Release Day – The Masterpiecers by Olivia Wildenstein

The Masterpiecers Release Day

Today is release day for The Masterpiecers, a young adult mystery, by Olivia Wildenstein. See below for information on the book, buy links, and a teaser.

The Masterpiecers by Olivia Wildenstein

The Masterpiecers by Olivia Wildenstein

About the Book
Title: The Masterpiecers
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Release Date: April 15, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
Nineteen-year-old Ivy Redd’s talent with a needle and thread has earned her a spot on a coveted reality TV art competition set in New York’s Metropolitan Museum. The prize: a significant amount of money and instant acceptance into the Masterpiecers, the school that ensures new artists fame and fortune. Her talent has also thrust her and her twin sister, Aster, into the spotlight.

Not that Aster needed help with becoming a media favorite. She managed that on her own by running over a wanted mobster. She told the police it was self-defense, because she couldn’t tell them the truth—the truth would make her sister look bad.

Locked in an Indiana jail to await her trial, Aster watches Ivy on the small TV hanging in the dayroom. It’s the highlight of her day, until she finds out what her sister truly thinks of her. Then, observing her sister becomes a punishment far crueler than imprisonment.

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The Masterpiecers Teaser 1

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Author Olivia Wildenstein

Author Olivia Wildenstein

About the Author
Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks to at least three times a day. She chose Brown University to complete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree.

When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not to be late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks).

Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s an active member of the writing community..

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Where to find Olivia Wildenstein
Goodreads | Website │ Facebook │ Twitter
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Book Blitz + Sale and Giveaway – Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness (Kiss Kill Love Him Still) by Jamie Blair and Dawn Rae Miller

Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness, the second book in the young adult mystery series, Kiss Kill Love Him Still, by Jamie Blair and Dawn Rae Miller. See below for information on the book, buy links, and details on their giveaway. Plus, for a limited time, you can pick up book 1, Kiss Kill Love Him Still, for free!

Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness (Kiss Kill Love Him Still #2) by Jamie Blair and Dawn Rae Miller

Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness (Kiss Kill Love Him Still #2) by Jamie Blair and Dawn Rae Miller

About the Book
Title: Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness
Series: Kiss Kill Love Him Still #2
Authors: Jamie Blair and Dawn Rae Miller
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Haddie, Livie, Reggie, and Val. Four girls with secrets to tell.

A murderer is loose on the FU campus, and despite their best efforts, the police are nowhere near making an arrest. It’s beginning to look like Jackson’s murderer may walk free — until someone calling themselves The Fifth begins threatening each girl.

Suddenly, The Fifth starts revealing the girls’ darkest secrets: Reggie is the campus drug dealer, Livie is a kleptomaniac, Haddie hasn’t remained a virgin, and Val is struggling with her sexuality.

With no option but to work together, the girls dive deeper into Jackson’s web of lies, and hope to unmask The Fifth while solving the mystery of Jackson’s death.

The more answers they get, the more dangerous life at FU becomes — not just for the girls, but for the people they love the most.

Which makes a girl wonder, who’s next on the murderer’s list?

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Kiss Kill Love Him Still (Kiss Kill Love Him Still #1) by Jamie Blair and Dawn Rae Miller

Kiss Kill Love Him Still (Kiss Kill Love Him Still #1) by Jamie Blair and Dawn Rae Miller

About Book 1 – NOW FREE!
Title: Kiss Kill Love Him Still
Series: Kiss Kill Love Him Still #1
Authors: Jamie Blair and Dawn Rae Miller
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Jackson Landis kept secrets. It’s how he got girls into bed, the grades he wanted, and a reputation for being the life of the party.

But now he’s dead, and no one knows how or why. Especially not the four girls whose secrets he protected. Secrets so scandalous they could cause each girl to lose something valuable. Secrets so dark, someone may have killed for them.

The four girls – a campus drug dealer, an overweight bookworm, a closeted lesbian, and a spoiled princess have one thing in common – they’re terrified the things Jackson knew may not have died with him. As Reggie, Haddie, Val, and Livie try to piece together her own role in Jackson’s death, each girl realizes Jackson had some not-so-pretty skeletons of his own.

Which makes a girl wonder, who really wanted Jackson Landis dead?

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Author Jamie Blair

Author Jamie Blair

About Jamie Blair
Jamie Blair lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, their two kids and a cat that broke into their house and refused to leave. She won a young author’s contest in third grade, but it probably shouldn’t count since her mom wrote most of her entry. LEAP OF FAITH is her first novel. She promises her mom didn’t write one word of it.

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Where to Find Jamie Blair
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter

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Author Dawn Rae Miller

Author Dawn Rae Miller

About Dawn Rae Miller

Dawn is a Twitter and fashion addict whose favorite things in life are her family, gorgeous dresses, tea leaf salad, and French macarons. She splits her time between San Francisco and Northern Virginia, and is always up for a trip to Paris.

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Where to Find Dawn Rae Miller
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter

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Giveaway
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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – Holding Court by K.C. Held

Holding Court Blog Tour

Holding Court by K.C. Held

Holding Court by K.C. Held

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity knows exactly what’s in store at her new job at castle-turned-dinner-theater Tudor Times. Some extra cash, wearing a fancy-pants dress, and plenty of time to secretly drool over the ever-so-tasty–and completely unavailable–Grayson Chandler. Except that it’s not quite what she imagined.

For one, the costume Jules has to wear is awful. Then there’s the dead body she finds that just kind of…well, disappears. Oh, and there’s the small issue of Jules and her episodes of what her best friend calls “Psychic Tourette’s Syndrome”–spontaneous and uncontrollable outbursts of seemingly absurd prophecies.

The only bright side? This whole dead body thing seems to have gotten Grayson’s attention. Except that the more Jules investigates, the more she discovers that Grayson’s interest might not be as courtly as she thought. In fact, it’s starting to look suspicious…

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My Review
Reading Holding Court was an absolute blast. The characters are quirky and adorable, the story is hysterical, and the mystery is just good plain fun. Jules has a strange gift that her best friend calls psychic Tourette’s syndrome or PTS. She blurts out things that seem to not make any sense, labeling her the weird kid at school. But her ability makes her perfect to play the Mad Maid of Kent in the Tudor Times dinner theater where she pretends to be a psychic and her blurting disorder is just right for the part.

Her long-term crush and his perfect-in-every-way girlfriend also work there, forcing her to spend more time than she’d like with the happy couple. And she can’t even hate the girlfriend because she’s one of the few people at school who hasn’t ostracised Jules for her PTS. But when bodies begin to pile up in the castle, Jules doesn’t know who to trust and the race is on to find out who’s offing the staff.

Plot
The plot centers around the mysterious disappearing body in the castle, but there is a romantic subplot involving Jules pining for Grayson who has a flawless girlfriend, Bree. The mystery definitely takes center stage, but the romance is cute and sweet and definitely adds to the story.

Characters
The characters are easily the best part of the book. They’re so entertaining. Jules is particularly likeable as the insecure blurting psychic with the crush on the unattainable boy. Her whole family is just as unusual and adorable, as is her best friend, Cami, the only person outside her family who seems to really get her. The colorful characters at Tudor Times rounds out the cast in delightful fashion, making it nearly impossible to figure out whodunit, because they’re all a bit wacky.

Writing
The writing is a blast. Debut novelist, K.C. Held, has a way of storytelling that is engaging and hysterical. Her main character is witty and charming, whether she’s blurting or trying to process the latest calamity to befall her.

Ending
There were a few surprising twists, one that I never saw coming!

What I Loved About Holding Court
1. The humor. There were many laugh out loud moments.
2. The characters. They were all unique and amusing, even the seedy ones.
3. The mystery. The disappearing body added a fun twist to this teen murder mystery.
4. The romance. While subtle, it was threaded throughout the story and kept me wanting to know what would happen.
5. Gran. She was a breath of fresh air as Jules’ temporary guardian while Jules’ mother is overseas on business.

Bottom Line
A delightful teen murder/mystery, filled with zany characters and laced with a sweet romance.

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

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About the Book
Title: Holding Court
Author: K.C. Held
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 352
Category: Young Adult Mystery/Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | Entangled

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Author K.C. Held

Author K.C. Held

About the Author
K.C. HELD was born and raised in California with stopovers in Honduras, Mexico, and France. Married to her high school sweetheart, and mom to two avid bookworms, she holds an MFA in costume design and is an accomplished seamstress with a background in opera, theater, film, and television. Although she once spent a summer working in a castle, there were no dead bodies involved.

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Where to find K.C. Held
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook Twitter | Tumblr

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – Sing Sweet Sparrow by Angela J. Townsend

Sing Sweet Sparrow Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for Sing Sweet Sparrow, a romantic mystery by bestselling author, Angela J. Townsend. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Sing Sweet Sparrow by Angela J. Townsend

Sing Sweet Sparrow by Angela J. Townsend

About the Book
Title: Sing Sweet Sparrow
Author: Angela J. Townsend
Publisher: Spinning Broom Books Publishing, LLC
Genre: Mystery/Romance
Release Date: January 1, 2016
Links: GoodreadsAmazon

Synopsis
With the odd disappearance of her parents, Gussie Gibson has lived her entire life with her granny on a peaceful pecan orchard, owned by the meanest man in all of Georgia—Mr. J.P. Combs.

