Monday, April 14, 2014

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout Release day!

We are extremely excited that Jennifer L. Armentrout's DON'T LOOK BACK releases today!! DON’T LOOK BACK is a young adult suspense being published by Disney Hyperion!
don't look back   
BUY NOW: Amazon Barnes and Noble iTunes

EXCERPT: I didn’t recognize the name on the street sign. Nothing about the rural road looked familiar or friendly. Tall, imposing trees and overgrown weeds choked the front of the dilapidated home. Windows were boarded up. There was a gaping hole where the front door had been. I shivered, wanting to be far away from here…wherever here was. Walking felt harder than it should be, and I stumbled off the chilly asphalt, wincing as sharp gravel dug into my feet. My bare feet? I stopped and looked down. Chipped pink nail polish peeked through the dirt…and blood. Mud caked the legs of my pants, leaving the hems stiff. It made sense, seeing as how I wasn’t wearing any shoes, but the blood…I didn’t understand why there was blood staining the knees of my jeans. My vision clouded and dulled, as if a gray film had been dropped over my eyes. As I stared at the weathered asphalt under my feet, large and smooth rocks replaced the tiny stones. Something dark and oily seeped over the rocks, slipping through the cracks. Sucking in a sharp gasp, I blinked and the image was gone. Hands trembling, I raised them. They were also covered with dirt and scratches. My nails were broken, bloodied. A silver ring wrapped, encased in soil, around my thumb. Air froze in my chest as my gaze crawled over my arms. The sleeves of my sweater were torn, revealing pale flesh covered in bruises and gashes. My legs started to shake as I swayed forward. I tried to remember how this had happened, but my head was empty—a black void where nothing existed. A car drove by, coasting to a stop a few feet in front of me. Somewhere in the trenches of my subconscious, I recognized the flashing red and blue lights as a source of safety. Elegantly scrawled along the black-and-gray side of the cruiser were the words ADAMS COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT. Adams County? A flash of familiarity came and went. The driver’s door opened, and a deputy stepped out. He said something into the radio on his shoulder before he looked at me. “Miss?” He started around the cruiser, taking tentative steps. He looked young for a deputy. Barely out of high school and able to carry a gun seemed wrong somehow. Was I in high school? I didn’t know. “We’ve received some calls into dispatch concerning you,” he said gently. “Are you okay?” I tried to respond, but only a hoarse squeak came out. Clearing my throat, I winced as the motion scratched and pulled. “I…I don’t know.” “Okay.” The deputy held up his hands as he approached me, as if I were a skittish deer about to bolt. “My name is Deputy Rhode. I’m here to help you. Do you know what you’re doing out here?” “No.” Knots formed in my belly. I didn’t even know where here was. His smile strained. “What’s your name?” My name? Everyone knew their name, but as I stared at the deputy, I couldn’t answer his question. The knots started twisting more. “I don’t…I don’t know what my name is.” He blinked, and the smile was completely gone. “You don’t remember anything?” I tried again, concentrating on the empty space between my ears. That was how it felt. And I knew that wasn’t good. My eyes started to tear up. “Miss, it’s okay. We’ll get you taken care of.” He reached out, lightly taking hold of my arm. “We’ll get this sorted.” Deputy Rhode led me around the back of his cruiser. I didn’t want to sit behind the Plexiglas, because I knew that wasn’t good. Only bad people sat behind the glass in police cruisers. I wanted to object, but before I could say anything, he settled me into the seat and wrapped a coarse blanket around my shoulders. Before he locked me in the bad part of the car, he knelt and smiled reassuringly. “Everything’s going to be okay.” But I knew he was lying, trying to make me feel better. It didn’t work. How could everything be okay when I didn’t know my own name?


Don't Look Back RDL Banner

ABOUT DON’T LOOK BACK: Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all—popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend. Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her—even if the old Sam treated him like trash. But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory—someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

“This engrossing thriller packs a heady atmospheric punch with plenty of theatrical scares,” Kirkus Reviews “Armentrout has written another winner. From the first page to the last, she builds both terror and confusion to the point where readers will be hooked and on the edge of their seat. This standalone contains all of Armentrout’s usual trademarks– a strong and determined heroine, witty comments and hot guys–but she adds in an extra layer by ratcheting up the suspense to the highest degree and follows it up with an ending no one will see coming.” RT BOOK REVIEWS 4 1/2 Stars TOP PICK  

Author PhotoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout: # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
Thursday, April 3, 2014

