Wednesday, April 26, 2017

PROMO: Tijan's Fallen Crest Home Release Tour Excerpt

Happy Release Week to TIJAN!!! To better acquaint you with her work, here is the first chapter for


It was a Friday night, two in the morning, and my two best friends were shrieking in drunken laughter behind me. I sighed as I pulled into the gas station. My little Corolla had been chugging near empty for the last few miles. And I’ll admit that I’d been worried we would’ve broken down on the side of the road, not for my car’s sake, for my sake. I didn’t know if I could’ve handled walking with Lydia and Jessica.

And on cue, Lydia rammed her elbow in the back of my head.

“Oh, Sam!” Muffled laughter. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean—” She dissolved in laughter once more.

Jessica wrapped her hands around the passenger seat and leaned forward. “Can we go to another party?”


“No.” I unclipped my seat belt and started to get out.

They scrambled out, or tried. Lydia tripped and was nearly clocked by my side mirror. Jessica tumbled after and leaned her weight on Lydia’s shoulders so she wouldn’t fall while she sidestepped over her.

What a friend.

“Why not? It’s our last Friday night before school. Come on, Sam!”

Lydia stood and straightened out her skirt and top. When her boobs were back in place and the skirt barely covered her ass, she turned her pleading eyes on me too. “It’ll be fun. Come on! I know where a public party is.”

Jessica whirled to her. “Oh! That sounds awesome.”

They bounced together. Both wore flowing skirts, tight tops, and brown curls that flung everywhere.

When one hit me in the face, I swatted it away.

“I’m taking you guys home. You’re both drunk.”

“Come on, you’re such a loser tonight,” Lydia moaned.

Jessica frowned and flipped her hair over her shoulder. “Yeah, you are. What’s going on with you?”

“Did you and Jeffrey have a fight?” Lydia’s eyebrows wiggled up and down. She peeled over in laughter once more.

I gave them my polite fuck off smile and each rolled their eyes. Then Lydia lifted her nose and got a whiff of gas station pizza. Her stomach growled and off they went. As I watched them skip together, holding hands, and giggling over the fact they were drunk, I leaned back against my car.

While the gas was guzzling into my car, I heard Jessica’s question again. Was something wrong with me?

And I sighed. Only my whole world had changed that afternoon. I could see my mother’s face when I had left Jessica’s house and went home for the afternoon. We’d all been so happy to go out that night. Even me. Yes, Jeffrey was usually an ass, but a small part of me had wondered if tonight was going to be the night we slept together. He’d been my boyfriend for three years now. He was nice, well, he was a douche at times, but he still seemed to like me. And I liked him too, but while my mother had been happy jumping from bed to bed before she got knocked up with me, I didn’t want to end up like that. So I had taken everything slow with Jeff, but when I got home to get ready for the party that night, little butterflies were in my stomach.

They died and burned in flames when I opened my front door. Boxes upon boxes were lined inside and in the middle of them sat my mother. A bottle of wine was half empty beside her as she sat in her silk bathrobe. Tears coated her face, but when she saw me a bright smile was forced out.

“Hey, honey.” Hiccup. “How are you?”

I let the door go and it slammed shut behind me. “What happened?”

“Oh.” She gave me a dismissive wave. “Nothing. You don’t need to worry about a thing.”

“Worry about what?”

“We’re going to be fine.”

I hadn’t moved. My purse still hung from my arm. “Mom, what happened?” Boxes were everywhere, even in the kitchen. I saw two empty wine bottles in the sink.

“You and me, honey. We’re going to be just fine.”

“Where’s dad?”

Her hands froze. She’d been taping up a box, but she sucked in her breath and held still.


She finished the rest of her wine and she almost fell backwards from the effort. When she set the bottle aside, I asked again, “Mom, what’s going on?”

She started sobbing. “Oh honey. I’m so sorry about this. I really am.”

“Mom! What’s going on?”

“Ifellinlovewithsomeoneelsean dwe’releavingyourfather.” She hiccupped again and swiped at some of her tears.


She took a deep breath. “I…we’re leaving your father.”

My insides screamed at her. My hands curled into fists and I wanted to launch myself at her. I wanted to pound the hell out of her, but I didn’t do any of that. Instead, I collapsed on one of the couches and  listened to everything she said. She’d fallen in love with someone else. She wanted to be with him. She told dad, he kicked us out, and tomorrow we were going to move in with this boyfriend of hers.


“Huh?” She lifted tear-stained eyes to me.


A soft sob and she whispered, “James Kade.”

“James Kade?”

She nodded and wiped her arm over her face. “He has two boys your age, honey. You might know them.”

Know them? Everyone knew them. Mason and Logan Kade. While they were rich, their dad owned five of the factories that our town thrived on, they chose to go to public school. Everyone knew the Kade brothers. They could’ve gone to the private school, where most of the rich kids went, or where I went because my dad was the football coach, but they’d shaken everything up when they chose public school.

