Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











 UtopYA

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Hello fabulous readers!  This month for my official UtopYA post, I have a treat for you!

Heather Hildenbrand, author of Imitation, book one in the Clone Chronicles Series–an amazing series that Jerry Bruckheimer and Alloy have optioned for NBC–stopped by the blog to reminisce about her experiences at UtopYA!

Imitation

So, without further ado, I give you Heather:

I am what UtopYA refers to as a veteran. I was there at ground zero: year one.

And also at year two. And three. I’m what I call a repeat offender.

UtopYAcon for me is kind of like six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Except, without any Footloose dancing. And with a different type of celebrity. Okay, wait. There was that one time with the

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dancing. But we don’t talk about that. #staysinthevault

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve made so many connections as a result of attending UtopYA, beginning with year one and every year after, that when Shana

asked me to write this post, I was a little overwhelmed at all the material I had to pull from.

That first year, I was an author but barely. The ink on the title was still fresh

and I was so GREEN. I knew no one. I had a few names in my pocket of people I’d seen around on Facebook and Twitter but that was IT. I was nervous. Alone. And then I got there and I was never, ever for one second either of those things again. Not in Nashville and not after returning home.

I made connections. I made friends. And those friends have stayed with me through thick and thin, not just names on the internet or faces on profile pages, but real life FRiEnDS.

People I talk to throughout the year online, on the phone, in person.

I’m not trying to make this an ad for “attend UtopYA.” If anything, I’m saying THANKS to all the friends, professional connections, and smiles that I know I can count on every single year. UtopYA gives me all the feels and I am more than happy to give them right back. (BUT if you don’t believe that a girl who knew NO ONE could go from zero to this list, I dare you to show up this year and find out!)

So, THANK YOU, for welcoming me that first year and every year, Tiffany (& Ash) King, M Leighton, Adam & Carol Kunz, SM Boyce, Brina Courtney, Ella James, Sarah Ross, Angeline Kace, Shana Benedict, KC Neal, Chelsea Fine, Heather Self, Rachel Marks, Quinn Loftis, Megan Curd, Carlyle Labuschagne, Bethany Lopez, Tracy Banghart, Misty Provencher, Hope Collier Fields, Heather Love King, Chelsea Starling, Barbara Sheldon, Eva Pohler, Brenda Pandos, Cambria Hebert, Devri Walls, Delphina Miyares, Kat Grimes, Kat Nequette, Natalie Cleary, Amy Bartol, Shelly Crane, Alli Bowen, Donna Dull, Regina Wamba, Bella Roccaforte, Susan Burdorf, ALL the readers … holy moly I am forgetting so many. You know who you are.

I’ve never been to another book event before or since that continues to maintain an atmosphere of friendship like the one UtopYA offers. Thank you, Janet, and thank you, readers! I can’t wait to see you this June!

 

headshot1Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs.

Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys. For more information visit www.phoenixauthorink.com and find out how to create your own Outrageous Life.

She is represented by Rebecca Friedman. You can find out more about Heather and her books at www.heatherhildenbrand.com.

Or find her here:

Facebook | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

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Make sure you check out Heather’s Clone Chronicles series!  Both Imitation and Deviation take place in a futuristic world–and with UtopYA’s 2015 theme as Time Travel, you sure don’t want to miss out on these awesome titles!!

ImitationImitation Synopsis:

Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me.

Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face. Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.

When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?

Fans of Cinder, The Selection and Sara Shepard’s Lying Game series will love Imitation, a thrilling, action-packed novel sure to keep readers guessing until the very last page.

Amazon

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Deviation NEWDeviation Synopsis:

Until a month ago, eighteen-year-old Ven had never set foot outside the windowless warehouse where she was created.

An Imitation of Raven Rogen, Ven spent her days confined in the lab, studying videos of her Authentic, all so she could step into Raven’s life at a moment’s notice.

Now, Ven lives in Raven’s penthouse apartment, kisses Raven’s boyfriend, and obeys every order from Raven’s dad, Titus Rogen—the very man who created her.

But Ven has a secret plan. She doesn’t want Raven’s life. She wants her own.

In the action-packed sequel of Imitation, Ven wages a dangerous war against Titus. First she’ll free herself, then she’ll free every last Imitation. . . .

 Amazon

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Other titles by Heather Hildenbrand:

Dirty Blood (book 1, the Dirty Blood series)

Amazon | Kobo | B&N

Cold Blood (book 2, Dirty Blood series)

Amazon | Kobo | B&N

Blood Bond (book 3, Dirty Blood series)

Amazon | Kobo | B&N

Blood Rule, (book 4, Dirty Blood series)

Amazon | Kobo | B&N

Whisper

Amazon | Kobo | B&N

Across the Galaxy

Amazon | Kobo | B&N

DreamKiller: The Complete Saga (a novella)

Amazon | Kobo | B&N

A Risk Worth Taking

Amazon | B&N

The Indie Author Guide: A Self-Publisher’s Toolbox

Amazon | B&N

Book your tickets for UtopYA 2015 NOW on Eventbrite!

Need info about the hotel and travel?  Check out my post: HERE

For this month, the official bloggers are bringing you amazing UtopYA panelist interviews, information, and awe-inspiring stories. Be sure and visit the other wonderful UtopYA blogs:

Week 1 – Jo Michaels Blog
Week 3 – The Paisley Reader
Week 4 – Book Junkie: Not So Anonymous

UTOPYA Official Blogger

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It’s FREE on Amazon
for a limited time!
January 1-5
 
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The Darkest Part (The Living Heartwood, #1) by Trisha Wolfe

 

Pressing the boundaries of both the psyche and the heart, Sam and Holden embark on a dangerous
journey that will test the limits of love.

Sam Wintry’s life used to be almost perfect. She was engaged to her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Tyler Marks, planning an amazing cross-country honeymoon during her college break. But after a hit-and-run leaves her in ruin, she begins seeing Tyler’s fractured, ghostly presence, and her family believes she’s losing her mind. Not until she completes their journey, stopping along the way to scatter Tyler’s remains, will Tyler be able cross over. Only…is Sam ready for him to leave her?

When the black sheep of the Marks’ family, Holden Marks, returns to check on Tyler’s case, Sam convinces him to give her his brother’s ashes. Despite their shaky history, she needs him…plus, he owes it to Sam and his brother. What she doesn’t count on is Holden’s relentlessness to go on the trip.

On the road, Holden realizes just how unhinged Sam has become. Dealing with her psychosis forces him to confront his dark past, making it harder to keep secrets hidden that should remain buried. Especially from Sam, the only woman he’s ever loved. And as Sam starts to unravel the truth, she begins to question if the brother she’s unwillingly falling for again is in an even darker place than her. 

Goodreads | Amazon 

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Excerpt:

My feet race across the root- covered path, and when I reach her, I swallow hard. Rain water drips down her face, rolling over her full lips, and her black hair is slicked back. Like she just got out of the shower. I try to keep my gaze from drifting lower, but dammit. Her white shirt clings to her body, teasingly revealing the fact she’s either not wearing a bra, or she’s wearing a really thin one.

I’m instantly sporting a semi. I give myself a mental punch to the gut, clearing my thoughts. I don’t know how to start this. My mouth is dry, and if I had any words in my empty head before, they’re long gone. Maybe I misread her paint—

Her arm snakes around my neck, pulling my shirt off my head, and I realize— like a dumbass— I’m still holding it above me. Her other hand goes to my stomach, and I suck in a sharp breath at the feel of her warm skin through the material. Her body presses against me, and it’s so delicate, fragile. She’s shaking. I want to hold her tight. Feel every bit of her.

“What are we doing?” she asks, releasing a small, timid laugh.

I swallow again. “I don’t know . . . but whatever it is, I don’t want to stop.”

Heat blazes in her eyes, desire. And I try to remind myself that this is Sam. My next door neighbor, and the girl I’ve known since she was in diapers. But she’s far more mature than her years; she sees things clearer than anyone I’ve ever met— is more sultry than any woman I’ve ever seen.

Shutting down my brain, I brush a wet lock of hair from her cheek. She gasps at my touch and bites down on her lip, and it’s my undoing. Gripping her soaking shirt, I pull her to me and press my lips to hers.

It’s soft and questioning, us trying to figure out our beat. It’s nervous and unsure, but as her mouth parts to welcome me in, I dip my tongue inside the hollow of her mouth, taste the sweetness of her. When she matches me, her tongue sliding over mine, mingling, heat scorches the back of my throat. My pulse quickens as a tremor rocks me.

She shivers in my arms, whether from the cold or the kiss, I’m not sure. But all I want to do is make her shiver more. And then warm her. I bend at the knees and grasp her thighs, lifting her into my arms. Something primal is taking over— driving out any hesitation. She latches her arms around my neck, locking her legs around my waist.

I’m moving us forward or backward . . . I don’t know. But I feel the tree bark against my knuckles at some point, and I press Sam against it, her body molding to mine. Our kiss becomes crushing and hungry, and I’m suddenly desperate, scared for it to end.

I’ve never opened myself up to anyone like this, especially a girl. I’ve made out with them and other things. Hell, I’m a guy. But with Sam . . . I know I’m vulnerable now. I can feel her reaching in and taking up residency in my soul.

It’s painful and pleasurable and scary as hell.

Thunder cracks above, the rain beats down, but we’re lost beneath a black dead tree— feeling alive.

 

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The Series:

The Darkest Part – Goodreads | Amazon
Losing Track – Goodreads | Amazon
Fading Out – Goodreads | Pre-Order
Bad Road – Goodreads | Available mid 2015

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The Giveaway…

Tell us what you think of about one of the Living Heartwood books and be entered to WIN a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b2b8c6c4460/

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The Author…
From an early age, Trisha Wolfe dreamed up fantasy worlds and characters and was accused of talking to herself. Today, she lives in South Carolina with her family and writes full time, using her fantasy worlds as an excuse to continue talking to herself.  
Newsletter | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


SCT RDL Banner Final

 

I am thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s STONE COLD TOUCH!

STONE COLD TOUCH is the second full-length novel in Jennifer’s The Dark Elements Series, a young adult paranormal romance being published by Harlequin Teen!!

 

Stone Cold Touch

 

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** Kobo ** iTunes

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 STONE COLD TOUCH Synopsis:

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

SCT available now________________________________________________________________________________

EXCERPT:

I’d remained in bed after that, trying to sort through the odd tingling in my chest. There was a slight smile on my lips, because Zayne…well, he’d made my day, but then I’d remember what Roth had said to me the night before and the smile would wash away as if it had never been there.

I probably needed to get used to the whiplash mood swings.

It wasn’t until after dinner that I decided to scrub a day’s worth of gunk off myself. Gingerly, I peeled the bandage off, happy to find that the cut in my arm was healing as expected. I didn’t need to cover it anymore. The arm was still tender, but the Warden blood in me was quickly undoing the damage from the iron.

After changing into fresh pj’s, like a total hermit, I padded over to my desk, where I’d left my cell phone. It had been on silent all day and when I tapped the screen, I wasn’t surprised to see a slew of texts from Stacey.

Where r u?

R u skipping, u ho?

A minute later: Your locker misses u. Guess u sick with the herp?

Oh my God. I laughed out loud, grinning as I thumbed through her texts. Our bio sub is still hot. U r missing this.

Bio is lonely.

My boobs miss u. How weird is that?

That was notably weird and yet not surprising.

If I get my cell taken from me, it’s ur fault.

Holy shit, Layla, where r u?!?

Air punched out of my lungs as I read the next text and the several following them.

U have no idea who just walked into bio!!!

Roth is here!

Holy Canola oil, why aren’t u here to witness this?

Ok. He says he had mono. Srlsy? Do people still get mono? And who in the duck was he kissing? A second later—Duck? I didn’t mean duck. That’s SO not what I meant, autocorrect.

Another text had come in about fifteen minutes after the last one. He asked where u were. I told him u joined a cult. I laughed. He didn’t.

Finally, the last text was to call her if I wasn’t dead.

“What in the Hell?” I tossed my cell onto the bed, mouth hanging open.

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StoneColdTouch-YouDecideSharable

And don’t forget! The choice is yours…

Beginning today you’ll have 3 weeks to visit the series website, www.thedarkelementsseries.com, to take a poll and decide which guy Layla should ultimately choose in the final book in the trilogy, Every Last Breath.

At the end of 3 weeks, we will tally all the votes, and that’s when Jennifer L. Armentrout will start writing Every Last Breath. The guy who gets the most votes is the one Layla will pick.

To prevent early spoilers, we’re not going to reveal who won the poll in advance…you’ll have to wait until Every Last Breath goes on sale on July 28th, 2015 to find out whether Zayne or Roth wins Layla in the end. We promise the book will be epic and definitely worth the wait!

Who do you want Layla to end up with? Go to www.thedarkelementsseries.com and vote for your choice!

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Author PhotoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

Series Website | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads | STONE COLD TOUCH Goodreads



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Scratch by Rhonda Helms

Publisher: Kensington

Publication Date: September 30th 2014

Genres: New Adult, Romance

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unnamedSynopsis:

The most painful scars are the ones you never see.

