Book Blitz and Giveaway: Stay With Me

Stay With Me
Hensley Park
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: August 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

All he wanted was to break through her tough exterior.
All she wanted was to be left alone.
When they finally got together, it was everything.
Explosive. Epic. Delicious.
And then he found his calling. The military.
And she was proud. And jealous. She wanted him home. With her. Not half-way around the world where their relationship was defined by quick calls, video chats, and letters.
She knew it was wrong. She knew it was crazy. She asked him to choose.
And he did.
Falling head-over-heels in love was the easy part. Sweet. Sexy. Good.
Loving a man who is always gone, deployed, and proud to serve his country takes courage and sacrifice.
All she wanted was for him to stay.

STAY WITH ME is a story told in parts. We’ll hope you’ll stay with us as the story develops, and we encourage you to share STAY WITH ME with your friends.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

My father broke my mother’s heart before I was born, and now, some twenty years later, she is still not over it. Theodore Loren Roberts was a twenty-year old Navy pilot when they met. After only seven months of dating, he asked my grandpa for my mother’s hand in marriage. Grandpa made them wait until Mom was eighteen. On the evening of my mom’s eighteenth birthday, Mom and Dad married. A month later, Dad was deployed and never came back. His helicopter crashed, and details about what and how are why are still sketchy to this day. They never recovered his body. They gave Mom a flag and awarded Dad a medal posthumously. I’m told, my father is a hero.

Though she rarely talked about him, I would sometimes hear her cry herself to sleep at night. When I found her in the morning, she would be fast asleep, holding his photo to her chest. He never even knew she was pregnant. She never had a chance to tell him. They were over before they had even begun.

I’d always wondered why we’d stayed here, where military families and bases abound. Every day there were constant reminders of the entity that took my father from us. My father, a man I had only known through a few photos, and yet, felt mildly connected to, was a constant but distant presence in my life. And yet, despite our pain, Mom still found it in her heart to volunteer to help new, young military wives with their kids, help them get settled, and stay sane.

People had always let us know how sorry they were for us and told us how brave we are. I remember being pitied by school counselors and teachers in grade school for not having a father and also being made fun of middle school. One year, someone started a rumor that my mom and I were abandoned and hat Dad had left us and wasn’t such a hero after all. Kids could certainly be cruel, and adults, even well-meaning ones, even more so.

Military life could be hard and lonely, and Mom didn’t want that for me. And even though Mom didn’t mention Dad much, whenever a guy with a crew cut showed the least little bit of interest in me, she would admonish me with a shake of her head and a stern glance. When we were alone, she would say, “I’m sure you know better than to get involved with a man in the military.”

Mom was right. I knew that. I would never want anyone to go through what she did or for them to struggle like we had, just to get by. My father’s death took nearly everything from us, and as I got older, my own resentment and pain was too much for my mom to take. She said I was selfish and too wrapped up in my own pain to see clearly. Maybe she was right. Or maybe I was just pissed that she had put so much stock into what a man could do for her, that she had subjected us both to an uncertain future with a man who could be killed at any time. Or maybe it was the fact that she had never gotten over him, that she had allowed herself to fall so deeply in love with a man whose death ruined for her life. Ruined both our lives. Or maybe it was because, in my heart, I knew I would never find that kind of love, ever.

Mom never remarried. Never even so much as had a date, as far as I know. Every now and again, she’d mention how Tom Selleck could ring her bell any day, but that’s about it. It’s like she had forgotten what it’s like to be loved. Or like her heart was forever broken and could never be repaired. I think the whole situation was too much for us both. When she was home, I was at school or working. When we were both home, we usually got into arguments over something stupid. Being around my mother was unbearable and sad.

So, I moved away instead of staying home for college like most of the kids around here. After three and a half years of being away, our relationship has improved. Tolerable. I now looked forward to seeing her when she has time to meet me for lunch or cook me the occasional dinner. What can I say? I’m a Southern girl. My happy moments revolve around food and country music.