And now I was going to be living with them?

As I watched my mom, who sobbed as if she’d been the one cheated on, something shriveled up inside of me. I would never be like my mother. Never. And sorry, Jeff, but that meant he wasn’t going to be getting laid by me for a very very long time.

However, after I had spent most of the afternoon and evening packing my things, he wasn’t excited to hear my change of plans when Lydia and Jessica waited for me to go to the party that night. In fact, he’d been a jerk. Not surprising. A few choice curse words, a few beers guzzled, and he wiped his mouth clean of me.

“I’ll get someone better, bitch. You’re not the only hot chick here.” And off he went. His jeans rode low, a beer in hand, and his hair gelled into badass spikes.

I rolled my eyes and went in search for my friends.

Heaven help me, but Jeff would be back. I was at the point where I wasn’t sure if I cared or not.

An Escalade wheeled into the slot beside mine. At first I didn’t pay attention, lost in my world-ending daydreams, but when someone shouted all my attention snapped back to reality.

Four boys spilled out of the vehicle and two passed by me.

I sucked in my breath.

“Fuck that, man. Let’s go to Molly’s instead,” one boy laughed as he hung on his friend. He threw his head back and laughed on a carefree note. His brown curls danced and he seemed invigorated. “You’ll get pussy there. Promise.”

He laughed another maniacal laugh before the two disappeared inside.

My hands clenched the gas nozzle tightly and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

Logan Kade, my soon-to- be-roommate. While I watched through the window, he laughed at something his friend said. Lydia and Jessica saw who was in the other aisle and quickly went to flirt with them. The friend looked interested, but Logan skimmed a bored eye over them and went back for something more inside the store.

I hadn’t seen the Kade brothers up close, not in a long time, but I’d heard plenty about them. Logan was a junior, like me. Mason was a year older. Both were good looking and Mason was rumored to be six foot one with a muscular build. He played defensive lineman for a reason on his football team. Logan had the leaner build, but he was an inch shorter.

I snorted to myself. I couldn’t believe I even knew these details. As I cursed my friends inside for their gossiping ways, I glanced back at the Escalade and froze once more. Two green eyes stared back at me.

Mason had been filling up his vehicle and watching me the whole time.

I swallowed painfully and was barely aware that my gas was done. I couldn’t look away from him.

Logan was handsome. There was no doubt about that, but he had nothing against his older brother.

Now I understood why so many gossiped and whispered about the Kade brothers. The hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up and my eyes were locked with his in some sort of battle.

I couldn’t look away. I just knew that.

His friend rounded the vehicle and leaned beside him. Both watched me and I saw the grin come to his friend. He crossed his feet and looked like he was at the movies, popcorn and all.

Then he said something and Mason smirked at me.

“Mase, dude. Candy flavored condoms.” Logan leapt across the lot and did a small dance when he handed a box to his brother.

I knew I shouldn’t have been watching, but I couldn’t stop myself. I was riveted by both brothers. Logan was bobbing his head in rhythm with the music that blared from the gas station’s speakers while Mason hadn’t taken his eyes from mine.

That’s when I knew without a doubt that he knew who I was.

I sucked in my breath and my knees trembled for a moment. What’d I do? Did I do something? Then I remembered my mom sitting in between all those boxes, tears down her face, and an empty bottle of wine beside her.

Fuck them. And fuck their dad.

My mom wasn’t a saint. I knew that for sure, but she’d been with my dad for the last seventeen years.

Now she cheated? Now she decided we should move in with her new boyfriend and his family?

Fuck them all.

My eyes hardened. Mason’s narrowed. And I sneered at him before I went inside to pay. When I came back out, Lydia and Jessica were still in the bathroom; Mason passed me to pay inside. He wore a black leather jacket over a black shirt and jeans. His black hair was cut short and his eyes held mine in some form of trance as he passed by me. His jacket rubbed against me, he passed so close, and we both turned to watch the other.

My heart faltered for a moment.

The same hatred I felt for him was in his eyes.

Fuck him.

I lifted my lip to sneer at him and I knew he read the message because he narrowed his eyes, but shouldered inside the store.

I sighed and went to my car to wait. Logan and their friends were inside the Escalade, laughing about something. Then the door pinged its exit and I stiffened. I knew who’d be coming again.

I looked, I couldn’t help it, and met Mason’s gaze as he neared me. He paused close to my car and looked like he was going to stop. I lifted my head up, ready for whatever he was going to lay on me, but two cars screeched to a halt not far from us.

His eyes snapped up. “What the hell?”

“Hey losers!” a guy yelled and cursed at them as he ran from the car with something smoking in his hand.

“Oh hell!”


