Wednesday, April 30, 2014

**Promotional Event & Giveaway ~ Teaching Willow: Session 3 ~ Paige James**

I'm thrilled to be a part of the promotional event for Paige James' Teaching Willow: Session 3. As y'all know, I've been enjoying this serial immensely. If you missed my review of this installment, you can read it here. Today, I have a few teasers and a giveaway, along with the pertinent details for the book. I CANNOT wait for the last installment - to see how everything shakes out.


Teaching Willow: Session 3 by Paige James
Publication Date: 4/21/14
Hosted by: Wordsmith Publicity

It started with waking up in a strange place.

It ended with everything that I thought I knew coming into question.

Now, I’m watching love turn into hate, bend turn into break and lies turn into truth that hurts worse than the deception ever did.

Such is my life, The Wicked World of Willow Masters.

**Guest Post**

The Challenges of Writing a “Twisted” Romance One of the biggest draws (and eyebrow-raising) aspects of Teaching Willow is the twisty romance between Ebon and Willow. How do you walk the line between the creating a romance to root for? How do you keep readers on Willow’s and Ebon’s side among all the lies?

I hope I’ve kept them cheering for Ebon and Willow because, at the root of all the resistance and deception and crazy choices, is love. Plain and simple. Willow knows she loves Ebon. She never intended to have him this way. It is just a series of bad choices and intense emotion that led to a cascade of worsening problems. And Ebon has deeper feelings for Willow than what he’s willing to admit, even to himself. I want to see them weather this storm just so they can come out on the other side and be rewarded for all that they have suffered. I hope that readers feel the same way, because the end will be very satisfying. wink wink

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My name is Paige James. I'm a fairly shy bookworm and lover of all things romantic and steamy. I'm a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a drinker of wine, an animal advocate (even the ones that look like rodents) and a spinner of tales. Thank you for taking a chance on my work. You're making this working girl's dream come true.

**#Jumble Your Genres Review ~ The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet~ Erin Dionne**

The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet
The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne
Release Date: January 7, 2010
Genre: Middle Grade
Source: Purchased paperback
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms

Hamlet Kennedy just wants to be your average, happy, vanilla eighth grader. But with Shakespearean scholar parents who dress in Elizabethan regalia and generally go about in public as if it were the sixteenth century, that's not terribly easy. It gets worse when they decide that Hamlet's genius seven year-old sister will attend middle school with her - and even worse when the Shakespeare project is announced and her sister is named the new math tutor. By the time an in-class recitation reveals that our heroine is an extraordinary Shakespearean actress, Hamlet can no longer hide from the fact that she - like her family - is anything but average. In a novel every bit as funny as her debut, Erin Dionne has created another eighth grader whose situation is utterly unique - but whose foibles and farces will resound with every girl currently suffering through middle school.

"All's not fair in life and middle school..."

No truer words have been spoken. And while I think it would be cool having parents who are Shakespearean scholars that dress in Elizabethan-era clothing - in public - and serve dinners from an Elizabethan-era cookbook, I can see how that might cause a few problems for a middle schooler. Add to that a genius 7 year old sister, who is matriculating in the same grade as you because she needs the art credit for her college courses as well as the socialization, and well, you have a tale of woe for one Hamlet Kennedy.

I initially purchased this book for my younger daughter. I hoped it would give her some perspective and something to laugh at as she was/is dealing with a similar situation. (no, I don't dress in Shakespearean regalia.) She didn't get far into the book because she felt it was a bit too close to her real life but now that I've finished it, I'm going to encourage her to give it another chance.

Ms. Dionne did an excellent job of describing the pitfalls and problems facing middle schoolers. She also provided options for navigating these tricky waters. From mean girls, friend issues, academic struggles, and parental embarrassment, Hamlet proved nothing is insurmountable. Ms. Dionne also seems to be sending a few messages about following your passion, not worrying about what others think, being true to yourself, and having fun. Hamlet had been surviving by trying to be invisible, not standing out...but she learned that having a talent - being seen - isn't all that bad.

I truly enjoyed Hamlet's story. It jarred some memories for me as well as gave me some insight into the world my two youngest children inhabit. And although I intended Hamlet's story to maybe soothe my daughter's feelings about her situation with her younger brother, I realized my son may have a few things to work through having entered middle school a few years before his time.

