New Years Resolutions for 2015

I'm really excited to be sharing an excerpt from the newest LGBTQ+ anthology being released this month. I support this book, because ALL PROCEEDS from the sale will be donated to The Trevor Project.

$500 YA Signed Book Giveaway + Gift Card

Derek Murphy, YA author and founder of the YA Author Alliance, is running a giveaway this month, 10 signed books by bestselling authors and a $200 giftcard.

Once Upon A Series

I have way too many series that I've started, but haven't finished for whatever reason and this is a list of those I plan to finish this year.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves is an eye-opening, heartbreaking, and beautifully written novel that will leave an everlasting impression on you.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book Blitz+Giveaway: The Secrets We Keep by Lily Velez

I'm excited to be sharing The Secrets We Kept by the lovely Lily Velez on the blog today. It's an incredibly sweet and endearing Young Adult contemporary romance that will pull at your heartstrings and leave you with ALL THE FEELINGS. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book in the coming year and sink into it. I have a feeling that I'm absolutely going to fall in love with the beautifully broken yet strong Cadence and Sully. I am such a sucker for those childhood sweetheart romance stories and I think this book has ALL OF THAT and SO MUCH MORE!

Just the excerpt alone, has me vying for this book and this couple! Also, don't forget to stick around and enter the giveaway. It's filled with some pretty amazing prizes. 

The Secrets We Kept
Lily Velez

Published: November 8th 2015
Genres: YA Contemporary

One year. That’s how long it’s been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.

Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something’s different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile—all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can’t even begin to recognize, much less understand.

Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he’s convinced he can win her trust again, and he’s committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.

But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, she’s determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever.

The only problem is it seems her heart hasn’t quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she’ll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. Now her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one…long before Sully’s resolve ever does.

The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength.

Excerpt from The Secrets We Keep
by Lily Velez

Sully still remembered the first time that he saw Cadence. It was a sweltering summer that year. Push-cart ice cream vendors roamed the neighborhood blocks like soldiers on patrol, circling playgrounds and community swimming pools. It was common to see people pop open fire hydrants like champagne bottles, children dancing in the shoots of water as miniature rainbows reflected off the asphalt.

Sully and his brother, twelve and ten years old at the time, were living with the Petersons back then along with a tribe of foster siblings. Ol’ Man Peterson was a Vietnam vet with PTSD and a short-fuse temper that exploded so quickly, it was like his personality had a gas leak. Usually, maintaining a thirty-foot distance from the man at all times was insurance against his drunken rampages. His military pedigree had bred in him a no-nonsense adherence to hard work and, where appropriate, hard discipline—both of which were far less easy to escape.

The hard work in particular manifested in the Peterson prison as an endless checklist of chores (otherwise known as “slave labor” in the Spencer Graham lexicon), the completion or lack thereof of which determined whether or not you ate dinner that night. Additionally, each child had to fulfill their assigned task in accordance with certain standards, and as Ol’ Man Peterson was an uncompromising perfectionist, one chore could go through three to five rounds before the man extended a grunt of approval.

The afternoon Cadence arrived, Sully and Spencer were attached to yard work. While the Peterson walk-up sat only a few yards from the curb, which meant there barely existed a lawn between the chain-link fence and the front door, Ol’ Man Peterson preferred his grass cut to an exact height. It was taking painstaking precision to perfect his science.

Spencer lay on his stomach with a see-through ruler to measure the blades of grass. “I think you cut this side of the walkway too short.”

Sully rested a broom atop his shoulders, arms draping over it like a scarecrow. “It’s way too hot to even care, dude.”

“I care because I want to see the new Adam Sandler, movie and I’m not about to get grounded for another weekend.”

“How many times have I been grounded because of you?”

Spencer stood. “Whatever. I’m taking over sweeping duty.” He stretched out a hand to receive the broom, but Sully’s gaze had already shifted to a royal blue SUV parking alongside the curb. A woman emerged from the driver’s side. She came around to open the backseat door closest to the Peterson home. Two ballet flats appeared from under the door, reaching for the street. When the woman closed the door, a girl who looked to be Sully’s age or slightly younger stood with her, hands bracketed to the straps of her backpack and her bottom lip caught softly under her front teeth.

