Sunday, 31 July 2016

Pre-Release Blast & Giveaway: You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross & Mark Perini


YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE
Julie Cross & Mark Perini
Releasing August 2nd, 2016
Sourcebooks Fire


Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with international model Mark Perini to create You Before Anyone Else, a poignant and authentic contemporary YA novel and companion to Halfway Perfect.

The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high-paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.

Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once in a while?

Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love for each other and everything else… 

PRE-ORDER
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Julie Cross and Mark Perini, along with Tasty Book Tours, are celebrating those who have taken the steps in Breaking the Mold on society’s expectations, like Finley, the heroine from YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE!  We are looking for anyone who would like to share their story and be entered to win a 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner!

Head over to fb.me/TastyBookTours and leave a comment with your story.  Feel free to share picture of your journey and use #breakingthemold at the end of your comment!

Entries must be in by 11:59pm, Aug 15th, 2016.  No purchase necessary to enter.  If under 12 years old, you must have approval by a guardian to enter.   




Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).

She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.

She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.



Mark Perini is a New York City based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect. Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.

Mark began his career as an international fashion model when he was 18 years old, while simultaneously obtaining a business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven ancient wonders of the world before he’s thirty. Four down three to go.


Don't miss the companion novel
HALFWAY PERFECT

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Review: Sweet Carolina Morning by Susan Child


Finally, just shy of forty years old, Linny Taylor is living the life of her dreams in her charming hometown of Willow Hill, North Carolina. The past few years have been anything but a fairy tale: Left broke by her con man late-husband, Linny has struggled to rebuild her life from scratch. Then she met Jack Avery, the town’s much-adored veterinarian. And shes marrying him.

Everything should be coming up roses for Linny. So why does she have such a serious case of pre-wedding jitters? It could be because Jack’s prosperous family doesn’t approve of her rough-and-tumble background. Or that his ex-wife is suddenly back on the scene. Or that Linny has yet to win over his son’s heart. All these obstacles—not to mention what she should wear when she walks down the aisle—are taking the joy out of planning her wedding. Linny better find a way to trust love again, or she might risk losing the one man she wants to be with—forever…

ebook, 288 pages
Expected publication: August 2nd 2016 by Lyrical Press

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication data is August 2nd, 2016.

This story tells the difficulty of starting over in a new relationship when there are other people involved, in particular children.  It deals with the struggle of trying to gain acceptance and know you role when the children are not yours.  A very real challenge in today's society.

With that in mind, I should have really enjoyed this story however I only found it meh.  There are two main reasons why.

Linny and her sister were depicted as almost over the hill.  They were not even 40 years old.  While perhaps traditionally marriage and babies occurred at a younger age, that is not the norm these days.  In today's day, woman are getting married and having children at a much older age as they focus on their careers first.  This is the norm which made this story feel a little bit old fashioned.  Seriously, 38 or whatever age Linny was is not old.

My second issue was Linny herself.  While I get that she was insecure due to her previous marriages she really came off to me as a little annoying with her insecurities.  The way she blamed Jack for everything when it was clear the issue was hers bothered me.  Anyone ever heard of the phrase communication is key?

That being said, the story did have a good message and the writing was well done.  My issues with the story are more about my own personal views as opposed to the actual story and although I am usually able to set them aside when reading a story, I was unable to this time.  This impacted my enjoyment of the story.



About the Author


Susan Schild writes wholesome and sunny Southern fiction.

Susan is a wife, and a stepmother who enjoys weekend getaways with friends, reading fiction, and rummaging through thrift stores and antique stores for treasures like four dollar cashmere sweaters and amateur watercolor paintings. A dog lover, Susan is especially fond of Lab mix rescue dogs.

With a professional background as a psychotherapist and a management consultant, Susan has used her professional background to add authenticity to her characters.

