Friday, December 20, 2013

#BIR2013: Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey and Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

By: Mary Lindsey
Published By: Philomel
Release Date: June 27, 2013
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make a wager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial — and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem Annabel Lee, Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.

From the very first page I was transported to the mystical island where the love story of Liam and Anna unfolded. There were Poe quotes at the beginning of each chapter that set the stage and told the story in their own way, and out of them grew a wonderfully tragic narrative. The writing is both lyrical and vivid, and everything about the island came to life in a story that I didn't want to put down. Despite everything that happens, there is always an undertone of hope, reinforcing the idea that love never dies. I hated turning the final page, because even though I knew that the story was over, I still wanted more.

By: Miranda Kenneally
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 1, 2013
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

In this book, through Kate, Miranda Kenneally tackled the tougher issues about how to decide who you want to be - not just who, but what kind of person, questioning long-held beliefs, and the self-discovery that can only come when you're in a different environment from that in which you were raised. Kate's time at camp reminded me not only of my own summers spent at church camp as a child but also the first time I was away from home and surrounded by people with vastly different backgrounds from myself, and how I changed as a result. I enjoyed watching her journey and was glad to see her find something that worked for her. Of Miranda Kenneally's three books, Things I Can't Forget is a definite favorite.

"Does being in love mean forgetting everything you know? Or is it about folding that love into your life? Because right now, I have no idea how to balance that.

Love weighs a million pounds."

Be sure to check out the Best I've Read blog to find more amazing books featured this week!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#BIR2013: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

By: Katie McGarry
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Series: Pushing the Limits (#2)
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does...

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...

"How many more of us are faking the facade? How many more of us are pretending to be something we're not? Even better, how many of us will have the courage to be ourselves regardless of what others think?"

Dare You To was packed with emotions, making the read quite a journey. I loved peeling away the layers of the characters and of the story to get to the beautiful essence underneath. Beth’s character absolutely broke my heart, but Ryan mended it. Katie McGarry has a knack for writing real, gritty, but ultimately unforgettable love stories. This book made me think about the course of my life and the nature of love all while reading about characters that came to be like friends.

"That must be love: when everything else in the world could implode and you wouldn't care as long as you had that one person standing beside you."

Be sure to check out the Best I've Read blog to find more amazing books featured this week!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#BIR2013: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

By: Tahereh Mafi
Published By: HarperCollins
Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013
Series: Shatter Me (#2)
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.


It's like a drop of honey, a field of tulips blooming in the springtime. It's fresh rain, a whispered promise, a cloudless sky, the perfect punctuation mark at the end of a sentence.

And it's the only thin in the world keeping me afloat.

When I finished Unravel Me, all I could think is that there aren't enough words to describe this book. It took me a long time to compose any kind of coherent thoughts on the book, and it isn't often that I read something that leaves me so speechless. If you can think of good adjectives or adverbs, chances are that they can describe Unravel Me. Just like in Shatter Me, the writing is beautiful, the characters are complex, and the story is compelling. I was amazed by all the emotions that Juliette was able to give voice to throughout the story. More than once I found myself reading something and having to pause to reread and absorb the words on the page because a feeling had been captured in writing so perfectly.

"Because sometimes you see yourself - you see yourself the way you could be - the way you might be if things were different. And if you look too closely, what you see will scare you, it'll make you wonder what you might do if given the opportunity. You know there's a different side of yourself you don't want to recognize, a side you don't want to see in the daylight. You spend your whole life doing everything to push it down and away, out of sight, out of mind. You pretend that a piece of yourself doesn't exist.

You live like that for a long time.

For a long time, you're safe.

And then you're not.

Be sure to check out the Best I've Read blog to find more amazing books featured this week!

Monday, December 16, 2013

#BIR2013: Golden by Jessi Kirby

By: Jessi Kirby
Published By: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel from “an author to watch” (Booklist).

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

So much for normal.

"Where so many sunset paintings look peaceful and calm, melancholy is woven into every brushstroke of this one. It's a twilight image of the familiar dark razor peak silhouettes of the Minarets, looking icy and stoic. The only warmth in the painting comes from a barely visible sliver of golden light behind the mountains. The last of the sun. Above that the sky pales, then deepens to violet, faintly lit by a delicate wash of stars and the tiny sliver of moon. It's a skyline I've fallen asleep looking at most nights of my life, but the feeling in it is so lonely and sad it's hard to believe it's the same one."

