Sunday, December 17, 2017

Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi
Cover Source: GoodReads.com
Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Version Reviewed: Finished, eBook
Website: www.sandhyamenon.com
I borrowed this book via Riveted Lit.

GoodReads Synopsis:
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
Review:
 When I first saw this book making its rounds across the internet, I found myself curious of it but never actually sought it out to read. While following Riveted Lit's 25 Days of Free Reads, When Dimple Met Rishi was the first book available. I figured, why not? If I was ever going to read it, now was as good a time as any. So I downloaded the book and dug in!

I was honestly surprised as easy of a book this was to read. It's been so long since I've read a nice simple book that I found myself sailing through this one at record speed. It was nice, easy, and quick to follow along with and the characters were fun to get to know.

I really loved the the book was about a different culture than I normally read. This is one of the aspects of the book that drew me in because I love to learn about different cultures and their customs. It was really interesting to see the division between Dimple, who was born in America, and her parents who came to America and were more traditional in beliefs and customs. I really enjoyed the different personalities of Dimple and Rishi and they differed in their feeling towards their culture and the traditional beliefs and customs. 

When Dimple Met Rishi, for me, was a nice, quick read. I definitely recommend it if you're looking for something easy and clean.

Rating: 3 Stars

Teasers & Giveaway: Nox by Randi Cooley Wilson


Nox
Randi Cooley Wilson
(The Royal Protector Academy #3)
Publication date: January 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Love has revived an ancient war
Jealousy has risen and torn lives apart
And one prophecy demands the ultimate sacrifice

What if rewriting your destiny means that you must sacrifice the one you love? Serena St. Michael has forsaken her future—for him. Tristan Gallagher has renounced the throne—for her. The Vergina Sun prophecy has been fulfilled, but at what cost? Their love has renewed an ancient war. With Serena gone, will Tristan save her in time? Or will the dark army of Diablo Fairies descend upon the Royal Protector Academy, destroying the London clan’s legacy and ending the existence of the gargoyle race forever?
Nox is the final novel in the Royal Protector Academy series. This dangerously exciting and darkly romantic conclusion will take your breath away. It can be read as a stand-alone trilogy or after the bestselling Revelation series. Intended for mature readers (18+) due to language, mild violence, and sexual situations.
The Royal Protector Academy novels are a serial trilogy meant to be read in order:
Vernal (Book #1)
Aequus (Book #2)
Nox (Book #3)


Author Bio:
Randi Cooley Wilson is the bestselling author of The Revelation Series, The Royal Protector Academy Novels, The Dark Soul Trilogy, and "Covetousness" a Havenwood Falls Novella. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.







XBTBanner1

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Review: Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery by Rhett McLaughlin & Link Neal

Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery
Cover Source: GoodReads.com
Title: Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery
Author: Rhett McLaughlin, Link Neal
Version Reviewed: Finished, Hardback
I purchased this book myself.

GoodReads Synopsis:
“Internetainers” Rhett & Link met in first grade when their teacher made them miss recess for writing profanity on their desks, and they have been best friends ever since. Today, their daily YouTube talk show, Good Mythical Morning, is the most-watched daily talk show on the Internet, and nearly 12 million subscribers tune in to see the guys broadcast brainy trivia, wild experiments, and hilarious banter (not to mention the occasional cereal bath). Now the award-winning comedians are finally bringing their “Mythical” world to the printed page in their first book.
A hilarious blend of autobiography, trivia, and advice, Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery will offer twenty ways to add “Mythicality” to your life, including:
Eat Something That Scares You
Make a Bold Hair Choice
Invent Something Ridiculous
Say “I Love You” Like It's Never Been Said
Speak at Your Own Funeral
The goal of these offbeat prompts? To learn new things, laugh more often, and earn a few grown-up merit badges along the way. Heartfelt and completely original, this book will be the perfect gift for anyone looking for a fresh dose of humor and fun.
Review:
I've been watching Good Mythical Morning on YouTube for a couple years now and I continue to be amazed at the odd and crazy ideas that these two, and their mythical crew, regularly come up with. I became hooked to the show they very moment that I stumbled upon one of their Will It? episodes. The show was full of crazy antics, scientific experiments, disgusting food, and a tons of fun. My husband and I started watching the show together daily and now my four year old even loves Rhett and Link. 

If you're a fan of Good Mythical Morning or just curious about ways to make your life a little more mythical, I definitely recommend the Book of Mythicality. There's tons of fun content, hilarious tales of their childhoods growing up in Buis Creek, North Carolina, hijinks and experiments they've done for YouTube and ways to improve your relationships, friendships, and just your life in general. It's a fun reminder to not take yourself too seriously and to just enjoy the process of life while you're living it.

I can't wait to see what else Rhett and Link have in store for the Mythical Beasts.

Rating: 5 Stars

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Rising Series Box Set by Holly Kelly


