Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Today, I am here...

If you want to follow my updates, you can do so over on the twitter

Sunday, May 26, 2013


This is where I'm staying...

There is a yobot. 

Here's a video...

Stay tuned for shenanigans. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes!
This is my stop on The Rules For Disappearing Blog Tour
which is being hosted by Itching for Books.

The Rules for Disappearing Author: Ashley Elston
Publication: May 14, 2013
By: Disney-Hyperion

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

My Thoughts
I used to fantasize about being in the Witness Protection Program when I was a kid. I was a weird child, what can I say?  The sense of adventure, being able to "be" someone else and the idea that your life would never be boring all appealed to me.  However, fear, paranoia and the fact that I'd have to cut my hair and wear hideous clothes never played into my fantasy because really, where's the fun in that? 

What I liked: This is one of those books that pleasantly surprised me. It's well written, humorous with fast-paced action right from the start and the mystery and suspense of not knowing who Meg can really trust kept me on my toes.  Did I mention the kissing, because you can never go wrong with kissing, even when you're in the midst of running for your life.  

Despite the chaos of their lives, Meg and her family are tight-knit albeit extremely dysfunctional. Meg has to be guarded and often times she's a tough character to like but if she was written any other way she wouldn't feel genuine. Ethan is an enjoyable blend of strength, compassion, wit and don't even get me started on that dimple of his. The rest of the supporting characters were complex and interesting. The ending while not necessarily shocking, did leave me wanting to know what happens next.  

What left me wanting: When I picked this up, I wasn't aware that it was the first book in a trilogy or a series and I'm looking forward to finding out more about Ethan's story which was eluded too but not fully explained in this book.

Final verdict: Fans of Alias, Altered, Also Known As and Pivot Point will enjoy this!

Review also posted at YABC.

About the Author
Ashley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband, three sons and two cats. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a licensed Landscape Horticulturist and helps her husband run a commercial lawn and landscaping business. They also custom harvest pecans and have cows. Yes, cows.


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COVER REVEAL & Excerpt: Darker Days (Darker Agency, #1) by Jus Accardo

Darker Days (Darker Agency, #1)  by Jus Accardo
Expected Publication: August 2013
By: Entangled Teen

Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...

When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.

Seven deadly ones, in fact.

They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...

There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.


“So not your biggest fan at the moment,” I said, closing the office door behind me. The run off from my jeans had soaked my sneakers pretty good. With each step, I gave a slight squishing noise accompanied by an annoying squeak against the old tile floor. 

From across the room, Mom stared. “What happened to you?”

            “It attacked me.” Tossing my bag on the couch, I sank into her chair and made sure to grind my butt into the cushion. Got it nice and wet. I was all about sharing the love—and right now, the love was soggy.

             She laughed, waving a folder in my direction. “Surely you’re overreacting. It was one little zombie. They don’t attack people.”

            “I’m serious, Ma. It tried to drown me. And the client assaulted me with ugly footwear. As far as punishments go, I’d say we’re probably square. I’ve learned my lesson.”

            “You’re serious?” Amused expression now replaced by concern, she crossed the room and leaned over her desk to get a better look at me.

            “As a coronary.” Once I was sure the chair had sponged up all it could, I stood and huffed past her. Pulling at my favorite T-shirt—the word Fate inside a blood red heart, is a four letter word on the back—I said, “Child welfare would not be happy to hear you tried to feed your only child to a walking corpse…” 

 “But why would it attack? Did you provoke it?” Folding her arms, she frowned. “Insult it, perhaps?”

            I winked at her. “Provoke it? Sure. I went and wiggled my ass in front of it yelling lunch just to see what’d happen.” I’d called it Stinky, but that didn’t count as an insult. Something couldn’t be considered an insult if it was true, right?  

             Right eyebrow twitching, she fought against a smile. “But you’re okay, right? No bites, broken bones, head injuries, possessions…?” I smiled and did a little twirl. “All in one piece and still me.” Mom had a checklist she went through at the end of each job. I was known for taking almost as much damage as I inflicted.

           “Oh, and you’re probably going to get a call from the client. I sorta smashed her fence in the process.”

            Mom groaned. “I told you to be more careful.”

