the sweetheart sham

TSS-Blurb1the sweetheart sham by danielle ellison was such a fun read.

there a lot of great characters in this book, but georgia ann, will, and beau are fantastic as this kinda-sorta love triangle’s key players.

georgia ann is what i would imagine to be an all-american southern girl. she is charming and witty and though she’s a belle by upbringing she wants to be more than a pretty girl in a pretty dress.

will is the southern prince charming, all good looks and athleticism and an important family name. but he’s gay, and in this quaint little southern town he is reluctant to just come out. he also happens to be georgia ann’s lifelong best friend and both of their families would just die to have the two of them live happily ever after – together.

beau is just as crush-worthy and happens to be will’s cousin. after leaving town with his mother, he is back for his brother’s wedding – and for a chance to redeem himself with georgie ann after leaving her with no explanation and breaking her heart when he left town with his mother.

now throw in the fact that georgia ann and will decide to have a “fakeship” over the summer so that will can actually go out on dates with the boy he likes, and add to that the fact that they can’t let beau know their secret and you’ve got the makings for quite the summer romance(s).

ellison nailed the character development in this book! i truly love when i read a book and can picture the characters as well as if i’d actually known them somehow.

everything about this book was charming and endearing. definitely a fun read for a cold night! curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea, or coffee, or a rockstar and get ready to fall in love with this southern trio!

4.5/5 stars from this girl!

you can pick up a copy here!

 

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follow me back

 

followmeback

 

this book. you guys. go get this book!

follow me back is an intense read and i loved it so much when i read it on my kindle that when i found it at target i had to have the physical copy as well!

i had the chance to ask AV some questions! see what she had to say and enter to win a copy of follow me back!

 

M: What is your ideal writing scenario? Do you have a routine?

AV: I prefer absolute silence when I’m writing. I like listening to music when I’m spinning out a plot, but not while I’m drafting or editing. I can’t handle coffee-shop background noise, either. When I’m under a tight deadline, I’m most productive late at night with my house dead quiet, after the rest of my family has gone to bed.

M: How do you start your books? Character development, setting, plot,etc.?

AV: Plot plot plot plot! I’ll churn out a complete outline before I do anything else. Characters come to me as part of the outlining process, but they don’t take shape independently from the story events happening to the them. Once I have the plot and characters settled, I’ll often start drafting pure dialogue first – almost like I’m transcribing the screenplay of a movie I see in my head.

 

M: What is the most well loved book on your shelves?

AV: My copy of Jane Eyre is falling apart because I’ve read it so many times.

M: What advice do you have for someone trying to get started on their first book?

AV: Just write it. Don’t worry about making it perfect (or even good) when you’re first starting out. I see a lot new writers who draft a few chapters and then scrap the project – over and over again. That doesn’t work. Dissatisfaction with your writing is a normal part of the process! The only way to learn is to write a book start to finish. Then write a second one… and a third one… and a fourth… Follow Me Back was the fifth novel I completed, and I still consider myself a beginner with tons of room for improvement!

M: How long did Follow Me Back take from inception to publication?

AV: I first came up with the outline three years ago, around the holiday season in 2014. Publishing is sloooooow!

M: Any updates on that second book?
AV: Yes! The sequel to Follow Me Back has a title, TELL ME NO LIES. It will release in June 2018 (currently available for preorder), and it picks up with Tessa shortly after the end of the first book. Tessa has left Twitter and migrated to Snapchat… The story follows the same general structure, with lots of police interview transcripts and social media action!

Want to win a copy of Follow Me Back from the author herself? Just click here!

Contest open to US/Canada residents only.

a hundred small lessons


34466911a hundred small lessons
by Ashley Hay is one of those books that i really enjoyed reading. it is not a fast-paced book, there isn’t any crazy action or catastrophic drama. it is quiet and subtle, thoughtful, and deliberate.

it is the story of a home.  a house that becomes a central character through the lives of two different women who find this place to be home at similar stages of their lives. elsie and lucy each move into this home to raise a family, to be wives and mothers. lucy is our present day protagonist having moved into elsie’s home when elsie suffers a fall and is no longer able to live on her own.

i fell in love with each of these characters and their stories. stories that were so delicately written and woven together that reading this book was like sitting for coffee with two women with wisdom to share. i also fell in love with their home. this idea that this particular house is more than plaster and wood and cabinets – it is a home.

i loved the tranquil intricacies Ashley used to give each of these women strong voices. elsie was not in the house with lucy, but the strength of her character subtly carried through to lucy’s storyline.

a hundred small lessons was a beautiful change of pace for me and i recommend putting it on your list. and grab it for a friend too. it deserves to be shared.