In her DJ booth at a Cleveland dance club, Casey feels a sense of connection that’s the closest she ever gets to normal. On her college campus, she’s reserved, practical–all too aware of the disaster that can result when you trust the wrong person. But inexplicably, Daniel refuses to pay attention to the walls she’s put up. Like Casey, he’s a senior. In every other way, he’s her opposite.

Sexy, open, effortlessly charming, Daniel is willing to take chances and show his feelings. For some reason Casey can’t fathom, he’s intent on drawing her out of her bubble and back into a world that’s messy and unpredictable. He doesn’t know about the deep scars that pucker her stomach–or the deeper secret behind them. Since the violent night when everything changed, Casey has never let anyone get close enough to hurt her again. Now, she might be tempted to try.

Buy: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo / iTunes

AddtoGoodreads

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Excerpt:

“I can’t possibly eat one more bite of potato salad. Oh my God.” Daniel moaned and lay back on the blanket, cupping his hands over his still-flat belly, despite his grumbles. “I’m so full, my pants are literally going to explode off of me.”

“As my English prof would point out, you mean figuratively,” I said in a prim tone. “If your pants literally exploded, we’d be in a world of legal trouble, since this is a public park. And as punishment for your grammar error, I’m making you eat the rest of this potato salad.” I scooped a heaping spoonful out of our bowl and shoved it toward his face.

He sat up and mock glared at me. Dappled sunlight from the setting sun spilled across the dark mop of his head, hit his deep green irises. Before I could react, he grabbed the spoon and flung it, loaded potato salad and all, across the park. “Oh, crap. Sorry, it slipped.”

“Litterer!” I cried out, looking around like I was seeking a police officer. Not that there was anyone else around us except for a couple of young kids playing on the swing set nearby.sdfgaergrgtaer ag

Daniel tackled me to the ground and dug his fingers against my right side, where I was super-ticklish. “Narc!” he said, laughing hysterically.

“You jerk!” I swatted up at him and scrambled to get away. I stood and wiped the bottom of my shorts with a huff. “That was a perfectly good spoon.”

He raised an eyebrow. “I’ll buy you another.”

“It was part of a set.” I tugged my tank top down to make sure my abdomen was covered. Thankfully, Daniel had stayed away from my scarred side.

“I’ll buy you six, then.”

“You have an answer for everything, don’t you.” I chuckled.

He stood, peering down at me. His eyes were light and dancing, and my heart hadn’t felt this light in a couple of days— not since my moodiness back in the library. His hand slid along my unscarred side again, but instead of torture-tickling me, his fingers slipped and danced over my tank top. The warmth of his touch still seared me, despite the barrier.

“Not everything,” he murmured, his attention turning to my mouth. His fingers tightened incrementally on my hip. Something shifted then, sexual tension crackling in the air between us.

I automatically licked my lips, and his eyes flared. I stepped closer. I needed to taste his mouth, right now.

“Oooooooooh!” a high-pitched kid’s voice said from behind me. “They’re gonna kiss!”

I closed my eyes as a light flush stole over my cheeks.

Daniel’s mouth hovered close enough to me that I could feel his breath huffing against my skin. “I need to kiss you,” he said, and the raw edge in his tone had my eyes flying open.

Yes, the need was right there, unmasked, unashamed, completely bared to me. I felt my body respond, my core tightening, heart thudding, hands trembling.

I nodded, leaned my face up. My mouth already hungered for his.

He brushed his mouth against mine, a butterfly touch that didn’t satisfy the growing pulse in me. “Not here,” he said, his words barely a whisper. “I want you alone.”

Alone. The ache I heard in that one word sent shivers of anticipation across my skin. My flesh burst into thousands of vibrant tingles. I gave a mute nod. I wanted it too.

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Interview with Rhonda Helms:

Music is a strong running element in SCRATCH, which even includes a playlist at the end. How has music factored in your own life?

I started in music when I was 9—I played clarinet. Stayed involved in band through high school and college. I sang in a jazz ensemble, was a singer in a cover band, and I even DJ’d for a while. In short, music was a huge part of my life for a long time. I miss performing and have even been considering getting involved in it again!

Where did you get the idea for SCRATCH?

Part of it came from a real-life incident I’d heard that had stuck with me for many years. I always wondered what had happened to the girl who’d gone through such a traumatic event. How did she cope? How did she move on to love and trust again? This book was my exploration of how a woman who’d gone through hell could move forward and find real happiness.

Which scene in SCRATCH was the hardest for you to write?

Oh, it had to be the scene where Casey confesses to Daniel about her past. Finally opens up and divulges the painful truth. I sobbed as I wrote it—her pain was so vivid to me that I couldn’t shake it off for a while afterward. That was actually one of the hardest scenes I’ve ever written in my whole publishing career.

What is the follow-up book to SCRATCH?

The sequel to SCRATCH is BREAK YOUR HEART, which is her roommate Megan’s story. I can’t wait for you guys to read it—this one’s a little sexier, a little scandalous. And Nick is so foxy. ;-) Coming end of July, 2015!

You write young adult novels too—what do you have coming out in teen romance?

Next year I have two teen romances coming out with Simon Pulse—SPARKS IN SCOTLAND, which is a Scotland-set story about a girl who falls for a local Scottish boy while on vacation, and PROMPOSAL, which follows a girl and her best guy friend as they navigate love and drama during prom season. You can go to rhondahelmsbooks.com to find out more about the other teen romances I have out, too!

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dsggfheAbout the author:

Rhonda Helms started writing several years ago and loves writing teen and New Adult romance. She has a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. She also freelance edits manuscripts.

When she isn’t writing, she likes to do amateur photography, dig her toes into the sand, read for hours at a time, and eat scads of cheese. WAY too much cheese.

Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, two kids, a dog and a really loud cat. Visit her website at http://www.rhondahelmsbooks.comfor more information about her and her releases.

Links:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

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GIVEAWAY

A $25 iTunes gift card (INT)

An e-copy of ALL I EVER WANTED (INT)

A paperback copy of Scratch (US/Canada)

Click the Rafflecopter Link to Enter!



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Review:Neurotica

From Goodreads: If you find yourself talking to Jayne Dandy, keep the conversation on Star Wars and rubber ducks—best not to mention men, dating, or S-E-X. Because Jayne is fine with the way things are: writer of obituaries and garage sale ads by day, secret scribe of adventures in distant galaxies by night. But her crippling fear of intimacy has made her the butt of jokes since forever, and hiding behind her laptop isn’t going to get her lightsaber lit.

After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposure therapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet. When her adorable, long-time friend Luke, co-owner of the popular Portland food truck Luke Piewalker’s, hears she’s been demoted, he insists on hiring her to sling éclairs and turnovers at his side. Her secret must be kept, but sparks ignite between them, sending Jayne and her X-Wing into a tailspin that will either make her face down her neuroses or trigger a meltdown of Death Star proportions.

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This novel is absolutely amazing, giving readers an in-depth look at the indie publishing world through the eyes of Jayne, a young woman who struggles with intimacy.  Jayne, better known to her readers as Jaina Jacen, is an intriguing character who innocently enough begins a maelstrom when her erotica books take off in the ebook world–a feat Jayne never imagined, nor wanted.  Published under a pseudonym and only in hopes of making ends meet, Jayne’s world is turned upside down when the demand for more, including public appearances and signings, become a reality she cannot ignore.  But these books were never supposed to hit it big, and no one is supposed to know her true identity, especially not her family nor Luke, the friend who is really interested in so much more.  This conundrum adds much humor to the novel as it takes off, and Gordon’s writing style kept me captivated from the very beginning.  Jayne is such a sweet, shy character, and watching her try to dodge all romance, while in the throes of writing and publishing erotica behind closed doors, makes for a great read, perhaps more so because it’s 100% clean.

Though I am indeed a prude and dislike heavy sex in my novels, I have to admit that Gordon MADE me WANT to read Jayne’s fictional books just to know what all the hubbub was about throughout this enticing story.  Gordon really does an amazing job keeping readers on edge, snickering, and in love with all the characters as this humorous story unfolds, making it a must read. Especially as Luke is such a great guy.  And perhaps my favorite part is that it’s completely clean. While Jayne does write erotica, Gorgon keeps this NA novel PG, which is exactly where it needs to be to get the point across.

If you’re looking for a hilarious, clean, introspective read, then look no further that Neurotica.  Five stars.

5 stars
I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
AddtoGoodreads

Paperback | Kindle | Nook

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Top Ten Movie Scores for Jayne (aka. Jaina Jacen) While Writing:

One way Jayne Dandy deals with the complexities of Life and Related Topics is through her love of writing. (What a *novel* idea!) Though she starts out penning stories in the sci-fi/fantasy realm, her therapist encourages her to try a little erotica to help her work through her intimacy issues. Think of it as exposure therapy, as in, write us a story about naked bits and the people attached to them! But when circumstances of the unemployed type dictate that Jayne find a new way to pay the rent, she decides that sending her naughty stories out into the Big Bad World to earn their keep just might work.

Like many writers, Jayne relies on auditory inspiration—music! What would her playlist look like? Well, if Jayne is anything like me (and I dare say she might be, at least atiny bit), she listens to movie scores. Because lyrics, while awesome, make a writer stop and sing and possibly dance. (I’ve been known to dance while writing. Which means no writing gets done. Just a lot of embarrassment, especially if the windows are open and the neighbors can see in.Although last time I put an open guitar case on the lawn and made $4.85. Groove on, baby!)

The following is a list of five fantastic movie scores with romantic overtones that Jayne—or, I mean, Jaina Jacen—might have listened to while breathing life into her erotic novels:

Pride and Prejudice, Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Leap Year, Randy Edelman

Winter’s Tale, Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams

Romeo and Juliet, Abel Korzeniowski

Twilight Saga: New Moon, Alexandre Desplat

And what about when she’s writing her sci-fi stuff? This list could go on and on. Here are Jayne’s ten favorites:

Man of Steel, Hans Zimmer

Guardians of the Galaxy, Tyler Bates

Godzilla, Alexandre Desplat

Inception, Hans Zimmer

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Jesper Kyd and Lorne Balfe(Never underestimate the awesomeness of video game scores!)

Divergent, Junkie XL

Captain America: Winter Soldier, Henry Jackman

Thor: The Dark World, Brian Tyler

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore

The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, James Newton Howard

I LOVE movie scores because they are already a story all their own. Often I purchase movie scores without seeing the films they belong to as then the music molds to whatever I have going on in my own head, in my own fantasy worlds—I dare say Miss Jayne thinks along those same lines. There’s nothing like a heart-slamming chase scene or face-melting love scene done in music to really get those creative juices flowing. And when writing her erotica, Jayne Dandy needs all the creative juices she can get.

Happy reading!

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Eliza Gordon

About the Author:

A purveyor of fictions, Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone. www.elizagordon.com

Connect:

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Blog Tour Imitation1

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ImitationFrom Goodreads:

Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me.

Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face.

Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.

When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?

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Though the idea of clones is nothing new, Hildenbrand has created a completely unique storyline, giving an old idea new flight.  Imitation follows the life, or lack thereof, of Ven, a scientifically engineered “product” created to serve her authentic if the need ever arises.  What’s different here, though, is the fact that Ven and her friends know they are not “human.”  They’ve been told this from the beginning, when they first awoke as an imitation, and I found this aspect very interesting.  Knowing your purpose is to serve another changes things, quite literally.  The imitations have also been told they cannot feel emotions like love and sorrow, which further adds to Ven’s belief that she’s not human and, therefore, expendable.  As the plot unfolds, throwing Ven into the realm of the living, impersonating her authentic, Raven, in order to draw out a threat against Raven’s life, Ven must make the choice to either fulfill her purpose or to fight back.  Either way, especially with the kill switch in her arm and a growing love for bodyguard Linc, the going will not be easy.

I really liked that, unlike every other novel or movie I’ve seen concerning clones, the imitations in Hildenbrand’s novel are not just meant to be harvested for their parts should their authentic die.  Instead, these authentics know they’ll serve a purpose on the outside, and they’re trained in combat, are physically fit, and are ready for anything, because their purpose is quite broad—from total assimilation of the authentic’s life, to acting as an expendable decoy, to being used for parts, the options are endless.

I loved Ven’s struggle.  As soon as she’s on the outside, her “life” is thrown upside down.  The constant fear of death and fulfilling her purpose, along with the close calls, creates much anticipation for the reader.  I was extremely worried for Ven, and I couldn’t believe that Raven’s father, Titus, could be so cruel, continually taunting Ven with the threat of the kill switch—either die by his hand, or that of Raven’s attackers.  I can’t imagine being in her shoes.

Likewise, there is a mystery afoot.  Who is trying to kill Raven in the first place, and why?  How is Raven’s father, Titus, in cahoots with the creation of imitations?  And, why are more and more imitations suddenly flooding the city?  All these questions lead up to some awesome answers, twisting all we thought we knew and presenting a completely different picture, while some of these answers leave us with even more questions… especially as Hildenbrand leaves readers with a pretty big cliffhanger that left me yelling, that’s it?!

This is a great read that I highly recommend.  The writing is as beautiful as the cover.  Five stars.

5 stars

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy it on Amazon for just $3.99!

Don’t forget to pick up book two in the series, Deviation, as well!

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Buy it on Amazon

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About Heather Hildenbrand

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs.

Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys. For more information visit www.phoenixauthorink.com and find out how to create your own Outrageous Life.