I was about as far from home as I could get without leaving the state. If I’d stayed closer to home, my relationship with my mother would likely be irreparable by now. As much as I hated to admit it, her voice was always in my head. Warning me. Making sure I didn’t make the same mistakes she had. And now that I was in college and about to graduate, I was free to make my own mistakes without her judgment and criticism.

I’d managed to make it to my senior year without screwing things up too badly by refusing to date anyone — period. I’d gone out on group dates, or hung out with guys, but that was about the extent of it. To describe me as a prude would be misreading the situation. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to have sex. I could manage that on my own. I just wanted to wait. For the right guy, the right time, and the right reason.

And, as my luck would have it, all of that would change, and I would find myself falling for the wrong guy, at the wrong time, and for the wrong reason. I was going to graduate from college in a few months, and the last thing I needed was complications. And if there was one thing I had learned from my roommate and my mother: relationships were always complicated.


Author Bio:

Hensley Park loves the smell of roses. She’s an animal lover and also enjoys listening to music, hanging with friends and going to movies. She is a super nerd who appreciates all things Geek. A perfect day for Hensley would include reading and napping.

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Book Haul (August 14-20)

Starting today, every Sunday I will post a Book Haul of all the books I received for the previous week.

Last week, I went to the Book Outlet in St. Catharine’s, Ontario. I could spend hours in that store! Here’s what I bought:

The Lying Game series by Sara Shepard

I read The Lying Game last week and I absolutely loved it! I purchased three more books in the series (Never Have I Ever, Two Truths And A Lie, and Cross My Heart, Hope To Die). I’m excited to read these books in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard

Since I started reading The Lying Game series, I also wanted to revisit the Pretty Little Liars series, also by Sara Shepard. I read the first two books years ago, but I stopped reading them because I was flying through them and I wanted to read books that would last me longer than a day. However, now that I blog book reviews daily, I want to read books quickly so I bought more books in the series. After I finish The Lying Game series, I will return to this series and post my reviews on my blog.

 

Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale

I absolutely love adaptations of fairytales. I read Austenland by Shannon Hale and I loved it, and I’ve heard good things about her books for younger readers. So when I saw that she had written these graphic novels AND they are based on fairytales, I had to get them! I will review these books soon.

 

 

Pants On Fire by Meg Cabot

Last but certainly not least, I got Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot. I’ve been feeling nostalgic recently while reviewing YA books and looking back on the ones I read as a teen, so I wanted to read something new from Meg Cabot. I loved her books when I was in my early teens. She greatly influenced my writing and reading habits. This one sounds like a cute story, so I’m looking forward to reading it soon.

 

 

Have you read any of these books? Do you have any suggestions for what I should read next? I’d love to hear your comments!
Thanks for reading!

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Random on Tour: Las Vegas

Random on Tour: Las Vegas
Julia Kent
Publication date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Now, you know my mama’s a gambler (sweeper, whatever….), so I guess I got to blame her for a little of this.

When the band got invited to do a big gig here in Las Vegas, I was so excited. Really excited. And when we got here, I was dazzled.

A little too dazzled. I blame the lights and the money and does Vegas pump a scent through the entire town that makes you think you’re a winner, or what?

Because I gambled all our money away. And by “our,” I mean the band’s money. All of it. Every dang cent.

Only no one knows. They’d kill me. So I have to find a way to make all that money back.

I have an idea. I got a good body and a smart mind.

(Quit laughing).

I can do this. I can fix this.

Really.

It’s just gonna get a little weird for a while.

Random on Tour: Las Vegas is the 9th book in Julia Kent’s New York Times bestselling Random series. When the band performs in Vegas, anything goes – including Darla’s dignity and all of the band’s savings. When a savior appears, though, there’s a trade-off for being rescued. A big one. How far is Darla willing to go?

Oh, please. It’s Darla. Like you have to even wonder…

This book is told from the point of view of Darla, Trevor and Joe.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

“You’re walking a chicken on a leash, Darla.”

“Yes.”

“More than one chicken.”

