Book Blitz ~ ‘All My Restless Life to Live’ by Dee DeTarsio.

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All My Restless Life to Live by Dee DeTarsio
Publication date: April 29th 2013
Genres: Adult, Romance

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SYNOPSIS

Award-winning author Dee DeTarsio combines life’s darker side with humor and tenderness in a wonderfully charming look at love and the afterlife.

Life is a soap opera, especially for Elle Miller, who is a TV producer. (Ellen dropped the “n” in her name in hopes of finding a better ending for herself.) When her laptop crashes, she borrows her dead dad’s computer and gets way more than she bargained for.

As Elle tries to save her career with a storyline featuring a trip through Atlantis, she takes a trip to the Emmys, and finds herself in the middle of a romance between a real doctor and a hunk who just plays one on TV. Friends, family, and clues from “the other side” all help Elle figure out the difference between living the good life . . . and living a good life.

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“I can’t believe that I’m really not that nervous,” I kept saying being takes. “Acting is so easy. Way easier than writing. Maybe I should be an actress.”

Liam just smirked at Tanya McGonya, who flipped him off with both middle fingers as her arms were folded across her chest.

“This is good for me to get in character and see what it’s like. I can write better drivel than Liam. Sorry.” I shot a quick look at him and covered my mouth.

“Stop talking,” Liam ordered. “Start kissing.”

“Oh.” I guess I was nervous.

“You are doing great,” Brad whispered. He leaned down as his arms wrapped around me, pulling me and my Bra Vo in close.

“Where do I put my hands?” I asked, both palms against his bare chest. Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.

“Over his coat, around his waist,” Liam said.

Brad’s smooth mouth kissed me, bending my head slightly so the camera could get an angle.

“Hold it,” Liam said. “Christ, move around a little.”

I couldn’t move. I was just enjoying smelling Brad and feeling his breath on my upper lip, and really, really liking his two lips resting on mine.

“Hair,” Liam directed. Brad started softly pushing back my hair. My hair was nothing special shoulder-length, that Tanya McGonya curled into a natural tousled look. In Brad’s fingers, it became an erogenous zone. He cupped his hand and pushed my hair behind my ear. He ran his finger and thumb over my ear, and massaged my lobe ever so gently, before getting back to the business of fondling my curls.

My heart was cartoon loud. I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear a horn ahooga. Liam had us stop and start several more times for different angles.

And then I forgot where I was and started kissing Brad. I wasn’t acting, I didn’t know how. The music got louder, the light seemed to dim, and Brad kissed me back.

“And cut. Cut. Cut. Jesus.”

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Why Guys Should Read Chick Lit

What most guys don’t know, is that women’s fiction has a lot on offer. I don’t think I’m being presumptuous about the reading habits of XYs. My husband (who has earned his title of “beditor”) wouldn’t be caught dead reading *girl* stuff, unless I convince him otherwise.
His biggest complaint is that “women sure do think a lot.” That’s right, we do. Live and learn, hombres.

What can guys learn from chick lit? Lots of cool stuff. Like women think it’s sexier for guys to fill up our cars with gas, than to play bongos on our ass. (See what we did there, it’s sing-songy and rhymes so guys can easily remember it.)

It’s not like men are from Jupiter, that’s why they’re stupider . . . (though if the planet fits!) This is just an open invitation to those he-men of the universe to take a ride on the chick slide. (That sounds dirty but maybe it will help attract their attention.)

There are so many smart, fun women writers, it would be great if guys would read it and weep. For extra relationship-bonus points, they can share their feelings in a bedtime book report! And they all lived happily ever after . . .

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Dee


Dee DeTarsio

Dee DeTarsio is a graduate of The Ohio State University and lives in southern California with her family. She did not teach herself to read at an early age or write stories by the time she was in kindergarten. She was still wetting the bed and playing in the can cupboard.

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Book Blitz ~ ‘Sunset Rising’ by S.M. McEachern.

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Sunset Rising by S.M. McEachern
(Sunset Rising #1)
Publication date: November 12th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

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February 2024: Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground and are grudgingly permitted entry. But the price of admission is high.

283 years later… Life as a slave in the Pit had never been easy, but for seventeen-year-old Sunny O’Donnell it was quickly careening out of control. Her mother was killed in the annual spring Cull, leaving her alone with a father who decided to give up on life. It’s not that she blamed him for grieving, but if they didn’t earn enough credits to keep their place inside the Pit, they would be kicked out into a world still teeming with radiation. That left her to earn the credits for both of them. It didn’t help that her boyfriend, Reyes Crowe, was pressuring her to get married and abandon her father.

Sunny didn’t think life could get any worse, until she was forced upstairs to the Dome to serve and entertain the elite at a bachelor party. That’s where she met Leisel Holt, the president’s daughter, and her fiancé, Jack Kenner. Now Sunny is wanted for treason. If they catch her, she’ll be executed.

She thought Leisel’s betrayal was the end for her…but it turns out it was just the beginning.

Sunset Rising is Book One of a series.