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" This question, a quote from a poem posed by Parker's English teacher, resonates throughout the book. As the story unfolds, Parker is constantly confronted with this question, almost like a challenge - from her mother, who expects a certain answer, from her best friend Kat, who wants Parker to take a chance, from the pages of Julianna's diary, as Julianna begins to find her own path in life, and finally from herself, and she realizes that she doesn't have to have her life set in stone already. Parker is such a relatable character. Throughout the book I felt like I was reading not only about my high school self but also the person that I am now. Golden made me think in a way that few books do. I loved everything about this story, from the Frost quotes and references at the beginning of each chapter and scattered throughout the story to the diary entries from Julianna. Orion is definitely swoon-worthy, and Trevor adds some humor to an otherwise deep and poignant story.

What makes Golden so moving isn't just the story itself, but how it is written. Jessi Kirby writes scenes and interactions that are beautiful, heartbreaking, sweet, touching, and just perfect. Between her way with words and the descriptions she gives, she manages to evoke all of the feelings. Once again she's written a book that will make you think, make you want more, make you cry, but in the end make you smile. This book will be one that I recommend to everyone.

Be sure to check out the Best I've Read blog to find more amazing books featured this week!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blog Tour: The Obsidian Pebble by Rhys A. Jones

By: Rhys A. Jones
Release Date: Oct. 29, 2013
Published By: Spencer Hill Press

Goodreads Summary: 11-year old Oz Chambers lives in a haunted house (Penwurt). His mother wants to move, but Oz would rather do double algebra (yuck) every day for twelve months than leave. Where others see spooky, Oz sees wonder and mystery and aching reminders of his deceased dad. When he and his friends hear ghostly footsteps in the boarded-up dorm at Halloween, it leads to an exploration of the old place's eerie reputation. In his Dad's locked study, Oz finds a parcel addressed to him and posted the day before his father died. Inside is the obsidian pebble, the link to all of Penwurt's astonishing secrets. Suddenly Oz begins to change; he goes from maths dunce to A student overnight and has to deal with suspicious teachers and jealous pupils. But the footsteps in the locked rooms don't go away and slowly, Oz begins to knit together the strands of lies and mystery that tie the obsidian pebble, his father and him together. What Oz hasn't bargained for is that he's not alone in that search for understanding and that solving Penwurt's puzzles lead to other, much darker secrets that will test his loyalty and his bravery to the limit.


Award winning author (OMG) Rhys A. Jones writes fantastic, funny, scary mysteries for ages 10 and up. His job is to take you where anything is possible. When he isn't writing he walks the dogs and occasionally practices medicine. He lives in an evergreen valley in West Wales with his very understanding wife.

Garret and Eldred Antiques was not in the main part of town. They had to wind their way through a couple of shopping arcades, past the Seabourne International Arena, and walk the length of St Beade’s Street to a less familiar area. Here, what once had been a thriving shopping area now had an abandoned, slightly scruffy air. Ruff, who always seemed to know his way about, led them past a shut-up pub and down a dingy side street where every other property had “for sale” signs in the windows, until at last they stood outside a double-fronted shop, where an old-fashioned sign hanging from a brass pole above the door indicated their destination. The grimy shop window was overflowing with dark furniture, bric-a-brac, stuffed animals in glass cages, and books, all coated with thick layers of dust.

“You’re sure this is the place?” Oz asked doubtfully.

“Garret and Eldred,” Ellie said, pointing to the sign as she pushed open the door.

An old-fashioned brass bell above the door rang as soon as they entered, but once they were in, the large room fell into a dusty, murky silence. Inside, it was even more jumbled than the shop front had suggested. Over in one corner, behind a hurdy-gurdy machine, lurked a taxidermy array with foxes and weasels piled on top of birds and fish. In another, Oz saw a tower of ornately decorated chamber pots, and in between was a minefield of occasional tables, old chairs, wall clocks and bed heads. But that was only as far as Oz could see, because the shop seemed to stretch back for a considerable way.

“Where do we start?” whispered Ellie.

“Perhaps if you indicated what it is, exactly, you are after, I might be of assistance,” suggested a voice from the shadows.

