Monday, November 4, 2013

Character Interview + ARC Giveaway: Isaiah from Crash Into You

Out later this month is Katie McGarry's next (amazing) book, Crash Into You. To celebrate, I've got not only an interview with the meltingly sexy Isaiah, but a chance for you to win an ARC of the book! So let's get to it!

What do you think is the best and the worst things about you?
Best thing about me? I’m definitely loyal to the people I love. I watch their backs and have their backs at all times. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for anyone I call family.

As for the worst? Rachel would easily tell you that same loyalty streak can get me into trouble. When I see the people I love in danger, I can easily go into tunnel vision on how I can protect them. Sometimes I have a hard time seeing the whole picture if I think I can stop someone I care from being in pain.

So. Beth. I'm going to just come out and admit it. I went into your part of the story pretty dang mad at her on your behalf. Is forgiveness something you thought could ever happen for her?

I was pretty damn mad at her too. Beth and I have been complicated from the day we first met. Forgiving Beth isn’t the hard part. It’s having her in my life at times that causes the problems.

What's the most ridiculous thing you and Noah have ever done?

We went to a Halloween party that Echo was invited to. Talk about painful. Echo forced both of us to dress up like we were part of a biker gang. I felt like a damn fool, but at least Noah was in on that action.

Now let's talk about Rachel. What's your favorite thing about her?

What’s there not to like about Rachel? She’s gorgeous, smart, and she’s courageous behind the wheel of a car.

What I love about her? Rachel’s easy in a world full of hard. One look at her and all the chaos fades away. She owns a smile that causes me to forget every trouble that weighs me down. Rachel is like a piece of heaven.

What's it like to kiss her?

There’s nothing like it. While Rachel’s brave enough to take on street hustlers, there’s a shyness about her. Especially when we’re alone and the lights are turned down. Each and every touch from her is a gift and when my lips finally meet hers, there’s always a hint of hesitancy on her part. But then the kiss always transforms into something more…something heated and kissing her…I think about it—constantly.

If you met under different circumstances, and not at a street race, do you think you would've still noticed her?

Hell yeah, I would have noticed Rachel. She’s drop dead gorgeous. Now whether or not she would have noticed me, I’m not sure. Rachel’s the kind of girl every guy dreams about.

If you could race cars professionally, would you?

While I love getting behind the wheel of a fast car and letting her loose, I have to say I prefer working on those beautiful ponies. There’s a strange high I can’t explain when you hear the grumble of an engine and you know you’re the one that made it happen.

Boxers or briefs?


What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?

That would be a question to ask Rachel. She’s the kind of person that would have an answer to that. Me? I just eat the cookie and don’t over think it.

And to win an ARC of this awesome book (Seriously, it's my favorite of hers so far!), just fill out the Rafflecopter!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trailer Reveal: Foreplay by Sophie Jordan

Out next Tuesday is Sophie Jordan's (way hot) New Adult release Foreplay. And trust me when I say you need to this book in your life. A sexy, quiet, brooding bartender named Reece definitely stole my affections, and maybe had some other effects on me. Ahem. Romance and NA lovers alike need to check this one out, and to get you even more excited for it, I've got the trailer right here for you guys!

For excerpts from the book, go here. You know you want to.

About the Book: Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cover Reveal: Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir

I am so, so, so excited to bring to you guys the cover for Christa Desir's 2014 release, Bleed Like Me.

I read an early draft of this one, and so loved it. Intense, painful, and raw, it's everything I love in YA Contemporary, as well as from this author. I cannot wait to read the final. But before I gush further, here is the cover for your viewing love:

Unghhh I love this cover. It fits the book so, so, so well, and is also so simply, yet catching. Trust me when I say this is a book you do not want to miss, and it drops fall 2014 from Simon Pulse.

About the Book (This is the current blurb, but not the official one): Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon is overwhelmed. Her parents are pre-occupied with her high-needs adopted brothers, her best friend is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding, and her job at the hardware store feels more and more like a life sentence. She finds an escape in troubled new guy, Michael Brooks. He's obnoxious, possessive, and addictive. Gannon lets him insert himself into her life, and Brooks is just as addicted to her as she is to him. Swept into an intense relationship, their passion ultimately becomes dangerous to them both.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Romance Review: Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris

SUMMARY: Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.

OPINION: Hot, witty, and enticing, Seven Day Fiancé is definitely a new favorite of mine. I love Cane. Seriously. This man is all kinds of sexy and melty. With the right amount of brokenness to him, not to mention his playboy reputation, he’s absolutely the kind of hero who gets me hot and bothered, but who also has me grinning like crazy when he settles down and finds his HEA.

The banter and playfulness between Angelle and Cane drew me in, and watching their budding romance kept me hooked. I loved the family gauntlet he had to run, initially under the ruse of being her fiancé, but of course it shifted into having far more meaning. Then came his dark moment of the book, which is one of my favorites as far as romance mishaps go. He messes up in a pretty big way, but he also goes above and beyond to make up for it, and figure his issues out. On Angelle's side, the things she had to face and deal with played nicely into his, and I especially loved how determined she was to be her own person, rather than doing what her family wanted. Not to mention, the inherent awkwardness that came with facing the man she had turned down to marrying, with her fake fiancé by her side, was fabulously done.

This one is from the Bliss line, so the sexy scenes are closed door, but Harris has such talent when it comes to the heat, spice, and tension that this book still keeps you on the edge, waiting for the characters to get busy. With a great voice and fast pace banter and writing, this one is absolutely a must read for any contemporary romance fan. But I totally lay claim to Cane. Good gravy that sexy beast.

Source: E-ARC received from Inkslinger PR as part of tour, in exchange for an honest review
Print Length: 153 pages 
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
Publication Date: October 14, 2013

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thoughts on Fault Line by Christa Desir

Out today is one of the single most impacting books I’ve read: Fault Line by Christa Desir. I first read this one a good while ago. Actually, I’ve read it twice. And both times, I was a raw, emotional mess afterwards. This entire time, though, I’ve yet to really figure out how to accurately explain what this book has done to me. So this is less of a review, and more of my thoughts (or rambles?) about it.

As a reader, I admittedly had a few problems with it (some of which have been fixed since I read it that first time). The particular style of this one is rapid, quick scenes, done with a specific purpose and intent from Christa, is a style that I, personally, have a hard time with. And that’s okay. I know why she did it, and after a certain point, my having a harder time falling into the book, into the narrative due to the rapidly shifting scenes, didn’t matter. Because I was invested. I also went into this one knowing what was going to happen to Ani. Specifically. So I admit, part of me was waiting for that to happen. Yes, I understood I needed to see Ani and Ben fall for each other, I needed to see their good times to appreciate and understand their bad. But I was antsy.

