Friday, May 30, 2014

**GIVEAWAY** What I Read This Week May 24-30th

 

**Don't forget to ENTER the Giveaway at the bottom to win one of the book in this post**



My Bookshelf the Weeks of May 24-30th:








The first time it happened, it seemed like an impossible miracle. Bills were piling up, adding up to more money than I could ever make. Mom's hospital bills. My baby brother's tuition. My tuition. Rent. Electricity. All of it on my shoulders. And I had just lost my job. There was no hope, no money in my account, no work to be found. And then, just when I thought all hope was lost, I found an envelope in the mail. No return address. My name on the front, my address. Inside was a check, made out to me, in the amount of ten thousand dollars. Enough to pay the bills and leave me some left over to live on until I found a job. Enough to let me focus on classes. There was no name on the check, just "VRI Inc.," and a post office box address for somewhere in the city. No hint of identity or reason for the check or anything. No mention of repayment, interest, nothing…except a single word, on the notes line: "You." Just those three letters.

If you receive a mysterious check, for enough money to erase all your worries, would you cash it?

I did.

The next month, I received another check, again from VRI Incorporated. It too contained a single word: "belong."

A third check, the next month. This time, two words. Four letters. "To me."

The checks kept coming. The notes stopped. Ten thousand dollars, every month. A girl gets used to that, real quick. It let me pay the bills without going into debt. Let me keep my baby brother in school and Mom's hospice care paid for. How do you turn down what seems like free money, when you're desperate? You don't. I didn't.

And then, after a year, there was a knock on my door. A sleek black limousine sat on the curb in front of my house. A driver stood in front of me, and he spoke six words: "It's time to pay your debt."



My Rating:













From International Bestselling HarperCollins Author, Becky Wicks, comes a new adult romance that will leave you starstruck. 

***Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and mature situations. Not intended for young adult readers.*** 

One guy, one girl. One in the spotlight. One in the shadows.

Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always a great idea, especially when he’s Noah Lockton - the sexiest, most famous new talent on the planet. When 21-year-old small-town photographer Chloe Campbell is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join her celebrity childhood friend Noah on tour as an exclusive blogger for a New York magazine – she’s certain both have put what happened four years ago behind them. But his eyes still burn; his voice is still a jackhammer to her heartstrings; all his songs are about her. Is it possible that that night still haunts them both?

The music industry is a machine, spinning hype and rumors as much as his records. It’s not just Noah’s girlfriends who’ve got it in for Chloe (there’s no stopping the Twitter-obsessed, cat-loving pop-star Courtney Lentini for starters). Pretty soon, the jealousy and media frenzy surrounding these so-called-friends takes a life-changing turn and it seems making love means making enemies at every turn. When tragedy threatens to pull the final curtain on their relationship, both Chloe and Noah must make a choice. As much as this world leaves them starstruck, is living their dream really worth living without each other?

A story of lifelong friendships, love and hope, set in a world of celebrity, fame and social media gone very, very wrong

My Rating: 












My mother's name is Taylah, and once, a very long time ago, she was my best friend - she was everything I wanted to be. 

Until the night she disappeared. 

Ten years on and my life, my families lives and the world around us has never been the same again. 
How can it be when you are left not knowing?

No leads. No connections. Nothing. Just pure emptiness. 

My dancing is the only way I can separate myself from the pain that lies in my home, in my father's eyes and in my brother's spirit. They need me and I'll fight with everything I am to be there for them, but who will be there for me?

Then I meet Nate. 

Champion Motocross racer and everything my father doesn't want for me. He's forbidden, he's beautiful, and he's carrying a bundle of his own secrets. 

When I step into his world, there is no turning back. 

He will consume me. 

He will teach me how to breathe again. 

He will put a tiny piece of my broken heart, back together


My REVIEW

My Rating:

  










Releases July 1, 2014



TEN YEARS AGO ONE DEVASTATING NIGHT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR AUSTIN, HUNTER AND ALEX. NOW THEY MUST EACH PLAY THEIR PART IN THE REVENGE AGAINST THE ONE MAN WHO RUINED IT ALL.

Hunter Talbot Grant III, sports figure du jour, wealthy beyond measure and disreputable by choice, has cultivated a reputation that masks the shadows of his past. When the opportunity to ensure financial destruction for Jason Treffen arises, he can't refuse. But first he must shake off the woman sent to tame him!

Zoe Brook, PR agent extraordinaire, never fails to transform a tarnished star. And Hunter's no different. Except there's a catch. Beneath their scorching mutual attraction, Zoe has a secret, she's also been on the wrong side of Jason Treffen, and she has as much of a taste for revenge as Hunter does!

**This is book 2 in a three part series**

My Rating:









Releases June 2, 2014



My name is Catarina.
Or, that’s who I was christened to be, anyways.
I live in a convent. I am a nun in training. A postulant.
I am eighteen years old.

