Sunday, December 10, 2017

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: The Second Window by Erica Kiefer

The Second Window
Erica Kiefer
Published by: CTP Pulse
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Young Adult

As her senior year flies by on cruise control, seventeen-year-old Olivia Cole yearns for excitement—something her upscale private school no longer provides. Her job as a grocery store bagger isn’t much help…until the day she has a bizarre exchange with thecagey town recluse. When the woman abruptly surrenders to the police, Olivia feels compelled to dig deeper into her perplexing story. But the investigation stalls when Olivia receives another piece of news—Andre Steele, the golden boy of Westmont and her previous tormentor, has unexpectedly returned from his four-year stay in Brazil—and the whole school is buzzing! All at once, Olivia’s dull and predictable life is uprooted, and she wonders if “boring” was so bad after all.

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EXCERPT:

A stranger to me, I knew nothing about Jodie except that she lived on the outskirts of town. People referred to her as a hermit because she rarely ventured from her home, and when she did, it seemed only long enough to purchase groceries. She was nobody important to me—just the occasional name carried through the wind when there was nothing else to talk about. However, like clockwork, I bagged her scant items every Thursday at four PM. The odd interactions I’d have with the woman would sometimes be the most interesting part of my shift at Wayland’s, a discounted store that served as employment during the summer, and now into my senior year.

I met her eyes again, which seemed to never leave mine, peering at me with an intense silence that I couldn’t explain. She didn’t frighten me, exactly. On the contrary, there was a meekness about her that suggested her gentle nature. While she hardly smiled, she didn’t have a mean face. It was more like the bland expression of a person who had little to smile about. Yet I wondered at her reservation, certain she had more tosay than she ever allowed.

Jodie’s slender fingers pulled cash from her wallet and she handed over the bills. When she turned to me once more, her teary eyes alarmed me. She swallowed hard, like she was washing down emotions that rose against her will.

“Are… are you okay?” I asked, hesitating as I placed her grocery bags into the cart. Her hand fell swiftly on top of mine, squeezing my palm. Startled by the sudden physicalcontact, I jerked my hand away. I regretted my actions the moment her expression shifted.

Eyes wide, she shook her head, her mouth opening as though horrified by her behavior. A tear slid down her cheek, and she brushed it away in haste. “I’m sorry.” Sniffling, she snatched her three bags from the cart and scurried toward the exit. “Hey!” I called after her. I exchanged a look of confusion with Marlene before following Jodie tothe automatic sliding doors. “Wait! It’s Jodie, right?” She paused, sniffing once more. She looked back at me over her shoulder, eyes red and sorrowful. “Um, can I help you to your car? I really should have double-bagged that one.” I pointed to the bulging bag containing the heavy soups, grasping for an excuse to stall her from leaving.

The tiniest smile crept along the corners of her mouth. Her green eyes brightened beneath the sheen of tears. Relieved, I smiled back. Her next words fell from her lips in a low, quiet tone. “You take care of yourself.” Then she walked out into the cool air.

I stood there perplexed, watching this strange woman escape to the parking lot. Jodie had been a consistent presence in my life for months now, a once-a-week visit in which she spoke no more than a murmured, Thank you. Why did I feel a sudden permanence to her goodbye?

A familiar female voice called out from behind me. “I need a bagger on lane three please!”

I rolled my eyes and flipped around to see my friend Jordyn standing at the other end of the store, hollering into her cupped hands. I glanced at Marlene. My grey-haired co-worker pushed out her lips with a frown, throwing a hand onto her plump hip. I cringed and held up my index finger. “One minute,” I mouthed, and hurried toward Jordyn before she could garner anymore unwanted attention from my employers.

“You know Marlene hates when you stop by, right?” I said to my best friend. She beamed confidence at me with her wide smile, her lips stained in a bright coral that I could never pull off. Though only one-eighth Native American, the tan skin she’d inherited helped her get away with wearing colorful makeup combinations that I would never attempt on my fair skin. Jordyn also relished in the theatrics that I shied away from.

