Spotlight & Giveaway: Halfway Perfect-Julie Cross & Mark Perini

HalfwayPerfect Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo/IndieBound 

Title: Halfway Perfect

Authors: Julie Cross and Mark Perini

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Young Adult

cooltext1889161239 copyBestselling author Julie Cross teams up with Ford model Mark Perini to pen a poignant and gritty YA novel about love and the dark side of modeling and the fashion industry.

Eve’s time as a fashion model nearly destroyed her-now she’s determined to build a career behind the camera lens. But landing a coveted photography internship brings her face to face with her dark past-and her ex.

While Eve is snapping pictures, up-and-coming male model Alex is launching his career-which, for him, involves maintaining a fake relationship with his co-star, Elana.

But Alex is falling for Eve, and Eve won’t let herself get hurt again. If Alex can pull off a fake love with Elana, can he convince Eve to risk a secret affair with him?

cooltext1921345213 copyWhen I finally give the rack a closer look, I start to weigh the options. There’s a varying array of briefs, boxer briefs, and pseudo banana hammocks with full backs in every color under the sun—black, neon green, pink, yellow, gold, red, navy, bright fuchsia. As the stylist is looking through the rack and sizing me up, probably trying to match my coloring, I’m silently chanting, boxer briefs, boxer briefs…

He’s reaching a hand toward the banana hammock rack and I suck in a breath, trying to look cool with whatever.

But seriously. No one is cool with whatever.

“Nah, not these, they’re not relatable enough to the G.P.” the stylist says.

I let out a sigh of relief. But no sooner do I look back up and he has a pair of black briefs with neon green micro-polka-dots.

“These are perfect. You’re ready to be pounced on by the woman of your dreams,” he says.

“Great. Can’t wait to…try these suckers on.”

“You’ll look amazing.”

Yep. A dude just told me I’m gonna look amazing in skimpy underwear.

He hands me a robe and leaves without waiting for a response.

After a quick change and after they’ve lubed me up with some makeup and self-tanner, I’m off to set. The thing about shooting underwear shots is the light is important. Janessa has two guy assistants as stand-ins testing everything. I resist the urge to go talk to Eve and instead sit down on the couch. I’m not about to ask her out while wearing neon polka dots. That’s got failure written all over it.

As soon as Janessa sees me on the couch, she ushers me over to fill in for one of the assistant stand-in guys. I ditch the robe and feel the awkwardness Richter scale skyrocket. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot Eve standing out of Janessa’s line of sight. She’s trying not to smile, but she’s doing it anyway. At my expense. I decide it’s time to look the beast in the eye. I wave dramatically at her, like I’m flagging her down.

Janessa follows my wave all the way to Eve, who turns completely scarlet.

“Eve!” Janessa says. “Step in for Daniel. You’re closer to Elana’s height.”

Her eyes get really big and round, but her voice stays totally even. “Okay.”

Well, this should be interesting. Of course it would be much more interesting if she was also wearing neon polka- dot underwear.

“Guess your time in the spotlight isn’t over after all,” I say when she appears in front of me.

“This is not exactly the spotlight, nor do I have any choice in this matter,” she whispers, leaning in close so I get a whiff of her hair and something that smells like cinnamon.

Janessa interrupts us by shouting some directions. “Get really close!” I can totally do that. Just give me my pants back. “Alex, dip her down like you’re going to kiss her.”

I love pants. I will never take them for granted again. When I get the fragrance campaign, I’m donating a bunch of money to a pants-related charity.

But in the meantime, I don’t have a fragrance campaign and I’m not about to show any signs of fear. Fashion people can smell it a mile away and then ruin my chances.

“You heard the boss lady,” I say to Eve before hooking an arm around her waist and tugging her closer. My fingers brush over a strip of bare skin on her lower back and it sends my pulse racing so fast that I’m sure she can feel my heartbeat. And for a good long second, I don’t even care. Let her figure it out if she hasn’t already. I hadn’t planned on playing hard to get or any other equally frustrating mind games.

