Hello, Goodbye, And Everything In Between


Title: Hello, Goodbye, And Everything In Between
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Poppy
Source: Purchased
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

Review:

This book had me laughing and crying. Right away, I was rooting for Clare and Aiden to stay together. 

Though they go through Clare’s list of places that are important to their relationship, the story doesn’t just follow that list. There are many twists along their journey that night, many involving their best friends Stella and Scotty. 

Clare and Aiden are such a cute couple! Their relationship is shown in the present, rather than demonstrated through flashbacks. I was glad that the story stayed in the present, because sometimes flashbacks can become tedious. You still get a very good picture of their relationship through their last night together. 

I have to admit, I had tears pricking my eyes by the end of the story. I definitely recommend this book for a cute summer read!

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Beautiful Mess

Beautiful Mess
John Herrick
Publication date: July 30th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

A fallen star. Four Los Angeles misfits. And the Marilyn Monroe you only thought you knew.

Del Corwyn is an aging relic. An actor who advanced from errand boy to Academy Award nominee, Del kept company with the elite of Hollywood’s golden era and shared a close friendship with Marilyn Monroe. Today, however, he faces bankruptcy.

Humiliated, Del is forced to downgrade his lifestyle, sell the home he’s long cherished, and fade into a history of forgotten legends—unless he can revive his career. All he needs is one last chance. While searching through memorabilia from his beloved past, Del rediscovers a mysterious envelope, dated 1962, containing an original screenplay by Marilyn Monroe—and proof that she named him its legal guardian.

Del surges to the top of Hollywood’s A-list overnight. But the opportunity to reclaim his fame and fortune brings a choice: Is Del willing to sacrifice newfound love, self-respect and his most cherished friendship to achieve his greatest dream?

A story of warmth, humor and honesty, Beautiful Mess follows one man’s journey toward love and relevance where he least expects it—and proves coming-of-age isn’t just for the young.

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On sale for $1.99 for a limited time only!

EXCERPT:

“You wrote a screenplay?”

Wide-eyed, Del ran his fingers across the crisp, white paper, a stack of sheets bound together by brass fasteners along its left margin. He was in his early twenties.

“Don’t look so surprised,” Marilyn Monroe replied with a staccato laugh. “I’m a woman of many wonderful traits.” Though thirty-six years old, she took childlike pleasure in his reaction. Innocent. She had exquisite diction, a byproduct of training with Natasha Lytess, her first acting coach.

“When did you write this?”

“During my hiatus, the one I took after we wrapped up production on The Prince and the Showgirl. Arthur and I split our time between New York and Connecticut, and he helped me as I wrote,” she replied, her countenance now matter-of-fact, her voice sultry yet airy. “I believe it was an outlet for him, too. He was so frustrated by that time, wondering about his own future. He believed in me, and I think it helped him believe in himself. So as I wrote the scenes, he gave me advice on how to make the characters richer, more alive.”

They sat together in the living room of her home in Brentwood. “Johnny Angel” played on her phonograph. They were alone in the house.

“This must have taken a long time to write.”

“I had eighteen months before I returned to Hollywood to shoot Some Like It Hot,” she replied. Her gaze fell to the floor, and her voice grew softer. “I’d been through so much by that point. Trying to make my second marriage work. The pain of losing a child…”

As her words drifted, young Del noticed she had waded into the territory of the forlorn. For the past year, she had seemed more prone toward that tendency, and pain filled Del’s heart whenever he watched it emerge. He tried to return her attention to the script, which seemed to make her happy. It was an obvious source of pride for her.

“You never mentioned you’re a writer. Why doesn’t anybody know?”

Her countenance brightened again, and Del felt relieved. She shot him a cunning glare.

“There’s more to me than the reporters know about,” she replied with a wink, wagging a red-polished fingernail at him, ever the mentor. “Here’s an important tip for you: Never tell them everything. Always keep a little secret or two for yourself, something to hold in your heart. Something you can control in this crazy world.”

