Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Searching for Beautiful" Blog Tour - Excerpt and Giveaway!



BOOK SUMMARY:
Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin…and flings her right into her best friend’s arms.

When Wolfe catches his best friend falling out a window on her wedding day, he doesn’t ask questions. He whisks her away, determined to watch over her and discover the truth behind her desperate escape. But when his feelings turn more than platonic, he realizes he may risk his most important relationship in order to protect his damaged heart, and the woman he loves.

Can Genevieve and Wolfe’s friendship turn into something deeper—or is it already too late for true love?




Goodreads link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22609089-searching-for-beautiful


PURCHASE NOW
Amazon:  amzn.to/1Gl7eWM
Barnes & Noble:  bit.ly/1DR9t0b
iTunes:  apple.co/1BkUokk


Author Information


Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.  She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. 

She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

Website: www.jenniferprobst.com
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferprobst.authorpage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jenniferprobst
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2965489.Jennifer_Probst



EXCERPT 


The streetlamp flickered as he pulled up to her cheerful yellow house, which looked as happy as she used to be.

“Ready, sweetheart?”

She nodded and climbed out. Grabbing their bags from the trunk, he walked up the curved pavement. She froze in the doorway. He peered over to study the
scene.

The place looked empty. Sure, it was still fully furnished, with the aqua blue sofa and throw cushions, bright watercolors on the walls, braided rugs, and the sturdy pine table that reminded him of Mama Conte’s. The curvy metal spiral staircase leading to the tiny loft/attic gave the place a quaint charm. But the space pulsed with a hollow gloom, and a fine sheen of dust covered the surfaces. It had been
empty only for a few months, but damned if he didn’t get the impression of sadness, as if the place needed human inhabitants in order to be happy.

“I never thought I’d be back here,” she said faintly. “I have nothing. No clothes. My laptop. Even my toothbrush.”

He gently pushed her through and shut the door behind them. “That’s easily fixed in the morning. Besides, I’m not minty fresh myself. I’ll run into town early and get what you need.”

“David wanted me to put it on the market. I refused. Not sure why.”

He didn’t say the truth because they both knew it. She’d sensed something wasn’t right between them, and selling her home gave her no exit plan. 

Wolfe checked the closets and found a set of sheets and blankets. He quickly
made the bed while she stood and watched, so exhausted she seemed to sway on her feet. He took her hand, pushed her gently onto the edge of the mattress, and knelt before her. Untying her sneakers, he removed them, giving each foot a quick squeeze, then urged her under the quilt. Her face reflected a childish trust that made his gut clench and a fierce sense of possession rush through him. Damned if he wouldn’t battle anyone in order to protect her. He’d let her go once to another and her heart got trashed. From now on, any guy would have to get through him
first.

Wolfe refused to analyze the emotions beneath the thought. He pulled the tie from her hair so it was loose, and
pushed the unruly waves back from her forehead. “Sleep, sweetheart.”

He turned to leave but her whisper stopped him.

“Will you stay with me? I’m sorry—I’m such a baby, and a mess, but I’m just—scared.”

She blinked furiously, her lower lip trembling. Hell. He didn’t like sleeping with anyone because of the nightmares,
but he wouldn’t leave her alone. Not like this.

Wolfe nodded. Toed off his shoes. Then settled himself on top of the quilt and drew her against him. Her scent
swamped him, the sweet scent of daisies, and the pureness
of soap. Fresh. Clean. So unlike him.

She wiggled her butt, settled in, and slowly, her muscles relaxed. He tightened his grip around her waist, soaking in the closeness and body heat that simmered like a campfire.

Cursing under his breath, he concentrated on his breathing and tried not to get aroused. He’d kissed many women. Slept with even more. Yet the honest passion she gave him during that one kiss would haunt him forever. But Gen was his friend. His confidant. His everything. He’d never ruin it with sex.


Sleep came slowly.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy Book Birthday! "Searching for Beautiful" by Jennifer Probst

SFB_BLITZ

Today we are celebrating the release of SEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Probst. This is the 3rd book in the Searching For series and it is published by Gallery Books. Check out the teaser and giveaway below for a chance to win a necklace and signed book.

  JennP_Searching forBeautiful

SEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL Synopsis:

The highly anticipated third novel in the Searching For series from Jennifer Probst, “one of the most exciting breakout novelists” (USA Today), featuring a runaway bride and the man who wants to be more than just her best friend...

Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin...and flings her right into her best friend’s arms. When Wolfe catches his best friend falling out a window on her wedding day, he doesn’t ask questions. He whisks her away, determined to watch over her and discover the truth behind her desperate escape. But when his feelings turn more than platonic, he realizes he may risk his most important relationship in order to protect his damaged heart, and the woman he loves. Can Genevieve and Wolfe’s friendship turn into something deeper—or is it already too late for true love?

Add the book to Goodreads

SFB_Teaser_RELEASE

PURCHASE SEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

  SFB_Teaser_LIVE  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst - Bio: Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Review: "Halfway Perfect" by Julie Cross and Mark Perini

Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with Ford model Mark Perini to pen a poignant and gritty YA novel about love and the dark side of modeling and the fashion industry. Eve's time as a fashion model nearly destroyed her-now she's determined to build a career behind the camera lens. But landing a coveted photography internship brings her face to face with her dark past-and her ex. While Eve is snapping pictures, up-and-coming male model Alex is launching his career-which, for him, involves maintaining a fake relationship with his (secretly) underage co-star, Elana. But Alex is falling for Eve, and Eve won't let herself get hurt again. If Alex can pull off a fake love with Elana, can he convince Eve to risk a secret affair with him?

Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Did I like this book?
"Halfway Perfect" gave me an in depth look at an industry I normally wouldn't think much about.  Of course I've heard of the pressures that models face, but most of the focus has been on weight, and occasionally age, at least in the stories I've read.  I really liked that this book brought attention to a completely different side of the industry, the side where young girls, children really, are thrown into a world without parental supervision or guidance and expected to act like adults.  So many things can, and probably do, go wrong for these kids.

The writing and pace of this novel worked really well for me.  I liked how the  relationship between Alex and Eve developed, starting first with friendship.  I also really loved how both Alex and Eve felt the need to protect Elana - this helped to show the moral integrity of them both, and I ended up fully respecting both of their positions.

While I enjoyed getting to know both Alex and Eve, Alex is the one I inevitably fell hard for!  He was just so patient with Eve, and he was a fantastic older brother figure for Elana.  I loved meeting his family and watching how his relationships with his siblings improved over the course of the book.  In short, Alex is fabulous!

I won't go into details about Eve's relationship with her ex, but I thought this aspect of "Halfway Perfect" was handled extrememely well.  This type of abuse hasn't been explored nearly enough in New Adult books, and although it is a tough and emotional topic, it is an important one and I'm glad the authors decided to take the risk here - I thought they did an excellent job!

Will you like this book?

Anyone wanting a closer look at the pressures of the modelling industry will want to pick up "Halfway Perfect".  But even if you are not curious about modelling at all, I think fans of New Adult reads will still love this book.  It's well written, with an interesting setting and unforgettable characters, as well as complex relationships and plenty of angst .  In short, all the things you've come to love about New Adult!

Will I read more by these authors?

Absolutely!  With this title, Julie Cross and Mark Perini have effectively jumped to the top of my must-buy list!

My rating:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: "Zoey and the Nice Guy" by Carter Ashby


For Zoey Odell, the definition of family is her two best friends, Maya and Addy. So when Maya makes the decision to leave her abusive husband, Zoey is only too happy to lavish her with support and a temporary home. Unfortunately, taking in her best friend also means seeing more of that no good do-gooder, Kellen Bradley. For Kellen, the definition of family has just been shattered. After finding out that his brother is an abusive monster, he can’t help but question himself and his parents. The one thing he knows for certain is that he’ll do anything to take care of his sister-in-law and her children. For them, he would walk into gunfire, pass through the flames of hell…even go head-to-head with Zoey Odell. Zoey has no intention of letting him in, but Kellen is done taking her crap. Life has just gotten real and he’s more than ready to shed his nice-guy image. When he finally stands up to her, Zoey starts seeing him in a new light. As the attraction turns mutual, she finds it more and more difficult to hide behind her carefully formed walls. And Kellen is finding himself more and more driven to tear those walls down.

My thanks to the author via Netgalley for the free review copy!

Did I like this book?

Eeeeep, um, not as much as I expected to, unfortunately.  I really enjoyed my previous read by Carter Ashby, so I was expecting great things from this title.  I think most of my problems stemmed from Zoey.  Whenever there's an unlikeable heroine involved, an author has to work extra hard to get the reader behind the romance, and in this case, I just wasn't buying into it.  Zoey treated Kellen horribly in the beginning, and even though we become privy to her reasoning and she undergoes some major growth, I still had a hard time warming up to her.  