Granny teaches Gussie many valuable life lessons as a black woman growing up in the still-segregated south. Mr. Combs is an evil underhanded banker who takes liberties beyond his privilege. When Granny dies, Combs informs Gussie she owes him back rent—but he wants much more than money for payment—and more than Gussie can live with.

After defending herself against his sexual advances, Gussie flees to escape certain vigilante justice when she meets a charming, handsome stranger, Sam Johnson, who is just returning from World War II.

Gussie and Sam’s friendship is short-lived when Mr. Combs hunts her down and drags her back to Green Ridge, driven by his craving for revenge and a grudge too deep to comprehend. Gussie fights to return to Sam and his love, but it seems, no matter where she runs, danger follows close on her heels, in the troubled South where cruelty disfigures the human spirit and love is a dim beacon of hope.

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Excerpt

1945

No one on this earth deserves to die more than Mister J.P. Combs.

Mister Combs is the vice president of the Green Ridge Union Bank, and the nastiest man in all of Georgia. He robs from the old, the poor, the sick, and the weak. Granny and I been working for the Combs family for as long as I can remember. Granny taught me how to wash their silver and fancy china so it comes out shiny, how to iron the tablecloths, and how to fold the napkins just how Missus Combs likes it done.

Missus is a nice woman. She treats Granny and me right. On Sunday she takes her coffee into the kitchen to visit with us after church. But not Mister. He hates colored folks. He says we don’t know our place.

Mister never takes his eyes off of me. It’s like he’s making sure I don’t stop to take an extra breath while I’m working, so he’s getting his money’s worth. Granny and I tend the Combs’ house for just sixty-nine cents an hour. That’s a lot less than most maids. The trouble is that Granny is old, tired and slow. Her feet don’t work so good no more. We got to take what work we can get.

Mister comes home early every Friday. He likes to lean against the stove while he peels an apple with a buck knife. He chews the pieces and leers at me while I polish the silver. I’d love to stuff that apple in his mouth and stick him in the stove. I gotta learn to control my temper, sometimes it’s hard, especially when Mister’s at me. Don’t know from one day to the next what’s gonna happen. Somedays I wish I could explode and blow up the whole world.

Granny knows I got a bad temper. It worries her. She takes me into Mister’s parlor and stares at me with her brow all crinkled up. “Gussie child, you keep outta Mister’s way,” she whispers. “I don’t like how he looks at you.” Granny shakes her head in disgust. “You’re only sixteen years old. Don’t you let him get close. You stay by me—you hear?”

I can’t look at Granny. My cheeks burn with shame.

Granny takes hold of my hands. “You listening to me, child?”

I nod. She leans in real close, her bottom lip quivers in a two-tone brown. I stare at the wrinkles around her mouth, and at her bottom row of teeth all worn down. I worry about how much longer she’ll live. I don’t want her to leave me. “I see the way he’s been looking at you,” Granny says. “Like you the hottest thing on the lunch menu.” Granny lifts my chin so that our eyes meet. “If he comes round, and you alone—you tell him you got chores to do.” Granny squeezes my hands tighter. “His heart ain’t nothing but a thumpin’ gizzard. He’ll hurt you if he has a chance. You stay away from him. You understand me, child?”

I nod again. “Yes, Ma’am.”

The lines around Granny’s eyes soften. She cradles my head in her knobby hands. “You the only thing I got in this world, Gussie. I done lost my boy. I don’t plan on losing you too.”

My lips tremble. “I know Granny, I’ll be careful.” I cross my heart. “I promise.”

She hugs me round the waist, but I don’t hug her back too hard. She’s so frail, I worry that she’ll break. I press my face into her chest. Her heart pounds against my ear and I feel her shaking. All this worry isn’t good for her old body. I don’t want to let go of her. I bury my head into her shirt collar. She smells like shea butter and sweet ginger. Granny runs her hand over my head. Her fingers untangle the curls in my hair, the ones she makes with the pressing comb heated on the stove every morning. Granny pulls away from me and sits down. She never sits at Mister’s house. She looks so tired.

“Granny, you okay?”

She closes her eyes for a moment, placing a hand on her chest. “Take me home, child.”

I help her up, and hold tight to her thin hand as she walks unsteady beside me. My heart twists over Granny working so hard at her age. How she worries over me.

We head outside and make our way down the path through the pecan grove. The path is uneven and it’s hard for Granny to walk. Her toes are twisted like tree roots with arthritis. I wish I could carry her home so her feet don’t have to hurt. She holds onto my arm as I help her up the front steps of the shack we rent from Mister.

We go inside but Granny won’t rest. She puts supper on the stove, and waves me away when I try to help. She lowers herself onto her rocking chair while the beans boil on the back burner. Granny releases a heavy sigh, closes her eyes and stops rocking. I touch her hand and she don’t move. I can’t breathe. My soul dissolves into darkness. I know she’s gone but I can’t face it. I run to Mister’s house. Missus lets me use their telephone and I call for help.

Half an hour later, Granny’s church ladies come and take her away while my heart rips into pieces. I sit in the dark staring at her empty chair, at her shoes, at the knitting needles sticking in the ball of yarn. I close my eyes willing it all to be gone, for the day to start over with Granny alive. I wish life could be like a chalk board where you can erase the bad parts and start over. Hours pass with nothing but the ticking of the clock. I look out the window surprised to see the world still going on even though Granny isn’t.

After the funeral, I lay up in the bed and pray that God kills me so I can be with my Granny—the only mother I’ve ever known—the only person I ever loved. I don’t sleep. I don’t eat. I don’t go to work. I just don’t care about living anymore. When Granny died, something came apart and broke inside me. Fell off a shelf and shattered to the floor. And I just can’t put all the pieces back together.

A week passes and Mister comes looking for me. He’s mad that I haven’t been to work. He yells his fool head off, saying I gotta pay the rent or get out. I don’t got no money and nowhere to go. I don’t know why God don’t come down and take me to Granny. What kind of a life do I have to look forward to anyhow. I don’t want to be stuck in some white man’s kitchen the rest of my life.

Mister comes back the next day, but I already got my bags packed. He looks at me and frowns. “Where you think you’re going?”

I just shrug.

“You come on home with me. You can have a room in exchange for looking after the house. You got that, girl?”

I nod my head. I don’t know what else to do.

I don’t got no choice.

A lonesome sparrow hatches inside of me, flies out my mouth, and pulls out my insides as it leaves, taking all my happiness with it.

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Author Angela J. Townsend

Author Angela J. Townsend

About the Author
Angela is a multi-published, award-winning author of young adult and middle grade books.

She has a motion picture based on her award-winning novel, The Forlorned, coming out soon, and a second motion picture project in production for River of Bones.

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Where to Find Angela Townsend
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Review + Giveaway – Dog Collar Knockoff (Lucie Rizzo Mystery) by Adrienne Giordano

Dog Collar Knockoff (Lucie Rizzo Mystery #2) by Adrienne Giordano

Dog Collar Knockoff (Lucie Rizzo Mystery #2) by Adrienne Giordano

4 Stars

Synopsis
Catering to the pampered paws set took Lucie Rizzo from unemployed to entrepreneur. With her dog walking/chic pet accessory business on the verge of success, Lucie’s ready to make a name for herself. One not tarnished by her dad’s mobster rep.

When an art deal she brokered between clients turns suspicious, it’s up to Lucie to sniff out the truth. She might not know the difference between Monet and Manet, but Rizzos are no strangers to jail time—and Lucie refuses to be someone’s prison bitch.

Unless that someone is a tall, blond and Irish cop. Detective Tim O’Brien certainly knows how to get Lucie hot under the rhinestone collar. And with her on-again-off-again relationship with Frankie Falcone currently off, O’Brien isn’t shy about making her feel wanted, mafia ties and all. Even joining her crack—or crackpot—team on the trail of two paintings with equally shady origins.

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My Review
The second book in the Lucie Rizzo mystery series picks up not long after the end of the first one, but a lot has happened in that time. Lucie and Frankie are broken up, this time at Frankie’s insistence. Lucie’s budding business of dog walking and high-end pet accessories is taking off, so much so, she’s hired an assistant. Her young apprentice is an art major and notices some famous paintings hanging in the homes of Lucie’s clients, raising concerns about their authenticity. Most of the book centers around this mystery, especially with her on-again-off-again relationship with Frankie in the off position. But the young, hot detective who helped her out in the first book is still hanging around, and his interest in Lucie might not be one-sided.

Plot
The mystery is the main plot and it moves much faster than in the first novel. And while the author lets on pretty early what’s going on, there were a couple of really good unexpected twists. Lucie’s love triangle is a strong subplot and particularly well done. I neither love nor hate love triangles as a whole, but I do loathe poorly executed ones. Luckily that’s not the case here. Both guys have merit and both are easy to love. Lucie’s conundrum is wholly believable.

