Monday, July 24, 2017

Blitz + Excerpt and Giveaway: Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats by Carla Rehse


Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats
Carla Rehse
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Seventeen-year-old Gracie Mason is homecoming queen, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and a member of the student council. She’s also a budding burglar. While attempting her inaugural break-in, Gracie blacks out and wakes up far away from the scene. It turns out she accidentally intruded on a male witch’s “circle of power,” and now she’s bonded to him for life. To break the bond, Gracie must delve deeper into a society of witches that involves a secret club, a shadowy council, and all sorts of magical mischief.
Gracie quickly learns that dissolving the bond with Asher, admittedly a very handsome and charming witch, is more complicated than she initially thought. And right when it seems things can’t get any worse, witches start turning up dead. It’s clear that Gracie is out of her depth as her quest to sever the bond magically turns into a murder investigation.
Are you a book reviewer?
Request a review copy here!

EXCERPT:
New Hobbies
Daddy told me years ago that to succeed in life I need a strong plan, the right tools, and the gumption to follow through. His words of wisdom helped me get elected homecoming queen, become co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and voted on the student council. Now I plan to use them to help me pull off my first burglary.
My plan is solid. I’ve also never backed down from a challenge, not even last year when Brittany Thomas became overly friendly with the entire football team in a sad attempt to deprive me of my crown. People say I started the rumor about the rash of STD cases spreading through the boys’ locker room faster than a brush fire. I didn’t, of course. Why start gossip when the squad of doctors from the local Health Department did it for me?
I take a deep breath as I enter the Trinity Building. At almost four o’clock on a Friday before a three-day weekend, the place is deader than a PTA meeting. It helps that today is the hottest July first on record for Central Texas and the air conditioning in this building is dismally subpar. The Trinity Corporation may claim to have the most upscale rental space in town, but one look at the gold leopard granite floor paired with peach-painted walls shows that’s a downright fib.
The only guard on duty leans back in his chair and sucks down a Sonic Route 44 Coke like his life depends on it. I wave as I pass the security desk, wearing a megawatt smile and fully confident in the strength of my lavender-scented Lavanila deodorant—vegan, of course. Deputy Dawg gives me his usual perv stare before returning to the comic book balanced on his knee.
Centex Therapy, LPC occupies most of the first floor office space. A small bell tinkles when I open the frosted glass door. What decorum the overall building lacks, the waiting room has in spades. Brown leather chairs sit on a bamboo rug and pastel paintings from local artists brighten the walls. A tall grandfather clock in the corner softly chimes four times. This late on a Friday means the room is empty of other patients. Perfect.
Jane, the receptionist, fans herself with a copy of Country Living. “Cutting it awfully close, Gracie. Go on in.”
Dr. McDozzle gives me a pained smile as I enter the room.
“Good afternoon, Miss Mason. Have a seat.” For a head shrinker, he’s incredibly formal. And a non-Texan, who hates football and sweet tea. I haven’t learned much more about him in the last month, but that’s enough to get him tarred and feathered if word got out.
The leather recliner squeaks when I sit down. “Thanks for seeing me on a Friday, Doc.” I twirl a strand of newly highlighted platinum hair around my finger. It goes wonderful with my bubblegum pink manicure. “Mr. Anderson, Daddy’s new lawyer, is now insisting I have two sessions a month with you. Of course, Mama’s lawyer says once a month is just fine, seeing how I’m such a well-adjusted high school senior and all. Almost a senior, I guess, since school’s not started.”
Dr. McDozzle straightens his glasses. “Yes, well, your parents do seem to have quite the barrage of attorneys involved in their divorce. Have you worked on the homework I gave you during our last session?”
This is such a waste of time. My parents have spent the last five years embroiled in a divorce dirtier than a greased pig-wrestling contest. Both sides of the family have more money than sense, much to the delight of every lawyer in the tri-county area. Not that I want my parents to get back together. Anytime they’re within spitting distance of each other, the tension between them gives me a migraine. Besides, if they hadn’t split up, I never would’ve met Ben.
Ben’s the son of Daddy’s ex-girlfriend. Until four months ago, they all lived together in Daddy’s condo. Ben is a sophomore at the local college and is truly hot, in a geeky, stud muffin, save-the-world, kinda way. Crushing on my almost stepbrother might seem a bit sketchy, but it’s legal—I Googled it twice.
Which means it’s time to start step one in my Get Ben Plan.
I toss my hair over my shoulder before pulling out a pink glitter notebook from my Eiffel Tower-shaped mini-purse.
“You wanted me to write down my feelings about my parents’ shared custody thing. Honestly, I don’t understand why the lawyers are so panty twisted about me spending a week with Mama and the next with Daddy. It means I get double the wardrobe. Hello? What girl would say no to that? It’s way better than Heather’s situation. I told you about her last time, I think. The girl with the hideous frizzed-out curls but drives a cute BMW Z4 roadster? Anyway, her parents are insane.” I continue a steady stream of babble until Dr. McDozzle’s eyes glaze over.
There’s no clocks in the room, but Dr. McDozzle keeps checking his watch. I’m sure the poor man created a nice therapy plan for me, but I’ve completely derailed it. Mama always says a girl has many tools to choose from in her arsenal—perfectly curled hair, well-placed boobs, and endless chatter are my faves. Besides, Daddy’s been paying therapists a fortune for years to show the divorce court how concerned he is about me. Dr. McDozzle’s earning his car payment today.