Release Blitz Orange Blossom by Sarah Daltry

orange_blossomOrange Blossom will be the penultimate title in Sarah Daltry's bestselling New Adult romance series, Flowering. The reading order and information about the other titles follows.
Title: Orange Blossom
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover Design: Shoutlines Design
18+ New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 4, 2014
"I’ve never understood a year. A year was always a measurement of something bad for me. A year in my father’s prison sentence, a year since my mom’s death, a year left of school before I could get far, far away from here. Now, as I look down the end of my college career, with only a little more than a semester to go, a year seems like something magical. It has been a year since Lily chose me, since she sat with me on the old swing set and made a decision that I was worthy of her. And every minute of the entire year has been better than the last." You already know their stories: Lily, the perfect princess, always living someone else's life. And Jack, the broken boy, who had stopped believing in hope. Somehow, though, they found each other and what was one night blossomed into a love story. Now, a year later, Jack and Lily are dreaming of the future. Despite all of his promises to himself that he would never be indebted to anyone, Jack makes a new promise - this time to Lily - that he will be there for her forever. But when life unravels for them, he starts to pull away, and Lily worries he's out of reach for good. When Jack does the unthinkable, Lily is left destroyed. Is it possible to have a happily ever after? Does love ever really save anyone? Listen to the Playlist or watch the Trailer! Series Reading Order: Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, and Blue Rose can be read in any order. There is some crossover in scenes between the titles, but each stands alone as one character's story. Star of Bethlehem is a direct continuation from Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley. Orange Blossom and Ambrosia (releasing June 6, 2014) assume readers have read the other four titles and read as sequels. In essence, the first three are #1, Star of Bethlehem is #1.5, Orange Blossom is #2, and Ambrosia is #3.


FMN Title: Forget Me Not (Lily’s Story)
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover: Shoutlines Design
18+ New Adult contemporary romance
This is a coming of age story, but it isn't always sweet and innocent. If dirty talk, bedroom toys, and threesomes offend you... this is not your book. "No one tells you when you start school just how homesick you will be, or how hard it will be to start life over with no direction and no friends or family. No one says that becoming your own person is terrifying." I never wanted anything but Derek, my brother's best friend. When I chose a college, it didn't seem to matter that he would be an hour away. We could survive it. After all, we were in love. But almost immediately, things change between us. I blame myself. Maybe I'm just not sure how to be a girlfriend and independent. Life seems to be getting away from me - and then there's Jack, the guy down the hall. He's rude and vulgar and my parents would be shocked by him, yet every single time I see him, I feel like I'm being pulled toward him. It's physical, sure, but there's something in Jack's eyes - and I want to know him. I know I don't always make the right choices, and I'm the only person at fault when everything falls apart. How do I tell Derek, the guy who was supposed to be everything, that I don't feel like fighting for him anymore? And do I run to Jack, when I know his past is way too much for me to handle when I've just turned 19? Finally, where do I end up in all of this? Can I be more than just someone else's idea of what I should be? Buy it Now! Listen to the Playlist or watch the Trailer!


Title: Lily of the Valley (Jack’s story)
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover: Shoutlines Design
18+ New Adult contemporary romance
LotVJack's story isn't pretty. He's suicidal, depressed, and he uses meaningless sex and alcohol to survive. However, the story is about finding light in the darkness, but sometimes the road there isn't always easy to walk. "No one tells you about pain. They tell you that it hurts, that sometimes it's consuming. What they don't tell you is that it's not the pain that can kill you. It's the uncomfortable numbness that follows, the weakness in your body when you realize your lungs may stop taking in air and you just can't exert enough energy to care. It's the way taste and color and smell fade from the world and all you're left with is a sepia print of misery. That's when the shift starts - the movement from passive to active. I fall asleep, hoping that the morning will bring back the pain. At least the pain is a thing." I'm a plague, a cancer. My mom is dead - and my father is in prison for it. I survived high school because college was my way out. I needed to escape, to get away from my family and the people who tortured me, but it hasn't grown any easier. I don't pretend that I'm a good person. I drink far more than I should, and I use my best friend, Alana, because together, we thrive on destroying each other - as well as the parts of us we hate. I don't believe in love, but sex is fun and it also makes me feel something. The morning I see Lily, the beautiful princess who smells inexplicably like strawberries every time I see her, I realize I'm in trouble. I should hate her. I want to hate her, because the alternative terrifies me. However, as she continues to crash into my life (often literally), I can't avoid feeling something that is the one thing I swore I would never feel. I can't fall in love, because people like me don't live in a world where love saves anyone. She just won't go away, though, and I don't know if I can keep running. The voices and the darkness hover over me and they threaten to bring me back to the safety of my hate, but the stupid scent of strawberries lingers on the horizon, as something like hope. Buy it Now! Listen to the Playlist or watch the Trailer!