Characters
I love that both Lucie and Frankie went through some character development in this book. In a lot of mystery series’ the characters are stagnant, but not with this series. The cast is still a lovable bunch of colorful goofballs, but they’re more meaty than stereotypical. Lucie is introspective and knows she has a bunch of stuff to figure out, and it’s great that she doesn’t take the easy way out. Of anything.

Ending
I didn’t seen the ending coming and I’m happy with the way this chapter of Lucie’s life is wrapped up. I’m fully onboard with the Lucie Rizzo Mysteries now and looking forward to the next one.

What Didn’t Work for Me
1. Lack of grippiness.
 If that’s even a word. I never really felt like Lucie was ever in any danger. It’s a fun read, but a little more edge-of-your-seat moments would have made this a real page-turner.

What I Enjoyed About Dog Collar Knockoff
1. The pacing.
 This second book in the series moved at a faster clip than the first, which made it a fun, fast read.
2. Chemistry. As much as I loved the Lucie/Frankie chemistry in the first book, I can’t deny she and Tim have their own sizzle. Adrienne Giordano writes a really believable love triangle.
3. The dogs. In the first book, I almost thought there were too many dogs. I mean, she’s a dog walker, but I still felt like I spent an inordinate amount of time reading about dogs taking a dump. This time, I actually looked forward to Lucie’s time with them. They’ve grown on me the way my own four-legged friend has. The one we got for the kids who has decided I’m his person and I’ve reluctantly accepted that.
4. Ro and Joey. These two will either kill each other or wind up together. If Joey was taking bets on his own life, the odds would be 50/50.
5. The mystery. The mystery was very different than the first one, and was well executed, which isn’t always easy to do.

Bottom Line
The second book in the series is even better than the first and I’m looking forward to the release of the third.

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

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About the Book
Title: Dog Collar Knockoff
Series: Lucie Rizzo Mystery #2
Author: Adrienne Giordano
Publisher: SilverHart Publishing
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Pages: 221
Genre: Cozy Mystery/New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

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Author Adrienne Giordano

Author Adrienne Giordano

About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. 

She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier).

She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. 

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Where to Find Adrienne Giordano
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Street TeamFacebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – Into the Light (The Light Series) by Aleatha Romig

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Althea Romig, is unveiling the cover to Into the Light, the first book in her new suspense/thriller series, The Light, releasing June 14, 2016. See below for the intriguing cover, information on the book, and a pre-order link.

Into the Light (The Light Series #1) by Aleatha Romig

Into the Light (The Light Series #1) by Aleatha Romig

About the Book
Title: Into the Light
Series: The Light Series #1
Author: Aleatha Romig
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Genre:
Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
An investigator’s search for a friend draws her into a world darker than she could have imagined.

Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light.

Stella Montgomery investigates the news on the mean streets of Detroit, where she’s noticed a disturbing trend: young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella investigates—despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend—following a twisted trail that leads her through the city’s most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel.

As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she’s awakened to—an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience—and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can’t recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price…

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Author Aleatha Romig

Author Aleatha Romig

About the Author
Aleatha Romig is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time  with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These standalone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat. In the fall of 2015, Aleatha will move head first into the world of dark romance with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

Where to Find Aleatha Romig
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Amazon | Instagram | Pinterest | Tsu | Audible
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Release Day – Excerpt + Giveaway – He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

He Will Be My Ruin Release Day

Welcome to release day for He Will Be My Ruin, a sexy suspense, by USA Today bestselling author, K.A. Tucker. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

About the Book
Title:
 He Will Be My Ruin
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | KoboIndieBound | Book Depository | Audible

Synopsis
The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

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He Will Be My Ruin Teaser 3

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Excerpt

Maggie
December 23, 2015

My wrists burn.

Hours of trying to break free of the rope that binds my hands behind my back have left them raw, the rough cord scrubbing away my skin and cutting into my flesh. I’m sure I’ll have unsightly scars.
Not that it will matter when I’m dead.

I resigned myself to that reality around the time that I finally let go of my bladder. Now I simply lie here, in a pool of urine and vomit, my teeth numb from knocking with each bump in the road, my body frozen by the cold.

Trying to ignore the darkness as I fight against the panic that consumes me. I could suffocate from the anxiety alone.

He knows that.

Now he’s exploiting it. That must be what he does—he uncovers your secrets, your fears, your flaws—and he uses them against you. He did it to Celine.

And now he’s doing it to me.

That’s why I’m in a cramped trunk, my lungs working overtime against a limited supply of oxygen while my imagination runs wild with what may be waiting for me at the end of this ride.

My racing heart ready to explode.

The car hits an especially deep pothole, rattling my bones. I’ve been trapped in here for so long. Hours. Days. I have no idea. Long enough to run through every mistake that I made.

How I trusted him, how I fell for his charm, how I believed his lies. How I made it so easy for him to do this to me.

How Celine made it so easy for him, by letting him get close.

Before he killed her.

Just like he’s going to kill me.

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He Will Be My Ruin Teaser 4

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Author K.A. Tucker

Author K.A. Tucker

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 | YouTube | Pinterest | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

He Will Be My Ruin Blog Tour

Welcome to the review and excerpt tour for He Will Be My Ruin, a sexy suspense, by USA Today bestselling author, K.A. Tucker. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

About the Book
Title:
 He Will Be My Ruin
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | KoboIndieBound | Book Depository | Audible

Synopsis
The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

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He Will Be My Ruin Teaser 1

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Excerpt #1
Look, I’m just…” I stare at my reflection in the mirror, my eyes lined with bags, my skin sallow, my hair matted. I look like someone who sat in bed for twenty-four hours, eating cold pizza from the box I had delivered last night and polishing off a bottle of vodka, all while reading the deepest and darkest thoughts from the last fifteen years of Celine Gonzalez’s life. Discovering things that I could have happily gone the rest of my life without knowing.

Which is exactly what I’ve done.

I can barely keep my eyes open and yet I know that sleep will not grant me a reprieve. “I’m dealing with a few private matters.”

“Well, I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to fit you in when you decide that you’re ready.”

“You will, because your boss wants my money.” I hang up before I hear her snippy answer and stare at the journal in my hands.

I was torn between starting from the latest diary first and easing myself in with the oldest one, afraid that I wasn’t ready for what might lie within those last pages. That I wasn’t ready to witness just how Celine had lost herself.

And then I picked up a pink book with butterflies on it—the earliest dated journal—and read a thirteen-year-old Celine recount her major crush on my boyfriend at the time: a tall, gangly guy named Jordan who kissed her behind our house one day while I was changing into my bathing suit upstairs. She felt so guilty, she couldn’t sleep for a week. Through tears, I laughed—because I hadn’t even given that guy a moment’s thought in years—and I knew then that starting at the beginning of Celine’s story was the only way to do this.

And so I did, living the past fifteen years through Celine’s eyes, since the days she and Rosa still lived with me. It wasn’t hard to follow along. She dated every single entry. Some days she didn’t have a lot to say. Other days she’d fill an entire page, even writing along the margin. She seemed to follow a simple rule as the years progressed: one page per day, no more.

So many days.

So many confessions.

So many things that made my heart swell.

And so many that made my heart bleed with pain.

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He Will Be My Ruin Teaser 2

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Author K.A. Tucker

Author K.A. Tucker

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 | YouTube | Pinterest | Instagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Month in Review – December 2015

Two weeks late, but you know, the holidays… Also, some front yard landscaping, and Aussie exchange student for eleven days, and final edits and publishing of The Uprising (which comes out on Tuesday!). Better late than never. Here are the books I read and reviewed in December, 2015.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Story: 4 Stars
Audiobook: 5 Stars

Title: Gone Girl
Author: 
Gillian Flynn
Release Date: 
May 24, 2012
Publisher:
Random House Audible
Narrators:
Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne
Length:
19 Hours 11 Minutes
Genre:
 Contemporary Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Story Rating: 
4 out of 5 Stars
Audio Production Rating:
 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | AudibleAmazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.

Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

Bottom Line
Gone Girl is a disturbing tale, beautifully written, and the audiobook version is one of the best produced I’ve ever listened to.

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Bad Romance: A Stepbrother Novel by by Jen McLaughlin

Bad Romance A Stepbrother Novel by by Jen McLaughlin

Bad Romance A Stepbrother Novel by by Jen McLaughlin

4 Stars

Title: Bad Romance: A Stepbrother Novel
Author: 
Jen McLauchlin
Publisher: 
Loveswept
Release Date: 
September 15, 2015
Pages:
242
Genre: 
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 
4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
In this explosive novel from New York Times bestselling author Jen McLaughlin, a good girl falls for the ultimate bad boy: her stepbrother. Perfect for fans of Sabrina Paige, Caitlin Daire, and Krista Lakes, Bad Romance proves that passion can be so wrong it’s right.

Seven years in the army will change a guy. But after a shoulder wound ends his career as a sniper, Jackson Worthington finds himself back home, fighting a battle that’s all too familiar: keeping his hands off Lily Hastings. She’s still her rich daddy’s little angel, innocent, impossibly lovely, as squeaky-clean as Jackson is dirty. And she’s still his stepsister—forbidden but not forgotten, not after the soul-melting kiss that got him kicked out of the house at eighteen. He couldn’t resist her then. How the hell can he resist her now?