Susan and her family live in North Carolina where she is busy finishing up the second and third novels in the Willow Hill series, SWEET CAROLINA MORNING and SWEET SOUTHERN HEARTS. Both novels are scheduled for release in 2016.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Release Blast & Giveaway: Pure Torture by Tania Sparks


After all, no one else needs to know...


PURE TORTURE
Oblivion on Tour #3
Tania Sparks
Releasing July 29th, 2016


Cody’s the sexy drummer extraordinaire of the hard rock band Oblivion.

Kitty’s the little sister of one of Cody’s band mates and she’s had a secret crush on him for years.

When the band are back home for a few days, the chemistry between them is both unexpected and undeniably off-the-charts.

She quickly realizes that the prospect of having what she’s always fantasized about is a very real possibility.

He quickly realizes that although he feels this mind-blowing attraction towards her, she’s the little sister of one of his band mates - he would get his ass kicked from here to hell if he ever laid a finger on her!

But can Kitty convince him? After all, no one else needs to know, a one-time hook-up might suit both of them…or could it ruin everything?

We’re all sitting around, drinking our beers. I’m slouched down on one of the armchairs that I’ve claimed as my own. I’m still twirling my drumsticks and tapping away on my legs and the surrounding furniture. I’m a couple or three beers in when I hear the door to the suite open. I glance across to see Nikki, our rhythm guitarist and his girl Trixie strolling in jovially, Nikki’s arm is draped over her shoulder and she’s securely tucked into his side.
 

I lift my head and somberly greet them, “Hey.”
 

Nikki bobs his head in acknowledgement and Trixie waves her hand to say hi. I expect them to close the door but instead the most stunning girl on the fucking planet glides in behind them. She has smooth jet black hair that flows down her back and it’s so long it reaches her ass. She’s tall, probably almost as tall as me and her body rocks. She’s slim, but has nicely rounded hips and amazing tits. Her emerald green eyes are sparkling boldly as she scans the room confidently. I immediately jump up from my chair, drop my drumsticks to the floor and feel an undeniable rousing in my pants. Hell, maybe my day won’t be so bad after all. I feel better already!
 

The other guys all stand up too. Fuck off cock-suckers, she’s mine.
 

I take a step forward as the raven haired beauty suddenly shrieks in an oddly familiar voice, “Oh my god, hi guys, I’ve missed y’all so much!”
 

Fuck, fuck, fuck! My muddled brain suddenly clicks and makes the connection as I realize that the hottie that has my body vibrating like a god-damned amplifier is Kitty, Nikki’s little sister. Holy Crap! Somebody turns the music down and everyone starts walking towards Kitty. My heart is beating so damned loud that I’m sure the whole room can hear it.
 

What the hell happened to Nikki’s little sister? I remember her as being a sweet little girl that we used to tease and let hang around the band. She’d bring us beers and dote over all of us, but especially me. Sure, she’s always been pretty and downright cute, but I’ve never thought of her as the unmistakable sex kitten she is now. She’s definitely grown up and she’s a complete and utter babe. She’s the perfect embodiment of everything I find totally irresistible in a chick. I want!
 

Shit, maybe I’ve had more to drink than I thought, but I definitely shouldn’t be thinking this way about Nikki’s little sister and I don’t know how to handle these sudden irrefutable cravings. My hand twitches and strums anxiously on my leg as the adrenaline courses through me and makes me want to jump around like a fuckin’ crazy person.
 

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  AMAZON

Don't miss any of the OBLIVION ON TOUR Series



Tania Sparks is a romantic at heart who genuinely believes in true love and soul mates. She met her husband while still at school, she was sixteen, he was seventeen. They are high school sweethearts who more than twenty five years later are still very much in love and are happily married with two beautiful daughters.

Tania does have a full time job, but in her spare minutes enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and reading. She's an avid reader who tends to chomp through a large volume of books, mainly in the romance genre. Her other major 'hobby' is writing steamy rock star erotic romances!

