27 May 2015

Cover Reveal: Stairs to you by Christy Dilg

Stairs to you
by Christy Dilg.
Audience/Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: 2015.
Archer "Dare" Andrews has a love of two things, classic cars and his best friend, Atlanta.
He has always been on the sidelines of both until a beautiful blonde woman proposes an opportunity of a lifetime.
Atlanta Reed is living a musician lifestyle from playing on Music Row, to touring the country. This small town girl lives a big city life, except when she in her apartment listening to old records.
Tragedy strikes and lands Atlanta in a coma. With only a single flight of stairs between them. Will they find their way to each other?

I am standing on the dance floor next to a dozen screaming girls near the front of the stage. My best friend, Atlanta Lane Reed is singing her new single "Flying" while the entire room is chanting the lyrics, word for word along with her. We have been best friends since we were five years old and our parents enrolled us at the local daycare. I will never forget when she strolled into the playroom with her chestnut brown hair, sectioned in pigtails dangling in front of her, and the way her glassy blue eyes peaked up at me as I handed her my yellow transformer action figure. Here we are sixteen years later and she still has no indication that I am insanely in love with her and have been ever since she stole my juice box all those years ago at lunchtime. She was a bully, but for the most part, she always had my back unless there was something she wanted from me. What she didn't know was that I would have given her anything she desired if it was in my reach. I, Archer "Dare" Andrews, would give her everything even now.
Atlanta began singing on stage at the age of eight at our school talent show and her parents took notice, as well as the head of the chorus department. He immediately added her to part of the school choir and as a result, I joined the band so I could be near her. Drums were the only thing open that year, so I had no choice but to learn to play them if I wanted to be near her more. I followed through playing the drums until we graduated from high school, and no one ever knew how much I hated playing them. I spent my whole life doing something I loathed so I could be near her. I hoped that one day she would fall in love with me, or at least perceive me as more than her friend. All I needed was for her to look at me once without the friendship glasses on and fall head over heels for me. I have watched her go through boyfriend, after boyfriend and I even tried to find love somewhere else but no matter how hard I looked, it was her face that I saw when I closed my eyes at night.

Christy Dilg is a wife and a mother. She works full-time at the local hospital. Her favorite things to do are read, write, listen to music, and spend time with family and friends. When she was in her teens, she told her best friend that she wanted to be a writer. That was the first time she ever spoke the words aloud. Then at the age of 34, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and while battling the treatments she had time to stop and take a good look at her life and accomplishments. Something was missing. It was writing. Christy decided to not only live her life to the fullest, but also to embrace her love for storytelling. She self-published her first novel Sept. 10, 2013 and released a second novel almost a year later. She has interest in writing books from romance to biographies with the hopes of someday being traditionally published. She hopes that her writing inspires others to live their dreams regardless of the outcome. In December 2013, Christy was named to Amazon's Romance Editor's List of Fan Picks for Top Debut Author.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Such A Secret Place (Stolen Tears #1) by Cortney Pearson

Such A Secret Place (Stolen Tears #1)
by Cortney Pearson.
Audience/Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult.
Publication: April 1st 2015.
Raids splatter across the news–Arcaian soldiers are stealing magic left and right, using it against the people they steal it from.

When sixteen-year-old Ambry Csille’s brother gets taken in one of these raids, her utter fear and panic should be enough to invoke tears in any normal world. But for Ambry, tears are a thing of the past.

Because of a spell, people can no longer feel emotion; not enough to cry, and definitely not enough to defend themselves against the tyrannical soldiers stealing her people’s magic. A rare vial of enchanted tears chooses Ambry to reverse the spell, and soon she finds herself the target not only of the Arcaians, but of battle-scarred Talon Haraway, who wants the tears for his own reasons.

All Ambry wants is to rescue her brother, but when her tears get stolen, Ambry determines to work with Talon to get them back. Any day the Arcaians could drink her tears. Any day they’ll succeed at draining her people’s magic completely, and all hope will be gone—not only for her brother, but for her world.