Lily is about to marry a man she doesn’t love, and commit to a high-stress job she hates, all to please the father who controls every waking moment of her life. On top of everything, her teenage crush is back, with a sleek, chiseled body and a trace of the rebellious boy whose lips sealed her fate. Jackson’s timing couldn’t be worse . . . or better. Because Lily’s all grown up, too. She’s aching for another taste. And for the first time, she’s ready to be a bad girl.

Bottom Line
Bad Romance is a page-turning romance about forbidden love and learning to live your own life.

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Royal Marriage Market by Heather Lyons

Royal Marriage Market by Heather Lyons

Royal Marriage Market by Heather Lyons

4.5 Stars

Title: Royal Marriage Market
Author: Heather Lyons
Publisher: Cerulean Books
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Pages: 335
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Every decade, the world’s monarchs and their heirs secretly convene to discuss global politics and social issues—and arrange marriages between kingdoms. Elsa may be the Hereditary Princess of Vattenguldia, but she finds the entire situation archaic and unsavory. While she wants what’s best for her country, she isn’t about to jump into an unwanted relationship—let alone a marriage—with a virtual stranger. Of course, her feelings matter little to her parents, whose wheeling and dealings over trade pacts and alliances achieved at her expense begin the moment they set foot in California for the Summit. So when a blindingly handsome royal runs into her, she doesn’t hesitate to tell him there’s no way she’s marrying him.

Christian is all too happy to agree: no marriage. As the Hereditary Grand Duke of Aiboland, his main goal is to get through the summit without a bride being foisted on him. Which is why he suggests they help each other field potential intendeds. As Christian slowly gets to know Elsa, though, he realizes they have a lot more in common than just their feelings about the Royal Marriage Market. Only he can’t fall for her, because royal or not, they’re not meant for each other. Elsa and Christian will have to evaluate matters of the heart verses those of state and crown, and decide whether or not tradition trumps love.

Bottom Line
Royal Marriage Market is a fun twist on the contemporary romance genre with plenty of chemistry and more than a few laughs.

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The Writer’s Idea Thesaurus by Fred White

The Writer's Idea Thesaurus by Fred White

The Writer’s Idea Thesaurus by Fred White

3.5 Stars

Title: The Writer’s Idea Thesaurus: An Interactive Guide for Developing Ideas for Novels and Short Stories
Author: Fred White
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Pages: 320
Category: Writing Fiction
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
Endless ideas at your fingertips, and at the turn of a page…

Need an idea for a short story or novel? Look no further than The Writer’s Idea Thesaurus. It’s far more than a collection of simple writing prompts. You’ll find a vast treasury of story ideas inside, organized by subject, theme, and situation categories, and listed alphabetically for easy reference. Author and award-winning writing instructor Fred White shows you how to build out and customize these ideas to create unique plots that reflect your personal storytelling sensibilities, making The Writer’s Idea Thesaurus an invaluable tool for generating creative ideas and vanquishing writer’s block—for good.

Inside you’ll find:
•2,000 unique and dynamic story ideas perfect for novels and short stories of any genre or writing style
•Twenty major idea categories, such as The Invasion of X, The Transformation of X into Y, Escape from X, The Curse of X, and more
•Multiple situations that further refine the major categories, such as The Creation of Artificial Life, The Descent Into Madness, Love in the Workplace, The Journey to a Forgotten Realm, and more
•Invaluable advice on how to customize each idea.

The Writer’s Idea Thesaurus is an interactive story generator that opens the door to thousands of new story arcs and plotlines.

 Bottom Line
The Writer’s Idea Thesaurus lives up to its name as a unique reference guide to aid writers in developing story ideas.

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Next Door to a Star (Star Series) by Krysten Lindsay Hagar

Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hagar

Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hagar

4 Stars

Title: Next Door to a Star
Series: Star Series #1
Author:
Krysten Lindsay Hagar
Publisher: Limitless Publishing, LLC
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Pages: 185
Genre: 
Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon InternationalBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | BAM!

Synopsis
Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible. After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend. Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte. To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins… He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again. Cliques. Back-stabbing. Love gone bad. Is this really what it’s like to live…Next Door To A Star?

Bottom Line
While Next Door to a Star moves slow at times, it’s filled with a colorful cast of young teens who think and act like the kids on the cusp of adulthood they are.
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Book Review – Dog Collar Crime (Lucie Rizzo Mystery) by Adrienne Giordano

Dog Collar Crime (Lucie Rizzo Mystery #1) by Adrienne Giordano

Dog Collar Crime (Lucie Rizzo Mystery #1) by Adrienne Giordano

3.5 Stars

Synopsis
Out of work and down on her luck, Lucie Rizzo is forced to do the one thing she’s long avoided—move home to her nutty, mob-infested family. A move that brings her back into the tempting arms of Frankie Falcone, the ex that never fails to make her heart sit up and beg.

When Lucie parlays her temporary dog-walking gig into a career making fancy dog accessories, Frankie becomes her number one supporter. Life starts to look like a walk in the park…until three of her bling-wearing clients are dogjacked.

Despite help from the on-again, off-again Mr. Fix-It in her life, Lucie is thrown into an investigation that’s more Goodfellas than good doggie. One that could shatter her new life and her second chance at love.

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My Review
There was much to love about Dog Collar Crime. In many ways, it reminded me of a Stephanie Plum novel minus the incompetent protagonist and unrealistically stupid criminals. Lucie Rizzo is out of work and forced to move back home with her mom and brother. Born and raised a mob princess, Lucie longs to break free of her family chains and make her own way in the world. But after getting laid off, she’s right back in the middle of the family drama, including a father in prison. Her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Frankie, would do anything for her, except leave behind his own mob-connected family.

Lucie makes ends meet by walking dogs and making high-end pet accessories, while she waits and hopes a job in banking comes her way. But when the dogs she walks start being targeted by someone, Lucie begins to wonder if she’ll ever be able to escape that world.

Plot
The plot is a mystery with a strong dose of romance. Finding out who is targeting her dogs and why is the main plot, but her relationship with Frankie plays a larger role than in most other books of this genre. The pacing was slow more than a few times. There seemed to be a lot of time spent walking the dogs, which granted is Lucie’s job, but not much else happened. There also seemed to be some repeated elements. Instead of escalating early, the dognappings stayed sort of the same and the back-and-forth with Frankie felt too repetitive at times. But there’s light humor, plenty of chemistry between the characters, and a couple of twists that redeem the story.

Characters
The characters are by far the best part of the story. They’re fun, quirky, well-rounded, and believable. Lucie Rizzo’s desire to be anything but the daughter of a mobster is tangible and relatable, even if your dad isn’t a made man. Frankie is also sympathetic as the loyal son who has managed to break away from the crime family and flourish in a legitimate job. Even the gangster family members transcend stereotype and are well-developed and three-dimensional.

Ending
I was expecting more from the ending. Although a mystery and not a thriller, overall the story lacked a real sense of peril for the characters. I never felt like any of their lives were truly in danger. The climax left me wondering what would happen to the characters’ relationships rather than if they would survive. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because I did care about all of them and wanted them to wind up happy.

What Didn’t Work for Me
1. The pacing.
 The story moved too slow for me at times.
2. Repetition. There were times I felt like we revisited the same issues over and over again, particularly when it came to Lucie’s feelings for, and issues with, Frankie.

What I Enjoyed About Dog Collar Crime
1. The characters.
 All of the characters were well developed, interesting, and avoided stereotypes.
2. Chemistry. There was instant chemistry between Lucie and Frankie, but also a great bromance between Frankie and Lucie’s brother, Joey, between Lucie and her brother, and between Lucie and her mom. These relationships all came across as lovingly authentic.
3. The mystery. The mystery of who was behind the dognappings was well plotted, and kept me guessing.
4. Ro. Best BFF ever.
5. Lucie’s mom. She was so beautifully flawed and yet I never doubted her love for her children.

Bottom Line
Dog Collar Crime is a lighthearted mystery with compelling characters and a touch of humor.

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

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About the Book
Title: Dog Collar Crime
Series: Lucie Rizzo Mystery #1
Author: Adrienne Giordano
Release Date: August 4, 2013
Pages: 256
Genre: Cozy Mystery/New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Author Adrienne Giordano

Author Adrienne Giordano

About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. 

She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier).

She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. 

Where to Find Adrienne Giordano
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Street TeamFacebook | Twitter

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Audiobook Review – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Story: 4 Stars
Audiobook: 5 Stars

Synopsis
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary.

Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.

Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior.

Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

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My Review
I got the unabridged version of this book from Audible. All 19 hours and 11 minutes worth. At times, I loved the story and took the long way to and from my destination, or lapped the block one more time to continue listening. Other times, I hated it, chose music over audiobooks for months at a time. It took me nearly ten months to finish it. What I can’t deny is that Gillian Flynn is a hell of a writer. The story is intriguing, captivating, unnerving. The audiobook production is among the best I’ve ever listened to, and I listen to a lot of audiobooks. The narrators are talented and brought the characters to life. And what characters they are. Complex, deep, fully three-dimensional, and unfortunately, utterly loathsome.

