Monday, July 22, 2013

One Pink Line by Dina Silver

I apologize in advance because this post contains another Book Bash story. Have I mentioned what a fantastical time I had??????

While there were lots of amazing authors at Book Bash there were a few I was super excited to meet. One of them was my girl crush Rebecca Donovan. Of course her line was long so while I was waiting I ended up standing (awkwardly) in front of Dina Silver's table. No one was at her table. I wondered at the time what these authors must think about the hoopla over certain authors while they sit there watching the spectacle around them. I smiled at her, said hi and picked up one of her books like I was really interested. After all I was stuck there, so why not make her feel better, right? She had three books on the table and you would have to know me, but right wrong or indifferent I usually say what is on my mind. I looked at her and said, " I know how this is going to sound, but are these the only books you have written." She laughed and said 'Yes, why?" I told her that her name sounded familiar, but I knew I hadn't read any of her books. At this point, I'm engaged and couldn't just walk away. Further discussion followed about her books and then lo and behold Rebecca Donovan herself leans over and tells me how amazing Silver is and that I should buy her books. could I argue with that? Then Silver reeled me in with a deal. I could buy two of her books for $20. Sold! I picked One Pink Line and her other book that has a sequel. (not to be named in case I want to read & do a review later) 

Cut to several weeks later where the book has been calling to me from my desk. So, I decided to pick it up and go for it. I read it in one sitting. It was kinda weird because I can't tell you the last time I read an actual book. The kind with real paper pages. Took me back and made me excited to move (in a week) and get all my books out of storage!

Back to the book......the story is told from dual perspectives. One is the mother Sydney whose life changes with the reading of two pink lines on a pregnancy test.  Anyone who is a parent knows what that feels like. If you are lucky, you have a loving reliable partner to enter into that stage of life with you. Sydney wasn't that lucky. Like a lot of women Sydney didn't plan on getting pregnant. She didn't plan on having to tell the love of her life of her impending motherhood and the effect that will have on their lives. She didn't plan on having to tell her neurotic mother that she is pregnant and shaming her parents. The only thing that she planned is that once the line turned pink she was having that baby.

The other perspective in the book is that of her daughter Grace. The questions begin when Grace takes Sex Ed. in school and realizes that the circumstances of her birth don't coincide with what she learned in class. This forces her mother to answer questions before she's ready and causes a rift between the two. Thankfully, as the years progress, and the more Grace learns, the rift is healed.

Reading this book, which is inspired by a real story, made me realize what a huge deal it is when you aren't born into a typical nuclear family. I was born to a married (man and woman) who are still married (to each other) to this day. Boring? Maybe, but there is also security in knowing who you are and who you belong to. I know that my story is not everyone's story and this book brings that to light.

I really really really enjoyed this book. You sympathize with Sydney even while cheering on her pro-life choice. You connect with Grace on her journey of self-discovery. Last but not least you fall in love with Sydney's husband and he gives you hope and faith that there are still 'good' guys in this (fictitious) world and that they don't always finish last.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Love of Truth by C.T. Oliver

Back in May I did the cover reveal for this book. Today, it is live! C.T. Oliver has become a friend of mine and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce her to all of you.

Author Profile:
Name: CT Oliver

Age: 25yo, but I’m mentally a 16yo.
Where do you live: I live in the beautiful green NW and I call Portland my home. During the summer months I am all over the west coast, spreading my time between Seattle, Portland and San Diego.

Where do you work/what do you do: I am currently in school working on a science degree. I’m still a little lost and don’t know what I want to do with my life. I’m still holding out hope to be the next Q for James Bond.
Likes/Hobbies: When I do have time to do things that I like, I surf, run and hike the mountains around Oregon. It gives me a chance to be outside and unhook from technology. I have recently gotten into knitting and it’s very addictive. If I can find time for it, my biggest desire is to travel through Europe.

How long you’ve been writing: I have not been writing long. I started it as an outlet from the stress of my workload.  I shared it with some friends of mine and they pushed me into publishing the story.
Book Synopsis: Craig Patrice and Amelia Adler meet during Spring break and they instantly are attracted to each other. They find comfort in one another during this little vacation of theirs, but will the relationship be the same when they come back to the city. The book has fun and lively characters that I hope very dear to my heart and I hope that readers will enjoy them as well.