I am a predator.
No one is safe from me.

I am protected.
No one can get to me.

By day one way, by night another. They call on me.

My name is Catarina.
Codename: Night Fury.

No one is safe from me.

I will come for you

My Rating: 




Are you a member of The Blushing Reader Book Club?


The MAY challenge is:


Pick a May release (or late April) and read a book from an Author you have never read before.


I got my challenge completed already this month reading:












FLASH GIVEAWAY!

I will gift ONE lucky winner one of these ebooks that I have read this week.  This will end tonight (5/30/14) at 11pmEST!






Release Blitz Review & Giveaway: LIFE AFTER TAYLAH by Bella Jewel



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LIFE AFTER TAYLAH



   



REVIEW:

       



Bella Jewel never shies away from writing stories that will get you thinking while pushing your comfort levels and Life After Taylah definitely gave me lots to think about! I have read Bella Jewel in the past, and have enjoyed her MC Sinners series so I was curious to read a Bella Jewel story that was NOT about a bikers and about a dancer and a motocross "star".   Life After Taylah was a surprise and gave me an unexpected story that days afterward I am still struggling with how I feel about this story!

Life After Taylah was a different take on the romance/love story I typically read and while at times I was uncomfortable and wanted to stop reading, I couldn't.  Bella Jewel has a pull with her words that makes you keep turning pages to see what happens next.  I was left shocked, appalled and then hoping (no spoilers).  

Avery and Nate.  I loved them together.  The chemistry and the friendship they build up was amazing to read.  My heart broke for Nate and his situation.  Avery, her poor life, while I could understand some of the choices she was making, it was hard to read about how the ripple of Taylah still continued to control her life and choices she made.   While it may be hard for some people to read this story (and I admit to curling up my nose at first) it truly was a beautiful story of finding love and learning that love doesn't always happen the way we want it to and sometimes you have to be willing to take risks.

Bella Jewel is an author I will come back to time and time again.  She doesn't sugar coat her stories, she tells life like it really is.  Her characters are REAL and have flaws.  The decisions they make are not perfect but reading about characters that are making these choices and dealing with the blowback of those choices was refreshing to read.  Bella Jewel has taken a subject that most of us turn our noses up at and refuse to read and made a lovely story about two people who fell in love when they shouldn't have and how that choice changes everything.

If you are looking for a different kind of love story and are a fan of Bella Jewel you won't be disappointed in Life After Taylah!



SYNOPSIS:



My mother's name is Taylah, and once, a very long time ago, she was my best friend - she was everything I wanted to be. 

Until the night she disappeared. 

Ten years on and my life, my families lives and the world around us has never been the same again. 
How can it be when you are left not knowing?

No leads. No connections. Nothing. Just pure emptiness. 

My dancing is the only way I can separate myself from the pain that lies in my home, in my father's eyes and in my brother's spirit. They need me and I'll fight with everything I am to be there for them, but who will be there for me?

Then I meet Nate. 

Champion Motocross racer and everything my father doesn't want for me. He's forbidden, he's beautiful, and he's carrying a bundle of his own secrets. 

When I step into his world, there is no turning back. 

He will consume me. 

He will teach me how to breathe again. 

He will put a tiny piece of my broken heart, back together.  






BUY THIS BOOK:





Amazon: US  | UK  | AU Barnes and Noble  | Kobo  | iTunes 
 



MEET THE AUTHOR:


Bella Jewel
Bella Jewel is an Aussie girl through and through. She spent her life in Western Australia, growing up in many different areas of the state. She now currently lives in Perth with her husband, children and mass amounts of pets. She's crazy, fun, outgoing and friendly. Writing is her passion, she started at the young age of 18 but finally got the courage up to publish, and her first novel Hell's Knights was released in August 2013.  


 




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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blog Tour Giveaway: BEFORE HE WAS FAMOUS by Beck Wicks










SYNOPSIS:


Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always a great idea, especially when he’s Noah Lockton - the sexiest, most famous new talent on the planet. When 21-year-old small-town photographer Chloe Campbell is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join her celebrity childhood friend Noah on tour as an exclusive blogger for a New York magazine – she’s certain both have put what happened four years ago behind them. But his eyes still burn; his voice is still a jackhammer to her heartstrings; all his songs are about her. Is it possible that that night still haunts them both?
The music industry is a machine, spinning hype and rumors as much as his records. It’s not just Noah’s girlfriends who’ve got it in for Chloe (there’s no stopping the Twitter-obsessed, cat-loving pop-star Courtney Lentini for starters). Pretty soon, the jealousy and media frenzy surrounding these so-called-friends takes a life-changing turn and it seems making love means making enemies at every turn. When tragedy threatens to pull the final curtain on their relationship, both Chloe and Noah must make a choice. As much as this world leaves them starstruck, is living their dream really worth living without each other?