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Excerpt from “Sunset Rising” (Book One)

“Oh, Summer. If you weren’t so picky, you could have been married by now. But whenever a boy is interested in you, you’re suddenly not interested in him. I think you like flirting more than actually having a boyfriend.”

“That’s not true. I just haven’t met the right one yet.”

“Though you do bring up a good point. You’re running out of time.”

Summer could have had her pick of any boy in the Pit. A full head shorter than me, her small stature and delicate limbs gave her an elegant, feminine quality. I always felt large and clumsy next to her.

“You know, we’re always talking about me,” Summer said. “How are you? How’s your dad?”

She might regret asking that question, but I gave her an honest answer. “Dad lost his job yesterday because he didn’t show up for work.”
“Oh, Sunny. What are you going to do?”

I heard sympathy in her voice, and exasperation, too. My father had always been a little self-destructive. My mother had done a fairly good job of protecting me from it, but without her, I was on my own with him. “I told Reyes last night I couldn’t marry him until after the next Cull.”

“You’re postponing? Again?” she asked. “That’s a bit drastic. I’m sure your father can get another job. He’s had a lot of experience in the mines.”

“He’s barely been eating since Mom left, and now he’s too weak to get out of bed.”

“But you’ve put your marriage on hold once before, and I can’t imagine Reyes is happy with postponing again. And you’re not getting any younger, Sunny. You’re almost eighteen. Aren’t you afraid Reyes is going to get fed up with waiting and move on to someone else?”

I had never thought about Reyes being with someone else. We had been together forever. And at our age, it was getting kind of late to go looking for a new partner. Of course he would wait for me. If I gave him enough time, he would eventually understand that my father needed me right now, and I couldn’t leave him.

But there was wisdom in her words. At seventeen, I was middle-aged, and that didn’t bode well for getting approval to have a child. Population control in the Pit was getting stricter all the time. Reyes really wanted a child, but if I was being honest with myself, I didn’t. I guessed that was why I didn’t feel an urgent need to get married right away.

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Author Interview with S.M. McEachern

How did the idea for Sunset Rising come to you?
I’m asked this question a lot and it really is one of the most difficult questions to answer. I’ve always wanted to write and attempted to pen a few novels in the past, but I never found a topic interesting enough to stick with it. When my oldest daughter started reading young adult fiction, we decided to do buddy reads together and that’s when I discovered the YA genre. I fell in love. I suddenly had tons of ideas for a plot, but only one really persisted. Back in my university days, I did some research on a biodome in Arizona and had to ask myself the obvious question of why would humanity need a hermetically sealed environment capable of sustaining life? Given the current geo-political climate, it wasn’t difficult for me to come up with a good reason, and the foundation for the “Sunset Rising” series was born.

Sunset Rising is a series? Where do you see the story going?
If someone hit the reset button on Earth, how would you change the future? Would you try to rebuild what was already here or go in a different direction? The series is a cautionary tale and I try to show an entertaining, yet realistic, vision of how civilization might rebuild itself.

Sunset Rising is the first book in the series and focuses on how humanity might evolve when forced to live in close quarters in order to survive a nuclear apocalypse. This book deals with issues like bonded slavery, caste systems, physical and sexual abuse, and how limited resources can lead to war. The second book of the series, entitled Worlds Collide, was just released, and I think I surprised a lot of readers with it. SR was often compared to The Hunger Games and The City of Embers, so Worlds Collide blindsided a few readers. This book picks up exactly where SR leaves off and continues to build upon the story. I introduce a lot of new characters and construct an entirely new political system. The third book will pick up where the story leaves off in WC, but you can probably already guess I’m building a whole new world in this book as well.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep at it – what keeps you going?
I love writing, especially world building, so I don’t actually need any more motivation for that pursuit. The hard part is trying to juggle family life with being an independent author. Marketing takes up an enormous amount of time, leaving little left over for writing. It’s a difficult balance.

What movies do you like to watch?
I love watching action movies—especially if there’s a hot guy starring in it! Some of my favorites were The Avengers, Star Trek (all of them!), and Red (the first one). I don’t usually watch typical “chick flicks”, although I was talked into watching Crazy Stupid Love on Valentines Day. The scene when Jacob (played by Ryan Gosling) takes off his shirt in front of Hannah (played by Emma Stone) and she just stares at him, mouth agape, and finally says “Seriously? It’s like your Photoshopped!” was hilarious.

Action heroes, huh? Which one—Ironman or Thor?
Although Thor is hot, he’s a little too melancholy for my liking. Ironman’s not only a hero, but he’s witty, funny, charming and filthy rich. Definitely Ironman.

As an author, how do you work through self-doubt and fear?
I think everybody on the planet has to work through self-doubt and fear no matter what s/he does for a living. Writing isn’t any different. I understand that when I put my work out there for people to read, I invite their opinion. Most of the feedback has been fantastic and a real confidence boost, but there are some critical reviews that keep me grounded. Accepting that I’m never going to write a book that every single person on this planet is going to like is the first step conquering my fears.

