Monday, November 30, 2015

Interview with Caylie Marcoe, Author of Love Found

Title: Love Found
Author: Caylie Marcoe
Release Date: Nov 13, 2014
Genres: Contemp, NA, Romance

Haley Cavanaugh’s heart is broken.

Shattered into a million pieces, and that’s just how she’d like it to stay.

She doesn’t believe she deserves happiness. She doesn’t understand how to move on while her life is falling apart and her reality is destroyed.

Enter Eli Park.

Eli is someone Haley thought she knew, but who turned out to be so much more than she remembered. He sees through her pain and refuses to be pushed away, even when she lashes out.

Eli’s patience is both frustrating and surprising. Haley was so sure she wanted to go on feeling nothing, but Eli stirs emotions she can’t deny.

Will Haley allow Eli to help her through this horrific time so she can find herself again? Or will she lose the only person who can help heal her heart?

Hi Caylie! Thank you for taking the time to talk with us! 
How'd you come up with the story for Love Found?
I always knew I wanted to write a more emotional story. One where the female lead was dealing with a major family issue, but also attending college, hanging with friends, and falling in love. There wasn’t a specific moment where this story idea came to me, I think it’s just always been sitting in the back of my brain waiting for the right moment to be written. 

Did you use any real life experiences in this book?
While it’s not an autobiographical story, there are some experiences from my life that I pulled on. For instance, my mom also passed away from cancer, and I was told months before she passed that she was dying and there was nothing we could do. The whole mother/daughter relationship was, I think, what I would have wanted to happen had I been older when she passed. 

Also, there are a few scenes that may have happened with my friends in college….I won’t divulge them all, but here are two that stick out to me. 

While the Kyler chair scene seems completely random, my real-life Kyler also called me in a semi-panic to help her build her chair, and it’s seriously one of the moments where I think, “Yep, this girl is going to be one of my best friends.” 

I also played Jeopardy with my guy friends before…the Saint Bridget thing still makes me mad to this day. 

Why did you decide to change the title?
Parting Chances was originally a working title. But I think in the end, it just stuck, because I couldn’t come up with anything else that worked. And the more I tried to explain to myself that it would work and that it made sense, the more I felt that I could roll with it.
The issue, however, was that I don’t think anyone else understood the title, unless it was explained to them. And I felt maybe that was why people were choosing not to read the book. They would see the title and go, “This makes no sense,” and click past it. 

With Love Found it makes so much more sense, without any explanation needed. 

What made you realize you wanted to be an author?
For as long as I can remember, I used to make stories up in my head. When my parents first got a computer, I sat down one day and started writing an ‘Nsync fan fiction (yes, I was that girl). And one chapter turned into two…and the next thing I knew, I had thirty two chapters and a legit full length novel. 

And it was fun writing. 

Fast forward to 2013, and I was a stay-at-home-mom to two tiny humans, and I read…a lot. And one day I thought, “Hey, I could have written this story.” So I sat down at my computer, thought about this recurring dream I’ve had, and wrote out a chapter. I sent the chapter to a friend to see what she thought, and she told me she wanted more. That was my awakening, if you will. It was the moment where I thought, “I could write these stories in my head, and people might actually enjoy them.” 

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Explain...
I’m a total pantser. I wrote Choose Us based on a recurring dream, and that was really only a very few scenes. The rest I just…wrote. 

With Love Found I just started writing and it led itself. However, I did get stuck towards the end and needed to plot some of the story, but for the most part, it was off the top of my head. 

I have plotted a few stories because, as of recent, I’ve been having a hard time writing anything. I thought maybe plotting would be a good idea and would help me write something. But….even that hasn’t worked out well.

Do you have any music that helps you write?
It depends on the story. For Choose Us it was a lot of pop-punk music, because of who Travis is. Love Found was a lot of instrumental piano music, because I needed to be focused and write some pretty difficult scenes. I have a story where country music helps me write. Or a Christmas story where…Christmas music works best. 

Again, it really just depends on the story. And I am an eclectic listener; I love most everything. 

