Sunday, May 1, 2016

Waking Amy by Julieann Dove Blitz and Giveaway


Waking Amy
Julieann Dove
(Amy, #1)
Publication date: February 23rd 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Amy Whitfield is blindsided when she comes home and finds a note on the fridge from her husband, Wesley, stating that after four years of marriage, he’s leaving her. Amy was in the midst of trying to spice things up, to bring life back to their boring marriage. It seems now that she was too late.
As Amy sits with her head between her knees, trying to figure out what to do next, a call comes from Mercer General Hospital. The ER nurse is telling Amy’s answering machine that Wesley has been in a car accident.
When Amy arrives at the hospital, she finds her husband in a coma. The doctors say there is no sign of brain damage, and Wesley will eventually wake up. Relieved, Amy sees this as her second chance: the chance to get it right this time. To channel the girl Wesley won’t leave when he regains consciousness… She just needs some help to pull it off. After all, she was voted girl most likely to die a virgin in high school.
Amy would never figure on getting that help from Mark Reilly…Wesley’s doctor! He’s a non-committer, too-cute-for-his-own-good bachelor, and completely the guy Amy begins falling for. It’s a race against time to see who wakes up first—Amy or her husband.
EXCERPT:
Mark put his hand on my leg. My very naked leg. The one the coat failed to cover any longer. “Mrs. Whitfield.”
I jumped a mile off the chair. My pocketbook crashed to the ground, my belongings falling out. My true identity evident in the contents sprawled on the ground. A few empty gum wrappers, a coupon keeper (yellow with a matching rubber band tied around it), a pack of mints, my checkbook, and a brown, worn wallet. Nope, no condoms or fuzzy handcuffs to match my outfit. Thank goodness.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. It’s just that you seemed so uncomfortable. Would you like a recliner brought in for you?” He bent down on the floor next to me, helping me with the contents of my bag. Luckily I had my personal girl items safely zippered in the inside pocket.
“Did I just hit you? When I woke? Please, tell me I didn’t just hit you. Wesley never wakes me up anymore. He says I’m one of those violent people when I’m woken up. For that reason, I have to set my alarm clock extra loud in the mornings.”
“No, you didn’t hit me. You fell asleep, and I woke you. You looked very uncomfortable.”
I sat back on the chair, unaware that my outfit was still advertising my female goods. “Let me get you a recliner and maybe a set of scrubs.”
“Scrubs?” My posture became erect again. “I’m not going into an operating room, am I? I can’t stand to see blood.
I’ll wait here.”
“No, Mrs. Whitfield. It’s just that—” He looked down at my outfit. “I thought you’d be more comfortable in a pair of scrubs.”


Author Bio:
Julieann lives in Virginia, yet longs to live everywhere else. It doesn’t come as a surprise that along with her gypsy soul, comes an active imagination. That’s why she loves to write and invent worlds and people, so that she can formulate their happily ever after. Hobbies include cooking new recipes, sewing, and spending time with her cute boyfriend/husband and five fabulous children. Vacations happen in Nantucket or the Carolina beaches—anywhere there is inspiration for her next book. One day she hopes to travel to Italy, drive one of those little cars around the countryside, and speak the language fluently!

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Ebook Walking Amy
end May 5, 2016 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Viktor by Clarissa Wild Blitz and Giveaway


Viktor
Clarissa Wild
Publication date: April 27th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
*NOTE: This book is NOT Paranormal*
Animal. Monster. Beast. That’s what they call Viktor Melikov, the man who hides in the dark … But even monsters need to be loved. The moment he sees the girl hired to dance for him, everything ceases to exist. It’s a feeling he’s unfamiliar with … and craves more than anything.

Alexis Kidd sells her body. Not because she wants to, but because she needs to. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to support her family and survive.
Now she must dance for a man hiding behind a veil.
But when the urge to take a look grows too strong … Alexis gets more than she bargained for.
More than Viktor was willing to give.
Inspired by a fairytale, VIKTOR is a standalone Romance by New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author Clarissa Wild.
EXCERPT:
Without looking away, I grab the cereal and milk and pour them into my bowl. She takes another bite of her cereal, never taking her eyes off mine as I put the spoon in and taste it.
And then we sit and eat … and stare.
“Okay …” Winston says, and he grabs a newspaper and sits down on a stool in the kitchen and blocks us out while reading.
I don’t care. I’m not talking and neither is she. I’m not going to give her any more excuses to make a run for it, and she’s not telling me what she really thought when she saw me, so …
SMACK!
Something’s stuck to my face.
Sticky … milky … cereal.
And her face. It turns from a full-on frown to full-blown laughter.
She places her hand over her mouth, but it can’t hide her sly smile.
Grinding my teeth, I wipe my face off with a napkin and cock my head at her.
Slowly, I put the spoon back into the bowl, watching her stare as I bring it up to my face.
And then I quickly turn it around and catapult it at her.
It smashes right into her forehead.
I grin as it drips off her, and the smile is wiped off her face immediately.
“Motherfucker,” she growls, and she grabs another spoonful. “Oh, it’s on.”
Suddenly, we’re in an all-out war.
Cereal and milk flies everywhere. Spoons too.
“Hey! Watch it! I just bought new China,” Winston says, putting down his newspaper.
“Eat shit!” Alexis yells, throwing her entire bowl at my face.
I only barely manage to catch the bowl, without its contents … which are now splashed over my chest and the floor.
“Oh, now you’ve done it,” I growl, and I pick up my bowl, stand up, walk toward her … and throw it over the top of her head.
She squeals as the cold milk runs over her body, which only a thin nightgown covers. Her instantly hardening nipples catch my attention. They’re hard to miss, and I swallow back the emerging lust.
“Fuck. You’ll pay for that.”
Her fingers are on my chest before I know it, twisting my nipples.
“Ow! Fuck,” I scream, grabbing her wrists. “No, bad Lexi.”
“Woof,” she says, laughing.
I shake my head, laughing too.
I’m fucking angry she threw her food at me, but it was fucking fun too. I can’t decide which one is more important to feel right now.
But when I look into her eyes, everything ceases to matter.
teaser


Author Bio:
Want to be the first to get your hands on new books & get access to free short stories, giveaway prizes, previews, and more? Sign up here http://eepurl.com/FdY71
Clarissa Wild is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, best known for the dark Romance novel Mr. X. Her novels include the Fierce Series, the Delirious Series, and Stalker. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire's Bet series, and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

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$25 Gift Card & Signed Paperback of VIKTOR & Special VIKTOR inspired earrings
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Sugar & Other Luxuries Tour & Giveaway

