Thursday, February 28, 2013

Interview: Jake Wethers and Tru Bennett from the Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle

"Thank you both so much for meeting up with us today and taking time out of your busy schedules. We really  appreciate it, " Kristie says. (Lisa giggling like a teenager at the sight of Jake Wethers) "Let's get this show on the road, shall we? Congratulations on your engagement! Gorgeous ring!" 

Three Chicks:  How are the wedding plans coming along?

Tru: Thank you! The wedding plans are coming along well. Slow at first as I have no clue how to plan a wedding, but I’ve got Stuart helping me now so it’s all good!

Three Chicks:  Jake, music is such a big part of your life. Do you think at some point you will concentrate on running the record label and stop touring?

Jake:  At the moment I can’t see that ever happening. Being on stage, performing, is what I live to do. I’m not a permanent ‘behind the desk’ kind of guy, you know.

Three Chicks:  Tru, now that you tour with Jake, how do you handle the groupies?  Have there been any confrontations with any of Jake's past regulars?

Tru:  There’s been a few problems, not so much confrontations; Dave would never let anyone get close enough to me for that to happen! *laughs*  I have heard things said about Jake’s past. But I try to not let those things affect me. Jake and I are together now and that’s what matters.

Three Chicks:  Tru, do you ever worry that Jake will have a drug relapse? Especially if another major crisis were to occur?

Tru:  I try not to think on it too much. I trust Jake and believe in him when he says he has it under control.

Three Chicks:  Jake, do you worry about backsliding into drugs again?

Jake:  No. I just focus on keeping myself clean. If I sat worrying about using again then I’d probably end up using. Negative thoughts just can’t come into play with an ex-addict.

Three Chicks:  Jake, what would you do if you ever had to choose between your music and Tru?

Jake:  I’d choose Tru without hesitation. I lived a life without her in it once, when all I had was the music. I couldn’t do it again.

Three Chicks:  Is LA your home base now, how often do your visit Tru's parents?

Tru: It’s tricky at the moment, Jake is working a lot at the label and TMS are in the studio recording a new album so we haven’t really had chance to get back home. I’m hoping to get back home for a visit real soon though.

Three Chicks:  Jake:  At the concert in Stockholm when you stated,  "Ladies you look  beautiful tonight... and guys, well hang on tight to your girls is all  I'm saying," and then you chuckle.... We have to know, was that message directed towards Will? Even though he wasn't there to hear it? Tru, do you think he was giving you a warning? He did sing Undress You right after.

Tru: I’d never even thought about it! Were you? *looks at Jake*

Jake: *grins* What do you think?

Tru: I guess we have our answer ladies!

Three Chicks:  Jake, you admitted that it was too painful to keep in touch with Tru.  While in the States you found a guy version of Tru in Jonny. After his passing, why didn't you reach out to Tru? You know she would have been there for you.

Jake:  I’m going to sound like a real pussy saying this, but it was fear of the unknown. We’d been apart for so long. I didn’t know where she was in her life, and I was afraid that if I tried to make contact she would reject me. Losing Jonny was hard enough, and I knew I just didn’t have it in me to lose her all over again too. But Tru knows this, we’ve talked a lot about that time.

Three Chicks:  Tru, we know Jake was your best friend growing up. Did you guys ever kiss?

Tru:  No, we never did. We were just best friends.

Jake: Given half the chance I would have done though!

Three Chicks:  Jake, you knew Tru was in a relationship with Will and not just a relationship but a 2 year one at that. We realize that you have never been in a relationship but don't you think you were being a bit unreasonable with Tru?  Will flew out of his way to come and surprise her and you expect her to tell him within 10 minutes of being there that it  is over? Tru deserved SOME time to hang out and talk to him BEFORE dropping the bomb and by pressuring her you made things 10 times worse.  Put yourself in her shoes.


Jake:  Wow, you don’t pull any punches ladies! No, in all seriousness we don’t discuss that period in our lives anymore. It was a difficult time. A fuck load of emotions were flying around, and neither of us was thinking clearly. We both messed up a lot, but we’re leaving it where it belongs – in the past. Next question!

Three Chicks:  Tru, when your boss said "Well, we're all as clean as whistles my darling until men like him come along and dirty us right up." We know you didn't intend to cheat on Will but when did you realize what your boss said was true?

Tru:  In the club in Copenhagen when we were dancing.

Three Chicks:  Jake, favorite body part for Tru?

Jake:  All of her.

Three Chicks:  Tru, same question?

Tru:  Can I say the snake? *winks at Jake*

Three Chicks:  Jake, what do you love the most about Tru?

Jake:  There’s not one specific thing, it’s just all the little things that make Tru, Tru.

Tru:  Aww, baby! *kisses Jake on the cheek* Same goes for me.

Three Chicks:  Jake, you hadn't spoken to your father in years but his death seemed to hit you pretty hard, causing you to start using drugs again.  What made his death so hard?  Was it the fact that you weren't there when he died or that you had not had a real relationship with him?

Jake:  Neither. This is another thing I don’t talk about. All I’ll say is it was a lot to do with what I never got to say to him.

Three Chicks:  How do you think being engaged has changed your relationship?

Tru: It hasn’t really changed us. I guess if anything, it’s just brought us even closer together.

Three Chicks:  Tru, have you talked to Will?

*Jake shifts uncomfortably in his seat*

Tru:  No. I have no reason to talk to Will. And like Jake said before it’s all in the past, and we have a lot in our future to look forward to.

Three Chicks:  What is your favorite childhood memory with each other?

