Thursday, April 30, 2015

SWEET by Tammara Webber

Join us in celebrating the release of SWEET by Tammara Webber! Check out the excerpt and teasers below!

(Contours of the Heart #3) 
by Tammara Webber
NA Contemporary Romance

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:


Read an Excerpt Now

          In four years, nothing had erased or even dimmed my memories of Boyce. His kiss. His touch. The disorienting intensity of his gaze. I was a different person now, and so was he, but apparently those transformations didn’t matter to this thing I felt. For my heart, he was a grounding wire, the needle of a compass, a gravitational pull.

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of EASY and BREAKABLE (Contours of the Heart series - NA), as well BETWEEN THE LINES, WHERE YOU ARE, GOOD FOR YOU and HERE WITHOUT YOU (Between the Lines series - YA/NA).

I'm a hopeful romantic who adores novels with happy endings, because there are enough sad endings in real life. Before writing full-time, I was an undergraduate academic advisor, economics tutor, planetarium office manager, radiology call center rep, and the palest person to ever work at a tanning salon. I married my high school sweetheart, and I'm Mom to three adult kids and four very immature cats.

Find Tammara online:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Special Announcement from Cora Carmack!


Fans of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University, we have a SUPER exciting announcement:

  ALL CLOSED OFF Coming 2016

ALL CLOSED OFF, Book 4 in the Rusk University Series, is coming!!!

Check out this message from Cora!

*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven't yet read that book, read at your own peril.  

SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I'm not sorry.  

THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*

Hello beloved readers!

The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was "Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?" 

At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They'd make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end... I couldn't envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again). 

But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It's a wonderful experience, but in Stella's case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports. 

I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said... Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, "Mine. This is my story." I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn't take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn't want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn't mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, "Someone needs to tell this story. And I'm strong enough to do it. Let me." And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I'd been adamant wasn't right for her. Because as it turns out... Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren't so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before. 

So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It's about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It's about the way that kind of event can change everything-- how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It's about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you're still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light. 

So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book… 

Stella Santos is fine. 

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same. 

But none of that matters because she’s just fine

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t. 

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again. 



ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don't have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I'll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I'll be able to ensure that I'm able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won't be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you'll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links. 

Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella's story. When it's finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do. 

All my best, 
Cora Carmack   

*Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)
  #WhenitHappened banner

And an opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s…

Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her. Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance. 

If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard…. 

If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through…. 

If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours… 

I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself. 

So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening. 

#WhenItHappened Google Form:  


ABOUT Cora Carmack: 

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.      

  z-InkSlinger Blogger

Monday, April 27, 2015

SWEET by Tammara Webber - It's Release Day!!!

Join us in celebrating the release of SWEET by Tammara Webber! 
Check out the excerpt and teasers below!

SWEET (Contours of the Heart #3) 
by Tammara Webber
NA Contemporary Romance

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:



Boyce watched me, a lit cigarette in one hand and a koozied beer in the other. We hadn’t spoken since that kiss, other than his usual juvenile quips during biology—the ones that drove Mel and Mr. Quinn insane and made Landon smirk and shake his head and had me biting the inside of my cheek to suppress my smile.

At first, I’d been confused, then disappointed, and then angry. I’d worked my way to acceptance, like when I’d known I was drowning and there was nothing I could do. He’d merely gone back to being Boyce Wynn, who did what he wanted and who he wanted. And I’d gone back to being Pearl Frank—star student, social royalty, good girl.

But I couldn’t forget that kiss. The fixed glint of his eyes across the fire said that neither could he.

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of EASY and BREAKABLE (Contours of the Heart series - NA), as well BETWEEN THE LINES, WHERE YOU ARE, GOOD FOR YOU and HERE WITHOUT YOU (Between the Lines series - YA/NA).

I'm a hopeful romantic who adores novels with happy endings, because there are enough sad endings in real life. Before writing full-time, I was an undergraduate academic advisor, economics tutor, planetarium office manager, radiology call center rep, and the palest person to ever work at a tanning salon. I married my high school sweetheart, and I'm Mom to three adult kids and four very immature cats.

Find Tammara online:

Friday, April 24, 2015



Stories by Dawn Dalton, Shari Green, Denise Jaden,
Kitty Keswick, and Cady Vance
Publication Date: April 24, 2015
Published by Vine Leaf Press


New Alice. New Wonderland. New stories ​to love. 

