Release Event: Excerpt and Giveaway: Painted Boots by Mechelle Morrison

Title: Painted Boots Author: Mechelle Morrison Release date: July 15, 2013 Genre:  Contemporary Romance Age Group:  mature Young Adult Event organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com/
Title: Painted Boots
Author: Mechelle Morrison
Release date: July 15, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Mature Young Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

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Synopsis:

When her father drags her to a new life in Wyoming, Aspen Brand doesn’t expect to fall for a cowboy named Kyle Thacker—but she does.  At seventeen, Aspen and Kyle share unexpected ground: guitar, running, physics.  And guilt.  Aspen blames herself for her mother’s car accident, while Kyle can’t find a way past his brother’s suicide.

On their first date they open up to each other, forging an unbreakable bond between them.  But Kyle has spent two years living with a vicious secret—one his ex-girlfriend will do anything to protect—and sharing his truth with Aspen makes her a target.  Now if Kyle is to be her love story, Aspen must first win the fight of her life.

Excerpt from Painted Boots:

Above us, the Christmas lights flicker.

I know about sex and stuff—I mean, Mom bored me with her lectures until I thought I’d scream.  And I’ve seen my share of movie-love, so it’s not like I don’t know the motions.  But none of that is this.  This is me alone, with Kyle touching my body and tasting my mouth and pressing against my legs.  I’ve never let a guy get this far.  Some inner boundary has always clicked in my head.  But I’m not feeling boundaries now.  I want Kyle’s hands on my bare skin.  I want his touch.  I want to explore him and be explored, but I should probably tell him, “I’m not ready for sex.”

About the author and where to find her:

authorMechelle Morrison loves language–she’s always wished she could speak and write them all.  She lives for chocolate, lazy summer days, spontaneously funny things . . . and family.  She’s sort of scared of dogs.
When she’s not reading or writing or wandering the world, she can be found in her backyard in Utah with her husband, their daughter and the bevy of quail that live behind their garage.
If she didn’t write she’d make stop-motion animation shorts.  So she does that anyway.

Blog          Facebook          Goodreads

Links to find/buy Painted Boots:

Amazon       Barnes & Noble

Event-wide Sweepstakes/Giveaway:

The author is offering the following as a part of an event-wide sweepstakes/giveaway: two (2)  signed print copies of Painted Boots – US/Canada; one (1) Swag: ceramic mug from the author’s ‘AspenBlovesKyleT’ Etsy store (a mug with the lyrics from Kyle’s songs on it) and (1) pair of vintage earrings – US/Canada; two (2) eBook Copies of Painted Boots – International.  To enter for your chance to win, just click on the links below 🙂

US/Canada link          International link

Thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing this release event 🙂

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Naughty Novella: Review: Being Delightful by Shayne McClendon

Title: Being Delightful Author: Shayne McClendon Published: October 21, 2012 by What Shayne Wants  ASIN: B00BTJQQHC
Title: Being Delightful
Author: Shayne McClendon
Published: October 21, 2012 by What Shayne Wants
ASIN: B00BTJQQHC

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Synopsis:

When Petra and Jack meet at the wedding of his brother and her sister, they agree that sarcasm, alcohol, and sex just might make the event bearable.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 4½/5 stars

My Review:

** Review and novella contain naughty language and naughty bits.  18 and over only, please 🙂 **

“It was funny watching the man you had once contemplated spending the rest of your life with marrying your bitch of a sister.” (loc. 8%)  OUCH!  Normally I would offer my sincerest condolences to any girl who had to endure such awfulness but Petra is a different kind of girl.  Petra is a delightfully bitchy girl who not only owns her bitchiness but isn’t afraid of letting it show. . .most of the time.