Logan and their friends were out of the car in an instant. Mason rushed past me and I stood there, shocked, as all four dragged the guys from the other cars. Logan grabbed the smoking thing from the guy’s hand and gave it to his brother. Mason took it and threw it in the first car. And the rest of the doors were flung open. Guys from that car poured out. Then another smoking thing was produced and

Logan flung it into the other car.

Their two friends were still punching some of the other guys. Mason and Logan started punching the rest. It wasn’t long before the cars were filling up with smoke and I got the first whiff of fire.

“Oh no,” I muttered to myself and dashed to the store. After I flung open the door, I screamed, “Lydia, Jessica, get out here now!”

They rushed from the back section and stared, dumbfounded at me. “Sam, what’s going on?”

I latched onto Lydia’s arm and dragged her out with me. “We’re leaving. Now.”

Jessica followed behind, but braked in the middle of the lot. Her eyes were wide as she took in the sight before her.

I shoved Lydia inside the car and twisted around. “Get lost! The cars are going to explode.”

Mason and Logan’s friends heard me and stopped. They grabbed Logan first, but all of them dragged Mason away from the guy he was punching. Fury lit up his face, but when Logan said something in his ear, he turned and leapt for his Escalade. As he climbed inside, his eyes met mine for a second.

I shrugged and shoved Jessica behind Lydia inside mine. Then I hurried into my car and we were out of there in a flash.

Everything happened so fast.

Lydia and Jessica were bowled over in the back. “I can’t believe that happened!”

“What did happen?”

“Logan Kade is so hot.”

Jessica snorted. “Logan is? Didn’t you see Mason? I’d do him in a heartbeat.”

Lydia moaned. “Let me go to bed with my dreams right now. Why can’t they go to our school?”

Jessica grinned again. “I heard it’s because public school is tougher. They didn’t want a pansy school.”

Lydia fanned herself. “Whatever. I don’t care. I’m transferring.”

Then Jessica grew serious. “You think that’ll be on the news?”

Lydia lifted her shoulders. “All I know is, how are we supposed to go home now? Sam, please, please, please can we go to another party? I bet I know where they’re going.”

I dropped them off at the party and left for home.


FALLEN CREST HIGH is the FIRST book in this seven book series.

Mason and Logan Kade are two brothers who did their own thing. They were rich and expected to attend her school, Fallen Crest Academy. They chose public school and now Samantha has to live with them. The problem is that she doesn't care at all: about them, about her friends, about her cheating boyfriend, or even about her parent's divorce. But maybe that's a good thing. Maybe change is a good thing.


It’s been years since my mother was in my life.
I healed.
I learned to accept love.
I lived.
That’s all done. She was away, and now she’s back.
I avoided her for a year and a half, but I couldn’t hide anymore.
Mason had an internship in Fallen Crest, so we headed back for the summer.
And when we got there—no one was prepared for what happened.



Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing Fallen Crest Six (untitled) along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores. 

To find what to read next of hers, go to



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dual Book Review for The Torn Duet by Mia Kayla


I believe in fairy tales — the kind where a knight in shining armor sweeps me off my feet. Coming from a broken home, fairy tales housed the hope I clung to. Never in my life did I imagine two knights coming into my life— two knights that wore very different armor.

A rockstar versus a lawyer.
Fast and furious versus deliberate and calculated.
Intense and passionate versus strong and devoted.
Chaos versus stability.

I fell in love with one in the craziness of a concert.
I fell in love with the other in the silence of his compassion.

And now I am Torn Between Two.


Life is made up of choices.
Single choices like bricks laid out in a path. A path that leads to your future.

At twenty four years old, I would have never guessed I would be stuck between two men—two men from opposite spectrums of the universe.
Their lives, their worlds, their demeanor is as different as the darkest of nights and the lightest of days.

I love them both, but I have to choose.
There is only one choice I can make.
And I choose forever.

REVIEW: 4/5 stars
"He loved me. There was no doubt. He loved me with all of his being, and in that moment, in the silence, I knew I'd fallen for him, too."

I LOVE TRIANGLES. If you've followed me for any length of time, you would totally know this. I love the push and pull, the intense emotions from all parties involved, the undeniable draw to each person involved....because it's REAL! I don't really care for outright cheating; blatant disrespect for the person you are with. That's not the draw for me. The draw for me is the fact that even though you may be in a relationship, when your soulmate comes along, they make you question your understanding of love, your explanation of truth, your reality of the heart. THAT'S what I love. That's the draw for me.

