Blog Tour: Cheater’s Regret by Rachel Van Dyken

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Cheater’s Regret by Rachel Van Dyken

On Sale: May 23, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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SYNOPSIS

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken returns with a smoking-hot story about the satisfaction of plotting revenge on your ex—until he turns your world upside down again.

Austin Rogers’s dreams of domestic bliss involved watching Netflix and eating hot dogs with the love of her life. But then he cheated on her. And dumped her—as if the whole thing was her fault. To maintain her pride and restore her sanity, she decides to get revenge. It feels immensely satisfying to plot her ex’s downfall—but so does kissing him.

Thatch Holloway, a plastic surgeon straight out of residency, knows he ruined the best thing that ever happened to him. But not all cheaters are created equal. He got himself into this messed-up situation—true—but he has his reasons for what happened, and he’d do it all again to protect Austin.

He’s not over her. And she’s not over him.

Austin wants closure, but since Thatch refuses to give it to her, she takes matters into her own hands. She needs to write a human-interest piece for her MBA, so she demands the full plastic-surgery experience. Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together. But Thatch isn’t afraid to play dirty in return. And he’s still hiding something—something that has the power to destroy not only Austin but their second chance at finding forever…

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Now Available on Amazon & Free in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2r621AS

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/31MHqf

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/6IjjiJ

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Be Sure To Follow Rachel:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken

Website: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/RVDNewsletter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachvd

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cNVwL9

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/RVDGR

Rachel’s Rockin’ Readers: http://bit.ly/RachelsRockinReaders

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EXCERPT

“You want to do this right now?” He was still whispering as he slowly extended his large perfect surgeon’s hands out to the spider, and suddenly, I realized how this would end.

The spider would bite him.

Thatch’s bite would get infected.

And he wouldn’t be able to do his job.

Or pay off his student loans.

Leaving him in debt.

On the street.

Naked.

Dead.

Thatch was going to die.

“Wait!” I slowly lowered my body to the floor. Fear pounded in my ears as I held out my hands and Charlie lumbered onto my palms. It tickled. It would be nice if I weren’t so terrified of spiders.

Shaking, I walked over to the bucket and gently set him inside, this time, right side up so Thatch could transport him later. Just as I pulled my hands away, something sharp dug into my skin.

“Mother fu—”

Thatch grabbed me just before I collapsed against the floor, hands shaking and pain searing through my right thumb.

Before I knew what was happening, Thatch was carrying me over to the couch. Soft pillows met my back as he grabbed my thumb and held it close to his face.

“Am I going to die?” I whimpered. “Because the Discovery Channel [PS1] said tarantula bites feel like bee stings—they’re liars from the pit of hell!”

Thatch narrowed his eyes at the puffy red mark and then slowly dropped my hand to my side. “You’ll live.”

“Well, that’s encouraging. Don’t I at least get a sticker? A sucker? For saving your life?”

“You?” He chuckled and joined me on the couch. “Saved my life by getting bit by a tarantula?”

“Keep up!” Talking was at least distracting me from the throbbing pain. At least it had dulled a bit, though the fact that I had spider venom in my hand made me cringe. “If it bit you, you wouldn’t be able to do your job.”

He seemed thoughtful. “You mean I’d finally get a vacation where I’m allowed to sleep for longer than three hours?”

“Well, when you put it that way,” I grumbled, and tried to cross my arm, then hissed as pain exploded down my hand.

He grabbed it again. “At least the venom is weak, it’s really just the puncture wound from the spider’s fangs that causes the swelling.”

“Well, that’s disappointing on so many levels. I save your life and I don’t even get to turn into Spider-Man.”

“Tough luck, maybe next time.” He winked.

It was nice.

Sitting with him on the couch.

My legs on his lap.

My eyes focused on his mouth.

Abort! Abort!

I quickly looked away but not fast enough—he caught me staring where I shouldn’t have been staring, and I felt like a complete loser for still lusting after him the way I was.

What was it about Thatch?

Other than everything?

He was brilliant. Hardworking. Gorgeous. And he fought spiders on behalf of a girl he’d dumped.

Damn it.

“This leads nowhere,” he said in a hollow voice. “You understand that, right?”

It was like he’d just handed me the world’s happiest balloon and then popped it with a giant needle.

I was utterly defeated and deflated.

Even though I knew going into this there was no hope of us getting back together, I’d officially turned into that sad, pathetic clinger.

I’d always made fun of “those girls.”

And now “that girl” stared back at me in my own stupid mirror.

I let out a long sigh and nodded slowly. “This is strictly business, Thatch. You know how important this class is to me, how important getting my MBA is to me.”

He looked away, his jaw clenched. “Parents still MIA for the most part?”

I nodded.

“And the reelection, I imagine your dad wants you to join his mayoral campaign again?”

A sick feeling grew in the pit of my stomach.

To my parents, I was a trophy. Something shiny and pretty they could trot out to gain votes from families who appreciated their having taken time out of their busy lives to sire a child.

Granted, I knew my parents loved me.

They just loved me in their own way—the only way they knew how.

“I have to graduate,” I stressed again. “The job market’s fierce out there, and an MBA will help with that. The sooner I graduate, the sooner I can start my own life away from all of this.” I lifted my hands into the air.

This just happened to be a mansion.

A huge mansion.

With three interconnected swimming pools.

A tennis court.

Two movie rooms.

And a bowling alley.

I think I’d prefer anything but this. If I could choose to live in a dump with my parents and we’d be a family or I could have a mansion and scarcely see them.

I’d choose the dump every time.

“I’ll do my best to help you.” He lifted my legs off his lap. “But first, we ride.”

I blushed. I couldn’t help it.

“You can’t do that anymore,” he whispered, his blue eyes piercing. “You can’t blush when I say things like that.”

“Sorry.”

He muttered a curse and walked away. I could have sworn he adjusted himself near the door, but I was too busy hiding behind the couch to fully commit to ogling him.

“Where’s your bike?” he called over his shoulder before turning around.

“In the garage. It’s kind of dark now, though, let’s ride tomorrow after work.” I totally said it without stuttering or blushing.

“Fine.” He looked exhausted.

“Don’t forget the spider.” I pointed at the bucket. “And don’t let it loose in nature. We can’t have that bastard procreating with another, smaller spider and creating zombie spider babies that take over the world.”

He just stared at me like I’d lost my mind.

And then shook his head as a smile played across his face. “You’re entertaining, I’ll give you that.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you.”

“It was meant to be one.”

We froze, both of us smiling at each other.

“Sleep,” I whispered. “You’ve got a busy day tomorrow.”

“Yup.” He gripped the bucket in one hand; the muscles in his forearm flexed. “Take some ibuprofen and ice the spider bite. If you feel any muscle weakness or tightness in your chest, let me know and I’ll prescribe you something.”

