Month: July 2013

Book Review: One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker

Title: One Tiny Lie
Author: K.A. Tucker

Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents’ tragic death and Kacey’s self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would…and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.
Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?
As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.

“The only thing I regret is that it ever ended. And I’m the one who’s jealous. Insanely so.”

This book is the follow-up to the Ten Tiny Breaths. It depicts the challenges that Livie, Kacey’s sister, 
goes through in college. When we met Livie in the first book, we know that she’s a strait-laced girl. Innocent and has planned her life to become a doctor. She seems to be doing well UNTIL a night filled with Jell-O shots introduces her to an uber-hot guy named Ashton. 
Ashton…oh my dear…he’s such a broken guy who falls in love with a seemingly perfect girl, Livie. As readers, we experience the struggles that this couple goes through. The constant battle if they’re right for and with each other. As always, the author’s writing is impeccable so you get drawn in the story and once you know it, five-six-eight hours have passed and you’re still sitting on the same spot on the couch, reading. 
I absolutely fell in love with ALL of the characters. They all had different and engaging personalities who you can empathize with, get mad at, and laugh with. 
Livie goes through her own self-discovery and with the help of Dr. Stayner (who is the most unorthodox but may be the most brilliant psychiatrist there is), she is able to confront her hidden fears and becomes a better woman for it. Dr. Stayner also helps Ashton free himself from the bounds that were keeping him from letting go. 

“You’re my forever girl.” 

Ashton, the hero in the book, is going on my top ten BBF. I wanted to throw rocks at him. I adored him. I cried for him. The myriad of emotions that I went through in reading this book should be Oscar-worthy because this really is such a rich, emotionally charged book. I am very happy and content with the ending but I truly want more. I am now officially signing myself as a member of the K.A. Tucker’s fan club. 

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons.

She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit.

Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.



Book Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Title: Ten Tiny Breaths
Author: K.A. Tucker

Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.
Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.
But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

I have to start off by saying that anything K.A. Tucker writes, I will one-click. Ms. Tucker’s writing is flawless.

The premise – finding yourself after a tragedy is one that has been written many times over. BUT, I have not read a story like this. Kacey Cleary is a broken heroine. She’s trying to live her life after her parents died in a tragedy. It’s tough enough to do this while you’re alone. How much more when you have a little sister that you have to look out for? To make matters worse, their Uncle Raymond has started to look at her little sister with “interest” and Kacey has made the decision that they have to get out of that house. Moving to another place becomes the setting for the whole story. In the apartment where they move to, they form friendships with unlikely people, people that they may have never bothered to even talk to in their previous lives. It’s also in this place, where Kacey meets a mysterious guy named Trent.

Trent is trying to find a way to reconcile with his past mistake. A mistake that has cost him to run from his own life. The author weaves the connections between the characters so intricately that the readers are kept in suspense and kept wanting to read more. I don’t want to give away too much because REALLY, you have to read it!

My favorite line in this book? There are so many…But here are the top three:

“Our past isn’t who we are. I’m me and you’re you and that’s what we need to be.”

“I want to make you smile. For real. Always. We’re going to go for dinners, and see movies, and walk on the beach. We’ll go hang gliding, or bungee jumping, or whatever you want to do…Let me make you smile.”

“Forever’s not long enough when it’s with you.”

This is just exceptional writing! I am looking forward to MANY of Ms. Tucker’s books in the future. Thank you for such a wonderful story!

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. 
She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. 
Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.



SPECIAL POST: ALEX ALT POV (The Light in the Wound by Christine Brae)

There is no doubt that I love Alex. The unconditional love he has for Issy is just unbelievable. Since I can’t get enough of this guy, Christine Brae has allowed us to share with you all a special post on one of the my favorite scenes told in Alex POV. Let’s check it out!

The Light in the Wound 
by Christine Brae
“Damn it!” My hands pound on the steering wheel as I weave in and out of traffic. I stop myself right before the last syllable and my lips curve into a slight smile. She’d be glaring at me by now before reaching out to swat me playfully. My thoughts are interrupted by the ringing of my phone. 

