Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Level Me Up by Lauren Helms

 Release Date: June 5, 2017
 syn
 
The last thing Morgan Lawson is looking for when attending Comic-Con is love. But even prior to exchanging first words, Morgan is drawn to Dex, a drop-dead sexy gamer boy who lives and breathes video games. Before she realizes it, Morgan finds herself caught up in all things Dex.
 
Dex Roberts knows the moment he sees Morgan, he wants more. He falls hard and fast, but isn’t surprised when his job as a professional video gamer takes its toll on their relationship.

Once Morgan decides what truly makes her happy, there’s no time to waste. But without any warning, life threatens to destroy what both Morgan and Dex want most… each other.
 teaser
 author
Author Lauren Helms has been an avid reader from a young age. After starting a book review site, that launched her fully into the book world, she decided to take the plunge and write her first novel. Since she was working for a video game strategy guide publisher at the time, she decided to mix what she knew best, video games and romance. Jumping all in, she joined NaNoWriMo and a month later had a 50K word first draft. Lauren lives in Indianapolis, IN with her video game playing husband, two little girl book nerds, and a little boy who will hopefully be a gamer boy too some day!
giveaway
Enter for your chance to win an ebook copy of Level Me Up

 

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Read on, 
Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARC Review: Bang by Barry Lyga

bangGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

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One shot ruined his life. Another one could end it.

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one—not even Sebastian himself—can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father’s gun.

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend—Aneesa—to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past.

It took a gun to get him into this.

Now he needs a gun to get out.

review

3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

+++Triggers for suicidal thoughts, gun violence, infant death

THINGS I LOVED:

  • The vocabulary. The English major in me was internally happy dancing for joy. Honestly, if I could get away with it, I would totally use this to teach SAT vocabulary. It’s awesome. And oddly enough, it works for the main character. He’s quirky and collects antiquated tech like no one’s business, so embracing elevated vocabulary suits his complex personality. 
  • The conflicted, debilitating slew of guilt, depression, and uncertainty weighs on Sebastian heavy enough to rival Atlas. The emotions are poignant, gut-wrenching, and you kind of just want to hug him and tell him it’s not his fault. It’s impossible to escape your past in a small town and to be blamed and ostracized for something you did as a toddler? It’s completely unfair, dangerous, and totally happens. Even if you break this story down to bare bones foundation, living with the catastrophe results of a mistake can be too much, too haunting, and crush you from the inside  out. Bang explores these heavy ideas in a way that’s relatable and so incredibly honest.
  • The mystery. Throughout the book, there is so much leading that you’re basically being tugged along on this train of thought. You know that Sebastian plans on doing something terrible, ending it all with a gun in a perfect circle of how his life metaphorically ended as a toddler. But there’s a twist. I did not see it coming. There’s just enough to keep you hanging on, desperate to know how it ends. 

THINGS I’M TORN OVER:

  • Aneesa. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Aneesa and the fact that she calls people out on their stereotypes, is honest about her fears, and is 100% a proud Muslim young lady. I adored how vocal she was about misconceptions about Islam, how she called out the haters, and truly loved who she is as a person. That sort of confidence and openness is inspiring. In some ways, I did like that Aneesa, having her as a friend, was helping Sebastian deal with his suicidal thoughts; I didn’t like that she was the ONLY thing. Sebastian’s so-called male best friend was a fleeting character that had little to no presence and everything was on Aneesa-not that she knew Sebastian was suicidal. Aneesa isn’t really that interesting. Despite the fact that she’s nice and opinionated, she’s pretty bland, at least for me. There weren’t any particularly memorable lines or scenes that made me say, Aneesa is a character that will stick with me for a while.
  • The focus. This book is all over the place. While it does do a fairly good job of getting back to Sebastian’s thoughts when he’s going to bed at night and thinking about his life, the book turns into pizza after pizza for ages as he builds his YouTube channel and it felt like so much of that could be cut because it slowed the pacing and made me want to close the book.
  • Nowhere near enough confrontation with his parents. They don’t talk about it. They ignore everything and have for years. No wonder Sebastian is flooded with emotions that he doesn’t know how to express or positive ways to deal with his overwhelming sense of guilt and failure. The two big scenes that do happen were…explosive. I felt rage. So much rage.