The Rising Series Box Set
Holly Kelly
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: December 12th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
A magical underwater realm awaits! Own books 1-3 of the Best-Selling Rising series by acclaimed author Holly Kelly.
This value-priced boxed set includes the first three novels in the best-selling Rising series: Rising (with an exclusive bonus scene), Descending, and Avenging. Beautifully packaged with brilliant new cover art, this set is perfect for any fan of Greek Mythology and Mermaid Romance stories. Order the Rising series today and submerge yourself in an underwater world full of passion, romance, intrigue and adventure.
Rising: Contains a newly released scene! In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. There’s just one thing standing in his way: the life of a beautiful young woman…
Descending: When Xanthus cashes in a long-standing favor, Kyros is faced with doing two things he thought he’d never do—protect a mermaid and live on land.
Avenging: Two thousand years ago, King Triton witnessed the slaughter and total annihilation of his merchildren. Devastated by the loss, he vowed to never again father a child. Powerful, handsome, and eternally youthful, Triton was no stranger to seduction—yet his resolve was unwavering…until he met Nicole.
EXCERPT:
He knew what he had to do, what he’d done countless times before. As a trained soldier, he had a sacred duty to protect his people, guard their secret, and uphold the law. This female’s presence here was not only a criminal act, but it also presented an imminent threat. And because of that, his course was clear.
He had to kill her.
His plan lay clearly before him. Blanketed in the shadows, he’d enter her apartment window. Moving silently, he’d strike fast. Before she could cry out for help, he’d have her throat slit wide open. With her blood flowing swiftly, she’d be dead in mere seconds. The fact that she bathed at this time added to the ease of the execution. Clean up would be simple. Before the night ended, it would be as if she’d never existed. The Dagonian threat of exposure would be wiped clean from the human world.
Xanthus stood, his feet rooted in place under her window. Her sweet scent surrounded him as he listened to her pitiful sobs. Then, in that moment, he did the most shameful thing he’d ever done in his life.
He hesitated.
No, he didn’t merely hesitate. He halted. Fingering his blade in his holster, he willed his feet to move, but they seemed unwilling to obey. Then his mind latched onto a thought. It was no crime to wait for a more opportune time or a more secluded place to strike. He didn’t need to act rashly. True, finding her here in the human world shocked him, but he needed to be clear-headed and sure when he killed her.
He made his way back to his vehicle and climbed behind the wheel. He leaned his head back against the seat, closed his eyes, and attempted to clear his head.
He’d be back and she would die. She deserved to die. She may have the voice of an angel, but that was a lie. She was a traitor, a threat to their people. No other explanation made sense.
Xanthus looked toward the little female’s apartment building across the street. Could she have found a more dangerous place to live? This Dagonian female probably felt at home with these bottom-feeders.
Probably? Aw Hades. He cursed himself and the doubt in his mind. He doubly cursed that he couldn’t seem to stop himself from caring about her welfare. He’d be killing her himself, after all. The traitor had to die, regardless of his feelings and no matter how appealing she was. Of course, if she died by a human’s hands then he wouldn’t…
No.
He shook his head at his own idiotic thoughts. If a human killed her, then her body would be taken to the morgue, for the humans to see. He couldn’t let that happen. He had to be the one to kill her and carefully dispose of her body. And he would, soon.
Just not tonight.


Author Bio:
Holly Kelly is a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation--she hides in the bathroom with her laptop and locks the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls. She was born in Utah but moved around a bit, living in Kansas, Texas, and Hawaii where she studied marine biology. She's now back in Utah--"happy valley". She's married to a wonderful husband, James, and they are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. Her interests are reading, writing (or course), martial arts, visual arts, creating Halloween props, and spending time with family.

XBTBanner1

Thursday, December 14, 2017

My Life In Books: 2017


The rules? Pretty simple: answer the questions with books you read this year!

In high school I was: Somebody Else's Sky (Jessica Hawkins)
People might be surprised (by): The Roll-Away Pumpkin (Junia Wonders)
I will never be: Frozen (Sarah Nathan)
My fantasy job is: 
The Most Magnificent Thing (Ashley Spires)
At the end of a long day I need: #Hookup (Cambria Hebert)
I hate it when: We Were Liars (E.Lockhart)
Wish I had: Baseball Bats For Christmas (
Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak)
My family reunions are: #Blur (Cambria Hebert)
At a party you’d find me with: Final Girls (Riley Sager)
I’ve never been to: Burntown (Jennifer McMahon)
A happy day includes: Getting To Know You (
Lisa Ann Marsoli)
Motto I live by: Trust The Focus (Megan Erickson)
On my bucket list is: Move The Stars (Jessica Hawkins)
In my next life, I want to have:
 Amnesia (Cambria Hebert)

That’s it! My Life in Books! Want to play along? Share yours (or your link!) in the comments. 😃

Excerpt & Giveaway: I’ve Been Looking for You by Jennifer Dean


I’ve Been Looking for You
Jennifer Dean
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult
Max: The new girl, the sarcastic asshole, the one who avoids getting attached to anyone.
Emily: The golden girl, the rule-abiding rebel, the one who unknowingly craves something more.
When fate brings the two girls together, life seemed to fall into place. Until their future plans are shattered the moment someone leaves drugs inside Max’s school locker.
While Max inevitably loses hope of escaping her new grim reality, Emily struggles to move on without the one she loves most. Especially when she’s the only one determined to find answers. But the closer Emily gets to discovering the truth, the harder it will be to stop her pursuit, even when it leads to dangerous consequences.


EXCERPT
JUNE 20, 2015

Emily’s slender finger drew invisible letters onto the table, nodding along with my voice but unaware of her distracted mind. I sighed, my words fading with unimportance as I tilted my head and narrowed my eyes with a new focus.
“What’s wrong?”
“What do you mean,” Emily said, slightly confused as her eyes shifted up but her finger continued with the absentminded activity.
I stared back with a knowing look that caused her to shrug.
“I’m not perfect, you know. I’m allowed to have bad days. You’re in prison after all.”
“True,” I said with a nod. “But something tells me there’s a reason for this one.”
“Well,” Emily said, curling her finger into her palm as if it had been beckoned back by her hand to create a frustrated fist. “Since you know so much, maybe you can tell what my problem is.”
Her irritated tone was guarded by impatience, but the only thing that caught my attention was the sadness lingering within her eyes.
“Ems,” I said with a soft plea.
Emily dropped her shoulders in surrender as she closed her eyes for a few brief seconds as if it were a message for the anger to stand down. Once she had blinked them back open, it was clear the space of her former irritation had been replaced with sadness that had now just doubled its territory. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to snap.” Emily shook her head, speaking with a regretful tone. “Really. It’s nothing.”
My own irritation rose as my need to wrap my arms around her was prevented by the restrictions of the environment surrounding us.
“I know it’s not nothing,” I said, conveying with my stare that I would sit here, waiting for the rest of the visit, if I had to, until she told me what was bothering her.
Emily relented with a heavy sigh, causing me to lift the left side of my mouth into a victoriously crooked smirk.
“My roommate assignment came in the mail this morning.”
Her voice was low and filled with disappointment as her shoulders rose and dropped with another exaggerated sigh. Unable to resist any longer, I quickly looked over my shoulder, happy to see the officer in charge distracted by another inmate interaction, before I took the opportunity and reached across the table to place my hand over Emily’s.
“You knew that was inevitable,” I said while my thumb soothed the back of her hand with gentle strokes.
“I know,” Emily said pausing so that she could turn her hand over and grasp my fingers longingly with her own. “It’s just that the reality of it all is still hitting me in pieces. And seeing that this morning just—” Emily shook her head, looking down at our linked hands as if they could give her the strength she needed while she attempted to hold back the crack seeping into her voice. “It just reminded me of what we had lost.”
“I’m sorry,” I said feeling the uselessness of my words as soon as they left my lips.
I pulled my hand back, ignoring the way my fingers twitched—screaming in protest at the parting from one they were always meant to hold. Emily’s disappointment tightened my chest, leaving me desperate to take away the remainder of her pain, if only for a few minutes.
“What?” Emily said with a confused stare as she took in the false amusement now lifting my cheeks.
“Looks like you’ll be using a bra on the door after all,” I said.