From ​the modern Alice dumped in the Aquarian ​Age of the late sixties, to the ​present day Alice, tormented by body image and emotional issues, to the Alice of the future, launched forward through time and space, FALLING FOR ALICE offers five fresh takes on ​Lewis​ Carroll’s classic tale. For 150 years, people all over the world have fallen under Alice in Wonderland’s spell. ​Now, follow five Young Adult authors down the rabbit hole to discover Alice like you’ve never seen her before. One thing is certain—this is not your mother’s Alice. 

Purchase Links

Watch the Trailer

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


(And Other Concerns)
by Mandy Kaling
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Published by Three Rivers Press
Pages: 222
Source: Received as a gift
Purchase Amazon / B&N / Indiebound

Guest Reviewed by Holly

from Goodreads

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

Holly's Thoughts

I typically read loads of business and photography books, in the middle of one particularly depressing business book I had to take a break and read something lighter so I pulled out the copy of "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)" by Mindy Kaling that my mom had given me for Christmas.  It had been on my Amazon wish list for nearly 3 years because I love the cover, the title (literally one of the biggest fears we all have starting at age 5), and The Office (though I’m really not a fan of The Mindy Project).  My expectation was to read a cohesive funny memoir that I could finish up in a couple of weeks.  In reality the book doesn't flow in full chronological order, each chapter jumps around to different times in her life and career which seems like something that would be REALLY annoying, but it wasn't at all in fact I found it rather refreshing.  It was a very quick read, I devoured it on my lunch break each day for less than a week laughing my ass off in a public location with absolutely no shame in my game.

Mindy talks about being a chubby outcast as a kid.  There is a whole section called “Don’t Peak in High School,” I have now adopted this philosophy and pretend that it is my own – no one who was a big deal in high school ever made anything out of themselves so clearly the rest of us will get our turn and all be amazing superstars and rule the world as adults.  You get a little peek at what it is really like to live in New York City, not quite as glamorous as it seems on TV, but way more interesting than the suburbs.  Had I read the section titled "Men and Boys" around a decade ago (and taken it to heart) I feel certain that I would be a completely different person today, probably married to a rich lawyer or something so this book is a great gift for high school graduations.

As someone who thought that they wanted to grow up to be a rich and famous actress when I was a kid (and maybe even still a little bit now), I really love to read celebrity memoirs.  It is always great to see that we have things in common.  Without further ado, here is the list of things that Mindy and I have in common that let me know I will be wildly successful in the next 5ish years:

·         We were chubby children, and chubby adults
·         We suck at sports
·         We are neurotic
·         We have temper tantrums
·         We ramble while writing as if we were teenagers
·         We do not have celebrity parents

Disclaimer: The reviewer received this book as a gift for their own personal library. She was not compensated in any way for providing this review. Thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review: SOPHOMORE YEAR IS GREEK TO ME by Meredith Zeitlin

by Meredith Zeitlin
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Source: Publicist

from Goodreads

A laugh-out-loud high school adventure set in Greece, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot 

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she's devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona's mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks... but no thanks.

In the vein of Anna and the French Kiss, Zona navigates a series of hilarious escapades, eye-opening revelations, and unexpected reunions in a foreign country—all while documenting the trip through one-of-a-kind commentary.

My Thoughts

Oh how I have waited for this book! I loved the humor and story of Kelsey in Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters and wanted to read Kelsey grow-up through her high school years. While this is not a continuation of Kelsey's story, meeting Zona and her friends in the middle of her sophomore year, was just as fun!

Reading Sophomore Year was like going on an adventure. I loved getting to experience Greece right along with Zona - seeing the landscapes through her eyes, trying new foods, and listening to people speak "greekgreekgreekgreekgreek" and having no idea what they were saying. (I would crack up every time I saw those words because I completely understand the feeling of hearing a language with English words interjected and still not understanding a single thing).

There is so much to enjoy about the book like the style in which it is told. It's Zona's story, but we get a third person perspective of situations from the "newspaper articles" throughout. This was a great way to get more of the story with Zona having to explain everything. And I loved how Zona and her father spoke to each other in headlines. They were both witty with an undertone of snark.

The story of family was my favorite part of Sophomore Year is Greek to Me. For all of her life, her family was just Zona, her father, and their dog, Tony. And then there were her friends. They were like family to her. She was content with her life and her little family and didn't miss what she never had. But when she gets to Greece and connects with her cousin, then her aunts, and even more cousins, and then her Yia Yia (grandmother), she begins to understand why her father insisted that they make the move to Greece. There is so much joy and sadness in the reunion, but mostly joy and I loved reading every word of it.

I could go on and on about how wonderful this book is - the humor, the friendships, and the romance. Yes, there's some of that too. Sophomore Year is a perfect example of why I love to read books with teenage characters. They have so much to look forward to and to learn about themselves and a whole world to discover and experience. I loved it!