Then that bad thing happened, and talk about an abrupt shift. Whether intentional or not, the entire shift in emotional atmosphere, in focus, in interest, completely flipped. Now, those rapid scenes were wonderful, because it meant I got to move to the next one that much quicker, to find out what would happen, if not just Ben but Ani would be okay. If Ben and Ani would be okay together.

That was me as a reader. As a writer, I understood why so much of this book is like it is. I utterly adore this ending. Christa’s mentioned she’s made some edits to the ending – “To clarify, the ending didn't change. It just got fuller, as it were. It's still open and sort of broken. Don't worry.” But this ending. It’s the culmination of every hope, worry, thought, and feeling I had reading this one. The writer in me had so much respect for Christa ending the book where she does, for being so honest to her characters, to the stories.

The person in me was eviscerated.

I love painful endings. Bittersweet. Unhappy. Less than perfect. Those are my favorite endings, even if every time, I automatically think about what if these characters did get a happy ending? Even if there’s a piece of me that is instantly angry these people who don’t even exist went through all this, and still didn’t come out okay. But once that moment passes for me, every time, I fall into this huge appreciation, even love, of these painful endings. This one was no different.

I remember the final scene of this book in vivid detail. I still remember how hard it hit me. How literally wrung out I felt. I wanted Ben to be okay. Yes, I wanted Ani to be okay, but Ben broke me.

Ben, this somewhat of a cocky mess of a teenage boy who is still sweet and genuine and kind. This boy who loves his girlfriend, in spite of what happens to her. In spite of how she reacts afterwards. Who does his best. Holy crap does he try so hard for. For them. He believes he can fix her, he can be what she needs.

And this is the beauty, to me, of this book. The reason I love it so, so, so incredibly much and so deeply. Because it’s Ben’s story, as much as Ani’s. Because Ani doesn’t come out okay, but neither does Ben. Because rape touches more than the victim, it touches those around that person. There is a certain kind of hell that comes with being the one on the outside, so to speak. Being helpless. In doing whatever you can, but knowing, in the end, you can't save that person.

Oh, how Christa has captured that. It still brings tears to my eyes to think of that final scene, of when everything hits Ben, of his reactions, his actions. Of all those sweet moments in the early part of the book. Of the painful ones after what happens. Of the still sweet ones that filter in, those moments of hope. Of the things Ben does, good or bad, leading up to that final scene.

The other reason this book is so high up on my everyone must read list is how many layers there are, intentionally or not. How much it made me rethink rape, in a way. Rethink the impact on those around the victim. How far those metaphorical ripples actually reach.

How completely painful it is when everything you do to try to help maybe doesn’t matter.

And how completely not okay the boyfriend of that victim can come out of this being. And how okay, to me, it is that Ben isn’t okay. That he didn’t get an HEA with her. That he still hurt, and ached, and suffered. That this was as much a life altering event for him, as it was for Ani.

It’d be easy to say this is Ani’s story. Many writers, I think, would tell her story here. And a valid, painful one it is. But what drew me the most to this book, and what kept me enamored, was that it’s Ben’s story.

I still don’t know how to properly describe everything this book has made me think and feel. How to separate my views on it as a reader, a writer, and a person. Usually, those lines don’t cross nearly as much as they do with this one.

But this book. My lovely readers. It will be painful, it will leave you raw and scarred. It will also hit you hard, in a huge way. It will impact you, and it will be a good thing. No, this isn’t your typical YA book. Yes, it’s short, and the scenes change pretty quickly, having less of a flowing feel to it. Yes, in some ways, at least for me, there’s a distance between the reader and Ani, even before everything happens. Yes, it might be easy to focus on those things instead of the bigger points.

Focus on the big points. Let yourself be there with Ben every step of the way. Look at this book as a person, mixed with a reader, and whatever other category you are, rather than simply as a reader, a reviewer, someone looking to find faults.

To me, this isn’t simply a book, a piece of fiction, something to be read and walked away from.

There have been plenty of books that have impacted me. But this is one that has hit me the hardest, with a long lasting effect. I sincerely hope it does the same to all of you. I hope you give it a try, even if you don’t dig contemp as much. Even if you prefer female narrators. Even if you want the HEA at the end.

Read it anyway.

(And if this wasn’t motivation enough, 50% of proceeds is being donated into the Voices and Faces Project. So buy a copy (it’s under 10 bucks in Kindle right now!) or ask your library to order it.)

About the Book: Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.

But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.

Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?

Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

I am SO EXCITED to bring to you guys the cover for Jennifer Mathieu's 2014 debut The Truth About Alice!

So first.........

I. Love. It. I love the sort of old feel, blended with a modern feel as well. This book sounds seriously awesome, and exactly my kind of book: One that kicks me in the gut, and makes me think.

Haven't heard of this one? It's currently set to hit shelves June 10, 2014 from Roaring Book Press.

Also, those of you in Texas that are hitting up the (sure to be amazing) Austin Teen Book Festival on Saturday, Jennifer will be attending as well - and even has bookmarks. So be sure to find her. And gush about her cover. I know I will. 

About the Book: Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.

Add to your Goodreads shelf now (and you can even preorder already!), and keep your eye out for this one. 

About Jennifer: Young adult author Jennifer Mathieu (pronounced Muh-two, but if you speak French you can pronounce it better than that - sadly, Jennifer doesn't speak French) is a writer and English teacher who lives in Texas with her family. A native of the East Coast and a former journalist, she enjoys writing contemporary young adult fiction that treats teenagers like real people. She loves to eat and hates to cook.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Character Interview: Griff from Find Me

Out today is Romily Bernard's gripping and fun debut Find Me, so to celebrate, I've got Griff here for an interview!

What's your favorite part about hacking? Least favorite?

I’d always been interested in computers, hacking, but it wasn’t until I started doing some work for my cousin—he’s a detective—that I realized how much I could help. And, you know, it got me closer to Wick. Which is more than three years worth of classes ever did.

Least favorite part? Seeing what it did to Wick.

Describe Wick in three words.

Smart. Prickly. Amazing.

What's it like to kiss Wick?

Dangerous. The first time we kissed…well, I thought I had the upper hand. Never make deals with her. She’s always one step ahead.

Any hints at what's next for you and Wick?

I’m not sure actually. She’s been…distant lately. Lot of fallout from what happened. Things are rough. I’m trying to keep her distracted, keep her thinking about the future. My drawings have gotten some attention. I might be able to go to college after all. Art school. There’s one in Savannah that’s interested in me. I won’t go without her though and Wick hasn’t decided what she wants. It’s fine. I’ll wait. I know what I want: her.