Have you considered writing in any other genres?
I have. I would love to write a paranormal romance. I just have no idea how to dig into that world. Writing contemporary romances are so much easier for me.
But I wouldn’t turn down the chance to write a paranormal romance…with the right co-author, of course. ;) 

What's your favorite genre to read?
I would have to say contemporary romance. I love me some romance. But I do love paranormal, dystopian, fantasy, sci-fi (sometimes)…but they all need a little romance.

What can we expect from you next? 
This year has been tough for me with writing. I can’t pinpoint why, but every story I start, I only make it about five thousand words in before I bail. 

With that being said, I do have a story I’m working on about long lost love.
And then there is Nicki’s story…for those of you who have read Choose Us. It’s still being written, albeit slower than expected. 

Quick five Questions:
Fave food? 
Ice cream…mmmmm ice cream. Or pizza, you can never go wrong with pizza. 

Fave book? 
Oy vey. Um…I could give you a favorite book…from every author…I’ve even read. But to answer this one, I’m going to say the book(s) that I can keep going back to time and time again and never get bored. And that is the Harry Potter series. (One book…seven books…what’s the difference?)

Fave holiday? 
Thanksgiving! Delicious food. The time we decorate for Christmas. The only holiday we celebrate with just our family of four. And football…oh boy, football. CoughGoPackersCough!!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what book would you bring? 
A survival guide, because I am worthless in the wilderness (or desert island, in this case). 

Fave song? 
Right now, it’s “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. Of all time? Probably “Watch the Sky” by Something Corporate.  

Once again, thank you for sitting down with us & good luck with your next novel!

About the Author:
Born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, Caylie fell in love with reading at a young age. With her lively imagination, she created numerous stories in her head throughout her childhood and teenage years.

Her first novel, Choose Us, released in April 2014 and became an Amazon Bestseller. 

When she isn't slaving away at the keyboard, Caylie is an avid reader, and lover of coffee... copious amounts of coffee. She also has an unhealthy addiction to coffee mugs, chapstick, water bottles, football, and tv shows--binge watching is her favorite.

She chases her two kids around the house all day, and has a husband whom she adores. 

If you want to stay tuned in to all of the new release news, sign up for Caylie's spam-free newsletter HERE. It only comes out when something exciting is happening...promise! 

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Win 10 signed YA books & a $200 Amazon gift card!

Hi guys! I posted about this giveaway a few weeks ago, but just wanted to bring it back since it's ending soon and I think it's a great opportunity for fellow YA lovers. It's being held over at and is for 10 signed books by best selling authors (pictured below) and a $200 gift card. 

Just look at all those beauties!

Click HERE to enter!

Feature & Follow Friday (44) / Friday 56 (13)

Feature & Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkiee's View & Alison Can Read. Check out their blogs and the two Featured Bloggers of the week! This is great for finding amazing new blogs to follow and for gaining followers yourself!

This weeks question is: 
Black Friday Eve! You have $100 (or pounds or whatever your currency is) to spend on books. What are you going to buy?

I answered: 
Honestly there are so many books I want to read and I never know which ones to buy when I actually have the chance. Plus, books are just way too expensive and I feel like $100 wouldn't buy as many as I would want (or need). So instead I would most likely put the money toward my Scribd subscription because it would pay for almost a full year of unlimited reading which just seems like a much better investment considering I don't even have room on any of my bookshelves.
(This kind of reads like an Ad or something, but it's not I promise LOL)

However, some of the books I've been wanting to get my hands on are:
What about you? Leave your answer to this weeks question in the comments below.

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice. Basically you flip to page 56 (or 56% in your eReader) of any book and post a sentence or two (more if you want) from that page without being too spoiler-y. This gives us a glimpse into what you are reading or have read, and may even prompt us to add your book to our TBR piles!