“I’m a paying customer,” she said, grabbing a box of powdered donuts off the shelf. She held them up to make her point, waving wildly at Marlene’s scowling face. Jordyn raised her voice again, like she was hollering at the deaf elderly. “She’s just gonna bag these for me and I’ll be on my way!”

I shook my head at her. “You’re going to get me fired.”

“You’ve got other problems to worry about.” Jordyn put her hands on my shoulders, and spun me around.

“What am I looking at?” I asked, not seeing anything out of the ordinary. Leave it to Jordyn to make me guess, rather than just tell me. She rotated me forty-five degrees.

“Not what. Who.” She dropped her voice to a whisper. “Past the cashiers. Aisle twelve.”

I loved her to death, but sometimes her games were a bit much. “Jordyn, come on—” I stopped, suddenly very aware of just who she was pointing out to me. I caught a glimpse of his smile first, gleaming brightly against his bronzed skin—a deeper brown than I remembered, and a compliment from his Brazilian mother. I’d almost missed him, hidden behind the cluster of kids clamoring for his attention. But then I heard his laugh, boisterous and infectious. Unique.

And stirring memories I resented.

I crossed my arms over my black apron. “What is Andre Steele doing back in Arizona?”

Jordyn inhaled noisily, letting out her breath as she spoke. “I don’t know, but Brazil sure did a nice number on him.”

I scowled and nudged her with my elbow.

“But we still hate him,” she corrected, giving a nod of solidarity.

“Of course we do.” We watched him disappear down aisle nine with his posse. Another burst of laughter trailed behind him, coupled with giggles from the girls hanging on him and the other guy slapping Andre’s back like they’d never heard someone so funny.

“Then again,” Jordyn added, “Four years can change a person. Maybe he’ll surpriseyou.”

I stepped away from her, returning to my position at the end of the register. I grabbed the boxes of toothpaste and floss sliding past Marlene and tossed them into a fresh bag. “I never liked his surprises.”


Author Bio:

Erica Kiefer’s debut novel Lingering Echoes was published by Clean Teen Publishing in November 2013. She continued the series with Rumors (A Lingering Echoes Prequel) and her newest release Vanishing Act. All of her books can be read as stand-alone contemporary YA fiction, touched with romance, emotional drama and suspense. With a degree in Recreation Therapy from Brigham Young University, Erica’sexperiences working with at-risk youth have influenced the realistic and relatable nature of her writing. Her first inspirational non-fiction entitled Borrowed Angel (published in April 2014 with Currawong Press) describes the loss of her infant son and her journey towards healing.

Married since 2005, Erica resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her four children and can often be found satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies and a glass ofmilk. Now and then, she dusts off her collegiate rugby skills and dives back into the game.

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: The Storm by Amanda McKinney

The Storm
Amanda McKinney
(Berry Springs Series)
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Thesnow is dropping in Berry Springs… and so are the bodies...

On a pitch-black wintry night, Detective Dean Walker finds a man in the middle of anicy road, with a bullet between his eyes—a murder that is eerily similar to his father’s, which was never solved. Coincidence? No, Dean doesn’t believe in coincidences. He also doesn’t believe in love at first sight, until he meets the victim’s wife.

Psychologist Heidi Novak is hardly settling into her new mansion in the small, country town of Berry Springs, when she receives a late-night visit by the handsome Dean Walker. Seconds after learning that her husband has been murdered, gunshots explode around her and it becomes apparent that she is the next target.

With a massive winter storm looming, Dean races to find the killer and keep Heidi safe, while facing a long a list of suspects, including Heidi’s arrogant sister-in-law and a local, crusty cowboy. As the evidence mounts, Dean becomes more convinced than ever that his father’s murder is connected to the death of Heidi’s husband.

And he can’t help but think . . . will Heidi be the second love he loses to the ice-cold killer?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Dean pulled Dusty from the pen, saddled him up and jumped on.

“Alright buddy, let’s go.” He guided the horse out of the barn and into the dark night. He inhaled the cool winter air as Dusty leisurely stepped into the field.

He loved riding horses—something about it made him feel free; free of worry, free ofstress. He closed his eyes for a moment and listened to sounds of the woods around him—the wind whispering through the tall pine trees, the sound of Dusty’s hooves crunching on the icy grass beneath him and the night calls of the thousand different critters that call the Ozark Mountains home. The faint smell of a fire burning somewherein the distance tickled his nose.

Despite the picturesque surroundings, he looked into the woods and tensed. Usually, being alone on his land cleared his head and gave him a calmness that only the outdoors could provide. But, not tonight. Tonight, the woods seemed ominous in the dark night, with long shadows stretching across the field like fingers reaching to grab a hold of him.

Like someone watching him from the darkness, waiting to grab hold.

He thought of his mother, and the look in her eyes when she asked about Clint Novak. Although it wasn’t said, there was no doubt that she had been thinking the samething he had been since he looked down at Clint’s body. Could it be the same person? The same person who killed his father six, now seven, years ago?

The thought seemed inconceivable. What was the connection between his father and Clint, and why wait seven years?

It wasn’t just the location of the bullet hole, it was just something in his gut that made him on edge about it. A sixth sense. And, obviously, something in his mother’s gutfelt the same way, too.

He pulled Dusty to a stop where just seven years ago—to the day—he and his father were burning brush, right before his father was shot and killed.

He sat still for a moment. His eyes scanned the tree line in the distance—as he had done a million times—trying to put a face to the murderer who killed his father. Was it someone who knew him? Or, was it just pesky trespassers who got a little too trigger happy?

He took a deep breath and slid off the horse.

Flashbacks of holding his dead father in his arms shot like lightning through his head. His fists clenched as he paced the area.

As if Dusty knew what was going on, he bowed his head in grief, and respect for thedead.

Dean tilted his head to the sky, letting the light of the moon wash over him.

He whispered, “I’ll get him, Dad. I’ll get him.”

As tears threatened to sting his eyes, he reached into his pocket, pulled out the bottle of whiskey and took a sip. And, poured a little out for his father, as he did every year on this day.

Anger washed over him, and a renewed determination to catch the bastard that killed his father had him seething. He inhaled deeply, took another swig and looked into the woods.

He’d get the son of a bitch.

As he turned to mount Dusty, something in his gut twisted. A foreboding of something to come.


Author Bio:

Amanda McKinney, author of Sexy, Suspenseful Mysteries wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. When Amanda isn’t tending to her two beautiful boys, she’s hidden behind her computer screen crafting page-turning murder mysteries, peppered with titillating love scenes. Having been born and raised in the south, Amanda’s books are set in small, country towns and reflect southern culture at its finest.

Amanda’s debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, was released in January 2017, followed by the first two books in the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES, THE WOODS and THE LAKE. The third book in the series, THE STORM is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2017.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Unearth by Tricia Barr

Unearth
Tricia Barr
(The Bound Ones, #3)
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Our heroes erased themselves from the Four Corners’ histories and thought they were finally free…until Lily burst their bubble and told them they have to get involved with the cult one last time to stop them from unleashing a great evil buried thousands of years ago. But they fail, and the fifth Bound One is released, fulfilling his vengeful dreams formed over his long imprisonment. Phoenyx and her friends band together for one last fight, and one of them will pay the ultimate price.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Unable to tolerate his intrusion on her personal space any longer, she grabbed his wrist and pushed her will into him.

“Where is Ayanna?” she demanded with all the authority she could instill.

Joran closed his eyes and moaned. “Oh, now doesn’t that feel amazing! I am going to have so much fun with you.”

In one swift motion, he twisted his arm out of her grasp and grabbed both her wrists,holding them against the wall on either side of her head. And then something happened.Lust unlike anything she’d ever experienced seeped into her forearms and spread like venom through her veins, burning her to her core with desire.

“Kiss me,” Joran whispered.

A small voice in the back of her mind was screaming at her to fight, but every other part of her, body and mind, wanted nothing more than to obey him. She did as he asked, pressing her lips against his. When he pushed his hot tongue into her mouth, she opened it to welcome him, allowing him full access to whatever he wanted. Joran, she swooned inwardly.

His hands roamed across her body, pressing and grabbing. Her body responded heatedly to his touch, but something in her mind told her this was so very wrong. Shut up, voice, she said internally, swatting away those pesky thoughts thattried to keep her from enjoying this.

Joran broke the kiss and smiled down at her triumphantly. “Oh yes, we will have so much fun. I love having access to your powers. Ayanna might be my queen, but you willbe a delightful toy.”

“Yes, I’m your toy,” she said mindlessly, desperate to please him.

“What the hell!” another familiar voice shouted from the doorway.

Irritated at the interruption, Phoenyx rolled her lusty eyes in that direction. When shesaw Sebastian standing there, fuming with territorial rage, the spell she’d been under lifted. The pleasure she had taken in Joran’s large body pressed against hers now turned into disgust and violation, and she used all the physical strength she could muster to shove him away from her.

Joran seemed unphased by her rejection, smiling smugly at Sebastian.

“Ah, Water, welcome to the party,” Joran said. “I was just about to enjoy your mate. Would you like to join us?”

“Don’t you dare touch her,” Sebastian threatened in a dangerously low voice.

“Or what? You’ll splash some water at me?” Joran taunted.

Scared for Sebastian’s safety, Phoenyx pushed off from the wall and darted for him.When she reached him, the two of them fought to put themselves protectively in front of the other as they stared at Joran.

“Aww, isn’t that sweet,” Joran said. “But pointless. I have not come here to hurt you, my Bound Ones. I have merely come to extend an invitation. I am hosting a coronation ball tonight at Bodiam Castle to celebrate my return to the world, and I would like the four of you to attend. I know you are not yet ready to swear fealty to me, but I trust that in time, you will come to your senses. Consider this ball a temporary cease-fire.”

“Why should we come?” Sebastian snarled, wrapping Pheonyx in a possessive embrace.

“Because you want to see Ayanna,” Joran replied.

“What have you done with her?” Phoenyx barked, hating the taste of him that filled her mouth.

“If you want to know what has become of your friend, you will just have to come andsee for yourselves,” Joran shrugged. “I don’t think you’ll recognize her, or is it that she won’t recognize you?”

He laughed sadistically and walked toward the door.

“I’ll see you tonight,” he said, slapping a hand on Sebastian’s shoulder fraternally ashe passed and went out the door.

The two of them watched him as he went around the corner and the sound of his footsteps disappeared from earshot down the stairs. Now they were alone, and they were still hugging each other for dear life.

Phoenyx met Sebastian’s gaze, his blue eyes a storm of turmoil and conflict.

“I’m so sorry, Sebastian,” she pleaded, all the strength she had seconds again melting under Sebastian’s eyes. “He used my own compulsion against me. I had no choice—”

“I know,” he said, his expression stony, his jaw clenched. “I know.” He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her in a way that attempted to mark her as his. Then he rested his forehead on hers. “I hate him. He can take you away from me any time he wants.”

“No, he can’t,” she said, shaking her head fervently. “He can take my soul, and he can control my mind and body, but he can never take my heart, because you already have it. I will always be yours.”

“I love you,” he said.

Now it was her turn to mark him as hers. She kissed him just as hard, no tongue, nopassion, just pure possession.

Author Bio:

Tricia Barr is a Professional Engineer and award-winning author. Her novel WYNDEearned a Gold Medal in the 2014 Independent Publisher Awards for Best Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror e-Book. She co-authored DK Publishing’s ULTIMATE STAR WARS (2015), which compiled all canon material moving forward prior to the release of “The Force Awakens.,” followed by the new STAR WARS: THE VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA (2017), which includes content from “Rogue One.” An expert on storytelling, Barr pens aregular series on the Hero’s Journey for the print publication Star Wars Insider magazine. She founded the respected website FANgirl Blog, and her writing can be found on a variety of websites, including Lucasfilm’s StarWars.com, and PopSugar, andRandom House’s SUVUDU. She provided editorial services on Del Rey’s STAR WARS:THE ESSENTIAL READER’S COMPANION (2012).

Tricia Barr is an accomplished podcaster, co-hosting the popular Star Wars podcasts Fangirls Going Rogue and Hyperspace Theories. In her spare time, she competes as an amateur equestrian, earning top ten spots three times in national finals.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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In honor of the December 1st release of Unearth, book 3 in the Bound Ones Series, author Tricia Barr is hosting a big giveaway where everybody wins! Enter for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of Unearth. You can enter by voting for Ignite, book 1 ofthe series, for the Reader’s Choice Award. Everyone who votes will get an ebook copy of Ignite. You can increase your chances of winning the grand prize by sharing this giveaway with your friends on social media. Help Ignite become the RCA winner!

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane

The Upside of Falling Down
Rebekah Crane
(Skyscape)
Publication date: January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

For Clementine Haas, finding herself is more than a nice idea. Ever since she woke up in an Irish hospital with complete amnesia, self-discovery has become her mission.

They tell her she’s the lone survivor of a plane crash. They tell her she’s lucky to be alive. But she doesn’t feel lucky. She feels…lost.

With the relentless Irish press bearing down on her, and a father she may not even recognize on his way from America to take her home, Clementine assumes a new identity and enlists a blue-eyed Irish stranger, Kieran O’Connell, to help her escape her forgotten life…and start a new one.

Hiding out in the sleepy town of Waterville, Ireland, Clementine discovers there’s an upside to a life that’s fallen apart. But as her lies grow, so does her affection for Kieran, and the truth about her identity becomes harder and harder to reveal, forcing Clementine to decide: Can she leave her past behind for a new love she’ll never forget?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

My composure cracks when I’m safely tucked in a stall in the bathroom. Everything shifts, my real need coming into focus, like a caged bird that knows it doesn’t want to live behind bars anymore.

I need to get out of here.

How can I see my dad and not love him? What is wrong with me? Everything I thought would happen hasn’t.

I press my sweaty head against the cool stall door. I wish I could be who Stephen wants me to be, a fearless girl willing to fight through this. More importantly, I wish I could be who my dad wants me to be. Clementine Haas. But I can’t. To go home with him like this would mean that every day he’ll wake up and want Clementine there, and instead, every day it will be me—whoever I am. We’ll both live in a constant state of disappointment.

I can save him from that.

I come out of the stall, focusing on myself in the mirror.

“Jane,” I say to my reflection. “I’m Jane.”

Stephen surely won’t help me get out of here. He wants to keep me safe in the hospital, which is still surrounded by camera crews and reporters. But there’s another way.

The hallway is clear of my dad and Stephen when I poke my head out from the bathroom. My heart races as I walk swiftly away from my room and toward the staircaseat the other end of the hall. Once the door closes behind me, and I’m safely tucked out of sight in the stairwell, a moment of relief comes, but it’s brief.

The railing keeps me steady as I make my way down the steps and onto the first floor. My legs are weak, slow, but it’s not an option to stop at this point. Stop and I get caught. Move and I might find freedom.

In the courtyard, Kieran sits at the table where I left him, his feet up on the bench, a book in his hands. I check out the cover. It’s clearly a romance novel.

“You like romance novels, too,” I say. “We have something in common. Though I wouldn’t peg you as a romantic.”

“I’m full of surprises.” He squints in the sunlight. “I’ve never understood why guys gofor fast cars and guns when these books have fast women and sex.”

“Honesty again. That’s a good thing.”

Kieran dog-ears the page he’s on and closes the book, setting it down on the table. “You ran away from the dare.”

“I didn’t run away.” I take back my seat. “I had to do something.”

“What was that?”

“It doesn’t matter. I’m ready now.”

“Are you sure, Jane?”

Kieran is just full of good questions, but debating the answer with myself would take too much time.

“Jane Middleton,” I say, holding out my hand. “That’s my last name.”