Author Bio:
Jennifer was studying History and English at the University of North Texas when she discovered a hidden passion for writing. She has since written two other Young Adult novels, Bound and Blinded. She lives in Seattle Washington.







XBTBanner1

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Available Now: Behind The Bars by Brittainy C. Cherry

BCC BLOG TOUR

Behind the Bars, the first beautiful and emotional standalone in the all-new Music Street Series from Brittainy C. Cherry is available NOW!

Behind the Bars Wrap
When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.
I was the awkward musician, and she was the high school queen.
The only things we had in common were our music and our loneliness.
Something in her eyes told me her smile wasn’t always the truth.
Something in her voice gave me a hope I always wished to find.
And in a flash, she was gone.
Years later, she was standing in front of me on a street in New Orleans.
She was different, but so was I. Life made us colder. Harder. Isolated.
Caged.
Even though we were different, the broken pieces of me recognized the sadness in her.
Now she was back, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of letting her go again.
When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.
When we met again, she was the darkest storm.


Excerpt:

By the way, what happened to Todd’s nose?” I asked. 
“I broke it,” Elliott said matter-of-factly.
“What? How? Why?” He shrugged before turning to look out the window. 
“He called you a bad name.” 
“What was it?”
“It doesn’t matter.” 
“Eli,” I started. He turned my way and locked his hazel eyes with my browns. 
“Jazz…” He shook his head. “It wasn’t true.” I swallowed hard, a big part of me certain Todd’s words held some form of truth. Elliott saw it in me—my fear. 
He kept shaking his head and whispered, “I don’t feel sorry for you. Sometimes you look at me like you think I feel sorry for you, and I want you to know I don’t. I think you’re perfect the way you are.” I quietly laughed at him repeating the words I’d told him earlier. A few tears rolled down my cheeks. “I’m a little messed up.” “I know.” He nodded. “That’s why I like you.” He went back to staring out the window, and I kept staring at him. And there it was. So small, so tiny, so real. Love. It wasn’t love, but it was the beginning of it. I knew I was young, and I knew it was stupid, but in that moment, I began to fall in love with the quiet boy who quietly cared for me. The boy who was scared and still strong. The boy who stood up for me when he was surrounded by reasons not to do such a thing. I hadn’t known much about love. I hadn’t known how it looked, felt, or tasted. I hadn’t known how it moved, how it flowed, but I knew my heart was tight and currently skipping a few beats. I understood the goose bumps covering my arms. I knew this stuttering boy who was sometimes so scared was someone worth loving. He was worth being the first one I gave my heart to. I knew Elliott Adams was love. And I was falling into him so fast. BCC_AVAILABLENOW

Read Today or download FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2vZ2rYx
BehindtheBarsTeaser3

About the Author:

Hi! I'm Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I'm learning, things I'm re-learning, things I'm forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.

Connect with Brittainy:

Twitter: @BrittainyCherry
Stay up to date with Brittainy by signing up for her newsletter:

Playlist & Giveaway: The Vixen’s Lead by Tate James



The Vixen’s Lead
Tate James
(Kit Davenport, #1)
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
I want vengeance so badly that I can almost taste it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. So, I did what any privileged, adopted boarding school girl would do. I slapped on a secret identity and became an internationally renowned thief, known as The Fox. Nobody knows me. Nobody can catch me.
Or so I thought…
It turns out; I have what they want. Special abilities. And trust me, these abilities are coveted–and dangerous. Now, I don’t know who to trust or where to go. Peril lurks on every corner as I try to uncover my past and origin. Teaming up with unlikely allies may be my only chance at survival or my biggest mistake. Only time will tell.
I’m Kit Davenport and this is only the beginning.


Playlist

You Don’t Own Me – Grace feat. G-Eazy
Hell of A Girl – Grace
On My Mind – Ellie Goulding
Starving – Hailee Stienfield feat. Zedd
Renegades – X Ambassadors
Hope You Understand – Grace
Heathens – Twenty One Pilots
Mercy – Shawn Mendes
Control – Halsey
Mad Hatter – Melanie Martinez
Vengeance on My Mind – G-Eazy


Author Bio:
Tate James was born and raised in the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand) but now lives in Australia with her husband, baby and furbaby.
She is a lover of books, red wine, cats and coffee and is not a morning person. She is a bit too sarcastic and swears too much for polite society and definitely tells too many dirty jokes.