4/5 stars from this girl.

want to win a copy of this book for yourself? Just click here!

This November 28th, 2017, ATRIA BOOKS is proud to publish Ashley Hay’s A HUNDRED SMALL LESSONS, a profoundly relatable tale of two mothers from two different generations attempting parenthood and life and general. Their two stories interweave through the house that bears witness to their lives, a building which becomes a sort of character itself, sharing its secrets and memoriesIn this luminous and deeply affecting novel,  Hay puts into words exactly the small things, feelings we experience daily and the beauty and impact of small accumulating moments across years. Prepare to learn a few lessons….and maybe even cry a little.

When Elsie Gormley leaves the Brisbane house in which she has lived for more than sixty years, Lucy Kiss and her family move in, eager to establish their new life. As they settle in, Lucy and her husband Ben struggle to navigate their transformation from adventurous lovers to new parents, taking comfort in memories of their vibrant past as they begin to unearth who their future selves might be. But the house has secrets of its own, and the rooms seem to share recollections of Elsie’s life with Lucy.

In her nearby nursing home, Elsie traces the span of her life—the moments she can’t bear to let go and the places to which she dreams of returning. Her beloved former house is at the heart of her memories of marriage, motherhood, love, and death, and the boundary between present and past becomes increasingly porous for both her and Lucy.

Over the course of one hot Brisbane summer, two families’ stories intersect in sudden and unexpected ways. Through the richly intertwined narratives of two ordinary, extraordinary women, Ashley Hay uses her “poetic dialogue, and stunning imagery” (RT magazine) to weave an intricate, bighearted story of what it is to be human.

Ashley Hay is the internationally acclaimed author of the novels The Body in the Clouds and The Railwayman’s Wife, which was honored with the Colin Roderick Award by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the most prestigious literary prize in Australia, among numerous other accolades. She has also written four nonfiction books. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.

 

exposure.

Expexposure is the only book i’ve read in the incandescent series but i definitely look forward to checking out the other books in the series. exposure is definitely strong enough to stand alone, but i like the idea of getting to know more about some of the other characters via their own books.

but i digress.

i had no idea what to expect when i started this book but i’m glad i gave it a read this weekend. sylvie writes her protagonists very endearingly and although they both have these extraordinarily privileged lives they are at the same time familiar and believable.

there is the perfect amount of intrigue, tension, romance, and a pretty incredible sex scene. sylvie has a style that is smart, witty, and well structured – this would be a pretty fantastic book to curl up with or throw in your bag to hit the beach.

3.5/5 stars from this girl.

you can pick this book up on 11.22.17 right here!

ExposureTourBanner

SylvieAUTHOR BIO:
A paralegal by day and incurable romantic by night, Sylvie is a cross-genre, and she takes Happily Ever After very seriously. The End just isn’t in her vocabulary.

An incorrigible daydreamer, she now feeds her obsession with epilogues by concocting stories in which heroes deal with the happy from the get-go. Ready, or not. And she confesses under oath to loving every minute of it.

Sylvie lives her own Happily Ever After in the beautiful mountains of Les Laurentides in Northern Quebec, alongside her whole set of characters.

In between treks in their backyard wilderness, you can find them hanging out at www.sylvieparizeau.com

Book details:
Exposure by Sylvie Parizeau
(Incandescent, #3)
Publication date: November 22nd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:

PHILIPPE-OLIVIER TISSEROT’s caffeine addiction is about to land him in uncharted territory and one hell of a ride. One that’s about to go viral.

Current status: Computer whiz to hacker to penpal.

Upgrade status: Lover.

Well, I’m still working on the lover part.

I’m just a computer geek studying at MIT. And now I’m in two places at once – the geek and the lover battling it out to get the girl.

The only problem is, my dream girl doesn’t know she knows me in either one of them.

Now I have to win her in both.

Please wait. Upgrade in progress.

