Saturday, January 18, 2014

Book Tour and Giveaway: Crashing Into You by B.D. Rowe

Crashing Into You

Author: B.D. Rowe

Publication Date: October 3rd 2013

Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

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Bookish college sophomore Sydney Baker wants Evan Taylor with every ounce of her being. The hottest stud on campus, Evan is six foot four, ripped, stacked with muscles. He’s even easy to talk to.

There’s just one problem: he’s her roommate Melanie’s boyfriend.

But when Melanie tragically dies after a night of wild partying, Sydney and Evan turn to each other in a time of intense grief. And it doesn’t take long for their close friendship to blossom into something more.

Unfortunately for Sydney, secrets from the past soon put her relationship with Evan to the test. Especially when a sexy blonde freshman makes her way into Evan’s life, and tries to rip away everything Sydney holds close to her heart.


Even reading the synopsis of this book, I did not see it coming. B.D. Rowe took me for a few loops with the events that happen to and around Sydney. Sydney has not had an easy life. Tragedy after tragedy seems to chase her as she tries to distance herself from the bad things in her life. But somehow she always comes out alright. Other around her don’t. A tragic accident in high school left her with issues that followed her to college. College where she met Melanie, her roommate, and Evan, the sexiest guy on campus and Melanie’s boyfriend. Sydney can’t help falling hard, despite the fact that he is her best friend’s guy. Steamy dreams and stolen moments are all she can have. Until the worst happens, Melanie dies after a night of partying. Sydney is simultaneously heartbroken and relieved – Evan is free but her friend is dead.

The synopsis prepared me for her roommate’s death, but it did not prepare me for how she died. I’m not going to give anything away, but let’s just say that it left me a little more than grossed out and wishing I could unread those few pages where we found out. It was such a horrible thing that I would not wish on anyone and never hope to see again (in print, tv, or otherwise). I an see why Sydney is so torn. How long after a guy loses his girlfriend is it okay to "go after" him? Can she even have a future with him now that his girlfriend is dead? It's a weird place to be.

There were some parts that I found repetitive - Sydney's dislike of alcohol and Evan's surprise about her feelings over partying. They come up so much that I just get a little tired of hearing it. I understand standing up for what you believe, but book only have so much words to get their plots and stories across, and no word should be wasted.

Crashing Into You is a good, attention-grabbing story that will definitely keep readers hooked. It is easy to read and entertaining. I would suggest it to anyone who likes New Adult, Romance, or contemporary stories. They will definitely be satisfied with this book.


3 stars

About the Author

B.D. Rowe is a Sacramento native with a penchant for crafting tales of romance, mystery, and intrigue. You can often find B.D. at the local coffee shop drinking white chocolate mochas and writing into the wee hours of the night. This is B.D.'s first New Adult novel.

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Xpresso Book Tours

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Tour and Giveaway: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

Stir Me Up

Author: Sabrina Elkins

Publication Date: 10/01/13

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

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Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….

Praise for Stir Me Up:

"Fun, steamy, and leaves you hungry for more. Sabrina Elkins nails the vulnerability of becoming an adult and the choices that come with growing up." —Katie McGarry, author of Dare You To

"Cami's slow burn for a wounded hero will rivet readers. I seriously loved this book." —Jennifer Echols, author of Dirty Little Secret

"This book is one of my favorite young adult contemporaries. Not only does it feature a hot romance, it's also very meaningful and well, you just have to read it and see." —#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout


Before signing up for this tour, I checked out the reviews on Goodreads to see if it was worth reading. There were a lot of people who thouroughly enjoyed it, and othes who thought that it was okay but wasn't the best thing they had ever read. After seeing several of the positive reviews, though, I decided that it would be a good chance to take. I'm glad I did. While Stir Me Up wasn't aimed at my age group, I enjoyed reading it. I don't read a lot of YA romance - mostly because I prefer paranormal romance novels and crime novels - so I don't know much about the genre, but I think the novel was definitely successful.

I think most of us have been in Cami's shoes. At that point when you're finishing your last year in high school and you know exactly what you're going to do when you're done - almost to the point of stubbornness. It's easy to have everything planned before you actually jump into it. Cami is a true high school student, ready to get out and do what she wants to do. As a character, I think she was well-rounded. She has goals and aspirations, but she's not perfect and her life is not a piece of cake. This is made most obvious when wounded, twenty-one year old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to stay with her family as he recovers from his wounds. She loses her room to him and is forced to interact with him despite his surliness and bad attitude.