BR_frontTitle: Blue Rose (Alana’s story)
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover Design: Shoutlines Design
Warning: This book deals with topics of abuse and may trigger reactions in people who have experienced those things in their own lives. It remains a story about healing, but it's not always an easy journey. "Four. My life has been shaped by four people. Four men, to be more specific. My father, my stepfather, my best friend, and my boyfriend. The first two shaped it in horrible ways, but what I am, who I am, is all because of four men." Over the last twenty years, I've learned how to keep secrets. It doesn't really matter, since everyone already seems to think they know everything about me. So I hide. I avoid confrontation, I treat Xanax like a magic pill that will make it all go away, and I become everything they think I am. A slut. A whore. Nothing but trash. I can only name two guys who have ever made me feel like I was more than that. Jack is my best friend and I've loved him since I met him. Now, though, he's in love... with someone else, and I guess I need to get over him. Somehow. And then there's Dave. The guy I never gave a chance. The guy I used almost as much as people used me, because I wanted to pretend I was someone worth loving. Two years have passed since we last spoke, but I don't know how to stop thinking about him. My new therapist is making me face my past, and she tells me that life inevitably changes without our permission. I believe it, but I know what I am. I hear what she's saying to me, and I want to try again with Dave, to help Jack find joy, to love myself, and to move on. I just wonder if anyone can do that, really. Buy it Now! Listen to the Playlist or watch the Trailer!



SoBTitle: Star of Bethlehem
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover: Shoutlines Design
18+ NA contemporary romance
This is a holiday novella-length story that follows Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley. "With you, Jack, it was the first time I ever felt real. It was the first time anyone looked at me and saw substance. It was the first time I wanted to make someone see me." Jack: New Year's Eve. I've somehow managed to get here, and now I'm wearing a hideous and unreasonably itchy sweater, because I want to impress Lily's family. I want to do anything for this girl who has made me believe in second chances. Lily: The house is beautiful and shining with light, but it feels empty. At least until Jack gets here. I know how desperately he wants this - a family, love, a home. If I can be the person who can give it to him, it's all I need, but I hope I can keep him from seeing how hollow it all really is. Buy it Now! Listen to the Playlist or watch the Trailer!

button.2About the Author: Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She's written works in various genres - romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn't as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she's been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships - romantic, familial, friendly - because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn't matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future - human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah's stories. Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun. When Sarah isn't writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window. Sarah has also written Bitter Fruits, an urban fantasy romance, and Backward Compatible, a gamer geek romantic comedy.

Buy Links
Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Golden Apple by Michelle Diener Book Blitz


We're celebrating the release of Michelle Diener's second fairy tale retelling:
The Golden Apple
An Adult Fantasy Romance based loosely on the Princess on the Glass Hill


The Golden AppleThe Golden Apple
by Michelle Diener
Adult Fantasy/SciFi
March 24, 2014

Kayla's world has been turned upside-down...

Her father has made her the prize in a deadly, impossible tournament, and Kayla has retaliated in the only way she knows how; by choosing her champion beforehand. But taking control of the outcome changes the game completely, and when the real reason behind the strange test becomes apparent, Kayla realizes not just her life, but her entire kingdom is at stake.

Rane's honor is torn in two...

In order to save his brother, Rane will do whatever he has to--including deceive and betray a princess. He knew nothing about this tournament would be easy, but when it turns into a deeper, far more sinister game, Rane is forced to see it through to the end, or leave his brother at the mercy of their enemy.

Now their fates are entwined, and they must venture into the deep, dark forest together...

Kayla and Rane are bound to one another by an enchantment and Kayla's actions. But the sorcerer forcing them to do his will may have miscalculated, because no-one comes out of the Great Forest unchanged. No-one.



The inspiration for The Golden Apple

The Golden Apple is loosely based on the Norwegian fairy tale The Princess on the Glass Hill. The original tale is more about the hero than the heroine, and it is a very straightforward quest story, with the hero becoming more and more accomplished, until at last he succeeds against the odds. But there were a few things in this fairy tale that stood out for me and made me take notice. The first is the very unusual situation of the king holding a contest for his daughter’s hand by putting her on top of a glass hill with a golden apple in her lap. Knights from all over are invited to race a horse up the smooth glass sides of the mountain and the one who can pluck the golden apple from the princess's lap wins her hand and is heir to the kingdom. As usual in fairy tales, there is no explanation as to how the king came by a glass mountain, but I wondered where he got it, and that sparked the starting point of the story. It is really the inciting incident that starts the story off, rather than the focus of the story, as it was in the fairy tale.