XBTBanner1

Monday, December 11, 2017

Excerpt & Giveaway: Hinder by Kristin Ping


Hinder
Kristin Ping
(Guardian of Monsters #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal
Ethan Sutcliff seems like a normal seventeen-year-old—at least that’s what he’s trying to portray. In a secret society run by the Supernaturals, Ethan is what witches call a Bender. Benders are Witches’ Guardians, who are able to control a witches’ ability, bend it, or move it away from harming humans. In Ethan’s case, he is able to bend the Earth element. But at the age of fifteen, he lost all connection to it, and the reasons behind it could only mean one of two things: His Wielder is either dead, or hiding out somewhere.
Alex Burgendorf has been living in her aunt’s locket for the past sixteen years with her mother—a Fire Wielder, and her father—a Water Wielder. For sixteen years, her parents vowed to protect her, and they have, as she is the last Earth wielding witch. However, time is running out. Alex must find her Bender, or the fate of the Supernaturals might be at stake.

EXCERPT
Before Sentinels it was just earth Wielders. That was how powerful they were and Ethan was the lucky boy that was going to be part of that. He was going to become the next earth Wielder’s protector in every way possible.

Tears formed in Ethan’s eyes, but he refused to let them roll down his cheek. He tried so hard to live up to his element, to be strong and special. 

Sad that the boy didn’t know how strong or special he already was. Maybe it was my fault as a father, as a parent.

I wanted to tell Natalie that she should stop making him feel so terrible. He was just exploring. But what good would that do? We would just end up fighting again. I was so tired of our fights. Shoulders slumped, I turned to go inside. That was when I heard the roar of engines.

The hair on my arms and neck stood straight. Adrenaline poured into my blood like jet fuel and my heartbeat skyrocketed as I turned to see Natalie running toward me across the yard, jerking little Ethan along by the hand. 

“Get rid of them. Now.” She shouldered past me into the house.

No one had seen what Ethan had done, right? No, it wasn’t possible. Was it?

Three black Jeeps and a silver one careened into the driveway, spitting gravel behind their shiny black tires. I leaped off the steps but then composed myself. With great effort, I slowed to a sedate walk. I had to try to make this farmhouse seem like any other sleepy home on this continent—even though it was far from it.

Who are these people? What are they doing here? 

They weren’t Necrocretors. Necrocretors didn’t use Jeeps or SUVs to make their entrances. Whoever they were, they were driving fast. Too fast.

As they pulled closer, the sun glinted off the tinted windows and blinded me. Then when they turned an angle, I saw it. It was the outline of a barrel.

I dove for the willow. Bullets shredded bark above my head. Splinters and sawdust flew everywhere. 

My back was firmly against the tree, safe from the bullets, or so I hoped. Thank goodness he grew a fully mature tree, I marveled. Otherwise I’d be dead. 

I recited words that hadn’t touched my tongue in years. I carried them in my skin on my tattoo, across my chest, close to my heart. A phrase scribbled in Latin that I’ve learned at a very young age: Estque vel me vel.

Its meaning was simple: It is either them or me.

If someone had to die, it wasn’t going to be me.

I took out the Zippo in my back pocket, closed my eyes, and used my diaphragmatic breathing exercises to calm my heart.

More gunshots sizzled overhead. Bits of the porch railing and the willow bar exploded. The air filled with the scent of sulfur and singed wood.

I took a deep breath.

Then I flicked the flint.


Author Bio:
Kristin resides in South Africa with her husband, two beautiful girls and two bulldogs that tries to eat her house.
She has been writing for the past eight years and her first debut novel, Hinder: A Bender’s novel will be published 2018 by Fire Quill Publishing.
When she isn’t writing, she is spending her time with her family, or trying to teach her two bulldogs to not eat her house. You can find more about Kristin at www.authorkristinping.com

XBTBanner1

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls
Cover Source: GoodReads.com
Title: Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Version Reviewed: Finished, Hardback
Website: www.rileysagerbooks.com
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

GoodReads Synopsis:
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.
Review:
I have always been a lover of slasher movies. Even as a child, I couldn't get enough of them. So when I heard rumors of a book going around that was basically a slasher in book form, I knew that I had to get my hands on it. I immediately headed to NetGalley to see if it was available for request and I was so happy that it was. Soon after I entered a giveaway to win a hardback copy of the book. I ended up being my lucky day because I ended up winning the hardback and, to my surprise, the next day my request to review it from NetGalley was approved. I was ecstatic.

I dove in as soon as I had it in my hands and I was instantly hooked. The more that I read, the deeper I fell in love with it and the more eager I became to finish it and learn all the secrets that Quincy held. Reading about Pine Cottage really was like reading a slasher movie (if that makes sense) and had all the elements to it that I love about a good slasher.

The characters were cryptic and mysterious and full of their own secrets. The story in itself was full of twists and turns and constantly made you realign your suspicions and consider that things might not be exactly what they seem.

Life did end up getting in the way, however, and it took me forever to finish the book. As a wife and stay at home mom of a seven month old and a 4 year old, it isn't always easy to find time to sit down and read. I know that If I had had the time, Final Girls would have been a book that I would have finished in one to two sittings. I loved it so much.

I was expressing my excitement for the book to my husband and told him that if it were a movie, it would definitely be one that I would be obsessed with. And then I realized... a few weeks back I saw that Final Girls WILL be made into a movie. I can't freakin' wait.

Highly recommend for fans of slashers, suspense, and thrillers. A truly great read.

Rating: 5 Stars. 