“Hey, it’s me. Are you almost there yet?” It’s her best friend Betty. Well, I’d like to think, her other best friend, Betty. 
“Not yet, I’m stuck in fucking traffic. But I should be there in less than an hour.” 
“Okay. I didn’t tell her you were coming to get her. She’s going to argue against it and I just can’t deal with it right now.” Her voice fades in and out. She’s driving home from a convention with Leigh. 
“Got it. Don’t worry, I’ll be there soon,” I say, as I turn into a side street hoping for a short cut. “How is she? Is she upset?” 
“No, she’s actually the opposite that’s why I’m worried. A calm Isa means a bottled up Isa. And you know how she gets when she internalizes stuff. Take care of her, okay? Just make sure she gets home safe and sound and I’ll call her in the morning.” 
“Yes, boss.” I say as I hang up the phone. What I really want to say is that I would make it my life’s commitment to take care of her if I could. 
I finally make it in a little over an hour and jump out of my car, leaving the keys in the ignition. I know the guys at this bar. This has been THE bar for many, many years. For some reason, I don’t see her at first. She’s tucked away at the end of the bar, right where the counter meets the wall. There’s a guy sitting right next to her and you can tell from his body language that he’s putting the full moves on her. His left arm is now on the back of her bar stool and their shoulders are touching. I see her only because she throws her head back in that giggle of hers that drives me crazy. 
Three steps later, I’m right by her side. “Dude, she’s with me.” I recognize the guy from the International School I attended. Another jock. Football, this time. He ignores me at first until she jumps up, excited to see me. My God. She is beautiful. She’s wearing this dress that’s way too short and her endless legs stop at another sexy pair of four inch heels. All that running that she does is so worth it. 
She trips and falls right into me. Her arms wrap around my neck and I hold her close. Too close. I’ve held her before but this time it’s different. Her full weight is upon me and I press on to her even more. I think I’ve crossed the friend line. No. I’m sure I have. But I don’t care. I caress her back as she nuzzles into my chest and tells me to take her home. I half-carry her into the car and as I strap her into the front seat, she looks at me with those soulful doe eyes and asks me why I always save her. Because I love you, I want to say. And this is what people who are head over heels in love do. 
She’s a chatterbox in the car on the way to her house. I try not to say a word, hoping she’ll open up about her latest discovery and tell me how she’s feeling. The sweet sound of her voice fills the car and I finally have to laugh when she asks me when my last oil change was. We arrive at the house and I hand her off to Mellie. I kiss her forehead as I send her off upstairs. I remain in the dark entranceway and for a while, I’m unsure of myself. I should probably leave so she can sleep this off. Before I decide what to do, Mellie is back downstairs. 
“She’s asking for you, sir Alex,” she whispers as she shuts the doorway lights off and bolts up the front door. 
“Thank you, Mellie. Don’t worry about the front door. I’ll lock up when I leave.” 
I run up the stairs hoping to catch her while she’s still awake. She’s sitting up against the headboard, tucked under her blanket, her smiling eyes half closed, her voice croaky and tired. She asks me to stay until tomorrow. I want to. She’s wearing mismatched pajama tops and bottoms. It’s just so her – always making a fashion statement even when she goes to bed. The top she wears is a button down and as she leans over to prop some pillows up on my side for me, I see that she has freckles on her chest. I want to kiss them so badly, feel every single raised bump on her skin with my fingers. Why am I so nervous? It’s not like I haven’t done this before. In fact, I’ve been doing this for so long. Meet a girl, take her home, stay over for the night. And here I am. Pitifully grateful to just hold her close. Ecstatic to have gotten a glimpse of her secret freckles. 
“Night, Alex. This is why I don’t drink. It makes me so tired,” she says as she lays her head on my chest. I wrap my right arm around her and feel her chest rise up and down against me. Her hand is gently tracing circles on my torso and I’m closing my eyes, acknowledging every touch. I am ruined. From this moment on, the slate in my brain is wiped clean and I have no memory of any other woman in my life but her.

Book Title: The Light in the Wound 
Author: Christine Brae 
Genre: Contemporary Romance Fiction 
Release date: July 23, 2013 

Affected by her parents’ highly publicized divorce, Isabel grows up isolated and alone, with a resolve to never fall in love and repeat their mistakes. 

