Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review: CORNERED (Holloway Pack #5) by J.A. Belfield

Source: Received an egalley from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Release Date: May 30, 2016


Description from Goodreads:
Daniel Larsen is playing a dangerous game, and he doesn't even know it.

A two-wheeled speedster. A little redhead in a bar. Evenings spent away from his pack. Innocent enough for most, but for Danny, the combination leads down a path of destruction and straight to a hell he doesn’t even see coming.

Entangled in a nightmare that started with his own brother and the cat he brought into their home, Dan’s driving himself toward a solitary existence—except for the curvaceous Olivia Fanella. Seduced by his new companion, and happy to ignore the divide growing between himself and the pack, Danny is oblivious to the trap being laid out for him.

Before long, Danny's integrity gets questioned. His loyalty gets questioned. Hell, he even questions himself.

On top of that, just when he believes life might be going a little better, he gets served the roughest shot he could never have imagined—not even in his worst nightmares—and Danny has no idea how to come back from a hit like that.


**Cornered contains scenes that some readers might find upsetting**
It's been a while since the last Holloway Pack book, so I was extremely excited to read CORNERED!! This time, it's Danny's turn to be the focus of the story. Last we saw of the Holloway pack, there was some major tension between the Larsen brothers over Kyle's new relationship...well, when this one starts, things are still pretty tense. 

I really love this series, and there have been some pretty dark moments in the previous books, but CORNERED was really dark. Most of the story deals with Danny's internal struggles, and I have to admit, it was hard to read at times. I wavered between wanting to smack some sense into Danny to get him to finally open up and talk to his family, and wanting to just pull him in for a hug. Poor guy. He goes through so much!

I really enjoyed getting back into the world of the Holloway Pack, and I loved getting to see the guys and their mates again. It was like coming home! While I did enjoy Danny's story, it wasn't my favourite of the series. I think Jem and Sean's stories are still my faves just because it's where it all started. In these later books, the world that the pack lives in has changed so much. Their knowledge of the paranormal world has grown, and they've become entrenched in things that they didn't even know existed. 

In CORNERED, everything comes crashing down and Danny finds himself in the midst of some pretty horrible stuff. At the same time, he's struggling to make things right with his family⎯his whole life is spiraling downward. He's turned into quite the lone wolf, and during his solitary outings, he finds comfort in Liv, a feisty redhead. She's snarky with him, and calls out all of his crap, which is exactly what Danny needs. I really enjoyed Danny and Liv together. Their dynamics were fantastic, and they had amazing chemistry. I did feel like their relationship was pretty rushed near the conclusion of the story, but I still really loved them together.

As for the plot itself, it was packed full of tension and extremely fast-paced! Danny's brooding does drag the story down a little bit, but I think it was a necessary progression after how things ended in UNNATURAL. There was a lot of unresolved tension and Danny bore the brunt of it. When it comes to this story though, expect the unexpected. It's one of those stories with plenty of twists, and they'll be sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!

I'd definitely recommend CORNERED to fans of the Holloway Pack series, and I'd recommend the series as a whole to fans of paranormal and urban fantasy. I'd like to give a warning though, CORNERED is the darkest Holloway book yet, and Danny encounters some situations that may be triggering to victims of sexual assault. While it is a dark story, I still really enjoyed CORNERED, and I'm looking forward to what happens with Danny and the rest of the Holloway Pack next. Here's hoping for Josh's story next!!! I absolutely love Josh!! Spoiler that isn't really a spoiler...he was listening to Ed Sheeran in CORNERED at one point, and I swear, my heart melted. I'm an Ed fangirl to the max, so that fangirlness definitely spread to Josh a bit there. :P 




What do you think?

 
Have you read any of the Holloway Pack books yet?

Are you a fan of werewolves?

And are you a fan of stories that are a bit darker?

I don't read them often myself, but I do find it interesting to get inside of someone's during internal struggles like Danny went through in CORNERED.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cover Catch-Up (30): Two Titles I'm Highly Anticipating!

In "Cover Catch-Up" I share some covers that have either been recently revealed, or that I've just found and really wanted to share. 

I've been procastinating with my Cover Catch-up posts lately, so now I'm a bit late to the party with these covers. I still couldn't help sharing them and gushing over them though!!



The first cover that I have to share today is one that I'm sure you've all seen by now! It's the cover for Veronica Roth's CARVE THE MARK!

CARVE THE MARK (Untitled Duology #1 )by Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: January 17, 2017

Description:

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.
 
While I wasn't as happy with the ending of the Divergent trilogy as I could've been, I still love Veronica Roth's writing style and her characters, so I'm EXTREMELY excited for this one! The story sounds intense, and I'm really eager to see Veronica write something new! As for the cover, I love it! It's eerie, a little spooky...and very foreboding!! And the description⎯wow! CARVE THE MARK sounds amazing! :D



I'm sure the second cover that I have to share today is another one that you've likely seen. It's the cover for THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon!