Author Bio:
Although not a native Texan, Carla prides herself on having mastered the correct usage of “y’all” and “bless your heart.”
Carla is owned by a persnickety kitty, who rules the computer keyboard and only allows Carla to write when demands for cat treats are met. 

XBTBanner1

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Tour + Giveaway and Review: Right Text Wrong Number

Title: Right Text Wrong Number
Author: Natalie Decker
Genre: YA Romance

High school juniors Layla and Tyler are complete opposites. Sure she’s a cheerleader and he’s a football player, but she thinks he’s the biggest jerk in the school and he thinks she is too high on her horse to even be worth of a second glance from him. And when the two of them are near one another, sparks fly in all the wrong directions. They are NOT interested in speaking to one another, let alone date. But when Layla unknowingly sends Tyler a smack-down text meant for the girl sending naked photos to her then-boyfriend, Adam, Tyler has no idea it’s Layla and decides to play along. After all, Tyler cannot resist messing with the pissed off girl firing off texts about junk pictures, cheating, and girl code. As the fallout from Adam’s sexting scandal plays out in front of the entire school, Tyler and Layla secretly continue to text one another using fake names. But as days and weeks pass, things take a turn for the serious between them, and suddenly, their texts mean more. They both begin to consider revealing their true identity to the other and taking the relationship from texts to dates, then kissing and maybe more. They say there's a thin line between love and hate. Can reality live up to the fantasy, or will Layla and Tyler be forever offsides?

Amazon

Add on Goodreads

Review:

4 stars

Right Text Wrong Number by Natalie Decker was a cute contemporary read with an interesting plotline and well-written characters to go along with it. Natalie Decker has a way of drawing you into the story and not letting your attention go. I also found that this book was a quick read once you are already hooked. The pacing of the story was nicely paced with some slow moments and some fast moments, but overall, it was a good pace.

Layla and Tyler were such a cute couple, and it was nice to see how their romance developed over the course of this book. They are the kind of couple that is just perfect for each other, and they start off being "enemies", which in my opinion is the best kind of romance.

I would highly recommend this book if you love swoony contemporary reads, and I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.

Author Bio

Natalie Decker is the author of RIVAL LOVE series and the Scandalous Boys series. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn't her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She's a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she's not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she's off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing! Find out more visit: www.authornataliedecker.com

Swoon Romance on Twitter: @SwoonRomance
Swoon Romance on Facebook

Giveaway

Win a $15 Fandango Gift Card, signed copy of RIVAL LOVE (US only) or signed eBook copy of RIVAL LOVE (Int)

Friday, July 21, 2017

First Date Book Tag


First Date TAG


First saw this over at HardbackHoarder, check it out! I wanted to do it myself, so that's exactly what I am doing. If you want to do it after reading, then this is me tagging you. Have fun! This tag was written in advance, but when I wrote it, I ultimately decided to wait until Valentine's Day to publish it (so it will be interesting to revist my answers and see if I end up publishing more than one tag on this day).