Ellie, Ruff and Oz all turned at once. Tucked behind a huge mounted moose head sat a wizened old gentleman, immaculately dressed, with a red spotted bow tie and a pair of half-glasses bridging his nose. He perched on a stool at a small workbench lit by a single desk lamp. Spread out on the bench, on a white cloth, was a bewildering array of tiny cogs and springs and shiny metal cases and glistening pearl dials. The man smiled and stood up stiffly. He wore a clean, navy-blue apron with “Garret and Eldred, Watchmakers and Purveyors of Fine Antiques” emblazoned on the breast. He moved towards them with some difficulty, eyebrows arched in enquiry.

“Uh, well, we’re actually looking for a dress clip brooch,” Ellie said.

“Well, you’ve come to the right place, my dear. We have a large assortment. Now let me see, do you have a particular style in mind?” He moved past them and Oz smelled a pleasant waft of after-shave, reminding him of cut grass and heather. They followed him deeper into the shop to a bank of glass cases. The shopkeeper ran a bony finger along the brass mouldings on one of the cases and peered at the faded label stuck to the glass. “Dress clips, yes. Here we are.” He looked up. “A gift, is it?”

Ellie and Oz replied at the same time. Unfortunately, Oz said, “No,” while Ellie said, “Yes.”

Ruff made eyes to the ceiling and said, “Sort of.”

“I see,” said the shopkeeper, amused. He seemed well-used to muddled shoppers. “Well, there’s more than enough choice here. I’m sure you will find something suitable. We have six trays of dress clips in this case.” He beamed up at them. “My name is George Eldred, by the way, and I am familiar with where most things are in the shop. Just ask if you need any help.”

“We do,” Oz said, deciding to take the bull by the horns. “We saw something advertised online—”

“On the interweb?” asked Mr Eldred. “My nephew has been helping me, you know. Amazing what you can do these days.”

“We saw a black scarab brooch.”

“We have quite a few of those,” said Mr Eldred knowingly.

“But this one had a missing clip.”

“Ah.” The shopkeeper held up a finger. ”That would be in the imperfect tray.” He leaned over very slowly and pulled out a tray from the very bottom of the glass cabinet, while alarming popping sounds emanated from his knees and back. He straightened gingerly, his face a grinning mask of effort, and laid the tray on top of the cabinet. It was completely full of black, scarab-like shapes.

“Do you mind if we look?”

“Help yourselves,” said Mr Eldred.

It took them ten minutes to find it, mainly because everything was covered in dust. But when Ellie held it up and gave it a quick polish, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that it was the exact same item pictured on Oz’s laptop. Oz peered at the tiny label attached to it.

“How much?” Ruff asked in a whisper.

“Five pounds,” said Oz, pleasantly surprised.

“You can have it for four,” said Mr Eldred magnanimously from the workbench, where he’d gone back to sit.

Ruff, who had seemed a little on edge even before coming into Garret and Eldred’s, said, “Right, I saw a secondhand game shop on Gavel Lane. There were some real bargains in the window. I’ll meet you outside in about ten, okay?”

“Him and his bloomin’ Xbox,” Ellie said huffily as Ruff hurried away.

“Mr Eldred,” Oz said as he watched the shopkeeper carefully wrap the dor in some tissue paper, “have you any idea where this came from?”

“I know exactly where it came from. I know where everything in this shop came from. But I need to know who I’m talking to before I divulge that sort of information. Can’t be too careful, you know,” he said sternly, but his eyes twinkled as he spoke.

“Oz Chambers,” Oz said, holding out his hand, “and this is Ellie Messenger.”

“Delighted to meet you, Oz and Ellie,” said Mr Eldred. “The curse of working here for sixty years is that I remember every purchase and sale.” He held up the scarab brooch. “This came to us from a spinster who had recently inherited a property in Seabourne. The previous owner had been a collector and had not catalogued things very well. I remember going up to the house to evaluate.” He looked off into the distance. “Such a lovely property. Her name was Miss Millichamp, and the address was…now, what was it? I can see it now, used to be an orphanage at one time…”

“Penwurt, Number 2 Magnus Street,” Oz said in a flat voice. “And the lady was Bessie Millichamp.”

“Exactly right,” said Mr Eldred, smiling with delight. “Do you know it, by any chance? Not long ago, I sold a clock to a very nice man who lived there; it was also part of Miss Millichamp’s clear-out. I always felt the clock belonged there, myself. Now, what was the man’s name?”

