Tuesday, July 26, 2016

YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE by Julie Cross and Mark Perini #breakingthemold Contest

Julie Cross & Mark Perini
Releasing August 2nd, 2016
Sourcebooks Fire

Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with international model Mark Perini to create You Before Anyone Else, a poignant and authentic contemporary YA novel and companion to Halfway Perfect.

The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high-paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.

Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once in a while?

Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love for each other and everything else… 

Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes 

Julie Cross and Mark Perini, along with Tasty Book Tours, are celebrating those who have taken the steps in Breaking the Mold on society’s expectations, like Finley, the heroine from YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE!  We are looking for anyone who would like to share their story and be entered to win a 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner!

Head over to fb.me/TastyBookTours and leave a comment with your story.  Feel free to share picture of your journey and use #breakingthemold at the end of your comment!

Entries must be in by 11:59pm, Aug 15th, 2016.  
No purchase necessary to enter.  
If under 12 years old, you must have approval by a guardian to enter.   

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).

She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.

She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

Mark Perini is a New York City based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect. Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.

Mark began his career as an international fashion model when he was 18 years old, while simultaneously obtaining a business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven ancient wonders of the world before he’s thirty. Four down three to go.

Don't miss the companion novel

Monday, July 25, 2016


Today I get to share the cover of Rebekah Crane's new young adult novel, THE ODDS OF LOVING GROVER CLEVELAND. I love it! It I saw this cover on the new release shelf at the bookstore, I would pick it up for sure! I really enjoyed ASPEN, another YA novel by Rebekah Crane and I'm really looking forward to this new book from her. After you read the synopsis below, make sure to add it to your TBR!

The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland
Rebekah Crane
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: November 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

According to sixteen-year-old Zander Osborne, nowhere is an actual place—and she’s just fine there. But her parents insist that she get out of her head—and her home state—and attend Camp Padua, a summer camp for at-risk teens.

Zander does not fit in—or so she thinks. She has only one word for her fellow campers: crazy. In fact, the whole camp population exists somewhere between disaster and diagnosis. There’s her cabinmate Cassie, a self-described manic-depressive-bipolar-anorexic. Grover Cleveland (yes, like the president), a cute but confrontational boy who expects to be schizophrenic someday, odds being what they are. And Bek, a charmingly confounding pathological liar.

But amid group “share-apy” sessions and forbidden late-night outings, unlikely friendships form, and as the Michigan summer heats up, the four teens begin to reveal their tragic secrets. Zander finds herself inextricably drawn to Grover’s earnest charms, and she begins to wonder if she could be happy. But first she must come completely unraveled to have any hope of putting herself back together again.

Author Bio:
Rebekah Crane is the author of three young-adult novels—Playing Nice, Aspen, and The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland. She found a passion for young-adult literature while studying secondary English education at Ohio University. After having two kids and living and teaching in six different cities, Rebekah finally settled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to write novels and work on screenplays. She now spends her day carpooling kids or tucked behind a laptop at 7,500 feet, where the altitude only enhances the writing experience.


Thursday, July 21, 2016


A collection of mini-reviews, quick thoughts, and books worth mentioning. 

Check them out!

Hub City #1
Publication Date: January 19, 2016
Pages: 227
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 of 5

My Thoughts:
I had my eye on this book during the early promotion period, (I'm a sucker for books about music and musicians) but it was the recommendation from a favorite blogger friend that convinced me that I needed to read this book.

And she was right! I do love it. I loved it so much that I read it two times in the same week. I loved the friendship between Emmylou and Travis and their chemistry! Whew! And Travis is a new favorite character - he can draw a tattoo on me anytime. And the title of the book - CLASSIC! I'm sure I'll return to this series again and again when I want a fun, sexy read. 

Hub City #2
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Pages: 241
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 of 5

My Thoughts:
I loved this story about being young and falling in love and lust and figuring out what you want and who you want it with. The chemistry between Cole and Sonia is scorching - I could read another hundred pages about these two! It was fun to read about the tour stops with Soft - Stars on the Floor, and experience all of the wild and fun and crazy nights with the band. A great read!


Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Pages: 352
Source: Purchased at Apollycon
Rating: 5 of 5
Guest Reviewer: Cathy

Review: Do you think you know who was her ruin? You might- but you might not. K.A. Tucker does an amazing job of keeping you guessing as you connect with various characters and suspects in this book. Don't miss the opportunity to get this at 1.99 today* - a perfect read during your travels or staycation this summer! (*on sale at the time of posting)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: LONG WAY HOME by Katie McGarry

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Thunder Road #3
by Katie McGarry
Publication Januray 31, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
 448 pages

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

  • It's a book by Katie McGarry
  • Violet is a favorite character of mine in this series. She's been on the outskirts and now I'll get to find out why.
  • Did I mention it's a book by Katie McGarry? Enough said.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mini Reviews: Bright Side, The Butterfly Garden, and Dirty English (Guest Reviewer)

A collection of mini-reviews, quick thoughts, and books worth mentioning by guest reviewer EMillie. 

Check them out!

Bright Side by Kim Holden
Publication Date: July 4, 2014
Pages: 423
Source: Purchased
Rating 5 of 5

Review: Bright Side was a kindle recommendation after I read The Fault in Our Stars.  I got it but it set in my kindle library for well over a year before I decided to read it.  I had a hangover for a couple of weeks when I finished this book.  I just couldn’t move on to another love story after reading it.   It is such a beautiful gut-wrenching and heart-breaking story between friends and lovers.  It is so full of positivity even though you know it is going to tear you apart in the end.  The connection between Katie and the other characters is so well developed you wish you could be a part of her story.  You will laugh and you will cry because this book in packed full of feels.   

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
Publication Date: June 1, 2016
Pages: 288
Source: Purchased
Rating 4 of 5

Review: The Butterfly Garden was on my Kindle recommendation list when the cover caught my eye and I decided to get it.  I read this book following a book hangover from a previous read.  I needed a change of pace from the love stories and I was very impressed.  Dot was able to take the beauty of a butterfly and turn into a terrifying image.  The heroine Maya/Inara is masterfully written.  She has been through hell before being taken by a psychopath and his deviant son.  Forced to live as a beautiful slave with his other victims.  Her traumas aging her beyond her years.  This book thrilled and chilled and mesmerized me throughout its pages.

Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Miles
Publication Date: October 10, 2015
Pages: 272
Source: Purchased
Rating 4 of 5

 Review: I have read Ilsa’s Briarcrest Academy series and love it.  She always has a way of bringing two characters from different backgrounds together.  She continued her art in Dirty English.  Elizabeth is a small-town southern girl who is left broken and vowing to never love again from one tragic night.  Her life stalled by fear.  Declan is an English chap who is a lean, mean, underground fighting machine that loves classical literature.  The loss of his mother at a young age leaving him fractured but determine to make his own way in life.  Once they meet you can feel the magnetism and electricity that buzzes between them.  When they give in the pull to be with one another, it is OMG hot, sexy and steamy!  I love it when a man is not afraid to fight for his girl.  Next I will be reading Filthy English starring Declan’s twin brother, Dax.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

THE TELLING by Alexandra Sirowy: Excerpt and Giveaway

Thanks for joining me for the blog tour for Alexandra Sirowy's new novel THE TELLING hosted by Irish Banana Tours 

THE TELLING sounds super creepy and scary and today I get to share an excerpt. You can visit each blog tour stop and read the first three chapters of THE TELLING. THEN enter for a chance to win a copy!  

by Alexandra Sirowy
Publication date: August 2, 2016
Published by SimonTEEN
387 pages


A chilling new novel about a girl who must delve into her past if she wants to live long enough to have a future when a series of murders that are eerily similar to the dark stories her brother used to tell start happening in her hometown.

Lana used to know what was real. That was before, when her life was small and quiet. Her golden stepbrother, Ben was alive. She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars. Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten. Love, blood, and murder.