When Jesse Cain enters her life, she falls hopelessly in love with him, and every sadness she’s ever felt is washed away by his intensity and passion. But people change as they grow up. Things can never stay the same forever.

Jesse and Isabel fight to stay together, determined to hold on to what they once had. Isabel wonders if a second love can ever be enough to make her forget her first.

check out my review here

I love to read, write about reading, shop, write about shopping, three day weekends, high heels and purses. I’m a wife, a mother, a corporate executive, a loyal friend and a passionate believer in true love. This is all you need to know about me. If you get my stories, you get my heart. 

Christine Brae Facebook Page ~ TwitterGoodreads

Happy Birthday: The Winemaker’s Dinner Birthday Bash

July 31 marks the one year book birthday for
The Winemaker’s Dinner: Appetizers.

You get the gifts! Prizes include:
$50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card (winner’s choice)
Custom Silver TWD-centric charm bracelet
Custom Silver TWD charm book mark
Mollydooker Baseball Cap like Ivan wears
Set (3) of signed print books
5 – complete series ePack
5 Swag Packs
The Winemaker’s Dinner: Desserts Trailer: 
Appetizers Review:

Delicious. Delectable. Divine. What an amazing journey this book takes you and your senses on. Never has a book shot through me and ignited me to my core. The authors of The Winemakers Dinner pull you in on page one and left me holding my breath until very last. The weaving of fact with fantasy presented you with two identifiable characters. I fell in love with both of them. I laughed, I cried, I got mad, and even screamed once. I found myself talking out loud to the characters. I found myself rooting for their relationship. I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

I thought the writing flowed beautifully. The character development was wonderful, the setting exciting. Ivan’s support and respect for Jaden was refreshing. Romance at it’s finest, Ivan’s expressions of love captivate you. He’s an old soul full of zest. Lives every second to the fullest and loves completely and fully. She is a strong yet fragile. She grows in his presence. She is absolutely smitten. They take nothing for granted. Ivan’s love for Jaden and his family left a grin on my face and a permanent smile in my heart.

Kudos from a music lover, having each chapter titled after a song made this book that much more enjoyable for me. I believe that there is a song out there for every emotion. Having a song for each chapter pulled me into the story even more. The lyrics to each song touched me and illustrated a different layer for this story.

Passionate,sensuous, mouthwatering. I didn’t want this story to end and admit to having already read it a second time. I can’t wait for the next course and I’m sure it will be decadent. Love is a progression. Love is beautiful. We all deserve a miracle.

Entree Review:
Pull up a chair and settle in… because you will not be able to put this book down, you will need to devour it whole. Pour a glass of Velvet Glove and grab some exquisite chocolates, let those flavors explode on your palate. This course of The Winemakers Feast is truly a carnival for the senses and will have your emotions teetering on the edge… Entree is simply mouthwatering, a mouthful of pure decadent deliciousness.

Appetizers may have been the inspiration for the menu and it set the perfect impassioned ambiance, but HOLY HOTNESS this serving of the banquet got spicy and left me salivating in overdrive. Everly Drummond and Ivan Rusilko have found the perfect blend of eroticism and reality for this meal. Their combined writing styles blends these superb raw ingredients and expertly prepares and presents them in a way that will satisfy the deepest hunger. Their combined efforts has created yet another masterpiece.

In this tsunami of emotions all the organic fixings are present. Plenty of passion, want, need, love, romance, trust, mistrust, insecurity, anger, angst, heady intoxication, and even the proverbial angel versus the devil of the conscious. All of this garnished with uncertainty.

I won’t lie, the passion and sex was amazing. At times left me a bit tingly. ~Which OMG is not a bad thing~

Ahhhh… But the pate foie gras??? The little green pills of course!!! I wonder just how many hits Google has sustained in looking these up? (So let me take this opportunity to insert an apology to all medical professionals at this time, I’ve a sneaking suspicion that if you’ve not already, you’re about to experience an influx in female patients. Just saying… you may want to get your prescription pads ready!).

So I raise my glass to the fusion that Everly and the good Doctor have plated. It has flambeed me and left my heart palpitating. Christian WHO? After this delicacy, I can’t even count to fifty let alone remember or think about another book!!!

Hope may very well be a narcotic but in the end love is always worth the fall. Love is beautiful.

This aphrodisiac has me frantically searching around for my waiter, because just like Veruca Salt, I want my dessert… and I WANT IT NOW!!! ~JH

Dessert Review:

The very definition of the word dessert is “the unusually sweet course that concludes a meal.” That statement epitomizes the final accompaniment of The Winemakers Feast in more ways than one. The decadent conclusion to this series serves up not only the finale of an amazing love story between Jaden and Ivan, but it is also the bittersweet ending to a trilogy that has affected me on a deeply personal level. With the simple introduction of Appetizers I had no idea the smorgasbord of emotions and feelings that were about to bombard me, and stay in my heart long after reading “The End” of the final page.

Dr. Ivan Rusilko has become the perfect sommelier. The paring of fiction with reality, the blending of conscious and subconscious, the melding of light with dark and good with evil, left me salivating for more. In this serving of the banquet we are served a side of the good Doctor that is foreign to the connoisseur , and possibly a bit uncomfortable for some. For me, it was beautifully and perfectly plated. The raw emotion depicted throughout these pages had me feeling like I had just had the wind knocked out of me, and left my heart palpating in my chest. I honestly hurt for him. I believe the words that Ivan chose to use on these pages came from a place deep within his soul. When humans are betrayed it is natural to act out and repress emotions. The culmination of heartache and angst left my soul aching. Only when my fingers started to cramp did I realize how tightly I had been gripping my iPad, clenching it so hard that my knuckles were white. I couldn’t read fast enough but was leery to flip to the next page, not knowing what was on the horizon. Kudos to you Ivan. You did and amazing job showing us the pain that can take a person right to the edge, and bringing us right dead smack into the middle of your ‘world.’

It has been said that music is the window to the soul, and considering myself a novice music aficionado the choosing of the score was not lost on me. I devoured the title chapters, and found myself lost in the melodies. I loved the emotions that each song evoked. I loved that each of the songs set the perfect ambiance to the meal being served. I hope that all readers took the time to research the lyrics and to understand their relevance. Each of these songs was carefully chosen to add to the depth to the unveiling plot. The words to these tunes were morsels of insight, giving an additional glimpse of just where Ivan’s head and heart where at each moment of the story being shared with us. Each of them providing an additional element to the story and revealing another layer of Ivan’s feelings and emotions. These songs connected me to further to an amazingly powerful memoir.

“Love with out reason is true love.” In a genre where so many hearts are drawn to the Will’s, Kellan’s, Travis’, and Christian’s looking for their proverbial fairy-tale ending, Ivan has delectably shown us that sometimes it’s not about the ending at all, but it’s actually about the journey. “Love IS beautiful,” and although “hope may be a narcotic,” destiny is ours for the making. I know that I share the sentiment of many, and I personally hope that this isn’t the end of your career as a writer. So with that, I wonder… maybe someday in the future you’d like to sit back and pour a glass of Sauternes, and share with us the many secrets to the questions that you’ve (perhaps purposely) left unanswered? (Like what in the heck was inscribed on the inside of that engagement ring?!?! Uff!!!) So I raise my glass to you Ivan. I want thank you for taking us all on a magically beautiful ride. This has been a journey that has touched many, and left each of us in a better place having been given the opportunity to get to know you, and each other. **Cheers** XoXo ~ Jennifer

Amouse Bouche Review:

What a delectable tidbit to re-whet and tease the appetite! An amazingly delicious insight of the chain of events as seen through Ivan’s eyes. Amuse Bouche has a silky, sultry, sexy tone to it. Dr. Rusilko does an amazing job harnessing his emotion of ‘lightning in a bottle,’ and completely zaps the audience with it. We are given a beautiful depiction of love at first sight, and a front row seat to meeting your soul mate. In a short time you are completely enthralled in the attraction these two characters share. The electricity is amazing and HOLY HOTNESS did you feel the electricity!!! I have loved the entire series, but may have been my favorite yet. I really hope this is the icing on the dessert we are about to be served!!