My teaser:
"The piskie made irritated buzzing sounds, pointing at me and waving her arms, and Todd shook his head. 'I know, I know! But he's the Iron Queen's brother. He's the only one I could think of.' 
My heart gave a violent lurch at the mention of the Iron Queen, and I narrowed my eyes. 'What was that?' 
'You have to help us,' Todd exclaimed, oblivious to my sudden anger. 'These things are after me, and they don't look friendly.'"
Excerpt From: Julie Kagawa. “The Lost Prince.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (60)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 

Until the End
by Abbi Glines
Release Date: November 17, 2015

From B&N:
The backstory that fans have been clamoring for—how Rock and Trisha fell in love—is the final novel in the Sea Breeze series from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Abbi Glines.

Trisha Corbin always knew how to hide a bruise. With her momma’s boyfriends unable to keep their hands off her, she had no choice. And as long as it meant the guys wouldn’t go near her little brother, Krit, it was worth it. But her days of dreaming that Prince Charming would ever come rescue her are far, far in the past.

Rock Taylor always had a plan. Through football, he would rise above the life he was born into. A full scholarship to play for a major college team was within his reach—assuming he didn’t let anything get in his way. But scoring a date with the hottest girl in Sea Breeze was proving harder than expected. Trisha Corbin was every man’s walking fantasy, and she wouldn’t even glance his way.

When Rock finally does get Trisha in his truck, it isn’t for a date. It’s because he picks her up on the side of the road, beaten and bruised and trying to get to the local hospital. Before Rock knows it, football is no longer his life. Trisha Corbin is. And he’ll do anything to save her. And keep her.

In addition to Rock and Trisha’s love story, this special conclusion to the Sea Breeze series contains the wrap-up stories of all your favorite Sea Breeze couples: Sadie and Jax, Marcus and Low, Cage and Eva, Preston and Amanda, Jess and Jason, Krit and Blythe, and Dewayne and Sienna. The steamy romance doesn’t stop until the very last page!

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

I'm pretty sure this actually came out last year (I think?), but I saw it on the coming soon section of B& and I absolutely love this series but haven't had a chance to finish it so I thought I'd include this in a WoW. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Review (72): Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
by Ann Jacobus

Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley

My Thoughts: 
After getting kicked out of her fourth boarding school, Summer Barnes moves to Paris to finish off her second senior year of high school. She has until the age of 22 to graduate from a four-year university or she risks losing a hefty inheritance—which seems easier said than done at this point. She’s felt lost and alone since the sudden death of her father five years earlier and believes that all her problems will go away if she just meets the right guy. Lucky for her, she catches the eye of two; one challenges her and helps her rediscover life’s beauty, while the other leads her down a path of self-destruction. When her damaging behavior manages to alienate everyone, she has to decide if she wants to continue down this road or if her life is worth living and fighting for. 

As the title sort of suggests this deals with some dark topics including addiction, depression, and suicide. It is not an easy read so be aware of that if these are things you are not comfortable with or find triggering. As someone who also battled depression at the age of 18, I completely identified with Summer. It was easy to be sympathetic towards her despite how frustrating she was at times because I know what it feels like to be in her shoes. She may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I thought she was very real and appreciated her straight forward voice. 

Moony was a great character as well. I can't even image how he has such an optimistic take on life after everything he's been through. I think he and Summer meet just when she needs him most. Kurt on the other had is the complete opposite and encourages her down an even more dangerous path than she is already on. They definitely did not have your average love triangle; it was more of a light vs. dark tug of war that was a lot different than I had expected from how it's written on the cover. 

I figured out the twist pretty early on but it was still interesting to see that aspect of the plot unravel. I don’t want to say much because I don’t want to give it away, but I thought it was an intriguing take on inner demons and the mental battle that is depression. Overall, I think this is a great read and I wish there were some others out there like it because depression and mental illness is still something that is not talked about enough. 

| Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

* Thank you to the author and publisher for an eARC in return for my honest review *

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (59)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 

Did I Mention I Love You?
by Estelle Maskame
Release Date: December 1, 2015

From B&N:
Love is everything but expected.

Eden Monro came to California for a summer of sun, sand and celebrities — what better way to forget about the drama back home? Until she meets her new family of strangers: a dad she hasn't seen in three years, a stepmonster and three stepbrothers.