Do you find it hard to share your work?
Yes! Especially with people I know. My husband’s still not allowed to read my books.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
I have a LOT of people to thank for supporting me. My family for putting up with me locked away in my office for hours; my husband for his technical expertise on my blog and ebook formatting; and, most of all, for complete strangers who got in touch with me because they read Sunset Rising and loved it. I have a lot of beta readers as well that have taken the time to give me their valuable opinions and critiques. I’m really just blown away and humbled by the amount of support I’ve received by so many people.

Every writer has her/his own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
As a debut author, for me success is being able to write something that readers want to read! Luckily, I’ve been able to do that, so I guess it’s time to set the bar a little higher. I’d like to expand my audience. Quite a few of my readers said they’d like to see Sunset Rising made into a movie—that would be super cool!

Tell us about your new book—what’s it about and why did you write it?
Worlds Collide is the second book of the Sunset Rising series. It picks up exactly where Sunset Rising leaves off—with the two main characters, Sunny and Jack, outside the Dome exploring a world they always believed had been devastated by nuclear war. They discover the Earth is fine and there are people living outside! As they uncover the horrifying truth of President Holt’s plans for the Pit, they realize time is running out to not only save the urchins, but the world.

If you could do any job in the world, what would you do?
That’s easy. Be a writer.

What’s the reason for your life? Have you figured out your reason for being here yet?
I’m here because I was born, so I might as well use my time wisely. Reading, writing, researching, interacting with others, teaching, learning, raising two kids, being a wife, being a friend—this is what life is all about. We take what we need and then we give back. Learn about the world you live in and see how you can contribute.

Do you do much research for your books?
I do a ton of research for my novels. As a reader, nothing takes me out of science fiction story faster than bad science. For Sunset Rising, I had already done quite a bit of research on the Biosphere in Arizona, so that was a bit easier. For Worlds Collide, I got in touch with a scientist from the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) to advise me on theme in that novel. I’m currently doing some research for the third book, which I’ll keep secret for now 

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I’ve had writer’s block a few times and I cured it by going to see an action-packed movie. A really good book can get my creative juices flowing too. On a daily basis, I also go for a run with my iPod loaded up with inspirational music, like Moby, Keane, Cold Play, and Lana del Rey.

Have you started another book yet?
I have started the third book in the Sunset Rising series. I’m doing a lot of research at the moment, so not many words have put on paper yet.

Do you have any advice for writers?
Invest in your craft. Listen to what readers are telling you through their reviews. Constantly seek to improve your skills. If you truly like writing and want to make a career of it, join a writer’s group, take workshops on writing and network with people in the industry. Research is an important component of being a successful writer, both in terms of writing a story and selling one. If you’re going to self-publish, find an editor you can work with, a good cover artist, and beta readers who can give you critical feedback. Learn to accept that the bad reviews are just as important as the good reviews.

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
I’m not so sure I’d want to invite a dead person to a dinner party… ew! I’ve been lucky in that I’ve met a lot of influential people. My mentor in university was Elizabeth Mann-Borgese, the daughter of author and Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann. Her entire life was devoted to finding a way to foster world peace and, like her father, she’s been nominated for the Nobel Prize. I’ve also been to Buckingham Palace for a tea party with Queen Elizabeth (alongwith 3,000 other of her “closest” friends!). And I once had the opportunity to meet President Bill Clinton when he was in Halifax for the G-9 Summit meetings, but got tired of waiting for him and left. I always regretted that. So, if I had to choose someone to come to dinner, I’d probably pick the President of the United States. I wonder if Mr. Obama would come?

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I have a hectic family life. My oldest daughter is a competitive swimmer and my youngest is competitive in martial arts. My husband just returned from a one-year deployment to Afghanistan. So, honestly, I don’t spend much time relaxing. If I do find some time, I like to read a good book and sip a nice vintage.

Are you a city slicker or a country lover?
I’m a city girl who likes to escape to the country from time to time. I prefer to have modern amenities within walking distance in my day-to-day life. I’ve lived in the country before and ended up doing way too much driving for my kids extra-curricular activities, shopping, doctors, etc. However, I do like to go hiking, kayaking, bird watching and exploring coastlines, so the occasional escape to the countryside is fun.

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S.M. McEachern

S.M. McEachern (also known as Susan) comes from the rocky shores of Canada’s East Coast. As a resident of Halifax during her early adult years, she attended Dalhousie University and earned an Honors Degree in International Development Studies with a focus on ocean development. Throughout her academic studies and early career, Susan had the privilege to work with many developing countries on resource management projects.

Becoming an author has been a lifelong dream for Susan. “Sunset Rising” is her debut novel and the first of many she plans to write.

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Blog Stop ~ ‘Before They Find Us’ by Michelle A. Hansen.

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Before They Find Us by Michelle A. Hansen
Publication date: November 2013
Genres: Romantic Thriller, Young Adult

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SYNOPSIS

I’m going to make you wish you were dead.

Just a text. Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Hales tries not to worry. Probably a wrong number. Not really meant for her, and definitely not related to the crime she witnessed six years ago. Right?

Then two states away, a bomb goes off in her best friend’s locker. Soon Ryan is labeled a terrorist and runs to the safest place he knows—Rebecca’s house in small-town Wyoming. It doesn’t take long for the FBI to show up asking questions. Rebecca lies, of course, and says she hasn’t seen him.

