Monthly Archives: August 2015

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Discovering Delilah by Melissa Foster

Discovering Delilah BT ban

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Discovering Delilah blog tour stop! I’m a new Melissa Foster fan, and this is the second book of hers that I have read and reviewed. But, I can pretty much guarantee that there will be a lot more to come! So, read on and enjoy!

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Title: Discovering Delilah (Harborside Nights #2)

Author: Melissa Foster

Published by: World Literary Press on July 9th, 2015

Length: 221 pages (eBook)

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBT

Source: InkSlinger PR (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

synopsis

After the death of her parents on the day of her college graduation, Delilah Armstrong thought she could finally follow her heart and come out to her closest friends, but the guilt of going against her parents’ beliefs haunts her. The feelings she has for her best friend, Ashley, are stronger than anything she’s felt before, but Delilah has never even kissed a girl, and fear stops her at every turn.

Ashley Carver promised herself that she would never again date another girl who wasn’t out, but that was before she met intoxicatingly sweet and sexy Delilah.

When another girl offers to teach Delilah the ropes, it changes Delilah’s whole world and gives her the courage to go after the only girl she really wants. But coming out isn’t as easy as Delilah imagined, and moving past her parents’ death and the feelings of guilt she is left with is even harder. The intense passion between Ashley and Delilah is too strong to deny, but coming together means risking everything.

Discovering Delilah is an edgy, evocative, romantic story of friendship, family, and the courage to love.

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

So, I realized that I hadn’t read an LGBT book in a long time. Sure, there have been plenty of gay characters in the books I’ve read, but I can’t remember the last time I read a book where the main character is gay and where the focal point is a same-sex romance. So, when I saw the cover of this book and the synopsis, I immediately knew I had to read it. Plus, I loved Delilah as a secondary character in Catching Cassidy, and I was looking forward to reading more about her story.

WHAT I LIKED

Delilah. I had so much respect and admiration for this girl. She lost her parents tragically, but she couldn’t even properly mourn them because of how they made her feel when they were alive. They weren’t exactly supportive of the gay lifestyle, and she felt like she had to hide who she was for the majority of her life. And now that they’re gone, she’s not only struggling with losing them but also with finally coming out and feeling like she is betraying them. I can only imagine how Delilah felt growing up, and I initially felt sympathy for her, but then I realized how strong she really is. A lot of people in her shoes would’ve given up. And I really enjoyed reading her story and witnessing the journey she goes on to finally be who she was always meant to be.

The lesbian storyline. I have to admit…I don’t think I’ve ever read a lesbian romance. And I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to connect with Delilah or Ashley, but that definitely wasn’t a problem. Their romance was sweet but also sexy as hell, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I may not have found my next book boyfriend here, but I certainly found my first book girlfriend!

The connection among all the books in the series. I read Catching Cassidy first, and while it is not necessary to do that, I’m glad I did. It was even more enjoyable reading about Wyatt and Cassidy as secondary characters. I love that we get to know the other characters a little more in each book. I seriously cannot wait to read about their stories in the rest of the series. I know I’m going to be impatiently waiting until I can.

The ending. I don’t want to give anything away, but I absolutely loved how this book ended. Let’s just say that there was closure in a way that I didn’t expect but I truly hoped for. It brought a tear to my eye, and it was perfect on every level.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

I did feel like Delilah and Ashley’s relationship was a bit rushed. For someone like Delilah, who was afraid to be who she was and be in a relationship with a female, I thought that it should have progressed a little more gradually. I loved that they were friends first, but when they realized they both wanted more, it kind of happened too quickly for me.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Melissa Foster has done it again! This series is turning into my new addiction. I don’t know what I’m going to do as I wait for the rest of the series. Delilah is a character that girls, both straight and gay, can look up to. She learns that it is so important to be who you are, no matter what other people think and no matter how you think others will judge you. And Melissa Foster did an amazing job conveying that message. Discovering Delilah was a great book with a passionate love story and an inspiring protagonist. A definite must-read.

my favorite quotes

“You must learn to envision a future for yourself without those you have lost…Find ways to turn your memories into something you can live with and celebrate, rather than something that pulls you under.”

“There are certain things we have to forgive ourselves for. Otherwise we’d never learn and grow or move forward on any level.”

“It’s no secret that our parents mess us up big-time. It’s like their jobs or something. So, sure, most people probably believe whatever their parents teach them. It takes strong people to break the mold…”

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that owning our mistakes can help us heal. Unless, of course, the reason we made them in the first place was to give ourselves an out. And if that’s the case, cut your losses and walk away, because if you wanted out once, you’ll want out again.”