I move my hand up to the back of her neck before I lean her backward. My eyes are still locked with hers. I’m fighting the urge to undo her ponytail and run my fingers through her hair.

For the cameras. Of course.

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Julie CrossWebsite/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

Julie Cross is the international bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy. Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. Her knowledge of the modeling and fashion world comes from viewings of the movies The Devil Wears Prada, and Zoolander, and her unwavering devotion to the first three seasons of Ugly Betty. On a recent trip to NYC, she also took the time to walk past both the Gucci and Prada stores, spending at least 15 seconds viewing items through the windows.


Mark Perini is a New York City-based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect. Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.

Mark began his career as an international fashion model ten years ago, while simultaneously obtaining a business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven wonders of the ancient world before he’s thirty. Four down, three to go.

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Pleasant reading,

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ARC Review: KissnTell-Suzy McCoppin & Allison Swan


cooltext1807812709 copyAnais and Vaughn are best friends, misfits, and known throughout their high school as Anus and Vag—nicknames coined by the popular Shrew Crew. But after the sixteen-year-olds are the subjects of a humiliating prank involving laxatives, it’s the last social crucifixion they can stand.

So the girls amp up their plain-Jane looks and hit the L.A. scene with a vengeance. What starts as an innocent first kiss with TV star and mega-hunk Baron Caldwell becomes the start of a hot gossip blog,

Anais and Vaughn soon secure their place in the limelight. Anais finds a boy she really cares about, and Vaughn finds the popularity she’s always wanted. But when the girls are shaken by a devastating situation, they see their friendship fall apart. Can they use KissnTell to their advantage while getting the revenge they deserve? Or will Anais lose Vaughn to the Shrew Crew forever?

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2.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and Full Fathom Five

I just finished reading KissnTell maybe 30 minutes ago and I’m still reeling in my emotions. I don’t know how to feel about this story and am flooded with so much anger it’s borderline rage at how much of a self-centered horrible person one of the main character’s is. I honestly can’t remember the last time a book made me feel so much hatred and dislike towards a character. I thirsted for revenge on behalf of the other main character, I wanted her to suffer, and forgiveness was not an option. When I started to write this review, I thought, I can’t let my extreme dislike steer my entire review because KissnTell does have some amazing things going for it, but getting past the disgust is a challenge.


  • The chemistry between characters is flawless. The dialogue flows seamlessly and captures whatever feelings exist between characters. The vapid, shallowness of the Shrew Crew is embodied in their mannerisms, their apathy, and the way they talk down to each other in sugary flakiness and sometimes blunt sarcasm. Each interaction is a lesson in humanity or lack there of. The way we use and abuse people, how self-absorbed and conceited many people are, and how people can push others aside to get ahead. 
  • Characters are fully developed and have unique stories, though sometimes a bit cliché. Personalities are bold, vibrant, and don’t really waiver. They’re exactly what they put out. 
  • Hollywood is a seedy, grotesque place with amble amounts of money and ways to monopolize on the system. The world of paparazzi, infiltration, and selling gossip is sordid and messy but just as you’d expect. Small details like fashion, name brands, restaurants, even food choices are all pieces that make this story feel authentic and realistic, like it’s something that could be happening at this very moment. 
  • Anais is brilliant, quirky and calm in perilous situations. She always takes a step back to assess and think things through and is a wonderful best friend. She knows what Vaughn needs and how to placate her. It takes an incredible person to stand by her best friend after such mistreatment and hurt. Anais perseveres through everything and comes out even stronger. 
  • Austin and Anais are adorable. He’s attentive and goes well beyond to help her in her time of need. His adoration in clear. They’re infatuated with each other and they get along so well that they seem like they’ve been together for years. The scene where they watch a movie with Anais’ mom is precious.


