK* by Night Owl Reviews.

Where to Find Sherry Soule
Goodreads | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Cover Reveals – Before You and After Us (Before & After #1 and #2) by Amber Hart

Here are the beautiful covers for Amber Hart’s upcoming Before You and After Us. 

About Book 1
Title: Before You
Author: Amber Heart
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Synopsis
Some say love is deadly. Some say love is beautiful. I say it is both.

Faith Watters spent her junior year traveling the world, studying in exquisite places, before returning to Oviedo High School. From the outside her life is picture-perfect. Captain of the dance team. Popular. Happy. Too bad it’s all a lie.

It will haunt me. It will claim me. It will shatter me. And I don’t care.

Eighteen-year-old Diego Alvarez hates his new life in the States, but staying in Cuba is not an option. Covered in tattoos and scars, Diego doesn’t stand a chance of fitting in. Nor does he want to. His only concern is staying hidden from his past—a past, which if it were to surface, would cost him everything. Including his life.

At Oviedo High School, it seems that Faith Watters and Diego Alvarez do not belong together. But fate is as tricky as it is lovely. Freedom with no restraint is what they long for. What they get is something different entirely.

Love—it will ruin you and save you, both.    


About Book 2
Title: After Us (Before & After #2)
Author: Amber Heart
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Release Date: December 30, 2014
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

After Us by Amber HartSynopsis
Sometimes secrets kill. Maybe slowly, maybe painfully. Maybe all at once.

Melissa smiles. She flirts. She jokes. But she never shows her scars. Eight months after tragedy ripped her from her closest friend, Melissa is broken. Plagued by grief, rage, and the painful memory of a single forbidden kiss.

Javier has scars of his own. Life in the States was supposed to be a new beginning, but a boy obsessed by vengeance has no time for the American dream. To honor his familia, Javier joins the gang who set up his cousin, Diego. The entrance price is blood. Death is the only escape.

Two broken souls could make each other whole again—or be shattered forever.

Our time will come. And we’ll be ready.

About the Author
Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She’s the author of BEFORE YOU, AFTER US, UNTIL YOU FIND ME, and sequel to UNTIL YOU FIND ME (untitled as of yet). Represented by Beth Miller of Writers House.

Where to Find Amber Hart
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Since When is Soccer UnAmerican?

soccer-ball-paintingI interrupt my regularly-scheduled posts of all-things-book-related to discuss something that confuses me. Soccer and the World Cup. Books and reading are topics I love. I could go on for days about them and usually do. Soccer, not so much. But I didn’t suddenly come to be ambivalent toward soccer. I’ve never been interested in it, because, well, it’s boring. There I said it. Watching sailboat racing might actually be more interesting. And if you grew up watching sailboat racing like I did, you know how deep you have to go into the barrel of fun to find something less interesting than that.

But this week I’ve seen posts on Facebook and Twitter and OpEd pieces around the internet about how soccer is ruining America. Seriously? All because it’s not an American sport. Big deal. I don’t remember anyone talking about how unAmerican hockey was during the 1984 Winter Olympics.

I say, hate on Soccer because it’s boring, but not because it’s too European. I’m not watching the World Cup, but I can’t help getting sucked into the excitement because it’s a “thing.” And I like “things.” They’re fun. I don’t read comic books, but I go to Comic-Con every year to just hang outside the convention center and bask in the “thing” that’s going on in my town. Because it’s fun and I like being part of a big “thing.” And this sweet-sixteen version of the World Cup taking place right now? That’s apparently a very big “thing.”

Let’s face it, it’s just a reason for Americans to get together with their friends and drink beer. It doesn’t get any more American than that. Millions of Americans who hate football gather together the second Sunday in February to drink beer and watch commercials. We celebrate Mexico’s independence day so we can get together with friends and drink beer and eat guacamole. And even those of us who aren’t Catholic or Irish set aside March 17 to get together with our friends and drink green beer.

So I say gather with your friends on Tuesday and drink beer while pretending to watch World Cup. It doesn’t get any more American than that.

Blog Tour + Excerpt – Excel (Celestra Series #6) by Addison Moore

Celestra is a series of young adult novels about the life of 16-year old Skyla Messenger. Skyla’s life suddenly changes when she moves to a small island town. When she falls for two irresistible boys who also happen to be cousins, things get really interesting. My stop on the tour is Book #6 in the series, Expel.

About Book 6
Title: Expel
Author: Addison Moore

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 21, 2012

A death.

A war.

An old enemy.

A new enemy.

A well-placed boyfriend.

An ending you won’t believe.

Seventeen year-old Skyla Messenger discovers love is stronger than death and deception. In an effort to rectify those horrible truths Skyla’s life changes forever.

Love and heartbreak become obstacles that overshadow the faction war and in the end may cost her everything.

Excerpt
Preface:

Suffering is the nature of this world. It is the golden standard by which all things are measured. It is not happiness that sets the bar, but agony. Even happiness cannot be fully recognized without the right measure of misery to contrast its borders. Suffering magnifies hunger—exhaustion—prods you to move when prosperity is just a dream out of reach. It is the mortal twin of eternal hope. How you respond to its touch molds you, shapes your future as it rains down oppression like fire over your shoulders.

Deception. It laid over my world like a bruise, covered it so completely I bought the lie that the shadow offered and found comfort nestled in its thorny arms. I walked the trail it dusted with breadcrumbs, walked into the slip noose it had skillfully wove and dove off the cliff without realizing—willingly, with vigor.

Heartbreak. There is no bigger void, no darker shade of soot—no ache more

unstoppable than that of a broken heart.

A heart in pieces can very much kill you—without love’s healing touch, you will

surely die.

They say time heals all wounds.

They lied.

You can see the whole Series here, and to follow the rest of the tour, visit the author’s website. And for a limited time, you can pick up books 1 and 2 in the series for just $0.99 at Amazon.

About the Author
Addison Moore is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine. Previously she worked for nearly a decade as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit. She resides with her husband, four wonderful children, and two dogs on the West Coast where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she’s not writing, she’s reading.

Where to Find Addison Moore
Goodreads | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Book Blitz + Excerpt – Grishma by Kelly Anne Blount

Ghrisma Banner

About the Book
Title: Grishma
Author: Kelly Anne Blount

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: March 10, 2013

Grishma by Kelly Anne BlountIn the world of Necoh, everyone fears Grishma, a hideous murderous beast responsible for ruining or ending the lives of anyone who dare cross her.

As a young boy, Ryder lived with his family, deep in the caves underneath the Kadin Forest, unaware of the horrors of the world. His simple world was turned upside down one horrible night when Grishma attacked his family, killing his father and kidnapping his mother and younger sister.

From that night on, Ryder devoted his life to killing Grishma. He tracked the monster from Necoh, to our world, and back again. Unfortunately, during his quest, he accidentally transported Brooklyn, a high school junior into his tumultuous world, where she is mistakenly identified as Princess Sophie, the missing princess of Sumner.

Days after Princess Sophie’s return, Grishma plots and manipulates the King into drugging and marrying off his only daughter to Prince Algid of Dratun. Desperate to save Brooklyn, who now believes she is the long lost princess, his mother, and his little sister, Ryder embarks on the deadliest part of his quest.

Will he save Brooklyn? Will she ever regain her memory? What will become of his mother and sister?

Through epic adventure, loss, and love, GRISHMA depicts the strength of the human spirit and the tight bonds formed by the unique creatures of Necoh.

Excerpt
It took both Pinga and Lenora to lift the gown above Brooklyn’s head. As they carefully lowered the hand-sewn masterpiece over her body, Brooklyn could see from the expression on their faces just how pleased they were with their handiwork. Pinga pulled gently and quickly laced up the back.

“Oh, Princess, you look stunning!” exclaimed Pinga.

Nodding her head in agreement, Lenora said, “You look absolutely exquisite! Here, come look at yourself in the mirror.”

