Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review: Damaged by H.M. Ward

Damaged (Damaged, #1)Damaged by H.M. Ward

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A New Adult Romance Novel by New York Times Bestselling Author

Life sucks. And, as soon as Sidney picks up the pieces something always knocks her back onto her butt. It's never pretty, but this time is different. This time pretty isn't even the right word.

Peter is the personification of perfection. It's like he fell off his angel perch in purgatory, because let's face it--any guy that hot has got to be naughty. He was probably sent here to ruin her life.

Peter is beyond beautiful with his sexy blue eyes, dark hair, and toned body. Add in his charming wit and Peter is everything Sidney ever wanted in a man, but when things get hot and heavy Peter shows her the door. Sidney takes the walk of shame and leaves. It's the end of the worst blind date ever. Her life couldn't possibly reach higher levels of suckage, but it does.

The next morning everything comes crashing down. The insanely hot guy from last night, the one that saw her half naked, is teaching at the front of the class room.

Publication Date: April 7, 2013

This was good! Loved the forbidden professor/college student romance! Peter and Sidney's first meeting will completely hook you. I think it is one of my favorite meet cute scenes ever in a book. Their relationship goes on to develop into so much more and I kept hoping they'd get over their issues and make it work.

Sidney and Peter had their share of baggage and I really felt for them. Since the book is told from Sidney's POV, it was easy to relate to her inner turmoil and try to move on from the horrific things that happened in her past. I could feel her frustration that the one man she's finally able to feel something for was off-limits.

Peter was WOW. I was drooling after the author's descriptions. I would've liked his age since he's a professor, but it wasn't given. His personality was adorable, the swing dancing stuff was really cute.

The one thing that bugged me is the non-ending. SPOILER ALERT Although this is a series, I would've liked a little more resolution (meaning sex lol). This is the second book lately I've read with a totally hot cover where the main characters don't end up doing it. END OF SPOILER[Although this is a series, I would've liked a little more resolution (meaning sex lol). This is the second book lately I've read with a totally hot cover where the main characters don't end up doing it. (hide spoiler)]

Another complaint is the name of the baddies are Sam and Dean. Really? I kept picturing this and totally not taking them serious:

Can't wait for the next book! The author has quite a few novels out and I'm going to have to look through them to see what I can read in the meantime.

Monday, April 29, 2013

January Black by Wendy S. Russo Blog Tour Stop and Review

Tour Schedule
January Black

Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king’s bluff.


Refreshingly intelligent and loads of fun!

I lost a few hours as I read this book. It's a Young Adult novel that is refreshingly and astonishingly intelligent, and the love story is perfectly played out.

~Christine Ashworth, Amazon Review

The mystery was intriguing - I loved how Wendy Russo weaved in all her secrets throughout the book, how she incorporated just enough to keep you reading, while never actually divulging much of anything. I was guessing for most of it and that's pretty hard to make me do.

~Julie, Clean Teen Reads

Wendy Russo has created a masterpiece.

~Ivan Amberlake, Author

Book Trailer

Author Wendy S. Russo

Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.


My Review:

I love when I come across a book that has the ability to not only surprise me, but surpass my expectations completely. January Black did this and I was so glad that I decided to venture out of my reading comfort zone and take part in the blog tour for this amazing book.

The premise of the novel sounds simple enough. King Hadrian gives young student Mattie a challenge in order to earn a Masters degree: What was January Black? Readers are then taken on a journey as Matty attempts to answer the King’s question.

I loved the characters of the book! Matty was my favorite, but I also adored King Hadrian and Iris. Matty was a complete sweetheart and his romance with Iris was adorable. Matty was so earnest, it was completely endearing. Matty is idealistic and his ideals play an important part of the underlying themes of liberty and civil rights.

There are so many mysteries presented during the novel, I found myself anxious to keep reading. Figuring out what January Black was makes up only a small part of the story. I was also trying to figure out the setting of the novel and how the kingdom was created. World building was phenomenal and the advanced technology was interesting to read about.