  • There are several things that I was NOT okay with that happened in this story. Firstly, the whole situation with Baron. What he does is sexual assault. It’s not something that should be brushed off or joked about. The fact that the main character is traumatized for like 5 minutes and then ignores it is completely mind-boggling. The guy is an abusive, violent and aggressive jerk and the fact that no one seems to care and even expects it…I would have liked to see more mulling over this incident, a little more emotion, or maybe thoughts about it at the very least. No means no. 
  • Vaughn is a hot mess of epic proportions, she’s so naïve it borders on idiotic and the way she sells people out made me want to throw my iPhone across the room. Hearing her thought process didn’t help anything. She’s so desperate for popularity that she’s sacrifice everything and betray the only person who seems to care about her. She’s worse than the Shrew Crew because she knew what she was doing and couldn’t bring herself to care. There are some things that are forgivable but it kills me how easily, despite years of best friendship that Anais brushes it off. It’s unrealistic and kind of sickening. 
  • The Vag and Anus scene in the beginning was so brutal and bizarre that it came off as cheesy. 
  • Xander and that scene (purposely being vague to not have any spoilers). I felt terrified, sad and nauseated. How she clings to her shoes and let’s something as simple as being nice win her over despite years of psychological abuse in terms of extreme bullying… I was shocked and my disappointment topped the overall dislike. 

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

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Pleasant reading,

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Release Day Blitz: Finding Carson Lee-Lindsay Paige & Mary Smith

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Oh Captain, My Captain presents Carson Lee of the Alabama Blacksmiths.
Carson Lee is the league’s bad boy and womanizer, who wants nothing more than to keep it that way. However, his life is full of deep secrets that could ruin the image he built for himself. Everything he worked for could come crashing down around him once he starts finding out who he really is when a grumpy blonde enters his life.
Kinley Wright wants nothing more than to thrive in the world of fashion. She could care less about hockey as long as it leads her to a promotion to work with the football superstars. It isn’t until she has to sign Caron Lee to a clothing contract that she finds he may be the one to push her to let go of her guilt from her past marriage.
Carson Lee is more than meets the eye and Kinley Wright is more than her failures. When their lives collide, will they trust in the possible hope for their future?
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My eyes scan the brunettes, the redheads, the girls with black hair, those that are more than one color, and then my favorite, blondes. There seems to be one, in particular, that is watching me. Usually, they’ll glance a few times with a little smile that’s secretly begging me to walk over to them. This one, though, isn’t smiling. She almost looks unsure. I bring my glass to my lips, trying to figure her out. At least she’s a blonde. Her curls are a bit too perfect, like she’s not naturally curly.
She surprises me by standing and walking over to me. She’s curvy, not my usual size two type, but she owns it with confidence, which is a plus. As she gets closer, stopping at the empty stool next to me, I see she has green eyes.
“Carson Lee?” Her Southern accent is clear and strong, even with only my name.
“That’s me. Who might you be, sweetheart?” I grin.
Her eyes narrow slightly. “Kinley Wright, with LSMP. We were supposed to meet.”
Oh, great. She takes the seat next to me as I reply, “Right. Sorry, it slipped my mind. Mike tell you to meet me here?” She nods. “That’s why. He knew I would be here and wouldn’t remember one way or another.” I take a quick, deep breath. “Did you go to the game? Enjoy it?”
“I did see the game. I especially enjoyed the third quarter when you hit that other player into the wall. Very exciting.”
Quarter? I stare at her for a second to see if she’ll catch her mistake. “You don’t know shit about hockey, do you?” I raise an eyebrow at her with a bit of annoyance, but mostly curiosity. They want me to work with this woman, and she doesn’t even know what she’s talking about?
“Oh, well, I’m new to the sport, but I really enjoy it. I mean, I like it so much. It’s a great sport. Yep, love it.” She nods one too many times, but I’m not buying what she’s selling.
For some reason, I laugh. “No need to lie, sweetheart. And by the way, quarter usually means there’s four of ‘em.”
“Okay, so I’m not a huge fan of hockey, but I did enjoy the game. Yes, it was the first full game I’d seen. Most of the hockey I see is on ESPN when I’m trying to catch up on the football stats.”
Her confession surprises me. I was expecting her to ride the “I’m a fan, so I know what I’m talking about” for a while longer. “Football, huh? Why are you trying to work in this sport, if you aren’t knowledgeable about it to start with or since you’re actually a fan of another?”
“Alright, Mr. Lee. Let’s cut the crap, okay?” She straightens her posture as her tone turns into one that means no-bullshit-accepted. “You’ve had a long day and I have too. So, here’s the deal: no, I’m not a fan of hockey. I bleed football. However, my boss thinks that you’re a perfect fit for LSMP and I think so too. Now, are you going to sign with us, or do I need to go see if one of those Viking players want the job? I know their plane hasn’t left yet.”
I clench my jaw and glare at her before catching sight of a regular behind her, a girl I’ve slept with before. I reach into my back pocket, grab some cash from my wallet, and slap it on the bar. “How about I let you know in a day or two?” Standing, I lay a hand on her shoulder, smile and add, “In the meantime, if you rather have a Viking, go get one. Otherwise, you can wait for a bit. Nice meeting you, sweetheart.”
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Lindsay Paige is a romance author from North Carolina who has published eight books on her own. She is a huge hockey fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins and loves read. When not writing, Lindsay is focused on completing college.
Mary Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois, but currently lives in West Virginia. She is an avid reader, co-founder of Book Nerds Across America, and author of the Ice series, Always Forever, andA Hockey Tutor. She goes nowhere without her cell phone or Kindle. Mary loves anything to do with Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Sharp, and hockey related!!
Despite their love for different teams and players, Lindsay and Mary write hockey romances to vicariously live through their characters and their experiences with these hot hockey players. Together, they have written The Penalty Kill Trilogy and the Oh Captain, My Captain series.

