Friday, January 31, 2020

Don't Read the Comments...


Don't Read the Comments

Eric Smith
On Sale Date: January 28, 2020
9781335016027, 1335016023
Hardcover
$18.99 USD, $23.99 CAD
Ages 13 And Up
368 pages

Summary:

Slay meets Eliza and Her Monsters in Eric Smith’s Don't Read the Comments, an #ownvoices story in which two teen gamers find their virtual worlds—and blossoming romance—invaded by the real-world issues of trolling and doxing in the gaming community.
Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.

Buy Links:

~~~***~~~***~~~ EXCERPT ~~~***~~~***~~~

1 Divya

Mom. We’ve been over this. Don’t read the comments,” I say, sighing as my mother stares at me with her fret ful deep-set eyes. They’re dark green, just like mine, and stand out against her soft brown skin. Wrinkle lines trail out from the corners like thin tree branches grown over a life time of worrying.
I wish I could wash away all of her worries, but I only seem to be causing her more lately.
“I’m just not comfortable with it anymore,” my mom coun ters. “I appreciate what you’re doing with…you know, your earnings or however that sponsor stuff works, but I can’t stand seeing what they’re saying about you on the Internet.”
“So don’t read the comments!” I exclaim, reaching out and taking her hands in mine. Her palms are weathered, like the pages of the books she moves around at the library, and I can feel the creases in her skin as my fingers run over them. Bundles of multicolored bangles dangle from both of her wrists, clinking about lightly.
“How am I supposed to do that?” she asks, giving my hands a squeeze. “You’re my daughter. And they say such awful things. They don’t even know you. Breaks my heart.”
“What did I just say?” I ask, letting go of her hands, trying to give her my warmest it’s-going-to-be-okay smile. I know she only reads the blogs, the articles covering this and that, so she just sees the replies there, the sprawling comments—and not what people say on social media. Not what the trolls say about her. Because moms are the easiest target for those online monsters.
“Yes, yes, I’m aware of that sign in your room with your slo gan regarding comments,” Mom scoffs, shaking her head and getting to her feet. She groans a little as she pushes herself off the tiny sofa, which sinks in too much. Not in the comfortable way a squishy couch might, but in a this-piece-of-furniture-needs-to-be-thrown-away-because-it’s-probably-doing-irreversible-damage-to-my-back-and-internal-organs kind of way. She stretches her back, one hand on her waist, and I make a mental note to check online for furniture sales at Tar get or Ikea once she heads to work.
Oof, I must have slept on it wrong,” Mom mutters, turn ing to look at me. But I know better. She’s saying that for my benefit. The air mattress on her bed frame—in lieu of an ac tual mattress—isn’t doing her back any favors.
I’d better add a cheap mattress to my list of things to search for later. Anything is better than her sleeping on what our family used to go camping with.
Still, I force myself to nod and say, “Probably.” If Mom knew how easily I saw through this dance of ours, the way we pretend that things are okay while everything is falling apart around us, she’d only worry more.
Maybe she does know. Maybe that’s part of the dance.
I avert my gaze from hers and glance down at my watch. It’s the latest in smartwatch tech from Samsung, a beautiful little thing that connects to my phone and computer, controls the streaming box on our television… Hell, if we could af ford smart lights in our apartment, it could handle those, too. It’s nearly 8:00 p.m., which means my Glitch subscribers will be tuning in for my scheduled gaming stream of Reclaim the Sun at any minute. A couple social media notifications start lighting up the edges of the little screen, but it isn’t the unread messages or the time that taunt me.
It’s the date.
The end of June is only a few days away, which means the rent is due. How can my mom stand here and talk about me getting rid of my Glitch channel when it’s bringing in just enough revenue to help cover the rent? To pay for groceries? When the products I’m sent to review or sponsored to wear—and then consequently sell—have been keeping us afloat with at least a little money to walk around with?
I’m going to start looking for a second job,” Mom says, her tone defeated.
Wait, what?” I look away from my watch and feel my heartbeat quicken. “But if you do that—”
I can finish these summer classes another time. Maybe next year—”