 

carry me home.

i had absolutely no idea what this book was about when i signed up to review it on this blog tour. i loved the cover art. i am not ashamed to admit that i will pick a book up simply because of its cover.

truth be told, jessica almost lost me in the first few chapters. i know absolutely nothing of gang culture or lingo and some of that was hard for me to follow at first. i’m glad i powered through those first chapters though.

i really liked this book.

it is marketed as a YA book, and while i agree that it would be appropriate for a mature YA audience, i will say it isn’t going to be for everyone. it is gritty, violent, and graphic.

i loved the dichotomy of the small town girls moving to the big city – but this took a dark turn and quickly separated itself from your typical YA girl with a dream sort of book.

our protagonist is well developed in the present but i would have loved more of the backstory we get a small glimpse of at the end. lucy at times seems overly complicated for a 15 year old girl – but then in the same moment she is your typical teenage girl. she wants to be loved and accepted and thinks she has the world figured out. we can all relate to that feeling. we were all teenagers who knew it all at one time. jessica crafted lucy in a heartbreakingly real way.

i wish that i had felt like i knew some of the rest of the characters as well as i ended up knowing lucy. i definitely feel like her mother, sister, and father have depth, but that we just caught glimpses of that depth. i would love to know them all more. but that is for another book or my imagination i suppose.

this book IS not for everyone and definitely not the faint of heart.

this book IS for anyone who wants to go on a wild ride to the bottom and back with a young girl and her family just trying to find their way.

4/5 stars for carry me home.

scroll down for information about carry me home and your chance to win a signed copy!

CMH Ebook Cover

Carry Me Home
by Jessica Therrien
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult
Synopsis:

“A riveting page-turner… Jessica Therrien broke my heart into a million pieces — and then put it back together again. This book will haunt and uplift readers long after they turn the last page.”
-KAT ROSS, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea

CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her, Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.

* * *

Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.

They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.

But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world.

Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.

Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.

 
Purchase: 
Jessica
AUTHOR BIO:
Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. Her trilogy has been translated and sold through major publishers around the world, such as Editions AdA (Canada), EditionsMilan (France), and SharpPoint Press (China).

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica is the author of a kid’s picture book called, The Loneliest Whale. Her award-winning stories can also be found in a published anthology of flash fiction.

Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two young sons. She is working on an a YA suspense thriller series and a middle grade fantasy series.

Author links:

check out what other bloggers have to say about carry me home!

read more reviews here

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click here to get entered to win the following prizes:

  • Signed copy of Oppression (Children of the Gods #1)
  • Signed copy of Carry Me Home
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card

 

it’s giveaway time!

i don’t know about you, but i love winning free stuff!

awhile back i read and reviewed if the creek don’t rise and now you have a chance to win a Draper James tote and some southern delicacies!

want a chance to win this awesome prize package? all ya have to do is click here!

and if you haven’t picked up a copy of if the creek don’t rise yet, you certainly need to!

 

speed.

Couple in car teaser.jpg

Ok. I am just going to be totally honest here and let y’all know that this is my first BB Easton book. I’m a sucker for a good cover and BB’s books have covers that remind me of my old zine so…

This book isn’t for the easily triggered. There is vulgar language, rough sex, and violence. Sometimes seemingly simultaneously.

I’m not easily triggered.

I loved this book. It was gritty, honest, and to the point. Though I definitely was not having that kind of sex when I was 16! Seriously, you may want to wait til the kids go to bed to read this one, ladies!

While I’m sure reading the previous books would have been helpful on some level – I think this book could stand on its own. I appreciate that I wasn’t completely lost just jumping straight into speed.

Though I didn’t run around with skinheads or know many beautiful boys that wrenched on vintage cars I could relate to the character development in BB’s writing. I found myself thinking back on the way we dressed and the music we listened to and honestly, bb and i could have run in the same crowd or crossed paths at a show once upon a time!

This is a can’t put down sort of book and I enthusiastically give it 4/5 stars!

Win a copy here!

Or even better, show BB a little love and buy a copy (and her other books too!) at any of these places:

Paperback: https://goo.gl/3XTDU8 
Author Bio:
BB Easton lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her long-suffering husband, Ken, and two adorable children. She recently quit her job as a school psychologist to write stories about her punk rock past and deviant sexual history full-time. Ken is suuuper excited about it.
 

SPEED-animated-cover

speed preview:

It was love at first sight. A late ‘60s Mustang fastback body style, matte black paint job, matte black rims, blacked out windows, and a massive open-air scoop on the hood. It looked like something straight out of Mad Max.

“Can I help you with somethin’?”

I turned and met the amused stare of a broad shouldered, baby-faced, blue-eyed mechanic. His dirty-blond hair was pushed back in a messy pompadour. His forearms were covered in hot rod tattoos. His pouty bottom lip was pierced. And his name was embroidered on the A&J Auto Body shirt hugging his hard chest.

Hellooo, Harley.