            “It’s not like I tried to break anything.”

            “Something tells me you didn’t try hard enough not to break anything, either.”

            “In my defense, it wasn’t a simple trap and slap…”

            “We can’t afford this.” She reached down and pulled a white envelope out from under a stack of papers. “This is the bill for that Mercedes you smashed.”

            “Oh! So not my fault. How was I supposed to know that Spring Heel was gonna land on the car? If it makes you feel any better, I think he was aiming for my head…”

            “If you keep this up, we won’t even be able to afford the rent.”

            She was right, of course, and it made me feel horrible. “I’m sorry. I guess I’m a wrecking ball wrapped in blue jeans. Take my cut of this job and put it toward the repairs. Keep my paycheck for the next month, too.” A good start, but it didn’t feel like enough. Sure, it would cover the damages—I hoped—but I felt guilty about upsetting her. The bills that were piling up kept her awake at night. This was only going to make things worse. We got a fair amount of business, but the overhead in our line of work was sky high.  As much as I hated the idea, I knew what would cheer her up. “I’ll even throw in pet possessions for the next month.”

About Jus Accardo

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing. Jus is the bestselling author the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing and is currently working on the first book in a new adult series due out summer 2013. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Excerpt from The Liberator (Dante Walker #2) by Victoria Scott

Yo, Dante Walker fans, you wanna peek at what our favorite bad boy turned good is up to?

You know you do... 
(If you don't, then no Dante (aka Twix) cupcakes for you!)

Expected Publication: August 27, 2013
By: Entangled Teen

Bad boy, meet bad girl.

Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

Have more questions about the romance in THE LIBERATOR? Read a note from the author about Aspen's involvement in the story:


When I open my eyes, the sun is trying to murder me. It’s shining on my face and making my head pound. Or maybe it’s my hangover that’s giving me the headache, but nonetheless—me and the sun?—we’re not on friendly terms.

Charlie murmurs beside me. My arms are still wrapped around her waist, and I suddenly
realize I must have crashed out in her bed last night. If Grams wakes up and finds me here, she’ll run me a bath…and toss in the toaster.

“Morning, babe,” I whisper.

“Morning, hot stuff,” a distinctly male voice responds.

I whip around, my heart racing, and find Max sitting in a chair across the room.  “You look so hot when you first wake up,” he says. He raises a hand to his hair. “Got that whole sexy bed head thing going on.”

Charlie doesn’t even move from her place, but I feel her laughing against me. “Your friend is kind of creepy, Dante,” she manages. 

“Max, what the hell are you doing in here?” I ask, pulling the covers farther up even though

I’m (regretfully) fully-clothed.

“Real question is, why did I wait so long to join you guys?” Max stands from his chair and cocks his head. A mischievous smile crawls across his face.

“No,” I say, trying to appear serious. “Don’t even think about it, dude.”

Max starts running in place, his smile widening farther until he looks deranged. “Ready or not!” Before I can stop him, Max races toward the bed and dives on top of us. “Oh! Oh it feels even better than I imagined.” He rolls back and forth across our bodies as Charlie laughs and I wonder why I’m friends with such a raging idiot.

With all my strength, I grab Max’s shirt and rotate him toward the edge. He falls off the side, his arms pin-wheeling. There’s a loud thud, and then nothing.

I wait for several seconds before leaning over to search for him. Max is lying face down on the floor, his arms and legs curled like a dead spider. “You’re not really hurt,” I say.

“I think you gave me spinal bifida. You need to call someone.”

“That’s a genetic disorder,” I respond with a sigh, collapsing back onto my pillow. A second later, he raises his head very, very slowly up from the side of the bed. It’s one of the more unsettling things he’s ever done.  “Max, is there a purpose to this visit?” I ask. I want so badly to act like he’s annoying me. But he knows, and I know, that we both love this game: the one where I pretend he’s a pain in my ass, and he acts like a damn circus clown.

He stands up, crosses the room, and plops back down in the chair. “Valery sent me.”

I throw an arm across my eyes. “Of course she did.” Beside me, Charlie moves to get up and I immediately reach for her. She squeals and wiggles out of my grasp.

