ARC Review: Thicker Than Water-Brigid Kemmerer

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synOn his own, Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

review3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Kensington Books.

PROS:

  • Thomas is sensitive, yet elusive. He evades and keeps to himself but when he opens up, it’s packed with honest, raw emotion that will have you falling for him just as hard as Charlotte. His sadness is poignant and his confusion will make you second guess everything. Thomas’ emotions propel the story forward and add to the mystery. They’ll make you keep reading, you’ll have to know whether or not he did it.
  • Charlotte and Thomas have killer chemistry 😉 the wide-eyed innocence meets full-frontal flirting will leave you laughing and charmed. They’re adorable together. The sweet blushes, indecent thoughts, and the fact that they keep coming back to each other, no matter the risk, the heat is undeniable. Some parts are mature for the younger YA audience. Alternating POVs let you get every second of tension and dirty thoughts as their relationship evolves. 
  • Secondary characters were all engaging, unique, and memorable. They had flaws and lots of personality that made you want more of each of their stories. Charlotte’s BFF Nicole is ballsy, hilarious, and a lot pervy. She’s great for one liners and creative, inappropriate musings. Ritz crackers. That is all. 

CONS:

  • The twist was shocking, yes, satisfying, no. It’s one of those moments where you ask yourself was that necessary and wonder why the author took that turn when the original path was already incredibly engrossing. Because of this “twist”, the story reads like two separate books that don’t quite fit together. While it does slip into the plotline, it’s far from seamless and a little messy.
  • Some sections are slow. There’s a lot of internal dialogue that rambles a bit, though it increases the emotional connection to characters. 
  • It’s hard to believe. Not only the twist but the detective work in general. That there would be an arrest so quickly without evidence and so many leaps and bounds in the investigation, all assumptions took away from the authenticity of a true crime story. Had there been more detail on the murder itself, what was missing, what evidence they did have, maybe more information from the many, many cops involved and mentioned, it would have added a layer of believability. Instead, it feels like the investigation is hanging on by a thread and kind of a joke, despite the severity of the murder. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

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Release Blitz: Melt With You-Addison Moore

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Melt With You (A Totally 80’s Romance)-Addison Moore
GENRE: YA Romance
RELEASE DATE: December 22, 201

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September 1984

Junior year is really shaping up to be something. After three years of trying, I finally made the cheer squad. And on the last day of summer practice the demigod of Glen Heights High, Joel Effing Miller, finally notices me—right after he runs me over and lands my leg in a cast. Yeah, junior year is really shaping up to be something.

I swear I didn’t see her. But I’m making it up to her every way I can. I’m driving her to school, helping her to all of her classes. I’ve never met anyone so down to earth—a girl who actually likes the things I like. Melissa Malinowski is a breath of fresh air. I can’t stop thinking about her. I swear I didn’t see her, but I should have. Melissa is too beautiful to miss.

My name is Kelly Masterson, and nobody messes with me. I’m Joel Miller’s girlfriend. So Joel ran Mouse-akowski over with his truck. So what? He should’ve finished her off. And now he wants to break up? As if. Nobody breaks up with me. Joel is mine, and he’s going to stay that way. And after having a nice little chat with his mother, it’s become clear why he’s bending over backward to please that human speed bump. I’ll make sure Mouse-akowski understands this, too. That will be the end of Joel and his nerdy little plaything. My name is Kelly Masterson, and nobody messes with me.

*This is a true story. Almost all of it, with the exception of the parts that aren’t, and those are just, well, sort of true, too. Retro ghetto boom box, dust and dancer isolated on black with cl

Check out the Melt With You

playlist.

teaserYoung Couple in loveLove In The Rain / Silhouette Of Kissing Couple Under Umbrella

authFacebook/Goodreads/Twitter/Instagram

Addison Moore is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. Previously she worked as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit for nearly a decade. She resides on the West Coast with her husband, four wonderful children, and two dogs where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she’s not writing, she’s reading.

~ Feel free to visit her website at:

~ Be sure to subscribe to Addison’s mailing list for sneak peeks and updates on all upcoming releases!

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: This Raging Light-Estelle Laure

Release Date: December 22nd, 2015

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

“A funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by surprise.” —Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
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Can the best thing happen at the worst time?
Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother.
 