Brooklyn had to do a double take to make sure that she was really looking at herself in the reflection. The dress was unlike anything she had ever tried on before. It was as light as a feather and shimmered with every move she made. Not to mention it made her waist look impossibly small and it showed just the right amount of cleavage.

For a moment, she was truly speechless. I look amazing!

Pinga beamed. “Princess Sophie, you will be the most beautiful bri— I mean, the most beautiful princess in all of Necoh!”

“Damn you, Pinga!” hissed Adeline.

Whoa! Where the heck did she come from?

“Wait a minute, you said I’m going to be the most beautiful bri— did you mean bride?” asked Brooklyn. She looked around at everyone. No one would even make eye contact. “I thought this was supposed to be a royal ball to celebrate my return? What’s going on here?”

Adeline grabbed Pinga by the arm and threw her out of the room.

“Lenora, help me get her out of the dress,” spat Adeline.

Brooklyn sent Lenora a pleading look. “I’m so sorry, Princess. Please let me help you out of that dress.”

Brooklyn stood with her arms crossed firmly across her chest. “I’m not doing anything until someone tells me what’s going on.”

Kelly Anne BlountAbout the Author
Kelly Anne Blount was born in Madison, WI. After attending university, she moved to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands to teach elementary school. While living there, she met the love of her life and was married in a beautiful ceremony on the Caribbean Sea.

After returning stateside, Kelly started to pursue another passion, writing. Since writing her debut bestselling young adult fantasy novel, Grishma, she has written the sequel, Ayla, and is currently working on the third book in The Necoh Saga.

Kelly has also written the first book, Impassioned, in her upcoming contemporary romance, Hard Love Series.

When she isn’t writing or serving as an intensive intervention teacher working with children with special needs, Kelly can be found spending time with the love of her life, their furry rescues, and enjoying the beautiful sites of Asheville, North Carolina.

Where to Find Kelly Anne Blount
GoodreadsWebsite | Facebook | Twitter

Cover Reveal + Teaser – Unleashed (Uninvited #2) by Sophie Jordan

Here is the beautiful cover for Unleased the second book in the Uninvited series. 

About the Book
Title: Unleashed (Uninvited #2)
Author: Sophie Joran
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi
Release Date: February, 2015

Synopsis
What if the worst thing you ever did was unforgivable?

Davy’s world fell apart after she tested positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. She was expelled from her school, dumped by her boyfriend, abandoned by friends, and shipped off to a camp that turns HTS carriers into soldiers. Davy may have escaped, but the damage has already been done. The unthinkable has happened. Now, even worse than having everyone else see her as a monster is the knowledge that they may have been right about her all along. Because Davy has killed.

On the run from government agents, Davy is rescued by Caden, the charismatic leader of an underground group of rebels. Despite Caden’s assurances that the Resistance is made up of carriers like her, Davy isn’t sure she can trust them. Then again, she doesn’t even know if she can trust herself . . . or her growing feelings for Caden. But if she doesn’t belong with Caden and his followers, is there anywhere she can call home?

Mini Teaser
I thought being labeled a killer and losing everything—my future, family, boyfriend, friends—was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. It’s not. Finding out they were right. Finding out that’s exactly what I am?

That’s worse.

About Book 1
Title: Uninvited
Author: Sophie Jordan
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she’s destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn’t feel any different, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

About the Author
Sophie Jordan took her adolescent daydreaming one step further and penned her first historical romance in the back of her high school Spanish class. This passion led her to pursue a degree in English and History.

A brief stint in law school taught her that case law was not nearly as interesting as literature – teaching English seemed the natural recourse. After several years teaching high school students to love Antigone, Sophie resigned with the birth of her first child and decided it was time to pursue the long-held dream of writing.

In less than three years, her first book, Once Upon A Wedding Night, a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Nominee for Best First Historical, hit book shelves. Her second novel, Too Wicked To Tame, released in March 2007 with a bang, landing on the USA Today Bestseller’s List.

Where to Find Sophie Jordan
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Book Blitz + Excerpt + Giveaway – Honey Queen by Christina Mercer

About The Book
Title: Honey Queen
Author: Christina Mercer
Release Date: May 31, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
Love is honey sweet, but it comes with a fatal sting . . .

Melaina Maris needs wings to fly the gap between loving Sam and her family’s ancient curse that forces carnal love and then kills the male lovers. She won’t let the same fate that killed her father befall another. She refuses to allow her goddess-created bloodline to continue. But there’s no easy way out, especially after the curse turns her into the Honey Queen—savior to honey bees—intensifying her charms.

To help her fulfill the curse’s demands in the least harmful way, her grandmother takes her to mate with terminally ill Boyd. But Boyd’s gay. And an expert in mythology. Instead of having sex, Melaina learns how she might summon the goddess who created the first ancestor bee-charmer and cursed her bloodline. Melaina’s magic—tears to save honey bees from endangerment—could be enough to persuade the goddess to end the curse. But an unexpected discovery soon changes that hope, spinning Melaina into a swarm of love, friendship and death.

Excerpt
The kiss of a sting sends heat up my arm. I don’t flick away the stinger. Instead, I watch the barb pulse like a heartbeat as it unloads its venom. Pleasure and guilt war within me. I’ve never before felt the sensation of a sting, as if a swarm buzzed through my veins. Nor have I ever murdered one of my own. But life with our honey bees changed last summer. Now our connection to them is even more twisted, morphed into a love-hate battle I wish would end.

“I know,” I say with partial regret, as squadrons of bees swoop in to investigate their sister’s death. The banana-like scent of alarm pheromones fills my nose. I pull on my glove, deciding not to kill any others or further tempt fate. Even one sting raises my risk of becoming like Mom, crazy with need, using alcohol to replace her addiction to bee venom. But I had to understand what seduced my mother. I had to taste the pleasure that deceives, so that I know firsthand what I’m fighting against.

I wait until the buzzing heat of the sting fades, ignore the temptation to expose my flesh again, and continue to work the hives. Three colonies down, three more to go—just enough to pollinate our fruit orchard and release the pheromones Gran, Mom, and I need to stay alive.

A part of me misses the rows of hives that used to make up our apiary, how spring’s arrival was like a big party with a million honey bees as our guests. A bigger part of me misses my mother who, before last summer, danced in the orchard every morning and sang to me every night. Now it’s my turn to come out here in the morning and greet bees that would kill her in a wing’s flutter but that we both depend on for life.

About the Author
Christina Mercer is an award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults. She took Writer’s Best in Show at the 2012 SCBWI CA North/Central Regional Conference, was a Semi-Finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakout Novel Award Contest, and won Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self Published Book Awards.

She holds a degree in Accounting from California State University at Sacramento and a Certificate in Herbal Studies from Clayton College of Natural Health. Christina resides in Northern California enjoying life with her husband, two sons, four dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees.

Where to Find Christina Mercer
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway
1 ebook of Honey Queen (INT)
1 “Honey Bee” swag pack (USA). Swag will be bookmark, buzz card, beeswax lip balm, honey sticks, honeybee charm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Free on iTunes – Beauty from Pain (Beauty Series #1) by Georgia Cates

Title: Beauty From Pain (Beauty Series #1)
Author: Georgia Cates
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | iTunes

Synopsis
They agreed on three months…but their love knew no boundaries.

Jack McLachlan is a winemaking magnate and easily one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors. His success and wealth makes him no stranger to the complications of romantic relationships and that’s why he goes to extreme measures to avoid the hassle. He prefers simplicity in the form of a beautiful female companion with no strings attached. He arranges relationships like business deals and they’re always the same. No long term relationships. No real names.

It’s his game and his rules. He’s content to play as usual, but when Laurelyn Prescott enters his life, his strategy must change because this player is like none he’s ever encountered. His world is turned on its head after he begins a three month affair with the beautiful American musician. Nothing goes according to plan and as he breaks more and more of his own rules for her, she’s exceptionally close to becoming something he never thought possible. His ultimate game changer.