What kind of sea creature would you describe yourself as?

Ha! I’m supposed to say shark, right? I’m probably more like a barracuda. Lean (you’ll never catch me working out with the football players) and fast (if I’m not hacking I’m working on my bike).


Enormous thank you to Kari for hosting me on A Good Addiciton. Thanks for reading and I hope everyone enjoys FIND ME!!

Congrats, Romily, on the release, and man do I need the next book ASAP! 

About the Book: “Find Me.”

These are the words written on Tessa Waye’s diary. The diary that ends up with Wick Tate. But Tessa’s just been found . . . dead.

Wick has the right computer-hacking skills for the job, but little interest in this perverse game of hide-and-seek. Until her sister Lily is the next target.

Then Griff, trailer-park boy next door and fellow hacker, shows up, intent on helping Wick. Is a happy ending possible with the threat of Wick’s deadbeat dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around Wick instead, and a killer taunting her at every step?

Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare.

But she’s going to find this killer no matter what.

Because it just got personal.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Giveaway: What Goes Around by Courtney Summers

Recently out is an awesome compilation of Courtney Summers' first two books. It's called What Goes Around, and includes Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are.

In case you somehow don't know this, Courtney is an amazingly talented author, and these books are still some of my very favorite YA's. Some Girls Are is one of those books where certain scenes still stick out vividly in mind, several years after having read it. And Cracked Up to Be has quite the prickly, not so easy to like, yet still somehow completely understanding and relatable main character.

So to celebrate this awesome release, I've got one copy up for grabs for one lucky winner. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below - and trust me that you want this!

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Author Interview: Jen McLaughlin

Dropping in today is Jen McLaughlin to celebrate her recent NA release, Out of Line! Definitely add this to your list if you haven't yet - it deals with one of my very favorite things: forbidden romances.

What is the hardest part about going from adult romance to NA romance?

Remembering that the characters will not always make the smartest choices! In New Adult, they are still growing up and becoming the adult they will someday be. Things in this time period can change a person and shape them into their future selves. Making those decisions and, yes, consequences realistic can be tough when you're used to writing adults!

Which scene, without spoilers, was your favorite to write?

The "discovery" scene. If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about.

Describe Finn and Carrie in three words each.

Finn: Hot, Brave, and loyal.

Carrie: Sheltered, Kind, and Adreneline-junky.

Finn is hard to like from the start since he's so blatantly lying to Carrie about who he is. What was your biggest challenge in making him sympathetic and being sure readers don't write him off right away?

I didn't really think he was hard to like, I hadn't thought of it like that! Probably because I can see all his thoughts even more so than what's there, huh? But, anyway, *clears throat* I'd have to say giving him clear, concise reasons for what he's doing (and why he's doing it) and making it something that the reader can relate to easily. Ya know? :)

If you found yourself in a situation like Carrie's, would you be able to forgive someone like Finn?

I would. Maybe not at first, but I would eventually forgive him, yes. Especially if he was Finn. ;)

If you could pair Finn and Carrie with any character from any book, who would you pick for them?

Oooh. I'd totally pair them with Harry from Harry Potter. They could go hunt horcruxes together. She'd be very similar to Hermione in that series, I'd think.

What kind of sea creature would you describe yourself as?

Hmm...A mermaid. ;)

Thanks, Jen, for stopping in and congrats on the release! This one is out now, so be sure you grab it! And check out the contest below for a seriously amazing giveaway!

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About the book:

Desperate to break free…

I've spent my entire life under my father’s thumb, but now I'm finally free to make my own choices. When my roommate dragged me to my first college party, I met Finn Coram and my life turned inside out. He knows how to break the rules and is everything I never knew I wanted. A Marine by day and surfer by night, he pushes me away even as our attraction brings us closer. Now I am finally free to do whatever I want. I know what I want. I choose Finn.

Trying to play by the rules...

I always follow orders. My job, my life, depends on it. I thought this job would be easy, all the rules were made crystal clear, but when I met Carrie Wallington, everything got muddy. She's a rule I know I shouldn't break, but damn if I don’t inch closer to the breaking point each time I see her. I’m ready to step out of line. And even worse? I’m living a lie. They say the truth will set you free, but in my case…

The truth will cost me everything.

B&N    Amazon

Friday, September 6, 2013

Character Interview: Finn from All Our Yesterdays

Cristin Terrill's debut All Our Yesterdays hit shelves earlier this week, and to celebrate, I've got the handsome, charming, yet rather cocky Finn here for an interview. I seriously love this book - it is hands down one of my favorites of 2013. It's brilliant, totally messes with your head, and left me completely stunned. So without further ado...

Describe yourself in three words. What about Em?

I’m gorgeous, brilliant, and humble. She’s stubborn, aloof, and perfect.

You time travel! What’s the hardest thing about that?

Probably getting past the men with the machine guns. Once you’re in the past, though, the hardest thing is knowing that there are some things you can never change.

There are definitely not easy things ahead of you in All Our Yesterdays. What is the main thing that got you through everything?

Em, but if you tell her I said that, I’ll deny it.

What’s your favorite thing about Em?

Underneath everything, she’s got a really good heart. She loves completely and selflessly. In fact, I think that’s why she’s so hard on the outside. She needs that shell to protect her soft, squishy insides.

What’s it like to kiss Em?

Hey now, a gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell! (But it’s awesome. Mostly because of me, of course, but she’s not half-bad either.)

Can you give any hints for what’s next for you?

I have no idea. Hopefully something involving pizza.

What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?

Peanut butter. A little nutty, a little sweet. Pretty much everyone likes it, but a few people are violently allergic.

Thank you, Finn, for the interview, and congrats, Cristin, on the release (and I need book two like, yesterday!).

Make sure you guys pick this one up - it is a disservice to yourself to not! I love it so incredibly much.

About the Book: "You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fault Line by C. Desir Release Giveaway + Info

Hitting shelves October 1 is Christa Desir's debut, Fault Line. This is a book that, in truth, I don't even know how to talk about without really giving anything away. But I will say, as Christa does, it's not for everyone. If you expect an HEA ending, don't. If you expect to walk away feeling good, well, you probably won't. But if you want to be tested and challenged and want to walk (limp?) away with a different take on an unfortunately overall widely known situation... read this book.