I watch as she walks around the bed and ruffles Max’s hair. The twenty-eight year old pants like a dog. It’s a bit disturbing considering Charlie’s seventeen. She eyes me with a grin. “I’ll make waffles.”

My face lights up.

“Yes,” she continues. “And bacon.”

I glance at Max and nod toward Charlie. “That’s my girl.”

“Damn straight,” he says.

“I’m still making breakfast for your birthday,” I call after Charlie. Then, looking at Max,

I add, “My girl’s going to be legal soon.”

Max says, “Boom.”


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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

All I Need by Susane Colisanti

All I Need
Author: Susane Colisanti
Publication: May 21, 2013
By: Viking

The last night of summer is only the beginning.

Skye wants to meet the boy who will change her life forever. Seth feels their instant connection the second he sees her. When Seth starts talking to Skye at the last beach party of the summer, it’s obvious to both of them that this is something real. But when Seth leaves for college before they exchange contact info, Skye wonders if he felt the same way she did—and if she will ever see him again. Even if they find their way back to each other, can they make a long-distance relationship work despite trust issues, ex drama, and some serious background differences?

Teen favorite Susane Colasanti returns to the alternating-voice style of her beloved debut When It Happens in this Serendipity-inspired story about summer, soul mates, and the moments that change our lives forever.

Thank you Netgalley and Viking for this eARC.

Sand, surf, boys, roller skating and all the 80's music I can handle?  Yes please. (I have not heard Scritti Politti's, "Perfect Way" mentioned in years! I was beginning to think I had imagined the 80's awesome that was that song!)

This is told from alternating POV's and while I enjoyed that aspect, I also found it difficult to decipher between Skye and Seth's voices at times. Skye is young and completely focused on love. (A little too much in my opinion.) She meets Seth and even though they don't see each other much in the beginning, she's convinced he is her soul-mate which felt an awful lot like insta-love.  Skye also becomes the one who sacrifices time with family, friends and school to be with Seth but when her parents point out how unhealthy that is, she chalks it up to being in love. Skye even goes as far as choosing a college based on how close she'll be to Seth. 

It isn't until three quarter's of the way through the book that these two are forced to deal with the realities of a relationship and even then they don't handle it in the most mature way - not that I expected them too, but still.

Seth is a hard working nice guy with good intentions who loves his family and Skye. He's had a rough go at love in the past but thinks Skye could be the one to change that.

This is heavy on the happily-ever-after and light on the reality of love.

Review is also posted at YABC.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

BOOK PROMO: I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler

I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler is the iBookstore Book of the Week and is available for free beginning today!  

I'm Not Her

 “For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel envy…”

Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?

10 Fun Facts About I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler

1. In a hospital scene in I’m Not Her one of the nurses is named Tracey and she takes Kristina’s flowers home to her daughter, Carly.  Tracey is the name of my sister, Carly is her daughter in real life.

2. Every single one of my books has a character named Carly in it. This is a tribute to my niece, Carly. The characters are not based on her per se, but there has to be a Carly in my books. Like a superstition or good luck charm or something.

3. This book is dedicated to my sister Tracey.  I was able to keep it a secret until Final Page Proofs came in.

4. My niece Ciara plays volleyball and her nickname is CEE. She got recruited by a university in the States and is playing there. None of the volleyball players in the book were based on her though. She is a cool like a rock star.

5. I thought Clark Trent was a funny name because of Superman’s secret identity. The  Superman cape Clark wears in a scene cracked me up.

6. I named a couple of the teachers in I’m Not Her after dogs I’ve had.  Peppsy (Mr. Pepson) and Meeko (Mr. Meekers)

7. In a scene Tess listens to Hedly on her iPod. I LOVE Jacob, the lead singer for the band.
He was on the only season of Canadian Idol I watched.

8. I named the golf course that Nick works at and Tess’s Dad plays at after my husband.
Largurt (Larry Gurtler)

9. I’m Not Her was originally called The Weight of Bones, but when I first started writing it I titled it Dance Big Sister.