Pinterest Boards:

(General one for the entire series if you want it):


Promo Blitz & Giveaways: BENT by HB Heinzer

Book: Bent

Author: H.B. Heinzer 

If there’s one thing Julia Wilson has learned in life, it’s that you can’t push your own dreams to the background for anyone. Newly divorced, Julia returns to the hometown she once swore would never see her again. Her plan is simple; enjoy the cheap rent her friend is offering and stay just long enough to develop a plan to make her own dreams come true. 
It doesn’t take long before Julia realizes she’s made a big mistake. 
Micah Anderson came closer to breaking Julia than anyone else ever had. After promising her forever, he broke her heart the week before she left for college. Now, Julia’s back in town and he’s going to have to tell her the truth about why he left her. It’s not possible to hide a twelve year old child when you live in a town of 5,000 people. 
Is following your dreams worth it if it means giving up on a second chance with her first love? Is trying to make a relationship work worth it if his past becomes a threat to her safety? 
With the exception of three years spent in the middle of Nebraska,

H.B. Heinzer has called southern Wisconsin home. During that time in Nebraska, she imagined one of her favorite authors living on the far western edge of the county, just south of the highway. At the time, becoming a novelist was a distant dream for her. Now, she is the author living in that location. Ironically, she later found out that same favorite author lives just outside the town HB lived in for the first eighteen years of her life. 

Now, HB lives in the middle of nowhere but still close enough to the city to not feel isolated. It’s the perfect place to let her two kids run and explore their huge yard, teach them about the food chain as they prepare their first-ever garden and debate building a chicken coop. It’s one of those dreams that is only possible thanks to the amazing opportunities that have come through writing. 
B&N | Amazon |  Kobo

Book Enthusiast Promotions

Promo Tour: Lost For You by BJ Harvey (Excerpt, facts about Lost Series, Giveaways)

What would you do if you were told that everything you had ever believed in and everything you had ever known, was a lie?

Elle’s life is altered forever after an unexpected phone call and an unwelcome visitor. Trying to put her life back together, Brax’s last words continue to echo through her mind. Why she is being followed and why is she suddenly in danger? The fact that Brax knew about it all and still left her alone, breaks her fragile heart all over again.

Brax will never forgive himself for leaving Elle at a time when she needed him the most, even if he believed it was the only way to protect her. As he makes his way back to her life, he is determined to win her back, regain her trust and help rebuild her for the second time. His return proves he is the same man, yet Elle sees in his eyes a haunted look she knows all too well.

When a confession leaves Elle reeling, her entire life unravels around her. She begins to understand that the people she trusts the most have put her in grave danger and the people who have been protecting her actually want to cause her harm.

Elle soon discovers that the old adage is true, you have to become lost before you can be found.

Lost For You by BJ Harvey (Lost #2)
Publication: July 23, 2013
Excerpt 3

“And how about you?” he asks, quirking an eyebrow. “It’s not like your life was easy after-” 

I see where he’s going now. “Gonna have to shut you down there, bro. I don’t talk about it.” 

He sighs loudly. “If there is one thing I learned inside, Shay, it’s that you have to face the demons to find even the smallest amount of peace in your life.” 

Who is this man, and what has it done with the asshole that used to be Devon Michael Evans? 
“Yeah. Well, don’t think I’ll ever find peace with that until I’m six feet under.” 
“I had an awesome counselor inside. He helped me deal with my mom’s suicide, and with how my father betrayed both of us. The one thing he told me that has stuck with me is a quote from Buddha. ‘Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without’.” 
“Motherfucker. Prison has turned Devon into a believer,” I spit out in shock. Who would have thought that he could go inside and come out three years later a changed man without a chip on his shoulder. 
“Ha ha. Smart ass. You’re a funny fuck, you know that? No, I’m not a born again. I just realized that holding onto stuff from your past will tear you apart. It’s the reason I took my mother’s name instead of Evans when I got out.” 
I nod in agreement. “I noticed that.” 
“It’s not a bad thing to put some distance from that man after what he did,” he murmurs before leaning over and turning the radio up. “Love this song.” 
Subject obviously closed.

Things You Need to Know about Lost Series

1. Lost in Distraction takes place over eight months whereas Lost For You spans two months

2. Lost For You starts just seconds after the ending of Lost in Distraction

3. Lost For You is the last book in the series about Brax and Elle

4. Lost in Distraction took 20 days to write. Lost For You took two months.

5. Lost For You was originally set for a September release but as a reader who can’t stand long waits between books (especially ones with cliffhangers!) I put aside everything else to release the book earlier.

6. There are a couple of new characters in Lost For You that you may have heard about in Lost in Distraction.

7. There are two more POV’s added to Lost For You

8. Lost For You was originally going to be called Lost & Found but due to another indie author publishing a book with the same name, I chose to change the name before release.

9. Shay’s novella “Lost Without You” is set for a January/February 2014 release and will be about Shay’s past. It is not a retelling of any of the events from Lost in Distraction or Lost For You.

10. At the end of Lost For You, there is a preview of my new erotic romance book, Temporary Bliss which is being released in September.

Having always loved reading, and having been befriended and inspired by some awesome self published authors and book lovers alike, I decided to start writing my first novel, Lost in Distraction in December 2012. It was a conscious decision that started with a song, then the prologue and then catapulted from there. I love music too, like REALLY love music, if there isn’t music playing, something is wrong. Out and Proud Vampire Diaries fan as well.
I’m also a wife, mother, full-time university student and I do contract work for myself from home.


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Melissa Perea and Bloggers
We enjoyed working with all of you.  Just in case you missed something here is a tour recap!
Be sure to pick up your copy today!

BLOG TOUR: Seeds of Hate by Melissa Perea (review and excerpt)

Seeds of Hate by Melissa Perea
They said high school would be fun.
They said we would make forever friends.
They said we would have the time of our lives.

They lied

Chapter 14 – The Bakery (Selah)

A young woman began pushing an empty stroller back and forth two tables down
from mine. Did she forget her baby wasn’t there? An older man sat alone reading
the morning paper. Did he lose his wife? And two children ran around grabbing
at their mother, while another threw Cheerios at her face. Where was her
I continued to watch the lives of those around me.
The entrance door chimed as a man with an infant headed toward the empty
stroller. He placed the baby down and dropped a bag overloaded with toys and
diapers. The young woman stopped pushing and froze. She looked down at the
older man reading the newspaper and then back at the stroller. Her eyes closed
and then opened. The young man rubbed the stubble on his chin and his
shoulders dropped. He had dark circles around his eyes and his shirt on inside
out. They exchanged no words.
The young woman reached out to touch him, but he turned and walked away.
A drop fell from her eyes, down her chin and onto the floor.
The older man stood and embraced the young woman. She breathed heavily
and hunched inward—a jacket of disappointment covering her back. The infant
began to cry and the young woman snapped. Leaving the embrace, she picked up
the child and held it close. Grabbing the bag off the floor, she wiped at her face
and headed toward the door. The older man followed behind, pushing the
She stopped at the door and turned around. She placed a small kiss on the
man’s left cheek. “Thank you for coming, Daddy,” she said.
He rubbed her chin and smiled. “Give him time,” he replied.
The three of them proceeded out and down the street. The heavy atmosphere
following them.
Was anyone spared? Or did all life come with pain?
Once the bakery slowed, Izzy took a break and joined me.
“Anything interesting?” he asked.
“Do you think people are ever happy?” I asked.
He pushed himself back against the window and propped his legs up on the
vinyl seat. “Of course,” he said. “Plenty of people are happy.”
“Are you?” I asked.
“At the moment, no. At the moment, I’m tired.” He yawned into his fist,
leaned over the table and grabbed my coffee. “I think I’m immune. It never helps
Izzy saw things with such simplicity. I envied him.
“I saw Javier. Yesterday after school,” I said.
He took another sip of my cold, leftover coffee. I wondered if he could taste
my lip gloss.
“He must be coming back,” Izzy said. “Did he talk to you?”
“No.” I sat ripping a napkin into tiny pieces. Then grabbed another one and
ripped some more.
Izzy placed a hand over mine. “He doesn’t talk to anyone. Don’t take it
I kept ripping the paper, ignoring his statement. “Do you know Britney?”
Izzy froze and then removed his hand from on top of mine. “Everyone knows
her. Why?”
“Is that the kind of girl you want? The kind of girl guys want?”

