Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #19: Hummingbird Heart (Haunted Hearts Legacy #2) by A.G. Howard

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.  My pick this week is a sequel once again. This time however, it is a sequel that takes place 19 years after the first book.  However, I love this author, and will read just about anything she writes.  I've not read anything of hers that I didn't love yet.  You can read my review of the first book in the series here:  The Architect of SongHere's the blurb of this sequel from Goodreads:

Shortly after escaping a circus tragedy, young Italian orphan, Willow Antoniette, seeks refuge at The Manor of Diversions—a holiday resort in England born of a ghost story. For eleven years, she’s raised alongside the children of the resort’s owners: Julian, his twin brother, Nick, and their younger sister Emilia. Now that Willow is of marriable age, she's determined to escape finishing school along with everyone's efforts to make her a proper lady. The only man she wants to spend her life with is Julian, after all. Yet how can she tell him, when he thinks of her as nothing but a friend? 

As a machinist and engineer, Julian Thornton prefers a governable life. He can't allow his ever-deepening attraction for Willow to distract from his amusement park plans to lure a younger, wealthier clientele to their family's resort. In hopes to escape Willow and find investors, Julian sets off on a transatlantic ocean liner headed for the St. Louis World’s Fair, unaware Willow has secretly stowed away on the same ship. 

A tiny, mute orphan named Newton and a pair of haunted Italian shoes bring Willow and Julian face to face on deck. Forced to work together to solve the mystery of Newton and his vindictive, ghostly companion, Julian and Willow can no longer fight their untapped passions. However, time to admit their true feelings is running out, for the ghost and her murderer have enlisted them as unsuspecting pawns in a karmic game of cat-and-mouse that could cost all of them their lives.

So, have you read this author?  Or started this series? What book are you eagerly awaiting this week?

Armchair BEA 2017 Introduction Post

So!  I have not participated in this for awhile, but since I had actually really, truly planned to attend this year, at least until other trips came up (ApollyCon back in March, family trip to Orlando in July), I want to participate in this fun event.  If you're interested in joining in, you can go HERE.  There are lots of fun people to meet, as well as giveaways galore!  Here are my answers to the introduction post prompts.

I am a high school librarian in Kansas City, Kansas.  I also work part time at a Barnes and Noble bookstore, as well as blogging here at Lisa Loves Literature. 

Currently I am enjoying my first few days off from school for the summer and looking forward to a busy summer!

I love books (obviously), meeting authors, and my two dogs, mini-dachshunds named Dora and Argyle, not to mention any dachshund that I see!

My favorite author at the moment is Kylie Scott.  She is doing an awesome YA story on Wattpad right now and I cannot stand the wait in between chapters!

My least favorite thing about this past year is all the friendships and family relationships that have suffered due to silly small things.  I have so much trouble giving up on people, and so still find myself wanting to reach out to some of them to see if there is any way we can overcome whatever the problem was, even though my friends and family around me often say just to move on.

My current read is not just one, but a couple different books.  I'm usually listening to a book in my car.  Have one on my phone Kindle app, and a book that is probably for review, as well as one more that is sitting by my bed.  Let me list all of them off here:  Write Naked by Jennifer Probst, What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard, Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras, and Challenge by Amy Daws (audiobook).

My summer plans include lots of reading, catching up on blogging - specifically review books and actually getting reviews caught up on other books I've read.  I also want to actually complete one of my stories I've started over the past years during NaNoWriMo and try to publish it as an ebook on Amazon to see if anyone even wants to read it.  I'd also like to get into more freelance editing and proofreading.  My last hope is to get back to walking and get back in shape, or at least on the road!

My buddy is my writing buddy that I lost earlier this year because she didn't like the way I reviewed her book.  :-(  The sad thing is that every time I reviewed one, I shared the link directly to it, and she didn't even bother to read those reviews until someone else pointed them out. 

My blog/channel/social media include this site, as well as my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

The best ... well this is a hard one, the best what?  Um, I don't know.  I'm going to skip this one. 

Hope you decide to join in if you're not attending BEA, if you are attending, and you can grab an ARC of Maggie Stiefvater's upcoming book, please send it to me.  :-)

Blog Tour - Author Interview and Giveaway: Horizon and Infinity by Tabitha Lord

Book Details:
Title: Horizon
Author: Tabitha Lord
Category: Adult Fiction, 314 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Release date: December 2015
Tour dates: May 22 to July 14, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are a few, moderately explicit sex scenes, genocide, rape, and moderate language.)

Book Description:

​Caeli Crys isn’t living—she’s surviving. On the run after the genocide of her empathic people, she witnesses a spaceship crash near her hidden camp. When she feels the injured pilot suffering from miles away, she can’t help but risk discovery to save his life.

Commander Derek Markham awakens stranded on an uncharted planet. His co-pilot is dead, his ship is in ruins, and he’s only alive because a beautiful young woman is healing him with her mind.