Eden gets her own room in her dad's fancy house in Santa Monica. A room right next door to her oldest stepbrother, Tyler Bruce. Whom she cannot stand. He's got angry green eyes and ego bigger than a Beverly Hills mansion. She's never felt such intense dislike for someone. But the two are constantly thrown together as his group of friends pull her into their world of rule-breaking, partying and pier-hanging.

And the more she tries to understand what makes Tyler burn hotter than the California sun, the more Eden finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't...

Did I Mention I Love You? is the addictive first book in Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame's DIMILY trilogy: three unforgettable summers of secrets, heartbreak and forbidden romance.

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

I got a Netgalley of this so we'll see. Sounds interesting though--forbidden love is my jam.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Review (71): The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

The Ugly Stepsister
by Aya Ling

Release Date: June 10, 2015
Pages: 452
Format: eBook
Source: Author

My Thoughts: 
When Kat accidentally transports herself into one of her old fairytale books as Cinderella’s ugly step-sister, she finds herself in quite the predicament. The only way to get home is ensure that the story ends as it should—with a happily ever after. Unfortunately for her, the rest of the characters don’t seem to be playing along; she has no idea where the fairy godmother is hiding, the handsome prince seems to hate all the attention that comes with his status, her beautiful sister is dead set on becoming queen, and if all of that weren’t enough, Cinderella has her eyes set on someone else. How is Kat supposed to make sure the story runs smoothly and still learn how to navigate the social season as a highborn lady?

I am not a huge fan of retellings because I feel like they all end up being the same so I almost didn’t bother reading this. And omg, how horrible would that have been? Because I honestly loved everything about this! I think that just the small change of making this from the ugly stepsisters perspective added so much to the story. But that isn’t even the best part. The characters were so well-written and amazing. I loved every single one of them—even the actual evil, stepsister. 

Kat predictably started off as shy and clumsy but quickly turned into the brave heroine. It was great seeing her grow and become assertive and bold. She challenges various issues in the fairy tale world including child labor and sexism. I thought it was funny how everyone is either impressed or scandalized by her behavior and was happy that she felt the need to do something about these injustices despite knowing she wouldn’t be in Athelia long. Prince Edward is very down-to-earth and passionate about his position, despite the fact that he doesn’t like all the attention that comes along with being the crown prince. He was so cute and sweet and understanding—I just loved him. 

Another thing I really liked was the distinction between Kat’s voice and that of all the other fairy tale characters. They really sounded like they came straight out of a fairy tale while she had a modern vocabulary—it was very comical at times. Eventually she kind of starts to sound like them, but there was always that modern slang that confused the hell out of everyone else. 

This is by far one of my favorites and I hope Aya continues to write such amazing and strong female characters! The only thing I would change about this is the cover. The current one does not do this justice and I think this is definitely deserving of a prettier and more magical one. 

* Thank you to the author and publisher for an eARC in return for my honest review *

Friday, November 13, 2015

Win 10 Signed YA Books!

Hi guys! I just wanted to share an amazing giveaway that was brought to my attention. It's being held over at and is for 10 signed books by best selling authors (pictured below) and a $200 gift card. 

Just look at all those beauties!

Click HERE to enter!

Feature & Follow Friday (43) / Friday 56 (12)

Feature & Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkiee's View & Alison Can Read. Check out their blogs and the two Featured Bloggers of the week! This is great for finding amazing new blogs to follow and for gaining followers yourself!

This weeks question is: 
What are the funniest books you've ever read?

I answered: 
I love witty characters so I'm going to say The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead because of Rose Hathaway and more recently I just finished Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist! by Kay Marie which was hilarious and amazing.
What about you? Leave your answer to this weeks question in the comments below.

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice. Basically you flip to page 56 (or 56% in your eReader) of any book and post a sentence or two (more if you want) from that page without being too spoiler-y. This gives us a glimpse into what you are reading or have read, and may even prompt us to add your book to our TBR piles!