Beauty From Pain is an adult contemporary novel and is not intended for younger readers due to mature content.

About the Author
Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before deciding to pursue her dream of becoming an author. Despite the struggle, she has no regrets in her decision to try this crazy life. It’s been an absolute blast.

Where to find Georgia Cates
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Why I Read and Write Young Adult Fiction

Why I REad and Write Young Adult Fiction

There has been an onslaught of posts lately responding to this article by Ruth Graham at Slate on why adults should be embarrassed to read books written for children. The article focuses exclusively on books written for young adults, those in the 12-18 age range. Glaringly missing is any mention of books written for younger ages. Harry Potter anyone? Something tells me Ms. Graham has probably read all seven books and seen all eight movies.

So I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t be embarrassed to read any damn thing you want. Reading transports us to another place and time, full of vivid imagery, allowing our brains to take a magical vacation. Does it really matter if that trip is to 18th century England or to a small town in Oregon with a hidden enclave of vampires?

Sure, Twilight is not the best written series, nor does it have a stellar female protagonist to serve as a role model. But it might be responsible for launching the writing careers of countless authors who discovered you don’t need to be the best writer to tell an engaging story. And how many teen girls turned off the television to curl up on the couch and spend hours engrossed in a story where their imaginations conjured up the images instead of the pixels on a screen.

No one should feel belittled for what they choose to read. It only matters that they read. These are the words that have been drummed into the heads of all three of my children since kindergarten. It was a struggle to get them to read for many years. And with the boys, it can still be challenging to get them to disengage from Minecraft and pick up a book. But we stopped caring what they read last year when their fourth grade teachers explained graphic novels were in fact real books and counted toward their reading requirement.

I read the books my kids read so we can discuss them. As an adult, I’ve read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, all seven Harry Potter books, the Charlie Bone books by Jenny Nimmo, and yes, countless young adult novels, including almost every one listed in Ruth Graham’s piece. And it doesn’t embarrass me in the least. I’ve also read all of Jane Austen’s novels, War and Peace, Lolita, A Confederacy of Dunces, and dozens more on Amazon’s list of the Top 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. I enjoy reading. Everything.

But when I chose to write my first novel, I spent a lot of time selecting the setting and my character’s ages. And I chose young adults. Yes, on purpose. Young adults are fantastic and every adult has one thing in common: we all used to be young adults. In fact, there are times I’m sure I’m perpetually 14 years old. And secretly a boy. Because I find bodily functions hilarious and I think Adam Sandler is a comedic genius. My 11 year old sons love that I’m the first to make inappropriate fart jokes. My 14-year old daughter is horrified by this same trait.

What I love about young adults is that everything is just so…SO. Huge. Every thought and feeling is amplified a thousand times and everything that happens to them is either the best or worst thing in their entire lives because their lives aren’t all that long yet. So yeah, your first kiss IS the most romantic thing, or the most awful thing, because it’s the first. The first love, first time driving, first beer, everything is just so…SO. Intense. And that’s fun to write about. It gives characters license to think and behave in ways that would be incredibly inappropriate for adults. It offers far more opportunities for growth, predicaments, and scenarios that would never fly with older characters.

And yes, there is the adult in me who realizes my inner teenager’s first thought would be inappropriate to verbalize, but that doesn’t mean my characters can’t.

Review + Giveaway – Mad Love by Colet Abedi

Synopsis
23-year-old aspiring artist Sophie Walker can think of no better place than the exotic paradise of the Maldives Islands to escape the wrath of her controlling parents, the monotony of her boring legal work and her passionless boyfriend. With her two best friends along for the ride and to help her find herself again, Sophie is not prepared for the enigmatic Clayton Sinclair.

Clayton comes from another world of privilege that seems like a fantasy to Sophie.  Can this man introduce her to the passion & seduction she never realized she was desperately searching for? Sophie quickly becomes ensnared in Clayton’s seductive web until a shocking treachery makes her question her judgment and actions

My Review
I don’t quite know where to start –I have so many thoughts running around in my head after finishing this book. Conflicting thoughts. The story starts off like a typical contemporary romance. Sophie is beautiful but doesn’t see it as her gay best friend tries to convince her how gorgeous she is. After heading off on a tropical vacation so she can “find herself,” she immediately meets uber-hot rich guy, and they can’t keep their eyes off each other. Sound familiar?

But just past about the one-third mark, it takes an interesting twist, one I wasn’t sure I liked at first. Clayton is controlling, possessive, bordering on abusive. Sophie knows this isn’t normal, but she’s powerless to resist him. So many times I wanted Sophie to get a backbone and tell this guy where to go. But then it wouldn’t be a romance novel if that happened. The funny thing is, just as I reached the point where Clayton needed to take a long walk off a short pier, he’d do something so endearing, I’d begin to second guess my opinion of him. Like Sophie, I bounced back and forth between liking and loathing Clayton Astor Sinclair.

And that, I realize, is the brilliance of Colet Abedi’s novel. She drags the reader into the push and pull of Sophie and Clayton’s relationship. Makes us hate and then want him right along with Sophie. The author conducts a symphony of emotions like a master puppeteer pulling our strings. I greatly dislike needy female protagonists and rich, controlling, albeit generous love interests, and yet Colet Abedi has done something no other author has been able to do — make me want to read more about that which I claim not to like. Well played, Abedi, well played.

Plot
The plot isn’t all that intricate. It’s a pretty straightforward romance with almost no subplotting, but the romance is a triple E-ticket ride, so I didn’t have the stomach for much more anyway. We’re pushed up big hills, and then sent rushing back down, careening around corners, never allowed to catch our breaths before we’re climbing the next hill. The ending was so unexpected, I found myself smiling. When an author can completely throw me like that, I have to give her props.

Characters
Sophie can be extremely annoying with her insecure pretty girl, “I’m not good enough for him,” attitude. But she has a backbone and she’s not afraid to let it show when she’s pushed far enough. She can be a downright snarky bitch when she wants to. Her two best friends, Erik and Orie are somewhat stereotypical, but I think it works well here. They are the yin to her yang. Her parents and ex-boyfriend are little more than shell characters, but that doesn’t hurt in this instance. And Clayton…well, let’s just say the jury is still out on him. I’m not sure what I think of him yet. The guy has some SERIOUS emotional issues and seems to have more than a few skeletons in his closet, but he’s far from a stereotype. There is more to this guy than we’ve seen and I can’t wait to find out what that is.

Bottom Line
Initially, I thought the book was good, worthy of a three-star review. But as I continued reading, I began to see this story as more than that. It soon became very good and climbed up to four stars. But here I am days later, still thinking about it, about the characters and the plot, and wondering when the next book in the series comes out. To me, that’s the hallmark of a five-star story.

Title: Mad Love
Author: Colet ABedi
Publisher: Bird Street Books
Pages: 258
Category: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
LinksGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.

Colet AbediAbout the Author
Colet Abedi has been an entertainment industry executive for over ten years. In addition to working on many television programs for NBC, ABC, FOX, and most cable networks, she is best known for her work as head writer for the telenovela serials American Heiress and Fashion House, the latter of which starred Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild, on the FOX-owned MyNetworkTV. Abedi currently has one television series in syndication, Unsealed: Alien Files, and has completed Five Souls, her first feature film. She is also the co-author of young adult fiction novel, FAE. Book one was released July 2013 by Diversion Publishing Group and was an instant online bestseller. The Dark King, the second in the planned FAE trilogy, was released May 2014. FAE was recently optioned by Ridley Scott. Colet is a native of California, graduated with a B.A. in English literature from the University of California at Irvine, and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three dogs.

Where to Find Colet Abedi
Goodreads | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway
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Chapter Release – UnWritten by Chelsea M. Cameron

About the Book
Title: UnWritten
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 10, 2014
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Blair Walton isn’t your average tattooed children’s librarian. She’s also one half of bestselling romance author, Scarlet Rose. Along with her bff Raine, she spends her nights writing books so steamy, she’s afraid they would shock her Southern conservative grandmother to death, if she knew about them. Blair and Raine keep their smut peddling ways a secret from everyone, including family.

