Saturday, April 29, 2017

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

A very small post this week, but it includes something that has me extra excited for the summer!

OTHER

Girls Night Out Wine - Summer Flavours

Pretty sure everyone is well aware of my wine obsession. It's not like it is a secret. I especially enjoy Girls Night Out wine. They have some amazing flavours, and are especially nice in the summer when you want something fruity and light.

They released two new flavours for the season and I am so excited to try both.


Both of these are vanilla based and sound absolutely perfect for a nice summer day. I have a feeling they may become my go to drink for the summer.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Cover Reveal - Royally Endowed by Emma Chase



Today I am VERY excited to be helping reveal the cover for the next companion novel in the Royally series by Emma Chase. I really enjoyed the first two books in this 'series' and cannot wait to read this one! The books can be read as standalones, but I recommend reading them in order as you'll get something a little extra from them. Royally Endowed is scheduled to be released August 14th so there is still plenty of time to catch up!

And now for this AMAZING cover ..... 


Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??
Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.

***
Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.  

PRE- ORDER NOW




Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Another Postcard Excerpt Reveal



Today we are excited to share an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming ANOTHER POSTCARD by Elle Christensen. Find out more about this rockstar romance and pre-order your copy today!


About the book: 

Brooklyn Hawk is an enigma. Highly sought after for her incredible voice, her talent shines bright in the studio. But a dark past and a secret she holds close to her heart keep her from permanently stepping into the limelight. Until her favorite band offers her the chance to chase her dreams. As the lead singer for rock sensation Stone Butterfly, Levi Matthews is wary of bringing in new talent. But he has heard just how amazing Brooklyn is and when the need for another singer arises, he’s confident that she is the perfect addition. However, he doesn’t count on laying his heart at her feet. But the world of music can be as dangerous as it is thrilling. Joining Stone Butterfly on tour was hard enough for Brooklyn, but when she finally succumbs to Levi’s charms, the rock ‘n’ roll life turns deadly. Will Levi and Brooklyn keep their voices and their hearts entwined? Or will the music prove too hard to survive?  

Pre-Order Your Copy Today! 



  EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT 

“There’s a song on the record called ‘Sanity,’ and I co-wrote it with this fucking gorgeous woman right here. It will debut on the radio in just a couple of weeks.” A stage tech ran out, and while Levi continued to tease the fans, they attached a wireless mic to my cheek. “So! Have you guessed what your surprise is?” he shouted. “You guys get to be the first to hear it!” Their response is epic and they went crazier still when Matteo started beating a low, steady rhythm on his floor tom. Then he transitioned into the fast and heavy, hard rock beat. Simon and Levi joined him, and a couple of bars later, I opened my mouth and sang the most important notes I’d ever sung in my life.
As I sang the first verse, the world began to melt away completely, leaving only Levi and me. When he began to sing his lyrics, our lines clashing and emoting the first stage of crazy, our eyes were already locked. We reached the first chorus and Sasha added her haunting violin. The cacophony of sounds built up the tension inside me. In the safety of the stage and a huge audience, I finally let loose all the caged passion I’d kept locked up tight.
We were approaching the section with the instrumental solos, and Levi’s voice dropped so low that the arena fell silent, the audience mesmerized by him. As he crooned the lyrics about love and a broken mind, he faced me and when he reached the break, he faded out completely. The audience reacted to Matteo, Simon, and Sasha with the same exuberance as they had when Levi and I had been singing. Sasha finished her solo, transitioning into the most intense part of the song. I didn’t even think, too wrapped up in the music. My mouth opened, and I let every repressed emotion I had for Levi pour from my soul. The cello’s rich strains crescendoed, and Levi I circled each other on the stage.  I stared into those aqua eyes, captivated by the dark swirl of need that he wasn’t even attempting to hide. Each time we sang together, our voices melded, creating a sound that had shivers coursing through my body. We hit the pinnacle of the song and then the last notes were solemn, the lyrics about giving in to the insanity of love and drowning in the crazy. Levi wandered over to me and his hand came up to cup my cheek. I was overwhelmed by the thick atmosphere, so full of lust and emotion, as though our voices were engaged in dirty, sweaty sex.