  
Title: Sugar & Other Luxuries
By: Everly Scott
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Cover Design: Mayhem Cover Creations
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit
Katherine Humphries wants to find the love of her life. As a recovering perfectionist who hasn’t been on a date in five years, finding love is harder than she thought. Faced with beginning her twenty-sixth year of life insecure and living in Los Angeles where men and women either ignore or insult her curvy existence, Katherine decides to make dating her bitch. She’s not changing her curvy body. She won’t put down the dessert. And she isn’t going to apologize for any of it. Her first night out ends nothing like she’d planned. When a flirty and rugged New Yorker asks for her phone number, Katherine freezes. She’s ready to give up before heartbreak happens. That is, until she meets a polyamorous, fairy-godmother-wanna-be, Hunter. The self proclaimed Queen of Pleasure coaches Katherine on badass, dating etiquette. Hunter’s first rule? Don’t fall in love. The second rule? Perfection doesn’t exist. But when a bet with a sexy and sensitive music teacher changes her perspective on the dating game, Katherine learns that breaking badass rule #1 before loving every inch of herself might spell trouble. On the other hand, breaking rules might be exactly what Katherine needs to discover the true power of a woman’s body, the sugary sweetness of indulgence, and whether saying yes to her dream life against the wishes of advice-slinging friends will lead to heartache or harmony.
Amazon UK - http://goo.gl/0YNGGA
Amazon CA - http://goo.gl/8x4AoU
Chapter One
I spent the first half of my twenties accusing myself of being a feminist fraud for wanting a boyfriend who thought I was perfect. I had been a good girl, a maniacal, career-focused, intellectually stimulated woman who leaned-in, took a seat at the table, and made my voice so heard I had become hoarse. But none of that seemed to matter in the Los Angeles dating world. Looking for love had led me into the defined biceps of guys who thought I might turn into an acceptable companion if, and only if I changed something about myself. If I lost fifteen pounds. If I didn’t say “fuck” so much. If I made more money. Less money. Had a smaller nose. Didn’t always want to eat pasta. If I didn’t have a belly. At some point between learning how to flirt in high school chemistry class and stumbling furiously toward the eve of my twenty-sixth birthday, I had given up. Stopped dating completely. Packed away the dresses, heels, and the innuendo. Vowed to focus on myself. Sharing a chocolate chip cookie sundae with a guy who wouldn’t be afraid to caress an arm, thigh, or hip bigger than a size two, five, or eight only happened in my imagination. A male sundae-lover definitely didn’t exist in a Los Angeles gym. I went to the gym once. My childhood best frenemy, Jenna, convinced me that the gym helped women burn energy, melt fat, and meet men. The entire experience mirrored meditation, she’d told me. “Don’t complain about being fat. Complain about things you can’t change.” I went alone, without telling her that I had decided to test out her theory. Bad idea. With my phone, tiny polka dotted towel, and headphones in hand, I entered the world of adult, organized, physical activity. It smelled like stale water. I flashed my electronic guest pass at the laser scanner, kept my focus towards the back of the big square room, and moved quickly past the cardio machines, knowing that if I tried to run or elliptical or spin bike myself, I’d be exposing my newbie status. A tsunami of terror hit me, hard. I had no idea what to do in a place like this. I quickly looked for a place to fit in, a place to disguise myself. A group of women crowded around one weight machine like it was a pan of brownies and they had PMS. It seemed like the magic potion. It was the Miss Universe of the gym, and if they had to have it, so did I. Jenna’s directions echoed in my mind. “Stretch first. You don’t want to pull a muscle. Touch your toes or something.” So I leaned against the wall and touched my toes. Except touching my toes was more like leaning my elbows against my bent, trembling knees. I bent over a little farther, and the back of my thighs burned. A couple of bones crackled, but I had a good view of the magical machine. “Totally worth it,” I whispered to myself, rubbing my hamstrings. A woman in a full face of makeup, with boob-length blonde hair taught me how to use the contraption without knowing it. I continued touching my knees. Step 1: adjust the weight on the machine. Step 2: pull the level that makes the thigh pads fly apart. Step 3: sit down. Step 4: clench thighs together. Step 5: Repeat. A lot. It seemed easy enough. The blonde sitting on the machine made it look like thigh clenching was a way of life. Real women learn to walk, talk, read, and thigh clench. So when she was done, and the crowd of women had busied themselves with other gym work like butt extenders, and arm pumpers, I approached my machine like we had an intimate relationship. “Looking good,” I said, patting the seat. I adjusted my weight and assumed my clenching capacity would be 50 pounds. I didn’t want to look like a complete wimp. I pulled the lever, sat down, and tried to squeeze my thighs together. Nothing moved. The more I tried to pull my knees toward each other the more everything stayed in place. At that moment, I understood why the weight lifting men grunted. I closed my eyes and pressed my knees against the pads. A grumble vibrated inside of my stomach. Roar like you’re a queen. Queen of the fucking jungle, I thought. My best attempt at roaring resulted in a throat clearing sound, a thankfully silent fart, and yet again, a complete lack of movement. I lowered the weight down to twenty-five pounds and did two of rapid squeezes. The weights slammed together, alerting everyone within ten feet of me that I worked hard. I pumped iron. Made my body fat cry. A woman with a bright orange towel draped around her neck walked back and forth in front of me. Sighing and pacing. Her orange shoes squeaked each time she spun to walk in the opposite direction. She was hunting me. Staring. My knees hovered in mid-thrust, incapable of meeting in the center, already too shocked by this new range of motion. Orange bang and I had been subjected to watching my shameful attempts at exercise long enough. My inner thighs tingled, and damp sweat bubbled under my butt. I would sacrifice my time on the clencher before Orange Bang threw me to the floor in an exercise-induced rage. I rubbed my inner thighs before getting up. “She’s all yours,” I said. Orange Bang looked at me, her head now between her legs because she could actually touch her toes, and mouthed thanks. She wiped down the seat before she took her turn. I stood in the middle of the gym, scanning to find my next work out option. A thick film of steam covered the floor to ceiling windows of the gym. Bathroom mirrors after a hot shower had nothing on these shining beauties. Men were everywhere. And only one of them had a belly that hung over his shorts. He was diligently at work, doing squats all the way across the length of the gym floor. Squat. Step. Squat. Step. I was relatively inexperienced when it came to exercise protocol and gym etiquette, but I was pretty sure squats could be done in one location. A trainer, dressed in the gym’s collared uniform shirt, stood in the corner scribbling on a clipboard. The squatter smiled through open teeth, and kept his eyes glued to the clipboard – his finish line. A man, who could have been a football player, or model, or a professional Hulk impersonator, fumbled with the weight control on a machine that looked like a horse and carriage. Right next to me. He set his desired weight, somewhere way at the bottom of the weight stack, and then jumped into the empty space fit for a human’s body – the horse section of the horse and carriage. He rested in a squatting position, his legs bent at an awkward angle. It already looked painful to me, and he hadn’t moved yet. He placed the handles on his shoulders, and unbent his knees, until they were completely straight. He let out a guttural sound that, to me, suggest he tore something. I squinted, but couldn’t look away. He pressed his chin into his chest, took a deep breath, and bent down again. This was it. My next victim. It seemed simple enough, as long as I stuck with what I had found to be my twenty-five pound limit. The man, finished with his grunting and growling, stepped out of the machine, and looked my way. “You next?” he asked, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “Yeah. I do these all the time,” I said, not moving from my spot in-between the thigh clencher and the horse and carriage. “I’ve got a couple sets left. Let’s rotate.” He patted the machine, raised his eyebrows, and then poured water into his mouth from a water bottle he held a foot away from his face. I had no idea what he was talking about. Rotating sets sounded more like baking cakes than exercising. Instead of being clueless and admitting it, I was clueless and nodding. “Yep,” I said. “Rotations.” I cracked my fingers on my right hand one by one. I assumed he would simply move on to the bigger and better things this place had to offer, maybe returning to the horse and carriage when he was done with a different machine. Pulling the levers down to rest on my shoulders turned out to be impossible. I leaned against the back of the machine looking for switches or hooks or buttons that would make it do what I’d seen happen for the Hulk a few seconds ago. I refused to read the instructions. No one at the gym read the instructions on anything since I got there, and I wasn’t going to be the first one. You are a lion, I thought. A lion goddess. Jenna will be jealous because you will look like a fucking lion goddess. And then I roared at myself. Out loud. While the levers of the machine were still in the air and I, stood there, obviously not lifting weights. “Get off for a second. I’ll adjust it for you,” the hulky-man said. And then he laughed softly. My face felt like it had caught on fire. I had been discovered. “Why are you still here?” My undercover