She is represented by Rebecca Friedman. You can find out more about Heather and her books at www.heatherhildenbrand.com.

Or find her here:

Facebook ~ Facebook Fan Page ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Newsletter

Hello From Guam!!!



We’re celebrating the release of Every Time I Think of You by best selling Author Tracey Garvis-Graves! Check out how Tracey came up with the idea for the book and take a peek at the excerpt below. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Title: Every Time I Think of You

Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves

Age Group: Adult

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Goodreads

Amazon US (e-book and paperback) | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia  | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Kobo

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SYNOPSIS:

Thirty-year-old Daisy DiStefano has two people she holds dear: the grandmother who raised her, and her three-year-old son, Elliott. But when Daisy’s grandmother is killed in a seemingly random act of violence, Daisy must take steps to protect herself and her child.

Despite a thriving career in San Francisco, thirty-six-year-old Brooks McClain has returned home to spend what little time his mother has left before she succumbs to the deadly disease that is ravaging her. The seasoned investigative reporter has taken a position with the local newspaper and been on the job less than twenty-four hours when he’s summoned to cover the death of Pauline Thorpe.

Brooks is all business, but the more time he spends with Daisy DiStefano, the more invested he becomes; there’s something about a single mother, a defenseless child, and an unsolved crime that has stirred Brooks’s protective instincts like nothing ever has before.

And when the unthinkable happens, Brooks will do whatever it takes to clear the name of the woman he’s fallen for and the child he’ll protect at any cost.

Romantic and suspenseful, Every Time I Think of You shows how far two people will go to fight for the ones they love, and the life they’ve always imagined.

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An Idea Was Born: A Guest Post

by Tracey Garvis Graves

One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How did you come up with the idea for this book?” My books are fairly plot-driven, and Every Time I Think of You was no different. I could see the opening scene in my head like a movie so I knew what the inciting incident – in other words, the event that would send the main characters’ lives in another direction – would be. But in this case, my opening scene was the result of not only plot, but also a character. I have wanted to write a book where the main character was a crime reporter for a while now. I tend to gravitate toward heroes who are regular guys, and I wanted to see what would happen when I put this particular hero into various situations (and a little hot water). What would he do? How would he react? What, exactly, was he made of?

However, if main character Brooks McClain was going to be a crime reporter, that meant I had to come up with a crime (which ultimately, I’d have to solve). I’ve never written a book with a mystery or suspense element before, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that get in the way of telling this story. I’ve said time and time again that I never want to be an author who writes the same book over and over, but with that motto comes challenges. I have to deal with the discomfort that comes from tackling something different than I’ve done before, and often this means learning new things.

I have a love/hate relationship with research. I keep telling myself I’m going to write a book that doesn’t require as much research, and then I write a book that requires extensive research. I should really start listening to myself! Some of the things I did in the name of research for Every Time I Think of You included taking a four-hour firearms safety course and learning how to load and shoot a gun, which was something I didn’t have any experience with.

I also studied ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, by reading memoirs and poring over countless websites dedicated to the disease. Although the timing of the recent ALS ice bucket challenge is merely a coincidence, it makes me happy to know that this devastating illness is receiving such an outpouring of support from the general public.

I studied addiction, specifically methamphetamine addiction. What I learned was heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and often tragic. In total, I read six memoirs about addiction and read countless online articles. I watched a fascinating Frontline documentary from PBS about methamphetamine addiction and its effects on law enforcement and the community.

I reached out to a criminal defense attorney in California so that I could gain an understanding of that state’s legal processes, and I spent several hours in person and on the phone with my cousin Jack, who is a detective with the Des Moines Police Department. Jack was instrumental in explaining the outcomes of all the different scenarios I proposed (naturally, I named the detective character after him). I interviewed three different crime reporters (who all told me slightly different things), and one of them saved me from a potentially embarrassing gaffe. In Every Time I Think of You, I include an actual newspaper article written by Brooks McClain. Newspaper reporters use the Associated Press Stylebook to ensure that their articles are written correctly whereas The Chicago Manual of Style is the go-to guide for fiction writers. The crime reporter who proofed my article had me make a small tweak so that it was correct in form.

I spoke to a nurse, to make sure I got the details of Daisy’s DiStefano’s work schedule correct. There were less significant things I needed the answers to, such as what kind of jewelry a nurse would be permitted to wear to work and what floor she might work on if she were involved with a particular patient.

In addition to the factual research necessary to write this story, I also had to choose the path I’d take to solve the crime. I learned that there were a few different ways I could handle this: One, I could write the story in such a way that the reader would probably not know who committed the crime until the very end. Two, I could choose the slightly-less-suspenseful route and let the reader be privy to clues that would allow them to guess the identity of the perpetrator much earlier. That way, I could let the focus of the story rest on how the person would be brought to justice. I chose option two because I felt it would lend emotional resonance and depth to the story.

Now that I knew how I’d tell the story, I needed to concentrate on the characters. I usually have a pretty good outline in place before I sit down to start writing. This method doesn’t work for everyone, but for me it helps to have a roadmap of sorts so that I don’t waste too much time writing myself into corners. This is not a spoiler because you know from the blurb that the book deals with the aftermath of the death of Daisy’s beloved grandmother. However, once I was about a fourth of the way through the first draft, I realized that the character I’d chosen to commit the crime didn’t actually do it.

I fought it for a while, but the more I got to know these characters, the more I realized my inner muse was right. This person couldn’t have done it.

Delete, delete, delete, delete. Sigh.

The real perpetrator had a motive, but it was subtle and at first I couldn’t see it. And the person who I’d originally intended to commit the crime was actually somewhat responsible. But it will be up to the reader to draw their own conclusions about what transpired that evening in Daisy’s grandmother’s apartment, because the opening chapter of the book is narrated by Daisy’s three-year-old son, who has a very limited ability to explain it. I actually first wrote this opening chapter from the point-of-view of Daisy’s grandmother, Pauline. It gave the book a much darker tone than I wanted so I scrapped it and decided to let Elliott take the reins.

There is also one final plot thread that I chose not to tie up with a big red ribbon. Initially I wrote a paragraph that would have explained why a certain character made the choice that he did, but then I realized it wasn’t necessary. Readers are smart and book discussions are extra fun when there’s a bit of speculation involved.

I’m not an especially fast or prolific writer, and that’s fine with me. Between the research and the actual writing time, this book took fourteen months to complete, and there were times I wanted to pull my hair out. I’d told my husband there were a couple of twists I was hoping to pull off, but wasn’t sure I knew how to accomplish them. I told several people that writing this book made my brain hurt (but one of the readers who received an advance copy told me she kept saying to herself as she read it, “This book is so smart!”). When I hear feedback like that, it tells me that everything I did in the name of Every Time I Think of You was worth it.

I hope you enjoy Brooks and Daisy’s story.

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 EXCERPT

I glanced at my watch. “I need to get going.” I stood and Daisy followed me toward the door. “Don’t hesitate to call the police for any reason. Pay close attention to your surroundings. Keep your door locked. Don’t ever open it without the chain on.” I paused, once again struck by how alone she seemed. Was anyone watching out for her? “Listen, I don’t mean for this to sound as sexist as it’s going to, but is there a guy around?”

Rarely did I ask such a personal question, especially when the answer was absolutely none of my business.

And I’ll admit to being more than just professionally curious as I waited for her answer.

“There was, but not anymore,” she said. “It’s just Elliott and me. We’ll be okay. When someone knocks, I look through the peephole. If I don’t recognize the person, I leave the chain on when I open the door. I also bought a gun.”

She said that last part with such nonchalance that it took me a second to process it.

“You what?” I probably said it with a little more force than I should have.

She looked taken aback. “Shane helped me pick it out.”

I was speechless. “I’m sorry, but you don’t—”

“Look like the type of person who would own a gun?”

It was hard to argue with that statement when it was exactly what I was going to say. “Yes.”

“I didn’t buy the gun because I wanted to. Frankly, I would rather not own one. They scare me,” she said. “But I bought one anyway because the thought of looking something evil right in the eye and knowing that I’m more than likely going to come out on the losing end of it terrifies me. The fear that I’ll be assaulted, or raped and left for dead, or worse yet, that someone will try to harm my child, is the reason I have this gun. That’s the type I am.”

I saw her then, really saw her. Five foot seven, maybe, but small-boned. She was wearing a fitted V-neck T-shirt that emphasized her slight build. I could see the prominent ridge of her collarbone and the deep hollow at the base of her throat that I suddenly couldn’t stop looking at. She’d be no match for anyone. If she wanted a gun, I was hardly in a position to tell her she couldn’t have one.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I was out of line. It’s really none of my business what you do.”

“It’s okay. Pam reacted the same way you did. But I’m doing everything I can to be a responsible gun owner. I’ve signed up for the safety class so I can learn how to handle the gun. How to shoot it. I’ll apply for the permit as soon as I have my certificate. I’ll go to the shooting range, and I’ll practice.”

Taking her to the shooting range was something I could do to help her. It would also give me a chance to spend time with her, which was something that was becoming more appealing by the minute. I could feel the boundary between witness and reporter starting to blur, but I really didn’t care. It had been a while since a woman had sparked my interest the way Daisy had. “You don’t have to justify anything to me. It sounds like you’re doing everything right,” I said. “I’ll let you know if I hear anything on the case.”

“I would really appreciate that.”

Elliott put down his coloring book and ambled across the room.

Daisy lifted him into her arms. “You look tired, buddy. Are you ready for your nap?”

“I’m not tired,” Elliott said, yawning and rubbing his eyes.

“Oh, my mistake,” Daisy said, smiling at him. “I think we’ll try a nap anyway, just in case.” She looked at me. “Thanks for stopping by.”

“It was no problem. I’ll see you soon.”

As I stepped into the hallway she said, “Brooks?”

I turned around. “Yes?”

“Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but you seem to genuinely care about my safety, and I want you to know that I appreciate it. I need all the help I can get.”

I met her gaze and held it for a moment. “You aren’t reading it wrong at all. Take care, Daisy.”

She smiled and it illuminated her face, making every feature even prettier. She closed the door, and I made my way down the hall.

It was true that I cared about Daisy’s safety. Maybe Scott DiStefano had never abused or neglected Elliott, but Daisy’s decision to arm herself made me wonder what he’d done to her.

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GIVEAWAY
ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE (INT):

ONE signed copy of On the Island, Covet, and ETITOY. Also included, a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Also, the winner will receive an ARC of Tracey’s next work-in-progress, The Girl He Used to Know (an adult contemporary second-chance romance novel). And finally, Tracey will either use the winner’s name in The Girl He Used to Know (first name or last name only, or the actual real name if comfortable) OR the winner can suggest a name for a character.

**The restrictions to this are that it will not be the name of a main character. It will be a supporting or minor character. Also, this is a fictional character. It is not a character based on the winner.

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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About the Author:

 

Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Todaybestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Timesbestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author ofUncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish. She is hard at work on her sixth book.

Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

 



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Review:

For the Love of DeathFrom Goodreads: The year is 2049 and in the new dystopian order, the Randoms have risen to the top like cream. Earth faces dire consequences because of the Helix Complex and their illicit use of mass-sterilization. Many who could have children, were made into mules from the virulent Zondorae concoction of 2030.

Now middle-aged, Death’s children do their best to move forward in a world where technology and paranormal powers collide in a mix of tragedy and circumstance. Zombies have been raised for the slave trade by those Randoms in power.

Paxton Hart and Parker’s twin girls are grown and on the radar for those that understand how critical they are for the future. The tight-knit circle of friends continues to network for solutions to the depravity that has taken hold.

Can the original group right a tremendous wrong? Will the new generation of Randoms find a solution for propagation, or will their power base cannibalize those who choose harmony instead of greed?

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Um, WOW. Blodgett is back in the latest Death series novel, and our beloved characters are all grown up with teens of their own now. And. It’s. Awesome!

Gramps is still kickin’ at 80 years old, but as we find out fairly early on, his daughter, Ali, Caleb’s mother (the main character in death 1-6), is dying, and Caleb’s teenage son, Paxton, is having a really hard time with this.

So begins the novel, as Paxton struggles with his powers as he watches the cancer eat away at his grandmother (not Gramp’s wife), a woman that so totally gets him, he can’t handle the inevitable separation. And like his father Caleb, Paxton struggles to control not only his gifts, but his anger as well. And it is this anger that sends him and his twin sister, Deegan, on an adventure not unlike those his father and his friends used to have when they were young… lovers of Death rejoice!!

Paxton has an awesome ability that is new to the Death series–the ability to jump, or blink, to another dimension, and as the story unfolds, Blodgett presents two vastly different worlds that are so imaginative and amazing that you’ll feel like you’ve blinked there alongside them. As Deegan finds herself in dire circumstance after dire circumstance, and the dead continue to rise in both worlds, readers are in for some action packed sequences as the new “greysheets” once again mess with Harts.

This novel focuses on Paxton and Deegan, but soon our beloved Caleb and his old band of friends come on the scene once again, up to their old antics, and the fun really begins. I will admit that I was on pins and needles throughout this entire novel, especially with the new threats that await our characters, and I loved that we get to see the parent/child bond in this novel; seeing some of my favorite characters of all time, all grown up, is a real treat, and I hope that Blodgett continues this tradition with all her novels. And, from the ending we’re left with in this novel, I at least know there will be one more novel following this beloved cast of characters, if not more, as Blodgett leaves us with a fairly evil cliffhanger.  Five epic stars.