“Chambers,” said Oz, feeling a knot of excitement tighten in his stomach.

“Chambers, that’s it. Nice chap. Very knowledgeable. Is he an acquaintance of yours?”

“Sort of,” Oz said truthfully.

“May I ask why it is that you want this particular brooch? Professional interest, you understand. I mean, it is of an unusual design, I’ll admit. But we have far nicer ones for the money. And they might even have a clip attached.”

“It’s exactly the right—”

“Colour,” said Ellie quickly. “It’ll match her shoes exactly.”

“Ah, an accessory. I see,” Mr Eldred’s smile was indulgent.

“Did great aunt Bessy sell you anything else?” Asked Oz, trying to sound as casual as he could.

“Oh, let me see,” Mr Eldred massaged his chin in concentration. “Of course, we were not the only valuers she contacted, but I think there were a couple of bracelets and four pairs of earrings, some of them really quite nice. One of them pink pearl if I recollect. Then there were a handful of brooches, not valuabe, but of some interest to collectors of the unusual, like you two clearly are.” His eyes twinkled.

“But you don’t remember her selling you a pendant?” Oz persisted.

“A pendant? No, I don’t recall anything of that nature, why do you ask?”

The little bell above the door tinkled. Oz looked around to see a man in an overcoat enter the shop. He turned towards the collection of stuffed animals immediately so that Oz didn’t see his face.

“My, my, turning into quite the busy afternoon,” Mr Eldred chuckled, his eyes crinkling. “If it’s pendants you’re after, of course, we have a splendid collection.”

"No, it’s okay,” Oz said quickly. “I was just curious.” He was suddenly very conscious of the fact that the person who had come into the shop, who still had his back to them, would be able to hear, quite clearly, everything that was being said.

“Ah, yes, understandably so. Well, there you are.” Mr Eldred handed over the tiny parcel and gave Oz his change.

Outside, Ellie and Oz headed back the way they’d come.

“So this definitely comes from Penwurt. Do you think Morsman found it somewhere?” Ellie asked.

“He must have. Maybe Great Aunt Bessie didn’t know what it was. If Morsman died suddenly, perhaps he hadn’t had time to sort things out, or leave a will or something. Shame someone came into the shop. I could have asked more questions.”

“Let’s have a look at it in daylight,” Ellie said, pointing at the parcel.

Oz stopped and was about to undo Mr Eldred’s wrapping, when they looked up and were surprised to see Ruff coming back to meet them, walking quickly.

“Shut, was it?” Ellie asked.

Ruff shook his head, making large eyes at them. “You should see that place,” he said, with loud and exaggerated delight. “It’s brilliant.” And then, without moving his mouth, he added in a low voice. “Do not open that parcel. Just shut up and follow me, no questions asked.”

He turned and began describing just how brilliant the game shop was again as he hurried up the street. “It’s got a copy of Wolf Ripper 1. I loved that game.”

Three minutes later, they stood in the sparsely stocked shop. It looked run-down and almost about to close.

“Are you completely mad?” said Ellie, looking about her with obvious distaste. “This place is rubbish.”

“Just hang on,” Ruff said as he positioned himself so that he was half-hidden behind a rack of tacky birthday cards near the window. He picked one up and moved his head so that he could look out into the street through the gap the card left in the stack. When he was happy, he pulled Oz and Ellie around behind him. “Look,” he said, pointing out to the almost empty street.

“Lovely,” Oz said. “Does that fish and chip shop do curry sauce?”

“Next door to it, you buzzard,” hissed Ruff. “The charity shop. Red and black coat.”

Oz and Ellie peered through the space in the card rack and as they did, the door to the charity shop opened and a familiar figure emerged and looked up and down before staring directly across to where Oz, Ellie and Ruff were hidden.

Oz gasped. “Lucy Bishop?”

“Almost bumped into her when I left Garret and thingy’s,” Ruff explained quickly. “She pretended not to see me and veered off. But I’ve been watching her. She’s just hanging about, waiting.”

“For us?” Ellie said.

“I’d put a cheese and ham nine-inch baguette on it,” Ruff said, ducking back down as Lucy Bishop sent a glance across towards the shop.

“You think she knows we went to Garret and Eldred’s?” Oz asked, perturbed.

“Must have seen us go in.” Ruff nodded.

“Bet she goes in and asks him what we bought,” Ellie said.