In 2014, after finding herself constantly being inspired by numerous romance novels, she decided to try her hand at writing. After penning her first scene she discovered that she enjoyed it immensely and so resolved to continue with the rest of the story that was swirling in her imagination. That story resulted in her first novel, Heaven Sent which is the first book in her Oblivion on Tour Series. This was soon followed by Bolt From The Blue and Pure Torture. Each book in the series is a stand-alone story which follows a different band member from a hard rock group called Oblivion - and of course the feisty ladies that steal their hearts! The other books in the series are at various stages of completion.

Now-a-days Tania finds it very difficult to control her imagination and swears that her rock stars are constantly chanting their stories in her head. She can't wait to share them with you...



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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Book Blast & Giveaway: Portrait of Rage by Cynthia H. Wise


Introduces real-world horrors into the universe of the supernatural.


PORTRAIT OF RAGE
The Marcel Experience #1
Cynthia H. Wise
Released October 31, 2015
BookLogix


“The air became frigid and the lights flickered as they both watched a shimmering veil of mist rise from the hardwood floor. As it floated toward Kelly, the dim shape of an adolescent came to life in its veiling center. The little girl’s body grew more defined in its advance, until every detail of the portrait at Kelly’s back focused and came alive before them.”

Soon after Thomas Shear buys a house for his art gallery, the spirits of a killer’s child victims haunt his dreams. Believing they were conjured by stress and a vivid imagination, Tom hopes to vanquish the nightmares that leave him shaking and sweat soaked by creating a series of life-sized portraits portraying the suffering of each little girl.

When news of his portrait series spreads, Tom is confronted by the lead investigator for the missing children, Detective Mark Winward. Realizing he has become involved in something more sinister than he could ever have imagined, and becoming the detective’s number one suspect, Tom races to find the real killer before he is framed and someone Tom loves becomes the killer’s next victim.

Portrait of Rage sets the stage for The Marcel Experience, giving readers a glimpse into what is to come. Both horror and romance, real and fantastic, Portrait of Rage introduces real-world horrors into the universe of the supernatural.

Kelly’s breath caught as she watched him. He really was the most gorgeous, sexiest man she’d ever met. 

“I’ve heard that over-stimulating the senses can be deadly.”
 

“There’s only one way to find out.”
 

Kelly smiled as the kitchen door swung shut behind him. She could still feel the touch of his kiss and hands on her body and she felt a soft blush warm her cheeks. She shook her head in awe of her own unhindered response and turned to the task of preparing the table.
 

The china sparkled as she lit the candles, watching each wick ignite into a glowing flame. Otis Redding’s 
“Dock of the Bay” drifted to her ears as she dimmed the lights.
 

“Perfect,” she whispered, surveying the scene. She raised her wine glass in a silent salute. A caress from eyes behind her softened her smile as she turned.
 

“Everything’s ready—”
 

Kelly’s smile wilted as the delicate crystal she held in her hand slipped to the floor with a splintering crash. She shook her head in denial at the little girl standing a few feet away and cringed beneath the haunted, forlorn light-blue eyes that pleaded for help. They seemed to bore into the very depths of Kelly’s soul, and she shuddered as the little girl lifted her hand, beckoning her to follow.
 

“Please, help us.”

ONLY .99 CENTS
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Cynthia H. Wise lives with her husband in Marietta, Georgia, where her series, The Marcel Experience, is centered. When she is not writing novels about the supernatural and the fantastic, Cynthia can be found with her husband, Cliff, their two dogs, Jake and Sadie, and their cockatiel, Sam.
In Cynthia H. Wise’s paranormal mystery series, The Marcel Experience, readers will find themselves thrown into haunted houses, avenging ghosts and wandering spirits, and even, possibly, falling in love with a handsome shapeshifter. In the next novel in the series, Eyes of Autumn, releasing this October, a dangerous enemy from Marcus’s past is threatening to destroy everything he holds sacred, including the only woman he’s ever loved—a woman who doesn’t remember him.