“Funny how a sliver of hope can instantly heal a broken heart.”

four hearts

4 out of 5 Hearts!

 

buy links

KINDLE | NOOK | KOBO | GPLAY | iBOOKS | SMASHWORDS | AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | AMAZON AU | Paperback


about the author

melissa

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa also co-writes the Love on Rockwell Island series with New York Times bestselling author Bella Andre. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. 

 Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

 Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website. Never miss a release! Follow Melissa here on Amazon and sign up for her newsletter: www.MelissaFoster.com/Newsletter

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Review: Catching Cassidy by Melissa Foster

25166996Title: Catching Cassidy (Harborside Nights #1)

Author: Melissa Foster

Published by: World Literary Press on April 28th, 2015

Length: 266 pages (eBook)

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Source: InkSlinger PR (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

 

(from Goodreads)

If you enjoy the Love in Bloom series by Melissa Foster, you’ll love Harborside Nights.

Harborside Nights is a sexy, hot, and evocatively real New Adult Romance series that follows a group of friends who have known one another for years as “summer” friends, and now come together after college to build their lives. They’re tough, edgy, and accepting–most of the time. Although Catching Cassidy is a heterosexual romance, this series will include heterosexual, gay, and lesbian themes, written in the loving, raw, and emotional voice readers have come to love by New York Times & USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Melissa Foster.

In Catching Cassidy…
Wyatt Armstrong never imagined that instead of celebrating his college graduation, he and his twin sister would be dealing with the death of their parents. Then again, Wyatt had never been one to think past tomorrow. He heads to their summer home in Harborside, Massachusetts, with his best friend Cassidy Lowell in tow, to spread his parents’ ashes and to try to figure out his next step.

Six foot two, infuriatingly handsome, and flirtatious, Wyatt Armstrong has always been there for Cassidy, helping her pass her classes and fend off unwanted advances, while driving her insane with his one-night stands–but that’s what best friends are for, isn’t it? Having each other’s backs. There was never any doubt that she would accompany him to his family’s summer home–even if her jealous boyfriend is giving her hell for it. But he doesn’t have anything to be jealous of…or does he?

It’s impossible to ignore the sizzling heat between them as Wyatt and Cassidy get even closer, but Cassidy knows Wyatt’s past, and she has a real job to begin in the fall. Wyatt may be a sure thing for the summer, but Cassidy needs more. For the first time in his life, Wyatt is forced to look toward the future if he doesn’t want to lose the one woman who’s shared his past and owns his heart.

Coming in 2015 the full Harborside Nights series:
Catching Cassidy (Het)
Discovering Delilah (F/F)
Tempting Tristan (M/M)
Chasing Charley (Het)
Breaking Brandon (M/M)
Embracing Evan (Het)
Reaching Rusty (Het)
Loving Livi (Het)

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I’m doing a review for Melissa Foster’s Discovering Delilah blog tour tomorrow. Even though this could be read as a stand-alone, I never read a series out of order. Yes, I have many rules for myself when it comes to reading. I’m weird. So, naturally, I had to read Catching Cassidy first. And I’m so glad I did! First of all, look at that cover! I know I talk about covers a lot, but they really do have a huge impact on whether or not I read something. And the covers of this entire series are awesome! Then, I read the synopsis, and I was hooked. I’m a huge sucker for the best-friends-turning-into-more storyline. So I absolutely had to read this one.

WHAT I LIKED

Cassidy and Wyatt’s relationship. I so loved that they have always been close. I love that they have never crossed that line and they have always just been best friends. I love how protective he is of her, especially when it comes to guys, who will never be good enough for her in his eyes. I love that they are there for each other no matter what. I love that they are both so hesitant about turning their friendship into something more because they don’t want to risk losing what they have. Yes, I have a lot of love going on around here. I just couldn’t get enough of them. And Wyatt. O.M.G. He is pretty much my perfect book boyfriend. He’s got that bad boy, alpha male thing going for him, but Cassidy brings out this other side of him, and I love it.

The awesome group of friends. Cassidy and Wyatt have this group of friends that makes me super jealous because I wish they were real and they were MY friends. They are all there for each other in different ways. And I thought the author did such a great job of introducing all these secondary characters in a way that we still care about them so much that we will continue reading the series to get to their individual stories.