What I also loved about the book is the mass appeal of the novel. There are very few books that I read which I can imagine my husband also enjoying. I plan to recommend this to not only my husband but also my teenage stepdaughter. If you’re looking for something to read that’s unique and thought provoking, I highly recommend January Black.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

I received this novel as part of the I Am a Reader, Not a Writer Blog Tour.

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More Information:

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/8/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox #37

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review.

One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy

Mercy by Rebecca Lim

For Review:
Call of the Wilder by Kris Fletcher

Tragic by J.A. Huss

The Program by Suzanne Young

Friday, April 26, 2013

Found Book Blitz by Stacey Wallace Benefiel and eBook Giveaway

To celebrate Stacey Wallace Benefiel’s 3rd Indieversary, FOUND (Penny Black #1) is only 99cents April 20-27!
From Stacey Wallace Benefiel, the author of the Zellie Wells trilogy, comes a new NA trilogy set in the Society world.
Penny Black hasn’t had it easy. Just about everything you’d expect to happen to a harassed foster-kid turned junkie has happened to Penny. Add in the mysterious power to rewind time, conducting events around her, and it’s a wonder she held up on the streets for so many years. Now, at seventeen, the New Society has found her. Finally, Penny is where she belongs. But that doesn’t stop the visions, or the need to protect the victims shown to her.

Wyatt Adams is excited and intrigued when his sister Melody assigns him to be Penny’s Lookout. Being the youngest, and hopelessly ordinary in the family that created the New Society, has left Wyatt feeling like he has a lot to prove -- and Penny is a big deal. She’s got abilities that surpass any he’s seen before…and pretty much every quality he looks for in a girlfriend, but no one needs to know about that, especially Penny.

*The Penny Black trilogy is a companion to the Zellie Wells trilogy and not a continuation of the series. (PBT is set 18 years in the future with a new cast of characters.)
*Due to language and sexuality, FOUND is recommended for older teens (Most of the characters are out of high school and preparing for college.)

Also available at:




Haven't read the Zellie Wells trilogy yet? Pick up all three novels together for $6.99 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and iTunes. Or get the first novel, Glimpse, for FREE at all e-book retailers.