Del fanned the pages, opening the document at random points to scan snippets of dialogue. What a sense of accomplishment she must have felt! He admired its professional layout, which looked identical to the scripts he’d used on the sets. Del wondered it Marilyn had typed this on the manual typewriter he’d seen Arthur Miller use in their home.

“Is this any good?” Del asked. “I mean, have you shown it to anyone?”

“Only to Arthur, back when we were married.” She giggled in her typical Marilyn manner. “Can you imagine? The great Arthur Miller coaches Marilyn Monroe in literature,” she punctuated with a male reporter’s voice, underscoring it with faux solemnity. “You do know he rewrote the script for Let’s Make Love, don’t you? He said the original was a catastrophe and he wanted to protect me. Wasn’t that sweet? Many people don’t know that. He wrote the script for The Misfits, too. The man certainly knows what he’s doing, if you ask me. Look at Death of a Salesman. Pure genius! Regardless of how our marriage worked out, the man was a brilliant writer.”

Young Del ran his hand across Marilyn’s screenplay again, eager to read it from beginning to end. Maybe they could perform in it together!

Yet he couldn’t ignore a chill that raced up his spine. Why here? Why now?


Author Bio:

John Herrick is the author of From the Dead and 8 Reasons Your Life Matters. A graduate of the University of Missouri—Columbia, readers turn to him as a chronicler of spiritual journey and the human heart. Herrick lives in St. Louis.

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: A Final Deal

A Final Deal
Nadia Lee
Publication date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

One thing I’ve never lacked in life is money. I was born to it. I’ve made it hand over fist. I have more than I know what to do with.

But all that money couldn’t give me Faith Mortimer, a damaged heiress with secrets of her own. I found her irresistible two years ago, and would’ve laid my empire at her feet…until she betrayed me.

Now she barges into my office, offering marriage, ostensibly to help me fulfill the conditions of my father’s hateful deal. Although I toss her out, I’m curious. Once I realize how desperate she is, I make a counteroffer that leaves her vulnerable and defenseless.

However, I never counted on my own machinations leaving me exposed in return…and both our hearts are going to break before this is over…

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EXCERPT:

A small lamp in the living room’s on, and I frown. Did Blake forget to turn it off? I take a bottle of water and walk over, then stop.

He’s stretched out on the couch, tablet in hand, a finger of scotch on the table in front of him. All he’s got on are the loose black pants from earlier and a pair of glasses. The effect is devastating, all the more because he doesn’t mean it to be—a perfect combination of lickable body and amazing brain. His torso is totally bare, his shoulders broad, chest thick. His abs are ridged with clear definition even in repose, and his arms are lean and muscled and eminently nibbleable. The dusting of dark hair below the navel disappears underneath the waistband of his pants, and I pull my lips in, wishing I could do more than just look.

He glances up from his tablet.

I flush, embarrassed at being caught staring. “I wanted to get something to drink.” I gesture at the kitchen. “Why are you still up?”

“Couldn’t sleep, so I was reviewing a few proposals.”

“I see.” I clear my throat. “Well…think I’ll go back to sleep now,” I say, then stop. He knows I wasn’t sleeping.

He sits up and places his tablet on the coffee table. “Before you go… About what you said during dinner—”

I raise a hand. “Don’t.”

“Faith—”

“It’s in the past, and I don’t want to talk about it again, Blake.”

His eyes get that stubborn look I’m all too familiar with. He had the same expression when he asked me out that first time and I declined. I had an early shift the next day and I didn’t want to waste my time with a guy who was in Vegas for a couple of days on business.

I put the bottle of water next to his tablet. “I mean it. You got all your questions answered.” My heart thuds. This is my chance. I place my palm against his chest, then push him against the back of the sofa. His skin’s hot underneath mine, and I lick my lips. “The only thing I want out of your mouth is something filthy. Otherwise…”

He drops his gaze to my lips, his throat working. But the words out of his mouth are anything but filthy. “I meant what I said in New York.”