Now she’s neck-deep in it with him, whatever “it” is. The only way out is to return to Vegas, where Ryan is a wanted man. The city of lies and illusion tests Rebecca’s wits as she struggles to find the person who framed Ryan and why.

Is Rebecca’s text linked to the bombing? And what does it have to do with a six year old murder? Rebecca needs to find out before she loses Ryan—and her own life.

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 Book Review ~ ‘Before They Find Us’ by Michelle A. Hansen ~ 5 Stars!

Well wow! This was one stunner of a book! I was intrigued from the start with ‘Before They Find Us.’

The premise of terrorism and bombing in a young adult book drew me in and I was excited and apprehensive to see how this story would be carried out with young protagonists. I was amazed by how well the author kept the suspense throughout the novel. I was concerned that I wouldn’t feel as worried about the outcome of the story because it was aimed at young adults, and therefore couldn’t end too sadly, but I was blown away by how original the storyline was, making me second guess how it could end at every turn, and how I sat on the edge of my seat throughout, biting my lip and reading late into the night to see what happened to the characters I had come to care about so much.

I loved Rebecca from the start. I loved the strength she had, despite the pain associated with her past. I felt for her and how isolated she was all for doing the right thing and identifying a suspect in a crime she witnessed at a young age. It really hit home how small town politics and family status can have so much power, and I felt bereaved for Rebecca for the loss she had experienced all for doing the right thing.

The storyline was paced perfectly, and I loved all the detective work that Rebecca did to help clear her best friend Ryan’s name after a bomb goes off in his school locker and he goes on the run. I adored the relationship that the two had, with their close friendship infused with humour and light flirting as well as close intimate moments that make romance seem possible between them. I loved the devotion that Rebecca had for Ryan, even when she has her own worries when she receives threatening texts. Her complete faith in his innocence and the way she gave up her own life and safety for him was inspiring and had me so invested in both characters.

The story was thrilling and the suspense was balanced perfectly throughout. I couldn’t put my kindle down when I entered the last third of the book, I was so engrossed in the story which is something I haven’t experienced with young adult books for a while now. This book restored my faith in many book in the same genre and I commend the author for her incredible job in writing such a serious and emotional story whilst keeping it faithful to the genre it was created for.

On a last note, the extra features of the mobile phone photos was a great touch and made me feel as though I was actually interacting in the story and not just reading it. Brilliant job!

5 Stars and a definite recommended read.

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Michelle

Michelle A. Hansen

Michelle A. Hansen was raised in southeastern Washington. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in English teaching from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and taught high school English for six years.

Michelle loves Pepsi and Doritos more than chocolate. She loves summertime and hates to be cold. She has had three near-death experiences. She’s addicted to office supplies and has an irrationally large stash of pens and notebooks.

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Book Blitz ~ ‘Upside Down’ by Lia Riley.

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Upside Down by Lia Riley
(Off the Map #1)
Published by: Grand Central
Publication date: August 5th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

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SYNOPSIS

If You Never Get Lost, You’ll Never Be Found

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying goodbye to painful memories—and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she’ll pretend to be a carefree exchange student. Everything is going to plan until she meets a surly surfer with hypnotic green eyes, and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he slunk back to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He’s never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. A single semester abroad won’t  cover something this serious. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once-in-a-lifetime . . . or if there’s a plane to California with her name on it.

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“Never have I ever worn handcuffs,” I say.

Bran reaches over, yanks the lid off the water bottle and takes a sip.

“Really?” My stomach lurches at the idea of another girl within five feet of him.

“Once. Wasn’t for me. I prefer more control, you know?”

“Nope—not really.” My sex life is shorter than a haiku. I bite my inner cheek and pretend not to notice his gaze slant toward me. “All right, Kink Boy, your turn.”

“Never have I ever done something I regret.”

I giggle but he looks dead serious. “Wow, that must make you alone in the universe.” I take a drink.

“Your smile, it lights up your whole face, but your eyes stay sad.”

Is he being serious or is this yet another bait? “Never have I ever sleepwalked.”

Bran drinks. “When I was eight, my neighbors woke to me in their bedroom. Don’t remember a thing. Lucky they didn’t call the coppers.”

“Whoa, crazy. Do you still do it?”

“Sometimes. Lock your door tonight. Let’s see. . .never have I ever shot a gun.”

I don’t drink.

“Isn’t that Anti-American?”

“I’m a pacifist. Never have I ever kissed in the rain.”

“This is the single most depressing fact I’ve ever heard.” He drinks.

“Hence my sad eyes.”

Traffic starts moving. I hang my hand out the window and hot wind blows through my fingers.

“Bran?”

“Natalia?”

I stiffen. No one ever calls me that except for my mom. “How’d you know my full name?”

“Read the luggage tag on your bag—Natalia Stolfi.”

 “Oh, right.” I shake my head and regroup. “Is it true you have no regrets, not even one?” Hopefully he has no idea how serious I am about his response.

“There’s no point.” His fingers tighten infinitesimally on the wheel. “The past is past. End of story.”