I'll save my full thoughts on this one for another post, but I will say, I went into this one like I did any other book. A work of fiction. A story about characters who, as real as the author might make them, still live within the pages. I had certain expectations, certain things that for me, for any book, make it great versus good versus not for me. I went into it as a reader, but for me, this is a book that I really feel, you have to go into as a person. As someone who gives a crap about those around you. Though I don't usually like books with specific messages, because all too often getting that message across irks me, this one does it perfectly. It made me so, so uncomfortable. I ached for Ben, I ached for Ani. I went through an entire array of emotions, some probably more acceptable than others.

This book. You guys. This wonderful, painful, beautiful book. About a boy who doesn't let something so awful effect how much he loves his girlfriend, but what if that love isn't enough anymore?

So read this one. Preorder it now. Love it like I do. Just know, it really isn't for everyone, but it's so incredibly important, and so potent, I want everyone to read it. (And note, The novel came out of Christa’s work in The Voices and Faces Project, a writing workshop for survivors of sexual violence that promotes speaking out and writing as a therapeutic process. She will be donating 50% of her proceeds from the novel back to the project. For more information on The Voices and Faces Project, go to and how amazing is that? Even more reason to buy this one!)

And to celebrate the release, Christa has an awesome contest going on for a contemporary reads prize pack. I've read all but 2 of these (which I do own!), and have loved each one. Check out her website for the full list of books and the teaser trailer! This lady has fabulous taste. Or, for international readers, you can win a $20 Amazon gift card.

So enter the contest. Spread the word about this book. And check below the widget, for a note from Christa, on the story behind the story. Because this, alone, will stop you in your tracks, even if just for a moment.

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Story Behind the Story: Fault Line

By C. Desir

About fifteen years ago, I sat in a hospital ER with a young girl who had been raped and badly beaten. Her entire being was shut down, turned inward. My job as the rape victim advocate in the room was to stay with her through the process, to explain what was going to happen, and to empower her as much as I could, even if just offering her a glass of water.

She would not talk to me. Or the doctors. Or the police. I stayed in the room and held her hand because she took mine. I waited with her after everyone left and two teenage boys came in. They were maybe eighteen or nineteen. Her brother and her boyfriend. They kissed the top of her head. Then her brother asked who did it. Nothing else. No comfort or assurances. Just “Who did it?” And she spoke for the first time. One word. A first name. Her boyfriend looked at her brother, a silent communication that I couldn’t interpret. Finally, her boyfriend said, “Don’t say anything to anyone. We got this,” and walked out. Within moments, it was like life poured back into the girl’s body. When she left the ER, still not having disclosed anything to the police or doctors, her boyfriend stood waiting for her.

Fast forward a few years, and I’m participating in a testimonial writing workshop for survivors. We’ve been told to write a scene from the perspective of a different gender. A character came to me. Ben. A boy who wants to fix his girlfriend and take care of it all. A boy who would say, “I got this.”

That was the beginning of Fault Line.

I am a childhood survivor of sexual assault. This is a label I wear on top of all the other ones: mom, wife, writer, Sunday school teacher, activist. It is something that I often don’t think about, yet it has steered the course of much of my life. From mundane things like never wanting to shop at a mall to bigger things like panicking when I get lost. I never tell people this to garner pity, but so they can understand how I see the world and how my lens has been affected.

I didn’t think I would write a book about rape until that day in the workshop. I didn’t think I had it in me. I didn’t think I could do it right. But Ben, my wonderfully flawed Ben, gave me something I needed to say. Rape impacts not only the survivor, but also those around her. And you cannot “fix” a survivor. And the way we treat survivors has a huge effect on how they heal. And sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we lose survivors.

This is not a happy story I’ve given Ben. But it’s an important one. It is a call to action for those around survivors. Stay. Fight. Hope. Believe. After seeing hundreds of survivors over the years, watching them interact with loved ones, I am astounded by the human capacity for compassion. And I hope that people see that in Fault Line. Maybe Ben’s story will help them respond in a way survivors desperately need.

About Fault Line:

Who do you blame?

When Ben meets Ani, the sarcastic and free-spirited new girl in town, he falls for her – hard. Luckily for him, the feeling is mutual. Just when their relationship is getting serious, the unthinkable happens to Ani at a party that Ben decided not to attend. Ben watches as his once-vivacious girlfriend becomes a shadow of her former self; he must try to be supportive while wrestling with his own emotions about Ani’s ordeal and the lingering question in his mind: who is to blame?

C. Desir delivers a gritty, devastating, brilliant debut novel with Fault Line. Fans of Ellen Hopkins, Jason Myers, and Hannah Moskowitz will enjoy this author’s edgy realism. However, Fault Line stands out from other novels about teen sexual violence with a fresh point of view – the story is told not through the eyes of the victim, but from her boyfriend’s perspective. Unfortunately, far too many teens will recognize his feelings of frustration, anger, and helplessness in the wake of his girlfriend’s attack; readers with similar experiences will relate to and perhaps learn from Ben’s journey.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Character Interview: Hunter from Unafraid

Dropping in today is the sexy and rather sweet Hunter from Melody Grace's Unafraid, to celebrate this book's release! And let me say, nothing melts me more than a guy determined to win a girl from the past back. Heck. Yeah. So! Hunter!


You learned from your grandfather how to train horses. What's the best part about this for you, and what was the hardest thing to learn?

I've always loved horses, there's something so great and straightforward about them. No games, no bullshit--that moment when you can just connect and build trust is amazing. The hardest thing is patience, figuring out how to earn that trust, and break down their resistance. And I took a couple of hard falls as a kid, that wasn't much fun!

If you didn't have your grandfather's influence, where do you think you'd be now, instead of settling back near town?

My parents had my life planned out from the start: Ivy League, law school, sitting on the board of my father's company. I hope I would have had the courage to resist them regardless, but seeing the life my grandpa made for himself definitely strengthened my resolve.

So. Brit. What's your favorite thing about her?

Man, where do i start? There's nobody like Brit, she's fiercely independent. She's lived life on her own terms for a long time, it's what I admire most about her--but it also makes it hard to get close to her too.

What was it that captured your attention so much that she still meant something several years later?

Her eyes, her body, her smile… All that, plus the fact she left me hanging. No girl ever did that to me before--or has done since!

What's it like to kiss Brit?


Boxers or briefs?


What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

Walk away from everything I've known to strike out on my own-- and go back to Beachwood for Brit, even though I have no idea if she's even thought of me since our night together.

What kind of sea creature would you describe yourself as?

Lol, weird question! I don't know, maybe a marlin, something fast and independent.