As Derek recovers, Caeli shares the horror of her past and her fear for the future. When Derek’s command ship, Horizon, sends rescue, Derek convinces Caeli to leave with him. But his world is as treacherous as hers—full of spies, interplanetary terrorist plots, and political intrigue. Soon the Horizon team is racing to defend an outlying planet from a deadly enemy, and Caeli’s unique skills may just give them the edge they need to save it.

Buy the Book:

Book Details: 
Title: Infinity  
Author:  Tabitha Lord
Category: Adult Fiction, 304 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Release date: June 6, 2017
Tour dates: May 22 to July 14, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (violence, non-explicit sex, language)

Book Description:

In the second installment of the award-winning Horizon series, Dr. Caeli Crys returns to her war-torn world to fight for those she left behind.

Almagest, Caeli’s home, stands on the brink of revolution. Long hidden from the rest of the galaxy, the once-peaceful planet suffers under a regime that grows more violent and oppressive by the day. Marcus, Almagest’s dictator, is building an arsenal of alien weaponry by selling empathic children into slavery. A resistance has risen, but they are outmanned, outgunned, and in hiding.

Joined by Commander Derek Markham and his elite squadron of operatives, Caeli embarks on a dangerous mission to find the Resistance, rescue her captive people, and save her civilization from destruction.

Buy the Book:

Author Interview:
1.    What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of your pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it notes, etc.?

When I’m working on the draft of a novel, I try to work on it every day, at least for a little while. I start by reviewing my writing from the day before and making minor edits. Then I work for several consecutive hours. I need at least two hours, preferably four, to get my imagination flowing and to have any success writing new material. When I’m finished with my work in progress for the day, I like to leave it knowing what scene I’ll be working on the next day. During the first draft phase, I write mostly sequentially, but if a later scene just won’t leave my head, I’ll jump to it and spend some time on it.

When the first draft is finished, I let it sit for a while and work on something else. Then I do a few rounds of edits myself before sending it out to my beta readers. Once I have some common feedback from the beta readers, and have integrated them into another round of edits, I send that version to my editor. She and I will go back and forth until we’re both satisfied.

As far as knowing the story ahead of time, I’d say I’m a loose outliner. I have the bones of the story worked out in my mind, and generally a notebook full of scribbled thoughts, but I leave plenty of room for interesting plot twists.

2.    How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?

Thoughts for my stories come to me in different ways. Sometimes it’s a character that appears in my head, fully formed – personality, career, physical appearance, and name – ready for me to create a story around. Other times, there’s an interesting scene that builds up in my imagination over time. Or sometimes there’s a theme or idea I want to explore.

3.    How long have you been writing?

I’ve considered myself a professional writer for just about three years now, but I’ve been creating stories my whole life. In fact, when I was sorting through some of my grandma’s things after she passed, I came across a whole collection of poetry and stories I’d written that she kept. It was very sweet.

In my previous job I’d written some ad copy, blog posts, and done some editing for school publications, but I had very little time or energy for creative writing, and I had that crippling notion that I couldn’t write a whole book.
Then, while I was in the middle of a lengthy work project, I just sat down and started writing my first novel, Horizon. I remember the exact day. I was spending the weekend with my best friend. I woke up early, sat on her couch under a blanket, and opened my laptop. Nine months later, I finished the first draft. Being a mom, the significance of that timeline isn’t lost on me!

4.    What tips do you have for aspiring writers?

First, finish something. A bad draft is better than no draft.

Second, a first draft is nowhere near the finished product. This was shocking to me as a first time novelist - although it shouldn’t have been! I knew edits were going to happen, but I had no idea how much work they would be. If I had to estimate, I would say that writing the first draft was only about one-third of the work. Editing and working through the business side of publishing made up the other two-thirds.

 And finally, keep writing. Even when you feel stuck. Even when it’s a bad writing day. Even when you want to toss the whole mess! Keep writing. It’s worth it.

5.    As a science fiction author, how important do you feel about making sure the science is as real as possible in a story? Do you research to try to keep the science as factual as possible?

As a science fiction writer I have great latitude. The worlds I imagine aren’t real. But to bring readers along for the ride, and ask them to suspend their belief for the duration of the journey, the places I create must feel authentic, and the science I introduce must be plausible, or at least consistently applied throughout the world I’m building.

In addition to consistency, if I’m using familiar science, for example a propulsion systems or a medical procedure, I definitely do my research to be sure what I’m describing is accurate. There’s one scene in Infinity where Derek and Kat are flying an experimental aircraft into a dogfight. I researched maneuvers from historic air battles and watched a ton of you-tube videos from inside jet cockpits to try and create that scene authentically. It was pretty cool!