Cami is not the type of girl who takes it lying down, though. If she is going to be forced to deal with him, she's going to do it on her terms. She's not going to let him bother her, and she refused to treat him like a wounded bird. The anger and rudeness he gives her, she gives it right back to him. She refuses to let him walk all over her just because he's angry.

This is definitely the kind of romance that I like. The slow, anger-originated, can't-get-him-out-of-your-head-because-he-makes-you-so-mad, hate-relationship that really is just a guise for passion that just isn't being funneled the right way. The "slow burn" is so much better than a relationship that starts with a quick infatuation.

I would suggest this to anyone who likes romance with a military love interest, YA romance, romance, or a good, well-rounded read.


3 1/2 stars

About the Author

I am a former journalist who worked for the Los Angeles Daily Newsand other newspapers in the greater Los Angeles area. Prior to this I worked in advertising, writing ad copy for corporate travel accounts and major motion pictures. My first job out of college was as an administrative assistant to an executive chef and a food & beverage director at a Four Seasons hotel. I also spent some time working as a prep cook for Spago in Beverly Hills.

I received my Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California. While in graduate school, I had the privilege of studying fiction writing under renowned author Hubert Selby, Jr., and comedy writing under famed comedian Shelley Berman. I am a past participant of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Summer Writing Workshop.

Raised in the woods of Vermont, I now live in the greater Los Angeles area with my husband and three children. STIR ME UP is my first novel.

Author Links


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Contest is void where prohibited. Entrants must be 18 or else have parent or guardian’s permission to enter. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner’s name will be selected. Winning entries will be verified for authenticity.

YA Bound Book Tours

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Full Steam Ahead by Valerie Chase

Full Steam Ahead
Release Date: 01/14/14

Summary from Goodreads:
Seven days aboard a luxury cruise. The perfect getaway from it all.

At least, that’s what Georgia Cantwell was hoping for.

Georgia wishes she could run away from the nightmare that has consumed her life, but she can’t. With her inbox filling with menacing emails, all she can do is try to get through her sorority’s winter break cruise without anyone realizing how wrecked she is. So she really doesn’t need Jace McLaren seeing through her tacked-on smile when no one else seems to notice.

Growing up with a father in jail, Jace knows from experience that if you’re going through hell, there’s no way out but through. He has always steered away from girls like Georgia with her ice-queen attitude, but she’s in real trouble, and despite himself he pushes past her walls.

As much as Georgia tries to ignore it, Jace won’t let her pretend with him. But she can’t risk telling him the truth. Her past would ruin his trust, her family, her future—everything.

But out on the open ocean, there’s nowhere to hide. And when Georgia’s secrets come tumbling out, it might take more than Jace to save her.


The club stops spinning for a moment. Jace’s mouth is soft, much softer than I’d have thought given the roughness of his jaw under my fingertips. He doesn’t move for a heartbeat, and it’s like we exist in a quiet bubble outside of this dance floor, outside of time.

But he pulls away from me. “What’s gotten into you?” He breathes, our mouths only inches apart. “I thought—”

I kiss him again. I need to forget about those emails, forget about my parents, forget about Hunter and Kelsey. I need to lose myself tonight, and Jace hooks up with lots of girls, so I’m sure he’ll know how to take my mind off of my problems. I’ve seen how he looks at me, so I know he’s interested. We’ll have some fun, and both get what we want.

My tongue traces along Jace’s mouth and then I gently bite his bottom lip, tugging it teasingly. I dip my thumbs into the waistband of his jeans and feel the warm flesh of his stomach, so hard and smooth. I moan before I can stop myself.

Whatever I’m doing must be working, because Jace starts to kiss me back. His hands settle at my waist, trailing down toward my hips. Our kiss deepens and his tongue circles around mine, once, twice. Soft as a whisper. I’m lost in a rush of feeling, and I wrap my arms around his neck to draw him closer. I need him closer.

I push us toward the outskirts of the room.

The lights move dizzyingly in the dark, and the music throbs through my limbs. Jace and I reach an empty spot by the wall. Here, we’re hidden from the dance floor by a tall potted fern decorated with white twinkling lights. The tiny lights reflect in Jace’s eyes, which take me in hungrily.

