Shore Leave Cafe Primer w/Abbie Williams + Series Giveaway

I love small-town, sweet, tender romances especially ones that follows a family, chronicling their love stories in varying shapes and forms, and I know a lot of you do too. These are the best and most touching types of romance IMO.

Well Abbie Williams wrote this series called, Shore Leave Cafe, which follows that formula and I’m so excited to introduce it to you. So if you are a fan of Bella Andre, Jill Shalvis and/or Lisa Kleypas I think Shore Leave Cafe will be a perfect fit for you.



Hi Abbie! Thanks for stopping by Talk Supe to talk about Shore Leave Cafe. Such an interesting name for a series. Where did the series name come from?

ABBIE WILLIAMS: The name Shore Leave comes from the fictional café where the story originates. It is the center of gravity for the family in the series.


What and where is Shore Leave Cafe?

ABBIE WILLIAMS: The Shore Leave Café is located on Flickertail Lake, in Landon, Minnesota. It’s small and cozy, run by one incredible family, the Davises. Although Landon is fictional, I base it very closely on several gorgeous, northern Minnesota towns where I have spent a great deal of time. As a Minnesotan, I love writing about my home state. It’s so familiar – I know the smell of the woods and the feel of the lake. I love describing natural settings in my writing. 


Does the series feature a different couple with every book or does it follow a specific person, family or group?

ABBIE WILLIAMS: The series features the women of the Davis family, who take turns telling the stories. It’s important to read the books in order, as they all tie closely together. I want readers to feel like part of this family as they read, to really become invested in the characters.


Is there a predominant theme in the series? 

ABBIE WILLIAMS: Yes, absolutely! 🙂 The recurrent theme is the importance of family, the strength of those bonds. I also believe deeply in true love, and very much enjoy creating sexy, loving and romantic men for my storytelling ladies. An extended metaphor throughout is the café itself – it represents a place of safety and warmth, laughter and family. It’s always been there and always will be, run by each subsequent generation of Davis women. 


It keeps on getting better! So these Davis women, do they fall under a type and how are they relatable to the readers?

ABBIE WILLIAMS: They are relatable because they are flawed in their own ways. When I write, they seem real to me, as though I am describing good friends. I “miss” them between books! They are also good mothers and love with all their hearts. 


It’s always a good sign when the characters “write” the story instead of the authors. What types of heroes will we find in Shore Leave Cafe?

ABBIE WILLIAMS: *blushing a little* Very, very sexy men. Men who are capable and manly and tender, all at once. Men who love their women and who take care of them, men who are funny and kind and – last but NOT least – incredible lovers. I write a good love scene, what can I say? 😉 


You had me at incredible lovers. In your opinion, what is Shore Leave Cafe’s greatest strength as a series?

ABBIE WILLIAMS: I think because it is ongoing, readers grow attached to the characters. I want readers to feel like they are reading about dear friends. 


I know author’s hate playing favorites but surely there’s one book that’s more special than the rest…

ABBIE WILLIAMS: Well, I am especially fond of Justin Miller, who appears from the get-go, but really stars in A Notion of Love. Let’s just say, he is SO worth the wait…


Intriguing.. Have you ever cried while writing a scene? 

ABBIE WILLIAMS: Oh yes – I get so wrapped up while writing that I cry frequently. There have been some pretty darn tragic moments, and when one particular character proposes, I had tears streaming down my face. 


Darn it! I love/hate it when that happens! What’s the most popular line that’s been quoted in all the books?

ABBIE WILLIAMS: I don’t know that I’ve been directly quoted – but, I do have to say, I have numerous requests for additional love scenes! So I fulfilled that request in the latest book 😉


LOL, mommy porn! So, Wild Flower, the 5th and latest novel in the series just came out. Can you tell us more about this book?

ABBIE WILLIAMS: This one is a little darker than the others. There is a ghost, real danger for a couple of the characters, and it leads into the past timeline in my latest series, the Dove series. More about that in the near future!! 


Ooh a crossover, how delightful! How many more Shore Leave Cafe books do you plan to write?

ABBIE WILLIAMS: Right now I am working on #6 for the contemporary timeline, but have at least three more in store for the past timeline, starting with a Davis ancestor who worked as a prostitute during the Civil War. So excited for these to be released! Coming this fall! 