For more information and updates on new books, giveaways, and other news, visit her website or follow her on twitter.




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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Review: The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.


Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: July 26th 2016 by St. Martin's Press 
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy directly from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

There is no way that The Summer That Melted Everything is Tiffany McDaniel's debut novel. There is just no way. Even though I have read in multiple different spots that it is, I find it really hard to believe. This book in no way, shape, or form reads like one. It gives off the feel of a veteran writer who has been writing for years in order find the perfection that is soley theirs. In fact, it has left me quite speechless.

I won't re-tell the story because I feel that the less that is known going into this book the better. Besides, the synopsis gives a basic understanding of what the story is about. Set in 1984, McDaniels did a fabulous job of taking me back in time. Although I would have been younger than Fielding I felt like I was there with the accuracy of  her descriptions right down to the acid washed jeans.Most noteworthy was the racism and attitude towards homosexuals and ignorance about AIDS. Although cringe worthy today, I thought it was an accurate depiction of the time.

This book was about many things. It was about family, love, loss, fear and ignorance to name just a few. It was about how fear and ignorance can turn ugly and how a pack mentality can easily be created and turn things even uglier. We have seen it happen in history where people have preyed on peoples fears and vulnerabilities to have them do unthinkable things. Even today I am seeing it but that is a whole other post for another time. In other words, the story was believable even though it was hard to swallow at times.

This book wasn't full of sunshine and happiness. In fact, it was pretty raw and hard to read (because of the content) at times. It was definitely not a book for someone looking for a feel good story. The dark, sad and depressing far outweighed the feel good moments. Having said that, I couldn't put it down. The writing was incredible and the story was so engaging and unique. I was hanging off every word. The Bliss family was my family and Sal was my brother. I connected with them and the story on so many levels. Although it was most definitely a dark read it was breathtakingly beautiful at the same time.

I highly recommend this book. It was easily one of the best debut novels that I have read in a long time. Book clubs will be discussing this book for years to come. Tiffany McDaniel's has a bright future in front of her and I for one can't wait to read whatever she comes out with next.

 


About the Author
Tiffany McDaniel is an Ohio native whose writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows. She is also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and artist. The Summer that Melted Everything is her debut novel.  
Connect with Tiffany


Book Blast & Giveaway: Secret Dream by Lindsay McKenna


Lia just wants him to meet her parents. 
Why does this feel like the fight of his life?


SECRET DREAM
DELOS Series 1B
Lindsay McKenna
Releasing July 25th, 2016
Blue Turtle Publishing


Ex-Navy SEAL Cav Jordan faces danger daily in his job as a security expert. He even faced down a gang of South American drug dealers to protect his fiancée, Lia Cassidy. So why is he terrified of meeting her parents? Having lived through his own horrible childhood Cav can’t understand the situation is he is walking into. Lia just wants him to meet her parents. Why does this feel like the fight of his life?

Novella: The continued story of Cav and Lia from Nowhere to Hide, book 1 of the Delos Series. 

“Steve Cassidy. Welcome, Mr. Jordan., We owe you a lot.”  He gripped Cav’s hand, and choked out, “You saved Lia’s life.  Thank you…”
   

 For a moment, Cav was stunned by the sudden kindness emanating from the farmer’s expression who was thin, wiry, sunburned and physically sinewy from the daily work he did.  Gripping the farmer’s calloused roughened hand, he said, “Nice to meet you, sir.  And I was just doing my job.  Call me  Cav?”
 

   “Call me Steve.”  He clapped him heartily on the back, still clasping his other hand.  “And you’re a hero to us, son. Nothing less.”  Steve released him, keeping his hand on Cav’s broad shoulder, watching Lia clinging to he mother, both of them in a tight, loving embrace with one another.
   

 Embarrassed by such a show of emotions, Cav murmured, “Thank you, sir.”
  

  Steve gave him an assessing look.  “Just Steve will do.”
 