Kellen is also not the typical male lead you expect to find in a New Adult read.  He is one of those "nice guys", and reading his thoughts made me realize there's a reason for the saying, "Nice guys always finish last."  Kellen is so nice that he tends to be a pushover, and being the people pleaser I am, I did feel an instant connection with him.  The problem was, even though Kellen goes through some major character growth and eventually stands up to Zoey, I still  didn't want him to end up with her.

The other character who didn't sit well with me was Zoe's mom.  I felt that she was just...too much, I guess.  She was so spiteful, selfish, and yucky that again, I wasn't buying it.  Totally over the top!

Will you like this book?

You might.  This might be one of those it's-not-you-it's-me situations, and I'm really hoping that that's the case.

Will I read more by this author?

I have the next book in this series on my TBR and I am looking forward to it.  I think that Zoe and I were just not meant to be, and hopefully I will have an easier time connecting with Maya in "Maya and the Tough Guy".  

My rating:  2.5 stars

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: "Searching for Perfect" by Jennifer Probst


The up-and-coming matchmaking agency Kinnections is the hottest thing to hit Verily, New York—just like Kennedy Ashe, social director for the service she owns with her two best girlfriends. A coach, consultant, and cheerleader rolled into one super-sizzling package, Kennedy creates dream dates, encourages singles to shine, and never refuses a challenge—not even Nate Ellison Raymond Dunkle, rocket scientist, nerd extraordinaire, and Kennedy’s newest client. Kennedy vows to work her magic and transform this hot mess in a lab coat with a disastrous relationship track record into the most wanted man on the Verily dating scene. If only she could turn the wand on herself . . . Though she radiates confidence and sex appeal, Kennedy harbors deep-seated insecurities from a tormented past and lifelong struggle with weight issues. When she realizes she and Nate are cut from the same cloth and might be perfect together, can Kennedy learn to let her heart lead the way? Or will her fears sentence her to the sidelines as Nate finds love—with someone else?
My thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for allowing me to read and review an ARC of this book.

Did I like this book?

I really enjoyed reading "Searching for Someday", the first in this series by Jennifer Probst, so I was eager to get my hands on "Searching for Perfect" when I saw it on Netgalley.  I'm happy to say that Probst has another winner with "Searching for Perfect" - it definitely lived up to my expectations.

Both Kennedy and Nate were interesting, dynamic characters.  I especially loved Nate because his genius and social awkwardness remind me of my son.  His way of looking at the world is truly unique.  And while Kennedy seems like she's got it all together, beneath the surface she's amazingly insecure.  I loved learning more about both these characters and enjoyed watching their individual growth throughout the book.  And as far as the chemistry between them?  Yeah, so fabulous!  I loved every minute of their page time together.

Will you like this book?

If you love contemporary romance and haven't read anything by Jennifer Probst before, then you definitely need to pick up this series. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Will I read more by this author?

I am going to put every book by Probst on my TBR and am especially looking forward to the continuation of this particular series!

My rating:




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: "Meant for You" by Samantha Chase

Book Information
Title: Meant For You
Author: Samantha Chase
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Summary
She dares to dream...
Summer Montgomery wants to be taken seriously almost as much as she wants her brother's best friend, Ethan. But with a long resume of seemingly random career choices and a protective brother on watch, those things are nothing more than pipe dreams...
Does he dare to try?
Ethan Reed would like nothing more than to live by his own rules. Not wanting to disappoint his best friend Zach, or any of the Montgomerys, Ethan's had to push his long-denied feelings for Summer aside. But it only takes one night away from watchful eyes to make impossible dreams come true...
Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Did I like this book?

I was hoping that this book would give me a title to add to my "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" shelf, you know, something light and fun, with some swoons thrown into the mix.  While I did get that to some extent, I ended up quite disappointed overall.

"Meant for You" starts out quickly, with the main couple admitting their attraction quite early on, but the following three quarters of the book seemed to really drag.  Summer and Ethan are okay characters, but the constant back and forth between them drove me near to tears.  It was obvious from the get go that they cared about each other, but the continual hiding of their undefined relationship simply dragged on far too long.

I also really disliked Summer's family.  I think the men of the family are supposed to be these take charge, alpha types, and while I suppose some people will find these types attractive, to me they were much too bossy and domineering.  The way they dictated to Summer really pissed me off!

The setting could have been a real draw for this book, but I don't feel like it was emphasized enough - the potential of the Alaskan wilderness was never realized, with boring conversations at the hospital and hotel overshadowing what could have been some real action and adventure.  I've been to Alaska before, and it's absolutely beautiful, but I never once felt like I was escaping there through reading this book, and that was such a wasted opportunity!