Interesting premise, a Civil War Era prostitute. I bet her life was… challenging… to say the least. Where can fans catch you (book signings, etc.)?

ABBIE WILLIAMS: I am online mostly – Twitter and facebook! This summer I plan to do some traveling to promote Shore Leave and my newest series. Very excited about that. 🙂


Best of luck on your roadtrip and I hope it’s a success. Lastly, please describe Shore Line Cafe in 5 words.

ABBIE WILLIAMS: Hot, steamy, incredible true love!

I am writer Abbie Williams, and I have been addicted to love stories ever since first sneaking my mother’s copy of The Flame and the Flower; since then, I’ve been jotting down stories of my own in notebook after spiral-bound notebook. Well, that is until I got a computer that was equipped with Word, one fine day.

My day job is teaching English at the high school level (which I dearly love). I spend my days with my own true love, our three daughters, and a very busy schedule. I am most happy when I can sneak in a few hours to write and thereby indulge in visiting the characters in my stories.

When I’m not writing, teaching or spending time with my family, you can find me listening to my favorite musical groups of all time: Alison Krauss and Union Station, the Wailin’ Jennys, and The Be Good Tanyas. If there’s time in the evening, I might watch a few episodes of Hell on Wheels and eat a jar of crunchy peanut butter.

Follow Abbie
Website | FacebookGoodreads | @WilliamsAbbie77

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Suped Up Feature: Angel Kin by Tricia Skinner

Angel Kin
Angel Assassins 1
Tricia Skinner
Entangled Edge
April 28, 2014
Entangled Edge
While channeling Robin Hood’s “steal from the rich and give to the poor” attitude at a local politician’s house, ex-con Katie Logan witnesses a forced suicide. Dirty or not, supernatural or not, he didn’t deserve to die, especially not by his own hand. But with her record, stepping forward as a witness isn’t an option. On the run from the police and the murderer, she turns to The Bound Ones for help.
When a beautiful woman comes to The Bound Ones, half-angel assassin Cain is immediately drawn to her. But when she fingers him as the killer, he can come to only one conclusion. The twin he thought was dead is very much alive…and trying to send him a message. Unfortunately, that message is: “You’re next.”
It’s a race against time as Cain fights to save the woman he’s falling in love with before his brother Abel destroys them both.


Reimagining Cain and Abel for Angel Kin

by Tricia Skinner

Angel Kin, published by Entangled Publishing’s Edge imprint, gave me an opportunity to put my own spin on the legendary tale of Cain and Abel. In general terms, I’d wager most people know the Bible story: Cain killed Abel out of jealousy. End of story.


I’m not going to dig into the religious meaning of the tale. I’ll leave that for scholars and hardcore believers. What I will say is the story fit perfectly with one of the overarching themes of my Angel Assassins series: family.

Using the sibling rivalry as my base, I focused on building the brotherly relationship of Cain and Abel that would fit in my world. In Angel Kin, they’re identical twins. Cain believed Abel had died when they were children. He was taken to Heaven, trained as an assassin, and sent back to earth with three other half angels/half humans (Nephilim).Of course, Abel survived and was taken in by the enemy fallen angels called Renegades. He was also trained to be a killer, and then summoned to modern day Detroit to carry out assassinations.

Making the brothers twins ramped up the conflict. Their lives were different, yet similar. The stakes for Cain were high because the police were chasing him in a clear case of mistaken identity. Even his own team, The Bound Ones, were dragged into Abel’s plot to destroy Cain because no one believed he existed. Through it all, Cain rages against the idea he must kill Abel.

For the romance, I’ll admit I had a blast messing with Katie (the heroine) and Cain. She saw who she thought was Cain commit murder. How horrible would it be to then have to get help from the man who looked exactly like the killer?The two had to look deep inside themselves to discover who they were, what they wanted, and what they’d do to get it. It’s a tense romance; the best kind.

In the end, good stories are those that make you stop and think about yourself and the people around you. Does blood make someone family? Or is it the actions of an individual that make them more than a friend? I hope I gave readers a twist on the lore and another way to view love and family.

I’m Tricia Skinner and I write Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. I’m a former journalist who discovered my inspiration to write fiction as an escape from “real life.” My reading tastes are all over the place, but I’m mainly drawn to fantasy (and its subgenres), paranormal, sci-fi, and history.