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About the Book: The first time I saw her, I knew this girl was wilder than any stallion I’d ever trained. She was headstrong, wounded, passionate and free. And I had to have her…”

Brittany Ray doesn’t care about her bad reputation. Growing up in a sleepy beach town with a junkie mom and a runaway dad, Brit’s learned the hard way that the people you love will only let you down. It’s no use hoping for love or happiness. Some dreams aren’t meant for girls like her.

Hunter Covington is one of those dreams.

Gorgeous, charming Hunter is damn near perfect—and it’s killing him. Son of Charleston royalty, he’s been trapped in a gilded cage since the day he was born. Now he’s breaking free. He’s quit law school to restore his grandpa’s old horse ranch, trying to soothe the demons in his soul. But Beachwood Bay is full of old ghosts, like the mysterious girl who spent an unforgettable night with him—and then slipped away before dawn. Brit.

Everything about her screams danger, but Hunter doesn’t care: he’s never felt a connection so deep. And try as she may, Brit can’t resist the desire consuming her —or the safety she finds in Hunter’s arms.

A reckless passion. An undeniable bond. Scarred by their pasts, Brit and Hunter fight to heal old wounds. But will dark secrets tear apart their new beginning? And when love is the biggest risk of all, can they find the courage to face the future unafraid?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Book Review: Playing With Her Heart by Lauren Blakely

SUMMARY: When you’re acting the role of a lifetime, how can you know if love is real—or all just a part of the show?

Twenty-three year old rising theatre star Jill McCormick has built a life out of pretending. Pretending she’s happy, pretending her long-distance crushes add up to something real, pretending she’s not haunted by the dark secret that shattered her world six years ago. Cast in her first Broadway show, she desperately needs to keep her façade intact, but that’s before she comes face to face with her devastating new boss…

Hot-shot director Davis Milo knows the first rule of directing: never fall for your leading lady. Captivated by Jill’s raw talent, he fights his feelings, but watching Jill on-stage with another man is more than his jealous streak can take. Keeping things professional isn’t an option. He wants all of her.

Soon the ingénue and her director are staying late in the empty theatre, their private rehearsals spiraling into new, forbidden territory. Caught up between fiction and reality, Jill struggles to find the truth in all their staged kisses. But how can she be sure that what she feels is real, and not a part of the play? And when two people spend their lives pretending, what happens after the final curtain falls?

OPINION: This is a cute, hot, and fun read that romances lovers will definitely go for. I love the set up of this one so much... actress trying to get her first Broadway break, and the show director who gives it to her. There is plenty that can go wrong, but considering the undeniable chemistry these two have, there's also so much that can (and does) go right.

I love seeing a guy fall hard and fast for a girl, but also try so hard to resist her. And Davis definitely fits that bill. Closed off from actresses due to an ex who used him for her own career, it isn't just that Jill is in his show that has him trying to keep his hands off. No, he's sworn off actresses, until this girl makes him want to break all his rules. I loved seeing his internal battles there, knowing it's so obviously hopeless. Not to mention, he's quite the dirty talker, with a rough streak to him that is a total turn on yet a softness that even his desires can't fully override.

Jill is a great character, too, though I have to admit, the dark secret from her past hit my peeve button just a little too hard. It's mentioned, multiple times, alluded to regularly, and basically dangled in the reader's face that something bad happened. And honestly, I personally just don't like the blatant secret keeping from the reader. Considering it's still a huge deal for Jill, it's the reason she keeps herself closed off and has a skewed view of love... to not find out what really happened for most of the book bugged me. It didn't at all have the same impact it could've for me. And in that, I didn't connect as much to Jill as I otherwise would've, because the sympathy didn't work the same for me when as a reader, I'm being pointedly teased and led. But that aside, I this she's an interesting character, and I do understand the effects of her past, and I loved seeing Davis work through it with her and for her.

My only other problem with this one was in the pacing towards the end, with the HEA happening with a good chunk of story left to go. That final stuff left me, honestly, not as interested, and felt more like extra sexy times for the sake of it just to be there, rather than because it drives the story. So I admit to not being as captivated by the last chunk, but still, this is the kind of story that pulls you in from the start and leaves you with a big grin on your face.

Source: ARC received from InkSlinger PR as part of the blog tour, in exchange for honest review
Print Length: 292 pages
Age Range: New Adult
Publication Date: August 17, 2013

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Brazen Romance Reviews: Two Wrongs, One Right and No Romance Required

Two Wrongs, One Right by Katee Robert

I've loved the first two books in this series, and this one absolutely did not disappoint! Nathan's been hiding a pretty big secret, which comes out in the first chapter, and it's one you probably won't guess... which makes it that much better. And cracks me up to look back at Elle, and know why she never really stood a chance with this guy. Still, the chemistry between Chelsea and Nathan is everything I expect from Katee, off the charts and then some, with the right mix of softness and dominance. Even better about this one, is just how much the two previous couples flit in and out, giving readers who love them more, yet never taking the focus from Chelsea and Nathan working towards their ending. It's definitely not an easy road for these two, and there's plenty of things to tug at the heartstrings. Still, I love this installment, and cannot wait for more from one of my favorite romance authors.

No Romance Required by Cari Quinn

I. Love. This. Book. So much. I loved this the first two in this set, but this one is just. Wow. I'm going to just admit it. Cory's brand of dominance absolutely works for me. There is something so intense about it, but not just that he refuses to relinquish control, but that he wants that super deep level of connection and trust with someone. I don't always go for the kink, but with him, well, uh, yes. I absolutely adored these two, from their little battles to their sweet moments to their scorching ones. Cory is so carefully controlled, so reserved and a workaholic, that seeing him slowly ease out of that, soften for Vicky yet still retain so much about himself... whew. Quinn completely nailed everything about this book for me, and it's one I will definitely be reading again. And again. (And again). Vicky is the right kind of feisty and confident, but also a bit unsure of things especially when it comes to Cory. If you love romance, you must read this book, and I cannot wait for more from this fabulous, talented author.

Cover Reveal: As Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

Today I've got the *hot* cover for Laura Kaye's second Hard Ink book, As Hard As It Gets!

So first....

Ahem. Yeah. Love. And how awesome does this sound?

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he’s shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister’s sake, Crystal can’t get too close. Until her job and Shane’s mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He’s exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can-and never let go.

Not to mention, it's Laura Kaye, one of my favorite romance authors!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Character Interview + Giveaway: Jordan from Letters to Nowhere

Today I've got Jordan, the sweet and rather melty guy from Julie Cross's new release Letters to Nowhere!

Though this is a book I beta read, I love it. So much. It's that right mix of emotional and light, sweet and serious, and just has to many awesome elements to it. Add in the elite gymnast focus, and of course the romance, and this is one every contemporary lover needs to be sure and snatch up!