Take a Sneak Peek into Love of Truth:
I help her into the passenger seat, and run over to the other side. As the SUV starts, the memory seating sets in and the seat pushes me into the steering wheel. I’m hugging the steering wheel until I finally figure out the setting.

She lets out a soft laugh. “Sorry, I’m kinda short.”’

I smile, feeling happy just from the sounds of her laugh. “It’s okay. And your dog will be okay, too.” I find myself wanting to comfort her. Her laugh lightens my heart, and I feel as though a weight I’ve been carrying for years has just fallen off my shoulders.

When I stepped out of the house this morning, the only thing on my mind was getting down to the beach and diving into the ocean with my board. The last thing I expected was to see my neighbor dash down her deck half naked to tend to her dog. Hearing her dog whimpering in pain made me spring over to help.

In the midst of the panicked moment, I couldn’t resist a chance to take in the sight of my neighbor. What I saw absolutely floored me. While I was interested in what I saw from across the yard yesterday, up close, she is breathtaking. Even now as she sits next to me, I have to steal glances at her. Her glasses give her a sophisticated and intelligent look, but sexy at the same time. She has no makeup on, but has the prettiest complexion. The smattering of freckles on her cheekbones are a direct contrast to her sophisticated glasses and make her look younger. Her eyes are big with dark lashes and beautifully shaped eyebrows. They are onyx-colored and seem bottomless and dreamy, even though they are surrounded with worry and anxiety. They remind me of Audrey Hepburn’s eyes. Yes, I know what Audrey Hepburn’s eyes look like. Anyone that has ever been in my mom’s presence knows what Audrey Hepburn’s eyes look like. Her tank top does nothing to hide her bra and chest. I would bet my bottle of Macallan 1926 that her skin is silky soft to the touch........

Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway going live at midnight (7/14) at for the signature scent lotion/oils Amelia wears in Love of Truth.

Love of Truth is an easy read and the first in a series by Oliver.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I am such an optimist. Reading the synopsis of this book I felt for sure that it was a 'trick' summary. Surely the main character doesn't really die. I mean who does that? Especially to a high schooler? Well, Oliver doesn't lead you astray & yes the main character does die. (That's not a spoiler by the way!)

Samantha Kingston is a popular senior living the high school dream. She, along with her three best friends, are the 'it' girls.  They are the Queen Bees that rule the school. Unfortunately that doesn't stop her from dying. The last day of her life starts off as any other - hanging with her girls and raking in roses for Cupid Day.  Getting invited to a party at her former friend, but now weirdo Kent's house, is what leads up to her last moments. All 4 girls are drunk & the weather plays a factor in their crash. Only in reliving the day does Sam realize those aren't the only factors. The only problem with Sam dying is that she wakes up the next day to find out that she is reliving the previous day all over again.  (Think Groundhog Day) She relives it seven times to be exact. So, this begs the question......what would you do in those seven days? Would you change anything? Would you live out your wildest fantasies? Would you try and stop the inevitable?

I never thought that I would recommend a book where the main character dies. I am totally a happily ever after girl. I am the person who asks for details of a movie before I watch it just to make sure I won't be upset at the end. I am the person who skips to the end of a book to make sure nothing 'bad' happens. With all that being said, I liked this book. If only we all had the insight, in high school, that Sam gains during those seven days. If that were true, I think the world would be a much better place.

Oliver takes you on Sam's journey of self discovery in a way that doesn't make you sad. This story isn't a tear-jerker. It doesn't tug at your heartstrings. What it does is take you on a roller coaster ride. On some days you like Sam, on others you don't. She really can be a selfish bitch. Didn't we all know those girls in high school? Maybe some of you were that girl. Fortunately by the end you are back on the peak of the coaster and realize that for all of Sam's flaws, she is a good person underneath.

I guess in some ways this story has it's own happily ever after.

The Remembrance Trilogy by Kahlen Aymes

So, among the many amazing experiences I had at Book Bash was my acquisition of the first book in this trilogy.

By total accident I ended up getting a hand delivered copy to my hotel room from Aymes herself. AMAZING!