Read an  Excerpt

from Chapter 3 

It was June 8, half past eleven. Ben’s and my movie night had been interrupted. We’d eaten lobster tacos and I drank two beers, which was two more beers than I’d ever had before. Then a pissy Maggie arrived.
She and Ben started fighting—a blustery, name-calling argument. He’d broken up with her five days earlier. She wasn’t supposed to show up at our house anymore. She had to accept they were over. For good. Although I didn’t pick up on it as it played out, it was suspicious that she had a friend drop her off, only to demand a ride home. No, she wouldn’t let Ben call her a car when he offered. No, she wouldn’t sleep off her buzz in the downstairs guest room.
I’d given Ben a sleepy and inebriated frown as we stood in the hallway while she used the bathroom. “Please.” He bent nearer, the light in his eyes diminishing until his forehead touched mine. He was all I could see. “I don’t want to be alone with her. Come. Save me.”
The three of us braced ourselves against the early summer breeze as we filed along the path to where Ben’s SUV waited in our driveway. I was pouting, letting my flip-flops spray pebbles at Maggie’s heels. She scowled at me before she climbed into the front passenger seat—without even bothering to call shotgun. I sat in the back, pulled my knees to my chest, leaned against the window. “Turn the heater on,” I whined. I stuck my earbuds in and was listening to the kind of angry, screeching punk I don’t even like just to tune her voice out. And here’s the second worst thing I’ve ever done.
I fell asleep, and I couldn’t tell the police what happened next.
Two hours later my ears buzzed with the sharp, stuttered ding of car doors left ajar as the police tried to make sense of the blood splatter in the interior. The engine had been left running. My earbuds dangled out of the rear door, where I’d thrown them after yanking my cell free to dial 911. Each time the breeze picked up they swung, grating against the road. I’d never use them again.
The wind hissed through the pines behind Maggie and me. The police had set up perimeter lights; they stretched our shadows and threw them back at sharp angles. Mine was trying to detach from my feet; it wanted to run and hide. A police officer, his finger on the trigger of a camera, blinded me in intervals. The light flashed in my peripheral vision as a second officer captured the splatter on Maggie’s face, arms, and torso. Ben’s blood had gotten in my mouth; it was all I could taste as we waited for the detective Gant PD had called in from Seattle to direct the investigation.
Detective Sweeny started a mile down the highway, with another group of officers examining the crime scene where Maggie and I had left Ben to his attacker. Sweeny was small and wiry, cutting through the blockish male cops in uniform. She sized us up with close-set eyes as she approached. Unlike every other officer, her gaze stayed steady, ticking over the details of us like Willa absorbing a study guide before an exam. Sweeny didn’t flinch away from all that blood. We’ll be okay now, I thought.
Sweeny introduced herself. She was a homicide detective. Then she held up her hand when my expression went runny and frantic and added, “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The detective part is why I’m here.” She asked me if I’d been able to reach my parents. They were in Seattle overnight and their phones were off, and she measured her words even more carefully when I told her there was no one else to call. Ben hadn’t been found; the police were searching; the coast guard had been mobilized.
I wanted to help them look. Sweeny put her firm grip on my shoulder. “The best way for you to help is to tell me exactly what transpired. Leave nothing out.”
Only Maggie knew the first half. She could lie and I wouldn’t be able to contradict her. We were a couple of miles before the narrow bridge that connects Gant Island with the Olympic Peninsula. It was the only route to take Maggie to where she lived, off the island. Maggie told the police that Ben and she were arguing. The car slowed. Maggie looked up to see why. To the right there were rocky bluffs that plunged to the island’s heaving waters. To the left there was a dark, meadowy slope that ran until a distant wall of pines.
“A man appeared in the middle of the highway,” Maggie whispered.
“Where did he appear from?” Sweeny asked. “The trees aren’t close to the road. Was he hiding behind something?”
“No. He wasn’t there and then he was. He appeared,” Maggie insisted, her voice rising. “Ben stopped the car. Rolled down the window and asked if the man needed help. Um, I think he offered his cell or asked if the guy’s car had broken down.”
“Did you see another vehicle?” Sweeny asked.
“Don’t think so.”
“Then why would Ben ask about car trouble?”
Maggie shrugged.
“He stopped the car, rolled down his window, and offered help. Seems strange that Ben would have been so friendly if the man just ‘appeared,’” Sweeny pressed.
Maggie said, “Ben is charitable and shit. How do I know what he was thinking? He is always helping.” She rolled her eyes. “But the guy was in front of the car one second and the next he was right at Ben. And I started screaming.”
Sweeny’s eyebrows shot up. “Did he have a weapon?”
“I didn’t see it.”
“Why were you screaming, then?” Sweeny said like she’d caught Maggie in a lie.
“Because his face was red. Painted,” Maggie said. The clouds were disintegrating in the sky as she spoke, and the stars that were revealed began orbiting us. I had to work to keep my feet stationary on the road, which started buckling under me like the black, netted skin of a trampoline.
“What kind of paint?”
“How would I know?” Maggie snapped.
Maggie said that she hadn’t recognized the man on the road.
“Is it possible you knew him and you just didn’t recognize him because of the paint obscuring his features?” Sweeny asked her that night—and probably every time she questioned Maggie over the course of the week after.
“No, I saw him clearly,” Maggie insisted. “He was a stranger. The paint was frightening, but I’m positive I don’t know him.”
Maggie was asked how the attack started. She was vague and confused—traumatized, I thought initially. “He reached through the window for Ben. To get to him, to stab, I mean. Blood squirted on my face and Ben was shouting. Then the door was open and Ben was out of the car and dragged across the road. The stranger’s hand kept coming up and down, stabbing Ben.”
“What was he stabbing him with? A knife?” Sweeny asked.
I lurched around and vomited onto the gravelly shoulder as Maggie answered, “I couldn’t make the object out. . . . It was sharp.” She added hoarsely, “I heard it cutting skin.” I thought we were both in shock. I didn’t notice the oddness of her story until I was out of the fog of that night.
Sweeny asked us both what happened next. I couldn’t say why I woke up when I did. I’d been pouting, and then I was lulled to sleep for the first few miles. I wasn’t dreaming exactly as much as thinking nonsense things dreamily. Somehow between watching the Cheshire smile of a tiger I’d seen on TV earlier drift through my head and sensing that I was in our dinghy on the harbor, I was struck with the conviction that something bad was happening. My eyes snapped open. I tugged the earbuds from my ears before I was fully alert. Maggie was screaming. Shrieking. The car wasn’t moving. We were on the highway. The driver’s-side door was open.
“Where’s Ben?” I asked.
Maggie screamed more shrilly.
I jolted awake completely. Everything rushed in at once. The windows were tinted and it was night and there wasn’t a moon. Unexceptional. This is Washington. Clouds always fill the sky. The car interior light was on and moths were fluttering inside the cab. I saw past the yellow papery wings to a figure. A shadow man, I told the police. He was lumbering, or limping, or dragging a clubbed foot. He passed through the SUV’s high beams. He was dragging some living thing. He was immense, a part of the dark, darkness personified. He moved across the highway toward the rocky bluff that swung out above the tide pools.
It was the strangest thing. Surreal as flipping through TV channels and landing on a horror movie. You haven’t been watching. Your pulse isn’t racing. The gruesome scene is almost lost on you. But then I heard a broken grunt, and I put it together. The shadow man had Ben.
My hands shook. They were slick and slipped from the rear passenger-side door lever. When I finally got a grip, I yanked and nothing happened. The child lock was on—although I only realized this in hindsight. I was shouting at Maggie to go after them. To get out of the fucking car and to help Ben. She scrambled over the emergency brake to the driver’s seat, and I thought, Maybe her door isn’t working either? She had stopped screaming.
She pulled the driver’s door closed. It didn’t latch all the way, and the interior glow of the car stayed on. There was blood everywhere. Red graffiti sprayed across the black roof and smattering the leather seats. I looked to my hands and saw that it wasn’t sweat but blood making my fingers slippery. Maggie hit the accelerator, the car swerving before righting itself on the road. I was sitting sideways, pushing against the door, and with the force, I shot back, my temple crunched against the window. My ears rang. Maggie wasn’t rescuing Ben. She was leaving him. We were leaving him. I pressed my face to the window, trying to see. My eyes weren’t working. Everything was fuzzy. The phantom man was stooped over Ben. Ben was a heap at his feet on the bluff above the sound. Neither of them were more than shadowy outlines.
The good and bad are indistinguishable in the dark.

photo credit Vivian Sachs

About the Author: 
Alexandra Sirowy is the author of The Creeping and The Telling. She was born and raised in Northern California, where she attended a women’s college as an undergraduate and received her MA at the University of San Francisco. She is a voracious reader, the oldest of three children, an avid traveler, a record-holding high school long jumper, a gourmet cook, a feminist, and forever grateful to her parents for reading to her as a child. Alexandra lives in Northern California with her husband.

Find Alexandra Online

Tour Schedule:
Read a new chapter excerpt at each stop


Prize: 1 copy of THE TELLING
Must be 16 years old or older to enter
US Addresses Only


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