“Very royal sounding.” He places his warm hand in mine and says, “Kieran O’Connell. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Very Irish sounding, Kieran O’Connell.”

“Half-Irish, on my mother’s side.”

“And your dad?” I ask.

“Technically, he’s British, but he’s more asshole than anything.”

“Honesty again.” I reach for the last container of Jell-O on his tray. “I’m ready for my dare. Spoon, please.”

Kieran holds one up but doesn’t hand it over. “Are you sure you want to do this, Jane? It’s pig and cow parts.”

This is so much more than Jell-O. This is my life he’s holding in front of me.

“Where’s Waterville?” I ask, pointing to his hat.

“South of here a few hours.”

“Is it by Cork?” I ask, remembering the map and trying to sound like I know a thing or two.

“Not exactly. A bit more west.”

“Is that where you live?”

“For the summer months.”

I point to his T-shirt. “Then you go back to Trinity College?”

“Yep.”

“And where is that?”

“It’s in Dublin.” Kieran looks at me oddly. “Have you not heard of Trinity College?”

“Of course, I have. I just forgot for a second. It’s in Dublin. Right.”

“What about you?” he asks. “Are you on break from college as well?”

The question throws me. I have no idea if Clementine is in college. But I’m also not sure it matters. The part of me that keeps searching for Clementine needs a break. Jane can be whoever she wants. “Yeah, sure,” I say.

“What are you studying?”

“Undecided,” I say quickly. “You?”

Kieran rolls his eyes. “Business.”

“You don’t sound happy about that.”

“Not everything in life can be happy, Jane.”

The spoon rests in Kieran’s hand. No, sometimes life beats you down. Sometimes life deserts you, and your only choice is to find another path. “Are you going to give me that spoon or what?”

“You know, you don’t have to do this,” he says. His blue eyes hold mine. He knows this is more than just Jell-O, too. That’s what a dare does. It taunts you to take a different direction, to do something you never thought you could do, to jump, knowing that a million consequences could be on the other side of that dare, but that if you don’t do it, you’ll always wonder. And sometimes wondering is worse than consequences.

“I’m doing it,” I say. And I shovel a spoonful of pig and cow parts into my mouth.

Kieran sits back, a broad grin growing on his face. When I’ve eaten the container clean, he claps.

“I wasn’t sure you had it in you.”

I have to choke down the last bits of Jell-O, then I put my empty container on the tray with his, only partly satisfied.

“Why are you here?” I ask. “It can’t possibly be for pig and cow parts.”

“I come up to volunteer. Help out my fellow man and all. The food is just an added bonus.”

“That’s nice of you.”

“People need help,” Kieran says coolly. “It’s the least I can do.”

“People do need help,” I agree. “And now it’s my turn.”

“For what?”

“Truth or dare?” I say.

A glimmer comes to Kieran’s eyes. “That’s my line of questioning.”

“It’s not fair that I answer the question and you don’t.”

“Life isn’t fair, Jane. It’s all Jell-O, remember.”

I lean across the table. “Are you chicken or something?”

My confidence is surprising. Kieran seems to bring out something natural in me, or maybe he brings out more faith that the girl I was is still with me, just waiting to come out. Our eyes are fixed on each other’s. Kieran crosses his arms over his chest.

The clucking starts first. Then I start to flap my arms like chicken wings. Kieran glances around at all the other tables, and then he starts to laugh.

“OK. OK.” He holds up his hands in surrender.

But as soon as the clucking stops, someone drops an entire tray of dishes onto the concrete sidewalk. They break with a loud crash. I startle, freezing in my seat. It chokes the breath right out of me. A head rush comes on so suddenly that I’m worried I’ll faint right in front of him. Blood sinks to my feet. My hands go clammy. I start to sweat.

“Are you OK, Jane?”

Kieran talks, but I can’t see him. My head rests in my hands. Sound reverberates through me, and an intense pain creeps up behind my eyes. For a second, I swear I feelsomeone grab my hand. I expect to see fingers intertwined with mine, but they’re gone, and I’m left with a horrible empty feeling inside my chest.

