Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 - The Year of the Book

This year I read 142 new books, or 307 if you include all the re-reads.

Telling a reader that they MUST pick their favourite book is like giving them full access to a publisher's library and saying no touching the merchandise - IMPOSSIBLE. Just because we are able to narrow the field to the ones that have left lasting impressions on us, it doesn't mean that we love the others any less, or that we wouldn't re-read them for the 20th time.

So in no particular order, here are the top 6 (because 2+0+1+3=6) that consumed my being in 2013. They might have been released earlier, but they were brand new to me this year.

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay - I still don't have anything to say that would come even close to describing the amount of adoration I have for this story. It's gorgeous, funny, poignant, sad, heart-breaking, and faith-restoring. If I wasn't worried about bending the covers, I would sleep with it under my pillow.

Shark Bait by Jenn Cooksey - I held a baby hammerhead shark so I could say that I could have been shark bait; so I could somehow have a deeper connection to this book. I'm so dedicated to the entire Grab Your Pole series that I created a head-board out of cut-out letters that said #TEAM TRISTAN. Sure the cast of characters is a bit younger than the average 'NA' read, but it's by no means YA. It's you-might-actually-pee-your-pants funny. It's standing-in-sauna-in-the-summer hot. It's E=MC2-is-easy smart.

Left Drowning by Jessica Park - That fucking 70%! This book took a spoon and carved my heart out. Then it decided that hey! she (meaning I) might be getting off easy, so let's kick her in the guts, smack her around a few times, and then for the sheer joy of killing my soul, twist that damn spoon. It finally decided to take pity on me, but not before it made sure that my outlook on the world had changed just a tad bit. That I believed in something greater...

The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher - Have you ever told someone to do something, knowing that they might hate you afterwards? This is what two of my friends did to me. After being told to read this book countless times, I finally relented. When I finished, I was stuck on an island with no wifi to download the second book. For three days, I cursed them. I hated them. I loved them because I loved this book that I hated with such passion. The ugliness of the characters was too much to bare. It was too real.

Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover - You know what ugly crying is? No? Well, read Losing Hope. I read Hopeless, and loved it beyond anything but Losing Hope kicked it's ass back to Sunday. Yeah - I did write that.

Unteachable by Leah Raeder - This book could have stopped at 17%, and I would still place it on a pedestal right until the day I stop reading. I don't know how to compliment authors, but this one wrote a beautifully descriptive story like Katja Millay and with pure human honesty like Tarryn Fisher.

Honourable mentions also go to...

Making Faces by Amy Harmon - For leaving me absolutely speechless. No words in the English language can do this story justice. If you haven't read it yet, I'll shed a few tears for you tonight.

Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon - For including $100 dollar bills that smell like maple syrup. This hilarious story that defies book categories is an absolute must-read.

Nocturne by Andrea Randall and Charles Sheehan-Miles - I would die a thousand literary deaths if I could read this story for the first time again.

Consequences by Aleatha Romig - I don't do surprises. Mostly because I can guess what the surprise is before it actually happens. But this book caught me so off guard, I had to read reviews just to make sure I read the right book.


Only a few books made this one - BOOKS THAT I'VE READ MORE THAN 10 TIMES IN 2013.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan
The Vincent Boys and The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines

Monday, 30 December 2013

Take This Regret series by A.L. Jackson

This is the 'conversation' that I had with myself during the reading for Take This Regret (Book 1) and If Forever Comes (Book 2). Now keep in mind that I didn't actually talk out loud (because then I would really have issues). I spent all day Sunday reading both these book, and I'd absolutely do it again in a heart beat.

For the sake of clarity, lets call the emotional side of me ME1 and the logical side ME2.

Take This Regret

ME1: Christian is such an asshat. A.S.S.H.A.T. ASSHAT!
ME2: Dude's just scared. Chill the eff out and just read the rest of the book. You're only at the beginning.

sometime later...

ME1: OK - he was an asshat. I see the redeeming qualities. But NO to Matthew.
ME2: See I told you. And stop using the word asshat.
ME1: Fine...WHAT? He just left?! REALLY? Effing fight for her, you shit!
ME2: wtf is wrong with you?
ME1: shut-up! You don't get me. This is not an easy read.

a bit later...