I probably got more out of this story than a middle schooler will - particularly since my circumstances are similar, but I think it's a great read for any middle schooler. It's a chance to see their problems are normal and maybe aren't so it offers examples of ways to deal with those problems. And it provides lots of laughs along the way.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

**Release Day Spotlight ~ Love Finds a Way Box Set ~ Karen Booth**

I'm so excited to spotlight the Love Finds a Way Box Set. It includes several talented authors, including a favorite of mine, Karen Booth. Karen's book Bring Me Back is included in this box set, and if you haven't read it, you can check out my review here. It's a fantastic read! AND the best part is you're getting FOUR novels for **ONLY 99 CENTS** That's a heckuva deal!

LOVE FINDS A WAY Boxed Set—Release date: April 29, 2014


Four unconventional love stories from popular and best-selling
romance authors, all with sequels from Turquoise Morning Press

BRING ME BACK by Karen Booth

Claire Abby was a starry-eyed teenager when she fantasized that British rock star Christopher Penman was her boyfriend. More than twenty years later, she's about to fall in love with him for real.

“Fast-paced, sexy and altogether irresistible. A flat-out fabulous read!”–New York Times Bestselling author Celia Rivenbark

“Ms. Booth has hit a home run with this riveting story that’s full of life, trials and tribulations, joy, but most of all, love.”–5 stars and a recommended read, BlackRaven’s Reviews

“If you are a fan of drama, humor and heart with a wonderful blend of bittersweet and delicious sensuality, then you need to read Bring Me Back. I’ve added it to my absolute favorites, the ones I curl up with when I’m down and need to remember to love and laugh and believe in magic.”–5 Stars, The Book Tart

Included on the Top Ten Romances of All Time list by Patience Bloom from Harlequin. 

An All-Romance bestseller.

Karen Booth is a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on 80s music, Judy Blume, and the films of John Hughes. A former music industry exec, she loves to write about the world of backstage passes and band dynamics.

CONTENTMENT by Margaret Ethridge

Fifteen years after saying, “I do”, Tracy Sullivan feels lost in a tangle of marriage, family, home, and career. Poised on the verge of losing it all, she embarks on a quest to redefine her life. With the help of a few good friends and the enduring love of her husband, she discovers that while happiness is fleeting, contentment can last a lifetime.

“The story is honest, well told, and so sweet. I loved it.” –5 stars, Amazon bestselling author Jennifer Johnson

“You'll want that Hollywood ending that never happens in real life. What you will get a story that is so true to real life that it'll make your stomach twist and your heart hammer.” –5 stars, Another Look Book Reviews

“This is story-telling at its best.” –5 stars, Amazon customer review

“Have you not read Margaret Ethridge? Hop to it! Although she is a new author, her work is consistently intriguing, even while writing different romantic genres.” –Booking It

Margaret Ethridge is the Amazon bestselling author whose stories of life and love have made her a fan favorite and a Booksellers Best finalist.

MEANT TO BE by Karen Stivali

Sometimes you're already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one. Daniel and Marienne's friendship has helped them weather every hardship---now they're both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.

Best Books of 2012 –Literati Literature Lovers (Meant To Be and its sequel Holding On) 

Books That Rocked My World 2012 - Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews (Meant To Be and its sequel Holding On)

“Meant To Be is simply an amazing story that is heartwarming and genuine, it is one that will make you believe in soul mates.” –5 stars, Jersey Girl Book Reviews

“If you're looking for engaging, soulful characters, enough drama to take you through a myriad of emotions that entail everything from laughter to anger to crying, and enough passion to make you sizzle in all the right places, then Meant To Be is the book to read.” –5 stars and a Recommended Read, BlackRaven's Book Reviews

Karen Stivali is a multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romance. She writes novels about real life, only hotter.

′TIL ST. PATRICK’S DAY by Holly Gilliatt

Over the course of one winter, three best friends encounter what happens when love doesn’t go according to plan.