The other instruments faded out, and all that was left was the smooth, dark melody coming from Sasha’s cello. She pulled the bow slowly on the last note, and it hung in the air, the only sound in the otherwise complete silence in the arena. The lights descended until it was almost completely dark. I was still glued to Levi’s intense stare until I could no longer see him, but I could feel him. The connection was severed when the world around us erupted. The lights went back up and he put on his most charming smile before turning to the audience and throwing his hands into the air. “She’s amazing, right?” he shouted, receiving an even louder roar of applause in response.


About the Author:


I’m a love of all things books, a hopeless romantic, and have always had a passion for writing. Between being a sappy romantic, my love of an HEA, my crazy imagination, and ok, let’s be real, my dirty mind, I fell easily into writing romance. I’m a huge baseball fan and yet, a complete girly, girl. I’m an obsessive reader and have a slight (hahaha! Slight? Yeah, right) addiction to signed books. I’m married to my very own book boyfriend, an alpha male with a sexy, sweet side. He is the best inspiration, my biggest supporter, and the love of my life. He is also incredibly patient and understanding about the fact that he has to fight the voices in my head for attention. I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed writing them!  

CONNECT WITH ELLE

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... The Belles


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.
Royal court intrigue, some (what sounds like) magical powers, and a New Orleans setting? Yes, please! This all sounds amazing and I cannot wait to be able to read this. I am so curious about so much of this synopsis and The Belles themselves!

It's going to be quite the wait because it doesn't come out until 2018, but we can enjoy the beautiful cover and excerpt that have been revealed in the meantime and agonize over how far away February feels.

Expected release date - February 20, 2018

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

BOOK

Not Without You : A Stucky Anthology 

You may recall me mentioning a Kickstarter that I backed for an anthology that is filled with Steve and Bucky fan art, fanfiction and much more. I was just sent the ebook version and it has made me so excited for the hardcover coming my way! I cannot wait to read the short stories and see the art work up close. I am already really pleased with everything and am eagerly awaiting all the extra goodies that are coming with the book.

OTHER

Peter Pan Necklace

I have been searching for a pretty, yet subtle, Peter Pan necklace for a long time. I finally found a super cute one at Hot Topic. I love that it is just stars, and a ship. I am definitely going to have to snag one of these next time I go. I even love that the stars are blue!




Book Expo America

This has made the list again this week. More and more signings are being added to the schedule and the ticketed authors are now up! I am hoping to snag tickets for both Marissa Meyer and Leigh Bardugo. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed on both days. As the event gets steadily closer my excitement level is growing! I cannot wait for May to get here.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno



Fireworks by Katie Cotugno
Release Date - April 18, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From Katie Cotugno, bestselling author of 99 Days, comes Fireworks—about a girl who is competing with her best friend to become the new pop star of the moment—and all the drama and romance that comes with it—set in Orlando during the late-'90s boy-and-girl-band craze.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, New York Times bestselling author Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.
When I heard Katie Cotugno was releasing a novel that focused on female friendships and used the 90s boy/girl band craze as its backdrop, I knew I needed to read it immediately. I was hoping it would be drenched in nostalgia and filled with everything I love about Katie Cotugno's books. Luckily, that is exactly what I got when I picked up Fireworks. It's the kind of book that will immediately make you want to have a 90s music dance party in your house. It is also the kind of book that will make you thankful for the female friendships in your life - flaws and all.

Many people snidely make fun of boy/girl bands. They assume they are frivolous and that the members of these groups do not work hard for their success. These groups are often dismissed simply for being something that teenagers, generally teen aged girls in particular, enjoy. This book is here to set you straight on that assumption. The determination, and hard work that goes into one of these groups is meticulously detailed within Dana and Olivia's story. Nothing about it is easy, and I loved that the novel took the time to address that. There are plenty of perks too, and these are addressed right along side the negative aspects.

