Release Day Blitz: Awaken-Kristen Day

Goodreads/Amazon/Smashwords

cooltext1712921505 copyThe sacrifices we make have the power to shift the very fabric of who we are, and ultimately who we are meant to be…

After learning of her true destiny as the intended Leader of the Tydes, Anastasia Whitman must now embark on a perilous quest to the Underworld before the age of eighteen in order to plant the seed of immortality and complete her essence to become a true Sea Goddess. But before she can make her legendary journey, an unexpected new student transfers to Lorelei; initiating a sequence of events that will unravel Stasia’s new life, and test the boundaries of her relationship with the mysterious, dark, and sexy Finn Morrison. The line between the Underworld and the Living begins to blur as gruesome ghosts, morbid reveries, and pure evil haunt her waking hours as well as her sanity. Once the details of Finn’s own startling destiny are revealed, the dangerous secrets he’s been hiding will threaten the very love Stasia believed to be indestructible. As time begins to run out, she will be forced to choose between the one she loves and the destiny she cannot escape.

Haven’t started the Daughters of the Sea series yet? Start it off with Forsaken!

Goodreads/Amazon/Smashwords

cooltext1712921505 copyOnce you’ve been touched by darkness, it never leaves you…

Abandoned by her parents as an infant; seventeen year old Hannah spent her childhood wading through countless foster families until being adopted by the Whitmans three years ago. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s high society wasn’t quite ready for Hannah…or the strange events that plague her

Chilling visions of murder, unexplained hallucinations, and a dark, mysterious guy who haunts her nightmares all culminate to set in motion a journey of self-discovery that will challenge everything she’s ever believed; not to mention her sanity.

Sent to live at The House of Lorelei on Bald Head Island, NC for ‘kids like her’, Hannah quickly realizes things are not what they seem. Her fellow ‘disturbed’ teens are actually the descendants of mythical Sea Gods and Goddesses. And so is she.

But when Finn, the ghost from her dreams, appears in the flesh; her nightmares become reality and her dark visions begin coming true. Inexplicably drawn to him, she can’t deny the dangerous hold he has on her heart. The deadly secrets he harbors will ultimately test her courage and push the boundaries of her love.

She must decide if she is ready to embrace the ancient legend she is prophesized to be a part of. The fate of all the descendants will forever depend upon it.

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Website / Facebook / Twitter

I am a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity. I love all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky. I’ve been told I see the world through rose-colored glasses, but I prefer to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses – swirling and morphing reality into something I can digest (who hasn’t pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?).

When I’m not writing I’m making jewelry, painting, drinking sweet tea, watching the discovery channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with my amazing husband.

Happy reading, 

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ARC Review & Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Whatever Life Throws at You-Julie Cross

WLTAY RDL Banner - ColorWe are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Julie Cross’ WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU! WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance, published by Entangled Teen!!

Whatever Life Throws at YouAmazon ** Amazon UK ** Barnes & Noble ** iBooks ** Powell’s Books

***I received this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley, Entangled and in participation with this review tour.

cooltext1544204149 copySeventeen-year-old Annie Lucas is too young to remember her dad’s glory days as a pitcher for the Yankees. So when her father is offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, Annie is intrigued to see the baseball side of her dad. Of course, knowing he’ll be a mentor to hot young rookie pitcher, Jason Brody, certainly makes it more enticing.

After an awkward first meeting with “Brody” involving very little clothing and a much-too-personal locker room interview, Annie’s convinced she knows Brody’s type: arrogant, self-involved, bossy. As her dad grows closer to the pitching phenom, the friction between Brody and Annie increases. But when opening day arrives and it looks like both her dad and Brody may lose their dream jobs, Annie steps up and offers support. She and Brody call a truce that grows into friendship—and beyond. Falling for a rising star who’s quickly reaching a level that involves rabid female fans is not what Annie would call smart, except suddenly she’s getting hints that maybe this crush isn’t one-sided after all. Could someone like Brody actually fall for a girl like her?

WLTAY Available Now

cooltext1681280251 copy3.5/5 Stars

“‘Just so you know, if I had the crisis you’re having today, you’re the first person I’d want to see. You’re the only person I’d want to talk to.’ Our eyes meet and my heart beats like a wild animal locked in a tiny cage.  My lips part, but no words fall out. Brody’s fingers move through my hair and my skin heats up, my thoughts jumbling and losing their grip on reality. ‘I’m sorry for not doing this sooner, and I’m sorry for doing it at all,’ he says. My eyes widen as he closes the gap between us, his lips hovering a millimeter from mine.”

PROS:

  • I’ve never been a sports person. Baseball has never even remotely interested me but Julie Cross does an outstanding job capturing the adrenaline and excitement of the sport, making it far more exhilarating than anything I’ve experienced attempting to watch a game. The hope and faith is profound. The way these guys are expected to perform, the stillness and quiet as pitches are made and prayers are sent up for a miracle play. It made me look at baseball in a whole new light. The scenes at the plate were a rush. The way Annie held her breath and stood enraptured as Brody made record-breaking pitches added to the overall drama and intensity of the storyline and reinforced her feelings towards him.
  • It’s not often that parents are front and center in YA. Annie’s relationship with her father is so detailed and wonderful to read. He’s always there for her, encourages and supports her, even when she makes mistakes he makes an effort to understand where she’s coming from. Annie does the same and I loved that their relationship was not only based off of blood but mutual respect and friendship. Annie views her father as hero who has overcome so much in his life, who deserves the best, and is unafraid of challenging his poor decisions in love when it comes to her mother. The easy was they banter and laugh is as heartwarming as it is uplifting. 
  • Cross does a fantastic job capturing the dark and corrupt side of pro sports. The handlers and rules to maintain a specific image, the threats and job uncertainty for those just starting out, and the way things are paid off or swept under the rug to protect the team. The owner is the biggest jerk on the planet, he cares about nothing but how things look and will bully anyone into doing what he wants.
  • Lenny and Annie are so different but their friendship is mutually beneficial. Lenny opens Annie up to new experiences, she teaches her to be sassy and to take risks, while Annie is the shoulder to lean on, an outlet for Lenny to confide her fears and desires too. Lenny has a lonely, depressing life, it shows that money and fame isn’t everything. Lenny feels unloved and she desperately wants validation or even a genuine hug from her parents. To the outside world, her life is perfect. Lenny is that character that you want to know more about, whose façade is slowly crumbling and the scared little girl is trickling to the surface. I felt deeply sad for Lenny.
  • Brody is funny, charming, and has a reputation as a playboy, former delinquent. Brody is sexy, playful, and pushes Annie’s buttons while tantalizing her desires. Underneath his bad boy image, Brody is a sweetheart. He’s determined to make something of himself through his love of baseball and thirst for redemption. He’s got something to prove but mostly, he’s doing it for himself. Brody didn’t think he needed anyone until he had people value and put faith in him. In some ways, Brody, like many of the characters in this book, is lost and looking for a way to find himself and sort out his life. 
  • Annie lives life on the line between whim and drive. She has serious goals, loves to compete and win, and will push herself to the limit to be the best. Annie is charmingly awkward at times. She is spontaneous and her spontaneity comes and goes but when it comes, it usually results in disaster. 
  • The sexual scenes are avert your eyes, fumbling, embarrassing and crazy honest. The first time a couple starts to explore is not always perfect or pretty and I appreciated Julie Cross’ candidness in these characters. 

CONS:

  • Brody’s relationship with his family, his reasons for leaving, and the explanation for his mother’s coldness weren’t developed enough to leave a strong emotional impact or to grasp the extent of Brody’s pain and solitude. The section that discusses his mother, father, and their family prior to baseball was rushed and the story could have been more flushed out, instead it almost felt random and it could have been a huge, powerful explanation of how Brody evolved into the great guy he is. 
  • The treatment of sex was weird, especially by the girls. On one hand, Annie is almost flippant and forward, proclaiming she’s done everything at least once, as if it’s just a fact of life, no emotion or anything behind her remarks. On the other hand, when Annie actually does become sexually active, she’s awkward and unsure, she rushes and is confused. The fact that she thought she had to have a certain level of experience and lie about it was puzzling but realistic. Lenny too lies about sex, she acts out to gain her father’s attention, mainly because he doesn’t care. It’s heartbreaking. 
  • The subplot with Annie’s mother fell apart towards the end without warning.

cooltext1543397102 copyHe eyes me skeptically. “What kind of article?”

“It’s for Sports Illustrated,” I say without hesitation and then quickly realize that I don’t look nearly old enough to be a real reporter for a huge publication. “I’m an intern,” I add.

The skepticism falls from his face and he looks nervous, which gives me a boost of confidence. I walk closer and pull out the chair in front of the locker beside his, propping my feet up on the bench across from me. “Frank Steadman said you’d be willing to answer a few questions.”

His mouth falls open, and he looks down at his towel and then back at me. Water drips from his hair and off his dark shoulders. “Um…okay,” he says. “Mind if I get dressed first?”

I wave off his concerns, my face heating up, blowing my confident cover. But him getting dressed might allow enough time for Dad to return, and I’d rather not have to deal with that. I duck my head down, letting my hair hide my cheeks and flip open the first page of the notebook. “This will just take a minute… So, you’re nineteen? And you’re from Texas?”

“Chicago,” he corrects.

I had no idea where he was from but figured it sounded better if I pretended to know. I write down this information and then search my brain for some more questions. “Does the wind in Chicago affect your curveball? Do you throw into it or against it?”

He gives me a funny look. “I…well…I just throw toward home plate.”

My face gets even hotter. “Right, kidding. What’s your favorite color?”

“Orange.”

I take my time writing orange in really big loopy cursive while I think of my next question. “What are your opinions on sushi?”

His forehead wrinkles like I’ve just asked him to publicly declare a political party. “Raw fish and seaweed? I think it’s best eaten while stranded on a desert island with no other options.”

“Very diplomatic.” I scribble down his answer. “How many strikes have you thrown in your career?”

“Don’t know,” he says. “Do people actually count that stuff? Before the majors?”

“Some of them do,” I say, though I have no idea. “If you could be any magical creature in the Harry Potter series, which would you choose?”

“You said this is for Sports Illustrated, right?”

“Yeees, But it’s the…kids’ edition.”

“Oh, right.” He scratches the back of his head. “I guess maybe one of those elves.”

“A house elf? Seriously? They’re slaves.” I shake my head. “Why would you want to be an enslaved elf? They can’t even wear clothes.”

He grips his towel tighter and releases a frustrated breath. “Fine, I’ll choose an owl. That’s what I’d want to be.”

I snort back a laugh and drop my eyes to the page again.

“What? What the hell’s wrong with being an owl? They’re smart, they know geography and shit like that.”

“Owls in real life are actually pretty stupid. But no big deal, I’ll just relay that message on to the children of America. Jason Brody, temporary Royals pitcher, wants to be an owl when he grows up because they know geography and shit like that.”

Okay, I’m getting way too into this fake reporter role.

“Who says this is temporary?” he snaps.

“Your two-way contract.” Isn’t that how Dad explained it? He plays a few games then goes back to Triple-A, all without signing a real major league contract.

He yanks a pair of jeans from his locker and then grabs a bundled up orange T-shirt. “Well, I plan on kicking some ass on Opening Day and making this a permanent gig.”

“I think you need a reality check,” I say. “One game isn’t going to be enough–”

“Annie, what the hell are you doing?”

I leap off the bench and turn around to face Dad and Frank standing about five feet from me. “Introducing myself to your new pitcher.”

“Brody, what are you doing here, son?” Frank asks. “We’re off today.”

“Just getting in some cardio and weights.” His gaze darts from me to Dad to Frank. “I was just finishing up this interview for Sports Illustrated. The kids’ edition.”

“Well, we won’t keep you from getting your clothes back on, then,” Frank says, like he’s trying not to laugh. “And just for future reference, all interviews will go through the team’s publicity department so no one will be wandering in here, surprising you. Savannah will meet with you tomorrow to discuss publicity.”

Dad moves forward and extends a hand to Jason Brody. “Jim Lucas, nice to meet you, son. I’ve seen your spring training videos. You’ve got some real talent. I’m looking forward to working with you.”

Brody shakes Dad’s hand, his eyes still on me.

“And this is my daughter Annie,” Dad adds.

Brody glares at me. “Let me guess—you don’t work for Sports Illustrated?”

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Julie Cross Author Photo

Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast and longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former gymnastics program director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credentials, Julie is a committed—but not talented—long-distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar-weather survivor, and expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym-shoe addict.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Author Goodreads | WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU Goodreads

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All About Finn & Giveaway: Fractured Lines-Jen McLaughlin

FL Amazon

Fractured Lines by Jen McLaughlin will be releasing October 14th, but first we have some exclusive content to share. Each week, FINNClub team members are sharing special details from the book, and series, in order to share their excitement for the new novel.

Today we have a post that is all about FINN!

***TO MY YA READERS: THIS POST INCLUDES ADULT THEMES AND EXCERPTS 18+ PLEASE.***

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Finn Coram

As one reviewer put it, “Oh, Finn, Finn, Finn, Finn-ey, Finn, Finn.”

There’s just something about Finn from the OUT OF LINE series that makes female hearts go aflutter. Maybe it’s the fact that he was/is a Marine. Maybe it’s the Harley he rides. Maybe it’s the surfing. Or the fact that he can kick ass without even breaking a sweat.

I’m not sure what it is, but there’s just something that makes him irresistible to readers and myself alike. When I wrote their third book (which was planned to be the last) it was so bittersweet. Being in Finn’s head was just so much FUN. He’s protective, but daring. Sweet, but dominant. Hot, but sensitive.

When I thought we were done forever, I was sad, but okay with it. After the readers had finished, I got countless emails begging me to continue the story. I didn’t think it was possible, but then…it hit me. I could write Finn as an adult! And so FRACTURED LINES came into existence.

One of the most fun parts about writing him in four books is the progression of his dirty talk. I thought it would be fun to highlight one line from each book, to show you what I mean! So here goes!

OUT OF LINE

“Have you kissed Cory again?”

“W-What?” I asked, caught off guard.

“Since you kissed me, have you kissed him?” he asked, his jaw ticking.

I shook my head. “No. Of course not. Just the once.”

“Good.” He lifted my shirt a little bit more, his fingers brushing my bare skin, never dropping my gaze. “You’re mine now. Don’t forget it.”

OUT OF TIME

His gaze latched on my hand. “Take off everything but the heels and the…” he said, his voice gruff. He gestured to my thigh-highs, “…the tights or whatever they’re called.”

“Finn.”

“You have no idea how beautiful you look right now,” he said, his voice so low I barely heard him. I wanted to press my thighs together to ease the empty ache I was feeling without him inside of me, but I couldn’t. Not with him in between them. “I bet you want me to taste you again. Don’t you?”

OUT OF MIND

“Tell. Me.”

“Finn.” I grabbed his hand and pressed it back where I wanted it. No, where I needed it. He couldn’t stop now. Not when I was so close. “Please.”

“Tell me the truth, and then I will.”

“Y-Yes. I did it, okay?” I moaned when he rubbed me again, but too lightly. Not enough. Not nearly enough. I knew I was being too loud, but even knowing it didn’t make me stop. “Finn, please.”

“You touched yourself and imagined it was me?” He nibbled on my neck and thrust a finger inside me again. Thank freaking God. “Was it my lips or my fingers when you did it?”

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FRACTURED LINES

“Excuse me? Are you talking back?”

“N-No.” I licked my parched lips. “I just—”

He caressed my butt, his fingers gliding over the side and across my thigh. When he closed his hand over my core from behind, his fingers dipping inside me just enough to drive me crazy, I collapsed against his chest. “From now on, the only words allowed out of your mouth are more, yes, please, and sir. Got it?”

I nodded frantically, silently willing his fingers to move over me. To bring me to the edge again. “Yes, sir.”

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The lines we once crossed so easily have widened and torn us apart…

Once upon a time I thought Finn and I would live happily ever after, but real life doesn’t always have a happy ending. He’s testing my trust, and I’m losing faith in the man I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with, and there’s nothing I do can stop it. He’s the one I trusted to keep me safe, but now he’s the source of my greatest pain…

Forgiveness is fragile, and some fractures never fully heal…

One mistake—a slip in a moment of weakness—might cost me everything I’ve worked so hard for. The thing about trust is that it’s a lot easier to lose than it is to build. Just as I’m about to give up and surrender to the demons from my past, an unexpected threat reminds me what I’m best at: protecting the woman I love. Whether or not she wants me, I will fight for Carrie and our daughter, and I will keep them safe—no matter the cost.

Even if I have to put my life and my heart on the line.

FL_PreOrderPRE-ORDER SALE

FRACTURED LINES is now up for pre-order on amazon! If you purchase the book before its release day it will be just .99 cents! This is for pre-orders only! Grab it while it’s on sale.

Amazon Pre-order Link: http://amzn.to/1r4c81A

Kobo Pre-order Link: http://bit.ly/1CB7bB4

 cooltext1719600509 copyEnter for your chance to win the Out of Line series box set (ebooks). OPEN INTERNATIONALLY.

a Rafflecopter giveawaycooltext1679894557 copyJenM

Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy New Adult books. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is a multi-published, bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Website: http://dianealberts.com/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DianeAlberts
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6921962.Jen_McLaughlin

 

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Pleasant reading, 

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