Friday, August 30, 2013

Giveaway: Shayla's Story by Beverly Preston

People come into your life for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime ~
A Reason…
Questioning her relationship with a man who worships politics more than her, Shayla Clemmins escapes reality for the seductive sunsets of Greece. There she finds exactly what she didn’t know was missing from her life, but fears she’ll lose him to her past.
A Season...
John Mathews works hard and plays even harder. When he finds a new passion in the sensual warmth of Greece, he discovers that one lust-filled weekend of romance is just not enough.
A Lifetime...
With Shayla’s past catching up to her and an anonymous threat to her future, can she and John make a lifetime together?







Nook Shayla's Story

Nook No More Wasted Time



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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review and Giveaway: So Much It Hurts by Melanie Dawn

Life is full of uncertainty, so what happens when a what-if from your past collides with your present?

Kaitlyn Thomas, a weary wife and mother, is taking a much needed getaway with her friends. All she wants to do is relax and rejuvenate on her weekend escape to the beach. Having a drink at the bar with the girls sounds like the perfect way to unwind. That is, until Kaitlyn hears a familiar voice from the stage that shakes her to her core. She grapples with her memory until Chris King, the lead singer of the band, walks up to her and eliminates the questions in her mind.

Chris King…the misunderstood bad boy who once saved her in ways that no one else could.

Kaitlyn’s friends beg to know the story behind this mystery man. Forced to revisit a painful past from which she has spent years trying to heal, Kaitlyn's recollection of Chris awakens intense feelings that she has kept buried deep inside her heart. Has time changed him, or is he still the same person Kaitlyn fell in love with so many years ago?

Marriage vows are sacred, but temptation is a powerful thing.

Seeing Chris again has caused a war between her head and her heart. In the end, which one will win the battle? Facing a difficult decision, Kaitlyn just wants to be sure of one thing when she walks away from this weekend—no regrets.


This is an emotionally gripping story of love, loss, redemption, and hope.


4 Star Review by Reviewer Allison East

This book had me reeling. From the underlying relationship built upon abuse, to having a savior, and finally not your typical "happily ever after."
 
The dialogue was very well written and kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning. 
Kaitlyn goes on a girls' weekend with her friends in the present day. Kaitlyn is unhappy in her marriage and needs this time to get away from everything. Little did she know a voice from her past would lull her back to 8 years ago and memories she wants to remember and some she wants to forget. 
 
Chris King- swoony mcswoon! I really loved his character and so rooted for him, he belongs with Kaitlyn. 
 
I really liked the back story, it kind of gave insight into how and why the main characters were the way they were. There were loads of taboo subjects  in this book- rape, abuse, drugs, unfaithfulness, closed minded people. 
 
I fell in love with Chris, the misunderstood bad boy who saved her in more ways than one. At the beginning of the book I hated her husband which, at that point there wasn't too much of a reason not to. And then you also can't help but fall in love with Kaitlin and everything she had to endure. Finally- about the end I fell in love with Michael her husband. It's a crazy warped thing, but you will have to choose and read this wonderful debut story from Melanie Dawn





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Giveaway: It All Started With a Lima Bean by Kimi Flores

A past that haunts can be laid to rest through the act of forgiveness, even if the person you forgive is yourself. It must be gifted freely. Abby Sullivan cherishes the life she is creating for herself in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. She adores her best friend and supportive family. Her job as a kindergarten teacher offers her life hope and purpose. She is very talented at many things, especially hiding the pain of her past. That is until her world collides with Caleb Hunter’s, giving them both a lesson in forgiveness and love. A life changing love is cruelly snatched by sickness and death. A person must be willing to give love, the greatest gift of all, to receive love. A successful writer, Caleb is living life day-to-day. Giving refuge to his sad and lonely heart since his wife's sudden death from cervical cancer, his primary focus becomes honoring her memory by rearing their five-year-old daughter, Madison. Yet, when Madison Hunter walks into Miss Abby’s kindergarten class, everything changes for all three of them. With a little nudge from a loving mother-in-law who has everyone’s best interest at heart, anything is possible, especially when forgiveness and love gift even more blessings than ever imaginable.




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Blog Tour: The Rocker That Needs Me by Terri Anne Browning





Synopsis

The Demon…

I’ve been fighting my own demons for most of my life. The alcohol seems to numb the pain, but it never makes the nightmares go away. All I want in life is a little peace. When I met my angel it felt like I found it, but there is so much standing between us. Why does she have to be so young…?

The Demon’s Angel…

Meeting Drake was the best thing to ever happen to me. I found my friend, my soul mate. But he lets my age stand between us. There is something that haunts him, and I selfishly want to be the one that helps him conquer his ghosts. If he would just let me in, let me closer, I think I could help him…


4.5 Star Review

Demon’s Wings band members consists of Nik (he and Emmie’s story was The Rocker that Holds Me, Jesse (he romanced the love of his life in The Rocker That Savors Me) and that leaves brothers Drake and Shane.  Shane keeps his own nightmares at bay with a continual parade of women, orgies and sex clubs. His story will be the focus of the next installment. Drake is a tortured soul, who has demons of his own he battles. Totally smitten with Layla’s sister, Lana, he has found the one thing that brings peace to his life. There is a wide gap in age, Drake is in his early thirties and Lana has only recently turned 18 and graduated from high school. She is wise beyond her years, and learned first hand how easily rockers hook up and dump women. Her mother’s relationships with rock stars resulted in both her birth and her sister Layla’s. Although she wishes Drake would think of her as something more than a little sister, she doubts there can ever be anything more.