“With the author's ease of putting words on paper, the story flows through your mind, connecting on a deep emotional level. You will find yourself hoping, gasping, shedding a tear or two and smiling with happiness as the story unfolds.” –Literati Book Reviews

“Gilliatt creates characters who you connect with… The reader is placed in the middle of these three women’s lives; you experience their ups, their downs and their own journey of self-discovery.” –

“The main theme of this novel was friendship, but it’s followed very closely by love—and not just romantic love. …It’s fantastic.” –5 stars, Pink Fluffy Hearts

Holly Gilliatt writes funny, heartwarming tales of love and friendship. She is the author of two published novels with a third due out in July.

Length: Four full-length novels, Boxed Set
ISBN: 978-1-62237-291-1
Ebook Price: $0.99 (Special Promotional Price)


**Review ~ Love TKO ~ Selene Chardou**

Love TKO (A Love Unexpected Novel, #1)
Love TKO by Selene Chardou
Love Unexpected #1
Release Date: February 3, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an ARC (via Xpresso Book Tours) in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 3 Bookworms

An Irish Mixed Martial Artist who is fighting for the UFC Championship in Las Vegas.

A beautiful hustler who is counting the clock down to her twenty-eighth birthday when she can finally retire and enjoy her life.

A chance encounter that changes both of their lives forever.

Love TKO is a story about two people who've done things, in order to survive, that they're not proud of. Two underdogs who took what life threw their way and endured. Two people, basically cut from the same cloth, who found love when they least expected it.

Chiara Bassi is counting down the days until she complete the contract she signed almost ten years ago - a contract that has enable her to take care of her sister and her sister's kids but through means she'd rather not have had to resort to. The night she meets Torin Duffy, things change. She finds herself breaking all her rules - the self-imposed ones as well as the contract-mandated ones. 

Torin Duffy is an Irish immigrant who's made a name and life for himself as an MMA fighter. The abuse he suffered at home served to make him that much better in the octagon. He's an admitted man-whore and avoids commitment like the plague because he fears being like his father. Then he meets Chiara and his carefully cultivated persona and meticulously followed rules go out the window.

While I liked the overall story, I had a few issues. First, the insta- love...I don't have a problem with insta-love in general, but I didn't feel it between these two. I did enjoy seeing them get to know one another - Ms. Chardow did well developing their relationship. That initial lightning strike just didn't work for me. Second was Chiara's profession and her feelings about it - and Torin's feelings as well. I understood why she felt compelled to enter her profession and I felt for her being straddled with the responsibility she had so young. But while she made remarks or had thoughts about regretting her choice of career, I don't think she necessarily felt regret. She did seem bitter at times though. Also, I think that Torin, with all his macho, wouldn't so easily have overlooked what she'd done for a living. Yes, he didn't have room to judge, but that doesn't usually keep men from doing just that. There were some inconsistencies in the story and some grammar problems but since this was an ARC, these may have been resolved in final editing.

Despite my issues, I did like the story. I found myself rooting for this couple to hang onto the love they surreptitiously found together. They endured so much in their childhoods and young adult lives, they deserved to have love and happiness. I wanted them to be able to move on from their pasts and find the redemption they were each looking for. I appreciated the fact that Ms. Chardou had them go to counseling. We are never witness to it, but I can't help but feel they'd each benefit from it.

Love TKO had a few bumps just as Chiara and Torin's story did. It's a gritty and fast-paced tale. And I enjoyed it enough that I'll read the next in the series - Kieran, Torin's brother's story.

**Teaser Tuesday ~ #16**

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet
The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne
Release Date: January 7, 2010
Genre: Middle Grade

Hamlet Kennedy just wants to be your average, happy, vanilla eighth grader. But with Shakespearean scholar parents who dress in Elizabethan regalia and generally go about in public as if it were the sixteenth century, that's not terribly easy. It gets worse when they decide that Hamlet's genius seven year-old sister will attend middle school with her - and even worse when the Shakespeare project is announced and her sister is named the new math tutor. By the time an in-class recitation reveals that our heroine is an extraordinary Shakespearean actress, Hamlet can no longer hide from the fact that she - like her family - is anything but average. In a novel every bit as funny as her debut, Erin Dionne has created another eighth grader whose situation is utterly unique - but whose foibles and farces will resound with every girl currently suffering through middle school.