6.    How important are names in your books? Do you choose the names based on the way they sound, or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

For me, naming the characters and places in my stories is a really important, almost sacred activity! Sometimes I’ll just use a name I’ve always loved, but often they have additional meaning. For example, Caeli’s name is derived from the Latin word for sky, and some of the mountain ranges and bodies of water on her planet are taken from Greek words (my undergrad degree is in Classics!). Her planet, Almagest, is named after the astronomical manual written by Ptolemy around 150 AD.  

When I’m looking to name cities on a particular planet, I’ll look up obscure towns in foreign countries and use those. Honestly, I think I have a little too much fun with the whole naming thing!

7.    Some favorites: books/authors/genres; movies/TV shows; music; food/writing snacks

The favorites are hard! I love to read. In addition to writing novels and short stories, I also give author interviews and write reviews for Book Club Babble, and I belong to two book clubs, so I’m constantly reading. In general, I prefer genre fiction to literary fiction, but The Goldfinch is an all-time favorite. I just finished Jonathan Maberry’s latest Joe Ledger book, Dogs of War, and that was a page-turner. I can go on and on about books…

For TV shows I admit to being a Supernatural fan. I’m dying for the last season of Orphan Black. Colony was terrific, and I think The Expanse is the best sci-fi show since the reboot of Battlestar Galactica. And of course, I am waiting with baited breath for Outlander to return.

I’ve always got music playing in the background, whether I’m writing or folding laundry. My current playlist is pretty eclectic with bands from Linkin Park to Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran to Maroon 5. I live with a musician and all my kids have serious musical talent so a favorite list here is nearly impossible!

For writing snacks, a cup of tea and a piece of chocolate are my go to break time treats.  

Meet the Author:

Tabitha currently lives in Rhode Island. She is married, has four great kids, two spoiled cats, and lovable lab mix. Her degree is in Classics from College of the Holy Cross and she taught Latin for years at an independent Waldorf school, where she now serves on the Board of Trustees.

Tabitha’s debut novel, Horizon, won the Writer’s Digest Grand Prize for Self-Published Fiction in 2016, and was named finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and National Indie Excellence Awards. Infinity, the second book in the Horizon series, will be released in June 2017. Her short story “Homecoming” appears in the anthology Sirens, edited by Rhonda Parrish and published by World Weaver Press, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is also a senior editor for

Visit her blog at where she discusses favorite topics including parenting, teaching, and her writing journey.

​Connect with Tabitha: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram


May 22 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Horizon / giveaway
May 22 - To Be Read - review of Horizon
May 23 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Infinity / giveaway
May 24 - 411 on Books, Authors and Publishing News - spotlight / guest post/giveaway
May 25 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Horizon / giveaway
May 26 - Cheryl' Book Nook - review of Horizon / author interview / giveaway
May 29 - Book review nature photos and everything in between - review of Horizon
May 30 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Horizon / giveaway
May 31 - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf - review of Horizon / giveaway
May 31 - Lisa Loves Literature - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 1   - A Mama's Corner of the World - review on Horizon
June 2   - A Mama's Corner of the World - review on Infinity
June 5   - Haddie's Haven - review of Horizon / guest post / giveaway
June 6   - The Autistic Gamer - review of Horizon
June 7   - The Autistic Gamer - review of Infinity
June 8   - Library of Clean Reads - review of Horizon / giveaway
June 9   - Cheryl' Book Nook - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 12 - To Be Read - review of Infinity
June 12 - Deal Sharing Aunt - review of Horizon / giveaway
June 13 - Haddie's Haven - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 14 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - review of Horizon
June 15 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 16 - 100 Pages A Day - review of Horizon / guest post / giveaway
June 19 - Elsie's Audiobook Digest - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 20 - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 21 - Deal Sharing Aunt - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 22 - Books, Dreams, Life - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 26 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Horizon / giveaway
June 27 - Crossroad Reviews - review of Horizon
June 28 - Baker Kella - review of Horizon / author interview / giveaway
June 29 - Baker Kella - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 30 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Horizon
July 3   - Book review nature photos and everything in between - review of Infinity
July 4   - Sharing Stories - review of Horizon
July 4   - Books for Books - review of Horizon
July 5   - Lukten av trykksverte - review of Horizon / giveaway
July 6   - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Horizon / guest post
July 7   - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Infinity
July 7   - A Book Geek - review of Horizon
July 10 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Infinity / giveaway
July 11 - Books for Books - review of Infinity
July 11 - Crossroad Reviews - review of Infinity
July 12 - Lukten av trykksverte - review of Infinity / giveaway
July 13 - A Book Geek - review of Infinity
July 13 - Reviews in the City - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 14 - Sharing Stories - review of Infinity
July 14 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Infinity

Enter the Giveaway!
  • Win one of 5 prize packages that contains: Horizon (Book #1) and Infinity (Book #2) by Tabitha Lord and a $10 Amazon gift card (open to USA only - 5 winners)
Ends July 22

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Book Blitz with Giveaway: Bella Italia by Camille Taylor

Book info:
Title: Bella Italia
Author:  Camille Taylor
Series:  Heavenly #1
Publication date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Small-town wallflower, Adelaide Montgomery has lived an uneventful life—until she witnesses the murder of her best friend…
Adelaide clings to the simple security of a home and a wish for family—desires that sent her former fiancé into another woman’s arms.
Happy to remain in Heavenly, Australia for the rest of her life, she reluctantly gives in to her best friend, Rachel’s pleading to join her on a trip to Italy. A decision which will alter her life forever.
Gorgeous men can be deadly killers in disguise…
When her best friend returns to their hotel suite with two male companions the night doesn’t go as planned and Rachel is murdered in cold blood.
Able to identify the killer, Adelaide finds herself a target, barely escaping with her life.
In order to protect his witness, Rome Inspector Antonio Cardellini hides Adelaide at his family’s winery. Though Antonio is a professional and Adelaide is under his charge, his feelings quickly surpass the limits of his job. Knowing one day she will return home, he struggles to distance himself, but the trial and his family continue to throw him and Adelaide back together.
Will Antonio put his badge above his heart? Or will he risk it all—his career, Adelaide’s life, and the possibility of a future together—all for a chance at love?

She stared into his deep blue eyes, feeling the warmth of them. Her stomach somersaulted. Holding him this close was dangerous. She tried to warn herself but her body refused to listen to the commands her brain was sending out. He watched her intently. What was he thinking? Her heart beat sped up until it was pounding in her chest. The heat from his body liquefied her muscles and his manly scent, so intoxicating to her filled her lungs.
Pressed up against him, she could feel every hard pane of his chest. Her breath caught in her throat as desire flooded her. She shifted, an urgent ache gathering between her legs. Her mouth dried even as her belly quivered. Moving her hands from around his neck, she cupped his jaw.
Adelaide swallowed with difficulty. He wasn’t pushing her away—nor was he encouraging her.
Insufferable man.
Whatever happened between them would be her choice she knew. She—Adelaide Montgomery—for the first time in her life needed to make the first move and the idea both thrilled and terrified her.
She cut him off when she crushed her lips against his. She didn’t think, just felt. Allowing desire to take her where it wanted to go. While afraid of rejection, the fear of always wondering ‘what if’ overrode her reservations and made her bolder than she’d ever been before. She took what she wanted, and she wanted him.
His lips were soft beneath her own as his hand on her back pushed her more firmly into him, stoking the fires within, feeling almost brazen as she sucked on his tongue and he moaned.
She deepened the kiss, one hand sliding into his hair and tilting his head for better access. His tongue rasped against hers, sending delicious tingles down her spine. She had never kissed like this before—never had been kissed like before. What more had she never experienced before? It was one thing to be told what you were missing, it was quite another to be teased with the promise.
Antonio’s hand slowly inched up her thigh and beneath the towel, finally resting on her bottom. A hot rush of liquid heat pooled between her thighs. Every touch made her feel beautiful and cherished. Her body burned with delicious heat, a firestorm of sensation and yet she didn’t want to put it out, only to feed the flames more until it was consuming her. Until her entire consciousness was blind of all things except this burning need.

Author Bio:
Camille Taylor is an Australian sexy romantic suspense author who lives in the Nation’s Capital with her fluffy sidekick. She spends her time reading, writing, blogging and procrastinating on Pinterest looking at nail art, books, home improvement tips and cake decorating. A bookworm, she enjoys most genres, particularly romance and mysteries and is HEA chaser so you’ll always find one in her books. She started writing at sixteen and is currently working on her Harbour Bay and Heavenly Series, both set in Australia. Camille is also an incurable genealogist and has traced her heritage to England, Scotland, Ireland and Russia. She loves scrapbooking, hockey, tae kwon do and travelling.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Review and Giveaway: Refuge for Masterminds (Stranje House #3) by Kathleen Baldwin

From Award Winning Author
Kathleen Baldwin
The stakes in this game of spies are life and death.
Book Cover
by Kathleen Baldwin
Series: Stranje House, Book 3
Genre: Young Adult, Teen Alternative Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Lady Jane Moore has a secret. A secret that must be kept buried. If anyone discovered the truth, her life at Stranje House would crumble. And with Napoleon Bonaparte threatening to invade England, everyone at Stranje House is already in mortal danger.
There's a traitor in the house. Someone is sneaking information to Napoleon's spies, Lady Daneska and Ghost. Jane is determined to find out who it is before suspicions rip apart the bonds of friendship at Stranje House. Her desperate hunt for the traitor ensnares a brash young American inventor, Alexander Sinclair, Robert Fulton's nephew, into an ambush that puts his life in danger. Sinclair is the most maddening young man in all of Christendom, a sharp-tongued rascal with boorish manners, but Lady Jane cannot bear the thought of the golden-haired genius being harmed.
Is Jane enough of a mastermind to save Alexander, her friends at Stranje House, and possibly England itself?
Fans of Gail Carriger, Patricia Wrede, and Caroline Stevermer will love this Regency-era alternate history filled with spunky heroines, handsome young lords, and dastardly villains.
"Baldwin has a winning series here: her characters are intriguing and fully rendered."
- Stacey Comfort, Booklist
"Refuge for Masterminds moves at a fast pace from the first page and doesn't stop. Although it is written with a young adult audience in mind, it is a fun and enjoyable novel and will also appeal to adult readers."
- Francesca Pelaccia, Historical Novel Society

Purchase Links

My Review:   

  This is a series that I have really enjoyed, and this book continues that enjoyment.  I always love a good historical fiction that makes me interested in learning more about a certain time period.  Particularly when it gets me interested in a time period I either never thought about, or just never had any interest in even when I might have learned about it in the past in school, etc.  I also love a good series where each book focuses on another of the main characters, as well as keeping up involved in the lives of those from books before, and even getting us interested in whatever other characters we might get future books about.  I enjoyed a lot about Lady Jane, and I also enjoyed the banter between her and Mr. Sinclair in this book.  Their romance was very sweet.  The reason that Jane did not want to go to London was definitely well-hidden until it was revealed, and until then, I was unsure what in the world could have kept her from wanting to go.  But that reason was so good!  And the turn it took once she was in London was even better.  I loved the puppies, and the idea of creating a fake leg for a dog with only three legs was so sweet and a neat addition to the story.  There was a bit with a leech at the end that made me laugh out loud, as I could totally see it happening.    Another fun look into a time period and environment that we don't always spend much time looking into, not to mention the political world at the time and how the society and town worked during those days, not to mention the scientific ideas that began to spring forth as well, probably in very similar environments.

Other Books by the Author

Don't miss the first two books in the Stranje House series:
Book Cover
Series: Stranje House, Book 1
Napoleon is exiled, Europe is in shambles and Britain is at war on four fronts. Daughters of the Beau Monde who don't fit high society's strict mold are banished to Stranje House, where headmistress, Emma Stranje, entangles these unusual girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.
Buy Link: Amazon eBook | Barnes and Noble | iBooks

Check out my review HERE. 
"A completely original--and totally engrossing--world, full of smart girls, handsome boys and sinister mysteries...Sign me up."
- Meg Cabot, NYT Bestselling Author of The Princess Diaries on A School for Unusual Girls
Book Cover
Series: Stranje House, Book 2
Tess Aubreyson can't run far enough or fast enough to escape the prophetic dreams that haunt her. But with Napoleon threatening to invade England, Tess's disturbing dreams may be the only means of saving Lord Ravencross, the man she loves, and her friends at Stranje House.
Buy Link: Amazon eBook | Barnes and Noble | iBooks

Check out my review HERE.
"This spy school for girls . . . is impossible to put down! . . . I recommend this book to anyone that loves brave girls, adventure and great friendships."
- 5 Girls Book Reviews


Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
Be one of three lucky winners:
$10 Gift Card + hardback copy of Refuge for Masterminds
Contest runs from May 15 - June 3, 2017.

About Kathleen Baldwin

Kathleen Baldwin loves adventure in books and in real life. She taught rock climbing in the Rockies, survival camped in the desert, was stalked by a mountain lion, lost an argument with a rattlesnake, spent way too long in college, fell in love and married her very own hero.
A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS, the first book in the alternate history series for teens, was awarded Spirit of Texas in 2016, is a Junior Library Guild selection, and Kansas NEA Reading Circle gave it a starred review in their 2016 Best of the Best for High Schools. Ian Bryce, producer of Spiderman, Saving Private Ryan, and other notable films optioned the series for film.
REFUGE FOR MASTERMINDS, Book 3 in the Stranje House series, releases May 23rd.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure, "completely original and totally engrossing."
Official website:
Social media links:

Join The Tour

Follow the book tour from May 15 - June 3, 2017.
Get sneak peaks, excerpts, fun facts and other never-before-published info on Refuge for Masterminds.
Tour Graphic

In partnership with
Book Unleashed

Pre-Order Blast and Excerpt Reveal: My Best Friend's Ex by Meghan Quinn


My Best Friend’s Ex, an all new sexy, laugh out loud romantic comedy is coming June 1st. Preorder today!


My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn 

Publication Date: June 1st, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

When I found an eviction notice taped on my apartment door, I had two options: find a comfortable cardboard box to call home, or move in with Tucker Jameson.
Seeing that cardboard makes me feel itchy, I chose the latter. Which shouldn't be that big of a deal since Tucker is one of my good friends. And because he's still pining after his ex-girlfriend and I'm trying to finish my nursing degree, there is nothing to worry about in the romance department, making my last semester an easy one to conquer.
Boy, was I wrong.
Rules are set, dinners are made, conversations are had, and a shirtless, swoony roommate walks around in nothing but a pair of black briefs, ruining me for every other man.
Before I know it, I turn into a panting, lust-filled woman begging for Tucker to kiss me, touch me, and show me exactly what is hiding under those briefs.
But with great orgasms, comes great consequences.
Tucker might be my friend and roommate but he’s also my best friend's ex-boyfriend, making him completely off-limits. At least that's what my brain is telling me, my heart is speaking an entirely different language.


“Morning,” Tucker’s deep voice rattles off the cabinets. It’s his morning voice, deeper, throatier—if that makes sense—and I hate to admit it, because he’s just my friend, but sexier. Once my pupils adjust to the light, I take Tucker in. He’s standing in front of the stove, rubber spatula in hand, wearing a white long-sleeve Henley shirt, the top two buttons undone, a pair of worn jeans with a few paint stains on them, and tan work boots. Sweet Jesus, he makes construction look good. Strap a tool belt around his waist and stick him in front of a camera for the benefit of all womankind.

“Morning,” I say in reply, using the counter to help hold up my tired body. “You’re up early. What time do you have to go into work?”

“Around seven thirty. I like to get an early start before the boys come in.” He looks me up and down, a small smile at the corner of his lips. “You look good.” He motions around his head with his hand. “I really like what you did with your hair.”

I turn toward the window in the kitchen and check out my reflection. Sure enough, my long brown hair looks like a lion’s mane poofed out and framing my face with an abundance of volume. Beautiful.

There is no use in taming it, so I leave my hair as is and turn back toward Tucker. “Not many people can get this kind of height while sleeping.” I pretend to fluff my hair.

“Impressive.” He chuckles and then points to the coffee maker with the spatula. “Coffee is done, mugs are above in the cabinet. Grab me a cup, will ya? Eggs will be done shortly, bacon is warming in the oven.”

I do as directed, thinking it’s kind of cute how he’s including me in on his little morning breakfast. “I didn’t even know you had eggs. I was expecting to hit up Dunkin’ Donuts or Tim Horton’s this morning.”

He turns off the stove and reaches for two plates from the dish rack. “I went to Walmart this morning. Picked up a few things.”

“This morning?” I pour two cups of coffee and turn toward him. “What time did you wake up?”

“Four thirty,” he answers casually. “Got a quick run in, did some weights, took a shower and then went to Walmart.” He fills our plates with bacon and eggs and then nods toward the dining room, plates and silverware in hand. “I have a surprise.”

I follow him to the dining room where he flips on the light and reveals a card table fold-out dining set.

“You got a table.” I chuckle, loving that it’s a fold-out card table with matching chairs. Anything is better than the floor.

“And placemats,” he adds, as he lifts two plastic placemats from one of the chairs. “The options were bleak so I went with dinosaurs for me and Trolls for you. Given the look of your morning hair, Trolls was the right choice.” Clever bastard. He sets them on the table and then puts our plates on top of them.

God, it’s too freaking cute. Chuckling, I take a seat and hand him his coffee. “Look at you getting all domestic. I never thought you would be a placemat kind of man, I stand corrected.” He rests a napkin on his legs, which are spread drastically, almost the length of the table and leans over to fork some eggs into his mouth. “Didn’t want our food to damage the plastic of this high-class table.” I love the humor in his voice, it reminds me of all the good times we had, before the end of his relationship with Sadie.

“Smart man, you want this table to last.”

“Of course, you don’t see fine furniture like this in houses anymore. Everything has to be so sturdy. What ever happened to rickety furniture and living through a meal with the threat of your food possibly kissing the floor at any point in time?”

 “The horror,” I joke.

He looks up at me. Some of his hair is still wet from his shower. Pointing his fork at me he says, “Are you ready to be schooled?”

“Schooled on what?” I take a bite of bacon and my stomach jumps in excitement for finally rewarding it for waking up early. All right, I will admit it, getting out of bed was a smart idea.

“It’s Monday, babe. DJ Hot Cock has his song picked and ready to show you what real music is.”

“When was my music taste ever questioned? I like good music.”

“We’ll see.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone. I watch as he flips through it until he lands on the song he wants to introduce me to. He presses play and sets his phone on the table. The light pickings of a guitar fill the small dining room. I don’t recognize the song, but I like the sound of it so far.

Just as I’m settling in to the sweet pickings of a guitar, the distinct voice of Zac Brown chimes in. I’ve known Tucker for loving EMO growing up, so his choice in a country song is very surprising to me, but when I look up at him, pure hometown country boy sitting across from me, it makes perfect sense.

And then the lyrics hit me. My Old Man. Zac sings about his father, hoping he’s proud of the man he’s become. I’m transported back to a dreary day in Whitney Point, where we grew up, when Sadie called me one Saturday morning. I was getting ready for the day. We were in middle school. Tucker’s dad was killed by a head-on collision, the dad Tucker just reconnected with, the dad Tucker had plans on moving in with to get away from his neglectful mom. Those next few days—and weeks—were a whirlwind of sorrow. Attending his funeral, my first ever funeral, seeing the look of devastation on Tucker’s face, wondering what he might be feeling, trying to channel his hurt, it was so much to take on as a teenager.

Glancing up, I take in Tucker’s expression. He’s lost in the music, in the words, just like me. When the song ends, I lean over and place my hand on his, our eyes meet and there is an unspoken understanding between us. I don’t have to say anything about his dad, about the tragedy we went through so many years ago together as friends. It’s all said between this silent exchange.  

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About the Author:

A BLONDE AT HEART Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped. Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking. ​ Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze! 

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Book info:
TitleRoyal Bastards
Author:  Andrew Shvarts
Genre:  YA fantasy
Release Date:  May 30th, 2016
Source:  Requested ARC from publisher, Disney Hyperion Teens
My rating:  4 stars


Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . .

My Review:
My rating:  4 stars

I had been seeing this book around many blogs earlier this year on the Waiting on Wednesday posts, and I'd been intrigued by the idea behind it, especially with the tiny hint of  Game of Thrones aspect to it.  So I emailed the publisher and requested it.  I am so glad that I did, because I really enjoyed it!  The characters were very interesting and ones that you wanted to know more about.  I loved the sibling relationship between Jax and Tilla.  I empathized with Miles and his obvious unrequited love for Tilla, but also was intrigued to find out more about Zell, the boy who did catch her attention.  The princess, Lyriana, was not the princess that might have shown up in this type of a story, she wasn't the type that would be annoying and make those around her roll their eyes in the frustration of dealing with her.  Not that she was in any way prepared for what happened when their little group had to run.  She had always been pretty much pampered and taken care of, as she was a true heir, not a bastard like Zell, Tilla, Miles, and Jax in his own way.  There were real losses in this story, people you really did grow to love and want to see them go on and escape the mess they had found themselves in.  I don't know if this is going to be a series or not for sure.  But it ended in a way that makes me want more story.  Not all the loose ends were tied up, not all the issues were solved  But it did end in a way that I guess will work in case the author doesn't get a sequel.  Let's all keep our fingers crossed that it isn't going to end this way though.  
One funny thing I want to mention, when they talked about their ancestors, the Titans.  Something about the description, as well as their "origin" myth in this world, made me think that maybe there might be more to the story than just a fantasy world.  Of course, it could just be my crazy imagination with it, and I don't want to say exactly what I was thinking, because I'm probably just being crazy.  If you read it, and get any weird thoughts based on those two things though, come back and tell me!  We can discuss it.  :-)
I definitely recommend this one.  The title may be a bit shocking, and I wonder how well it will go over in my school library, but it is one that I really do want my students to have a chance to read if they get the chance. 

Promo Post with Giveaway: Feeble Connections (Love Connection #0.5) by Meghana Sarathy

Title: Feeble Connections
Series: Love Connection #0.5  
Author: Meghana Sarathy
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: May 29, 2017

A charming Casanova; Brandon
A Beautiful, Sassy woman in search of true love; Jennifer
A cocky basketball player; Linden
Three lives, two best friends and one uinque love story.
Feeble Connection spins the tale of two friends- Jennifer and Brandon, who meet in college. They were opposite on many grounds and yet perfect for one another. More so as best friends. The love that blossomed in their hearts never made it to their lips. It was Jennifer's lost hope or perhaps Brandon's ignorance to understand his own feelings that made him pave the way for Jennifer to meet Linden . He was very different from Brandon and yet he managed to steal her heart.
Can first love be truly forgotten?
Is second love truly that strong?
Is it even possible to love two people at same time?
* Feeble connections is the prequel to Love Connection. It can be read as a standalone. Love Connection is the first book in the Love connection series and is available for purchase on amazon.
** NOT a menage
Recommended for 18+ due to sexual content and profanity