This man is slaying me, little by little. “I know.” I place my left knee by his right hip. “That’s why I’m taking advantage of you late at night—to use you for sex.” I swing my right knee over to where it’s flush against his left hip.

One dark eyebrow quirks up. “Is that so?”

“Uh-huh. You’re going to be my boy toy and you don’t owe me anything for what I’m about to do to you.”


Author Bio:

NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Nadia Lee writes sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Born with a love for excellent food, travel and adventure, she has lived in four different countries, kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

Currently, she shares a condo overlooking a small river and sakura trees in Japan with her husband and son. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading books by her favorite authors or planning another trip.

Stay in touch with her via her website http://www.nadialee.net/ or her blog http://www.nadialee.net/blog/

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The Rule of Thirds


Title: The Rule of Thirds
Author: Chantel Guertin
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: ECW Press
Source: Purchased
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Pippa Greene never goes anywhere without her camera. She and her best friend/supermodel-in-training Dace long ago mapped out their life plan: Pippa will be the noted fashion photographer, and Dace the cover girl. But ever since last spring, things have changed for Pippa — and her junior year at Spalding High proves to have its own set of challenges. Not only is Vantage Point, the statewide photography competition, in three short weeks, but her mandatory volunteer placement lands her at St. Christopher’s Hospital, a place Pippa never wanted to set foot in again. With humour and pluck, she navigates her new role as a candy striper (watch out for Code Yellows), her changing relationship with her best friend (goodbye Honesty Pact), and — perhaps most stressful of all — her new love interests (yes, love interests plural).

Will Pippa make it to Vantage Point without having a panic attack? Will either one of the guys prove less sketchy than her last boyfriend? Can she and Dace figure out a way to dream big and be best friends? One thing is certain: real life is a lot more complicated than a photograph.

Review:

I loved this book! It’s a great start to this series.

The characters are well developed. I really liked Pippa. She’s a smart girl who’s been through a lot. I also liked the love triangle between her, Ben, and Dylan. The final question is: will she choose Ben or Dylan?

Pippa’s interest in photography is a unique aspect of the book. Each of the books in the series (The Rule of Thirds, Depth of Field, and Leading Lines) are named for photography terms. I learned a lot about that hobby in this book.

I highly recommend this book, if you like YA books!

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Social Media

Social Media
JA Huss
Publication date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

When Grace @FilthyBlueBird tweeted her dirtiest, most delicious secret desires to MovieStar @VaughnAsher she never expected a reply, let alone a face-to-face meeting and an offer of a lifetime.

And when MovieStar @VaughnAsher figured out the woman vacationing at his family’s St. Thomas resort was the author of all those dirty hashtags she was relentlessly tweeting at him… well, that was a challenge he couldn’t pass up. He was more than happy to #RockHerFilthyWorld.

@FilthyBlueBird’s online fantasy is about to collide with her real-life reality. And it’s about to happen now.

What started out as a fun, filthy tweet turned into the romance of a lifetime. If—that is—your idea of romance is the #asshole real-life persona of a kinky off-screen control freak.

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EXCERPT:

GRACE @FilthyBlueBird

I can’t stand silence, it drives me crazy. So I’m a talker. I’m a gabber. I’m what they call… social. I pin things, I share things, I plus things. I like, I follow, and I comment.

But most of all… I tweet. I’m a tweeter. I live for the Twitter. I chirp good morning like a little blue bird from my bed in the AM and then chirp good evening again every night.

Even before social media took over the world I was this girl. From my very first year I have been one of those butterflies. Yes—I’m putting my hand up to stop the protests—my very first year. Because my first birthday picture was of me whispering a secret into my big brother’s ear.

And after social media took over the world I embraced this girl. My bestie, Bebe, and I have this whole social thing down to a science. We are the champions of chatter, the proponents of prattle, the backers of blather. We are the goddesses of gossip and we own this shit. We take bubbly optimism to a whole new virtual level. Our motto is Happiness is a #Hashtag and we live life knowing the fairy tale is possible, even if you only get it online.