“I told you she’d been acting funny around me,” Oz said, his mind now racing. ”But why is she following us?”

“Obvious, I’d have thought,” Ellie said. “She’s probably after the artefacts, too.”

Oz wanted to scoff at this suggestion, but there didn’t seem to be any other explanation that fit. “I’ll have to hide the trinket box and the dor,” he said suddenly. “Soon as we get back to Penwurt.”

“Why don’t we split up and meet later? Try and throw her off the scent,” Ellie suggested.

They stood in the run-down shop discussing their options. It was Oz who finally came up with the plan. He realised that it was likely to be him, more than anyone else, Lucy Bishop would follow. He quickly gave the dor to Ellie and, in hushed tones, explained what he had in mind.

Find Rhys A. Jones Online:
Author Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter


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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cover Reveal: Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

I'm very excited to be one of the blogs participating in this cover reveal! Wish You Were Italian is fun, flirty, and best of all, set in Italy! And now, without further ado, I present WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN by Kristin Rae.

Pippa always wanted to go to Italy, but not by herself. And not to sit in a classroom the summer before senior year learning about paintings by dead guys. Tempted by the romance of Rome and the chance to photograph ancient ruins, Pippa ditches the program and sets her own list of goals—get my picture taken at the Colosseum; get a makeover; fall in love with an Italian.

She befriends a local girl whose gorgeous cousin may be just the Italian Pippa’s looking for, but the road to amore gets detoured when she keeps running into a cute American student. And she can’t forget that her summer abroad is only temporary. As she explores the famous cities of Rome and Pompeii, Pippa must sort out her feelings before her parents figure out where she really is.

Want to know more about the story and its background? Check out these pictures and descriptions below!

They say it helps to write what you know, so I gave Pippa the same love of photography that I have. When I traveled to Italy in 2009, I took pictures of even the most obscure details, knowing I’d want to set a story there one day. I’m thankful I was so thorough because once this story idea came to me in April 2011, my memory of the trip wasn’t as fresh. I was able to sift through my photos and build Pippa’s summer with them, tossing in some of my own experiences. I’m actually jealous that Pippa spent so much more time in Italy than I did. She got to take so many more pictures!

It’s a dream come true for Pippa to photograph ancient ruins and historic monuments like the Colosseum, but quite a lot of the story takes place in a coastal region called Cinque Terre (“five lands” – pronounced CHING-kway TAY-ray). The views have to be seen to be believed, the food is the best I’ve ever eaten (it’s the birthplace of pesto!), and it’s ROMANTIC! You can even walk on a path between all five villages along the coast, shopping and sampling food in each. I think about going back there EVERY DAY.

About Kristin Rae

Kristin Rae was born and raised in Texas though her accent would suggest otherwise. She’s addicted to books, music, movies, crafty things, and chocolate. A former figure skating coach, LEGO merchandiser, and photographer, she’s now happy to create stories while pretending to ignore the carton of gelato in the freezer. Kristin lives in Houston with her husband and their two boxers.

Find Kristin Rae online:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Trailer Reveal: Foreplay by Sophie Jordan

BY: Sophie Jordan
Published By: William Morrow
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2013

Goodreads Summary: Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

I'm very excited to be one of the blogs featuring this new book trailer! I'm sure this book will be fantastic (and hot!), and I can't wait to read it. Enjoy this excerpt from FOREPLAY below!

“There he is.” Emerson shook her head. “I can’t believe I gave him to you. He’s so damn hot.” She nudged me encouragingly and waggled one of her finely arched eyebrows. “You better climb all over that or I’m going to punch you. No backing down.”

I stood several yards back from the bar, tucked half behind Emerson as I scoped out the bartender undetected. Her words didn’t faze me. “You know the small matter of his interest in me, or lack of interest, might come into play.”

She looked back at me. “You’re kidding, right? You look good tonight. Better than most of these overdone peahens prancing around in here shaking their tail feathers his way. You’ve got something they don’t.”


She nodded. “Yes. You’ve got …” She paused, searching for the word. “… a freshness to you.”

I winced, feeling rather as if she'd just called me a "nice girl." I couldn’t seem to escape that moniker.