And if that hasn't convinced you, here's Jordan, who is most definitely in my Boy Closet.

When you first found out Karen was coming to live with you, what did you think?

I thought it sounded like a pain in the ass. Especially knowing I'd have to share my bathroom. My bathroom is like my own mini man-cave so sharing that space isn't something I take lightly...and with a girl...yeah, not fun. But Karen is actually very low maintenance when it comes to bathroom time and she's very considerate of others using her shared space.

What's your best childhood memory?

When I was really little, maybe 7 or 8, my family took a trip to Scotland and stayed in a castle that looked just like Hogwarts. It was awesome.

You help Karen tackle some pretty hefty things. What was hardest for you?

Seeing someone with a wound that fresh and knowing how long it takes to get to the place I'm at now, which makes the pain somewhat tolerable. Knowing she has years of struggle ahead of her is the hardest part.

Boxers or briefs?

Boxers, cause I need my breakfast before I can do anything else. Like put more clothes on.

What's it like to kiss Karen?

Important. Yeah it's all those other things you get from kissing a pretty girl--romantic, a turn-on, fun, daring, etc..but important is a word I wouldn't be able to use with anyone else.

Would you rather swim with sharks or wrestle alligators?

I'll take my chances with the sharks. I'm friendly enough, maybe they won't eat me.

What kind of sea creature would you describe yourself as?

Dolphin. I'm can get along with most people and I like to do tricks. And I'm not opposed to having my back petted every once in a while.

I love this boy, especially when you read excerpts like this about him:

A little while later, after providing Jordan with a new toothbrush and a clean t-shirt, Stevie tossed a couple sleeping bags onto the floor and shook her head at me and Jordan. “Just don’t get anybody pregnant,” she warned.

Jordan snorted back a laugh. “I’ll try not to get myself pregnant, Stevie. Thanks for the lecture.”

Stevie pointed a stern finger at him. “Don’t piss me off, pretty boy. Karen has enough on the line to not have to worry about shit like that. I know what goes through your head. I’m not an idiot.”

I buried my face in the pillow on the floor. “Please be done talking.”

Stevie finally went into her bedroom and Jordan stretched out on the sleeping bag beside me. “It’s not really weird, is it?” he asked. “I’ve seen your pajamas and your wet hair and even your retainer—”

I popped upright again. “Shit! Thanks for reminding me.”

Jordan grinned at me and pressed my shoulders back down again. “Just a minute . . .”

I froze and held my breath as he leaned over me and kissed me. One hand cradled the back of my head and his lips parted again, breathing his minty toothpaste breath into my mouth. It seemed cleaner now than earlier and really, I just didn’t care. I barely felt his tongue inside my mouth because my heart was sprinting so fast. I couldn’t get him close enough. Much too soon, he pulled away and kissed my forehead. “Not so bad, right?”

“Nope,not bad at all,” I said honestly. “What if we just stop after tonight? Or don’t do any of this stuff except in very safe situations so your dad never finds out?”

“It’s a good plan, in theory.” Jordan leaned on one elbow. “But it’s like you said, don’t kiss me seems to have that effect on us.”

“What made you change your mind about breaking our friend code or whatever?”

He picked up a strand of my hair and twirled it around his finger. “I saw you with Tony and I realized that you could be with someone else. You’re not just going to sit around and wait for me to figure my shit out. And honestly, I already figured everything out, it just scared me to admit it.”

I turned over on my stomach, my face toward him, and closed my eyes. “I would have waited for you. You’re good for me. Sometimes I’m just so crazy and insane with emotions and I can’t make any sense of them and it’s dangerous, but with you . . . it’s a good thing. I know it’s a good thing.”

Yeah. This book is awesome. And in case you're new to the world of Julie Cross, she's also the author of Tempest and Vortex, out now! But you're in luck, since Julie is giving away not only an e-copy of Letters to Nowhere, but signed copies of the other two as well! Just enter below and cross your fingers! (And add this to Goodreads!)

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Author Interview: R. L. Griffin

Dropping in today is R.L. Griffin, author of Tension (which has a cover I freaking love!), for an interview and to help celebrate the book's release!

Tension goes to some pretty dark places.What was the most interesting, and the hardest, part about this for you? 

Well, I really thought writing this book that Stella would be able to go through the plans she had and this would be the conclusion of Stella's story. When I was writing it, she just couldn't do what I wanted her to do. It was hard because I wanted one thing, but the character was telling me something else. I know that sounds insane.

Let's talk about your cover, which I love. It's creepy in the best way. What led to that particular design and concept?

Well if you read By A Thread you know why Stella got the tattoo. She was mourning and wanted to get something to symbolize the mourning, but also give everyone a clear "stay away from me" feel. I think it accomplished both. When I asked Georgina to make an attempt at this cover, I really didn't think she would be able to do it, but she knocked my socks off. I love it.

Which character surprised you the most while you were writing Tension?

Stella. Again, I thought I knew where I was going with her character and she didn't agree with my plans. Jesse was also very interesting, because I think when you see he's back in the picture you worry about his motives.

What are some of your favorite authors?

Tara Sivec, Tarryn Fisher, John Green, Colleen Hoover and Gillian Flynn.

What's the hardest part about continuing a character's story across more than one book? 

You have to remember all the intricacies in every book. I'm writing Book 3 now and I have to leave blanks because there are some specifics I've forgotten already. My memory is horrid.

What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?

A Samoa. Its a cookie with coconut and chocolate. Its not a great looking cookie and its very unexpected how good it is. Also, I've eaten so many of them I feel like maybe I've turned into one.

 This one is out now, so be sure to pick it up!

About the book: The Stella who emerges from the rubble of the bombing in Montana is a woman full of conflict. She knows she should be grateful that she lived when others didn't, but after waking in the hospital as a celebrity, complete with a new moniker, she's bitter and distrustful, questioning everything in her life. She's unsure of her friends, her new boyfriend, and her job. In addition, a face from the past reappears and threatens to take the one good thing in her life.

Stella attempts to deal with the new scrutiny of her life with her usual sense of humor, but she's filled with a new emotion that she tries desperately to hide: HATE. Her recovery is hastened by her determination to find the man who turned her into a walking scar. She's going to kill him; she needs to kill him.

Stella isn't alone. She has her close friends and her dog, Cooper. Will their support be enough to help Stella accomplish her plan, or will this endeavor be her undoing?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Book Review: Canary by Rachele Alpine

SUMMARY: Staying quiet will destroy her, but speaking up will destroy everyone.

Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete.