“Yes, sir….I mean, okay,” Cav stumbled.  It was very different meeting people who were strangers, but this was Lia’s parents and he didn’t want to fuck this up for her.  Awkwardly, he stood there, watching tears roll down Susan’s face.  He wasn’t sure that Lia wasn’t crying too, such was the tight bond they shared.  Obliquely, his mind leaped backward.  Cav remembered the times his mother had cried.  But they were tears of pain.  Tears mingled with blood from her nose, a split lip or both after his father got done beating her up.  How many times had Cav cried alone in his room wishing she would run away with him from his monster father?
 

Steve clapped him on the shoulder.  “Let’s us guys go find your luggage, huh?” and he smiled a little.
 

   Good idea!  “Yes, sir—“
 

   Steve laughed and patted him warmly on the back.   “You’re staying a week with us, Cav.  I’ll work that military side you out of you by then.  Come on, let’s hunt up that luggage for our you and our Lia, eh?”
 

   There was a male gruffness mingled with warmth to Steve that made Cav want to open up to the man.  He had a deeply weathered face, his blue eyes the same color as Lia’s.  The woman he loved had her mother’s same color of hair, her father’s sparkling, mischievous looking eyes and her smile.  There was benevolence to Steve Cassidy and Cav automatically found himself wanting to be close to this man who exuded a male gentleness he rarely found in any man.  “Thanks for coming to pick us up,” Cav said, noting that the baggage from their flight would be spit out by Carousel Two.
 

“We’ve been looking forward to seeing you two,” Steve said, standing with his hands on his hips, watching the luggage starting to be dropped off the conveyor belt.  “Did you have a good flight?”
   

 “Yes.  It was quiet. That’s all I ask.”
  

  “We don’t travel much,” he said.  “With a farm, you can’t walk away from it, so I’m glad you came for a visit.”
 

    Cav felt Steve’s genuine sincerity.  He hooked a look over his shoulder, seeing Lia and her mother talking animatedly with one another as they walked toward them.  Susan had given Lia her smile and her beauty, no question.  He liked that the mother had hooked her arm around Lia’s waist and they walked closely, their affection for everyone to see.  He knew Lia’s affection himself and already, he could see how happy she was at being home with her parents once more.  They breathed even more life into her, if that was possible.  Compared to the ghost of a person she was in Costa Rica months earlier, Cav was stunned at Lia’s natural radiance.  She was sunshine to his darkened soul who craved her.
 

    “Uh oh,” Steve murmured, grinning as he turned.  “I’m about to get attacked.”

For a moment, the word put Cav on instant guard. But as he turned, he saw Steve opening his arms as Lia flew into them, her arms wide open, joy radiant on her face as she clung to her father.  A lump formed in his throat as he watched Lia being swallowed up by the big man who kissed her hair, kissed that cheek that had that deep scar on it, his eyes only for his beaming daughter in his arms.  His gaze flicked to Susan, who stood a few feet away, teary eyed, smiling, her lower lip trembling as she watched Lia with her doting father.  It hurt to swallow and Cav turned away, remembering too much of the twisted and distorted family he’d somehow managed to survive.  

He’d never known a moment of affection from his father.  Only his fist.  His hatred.  His anger always aimed at him.
 

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See how it all began in Nowhere to Hide



Lindsay McKenna lives her life as a risk taker, and it shines through the books she loves to write: romance, adventure and suspense. She started writing at age thirteen and continues to hone her writing skills to this day. She sold her first romance novel in 1981. The rest is history.

Because she went into the military, this experience became the backbone of her writing—she is credited with writing the first military romance novel (Captive of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special Edition) and has created a thriving sub-genre within the romance field! As a New York Times Best Selling author, she has sold 23 million books and in 32 foreign languages in her career thus far. Her many experiences in the U.S. Navy are backdrop for her understanding of the military in general, and also her very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an ongoing series in Silhouette to this day! Forty-five books strong!

