Thursday, September 14, 2017

THINGS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM by Adam J. Kurtz - Available for Pre-Order

I'm happy to share this new collection of mini-essays, THINGS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM. This compact book is full of advice, inspiration, and bits of wisdom. 

For the creatives in your life 
and for your creative life

THINGS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM
by Adam J. Kurtz
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Published by TarcherPerigee

Insights and inspiration for anyone who makes art (or anything else)

From the creative mind and heart of designer Adam J. Kurtz comes this upbeat rallying cry for creators of all stripes. Expanding on a series of popular essays, this handwritten and heartfelt book shares wisdom and empathy from one working artist to others. Perforated tear-and-share pages make it easy to display themost crucial reminders or to pass a bit of advice on to someone who needs it.

As wry and cheeky as it is empathic and empowering, this deceptively simple, vibrantly full-color book will be a touchstone for writers, artists, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who wants to be more creative--even when it would be easier to give up and act normal.


Available for Pre-Order




One of my favorites. Sometimes I need that reminder that "I'm enough".


When you preorder a copy of THINGS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM
TarcherPerigee will donate $1 for every book ordered before 10/3/17 to the Tegan and Sara Foundation, working for economic justice, health, and representation for LGBTQ girls and women.

I've pre-ordered my copy!!


Images and video credit - Adam J. Kurtz

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cover Reveal: LOGAN by Jay McLean - Pre-order and Giveaway



COVER REVEAL

LOGAN – A PRESTON BROTHERS NOVEL (BOOK II) 
by Jay McLean
Series: Preston Brothers
Available: October 1st


BLURB
As a kid, Logan Preston was a brat.
Through his teens, he became the bad boy.
Now, at nineteen, no one knows what the hell to expect.
***
High school dropout, Logan Preston is a
good-for-nothing stoner.
A black sheep.
A disappointment.
The worst Preston Punk of the lot.
At least that’s how everyone in his small town
makes him feel.
But Logan Preston has secrets.
Secrets so dark and so deep below the surface that the only way he can fight them is to stay high, high, high.
He wears cockiness as a mask.
Arrogance as his armor.
Until one girl, one night, asks one life-changing question:
What's beneath the bravado, Logan Preston?

CHECK OUT THE FULL COVER WRAP


Add to GR http://bit.ly/2gOlWwp
$50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway http://bit.ly/2gPmouy



ALSO AVAILABLE IN THIS SERIES:
#1 Lucas - A Preston Brothers Novel:

The Preston Brothers Series is a spin-off of the More Than Series, and you can meet the More Men below:
Book 1 More Than This - Jake Andrews: Sweet jock.
Books 2 & 3 More Than Her/Him - Logan Matthews: Arrogant asshat.
Book 4 More Than Forever - Cameron Gordon: High school sweetheart.
Book 5 More Than Enough - Dylan Banks: Broody, silent Marine.


About the Author

Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, as well as skilled procrastinator. When she's not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix. 
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

AUTHOR LINKS
Facebook | Fan Group | Web | Twitter | Instagram


Monday, August 28, 2017

Author Guest Post: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Melissa Pimentel


THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
by Melissa Pimentel
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 22, 2017


A modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, where a young woman comes face-to-face with a lost love, proving that the one that got away is sometimes the one you get back.


Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.

Ten years later, Ruby’s single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past…



*****************************************************************

I love a second chance at love story and I'm quickly becoming a fan of retellings, so when I learned that THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY is both of those things, it immediately went on my TBR list. Full disclosure: I have to admit that I've never read Austen's PERSUASION. But I'm sure I will want to read it after finishing THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY. 

When I host authors or readers on my blog, one of the first questions I ask them is "Which books made you fall in love with reading and writing?". I love reading the various responses and I usually end up adding a new book to my reading list. When I received Melissa Pimentel's list and saw books by Margaret Atwood and Marian Keyes, I wanted to give her a high-five. These are authors whose books fostered my love of reading too!

Five Books that made Melissa Pimentel Fall in Love with Reading

THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH/Norton Juster – This is the first book I can remember really sparking my imagination. I read it over and over again, and I started dreaming about the world, too. It was the first time I realised the immersive power of books.

GONE WITH THE WIND/Margaret Mitchell – This was one of the first “grown up” books I read. I think I was 10 the first time I read it, and I can still remember the look on my 5th grade teacher’s face when I laid this whopper of a novel on my desk. I absolutely adored it – I still do. I wanted to be Scarlett O’Hara very badly, and I wanted very badly for Rhett Butler to fall madly in love with me (though I definitely didn’t know what happened after he carried her up the stairs. Hugging?) I still reread it every so often, and even though I now know that Scarlett O’Hara is probably not the best role model for a 10 year old girl to aspire to, I still love her (and Rhett) just the same.