Will you like this book?

I suppose if you're already a fan of this series or author, you might enjoy "Meant For You".  Otherwise, I'd say steer clear.  There are better contemporary romances out there.

Will I read more by this author?

At this point, I'd have to say no.  This particular series revolves around the Montgomery family, and considering I didn't like any of them from the glimpses I caught in this book, I have no desire to go back and read the other titles.  

My rating:

Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: "Before I Go" by Colleen Oakley

A heart-wrenching debut novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You about a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away. Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer three years ago. How can this be happening to her again? On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife. With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?
Thanks to Gallery Books via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Did I like this book?

While this book did raise many questions for me, mostly of the what-would-I-do-in-her-situation variety, I can't help but feel that "Before I Go" didn't live up to its potential.  The writing felt forced to me, with too many overly flowery descriptions, similes and metaphors.  I was sometimes bored, especially by Daisy's focus on the minutiae.  Many times I wanted to shake her and yell, "You're dying of cancer, woman, do you really want to obsess about caulking the GD windows?"  

It was difficult to connect with Daisy, and even more difficult to connect with Jack, seeing as they don't communicate a whole lot.  In fact, Jack spends a big chunk of the book at work, and while he expresses the need to spend time with Daisy, she ends up pushing him away.  It was quite an odd dynamic, and frustrated me to no end.

Will you like this book?

I think if you are expecting something amazing, like an epic romance to outlast the ages, you might be setting the bar too high and will inevitably end up disappointed, like I was.

Will I read more by this author?

Part of my problem with this book was the writing style, so at this point I would have to say I will probably steer clear of other titles by this author.

My rating:





Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: "Twisted" by Lola Smirnova

Back in the 90’s, the corrupt post-Soviet Ukraine with its faltering economy, is thrown into a devastating depression. Times are hard. Opportunities are scarce. Three eager young sisters – Natalia, Lena and Julia - dream of a better life and weigh their options: do they stay and struggle like their parents, or join scores of their compatriots in the sex trade in glittering western European cities, who earn in a night what they’d take several months to earn at home? Naive and tempted by the allure of 'quick' money, the girls set off on an adventure that changes their lives forever... Can they stay out of trouble enough to fulfill their ambitions? Can they hold on to their idealism in a world where depravity and danger are constant companions? How far are they willing to go to make a buck? Inspired by real-life events, Twisted is a fascinating New Adult SUSPENSE THRILLER about vulnerability, courage and the art of making a living in the sex trade...

I received a free copy of this book from Book Publicity Services in exchange for my honest review.
When I was first approached by Book Publicity Services to see if I would be interested in reviewing this book, I was immediately intrigued by the premise.  Not long previously I had attempted and failed to read three other New Adult titles where the MC was either selling her virginity or entering into a mistress situation for money.  In all three cases, I had to abandon the books because the writing was awful and absolutely nothing about them rang even remotely true. With "Twisted", I thought finally I'd be reading an authentic account of prostitution from someone who has been there and knows what they're talking about.  And holy crap, that's exactly what I got!

This book is absolutely not for the faint of heart.  It took me quite a long time to read it because I found I needed to take frequent breaks.  My heart broke over and over again for Julia, and even though "Twisted" is fictional, I can imagine many girls get into situations like Julia did in real life every day.  That is just so scary, but truly eye opening.  I'm glad this book has been written and is available for anyone wanting to read a more realistic portrayal of prostitution.  

I'm not sure whether other readers will appreciate "Twisted", but I really hope they will, as long as they heed the warning on the front cover.  As for me, I am glad I read it, but I'm not sure I have it in me to finish the trilogy.  We'll see, I'm not ruling it out, but for now, "Twisted" will remain an  intense yet unforgettable read for me.

My rating:

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Upside Down" Print Release!!!

Woohoo!  I don't think it's a secret that I'm a huge fan of this series, so I'm super excited to be taking part in this announcement!
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UPSIDE DOWN by Lia Riley (May 12, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; Off the Map #1)
If you never get lost, you'll never be found…Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.

Buy Links:

About the author:
After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.


Social Media Links:

As part of this blitz, I was able to ask the lovely Lia Riley what Talia's favourite songs are!

