Pages

Monday, September 30, 2013

Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt, Contest, & Giveaway: Good by S. Walden



Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she’s lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It’s a lonely existence.

But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him—a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can’t help it. He’s the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn’t expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.

And that’s when her life goes from bad to good.

(New Adult romance)

~*~

~*~
Excerpt
6 – a perfect world

I stood at his door before lunch straining to hear the rhythmic beats pulsing low and steady from his laptop. The song was mellow and monotonous—understated sophistication—and I thought I should be having an intellectual conversation with someone while it played. I wanted it to be with Mr. Connelly, but the 59 percent on my math test suggested the conversation would sound more like this:
“Cadence, there are special classes for students like you.”
“Huh?”
“You need to be in a special class for math.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Exactly.”
I considered walking away. I was extra nervous to be near Mr. Connelly ever since the wet wipe incident. I still couldn’t figure out what he was doing. He had been just as remote and distant after the wet wipe incident as he was during the weeks that followed my lunch from Moe’s. Back and forth. Back and forth. He was giving me a headache.
In any case, I needed help. I could not fail math. I had to graduate, so I pushed through the door before I lost my nerve. He looked up from the stack of papers in front of him, throwing his pencil carelessly on the desk. Like everything he’d been working on was suddenly unimportant.
“What’s up, Cadence?”
“It’s obvious I don’t understand anything,” I said, slapping my test in front of him. “I’m not stupid, though. I mean, just because I don’t understand derivatives doesn’t mean I’m a freaking idiot.”
I shuffled my feet and hung my head low, biting nervously on my bottom lip.
“No one said you were an idiot,” Mr. Connelly replied, turning off the music.
I looked up and saw a slight grin on his face. Glad he found me amusing.
“Well, a 59 percent sure does look stupid,” I said sulkily.
“We’ll make it better,” he said.
“How?”
“I’m starting tutoring sessions next week after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” he replied.
I bit my lower lip harder. How could I stay after school? I had no ride home and was not asking my parents to pick me up. They both worked anyway and wouldn’t be able to.
I shook my head and shrugged. “Oh well.” Again with the instant tears. I had a knack for being out-of-control emotional around this guy.
“What does that mean?”
“I can’t stay after school. I have no ride home.” My lower lip quivered.
“Hmm.” He swiveled in his chair and scratched his cheek. “Well, you can’t fail calculus or you won’t graduate. And I suspect you wanna graduate and get the hell out of here.” He looked up at me expectantly.
I nodded, fighting the tears. I thought about Oliver’s intramural soccer game this weekend and how boring it’d be. There. That seemed to work. I felt my eyes drying up.
“Don’t worry, Cadence,” Mr. Connelly said. “I’ll work something out.”
“How?”
“Don’t worry about it. Just leave it to me,” he replied, then took a sip of his Orange Crush.
I smiled. “I’ve never seen anyone over the age of eleven drink Orange Crush.”
“Well, my friends in college gave me hell over it,” he replied. “Apparently in college you drink iced latt├ęs. That’s what you do.”
“Duly noted,” I said.
Mr. Connelly cleared his throat and looked down at the papers on his desk. I took it as a signal to leave. I turned around, then froze at his words.
“I’ve got something for you,” he said.
“You do?” I asked, turning back around to face him. He dug around in his messenger bag.
“Yeah. Just give me a second to find it . . .”
I stood nervously pulling on the buttons of my shirt. My girlish heart and brain thought it might be a flower or a box of chocolates. I was an idiot, okay?
“Here we go,” he said, and pulled out a CD. He handed it to me. “I remember you said you couldn’t get on the Internet. Thought you might wanna listen to ‘Midnight in a Perfect World’ since you were curious about it.”
I blushed, hanging my head so that he couldn’t see. This was way better than chocolates or a flower.
“I did,” I whispered. “In computer class.” I didn’t have to tell him that, but I wanted to. I wanted to hear his reaction.
“Oh? When you were supposed to be working?” The question came out as a flirty admonishment. And that’s the reaction I wanted.
I shook my head. “I finished my work first.” I looked up at Mr. Connelly.
“And what did you think?” he asked.
“I thought it was . . . perfect.”
His stare made me uncomfortable and extremely excited. I wanted to know what he was thinking, but I wouldn’t dare ask. It looked utterly private and off limits.
“Would you like to keep the CD for a while?” he asked.
“You won’t miss it?”
He shook his head. “I’ve got an iPod.”
“Okay. Thanks,” I replied, and tucked the CD securely in my bag. “Who were you listening to when I came in?”
“DJ Premier,” he replied.
“Another DJ?”
“Uh huh.”
“What’s the song called?”
“‘Teach the Children’,” he said with a smirk.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me.”
Mr. Connelly chuckled. “I’m really not. The song is called ‘Teach the Children’.”
“So what? Is that, like, inspiration for you when you’re planning out your lessons?”
He cocked his head slightly and considered me. “You’re funny. And yes, maybe it is inspiration.”
I swear his eyes burned holes into my face. He was so . . . intense. But a quiet, stable kind of intense, if such a thing could exist. I stood awkwardly, waiting for him to dismiss me.
“You should go to lunch, Cadence,” he said, a faint smile playing on his lips.
“I should?”
“Mmhmm.”
“Okay.” I turned to leave.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Mmhmm,” was all I could say.
Follow the Tour