See, Mom and Dad are Shakespeare scholars (that purple cloak gave it away, right?). Mom's into the tragedies and histories, Dad teaches the sonnets and comedies. Together, they're a collection of "if thous, then thees."

When they had me, Hamlet was the play they both liked the best...and they thought naming me Ophelia, after Hamlet's suicidal girlfriend, would be too morbid. So I ended up with not just any boy's name, but the name of a tragic Denmakian prince who spoke  to skulls and had a thing for his mother. So I'm a little touchy about it. Unsurprisingly, Dezzie thinks her name is cool. It's from another play, Othello. She's named for Othello's wife, who is killed in a jealous rage...yet that wasn't too weird for my parents. Go figure.

Monday, April 28, 2014

**Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway ~ Falling to Pieces ~ Jamie Canosa**

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Jamie Canosa's Falling to Pieces. I have all the pertinent details on the book for y'all, and a giveaway!

I'm really excited about this book. I hope to be able to read it soon. :) It's available for **ONLY 99 CENTS** throughout the tour.

Falling to Pieces by Jamie Canosa
Pieces Series #1
Release Date: April 16, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Suffering the bitter tongues of her alcoholic mother and cruel boyfriend, Jade struggles just to look at herself in the mirror. She hates her life, her insecurities, her ineptitudes, but most of all . . . Jade hates herself. She wants nothing more than to disappear, and everyone seems happy to let her. Until Kiernan Parks moves back into town. 

Jade’s been crushing on him ever since kindergarten, when his family moved away. But now he’s back, and looking better than ever. Hiding is a way of life for Jade, but Kiernan insists on uncovering the real girl he’s sees trapped inside her. On drawing her out of her shell, and showing her that she is someone worthy of love. 

Together, they fight back the darkness she’s living in. But when they finally step into the light, will the secret Kiernan’s been trying to keep buried destroy Jade, once and for all? 

For some people, happy endings are a fairytale.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA/NA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Upstate NY with her husband, and their three crazy kids . . . plus the cat, the bird, and the rabbit.

Author Links

**Cover Reveal ~ Insipid ~ Christine Brae**

I'm thrilled to be a part of the cover reveal for Christine Brae's Insipid. Having read both Christine's previous novels, I'm anxious to get my hands on this one. 

I think I like the cover - it's simple and reflects how this woman sees her life. And I'm hoping the butterfly is an indication of the change she will undergo.

This reveal was organized by Shh Moms Reading.

Release Date: June 16, 2014

Banal. Lifeless and Colorless. These are the words that describe my life. I’ve made the right choices, done all the right things. I’m strong, intelligent and highly successful. I’ve lived scrupulously, loved greatly, and shared my blessings equitably. 

But life hasn’t been fair with me.

Now I’m drowning in the middle of the ocean, desperately searching for the shore, surrendering to the fact that I will never be happy.

Then he came along.

Life is unpredictable. You can play it safe and resist change for fear of the unknown. Or you can close your eyes and take the leap with the knowledge that your life will change forever.

Which one will I choose?

My name is Jade Richmond and this is my story.

Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Insipid, her third book, is due to be released in June of 2014.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

**Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged ~ #16**

Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged is a weekly meme, hosted by TalkSupe, where I share with you the books I have bought, borrowed, or bagged (gifted or won) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, and any other bookishness I want to share. :)

Here's what was added to my ereader and/or my physical library this week:


Hearts of the Anemoi Bundle (Hearts of the Anemoi, #1-3)Golden Hour (Crescent City, #1)The Regret Series Complete Collection Box Set: Lost to You, Take This Regret, and If Forever ComesLovers At Heart (Love in Bloom #4, The Bradens, #1)Sisters In Love (Love in Bloom #1, Snow Sisters #1)
I picked up The Hearts of the Anemoi Bundle for 99 cents after reading about the series @ Rabid Reads. I one-clicked Golden Hour for only 99 cents as well. AND I one-clicked The Regret Series Box Set for only $1.99. Lovers at Heart and Sisters in Love were both **FREE**


Freedom (Fearsome #2)

I received Freedom for review from the author through Xpresso Book Tours. 