The importance of family. Cassidy doesn’t have the most loving parents. They were barely around when she was growing up, and they still aren’t. Wyatt grew up with strict parents, but they were always there for him, so he doesn’t know how to deal with them being taken from him in an instant. What I think is important in this book is that parents have a huge impact on their kids. Even though Cassidy’s parents weren’t ever around, she desperately wants their attention and their approval. On the other hand, while Wyatt didn’t always like how strict his parents were, their deaths put a lot of things into perspective for him. Not only do parents have a strong impact, but the friends you choose to be in your life who turn into family are the ones will always be there for you, and that is so clear in this book.

I could go on and on about the things I liked about this book. That’s how good it was. Just read it. Trust me. You’ll like it.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Nothing! I really tried to think of something I didn’t like, but honestly, nothing came to mind. Kudos to Melissa Foster for writing such an awesome book!

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I loved this book so much! I’m not gonna lie. Wyatt was a big reason that I adored it as much as I did. A good book boyfriend gets me every time. BUT, the whole story was amazing. I mean, I clearly had nothing to complain about, which doesn’t happen often. I’m so happy I got the chance to read this one. I would definitely buy a paperback, and I have a feeling that I’ll love all of the books in this series. I see a lot of Melissa Foster in my future! Great, great book! On to the next one!

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that boyfriends come and go, but real friends, friends who will beat up the assholes and not let anyone see your boobs when you’re too drunk to know? Those friends are rare.”

“We all feel like sluts sometimes…We’re supposed to feel like sluts. God gave us lust, right? Well, we’re only human, so we take that word and we mix up the letters.”

“I stay because hearts aren’t as smart as heads.”

“That’s what growing up is all about. Turning mistakes into lessons.”

“I’d like to believe that I don’t need rescuing, but I think there are times in all of our lives when we do need to be rescued.”

“Any notion you had of being in charge of your relationship…you might as well toss it overboard right now. If you’re smart, what your woman wants, she gets.” 

five hearts

5 out of 5 Hearts!

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Polarity in Motion by Brenda Vicars

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Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Polarity in Motion blog tour stop! This has been one book that I have been super excited to read and review. And I’ve been counting down the days to share it with you all. Enjoy!

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Title: Polarity in Motion

Author: Brenda Vicars

Published by: Red Adept Publishing on December 2nd, 2014

Length: 226 pages (eBook)

Genre: Young Adult

Source: Publisher via Sage’s Blog Tours (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

 

synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Polarity Weeks just wants to live a normal life, but with a mother diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, that’s rarely easy. Her life gets exponentially more disastrous when her sixth-period history classmates start ogling a nude picture of her on the Internet. Polarity would never have struck such a shameless pose, but the photo is definitely of her, and she’s at a complete loss to explain its existence.

Child Protective Services yanks her from her home, suspecting her parents. The kids at school mock her, assuming she took it herself. And Ethan, the boy she was really starting to like, backpedals and joins the taunting chorus. Surrounded by disbelief and derision on all sides, Polarity desperately seeks the truth among her friends. Only then does she learn that everyone has dark secrets, and no one’s life is anywhere near normal.

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I absolutely love the cover of this book. It instantly grabbed my attention. At that point, I didn’t even care what it was about. I just wanted to read it. Of course, then I read the synopsis, and it sounded unlike anything I have read before. And it definitely was!

WHAT I LIKED

The many controversial issues/topics. Okay, this book deals with bullying and whether or not schools and the education system handle it properly, having a parent with a borderline personality disorder, being placed in the system and in Child Protective Services, and even a little racism. It’s a lot! And if you’re wondering if all these issues may be too much to handle in one book, I can tell you that the author did such a great job with it all. Everything flowed well and fit perfectly into this amazing storyline. And all these issues just added layers to the story, which I think worked really well.

The mystery. I really, really liked the mystery of the story. Throughout the entire book, you’re wondering and trying to figure out who is responsible for the nude picture of Polarity and you’re wondering how it was even created when she clearly said she never posed for it. And you think it’s this person, and then you think it’s someone else, and you go back and forth wondering who the hell it could be. I got frustrated…in a good way! It kept me on the edge of my seat because I just had to know what happened, who did it, and why. And I’ll be honest. I was genuinely surprised at the end. So, it was definitely unpredictable.

The protagonist. Polarity is just an amazing young woman. She is clearly going through a lot, both at home with her mother, who can turn volatile at any moment, and at school with this nude picture and not-very-nice classmates. But she stays strong. Yes, she has her moments when she breaks down, and you can’t blame her, but she always finds a way to get through it. And her determination to not only get to the bottom of what happened to her but also to what happens to Ethan is inspiring. A lot of people in her shoes would just give up, move away, and forget any of it happened. She’s tough, and she can definitely be a role model for girls her age.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

While I liked the blossoming romance between Polarity and Ethan, I just wish the connection they had was more apparent. I wanted to see what drew them toward each other and how their feelings for each other grew to something deeper. The mystery of the story was the focal point, so their relationship didn’t get much “air time,” which is totally fine! I’m just a bit of a hopeless romantic, so I would’ve liked to see more romance.