Lindsay has gone Indie in 2015 and has created a new family saga on par with Morgan’s Mercenaries It is known as the DELOS SERIES. There will be paperback and eBooks created under Blue Turtle Publishing, her company for her fans. Readers who love Morgan and his family are bound to fall in love with the Culver family. Delos is romantic suspense, which Lindsay is well known for. It took her five years to create and bring DELOS to her readers. It was worth the wait, but we’ll let you decide that.

Lindsay loves to hear from her readers and loves to know what they’d like to see her write next. Stay up with the latest on the Delos Series here. Please visit her Web site at www.lindsaymckenna.com. And be sure to sign up for her free quarterly newsletter. It contains exclusive content found nowhere else on the Net. Plus, giveaways and other surprises, to her loyal and faithful subscribers!



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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Release Blast & Giveaway: To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne


Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles!


TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
The Wedding Belles #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing July 26th, 2016
Pocket Books


Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true…but their own.

Discovering her fiancé is an international conman just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Burke’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet, if slightly spoiled, hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse springs.

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiancé is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning…is theirs?

It’s not as though Brooke had meant to start dating a con man. She certainly didn’t intend to get engaged to one.
 

But that’s the thing about con mans. The good ones were good at, well . . . the con.
 

And Clay Battaglia had been a good one. The best, actually, if you took the word of the FBI agent who’d debriefed Brooke and her family—while she was still in her wedding dress.
 

Turns out that while Brooke had been happily building her wedding-planning company, Clay had been quietly and competently been getting away with every white-collar crime in the book. While she’d been planning their wedding, he’d apparently been knee-deep in yet another Ponzi scheme.
 

Brooke hadn’t even known what a Ponzi scheme was when the FBI had told her.
 

She did now.
 

Following Clay’s arrest, she spent weeks researching white-collar crime. Wanting to know what he’d been up to all those times he’d quietly kissed her forehead late at night and told her he needed to make some phone calls for “work.” Wanting to know what her life would  have been like if the FBI hadn’t taken him down before they’d exchanged vows.
 

Still, while Brooke would be ever grateful that she’d learned the truth before she’d become Mrs. Clay Battaglia, she’d be lying if she didn’t admit that the timing of it had stung just a little bit.
 

If they’d only taken him down a day before. Heck, even an hour before.
 

But no.
 

Just moments after Brooke kissed her father’s cheek and prepared to marry the man she loved at the wedding she’d poured her heart into, the FBI stormed—yes, stormed—the church.
 

Clay was in handcuffs before she even registered what was happening.
 

Numbly she watched as he listened to his Miranda rights at the precise moment he should have been listening to the vows she’d spent months writing.
 

And as reality slowly sunk in, Brooke waited. Waited for him to look at her. To look at her and say that it was all a lie. All one big misunderstanding, and that they’d be on their way to Bermuda as planned by tomorrow.
 

He didn’t.
 

He didn’t even apologize.
 

No, the man she’d loved for two years with every fiber of her being merely smiled at her and then shrugged.
There’d been plenty of photos taken that day, but that was the one that made it onto the front page of every major newspaper on the West Coast.
 

“The Greatest Con of All.” “Arrested by Love.” And her personal favorite, courtesy of her very own LA Times: “White-Collar Bride.”
 

The stories all read pretty much like you’d expect. About Clay, mostly, and the litany of accusations against him, but also about Brooke.
 

The papers had stopped short of defamation, but the implications were there. She was clueless and ditzy at best, a potentially overlooked accomplice at worst. Completely oblivious to the fact that she’d been sharing a roof with the most nefarious white-collar criminal in a generation—or pretending to be.
 

None of that had bothered her. What had bothered her was that she’d been a fool. Self-absorbed, naive, and downright blind.
 

Brooke had been dodging dumb-blonde jokes for most of her life, but the debacle with Clay was the first time she thought she might really, truly be deserving of the title.
 

