28 February 2015

Cover Reveal: Reft by Libby Austin

by Libby Austin.
Audience/Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: April 2015 by Infinity & Beyond Publishing.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. ~ Newton’s Third Law of Motion

Brandon “Brand” Carmichael’s life was the stuff dreams were made of…too bad it was an illusion. As a guitarist for Inert Motion, Brand traveled the world, performing with his brothers in all but blood. He never stopped moving all the while his mind played in a never-ending loop. Now outside influences have changed the band’s course, leaving Brand’s life void of the balance he craved. Once again, his dream had become a recurring nightmare. Brand coped the only way he knew how; retreat into solitude.

Magdalena “Layna” Delacroix had achieved the long sought goal of her Ph.D. in Psychology, but success came at a high cost: over one hundred thousand dollars in debt. After being presented with the opportunity to fulfill her desire to help someone in the aftermath of tragedy, along with earning enough money to clear her debt and start a psychology practice of her own, Layna had to balance the means against the outcome. Could she be the force to stop the downward spiral of someone who refused to seek help?

Neither Brand nor Layna expected the reaction they had to one another. It was the opposite of everything they sought.

Could Layna live a lie while pushing Brand to live in the truth?

Would Brand forgive her for committing the one unforgivable sin he couldn’t overlook?

Or was he branded by destiny to be Reft…

Thanks for the Memories is available FREE on Libby’s website: www.libbyaustin.com!!!!
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/thanks-memories-forever-day-Book-ebook/dp/B00SU31I5U/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 Plain text version.

One day some words came to mind, so I wrote them down. Soon the words became sentences, which formed paragraphs, which, in turn, formed chapters. Before long, those few words had become a book.

When I’m not reading or writing, I’m a wife, mother, and business owner. I’ve lived on both coast and few places in between, but as born and raised Southern girl, I’ll always believe there’s no place like home.

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27 February 2015

Book Tour & Giveaway: Langston's Daughters (The Lockwood Legacy, #1) by Juliette Harper

Welcome to my tour stop for Langston's Daughters by Juliette Harper. This is an adult contemporary mystery that is also very focused on family, small town and ranch life as well as some clean romance. This is the first in the series. It is appropriate for ages 16+.
The tour runs Feb. 23- March 6 with reviews, author interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for more information.

Langston's Daughters (The Lockwood Legacy, #1) by Juliette Harper.
Audience/Genre: Contemporary Romance.
Publication: December 3rd 2014 by Skye House Publishing .
Kate, Jenny, and Mandy. Langston Lockwood’s daughters. His tyranny drove them away. His suicide draws them home. They inherit his land, his millions, and his mysteries. Meet the women of the Rocking L and the men who come into their lives. Together, they begin the journey to discover the truth about The Lockwood Legacy. From the pain of the past they find the strength to build a dynasty.

Reviewed by Kelly.

We have 3 strong independent daughters of a man who killed himself. The girls are coming back to figure things out. Because their dad killed himself with his best Stetson on his head and his daughters know he would never ruin a good hat, so they investigate what happened.

Jenny and Mandy left home without thoughts of coming back. Kate owns the ranch next door to her late father’s. None of them had plans of returning to their birthplace as their dad was so mean to them, his late wife and everyone he knew. He was a money pincher, but he apparently invested well, because when they went for the reading of the will, he was very rich! Now, his girls would be rich if they live on the land for the rest of their lives. Jenny and Mandy don’t want to. Mandy has a city girl’s life now. Jenny has bad memories. Kate wants them to try and so they do. They made it work for them.

Meanwhile, there is some little sparks of romance here and there but the primary focus is on the girls and trying to figure out why their dad killed himself because nothing was making sense and the more they looked the more questions they had.

When you get to the end, the story is really going and the suspense was killing me and then bam, the end. Say what? It did not just do that to me!

The beginning of the book was slow for me. Towards the end I was devouring it. I will be reading the next one because those girls are spunky and I want to see what happens next.