I absolutely salivated over the brilliant writing of Gillian Flynn, took notes, wished I could write like that. The story was engaging at times, difficult to read at others. The pacing was slow in spots, and those were the times I felt myself less inclined to listen for awhile. At other times, it was fast, riveting. At no point did I figure out what was going to happen next. The plot twists are inspired. So with all of this going for it, why couldn’t I give it five stars? The book left me unsettled, and not in the way a good thriller does. It left me feeling ambivalent toward all the characters, as in I don’t really care what happens to them. In some ways, I wish I’d never read about them. And the ending was flat, not living up to the expectations the author set with her amazing plotting throughout.

Plot
The plotting was fantastic. There were so many twists and turns and unexpected surprises. Gillian Flynn is a master of pre-shadowing. Everything that happens has a purpose that may not become clear until a long time later, but her method of storytelling ensures even the smallest detail is memorable.

Characters
The characters are well developed, believable, stunningly crafted. Even the smallest character was thoroughly developed. I just didn’t care for any of them. Didn’t care what happened to them, and still don’t. But they will not soon be forgotten.

What Didn’t Work for Me
1. The ending. I absolutely despised how it just ended in a way that felt unfinished. Sometimes, I wonder if maybe it went on longer than necessary, other times, I think it stopped too soon. I just know it feels unfinished and not in a “sequel is coming” kind of way.

2. The characters. Man, I hate them all, with the exception of maybe Margo and Boney. I can’t deny the characters are three-dimensional and wholly realistic. The world is full of people who are difficult or impossible to like. But in the end, I had no one to root for in Gone Girl.

What I Enjoyed About Gone Girl
1. The writing. Flawless, beautiful prose underlies a dark mystery with contemptible characters.

2. The plot twists. There were so many of them and they were so perfectly woven in, they were nearly seamless.

3. The narration. Both voice actors were amazing. This is one of the best audiobook productions I’ve ever listened to.

4. The character development. Yes, I loathe them, but they are so well crafted, I have to remind myself they’re fictional.

5. Attention to detail. The vivid writing made the scenes come alive in my mind as I listened. In some ways, I feel as if I watched a movie.

Bottom Line
Gone Girl is a disturbing tale, beautifully written, and the audiobook version is one of the best produced I’ve ever listened to.

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About the Audiobook
Title:
 Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Release Date: May 24, 2012
Publisher: Random House Audible
Narrators: Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne
Length: 19 Hours 11 Minutes
Genre: Contemporary Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Story Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Audio Production Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | AudibleAmazon | Barnes & Noble

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Author Gillian Flynn

Author Gillian Flynn

About the Author
Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families,violence and self-harm.

In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers’ Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, winning in the last two categories.

Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Where to Find Gillian Flynn
GoodreadsWebsite | Facebook

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – Vanquished by S.E. Green

Vanquished Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Vanquished, a romantic suspense novel from author S.E. Green. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Vanquished by S.E. Green

Vanquished by S.E. Green

About the Book
Title:
 Vanquished
Author: S.E. Green
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
(Warning: For mature audiences only)

For a price, the world’s most powerful people can explore their darkest desires. On a private island hidden in the ocean they may hunt humans for game, attend gladiator-style fights, participate in elaborate orgies, and freely indulge in all the deadly sins within the cosplay of ancient times.

Abducted from their life in Miami, Valoria and her younger sister wake up in this secret society, wherein Valoria is condemned to the fights and her sister is taken away to become a sex slave.

Now “property” of a sadistic tyrant, Valoria joins other men and women captives who are forced to fight and maim for others’ enjoyment, to run in their hunts, and participate in deviant fantasies. And she’s under the cold, watchful eye of Alexior, a hired trainer with his own agenda for being involved in the twisted decadence.

After surviving several near-death ordeals, a defiant Valoria focuses on her training and against all odds soon becomes a favorite. But she fights for one thing and one thing only—to be reunited with her sister and to be freed.

But promises of freedom are sometimes just manipulative lies . . .

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Excerpt #3
I come up on all fours, staring, concentrating on keeping my loud breaths steady, like my father taught me. The crowd on the balcony laughs like they think it’s the funniest thing in the world to see a little woman about to get beat.

Blood rushes through the fat man’s face, spreading red all the way to his hairline. He nods to two soldiers who each grab one of my arms.

They’re enormous and I’m nothing next to them, but I still fight their hold. I yank at it. Jab the heel of my foot into one of their legs. And sink my teeth into the other one’s bicep.

The fat man stalks toward me, his eyes clinging to me as he slowly winds his whip and makes a show of fastening it back onto his hip. Blood pounds in my ears, echoing in my head, muting the lingering laughter and whispers from the balcony.

He steps right up to my face. “You’re a little bitch. And I will break you,” he promises.

I hike my chin. “Give it your best.”

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Author S.E. Green

Author S.E. Green

About the Author
S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the teen spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award.

Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Vanquished is her debut novel for adults.

Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog.

Where to find S.E. Green
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Wattpad

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Release Day + Giveaway – Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

Dead Ringer Release

Welcome to the release day book blitz for Dead Ringer, a young adult contemporary mystery/thriller by Jessie Rosen. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

About the Book
Title:
 Dead Ringer
Author: Jessie Rosen
Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital
Release Date: November 11, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Mystery/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | KoboGooglePlay | Full Fathom Five

Synopsis
From the moment Laura Rivers steps foot into Englewood High, she notices the stares—and they aren’t the typical once-overs every pretty new girl endures. The students seem confused and…spooked. Whispers echoing through the halls confirm that something is seriously off. “That new girl looks just like her,” they say.

It turns out Laura has a doppelgänger, and it isn’t just anyone—it’s Sarah Castro-Tanner, the girl who killed herself by jumping into the Navasink River one year ago.

Laura is determined not to let the gossip ruin her chances of making a fresh start. Thanks to her charming personality and California tan, she catches the eye of Englewood’s undisputed golden boy, Charlie Sanders, and it’s only a matter of time before they make their relationship official.

But something is making Charlie and his friends paranoid—and Laura soon discovers it has to do with Sarah Castro-Tanner.

What really happened to Sarah? Why is Charlie unraveling? And how does Laura Rivers fit into it all? After all, she’s the dead ringer for a dead girl.

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Excerpt #2

Charlie

Charlie’s first morning back at Englewood was as busy as any. He owed Principal Hayden a plan for the Volunteer Core’s winter trip, Coach Stanley the results of his latest physical for the soccer scouts who were already swarming, and Mrs. Smelson his application for student representative to the district school board. And then there was the requisite time spent floating around the halls and catching up with friends about the last few weeks of summer.

Charlie didn’t like to admit it, but he was pretty much a celebrity in the halls of EHS. For the past two years, he’d led the soccer team to state and national victories, and this year he would serve as captain. All the hard work and sacrifice was paying off. In nine short months, Charlie’s high school career would be over and his real life would begin, hopefully with a full ride to his first-choice college.

Right now it was hard to believe he’d ever fought his mom on the decision to leave their comfy home in Toms River for a tiny apartment in this rich soccer mecca. He hadn’t wanted his hobby to uproot their little family of two, but Pattie Sanders had turned out right, as always—it had been worth it. Applications still needed to be finished, but Charlie’s grades were right where they needed to be. Now it was all about what he did on the field, and that was the easy part. It’s nice to feel so confident and relaxed at the start of senior year, Charlie thought to himself as he slipped into Ms. O’Malley’s room. It had been a long, long time since he didn’t have something making the insides of his body churn.

Within seconds, that comfort was gone.

“Charlie, raise your hand for Miss Rivers to see,” Ms. O’Malley said seconds after the first-period bell rang. He lifted his hand as he followed her gaze to the front of the classroom. Then his mind went blank.

Standing in the doorway was… No. How could it be? Charlie clenched his stomach to stop the sick feeling from crawling any higher up his insides. Wait. Of course not. This wasn’t her—it couldn’t be. She was gone. Plus, this girl had blond hair, not black. This girl’s face was round, not long, and her nose was completely different. So then, what was it? The way she was staring? The shape of her body? Or maybe it was her eyes? Something about this girl reminded Charlie so much of her.

He let his hand fall back down, flashed a quick smile, and then looked away. You’re the only one seeing it, Charlie thought to himself. You’re looking for it. Get her out of your head. It’s been long enough.

“Mr. Sanders, Miss Rivers,” O’Malley bellowed from the front of the room.

Before he knew it, the new girl was sitting directly in front of him. He was pretty sure she’d said something cute. There was a chance he’d said something clever back. All he knew for sure was that her name was Laura Rivers, and she was from Southern California. Could she see him staring at her face? Had other people stared, too? They must have. They must have all stared. That is, if they all remembered her half as well as he did.

Forty-five minutes later, Charlie was kicking himself as he watched Laura Rivers walk toward her next class. He’d invited her to sit with them at lunch. He couldn’t explain why, but in two short hours he’d have to—to Kit, Miller, and Amanda.

Charlie may have been the ringleader of their foursome, but he did very little without the approval of the other three members of their set. In fact, the fifty-minute English class that just ended was the first time they’d been apart since 7:30 a.m.