Want to catch up on the Oh Captain, My Captain Series?  Well here is your chance! Here are the links below:

Keep reading, 
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Book Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway: The Intern-Gabrielle Tozer

The Intern


Genre: New Adult

Publish Date: 10/1/14

Publisher: Harper 360

Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

cooltext1712921505 copySeventeen-year-old Josie is studying journalism and ends up at Sash magazine to do an internship. Josie has little enthusiasm for fashion and wants to be a serious journalist. But she has little choice. It’s Sash or the local cat fancier’s magazine.

Once at Sash, Josie comes to grips with the fact that the fashion industry isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Plus she has to contend with her fellow interns and the editor, Rae, who is in charge and arbitrary – one day Josie’s her hot new favorite, the next, who knows?

Country girl Josie also has to get used to living in the city, and sharing a small flat with her cousin Tim, and his hotter-than-hot roommate James, is an education. Things come to a head at Sash when Josie manages to connect with Billy, a troubled rock star. But a disastrous episode at a nightclub and the fallout on social media causes Josie to wake up and see the real person behind his glamorous front.

Josie starts to wonder if she’ll ever get the journalistic break she longs for …



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cooltext1712942546 copyThe Intern

Gabrielle Tozer


First published in Australia in 2014

by HarperCollinsPublishers Australia Pty Limited

ABN 36 009 913 517

Copyright © Gabrielle Tozer 2014

The right of Gabrielle Tozer to be identified as the author

of this work has been asserted by her under the Copyright Amendment

(Moral Rights) Act 2000.

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the

Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced, copied, scanned, stored

in a retrieval system, recorded, or transmitted, in any form or by any

means, without the prior written permission of the publisher.


Level 13, 201 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

31 View Road, Glenfield, Auckland 0627, New Zealand

A 53, Sector 57, Noida, UP, India

77–85 Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8JB, United Kingdom

2 Bloor Street East, 20th floor, Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8, Canada

10 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10022, USA

National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication data:

Tozer, Gabrielle.

The Intern / Gabrielle Tozer.

ISBN: 978 0 7322 9705 3 (pbk.)

ISBN: 978 1 7430 ???? ? (ebook)

Cover design by

Author photograph by

Typeset in 10/13.5pt Sabon by Kirby Jones

Printed and bound in Australia by Griffin Press

The papers used by HarperCollins in the manufacture of this book are a

natural, recyclable product made from wood grown in sustainable plantation

forests. The fibre source and manufacturing processes meet recognised

international environmental standards, and carry certification.