Kate held her tongue until the fifth suitcase hit the ground. "Mandy, for God's sake, how many clothes can one woman need?"

When her baby sister flashed her that award-winning smile, the one that had taken her all the way to the stage of the Miss Texas Pageant, Kate softened in spite of herself. Mandy was a clothes horse, but she was a thoroughbred clothes horse and far too sweet for her own good.

"I wasn't sure what to wear to the . . . service," Mandy said, her voice cracking a little.

"Baby Sister, since when do you not know how to dress for the Methodist Church?"

Mandy's eyes brightened a little when Kate came down the walk and picked up three of the bags. "Think you can handle the other two, or are you afraid you'll break a nail?"

"Oh, these are acrylic."

"Of course they are," Kate said wryly.

Just as they turned to go up the walk, the sound of tires on the rough road made them look up. Jenny maneuvered the rented SUV behind Mandy's car and cut the engine. The instant she got out Kate said, "You shut the gate?"

Jenny's nerves were already strained. "When have I ever forgotten to shut the gate?" she snapped.

"You live in New York City," Kate countered.

"I grew up in Texas," Jenny shot back.

Mandy angled herself between the two of them and held up her hands. "Now you all stop. Just stop it. Daddy's not even in his grave yet and you're bickering like we were all teenagers again. You didn't ask me if I shut the gate, Katie, and I'm the one who left it open my freshman year and let all the kid goats loose in the road."

Jenny and Kate exchanged a knowing glance and then all three burst out laughing. "And Daddy made you round them up," Jenny said.

"Try to round them up," Kate corrected.

"I can still see her out there in that short skirt," Jenny snickered.

"Oh, come on y’all," Kate whined, in a perfect imitation of her baby sister's voice. "Please go back through the gate."

"Well, Daddy never made me work the stock the way you all did," Mandy said defensively, but with a grin. "I thought if i asked them nice like."

"You got a car full of suitcases, too?" Kate asked, shifting the weight of Mandy's bags in her arms.

"No, just carry on."

Jenny retrieved her bag from the backseat of the SUV and the three of them crossed the yard and stepped up on the porch. The interior of the house was dimly lit, the shades drawn against the afternoon sun, stirring faintly from time to time when a breath of breeze came along.

Without a word they each walked to their old rooms. When Mandy turned the knob and took a step into the room, she gasped, "Nothing's changed!"

"What, you expected Daddy to clean out a room?" Kate asked, moving past her and putting the suitcases down at the foot of the white canopy bed.

Mandy moved over to the dressing table and tentatively touched a desiccated homecoming mum corsage. "I didn't think he'd just shut the door."

"That's all he was ever good at," Jenny said from the hall, "shutting doors."

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Juliette Harper is the pen name used by the writing team of Patricia Pauletti and Rana K. Williamson. Like the characters of their debut series, The Lockwood Legacy, Juliette is a merging of their creative energies.

Pauletti, an Easterner of Italian descent, is an accomplished musician with an eye for art and design. Williamson, a Texan from a long line of hardheaded Scots, knows the world of the Lockwoods like the back of her hand.

“We decided to write under a pen name because neither one of us by ourselves could have created Kate, Jenny, Mandy, and their world,” says Pauletti. “Juliette is a little bit of us both. We want to be her when we grow up.”

“Patti teases me that I just don’t want to own up to writing a book with romance in it,” Williamson adds, “but that’s not true. I like the Lockwood women and the way they tackle everything life throws at them. And before we’re done, they’ll be ducking a lot. I imagine coming into the office every day and saying, ‘Okay Juliette, what’s going to happen now?’ She tells us, and we get it down on paper.”

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Drawn by Chris Ledbetter

by Chris Ledbetter.
Audience/Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication: June 8th 2015 by Evernight Teen.
Caught between the sweltering fall landscape of Wilmington, NC beaches and southern illusions and expectations, all sixteen year-old Cameron Shade thinks about is art. That, and for Farrah Spangled to view him as more than just a friend. Cameron longs to win her heart through art.

