Book Review · Giveaway · Tour

Book Review and Blog Tour – Death by the River by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor


Death by the River
Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: October 2nd 2018
Genres: Horror, Young Adult

A high school “American Psycho.”

SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.

SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

What a fantastic read! I first became familiar with the writings of Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor when I read the Magnus Blackwell series, so I had to read this. I was not disappointed in the least.

True to form, the story takes place in Louisiana, and is steeped in local culture. With well-developed characters and a story line that moves at a very rapid pace, it will keep you turning pages to find out what happens next.

It is fairly gruesome, as rape and brutal assault take center stage in this book. Beau Devereux, golden boy, star quarterback, and heir to the family dynasty has an extremely dark side, reveling in controlling and causing pain. While I didn’t care for the subject matter and it was difficult to read about such violent acts, I had to know what would take place.

I will caution you that if you are highly sensitive to that, this is not the read for you. If you have the fortitude to handle it and want to dive into the darker side of life, you are in for a treat.

Author Bio:

Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.

One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

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Book Review · Tour

Book Review and Blog Tour – Cyclone (Linear Tactical #1) by Janie Crouch

Title: Cyclone
Series: Linear Tactical Series #1
Author: Janie Crouch
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Blurb
He’d protect her
from any threat…
But what if the biggest threat is him?
Doctor Anne Nichols is back in Oak Creek, Wyoming, only because she has
no other options. Here, she was always the shy, stuttering girl, invisible to
everyone. 
Except Zac Mackay. The very reason she left in the first place.
Zac’s years in Special Forces taught him survival skills, and he’s
created a company—Linear Tactical—to teach those skills to others, so they
never have to live in fear.
Then why is Annie, the last person he’d ever want to hurt, afraid
of 
him
Zac’s determined to wipe the fear from the eyes of the woman who has
never been far from his mind. And fix the mistakes—
his mistakes—that
put that look there in the first place. 
But a predator has set his sights on Annie. And now survival
skills
 will become much more than lessons…

This was the first of Janie Crouch’s works that I have read; however, I can assure you it will not be the last! I was instantly sucked into this story and could not put it down.

Zac and his band of brothers in every way but by blood live in the small town of Oak Creek, Wyoming. They do a booming business by training others in self defense, survival skills, and weaponry.

Annie, an ER Doctor has returned to town after 6 years in Tampa. Shy, quiet, mostly invisible, and prone to anxiety attacks, is on staff when Zac is brought in after he lays down his Harley to avoid hitting a pregnant dog (who he adopts, by the way).

Annie and Zac have a long, tumultuous history that ended in a one night stand gone bad. How bad, Zac doesn’t remember.

I simply loved Annie’s character. I could identify with her introverted nature, her fear of crowds and her love of books. She prefers to remain invisible, and hope the world passes her by. Zac was so kind and caring and I couldn’t help but love him too.

The story line moves along quickly… too quickly, really! I did not want it to end. It has plenty of nail-biting moments. It was incredibly well-written.

There are some violent scenes that address some tough topics: sexual assault, battery, murder.

I simply can’t wait for Finn and Charlotte’s story to come out!!

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Excerpt
“I was here a couple of years ago, but only for a day or
two,” Anne told Zac, looking away. She had booked a room out of Oak Creek both
times she’d dared come back. The thought of staying at The Mayor’s Inn had been
too painful. She couldn’t even look at that hotel without feeling sick to her
stomach.
And she’d avoided everyone—particularly Zac—as much as
possible. Just in case his words about not coming back were still true. She
tried to swallow the panic that threatened to overwhelm her. Maybe he still
felt that way now, even though he hadn’t said anything at the hospital.
“There.” He pointed at her. “That look that just came into
your eyes. I saw it at the hospital. It’s like you’re afraid of me, Annie.” He
took a step closer and she instinctively one back. One of his eyebrows shot up,
letting her know she’d proved his point. “Do you think I’m going to 
hurt you?”
“No.” Not physically. She’d never worried that he’d hurt her
that way, despite having five inches and probably fifty pounds—all muscle—on
her.
But he was right. She couldn’t continue living in Oak Creek
with them ignoring everything that had happened that night. What had been said.
What had been done. Maybe she would’ve tried to, and to avoid Zac forever, if
he hadn’t ended up in her ER. 
But the truth was, there weren’t enough bushes in this town
for her to jump into. She was going to run into Zac. A lot.
Sometimes all you could do was face the past.
She pulled a breath in. “I’m not scared of you. I mean, I
know you would never hurt me physically. For crying out loud, you wrecked your
motorcycle rather than hit a dog.” She’d meant for her laugh to seem breezy,
but it just sounded stilted. “But yeah, I mean, we can’t pretend like that
night never happened. The stuff we did. Stuff you…we said.”
His eyes narrowed. “That night we spent together after Becky
died.”
“Yeah. That night.” As if they’d had another. “The bottom
line is, I can’t leave here, Zac. No matter what you said then, or even if you
feel the same way now.”
He shook his head, brows furrowing. “I don’t expect you to
leave. You’re obviously a respected doctor, more than competent. Why would you
think I wanted you to leave?”
Some of the tension she’d been carrying since his arrival in
the ER began to ease. He was right. Something said in grief and anger six years
ago didn’t necessarily hold true all this time later. She was silly for
thinking it did. “Okay, well, it’s good to know you don’t feel the same as you
did back then.”
He took a single predatory step closer, and she tensed
again. “I said something that night to make you think you needed to leave?”
She stared at him, her mouth flopping open like some sort of
fish. “You don’t remember what you said?”
Those words would be engrained in her memory forever.
Get out and don’t come back.
He rubbed his forehead. “That whole night is fuzzy for me.”
I can’t even bear to look at you. You just betrayed the
only person in this town who ever wanted you here. 
Tossing her naked into the hallway before flinging her
clothes at her. 
“What do you remember?” She forced the words past a throat
that seemed to have dried up.
His hand moved to the back of his neck. “Honestly, not much
at all. It’s sort of a blur.”
She retreated a step from him again. That night had been the
most important night of her life. The best. The worst. It had changed the very
fabric of her being. 
And it was sort of a blur for him.
Author Bio
USA TODAY
bestselling author Janie Crouch writes what she loves to read: passionate
romantic suspense.  She is a winner and/or finalist of multiple
romance literary awards including the Golden Quill Award for Best Romantic
Suspense, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the RITA© Award by the
Romance Writers of America.
Janie
recently relocated with her husband and their four teenagers to Germany (due to
her husband’s job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for
nearly 20 years. When she’s not listening to the voices in her head—and even
when she is—she enjoys engaging in all sorts of crazy adventures (200-mile
relay races; Ironman Triathlons, treks to Mt. Everest Base Camp)
traveling, and movies of all kinds. 
Author Links
Book Review · New Release · Spotlight · Tour

Blog Tour – Bane by L. J. Shen

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Bane, the highly-anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by L.J. Shen is LIVE

Bane

Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.

Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.

Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.

Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.

Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.

Jesse Carter

Hot as hell, cold as ice.

I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.

She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.

She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.

More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.

Little does she know, I have the f****** teeth for it.

EXCERPT

Bane

Then.

A liar.

A con.

A godless thief.

My reputation was a big wave that I rode, one that swallowed everyone around me, drowning every attempt to fuck with what’s mine.

I’d been known as a stoner, but power was my real drug of choice. Money meant nothing. It was tangible, and therefore easy to lose. See, to me, people were a game. One I’d always known how to win.

Move the rooks around.

Change the queen when necessary.

Guard the king at all fucking times.

I was never distracted, never deterred, and never jealous.

So, imagine my surprise when I found myself being all three at once.

It was a siren with coal black hair who robbed me of riding the biggest wave I’d seen that summer. Of my precious attention. Of my goddamn breath.

She glided from the ocean to the beach like nightfall.

I crouched down, straddling my surfboard, gawking.

Edie and Beck stopped beside me, floating on their boards in my periphery.

“This one’s taken by Emery Wallace,” Edie had warned. Thief.

“This one’s the hottest masterpiece in town.” Beck had chuckled. Con.

“More importantly, she only dates rich bastards.” Liar.

I had all the ingredients to pull her in.

Her body was a patch of fresh snow. White, fair, like the sun shone through her, never quite soaking in. Her skin defied nature, her ass defied my sanity, but it was the words on her back that made my logic rebel.

It wasn’t her curves or the way she swayed her hips like a dangling, poisonous apple that warranted my reaction to her.

It was that tattoo I had noticed when she swam close to me earlier, the words trickling down the nape of her neck and back in a straight arrow.

My Whole Life Has Been Pledged to This Meeting with You

Pushkin.

I only knew one person who went gaga over the Russian poet, and, like the famous Alexander, he was currently six feet under.

My friends began to paddle back to shore. I couldn’t move. It felt like my balls were ten tons heavy. I didn’t believe in love at first sight. Lust, maybe, but even that wasn’t the word I was looking for. No. This girl fucking intrigued me.

“What’s her name?” I snatched Beck’s ankle, yanking him back to me. Edie stopped pedaling and looked back, her gaze ping-ponging between us.

“Doesn’t matter, bro.”

“What’s. Her. Name?” I repeated through a locked jaw.

“Dude, she’s, like, way young.”

“I will not repeat myself a third time.”

Beck’s throat bobbed with a swallow. He knew damn well that I didn’t mess around. If she was legal—it was on.

“Jesse Carter.”

Jesse Carter was going to be mine before she even knew me.

Before I even knew her.

Before her life turned upside down and her fate rewrote itself with her blood.

So here was the truth that even my lying ass wouldn’t admit later on in our story—I wanted her before.

Before she became business.

Before the truth caged her in.

Before the secrets gushed out.

I never did get to surf that day.

My surfboard broke.

Should have known it was an omen.

My heart was going to be next in line.

And for a small chick, she did one hell of a fucking job obliterating it.

Holy Toledo! This book kicks ass… literally and figuratively!

I have not read any of the other books in the series (although, I will be soon!) and had absolutely no issues following along.

Jesse was gang-raped and savagely attacked by her boyfriend and his friends. Her life, as she knew it, was literally destroyed. To make matters worse, in order to save face, her mom and step-father allowed it to be swept under the rug. Jesse turned into a recluse, only leaving the house to see her therapist or go for middle of the night runs.

Darren, her step-father hired the town thug, Bane, to bring her out of her shell. For a cool six mil, all he had to do was give Jesse a job and be her friend. Sounds pretty straight-forward to me!

The chemistry between Bane and Jesse is spectacular. The language is a bit crass, but it fits. Bane is rough around the edges (and that is an understatement). Rather than detracting from the story, it really helps to solidify his character.

Jesse’s transformation from a helpless victim to a survivor is nothing less than inspirational. Her character is believable, and you can’t help but love her and want to see her come out on top!

I did not want to put this book down, and was really quite resentful when real life interfered. I laughed a lot… it is full of that snarky wit that I love so much.

If this is not yet on your to-be-read list, you need it there… NOW!

BANE_AVAILABLE NOW

Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US I Amazon Universal

Add to GoodReads

1I'm not afraid (1)

Start the Series of Standalones Today!

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About LJ Shen

LJShenL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Connect with LJ Shen

Facebook I Twitter I Pinterest I Instagram I Website

Stay up to date with LJ Shen by signing up for her mailing list

Book Review · New Release

Book Review – Bane by L.J. Shen

Holy Toledo! This book kicks ass… literally and figuratively!

I have not read any of the other books in the series (although, I will be soon!) and had absolutely no issues following along.

Jesse was gang-raped and savagely attacked by her boyfriend and his friends. Her life, as she knew it, was literally destroyed. To make matters worse, in order to save face, her mom and step-father allowed it to be swept under the rug. Jesse turned into a recluse, only leaving the house to see her therapist or go for middle of the night runs.

Darren, her step-father hired the town thug, Bane, to bring her out of her shell. For a cool six mil, all he had to do was give Jesse a job and be her friend. Sounds pretty straight-forward to me!

The chemistry between Bane and Jesse is spectacular. The language is a bit crass, but it fits. Bane is rough around the edges (and that is an understatement). Rather than detracting from the story, it really helps to solidify his character.

Jesse’s transformation from a helpless victim to a survivor is nothing less than inspirational. Her character is believable, and you can’t help but love her and want to see her come out on top!

I did not want to put this book down, and was really quite resentful when real life interfered. I laughed a lot… it is full of that snarky wit that I love so much.

If this is not yet on your to-be-read list, you need it there… NOW!

New Release

Available Now! Bane by L. J. Shen

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Watch for my review in the next few days!

Bane-Cover-Facebook

Bane, the highly-anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by L.J. Shen is LIVE

Bane

Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.

Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.

Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.

Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.

Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.

Jesse Carter

Hot as hell, cold as ice.

I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.

She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.

She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.

More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.

Little does she know, I have the f****** teeth for it.

BANE_AVAILABLE NOW

Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US I Amazon Universal

Add to GoodReads

Bane Teaser

Start the Series of Standalones Today!

Vicious

Amazon US I Amazon Universal

Add to GoodReads

About LJ Shen

LJShenL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Connect with LJ Shen

Facebook I Twitter I Pinterest I Instagram I Website

Stay up to date with LJ Shen by signing up for her mailing list

Book Review

Book Review – Is This Life by Cin Medley

Publisher: Med’s Pub Publishing

Publication Date: Feb 1, 2017

Pages: 282

Synopsis

Jacob Aberdeen is looking for the one thing his money can’t buy.

Can he find it? Can he leave his arrogant attitude behind him to find what he is looking for?

Jake reached around her putting his hand over hers on the door handle. “Miss Caps,” he whispered, kissing her lightly, “If you don’t leave I am going to have to make love to you, and I really don’t want to do that in a hotel room.”

He didn’t think about what he was going to do he just did it. He reached up wrapping his hand around her neck and kissed her.

She didn’t pull away, she kissed him back taking his breath away. He felt her kiss through his whole body. Her hand came up to his and she hung onto him.

Jake pulled away first. “Jesus,” he whispered. He just stood there look at her, his hand still on her neck, her hand still on his.

I didn’t think Cin could top Justice, but I have to say that she outdid herself with Is This Life! I normally steer clear of billionaire stories. Not because they aren’t well-written, and not because they aren’t good stories, but they just don’t appeal much to me. I certainly don’t know any billionaires, and I have a hard time identifying. Not true in this case!

Jake Aberdeen is a self-made billionaire. He has more money than two people could spend in a lifetime, his words, yet he is not happy. He realizes that there is an emptiness to his life that no amount of material possessions can fill. What does he do? He gives his Fortune 500 company to his best friend and partner, sells everything and walks away to find himself. He moves to the small town that his brother and family live in and pretty much goes off the grid – at least as far as his former life is concerned.

Jenna Caps throws a monkey wrench into his plans, and he finds himself unable to walk away from her, even though he doesn’t feel he is in a position to be in a relationship.

Enter Phil, football coach at the school where Jenna teaches physics. He believes that because she went to dinner one time with him, she is his. He won’t take no for an answer and is not afraid to use brute force to get what he wants, though no one believes he is a threat… no one except Jake. I cannot say enough bad things about Phil! He is the character you are meant to despise.

Jake is a gentle protector, when he gets out of his own way, and leaves his arrogance behind. I loved his character so much. He is kind, compassionate, loving and romantic.

Jenna is incredibly brave. No one knows the depth of the horrors that she has lived through, yet she picked up the pieces and put her life back together.

This book was so beautifully written. I cried, laughed and got so incredibly angry that I may have broken a nail. And then I cried some more. I could not put this book down, and the story resonated within me, long after I finished it.

I can’t say that it is a light and easy read, as it is not. It touches on dark, brutal subject matter, that may be a trigger for survivors of abuse. As dark as the subject matter is, light still shines through – in Jake and Jenna. Jenna is courageous and strong, and Jake is willing to fight with all he’s got to keep Jenna, the one woman who sees him as more than his money or what social status he can bring to them, safe.

This story will give you all the feels, and may even make you swoon!

Book Review

Book Review – Uniquely Mine (A Fitz Series) by Theresa Sederholz

Publisher: Theresa Sederholz

Publication Date: November 8, 2015

Pages: 268

Synopsis

When the latest string of murders, sweeping New York City, lands on Detective Fitzgerald S. Rodriguez’s desk, the signature evidence hits too close to home. Being unable to stop the murder of his own mother has made Fitz a jaded man. Now, he will stop at nothing to protect the one he loves.

Serial killer, Mark Chambers, is like a cat that preys on unsuspecting mice for sport. When a fresh kill no longer quenches his sexual appetite, he sets his sights on Makenna Justice. The fiery-redhead, with her emerald green eyes, ignites a fire in him that he hasn’t had since his first kill.

Time is of the essence for all three of them.

Mark must feed into his desires once more without leaving a trail.

Fitz has to dig himself deep into a killer’s mind to catch him.

And Makenna?—She just has to stay alive.

This book contains scenes and/or incidents of domestic violence, which may be triggering to survivors. Intended for 18+ mature readers only. Contains strong language and sexual situations, which may be offensive to some people.

I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into when I started reading this book! What a thriller!

Fitz is an extremely complex character. Witness to his mother’s murder at the hands of his father at a very young age, he is taken in by his best friend, Andy’s parents and finds the unconditional love his life had been lacking. He grew up to be a police officer, wanting to right the injustices in the world.

Growing up, he was always MJ’s white knight, riding in to save the day just when she needed it. As a result, MJ has been in love with him since she was five years old. Knowing that love was not returned, at least not in the romantic way, and as a result of having to be the strong one for every member of her family, MJ finds herself exploring the BDSM lifestyle.

Her brother, Andy, buys the local BDSM club, and when he is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, MJ takes over the running of the club.

Unfortunately, there is a killer on the loose and it appears he is part of the lifestyle – or he is using it as a way to throw the cops off his trail. Fitz is running out of time to determine whether or not the killer has MJ in his sights and he will do anything to protect her.

This book had me on the edge of my seat and I really struggled to put it down when life interfered. It was very well-written with well-developed characters. I would have liked to have seen Stephen’s character, Andy’s husband, developed a bit more, as he was my favorite.

The sex and violence scenes in this book are a bit graphic and not for the faint of heart. That being said, they played well into the story line and were not over-the-top.

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, with a good dose of romance, this is the book for you!

Book Review · Giveaway · New Release

New Release and Book Review – Six Feet Under (Mad Love Duet) by Whitney Barbetti

Release Date: April 25, 2018

Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs

Photo Credit: Max Eremine

Synopsis

Six wasn’t the hero I needed.

But he was the man I wanted.

And it was my selfish craving, the desire to own him, that would be our undoing.

No one tells you that love is a disease. An infection that tears your heart apart, leaving you half the person you were before. A malady that leaves open wounds. An invisible disorder tracing scars in the places you couldn’t see if you weren’t looking for them.

I was sick, but love didn’t heal me.

Instead, it festered in my marrow, and drove me to unforgivable mistakes.

Six was my first mistake, but he wouldn’t be the last.

Goodreads

 

Wow! This book was intense, it was raw, it was gut-wrenching, haunting and it was beautiful!

Mira, addicted to whatever mood-altering chemicals she can get her hands on and suffering from mental illness, meets Six at a local bar. She doesn’t know what to make of him, because he doesn’t behave in the same manner as the men she is used to – he doesn’t take advantage of her, and doesn’t even appear to have any expectations.

I am really struggling to put into words how I feel about this book. Mira, for all her issues has an incredible strength. She is a survivor, and for all that she wants to quit – hearing the voices, feeling the pain – she doesn’t give up. She is a cutter – not to hurt herself, but to purge herself of the pain. She learns that painting can be quiet the voices in her mind, and she has a natural talent for it.

She doesn’t want to rely on Six or become attached to him, for fear he will leave her – that she will force him to leave her. “Every beginning has an end.” So, if there is no beginning, there can be no end.

Six is the strong, silent type. In spite of the constant chaos that is Mira, Six is steady, solid. He loves with no reservations.

This book deals with incredibly difficult subject matter – drug abuse, alcoholism, mental illness, rape, trauma – but does so in a graceful way, even though there is nothing graceful about any of them. Rather than focusing on the shame, Whitney Barbetti focuses on the triumph of being a survivor and rising above – not letting it define the characters.

I am so looking forward to reading Pieces of Eight, the conclusion of Mira’s story!

Coming Soon

Release Date: May 9, 2018

Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs

Photo Credit: Alexander Kuzmin Photography

Synopsis

Six was always there, even when I didn’t want him.

But he couldn’t hold me together, and I couldn’t be his penance.

Loss is a phantom limb. No one can see it, but the ache torments you in the night, distracts you during the day, and leaves you fragmented. I’m half a heart, half a soul, and nothing could cure the pieces he’d left behind.

Losing him was safer than loving him. Because the love that kept us coming back again and again was nothing short of madness.

But then, isn’t mad love the most honest?

Goodreads

Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

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About the Author

Whitney Barbetti is really, truly awful at writing in the third person, so we’re just going to change this bio up a bit and write it as first person.

I am married with two boys. When I’m not changing diapers or cutting food into tiny bites, I escape to Starbucks for hours. My blood pressure actually drops the moment I walk in, hear the baristas call my name, and inhale the aroma of coffee beans. And I don’t even like coffee.

I love music and have a playlist for everything. Queen is my very favorite.

I like watching creepy shows when I am home alone but then I instantly regret them once my mind starts breeding irrational fears. I try to channel my fears into my books as a way to cope.

I have about 20 bacon things in my fridge.

Connect with Whitney

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Book Review

Broken Embrace (Embrace #3) by Dana Mason

Publisher: Dana Mason

Publication Date: May 24, 2014

Pages: 349

Synopsis

Promises Broken. Secrets Kept. Loved Renewed.

The Past…

As childhood sweethearts, Brian and Melissa’s plans were simple: finish school, get married, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, life didn’t go as planned. Melissa went away to college, and Brian married her best friend.

The Present…

Seventeen years have passed and Brian’s stable family life has come crashing down around him. His wife’s a cheater, his teenage daughter is hiding things from him and Melissa is back in town to remind him of what he lost all those years ago.

Melissa’s returned home, ready to forgive and focus on her future, but that all changes the day she gets a desperate phone call from Brian’s daughter, Erin. Thrown back into Brian’s tumultuous life, Melissa struggles to move beyond the pain of his broken promise.

The Future…

While working together to save Erin from the evil web she’s caught in, Melissa and Brian fight to fix the past or face losing each other all over again.

I don’t know how it is possible, but Broken Embrace was phenomenal! The first two books in the Embrace Series were amazing! Dark, gritty,raw… oh hell, I could go on and on… however, nothing compared me for this kick in the face!

I was so excited to read Brian and Melissa’s story! They had been childhood sweethearts; however, when Melissa went off to college, Brian married her best friend without a word – no break-up and no closure. For seventeen years, Melissa carried deep-seated resentments towards them both.

Just when Melissa and Julie started to piece their friendship back together, Brian discovered Julie was having an affair. From that moment on, a series of tragic events started rolling its way through their lives.

Dana Mason is a masterful storyteller and she tackles difficult subject matter in a graceful way. The victims in her stories are not victims, they are courageous overcomers, survivors!

I truly feel black and blue after reading this series, especially so by this last book. I ugly cried, more than once… I smiled, and laughed a few times. Mostly, I felt deeply. It is not often that an author can get so far under my skin, but this just happened! I know that these dark, ugly things are happening every day in our world. I don’t live in a bubble, after all. I am thankful that there are authors who bring these icky subjects to light, even if it is a work of fiction, there is a lot of reality steeped in the subject matter.

This series has triggers readers need to be aware of – sexual assault, physical assault, child pornography, and even murder. Read with caution – if you can get past the triggers, you will not be disappointed!

Book Review

Book Review – Dangerous Embrace (Embrace #1) by Dana Mason

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: November 26, 2016

Pages: 334

Synopsis

Sarah Jennings wants nothing more than a quiet life–alone.

Raised by an eccentric mother, their life on the road only taught her how to run away from hard times. When she finds herself in an abusive relationship, this lesson serves her well.

Eight years later, she’s settled back in her hometown and less fearful than she’s ever been in her life. She’s a first-grade teacher, and with few friends and less family around, she has what she wants, a quiet life under the radar where she can be free of her past and live quietly. Until one night and one brutal act of violence changes everything.

Injured and afraid, Sarah wants to run again, but Mark Summors refuses to let her go.

Mark was born and raised in Santa Rosa. He married his high school sweetheart and never questioned his life, until he found his wife with another man. Now divorced, he wants something more. He’s passionate about his job, he wants to protect people, and he devotes his life to it. This time, he’s protecting more than just another client, he’s protecting his future; at least, Sarah Jennings will be his future, once he convinces her she loves him.

When Sarah agrees to let Mark help, she doesn’t anticipate just how important of a role he’ll play in her future or how the violence in her past will come back to threaten them both.

This book was incredible! Like seriously, I couldn’t put it down! I had never read anything by Dana Mason, and when I got the chance to get my hands on this book, I was so excited!

Dangerous Embrace is the perfect blend of sweet romance, suspense, intrigue and the kind of thrills that make you hold your breath to see what happens next.

To say that Sarah has had a rough life would be a complete understatement. With a mostly absent mother, to a horrifically abusive ex-fiancé, she is nothing less than a survivor. After a rape and beating resulting in her near-death leads to the loss of her unborn child, Sarah picks up the pieces of her life and creates a new identity for herself.

When she is attacked again, and nearly raped, she literally runs into the arms of Mark, ex-cop, security specialist, and all-around good guy. Mark doesn’t leave her side in the days that follow the attack.

Escaping from her attacker sets a series of events in motion, and Sarah and Mark find themselves in a game of cat and mouse.

The characters in this book are incredibly well-developed. Sarah is just the type of protagonist that I love to read about. She is a fighter, through and through, and is completely unaware of her own strength. Mark is fiercely loyal, full of compassion, and would lay down his own life for those that he loves.

Every time I thought I had this figured out, every time I thought things would settle down and Mark and Sarah could have their HEA, the plot would take a crazy twist, and the unexpected would happen.

If you are a lover of romantic suspense, this is a definite must-read!