The Torn Duet was my first read of Mia Kayla's, but it caught my eye because it was a TRIANGLE! Yes, admittedly, the trope sucked me right in. The part that actually piqued my interest was that she pitted a LAWYER and a ROCKSTAR against each other. How messed up is that? It's great, isn't it!!? HAHAHA!! I mean, let's think about this for a moment; could you just imagine the differences between these two?? Stability vs the unknowing; dominant vs playful; romantic vs wild rides. As I was reading it, I was seeing that I had it all wrong. While I was right about the wildness and the romance, the dominant and the playfulness, who knew that they both had it in spades!!? I loved seeing the different qualities they both had to offer. I could easily see how Sammy was stuck between both men. I can see how her heart was torn between these two and how she was powerless against her pull to each of them. Her internal struggles were loud, but the draw to "him" was eventually louder. I was a little nervous while reading it because it could have totally gone either way!!

HAWKE loved hard and fast. He always got what he wanted. He never settled and he never begged. If he wanted it, he got it. Period. His charisma was broad and his smile spoke to the masses. His confidence was sexy.

JOSH loved quick and with his whole being. He was a smooth operator with calculated moves and he knew patience was a virtue. He also knew what he wanted and was going to get it, no matter what. His sincerity was potent and his honesty was wholehearted.

Now, both of these men were literally sex on a stick, and both brought a different dynamic to their relationship with Sam. She was weak when it came to both of these guys. I wish I could say that I would have been stronger than her, but sometimes there are certain aspects to a man that speak to us that no one else will understand. I chose ONE man pretty early on, but I will be honest and say that I was IN IT for the long haul. The first book was a slow start for me and I had to get acquainted to Mia's style of writing and quirkiness with her comparisons, but it was a great introduction to their storyline. I had a knotted stomach from the very beginning of the second book until I finished it. That is when the story picked up for me and then I was nothing more than a wide-eyed, chocolate-cake-eating MESS.  I read both of these books this weekend....and I'm not a fast reader at all! I was engrossed, and one thing Mia did was make sure to keep me guessing and creating a bond between each couple that had me biting my nails up until the very end. And it was an emotional ending, but very fitting. Whether you are #TeamHawke or #TeamJosh, they will both provide an emotional connection that makes you swoon hard.

Overall, Mia did a really good job introducing us to each man....allowing us to fall in love, and then throwing a wrench into the mix by providing us with emotional banter and consequences. Josh had stability while Hawke provided excitement. I saw the draw to both, problems and all. I saw Sam warring with herself, questioning logic and her heart. The questions and the unknowing and the uncertainty circled around, while she found herself entertaining the notion of each man. It was excitement mixed with fear. The first book, while starting out super shaky and had me a little concerned, finished up and rated a strong 3.5 star for me while the second book was a 4.5 star for me. The angst was great, and the finish of the their story was great.

I tried to wrap my head around the enormity of it all. What it meant, where it would lead us, when we’d see each other again. But thinking of it only made my head and heart and stomach hurt, all at the same time.




Mia Kayla is a New Adult/Contemporary Romance writer who lives in Illinois. 

On the weekdays, she can be caught wearing a suit, commuting to her corporate job in downtown Chicago and raising three beautiful munchkins in the suburbs, four if you count the husband. 

In her free time she loves reading romance novels, jamming to boy bands, catching up on celebrity gossip and designing flowers for weddings.

Most of the time, she can be caught on the train with her nose in a book sporting a cheeky grin because the main characters finally get their happily-ever-after at the end. 

She loves reading about happy endings but has more fun writing them.

To find out more about my upcoming release, sign up for my newsletter. Click here to sign up.




Excerpt for Out of the Ashes by RC Boldt


We both sit frozen, my stare locking onto her lips. They look unimaginably soft, but it’s her eyes that continue to mesmerize me. Like she can peer inside, like she notices what I keep locked deep within, that she can—


Jolting from the loud vibration of her cell phone on the lacquered bar top, Presley jerks away. She grabs her phone like it’s a lifeline as the screen lights up with the name Dylan, signifying an incoming text message.

She scans the message, and I can’t help but notice it’s a generic text saying good night and he’d talk to her the following day. And a part of me feels a little…jealous.


Seriously, man. Get it together. You shouldn’t be getting close to another guy’s woman.

But I’m not getting close. I’m having a fun conversation with a woman who happens to also be my doctor. A woman who’s helped me tremendously in such a short period.

A woman who is incredibly smart and beautiful. A woman who doesn’t cringe in horror when she looks at me—who doesn’t appear to register the presence of my scars. A woman who’s a trivia nerd like me.

Damn if that last one doesn’t give me some warm fucking fuzzies. I may have been with more than my allotted share of women who had an ass ton of space between the ears, but make no mistake…nothing turns me on more than a woman who’s smart as a whip. And yeah, I got a semi during Jeopardy, hearing her softly spoken answers each time Alex read a clue. I’m a sicko, I know. But shit, she’s got beauty, brains, and not to mention, she’s incredibly kind. This Dylan guy had better realize how good he has it.

She reaches for her purse, reacting a split second too late to me slipping money to Ryan to pay our tabs.