Spencer snapped in Sully’s face. “Hellooo? Earth to Sully.” Sully nodded toward the two, and when Spencer turned and saw them, he said, “Uh oh. Another casualty.”

The woman, clearly the girl’s caseworker, greeted the boys with a cheery “working hard?” before continuing up the walkway with her charge. Sully waited for the girl to look his way, and when she finally did, he offered her a soft, barely-there smile by way of hello. Part greeting, part commiseration. She instantly looked away.

They discovered her name only because she was sharing a bunk-bed with their friend Novah. “Cadence Livingston,” she told them. “She’s been in the system for a few years. She doesn’t talk much. Or at all. Those are the only things I was able to get from her. She’s probably halfway to being a mute.”

“I wish Spencer was a mute,” Sully muttered.

“Ha ha,” Spencer said. “You’re so funny. Absolutely hilarious. How did I get so lucky to have a brother like you?” Then he excused himself to see about fixing the eyesore Sully had made of the front lawn and left Sully fixated on the enigma of the quiet and elusive Cadence Livingston.

About the Author

Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). 

A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. 

You can learn more about Lily and her books at Lily’s debut novel, The Secrets We Kept, comes out November 8, 2015.

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#T4T Blitz: A Whispered Darkness & Fire in the Woods


Welcome to this week’s 
Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy, and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles! You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:
A Whispered Darkness by Vanessa Barger and
Fire in the Woods by Jennifer M. Eaton

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

When Claire Mallory’s father leaves, her mom moves them to a new town and into a dilapidated Victorian house.

The old house creaks and whistles, and smells well — like it’s been abandoned for years. But as the nights grow longer and the shadows take on substance, Claire wonders if the strange sounds and occurrences might be more than the house showing its age.

Just as things start to pick up in Claire’s love life, her mother becomes possessed. In an attempt to save her mother and their new home, Claire enlists the help of two boys, each of whom is interested in Claire for different reasons. As she chooses one boy over the other, something dangerous is unleashed, and the spirits make their move.

They aren’t content to moan and scream inside Claire’s house, or even control her mom. They want a taste of freedom, and she’s their key to getting it. But is Claire strong enough to fight off the evil spirits, or will they claim her and her mom before it’s all over?
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“Drama, romance, a girl who can talk to ghosts and a possessed mom made for a cool weekend afternoon read” Laurie Treacy, Author

“A Whispered Darkness did not disappoint. If you like ghost stories, you'll want to add this one to your TBR list” Kimber Leigh Wheaton, Author

“As a non-horror reader, A WHISPERED DARKNESS kept a strong creepy thing without taking it overboard.” Jennifer, The Dragon Blog

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. 

She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and the Virginia Writer's Club. 

When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.
Connect with the Author:

When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally. But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel.

But her father runs their house like an army barracks, and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. Ever. So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met?

Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. It just means she can’t get caught.

Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part. After all, she can’t really fall for a guy who’s not exactly from here.

As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe. Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she’s to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.
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David is the alien and the way Jennifer M. Eaton describes him as an alien is soo interesting!Brianna, Brianna's Bookish Confessions

“Overall, this novel surpassed my expectations. Truly a job well done and I’m already dying to get my hands on Ashes in the Sky, book two in the series!” Kayla, Goodreads Reviewer

“Overall it's a quick fun and entertaining read alien fans everywhere will enjoy. It's been a good while since I've read a really good alien book and Fire in the Woods provided a much needed dose.” – Angela, Souther Bred Southern Read

Jennifer M. Eaton
Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be.

Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.

Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.
Connect with the Author: 
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Book Blitz+Giveaway: Paper Dolls by Ketley Allison

Okay, guys I'm really excited to be featuring another new-to-me New Adult author, Ketley Allison on the blog. Her newest book, Paper Dolls (Falling Paper, #1) is releasing November 12th and it's definitely on my NA-TBR list. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'll get around to reading it before this year is up or not, but I know I'll definitely be sitting down to read it sometime in the coming year for sure. I'm already intrigued by the cover of the book, because it's so pretty with the rainbow wisps of hair to the grieving smoky backdrop. 


That synopsis below just makes me want to put away every other book on my list and just drown myself in this one. A dark alluring shadow of grief turned inside out and on it's head again, filled with such despair and misery and love and compelling dark elements is the kind of book that I know I want to read during the bitter winter months that chill you to the bone. I'm already falling for Scarlet and Theo and I haven't even read the book yet. 

If you'd like a taste of what this book has to offer you, then check out the first chapter excerpt below, and don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win an 8 gig Kindle Fire!

Paper Dolls
Ketley Allison
(Falling Paper, #1)
Release Date: November 12th 2015
Genres: New Adult Contemporary

It’s too bad for Scarlet that no matter how sweet a person is, fate can still screw you over.

Now she’s jaded, half of her torn away and the remainder flesh and bones. In her grief, all Scarlet wants to do is to rebel against the life that betrayed her and her roommate provides the perfect lure…

Scarlet awakens when she enters the New York City underground, where vice and fortunes thrive. Hustling, trickery and savagery allow her to discover her true self—-her forgotten soul reemerging. She just can’t promise it’ll come back pure.

It won’t matter that there is a shadow in her periphery. Theo Saxon thinks he can save Scarlet from a world she craves and protect her from the very elements he’s spawned from. But it’s through his unwitting instruction that Scarlet will become a part of his league and find the danger he wants so badly to keep to himself.

Scarlet thinks the stakes are within her control. But she won’t just be betting her heart on Theo and his seductive sins. She will wager her life.

Chapter One
by Ketley Allison

Something was going to come out of the shadows and shank me.

I clung to the wrought iron fence, staying put despite Verily’s tugs on my arm. Our vulnerable bodies could be seen in every direction on the deserted street. Cars lined the road, but they stood silent, their windows shining onyx pits. Columns of brownstone buildings, bricked into two long, looming lines on either side, blocked the moon. Their rows of windows were as black as the cars below.

Blares of horns ricocheted through our residential street, but their echoes were faint. All signs of life were too far away to save me.

But I agreed to this. I wanted this.

“Relax, Scarlet. I promise it’s safe,” Verily said to me.

Maybe no knife was needed. All the monsters in the dark had to do was bend me over this waist-high fence and spear my abdomen with one of the fleur-de-lis arrowheads, the skirt of my naughty maid’s uniform flouncing in the wind and ruffling around my ass, drawing the eye of anyone who lingered.

And come on, everyone would linger.

A form pushed past us and I tensed, choking on the scream that wanted to rip out of my throat.

The cause of my stroke, a man, paused in his descension into Hell—I mean, at the second step leading down to the entrance of a brownstone. “Hey, Vare. New girl?”

Verily dug her fingers into my arm, since I clearly wasn’t prying my death grip off the fence. “Yep. She’s cute, right?”

He didn’t respond.

I was pretty sure I was gaping at him. Not because of his looks—I couldn’t see him in the surrounding darkness, just an edging of hair and a framing of shoulders. It was more because I couldn’t stop thinking about the newspapers headlining my DEATH BY FENCE AND FETISH! IMPISH MAID CLEANS OUT HER OWN INSIDES!

And it was probably written all over my face.

“She up to it?” he asked.

Verily smacked my shoulder. The fence rattled underneath my grip. “Wait’ll you see her in action.”

One of his shoulders lifted up in a shrug. I found myself wanting to hear his voice again, soft like velvet lined his throat.

He didn’t disappoint. “No reason to be scared.”

“That’s what I keep telling her,” Verily said. She wrapped a hand around my bicep and heaved. She was trying to wrench me free. Damn if I would let her. “I’m extremely convincing,” she said through her teeth.


He stood with fluidity, a primal ease. He shifted, lifting his chin in a way that accentuated his angular jawline but not much else.

“Anyone gives you trouble, you let me know. They may like dressing you up, but we don’t tolerate any more than that,” he said.

“Okay,” I replied. Finally.

He sounded so adamant and sure. I wondered if all it took in my life was for a man to sound like Batman.

He nodded once before descending the rest of the way. His walk was exactly as I knew it would be. Like a lion pacing the edges of his cage.

“Is he the bouncer?” I whispered into the curled crimson tendrils around Verily’s ear.

“Nope,” she said. After one particularly unfair yank, she pried one of my hands off the iron. “But if he’s here, it means we’re late, so come. On.”

“Ow! Verily!” Another twist and pull and she had my other arm, using my sudden imbalance to drag me down the stairs. “Seriously! Ow!”