1. The awkward first date – a book where something felt off. It wasn’t a bad book, but lacked that spark for you.
I am going to go with Blind Spot by Laura Ellen. I gave this book 3 stars, and you can check out a short review here on Goodreads. I read this book in a day. It was good, I enjoyed it. But there was something missing for me. The story concept was interesting and different, and I would recommend it because, again, it was a good book.


18222822

2. The cheap first date – book that turned out less than you expected.
There were a few books that I was contemplated putting down for this question, but I decided to go with Love, Ish because I was really expecting a heart-wrenching story about a young girl who has cancer, and there were moments that were sad, but overall, it was just a let down from my expectations. You can find my review here. I gave this book 2 stars.

30753996

3. Well-prepared first date – better than expected.
I am going to go with Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon. This was a DNF for my sister, and I decided that I would still give it a shot because it was available for me to read, and I think I was reading it for a challenge. I wasn't expecting much from it because my sister didn't like it (and at the time I felt like our reading tastes were similar, and they aren't really - there are some books that we both like but overall our tastes are different), and I ended up almost loving the book. I ended up giving it 4 stars, and if you want to see my review of the book, you can check it out here on Goodreads.


15798830

4. Hot but dumb – pretty book, not so hot on the inside.
For me, this would be Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler. I wanted to read this book because of the cover, and I wasn't expecting a 5 star book, but this ended up being a 2 star book. I just couldn't relate at all to this book or the characters, and I'm pretty certain, I didn't really care for any of the characters or even what was actually happening in the story.


17899354

5. Blind date – book you picked up not knowing anything about it.
I picked up Unbecoming of Mara Dyer a few times, and never really knew what it was about, which was one reason I never read it, but a friend told me it was amazing - and didn't tell me what it was about. I'm pretty certain, she lent me the book, but I could be wrong. I ended up loving this series, and I never knew what was going to happen next because I read this series "blind".


11408650

6. Speed dating – book you read super fast.
P.S. I Like You by Kasie West. I absolutely love Kasie's books, and when my sister got this book (one of the few books we both love), I had to read it. Confession time: I "borrowed" it from her room while she wasn't home, and because I had to read it before she got home, I ended up reading it in about 3 hours in one sitting on my bed without getting up to eat or anything. It did help that I find her books addictive and I really didn't want to get up, but that's the fastest I've ever read a YA book.


25486998

7. The rebound – a book you read too soon after a book hangover and it kind of ruined the book for you.
So, I really don't have an answer for this because whenever I get book hangovers, I just skim and reread my favorite parts of the book, until my hangover is over. And then I read another book, so I really haven't had this experience.

8. Overly enthusiastic date – a book that felt like it was trying too hard.
This was a tough question for me but I ultimately decided Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer. Some parts of the story felt like a stretch to me. I did actually enjoy this book. I gave it 3 stars. It wasn't a bad book, but it was at times, a little over the top. I read this back in 2014 so I'm trying to recall my thoughts about it, but I'm pretty certain I felt this way at times when reading it.


16139598

9. The perfect first date – book that did everything right for you.
There are so many books I could list here, but I'm going to mention one that I have never mentioned on my blog before and that is Changeling by Philippa Gregory. I actually am having a hard time getting into the second book sadly, but I loved this book. I loved the plot and the characters, and everything about it.


14739487

10. Humiliating first date – book you’re embarrassed to admit you liked/embarrassed to see reading in public for whatever reason.
This question is another question that I really don't have an answer for. I don't really get embarrassed by books that I read. I mean I would read the Warriors series by Erin Hunter in public, and those books are about cats. I also read MG books in public. And books that I would potentially be uncomfortable reading in public are books that I don't read.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cover Reveal: Demon's Blood by Lissa Bilyk


Demon's Blood
Genre: YA Paranormal

Summary:

Australian teenage demon hunter Tina Storm has been banned from using her lightning vanquish. To earn it back, she has to infiltrate a coven of witches suspected of using illegal blood magic to control people’s minds. Resident witch hottie Lachlan’s sudden interest in her can’t be coincidence – can it? After all, he’s pretty popular with the other girls in the coven – especially Chelsea, who’s decided Tina is evil for stealing her boyfriend.