“Wait! You can’t—”

I cut her off with a look of faux sternness. “You didn’t have to humor me and watch the game with me.” A college football game that consisted of two small schools, no less, but it served as an excuse to get out of the house for a bit. While I hate having to hide behind my ball cap, it doesn’t mean I want to become a damn recluse. “Or share a meal with me.”

“It was my pleasure. But at least let me take care of the tip.” Opening her wallet, she tries to produce her share.

Before she can pluck any bills from it, I lay my hand over hers.

She doesn’t immediately look up to meet my eyes; instead, she appears transfixed by the sight of our hands together, and at the contrast in coloring, my darker, tanned skin to her fairer skin. It’s then my mind veers off like the old Hendy.

To the fucking gutter. Because I imagine linking my fingers through hers while I fuck her against the wall, counter, bed—wherever—all the while whispering in her ear the other naughty things I plan to do to her.

Except she’s taken. I need to remember that. And I sure as shit am not delusional enough to think anyone could love someone who looks the way I do. Least of all, someone as beautiful and sweet as Presley Cole.

Mentally shaking off my thoughts and removing my hand from hers, I wink.

“Consider it my treat,” I add softly, “for putting up with me these past few weeks.”

What I get in return is an overly bright smile laced with a tinge of panic. She has such an unnerving way of seeing through me that I hope she didn’t see through to my inappropriate thoughts from seconds ago.

“It’s been a pleasure, Hendy.”

Slipping off the barstool, I wait for her to grab her purse. Presley and I wave at Ryan, thanking him again as we exit and step out into the typical Florida still-humid- as- hell-even- though-it’s- evening weather.

“Where are you parked?”

It’s dark, and although Fernandina Beach, especially the downtown area, is much like Mayberry where the worst crime that occurs is shoplifting a pack of chewing gum, I need to see her safely to her car. Lord knows I gave my mother more than her share of gray hairs as a hell-raiser back in the day, but there’s no denying she raised me to be a gentleman.

“Just over there.” Presley gestures to the small parking lot nearby, a mere four yards away from where we stand. She pauses on the sidewalk, appearing nervous, and her eyes flit to me before darting away.

“Thanks again for tonight.” I watch as she regains her composure, returning to doctor mode before meeting my gaze. “I’ll see you for your adjustment tomorrow.”

Then she turns to step off the sidewalk, intent on crossing the street.

Without me.

Running a hand down my face with a silent groan, I quickly cross the street, following her. Approaching where she’s standing at her car, I call out her name as her vehicle’s lights flash twice when she unlocks it with her key fob.

“Presley.” Drawing to a stop a foot away from her, I get this strange tightness in my chest at the fact she’s leaving me to head home. Stupid as hell, but there’s no denying it. There’s just something about her.

But she belongs to—is engaged to marry—someone else. Knock it off, man.

Yet when she peers up at me with those eyes—one blue and one green—I could get lost in their depths. Reaching for the door handle, I offer a smile and open the car door for her.

“Get in. I want to make sure you leave here safe and sound.”

At my words, I see something flicker in her eyes. And I know, at this moment, if she says anything remotely sweet to me right now, there’s a good chance it’ll send me crossing that line. And I can’t have that. I’ve got a reverse case of Florence Nightingale syndrome. That’s got to be it. Which is why I add my next words.

“Gotta get you home safe so you can see your man.”

Fuck. It leaves a nasty taste in my mouth to utter that shit. Reminds me of getting the damn desert sand in my mouth when we were out in the middle of nowhere on a mission. That shit makes you want to spit, clean out your damn mouth, and rid yourself of that grittiness.

Her expression is shuttered, smile stiff, and her voice subdued. “Thanks again.”

Closing the door after she’s safely inside and buckled up, I offer a quick nod, tugging the brim of my ball cap lower as I turn to make my way to my truck, which is parked along the curb near the bar. I don’t look back—no quick glance—because the disappointment that the night has to end makes me feel bad enough.

But of all people, I should know best that all good things must come to an end.

Phoenix /fēniks/: (in classical mythology) a unique bird inhabiting the Arabian Desert that burned itself on a funeral pyre before rising from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle.

This isn’t mythology, it’s war, and Hendy is left in the hands of Hell’s cruelest gatekeepers.

His team is killed before his very eyes, and despite his efforts to save them, he’s captured and subjected to merciless torture—losing virtually every piece of his identity but his pulse.

After his rescue, he returns home from Afghanistan, saddled with facing the daunting task of healing his physical scars as well as the invisible ones—his emotional demons.

Dr. Presley Cole isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. Embarking on a new journey, she makes it her mission to prove to Hendy that his life isn’t over; that he’s worthy of love.

Because sometimes even a phoenix needs help to rise…

Out of the Ashes.