On deadline for their latest book and out of ideas, Raine suggests (demands) that Blair find a guy and “do some research.” It just so happens that Blair has a guy that’s ready and willing. Declan Bennet has all the qualifications: He’s British, looks fabulous in a suit and gets bonus points for being a single dad. But what started out as a research project quickly turns into something much more. Someone else is writing this love story and Blair has completely lost control. But will Declan still feel the same way when he finds out the truth about Blair and her secret motives?

Excerpt
Chapter One (Contains Adult Language)

“What’s another word for ‘pussy’?” Raine said, squinting at me over her laptop. I looked up from mine and thought for a moment.

“What’s the context?”

Her not-quite-blue-not-quite-grey eyes went back to her screen.

“He’s licking it.”

“Her pussy?”

“Yeah, but I’ve already used that word, like, a million times.” I sighed and saved the chapter I was currently working on.

“Send it to me.”

Her fingers clacked on her keyboard and then my email dinged. I ignored the massive amounts of unread mail in my inbox, including several fan letters (which I felt horrible about ignoring) and opened the document.

My eyes did a quick scan as Raine stared at her computer, a frown on her face. I deleted a few of her uses of the word and tweaked the phrasing.

“Okay, sending back.”

It seemed odd, seeing as how our laptops were practically touching on our shared desk. I reached for my coffee cup, tried to take a sip and found it empty.

“Damn. I’m out. Want a refill?” Raine handed me her cup without taking her eyes off the screen. It was nearly one in the morning, but we had a deadline next week, and we hadn’t missed one yet and had no intention to start.

I tried to remember the last time I’d made a pot of coffee, and couldn’t, so I tossed whatever was in the coffeepot and starting making a fresh pot.

“You know, we really should get one of those Keurigs. You know it would be a tax write-off. And it’s not like we can’t afford it.”

Raine just made a non-committal sound.

I was always the one who had to make the first move. When the two of us had met as TAs in the English department at college, I’d been the one who’d had the crazy idea of writing a romance together under a pen name and trying to get it published.

The two of us had spent the hours we were supposed to be doing keg stands and getting STDs typing away. It took us two years to write our first book, and most of it was spent trying to figure out how to combine our brains into one story. And then, by some miracle, we’d actually gotten an agent to take us seriously, and then a publisher and here we were, three years after getting our first book deal, with five books under our collective belt, three of them bestsellers under the name Scarlet Rose (Scarlet for my middle name, Rose for Raine’s mother).

“Ugh, I can’t look at this anymore, or I’m going to set it on fire,” Raine said, rubbing her eyes and getting to her feet and stretching her back.

“I know the feeling,” I said, hoping that by staring at the coffeemaker, it would somehow brew faster.

“We are never going to make this deadline.”

I turned and gave her a look.

“You always say that and we always meet them. Look, let’s take a half hour break to recharge and then we can marathon until four. Okay?” That would only give me a few hours of sleep, but I’d functioned on much less.

That was the price you paid for being a secret writer.

Raine came over and put her chin on my shoulder.

“Why did we sign this contract again?” I sighed for what felt like the millionth time that day.

“Because the money was good and we can’t say no to Marilyn.”

“I’m still terrified of her.”

“You wouldn’t be human if you weren’t,” I said as the coffee finally started to pour into the pot. Marilyn, our editor, was one of the scariest women I’d ever met. Initially, she seemed sweet and nice. But she was deadly with a red pen and she had an uncanny ability to read people. Her hair was always curled, her shoes were always spiked heels and her lipstick was always cherry red. She was beautiful in the way that a sharpened blade was beautiful.

I poured coffee into both our cups, adding lots of sugar to mine, and lots of powdered creamer to Raine’s.

“I’m calling out tomorrow. There’s just no way I can put up with morons after all this.”

“I wish I could. Sabrina’s on vacation, so I’m shit out of luck.” I worked in the Children’s department of our small local library and Raine was a bank teller. Totally glamorous jobs they were not.

Raine kissed one of the tattoos on my shoulder and picked up her coffee cup. My arms were both covered in ink and I had several others on my chest, back, legs and feet. My mother was convinced I got them to spite her, but really none of them had anything to do with her.

“Blaiiirrrrrr,” she whined, shuffling back to the desk. “I don’t wanna write any more.”

“Too bad, kiddo. We have a deadline.” They say you never really know the measure of a person until you live with them, but I think you never really know it until you try to write a book with them.

“Drink your coffee, babe. It will make you feel better.” She did as I asked, and sat on the couch. I turned on the television and went through our saved shows. We had the latest episode of New Girl on there, which would be perfect for a half hour of wasting time before we had to go back to work.

I snuggled next to Raine and before I knew it, my eyes were closing.

****

“Blair!” A voice pierced my eardrums and then something smacked my arm. My eyes flew open to realize that the living room was filling with the weak light of predawn.

“We both fell asleep,” Raine said, yawning and stretching. I’d fallen asleep tucked into her side.

“Shit, what time is it?”

“Nearly six.”

“Shit, shit, shit.” I stumbled to my feet and grabbed my coffee cup, intending to throw it in the microwave.

“Words. We have to make words,” I said, but Raine’s eyes had closed again.

“No words. Sleep.”

I had two options. I could go back to sleep for a little while, or I could force myself to stay awake.

Normally I would do the second, but I was so beyond tired that I knew if I didn’t get at least a little more sleep, I was going to pass out on the copier at the library. Again.

“Bed. Going to bed.” Raine didn’t answer.

I stumbled toward my bed and fell face first on it, and was out until my alarm rang again at seven thirty.

****

“And they lived happily ever after,” I said for what felt like the ten thousandth time in my life. I closed the book and looked out at the faces that stared at me with rapt attention. I had a good turnout for the toddler story hour, and everyone had been on their best behavior. I stifled a yawn behind the book and got up from my rocking chair.

“Thank you everyone for coming. We’ll see you next week.” Then we sang “The Goodbye Song” and each kid gave me a hug. More often than not, at least one little bugger would wipe their nose on my shoulder. I must have an immune system of steel because I rarely got sick.

As the tots were collected by their frazzled parents and taken off for naps or snacks, I went to re-shelve the books I’d used.

The children’s room at the Sullivan Library was decorated to look like the pages of Where The Wild Things Are, complete with the monsters and Max in his costume. There was even a little jungle nook with plastic vines hanging down. I loved it here and I couldn’t believe I’d managed to get this job right out of college.

I’d worried that my appearance would hinder my chances, and undo the good of getting my Master’s in Library Science and my summer internship with the Library of Congress.

But Madeline, the head librarian, had taken one look at my resumé, then me, smiled, and said I was hired. I’d been working here ever since.

They had no idea about what I did at night with Raine. I gave no explanation for the fact that I often appeared weary, and constantly covered up my dark circles with makeup.

The most ironic part was that the library carried my books. Mine and Raine’s. Sometimes the other librarians would ask me if I’d read them and I always said no.

I did various chores around the room, picking up some of the toys, re-shelving books that had been scattered around by little fingers, and checking them to make sure none had snot on them. Anti-bacterial wipes were my friend.

Focused on my tasks, I almost didn’t hear the tiny voice, humming in a corner. I peered between two of the shelves and found a little boy wearing an outfit nice enough for family pictures. His hair was so blond it was almost white, and gelled back from his face to show his bright blue eyes. A quick glance around showed that he was sans parent.

“Hey there,” I said, using my soft library voice. I’d honed it over the past few years of working with kids.

“Shhh,” he said, putting a finger to his lips. He looked about three or four, I’d guess. I got closer and I saw that he even had little dress shoes on. Poor kid.