“Yes.”

“A human dressed up as a chicken,” he clarified, as if I didn’t know that.

“Mmm hmm.” When you’re caught, don’t incriminate yourself. Stick to noncommittal consonants.

“On the Strip in Las Vegas.”

“Yes.”

“For… fun?”

“No.” The word came out all round and heavy in my mouth, protest in a single syllable. I looked at him like he was crazy. “I’m being paid.”


Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

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Bess’s Magical Garden


Title: Bess’s Magical Garden
Author: M.E. Hembroff
Genre: Middle Grade, Children’s
Publisher: Friesen Press
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
Release Date: October 21, 2015
Rating: 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Bess’s mother moves them to Pineview, away from her best friend Megan, and she terribly misses her. Six months earlier, Bess’s father died in a car crash, and she’s also in the midst of recovering from the final stages of polio. She’s in a sad and lonely place. From the moment she and her mother settle into their new home, Bess hears whispering voices and encounters a ghostly figure in the well-kept garden and in her dreams. She can’t make sense of everything and so shares her observations with Megan by writing her regular letters. During the summer, she makes new friends, including an orange and white tomcat that she names Pumpkin, and her new neighbour Josie. With the help of Mrs. O’Toole, the woman who watches her, Bess continues to recover, both physically and emotionally. She becomes more and more curious about the garden and the unexplained clues that she finds there. In Bess’s Magical Garden, Bess discovers her own true strengths through enduring life’s struggles. She – with Josie and Megan’s help – also finds some hidden items in the garden, including a map, that leave the girls with more questions than answers. Who was the figure that visited Bess? Will Bess and her friends be able to uncover the garden’s secrets? Or will those secrets be mysteries forever?

Review:

This is a cute story. Bess has faced many challenges in her young life, but she takes it all in stride. She has polio, and during her recovery, her father was killed in a car accident. Despite all of this, she is still very innocent and finds simple joys in life.

I really liked the illustrations in this story. They are childlike, but also detailed and precise. They suit the story very well.

There were some inconsistencies in the timeline of the plot which confused me. Marie, who was the daughter of the original owners of Bess’s house, was childhood friends with Rae and Mae. Now, Rae and Mae are elderly women, which would mean that Marie would also be elderly. However, Mr. and Mrs. Snow were adults when Marie was a child, which would make them very old now, but they don’t appear to be because they are still working in their general store. If this timeline were cleared up, it would have made the story much more cohesive.

The story also had a creepy aspect to it, because Bess had dreams about Marie. This made me wonder about her sanity, but she appeared to be fine. Once she solved Marie’s mystery, Bess stopped dreaming about her. These dreams had the potential to make Bess into a creepy little girl, but she retained her innocence.

This is a cute, short book for young readers.

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Boy I Hate

The Boy I Hate
Taylor Sullivan
Publication date: August 12th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Samantha Smiles and Renee Montgomery have been best friends for over a decade. They’ve shared laughs, secrets, and a mutual hatred for one person: Tristan Montgomery, Renee’s older brother. He was the guy every girl wanted, and every guy wanted to be, and it wasn’t uncommon they’d befriend his little sister just to get closer to him. Which was exactly how Samantha became Renee’s saving grace. She was the only girl Renee could trust not to fall in love with her older brother.

Until the one night Samantha spent with him alone, leaving her questioning everything she’d ever known about the blond headed heart-throb.

Years later, Renee asks Samantha to be her maid of honor. With no other option, Samantha is forced to drive cross-country with the focus of their teenage ire.

He was her first kiss.

Her only secret.

Can Samantha survive the trip cross-country with the reckless Tristan Montgomery? The guy who did what he wanted, whenever he wanted, without worry for tomorrow? Or will she discover a different side of him. One that’s sweet, funny, and maybe a little bit vulnerable. And fall completely and helplessly in love for the first time in her adult life with the one man who could cause her to lose her best friend forever?

Goodreads / Amazon

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Request a review copy of The Boy I Hate here!