When I’m not writing, I’m a newbie “green” practitioner, fitness procrastinator, and a technology geek. I’m a mother and a wife. My family includes two Great Danes. I’m also a gamer. I enjoy interacting with my fel­low geeks and help­ing other writers, especially through the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of Romance Writers of America where I’ve served as Newsletter Editor. I’m represented by Laurie McLean of Foreword Literary.

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Suped Up Feature: Just One Look by Virginia Kelly + Racy Reads & Giveaway

Just One Look
Virginia Kelly
April 11, 2014
Romantic Suspense
Sometimes that’s all it takes…
FBI Special Agent Drew Davenport, still recovering from a life-threatening wound after a disastrous shootout, doesn’t have time to be serious about any woman. But Mia Alvarez, with her down-to-earth warmth, leaves him blind-sided.
A painful experience crushed Mia’s belief in love. The last thing she needs is an entanglement with Drew, whose sister is marrying her brother. And certainly not when she’s keeping a major secret. Despite her misgivings, forced proximity and overwhelming attraction lead to passion.
When Mia’s secret shows up in the form of a stalker, Drew’s determined to protect her. Can he overcome his fear of failing again when emotions get in the way? And while Mia trusts Drew with her safety, can she trust in love when it happens with just one look?
Just One Look is a stand-alone companion novel to Against the Wind
That’s when Drew saw her.
The knock-out, fiddling with the younger sister’s hair. Who could that be? He’d met everyone, hadn’t he? Both sisters, the endless cousins and assorted relatives. Who the hell was she?
She turned, and he knew instantly who she was.
The older sister. The prickly one with thick glasses. Mia, she’d said as she’d shaken his hand with ice-cold fingers and a businessman’s grip. Only she wasn’t wearing the thick glasses she’d worn at the rehearsal dinner, nor the prim business suit. She stood next to the younger sister… Izzy, that was it. Dizzy Izzy, he’d thought last night. She stood next to Izzy as calm and serene as a queen in a knee-length cream-colored dress that enhanced everything the business suit had hidden.
She wasn’t tall or blond, what he’d always considered his type. Prepared to dismiss her since he’d been fooled too many times by good looks, he nearly turned away. Then she smiled at something the flower girl, daughter of one of the cousins, said, and squatted to be eye level with the little girl.
And all the prim, all the regal, disappeared.
She was simply breathtaking.
He remembered watching one of the old Godfather movies and ridiculing how, based on a single look, the youngest Corleone son had gone bat-shit crazy over a girl.
His rational self argued that this sort of thing didn’t happen.
Still, he watched as she totally disregarded formality, hair, clothes, and hugged the flower girl. No cold fingers or businessman’s grip about her.
Warm and vital and gorgeous and classy…and so damn sexy.
Jesus. He’d counted on a few days of sun, sand and water. He hadn’t counted on her.
It felt like getting shot in the gut again.

Ask the Reader: Is it too “Racy?”

The Motion Picture Association of America rates movies according to language, violence and sexuality. They go from G, for general audiences, to NC-17 (what I think of as X). The “slippery” ground, to me, is the difference between PG13 and R.


One of my books, In the Arms of a Stranger, received one review that said it was PG13, another said it was R. I would have said R, certainly not NC-17. I was surprised that anyone would think it was PG13 material. I wouldn’t want my thirteen year old and younger reading that book, not because of violenceor language, but because of sexuality. I believe it’s an R:“Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.”(MPAA).

These reviews reinforced my view that while tastes and expectations have changed over the years, opinions are unique to each reader. Especially when it comes to romance novels.What’s considered “racy” really depends on the individual.

Back in 1972, George Carlin claimed there were “Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television.” I’m almost 100%sure we’ve heard every one of them on television in the past few years. Novels reflect this change. While “Gosh, darn!” might have worked in the days of our parents and grandparents, can we realistically expect our rough and tumble special ops hero to keep his language that mild when a dangerous situation goes south?

It’s not just expectations of language that have changed, butthose about sexuality have changed, too. We can now pick ourromance novel heat level. Mild, medium or hot (like our choices for salsa). On either end, there are the sweet G’s and the eroticNC-17’s.

What about my books? I’d give them all a medium R rating, with the newer ones leaning more toward the higher end of R than the first one published ten years ago. I’m not too concerned about those words that couldn’t be said on television way back when (although I’ve never used them all, and probably never will). When things go drastically, dangerously wrong, I’m comfortable using words my heroes would use in the real world. Same goes with my heroines.

And the sexuality? I don’t write erotic romance. I strive for sexual tension, that push/pull that keeps the couple together yet apart. There are love scenes, but my goal is to write a good lovestory with an edge of danger. The characters, their conflicts—their STORY—dictates their actions. My latest, Just One Look, is another R—to me.

So, back to that question of PG13 vs R. It depends on the reader.

It’s really the golden age for readers because we can find that perfect read. And where years ago, reading a book with a “racy” cover in a public place might have made us hide the book behind something, we can now load our ereaders with as many books as we want covering as many tastes as we may have. Or just go ahead and open that print book and read wherever we are, without a care about what others might think.

So, what about you? Have you been able to find that perfect style—just the right sweetness or spiciness—in the romance novels you read? Have ebooks made it easier for you to read an R, or an NC-17 book, or one with a racy cover?

Virginia’s first story involved a mouse that hitched a ride with Paul Revere. She was eleven. A bit later and bit more organized, dreams of romance (with a happily ever after), adventure, and danger came together to produce To the Limit, her RWA Golden Heart nominated novel. She writes about dangerous heroes (sexy, gorgeous ones, of course!) and the adventurous women willing to take a chance on them. An academic librarian, Virginia is a native of Peru and lives in Florida with her family.

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Girl Crush Mondays: Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black

I have a new obsession and it’s this BBC show
ORPHAN BLACK

It’s a science fiction show about clones filled with twists and turns that will blow your mind. The lead of the show is Tatiana Maslany, and I am crushing hard on her right now. Anyway, I’ll let her tell you what her show and the character she plays is about.


Isn’t she so adorable?!

So I’m hooked! I just started season 1 and I have to restrain myself from binge-watching because it’s one of those plot lines where you just want to know what’s going to happen next. 

Stalk ORPHAN BLACK


Steampunk Sundays: [Part 3] Verity Hart vs The Vampyres by Jennifer Harlow & The Kraken King by Meljean Brook

Series: Verity Hart vs The Vampyres 3 | Hart/McQueen Adventures

Format: Mobi
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Self
Source: Author
Genre: Steampunk

KEEP CALM AND STEAMPUNK ON

The whole of Victorian London knows there is something not quite right about the Lady Verity Hart. She may be the daughter of an MP and the sister of famed inventor Lord David Hart, but she is a spinster whose own father threatens to send her to the madhouse every fortnight. Because Society is correct-Verity Hart is no lady. If they suspected how quick with a quip she is, let alone the majority of her brother’s ingenious machines were her design, the sale of fainting couches would double. Verity requires one herself when her beloved brother is kidnapped by vampyres in the dead of night. With the aid of an aggravating, rude American bounty hunter with a secret of his own, Verity takes to land, sea, and even air to rescue the only person who could ever love and truly accept her. Or is he?

Part Three of Five Includes:
Chapter Seven- A Wales of a Time
Chapter Eight- Freudian Slips
Chapter Nine- Fear of Falling
Chapter Ten- Do Not Look Down

So many things happened in this third slice of VERITY HART VS. THE VAMPYRES by Jennifer Harlow as we quickly approach the climax of this 14-chapter story. Part 3, btw, is the longest volume of the series and it’s packed with action and romantic tension. 
There’s no denying that pretending to be a married couple is helping further things along between Verity Hart and Jamie McQueen and this odyssey of saving her brother, David, from vampyres in Ireland is proving to be tedious and challenging in a lot of fronts. Obviously these two are falling hard for each other but for reasons I find unacceptable (unacceptable because they’ve broken so many rules it doesn’t matter anymore), they are restraining themselves from being in a relationship. The result is a dreamy and delicious tension. Sigh… the part I like best is Jamie’s playing hard to get while Verity is getting more and more daring in every chapter. Go get ’em gurlfriend!
These two finally met with the vampyres who abducted David and it was a bloodbath! Falling off a dirigible, or an airship, isn’t fun but it was a great adrenalin rush for these two. We also get to see Jamie’s wolf, it’s impressive and I sure would like to know if JHarlow is going to give us further insight on her lycan lore in this book or the next. Yet another reason to keep on reading!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Series: The Kraken King 3 | Iron Seas 4.3
Format: eGalley
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Intermix
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Steampunk
Experience the incredible adventure and heart-stopping romance of the Iron Seas in this thrilling steampunk tale from New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook.
The Kraken King, Part III The Kraken King and the Fox’s Den
After a harrowing escape, Zenobia, Ariq, and their company take refuge in a gold rush town—but their temporary port is just a respite before traveling to the dangerous smugglers’ dens. Ariq is determined to uncover the men responsible for the threat to Krakentown, even if it means confronting the notorious den lords.
But when he discovers evidence in Zenobia’s letters connecting her to the Horde rebellion, he realizes that the threat is far greater than he had suspected. His loyalties torn, Ariq must distance himself from the fascinating woman he desperately wants to hold closer.
Stunned and hurt by Ariq’s inexplicable coldness, Zenobia prepares to leave the dens and continue her journey to the Red City. But in the smugglers’ dens, danger lurks around every corner, and all of her protection is gone…
The Kraken King & the Fox’s Den
His heart was iron — heavy and cold. 
But his will was steel and he won’t falter.
The title for this third volume has dual meaning. Initially I thought Meljean Brooks meant that Ariq, The Kraken King, is finally going to bump uglies with Zenobia Fox hence the Fox’s Den. Get it? Yup mind on the gutter but in a way part 3 is a little something like that but pertaining more to Ariq tearing down Zenobia’s emotional walls than sexy time. 
Another odyssey, Zenobia and company are steadily pushing to reach Australia so her friend, Helene, can be reunited with her husband. Lots of adventure along the way and I am loving the complex and immense world of steampunk MBrooks created for her series. It’s so detailed it’s the proverbial rabbit hole and I’m loving every wondrous detail. For example, Kraken penis, yes PENIS, fetch for a pretty price and can be used to barter favors and such… annndd it’s also a delicacy (insert gag). There are lands that are lawless, you can kill, rape or do what you want at your own risk. As long as you don’t anger the leader of that area, you’re basically good. I love the short lesson about the various dens too and the leaders of the Fox’s Den in particular, a set of creepy twins, gave me the shivers but I did like their fashion sense, their goggles sounded really cool. There was also another attempt to kidnap Zenobia thankfully it was foiled. Seriously, I think MBrooks should stop getting her abducted, it’s getting old. 
Like Verity Hart vs The Vampyres, the romantic tension in this volume is also building to a boiling point. Ariq is more and more determined to get involved with Zenobia and it looks like the latter won’t be able to hold down the fort for too long. Can’t wait to see how that will unfold.

Bought, Borrowed & Bagged #98 + Tiny Living

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week’s reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 

BB&B is an homage Barron’s Books & Baubles from Karen Marie Moning’s smash hit series, Fever. 

Bagged
from publishers, authors and tour organizers

 

Big & Small

I saw this feature in the news yesterday and I thought I’d share it with you and maybe open a small discussion. I’m so intrigued by Tiny Living for so many reasons, financial, environmental, inner peace, etc. though I personally doubt if I could actually do it as I’m slightly claustrophobic. It’s definitely going to be a huge adjustment for me but at the same time, I see the virtues of going small. 
What do you think?

Last Week’s Reviews
Upcoming Reviews
D.L. McDermott INT’L
win digital copies of Cold Iron 1 & 2
ends April 30

Tessa Bailey (INT’L)
win an Unfixable prize pack w/a Kindle Fire
ends May 1

Kate SeRine (INT’L)
win a $50 GC + the Transplanted Tales series (ebook)
ends May 1

Rachel Robinson (INT’L)
win a singed print or ebook version of CRAZY GOOD
ends May 2

Juliana Stone (US Only)
win a print copy of THE DAY HE KISSED HER
ends May 5

AJ Larrieu (US Only)
win a Twisted Miracles themed gift bag
ends May 6

Teresa Mummert (US Only)
win a print copy of A SONG FOR US
ends May 9

Check out these other fabulous blogs that participate in 
Bought, Borrowed & Bagged:

NOTE: There’s a new linky created for this year and please note that you have to use your LABEL links (i.e. book haul) on the form below NOT the post link.

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Loved It: Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Maxwell

Series: Stand-alone

Format: Paperback
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Touchstone
Source: Publisher
Genre: Contemporary Romance | Fantasy

In this witty, sexy tale, an erotic novelist meets the fictional hero of her most recent book in real life, and must decide whether she wants to get him back between the pages—or between her sheets.At forty-six, Sadie Fuller’s life isn’t exactly romantic. A divorced, overweight, somewhat sexually frustrated mother of an eleven-year-old, she lives in the suburbs, shops the big box stores, makes small talk with her small-minded neighbors, and generally leads a quiet life. But while her daughter is at school, or when Sadie is up late at night, she writes erotic fiction under the name KT Briggs.

Then, during a routine shopping trip, Sadie runs into someone familiar…too familiar, in fact. She encounters an incredibly handsome man exactly like the one in her imagination—and her latest novel. Is Aidan Hathaway really one of her characters? And if so, what is he doing in Target? As Sadie tries to negotiate this strange new world, her eyes begin to open to romantic possibilities in places she never dreamed of looking… places where Happily Ever After might not be so far-fetched after all.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Elizabeth Maxwell is like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise fogged up reading streak thick with butt-kicking fantasy adventures and heart rending stories. I said on my post yesterday that I’m hitting a wall of some sort and HAPPILY EVER AFTER is exactly what I needed to scale said wall… I’m still in a “writing” slump though so thanks in advance for bearing with me. 

I didn’t plan for it to go this way. No one fantasizes about being a slightly overweight, middle-aged, divorced mother desperately in need of an eyebrow wax and some sort of Pilates intervention. no one dreams of driving a blue Toyota minivan with unidentifiable food particles wedged between the seats or owning a sofa with coffee ring stains on the arms. but these things happen regardless. And then you must live with them.

I believed in romance. It was my one true faith. We all deserved flowers and diamonds and a man entirely devoted to our happiness… We were due our champagne and starry nights and kisses so deep they made us weak in the knees.

That’s Sadie in a nutshell but HAPPILY EVER AFTER is far from being a pity party. And regardless if you’re anything like her, you’d be able to relate to Sadie in some organic way. If you’ve ever been jilted, cheated on, been desperately single, fantasized what your HEA would be like, Sadie tells your story to an extent and with much self-deprecating humor. There’s so many things that I love about Sadie, she’s funny, nutty, independent, she’s a talented writer but a relatively average female with body issues and a shoe fetish. Her ex-husband is gay and he still (awkwardly) calls her in the middle of the night for love advice. She put out an ad on the paper looking for a decent f*ck buddy which turned out satisfactory. 
HAPPILY EVER AFTER has a simple plot but laid out in a rather complex manner and very much like the movie Enchanted in that there’s a story within the story. It’s ridiculous but in a good way and I can’t count the number of times I LOLd because of the dialogue and Sadie’s observations. And just like Sadie, EMaxwell bent a LOT of rules in this book. Surprisingly I DIDN’T MIND IT AT ALL! I didn’t care how and where the magic happened and all the world building required from a fantasy novel, I took all the missing parts in stride just went with the tale and for some reason it worked well for me. I wish there’s a sequel!
So if you’re a fan of Sarah Addison Allen’s books or have read Gigi Levangie Grazer’s The After Wife or if you just want to read something light and humorous, grab a copy of HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Elizabeth Maxwell, this is the kind of book you’d want to share or gift to your friends.

Liked It: A Song For Us by Teresa Mummert + Giveaway

Series: White Trash Trilogy 3

Format: eGalley
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary New Adult

In this highly anticipated follow-up to White Trash Damaged, Cass and Tucker have finally found their happily ever after, but can Eric, the band’s brooding drummer, ever let go of his past and find love?

From a small-town boy with fantasies of superstardom to rock star on tour with the suddenly famous band Damaged, Eric’s life has not been an easy journey. Now he struggles to let go of his past of physical abuse, a past that still haunts him. His anger is causing him to spiral out of control and he risks losing everything he has worked so hard for.

Only one person has ever gotten him to open up about his past: Sarah, the lead singer of Filth, the opening act on their first national tour—a fellow rocker with a confident façade that masks her own painful secrets. But their bands’ rocky past and Sarah’s tumultuous relationship with her bandmate and boyfriend Derek force her to keep Eric at a distance. As their friendship begins to grow into something more, Eric has to find a way to let go of his tortured past, or it could jeopardize his only chance for a happy future.