Jake: When we were thirteen we went swimming at Lumb Falls and Tru lost her bikini top. It was the highlight of my fucking year!

Tru: Jake! *shakes her head, laughing* Sorry ladies! Okay, well mine was when my pet rabbit Fudge died. Not that Fudge had died of course, but because Jake sat with me all day and kept me company while I was upset. He even dug a grave for Fudge and helped me bury him. Not many eight year old boys would do that.

Three Chicks:  Tru, when you first started seeing each other again was it hard to trust him, given his past reputation?

Tru:  I’ll admit it wasn’t easy knowing how Jake had lived his life in the past. But we have both made mistakes, and I guess there were some trust issues on both sides. We’re all good now, though.

Three Chicks:  Tru, when you first saw Jake, in some way did you hope deep down that you two would get together again, even though you were with and loved Will?

Tru:  Not consciously, but maybe on a sub-conscious level I did.

Three Chicks:  Jake, were you ever able to figure out how Kaitlyn ended up in your bed that night?

Jake:  Nope. But then it wasn’t hard to get in the bedroom. The door didn’t have a lock on it, and the party was still well under way when I passed out in bed. So I figure she just let herself in.  And no more questions about the past or you’ll be getting a ‘no comment’ from me!

Three Chicks:  Tru, what is the most romantic thing Jake has ever done for you?

Tru:  I’d have to say the night in Paris. The locket and the Eiffel Tower. Everything about that night was beyond perfect, and seriously romantic.

Three Chicks:  Jake, if you could go back to when you moved and could do one thing  over again, what would it be?

Jake:  Kiss Tru before I left.

Three Chicks:  Tru, how often does Jake spoil you with yummy special ordered desserts?

Tru:  Not too often, I had to put a stop to it. I’ve got a wedding dress to fit into and those desserts are seriously fattening!

Three Chicks:  Jake, have you quit smoking yet? Any desire to?

Jake:  Nope. And nope. I need one vice, right.

Three Chicks:  Tru, how does it feel to be "The Worlds Best Snake Charmer?" (the entire room erupts into laughter while Tru blushes)

Tru:  Well, I’d say it feels pretty good – and no innuendos please!! 

Three Chicks:  This question is for both of you.  What song would you use right now to describe your life?

Jake: On Top of the World, by Imagine Dragons.

Tru: Ooh, yeah that’s a good choice, baby! That’s my answer too.

"Three Chicks would like to thank you again for coming." (Everyone stands and gives each other a hug goodbye. (Lisa is jumping out of her seat and runs over to Jake to hug him goodbye... lingering  a little too long) Tru clears her throat. Kristie and Jen laugh...

Our 5 star review

This book hit all the right buttons for me. Young love rediscovered, bad boy rockers, soul mates reunited. Tru is sent to interview Jake about his group, The Mighty Storm's latest album. They have recently lost one of the members who died in a car accident. Tru is aware that Jake was her childhood friend, but is still hurting from the way he cut her off when he moved from England to the States. She has been in a relationship with Will for the last 2 years. When she goes to his hotel room, Jake instantly remembers her. That meeting sets off Jake's plan to win Tru back.

This book made me laugh out loud and then a few chapters later, catch my breath and hold back my tears. These characters feel so much for each other and yet stumble like all humans do. Jake has demons and substance abuse problems from his past and must resolve these in order to be able to offer Tru an honest relationship. Tru has to decide who she wants to be with and how to deal with the hurt that will cause. This book is a must read for everyone-especially those who love a bad boy rocker and the girl next door!

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Our 4 Star Review for Play with Me by Kristen Proby

Review for Play with Me by Kristen Proby
4 Stars

 Megan McBride had a rough childhood. The only other person she was able to count on besides herself was Leo. He was like an older brother to her, her best friend, taught her about music and they would sing together. He pushed her to go to college and then he left. Meg is now a charge Nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital in the Cancer unit. For the past two years she has been trying to get Will Montgomery, professional football player,  and the team to come and visit the children and has been faced with rejections. This puts a sour taste in her mouth and all she can think is that he is an arrogant jock. All the kids want is to meet their sport’s heroes. Then one day while at a restaurant she runs into Jules Montgomery and she is with her brother Will, she used to be good friends with Jules and Nat back in college.  She decides to say hi and Jules introduces her to Will. When she meets Will she isn’t impressed but she also can’t deny the overwhelming attraction she has for the gorgeous sports star. Besides, she doesn’t have time for a relationship, what’s the point anyway every time she ends up loving someone they leave.

“Why don’t you just tell what I did to piss you off so I can go ahead and hit on you?
I burst out laughing, making him scowl, which makes me laugh harder.
“You really are and arrogant a$$hole, aren’t you?”

Will Montgomery is a successful professional football player and from the outside looking it, he seems to have it all. He is used to women throwing themselves at him but that just isn’t his thing. When he meets his sister’s friend Meg, he is immediately taken with her and wants her in his bed. With her rocker looks and blatant hostility towards him he sets out to prove that he isn’t the arrogant super star quarterback she thinks he is.
She’s different. She doesn’t care about my job or my family connections.
And she told me no. That was new

Will starts to get under her skin and slowly her defenses come down. How had he managed to get into her heart? When he professes his feeling for her she is unable to say anything and is scared to admit what she is feeling.  Together they explore the possibilities of being a couple. Will has been very patient and very honest about how he feels. Meg needs to learn to let go of her troubled past before she loses the first man she has ever loved.