The novel may be set in the 90s but it also feels current and relevant. This is largely because the issues that Dana and Olivia are facing are not limited to a specific time frame. The problems that arise in their friendship are ones that people will always struggle with. This is a well developed look at a friendship that is often one sided with one person taking more than they are giving. Combine this with jealously, drifting away from each other, and growing up and you have issues that anyone is able to relate to. The connection between Dana and Olivia is the most important relationship in the novel, even more than the romance found within these pages, and that fact is never forgotten.

The ending is the perfect blend of bitter and sweet. There is hope for the future, but also a sense of loss. The fact that the novel highlights that sometimes things cannot be saved was something I appreciated. Sometimes you cannot mend things, or make your way back to each other. It also shows that you can love someone and be disappointed by them at the same time. The good memories and the bad parts can co-exist. You can still want the best for them, even if they've hurt you. This complexity is at the heart of this friendship and it is something Katie Cotugno does flawlessly.

Fireworks offers up a nostalgic read for anyone who remembers the boy/girl band craze of the 90s. Katie Cotugno once again portrays imperfect female characters who are nuanced, and realistic. If you are looking for a read that focuses on friendship, especially ones that are not perfect, I highly recommend picking up this wonderfully written read.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer



Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date -  April 4, 2017
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  400 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. 
Brigid Kemmerer has created a nuanced look at grief, and some unforgettable characters in Letters To The Lost. It is a story that is both hopeful, and impacting. It is bittersweet, and yet filled with so much heart. It is the type of story that soothes as much as it crushes.

Juliet is still in the deepest parts of her grief over her mother's death. She seems stuck in the anger stage with no clear path out of the darkness. She writes letters to her mother as a way to cope and to feel a little bit of relief from the pain she is weighted down with. She felt like such a realistic character. Her grief and anger were palpable. Part of her wasn't ready to lessen her grief, and even felt guilty about the possibility of it. She felt like it was betrayal of her mother's memory.

My favourite part of Juliet's journey is the realization that her mother wasn't perfect. Her mother was a person who like anyone else made mistakes. The realization that she could be angry at her mother and still love her was a powerful one. We all, at some point, have to come to terms with the fact that our parents are not just what we perceive them as being. There is complexity there that we never really think about until we're confronted with it. It was woven into the story perfect, and felt like a natural part of Juliet's grieving process.

Declan is THAT boy. The one who is used as a cautionary tale because of a mistake he made. Nobody cares about the reason behind what Declan did, just that he did it. They assume he's trouble and he is treated accordingly. Declan has his own grief that he carries around. Two broken, grieving people finding each other is not new, but Brigid Kemmerer manages to make both the characters and plot feel fresh. Declan and his friendship with Rev was a large part of that. I loved their friendship so much. It could have been an entire book on its own and felt just as vital to Declan's story as the romance did.

The connection between Juliet and Declan isn't one that heals all their issues. It is, instead, one of solace and strength. It makes taking those steps out of the darkness a little easier for both of them. It shows the comfort that can come from having someone to talk to, and someone who understands you. I loved that it wasn't portrayed as some instant fix for either of them, but simply something good in each of their lives. The romance is perfect paced, and felt earned in so many ways. The connection is built slowly over letters, and emails so that this incredibly foundation is there before they realize they are falling for each other.

The author manages to circumvent a few expected plot points to great impact. It made the story feel fresh and unexpected. The usual direction of the story would have been an easy way to up the drama, and would have been what was expected. I appreciated that the author decided to defy those tropes and instead provided a much more layered, and deeper character driven story.

You'll immediately finish this novel and want more. More from these characters, and more from this world. Brigid Kemmerer ensures that you fall fully in love with not just her novel, but its characters. This is one that fans of contemporary YA should not miss and will be one you tell others to read immediately after finishing. 

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