5 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt:

“Mom—no. Brother,” I rake a hand through my hair, on the look out for the BS bots.

They swarm inside the toxic fog of smoke, everything all screwed up by noise and odd pulse tech gone haywire.

Two ram together, fall on their mechanical asses and stumble to get up. They knock heads and fall again.

The parents watch them crash into each other.

“Not very bright,” Dad remarks.

God, Dad.

“Right, listen… you guys we need to get to Pax. He’s taken off to find Deegan and he’s the blinker in the group and we don’t want to be stuck with them.” I sweep my hand out and they take in the idiot bots.

“They appear to ignore mundanes and focus on the paranormal.” Dad is sliding into the default Scientific Observation Mode.

Great.

“Yeah, they’re juiced about everyone but Organics.”

“Caleb,” Mom says, her voice a shadow of the strident Nazi-word queen of my youth, “I think we need to go wherever we’re going—right now.”

A bot advances, its circuitry is buzzing, some of the lightweight flesh of whatever alloy they’ve used in the manufacture torn away like a flap of scalped skin.

Instantly, I think of the Skopamish.

I repress a hysterical chuckle, the crooked mouth rising like a Phoenix. Don’t think the parents will dig the humor.

“I think this one is a little brighter than the rest, son.”

It shambles forward like a metal zombie. I notice it has been soundly torched but whatever covers its body has shielded it from the blanket of my bungled torch episode.

Cripes.

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Guest Post:

Hybrid Authoring

Tamara Rose BlodgettIndie?

Traditional?

Hybrid?

What on God’s green earth are all these new monikers for authors now? Well, we’re a secret club, making these classifications as difficult as possible to figure out for our readers!

Ha! Just joking. Actually, until a few years ago, it was pretty straight forward.

You (the author) wrote a really cool story, sent it out to a million agents, hoped someone gave a care, and got published by one of the Big Five publishing houses.

Sounds reasonable.

Not.

I wrote my first book in 2007, and was so inspired by TWILIGHT. I know there’s readers out there rolling their eyes so hard in their collective heads it’s like a seizure. I hear you, I do. But Twilight was a big deal. Why? It helped put YA paranormal romance on the map; big time. Did you know that Fifty Shades is fan fiction based on Twilight? Yeah. Twilight was revolutionary. I loved it. I wrote Blood Singers and finished it after reading that book. I was too chicken to send it out so I put BS in a drawer. Then I hit on the idea for Death Whispers and did get brave enough to send it out. I fully expected a ton of rejections. I got a few (lol). Then there were agents who made helpful comments (yay!). Then one agent wanted a partial (that’s about 50 pages).

I was stoked like a chimney on fire.

Then he was like: revise this hard and I’ll look at it again.

I was crushed! What? He doesn’t like my “baby?”

Well—yeah. But the good news? The really great news? He gave me hope. I revised the MS hard (like a good girl). The day before I was going to send him the entire thing, I heard about Amanda Hocking. A chick that was truly brave had tossed her stories on Amazon. I was riveted.

Could I do that?

Yes.

So I did.

Self-publishing changed my life. A homemaker of twenty-five years that always wrote stories can [now] do it as a job?

But was I really a writer if I didn’t get pubbed from a Big Five?

Yes.

It sure felt real when I was working 40-60 hour weeks, at a minimum. Then Hubs encouraged me to write under a pen name. He made it up himself (super-sexy). I wrote a lot of titles under that name.

Then A Terrible Love came out under my pen name and made the New York Times list. I about died. (I had an agent by then.) She phoned and told me, because the magic reaches their ears first.

Did I feel like I was a real writer then?

No. I felt like I was a writer in 2007 when I finished Blood Singers.

Then Simon and Schuster picked up ATL and had me write two more books. That’s when I became a “hybrid.”

I’m not the only indie who went on to get a traditional book deal from a Big Five publisher.

I’ve done both now, and love the hybrid thing. It diversifies an author. That said, I am completely pleased to self-publish and enjoy the freedom the Amazon platform provides.

I dig a guest post that breaks down the mystique of a profession. And that is the case with writing. It’s a cool job. But like any job, it’s hard work. Now we have Amazon and our dream of storytelling can be realized whether it be through self-pubbing or traditional.

Being a hybrid is a wonderful thing.

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Giveaway:

Win a $25 Amazon gift card PLUS a paperback of For the Love of Death!

Enter the Rafflecopter HERE!

 



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It’s HERE!!  Chelsea Fine’s RIGHT KIND OF WRONG releases today! Published by Grand Central Forever, RIGHT KIND OF WRONG is the third novel Chelsea’s Finding Fate Series and is a New Adult Contemporary Romance. Check out my 5 star review below, as well as an excerpt, and make sure you enter the giveaway!

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Right Kind of WrongREVIEW:

From Goodreads: Sometimes wrong can feel oh so right . . .

Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it’s in the streets . . . or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she’s beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he’s been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he’s just coming along to keep her safe-but what’s not safe for her is prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.

Jack can’t get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him-and losing her is not an option. Now Jack’s troubles are catching up to him, and he’s forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm’s way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she’s willing to let love in . . . and how much she already has.

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I really loved this third installment of the Finding Fates series, Fine’s awesome series of standalone novels that focus on a different cast of characters within the same world. While a bit darker than the others with its ties to drug trafficking and the mob, Fine does a great job creating a realistic backdrop, fleshing out the characters, and making readers fall in love with them, past sins aside. This novel also carries a bit more tension within the pages than the other novels in the series, with the threat of death surrounding the characters, and I liked the added drama and anticipation this brought about as I read. Though I will admit I thought some of the situations in the novel were resolved a bit too neatly, I still really loved this novel and was indeed glued to the pages from the get go.

Fine is a magnificent storyteller—I have yet to read a novel of hers I haven’t absolutely adored. Both Jenna and Jack bring a realness to the story that makes readers feel like they’re right there alongside them, steamy scenes and all, and I loved getting to know the people behind the names that are spoken about in the other two standalones in the series. I actually got extremely giddy when I realized that Fine was cross-referencing a scene from Perfect Kind of Trouble, giving us the other side of the coin—seeing events unfold from Jack and Jenna’s viewpoint, already knowing them from Kayla and Daren’s point of view. It takes a talented author to be able to weave together multiple scenes within standalones, and Fine certainly delivers in this swoonworthy, high tension story. Five stars.

5 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo Indiebound ** BAM

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EXCERPT:

Padding my bare feet back into Jack’s bedroom, I start riffling through his drawers like a wet raccoon, searching for something that can pass as pajamas. I try on four pairs of basketball shorts and two shirts before finding items small enough to fit me without being obscene.

I’m not a small person—not at all. I’m average height, average weight. It’s just that Jack’s a giant who, apparently, wears size 100 in everything. Twisting the shirt around my middle so it hangs properly, I absently inhale and smile when I catch Jack’s scent.

What? No. Don’t smile about that, you idiot.

RKoW teaser 6I unclench my fists from his shirt and smooth out the wrinkles I created clutching it to my nose. I’m not like a wet raccoon at all. I’m worse. Raccoons would be ashamed of me.

My inner dialogue—I’ve just accepted that I’m certifiable, at this point—comes to a halt when I hear an engine in the front yard.

Jack.

My first instinct is to run outside and smack him—you know, violent tendencies and all—but I regain my composure and choose a more mature tactic.

I stand perfectly still in the dark living room and wait for him with a scowl.

Through the window, I watch his dark figure stumble out of the car and slowly climb the front steps all hunched over. What did he do, go get drunk? Great.

I cross my arms, scowl still poised to kill, and wait as he opens the door and quietly steps inside. He flicks on the living room light and I ready myself for the shit storm I’m about to rain all over his ass. But my words, my anger, my bitter intentions fall away the instant I see his face.

“Jack.” It’s more of a gasp than a word as it leaves my mouth.

He pulls his eyes up from his bloody and torn hand, and sets them on me. “Jenna. What the hell?” Several emotions cross his eyes. Anger. Fear. Relief. Anger.

I pull a face. “Don’t ‘what the hell’ me. You’re the one who stole my car and drove off into the night.”

He screws his face up. “So you waited up to yell at me?”

“Well…” I pause.

Is that why I waited up? Well, crap.

“Yeah,” I finally say, not particularly proud of my answer.

“Typical,” he mutters. “Listen. I’m not in the mood to bicker with you right now so if you don’t mind rescheduling this bitch-out for tomorrow, that would be great.”

He brushes past me, his shoulder lightly sweeping mine, and halts at the touch. Facing me, he softens his husky voice. “I’m sorry.”

Long eyelashes lower over his storm-gray eyes as he searches my face, and the wicked wildfire inside me instantly reignites as his gaze drops to my mouth.

The thick frustration that filled the room just moments ago thins into a sweet trepidation, curling around us with a daring charge. So delicious. But so dangerous.

I carefully step back and clear my throat. Jack does the same. We’re masters of avoidance.

Without another word, he moves past me and marches down the hall. That’s when I spy the blood running down the back of his shirt from a large gash between his shoulder blades.

My heart stops.

“Jack?” I say, staring with wide eyes. “What happened to your back?”

He looks over his shoulder and frowns. “Oh. That.” Turning back around, he continues striding down the hallway. “Knife wound.”

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Tattooed beautiful woman in old spooky interior

And don’t miss Book 1 in the Finding Fate Series…

BEST KIND OF BROKEN

See my 5 star review HERE!

Best Kind of Broken

Finding Fates

And book two:

Perfect Kind of Trouble: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

See my 5 Star Review Here

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Author PhotoABOUT CHELSEA FINE:

Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

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 GUARDIAN is a YA Paranormal Romance, and a book close to author Courtney Cole’s heart. And, it’s Courtney’s birthday! To celebrate all of the awesome, she is making a few select titles only .99 TODAY ONLY! Grab them all!

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Review:

GuardianSynopsis: Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real.

My name is Whitney Lane. I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy.

I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there.

Until one day, there was.

Our world isn’t what we think. There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things.

Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are.

They’re very real, and they’re terrifying.

I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t. I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true.

There’s only one thing I know for sure.

Nothing is what it seems.

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The idea of a guardian angel is one that I’ve always been curious about. What if everything bad that happens to me happened because something worse was trying to get to me, and the bad is actually a saving grace? What if the losses in my life are the result of a bigger, grander scheme where all the pieces fit neatly together? These questions have been something I’ve found myself thinking about a lot over the past few years, and it really has helped me see the positive in even the most dire situations, and so when I read the title and synopsis for Courtney Cole’s Guardian, I knew I wanted to read the novel.

This is a very well written story that I enjoyed very much, though I will admit that I personally didn’t connect with Whitney as much as I’d like to, but I believe that’s because Whitney and I are actually in completely different places in our lives, and that’s okay. Whitney is struggling—her life began to fall apart the moment her father died, and her mother’s inattention to both Whitney and her little sister, as well as the frustration and sadness that accompanies a sudden death, are eating Whitney alive. Tasked with taking care of her sister, attending school, and trying to keep a lid on her mother’s spiraling depression, Whitney is full of fear and anger. I feel like these emotions are completely just, but at the same time, as an outsider looking in, knowing that relatives are just a phone call away, I had some issues with how Whitney handled some situations. And this is what I mean about being in different places in our lives. What Whitney does, and what I would do, are two completely different entities, and that’s reality. Yet while I didn’t really agree with some of Whitney’s choices, they are realistic and valid, especially as she’s dealing with some terrible situations no teenager should have to deal with, and I really liked the believability of this portion of the novel.

I loved the idea of Whitney’s Guardian showing himself, and his explanations of the way guardians work was awesome and really got me thinking. It was fun learning about his duties and though frustrating for both Whitney and me, I enjoyed being kept in the dark as well, since the Guardian was only allowed to divulge so much to Whitney as the story progressed. These is a decent amount of foreshadowing within the novel as well, so I was easily able to predict what would happen next, and seeing it all unfold was fun, though I wouldn’t have minded just a bit more mystery. Overall, this is a good read; if you’re interested in the lore behind guardian angels, I suggest you give it a read. Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

I received this novel from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt:

Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real.

Happy birthday to me.

I close my eyes and burrow into my pillow as I try to sleep, as I try to escape this life.

It’s a life I never thought I’d have, a life I most certainly don’t want.

I’m still feeling sorry for myself as the blackness of sleep finally overtakes me.

I don’t know what time it is when I shoot straight upward like a rocket. Something had yanked me from the oblivion of sleep, something loud and shrill scraping my window.

My room is completely dark and I glanceat my clock in confusion.

3:00 a.m.

As my heart pounds hard against my ribcage, I quickly scan every corner of the room.

In the last few hours, dark shadows had migrated onto my pink walls, but they’re familiar, nothing out of the ordinary, although in the night, they seem twisted and scary.

I remain motionless as I allow the sleep-induced fog to clear from my brain.

As I sit, I feel common sense and logic slowly returning.

Of course nothing had touched my window because my bedroom is on the second floor. Nothing can reach it. And there are no trees near enough to brush against it. It was just a dream.

It was only a dream.

I chant it silently to myself like a mantra as I consciously slow my breathing down, hoping that my racing pulse will soon follow. It was only a dream.