5 4 3 2 1 13 14 15 16

 For JT, my first reader and fellow sweet tooth 


Melons. The girls. Gazongas. I could rattle off every nickname in the world for my boobs — oops, nearly forgot jubblies — but it didn’t change the fact they were small. Embarrassingly small. Think grapes over melons, fun-size bags over fun bags, shot glasses over jugs. Which was why I shouldn’t have been surprised when my boobs were the catalyst for squeals of laughter from my younger sister, Kat, on the eve before an important day. A Very Important Day.

‘Geez, put those puppies away,’ Kat smirked from my bedroom doorway. ‘Some of us haven’t had lunch yet and I’d hate to lose my appetite.’

I paused from rifling through piles of crumpled clothes on my bed. ‘What? I don’t know what you —’

‘Just look down,’ said Kat, tossing her jet-black ponytail. I hated when she did that. Following her instructions, I looked down and saw my left nipple peeking out of my bra.

‘Argh!’ I yelped, yanking at the faded material. ‘Kat, get out! Get out!’


Kat cackled, then plonked onto my bed, squashing the heaving mass of clothes. Too tired to argue, I sat down next to her and double-checked that my boob hadn’t made another escape.

Kat fussed with her thick fringe. ‘So, found something to wear tomorrow, Jose?’

Broken shoes, stained shirts and fraying dresses burst from the wardrobe, spilling into an unwearable mess. A personal stylist would’ve come in handy to tell me why I shouldn’t tape my sneakers together instead of buying a new pair, and how to dress like a normal seventeenalmost-eighteen-year-old.

‘Yep. Well, maybe. Probably. No. I’m screwed. My sister just saw my boob and I’m screwed.’

Cursing, I lay back on the bed. Kat reapplied her gloss. It smelled of cherries, reminiscent of summery desserts.

‘Hey Jose?’ she said.


‘I won’t tell anyone I saw your boob.’


‘Well, except Tye,’ Kat added. ‘I tell him everything. You know, boyfriend rules and all that.’

I sighed. One of those melodramatic I-hate-my-life sighs, where the air rushed up from the depths of my stomach and exploded with a raging ‘whoosh’. But if Kat noticed, she didn’t show it.

‘Hey Jose?’ she said again.



‘You’re going to have to look amazing tomorrow, you know?’

‘I know.’ I know. I know. I know. Amaaaazing. Seriously, tomorrow’s important. Mum’s been yabbering to everyone about it.’

‘Heard you the first time.’

During the past few weeks, Kat had been firing off tips about the Very Important Day. Wear this, don’t wear that, do this, don’t do that, say this, don’t say that. I knew she was trying to help me reduce the risk of embarrassing myself, but it only made me more panicked. You see, life loved handing me something amazing, only to backhand me almost straight after.

It had always been that way. In Year Eight, after my first kiss, the delectable Pete Jordan vomited from food poisoning and hadn’t spoken to me since. At Year Ten presentation night, I was named ‘Most Likely To Succeed’, only to faceplant the ground as I walked back to my seat. Some moron recorded my historic fall, making me an overnight YouTube sensation. I won’t even go into what happened at my Year Twelve formal, although it involved a spiked punch bowl, ninety rolls of toilet paper and a paddock of mud. I don’t know why I thought the next day — the Very Important Day — would be any different, but I was counting on a fairygodmother-shaped miracle.


Most girls I knew, like Kat, spent their allowances or pay on make-up, jewellery, fashion, music, phone credit and magazines.

For me, magazines were a sparkly fantasy filled with smiling, shiny people who looked too happy all the time. That didn’t stop me from leafing through Kat’s magazines when she was out, but instead of checking out the fashion I was reading the feature stories, scoping out who wrote them and looking for spelling mistakes.