Ben Fontenot fits his Ret-tech onto his head, flips the microscreen down in front of his right eye, and continues cramming all of his and Christopher’s belongings into their suitcases. “Zellie Adams,” he says in a clear and clipped manner. He has two Zellies and a few Adams’ listed in his contacts and half the time his Ret either techs his daughter Zellie or adult Zellie’s husband, Avery. It makes him wonder why he ever got rid of his iPhone 23.
He is bent over, looking under the bed for his shoes – another thing he wonders about, after all of his years spent on the road, is why does he always misplace his shoes in motel rooms? --when Zellie answers.
“Beeeeeen. It’s early.”
He smiles as her image appears before his eye. Is that a pillow behind her head? She hasn’t even bothered to get out of bed. “Hey Doc,” he says, his smile growing wider. She rolls her eyes at him. Zellie hates it when he calls her Doc. He can’t help it. He’s excited. “You might want to sit up for this, I have some news.”
Zellie rocks back and forth, her long red hair working itself into a rat’s nest against the pillow. She is either trying to roll onto her side or fall out of bed…Ben isn’t sure which.
Finally, she says, “Avery, help me.”
Ben hears Avery chuckle and then sees him come into view above Zellie. He’s doing a crappy job of hiding his amusement over his pregnant wife’s predicament.
Zellie swats him on the arm. “Knock it off and help me up. It’s all your fault I’m ginormous, asshat.”
“Can you believe people come to her for advice?” Avery jokes to Ben as his face gets really close to Zellie’s, and then they are moving backward. “There, all better.”
Ben locates his shoes and sits on the bed, slipping his special edition hemp-fiber Chucks on. When he is sure that he has Zellie’s full attention, he takes a deep breath and says, “We’ve found her.”
“Penny Black? In DC?” Zellie asks, her voice going up an octave with each question.
“Yup.” Ben nods enthusiastically. He rights his Ret-tech. “Lookout Command sent us new video a few hours ago.” Ben moves his eyes across the microscreen, focuses on the video icon in the top left corner and blinks once, bringing up the latest clip for Zellie. “You’re not the only one who got a 5:00 a.m. wake up call.”
He waits while Zellie watches the clip of seventeen-year-old Penny Black, a Retroact who has managed to elude capture for the past seven years, as she pauses time and rewinds a twelve-car pile-up on Interstate 66 in Virginia.
Ben shakes his head, in awe. “She collapsed after that display of badassed-ness, which is consistent with all the intel Melody’s gathered. The Highway Patrol picked Penny up off the side of the road an hour later. They were completely unaware of what she’d done and how many lives she’d saved. The cops delivered her to a juvenile detention center twenty miles from here. Christopher’s on his way now to work his mind mojo.”
“Wow,” Zellie says. “She’s just…amazing. I don’t know how she’s made it this far on her own, Lookout-free, maybe not even knowing what she is. You and Christopher will be on a plane with her in the next couple hours, I assume?”
“Our flight for Cali leaves at eleven DC time. I can’t believe we found her right before the term begins. The Universe seems to be goosing me again.”
“You love it,” Zellie teases. “All right…” Ben can practically hear the gears in her shrink mind click into overdrive. “I’ll meet you at the Society School for an intake at three. We can put off the full psych eval for a few days.”
Ben grins, blinking to close the video and send it to its folder. “Hers or mine?”
Zellie snorts. “Dude, like you didn’t fail yours the second we met. I still love you, though.”
“Hey!” Avery says, from Zellie’s left. “Enough with the sweet nothings to Benji while you’re carrying my spawn.”
It’s Ben’s turn to snort. “Your spawn? Nice way to talk about your son, Adams. So, I guess that makes Zel some kind of reptile?”
“Seriously?” Zellie moans, her face moving toward a beaming Avery. She kisses him. “Boys, it’s been eighteen years. Get over it.”


A giveaway for one (1) signed Zellie Wells trilogy e-card (Zellie Wells is companion to the Penny Black series and this card allows a download for the complete Zellie Wells trilogy). Open internationally. 

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Flight by Lindsay Leggett Book Blitz and eBook Giveaway

Book & Author Details:

Flight by Lindsay Leggett 
Publication date:   April 1st 2013 
Genre: YA Science Fiction

The first rule of survival in the Underground: When you’re outside, keep your eyes on the skies. Ace Harpy Hunter Piper Madden is used to danger, but the death of her brother slams the brakes on her high-torque lifestyle and leaves her broken and confused.

On the run from the dictating Elder Corporation, she’s eventually found in the quiet undergound city of Ichton and asked to work for the Corp on contract to quell a new and frightening Harpy threat.

Enter the discovery of horrifying Corporation secrets, Harpy attacks, and a new friendship with the strange Asher, and Piper’s days become anything but boring.

Then, a chance encounter leaves Piper privy to a dangerous secret, ad as she and Asher team up in an effort to unravel the truth, the secrets they uncover beneath the ancient walls of the dead city will spark their world into a grand-scale war.


Nearly every writer struggles to put together information about themselves, perhaps because we’re so used to detailing the lives and ways of others. For the most part I am a writer, editor, photographer, and all-around artist living in the wilds north of Toronto, Ontario. I thrive on the juxtaposition of beauty and grit, enjoy urban crawls, indie everything, and time well-spent in the woods.