His hands move over my tank top to the bare skin of my shoulders, and I shiver as heat spikes through my limbs. My own fingers roam across his skin again eagerly: his waist, his back, across his hard stomach that tightens at my touch… It has the temperature of a fever.

Jace dips his head to kiss my neck, and those dangerous lips make my whole body tingle. My thoughts go wild as I imagine him kissing down my belly, past my hips, and lower still. For a while we are a whirlwind, hot and spinning, and I haven’t felt so alive in months. Maybe years. I can’t help but think that it never felt like this with Hunter—this heat, this need. Not even when we first started dating.

I had no idea what I was missing.

And I don’t want it to stop.

About the Author
I'm Valerie but please feel free to call me Val. I live in the Washington, DC area; and I write New Adult romance. I'm hoping to publish my first novel (set on a cruise ship!) in late 2013.

As for my writing, I love sexy banter and guys whose hearts are in the right place, even if their heads sometimes aren't. I love discovering strong, awesome characters, putting them in entertaining situations, and watching them argue their way to love.
Author Links:
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5 Things You Didn’t Know About FULL STEAM AHEAD by Valerie Chase

1. Why did I set Full Steam Ahead on a cruise ship? Well, I live in the rather un-tropical city of Washington, DC and so I thought it would be awesome to live vicariously through my characters!

2. I guess you could say that Full Steam Ahead was born at the Olive Garden. During lunch with a good friend, I told her about an idea I had for a book—an NA romance set on a cruise. We spent the rest of our meal brainstorming plot ideas and character motivations!

3. The character of Yasmin, Georgia’s best friend, was so much fun to write. I initially intended her to be a minor character but I fell in love with her voice. Not surprisingly, my next book will be Yas’ story!

4. I love coming up with my character’s names. I chose Georgia because I wanted a name that was sweet and southern. And I chose Jace because it simply sounded sexy.

5. I’ve always wanted to be a writer but it took me a long time to complete my first book—which is Full Steam Ahead. I hope you enjoy it!

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Synchrony by Cindy Ray Hale

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Series: Destiny #2

Author: Cindy Ray Hale

Publication Date: 2014


When her parents discover she’s been sneaking out with Isaac Robinson the forbidden Baptist boy, Mormon girl Destiny Clark decides it’s time to keep their relationship quiet. As their relationship moves to shakier ground, Destiny discovers that Isaac has a terrible secret, and she is left completely shattered.

The moment Destiny feels all hope is lost, Preston Nelson, her longtime church friend and Isaac's bitter rival, arrives like a beacon of light. It isn't long before two separate disasters strike for Preston and Destiny's best friend, Hannah. As Destiny helps them through their issues, she discovers that sometimes the best way to forget about your own problems is to help a friend in need.

Just as her heart begins to mend and her friendship with Preston begins to heat up, Isaac walks back into her life, threatening to rekindle the feelings she’d hoped to bury forever. Will Destiny and Preston find the synchrony they so desperately need, or will she find a way to forgive Isaac and return to his outstretched arms?

About the Author

Cindy Ray Hale lives in Tennessee with her husband and four children. In addition to being a writer, she's an avid reader and a social media junkie. At the age of 17, she wrote a short story, "Instant Harmony" which later appeared in the April 2000 issue of "New Era," the official magazine for the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Destiny is her first book and will be available for purchase November 5, 2013.

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YA Bound Book Tours

Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Blitz and Giveaway: PODs by Michelle K. Pickett

Release Date: 06/24/13
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
312 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

Praise for the Amazon Bestselling PODs:
"5 Stars! I loved this book. I have been kind of bogged down with dystopias lately, but this was amazing. It was so cool to see life before the 'event', to see Eva wrestle with her choices and then, to watch her change as she lived inside the PODs...Yes, there are zombies. Yes, there's a little romance. But I think, at its heart, PODs is a coming of age story about Eva and how she grows from a girl into a strong, decisive woman during this period of absolute destruction. And Pickett writes it beautifully." ~ Sherry Ficklin, author of "Extracted"

"I was blown away by this debut novel from Michelle Pickett! Rather than feeling like I was reading a book, I actually sometimes felt like I was actually watching the characters' lives progress; it was kind of weird! The emotions that Eva felt were so raw and real, and I think Michelle really captured the emotions that one would be feeling in a post-apocalyptic world...PODs may very well be one of the next big things in YA, so I am very happy to have been one of the ones that was part of the beginning of it all! Congrats Michelle on your YA debut and I am looking forward to more by you!  I gave PODs a well-deserved 5/5 stars!  " ~Phil book reviewer at Stack of Hardbacks