~*~
Some more awesome

Summer also needs our help!  She is running a contest for the cover of book 2 titled Better.  She would like her fans to help her find Mr. Connolly (the same ethereal look as how Cadence appears on the cover of Good).  The contest will start on Day 1 of the blog tour and will run for a couple of weeks and Summer needs our help to promote it on our blogs and get the information out there.  The winner of this contest will receive signed paperbacks of both Good and Better and a special thank you on the copyright page of Better for finding the image.  I appreciate any help you can give her!  Here is the info below – if you could schedule posts to go off on your Facebook pages as reminder leading up to end of the contest that would be AMAZING!  Thank you so much!!!!

Find Mark Connelly Book Cover Contest
 

Fans, I need your help! I cannot find a picture of the perfect Mark Connelly to go on my cover of BETTER. I've given up and am handing the matter over to you. Here' the deal: find me a picture of Mark and you may win a signed copy of both GOOD and BETTER. Oh yeah, and you'll be acknowledged on the copyright page of BETTER, too!

The Rules:

1. ONE submission per person. Email me THE LINK to your perfect pic at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com (I gotta know where to purchase it)
2. The pic must be a stock photo with a model release (pics on sites like dreamstime.com and shutterstock.com have model releases. They actually say it.).

Contest will run from 9/30 – 10/21.  Make sure you get your submissions in before 12 A. M. on 10/21.

He's out there. I know it. Now someone find him for me! Emoji

Note: I reserve the right to cancel this contest at any time if I stumble across the perfect pic. I don't think that's gonna happen, though.

Important Note:
Please remember: Better is book 2 in the Too Good series. It will also be the FINAL installment of the series.

~*~
About the Author
S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com and visit her website at www.swaldenauthor.com to get up-to-date information on her current projects.

~*~
Stalk Her


~*~

Buy It



~*~
Win It

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway: The Shoe by Trista Jaszczak



All Blair Miller has ever wanted was to study fashion in New York City. But as one door closed for her, another door opened. A bright and beautiful door that led her straight to a job at celebrity frequented, high end fashion boutique, ATTRAYANT, where she has now worked for years. When an invitation arrives for a masked ball that is being thrown to celebrate a world famous rock band’s new album, Blair finds herself being transformed into Cinderella for the night. When Blair not only falls for Prince of Rock, Hunter but also loses a precious $8,000.00 shoe, she finds herself in possibly the biggest mess of her entire life. How can she reveal who and what she really is to Prince Charming? How can she afford to replace such an expensive shoe? With the help of her two “Fairy God Fathers” who are pushing for her happily ever after…anything could happen.

~*~
Review
4.5 stars! Trista Jaszczak is awesome! Who didn’t love fairytales and princesses as a kid? I know I did. Trista has taken fairytales and given them a modern day twist. I loved The Shoe and its modern depiction of Cinderella. I liked that while Blair was insecure in herself she was not the normal whiney heroine. I absolutely loved Anthony and Christian. They were funny and the perfect best friends for Blair. I wish I had that wardrobe and makeup team in my house every day. I thought Derek was perfect. It was refreshing to read a story about a rock star who hadn’t slept with every (or in his case any) groupie who looked his way and he truly tried to romance Blaire. One thing that stood out to me as different from other books starring rock stars is the lack of drama. Yeah there were headlines and gossip rag stories on Blair and Derek (and the rest of the Huntsmen) but Blair didn’t let it bother her. She didn’t let what those headlines said have any effect on her budding relationship with Derek.