10. Tess’s love of the Discovery Channel and Myth Busters were inspired by my son.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Truth About You & Me by Amanda Grace

The Truth About You and Me
Author: Amanda Grace
Publication: September 8, 2013
By: Flux
4 Stars

Smart girls aren't supposed to do stupid things.
Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennet. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured - and missed out on - in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.
There's only one problem. Bennet is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen - because she hasn't told him the truth.
The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennet - both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.


Thank you Netgalley and Flux for this eARC. 

I stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish this book and then spent the next three hours staring at my ceiling while I tried to work out my feelings because this left me heartbroken, conflicted and frustrated.

What I liked: The cover, the unique letter-style writing and the complex relationship that unfolded. My first thought was, this is a Dateline Special waiting to happen. After awhile though, I found myself almost wanting to root for Maddie and Bennet's HEA - almost.  

Maddie is a smart girl but she's young.  Always pushing a child to be "more" has a way of aging a kid and it can be very easy to forget that they are still in fact, a kid.  When she meets Bennet it's almost love at first sight for her and she proceeds to swoon and fantasize a relationship with him all the while knowing it's not possible. She has several opportunities to tell the truth but she never does, choosing instead to pursue Bennet.

Society, as well as Dateline producers and the police, would be quick to place 100% of the blame on Bennet because he is the adult after all. Yes, he should've pushed for more specific information from Maddie and yes, he could've checked with the school to be sure of her age and yes, he could've distanced himself on the sole principle that he was breaking the rules by fraternizing with a student. In his defense though, he was teaching a college class which is usually made up of college age aka adult students - usually. 

I think the biggest difference between Maddie and Bennet wasn't their age, but the worlds they were living in. Where Maddie was living in a fantasy made up of love, romance and happily-ever-afters, Bennet was living in the real world where he was very familiar with the highs and lows of adult relationships. (This doesn't mean that my heart didn't break for these characters, or that I didn't wish circumstances couldn't somehow change in their favor, i.e., Maddie's age progression.)
One of the BEST things about this book is that Grace shows the serious and very real consequences for the choices Maddie and Bennet make. 

What left me wanting: This is one of those books where you know going in that it can only end badly but you can't seem to put it down.

Final verdict: Complex, gritty and heartbreaking.

Review also posted at YABC.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes!

Here, have a cupcake...

How to do the Frederick Book Festival:

* Wake up and discover that both your husband and your 8YO are sick with the 24hr stomach bug of DOOOOOM!  Decide to go anyway because you know, you have six dozen cupcakes to take and you're cruel like that. (I'm kidding! Not about the six dozen cupcakes though.) Actually, your husband tells you to go, have fun and don't worry about them because the 13YO is fully capable of playing nursemaid. (You've taught him how to dial 911.)

* Double check the weather which can play out like a Katy Perry song here in MD. For instance, you dress in a light sweater, flip flops and pack an umbrella because the weather predicted warm temperatures (high 70's) with a slight chance of rain.

* Ride with a fellow blogger, Hannah from The Irish Banana Review, and chit chat the whole way about books, books and more books.  Also, hanging out with fellow book peeps is way more fun than being alone AND you and your GPS are not friends so a navigator is helpful.

* When you find your exit, make sure you pull off the highway and STOP in the middle of the road until you decide for sure which way to go, because that's exactly what you learned in Driver's Ed and it's not dangerous at all. (Don't worry, you totally redeem yourself later in the day with your mad parallel parking skillz.)

* Meet up with another lovely blogger, Liza from Reading with ABC .

Liza, Hannah & me

*Find Valerie Cole and Jodi Meadows at the YA signing table,

Valerie Cole, me (holding knitted Ana & Sam) and Jodi Meadows

Give them cupcakes and play with dolls.

<-- Knitted Ana & Sam from Incarnate/Asunder/IN3. (I picked up Sam and his pants fell down. Jodi assured me that happens all the time. O.O)

 Sam and Ana kissing amidst a dragon attack. It's all about priorities. ;) --->

You will also be lucky enough to see the super seekrit cover and title for IN3 which is...


Hannah, Liza & Me. There was literal *gasping* over the cover for IN3!

* Next up is the YA panel featuring, Jodi Meadows, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Amanda Brice, Miranda Kenneally and Diana Peterfreund where they will discuss trends in YA & NA and you curse the weatherman as you shiver and watch your toes turn blue. 