With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.
 Excerpt
When Wrenny and I roll up the hill to Eden’s house in Mom’s ancient Corolla, Digby and his dad, John, are outside playing basketball, and I want to get in the house as fast as possible, because otherwise I might be trapped here all day, staring. I get a little twinge of something seeing a dad and his kid playing ball like dads and kids are supposed to. That’s a real thing, and my hand wants to cover Wren’s face so she can’t see all that she is missing.
 
Which reminds me. “Wren.”
 
 
“Yeah?” She’s wiping at her shirt, reading a book on her lap, and she’s a little bit filthy, her hair greasy and knotty in spite of my efforts this morning. At some point the braids came out, and she’s reverted to wild.
 
“You know how Mom hasn’t been around lately?”
 
She stops. Tightens. “Yeah,” she says.
 
“Well, we don’t want anyone to know about that, okay? Even Janie and Eden and Digby and John.”
 
“But Mom’s on vacation. She’s getting her head together. She’s coming back.”
 
“Okay, yes,” I say, “but still. We don’t want to tell anyone, because they might not understand that. They might get the wrong idea.”
 
“Like that she left us permanently?” There is so much more going on inside that Wrenny-head than I can ever know.
 
“Maybe, or at least for longer than she was supposed to.” I reach for the handle to the door because I can’t look at her. “Someone might think that.”
 
“She didn’t, though,” she says. “She’s Mom.”
 
“Of course she didn’t.” Lie.
 
“So who cares what anyone thinks?”
 
“Wren, just don’t, okay?”
 
“Okay.”
 
“Some things are private.” I open the door, then lean back across and wipe uselessly at her shirt with my thumb. “Like Mom being on vacation. So, okay?”
 
“I said okay, okay?” She gets out and waits, stares at me like I’m the most aggravating person on earth. “Hey, Lu?”
 
“Yeah?” I say, bracing myself for what’s next.
 
“Your mama’s so fat, she left the house in high heels and came back in flip-flops.”
 
I would tell her that I hate her new obsession with fat jokes, but I’m not in the mood for any dawdling, so I half laugh and get moving. I want to get inside and quick because there’s also the other thing. And by “other” I mean what makes me sweat just standing here. And by “thing” I mean Digby, who I have known since I was seven but who lately makes a fumbling moronic moron out of me, a full-on halfwit. Ask me my name when I’m in his presence and I’m not likely to be able to tell you. I’d probably just say, “Lllll . . . lllllllu . . .” and you’d have to catch the drool running down my chin.
 
I know. It’s not at all attractive.
 
But really. Tall, sweaty, and not wearing a shirt, so the muscles are all right there for the watching. He doesn’t exactly glisten, on account of the fact that he’s whiter than white, that he tans by getting freckles so he’s covered in them now after a whole summer outside. But seeing his hair all plastered to his forehead, his body so long and lean, looping around his dad to get the ball into the hoop, I want to fall out of the car and onto my knees in the driveway, say Lord have mercy, hallelujah, write sonnets and paint him, and worship that one little curve where his neck meets his shoulder that is just so, so perfect.
 
He is beautiful.
 
Which is why when he says hi as I pass him, I barely raise a pinky in response. There are two main problems here, aside from the fact that he is Eden’s twin and that’s all kinds of weird.
 
One, he’s had the same girlfriend since the dawn of time. They’re pinned, she wears his jacket, their marriage certificate is practically already signed. Angels bless their freakin’ union. And two, if I ever did get a chance with him, like if he ever kissed me or something, I would die of implosion. I know I sound like a twelve-year-old mooning over some celebrity, and not the extremely self-possessed woman-to be that I actually am, but something about him makes me lose my mind.
 
Something about the way he moves, about his himness — it shatters me all the way down. So I hope he never does kiss me. That would be nothing but a disaster. No one needs to see me fall apart like that. Least of all him.
Actually, maybe least of all me.
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auth

Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.
giveaway
1 winner will receive a hardcover of THIS RAGING LIGHT and a bottle of Essie Nail Polish that matched the book cover. US Only. Ends on December 31st at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Magical reading, 

Jordan

Tour Excerpt: Disemblance-Shanae Branham

DiSemblance_CVR_SMLAmazon/B&N

synJason Tanner lives between two worlds. Problem is, only one is real.