SURFACING/Margaret Atwood – I found feminism when I was a Sophomore in high school, and spent the next three years at the public library ploughing my way through the work of Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich and Marge Piercy. I loved them all, but I loved Margaret Atwood the most. (Full disclosure: I have a tattoo of a line of her poetry somewhere on my body). Surfacing is her second novel, one that would probably be classified as “literary psychological suspense” now but back then was just a novel that blew my mind. I reread it this summer and it’s just as good as I remember.

RACHEL’S HOLIDAY/Marian Keyes – I think Marian is a genius. Her books manage to deal with very serious situations – grief, addiction, abuse – while still being incredibly funny. It’s such a difficult tightrope to walk and she does it effortlessly. She’s the first writer that made me realise that just because a book is light doesn’t mean it can’t have depth.

PERSUASION/Jane Austen – Of course Jane Austen has to be on the list! I love all of her novels but this one, arguably her most subtle and gentle, is my favorite. Anne has such a wonderful soul, and the slow-burn between her and Captain Wentworth is frankly delicious. I love all of the secondary characters, too, who are invariably charming, infuriating and hilarious in equal measure. I love it so much that I based my own book, THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, on the premise!

Thank you Melissa for sharing!


About the Author
MELISSA PIMENTEL grew up in a small town in Massachusetts in a house without cable and therefore much of her childhood was spent watching 1970s British comedy on public television. These days, she spends much of her time reading in the various pubs of Stoke Newington and engaging in a long-standing emotional feud with their disgruntled cat, Welles. She works in publishing and is also the author of Love by the Book.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Giveaway: CHASING RED by Isabelle Ronin





I'm excited to host this flash giveaway for CHASING RED by Isabelle Ronin. Chasing Red is will be available September 5th from Sourcebooks Casablanca. This giveaway ends soon, so check out the excerpt below and then enter for a chance to win!









THEY SAID SHE WAS GOING TO BE MY RUIN...
THEN LET HER RUIN ME.
 
He had everything—wealth, adoration, a brilliant future. Until one chance encounter changed everything.

The moment Caleb Lockhart spotted the mysterious woman in her siren red dress, he couldn’t tear his eyes away.

For the first time in his life, he wanted something. Something he knew he could never have.
The unforgettable stranger he dubs RED.