I don’t want to give anything away, but there is one character that I really wanted to know what happened to, and the book just ended without mentioning this person, so I was kind of bummed about that.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I adored this book so much, and I’m so happy that I got the opportunity to read it. I was so desperate to know what happened and who did it, but then I was disappointed when it ended because I enjoyed it so much. I LOVE YA books, and I can honestly say that this one was very unique. I can’t even compare it to anything else, which makes it awesome in my book. So, I will definitely be keeping my eye on Brenda Vicars. She is clearly a gifted and talented writer, and I cannot wait to read more books by her.

my favorite quotes

“I guess the bottom line is I can’t change the past. But I control whether I bring the misery of the past into this moment.”

“If you ruin your good times thinking about the bad times, you’ll never really have good times.”

four hearts

4 out of 5 Hearts!


 

about the author

BrendaVicarsPhotoThe heartbeat of Brenda Vicars’ fiction emanates from the courage and resiliency of her students. Her career in Texas public education includes teaching, serving as a principal, and directing student support services programs. For three years she also taught college English to prison inmates, and outside of her job she mentors children of incarcerated parents.

She entered education because she felt called to teach, but she found that it was students who taught her the biggest lesson: the playing field is not even for all kids. Through her work she became increasingly compelled to bring their unheard voices to the page.

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That’s What HE Said Thursday #4 – Catching Cassidy

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!!!!!!)

So I started reading Catching Cassidy by Melissa Foster, and I instantly fell in love with Wyatt. There were just so many quotes I could choose from. So I had to choose a couple. And since I am in the middle of the book, I will probably pick more for next week’s post as well.

Cassidy and Wyatt have been best friends since they were little. Wyatt is now dealing with the tragic death of his parents, and he is now realizing his true feelings for Cassidy. And Cassidy is realizing the same thing. BUT, neither of them wants to ruin their friendship.

In the first quote, Cassidy had too much to drink the night before and realizes that Wyatt helped her get out of her clothes last night. In the second quote, Wyatt is voicing his concerns about starting a relationship with Cassidy.

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“Don’t worry. I didn’t grope you or sell tickets for everyone to see your boobs. You probably owe me for that. I bet I could have made a lot of money.”

“What if we…don’t make it? What if we do this…? And it doesn’t work between us? I can’t lose you, Cass. It’s too much. I need you.”

– Wyatt to Cassidy

(Catching Cassidy by Melissa Foster)

Wyatt has so many different sides to him, and I love them all. These quotes are just small examples of the awesomeness that is him. He’s definitely an alpha male who gets a little possessive and overprotective, but he also has a sense of humor and a vulnerable side. I love it. I love all of it. And this book is soooooo good so far. I can’t put it down. Expect a review soon…

What do you think of Wyatt? And feel free to share your link so I can visit your blog 🙂

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway – The Sisters Club by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

TSC BT Ban

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s tour stop for The Sisters Club blog tour, hosted by InkSlinger PR. I am here to present an excerpt from this beautiful story, written by Lauren Baratz-Logsted. Enjoy 🙂

TheSistersClub_1400synopsis

Four women have little in common other than where they live and the joyous complications of having sisters. Cindy waits for her own life to begin as she sees her sister going in and out of hospitals. Lise has made the boldest move of her life, even as her sister spends every day putting herself at risk to improve the lives of others. Diana is an ocean apart from her sister, but worries that her marriage is the relationship separated by the most distance. Sylvia has lost her twin sister to breast cancer, a disease that runs in the family, and fears that she will die without having ever really lived.

 When Diana places an ad in the local newsletter, Cindy, Lise, and Sylvia show up thinking they are joining a book club, but what they discover is something far deeper and more profound than any of them ever imagined.

 With wit, charm, and pathos, this mesmerizing tale of sisters, both born and built, enthralls on every page.

excerpt

   Dan called on the mobile to say he wouldn’t be home in time for dinner, again, something about working late with a client. I might’ve been resentful if I didn’t recognize the truth in what he’d said earlier: one of us did need to work around here. Not wanting to eat alone, yet again, although I did need to eat, I decided to go to the bookstore. Maybe I’d have a sandwich or two in the café area while cracking the spine on a new thriller.