I’d studied hard at high school for six years because I was destined to be a news journalist at a newspaper or radio station. So it had come as a huge shock to everyone, including me, to discover I would be interning at a magazine as part of my uni degree’s second semester And not just any magazine. I’d been signed up to (translation: pushed into) a one-day-a-week internship at one of the hottest women’s magazines in the country,


When I told Kat my news, she was thirteen per cent excited for me and eighty-seven per cent envious. In her world, my inability to use a curling iron meant I didn’t deserve the intern position. Her warning of ‘Don’t say anything stupid to the Sash girls and ruin my chances of working there one day’ hadn’t filled me with confidence. Unless I underwent the world’s first personality transplant between here and the city, I knew I’d find a way to put my high-heeled foot in it. 


Kat picked up a ratty floral dress from the top of the pile and threw it into the bin near my desk.

‘Hey! What are you doing?’ I said. ‘I’ve had that for ages.’

‘Exactly,’ she shot back, rolling her blue eyes in a flurry of mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow. ‘Tomorrow you need to look hot and cool. You can’t wear your crappy old clothes at a place like that. Now, here’s what I’m thinking …’

I sighed and tuned out. I couldn’t handle another one of Kat’s pep talks where she criticised my worn-out sandals, mismatched socks, lack of bold lipstick, split ends and under-plucked brows.

‘… so come on, it’s makeover time. We’re getting our shop on,’ barked Kat, unaware that I’d been ignoring her rant.

‘I’ll sort it. Trust me.’

Grunting in disbelief, Kat held up a daggy blue skirt and waved it around. ‘This opportunity is wasted on you — and your small boobs!’

She threw the skirt back onto the bed and stormed out, her ponytail whipping behind her. I heard her bedroom door slam — twice, just in case I missed the first. I held the skirt up against my lower body and took in the reflection grimacing back at me. Mousy brown hair, scruffy but fine. Eyes, green and wide, easily my favourite feature. Eyebrows, semi-unruly but manageable. Lips,


pouty and pink, no major complaints but occasionally clownish. Nose, free from any wart-like protrusions so doing okay. Boobs, small in size — obviously — but apparently confident enough to jump free of brassiere at a whim. Everything from the waist down blurred together: hips, thighs and legs were all … just there.

I gazed at the skirt. Sure, I’d owned it for five years, and it was a hand-me-down from my weird cousin Tracey, but it was all I had. I needed another opinion.

‘Mum, can you come here for a sec?’

Moments later, Mum appeared in the doorway, balancing an overflowing washing basket on one hip and holding a bag of pegs. Her shaggy brown hair was pulled into a loose bun at the nape of her neck and held with a rusty peg. A fresh yellow daisy played peekaboo from behind her right ear. Mum loved plucking flowers from the garden and wearing them until they wilted.

Her dress — another bargain from the op shop — had faded to a musky pink and clung to her body in all the wrong places. But none of these things detracted from her pretty features, which glowed without even a hint of foundation, blush or mascara.

‘Yes, love?’ she asked, readjusting the basket on her hip.

I held up the skirt. ‘How hideous is this? Would you say it’s send-me-home-to-change hideous or let-me-stay-but-bitch-about-me-behind-my-back hideous?’ 


Mum shrugged, then patted me on the shoulder.

‘Josephine Browning, you always look gorgeous.’

‘You have to say that.’

‘Not true. When you were a child you had enormous ears — reminded me of a baby elephant — and I was the first person to point them out.’


‘But I do like that skirt.’

‘Kat reckons I need a new outfit — new dress, heels, the works. You know, for tomorrow.’

‘Wait, is that my skirt? I thought I’d passed it on to your cousin Tracey. I should’ve hung onto it if it’s back in fashion, love.’

I forced a smile. Kat’s outburst about my lack of options suddenly didn’t seem so hysterical. It was time to admit defeat to the self-proclaimed fashion queen of the house, which ranked number two on my Things I Hate To Do List. (Number one: cross-country running.)

I knocked on Kat’s bedroom door with its Stay Out sign sticky-taped above the doorknob. Rock music pounded from within and I imagined her writing in her diary about her ugly, frumpy, older sister. Either that, or sneaking out the window to meet up with Tye. I doubted she was dabbling in the rare option of cleaning her room, although when it came to Kat I could never be sure.

