Wednesday, August 16, 2017

{Sneak Peak} Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward







 
From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

 It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.

I didn’t think he’d call me back.

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.

A complete STANDALONE.

PRE-ORDER

Audio | iBooks  | Nook | Kobo | Amazon Paperback 

 

 (No Amazon e-book preorder. Will go live on/around release day.)



Copyright © 2017

By Penelope Ward


After that evening, I hadn’t heard back from him for a few days.

Then, one night, a text came in from the same phone number I recognized as Landon’s. It was the first time he’d texted me.

I looked down to find he’d sent a photo.

I gasped.

It was a heavily tatted man set against the backdrop of the ocean at sunset. Oh, my. It was him—a selfie.

F***. Me. He was beautiful.

I wouldn’t have even known it was Landon were it not for the blue eyes I recognized instantly. The shaggy, caramel hair I remembered from the past was now a darker shade of brown and shorter, cropped closer to his head. His arms and his chest were inked, his body so perfect that if I squinted, it almost resembled carved stone.

I couldn’t stop looking at him. My eyes wanted nothing more than to explore the ridges and valleys of his stunning body.

Was this a cruel joke?

This was not Landon!

But, it was.

With my thumb and middle finger, I kept zooming in and out, examining the details of the ink across his chest and on his arms. There was really nothing sexier than a guy with perfect arms and a full sleeve tattoo.

Even though his lips seemed fuller than I recalled, they still curved into a familiar grin that oozed confidence. The eyes and that smile were the only traces of the boy I remembered. I wished I could’ve leapt through the screen to smell him, touch him.

“Hi, Landon,” I whispered, for a brief moment talking to the boy inside, not the man in front of me.

This Landon was the polar opposite of the Ivy League yuppie image previously in my head. The only thing the man pictured might have majored in was badassery. He looked like a rockstar, a rule breaker, displaying a sense of arousing danger—someone who must have had women from all walks of life drooling over him for the sheer fact that either they couldn’t have him or shouldn’t have him. It suddenly became clear why, as he’d alluded to, a woman might have been begging him for sex. That made me wonder if he had any secret tattoos in spots I wasn’t allowed to see.

God.

A fire was burning inside of me, and I knew it was my crush exploding into a full-blown obsession.

A self-conscious feeling came over me. If I was scared to show him a picture of myself before, now I was really hesitant.

The message that went along with the photo simply read:

Now show me you.




Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list sixteen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

Connect with Penelope Ward


{Book Review} Another Postcard by Elle Christensen



Another Postcard by Elle Christensen
Published: May 16th, 2017
Series: Stone Butterfly Rockstars #1
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review
Genre: Contemporary Rock Star Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

Brooklynn Hawk is an enigma. Highly sought after for her incredible voice, her talent shines bright in the studio. But a dark past and a secret she holds close to her heart keep her from permanently stepping into the limelight.
Until her favorite band offers her the chance to chase her dreams.

As the lead singer for rock sensation, Stone Butterfly, Levi Matthews is wary of bringing in new talent. But, he has heard just how amazing Brooklynn is and when the need for another singer arises, he’s confident that she is the perfect addition.

However, he doesn't count on laying his heart at her feet.

But the world of music can be as dangerous as it is thrilling. Joining Stone Butterfly on tour was hard enough for Brooklyn, but when she finally succumbs to Levi's charms, the rock 'n' roll life turns deadly.

Will Levi and Brooklynn keep their voices and their hearts entwined? Or will the music prove too hard to survive?

{Review}
So, originally I rated this book 4 stars, but after I sat down and really thought about it after some time had passed, I changed by rating to 3.5 stars.  It was good, but I was not engrossed in it as much as I would have wished during the first half of the book.  However, once the two main protagonists became a couple, I really started to become invested in the progression of the plot and where it was going.  I did enjoy this read for what it was and I am interested in continuing on with the series because the rest of the band members in Stone Butterfly really intrigued me.

I really enjoyed Elle Christensen’s writing.  It was simplistic, but still very beautiful.  I particularly loved the scenes where Stone Butterfly were performing.  Those moments really allowed each character to stand out as individuals, but also showed how close and trusting they were of one another.  I did feel like the first half of this book did drag because it seemed very repetitive.  The first half pretty much consisted of Levi, the male protagonist, constantly trying to get Brooklynn, his love interest, to give him a chance over and over and over again.  Once they finally become a couple (about the 50% mark) the story speeds up considerably.