“Sorry,” I sputtered. “I know I’m probably not supposed to be back here, but I…” I looked back up at the beast on the lift and a deep longing seized my chest. “I just can’t leave her.”

Harley—if that was even his real name—chuckled and said, “So, you like the ladies, huh?”

“What? No!” I snapped.

“Good.” The mechanic smiled, and the twinkle in his mischievous blue eyes reminded me just how much I liked boys.

Trying to bring the subject back to cars and away from my sexual orientation, I looked around the garage and pointed to my faded black hatchback on the farthest lift. “I drive the baby version of this.”

Harley glanced over at my most prized possession and nodded in approval. “Five-oh, huh? Not bad. Manual or automatic?”

“Manual,” I groaned.

“No shit? Your boyfriend teach you how to drive that thing?”

“No,” I said, letting my mouth hang open in pretend offense.

“Ah,” Harley nodded. “You met him after you got the car.”

“I don’t have a boyfriend,” I said, rolling my eyes. I had to bite the insides of my cheeks to keep from smiling. God, he was cute. The guy had a face like James Dean and a body like Dean Cain. And that accent. Living in the south, Southern accents are a dime a dozen, but Harley’s was just subtle enough to be cute. Cute, cute, cute.

Harley smirked at me and asked, “Your old man must be a car guy then, huh?”

“You got me,” I smiled. “I’ve been hoarding all his old Muscle Car magazines since I was a kid. I used to cut out all the Mustang pictures and tape them to my bedroom walls, but the tape fucked up the sheetrock so my mom bought one of those clear plastic shower curtains with the photo pockets and—”

Harley held up a hand to silence me. “I’m gonna have to stop you right there,” he beamed, “’cause right now all I can picture is you in the shower and I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna be able to process another word you say.”

Oh my God!

I could feel the prickly heat of a blush creeping up my neck. I bit the insides of my cheeks to keep my face from splitting open into a blotchy, big-toothed grin caused by his sexy little comment had caused. This guy, Harley, had to be in his early twenties, he was fiiiine as hell, and he was flirting with me.

Having no idea how to respond to that, I tried again to change the subject. “So, what do you drive?”

“Hmm…” Harley tilted his head and smirked. “Why don’t you take a guess?”

Oh, we’re playing games now. Okay…

I tapped my lips with my fingertips and eyed him, thinking hard.

“You strike me as a…Volkswagen Beetle kinda guy.”

Harley almost laughed, then quickly scowled, trying to look offended.

“No? Oh, I got it. PT Cruiser.”

Harley pursed his ample lips, fighting back a grin.

“Wood-paneled Pinto?”

That one had him wrinkling his nose in genuine horror.

“Oh, I know—it’s a trick question! You drive a Vespa!”

Snort.

I was running out of ideas, so I looked around the shop and spotted a ‘64 Impala lowrider. “Ooh! I found it. Right there,” I said, pointing to the hoopty. “The gold rims were a nice touch. I bet you even put hydraulics on it, didn’t you?”

Harley finally let out the laugh he’d been biting back. It was deep and raspy and made my insides tingle. “You’re getting warmer,” he said. “It’s actually on hydraulics right now.” Harley lifted an oil-smudged finger and pointed to the matte black sex machine above my head.

if the creek don’t rise

image001if the creek don’t rise by Leah Weiss is quite the debut novel. i will 100% admit that i was interested in reading this book because i loved the cover photo. this is a gritty, emotional portrayal of the life and struggles of an apalachian community that was told with depth and sensitivity.

leah’s characters are crafted so exquisitely i felt like i was in their kitchens or on their front porches listening to them tell me about their lives.

sadie blue is the protagonist and though she is beaten down and has had a life no one would envy, i could tell she was a spitfire meant for great things. i honestly couldn’t help but get wrapped up in her story. she was at times familiar as a character. her struggles – while most of the time completely foreign to me – were at times something i think most young women could find something in common with. she is poor, poorly educated, hopeful, naive, and trusting despite her situations. leah wrote sadie in such a way that you have to root for her.

the cast of characters at her side are all supportive (save for her husband) in their own ways and in learning about their lives which happens via their own chapters which occur throughout time and simultaneously with sadie blue’s life we learn how the events that shape the resolution of this story had been put into place years prior.

i cannot recommend this book enough. it was a quick read for me and though the tension was slow to build overall, the intense bursts of drama that were placed in the story so expertly make it hard to believe this is leah’s first work!

4.5/5 stars from this girl!