ME1: Man do these two have their truck load of issues to sort through...but you gotta admit, that's some serious love. Like EPIC love. Like Carrie and Big. Allie and Noah. Beauty and the Beast. Hazel and Augustus. Bella and Edward.
ME2: I know you don't drink but really? Bella and Edward? Just keep reading.
ME1: But what is he messes up again? What if she can't forgive him? What if he leaves again? What will happen to them? What will happen to Lizzie? Will Matthew kill him? I LOVE NATALIE!

even later...

ME1: *sobbing and wiping my eyes with my sweatshirt*
ME2: You are too emotional with this book; are you PMSing?
ME1: *still sobbing but mentally checking the dates - nope!* B...ut s-she's hurting e-everyone! S-sh-he doesn't care about Lizzie. H..ow c-can s-she do this?

at the end...

ME1: ok - I won't unfollow the author *sighing with contentment*
ME2: wtf?
ME1: what? I just sighed. Get off my back. I won't let you take this away from me just because you don't understand this kind of devotion. This is the kind of all-consuming love that very few people in real life experience! What part of EPIC did you not understand? This is his family! POEM WORTHY!
ME2: why the face, not the other wtf! You get too invested in these books and relationships.
ME1: HA! the jokes on you - there's a Book 2.

If Forever Comes

ME2: I think I said this before, BUT chill the eff out and just read the rest of the book. You're only at the beginning.

a while later...

ME2: stop crying...
ME1: *sobbing*
ME1: *now sobbing and pulling the blanket over my head so I can hide from all of it*
ME2: Your iPad is about to die...

around 50%...

ME2: did you just Tweet the author to 'fix' this? Because you know she wrote this book a while ago and this story already has an ending right?
ME1: I was nice...I said please *sobbing again*. She has to fix this. She can't do this to me. She can't do this to them!

after a mini sob-fest...

ME1: I believe that things will work out. I believe that things will work out. I belie-
ME2: Are you talking to yourself?
ME1: You're kidding right?

at the end...

ME1: I love him! I love them! I love the author! I love this story! I love that I hated this story because I hated Christian and now I don't hate him!
ME2: You're one exclamation-mark away from stalker territory.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

COVER REVEAL: Love From Beauty by Georgia Cates

Beauty From Love (Beauty, #3)
By Bestselling Author Georgia Cates

Expected release January 28, 2014
An Adult Contemporary Romance

The epic romance between an all-American beauty and her Aussie continues in this final installment of The Beauty Series.
Jack McLachlan is fulfilled by more than he dared to dream possible. He finds everything he never knew he wanted—or needed—in Laurelyn Prescott, his last and final companion. Life is beautiful with his beloved by his side but their post-wedded bliss is cut short when his dark past springs into their present happiness. He wants to shelter Laurelyn but keeping her untainted by his previous life proves impossible when  yesterday’s sins insist on returning to haunt him. Will it be possible for them to find happiness in their forever with a past like his?
Beauty From Love is an adult contemporary novel and is not intended for younger readers due to mature content.

About the Author
Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.
When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her iPod and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.

Monday, 9 December 2013

RELEASE DAY: Thou Shalt Not by JJ Rossum

Thou Shalt Not by JJ Rossum Release Day Promo


Release Day:  December 9, 2013

Luke Harper was finally starting to settle into his life - a life that had previously been full of more heartbreak and pain than most people ever experienced. He had a job he loved, and was blissfully content in his on-again, off-again relationship with the striking, and highly sexual, Holly. But, life throws Luke another curveball with the arrival of the alluring April, a woman stuck in a tumultuous, violent marriage to a famous athlete. Luke soon finds himself torn between what is safe, familiar, and right, and what is dangerous, unknown, and forbidden.

Thou Shalt Not Teaser: 
She was looking down into the water.

"You know, if I knew you better I would probably push you in," she said very nonchalantly, as if letting me know the water temperature.

"If I knew you better, I would probably beat you to it," I replied.
She turned to me, her eyes full of mischievous energy.
"Oh really?"

Her hands quickly went up and grabbed my shoulders, and mine instinctively grabbed her waist. I could feel her grip tighten when I touched her, and her eyes widened.

"If I go in, you are going in with me," I said, shuffling my feet closer to the edge.

Her hands moved along my shoulders and her feet edged closer to mine.

"I'm a grown woman," she said. "Threats involving water don't scare me."
Her bottom lip curled up under her teeth as she smiled, repeating what I had said earlier. Or mocking me, perhaps.