“If you can’t love me the way I love you, maybe we’re just wasting our time.” His shoulders sad and he runs his knuckles down my cheek. “Good luck to you, Megan.” He turns on his heels and walks down my stairs and to his car, I’m stuck.

Will is sexy, smart, a little controlling, but oh so sweet. Meg is beautiful, guarded with her rocker style and spitfire attitude, which is one of the qualities I loved about her. I loved the chemistry they have together. Did I mention how awesomely hot the sex scenes are? WOZA!

Kristen Proby scored a touchdown with this one! I couldn’t put it down. 

A fun, sexy, great read!

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Cover Reveal: Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry

Here is the cover for Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry.  Looking forward to this one.


Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn't have a problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—deserve to party, right? Wrong. After taking a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska.

Hockey player Penny Jones can't imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who'll take care of her absent-minded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered with the new tenants next door.

Penny’s too hung up on another guy to deal with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy
sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.

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Interview: Ella and Micha from The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

"This is a cute coffeehouse. So glad that Ella and Micha are able to meet us here for their interview,” Lisa says as we walk in.  The sound of a guitar stops our conversation as we listen.  We realize it’s Micha singing, his voice low and strong.  We recognize the words and realize he’s singing ‘What No One Ever Sees’. We follow his gaze as he sings and we see Ella watching him. We let out a sigh and grab a couple of chairs to sit on. When he finishes they both walk over to us.  "Here they come, man Micha is seriously sexy,” Kristie says. Lisa and Jen look over at them. "Ella is just as gorgeous! WOW!", Lisa says. We stand, introduce ourselves as the Three Chicks and wait while they get situated.  Jennifer says, "We know you both have busy schedules so how about we get this started?"

Three Chicks:  Micha, for years when you “hooked up” you told Ella it was all fun and you were killing time until she gave into her inner desire to be with you.  Is that really what was going on?

Micha:  Absolutely. It took me a little while to realize it, but when I look back at those years now I can see why it felt so empty and that I was just waiting around for Ella.

Three Chicks:  Ella, how did running from Micha and closing him out help you maintain control? Control over what?

Ella:  Control over life. My feelings. When I lost my mom, I felt like I’d lost control over everything and I hated how it made me feel. I never wanted to feel that way again if I lost someone close to me. And since Micha’s the most important person in my life, I thought at the time, that it'd be easier to shut him out. That way if something did happen, it wouldn’t hurt as much.

Three Chicks:  Micha your nickname for Ella is "pretty girl" when did you come up with it and is the fact that Ella doesn't like it part of the appeal? Ella, why don't you like it?

Micha:  I’ve been calling her that for a while.  At first I kept doing it because she’d get so pissed off, but then it kind of stuck. And it’s a fitting nickname for her.

Ella:  The nickname’s worn on me now, but back before we were dating, it got on my nerves and made me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be known as the “pretty girl.”

Three Chicks:  Ella, what does the bridge represent to you?

Ella:  The bridge is a place that holds a lot of painful memories, not just with my mom but also with myself. I really try not to think about what it represents because it’s gets too painful sometimes.

Three Chicks:  Micha, face it, you are swoon worthy gorgeous (all Three Chicks sigh and blush). How are you dealing with the temptations of being on the road?

Micha:  Honestly, it’s been easy.  Doing anything on the road basically means going back to that place I was in before Ella and I started dating. And I don’t want to go back to that at all.

Three Chicks:  Ella, how is your relationship with your brother and his fiancé? How is your dad doing?

Ella:  My relationship with Dean is about the same and my dad’s doing okay.

Three Chicks:  Micha, what happened with the money your grandfather left you? Has your father tried to contact you since you walked out on him?

Micha:  I never took the money from my grandfather and I’m glad I didn’t—I don’t want it. As for my dad, I’ve heard from him a few times but he’s pretty much the same.

Three Chicks:  Ella, how would running away and changing your appearance have prevented you from having bipolar disorder?

Ella:  Changing my appearance was my attempt to try and hide from who I was on the inside. For a while I really believed I could turn into someone else who wouldn’t have any problems. I realize now that life doesn’t work that way.

Three Chicks:  Micha, did it ever cross your mind those 8 months without Ella that she might not come back?  Having located her what was your plan if she hadn’t come back?

Micha:  Yeah, it crossed my mind a lot of times, even though I didn’t want to think it.  Once I found out she was in Vegas I was ready to drive down there and force her to at least talk to me. I lucked out though because she came back.

Three Chicks:  Ella, that night on the bridge, Micha was about to tell you he loved you but you kissed him before he could finish. Did you know you were leaving and you couldn’t bear to hear him say those words?

Ella:  When I was standing on the bridge I had no clue what was going to happen five minutes into the future.  The kiss, as good of a kiss as it was, scared the heck out of me and made me feel things I wasn’t comfortable with and I think it kind of shoved me in that direction.

Three Chicks:  Micha, when you took Ella to the coffee house to play for the first time in ages, Phil asked if you would be coming back on a regular basis. You told him, No, that you had places to go and people to see. What were you referring to?

Micha:  That was just me talking. I wanted to move forward with my music and didn’t want to get wrapped up at playing at the coffeehouse on a frequent basis.

Three Chicks:  Ella, why do you think you can’t remember telling Micha you loved him after the bridge incident?

Ella:  I think it was the combination of medication and a high level of an anxiety. I was really out of it.

Three Chicks:  Micha, why did you stop playing your music and racing cars when Ella left?

Micha:  Because those were the things I’d always done with Ella and they reminded me too much of her.