I’m now going to go back and read Little Red, Trista’s twist on the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood and look forward to any future books she releases.

Pick up The Shoe and be prepared to fall in love with Derek.

~*~
About the Author
Trista Jaszczak (pronounced jazz-ick) is an Air Force wife and mother of two who is originally from Hamilton, Ohio but calls Anchorage, Alaska her home. She's published 4 novels so far and written more than 30. She has a deep passion for writing, music, her guitar, her kids and her four-legged babies.

~*~
Stalk Her

~*~
Buy It
~*~

Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt, Giveaway: Who We Are by Shanora Williams



“I thought I had gone through something much worse. I thought the abuse and pain from my mom and step-dad was bad, but this? This heartache? This pain? This depression? This gut-wrenching, heartbreaking moment? This knotted up feeling in my gut, the tightness in my throat, the ache in my chest? It was slowly but surely killing me.”

Eight months.

That’s how long it’s been since Eliza last saw Gage and they both feel as if they don’t deserve one another’s forgiveness. He screwed up. She walked away without looking back. They’ll try and make up all the time they’ve lost with one another, that is until they’re facing the choices of either going their separate ways, or hanging on and fighting for dear life.

The fights will be endless. They heartache will be real. The demons will return, and they won’t back down without a fight.

There are some who will do anything to keep true love apart, and those same people will dig deep into their demonic ways until Eliza and Gage are literally no more.

Can Eliza and Gage overcome it all? Will they be able to face the true demons that are seeking to destroy them? Or will they just forget about everything they’ve worked so hard for and go their separate ways?

Sometimes you have to go through struggles in order to reach an ultimate point of peace… but will their struggle be worth it?


~*~
Review
Well, if there is something that Shanora Williams knows how to do right, it’s not rush along the love story!

This story was full of drama, angst, and action that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Everytime I would think, “this is it! They are finally going to be able to settle in to a life together!” there would be some sort of new setback. I couldn’t have predicted many of the twists and turns that Gage & Eliza had to endure.

Beyond just Gage & Eliza, I felt like we really got to know more of the other characters – especially Roy! He remained such a mystery throughout the first book, but we get a glimpse in to that guy during this story.

If you are looking for a story that is full of angst & drama, you will absolutely love Who We Are!

~*~
Excerpt

As soon as I arrived at my temporary apartment, I dropped my keys on the counter, blared some Laura Welsh on the stereo, and then trudged for the shower. The water was soothing. I didn’t want to step out of the steam, especially as I was bombarded with memories.

Gage and me on the FireNine tour bus. Gage kissing me, licking me, soiling me with his fervent kisses. I quivered, running a finger across my lips, remembering the kiss we shared when he stayed the night at Ben’s a few days ago. The passion I felt, the power. It was so much, yet I couldn’t get enough. My lips were still tingling from it… from how much I missed it. How much I missed him.

Soon, the water chilled against my skin and I shut it off, ran a towel over my damp hair, and grabbed an extra towel to wrap around my wet skin. I brushed my teeth, cleared my face with handful of cool water, and then headed for my bedroom.

Laura Welsh sang about hollow drums and it was like she spoke to me—like she reminded me of how much I actually missed Gage. How hollow and empty I felt without him while I was in school and even now. In school it was worse. Every little thing reminded me of him. Every couple that walked by hand in hand reminded me of him. All the girls who were smiling up at their boyfriends lovingly, clinging to their sides, holding them like they never wanted to let go… it all reminded me of him. I couldn’t stand it… but I missed it. I rolled my eyes, trying to rid my mind of him, but it was nearly impossible.

Even as I changed into a pair of running shorts and a tank top and dropped the towel from my hair, I still thought about him. Even as I poured myself a bowl of cereal and ate it to the heartfelt music, I still thought about him. Even as I lounged flat on my back on the sofa, my hand on my forehead, staring at the dots on the ceiling, I still thought about him.

About his eyes, his full, pink lips that always sent a bolt of electricity coursing through me whenever connected with mine. His hard, rippled body, the perfect sleeve of ink on his forearms, broad chest, ribs, and even his back.

The ceiling seemed to spin above me as the music filled me, and then I felt the rims of my eyes pricking, begging for the pooling tears to be shed. I couldn’t believe it. I missed everything about him. I fucking missed him. Entirely too much.