On the day of her sister, Ava’s wedding to her ex-fiancé, Petra is expected by all to play the role of burned ex but Petra has other plans. According to her “Fuck everyone who expected me to play the hurt ex-girlfriend.  Since I’d caught my former man in my bed with Ava six months ago, I’d seen a side of Kevin I never knew existed.  Dodged a fucking bullet there, I though with an inner chuckle.” (loc. 11%)  And so Petra continues on, in her head of course, as the wedding continues on.  At some point she fakes a smile in one wedding photo, “….ruined two others out of sheer spite, kicked the happy bride in the shin, hissed in her face, and returned to my seat.” (loc. 18%).  The only two redeeming qualities about this entire affair is the open bar and the hot guy/best man staring at Petra from across the aisle.  Here’s to lots of alcohol and bad judgment, right?

Turns out, the hot guy/best man is Jack, the dirty ex-fiancé’s brother and he is not only super-hot but ridiculously funny and someone Petra just may have to spend the night with.  While Petra is not generally into the one night stand thing, she has “….been celibate too long for the general public’s safety….” and furthermore, it was going to be all kinds of awesome when she “…dropped the by-the-way-I-fucked-your-brother bomb at our first family Thanksgiving.” (loc. 24%)  Man, I love this girl!!  Seriously, she has no internal edit button J

What Petra doesn’t know is that all the time she was wasting on her dirty-ex, Jack has been pining for her.  He learned about her through his douchebag brother and while Jack never attempted to move in on his brother’s girl, he knew his dumbass brother would eventually screw up and he would be able to make his move.  Jack is absolutely certain Petra is the girl for him and he has one delicious, sex-filled night to prove that to her.  Man, oh, man does Jack step up to the plate and seriously, if Jack and Petra were real, I would take that bitch out for that man! 🙂

 The Bottom Line: I literally shook the bed I was laughing so hard while reading this dirty little novella.  The plot is fun and quick but the story is really driven by its characters.  I adore Petra, her self-confidence, her snarkiness, her humor, and her total honesty that is never tempered by internal editing.  Jack is a beautiful man, strong, talented, intelligent, and, completely head over heels for Petra.  The two together are a brilliant combination who enjoys one another on every level.  If Being Delightful is a representation of Shayne McClendon’s work then I am absolutely certain I will be reading a lot more of work in the very near future!

Favorite passage:

Jack: “Should I perform badly the first time due to an over-abundance of enthusiasm, try to keep me anonymous should you post about it on Facebook.  Barring that, mention that though I had the endurance of a fourteen-year-old with a Hustler spread in front of him – plenty of tissues and lotion on hand – I was hung like a horse.”

Petra: “Agreed.  I better not have to lie.” (loc. 30%)

Link to find/buy Being Delightful:       Amazon

Guest Post and Giveaway: Three Daves by Nicki Elson

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Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Three Daves tour hosted by AToMR Tours.  Today, author Nicki Elson has dropped by to tell you all about her inspiration for writing Three Daves and there is an event-wide giveaway.  If you would like to check out the rest of the stops on the tour just click here.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great Thursday 🙂

Title: Three Daves Author: Nicki Elson Release date: February 16, 2010 Publisher: Omnific Publishing Age Group:  New Adult Genre: Contemporary romance/Chick Lit Tour organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com/
Title: Three Daves
Author: Nicki Elson
Release date: February 16, 2010
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary romance/Chick Lit
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

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Synopsis:

Jennifer Whitney was the last American virgin. At least that’s what she felt like in 1986 as she began her sophomore year at Central Illinois University. She was proud of her decision to wait for the right guy, and yet she was getting restless. It seemed like everyone around her was doing it… and having fun doing it, too. She didn’t want to become the campus slut or anything, but surely there was a difference between a trashy skank and a nice girl with a little experience. Perhaps it was time to stop relying on fate to guide her and instead take matters into her own hands. And with that realization, Jen decided to find “the one” and lose her virginity, although not necessarily in that order…

INSPIRATION TO WRITE THREE DAVES By Nicki Elson

 My main inspiration to write Three Daves came from a lingering idea that had played in my head for years—the idea of a backwards romance, or intimacy out of order. I pictured a practical girl who wanted to gain some experience in a safe, trusting environment and the guy who was willing to oblige. I imagined their feelings for each other becoming more than either wanted them to be, and it was my curiosity to know how they got there and how they’d deal with those feelings that kept the storyline alive and ever-developing in my mind.

 What got me to actually sit down and spend the hours and months it took to write the novel was my yearning for my own college years. I wanted to escape back to that time of unique freedom in which I was out from under the watchful eyes of my parents but still free from many of the obligations of adult life. So there are plenty of parties and good times in Three Daves and lots of stupid decisions made by the characters—because I believe those mistakes teach us far more than any professor ever could.

About the author and where to find her:

authorWriting wasn’t something Nicki set out to do; it just sort of happened when she realized writing reports was by far her favorite part of her investment consulting position. She traded stock allocation and diversification for story arcs and dialogue and now weaves her creative writing time in with the other activities of her busy life with her family in the Chicago suburbs.

Nicki writes with two goals in mind: #1 to keep the characters realistic, even when their circumstances are anything but, and #2 to make the reader feel. Her published works include Three Daves, a light-hearted romantic romp through a 1980s college campus, Divine Temptation, a romantic novel of angelic proportions, and short stories “Sway” (available as a single), “I Don’t Do Valentine’s Day” (part of A Valentine Anthology), and “Impressionism 101” (included in the debut issue of Insatiable: The Magazine of Paranormal Desire).

Website       Blog       Twitter       Facebook       Goodreads

Links to find/buy Three Daves:

Kindle       Nook       Paperback

Event-wide Sweepstakes:

Up for grabs are three (3) eCopies of Three Daves: all formats are available and the sweepstakes is open internationally.  All you need to do to enter for your chance to win is click on the cute little ‘copter below 🙂

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Thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizng this tour 🙂

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Review: With Good Behavior (Book #1: CONduct Series) by Jennifer Lane

Title: With Good Behavior Series: Book #1: The CONduct Series ISBN:  1936305267 (ISBN13: 9781936305261) Published: July 13, 2010 by Omnific Publishing  Literary awards:  Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Romance (2010)
Title: With Good Behavior
Series: Book #1: The CONduct Series
ISBN: 1936305267 (ISBN13: 9781936305261)
Published: July 13, 2010 by Omnific Publishing
Literary awards: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Romance (2010)

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Synopsis:

In a world gripped by organized crime, family dysfunction, and dim hopes of redemption, can true love persevere? For Sophie Taylor, a beautiful psychologist who lost everything when she violated an ethical boundary, and Grant Madsen, a handsome naval officer who sacrificed everything to protect a loved one, finding that love may carry an unbearable cost.

Starting their lives over in Chicago, both are fighting influences from their family and running as fast as they can to escape the past. When their paths cross outside the parole officer’s door, the attraction is instantaneous. But a hidden connection may not only shatter their fledgling love, but prove deadly to them both.

Source:  author for a fair and honest review

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

Sophie and Grant are having really, really bad mornings.  Though both have been released from prison early (for good behavior!) they are both meeting with their parole officer for the first time.  Jail was horrific but a parole office once a week for at least the next year is humiliating.  Add to that, for the rest of their lives, Sophie and Grant get to live with the stigma of being ex-cons and all that comes with that title.

Sophie is a good girl and going to jail was never, ever a part of her life’s plan.  However, early in her career as a psychologist, Sophie made a mistake and slept with one of her patients; certainly this wasn’t enough to send her to prison, right?  Right!  But, the fact that the patient is a criminal and stashed a load of stolen cash and guns in Sophie’s office and then fled, was enough to make Sophie an accomplice and send her to prison.  Rat bastard!

Grant is a good guy and going to jail was never, ever a part of his life’s plan.  After being rescued and adopted by his uncle as a child, Grant was on track to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and have a stellar Naval career.  However, one mistake, made to save his uncle’s life landed Grant in the middle of robbery gone bad and right on into a dishonorable discharge and prison.  Balls!

By chance, Sophie and Grant meet outside their parole officer’s office and it is interest and attraction at first sight!  Understandably, both are very, very cautious about beginning any sort of relationship as their parole officer (the awesome Jerry!) has them both on the hunt for jobs, setting up meetings with shrinks (Sophie) and, finding places to live that don’t involve criminals.  If either of them fails to meet all of Jerry’s requirements, they get a one-way ticket back to prison.  How in hell are two people supposed to start up a relationship with all this on their plates?  Well, they can start by working together.

