Thursday, July 19, 2018

Book Blitz + Giveaway: My Dream Job by Marcella Swann


Title: My Dream Job
Author: Marcella Swann
Publication date: July 14th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Callie
He sees right through me. I like it. No, I crave it. His attention is like an opiate. It isn’t about the money. It isn’t about the power.
Then what? Even ask myself, I already know the answer.
He’s the summit of the mountain I can’t scale, no matter which tools I use. I would give him my body, but he tosses women away without a glance. I could offer my mind, but he’d play me like a well-fingered instrument. He’s mastered life and everything in it.
He holds the secrets. He is everything I want and cannot get for myself. I’ll find his weakness and when I do …
Alec

I’ve grown bored with success. The extraordinary has become my routine. Then she walked into my seminar and I felt the flame of challenge. I wanted her mind, her innocence, her body.
It wasn’t her youth, not even her siren’s body. It was the untilled soil of her potential that drew me toward her.
She was the only thing I could not buy, could not create and could not command. She was the supreme protégé; the urn to receive my carefully cultivated, highly sensitive awareness.
She sat there before me, willing and adoring.
Could I resist my urge to make her what I wanted her to be? Could I leave her richer for having been with me? Could I leave her … ever?
Add it: Goodreads / Amazon

In between shaking hands, I coolly navigated the rooms, noting that everyone had adhered to costume and seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were two champagne fountains set up centrally and the buffets held warming trays with superbly prepared, gourmet level foods. After all, the event cost $2500 per plate, so at least the food had better be good and the booze plentiful.
“Hello John, how have you been? I don’t believe I’ve seen you since Singapore?”
“Well, Alec, you’re looking fine as usual. Always very fit. Any new deals you can let me in on? Yes, I believe it was Singapore.”
“John, you don’t mean to tell me your instincts are failing you?” I teased him. “Surely you’re the one with the tips to share?”
He shook his head as he left and turned back to the woman standing at his left. I assumed she was his wife, although I had never met her. I moved on.
“Alec! I hear you’ve taken on a new protégé.”
I nodded and looked toward the staircase. Callie hadn’t come down yet and I wondered if she was getting cold feet. “Yes Robert, as a matter of fact I have. Don’t try to steal her from me, now promise?”
“As good as all that, is she?” Robert eyebrows peaked with curiosity.
I neither confirmed nor denied and that was exactly what he expected. I was fairly certain once people met her, the question would come behind my back whether she was my business protégé or mistress. Let them think what they want, I thought to myself. Callie would set them straight.
I felt before I heard, the raised pitch in the conversation undertones. I knew something was happening and looked toward the staircase. Sure enough, Callie was coming down and there wasn’t a word strong enough to describe how beautiful she was.
She had interpreted the pirate theme to include female pirates. Most of the women there were dressed in 19th-century ball gowns, playing the role of the captured mistress or willing stowaway the pirates would use for their pleasure. But not my Callie.
Her beautiful, long legs were encased in black leather, the waist rising higher and ending just below her bosom. She wore a full-sleeved blouse, gathered at the shoulder and ballooning over her long arms before clutching her wrists in crystal studded bands. Its collars lay wide open, cut deeply below her décolletage, the suntanned mounds of her perfect breasts hugging one another in that curtained stage. Her long blonde hair had been drawn high above her neck, cascading in curls below her black, pirate’s hat. It, too, was studded with sparkling crystals. Black, high-heeled leather boots went over where her pantaloons ended and a cummerbund of crimson velvet emphasized her tiny waist. Every man in the room made a wish and every woman scowled. She was a diabolical mistress of the night and she was mine.
She waved at me over the heads of the crowd and I nodded and motioned her forward. People parted to make her path as she came toward me. There was no need to hush the crowd, they were already silent with appreciation. “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce my assistant and protégé, Ms. Callie Courtney. I’ve been fortunate enough to snap up this talented young lady and include her in my organization before the rest of you even knew she was available. I encourage each of you to meet her personally this evening as she will often be my personal representative. She will be authorized to discuss and execute all business on my behalf.”
My introduction drew an intake of breath across the room. I was not known for giving up control of any aspect of my business and the fact that I had just transferred trust onto Callie’s beautiful shoulders was rare indeed. A stuttering of quiet comments blossomed across the room and soon there was a general applause for her introduction. Callie beamed, smiling graciously and tilting her head to individuals around the room. She leaned toward me and whispered in my ear. “I’m so nervous,” she said, her voice higher pitched than normal in her anxiety.
“Honey, they’re more afraid of you than you are of them, I guarantee you. Everyone in this room owes me in one way or another. Think of yourself as a queen who can order heads chopped off.”
She looked at me, her eyes wide, her mouth forming an O-shape before dissolving into a smile as she winked.



