Monthly Archives: July 2015

Best of the Bunch #2 – July 2015

Thank you to A Cocoon of Books for hosting this monthly meme! Best of the Bunch is a monthly linkup where we can share the best books we read each month and award one of them “Best of the Bunch.”

I read 5 books this month, same as last month. I have listed them below, along with the ratings I gave them. (Click on the titles to see my reviews!)

Books I Read in July

The Frog Prince by Sophie Ranald ❤❤❤

Joyride by Anna Banks ❤❤❤❤

The Blind World by M.C. Rohweder ❤❤❤❤

The Line Between by Tamsyn Bester ❤❤❤❤❤❤

Cocktails at Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover ❤❤❤

AND THE BEST OF THE BUNCH GOES TO…

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This month had a clear winner, seeing how it got a very RARE 6 hearts out of 5. I am still suffering from a book hangover because of this one. I can’t stop thinking about it, and I just want to reread it over and over again. Dane is my new favorite book boyfriend. I could go on and on about him and this book, but I kind of already did that in my review, so check it out if you want to know more.

 What is your Best of the Bunch for the month of July? Feel free to let me know in the comments or share your link so I can visit your blog 🙂

Chapter Reveal: Getting Hot by Mia Storm

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Equally awesome and sexy cover, right? That’s what drew me in right away, so I of course had to take part in the chapter reveal. So, here it is:


GettingHot AmazonSynopsis:

Rules of engagement:

1) You have the right to use force to defend yourself.

2) Fire may be returned to stop a hostile attack.

3) You may not seize the property of others to accomplish your mission.

4) Detention of civilians is authorized in self-defense.

Delilah Morgan and her older sister Destiny have been on their own for two years, since their parents burned down the family home and went to jail for cooking meth. She’s street smart and tough. Nothing about her says sixteen, and she’s not about to tell anyone, especially Bran, the hot ex-marine bartender Destiny has her eye on. He’s stable and successful and everything her sister needs to keep them off the street. The only problem, something about Bran inspires her and suddenly she’s writing the best music she ever has. About him.

Branson Silo knows what it means to be in the line of fire. Home for a year from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, he thinks he’s safe…until he meets Delilah. Despite her sharp tongue that makes him want to take cover, he can’t deny the attraction. But when he hires her to play weekends at his family’s saloon, he finds out she’s more than he can handle…which is saying something considering he used to blow things up for a living.

When the grenade finally explodes and the shrapnel flies, will Bran be left standing? Or has he survived years at war only to be taken down by Jail Bait?

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Chapter 1
Bran


I shouldn’t have fucked her last week. That was my mistake, and I feel like a douche—something I’m not used to.
I watch Destiny tuck a long strand of platinum hair behind her ear with her pen as she finishes taking drink orders at the table near the door. She shoots me a secret smile when she turns and makes her way over, and I mentally shoot myself for getting caught looking. This train’s already careening down the track, barely holding onto the rails, and when I pull shit like this, it only picks up momentum.
“We got Hendricks?” she asks, slapping her order on the ancient mahogany bar between us.
I look over the order. “Closest thing I got is Tanqueray.”
The smile falls off her face and she blows out a sigh. “I’ll ask him.”
I follow the curve where her tiny waist blooms into a killer ass as she turns and heads back to the table.
She’s hot. That’s what it boils down to. When I took her home last week, it was after her first training shift with Carol. We’d sat at the bar and knocked back a few after closing and I got caught up in everything she had going on. I totally missed the signs. I didn’t see that she was looking for more than a hookup until after it was too late—until she didn’t leave after we’d done the deed.
The only guy at the table with three women—some total wannabe with a dark suit jacket over a turtleneck and pressed jeans—scowls and gives Destiny some lip. I can’t hear what he says over the piped in Kat Country, but she shrugs and says something back, then offers me an apologetic squint when the guy pushes up from his seat. He starts my direction on polished loafers, but his eyes widen slightly and he pulls up short when he sees me.
The reaction’s not unusual. When I left for boot camp six years ago, I was already in decent shape. I was Oak Crest High’s first ever (and only, as far as I know) four sport athlete all for years—football in the fall, wrestling in the winter, and baseball and track in the spring. Which is probably a big part of the reason my grades weren’t good enough to do anything but enlist. But the Marines made all that training look like fucking Romper Room, and it was only a matter of weeks before my bulk didn’t fit into any of my old clothes anymore. Since Pop owns the local gym and my sister Brenda runs it, when I’m not working behind Mom’s bar at the Sam Hill Saloon, I spend most of my time lifting weights. I’ve managed to stay in pretty decent shape…which means guys like this pansy ass are generally intimidated. Course, the tattooed six-foot-three thing doesn’t hurt the intimidation factor. Since I let my dark flattop grow out, I look more like a biker than an ex-Marine.
After a beat, his shiny shoes start moving again but he stops three feet short of the bar, out of my wingspan. “Tanqueray or Tanqueray number ten?” he demands, putting on a “big man” show for the women he’s here with.
I step aside to show him the rack behind me and he flinches a little at my movement. “For top shelf gin, Tanqueray’s what I got.”
He closes his eyes for a moment and exhales his disappointment, then scans my top shelf again. “Tanqueray isn’t even in the same league as Hendricks.”
I shrug. “You want the citrus, I’d go with the Seagrams. Something drier, I’ve got Beefeaters.”
He rolls his eyes toward the ceiling as if my suggestions are all so far below him he’s afraid of getting a nosebleed if he has to look all the way down at them. “Just give me the Tanqueray. Make it a Tom Collins so I don’t have to taste it.”
He stalks back to his table and drops into his seat as I start on their order.
Destiny comes over and watches me mix. “That guy’s a jerk,” she say with a flick of her eyes back toward the wannabe professor. “Thank God he’s Carol’s to deal with in fifteen.”
“You’re giving Carol the tip?” I say with raised eyebrows.
Her lip curls. “Guys like that don’t tip.”
I lift my eyes to him as I shake his Tom Collins. “He give you a hard time?”
“He thought I should’ve known what kind of Tanqueray we have.” Her face scrunches. “I didn’t even know there were different kinds.”
I glance at the table again. City folk for sure. Probably up here in the foothills for something at the college. “Guess he didn’t realize he’d wandered out of his natural habitat.”
She busts out a laugh as I pour his drink into the highball. “So, I was thinking…” she says when her laugh dies. “I could swing by your place when you get off. If you want.”
“Listen…” I start, setting the drink on her tray. But just as I open my mouth to tell her I don’t do relationships, Mom shoves through the swinging door from the kitchen. Five years in the Marines and two tours in Afghanistan, and I’ve yet to come across another single person who intimidates me…except my mom. She makes some of my Marine COs look like kindergarten teachers.
“Hey Vicky,” Destiny says. “Has Carol punched in yet?” She tosses her eyes at Mr. Hendrick’s. “I’m giving her that table as soon as she does.”
“She just clocked in,” Mom answers, glancing suspiciously at the table. “What’s the issue?”
Destiny shrugs a shoulder and picks up the tray of drinks I slide across the bar to her. “That guy needs to get over himself. Carol’s better at dealing with people like that.”
It’s the “take no crap” chromosome in the Silo family gene pool. My cousin is almost as intimidating as Mom. She has a way of putting pricks like that in their place without them even realizing how it happened.
Just as I’m thinking it, I see her pass by the porthole in the wooden door to the kitchen, pulling her dark curls back into a ponytail. A second later, she pushes through the door.
She looks at the three of us and her eyes narrow as she slings her short, black apron under her bulging belly and ties it. “You guys do know that when everyone clams up and stares at you when you walk into a room, that’s a dead giveaway they were talking about you, right?”
“All good, cuz,” I say, lifting one hand in surrender while picking up my bar rag with the other.
She gives us a glare that could fry bacon. “I’m not fat.”
“No, you’re not,” Destiny says, handing her the tray of drinks. “But I’m punching out and I need you to take that table.”
Carol’s gaze shifts to the table in question. “What’s wrong with them?”
“The guy’s a sanctimonious prick,” I say wiping down the bar. “He needs to be reminded his shit still stinks in the way only you can.”
A slow smile pulls at her mouth and she takes the drink tray.
“He’s the Tom Collins,” Destiny says. “The chardonnay is for the girl on his right and the Cosmos are for the other two.”
She bats her eyelashes and starts toward the table. “Coming right up,” she says, all breathy and sweet.
Mom turns to me once she’s gone, her frown deepening. “I came out here to remind you to put a note in the drawer if you pull petty cash, Bran.”
I give her a dubious smirk. “Really, Ma? I’ve been doing this for almost a year. Think I’ve got the drill down by now.”
“Well, the drawer came up exactly sixty short last night. So how else do you explain that?”
I feel my brows lift. My drawer’s never off by anything more than a few pennies. “You sure you didn’t pull it for the wine order?”
She scowls at me and crow’s feet crease the corners of her eyes. “I might be old, but I’m not senile yet.”
For her age, I have to say Mom looks pretty damn amazing. She met Dad sometime in the stone ages, when she used to dance at a strip club in San Francisco, and even still, I can see why he picked her out of the crowd. She’s got a deep worry line at the inside corner of her right eyebrow, but otherwise her face is deceptively youthful. The only thing that gives her age away is the skunk stripe that starts on the left side of her forehead and winds through the sea of dark hair pinned onto the back of her head like a the first swirl of cream into black coffee.
“I didn’t take any cash, Ma. Seriously.”
She sighs wearily and rubs her eyes. “It’s been a long day. I’ll check the numbers again tomorrow morning when I can think.”
I lean down and give her a peck on the cheek. “’Night, Ma.”
She hooks her elbow around my neck and yanks me in for a hug. “See you tomorrow, baby boy.”
She’s the only one I’d ever let call me baby or honey or any shit like that because, like I said, I’m a little scared of her. I watch her disappear through the kitchen door.
And then it’s just Destiny, waiting for an answer.
I take a deep breath and blow it out slowly as I turn to her. “Listen, Destiny. There’s no question you are fucking amazing, and I had an awesome time the other night…but I feel like you might have gotten the wrong idea about what this is.” I drop the bar rag and splay my hands on the bar between us, holding her gaze. I may be a dick, but I’ve got a moral compass that points in the right general direction most of the time. She deserves to be told straight up. “I’m not the kind of guy that does relationships, and even if I were, you wouldn’t want one with me.”
It’s not like I expect her to whine or beg. I’ve only known her for a week, since Mom hired her for day shifts, but she seems generally more together than that.
What I also don’t expect is a shameless smile to spread over her face as she leans closer. “So, are you saying that pounding me until I scream your name is too much of a commitment?”
I blow out a laugh and give my head a slow shake. “This isn’t how I pictured this conversation going.”
She pushes away from the bar and unties her apron. “I’ll be back before closing. Maybe have a drink or two. And when you leave, if you take me with you, you won’t be sorry. If not…” She shrugs. “…no harm no foul.”
I watch as she disappears through the kitchen door behind Mom to punch out. Carol drops another drink order on the bar on her way to the kitchen and I go back to work.
The Friday evening crowd picks up and it’s not long before all the tables are full and patrons start lining the bar. I dim the lights—the closest we come to ambiance.
The Sam Hill Saloon has been here since the gold rush, when the town of Oak Crest was established as a mining camp. After they got married, Dad brought Mom out here and bought her this bar to keep her “busy,” since he didn’t want her taking off her clothes for horny men anymore. She got it in the divorce and has run it for the last thirty years, but the truth is, almost nothing here has changed for nearly three quarters of a century. There are pictures on the walls of grimy gold miners lined up at this very bar. Even most of the chunky wooden barstools and tables have survived. At some point, some owner lined the front wall under the windows with three booths, and Mom added a big-screen TV, but other than that, it looks exactly like the pictures. And there’s the faint stench of stale beer emanating from the floor planking that no amount of bleach will ever get out.
But it’s a landmark, and the only bar in town, so we’re usually busy.
I’m blending a pair of frozen daiquiris with one hand and shaking a martini with the other when out of the corner of my eye, I see a solo blonde slide onto the barstool at the end, near the beer taps. I finish what I’m doing and prepare the tray for Carol to pick up before glancing over and seeing its Destiny.
A guy in the middle of the bar makes eye contact and nods at his empty beer mug. I grab it and start filling without really looking up at her. “Didn’t think I’d see you again till closer to closing.”
“Sorry?” she says. “Are you talking to me?”
The voice is off—slightly raspy and a pitch lower than her usual. I look up again and squint at her, wondering if she’s already started drinking. She’s taken her straight hair down from the ponytail she always wears it in and it’s not as long as I remember it from the other night—the only other time I’ve seen it down. There’s also a fading blue stripe cutting through the platinum over her right ear that I’ve never noticed before.
“What can I get you?” I ask her instead of pushing it.
I’m already reaching for the vodka and cranberry to start on a Madras, her drink of choice last week, when she answers, “Rum and Coke.”
“That’s different,” I mutter, shooting her another glance.
She gives me a puzzled look. “Look, I really just wanted to find out if you hire entertainment.”
My face mirrors her puzzlement, I’m sure, as I try to process her statement. “Why?”
She hunches to the side and pulls something up from her feet. I see it’s a battered black guitar case when the narrow end peeks over the top of the bar. “Because I need a gig.”
“Didn’t know you played,” I say, pushing her drink across the bar to her.
That baffled look is back as she pulls it toward her and takes a swallow. I can’t help following the curve of her long neck downward toward a pair of large round tits perfectly outlined by her snug, low-cut T-shirt. She is definitely hot, and if we’re on the same page, then I’ve got nothing to feel guilty about. She wants me to fuck her till she screams? I’m perfectly capable of that. She sets her drink down and catches me staring. She cuts me that wicked smile again, causing my cock to stir. I return the smile, sending the innuendo right back at her.
She props her elbows onto the bar and leans forward, giving me a clear look down her shirt. “Considering that we’ve never met before, I don’t find that surprising.”
I’m so absorbed in images of my face buried in those magnificent tits that it takes me a second to process what she said.
My eyes snap to hers. “Wait…what?”
She reaches across the bar, offering me a hand. “Lilah.”
There’s a full second all I can do is stare, wondering if this is one of those split personality things you hear about sometimes. And in that second, through the dim lighting, I take in all the tiny details—a dark mole at the outer corner of her right eye; her eyes, silver instead of blue; the missing white crescent-shaped scar above Destiny’s right eyebrow; and lips, a little fuller than I remember—which are smirking at me now.
“You’re not Destiny,” I say as it all clicks.
It’s not a question, but she shakes her head. “No. I am most definitely not Destiny.”
“Twins?” I ask.
She cocks her head playfully. “What do you think?”
“You’ve got to be. You’re fucking identical except for the eyes.” I tap my forehead. “And you’re missing a scar.”
Her perfect blond eyebrow raises in amusement. “She’s the pretty one and I’m the smart one.”
I bark out a laugh as I reach across and shake her hand. “Bran Silo. Good to meet you.”
She doesn’t let go of my hand for a second after we’re done shaking—just long enough to send a clear message that she’s interested.
A knot forms in my gut, and I realize it’s guilt. Destiny and I have an understanding, but regardless, I’m pretty sure fucking her sister would be way outside the bounds of gentlemanly behavior. Not that anyone would ever mistake me for a gentleman. “Destiny never mentioned she had a sister.”
“Doesn’t surprise me.” She takes another drink, nearly polishing it off in a few big gulps.
I tip my head at it her glass. “Another?”
“My limit is one,” she says, pushing her glass toward me. “Just Coke this time, thanks.”
Carol sweeps by on her way to the kitchen, dropping an order on my bar. “Thought you left,” she says to Lilah without slowing down. “Careful or your favorite customer might ask for you,” she adds, jerking her head at Mr. Hendricks as she disappears through the swinging door.
I bark out a laugh as I scoop ice into Lilah’s glass and fill it with Coke. “Good to know I’m not the only one.”
Lilah shrugs. “Happens all the time.” She slides out of her chair, lifting the guitar case. “So do you want to hear me play or what?”
I look around the crowded room, loud with chatter, drowning out the background music. “We don’t generally have live entertainment,” I say, which is really an understatement. We’ve never had live entertainment. But for some reason, I’m not willing to shut Lilah down so fast.
When my eyes find her again, annoyed impatience shines loud and clear out of her gaze. “So that’s a no?”
I feel my mouth pull into a cocky half-smile. “I didn’t say that.”
She opens her case and pulls out her guitar, unabashedly climbing through the window I left ajar for her. I watch as she sets herself up on the stool and rests the guitar in her lap, gripping it softly but confidently. She starts strumming, and I expect her to be discrete, since this is basically an audition, but there’s not a shred of self-consciousness or embarrassment anywhere in her disposition as she begins to belt out lyrics—an old No Doubt song that I can’t remember the name of.
The way she plays, as if on instinct; the passion in her voice, and the fact that she’s really fucking good, starts to turn heads at the tables closest to us. As they quiet and listen, more tables still, and soon the only thing she’s competing to be heard over is the Kat Country on the speakers. But she doesn’t decrease her volume. If anything, as eyes find her, she becomes louder, feeding off the attention.
I reach under the bar and click off the stereo, then lean onto the back counter and cross my arms, listening as she finishes one song and launches into the next.
A guy at the bar pulls a five from his pocket and flags me down with it. I grab his beer mug, but he shakes his head. “Is there a tip jar?” he asks with a nod toward Lilah.
I pull a fresh mug from under the bar and he slips the five inside, then I set it at the end of the bar near Lilah. She cuts me a smile and her eyes slide down my body as she sings.
And fuck me. I lean my hands on the bar and press against the lower counter when my dick won’t yield to my will. Without a doubt, everything Destiny has going on, Lilah’s got that and more.

 

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EACH BOOK CAN BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE

 

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About Mia Storm:

 

Mia Storm is a hopeless romantic who is always searching for her happy ending. Sometimes she’s forced to make one up. When that happens, she’s thrilled to be able to share those stories with her readers. She lives in California and spends much of her time in the sun with a book in one hand and a mug of black coffee in the other, or hiking the trails in Yosemite. Connect with her online at MiaStormAuthor.blogspot.com , on Twitter at @MiaStormAuthor, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MiaStormAuthor

 

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Release Day Launch & Giveaway: Cadillac Payback by Aj Elmore

Caddy Payback RDLBanIt’s release day for Aj Elmore’s debut novel, Cadillac Payback. It’s a gritty romantic suspense with a side of organized crime that is just so beautifully written! Aj is sharing an excerpt with us today, as well as an amazing giveaway!! Be sure to check it all out!

Blogs Taking Part in the Release Day Launch

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Crazii Bitches Book Blog

Escape Reality with Books

A girl and her books

Pages to Explore

Pages Abound

Romance Bytes

BooksMoviesFandoms

Talk Books to Me

Rumpled Sheets Blog

Mythical Books

That Book Life

I Heart Fictional People

Between The Lines

Adventures in Writing

Lovely Reads

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Cosying Up With Books

Evermore Books

Read, Write, Ripley

Got Nikki?

My Favorite Things

Renee Entress’s Blog

Books, Booze, and BDSM

Love Affair With FIction

Bookworm Misfit

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Adventures in Writing

Tumbleweed Book Reviews

Escape Inside the Pages

Ogitchida Kwe’s Book Blog

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Bound By Books Book Review

Penny for My Thoughts

Literary Misfit

Indy Book Fairy

Belle’s Book Bag

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FOUR CHICKS FLIPPING PAGES

Romance Obsessed Book Blog

Whispered Thoughts

Bookish Wanderlove

Two Crazies One Blog

Crazy Chaotic Book Babes

Shelf Life

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Cadillac Payback Synopsis:

An old Cadillac and a gun are all she has left of her brother. Three men stand ready to follow her into the darkest pits of hell to avenge him. The Cadillac leads them down a swamp road lined with ghosts, consequence and the tangled web of business and pleasure, into the underbelly of New Orleans crime as she fights for vengeance for her brother.

Joshua was just a rookie, a kid caught up in a drug ring. It’s fun and dangerous, all easy, until it kills his best friend and drags what’s left of his companions into a war. All he knows is he would walk into hell with her, and she might ask before it’s over…

Isaiah thought he’d seen everything—but watching Charlie die tore the world apart. The regime is changing, and with the new leader comes more questions than answers. He was Charlie’s right hand, but what will he be to her?

Frederick came up on the streets, learned fast and hard and dirty. His past has always been a sticking point for the group, but one person has never questioned him, and he’ll do anything for her…

Maria never wanted to take over Charlie’s operation. But with her brother dead, and vengeance the only thing she has left, she makes her first decision: drag Charlie’s killers down.

It might just be her last.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

She stops just short of entering the kitchen, hands releasing the paper bag full of produce. Her eyes rove the situation, trying to make sense of what she’s seeing. Onions and apples and peppers, the ingredients for our plans to grill, roll about. Huge brown eyes find mine, beg for understanding. Another car door slams outside. I can’t speak. What words can I give her? None that will help.

“Isaiah, what happened?” Maria says, voice low, demonic.

Her feet slide forward slowly, mechanically, pulling red. She kicks a crimson onion away, falling beside him as if her body has lost the strength to support her. Tears are welling quickly along the bottom rims of her eyes.

Footsteps pound down the hall, owner no doubt alarmed by the gut-wrenching trail. It’s Josh, Mr.-Jeans-and-a-T-shirt, Charlie’s right hand man. He’s a damn good drug dealer, and god-damned punk.

“What the fuck?” he mutters, stunned to the spot, eyes wide and uncomprehending.

Maria is all intense, blazing brown eyes on me, demanding I speak. The tears break, lighting trails on her cheeks. Her hands have curled around Charlie’s shirt, squeezing into white fists. The room feels like a thousand pounds around me.

“All he said was Reaps,” I admit finally, eyes shying away from hers.

I’ve broken too, cheeks wet and salty. It’s all I can do to force the voice from my chest. I got nothing for you, boss.

She stares for a long time before her eyes fall to him. Tears stream to her chin, then drip to her little maroon t-shirt. She ignores them. She looks like maybe if she stares at him hard enough, he will wake. He will be her big brother and laugh. He’ll still be here to beat up her boyfriends, and know what to do when there’s trouble.

I want to go to her, but my hands – his blood is all over me. Then she stands, swaying unsteadily. Joshua moves to help her, but she pushes him away with nothing but a look. Her world is full right now. And she storms through the house, leaving crashes and breaking sounds in her wake.

He looks to me. I only shake my head. Stupid boy, such an idealist little prick. Before either of us can follow or find any words for each other, she’s back, Charlie’s gun in one hand and a black case in the other. She takes another long look at her dead brother.

She says, “He always wanted a jazz funeral.” Her voice is shaking and distant, fighting the storm.

Then she looks at me. It seems she has something to say, but she only stares. She’s fucking crazy.

So I say, “You’re fucking crazy. What are you gonna do?”

She doesn’t answer. She doesn’t need to. She’s taking charge of the situation. She wants me to deal with the one here. A few wayward tears escape despite her efforts.

“Maria, don’t do this,” I say from the floor. There’s no heart in my words. She’s never taken orders from me. I know it won’t work, but I have to say it. Charlie would say it. Charlie would stop her.

She only cocks an eyebrow at me, tucking the gun into her pants. I should know better. Yeah, I do. She grabs a massive car key from the counter, its large, metal, dollar sign keychain scraping across the surface like the coattails of death. Without another word or even a glance, she walks away from her world, down the rudely redecorated hall.

Josh stands for a split second, watching her. He looks to me, heartbreak all over his sleeve, then curses as he follows her. The door slams seconds later, and I am suddenly left alone again, covered in my cohort’s blood as I sit in the kitchen floor. And he’s there, growing cold, eyes scrunched in his last expression; pain.

sexy woman holding up her weapon

 Aj Elmore Bio:

Aj is a beach migrant, and part-time muse. She enjoys the exploration of genres vast, and the search for untold worlds. A writer-for-fun since childhood, she has also been known to be a super hero, a gun slinger, and occasionally, a waitress. She lives on an island, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and some tattoos. She is most easily found at the water’s edge.

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That’s What HE Said Thursday #1

Thursday meme

Hosted by: Chapter Break

That’s What HE Said Thursday is about posting a favorite line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind these are direct quotes from dialogue in a book. It is NOT a physical description of a male protag or a paragraph of dialogue. It is a line spoken by our favorite heroes to their lucky ladies (whom we so wish we were!!!!!!)

This is another meme I’ve been wanting to do, and since I recently fell in love with a new book boyfriend, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start.

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“You aren’t one of many…In fact, you’re quite the opposite. I have been going out of my fucking mind trying to avoid you because I knew, God-damnit, I knew one night with you wouldn’t be enough. All I could fucking see was you, all I wanted was you, Kennedy.”

Dane to Kennedy

(The Line Between by Tamsyn Bester)

 

Yeah. So you can clearly see why I am in love with this guy. I’m not sure I’ll be falling for another book boyfriend quite as hard as I fell for Dane. This is just one of the many quotes that had me falling head over heels for him. Ahh! I can’t get enough of him! I need to go back and reread this book 🙂

What did you guys think? And feel free to share your link so I can visit your blog 🙂

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #2

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Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts is a weekly meme hosted by (un)Conventional Bookviews. The idea is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read.

I have to admit, this meme is becoming a favorite of mine. Throughout the week, I find myself looking for food or drink quotes and highlighting them. Then, I go back and choose the best one. It’s fun!

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This week, I’m sharing a quote from Cocktails at Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover. This was a cute, light, fluffy chick-lit book, and it mentioned food and drinks quite a bit, so it was the perfect book for this meme. In the scene I chose, Chloe is out to dinner with Thierry, who has not made a good impression in the first place, in Paris and she comments on the nice meal and restaurant, which is when he responds:

 

 

My Hungry Hearts Quote:

“Yes, it is nice,” Thierry agreed. “I come here a lot. I adore the andouillette.”

I shuddered. How could he like it? It was, for want of a better description, utterly foul. Andouillette, I had learned quite early on in France, was essentially a pig colon sausage that occasionally also contained tripe. And the worst thing was, it stank. It literally looked and smelt like it had been expelled from the bowels of some sort of beast, and the sight of Thierry hovering it up with gusto was putting me off my platter of le fish and chips.

“You want to try?” he asked, seeing me watching him and shoving a generously loaded forkful in my direction.

“No, thanks!” I replied, recoiling in horror.

This one had me laughing! Yes, it may be a delicacy in France, but it sounds pretty gross to me, so no, I would not like to try this haha! I just love how the author described it. And while I may not have any intention of ever eating it, I had never heard of it, so I learned something new.

So, what do you guys think? Would you try it? Feel free to share a link to yours below so I can visit your blog 🙂

Cover Reveal, Excerpt, & Giveaway: The Affiliate by K.A. Linde

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I am so excited to release the cover of K.A. Linde’s The Affiliate! This YA fantasy looks awesome!! And after reading the excerpt, I pretty much NEED to read this book…like now. Enjoy! And enter the giveaway for your chance to win an eARC!

Title: The Affiliate (Ascension, 1)

Author: K.A. Linde

Release Day: September 15th

Genre: YA Fantasy

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About The Affiliate:

On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm’s lifelong plans come to fruition when she’s chosen as an Affiliate to the Queen.

Or so she thinks. When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene’s position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have…

King Edric himself.

Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.

Pre-Order Now: Amazon | iTunes
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Exclusive Excerpt:

“Do you enjoy the view?” King Edric asked.

“The rains have made the gardens bloom, and it warms my heart to see it so.”

“It is good to know that the gardener approves of the work.”

Cyrene laughed lightly. “I have not gardened in a month’s time. I fear I can no longer call myself a gardener.”

She remembered when she had told the king of her interest in gardening at the last feast day almost a week ago. After that dance, Queen Kaliana added a list of plants to her assignment, forcing her to reread every page she had already dredged through for information. It had wasted two entire days.

“Perhaps I could change that,” he offered.

He directed her down the staircase and into the courtyard below lit solely by the setting sun in the distance.

Her stomach churned at the thought of him offering assistance to any of her needs. It was like what she had read in her children’s books of the tales of Leifs, and how one request would be necessitated by a much larger sacrifice. Her biggest sacrifice at the present moment was time. She wanted nothing more than to finish her work on agriculture and prove that she could get moved somewhere that involved traveling…and adventure.

“On the contrary, My King, I am fully enthralled in my Affiliate duties, and believe that gardening would only distract me from my work.”

“You cannot spare one afternoon to spend in my gardens?” His blue-gray eyes searched her face. “If you have half the green thumb you suggest, then it would be delightful to have you on the grounds.”

She swallowed. “I really have much work to accomplish before we go on Processional.”

“I could speak to the Queen and request it be lessened,” he whispered into the evening air.

“No!” It was the first time he had ever admitted to discussing her with the Queen. Hearing him admit it aloud made her voice come out strangled.

Cyrene missed her footing on the pebble path and stumbled forward a pace. Edric steadied her. He turned his body to face her in the middle of the garden, and her breath caught at the sight of him in the setting sun.

“You do not wish me to speak to the Queen?”

“I spoke out of turn. Please forgive me.”

“I cannot forgive that which I do not understand. Did the Queen somehow offend you?”

Cyrene shook her head. “I fear that the Queen does not…like me.”

Edric laughed softly, taking one of her hands in his own. “Oh Cyrene, I believe that the Queen likes no one but herself.”

Cyrene found that she, too, could laugh at his comment.

“Now, tell me what the Queen has done to make you believe that she dislikes you.”

“It’s nothing, my King.” She turned her face away from his. She couldn’t possibly tell him the real reason.

“Enough to infuriate you, which is enough for me.”

When she looked back up into his blue-gray eyes she felt that same magnetic pull between them. Somehow she had not realized how close they were standing. His hand felt warm against her bare skin. His body only a few inches away from her. His breath hot on her face. Her heart contracted in her chest, and she forced herself to respond.

“She speaks of…of your interference, as if…as if you…”

Time stretched between them, and she thought for a split second he might move even closer to her. She was rooted in place, captivated by his gaze.

“Yes?” His other hand drifted to her waist, and she was suddenly on fire.

Their breath mingled together as she murmured, “As if you favor me.”

“And do you think that?”

“I…”

“Yes?” he asked, stepping closer.

“I think you have your queen,” she breathed.

 

About K.A. Linde:

kalinde copyUSA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde is the author of The Affiliate, the first book in the Ascension Series. As a military brat, she traveled the world with her family, imaginary friends, and ever-increasing supply of books. She has spent much of her life dreaming up new worlds and characters and forcing them into uncomfortable, usually life-threatening scenarios. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a masters degree in political science, she began spending every waking hour putting those characters onto paper.