Disclaimer:  I requested an ARC from the author and publicist in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Cover Reveal: YOURS TRULY by Cassie Shine

I'm thrilled to take part in the cover reveal for YOURS TRULY, book 1 in Cassie Shine's brand new Pen Pal Series! Check out the cover below, enter the giveaway, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.


by Cassie Shine 

Coming this fall!


Sixteen-year-old Laia Hawkins wonders what in the heck she’s supposed to say to Adrian Gutierrez, the name of her new pen pal—thanks to her World History teacher. How could Adrian, from Seville, Spain, possibly relate to Laia and her quiet life in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri? But, as Adrian and Laia write to each other, friendship blossoms and secrets emerge. Laia finds comfort in Adrian’s letters confessing truths she’s kept hidden—even from those closest to her—like how lost she’s felt since her father’s death, her anxiety about graduation, and her fears about leaving her family and two best friends. Adrian, determined to help Laia come out of her shell and face her fears, devises a series of challenges that she must complete and document in her letters to him. And, what started as an innocent game of twenty questions becomes more.

What do you think of the cover?

About Cassie Shine

Cassie ShineCassie Shine is the YA author of Harp’s Song and Harp’s Voice. An avid reader and lover of music, she has a weak spot for all things teenybopper, especially boy bands. She also loves classical, country, rock and well, pretty much everything.
After living in St. Louis for more than ten years, she and her husband packed up a U-Haul and headed west. They currently live in Orange County, CA with their furry kids Finnegan and Molly.


Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card! 
Any contestant that uses dummy or contest only accounts to enter will be disqualified.

Monday, April 20, 2015

An Open Letter to My YA Self

Dear YA Joli,

This isn’t the letter that I originally started to write to you, but of the many things I want to share with you, I realize this is the letter that you need from me. This is what is important to you right now. This is what consumes your thoughts and fills pages and pages of your diary. So I think it needs to be addressed.

Let me just put this out there . . . You are boy crazy.

You have numerous crushes, unrequited loves, and you desperately want a boy (sometimes any boy) to pay attention to you. Your friends have boyfriends. Your sisters seem to be experiencing these epic romances. You feel left behind. You feel awkward and sometimes lonely. Everyone seems to be having so much more fun than you, dating - doing boyfriend and girlfriend things (which you still aren’t positive what all of that entails). And while you have MAJOR crushes on boys and are smart and funny, these boys (who honestly aren’t worth your time) don’t think about you in the ways you want them to. You are too tall. You are too forthright. You are too innocent. YOU ARE and THERE ISN’T ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. I want to tell you to EMBRACE it. It’s hard to do, when you want companionship, someone to hold your hand, someone to give you sweet kisses. All of this seems so important to you because it’s something that you don’t have . . . right now.

But there is something you need to know. While you think everyone else is having all the fun, you don’t realize that your friends are going through their own challenges too. They have self-doubts. They have relationships issues that you should really be grateful that you don’t have to deal with. There are pressures in these relationships and expectations that they aren’t sure how to handle. They don’t always share these things with you because they don’t think you can possibly understand what they are going through and well, you can be a bit judgemental. Sometimes they do open up to you, but you just don’t realize the honesty in their words. They claim to want your innocence which makes no sense to you because they say it in ways that embarrass you and it feels like they are making fun of you, but it is true.

Please be thankful for this time without a serious boyfriend. You get to discover who you are and want you want. You will gain confidence. Don’t worry, you will go on dates and there will be hand holding. You will have sweet kisses (LOTS OF THEM) and you will have relationships that are more that just crushes. But, all too soon, you will begin to understand these pressures your friends have dealt with for a while now. It will be messy and there will be break-ups and broken hearts, and you will shed many tears - so many tears.

I want to give you these books to help you through these times. Some of them will make you laugh; some of them will make you cry; some will help you to understand what your friends are going through when they are afraid to share their experiences with you (or with anyone).

As I write this letter to you, I laugh at myself (well, at you, really - now don’t get mad) because knowing what I do now, you had some really odd taste in boys. Just sayin’. I’m glad that most of those boys remained crushes. I can look back on them fondly without regrets. Because, you know, sometimes the relationship you imagined having is better than the one that you would have actually had.

I hope that you trust me in all that I've told you here. There is so much more that I want to tell you because you're dealing with a lot. So don't worry, this isn't the last you'll hear from me.

Adult Joli

Many thanks go to Ginger of GReads! for organizing this feature. I am honored to be a part of it. To find out what inspired Ginger to create this feature and see a list of all of the participants, please check out this introductory post.

Feature Giveaway


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