“Ah, the power of the pen.”

He rolled his eyes and waved with his free hand. “See you tomorrow morning at eight, Austin.” He hesitated in the doorway. “Be sure to wear something work-appropriate.”

“Oh, so you want me to wear a bike uniform?”

He flipped me off and quietly shut the door against my laughter.

Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour: Cindy Pon

I am excited to be back with my second author spotlight for The Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour. Today I am spotlighting Cindy Pon. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see my interview with Cindy.

And also check out my other author spotlight on E. Katherine Kottaras for OTBF.

 

The Ontario Teen Book Fest is on Saturday March 25th from 9 am to 5 pm at Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761. The Fest is UNTICKETED and is completely FREE. For more information visit The Ontario Teen Book Fest website: http://www.ontariotbf.org/

The event is sponsored by Once Upon A Time. They will have books available for purchase at the event. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase as well. Visit their website: http://www.shoponceuponatime.com/

Be sure to check out the rest of the Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour:

Blog Tour Schedule

March 15th:

Spotlight on Romina Russell – The Consummate Reader
Spotlight on E. Katherine Kottaras – Book You Very Much

March 16th:

Spotlight on Catherine Linka – What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on BT Gottfred – My Fangirl Chronicles

March 17th:

Spotlight on Elana K Arnold – Read Now Sleep Later
Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana – Starkiller Readers

March 18th:

Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil – Adventures of a Book Junkie
Spotlight on Charlotte Huang – A Traveling Book 

March 19th:

Spotlight on KM Walton – Recently Acquired Obsessions
Spotlight on Jeff Garvin – Reading Over Sleeping 

March 20th:

Spotlight on Jessica Brody – A Reader’s Antidote
Spotlight on Aditi Khorana – Read Now Sleep Later

March 21st:

Spotlight on Ann Stampler – Movies, Shows and Books
Spotlight on Nicole Maggi – My Fangirl Chronicles

March 22nd:

Spotlight on Julie Buxbaum – A Traveling Book
Spotlight on Cindy Pon – Book You Very Much

March 23rd:

Spotlight on Martina Boone – Movies, Shows and Books
Spotlight on Mary Weber – What A Nerd Girl Says

March 24th:

Spotlight on Jessica Love – Nite Lite Books
Spotlight on Lilliam Rivera – Starkiller Reads
Spotlight on Robin Reul – Reading Over Sleeping

INTERVIEW

  1. You have co-founded Diversity In YA and are part of the We Need Diverse Books advisory board? How did you get involved and why do you believe it is important to we have more diversity in YA books?I didn’t realize until AFTER I had written Silver Phoenix that it was the story I wish I could have read as a voracious teen reader. For as much as I read as a kid and young adult, I had never ever seen a character who looked like myself in any of the books I read. Books are meant to broaden worlds, make you see and feel and experience through another character’s eyes. I saw no reason, given how diverse our country is, for the lack of representation in the books that are published. Malinda Lo and I started Diversity in YA to promote awareness of inclusive books and authors from marginalized backgrounds. WNDB really came at a time when the dialogue was going strong, and they have created so many great programs like internship grants and The Walter award to help effect change in publishing.
  2. Your book Serpentine was inspired by Chinese mythology. How did you get into Chinese mythology and what about it inspired you to write Serpentine?It really started with my debut Silver Phoenix. I had just started to take classes in Chinese brush painting, and wanted to try and write my first novel. Fantasy was my favorite genre, and I realized I had never read a fantasy that wasn’t based in the west. Why shouldn’t there be a Chinese inspired fantasy? As for Serpentine, my focus in that was more personal and interpersonal relationships, with a strong focus on sister friendship.
  3. What was it about Young Adult that made you want to write in that genre?I actually fell into young adult quite by accident. I thought my debut Silver Phoenix was adult. But since then, I’ve come to realize that I love to focus on coming of age as well as sexual awakenings in my stories, which are upper YA, and exactly when much of both happens!
  4. When you’re first starting a book what comes first: character or plot?I wish I could answer this. It’s like a salad and can happen all at once, messy and mixed.
  5. What were some of your favorite authors growing up?Noel Streatfeild was one for certain and also Madeleine L’Engle.
  6. What are you working on now?Just wrapped up the final page proofs and edits for my first near-future thriller set in Taipei titled WANT. It’s out with Simon Pulse in June!

Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour: E. Katherine Kottaras

I am so excited to be participating in The Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour. This year I will be spotlighting two author that will be attending OTBF this year: E. Katherine Kottaras and Cindy Pon. Today I will be spotlighting E. Katherine Kottaras, author of How To Be Brave and The Best Possible Answer. Scroll down the post for my interview with her.

The Ontario Teen Book Fest is on Saturday March 25th from 9 am to 5 pm at Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761. The Fest is UNTICKETED and is completely FREE. For more information visit The Ontario Teen Book Fest website: http://www.ontariotbf.org/

The event is sponsored by Once Upon A Time. They will have books available for purchase at the event. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase as well. Visit their website: http://www.shoponceuponatime.com/

Be sure to check out the rest of the Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour:

Blog Tour Schedule

March 15th:

Spotlight on Romina Russell – The Consummate Reader
Spotlight on E. Katherine Kottaras – Book You Very Much

March 16th:

Spotlight on Catherine Linka – What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on BT Gottfred – My Fangirl Chronicles

March 17th:

Spotlight on Elana K Arnold – Read Now Sleep Later
Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana – Starkiller Readers

March 18th:

Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil – Adventures of a Book Junkie
Spotlight on Charlotte Huang – A Traveling Book 

March 19th:

Spotlight on KM Walton – Recently Acquired Obsessions
Spotlight on Jeff Garvin – Reading Over Sleeping 

March 20th:

Spotlight on Jessica Brody – A Reader’s Antidote
Spotlight on Aditi Khorana – Read Now Sleep Later

March 21st:

Spotlight on Ann Stampler – Movies, Shows and Books
Spotlight on Nicole Maggi – My Fangirl Chronicles

March 22nd:

Spotlight on Julie Buxbaum – A Traveling Book
Spotlight on Cindy Pon – Book You Very Much

March 23rd:

Spotlight on Martina Boone – Movies, Shows and Books
Spotlight on Mary Weber – What A Nerd Girl Says

March 24th:

Spotlight on Jessica Love – Nite Lite Books
Spotlight on Lilliam Rivera – Starkiller Reads
Spotlight on Robin Reul – Reading Over Sleeping

E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, and now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is an active member of NCTE and SCBWI, as well as a proud board member of the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California. Katherine is interested in the stories we tell, the stories we are given, and the ways we can redefine our worlds by discovering which stories are true.

