Blog Tour – Reasons Why Not to Date Public Enemy CEO

Title: Reasons Why Not to Date Public Enemy CEO (Shell Grove, #1)
Author: Melanie Munton
Published: June 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Goodreads

Reasons Why Not to Date Public Enemy CEO-4

What happens when the most hated man in town goes after everyone’s favorite girl-next-door?

Reason #1: Big, bad CEO Aiden Beaumont wears his grumpy mask every day like a badge of honor. Mia Sparks wants nothing more than to honk his nose or throw a pie in his face, à la The Three Stooges, just to see if he’s capable of smiling. Unfortunately, she can’t. Because he’s technically her boss, and she’d like to keep her gig at the new five-star beach resort for longer than two weeks.

Reason #2: Everyone in her small hometown of Shell Grove, SC hates the man. He brought big business to their little beach town, and as far as her fellow citizens are concerned, that makes him the devil incarnate. But he won’t be staying forever, which works for Mia. She doesn’t go for the flashy city types anyway. She’s quite happy living her quiet life in Shell Grove. The faster the cranky—albeit stupidly hot—CEO is out of her life, the better.

Reason #3: Every time Aiden frowns at her, it hits her like a thousand-watt smile. He has a language all his own, and it’s starting to make way too much sense to her. She can’t avoid him in a town the size of a postage stamp, and it finally hits her that…she doesn’t want to escape him. This always-irritated, too-serious businessman couldn’t possibly be the stable safe haven she’s been looking for. Could he?

Aiden knows there’s a million and one reasons to stay away from the sugary sweet Mia. But who runs away from sunshine after living their entire life in a secluded cave? And when someone from her past unexpectedly emerges and tries to drive a wedge between the two of them? All bets are off. Aiden has never lost a fight in the boardroom, and he’s not about to lose the fight for the woman he wants to deserve. He just has to prove to her that he’s not the PUBLIC ENEMY CEO everyone thinks he is.

Excerpt

Aiden took a moment to breathe in the fresh air of the outdoors, something he really never took the time to do unless he was on a golf course. The fact that this was only his second visit to The Sapphire’s course was a travesty. It had recently been voted one of the top five courses in the entire state. And due to the fact that this area of South Carolina—close to the Georgia border—was practically the mecca of all things golf in the US, that honor was fucking saying something.

It was a stunner of a day. Clear blue skies dotted with puffy white clouds. Mild temperatures with no humidity, something they’d all better savor now because they’d be sweating their asses off in about a month’s time. Summertime in the south was goddamn sweltering.

“Oh, thank God,” Darius said on a heavy exhale. “I was wondering when she’d get here.”

Aiden spared a glance in the same direction as he stepped up to the tee box and took a few practice swings. The cart girl was fast approaching on the path, carrying her cooler of ice-cold beers that, Aiden had to admit, sounded pretty damn good. He shook out his shoulders, gazing down the fairway, as he heard the cart screech to a stop behind him.

“Good afternoon, gentleman. What can I get everyone?”

Aiden’s head whipped around so fast he risked severe whiplash.

Seriously? Was this woman omnipresent or something?

She didn’t notice him right away, not with her back turned toward her cooler as she dug out three beer bottles and capped the lids.

He was barely able to stifle his groan.

She just had to be wearing the official cart girl uniform too. The short, white skort rode up as she bent over slightly, nearly exposing those dimples on the underside of her ass cheeks. And if that didn’t immediately draw his attention, the slender shape of those tanned legs would. The way her calves flexed with her movements, the tiny pulses in her hamstrings as she shifted her weight around. Not to mention, the conforming fabric of the sleeveless blue shirt she wore put every angle of her enticing curves on display. She wasn’t bony, couldn’t even really be called petite. She was fit, with flesh where there should be flesh, and definition that just screamed this girl knows how to take care of herself.

And his three associates were looking in all the wrong damn places.

The same places Aiden was looking, but that wasn’t the fucking point.

He didn’t even know why he cared. Or why irritation nagged at him when Darius started inching closer and closer to her with that smooth swagger Aiden had seen him work on other cart girls and the like. He’d talked to her once. She worked for him. Nothing about this should bother him in the least. Besides, Chuck and Archie were both in their fifties and happily married. But Darius, on the other hand, was a couple of years older than Aiden’s thirty-two, and was an attractive black man who treated the gym like it was his second home.

His gloved hand tightened around his club.

Not your business, Beaumont.

She still hadn’t noticed him as she handed each man his beer—two Michelob Ultras and one Corona. Finally, she turned in his direction with a ready smile. “And what can I get yo—”

Her words cut off as her eyes bulged to the size of inner tubes.

Then she swallowed, which was a problem because it drew his eyeline to the slender column of her throat. A throat that would look fantastic arched back as his hands explored what she was hiding beneath that top, what treasures awaited him under that tight little skort.

“Ms. Sparks.”

“M-Mr. Beaumont,” she sputtered, a little breathless. “Um, hello, sir.”

Fuck sir.