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Storm by Amanda McKinney


The Storm
Amanda McKinney
(Berry Springs Series)
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
The snow is dropping in Berry Springs… and so are the bodies...
On a pitch-black wintry night, Detective Dean Walker finds a man in the middle of an icy road, with a bullet between his eyes—a murder that is eerily similar to his father’s, which was never solved. Coincidence? No, Dean doesn’t believe in coincidences. He also doesn’t believe in love at first sight, until he meets the victim’s wife.
Psychologist Heidi Novak is hardly settling into her new mansion in the small, country town of Berry Springs, when she receives a late-night visit by the handsome Dean Walker. Seconds after learning that her husband has been murdered, gunshots explode around her and it becomes apparent that she is the next target.
With a massive winter storm looming, Dean races to find the killer and keep Heidi safe, while facing a long a list of suspects, including Heidi’s arrogant sister-in-law and a local, crusty cowboy. As the evidence mounts, Dean becomes more convinced than ever that his father’s murder is connected to the death of Heidi’s husband.
And he can’t help but think . . . will Heidi be the second love he loses to the ice-cold killer?
EXCERPT:
Dean pulled Dusty from the pen, saddled him up and jumped on.
“Alright buddy, let’s go.” He guided the horse out of the barn and into the dark night. He inhaled the cool winter air as Dusty leisurely stepped into the field.
He loved riding horses—something about it made him feel free; free of worry, free of stress. He closed his eyes for a moment and listened to sounds of the woods around him—the wind whispering through the tall pine trees, the sound of Dusty’s hooves crunching on the icy grass beneath him and the night calls of the thousand different critters that call the Ozark Mountains home. The faint smell of a fire burning somewhere in the distance tickled his nose.
Despite the picturesque surroundings, he looked into the woods and tensed. Usually, being alone on his land cleared his head and gave him a calmness that only the outdoors could provide. But, not tonight. Tonight, the woods seemed ominous in the dark night, with long shadows stretching across the field like fingers reaching to grab a hold of him.
Like someone watching him from the darkness, waiting to grab hold.
He thought of his mother, and the look in her eyes when she asked about Clint Novak. Although it wasn’t said, there was no doubt that she had been thinking the same thing he had been since he looked down at Clint’s body. Could it be the same person? The same person who killed his father six, now seven, years ago?
The thought seemed inconceivable. What was the connection between his father and Clint, and why wait seven years?
It wasn’t just the location of the bullet hole, it was just something in his gut that made him on edge about it. A sixth sense. And, obviously, something in his mother’s gut felt the same way, too.
He pulled Dusty to a stop where just seven years ago—to the day—he and his father were burning brush, right before his father was shot and killed.
He sat still for a moment. His eyes scanned the tree line in the distance—as he had done a million times—trying to put a face to the murderer who killed his father. Was it someone who knew him? Or, was it just pesky trespassers who got a little too trigger happy?
He took a deep breath and slid off the horse.
Flashbacks of holding his dead father in his arms shot like lightning through his head. His fists clenched as he paced the area.
As if Dusty knew what was going on, he bowed his head in grief, and respect for the dead.
Dean tilted his head to the sky, letting the light of the moon wash over him.
He whispered, “I’ll get him, Dad. I’ll get him.”
As tears threatened to sting his eyes, he reached into his pocket, pulled out the bottle of whiskey and took a sip. And, poured a little out for his father, as he did every year on this day.
Anger washed over him, and a renewed determination to catch the bastard that killed his father had him seething. He inhaled deeply, took another swig and looked into the woods.
He’d get the son of a bitch.
As he turned to mount Dusty, something in his gut twisted. A foreboding of something to come.


Author Bio:
Amanda McKinney, author of Sexy, Suspenseful Mysteries wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. When Amanda isn’t tending to her two beautiful boys, she’s hidden behind her computer screen crafting page-turning murder mysteries, peppered with titillating love scenes. Having been born and raised in the south, Amanda’s books are set in small, country towns and reflect southern culture at its finest.
Amanda’s debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, was released in January 2017, followed by the first two books in the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES, THE WOODS and THE LAKE. The third book in the series, THE STORM is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2017.

XBTBanner1

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Review: Butterfly by Cambria Hebert

Butterfly : A Public Enemy Standalone
Cover Source: GoodReads.com
Title: Butterfly
Series: Public Enemy #1
Author: Cambria Hebert
Website: www.cambriahebert.com
Version Reviewed: Finished, eBook
I borrowed this book from the Kindle Lending Library.

GoodReads Synopsis:
Drunken brawls. One-night stands.
No-show interviews. Toilet-papering my hoity-toity neighbor's house.
Insulting my fans. Trashing hotel rooms.
What's it take to become public enemy number one?
I just told you.
I've done all that and more.
My poor conduct got me on the Celebs Behaving Badly list
and ultimately ruined my career.
From the world's number-one popstar to world's most hated.
That's me. Ten Stark.
Go underground, they said. Stay out of the spotlight.
Most importantly, stay out of trouble.
Everyone loves a good comeback story.
For once, I listened.
I met someone who didn't know my name,
my face, or the bad behavior that defined me.
She taught me I wasn't who everyone thought I was--everyone including me.
Then someone whispered my name and things got messy, as they always do.
Now I want her back.
I'm not a caterpillar, but a butterfly.
My wings are in full color, not just black and white.
But first, I have to shed my cocoon and fly.
Review:
 I wasn't sure what to expect from this book when I first read the blurb for it. The whole musician/normal girl trope has been done quite a few times but I knew that Cambria is great for putting her own little spin on things and makes an amazing story with absolutely beautiful characters.

Upon starting Butterfly, I fell in love with Violet immediately. I loved her normality and the fact that she suffered from an autoimmune disorder. It's not often that we get main characters (unless the entire story is centered around their conditions) that have everyday medical issues. I loved her talent, creativity, and snarkiness. Violet was a great character that I totally would love to friends with if she was a real person. :)

Ten/Stark was also a really cool character. I love getting the inside scoop on celebrities and real-life celebrity gossip is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. So stories that center around celebrities, especially ones with bad reputations, are always interesting to me. 

I found it very easy to fall into stride with these characters and they definitely made their story lines more enjoyable. They shared some sassy moments, some extremely steamy moment that involve paint, and some emotionally charged moments that made my heart beat faster.

If the rest of the standalones in the Public Enemy series are this good, I'm gonna eat them up.