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: November 1, 2016

Description:
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
I borrowed EVERYTHING EVERYTHING from the library just shortly after its release, and it completely blew me away!! It was an amazing story, and I immediately became a Nicola Yoon fangirl. When I saw this cover, I was speechless! It's absolutely GORGEOUS...and the story, it sounds absolutely amaze-balls!! I can't wait to read THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR!



What do you think?
Do you love these covers, too?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Follies Past: A Prequel to Pride & Prejudice by Melanie Kerr

Source: Received an ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Petticoat Press
Release Date: January 6, 2014
Number of Pages: 281 (Kindle Edition)


Description from Goodreads:
Follies Past is the result of a 5 year project to recreate the voice of Jane Austen herself by linguist and author Melanie Kerr. The story, characters, and setting are meticulously researched and written to give Jane Austen fans the closest thing to a new novel from her.

The story follows the events surrounding the wicked Mr. Wickham's seduction of the beautiful and innocent 14 year old Georgiana Darcy and breathes new life into characters such as Caroline Bingley, Wickham, and Mr. Darcy himself by following them through their scandalous ordeal starting almost a year before the opening of Pride and Prejudice at Pemberley during Christmastime.

The story opens at a time when Caroline Bingley is convinced of Mr. Darcy’s affection and determined to convert his regard into matrimony as swiftly as possible. Fourteen-year-old Georgiana Darcy has been taken from school, and is about to be sent off to face the rigours of a life in London. Wickham has only begun to plot against his ancient rival, and Mr. Darcy is still a bit open to the world and a little less full of both pride and prejudice.

As the cast turn their faces to the city of London, one gentleman awaits them with all the charm and fascination that a handsome face and merciless ambition can beget. The story follows young Georgiana to London, to Ramsgate and to the brink of a perilous elopement, bringing readers all the wit, the drama and the delights of their beloved Pride and Prejudice. Authentic in its use of language, meticulously researched, and faithful to Austen’s classic, it is the book Austen fans have been waiting for!
About the Author

Melanie Kerr studied linguistics, English, and theatre at the University of British Columbia, and law at the University of Alberta. Kerr is a reckless lover of clotted cream, a staunch defender of the semi-colon, and a fierce opponent of unpleasant music. She wooed her current and only husband with false promises of skill at word games and eternally good hair. She lives in Edmonton, where she raises her three young children, sews her own Regency costumes, organizes Regency costume events, blogs on all things old and English, endeavours to take over the world, and occasionally practices law.

Connect with Melanie: Website | Twitter

MY REVIEW

I was extremely excited to read FOLLIES PAST and it definitely didn't disappoint. When it comes to PRIDE & PREJUDICE, I can never get enough. I'm always eager for more re-tellings, or anything that adds to the story itself. In FOLLIES PAST, Melanie Kerr gives readers a more in-depth backstory to P&P...and I have to say, she did a remarkable job!

What I loved most about FOLLIES PAST was the fact that it is immediately obvious that Melanie Kerr loves Austen. This book is like a love letter, or an ode, to all things Austen and P&P. It adds a lot of depth to Caroline, Mr. Darcy, and Georgiana's characters, and it also introduces a few new characters that really help to round out the story. While FOLLIES PAST doesn't actually feature Elizabeth like P&P, it does still feel like something Austen would've written...if Austen were around now and had been pestered...or should I say "encouraged," to write some kind of prequel or sequel to P&P, I think FOLLIES PAST could definitely be that work!

Not only does FOLLIES PAST feel like something Austen would've written, it adds so much to Austen's own characters. We see what happens between Mr. Wickham and Georgiana Darcy in a completely new way, and we even get to see what happened when Caroline Bingley and Mr. Darcy were introduced. We get to see so many more aspects to the backstory that I never even imagined! I also loved that we even get to see more of characters that are almost invisible in P&P, like Lady Catherine's daughter, Anne! And we're introduced to several characters that don't appear in P&P, my favourites were Lord Ashwell, Colonel Fitzwilliam's brother, and Georgiana's school friend, Clare...and trust me, if you love Austen, you'll LOVE their parts in the story! :D

I loved getting to read an in-depth view of what happened before Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth ever met. I definitely still love their story, but it was also a pleasure to peek behind the curtain into the past that Mr. Darcy relates to Elizabeth in his letter. So, since I've been raving about this book during this whole review, it should come as no surprise that I loved every single minute of this story and reveled in getting to read it! I think the only thing that might've made me love it more would have been if we could've seen inside Mr. Darcy's and Mr. Bingley's heads when they meet Jane and Elizabeth for the first time. ;)

Overall, I absolutely ADORED FOLLIES PAST! It was absolutely perfect for PRIDE & PREJUDICE fans, and I believe that Melanie Kerr has PERFECTLY captured all of these characters and she's also given us even more characters to love!! I definitely hope that she writes more Austen-inspired works in the future because I cannot get enough of them! ;D


What do you think?
Do you think you'd enjoy FOLLIES PAST?

Friday, May 20, 2016

THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER Blog Tour: Review & Q&A!