I tightened my grip on her hips and flinched, pretending I was about to throw her in.  She gasped slightly, hands grabbing my shoulders tightly again. Her hips arched forward and she leaned up on her toes as if in reflex.
"I thought you weren't scared," I said, pulling her closer to me. "People usually don't gasp when they are ready for what's about to happen."

She was less than a foot from me, her face getting much closer to mine.

"It depends on what's happening," she said, looking up into my eyes.

I wasn't thinking about throwing her into the water anymore. Everything within me wanted to pull her tightly in and kiss her right there, in front of the pool in the house her husband bought with all the millions of dollars he had made throughout his career. Kiss her on the spot where he probably threw numerous parties. Kiss her on the lips I wished were mine, and not his.

The look in her eyes told me she wanted the same. At least I thought they did. I hadn't been in a position where I felt like this for someone in a long time. Thankfully, my hands were around her waist or I surely would have been able to feel them get clammy, nervous, like a high school kid on his first date with the prom queen he never thought he could get.
She is calculating, remember? I thought to myself. If she hadn't wanted it to get to this point she never would have asked you over to her house. She wants this as much as you do.

I wasn't sure which shoulder angel was feeding me that line but whoever it was, I knew they were right.
My hands pulled her closer until her feet were between mine; our legs and waists touching.
"You have really strong shoulders," she said. Her voice was soft and she tilted her head up toward mine when she spoke.
Do it, I told myself. Kiss her.
My heart was racing, and I could hear the beating in my ears. My hands moved up her body and found her neck. My fingers laced in her hair behind her head and I pulled her up.

Praise from Tarryn Fisher
Salty. This book is salty. There is no sweet. You'll be hard pressed to find a unicorn. It is sexy and frustrating. I grow so tired of "perfect" steamy hero's. I don't like perfect. I like my men a little nerdy and aggressive. Luke is way nerdy. We have a lot of male perspective books coming out, but most are written by women. I'm really wondering at this point if we are getting it right. As for the actual storyline...I was riveted. Hero is playing with married woman fire. He has a hot, little blonde on the back burner. I didn't know who to root for. The author's writing style is what I'll praise most. It's so different. Polished. And I love being in a man's head. They're simple, but damn are they dirty. I.LOVE.THIS.BOOK. 

Bonus Chapter at the end of Thou Shalt Not
After you finish Thou Shalt Not, you will be able to briefly reunite with Caleb and Olivia from Tarryn Fisher’s Love Me With Lies series as she gives us one last glimpse into their life.  

About the Author
JJ Rossum traveled the world as a child, and called many places “home”. Currently, home is Portland, Oregon, where he is at work on other novels that were hatched while people watching during many airport layovers.

  • 10 e-book copies of Thou Shalt Not 
Buy Links:

Thursday, 5 December 2013

COVER REVEAL: Coming Home by Priscilla Glenn


Adult Contemporary Romance
Expected release January 21, 2014

Leah Marino hasn’t been on a date in two years. After discovering the man she loved had manipulated and deceived her, she refuses to even entertain the idea of a relationship. Instead, she focuses her attention on taking care of her family, a role she’s assumed since the death of her mother and the one place she knows her kindness won't be taken advantage of again.

When a nostalgic trip back to her childhood home results in a chance encounter with Danny DeLuca, a smart-mouthed mechanic who’s as attractive as he is mysterious, Leah's carefully cultivated walls begin to crumble. She finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Danny, despite his unreliable behavior and mixed signals. 

But Danny has a secret...

One that could shake Leah's already precarious foundation and bring her world crashing down around her. Suddenly, she's faced with an incredibly difficult decision--is she willing to risk everything for the chance at finding the love she's always wanted? Or are some obstacles just too big for the heart to overcome?

About the Author

Priscilla Glenn lives in New York with her husband and three children. She has been teaching English at the middle and high school levels for the past twelve years while moonlighting as a writer, mom, coach, student, and professional laundry-doer. 
If you catch her when she's feeling sophisticated, she'll tell you her favorite things are great books and good wine. In the moments in between, she'll admit her love for anything Ben and Jerry's, UFC fights, and Robert Pattinson. 
Glenn is the author of the contemporary romance novels Back to You, Emancipating Andie, and Coming Home. You can contact her at priscilla.glenn3@gmail.com
Twitter: @Priscilla_Glenn; https://twitter.com/Priscilla_Glenn