“What do you mean by kind?” he asked.

I placed my hands out in front of my chest and cupped them. Then I pouted

my lips and flipped my hair.
“You know. Like that,” I replied.
“Guys see with their eyes,” he said and shrugged.
“So yes. I mean, you’re saying you can’t see past that?”
“Guys see with their eyes and feel with their hands. They like Britney because
she’s easy. It’s not complicated.”
My forehead dropped to the table. Bang. Bang. Bang. The napkin dispenser
and vase jiggled against the vibrations. I lifted my head and looked at my watch.
“I should go,” I said.
Izzy scooted to the edge and stood. “See you Monday?” he asked.
A disgruntled noise escaped my nose and I rubbed my forehead.
“I hear it gets better, you know,” he said.
“What?” I asked.
He offered me his hand and I stood up from the table.
I thought about mine so far. My best years all led up to my tenth birthday. I
smiled at Izzy, but it didn’t touch my eyes. Instead it sat on my face like a soggy
piece of bread—mushy and unwanted.
“Monday,” he repeated. “Fresh coffee and warm sticky buns. I promise.” His
optimism was endearing. When he walked behind the counter, he entered a world
of warmth, sweetness and comfort. And it wasn’t because of the bakery.
When I exited, I stood just outside the door and looked back through the
window. He was surrounded by family—sisters, brothers, a mother and a father.
I’d wake up at 4 AM for the rest of my life if it meant those faces would greet me.
I tapped on the glass and tried to smile.
“Monday,” I whispered. “Monday.”
“Its not healthy to miss something that’s never coming back. All you end up doing is hating your reality.”
I am no expert but I do read a lot.  At the end of the day I am just a fangirl like all the rest but one thing I know for sure is that this story is not only touching but is also AMAZINGLY written.  The thoughts and feelings expressed in this book blew me away and to know that this is Melissa’s first book makes the read that more enjoyable.  Melissa’s talent pours off the pages.  Well-crafted sentences transport you back to high school taking you back to those emotional moments from days pasted.  No matter if you were to jock, nerd, cheerleader, or even the loner we all dealt with issues in high school.  Never trust the face people show on the outside because inside they hide their deepest fears and insecurity.  People are all driven by the need to feel wanted and loved and when there is a lack of that love the feeling of lost takes over.
“I…watched the drain swallow–swallow every problem, pain, worry and fear, but they won’t fit. I could still see them. All of them. Puddling at my feet.”
Here are the facts…I am at a loss for words to describe this book and you MUST add Seeds of Hate to your TBR list.  Javi, Selah, Izzy, and Nate are screaming to be found in a sea of high school angst.  These angsts filled moments create a story that anyone can relate to and before you know you will have finished this book in one sitting.  Go and one click now!  Yes right now.  I am waiting, not so patently, for book two in the Cardboard Heart series.  Melissa Perea has proven that you can knock it out of the park on your first try!
 “I let go.” I said. And as I held her, I let it all go again. Except this time, it was better”
I get very cranky when I am tired. If getting fat wasn’t a side effect, I would eat freshly baked cookies and milk every day for breakfast. Currently, I have one kid, one husband and one dog. I plan to add more to the kids and possibly the dogs, but definitely am keeping the husband to one. If for some random reason you stumbled upon my high school yearbook you would find a picture of me under “Class Clown”. I have a college degree, but instead of earning dollar bills with my educated mind, I spend my days playing with my offspring. My life is super fun.

I write because I want to share my heart with you and make you think more about the world around you.



Spotlight: LOST FOR YOU by BJ Harvey (Shay’s POV and giveaway)

Lost For You by BJ Harvey (Lost #2)
Expected release: July 23, 2013

What would you do if you were told that everything you had ever believed in and everything you had ever known, was a lie?

Elle’s life is altered forever after an unexpected phone call and an unwelcome visitor. Trying to put her life back together, Brax’s last words continue to echo through her mind. Why she is being followed and why is she suddenly in danger? The fact that Brax knew about it all and still left her alone, breaks her fragile heart all over again.