The door cracked open. ‘Whaddya want?’

‘Um, what were you saying about the shops?’ 


‘Not another word, I hear your unfashionable cries for help loud and clear,’ said Kat, scooping up a handbag from the floor and swinging it over her shoulder. ‘Get your wallet, Jose, because when we’re done you’re definitely going to need it.’

I looked like a tarted-up pageant queen. As I stared into the full-length mirror, all I could see was big green eyes, big pink mouth, big bold jewellery, big bright patterns and big high-heeled shoes. Everything was big, right down to the price tags. I smelled like a perfumery and my face itched from the foundation and bronzer caking my skin. Kat beamed, admiring her work. She’d taken me on a whirlwind tour of the department store, trialling makeup products at every counter. Before I could stop her, she called out to a saleswoman who was hovering nearby.

‘She looks amazing, right? Like, amazing,’ Kat said.

‘Oh yeah, amazing,’ gushed the woman, fuelled by the anticipation of a sale. ‘Hon, you should seriously get that whole outfit.’

I blushed, reminded of when Mum took me to buy my first bra in Year Six and invited the shop owner into the change room to admire my ‘growing buds’. Like Mum, Kat had the intuition of a dead caterpillar when it came to sensing my discomfort. I squeezed my wallet a little tighter as the saleswoman circled me, eyeing me up and down. She’d detected my fear the moment we’d walked


into the store and I’d cried out, ‘Is that a belt or a skirt?’

Mentally, I double-locked my piggy bank and buried it in a safe three hundred metres below ground level, complete with security guards and CCTV cameras. I snuck another peek in the mirror and cringed at the loud colours competing for my attention. The dress felt tight, but Kat was convinced it fitted perfectly. I had to admit, it was creating curves in places usually hidden by baggy T-shirts or baby-doll dresses.

To my right, a mannequin wearing the same outfit, down to the bright yellow peep-toes, was looking rather fashionable. ‘How do you do it?’ I muttered to her.

‘Okay, I’ll say it: this is the best you’ve ever looked,’ said Kat. ‘Wear this tomorrow and you’ll kill it. That dress is hot.’

‘Weren’t we aiming for hot and cool?’

Kat rolled her eyes. ‘Let’s not go crazy, Jose. It is you we’re talking about.’

The saleswoman cleared her throat. ‘So do you want to pay with cash or credit, hon?’

I ran through my wardrobe options at home one final time. A montage of outdated playsuits, daggy dresses and worn shoes danced in my mind, the blue skirt at the forefront. I had no choice: I was getting the outfit.

‘Cash, thanks.’

I handed over the crumpled notes. There was no turning back now.

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One Finished Copy of The Intern

cooltext1718229341 copyAuthor Photo_GABRIELLE TOZERGabrielle Tozer is a senior features writer who has edited, sub-edited and written for several magazines, newspapers and anthologies throughout the past decade. In addition to Gabrielle’s work on Dolly, Cosmopolitan, DisneyGiRL, Mamamia and FamilyFun, she has also written for creative journals such as GOfish and Take It As Red. Born and bred in regional New South Wales, Gabrielle now works at Pacific Magazines and lives in the heart of Sydney.

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Happy reading,

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Review: Falling By Design-Valia Lind

4/5 Stars

Falling by Design-Valia Lind


Genre: YA contemporary

Published: March 12, 2014

My heart fills with emotions I cannot describe, stealing the very essence of my being, as his words take root in my soul. There’s no mockery, no lies, no undercurrents in that simple statement. His eyes shine with the truth of what he says and all I can think is, I’m in trouble. 


I see the flecks of green in his deep blue eyes, and I swear it should be illegal to be this gorgeous. Not that a pretty face will sway me, but it’s a little distracting. “We’re not friends Grayson, so whatever scheme you’re planning, I’m not a kid anymore.” “No, you are definitely not a kid anymore.” Oh the way he says that. It’s like a whispered secret, racing over your body into your very being. We’re a breath away and I can feel his sweet voice like a careful touch. I can tell my face is heating up, and I know he’s trying to unsettle me. He’s so good at it. Always has been. 