My teaser:
"There is one benefit to knowing someone for your entire life. Sure, Ollie has dirt on me. And well, a lot of it, because as you know, I have issues. But I also have dirt on him. Oh you know, just little things like he used to let Bridge and I braid his hair--butterfly clips, fake pink hair strands, glittery ties, the whole shebang. And yes, before you ask, I have the photos to prove it. Dirt!"
Excerpt From: Kay Marie. “Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist!.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Guest Post: How to Deal with Writer’s Block [Fear] by Lily Velez (w/ giveaway!)

Title: The Secrets We Kept
Author: Lily Velez
Genre: Contemp, Romance, YA 
Release Date: November 8, 2015

One year. That’s how long it’s been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.

Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something’s different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile—all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can’t even begin to recognize, much less understand.

Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he’s convinced he can win her trust again, and he’s committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.

But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, she’s determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever.

The only problem is it seems her heart hasn’t quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she’ll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. Now her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one…long before Sully’s resolve ever does.

The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength.
How to Deal with Writer’s Block [Fear] 
by Lily Velez

This is probably one of the most popular questions an author receives, and I’m happy to share my insights about writer’s block in hopes that more aspiring writers will know the truth, which is that writer’s block does not exist

What we refer to as ‘writer’s block’ is instead typically one of three things: fear, resistance, or lack of planning. In this guest post, I want to especially address fear because I believe it’s something that every writer faces, but it’s also something every writer can overcome.  

Writing is like translating your secrets into written words, secrets that up until that point have only existed as precious thoughts within your soul. As such, this story you’re aching to share is dear to you, and chances are you’ve envisioned the final draft of your words in every form imaginable countless times. 

Then you sit at your computer and start to type, and the words you string together are nothing like the magnum opus you’ve dreamed of. Far from it, in fact. 
So fear sets in. 

You fear that what you create will fall leagues below the expectations you’ve set in your mind. You fear that you’re too inexperienced to tell the story in a masterful way. You fear that you’re incapable of crafting it so that it’s nothing short of brilliant. You fear that you’re not good enough to be the storyteller. You fear what people will say, what people won’t say, and what either scenario says about the value of your contribution to the world. 

Take a look at this quote: 

“Stop here for a few breaths and think about this because it is the key to making art, and very possibly the key to finding any semblance in life. Every time I have set out to translate the book (or story, or hopelessly long essay) that exists in such brilliant detail on the big screen of my limbic system onto a piece of paper…I grieve for my own lack of talent and intelligence. Every. Single. Time. Were I smarter, more gifted, I could pin down a closer facsimile of the wonders I see. I believe that, more than anything else, this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is key. I can’t write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself."  
—Ann Patchett, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Do you need to forgive yourself? 

The secret is: everyone feels this way! When it comes to writing, sharing your message, and baring your soul for all the world to see, we’re all scared out of our minds. But my belief is this: if you’ve been given a message or story that’s burning in your heart, a story you know people need to hear, then you have an obligation to share it with as many people as possible. 

It doesn’t matter how small you feel, how inadequate you feel, how incapable you feel, etc…people are depending on you to courageously step forth and shine your light and touch their hearts with your story. And to them, it doesn’t matter whether you sound like a J.K. Rowling, a John Green, a Suzanne Collins, or any of the present greats—they just want to feel something as a result of reading your words. 

So the next time fear creeps in and your courage has its tail between its legs, remind yourself of this: This is my story to share, and I have everything I need to tell it in the way that only I can tell it. 

At the heart of everything that you’ve ever read that moved you, touched you, changed your life, there was a writer’s fear. And a writer’s determination to say what he had to say in spite of that fear.

—Jeff Bulas

About the Author:
Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at

| Website | Twitter | Goodreads |

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (58)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 

(The Lunar Chronicles, #4)
by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: November 10, 2015

From B&N:
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend--the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer's national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |

All I have to say is: oh mah gawd, finally.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Excerpt: Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev & Glenn Dallas (w/ giveaway!)

Title: Sugar Skulls
Author: Lisa Mantchev & 
Glenn Dallas
Published by: Skyscape

Release Date: Nov 10, 2015
Genres: Dystopia, NA, Sci Fi

Welcome to Cyrene, a city where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young citizens. Everyone lives on the grid, and the residents of the world’s largest playground are encouraged to pursue every physical and emotional pleasure imaginable.

Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, an all-girl band that is Corporate’s newest pet project. Micah haunts the city like a ghost after an overdose of a deadly illegal street drug knocks him off the grid. When Micah and Vee forge an immediate, undeniable connection, their troubled worlds collide.

Trading concert stages for Cyrene’s rooftops and back alleys, they have to evade vicious thugs and Vee’s possessive manager as they unravel the mysteries connected to their dark pasts. And before the curtain falls, Micah and Vee will bring the city to its knees in their desperate bid for love, home, and a future together.

My shirt’s open in a flash, and her lips are on me, her tongue tracing hot little swirls along my skin. My arms close around her, one hand still buried in her hair, the other stroking along her spine, fingertips trailing along the exposed skin, and she shivers despite the warmth radiating from her.
She’s a whirlwind, a hungry, passionate, desperately fuckable whirlwind, and I’m swept up in her wake.

The only furniture in the room is a little bench against the wall, since you need the space for couples, trios, and other gatherings of willing bodies. I sit down quickly, pull her closer, my hands on her ass as she climbs onto my lap, straddling me. Her afterthought of a shirt brushed aside, her chest against mine, I can feel her heart pounding like a speaker about to blow out.

Grabbing two fistfuls of my hair, she yanks my head back, exposing my neck. She chuckles as she kisses along my jawline, then bites . . . not too hard, but not gently, either, like she’s marking me as hers.

Her hands run down my neck and across my chest, her fingernails grazing my skin, one hand resting on the tattoo emblazoned over my heart. She pauses a moment and whispers the top name aloud— “Bryn”—before her mouth meets mine again. My eyes slam shut as I lose myself in her lips, her tongue, her little gasps for breath before she dives in for more. Our hands roam and grasp and tease, but it’s all background to one endless, ravenous kiss. She’s insatiable, a five-story drop, and I take the plunge, succumbing to gravity and falling falling falling with her.

She tastes like hard liquor and candy and sex and longing and . . . something else. Every brush of her tongue against mine makes it sharper, until it’s all I can think about, until even the promise of a gorgeous girl against me fades.

Apples. She tastes like apples.

Fuck. No.

I tense up and pull away from the kiss, and for the second time tonight, I think I’ve surprised her. She leans close as if to kiss me again, only to purr in my ear, a rolling seductive sound that gives me shivers.

But the spell is already broken.

Velvet curtains. Bryn. Apples.

Someone in the club is dealing applejack.

“Did you take something? Did you take little green translucent tabs of something?”

Her warm breath finds my ear once more. “I’m sorry, love, I only had the one. But I can get more, enough for both of us, and—”

“Where? Where did you get it?” I shout with a fury that startles us both.

She leans back and takes a moment before answering. “From Adonis. The guy on the dais. He gave me a taste while we were danc—” “I need you to listen to me.” I stand up, awkwardly dragging her to her feet, and I grab her face with both hands. Locking eyes with her. Hazel. Clear. No ruptured blood vessels, no discoloration. Doing quick calculations in my head: skin temperature, time elapsed since she took the tab. If something bad was going to happen . . . It would’ve by now. Lucky girl. “Take anything, anything you want. Sample anything else in the whole place and get as blissed out as you like, but please, please don’t ever touch that rancid garbage ever again. It will fuck up your soul.” She looks baffled by my spur-of-the-moment plea. I’m sure I would, too, in her place. I pull her close and kiss her again—a gift for me, an apology for her—and then I bolt.

Making a beeline for the illuminated dais at the center of the Palace of Wonders, I have no problem spotting him, even if we’ve never crossed paths before. Shirtless, crowned, grinding against a pair of waify young things wearing bioluminescent body paint and spaced-out smiles.

I hustle up the glowing side stairs and onto the platform, barging in on the soon-to-be threesome. 

“Hey, apologies, ladies, but I need a moment with His Majesty.”

