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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Video Chat w/ Damien Echols & Lorri Davis!

Good evening


Hello there lovely readers! You might remember that a while back that I read and reviewed a unique non-fiction book, Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row by Damien Echols & Lorri Davis. Well today I'm really excited to let you know that both of these authors are answering your questions and talking about what life was like behind bars, what it was like to be wrongly accused, and how it feels to fall in love against all odds. If you're interested in checking out my review, click here. Now, here's the details!





Live Video Chat Information


What: Live, interactive video chat with former death row inmate Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three and his wife, Lorri Davis
When: July 23 at 6:30 pm EST
Where: Register and view details by clicking here.
Cost: FREE, but donations are welcome. A donation of any amount benefits the Boston Book Festival; a $35 donation also gets you a copy of their book, From Yours to Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row

Join former death row inmate Damien Echols, who was accused of murdering two boys in a Satanic ritual, and his wife, Lorri Davis, to discuss their book From Yours to Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row. Lorri and Damien will answer questions about their relationship, his experience behind bars and their wrongful conviction case. Participants will be able to ask questions before and during the event.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Shameless by Nina Lemay!


IFB is hosting the cover reveal for Nina Lemay's NA Contemporary Romance. See it below and continue for the giveaway:




Release date: August 18th 2014

Synopsis via Goodreads:
~New Adult Contemporary Romance -- recommended for mature readers~

Girls like me don’t get happy endings.

I know what I am. At worst a cliché, at best a cautionary tale. I put an international border between me and my past, only to wind up working in a low-end titty bar. Even my excuse is as lame as it gets: I’m paying for college, getting my art degree from Montreal’s most prestigious school. Although some days it becomes confusing: am I just a student who moonlights as a stripper, or a stripper who masquerades as a student?

But the inevitable happens and my two lives collide. And now there’s one other person who knows both the quiet, antisocial Hannah and the sensual, shameless Alicia. One person who keeps my secret.

He’s beautiful, he’s sophisticated. He comes from the other side of life, the one where I’m not wanted or accepted. But he calls me la petite Américaine, and his hot, hot hands on my skin promise me things I long ago gave up on.

The problem? He teaches my Classic Photography class.

This is a standalone novel, no series, no cliffhanger.

Nina LemayAbout the Author
Nina Lemay is a YA writer by day and author of sinfully twisted New Adult…well, also by day. She loves all things dark and edgy and never tires of tormenting her characters. While Nina is a fan of all things scary, Gothic, and fantastic, she doesn’t shy away from a gritty contemporary romance when the muse strikes. She lives in Montreal, a city that never fails to inspire, with her partner and her dog.



EXCERPT
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His hand slides, hesitant, across the edge of his seat as he leans closer. The black ink of the letters on his knuckles is stark against his skin.

“Show me,” I say.

And he kisses me. Our lips don’t meet smooth and choreographed like in movies. The stubble on his cheek grazes the corner of my mouth, leaving behind a burning trail, and then his lips cover mine. Nothing hesitant about them. Assertive, self-assured like I thought his kiss would be, the promise of those strong hands and broad shoulders and arrogant posture made real. But he’s anything but arrogant. He gently nips on my lower lip and his hands caress my neck, my jaw, cup my face. He’s holding me like I’m something fragile and precious.

I’m afraid to close my eyes.

He has that lavender scent, sharp and clean, with a note of wild muskiness lurking underneath when you get close enough—that note that’s just him. I don’t know what to do with my hands so I slip them under his jacket and put them on his waist, right above his belt. I finally start to sketch out what his body looks like under his shirt: sinewy and fit and hard.

His hands finally move on, mirroring mine, down to my bare belly exposed by my cropped top. The little hairs along my spine stand on end. An involuntary shudder courses through me, making my abs tighten and quiver. His hand finds the small of my back and settles there, guiding me forward with smooth confidence, pulling me toward him. The heat of his palm melts through my skin into my bones and up my spine, softening my muscles until my entire body feels like hot wax held together by a membrane of skin. I tuck my hand under his belt, just the fingertips—past the hem of his shirt where the pads of my fingers find hot, smooth skin over taut muscle.

He groans softly into my mouth. I lean in and slide onto his lap, barely aware that I’m clambering over a car seat. It’s just so smooth and natural, the grooves of our bodies clicking together like a jigsaw puzzle. His hands on my waist, spreading goosebumps all over my belly, up my back and down my arms; then they move up, up, under my top, stopping when they find my bra. Pausing, hesitant.

I kiss my way along his jaw and his neck, peel away the collar of his shirt to continue down his clavicle. His hand settles over my bra and I can feel its heat through the fabric, a tiny little jolt of sensation that lights up my nerve endings like a Christmas tree.

My mind floats up, under the closed sunroof of the Audi, and watches me from there, impassive. I’m aware of everything I’m doing, too aware, but I don’t stop. My body continues like an automaton, the lips, the hands, performing the motions. Like I’m a car on cruise control, easing into the familiar mode. I know what happens next.

A part of me, very deep down, hopes I don’t.

Only one way to find out.

I go for his belt buckle, find it, tug on it. It yields with a soft clink.

And just as I’m about to stick my hand down his pants, he pulls away.

“’Annah,” he pants. His hand slips out from under my shirt and dives down to catch my wrist. His fingers wrap around my wrist bone, strong and firm.

Maybe it’s the touch that zaps me back into my body, disrupts my functioning. The false step that throws off the whole routine, the bad note that ruins the aria.

“What?” I whisper. My body’s nerves settle into normal mode one by one.

“No.”

“Why not?”

“This isn’t right. This is… overstepping.”

I sit back. I’m still balancing with my shins on his legs—kind of like at work when I lean in, my hair brushing over a customer’s face, and ask in a seductive whisper if he wants another dance.

I blink at him in utter dismay. Thrown off. Tossed overboard into unfamiliar territory and I don’t know what to do.

But I want to be doing this, I start to say. We aren’t doing anything wrong. “I’m attracted to you,” he says. His voice still holds a hint of breathlessness. “But then again, you already knew that.”

“But I’m—” I’m attracted to you too. This much should be obvious.
“I know,” he says softly. He lets go of my wrist and instead takes my hand between his hot, hot palms. He brings it to his lips. “But this isn’t right.”









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Monday, July 14, 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway: Dream Boy by Madelyn Rosenberg & Mary Crockett


Good morning, lovelies. Today I'm happy to announce that I am a stop on the blog tour for Dream Boy by Madelyn Rosenberg and Mary Crockett. I was super excited when I got the chance to talk to them about a guest post. And I admit, I got a little fangirlish about it and so requested them to talk about "dream stuff". Since they are lovely, they translated that into an actual coherent plan of action, despite my lack of vocabulary skills, haha. But before we get to that, let's talk about the book.


Title: Dream Boy
Authors: Madelyn Rosenberg & Mary Crockett
Release date: July 1st, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire


Book Description:
If dreams can come true…then so can nightmares

One night Annabelle dreams of the perfect boy: tall and handsome with impossible blue eyes. Then, just as suddenly as he appeared, he’s gone…until he walks into her science class the next day. Perfect and REAL. The boy of her dreams. And when he brushes past her, he whispers “Annabelle.” Suddenly, Annabelle’s got the perfect boyfriend and a date to homecoming. Her life is like a dream come true...until her dreams stop and the nightmares begin.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Be sure to add it to Goodreads by clicking here.

Now, let's check out what Madelyn and Mary had to say about dreams!

Recurring Themes in Dreams- Madelyn:



My parents didn’t read from the original Brothers Grimm, but I still seemed to have a lot of fairy-tale dreams that woke me when I was a kid. I didn’t get to wear a ball gown in a single one of them. I did, however, get chased by one of Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters. It was after watching the 1965 TV version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and the dream terrified me so much that for years I thought it must have been some other movie I’d watched. Cinderella and the Stepsisters From Hell? Evil in the Castle?

In the dream, I am running through my house looking for a place to hide. But there she is outside of my front window, with that weird, pink hat-thingie she wore in the movie.



It looks as if it was built to hide horns. I close the shades and keep moving, but there she is outside of my door, peeping through the net curtain. I wake before she could catch me. I wake knowing no hiding place will ever be good enough.

In another dream, I am being chased by a woman known as The Pigeon Lady. (If this sounds a little familiar, it’s because I let Annabelle borrow that dream in Dream Boy.) I’m not sure how I know her name is The Pigeon Lady; she certainly doesn’t stop to introduce herself. She is dressed in a black cape with a hood and looks quite a bit like the queen in Snow White. She doesn’t fly, but she has a helicopter, and this is another dream where I run and try to hide. Only this time I am outside and this time I have better luck. The helicopter is loud and creates it’s own wind.The Pigeon Lady leans out the doorway, yelling. But I can fit into small places that the helicopter cannot go. I don’t feel completely safe after I wake. But I know I’ve gotten better at hiding.




First Dream (That I Remember)- Mary:



I recall having this dream when I was five. It perplexed and disturbed me; I thought about it a lot. Probably more than was healthy for a five-year-old.