Rating: 4 Stars

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Second Window by Erica Kiefer


The Second Window
Erica Kiefer
Published by: CTP Pulse
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
As her senior year flies by on cruise control, seventeen-year-old Olivia Cole yearns for excitement—something her upscale private school no longer provides. Her job as a grocery store bagger isn’t much help…until the day she has a bizarre exchange with the cagey town recluse. When the woman abruptly surrenders to the police, Olivia feels compelled to dig deeper into her perplexing story. But the investigation stalls when Olivia receives another piece of news—Andre Steele, the golden boy of Westmont and her previous tormentor, has unexpectedly returned from his four-year stay in Brazil—and the whole school is buzzing! All at once, Olivia’s dull and predictable life is uprooted, and she wonders if “boring” was so bad after all.
EXCERPT:
A stranger to me, I knew nothing about Jodie except that she lived on the outskirts of town. People referred to her as a hermit because she rarely ventured from her home, and when she did, it seemed only long enough to purchase groceries. She was nobody important to me—just the occasional name carried through the wind when there was nothing else to talk about. However, like clockwork, I bagged her scant items every Thursday at four PM. The odd interactions I’d have with the woman would sometimes be the most interesting part of my shift at Wayland’s, a discounted store that served as employment during the summer, and now into my senior year.
I met her eyes again, which seemed to never leave mine, peering at me with an intense silence that I couldn’t explain. She didn’t frighten me, exactly. On the contrary, there was a meekness about her that suggested her gentle nature. While she hardly smiled, she didn’t have a mean face. It was more like the bland expression of a person who had little to smile about. Yet I wondered at her reservation, certain she had more to say than she ever allowed.
Jodie’s slender fingers pulled cash from her wallet and she handed over the bills. When she turned to me once more, her teary eyes alarmed me. She swallowed hard, like she was washing down emotions that rose against her will.
“Are… are you okay?” I asked, hesitating as I placed her grocery bags into the cart. Her hand fell swiftly on top of mine, squeezing my palm. Startled by the sudden physical contact, I jerked my hand away. I regretted my actions the moment her expression shifted.
Eyes wide, she shook her head, her mouth opening as though horrified by her behavior. A tear slid down her cheek, and she brushed it away in haste. “I’m sorry.” Sniffling, she snatched her three bags from the cart and scurried toward the exit. “Hey!” I called after her. I exchanged a look of confusion with Marlene before following Jodie to the automatic sliding doors. “Wait! It’s Jodie, right?” She paused, sniffing once more. She looked back at me over her shoulder, eyes red and sorrowful. “Um, can I help you to your car? I really should have double-bagged that one.” I pointed to the bulging bag containing the heavy soups, grasping for an excuse to stall her from leaving.
The tiniest smile crept along the corners of her mouth. Her green eyes brightened beneath the sheen of tears. Relieved, I smiled back. Her next words fell from her lips in a low, quiet tone. “You take care of yourself.” Then she walked out into the cool air.
I stood there perplexed, watching this strange woman escape to the parking lot. Jodie had been a consistent presence in my life for months now, a once-a-week visit in which she spoke no more than a murmured, Thank you. Why did I feel a sudden permanence to her goodbye?
A familiar female voice called out from behind me. “I need a bagger on lane three please!”
I rolled my eyes and flipped around to see my friend Jordyn standing at the other end of the store, hollering into her cupped hands. I glanced at Marlene. My grey-haired co-worker pushed out her lips with a frown, throwing a hand onto her plump hip. I cringed and held up my index finger. “One minute,” I mouthed, and hurried toward Jordyn before she could garner anymore unwanted attention from my employers.
“You know Marlene hates when you stop by, right?” I said to my best friend. She beamed confidence at me with her wide smile, her lips stained in a bright coral that I could never pull off. Though only one-eighth Native American, the tan skin she’d inherited helped her get away with wearing colorful makeup combinations that I would never attempt on my fair skin. Jordyn also relished in the theatrics that I shied away from.
“I’m a paying customer,” she said, grabbing a box of powdered donuts off the shelf. She held them up to make her point, waving wildly at Marlene’s scowling face. Jordyn raised her voice again, like she was hollering at the deaf elderly. “She’s just gonna bag these for me and I’ll be on my way!”
I shook my head at her. “You’re going to get me fired.”
“You’ve got other problems to worry about.” Jordyn put her hands on my shoulders, and spun me around.
“What am I looking at?” I asked, not seeing anything out of the ordinary. Leave it to Jordyn to make me guess, rather than just tell me. She rotated me forty-five degrees.
“Not what. Who.” She dropped her voice to a whisper. “Past the cashiers. Aisle twelve.”
I loved her to death, but sometimes her games were a bit much. “Jordyn, come on—” I stopped, suddenly very aware of just who she was pointing out to me. I caught a glimpse of his smile first, gleaming brightly against his bronzed skin—a deeper brown than I remembered, and a compliment from his Brazilian mother. I’d almost missed him, hidden behind the cluster of kids clamoring for his attention. But then I heard his laugh, boisterous and infectious. Unique.
And stirring memories I resented.
I crossed my arms over my black apron. “What is Andre Steele doing back in Arizona?”
Jordyn inhaled noisily, letting out her breath as she spoke. “I don’t know, but Brazil sure did a nice number on him.”
I scowled and nudged her with my elbow.
“But we still hate him,” she corrected, giving a nod of solidarity.
“Of course we do.” We watched him disappear down aisle nine with his posse. Another burst of laughter trailed behind him, coupled with giggles from the girls hanging on him and the other guy slapping Andre’s back like they’d never heard someone so funny.
“Then again,” Jordyn added, “Four years can change a person. Maybe he’ll surprise you.”
I stepped away from her, returning to my position at the end of the register. I grabbed the boxes of toothpaste and floss sliding past Marlene and tossed them into a fresh bag. “I never liked his surprises.”


Author Bio:
Erica Kiefer’s debut novel Lingering Echoes was published by Clean Teen Publishing in November 2013. She continued the series with Rumors (A Lingering Echoes Prequel) and her newest release Vanishing Act. All of her books can be read as stand-alone contemporary YA fiction, touched with romance, emotional drama and suspense. With a degree in Recreation Therapy from Brigham Young University, Erica’s experiences working with at-risk youth have influenced the realistic and relatable nature of her writing. Her first inspirational non-fiction entitled Borrowed Angel (published in April 2014 with Currawong Press) describes the loss of her infant son and her journey towards healing.
Married since 2005, Erica resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her four children and can often be found satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies and a glass of milk. Now and then, she dusts off her collegiate rugby skills and dives back into the game.