The glow-in-the-dark sexpots step aside, dazed eyes already looking for a new plaything, and he looks suitably pissed. But three magic words make it all better.

“I can pay.”

He sizes me up—torn shirt with no buttons, half-mauled chest, dark jeans with a little bit of roof dust still clinging to the legs—and shrugs, gesturing me toward a side exit. “Fun inside, business outside.”

We step out into the heavy mist of the alley, and the door shuts behind us. Standing with his back to me, he reaches into both pockets. From one, he pulls a handful of silvertip sticks and a lighter; from the other, a stack of green-tinted tabs, individually wrapped and ready to share. “What’s your pois—”
I don’t give him the chance to finish, charging him as he turns and slamming him against the opposite wall. His head bounces off the brick. I’m ranting away in my head, bordering on raving.

That’s for the girl in the alcove and Bryn and Rina and every other person you’ve torn to pieces with this fucking life-ruining shit . . .

He collapses to the ground, drugs still in hand, and I lean close, almost snarling. “Where’d you get this? Huh? Who’s your supplier?” I snatch the whole stack from him, cracking one tab open and sparking the lighter beneath it.

The applejack flares up in an instant, burning hotter than I expect, and I drop it into the garbage can against the wall, dumping the other tabs in after it. Each one bursts into flame with a whoosh, incinerated in seconds. This is some potent shit.

I turn back toward the scumbag dealer. “Who keeps you stocked? Is it Re—”

He punches me in the leg, and pain arcs through me. I crumple to the ground in a heap, twitching.

Fuck. Took too long. My hand still clutches the lighter tight, the nerves frozen and nonresponsive. I can’t even speak.

Standing now, he kicks me in the gut, hard. He leans down and smiles, showing me the glowing set of knuckles on his hand. Brights. Should’ve known. Then two furious kicks to the chest, punctuating them with “should kill you for that” and “wasted all my best shit.” I’m still so rattled by the shock from his modified knucks, I can’t cry out. I wheeze, trying to get my breath back, and he gives me three more kicks, just for good luck, I guess.

The security door swings open, and His Majesty instantly steps away from me. Blinded by the light from the doorway, I can barely make out the shape of the bouncer. “What’s going on out here?”

Slick as bacon grease, His Majesty goes into spin mode. “Guy wanted a hit of riprap and got a little aggressive, that’s all.”

“Should I bring him inside and call the greys?”


But saving his own ass saves mine by accident. “Naw, let him sleep it off in the alley. You know how these little tweakers can be.”

Curled up in pain, I’m in no position to argue. I just lie there on the cold, damp asphalt as he spits in my face and struts through the security door. It slams shut behind him, and everything goes dark.

About the Author:
When not working on puzzles for Penny Press or writing about them for PuzzleNation, Glenn Dallas is an author of short stories and at least half of one novel. After appearing in the acknowledgments of several outstanding novels, he looks forward to returning the favor in the future. 

Lisa Mantchev is the acclaimed author of Ticker and the Théâtre Illuminata series, which includes Eyes Like Stars, nominated for a Mythopoeic Award and the Andre Norton Award. She has also published numerous short stories in magazines, including Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, and Fantasy. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with her husband, children, and horde of furry animals. Visit her online at

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Review (70): One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt

One Night That Changes Everything
by Lauren Barnholdt

Release Date: July 6, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 242
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

My Thoughts: 
When her father gets offered a job in a brand new city, Eliza’s twelve year old self decides this will be the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself. With her allowance, she buys a purple notebook and begins making a sort-of bucket list of all the things she wants to do but has always been afraid of. Except the move never happens. Now 5 years older, the list has grown and includes much more personal items—things she doesn’t want anyone to read because some aren’t just about herself. And so, when it is stolen by the 318s (a secret society made up of the popular boys of her high school, including her ex-boyfriend Cooper), she has no choice but to do what they say or they’ve threatened to post her notebook online for everyone to see. Except this isn’t going to be easy because the tasks they’ve chosen for her are the things she wrote…all the things she’s never had the guts to do.