She hadn’t been surprised when new clients had stopped calling. Hadn’t been surprised when current clients canceled. Nobody wanted to hire that wedding planner.
 

Brooke had even been relieved, at first. In those first weeks after Clay’s arrest, she hadn’t been able to handle any talk of weddings. Not her own, and not other people’s.
 

But the worst part of all of this, the part that kept her up long into the lonely nights, wasn’t the negative effect on her career. No, the worst part was that sometimes, in the very darkest corner of her soul, she feared that she might still love Clay, at least a little. Sure, her brain knew that all the things she’d loved about Clay had been a lie. Her brain understood that his name wasn’t even Clay.
 

But her heart? Her heart was having a harder time forgetting the way he always let her be the little spoon and tuck her cold feet against his warm calves. Or the way he’d brought her coffee in bed every morning. Or the way she’d come home after a long day with the worst sort of bridezilla and Clay would make them cocktails and sit on the deck with her, and watch the sunset and laugh.
 

She’d imagined that all their nights would be like that. All the nights for the rest of her life, with maybe with a couple of kids thrown into the mix eventually.
Brooke swallowed.
 

There wouldn’t be any more nights on the patio watching the sunset with Clay. Wouldn’t be any patio at all, because Brooke’s real estate broker had made it quite clear that she should be counting herself lucky to get a dishwasher in New York—a patio was out of the question.
 

So no patio. No Clay, or whatever his real name was.
 

No man at all, really.
 

No falling in love.
 

Not ever again.

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Lauren lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

Five years ago, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan.

She writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush, and in her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

When not bringing The Sexy, she likes to blog about her Instagram addiction, and why mean girls are the worst.




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Monday, 25 July 2016

Review: Firefly Summer by Nan Rossiter


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nan Rossiter's touching new novel reunites four sisters at their childhood vacation spot on Cape Cod--where they uncover the truth about a past tragedy to find their future as a family. . .

The close-knit Quinn siblings enjoyed the kind of idyllic childhood that seems made for greeting cards, spending each summer at Whit's End, the family's home on Cape Cod. Then comes the summer of 1964, warm and lush after a rainy spring--perfect firefly weather. Sisters Birdie, Remy, Sailor, Piper, and their brother, Easton, delight in catching the insects in mason jars to make blinking lanterns. Until, one terrible night, eight-year-old Easton drowns in the rising tide.

Decades later, the sisters have carved out separate lives on the Cape. Through love and heartbreak, health issues, raising children, and caring for their aging parents, they have supported each other, rarely mentioning their deep childhood loss. But one evening, as they sit together at Whit's End to watch the sun set, the gathering fireflies elicit memories of that long-ago night, and a tumult of regrets, guilt, and secrets tumble out.

Poignant yet hopeful, Firefly Summer is an uplifting story of the resilience of sisterhood and the bright glimpses of joy and solace that, like fireflies after rain, can follow even the deepest heartaches.

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 26th 2016 by Kensington

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date us July 26th, 2016.

Against my own set of rules when I am reading a book and reviewing it, I took a peak at what others were saying.  I had to as I needed to know if how I felt upon completion of the story is the same as others.  Based on the current reviews out there, it appears that I am alone in my opinion.  While others have raved about the story, I myself found it on the dull and unrealistic side.

The writing style was great, I can find no fault.  My issue was really with the characters.  With the age of the four sisters, I found it difficult to believe that they all of a sudden were coming to terms with the death of their brother.  There was no real turning point in the story that would have brought theses sisters to this point in their grieving process, particularly after over 50 years.  It felt kind of random to me.  Not to mention that most of the characters were not really likeable, or if they were, they were just boring.

I hate to say anything negative about a book because people have different tastes and opinions and mine certainly should not be a deciding factor.  For me. I just found this story a little too much about nothing for my tastes.