“Okay, I can be quiet,” I said, sitting down next to him, folding my dress under me. “I’m Blair, what’s your name?”

“I, Drake,” he said in a whisper that wasn’t a whisper. This kid was adorable.

“Hi, Drake. It’s so nice to meet you. Are you here all by yourself?” We’d had more than one child go missing, hidden in between the stacks. I kept expecting his frazzled mother to come around the corner and sigh in relief before yelling at him not to run off.

“Yup. I big boy.”

“You are a big boy. You’ve even got your big boy clothes on. Did you pick those out yourself?” He was about to answer when I heard footsteps and a woman, looking frantic, emerged around the corner.

“Drake!” she said, nearly falling over in relief. I wondered if this woman was his mother, because where he was fair as could be, she had silky black hair, dark eyes and gorgeous tan skin. Drake didn’t look pleased to be found.

“Thank you for finding him,” the woman said as I stood up to let her collect him.

“No, I don’t wanna!” Drake said.

“But we’re going to meet your daddy. Don’t you want to see Daddy?” At the mention of seeing his father, Drake’s eyes lit up and he grinned.

“Daddy!”

“That’s right, we’re going to see him.” She leaned down and picked him up. She was tiny, but had the body of a woman who had probably run a marathon or two. She was also dressed just as well as Drake, with a black skirt, white ruffled top and gorgeous heels. I looked down at my cute-but-sensible red ballet flats and sighed. I never got to wear sexy shoes like that at work.

“Bye, Drake. Come and see me again and I’ll help you choose a book,” I said, waving at him as the woman carried him to the door.

“Bye-bye, Blair!” he called in his sweet little voice.

About the Author
Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, LIsten coming out in 2014.

Where to Find Chelsea M. Cameron
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Cover Reveals – Cover Spell and Time Spell (Ivy Grace Spell Series) by T.A. Foster

Ivy Grace Spell Series Banner

Here are T.A. Foster’s new covers for Time Spell and Cover Spell the first and second books in the Ivy Grace Spell series. These re-releases include extended scenes, bonus material, and new covers

About Book 1
Title: Time Spell
Author: T.A. Foster
Release Date: July 9, 2014
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Ivy Grace is learning that magic–and love–are all about the right timing. 

Follow the adventures of this spirited young Southern woman as she embarks upon a successful new career writing novels and movies that explore romantic mysteries of the past. 

Ivy, a witch who spends her days practicing her brand of good magic in a sleepy little city, often travels back in time to observe events of yesteryear and turn them into compelling stories for her modern-day fans. But as her uncanny ability to weave enthralling historic tales lands her in the limelight, she quickly finds that fame sometimes comes with a price. 

Evil forces now know who she is and threaten to reveal her family’s most sacred magical secrets.

With the help of her ruggedly handsome editor and a sexy supernatural ex-boyfriend, Ivy must unravel history while fighting to keep these ominous forces at bay. 

Will Ivy be able to make the ultimate sacrifice for the people she loves the most?

About Book 2
Title: Cover Spell
Author: T.A. Foster
Release Date: July 9, 2014
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Trying her best to mend a broken heart, Ivy Grace travels to hot and sultry New Orleans, the set of her latest novel turned movie. There, she does her best to focus on polishing up the screenplay when the film’s lead actress goes missing. Throw in a budding romance with the movie’s heartthrob and the reappearance of an old flame, and Ivy’s strength, resolve, and heart are put to the test as she works to solve the mysterious kidnapping.

The undercover witch, who craves a regular life, learns she will need more than her Time Spell to fight the evil plaguing New Orleans. New spells, new adventure, and new love take Ivy on a whirlwind journey of magic that unlocks more questions than answers.

Cover Spell Teaser

About the Author
T.A. Foster is a Southern girl whose heart and spirit are connected to the beach. She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children and two canine kiddos.

Her long love affair with books started at an early age, and as soon as she was able, she transformed imaginative stories into words on paper. Time Spell is T.A.’s debut novel, and the first in a series about a very adventurous, clever, and magical girl named Ivy.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing or planning her next beach trip.

Where to Find T.A. Foster
Goodreads | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Chapter Release – Wild Child by Molly O’Keefe

About the Book
Title: Wild Child (Boys of Bishop Series #1)
Author: Molly O’Keefe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
Perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, this sizzling romance tells the story of a sexy small-town mayor and a notorious “bad girl,” who discover that home really is where the heart is.

Monica Appleby is a woman with a reputation. Once she was America’s teenage “Wild Child,” with her own reality TV show. Now she’s a successful author coming home to Bishop, Arkansas, to pen the juicy follow-up to her tell-all autobiography. Problem is, the hottest man in town wants her gone. Mayor Jackson Davies is trying to convince a cookie giant to move its headquarters to his crumbling community, and Monica’s presence is just too . . . unwholesome for business. But the desire in his eyes sends a very different message: Stay, at least for a while.

Jackson needs this cookie deal to go through. His town is dying and this may be its last shot. Monica is a distraction proving too sweet, too inviting—and completely beyond his control. With every kiss he can taste her loneliness, her regrets, and her longing. Soon their uncontrollable attraction is causing all kinds of drama. But when two lost hearts take a surprise detour onto the bumpy road of unexpected love, it can only lead someplace wonderful.

“Molly O’Keefe is a unique, not-to-be-missed voice in romantic fiction.”—New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen

Excerpt
Chapter One – Six months ago

Jackson Davies knew better. He really did. There were friends you could do free hard labor for, and there were friends you couldn’t.

Sean Baxter was decidedly a friend you couldn’t. And yet Jackson managed to be shocked when Sean sat down to watch TV while Jackson was still sanding drywall.

“You’ve got to be joking!” Jackson threw down the sandpaper. He was covered in dirt and grime and sweat. He itched. Everywhere. Agreeing to help Sean renovate his family’s old dive bar, The Pour House, had seemed like a good idea four months ago—a little physical labor, some laughs with friends.

But so far Jackson and Brody, Sean’s brother, were doing all the work.

Why are you surprised? It’s grade school all over again.

“I just want to see this clip on America Today.”

Sean’s face mask was pushed up into his red hair, revealing a clean circle of skin around his lips. No doubt Jackson and Brody looked equally ridiculous. Jackson needed to shower before heading to City Hall. “Monica Appleby is going to be on. You know, that writer—”

“You know, I’ve actually got work to do. Real work.” Jackson took off his tool belt. Behind him, Brody kept scraping away at the mahogany bar he was refurbishing. Brody was in town for a week between jobs and he’d committed to slave carpenter labor for that time.

Jackson couldn’t help the man.

“I’m sure Bishop will do just fi ne without you on a Friday morning.”

“I’m mayor, Sean. I can’t just take the whole morning off.” And the truth was, working out here at The Pour House was easier than going into City Hall today and almost every other day.

Bishop, Arkansas, was dying. Slowly, from a financial wound Jackson didn’t know how to fix. And Jackson took a lot of pride in being able to fix anything.

At least sanding walls made him feel like he was doing something.

“I’m out,” Jackson said. “I’ve got a meeting with the city council, and . . .”

“Shhhhh, there she is!” Sean turned the volume up, and even Brody was forced to stop his relentless work and watch the screen.

Monica Appleby sat on the couch in the America Today green room. The reality-star-turned-author waseverywhere these days. And every time Jackson caught aglimpse of her on a magazine cover or TV show, hethought the same thing: that girl is trouble.

Her black-haired, purple-eyed beauty was diamond bright but lined in smoke and sin. Something about Monica managed to put a spotlight on every single wrong and dirty thing he’d abstained from in the last seven years. Expensive bourbon, cheap tequila, beautiful women whose names he didn’t want to know, steak dinners, the Las Vegas strip, unpaid parking tickets—all of it.

She was the human and stunningly gorgeous personification of everything he wanted and couldn’t have.

It hurt to look at her.

“Remember her?” Sean asked. “From when we were kids?”

A terrified six-year-old, clinging to her battered mother’s legs.