After several warm interactions with Farrah, including painting together at the beach, Cameron discovers just how complex Farrah’s life is with her boyfriend and her family. Following a tense run-in with Farrah’s father, she forbids Cameron to ever speak to her again, but Cameron’s convinced there’s more behind the request.

To impress Farrah with a last-ditch effort, Cameron sketches her portrait. But the sketchbook he uses hides a dark secret. Farrah’s now in grave danger because the sketch he drew of her siphons her real-life’s soul into the sketchbook. Cameron now has twenty days to extract Farrah. To save her, he must draw himself into the book.

If he fails… they both die.

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Chris Ledbetter grew up in Durham, NC before moving to Charlottesville, VA in 11th grade. After high school, he attended Hampton University where he promptly "walked-on" to the best drum line in the CIAA. And, without any prior percussion experience. He carried the bass drum for four years, something his back is not very happy about now.

After a change of heart and major, he enrolled in Old Dominion University and earned his degree in Business Administration. He's worked in various managerial and marketing capacities throughout his life. While teaching high school for six years in Culpeper, VA, he taught business management, business law, marketing, and sports marketing, and also coached football.

He has walked the streets of Los Angeles and New York City, waded in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and climbed Diamond Head crater on Hawaii and rang in the New Year in Tokyo, Japan. But he dreams of one day visiting Greece and Italy.

He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. As a self-described, young reluctant reader, he writes young adult stories specifically to reach other reluctant readers. As a participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program, he was blessed to be mentored by Suzanne Morgan Williams, 2012 SCBWI member of the year.

He now lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.

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26 February 2015

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Surf & Surrender (Summer Love #2) by Riley Edgewood

Surf & Surrender (Summer Love #2)
by Riley Edgewood.
Audience/Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance.
Publication: February 23rd 2015.
She wants to forget he ever existed. He’d never give up her memory.

Quinn Westwood is completely over Sawyer Carson. He broke her heart years ago and disappeared from her life without a word. So yeah. She’s over him. Never even thinks of him. In fact, she’s spending her college summer break surfing and lifeguarding in the Outer Banks, while nursing a bruised heart from a different relationship gone wrong. She doesn’t have room in her mind or heart for Sawyer—until she runs into him at a beach bonfire and the sparks that fly between them are way hotter than the flames heating the sand.

Sawyer never got over Quinn. The only thing stronger than what he feels for her is the secret keeping them apart, but sharing it would destroy more than just his life—it’d ruin hers, as well. Still, he can’t seem to keep away from her, can’t seem to keep his hands off of her soft, tempting skin. Especially since she has even less self-control when it comes to reigniting the physical side of what made them perfect together.

But secrets have a way of slipping out, and when Sawyer’s is revealed it threatens to shatter everyone involved. He’ll have to face walking away a second time, and Quinn will have to decide if fighting for him is worth it when the fallout could affect more than just her heart, but also those of the people she loves most.

Surf & Surrender is the second book in Riley Edgewood’s Summer Love series, but can be read as a stand-alone novel.


Whatever Danny's response was, it's drowned out by the sound of glass shattering and a loud shriek. We all turn toward the bonfire as a girl with long brown hair sprints in our direction, laughing as she passes us.
And behind her?
Sawyer Carson.
Shock is an iron collar tightening around my neck.
No. It's Novocain, making my face completely numb.
I recognize his stance before my gaze even gets to his face, and the sudden understanding of his shape is an electric cannonball slamming into my chest, where it sits still for a moment, ticking, ticking… The enormity of it is too heavy to leave room for breath.
Then we catch eyes, and the damn thing explodes in my veins.
The entirety of me buzzes. Under my skin. Vibrations. Jolts. They hurt.
They burn.
They thrill.

* 3 Things More Shocking Than Seeing Sawyer Again *

1. A strike of lightning.
2. A live electrical appliance dropped in water.
3. Nothing. Sawyer's face in front of me is the third most shocking thing there is.
It even beats out a defibrillator.
Though if my heart doesn't start beating again soon, I may need one.