She is the author of the YA contemporary novel, HOW TO BE BRAVE (2015) and the forthcoming THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER (2016), both from St. Martin’s Press/Griffin Teen.

To find out more about E. Katherine Kottaras visit her website: www.ekatwrites.com

INTERVIEW

  1. What were the inspiration behind your books How To Be Brave and The Best Possible Answer?

Many writers talk about books that are the “stories of their hearts.” My first book, HOW TO BE BRAVE, was most definitely that since it is told through the eyes of Georgia, a Greek-American teenager whose mother passes away. I am half-Greek, and my father died when I was seventeen, so much of the story, in terms of its exploration of grief and loss, identity and love, came directly from my heart and my life. HOW TO BE BRAVE is about a girl who has lived her life in fear and who sets out to try new things, despite her insecurities. Before her death, her mom commanded Georgia to live differently—to try everything at least once and to never be ruled by fear. Of course, there are many similarities between Georgia and me. Georgia also feels uncomfortable in her body that’s deemed “overweight” by society’s standards, and part of her storyline is that she finds confidence in her body, as it is – that losing weight does not equal being brave. This has been part of my storyline has well.

My second book, THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER, is equally the story of my heart. Viviana is a driven honors student and the daughter of a Russian-Jewish immigrant mom and an American engineer dad who have extremely high academic expectations for her. As a result of both these expectations and an exposing mistake Viviana made in sharing a nude photo with her boyfriend (who proceeded to send it to the entire school), Viviana suffers from severe anxiety and panic attacks. She knows that she didn’t do anything wrong in sending the photo to him – she trusted and loved him at the time – but world still blames and shames her for it.

At her summer job, Viviana is finally able to escape the judgmental eyes of her school, but she soon becomes the odd vertex of a love triangle; her childhood best friend, Sammie, has a crush on the outgoing, college-aged lifeguard, Evan, but he seems to be more interested in Viviana. Against her better judgment, Viviana falls for him, thereby damaging yet another important relationship in her life and disappointing herself. Soon after, when her father finally returns from his mysterious six-month long business trip, Viviana discovers some deep, dark truths about him that force her to question all of her ideas about love and trust and the control she has over her life.

I am both first- and second- generation American (my father immigrated from Greece in 1952; my mother’s parents immigrated from Russia in 1913), so I am always interested in the unique pressures of being the child of immigrants, as I was, as many of my students are, and as Viviana is.

Furthermore, when I was in high school and college, I was in honors classes, including AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (the International Baccalaureate program). While some of the pressure to succeed came from my parents, much of it was simply part of the system. I continuously and secretly suffered from anxiety and paralyzing panic attacks through my twenties, both from the grief of losing my father and from the pressures of success. The thing is, I didn’t really know what was happening – that it was called GAD (general anxiety disorder) or panic attacks, or that it was something I should seek help for. In fact, I’d been told that if I ever sought psychological help via a therapist or group support, I should not use my own medical insurance for fear that my employers would find out that I was “unstable” and I might therefore lose my job. It took me many years to finally seek support and understand my own mind.

As a teacher at both the high school and community college levels, I’ve met many students who also feel the intense pressures of success, both from their families and from the mere need for financial survival, and who as a result, suffer from severe (and often secret) anxiety. I teach English where we focus on creative expression and the makings of an examined life, so students often want to share their inner lives with me, both in writing and in conversation, including their mental health. I remind them that I am not a psychologist or counselor, and I also direct them towards our free psychological services, but many students respond that their parents would – and I quote – “kill” them if they knew they had sought psychological help. Every time I hear this, my heart breaks. There is a stigma attached to the very real experience of GAD and panic attacks, as well as to psychological counseling. I wrote THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER for both myself when I was a teenager, and most certainly for my students and readers who are like my students, so that they can see their experience represented and also find that there does not have to be that stigma, that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of self-care and beautiful strength.

  1. You teach writing and literature at Pasadena City College. How do you balance teaching with your writing?

My writing informs my teaching, just as my teaching informs my writing. I couldn’t imagine not doing both; in fact, doing both is what provides the balance, as I am continually in a state of inquiry about the world outside the page, and that informs the world within the page.

Joan Didion said, “We write to discover what we think.” This speaks the core of my experience as a writer, and it’s a thought that I share with my students repeatedly. Whether I am teaching creative writing, literature, or composition, I want my students to begin from a place of inquiry. I want them to see writing as an exploration, a journey of discovery, a path towards knowledge.

I also think it’s important to be honest with my students when discussing how horribly frustrating that process can be. I tell them when I’m experiencing writer’s block; I show them my rejection letters; I let them know that I, too, cry sometimes when the words just will not come. I’ve always believed that my role as both a writer and a teacher is not to proselytize, that my role is to guide and to question. That being said, I do try to live by example, which to me means showing my own vulnerabilities as a human being who’s trying to figure it all out. I find that students appreciate hearing about these experiences, that when I share my own frustrations, they feel more comfortable sharing their own and thereby figuring out ways to deal with them and get their words on the page.

  1. When writing what comes first for you: character or plot?

Usually character, but I also need to know what their core problems are, which informs the movement of the plot. Give me a character with a strong voice but who’s found herself in the midst of a complicated situation where she must be tested in subtle ways – it’s not always life or death, dragons or horribly evil villains – it’s the quiet pressures that intrigue me, the barriers that we set up against ourselves. I love every day heroes, and I think it’s important that we explore these stories, not necessarily as brochures (I hate explicitly moralistic novels), but as more as questions about what it means to live a life of meaning. I hope that my readers will ask the same questions that my characters must ask of themselves: What is courage? What is truth? What is trust? What is strength? I like to say that there’s an invisible question mark at the end of How to Be Brave, and as for The Best Possible Answer, well, even when you think you’ve found it, it can only lead to more questions. And I love that.

  1. If your books How To Be Brave and The Best Possible Answer where made into movies who would you cast as the leads?

For Georgia in HOW TO BE BRAVE, I already DID cast her! We filmed an interactive trailer at http://howtobebravebook.com/opening%20main.html where you get to help Georgia choose how she’s going to be brave. Casting the actor for Georgia was so much fun. Her name is Elena Ross, and she was spunky and fun and just a little bit scared but totally willing to try anything, just as I’d imagined Georgia would be.

If I were to choose a well-known actor for Georgia, it would be Elizabeth Gillies, who plays Jade West on the Disney Channel’s Victorious. (I watch it with my daughter and love it!)

For Viviana in THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER, I would cast Ariel Winter from Modern Family.

  1. What were some of your favorite writers growing up?

Oh wow: SO many. I LOVED to read. When I was in high school, I loved Tim O’Brien, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Douglas Coupland, Sylvia Plath, J.D. Salinger, Ana Castillo, Margaret Atwood. I was always, always reading.

  1. What is a typical writing day for you?

I don’t really have a typical writing day. I steal time. Sometimes I write only at night, after my daughter goes to sleep. Sometimes I am awake before dawn. Sometimes I write on my Notes app on my phone while my daughter is in voice lessons. I often use holidays and breaks to dive into my writing, during which I can spend weeks or months writing every day. And I love those times. I am able to immerse myself in the world of my story and fully commit to the experience of being a writer.

  1. What was it about Young Adult that made you want to write for that genre?

I started writing YA because I was a YA fan! I was teaching high school, and my students were introducing me to authors like Sherman Alexie, John Green, Suzanne Collins, Laurie Halse Anderson, and more. I think that the reason why so many adults (and of course, teens!) love to read YA is because the novels usually focus on a moment of intense change, and though we’ve been sold the story that once we hit a certain point, we are “adults,” the truth is we are continuously facing intense moments of change and growth throughout our lives. I think that YA novels are a way for readers of all ages to reflect on those experiences.

  1. So far you have written contemporary YA. Is there another genre you would want to write? Would you ever consider writing adult books?

Yes, and yes! I am currently working on a middle grade historical set in Ancient Greece, sort of a HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON with a female lead. And I may one day be interested in writing books for adults! Right now I love writing for teens, but anything’s possible!

  1. What are you working on next?

My third YA contemporary is complete and it just went out on submission to publishers, and now I’m working on the middle grade and brainstorming some other YA contemporaries.

Thank you so much for having me!

Blog Tour: Starlight Bridge by Debbie Mason

 

STARLIGHT BRIDGE by Debbie Mason

Series: Harmony Harbor, #2

On Sale: February 28, 2017

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

harmony-harbor

MISTLETOE COTTAGE, #1

CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL, #1.5

STARLIGHT BRIDGE, #2

PRIMROSE LANE, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

A second chance for romance…

Hidden in Graystone Manor is a book containing all the dark secrets of Harmony Harbor, and Ava DiRossi is determined to find it. No one—especially not her ex-husband, Griffin Gallagher—can ever discover what really tore her life apart all those years ago. With Griffin back in town, it’s more important than ever that she find the book before someone else does. Because her ex is still angry with her for leaving him. And he still has no idea Ava never stopped loving him…

Ava is no longer the vibrant, happy woman Griffin had once loved and married, and he would do anything to bring back the sparkle to her brilliant green eyes. But what’s never changed are the sexy sparks of attraction between Ava and Griffin, and he won’t give her up again without a fight. He knows there’s the real possibility of a future together…if the truth doesn’t burn the bridge between them forever.

Buy The Book:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

debbie-mason-credit-debbie-mazzura

Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado and Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, three wonderful children, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella in Ontario, Canada.

Be Sure To Follow Debbie:

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Be Sure To Follow Forever:

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EXCERPT

She sensed Griffin rising to his feet and heard him placing his mug on the desk. And then he was there, crouched in front of her. He took her mug, setting it on the floor before he gently smoothed the rough pads of his fingers over her cheek. “You know it kills me to see you cry.”

“Still?” she murmured without looking at him.

“Yeah, looks like,” he said, sounding as though the admission cost him.

A tiny flicker of hope ignited inside her. She smothered it, unwilling to put herself in the position of being disappointed. She didn’t think her heart could withstand another blow today.

“I know you did more than smooth the way for my father, Griffin. I don’t believe Gino’s monthly pension checks and insurance will come close to covering the cost. I need to know what I owe you. I doubt I can pay it all at once though, so maybe we could come up with a monthly payment plan?”

At her suggestion, a muscle pulsed in his clenched jaw, and his eyes narrowed. She was familiar with that look. It didn’t bode well for her repayment plan. And maybe because of that small hope that refused to be denied, she raised her hand to trace his stubbled jaw with her finger. “You know that look always annoyed me,” she said, thinking back to how long it had been since she’d touched him this way.

“Yeah, and you always knew how to get rid of it. Never could hold out against you for long.” His eyes darkened as though remembering their standoffs always ended in bed.

“What are we doing?” she whispered, the heat in his eyes weakening her resolve. She had to know if it was just her imagination. She’d deal with the consequences later.

“I—”

The study door swung open, and her cousin rushed in. “Ava, are—Oh, I…” Sophie’s gaze moved from Griffin to Ava. “Am I interrupting?”

Griffin rose to his feet, and Ava didn’t know if it was relief or regret she saw on his face.

He glanced at his watch. “I better get going. I have to meet up with Sully.”

Ah, so it had been relief after all, she thought, fighting to keep the disappointment from showing on her face.

Sophie smiled, stepping in front of Griffin as he walked to the door. “Welcome home,” she said, giving him a hug. “We’re so glad you took the job.”

“Job?” Ava asked, and there it was again, hope. Only this time it came out in her voice.

Griffin turned with his hand on the doorknob. “Sully offered me a job with the Coast Guard. Thought it was about time I came home.” He held her gaze. “We’ll talk later. If you need me, call.”

Sophie stared at her, openmouthed. “He…You.” Sophie found her voice and looked from the door to Ava. “What did I just interrupt?”

“I’m not sure,” she murmured, glad she was sitting, otherwise her legs might have given out.

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Blog Tour: The Bastard Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon

 

THE BASTARD BILLIONAIRE by Jessica Lemmon

Series: Billionaire Bad Boys, #3

On Sale: February 28, 2017

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $6.99 USD

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THE BILLIONAIRE BAD BOYS SERIES

The Billionaire Bachelor, #1

The Billionaire Next Door, #2

The Bastard Billionaire, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Beauty and the Beastly Billionaire . . .

Eli Crane is one tough bastard. After an explosion left him injured and honorably discharged from the Marines, all he wants is to be left alone. Yet his brothers insist he take a greater role in the family business. They’ve hired him ten personal assistants—and Eli sent each one packing as fast as possible. But when beautiful number eleven walks through the door, Eli will do anything to make her stay.

Isabella Sawyer’s employment agency can’t afford to lose Eli Crane’s business. Her plan: to personally take on the role of his PA, and secure her reputation with the wealthy elite in Chicago. But this beauty and her hot billionaire bad boy soon find themselves mixing business with pleasure in the most delicious ways. And passionate, stubborn Isabella won’t rest until she tames this wicked beast . . .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Be Sure To Follow Jessica:

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Be Sure To Follow Forever:

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EXCERPT

Standing, she smoothed her hands down her pants and flipped her hair. She had planned to quietly finish her work and leave without seeing him again. No such luck. And no hiding that she was heading his way when her heels clicked along the concrete floor.

Well.

The kiss had happened. The button incident had happened. There was no taking it back. Regardless of how either of them felt about it, she was going to continue working here. So. She would deal with the here and now.

Since the sun was shining, Eli’s lair was welcome instead of foreboding. No fire cracked in the hearth today. Also unlike his usual, he wasn’t at his desk. He was at the printer.

“This yours?” He offered a sheet of paper.

“Yes.” She couldn’t keep from explaining. “Pressed the Print button by accident.”

Mi printer es su printer.”

Isa accepted the document and Eli sank his hands into his jeans pockets, his forearms flexing with the movement.

“I wasn’t—”

“I shouldn’t—” they said at the same time.

He pursed his lips and she looked at her shoes. “Go ahead.” She was going to say, I wasn’t offended when you kissed me, but now that she’d had a millisecond to think it through, maybe she should pretend the kiss hadn’t happened. Which was . . . impossible. Standing this close to him, it’s all she could think about.

“I shouldn’t have ruined your shirt,” he said.

“I dared you to.”

“Why?” His eyebrows compressed along with his lips.

“Because you have accepted the role of beast, but I don’t believe that’s who you are.” She let her gaze linger on his face before tracking down his body. “And because I like a challenge.”

“Do you?” He took a wide step toward her.

She matched his move and took one step closer to him. “Yes. I don’t wilt easily.”

He threaded her hair between his fingers, a look of longing and hurt mingling in his eyes. “I was about to lie and say I shouldn’t have kissed you.”

Shivers climbed her spine as she remembered how firm his lips felt against hers. “Maybe . . . you shouldn’t have stopped.”

TOP FIVE LIST

TOP 5 FAVORITE “BEASTLY” HEROES

(CAN BE FROM BOOKS, MOVIES, TV, ETC)

#5 ~ Seth, George Clooney’s character from the movie From Dusk Til Dawn. He’s a bank robber who takes a family of three hostage before leading them, unbeknownst to him, to a den of vampires in Mexico. At the end, the body count is high, but Seth emerges as hero in a move that surprises him as much as the audience watching.

#4 ~ Jax Teller from the television series, Sons of Anarchy. The ultimate bad boy anti-hero, am I right? Yet something about his sinister actions is so tempting. Charlie Hunnam’s gorgeous face helps.

#3 ~ Tate Jackson from Kristen Ashley’s novel Sweet Dreams. I’ve never in my life read a romance hero who insulted the heroine quite the way Tate did Lauren. (She overheard him calling her fat! Gasp!) In a brilliant turn of events, Tate completely falls for Lauren during the course of the book, eating all of his early assumptions and falling helplessly in love with her. Watching him step seamlessly into the hero role was incredible.

#2 ~ Negan from the television series, The Walking Dead. I know, I know… he’s not a hero. He’s the worst of the worst, but the way Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the baddest of them all makes a tiny, evil part of me root for him against my better judgment.

#1 ~ Beast, from Walt Disney’s animated cartoon, Beauty and the Beast. Not only is our hero litearlly a beast, but he also has a heart of solid gold. Like another hero I know, Eli Crane, Beast simply needs a strong heroine who will both stand up to him—and stand up for him.

GIVEAWAY

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Blog Tour: Royal Scandal by Marquita Valentine

 

Royal Scandal by Marquita Valentine

On Sale: January 23rd, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/zhrLmD

Synopsis

Fairy tales do come true—and so do tabloid scandals! New York Times bestselling author Marquita Valentine kicks off a juicy contemporary romance series with a novel about a prince whose best-laid plans go deliciously awry when he marries the maid next door.

Forced to flee to the United States with his siblings after their parents’ assassination, Crown Prince Colin Sinclair takes it upon himself to become the caretaker of his family while hiding out near Charlotte, North Carolina. But after a decade in hiding, the secret’s out and Parliament demands that Colin wed a princess of their choosing. Unwilling to play their game, Colin decides to marry an American instead, and he has the perfect candidate in mind.

As a home-service professional, Della Hughes doesn’t believe in storybook endings. But when her best friend and secret crush reveals that he’s a flesh-and-blood prince, she doesn’t know what to think. Still, she’ll do anything for Colin, including becoming his wife—in name only, of course. But when their plans to stay purely platonic go by the wayside, their fake honeymoon turns all too real. After a week of white-hot nights, Della can no longer deny her feelings—not with a happily ever after so tantalizingly close.

 

Buy The Book

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2iy4wIe

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/5JwevB

Nook: https://goo.gl/rmGR7g

iBooks: https://goo.gl/OM5FQu

About The Author

 

Marquita Valentine is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Holland Springs and Boys of the South series.

Since first taking the plunge in July of 2012 to self publish, Marquita Valentine has appeared on the Top 100 Bestselling Ebooks Lists on iBooks, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes&Noble. She’s been called “one of the best new voices in romance” (Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews) and her books have been accused of being “a sexy, fun, and slightly addicting contemporary read” (The Book Queen).

When she’s not writing sexy heroes who adore their sassy heroines, she enjoys shopping, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. Married to her high school sweetheart, Marquita lives in a seriously small town in the south with her husband, two kids, and a dog.

Connect with Marquita:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarquitaValentine/

GoodReads: https://goo.gl/n84vKD

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marquitaval

Website: http://www.marquitavalentine.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2k1AUDl

Newsletter: https://goo.gl/ACLMkk

Blog Tour: Mistletoe Cottage by Debbie Mason

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MISTLETOE COTTAGE by Debbie Mason

Series: Harmony Harbor, #1

On Sale: October 25, 2016

Mass Market: $5.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

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MISTLETOE COTTAGE, #1

CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL, #1.5

STARLIGHT BRIDGE, #2

PRIMROSE LANE, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

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Synopsis

The first novel in a brand new series from USA Today bestselling author Debbie Mason! The series will appeal to fans of feel-good romances by New York Times bestselling authors Brenda Novak, Robyn Carr, and RaeAnne Thayne.

‘Tis the season for love…

Sophie DiRossi loved growing up in Harmony Harbor. But after fleeing in disgrace many years ago, it is the last place she wants to be. Left homeless by a fire, she’s forced to go back to the small coastal town that harbors a million secrets, including her own. Sophie sees this secret reflected every day in her daughter’s blue eyes—and she must keep it hidden from the only man she has ever loved.

Sophie’s return is a shock for everyone…especially Liam Gallagher. The firefighter had some serious feelings for Sophie-and seeing her again sparks a desire so fierce it takes his breath away. Now Liam will do whatever it takes to show Sophie that they deserve a second chance at love, even if everything they’ve concealed threatens to keep them apart. In this special town at this special time of the year, Sophie and Liam can only hope for a little holiday magic…

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Buy The Book:

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Amazon

Barnes & Noble

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Google Play

iBooks

Indiebound

Kobo

About The Author

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Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, an adorable grandbaby, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

Be Sure To Follow Debbie:

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Be Sure To Follow Forever:

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Top 5 List

Songs That Inspire You To Write

1) The Tenors’ “Who Wants to Live Forever” with Lindsey Stirling is one of the songs I listened to every morning before sitting down to write Mistletoe Cottage. It fits the book perfectly, and not only because Liam and Sophie’s story opens on Halloween.

2) It doesn’t matter which book I’m writing; I listen to “Fight Song” by Rachel Patten. It’s like the anthem for all my heroines and Sophie’s no exception.

3) Gerard Butler singing “Galway Girl” in P.S. I Love You inspired the win-the-girl scene at the Salty Dog in which Liam performs for Sophie.

4) Sophie sang and Mia mimed “Let it Go” from Frozen in one of my favorite scenes in Mistletoe Cottage. Letting it go was also something Sophie had to do if she and Liam were going to get their second chance.

5) I don’t want to give anything away, but one of the songs I listened to while writing the end of Mistletoe Cottage was “Marry Me” by Train.

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Giveaway

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Blog Tour: You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross & Mark Perini

Today I am excited to be working with Tasty Book Tours to participate in the Blog Tour for You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross & Mark Perini. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter a giveaway for a $25 B&N Gift Card and a signed copy of You Before Anyone Else as well as a contest hosted by Julie, Mark and Tasty Book Tours.

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SYNOPSIS

Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with international model Mark Perini to create You Before Anyone Else, a poignant and authentic contemporary YA novel and companion to Halfway Perfect

The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high-paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.

Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once in a while?

Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love for each other and everything else…

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).

She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.

She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

Be Sure To Follow Julie:

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GoodReads

mark-perini

Mark Perini is a New York City based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect. Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.

Mark began his career as an international fashion model when he was 18 years old, while simultaneously obtaining a business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven ancient wonders of the world before he’s thirty. Four down three to go.

Be Sure To Follow Mark:

Website 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Goodreads

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FINLEY

“What are you so afraid of?” Summer asks.

I take a sip of the beer Dima brought me a few minutes ago. “Oh, I don’t know, addiction, overdose, puking on some innocent victim’s shoes, random drug testing by the agency…”

Summer laughs. “Drug testing on models? Yeah, that’ll be the day.”

Okay, so maybe I just don’t want to do it. Even if I should be in my so-called experimental phase.

I wouldn’t exactly label myself a rule follower, but I guess I’m just cautious. I haven’t always been this way. Not that I’ve done drugs, but before high school, I was all about ballet. Let’s just say I had a rep for being the sassy troublemaker. My mom being my ballet teacher may have had something to do with my behavior. My fingers immediately move to the cross dangling from my neck—I’ve only removed it a couple times over the last four years. Somehow, it’s always warmer than my hands.

I debate texting my dad to ask him if he’s done coke or molly. He’d probably tell me. But I wouldn’t want to freak him out. Seems like a conversation better reserved for a weekend visit instead of late on a Friday night when I could be too far gone to help, for all he knows.

I glance around the room and finally spot someone I know: my friend Alex and his girlfriend Eve. Alex and I did a big Calvin Klein shoot last year, and Eve was the photographer’s assistant. Actually, Eve used to be a model too, another preteen/teen phenom like Elana, who headlined that CK shoot along with Alex. My part had been fairly small, and still, that was my biggest job ever.

“Have you met Alex?”

Summer shrugs, grabs two more shots of vodka, and hands me one. “Like I would remember.”

I down the shot quickly and prepare to talk to Alex and Eve. Maybe they’ve done drugs and can advise me. But my buzzing phone distracts me. I pull it out of my purse and glance at the new text.

JASON: Yeah, it’s so weird to be home again. But I missed it.

My stomach flip-flops. He replied to my text. Hours later, but still…this could mean—

“Oh lord, you’re pathetic.” Summer is leaned toward me, reading over my shoulder. “That’s probably enough for you to live off of for another six months or so, right?”

I glare at her and shove the phone back into my purse.

“No comeback? Wonder why…” She pretends to be in deep thought. “He said he missed it. Not you. Cut the fucking cord already. It’s not healthy.”

If only it were that easy. When you’re in a relationship with someone for four years, you get so comfortable with that person. It’s daunting to start all over again.

I make my way across the room to see Alex and Eve, who are leaning against the back of the couch, more absorbed in each other than anything else.

“I heard Elana’s back from France?” Alex asks me, keeping his voice low.

“Yep, her and her mom. I think her mom is driving her crazy, but that’s to be expected. French Mama is driving me crazy too.”

They both laugh at the mention of French Mama, but I can’t take credit for that title. Summer made it up.

“I can’t believe her parents let her come back to New York,” Eve says.

Alex smiles at her. “You’re just upset that they’re here and not in France where we can hit them up for lodging.”

My gaze travels back and forth between the two of them. “You guys are going to France? Are you going for Fashion Week?”

Eve shakes her head. “Nope. I did the Prada shoot, and I’m done for good. Got tuition for next year covered.”

Even though Eve had supposedly quit modeling a few years ago, she pulled a one-last-job stunt last spring to cover her tuition at Columbia. She’s a photography student with a lot of experience under her belt.

“We’re doing the cheap travel, backpacking in Europe but without actual backpacks thing,” Alex explains.

Across the room, another beer pong player is being requested. This could possibly be the most adventurous thing I’m willing to do here. I turn to Alex and Eve again. “Well, good luck in Europe. I’m gonna go play beer pong.”

“Hey.” I grab Dima’s shirt sleeve. “You need another player?”

He looks me over, deliberating. “Sure. Be the new guy’s partner.”

“The new guy?” I glance around. What does that even mean? New to the party, like he just walked in? I’ve been here fifteen minutes.

“He’s new to the agency,” Dima says. “First casting, and he books some big job.”

“So we hate him then, right?” I joke. I turn around to head toward the game table and run right into a guy about my age with wild, dark curly hair and designer jeans.

“This guy,” Dima says to me and then turns to the new guy. “Got you a partner. Finley. She lives in the agency apartment downstairs.”

They exchange a look that says I’ve been mentioned before. I’m not liking that too much, but usually, I don’t come to these parties. Instead, I bang on the door at two in the morning to tell them to

stop thumping around like elephants. Maybe I got a bad rep.

While we wait for Dima to find a partner, I snatch two beers from a nearby cooler and offer one up to New Guy. “So, Dima said you’re new, but he didn’t say where you’re from.”

“Uh…the Midwest.”

“The Midwest.” Okay. Someone doesn’t want to get personal. “Like Wisconsin or like Chicago?”