(You will also field texts from the 13YO regarding the health of the 8YO and your husband which are...not as entertaining as the panel.)

* Then it's time for some pictures, book signings and handing off of more cupcakes. 

<-- Miranda Kenneally & I.

"Racing Savannah" inspired horse fondant cupcake toppers. -->

* Lunch is at McDonald's - you will drive Jodi, Valerie, Liza and Hannah in your car and secretly pray no one dies, because that would be bad. While waiting for your food, you'll wonder if maybe you had the definition of "fast" wrong all these years but the company and lively conversation about mythical creatures is all worth it.

* The afternoon YA panel involves playing a bookish version of The Dating Game. 

Hannah in the hot seat.

* Then it's round one of hang time where you will unknowingly join the secret society of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Tablecloths and wonder where Diana disappeared too?

Get a picture with Jennifer L. Armentrout/J. Lynn

Jennifer L. Armentrount/J. Lynn and me all matchy matchy.

 And watch as she has fun with a tablecloth and Amanda Brice's son. ;)

* When you've had all the cold you can take, or your toes freeze and snap off (which ever comes first), you'll head to a coffee shop just down the street* for round two of hang out time.  Diana magically reappears - yay! but almost gives up when she can't find the rest of you, boo!  

Btw, "just down the street" is code for, "drive all over the town of Frederick looking for a parking space and said coffee shop."

It takes you three tries, but still.
* You parallel park like a boss  --->


and try not to break your neck on the horribly paved sidewalks. ;)

* After fancy coffee, great conversation and new insights, you say goodbye to the super awesome Diana, Jodi and Valerie and head home making sure you stop at Wawa for Gatorade because you know, there are sick people at your house. 

Thank you Jodi, Valerie, Amanda, Jennifer, Diana, Miranda, Liza and Hannah - it was a privilege to meet and hang out with yesterday and I can't wait to do it again! :D


September Girls by Bennett Madison

September GirlsAuthor: Bennett Madison
Publication: May 21, 2013
By: Harper Teen

When Sam's dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he's all for it-- at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she's different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he's going to get her back, he'll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here

This was my initial thought regarding this book...The best thing about this book is the cover. 

While my overall feelings about SEPTEMBER GIRLS have not necessarily changed, they have been altered a bit and here's why...

I had a fantastic conversation about this book today with the equally fantastic Diana Peterfreund (FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS) who shed some new light on this for me.

What originally attracted me to this book was a combination of hype, synopsis and serious cover love. I was expecting a romantic summer read about mermaids but that is not what I got.  I'll be honest, the characters came across as sarcastic and cynical to the point of offense to me (I can only speak for myself) and much of the content turned me off. I struggled to even finish it because I was not enjoying it at all.

HOWEVER, after having chatted with Diana, I have come to the conclusion that this book was wrongly covered - it doesn't accurately depict the story inside. It's still not a story for me per say, but there is a definite audience for it. (Fans of Chris Cutcher would most likely enjoy this.)  Regardless of my feels, it's a well written story and one that should be given a chance, in my humble reader opinion.  

If you decide it's not for you, great.  

If you read it and love it, awesome.

But at least you'll know going into it (assuming you bother to give this blog post a glance) what it is not. (The flowery summer romance mentioned above.)

I think Bennett Madison is a talented young writer whose book is being judged (unfairly) by it's cover. 

I also think it's author is being judged unfairly as well, but that's just me. *shrugs* :)


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Big Sky Summer (Swoon-Worthy Cowboys #4) by Linda Lael Miller

Big Sky Summer (Swoon-Worthy Cowboys, #4)
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Publication: May 28, 2013
By: Harlequin
3.5 Stars

The "First Lady of the West," #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller, welcomes you home to Parable, Montana-where love awaits. With his father's rodeo legacy to continue and a prosperous spread to run, Walker Parrish has no time to dwell on wrecked relationships. But country-western sweetheart Casey Elder is out of the spotlight and back in Parable, Montana. And Walker can't ignore that his "act now, think later" passion for Casey has had consequences. Two teenage consequences!