* * * * * *

He's changed. Where he used to be lanky, he's toned. His skin looks like honey in the backlit glow of the fire, and his eyes are such a bright green, I can see their color even in the dark.
There's a tension in his posture, some dark thing coiled under his skin, barely kept in check. And whatever it is, it's all about me. He still hasn't looked away.
He's sexy as hell.
But I can't just stand here studying him. I need to move. To act. To do something.
For instance, breathe. I need to breathe.
So I do.

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Riley lives in the DC area and spends most of her time with her characters, playing with her toddler and husband, and pretending she knows how to be an adult. Former dancer. Current writer. Lifelong lover of accessories, books, and the beach. And cats. Can't forget the kitties. Of which she has two.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Shopping for a Billionaire's Fiancee (Shopping for a Billionaire #6) by Julia Kent

Book Name
by Julia Kent.
Audience/Genre: Comedy, New Adult, Romance.
Publication: February 26th 2015 by Prosaic Publishing.
All of our best dates end up in the emergency room....

I planned the perfect proposal. Plenty of lobster, caviar, champagne and--her favorite--tiramisu. The perfect setting. The perfect woman. The perfect everything.

Dad gave me my late mother's engagement ring, platinum and diamonds galore. Shannon wouldn't care if I slid a giant hard-candy ring on her finger instead of a three-carat diamond designed to impress. But my future mother-in-law, Marie, will pass out when she sets eyes on that rock, which will give us two minutes of blessed silence. That woman talks more than Kim Kardashian flashes her naked backside on the internet.

I was going to make it perfect, from the color of the tablecloth to the freshness of the roses. And it was perfect.

Until Shannon swallowed the ring.

* * *

Shopping for a Billionaire's Fiancée gives near-billionaire Declan McCormick the chance to tell his story in this continuation of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shopping for a Billionaire series.

Guest Post...Top 10 Most Embarrassing Moments Caused by Your Future Mother-in-law
10. That time she banged a spoon against a wine glass to get you to kiss Shannon as you went out for your first business meeting.
9. When she invited you to the yoga class she taught and encouraged the old ladies to pinch your ass.
8. When she talked about her sex life.
7. When she talked about her sex life.
6. When she talked about her sex toys.
5. Where was I? I just bleached my brain....
4. The time she stormed into your father’s corporate offices and yelled at him for blaming you for your mom’s death. And then your future-father-in-law showed up. And then your dad and future father-in-law got into a brawl worthy of WWF Wrestling.
3. When she brought Shannon’s pet cat, Chuckles, to the mall when you were playing Santa and made the cat wear reindeer antlers.
2. That time she brought a camera crew to Shannon’s apartment and barged in on you making love, cameras rolling.
1. Come to think about it...every waking moment around her.