Reviewed by Kelly

Have you ever seen the Star Wars Movie? You know how they have that little narrative first to explain what happened to their world so you kind of knew what was going on before the movie started? That’s what this book needed. I felt lost. And then, the swear words were made up words, which is okay but with all the different things going on, it had me more lost at first. I almost gave up.

As things went on, I got it and went on. There are still a few things I am lost with but I am glad I didn’t stop.
This is a world where there is no emotion. It was taken away. People are more zombie like. Their government steals the people’s magic which everyone has it and uses it against them to take away their emotion. Ambrey is the only one who doesn’t seem to have any magic. So she has emotion. She never got the magic like her other classmates did as children.

Talon, for example, came from a race that fights better. He was taken as a child before his training was complete and then was continued with his training by the government so he could teach their government his skills of fighting. Talon is after this vial of tears. Tears which no one has anymore because they haven’t much emotion. Tears that people can buy on the black market for some emotions. But the particular vial of tears that seems to call Ambrey is the same vial that Talon is looking for. The same vial that seems to call to Ambrey and won’t let her rest when they are suddenly taken from her, and demand she comes to get them back.

Talon realizes she knows where they are. Talon has left the government and the two now are outlaws searching in secret for the vial of tears. As they search, Talon teaches her how to fight and how to get her magic. When it comes to her, she is elated. On their quest however, Ambrey and Talon run into an old woman who changes everything for Ambry. Now Ambrey has more than one objective on her quest. And, Ambrey and Talon seem to be getting closer and closer to each other. Talon who never talks much is opening up to her.

Once she gets the tears back, everything changes again! No one can be trusted. And Ambrey doesn’t even think Talon really likes her anymore. She feels used.

If the author had given more information in the beginning, I would have given it five stars. I liked the idea of the book. I liked or hated the characters. I felt sorrow over some of the characters. I saw family and one family’s breakdown. There was magic and humor and sadness. There was action and adventure. There was romance. And there was a mild cliffhanger that demands my attention and desires and my impatience for the next book to come out now!! I hate waiting!

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Cortney Pearson is a book nerd who studied literature at BYU-Idaho, a music nerd who plays clarinet in her local community orchestra, and a writing nerd who creates stories for young adults. Cortney lives with her husband and three sons in a small Idaho farm town.

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Book Tour: Love Always, Damian (Love Always #2) by D. Nichole King

Love Always, Damian (Love Always #2)
by D. Nichole King.
Audience/Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance.
Publication: May 26th 2015 by Limitless Publishing.
They say time heals all wounds.

What a load of bull. It’s been four years, and Kate’s voice still echoes in my mind.

Every. Damn. Day.

I numb her memory when it taunts me. In college, I drown her out with booze and easy lays. I can’t do what she asked.

I can’t let her go.

Not even when Lia shows up, freaking ripping what’s left of me to shreds. Caring about someone isn’t worth the deadness that follows after they’re gone. I didn’t ask for this. Didn’t ask for her.

And I sure as hell didn’t plan to miss her when she walked out of my front door.

Now, if I want to keep her, I have to straighten myself out and earn her. I can’t screw this up.

Because if I do, I’ll lose more than just Lia.

I’ll lose my life.