XBTBanner1

Friday, December 8, 2017

Excerpt & Giveaway: Murder on the Lake of Fire by Mikel J. Wilson


Murder on the Lake of Fire
Mikel J. Wilson
(Mourning Dove Mysteries, #1)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: LGBTQ+, Mystery, Romance
At twenty-three and with a notorious case under his belt, Emory Rome has already garnered fame as a talented special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is leapfrogging over his colleagues, but the jumping stops when he’s assigned a case he fought to avoid – to investigate an eerie murder in the Smoky Mountain hometown he had abandoned. This mysterious case of a dead teen ice-skater once destined for the pros is just the beginning. In a small town bursting with envious friends and foes, Rome’s own secrets lie just below the surface. The rush to find the murderer before he strikes again pits Rome against artful private investigator, Jeff Woodard. The PI is handsome and smart, seducing Rome and forcing him to confront childhood demons, but Woodard has secrets of his own. He might just be the killer Rome is seeking.

EXCERPT:
With the confidence of a man who loved his job, Emory Rome entered the Knoxville Consolidated Facility of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Dressed in a battleship-grey suit, the twenty-three-year-old special agent glided past rows of desks in the auditorium-sized office, nodding and half-smiling at the occasional co-worker who made eye contact with him. Without stopping at his own desk, he continued to the back of the room until he stood in front of a desk that was askew from the others, just outside the door to the only private office.
The fiftyish woman tapping on her computer keyboard smiled with genuine sweetness when she saw the handsome man and greeted him with her usual, “Mornin’ Emory.”
Emory matched her smile. “Good morning, Fran.”
“I have something for you.” She handed him a large thermos. “Sassafras tea. It’ll help you sleep.”
“You shouldn’t have gone to the trouble—”
Fran looked like she was swatting at an invisible fly as she brushed off his concern. “Lord, it’s no trouble.”
“Well, thank you. I appreciate it.” Emory locked his brown eyes on the closed door. “I got a message she wanted to see me first thing.”
“Wayne’s already in there.”
He held up the thermos. “Can I leave this here until I come back out?”
“Of course.”
Emory placed it on Fran’s desk and took a deep breath. He rapped on the door a couple of times before entering the office and closing it behind him. Seated at her desk, Eve Bachman glanced at him without breaking from her conversation with Wayne. Like a tic that spasms once a day, her eyes darted to the red digital clock on her desk. Emory was never late, but she checked the time whenever she saw him. He didn’t know why.
Bachman was the special agent in charge of this TBI division, and she left no doubt to those in her purview that she was, in fact, in charge. Humorless and direct, she had two tones to her voice – informative and invective. When she paused for breath, Emory greeted them both, removed the wool satchel strapped to his shoulder and took a seat next to his partner. “…You must be at the courthouse at 1 p.m.”
“I’ll do it, but it’s a total waste of a work day,” Wayne Buckwald grumbled. He had been partnered with Emory when the younger agent started more than a year ago, and while their working relationship clicked for the most part, they were not friends and did not socialize together. Any personal conversations they had on the job revolved around Wayne’s life only, as Emory was a master of deflection.
Wayne’s response evoked clenched lips from Bachman before she redirected the conversation. “Both of you take a look at these.”
Wayne reached his stubby fingers across the desk for the photos she produced from a file, and he handed each to his partner after he viewed them. Emory tried to conceal a wince when he saw the first one – burned human remains on a bed of snow at the edge of a lake. The blackened parts of the skin glistened with a sickening sheen formed when the body was pulled
from the lake and the clinging water froze before it could evaporate. Another picture looked to be a yearbook photo, and it revealed just how beautiful the victim had been.
Bachman explained, “These photos were taken in a little mountain town sixty miles southeast of here called Barter Ridge.”
Emory perked up at the town’s name. Did she say Barter Ridge? Aloud he asked, “ID?”
“Her name’s Britt Algarotti. She was a figure skater shooting for the Olympics. According to her father, she left the house at five-thirty in the morning to practice her routine at the lake before school. The local sheriff fished her out yesterday evening. Their prevailing theory is that someone attacked her when she arrived yesterday, burned her and dumped her in the lake. No known motive.”
With his dark brown hair now dipping over his eyes, Emory looked up from the photos. “Could be sexual assault.”
Wayne proposed with a smirk, “Maybe someone Nancy Kerriganed her.”
“What’s that?” Emory asked.
“Not what. Who. Nancy Kerrigan. That skater who was clubbed in the knee by her rival so she wouldn’t be able to perform.” He looked at them both, but neither responded. His attempt at humor was lost on his youthful partner and stoic boss.
Examining the photos, Emory pointed to one of the lake. “It’s not frozen over.”
Wayne scoffed at his observation. “Of course not. The killer wouldn’t have been able to dump her body in the lake if it was covered with ice.”
“Why would she go to the lake if it weren’t frozen over? She’s not a water skier.”
“She could’ve been killed somewhere else and taken there.”
Emory turned his attention to Bachman. “Any tracks in the snow?”
“Plenty. The sheriff had half a dozen people all over the area before anyone thought to preserve the crime scene.”
Wayne snorted. “As much as I’d love to help clean up their mess, couldn’t someone else handle this one? We just closed the Danner case yesterday and haven’t even finished our report, and now I have to prepare for a court date.”
“I’m with Wayne on this.” I can’t believe I just said that.
Bachman interrupted their protests to say in her most invective tone, “Well, Emory, the sheriff asked for you by name.”
Wayne joined Bachman in glaring at Emory, whose face turned bright red.