Grace taps her knuckles on my doorway. For some reason, the door is ajar, the muffled sounds of copiers buzzing and people talking to each other a dull roar in the distance. They all annoy me.
“Declan? The jeweler called. The ring is ready.”
My blank stare is all I can muster.
She smiles. “Are you?”
“Am I what?”
“Ready.” Grace looks like she could get into a catfight with Honey Boo Boo’s mom and come out the winner. When she frowns, something deep and primal in me clenches.
That’s why she’s the best damned admin a guy could have. No worries about office sex (Grace is a lesbian married to a rugby player) and in a pinch, she can act as a bodyguard.
“Ready for a meeting?” Based on the look she gives me, I am not with the program this morning. Frankly, I am not on the planet this morning. Between a helicopter ride from New York that was so choppy I might as well have been riding a bucking bronco, and no sex at all from Shannon for three entire days (due to business meetings in NYC), I am lucky I can read a basic stock report and tie my shoes.
“Ready to get married.”
Oh. Yeah. And then there’s that.
Did I mention the no sex part? Because that’s really occupying my addled brain more than the whole pick-one-woman-for-the-rest-of-your-life thing.
And only one woman.
It’s not so hard to pick one woman to be with for all eternity, right? Grace did it, so I can, too. “Yeah. I’m ready.”
“You look sick. Not ‘ready’.” Grace steps in my office all the way and gently closes the door, holding the doorknob like it’s a ticking time bomb, waiting for the gentle click before turning to me with that look.
You know that look. The look older women give you, their eyes going soft and concerned, like you deserve to be the object of pity, the recipient of chicken soup and completely unusable advice.
Three thin, gold bracelets jangle against her freckled, wrinkled skin. She’s nothing like my future mother-in-law, and—
My entire body tenses for no apparent reason whatsoever. It’s as if the Ghost of Testosterone Past has slipped into my office unannounced.
Future mother-in-law.
“I’m fine,” I insist. This is getting old. I have three video conferences with accounts, a business lunch with a client who thinks tequila shots confer the same health benefits as a field green salad (and by the fourth shot, I always agree with him), and a woman right here in this building who I need to locate, pull into a supply closet and bang senseless.
(That would be Shannon, for the record.)
“Declan, I’ve known you since you were in high school, and I’m going to take off my admin hat for a moment and put on my not-quite-mother hat,” Grace says, complete with hand gestures, as if she’s pretending to wear a hat.
Grace was a pre-school teacher in her first career. It shows.
“I have enough not-quite-mothers in my life,” I say in the most I am annoyed voice I can manage, which is a pretty damn strong one. Shannon tells me I have Resting Asshole Face. It’s like Resting Bitchface but for men.
I try it out on Grace right now.
She waves me off. “Oh, stop it. Listen to me. You’re about to propose to the woman you love. Any man in your shoes would be nervous.”
“Nervous,” I scoff, standing up and buttoning my suit jacket, unbuttoning it, buttoning it. The buttons are a bit tight and it just came back from the tailor for readjustment. I am not nervous.
“You’re human, Declan.”
“I’m a McCormick. We’re not allowed to be human.”
“No matter how often your father says that, you know it’s not true,” Grace says with a smile, clasping her hands in front of her, making the gold at her wrists jingle again.
Someone knocks on the door. We both turn and look.
“Come in,” I call out. To Grace, I mutter, “Maybe we’re secret immortal werewolves and we’ve fooled you.”
“You’re too vain about your suits to let them get torn when you shift,” says Shannon, entering the room with a smile.
One part of my clothing threatens to split quite suddenly.
Grace gives me a look that says We’re not done here. Oh, yes, we are. We’re done talking about whether I’m ready for marriage and, instead, we’re going to talk about how ready I am for sex.
If we’re measuring that readiness, it’s a good nine inches long.
(You expect me to be modest? Good luck with that. Facts are facts.)
Shannon works three floors below me. I like knowing she’s under me all the time. Right now, I want her on top of me, beneath me, spooned in front of me, on her knees at my feet...hell, I’ll take anything. I can hear my heart beat in the quiet between us, except the blood isn’t pounding through my chest right now.
Grace departs, and I take in the vision of my future bride. Bride. I like that word. Could get used to saying it, especially since it has the word “ride” tucked right in there.
Shannon. My ride.
She’s wearing a dark grey suit with a double-breasted jacket and a light colored shirt under it. Nylons and high heels a little taller than the ones she normally wears. Her brown hair is pulled back in a braid, her lips freshly painted with bright red lipstick. Long lashes frame those perfect eyes. Shannon is working the hell out of the naughty librarian look.
She moves toward my desk, not touching me, walking past to tease. She knows damn well how hard I want her, er...how much I want her, and she’s prolonging the moment, stretching it out in an endless series of sultry moves designed to make me fling every paper off my desk and take her in front of the giant glass windows here on the twenty-second floor, with a view of the Back Bay our orgasmic scenery.
The seam of my zipper begins to split as she pulls herself up to sit on the edge of my desk, slipping her heels off with stocking feet, and she widens her legs.
Garters. Red garters. And—
My inner werewolf is trying to climb out of my body through my pants fly.
She’s wearing no panties. At all. Shannon doesn’t do this.
Oh, thank God she’s doing this.