READ AN EXCERPT

The beach was a good half-hour drive from Caleb’s place. We drove there with our windows open, the wind blowing my long hair. It was dark, the roads free of traffic.
I felt excited, energized, and at the same time Caleb’s hand in mine calmed my anxious mind.
He threw me a glance, his thumb stroking my palm.
“I’m glad you’re here with me, Red.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. No one had said that to me before. I turned my gaze out the window so he wouldn’t see how much his words had affected me.
Tonight I was seeing a side of Caleb I hadn’t encountered before. I didn’t know what to think of it, or maybe I did but refused to think about it.
All I knew was that I liked this boy as I had never liked anyone before.
He parked his car in front of the lakeside shops that had already closed for the night. We took off our shoes, then walked on the beach, the white sand cool as our feet dug into it.
The wind was a little chilly, and I wrapped my arms around my middle to ward off the cold. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Caleb shrug out of his jacket.
“Here,” he said, placing it on my shoulders.
“What about you?”
“Just hold my hand. You warm me up.”
But he was the one who warmed me up inside as his hand reached for mine again, pulling me close to his side as we walked.
“I knew you were avoiding me,” he began after a moment. His voice held no resentment, only understanding. That surprised me. “I knew you didn’t want anything to do with me the past few weeks, but I thought about you. Actually,” he corrected, his voice deepening. “I think I’m a little obsessed.”
He sighed when I didn’t respond as quickly as he may have expected. “I’m sorry if I made you feel like I was forcing you to do something you didn’t like.”
I walked beside him for a moment, listening to the sound of the waves before I answered. “I’m sorry I said that. It’s not that, really… You confuse me, Caleb.”
I knew he was waiting for me to say something more, to explain, but the words were stuck in my throat.
“Sometimes I think you’re a very sad girl, Red.”
He was more observant than I’d given him credit for. Because he was right, I realized. I had been sad for a long, long time. I had been starved for love and affection for so long that I’d forgotten what it felt like. I had refused to let anyone in, afraid to be hurt again. But this boy holding my hand was stripping me of my armor bit by bit.
It scared me.
“All I could think about was how to make you smile again. Not the fake ones you give to people to be polite. I want your real smile, where your eyes light up and your lips stretch up to your ears.”
My ears were ringing. What was he trying to say?
“You confuse me,” I repeated. “I-I don’t know what you want.”
He stopped suddenly, and I had to turn around to face him.
“Don’t you?” he asked solemnly, directly.
His eyes were burning with emotion. I looked away.
Who was this boy? This intense, serious boy who looked at me as if he could see my soul.
“I-I’m not ready, Caleb.”
He nodded. “That’s okay. I’ve been waiting for you to come along for a long time now. I think I can wait some more.”
“Don’t you think this is too fast?”
“The thing is, I’ve made up my mind. And my mind says it’s you. If I’d just met you today, I would still want you today, tomorrow, five days from now…” His voice trailed off, and I was scared he was going to say forever or some ridiculous thing like that.
I didn’t believe in forever. Forever was for people who believed in fairy tales. And I never had.
“You’re scaring me.”
He let out a quiet laugh. “I know. You just have to endure it.” He paused. “After all, how could you give up a handsome boy like me?”
And the usual Caleb was back.
“But you have to promise me something,” I said.
“What is it?”
“Don’t kiss me.”
He did that thing again where he angled his head and studied me. I squirmed.
“You’re afraid of my kisses.” It wasn’t a question. “You’re afraid of how they make you feel.”
I swallowed a chunk of cowardice that was lodged in my throat. Of course, he was right. How could he know what I was feeling before I realized it myself?
“Why promise something when I’d fail miserably?”
“Will you try at least?” I persisted.
“No, Red.”
He looked to the water, sighed, and looked at me.
“I don’t think I could keep from kissing you if I wanted to. It’s not even a choice for me anymore. I need to touch you, to breathe you in. I need to see you look up at me and smile. I need to see you happy…even grumpy or angry, as long as I can see you. I crave everything about you. I crave everything about you a little too much.”
I held my breath as my heart knocked wildly against my chest.
Suddenly he sat on the sand, resting his back on a broken tree trunk and tugging me down with him.
“Lie back on me.”
I had about two seconds before he was pulling me toward him, my back against his chest, my legs encased between his. I was drowning in Caleb.
“Just relax. I won’t kiss you tonight if you really don’t want me to.”
Suddenly, I wanted him to kiss me again.
What was wrong with me? When he was offering it, I didn’t want it, but now faced with the possibility that he wouldn’t kiss me tonight, I suddenly yearned for it.
I rested my cheek on his shoulder, inhaling his scent. He stiffened.
“Don’t do that if you don’t want to be kissed tonight. I only have so much control before I—” He cut himself off before he could finish.
“Before you what?” I could hear the smile in my voice. Even to my ears, I sounded…happy.
Caleb couldn’t resist me. Caleb, the gorgeous and charming boy that everyone wanted, couldn’t resist me. Me, someone used to not being wanted. It seemed unreal.
His eyes narrowed. “Are you deliberately provoking me?”
His expression turned serious as he cupped my face with his hands and forced me to look at him.
“What do you want, Red?” he whispered, his voice husky.
I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. Hadn’t he figured out that I’d changed my mind and wanted him to kiss me? Was I not throwing him enough signals?
“Say it, or I won’t do it,” he declared, his eyes mesmerizing me into surrender.
“Kiss me, Caleb.”
I didn’t have to say it twice. His mouth claimed my lips. Gone were the butterfly kisses; gone were the teasing and coaxing. This was a branding. One of his hands was on my back, pushing me against him, while the other plunged into my hair, cupping my head so that he could control the kiss.
I own you, his kiss said. We kissed for a long, long time.


GIVEAWAY

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Monday, August 21, 2017

New Release: IF EVER by Angie Stanton




IF EVER
by Angie Stanton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 21, 2017



Blurb

Fiercely independent Chelsea Barnes has caught a rare break and been cast as the first non-celebrity on the hit show Celebrity Dance Off. Chelsea is coined ‘America’s Chance to Dance,’ but her partner planned on an A-lister, not a nobody.

Clashing with her partner, she’s ready to go home; but during an emotional dance, her heart-breaking past as an abandoned, homeless teen is revealed. Not only do the viewers fall in love with her, so does the flirty British guest singer, Broadway star Thomas Evan Oliver.

Tom is struck by this feisty girl who complicates his over-structured life, and pursues her in a romantic cross-country courtship until she’s voted off and joins him. Their sexy whirlwind love affair blossoms in New York as she navigates the big city and his exhausting eight shows a week, but most important, her scarred heart begins to heal. Perhaps happily ever after might be a possibility after all. 








Purchase Links

99c for release day ONLY!

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Available at other retailers soon






Author Bio

Angie Stanton is a life-long daydreamer who grew up with her hands on a book and her head in the clouds. As an adult, she’s put her talent to use writing contemporary fiction about life, love, and the adventures that follow. 

