January 31, 2014

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW ~ Because of Ellison by M.S. Willis


Book title: Because of Ellison
Author: M.S. Willis
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Release date: January 14, 2014

When I was nineteen years old, I lived for sex, drugs and a good party. I had it all - good looks, a fast car and a hot girlfriend. Nothing in life was more important. 

That was, until I met Ellison James….

Since the moment I first saw her she was a raging bull; tackling me in the mud and throwing out insults as fast as her tongue could form the sound. 

She was snarky 
She was rude 
And she pissed me off like no other woman could.

I lived beside her for a summer and in the three months that I walked by her side...

She opened my eyes
She changed my life
And she made me a better man.

“Why do you keep chasing after me, Hunter?” I could tell how raw her throat must have been by the scratch in her voice. I was thrown off by her question and it took me a minute to formulate a response.
I didn’t answer her immediately because I felt like everything, all the times we’d spent together, all the smiles we’d shared and the tears that had fallen, and all the years I wanted to share those types of moments with her in the future hinged on my response. Why did I keep chasing after her? To most, she was just another girl in small town who was struggling like the rest of us in an attempt to find a place where she belonged in this world. Most of those people weren’t lucky enough to know her like I’d known her – they hadn’t talked to her, hadn’t been shown the depths that existed within her. Much like the moon and stars that hung above us tonight, Ellison was a light that wasn’t easily contained. She burned bright enough to break through the dense fog I’d walked in my entire life. Because of her, I’d opened my eyes when I hadn’t even been aware they’d been closed – and for that, I’d chase her forever.
Clearing my throat, I reached up and pulled her hand from my cheek when I turned to look her in the eyes. 
Speaking quietly, I confessed, “Because you are a dream and someone once told me that if I had a dream, I should chase it.” It was a simple explanation, but somehow I knew Ellison would understand the honest weight of what I’d said.
Her eyes blinked slowly as she studied my face and as usual, she did something unexpected. She laughed. The corners of my lips turned up when I tried to suppress my grin. Her laughter sounded fragile, as if something so tiny could come along and break it apart - but it was there and my heart raced against my chest to hear it.
“That is probably the strangest thing I’ve heard you say yet.”

I’m ashamed and a bit sad to admit that this is the first book that I have read by M.S. Willis. After finishing Because of Ellison my only question was what reason could I possibly have for waiting so long? I’m aware that this particular book is far different than her usually dark stories but the eloquence as well as the beautiful and striking description was astounding and had me instantly devouring every word.

The characters were well developed and fascinatingly complicated. My feelings on Ellison were all over the place. Were there times when I despised Ellison? Sure. Were there times when I could understand the way she was acting and how she was hiding behind her words and actions? Yep. Were there also times when my heart went out to her and all her wrongdoings and misdeeds were forgotten? Absolutely. Ellison’s attitude and actions were also a true testament to Hunter’s growth as well as his commitment. No matter what, there is no denying the number and significance of lessons that Hunter learned because of Ellison.

“Ellison was the light that wasn’t easily contained. She burned bright enough to break through the dense fog I’d walked in my entire life. Because of her, I’d opened my eyes when I hadn’t even been aware they’d been closed.”
I think it’s fair to say that this book was not exactly action packed. There were few dramatic twists and turns and very little actual conflict. Does that mean there was nothing going on? Not even close. Between the beautiful writing, the philosophical nature of the lessons learned, Ellison’s outlook, and the heartbreak endured it was exceedingly intellectually stimulating, inspiring, and tear-jerking not to mention a beautiful and touching love story that could make Nicolas Sparks green with envy.

“I’d learned that obstacles would happen and that roadblocks were a normal part of life. Character was built in jumping those obstacles and crashing through those roadblocks.”

While I can’t say with any certainty that I will love the other books in M.S. Willis’ arsenal, I can say that I definitely loved Because of Ellison and cannot wait to experience her skill when she is in her element.

“Our lives are like books, Hunter. Each day is a new page – each year, a new chapter. Just like books, our lives end; but our stories…those are never forgotten. We live in the hearts and thoughts of those who loved us.”

5 FMR stars!!

~Review by Michelle T.