I really liked Levi as the male protagonist.  He was the typical rock star who sleeps with women on the regular, but once he sets his eyes on Brooklynn, he can’t think about anyone else.  His character came off as very sweet and genuine.  However, I think that compared to the character development that was put into Brooklynn, his was somewhat lacking.  I really liked that character arc of Brooklynn.  She was reserved, loyal and very protective over her younger sister.  She was harder to like from the beginning of the book, but as her back story was revealed, I started to like her character more and more. 

I think that the other members of Stone Butterfly are very intriguing.  I am highly interested in reading their stories and getting to know their characters a bit more.  This book did set up the future ones, but not enough for me to really know what to expect.

The romance in this was good, but I really didn’t enjoy how it began.  Some of Levi’s romantic tactics to capture Brooklynn were cute, but there was a point where I never thought that Brooklynn was just going to relent and give in.  Once that happens, the romance becomes very good.  I LOVED how sweet, protective and caring Levi was over Brooklynn.  It was insta-love, which migh tnot be for everyone.

The number one reason that made me want to read this book was that it had a mystery aspect woven into the story.  It was done VERY well and was the unique factor that made this book stand out against all the other rock star romances.  I was on the edge of my seat and wanted to know what was going to happen next.  And the big reveal blew me away!  I had NO idea what was happening and the mystery was definitely me favorite part of this book.

I found this to be a solid read, but the entirety of the book didn’t blow me away.  There were some aspects that were brilliant while others were lack luster.  I am interested in continuing on with this series because the other members of Stone Butterfly were very charismatic and full of life.

{Rating}

(3.5 Stars)

“Performing in the raw is just that.  Raw.  It’s gritty and rough, scraping over your wounds, laying you bare to be judged by every person who hears it.  The only choice is to give in and let it happen.  If you fight it, the performance comes across as contrived and lacking true feelings, the listeners know it’s fake.”

Also check out the other books by Elle Christensen below!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

{Book Review} Wilder by Rebecca Yarros



Wilder by Rebecca Yarros
Published: September 19th, 2016
Series: The Renegades #1
Source: Purchased
Genre: Action Contemporary Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

He’s Paxton Wilder.

Twenty-two-year-old, tattooed, smoking-hot leader of the Renegades.

Five time X Games medalist.

The world is his playground—especially this year—and for the next nine months I’m stuck as his tutor on the Study at Sea program.

He’s too busy staging worldwide stunts for his documentary to get to class.

But if I can’t get him to take academics seriously, I’ll lose my scholarship…if I don’t lose my heart first.

Six unlikely friends on a nine-month cruise with the Study at Sea program will learn that chemistry is more than a subject and the best lessons aren’t taught in the classroom…but in the heart.

{Review}
Words can’t even express how much I absolutely adored this book!  It was everything that I look for in an amazing contemporary romance read.  It was fast-paced, full of action and jam packed with heart-felt romance.  It also had a cast of dynamic characters that I instantly fell in love with.  I am HIGHLY looking forward to continuing on with this series.  It is safe to say that Rebecca Yarros is one of my new favorite authors of 2017!

The writing in this book was perfect and the pacing was spot on.  I found the action and romance addicting, making this a very quick read.  I am always looking for romance reads that are unique and Wilder definitely fit that criteria.  I never knew what was going to happen next and surprisingly, this book is full of quite a few twists and turns that I NEVER seen coming!  Reading about all of the intense, death defying stunts that the Renegades performed was one of my favorite aspects of this story.  Yarros did an amazing job setting these scenes and really keeping me on the edge of my seat.

I fell in love with these characters!  I would have to say that the Renegade crew has got to be one of my all-time favorite cast of characters.  Each character was well-developed and dynamic.  The set-up of future plots was flawless and I am really looking forward to the next books within this series!

I LOVED Leah!  She has got to be one of my favorite female protagonists and her story really tugged at my heartstrings.  I loved seeing her overcome the traumatic events that happened in her past and learn how to live again.  She was able to push her fear and insecurities away with the help of Paxton and finally open her heart.  Paxton was amazing and the complete opposite of Leah.  While she was reserved and studious, he was adventurous and full of life.  It was nice to see how they complimented each other, giving and taking until they both helped one another in the areas they struggled most with.  

The romance in this book was SO good!  The immediate connection between Paxton and Leah dripped from the pages and their struggle to keep things professional raised the angst levels to an all time high!  As much as I loved seeing their friendship bud, I could not get enough of them as a couple!  Paxton was always so sweet and caring toward Leah and although he pushed her to her limits, he never made her cross them.  He always supported her, whether she decided to take the crazy risks with him or sit back and watch.  I can't wait to see how their relationship progresses in the future books.

This series is one of my new favorites!  I think that it is always quite the feat to be able to write a contemporary romance that is not generic and predictable.  Yarros was able to do that and so much more.  I am planning on continuing on with this series and have already purchased her entire Flight & Glory series as well!

{Rating}


She was better than the hit of adrenaline I craved, took me higher than any rush of endorphins at a victory.  She’d become more than the thrill, she’d become the air, the only thing I absolutely needed to live.

Also check out the second book, Nova, in The Renegade series below!


Saturday, August 12, 2017

{Reading Wrap-Up} July



Wilder by Rebecca Yarros
 
This is Dangerous by Kennedy Fox

Nova by Rebecca Yarros

Idol by Kristen Callihan

It Ain't Me, Babe by Tillie Cole (Audio Book)

To Crown a Beast by R. Scarlett

Breaking Kate by D. Kelly
 (3.5 Stars)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

{So You Want To Be A Blogger?} Creating Your Blog



Now, I do not have a lot of tips on this subject, but it is the first thing that you need to do as a blogger.  I personally chose Blogger because it was free and I want to try blogging before I completely committed to it.  I will continue to use blogger because I do enjoy this platform and I am now familiar with it.  However, there are tons of other places you can start your blog, like WordPress or purchasing your own domain.  Again, I do not know anything about these so I would suggest researching each option and choosing the one best for you!


This is how I decided what I wanted to include and feature on my blog.  Look at other blogs, see what you like and what you don't.  This by no means choose a blog you think is beautiful and steal all their ideas, but you can use it for inspiration for your own.  I enjoyed blogs that had book recommendations, so I made sure to add that to my blog.  I also hated blogs that looked too cluttered, so I made sure to simplify mine.  I also would ask opinions.  That is why my rating system ended up on my sidebar.  I originally did not have it there, but a friend said that she enjoyed it where it was easy to see.  Do what YOU want to do, but also keep in mind that if you want an audience, it still needs to be appealing to other people.


Now, I think that this is more of a personal opinion.  At the beginning, I changed my blog ALL the time and it became exhausting!  When you change one thing, you have to change everything else to match it, which can take days to weeks to completely finish.  What I suggest is to choose a color palette that you enjoy and then frame your blog around that.  If you are someone who likes to switch things up a lot, make the changes in areas that will not effect the entirety of your blog.


When creating headers and pictures for you blog, make sure to create the same or at least something similar for your social media outlets tied to your blog.  You want to create a brand for your blog so that whether readers are on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, etc., they know that it is from the same blog.  It is confusing for readers/followers if every page is different.


So you are probably wondering how to make clickable social media links in your sidebar or how to to create a blog button.  You do not have to be a computer wiz or know a lot about HTML.  I am not going to be posting how to do any of that because there are SO many other people who have already done this (and probably way better than I ever could have).  Get on the web or Pinterest and search for what you need, but I will advise you to SAVE what you actually end up using.  This will be handy when you have to go back and tweak or change things in the future.

Also, (and yes, this needs to be in all caps) SAVE A COPY OF YOUR BLOG SOMEWHERE ELSE!  This is SO important.  Don't make permanent changes to your blog without the HTML code saved somewhere else, like in word.


PicMonkey is the reason why I was even able to blog.  I was a stay-at-home-mom when I started blogging and did not have tons of money to buy a fancy pre-made blog template so I had to create everything from scratch.  Everything that you see on my blog was created with PicMonkey from my blog header, to my social media icons, to the sidebar headers.  I STILL swear by PicMonkey to this day and once you get the hang of it, its SUPER easy to use.  Of course, there are TONS of other websites and programs you can use to create amazing images for your blog, but I just thought I would mention PicMonkey since I had NO idea where to start when I created my blog.


Posts NEED to be consistent and aimed towards the right audience!  This is something that I can not stress enough.  If you are not posting enough, you will never gather a following or keep one.  The 'meat' of my posts are book reviews, which I think works out really well.  I also think that book hauls, tags, 'top 10' posts and book recommendation posts are well received.



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