This was a very quick read (I’m sure I would have finished in a day had I not had a paper to write the same weekend I started this) that sucked me in from the beginning. It takes place in the span of just one night, but oh so much happens in those 12 short hours. The 318s basically have Eliza and her two best friends, Marissa and Clarice, on a wild goose chase all over Boston and the surrounding cities. She is forced to do 4 tasks throughout the night that she does, in my opinion, like a champ. They honestly weren’t that bad—except for one—but I can understand why she would have added them to her notebook of things she’s not brave enough to do. 

Eliza is sarcastic, spunky, and, at times, kind of crabby. I wanted to tell her to just shut up and listen to what people—particularly Cooper—were trying to tell her, but she definitely had me laughing out loud because of some of her comebacks. She has no choice but to do what the 318s tell her to, but she does most of the tasks defiantly and only as a way to buy her time so she can come up with a better way to get her notebook back. I think Clarice and Marissa are great secondary characters. They balance each other out because they are polar opposites—although both are pretty naive when it comes to aspects of love. Despite the length of the storyline and how fast everything seems to happen, it is obvious that all three of them takeaway something positive from what they experience that night. 

This is a story of friendship, second chances, and conquering your fears—even if you are literally blackmailed into doing so. I’ve read a few of Barnholdt’s books and have enjoyed all of them so far. I highly recommend this as a fun and quick read!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (57)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can not wait to read! This meme is the perfect way to add books to your TBR list. Along with upcoming releases, I sometimes include books that I have not had the chance to read or buy even if they have already come out. 

Hotel Ruby
by Suzanne Young
Release Date: November 3, 2015

From B&N:
Stay tonight. Stay forever.

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.

Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn’t have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she’s met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between in a place that is so much more than it seems…

Welcome to the Ruby.

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Sounds trippy and that is right up my ally. (This came out yesterday, but it still counts right? lol)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Review (69): A Million Suns by Beth Revis

A Million Suns
by Beth Revis

Series: Across the Universe, #2
Other Reviewed Titles: 
Across the Universe
Release Date:
January 10, 2012
Publisher: Razor Bill
Pages: 386
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Challenge: None
Book Website


My Thoughts: 
With Eldest gone, it is up to Elder to lead the the people of Godspeed as they (hopefully) continue their journey to Centauri-Earth. But without Phydus this proves extremely difficult. With everyone finally thinking for themselves, chaos ensues and Elder has to find a way to not only get people back to work to ensure everyone has enough to eat, but he also has to deal with a death count that is swiftly rising and figure out how to stop a mutiny. And if all of that wasn’t difficult enough for a sixteen-year-old to handle, he discovers a startling secret about the engine that has been kept since the Plague. His only hope at fixing this new problem comes in the form of a video message left for Amy by Orion. Orion hints at an even scarier secret and a decision that must be made about it, one he feels only Amy can make. Using clues left by Orion himself, Amy and Elder try to figure out what to do before everyone on board tears the ship apart. 

A Million Suns is the second book in the Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis. Since this is a sequel, I won’t go into too much detail because I definitely don’t want to ruin this for anybody. This book was action packed from the beginning and, once again, I could not put it down! I didn’t think there would be too much information we didn’t already know about Godspeed since A LOT was revealed in the first book, but I could not have been more wrong. The secrets that have been kept on that ship for centuries is astonishing. But it’s easy to see how no one ever found out the truth since 90% of the ship was drugged out of their minds for just as long. I love being shocked and this book definitely did that over and over again.

I really liked Amy in the first book, but in this one she got on my last nerve. She is super selfish and bossy and gets mad at Elder if he doesn’t do what she wants. He tries to make decisions that will make everyone on board happy and will help them survive because that is his job and what he has been preparing for his whole life. It’s hard for her to understand these decisions sometimes because she grew up in a completely different environment with different people and a different type of government. Because of this, she feels that his decisions aren’t right for the people of Godspeed even though he knows them better than anyone. Granted he is young and impulsive and may not always know exactly what to do, but she should have trusted and believed in him like she constantly says she does. I think he does the right thing at the end even if Amy thinks he is crazy for letting it happen.