Woo hoo!! I'm extremely excited to be a part of Raincoast Books's Canadian blog tour for THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER! Some of you might already know that I am a HUGE fan of time travel...and I love contemporary YA romance, so this is an absolutely PERFECT fit! :D

Today I have my review and a little Q&A with the fabulous author of THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER, Harriet Rueter Hapgood! :D


 
THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER
by Harriet Rueter Hapgood
Source: Received an ARC to participate in the blog tour and give an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press 
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Number of Pages: 295 (Hardcover)
Description from Goodreads:
This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.

With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.
About the Author

Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a freelance fashion journalist and author of THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER (coming May 2016). Her first-ever professional writing credit was for Just Seventeen magazine, and she's been YA obsessed ever since. She likes burritos, cats, Gwyneth Paltrow and young adult fiction, which she plans to write more of, though she's also considering a PhD in Dawson’s Creek. Follow her on Twitter: @hapgoodness and on Instagram: @hapgo0dness if you like pictures of cats

Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr


MY REVIEW:

I remember hearing about THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER months ago, and I was immediately intrigued! A contemporary romance...but with time travel. Super interesting! It's not often that contemporary and science fiction mix in that way without the sci-fi taking over, so I was extremely interested to see how the story was going to be handled, especially when you add in the fact that the main character, Gottie, is a math genius! Turns out that Harriet Reuter Hapgood handled it in a completely unique way, and once I started reading it, I couldn't stop!

There are so many things to love about THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER, but for me one of the best parts was the fact that the story is so mult-faceted! Right from the description, it's clear that this story isn't just about first love, it's also about loss, heartbreak, falling in love again, and time travel, too...and once I started reading, I realized that while parts of it were definitely light-hearted and fun, it was also an incredibly introspective story. I do love light and fluffy contemporary romances, but I also love the stories that wrench your heart a little bit and make you appreciate the things in your life, and this story really does that.

When the book starts, Gottie is so detached from life and she's spent the last year not really processing or moving on. I loved seeing her begin to open up to the world, and to embrace life again. I'm a huge time travel fan, and I'm so used to people actively traveling through time or unintentionally lapsing into time and making irrevocable changes when they do, but this story wasn't quite like that. In fact, I wasn't really sure what to expect with the whole "time travel" aspect of this story since it is still mostly a contemporary story, but I still really enjoyed it. There was a whole hypothetical and theoretical side to time travel that was extremely unique, and Harriet Reuter Hapgood described it all in a super interesting way! You definitely won't learn how to time travel yourself after reading THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER, but you will love reading about Gottie's experiences with it!

 I spent over three years working in a German deli, so I have to admit, all of the German elements to this story made me smile so freaking much...and they made me really nostalgic! I especially loved the little bit of German that slipped into the dialogue. :D Along with the time travel and German bits, I also really enjoyed the characters! While Gottie was pretty distracted with the whole weird time travel outbursts and wasn't always quite "in" the present, I really enjoyed her interactions with her family and friends when she was. I loved her dad, and the bits we saw of her grandpa, Grey, were so fantastic, too! I also loved her dynamics with her brother, even more so once she started to become less stuck in her past. Most of all, I really enjoyed seeing everything between her and Thomas though!!! Super duper cute and sweet...and I also loved her cat, Umlaut (hehe more German goodness! :D).

Overall, I absolutely adored THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER! I loved how the time travel aspects of the story complemented the contemporary parts, and I really loved Gottie's growth throughout the story.
I'd recommend this one to contemporary romance fans, especially if you find the idea of time travel fascinating, too! 



Q&A with Harriet

My Question: What inspired you to write a contemporary romance with time travel? And who's your favourite time traveler?

Harriet's Answer: I set myself a somewhat impossible task with my original goal for the book, which was to write about a girl who’d already had her big YA coming of age summer the previous year, and was now dealing with the aftermath. It meant a lot of the big storylines of the book were in the past, and that got me to thinking about time travel and memory and revisiting your past. Grief and mourning are exercises in memory and living in the past, so it all came together as a time travelly whole. When I decided that the love story was going to be someone from Gottie’s past, too, coming into her present, it all just made sense. At least to me! I think once you’ve had your first love and your first heartbreak, you begin to bring baggage from your past into every new crush, kiss, encounter, relationship. We’re the sum of our past, for better or worse – really, doesn’t all contemporary YA have some time travel in it? Just maybe not so literally… Time-travel wise, I’m a fan of Back to the Future and The Time Traveller’s Wife.



What do you think?
Does THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER sound like your kind of story?
What did you think of Harriet's answer to my question?
And who else absolutely LOVES time travel?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: Mary Green by Melanie Kerr

Source: Received an ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Publisher: Stonehouse Publishing
Release Date: May 1, 2016
Number of Pages: 316 (Paperback)


Description from Goodreads:
Mary Green, obscure orphan and ward of the wealthy Hargreaves family, has always accepted her inferior position with grace, humility, and gratitude. When she discovers that her only friend is to leave the country forever, that her confidence has been betrayed by the unfeeling youngest daughter of the family, and that her very deprivation is the object of the mockery and scorn of everyone she has sought to honour, she determines to cast them off and make her own way in the world. On her twenty-first birthday, free to choose her own destiny, she dreams of peace and tolerance, and perhaps a partner who might be noble enough to love her in all her simplicity. But when an unexpected foray into London society disrupts all her plans, she is faced with an uncharacteristic storm of feelings. Will she grow strong and happy in her independence, or will her character be lost amidst her newfound ambition? Unable to trust the whims of her own heart, Mary is forced to confront the question that has forever plagued her: Who is she and where does she come from?
About the Author