Secondly, the crux of the tale, for me, is that the hero cannot win the princess's hand without help from the princess herself. That part of the original tale is one or two lines long, but for me, it's fascinating. The feminine power determining and choosing which masculine power will prevail. This really made me interested, because the princess doesn't just sit there and take whoever it is manages to accomplish the (impossible) task set by her father, but actively chooses who it is she wants to win and helps them. I wanted to write a story about the consequences of her taking that power and using it and The Golden Apple was the result -- far, far more heroine-centric than the original, and I really had fun with it.
- Michelle Diener


LAST CALL FOR REVIEWERS!
Are you interested in fantasy romance?
Do you love fairy tale retellings?
Have you read Michelle Diener and enjoyed her work in the past?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you can request a review copy of The Golden Apple! The Golden Apple is up for review by invitation only on NetGalley. Reviewers with book review sites can apply for a limited number of pre-approved copies. Book reviewers who post their review on their review site, Amazon, and Goodreads can enter a Rafflecopter draw to win one of ten copies of any Michelle Diener book of their choice, or a $10 Amazon gift card. (Instructions in sign-up form.)

Sign up HERE


Image of Michelle DienerMichelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout & John Parker series, set in the court of Henry VIII, includes In a Treacherous Court, Keeper of the King's Secrets and In Defense of the Queen.

Michelle's other historical novels include Daughter of the Sky, The Emperor's Conspiracy and Banquet of Lies (loosely connected to The Emperor's Conspiracy).

Michelle's first fantasy novel, Mistress of the Wind, is set for a December 23, 2013, release.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

Blitz-Wide Giveaways:

1 - Enter to WIN one of ten ebooks of The Golden Apple.
- March 30 - April 7.
See Rafflecopter for restrictions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 - For book bloggers: Review The Golden Apple by April 1, 2014 and enter to WIN one of 10 prizes:
- Choose any one of Michelle Diener's books or $10 Gift Card!
- March 24 - April 7

Request an early review copy using the form. Instructions on entering the second giveaway are included!


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Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.
Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Hero's Journey Panel at WW St. Louis

O Hai!

You heard right! I'll be at Wizard World St. Louis talking about Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey and how it pertains to popular series like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and more. You're welcomed to join our distinguished group of panelists for an interesting look at pop culture.

DAY: Sunday, April 6
PANEL TITLE: "The Hero's Journey..(more)"
TIME: 11:30-12:15pm
ROOM: 144

Moderator: 


Rhi Paille

Rhiannon is a Booksmith from the North, telling her fantastical tales to unsuspecting folk on mountains, in valleys and mostly in cities around the world. She holds a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology, which is to say she happens to know a lot about what goes bump in the night. When she's not writing she's singing karaoke, burning dinner, and hiding her superhero identity. She'd like to own a unicorn one day, as long as it doesn't eat her. You'll find her sipping iced cappuccino despite her allergy to coffee at www.yafantasyauthor.com


Panelists:


Christopher Boll

He's still busy writing his bio, so for now I'll say he makes art for Studio De Sade, First Arcana and Flame Bearers as well as maps for my The Ferryman + The Flame Series. He's philosophical so it might take him awhile to write a real bio, for now you can use this one.










Adron Buske

St. Louis-based writer Adron Buske is the co-creator of the supernatural comic adventure series “Loop & Hoodie” with artists Dan Cassity and Travis Nuckolls, as well as the fantasy adventure comic “Good Intentions” with artist Gene Kelly.

He and his wife, Wendy Buske, are the creators of Nerd for a Living, a website and marketing service dedicated to helping nerds/geeks discover fulfilling, profitable and sustainable career paths in fandom-related industries. They host an interview podcast at NerdForALiving.com.

Adron has been a creative professional for over 12 years, working in digital and broadcast media. He channels his skills in graphic design, web development, photography, and marketing into his company, Armadian Creative.

Find out more at AdronBuske.com
Follow him on Twitter: @AdronBuske

Genese Davis

Genese Davis is an American author, host, columnist and media personality. She is the author of The Holder’s Dominion and the founder of The Gamer In You. Davis was recently awarded iGR Woman of the Year, and is a Publishers Weekly featured novelist. As an award-winning writer, model and moderator she appears internationally for entertainment and literary events.






Jeffrey Johnson

One of the greatest things about growing up a fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy in the 80’s was that I was there to be shocked as Flynn was pulled into the digital world in “Tron,”  I could be jealous of Alex Rogan when he was recruited by Star Command  in “The Last Starfighter,”  I cheered when the Ghostbusters defeated Gozer the Gozerian.  The wonderful thing about being an illustrator is that I’m no longer merely a spectator, but am now a part of bringing exciting stories like these to life.

Jeffrey Johnson is a stay-at-home dad, freelance illustrator, web comiker, and crafter. He lives, works and plays in Saint Louis, MO with his wife and two daughters. You can find more about him and his Handmade Family at http://www.lifewithgirls.net

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Forever Layla by Melissa Turner Lee Cover Reveal


The Book
Title: Forever Layla
Release date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: AltWit Press
Goodreads

The Story
What if the woman you envied most is the person you are destined to become?

In 1994, high school senior David Foster was the lackey and soundboard geek for his best friend's grunge band. During spring break, the band lands a dream gig playing at a motel in Myrtle Beach, SC. David expected all the girls to ogle the guys on stage, but when a beautiful blond "Bond Girl" approaches him and calls him by name, he's shocked to find out she knows more about him than a stranger should.

She even knows about his notebooks and his visions of time travel.

What she thought was a quick time-travel-sightseeing trip takes a surprising turn when she meets the young adult version of the man she'd heard stories about as a child. His fairy-tale romance with the woman he'd loved, Layla, inspired her to accept nothing less than a love just as strong...but hopefully not as tragic. When she won't tell the younger version of him her name, he calls her Layla--and the world as she knows it changes forever.

The Author
Melissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.





The Giveaway
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

8 Weeks by Bethany Lopez + Excerpt

The Book
Title: 8 Weeks
Series: Time For Love #1
Author: Bethany Lopez
Release Date: March 24, 2014

The Story
Is eight weeks enough time to earn back the love of someone you've betrayed...the only one you've ever loved?

Shelly has been in love with Cal since they started dating in eleventh grade. Despite everyone saying that the odds were against them, they got married after graduation and built a life together. Now, six years later, she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. Devastated, her first instinct is to call it quits…

After a drunken binge at his best friends’ bachelor party, Cal betrays the one person who has always been there for him, his wife, Shelly. Terrified and realizing she might divorce him, Cal must come up with a way to prove to her that his love is true…

Cal asks Shelly for eight weeks. Eight weeks to convince her that their marriage is worth the fight. Will Shelly be able to trust him again, or will their marriage end the way many others do when faced with opposition… In divorce?

8 Weeks is book 1 in the Time for Love series, but can be read as a stand alone.

The Links
Amazon
iTunes
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

The Author
Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. Since then she has published various YA and NA books. She is a lover of romance, family, and friends, and enjoys incorporating those things in what she writes. When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible.

The Excerpt
Cal's POV
“Jesus,” Cal exclaimed, running his hands through his hair in frustration. “I want you to do what you want to do … I always have. If you want to tattoo your entire body, shave your head, and dye yourself blue … go for it. I’m not your ruler, Shelly, and I can’t believe that you’ve ever thought that I would dictate what you could or couldn’t do.”

“It’s not like that …” I said, trying to explain, but the hurt radiating off of Cal was palpable, and it suddenly didn’t seem like anything I’d say would help.

“It sure as hell seems like that, doesn’t it. Is that what you think of me, of the last six years of our relationship?” Cal took a step closer to me, his voice low so as not to broadcast our fight to the entire restaurant. “No wonder you’re so quick to give up … I thought we were in a partnership, Shel. I’ve never expected you to ask my permission to do anything. I love you, for who you are, and I want you to do what makes you happy.”

My heart pounded loudly in my chest, and I felt a mixture of regret and fear running through me.

“Cal, you’re taking this the wrong way. Yes, I’ve always wanted to do the things I’m doing now, and I didn’t because I didn’t think you’d like it.” His eyes narrowed at that, and I rushed on, hoping to make him understand. “Not because you wanted to dictate what I did or didn’t do, but because you liked me so much the way I was that I didn’t want to change anything. I wanted you to find me attractive …” Cal’s face smoothed out at my words, and when I was finished, he stepped even closer. Close enough that I could smell the mixture of sweat and grease on his body, and see his chocolate eyes darken as he said, “Never doubt how attractive I find you, Shelly. You were hot as hell before, and you’re hot as hell now. There isn’t anything that you could do to your appearance to make me not want you. I want you every minute of every day, Shelly. I promise you that.”

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love's Paradox by Laura Kreitzer