Sorry for the hiatus everyone! I’ll be back and bringing you many more reviews in the future. My Goodreads challenge is abysmal right now 😦

Jordan

 

Cover Reveal: Perfect Match by Lyssa Layne

A note from Lyssa: I am happy to announce that I will be part of Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire & Rescue Kindle World! My book, Perfect Match, will debut May 11 with some amazing authors that are contributing to the Kindle World, too. If you love firefighters, and I know you do, then you’ll love this Kindle World. Not to mention some of your favorite firefighters from Love is a Fire and Burst Into Flame *might* make an appearance… 
Cover Designer: Amanda Walker
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New to FDNY Engine 58, proby Paul Jefferson has no idea the expectations that the firefighters before him have set. He walks into his new job with an arrogance that’s sure to land him proby duty for the rest of his days but he has the professional skills to back his attitude. Loving every minute of his time with fire, Paul struggles to find his place in the FDNY brotherhood. Outside of the station, a true playboy at heart, he has no issues making connections, but there’s only one girl that holds his heart.

Paramedic Mariana Barbosa is new to the big city. Luckily, her path crosses with Paul Jefferson shortly after accepting her new position. The two instantly connect and become the best of roommates… or something like that. Behind closed doors, the two are the perfect couple without crossing any lines because Mariana is too afraid to risk their living situation to pursue what her heart is telling her she feels.

When Mariana feels betrayed by Paul, she jumps on the opportunity to date the handsome, good guy from work. Paul isn’t a fan of Mariana’s new boyfriend and starts to slack with Engine 58. Things don’t go as expected with Mariana’s new boyfriend and after she uses Paul to cover her issues, she pushes him further away until it may be too late for either of them to admit their true feelings.

author
lyssa

Lyssa Layne is first, and foremost, the proud momma to her precious daughter, AR. In addition to working full-time and being a mommy to AR, she is also an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, a runner, blogger, and an infertility survivor.

Having watched one too many medical dramas and being inspired by author Rachelle Ayala, who introduced her to the world of indie writing, Lyssa decided to try her hand at writing a romance story. Her attempt turned into the Burning Lovesick series. You can find Lyssa’s own interests throughout her stories although all stories are fictional.

 
Paige Tyler’s DALLAS FIRE & RESCUE is part of Amazon’s Kindle Worlds, which means some of your favorite authors are now adding their characters and stories to her World.
 
DALLAS FIRE & RESCUE is an amazing world filled with the action and suspense of fighting fires and the drama of saving lives, combined with the intimacy of those moments when the heroes and heroines are brought together amid the danger. From battling huge blazes all across the city to saving accident victims to working with all forms of law-enforcement, DALLAS FIRE & RESCUE explores every facet of heroic action and romantic adventure. With heroic firefighters and life-saving paramedics, the possibilities for stories are limitless!
 
Kindle World Books can only be purchased on Amazon, but you don’t need a Kindle to read
them. You can download and read them on any device with the Kindle app. Kindle World Books are only available on Amazon US, but that doesn’t mean Non-US Residents can’t purchase them. For instructions click here.
 
Check out Paige Tyler’s DALLAS FIRE & RESCUE Series here!

Steamy reading, 

Jordan

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Love and Vandalism by Laurie Boyle Crompton

love and vandalAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

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Rory has a secret: she’s the vandal who paints graffiti lions all over her small town. If her policeman dad knew, he’d probably disown her. So when Hayes, a former screw-up on the path to recovery, catches her in the act, Rory’s sure she’s busted. Instead, he makes her a deal. If Rory shows him around town, he won’t turn her in. It might be coercion, but at least the boy is hot.

As they spend more time together, Rory worries she made the wrong choice. Hayes has a way of making her want things she shouldn’t want and feel emotions she’s tried to bury. Rory’s going to have to distance herself from Hayes or confront a secret she can’t bring herself to face…

giveaway3 Finished copies of Love and Vandalism, provided by Sourcebooks Inc. US & Canada entries only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

authorlaurie

When she was 17, LAURIE BOYLE CROMPTON painted her first car hot pink using 40 cans of spray paint. This turned her into an overnight icon in Butler, PA. She now lives near NYC in Queens, but maintains a secret identity in New Paltz, NY where she and her family can often be found tromping through the forest. Visit www.lboylecrompton.com

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Pre-Order Blitz: More Than Need You by Shayla Black

Kindle US/Kindle UK/Kindle CA/Kindle AU/Nook/ iBooks/Kobo/Goodreads

Release Date: June 13, 2017

Designer: Rachel Connolly

Photographer: Sara Eirew

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I’m Griffin Reed—cutthroat entrepreneur and competitive bastard. Trust is a four-letter word and everyone is disposable…except Britta Stone. Three years ago, she was my everything before I stupidly threw her away. I thought I’d paid for my sin in misery—until I learned we have a son. Finding out she’s engaged to a bore who’s rushing her to the altar pisses me off even more. I intend to win her back and raise our boy. I’ll have to get ruthless, of course. Luckily, that’s one of my most singular talents.