Talia's Playlist

1) You don't have to be a Scientist to Do Experiments on Your Own Heart--Jeffrey Lewis
2) Gray or Blue--Jaymay
3) Head full of Doubt/Road Full of of Promise--The Avett Brothers
4) Patient Love--Passenger
5) Us--Regina Spektor

Excerpt:

A few meters more, you’re almost there.” 
It’s like we’re at the end of some old-school adventure tale, one where the heroes are stoic even as the blizzard rages, avalanches fall, and death hovers like a benevolent ghost. 

Well, Bran is the hero. 

I’m like one of the minor sidekicks who goes down during some important 
turning point. My death might even inspire the hero on his journey or teach him a valuable lesson. But at this point in the flick, the minor sidekick should be well and truly dead. Not white-knuckling a column of dolerite rock, thighs gripping the stone like it’s the world’s best lover. 

"That’s it, Talia,” Bran’s voice is encouraging. "You’re holding tight, that’s great. Now, I’m going to need you to release your left hand and reach up a few inches to grab the next hold.” 

I grit my teeth. The way he talks, you’d think I’m scaling Everest. Or at least 
Kilimanjaro. Instead— 

’Scuse, us, we’ll be by in a tic. That’s the way, Andy, right around the lady.” 
I’m the lady. Andy is a kid who doesn’t look a day over seven who scrambles past me in a flurry of Spider-Man shoes and gap-toothed smiles. His parents bring up the rear, smiling up at their wild monkey child with obvious pride. And they aren’t the first group to pass me. Five Swedish women, a couple, and a guy who looked to be in his mid-seventies have also shot past me during the course of the last quarter hour. 
The top is so close I can taste it. Bran is being nothing but encouraging, but below me is a twenty-foot drop. Not enough to kill me, unless I fall with some sort of suicidal intent, but enough to make me feel incredibly uneasy about the boulder field. 

Bran eases toward me. "Talia, take my hand.” 

"Can’t let go.” 

"Talia.” 

"No.” This is it; this is the reason. Bran isn’t going to admit it here, while I’m 
bordering on a panic attack on a trail being conquered by elementary school children and senior citizens, but there’s no doubt this is A REASON to lose interest in me. I’m giving him a big capital-lettered reason, but I can’t stop. I physically can’t let go. 

"Talia. Take a deep breath.” 

"Breath taken.” 

"Another.” 

"Okay.” 

"Give me your hand, no bullshit. I want your fingers in mine. You’ll be safe. I’m 
going to keep you safe. I need you to trust me.” 

Somehow I do it. I give him my fingers. He assists me up. We’re doing this 
together. My head clears the boulder and I can see the steel marker that identifies the summit ahead. Holy shit, he’s right. I’m going to reach the top. 

A few more steps, easy now, and we’re there. The kid in the Spider-Man shoes 
munches a Vegemite sandwich. I want to scoop him up in a smooshy squeeze. Except his parents would likely object, so I switch gears to give Bran a long and passionate kiss. 

"I knew you’d get here,” he says. 

"I didn’t.” 

He turns me to see the view, his hands tight around my waist. 

"Your place is here, Captain, in the sun,” he whispers in my ear. "Don’t ever forget that.” 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Blog Tour: "Some Kind of Normal" by Juliana Stone

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am so excited to be a part of this blog tour for "Some Kind of Normal" by Juliana Stone!


Some Kind of Normal 
By Juliana Stone
Sourcebooks Fire
May 5, 2015
Praise for Juliana Stone
“Just what readers need.” –School Library Journal
“A contemporary romance with a conscience…Stone writes it with confidence and style.” –Kirkus
“The classic miscommunication, the emotional pushing and pulling, the ‘will she?’ and ‘won’t he?’ of the destined-to-be-in-love. Readers of Miranda Kenneally, Jenny Han, and Susane Colasanti will enjoy Stone.” –VOYA
“A story of family, first love, and forgiveness. I couldn’t stop reading. I loved it!” –Miranda Kenneally, author of Catching Jordan
Book Info: 
What is normal? For Trevor, normal was playing fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes, and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves him with no band, no teammates, and no chance of graduating. It’s kind of hard to ace your finals when you’ve been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor, those beautiful blue eyes catching every flaw.
For Everly, normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service, and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor’s daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed.
This achingly beautiful story about two damaged teens struggling through pain and loss to redefine who they are, to their family, to themselves, and to each other is sure to melt your heart. 
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Juliana Stone: 