mission was prematurely aborted. I got off the machine. “You didn’t happen to hear any roaring, did you? Cause, if you did, I think it was that lady over there with the orange towel.” He shook his head. “If you did these all the time,” he said, “you’d probably know that you gotta pull this handle back here. It raises the height and loosens the shoulder rest.” He rattled the metal, pulled what had to be fifteen different handles, and slapped the machine. “We’ll just have to adjust it again when it’s my turn.” “Thanks,” I said. I needed to make a quick recovery if I was going to survive this encounter with any dignity. “I meant, I come here a lot, but I never use this machine,” I said. He dropped the weight from twenty-five to ten. I adjusted the underwire in my sports bra. “You know, if you want to lose weight quickly you have to focus on your diet more than exercise,” he said, as if he were talking through me. I got off the machine, made some excuse about having to use the bathroom, and walked to the water fountain near the entrance. We were separated by half a wall, a couple of mirrored pillars, and hundreds of sweaty people, but what he said felt like it lodged itself in between my ribs. Jenna had been so wrong. No one designated wanna-be Hulk as the king of the gym universe. He didn’t know if I was there to lose weight. He didn’t know what I ate on a regular basis, if I was actually healthy or not. He didn’t know anything about me, and yet, out of his mouth came an ice cold dagger. But neither the Hulk or Jenna could know that the gym had gotten under my skin. So I stuck around. I played with a strange arm contraption, choked back tears of embarrassment, waved some free weights in the air, and accidentally hit the max speed button on my archenemy the treadmill before I ran out of the gym basically screaming. When I came home sticky and red skinned, I looked in my own mirror for an entire hour. Sat and stared. It seemed like I had grown larger than I was when I left for the gym. I removed my faded white shirt and saw rolls of flesh that had in no way been taught a lesson by an ab-ripper. Without the support of my sports bra, my breasts were sagging and young, a complexity I still can’t understand. And under my yoga pants there were seas and valleys, mountains, craters, and hills that were either created by nearly twenty-six years of a delicious diet, or a poor genetic makeup. I sat for the entire hour, inspecting my body, centimeter by centimeter, wondering how anyone could unveil me, explore me, and touch me without seeing this history of a rebellious body. At the end of the hour, I was naked and alone and unchanged. I texted Jenna. Me 7:05 PM: Liar! Meditation does not exist at the gym. There are no magical fixes. I have boobs and thighs and arm bulges and cheeks and I hated the entire experience. Keeping my body the same. Thanks. Jenna 7:10 PM: Hahaha, you actually went? Okay chubs. If you say so. I knew my best frenemy was an asshole, but the longer I sat in front of the mirror, the more I solidified my belief that someone out there could love a stomach that wasn’t the countertop, washboard, six pack, bikini ready bombshell type. Jenna had to be wrong. Somewhere, there’s a single guy who would love a woman even though she despised the gym. He would probably have three sisters and would adore his mother. He might eat large portions of healthy lettuce wraps and protein shakes when in public, but at home would nurture gnocchi in pesto creams, butter sauces, and b├ęchamel toppings. He’d indulge in garlic breads and steaks and brownies and ice cream cakes. When entertaining a lady, he would not stare at her disapprovingly if she went back to the kitchen for a second taste. And he certainly would not recommend that she accompany him on his next trip to the gym. I wasn’t so desperate for designated exercise time that I was willing to justify paying hundreds of dollars a month to attend the sweatiest, most judgmental place on earth at four in the morning on a Thursday. I didn’t want to go running at four in the morning on a Thursday either. And doing crunches to an online workout video wasn’t my idea of an enthralling way to spend a Friday night. I wouldn’t have wasted a Monday night on that. I’d rather paint, or browse make up blogs, or learn how to play an instrument. Anything other than the gym, honestly. I hoped that I could find a man willing love the naked woman sprawled exhausted and overwhelmingly bootylicious on the floor of her bedroom. I had only encountered the opposite of him. Then again, I didn’t bother to spend time in many different places – I went to my makeup studio, I went to the mall, to the bank, to buy groceries, the park– but surely the most enticing and rare of the male species must have gone to places like these too. If he did, he must have been hiding from me. I was absolutely against the online dating world – if not for any larger reason than that upon meeting my initially two-dimensional friend, he might have found that my picture didn’t accurately portray who I was in person. Maybe he would expect my body to be similar to a nutritionist or a gymnast instead of a hardcore foodie or a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur. I was always in the mood for a good, thin crust, fresh mozzarella covered pizza. Anyway, the body-type mix up was possible despite video chatting and selfie-sending. Honestly, no one ever looks like themselves on Skype. And so, on the eve of my twenty-sixth birthday, in a gym induced state of fatigue, I threw both middle fingers in the air. Fuck Jenna, Orange Bang, the Hulk, and the gym. “Victory,” I screamed. I stood in front of the mirror, middle fingers still up, swaying, spinning, and posing for no one but myself. After many years of contemplation and in the face of all the things that men and women might have considered my cosmetic deal breakers, I decided to find new public places to spend some time, places that embraced bodies like mine. A place where I could find my person. My tribe. I committed to participating in a new social activity every weekend, even if I was uncomfortable or terrified. Promised myself I would stay for at least an hour. Pinky swore I would talk to or maybe even flirt with at least one guy during that time. One place, one hour, and a couple of weekends to find the love of my life. Or maybe to find a couple of men who showed potential. At least, that was the plan.
Chapter Two
I walked into the cooking class alone on the first Saturday evening in February. My twenty-sixth birthday. The day I had casually titled Find My Soul Mate Date. It was raining outside, a cruel and unusual punishment for Angelenos. The windows of the corner restaurant speckled with condensation. A sign informed the public that the restaurant was closed for a private event, but it was written on a chalkboard positioned inside the closed door. Helpful, right? As I got farther into the room, the door behind me opened and closed, and hungry groups of people hummed and grumbled while retreating back into the damp night. I brushed past empty tables for two or four, and targeted the ten people already in the back of the restaurant, not including the chef who wore a floppy, white hat covering the very top of what could only be a charmingly bald head. I wondered how many people in the group already knew each other before that night. It definitely crossed my mind that all ten of them came in a huge party bus, and that I would be the intruder, the odd woman out, the one oblivious goldfish in a pond of stunning family of koi. Initially, I thought a cooking class would be a perfect event to find a man who appreciated a curvy body. But as I pried each foot off of the ground and then forced one in front of the other, I saw that of the ten people, only two males were present. One of them attached his pinky to the brightly polished pinky of a woman in a short black dress. Taken. Under no circumstances should a woman attempt to attract a man who obviously operates under the spell of another woman. Even I knew doing that brings bad dating karma. So I immediately diverted my attention to the other male. He was surrounded by a group of three women, and none of them looked particularly attached to him. I was interested, and terribly sweaty. I made it my mission to sneak into a conversation with the only seemingly single man in the room. With about ten minutes until eight, we had time to mingle. The ten people were standing in subgroups of six and four, and I turned slightly to the right to angle myself at the single man. The more I focused, the more clammy my palms got. There was no ring on his left hand, and he had very nice facial hair - the kind that required special grooming tools and more time to perfect than the amount traditionally expected for a man to spend. I approved. When I was about five feet away, I made eye contact with the woman standing next to the single man. I smiled. The extra fat on my stomach wiggled up and down with each bang of my heel against the floor. Looser clothes were on the list of necessary items for my next night out. While draping my coat over my right arm and sliding it in front of my stomach, I continued smiling. Looking friendly had to give off good vibrations. Standing just slightly outside of the circle their bodies had formed, I leaned forward, glancing at each person’s face. “Hello,” I said, which sounded way too professional and not at all fun. Who ruins saying hi? I waved, hoping it would lighten up my manly hello. Sweat formed in my armpits, lubricating my skin in the most unpleasant way. I made sure that my hand was the only part of my arm that moved. “I’m Katherine,” I said through a forced smile. The woman standing next to the single man grabbed the hand I waved with and shook it. My arm flailed wildly as she pulled it up and down. Mission accomplished. Sweat droplets fell from my armpit and slid down the side of my torso, settling somewhere near my belly button. Pull yourself together. You’re not meeting the fucking President. “My name is Mindy, and this is my brother Zander,” the woman said as she pointed to the single man. All signs pointed to Zander’s potential. He had a sister, and she was friendly. Progress. I moved to