Sixty days. That’s what I’m asking the gritty, independent single mother to give me—twenty-four/seven. Under my roof. And if I have my way, in my bed. Britta says she wants nothing to do with me. But her body language and passionate kisses make her a liar. Now all I have to do is coax her into surrendering to the old magic between us. Once I have her right where I want her, I’ll do whatever it takes to prove I more than need her.

This book is the second in the More Than Words series. The books are companions, not serials, meaning that backstory, secondary characters, and other elements will be easier to relate to if you read the installments in order, but the main romance of each book is a stand-alone.

This book contains lines that may make you laugh, events that may make you cry, and scenes that will probably have you squirming in your seat. Don’t worry about cliffhangers. HEA guaranteed! (Does not contain elements of BDSM or romantic suspense.)

Kindle US/Kindle UK/Kindle CA/Kindle AU/Nook/iBooks/Kobo

author

Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty novels. For nearly twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her teenage daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

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Keep reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Stand by A.L. Jackson

Goodreads/Amazon/iBooks/Kobo/B&N/GooglePlay/Signed Paperbacks

Release Date: May 22, 2017
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Models: Tyler Halligan & Madelyn DeSantis
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From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes the next seductive, unforgettable Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel…
 
Zachary Kennedy has never been known as a fighter, but he’ll never regret fighting for her…
 
I’m Zee Kennedy.
Quiet. Reserved. Predictable.
When my brother died, everyone thought I was just the good guy who stepped up to take his place in the band.
 
No one knew what I was hiding. The one thing I’ve been fighting for.
 
For six years, I’ve never lost focus.
 
Not until one chance encounter with Alexis Kensington.
 
Now she’s become my greatest temptation.
I knew better than to touch her, but now that I’ve had a taste, I can’t get enough.
Her kiss becomes my air. Her body my salvation.
 
She needed a savior and somehow she became mine.
 
Taking her was a betrayal. But keeping her means risking everything.
One look at Alexis Kensington, and I know she’s worth the fight.
Will my past continue to keep me down or will I finally find the strength to pull myself up and Stand!

teaserStand_5

ExcerptHis voice was low. The word might have been a question had it not glided across my skin like familiarity and warmth. “Alexis.”

I barely nodded, my response a whisper as my heart fluttered and sped. “Alexis.”

His gaze dipped for a moment, tracing me head to toe. As if he needed reassurance I was here. Something about it felt so intimate and private, as if maybe when he’d chipped away that piece of my soul he somehow knew he held it, too.

“I hope it’s okay I’m here,” he said, forcing my attention back to his eyes.

A lump grew heavy in my throat and I swallowed around it, nodding as I tried to find my voice. “Of course it’s okay.”

Maybe I should have been hearing warning bells. A thousand caution flags tossed in the air and raining down around me. Because there was something about this brilliant boy that screamed trouble and mayhem. Undoubtedly, this man wore his own beautiful brand of destruction.

And I was the fool who always seemed to run straight for it. Diving right into the middle of it without having the first clue what was waiting for me.

“I’m Zachary Kennedy. Friends call me Zee,” he said, shifting on his feet as if he were wondering what he was doing here.

I could feel the pull of the soft smile at the side of my mouth. “I know who you are.”

“Is that so?” he asked. Something about it rang with a tease.

I nodded.

Of course I did. He was the drummer for one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

And I realized that probably put both of us at a disadvantage. No doubt he had women throwing themselves at him any time he walked off a stage or into a room. Wanting a taste of fame or maybe a name to drop, salivating over this boy simply for who he was.

It didn’t help he had to be the most gorgeous man I’d ever seen.

But this was different. The staggering need I felt to know him more. Not the boy pinned to Pinterest boards labeling him a sexy, tattooed bad boy. Not the boy splashed across the tabloids with their speculations and judgement.

The real man.

This man made up of flesh and bone. The man who rushed into an alley in the middle of the night to defend a complete stranger. The man who’d tenderly rocked me in his arms while I’d felt the controlled rage radiating from his body.