No. No way.” I shake my head and suck air in through my gritted teeth. She’s worked so hard for this. We’ve worked so hard for this. “You only have a few more classes!”
I can’t let you keep doing this.” She gestures toward my room, where my computer is.
And I can’t let you work yourself to death for… What? This tiny apartment, while that asshole doesn’t do a damn thing to—”
“Divya. Language,” she scolds, but her tone is undermined by a soft grin peeking in at the corner of her mouth. “He’s still your fath—”
“I’ll do my part,” I say resolutely, stopping her from saying that word. “I can deal with it. I want to. You will not give up going to school. If you do that, he wins. Besides, I’ve…got some gadgets I can sell this month.”
“I just… I don’t want you giving up on your dreams, so I can keep chasing mine. I’m the parent. What does all this say about me?” My mom exhales, and I catch her lip quivering just a little. Then she inhales sharply, burying whatever was about to surface, and I almost smile, as weird as that sounds. It’s just our way, you know?
Take the pain in. Bury it down deep.
We’re a team.” I reach out and grasp her hands again, and she inhales quickly once more.
It’s in these quiet moments we have together, wrestling with these challenges, that the anger I feel—the rage over this small apartment that’s replaced our home, the overdrafts in our bank accounts, all the time I’ve given up—is replaced with something else.
With how proud I am of her, for starting over the way she has.
I’m not sure what I did to deserve you.”
Deserve.
I feel my chest cave in a little at the word as I look again at the date on the beautiful display of this watch. I know I need to sell it. I know I do. The couch. That crappy mattress. My dwindling bank account. The upcoming bills.
The required sponsorship agreement to wear this watch in all my videos for a month, in exchange for keeping the watch, would be over in just a few days. I could easily get $500 for it on an auction site or maybe a little less at the used-electronics shop downtown. One means more money, but it also means having my address out there, which is something I avoid like the plague—though having friends like Rebekah mail the gad gets for me has proved a relatively safe way to do it. The other means less money, but the return is immediate, at least. Several of the employees there watch my stream, however, and con versations with them are often pretty awkward.
I’d hoped that maybe, just maybe, I’d get to keep this one thing. Isn’t that something I deserve? Between helping Mom with the rent while she finishes up school and pitching in for groceries and trying to put a little money aside for my own tuition in the fall at the community college… God, I’d at least earned this much, right?
The watch buzzes against my wrist, a pleasant feeling. As a text message flashes across the screen, I feel a pang of wonder and regret over how a display so small can still have a better resolution than the television in our living room.

THE GALAXY WAITS FOR NO ONE,
YOU READY D1V?
COMMANDER (RE)BEKAH

I smile at the note from my producer-slash-best-friend, then look up as my mom makes her way toward the front door of our apartment, tossing a bag over her shoulder.
“I’ll be back around ten or so,” Mom says, sounding tired. “Just be careful, okay?”
“I always am,” I promise, walking over to give her a hug. It’s sweet, her constant reminders to be careful, to check in, especially since all I generally do while she’s gone is hang out in front of the computer. But I get it. Even the Internet can be a dangerous place. The threats on social media and the emails that I get—all sent by anonymous trolls with untraceable accounts—are proof of that.
Still, as soon as the door closes, I bolt across the living room and into my small bedroom, which is basically just a bed, a tiny dresser, and my workstation. I’ve kept it simple since the move and my parents split.
The only thing that’s far from simple is my gaming rig.
When my Glitch stream hit critical mass at one hundred thousand subscribers about a year and a half ago, a gaming company was kind enough to sponsor my rig. It’s extravagant to the point of being comical, with bright neon-blue lighting pouring out the back of the system and a clear case that shows off the needless LED illumination. Like having shiny lights makes it go any faster. I never got it when dudes at my school put flashy lights on their cars, and I don’t get it any more on a computer.
But it was free, so I’m certainly not going to complain.
I shake the mouse to awaken the sleeping monster, and my widescreen LED monitor flashes to life. It’s one of those screens that bend toward the edges, the curves of the monitor bordering on sexy. I adjust my webcam, which—along with my beaten-up Ikea table that’s not even a desk—is one of the few non-sponsored things in my space. It’s an aging thing, but the resolution is still HD and flawless, so unless a free one is somehow going to drop into my lap—and it probably won’t, because you can’t show off a webcam in a digital stream or a recorded sponsored video when you’re filming with said camera—it’ll do the trick.
I navigate over to Glitch and open my streaming application. Almost immediately, Rebekah’s face pops up in a little window on the edge of my screen. I grin at the sight of her new hairstyle, her usually blond and spiky hair now dyed a brilliant shade of blood orange, a hue as vibrant as her personality. The sides of her head are buzzed, too, and the overall effect is awesome.
Rebekah smiles and waves at me. “You ready to explore the cosmos once more?” she asks, her voice bright in my computer’s speakers. I can hear her keys clicking loudly as she types, her hands making quick work of something on the other side of the screen. I open my mouth to say something, but she jumps in before I can. “Yes, yes, I’ll be on mute once we get in, shut up.”
I laugh and glance at myself in the mirror I’ve got attached to the side of my monitor with a long metal arm—an old bike mirror that I repurposed to make sure my makeup and hair are on point in these videos. Even though the streams are all about the games, there’s nothing wrong with looking a little cute, even if it’s just for myself. I run a finger over one of my eyebrows, smoothing it out, and make a note to tweeze them just a little bit later. I’ve got my mother’s strong brows, black and rebellious. We’re frequently in battle with one another, me armed with my tweezers, my eyebrows wielding their growing-faster-than-weeds genes.
“How much time do we have?” I ask, tilting my head back and forth.
“About five minutes. And you look fine, stop it,” she grumbles. I push the mirror away, the metal arm making a squeaking noise, and I see Rebekah roll her eyes. “You could just use a compact like a normal person, you know.”
“It’s vintage,” I say, leaning in toward my computer mic. “I’m being hip.”
“You. Hip.” She chuckles. “Please save the jokes for the stream. It’s good content.”
I flash her a scowl and load up my social feeds on the desktop, my watch still illuminating with notifications. I decide to leave them unchecked on the actual device and scope them out on the computer instead, so when people are watching, they can see the watch in action. That should score me some extra goodwill with sponsors, and maybe it’ll look like I’m more popular than people think I am.
Because that’s my life. Plenty of social notifications, but zero texts or missed calls.
The feeds are surprisingly calm this evening, a bundle of people posting about how excited they are for my upcoming stream, playing Reclaim the Sun on their own, curious to see what I’m finding… Not bad. There are a few dumpster-fire comments directed at the way I look and some racist remarks by people with no avatars, cowards who won’t show their faces, but nothing out of the usual.
Ah. Lovely. Someone wants me to wear less clothing in this stream. Blocked. A link to someone promoting my upcoming appearance at New York GamesCon, nice. Retweeted. A post suggesting I wear a skimpier top, and someone agreeing. Charming. Blocked and blocked.
Why is it that the people who always leave the grossest, rudest, and occasionally sexist, racist, or religiously intolerant comments never seem to have an avatar connected to their social profiles? Hiding behind a blank profile picture? How brave. How courageous.
And never mind all the messages that I assume are supposed to be flirtatious, but are actually anything but. Real original, saying “hey” and that’s it, then spewing a bunch of foul-mouthed nonsense when they don’t get a response. Hey, anonymous bro, I’m not here to be sexualized by strangers on the Internet. It’s creepy and disgusting. Can’t I just have fun without being objectified?
“Div!” Rebekah shouts, and I jump in my seat a little.
“Yeah, hey, I’m here,” I mumble, looking around for my Bluetooth earpiece, trying to force myself into a better mood.
This is why you don’t read the comments, Divya.

Excerpted from Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith, Copyright © 2020 by Eric Smith. Published by Inkyard Press.