M.S. Willis is a romance novelist whose debut novel, Control, was released in 2013. Although currently writing in the romance genre, Willis has plans to expand her literary pursuits into multiple genres and has no fear conquering difficult subject matters in her writing. Willis is a native Floridian who is also a photographer and musician. When not absorbing herself in written, visual or musical expression, Willis is an adrenaline junkie, a ‘closet’ video game enthusiast, and an avid outdoors person and nature lover.Visit M.S. Willis on her author page, Follow on Twitter, join her mailing list.

January 30, 2014

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, & GIVEAWAY ~ Reaching Rachel by L L Collins

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Title: Reaching Rachel
Series: Living Again #2
Author: L.L. Collins
Release Date: January 19, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rachel has always been seen as a wild child, never committing or settling down. She wants it that way, so that no one ever finds out the truth. Deep down, she is crushed over something that happened years ago that resulted in losing the only man she ever loved. Then she meets someone who tries to convince her that she’s ready to commit again. But some things are not what they seem. Realizing too late that she’s in over her head, and with her life on the line, she comes face to face with her past in a way she never thought possible. Devin was in love once, and it destroyed him, making him swear off love forever. After a promotion and subsequent move unexpectedly brings him into the middle of her dangerous situation, he must come face to face with his past and to the woman who broke him into pieces. But she needs help. Desperately. And maybe, just maybe, he didn't know the real truth of their past. Can he help her survive the terrible ordeal she's been through, and during it all, can he safeguard his heart from her? Or will the truth of the pain that has kept them apart show him that he can't live without her after all?

One of my favorite types of series is one that isn’t about just two central characters throughout but veers off in the sequel to follow peripheral characters from the previous books.  If you have read Living Again by L.L. Collins then you know that we were first introduced to the seemingly blissfully unattached, fiercely independent Rachel as one of Kayley’s closest friends but there always seemed to be more to her lurking beneath the surface.  
Reaching Rachel delves into Rachel’s turbulent and mysterious past. I found that as much as I enjoyed Living Again, there were a few times when I thought the book was a tad slow going or that the story had lost momentum a bit.  Reaching Rachel on the other hand was fast paced and action packed from the start. It really caught and held my attention throughout with a complicated past, a traumatic ordeal, and an uncertain future.

The characters in the story were all incredible. Rachel is a wonderful strong, complex woman who is selfless and compassionate. Devin is a kind hearted man who is forgiving and loves with his whole heart.  Even Justin fits his role perfectly.

The reason I love this type of series is the opportunity we get to keep tabs on and occasionally revisit previous characters. Seeing Kayley again in this book and witnessing Kayley and Rachel’s roles being reversed where Kayley was a strong and significant support system for Rachel this time was touching and extremely gratifying.

Reaching Rachel kept me riveted for the majority of the story.  The remainder was a beautiful journey of healing, love and reconnection.  Even better, this wasn’t just a story of survival, overcoming obstacles and love, it was also about growth, learning, and fulfilling your dreams. 

4.5 FMR Stars

~Review by Michelle T.


Reaching Rachel Teaser 4

Rachel lifted her face and pressed a kiss to her favorite arm her spot. “Devin, all of these years, I’ve been trying so hard to replace you, to make my mind forget by filling it with…men. But, every time, Dev. Every single time, I was disappointed. No one can ever be you because you are the only one for me. And to answer your question, yes. I’m more than okay. That wasn’t just sex, Devin. That was you, bringing me back to life. I want to do that over, and over and over again. And next time,” she rolled over to face him, a glint in her eye. “I want it like I know you wanted to do it this time. Hard, fast, and in whatever position you want it. We had some fabulous times together. Let’s do that again.” “I want nothing more than to do it all,” Devin said, his voice low. “But don’t mistake what just happened for me just being gentle on you. I wanted to make love to you, to show you what you mean to me. I can tell you all day long, but I wanted you to feel it; feel me. My heart is beating only for you. My body is yours. I love you, Rachel.” She climbed back on top of him, pressing her body against him. “Devin,” she said, her face even with his. Pressing kisses to his eyes, nose, then lips, her body started shaking. Why was this so hard for her? She knew it like she knew her own name, but saying it was so difficult for her. “I…” She dipped her head down and kissed his ear, running her tongue along it, then his neck. When goose bumps broke out on his body, she grinned against his neck. Going back to his lips, she put her hands against his face and looked at him in the eyes. “I love your eyes,” she whispered. “And your face. God help me, that body is to die for. But Devin?” “Yes.” “What I really love?” Rachel paused, willing her body to stop quivering. “Is you. I always have.” There, that wasn’t so bad. “I have since the night I met you, and I’ve never stopped. All this time, all these years, it’s only been you for me, Dev. I know we have shit to work through. But, I love you. I do. I don’t think there will ever be a moment where I’m not completely and totally in love with you.”