The morning started like it had every single school day in the six years they’d been best friends—except that today, for the first time, Charlie was their ride in the 1996 Pontiac Grand Am convertible he saved his rec-soccer-coaching money to buy for his seventeenth birthday.

Kit and Miller were waiting on the curb between their two houses when Charlie pulled up. Kit was fidgeting with her cellphone while telling a mile-a-minute story to Miller. Miller was half asleep and fake-listening while chugging an orange juice that Charlie knew he would later leave in the back of the convertible car. Without missing a beat, Kit saw Charlie approach, grabbed the almost-empty carton out of Miller’s hand, and tossed it in the trashcan next to the curb. What would Miller do without her? Charlie thought.

“Were you two out here waiting for Bertha’s boob-mobile? If so, I can just meet you at school…”

“I hope I never see that crazy bitch again,” Miller said as he climbed into the back of the car.

“Sean! Be nice. You took that bus for five days and poor Bertha probably had serious back problems because of those boobs,” Kit said as she climbed in beside him. “Let’s go. Amanda is waiting.”

Leave it to Kit to defend the only bus driver in the world that got lost four times a week, Charlie thought as they sped off toward Amanda’s house.

Predictably, Amanda was not waiting at the curb. Amanda Hunter did not wait for people anywhere, ever. After two beeps, she finally appeared with a fake-apologetic look on her face.

“Happy first day, Carly!” she said as she approached the convertible.

Charlie had long since given up on convincing Amanda to drop the dumb nickname she’d given him when he’d first arrived at Englewood Middle School.

“Your name is Carly?” she had said when he introduced himself to her all those years ago.

“No, it’s Charlie!”

“Well, I heard Carly, so I’m calling you that…forever.”

Charlie had thought forever would last about a year, but he’d underestimated Amanda. That was a mistake he’d never make again.

“Hey, kids,” she said, and climbed into the front seat. “Thanks for leaving me the front.”

“Like we have a choice,” Miller said.

“Exactly,” Amanda responded.

Charlie glanced over at Amanda as she sidled in beside him. Sometimes it was impossible to look at her without seeing all the history that had passed between them, but today all Charlie could focus on was the fact that she was gorgeous. She probably spent an hour making her curls look like she just got out of bed and picking out her shorts and top, but Charlie saw right through it. Amanda cared deeply what other people thought of her. Charlie knew how she felt because he was exactly the same.

Amanda must have sensed his gaze because she reached out and gently touched her hand to his knee. “I have a good feeling about this year,” she whispered.

They had decided not to tell Kit and Miller that they’d been talking about getting back together. Kit would explode with delight at the thought of all the double dates in their future, and Miller would immediately inform the rest of the soccer team that Amanda Hunter was off the market again, courtesy of his best friend. Charlie wasn’t ready to jump back into things quite yet, despite Amanda’s very convincing ways.

“You know we’re the best when we’re together,” she’d said to him the other night as they lay on the couch in her pool house. She was right: when he and Amanda were great, they were really, really great. She was demanding and could be a brat from time to time, but underneath that tough edge was a girl who knew what she wanted and how to get it. Charlie always admired that about Amanda. She forced him to work harder to make all his goals a reality. He wanted them to get back to being the couple they were always meant to be, but they had been through more in two and a half years of dating than most people would experience in a lifetime, and it sometimes made Charlie wonder if he and Amanda were cursed.

He took her hand in his and gave it a quick squeeze as he backed out of her family’s long driveway and headed toward school. So what if Kit or Miller noticed? Right then, it felt right.

* * *

But now, as he caught Amanda’s face watching Laura Rivers slowly glide down the lunch line en route to their table, Charlie wasn’t so sure.

“You guys hear there’s a new girl?” Miller asked, his mouth half-full with the first of two meatball subs he’d grabbed from the cafeteria line. As usual, his timing was terrible.

Amanda glanced at Kit, who acknowledged the look, but quickly turned away. So much for Charlie seeing things that weren’t really there.

“Yeah. We have English together first period. I actually invited her to sit with us today,” Charlie said. He knew the Band-Aid approach was best with this group. Better to just rip it off so there was more time to deal with Amanda’s freak-out.

“You did what?” Amanda barked.

“What’s the problem?” Charlie was bluffing, and he knew that she knew it.

“Fine. Since no one else is going to say it…” she lowered her voice and leaned in, “she kinda looks like you-know-who.”

“I think she does, too, Charlie,” Kit chimed in. “But maybe that’s just because we’re paranoid…”

“You girls are crazy,” Miller said. “I don’t see it.”

“You don’t see anything, Sean,” Kit said.

Charlie had no interest in dwelling on the issue. “Her name is Laura and we all need to get over it,” Charlie said, mostly to himself.

The next second, she was standing inches from the table. Charlie looked over at Miller as he registered Laura’s features. Within a second, Charlie could tell that he saw it, too.

Charlie watched Laura nervously touch a chunk of her gold curls and felt his entire body clench. In that moment, any thought about moving on seemed ridiculous. Laura looked like her, yes, but the bigger problem was that Charlie found her totally captivating.

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Author Jessie Rosen

Author Jessie Rosen

About the Author
Jessie Rosen is a writer, producer, and performer. She grew up in New Jersey, attended Boston College in Massachusetts, and began her writing career in New York.

Her live storytelling series Sunday Night Sex Talk has received national attention. She was named one of “The 25 Best Bloggers, 2013 Edition” by TIME magazine for her blog 20- Nothings, which was also named in “The 100 Best Websites for Women” and “The Top 10 Best Websites for Millennial Women” in 2013 by Forbes.

Rosen is the oldest of four girls, which gives her a special window into the minds of teenagers. She now lives in Los Angeles, where she’s working on film and television projects, as well as her next novel.

Where to Find Jessie Rosen
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Release Day + Giveaway – Vanquished by S.E. Green

Vanquished Release

Today is release day for Vanquished, a romantic suspense novel from author S.E. Green. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Vanquished by S.E. Green

Vanquished by S.E. Green

About the Book
Title:
 Vanquished
Author: S.E. Green
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
(Warning: For mature audiences only)

For a price, the world’s most powerful people can explore their darkest desires. On a private island hidden in the ocean they may hunt humans for game, attend gladiator-style fights, participate in elaborate orgies, and freely indulge in all the deadly sins within the cosplay of ancient times.

Abducted from their life in Miami, Valoria and her younger sister wake up in this secret society, wherein Valoria is condemned to the fights and her sister is taken away to become a sex slave.

Now “property” of a sadistic tyrant, Valoria joins other men and women captives who are forced to fight and maim for others’ enjoyment, to run in their hunts, and participate in deviant fantasies. And she’s under the cold, watchful eye of Alexior, a hired trainer with his own agenda for being involved in the twisted decadence.

After surviving several near-death ordeals, a defiant Valoria focuses on her training and against all odds soon becomes a favorite. But she fights for one thing and one thing only—to be reunited with her sister and to be freed.

But promises of freedom are sometimes just manipulative lies . . .

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Excerpt
A muscle in the right side of his jaw ticks and my eyes go straight to it. I stare at it as it ticks a second time. A third. My vision narrows to just that one hard muscle, and warmth flushes through me. The muscle stops ticking and instead locks into tense attention.

I swallow, and my gaze trails down to his throat to see it constrict, too. The puffy vein in his neck draws my attention next and I watch as it thumps. Thumps. Thumps.

He moves a fraction closer and I draw in his unique Alexior scent. He shifts, and I realize he’s opening the door.

I don’t bring my eyes back to his. I don’t want him to see whatever it is that is going on inside of me right now. I don’t want to face the possibility there is nothing going on inside of him.

He grabs my upper arm and squeezes almost too tightly and then roughly trails his hand down the length of my arm and around to my lower back. So low he’s touching the top of my ass. He turns me and presses me forward into the room.

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Author S.E. Green

Author S.E. Green

About the Author
S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the teen spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award.

Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Vanquished is her debut novel for adults.

Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog.

Where to find S.E. Green
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Wattpad

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – Bad to the Bone by Wendy Byrne

Bad to the Bone Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Bad to the Bone, a romantic suspense from Wendy Byrne. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Bad to the Bone by Wendy Byrne

Bad to the Bone by Wendy Byrne

About the Book
Title: Bad to the Bone
Author: Wendy Byrne
Publisher: Entangled Ignite
Release Date: September 7, 2015
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Entangled

Synopsis
When her Uncle Jack is arrested on drug charges, Sammie Murphy hops the first plane to Key West.

Being rescued isn’t on her uncle’s to-do list, though. When he admits guilt and instructs her to go home, Sammie knows with 100% certainty something is seriously wrong.

Veteran DEA agent Enrique Santos knows when a bust is solid.

So why is he allowing Jack Murphy’s niece to mess with his head? He’s been set-up and nearly killed by a woman like her before, and he’s not about to make that mistake again.

But then things at Murphy’s bar take a turn for the dangerous, leaving Sammie entangled in Enrique’s dark past. Forced to second-guess his convictions, Enrique has no choice but to kidnap the one woman who could destroy everything…including his heart.

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Excerpt
Her face flushed as all sorts of erotic thoughts passed through her mind. This man should be stamped with a big fat label—lethal.