Three Chicks:  Ella, why do you think you are broken? Did the fact that Grady kept the broken vase make you realize that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you are not responsible for your mother’s actions?

Ella:  I thought I was broken because that’s how I felt on the inside. I thought I was this horrible person that did more harm to the people, then I did help. I’m not going to lie and say that I’m perfectly fine now and that I know I’m not responsible for my mother’s death. I have my good days and my bad one’s, but knowing that it’s okay to have good days and bad days makes things easier.

Three Chicks:  We know you have loved each other for quite some time. Micha, why didn’t you tell Ella you were going on the road with Naomi sooner?  Why wait until the day after you made love for the first time, her FIRST time ever- and you tell her you are leaving in a couple of days?? Ella, how did that make you feel?

Micha:  I didn’t wait to tell her that morning—I decided that morning. I told her as soon as I made my decision. The only reason I couldn’t say yes to Naomi was because I was so afraid that if I went, I’d lose Ella.  But the day after we made love, I realized that that wasn’t going to happen.

Ella:  I’ll admit it was scary when Micha told me he was leaving and I was a little bit surprised, but I understood and wanted him to go. I never want him to give up his dreams because of me.

Three Chicks:  Ella, were you always an adrenaline junkie?

Ella:  Yeah, pretty much.

Three Chicks:  Ella, deep down, don’t you think you always wanted Micha to be your first lover?

Ella:  Looking back at it now, I think so, but I was too afraid to admit it to myself.

Three Chicks:  It seems that you will be separated more than you will be together, what do you plan to do to make it work and not let the separation tear you apart? 

Micha:  We call each other ever day, I’ve gone to visit Ella in Vegas. It’s tough, but we’ve been okay.

Three Chicks:  What is your favorite thing about each other?

Micha:  Her big beautiful eyes and her spitfire personality, although I’m not sure everyone would agree with me on the latter.

Ella:  His eyes, the way he understands me and can make me feel better when I’m having an extremely bad day. And that he’s a genuinely nice person.

"That was great! Thanks again for meeting us at the coffeehouse, such wonderful memories here for the two of you," Jennifer says, while standing. Lisa and Kristie follow suit as does Ella and Micha. Kristie walks over to Ella and gives her a big hug then turns to Micha and does the same, Lisa and Jen join in.  "We hope you have a great visit with your family and friends and we hope to talk to you again in the future," Lisa says, as we all walk to the door. The three of us watch Ella and Micha drive away. Kristie turns to Jennifer and Lisa stating, "That was fun, they make a great couple. What do you say we check out Back Road and see if anyone’s racing up at The Hitch?” Lisa and Jen laugh but nod in agreement. "They both shout, “Sounds like fun! Let's do it!"

 Our 4.5 star review

Micha and Ella have been friends since childhood, living next door to each other. They have seen the best and worst of each other; they have been best friends and treasured soul mates. That is until one tragic night that forever changed their lives. Ella blames herself for the consequences and finds she can no longer live with the reality of her life as it exists. She literally leaves Micha on a bridge one night and starts a new life, in a new town. She refuses to look back. She immerses herself in college and begins to reinvent herself.  She has buried her emotions inside and has become a different person. She has escaped the life she left behind,
and this includes the life she had with Micha. He has searched for her, but has not been able to locate her. For eight months both have lived a life unnatural for them; Ella reinventing herself, Micha, searching for her and trying to pick up the pieces she left behind.

When Ella returns, their connection is just as strong and powerful as ever. Can Ella forgive herself; can she open her heart and admit that she loves Micha? Micha refuses to be forgotten, and forces Ella into admitting feelings she has long suppressed. This new straight laced uptight college student finds she wants and needs Micha; the tattooed, lip ringed, musician bad boy with a heart of gold. Can they overcome their past, and learn to make peace with the devastation that tore them apart? Sorensen has written a beautifully simple, yet utterly heartwarming novel of two individuals that fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. It is only when all the pieces are together that the picture is complete.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Collide by Gail Mchugh Giveaway and review

Collide by Gail Mchugh
Our 4 star review

I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of Gail Mchugh's debut novel, Collide.  For her first
novel, the author did an amazing job. With her writing, she managed to convey many
emotions through out this book. Emily has recently lost her mother to cancer. She
decides to move to New York City to be closer to her boyfriend Dillon and her best friend Olivia.   Dillon has been everything she could hope for in a boyfriend. He is her rock and has supported her in every possible way.  Physically, emotionally and financially he was there for her.  He is her world and she cannot see her life without him. That is until Gavin Blake enters her life.

Oh Gavin how I loved you from the moment I (or Emily) met you. Gavin is Mr. tall, dark and handsome. Everything about him is sexy. Gavin has had his share of woman but when he meets Emily for the first time he knows that he is meant to spend his life with her. He understands for the first time what his father meant when he told him that he will know love at first sight when he sees it.  Gavin tries his best to persuade Emily to go out with him but she refuses because because she has a boyfriend that she loves. While she feels the same attraction for Gavin, she owes everything to Dillon and feels great love for him.  Just when she thinks that Gavin will be out of her life forever, they find that they are connected through friendships and staying away from him is going to be an impossible task.

"Here's to bottle caps, the Yankees, and 'birds', and most of all...and most of all to a beautiful girl named Molly who refuses to believe the man who loves her-the man who loves her more than she'll ever know" -Gavin Blake

 Emily fights very hard to keep Gavin out of her thoughts,and to push her feelings aside. The hard part about trying to stay away is knowing that Gavin has feelings for her.  Emily has become a permanent fixture it Gavin's head that he can't seem to get rid of, nor does he want to.  But given the circumstances and the friendships that surround them he knows that he cannot have her. If the only connection they can have is through a friendship, then he decides to take what he can get. But being friends isn't always that simple when you have feelings that are out of your control. Especially if giving in to those feelings will destroy friendships and affect those around them. The only choice is to put those feelings aside and try to move
on, but Gavin and Emily find that is easier said than done.

The author did a wonderful job in the way she introduced the main characters along with background info.   Although Dillon had always been there for Emily, I was not a fan.   He was always there for her when she needed him to be, but honestly I did not trust him at all.  I don't doubt his love for her, I just don't think he deserved her. Emily's character had many likeable qualities, but her decisions frustrated me!  I honestly loved her, but she was very frustrating at times because of the decisions she made. Emily's misplaced sense of loyalty for Dillon caused her to revert back to what was comfortable for her, rather than to seek the unknown with Gavin. She fell weak to Dillon many times and it was mainly because felt a sense of loyalty to him and owed him for being there for her.

Countless flights from New York to Colorado to be with her.  Beautiful gifts he sent to take her mind off the madness that consumed her life. Late night calls talking with her to make sure she was okay. Even down to arranging for the funeral, giving her advise on selling her childhood home and ultimately moving her out to New York. It was all part of why she adored him.

I cannot say enough about Gavin.  The sweet an tender moments that Gavin and Emily shared as friends just made me smile and all warm and fuzzy inside. Gavin just wanted her, all of her and to love her the way she deserved to be loved. McHugh's secondary characters are not mere props, but have strong story lines of
their own. . Her best friend Olivia who had the best nick names for Dillon;  she is not a big fan either.  Then you have Olivia's brother and Emily's co-worker Fallon were strong players in this novel reinforcing the storyline.

Overall I loved this book. This book was filled with two things I love in a book: drama and angst.  I love when a book makes you smile, laugh and even shed a tear, and this book did all of those.  Just when you think you know what is going to happen the author throws some twists in there and it changes everything. Just when you think things are going to go great and you are smiling, bam!! There is another twist that makes your heart just break and you become frustrated all over again.  Let me warn you, this book does not tie up the characters' stories in a nice pretty bow. Having said that, the events leading up to the cliffhanger, are in a word, awesome.

"I've never felt so heart broken and in love at the same time. If you would've told me the day we met that your were going to break my heart-that days, months or even years would pass, and I would still be hurting like this-it wouldn't have stopped me from falling in love with you."

My heart broke for Gavin at times. I loved Gavin and if at all possible, loved him even more in the end.   This was a great ride of emotions and definitely a must read. I actually read the ending twice because it was one of those endings that I couldn't stop thinking about. Great job Gail Mchugh, and please don't keep us waiting too long to see what happens.

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Interview: Ollie, Jared and Layla from Bound Together by Marie Coulson

“I can't believe that Ollie Green, Layla Jennings and Jared Garrett are coming here! Ladies, do you like my green shirt and my hat?" Kristie says, smiling like a kid in a candy store, her hat reads Team Ollie. Jennifer is laughing and Lisa glares and says, "Well, check out my shirt! Team Jared all the way baby." Jennifer looks at them both and says, "You two are acting like star struck teenagers but... check this out!" We look and she has created a shirt where half says Team Ollie and the other half says Team Jared. Lisa and Kristie burst out laughing. Jen shrugs her shoulders saying, "I like them both, it was impossible for me to choose so I’m Team Both." Kristie glances at the clock and says, "They will be here any minute now. Marie mentioned the "tension" between all of them so maybe I should sit next to Ollie, Lisa you can sit next to Jared who will be GLUED to Layla and Jen if you don't mind you can sit next to Layla- we need to keep those guys separated." At the sound of the doorbell Jen answers and says, "Welcome Ollie, thanks for coming. I’m Jen, the frozen one over there is Kristie and that’s Lisa, we’re the Three Chicks and it’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”

Ollie smiles and winks at Kristie. Thanks for inviting me.”

Kristie snaps out of it and is quickly by Ollie's side. "Please make yourself at home, can I get you anything?"

Ollie shakes his head and says “I think I’m good. Thanks anyway.” 

There is another knock at the door, this time Lisa jumps up to answer it. When she opens the door we hear her say, "Jared, Layla, so nice to meet you, please come in and get comfortable." We notice Ollie stiffen a bit, Jen and Kristie look at each other then we look over at Jared and Layla. 

Jared’s eyes immediately land on Ollie and then dart to Layla who shifts uncomfortably and avoids looking in Ollie’s direction. It’s pistols at dawn.  

Jen whispers to Kristie, “See, now you know why I’m Team Both, they are both hot!" I look at her and we stand to greet Jared and Layla. Lisa asks them to have a seat. Jared’s eyes are constantly locked onto Ollie who is glaring back at him. We all sit in an uncomfortable silence then Kristie clears her throat and states, "Ok guys, let's get started alright?" Everyone anxiously nods in agreement...

Three Chicks:  Layla, you were instantly attracted to Ollie and became fast friends. Had he made his move first do you think it would be you two together now?

Layla:  *glances at Jared and then Ollie, who is refusing to make eye contact with her. She stares at the ground and shrugs*   I don’t know. I guess if it’s meant to be between two people, then it will be. I don’t think it matters about who gets there first. It’s about what the heart wants.