LL Collins
LL Collins is a teacher who loves spending her days in the Florida sun with her husband and boys, reading, and writing. Her love of writing has found a home in the self-publishing world. Living Again and Reaching Rachel are available on Amazon Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iBooks, in both eBook and paperback. LL has been writing since she was old enough to write. Always a story in her head, she finally decided to let the characters out and start writing and try to make her lifelong dreams of becoming an author come true. She has been a teacher for over ten years, a wife for 14, and a mom to two boys, 11 and 9.

Purchase Living Again (Living Again Series #1) on sale for $1.99!

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RELEASE BLITZ & GIVEAWAY ~ Beauty from Love by Georgia Cates


Beauty From Love (Beauty, #3)
By Bestselling Author Georgia Cates
Release date: January 30, 2014
An Adult Contemporary Romance

The epic romance between an all-American beauty and her Aussie continues in this final installment of The Beauty Series

 Jack McLachlan is fulfilled by more than he dared to dream possible. He finds everything he never knew he wanted—or needed—in Laurelyn Prescott, his last and final companion. Life is beautiful with his beloved by his side but their post-wedded bliss is cut short when his dark past springs into their present happiness. He wants to shelter Laurelyn but keeping her untainted by his previous life proves impossible when yesterday’s sins insist on returning to haunt him. Will it be possible for them to find happiness in their forever with a past like his? Beauty From Love is an adult contemporary novel and is not intended for younger readers due to mature content.

About the Author. Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her iPod and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it. 


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RELEASE BLITZ & GIVEAWAY ~ Beautiful Addictions by Season Vining

Beautiful Addictions
by Season Vining
Release: January 28, 2014
Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Josie Banks is a girl without a past.  After being found unconscious with no memory, she was shuffled in and out of foster homes where she suffered years of abuse. An experience that left her broken, damaged, and clinging to drugs and meaningless hook-ups to numb her pain.
When Josie disappeared years ago, she took a piece of Tristan with her.  She’s the girl he thought he lost forever—the one he’s never been able to forget.  Now a twist of fate has brought them back together, and he never wants to let her out of his inked arms again.  But Tristan is haunted by a dark past of his own.  On the run from ruthless criminals that shattered Josie’s world years ago, reentering her life puts them both in danger. As Josie and Tristan’s lives become tangled once again, they find themselves unwilling and unable to escape the relentless pull that draws them together.  But will the past leave their love in ruins—or bind them together for a lifetime? 


Josie craved his touch and she couldn’t understand why they hadn’t had sex yet, or any form of it. She wanted it; her fingers ached to touch him in places she’d only yet imagined. It was obvious that Tristan felt the same way, so she failed to make sense of his need to take things slow. She longed to feel his sweat slicked skin against hers and inhale the scent of their bodies combined. Not ready to admit any kind of emotional connection, she desperately needed a physical one. It was the only thing she was comfortable with.
She found it curious that her dependency seemed to be shifting. No longer did she need meaningless sex or drugs to numb her. Josie only wanted to submerge herself in Tristan, to soak up everything he offered. He was her new addiction.
Tristan was in a constant state of arousal in Josie’s company. Never able to completely relax, his muscles remained tense and rigid with yearning. If it had been any other girl, he would have taken her already, hard and fast, several times. But he knew that Josie used sex to avoid attachment. He didn’t want to be just another mark on her therapeutically notched bedpost. To him, Josie was something new, yet familiar, something he wanted to cherish. He felt like two ancient souls, separated for a lifetime, had suddenly been reunited. 
Unable to contain the sexual tension clawing at her skin, Josie slid her notebook from her lap and straddled Tristan. He gave her his lopsided grin as his long fingers wrapped around her waist. Josie smiled triumphantly, thinking that she’d already won.
“What are you up to?” he asked, dipping his head so that his lips pressed ever so softly to her shoulder.
“I need to feel you Tristan. Just touch me.” The sound of Josie’s words echoed around the quiet room. “I want you.”
Those three little words left him breathless. Such a brazen statement from Josie sent his willpower into a faltering tailspin. He hummed in agreement, sliding his kisses down to her neck. 
Josie ran her nails along Tristan’s scalp, making his eyes close in contentment. The feel of her hot body pressing down on him caused momentary insanity, totally emptying his brain of rational thought. He wanted her more than anything he’d ever wanted before. Not here, not now. There was so much more to say.
“Can I take you out?” Tristan asked, suddenly moving his hands back down to her waist and resuming a neutral position.
 “Out of the apartment?”
“Out on a date,” he clarified. 
“A date?” Josie asked, her frightened voice making the words sound foreign. 
"You know, an appointment for a particular time, especially with a person to whom one is sexually or romantically attached."
"Are we attached?" she asked, not really knowing what she wanted the answer to be.
"More than you know," he answered. 