EXCERPT:

She looked down to the parking lot, seeing his Mustang still parked below, and knew she was about to lose it. She headed for her own room, placed the breakfast on the nearby table, then rid of every last drop of patience, began pounding on Tristan’s door.

“Wake up you lazy bastard! Wake up, or I swear to God I’ll beat this door down with my fists.”

A large boom sounded from inside the room, and Samantha smiled with satisfaction as she continued to pound. “That’s right,” she whispered. “Get up you lazy ass—”

But before she could finish her sentence, the door was yanked out from under her. She stumbled forward, barely able to catch her footing, and slammed face first into warm, solid, skin.

She froze, because the glimpse she caught on the way down wasn’t one she ever thought she’d see. It was a very large, very bare, and very “Good morning” version of Tristan Montgomery.

“Please tell me you’re not naked,” she whispered, but it was mostly to herself, because she didn’t really need him to answer. She squeezed her eyes shut, took one step backward, and turned around.

They both stood there, quiet and still, and she tried to recover her heart. The sight of Tristan in nothing more than his birthday suit left her feeling dizzy. She’d seen many naked men in her days, though until now, the only one she’d seen in person was Steven. Especially this close up.

“Well?” he finally asked, when she remained silent.

Well? Well… Tristan was much…larger than Steven. Much larger in every way imaginable.

She cleared her throat, knowing her voice would’ve cracked otherwise. “It’s ten in the morning,” she answered with more confidence than she felt.

“And?” But his voice was thick and husky, and she could swear he was having as difficult a time recovering as she was.

“It’s time to go.”

“Is it?”

“Yes,” she said, hating how the tone of his voice sent a shiver down her spine. “And you should really put some clothes on. The people of Utah don’t want to see…that.”

He chuckled, but shifted slightly behind her. “Hate to break it to you sweetheart, but a lot of people want to see that.”

She cringed, because she knew it was true. Like in high school, she knew women lined up to catch the barest glimpse of Tristan.

He moved quietly behind her, his steps so soft you’d never know they came from a man of his size. “You can turn around now.”

She raked her teeth over her bottom lip, taking the very corner and chewing it before turning to face him. He still had no shirt on, his feet were bare, but he wore a pair of old gray sweats resting so low on his hips you could tell he wasn’t wearing anything underneath.

“Aren’t you freezing?” she asked, feeling a shiver run through her own body.

“No,” he said, leaning against the doorway and crossing his feet at the ankles. A tiny grin teased at the corner of his mouth, and she knew he was having too much fun at her expense.

She turned toward the Mustang, not attempting to hide her irritation. “I brought you breakfast,” she said quickly.

“That’s nice of you.”

“It’s not nice. Just my way of getting your lazy ass out of bed.”

He threw his head back with laughter. “Are you always this pleasant in the morning?”

Pressing her lips together, she wasn’t about to let him to pull her into another argument. “We need to go,” she said, turning on her heels and opening the door to her room.

She walked inside, hoping the action would give him the hint to do the same. “I’ll have your breakfast waiting for you in the car.” But before she closed the door, she could swear she caught him smiling.

“My God.” she whispered, resting her forehead against the wall, taking in all the air she’d forgotten to take over the last two minutes. “Three more days. Just three more days of Tristan Montgomery.” She repeated the last words over and over, gathered up the rest of her belongings, and headed for the car.

Author Bio:

Taylor is mom of three young (or not so young) children she loves more than life. She runs them around endlessly, hoping she looks presentable enough to be out in public, and day dreams about fictional characters. Maybe she’s crazy, or maybe she craves the barbie games she played as a little girl a little too much, but that’s where her stories are born. It’s where they blossom, and grow, and eventually breath life on the page of her stories.

She’d love to hear from you. (Or I’d love to hear from you. I wrote this in 3rd person to sound cooler)

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Devil’s Revolver

The Devil’s Revolver
V. S. McGrath
(The Devil’s Revolver Series, #1)
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

She is Hettie Alabama — unlikely, scarred, single-minded, and blood bound to a revolver forged by a demon.

