Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Blast and Giveaway: The Other Me by Suzanne van Rooyen

Title: The Other Me
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: 19 Dec, 2013
Length: 216 pages
Genre: YA, LGBT, contemporary


Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she's an alien. She doesn't fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he's perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn't find out she's a freak.
As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.
But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel's baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.


Barnes & Noble:

"The Other Me is a story that will stay with me for a long time. This is what YA should be and Van Rooyen has that uncanny ability to wedge you inside the heads of her characters where you will feel all their pain, love, joy and sorrow. I cannot recommend this book enough if you’re looking for a story that will challenge your preconceptions.” – Nerine, You Gotta Read Reviews

"This book is a great new contemporary read, so different from everything else that's out there, and it is brilliant! Suzanne van Rooyen does a brilliant job of crafting a story that is not only entertaining and engaging, but interesting and unique too.”– Myra, Pieces of Whimsy

"I loved Suzanne Van Rooyen's writing style. It made reading her words so easy. Her characters came across as incredibly real. Add all of that into the uniqueness of the stories subject and The Other Me turned out to be a book that I absolutely loved. So much in fact that I would love to read more of these characters.” – Tracey, YA Book Addict"


Suzanne is a tattooed story-teller and peanut-butter addict from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance and music to middle-schoolers or playing in the snow with her shiba inu. She is rep'd by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: Mended by Kim Karr



Always in control, Xander Wilde considered life on the road to be a perfect fit for him. But when disaster strikes on the Wilde Ones’ latest tour, fate intervenes…and a newly single Ivy Taylor, the only girl he has ever loved, steps back into his life.

After moving past her painful breakup with Xander years ago, Ivy was poised to become the next big name in pop music…when suddenly she withdrew from the limelight—the same day she announced her engagement to her controlling agent, Damon Wolf.

Xander knows he should keep his distance. But once they’re on the road, he can’t resist pursuing her for a second chance. Yet a jealous Damon can’t let her go—and he’s keeping dangerous secrets that could destroy them all.

When the three of them come together, everything falls apart. But if Xander and Ivy can hold tight to the bond that connects them, they just might have a chance at reclaiming the powerful love they thought they had lost forever.


4 out of 5 stars

I have discovered another series to add to my guilty-pleasure summer reading list.  Yippee!!!

Mended is the third book in the Connections series and tells the story of Xander and Ivy.  I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed when I learned of the change because I felt such an emotional pull towards River and Dahlia in the first two books, that I wasn't sure I'd be able to...ahem...connect...with a change in cast.  Connect...Connected series...see what I did there?!?!  ( is really early and I haven't finished my coffee yet).  Plus, the little bit I learned about Xander in the first two books didn't really excite me and well, I'm a bit stubborn.  BUT, I started reading and realized that maybe I need to be a bit more open-minded because sometimes change is good.

I've made no secret of my love of second chance romances and that is what we get in Mended.  Together in high school and torn apart by secrets and circumstances beyond their control, Xander and Ivy's paths cross again when they least expect it.  He is reeling from the news that the band has lost their lead singer for an undetermined amount of time if not forever, and she is engaged to a man that she doesn't love.

And the best part?!?!  Even after years of being apart and living different lives, neither one of them has been able to forget the other.

Now don't get me wrong, seeing each other again did not result in them frolicking around in the woods like that god awful scene in New Moon.  It opened old wounds and bad memories.  It piled on the guilt and exposed deceit that had long since been buried.  Basically, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows and puppies.  Ivy was bitter and rightfully so.  Xander did what he thought he needed to do and now is faced with those decisions coming full circle all the while holding hands with ghosts from his past.  I mean, how good does this book sound?!?!

Now this is where the beauty of second chances comes in.  People grow up.  They mature, they change, they realize that the impulses that make sense at 17 and 18 seem ridiculous in hindsight.  They learn to communicate and tell the truth...well, most of the time.  And as the tangled webs and knots woven all those years ago start to unravel, Xander and Ivy begin to find their way back towards each other and towards the truth.

Mended has everything.  Love, romance, lies, manipulation, chemistry, tears, frustration, secrets, thrills, flutters, happiness, a slow burn,...everything that I look for in a good romance.  Xander grew as a character and I enjoyed reading his story.  I look forward to continuing with the series and reading more by Kim Karr.   