Frankenstein, Marilyn Monroe, and a some random adults were at a party in a huge white room with a vast sunken hot-tub. A man was passing out plastic cards that could paralyze a person's arm or leg if they were flicked against them. In the beginning, people thought it was funny to go around paralyzing other people's limbs, but then some witches showed up and things got ugly. There was a lot of dry-ice smoke. I remember at some point Marilyn was paralyzed and Frankenstein and I had to help her to the hot tub (where there were healing waters).



Just who are Mary and Madelyn?
Mary Crockett likes turtles, licorice, and the Yankees. Madelyn Rosenberg likes cats, avocados, and the Red Sox. Luckily they both like the weirdness of dreams (and each other) enough to write novels together. The friendship has survived three moves, six kids and countless manuscript revisions. Madelyn lives just outside of Washington, D.C. Mary remains in the mountains near their hometowns in southwestern Virginia. You can find them on Twitter @marylovesbooks and @madrosenberg or their blogs here and here.

You can buy Dream Boy for yourself here: Indiebound | Amazon | B&N

Giveaway:


Rules:
-This giveaway will run from June 14th to July 21st, 2014
-This giveaway is US & CANADA ONLY
-This giveaway is open to those 13 and older (with parental permission of course)
-It is open to anyone over that age who can legally enter, receive, and use their prize.
-One (1) winner will win a copy.
-This giveaway is sponsored wholly by the publisher. I am not responsible.
-This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity.
-Winner will have 48 hours to reply, or a new winner will be chosen. Winner will be chosen using random.org.
-Invalid entries will be removed, so please don't cheat.
-Void where prohibited. Odds will vary. No purchase necessary.
-My opinions are my own. Information will not be stored or sold, and will be used only to contact the winners.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Our Kind of Love by Shane Morgan!





Welcome to our stop of Shane' Morgan's Our Kind of Love promo tour. See excerpt & giveaway below:


21521878Release date: June 21st 2014

Publisher: TSW Books

Purchase: Amazon | B&N



Synopsis via Goodreads:

Reign is convinced that Nate is the perfect guy for her. That’s until Micah walks into her Mom’s restaurant looking for a job. Now Reign can’t seem to stop her heart from yearning for the guy with the mysterious sea blue eyes and melting smile.

Micah is all but perfect. He’s spent eight months in a juvenile detention center back in Colorado for his unintentional involvement in a crime. Now at nineteen and hoping to escape his ghosts, he lands a part-time job working at a seaside restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island where he meets the irresistible Reign. 

He can’t help the way he feels whenever he’s around her, but she’s already taken and Micah doesn't want to disrupt her life or get himself in anymore trouble. But then his attraction for Reign proves too strong to deny, and Micah finds that he just might discover a reason to stop running.

About the Author
Shane Morgan is a twenty-something bestselling author of Young Adult and New Adult Fiction. Currently living in the beautiful town of Narragansett, Rhode Island, Shane spends her days blogging, reading, and escaping in her stories.


WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM







=EXCERPT=





   Sitting down on a park bench, I stare up at the colors of the fading sky. The bursting orange and yellows mix together like one big orgasm. I appreciate the natural beauty for a while, until something, okay, someone, more captivating graces my view. 
   A young woman, lost in thought, walks barefoot across the sea wall made of rustic red pebble stones separating sand from sea. With the poise of a gymnast, her body shivers with each step against the ocean breeze. Her cute blue dress with floral prints flares modestly just below her knees. She pays no attention to anything else around her, unaware of how my eyes are trained on her every move.
   As the setting sun slants across her tanned legs, she pauses for a beat. Flipping straight light brown hair off her shoulders, strands falling elegantly down her back. I love long hair on girls; the smell—that’s if it’s clean, I’ve had instances where it wasn’t—the feel, and the texture. Caught up, I lean forward, my gaze fixed on nothing but her. Turn. How I wish she’d turn around so I could see her face. Even my heart begins to thud with anticipation.
   Finally, as if hearing me, she twists, her attention riveted on something out on the street to her left. Oh c’mon, turn toward me. The sun will be gone in minutes. She swivels, fully around this time. I’m breathless as I catch a glimpse. She’s beautiful, but I don’t mean that in a shallow way. Something about her intrigues me.
   So what am I doing? Why am I just sitting here watching her?
Snapping back to my senses, I spring from the bench and start to walk over to her, hoping she won’t run away when I tell her how angelic she is before my eyes. Jeez. That’s corny as Hell, but I don’t care. I have to talk to this girl.
  I’m almost there when the loud beep-beep of a car draws her attention. She twirls and I stop in my tracks. A wide smile spreads across her pink lips, and like an idiot, I convince myself she’s actually smiling at me. Realization bites me on the ass when she hurries past me like I’m invisible, heading for the red jeep parked on the side of the street waiting for her. 
She didn’t see me. Like seriously?
  I stand in place and watch as she climbs inside the jeep, shuts the door, and the driver takes off. Now I feel like crap, because I wasted time and missed the chance to talk to her. I wonder if I’ll ever see her again. 
  With hunched shoulders, I walk up the sand onto the grass and sit back on the bench, dumping grains out of my flip-flops. 
  A lone gull scampers across the sand. A bright moon rises in the sky. I run my fingers through my already messy hair and start to laugh at myself. Dude, why did you get so riled up? That girl’s simply another pretty face. How many have I seen these last few months? Why should I care? We meet, hook-up, and I move on.
  The last thing I’m looking for is a girlfriend. I’m a no commitments type of guy. None of them ever took the guilt away, anyway.
But it’s crazy how I feel now. From just one look, my gut says that girl is worth getting to know. Maybe someone I wouldn’t mind sticking around for.













Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Crossing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux


Hello guys. I hope the week's been treating you well. Today I'm happy to take part in the cover reveal for Crossing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux. The cover is designed by Sarah Schneider, and the models are a Boston-based pair team, Alexandria Shaughnessy and Jimmy Morgan. This book is set to release in August 2014, I personally really love this one, so are you ready to see it?

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Synopsis via Goodreads:
Falling hard never felt so good.

Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother and sister team.

The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though...

The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross?

Sneak Peek:



I turned to Josh with my arms folded and my head cocked to the side. “So, you’re an athlete, a dancer and a musician? If you tell me you’re a skilled artist, I’m gonna have to hate you.”
He laughed. “I can barely draw a stick figure.”
“Whew.” I swiped my hand across my forehead.
“Even if I was the next Picasso, though, I wouldn’t have told you.” He paused and held my gaze. “I don’t like the idea of you hating me.”
My stomach fluttered. Josh didn’t often make extended eye contact, but whenever he locked those sinfully blue eyes on mine, I became a mesmerized puddle of swoon.



About the Author:
Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing.
Facebook | Website | Twitter

Giveaway:


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cover Reveal, Giveaway, & Guest Post: Phobic by Cortney Pearson


Hello lovelies. Today I'm happy to take part in the cover reveal for Phobic by Cortney Pearson. Are you ready to see it?

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Series: The Forbidden Doors #1
Release date: September 2014
Genre: YA Horror

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Piper Crenshaw knows her house is strange. It’s never needed repairs since it was built in the 1800s, and the lights flicker in response to things she says. As if those things aren’t creepy enough, it’s also the place where her mother committed murder.

To prove she’s not afraid of where she lives, Piper opens a forbidden door, which hides a staircase that leads to the ceiling. That’s when the flashbacks of the original residents from 1875 start, including a love affair between two young servants. Each vision pulls Piper deeper into not only their story, but also her house. Piper confides in her best friend, Todd, whom she's gradually falling for, but even he doesn't believe her. At least, not until her house gets axed during a prank, and the act injures Piper instead, cutting a gash the size of Texas into her stomach.

Piper realizes her house isn’t haunted—it’s alive. To sever her link to it, she must unravel the clues in the flashbacks and uncover the truth about her mother’s crime, before she becomes part of her house for good.

Guest Post:



As writers we are constantly gathering inspiration (whether we know it or not). An overheard conversation, watching people interact, teenagers laughing together, hearing others tell stories. I believe we subconsciously refer to our life experiences as we write and create stories. We have to. In order to generate realistic emotion and detail that readers can relate to, we have to have some kind of jumping-off-point to base them on. I'd like to share just a few things that sparked ideas for me as I created the world of PHOBIC, a world which is based on the ethereal aspect of seemingly ordinary places.

Inspiration #1
My great aunt lived alone in this fantastic old house built by her father, my great-great grandfather. And it felt like stepping back through time every time I walked through the door. BUT. Right off from her back door--the entrance we always used--was a staircase. It wasn't long. It wasn't even hidden like those in my story. But this staircase led to Aunt Vay's basement with its concrete floor and old cast iron stove and that pair of metal roller skates that always sat alone on a shelf. I hated going in that basement, especially by myself.




Looking back at these pictures now I wonder why I'd been so scared, but as a kid that basement was terrifying!