shake Zander’s hand and I made a quick but complete once over. Brown eyes. Trimmed mustache. Crooked bottom teeth. Tousled black hair. Tight green shirt. Black suit jacket. Dark jeans. Converse. Maybe twenty-eight. Skinnier than the average guy. Cute. “Nice to meet you,” he said. It looked like he was winking but I didn’t know for sure so I acted like he wasn’t and decided that I needed to say something interesting to Zander. That was my self-imposed requirement before meeting the other two people in the circle. “So what brings you here on a Saturday night?” I said and then immediately regretted. It didn’t get any cheesier than that. No, the first thing out of my mouth was even worse than cheesy, it was strangely forward. Not even cute-forward. Just bizarre. No one says that tired line except cougars who know they sound like an extra from a one season sitcom. I continued picking myself apart for asking that question while Zander made conversation. “My sister loves cooking. I live on the east coast so we don’t get to spend much time together. While I’m visiting I try to hang out as much as possible. Quality time, you know?” He grinned. His sister was chatting furiously with the other two women from the original group of four. I told myself to go for it. It. Zander. Flirting for the first time in five years. Because I had already been cheesy and strange, so I thought the night had to be up from here. “And,” he hesitated a little, leaning forward, “I don’t ever turn down good food.” He smiled a one-sided grin. And we have a winner, everybody! That was all I needed him to say. Before I had the chance to convince myself that I totally wasn’t Zander’s type I was blurting out things like, “I could show you around sometime,” and “Maybe I could take you to see the Hollywood sign?” Determination goes a long way, I guess. He stared straight at me as stupid words fell out of my mouth. I stood there squeezing my arms into my sides, feeling shocked at my ability to be bold, and worrying that in about two seconds I’d be shot down. I wasn’t worried because I’d be getting shot down from Zander in particular, but because I didn’t want to be shot down at all. No one likes to be told they suck. The possibility of rejection, of someone saying right to my face that they didn’t want to get to know me, or even have a one night stand with me (not that a one-nighter was the goal, even though hell, it might be nice) was enough to make me run straight out into the rain and down the street to the closest gym. Really, any kind of rejection, even a remotely polite one, might as well scream “You’re not good enough,” or “You don’t look like that girl on T.V. and you probably eat a lot so taking you out to dinner would be too expensive.” I worried that if someone told me that I might want to change myself. I resisted the sudden urge to bat my eyelashes and flip my hair because I wanted this guy to like me for me and not for whatever horrible impression of a runway model I could come up with on a fifty-four degree winter night in the back of an empty restaurant on Pico Boulevard. “That’s nice, really. But, no need to show me around,” he says confidently. I knew it was coming. There was no chance that we had made a connection in the first place. I should have walked right back out into the rain when I saw there were only two guys here. I could have pretended I was a hungry customer turned away by the chalkboard announcement. I wanted to break eye contact with him but he smiled and then I couldn’t look away. “I’m from here originally. Born and raised. I work in New York now, but I’ll always be a California boy at heart. Actually, I could probably show you a thing or two about L.A.,” he says. He nudged my arm and walked over to his sister who had joined the pinky partners’ group. I touched the spot on my arm where his elbow brushed my skin. I had become a giddy teenager in less than ten minutes. “Everyone find your kitchen companion,” the man with the chef hat said. “It’s going to be a delicious night.” He walked around to the front of the kitchen where his counter top was, and explained in a thick Italian accent that the class would be making Fettuccini Alfredo. “Pasta and sauce from scratch,” he said, “because that is the only way.” After everyone was paired up, Zander with his sister of course, myself and the second half of the pinky partners were the only two people standing alone. Her male companion found himself partnered with a woman with giraffe legs. He drooled and stood there staring, right at eye level with her breasts. I looked at him, and then back at the woman he came with. I sighed. “Men,” I said under my breath. The kitchen assistant dropped a ball of dough on my work stand, slapping the dough once on its puffy top before she moved to the next pair of amateur cooks. My partner’s name was Hunter and the pinky partner was her husband. She told me they have an open relationship, and patience is not in his nature. It was going to be a long night. We began rolling out our own sections of pre-kneaded dough just like the chef instructed. “So,” Hunter said, moving her rolling pin in short bursts, “Anyone special in your life? A lover, I mean, not a best friend or a sassy grandma or anything.” Her eyes fixed on me, expectant. I told her I didn’t, and that I was in the market for a six-foot-two businessman who had a thing for bigger women. “Oh please. You’re not a bigger woman,” she said, almost too quickly in my opinion. I laughed it off and put more pressure on the rolling pin. “Honestly Hunter,” I said, putting too much upper arm strength into the task, “you and I both know that out here anything bigger than a size 5 is a bigger woman these days.” Holes began to peek through my dough, which looked more like lace than like pasta. Hunter rolled her eyes. “It’s true,” I continued. “ They call size eights plus sized models, and if any woman dares to call herself curvy but has a little extra stomach, then she’s not the hot kind of curvy she’s just fat.” “Honey,” Hunter said, throwing a flour-covered hand in the air. “A little confidence goes a long way.” “Do you know how long it took me to get into this dress?” I asked. “Same amount of time it took me to get into this thing,” Hunter said, pushing her breasts together with her arms. “Impossible,” I replied. “I’m a 10, the dress says it’s a 10, but it wanted to act like a 5 tonight,” I said, pulling the dress down at my thighs. Smudges of flour polka-dotted along the hemline. “My dress has multiple personalities.” Hunter shook her head. “Poor thing,” she said while laughing. “All the best ones do.” The chef spun around quickly in our direction. “All the best what?” he asked. He peered down his nose at our workstation, and held my dough up for the class to see. It hung in the air; the weight of the mass opened the holes up even more. “Attention class! This dough here, is not the best. Don’t. Do. This.” I could have sworn it wasn’t that bad stretched out on the counter. Even though there were only ten other people there, my face went red as he explained that my lack of technique resulted in a poor product. “Stop all the talking. You are not focused,” he added. I glanced around the room to gauge everyone’s reaction to the chef’s tirade and there he was. Zander. He looked at me and mouthed the words: I like it. He shrugged his shoulders. I felt sweat seep from the pores in my hands. The rolling pin slid easily against my palms. The chef handed my dough back to me, and I crumpled it up to start over. The chef shook his head. “You are not a natural. It will take more work,” he said. Zander watched and laughed silently. With my crusty ball of dough in hand, I swung it through the air in a halfhearted attempt to hurl it at Zander’s head. I quickly slapped it back onto the counter, and blew him a small kiss. Zander held up his flattened dough and swirled it in the air like a pizza. “The biggest and most important rule of my kitchen, this kitchen, or any kitchen is: do not play with the food,” the chef said as he wandered over to Zander’s station. He said something directly to him that I couldn’t hear. I was staring long and intently enough that I should have been able to read their lips, but I couldn’t. The chef walked away and Zander whispered in his sister’s ear. In that instant I was already jealous of their relationship. If he were that interested in me, wouldn’t he have looked at me first? After all, we were having an across the room food fight when he got busted. His attention should have been directed at the last person of contact before the interruption. And there I went. My imagination exploded in a fury of fake memory montages: my first date with Zander, quickies before work, meeting the family, Thanksgiving dinners. We had absolutely no relationship and I was already acting like we had to decide which set of parents to visit on Christmas. If Zander would have shown up here alone like me, maybe then we could have been partners. Maybe I could have practiced this flirting thing without adding in the complications of jealousy. I was still watching him when Hunter began to tell me about how she and her husband met. She mentioned something about Palm Springs in the summer time and a business trip to get away from his ex-wife who was adamantly against the open relationship lifestyle. But when Zander’s eyes met mine and I had absolutely no idea what Hunter was talking about anymore. He winked. I was sure of it. “After going through all of that,” Hunter said, “I knew for sure he was supposed to be my husband. If we could get through something like that and still be in love. And I mean he really supported me through it all, then I could explore a non-traditional relationship for him.” “Definitely,” I said, pretending to be completely up to speed with the conversation. “Who knew I would love it so much?” Hunter burst into laughter. “Well, honey that’s life.” I nodded, the other half of my consciousness sill across the room lost in whatever Zander was doing with his hands. My hands had given up on rolling my useless crumbly ball of dough into anything edible. So Hunter made the fettuccini. I asked Hunter if she thinks she has found true love. She handed me a hand held pasta cutter and a sheet of dough. “Do