The bartender (I really needed to learn his name) wore another Mulvaney’s T-shirt. This one a soft-looking gray cotton with blue script across the chest. I had a flash of myself wearing that shirt and nothing else, wrapped up in his scent. Wrapped up in him. Sucking in a breath, I shook off the wicked image. Probably every girl who walked up to him entertained that fantasy—along with a few choice others that I probably didn’t need to visualize. That thought made me feel decidedly un-special. I had to somehow stand out from the rest of them, and I wasn’t convinced my freshness would do the trick.

He looked as good as ever if my memory served. Better. A body made for sin and a face that was too masculine to be beautiful, but the sight of it did something to me. Made me feel boneless and trembly all over.

“No backing down,” I echoed, my resolve still there, burning hot inside me, keeping me from turning and running out of the building.

It was just the two of us tonight. Georgia was off with Harris.

“Okay,” Em announced. “I think we’ve reconned long enough. Let’s move in.”

Her words sent a wave of panic washing through me. “It’s crowded …”

“It’s crowded every night. Unless you want to come stalk him on a Monday. Assuming he’s even working then.”

I shook my head. No. No more delays.

“Let’s go then. You should feel good. You look great.”

I glanced down. The jeans I wore belonged to Georgia. They were too tight, but Emerson said that was the whole point. You’ve got the perfect curves. Show them off. The blouse was Georgia’s, too. Various shades of orange and yellow. Very bohemian in style and flouncy. Emerson vowed that it went great with my hair. It was wide-necked, and every time I pulled it up over one shoulder, it slipped down the other one. Again, the whole point, according to Emerson.

As we inched toward the bar, Emerson shoved me in front of her. There were only three people working the counter, and we made certain to approach the side he was working.

I watched as he poured beer into a pitcher, admiring the flex of his bicep. His gaze lifted and scanned the bar, the way I’d noticed him do last night. Surveying, assessing the crowd. Maybe for trouble? Those pale blue eyes passed over me for a split second before jerking back.

He smiled crookedly. “Hey, it’s Nice Girl. How’s it going?”

“Nice girl?” Emerson hissed in my ear. “Okay, clearly you did not tell me everything about last night if he’s already given you a nickname!”

I elbowed her, unsure how to respond to his greeting. I smiled. “Hi.”

He handed off the pitcher, collected the money, and turned to me. “What can I get you?”

I ordered two longnecks. He glanced at Emerson. “ID?”

I watched her as she dug in her purse and pulled out her fake ID. When I looked back up it was to catch him looking at me. He looked away, giving her ID a cursory scan before moving to fetch our drinks.

“So hot,” Emerson muttered near my ear as he bent to grab them from the back chest. “And he was eyeing you. Did you see that?”

I shook my head, unconvinced, but my heart beat a hard rhythm in my chest.

“Slip him your number.”

My gaze swung to her. “What? Just like that?”

“Well, you’ll know if he’s interested by his reaction. Maybe he’ll call. Or he won’t. Either way, you can get this thing off the ground or move on to someone more receptive.”

I bit my lip, contemplating. The only problem was that I had decided it would be him. He would be my test subject. If he wasn’t receptive I didn’t feel like moving on—I didn’t want to. And where did that leave me?

Sighing, Emerson dug around in her purse.

“What are you doing?” I demanded, looking in his direction and confirming he was heading back our way.

Shaking her head, she pulled out an eyeliner pencil and snatched a thin square napkin off the stack sitting on the bar. Lightening fast, she scrawled my name and number.

I felt my eyes bulge. “Stop! No!” My hand dove for her arm, but she angled herself away from me, standing on her tiptoes and stretching out her arm.

“Here you go,” she called just as my fingers clamped down on her wrist.

“Em, no!”

Too late. I watched as long, masculine fingers took the napkin from her. My gaze followed that hand up to the bartender as he set our drinks down single-handedly. Bile rose up my throat.

I heard Emerson’s voice beside me as though from far away. “This is her number.”

Her. Me. The girl with the face as red as a tomato.

His gaze moved from the napkin to me. Those silvery blue eyes fixed on me. He flicked the napkin in my direction. “You want me to have this?”

He waited, his expression blank. The ball was in my court. Without giving me the slightest indication of whether he even wanted my number, he was asking me what I wanted.

I stammered out the words. "Uh, n-yes. Well, sure. Whatever.”

Lame. I felt like a thirteen-year-old girl. My face burned.

“She wants you to have it,” Emerson insisted from beside me.