“Like whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?”

“No, that’s a dumb ass cliché. I mean there’s no meaning to life, despite what people pretend. Once I figured that out, everything got easier.”

“Has anyone ever said you are intense?”

“Since the day I was born.”

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Five Fast Facts about Lia Riley, author of UPSIDE DOWN (Off the Map #1)

1. UPSIDE DOWN is set primarily in Australia. What do you think it is about Australia that so captivates people’s imaginations? And why is Australia the perfect place for romance?

I jumped on a Qantas flight the month before my twenty-first birthday for a study-abroad trip. My expectations were simple: cross the equator, pass the International Date Line and rock out (er, study REALLY HARD) for six months. Instead, I discovered a place that has become my second home.

First and foremost, I love Australians. I mean that quite literally. I married one–the perfect souvenir! Generally speaking, Australians excel at dry wit and have one heck of an anti-authoritarian streak. To me, nothing is sexier than a sense of humor, and when the guy making the jokes has a hot accent and cheeky grin?  Life=made!

Secondly, to say that Australia’s landscape is dramatic is an epic understatement. The continent’s isolation has spawned animal, plant and human diversity that are like nowhere else on the planet. Even a quick jaunt into the wilderness yields a bone-deep sense that you are in an ancient place.

This is a country of extremes. When it’s hot, it’s bloody hot. When animals are poisonous, it means they can kill you with one bite. When there’s a storm rolling in from the Southern Ocean? Those waves are going to be huge.

So if you fall in love in such a place? Buckle up–the ride’s going to be intense.

 

 

2. What are three words describe your hero? Heroine?

The three words I’d choose for Bran are:

  • Temperamental
  • Perceptive
  • Magnetic

The three words I’d choose for Talia are:

  • Sensitive
  • Playful
  • Self-deprecating

3. Can you describe your book in five words or less?

Offbeat. Witty. Wanderlust. Heart-searching. Chemistry.

4. What did you do before writing?

Drink less! I kid, I kid. But if you ever want to see a KICKASS Michael Jackson lip-synch, slip me a bottle of tequila. I can “Man in the Mirror” you to tears. I have worked in non-profit middle management, as a legislative assistant, and barista. I’m pretty sure my mom believes I still “pour coffee.”

5. What’s your dream travel destination?

I have a massive Antarctica fetish (I’ve been once. A penguin sat on my lap. Yes, it was bliss). My ultimate trip would be to South Georgia Island smack dab in the Southern Ocean. I’d also love to visit Madagascar, Iceland, Svalbard, Palau…islands are sort of my thing.

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Lia

Lia Riley

Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn’t mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.

She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

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Book Review ~ ‘After the Rain’ by Karen-Anne Stewart.

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‘After the Rain’ by Karen-Anne Stewart
The Rain Series #3
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

After the Rain (Rain #3) by Karen-Anne Stewart

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SYNOPSIS

Finally able to put her harrowing past to rest, Raina looks forward to her future with Kas, but the Ghost has other plans. As the FBI team gets closer to taking down the largest human trafficking ring in the modern world, the Ghost begins a wicked game, making Raina the pawn and the target. Never before encountering a worthy adversary, he’s fascinated by Raina and is enjoying the refreshing challenge of her intellect.
The danger ignites to a blazing new level, and Kas struggles between the need to finally exorcise the Ghost and his need to protect his wife.

Tension mounts as an internal battle wages, tormenting Kas as he watches Raina put her all into taking down the man responsible for horrific sex slavery and gruesome deaths. When a new player takes control, Jefferson orders the end of the Ghost’s game with Raina, which results in one final, devastating act, leaving Kas desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to save her…by whatever means necessary.

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Book Review ~ ‘After the Rain’ by Karen-Anne Stewart ~ 5 Stars!

This series holds a special place in my heart, which is why it has taken me so long to write my review for ‘After the Rain’, the last book in the Rain Series. In some ways I didn’t want to let go of the story and kept holding on to it unable to put into words how much this story spoke to me.

Kas and Raina’s story was one that has really made a change to my life and the way I view the world. Having suffered from severe depression for the last two years, I had lost faith in the world, and at times humanity, but Raina’s amazing growth throughout this trilogy gave me hope for myself. Raina’s strength in the face of adversity spoke to me, and showed that if someone loves you, they will be there for you always, and will never hurt you. The man that Kas became throughout his relationship with Raina was beautiful to witness, his protectiveness, his pure love, his devotion, everything just had me wishing for my own Kas. I just loved the utter devotion between the two of them, and never once did I fear that they wouldn’t make it, I loved having such certainty in their love that I didn’t fear that their relationship would turn sour. It was truly amazing, and I still tear up when I think of their loving, supportive and flirty relationship, and when I think of the strong, independent woman that Raina by the strength of Kas’ love.

The forensic aspect of this story was put together just as brilliantly as in the last two books. Book two ended on a cliffhanger that had me almost pulling my hair out, and I moved onto book three in a second, on the edge of my seat. Karen-Anne Stewart has an amazing writing style that just draws me in and completely consumes me. When I was reading these books, I lost all track of time, and when I had to go to work, my mind was still lost in Kas and Raina’s world, thinking about the characters, the riddles that they faced in their investigation of ‘The Ghost’, and a nervous excitement at the amazing story I knew was to come.