“Are you OK?” Kieran asks again.

“I’m fine.” If I faint, this is over. With ragged breath and shaking hands that he can’t see under the table, I say, “Truth or dare, Kieran?”

“We don’t have to do this.”

“Truth or dare?” I say again more forcefully.

Kieran shakes his head. “It’s a Catch-22. Neither is easy. They both have consequences.”

“Do I have to start clucking again?”

He pauses for too long, and then he says, “Fine. Dare.”

The blood returns to my hands and head. The sweat dries on my forehead. This time, my voice doesn’t shake as I speak.

“I dare you to get me the hell out of here.”


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.

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Review: The Heartbreak Cure by Amanda Ashby

Book Blurb:

How to get over a heartbreak:

Step one: Eat your body weight in brownies.

Step two: Throw yourself into your dreams of becoming a famous writer.

Step three: Beg your (hottie) ex-neighbor to act as your fake boyfriend.

Step four: Skip step three unless you’re ready for some serious fallout.

After being dumped and humiliated over the summer, Cat Turner does what any sane girl would do. She asks bad boy Alex Locke to be her fake boyfriend and show the world (and her editor at the school newspaper) that she's fine. Problem is, the more time she spends with Alex, the more she risks getting her heart broken. For real this time.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a swoony bad boy who will melt your heart, brownies, and witty banter. One, two, or all three might prove addictive…

My Review:

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Romance, Teen--

Cat was just dumped, and to make it worse, the boy who dumped her only dated her as a dare and recorded the whole situation to upload to youtube for everyone to see. To make things worse, her job on the school newspaper is now on the line since the editor believes she might be too emotionally unstable to handle it. Enter Alex, Cat's old neighbor and friend, thought of as the "bad boy" but really just keeps to himself. Cat comes up with a plan to fake date Alex to make everyone believe she moved on, but what happens when real feelings get involved in a fake relationship?

Gawd, I really loved this book! Like, for realsies I want a physical copy just so I could hug it. This was the perfect blend of everything I didn't know I needed and I could not stop reading until it was over and I had to stop because there was literally nothing left. I found the book to be so charming, fun, cute, sweet and quirky, as well as character driven with two of the best characters I have read recently.

Usually I have a favorite character in a book, but here my love was equally spread between Cat and Alex- I loved them both and appreciated their differences. As per my favorite, this was a dual narrated romance so the story was told by both characters. Cat was so determined and kind, ready to try and see the good in most situations and fight against injustices. Her fiction writing was hysterical, be it romantic or death, and beware of those killer ants. Alex was such a sweet guy even though he was completely wrong about his self perception. He cast this bad boy image, but he was the picture of respect and hard work, never once stepping out of bounds and trying so hard to do well in all aspects. If anyone needed a hug, it was this boy- but he has Cat so it all works out.

I had to include a few quirky parts here, they were too good to resist and show the dynamic of the story so well:

Yet another thing to file under “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” in her brain.

She peered down at her feet. No sign of the earth splitting in two. Which was a real pity because, as far as she could tell, a natural disaster was her only way out of the conversation.

I’m starting to think he doesn’t exist. He’s just a fictional name someone’s created to scam the school for a paycheck. Which for the record, would make a great story, but I won’t be able to write it because I’ll be kicked off the paper. See how this thing works?”

Her anger faded— probably because, like her eyes, it kept getting distracted by his mouth.

As a side note, the minor characters were also great, be it Cat's awesome mom the determined hippie artist with cheesy popular greeting cards, Joe the grumpy mechanic who would do anything for Alex regardless of him seeing it, Nikki the supportive pushy bright best friend as well as well as Alex's grandmother Birdie and her heartbreak brownies, all knowing information sources and wild retirement home parties. They were so cute!

This was the perfect, fun character driven teen romance that was low on the heat but high on the sweet (ok, so I realize that was a little cheesy, but still true!). This was my first book by Amanda and I can't wait to read whatever I can get my hands on by her.

​I received this title for reviewing purposes.​