Meanwhile, Tina has to juggle her end of year exams, her demon hunting, and her family as her relationship with Chinese shapeshifting demon Ten deepens. She’s also being hunted by an ancient vampire for the death of the vampire’s offspring. Can Tina solve the blood magic mystery, settle the vampire with a grudge, and soothe her romantic relationships without the help of her powers? How much can one teenage demon hunter take?


Check out the new cover for the prequel, Tina Storm: Demon Hunter!
Tina Storm: Demon Hunter is FREE on Smashwords!

About the Author

Indie author since 2011 and resolute defender of the Oxford comma, Lissa was born and raised in Australia, and writes stories with a distinct feminist slant for readers disillusioned with femininity in traditional commercial literature

Lissa is the author of LIES FOR A LIVING, part 1 of the CHAOS OF STARS serial, and books THE EDGE OF DARKNESS, TINA STORM: DEMON HUNTER, DEMON'S BLOOD, and THE ARCHIVE OF LOST DREAMS. Lissa is also the Episode Interactive author of NO ANGEL, GUARDIAN TRIALS, and THOSE LEFT BEHIND for Pocket Gems.


    


Cover Reveal Organized by:

My Fictional Boyfriend Tag

My Fictional Boyfriend Tag

I first saw this over at readbyzoe. She posted a booktube video about it, which you can view if you wish. I thought it looked interesting, and let's be honest, I have quite a few book boyfriends so I figured why not? You can check out my answers below. I'm solely focusing this tag on my book boyfriends. I might later do one involving my tv boyfriends (over at my adult blog) because I have quite a few of those two. A good amount of my fictional boyfriends will probably not come as a shock to you because I have probably mentioned them once or twice now.

1. Most romantic boyfriend
My most romantic boyfriend is Ash from Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I feel like it takes him a while to get up to the point where he is what I would consider romantic, but when he does - he's really romantic in my opinion.

6644117

2. Dark and moody bad boy with a good side
My dark and moody bad boy with a good side is Marco Leone from Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia. He's such a bad boy - street racing, fighting in school, everything, but as you get to know him, you learn all of his good side secrets. And that's why I couldn't help but love him. You can read my review here.

27414434

3. Paranormal boyfriend
My paranormal boyfriend is Lucas because A) he's a werewolf and B) he's just so amazing. He does make some decisions throughout the series that makes me annoyed at times with him, but I'll forgive him. He is from Born at Midnight by C. C. Hunter.

8705784

4. Boy you want to tame
The boy I want to tame is Guy from Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott. He's another bad boy but he doesn't really show as much as a soft side as Marco does, and that is why I would want to tame him.

22571272

5. Boy you friend-zoned
The boy I friend-zoned is Ronan. I love Ronan, I do, but if I had to give up one book boyfriend, then it would be him. So that is why I am going to friend-zone him. Ronan is from Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong.

17236366

6. Your soul mate
My soul mate is Tarver from These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. He had such a great personality, and it was hard not to fall in love with who he was. He will forever be my favorite book boyfriend. I don't think it's possible for someone to take the spot he has won in my heart.


13138635

7. Boyfriend you want to elope with
Well, I would totally cheat and say Tarver again, because, well, I would totally elope with him, but to keep it fair, I will choose another boyfriend. The boyfriend I would want to elope with is Thomas from Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. He was such a wonderful character that I couldn't help but love. Check out my review here.

28962906

8. Boyfriend you'd venture anywhere with
The boyfriend I would venture anywhere with is Chase from Article 5 by Kristen Simmons. I could easily go anywhere with him, and it would be amazing, for no other reason then I think it would be fun to go to London or Scotland or Egypt with him.