Marcella Swann has been putting words on paper for as long as she can remember. After working for years in the hard-boiled world of journalism, she how devotes her time to writing contemporary romances of strong-willed women who win the men of their dreams. As passionate about love as the beauty of a story well told, Marcella is a complete romantic and believes everyone desires their happily ever after. A small town girl from Louisiana, Marcella now lives in New York City and starts each day walking her Yorkie in the park. She also swings a mean kettle bell at the gym and loves karaoke nights with her friends.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Deal Takers by Laura Lee


Title: Deal Takers
Author: Laura Lee
Publication date: July 17th 2018
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance
MY DICK CAN BE A REAL BASTARD SOMETIMES.
When he takes charge, I’ve been known to do a lot of stupid shit, despite the fact that I have a genius IQ. Case in point: How I met the woman of my dreams.
Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I don’t regret that moment of idiocy one bit. It may have been one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, but you know what they say about first impressions, right? Well, I can guarantee that I made quite the impression that evening. (Don’t worry; I’ll tell you all the gory details later.)
Most days, she acts like she hates me—probably because I behave like an ass— but we both know the truth: Rainey O’Neil wants me just as much as I want her—she just doesn’t want to admit it.
Good thing I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge.
*Deal Takers is the second installment in the Dealing with Love world but can be read as a standalone.


BRODY
“C’mon dude, work with me here. I swear I’ll be more selective going forward. GO LIMP YOU BASTARD!”
Okay so maybe taking Viagra wasn’t the smartest idea after all. Let me be clear that I don’t need it; I’m a healthy twenty-three-year-old guy. And I’m hung like Justin Bieber, only thicker. Yeah, I saw the pictures online—color me curious. But back to my predicament: My buddy swore the little blue pill is the ultimate sexual enhancer so I decided to partake. I’d like to point out that most guys don’t regularly get the chance to have a horizontal party with two hot sisters and said chance was presented to me on a silver platter. Before you get grossed out, they’re step-sisters so it’s not as weird as it sounds. And did I mention how fucking hot they are? We’re talking Pamela Anderson from the good ol’ Baywatch days. Not current Pam because let’s face it; a Susan Sarandon she is not. I mean seriously, could Suz be any sexier? She’s aged like fine wine—a vintage I’d drink like a motherfucking Slurpee. Great, now I’m thinking about banging hot MILF’s which certainly isn’t helping my boner situation. I’ve always had a thing for older women.
Anyhoo, I’m getting off track again. Where was I? Oh yeah, I’m sitting in the Emergency Room parking lot talking to my painfully hard dick. The commercials warn that you should seek medical attention if your erection lasts more than four hours. Well, here I am, EIGHT hours and TWO ROUNDS with the sisters later, with a fucking hard-on that won’t quit. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I was being punk’d. Who would’ve ever thought I’d be complaining about my dick staying hard for too long? If you’ve never suffered this cruel fate, let me assure you; it fucking hurts. I think I may have actually broken the poor guy. He’s raw from way too much friction and don’t even get me started on how difficult it was to take a piss.
Think, asshole! Think! I close my eyes and concentrate on some of the most non-erotic things I can think of: Kittens. Grandma Ethel. Munchkinland. Damn it, that last one made me scream like a girl but my spaceship is still ready for liftoff. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; those creepy high-voiced fuckers are terrifying. TERRIFYING I TELL YOU!
I slam my head back into the seat, take a deep breath, and groan in frustration. I rip the keys out of the ignition and slide out of my truck as carefully as possible. With the front of my shorts tented in the most obvious way possible, I stroll through the automatic doors of North Seattle Memorial and walk up to the lady at the front desk. The look of revulsion on her face as she eyeballs my pocket rocket matches my level of embarrassment.
“May I help you?” she inquires with a side order of stink eye.
“Um…” I nod toward my bulge. “I think I should see a doctor about this.”
Her eyebrows reach her hairline. “What seems to be the problem, sir?”
“My erection-way won’t go own-day,” I whisper in mediocre Pig Latin. “I took some Iagra-vay and I think my ick-day may be oken-bray.”
“I see. So, your chief complaint is that you took some Viagra and you think you may have broken your penis as a result?”
I glare at her. “Lady, do you not know the purpose of Pig Latin?”
I swear to God her lips twitch. “I’m sorry, sir, but the purpose behind Pig Latin is not in the Employee Handbook.”
“Well, it should be,” I mutter.


Laura's passion has always been storytelling. She spent most of her life with her nose in a book thinking of alternate endings or continuations to the story. She won her first writing contest at the ripe old age of nine, earning a trip to the state capital to showcase her manuscript. Thankfully for her, those early works will never see the light of day again!
Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her wonderful husband, two beautiful children, and three of the most poorly behaved cats in existence. She likes her fruit smoothies filled with rum, her cupboards stocked with Cadbury's chocolate, and her music turned up loud. When she's not writing or watching HGTV, she's reading anything she can get her hands on. She's a sucker for spicy romances, especially those involving vampires, bad boys, or cowboys!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Graphic Novel Review: The Dam Keeper - World Without Darkness


Title: The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness
     * Volume 2
Authors: Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi
Illustrator: Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi
Publisher: First Second
Pages: Hardcover; 160
Recommended Age Group: Middle Grade/YA
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Source: NetGalley

Beyond the dam lies certain death—this is something every citizen of Sunrise Valley knows well. Yet, when a poisonous black tidal wave carries Pig, Fox, and Hippo over the dam and into the wastelands, they don’t find death. Instead they find bustling cities, each with their own dams. Pig can't help but wonder, who is the mysterious dam keeper behind it all?

But he doesn't have time to unravel this mystery. The wave of deadly black fog will return to Sunrise Valley in four days, and its dam can't withstand another assault. In a stolen truck and with a deranged lizard leading the way, Pig and his friends are in a race against the clock. but can they reach home in time?

I can't believe that I failed to write an actual blog review for the first entry in this series, because I fell for it hard. Kondo and Tsutsumi have created this beautiful world that is also filled with darkness. It's a world that pits cute, sometimes fuzzy, lovable characters against an entity that is so mysterious that it's terrifying. I never thought I could have as many feelings about a pig as a main character as I do now. It's absoutely wonderful.

Before anything else, I have to commend the illustrations in both these books. They are more of a watercolor style, so everything is gorgeously blended and has a mystical feeling. I fell in love with the art style before, and I fell in love with it all over again this time around. It sets the mood beautifully, especially as this particular volume is very much about the journey these characters are part of. Kondo and Tsutsumi have captured my heart fair and square. I'm all in. 

As for the story of The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness, Pig, Fox, and Hippo ended the last book lost and on a mission to get back home. The huge cliffhanger ending of the last book had me ravenous for more, and so I was more than eager to get started with this installment. Although I had an inkling at the back of my mind that this book would be a little slower than the first, it still set me back for a bit. As I said above, this book is very much about the journey. A lot of traveling, a lot of discovery, and only a little of the intrigue that I loved the first time around. This installment takes patience to get through, although the illustrations definitely help.

I warn you all, there is another massive cliffhanger ending. Be prepared now, and then settle in with me to wait for the next part of the story! Was this installment perfect? Perhaps not, but that doesn't negate the fact that I am utterly in love with this whole story. When Pig, Fox and Hippo are ready to move on to their next adventure, I'll be here waiting.




FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, July 9, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7/9/18)


Happy Monday, friends! If it's as hot where you are as it was here this weekend, please know that I'm thinking of you. Staying inside and reading this weekend was the best possible thing I could have done. I'm hoping you did the same!

Here's what I've been working my way through.




Last time I did this meme I'd been through a bout of really excellent reads. This time around, I'm sad to report that it's been more of a "meh" kind of run. The Feed was slow and failed to live up to what I was hoping for. Furyborn drove me mad with how shallow it was overall. The only book I've read recently that I really enjoyed was Garbage Land. If you've ever wondered how our refuse system work, this is a read worth your time!



I'm on a non-fiction kick lately, and so I decided to read Tomatoland because of my gardening obsession as well. It's been an amazing read so far. It's crazy to see how nuanced our tomato crops in the US are, and now that I've been growing heirloom tomatoes I see why the ones at the store don't taste as good. It's fascinating!




I finally got my new Audible credit and promptly bought The Outsider to devour. I love Stephen King. Love him. I can't wait to read this!

That's it for me! What are you reading?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Book Review + Giveaway: Watching You by Shannon Greenland


Media Type: ebook
Title: Watching You
Author: Shannon Greenland
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: July 2nd 2018
------------------------------------------
Genre: Thriller, Young Adult

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy books that keep you guessing till the very end.
Viola’s always been that girl from that family, so a scholarship to a prestigious private school in Florida was supposed to be her ticket out of poverty and into a brand-new life. But Viola’s secrets have followed her. Her relationship with the intelligent and gorgeous Riel should have been the salvation she needed—he understands her troubled past better than anyone. But then weird things start to happen.
Frightening messages.
Missing personal items.
The unsettling feeling that she’s being watched.
Viola’s never been one to give her trust easily, but she’ll need to trust in Riel if she’s going to survive her stalker. Because she’s not fighting for a new life anymore—she’s fighting to stay alive.

There is a lot to unravel about Viola's story and I hope to do it justice. We meet Viola as she is starting at a most prestigious school that she's worked tirelessly to attend. From the first interaction with Riel we know that there is a spark between them but it is quickly doused with cold water when Viola realizes Riel is her competition for the scholarship that allows her to attend the school.

As Viola settles in at her new school she has a strong sense of impostor syndrome. She hasn't lived the privileged life most of her classmates have and if they only knew where she came from she would never be accepted, or so she thinks. This particular piece of of the story is so important. The need to fit in, to feel like you belong, is so strong as you enter into adulthood. This is Viola's chance to change her life and she's willing to fight hard, study furiously, and try to ignore her budding feelings for a certain boy. 

I really loved falling in love with Riel. His character has so much depth and passion that it's impossible to ignore. Viola deserves a beautiful soul like Riel and their story was enthralling to read. Of course, as with most relationships, there are hurdles to overcome and trust to be earned, but I was rooting for them from the first meeting. 

My favorite part of suspense novels is trying to figure out who did it, before it's revealed in the story. I was not successful in this case, which makes me love this story even more. Viola's stalker was a mystery right up to the reveal. So hang on to your hats, cause you're in for a whirlwind. 

I'd recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good coming of age story with a lot of heart, and a great build of suspense. 



Shannon Greenland is the award winning author of several novels including the teen spy series, THE SPECIALISTS, and the YA romances, THE SUMMER MY LIFE BEGAN and SHADOW OF A GIRL. She also writes thrillers under S. E. Green and lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog.

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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Birthday Giveaway!


That's right everyone! It was my birthday yesterday, and I'm giving a present to YOU in honor of that! You've stuck with us through busy work days, teething kiddos, family vacations and random, unexpected breaks. We appreciate you, and I'd like to give something away to show that!

Up for grabs is any book from Book Depository, up to $20 in value!

The Rules:

* You must have an address that Book Depository ships to! Please check before entering.
* You must be at least 18 years of age, or have parental permission to enter.
* The winner will be contacted and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.
* No spam or giveaway accounts. Your entry will be deleted.
* Please make sure to put in a valid email address.

That's it! Good luck!
Giveaway ends at midnight on July 9th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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