Keeping her children's paternity under wraps has always been part of Casey's plan to give them normal, uncomplicated lives. Now the best way to hold her family together seems to be to let Walker be a part of it-as her husband of convenience. Or will some secrets-like Casey's desire to be the rancher's wife in every way-unravel, with unforeseen results.

Thank you Linda Lael Miller and Harlequin for this ARC. 

What I liked: This was my first Linda Lael Miller book and I enjoyed it. She paints a vivid picture of cowboys and ranch life with characters who are both engaging and entertaining. Casey and Walker (who is quite swoon-worthy) are down to earth and their relationship is complicated at best. It's obvious that these two care for one another a great deal but they aren't the only ones to consider in the grand scheme of things.

I didn't realize until part way through that this was part of a series but it didn't matter. There was enough background to catch the reader up while creating interest in the supporting cast. (Hutch Carmody intrigued me enough that I may just pick up his book next.)

What left me wanting: Miller's prose is a little flowery at times but fits with the "wild west" theme. I also wanted to know if "the third time" really was a charm but I'm guessing there's a good chance I'll find out in the next book. :)

Final verdict: Fans of Miller's other books, cowboys and wild west romances will thoroughly enjoy this!

About the Author
Linda Lael MillerAs the daughter of a town marshal, Linda has come home to the western lifestyle that gave birth to one of today’s most successful authors. She left Washington years ago and pursued her wanderlust, living in Arizona and London and traveling the world. Now the author of more than 100 novels, the “First Lady of the West” is glad to be back home, writing contemporary and historical stories that have earned her awards and placements on all the national bestsellers lists.
Linda traces the birth of her writing career to the day when a Northport teacher told her that the stories she was writing were good, that she just might have a future in writing. Later, when she decided to write novels, she endured her share of rejection before she sold FLETCHER’S WOMAN in 1983 to Pocket Books. Since then, Linda has successfully published historicals, contemporaries, paranormals, and thrillers before coming home, in a literal sense, and concentrating on novels with a Western flavor. For her devotion to her craft, the Romance Writers of America awarded her their prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

Linda’s current contemporary Big Sky series—Big Sky Country, Big Sky Mountain and Big Sky River—have all hit the New York Times bestsellers lists. Linda continues to follow the lives of the Parable, Montana, residents in Big Sky Summer and Big Sky Wedding in 2013.

1 Paperback copy of BIG SKY SUMMER
U.S. Only
Must be 13 years old to enter.
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Broken Promises

About the Book

After three years in Boston attending college, Mallory Wells has come home to Casper, Maine to care for her father, who is dying from cancer. She left Casper without looking back, leaving her small-town life and everyone in it, behind. Including her sexy high school sweetheart.

Luke Bates was devastated when Mallory left him for the city life. He managed to pull himself together and move on, even if only just barely. When Mallory shows up in town, Luke vows to stay away from her at all costs. So why does he keep checking in on her and her father, showing up when he's clearly uninvited? Maybe Luke isn't as 'over her' as he thought.

My Thoughts

This is a fast moving story about love, loss and rekindling old flames. The relationship between Mallory and her dad is complicated at times but his care and concern is evident in the choices he makes.  Mallory and Luke may share some hard feelings but they waste no time getting to know each other again. They're surrounded by an entertaining cast of characters who do a decent job of helping them both focus on the long term and what's most important to the two of them - whether together or apart. The ending was a bit abrupt but this is the start of a series so maybe it's not really the end for these characters.

Dawn Pendleton is a New Adult & Young Adult author living in Maine with her husband and pup. Right now, she's working on two manuscripts simultaneously. It's a difficult task for her, but one she's certain will pay off in the end.
Want to meet Dawn?
She is also one of the featured authors of the New Adult Sleepover Weekend. You can find all the details here.

Website † GoodReads † Twitter † Facebook 

Make sure to check out the blog tour kicking off on Monday, May 13th -- HERE.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

This Girl (Slammed #3) by Colleen Hoover

This Girl (Slammed, #3)Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication: August 13, 2013
By: Atria Books
Genre: YA Crossover
3 Stars

There are two sides to every love story. Now hear Will’s.