Jared:   *places a protective hand on her knee and Ollie snorts a laugh from his corner of the room.  Jared glares at him*  Something you need to say?

Ollie:   *shakes his head*   Not to you.

Layla shifts uncomfortably in her seat and rolls her eyes.

Three Chicks:  Layla, you broke Ollie's heart via text message. (Kristie sighs and mumbles, "Well Ollie, say the word and I’m so ready to go away with you.") Lisa and Jen's eyes pop open and they shoot glares at Kristie who is smiling at Ollie and says, "Sorry, but Ollie deserved better." Lisa says, "Sorry about that back to the question." He was a good friend to you first and foremost, why didn't you tell him to his face?

Layla:   *Finally looks over at Ollie who is staring at the floor, ignoring her*  It was cold and totally unfair but goodbye was always hard for me to say. I guess I was scared. But I never intended to hurt him. Ever.

Ollie:  *snorts again and laughs a little*   Bullshit. 

Layla:   *looks wounded*   Ollie… 

Jared squeezes her knee tightly in warning and shakes his head. She nods.

Ollie:   *looks at us*  Next question?

Three Chicks:  Layla, after everything you went through with Jared, do you trust him? He is not very forthcoming with information.

Layla:  *gives Jared a loving look and smiles*   It takes time and communication. We’ve both learned a lot from our past and we’re working on it.

Jared smiles back at her. 

Three Chicks:  Layla, are you and Jared working on the honesty thing? A relationship can't truly work without honesty. Are you making progress?

Layla:  *gives Jared a long, hard stare and there is clearly something to be said but they aren’t sharing. They give each other a knowing look and Jared clears his throat*  

Jared:  It’s a work in progress.

Three Chicks:  Layla, I know this is a bit uncomfortable but after things fell apart with Jared, Ollie was there for you and you two became an item. If you knew in your heart you couldn't give him more, why even try? Why lead him on?

Ollie:  *pipes up from his corner*  I can answer that! To piss him off and to dick around with my feelings.

Layla:  *looks hurt and Jared is almost on his feet but Layla quickly grabs his arm and urges him to stay seated*  It wasn’t like that at all. I can’t really give you an answer to that. In the end, if you never try, how will you ever know?

Ollie:  *shakes his head and slumps back in his chair* Whatever. Next.

Three Chicks:  Layla, are piercings as good as everyone says they are? (All Three Chicks lean forward in anticipation of her answer. Kristie looks over to Ollie and blushes)

Ollie has a grin on his face as he stares over at Layla. His eyes gleam beneath his deep black hair. Jared raises an eyebrow as Layla squirms in her seat. Biting her lip she glances at Ollie before looking at us and nodding, smiling as she does.

Three Chicks:  Jared, Layla is beautiful, dramatic, stubborn and smart. Was it the fact that she didn't fall at your feet the thing that attracted you to her?

Jared:  *The corner of his mouth curls up*  She certainly wasn’t what I expect and it was definitely not what I was used to. I’m accustomed to women falling at my feet and jumping through hoops for me. Layla was a breath of fresh air. She didn’t know anything about me and I liked that about her. Whatever she felt for me wasn’t based on what she could get or my status.

Layla:   *giggles and leans in to us*  He was still a jack ass though. And a huge cry baby. It was only a little nudge.

Jared:   *laughs*  A nudge? My nose will never be the same.

Ollie:  *groans*  And yet you have trouble keeping it clean and out of everyone’s business. Or relationships when they’re away for a weekend in Utah.

Layla sinks in her chair and blushes as Jared glares at Ollie.

Three Chicks:  Jared, why didn't you trust Layla enough to fill her in on what was going on with your sister? You could have saved everyone the heartache.

Jared:  It would have been worse, far worse if she knew. I didn’t know it was Felix after my sister at the time, but I knew whoever it was, they were dangerous. People will try and hurt me any way they can and Layla would have been an instant target. It was better if she knew nothing, that way no one could use her.
*He hold Layla’s hand tightly, lacing their fingers together*

Three Chicks:  Jared, are you jealous of the bond that Ollie and Layla share
? Especially when it comes to music?

Jared:  *He gives us a small smirk*   Bonds can be broken. Besides, I have the bondage that really matters.

Three Chicks:  Jared, why did you take your anger and frustration out on Layla in the bedroom? (Lisa whispers, "I wouldn't mind him taking his anger out on me in the bedroom." Kristie and Jen look at her shocked, Lisa just shrugs and Jen continues with the question). Even when she wasn't technically at fault?

Jared:  *He raises that eyebrow again*  I’m an impulsive man. I want what I want, when I want it and how I want it. When things don’t go my way, I get frustrated. Nothing quite like a good slow tease followed by a long hard f@*k to relieve stress. Besides, I’m never cruel to her and she always has her cease and desist word. 

Layla mouths the word “Coffee” to us and winks.

Three Chicks:  Jared, do you prefer Leather or Lace? (Lisa gazes at him like a lovesick fool, Kristie shakes her head back and forth in disapproval and Jennifer just giggles)

Jared:  *He grins at them*  Both. There’s nothing quite like lacy underwear and leather belts.

 Layla rubs her wrists gently and we can see she knows exactly what he’s talking about.

Three Chicks:  Jared, for someone who likes power and to be in control, why were you so insecure about losing Layla to Ollie? She had already professed her undying love to you.

Jared:  *He shifts uncomfortably*  She’s the one thing I possess that I cannot control.

Ollie:  Thank f@*k  *Ollie mumbles from his corner*

Jared:  *shakes his head*  But in the end, I didn’t need to. She makes her own choices and evidently, she made the right one.