“Of course I remember her,” Jackson said. That girl’s brief nightmarish stay in Bishop was a low point, for him and for the town. It had turned them all into voyeurs, decent people with better things to do than lining up outside the police station for a glimpse of Monica and Simone Appleby and all their pain.

“I loved that show she was on with her mom,” Sean sighed.

Jackson did not want to get into the reality-television horror show that Monica and Simone Appleby had inflicted upon the world, years ago. Monica had been a nightmare teenager, and Simone’s inability to control her had made for hugely popular though short-lived television.

Simone had her own show now, by all accounts equally bad.

“I gotta go,” Jackson said.

“See you later?” Brody asked, his black hair held back with a bandana. He looked badass, as much as his brother looked like a leprechaun with drywall dust in his hair.

“I’ve got to pick up Gwen after school. She’s got an interview down at Ole Miss.”

“I can’t believe your sister is old enough to go to college,” Brody said.

She wasn’t. But she was smart enough. And he was just desperate enough to let her go.

“Can you guys cut the chatter?” Sean asked. “I’m trying to listen here.”

“We’ll talk with Monica Appleby right after we discuss one CEO’s effort to bring industry back to small-town America,” said Jessica Walsh, the America Today host.

“Oh, Jessica, I always knew you were a tease,” Sean said, and he grabbed the remote to turn down the volume.

“Don’t,” Jackson said. Industry and small-town America were kind of his current obsessions. “Leave it.”

Riveted, Jackson stepped closer to the TV, as a handsome man with sharp blue eyes and shaggy blond hair that made him look like a cross between a surfer and a movie star filled the screen. His teeth were like pearls. Little white Chiclets.

“Dean Jennings, CEO of Maybream Crackers, makers of Crispity Crackers and Maybream Crème cookies, is moving his factory from South America back to the United States,” Jessica said, managing to make crackers sound sexy.

“Those cookies are gross,” Sean said.

“I like them,” Brody answered.

“You would.”

Jackson grabbed the remote and cranked up the volume.

“But that’s not all,” Jessica said, working her long blond hair like a stripper dancing around a pole. “He wants to bring his factory back to small-town America. Can you tell us about that decision, Dean?”

“Maybream was started in a small factory outside of New York. Twenty years ago we moved it down to South America.” Dean’s earnest-salesman charm played well on the screen—Jessica could barely keep her eyes off the man. “But all across America right now there are factories lying empty and American workers are without jobs. And I just realized . . . I couldn’t stand by and watch American industry vanish, not when I could do something about it. Now, I’m a small company and I can’t change the economy, but I realized I could change one small town by bringing the Maybream Cracker headquarters and factory back to America.”

“This is all really exciting,” Jessica said. “But I think the most exciting, and frankly, PR savvy, part about it is that you are teaming up with us, America Today .” Jessica smiled into the camera. “And you, our viewers, get to choose the lucky town.”

“It is exciting and I don’t know about savvy, but I thought it would be fun.” Dean made it sound like saving a small town was a trip to the seashore.

“Tell us how it works.” Jessica leaned forward across the desk, hanging, it seemed, on Dean’s every word. Or perhaps just hypnotized by his teeth.

“The application to nominate a town is available online, and my staff and I will look through every entry,” Dean said. “We will pick six that best match what we need in a factory and community. Once we have our six semifinalists, America Today will travel with me to take a good, hard look at those towns.”

“That’s an interesting aspect of this contest,” Jessica said. “What are you looking for in a community?”

“Well,” Dean sighed. “Since we’ll be moving our headquarters and staff, we need a place where people would want to raise a family. Someplace wholesome but forward-thinking, with opportunities for kids and parents. With a factory.”

Oh, God, it was like the man was singing Jackson love songs!

“That guy wouldn’t know wholesome if it bit him in the ass,” Sean muttered.

Jackson shot a scowl over his shoulder.

“What?” Sean cried. “The guy’s a sleazeball—anyone can tell.”

Behind him, Brody was nodding.

Jackson dismissed them both, because his heart was about to burst.

We’re wholesome, we’re forward-thinking.

And best of all, Bishop had a factory: an okra-processing plant that had been closed for five years. It just sat there, empty, on the south side of town. A reminder of what this town used to be. A graveyard to nearly one hundred lost jobs.

Jackson had been trying for three years as mayor to bring in new business, new industry that would keep this town afloat—but he’d never dreamed of getting the factory open again.

“After I narrow down my choices from six to three and make sure the top three have factories that can be retrofitted for Maybream Crackers,” Dean said, “I’m going to let America vote which town wins. And together we will change that town’s future.”

“Deadline for applications is the end of the month,” Jessica pointed out. “So if you know a town that you think would be a good fi t for Maybream Crackers, check out our website.” A website address scrolled along the bottom of the screen.

“Give me a pencil,” Jackson said, holding out his hand toward his friends. “Now. Now before it’s gone.”

“Christ, man,” Sean said, slapping a small oblong carpenter’s pencil into his hand. “You can google that shit, you know.”

Jackson scrawled the information on the wall he’d just been sanding. It would be painted over, but that didn’t stop Sean from moaning as if Jackson were defacing the Taj Mahal.

“Dean,” Jessica continued, “thanks so much for coming in today and partnering with us on this great project. I hope more American companies take note and bring their factories back to U.S. soil.”

“Me too, Jessica. Thanks for having me.” One last movie-star smile and Dean Jennings was gone.

The show cut to commercial, and Jackson turned down the volume before facing his friends.

Their wary expressions bounced right off his ebullient mood.

“Did you hear that? It’s like he was talking about Bishop!” He punched the air in victory. It felt so good, so right, that he did it again. There hadn’t been a whole lot of reasons for fist-pumping these days. “This is it!” he cried. “This is exactly what Bishop needs.”

“A TV show?”

“Someone to reopen the factory. Bring back jobs. New jobs. For Bishop!” Jackson was light-headed with relief and excitement. “Oh my God, can you believe that? It’s perfect.”

“It’s a long shot,” said Brody.

“I believe in long shots,” Jackson said. “I am the king of long shots.” Not entirely true, but he was riding a wave here.

Sean, who made being a cynic his life’s work, frowned.

Now Jackson’s good mood was dented.

“Just because you don’t like the guy after a clip on television—”

“Guys who look like that can’t be trusted. It’s a fact. They get everything they want,” Sean said.

“Bishop is dying, Sean. Dying. We need this.”

“But a TV show?” Sean asked. “And letting America vote? That shit is always rigged.”

“You want people coming into The Pour House?” Jackson asked. “Not just the regulars, but new business? Young people? Hot girls?”

“Hot girls would be nice.”

“You want your kids—”

“I don’t have kids.”

“But you will someday, and you’re not going to want to bus them to school an hour away, are you? If we don’t change our tax base, we lose the schools. That’s it. A chance like this might not come again. The town is in a bad way, Sean. A third of our population has left—”

“You don’t have to tell me.” Sean held up his hands in surrender, but he didn’t lose that scowl.

“Then what’s your problem?”

If Jackson were the punching kind, he would have punched Sean Baxter years ago. In kindergarten, maybe. And probably another hundred times since. For that face alone. Always the doubting Thomas. Always the fly in the soup.

“Remember when we played baseball in high school?” Jackson shot a “can’t you help me here, he’s your brother?” look at Brody, who only went back to sanding.

“Of course I remember, Sean. We had the worst record in the state.”

“We sucked. It’s true. But you know what I remember about you?” Sean asked.

“I can’t even imagine.”

Sean leaned over the bar, through sunlight and a snowstorm of dust in the air, catching Jackson in the crosshairs of his light blue eyes.

“You swung for the fences, every time. Even when a base hit would have sufficed, you went after that ball like it had insulted your mother. Like the fate of the world rested on you knocking the leather off that damn thing.”

“That’s why I led the team in home runs.”

“And strikeouts.”

“What’s your point, Sean?”

“I thought you were nuts when you decided to run for mayor, but I supported you. But this show . . . this idea . . . It feels like you’re swinging for the fences.” Jackson stepped forward and poked his old friend in the chest. “That’s exactly what I’m doing, Sean. And

I’m doing it right now.”

He glanced at the wall and memorized the website he’d scrawled there.

The whole texture of his day had changed. He had to get on that application process, and quick. He wasn’t even sure who had keys to the factory. Shelby Monroe’s mother used to run it; maybe she had the keys. He grabbed his wallet from the windowsill where he’d left it and walked out of the bar into the bright Arkansas morning.

As mayor of Bishop, population 4,200, he’d been working hard to fix what was wrong with the community, all so that he could leave it.

And this show might just be his ticket out of here.

NEVER BEEN KISSED, the next installment in the Boys of Bishop series, will be released July 1st, 2014.
Title: Never Been Kissed (Boys of Bishop #2)
Author: Molly O’Keefe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2014
PRE-ORDER NOW
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
Perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, Molly O’Keefe’s second novel in her exciting new series—The Boys of Bishop—features an irresistible romance and unforgettable characters in a page-turning story that delivers equal parts emotion and humor . . . with a little edge to boot.

As the daughter of a wealthy politician, Ashley Montgomery has had enough of her parents’ expectations for her future and is going her own way, volunteering to work at a refugee camp in Africa. But her act of charity turns dangerous when she takes a boat trip and is abducted by Somali pirates. Enter Brody Baxter, who was a bodyguard for the Montgomery family ten years ago and doesn’t think twice about coming to Ashley’s rescue. Handsome and tough, Brody has always done what needed to be done. So he swoops in, saves Ashley, and brings her to a place where she can rest and recuperate without the glare of the press and her demanding family: Brody’s small hometown of Bishop, Arkansas. But Ashley soon realizes that she’s not the only one in need of healing.

Holed up with Ashley in a tiny apartment over his brother’s bar in Bishop, Brody is tempted and torn in ways he never anticipated. Beautiful Ashley, vibrant despite her ordeal, fearless enough to love him beyond his wall of self-punishment, is now determined to save him. But with a little faith and a lot of love, they just may find happiness in each others’ arms.

About the Author
Molly O’Keefe is the RITA Award winning author of over 25 books and novellas. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, two kids and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.

Where to Find Molly O’Keefe
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Cover Reveal – The Dire Wolves Chronicles by Alyssa Rose Ivy

The Dire Wolves Chronicles Banner

Author Alyssa Rose Ivy has been dying to share the covers for her Dire Wolves Chronicles: DIRE, DUSK, & DAWN. The Dire Wolves Chronicles is a brand new New Adult paranormal romance series that you will want to add to your TBR pile ASAP. The Order of the books is: Dire, Dusk, Dawn,with DIRE publishing September 2014.

About Book 1
Title: Dire (The Dire Wolves Chronicles #1)
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: September, 2014
Cover Design:  Cover It Designs with photographs courtesy of CJC Photography
Event Organizer: InkSlinger PR
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Gage was the first guy I ever wanted. He was my first crush and my first fantasy, but he wasn’t my first in any other way because he never saw me as anything more than a friend— at least not until the night that changed everything.

It was all Gage’s fault. He insisted we drive through the storm and take the back roads. By the time the storm hit full force we had no chance. One night of snowbound sex changed our relationship forever. The problem was at the same time I caught another guy’s attention.  This other guy happens to be the alpha of a pack of shifter wolves.

About the Author
Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

Where to Find Alyssa Rose Ivy
Goodreads | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Cover Reveal + Excerpt + Giveaway – Thunderlight (The Dragonian Series #2) by Adrienne Woods

About the Book
Title: Thunderlight (The Dragonian Series #2)
Author: Adrienne Woods
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: November 21, 2014
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Vibrant, scale swathed wings… Abilities that can be harnessed by a chosen few… Dragons…

All this may seem like old news, but for sixteen year-old Elena Watkins the world of Paegeia is not finished revealing all its secrets. During a summer break intended for relaxation, she discovers that her harrowing adventure to retrieve the King of Lion sword wasn’t the destiny foretold by the cryptic Viden, a dragon with the ability to see a person’s true fate. The words inked onto the page of the mysterious Book of Shadows remains black and Elena must return to Dragonia Academy to discover their true meaning.

Upon her return to the magnificent castle she has to face a challenge of a different kind, keeping her boyfriend Lucian McKenzie, the Prince of Tith and love of her life, away from the dangerous new student, Paul Sutton. As a Wyvern, Paul has made it his mission to claim Elena as his rider but he is proving to be more perilous than at first glance.

Everyone knew that Wyverns were bad news, and just as evil as the darkness that lurked inside Blake Leaf, the Rubicon forced to fight against his inner nature every day. But Elena can see a small light lurking in the darkness, a destiny still unfulfilled; to prove that Wyverns can be claimed.

Will Lucian’s dark secret about Wyverns and Elena’s need to prove their true nature cause their love to be torn apart? And which of Elena’s friends will be sacrificed this time if she is wrong?

Excerpt
Chapter One

Castle of Etan

Anger, betrayal, and hate turned my stomach acid, it consumed my mind and I watched as bottles, papers and books on the desk, flew off and crushed to the floor.

A maid rushed to my side. She didn’t say anything, but her eyes reflected fear. The dustpan in her hand trembled as she started to sweep up the jagged shards of glass. Rising from the floor she began to straighten the books that had fallen to the floor in a heap. Every few seconds I would notice her eyes dart nervously in my direction as if a mere breath would make me lash out as her with my outstretched hand.

I touched her face gently until my hand reached her neck, tightening slowly as my anger began to rise once again. My grip tightened around her soft, shapely neck as I lifted her up from her position on the floor at my feet. Listening carefully I could hear her heart fluttering like a bird trapped inside a cage.

“How did I become this way?” I thought, giving voice to my reality softly.

She just stared at me with round, brown unblinking eyes. Her eyes were sunken deep into the surface of her face and her cheek bones were sharply defined.

Looking at her sullen face made me feel worse. I lifted up my other hand and struck the woman hard across her cheek.

A cry left her mouth and I threw her from me as if she weighed nothing. She skidded across the floor landing in a heap against a wall of cold, unforgiving stone. If I was a dragon I would blast fire, redeem this wretched place to a pile of insignificant ashes.

Two other maids, hearing the startled cry, rushed into the room. Their eyes were wide as they took in the room and the immobile heap near the far wall. “Sorry, me lord,” the older one said. “She’s new, we will train her better.”

They picked up the maid who had come too and begun sobbing. She clutched the side of her face, cover the huge red hand print where I struck her.

I nodded. The old maid knew her place well, although I still didn’t care for her name, she knew where she stood.

I plunged myself down onto the chair and closed my eyes. A silent roar growled inside of me lighting a fire of rage deep in my core.

The girl had made it.

The Rubicon saved her life, so a part of him was still fighting me. I could still see her eyes searching mine. They bore into my soul, seeking answers. How was this possible! The wall wouldn’t allow any human to go to the other side.

Albert’s laughter echoed inside the castle; s startling reminder that good would always win. He would pay dearly for this. I would find a way, but I promised she wouldn’t live much longer.

I got up, rubbed my face hard and let the emotion of my anger escaped my lips. The rage that emanated from deep within me overpowered the haunting laughter and echoed throughout the entire castle.

“Master,” Cain’s voice interrupted my thoughts.

“Speak my loyal servant,” I said out loud. “What is the news?”

“Everything is in place. We won’t fail you,” his voice said in my head.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and let it out hard. “We’ll see.”

About Book 1
Title: Firebolt (Dragonian #1)
Author: Adrienne Woods
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: November 17, 2013
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn’t know it. Before entering Paegeia Elena was not special, she wasn’t even average until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales – a dragon. With her father’s death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia.

Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia – Etan.