Author Bio:
Mystery and science fiction author Mikel J. Wilson received widespread critical praise for his debut novel, Sedona: The Lost Vortex, a science fiction book based on the Northern Arizona town’s legends of energy vortexes and dimensional travel. Wilson now draws on his Southern roots for the Mourning Dove Mysteries, a series of novels featuring bizarre murders in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee.
Murder on the Lake of Fire, the first novel in the Mourning Dove Mysteries series, will be available December 1, 2017.

XBTBanner1

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Excerpt & Giveaway: Heartbeat by Brenda Williams



Title: Heartbeat (Hollywood Hearts Book 3) 
Author: Brenda Williams 
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense 
Release Date: December 4, 2017 
Cover Designer: BWrite Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.



GOOD GIRLS DON'T KISS AND TELL. UNLESS THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE ACT...
Twenty-one-year-old Chloe Kemp knows it’s not easy growing up in the celebrity spotlight. Unlike other child actors, Chloe’s determined to hold onto her squeaky clean reputation. So far that’s been easy because she really is as sweet and innocent as the media portrays.
Until a video of her in bed with the lead singer of a famous rock band is released online. Only nothing happened. Not that anyone will believe her…
Nor will anyone believe she was in bed with the wrong rock star. Chloe’s fallen for drummer, Gabriel da Silva, and she’s heartbroken she’s ruined her chances with him. Or is it possible he’s fallen for Chloe’s sweetness?
When Chloe is sent incriminating images, it becomes apparent someone is following her with the intention of ruining her reputation as well as her relationship with Gabe. If Chloe wants her career to survive, and a shot with Gabe, is it time she grows up and trusts her heart?



We lay back and I listened to the water lapping at the hull as we floated along. The yacht tipped as we were pulled down gently into the swell and the motion caused me to slide toward Gabe. As we bobbed up again I realized we were so close that all I had to do was reach out my pinky to stroke the back of his hand. I lay there paralyzed, my heart in my throat, while I willed myself to have the courage to reach out that fraction of an inch to touch him. Then, in a movement so smooth it felt like it was the most natural thing in the world, Gabe twined his fingers through mine. “Do you like it out here?” he asked. I nodded, trying to ignore the way my fingers tingled and my hand throbbed from our contact. “I love the sense of freedom,” I managed. “Tell me about it. All those hours I clocked up? Coming out here was like therapy when the band made it big.” The yacht rolled over another large swell and shifted us so we were pressed together.  “You don’t like the fame?” I asked casually, even though my arm against his made it feel like my whole body was on fire. Gabe put his other hand behind his head and I did my best to avert my eyes when his T-shirt rode up and revealed a tanned, taut strip of his abdomen. “Do you?” His question caught me off guard. “Huh?” His mouth quirked like he knew what I’d been thinking. “Do you like the fame?” “I wouldn’t say I like it, but I’m used to it. You’re not, are you?” “A bit more now. At first, being out here on this yacht was the only place I still felt like myself.” “Gypsy Hour’s popularity happened quickly, didn’t it?” “Not according to Levi and Johnnie. They were doing gigs and cutting singles for almost seven years before I met them.” “Hang on. Weren’t you always in the band?” “Nope. And I thought you were a fan.” He nudged me gently with his shoulder. “Levi approached me one night when I was playing at a gig. Back then I was in a few different bands and played around LA regularly. He told me their drummer had just left. Something about a difference of opinions with Johnnie if you can imagine that.” His wry grin told me he could imagine exactly that. “Anyway, a few months later one of our singles made it big and I was officially in a famous rock band.” “Wow. I had no idea it was like that for you.” “Right place, right time.” “It’s always like that with fame,” I told him. “Too often success comes down to that one lucky moment.” Gabe propped himself up on his elbow but didn’t let go of my hand. Those beautiful gray eyes regarded me seriously. “You really believe that?” “Absolutely.” “But you’ve been working at acting since you were a kid.” “Yes, I have, and I’ll keep working hard, but the thing I learned early on was luck plays a huge part. Mama’s connections got me started easier than most. It allowed me to pick up a few commercials when I was kid. What people didn’t see were the hundreds of auditions I went to for television pilots that I didn’t get. And the one I did get? I got the part on School Daze because the director had been on the crew for one of the commercials I’d done. Simple as that. I wasn’t necessarily more talented, cuter, or more professional. I was just lucky.” “That doesn’t bother you?” “No, why would it?” “Because don’t you want it to be your hard work that got you there?” I looked down at our hands and my pale skin against his tanned complexion. We were so different, in more than just our looks. Fame had always been part of my life but it was new to Gabe and I sensed in him an unease that I was only just beginning to understand. “When Gypsy Hour made it big you didn’t feel like you deserved to be there, did you?” I asked him. Gabe shrugged and cast his eyes to the horizon. “Maybe.” “But you had been working hard—in other bands. If you hadn’t, Levi wouldn’t have seen you and approached you.” He let out a deep sigh. “Yeah, that’s true, I guess.” I took in his profile. He had a regal quality that I liked. Unlike Johnnie, who was all bravado, Gabe’s confidence was quiet, but maybe a little less self-assured than I had first thought. “How old are you?” I asked. My question seemed to break Gabe out of his reverie and he met my eyes. “Twenty-eight. Why?” “And how long have you been drumming?” “Since I was eleven.” “So you’ve been playing drums for . . . ” I did the math in my head. “Seventeen years. I’d say that makes you very experienced.” “More experienced than you.” Oh boy. Those few words changed the tone of our easy conversation into something a whole lot less easy, and I swallowed.


 


https://open.spotify.com/user/1266029906/playlist/4ibORIYCSuhxIJ3nz7WXqN  


 

 
Belinda Williams is a marketing communications specialist and copywriter who allowed an addiction to romance to get the better of her. Her other addictions include music and fast cars. Her writing hasn’t paid for a Lamborghini just yet, so she’ll have to settle for her son’s Hot Wheels collection and writing hot male leads with sports cars. Belinda lives in Sydney, Australia.

   



#Free