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Lighter (Begin Again #1) by Gia Riley

Lighter (Begin Again #1)
by Gia Riley.
Audience/Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: February 16th 2015.
What do you do when you can't save the one you love?

Sophie can’t survive without control. Growing up with an alcoholic father, she craves the discipline of gymnastics. Feeling lost on a brand new college campus, she lets loose for the first time in her life. But with freedom comes consequences. Is one night everything she hopes? Or will she become her own worst nightmare?

Kipton's one year away from graduation. He's never thought beyond a one night stand until meeting his sister’s new roommate. Finally setting his sights on the girl he can't resist, he's more determined than ever when she won't give in to his persuasions. He's always gotten the girl, and he's not about to give up without a fight.

Will Sophie be able to salvage her dreams and wage a war against her own vices? Can she finally let love in? Or will history repeat itself causing her to self-destruct?

Lighter isn't your typical college romance. Darkness suffocates, dreams are dashed, and battles are lost. Love takes on a whole new meaning.

“Sorry, what?” I look between Kipton and Cara. They both glance at me curiously, but don’t ask any questions. Even if they did, I’m not sure I’d have the guts to tell them about the darkness that haunts my past. It’s safer to push it away.
“What if I have you home early?” Kipton asks.
I shrug my shoulders, unsure with my decision at this point. The angel on my right shoulder is telling me to go to bed early and focus on my training. Of course the devil on the left has me picturing every inch of him naked. I have to stop this. My hormones have been in overdrive since he caught me in my towel. “I’ll think about it.” It’s a smart answer. This way, I leave my options open but don’t have to commit yet.
“I’m definitely in,” Cara adds with a clap of her hands and a shake of her ass. “And if I have any say in it, so are you, Sophie.”
Kipton rolls his eyes but waits until Cara turns around to hang more clothes in the closet. When she’s out of view, he mouths the word come and immediately I’m covered in goose bumps. I nod my head, accepting the invitation. My body answers before my brain has a chance to catch up. What did I agree too?
“Have a good night, ladies.” Before he closes the door completely, I let out the breath I’ve been holding. I throw myself onto my bed, realizing the earthy scent of his cologne has seeped into my bedding. If I close my eyes, it’s as if he’s still laying here with me. Inhaling deeply, I cuddle my pillow against my chest. Mid sniff, the door to our room swings open. Kipton grabs his keys off the top of the TV stand and winks at me. “Won’t get too far without these. See-ya tomorrow.”
“Bye, Kippy.” Cara practically sings from her closet. She’s on cloud nine about this party. I, on the other hand, am in serious trouble. Mortified, I roll over to face the window, hearing Kipton chuckle as the door closes.
He caught me sniffing my pillow.

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Gia is a lover of all things romance and a firm believer that everyone deserves a happily ever after. She resides in the small but mighty state of Delaware with her husband and son. Mother and wife by day, writer by night - she's a girl with a dream to write.

When she's not busy writing, she can be found roaming the isles of Kirkland's or up to her elbows in Play-doh.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~Maya Angelou

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25 February 2015

Blog Tour & Giveaway, The Living Heartwood Series: Losing Track and Fading Out by Trisha Wolfe

Follow the Whole Tour HERE

Losing Track (Living Heartwood #2)
by Trisha Wolfe.
Audience/Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: October 15th 2014.
Sometimes you have to lose your way before finding the right track.

The roar of a bike engine. The vibration between her thighs. The feel of cool darkness kissing her skin as she coasts along twisty back roads at night—Melody Lachlan lives for these things. Ever since Mel and her best friend Darla escaped their small, backwoods town, they’ve traveled the countryside in search of fast rides, tatted bikers, and good times.

A self-proclaimed poet and lover of all things free, Mel views her life as one long bike ride—with pit stops along the way to numb the pain. But she never saw herself as a junkie. Party as hard as you ride. That’s her motto…until a tragic night steals her soul. Then she’s forced to delve below the surface, to where her demons rage.