Google Play:

RC Boldt is the wife of Mr. Boldt, a retired Navy Chief, mother of Little Miss Boldt, and former teacher of many students. She currently lives on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing karaoke. If you're in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can't recall the lyrics to a particular 80's song, or just need to hang around a nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she's your girl.



Friday, April 21, 2017

Review for The Gravity of Us by Brittainy Cherry


Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.

I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.

Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.

Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.

Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.

Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

REVIEW: 3+ Stars
"She was my freedom, yet I was her cage."

This was the fourth and final book in the Elements series; I am so sad to see it has come to an end. I have loved this entire series, but I am mostly sad about how I felt about this book. I loved the message that was conveyed, I loved the characters, and I even loved some of the drama that happened during it. I was able to figure out the twist rather quickly (ARGH!), but I still finished the book because I wanted to see how it all played out. I will admit that I almost DNF'd this one, but I am glad I stuck it through. The epilogue alone was worth the follow through. I smiled and teared up at one point as well. It was most definitely a worthy book, so let me try to explain my happiness and sadness about how I felt about it.

The characters were great in this book! While exaggerated a bit, I could feel the emotions and the pain that was conveyed throughout the scenes. It was evident that these two souls were polar opposites of epic proportions, but they worked so well together. Lucy was a very strong character. Her perceived weakness was truly her obvious strength. She was a modern day hippie and loved with all her heart and forgave within an inch of her soul. She really was so fun to read. She handled things so differently than I would normally, but I think that is what I loved most about her. She was such a kind spirit. She has the makings of a best friend!

Graham starts out as this super broody, no-feelings-having recluse that is held captive by his past. He hides behind his pain. He suffocates his weakness by strangling his emotions....but he's finally learning to let himself breathe. Lucy's teaching him how to take that breathe again. I love that Lucy was the one to break through to him and teach him about love and the way that it was so unassuming was my favorite part. She was the perfect person for him. Her carefree "hippie" personality made me smile because she just exuded happiness. Though Graham did soften right up once he stopped denying his feelings, it was a work in progress with him.

"She was the one thing off-limits, and the only thing I'd ever craved."

So what bothered me if I loved the storyline and the characters so much? I struggled with a few things. Sadly, I didn't feel this intense love between the two characters until the very end, which is weird because I read it throughout the entire book. I am not sure what the disconnect was, but I know that the jerk in Graham didn't know how to let the sweetness in Lucy invade his ever so conditioned life. He was so regimented. I read it. I knew they were falling for each other. I just didn't feel it. It was almost disjointed at times. This was a verrrry slow build up to Graham and Lucy's HEA, but their HEA was well deserved nonetheless. And it was a HEA for the books....their chapter was a beautiful one.

The arguments were seriously ridiculous, and quite frankly, over the top. I hate when a book makes me feel 'angry' because of someone's actions/reactions. Not in the way that would make me dive deeper in the book with excitement; no. Angry because the drama that happened was piled on super thick. The actions by disturbingly cold spouses, by obnoxiously rude parents, by angry hurt men, and by despicable siblings was a huge turn off. The basis for the story was absolutely perfect and I loved the storyline itself. I really did, but when you immediately argue over trivial stuff in front of others instead of respecting each other like logical adults, it makes me cringe. It just does. All the sibling/spouse/boyfriend fights, it was a little over the top/immature/too selfish for me.

After building up this final book in my head, I feel a little let down. I'm sure that is my fault, ultimately, and I hate that I did that or feel this way. While all of her books that I have read have been emotional and somewhat over the top in the drama department, I have still been able to enjoy all of them. This one was no different, and I truly enjoyed it for the most part; I was just hoping for more. This is NOT a negative review. While it may sound overly critical, the main thing to remember is I really did like the emotional and heartfelt parts of this book. One of my favorite things was the realization that it was the little things that made the biggest difference. Lucy fought hard for Graham's heart while he fought hard to hide it. It was a beautiful message that Lucy delivered, but I was hoping for more overall. Does this curb my desire to read her books? Nope. Not even a little bit. I look forward to her next book and can't wait to see what she comes up with.

"Air above me, earth below me, fire within me, water surround me, sprit becomes me."

Start the Series of Standalones Today!

The Air He Breathes

The Fire Between High and Low

The Silent Waters (Now ONLY 99¢!)

The Gravity of Us

Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing--poorly of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in! Brittainy lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family. When she's not running a million errands and crafting stories, she's probably playing with her adorable pets.




Excerpt for 180 Seconds by Jessica Park


I throw my unread book into my backpack and forcefully zip the bag closed. I pound across toward a trash can to dispose of my iced coffee, which I have now lost the taste for. I toss it toward the bin, but it ricochets off and explodes in a mess of liquid and ice that smatters against the sidewalk.

“Nice shot,” someone says rudely as he passes by.