What was that new mantra of hers again? Men are slime. Men are scum. They’ll only lead to disaster. That was it. Somehow her hormones weren’t paying any attention.

“I teach karate and work at a bar in Providence.”

“I figured you’d done this kind of work before.”

Nervous, she took another sip of water. Where were all the customers? Distraction. Distraction. Distraction. That’s what she needed.

“What else do you want to know?” The smile on his face told her he was cocky about his appeal.

Check another box on the trouble score sheet.

“This isn’t a good idea, this getting-to-know-you thing. I won’t be in town long, and I’ll be busy.” She gulped down the urge to take him up on his offer to go out. “Besides, you’re really not my type. You’re a little rough around the edges. The bandanna. The earring. The…” Her voice trailed off. She didn’t dare say the sculpted biceps, the sexy timbre of his voice, those amazing eyes. She’d never be able to pull that lie off.

At her words, he pulled off the bandanna covering his head, and the earring from his ear and a mass of thick, wavy hair tumbled out. How could that be? He was even sexier than she imagined. Why couldn’t he have a big giant bald spot covered up by the bandanna?

“Your hair…um, I see…why you need to wear the bandanna.” Could she get any more lame? She did an internal groan.

“It kind of gets in the way when I’m working or riding on my bike.”

“Bike? You mean as in motorcycle?”

She should have figured he’d have one of those. All bad boys had bikes, didn’t they? That way, not only could they make a quick getaway when they inevitably got caught doing something despicable, they’d look ever so sexy doing it.

He motioned with his thumb in the general direction. “My Harley’s parked across the street at the job site. I like to ride it when the weather’s nice.”

She fanned herself. He called this nice? It was hot as hell and getting hotter by the second.

“Oh.” A flush spread from her neck up.

“I’ll take you for a ride down the coast some time. It doesn’t have to be a date.”

No. No. No. Willpower was never her strong point. Everything within her traitorous body wanted to agree to a ride down the highway to hell.

Her body heated up as the blood in her veins buzzed. It must have been some mutant genetic strain within her family that caused her obsession with disaster.

Because, if nothing else, Enrique Santana was a walking, breathing hunk of pure disaster waiting to happen.

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Author Wendy Byrne

Author Wendy Byrne

About the Author
Wendy lives in the Chicago area. She has a Masters in Social Work and worked in the child welfare field for twelve years before she decided to pursue her dream of writing.

Between teaching college classes, trying to get her morbidly obese cat to slim down and tempering the will of her five-year-old granddaughter, who’s determined to become a witch when she turns six so she can fly on her broom to see the Eiffel Tower and put hexes on people–not necessarily in that order–somehow Wendy still manages to fit in writing. She spends the remainder of her days inflicting mayhem on her hero and heroine until they beg for mercy.

She has written three books in the Hard Targets trilogy, Hard to Kill, Hard to Trust and Hard to Stop. In addition, she has two books through Entangled Publishing, The Millionaire’s Deception, and Bad to the Bone, two self-published books, The Christmas Curse and Accused, and two interracial romances, Fractured and Mama Said.

Where to Find Wendy Byrne
Goodreads | Website | Facebook Twitter | Pinterest

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Book Blitz – Sale + Giveaway – Sweet Liar (Candy Series) by Debra Doxer

Sweet Liar Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for Sweet Liar, the second book in the young adult mystery thriller series, Candy, by Debra Doxer. For a limited time, you can pick up Like Candy, book 1 in the series, for just $0.99. See below for all the details.

Sweet Liar (Candy Series #2) by Debra Doxer

Sweet Liar (Candy Series #2) by Debra Doxer

About the Book
Title:
 Sweet Liar
Series: Candy #2
Author: Debra Doxer
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
Sometimes lies are sweeter than the truth.

Beauty is alluring; it can disguise the ugliness beneath. But scarred beauty is even more potent to a girl who vowed never to let her heart be broken again. It was an easy vow for Candy to keep until she met Jonah, an arrogant boy with a face that would be too perfect if not for the scar that marred the skin beside his eye.

That imperfect boy earned her trust and won her heart, but the ties that bind people together are fragile, especially when lies are told. Trust is also fragile, and once broken, doesn’t heal like a heart. Trust has to be earned again, and Jonah desperately wants Candy’s trust back.

But Candy has more than Jonah to worry about. Her father is in trouble, and she intends to help him whether he likes it or not. People tell her he’s a bad man, and that may be true, but he’s not all bad. Deep down, she understands his brand of badness because she’s so much like him.

When Candy finally learns the truth, she’ll have to grow up fast, let go of old grievances, and realize that being vulnerable doesn’t make her weak. In fact, opening herself up may be the very thing that makes her whole again.

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Sweet Liar Sale

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Like Candy (Candy Series #1) by Debra Doxer

Like Candy (Candy Series #1) by Debra Doxer

About Book 1 – NOW ON SALE FOR $0.99!
Title:
 Like Candy
Series: Candy #1
Author: Debra Doxer
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
Revenge is sweet, just like candy.

Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.

Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.

Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.

Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.

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Like Candy Teaser

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Author Debra Doxer

Author Debra Doxer

About the Author
Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area.

She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”

Where to Find Debra Doxer
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

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Release Day – The Space Before and The Space Beyond by Melissa Pearl

The Space Before The Space Beyond Release

Today is release day for The Space Before and The Space Beyond, the prequel and sequel to The Space Between Heartbeats, a young adult paranormal thriller romance by Melissa Pearl. See below for information on the books and buy links.

The Space Before (The Space Between Heartbeats #0.5) by Melissa Pearl

The Space Before (The Space Between Heartbeats #0.5) by Melissa Pearl

About the Prequel
Title: The Space Before
Series: The Space Between Heartbeats #0.5
Author: Melissa Pearl
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Thriller
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Link: Amazon

Synopsis
“Sometimes to find your way…you have to get completely lost.”

Dale Finnigan is a teenage rebel; he lives for parties, girls and joy riding in stolen cars. In spite of his uptight parents’ constant warnings and lectures, he continues to run wild. His crazy lifestyle is the only way he can live and feel free…until his reckless behavior takes him down a path where there is no going back.

In this prequel to THE SPACE BETWEEN HEARTBEATS, find out who Dale Finnigan was before he became known as “scar-face”—the unassuming hero everyone underestimates.

**THIS NOVELLA CONTAINS A SPECIAL OFFER INSIDE**

WARNING: This book is intended for mature teen readers due to coarse language and mature content.

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The Space Beyond (The Space Between Heartbeats #1.5) by Melissa Pearl

The Space Beyond (The Space Between Heartbeats #1.5) by Melissa Pearl

About the Sequel
Title: The Space Beyond
Series: The Space Between Heartbeats #1.5
Author: Melissa Pearl
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Thriller
Links: Amazon

Synopsis
“There’s more than one way to say, I love you.”

Have you ever been so in love with someone, but not had the courage to tell them?

Nicole Tepper is that girl. She loves her boyfriend Dale, but fearing rejection, keeps her feelings buried deep. She can’t even let on how heartbroken she is when Dale begins applying for colleges thousands of miles away from her; never even whispering a word about how much she wishes he would stay close.

But, when Dale is rejected from Colombia University in NYC, due to a police record that follows him wherever he goes, Nicole soon discovers that love can drive her to do things she never thought possible.

There’s more than one way to say, I love you and Nicole is about to prove to Dale that she loves him beyond all common sense.

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The Space Between Heartbeats (The Space Between Heartbeats #1) by Melissa Pearl

The Space Between Heartbeats (The Space Between Heartbeats #1) by Melissa Pearl

About Book 1
Title: The Space Between Heartbeats
Series: The Space Between Heartbeats #1
Author: 
Melissa Pearl
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Release Date: 
September 8, 2015
Genre: 
Young Adult Paranormal Thriller
Links: Amazon

Synopsis
Nicole Tepper has it all—beauty, popularity, and the perfect boyfriend. But after a party she can’t remember, she wakes up in a ghostly state, trapped between life and death. Nicole’s injured body is lying in a wooded area, but she has no idea where—or how long she has left to live.

Only one person can hear her now: Dale Finnegan, a loner classmate that Nicole has relentlessly bullied. Dale’s the last person in school who would want to help her, but he sets their tangled history aside to try to save her life. As they dig into what happened at the party, they discover her boyfriend isn’t as perfect as he seems—and neither are her friends.

With the clock ticking down and her life slipping away, Nicole must face a hard truth: Was what happened to her a terrible accident? Or does someone want her dead?

This is a new edition of the previously self-published novel Betwixt.

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Author Melissa Pearl

Author Melissa Pearl

About the Author
Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons.

She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book is coming out in February 2014 – True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.

“I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love.”

Where to Find Melissa Pearl
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterBlog | Twitter | Facebook
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Review + Giveaway – The Rebel by Adrienne Giordano

The Rebel by Adrienne Giordano

The Rebel by Adrienne Giordano

4 Stars

Synopsis

Bad to the bone…in all the right ways 

A brilliant civil lawyer, David Hennings has always been the outsider—at odds with his wealthy family, shunning relationships, defying convention as a sexy leather-jacketed biker. Which is why sculptor Amanda LeBlanc agrees to his request to reconstruct a skull from a cold case murder. The instant heat between them is scorching. 