that.” She pointed to the screen at the back of the class, magnifying the intricate work of the chef. Hunter slipped her section of dough through the slicing machine as she looked at me and asked, “is dough only pasta after you cut it?” “Not sure,” I said. Hunter raised her eyebrows, and plopped the long noodle into a pot of boiling water. “So you’re the type who likes to speak in riddles?” I asked. “A little bit.” We dropped the fettuccini into boiling, salted water, and the chef taught everyone how to make Alfredo sauce with butter, Parmesan cheese, and a little heavy cream. “No garlic or onion or any extra seasoning. Not authentic,” he said. I let Hunter do most of the work. My job was to stir. Wooden spoon in my hand, I stirred and stirred to meld the ingredients into one united sauce, and to keep it from burning. My hand sweat made the spoon slide around in my grasp. The damp hands could have been a result of nerves or a product of the sauce’s tiny sauna. Both were equally possible. I stirred while I looked at the back of Zander’s head wondering if he was too handsome. I wondered if he lived too far away, or was too skinny, or too rich, or too smart to be interested in someone like me. I consoled myself with the idea that he could simply be a nice guy. The nice guy who said nice things to the sort of chubby girl who came to the cooking class alone. I laid the spoon handle against the side of the pan and then wiped my palm against my shirt. “I’m sorry if I’m being too intrusive,” I said to Hunter, who still hadn’t told me the status of her belief in one true loves. “I thought we were sharing stories.” “I haven’t heard very much about your story yet.” “Well,” today’s my birthday-“ “And you’re by yourself?” She looked surprised. “That’s usually a thirty-something thing to do.” “How do you know I’m not thirty-something?” “Honey, because I’m thirty-something. You’re still a baby.” “I’m twenty-six today, thank you.” “Exactly.” “I’m twenty-six today, and I’m-” I lowered my voice. “I’m trying to meet people, kind of the old fashioned way. I felt like I needed to do it on my own. Be responsible for my own happy ending.” I tapped the top of the sauce with my spoon. “So here I am.” Hunter directed her attention to Zander, and then back to me. Then she did it a couple more times, raising her eyebrows the whole time. Hunter asked if I was interested in the guy with the black suit jacket. “You know, the guy who likes to play with his food,” she said. “I know you want to go talk to him. In my opinion, he’s a little immature for you, but if that’s what you like…” I stirred the sauce again, my eyes fixed on the pot. “Oh come on, you’ve been staring at him the entire time. I thought you were going to slip your fingers into the pasta machine.” The pasta machine was highly frowned upon by the chef, but was there in case anyone was inadequate with slicing by hand. “Practice. Practice. Practice.” The chef clapped after every pause. He stopped to hover over every station, inspecting the sauce’s aroma. An intense heat flooded my cheeks and I wondered if I had in fact been that obvious. “Look, Zander seems alright but I think I’ve embarrassed myself enough for one night,” I said. “I just want to eat this pasta and head home.” The chef stopped at our station, adjusted his hat, and yelled with a wide-open mouth. “Practice!” He clapped twice. Hunter dropped the freshly drained fettuccini into the alfredo sauce and inhaled deeply. “Sweetie, don’t be sorry when that cutie walks right out of here and you never see him again. Mine likes to be curious and all,” she said, gesturing to her husband who was chatting with the giraffe girl and not even attempting to learn about making fettuccini alfredo, “but I know who means the most to him.” She smiled and dropped fresh pasta into boiling water “True love?” I asked. “Our own kind of true love.” At the end of the class everyone was sitting around eating fettuccini with slices of bread and drops of olive oil and the scent of Italy rising from the pots seated on multiple stoves. I shoved my elbow into Hunter’s side when I saw that Zander was walking over to our station. “Oh my God,” I said as I shoved a forkful of pasta into my mouth. “Swallow that pasta! You don’t want to look like a pig, do you?” She giggled after asking and I assumed it was to take away the sting of calling me a pig. “Asshole,” I muttered to her. She ignored me. I swirled the fettuccini around my fork and asked Hunter if she thought it was pasta or dough now. “Both.” She shrugged and I swallowed. I shoveled in another bite hoping I would still be chewing when he reached our station. He started talking before he made it all the way to where I was sitting. “How’d yours come out? Mine was a little dry,” he said, attempting to replicate the chef’s accent. All I could manage with my mouth fully occupied by creamy starch and cheese was a clumsy head nod. “I take it that nod means your food was molto magnifico,” he said with some kind of waving hand gesture. “Your horrible job on the rolling must have been the secret.” “Did you have too much wine or do you always speak in tiny spurts of Italian?” I asked. Hunter butt-bumped me from her spot at the counter, and then cleared her throat. I took another bite of the fettuccini, a little smaller this time, hoping that having something to do with my mouth would excuse any moment of silence in case the small talk grew stale. As I looked up from my plate, I noticed Zander’s eyes weren’t focused on my face. He wasn’t even staring at my chest like I expected. His eyes were glaring at the area directly underneath my chest, and I couldn’t be sure what his conclusion about that area was. I had a feeling it could be something like: This girl should really stop with the forklift of cheese and cream ‘cause I can see right where it’s headed, and it’s not pretty. I stood up immediately to help disguise the bounding rolls. I smiled and took another bite. Bigger this time. “My sister and I are leaving now, but I thought maybe I could get your number,” he hesitated, for what I could only explain as an attempt to read my reaction. “In case I forget something about L.A. and need a tour guide or something.” He smiled and his eyes traveled from my face back down to my stomach, and all the way to my feet. I didn’t know if he was intrigued or appalled. “I think its sweet that you’re asking, really, but you really don’t have to do that,” I said. I put my plate down and wondered if his sister put him up to this. She probably said, “Zander, that poor girl looks so lonely. And I can tell she likes you. She could have a fun time with a successful, attractive guy for once. Show her a good time and then go back to New York. No harm done.” I could just imagine it happening. If I could read lips I probably would have recognized the exact moment it happened too. “Don’t have to do what?” Zander asked as he fumbled with his cell phone. I pressed my tongue into the corner of my lips and wished I was still chewing so I could buy myself some time to respond without having to tell him the ugly truth. I couldn’t tell him that I was too afraid to give him my number because if he never called all of my fears would be staring me in my big, hope-filled face. I couldn’t tell him that I didn’t want him to call out of pity, or because he just wanted a girl he wasn’t attracted to for a friend so that the relationship would never get messy and complicated. I must have stood there thinking for too long because he shifted his weight to his left side and asked, “So do you have a boyfriend or are you just not interested after all?” His gaze stayed on my face this time. All at once I could see my heart breaking before it happened. If we actually started a relationship his friends would ask him when he started being into bigger chicks. They’d tell him he could do better. His mother would disapprove. His sister would tell him she didn’t mean for us to actually date, she just wanted us to have a little fun. He would go back to New York and would decide that he’s too nice of a guy to dump me. So we would have a long distance relationship, and then he would run into a model on her way to a photo shoot. He would cheat on me and they would fall in real love. And it would all be because I was never meant to be with someone that far out of my league anyway. “Its none of that Zander. I actually have to go. It’s getting so late. Great job on the dough though!” I turned around, grabbed my coat and my plate of pasta, and ran out of the kitchen and into the cold, sprinkling night.
Everly Scott loves Italian food, yummy candles, and love stories. She recently made the switch from teaching college writing to hogging all of the writing time for herself. But, when she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out on Twitter, Instagram, and her website, or learning how to powerlift, kind of. Eventually. 10 Random Facts About Me: 1. I am the proud owner of Bachelors Degrees in Honors English Literature and Creative Writing and an MFA in Writing. 2. Sunny (and dehydrated) Los Angeles has been my home base since birth. I’ve never lived anywhere else. 3. I love dogs, especially my own fuzzy Shih Tzu baby, but I am not the biggest fan of dog beaches. 4. I am utterly in love with my high school sweetheart. Not in a creepy, still crushing on him kind of way, but in a we-are-married-and-more-in-love-than-ever kind of way. 5. I may or may not be addicted to pasta. 6. I also may or may not be addicted to Dateline, 20/20, and Investigation Discovery. Don’t judge me. 7. Beyonce is #lifegoals. 8. I used to sing. A lot. In choirs, at weddings, and funerals, and football games. And in the shower. Actually, I still sing. Mostly in the shower. 9. When I was a kid I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then I realized I was allergic to cats, hated science and really sucked at math. Dreams crushed. 10. Tattoos. I love them. I have three, and if I could be covered from head to toe in beautiful art, I would! Okay, maybe not head to toe. Maybe just from collar bone to toe.
Social Media Links
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Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Darker Shade of Sorcery by William Collins (The Realmers, #1)