The first book in an epic, magic-clad series featuring the Wild West reimagined as a crosscultural stereoscope of interdimensional magic and hardship, The Devil’s Revolver opens with a shooting competition and takes off across the landscape after a brutal double murder and kidnapping — to which revenge is the only answer. Hettie Alabama, only seventeen years old, leads her crew of underdogs with her father’s cursed revolver, magicked to take a year off her life each time she fires it. It’s no way for a ranch girl to grow up, but grow up she does, her scars and determination to rescue her vulnerable younger sister deepening with every year of life she loses.

A sweeping and high-stakes saga that gilds familiar Western adventure with powerful magic and panoramic fantasy, The Devil’s Revolver is the last word and the blackest hat in the Weird West.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Book trailer:

EXCERPT:

Hettie couldn’t say what had woken her; her eyes had simply snapped open and she’d known something was amiss.

Sure enough, she found the rope had been chewed through, the frayed ends still wet. Dammit, Abby. This was the third time in two weeks. She yanked her coat over her thin nightgown, grabbed her boots and Winchester and padded quickly down the stairs. Outside, she pushed her bare feet into the cold, hard leather and checked her rifle’s action, loading it quickly. Coyotes were often seen roaming the ranch, and there’d been rumors of a pack of wolves roving the hills. But out here, it was men Hettie was more afraid of.

Author Bio:

Vicki So, writing as V. S. McGrath, is a published romance author (as Vicki Essex) and has six books with Harlequin Superromance: Her Son’s Hero (July 2011); Back to the Good Fortune Diner (January 2013), which was picked for the Smart Bitches Trashy Books Sizzling Book Club; In Her Corner (March 2014); A Recipe for Reunion (March 2015); Red Carpet Arrangement (January 2016); and Matinees with Miriam (November 2016). She lives in Toronto, Canada.

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Dead Girls Can’t Lie


Title: Dead Girls Can’t Lie
Author: Carys Jones
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Aria
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Rating: 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Best friends tell each other the truth – don’t they?

When North Stone’s best friend Kelly Orton is found hanging lifeless in a tree, North knows for certain it wasn’t suicide. Kelly had everything to live for – a loving boyfriend, a happy life, and most importantly of all, Kelly would never leave North all by herself.

The girls have been friends since childhood, devoted to each other, soul sisters, or at least that’s what North has always believed. But did Kelly feel the same way, or was she keeping secrets from her ‘best friend’ – deadly secrets…

When the police refuse to take North’s suspicions seriously, she sets out to investigate for herself. But her search soon takes her to a glamorous world with a seedy underbelly, and before long North is out of her depth and getting ever closer to danger. Determined to find the truth, she soon wishes that dead girls could lie, because the truth is too painful to believe…

Review:

I was very excited to read this book because I love thrillers. It may be because I’ve read so many good ones recently, but this one didn’t live up to my expectations.

The concept for the story was very good. North suspects that Kelly didn’t kill herself. But at the same time, North has a history of mental problems due to insomnia, so she isn’t taken seriously. Some of the things she did in her past are explained logically, demonstrating that she wasn’t actually crazy, such as the car accident she got in as a teen. But some parts are forgotten and not explained, so her suspicions remain suspect.

There were so many red herrings as to who actually Kelly. There were a lot of possible suspects, but they weren’t really explored or given a justified solution. Also, Elijah was constantly asking North if she was okay. I wanted to shout at him “Of course she’s not okay! She just lost her last loved one!” It made me very suspicious of him and I became frustrated when he wouldn’t leave it alone.

I also don’t think there was a purpose in North’s parents being lost at sea. I’m not sure why they were just presumed dead, rather than actually killed off in the story. I think their death just kept North hanging in this in-between of wondering if they were still alive, which gave her even more pain.

While I was disappointed in the outcome of the story, I did have an emotional response to many parts which connected me to the story. I was frustrated with Elijah and I felt sorry for North. The premise for the story was good, but I wish it was executed better.