Sunday, April 27, 2014

Let's talk about covers....and Jennifer Miller!

I have a confession.  The cover of a book will influence my one-click addiction.  It's not that I won't buy books with ugly covers, but covers are the book's first impression. Covers are what catch my attention first and lure me into reading the synopsis.  Authors, if your reading this, you probably already know this, but if not, COVERS MATTER! Just keeping it real from a reader's perspective.  Speaking of covers, Jennifer Miller knows how to choose them!

Isn't this cover gorgeous?!! Pretty Little Lies is the first book from author Jennifer Miller.  If you haven't read this book, you need to! Go forth and buy!  Pretty Little Lies is a second chance love story, but I must warn you, this book has a cliffhanger! But don't worry, the sequel Pretty Little Dreams has been released, so you can purchase both books! Score! I'm telling you, you will want to purchase both, because the cliffhanger is OMG!!! In Pretty Little Lies we meet Luke and Olivia.  Olivia is a fashion blogger who, after a bad divorce, has moved back to her home town to live with her bff.  Luke is her first love, that one true love(wuv, twu wuv...sorry I sometimes channel Princess Bride) that she left behind many years ago, but has never really forgotten.  The story is fast paced, with twist and turns and swoon worthy moments.  Luke is definitely one of my book boyfriends.  Yes, I said one of my book boyfriends.  I have many, don't judge.  Fantasies are built upon the way Luke loves Olivia.  Well, that sounds dramatic, but it's how I feel.  I repeat, don't judge.  Back to Luke, it was nice to see a hero that was honest and upfront about his feelings. My only complaint would be that I felt that Olivia placed a little too much blame on Luke for their breakup. Jennifer does an awesome job of beginning each chapter with a fashion tip that will have you laughing to yourself and possibly checking your closet to make sure you're not one of those fashion offenders. Buy Pretty Little Lies

Another gorgeous cover!  Pretty Little Dreams is the resolution to the heart stopping cliffhanger in Pretty Little Lies. Jennifer is fantastic at creating such deep meaningful characters. I was immediately sucked into the story and I literally experienced every emotion in the book. I could feel my heart beating out of my chest when Olivia was in trouble and my heart melted anytime Luke professed his love to her. If you think this story will be predictable or ordinary you are wrong. The sensitive issues that are addressed, and the emotions that are involved with everyone in the story, are handled in such a loving and compassionate way. Jennifer did a great job of getting in the head of Olivia and Luke when confronted with the heavy issues of this story. This is an emotional and truly fabulous book. Buy Pretty Little Dreams
**Steamyness: hot,but tasteful 

Pretty Little Lies is also included in the box set BREATHLESS BEGINNINGS! Ten amazing authors have come together to give you ten full length novels that will leave you breathless! Released April 21st for only .99!!!! You aren't going to want to miss this! Buy on Amazon



Jennifer's upcoming book, Whispering Wishes, will be released May 28th!
Blurb:
Be careful what you wish for...

Normally, Aspen Edwards will do anything for her free-spirited best friend, Mischa, but this feels like a bit much. The plan is simple, all Aspen has to do is write down a few affirmations and recite them during the New Moon. But as skeptical as Aspen is, a promise is a promise. So, she whispers each wish to the universe, pondering the possibilities of "what if." Who wouldn't want a promotion at work, a new home, or to become an irresistible sex goddess?

But Aspen’s luck doesn't change with the wishes, or the wind. Each of her whispered prayers produces disaster. She gets fired. Her car breaks down. She gets kicked out of her house. And of course there is the crap icing on the cake of doom, falling for flirtatious and sexy, Wes, who sees her as nothing more than his “little sis”. It might not be so bad if his house weren't the only place she had to go.
Unbeknownst to her, the universe has a few tricks up its sleeve, and Aspen's bad luck streak might just be putting her right where she needs to be!

Jennifer is sending me an ARC so be prepared for a review when this book is released!
I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer at a book signing last November. She is sweet, loves her readers, and always has a smile. If you have the chance to attend a signing, I encourage you to go!

Connect with Jennifer on Twitter: @JenMillerWrites
Jennifer Miller website: jennifermillerwrites.blogspot.com



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I interrupt this hockey season...

I have this strong desire to go to a hockey game.  I have mentioned this to my hubby and he totally wants to attend a game.  Should I tell him it’s because I've read so many hockey stories lately?  Do I confess that I need to see if hockey players are as hot in real life as they are in the books I read?  This is probably a piece of information I will keep to myself.  I think he just won’t appreciate those players like I will.  Now, let me explain something, I live in southeast Texas.  We do not have much of a winter, people are more likely to roller skate than ice skate, so the opportunities to watch a live hockey game are rare.  But it's on my bucket list, so I'll make it happen!  But if I don't, I just ask that you please put me in the penalty box with Patrick Sharp. That would really "light my lamp". Hahaha!  Sorry, cheesy puns make me laugh. Anyway, if you don't know who Patrick is, look him up (Ladies, you will not be disappointed).  While my hockey terminology is limited and I don’t exactly know what a Hat trick is or a deke or even a five-hole, I do know romance, and these books have it!

18807443Recently I came upon author Catherine Gayle.  She has a hockey series about the players of The Portland Storm. In my opinion, Catherine's hockey books add a depth to the stereotypical sports romance.  The stories not only talk about hockey, as in actual hockey terms, games, etc, but tackle much deeper emotional issues.  Her first book, Breakaway, captured my heart. The heroine, Dana, is overcoming her fear of men after being sexually assaulted in college. She is determined and committed to overcoming her fear and anxiety. The hero, Eric, is her brother's best friend, and also someone she felt close to while growing up.  He also happens to play professional hockey (YES!).  Eric, aka Zee, isn't your typical over confident alpha male that gets any woman he wants. He's mature, takes his job seriously, and doesn't do drama. There isn't any meaningless angst or misunderstandings. This story takes a very sensitive subject and weaves together a story of love, trust and healing.  This is a sweet romance with mature characters and the steamy scenes are very tastefully done.  The second book in the series is On the Fly and it is just as great! Each book can be read as a standalone, but I suggest reading them in order to avoid spoilers.  


















Follow Catherine Gayle on Twitter: Catherine_Gayle
Purchase Breakaway at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H8T2ALS/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00H8T2ALS&linkCode=as2&tag=confofanunsub-20




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After you read Breakaway, and while you're still in that hockey player haze, check out Waiting on Prince Harry by Aven Ellis.  Prince Harry in the title?!? Yes please!! What's better than sexy ginger headed men?  Ginger headed HOCKEY men!   The hero is dreamy and the heroine is quirky and cute.  This is a super romantic, funny, clean romance. Aven's writing style is fun and witty and I can guarantee a few giggles while reading.






Follow Aven Ellis on Twitter: @AvenEllis
Website:  Avenellis.com
Purchase Waiting on Prince Harry at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JEPRGTA/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00JEPRGTA&linkCode=as2&tag=confofanunsub-20

Other hockey romances that you might enjoy:
My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
It Had to be You by Susan May Warren
The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen (this one seriously deserves it's own post, it's that good!)
Room For You by Beth Ehemann

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Heroes





 I am very fortunate to be a part of a committee for an organization that honors veterans.  This organization takes veterans on once in a lifetime hunting trips, while providing the wives a few days of greatly deserved pampering.  Because our local fund raising banquet is this week, these families have been at the fore front of my mind.  While we would like to think we know what it takes to be a member of a military family, I don't think we fully understand unless we're living it.  Recently I read Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros.  This is fantastic military story about those that are left behind when tragedy strikes and how a family must learn to cope without a father.  Rebecca wrote this amazing story full of emotion that provides us with a small glimpse into the life of a military family.  A family that is experiencing tragedy and heartbreak.   A family experiencing the 5 stages of grief and how each family member reacts to grief differently than the others.  I'm not going to lie, I cried like a baby during parts of this story, but I finished the book with such a strong sense of awe and appreciation of the strength of military families and a greater commitment to offer support.  Here is the blurb:

19383432Three knocks can change everything…

"She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead."

Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart. 

Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.

Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.


For those who like to know, the"steamy-ness" level is high, but tasteful.

I HIGHLY recommend this book.  Please don't be afraid of the emotions.  While this story does have those sad moments, you will also experience first love and the type of love that is strong enough to hold a family together. 
I truly don't believe it's only how we respond to tragedy that defines us. I think it's how we live after, and how well we honor the memories of before, that show our true strength and character.  

Follow Rebecca Yarros on Twitter: @RebeccaYarros

Purchase Full Measures at Amazon:




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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ten Reasons you should read (and love) Penny Reid

Reid Romance


A little over a year ago I downloaded a free eBook, Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid.  I liked the blurb so I thought I would give it a try.  I had no idea how this book would eventually lead me to Penny Reid and would develop into a friendship.  In Neanderthal, we meet Quinn and Janie.  I love Quinn and Janie so much that I have since reread this book too many times to count.  I love the nerdy, slightly awkward Janie being pursued by the silent and incredibly hot Quinn.  Neanderthal Seeks Human is the first book in the Knitting in the City Series.  Each book is a stand alone, but why would you want to read just one?!?  Once you've read Neanderthal Seeks Human you must read the next book in the series, Friends Without Benefits.  This is Elizabeth’s love story.  While Quinn will always be my favorite, Nico runs a close second.  (How does Penny create such swoon worthy men?)  Penny’s current release is Love Hacked.  If you’re curious about Bit coins, younger men, and a woman that has a tendency to make men cry, then this book is for you.  Sandra and Alex will keep you entertained until the end.  The best thing about this series is the women who make up the knitting club.  Separately, they are strong smart women.  Together. they are witty, hilarious and so supportive of each other!   Anyone have a knitting group I can join? I don't knit, but I can bring wine!! Anyone? 

I had the privilege of meeting Penny and spending time with her in February.  She has this personality that draws people to her.  She is as funny, smart and lovable as her characters.  If she’s at an author signing near you, GO SEE HER!!  Check her website for a list of upcoming author events that she will be attending.  She doesn't know this, but now that we've met, she won’t be able to get rid of me.

Top Ten Reasons you should read and love Penny Reid

10. The first line in her newest book, Love Hacked: "He was bald in a way that made me think of both melons and sex". Seriously, are you ever going to have a book start as great as that!?! Intrigued, aren't you?
9.  She won't judge you if you give her whiskey as a present. It doesn't even freak her out when she finds out you may or may not carry a gun in your purse. All of this is purely speculation, not from experience.
8.  She writes about SMART women!! Smart and funny women! Strong women! Did I mention smart women?
7.  Quinn Sullivan- that’s the only name you need to know.  I silently thank Penny every time I read Neanderthal Seeks Human.
6.  In her second book, Friends Without Benefits, the hero speaks Italian. Enough Said.
5.  She knits. She's in a knitting club. I'm sure no alcohol is consumed at said club meetings.
4.  Quinn Sullivan.  I love him so much he gets 2 spots. 
3.  Penny is fun, witty,and a total smarty pants.  I could sit and listen to her stories all day.
2.  She LOVES her readers.  Seriously, she loves her readers. Seriously.
1.  Whatever Penny writes is fantastic.  There’s romance, drama, sexy men, the occasional gun and lots of laughs.   

Warning! When reading books by Penny Reid, you will find yourself laughing out loud and will receive odd looks from your family. Not that my family ever looks at me oddly….

Check out Penny Reid on Twitter at @reidromance 
and on her website: reidromance.blogspot.com 

To purchase Penny’s books on Amazon: 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I like boy bands...and boys in bands


I.Love.Boy.Bands. There I said it.  My name is Angie, I’m way pass the boy band age requirement, and I love boy bands.  I guess New Kids on the Block ruined me and I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for boys in bands.  I think I just like the fun cheesy music and it takes me back to my teen years (or that's what I keep telling myself).  Because of my love of bands, rock star romances are a favorite of mine.  I tend to stray from the really “steamy” ones.  Don’t get me wrong, some of my faves are pretty steamy (Heidi McLaughlin's Beaumont series), but I have a special place in my heart for those that tell the story and keep it clean.
Recently I came upon a rock star romance by Heidi Hutchinson.  The book, Learn To Fly, is the first in a series that will focus on the members of the band Double Blind Study. While the books can be read as standalones, I recommend reading them in order to prevent spoilers.  Trust me, once you've read the first, you'll want to continue to the next!  The blurb:

Lenny Evans felt like her life was suffocating her. She would do just about anything to change that, which is how she ended up taking a job that landed her on tour with the biggest rock band in the world.

The plan was simple: get a job, get out of town, and don’t get attached. But Lenny has never met anyone like the members of Double Blind Study and they easily adopt her into their makeshift family. Now, Lenny finds herself caring far too deeply for these tattooed misfits, daily bringing them closer and closer to revealing Lenny's true past and everything she's running from.