The basement in PHOBIC plays a huge part in the mystery of the house Piper lives in. It's a place she's been forbidden from entering, but this time she's determined to find out why.

Inspiration #2
Another instance happened at Aunt Vay's when my mom, sister, and I had pulled in late at night to sleep after traveling from California to Utah all day long. We were tired. It was cold and windy outside. And my mom couldn't find her key to the back door. We tried that knob several times and then as I went to reach for the knob again, the door opened. All on its own. OPENED. My mom, sister, and I all exchanged looks and when I checked the knob (on the now open door), it was still locked. True story! So it prompted the opening and this scene in PHOBIC:

My best friend Todd’s red pickup appears at the curb, spewing exhaust like the truck has a cigarette up its backside. I jerk up. My pulse kicks at the sight of him. That’s been happening a lot more lately, my insides flaring up and doing some sort of spastic dance whenever I catch sight of his alluring smile and dark curls.
Leaving the second Pop-Tart on the table, I stuff my phone in my pocket and snatch up my backpack and clarinet case. I dart past the round, velvet-topped table in the wide hallway to the front door.
I reach for the knob. It won’t turn.
Heart pounding, I try again. One way, then the other. Chick. Chick. The lock mechanism is vertical. The door isn’t locked.
“Not now,” I say under my breath. “Please not now.”
The hairs at my nape skulk up one by one until they all stand on end. My wrist flicks, and the obstinate knob makes the same chick chick sounds. The eerie feeling spreads down the length of my arm, making the knob cold under my touch. What is going on? I’m used to my house doing strange things, but why won’t it let me out?

Inspiration #3
The Winchester Mansion in California has also been intriguing to me, especially the staircase that leads to the ceiling. This whole house is completely creepy, but especially this:



Piper's house also has a hidden staircase similar to this one. Her discovery of it knocks her sense of reality way off course, and she begins seeing flashbacks of the original residents of house. Which leads to...

Inspiration #4
I LOVE romances, along with Victorian/Regency-era stories. So my final inspiration for the story--particularly the flashbacks that Piper has to the past--is:



Downton Abbey (I know it takes place after the two eras above-mentioned. But still, inspiration.) It was after watching the first few episodes that my two star-crossed servants in love sprang into my head.

There were many other sources of inspiration as well, but these are the main ones. What about for you? What inspires you when you write?



About the Author:
Cortney Pearson is a book nerd who studied literature at BYU-Idaho, a music nerd who plays clarinet in her local community orchestra, and a writing nerd who creates books for young adults. She lives with her husband and three sons in a small Idaho farm town.
Facebook | Website | Twitter









Giveaway:


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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review: Rich Kids of Instagram: A Novel


Title: Rich Kids of Instagram: A Novel
Author: The Creator of Rich Kids of Instagram, Maya Sloan
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: July 8th 2014
Source: Netgalley & Gallery Books

★★

One and a half stars.

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When I read the blurb for this book, I thought it sounded really intriguing. I'm out of my teen years now, and I can assure you that they weren't spent in outlandish luxury. I thought this could be a cool (even if fictionalized) look into a world that I wasn't a part in, kind of like the Gossip Girl books. It sounded scandalous and cutthroat, and I looked forward to reading it.

Unfortunately, I was let down once again by a blurb that was more captivating than the actual book. To say this wasn't my cup of tea is an understatement. The first issue was the excessive switching of points of view. I don't mind doing this when it's done well, but because all of the POVs are the same kind of person (the snooty well off teen), it was really difficult to keep them all. That being said, the voice of these characters was really irritating to me. I'm down for bad language, but it was thrown in to places where it didn't really add anything. On top of that, the dialogue between characters sounded so forced and plastic most of the time. I found it hard to get into the allure of senseless sex, scandal, and drugs because it was presented so annoyingly.

Also filed under the "ugh" category is the amount of times a character was referred to as being rich. I kind of figured as much. I mean, it's the name of the book. The book about the inner circle and lives of rich teens. It's a safe assumption that the people they know (which are name dropped constantly by the way) are rich too. I get it.

It did gain some stars in its rating, though, because it did keep me reading, and I have to admit I did like the pictures that were included. I also really like the cover design. I know that's not how you should judge a book, but it does overall sum up the general plot of the stories within its pages.

As someone who was previously unfamiliar with this website that apparently has been mentioned all over the place, this book was not for me. I'm not entirely sure what age group this book is aimed for, but even though it is about teens be warned that there is a lot of profanity, sex, and drugs. Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for my copy in exchange for my honest review.