Inside the hologram machine 17-year-old Jason has everything his heart desires, including a digital simulation of his dead mother. While outside the machine, he’s forbidden contact with everyone. Living within the shadow of a serial killer, Jason is captivated by the beautiful girl next door, Boston Manning. Disobeying his father, he secretly cultivates a relationship with her.

For Boston life is divided into those that have and those that have not. Displaced in a new high school, she is determined to have the life she’s always wanted. But will her choices hijack her dreams and plunge her into the treacherous clutches of a serial killer?

As an action-packed romantic thriller, DiSemblance is sure to keep you guessing until the very end.

ExcerptFriday, October 31st, night

Boston steps through the hole she created in the alder brush onto a patch of grass between a straw-bale wall and the woods.

“Who’s there?” a girl calls from a blanket a short distance off to our right.

I shut off the flashlight and step through beside her, waiting for her instructions.

“Don’t worry, honey.” The male voice is coming from the same direction. “Whoever it is can join us. We’re just getting started.”

Boston drops the machete and bolts back into the woods heading down the trail. I switch on the flashlight and shine it at the voices. The creep that attacked Boston last night and a pretty blonde girl are sitting together on a blanket spread out beside the straw-bale wall. The girl is frantically buttoning her shirt. Hard-edge squints against the light. He’s getting around well, with a cast on his leg.

I pick up Boston’s machete and her backpack and trail her to the car, where she’s trembling in the driver’s seat. Confused by the sudden change of plan, I throw her stuff in the backseat, climb into the passenger side and wait for her to explain herself.

She stares out the front window for the longest time. Then she tosses her mask in the backseat and starts the engine.

“What are you doing?”

Her face is pale as a ghost when she looks at me. “That’s Candice with Ricky.”

I know that her statement is supposed to mean something to me, but it doesn’t. “Who’s Candice?”

“She’s the girl I was going to warn about Ricky.”

“You can still—”

“What?” Her tone is acid. “Tell my friend that the guy she’s making out with tried to rape me last night?”

“Yeah.” I don’t understand what she’s afraid of. If I were Candice, I’d want to know that I was hanging out with a rapist. “Wouldn’t you want to know?”

“But what if Candice doesn’t believe me? What if Ricky says those horrible things about my mother and calls me a slut, again?”

I’m not aware of any horrible things about her mother. “You’re not a slut.”

“Thanks.” She lowers her chin. “If that’s true, then why’d your brother take pictures of me?”

“Because he’s messed up and doesn’t understand people need to be respected.”

Her voice cracks when she speaks. “Why’d your dad let him?”

“Because he doesn’t know how to fix Isaac so he only focuses on his invention, hoping that we’ll be all right on our own.”

She looks at me. “Why didn’t you stop him?”

She’s accusing me of being the bad guy? I feel my pulse throb in my neck as I try to keep the anger out of my voice. “I saw the pictures of our neighbors that you threw away in your room. You didn’t take those pictures because you thought they were sluts, did you?”

Her body goes rigid. “Of course not.”

“My brother likes you.” I touch her hand and her muscles relax. “I should have stopped him, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t want to upset him. Just like you don’t want to upset Candice.”

She draws her hand away from me. “So you’re saying I should go back!”

“Only if you really believe I should have stopped Isaac.”

She glares at me and turns the radio up so loud that the music destroys any chance of further conversation. After several minutes, she grabs the machete from the back seat and shuts off the radio. “I’m not scared!”

“I know.” But I don’t know. My heart is racing like I’m riding a fifty-foot wave.

Switching the headlights on, she presses on the gas pedal and speeds down Daemon’s driveway. Nearing the back of the maze, she turns onto the grassy section and plows through the edge of the woods moving towards Ricky and Candice. Branches crack and break against the windshield and scrape the side of the car until she stops in front of her targets. Bursting from the vehicle with the machete in one hand and the mini recorder in the other . . .

auth
Portrait picture for blog sizeWebsite/Facebook

I am a professional writer with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in grammar. I have also attended several years of classes and workshops in screenplay writing at the Los Angeles Screenplay writer’s Expo.

I love suspenseful, action-adventures and clean, young adult, romance stories. I was born and raised in a small town in Idaho. I am the second out of six children. When I was in my early 20’s my mother was killed by a drunk driver. This one incident drastically changed my life. I have always had a passion for reading and writing fiction. Owing to a life long struggle with Dyslexia, early teachers discouraged me from pursuing a career in writing.