Though the two are close, Drake’s best friend is a bottle of Jack Daniels. He may have cut down on his drinking, but he still reaches for it when stressed or in need of an outlet to find sleep. His feelings for Lana are far from sisterly, but he knows she is young and has her whole life ahead of her. He thinks he is tainted (courtesy of the secrets of his past) and he knows she is worthy of so much more than what he can offer her.


“Is it all you hoped for? All you ever wanted?” “No. It isn’t all I ever wanted. After the first year or so, I was already burned out. I want more from life than rock-and-roll. I love making music. I love the thrill of playing for a crowd. But I hate the life that comes with it.” 

Lines are crossed, lives are changed and feelings bubble to the surface. Drake makes a stupid mistake, how I wanted to smack him up the side of his head! Lana alters her plans for college (and proceeds to awaken the protective beast in Jesse) and puts thousands of miles between her and Drake. 

“Can you forgive me, Angel?” Can you forgive me for what I did?”


Her new living arrangement introduces us to a whole new group of characters. She has 3 roommates; Dallas (an ex-model), Harper-a gorgeous go getter with self- esteem issues and Linc, a swoon worthy hunk of man who prefers males to females. Drake does some serious soul searching and takes steps to correct the wrongs the must be righted. I loved the changes that evolved for these two, there is never any doubt they are true soul mates, but they need to fix the cracks in both their personalities before they can have their HEA. They need to learn that they can stand on their own before they can allow themselves to lean on each other. Axton, a sometimes nice guy, sometimes douche, is back in the story and I can see some possibilities with Dallas. Shane, my other tortured rocker may have met his match with Harper. She is not easily impressed and for the first time in his life, Shane has to work at something. I love all of them, I see so much material for continuing stories that I hope Ms. Browning continues entertaining and wowing us for many books to come.


"Is that what you thought?” He sighed, leaning his forehead against mine. I can’t live without you, Angel. I love you.”
 
Three Chicks interview Lana and Drake


Three Chicks:  Thanks for spending some time with us. It’s great to see the two of you looking so happy together! 

Lana: Thank you! 

Drake: Thanks for having us.
Three Chicks:  Congrats on the wonderful changes in your life! Are you ready to welcome the newest member of the Stevenson family?

Lana: As ready as any parents could be, I guess. It’s been a scary eight months, though. I have been terrified that something was going to happen like last time.

Drake: (Rubs Lana’s very large stomach, then grins when he feels the baby kick) I think we are getting there. The house is ready for us to move in and we now have a condo in California that has plenty of room for the baby. 

Lana: (Winks) And it’s close to my sister and, of course, Emmie.
Three Chicks:  You both had a powerful response to one another when you were first introduced. Obviously the age difference–Drake, you were 31 and Lana was 17-made you put the brakes on acting on those responses. Tell us about that connection you both felt. 

Lana: For me it was like being struck by lightning. It was scary and thrilling all at the same time. And even though it took me a little while I realized that it must have been love at first sight. My soul was reacting to finding it’s mate… 

Drake: (Stares at Lana for a long moment, then clears his throat) Yeah, that’s exactly what it was.

Three Chicks:  Drake-from the first time you saw Lana, your nickname for her was “angel”. How did that thought just pop up in your head? 

Drake: I’m not all together sure why that just popped into my head when I first saw her. Maybe because she was so beautiful and in that instant my soul felt like it was starting to heal after all the sh... Um, crap that I had been through. The angel healed the demon.

Three Chicks:  Drake-Besides music, has drawing always been an outlet for you to express your emotions? 

Drake: Almost always. Drawing lets me express what I can’t get out in words. I can put all the darkness and hate into a drawing. Just as I can put all the beauty and love that Lana has given me into one.

Three Chicks:  Drake-because of your past, you’ve admitted you were the least close to Emmie, why is that? The abuse she suffered would never make her judge anything in your history, so why did that hold you back from her? 

Drake: It wasn’t because I thought she would judge me. Her own abuse was what drew me to her in the first place. I just felt so dirty. Unworthy. My abuse tarnished my soul. It was the same reasons I held back from Lana for so long. I didn’t want to sully her with my past.

Three Chicks:  Lana, you seemed to share a special relationship with Shane almost immediately. He enjoys that friendship just as much. What clicks for the two of you? 

Lana: I’m not sure what exactly makes Shane so special for me. Perhaps it’s because he is Drake’s brother and what connection we share has transferred over to how I feel for Shane. Or maybe it’s that Shane is special. He hides behind the women and the bad boy rocker persona, but I can see how hard his and Drake’s past has been for him. Shane is loving, so loving.

Three Chicks:  Lana, how is your relationship with Cole Steel right now? Do you think he will want to spend time with his grandchild? 

Lana: We are still working on our relationship. It’s been hard for me to forgive, and I have for the most part. Forgetting, however, is another matter altogether. But we are both hoping that his grandchild with heal what still needs mending between us. Cole is every excited for the new addition to our strange family.

Three Chicks:  Lana, how did it make you feel when Drake blacked out the memory of your first night together? 

Lana: (grimaces) It pissed me off! But I didn’t want to show it. I couldn’t let him see how destroyed that made me. And I didn’t want him to hurt any more than he already was. After his confession the night before all I wanted to do was protect him, even if that meant hurting myself.
 
Three Chicks:  Drake, how badly do you feel that you can’t remember your first night with Lana? 

Drake: It kills me! Every time I think about it, it drives me a little crazy. I’ve always wanted to be Lana’s first, and for a while I thought that I hadn’t been honored with that special gift. Then to learn that I had, and that I would never remember even a moment of it? I feel as if I’ve let her down, and that’s worse than anything else.