Who needs reality anyway? Reality is being orphaned at thirteen. Reality is foster homes and loneliness. Reality is a risk ripe for disappointment.

But thank God for Bebe and her family. They welcomed me in with open arms and instead of something tragic, I became the poster child for surviving and came out the other end not only intact, but better than ever.

But back to my mouth—and by extension, my fingertips since they do all my talking on Twitter—it has a mind of its own.

And that mind is very dirty.

Yes, my name is Grace Kinsella and I’m a filthy tweeter.

I can turn a hundred and forty characters into living sex. I can string words together in a way that will make you wet your panties with lust. I can make a man blush before he even gets to the hashtag. I am famous for pithy filth.

In fact, my girlfriends and I have an online Facebook group called the Filthy Blue Birds. And we’re not the only ones. The world of pithy filth is booming, friends. There are endless groups like ours. There are legions of shy girls who come alive when faced with the hundred-and-forty-character challenge. And there is a very special place online where we meet, challenging each other to achieve a new level of smexy typing.
I call that Twitter list Dirty Heaven. I made it up, like literally I’m the freaking founder. So Dirty Heaven is my kingdom and I’m the queen.

I’ll stop here to take a bow.

Besides being a list, Dirty Heaven is an online competition that happens on Twitter every Saturday night across the world—yes, we have filthy tweeters from all walks of life. At 8 PM Eastern the FT’s come alive and each league puts up their best and brightest. You get one tweet, one hashtag, and one chance to shine.

I don’t win anymore, it’s simply not fair. I’m now the judge. But back when we were first putting this together my tweets took me to Dirty Heaven time after time after time. That’s back when we used to have the competitions nightly and the group was small. Just fifteen or twenty of my closest online stranger friends. Each competition we had an online muse and we took turns choosing who would benefit from our blush-inducing prose. Sometimes the girls picked models or rock stars.

I only ever had one muse and his name is Vaughn Asher.

Yes, the Vaughn Asher. A Hollywood legend. He started out in the boy band 2 Far Out, then when his angelic voice changed as he hit puberty he graduated into Disney sitcoms. Most child actors would fade after that, never able to make the transition. But Vaughn Asher doubled down on the workouts—gaining the title of Most Envied Body in Hollywood six years in a row from Buzz Hollywood Magazine—and the preteen wannabe turned into an action-hero heartthrob overnight.

Just thinking his name makes me sigh. He’s so freaking gorgeous. That messy dark hair that makes him look like he just rolled out of bed. Those tight abs that just make you want to drag your tongue all over them to see if they taste as good as they look. And that package, boy. He’s never done any nudes so I have to use my imagination, but my imagination is vivid. I have a very clear picture.

Besides, you know what they say about a man’s thumbs, right? Well, Vaughn Asher has incredible thumbs. And large feet. They say that too.

Yes, doing filthy things to his six-foot-two frame has been my idea of Dirty Heaven for almost three years now. I’d like to say I’ve said everything imaginable about him, but that’s not true. I never run out of ideas. It’s like my brain only exists to compose a one-hundred-and-forty-character sentence that will turn him red.

That’s my fantasy. That’s my fairy tale. Vaughn Asher doing things to me that can only be said in a hashtag.


Author Bio:

JA Huss is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty books. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Truth About Porn Star Boyfriends

The Truth about Porn Star Boyfriends
Sunniva Dee
Publication date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

I guess I just forgot.

To ask him what he did for a living, I mean.

And by the time I did, I was in—balls deep, as he’d call it.

He was the perfect boyfriend.

Attentive, gorgeous, guessing my every wish and fulfilling them.

The sex was earth-shattering.

He even dealt with my crazy mom the way no one else could.

He popped the question, God, such a perfect guy.

There was just one issue:

He f*cked other girls on camera for a living.