USA Today bestselling author Juliana Stone fell in love with books in the fifth grade when her teacher introduced her to Tom Sawyer. A tomboy at heart, she split her time between baseball, books, and music—three passions that carried over into adulthood. When she’s not singing with her band, she’s thrilled to be writing young adult and adult contemporary romance, and does so from her home in Canada. 
Excerpt from Some Kind of Normal:  
“You got any?” he asked.
“Any what?”
“Tattoos?”
“Me?” I had to laugh at that. Wow. Before last year that would have been grounds for major punishment. Heck, up until my senior year, I hadn’t been allowed to wear lip gloss. Now I wasn’t so sure that my mom would even notice, and since I avoided my dad whenever I could…
“No,” I said, shaking my head. “My skin is untouched.”
His eyes widened a bit, and I felt heat creep up my neck. Great. Now I was blushing again.
“Untouched,” he said with that lopsided smile that made my stomach dip. “I like that.”
“You do?”
“Yep. A clean slate. There’s something almost poetic about that, you know? Tragic too. How many people get a do--over?”
Trevor reached for my hand, and though my first instinct was to snatch it back, his long fingers enveloped mine before I had the chance. He turned my hand over so that my palm faced up and then traced the little blue lines that ran down my wrist.
I can’t lie. It felt weird and good, and my heart took off once more, so fast that I was surprised he couldn’t hear it.
“This is…kind of…like ink,” he said, his words a little slow as if he was thinking hard. “But it’s alive.”
He glanced up again, and all I could do was nod before my eyes dropped to his hand. Mine was still there, small and pale next to his large palm and tanned skin. I saw the thin blue veins that ran down my wrist, the ones that carried blood from my heart, electrifying my cells and feeding my body.
His thumb rested just beneath my pulse, and I swallowed thickly. Crap, he was going to feel how fast it was, and that would be embarrassing.
“Your fingers are rough.” I blushed harder and thought that there was no way I could sound any more like an idiot. Not even if I was trying.
“Yeah,” he answered. “It’s from playing guitar. I practice a lot so my calluses are nice and strong.”
“I used to play piano.”
Wow. Good comeback. I guess it was better than a clarinet or trombone, but really. Dork much?

…Had he always looked this intense?
“What?” he asked. He smiled again and I thought that on a scale of one to ten, his smile was a total eleven. “You’re into the classics. That’s cool. Didn’t picture that.”
“Really. What exactly did you picture?” Shoot. Did I really want to hear this?
“I don’t know. PBS and that Jane Austen?”
Okay. First off, I was impressed that he knew who Jane Austen was, and secondly…heknew who Jane Austen was!
I dropped my eyes, because I was pretty sure that my cheeks were as red as the roses planted just outside the library. Trevor Lewis wasn’t anything like what I thought he’d be. He wasn’t stupid and he wasn’t arrogant. He wasn’t slow or weird.
He seemed pretty normal to me.
You know, for a guy with tattoos and blue hair.



Also by Juliana Stone:
NEW IN PAPERBACK!
Boys Like You
Sourcebooks Fire
Book Info: 
Two Broken souls…one hot summer
Nate Everet’s life was all about acoustic guitar, girls in short shorts, and hot Southern nights.Until the accident.
Monroe Blackwell’s life was full of soccer goals, flirty skirts, and bright city lights. Until the accident.
Now Nate has a best friend who might never wake up, a summer of community service, and enough guilt to drown him. Monroe has a family that’s falling apart, a summer of banishment to her grandma’s, and a choking grief that makes it hard to breathe.
Nate and Monroe are two lost souls struggling with grief and guilt. But together, they have a chance at acceptance and finally finding the forgiveness they crave.
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Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley for the free review copy of this book!
Did I like this book?
While I quite enjoyed the previous Juliana Stone book I read, "Boys Like You", I was surprised to find I liked "Some Kind Of Normal" even more!  I'm not sure what it was about this book that drew me in, it was probably several things, but if I had to put my finger on just one thing, I'd say it was Tyler.  I really fell in love with his character, and I felt that through Stone's writing, I was able to feel and identify everything he was going through with his brain injury and seizures.
Everly was a pretty great character too.  I loved how she was nerdy and shy, but also how deeply she felt for her family. At first I wanted her to just stop agonizing and confront her dad, but I'm glad everything worked out how it did and when it did - the timing was perfect!
And the swoons, sigh.  Yep, Tyler and Everly were just...gah, holy tension!  The buildup between them was fantastic, and I loved every minute of it!
Will you like this book?
Fans of contemporary YA romance will not be disappointed with this title!
Will I read more by this author?
I think this author can only move up, and I can't wait to follow along for the ride!
My rating: