Category Archives: Books

Wednesday Words- Relax

This week we’re supposed to talk about what we do to relax when we’re stressed. I find it hilarious that we already posted about how we combat stress and it was about this same time last year.  This makes me laugh because we’re less than two weeks away from our Writers Retreat where several of us go escape for a week to write, laugh, craft, read, and just have fun.  This week we’ve all been whining about how slow time is going and how it’s not next weekend yet. 🙂  So clearly, one of the ways we fight stress is road trips to the UP! 

Soon!

Honestly, last year’s post is way better than anything I could write tonight, so I’m just going to link you so you can read that. Click heeeeeere! Things are ridiculously stressful right now and frankly, I’m not doing any of the things to combat it that I should be doing. I’m just trying to hang in there and not lose it in the next 10 days so that I can have a week of writerly fun.  The case I have at work is uber high risk and no one seems to care but me, so I’m just doing what I can to get through. Then as soon as I’m back, the job search resumes. 

I DID escape into a great book though! The amazing Lara Zielin has begun writing romance under her pen name Kim Amos.  Because she loves me, she sent me an Advanced Reader Copy of the second book in her series and I just have the epilogue left to read. It’s soooo good! The first book was awesome too. So go buy book 1, then as soon as book 2 comes out in July, get that too! 

Click the book cover to read the blurb. 🙂 

      

That’s all folks! 

Check out what the other ladies are doing to combat stress. 

Bronwyn | Jessica | Kris | Jess | Paige | Kayleigh | Gwen 


Cover Reveal: Bad Boy Next Door Box Set

Bad Boys Next Door Box Set — Available March 16, 2015
There’s just something about a bad boy… It could be that neighbor you’ve had the hots for forever. Or maybe the guy in the cabin or office next door. It might even be a guy you meet on vacation or one you’ve known since you were a kid.
Twelve prolific authors, including New York Times Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Selena Kitt, and USA Today Bestseller, Jenny Trout writing as Abigail Barnette, present a sizzling collection of erotic romance sure to bring you to your knees and make you believe in love again – or, at least, lust at first sight!
Set also includes: Gwendolyn Cease, Bronwyn Green, Tilly Greene, Elise Hepner, Jessica Jarman, Sommer Marsden, Kris Norris, Paige Prince, Charlotte Stein, and Alison Tyler.
Abigail Barnette (Jenny Trout) – Bad Boy, Good Man
Newly independent real-life adult Ellie McCormack loves everything about her first apartment…except her neighbor. His bi-weekly sex fests keep her up at night in more ways than one as she wonders about the man who’s making all the noise—and what he’s doing to make his women so damn loud.
But even her wildest fantasies couldn’t conjure up a man like Antony DeLuca. When she works up the nerve to confront him, she’s expecting a player, but there’s more to Antony than his carefree sexual escapades. One hot night with him helps Ellie see through the man who drives women wild, to the good guy beneath it all. A guy that she just might be able to fall for…
Gwendolyn Cease – No Strings
All Kaitlin O’Neal wants to do is fix her sink. She’s intelligent and resourceful. Plus, she’s got her own tools. How hard could it be? Apparently, extremely hard, since her attempt left the sink in an unusable condition. When her next-door neighbor, Cameron Sinclair, offers to help her fix the mess and renovate the rest of the kitchen, she jumps at the chance. She’d be a fool not to, right? Cameron, though, is hotter than hot and makes her an offer she can’t refuse.
Cameron has wanted Kaitlin since she moved next door. So what if she’s older than him? She’s beautiful, sexy, and he wants to get to know her better. He offers her a no strings affair—one he hopes will keep her coming back to his bed. Between home improvements and steamy sex, Cameron realizes that their no strings fling will never be enough, but can he convince Kaitlin he’s worth the risk?
Bronwyn Green – Drawn That Way
Tristan Weaver, accountant for a successful video game company, is in way over her head. Honestly answering a company-wide survey and criticizing the sexist stereotypes used in the company’s games was enough to catch her boss’ attention.  But speculating on his sex life within his earshot has unexpected consequences when her hot, but nerdy, boss invites her to model for him.
Owner, artist and lead developer of Brecken Games, Rory Brecken, has a strict no fraternizing with employees rule. However, when he overhears Tristan’s conversation with her friend about his rumored kinks and begins to suspect her curiosity in the submissive side of sex, he’s more than a little tempted. When her interest is undeniably confirmed, he suggests a onetime only, colleagues with benefits hook-up.
Though neither want a relationship, once isn’t enough for either one of them. As their encounters become more intense, Rory makes a huge mistake that may cost him the woman he’s coming to love.
Tilly Greene – Her Wicked Ride
Mike Mulligan co-owns a garage and fixes cars. He rides a Harley, is covered in tattoos and has spent time in jail. Since being released he’s tried to live a clean life, but he’s a bad boy with women, very bad and terribly sexy. Bondage, domination, and so much more, are his preferences when playing with the ladies, and there have been a variety until the last one.
For the first time, he had to work for a yes. All summer, they’ve had fabulously wild no-holds-barred sex, but one morning everything changes.  With chaos in the garage, a cup of coffee in hand, and a half-naked Sherry Gonzales in his lap, his eyes are opened to wanting more than sex with her. Mike’s solution is to go on a date, their first date.
The night starts out fine. But things get wicked on the back of his bike before taking a turn, but for the good or bad?
Elise Hepner – A Marriage of Inconvenience
When Izzy Thorton’s mother falls ill and is given a terminal diagnosis the last thing Izzy anticipates is a proposal from her best friend, Sebastian Leery, to fulfill her mother’s dying wish. Only one snafu keeps Izzy from saying yes—she’s in love with him. But before she can say much of anything to his proposal, Bash takes the reins by telling her mother the good news.
Unable to fight her undeniable attraction to her playboy best friend—Izzy goes through with the best and worst mistake of her life. No sooner are the rings exchanged when they both realize their friendship can only bridge so many gaps. Sebastian has no hope of keeping his skeletons in the closet and Izzy doesn’t know how much longer she can keep her heart out of the equation.
Together they fumble through the darkness of their past to a future that might just be a little more clear–if they can fight their chemistry long enough to talk.
Jessica Jarman – London Bound
After losing her husband six years ago, Meg Stevens has focused on the day-to-day and being a mother, not sparing a thought for anything beyond—no dates, no excitement, no life other than what she already had. A six-week vacation to London, all but forced on her by her two children, changes all of that. Meg meets the man of her dreams—gorgeous, dominant, and completely on board with a short-term fling—despite the fact he’s far too young for her.
Nathan Harris is more than a bit curious about the beautiful woman renting the upstairs flat, and once he talks to her, curiosity is quickly replaced by arousal and desire. It doesn’t take long before it’s clear she longs to experience sexual submission, and Nathan finds himself desperate to be the one she submits to.
Her days spent exploring the city, her nights exploring Nathan and the pleasure submitting to him brings, Meg discovers the trip she’d taken out of obligation has turned into something she doesn’t want to walk away from. However, the life she left behind beckons, and there’s no room there for dreaming of something she can never have.
Selena Kitt – Working for the Weigands
Lloyd “Boone” Goodhart has been working for the Weigands since he was in high school, mowing their ornamental lawn, shoveling their long, winding driveway and skimming their enormous in-ground pool for extra cash, much of which he gives to his mom, a single-mother who has worked in the Wal-Mart bakery for twenty years. Boone, more apathetic cynic than true slacker, is also attending community college, bagging groceries at a local supermarket, and rebuilding his dead-beat dad’s old Harley.
His second summer after high school graduation starts out just as mundane and routine as the first, but Boone’s world turns upside down when Mrs. Weigand tells him her husband has left her, and her daughter has returned from boarding school in Europe, where Danielle “Ellie” Weigand has spent the past five years.
Before he knows which way is up, Mrs. Weigand starts requesting extra services of Boone—in more ways than one—while her daughter, Ellie, teases him mercilessly, just like she did in junior high. He soon finds himself immersed in a desperate, passionate affair, with not just one woman, but two.
Will the attention of both mother and daughter be more than he can handle, or will his growing feelings for them be more than he can bear?
Sommer Marsden – The Anniversary Party
Kylie Walker is cracking under the stress of hosting a thirtieth anniversary party for her parents and trying to keep up with her freelance writing deadlines. With a new house, a well-meaning but useless sister, and roughly forty people about to descend on her home, she doesn’t think it can get much worse. Until her mother’s friend, Mrs. Sinclair, calls to ask if they might bring one more person. Her son, Wade. The man who up and left Kylie eight years before.
Wade Sinclair has come back to town with one hope—to make things right with his high school sweetheart. Still hopelessly in love with Kylie, Wade knows he must come clean about why he left her all those years ago so he can finally set about reclaiming what he never should have let go of in the first place—her love.
Can they put their past behind them and look toward the future? Or will the anniversary party be the end of them altogether?
Kris Norris – Force of Nature
Love—an unparalleled force of nature.
Conservation Officer, Finley McKay, isn’t a stranger to criticism. Taking risks to protect delicate ecosystems doesn’t impress most people—including the doctor renting the cabin beside hers. The man’s arrogant, opinionated and far too sexy in his faded jeans and tees. She already knows he’s an ass—she just wished it mattered enough to make her keep her distance.
Dr. Coen Brady isn’t looking to fit in. Having recently retired from the military, he’s hoping to spend a few months hiding from the world in a small, out-of-the-way town in northern Washington.
But just his luck, he has the misfortune of running into his next-door neighbor. A girl who seems determined to get herself killed before his time there is up. She’s reckless, stubborn and slowly driving him insane.
When anger morphs into angry sex, Coen knows taking her to bed is a calculated risk—one he might regret when her investigation turns deadly, leaving Finley’s life hanging in the balance. Breaking a few rules to keep her in the game doesn’t seem that dangerous, until it becomes painfully obvious she won’t stop until justice is served—even if the price is her life.
Paige Prince – Lost Treasure
Danielle Almasi-Epperson’s parents were killed in a tragic car accident when she was eight years old, leaving her world famous, Egyptologist grandfather to raise her in their stead. While she had the pleasure of growing up on archaeological digs, he never believed that the field was a woman’s place. All she’s ever dreamed of is adventure and the kind of love her parents had.
Jareth Riley was the boy in the tent next door to Danielle’s at every dig she could remember while growing up. Her grandfather and his father labeled him a troublemaker from day one. So, when Danielle and Jareth fall in love and lose their virginity to each other, it takes no time at all for her grandfather to ship her off to Harvard.
Ten years later, she’s working as a curator at a museum and he’s a treasure hunter. When he shows up on her doorstep asking for help to find a lost artifact with supposed mystical powers, she can’t help but say yes. In no time at all, they’re on the run from mad men with guns and rekindling the romance that had never quite died. Will they be able to restore the lost treasure to the rightful owners, or will they destroy their chance at happiness or lose their lives in the attempt?
Charlotte Stein – Curveball
When Judy Myers is offered a relaxing vacation to get away from her latest heartbreak, she can’t say no. A cruise on her brother’s yacht sounds like heaven…until she realizes her brother’s best friend has been invited along for the ride.
Steven Stark is big, he’s loud, and he’s obviously not interested in the plump, plain little sister he used to tease unmercifully. In fact, he’s still quite happy to tease her – until she turns the tables on him. Now, Steven can’t seem to keep his thoughts, or his hands, to himself. And worse, Judy’s not sure she can resist the attraction she’s kept buried for so many years.
Being trapped on a boat isn’t the best place to be, when you’re suddenly thrown a hunky curveball.
Alison Tyler – The Spanking House
The Spanking House is a fantastical tale of a writer struggling against the beast known as “writer’s block.” Mia Rogers rents a cozy cottage in a small town in hopes of jumpstarting the novel she can’t seem to finish. When she meets Tripp Johnson, she becomes motivated in ways she previously hadn’t thought possible.

Book Review: A Kiss to Build A Dream On 



As much as I love a good romance, I have to admit that if I saw this book in the store I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. It’s just not the kind of cover I’m drawn to. Granted, I’ve probably missed a lot of great books because of my tendency to judge romance covers.  When it comes to this book though, I knew it was going to be good because although this is Kim Amos’ first dip into romance, I have read and loved everything else she’s published under her other pen name. I was uber excited to get my hands on an ARC of the book and I seriously fell in love with the world of White Pine as soon as I began reading. 

I loved that the two lead characters are both flawed in their own ways. There wasn’t that unrealistic perfect guy or girl running around the book which was great. I also adored the idea of a former Mean Girl facing up to her past and trying to make good.  The relationship of the women in the book is encouraging and supportive instead of dismissive and bitchy.  The description of the food was delicious and even the scenery description which I’m usually not a fan of gave a great setting for the story without being too descriptive.  My only reason for not giving the book five stars was my own personal dislike of the whole guy carrying the chick up the stairs to bed thing. I know, it’s a regular in romance and I’m pretty sure I’ve written it once or twice myself but yeah… I can’t read those scenes and take them seriously. There’s no way a guy is ever carrying me anywhere because even if he could lift me, it would just end horribly. LOL I also felt like the end was just a little too rushed and too quick to put a bow on everything.  With that said though, I enjoyed reading this so much that I found myself wanting to keep reading all night but also wanting to stop myself because I didn’t want the book to be over. I’m definitely a White Pine fan and after reading the preview of book two, I’m already hooked! 


Oh and I think the inclusion of a hot dish recepie was a really great idea. 🙂 


Look for the book March, 31, 2015! 


Cover Reveal! Eventide by Christine Allen Riley

A while back my niece and I were Super Secret Readers of this book. It’s WONDERFUL, and I’m so excited for it to be released in October so that everyone else can read it too! Christine is an amazing person, writer, mentor, mom and all around person. You’re going to love her!

Eventide (Iron Falls, #1)
Release Date: 10/2014
Summary from Goodreads:
The driver in a tragic
car accident that killed her best friend, Devon Greer is consumed by guilt.
When powerful hallucinations convince her that she’s seeing Rachael everywhere,
Devon thinks she’s going crazy. But her friend isn’t truly gone.

To save Rachael from the faeries who stole her, Devon must pit herself against
the Court of the Sidhe. Once she witnesses the true form of the fey, Devon’s
life is in danger—and so are the lives of everyone she loves.

Now, Devon must not only protect herself, but also Jonah Seafort, Rachael’s
cousin and the only person Devon can trust to help her. While the Sidhe walk
among them, no one is safe…

About the Author
Lover of books, nature, cats and shiny things. Active disliker of
cooking, cleaning and stress. Mom, freelance editor & YA author – also a
bit of a nerd.
Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png
Cover Reveal Organized by:

Wednesday Words Favorite Things: Books

Today we’re talking about our favorite books.  Asking me to do that is like asking a parent which is their favorite kid… aka very hard!  I kind of have ADD when it comes to listing my favorite things.  In random conversations I can rattle off my faves easily, but when someone asks me to make a list I’m all, “Uh… well… you know…”  Then afterward I’ll suddenly remember everything when the time has passed. Like the other day I was having dinner with friends and one of them asked me who I liked to read.  I couldn’t list them.  I read all the damn time and I couldn’t make a list!  I was like, “I read a lot of YA, vampires and stuff.”  Seriously?!  Geesh…

But yeah… my favorite books (that I can remember at this moment, LOL).

The_Fault_in_Our_Stars

Ohhh this book!  This book broke my heart and made me laugh at the same time.  I’ve only ever had two books make me cry and this wasn’t one, but I was definitely touched.  I read this book in two sittings and it’s calling me to read it again.  That alone means that I loved it because I rarely re-read books.  I did figure out where the plot was going to go early on, but I think maybe that’s just the writer in me.  I try to figure out what’s going to happen and think about how I would make it go if it were my book.  This was the first book by Green that I’ve read and I just fell in love with his writing.  I’ll soon be reading all of his books.  Oh and, 29 days til the movie! I can’t freaking wait for the movie! 🙂

Monster1971lgb

This was one of my favorite books growing up.  It’s so cute and sweet Grover is so clueless you can’t help but love him. 🙂  If you haven’t read it, do so.

the-book-thief

I had to read this for a book club I used to belong to.  I was too busy at the time to sit and read so I got the audio book from the library and holy cow it was amazing.  The dude who read the book did different voices and accents for people and just did a phenomenal job.  Then of course there is the story itself which is all kinds of awesome.  I’m so pissed that the movie didn’t get much publicity (so little that it came to and left the theaters without me knowing) because it looked like it was going to be great too.  I’m sure it’s a great read, but I highly suggest getting the audio book for this one.  🙂

bties

I’ve been looking through my goodreads history for five star books to put on this list.  Every single one of Jen’s Blood Ties books have five star ratings from me and I read them years before I met her in person and started hanging out with her.  So yeah, I’m a fan!  I remember reading these books and thinking, “Cool! They’re in Michigan!”  “Cool! The author is from Michigan too!”  “Son of a bitch, she’s younger than I am and has already been published!”  LOL  I adore Jen’s writing.  She has a way of pulling me into books that I never would have thought I’d liked.  For example, I’m not a big fan of historical romance, but I’ve read some of Jen’s stuff that she’s written as Abigail Barnett and have loved it.  Basically, Jen rocks and if you haven’t read her books you need to. 🙂

1201149Neil Gaiman rocks my socks.  I have loved every novel of his that I’ve ever read.  I got turned on to him though through Backstreet Boys fanfic, believe it or not.  A friend of mine was writing this amazing fanfic that blended the Boys with the Endless and as I read the fanfic I was like, “I need to read this series…”  So I started buying the twenty dollar volumes slowly and totally fell in love with the series. I own the whole set and it’s the only graphic novel series that I’ve read from start to finish.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is supposed to be trying to bring it to the screen and holy wah, if he gets it done I’ll love him even more than I already do!

Where_the_Sidewalk_EndsThis and A Light in the Attic are books I read so much as a kid that I memorized a bunch of the poems and page numbers.  I recently got my Where the Sidewalk Ends out to share with my youngest nephew and it just warmed my heart to see him enjoying the poems and pictures as much as I do. 🙂

 

1158967

Sarah Addison Allen is brilliant.  I’ve loved every book that I’ve read that she’s written.  When I read her books I think to myself, “I want to write like her when I grow up!”  She’s just, magical.  In fact, she has a new book out that I need to get badly. 🙂  It was sold out the last time I was at the book store though.

12849258

Last but not at all least… Lara Zielin.  I’ve read all of her books and loved them all but this was the first one read thanks to Bronwyn’s suggestion.  It’s wonderful.  Lara herself is all kinds of amazing and she’s a Michigan author so yay for that!  She just quit her job to write full time too so yay for more wonderful Lara books!

There are tons of other books that I love, but I can’t simply name (or remember) them all. 🙂  I’m curious to know if any of these are books that you love!  Let me know in the comments, then check out what favorite books my girls have on their lists!

Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris  | Jenny Trout

Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica Jarman |Tess Grant | Leigh Jones


Cover Reveal!

Today, authors Bronwyn Green, Jessica Jarman, and Jenny Trout unveil the cover of their upcoming anthology:
If Ever I Would Leave You
(July, 2014)
Keep reading for a chance to win an Arthurian-themed DVD prize pack or a $25 Amazon gift card!

Surfacing
Bronwyn Green
A year after Tabby Nolan’s sister vanished from the Lake Michigan shore with her boyfriend, Liam, Tabby visits the spot where the two were last seen– and finds herself pulled into the crumbling world of Avalon.
Since his disappearance, Liam has been trapped in the mythical land, with no link to the world he knew. Now, their shared memories of Tabby’s missing sister are all they can cling to as Avalon dies around them.
But Tabby doesn’t want to be a replacement for her sister, and her growing attachment to Liam feels like a betrayal. As Avalon fades around them, Liam and Tabby must rely on each other– or be lost with the ancient kingdom forever.
Albion’s Circle: The Deepest Cut
Jessica Jarman
For nineteen years, Anna has been plagued by dreams of lives lived only in legend. Finally free from the family that believed her hopeless and worthless, she’s ready to start her life over—alone.
When Anna meets an enigmatic stranger claiming to be the legendary wizard Merlin, she is forced to question the very reality she’s struggled to accept. With the mythic figures from her dreams intruding on her waking life, Anna learns that she’s been reborn to fight an ancient evil alongside King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
Caught in an ages old conflict, Anna is the key to stopping a dark magic that will destroy the world—and Merlin wants to make sure that this time, Anna isn’t alone.
A Choice Fit For A Queen
Jenny Trout
writing as
Abigail Barnette
For perpetual overachiever Madison Lane, a summer studying Arthurian mythology in the Welsh countryside with professor Thomas Evans is a dream come true, and the adventure of a lifetime.
Of course, the enormous crush Madison developed on the professor after a semester of his lectures at U of M has absolutely nothing to do with her desire to learn more about the enduring legend of Camelot. At least, that’s what she’s telling her parents.
When Madison meets fellow student Rhys Crewe, sparks fly, throwing her plans for wild fling with Professor Evans completely out of whack—as do her unexpectedly complicated feelings for Thomas. With tales of Arthur and Lancelot haunting her every waking moment, Madison has to make the most difficult choice of her life.

Jessica Jarman is an author, blogger, and rather
obsessive fangirl. Having grown up in Upper Michigan and currently living in Minnesota, she is a Midwestern girl through and through. And wouldn’t have it any other way.

When Jessica isn’t working to get words on the page, she passes the time with her amazing husband and four children, attempting to be crafty (and failing miserably), squeeing uncontrollably over her favorite shows or curling up with a good book.
Bronwyn Green is an author, blogger and compulsive crafter. She lives Michigan with her husband, two sons and three somewhat psychotic cats. When not frantically writing, she can be found helping in her youngest son’s classroom or binge-watching Netflix while working on her latest craft project.
Abigail Barnette (Jenny Trout) is a writer, blogger, and funny person. She has written award winning and bestselling erotic romance as Abigail Barnette. Writing as Jennifer Armintrout, she made the USA Today bestseller list with Blood Ties Book One: The Turning. Her novel American Vampire was named one of the top ten horror novels of 2011 by Booklist Magazine Online. She is a proud Michigander, mother of two, and wife to the only person alive capable of spending extended periods of time with her without wanting to strangle her. Visit her on twitter (@Jenny_Trout) or at her blog, jennytrout.com.

Ready for the chance to win that Arthurian-themed DVD prize pack or a $25 Amazon gift card?
Click here!

Thanks for stopping by and supporting my girls!


Review: Fairytale

Fairytale
Fairytale by Maggie Shayne
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really wish Goodreads would add a half star option. This book for me wasn’t really a two star book but it wasn’t a three star book either. I’ve heard that this was Maggie Shayne’s first book (which explains why it’s being offered as a free book through Smashbooks). It’s okay. Not great, not awful, just okay. I haven’t read any of her other books so I can’t compare, but I know people who love her stuff and so I’m guessing that like any good author, her work has grown since writing her first book. I certainly hope that’s the case.

This one was just really slow. Downright exhaustingly slow at times. But I still managed to care about the characters and wanted to know what was going to happen to them, so I kept reading. Sadly though, when the book was just getting good and it looked like there were 100 pages left to read, the book ended with a horribly quick finale that was ridiculously rushed. (Haha… Rush pun not intended.) Then there were 100 pages of another book to tease readers with. I read those pages too and have no desire to seek out that book. I might be interested however in checking out the next book in this series. Maybe.

View all my reviews


Caffeine, Cuss Words, Dauchshunds, Xanax

and other assorted ramblings

Babbling Brook

The mind wonders. Come along for the trip

Thoughts Off the Top of My Head

My life in black and white.

Writing is Hard

So sayeth the Prophet Chuck

Kris Norris

My life in black and white.

Paige Prince

My life in black and white.

Can You Vague That Up For Me?

Bronwyn Green's Random Thoughts

Tess Grant

Books and Bones

Marj's Musings

.....is this all there is?

Trout Nation

Your One Stop Procrastination Shop

JennieKnits

my life with knitting