A Darker Shade of Sorcery
by William Collins

My rating: 4 stars

Series - The Realmers - Book 1
Publication Date: January 1, 2016
Publisher: William Collins
Genre: Fantasy | Ages 9 & up
Print Length: 371 pages
Available from: Amazon

 
The lonely and grieving Evan Umbra is the newest Venator to enter Veneseron, the school for demon hunters.

A Venator is a wizard, a spy and a demon hunter rolled into one. They’re taught how to wield their sorcery and enchanted weaponry by orcs, elfpires and aliens alike.
Their missions range from battling monsters and saving countless lives in the multiple worlds, to the more peculiar, like wrangling killer unicorns and calming down drunken yetis.
In their free time Venators enjoy goblin soap-opera’s and underwater bubble travel, but they also understand that every new mission they’re given could be their last.
Whilst learning how to manipulate the elements, summon creatures to fight for him and shoot Spellzookas, Evan encounters a dangerous rival and meets a girl who makes him feel nauseous; but in a good way. He makes the first friends he’s ever had in the carefree Jed and the reckless Brooke. Whilst Jed gets on the wrong side of a rival Venator, Brooke finds herself falling for the enigmatic demon hunter who brought her to Veneseron, not knowing he isn't quite human. But it soon becomes apparent that Evan is more than just a Venator. Everyone wants to kill or capture him, from demons to Dark-Venators and even people he’s supposed to be able to trust.

Evan reckons he probably won’t survive his first year at Veneseron.  


 
A Darker Shade of Sorcery by William Collins
(The Realmers, #1)

Do you remember your first day at a new school? Will the kids like you, will they be smarter than you, will you find new friends? Evan has been selected to enter Veneseron, the school for demon hunters. Not just anyone can go there, one must have what it takes to become a Venator, a demon hunting, secret spy, wizard who can be trained to use enchanted weapons to protect all of the worlds from dark and evil danger. Welcome to the magical world of A Darker Shade of Sorcery by William Collins, where life is filled with unknown dangers, hidden secrets, unusual creatures and crazy-mad feats of sorcery! While it may sound fun to live in a place where you can conjure up just about anything, it is also a world where young warriors are trained and every mission they go on could be their last.

Evan has a painful past, but finds the camaraderie of other students a balm to his pain. Bonds are formed, individual strengths are discovered and even a young romance or two are formed. Someone is gunning for the Venators and they are on a mission to succeed, at any cost. When Evan finds himself locked in a battle of magic with a disturbed young Venator, he discovers the truth of his parentage and that he could be the destruction of all those he loves. How can he ask his friends to risk their lives for him?