This is going to be a mini-review because I’ve been feeling burned out lately. I’m still reading like a maniac but setting up posts and writing up reviews isn’t very appealing for me lately so forgive me if I’m to stick to straightforward, short reviews for the meantime. Posting 5 or more reviews a week finally caught up with me. 
A SONG FOR US concludes Teresa Mummert’s hit contemporary new adult series, White Trash Trilogy. For all you Cass and Tucker fans out there, you’ll finally get these two walk down the aisle and the scene TMummert painted for us was understated but very meaningful.. The wedding scene is also my favorite part in the book because it’s the least dramatic and the most honest moment. 
On to Eric and Sarah. Y’all know I’m not the biggest fan of angsty, passive aggressive novels because I don’t understand why two people who are clearly in love need to go through a stressful and torturous push and pull. Eric and Sarah are a lot like that which frustrated me immensely! There were a LOT of moments where I was shouting at my ereader because it’s clear as day that they are in love and all the arrows are pointing opposite the direction they’re going. KIDS, man! LOL
Of course each have their own sob stories, which to be totally emphatic are quite heartbreaking, which explains why they’re so emotionally unavailable. The resolution felt too abrupt because they spent more time trying to be apart than being together so my only reaction to the ending is finally. If there’s a character in A SONG FOR US that I was rooting for, it would be Donna, Damaged former manager and Eric’s “buddy”. She became collateral damage in Eric and Sarah’s tumultuous relationship and for her sake, I wish TMummert would write one more book or even a novella just for her. 
I would highly recommend A SONG FOR US not just to fans of White Trash Trilogy, but to all readers who love angst-filled romance stories. TMummert will give you a healthy dose of that. Also, I think you can get away with reading A SONG FOR US as a stand-alone, Cass and Tucker’s storyline doesn’t overlap in this book although I still recommend you read their books because their HEA is very good.

Bird After Bird by Leaslea Tash + Giveaway

Bird After Bird
Leslea Tash
April 7, 2014
Contemporary Romance
Dear Birdy, Princess Birdzilla von MuffinStuff, Keeper of Dreams, Lover of our Fine Feathered Friends, queen of my life and light of my world, I hope this letter finds you well. If you are reading this then I am gone, and sweetheart, I am so sorry.
Chi-town professional Wren Riley is 25 and a rising star in the business world. She can eat a man alive and laugh about it to her girlfriends in seconds flat–and she does, on the regular. Behind the power suits and the flashing, flirty eyes, however, Wren has a secret, vulnerable side. Following a devastating loss and the discovery of a bird journal she and her father made together years before, Wren sets out to seek peace, closure, and something she just can’t name. Is that something tied to the little paper cranes she keeps finding along the way?
Laurence Byrd grew up a lanky Hoosier kid with the good/bad fortune of having the same name as the state’s perennial basketball legend. With a better affinity for dogs than sports or school, he ends up in the Army instead of the Chicago art school of his dreams. Still, his service to our country is something he can be proud of–until an argument with the girl who means the world to him results in a series of events that blows his life apart. With no one left to understand him, black sheep Laurie pours out his heart into letters and drawings he never intends to send–then he folds them into paper cranes that he leaves behind like messages in little winged bottles. He never dreams someone might be finding them.
God damn it, Sylvia, for a few moments I tricked myself into feeling really alive. I cut it off before anyone got hurt, but just for a moment or two, I really thought I might feel something again–something like trust. Something like love. Not the kind of love we had, but something new. Something like hope.
Spoiler alert: Wren and Laurie are going to meet. And when they do, their lives are never going to be the same.

Dear Birdy, Princess Birdzilla von MuffinStuff, Keeper of Dreams, Lover of our Fine Feathered Friends, Queen of my life and Light of my world, I hope this letter finds you well. If you are reading this then I am gone, and sweetheart, I am so sorry.

I put the book into the drawer of the safe deposit box and reached to steady myself against the bank of tiny metal safes, shaken by the voice of my father in my head. 

With a deep breath I returned to my dad’s letter, tucked inside the front cover of the bird journal he and I made the summer of my twelfth year. The summer Mom died.

I entrusted the key to this safe deposit box to my attorney and he assured me he would wait a year after my passing—or well-documented senility—before he contacted you about it. Since the cancer seems to be getting the best of me, I’m going to go ahead and call this one “death,” but on the chance I actually went senile first, would you bring me a cherry soda the next time you visit?
Leslea Tash is a journalist-turned-novelist, an avid bird nerd and the happily married mom of four. She has been a professional writer for many years. This is her first romance novel.
Stalk Leslea

Loved It: The Fallen by Keri Lake

Series: Sons of Wrath 0.5

Format: Mobi
Release Date: April 17, 2014
Publisher: Self
Source: FREE on Amazon
Genre: Paranormal Romance | Erotica

To catch the Fallen, you have to become the very evil you were bred to slay.

Show loyalty. Be willing to go deep into the gritty underbelly of the world, where the vilest acts of human carnage thrive and seep into your mind like a black poison, consuming every part of you that was once good. Ignore your dark cravings and keep to the most important rule of all: never save the mortals.

This is the life of a Sentinel.

Some call us the toughest angels in the heavens. Unbreakable. But even the strong can break in the face of temptation.

Human females have always been the forbidden fruit for our kind—an enticement I’ve resisted for centuries, until she came along.

Karinna lusts for vengeance.

She wants inside the darkness, where the Fallen own the corrupted streets of Detroit—the perfect bait to take down the biggest crime ring the city has ever known.

I want her. To have her, though, I’ll have to break the rules.

For one taste of the forbidden, I’ll have to commit the most heinous sin of all …

**Not recommended for readers under the age of 18 due to graphic violence, sex and strong language.

You’ll soon learn why you shouldn’t play with something you don’t fully understand.
To defeat a monster, you have to become one. Be the very thing you loathe.

Written as a stand-alone, THE FALLEN by Keri Lake, a Sons of Wrath, prequel novella, or should I say short novel since this dirty tale is a good 257 pages. Going in I was expecting the usual tone and texture that I’ve grown to love in Sons of Wrath, shit talking, silly banter and wild action instead THE FALLEN is dark, disturbing and quite erotic. It was a trip to a very dark and dingy place that would make some readers uncomfortable. THE FALLEN is what would happen if Liam Neeson failed to save her daughter in that movie Taken except that it’ll be on paranormal steroids, know what I mean? 
THE FALLEN is Xander’s story when he was sentinel, angel, and a good guy, until a gorgeous, vengeful brunette crossed his path. I don’t know if we’re meant to fall in love with Xander, to be honest with you. His doesn’t do fluff to begin with and accepts payment in tits and clits (can’t help but LOL on that one) he’s imposing and carries a sliver of darkness around him which is ironic considering he’s an angel. He’s a stalker/protector, depends on how you look at it, an avenging angel so mercy isn’t really his thing. He can be loving and caring in his own dark way and he sure did sacrifice a LOT of things for Karinna, his one true love (?). Xander may not be my type but he is a compelling character due to the darkness and light that he carries in his heart. Let me just say this, I would want him guarding my back for sure but I’d think it over a million, trillion times before I invite him to my bed not because he’ll scar me for life, he just throws off this hard-to-read vibe about him. Xander is beyond Alpha and definitely not angelic. 
Karinna. This girl is on a mission to avenge her sister’s death which got Xander’s attention. This girl’s lived a hard life since her sister died and she went out of her way, exploring the dangerous red light underground circle of Detroit to get into Sadismen, a group of sadistic mofo who are into making snuff films, raping and torturing the death out of women. Karinna has this coldness about her that would rival an Ice Queen’s. She has tunnel vision until Xander broke through her haze. As a “couple”, I didn’t find anything romantic between these two. They’re both tortured souls and when they got together, it’s more of comfort and lust than love. I didn’t feel the intimacy between them despite the vulnerability they both demonstrated. Unfortunately they didn’t get the chance to fan the flames of romance because tragedy struck too soon leaving both of them in a better place but more scarred than before. 
Man, I tell you, I felt so distraught after reading THE FALLEN! This shiznit’s got no HEA, only a promise of something more with the outcome unknown and unpredictable. KLake really went to a very dark place in this novel. I’d use the label BDSM loosely because the erotic elements here are midnight black and S stands for slavery and not the cute consensual one so grit your jaws tight and suck in a big breath before delving into this novel. But as I enjoy being shoved out of my comfort zone, I of coursed LOVED every minute of it. It’s nice when an author switch things up, adding a smoky, more musky flavor to her books. It’s risky but it sure paid off here although, KLake, if you’re reading this, I hope Gavin’s book isn’t as dark as this one. I like him warm, romantic and pliant *wink wink* if you know what I mean.

Currently FREE on Amazon & Kobo