Colleen Hoover’s New York Times bestselling Slammed series has brought countless readers to their knees with a whirlwind of love, passion, and heartache.

Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met.

In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from his point of view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.

Thank you Netgalley and Atria Books for this eARC.

What I liked: I always enjoy seeing a story from another character's POV, especially a good guy like Will. There are a few new (short) scenes interspersed and an epilogue that made me ugly cry, but for the most part, this is SLAMMED all over again. 

What left me wanting: While I am in favor of bonus content--deleted scenes, alt. POV, etc., I'm not sure devoting an entire book to another character's POV is necessary. If you want to tell the story from multiple POV's, just write it like that to begin with. 

Final verdict: Fans of SLAMMED, POINT OF RETREAT, and Will will most certainly enjoy THIS GIRL.

Review also posted at YABC.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

 Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes!
This is my stop on the Friends & Lovers Trilogy Tour
Which is being hosted by AToMR Tours.


*These are New Adult titles – Meant for readers 18 and older.
Released: November 2012
32K Words
In a small town, it’s hard to recover from being dumped by your high school sweetheart. That’s just what Briana has to do after Colin leaves her to follow his dreams. She focuses her energy into her friendships and the pursuit of her own goal of becoming a chef. Just when she finally feels like she’s on the right path, he comes back to town.
Colin knew breaking up with Briana before leaving for college was the right thing to do. He was determined to leave small-town life behind forever, and that included his high school girlfriend. But when a sports injury puts him on the sidelines, he’s forced to return home. Seeing Briana again brings back a lot of memories, and Colin wonders if he made the right decision. It doesn’t take long for him to realize he wants her back, and this time, he wants to make it last.

Released: December 2012

35K Words
Up until now, Nicole’s life has been mapped out for her. She’d go to college, marry Jake and become the upstanding minister’s wife. When she leaves that life to begin again in a small town in Texas, she finally has the freedom to live as she chooses. There, she meets Kent, a guy whose charm and passion make it hard to stick to her morals.
Dodging his father’s fists and protecting his twin sister made Kent into the man he is today. He learned by watching his mother stay by his father’s side that it’s better to keep relationships simple. Then he meets Nicole. Her sweet smile and genuine response to him land like punches to his resolve. After a lifetime of learning to protect his heart, can he finally let down his guard?


Released: February 2013
36K Words
Roni’s dreams of becoming a contemporary dancer were smashed under the brutal rage of her ex-husband’s fists. Getting divorced and starting over at the age of twenty-two was never her plan, but maybe in Texas, she’ll find her path. When the town’s local player, Rich, opens a Rec Center, she sees a way to rekindle her dancing dreams…and maybe have a little fun with her sexy new boss.
Rich never expected to fulfill his dreams in the town he planned to leave behind, but that’s just what he’s doing. His reputation as a noncommittal ladies’ man might make it challenging to earn respect in the business world, but he’s willing to prove that he’s serious. In fact, when it comes to pursuing Roni, he’s more than willing. But she’s taking a page out of his book, not wanting to risk another relationship. Can he convince her that his playboy days are over and that she can trust him with her heart?


Excerpt 1:  Bree, Colin, and Kent
“Looks like you’re on break,” he replied. “C’mon, Bree, just give me a couple minutes.”
She was about to tell him to shove it, when she felt someone come up behind her and two strong arms wrapped around her.
“Hey, Babe, I’ve been wondering if Pam was ever gonna give you a break.” Kent whispered in her ear
He said it loud enough for Colin to hear, and Briana noticed him stiffen at Kent’s words and his obvious familiarity.
“Yeah, I’ve got a quick one.” Briana turned and gave him a grateful look, before going up on her tip toes to meet him for a brief kiss.
She thought she heard a grunt or something come from Colin, so she turned to give him a smile and an introduction.
“Oh, sorry,” she said, though she wasn’t in the least. “Kent, this is Colin. We went to high school together. Colin, this is Kent.”
“What’s up, man?” Kent asked, extending his hand for a shake.
Colin looked at the offered hand, then back at Kent who may have been an inch shorter than him and shook it.
“Not much. You must be new around here.” Colin said.

About the Author:
Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio,
Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

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