When she meets recovered drug addict Boone Randall, she’s more likely to deck him than kiss his dimple-adorable face. She doesn’t want his help; doesn’t want to own up to her part in that night. She just wants to do her time and keep her promise to her friend. Yet Boone challenges Mel, and soon she doesn’t mind sharing the road. Only when Boone’s own secret demons threaten their newfound, fragile security, Mel’s course becomes rocky, and she must decide if letting her well-worn track marks fade is worth finding a new path.

Told from Dual point of view from Melody and Boone, this is a New Adult Contemporary Romance intended for readers seventeen years of age and older.

Reviewed by Kelly.

I wanted to read this series after I read the first book, I was addicted. But, I wasn’t interested by the cover and the blurb. Then when I started it anyway, I wasn’t sure I could keep reading it. It was dark and awful and I have never lived in that world or wanted to. The drug addiction and slang and MC’s and bars was way too much for me. The everyday struggle was overwhelming. It was written with so much clarity that I could see and feel it all. It was real and raw. The craving for drugs and what Mel would do to get them was portrayed so vividly. Her struggle in rehab and her desire to do whatever they said to get out and go back to what her life was making me crazy. Anyway, I just wasn’t sure I could finish it. I think when an author can write things that make you feel and understand so much it is definitely a book to be read! I trudged on with the hope that Mel would turn her life around.

Then in walks Boone and you knew he was broken and he had a secret that he wasn’t sharing. He was torturing himself over his secret. But he was immediately attracted to Melody when he saw her at rehab where he speaks often. Melody was attracted to him too but she wasn’t going there and she thought he had an “I can fix you” attitude. I immediately wanted the two together!

If you read the first book “The Darkest Part” you learned about Sam and her analogy with trees and I will forever remember that. Well in the end, Mel goes back to see Sam to talk to her to get her opinion because she didn’t know which way to go and Sam uses the analogy with Mel and I cried like a baby!

This book is so emotional that I just can’t describe it! It leaves you stripped naked. The two are so similar and yet so different. When you find out what Boone’s secret is, oh my gosh, it just tugs your heart strings for him!

I never got why others used; what they sacrifice; what they want in life. Is it really living? Yet Mel feels and she cares and she has guilt. Don’t read it if you can’t handle the ugly realities of this type of life and their daily struggles before and after rehab. Yet, if you want to read a story of overcoming , finding love and hope , overcoming guilt and forgiving yourself and moving on one day at a time than this story Is for you.

This story is a five deeply utterly overwhelming stars that I can’t even write how emotionally it affected me!

"..There's no true one person for any of us, no one special soul mate. We can find different ways with any number of people." She pauses, allowing the silver tree to fall from her fingers. She places a hand atop my thigh. "But, I was meant to love Holden, and he was meant to complete me in a way like no other. After Tyler died, I thought I was like the heartwood of a tree, the dead part. But there's a very special heartwood that's anything but dead-it lives. A living anomaly that flourishes in the midst of so much decay, rot, and ruin. The destruction breaking down the tree doesn't touch this. It fights back and it wins. Even thrives. And the reward is something so striking nature has to stop its hands of time just to acknowledge that one breathless, beautifully stubborn tree."

"Is there any way that in time all this pain and self abuse that both of you inflict on yourselves, the death that has taken so much from your lives, could rebound into a living heartwood?"

Fading Out (Living Heartwood #3)
by Trisha Wolfe.
Audience/Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: February 18th 2015.
Love means fading out so another shines brighter.
Right clothes. Right school. Right fiancé. As a Wyndemere, Arian's expected to abide by the rules. The most important: be perfect. But Arian's seemingly flawless life is far from it. An embarrassing expulsion from her parents' alma mater spirals an already unhealthy obsession out of control, exposing a dark truth.
Faced with having to attend a small private college after a stint in rehab, Arian's just ready to coast under the radar and repair some of the wreckage, but her father's looming control is like a vise choking off her air supply.
When a run-in with Braxton's beloved star quarterback, Ryder Nash, puts Arian squarely in the crosshairs of his devoted teammates, the last of her controlled, orderly world unhinges. As the pranks and paybacks escalate, Arian and Ryder's rivalry takes a passionate turn. And once Arian glimpses beneath the all-star-athlete exterior Ryder projects, she realizes he's far more than just a jock.
As their relationship intensifies, outside forces feel the threat. Outrunning their pasts doesn't mean history won't repeat itself, but Ryder can't let that happen. He's just one Championship game away from breaking the mold. Only one moment, one choice, might change everything.