**This book is New Adult and not recommended for those under 17 due to language and mature situations.

It takes me an hour to get to the cemetery. After Mom and Liam died, I never stepped foot here. Not until Kate convinced me to come. It had been one of her five wishes. One through three I’d done because she was with me. Because I loved her. I promised her number four, so I followed through. Number five, though?
Number five is impossible.
I come here often now—day, night, whenever I need to be close to her. Even in death, Kate draws me in. To this place where she’d only trodden once when she was alive.
I grab the three bouquets of flowers from the passenger seat and swing the door open. When Kate brought me here four years ago, I barely managed to get out of the car. Now it’s easy.
Too fucking easy.
I don’t even think about coming anymore. It’s automatic. Routine, like my nightly shots of whiskey.
It shouldn’t be like this. In three short years I lost the three people I loved most. Death sucks, and I’ve had my fill.
I slam the door closed and tread over the grass. The three identical stones jut up from the ground, and even when I’m here after dark, I don’t have a problem seeing them. They’re etched into my memory.
The idea to have Kate buried here beside my mother and brother was entirely mine and entirely selfish. The Browdys had asked me to help with her funeral arrangements, and other than the time of the graveside service, this had been my only request. This way she’d be close to me.
Shade from the elder tree casts a shadow over them. I stand inside its cover from the sun, facing the cold memorials. These pieces of granite have no real connection with the people they were.
Hell, they didn’t even pick them out. Didn’t see them, yet their names, dates of birth and death are etched into them as if they’d been owned by those they claim to represent.
Cemeteries—these stones—aren’t for the dead.
No, they’re for the living.
My gaze trails over the Celtic symbols engraved at the center of each one. Identical to the tattoos inked into my body. Faith. Brotherhood. Hope.
My eyes linger on Kate’s as they usually do, and the memory of when I’d given her the trinity heart necklace pours over me.
“It’s the Celtic symbol for hope. Now you’ll always know where to find it,” I’d told her.
Damn. I’d given it to her so she’d think of me whenever she needed me, but really, it was I who needed her.
I take a deep breath to hold myself together. I lost everything the day Kate died.
I rake a hand through my hair and shut my eyes. Out here, away from everyone, I don’t have to pretend that I have a fucking clue how to live without her.
Out here, it’s just me.
In front of Kate’s gravestone, I lower myself to the ground, dropping the flowers at my side. My chest is empty, yet somehow, it hurts. It’s the same damn thing year after year—aching to see her smile at me just one more time. One more and I’d be satisfied, I tell myself.
I know it’s a lie because one more smile from her would never be enough. I need to touch her, run my fingers over her warm skin and protect the hell out of her.
But I’m a failure. I had the power within me, in my blood, to save her, and I failed.
I can barely see the inches in front of me as I break down. Four years ago, my father sat here with me and told me the pain would never go away, but it would lessen over time.
What a load of bullshit; the pain has only grown.
“I miss you so damn much, Katie,” I say even though she can’t hear me. And that thought kicks me in the gut as much as anything. No matter what I say to her now, she’ll never know any of it.
I slide my fingertips over her name: Kathryn “Katie” Browdy. Seventeen short years on this earth and I only had her last months. They were the best months of my life.
I sit with her until the sun begins to send streaks of gold over the horizon. Even though Kate would be disappointed, I need to pick up more liquor before I head home. I have to have something to get me through this pain.
A gust of wind rustles the dead flowers I left on their graves last week. I scoop them up and replace them with the fresh ones I brought. Daisies for my mother, some generic flowers he wouldn’t give a shit about for Liam, and red roses for Kate.
Always red roses for my Katie.
“Love you, Mom,” I murmur, fanning out the daisies in the vase beside her headstone.
Then I move onto Liam’s. “Take care of my girl, man,” I tell him, then I remember how I’d taken care of his. “But if you touch her, I’ll fucking kill you.”
I squat down and lay Kate’s roses at the base of her stone. There’s nothing I could say to her that I haven’t already said a million times. So I settle for the words I couldn’t say until just before she died. “I love you, baby. I’ll always love you.”

Born and raised in Iowa, d. Nichole King writes her stories close to home. There's nothing like small-town Midwest scenery to create the perfect backdrop for an amazing tale.

She wrote her first book in junior high and loved every second of it. However, she couldn't bring herself to share her passion with anyone. She packed it away until one day, with the encouragement of her husband, she sat down at the computer and began to type. Now, she can't stop.

When not writing, d. is usually curled up with a book, scrapbooking, or doing yet another load of laundry.

Along with her incredible husband, she lives in small-town Iowa with her four adorable children and their dog, Peaches.

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. A man who never reads lives only one." --George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

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26 May 2015

Review: Saving Marilee by Annette K. Larsen

Saving Marilee by Annette K. Larsen.
Audience/Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Clean.
Source: Purchased
Publication: May 1st 2015 by Hidden Falls Publishing.
Marriage wasn't bliss—not for Marilee. Instead of finding contentment with the handsome son of a sovereign duke, she found betrayal and neglect. And fear. A fear that finally lifts when her husband dies, freeing her from his domineering hand. But freedom alone can't give her peace, and she must battle to regain her love for life, rebuild her happiness, and reclaim the ability to trust. When her charming neighbor intrudes on her quiet life, she must determine whether his interest is genuine, and whether he deserves the fragile bit of trust she has managed to scrape together. However, trusting is a risk, and she has vowed never to put herself at the mercy of someone else’s whims. Can Marilee take that chance, knowing how terribly she’s chosen before? She doesn’t know if she can survive being wrong again.

Reviewed by Kelly.

I like the premise of this story. Starting off with her husband's death, Marilee finds she isn't sad at all. He was cruel to her and kept her imprisoned in her room often and changed her colorful and happy wardrobe with high collars and stiff necks on plain colored clothing. He took away her vitality. He took the letters written to her and from her and hid them. This book demands to be read and find that life isn't always happily ever after in marriage. And those times were probably the worst. But there is always a silver lining waiting.

Right away, she fires all the staff who kept her locked up. She burns her husband's furniture she bought for him. She decides to learn to do things on her own. But in those times, it wasn't always possible. Her neighbor, James, came to offer his service to help in any way. Marilee wasn't trusting and enjoyed her new found freedom and solitude. Yet, she started to enjoy his company as well. James is so sweet and caring and very kind and although it is easy for the reader to see his love for her start to shine, she can't.

James will do whatever it takes and however long it takes to gain her trust and love. He isn't perfect as none of us are. But James is definitely a gentleman and a hero. I just sigh whenever he is in the room!!

Marilee tries to navigate her way through all the legal and societies expectations to find her way back to the happy person she was before even though she has forever changed by her past circumstances.

You will fall in love and you will root for Marilee and James and for Marilee to find herself again.

I love this series!

I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.

I have Charlotte Bronte to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to sacrifice what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but it the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it.

I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.

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Teaser Blitz: The Girl I Was Before (Falling #3) by Ginger Scott

The Girl I Was Before (Falling #3)
by Ginger Scott.
Audience/Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: June 23rd 2015.
I’m the selfish one. I suppose that’s the nicest thing people say about me. I’ve heard the other things, too. “Paige Owens is a pretty girl with nothing else to offer. She’s just a good time at a party. She’s stupid, heartless, cold and useless. All she cares about is getting a guy to look at her. Why would anyone want to be her friend?”

Some of those things are true. Others were true. They’re all hurtful.

None of it matters.

I’m ready to make the hard choices. I’m ready to face the consequences. I’m ready to be the girl I was before, and I’m done being the one who lost her way.

I’m ready to become the girl Houston Orr sees when he looks at me.

Houston isn’t a star athlete. He doesn’t play in a band. He’s never going to be president, and his life is so far away from simple and easy it isn’t even funny. He wasn’t part of my plan. But I’m starting to think plans are overrated, and maybe our stories are what we make them. And mine depends entirely on me, and the choices I make…starting now.

Houston is my fairytale. He’s perfectly imperfect. He’s poetry and life. He’s truth and heartbreak, all rolled up in a tall body with dark hair, broad shoulders and green eyes that lull me into submission. He’s nothing I ever thought I wanted, but the very thing I need. He’s the only guy I’ve ever really loved, and he thinks I’m a princess. I fell into him, and now I’m holding on.

But sometimes life takes away our ability to choose. Sometimes…things aren’t in your control. Sometimes, it hurts to be selfless. My only hope is that when it comes time to choose, I get it right.

Welcome to my once upon a time and wish for happily ever after.

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling author of eight young and new adult
romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How
We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, Wild
Reckless and The Girl I Was Before.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she
often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot
quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has
been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than
15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors,
scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work,
visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a
baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce
Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona
Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college
sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).

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