I was honest with her that I hadn't read her book yet, but promised that I would. In another Book Bash regret I wish that I would have read them before I had the author right in front of me. I'm not above gushing to their face and I totally would have with this book (and the following 2).

The Future of Our Past - Ryan & Julia have been best friends for years. They both value their friendship so much that they ignore the feelings, they both have, for the other. Ryan is getting ready to graduate and head to Harvard medical school and this will be the first time they will be separated.  This reality is finally what forces them to reveal their feelings and admit what they have felt for a long time.  Long distance relationships are hard, even if you are as close and committed as Julia & Ryan are. They realize how important their chosen careers are and try to make the most of the time they get together.  When it finally looks like they may get to be together a job offer pops up for Julia that will delay this yet again.  Considering the support that she has shown him over the years Ryan can hardly stand in her way, even if he wants to. Will Julia choose the love of her life or the love of her job?

Don't Forget to Remember Me - Ryan is preparing to graduate from Harvard Medical School and to marry Julia. Finally all of their sacrificial separation will be worth it. A tragedy strikes the young lovers and Ryan is devastated.  The aftermath shows that you can still be separated while being close.  Julia wants to build a future with Ryan, but his lack of trust in her feelings has her second guessing everything. 

A Love Like This - Ryan & Julia are finally together and residing in NYC. Ryan is working his residency and Julia has her dream job at Vogue. They are together, but still separated by their busy schedules.  During a trip to visit friends they decide to start trying for a baby. While their relationship continues to be strong their close friends, Harris & Ellie are struggling. Julia rushes to LA to be at her friends side. Upon her unscheduled return she hears of a gang related incident at the hospital where Ryan is working. Arriving at the hospital Julia finds out that Ryan and several others were injured. The following weeks bring the couple closer to the nurse, Jane, who saved Ryan's life. Jane becomes more & more reliant on Ryan causing concern on Julia's part. No longer feeling like a priority in Ryan's life Julia takes off without letting him know where she is. Ryan is shaken to the core and his heartbreak starts to affect his work. Julia is miserable in their separation and they both have to decide what, if anything, they are willing to give up for the other.

Ryan Matthews - SWOON! Another couple to add to my favorites list. While all of them are good (another back-to-back-to-back read!) the last one is my favorite. I don't think it gives anything away to say that I liked it because Ryan became more 'real'. In the first books he is almost too perfect. I don't know any guy in real life who can come close to Ryan. I'd take one, but can't find any!  I highly recommend this trilogy and yet another reason I love reading them is that they are all published! No waiting! Once again, I hate waiting!!!!

Up In The Air Trilogy by R.K. Lilley

So, I started reading the first book in this trilogy on my way to Book Bash where I got to meet R.K. Lilley. I wish that I would have read all 3 before I met her. I have questions :)

I have to wonder if Bianca was not fashioned after Lilley herself. Their physical characteristics are eerily similar. Bianca is blonde, leggy, and likes to wear wedges. Upon meeting Lilley she was wearing a cute sleeveless top, short shorts and wedges. So.....just wondering, but now I can't ask her. :(

In Flight - Bianca is a flight attendant by profession with a closer than close gay co-worker/best friend named Stephen. They are the only family each other has. On a red-eye flight a gorgeous man named James Cavendish catches Bianca's eye. James became a billionaire at the age of 14 when both of his parents die. Now, in his 20's he sees Bianca & decides he has to have her. Neither of them have felt this way about anyone before & they are unable to stay apart. A man from Bianca's past comes back to haunt her and she and James have to decide if they are really meant to be together. Especially since James would prefer she stay a secret.

Mile High -  James has introduced Bianca into the role of being a submissive. In the world of passion and pain Bianca falls deeply in love with the beautiful Mr. Cavendish. Bianca continues to be hurt by her past and this hurt causes her to push James away. In their separation her feelings haven't gone away, and it's only a matter of time until his spell will be cast again.

Grounded - Bianca and James have reunited and even though not much time has passed she has agreed to move in with him. Outside forces try to tear them apart, and the evil from her past continues to be an issue. Can these two dysfunctional, but perfect for each other, lovers finally find their happiness?

These were very good reads. I read them back-to-back which brings up a good point. They are ALL published so there is no waiting! I hate waiting! James & Bianca have joined my list of favorite book couples & I think they should join yours too.