She stopped at the door and pressed a hand to my chest, my boobs so hiked up they caressed the bottom of her palm. “Rules. Tell me.”

“W—” I gripped her extended arm for balance. “What’s our safe word? I mean my safe word, to let you know when I’ve gone Code Red.”

Sighing, she dropped her arm. “Have I dragged you here against your will?”

I pouted. “No.”

“Do you need the money?”


“Would I bring you somewhere unsafe?”

I glanced down at my misbehaving maid outfit, then back up at the entrance where a lithe, vulturine and kind of scary man just decided to stop in and hang out for a while.

I countered with, “Do you possess a danger meter I’m not aware of? A point at which you know we must escape?”

She shook her head. “Honestly, Scar.”

“Because I think you’re on the fritz.”

“You said you needed something,” she said, softer now. “Something to make you feel like you could live again.”

I swallowed. “You told me you were just a waitress.”

“You’re falling, Scarlet. I can’t watch it anymore. And so, I’m giving you this.”

A shuffling sound came from drums of trash behind her. Noises sounding suspiciously like a critter. “You think I need saving and you brought me to a rat-hole?”

“I don’t think you need to be rescued,” she said. “I think you need an awakening.”

That could’ve been a warning or a promise. She went on. “I know you. And I think this is what you need. But you have to promise, promise, not to tell anyone.”

I needed excitement, yes. A pounding pulse, a taste of uncertainty, a reason. I needed life.

But this. Here we were, standing on a dirty side street in the Lower East Side, dressed like a rich man’s blow up doll.

“I don’t…” I said.

“Do you trust me?”

Verily’s green eyes, illuminated by the weak golden light, seemed to shine. She stopped my fidgeting hands by pulling them closer to her.

“Yes,” I answered. Of course. She was the one thing that kept me in the present.

“Good. So trust that this will be fine. And God forbid, that maybe you’ll have fun.”

Grumbling, I said, “Yesterday you were all over me about professional responsibility, and now here we are…”

Instead of responding, she propelled me forward with another mutant-strength twist of her toothpick arms. Verily opened the front door and I toddled after her, mumbling threats involving her hair bleach.

She halted at a second door, arching a brow at me. “Just be thankful I’m not inducting you on lingerie night,” she said, and hip-bumped it open.

After one last pull, I stumbled into my new society of smoke, money and men.
About the Author

Ketley Allison began her creative career by writing books as birthday presents for her friends (with her friend as the main character and opposite a super sexy lead, of course) before ending it in order to walk down a path she thought she was supposed to follow.

The writing bug never left her—and, in fact, would often bleed into the official papers she was supposed to write—so now Ketley’s putting down her suit and finally following her dream. While her friends are no longer the stars of her books, she still throws in bits and pieces of them into each and every one of her characters.

As a result, her books tend to focus a lot on friendships as well as love, because let’s be honest, friends are what really get you through—especially when your epic love turns into epic heartbreak.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Blitz+Giveaway: #Heart (Hashtag, #6) by Cambria Herbert

I'm really excited to share with you the exciting and much anticipated finale for the Hashtag series written by the amazingly talented Cambria Herbert. If you enjoy New Adult contemporary romance with edge, drama, and all of the messy complicated love stories you can stand then this series is definitely the one for you. It's captured my heart with all of it's geek-ery and I totally LOVE it! 

So, definitely check it out and don't forget to enter the giveaway below! 

Cambria Hebert
(Hashtag, #6 - Finale)

Published: November 9th 2015
Genres: New Adult Contemporary

Lovers Gonna Love…
Family isn’t always defined by blood.
Sometimes family is born of love…
And choice.
Sometimes the bond that comes from someone having your back through the shittiest of times is stronger than anything you get from genetics.
And sometimes you find that piece of your soul you didn’t even know was missing
I’m a lucky guy like that.
I found a love that will never fade. I found a group of people who aren’t just my friends.
They’ve become my family.
There’s only one place to go from here.
I’m gonna bind myself to Rimmel in every possible way.
I’m gonna bring our family even closer together.
The past has taught me it won’t be easy.
Especially when faced with repercussions from a night that ended in death.
But that’s okay.
Family doesn’t quit each other.
Love like ours never dies.
Happily ever after isn’t just for storybooks.

About the Author

Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.
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