William Collins creates a world full of magical creatures, fierce battles and a place where trust becomes a commodity whose value will fluxuate one mistake at a time. Fast action follows great details with characters that feel like the teens we see every day. Don’t be surprised by the twists and turns, sit back and hang on tight as the Venators’ world comes crumbling down around them and their meddle will be tested to the limits when evil comes to claim what is theirs. Give a child a fantasy world and watch as their eyes light up when they become part of the story, magic and all.

I received this copy from William Collins in exchange for my honest review.

How To Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser (The Witch`s Handbook #1)

How To Date Dead Guys
by Ann M. Noser

My rating: 4 stars

Series: Under the Blood Moon - Book 1
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press (July 14, 2014)
Publication Date: July 14, 2014
Genre: NA Fantasy
Print Length: 304 pages
Available from: Amazon
 
College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts.” But when cute Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.

Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn’t the only one…

Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a young man determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.

Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will appeal to the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

***Note: classified as New Adult due to the college-aged main character, but material is appropriate for those in 10th grade and up.***

  
How To Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser
(The Witch`s Handbook #1)

How To Date Dead Guys (Under the Blood Moon, #1)Serious and studious, Emma knew very little about the more free-spirited side of life. And Dating? She could barely talk to a guy without proving how socially inept she was, so when her extrovert roommate takes her to a campus party, Emma was left holding up the wall by the beer keg while a party whirled around her. Like a vision, he came into view and for Emma, Mike was all she could see. When Mike’s birthday came around, his drunken state made going for a nighttime swim in the river that has taken so many lives sound like a good idea! Emma wanted to feel alive, to do something crazy, but that isn’t how it turned out, two went into the river and only one came out. Mike was gone and Emma feels it’s her fault.

A book of spells mysteriously showing up gives a desperate Emma an idea. Could a spell bring Mike back? Could Emma take back what the river stole away? What Emma discovers is what legends and myths are made of. But what she achieves is nothing short of miraculous as she touches the hearts of people in pain. Through it all, will Emma find she can deal better with someone who has died or will she finally learn to live life as it was meant to be?

How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser is part paranormal romance, part mystery and completely entertaining as the nightmare of one night pushes a young woman out of her comfort zone and into the hearts and souls of strangers. With light-hearted moments, intensely sad moments and moments that will bring tears of joy, Ms. Noser has created a different kind of paranormal tale to escape into and cast her own spell for wonderful reading!

I received this copy from Ann M. Noser in exchange for my honest review.



Recoil by Joanne Macgregor

Recoil
by Joanne Macgregor

My rating: 5 stars

Publication Date: May 14, 2016
Publisher: Joanne Macgregor
Genre: YA Dystopian Scifi
Print Length: 223 pages
Available from: Amazon

There’s more than one enemy and more than one war. The Game is real.

Three years after a series of terrorist attacks flooded the US with a lethal plague, society has changed radically.

Sixteen year-old Jinxy James spends her days trapped at home – immersed in virtual reality, worrying about the plague and longing for freedom. Then she wins a war simulation game and is recruited into a top-secret organisation where talented teenagers are trained to become agents in the war on terror. Eager to escape her mother’s over-protectiveness and to serve her country, Jinxy enlists and becomes an expert sniper of infected mutant rats.

She’s immediately drawn to Quinn O’Riley, a charming and subversive intelligence analyst who knows more about the new order of government and society than he is telling. Then a shocking revelation forces Jinxy to make an impossible decision, and she risks losing everything.

Recoil is the first book in a Young Adult dystopian romance trilogy

 
Recoil by Joanne Macgregor

RecoilThe terrorists had come and their method of destruction was brilliantly vile and deadly. A lethal plague was released in the United States and the survivors now hide away in their homes, rarely leaving their homes and only when totally covered with hazmat type protection. Jinxy’s mother was one of the health obsessed and she was forced to live trapped at home. Becoming a virtual wargame expert brings Jinxy under the scrutiny of a black-ops organization training gifted youths to become the front line in the war on terror. Jinxy’s gaming has trained her to be a sniper, and her ability will be honed and shaped to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus. What appears to be a patriotic act becomes something far more deadly than she could ever have imagined. Now she must decide how far she will go to keep her family and her country safe, as she must reconcile that all she was told were only partial truths from a government she barely knows. Will the longing for freedom and independence only be trading one form of “imprisonment” for another?

Recoil, the first in what looks to be a fascinating take on a dystopian world where the power and pluck of youth raised on virtual gaming may prove to be the greatest weapon on the war on terror, if their consciences can be tamed. Joanne Macgregor is holding nothing back, this is magnetic reading filled with whiplash-quick action, deep soul searching and a cast of characters with the energy and vitality of youth. Ms. Macgregor paints a world in chaos with hidden agendas, fighting to survive the devastation of terrorism. These characters burst of the page with life and attitude, as well as the dialogue of youth. Some will live, while others may not, but each will have to decide how far they will go and what direction they will take! This is not another cookie-cutter read, it is edgy and often dark, a strong start for a new trilogy of adventure and what-ifs!

I received an ARC edition from Joanne Macgregor in exchange for my honest review.

 