But just as I’m calming down, I hear it again.

A high-pitched shrill shriek, reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard, scraping down my window. I gasp and pull my feet up to my chest, which is when I notice the temperature.

I notice because I can see my breath.

Timidly, I blow a puff out again, watching the way my breath turns white in the air.

Holy crap. Oh my God.

What the hell?

The sound stops and stillness surrounds me once again, the silence so loud that it echoes in my ear.

Nothing moves around me, the shadows are perfectly still as they twist across my wall. They look like mangled fingers and arms and legs, but they don’t move.

My legs are weak and shaking, but I know I have to move. I have to move off my bed because it feels like something is under it. Something terrifying.

With a leap, I bound across the room, my feet hitting the floor several feet away from the edge of my bed.

The floor is ice cold, as though it had been covered in a blanket of snow.

I’m trembling as I race to the far wall and check the thermostat. Because that’s the only explanation. I must’ve bumped it earlier, I must’ve turned the AC way down.

But the luminous numbers stare at me in contradiction.

74 degrees.

It must be broken. It has to be broken.

My breath is coming in pants now, terrified, anxious pants.

My fear isn’t logical. I know there’s nothing here. I’m the only one in this room.

Or am I?

The air seems to push at me from all around, something dark, something heavy, something real. Something unseen.

My fingers shake, my legs tremble, and then all of a sudden, they can no longer support my weight. I go down like a pile of bricks, collapsing onto the floor. I lie still because I can’t move, because something seems to sit on my chest, holding me down.

The shadows start to move, to slither across the walls, to reach and pull and dance.

I struggle to focus, to see what it is.

But all I can see are the numbers on the thermostat suddenly moving, rapidly counting down from 74 to 20.

Twenty degrees?

The air is frigid as I suck it in, as I try to pull the ice crystals into my mouth so I can breathe.

All of a sudden, there’s a blackness in front of me. It hovers over me, a shapeless mass, sucking in the cells of the air, the atoms and the molecules. It’s darker than the blackness of my room, blacker than the blackest black.

Something is here.

With me.

“Dad?” I whisper in a white puff. Because what else could it be?

I reach out a finger to touch it, and then I can’t see anything else, because the darkness of it surrounds me, bleeding into everything else, even my vision. The shriek is back, screaming into my ears, bleeding into my brain.

Then there’s nothing.

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To celebrate the release of GUARDIAN and Courtney’s birthday the following books are on sale for .99, today only!

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GUARDIAN
Confessions of an Alli Cat
Dante’s Girl
Mia’s Heart
The Minaldi Legacy
Soul Kissed
Soul Bound

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HeadshotABOUT COURTNEY COLE:

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

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Iron PendulumREVIEW:

From Goodreads: A month ago, Avery thought the world ended outside Dome Four. Thought she was one of the few of her kind. Thought the war that brought the human race to the brink of extinction was over.

But a month can change everything.

After fighting to escape a tyranny she didn’t even know existed, Avery has had to come to grips with all the secrets she’s uncovered. But more secrets continue to come to light, revealing how little of her world she truly knew. When evidence starts to show that Dome Four might be under siege, Avery knows what she must do.

Returning to the dome she longed to escape is a challenge for Avery, but now she knows there’s corruption lurking in the shadows. A massive steam shortage leaves half the dome without power, and people are falling ill. Dying.

And they’re blaming Avery.

A month can change everything. One more month could kill everyone. The clock is ticking.

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This second novel of the Periodic series knocked my socks off—if you’re looking for an awesome steampunk dystopian series, then look no further! Curd has woven a tale so captivating that when all is said and done, you’ll be dying for more. And dying for more is exactly where I am as Curd leaves us with a most amazing cliffhanger that had my mind in a whirl!

Avery and all her beloved companions are back in Iron Pendulum, including swoonworthy Jaxon, best-friend Alice, and tech savvy Sari, a cast of characters I would certainly throw my lot in with if the chance ever came up. From the get go, I was enthralled with this second installment, jumping right back into to fierce world that Curd has created in this dystopian steampunk adventure.

As Avery tempts fate with her presence back in Dome 4, where corruption runs rampant and the tables have drastically turned against Avery and her friends, there were many a time that I just wanted to reach through the pages and punch her adversaries—they are awful, and I just loved to hate them as the story progressed. Erin, another teen able to produce steam, as well as another foe who I shall not name because his/her appearance in the novel had my jaw dropping, are so loathsome that I cannot wait for them to get their comeuppance; Curd has definitely turned this story on its head with betrayals and, like I said before, a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers.

The world building is absolutely superb, and as evil slowly begins to take over all aspects both inside and outside the Dome, it’s a heart-pounding race against time for not only Avery and her friends, but everyone else, as well.

If you love a good story and you’re looking for a series that is kick-butt and will leaving you breathless, then look no further. Curd’s Periodic series has it all—mystery, elements, zombies, romance, kick butt fight scenes, betrayal, heartache, joy, fear… read it. You won’t be disappointed. Five amazing stars.

5 starsI received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This title releases tomorrow.

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Be sure to pick up book 1, Steel Lily, now!

Steel Lily

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EXCERPT: 

Alice huffed, the sound sending static through the earpieces. The Alliance had provided us the new and improved masks, capable of allowing us to speak without lifting our masks and exposing us to low oxygen levels. It was a great development, one that Sari had worked on for months to perfect. One that was currently annoying me, since all I heard was a flurry of irritation at my momentary attention lapse.

I adjusted the map and clicked on my headlamp, its dull glow illuminating the wrinkled, water-stained blueprints in my hands. I traced the lines of our route. “I think we need to go left.”

“You think?” I heard Jaxon’s voice, not through the muffled sound of the speaker, but loud and clear beside me. His lips grazed the side of my cheek, not exactly kissing me, but dissolving my focus all the same. His musical tone sent shivers down my spine, even when he was being infuriatingly sarcastic.

Jaxon’s ability to breathe in lower-oxygen situations was because of his father, Riggs, who had performed research on Jaxon from a young age. While Riggs had been forced to do it by Xander—the man behind the Resistance, and the one responsible for the fact that we were living in hiding—I still didn’t have much love for Riggs. He’d hurt Jaxon, and that hurt me. It would be a while before I trusted Riggs, no matter what he said or how many times Lexie vouched for him.

Jaxon leaned against the cement wall with his arms crossed, his dreads pulled back in a standard leather tie. His headlamp sat cockeyed, as if in tribute to his off-kilter humor and devil-may-care attitude. I wouldn’t want it any other way, even though I knew he did care, and he wasn’t nearly as unimpressed with the world as he’d like everyone to think. He’d proven that when he’d taken a vial of my blood, allowing himself to be a test subject once more for the sake of learning more about my abilities. We didn’t know how the blood would affect him—would it hurt him? Give him abilities like mine?—but it was a chance he was willing to take.

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About Megan Curd:Author photo

Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.

When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Photography, traveling and snowboarding are hobbies she loves, and she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.

Megan currently resides in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is trying to convert them into Buckeye fans.

Links:

Website | FacebookTwitter | Pinterest | Author Goodreads | IRON PENDULUM Goodreads

 

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Make sure you stay tuned to the rest of the tour!

Blog Tour Schedule:

August 26th

Book Lovin’ Mamas – Excerpt

Fabulous and Fun – Excerpt & Review

Once Upon a Twilight – Excerpt & Review

Coffee Books & Art – Excerpt

August 27th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Excerpt & Playlist

A Book Vacation – Excerpt & Review

Becky on Books – Excerpt

Born To Read – Excerpt & Review

August 28th

Adventures in Writing – Guest Post & Review

In between The Pages – Excerpt & Review

Let Me Be Fictional – Excerpt & Review

Bibliophilia, Please – Excerpt

August 29th

Roxy’s Reviews – Excerpt & Review

A Dream Within A Dream – Excerpt & Review

Paperback Cowgirl Reviews – Excerpt & Review

SassyCat’s Books Review – Excerpt & Character Playlist

August 30th

Book Sense – Excerpt & Review

Loves All Things Books – Excerpt & Dream Cast

Girl in the Woods Reviews – Excerpt & Review

The Small Nerd – Excerpt & Review

August 31st

Ashley’s Paranormal Book Blog – Excerpt & Review

One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads – Excerpt & Review

deal sharing aunt – Excerpt & Interview

Chibi Reader – Excerpt & Review

September 1st

GenGen’s Book Blog – Excerpt & Review

Resch Reads and Reviews – Excerpt & Review

Shelfspace Needed – Excerpt & Review

This Redhead LOVES Books – Excerpt

September 2nd

The Revolving Bookcase for Young Readers – Excerpt

Dowie’s Place – Excerpt & Review

Istyria book blog – Excerpt & Review

The Bearded Scribe – Excerpt & Review

September 3rd

Addicted Readers – Excerpt

Shayna Varadeaux Books & Reviews – Excerpt & Guest Post

K.R. Grace – Excerpt & Review

Mercurial Musings – Excerpt & Review

September 4th

Avid Reader Musings – Excerpt & Review

Bookinfatuation – Excerpt & Review

Out of Time – Excerpt & Review

Morgan Wylie~Author – Excerpt

September 5th

Fabulous and Fun – Excerpt & Interview

A Cup of Coffee and a Book – Excerpt & Review

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

September 6th

The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Excerpt & Review

Write Away Bliss – Excerpt & Review

Racing To Read – Excerpt & Review

September 7th

Such a Novel Idea – Excerpt & Guest Post

The La La Land of Books – Excerpt & Review

paranormal book club ( PBC) – Excerpt & Review

The Book Beacon – Excerpt & Review

September 8th

Much Loved Books – Excerpt & Review

Life Between the Pages – Excerpt & Review

Reading on the Farm – Excerpt & Review

Shelves of Books/ Reading For Fun – Excerpt & Review

September 9th

Books for a Delicate Eternity – Excerpt & Review

The Bookie Monster – Guest Post & Review

Dizneeee’s World of Books – Excerpt & Review



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WhisperReview:

From Goodreads: The Cherokee believe when a person dies, their soul is reborn. Life is repeated. An endless cycle of lessons to be learned, love to be found, destiny to be fulfilled. For the past six months, in every flower, every bird, I’ve imagined my parents, relieved of their human forms.
Now, after five months at the Skye View Wellness Center, it was summer. A time for parties and friends, but that’s the last thing I want to do. So when my best friend Erin convinces me to attend a bonfire at Eagle Point, I can’t handle the crowd full of sympathetic stares or drunken class clowns who would use my tragedy as a way into my heart – or my pants. The solitude of the woods offers an escape, until I stumble upon a boy, unconscious and bleeding, his pockets stuffed not with identification but with poetry illustrating the beauty of dying. I’ve seen enough death. I will not leave this boy’s side.

Even after he wakes, when the only thing he can remember are visions of events that haven’t happened yet…

__________________________________________________________________

When I heard that Heather Hildenbrand was updating and re-releasing her wonderful novel, Whisper, I was beyond excited. I first read this novel back in 2012, and I thoroughly enjoyed it then. And knowing that scenes were going to change, new events would be occurring, and that the relationship between Hildenbrand’s characters would be turned up a notch had me eagerly awaiting this novel for a re-read, and let me just say, it’s perfection.

Whisper is not like any of Hildenbrand’s other novels; it’s completely unique to her writing style yet still innately hers through and through. It’s a captivating read, tackling the very real issue of grief, while putting a supernatural spin on it.  While Hildenbrand has written many supernatural novels before, this novel has a more contemporary feel, and it’s attention to the tough topics of death and redemption are hard hitting, but extremely beautiful.  Truth be told, not all readers are going to understand Whisper’s feelings or struggle to move on with her life if they haven’t experienced such debilitating grief in their own lives, so it may seem a bit slow to some readers; it’s not an action novel (not until near the end, that is).  Yet, while it does start out slow, that’s the nature of this story; it’s not meant to be a fast-paced gripping novel, but rather one of love and grief.  Those feelings wouldn’t be portrayed correctly if it moved any faster than it does, and I, personally, enjoyed this slower paced novel, allowing me to connect with the characters in a more real, vivid way than action packed novels tend to do.

Dylan is a most amazing character. He completes Whisper in a way that automatically brings a smile to my face, and I just adore him. Hildenbrand did a phenomenal job fleshing out her characters so well, especially Whisper, making the reader really feel for her, and all the characters, for that matter. Whisper’s grief is palpable and her character drudged up some long buried feelings I had concerning my own grief.  Likewise, Taregan caused me to feel immense hatred, and yet, Hildenbrand was able to make me still feel sorry for him in the end; the fact that she actually made me feel for the one character I couldn’t stand is a testament to Hildenbrand’s sheer writing capabilities, and I really enjoyed this story, especially the Cherokee folklore, magic, and overall presence of the novel. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

I loved the changes in the novel as well. Hildenbrand has smoothed over some areas, added some steam, and she’s indeed changed the entire ending to create a more fluid conclusion. And I loved every minute of it. While I didn’t realize it the first time I read the novel a few years back, these updates bring about a real sense of connectivity, and they have strengthened the novel tenfold. If you haven’t read this novel yet, or even if you have, this updated re-release is a must read. Five stars.