Kim Karr is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of romance, including her sexy New Adult romance series, Connections.  She describes herself as wearing a lot of hats–writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all-around go-to person of the family.  However, she always finds the time to read.  She believes in soul mates, kindred spirits, true friends and Happily-Ever-Afters, and loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.  Kim lives in Florida with her husband and four kids.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: Behind the Scandal by M.A. Stacie


Sent to the family ranch to overcome his addiction, Taylor Reese is angry and hurt. Feeling rejected by his father and brother, Taylor throws himself into ranch life to help him forget. But it isn’t long before it hits him hard how much his life has spiraled out of control, leaving him floundering and looking for a lifeline.

Libby Karlin is cautious, wary of Taylor’s presence. Her dark past makes her reluctant to let anyone near her family. But after Taylor strikes up a friendship with her son, Libby finds herself drawn to the sadness within him. His experiences are no secret to her, though she keeps her own buried until a knock on her door has her gasping for breath.

Could dealing with their pasts really give them a future?

4 out of 5 stars

After I finished the first book in this series, Beneath the Surface, I couldn't stand Taylor Reese.  I thought he was spoiled and smarmy and slimy and a train wreck waiting to happen.  So....when I found out that this book was HIS story...well, I was a little worried.

Now keep in mind that I have read a fair share by M.S. Stacie and I know her way with words and she has yet to lead me wrong...but Taylor??? Really???

Behind the Scandal picks up after Taylor has moved to his uncle's farm to get his life straightened out.  Forced by his father to endure an eternity a few months of manual labor, clean air, and detox, Taylor is determined to be miserable.  So much so that his middle name might as well have been hateful.

Enter Libby.

She is everything that Taylor seems to hate -- though to be fair, he is determined to hate everything and everybody.  A feisty strong-willed red head, she doesn't put up with his attitude towards the life she has come to love on the farm.  She handles everything he dishes out and gives it back without backing down. 


Once Taylor realizes that he can't walk all over her and get whatever he wants, things begin to change.  She is a challenge for him and maybe that's what Taylor needs - instead of using drugs as a way to escape, he now has something to work for.

One thing I really appreciated about this book is that there wasn't the insta-love that seems to be everywhere these days.  Sure there was insta-attraction (as much as they both wanted to ignore it), but this wasn't an "I hated you an hour ago but now I can't live my life without you" story.  Libby has scars and a son that she protects with everything she has - especially from a recovering addict.  Because of his childhood, Taylor hardly knows what a normal relationship of any kind is like.  Before they can be in ANY kind of relationship, they have to figure out how to even live on the same farm.

Now, that being said, once the spark catches...

And this is the time where I admit that I was wrong about Taylor and that over the course of the story I begin to understand him and realize that he maybe isn't the horrible man that I was convinced he was in the beginning.  Growth, people.  Growth.

So yeah, make sure you add this one to your to-read list.  It will be published at the end of July -- so you have plenty of time to read the Beneath the Surface while you wait.  You won't regret it.    

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Book Trailer -- Tease by Sophie Jordan

A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She’s always chosen her hook-ups carefully, and she’s never broken her three cardinal rules:

· Never let them see the real you.

· Never fall in love.

· Always leave them begging for more.

Then comes Shaw. A hottie from the wrong side of the tracks, he’s immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn’t even try to take her to bed-he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy dark-eyed bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.

But instead of making Shaw beg, she finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she’s throwing out her rulebook. Suddenly, she’s the one panting for a guy she can’t control. A guy who won’t settle for anything less than the real Emerson, who forces her to do things she’s never imagined, including facing a past she thought she’d buried.

A guy who just might leave her wanting more . . .

Sophie Jordan is an international and New York Times bestselling author whose books include historical romances and the Firelight series. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-television shows. She lives in Houston.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hearts in Harmony by Gemma Brocato - Review and Giveaway

Title: Hearts In Harmony (A Five Senses Novel Book #2)
Author: Gemma Brocato
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publish Date: May 5, 2014
Publisher: Lyrical an imprint of Kensington
Tour Organized by Literati Author Services 


Pippa Sanders’ life is filled with songs of leaving, longing and loneliness. Since the death of her husband, her children have been her world. She’ll do anything to protect them, including encasing her heart in ice until they’re college age. She’s made a practice of shying away from any relationship that could break her heart when it ends. And it’s worked so far.
Clay Mathers has made a temporary move to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts to help with his mother’s Christmas tree farm while she recovers from a stroke. Although his long-range plans don’t include staying in the small town, a little female companionship during his short residency would be welcome. While on duty as sentry against protestors at a military funeral, he finds Pippa visiting her husband’s grave, and begins a campaign to make her into a friend–with benefits.
What starts as a simple affair evolves to something more, something that changes the soundtracks of both their lives…the beating of two hearts in harmony. CONTENT WARNING: Contains strong language, hot sex and a spicy hero.