As I have spent over twenty-five years transforming my language disabilities into professional writing skills, God has honed my insatiable passion into an incredible vision.

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Trailer Reveal: Descent-Stacey Rourke

 
Genre: YA Fantasy
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR 
synIt’s been two years since the lion roared … the eagle flew … and the fated Celtic warrior embraced her destiny. Now, with an unknown darkness swirling and the body count rising, the world needs a hero more than ever. A new battle is brewing. Who will answer the call to war? The time has come. The stage is set. And the Garretts are back in a brand new novella. Descent; The Gryphon Series Resurrection, Coming in Spring 2016. It’s hard to keep a bad pirate down…  
trailer
 auth
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012 Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
 
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 
Visit her at Website/Blog/Facebook or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.

Happy reading, 
Jordan



Review: Housing Elephants- Eleanor Lloyd-Jones

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syn“… And the greatest of these is love.”

Love is patient and kind… Its strength can build bridges and knock down walls. It can give people hope – a purpose. But there is a side to love that is unforgiving and cruel – a side to love that breaks hearts.

Love can suffocate, and love can turn to hate.

Billy Taylor meandered through life, only ever giving half. Ruled by his father’s grief, he gave up on his own dreams in a bid to keep life ticking along, desperately craving the unconditional love of his parents. It wasn’t until Eve Swallow fell into his life again, rousing his empty heart, that he dared to hope for a chance to live life on his terms.

Never quite good enough in the eyes of her overpowering mother, Eve kept herself locked away inside her own head, immersing herself in her passion for art and music, and doing anything in her power to avoid getting close to anyone. When she connected with Billy’s eyes, that still haunted her dreams after so long, fear kicked in, and all she could do was the one thing she was sure would protect her…

Run.

If two lost souls were to collide, and a love so deep was born, it would surely take a herd of elephants to tear them apart…

*Warning: Contains scenes that some readers may find upsetting*

review3/5 Stars

***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author.

+++Contains triggers: abuse and violence.

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re looking for a realistic romance with a hint of soulmates 😉
  • You want a book about heavy subjects without the graphics
  • You have a bulk supply of tissues on hand

Housing Elephants is about the terrible moments in life that we try to forget about, the very real and painful elephants in the room that can only be ignored for so long before they completely trample you. There’s plenty of heartache, agony, embarrassment, and disappointment but there’s also love-pure, honest love. 

PROS:

  • PTSD is accurately and potently depicted. Eve is intensely skittish and filled with social anxiety to the point that it hinders almost every aspect of her life, from going to university to expressing love for her best friend. She doesn’t know how to cope and in situations that are unpredictable she flips out and runs. The way she breaks down, trembles and flees are all the way her mind processes and protects itself from things that happened in the past that Eve has repressed. You feel every second of her confusion and fear; sometimes it’s hard to understand why she freaks out so badly but as the story develops, it starts to make sense. 
  • Heavy subjects like abuse, dementia, and addiction are all tackled without being especially abrasive or teaching a lesson. They are what they are and how they’re dealt with is the true issue. It’s what is unsaid and pushed aside that makes the greatest impact on our lives. Eleanor Lloyd-Jones does a fantastic job getting down to the harsh truths that each character has to face before they can grow up and move on from their pasts.
  • The way Billy and Eve see each other is beautiful. It’s like walking into a place you’ve never been and realizing that it’s your forever home. He’s her rock, her safe place, the kind and gentle savior she needs to bring her out of her shell and open her up to truly living. Eve awakens the passion that Billy had forgotten when his life went to hell. Between his father’s drinking and his mother’s dementia, he felt lost and sacrificed all of his dreams to make ends meet. Eve gives him hope for a better future, one full of sweet, no holds barred love. 

CONS:

  • The pacing is extremely slow and winded. Some of the activities, while realistic, are so mundane that the story drags. There are large expanses where nothing of note happens and most of the life-altering issues occur in the last 20% or so. 
  • I’m not sure that it was supposed to be a surprise or shocking reveal but there are so many clues that when the truth comes out it didn’t pack the emotional punch it should have. You wait the majority of the story for what you already believe to come out, to be spoken out loud and dealt with, and then a hazy cloud. What happened when Eve and her mother hashed it out? That’s a scene that would have added so much power and all we get it this smokey cloud of uncertainty and Billy wondering what’s going on. It’s a big, gaping, empty space that needed to be filled. 
  • The beginning of Eve and Billy’s relationship is amazing. The sheer attentiveness and patience he has trying to win her trust, how far they’ve come, and how much Eve has opened herself up are brilliantly written but by the end of the story, it feels like habit, not in the good way. Their romance gets a little lost.