Author Links:

It always starts like this. My vision starts to blur and the depth of the dirty brick walls plummets into a single plane, like I’m staring into an abyss that never ends. Pins and needles prick their way over my body and I fall backward, sinking through layers of sticky black sludge. I land with a thud and David is before me speaking urgently. His eyes are lined with confusion and anger.
“Piper, I don’t like what you’re doing. Please, for the sake of our mother and our friends, put an end to it now,” he says to me. We’re at our place in the mountains, the stars peering onto us like frail paper lanterns. I look at him seriously, my hand over my mouth, mind reeling at what he’d said.
“You don’t understand, David. I love him,” I reply, feeling tears brim my eyelids.
“… … ….” David’s lips are moving, but the noise coming out of his mouth is like raw static.
“I can’t hear you. What’s going on?” I ask. He looks like I just slapped him in the face.
“I can’t believe how selfish you are! “… … … ” He shouts, then comes the static again.
“David, I think there’s something wrong right now. I haven’t done anything!” I cry frantically, grabbing his shoulders and shaking him. He brushes me off and gives me a hard stare.
“People are going to get hurt, Piper. I need you to understand that!” he shouts.
“I don’t understand, David!” I plead, “How are people going to get hurt?”
I hear more static come from his mouth, but he doesn’t seem to notice, he just keeps talking, clearly thinking he’s telling me something important. Frantically, I look around for a clue as to what is going on. When I turn back to him, David’s face starts to deteriorate and his body fades away to dust.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Residue by Laury Falter Blog Tour Stop and Review

Book Info from Goodreads:
Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published April 13th 2012
ISBN13: 9780985511067
Edition language: English
Original title: Residue
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When Jocelyn Weatherford is whisked away from a preparatory academy in upstate New York to live with her extended family in New Orleans, she is unprepared to encounter the dangers awaiting her. Yet even as she is thrust into an unfamiliar world of witches and voodoo magic, the greatest threat of all may be the boy she has fallen for.

While handsome and charming, he is also a Caldwell... a member of the family the Weatherford's have been feuding with for centuries. As their forbidden love grows it becomes the volatile spark that forever changes their world and everyone in it.

Links to buy Residue:

Author Info: Laury Falter is the author of the bestselling Guardian Trilogy. She writes young adult paranormal romances and urban fantasy when she's not taking her stray dogs for a walk or enjoying a date night with her husband.

Laury has released two series, the Guardian Trilogy and the Residue Series (a spinoff of the Guardian Trilogy books), and is currently releasing her third series, the Apocalypse Chronicles.
To learn more about Laury and her novels, visit her at:
Website: lauryfalter.com
Twitter page: twitter.com/LauryFalter
Facebook page: facebook.com/pages/Laury-Falter/196033543803745
Goodreads page: goodreads.com/author/show/4061922.Laury_Falter

My Review:

Residue was a cute and fun young adult read. I loved the characters and the mythology behind a society of witches living in New Orleans.

The beginning of Residue was great. The reader got to learn all about Jocelyn’s heritage as a witch at the same time she does. The world building was fabulous and I felt myself transported to this school for the supernatural in New Orleans.

Jocelyn and Jameson were fantastic characters. I loved Jocelyn’s spunky side and her ability to stand up for herself. Jameson was also adorable and I enjoyed how protective he was over Jocelyn. It was easy to cheer for the romance in the book, especially when it is revealed that Jocelyn and Jameson come from two feuding families of witches.

My only couple of complaints would be that I wished the secondary characters were fleshed out a little more. Jameson and Jocelyn have a large number of relatives and it was hard to keep them straight. However, since this is a series, I’d imagine more character development would happen in later books. Also, there was a heavy use of foreshadowing in the text and it took away from the suspense of the novel.

Residue was a lively and clean young adult book that I would highly recommend. I love books about witches and this series has the potential to be a standout.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. 

Giveaway: Eight (8) ecopies of Residue: Mobi or Nook only; gifted from Amazon or B&N; open internationally

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Disappearing Girl Giveaways-Win an Advanced eBook Copy and Bookmark

I'm very excited to announce my giveaway for an advanced eBook copy of The Disappearing Girl! Ten lucky winners will receive an eBook (Kindle, ePub or PDF) of the Reader's Copy of my upcoming New Adult contemporary novel. If you live in the US, you can enter my second giveaway for a signed bookmark.

Book Description:
Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…

Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.

Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.

Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.

Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past.