The investigations that the police department were working on were written to perfection, with just the right amount of mystery, and the answers being given to the reader in little bites throughout the book, and not dumped on the reader at the end where it can sometimes seem like an information overload. Everything was explained so subtly, yet clearly that I had no trouble following the thrilling storyline, and didn’t once feel that there were too many elements to the case. Sometimes with these sorts of stories, so many connections are risen, and I struggle to see how they all fit, but Karen-Anne Stewart balanced this perfectly.

This story is just utter perfection, and I know that this will definitely be one of my ‘re-read every year’ series.

5 Stars and a definite recommended read.

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Karen-Anne Stewart

~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Website ~

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Cover Reveal ~ ‘Just You’ by Jane Lark.

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Just You by Jane Lark
(Starting Out #2)
Published by: Harper Impulse
Publication date: May 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Just You
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SYNOPSIS
The morning after the New Year’s Eve before…

Waking up to a new year with a killer hangover and hazy memories of a seriously hot hook-up the night before leaves Portia in an awkward situation… Did I, or didn’t I? The only way she’s going to find out is by standing up to the guy in question.

With no regrets, Justin is willing to play the gentleman and save Portia her embarrassment. Only then he gets a text saying, come over… and he’s not gonna lie – this is friends with a lot of benefits!

But no matter how good the sex is, there’s one thing Justin’s not down with: being this shallow rich girl’s dirty little secret…

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Book 1 will be on sale for 1.99$ until the end of March!

‘I Found You’

To see my review for ‘I Found You’ click here
 Pre-Order ‘Just You’
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 Jane
Jane Lark
Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult romance and author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Novel,’The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, as well as a Kindle overall Top 25, bestselling author.

She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.

Now Jane is writing a Regency series as well as contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last.

You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality.

Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses these to create more realistic plots.

‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’

Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.

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Cover reveal organised by Xpresso Book Tours.
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Book Blitz ~ ‘Carina Press’ New Adult Collection’.

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Carina Press’ New Adult Book Blitz
Meet Carina Press’ New Adult Authors
Four New Adult Stories

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Stephanie Tyler

Redemption

Latest Release: Redemption (Defiance #2)

 SYNOPSIS

Matthias Robichaud is looking for an alliance. The Defiance motorcycle club is a stronghold in the dangerous world that’s become the new norm and he’s driven to prove he’s tough enough to be sworn in as a full member. But when he sees a beautiful, spirited girl abducted by a rival MC, rescuing her jeopardizes all he’s worked for.

Politician’s daughter Jessa Everson knows what’s expected of her—obedience, loyalty and silence—but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t fight when she’s kidnapped by the Lords of Vengeance. Having Matthias save her is like gaining an avenging angel in leather and tattoos. But Defiance is known for brutal justice, and she may have just traded one bad situation for another.

Matthias’s urge to protect is too strong to ignore, no matter how much trouble Jessa brings to Defiance’s gates. There’s no room in the post-Chaos world for weakness so if Matthias and Jessa have any chance of surviving, they’ll need to put their full strength behind the MC…and hope that the MC will do the same for them.

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~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~

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 StephanieTyler

Stephanie Tyler

New York Times Bestselling author Stephanie Tyler writes what she loves to read – romantic suspense novels starring military heroes and paranormal romance novels novels starring warrior heroes, all complete with happy endings. She also co-writes as Sydney Croft. She lives in New York with her husband, her kids and her crazy Weimaraner, Gus.

For more information on Stephanie, please visit www.stephanietyler.com or email her at stephanie@stephanietyler.com.

For more information on Sydney, please visit www.sydneycroft.com or email Sydney at sydney@sydneycroft.com

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Kristine Wyllys

WildONes

Latest Release: Wild Ones (The Lane #1)

 SYNOPSIS

Bri Martin likes her skirts too short, her heels too high, and trouble close at hand. So when big, brooding underground boxer Luke Turner comes into the bar where she works and starts a fight before she brings his first drink, she can’t help being intrigued. Luke is everything she never wanted and everything she can’t resist.

Soon, Luke is showing up everywhere Bri is, and she can’t break free of his hold on her, nor does she want to. When her best friend turns on her, it’s Luke who is there. When  Luke’s opponent comes after her to send Luke a message, it’s he who comes to her rescue.

Before Bri knows it, she’s caught in the midst of a rivalry between her boyfriend and her boss, both of whom are not content to settle their scores inside the ring. She swore she’d never live this life, so like the one she once ran from. But only by confronting her past can she decide where her future lies…and whether Luke can be a part of it.

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~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~

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Kristine


Kristine Wyllys

Kristine Wyllys, who usually answers to, “Hey, You! With the Hair!” was born in the north and now resides in the northern version of the Carolinas. She lives in a farmhouse older than she is, with a bunch of property that makes her spontaneously break out in Dixie Chicks songs every time she looks out the back door. She’s got babies, books, a boy that she fell in love with at 15, and a dog that might be a lesbian. She spends her spare time naming chickens after Harry Potter characters, breaking smart phones, and blogging.