Excerptimage1teaserimage11image9image8image4trailer

authRaised in a little village in North Wales, a fierce love of books and reading was instilled in her by her parents from a very early age, and she has vivid memories of reading secretly under the blankets with a torch for hours after lights out, often getting caught! She was blown away by The Borribles Trilogy – Michael De Larrabeiti at nine years old, and it was then that Eleanor Lloyd-Jones fell head over heels with the idea of imaginary worlds.

A persistent and professional daydreamer, something she still prides herself on being, she spent most of her early childhood inside her own head making up stories or scenarios, climbing trees, building dens or doing anything arts and crafty. Music also played a huge part of her young life. Growing up on The Beatles, U2 and Status Quo, her obsession with Top of the Pops and vinyl twelve inches grew into a love affair with music that has only grown and expanded over time: there is rarely a moment where music is not playing in her life, and in turn, rarely a time when she is not singing, even if it is in her head!

She had always thought she would write a book some day – it has been an ambition for as long as she can remember – and has always been told that she ‘has a way with words’. Over the years, she’s dabbled in the odd piece of prose, helped friends to write letters and résumés and prides herself on her hilarious lyrical genius when composing poems for friends’ birthdays! Life, however, got in the way and her dream was stored on the back burner as she put herself through university and started a family. It was only when she was nearing the ‘forty’ milestone that she decided it was time she got some of the ramblings and chatterings in her head down on paper.

A creative, guitar-playing mum of one boisterous, but pretty damn cool boy, she classes herself as a Yorkshire gal now after moving to Leeds when she was eleven. Eleanor works full time as a teacher, but grabs every spare minute she can to write; be it on the train, lunchtimes at work or foregoing sleep for an extra hour or two in the evenings. Her hope for the future is for people to fall in love with her characters as much as she does. Not a big ask really!

Facebook/Blog/Twitter

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

CEO CoverPocketful-of-Sand2505d8c3-cover2brtw-moffy-91814girl laying in the grass, looking down, she is very sad and depressed

Jordan

Release Day Blitz: Blood Promise-T.G. Ayer

Amazon/Goodreads

synKailin Odel, alpha shapeshifter and demon hunter, made a deal that helped her save her sister’s soul: a Blood Promise. Now, the High Priestess of the DeathTalkers is calling in her marker, and Kai had better hope she can hold up her end of the bargain, because either way, it’s all about to hit the fan…

Haven’t started the Skin Walker Series yet? The first one is FREE!

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#FREE

synAbandoned by her mother and raised by her aloof Alpha father, panther shifter Kailin Odel has finally found a way to feel like she makes a difference. Discovering her unique power to track Wraith’s, Kailin moonlights as a Hunter – ridding the streets of Chicago of these soul-sucking demons. Her human friends have no idea the supernatural worlds exists alongside theirs. No idea shifter and demons walk in the shadows. And Kai prefers to keep it that way.

Until she discovers the body of a murdered shifter, and is quickly embroiled in a world of supernatural drug-dealing and renegade shifters who leave a trail of blood and mayhem wherever they go.

When Logan Westin, paranormal investigator and super-hot human, begins investigating the murder Kai refuses to allow her feelings to control her. Humans are off-limits, no matter how sizzlingly sexy they are. But can Kai keep him at bay? And does she even want to?

In her quest to find the killer Kai inadvertently puts her friends’ life in danger and brings her to the attention of the sadistic shifter killer. Her comfortable life is gone, her friend murdered, and shifters are disappearing around her. To survive and to save her friends, Kai must allow herself to trust Logan, to give her scarred heart to someone again.

authWebsite/Facebook/Twitter

I have been a writer since I was old enough to recognize that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse and am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each others loves – it works wonderfully…

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. The other half of me has been transplanted to the island of New Zealand. A land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain crosseyed.

Happy reading, 

Jordan