“Chicago…well, not in Chicago, but around it, you know?” he says.

“Right.” I pop open my can and take a drink. “What’s your name? I’m sorry, I don’t think Dima said…”

“Eddie.” He lifts his gaze again. “Eddie Wells. And you’re Finley Belton, the girl who lives downstairs.”

Summer breezes past me but stops when she spots me holding the beer pong ball. “Beer pong? Oh, you wild animal…grrrr.” She holds up her tiger paws and growls at me.

I give her the finger and then turn back to Eddie. “I’m one of the girls who live downstairs.”

“One is too bitchy, one is too underage, and one is nice,” he recites, most likely quoting Dima.

This is exactly what I’m trying to escape tonight. “Dima called me the baby bear?” I’m secretly hoping he catches my reference to Goldilocks.

“No,” Eddie says. “He called you Finley Belton, but I added the nice part, because you brought me a beer. And it is just right, not to mention you’re talking to me instead of staring and whispering to other people about me.”

Points for his fairy tale knowledge, and I’m sure the whispering is the result of whatever big job he’s landed. Too many models at this party.

Eve tries to be Dima’s partner, but he refuses and tells Alex to play with him. Eve opens her mouth to protest, but Dima holds up a hand. “Don’t even. I know your type. You’ll engineer some fancy trick shots. No Ivy League players showing me up. I got a rep to protect.”

“Fine,” Eve snaps. “I’ll just stand here and look pretty. And I’m definitely rooting for Fin and…” She gestures toward the new guy.

“Eddie,” I fill in for her. “Eddie from Chicago.”

“Eddie from Chicago,” Eve repeats. “Good luck.”

Summer returns and stands beside Eve, both leaning against the back of the love seat.

“Fin makes a great partner,” Summer says to Eddie. “She knits. Lots of finger dexterity.”

I shoot her a glare and will my face not to heat up. So not cool.

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a $25 B&N Gift Card and a signed copy of You Before Anyone Else

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ADDITIONAL CONTEST

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Julie Cross and Mark Perini, along with Tasty Book Tours, are celebrating those who have taken the steps to Break the Mold on society’s expectations, like Finley, the heroine from YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE!  We are looking for anyone who would like to share their story and be entered to win a 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner!

Head over to fb.me/TastyBookTours and leave a comment with your story.  Feel free to share picture of your journey and use #breakingthemold at the end of your comment!

Entries must be in by 11:59pm, Aug 15th, 2016.  No purchase necessary to enter.  If under 12 years old, you must have approval by a guardian to enter.

Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour: Mary McCoy

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This year I am excited to be participating in the Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour. I am especially excited to be spotlighting YA author Mary McCoy. Her debut novel, Dead to Me was one of my favorite books that I read last year.

The Ontario Teen Book Fest is an amazing event and I am so happy to be participating in the blog tour for it. I attended last year and had an absolute blast. It is a FREE UNTICKETED event featuring multiple bestselling Young Adult authors.

Scroll down for my Spotlight and Interview with Mary as well as a giveaway for a poster signed by all of the attending authors.

When: Saturday March 12th, 9 am to 5pm

Where: Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761

The Ontario Teen Book Fest Website: http://www.ontariotbf.org/

The event is sponsored by Once Upon A Time. They will have books available for purchase at the event. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase as well.

Their website: http://www.mrsnelsons.com/

*Blog Tour Schedule*

February 22nd – Spotlight on Andrew Smith – What A Nerd Girl Says

February 23rd – Spotlight on Alexandra Monir – The Consummate Reader

February 24th – Spotlight on April Tucholke – Adventures of a Book Junkie

February 25th – Spotlight on Alexis Bass – A Traveling Book

February 26th – Spotlight on Marissa Meyer – Read Now Sleep Later

February 27th – Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana – Movies, Shows and Books

February 28th – Spotlight on Robin Reul – Recently Acquired Obsessions

February 29th – Spotlight on Katherine Kottaras – iFandoms Collide

March 1st – Spotlight on Stephanie Diaz – My Fangirl Chronicles

March 2nd – Spotlight on Virginia Boecker – The Reader’s Antidote

March 3rd – Spotlight on Mary McCoy – Book You Very Much

March 4th – Spotlight on Brad Gottfred – Seeking Bazinga

March 5th – Spotlight on Michelle Levy – My Fangirl Chronicles

March 6th – Spotlight on Elana K Arnold – Read Now Sleep Later

March 7th – Spotlight on Kristin Halbrook – What A Nerd Girl Says

March 8th – Spotlight on Jessica Brody – The Windy Pages

March 9th – Spotlight on Nicole Maggi – Nite Lite Book Reviews

March 10th – Spotlight on Jay Asher – A Bookish Escape

*Spotlight on Mary McCoy*

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Mary McCoy is a writer and a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. She has also been a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the 1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles’s notorious past. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and studied at Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin. Mary now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son. Her debut novel, Dead to Me, is a YA mystery set in the glamorous, treacherous world of 1940s Hollywood.

For more information visit Mary’s website here

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LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page.

“Don’t believe anything they say.”
Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her–and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.
When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn’t a kid anymore, and this time she won’t let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets–and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie’s attacker behind bars–if Alice can find her first. And she isn’t the only one looking
Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.

*INTERVIEW*

Q: What was the inspiration for your debut novel Dead to Me?

When I moved to LA ten years ago, I got really into film noir and old detective novels. I really wanted to pay an homage to those kinds of stories, but I also wanted to write something where the female characters were up front and center, instead of being relegated to femme fatales and victims.

Q: You have been a contributor to One Bunker Hill and 1947project where you have written about “Los Angeles’s notorious past”. What is it about LA in the 1940s that made you want to write about it?

Murder and mayhem and corruption, oh my! My book is set in 1948, which is the year after the Black Dahlia murder. It’s also set around the time of a few other notorious LA crimes that I’ve done a lot of reading and writing about: the Lila Leeds drug bust, the disappearance of Jean Spangler, Brenda Allen’s prostitution ring and the corrupt LAPD vice squad. The list goes on and on.

Q: Are there any other time periods/places you would like to write about?

I’ll never say never, but so far, I haven’t gotten a bee in my bonnet to write another historical novel. My next project is set at a summer camp!

Q: What was your research process for Dead to Me like? Did you visit any of the places you talked about in the book?

I’m a librarian, so of course, I was obsessed with getting every last fact right. I even found a public transit map of Los Angeles from the 1940s and made sure that Alice’s adventures around town on the Red Car were accurate.

I visited almost every spot I wrote about for the book, and most of the characters’ homes are based on actual places. Of course, my favorite place to do “research” was the time I went to Musso & Frank Grill for steak and a stake-out of the kitchen.

Q: What is your writing process like?

A mixture of diligent slogging and fevered wind sprints. The most important thing for me is sitting down as often as possible to write, whether I’m feeling inspired or not and simply doing the work.

Q: What were some of your favorite writers growing up?

I loved Roald Dahl, Lois Lowry, Ellen Raskin, and Louise Fitzhugh. Sophie, Anastasia Krupnik, Turtle Wexler, and Harriet M. Welsh were my role models and heroes when I was growing up, and it’s probably because I loved them so much that I decided to write books myself.

Q: For anyone who liked Dead to Me what are some places in Los Angeles that you think they would like to visit?

Okay, here’s an LA history nerd itinerary for you:

Start off by admiring the architecture at Union Station and the Terminal Annex Post Office, then take the Red Line to the Pershing Square stop. Hop off, grab a burrito at Grand Central Market and check out the Bradbury Building which is, for my money, the most beautiful sight in Los Angeles, then follow it up by skulking around the halls at the Biltmore Hotel and check out the zodiac chandelier in the 2nd floor Rotunda at the Central Library.

Some of my other favorite historical places are The Last Bookstore, Musso & Frank Grill, the HMS Bounty, the Egyptian Theater, the El Rey, Canter’s Deli, Langer’s Deli, and the Silent Movie Theater.

I think there are at least five places you can get pastrami on my LA history nerd itinerary.

Q: Can you tell us what you are working on now?

My next book is called CAMP SO AND SO, and it will be published by Carolrhoda Lab in spring 2017. It’s set at a summer camp where each cabin of characters finds themselves trapped into acting out a warped version of a classic camp story. In order to make it out in one piece, they have to figure out who’s pulling the strings and how to take control of their own stories again.
It’s fun and weird and metafictional, and I can’t wait for people to read it!

*Giveaway*

Enter for a chance to win a poster signed by all the authors attending OTBF. The contest is NOT International (US only) and will run from February 22-March 13th.

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Pasadena Loves YA Blog Tour + Q&A with Ava Dellaria + Giveaway

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This year I was honored to be asked to participate in the Pasadena Loves YA Blog Tour and to host a Q&A with Ava Dellaria, author of Love Letters To The Dead. Be sure to check out the full interview with Ava by scrolling down.
Along with the Q&A there is also a giveaway of three books from any Pasadena Loves YA 2015 authors. For more information and to enter the giveaway just scroll down to the end of the post.

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For those who haven’t attended this event before here are some of the important details…
When: Friday May 23, 2015 at 12 noon-4pm
Where: Pasadena Public Library, Central Branch, 285 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101
What: Meet 20 YA authors / Panels & Book Signings / Giveaways and Refreshments / Free tote bags for the first 150 guests!

Cost: FREE

Authors: Keynote speaker Mary McCoy (author of Dead to Me) with Katie Alender, Victoria Aveyard, Alexis Bass, Julie Berry, Livia Blackburne, Virginia Boecker, Jessica Brody, Stephen Chbosky, Brandy Colbert, Ava Dellaira, Kody Keplinger, Liz Maccie, Morgan Matson, Lauren Miller, Alexandra Monir, Jennifer Niven, Romina Russell, Sarah Tomp, & Kiersten White

For more info, visit www.pasadenateenbookfestival.com

Please Note: Book sales by Vroman’s Bookstore will begin at 11am. Co-sponsored by Bridge to Books. No registration required, but we would appreciate it if you would post, share, tweet, and tell everyone you know about the upcoming event! Please use the hashtag #PLYA2015.

Q&A with Ava Dellaria

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Q: Tell us about your writing process?

For me, first drafts are a process of discovery. When I started out writing Love Letters, I began with the concept and a few key story points, and I thought of the early stages of writing as spending time with the characters and getting to know them, learning to listening to what they wanted to tell me.

After I had finished a draft of the book, I began the process of shaping the story. On my next draft I focused on structure and narrative arch. I drew on the feedback of friends and family and rewrote the book many times before I began working with my agent and my editor—what I presented as a first draft had actually been rewritten countless times!

Q: What writers would you say influenced your writing the most?

I feel like I’ve been influenced, in some way, by every book I’ve fallen in love with. I have a background in poetry and it’s had a big influence on my prose. (I often start out a day of writing by reading some poetry—it’s a great reminder, always, of the possibilities of language.)

Stephen Chbosky, who was a mentor to me, was a big influence on my writing. At the time I was writing my first draft of Love Letters, I was reading This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz and Welcome to the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. They are both marvelous masters with language, and helped to inspire me.

When I began working on Love Letters, I hadn’t setting out to write a YA book necessarily—to be honest I knew little about the genre at the time—but after I’d talked to my agent about it, he told me he thought the book should be published as YA, and I started educating myself in the genre. I read some of the classic titles likeSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Looking for Alaska by John Green. Those books were real inspirations for me, and helped me a lot in writing my second (and third and fourth and fifth!) drafts of the book.

Q: In your book Love Letters to the Dead the main character, Laurel, writes letters to famous dead people as an English assignment. How did you decide which people Laurel would write to?

I started out with some celebrities that I myself loved and began researching others who I thought might be a good fit. As I worked on the book and got to know Laurel, I found that her character and the choices of people to whom she would write mutually informed each other. For example, when Laurel began writing to River Phoenix, I saw the evening that she and her sister, May, had first watchedStand By Me together, and the way that his particular innocence spoke to them, as they felt the first danger of their own slipping away.

I had originally started out with a wider selection of letter recipients, but in subsequent drafts of the book those who were no longer relevant to the plot fell away. The book traces the evolving connections that Laurel makes between her own life and the lives of the people to whom she writes, so as Laurel’s character and journey became clarified, so did the decisions about the people to include in the book.

Q: If you had been given the same English assignment as Laurel when you were in high school who would you have written to?

I’ve been asked this question a lot, but never with the “in high school” caveat, which is a great addition! I’d likely have written to Kurt Cobain, like Laurel does. I could also see myself having written to Janis Joplin, or John Lennon, or a number of authors I loved, like Kate Chopin or F Scott Fitzgerald.

Q: Fox 2000 has optioned Love Letters to the Dead. What would be your dream casting?

Yes! I feel very lucky to have gotten the opportunity to write the screenplay. I have had a wonderful time working with Fox 2000 and the producers at Temple Hill, and it was a really great to get to spend new time with the characters and to figure out how to tell Laurel’s story in a different medium. As for casting, I have faith in my producers! I thought they did an amazing job with casting for Fault in Our Stars, Twilight, and Maze Runner, and I’m really excited to see who they’d chose forLove Letters.

The Giveaway

Enter to win any 3 books from the 2015 Pasadena Loves YA authors, US only, ends 5/20/2015.

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