But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. Although she knows she should speak out, her dad’s vehemently against it and so, like a canary sent into a mine to test toxicity levels and protect miners, Kate alone breathes the poisonous secrets to protect her dad and the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.

Canary is told in a mix of prose and verse.


I’m going to confess here, and say this is a book where I think the jacket flap hurt me as a reader. I expected the assault to be the inciting event for the book. Rather, it happens almost at the end, which, really, changes the entire purpose and perception of the book. I felt myself being a bit bored at times, waiting for that event to happen, waiting, in my head, for the story to really start.

Here’s the thing, it’s not a book about an assault. Yes, that happens, and yes, it has an impact and a purpose, but it’s not the bigger thing. And unfortunately, I think it’s a bit damaging to be aware this is where things are headed from the start.

Stepping back from that, though, and coming away from reading this one to realize it’s a book about a girl torn between herself and those around her, her family and what she needs, and even just trying to really figure out who she is… it’s a great book. It’s poignant, and it’s impacting, and in a lot of ways, it’s the heart of what YA is to me. No, things aren’t easy for Kate, no she’s not totally happy with the good things she’s got, and yes, she does some things that are frustrating as a reader. But she’s just a girl trying to work through it all, and I think in that sense, Alpine wrote a stunning story.

My issues with this one are really with my expectations because of the flap. Would I have been any less likely to pick it up if it was portrayed as a book about a girl at odds with her dad and those around her? No. That is something I would read, and what I loved the most about this book. Even as an adult, there is so much to relate to and connect to in this story. And what I loved the most, was how even when we see Kate doing things that maybe I didn’t agree with or, knowing the assault was headed her way, wanted to scream at her to not do… It just made it that much clearer to me that she’s just trying to find her way. And she doesn’t have all the experiences I do, or even the foresight I do as a reader.

Add in the strong voice of this one, and the blog posts mixed in throughout, and there is something very engaging right away about this one. The school it’s set at takes on a life of it’s own, and I think Alpine has captured the entitlement that can sometimes come in set ups like this, and the repercussions of it on everyone else, in a really great way.

What also stands out, here, is Kate’s family. Her brother, who is so angry, and seeming to be growing more distant all the time, yet who still is comfortable with himself, even in this new school that doesn’t like him, and who is there for her when she needs it. Then there’s her father, who is seeming to put himself and his job above his daughter… even after an assault. That is something that is so, so hard to swallow and yet, I think Alpine has woven it together in a way that even if I didn’t like it, I still sort of saw his side. Kind of. And the ways his actions effect and drive Kate gave this book an even stronger element that I totally loved.

So while this is one I needed to sit back and mull over, and deconstruct my expectations post read, it’s one I would absolutely read again, especially with this new take on it. For all you contemporary lovers, definitely add this to your list, and keep an eye on this stunning debut writer.

Source: ARC received from author/publisher in exchange for an honest review
Age Range: 12 and up
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Medallion Press
Publication Date: August 1, 2013

Tour Info

Book Birthday Contest: Infinityglass by Myra McEntire

Hitting shelves today is the final installment in one of my favorite series: Infinityglass by Myra McEntire (Hourglass #3). Though we got Emerson's perspective in book 1, and Kaleb (sexy, sexy Kaleb) in book 2, now we get a new perspective... actually, two. And trust me when I say you want to know both of these characters.

To celebrate this release, I've got an Hourglass prize pack of awesome up for grabs for one lucky winner! Included is all three books in the series, plus an awesome melting clock to hang on your shelf!

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About Infinityglass:

The stakes have risen even higher in this third book in the Hourglass series.

The Hourglass is a secret organization focused on the study of manipulating time, and its members — many of them teenagers -­have uncanny abilities to make time work for them in mysterious ways. Inherent in these powers is a responsibility to take great care, because altering one small moment can have devastating consequences for the past, present, and future. But some time trav­elers are not exactly honorable, and sometimes unsavory deals must be struck to maintain order.

With the Infinityglass (central to understanding and harnessing the time gene) at large, the hunt is on to find it before someone else does.

But the Hourglass has an advantage. Lily, who has the ability to locate anything lost, has determined that the Infinityglass isn't an object. It's a person. And the Hourglass must find him or her first. But where do you start searching for the very key to time when every second could be the last?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cover Reveal Feature: Broken by CJ Lyons

Sourcebooks Fire has a book coming up this fall that I am stoked about, so in case you somehow haven't yet heard about it, I've got the cover and a quick Q&A with the author for you guys to get you as excited as me!

For Scarlet Killian, every day is a game of Russian roulette—she has a 1 in 5 chance of dying…

New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons makes her YA debut with a fast-paced thriller sure to keep readers guessing to the very last page.

Fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has one chance for a normal life. Only problem? It just might kill her. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, Scarlet has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. Scarlet has come to terms with the fact that despite the best efforts of her doctors and parents, she's going to die. Literally of a broken heart. So when her parents offer her a week to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now... or never.

Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But for the first time in her life she makes real friends. She also makes new discoveries about the truth behind her illness... a truth that might just kill her before her heart does.

Q: Is Long QT a real disease?

CJ: Yes. As a pediatrician I diagnosed my niece with Long QT Syndrome when she was born. Her heart specialists believe she's the youngest person in the world diagnosed with Long QT. She's had to take medicine every day of her life and can't ever skip a day. So far that's added up to over ten thousand pills taken.

You know that feeling you get when you've run as hard and fast as you can and you stop but your heart keeps galloping along? And you wonder for a second if maybe it's not going to stop, but will keep galloping out of control? But then of course it settles back down. For people with Long QT, their heart doesn't change gears well, going from regular to galloping and back again. So they have to avoid anything that would make their heart race.

No sports or aerobic exercise. No horror films. No roller coaster rides. No jumping into cold water on a hot summer's day.

But that doesn't have to stop someone with Long QT like my niece from having a great life. Today she is a brilliant, active fourteen-year-old who gets straight A's, enjoys riding horses, archery, reading, breeding Rottweilers, and who wants to grow up to be either a fashion designer or President of the United States. Her main fashion accessory is her portable defibrillator, Phil, who goes with her everywhere, including camping, to the beach, and recently to her first Broadway show.

BROKEN is dedicated to her fearless approach to life where outwitting Death is simply part of her daily routine.

Q: What was it like working in an ER? Is it like on TV?

CJ: Definitely nothing like Grey's Anatomy, but the first few seasons of ER get it right. Working in the ER is basically about learning how to control (and live with) chaos, the art of listening, and how to quickly decide what's the most important thing you need to tackle next.