Angie is the bestselling author of nine novels. Her work has been translated into French, German, and Bulgarian. In her spare time, Angie sneaks off to New York City to enjoy the best live entertainment experience--Broadway. She is a contributing writer to Broadway World is currently working on another Broadway-themed book. 


Author Links

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Release Day Review: GRAND SLAM by Heidi McLaughlin







GRAND SLAM
by Heidi McLaughlin
Series: The Boys of Summer, #3
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Forever Trade Paperback










Synopsis


Win the game. Lose your heart.

Everyone knows who I am and that I could have any female fan I want. That's supposed to be the "perk" of playing left field for the Boston Renegades. But I don't want just any woman; I want her.

She should be just another face in the crowd, but I can't stop thinking about the one night we spent together-and her look of regret the morning after.

Because Saylor Blackwell is the kind of woman who haunts a man. Smart, sexy as hell, and one of the best managers in the business. She's every ballplayer's dream woman. And I'd do anything to make things right with her.

I'm done sitting on the bench when it comes to Saylor Blackwell. Time to swing for the fences.

My Thoughts

We first met Travis Kidd in THIRD BASE, the first book of the Boys of Summer Series, and since then I have been looking forward to his book. He brought a lot of humor with his one liners and couldn’t wait to read his story. We finally get to know him in GRAND SLAM and what I can say is, he was worth the wait!

Travis and Saylor’s relationship is a “forbidden” romance, but they just can’t stay away from each other. I loved reading with anticipation of them finally getting together. But it certainly wasn’t all bliss. Saylor’s past comes back to haunt her and a career-ending accusation against Travis puts them both at risk of losing it all. All of this made for a more intense read. We get to see a more emotional side of Travis that I wasn’t expecting at all.

What I liked:
  • Travis and Saylor - their story just may be my favorite of the series
  • When the teammates get together and we get to catch up with Ethan and Cooper (from books 1 and 2)
  • All of the scenes with Saylor’s daughter, Lucy - I loved her adoration for Travis and it made me fall in love with him even more
  • We get more of the BoRe blogger - the added commentary always gives the “inside” outsiders perspective. It’s a nice touch to the book.
  • And of course Travis’s one-liners!!

One thing I did miss was the action of the baseball game. Since this story takes place during the off season, we don’t get to read about the boys on the field.

What I’ve come to like about the Boys of Summer series is each book makes me want to reread the series all over again - to experience the character’s stories again. One time just isn’t enough.

I loved GRAND SLAM and this series as a whole. These books should definitely be added to your summer reading lists!




Read an Excerpt

Whenever I wake up with a hangover, I often ask myself why I drank so much and promise that I’ll never do it again. That promise is something I’ve been breaking for the past few days, and up until now, I didn’t care.
I had hoped the booze would muddy my memory of last night, but it hasn’t. Every word she said, every expression she had, every punch to my chest to get me out of her apartment is crystal clear. I f**ked up, and I don’t even know how. All I know is that the sobs I heard on the other side of Saylor’s door last night were enough to sober my stupid ass up.
For hours, I sat against her door, until a resident suggested I leave or they were going to call the police. If I hadn’t been arrested ear- lier, I probably would have encouraged them to dial Boston’s Finest. Another man might understand my plight. The woman that I want to be with kicked me out of her house, and while I probably deserved it, I didn’t want to leave until she stopped crying. I didn’t want to be the one to walk away in her time of need.
But as egos go—and believe me, mine is huge—I couldn’t let it get in the way any longer, so I walked my drunk ass back home with my tail between my legs, only to stay up all night while the booze wore off, knowing that I had to live with whatever I’d done to Saylor.
She’s the last person in the world who I want to hurt, and she’s the one person who can save me. Not only from a life behind bars, but from myself. When I’m with her, I’m a different person. The cocky son of a bitch whom everyone is used to doesn’t exist when she’s near me, and frankly, that is the man I like, or at least I used to. It’s easier being a fucking douche. It’s second nature to me and comes with the territory of being named one of the citys most eligible bachelors.
Except when I’m with Saylor, I can be the man who hides in the shadow of that Travis Kidd. I can be the kind of man who doesn’t have to have a one-liner available or wink in order to get a phone number. When I’m with her, life outside of baseball starts to have a meaning, a f**king purpose.



BUY THE BOOK HERE

THE BOYS OF SUMMER SERIES
THIRD BASE, #1
HOME RUN, #2
GRAND SLAM, #3
Series Page on Goodreads




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, Jill.

When she isn't writing one of the many stories planned for release, you'll find her sitting courtside during either daughter's basketball games.



FIND HEIDI ONLINE



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