He’d much rather hear her call him by his first name, but professional decorum needed to remain in place. He may have been her boss, but the sir was just too much. For reasons he couldn’t begin to fathom, he wanted to go back to six days ago, when he wasn’t the CEO, but some random guy she’d walloped with a pool skimmer.

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About the Author

Melanie grew up in the Midwest, but she loves living in the Southeast (where the beaches are!) now with her husband and daughter.
Melanie’s other passion is traveling and seeing the world. With anthropology degrees under their belts, she and her husband have made it their goal in life to see as many archaeological sites around the world as possible.
She has a horrible food addiction to pasta and candy (not together…ew). And she gets sad when her wine rack is empty.
At the end of the day, she is a true romantic at heart. She loves writing the cheesy and corny of romantic comedies, and the sassy and sexy of suspense. She aims to make her readers swoon, laugh out loud, maybe sweat a little, and above all, fall in love.
Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects!

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Giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
$25 Amazon gift card
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Blog Tour – Audrey

Title: Audrey
Author:Sean-Paul Thomas
Published: May 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Goodreads

Audrey

Synopsis:

From the author of My Sister and I and The Old Man and The Princess (recently optioned to be a motion picture) – comes a new, suspenseful romantic tale that will knock you off your feet. A story that has a reminiscence of ‘500 days of Summer’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’ with a fair dollop of ‘The Graduate’ thrown in. And of course Audrey, a delightful, older female protagonist who takes the young and wayward ex-con Joe under her wing.

Just out of prison Joe, a young builder from Edinburgh who writes movie scripts in his spare time, randomly meets Audrey, a washed-up, hard-drinking, chain-smoking, middle-aged French film actress at his local film festival. After hitting it off and spending one crazy, magical night together, Audrey sees some potential in Joe and his writing and tries to help him win back his estranged daughter by getting his first screenplay made into a movie in Paris. And so, the adventure of a lifetime begins…

Excerpt

“So, what kind of movie nonsense are we going to see at this here film festival lark tonight?” Colm enquired, thankfully changing the subject to Joe’s relief.

“It’s a movie called Dominique. It’s meant to be really good. The next cult classic in European cinema, they say.” Joe answered, trying to muster up as much enthusiasm as he could without overdoing it and scaring Colm off.

Colm wasn’t a complete movie hater, just a hater of low-budget, artsy, fartsy, independent cinema with a well-written script that actually made him think outside the box. The less dialogue spoken on screen and the less complex of a plot, the better, as far Colm was concerned.

“Dominique, huh?” Colm pondered out loud, thinking on it a little deeper than Joe could ever have guessed he might. “Sounds feckin’ French, if you ask me.”

Joe took a long sip from his pint before answering.

“It is French.”

Colm’s eyes opened wide at that.

“It is? Jesus. But they’ll be speaking in English though, right?”

“No. It’s a French movie. They’ll be speaking French, but with English subtitles.”

Suddenly Colm slammed his pint glass down upon the wooden bar counter in a very loud and overly dramatic fashion.

“For feck’s sake, Joe. You could’ve told me this shite earlier!”

“Well, you wouldn’t have come along with me if I had, would you?”

Colm sighed hard and shook his head in disappointment. He covered his face with his hands like he’d just been told he had full-blown bowel cancer.

“Jesus Christ. I don’t go to the cinema to read feckin’ novels or to actually have to think about what’s happening up on the screen there. I thought it was gonna be like some relaxing experience, this film festival lark. Like leaving me bleedin’ brain at the popcorn counter and picking it back up again on the way back to the feckin’ pub. My mind’s far too small and narrow to learn a new language at this stage of me life.”

Jesus, Colm could be such a bloody drama queen at times, Joe thought. But he was funny at ranting and raving in that over-the-top demeanour of his. In fact, it was his speciality. He loved the attention of a good public audience for sure, like all good extroverts, but still, he could be a right insensitive prick after a few pints.

“Come on. It will be relaxing. It’s been getting some pretty decent reviews. Plus, it’s the premiere tonight, so most of the cast and crew will be there. And, there’s even going to be a really cool Q and A after.”

“No way? A really cool Q and feckin’ A with the cast and crew.” Colm replied in his sarcastic way. “So, not only do I have to sit through a book reading for ninety feckin’ minutes…” he continued to rant.

“Two and a half hours actually.” Joe interrupted, casually correcting him and feeling that it was just funnier to wind him up now than calm him down.

“Two and a half feckin’ hours? I could fly to bleedin’ France and back in that time, and I still have to sit through another hour of pish talk shite, listening to some dodgy, whiny, sound technician waffle more pish and shite about the latest audio technology in French feckin’ cinema?”

“It’s only going to be the director, writer, and actors speaking. For me, it’s the best part of the evening to mingle with the cast and crew afterwards.” Joe said, trying his best to put his case in for the defence.

“No way. Fuck that shite, fella. No feckin’ way. I’ll meet you back here just as soon as the credits roll, and that’s if I even make it that far, not having jammed me fat bleedin’ fingers into the nearest plug sockets first.”

“You do know that we’ve got another movie at the Odeon straight after this one, right? A German-made World War II movie.”

They didn’t, but Joe enjoyed making the whiny, over-dramatic wanker squirm when he went off on a rant like that. Colm rolled his eyes in absolute disgust.

“Jesus Bleedin’ Christ. You do know I could’ve stayed at home tonight watching reruns of The Crown and Downtown Abbey.”

Right on cue, the old man singing horrendously up on the stage finished rather abruptly or simply just died standing up. It was hard to tell which in the sudden silence that followed. Although, Joe’s eardrums began to swiftly de-swell by a good couple of inches immediately after, which he was extremely grateful for.

“Right. I’m singing me bleedin’ song then we’ll go to this feckin’ book reading of yours.”

Colm swiftly downed the rest of his pint before heading up onto the stage at the back end of the semi-busy bar to sing his second carefully chosen song of the evening – a cover of Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name, which he cheekily dedicated to Joe.

“This song is dedicated to me best lad Joe over there at the far corner of the bar. Recently out of the slammer and now he can’t even get anyone to go to the cinema with him anymore apart from gullible old me, the poor bastard. Oh, it’s a cruel bleedin’ world out there, people. A cruel bleedin’ world.”

Amazon

About the Author

Scottish Author/Screenwriter.

Sean is an author from Edinburgh in Scotland. He is the best selling Kindle Author of ‘The Old Man and The Princess’ which was recently optioned to be a major motion picture.

Sean spent most of his childhood and teenage years on the move with his Scottish and Irish army Parents growing up in the likes of Cyprus, Germany, Wales, and England, as an army brat.

With a keen interest in both reading and writing, he was diagnosed with travel and writing bugs very early in life. Now, writing, travelling, reading, cinema, and Scottish football (Supporting the mighty Edinburgh City for his sins) are his main passions in life.

His main inspiration for writing today comes from living in such a beautiful, charming and hauntingly, Gothic city, such as Edinburgh. An awe-inspiring wee city that has given him so much amazing inspiration to write the more time he spends there.

Recently, Sean has been working on a couple of screenplay adaptations of his books. One of which ‘The Old Man and The Princess’ made the final of the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition 2018 and has since been optioned by an award-winning Director /Producer team. Scheduled to go into production in Ireland in the summer of 2021 filming has been postponed until 2022 due to the recent covid pandemic.

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Giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
3x ebook copies of Audrey
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Blog Tour – All I’ve Wanted, All I’ve Needed

Title: All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed
Author: A.E. Valdez
Published: July 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Goodreads

AllIveWanted

Harlow Shaw feels naïve for believing in happily ever afters but she craves a love that lights her up.

She thought she had it all with her boyfriend. Until his promising baseball career overshadows their relationship and he asks her a life changing question. It causes her to wonder if what they have is all she ever truly wanted.

Harlow is yearning for more than the curated life she is living.

A trip to Bali, a move to Seattle, and a “burned” cup of coffee lead her to a friendship she didn’t know she needed and a love so deep she can feel it in her bones.

Excerpt

The afternoon lunch rush just died down and I am wiping down tables. Who knew that there would be a lunch rush for coffee? One thing that I’ve learned since starting here is that people fucking love their coffee. If there was an IV drip available for it, people would buy it.

I make my way back to the counter and hear the door open as someone enters. When I glance up, I see that it’s Sevyn and she looks like she just stepped off the runway. She is dressed in a black jumpsuit with a Gucci belt cinched around her waist, her deep red curls frame her face, and she carries a black clutch in her hand. She waves when she sees me. “I was worried I would miss you! I took a little longer than I anticipated to get ready.” She twirls on the spot.

“You look drop dead gorgeous. Zane is going to eat you up!” I say.

“You weren’t lying, this shop is a whole vibe,” she remarks as she looks around.

The coffee shop has an industrial design with warm, rich colors throughout. There is a stage for performances, coffee tables in the center of the shop, and then plush chairs are scattered throughout. One of the walls has a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf that is stacked with a variety of books. Ava and West did a good job creating a space where you can relax and socialize.

“It really is. Did you want me to make you something?” I ask as I walk behind the counter and wash my hands.

Sevyn scrunches up her face as she studies the menu behind me. “Mmm… let me get the house blend, please.”

“Alright, coming right up.” I busy myself with making the shots. I’m listening to Sevyn talk when I look up and the air is stolen from my lungs. A guy strides in and every inch of his rich copper brown skin that I can see is adorned with tattoos. My eyes slowly rake up his hands and arms emblazoned with the most intricate ink. I imagine tracing each one with my fingertips. Ink covers the piece of chest exposed at the V-neck of his shirt that is pulled tautly over his broad shoulders. They continue to coil around his neck and abruptly stop at his sharp jawline. There are no tattoos on his face and his lips are plump. They look soft enough to kiss. Our eyes lock onto one another; his are pensive and remind me of embers in a fire.

Amazon

About the Author

A.E. Valdez discovered her passion for writing when she was given a journal by her 5th grade teacher and has been creating poetry, works of fiction, and gaming narratives ever since. As a child, she wanted to read more stories with people that looked like her.

She loves all things romance, from heartbreak to happily ever afters. She pours her own heart and soul into the stories she brings to life. Causing readers to fall in, and sometimes out, of love alongside her characters.

Amanda currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two sons. Most days you can find her sipping on an iced latte while she writes or enjoying time with her family.

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Giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
eBook copy of All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed + $5 Amazon gift card
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Book Review/Blog Tour – A Night Twice as Long

Title: A Night Twice as Long
Author: Andrew Simonet
Published: June 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Night

Synopsis:

What do you call the difference between what you should feel and what you do feel? Life?

The blackout has been going on for three weeks. But Alex feels like she’s been living in the dark for a year, ever since her brother, who has autism, was removed from the house, something Alex blames herself for. So when her best friend, Anthony, asks her to trek to another town to figure out the truth about the blackout, Alex says yes.

On a journey that ultimately takes all day and night, Alex’s relationships with Anthony, her brother, and herself will transform in ways that change them all forever.

In this honest and gripping young adult novel, Andrew Simonet spins a propulsive tale about what it means to turn on the lights and look at what’s real.

Excerpt

I wake at dawn, tangled in a heap of blankets, hugging my pillow. My open window is letting in chilly air and a riot of bird- calls. How’s a recluse supposed to sleep?

I’m dreading telling Anthony I can’t come. I should have done it last night.

I’ll bring him snacks for his journey. I think we still have granola bars.

I shut the window and flip the light switch.
Nope. Day twenty-two.
My mom taught me this trick to figure out if you’re dreaming: Try to change the lighting. Turn a light on or off in a dream, and nothing happens. Our unconscious doesn’t know about electricity, because it’s too recent. Once, I dreamt of a flood, watching from my window as a car floated by, a bewildered kid staring out from the back seat. I pulled the chain on my desk lamp. She was right. Nothing.

I creep along the green hallway carpet, past my mom’s room. Silence. Past my brother’s room. Dangit. My mom’s twitchy breathing. She’s whimpering, maybe half-asleep, in Georgie’s bed. Again.

Jesus, Mom, we talked about this. Georgie’s bed doesn’t help you sleep. It doesn’t help anything.

My breakfast waits on the kitchen counter: two packets of instant oatmeal, not cooked but soaked in water overnight. It’s a gloopy room-temperature treat. Cinnamon & Spice tastes pretty much like Maple & Brown Sugar, gritty and sickly sweet. I’m not hungry.

In the bathroom, the window by the toilet glows gray blue with the first light. I’m getting better at moving around in the dark and near dark. We all are. We moan about the blackout— the inconvenience, the stress—but mostly, we adjust. It’s wild how quickly your animal senses come back. From our yard, I can hear a door close two blocks away.

On the shelf with the hairbrushes and deodorant, our phones are optimistically, pointlessly plugged in. It’s my mom’s old rule: When you brush your teeth before bed, you’re done with your phone. For now, we’re really done with them.

I think of all the messages and stories and pictures that flowed from that cracked dark screen the minute I turned it on in the morning. Every day for the last three weeks, we’ve asked: When is that coming back?

This morning, I think: Maybe it’s not.
Maybe none of it’s coming back.
Maybe these veterans will say it’s time to bury our phones, time to move on.
Georgie’s bed, five feet above my head, creaks and clunks as my mom rolls over.
Maybe the blackout wiped everything clean. Maybe the treadmill we all trudge on, our heads down, has stopped.
In the mirror, I’m a silhouette, a gray outline, my frizzed-out hair making me vague and approximate. My mom coughs out a string of sobs, high-pitched and whiny, like giggles. Our floors are thin, and her whimpers, so soggy and immediate, could be mine. It’s karaoke weeping. My reflection is sobbing. I am the one stranded and stricken.
I bring a hand to my mouth. No, I’m not sobbing. I’m not collapsed in my little brother’s bed. I am standing.
I pull my hair back, and my bangs droop forward. I’ve hid- den under this mud-brown tangle for months, letting it grow. It’s the untended hedge of a deserted house. It’s the frayed screen door Anthony knocks on, trying to coax me outside.

Sweet Anthony, the one person who still shows up, he needs me today. He said so.

All right, shut-in. Time to tear the screen door off. Time to chop the damn hedges down.

I look for scissors. Clippers would be best, but, with the power out, scissors will have to do.

Wait. Georgie’s clippers are rechargeable.

Bottom shelf, behind the cough medicine and the broken hair dryer. I thumb the ridged switch to on. That hard snap as the clippers start, then the soothing hum. The first electricity I’ve touched in days.

Upstairs, my mom blows her nose, the bleat of a party horn.

As dawn turns the white bathroom tilesgold, I run the clip- pers front to back, like I used to for Georgie, the pitch falling as my thick hair clogs the blades. Heavy coils tumble silently. I knock the clippers clean on the counter, building a nest of me in the sink, a soft mound of what I’ve been carrying.

The first rays of sun show my true outline. This is where I begin. This is my edge, my boundary. I look like my brother: My ears stick out, my nose is big, and my eyes droop.

I pull off my shirt, itchy with hair, and see my round belly and my pale scalp, my thick arms and my scrawny boobs. I am uncovered.

I’ve been hiding for a year. I take my hair off and I’m visible. I silently thank Georgie for the clippers.
Georgie. He hates haircuts. You can’t use scissors, cause he

might flinch or grab them. And you can’t take him to the barber. Mom tried.

“You don’t owe me anything, lady, just get your kid out of here!” the barber yelled after Georgie smashed a jar of disinfectant on the floor, bright aqua swallowing clumps of brown hair. Georgie’s half-shaved head bobbed down the side- walk, arms in the air, celebrating his escape.

So we got the clippers. His haircuts last ninety seconds: Put the number one guard on, the shortest, run it front to back. It made him look mean, punchy, like a military kid, his normal I-smell-something cringe turned into a scowl.

I could use a second pass now, but the charge ran out. I’m uneven, patchy. Stubble, not hair.

All right, Anthony, let’s go find some truth.

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About the Author

Andrew Simonet is a choreographer and writer in Philadelphia. His first novel, Wilder, published in 2018. He co-directed Headlong Dance Theater for twenty years and founded Artists U, an incubator for helping artists make sustainable lives. He lives in West Philadelphia with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two sons, Jesse Tiger and Nico Wolf.

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Giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
Print copy of A Night Twice as Long
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Book Review/Blog Tour – Constellations of Scars

Title: Constellations of Scars
Author: Melissa Eskue Ousley
Published: June 2021
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy

Rating: 3 stars
Cover: Don’t like it

Constellations

Synopsis:

“An indelible story of loving yourself in a world of dreadful realities.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Not all gifts are a blessing. Some are a curse.

When Amelia turned 12, she began growing pearls. Every month, a crop of beautiful pearls bursts from the skin on her back. Her mother, Denise, believes her daughter is blessed, and sells the pearls to put food on the table. Amelia sees her condition as a curse. As the pearls form, her body aches and her skin grows feverish. The harvest of pearls brings temporary relief from the pain, but leaves her back marred by scars. Denise hides Amelia away from the world, worried that Amelia’s gift will be discovered and she will be abducted for the wealth she can provide. Now a young woman, Amelia realizes she has become her mother’s captive, and plans her escape. When she runs away from home, she finds a new family in a troupe of performers at a museum of human oddities. She soon discovers the world is much more dangerous than her mother feared.

Happy book birthday to Melissa Eskue Ousley’s book, Constellation of Scars. Thank you to Ousley, Midnight Tide Publishing, and Xpresso Tours for a free eARC in exchange for an honest review. Let me tell you: what a unique storyline!

Amelia found out when she was 12-years-old that she was much different than the other kids her age. She was essentially a human oyster. Her mom quickly withdrew her from school and sheltered her at home for her own protection. She warned Amelia of the dangers of letting anyone else know about her gift. As Amelia grows up, never being allowed to leave the house, she realizes that her mom’s motivations seem to stem more from control than from protection, so she starts planning her getaway. Her grand plans are off to a bumpy start when she reaches the city and is immediately turned around and mugged. However, fortune seems to smile on her when she meets a young man who’s willing to buy her pearls–even offering her a job in a quaint beach town at his father’s museum of oddities. Amelia gets swept up into a new-found family and thoroughly is enjoying the life she’s built for herself. Unfortunately, she learns too late that not everyone is trust worthy.

A truly unique story about finding yourself and where you fit in, and about the people we choose as family. I really enjoyed watching Amelia grow into herself as she discovers she’s surrounded by a team of people like her. I was hoping for more romance with a particular character whom Ousley was building a lot of sexual tension with, but was a little disappointed that it didn’t play out how I wanted it to. However, Ousley is definitely skilled at bringing the plot to unexpected places.

This book definitely has a thriller aspect and I didn’t expect it to the extent it played out, even though Ousley is a little in your face with foreshadowing. The ending was rushed, and I felt like there were so many loose ends. I also was a little confused how Amelia doesn’t seem to show any kind of trauma from any of the emotion abuse, etc, she encounters in her life.

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About the Author

Melissa Eskue Ousley is an award-winning author living on the Oregon coast with her family, a neurotic dog, two charming cats, and a piranha. Her suspense novel, Pitcher Plant, is set in Seaside, and won a 2018 Independent Publisher Book Award. Her young adult novel, Sunset Empire, debuted in a bestselling boxed set. Her short stories have been included in Rain Magazine, The North Coast Squid, and various anthologies. When she’s not writing, she can be found volunteering for her local wildlife center, caring for injured owls and hawks.

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Giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway
3x print copies of Constellations of Scars (US only)
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Blog Tour – Kiss and Repeat

Title: Kiss and Repeat
Author: Heather Truett
Published: May 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Rating: 3 stars
Cover:
 Like it

Kiss

Synopsis:

In Heather Truett’s Kiss and Repeat, a teen uses the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father to begin a kissing experiment. Only the experiment gets messy, and Stephen will have to come clean if he wants to win one girl’s heart in this heartfelt and funny YA debut.

Stephen Luckie isn’t so lucky in love. He’s completely inexperienced when it comes to girls, and wonders if his tics – caused by Tourette’s Syndrome – are the reason.

Then a game at a party reveals that his body goes still while kissing. Using the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father, Steven begins the best experiment ever–one that involves kissing as many girls as possible. Who knew science could be so fun?

But when the experiment gets underway, Stephen begins to question how he treats girls – and if his tics have been standing in his way at all. With two girls interested in him, he has to figure out what really matters to him and what he’ll risk – and gain – by being his true self.

Excerpt

By ten o’clock, the music was loud and the people around me were louder. Being sober, I remember more of that night than anyone else. Ballard’s reddish-orange hair flared on the back deck and I followed the signal. Mostly I’d stayed with the Call of Duty group, but nervous energy made me restless.

I hadn’t run into Wade since I first arrived, but that couldn’t last. This was a party, and Wade was one of the gods of the Moorhen High football team. He wouldn’t stay on the fringes for long.

“Yo, Stephen!” Ballard hollered from his Adirondack throne, a Solo cup held out like an offering. Wade may have been a football god, but Ballard was still king of this party.

I stepped into the golden glow of a lantern that hung above our heads, hands in my pockets to keep my newest tic from drawing attention. My fingers flexed involuntarily and I gritted my teeth.

“Here.” Ballard pushed the cup toward me and I waved it away.

He knew I wouldn’t drink it, not while on the kind of meds I take. Still, he pushed it at me again, and I shook my head in refusal. He was like that when people were around, less my friend and more the cool class clown.

“He doesn’t want it,” someone said.

I glanced around the group. It was Joan Pearson. I’d

looked right past her earlier, not recognizing her with newly dyed black hair. Her hair used to be a soft brown. She had these piercing dark eyes, and she narrowed them in Ballard’s direction, defending me. She had a bit of a messiah complex going on.

“I can speak for myself,” I said.

A sudden thump of bass from the speakers drowned me out, NF’s quick tongue shooting lyrics like arrows all over the deck. Joan tossed back raven hair and sipped from her own Solo cup. Ballard shrugged and turned his attention back to the others.

Erin and Miles stepped out of the house and made their way to where I was standing. Some friends were there, plus a couple of girls I didn’t recognize, and Joan’s friend Sylvie. Sylvie was showing this guy, Andrew, something on her phone.

“Awesome,” Andrew said, grinning. “Let’s play.”

“Play what?” one of the girls asked. Her hair was curly and damp, like she’d just been for a swim.

“Sylvie found this app like Spin the Bottle.” Andrew waved the phone in our direction, its glittery red case catching the lantern light.

“We put everyone’s name and picture into the app,” Sylvie explained. “Then we spin the virtual bottle and it tells us who to kiss.”

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About the Author

Heather Truett is a novelist and poet. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Memphis. She is represented by Hilary Harwell of KT Literary.

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Book Review/Blog Tour – The Secret Recipe for Moving On



Title: The Secret Recipe for Moving On
Author: Karen Bischer
Published: March 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

 Rating: 4 stars
Cover: Don’t like it

Synopsis:

When Ellie is dumped by her boyfriend, she’s forced to make new friends (while watching her ex swoon over his new girlfriend) in The Secret Recipe for Moving On, a smart and funny YA debut from Karen Bischer.

Ellie Agresti’s not sure anything could be worse than being dumped by her boyfriend, Hunter, the first day of senior year.

But sharing a “life skills” class with him and his new girlfriend, Brynn? AND getting partnered with a “family” of misfits (A.J., the loudmouth; Isaiah, the horse-racing obsessive; and Luke, the tattooed stunt-biker)?

It’s a recipe for certain disaster…until an in-class competition allows Ellie to channel her angst into beating Hunter and Brynn’s team, and she unexpectedly bonds with her own group–especially Luke–in the process.

But as Ellie soon discovers, it will take more than classroom triumphs to heal her broken heart–and find herself again.

“I guess some life skills you don’t learn in home ec” (chapter 18).

Happy release week for Karen Bischer’s book, The Secret Recipe for Moving On! Thank you Entangled Teen, Xpresso Tours, and Bischer for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. What a sweet journey this book is!

The story opens up with Ellie feeling a little insecure in her relationship and with his friends. Cue the first day of school and she gets quite the slap in the face when her boyfriend, Hunter, breaks up with her to be with one of his long time friends. Suddenly Ellie doesn’t belong anywhere as she’s quick to learn her “friends” were more situational than true. To make things worse, she has to sit through home ec with Hunter and his new boo practically breaking the PDA meter. After realizing how torturous being in the same group with her ex and ex-friends would be, she quickly joins the “misfit” group and starts plotting revenge. 

Cue the misfits: the sweetest, quirkiest group of boys you can find. Each of them have their own personality traits that keep them from the popular crowd, but Ellie quickly learns that they’re not quite as odd as first impressions hinted. As Ellie gets to know them, she learns about what it means to be a true friend, how to work together as a team, and who she is apart from the life she felt was taken from her.

While I did find Ellie’s character growth inspiring, Luke was probably my favorite character, even though, *groan,* he has a girlfriend already. Or maybe AJ? Honestly, the boys are all so wonderful, it’s hard to pick. I do feel like Luke was supposed to be intimidating because he has a couple tattoos and he’s into bike stunts, but he never really was for me. I wish Bischer could’ve built up that reputation better in the beginning so that, when Ellie learns about how goofy and sweet he is, it’s a much bigger deal.

Bischer writes such a sweet story about how preconceived assumptions about people don’t tell the whole story. The family Ellie becomes a part of are all flawed, real, and kind. With a team like that in anyone’s corner, there’s no telling what you can do. I’d definitely read this again just to hang out with the characters more.

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Karen Bischer has written short stories for Girls’ World and Animal Tales magazines and currently works as a copyeditor. She lives in her native New Jersey, where she has never encountered Bruce Springsteen in the wild, but does have a cat named after a member of the E Street Band.

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Book Review/Blog Tour – Beautiful Facade

Title: Beautiful Facade
Author: Kathryn S Rose
Published: February 2021
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Rating: 2 stars
Cover:
 It’s okay

facade

Synopsis:

On the day that 16-year-old Winter Starling had her life and dreams shattered by a sexual assault, she meets Kai, a boy from her high school obsessed with music. They develop a deep friendship, which comes to an abrupt end when Kai unexpectedly has to leave. Winter has no idea why he went or any way to contact him.

Ten years pass, and Winter has constructed a new reality for herself. Now living in Melbourne, she has a successful career in advertising and is engaged to Liam King, a star player in Australian Rules Football. Winter has a perfect life.

During a night out, Winter runs into Kai, now the lead singer of ‘The Stonevilles.’ Winter and Kai rekindle their friendship, and to everyone around them, their attraction is evident. With Kai back in her life, Winter’s past threatens to ruin her relationship with Liam and everything she has worked to achieve. But can she risk losing Kai a second time?

Emotional and edgy, Beautiful Facade is about love, loss, healing, self-discovery, and the messy battle between one’s head and one’s heart.

Happy book birthday to Kathryn S Rose’s Beautiful Facade! Thank you Rose and Xpresso Tours for a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Pretty much right from the beginning of this story, you learn that 27-year-old Winter has officially faked it until she made it–working through trauma from a sexual assault in high school and somehow convincing her famous Australian footballer fiancé that she thrives in the spotlight, and working up the ranks in her great job. When a friend from her past shows up and brings back memories from high school–the good, the bad, the ugly–Winter’s mask starts cracking and she can’t seem to cover up the holes in her facade quick enough. Does she even want to anymore?

For me, the idea of this story was great, but the execution fell short. Kai is supposed to be this mysterious enigma who vanished in thin air with no explanation, but for me, he was pushy, unstable, and it’s strange how obsessive he is with Winter. The build up to solving the mystery of Kai ended with a quick, lackluster explanation. Actually, the last part of the book just felt like an information dump with very little satisfaction in discovering answers. The idea of Winter living out this beautiful facade wasn’t developed as well as it could have been, and most of the story was taken up by her conflicting feelings for her returned best friend. And the famous, gorgeous footballer? What a one-dimensional jerk.

While I struggled with the execution of the story, I did enjoy Rose’s writing style. It was fun reading a book about characters my age juggling work, relationships, trauma, healing, and somehow managing a social life. I will be interested to see what Rose comes up with next.

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About the Author

Kathryn S Rose is a mum, wife, reader, writer, traveller, and food enthusiast. Writing a book was always on her bucket list, and finally, with Beautiful Facade, it has come into fruition.

Kathryn is interested in the study of human behaviour and obtained a Bachelor of Social Science, with a focus on Community studies and Welfare Work.

Since completing her studies, she has worked in several jobs, which have enhanced her understanding of social issues, human development, relationships, and lifestyle. Some of these insights are reflected in her writing and give her inspiration.

Besides books, Kathryn has many other loves. She enjoys listening to live music, relaxing at the beach, embarking on random hiking adventures, and indulging in too much food and wine with family and friends.

When Kathryn and her family aren’t traipsing around the world, they can be found residing in Perth, Western Australia.

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Giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway (INT):
$25 Amazon gift card

Book Review/Blog Tour – Love Spells and Other Disasters

Title: Love Spells and Other Disasters
Author: Angie Barrett
Published: February 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Paranormal
Goodreads

Rating: 4 stars
Cover: It’s Okay

LOVE SPELLS AND OTHER DISASTERS by Angie Barrett

Synopsis:

I didn’t know when I wrote the first love spell that it would actually make things happen. Like, actually make people fall in love with each other…

How could I have known something like that? I mean, magic isn’t real, right?

But here’s the thing—the spell does work and so does the next one and the next one…and suddenly I’m getting a whole lot of attention from everyone at my high school. Me, Blend-into-the-Walls, Please-Let-Me-Introvert-in-Peace Rowan Marshall. And not only that, but I’ve also caught the attention of Luca Russo, a godlike, football-playing hottie who claims he likes me just the way I am. Ummm…

But as I’m about to learn, playing around with things you don’t understand means when things go wrong—like really, very awfully wrong—you don’t know how to fix them.

Happy book birthday to Angie Barrett’s debut, Love Spells and Other Disasters! Thank you Barrett, Entangled Teen, and Chapter by Chapter for a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Rowan doesn’t have a normal life–she’s the daughter of the famous Dr. Marshall: Ghost Psychologist. Not that Rowan even believes in that stuff. Honestly, watching her mom try to talk to her dad, who died when Rowan was young, is kind of depressing. Being related to her mom is probably why her partner in her school project wants to build a business plan on writing and selling love spells. But what Rowan doesn’t understand is why the spells seem to be working. Or why a hot football player wants to date her.

Barrett writes a great story arc that takes the reader along for a big bite of character growth. Rowan at the end of the story is almost a different person from the Rowan at the beginning, and we got a front seat look at the weird and amazing journey that took her there. I love stories where everything seems to go wrong and this one did not disappoint. Plus, it has magic! 

I do wish there was more character growth for Rowan’s best friend, Ethan. He basically disappears for half of the book and gets why too distant from Rowan for someone who’s been her only and closest friend for so long. I just wanted better friends for her.

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About the Author

Angie Barrett
Author Angie Barrett lives in a small town in Ontario, Canada in an old century home that is also known as the “cat house” because, well, Angie likes cats. A lot. She also likes shopping for books, or for anything really, and spending time RVing in the summer with her family. She has worked for sixteen years as a high school English teacher and Librarian and is currently a Curriculum Consultant for new teachers. Angie has always dreamed of being a published author and strives to create worlds where there are strong, relatable characters who maybe are not always perfect but who understand the meaning of friendship and loyalty and who will use their collective strengths to overcome adversity.

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Blog Tour – The Christmas Spirit

Title: The Christmas Spirit
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Published: October 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

TheChristmasSpirit_6x9_20200515 2

Synopsis:

SOMETIMES IT TAKES ONE BROKEN HEART TO HEAL ANOTHER.

Courtney Winston is a writer on a deadline. Eager to finish her book and get over a recent break-up, she ditches Christmas with her family and retreats to a secluded cabin in the mountains.

Appliances rarely work, and cell service is spotty, but Courtney senses there is more to her rustic rental—something dark and haunting.

Then Peter, the attractive Stone Mountain Lodge owner, and a meddling cook, Mrs. Finn, keep coming around, shattering her peace and offering advice on how to fix her heavy heart.

Courtney grows closer to Peter, but Mrs. Finn warns her of his troubled past. Undaunted, Courtney sets out to win him over. But being with the brooding stranger may end up costing her more than she ever imagined.

Excerpt

She spotted the bridge and decided crossing it would be faster than fighting the ice. Courtney headed toward the arched structure, wishing she had never come with Peter to the magical place.

She stepped over clumps of brush along the shoreline, her boots sinking into thick patches of snow as she hurried to reach the bridge.

The stonework on the steps was like the mantle in the cabin. The same attention to detail reminded her of Peter. Even when he chopped wood, he had to make everything precise.

Her glove brushed the smooth surface of the wooden railing, wondering how many hours the two young men spent building the bridge. That Peter’s beautiful remembrance of his life with his brother should be hidden away in the woods made her sad. If only others could see what they had done.

Then a funny indentation in the railing stopped her cold.

She rubbed the surface, not sure if the imperfection was intentional or just a play of light on the dark wood.

A portion of the railing had been expertly carved away, leaving a name raised in the wood like a bas-relief. The letters were swirled and decorative. This was professional, even, and expertly done. It wasn’t the work of a lovesick schoolboy, but a man who worshipped the woman whose name he’d forever attached to the bridge—Evelyn.

Courtney’s knees became weak as she traced the name she had no doubt Peter etched there. The love he’d borne for the woman became painfully clear.

Her heart grieved, sinking like an anvil in her chest. No one would carve her name into anything, or pine for her after she went off with another. She wasn’t the kind of woman who lived fairy tales. She only read about them in books.

“You found it.”

He was in the middle of the bridge, a few feet away. So caught up in the testament of one man’s love, Courtney had not heard Peter’s heavy boots or felt the bridge tremble under his weight.

“When did you do this?”

He swung his hands behind his back. “What makes you think it was me?”

She glanced at him and tipped her head. “I didn’t realize how much you loved her.”

The thin line was back on his lips. “Neither did she. I carved this right after she married Lawrence.”

She tapped the carving with her hand. “Has she ever seen

this?”

“No. She never came here.”

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About the Author

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.

Weis writes romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers, supernatural, and young adult fiction and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association. http://www.AlexandreaWeis.com

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$20 Amazon gift card
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