I worked three jobs to put myself through medical school and one of them was waitressing at a very busy family restaurant. Honestly, that was the best preparation I ever could have had for life in the ER.

Q: Why did you leave medicine to write books?

CJ: I've been a storyteller all my life—a fact that used to get me placed in time-out a lot as a kid. But writing stories has always been my way of making sense of the chaos that goes on in the world around us. I wrote my first novel in college and wrote two more science fiction novels in medical school.

Then, while I was an intern at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, one of my close friends was murdered. Dealing with that grief and trauma while still working seventy hours a week and trying to save lives—I wasn't prepared for that. So I turned to my writing and that's when I wrote my first thriller. I never thought about actually making a career of it until years later when friends who were published authors encouraged me to enter a national writing contest and I was a finalist. This led to several publishing contracts and I realized that as much as I loved being a doctor, here was a chance for a second dream come true: being a full time writer.

It was a huge leap of faith leaving my job (and my patients—I missed them, a lot!) but I've always believed that if you're going to dream, you should dream big, so I went for it. Since then I've published twenty books, hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, won awards for my writing, and most importantly, have had the chance to impact millions of people through my novels. Talk about a dream come true!

Q: What's your best advice for someone who wants to be a writer?

CJ: Never surrender, never give up. Writing is hard work, it takes years to master the craft, so you need to stick with it. And read, read, read…pay attention to what makes the books you like work as well as why the books you don't like fail. You never stop learning in this job, but that's also what makes it so much fun.

About CJ Lyons

A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sixteen novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge thrillers with heart. CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine), and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday). The author of thrillers such as the Lucy Guardino FBI series, she has sold over 1 million books in the last year.
When not writing, she can be found walking the beaches near her South Carolina Lowcountry home in Columbia, SC, listening to the voices in her head and plotting new and devious ways to create mayhem for her characters. To learn more about her Thrillers with Heart go to

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Character Interview: Cole from By Referral Only

Today, I'm so excited to bring you guys an interview with Cole, the seriously sexy, kilt-wearing, Scottish hero of Lyla Payne's new release By Referral Only! I loved this book, and totally recommend it. So let's get to the good stuff.

Describe yourself in three words.
Solid, playful, direct

So...your referrals on the site are really not so great. What was your first thought when you found that out?
I felt like a fanny, for sure, and comforting yourself with the truth doesn’t help much in a house with two older brothers. I was alone with my convictions, I suppose. Which was better than nothing.

What's your favorite thing about Ruby?
Her confidence, and that is allows her to ask for what she wants instead of waiting for other people to guess. Also her mouth, for too many reasons to list if I had a week.

How many kilts do you own, and if you could wear them full time, would you?
I own at least four, and one for dress occasions. And I sure would. Pants are horribly constrictive. At least for some of us. wink

What's the biggest difference between Scotland and the USA for you?
It’s so big and diverse! I’m used to a more tight knit world.

What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?
I’m going to be a bit lame and go with shortbread, since that’s the most common cookie at home. I think it fits me, though, because you may think I’m just an ordinary, pretty vanilla looking confection, but the combination of sweet and crunchy, well…it’s rather surprising. Predictable but never boring.

Whew. I seriously love this boy. And would totally fight Ruby for him. Thanks, Cole, for stopping in!

If you don't know about this book, you're in luck:

After being unceremoniously dumped freshman year because of her family’s “new money” status, Ruby Cotton has taken care not to put her heart on the line. No matter how enticing Emilie and Quinn make it look, relationships are scary and hard—while a string of flings is easy and fun. That’s what Ruby wants. Easy and fun. The only problem is, when it comes to satisfaction in the sack, most of the boys at Whitman are nothing but pretty window dressing and false advertising.

Ruby takes it upon herself to make campus life more fulfilling, creating a referral database that allows female students to rate their sexual experiences, thereby informing girls of what they’re getting into before agreeing to a date.

When her acting partner, Liam Greene, finally shows some interest, Ruby figures she won’t need to utilize the helpful gossip. He’s handsome, fun, and most importantly, not a guy she’d ever fall for hard enough to let him break her heart.

Not only that, but dating Liam gives Ruby the perfect excuse to say no to Cole Stuart.

As a star swimmer and heir to honest-to-God Scottish royalty, Cole sits at the top of Whitman’s A-list—but he’s also the lowest rated referral on Ruby’s website. The ratings make rejecting his repeated requests for a date a no-brainer, but her real reason for avoiding Cole runs deeper than a string of unsatisfied exes.

He’s gorgeous, he oozes sweetness and charm, and the electricity between them could power half of Whitman, but Ruby knows it will only last until his family or friends convince him she’s not good enough.

Before she knows it she’s falling anyway, waiting for the other shoe to drop but clinging to a tentative hope that Cole might be as different as he seems. When the secret behind his low ratings comes to light, that hope is torn apart, and Ruby wonders if she was right to give him her heart…and whether she has the strength to let him keep it.

And don't forget to enter for a chance to win a swag pack/books! And if you don't win, be sure you still go get this one, because, well, it rocks.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Selling Scarlet Dream Cast

Stopping in today is Ella James to talk about the dream cast for her new release Selling Scarlet!

Hunter West (hero):
Jude Law

Elizabeth DeVille (heroine):

Rachel Bilson

Suri Dalton (Elizabeth's best friend):
Leighton Meester

Cross Carlson (Elizabeth's other best friend):

Matt Bomer

Marchant Radcliffe (Hunter's friend, and the owner of Love Inc.):

Alex Pettyfer

Priscilla Heat (super villian):

Angie Savage

About the Book:
Elizabeth DeVille doesn't belong at a party like this—one where the gowns cost more than her Camry and cigars run higher than her grad school utility bills. Dragged out of seclusion by her best friend Suri, Elizabeth is merely playing dress-up, rubbing elbows with a crowd that banished her troubled family years ago.

Hunter West is tired. Tired of parties, tired of pretending, and tired of trying to right a wrong that haunts him every day. Bourbon heir and professional poker player by day, by night Hunter is gambling with his life in a high-stakes game of crime and blackmail.

When Elizabeth stumbles into Hunter's den of vices, she's a light in the darkness, a flame in the void. And, just like everything he touches, Hunter mars her in a record time. To rectify the damage done, Elizabeth needs money she doesn't have, and she's come up with a foolproof way to get it.

Follow Elizabeth—code-named Scarlett—to the lush Nevada brothel where she'll auction her virginity and risk the only thing that's not for sale: her heart. The highest bidder is a familiar face, with wicked hands and the devil's mouth. And a secret so dark that it could cost her life.

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