About the Author


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nan Parson Rossiter's adult fiction is often compared to the work of Nicholas Sparks - especially her first novel, THE GIN & CHOWDER CLUB. She hopes readers who enjoyed GIN & CHOWDER (or those who haven't discovered it yet!) will look for the same characters in the Christmas anthology, MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT. Nan's second novel, WORDS GET IN THE WAY, is an uplifting story about a single mom whose young son has autism. Her third novel, MORE THAN YOU KNOW, touches on the bonds of sisterhood and the tragedy and despair of Alzheimer's, and her new novel, UNDER A SUMMER SKY, ties them all together in the spring of 2014.

Nan is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and is also the author-illustrator of several books for children including, most recently, THE FO'C'SLE: HENRY BESTON'S OUTERMOST HOUSE, called "a lovely vision of one man's communion with nature" by Publisher's Weekly.

Nan lives in rural Connecticut with her husband and two handsome sons.



Sunday, 24 July 2016

Review: After She's Gone by Lisa Jackson

In this explosive new thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson delves into the deep bond between two sisters and their shared dream that becomes a harrowing nightmare of madness, hatred and jealousy…

Cassie Kramer and her younger sister, Allie, learned the hazards of fame long ago. Together, they’d survived the horror of a crazed fan who nearly killed their mother, former Hollywood actress Jenna Hughes. Still, Cassie moved to L.A., urging Allie to follow. As a team, they’d take the town by storm.  But Allie, finally free of small-town Oregon, and just that little bit more beautiful, also proved to be more talented—and driven. Where Cassie got bit parts, Allie rose to stardom. But now her body double has been shot on the set of her latest movie—and Allie is missing.

Police discover that the last call to Allie’s phone came from Cassie, though she has no recollection of making it. Instead of looking like a concerned relative, Cassie is starting to look like a suspect—the jealous sister who finally grew sick of playing a supporting role. As the tabloids go into a frenzy, Cassie ends up on a Portland psych ward. Is she just imagining the sinister figure who comes to her bedside, whispering about Allie—a visitor of whom there is no record? Is someone trying to help—or drive her mad?

Convinced she’s the only one who can find Allie, Cassie checks herself out of the hospital. But a sudden slew of macabre murders— each victim masked with a likeness of a member of Cassie’s family—makes Cassie fear for her safety and her sanity. The only way to end the nightmare is to find out what really happened to Allie. And with each discovery, Cassie realizes that no one can be trusted to keep her safe—least of all herself…


Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Expected Publication July 26, 2016 by Kensington 
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Kensington via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

This book just wasn't for me. I struggled and struggled to get through it and ended up giving up at the 50% mark. It was just a little too slow for my liking and it couldn't seem to catch my interest. There was too much inner dialogue and not enough action or movement on the pages to make me want to know more. I hate to give up on a book but I just couldn't do it. This was not the first book by this author for me and I did enjoy some of her other work so I won't let this stop me from reading some of her other work.

 
About the Author
Lisa Jackson is the number-one New York Times bestselling author of more than 85 novels, including Afraid to Die, Tell Me, You Don’t Want to Know, Running Scared, Without Mercy, Malice, and Shiver.  She is also the co-author of the Colony Series, co-written with her sister, Nancy Bush. There are over 20 million copies of Lisa Jackson’s books in print in twenty languages. 

Before she became a nationally bestselling author, Lisa Jackson was a mother struggling to keep food on the table by writing novels, hoping against hope that someone would pay her for them. Today, neck deep in murder, her books appear on The New York Times, the USA Today, and the Publishers Weekly national bestseller lists.

With over thirty bestsellers to her name, Lisa Jackson is a master of taking readers to the edge of sanity – and back – in novels that buzz with dangerous secrets and deadly passions.  She continues to be fascinated by the minds and motives of both her killers and their pursuers—the personal, the professional and downright twisted.  As she builds the puzzle of relationships, actions, clues, lies and personal histories that haunt her protagonists, she must also confront the fear and terror faced by her victims, and the harsh and enduring truth that, in the real world, terror and madness touch far too many lives and families.   

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