New Adult Contemporary-Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Deeper We Fall by Chelsea M. Cameron Blog Tour Stop and Giveaway

Deeper We Fall by Chelsea M. Cameron (Deeper We Fall #1)
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publication date: January 24th 2013

Two years after her best friend was involved in a car accident that caused a traumatic brain injury, Lottie Anders is ready to start her freshman year of college. Ready to move on. Ready to start forgetting the night that ripped her life apart.

Her plans come to a screeching halt when not one, but both brothers responsible for the accident end up back in her life again.

Zack is cruel, selfish and constantly rubbing what happened to her friend in Lottie's face.

Zan is different. He listens to her awkward ramblings. He loves "To Kill a Mockingbird" as much as she does, and his dark eyes are irresistible. His words are few and far between, but when he does speak, she can't help but listen.

The trouble is, Zan was the driver in the accident, and now Lottie's discovered he lied to her about what happened that night. Now she must decide if trusting him again will lead to real forgiveness, or deeper heartache.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16157294-deeper-we-fall

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Deeper-We-Fall-ebook/dp/B00B5I2WV6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360817804&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deeper-we-fall-chelsea-m-cameron/1114224340?ean=2940016054926&r=1%2c+1&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10%3a1&


Faster We Burn by Chelsea M. Cameron (Deeper We Fall #2)
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publication date: April 20th, 2013

The last thing Katie Hallman needs is another guy in her life, but Stryker Grant is there anyway. What starts out as just an escape from her previous relationship disaster soon turns into something more. Stryker gets under her skin the way no one has before, and soon she realizes she can't shake him, even if she wanted to. But is Katie ready to trust her already-battered heart to the guy who could shatter it into a million pieces?

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17283748-faster-we-burn

(Direct purchase links can be found at the links below come release day)
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Chelsea-M.-Cameron/e/B0079J3A8O/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Barnes & Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/c/chelsea-m.-cameron


Chelsea M. Cameron 
Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is. 

Author Links:
Website: http://www.chelseamcameron.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752359.Chelsea_M_Cameron
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chelsea-M-Cameron-Official-Author-Page/304422529610919
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chel_c_cam

My Review:

The setup was interesting: an accident occurring years earlier has left Lottie’s best friend with a traumatic brain injury. She blames two brothers: Zan and Zack and they both end up attending the same college as Lottie. Lottie finds herself drawn to Zan, despite the fact that he was driving drunk and caused the accident.

The characters were compelling and I loved how richly drawn the secondary characters were in the story. They weren’t merely showpieces and I would really be interested in their own stories (especially Will’s, Lottie’s twin). The next book focuses on Katie, Lottie’s roommate, and it should make for an interesting read.  

I wasn’t totally feeling the romance and I can’t pinpoint an exact reason why. I think all of the right elements were there (brooding bad boy/ sweet good girl) but it felt off to me. I did like that the author told the story from dual POVs. I’m sure I wouldn’t have liked Zan otherwise. He would’ve seemed like too much of a weird creeper if I hadn’t known what was going on inside of his head.  

The pacing was a mixed bag for me. The beginning really dragged and I kept waiting for something to happen. However, once I got to mid-point, the story kicked into high gear and I was able to finish the novel quickly. There were a lot of twists thrown in that I didn’t see coming.

This was a good New Adult read and I would definitely read another book by the author. Although I didn’t love the romance, the rest of the story was intriguing enough to hold my interest until the end.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars 

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Damaged by H.M. Ward Promo and eBook Giveaway

Author: H.M. WARD
Publisher: Laree Bailey Press
Release date: April 6, 2013
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours
Buy Links:

Book Description:
A new adult romance novel by New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author H.M. Ward
Life sucks. And, as soon as Sidney picks up the pieces something always knocks her back onto her butt. It's never pretty, but this time is different. This time pretty isn't even the right word.
Peter is the personification of perfection. It's like he fell off his angel perch in purgatory, because let's face it--any guy that hot has got to be naughty. He was probably sent here to ruin her life.
Peter is beyond beautiful with his sexy blue eyes, dark hair, and toned body. Add in his charming wit and Peter is everything Sidney ever wanted in a man, but when things get hot and heavy Peter shows her the door. Sidney takes the walk of shame and leaves. It's the end of the worst blind date ever. Her life couldn't possibly reach higher levels of suckage, but it does.
The next morning everything comes crashing down. The insanely hot guy from last night, the one that saw her half naked, is teaching at the front of the class room.