There was a knock on the door and I perked up, back stiff, staring ahead. They knocked again and I swiped at my tears, confused.Who could be at my door this late? I cautiously made my way to the entrance, my heart pounding, my steps soft, making sure I didn’t cross any weak spots to make the floor creak.

I took a peek out of the peephole and made out a tousled mess of silky, dark-brown hair and broad shoulders. His head was ducked down, hiding his face, but I knew exactly who it was and I stifled a gasp.

My mind then went into gear. Should I let him in? Should I shoo him away? Should I blast him and beg him to just leave me alone?

In the end, I knew I couldn’t do any of those, no matter how upset I may have been with him. I did love him, after all.

I cracked open the door and he jerked away from the doorframe, taking a quick step back, his hazel eyes meeting mine. “Gage?”

“Eliza,” he whispered. His eyes were tired, restless. His lips were strained, as if he wanted to say something else, but then they relaxed and he ran a hand through his hair.

“Why are you here?” I asked, opening the door wider. He pressed the palm of his hand on the door and stepped past me, his heavy cologne filling my lungs. It mixed with the light, airy scent of water, as if he’d purposely walked in the drizzle. I could imagine him pacing back and forth in front of the apartment building, debating on whether he should come up or not. “Better yet,” I said, “how did you know where this apartment was?” I locked the door before looking at him.

“Frank told me,” he sighed out. “Look… I can’t do this,” he said, running another rigid hand through his hair. A few pieces fell onto his forehead, proving he would need a haircut in maybe three days tops. His eyes saddened and filled with guilt and I narrowed mine, tilting my head.

“Do what?” I asked, stepping up.

“This… I can’t be angry anymore. I can’t act like I don’t fucking care. I want—” His sentence broke and his gaze lowered to the floor. Good thing the music was playing, filling the silence, because I wasn’t sure of what to say, but I knew what he was getting at. “I wasn’t supposed to come here. I wasn’t supposed to see you. I was supposed to fight myself from getting close to you again—for your sake—but… I can’t. I can’t fight it. It’s so fucking hard to stay away from you, Eliza.”


~*~
About the Author
Shanora Williams was born and raised in Matthews, North Carolina. She's the author of the New Adult series, OBTAINED and the Best Selling New Adult novel, Hard to Resist. Her upcoming mature New-Adult/Adult novel, Who He Is, will be released in July of 2013.

When she's not writing, she's happily reading or watching cartoons like the big kid she is. She has a wonderful family that you will hear her brag and talk about all of the time. Whenever she just wants to get away from the words for a while, she'll spend some time with her loved ones, eat gummy bears, or drown in Coca-Cola and anything else caffeinated.

~*~
Stalk Her


~*~

Win It

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blog Tour: Excerpt, Trailer, & Giveaway: Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair



Can true love be built on lies? A teen on the run seeks relief and redemption in this gripping, romantic read. Leah Kurtz has finally found a place to call home, a town where she and baby Addy can live in peace, far from the drug-infested place she grew up. Chris is one of the best parts of her new life, the only person who’s ever made her feel safe. And now that she’s found him, there’s no way she can tell the truth:

Her real name is Faith, not Leah. She’s seventeen, not nineteen. And the baby isn’t hers—Faith kidnapped her.

Faith’s history catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions and Chris’s aunt spots her picture in the newspaper. She knows it’s time to run again, but if Faith leaves, she’ll lose Chris. If Chris is in love with a lie, though, did Faith ever really have him in the first place?