Brax will never forgive himself for leaving Elle at a time when she needed him the most, even if he believed it was the only way to protect her. As he makes his way back to her life, he is determined to win her back, regain her trust and help rebuild her for the second time. His return proves he is the same man, yet Elle sees in his eyes a haunted look she knows all too well.

When a confession leaves Elle reeling, her entire life unravels around her. She begins to understand that the people she trusts the most have put her in grave danger and the people who have been protecting her actually want to cause her harm.

Elle soon discovers that the old adage is true, you have to become lost before you can be found.

Part 2/5 

Chapter 1 

Fuck its dark.

It’s hard to see him, but I notice a shadow moving towards Elle’s room, no doubt trying to finish the job. That isn’t going to happen, not on my watch. I’m pissed at myself for letting him get this far. I need to neutralize him, then see to Elle. I have to call Brax too. Dammit, he’s gonna kill me.

I move towards the shadow and bump into someone fairly tall but lanky, definitely not a professional. I rush him and barge him into the kitchen wall with my shoulder. By the way he collapses against the wall, then slides down, I know he’s been knocked out.

I drag my hands around the wall for the light switch. I’m panicking, but I can’t help it, I need to get to Elle. I finally find it and flick the switch. There is a man wearing a ski mask with blond hair poking out of it, slumped against the wall. I check his pulse; he’s still alive, but looks well and truly out for the count. I pat him down, finding a switchblade in his pocket. Grabbing it, I slip it in my back pocket. I go to the kitchen counter and quickly search the top drawer for something to subdue him with. Finding a cable tie, I grab his hands and secure his wrists. It’s not great, but it will have to do until the police get here. I feel my phone vibrating in my pocket, but I ignore it. It’s the least of my worries right now.

Spotting his handgun by Elle’s door, I grab it with the sleeve of my shirt, being careful not to put my prints on it. I put the safety on, then pocket it before rushing into the bedroom to check on Elle, scared shitless by what I might find. I can’t handle another woman close to me being killed.

“Elle, it’s Shay. Are you hurt?”

“Shay? Oh my god. I think I’m shot,” she answers wheezily.

Flicking on the bedroom light, I look over to her bed and see that she’s pale and clammy; not a good sign. I’m getting flashbacks of five years ago. Dammit, I can’t lose someone else! I can’t let Brax go through what I had to.

Pulling my phone out of my back pocket, I see two missed calls. It starts ringing again, but I cancel it because I need to ring for an ambulance.

I prop the phone between my shoulder and head and rush to her side, grabbing a towel from the floor and holding it tight against her ribs.

“911. What is your emergency?” the operator asks.

“We have a woman shot in her bed. She’s conscious, but she’s having trouble breathing. I think the bullet nicked her lung. The intruder has been incapacitated in the other room. We need an ambulance and a squad car,” I tell the operator, unable to tear my eyes away from Elle.

“Sh…Shay, I need Brax,” she says softly.

“I know, babe, and I’ll get him here as soon as I can. I promise,” I say, sliding onto the bed next to her and holding her against me while keeping pressure on the towel. Shock is starting to set in and she’s visibly shaking.

“I’ve gotta get something else to put pressure on the wound,” I say, looking at her. There’s too much blood. I need to slow down this bleeding.

“Bathroom,” she pants. She’s in so much pain; it’s hard to watch.

I get off the bed carefully, not wanting to knock her and race to the bathroom, grabbing a clean towel off the rail and rush back to her side, replacing the now drenched towel against her chest.

“Elle, I need to go check on the guy.” She grabs my shirt, not wanting me to leave her alone. I grab her hand gently.

“I’ll be right back,” I say as I pull away and walk towards the kitchen, finding it empty.

He’s gone! What the hell?

He was out cold. How did I not hear him? I look in the living room and see that the front door is still wide open. Fuck!

I rush back to Elle’s side and listen for sirens, waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

I need to get ahold of Brax. He’s gonna fucking kill me.

Watch out for the next spotlight tomorrow at Bookaholics Blog