~~~***~~~***~~~ AUTHOR BIO ~~~***~~~***~~~


Eric Smith is an author, prolific book blogger, and literary agent from New Jersey, currently living in Philadelphia. Smith cohosts Book Riot’s newest podcast, HEY YA, with non-fiction YA author Kelly Jensen. He can regularly be found writing for Book Riot’s blog, as well as Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine, and Publishing Crawl. Smith also has a growing Twitter platform of over 40,000 followers (@ericsmithrocks).

Social Links:
Twitter: @ericsmithrocks
Instagram: @ericsmithrocks
Facebook: @ericsmithwrites

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tweet Cute Review...


Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account. 

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time. 
 
All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built. 
 

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them?? — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.



~~~***~~~***~~~ EXCERPT ~~~***~~~***~~~

JACK

Look.” I glance into the classroom, where Ethan is thoroughly distracted by Stephen and no longer keeping an eye on us. “I may have . . . overreacted.”
Pepper shakes her head. “I told you. I get it. It’s your family.”
Yeah. But it’s also—well, to be honest, this has been kind of good for business.”
Pepper’s brow furrows, that one little crease returning. “What, the tweets?”
Yeah.” I scratch the back of my neck, sheepish. “Actually, we had a line out the door yesterday. It was kind of intense.”
That’s . . . that’s good, right?”
The tone of my voice is clearly not matching up with the words I’m saying, but if I’m being honest, I’m still wary of this whole overnight business boom. And if I’m being honest, I’m even more wary of Pepper. If this really is as much of a family business as she claims it is—to the point where she’s helping run the Twitter handle, when even I know enough about corporate Twitter accounts to know entire teams of experienced people get paid to do that—then she might have had more of a hand in this whole recipe theft thing than she’s letting on.
The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her. To the point of not knowing whether I can even trust her knowing how our business is doing, or just how badly we need it.
Yeah, um, I guess.” I try to make it sound noncommittal. My acting skills, much like my breakfast-packing skills, leave much to be desired.
So . . .”
So.”
Pepper presses her lips into a thin line, a question in her eyes.
So, I guess—if your mom really wants you to keep tweeting . . .”
Wait. Yesterday you were pissed. Two minutes ago you were pissed.”
I am pissed. You stole from us,” I reiterate. “You stole from an eighty-five-year-old woman.”
I didn’t—”
Yeah, yeah, but still. You’re them, and I’m . . . her. It’s like a choose your fighter situation, and we just happen to be the ones up to bat.”
So you’re saying—you don’t not want me to keep this up?”
The way I see it, you don’t have to make your mom mad, and we get a few more customers in the door too.”
Pepper takes a breath like she’s going to say something, like she’s going to correct me, but after a moment, she lets it go. Her face can’t quite settle on an expression, toeing the line between dread and relief.
You’re sure?”
I answer by opening the container she handed me. The smell that immediately wafts out of it should honestly be illegal; it stops kids I’ve never even spoken to in their tracks.
Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one. It’s like Monster Cake, the Sequel—freaking Christmas in my mouth. I already want more before I’ve even managed to chew. My eyes close as if I’m experiencing an actual drug high—and maybe I am, because I forget myself entirely and say, “This might even be better than our Kitchen Sink Macaroons.”
Kitchen Sink Macaroons?”
Eyes open again. Yikes. Note to self: dessert is the greatest weapon in Pepper’s arsenal. I swallow my bite so I can answer her.
It’s kind of well-known, at least in the East Village. It even got in some Hub Seed roundup once. I’d tell you to try some, but you might steal the recipe, so.”
Pepper smiles, then—actually smiles, instead of the little smirk she usually does. It’s not startling, but what it does to me in that moment kind of is.
Before I can examine the unfamiliar lurch in my stomach, the bell rings and knocks the smile right off her face. I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October. I dismiss it by the time I get to my desk—probably just all the Twitter drama and the glory of So Sorry Blondies getting to my head.
One rule,” she says, as we sit in the last two desks in the back of the room.
I raise my eyebrows at her.
We don’t take any of it personally.” She leans forward on her desk, leveling with me, her bangs falling into her face. “No more getting mad at each other. Cheese and state.”
What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” I say with a nod of agreement. “Okay, then, second rule: no kid gloves.”
Mrs. Fairchild is giving that stern look over the room that never quite successfully quiets anyone down. Pepper frowns, waiting for me to elaborate.
I mean—no going easy on each other. If we’re going to play at this, we’re both going to give it our A game, okay? No holding back because we’re . . .”
Friends, I almost say. No, I’m going to say. But then—
I’d appreciate it if even one of you acknowledged the bell with your silence,” Mrs. Fairchild grumbles.
I turn to Pepper, expecting to find her snapping to attention the way she always does when an adult comes within a hundred feet of disciplining her. But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up—like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.
All right. No taking it personally. And no holding back.”
She holds her hand out for me to shake again, under the desk so Mrs. Fairchild won’t see it. I smile and shake my head, wondering how someone can be so aggressively seventeen and seventy-five at the same time, and then I take it. Her hand is warm and small in mine, but her grip is surprisingly firm, with a pressure that almost feels like she’s still got her fingers wrapped around mine even after we let go.
I turn back to the whiteboard, a ghost of a smirk on my face. “Let the games begin.”

~~~***~~~***~~~ REVIEW ~~~***~~~***~~~

This book was interesting.  Pepper and Jack are kind of friends and kind of enemies.  They don't realize they are enemies for a while though.  Everything comes out in the end and all the truths are spoken in the end.  I love a good HEA!!

This is a kind of Romeo and Juliet retelling.  It is also a kind of confusing book.  So it goes back and forth between Jack and Pepper's points of view.  As a recent transplant to Nashville I loved hearing some of the background based around it.  There were a few moments where I wasn't sure who was talking or what was going on but it wasn't a huge issue for me.  I mean it wouldn't be an R & J retelling without some confusion.

This was my first book by this author and I will definitely be looking forward to reading more by her.  She has a unique style and I truly enjoyed it.  Thank you for writing an amazing book.

5 stars!!!


Early Praise:
"Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” - Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters

"Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist." - Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight

“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favorite’ from page one.” - Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest 


~~~***~~~***~~~ AUTHOR BIO ~~~***~~~***~~~


Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.

Social Links: @dilemmalord (Twitter/Instagram)



Thursday, January 23, 2020

Reign & Ruin...

Today we have the release day blitz of J.D. Evans’ Reign & Ruin, the first in her MAGES OF THE WHEEL Series! Check out the release and be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: Reign & Ruin

Series: Mages of the Wheel, Book 1

Author: J.D. Evans

Genre: Epic Fantasy

 

About Reign & Ruin:

“All magic is beautiful,” she said, “and terrible. Do you not see the beauty in yours, or the terror in mine? You can stop a heart, and I can stop your breath.”

She is heir to a Sultanate that once ruled the world. He is an unwanted prince with the power to destroy.

She is order and intellect, a woman fit to rule in a man's place. He is chaos and violence and will stop at nothing to protect his people.

His magic answers hers with shadow for light. They need each other, but the cost of balance may be too high a price. Magic is dying and the only way to save it is to enlist mages who wield the forbidden power of death, mages cast out centuries ago in a brutal and bloody war.

Now, a new war is coming. Science and machines to replace magic and old religion.

They must find a way to save their people from annihilation and balance the sacred Wheel—but first, they will have to balance their own forbidden passion. His peace for her tempest, his restlessness for her calm…

Night and day, dusk and dawn, the end, and the beginning.


Get Your Copy Today!



Exclusive Excerpt:

“It’s subtle,” he said, “but I get the sense I’ve upset you.” His midnight eyes were bright and wild with energy from his fighting, his face flushed, his breath still quick. He was close enough to touch, and she clasped her hands in front of her. That was the extent of her self-control, and her gaze slid from his fierce expression to his bared torso. Naime had never been so close to a man who wasn’t fully clothed, outside of Ihsan while he was recovering from his burns.

She had seen men without their caftans, in the fields, at the docks. But this was wholly different. He was different. A warrior, attested to by the hash-work of scars on his golden skin. Naime wondered at them, a thin one across his chest, a thicker, short line over his ribs, and a long, curved one that disappeared into his salvar. The entire expanse of her skin felt as if it were on fire.

Naime cut her gaze away from his body and caught sight of the Viziers, huddled just outside the walkway that opened into the main courtyard. They were watching the two of them together, expressions pinched with suspicion.

“Do you have clothes?” Naime said, appalled that she’d been so preoccupied ogling him that she hadn’t considered the fact she was lurking in an archway with a half-naked man.

“I am wearing clothes,” he said. Her gaze whipped to his, and her shame deepened to see the pleased expression on his face. Of course he was aware of her attention, she had been as obvious in her staring as her handmaids had.

“More clothes.” Naime tried not to sound desperate, but the weak timbre of her voice gave her away.

“I do.” He reached up to swipe a hand across the back of his neck. A shower of sand fell to the stone floor between them and they both peered down.

“In the future, wear them. And refrain from such inappropriate displays.” Naime managed to find some composure once she wasn’t looking at him.

“What exactly do you consider an inappropriate display, Sultana?” He almost laughed, but it came out as an impatient exhale instead.

“Tamar is a place of restraint and decorum, Agassi. You are more than welcome to spar with the guardsmen as long as Commander Ayan oversees it”—she pointed to Bashir—“and I would expect that you would not humiliate yourself by doing so half-clothed again. Certainly not in front of the Viziers. It will do you no favors in the Council Hall.”

“Humiliate myself,” the Agassi said, his voice flat with disbelief.

“It is offensive.” Naime gestured at him in a lame attempt to indicate his half-clothed state, then at the lingering Viziers.

“Only in a place full of weak-bodied, self-important pacifists would sword practice count as humiliating. You find me offensive,” he said, “fine. There are few things I find more tiresome than someone who puts too much stock in pageantry and pretense. And you worship at the altar of pretense.”

 

About the Author:



J.D. Evans writes science fiction and fantasy romance and is the author of the novel, Reign & Ruin. After earning her degree in linguistics, J.D. served a decade as an army officer. She once spent her hours putting together briefings for helicopter pilots and generals. Now she writes stories, tends to a tiny human, knits, sews badly, gardens, and cultivates Pinterest Fails. After a stint in Beirut, J.D. fell in love with the Levant, which inspired the setting for her debut series, Mages of the Wheel.

J.D. currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, though she will always be a Montana girl at heart.




Connect with J.D. Evans:

Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Doctor Dearest Cover Reveal...

R.S. Grey’s next standalone rom-com, Doctor Dearest is coming February 6th! Check out the gorgeous cover and find out more today!

About Doctor Dearest (Available February 6th)


Natalie

Dr. Easton is part man, part myth.

He’s a formidable surgeon. Highly respected in his field.

He also happens to be an ex-collegiate quarterback with a classically handsome face.

Are you catching on yet?

He’s horrible.

Beautiful.

A walking Ralph Lauren ad.

He’s also so off limits he should come with a warning label: This way lies heartache.

Not only is he an attending at the hospital where I’m training, he’s also my brother’s best friend. If you’ve lost count, that’s two reasons why I plan on putting this ridiculous crush behind me. Besides, it’s definitely not mutual.

Dr. Easton has never once paid me special attention. No tempting smirks. Not even one subtle innuendo. To him, I’m just another resident—all but invisible.

Connor

For the last five years, I’ve mentored Natalie in the OR, stayed in line, and kept my hands to myself, but it’s been agonizing.

Natalie is trouble in scrubs. A walking temptation I’ve been forced to ignore.

For so long, I’ve wanted her in silence. By the time fate finally gets around to throwing me a bone, my patience has run out.

Natalie’s brother is leaving town, and he wants me to watch over her while he’s gone.

He has no idea how I feel about her.

Neither does she.

But she will.

Haven’t you heard good things come to those who wait, Natalie?

Well…I’ve done my waiting.

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About R.S. Grey:



R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughter, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Visit her at rsgrey.com


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Monday, January 20, 2020

The Story of Us Excerpt Reveal...

Today we have the excerpt reveal for Teri Wilson’s upcoming romance from Hallmark, THE STORY OF US! Check out the excerpt and be sure to pre-order your copy today!


Title: The Story of Us

Author: Teri Wilson

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Hallmark

 

About The Story of Us:

A box of love letters from the past
may hold the key to the future…

Jamie always adored True Love Bookstore and CafĂ©, and now she’s the owner. But businesses are struggling in her small town, and her beloved store is threatened by a new retail development scheme.

Sawyer, Jamie’s former high school sweetheart, startles her when he comes to town for the first time in fifteen years. She soon learns he’s the architect of the proposed development and he’s there to sell local business owners on his plan. Sawyer had no idea that Jamie had bought the bookstore and poured everything she had into it. If he takes it over, he’ll break her heart a second time.

Jamie’s discovery of a box of old love letters and valentines might hold the key to saving her shop. And after all this time, could love be in the cards for Jamie and Sawyer, too?


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Exclusive Excerpt:

Sawyer’s gaze locked onto hers, and as much as Jamie knew she should look away, she just couldn’t. The lines around his eyes were new, as were the sharp angles of his jawline, but those warm brown irises of his were exactly the same. These were the eyes that had seen her at a time when no one else had. She’d been nothing but a quiet, book-loving dreamer, and he’d brought her out of her shell and shown her that the world could be every bit as colorful and vibrant in reality as it was in the novels she loved so much.

Meeting Sawyer O’Dell had changed her. He’d helped her become the woman she was today, because she’d loved the person he’d seen when he’d looked at her with those eyes—interesting, enchanting.

His.

What would it be like to feel that way again? To be loved and cherished by the only person she’d ever truly wanted to build a life with? To have her heart put back together by the man who’d broken it when he’d been just a boy?

The thought was intoxicating. It made her do things she knew she shouldn’t—like step closer to him so that their breath mingled together in the evergreen air, causing her to smile to herself as his gaze drifted slowly, purposefully to her lips. Her breath hitched as he dipped his head. She’d never wanted a kiss so badly in her life— not even when she’d been sixteen years old and he’d bent toward her in the exact same way for the very first time.

His hand was on her waist and his lips were just a whisper away—a heartbeat, a breath, a memory. And Jamie’s heart felt as if it were opening like a favorite book, one whose pages hadn’t been read in a long, long time. She let her eyes drift closed, because she knew this story by heart. The story of Sawyer and Jamie...

The story of us.

But in the sliver of a second before their lips met, someone said Jamie’s name, and the book slammed shut.

“Jamie?”

Her eyes flew open. She and Sawyer blinked at each other, as if they couldn’t quite get their bearings. Then they both turned their heads in the direction of the speaker.

No. Jamie’s stomach tied itself into a knot. It couldn’t be him. What on earth was he doing there?

She bit her bottom lip, still tingling from the missed opportunity. She’d been waiting fifteen years to kiss Sawyer O’Dell again, and apparently, she’d have to wait even longer.

“Matt?”


About Teri Wilson:

Teri Wilson is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author of romance, women's fiction and romantic comedy. Three of Teri's books have been adapted into Hallmark Channel Original Movies by Crown Media, including UNLEASHING MR. DARCY (plus its sequel MARRYING MR. DARCY), THE ART OF US and NORTHERN LIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS, based on her book SLEIGH BELL SWEETHEARTS. She is also a recipient of the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction for her novel THE BACHELOR'S BABY SURPRISE. Teri has a major weakness for cute animals, pretty dresses and Audrey Hepburn films, and she loves following the British royal family. Visit her at www.teriwilson.net or on Twitter @TeriWilsonauthr.


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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Wild Minds Cover...

Today we are revealing the gorgeous coves for J. Saman’s WILD MINDS Duet! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy for the fantastic sale price on February 27th!


Title: Love To Hate Her

Author: J. Saman

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 27th

 

About Love To Hate Her:

A rare moment of weakness.

A burning desire impossible to deny.

Forbidden words I should never have spoken.

Seven years ago, I confessed my darkest secret to my brother’s girlfriend. When she broke up with him and walked out of our lives, she took my secret with her.

But, with my band set to go on tour around the world, I have a problem. I need a nanny for my autistic daughter. And unfortunately, Viola Starr, my brother’s ex, is the perfect fit.

Now, there is no escaping her. Or our past.

Especially when my brother seems determined to win her back.

Five months and she’ll be out of my life again.

Five months of ignoring lingering, heated glances.

The fire she draws out of me. The way she loves my daughter.

Five months… And my world is about to come crashing down around me.


Exclusive Excerpt:

Her fingers rake through my hair, tugging until my eyes drag up to hers.

“I have a million reasons to leave, Jasper. A million. You push me past my every limit day in and day out. You hate me. Ignore me. Fight with me. Tease me. Tempt me. Make me feel alive and forgotten in the same breath. I have a million reasons to leave. I need one reason to stay. One reason that isn’t your little girl.”

I stare into her, my fingers brushing back the long strands of her hair from her face. I hold that reason on my tongue, tasting its sweetness as it burns me like venom. It’s a truth I can’t let go. One I’m not ready for her to have.

I’ll probably never be.

“He loves you. You love him. How’s that for a reason?”

She shakes her head at me, her frustration palpable. “Is that what you’re really thinking right now while I’m sitting on your lap in the dark? With all that we’ve done together this past week? That I love him?”

“It’s the only thing that matters between us.”

“You’re a liar.”

“Am I?” I question, tilting my head, Jules’s words pounding through my skull so loud I can hardly see, let alone think, past them. She loves him. Not you. Again, what reason would Jules have to lie to me about that? They’re best friends. Best friends who likely tell each other everything. Isn’t that what girls do?

“I don’t want to hurt like this when I look at you anymore. I’m tired of hating you while not being able to stop thinking about you.”

My lips descend into the base of her neck, directly over her pulse that thrums beneath me. My eyes close, and I inhale a silent breath. I’m tired of loving you while not being able to have you.

“You don’t hate me, Viola.”

“You’re right. I don’t hate you, Jasper. You’re the one who can’t make up his mind.”

“What is it you’re looking for from me?” I speak against her skin. “What is it you think I have to give you when you belong to him? You want me to stop hating you? Done. You want me to be nice? I can fucking try. You want me to fuck this thing out of us? I will. Tell me what you want, and I’ll give you anything. Because while you have a million reasons to go, and you’re looking for one to stay other than my daughter, she’s the only reason I can give you to stay when I have a million for you to go.”

Her breath hitches, her head falling back as my tongue swipes out, stealing a taste.

My hands drop from her hair, sliding along her narrow shoulders, over the top of her chest, down her ribs, my thumbs brushing the sides of her full tits through her shirt as I go. Her body trembles against mine as my hands grasp her waist, my nose gliding up the long column of her neck.

My body unable to hold back as I lick and suck and kiss her there.

Only there.

If I kiss her mouth, there will be no going back.



Title: Hate To Love Him

Author: J. Saman

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 19th

 

About Hate To Love Him:

A gorgeous, brooding rock god.

An unstoppable chemistry we fight to ignore.

Desperate passion I want indelibly inked on my soul.

Jobless and financially destitute, I have no choice but to see this tour through. Even with my boss hating my guts. A fact he goes out of his way to prove every chance he gets.

Lucky for me, the best part of Jasper Diamond is his daughter. But being the nanny on the road with one of the world’s biggest rock bands poses more challenges than I was expecting – including falling for the elusive front man.

But with the world chasing after us, how long can we hide what others are determined to exploit?

They say there is a thin line between love and hate.

That all good things must come to an end.

Set on a collision course, nothing could have prepared us for this.

Or for what fate has in store for us.


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About J. Saman:

J. Saman loves all types of novels, but finds herself always going back to writing/reading romances. She's addicted to Diet Coke and sour candy, and swears way too much. She's an admitted lover of picking at old wounds, second chance romances, love triangles and the perfect amount of angst . She writes smart, strong women and sexy alpha (slightly nerdy) men who have a softer side.


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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Forever and Ever, Amen Review...


Filled with never-before-told stories, Forever and Ever Amen tells Randy Travis's story as only he can. 

From a working-class background in North Carolina to a job as a cook and club singer in Nashville to his "overnight success" with his smash 1986 album Storms of Life--which launched the neotraditional movement in country music--Randy’s first three decades are a true rags-to-riches story.

But in 2009, this seemingly charmed life began a downward spiral. His marriage dissolved, he discovered that his finances had unraveled, and his struggles with anger led to alcohol abuse, public embarrassment, and even police arrest in 2012.

Then, just as he was putting his life back together, Randy suffered a devastating viral cardiomyopathy that led to a massive stroke which he was not expected to survive.  Yet he not only survived but also learned to walk again and in 2016 accepted his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame by singing the hymn that explains his life today: "Amazing Grace."

Filled with never-before-told stories, Forever and Ever, Amen is a riveting tale of unfathomable success, great joy, deep pain, and redemption that can come only from above.

~~~***~~~***~~~ REVIEW ~~~***~~~***~~~

I am so glad I found this book!  I am not usually a biography/memoir reader but I picked this up at work and couldn't put it down.  Randy Travis is such an inspiring person and I learned so much about him through reading this book.  His struggles are heartbreaking and then reading about his stroke and what he went through with that was so interesting.

I have had the privilege of being at work when he came through twice and he is just so awe inspiring.  After reading his book I feel that even more deeply now.  Randy Travis I am truly touched by your music and now your life.  I hope that one day I will get to see you perform again.  

This book made it clear that every day is a blessing and that you shouldn't take it for granted.  Don't stay in a relationship that is tearing you down.  Don't let people dictate who/what/when/where you should be.  Be you and stand up for what you believe.

Thank you Randy for telling your story!!

5 stars!