The one who now stood in my doorway, spinning my mind with how he could both look so powerful and vulnerable.

My insides shook, and I took a step back and widened my door. “Would you like to come in?”

A smile crept to his mouth that would be my complete undoing, this tug of full, soft lips framed by his beard. He tilted his head to the side. “You’re awful brave to be inviting a complete stranger into your house.”

I lifted my chin and met his gaze. “A complete stranger who put his life on the line. A stranger who stood between me and a gun. You could have died, and I very well might have if it wasn’t for you. Trust comes in a lot of forms, and I’m pretty sure you’ve already earned mine.”

giveaway

Grand Prize: Bleeding Stars Signed Book Bundle

(includes first 5 books in Bleeding Stars Series)

Second Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 author
A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad. Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installment STAND, coming Spring 2017. If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
 
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 24587 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.
Happy reading, 
Jordan

Release Week Blitz & Excerpt: Other Breakable Things by Kelley York & Rowan Altwood

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing | Goodreads

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According to Japanese legend, folding a thousand paper cranes will grant you healing.

Evelyn Abel will fold two thousand if it will bring Luc back to her.

Luc Argent has always been intimately acquainted with death. After a car crash got him a second chance at life—via someone else’s transplanted heart—he tried to embrace it. He truly did. But he always knew death could be right around the corner again.

And now it is.

Sick of hospitals and tired of transplants, Luc is ready to let his failing heart give out, ready to give up. A road trip to Oregon—where death with dignity is legal—is his answer. But along for the ride is his best friend, Evelyn.

And she’s not giving up so easily.

A thousand miles, a handful of roadside attractions, and one life-altering kiss later, Evelyn’s fallen, and Luc’s heart is full. But is it enough to save him? Evelyn’s betting her heart, her life, that it can be.

Right down to the thousandth paper crane.

Excerpt

Nembutal isn’t a name I recognize. One of Luc’s medications? Something he wanted to try that he couldn’t get here? He didn’t tell me anything about it. I Google the name and get an array of results: Nembutal (pentobarbital), sedative and anticonvulsant. Used to treat tension, anxiety, nervousness, and epilepsy. Pentobarbital may induce death in high dosages and is used for euthanasia in both humans and animals.

My legs nearly give out.

The night Luc went to the hospital, I saw webpages open on his phone on euthanasia in Oregon. It hadn’t seemed right, and I hadn’t been able to wrap my head around it at the time, and so I’d shrugged it off and never even broached the subject with Luc. He could have been looking it up for any number of reasons. Curiosity brought about by temporary desperation.

This, though? This is a step further. This makes me feel cold all over.

The bathroom door swings open and Luc steps out. I hadn’t even heard the shower turn off. He’s dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, towel around his shoulders, and he

pauses when he sees me. “Evelyn?”

I could ignore it. I’m overreacting. I have to be…right? Yet I find myself turning to stare at him, holding up the business card and trying to keep my voice level. “What’s this?”

There’s a hitch in Luc’s step as he crosses the room to take it from me, and he won’t meet my eyes. “Just something someone gave me the other day. I don’t know.”

Any hope I had that this was some dumb misunderstanding is quickly fading. “Don’t lie to me.”

“It’s nothing,” Luc insists, pushing a hand back through his wet hair and turning away. “Just…don’t. I don’t want to—it’s not…”

“It’s not what? Not what I think it is?” My voice cracks near the end, and Luc goes still, as though he knows this entire conversation is about to hit the roof. I snatch my phone back up and read to him aloud: “Pentobarbital is contained in a group of drugs called barbiturates.”

“Evelyn…”

“Used to treat insomnia and seizures—”

“Evelyn.”

“—and for human euthanasia. Death in a bottle.” I lower the screen and stare at him, fighting back the overwhelming flood of tears threatening to reduce me to a complete mess. “Is that not what I think it is?”

Slowly, Luc turns to me, his expression one of guilt and grief and frustration. “I’m dying. You know that.”

I twist my fingers around my phone so tightly it hurts.“We’re all dying, Luc.”

“Some of us faster than others.”

auth

Kelley York and Rowan Altwood are a wife and wife writing team living in central California with their daughter and way too many cats. Kelley is the author of Hushed, Made of Stars, and Modern Monsters, and Other Breakable Things is Rowan’s debut.

Website | Kelley York Twitter | Rowan Altwood Twitter | Author | Kelley York Goodreads | Rowan Altwood Goodreads

Happy reading, 

Jordan