Love's Paradox is the first book in a New Adult Contemporary Romance series by Laura Kreitzer to be released May 5, 2014. And today I'm revealing the cover! But first, a little bit about the book: Stalked by her abusive ex-fiancĂ©, Rae Zachery retaliates by singing karaoke and spilling all their dirty secrets to the entire bar. When her ex attempts to silence her brazen performance, sexy biker Parker comes to her rescue and soundly punches her ex in the face. As valiant as that may be, Rae finds Parker’s violent assistance unsettling, yet she can’t help but be drawn to him and his tragic past. Fighting her attraction for Parker is a battle Rae can’t win, and soon their night of sharing secrets morphs into an undeniable bond. But fate won’t so easily relinquish her grip on their happily-ever-after. Instead of blissfully skipping into obscurity, Rae and Parker are subjected to her ex-fiancĂ©’s vicious proclivities. Who knew love could hurt so good?
Read the first 5 chapters for free by clicking here.
Now the cover! Are you excited? I know I am.
Love's Paradox
Don't forget to add Love's Paradox to Goodreads!
If you're a reviewer, check out Love's Paradox on NetGalley!
laurakreitzer
Laura Kreitzer is a best-selling fantasy and science fiction author who hails from western Kentucky. Represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, partner at Foreword Literary. Laura's full-time 9-5 job used to be working in a lab devoted to water dye-tracing investigations at Western Kentucky University, though her passion was always writing. After seven years of dedicating her life to the environment, she made the tough decision to leave the university to pursue her writing career. Now Laura has several novels published, with several more in the works.
You can find her online here:
Friday, March 21, 2014

Guest Post: Elizabeth Eckhart on YA Fantasy and Divergent

It seems like everywhere you turn these days, there is a new take of the dystopian genre. From television shows like NBC’s Revolution to books like Rhiannon Paille’s Last City On Earth, it’s become an idea creative minds are drawn to, and for good reason. The genre allows them endless creative freedom, since it’s essentially a land of make believe where the author gets to build an entire society and way of life on their own.

Two writers who have taken this concept and run with it to massive commercial and critical success are Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth. Their series, The Hunger Games and Divergent respectively, have become household names thanks to the millions of books they’ve sold, and the films made based on them. Now that the Divergent film is slated to be released, it’s leading to the inevitable comparisons between the two, as well as other dystopian YA franchises.

With the release of Divergent coming this Friday, and the upcoming release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1 due this summer, I think it’s safe to say that the genre is just hitting its stride. However, it’s not as if the two series are the dystopian series to ever exist. In fact, they aren’t even the only dystopian YA series. There have been quite a few, let’s take a look at some of the most famous ones, who like The Hunger Games and Divergent, got the Hollywood treatment as well.
Perhaps one of the first YA dystopian series to get widespread exposure was Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game series, which was popular in the 1980’s. Card’s series focuses on a future that has been shaken after a series of conflicts with an alien race. Earth is transformed into a place constantly on edge, ruled by a defensive, militaristic mindset. While this series seems to have been lost on the current generations, there was an Ender’s Game film made in 2013 (which is now available for streaming via Amazon, DirecTV, or other similar platforms).

In the early 90’s, the dystopian YA book of choice was, of course, The Giver by Lois Lowry. This book’s legacy has lived on thanks to its heavy use in middle school curriculum thanks to it’s timeless story. Lowry went on to make the book part of a quartet which includes Gathering Blue (2000), Messenger (2004), and Son (2012). However, due to the fact that the release of all four was spaced out over twenty years, many fans of The Giver don’t even know about the other three books. Like any other great book, they’re making a movie based on The Giver. The cast includes Meryl Streep as Chief Elder, Jeff Bridges as the Giver, Brenton Thwaites as Jonas with Alexander Skarsgard and Katie Holmes as his parents. The movie will hit theaters this August, but a trailer was just released this week, hopefully it’s enough to keep you tied over until this summer!

~Elizabeth Eckhart
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Indies Rock Online Auction

IndiesRock1
Making It Reel is hosting a new and fresh way to promote all indie artists from anywhere in the world! If you are an indie cover artist, formatter, editor, website designer, marketer, or if you own your own small business, you can participate in this promotional opportunity.
 
How? It's simple. Just donate an item or service, which Making It Reel will auction off. In return for your contribution, Making It Reel will promote your item and business to over 500 blogs, social media, and forums. This gives the indie artist or small business owner a considerable spike in visibility and exposure to the people you want to reach--your customers!
 
Making It Reel has already received many wonderful contributions, which include editing services, e-book cover art, cake pops from an independently owned bakery, customized doll clothes, marketing services, and more! Join Making It Reel and all of our contributors in helping small businesses thrive! Because lets face it. Indies Rock!
If you're an indie rock star, grab the button below!
 
Auctions begin March 20th! We are still accepting contributions, so be sure to stop in and check it out!
-Theresa and Molly
 
Indies Rock
Please note: This is not a charity auction of any kind. This auction is hosted by Making It Reel as a promotional service only.
Sunday, March 16, 2014

His Hometown Girl by Karen Rock GRAND FINALE


It's the GRAND FINALE for
His Hometown Girl

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Jodi and Daniel a little more on the tour. 
If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now! 
Then be sure to enter the amazing giveaway, if you haven't already.