3 out of 5 stars

So many of the books I read focus on the emotions and flutters of first loves. They are my go-to. But every now and again, I will read a book that deals with second chances. And that is what I found in Hearts in Harmony.

Pippa Sanders is a ridiculously strong woman. After her husband was killed in combat, she is left alone, 4 months pregnant (with twins, no less) and completely heartbroken. But she doesn't let it break her and she throws her heart and soul into being there for her children. Heart and soul, all in, 100%...her children are her life. Her devotion to her kids is completely admirable...and maybe a little bit of a defense mechanism.

When an uncomfortable situation at her husband's grave site results in a chance meeting...and heated exchange...with Clay Mathers, the beginnings of a crack develops in the wall Pippa has so carefully constructed and maintained. And when she realizes that maybe she is feeling things she hasn't felt in a very long time, it completely throws her for a loop.

And that's where this book gets fun.

I'll admit, Clay irked me at first. He is brash and arrogant and completely just...obnoxious. Very much a speak before he thinks character. And I did NOT like him at first. In fact, I almost had to stop reading. But I kept going and before I realized what had happened, I started to think that maybe he wasn't the #&%$ that he first seemed to be.

Oddly enough, it was Clay's interaction with Pippa's twins that made me look at him in a different light. And normally, I am not a fan of kid characters in the books I read - they remind me of child actors in Soaps. BUT...that's just me and the fact that I found myself enjoying the scenes with the twins was a pleasant surprise.

(I promise that I'm not an absolute ogre like I seem to be in the previous paragraph - I really do like children :) )

All in all, I am very happy that I didn't stop reading and that I that I didn't let my initial impression of Clay deter me from their story. I guess where I'm going with this is that second chances can be pretty awesome. And if you are in the mood for a fun, spicy read this summer, add Hearts in Harmony to your to-read list.




Gemma's favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a 'round tuit,' and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she'd write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to 'Dear Author' were gratifying. After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author. Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.



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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Book Blast: Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

Love and Leftovers
by Sarah Tregay
Paperback Re-Release: 05/13/14
Katherine Tegen Books


My wish is to fall 
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy love
(If only it were that easy.)

When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father. By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up.

But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive.
What does it feel like, really? Can you even know it until you've lost it?

Available from:

Raised without television, Sarah Tregay started writing her own middle grade novels after she had read all of the ones in the library. She later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When she's not jotting down poems at stoplights, she can be found hanging out with her "little sister" from Big Brothers Big Sisters. Sarah lives in Eagle, Idaho with her husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots. Her next book, Fan Art, will be released in June.

When My Mother Takes an Ambien
I have eight hours to devote to whatever I choose.

Some nights, I take her laptop down to the end of the lane
to pick up a Wi-Fi signal from the neighbors,
IM Katie, and watch Linus’s music videos,
while I perch on the rock wall.

Other nights, I sit facing the glowing coals
and read steamy romance novels that Aunt Greta has left behind.

Without Mom to tell me
to get off the computer,
or to come inside unless I want West Nile
I can hang out with my friends (online).

Without Mom to tell me
that weak female characters
are the result of an unimaginative author,
I can read about women who go weak in the knees
at the sight of a cowboy in Levis
and nothing else.

But most of the time
I write poems in this blue notebook
I feel free
when Mom is out cold.


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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ransom by Rachel Schurig - Book Blitz and Giveaway

Ransom by Rachel Schurig
Publication date: April 28th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


**The first book in a brand new series from USA Today bestselling author Rachel Schurig. This New Adult Contemporary Romance novel is a complete story with no cliffhanger.**

Daisy Harris has no reason to suspect that her day will be any different than usual. She’ll go to class, alone. She won’t speak or make eye contact. She’ll spend her entire day doing her best to go completely unnoticed. That’s what life is like for Daisy now—an endless cycle of loneliness and fear. A life lived hiding behind the walls she so faithfully maintains.

Then she sees it. A magazine, left behind in class. A simple picture—just his face. And it changes everything.

It’s been a year since she’s seen Daltrey Ransome. A year since he and his brothers left town to pursue their dreams of rock and roll superstardom. A year since he left Daisy behind—left her to watch as everything she knew crumbled around her. She’s been running from Daltrey ever since, desperate to keep her secret.

But she can’t run anymore. And now that Daltrey has found her—the girl he’s loved his entire life, the girl he’d give up everything for—he’s determined never to let her go again.

Rachel Schurig lives in the metro Detroit area with her dog, Lucy. She loves to watch reality TV and she reads as many books as she can get her hands on. In her spare time, Rachel decorates cakes. Her THREE GIRLS series is available now from Amazon!

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