Goran, the darkest sorcerer in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. There, in the shadowy ruins he plots his revenge to destroy the only weapon that can kill him – the King of Lion Sword. When the sword is stolen without a trace Elena doesn’t think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home.

About the Author
Adrienne Woods resides in South Africa with her husband and two beautiful little girls, where she work as a full time writer and lives her dream.

Thunderlight is the second part of The Dragonian Series which will be available in November 2014. Firebolt, book 1, of The Dragonian Series is available for purchase at all the big online stores.

Where to Find Adrienne Woods
Goodreads | Website | Dragonian SeriesFacebook

Giveaway

Thunderlight Giveaway

 
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Cover Reveal + Giveaway – Smoldering by Tiffany Aleman

About the Book
Title: Smoldering
Author: Tiffany Aleman
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2014
Cover Design: Lori Hall Underwood
Event Organizer: Literati Author Services, Inc.
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Money ~ Power ~ Fame

Kelsey Connor
Growing up in the arms of one of the wealthiest families in America, I lived a champagne lifestyle and never wanted for anything.

That life came with stipulations…

1. Marry the man I don’t love.

2. Make my parents proud.

I left my Manolos and fancy apartment behind and fled that life to find out who I really was.

Someone unexpected bulldozed my life.

Riley Jackson
He was the man everyone, including me, wanted, but his future was one I wasn’t sure I wanted to thrust myself back into. And when he chose a career over the family business, his family supported him instead of pushing him away.

My past collided with my future.

I didn’t see it coming. If I had I would’ve ran far, far away.

Now I’m stuck in the same position I started in two years ago, except this time, the decision is not mine to make.

Loyalty to your family?

Loyalty to your own happiness?

Which would you choose?

About the Author
Tiffany is twenty-eight, a mother to two wonderful kids, married to her best friend, and lives in Georgia. She’s always held a passion for writing and loves, loves, loves to read.

A lover of all things outdoors, when she’s not writing you can find her out at the beach with her family and friends, watching a good movie, or reading a book.

Where to Find Tiffany Aleman
Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway
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Release Day + Giveaway – Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker

I’m thrilled to help celebrate the Release Day Launch of K.A. Tucker’s FIVE WAYS TO FALL. FIVE WAYS TO FALL is the fourth novel in her Ten Tiny Breaths Series, published by Atria Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

About the Book
Title:
 Five Ways to Fall (Ten Tiny Breaths #4)
Author: K.A. Tucker
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Genre: New Adult
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | BAM | IndieBoundBookish | Simon&Schuster

Synopsis
Purple-haired, sharp-tongued Reese MacKay knows all about making the wrong choice; she’s made plenty of them in her twenty-odd-years. So when her impulsive, short-lived marriage ends in heartbreak, she decides it’s time for a change. She moves to Miami with the intention of hitting reset on her irresponsible life, and she does quite well…aside from an epically humiliating one-night stand in Cancun with a hot blond bouncer named Ben. Thank God she can get on a plane and leave that mistake behind her.

Football scholarship and frat parties with hot chicks? Part of charmer Ben Morris’s plan. Blown knee that kills any hope of a professional football career? So not part of the plan. Luckily Ben has brains to go with his knockout looks and magnetism. After three long years of balancing law school with his job as a bouncer at Penny’s Palace, he’s ready to lead a more mature life—until his first day of work, when he finds himself in the office of that crazy, hot chick he met in Cancun. The one he hasn’t stopped thinking about.

If Ben truly were a smart guy, he’d stay clear of Reese. She’s the boss’s stepdaughter and it’s been made very clear that office romances are grounds for dismissal. Plus, rumor has it she’s trouble. The only problem is, he likes trouble, especially when it’s so good-looking…

Five Ways to fall Teaser

Excerpt
Ben
I love the angry ones.

Of course, anyone who knows me would argue that I love any and all women, and I can’t exactly disagree. But I love the angry ones the most. They’re a challenge to be conquered, the reason for their fury usually fitting neatly into three buckets: insecure, scorned, hormonal.

And this chick gazing up at me with fire in her caramel eyes?

I’m betting on bucket number two.

“My, what an awfully bright red shirt you have on,” she pushes out between gritted teeth, as if she’s trying to be polite but can’t hide her disdain.

I didn’t know what I was walking into when the punk-rock chick with the crazy-ass muscular body waved us over, but her friend with the purple hair and her back to me had me intrigued. Now that I’m getting a good look at her face, I know who I’m spending my last night with in Cancún. She’s not what some would call traditionally “pretty.” Her eyes are slightly too big and far apart, her nose is slightly too long and slender, and her lips—though nice and wide—are on the thin side. Yet something about all of that put together makes her sexy as hell. Maybe it’s the little nose ring. Or maybe it’s the way her decent-sized tits are pressing up against me, her low V-neck tank top—a casual shirt, telling me she’s not trying to pick anyone up—giving me a fine view of her cleavage. Whatever it is, my dick is certainly pleased. “You like it?” I ask.

An irritated glare flickers to the material. “No.”

I can’t help but chuckle at her candor. “Will you at least give me a head start before you gore me?”

Those thin lip curls into a condescending smirk. “Bulls don’t see color. That’s a myth.”

The only thing I love more than an angry girl is a smart, angry girl.

This is going to be fun.

“Well, how about I solve the problem for you.” I take a step back from her and swiftly yank my shirt off, exposing six days of suntanned skin and an upper body that I know looks damn appealing because I work my ass off to keep it that way. The random catcalls from the tables around confirm it.

And then I simply stand there and grin like the cocky ass that I am as Angry Girl can’t keep her eyes from scanning the muscles I’ve honed since my college football days, her lips parting ever so subtly. I see the shift in her, the moment where she realizes that, though she’d prefer to castrate the entire male species right now, she can’t ignore her attraction to me.

At least, that’s what I want to see.

In Her Wake by K.A. TuckerDon’t forget the rest of the Ten Tiny Breaths Series…
TEN TINY BREATHS | ONE TINY LIE | FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE

…and you can Preorder…

IN HER WAKE: A Ten Tiny Breaths Novella

About the Author Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. 

She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. 

Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures. 

Where to find K.A. Tucker Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

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New Cover Reveal – Loving Liberty by Belinda Boring

Loving Liberty Banner

About the Book
Title: Loving Liberty
Author: Belinda Boring
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Blushing Heart Press
Release Date: July 13, 2013
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Smashwords | Kobo

Synopsis
Liberty Montgomery is many things:

A dutiful daughter.

Perfect wife-in-training.

Easy to manipulate.

Compliant.

But secretly she wants more.

For years, Liberty has dreamed of a life filled with opportunities—a life where she makes the decisions, living by her own rules. Unfortunately, her parents have other plans for her, ones that involve her submission and total obedience. Every attempt to break free from their control is met with threats, leaving her feeling trapped. Just when all seems hopeless, Liberty meets Oliver Nichols. With just two words, be brave, he stirs up her secret longings for more . . . friendship, fun, and independence. He almost has her believing her dreams are possible. However, taking a stand can be terrifying when you’ve spent your entire life pleasing others.

Are some chances worth taking? What would she risk for freedom?

Loving Liberty Cover

About the Author
A homesick Aussie living amongst the cactus and mountains of Arizona, Belinda Boring is a self proclaimed addict of romance and all things swoon worthy. When she’s not devouring her latest read, you can find her celebrating her passion for books on her blog The Bookish Snob.

With all that excitement, it wasn’t long before she began writing, pouring her imagination and creativity into the stories she dreams. Whether urban fantasy, paranormal romance or romance in general, Belinda strives to share great plots with heart and characters that you can’t help but connect with. Of course, she wouldn’t be Belinda without adding heroes she hopes will curl your toes.

Surrounded by a supportive cast of family, friends and the man she gives her heart and soul to, Belinda is living the good life.

Where to Find Belinda Boring
Goodreads | Blog | Twitter | Facebook