Sometimes crashing headlong into the unknown isn't the worst thing.



The things I loved most about this book is that it tells an awesome story, the characters are realistic, the romance is real, and it’s clean!  There is plenty of chemistry between Lenny and Luke and you can feel it in the story.  Don't misunderstand and think these guys are innocents.  They are foul mouthed rock stars who have lived the self indulgent life of a celebrity. Each of their personalities are very distinct and Heidi does an awesome job of setting each guy apart from the other. I think I fell in love with each one.  This book totally sold me on Heidi’s writing and I’m currently in the process of reading the second book in the series, In Your Honor. Check her out, you will not be disappointed!

Follow Heidi on Twitter: @ChosenbyFaith    Facebook:  www.facebook.com/heidirhutchinson
Website: www.heidihutchinson.blogspot.com


Visit Amazon to purchase Heidi's books:
Learn To Fly:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F6H6BFK/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00F6H6BFK&linkCode=as2&tag=confofanunsub-20

In Your Honor:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IA96FJS/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00IA96FJS&linkCode=as2&tag=confofanunsub-20


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why you need to read books by Bria Quinlan AKA Caitie Quinn





Wreckless_iBooksIf you haven’t read any books by Bria Quinlan AKA Caitie Quinn, you need to immediately go to your ebook retailer and buy them!  I even posted links at the bottom of the page.  I’ll wait, you purchase.  *catches up on episode of Castle* Are you back? Great! I first discovered Bria as Caitie Quinn.  I stumbled upon It’s in His Kiss when looking for books for my new kindle.  I think the cover is what caught my eye (It is still one of my favorite book covers).  I loved the humor and totally fell in love with Jenna and Ben.  It’s a funny, super sweet, clean romantic novella.  Her writing and sense of humor are fantastic!  I think I checked Amazon weekly, ok maybe daily, for anything new by Caitie.  Her name was stuck in my head. I needed more.  I soon found myself on Twitter and began to stalk, I mean follow her.  My wishes came true when she released The Last Single Girl and I devoured it.  It is a romantic comedy novella about a woman trying to find that special someone by using an online dating site, and her humorous first dates.  Bria’s books focus on the ROMANCE, so if you want a lot of steamy scenes, she’s not for you.  FYI currently The Last Single Girl is FREE at Amazon!
     While I was waiting on more Caitie Quinn, she released a YA book, Wreckless under her real name, Bria Quinlan.  Oh the feels!! She captured all those feelings of being that misunderstood teenager to the butterflies of kissing that cute boy.  Bria has also released Secret Girlfriend and Secret Life.  Her YA’s are not all fluff and young love.  She covers tough topics that many YA’s overlook, but with humor and compassion.  Bria’s YA’s are true YA’s! They are clean and suitable for teens.  I love her voice and will continue to recommend her to other readers.  

You can stalk, I mean follow, Bria on Twitter at @BriaQuinlan and visit her website: BriaQuinlan.com.

You can use the following links to read my review of her books on Goodreads.
Wreckless:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/632596537
Secret Girlfriend: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/729397569






Saturday, April 12, 2014

I have a bookish alter ego


     My name is Angie and I love books.  It might be an addiction.  I am a teacher by day, and a reader by night. When talking to a fellow teacher about my favorite books and authors and how I love to communicate with them online, she was totally surprised.  She said she had no idea I had this whole other alter ego.  What?!? I began to think about ways I could use this "alter ego" for good and took the advice of an author friend (yes Bria, we're friends!) and dive into the world of blogging.  I want to create a place to talk about the books I'm reading, the books that I have read and the books I have yet to discover!
     I want to begin by saying that when looking for new books to purchase, I almost always read reviews.  I look at reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads.  Do these reviews influence my decision on a book?  Yes and no.  If a book's ratings seem consistent and most of the feedback is positive, then I'll probably purchase the book.  If feedback is negative because the book is "too clean" or "not enough angst", then I won't let those reviews decide my decision.  Honestly, I read reviews to get an overall feel for the book, i.e the sensual level, is there a cliffhanger, etc.  I have found many great authors by ignoring reviews and I've found some really sloppy writing by following those "5 star review". All that being said, I want to post honest reviews and reflections about the books I'm reading.  My goal is to find those hidden gems that are not receiving enough attention and spotlight them to the reader world. I love discovering new authors and I believe in spreading the author love!