“Thanks! So much!” I call to his back.
I sigh at the coffee disaster. I can’t just leave ice cubes all over the walkway, so I crouch down and start to collect them, cursing under my breath as more than one slips from my hold.

“Slippery little guys, aren’t they?” A pair of legs appears next to me, and I glance only for a second at ripped jeans and red Converse sneakers.

I don’t say anything as I continue my desperate attempt to clean this mess. Without looking up, I manage to locate a few napkins in my backpack and do what I can to blot up the liquid.

The person bends down next to me, and I watch as he deftly picks up every stupid ice cube that has fallen through my fingers and plunks each one smoothly into the cup in my hand. His forearms are tan, toned, with leather cords and thin rope bracelets around each wrist. Like superhero cuffs or something. He probably thinks he can deflect bullets. My head involuntarily turns a smidge, and I catch sight of a bicep peeking out from the hem of his white T-shirt. Quickly, I look away. I wish this guy hadn’t stopped.

I wish I wasn’t instantaneously having lurid thoughts.

I wish he didn’t smell like cookies and love.

When he gets the last of the ice cubes, I manage to toss the cup successfully into the trash bin without catastrophe. “Thanks for the help. I assume nine million ants will soon be here to celebrate Sugar Fest,” I mumble.

Cookies-and-love boy smoothly begins pouring water from a stainless canister and washes the pavement clear. “Not to worry.”

It becomes obvious that I must acknowledge this person who is being unnecessarily kind. It feels like a burden to do so, for which I’m ashamed, but I put on a smile and face him. Well, actually look up to him, given that he’s got a good half foot on my five-feet, four-inch stature.

This boy looks at me. He really looks at me. I shift a bit to avoid eye contact, and while I would love to turn away completely, his soft, deep brown hair frames his face in a way that prevents me from doing so. His curls are too long, the shorter ones framing his face, others tumbling recklessly over his ears, almost touching his shoulders. I suspect it’s been a few days since he’s shaved, but the scruff suits him, and it takes all of my will not to get drawn in by his unusual amber eyes that pierce through me. I am entirely discomfited and displaced by this person. And yet . . . I stare. Only for a short spell. For a matter of seconds, I let myself follow the shape of his face, the way his cheeks are full and how they lead into a jaw that makes me want to insist he shave so that I can see it more clearly.

This is bananas. I’m bananas. Some sort of psychotic hormonal surge has temporarily engulfed me, and I will knock this nonsense away now. Like, right now. Really.

Finally, I avert my eyes and throw away a soggy napkin. “Thanks again. Gotta get to class.”

I sense he is about to say something, so I pivot and slip into the flow of students heading toward the other side of campus. As if I’m not already out of sorts, Carmen walks by, heading in the other direction, and waves. I wave back politely and say nothing, yet I’m actually dying to scream about what a hot mess I am after spilling coffee and having some unknown, sexy boy help me.

My Social Psych class is held in one of the biggest lecture halls on campus. Even though the class is huge, there are still plenty of empty seats, and I take what’s become my usual spot at the end of a middle row. Immediately, I flip open my binder and make as if I’m intently studying notes from the last class. Most students take notes on their laptops, but Steffi told me she’d read that writing things down makes you learn them better. I put in earphones and play my white-noise app for added security from interruption while the room slowly fills.

Someone taps me on the shoulder, and I jump. It’s just a girl wanting to get past me to take a seat. I nod and stand, and it’s then that I hear voices that pass the sound in my earbuds and make me glance up. The boy who helped me with the ice cubes is walking into the room. My stomach drops. Poised on the steps that run up alongside the rows, he is surrounded by students, all animated and talking effusively, and—it’s clear—fussing over him.

Without thinking, I mute my app and slowly sit back down.

The boy smiles as someone pats him on the back in greeting, then lifts up his chin to acknowledge the clapping coming from a row of students. Who is this guy?

Students begin chanting, “Esben! Esben! Esben! Hashtag rock yourself! Hashtag rock yourself!”

So, his name is Esben. Ice-cube plucker is named Esben. Huh. Well, whatever.

I frown and shrink lower into my seat. I don’t know what is happening, but it’s making me horribly agitated. This Esben boy laughs and waves away the attention. A girl in the third row calls his name loudly enough to be heard over the ever-growing chanting and beckons him to a free seat next to her. He’s clearly some kind of überpopular campus icon.

I’ll just ignore him. It’ll be easy. We have nothing in common.

Yet, I find myself staring at the back of his head for the hour-and-a-half class, and I have to work hard to stay on top of my note taking. Against my will, I’m intrigued when the professor raises the concept of charismatic leadership and then gestures toward Esben, eliciting laughter and applause from the entire room. By the end of the class, my heart is pounding, and I practically leap out of my seat the second the professor finishes assigning our reading. I reach the door in mere seconds, pushing through the flood of exiting students to get outside.