 Ollie:   *laughs*  Ha! That’s your opinion.

Layla looks VERY uncomfortable.

Three Chicks:  Ollie, did you feel as if Layla used you after she and Jared broke up? 

Ollie:  *He shakes his head*   No. We were at her parents' place and I told her how I felt. She was honest with me and I knew what I was getting into. I just wanted a chance.

Three Chicks:  Ollie, what is the one thing about Layla that you love the most?

Ollie: One thing? You can’t love just one thing about her. I love that she’s Layla. She makes me laugh, I love the way she watches horror flicks through her fingers as she hides her eyes, I love how she cares about her friends and her sense of fun.

Jared’s jaw is clenched as he glares at Ollie, who notices how irritated he’s making Jared.

Ollie:  *grins and licks his bottom lip* And I really love the way she moans, groans, runs her fingers through my hair and bites my lip ring when she’s about to come.

Jared is instantly on his feet and Layla has to quickly leap up to stop him from leaping at Ollie. Ollie stands and squares up to Jared as Layla places a hand on each of their chests, keeping them apart. She stands between them and growls.

Layla:  You promised Marie. Both of you. Stop it! 

Jared takes her hand on his chest and lifts it to his lips. He presses a kiss to her palm and leads her back to her seat. Ollie watches them and for a brief moment, his and Layla’s eyes meet before she quickly looks away.

Three Chicks:  Ollie, what are your plans with the D.O.A? How are things going for the band? (Kristie turns to Ollie and says, "And before I forget, slap Nick on the back of the head for me for what he did to my friend on Twitter.") Ollie winks and continues to answer, Jen and Lisa are again laughing at her...

Ollie:  Haha! Nick is a dick. But he’s a hell of a drummer. D.O.A are doing great. I don’t get to jam with them much anymore but I’ve been writing a lot of new material for us. I’m always hopeful that we’ll make it someday but for now, I’m happy just having a great bunch of guys to play the music I love with.

Three Chicks:  Ollie, if you could change anything that has happened in the past with Layla, would you?

Ollie:  *He shakes his head*   Not a damn thing.

Three Chicks:  Ollie, any exciting plans in the near future?  

Ollie:  *He grins and bites his lip ring*   That would be telling.

Three Chicks:  Ollie, you have been with a ton of women, what made Layla so different that you changed your um, ways?

Ollie:  *runs his fingers through his hair and looks anxiously at Layla*  For the record, it’s not tons. It’s…a few. But they were before. She’s just different. She gets me and we just, I don’t know, click? It just fit. First time I saw her I felt like I was struck by lightning. I’ve been buzzing on that electricity since.

Three Chicks:  This question is for both Jared and Ollie: Why do you hate each other so much, is Layla the only reason?

Ollie:  He’s a dick. *Ollie spits*  He takes what he wants and doesn’t give a s@*t who he hurts when he does it. He lies to her, keeps secrets and I lost count the amount of tears she cried over him. He doesn’t deserve her.

Jared:   *snorts a laugh*  And you do? So she can look forward to a life living in your mother's garage while your band struggles to find gigs bigger than that dive of a bar. Excellent prospects. You don’t know what love is. Love is protecting her and doing what you have to no matter how it might hurt.

Ollie:  *stands and yells across at him* “No, loving HER, is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Because when you love someone, you let them make their own choice and that meant losing her. THAT is love.

Layla stares at Ollie and then back at Jared whose jaw is tightly clenched.

"Well that was umm, fun," Jen says nervously. We all stand and Lisa says, "We know how hard it is for all of you and we appreciate you taking the time to talk with us."

Ollie sits back down and watches as Layla and Jared stand to leave. Layla glances quickly at him but he looks away. We each give Layla a hug goodbye, shake hands with Jared but Lisa jumps at the opportunity to hug him, a little too long. We start to laugh and Ollie rolls his eyes. Kristie turns to Ollie and gives his a ginormous hug and whispers in his ear, "I have your back my handsome friend- Team Ollie forever, she quickly gives him a kiss on the cheek and they exchange a big hug. 

Ollie smiles and pecks her on the cheek. “Thanks.” 

Layla and Jared head out the door while Ollie gives Jen and Lisa hugs too, then he leaves. "Wow, you could have cut the tension in this room with a knife, it was so thick," Jen says and Lisa and Kristie are quick to agree. "In spite of that, I can't wait to have them back, maybe Marie can join us too," Lisa says hopefully.

Our 4 star review

What do you get with two extremely hot guys and a beautiful young woman? Nothing but broken hearts..

Layla is 19 years old. Her parents divorced 7 years ago and she chose to say with her father and her best friend, Mel, in Pasadena. Her mother relocated to San Francisco where she is a nurse. Layla has a good relationship with both of her parents. Layla is excited to be going off to college in Long Beach. Not too far from home but far enough. She is excited to be on her own, make her own way and to have her own life. While moving things into her dorm room, she literally ends up on her ass after blindly bumping into Ollie. Ollie Green is a fellow college student who is in a band called D.O.A.. He is gorgeous, funny, laid back, honest and happens to live directly across from her. We are introduced to Amy, Layla’s roommate. She is the complete opposite of Layla, and they hit it off.

Amy helps Layla get a job at a local coffee shop. On her first day of work, Layla is late as she is backing up to the door while searching for her apron, the door slams into Jared causing his nose to bleed and coffee to spill all over. Jared, is a sexy “Adonis” hunk of a man. He is 22 and has his own successful business. He is smart, caring, loving, protective, controlling and short tempered and very secretive. There is no denying the attraction they have for each other. Jared asks her out and she accepts. They have intense chemistry. She knows that he will crush her heart but she can’t stay away from him; the heart wants what it wants and it wants Jared. Their relationship gets serious fast and Ollie is very vocal when it comes to his feelings for Jared and for her. All Layla wants from Ollie is his friendship, he is one of her best friends and she doesn’t want to lose him.

While Jared and Layla’s relationship heats up and man does it ever, the secrets he keeps from her are beginning to take a toll on their relationship as well as their lack of trust. Then things fall apart and Layla’s heart is crushed. Ollie is there to help her pick up the pieces. The lines of their friendship begin to blur and things get even more complicated. Knowing her heart will forever belong to only one man, she can’t risk losing the other. When she realizes her love for both, she is beyond confused. When she learns the secrets that Jared kept from her and the reasons why- she is devastated.
They both make her an offer. This means she has to choose and she knows that by choosing one, she will lose the other. If she doesn’t make that choice, she will lose them both forever. She takes her mother’s advice and follows her heart.

I have to say this book gave me angst the whole time. The love scenes were steamy hot and a little kinky. Jared is a *sexycontrollingsecretivekinkybutloving* kind of man. The way he handles things in the bedroom is umm, well let’s just say, a leather belt has never been sexier. He will do anything to protect the ones he loves. Although he is beyond rich and has a lot of power, I also loved when he showed his vulnerable side, which to me made him more attractive.

Then we have Layla, a *beautifuloverdramaticspitfireloving* woman. I found her to be endearing at times and frustrating at others. She is young and stuck in the middle of two fantastic men. (Poor girl, right?) Finally we have Ollie, the *gorgeouspiercedlaidbackwearshisheartonhissleeverocker* I LOVED Ollie! He if sexy, funny and a great friend. He knows what he wants and he will fight tooth and nail to get it. Marie Coulson has created a frustratingly sexy love triangle. Cheers to you Marie for a job well done!

Whether you are Team Jared or Team Ollie, you really can’t help but love both.

I look forward to seeing where Layla’s decision takes her in the upcoming book Burning Up..

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hot Pick of the Week: The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

Our 5 star review by Guest Reviewer Dawn Mazzeo

The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred is one of my favorite and most emotional reads to date. It is escapism at the most decadent level. This book offers complete escape from your everyday life into the deep South where appearances are everything despite the truth that lurks underneath.

From the first chapters, I was drawn into the opposing worlds of Alix, an eight year old girl from the right side of the tracks and Nick, the ten year old son of an abusive, alcoholic single father viewed as trash, despite his boyish good looks and kind, protective heart. Alix takes it upon herself to "save" Nick and in the process discovers a romance of epic proportions as well as more bliss and heartbreak that she ever could have imagined.

While the first half of the book focuses on their innocent albeit fierce childhood connection, the second half focuses on their passionate, adult romance. Despite family pressure and economic differences, they finally seem to have everything within their reach to elope when the 20 year old Nick is forced to leave town (and Alix) when his father shows up shot to death in their broken down trailer.

The reader is left to piece together the story told from Alix's point of view but Alix can only assume why Nick chose to leave her--she does not have the whole story because Nick has his own deep, dark secrets he cannot reveal. She is left to carry on and make choices in order to survive in his absence. Then one day, fifteen years later, Nick is back on the scene ready to reclaim what he lost the fateful day he was forced to leave town.

The love between Nick and Alix is a passionate, roller coaster kind of love and the reader is left questioning and second guessing what Nick is hiding, until finally when one is about to burst at the seams, the bomb finally drops. The big reveal of what was really going on is huge and makes us question everything.

If you love an angsty, romantic read and like to root for the misunderstood underdog and his fiery, determined female counterpart complete with surprises lurking around every corner, this is the book for you!

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Hot Pick of the Week: Bullet by Jade C. Jamison

Our 4 star review by Guest Reviewer Jennifer Hagen

“How much simpler my life would be if I had never met Ethan Richards.”

Val is a college freshman who is coming to light by being on her own and away from her overprotective parents.  She meets Ethan in their college history class and they become the best of friends.  Val would like more but keeps that to herself.  Ethan sees her as pure and he feels that he is not good enough for her so he pushes her away and sometimes even taking the friendship away.  Ethan is a member of band and his life-long dream is to make a living by being in a band, he doesn’t want to remain in school.  When the opportunity arises for Val to become a member of the band and tour with them, she takes it.   A relationship between Ethan and Val begins…and ends…and begins again…and ends…the cycle repeating.

Ethan has demons.  And those demons are drugs and women.  Val has so much love for him that she is willing to put aside the cheating going on right in front of her eyes.  She also feels obligated to stay with him, as she knows that if she were to walk away that he would fall even more apart. 

“He was in a dark place, a place where I couldn’t save him from…He was too far away.  Only Ethan could choose to save himself.” 

A life-changing event occurs for Val and Ethan.  Ethan claims this will be what it takes for him to straighten out.  Is his love for Val strong enough to fight the demons? 

This story was told in both past and present with the life-changing event happening in the very first chapter of present time.  It was very unusual for me to find the major event being told right from the start.  I enjoyed knowing what was going to lead up to the event with the back story, and the story continued on once it caught up to the event leading up to Val’s happy ending.  This is not a light, sexy  rock-star book.  It is one that is filled with hurt and struggles, but I will reassure you that Val is happy when the book ends.  

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