If possible my face grew hotter. He leaned forward, setting his elbows on the bar, his gaze fastened on me with searing intensity. “Are you giving me this?”

Apparently whatever wasn’t going to work for him.

The air ceased to flow in and out of my lungs. I felt myself nod dumbly. Emerson elbowed me discreetly. “Yes,” finally spilled from my lips.

He straightened. Without another word, he slipped the napkin into his pocket, took the money that Emerson handed him for our drinks, and turned away to another customer.

With one hand on my arm, Emerson dragged me away. I risked another look back at the bar, searching for him among the multitude of heads bobbing up to the front of the counter for their drink order. I spotted him. He was pouring more beer, holding the lever down. But he wasn’t looking at what he was doing. He was looking at me.

And now the moment you have been waiting for: the book trailer!


Sophie is hosting a FOREPLAY Extravaganza Giveaway! You can find more details about that HERE.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory

By: Sarah Guillory Release Date: Oct. 15, 2013 Published By: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Goodreads Summary: Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two.

All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother. She's determined she'll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn't tainted by her family's past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.

Ian McAlister doesn't want to start over; he wants to remember.

Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.

The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget.

Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian's memory return.

Jenna, Ian, & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you.


I'm very excited to have Sarah Guillory here today, talking about her fabulous book Reclaimed. If contemporary books are your thing, or even if they aren't, this is one book you don't want to miss. Please take a few minutes to read what Sarah had to say about finding ideas for her books!

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Sometimes, when mommies and daddies really love each other – oops, wrong explanation.


That’s the very first question anyone ever asks me when they find out I have a book coming out. Okay, I’m lying. The very first question anyone asks me is if I’m going to quit teaching. (Ah, non-publishing people who think that penning a book is equivalent to winning the lottery. Bless their hearts.)

So I guess it’s usually the second question, but everyone always wants to know where I get my ideas. I don’t blame them. I wondered the same thing before I started writing regularly. But as most writers know, it’s not getting ideas that’s the problem. It’s shutting them off.

The idea for Reclaimed came from two separate dreams months apart. I know – how cliché. But it really is true. Several years ago I dreamt I was kissing my husband when another man (in my dream it was his twin brother and my fiancé, though in real life my husband has only sisters) walked in. It was at this point that I realized I was with the wrong brother.

And an idea was born.

I didn’t know what to do with this idea. I put it aside but never far away, dreamed up a million crappy ways to tell it, then moved on. Finally, I had another dream, and this was when I knew how to write Reclaimed. (No, I won’t tell you that dream. Spoilers.)

Except when I first envisioned my story, my characters were in college. And it was only told from the boys’ POV. My girl character was a plot device, and I hated that version. Luckily, I only ever started working it out in my head. When Jenna finally came to me, I knew I had the story I wanted to tell.

I have a notebook of stories I want to tell. I just finished revisions on the first of a trilogy. I’m outlining a secret project that I started working on over a year ago. I have the first paragraph of a novel I tried to write three years ago but wasn’t ready to just yet. I have enough ideas to not ever have another one (God forbid) and still keep me busy for the next ten years.

If you follow my blog, you know just how often I compare writing and running. They are both things I do daily, and there are so very many similarities between the two. I’ve run six marathons, and let me tell you, you won’t ever run a marathon if you don’t start running. You can sit around and dream of crossing that finish line, but until you lace up your shoes and actually get out on the road, it will remain only a wish. The same is true for writing. Ideas are a process too, and unless you are writing, those ideas won’t come. So write about anything and nothing. Let your brain wander. Start a scene with a giraffe and let the words meander along until you have turned it into a space opera. Just write. If you do that, I promise you, the ideas will come.

And then you’ll just have to figure out how to find the time to write them all.

Find Sarah Guillory Online:
Author Website | Author Blog | Goodreads | Twitter

Don't miss a single stop on the Reclaimed blog tour!

October 1 - Book Review - Jenuine Cupcake Blogspot
October 2 - Book Review - WhoRuBlog
October 3 - Author Interview - Queen Ella Bee
October 4 - Book Review - K-Books
October 5 - Guest Post - A Dream Within A Dream
October 6 - Guest Post - Wastepaper Prose
October 7 - Guest Post - Supernatural Snark
October 8 - Author Interview - A Book and a Latte
October 9 - Book Review - Fiction Fare
October 10 - Author Interview - Met In Eleven
October 11 - Guest Post - Book Savvy
October 12 - Guest Post - Reading Lark
October 13 - Guest Post - Portrait of a Book
October 14 - Character Interview & Review - Swoony Boys Podcast

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

I'm very excited to be one of the blogs participating in this cover reveal! The Truth About Alice is realistic YA fiction that tells a story that's very needed in today's world, coming on June 10, 2014 from Roaring Brook Press. And now, without further ado, I present THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE by Jennifer Mathieu.

Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.

About Jennifer Mathieu

Young adult author Jennifer Mathieu (pronounced Muh-two, but if you speak French you can pronounce it better than that - sadly, Jennifer doesn't speak French) is a writer and English teacher who lives in Texas with her family. A native of the East Coast and a former journalist, she enjoys writing contemporary young adult fiction that treats teenagers like real people. She loves to eat and hates to cook.

Find Jennifer Mathieu online:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blog Tour: Thornhill by Kathleen Peacock

By: Kathleen Peacock
Published By: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: Sept. 10, 2012
Pages: 352
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.

The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason—and Amy’s all-seeing ghost—in tow.

Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.(From Goodreads)

You can read my review here.


I'm very excited to have Kathleen Peacock here today! Kathleen Peacock spent her teen years crushing on authors and writing short stories about vampires. She put her writing dreams on hold while attending college, but tripped over them when office life started leaving her with an allergy to cubicles. Her debut, HEMLOCK, is coming May 8th, 2012 from Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, and will be published in the UK under the title DEADLY HEMLOCK from Simon and Schuster Children’s Books. Please take a few minutes to learn more about this amazing author and her books!

How would you describe THORNHILL in three words?

Secrets! Kisses! Adrenaline!

What were the different challenges in writing a sequel from writing your first book?

I wanted Thornhill to be accessible to people who hadn't read Hemlock, but I didn't want to bog readers down with unnecessary details about what had happened in book one. Finding that balance was tricky. There were times when I wished I could start the book off with a video—one of those "Last time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer" things.

Setting up clues and plot points for the third book was also a challenge. There was an entire chapter that came back from my editor with the suggestion that I leave all of the details it contained for book three.

Which character in the Hemlock world do you enjoy writing the most? The least?

I like writing Jason the most. He just has this snarky edge that's really fun to play with. My least favorite characters to write are villains because they can be so maddeningly challenging. I think writing a good villain is, in some ways, harder than writing a hero. I try to write bad guys who are more shades of gray than pure black and whose actions, while not forgivable, are sort of understandable; that can be a hard line to walk.

What is your favorite quote?

I'm going to cheat and pick two,

"I love you above all things, even pie." Christopher Moore, Fool

"Of what use was it to be loved and lose one's beauty and become Real if it all ended like this? And a tear, a real tear, trickled down his little shabby velvet nose and fell to the ground." Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

What was your favorite book as a child?

Probably The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch because I loved the idea that a girl could slay the dragon and save the prince. I also really, really loved The Velveteen Rabbit. As a teen, my favorite books were The Mirror of Her Dreams/A Man Rides Through by Stephen R Donaldson, The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, and anything by Douglas Adams.

What can you tell us about your next project?

I'm still working on the third Hemlock book, but I have a few new ideas—some young adult, a few new adult—in the works.

Find Kathleen Peacock Online:
Author Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


There are many exciting prizes to be won as part of this blog tour, including a signed copy of Thornhill! To enter, use the Rafflecopter code below.

For First Place (International):

"Unlock the wolf within" Thornhill necklace (engraved stainless steel pendant on a silver-plated chain (
Signed copy of Thornhill
Signed swag

Runners Up (International)

3 runners up will get swag packs (stickers, bookmarks, signed bookplates)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't miss any of the tour stops for Thornhill! Find the full schedule below:

Week 1
9/2/2013 - Book Chic - Review
9/3/2013 - In the Best Worlds - Interview
9/4/2013 - Fall Into Books - Guest Post
9/5/2013 - Portrait of a Book - Interview
9/6/2013 - The Book Life - Review

Week 2
9/9/2013 - The Reader's Antidote - Guest Post
9/10/2013 - Auntie Spinelli Reads - Review
9/11/2013 - The Book Belles - Review
9/12/2013 - Two Chicks on Books - Guest Post
9/13/2013 - Mundie Moms - Interview

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