Grant and Sophie do indeed begin working together on a delightful little cruise ship that educates tourists about the architecture of the area.  Both work hard and as they work together they also begin to trust one another and discover that maybe, just maybe if they allow themselves to trust they can also allow themselves to heal.  But before the true healing can begin both Sophie and Grant have to share their deepest, darkest secrets about their pasts with one another.  But, before both Grant and Sophie can do the big reveal, the past literally comes crashing in through Grant’s front door and ruins pretty much everything.  And this is where the crap really hits the fan: Sophie must face her estranged and very angry father; Grant must come face to face with his despicable family; Sophia must deal with the loss of Grant and; someone gets shot and Grant gets blamed.  That is a lot of crap to be hitting the fan J

The Bottom Line: I have only two complaints about With Good Behavior: 1) Grant’s constant angst.  Sure, given what he has been through, he deserves a bit of a pity-party but at some point, I really wanted Grant to get over it and man up.  He’s a sweet guy with good intentions but he had better toughen up if he expects to keep my attention.  2) The length of the read; while I am not really opposed to long reads, I found myself thinking in several places toward the end “What a good place to end this one!” but it wasn’t the end.

With my two complaints being noted, I have to say that those two things didn’t keep me from enjoying this read as a whole.  I like Sophie; she’s plucky and strong, good for Grant and, willing to work hard to correct the mistakes of her past.  BUT, Sophie is no longer willing to take crap from others and that makes her quite likeable.  Grant has a lot of potential for me and I am looking forward to seeing if he plucks up in book two.  Recommendations?  You bet!  This one will appeal to lovers of light suspense/mystery, family drama and, romance.  With Good Behavior is a solid read and the beginning of a series I think is going to get stronger with subsequent offerings.

A note about the cover: I really like this cover!  It’s simple, it’s direct and, once you read the book you understand how every element of the cover ties into the novel.  Excellent choices were made where this cover is concerned 🙂

Links to find/buy With Good Behavior (Book #1: CONduct Series):

Amazon          Barnes & Noble

Other books in the CONduct Series:

Title: Bad Behavior Series: Book #2: The CONduct series Author: Jennifer Lane Published: March 8, 2011 by Omnific Publishing (first published March 7, 2011)  ISBN:  1936305658 (ISBN13: 9781936305650)
Title: Bad Behavior
Series: Book #2: The CONduct series
Author: Jennifer Lane
Published: March 8, 2011 by Omnific Publishing (first published March 7, 2011)ISBN: 1936305658 (ISBN13: 9781936305650)

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Synopsis:

Grant Madsen’s got issues. He’s still battling his Mafia family and doing everything possible to keep his loved ones safe. With the cruising season coming to an end, he has to find another job soon or he’ll rejoin his father in prison. And he’s trying to convince his rebellious teenage nephew to stay away from their criminal relatives (you can imagine how that’s going). But worst of all, Grant’s parole officer has mandated that he attend therapy.

The only saving grace is that they’re couples sessions with his girlfriend, Sophie Taylor, a fellow parolee who’s struggling with a few issues of her own. Sophie desperately hopes her past with Grant’s brother won’t destroy her future with him. There’s a sleazy professor at work who revels in sexually harassing women in the psychology department. And her father still hates Grant.

Their psychologist has his work cut out for him.

When Grant’s ruthless father hints at a plot to get out of prison, Grant must use everything he’s learned in therapy and beyond to try to stop him. It’s a race against time — and a race to rescue Sophie from the Mafia’s clutches once again. But this time McSailor and Bonnie refuse to play victims. This time the cuffs are coming off.

Links to find/buy Bad Behavior (Book #2: CONduct Series):

Amazon          Barnes & Noble

On Best Behavior (Book #3: CONduct Series)

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Synopsis:

Planning a wedding is never easy—especially when the Russian Mafia wants you dead.

On Best Behavior—the third and final book in The Conduct Series—finds our favorite couple moving forward, despite the odds. Following a pardon by the Governor of Illinois, ex-cons Sophie Taylor and Grant Madsen are finally free to pursue their love and the life that lies ahead for them. Grant now fights the forces that have hurt his loved ones by working undercover for the FBI, and he has infiltrated the Russian Mafia in Chicago. Sophie dives into swimming with Grant’s nephew, Ben, and into her career as a psychology professor. Thankfully, now it’s Ben’s turn to heal through therapy sessions with Dr. Hunter Hayes.

With so many things going right for Grant and Sophie, it’s too bad the Russians aren’t their only threat. When Grant’s father, Enzo Barberi, discovers his own son thwarted his plan to break out of prison, his overdeveloped sense of vengeance flares to life. As Sophie scrambles to save her fiancé, it’s impossible to say who will kill Grant first—the Russians or his Italian family. Can love triumph over evil? Are hard work and a pledge to be on best behavior ever enough?

Once again, author Jennifer Lane brings a harrowing tale of romantic suspense with a psychological twist, and it’s sure to leave readers breathless.

Expected date of publication: September 24, 2013

About the author and where to find her:

Jennifer LanePeople fascinate the psychologist/author (psycho author) known as Jennifer Lane. Her therapy clients talk to her all day long about their dreams and secrets, and her characters tell her their stories at night. Jen delights in peeling away the layers to scrutinize their psyches and emotions. But please rest assured, dear reader, she isn’t psychoanalyzing you right now. She’s already got too many voices in her head! Stories of redemption interest Jen the most, especially the healing power of love. She is the author of The Conduct Series—-romantic suspense for adult readers—-and recently completed the third and final installment: On Best Behavior. Streamline is her first foray into writing for young and new adults, but she’s found this sort of writing even more fun. A former college swimmer, Jen was able to put a lot of her own experiences into this book. Whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, attending book club, and hanging out with her sisters and their families in Chicago and Hilton Head.

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads

Pinterest     Blog

Guest Post and Giveaway: Romancing the Bookworm by Kate Evangelista

Romancing the Bookworm Tour Button

Hey everyone and welcome to my stop in the Romancing the Bookworm tour hosted by AToMR Tours.  Today I have a guest post featuring the cool facts aboout Romancing the Bookworm and a super-sweet giveaway.  If you would like to check out the rest of the tour, just click here to see what everyone else has for you this week.  All the best and thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

Title: Romancing the Bookworm Author: Kate Evangelista Release date: July 9, 2013 Publisher: Omnific Publishing Age Group: New Adult Genre: Contemporary romance Tour organized by: AToMR Tours: http://atomrbookblogtours.com/
Title: Romancing the Bookworm
Author: Kate Evangelista
Release date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary romance
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours: http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

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Synopsis:

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans can unravel.

It’s spring break, and Tamara Winters would rather stay on campus and read romance novels than flaunt her size-fourteen body on a beach. But her best friend, Rony, has other ideas. Against her wishes, Tamara is whisked away to picturesque Maverick Bay, where she’s wrangled into waiting tables with Rony at the Shore Shack for its busy week leading to Maverick’s Surf Invitational. There she meets fellow schoolmate Xavier Solomon, the Invitational’s organizer and campus womanizer by reputation. From the moment Tamara sees him emerging from the waves like a hero in of one of her romance novels, all she wants to do is run away from the feelings he inspires in her.

Little does she know Xavier has been watching her for weeks now. In fact, after failed attempts at asking her out on campus, he’s concocted a crazy plan: fabricating romantic situations straight out of her favorite books. Xavier quickly realizes that if Tamara gets a whiff of his designs, he might as well spell CREEPER across his forehead. Yet as they grow closer, he’s convinced it’s a risk worth taking. What he hasn’t planned on, of course, is his drug-addicted, alcoholic stepbrother, who decides to join the fun and put a wrench in Xavier’s scheme.

Spring break is proving hotter than Tamara expected. Will her romance novels be able to compete?

Facts about Romancing the Bookworm:

 Maverick Bay isn’t a real place. Although there is a Maverick in California where the biggest, baddest waves can be ridden by the courageous few, so part of the inspiration from Maverick Bay comes from the actual Maverick.

All the romance novels mentioned in the book are fictional, at least that I know of. If there are actual books with these titles, PLEASE let me know. *laughs*

The Night Walk is inspired by the Test of Courage walk they have in Japan. In this case, instead of ghosts, I made sure slasher film villains were the main source of the scare. Much to Tamara’s annoyance with me, let me tell you.

In preparation for writing the Maverick Invitational, I watched a ton of surfing movies: Blue Crush and Soul Surfer chief among them. Love those movies!

Yes, Ronni and Zander will have their own books, as will Hudson. They need happy endings too, so watch out for those books in the future.

About the author and where to find her:

Kate EvangelistaWhen Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master’s courses in creative writing. Ms. Evangelista lives in the Philippines.  You can find her on Twitter @KateEvangelista

Links to find/buy Romancing the Bookworm:

Book trailer

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Sweepstakes/Giveaway:

There are several awesome prizes up for grabs for this tour.  Available items include: One (1) print copy of Romancing the Bookworm;  One (1) book inspired necklace that says “Surf” (picture below) and; eight (8) eBooks of Romancing the Bookworm – all prizes are available for international entries.

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Thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing and hosting this event 🙂

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Cover Reveal: Adam’s Apple by Liv Morris

Title: Adam’s Apple Author: Liv Morris Expected release date: July 30, 2013 Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense  Romance Age Group: Adult Cover designed by: Okay Creations;  http://www.okaycreations.com Reveal organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com
Title: Adam’s Apple
Author: Liv Morris
Expected release date: July 30, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Age Group: Adult
Cover designed by: Okay Creations; http://www.okaycreations.com
Reveal organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com

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Synopsis:

Adam Kingsley reigns as the young prince of Manhattan.  Everything he touches turns to gold making him the envy of Wall Street. Women swoon at his feet, money falls out of his pockets, and his killer good looks are as wicked as sin. A dangerous trifecta.

What more could a thirty-two year old man wish for? Maybe that his life never changes and his past stays far away? Sounds reasonable but life seldom is.

Kathryn Delcour is a beautiful and alluring socialite with unique erotic tastes. When she suddenly appears on the New York City social scene, Adam finds her too tempting to resist.  He has to have her, but she is warned to stay away from him and his player ways. She tries her hardest to keep him at arm’s length however Kathryn’s arms may not be strong enough to hold Adam at bay.

Hidden secrets, Kathryn’s passion for an ancient sexual practice, and a former business partner wanting to inflict a deadly revenge set the scene for a wild ride as Adam tells the story in his own words.

About the author and where to find her:

authorLiv Morris resides in Manhattan with her husband of twenty-eight years. Relocating eleven times during her husband’s corporate career, Liv qualifies as a professional mover. Learning to bloom where she’s planted, Liv brings her moving and life experiences to her writing.

A native of the beautiful Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri, Liv feels blessed to have a supportive and close family. Her three grown daughters are scattered across the country, but thankfully call home on a regular basis. Her favorite saying, “Life is not a dress rehearsal,” motivates her to live life to its fullest.

She received a B.S. in Communication from the University of Maryland. Currently, Liv is writing and publishing her short story series, Love in the City. Two short stories ranked in Amazon’s top best sellers list in Contemporary Romance. Her novel, Adam’s Apple, is due for release this summer.

Twitter          Facebook          Website

Thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing this cover reveal today 🙂

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Review: Librarian #1: Little Lost Boy by Eric Hobbs

Title: Little Lost Boy Series: Novella #1: The Librarian Author: Eric Hobbs Format: Kindle Edition, 131 pages Published:  (first published September 30, 2011)    ASIN: B005R55ERM
Title: Little Lost Boy
Series: Novella #1: The Librarian
Author: Eric Hobbs
Format: Kindle Edition, 131 pages
Published: (first published September 30, 2011)
ASIN: B005R55ERM

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Synopsis:

Wesley Bates thinks his life pretty much sucks. He’s landed at the bottom of his school’s popularity ladder, and bully Randy Stanford seems to be waiting around every corner.

The troubled teen thinks he’s found a way to escape his real-world problems when he stumbles upon strange doorways in Astoria’s local library that seem to lead into the extraordinary worlds from all his favorite books. Oz, Neverland, Wonderland — they’re all a reality with Wesley’s new discovery. Wesley teams with best friend Taylor Williams to embark on a great adventure, both ready to leave the drama of middle school behind.

But the two kids quickly find themselves embroiled in a centuries-old battle for the library and the magic hiding within. Now, fighting alongside the eccentric old man who’s vowed to protect the building’s power, the pair must help ward off an attack by a shadowy group with a strange tie to Wesley’s nemesis, forcing Wesley to face the fears he’s been dodging… and one of the most terrifying bullies of all time!

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review:

Little Lost Boy is the first novella in The Librarian series and introduces the reader to Wes and Taylor, two friends who discover their local library is far, far more than a place that houses books.  In fact, their library is a place where the boundaries between the real and fictional worlds are often very, very blurry.

The Astoria Library is the coolest place in town and a place of legend, a place where some of the kids in town fear to go because the building is so old and slightly scary.  In fact, no one (and I do mean no one!) even knows exactly when the library was built or who built it.  In addition to housing books, the Astoria Library is also home to large-scale displays featuring scenes from some of the world’s most beloved books including Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz and, Fahrenheit 451.  There are also beautifully carved panels that depict scenes from other equally beloved books like Huck Finn and Sherlock Holmes.  During a field trip to the library, Wes and Taylor inadvertently discover the library and librarians’ secret – the displays and the panels are actually portals into the fictional worlds they depict and like all portals, the door goes both ways.

It doesn’t take long for Wes and Taylor to discover the Little Boy Lost is Locke, one of the Lost Boys from Neverland and he has crossed over into the real world and has no way to get back.  Once the three determine they can not only trust one another but also help one another, the mission to get Locke back to Neverland begins.  The problems?  The kids only have eighty-eight minutes to get Locke back or he will be permanently written out of his book and the key to getting Locke back to Neverland was stolen by Wes’s enemy, Randy.  In order to retrieve the key, the kids must go through Oz where they discover a heartbreaking scene – the girl intended to marry the Tin Man who has been abandoned by her beloved.  Taylor is so upset by the scene that she convinces Wes and Locke to help her heal the heartbreak of the young girl.  Little do the kids know when you mess with events in the fictional world you mess with the entire course of the fictional world which in turn impacts the real world!  There’s a surprise for later 🙂

What I liked: Wes and Taylor!  In the real world, Wes is always a target of Randy and his crew who are relentless in their harassment.  Wes is a super well-read nerd who often won’t stand up for himself so his cute little friend Taylor does.  Taylor is a sweet girl with a crush on Wes who genuinely likes Wes and is completely unafraid of Randy.  When the two cross over into the fictional world, Wes really comes into his own; he knows these worlds, the stories, and the characters and is totally fearless.

I also liked the concept of crossing over between the real and fictional worlds.  While some of the rules seem a bit arbitrary (you can only be gone for 88 minutes?) the overall idea is pretty cool.

The Bottom Line: I got through this read with no difficulty but found the overall read to be just OK.  I can totally appreciate how this novella series will appeal to middle grade readers but I can’t see it appealing to an older audience.  In truth, there is something about this title that rubbed me the wrong way but I can’t seem to identify what that thing is.  In the meantime, I fully intend to continue on with this series and hope whatever it is that is rubbing me wrong, either presents or resolves itself.

P.S.  Dear reader, since finishing the first novella in this series and writing this review, I did indeed dive into novella number two.  Unfortunately, whatever it is that rubbed me wrong in novella number one didn’t resolve itself and I ended up having to DNF the title 😦