5 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Paperback | Kindle

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Whisperteaser

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Excerpt:

I still couldn’t believe Dad’s good news. Months and months of research. Unceasing energy and determination. I hadn’t allowed myself the belief that it wouldn’t work. There was too much at stake for the animals. Especially Dolly. And now she was coming home to live with me instead of that nasty excuse for a trainer. I’d won!

I ate standing up. The microwave never cooked evenly so the outside edges were hotter than the middle. I didn’t care. I was starved. I didn’t even bother to chew until the fifth bite.

Footsteps in the hall behind me signaled Tinker must be off the phone. I waited for him to pick up our previous conversation, or tell me about some part of his day that I’d missed while stuck inside the walls of learning. But there was only silence. I turned and found him standing in the kitchen doorway, his hands limp at his sides and the most confused expression I’d ever seen on his face.

“Tinker?”

No answer.

He stared at a spot on the wood-planked wall that bordered the breakfast nook. My eyes followed his and I found a tiny cross-stitched plaque that read “Home Is Where the Heart Is” in blue thread. Grandma had sewn it years before I’d been born.

“Tinker?” I repeated. “Who was on the phone?”

“A friend of mine, lives down by Port Creek.” His voice was distant, hollow.

I hadn’t been worried until the moment our eyes locked. When they did, it felt like a tidal wave rushing up to meet me. Suddenly, I knew that whatever he was about to say would be very, very bad.

“Whisper …”

The doorbell rang, its chime echoing through the otherwise still house. I stared back at Tinker. Something final rested in his eyes. The only time I’d ever seen him look like that …

“I’ll get it,” I said around the lump in my throat.

I tossed the spaghetti aside and went to the door, sliding carefully by Tinker on my way. I didn’t want to touch him. It was something about the energy he gave off, and I knew if I touched him it would infect me. He didn’t move to follow.

I pulled open the door and found a man in a dark uniform staring back at me. The shiny silver buttons on his shirt matched a gleaming badge on his belt loop. His hat was big enough that, had it been yellow, this could’ve been a scene from Curious George Goes to Colorado.

“Ms. Whisper Grant?” he asked. His thin lips arched into a frown when he spoke.

“Yes?” I said. Tinker came up behind me. I felt his hand come down heavily onto my shoulder.

“I’m State Trooper Nelson. This is Hefley.” He gestured to another man off to the side, who I hadn’t even noticed, on the porch but away from the light of the door. His expression matched the first man’s. If they were going for gentle or caring, the twist in their lip ruined it.

Nelson consulted a single sheet of paper attached to the clipboard he held. “Says here your birthday was three weeks ago. You’re eighteen now. Is that correct?” he asked without looking up.

“Correct,” I confirmed. “Can I help you?” I asked. I felt the spray of another approaching wave and braced myself.

“Guess that makes you the official emergency contact.” He sighed like he’d hoped for a different answer. “I’m afraid I have some bad news. There was an accident. On the bridge near Port Creek. A pickup truck went over the embankment. The vehicle was registered to a Shawn and Anna Grant. They are your parents, I believe? A man at the scene said he knew you, gave us your address.”

Tinker’s hand squeezed into my shoulder.

That’s the last thing I remember of that night.

In fact, much of the next few weeks and months that followed is still a blur. Including the night I downed a pill bottle full of Xanax and went to sleep. Even after five months at Skye View, I still can’t remember it all. Over time, it’s become easier to cope with the missing pockets of time. To cope with the numbing sadness, the raging anger, the quiet desperation that came out of that moment of loss. But I’m still not me.

Tinker said I lost myself. He said it’s what animals do when the pain of loss is too much to bear. He said one day, I’ll find myself again. A new me, a version who is able to live despite the loss I’ve suffered. I told him that sounds like something Grandma would say. He said he learned it from her, and he’s learning to find himself again, too.

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About the Author:

Author of Across the Galaxy, Whisper, and the Dirty Blood series. I write, read, and fuss at my kids. Oh, and I do laundry, lots of laundry. I’m pretty good at it, too. Sometimes I even read WHILE doing laundry – and fussing at my kids. I’m a multi-tasker.

For more information on my books, release dates, or just general stalker material, um, I mean FAN material, visit my website. www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com. I love hearing from readers!

Likes and dislikes? I love vintage tees, hate socks with sandals, and if my house was on fire the one thing I’d grab is my Amazon Fire TV! (oh yeah, I’m a fan of puns.)

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

 



22607164Synopsis:

Most fifteen year old girls are trying to figure out who they are; I’m trying to stay alive long enough to figure out what.

I’ve always been on the run. From my guilt about the things I couldn’t change, and from the voice in my head that won’t let me be normal. But yesterday Tommy and I were in a car accident on the way home from school. When I woke up, Tommy was gone, and so was the world I grew up in. Now I’m running less in a metaphorical way, and more in a “pick up the pace if you don’t want to die” way. Why? Because my eyes are blue, and I’m lost in a fantasy world where that means I’m different. It means I might not be human. It means I should already be extinct, and someone called “The Regent” is determined to make me that way.

I need to find the way home, and before I do that, I need to find Tommy. He’s only in this mess because of me. I can’t do it on my own, but it’s hard to know who to trust when everyone keeps trying to kill me.I’ve always been on the run. From my guilt about the things I couldn’t change, and from the voice in my head that won’t let me be normal. But yesterday Tommy and I were in a car accident on the way home from school. When I woke up, Tommy was gone, and so was the world I grew up in. Now I’m running less in a metaphorical way, and more in a “pick up the pace if you don’t want to die” way. Why? Because my eyes are blue, and I’m lost in a fantasy world where that means I’m different. It means I might not be human. It means I should already be extinct, and someone called “The Regent” is determined to make me that way.

I need to find the way home, and before I do that, I need to find Tommy. He’s only in this mess because of me. I can’t do it on my own, but it’s hard to know who to trust when everyone keeps trying to kill me.

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Excerpt:

We came out on the edge of the open-air market behind a stall that sold the carpets.   The sky was the dark blue of pre-dawn, a sure sign that the rapid sunrise couldn’t be too far away.  I looked all around me at the transformation I had caused.  The market was destroyed.  A twister could have moved through it.  Some stalls, like the carpet one, still stood, but many were toppled over, some in pieces.  Debris littered the ground everywhere, shards of broken pottery, pieces of fabric, and food intermingled in the dirt.  Deserted as the market was without the protection of the sun, we could have been walking through the ruins of some great disaster.  I didn’t know who owned the stalls, whether they sympathized with the Regime or not, but from where I stood it looked like the mob had torn through the market indiscriminately, destroying everything in its path.  As we passed close to a collapsed stall, I saw dark splashes of dried blood on its canvas and felt a fresh wave of horror and guilt.

We hadn’t gone far when I saw a pale light move out of the corner of my eye some distance away.  I froze and jerked my head, looking for the source.  Trage followed my eyes and immediately pulled me close to him, slowly easing back into the relative shelter of one of the stalls that still stood.  About twenty yards away, a naked child-sized figure was sifting through the rubble, picking up various objects and inspecting them with its nose and mouth before discarding them again.  Its stance was crouched, its movements animalistic.  It didn’t have any hair that I noticed, but I couldn’t pick out many details from that distance.  The most notable thing about it was that it lit up like a glow stick in my vision, and I knew what it must be before Trage even spoke.

“Toddler,” Trage breathed quietly in my ear.  “Best to avoid it, if we can.”  I nodded mutely.  There was no way I wanted to get anywhere near that thing.  Trage slowly led the way out of the stall and along its side, heading toward the cover of buildings not far away.  He kept a wary eye on the toddler as we went.  The hair on the back of my neck prickled and I looked up, barely managing to contain a shriek of terror.  Just above us on the canvas roof of the stall was another toddler, hunched like a gargoyle and sniffing the air frantically.  Its eyes were all red, just as the Agents’ in the forest had been, but that was as far as the resemblance stretched.  As I thought, it had no hair, and this close I could see that its face barely resembled a human’s.  It appeared flattened, as if it had been smashed into a wall, its nostrils turned up and its nose reminiscent of a crushed soda can.  Its ears were too long, floppy, and gnarled, and too high on its sickly pale head.  It had its lips pulled back from its sharp, pointy teeth and it flicked its tongue out, tasting the air like a serpent.  I realized belatedly that Trage must have cloaked us when we spotted the first toddler, but that the illusion would not hide our scent.  This toddler would soon find us out.

Trage looked up and tensed as he spotted the creature.  He pulled me behind him, placing himself between me and the toddler, drawing out the stake in the same motion.  Some sound must have betrayed our movement, because a moment later the thing hissed and jumped off the tent suddenly, landing on the ground just feet in front of us.  I bit my lip to keep from crying out, my eyes riveted to the thing, but then I noticed a glow in my peripheral vision.  The first toddler had taken notice of the second’s movements, and was coming over to investigate.  My heart pounded loudly in my chest, and I silently willed it to be quiet, afraid it would give us away.  Trage backed away slowly, silently, pushing me along behind him.  The toddler flicked out its tongue again, then fixed its eyes right on us.

Trage reacted instantly, shoving me away from him and rising to meet the toddler as it lunged at us.  I stumbled back into the rubble of another stall, instinctively picking up a large splinter of wood from the debris scattered around.  I watched the assault with my heart in my throat.  I hadn’t seen much of the fight with the Agents in the forest, but I got the distinct feeling that the toddlers were more dangerous, feral and deadly fast.

Trage feinted to the right and the creature moved to match him.  When Trage quickly leapt back to the left and made to strike with the stake, the toddler twisted so fast I could barely catch the movement.  It scrambled up the side of the stall like some horrifying spider hybrid before launching off of it to collide with Trage full force.  I cried out in dismay as the two tumbled down into the dirt, gripping my makeshift stake uselessly in my hands.  Adrenaline heightened my senses and the faint sound of rubble shifting to my left alerted me to danger moments before the first toddler lunged for me.

I scrambled out of the way just in time, stumbling painfully over the wreckage of the stall, managing to hang onto my fragment of wood.  The toddler slowly circled me like a cat stalking a mouse.  I knew better than to take my eyes off of it, but I could hear Trage still struggling with the other one somewhere behind and knew he couldn’t help me.  Adrenaline completely overwhelmed me, wiping out my useless fear.   My blood pounded through my body, my eyes peeled wide to watch the toddler’s movements.  I didn’t think, my body tensing to take action accordingly.  The toddler stopped circling, eyeing with the intent to strike.  A strange, breathtaking thrill overtook me.

“Go ahead,” I breathed, palming the stake as if I knew what to do with it.

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5About the Author:

SaraJean Panek has loved books since before she could read. One of her earliest memories is of sitting with one of her two older brothers and following along the page as he read her “Rapunzel.” She’s been telling her own stories nearly as long. “Between the Layers” is SaraJean’s debut novel. She travels at every opportunity, but currently lives in her hometown of Virginia Beach and spends most of her free time writing, the work she loves.

Learn more at http://spanek88.wix.com/sarapanek

Follow on twitter: https://twitter.com/SaraPanek88

Buy the book: Amazon,  Smashwords, Barnes and Noble



Coming soon, 9 Full Length Novels from 9 Bestselling Authors, all in one place! Check out the excerpt below from Heather Hildenbrand’s Dirty Blood, and make sure you add this amazing collection to Goodreads!!

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Excerpt from Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand

Love After DarkIrritation flickered in me. Every word out of Wes’s mouth was like a rejection while the entire time, he looked at me like … well, like he wanted a whole lot more than conversation. Or maybe I was imagining it. The whole thing was becoming beyond frustrating to interpret. “Well, maybe I’d be better off dealing with Jack then. You can save yourself the trouble.” I started to get up, but his hands shot out and grabbed my arms, holding me in place.

His face was only inches from mine now, and he was staring at me with that same blazing intensity that made me think he was feeling something besides just “protective responsibility.” I stared back stubbornly, trying to remain unaffected. It wasn’t working.

Slowly, he raised a hand from where it still rested on my arm and traced his fingertips down my cheek and into my hair. My entire body reacted by going pleasantly numb. I inhaled the scent of crisp leather, from where his arm hung in the air by my face, mixed with a dried-leaf and pine smell that could only ever be Wes and made me think of sunshine on bare skin. His fingers moved from my hair back to my face, and that tiny gesture was all it took to awaken that polar pull between us.

I wasn’t even sure who leaned in first, but by the time our lips met, it was completely mutual. His kiss was soft at first but his touch brought with it a heat that I’d never felt before. It radiated out and spread into the rest of my body, like wildfire. He tasted like apple cider and the woods in summer, and I knew I’d never tasted anything so delicious, nor would I ever again. The kiss only lasted a few seconds, and I tried to hide my disappointment when he pulled away so quickly. He gazed back at me, his lips curved into a small smile.

“Does this mean you’ve officially chosen a side?” he asked, quietly.

“Probably,” I mumbled.

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Heather HildenbrandAbout Heather Hildenbrand:

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. She now lives in coastal VA, a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, with her two adorable children. She works from home, part time, as a property manager and when she’s not furiously pounding at the keyboard, or staring off into space whilst plotting a new story, she’s lying on the beach, soaking in those delicious, pre-cancerous rays. Heather loves Mexican food, hates socks with sandals, and if her house was on fire, the one thing she’d grab is her DVR player.