     “Because we used to be friends, Jodi Lynn.”
     “Friends?” She snorted and shook off the water collecting on the stroller’s canopy.
“And don’t call me Jodi Lynn.”
     “Would you prefer ‘ma’am’? Is that what country folks are supposed to say when a city
girl comes to town?”

3/4
"I loved this story! I loved the strawberries, the farm life, the small town family feel, and of course, the clean romance. I loved the ending! It was perfect."

Just Jeannies Books & Bling - Author Interview
"This story goes out as a tribute to all of the parents, and extended family members helping to raise a special needs child. Like your children, you are extraordinary and more than worthy of having lasting love."

"There were some very sweet moments between Jodi, Daniel, and Tyler. Moments that made you want this whole thing to work out for them. I could almost taste the berries when they picked them. Very nicely done, Ms. Rock!"

3/5
All That's Written - Character Interview
You used to have such a strong connection with Cedar Bay and an old childhood rival and later secret boyfriend, Daniel Gleason. Do you think you could ever care for either of them again?

When I left Cedar Bay, I tried putting it, and Daniel, out of my mind forever. In their own way, both had crushed me. However, when my boss offered me a promotion if I returned there to purchase farm land, I had no choice but to accept. I needed that extra money to pay for the special needs day care that would help Tyler speak again. Yet my loyalties were divided when I arrived and remembered how much I used to love living in Cedar Bay. I felt torn that it would become a massive industrial farm if I succeeded in purchasing all of the land for my employer. Of course Daniel Gleason wasn’t going to make that easy. In fact, he planned to stop me every way he could, even using his old charm. Only, I wasn’t falling for that again. Or at least I tried not to…

Cinnamon Cindy's Book Blog - Review
"This book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire story. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a clean romance about old love rekindling."

3/6
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - Character Interview
You had strong connection with Jodi growing up. Do you think you’ll ever be close again?

Jodi Lynn used to drive me nuts as a boy- still does. She’s smart, pretty and always sure she knows best. I couldn’t help, growing up, wanting to best her every chance I got. Seeing that line appear between her blue eyes always made me smile. At least she knew who I was, even if she seemed like she hated me. Except one summer, the year we worked together after her father’s accident, she kissed me while we were berry picking. That changed everything...

You can see Kathy's review here.

Kelly P's Blog - Karen Rock: Caught between a Holstein and a Gander!
"...I had my own set of adventures on the farm and though some didn’t end well, as the one I’m about to relate, they’ve all stayed with me and inspired me while writing His Hometown Girl. This particular adventure began while I was spending a summer weekend at my grandparents’ farm house..."

Harlie's Books - Review
"If you are looking for a sweet, heartwarming romance this line from Harlequin will be just perfect for you. It’s not quite Harlequin Romance and it doesn’t have the religious overtones of Love Inspired (which I love). It’s in the middle dealing with every day folks, their community and home."

Fiona's Book Reviews - Review
"The story is written well. It is a lovely slow burning story with plenty to keep you interested. It isn't a simple romance story. Much of it is about her job and her need to provide for her son. A story which I enjoyed, and I look forward to seeing what the author comes up with next."

Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf - Author Interview
4.What do you hope that readers take away with them after reading your book? 

At its heart, this story is about acceptance. Jodi needs to learn to accept her past and forgive herself for old mistakes. She also needs to accept that no parent is perfect, nor is any child. We need to learn to love and accept ourselves to find true love. I hope the reader comes away knowing that you don’t have to be perfect to find the person who is perfect for you.

3/7
Mel's Shelves - Review
"This is a fun read! Jodi and Daniel go head to head to get the farmers to commit to each of their plans and some of their tactics were quite entertaining. I enjoyed their banter and watching their relationship progress. Jodi is protective of her heart and her son and isn't about to let just anyone in...

This is, indeed, a heartwarming story and a good book to curl up with when you're in the mood for a clean romance!"

Read a Book - Review
"Both Jodi and Daniel make mistakes, they can become rather stubborn and closed in their thinking, refusing to consider other possibilities than those that they think are right, but it is through these mistakes that will realize the reality and what really matters.

His Hometown Girl if it was an emotional read for me, holding a couple of scarves haha, but if you venture too fast in history, also the pace is quite fluid and I welcome both the plot and the characters (?), A book very touching, if they read it out!"

Reviews By Molly - Spotlight

3/9
"This author is one I would read again in a heartbeat, and this is one of those books you can read quickly and feel so good afterwards! I highly recommend it."

Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Guest Post: The Proof is in the Salsa
Suddenly, I felt the pressure and responsibility of having brought a tasty dish. It wasn’t until someone scooped out the last spoonful that I breathed easy and shared a jubilant hug with Gram. I’d done it!