~*~
Excerpt
The bangbangbanging of Mom’s headboard against my wall needs to stop before my head explodes.  I’m exhausted and wish he’d just leave so I can sleep.  Of course Mom’s bed has to be shoved right up against the other side of my wall.
I roll my eyes and take a deep breath, pulling the covers up higher around my neck.  After a few minutes, her door creaks open and he comes out shirtless, his stained t-shirt dangling from his fingers.  She’s wearing a dingy terrycloth robe around her skeletal-thin body.  I squeeze my eyes closed and roll over, trying to block out the sound of their voices.
Disgusting.  I’ll be shocked if I ever have a normal sex life.  My ex, Jason, says she’s scarring me in some kind of sexually repressive way.  He’s probably right.  I’ll be a virgin forever.
Sex isn’t dirty, Faith, he whispered on our last night together while trying to slide my jeans down over my hips.  You’re not your mom, and I’m not some random guy.  I love you.
Didn’t matter.
I wouldn’t do it.
The chain on the front door slides, then rattles against the wood frame as it dangles and the door is tugged open.
“Bye, hon,” Mom says.  I hear her lighter flick to life.  Her voice is already raspy from everything she smokes.  “Cross your fingers.”  She laughs, and I picture his sausage-sized fingers crossed.  His feet must be back in his boots, because they tromp out onto the stoop.  “Tell Angel hi for me, and have her cross her fingers, too!”
The door closes, and she lets out a “whoop!” of excitement.  “Faith, honey, you asleep?”  Her bare feet patter to my bedroom door and she flicks on the light.
I flip over and glare at her.  “Oddly enough, no.”
She rubs a thin stack of twenties between her thumb and finger.  In the dark hallway, the cherry at the end of her Marlboro Light glows in her other hand.  “It’s a shame Dave and I had to try again.  Knocking me up is getting expensive for him.”  She laughs and fans herself with the cash.  She’s been pregnant for three weeks, but is milking him for all the money she can before telling him.
He might be drug-dealing scum, but he and his girlfriend, Angel, don’t deserve to be lied to.  They just want a baby.  They couldn’t have picked a worse person to be their egg-donor-baby-carrier.  Mom will do anything for money, and she comes cheap, well, cheaper than the traditional route.
Throwing my blanket back, I shove off my mattress on the floor and stand up.  The worn, shit brown carpet feels gummy under my bare toes as I walk toward her.  “Give me that.”  My hand darts for her smoke.
“Don’t be stupid.  My mother smoked with me.  I smoked with you.”  She throws her hand behind her back, out of my reach.  The back of her hair’s matted and sticks out in all directions.  It reminds me of a dog’s butt after it scoots across the carpet.

~*~

Trailer


~*~
About the Author
Jamie Blair spent most of her teen years choreographing moves for her dance team routines, kissing boys on the couch after her mom went to bed, and pondering the mood enhancement qualities of Lemon Heads when consumed with Diet Coke.  Writing under Kelli Maine, she's the USA Today bestselling author of Taken. Leap of Faith is her debut New Adult novel.

~*~
Stalk Her


~*~
Buy It

~*~

Win It

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway: A Perfect Mess by Zoe Dawson



I know what you did last summer.

Aubree Walker, the perfect girl most likely to succeed, is sure there’s only one person who knows what she did.

Booker Outlaw, one of the three Outlaw brothers—all identical, all gorgeous, all from the wrong side of the tracks, and all pure bad boys. He was always the unpredictable one, the one who would be brash enough to make it big self-publishing horror novels on the internet. He promised never to tell, but everyone knows you can never trust an Outlaw.

Then a year later, in the middle of the night, she receives a phone call at Tulane. Her aunt, who took her in after her mother’s death, is in a coma under suspicious circumstances. Now she has to face that one person who knows all about what she did that summer—sexy Booker.

Returning to Hope Parish to be with her aunt, stirs up all those ugly memories. When Aubree starts getting threats, she can’t help but wonder if what she did last summer was tied to her aunt’s “accident.” Afraid, she turns to the only person who knows the truth and Booker doesn’t hesitate to offer his broad shoulder for her to lean on. But Booker has a secret of his own that could crush their fledgling relationship.

As the hot, sultry summer days move on, she finds that even a perfectly smart girl can lose her heart to a perfectly bad boy. What is she going to do when someone starts asking questions Aubree doesn’t want to answer? She’s knee deep into a terribly dangerous, wholly life changing, who-can-she-really-depend-on perfect mess.

~*~
Review
Right off the bat, Ms Dawson grabs your attention. She certainly didn’t waste any time jumping in with this story, that is for sure!

Throughout the story, there were so many twists and turns that I absolutely had no idea what would be coming next. It was nice to be on the edge of my seat for a story. Ms Dawson threw some curveballs that definitely left me pretty surprised, to say the least. Though she kept us engaged and focused throughout the story, she is able to wrap it all up, slap a bow on it, and leaves the reader absolutely satisfied.

I cannot wait to read about the next couple in this series!

 Follow along with the tour...


~*~
About the Author
Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic comedy/mystery, new adult, urban fantasy. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.

~*~
Stalk Her


~*~
Buy It

~*~