10677277

9. Boyfriend you'd want to be stranded on a desert island with
The boyfriend I would want to be stranded on a desert island with is Parker from Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz because he was really sweet and kind, and I think out of all of my boyfriends, I would be able to last with him without being too annoyed or frustrated at.

18459190

10. Most kickbutt boyfriend
The most kickbutt boyfriend of mine would have to be Riden from Daughter of the Pirate King, because well he's a pirate and can kick some major butt. He was another fictional boyfriend of mine that I just couldn't help but love. Read my review here.


33644022

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Blitz + Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter


I Stop Somewhere
by T.E. Carter
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: February 27th 2018
Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)

Summary from Goodreads:

THE LOVELY BONES meets ALL THE RAGE in a searing, heartbreaking contemporary story of a lost teenager, and the town she leaves behind.

Ellie Frias disappeared long before she vanished.

Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn’t need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper.

But then the unthinkable happens and Ellie is trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn't the first victim and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her.

The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.

TE Carter’s stirring and visceral debut not only discusses and dismantles rape culture but also makes you slow down and think about what it is to be human.




Pre-Order your copy HERE!


Excerpt:
It was three days into school and my locker was stuck. I figured I had the combination wrong and tried again, but it wouldn’t open. The late August day was too warm and sweat was spilling down my new shirt. The school didn’t want to spring for air conditioning, so we finished the day with our clothes stuck to us.
“Having trouble?” He leaned against my locker with all the confidence in the world. I’d seen him a few times. We weren’t in classes together, but he’d smiled at me every day because his math class was across the hall from mine. On the first day, he’d winked at me. On the second day, he’d commented on my shirt. It was self-deprecating – a shirt that mocked my introversion by claiming reading the shirt was enough social interaction for a day. We’d run into each other in the hall between classes and he’d laughed at it. And said I was too cute to be antisocial.
And now he stood at my locker, smiling at me while I tried to get it open.
“My locker’s stuck,” I told him. It was obvious since I was pulling on it, but I told him anyway.
“You’re new here.” A statement, not a question.
“Sort of. I mean, I’ve lived here forever. But here, yeah. I went to St. Elizabeth’s.”
He pushed me to the side. “Cool. I’m Caleb.” Punching the bottom right of the metal door, he simultaneously spun the dial into place. It opened on the first try. “Sometimes you gotta rough ‘em up a bit. They’re tricky like that.”
“Ellie. I mean, you didn’t ask, but I’m Ellie.”
He leaned back against the locker beside mine while I found my books. Three days and I already had a bag full of homework.
“Nice to officially meet you, Ellie. Elusive girl from the hallway.”
“I’m not elusive. That’s where my class is,” I said.
He laughed as if I was the most hilarious person he’d ever met. “Yeah. So, Miss Not Elusive, what’re you doing now?”
He wasn’t exactly attractive. There was something wrong about the way he moved, the way he smiled. Everything about Caleb was off somehow. He was tall, but he walked like he’d woken that morning into his tallness and now he couldn’t figure out how to get his body to work the same way.
There was also the way he smiled. It was cute, but it had this way about it. Like he’d learned about smiling from a textbook. The idea of smiling came through, but it seemed like he just followed the directions rather than actually smiled.
“I… um, nothing really. I have to read.”
We had a test Monday on summer reading, which I’d put off all summer to work on reinvention.
“What’re you reading?” He took my bag from me and rummaged through it. “Great Expectations? They’re still teaching this crap, huh?”
“Aren’t you, like, a junior?”
“Yeah. How’d you guess?”
I hadn’t had to guess. It had been three days, but everyone knew Caleb and his older brother, Noah; you didn’t need friends to know who they were. They walked through the school like the only people who’d ever mattered. It was probably true. 

About the Author

TE Carter was born in New England and has lived in New England for pretty much her entire life. Throughout her career, she’s done a lot of things, although her passion has always been writing. When she’s not writing, she can generally be found reading classic literature, obsessing over Game of Thrones (she’s one hundred percent Team Lannister), playing Xbox, organizing her comic collection, or binge watching baking competitions. She continues to live in New England with her husband and their two cats.

    


GIVEAWAY: