Release Day Blitz & Review: A Gypsy’s Kiss-Susan Griscom

 
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Breena Cassidy
Cursed with what could be one of the worst supernatural abilities imaginable, Breena has never had the luxury of falling in love. Hell, she’s never even held a guy’s hand. At only twenty-two years old, she’s just about given up on the whole love thing. After all, when you can see twelve hours of someone’s future by a simple touch, and they, in turn, can see what you see, well… relationships are sort of out of the question. Her gigs performing psychic readings at parties, and the occasional one-on-one private appointment are just about Breena’s only connection with people. No matter how much she might wish otherwise.

Hawk Covington

Hawk’s hard body and skill have earned him a starting position on the Pioneer’s college hockey team. But it’s not his talent with a hockey stick that’s the most remarkable. His gorgeous two-colored eyes not only draw the attention of every female on campus, they also allow him to track people and objects. But when he suddenly finds himself stalked by a stranger, he seeks out the help of the rumored, “campus gypsy” for help.

 

Despite his vow to stay single and play as many college women as he can while the fun lasts, Hawk can’t ignore his attraction to the lovely and spirited Breena. And she can’t get the hunky star hockey player out of her mind once a single touch of his hand reveals something utterly strange. Surrounded by mystery, they realize that fate has brought them together for a reason, but can they stay alive long enough to recognize the depth of their feelings for one another?

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3,5/5 Stars
***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review and in participation with this tour.
PROS:
  • Breena’s lead a life without touch. It’s easy to sympathize with her loneliness. Unable to form lasting relationships because of her ability, her solitude is incredibly sad. Breena is enterprising, she uses her gift to supplement her reading addiction and plays the part of a gypsy very well. Breena is a sweetheart, she worries about people and wants to help. Breena falls hard and fast, her adoration for Hawk is sudden and passionate. Watching Breena come into her sexuality is riveting. Every moment is a lesson in self-discovery.
  • Hawk is gorgeous, flirty, and those mismatched eyes make him unforgettable. Sometimes his past as a cocky player comes out and it’s a little off putting but he makes up for it in his professions of love. The way he’s so open about his sexuality and what he wants is crazy attractive. Some of the things he says to Breena are adorable and jam-packed with heat. Hawk has a lot going on but he rarely loses his playful side and his lines are made of light and laughter. Plus, his violent arrogance on the ice during his hockey matches…sigh.
  • Breena and Hawk have undeniable, steamy chemistry. Their interactions melt off the pages in a pool of raw, raunchy lust. Their scenes are HOT. Described in blush-worthy detail, every encounter is a new experience. Hawk worships Breena’s body and it’s beyond sexy.
  • An unexpected twist that accelerates quickly. You won’t see it coming.
CONS:
  • The overall plot got lost in the romance. Focus was lost and it felt as though the main thread that brought Breena and Hawk together was an after thought. There was a serious gap in time between when crucial evidence (like microphones) were discovered and destroyed, and the fall out of those actions. 
  • Hawk and Breena brush off the seriously creepy and all around terrifying reality of an intruder in their homes. At first they panic but nowhere near what was expected. It felt as though it was an annoying fly that was buzzing around their lust. Not only did this detract from the plot but it made Breena and Hawk seem like they thought the situation was a joke when moments before they were freaking out. Reactions were contradictory.
  • Information about the Sectorium and magical abilities were sparse. They only popped up when it was critical to advance the plot. For a series that is based on the Sectorium, I would have liked more insight into what the Sectorium is, what it does, and who is part of it rather than just the basic people with supernatural abilities. 
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I daydream often. If I didn’t write, I think my mind would explode from an overload of fantasy and weirdness. To the annoyance of my friends and family, my characters sometimes become a part of my world. During my childhood, I would frequently get in trouble in school for daydreaming. Eventually, my vivid imagination paid off and I had the privilege of writing and co-directing my sixth-grade class play-a dreadful disaster; though not from my writing, of course, I must blame it on the acting.
 

The craft of writing, although dormant for years, never really left me. Many years later, and with the help of technology, I let my imagination run wild again. 

Born in a small town in Pennsylvania, I enjoy writing about characters living in small quaint towns. I tend to lean toward the unusual and spooky. I read all genres but I love reading paranormal romance and like writing in that genre.

My paranormal playing field delves into a different milieu, abandoning vampires and werewolves, but not discounting them. Someday I might like to write a novel about vamps and those furry creatures. But for now I like the bizarre mixed with romance. A strong hero or heroine confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers and capabilities gets my blood running.

I live in Northern California with my very romantic husband, my small yippy dog, Riley, and my humongous black cat, Saké. My family consists of his and her children; four wonderful sons, one beautiful
daughter, and seven grandchildren. My greatest love in life is my family and those large and ever growing holiday dinners.

I enjoy traveling. I hate running, but do it once in a while. Reading and writing are my favorite pastimes.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:
e867f-bound2bby2bduty2bcover512q66LSn2L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_7245329JPG e-book Awoken by Sarah Noffke
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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Killer Rubies- C. Spencer-Upton

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Killer Rubies (Semi-Precious #2) by C. Spencer-Upton

Publication Date: 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

cooltext1889161239 copyWhen you escape the grasp of fear, you learn to live the life you were handed; instead of just existing through the days.

The helping hand that stayed with me was more than I could have hoped for, more than I dreamed of.

He was holding my hand and helping me to ease my nightmares, helping me wake up with a smile on my face just for being me, and never trying to change that. He made me feel like I was standing on a pedestal just for him.

And it was because of that, that I was standing at the edge of the beach with my soles wet from the sea, my toes digging into the sand from excitement.

I was prepared to not show how scared I felt. I was prepared to make the most of being a mermaid and was prepared to follow Cory’s instructions so that I could swim freely, live freely in my second world and enjoy our secret.

Under normal circumstances, I would have followed his advise word for word, I’d learned not to ignore them. But, sometimes a curve ball comes sailing at you and you have no other choice, but to go against an unwritten law, that landed me in a watery Hell.

Giving up on everything around you, should have been harder. But if it meant I was safe and my parents were okay, I’d do it.

Even if it meant, I had to let go of my helping hand.

Also in the Semi-Precious Series…

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Emeralds and Pearls (Semi-Precious #1) by C. Spencer-Upton

Publication Date: October 11, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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cooltext1889161239 copyI’ve spent seventeen years being a wallflower. Seventeen years, watching people live their lives, while mine stood still. I was happy for those years, nothing new happened because I never let it, every day was the same and predictable.

When my parents told me we were moving…to another state, I freaked.

I spent the first week, after the move, wishing I could move back. But then something changed, I became a someone, and to begin with I enjoyed it, but I soon learned, some things aren’t always as they seem.

I have two lives now. Both of them are testing me, pushing me to my limits.

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C. Spencer-Upton

Born and raised in a small mining town in Derbyshire. Caroline (The C in ‘C Spencer-Upton’) has spent her adult years building a home and a future based on what’s in front of her, and for a while, that was all she needed. Family, friends and the dog.

In 2012, that all changed. Her new love of reading became a drug. Living in a fantasy became her happy place to escape from reality. Her imagination came to life and ideas that had laid dormant for years, came rushing back to the surface and Emeralds And Pearls was conceived, her debut novel.

In October 2013, that new chapter in her life started and Emeralds And Pearls were introduced to the world.

Caroline works a normal 8-5 job which has nothing to do with literature. When people discover that she has written a novel, the look of shock on their faces is enough to bring a smug smile to her face, knowing that people underestimate her.

Writing is her escape and she loves reading about her fans enjoying something she loves.

This is the start of a new story of her own and can’t wait for new readers to be a part of it.

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Pleasant reading,

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Pandemic-Yvonne Ventresca

Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca

I’m so excited to be celebrating one year of publication for Yvonne Ventresca’s contemporary disaster novel, PANDEMIC! Check out the book below and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway!

Even under the most normal circumstances, high school can be a painful and confusing time. Unfortunately, Lilianna’s circumstances are anything but normal. Only a few people know what caused her sudden change from model student to the withdrawn pessimist she has become, but her situation isn’t about to get any better. When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Lil’s worst fears are realized. With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak-her father in Delaware covering the early stages of the disease and her mother in Hong Kong and unable to get a flight back to New Jersey-Lil’s town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread illness and fatal disaster. Now, she’s more alone than she’s been since the “incident” at her school months ago.

With friends and neighbors dying all around her, Lil does everything she can just to survive. But as the disease rages on, so does an unexpected tension as Lil is torn between an old ex and a new romantic interest. Just when it all seems too much, the cause of her original trauma shows up at her door. In this thrilling debut from author Yvonne Ventresca, Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.

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cooltext1921345213 copyAt this point in Pandemic, there have been local cases of the Blue Flu, including one death. Lil visits her best friend, Megs, who is getting dressed to meet a boy she has only corresponded with online. This scene is a snapshot of both the mundane aspects and the very deepness of their friendship.

***

I found Megs surrounded by a dozen shirts heaped on her bedroom floor.

“What should I wear?” she asked. “I need something to go with my favorite jeans.” She plopped on her bed, face flushed.

I hesitated, torn between worrying about her safety and wanting to support her romantic longings. “You’re sure you want to go through with this?”

She nodded.

“Then don’t worry, we’ll find something. You have great clothes.” I glanced at her alarm clock. It was 6:15.

She followed my eyes. “I’ll be fashionably late.”

I pulled out a turquoise blouse that had fabric cutouts in the back.

“I need to look good from the front, not when I leave,” she said.

“Right.” I told her about Ethan while I searched her closet for something better.

“Are you sure you want to start with him again?” she asked.

“I don’t know. He made it sound like, how could I not give us one more chance?” My phone pinged. “Ugh.”

“What’s the matter?”

“Ethan’s already texting me.” I sighed. “He’s looking forward to tonight.”

“Ah, it’s nice to see he hasn’t lost that stalker-ish quality.”

I glared at her.

“Lil, you know I’m right. If your heart’s not in it, don’t go.”

“I miss my old life before . . . everything.” I kept flipping through her closet.

“But dating Ethan again won’t magically turn back time. It won’t make the other stuff vanish.”

“I guess you’re right,” I said.

“Hmm . . . at least we both have dates tonight.”

“It’s not a date. I’m going over to his house.”

“I’m sure we’ll have a lot to talk about tomorrow,” she said. “I can’t believe I’m finally meeting him.”

Near the back of the closet, a black top with three-quarter sleeves was lodged between two camis. I didn’t even take it all the way out before Megs shook her head. Her face was shiny and I realized she was sweating. “Are you nervous?”

“A little. I’m not feeling great. I think it’s all the excitement.”

“You shouldn’t go if you don’t feel well.”

She scowled at me. “I have to go. I can’t explain it. It feels like part of something bigger, like destiny.”

I pursed my lips together to keep from spouting my opinion. After pulling out a pale blue shirt, I held it against her. “This will look good with— ”

My fingers brushed against her arm. She was burning hot. I put the back of my hand against her forehead the way Mom always did to me. “You feel feverish.”

“I’m fine.” She swayed as she tried to stand.

“Megs, you’re sick.” Fear made my voice quiver.

“You can’t go. This is crazy.”

“It’s too late to cancel.” She sank onto her bed, coughing. “Can you get me a glass of water while I change?”

“Sure.” I hurried to the kitchen. Mrs. Salerno sat at the counter, a newspaper spread in front of her.

I had to tell her about Megs. She’d forgive me for missing her date, eventually. “Mrs. Salerno, I . . .”

She looked at me, waiting.

Then we both heard it: the crashing sound from Megs’s room.

We raced up the stairs. Megs lay sprawled on the floor next to her toppled bedside table.

“I felt dizzy, and then . . .”

Mrs. Salerno scooped her up and laid her on the bed. “Let me get the thermometer.”

After her mom left the room, Megs looked at me, pleading. “I need you to do me a favor.”

I knew what she was about to ask. “No way.”

“Please? You don’t have to talk to him. It’ll be crowded, so he won’t notice you. Look for the guy carrying a book, something that would have meaning to me. Then I’ll tell him later how sick I was, that I couldn’t make it.”

“I’m supposed to meet Ethan soon. And a crowded shop mean germs.”

“Could you tell him you’re running late? It wouldn’t take much time. If you walked in and out, it’s like two minutes of exposure.” She widened her eyes, pleading.

This was important to her, no matter how much I disapproved. I considered it. For my best friend, I could probably handle a few moments in a public place.

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Pandemic teaser

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Yvonne Ventresca is the author of PANDEMIC (Sky Pony Press, 2014), a young adult novel about an emotionally traumatized teenager struggling to survive a deadly bird flu outbreak. School Library Journal called PANDEMIC “an engrossing apocalyptic story” and Kirkus Reviews said “this realistic page-turner will keep most readers enthralled.” Yvonne’s other writing credits include two nonfiction books for teens, AVRIL LAVIGNE (a biography of the singer) and PUBLISHING (about careers in the field).

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Winner will receive a signed hard cover of PANDEMIC, a $75 VISA gift card, and a limited edition necklace (mentioned in the story!).

***Any entrants using fake or contest only social profiles to enter will be disqualified.***

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Keep reading,

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Release Day Blitz: Chasing the Dragon-T.K. Leigh

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cooltext1889161239 copyHe’s trying to protect his heart…

She’s a shell of the girl she once was…

Can he chase away the demons threatening to destroy her?

Mackenzie Delano craves control. After tragedy strikes during her freshman year of college, she compensates for the helplessness she felt by micro-managing every aspect of her life, from her business life to her social life…to her love life. But she wasn’t expecting to cross paths with a mysterious man who seems to invade her every thought.

Tyler Burnham has been living his life with one rule in mind…never fall in love. Focusing solely on his career, he is able to remain a detached observer of life… Until a case is dropped in his lap, forcing him to form an intimate relationship with a sharp-tongued woman in order to obtain the location of a man deemed an enemy of the State.

When Tyler finds himself falling for Mackenzie, will he be able push his feelings aside and recover the information he needs? Or will he put the mission and their lives at risk to follow his heart?

Chasing The Dragon is the first installment of a two part series of deception and betrayal where nothing is as it seems.

***Note – Chasing The Dragon is the first book in a two-book duet and is a spin-off of T.K. Leigh’s USA Today Best Selling Beautiful Mess series. It is not necessary to have read that series in order to read this duet, but it will contain a mild spoiler from the third book in the Beautiful Mess series, Gorgeous Chaos.***

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cutting

fantasy

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T.K. Leigh, otherwise known as Tracy Leigh Kellam, is the USA Today Best Selling author of the Beautiful Mess series. Originally from New England, she now resides in sunny Southern California with her husband, dog and three cats, all of which she has rescued (including the husband). She always had a knack for writing, but mostly in the legal field. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to try her hand at creative writing and is now addicted to creating different characters and new and unique story lines in the Contemporary Romantic Suspense genre.

When she’s not planted in front of her computer, writing away, she can be found running and training for her next marathon (of which she has run over fifteen fulls and far too many halfs to recall). Unlike Olivia, the main character in her Beautiful Mess series, she has yet to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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Happy reading,

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