Upcoming Reviews
Rock Chick Rescue by Kristen Ashley
Love TKO by Selene Chardou
The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne

Saturday, April 26, 2014

**Sidekick Showcase ~ #39 ~ Mister Mischief**

Sidekick Showcase (previously known as Sidekick Saturday) is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fits in this week's type

• Share a picture (if possible) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• Put your link in the Linky thing and comment

April's theme ~ silly, joker, prankster, comedic relief, outrageous, and the like...   

I just read a review of On the Edge @ Rabid Reads this week and it made me think of a great sidekick characters. So...

My choice of character: 
Jack Drayton
from Ilona Andrews' Edge Series

Jack is always getting into some sort of mischief. He's adorably precocious. He really can't help it - curiosity of a natural trait of cats. ;) Jack, a cat shifter, and his brother George, a necromancer, both are constantly into something or other and driving their sister, Rose, crazy. But Jack, with his kitten ways, usually made me smile or giggle whether he was chasing leech birds, stealing food, or other activities where he generally disregarded whatever Rose told him to do or not do. Both Jack and George are a lot of fun, but I took a special liking to Jack.

If you haven't read this series, or Ilona Andrews at all, hop to it! You will not be disappointed!

Friday, April 25, 2014

**Release Day Blitz, Review & Giveaway ~ The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller ~ L.B. Simmons**

Happy Release Day, L.B. Simmons!!
The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller is **NOW LIVE**

I have all the details on the book for y'all, a teaser, my review, and a giveaway.

To check out other reviews for this blitz, click here.

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller by L.B. Simmons
Release Date: April 25, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary


For some, it’s simply one of life’s certainties, nothing more. For others, it’s merely a fleeting thought, one often overshadowed by the reckless delusion that they have been blessed with the gift of immortality. 

For Aubrey Miller, death is the definition of her very existence. Overcome with the guilt resulting from the loss of her beloved family, she alters her appearance from the once beautiful, blonde-
haired, blue-eyed little girl to that of one shrouded in complete darkness, enveloping herself in her own unbreakable fortress of solitude as a form of protection for others.

As she enters her first year of college, her goal is simple: Earn a degree with the least amount of social interaction as possible. What she never anticipates is the formation of very unlikely relationships with two people who will change her life in ways she never believed possible: Quinn Matthews, the boisterous former pageant queen, and Kaeleb McMadden, a childhood friend from her past who never really let her go.

Over the years, as their connections intertwine and grow, a seemingly indestructible bond is formed between the three…

But when death painfully reemerges, Aubrey is lost once again, burying herself deeper than ever before inside the familiar fortification of her fears.

Will the refuge of friendship, the solidarity of life-long bonds, and the power of unconditional love be enough to do the impossible?

Will they be enough to finally bring about…

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller?

L.B. Simmons sure knows how to deliver a story with an emotional punch. In this case, several punches.

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller is a well crafted story of a young woman drowning in darkness who manages to find her light. It is haunting, riveting and so emotionally powerful. I'm wrung out. It realistically conveys the suffering caused by depression, and suicide. And if offers hope.

Aubrey Miller was 8 years old when she lost everything. So she buried herself to emerge as a new girl, Raven. Raven carries a tremendous amount of guilt over her losses. She keeps everyone at bay. She hides her true self behind a mask of dyed hair, facial piercings and scary-strange contacts. It's in her first year of college that she allows a few people in and begins to find herself once again.

Aubrey has help along the way. The friends she finds in Quinn, Kaeleb, Palmer, and her guardian, Linda, all aid in the process. It's not pretty and she has some setbacks but Aubrey eventually realizes she has the inner strength to not only face life but live it. And that she's worthy of love.

Kaeleb and Quinn both have their own demons. Fate seemingly brought these three together. They all played roles in healing one another. It was a pleasure to see them learn from one another. And although they all transformed, none was as dramatic as Aubrey's. Seeing Aubrey mend and then blossom was inspiring and beautiful. For her to let go of the past and find her inner light - to realize her potential - was magnificent.

Ms. Simmons always creates a wonderfully gripping story, populated with well developed characters. The format of this one only added to it's power. The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller was so moving. It's left a mark. And Ms. Simmons is a must-read author for me.

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L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science. She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.