But once Amanda takes the job and gets too close to the rebellious attorney, her carefully balanced life is upended by a series of methodical attacks. Someone doesn’t want her to finish the job. Now David will risk everything not to lose the woman he unknowingly put in jeopardy.

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My Review
I love a good mystery. Add romance and instant heat and I’m there. The Rebel pairs pragmatic artist, Amanda, with edgy civil lawyer, David. David comes from a family of lawyers, but he’s the only one to shy away from criminal law, so it’s ironic he’s the one his mother enlists to convince Amanda to reconstruct the identity of a woman only from her skull. Sparks fly upon their first meeting, but they dance around their attraction for more than half the book before anything happens. There was more than enough intrigue, and good juicy mystery, and lots of unresolved sexual tension to keep me invested.

The timeframe is short, so a lot is packed into several fast-paced days, including a red hot romance. Despite that, the pacing of the writing itself is steady rather than intense. It moves, but for me, never reached the I-can’t-put-it-down stage. Not to say that I didn’t find that I wasn’t interested in finishing it, only that I was okay to wait until morning to finish reading. It was a good solid story, though, with interesting characters and an intriguing plot.

Plot
On the surface, it seems the plot is the mystery of the skull found in the prologue, but it’s really the story of David and Amanda’s romance. They’re thrown together because of the mystery, and danger follows them as a result, driving conflict. The romance moves almost too quickly based on the compressed timeframe of only a few days, but in the span of the story itself, it unfolds slowly. But at no time did I doubt these two would end up together.

Characters
The characters are where this story really shines. Adrienne Giordano creates deep, layered characters who are exceedingly likeable as they spew witty banter. The family dynamics of David, his siblings, and his mother are as real as it gets and were at the root of some of the best scenes in the book.

Writing
The author does a great job of setting the scene, getting us inside her character’s heads, and developing those characters. There were a few pacing issues, but nothing major. There was also a pretty good twist I didn’t see coming, even though it was excellently foreshadowed.

Ending
Things wrapped up pretty much the way I expected in a satisfying conclusion.

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About The Rebel:
1. The mystery. When a skull is found, the hunt is on for the identity it belongs to, putting everyone in danger.

2. The flirty banter between David and Amanda. Their attraction is instant and it shows.

3. Family dynamics. The sibling rivalry and revelry between David and his brother and sister is palpable.

4. The twist. I won’t give it away, but it was fun to not figure it out ahead of time.

5. Jenna. The smart, tough investigator is a solid supporting character and I’d love to read a whole book from her point of view. Think Kalinda from The Good Wife.

Bottom Line
The Rebel is a mystery wrapped in a romantic suspense with a big dose of fully-developed characters.

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

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About the Book
Title: The Rebel
Author: Adrienne Giordano
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Pages: 234
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | GooglePlay | Harlequin

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Author Adrienne Giordano

Author Adrienne Giordano

About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. 

She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier).

She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. 

Where to Find Adrienne Giordano
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Street TeamFacebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
There is a tour-wide giveaway of a $25.00 eGift Card to an online book retailer of winner’s choice and three swag packs.

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Release Day + Giveaway – That’s Not My Suitcase by Laina Turner

That's Not My Suitcase Release Day

Today is release day for That’s Not My Suitcase, a charming mystery from Laina Turner. See below for information on the book and buy links.

That's Not My Suitcase by Laina Turner

That’s Not My Suitcase by Laina Turner

About the Book
Title: That’s Not My Suitcase
Author: Laina Turner
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Sterling Towne decided to take a last minute vacation to a sunny paradise to cheer herself up after a divorce.

When the airline misplaces her luggage, she thinks it’s just a typical airline snafu until she gets her luggage back only to find out it’s not hers.

Rather the suitcase belongs to someone who thought it a good idea to transport a gold Buddha statue via commercial airlines.

Sterling turns the statue into hotel security for safe keeping but then her room is ransacked, and she’s sure there was someone following her in town.

Does the owner of the statue think she still has it?

But if so, why not just ask? She’s getting nervous, and even her new friend Steve thinks she might be in danger.

Is she? Or is her imagination just working over time?

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Author Laina Turner

Author Laina Turner

About the Author
As a child Laina thought she would either be a truck driver (thanks to Jerry Reed in Smokey and the Bandit) or work at Taco Bell (her favorite restaurant as a child). As she grew older she realized her talents lay in academics and business and for the last several years has been a business consultant and college professor where she uses the analytical side of her brain and not the side that makes up stories.

Through all her career choices she has continued to have a passion for writing. This stemmed from childhood whereas an only child she developed a vivid imagination spending most of her time making things up and thinking the Incredible Hulk lived in her closet.

Proud of her vast experiences in life from barrel racing to being on the dance team for a semi pro basketball team to being a mom of 2 amazing kids, she tells her family and friends that no one is safe from their escapades slipping in to her books.

Taking the plunge to write books that she actually lets people read in 2010, she has worked her way up to having 5 fans (maybe 6 now). Her blog, The Art Of Living Fabulously, was launched to share the daily fun in the life of a Real Housewife of the Midwest along with the musing of other fabulous ladies.

Where to Find Laina Turner
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz + Giveaway – Castle in the Air by Jennifer Tresse

Castle in the Air Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for Castle in the Air by Jennifer Tresse, a young adult mystery set in the real life Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, dubbed the most haunted hotel in America. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Castle in the Air by Jennifer Tresse

Castle in the Air by Jennifer Tresse

About the Book
Title: Castle in the Air
Author: Jennifer Tressen
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Release Date: July 25, 2015
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas has been called “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” largely because of the events of the 1930s when Dr. Norman Baker ran a “cancer treatment hospital” which he called his “Castle in the Air.”

Follow the fictionalized story of Clara, the young, unwed pregnant niece of Dr. Baker who comes to help at the cancer center in exchange for room and board and finds things aren’t quite what they appear to be.

Caring for an ill young boy at the center she feels her maternal instincts kick in – something is definitely not right at her uncle’s hospital. But what?

Will she be able to piece together the clues in time to save herself and the boy? Or will be forever be doomed to reside in the Castle in the Air, where once you check in…you never leave.

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Excerpt #2
Clara had been lucky to not experience morning sickness in the way many mothers did. Besides a constant state of tiredness and some nausea her pregnancy hadn’t been terribly bad thus far.

Making it back to her bedroom the small mattress had never looked so inviting. Clara curled up on a ball and fell fast asleep.

In the middle of the night a hand reached up and grabbed her throat. Clara tried to pull it away but couldn’t. The hand wrapped itself around her narrow neck and began its clutch.

“You’re killing me,” a voice said.

Clara gasped for air. She couldn’t breathe.

“It’s wrong.”

Clara’s eyes searched for a face.

“Medicine. I need…”

The hand squeezed tighter. Clara’s eyes bulged as she looked and saw it belonged to…

“Theodora.” Clara sat up in bed, covered in sweat. She looked around. The room was dark and empty. Touching her neck she found it was still soft and supple. No one was trying to strangle her.

“A dream. Just a bad dream,” she said in a near whisper of relieved realization. The image of Theodora remained with her as she lay back down. The woman had not been herself during the afternoon treatment session and in her recent nightmare her grip of death had been all too real.

What does it all mean?

Wiping the beads of sweat from her forehead she considered leaving. What if she did leave? No one would miss her. In fact, her uncle would likely be happier.

Such a grump.

What she would do for medical attention or money she hadn’t the faintest idea. She could always go back and live with her grandmother despite the old woman’s failing health and slipping mind. Surely her grandmother wouldn’t shut her out, especially with a new life blossoming.

Maybe I should go. This is place isn’t a place for me. I don’t want to be here. There is nothing here for me. No purpose. I can have this baby elsewhere. It will be fine. Everything will be fine.

Convincing herself of all these things, Clara closed her eyes and fell back asleep. In the morning she would tell Susan or Lily her intentions and pack her things.

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Author Jennifer Tresse

Author Jennifer Tresse

About the Author
Jennifer Tressen is a wife, mother and writer. A former actor, she spent nearly ten years in the entertainment industry appearing in commercials, print ads and television shows. It was her love of storytelling that pushed her to the other side of the camera and sent her to film school at Chapman University. Although she entered as a Cinematography major, Jennifer graduated with a degree in Screenwriting after a single required screenwriting class forever changed her path. She found a passion for writing she had forgotten in her childhood. Everything she learned about screenwriting and especially storytelling she attributes to her mentor, the late Blake Snyder.

After several years of writing and editing for producers and other screenwriters her curiosity led her into writing novels. As a huge fan of Young Adult and New Adult literature this is where her pen tends to lead her. However, she does have plans to release a few middle grade fiction and adult novels in the future.

Jennifer attributes her love of reading and writing to her mother who always reminded her of the power of literacy. Besides telling her and her siblings that they could do anything they wanted if they knew how to read and write, she said, “You can go anywhere in a book. You can be anyone.”

Where to Find Jennifer Tressen
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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