“Gem,” I call but not too loud and knock her window glass again.
Coming here was a hard ascent. Though it’s not too high, climbing pipes was never my forte and this was the first time I tried it. Currently I am on her window aisle, shivering in the cold, waiting for her to open the damn window. I can squeeze in easily. Or I can just call her, but it won’t be that fun.
“Gem,” I call again. I finally here scrambling footsteps approaching the window sill.
“Brandon?” she calls out, sliding the window open.
“Hey,” I wave and she stumbles back letting out a chuckle. “It’s really you. I thought I was dreaming!”
“Nice to hear I visit you in your dreams as well,” I wink and her cheeks turn red. I am always rewarded with her blush when I catch her unguarded like this.
She crosses her arms across her chest and puffs. I can’t help but notice her chest rising higher, together with her boobs. The grey satin night gown she dons is a treat to my eyes. It reaches just up to her mid-thighs with the netted-coat draping on either sides, but it still gives a good view of her long naked legs that I had missed out in her party gown.
“What do I actually do in these dreams of yours?” I ask, propping my elbows on the window sill.
“I’m sure you’ll be more than happy to do the same if I let you in,” She tells boldly, leaning forward.
So I suppose I was right in guessing she has dirty dreams about me. I am one lucky guy.
“That’s exactly what I had in mind. I’ll take you up on your offer. Demonstration is more gratifying, right?”
She looks at me mortified, but steps away to let me enter. I hop into her room and inhale the scent which smells solely and exclusively of Gem.
“Sorry, but unfortunately I don’t keep condoms in my room. I hope you have come prepared,” she tells with her back to me.
She has got to be fucking kidding me. When Gem resorts to flirting there is no stopping her.
“I don’t mind fathering your kids. In fact it would be my pleasure, especially if they go after you in looks and brains. I would be a proud dad.”
Do I mean it? I do, I think. That family picture looks perfect.
She gasps and turns to me with wide eyes. I am not sure if she is shocked or amazed. Her mouth tics up and I get my answer. She is definitely happy.
“I would want them to have your hair. I love the color.”
Gem always has a problem with her hair color. She has dark brown hair which is a good contrast to her fair skin tone, but she wanted a lighter color. But I am against her dying it.
I rub my chin in speculation. “If you say so…but I do like your hair.”
“And hazel eyes,” she continues stepping forward. “Your eyes are so beautiful.”
“No,” I argue. “Your eyes are enchanting. Definitely emerald green.”
“Hazel,” she steps closer.
“No. Green,” I refute, covering the gap.
When she is just an inch away she mutters, “Let’s just have twins. One with green eyes and blonde hair and the other with hazel eyes and brown hair. Perfect combination of both?”
“Awesome idea.” I clasp both her hands. “For that to happen, don’t you suppose we should get down to some action?”
She looks deeps into my eyes, her face basking in the glow of the two bedside lamps.
“You’re not serious,” she says softly.
“You want me to be?” I ask, pushing her back towards her bed.
Uncertainty flickers in her eyes before she slowly shakes her head. “No.”
If she had said yes, I would have definitely taken her up on her offer this time and would not even hold back. Her answer is a sad no and I should just suck it.
“What’re you doing here, again?” All I see in her eyes is twirling confusion. She wants me, but she doesn’t want to want me. Maybe she is annoyed at herself for wanting this. Either way it’s funny.
“Well, the night is not over yet. And I want to make the best of the hours left.”
“How do you plan on doing that?” Now she wants me to want what she wants but can’t admit to.
“By sleeping with you,” I whisper huskily in her ears.
Her throat bobs and her lips part. “Show me how.”
Smart girl. She’s leaving the choice to me.
I hop onto her bed and settle comfortably on her bedspread. I stretch my arm on her pillow and raise my brows at her. “My hand will be your pillow for the night. Once in a lifetime opportunity. Don’t miss it.”
Her face glows with pure happiness this time and she follows suit, and lands on her back with her head on my arms and her body curved towards mine.
“This is a good idea.” She bites her plump lips. “What brought this on?”
“I should have done this the last time I had got such a chance. But I fucked up, and now I want to correct my fault.”
“You’re doing it just for me?” Her doubt lingers in her tone.
“It’s never just for you, Gem. It’s as much for me as its for you. I need this. I need the proximity. I need you.”
“Me too.” Her hands rest on my chest while my other arm curves around her waist. “If dad finds out he’ll kick us out of the house.”
“I will leave by then,” I assure. “Will use the same route.”
She chuckles but doesn’t object.
“There is one slight problem, though.”
“What?” she jerks her head up and looks down on me.
“You will wake up to my boner. You can’t complain about it.”
She snorts and falls back on my arm. “I would be disappointed if you didn’t have one. I would think that I am losing my effect on you.”
That’s my Girl. Always frank. My Girl. I love the sound of that. Will make her mine…One fine day.
Meghana Sarathy is from Bangalore, India. She is an avid reader and also a writer. She mainly reads and writes Adult and New Adult romance, as well as dark and psychological thrillers. She has a special affinity towards love triangles and angst filled stories. Her all time favorite characters are her very own characters- Jennifer, Brandon and Linden. She tends to fall hard for boys who are either cocky, good flirts and total charmers.

She spends most of her free time reading, writing or watching anime. Depending on her mood, she tends to write two to three books at a time. She is a crazy fan of Dragonball Z and can be seen watching the episodes in repeat. Vegeta is her all time favorite anime character.