Genre:  New Adult Romance Novel, approx. 325 pages

About the Author
 NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Bestselling author H.M. Ward is a native New Yorker living in Texas. Ward was featured in the Washington Post for her debut novel Demon Kissed. Romance series by H.M. Ward include Secrets, Scandalous, The Arrangement, and The Secret Life of Trystan Scott.
Author social media links:


He watches me as I try to crank the engine. It doesn’t start. It doesn’t catch. I look at the little gauges and notice the battery.  He’s standing next to me now. “So, you’re a mechanic?”
I shake my head, “I just pretend to be. It makes for more interesting evenings.” I grin at him, not sure what’s come over me. I never talk random guys, but it’s not like he’s random anymore, right? Hot guy’s face falls and I realize that he believes me. “I’m just kidding. I know a little about cars. For instance, I know this one isn’t going anywhere tonight.”
“And why’s that?”
“Your alternator’s dead. Either that or you shoved a hamster up the tailpipe—” My face falls. I wonder if he did something stupid. Guys do all sorts of stupid things to talk to girls. I get out of his car and slam the door. Then, I tilt my head and cross my arms over my chest. “Tell me that that isn’t the reason the car won’t start.”
He laughs and presses his hand to his chest, shocked that I’d say such a thing. “No, I didn’t do anything like that! And correct me if I’m wrong, but you were the one who came onto me first. I didn’t get here early and sabotage my own car just so I could meet a girl, who I didn’t know was coming.” The way he smiles is contagious. He runs his hands through his dark hair, like he wishes he could say more, but he doesn’t. The corners of his mouth curve and he gives me a look that makes tingles slip over my skin.
I step toward him, smiling too wide. “I did not come onto you!”
“You did. Right back in there.” He points toward the restaurant. His face is serious, all smooth features and big blue eyes. “You sat at my table and made me very uncomfortable. I haven’t had such a beautiful woman overtly hit on my like that before. It was quite embarrassing.”
My smile is making it hard for my mouth to hang open in shock. It keeps opening and then my grin snaps my lips shut. “I did not!” I know he’s teasing me, but I can’t stop. I don’t want it to stop and I realize that I’m actually laughing.
His arms are folded over his chest. He taps a finger to his lip like he’s remembering. “You did. You ordered wine and just assumed that I’d put out. Really Sidney, you’ll have to learn to control yourself a little better from now on.” He looks at me out of the corner of his eye, as he glances at his car.
I know he’s baiting me, but I can’t ignore him. I can’t walk away and I don’t want to. He smiles at me with those wicked lips. It makes me want to kiss him, hard. I change tactics. I want to throw him so far off balance that he falls over. I step in front of him and look up at him from under my lashes. “Okay, you caught me. I like you. I want you. I can’t keep my hands off of you. But tell me this, beautiful man; why should I bother controlling myself when I can tell that you want me so much?” Slowly, I step closer to him. Our bodies are a breath apart as I look up into his eyes.
He’s smiling and manages to say, “You shouldn’t.” He watches me, waiting to see what I’ll do. I feel my heart pounding. His eyes drift to my lips and back to my eyes. Every inch of my body flickers to life. I want to feel his hands on me. I want his lips on my mouth. From that look in his eye, I know he wants it too.
I lean in closer, teasing him. I feel his breath on my lips. His scent fills my head and I breath him in. “Are you always this irresistible?”
“Are you always this coy? Do you just flirt, leaving your lips way too close to a man that desperately wants to kiss you?”

 Giveaway: (1) eBook copy of DAMAGED. All available electronic formats via Smashwords code.  Open International.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox #36

It was a light book week, but it was actually very much needed in order to make a dent into my TBR pile. I did pick up a few New Adult reads I've been anxious to check out!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review.