God, I need air. I need air.


Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.

Jessica is the author of CLEAR, The Left Drowning Series (LEFT DROWNING and RESTLESS WATERS), the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (& the companion novella FLAT-OUT MATT), FLAT-OUT CELESTE, and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Book Review for Revelry by Kandi Steiner

Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.

She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.

Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.

Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.

He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.

Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.

REVIEW: Yep. Read it. However many stars you need....
"How could I convince her that I could heal her when the last man to touch her was responsible for the scars?"

Soooo....yeah, this book. This book. This book was an amazing, sincere, heartfelt read that I feel like I can actually exhale after reading. Corny? Maybe, but it's true. I'm so content after reading this one. This book was very moving; it spoke to me. It moved me in ways I didn't think it would and I'm still shaking my head, still saying wow as I process my feelings on this one. This wasn't an in-your-face, angsty, roller coaster of a book. Nope. This one was a slow burn, an ache for the lack of a better word right now, that was a constant hum while I read it. The growth, the characters, the storyline, everything....the TRUTHS!!! It was all in this book and it was an eye-opening, beautiful read.

I loved this opposites attract feeling I got.....these two were not your typical, but they were your ideal. Wren and Anderson were two broken souls colliding and coming to life. I loved their love. I loved their hearts. I loved HOW they loved and I loved HOW they learned. They both were so moved by what the other offered, it was a beautiful dance between their hearts and their minds. Talk about growth in characters and watching it unfold in front of you. Serious life lessons.....from the heart. So good. I'm still saying wow.....just, wow.

"It wasn't that we needed each other, or that we couldn't find footing on our own. It was that our pieces together made a larger whole."

The whole cast of characters in this book added some very insightful and important dialogue to this already emotionally laden story. I don't want to say this book was heavy, but it was deep. Everyone needs a Momma Von in their life. She was a walking fountain of knowledge! One of the best things I saw throughout the entire book was that every single character played a necessary part in Wren and Anderson's story.

This book started out slow, or what I thought was slow, but after getting deeper in, it was just the perfect cadence to use while telling Wren and Anderson's love story. This entire book was embedded with heartfelt messages amidst the breathtaking moments between two souls that were meant to be. Man...the sighs were rampant throughout this entire book. I love how this one made me feel. It was a slow awakening to the bigger picture and I feel like I can put books down for a bit and just lay down, look up to the ceiling, and just smile. Smile at what I read because it resonated with me so much. Kudos, Kandi.

Edited to add: I woke up thinking about this book. How profound it was. It was such a moving book. I don't even know how to explain it. When you can envision light and airy, when you can feel the breeze and the surrounding, when you can sigh at the love and the pain. That's when a book hits you. That's when a book affects you. That is exactly what Revelry did for me.

"My skin was almost too sensitive to her touch, my ears too aware of her breaths, my tongue too tender for the taste of her. If she really was a drug, addiction wasn't just a possibility -- it was a certainty."


Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer. 

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order. 

Join her group Kandiland HERE.




Excerpt Reveal for Paper Fools by Staci Hart


She reached into her bag, digging around in the black hole for her book, but looked up, sensing someone in front of her.

When her eyes locked on his, she froze.

They were the greenest eyes she’d ever seen, shocking and bright, rimmed by thick, dark lashes. His long face was graced with an elegant nose and wide lips bent in a crooked smile.

And he was tall, really tall, with ebony hair that fell forward as he looked down at her. He pushed it back without seeming to think about it, but it still looked perfectly tossed, like he’d just rolled out of bed.

She realized she still hadn’t taken a breath and flushed as she fumbled and almost dropped her book.

“Uh, hi. I’m Lex.” She tossed her hand in a wave, hoping she looked casual.

He paused for a second, watching her with an expression she couldn’t quite place. The moment seemed to stretch on forever, and as she studied him, it dawned on her that he was amused. This unnerved her, even more so when it dawned upon her that it was exactly what he wanted.

“Hey,” he said, the timbre of his voice deep and full. “I’m Dean.”

Lex realized her mouth was open. And that he was smirking. And that he was dead sexy while he was doing it.

She closed her mouth and cocked an eyebrow, putting on her snark to hide the fact that he’d gotten to her.

“Dean, huh? I heard they call you Professor Panty Dropper.”

His smile stretched wider. “Oh, is that what they say?”

“They do.”

A tall blond, who she guessed was Roe, stood at the microphone, glaring at them. “Mic check, Dean.”

They stared at each other like idiots for a split second longer before Dean turned to pick up his guitar, and he took his place with the rest of the band. She watched him walk away and blinked a few times before turning to her bag again, not looking for anything in particular — she only wanted to keep her hands busy and her eyes off of Dean while she scraped her dignity off the floor.

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. 

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.