Melanie Kerr studied linguistics, English, and theatre at the University of British Columbia, and law at the University of Alberta. Kerr is a reckless lover of clotted cream, a staunch defender of the semi-colon, and a fierce opponent of unpleasant music. She wooed her current and only husband with false promises of skill at word games and eternally good hair. She lives in Edmonton, where she raises her three young children, sews her own Regency costumes, organizes Regency costume events, blogs on all things old and English, endeavours to take over the world, and occasionally practices law.

Connect with Melanie: Website | Twitter

MY REVIEW

I'm a HUGE fan of Jane Austen, so I'm always on the lookout for books that are similar to hers! As soon as I heard about MARY GREEN, I was intrigued! I loved the idea of a book that was Austen-inspired, but completely unique, too. I was extremely excited to read it and it completely met and then greatly surpassed my expectations!

While MARY GREEN did have elements that reminded me of Austen's works, it was still so strong on its own! Melanie Kerr has written an absolutely wonderful story, and I loved everything about it. Her characters were fantastic, the writing was superb, and it definitely had a tone that I've come to adore from classic titles like Austen's. The story definitely isn't a retelling, but it did have certain elements and twists that reminded me of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and EMMA, and if I'm forced to choose those are my favourite of Austen's books, so I loved that!

 I've always been a reader who generally loves character-driven stories over plot-driven ones, and MARY GREEN is definitely all about character! It fits extremely well in the novel genre that Austen herself is so well known for, and when it comes to novels, the main character really does make or break a story. In the case of MARY GREEN, Mary was a wonderful narrator. She definitely wasn't perfect, but she was aware, intelligent, generous, and she was willing to change or listen when she realized her own mistakes. Mary starts the story with a rather mysterious past, and it was extremely interesting to see it all become clear. The story was full of twists and turns, which I loved! I've always been a fan of stories with twists, and I love trying to guess what will happen later in a story. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out what will come, so it's always a pleasure to be surprised and there were a few times where this story went far further than I expected and I loved that!!

Overall, I absolutely LOVED MARY GREEN! I'd definitely recommend this one to other Jane Austen fans because Melanie Kerr has written a wonderful story that will warm the hearts of Austen fans! Don't worry though, even if you've yet to read any of Jane Austen's books, I think you could still love this story! It has a strong, dynamic main character who faces many challenges after her life drastically changes. It's a story of friendship, love, growing up, and self-discovery, so it covers some extremely universal themes!

What do you think?
Does MARY GREEN sound like a book you'd enjoy?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Release Day Blitz: SMUT by Karina Halle #Smut #KarinaHalle

Exciting news!!

Karina Halle's newest book, SMUT, releases today!! I'm extremely excited about this one. Karina has described it as a romantic comedy where the main characters are writing erotica...hilarity is sure to ensue!! ;D 

I've got a great excerpt and a teensy teaser for you all! Let me know if you're as excited as I am. :D




SMUT by Karina Halle

What happens when the kink between the pages leads to heat between the sheets?


All Blake Crawford wants is to pass his creative writing course, get his university degree and take over his dad’s ailing family business. What Amanda Newland wants is to graduate at the top of her class, as well as finally finish her novel and prove to her family that writing is a respectful career.

What Blake and Amanda don’t want is to be paired up with each other for their final project but that’s exactly what they both get when they’re forced to collaborate on a writing piece. Since Amanda thinks Blake is a pushy asshole (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick up her ass (though it’s brilliant ass), they fight tooth and nail until they discover they write well together. They also might find each other really attractive, but that’s neither here nor there.

When their writing project turns out to be a success, the two of them decide to start up a secret partnership together using a pen name, infiltrating the self-publishing market in the lucrative genre of erotica. Naturally, with so much heat and passion between the pages, it’s not long before their dirty words become a dirty reality. Sure, they still fight a lot but at least there’s make-up sex now.

But even as they start to fall hard for each other, will their burgeoning relationship survive if their scandalous secret is exposed or are happily-ever-afters just a work of fiction?

Purchase Links: Amazon | iTunes | Nook | Kobo


About Karina Halle:
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

LINKS: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

EXCERPT

She holds my gaze for a moment and something passes over her. Regret, maybe. Then she nods. “Sit down. Let’s work.”

And so we do. And for the first time in a long time, it’s strained. I’m about to suggest maybe we need the Estonian vodka anyway when she lets out an exasperated sigh over something she’s reading.
It happens to be something I wrote.

“What?” I ask, wondering what I did wrong.

She gives me the are you kidding me? look. “Okay, I was ignoring it earlier but I think you need to get a grip on some of this shit. This simply does not happen.”

“Explain, please.”

“I just think it’s unrealistic for there to be so much talking, let alone the fact that the first time they do it it’s in a public place.”

“Too much talking?”

“Yeah.” she scans over the document. “You know, give me your cock, oh you feel so good, harder, harder, you’re so big, fuck me harder big boy.”

“Have you even had good sex?” I ask incredulously.

She flinches. “Of course I have. And it’s none of your business.”

“We’re writing about sex. It’s completely my business. I’m not letting you interject your edits based on your personal experiences about sex because believe me, if the sex is good, you’re moaning my name.”

She raises her chin. “Maybe all those girls were faking it.”

Oh, brilliant.

“Excuse me?” I say, hands pressed against the table, nearly getting out of my chair. “You have no idea. I pride myself in giving a girl as many bloody orgasms as she can handle.”

“Bloody orgasms don’t sound like fun,” she jokes softly.

“They can be if you’re into knife play,” I tell her, even though that’s not exactly what I meant. Still, she scrunches up her nose. “Don’t knock it until you try it, but that’s neither here nor there. When you were with Alan, he must have made you come at least a few times.”

If he didn’t, I feel like finding the guy and showing him a thing or two for wasting four years of her life.

“Yeah,” she says flatly.

“And in the middle of that orgasm, didn’t you want to yell a few things?”

“Sometimes.”

“And why didn’t you?”

She looks at her nails as if they’re suddenly fascinating. “It didn’t seem right. It was…too intimate. I would have felt dumb. He didn’t like any of that stuff.”

The plot thickens. “Any of what stuff?”

“Sex that didn’t involve the missionary position or the bed.”
 
My mouth drops open. My brain and penis can’t compute this. “I feel so sorry for you.”

We must remedy this.

She glares at me. “It’s not like I didn’t want to do it. I did. And he did try it. Most of it. But it always went back to the same old.”

I knew it. She’s a nerd on the streets and a freak in the sheets.

“I don’t mean to brag,” I tell her in all seriousness. “But you do realize that I could give you an orgasm in thirty seconds.”

Her eyes widen. I can’t tell if she’s horrified or intrigued. “I don’t believe you and I don’t want you to try.”

She’s not getting it. I frown, trying to explain. “If you’re having good sex and it’s with someone you’re comfortable with, you won’t worry about holding back. You’ll cry out all the nonsense you want, you’ll make noises like a pig and scream like you’re on fire because you truly can’t have a good orgasm unless you’re letting go on all accounts.” I lean back in my chair and study her, running my fingers along my jaw. “I would venture that every time you came with your ex, you were only experiencing half of what you should have been. How is it with your vibrators?”

I expect her to tell me to fuck off, that I’m getting too personal but to my surprise she gives me a small smile. “It’s better. But I do have a roommate with exceptionally good hearing.” She clears her throat. “Anyway, so I guess I’m wrong. The heroine can make all the noise she wants.”

 “And have first time sex in public.”

“I don’t know…”

“Believe me, when you finally get a chance to fuck, you don’t care where it is. That’s why I always have a condom in my pocket. And the more public the sex, the sneakier you have to be, the hotter it is.”

“But in the book you would never get caught.”

“You don’t always get caught in real life too.”

I can see she wants to ask me where I’ve done it but she loses her nerve. “Okay.” She looks back to the document. “I accept defeat.”

But I don’t want her to. I want to prove to her I’m right and not have her take my word.

Is there a non-creepy way to show her just how amazing good sex can feel? I’m thinking not.

Or…maybe there is.





What do you think?
Does SMUT sound like something you'd like to read?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Spotlight Tour: POWERLESS Trade Paperback Release! #Excerpt #Giveaway

I have some exciting news for you all! POWERLESS by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs is now in paperback!! I haven't had the chance to read this book yet, but it's definitely one that I'm excited for, and the sequel, RELENTLESS, will be out soon, too!

Keep scrolling to find an excerpt and giveaway for POWERLESS. ;)


NOW IN TRADE PAPERBACK!

POWERLESS
By Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
May 3, 2016; Tradepaper; ISBN 9781492616603
Book Info:
Title: Powerless
Series: The Hero Agenda
Authors: Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

Summary:
Kenna is tired of being “normal.”

The only thing special about her is that she isn’t special at all. Which is frustrating when you’re constantly surrounded by superheroes. Her best friend, her ex-boyfriend, practically everyone she knows has some talent or power. Sure, Kenna’s smart and independent, but as an ordinary girl in an extraordinary world, it’s hard not to feel inferior.

So when three villains break into the lab where she interns, Kenna refuses to be a victim. She’s not about to let criminals steal the research that will make her extraordinary too.

But in the heat of battle, secrets are spilled and one of the villains saves her life. Twice. Suddenly, everything Kenna thought she knew about good and evil, heroes and villains is upended. And to protect her life and those she loves, she must team up with her sworn enemies on a mission that will redefine what it means to be powerful and powerless…

About the Authors:

Tracy Deebs is a national bestselling and criticially-acclaimed author who writes under many different pseudonyms. Tera Lynn Childs is the RITA-award-winning author of two mythology-based novels (Dutton’s Children’s), and a kick-butt trilogy about monster-hunting descendants of Medusa (Katherine Tegen).

Excerpt from POWERLESS:

If I could have any superpower, right now, I’d choose the ability to reach through glass. One thin, little pane is all that separates me from bliss…of the midnight-snack variety, to be exact. The chocolate bar hangs halfway to freedom but refuses to take the plunge, as if the vending machine is mocking me, taunting me.
As if it knows I’m powerless.
Annoyed, I slam my palms against the glass. Everything inside shudders. My chocolate bar—pure Swiss milk chocolate dotted with toasted hazelnuts—doesn’t budge.
“Come on,” I beg as if the candy can hear me. “Just a little farther.”
No such luck.
Then again, when have I ever been lucky? I’m just glad no heroes are around to see me lose a battle with a vending machine. I would be the punch line to every joke for a year.

Thankfully, the lab is pretty much empty at this time of night. Even Mom went home two hours ago, leaving me to transcribe the notes from today’s sessions. I prefer to work when no one is around. My experiments fall into a gray area in the Superhero Code of Conduct, and even though I’m not technically a superhero—yet—I try not to piss off the powers-that-be. The last thing I need is to lose my lab privileges before I’ve perfected my formula.
Copying down Mom’s scribblings is like deciphering some previously unknown ancient language. It isn’t exactly the most glamorous summer job ever, but it pays okay and gives me access to the facility.
I’m almost done with tonight’s transcription from the digital white board Mom and her team spent all day filling with chemical equations for her newest power-enhancing formula. Maybe twenty more minutes, and then I can get back to my test samples.
My stomach rumbles in protest, reminding me that I skipped dinner. I really want that stupid chocolate bar. But since I just used my last quarters, my only hope is that one of the security guards upstairs has change for a ten.
I turn away from the vending machine alcove and start back around the corner to grab my wallet from the lab.
Right before I make the turn, I hear hurried footsteps. Not wanting a repeat of last week’s collision with Dr. Harwood—my favorite jeans still smell like sulfur—I hang back a step.
But the boy who rushes around the corner looks nothing like the balding, old scientist who works nearly as many late nights as I do.
No, this guy is tall and lean, but not too skinny. He’s got major biceps and I can see the outline of some pretty impressive muscles beneath his shirt. Yum. He’s probably about my age or a little older, eighteen or nineteen maybe. And everything about him is shrouded in black—his tee and jeans, his heavy-duty boots, his shoulder-length hair—everything but his eyes.
If we weren’t in superhero central, I’d say he looks like a stereotypical villain.
You’d think with all that darkness, he’d be nothing more than shadow. But he’s all angles: his cheekbones, his jaw, even the collarbones I can see peeking out from the low neckline of his tee. Light seems to reflect off him like moon glow at midnight. Surrounded by all that sculpted darkness, his icy blue irises burn like the hottest flames.
Our gazes collide, and though I know it’s vain, I instantly wish my hair wasn’t pulled back in a messy braid and that I was wearing something—anything—more appealing than my dad’s ratty old 1996 Stanley Cup Champions tee.
Hot guys in the underground lab are few and far between—Who am I kidding? Hot guys in my life are few and far between—so most of my wardrobe choices involve comfort and whether I mind if the garment gets ruined by acid, dye, or any of a million other compounds we work with every day.
If my best friend, Rebel, were here, she’d be doing an I-told-you-so dance because she’s been wanting to give me a makeover forever. That, and she’d already have his number and email address, and they’d be making plans for their date this weekend. Me, I can’t even manage a simple “hello.”
The fact that he’s scowling at me, those dark brows slashing low over those bright eyes, isn’t helping anything.
“The lab is supposed to be empty,” he says.
His voice is flat, but his comment almost feels like an accusation.
“I’m working late,” I answer, trying not to sound defensive. “What are you doing here?”
He lifts an eyebrow. “You’re working in the hall?”
“I needed a break to come get chocolate,” I say, gesturing at the vending machine behind me.
He nods down at my empty hands. “You don’t have any chocolate.”

“That thing hates me. Took my money and kept the candy bar.”
In a graceful movement that looks almost choreographed, Dark-and-Scowly steps around me and up to the greedy machine. He presses his palms to the glass, just like I did. Hey, maybe he has the power to reach through glass. After all, around here pretty much everyone but me has some kind of super ability.
When his hands don’t immediately sink through the surface, I say, “I tried smacking it already. Didn’t work.”
Moving his hands closer to the edge, he curls his fingers around the frame. Then, with his boots braced on the floor, he gives the whole machine a solid shove. The heavy hunk of metal rocks back once, then comes forward, its front legs hitting the tile floor with a sharp thud. On impact, the chocolate bar sails against the glass before falling into the trough below.
He turns to face me, a cocky smile twisting one side of his mouth. “Takes a special touch.”
I duck down and reach through the hinged door to grab the candy bar.
“You’re my hero,” I joke.
He snorts. “Right.”


COMING SOON!

RELENTLESS
By Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
June 7, 2016; Hardcover; ISBN 9781492616610

Summary:

Revenge is easy, but justice is worth fighting for…

Kenna is tired of being lied to—and hunted by the very allies she once trusted. Unearthing the dark secrets of the superhero world has not only endangered her life, now her boyfriend faces execution for crimes he didn’t commit and her mother is being held captive in a secret governmental prison.

Kenna is determined to stand up for what’s right and save those she loves from unspeakable fates. It’s time for the betrayal to end. It’s time for the real criminals to face justice.

But the truth is even more terrifying than Kenna could imagine. A conspiracy threatens the fate of heroes, villains, and all of humanity. If Kenna’s going to survive, she must draw on her deepest strength: her resilience. Because when Kenna’s pushed to the limit, she doesn’t break down. She fights back.

Pre-Order Links: Amazon | Apple | B&N | BooksAMillion | Indigo | Indiebound

GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway link for two paperback copies of Powerless (Runs May 1-May 31st; U.S. & Canada only):




I'm a big fan of all things superhero, so Powerless and Relentless definitely pique my interest!

What about you?
Did you like the excerpt?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

#UnexpectedlyEpic #MorganMatsonWeek: How AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR Began My Love of Contemporary Fiction


Thank you for checking out my post for Mostly YA Lit's Unexpectedly Epic Morgan Matson Week!!! I'm extremely excited to be a part of Tiff's awesome weeklong celebration of all things Morgan Matson! Like Tiff, I'm a big fan of Morgan's and I couldn't resist being a part of this amazing event!!

I decided to write about how much Morgan Matson's debut novel, AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR, means to me. So, without further ado, here's my post on how I felt when I first read it! I hope you enjoy. :)


How AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR Began My Love of Contemporary Fiction

I still remember when I first picked up AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR. It was in 2010, just shortly after the beginning of the second year of my undergrad. I’d fallen in love with the library the previous semester. I’m from a small town, so seeing the magnificent selection of books that the city’s library had was amazing, and visiting the small on-campus EPL (Edmonton Public Library) Go location quickly became one of my favourite pastimes. Sadly, this location is no longer there, so let’s all take a moment to mourn the loss of one of my favourite little spots on the University of Alberta campus! Any who…back to the story.

Near the end of my first year, I’d switched programs, so it was my first full school year majoring in English…and even though I was totally swamped with readings all the time, I still always made sure to find time for recreational reading. When I found AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR at the library, I was immediately intrigued! Before it, I’d pretty much exclusively read YA fantasy and paranormal stories, so I attribute my current GINORMOUS love of contemporary stories to this book…it’s what made me fall in love with stories about real life, and I’m still extremely glad that I picked it up. I was hooked right from the start. It made me laugh, cry, and even now, years later, I’d still say it’s my absolute favourite contemporary book⎯YA or adult!!

When I saw that Tiff was hosting an event devoted just to Morgan Matson around the release of her newest book, THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it because I absolutely ADORE Morgan Matson, and I really wanted to share my love of AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR with you all!!

So, I’ve told you all about when and where I found AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR, but now I want to break it down and tell you all about why I love it so much and I’ve got a couple of Amy-and-Roger-esque playlists to share with you all because the musical and graphic aspects of the book were some of my favourite parts! You might notice that I’ve structured them like Roger’s playlists in the book.

Here’s my AMBUR PLAYLIST #1:

Listen to AMBUR PLAYLIST #1 on 8tracks.
This playlist is inspired by where I was in my life when I found this book. I don’t have an actual playlist from that specific time-frame, so I’ve just pulled songs that I know I was obsessed with at the time. I still love all of these songs, but I have to admit that nowadays I love a couple of these for nostalgic reasons more than anything. :P While they don’t have an obvious cohesive theme, they’re all songs that resonated with me in some way during that age. I was also totally smitten with GLEE during the early years of my undergrad…and my love for Zac Efron never seems to quite go away. :P And I guess I did switch programs just shortly before I found this book, so in a way, that was my own epic detour!

When I first read AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR, I felt SOOOO many things! While my mom is one of my absolute best friends and we’re very close, I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. My dad and I have similar personalities, so we tend to sit and just quietly enjoy each other’s company. I can’t imagine losing my dad, and a few months before reading this book, I did have a brief period of time where my dad had a health scare, so I immediately connected with Amy. The loss of her father in the story immediately hit me super hard, and her grieving process moved me so much. I was completely overwhelmed (in a wonderful way!), and extremely immersed in the story right from the start. I loved seeing Amy bond with Roger, and I loved seeing her come to terms with her grief and remember her father throughout the trip. It was such a moving story, and every time that I’ve reread it since, I’ve loved it just as much. It's one of those stories that just gets better and better with each reading. Each time I’ve read it, I’ve been moved more and more by how Morgan Matson has written the story and her skill at writing such vibrant, dynamic characters also just blows me away!

Now, here’s my AMBUR PLAYLIST #2:

Listen to AMBUR PLAYLIST #2 on 8tracks.
This playlist is where I’m at now. I’ve moved across the country (from Alberta to Ontario) on my own in August of 2015 and mostly what I’ve been focusing on lately is just getting used to being more independent. I’ve been working on my career and focusing on me. I still talk to my family every day, but it’s been quite the adjustment being so far away and being so independent. This playlist has a little bit more cohesion than the previous one, and they’re mostly songs that amp me up and inspire me to never give up on my goals. It also includes a couple of songs that I just love from TV (i.e., “Monsters” and “Fade Into You”), which are just songs I love, but don’t exactly fit my life right now. Obviously, I’m a big fan of soundtrack music…and like my love of Zac Efron, that’s not likely to change any time soon. ;)

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve read AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR, and I unfortunately was a little too busy with work recently to reread it right before #MorganMatsonWeek, but all of this excitement has me raring to read it again!! Even thinking back to my first experience reading AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR, and flipping through it to prepare for this post has gotten me all amped up! My love for this book seriously never wanes! I’ll be taking a trip home in the next little bit to visit my family, and I think it’ll be the perfect book to read during my time back home. :)

I hope that I’ve inspired you all to check out AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR! It’s one of my favourite books, and has an extremely powerful message. It’s also hard not to love the unique little add-ins that pop up in the story during Amy and Roger’s “epic detour” and it’s pretty much impossible to not love the characters, Amy and Roger are both absolutely fantastic! And if you’ve read it already, I’d love to hear about your own reading experience, and if you have some playlist ideas of your own, please share!!



I'd like to take a moment to thank Tiff for letting me be a part of her fabulous weeklong event for Morgan Matson! It’s been a pleasure sharing my love of AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR with all of my fabulous readers as well as hers!!!


Make sure that you check out the rest of Tiff's Unexpectedly Epic Morgan Matson Week! She has so many great posts lined up, and some fantastic quizzes and giveaways, too! You really don't want to miss any of it! :)

What do you think?
Did you love AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR, too?
Do you have a book that opened you up to a whole new genre?
Also, I'd love to hear your thoughts on playlists. Did you have a playlist, or even a song, that you thought of while reading AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR or my post?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Single Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway! #Single #ColletteWest


SINGLE
by Collette West
Stockton Beavers #1
Publication Date: April 22, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports

Underdog Luke “Single” Singleton is yearning to make a comeback. After getting hit in the neck with a pitch—an injury that nearly cost him his life—he has one last chance to play for his hometown team, the Stockton Beavers. But his mom has Alzheimer’s, and he’s all she has to depend on. How can he pursue his career, much less someone special?

Personal care aide Roberta Bennett is done dating baseball players. Having had her share of heartbreak, she heads to Stockton hoping for a fresh start. But after she finds Luke’s mom outside, lost, and alone, she can’t refuse when he hires her on the spot. Unbeknownst to Luke, Roberta is all too familiar with the violent tendencies of the pitcher who hit him.

Now that they’re living under the same roof, the last thing either of them is looking for is a relationship. But it’s not long before they find themselves drawn to each other. And right when Luke is thinking about finally making a change to his single status, a secret from Roberta’s past emerges with the power to tear them apart.

 About Collette West

collette_westCollette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball’s biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette‘s impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as manygames as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she’s not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at collette_west@yahoo.com.

She is the author of the New York Kings series which includes: NIGHT GAMES, GAME CHANGER, GAME ON, PERFECTGAME, INSIDE GAME and GAME WINNER.

EXCERPT

But I'm not about to let her blow me off so easily, not when we were finally starting to enjoy ourselves. This time, I pull on the corner of her scarf and end up drawing it down over her shoulder, spinning her around. I have her off-balance, trying to find her footing, when she falls into my arms.

Her eyes never stray from mine when her hand comes to rest on my neck at the exact spot where I got hit. I swallow hard, never believing anything in the world could feel as good as this. If given the choice, I'd go through all the pain and rehab all over again just to have her do what she's doing to me now. She glides her fingers along my jaw and across my goatee before lightly skimming them over my lips, making me shudder with pleasure. I lean in, and she lowers her hand, her eyes burning into me. Intent on capturing her lips with mine, I’m close enough to feel her warm breath on my face when suddenly she pushes me away from her, taking a step back.

Holding a hand to her forehead, she’s unable to look at me. "Sorry… I tripped and—"

"Roberta," I gasp, struggling to catch my breath. "It's okay. I—"

Yet all she says is, "C'mon," before turning and leaving the alcove.

I run a hand across my face, trying to make sense of what just happened. I almost kissed her… And for a split second, I could've sworn by the fire in her eyes that she'd really wanted me to. God, could she possibly have feelings for me? No… That's just crazy. She probably didn't want to hurt my feelings, and to save me the embarrassment, she graciously backed away before anything could happen. Yeah, that sounds more like it. Now we can just pretend like she tripped and I caught her and go on our merry way. My fingers stray to my neck, right where hers were. Because that's what she wants, right?


TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY FILL OUT THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW: 

IndieSageBlogger

You can find the rest of the SINGLE Blog Tour Schedule, here.



I've already posted my review for SINGLE, and you can find it on my blog, here.

I'm so excited that SINGLE is finally out, so that you can all fall in love with Luke like I have!!!

What do you think?
Does SINGLE sound like something you'd like to read?