Heather has recently launched her company, Pheonix, which was designed for guiding and mentoring authors through writing, self-publishing, and the business that follows. She offers coaching, mentoring, accountability, strategic planning, step-by-step instructions, checklists, and content editing for authors at all stages of their publishing career.  Visit http://www.phoenixauthorink.com for more information.

Heather is also a co-founder of Accendo Press, a publishing group she operates with fellow authors: Angeline Kace and Jennifer Sommersby. Accendo (a-CH-endo), A Latin word, means “to kindle, illuminate, inflame, or set fire.” This is something Accendo strives to do inside a reader’s imagination with every title released. For a complete list of titles and author bios, visit www.accendopress.com.

Author Links:

Website | Facebook | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | Phoenix



Edge of TruthEdge of Truth (YA Dystopian) is officially 1-year old today!

In celebration, Natasha Hanova is hosting a big giveaway with book contributions from multiple authors. Since June 6, 2013, Edge of Truth has landed a spot on Amazon’s Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction and Dystopian Top 100 List, earned an average review rating of 4+ stars, got a facelift (a.k.a. new cover), and now has bonus content.

Please be sure to enter the Rafflecopter contest for a chance to win chocolate, an Amazon Gift card, or free books.

First, enjoy this short excerpt of Rena’s first in-person encounter with love interest Nevan. She’s out past curfew and on the run from the Overlord’s robotic lawmen. This scene takes place right after she knocks on Nevan’s door seeking refuge:

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Nevan’s dual-colored eyes—one blue, one hazel—captivated Rena. She drowned in them, in his dark eyebrows, his long, wide-based nose, his full lips. Even the faint V-shaped scar on his forehead that first appeared two years ago was too beautiful to look at. Her heart pounded, as if struggling to close the distance between them. She chewed her lip, dreading the usual shock of pain from emotional spikes like this, only it never hit.

When Blaze poked her in the back, she exhaled, but couldn’t force any words out. Warmth rushed through her from being near Nevan, with his slight smile and shoulder length dreads. In spite of the cool night air, her armpits prickled with sweat. Looking at him made her cheeks hurt. She focused on a random spot near his shoulder and struggled to think of something, anything to say. This wasn’t how she pictured their first conversation. But what if it didn’t amount to words? What if he slammed the door on her?

Blaze pushed hard enough to move her two steps forward. The way Nevan focused on her made her knees wobbly. He traced a finger across his forehead and down his temple. She’d never observed him make that gesture before. Was it meant to calm himself? Or did he feel the heat, too? The thought made another burst of warmth blanket her.

“Ummm…uhhhh.” It was all she could force out.

She backed away. Her friend, turned roadblock, caged her in. Down the street, the second set of Synbots reached scanning distance and headed for them. Panic raced through her, spiked her heart with adrenaline, and jump-started her survival instincts. She spun toward Nevan.

“We need a safe place to stay for a few hours. I know you don’t know us, but I’d…we’d be really grateful if you would let us inside.”

He leaned forward, glancing down the sidewalk. The movement stirred the air between them, and his warm citrus scent surrounded Rena. He stepped aside and spoke in a loud, booming voice, most likely for the Syns’ monitoring devices. “Yes, we’ve been waiting for you.”

She blinked twice in disbelief. The Syns marched up the sidewalk. Blaze grabbed her by the shoulders and shoved her into the house.

The machines didn’t stop.

Nevan’s dad came to the door. Rena shifted back to make eye contact. Nevan definitely got his height from him. They also shared the same smooth, creamy brown complexion.

His dad studied Rena and Blaze for a second before he flashed his son a ‘what did you do’ look and whispered, “Mr. Elliott won’t like this.” Then he stepped outside, holding the door in place with one hand while shielding the girls from the Syns’ lasers.

“I’m glad you girls finally made it.” He sounded much nicer this time, like he really meant it. “We were starting to worry. Why don’t you kids go with Risa? I’ll take care of this.”

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NatashaHanovaAbout the Author

Natasha Hanova is an award-winning author of young adult and adult dark fantasy/paranormal fiction. Edge of Truth (June 2013) is her debut novel. Her short stories appear in multiple anthologies. She loves nibbling Peanut M&Ms while reading paranormal, dark fantasy, and/or dystopian books with heavy doses of romance. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and children. Find her blog at NatashaHanova.com.

 

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Royally LostFrom Goodreads: Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he’s crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn’t have…is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca’s family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?

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Royally Lost is a charming, uplifting read that I enjoyed immensely. Though a few aspects seemed a tad far-fetched, overall the novel is very well written, and I found it impossible not to root for Nick and Becca. Having traveled across Europe during my teenage years, much of Nick and Becca’s experiences resonated with me and helped me connect with them from the get go, which made this novel all the more enjoyable.

I am always looking to connect with the characters in novels that I read, and Stanton does a great job making both Nickolai and Becca’s actions, thoughts, and responses extremely believable. Nickolai is also quite swoonworthy, down-to-earth, and perfect in every way—of course, being a prince doesn’t hurt, either. I just loved him, and how Stanton portrayed him as an entity set on changing tradition and helping his people of his fictional country. His ideas for his country are modern and reflect the needs of the people, which was great to see, even though he bumped heads with the traditional entourage of the kingdom. He is a well-rounded individual, and I loved reading his story.

Though generally against tales of instant love, having my own hidden, whirlwind romance as I traveled Europe makes me love this story all the more. While my romance wasn’t of monarch proportions, it was still very similar to Nick and Becca’s, and this not only allowed me to connect with the characters on a level others might not be able to, but also allowed me to put aside my aversion to instant love having experienced something similar in my teenage days—something I had forgotten about until Stanton brought it back to my foremost thoughts.

This is a great story, and as I said previously, while some events may seem a bit far-fetched in some aspects, I really loved it all the same. Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon | Kindle (only $3.79!) | Barnes and Noble

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Excerpt:

Nikolai opened his eyes, chilled, as a cloud blocked out the sun. Next to him, Becca slept, her hand curled in his. She smiled in relaxed slumber.

He gently released her hand and looked around. A couple of people lounged on the distant beach and a lone man sat in the sand with a camera aimed straight at him. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up.

Nikolai turned his back to the beach and nudged her. “Becca!”

“Hmm?” She stirred.

“There’s a guy on the beach and I’m pretty sure he’s taking our picture.”

Her eyes sprang open. “What?” She sat up and spotted the man. “You think he’s paparazzi?”

“It sure isn’t a random tourist aiming a long lens at us. How the hell did he know I was here?” Nikolai slid on his shorts.

“Oh crud.” Becca grabbed her clothes and quickly pulled them on. “You think he’s been taking pictures of us sleeping?”

“That and more. Lord only knows how long he’s been here.” He didn’t notice him when they were in the water, but that didn’t mean he hadn’t been lurking in the trees, snapping pictures.

Nikolai stuffed their leftover lunch items into his backpack. How did this camera-wielding jerk find him?

Dressed, with everything packed up, they headed for the motorbike. Their path unfortunately forced them to pass the creep with the camera. Nikolai pulled his baseball cap low and hid behind his sunglasses. He led the way with Becca’s hand firmly in his.

“Prince Nikolai, why did you run from the palace?” The photographer, a short, heavyset man with cameras strapped across his chest moved closer.

Nikolai picked up the pace, but the man stayed with them, walking backward and snapping pictures. This was no official appearance where Nikolai owed the press a friendly smile and kind word.

“Do your parents know where you are?”

He ignored him.

“Your friend is beautiful. Is she the reason you fled? What’s her name?”

Nikolai bristled and fought the urge to shove the man to the ground and bust his camera. He glanced at Becca, her face pink with embarrassment. She didn’t need to be targeted by this oily loser.

“Have you heard that your sister, Princess Alexi, has gone missing?”

Nikolai hesitated for an instant, but then hurried on. The man was lying. He was sure of it, and he wouldn’t let this vile intruder ruin their day.

They reached the bike. He hurried and strapped on the pack and hopped on. Becca climbed up, hugging him from behind. Nikolai liked the feel of her body secure against his. It made him feel better able to protect her.

The photographer kept snapping pictures and wouldn’t back off. “There are rumors that you have renounced the throne,” he baited.

Nikolai stiffened, but didn’t give him the satisfaction of a reaction. He started the engine.

“Where are you going next?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Nikolai grinned, revved the engine, and spun gravel as they raced away.

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About Angie Stanton:

Angie Stanton never planned on writing books; she wanted to be a Rockette. However, growing up in rural Wisconsin, with her brothers’ 4-H pigs as pets, dance didn’t work out. Instead she became an avid daydreamer. After years of perfecting stories in her head, she began to write them down, and the rest is history.

Angie is the author of six books including Royally Lost, Rock and a Hard Place, and Snapshot. She graduated with a Journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin, and is a proud double finalist of the National Readers Choice Awards for Love ’em or Leave ’em.

Website: http://angiestanton.com/
Twitter: @angie_stanton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngieStantonAuthor

Enter Angie’s Giveaway!!

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A Guest Post with Rebecca Finlayson–author of X & Y

“Olivia Adonane has it all; remarkable intelligence, stunning beauty, and – as the daughter of the head of the Triad, Society’s top three Human Designers – immeasurable wealth. Yet, all is not as it seems. Olivia discovers a dark secret about her homeland, formerly known as Great Britain, where humans are designed in the womb, and she watches her best friend, Lily, die in a secret chamber below the Triad Building in London. From here on, she has a choice. Will she continue on her pre-designed path, following in her father’s footsteps to become the country’s most powerful Human Designer? Or will she seek to rebel against the government, attempting to expose and overthrow the seemingly-invincible regime so that her fellow citizens can be truly free?”

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X and YEvery author has a dream of where their book could end up – top of the New York Times list, worldwide bestseller, movie deal . Sure, they may not believe it could ever happen but dreaming is still fun. At least, that was the case for me.

The problem I had was to not let those dreams distract me from the actual novel-writing process.

When I sat down to type the first words of “X&Y” I had to forget about all the YA novels I had read, particularly the Dystopian ones, and just focus on my story. How could I make “X&Y” the best it could be on its own terms, and not compared to, say, The Hunger Games? How could I make Olivia, the protagonist, successful as a character in and of herself, and not trying to live up to Katniss Everdeen’s reputation?

Good writers read and learn from successful writers, but for me there came a point where I just had to forget about all the rest, otherwise I would lose sight of what I was doing, which was trying to communicate something about the world I had built in my head. I wanted to build good relationships with my characters because they’re great characters (at least, I think so). I wanted to do something that many good authors have done successfully – i.e. portray a vision of the future as a warning to our society. ‘Society’ (the futuristic new version of Great Britain in X&Y) could exist. At the rate our technology is developing, it wouldn’t be crazy to think so.

Dreams of a movie deal aside, I am personally very proud of “X&Y”. I am letting others decide whether it can stand up to other YA Dystopian novels, but I am glad that it’s out there and that readers are enjoying it. I hope whoever reads this post will join them!

—Rebecca Finlayson

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Rebecca FinlaysonAbout Rebecca Finlayson:

Since graduating in 2010 with a degree in Classical Civilisation, Rebecca worked as a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant at Blue Coat Academy in Coventry. She took a year off from September 2012 to July 2013 in order to engage in charity work and concentrate on some writing projects. During that time she completed two novels and began work on a third. Her debut novel, a YA Dystopian fiction called “X&Y,” is now available on Amazon Kindle. Her second novel, an epic fantasy entitled “The Secrets of Nethiaria: The Magician’s Book” will be released as an ebook in Spring 2014. 

Connect with Rebecca Finlayson

Website: http://www.musingsofanotherwriter.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @Finlaysonauthor

Blog: http://rebeccafinlaysonbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

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Be sure to stop by the blog tomorrow for my review of X&Y!



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Crow's Row

From Goodreads: For college student Emily Sheppard, the thought of spending a summer alone in New York is much more preferable than spending it in France with her parents. 

Just completing her freshman year at Callister University, Emily faces a quiet summer in the city slums, supporting herself by working at the campus library.During one of her jogs through the nearby cemetery while visiting her brother Bill’s grave, Emily witnesses a brutal killing—and then she blacks out. When Emily regains consciousness, she realizes she’s been kidnapped by a young crime boss and his gang. 

She is hurled into a secret underworld, wondering why she is still alive and for how long.

Held captive in rural Vermont, she tries to make sense of her situation and what it means. While uncovering secrets about her brother and his untimely death, Emily falls in love with her very rich and very dangerous captor, twenty- six-year-old Cameron. She understands it’s a forbidden love and one that won’t allow her to return to her previous life. 

But love may not be enough to save Emily when no one even knows she is missing.

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Hockley has written a truly riveting love story that captivated me from the very beginning! I loved every minute of this novel, even the ending, though it angered me and even made me cry.  Leaving my emotions raw, Hockley has created a very powerful novel, and though the male lead, Cameron, is a crime boss, making tough decisions that occasionally end in the death of someone, he’s hard not to like.

It felt like an entire lifetime passed as I read.  Hockley has really fleshed out her characters, giving the reader a glimpse into their very souls, and I too found myself falling in love with Cameron.  I loved the pacing of the novel, and Hockley’s ability to fit all the pieces of the story together in such a perfect way, though the ending… was like a knife in the gut.

It’s not a mystery novel, but there is much suspense within the pages of Crow’s Row.  Hockley presents different scenarios that made me feel as if the story would go one way, but then it went in an entirely different direction, causing me slight heart attacks as I feared for Emily, for Cameron, for Rocco… I had a lot of pent up fear as I read, sure that something terrible was about to happen.  And it eventually did.  Emily is, afterall, held captive by a crime boss, and though he’s a dreamy, sexy character, he’s also the head of a group of killers.  Bad things are going to happen to some of the characters, and while I think I knew this is the back of my mind, it still shocked me and left me flabbergasted when they did.

There isn’t a happy ending, per se, but it does work perfectly with the novel, though I hate to say it.  The ending just about killed me.  I wasn’t expecting it, and I spent the entire last portion of the novel on pins and needles, screaming and crying because I couldn’t believe the twist the novel took.  This beautiful love story ripped my heart out in the end, but at the same time, it’s worth all the pain.  Upon finishing the novel I felt a hole in my own heart, just like some of the characters, and any author that can make me feel this deeply about fictional characters is one worthy of praise.  Hockley is indeed a literary genius, one to watch, and I am really hoping that there will be a sequel to this novel someday soon.  My heart needs to repair, and I’m dying for things to change. Five stars.

5 stars

Available Now:

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excerpt“I know you don’t believe anything I say, so there’s no point in me trying to defend myself to you anymore, even if it kills me to see you so disgusted with me.

But there’s one thing I do need you to know: I love you Emmy. I’ve loved you for a very long time.”

He turned his eyes to me for the briefest of moments, and I felt a crack in my newly erected armour.

“To have you here with me … I guess in some sick way, for a while, I thought that this could work. Hurting you was the last thing I wanted to do, but it looks like I managed to do that anyway.”

He took another breath. “This place is where I have to be, but it’s not a place where you can or should be. There’s nothing that I can do to change that. I won’t force this life on you.”

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4f337-juliehockleyAbout Julie Hockley:

A former germaphobe and clean-freak turned mother of two, Julie collects enough tears and snot in a month to recreate Slimer Monster from Ghostbusters. Other than playing devoted wife and mama, Julie is the funniest person in the room (according to the 3 year-old and 2 year-old in said room) and can build the most awesome Lego rocket ship you’ve ever set your eyes on (according to her). Oh, and she has a full time career and has also written a bestselling novel. Superhero, or just downright insane?

 

 
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Twelve to MurderReview:

From Goodreads: Two people are brutally murdered in their summer place on Deep Creek Lake. Suspected of the murders, former child star and one-time teenybopper idol Lenny Frost takes innocent bystanders hostage in a local pub and demands that Mac Faraday find the killer. Can Mac save the hostages and himself from the wrath of the enraged has-been by piecing together the clues in less than twelve hours, or will it be a fatal last call at the stroke of midnight?

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If you’ve ever wondered about the has-beens, the child stars that disappear from view, who wake up one morning and realize they’ve passed their prime and they’re not even 20 yet, then this is definitely a story for you.  Complete with murder, mayhem, and a mystery that will keep you guessing, Carr once again delivers a punch with her latest Mac Faraday novel, Twelve to Murder.

Like all Carr’s other novels, Twelve to Murder glued me to its pages from the very start, and while this murder mystery looks like it may be a cut and dried whodunit, Carr’s expertise keeps readers guessing as the twists and turns unfold.

Mac Faraday is perhaps my favorite sleuth of all time.  He’s rational and extremely good at what he does, and I always get excited when another novel in the series releases.  Carr’s novels maintains an air of mystery yet is offset with humor as Farday’s fiancé Archie and his canine “helper” Gnarly come of the scene.  The characterization of all the characters, both stationary and new is always superbly done, and Carr’s latest release, Twelve to Murder, is no different.  I love her attention to detail and the many “aha” moments as it all unfolds.  The fact that each of these novels can stand alone is also a testament to Carr’s sheer writing ability, though you don’t want to miss out on any of Mac Faraday’s awesome mysteries, so make sure you read them all—Twelve to Murder is as good a place to start as any!  Four stars!

4 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review–scoop it up, it’s only 99 cents on Kindle!!

Amazon | Kindle

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

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Book Excerpt:

Stillman Mansion on Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

Sunday: 6:12 am

“Austin is back this year,” Olivia said in rhythm with the pace she had set for her power walk.

Two paces behind his wife, Roland took note of the white stone mansion along the chilly lakeshore. The mansion looked closed up. All was quiet, as it was with many of the estates along the lake in the early spring. With each passing day, the quiet was giving way to the snowbirds came in to roost at their summer homes in the resort town of Spencer, located in the corner of Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland.

As the middle aged athletic couple walked briskly on the running trail along the lake, they noted that that mansion was quiet. The only tell-tale sign of change from its winter hibernation was the yacht on the dock in the back. It had not been there the morning before.

“I wonder if Janice will be throwing her week long Fourth of July bash with all her has-been clients this year?” Roland asked.

“I can tell you right now that I’m not going if that loser Lenny is here.” Feeling her heartbeat slowing down, she picked up her pace.

“Come on,” her husband said with a laugh, “Lenny Frost isn’t that bad. He’s really kind of funny.”

“He’s crude,” she shot over her shoulder at him.

He was going to respond that he felt sorry for the least popular of Janice Stillman’s former celebrity client when a black Porsche almost hit the couple rushing pass them and turning sharply into the driveway of the white mansion.

“Do you two ever take a break?” the young man shouted at them when he threw open the door and climbed out of the sports car.

“Never,” Olivia answered with a frown at Derrick Stillman’s apparent lack of self-discipline displayed in the slight stagger in his pace, and clearly having slept in his clothes, or maybe not slept in them, but clearly having worn them the day before judging by their wrinkled and disheveled appearance.

“Well, you can work-out for me, too.”

“Party last night?” Roland asked.

“Date.” Derrick ran his fingers through his dark curly hair. “I was going to come in yesterday with my folks, but when I met Maddie the other day—“ He let out a cocky laugh. “Well, you know how it is.”

“I can imagine,” Olivia said in a bland tone.

“She’s got a body to die for and she’s crazy about me.” With a swagger in his walk, he made his way to the front door.

“Come along, Roland,” Olivia ordered.

The couple continued on their way. They had only made it to the other end of the property before Derrick’s screams stopped them. The young man was running out the front door and dropped to his knees in the yard when they made it back to the driveway.

Olivia rushed over to the young man, who had his face buried in his hands. “Cliff, what’s wrong?”

Shrieking, the young man pointed to the door.

Roland ran inside.

“What happened, Derrick?” she demanded to know. “What’s going on? What’s in there?”

His face white, Roland came running back outside.

Olivia’s heartbeat was racing. “Roland …”

“They’re dead,” he said in a panicked tone while taking his cell phone out of his pocket. “Both of them. Janice and Austin. I can’t believe this would happen here … in Spencer.”

“Who—“ she asked with tears in her eyes.

“Janice wrote something in her blood—” He stopped to turn his attention to the cell phone. “I’d like to report two murders.”

“Her killer,” Derrick spat out. “I saw it, too. Lenny. Why else would Mom have written out his name in her blood while she was dying? Lenny Frost did it. He killed my parents.”

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lauren About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder. Dead on Ice (A Lovers in Crime Mystery) was released September 2012. The second installment, Real Murder will be out in 2014.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Visit her author website at www.mysterylady.net.

 Connect & Socialize!

Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

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Twelve to Murder Tour Page:

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2014/02/12/pump-up-your-book-presents-twelve-to-murder-virtual-book-publicity-tour/



Best Kind of BrokenToday is release day for Chelsea Fine’s Best Kind of Broken, the first book in Fine’s New Adult contemporary romance series, Finding Fates. It’s available NOW, so after reading the hot teasers below and entering the giveaway, be sure to go out and grab your copy!!

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Synopsis:

SOMETIMES MOVING ON MEANS MOVING IN

Pixie Marshall wishes every day she could turn back time and fix the past. But she can’t. And the damage is done. She’s hoping that a summer of free room and board working with her aunt at the Willow Inn will help her forget. Except there’s a problem: the resident handyman is none other than Levi Andrews. The handsome quarterback was once her friend-and maybe more–until everything changed in a life-shattering instant. She was hoping to avoid him, possibly forever. Now he’s right down the hall and stirring up feelings Pixie thought she’d long buried . . .

Levi can’t believe he’s living with the one person who holds all his painful memories. More than anything he wants to make things right, but a simple “sorry” won’t suffice–not when the tragedy that scarred them was his fault. Levi knows Pixie’s better off without him, but every part of him screams to touch her, protect her, wrap her in his arms, and kiss away the pain. Yet even though she’s so close, Pixie’s heart seems more unreachable than ever. Seeing those stunning green eyes again has made one thing perfectly clear–he can’t live without her.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

AddtoGoodreadsLevi Pinks____________________________________________________________________________

See what others are saying about Broken Kind of Broken:

“By turns humorous and heartbreaking, Best Kind Of Broken has become one of my favorites!” — CORA CARMACK, New York Times bestselling author of Losing It.

“You’ll fall for Pixie and Levi, just like I did!” — JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT (J. Lynn), #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait For You

“Tangled with friendship, history and heartbreak–not to mention a huge dose of humor–Chelsea Fine’s New Adult novel is not to be missed! Beyond an incredibly HOT read, Pixie and Levi’s longing for each other will have you rooting for them till the very end.” — JAY CROWNOVER, New York Times bestselling author of Rule

“This book destroyed me. Tore me into little tiny pieces. But somehow with lots of laughs and some very steamy times, Chelsea put me back together again! Chelsea Fine’s style is witty, visceral and fresh. All I wanted to do was crawl inside this book and live with the characters. And now all I want is MORE.” — CHELSEA M. CAMERON, New York Times bestselling author of My Favorite Mistake

“Sandwiched between laugh out loud moments and some serious heat, Best Kind of Broken is an unforgettable story of loss and forgiveness that will leave your heart aching.” — LISA DESROCHERS, USA Today bestselling author of A Little Too Far

Best Kind of Broken… is a masterpiece full of raw emotion, snarky retorts, and steamy tension that will leave readers in love with both Pixie and Levi, and wanting much more.” — A BOOK VACATION REVIEWS

BKB Teaser 3

AddtoGoodreads

EXCERPT:

Levi is so distracting. His arms are all raised, and his shoulders are all broad, and he’s fixing crap, and it’s just…it’s just…annoying.

With a huff and a puff and some choice words in my head, I grab my sliced bell peppers and force my feet to the stove. I throw the vegetables into a frying pan, grab a wooden spoon, and ignore Levi’s close proximity.

My body hums.

I ignore that too.

I steal a glance in his direction and watch as the corded muscles in his forearm flex as he unscrews something on the fire alarm box. Why does he have so many muscles in his forearm? That can’t be healthy.

I drop my eyes to the frying pan and focus on bell peppers, because bell peppers are interesting and they don’t have backs the size of Alaska or copious amounts of forearm muscles.

The forearm muscles that I’m not thinking about lightly brush my shoulder and the humming inside my body knots together and zips around like a bumblebee on crack.

I casually turn down the heat on the stove, like that’s the reason I’m suddenly a human vibrator, and go back to stirring. Levi goes back to screwing.

Bell peppers.

I’m thinking about bell peppers.

He brushes against me again, except this time his forearm grazes my breast and my body immediately goes wild like I’m some love-starved teenager and the humming dives low in my belly and the stove gets hotter and my breaths get shallow and suddenly bell peppers are the sexiest vegetable on earth.

From the corner of my eye, I catch his Adam’s apple bobbing with a nervous swallow, which can only mean one thing. The boob brush was an accident.

Well crap.

If he had been trying to cop a feel with his Hulkish forearm, I could have responded with some kind of snarky “you’re a pervert” comment. But it wasn’t on purpose and somehow that makes it sexier and now the cracked-out bumblebee is buzzing in my nether regions and my hands are starting to tingle and why the HELL is this stove so hot?

I turn the burner down another notch and take a slow, deep breath. I have a boyfriend. A great boyfriend. So this sexual frustration I feel around Levi is nothing to get my bee-loving panties in a bunch about. I just need to calm down.

Levi lowers his arm for a moment, his eyes still on the alarm, and stretches his neck.

Ah, the neck stretch. The universal sign of stress. Well at least I’m not alone in my frustration. My hot, distracting, pants-are-so-inconvenient frustration.

Wait, what?

Who said anything about pants? I am NOT thinking about pants—or lack thereof. Damn you, bell peppers!

I toss the wooden spoon to the side and move back to the counter where the threat of being turned on by a handyman or, you know, a sautéed vegetable is much less severe.

I bite back a groan. What was I thinking, living under the same roof as Levi? There’s no way I’ll survive the summer.

Hell, I can barely survive breakfast.

Best Kind Of Broken Teaser 1

BUY it for less than $5!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Read my 5 Star Review

BKOD Quote 3

AND you can PRE-ORDER books two and three now, too!!

Perfect Kind of Trouble: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Right Kind of Wrong: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Finding Fates

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ChelseaABOUT CHELSEA FINE:

Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

LINKS:

Website:www.chelseafinebooks.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChelseaFine

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ChelseaFineBooks

Instagram: http://instagram.com/chelseafinebooks

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