Three Chicks:  Drake, why did you bring that groupie back to your room in Vegas? Even though you couldn’t remember your night with Lana you hadn’t been doing skanks ever since you met Lana-so what changed?

Drake: Watching Jesse and Layla getting married had made me want something that I thought I couldn’t have. I still felt unworthy of Lana, but wanted her so desperately. When I started drinking at the club with Shane, I became angry at the world. After going to rehab I had plenty of time to think about it and came to the conclusion that I was unconsciously punishing Lana for being everything I wanted and couldn’t have.

Three Chicks:  Drake, making the decision to go into rehab and then staying an extra 30 days took a lot of courage. How did you arrive at that first decision? 

Drake: After Lana told me that I had ruined my chance of being with her I got completely wasted. Shane found me and ripped into me about everything. I realized then that I had to get help or I would never be worthy of Lana or anyone else in my life. The first two times I had tried rehab it had been because my band brothers and Emmie had talked me into it. This time I was doing it for myself…And especially Lana. After a few weeks I realized that one month wasn’t going to even start fixing what was broken in me, if I could even be fixed.

Three Chicks:  Drake, your therapy session with Shane and Dr. Kent broke our hearts. You must have been blindsided by Shane’s guilty feelings. How shocked were you to find out he had been keeping all of that locked inside him? 

Drake: It destroyed me. I had thought for so long he blamed me, so it never crossed my mind that he would be feeling just as guilty. I was gutted that my little brother felt the burden of our mother’s death lay on his shoulders… 

Lana: (Reaches for Drake’s hand and entwines their fingers but remains quiet as she lends her husband strength)

Three Chicks:  Lana, you had the best roommates in New York and we are hoping to hear more about them! How much did you love living with such a unique group of people who really loved you just as you are? 

Lana: (Smiles) It was so great! It helped so much with the homesickness. Being surrounded by people who loved me unconditionally made me feel like I was still at home with Layla and Lucy.

Three Chicks:  Drake, what thoughts did you have when you found out about Lana and Cole Steel? 

Drake: The first thought I had was that she didn’t trust me, which was like a slash to the heart. Then I kept thinking ‘How the fu*k did that pri*k produce such a beautiful creature like my angel?’

Three Chicks:  Drake, you do know we wanted to punch you in the throat when you woke up with Gabriella Moreitti in your bed. Why were your clothes off if nothing happened as she said. If she took you home to make sure you were okay, how did you wind up in bed? 

Drake: (Bows his head in regret) I don’t know. I wish I did. 

Lana: (Squeezes Drake’s hand reassuringly) I confronted Gabriella last year and got the whole story from her. She took Drake home and then he told her she could crash in one of the other rooms if she needed to. He went to bed and she didn’t pay attention to which room he went into. The lights were off and she was too wasted to realized that someone else was already in the bed.

Three Chicks:  Lana, you had such guilt that you had told Drake about your first time with him and forgave him for losing the baby. How did you get past his going back to his old habits that quickly? 

Lana: It’s simple. I love him. Everyone makes mistakes, and yes Drake has made more than his fair share of them. But so have I. Besides, since that horrible weekend Drake has dedicated his life to loving me. Sure he still needs a meeting every now and then when I’m being unreasonable or life just gets in the way, but he hasn’t touch a bottle in two years.

Three Chicks:  Drake, have you made peace with yourself for hurting Lana by not remembering your first time and for the clusterfu*k of Gabriella Moreitti? 

Drake: I’ve made peace, yes. Forgiven myself? No. It’s something I will always regret. 
Three Chicks:  Lana, are you still in grad school? How are you juggling everything these days? 

Lana: Grad school is on hold for the moment. I only have a year and a half left, but getting our family into the world happy and healthy is more important than school. I don’t really have much to juggle. Emmie had flown out to help with the house and anything else we could possible need help with. I have to say that as rocky as the beginning of my relationship with Emmie was, I don’t know what I would do without her in my life now.

Three Chicks:  Drake, how will you tour, especially overseas, with the baby now? 

Drake: Touring overseas has been put on hold. At least for the band. Jesse and I both have decided that we aren’t going to travel with our kids so young. We are all doing our own thing for a while. I have responsibilities with America’s Rocker and Emmie and Nik are planning on doing a few things in Europe and the UK to promote Nik’s solo album… No, we aren’t breaking up! I swear. (Laughs)

Three Chicks:  Do you hope to add more kids to the family?

Lana: (Shrugs) We haven’t really talked about it. But yes, I would like more kids. 

Drake: (Nods) I want as many as Lana is willing to give me.

Thanks for spending time with us-especially for clearing up the Gabriella mess. We wish you the best with your new addition!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Giveaway: Adam Enough Said by Lynda LeeAnne

Our past was painful and a lot of mistakes were made, but that was then - this is now.
Mia wants a fight? I'll give her one.
She wants to leave me? I'll make her stay.
This is our future. She belongs to me.

Our past wasn't just painful, it was soul-shattering, and no amount of time will change that.
Adam wants a fight? Bring it.
He won't let me leave? I'll make him pay.
This is my future. I don't belong to him.

Follow Adam and Mia’s journey through the deliciously dysfunctional madness they like to call...marriage.

Author’s note: This is the third book in the This Can’t be Happening Series, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

Author’s warning: Mature content, lots of cussing (as in, A LOT), a five-foot-three, redheaded, terror of a woman and a sexy, possessive, crazy, hot alpha cop.


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Nook Trish Just Trish


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Review and Giveaway: Hell's Knights by Bella Jewel

Sex. Who really knows sex? I mean, we've all had sex, great sex even but when you get down to the details, how many of us actually see sex for the raw, primal act that it is?

I thought I knew sex. I've had sex. Heck, I've felt lust. Once, I've even felt love. I thought I knew exactly what sex was.

Until I met Cade.

He's the meaning of sex.

He's a biker.

He's dangerous.

He's powerful.

He's dominant.

He wants me.

My world is about to change, for the better? I don't know. But here's my story, I hope you're ready for it because it's not the beautiful, heart wrenching story most people have to tell. It's passionate, forbidden, morally incorrect and downright, fucking beautiful.


4 Star Review by Lisa Kane

Addison reluctantly finds herself going to meet the father she hasn’t seen since she was 4 years old; the father whose love for the open road was greater than his love for her. Her mother was a whore, screwing anyone for her to get her drugs, in an endless cycle of self-destruction. The only problem is she took her little girl right down that path with her. There is little Addison hasn’t known; no perverse sexual act, no act of violence or neglect. Food was scarce and unfortunately a very bad man named Jasper made the difference between being homeless and living in the hovel she called home.
“I hate being the child that isn’t wanted. It’s a shitty feeling to have on one in the world that wants to love you." Not one, single person.”
Addison believes she is scum, unworthy of any life other than the one she has known. Her method of escape was drugs and she perpetuated this cycle of self-loathing within her.  She has known affection from one man, and he eventually left her too. In the end, everyone leaves.
“Sometimes, there is no way, when you’ve sunk yourself so deep.”
Now she is on the run, her mother is gone and she is forced to rely for help on the man who is her father. When she finds the MC where he is, she is none too happy to see him. Jackson, her father, approaches her with caution. Their first meeting is explosive and both quickly learn that they were wrong in how they thought the other was living all these years. At that same meeting, Addison meets Cade Duke, a deliciously tattooed bad ass biker who likes to rouse her temper by calling her “Sugar”.
“Girl, you would look real pretty if you smiled.” “Smiling is over rated.”
Seems Cade has a biker groupie named Britney who claims he is her man. Cade quickly puts Britney down saying she will never be his old lady.  Cade wants Addie in a big way, and while she might be attracted to him, she is here to try to pick up the pieces of her life, and to start over again. Her experience with relationships is that they never last and never lead to any good.
She works at the MC’s bar and is starting to feel comfortable with her father. Slowly they are learning to let each other in and to form some kind of bond. She and Cade eventually stop dancing around each other and give it to their feelings. As crazy hot as their first encounter is-it leads to some misunderstandings and Addie has to apologize. It’s game back on for these two and they find it isn’t just lust they feel for one another.
“Want that sugar?” “You know I do,” I purr. “Then come here, get those panties off and let’s play.”
Addie can’t let Cade and Jackson know what went down before she left town. Unfortunately for her, enter one hot biker named Spike.Spike has a tie to Jasper and one which will turn Addie’s world on its axis. He also has a heartbreaking connection to Cade and these two are hard pressed not to kill each other. Between Spike, Brittany and her own secrets, Addie has too much on her plate. 
It all comes to a head and Addie finds her secrets can stay secret no longer. Will Cade be able to prove his love for her and will that love survive her past? I really liked this book, it was hot and interesting and the perfect combination of bad boy biker/strong alpha that I like. While the story line nicely wrapped up, there is a story coming for Spike (where his nickname came from is quite the eye opener!) and I am willing to bet Ciara will be part of it. I am going to enjoy this series.
“You’re the reason I get out of bed each day and f*ck, if that’s love, I am going to hang onto it and never let go.”



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Cover Reveal: Running in Place by L.B. Simmons




Running in Place (Mending Hearts #2)
By L.B. Simmons
Expected release date: Late October 2013 



SERIES READING ORDER:
• Mending Hearts #1 - Running on Empty: http://amzn.to/10Fkn7a
• Mending Hearts #1.5 -  Recovery:http://amzn.to/10ePaJR
• Mending Hearts #2 - Running in Place

Synopsis
Tatum O’Connell:

Some call me a party girl. People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world. They see what I want them to see. But no one knows me - really knows me. Not even Noah Reese.  Mr. Perfect is always watching me, most likely judging every single imperfect thing I do. But, if Noah wants to keep an eye on me, that’s just fine. I definitely don’t mind. I just hope he doesn’t have any plans to save me from my new-found life of self-destruction because in order to save me, he will have to see me…

And I’m never going to let that happen.

Noah Reese:

Perfect. That’s me. That’s the only acceptable way to be, according to my father. Perfect grades. Perfect manners. Perfect athlete. Perfect SAT scores. Perfect college. And recently, I was accepted into the perfect med school. My future has already been mapped out for me and there’s nothing that can change that. Not even Tatum O’Connell. That girl is out of control, yet for some reason, I can’t seem to keep my distance from her. I watch her closely, hoping that one day she’ll let me in, but watching her lead her life down the dangerous path she’s on right now isn’t easy…

I have a feeling I’m about to find myself swept away by the hurricane that is Tatum O’Connell.

“Two fleeting souls,

Unknowingly tethered.

Too slowly drawn,

Impatient fate calls.

The jolting collide intertwines their lives

And splinters their walls.”

“Catalyst” – Noah Reese
Author Bio:

L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science. She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.

Connect with L.B.:

• Website: http://www.lbsimmons.com/

• Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lbsimmonsauthor

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lbsimmons33

• Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6580347.L_B_Simmons 
Teaser
“Seriously, why are you even with him, Tatum? You never seem happy when you are.”

Well, that sure turned her smile upside down.  It also caused her to glare back at me.

“Like you have room to talk, Noah. Why are you with Piper?  You sure as hell never look happy when you’re with her, either.  You usually look irritated, actually.”

Touché.

“Touché.  You’re right,” I shrug as I lean back against my chair, “We kind of have an agreement. So, it is what it is. But, it’s nice to know you’ve been watching.” I give her a quick wink.

She narrows her eyes as she sits back in her seat and crosses her arms over her chest.  “Well, you might want to explain that to her, because I’m pretty sure she thinks otherwise.  Like, she probably has the church booked and wedding magazines all over her apartment.”

It seems that even the mention of marriage also has an adverse effect on my cardiac system. Or maybe it’s just any reference to Piper?We are getting way off track here, so I scoot my seat underneath the table, getting closer to Tatum and shift toward her, crooking my finger for her to lean in as well. After a slight hesitation, surprisingly she does. 

I shield the side of my mouth with the back of my hand and lower my voice to a whisper. “Let’s drop the Piper topic for a second, it’s giving me heartburn, and concentrate on you for a second.” Her hardened mask breaks and she laughs even though I couldn’t be more serious.

“I’m going to give you a loser lesson.  Let’s call it, ‘Loser 101:

Introduction to All Things Loser.’” Another small smile breaks across her lips and I’m once again momentarily distracted by her mouth. 

Glancing back up, I look into her eyes and grin.  “Okay, so number one.  His name isn’t really Cash, you know this right? His name is Herman.
 
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if he’s not man enough to even stand behind the name his mother gave him, well?” 

Tatum’s eyes widen and she covers her mouth. “How did you know that?” she whispers back from behind her fingers. She looks like an adorable little girl with her huge blue eyes gaping back at me. It’s
captivating.  I burn the image into my brain before letting her in on my secret.

“I’m a bartender.  I’ve seen his I.D.  In fact, I make him show it to me every time he comes into the bar because it makes me laugh.”
She drops her hand, huge smile displayed.  “You’re evil.”

“Yes, yes I am.” I hold up my pointer finger.  “That’s number one. 

Number two…” I draw out, “He’s what? Twenty-four? You know what I see every time he hands me that I.D. other than his name and age? His goddamn huge-ass senior ring … from high school. He really needs to learn to let go of what were probably the best years of his life and just move on. So, if they still feel that their high school years are relevant –loser. Lesson number two.”

I count it on my fingers as I lean in even closer and whisper my final lesson in her ear. “The third one is the most important, so listen closely.” I take a discreet whiff of her hair before continuing. “You may not believe this but it’s the truth.  You deserve to be treasured.  You should be with someone who respects you, who makes you a better person, and most of all who makes you happy.  He, however, treats you poorly. I see it every single time I’m around the two of you, and I have to say it takes a lot of restraint on my part not to beat the shit out of him when I see him do it.” I lean away from her and hold up three fingers in front of her shocked-as-shit facial expression.  “So, they don’t respect you and treat you how you should be treated – loser. Lesson three.”

I clear my face of its smartass smirk so she understands that I’m completely serious.  “Never settle for less than you’re worth.  You don’t give yourself enough credit.  Hopefully, one day, you’ll see what everyone else sees.”

She graciously accepts my compliment with a half-smile and after sliding herself back into her chair, she studies me intently.

“Interesting lesson there, Noah.  Thank you for the wise words. But, as I clearly displayed last night, I have issues.  Not everyone would take me back after what I did last night. But he did.  Because, he loves me. We all have our faults, not everyone can be perfect, like you.  I hope you know that’s not meant to be an insult, so please don’t take it that way. 

I just mean that some of us are flawed and have to deal with what we’re given.” She breaks from my eyes to watch the waitress pick up the empty plates from our table.  Once they’re cleared, she begins again, still gazing off in the distance.

“Broken hopes and expectations can leave very, very broken people. So, after a while, you learn not to aim so high, because when people fail you, you land hard and there’s only so many times a person can be shattered before they’re beyond repair.”

She brings her eyes back to mine.  “What you’re so quick to label assettling, I simply call survival,” she finishes with a defeated shrug of her shoulders.

After her statement, she casts her glance away from mine to smile at the person passing by.  Although as usual, it’s not genuine. It’s the same one she plasters on her face to appease everyone around her.

What the hell happened to her? 

The waitress conveniently drops the check off at our table, providing Tatum the perfect way out of this conversation and therefore any further interrogation.  She stands and pushes the chair out from underneath her with the backs of her knees. “Ready?” she asks, purse already in hand and stepping towards the direction of the register.

Well, I guess that’s all I’m getting from her for now. I know it’s not much, but I’ll take it.

It’s not like I can actually concentrate on asking her any more questions, because there’s one gigantic conclusion I’ve just drawn and it’s currently blocking any other thoughts from entering my mind.

A person who judges someone without really knowing them, without walking in their shoes, or without at least attempting to understand what they’ve gone through or experienced during their lifetime – loser.

Lesson number four. 



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Release Day Blitz: Good by S. Walden





Synopsis

Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she’s lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It’s a lonely existence.

But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him—a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can’t help it. He’s the only good thing at CrestviewHigh. She doesn’t expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate,right? But he does. And he shows her.

And that’s when her life goes from bad to good.


Goodreads


4.5 Star review by Jen Hagen
“I was the clichéd product of a girl who grew up in the church, who went to vacation Bible school every summer until sixth grade, who attended youth group in high school and sang solos on Sunday mornings.”

Cadence is beginning her senior year of high school after spending 10 months in juvie following “the big mistake.”  Kids are throwing names and accusations at her through the hallways of school, leaving messes in her locker, and essentially being a bully.  She has lost the trust of her family and her friends.  She has nobody she can talk to, nobody who can make her smile, and nobody supporting her.  She definitely did not receive a warm welcome into her math class by the new hot-looking young teacher.

“Cadence, leave my classroom!” he roared. 

Not exactly the reaction she was hoping to achieve… 

Things change, and Mr. Connelly is the one person Cadence can count on to be able to brighten her day and to lift her spirits when they have struck rock bottom.  He is there to clean up the mess from the bullies.   He provides small acts of kindness when no one seems to care.  

“You’re the saddest thing I’ve ever seen, Cadence. The loneliest thing I’ve ever seen. And any chance I get to see you smile, I’m gonna take it.”


Lines are crossed between teacher/student and the chase begins.  The chase turns into the catch and the deception and lies to hide their relationship and find time together become more complex involving a strategic web of lies.  There are some moments when jealousy and lack of maturity play a part in their relationship turmoil and sometimes Mr. Connelly can abuse his power. 

“I’d never been so humiliated in my life, not even when I stood in front of the judge for my sentencing. This was far worse because Mr. Connelly was supposed to care about me.” 

Remember that Cadence is young.  At 17 she lacks the maturity that one would have at age 28.  Mark has had to console her jealous rages on more than one occasion.  Mark is a patient and controlled man, but when he’s with Cadence he becomes impulsive.  Eventually these two personality traits will cause damage to their relationship.   Love sometimes isn’t enough to keep two people together, but what happens when the loneliness that follows is worse than feeling  the loss of control.   

I clung to him harder, trying to still the shuddering of his body as he poured out his grief. The tears were soaking my neck, my shoulder, and I grew frightened.   (there is something about a man crying that gets to me every.single.time)

Unfortunately Cadence and Mr. Connelly’s story is not complete and will continue to be told in a second book.   We know so little about Mr. Connelly’s past and I’m a little worried that he has some deep dark secrets waiting to come out.  Cadence’s family has not trusted Cadence since the “big mistake” and there are deep-rooted issues that will come to play in the next installment. 

It didn’t occur to me at the moment that Dad just gave me a card to play. I wouldn’t realize it until the following day.

I have previously read S. Walden’s novel “Going Under” and that book  also centered around high school-aged students.  Although the author uses young characters, she pulls the reader into her expertly worded character’s mind and life to make us relive our younger years and place us directly into the book.  I love teacher/student romances and this one certainly did not disappoint!  There is so much more to this story than just the usual teacher/student angst as it goes above and beyond the suspense of  keeping their relationship a secret.  

About S. Walden

S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com and follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.

Blog: http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/swaldenauthor

Twitter: @swaldenauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/swaldenauthor

Three days only on Amazon! S. Walden is dropping the price of Going Under to only .99¢ on Amazon to help celebrate the release of Good during the Release Day Blitz from August 27 - 29!

Going Under ~ Amazon

Good ~ Amazon



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Cover Reveal: Four Years Later by Monica Murphy



Title:  Four Years Later
Author:  Monica Murphy
Expected Publication Date:  February 2014

Synopsis

ABOUT FOUR YEARS LATER (blurb subject to change):
Guilt. That is all I ever feel when I think about my mom. Now she's back in my life, always wanting something. Having her around makes it so easy for me to fall into those bad habits that get me into trouble. Skipping class, smoking weed, fooling around with girls that mean nothing to me...I'm messing up. The last thing I need is my sister on my case.

So I keep my mom's return a secret. But promising I'll get my grades back up on my own isn't enough. Fable makes me see a tutor. And Chelsea is the smartest girl I've ever met. She's definitely not my type but there's something about her that I'm drawn to. She's sweet, she's shy and she seems completely immune to my usual moves.

Chelsea has her own secrets and she's not talking. Like I have any room to judge. How can I get her to open up to me? And will I ever be able to convince her that what we have could be something real?

About Monica Murphy:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.

Author Links

Website: http://www.monicamurphyauthor.com/#
Blog: http://missmonicamurphy.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MsMonicaMurphy
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MonicaMurphyauthor
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5934418.Monica_Murphy
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Monica-Murphy/e/B00AVPYIGG



Buy Links
Four Years Later Amazon Pre-order 
Barnes and Noble Pre-Order 





Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Falling Into Infinity and From Now Until Infinity by Layne Harper

Pre-med student Caroline “Charlie” Collins, a sophomore at Texas A&M, knows exactly what she wants in life and the order that it will happen: finish college, complete medical school, and then fall in love. A chance meeting with A&M’s star quarterback Colin McKinney changes everything. A friendship between the two grows over time and blossoms into a powerful love affair. Charlie and Colin must learn to cope with his transition to playing professional football, the crushing attention of the media, and constant demands of his fans. At the same time, she’s struggling with how her dream of attending medical school will fit into their already stressed relationship and Colin’s new life. Falling Into Infinity asks the question is just loving someone enough to make a relationship work?






4.5 Star Review by Jen Hagen

Charlie is graduating from college and heading to medical school to follow in her father’s footsteps.  Charlie’s father and mother were married when he was in medical school and her mother supported him along with 4 daughters during his post-graduate years.  Once the father was established in his practice he left his wife for the head nurse.  Charlie’s mother never got to experience the life that she had worked so hard to support.  Instead she was barely keeping it together for the girls and there were never any extras for her daughters, unlike her father’s new family.  Deep down Charlie believes that if she is successful as a medical doctor that she will win approval from her father and receive that unconditional love that she has been reaching for all her life.  All this brings tremendous stress to Charlie’s life and sometimes the only way she can cope is by pushing herself to the limits in terms of physical activity.  This isn’t healthy for her.

 

Colin…What can I say? He’s a hottie.  He has just completed his first year as an NFL quarterback and is so in love with Charlie.  Sometimes his love becomes a little overbearing for Charlie and he smothers her and she can’t make decisions on her own.  Colin wants her to attend medical school in the same town as his NFL team.  He has their lives all planned out.  Every day he asks her to marry him hoping that one day Charlie will say yes.

 

Charlie is given a huge opportunity to attend college at Harvard.  She goes back and forth on whether or not she and Colin can survive a long-distance relationship.  Colin’s personality is not the type to allow Charlie to be on her own.  He wants…no, he NEEDS, to make certain that their life is perfect.   He would worry too much about Charlie being all those miles away, and Charlie knows that he would focus only on her and not on his NFL career.  Charlie has to make a decision.  She needs to decide what path she will choose.  Either way she chooses she will something…her dream or Colin.

 

This is one of those books that was a pleasant surprise to find and fall in love with.  I loved the characters and their story of love.  Of course not all love stories are paved with hearts and flowers, and this was one of those stories that although their path was clearly outlined, there was a detour that took them off that path.   The detour was rough, and it brought me to tears on more than one occasion.  This is the first book in the series, with three more books to follow and the second one has recently been released.



Eight years have passed since Colin and Caroline “Charlie” ended their college romance. A chance meeting reunited them confirming that time had not diminished their love for each other. Now, they have to turn their passionate reunion into a legitimate and sustainable relationship. Charlie’s medical practice is in Houston. Colin is the starting quarterback for Dallas. Distance is not the only obstacle to their happiness. There’s Colin’s (maybe?) ex-girlfriend, entertainment reporter Sasha Stone who’s granted the first ever tell-all interview about Colin’s personal life. There’s Charlie’s father who is part owner of their medical practice and blames Colin for Charlie’s battle with an eating disorder. What about the demands of the media and Colin’s rabid fans? “From Now Until Infinity” continues the journey of Colin and Charlie that began, ended, and began again in “Falling Into Infinity.”
 
4.5 Star Review by Jen Hagen

This is the 2nd book in the Infinity series.  You must read the first book, Falling Into Infinity, first. 

“I just can’t believe that we found each other again, and I’m lucky enough to be loved by you twice in a lifetime.”

Colin and Charlie have reunited after spending 8 years apart, each of them professing the void that the other left in their heart.  After a weekend of discovering that they still loved each other and never moved on, they are attempting to make their lives normal.  How normal can a life be when you’re dating a star NFL quarterback?  Is Charlie heading down the same path with Colin that ultimately led to their breakup?

“Colin can break me.  He can destroy me.  He can send me back to the dark place where I went when we broke up…Colin has secrets that I don’t think he’s ready to share.  He hasn’t changed.”

After their rekindled relationship, Charlie is back at work in her father’s medical practice happy to have signed on new NFL clientele.  She is looking forward to becoming the successful sports medicine doctor that she has strived for and to capture her father’s admiration.  She is still seeking her father’s approval even after years of him leaving his wife and 4 daughters to start another family.   

Colin and Charlie have one more weekend to themselves before being thrust into the spotlight because of a woman who thought there was more to her and Colin’s casual relationship.   Colin’s management team wants to help him maintain his image, but Colin is not willing to deny his love for Charlie.  

“I.WILL.NOT.PRETEND.THAT.I.DO.NOT.LOVE.YOU.”   

Charlie herself is facing the backlash from their relationship after losing clients from her work.  She is faced with losing the dream that she worked so hard to achieve.  Charlie’s father is livid with her and has basically offered her an ultimatum…her medical practice or Colin.  Colin also seems to be offering an ultimatum…him or her father as Colin believes that it’s because of her father that sent Charlie into her defense mode years ago and ended up in the hospital for her eating disorder. 

“Why can’t I get the dream job and the boy?” 

Besides having decisions to make in their professional lives, Colin and Charlie still have to deal with what went wrong in their relationship before.   Not only did Charlie suffer medically following their breakup, but Colin also suffered.  He has kept that time in his life a secret from everybody except for 2 people.   Charlie needs to know everything before she can completely give herself to Colin.  She doesn’t want to be blindsided, which Colin has a way of unknowingly doing from time to time.   Colin doesn’t want her to know that dark time in his life.

“What happens if I refuse to share that with you?”

“Then I walk away and refuse to ever have contact with you again.” 

In the first book the time frame covered was 10 years.  This book covers about 2 weeks.  There’s a lot happening in this short amount of time and hopefully Colin and Charlie can take what they’ve learned about each other and from each other to build a solid relationship that will take them through all the difficult decisions they face in this book  and also in the future, as there are 2 more books with Colin and Charlie’s story. 





 
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Blog tour: Bully by Penelope Douglas




Title: Bully
Series: A Fall Away Novel, Book #1
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 17, 2013
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn

Synopsis

My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he'll barely even speak to me.

But he still won't leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way in hell I'll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back.

*This novel contains adult/mature young adult situations. It is only suitable for ages 18+ due to language, violence, and sexual situations.

**This book is the first in a series but can be read as a STAND ALONE. The next books will focus on side characters from this story.