When I went to pay at the cash register, I saw they had out new copies of the store newsletter. I picked one up, perusing the contents while I ate my smoked turkey with roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella on focaccia bread.

The newsletter listed notices of upcoming store events – story times in the children’s department, author appearances, that sort of thing. On the flip side, there were schedules for groups meeting in the bookstore: book-discussion groups, writers groups, even Scrabble groups. As I glanced around the crowded café, I realized that must be the Scrabble group meeting in the corner right over there. I recognized the colorful board and the wooden tiles, even though I’d never played the game myself. There were also two women who looked remarkably similar to one another, sitting at a corner table, laughing over their coffee and cake as though they truly enjoyed one another’s company; I envied them, sure they were sisters.

Then the thought occurred to me: If other people could place ads in the store newsletter for all these other clubs, why couldn’t someone place an ad for something different, for a sisters club? Certainly, there must be other women in the area who had a sister they were missing who, for one reason or another, was not physically on the scene. Sure, in the modern era, a sister need only be a phone call or mouse click away, but you can’t hug a telephone when you’re feeling lonely. You can’t hug a computer. And maybe, like me, there were others whose relationships with their sisters were not all books and TV would have you believe they are and yet they wanted that sister-like bond, dreamt of it.

Yes, I thought, a sisters club. Why had no one else ever thought of it? Of course I knew I couldn’t just blatantly call it that from the start – other women would think I was balmy! – but it’s what it would be nonetheless.

In my excitement, in my haste to find the store manager, I forgot all about my smoked turkey with roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella on focaccia.

I had more important things to do.

I was going to find some sisters. Whether they knew it or not, it was what they were going to be.

buy links

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Diversion Books

about the author

Author Photo

Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of over 25 books for adults, teens (including The Twin’s Daughter and Little Women and Me0, and children (The Sisters 8, a nine-book series she created with her husband and daughter). Before becoming an author, Lauren was an independent bookseller, freelance editor, Publishers Weekly reviewer, sort-of librarian and window washer. She lives with her family in Danbury, CT. Visit her at www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com or follow her @LaurenBaratzL on Twitter.

 

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Blog Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway – The Black Swan Company by Luna DeMasi

The Black Swan Company Banner 851 x 315

I am so excited to have Luna DeMasi, the awesome author of The Black Swan Company, on my blog today. She has written an amazing guest post for us about what we all adore in the books we love: the characters and how important flaws are. So, please welcome Luna DeMasi!

Imperfectly Perfect

I’m Luna DeMasi, the author of The Black Swan Company, and I’d like to thank my gracious host for allowing me to do a guest post for this blog. In my post, I’d like to talk about something any avid reader probably enjoys talking about: Characters.

Whenever I get invested in a book, show, or movie, I need to love the characters. Plot is important, of course, but the key component (for me, at least) is to make your audience become enraptured with your characters: They need to be three-dimensional, well-developed, and believable. But most of all, the characters need to have flaws.

The flaws of a character are essential; it’s not something one can just dismiss or downplay without paying the consequences. There’s almost nothing worse than a ‘perfect’ character. Why should we worry or care about a perfect character — what’re the consequences for them if they fail a task? Living a normal, average life, like the rest of us slobs? Ooh…SCARY.

If one neglects to instill flaws, your audience will probably feel alienated and tell you about it:

‘She’s just so freaking desirable that she can (and does) have sex with anybody she wants. She struck me as kind of loose, and it’s not appealing.’

‘I understand that he’s supposed to be an ‘alpha male,’ and all of the women are fawning over him, but he comes across as a butthole.’

‘I just can’t relate to any of these characters.’

It’s best to really go for it with the flaws, too. Something inoffensive, such as having a nervous stutter, isn’t deep enough. These flaws can help one develop key scenes because the character follows their faulty instincts, which leads to problems; there’s just so many interesting places to go when one’s character doesn’t do everything perfect every time.

The main character from my book, Melody, was such a joy to write due to her flaws; as a matter of fact, they’re what drove the entire plot, from beginning to end. Melody goes through the book like a mitigated disaster, following her reckless impulses to do what she believes needs to be done, but is forced to take responsibility for the consequences of her actions along the way. She is FAR from perfect, but that’s what makes her wonderful — that’s what makes all of the characters I’ve ever loved wonderful. I want to ask the question, ‘what can this character do despite him/herself?’ because that’s the same question I ask of myself…don’t we all?

Who are some of your imperfectly perfect characters? What flaws do you appreciate?