5 glowing, sparkling stars for this one!...I absolutely adored every character Michelle introduces us to. This book isn't just about a romance, or two people fighting some battle. This book allows us to get to know several, amazing, diverse characters who all grab your heart (even a few who have attitude issues). They all held such an important place in the story… Now for the plot. Holy crap!... Michelle did a flippin' fantastic job giving us each piece of this puzzle… I won't go into details about what happens after they are removed from the POD but O-M-G! The action never stops…This book seriously needs to be a movie. I could picture every detail and already see it playing out on screen. PLEASE SOMEONE MAKE THIS HAPPEN!”  ~Jessica of Total Bookaholic

Buy Links:
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“Who ate all the damn strawberries?” Aidan yelled. “I was saving them for my cereal.”

“I did. Use the banana,” Josh said.

“A banana isn’t a strawberry. I marked the container with my name. You’re a jerk—”

The container hit the metal wall of the chute with a crack. I always jumped when it did that. I hated it. It reminded me of the banging and crunching we’d heard when Cam’s sub-POD was cut off from the main.

“It’s not time for our blood checks,” I said.

“Maybe it’s strawberries. I’d really like some strawberries… Josh,” Aidan said, an edge to his voice.

“Drop dead,” Josh replied, never looking up from his computer.

David got up from the table where we were having breakfast. Taking the container from the chute, he pulled a manila envelope out of the basket.

He dumped the contents on the table for everyone to see. Inside were ten name badges, one for each of us. Our photos— except Faith’s— and names were printed on one side; the other had barcodes. David scanned the label on the envelope, his face growing pale. “What’s it say, David?” I whispered.

“‘The seals to each sub-POD will be broken tomorrow morning. Do not attempt to leave your sub-POD. Officers will give residents directions and escort them to their appropriate area topside.’ That’s all it says.”

“It’s over,” Tiffany murmured, pulling the baby close.

“Hot damn! Finally, I’m free of this tin can,” Josh jumped up and hurried to the guys’ bedroom.

Well, at least Josh is happy. Why aren’t the rest of us? I thought we’d be excited. But instead everyone looks… anxious. What will we find up there? What has the world become?

“Well, guess we should start packing up our stuff,” Aidan said.

“Yeah, I guess so,” Seth agreed, rising slowly from his seat, rubbing his hands up and down his thighs.

One by one, everyone walked to their sleeping areas and started packing their belongings— except me. I sat in the living room alone, flicking the corner of my name badge with my fingernail. The lanyard wound so tightly around my fingers they turned red. My insides were quivering, jittery. Something wasn’t right. For fifteen months we’d all looked forward to the moment we could leave, but now that the time was here it felt… wrong.

About the Author:
I'm a wife, mother, author, reader, although not always in that order.  I write young adult urban fantasies, science/fiction and paranormal romances and have recently started dabbling in young adult contemporary romance. Reading was one of my earliest passions, writing soon followed. I began writing seriously during college where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Why I chose a career that frowns on creativity remains a mystery.
I’m addicted to Reese’s peanut butter cups and eat way too many while I write, have an abnormal obsession with hoodies and can’t write without one, and I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows on television. An unabashed romantic, I love a swoon-worthy ending that will give me butterflies for days.
I wrote my debut young adult novel, PODs, in 2011. PODs, a science/fiction, post-apocalyptic romance, will be released June 4, 2013 through the amazing Spencer Hill Press.  My second young adult title, Milayna, a paranormal romance, will release through Spencer Hill Press beginning in March 2014. Milayna is a standalone, with series potential. It’s meant to be a trilogy. The Infected, a PODs novel, will release November 2014. It is the second, and last, book in the PODs series.
I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan.  I now reside in a small community outside Houston, Texas with my incredibly supportive, not to mention gorgeous, husband, three amazing school-aged children, a 125-pound lap dog, and a snooty cat.
Keep up-to-date with my current, future projects, appearances, and fun giveaways at

I always love to hear from readers, bloggers and other authors!
Find me here:

First place: Signed copy of PODs, tote bag, and swag (US only see note for international)
Second place: Signed copy of PODs and swag (US only see note for international)
*International winners will receive a print copy of PODs only if delivers to their country. Otherwise they will receive an e-book. Swag will not be included.
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