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Author Bio

Season Vining is the author of Beautiful Addictions, a New Adult Romantic Suspense novel from St. Martin’s Griffin. She received her three-book deal and agent representation as a result of attending the 2013 Jambalaya Writers’ Conference. She first gained attention for the book in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award in which the story was a Quarterfinalist. Season is a graphic designer by trade and adores all form of art. She’s a fan of live music, vintage cars, and people who know the difference between their, there, and they’re.

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January 29, 2014

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY ~ Deeper by Robin York

In this New Adult debut by Robin York, a college student is attacked online and must restore her name—and stay clear of a guy who’s wrong for her, but feels so right.

When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.
West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works.
They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her relationship with West gets, the harder Caroline has to struggle to discover what she wants for herself—and the easier it becomes to find the courage she needs to fight back against the people who would judge her.
When all seems lost, sometimes the only place to go is deeper.

Advance praise for Deeper:

“The perfect new adult story . . . West will make you swoon!”New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy

“Beautifully written and full of swoony tender moments, toe-curling chemistry, and delicious, twisty angst . . . Stop whatever you’re doing and read this book.”—Christina Lauren, author of the Beautiful Bastard series

Facade:  a way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation [Merriam-Webster].

What facade do you show the world?

Caroline Piasecki appears to have it all.  She was raised in a small town by a well-to-do father and was on the fast track for college and a law degree.  And she did have it all until her now ex-boyfriend Nate posted “those” kind of pictures of her on the internet.  Her future fell apart before her own eyes; by day she is a college student struggling to ignore the stares and voices of everyone who has seen the pictures.  By night she struggles to erase all traces of the pictures from the internet.  Inside she’s broken.

West Leavitt appears to have nothing.  If you asked West he would tell you that he lived in a small town and raised himself.  Let’s just say his parental figures were basically absent.  He’s worked and clawed his way every place he has ever gotten.  All his hard work and effort paid off when he met Mr. T, an anesthesiologist who saw in himself in West.  Mr. T paid it forward and agreed to pay West’s full tuition excluding room and board.  West can almost taste his future success and knows it’s within reach as long as he can stay focused and not let himself be dragged down by his past.

The first meeting between Caroline and West is more than memorable.  Let’s just say that Caroline promised her dad that she would not talk to West.  West sees beyond the Caroline’s facade and knows she could be the one to bring his future plans crumbling to the ground.  Caroline and West manage to avoid each other and haunt each other’s dreams at night.  Things come to a head when West and Nate exchange fisticuffs. 

It is killing West to see Caroline so broken and he wants to fix her like he would a broken washing machine.  West starts teaching Caroline about baking and Caroline starts letting herself open up to West.  As they grow closer, Caroline is plagued with fears of intimacy and West fights his attraction to her tooth and nail.  The more time they spend together, the deeper and deeper they get dragged.

As I read their story, one of my favorite songs come to mind.  Feel free to watch if you are interested http://youtu.be/dV6yuFx5T9w  I thoroughly enjoyed Deeper and can’t wait to read more from Robin.  As I read this book, I truly felt like I knew Caroline and West and had a ringside seat throughout the story.  I feel in love with West and Caroline – although they have their faults – they make sense together.

4.5 FMR Stars!!

~Review by Carmie V.

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Robin York grew up at a college, went to college, signed on for some more college, and then married a university professor. She still isn’t sure why it didn’t occur to her to write New Adult sooner. Writing as Ruthie Knox, she is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary romance, including RITA-finalistsAbout Last Night and Room at the Inn. She moonlights as a mother, makes killer salted caramels, and sorts out thorny plot problems while running, hiking, or riding her bike.

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