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Playlist

Kristine’s Playlist for ‘Wild Ones’

Ideas come from everywhere for writers, I think. The world is full of prompts, they surround us. We find them in dusty photo albums, from our own experiences, squinting at a familiar sight and asking, “What if?” We’re hardwired to look at the ordinary and see the impossible.  We reach out and snatch up those ideas, then cradle them close to their chests, and build worlds around them. It’s a glorious, mad process, and we live and breathe for it.

For me personally, so many of my ideas come from music. In fact, music is a crucial part of my writing process in general. Before I ever sit down and write the first sentence, I set up The Playlist. Every story I spin has one, a soundtrack that plays in the background while I bleed onto the page, pushing sweaty hair out of my eyes as I play God to characters born in my head. I need The Playlist. If I don’t have it, the story doesn’t work. I can’t breathe life into it. There’s something about music that brings it all together for me.

For my WILD ONES, The Playlist was a fluid thing, changing as often as the story did while I was writing it. But a few songs stayed constant, shifted with the story, and helped shape what WILD ONES is today.

Luke Turner is a big, brooding boxer boy with a past as mysterious as he is. Bri Martin doesn’t know much about his life before she meets him; where he came from or what put him in an underground ring, making his money shedding the blood of others. In earlier drafts, I explored Luke’s back story a little, gave more insight on this scarred powerhouse with bruised knuckles, but in the end, it was cut because I liked Luke being an enigma. I wanted their future to be the focus and I felt that was who Luke was. A boy who moved forward and didn’t look back. His past wasn’t who he was, it was where he was going that mattered.

In those early drafts, “The Boxer” by Jerry Douglas and Mumford & Sons was the song I listened to on repeat to get a handle on Luke. I envisioned him as this poor boy that came from nothing and saw his chance to be someone. I still think of Luke whenever I hear that song, though it no longer fits when defining who he is as a character. In the end, “The Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes ft Ryan Tedder became the track that played in the background whenever he entered the scene:

“Until the referee rings the bell
Until both your eyes start to swell
Until the crowd goes home
What we gonna do ya’ll?
Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life ’til we’re dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter
Here comes the fighter”

 

That’s my Luke. A fighter in every sense of the word. A boy who wears his scars proudly, because he fought for each one.

Bri, on the other hand, is a girl who is shaped by her past. As much as she likes to pretend it didn’t affect her, it molded her into who she is today. If Luke wears his scars proudly while plunging forward, Bri hides hers, shoving every reminder of how she got them away. She’s scrappy and messy and loud, but all of that is a defense mechanism she uses to hide the damage and fears. Bri lives in the moment, living her sinner life minute to minute, doing her best to not look forward or back for fear of what she’ll find there.

Bri became two songs on The Playlist. “Barton Hallow” by The Civil Wars, (“Ain’t going back to Barton Hollow, Devil gonna follow me e’er I go. Won’t do me no good washing in the river. Can’t no preacher man save my soul”) because of her belief that she’d never really escape the doomed stars she was born under, convinced that her crumbling, concrete life was as close to heaven as she’d get, and was okay with that. “Thin Line” by honeyhoney became the other because it was just so Bri. She’s a hell raiser who will always save herself and is forever walking a thin line.

“Cause I want whiskey when I’m sick,

And a man when I’m well,

But it’s nice to have them both sometimes,

When I feel like raising hell.
So don’t try and save me,
I’ll be just fine.
Oh, I’m getting used to walking on a thin line”

For the two of them together, “Off to the Races” by Lana del Rey became their song. It fits them perfectly. In fact, their entire story feels a little like a Lana del Rey song to me. Breathy and sweet but also messy and biting. Listening to Lana sing that “My old man is a tough man but he’s got a soul as sweet as blood red jam. And he shows me, he knows me, every inch of my tar black soul. He doesn’t mind I have a flat broke down life, in fact he says he thinks it’s what he might like about me, admires me, the way I roll like a Rolling Stone” was like hearing Bri sing it. Though if I were to guess, I’d say Bri has a horrible singing voice.

These were the main songs, but there were so many more. Over two hours worth, in fact. If you’re interested, (and a US resident, I guess? I’m told that some Canadians have issues accessing Spotify) you can check out the list in its entirety here: Wild Ones. And next time you’re listening to music, pay attention. Who knows what story will call out to you from that space between the lyrics.

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Stina Lindenblatt

 TellMeWhen

Latest Release: Tell Me When

SYNOPSIS

Amber Scott should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class.

She shouldn’t be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn’t be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn’t be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid.

But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she’ll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she’d never be able to again.

When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her. And Amber is determined to protect Marcus…even if that means pushing him away.

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Stina Lindenblatt

Stina Lindenblatt lives in Western Canada, where she loves to dream up New Adult and Young Adult stories, especially those with romance. She loves to travel, and has lived in England, the US, Canada, and Finland. She has a Master’s of Science degree in exercise physiology and has worked with elite athletes. In her free time, Stina enjoys photography, especially the close-up variety. She is the author of TELL ME WHEN (01/20/14).