Damaged by H.M. Ward

Going Under by S. Walden

For Review:
Plus One by Brighton Walsh

The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson

Friday, April 19, 2013

Guest Post by Shattered Illusions Author Leigh Hershkovich

Thanks so much to Leigh Hershkovich for stopping by today! Look out for her upcoming debut novel Shattered Illusions.

            As a child, I looked at the world with rose colored glasses. I recall myself at the age of five or six, seeing the world with a much brighter and perhaps unrealistic tone of the world. It was only after I experienced the first act of being bullied that the shade of the world suddenly turned from pink to gray. My eyes were opened to the harsh realities of the world, and though as times the warm hue returns, it never stays for long.

            The harsh matter of the world is that reality is incredibly difficult. There are times where the hustle and bustle of daily living may make the world seem all the more exciting, thus distracting a person from the harsh consequences of life. At times when things are calm and even boring, it becomes difficult to recall that life is meant to be lived, not merely struggled through. In every scenario, both when life seems nice and easy, as well as when the struggles are prominent, the facts remain: Living is not simple or easy. Life is grueling, though the aches and pains are all the more worthwhile in the long run.

            In the case several of the characters in Shattered Illusions, the harsh realities of the world are often either lost on them or over exaggerated due to their perspective of the world. Though they all struggle through separate pains and distresses throughout the course of the novel, it is the shared difficulty of witnessing a murder that truly exemplifies their take on life.

            Though the characters eventually come to a small sense of inner peace as the novel progresses, life only gets worse before it gets better. Four strangers with equally difficult pasts, strung together by witnessing the murder of a local business owner. The four of them, though worlds apart, must put their distances aside for the sake of the case as well as for the sake of their sanity. It forces them to quickly grow up, and face the world as it truly as. Each character is no stranger to pain, having endured life altering, devastating experiences throughout their lives. The two younger characters, Ella Sansburg and Danny Michaels, have barely come out of their high school shells, but have experienced  more grief than what most people experience over the course of a lifetime. The same can be said of Sarah Grigg and Marco Santorini, the seasoned, well adjusted adults. Their harsh realities are made all the more grueling by the fact that not one of them know how to face life with even an ounce of positivity or joy. Though their bleakness is exposed and expressed in different manners, to a certain effect, they are all feeding off the emotions of one another.

            The lives of my characters began to make much more sense to me after I completed writing the novel. Though I was well versed in manners of the world when I first began writing Shattered Illusions at the age of eighteen, when I had completed it, I was struggling to live on my own and find a decent job for the first time in my life. I became well aware very quickly of just how much the lives of my characters would very well be my own, had the circumstance deepened. Thankfully, it did not. Reaching for the stars and striving for a goal is not as easy as my teachers told me it would be throughout my schooling career. Life is about hard work and perseverance. It is not always rosy, and tragedy strikes when least expected. My reality all but changed once I was on my own. The world can be a very cruel place, but within the cruel crevices lies hope.

            It was through the journey of the characters I created that I learned the true meaning of grief, but at the same time, I learned about self healing and overcoming harsh difficulties. I hope that my readers will find that they learn the same lesson, or even a greater one, through reading Shattered Illusions as well.

Leigh Hershkovich’s writing career began almost at infancy. Born and raised in The City by the Bay, Leigh was never seen without a pen and paper by her side, and was never without a story to share. With her vivid imagination and sharp writing tactics, she has taken the world by storm twice over. Now, with her debut novel Shattered Illusions, readers will get a first time glimpse into her first full fiction attempt.
An avid reader, accomplished pianist, passionate scholar of the language and the arts, Leigh currently resides in New York with her imagination.
You can learn more about Leigh and the world of Shattered Illusions by visiting her website (http://www.leighhershkovich.com), her blog (http://www.leighhershkovich.blogspot.com) or by following her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LeighHershkovich). Shattered Illusions can also be found on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16104490-shattered-illusions).