When not writing, she spends her time dancing, collecting paperbacks in the hopes of filling a Beauty and the Beast style library one day, traveling to visit her friends who live all over the country, and still reading anything she can get her hands on. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and two puppies, Lucy and Riker, where she is hard at work on her next novel.

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Enter K.A.’s fantastic giveaway!!

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Review: Cocktails at Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover

25475115Title: Cocktails at Le Carmen

Author: Isabelle Andover

Published By: Simon & Fig on June 19th, 2015

Length: 292 pages (eBook)

Genre: Chick Lit

Source: NetGalley

My Rating: ❤❤❤

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

When job cuts at Chloe Saddler’s London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister’s wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family’s social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris.

A delightful debut that harks back to the early days of Chick Lit when heroines were flawed, funny, and forever battling for love and happiness. With quirky characters and classic comedic charm, Cocktails at Le Carmen is pure fun from page one.

My Review:

Okay, I have mixed feelings about this book. So, I will make a pros and cons list.

Pros:

It was really funny! There were moments where I found myself laughing out loud unexpectedly, specifically when Chloe was interacting with her crazy, bridezilla of a sister. Hilarious! Chick-lit at its finest; made me remember why I love this genre so much.

I love the variety of characters. We have Chloe and her kind heart, sometimes naïve ways, comical behavior, and her independence; there’s Jean-Luc, her sexy French boss; her best friends and her roommates, who are each uniquely awesome in their own way; her sister, the borderline insane girl who cannot stop talking and worrying about her upcoming wedding; and her cute and quirky parents. They all made the story what it is. Great cast of characters!

The writing was pretty good. Since this is a new author, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a light, fluffy read that had me smiling and laughing, exactly what I was looking for.

Cons:

Okay, here is where the problem lies. I just didn’t feel much of a connection with the love interests. With Chloe and both the boyfriend, Scott, and the boss, Jean-Luc, I just didn’t feel it. Sure, there were some cute moments, but overall, I was just kind of like, eh. I didn’t care one way or the other who she ended up with or if she ended up with anyone at all. And since the romance was kind of a main focus of the story, I ended up feeling a bit disappointed.

So, I’m left kind of in the middle, which is why I gave this book 3 hearts. However, I would still be very open to reading any of Isabelle Andover’s future titles. The fact that it had me giggling loudly in the middle of the night is reason enough to check out any books she ends up writing.

Don’t let my cons stop you from reading the book though. It was funny! Check it out!

*I received a copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Links

Book’s Page on Publisher’s Website

Author’s Facebook

Author’s Twitter

Publisher’s Twitter

Teaser Blitz Day 2: Before & After by Nazarea Andrews

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Yesterday, I presented a couple teasers for Before & After by Nazarea Andrews. Here are a couple more! I don’t know about you, but these are just increasing my excitement for the release of this book!

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BEFORE & AFTER BOOK BLURB:

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college.

A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with an art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant.

They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn’t work–and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after.
They, more than anyone, know that life doesn’t go according to plan.

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet’s heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale.

But what happens when the fairy tale doesn’t fall apart–but is forgotten?

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

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Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binge watches TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

AUTHOR LINKS:

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | STREET TEAM

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Discussion: What do you think about those adult coloring books?

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So, I keep seeing these coloring books for teens and adults on other blogs and in bookstores. I am so tempted to buy one. I used to love coloring as a kid. My sister and I won so many coloring contests at our local grocery store that they told our parents that we weren’t allowed to win anymore (total BS by the way, but that is beside the point). Even now, when I color with my daughter, I’m the one who ends up enjoying it more than she does. She gets bored easily. I could color for hours. The one that keeps catching my eye is Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford.

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It looks AWESOME! This is like an adult coloring-lover’s dream. The images look so detailed. They are just dying for some color, which I would happily like to provide.

So, here’s my dilemma. While I would love to channel my inner eight-year-old and just color all day, it does seem time-consuming. I already have no time as it is, what with my daughter, my job, this blog, reading, etc. I know that if I start, I won’t stop. And since I’m a perfectionist, I would spend a ridiculous amount of time making it perfect and just right. Why does the day only have 24 hours?!

So what do you guys think? Have you bought any? If you have, are they as addicting as I think they might be? And if you haven’t, are you tempted to buy one? Let me know your thoughts on what may become my latest obsession.