Not the Hot Chick by N. Raines Blitz and Giveaway


Not the Hot Chick: Complete Boxed Set
N. Raines
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Contains Not the Hot Chick, Not the Stand In, Not the Friend with Benefits and Not the Placeholder
No one would call curvy Layla Messner hot. Sweet and smart, yes, but not hot. All that changes when she meets sexy bartender Cam. This bundle contains all four of parts of the Not the Hot Chick serial featuring a BBW heroine with heart and a hero with plenty of substance beneath his seductive style. Contains hot hook-ups, bitchy neighbors, ice skating blunders and—just possibly—love to last a lifetime.
This boxed set contains the complete Not the Hot Chick series.
Sign up for Nona Raines’s newsletter and get the first book (Not the Hot Chick) in the series for free!
Please sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bYePvP
Not the Hot Chick (Book 1 in the Not the Hot Chick series) Blurb:
Can she be the hot chick for just one night?
No one would call curvy Layla Messner hot. Sweet and smart, yes, but not hot. She doesn’t stand a chance with Cam, the sexy bartender with the teasing grin—especially since her neighbor Jessi has him dead in her sights. Jessi, who is every man’s centerfold fantasy. All Layla has to look forward to is another night with her trusty vibrator.
But when his hook up with Jessi tanks, Cam looks to Layla. He wants her. Here’s her chance to take what she wants and finally be the object of desire—the Hot Chick. If she says no, she may regret it forever. If she says yes, one night may not be enough.
Please note this is a serialized romance. Not the Hot Chick is Book 1 in the series.
EXCERPT FROM BOOK 1:
Jessi Wallace eyed the cute bartender’s butt the way a hungry cat might eye an unsuspecting bird. She actually licked her lips. “I am so going to do him.”
Layla Messner held back a sigh, took another sip of her lemon-drop martini, and asked herself for the sixth time that night, Why am I here, again?
She should have known better than to accept Jessi’s invitation to go out tonight. They weren’t really friends, just across-the-hall neighbors in the same apartment complex that housed many of the Buff State students here in Buffalo, New York. She and Jessi would nod and smile when they passed each other, occasionally stop and chat, but they’d never partied together. So it had been quite the surprise when Jessi tapped on her door two hours ago with a smile and an invitation: “Feel like cutting loose tonight?”
Silly Layla, thinking Jessi was trying to be friendly. More likely, she just wanted a wingman—or wingwoman in this case—and had no one else to step out with.
Jessi leaned over the bar provocatively in her low-cut top, calling to the bartender and pointing to her empty glass. “Can I have another down here?”
Oh, God, she was actually batting her eyelashes. And the way she was leaning to flash her cleavage, it was a wonder her boobs didn’t fall right out onto the bar.
Layla glanced down at her own chest, pulling back her shoulders. Her boobs weren’t so bad, even if they weren’t shown off as blatantly as Jessi’s. Layla knew she had nothing to be ashamed of in that department. If anything, she’d been generously blessed.
The problem was, she was a little too blessed in other areas as well. “Curvy” would be a kind description. “Chubby” might be more to the point.
Jessi, on the other hand, had a body that was every guy’s wet dream. She had big breasts and a tiny little waist that curved out to a rounded pair of hips. The tight, short skirt she wore had every guy in the room craning his neck for a second look at her ass.
The place was pretty quiet for a Friday night. But then again, it was the weekend before spring break, and much of the college-age crowd that usually frequented the Shamrock had already left town. Layla had a four-hour drive to get to her parents’ house and was wiped from spending the day with a class of hyper first graders. Morning would be soon enough to make the trip home.
The bartender ambled down their way and gave them both a smile. “Ready for another, ladies?”
Layla’s heart warmed at the way he included her in the offer. He didn’t just ignore her, the way some guys did, to focus on her prettier companion.
Jessi smirked and tapped the rim of her glass. “I’d like another Hard Fast Screw please.” She practically purred the order for the Shamrock’s variation of a screwdriver.
“You got it.” He directed his gaze at Layla, and her heart gave a little flip. It was too dark in the bar to tell what color his eyes were, but she knew they were beautiful. Just like the rest of him. Dark hair, a buff body, and a gorgeous face. High cheekbones, a straight nose, chiseled lips. Those lips moved, but Layla was too mesmerized by his looks to pay any attention to what he was saying.
She blinked. “Uh, excuse me?”
“He asked if you want another drink.” Jessi’s cutesy moves were forgotten as she gave Layla the death stare. Don’t poach on my territory.
As if. Still, a girl could dream, couldn’t she?
Is the door locked-


Author Bio:
N. Raines (who also writes as Nona Raines) is a former librarian who lives in upstate New York with her many pets. She’s currently working on her next novel between walking the dog and shooing the cats off the laptop. Her erotic romances are published with The Wild Rose Press and Loose Id. Her transgender romance His Kind of Woman was nominated for the 2014 DABWAHA sponsored by the Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books review blogs. Her most recent work is the romance novella Write to Me and the transgender romance Her Kind of Man.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

We Journey No More by Sahara Foley

We Journey No More
by Sahara Foley

My rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Creativia; 1 edition (August 4, 2015)
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Genre: Scifi | Fantasy
Print Length: 152 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 
When runaway teenagers Don and Janet pull off the mountainside road for a few hours’ rest, they don’t expect to wake up 1000 years in the future.

There, Earth is a desert planet where nomadic tribes are little more than slaves to the Ganu, the powerful and dominant ruling tribe.

When the young couple is befriended by a small tribe, and Don is hailed as their mythical and prophesied savior, they must use all their cunning and resourcefulness to defeat a powerful, cruel enemy and save the lives of their new friends.

We Journey No More is an exciting time travel story set in the distant future.

 
 We Journey No More by Sahara Foley

We Journey No MoreThey were runaways, in love, young, and driving into what looked to be the perfect future! With Bologna and cheese sandwiches and an old, beat up car, Don and Janet had the future set out before them. Little did they know, that night under the dark Albuquerque sky would find them waking up to a new future, one thousand years from now and a world devastated by a mutant race of survivors from some radioactive Armageddon, and they were worshiped and revered as the prophesied ones who would lead them to freedom and safety. Can these two teens step up to the plate when given the chance? Never underestimate youth given the chance to shine!

A simple and quick tale that is a great light escape from reality, by Sahara Foley has a little of the best of all worlds, young love, a trip to the future, heroics in battle and some pretty unique characters. Don and Janet are truly teens from their actions to their dialogue! A fun read, nothing too heavy, dark or deep, yet still an engaging read! Kind of like a diet sized portion when you are short on time!

I received this copy from Sahara Foley in exchange for my honest review.



The Goat Children by Jordan Elizabeth

The Goat Children
by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

My rating: 5 stars

Publisher: CHBB Publishing (March 23, 2016)
Publication Date: March 23, 2016
ISBN: 1530732379
Genre: YA | Family
Print Length: 316 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 
 When Keziah’s grandmother, Oma, is diagnosed with dementia, Keziah faces two choices: leave her family and move to New Winchester to care for Oma, or stay in New York City and allow her grandmother to live in a nursing home miles away.

The dementia causes Oma to be rude and paranoid, nothing like the woman Keziah remembers. Each day becomes a greater weight and love a harsher burden. Keziah must keep Oma from wandering off or falling, and try to convince her grandmother to see a doctor as her eyesight and hearing fail, but Oma refuses to believe anything is wrong. Resentful of her hardships in New Winchester, Keziah finds herself drawn to Oma’s ramblings about the Goat Children, a mythical warrior class. These fighters ride winged horses, locating people in need, while attempting to destroy evil in the world. Oma sees the Goat Children everywhere, and as Keziah reads the stories Oma wrote about them, she begins to question if they really exist.

 
  The Goat Children by Jordan Elizabeth

The Goat ChildrenIf you have ever faced the pain of watching a loved one fight the battle with dementia, no matter what type, you will find The Goat Children Jordan Elizabeth is as much fact as fiction. Keziah’s grandmother has dementia and her family is faced with few options. Oma can be placed in a nursing home, where she will face most days alone, and her loved ones will lose those few precious moments of lucidity remaining, or, Keziah can offer to leave her home and family to care for her grandmother. The most amazing part of that act of unselfishness? Keziah is in high school, and is willing to take on a job that few adults can handle while continuing to pursue her education.

Oma is more likely to talk about the magical world of the Goat Children than to remember what a toothbrush is for and it’s through these stories that Keziah travels back in her mind and heart to the Oma she knew and loved as a child. Not quite fitting in with her new peers, make caring for Oma is a lonely task, the lack of understanding from the educational “professionals” is appalling, although well-intended. As Oma worsens, Keziah discovers hidden journals that put validity to Oma’s Goat Children claims, or are they the musings of an active imagination? More secrets unfold and Keziah finds there is more to her grandmother and her family than she ever knew and she is not sure she likes it

Follow the journey of one brave young lady who fights to keep a piece of her grandmother with her and the vast maturity and selfless love sorely missing in those around her. I cried, I was completely engrossed in this amazing tale. For me, Keziah is a hero, but does she see herself that way? Is she prepared for the day Oma will leave her forever? Are the Goat Children real? What if the Goat Children come calling

To say this is a unique tale would be an understatement. Aside from the fantasy aspects, Jordan Elizabeth has nailed the truth of what a thief dementia is and the bone-crushing weight it carries.

I received this copy from Jordan Elizabeth in exchange for my honest review.