About the Book

This Barren Tree Church Flyer and CD Template is sold exclusively on graphicriver, it can be used for your Sermons, Gospel Concerts, Sunday School, Youth Programs etc. In this package you’ll find 3 Photoshop files. All text and graphics in the file are editable, color coded and simple to edit. The file also has 6 one-click color options.

The Black Swan Company

Book 1

Luna DeMasi

Genre: Paranormal Thriller, Urban Fantasy

ISBN: 1511521945

ISBN: 978-1511521949

ASIN: B00QXTME88

Synopsis:

Melody Fields is an investigative journalist.

…Or, at least, she used to be.

An epidemic has swept the United States, turning the majority of its population into undead creatures called Sanguines, who sustain themselves on the life force of the living. Those who weren’t afflicted were given a choice: Enter a protected Colony or hope to survive.

Guilted by her father to flee while she still could, Melody has been marooned on Nantucket Colony for four years. Unable to turn off her vocational instincts, the tough-as-nails, Boston-by-way-of-Foxboro journalist can’t help but notice when her fellow Colonists begin to disappear.

After months of observation, Melody finds a pattern to the disappearances, and it doesn’t take long for her act-first-think-later mentality to kick in and follow a group of kidnappees onto a ferry. Once on the mainland, though, her seldom-seen sense of self-preservation causes her to abandon her mission and flee. Desperate for a place to hide, she winds up in the home of a lonely, soft-spoken Sanguine named Bastian, who seemingly breaks all protocol with his disinterest in eating her alive and his offer of safe harbor.

A slow-growing trust developing between them, Bastian tries his best to help Melody find her place in a now-unfamiliar world, but she doesn’t understand how different her place really is until she reconnects with her inner-circle. Melody and her friends discover that they’ve been unraveling the same unsavory story from opposite ends, and when they tie their information together, they realize they might be uncovering a scandal that could change everything if it’s brought to light. But if they fail, it could mean the end for countless lives…even their own.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/C5_jbi-d4ok

Available at Amazon and Createspace

About the Author

Luna DeMasi was born in New York, but currently resides in southeast Michigan. She holds a B. S. in psychology, a master’s of library and information science, and is a staunch advocate for human rights, animal rights, and gender equality.

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Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Back To Us by Teresa Roman

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Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Back To Us blog tour stop! I already had so many books I needed to review, but when I saw this one, I just HAD to participate in this blog tour and review the book. And I’m so glad I did!

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Title: Back To Us

Author: Teresa Roman

Published: August 6th, 2015

Length: 175 pages (eBook)

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Source: Enchanted Book Promotions (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

 

Synopsis:

Abandoned by her parents at fourteen, Jessica knows what it means to struggle. She’s vowed that getting her degree is the only thing she has time for, until a summer internship brings Justin into her life.

But Justin has scars of his own. A tour of duty in Afghanistan has left him with wounds. A medical discharge from the Navy leaves Justin struggling to make sense of his new reality. Then he meets Jessica; but can the two of them leave their pain in the past and make a future together?

Excerpt:

I turned to leave. There were a million things I wanted to say to Justin, but without a guarantee that he’d respond the way I wanted him too, I was too afraid.

“Jess.”

“Yes?” I was almost at the door.

Justin hopped up on the table behind him and rested his feet on a chair. I waited for him to talk. “I’m scared,” he finally said.

“Scared of what?”

“That you’ll break me.”

I walked over to Justin slowly and stood in front of him. “You don’t believe I care about you?”

“I do. But feelings change, people change.”

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to be saying right now. I was the one who asked you out. I was the one who told you I was interested, but you turned me down, twice.”

“Because I’m an idiot.”

“Justin…”

“Just hear me out, okay?”

“Ok.” I took a step closer to him and he reached for my hand.

My Review:

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The title and the cover intrigued me from the start. And after I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read it. I’m a sucker for two damaged people with their own haunted pasts who come together, fall in love, and make each other’s lives better.

WHAT I LIKED

Oh where do I start? I loved everything about this book. It was one of those feel-good books that you just can’t put down because you just HAVE to know what happens to these characters you grow so attached to. I read it in almost one sitting. If I didn’t have a job and a toddler to take care of, I would have devoured it in one day. But, let me get to the specifics…

The romance. Let’s just jump right into it. The romance was the heart of the story. Pretty much instantly, you feel for both Jessica and Justin. Jessica had a horrible childhood and is still affected by her poor excuses for parents. Justin, on the other hand, had a great childhood, but is still suffering from what he went through during a tour in Afghanistan. I just wanted to reach in the book and hug them both. But that was the best part about this relationship. They not only had to learn to love each other, but they had to learn to love themselves. They taught each other that they are good enough just the way they are and they’re worthy of having that type of love that neither of them thought was possible. And that makes this a beautiful story.