How the hell do you deal with that?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I slept over at his house. I did. I just couldn’t go home after everything he told me. I didn’t accept the invite to come with him on the boat today though. I didn’t ask him if he was going without me either. If he is, wouldn’t he be inviting some “friends,” some Alicias or Silks? I don’t want to know.

It’s not difficult to get my shifts back at Mintrer’s. With Il Signore’s nonna at the hospital, the family spends as much time at her bedside as they can.

Mom calls.

She sounds okay.

I need to verify in person even though Paul is next door, hopefully keeping her busy with his garden statues and homemade fountains. He likes my quirky mother because he’s quirky himself. That’s my guess anyway. I don’t think I can handle any new rocks hurled at Status Quo at the moment, especially not from Mom.

The boat is ready.

I only returned to my house two hours again, and this is what Ciro texts me? I roll my eyes. Frieda lowers the bagel she held up for me—everything or just sesame seeds?—and says, “That isn’t the porn star, is it?”

“Yeah, it’s Drake Constantine.” I pull out the syllables mocking him even though each sound opens my chest again.

“Well, at least he’s got a nice artist name. He’s no Jake daBoner or Cassius Erectus.”

I snort.

“Drake Constantine boned me in the ass last night,” she quotes as if from Shakespeare. She gazes beyond the bagel she now holds up like a skull.

I chuckle a little bit, and Frieda smiles. Smiles so wide it makes me feel guilty over everything I’ve put her through. I know she suffers with me. She didn’t sleep last night knowing I was with Ciro.

“What’s he saying?”

“He tells me he’s got the boat ready.”

“For that Catalina trip?”

“Mhmm.”

“You’re not doing that too, are you?” She drops the halves of the bagel into the toaster.

“Not the everything,” I say. “Can I have the sesame seed one instead?”

She presses her mouth together in a stern line but listens and fishes the everything one out and drops the sesame bagel in instead. “Happy now?”

“Very.”

“You’re not going, right?”

“No.” I want to slap my heart and my body for agreeing that we should say yes. “I already told you. I’m visiting Mom this morning, and then I’m working. If I get to do some overtime this weekend, I’m happy. I need the money, and I really don’t want to mope around the house.”

I’ll wait for you if you’re asleep.

I said I wasn’t going. Can’t. We

I hit “send” before I can finish the “We’re over, remember?” part. It was easier to yell it to him when I was furious. Today, I don’t know how I feel.

Why can’t you? He doesn’t ask about the We part? He knows.

“He’s so stubborn,” I murmur and type again.

Because, when are you seeing someone else for a f*** fest?

He deserves that I’m being crude. Hell, he’s being crude every hour of every work day.

He takes a moment to reply. Long enough for Frieda to scoot a plate and the tub of cream cheese in front of me. “Stop texting with him. You’re only dragging it out. You know that, right? I thought you’d blocked him.”

“He has a work phone too. On-freaking-call cell. Ha!”

 

Author Bio:

Between studies, teaching, and advising, Sunniva has spent her entire adult life in a college environment. Most of her novels are new adult romance geared toward smart, passionate readers with a love for eclectic language and engaging their brain as well as their heart while reading.

Born in the Land of the Midnight Sun, the author spent her early twenties making the world her playground. Southern Europe: Spain, Italy, Greece–Argentina: Buenos Aires, in particular. The United States finally kept her interest, and after half a decade in Los Angeles, she now lounges in the beautiful city of Savannah.

Sometimes, Sunniva writes with a paranormal twist (Shattering Halos, Stargazer, and Cat Love). At other times, it’s contemporary (Pandora Wild Child, Leon’s Way, Adrenaline Crush, Walking Heartbreak, and Dodging Trains, coming in late March 2016).

This author is the happiest when her characters let their emotions run off with them, shaping her stories in ways she never foresaw. She loves bad-boys and good-boys run amok, and like in real life, her goal is to keep the reader on her toes until the end of each story.

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