"It also pulled me in with the humor, romance, and heartfelt story. I literally read it in one sitting. There are some great scenes and moments between these characters. I also really loved the small-town feel."

3/10
     The music began and Mary gave Daniel a little shove. “Have at her. Indulge us for old times’ sake. Everyone thought you two would make a great couple when you weren’t scrapping.”
     He looked down at a dismayed Jodi. “Guess we can’t disappoint our fans.”

3/11
"I really enjoyed this book and I will admit that when Daniel and Jodi call a semi-truce of sorts and start being nicer to each other I breathed a sigh of relief. This was a fluffy read, and a great distraction with a happily ever after that I loved."

Copywrite1985 - Review & Author Interview
"I loved His Hometown Girl! Jodi and Daniel are both compelling characters with complex motivations. I understood both of their positions and reasons, which made it all the more difficult as a reader to choose a side."

Q: For those who aren’t familiar with Heartwarming, how would you characterize the line?

Heartwarming novels are deeply romantic, tender love stories that are considered ‘clean’ or ‘wholesome’ without a faith-based element. They are the kinds of romances you’d be excited to share with your daughter as they’re great examples of what real-life relationships should be.


Colorimetry - Flashback to Strawberry Picking
     “It’s a free country,” she muttered, of two minds. Like always, she wanted him near. Though they’d been childhood rivals for years, he’d been the only boy who made her stomach turn itself into knots, her heart beat faster. Too often, she’d caught herself doodling his name in the margins of notebooks when she forgot herself. Yet his family had loaned her father the machine that’d caused the accident. It was hard not to see him as ‘the enemy’ more than ever.

3/12
The Wonderings of One Person - Author Interview
How has this story touched your life?

It meant a lot when I read the ‘Dear Reader’ letter to my sister and saw her smile and cry happy tears to see what I’d written about her. Like all parents of special needs children (and I’m one myself as my daughter has an anxiety disorder), she needs to know what an incredible job she is doing and never to feel less than other parents.
     “So you do think about it.” His eyes lit up. “About us.”
     Her sigh felt as though it came from the deepest part of her. “Oh, Daniel.”
     He cupped her cheeks. “We can make this work.”
     Her brows came together. “Impossible. We both have too much to lose.”

3/13
Lola's Reviews - Review
"I really enjoyed the ending and there are some really sweet and touching scenes in this book."

"Karen Rock charms us with her second novel. Jodi and Daniel…and Tyler’s story makes you laugh out loud, sigh with longing and ball your fists in frustration and cry at the happily ever after. Readers will be completely blown away by this heartwarming tale and grabbing for the nearest box of tissues."

The Written Adventure - Author Interview
12) Do you have other stories you plan to write?

I have three more books contracted with Harlequin Heartwarming and each is very unique. I can’t wait to share them! I just finished one about two very different people- one’s a dreamer, the other a pragmatist- who team up to create a start-up company designing a dating compatibility app. It’s been a lot of fun trying to answer the question: Can love come with a guarantee?
What was your inspiration behind this book?

A couple of things inspired HIS HOMETOWN GIRL. The first is my sister, Cathy. She’s my autistic niece, Abbie’s, mother and an incredible parent. Raising a child with special needs can be challenging and requires a lot of love and patience...

The second inspiration is my childhood days spent on my Uncle Bob’s dairy farm.

3/14
Brooke Blogs - Review
I loved that the story was much more than a romance, though. It was a genuine, full story of life, of love, and of all the things that people go through.
     He tucked a curl behind her ear and the feel of his touch made her shiver. It was so quiet, she could hear every breath he took, felt it vibrate through him in the cramped bottom of the boat.

Total Book Geek - Review
"There is plenty of drama and also fun times to keep it interesting. A sweet heartfelt story, perfect for lazy Sunday reading."


His Hometown GirlHis Hometown Girl
by Karen Rock
Mass Market Paperback, Large Print, 331 pages
March 1st 2014 by Harlequin


He'd always managed to best her…

Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he's not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that's always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?



Karen Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. 

For more information about Karen's upcoming books, check out her website, Facebook page, or follow her on twitter. She’d love to hear from you!



Tour-Wide Giveaway



Grand Prize: Hand-stitched, authentic Amish quilt (uses their overlapping heart-stitching- pattern), with matching dust ruffle for a king-sized bed, signed copies of Wish Me Tomorrow & Camp Boyfriend, and some surprise swag (US Only)
1 - Paperback/ebook copies of Wish Me Tomorrow and Camp Boyfriend (format is winner's choice, paperback for US Only) and $20 Amazon gift card
2 - ebooks of Wish Me Tomorrow and Camp Boyfriend (INT)

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