The different family dynamics. I loved the different relationships in this book. Jessica and her brother are close, and I see them as this team that has faced a lot of bad times together, but they were there for each other and will always be. The mother-son relationship between Justin and his mom is unique as well. While she loves him and only wants what is best, she may approach things in a hurtful way. And those are just two examples. I really liked that family was such a focal point of this story, and the many different types of relationships was explored, which was so realistic.

The writing. The writing was so good! This is definitely an author I will keep my eye on. The pace was perfect. Jessica and Justin gradually got to know one another, and the time it took for them to fall for each other was believable. I’m so glad it wasn’t one of those instant-soulmate-let’s-get-married relationships. And the characters were just so real to me. I always tell myself that when I care about the characters enough to lose sleep over because I just have to know what happens to them, then I know I’m reading a book written by a brilliant author, and that is exactly what happened here.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Okay, this wasn’t a huge, huge deal, but I kind of wanted a bit more depth, maybe some more raw emotions from the two lead characters. Don’t get me wrong. This book definitely gave me the feels, but I just wanted more, especially because these two people have gone through so much. BUT, that is really the only complaint I have.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Awesome book! I would definitely read this one again. It was this sweet romance between these people who deserve to be loved but don’t know how to love themselves, and it was just so enjoyable to see these characters grow individually and together. Trust me. You will have a hard time putting this one down. I am now a Teresa Roman fan, and I hope to see a lot more books by her.

About the Author:

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Teresa Roman is a lover of books, both reading and writing them. She currently resides in Sacramento, CA with her husband, three adorable children and the puppy her son convinced them to adopt. When she isn’t at her day job or running around with her kids, you can find her in front of the computer writing or with her head buried in another book.

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That’s What HE Said Thursday #3 – Back To Us

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!!!!!!)

I missed last week’s because I just didn’t have a good quote to share. Not a good week on the book boyfriend front. Thankfully, that all changed with a book called Back To Us by Teresa Roman. Jessica and Justin have had rough lives, and they come together and teach each other how to love again. Such a sweet story. So, here is the quote that got me:

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“I’m scared,” he finally said.

“Scared of what?”

“That you’ll break me.”

– Justin and Jessica

(Back To Us by Teresa Roman)

 

Okay, you have to understand that Justin can come off as this tough military guy, but this scene showed his vulnerability and that he’s ultimately afraid of getting hurt, which made me love him so much more.

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

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #4 – Back To Us

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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.

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This week’s quote comes from Back To Us by Teresa Roman. Two damaged people falling in love with each other even when they don’t know how to love themselves. Such a great story! Plus, it had a great food quote that I just had to share.

In this scene, Jessica and Justin are still getting to know each other, and this is the first time they are eating out together.

My Hungry Hearts Quote

“Our food finally arrived. The server put my gyro in front of me and then proceeded to fill the table with plate after plate. There was Greek salad and pita bread, hummus, falafel, shish kebabs. It looked like she’d just unloaded the entire menu on our table.

‘A few things?’ I said to Justin after the waitress walked away. ‘You ordered like the entire menu.’

‘Well, I wanted you to try my favorites. Whatever we don’t finish I’ll bring back to work. Believe me, it will get eaten.’

I picked up my gyro and bit into it. It was amazing. The warm spiced meat felt like it melted in my mouth.”

I’ll be honest. I’ve never really had Greek food, and I’ve never had a gyro, but I am intrigued and would love to try one.

Have you had a gyro? Any good? Feel free to share a link to yours below so I can visit your blog 🙂

Promo Tour – Excerpt & Giveaway: Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

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This is a book I have been super, super excited to share with you guys. The cover, the synopsis, the excerpt, the teasers, everything is just awesome and will make you want to buy the book NOW. Read on. You’ll see what I mean…

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Synopsis

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

BUY LINKS:

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Excerpt

Five Days After I Saw You

MATT

I took the damn F train, an hour-long ride to Brooklyn from Midtown and back every day, at lunch, hoping I would run into Grace again, but I never did.

Things were bad at work. I had submitted a request to go into the field three months earlier but had been denied. Now I had to watch Elizabeth and Brad walk around in bliss as people congratulated them on the baby and Brad’s promotion, which came right after the announcement.