4.5 Star Review  by Jen Hagen

“There were so many times when we were kids, growing up next door to each other, that I thought Jared was the greatest.  He was sweet, generous, and friendly.  And the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen…But that kid was long gone now.”

Jared and Tate were young best friends, until the one summer before freshman year when he went to stay at his dad’s place and came back a different person.  Now he is cruel and intimidating to Tate, and only to Tate. 

“I’d wracked my brain a thousand times trying to figure it out.  He was cold to most people, but he was downright cruel to me.  Why me?”

Tate has spent the last couple of years hiding from him, even going so far as to hide from him by spending her junior year of high school in France.  She has endured pranks and rumors from Jared that have forced her to be on guard all the time in school and to keep herself hidden.  Not only is it Jared that intimidates her, but also Jared’s best friend Madoc has been coerced into making Tate’s high school days a living hell.
“I’d be going home in tears again.  No doubt.”
Tate has now returned from her year abroad and unfortunately Jared hasn’t eased up on his cruelty. Tate’s best friend convinces Tate that she needs to start fighting back and not let Jared get the upperhand every time.   Tate isn’t letting Jared get the best of her for the duration of their senior year.  She is fighting back and performing acts that a stealth burglar would perform.  Jared is caught off guard by Tate’s daring performances.
“I underestimated you.  You haven’t cried yet, have you?...I promise you will be in tears by next week.”
A class assignment is where Tate is able to cut Jared to the core.  She uses it to her advantage to let him know how much he hurt her and how much she misses what they had. 
“Jared could push me, hurt me, take what he wanted, but showing him that he had hurt, but not broken me, was how I won.”
Jared and Tate seem to be on a whiplash tour of emotions – both of them causing the other to gain hope that their friendship can be saved.  But did Jared push it too far and is there any hope for their friendship to be saved following a viral incident?
“I told myself a hundred times today that he couldn’t be trusted.  He was a liar.  A bully.  But his words were getting to me.  He looked upset.  Either he was a really good actor, or…he was telling the truth.”
You will go on quite the ride with Tate and Jared.  This book deserves high praise for giving the reader an emotional journey throughout its course.  There is anticipation following every page turn and elation when you can savor in one of Tate’s small victories.  Both Jared and Tate have acts of anger embedded in them, but my particular favorite is Tate going ballistic on Jared’s car.  That in itself is worth the price of this book.  



Three Chicks interview Author Penelope Douglas

Three Chicks:  How long have you been teaching? 

I’ve been teaching for seven years. Five of them with all boys!

Three Chicks:  Did the story line for Bully come from any observations with your students or from something else?

Well, of course, bullying is always on a teacher’s mind. We watch for that like hawks. But I have to say the idea for an edgy high school romance came from reading Tijan, author of the Fallen Crest Series. I read Fallen Crest High last year and was blown away by the creative chances she took with a young adult storyline. I wanted to do something similar and break ground of my own. Not sure if I did, but I’m trying! 

Three Chicks:  Is Bully the first book you’ve written or the first one that you have written and self-published? 

Bully is the first book I’ve written. Ever. I was reading lots of New Adult and had a story to tell, so I gave it a shot. I remember that I started writing a serial killer story when I was sixteen on yellow legal pad, but my mother was pretty freaked out when she read it. Not sure what ever happened to that legal pad.

Three Chicks:  Bullying is such a sensitive subject. Given Jared’s history of abuse, do you think that helps to explain why he then abuse Tate? 

It definitely had a hand in shaping the young man he became. I’m hoping to better draw the connections in Until You, so people will understand his mindset. Not excuse it, just understand it. Does he get a pass for his actions towards her?  No, of course not. I always knew Jared and Tate’s story wasn’t over. There is still work that needs to be done, and I had planned to address that in Rival as a subplot. However, the feedback has encouraged me to re-evaluate my plan and give Jared an opportunity to tell his story. I’m so grateful that readers have embraced these characters and want to hear his side.

Three Chicks:  There are some very strong secondary characters in Bully. After Until You and Rival, do you see yourself continuing with this story or do you have plots for other books in mind? 

After Rival, I only planned for one more book. Jax’s story (which is untitled). I also want to bring Ben in as a stronger presence.  

Three Chicks:  Do you have plans to continue writing part time and teaching or will you be writing full time? 

My plan is for 2013-2014 to be my final year teaching. I enjoy it tremendously, and I’ve loved warping, I mean shaping, young minds, but I’ve fallen in love with writing and have a dozen stories in my head right now that want out!

Three Chicks:  How do you manage to find time with a busy family life and a job to write-do you set aside time each day; do you write as an idea forms in your head-what is your typical writing process like? 

For Bully, I wrote evenings and weekends. It was very stressful to try to be an attentive parent, but writing became so important to me, too. I had started to feel like I was living the same day over and over again. Go to work, make dinner, bath time, and bedtime, you know? Writing has made me feel like I have new goals all of the time, and it’s a much more exciting life now.   

 
Three Chicks:  Did you ever in your wildest dreams think Bully would have the response it has had from readers?  After all, word about it is spreading like wildfire. 

Uh, no. I thought maybe fifty people would download it. My editor encouraged me to make it free for a few days for exposure, but I still had no idea what I was in for. I didn’t even know what a blog tour was at that time. Suffice it to say, I am doing cartwheels over the response and still can’t believe strangers email me with how much they loved what I wrote.

AUTHOR BIO: 
Penelope Douglas is a writer and teacher in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to "just get the degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, the show Sons of Anarchy, and she shops at Target almost daily.



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