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10 Things Every Aspiring Writer Would Know by Stina Lindenblatt

1. Rejections aren’t the end of the world, even if they feel that way at the time. They’re like a dare. A dare from the agent or editor to challenge yourself to be a better writer and storyteller.

2. Rejections don’t mean your story sucks. It might just mean it’s not the right story for that agent or editor. Even Stephen King and J.K. Rowling received rejections. Hard to believe, huh?

3. Social networking isn’t a waste of time. It’s fun. It’s a chance to meet new friends who will later be your biggest supporters. Did I mention it’s fun?

4. Remember the saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? Well, it applies to EVERYTHING in publishing. Don’t put all your hopes on landing your dream agent (query others who are looking for your genre). Don’t focus on only one social networking platform (on the other hand, you don’t want to dilute your efforts by being on ALL of them. That’s too exhausting). Don’t…well see #5 for this don’t.

5. It’s so easy to fall in love with your first story and not move on. You keep polishing it, even after you’ve started querying. An agent sends you a form rejection with nothing more than ‘not for me’ as the reason for the rejection, and you tweak the manuscript some more. It’s time to move on. Your first baby is out there, flapping its wings, hoping to catch the wind for a safe landing. Great. Now get to work on your next novel. If you plan to self publish, your next project can be a sequel. If you plan to go the traditional route, start a project that has nothing to do with the first book. There’s no guarantee your first book will be published, and you’re only wasting time working on a sequel if it doesn’t sell.

6. It’s rare that a writer will land a publishing contract with her first manuscript. For me, it was my fifth. I didn’t finish editing all of them. Some I realized wouldn’t stand a chance in the competitive market, and I shelved them. I considered each book practice for the next one. And with each book, I strived to do better than the last. That attitude shouldn’t change once you’re published.

7. Enjoy each stage of the process. Focus on the journey and not on the destination. And while you’re at it, figure out what success means to you, but pick something obtainable. Everyone wants to be a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, but not everyone will be one. If that’s what you’re striving for, and only focus on that, you’ll miss out on what writing all is about—touching the hearts of your readers and writing the stories that are important to you.

8. Read. Read. Read. Don’t just read in your genre. You might get a brilliant, fresh idea from reading a different genre. And don’t forget to read lots of crafts books on different aspects of writing. All of this will help you grow as a writer.

9. Do. Not. Plagiarize. Chances are great you will be caught, especially if you plagiarize from bestselling authors. Their fans will recognize the prose and will call you out on it, which I can guarantee will go viral. It won’t sell books; it will kill your writing career.

10. Live your life. Spend time with your friends and family. Have fun! Because one day you will land a publishing contract and with that comes DEADLINES. Yes, these are the dreaded dates that tend to be scheduled for when you’re away on vacation (been there) or when your kids are off from school (been there, too).

Is there anything you wish you had known when you first started writing with the goal of publication?

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Danube Adele

QuickSilverDreams

 Latest Release: Quicksilver Dreams (Dreamwalkers #1)

SYNOPSIS

My name is Taylor, and damn but my life changed overnight. One moment I was just a regular girl working two jobs to pay my bills, and next thing you know, I’m uncovering secret metal disks at my boss’s house. Now I’m reading minds, dream-walking and being saved from bad guys by Mr. Dark and Brooding.

That would be Ryder Langston, my new next-door neighbor. He’s sex on legs, but he’s also a secret agent from another world—no joke. I believe him now, because he dragged me back here “for my protection” after he discovered someone was trying to assassinate me on Earth. It isn’t working out so well.

There’s a war going on, one that’s been fought for generations. Ryder’s having trust issues (not that it’s stopping us from falling into bed), and it turns out I’m connected here, if you know what I mean. The target on my back finally makes sense, but there’s nowhere left to hide…

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Danube Adele

Danube Adele wrote her first romance at the age of seven when she penned the sweet story of her dogs falling in love and having puppies together. She’s been dreaming up romantic tales ever since. A lifetime resident of southern California, she spends time playing at the beach, camping in Joshua Tree National Park, and hiking Mammoth Mountain. Always a lover of adventure, she and her husband took their sons on a cross country road trip to Florida and back in an old VW Westfalia, that had no A/C, in the month of July, and still, it continues to be the best trip they ever took. Extensive travel and trying new things has kept the creative spark alive. Danube lives in Claremont with her biggest fans, her loving husband, amazing and wonderful identical twin sons, and a teddy bear of a Rottweiler.

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Prizes – Open INT

2 lucky winners will win this prize pack:

*Ecopy  – Stephanie Tyler – Redemption: A Defiance Novel (book 2 in trilogy)*
*Ecopy  – Danube Adele – Quicksilver Dreams (book 1 in Dreamwalkers series)*
*Ecopy  – Kristine Wyllys  – Wild Ones (book 1 in The Lane series)*
*Ecopy  – Stina Lindenblatt  –  Tell Me When (book 1 in new series)*
*One $25 Amazon gift card*

Enter below for the chance to win.

~ A Rafflecopter Giveaway ~

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Book Blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours.

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