Meanwhile, I was still rejecting any forward motion in my life. I was a stagnant puddle of shit. I had volunteered to go back on location to South America with a National Geographic film crew. New York just wasn’t the same anymore. It held no magic for me. The Amazonian jungle, with all of its wonderful and exotic diseases, seemed more appealing than taking orders from my ex-wife and her smug husband. But my request hadn’t been approved or denied. It just sat in a pile of other requests on Scott’s desk.

I pondered the current state of my life while I stared at a blank wall in the office break room. Standing next to the water cooler, holding a half-empty paper cone, I tallied the insubstantial years I had spent with Elizabeth and wondered why. How had things gone so terribly wrong?

“What are you doin’, man?” Scott’s voice came from the doorway.

I turned and smiled. “Just thinking.”

”You seem a little brighter.”

“Actually, I was thinking about how I ended up thirty­six, divorced, and trapped in cubicle hell.”

He walked to the coffeepot and poured a mug full then leaned against the counter. “You were a workaholic?” he offered.

“That’s not why Elizabeth was unfaithful. She fell right into Brad’s skinny arms, and he works more than I do. Hell, Elizabeth works more than I do.”

“Why are you dwelling on the past? Look at you. You’re tall. You have hair. And it looks like”—he waved his hand around at my stomach—”you might have abs?”

”You checking me out?”

”I’d kill for a head of hair like that.”

Scott was the kind of guy who was bald by twenty-two. He’s been shaving it Mr. Clean-style since then.

“What do women call that thing?” He pointed to the back of my head.

“A bun?”

“No, there’s, like, a sexier name for it. The ladies love that shit.”

“They call it a man-bun.”

He studied me. “Jesus, you’re a free man, Matt. Why aren’t you prowling the savannahs for new game? I can’t watch you mope around like this. I thought you were over Elizabeth?”

I shut the break-room door. “I am. I was over Elizabeth a long time ago. It’s hard for me even to remember being into her. I got caught up in the fantasy of it, traveling with her, taking photos. Something was always missing, though. Maybe I did work too much. I mean, that’s all we talked about, that’s all we had in common. Now look where I am.”

“What about Subway Girl?”

“What about her?”

“I don’t know. I thought you were gonna try to get in touch with her?”

“Yeah. Maybe. Easier said than done.”

“You just have to put yourself out there. Get on social media.”

Will I find Grace there? I went back and forth between wanting to do everything I could to find her and feeling like it was totally pointless. She’d be with someone. She’d be someone’s wife. Someone better than me. I wanted to get away from everything reminding me that I still had nothing.

“If you care so much, why haven’t you approved my request?” I asked.

He scowled. I noticed how deep the line was between his eyebrows and it occurred to me that Scott and I were the same age…and he was getting old. “I don’t mean the actual savannahs, man. Running away isn’t going to solve your problems.”

“Now you’re my shrink?”

“No, I’m your friend. Remember when you asked for that desk job?”

I walked toward the door. “Just consider it. Please, Scott.”

Right before I left the room he said, “You’re chasing the wrong thing. It’s not gonna make you happy.”

He was right, and I could admit that to myself, but not out loud. I thought if I could win an award again, get some recognition for my work, it would fill the black hole eating away at me. But deep down, I knew that wasn’t the solution.

After work, I sat on a bus bench just outside the National Geographic building. I watched hordes of people trying to get home, racing down the crowded sidewalks of Midtown. I wondered if I could judge how lonely a person was based on how much of a hurry he or she was in. No one who has someone waiting for him at home would sit on a bus bench after a ten-hour workday and people-watch. I always carried an old Pentax camera from my college days in my messenger bag, but I hadn’t used it in years.

I removed it from the case and starting clicking away as people flooded in and out of the subway, as they waited for buses, as they hailed cabs. I hoped that through the lens I would see her again, like I had years before. Her vibrant spirit; the way she could color a black-and-white photo with her magnetism alone. I had thought about Grace often over the years. Something as simple as a smell, like sugared pancakes at night, or the sound of a cello in Grand Central or Washington Square Park on a warm day, could transport me right back to that year in college. The year I spent falling in love with her.

It was hard for me to see the beauty in New York anymore. Granted, much of the riffraff and grit was gone, at least in the East Village; it was cleaner and greener now, but that palpable energy I had felt in college was gone, too. For me, anyway.

Time passes, life goes on, places change, people change. And still, I couldn’t get Grace off my mind after seeing her in the subway. Fifteen years is too long to be holding on to a few heart-pounding moments from college.

 

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Check out this great companion piece to the story. I love it!

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About the Author

reneeauthor

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women’s novels. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

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