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Brooklynn Summers has a plan for her life: graduate from high school, get into a top fashion school, prove to her family that she’s not a failure. She wishes someone in her life understood her need to create because her parents sure don’t support her dreams, her sister hates her, and the deadlines are soon approaching.

Enter Grayson Banks.

There are a few things in life Brooklynn can’t stand: mismatched patterns, cheap polyester, and Grayson. No boy has ever publicly humiliated Brooklynn like Grayson has. When he suddenly moved away in eighth grade, Brooklynn happily wished him good riddance. But on the first day of senior year, Grayson comes back, with his piercing blue eyes and a smile that melts icebergs, he is not exactly the boy Brooklynn remembers. She quickly realizes that Grayson’s intentions have completely shifted, but she’s not sure if she can put their past behind her.

Grayson understands Brooklynn’s creative ambitions and he devises a plan to showcase her work to the world. When the two agree to work together, suddenly, there is more than just fabric paint that’s having a chemical reaction to its environment. Brooklynn cannot help but feel pulled into Grayson’s arms, but memories and misunderstandings surface, putting in danger whatever small comradeship these two childhood enemies have constructed.

Can Brooklynn overcome her own insecurities, finally making her dreams come true? Even a dream she didn’t know she had.

This is a story about a girl with big dreams and a boy who helps her achieve them.

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  • Brooklynn is an epic protagonist. She’s a dreamer. She has a vibrant personality, full of sarcasm, snarky comments, and a playfulness that exudes confidence. What is so magnetic about Brooklynn is that she is a contradiction. While she’s got so much going for her, her home life leaves her feeling unaccomplished and drained. At home she is quiet, passive, and afraid to speak her mind because no one listens. Her world is full of expectations that Brooklynn wants to escape, she wants to be herself but has a legacy of torment and disappointed looks. When Brooklynn takes the leap, speaks her mind, and finally expresses herself and is heard, it’s a beautifully transcendent moment. You’ll feel so proud. Brooklynn really is a truly admirable character who fights for her dreams against severe protest.
  • Dialogue. This is some of the BEST dialogue I’ve seen. The internal monologues are hilarious, full of that wonderful, face-palming embarrassment and confusion when thinking about the opposite sex. It’s hilarious, it’s real, and completely witty. Expect a constant smile and sudden laughter. If you’re looking for a feel good book that will warm your heart and inspire you to follow your dreams, this is it.
  • Grayson is gorgeous. It’s easy to picture him as a sneaky little boy who spent his free time pestering Brooklynn. Grayson is a sweetheart, he’s responsible, creative, a great brother, and  so attentive to Brooklynn. He understands her feelings and tries to give and take without being too forceful. Grayson is always thinking of Brooklynn and her happiness, he’s totally swoon worthy. The interactions with Grayson and his little brother, brace yourself for the feels, so intoxicating and cute. Grayson makes his presence known, it’s a dominating, confidence that fills the room and leaves you breathless.
  • The chemistry between Brooklynn and Grayson is fiery hot. They have this charming, teasing banter that oozes mutual attraction. They’re flirty, the heated glances, the way Grayson is always near, bringing light, charm, and arrogance is addictive. The way they are together is incredibly cute and just the sort of genuine adoration that every girl yearns for.
  • Dakota and Chance are the best friends everyone needs and wishes they had. They’re the pushy, semi-obnoxious yet honest female friend and the compassionate guy friend who can take you in his arms and hold you without any awkwardness. Every character is developed, has a powerful voice, and unique characteristics. They all leave a lasting impression, even the smallest character.
  • There was the occasional typo and odd phrasing.
  • Some of the arguments with her father and sister, while emotionally poignant and moving were a bit repetitive.
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Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction. Falling by Design is her debut young adult novel. You can visit her online at or follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind.
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