Reviewed by Kelly.

I love how the author ties all the books to the analogy of the heartwood. At the end, you will see some of the quotes about the heartwood. It is a strong analogy and has made me cry with each book. It is powerful and shows how we are like the heartwood of a tree. (Find it) Each of the books, which can each be read as a standalone, brings back the heartwood and with it the strength that lies in all of us. This series faces some very hard issues like mental illness, abuse, and anxiety and eating disorders. But with that comes finding happiness and learning to overcome them. None of the stories declares that they are free and clear of their problems at the end of the books. But it shows how they learn and grow from it. These are real powerful lessons and linking them to the heartwood of a tree is brilliant. In fact, I will use that analogy to help others when the need arises and even get a necklace with a heartwood tree on it for them. Because we all need a little boost to give us strength from time to time, much less the issues faced by the characters in this book.

Ari was in rehab in the last book with Melody. Ari has anorexia and bulimia and anxiety. Her father is wealthy and lives the high and proper life style and it’s all about appearance. Ari’s issues with her disorder have her in a new college so her father can sweep her issues under the rug. Ari is struggling to be someone, anyone, and to be loved unconditionally. She has a weight to maintain in society, she has expectations and even an arranged marriage to live this lifestyle. She feels stuck with no choices; she feels like she is “fading out”.

That is where she runs into Ryder, the quarterback, in her new school. They meet in the cafeteria in the lunch line. She is ahead of him in line and eyeing the last piece of carrot cake and he sees that and says it is his. Ari isn’t going for that and out of spite asks for the cake and the lunch lady confirms it is in reserve for him. But Ryder gives her a piece of it anyway and is taken by her. But their meetings always end up going south with some bullying from the football team or some biting remarks. Ryder tells her it isn’t him doing the pranks. She isn’t the type for revenge but ends up one day taking some with her roommate, Vee (whom she has a great friendship with), pregame by taking away their jock straps and replacing them with thongs. It is hilarious what happens next!

Ryder is a really good guy as well as the quarterback. He has a reputation that forged from his past but isn’t who he is today but he hasn’t really corrected the image. He has some of his own troubled past that he deals with. His family has some real issues too.

The tension between the two is an interesting one. They go from enemies to friends to lovers in a relaxed amount of time. I like that it wasn’t rushed. It felt real and you got to know them both a little more first. And the way Ryder treats Ari is so sweet and caring. Yet neither is able to really voice their true feelings because they each have a wrong perception of what their relationship is.

From the beginning, the book pulls you in and makes you want to keep reading on and on until you get to the end and still wanting to have more of their story. I also found having Kleenex nearby helps while reading the last twenty percent of the book!

I could go on and on about the book and characters but if you like stories with analogies, some serious issues (like anorexia, bulimia, and anxiety), learning to stand up for yourself, forgiving yourself, finding someone who loves you unconditionally, figuring out what you want to do with your life, fighting for what you want, stories with words that have you holding on from the beginning, some great pranks, carrot cake, the beach (and sex on the beach), stories that have you crying; then this is for you!

"And it's the imperfections that make you, you. Don't kill off your heartwood- the imperfect, flawed, dark part of you....because even a tree needs its heart to live. Ari. Without it, it would be just a hollow shell."

"That boy is one fine piece of heartwood, let me tell you."

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From an early age, Trisha Wolfe dreamed up fantasy worlds and characters and was accused of talking to herself. Today, she lives in South Carolina with her family and writes full time, using her fantasy worlds as an excuse to continue talking to herself.

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