A story of lifelong friendships, love and hope, set in a world of celebrity, fame and social media gone very, very wrong.





EXCERPT:



'Noah!' she yells again. 'You have to spin for aunt Madeline, remember?'
It feels like so long since I saw Chloe laughing and something lifts from my shoulders almost instantly. Aunt Mads told us she and her boyfriend danced and span in the rain on the deck of a ship once, just because she'd seen it in a movie and always wanted to do it. Then, when it rained, she dragged us to her yard in The Bronx and we all span around till we were soaked and hysterical, doing stupid high kicks on the grass.
I can't take my eyes off her as she spins and spins and spins. And I feel it hit me. It smacks me hard; the thought that Chloe is the most beautiful creature I've ever seen, right here, right now, spinning like a figurine in a silver snow-globe.
She bounds up to me, giddy and still laughing. Raindrops are careening down her cheeks and her eyes are huge now. 'Come fly with me, Peter,' she breathes, reaching for the hand that isn't clasped around the umbrella. 'Or are you too grown up for that now?'
The wind picks up and clutches at her dress. I reach out instinctively to her face, run a thumb along her cheek, swiping at raindrops. 'You're drunk,' I whisper, but even as she frowns and rolls her eyes at me I have to smile because I see her; the kid who held my hand when my dog died, who gave names to the snails in her yard, who made me jump about her bedroom carpet like it was an ocean full of islands.
I see the seventeen-year-old who clung to me when her dad died. The secrets we left in the branches; the way our desperate lips searched frantically for some modicum of sense as we let our minds go out the window and fucked with more passion, more heart than I've ever experienced with anyone else in my life; even if she was drunk, even if we were grieving. It doesn't change what it meant to me.
Fuck. She's amazing. I love her. Why the hell did I let her go back to Cooper? Why the hell did I not just tell her sooner? Would it even have made a difference?
She's tugging on my arm and I realize I haven't spoken yet. 'Chloe...' I start. But the flash strikes us like lightning. I'd know it anywhere and it has nothing to do with the weather.

'Paparazzi,' we say in sync, and I grab her hand, pull her with me as we both break into a run.




BUY THIS BOOK:






MEET THE AUTHOR:


Becky Wicks is a HarperCollins author going indie! Itchy feet has led her to live and work all over the world since leaving England at age 21, including NYC, Sydney, Bali, South America and Dubai. Right now she’s scribbling the second book in the HotFlush series in Vietnam, and will soon be in Vancouver if any hot Canadian men want to make her a cup of tea? 
Becky has also written three funny travel books about her time in Dubai, Bali and South America (HarperCollins). Her first book, Burqalicious - The Dubai Diaries, her second book, Balilicious - The Bali Diaries and her third, Latinalicious -The South America Diaries are out now as ebooks. 
Becky has also written a comedy romance with author Sarah Alderson under the name Lola Salt, called The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft) which should raise a giggle or two... think Bridget Jones if Jackie Collins had written it!

Follow her on twitter at bex_wicks and her blog www.beckywicks.com



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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Paperback Release Giveaway: THE LEMON ORCHARD by Luanne Rice



The Lemon Orchard 
by Luanne Rice

the-lemon-orchard-by-luanne-rice-paperback-medium


Paperback release: May 27, 2014


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A heartrending, timely love story of two people from seemingly different worlds—at once dramatic and romantic

Luanne Rice is the beloved author of twenty-two New York Times bestsellers. In The Lemon Orchard, one of her most moving and accomplished works yet, Rice gives us an affirming story about the redemptive power of compassion, set in the sea- and citrus-scented air of the breathtaking Santa Monica Mountains.


In the five years since Julia last visited her aunt and uncle’s home in Malibu, her life has been turned upside down by her daughter’s death. She expects to find nothing more than peace and solitude as she house-sits with only her dog, Bonnie, for company. But she finds herself drawn to the handsome man who oversees the lemon orchard. Roberto expertly tends the trees, using the money to support his extended Mexican family. What connection could these two people share? The answer comes as Roberto reveals the heartbreaking story of his own loss—a pain Julia knows all too well, but for one striking difference: Roberto’s daughter was lost but never found. And despite the odds he cannot bear to give up hope.


Set in the sea and citrus-scented air of the breathtaking Santa Monica Mountains, The Lemon Orchard is an affirming story about the redemptive power of compassion and the kind of love that seems to find us when we need it most.




Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble
 

About Luanne Rice


luanne-rice-by-adrian-kinloch-0226-web    Luanne Rice is the author of thirty-one novels including many New York Times bestsellers.  Five of her books have been made into movies and mini-series, and her work has been featured at Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, California, and in several off-Broadway theatre productions.  She divides her time between New York City and the Connecticut shoreline.

       









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