The Enforcer by Kele Moon Blog Tour Review

The Enforcer-Blog Tour Banner

THE ENFORCER 
Author: Kele Moon 
Genre: Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense 
Release Date: March 22, 2016
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The Enforcer Cover

They are the lost boys.

Sons of mafia mistresses expected to keep their fathers’ sins in the shadows. The lucky ones are forgotten.

Unfortunately for Valentino “Tino” Moretti, his brother Nova was too smart to be forgotten, and too valuable to risk when he resists a life of crime. So they punished Tino instead. Forced into the cruel world of the Sicilian Mafia at twelve, Tino was broken before he was old enough to know the man he was supposed to be. Now he’s what the mafia made him.

The enforcer.

A trained killer forbidden to love, but he did anyway. He’s loved Brianna all along.

Raw and beautiful, their romance was all consuming and far too dangerous. They were ripped apart a long time ago. It’s not until the borgata puts out a hit on her that Brianna falls back into Tino’s arms, churning up their dark past and unraveling all the Moretti brothers’ closely guarded secrets.

This isn’t the end of the story. It’s only the beginning, and it is brutal.

There’s a reason enforcers are considered too deadly to love.

“We have to be better than them. Stronger. Faster. Smarter. Lost boys have to fly.” ~Carlo Moretti, original lost boy

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Hello! It is Kele Moon, hopping through the internet to spread the word about my latest book, The Enforcer. Finally, Tino’s book is out. Here is a little snippet from the story. Thank you to all the blogs hosting the tour! Be sure to enter the rafflecopper and comment on tour posts for a chance to win a chance for one of four $10 Amazon gift certificate or one of two books of Viper.  The giveaway starts March 20, 2016 and ends April 2, 2016.

Excerpt
“Who are we hiding from?” Brianna asked as she tossed her bag on the chair by the bed.
“Everyone,” Tino said as he locked the door behind them.
He had a briefcase with him, but there were no clothes in it. Just cash and firearms, neither of which she’d been surprised by when he pulled it out of the trunk.
“Like the feds?” she asked as she stared down at the tank top she was wearing under the jacket Carina had loaned her. She glanced back to Tino as he took off the camouflage hat and set it on the desk by the door. He pulled off his jacket, tossed it over the chair, and stood there in that blue University of Kentucky shirt that was too tight across his broad, muscular chest and clung to his thick biceps. He was way too sexy for her sanity, so she quickly turned away and asked, “Is that why you’re using an ID with your father’s name on it?”
“I’m using that ID ’cause the credit cards in my father’s name are the only ones I have that Nova doesn’t know about, and nice hotels need a credit card for incidentals. The feds are the least of our problems. Where we stand right now, the feds would be doing us a favor to pick us up.”
“We didn’t have to stay somewhere this nice,” she argued. “We should’ve just gone somewhere that takes cash.”
“I’m not staying in a shithole. It bothers me, and you know why it bothers me,” he said with a glare. “If you knew where I landed when I first got to Miami last week, you wouldn’t give me merda about the hotel.”
“For a wedding?” She arched an eyebrow skeptically, ’cause Miami was clearly an issue. “Did something happen in Miami? Obviously you’re not as out as we all thought. Did you piss Don Moretti off?”
“The don pissed me off,” Tino growled at her. “And he knows it. That’s why he attacked you. His plan didn’t work, and now he’s trying to make me feel vulnerable. He’s trying to make me feel sixteen again. He’s scared.”
“He’s not the only one,” Brianna whispered as she sat down on the bed. She looked at her hands as everything hit her again. Her career was as good as gone when she had been working toward becoming a headliner since she was old enough to stand on her toes. For all the years since she and Tino had been apart, her job had been her sole source of joy, and knowing she was going to lose it after she disappeared without a word had her fighting tears. “I did the right thing. I was lonely and unhappy, but I was supposed to be secure, and you were supposed to be safe. Nova promised me.” She lifted her head and stared at him, seeing that Tino was standing there, his entire body tense, as if she had physically struck him. She wanted to feel bad, but damn it, he’d been washing hot and cold since Kentucky. “I’ve missed you. I’ve cried for you. I have closed my eyes a thousand times and tried to imagine it was you touching me instead of—”
“Don’t,” Tino cut her off, as he looked away, clenching his jaw. “Don’t talk about him touching you.”
“It makes you uncomfortable?” She almost shouted it. She was just that indignant. “It was my reality, Tino. While you were off enjoying Southern hospitality with your little strawberry-shortcake friend Alaine, I was living a lie for security, and now that’s gone too! I guess I deserve it. Maybe we both deserve it. I lied in front of God. You made me a liar.”
“I didn’t fuck Alaine. She’s married to Chuito Garcia, who, aside from being the reigning heavyweight UFC world champion, is also my best friend,” Tino said as if he didn’t hear the rest. “I haven’t touched her.”
She let out a bitter, mirthless laugh. “Oh yes, I’m sure you’ve been a pillar of chastity while we’ve been apart.”
“No.” He shook his head in denial. “I fucked my brains out since we broke up. I snorted enough blow to kill an elephant, and I drank so much Nova’s convinced I’m one more drink away from liver failure.”
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Tino—” Brianna started, feeling her blood pressure spike.
“I have been dying without you,” Tino said before she could finish. “I’ve been slowly dying, and no one knew it. I couldn’t tell anyone. Then I had to give up the fucking coke ’cause I thought Nova was gonna off himself over the guilt. I’ve just had to sit in Kentucky and die. Sober.” He pulled off his shirt and tossed it over his jacket. “So don’t worry, baby. I’ve suffered for your security too, but if it makes you feel better, I’m gonna make sure they pay for fucking it up.” He walked past her to the bathroom, pulling at the button to his jeans as he did. “I’m gonna make them all pay. I’m done being Cosa Nostra’s whore.”
She flinched when he said it, because that word had so many terrible implications for Tino, but he just gave her a look that dared her to deny it as he went on, “They broke me a long time ago; now they’ve broken you too. That wasn’t supposed to happen. I’ve been screwed for the last time, and you can put it on my fucking tombstone. I’m done!”

THE ENFORCER SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

Author Q & A


1.     You said that each character has their own song. What is Tino’s song?

Favorite song. . . Funny, I’ve been asked that a lot. . . So I’d say a toss up between Lost Boy by Ruth B and Fight Song by Rachel Platten. . . Also, recently I found Neverland by VanLadyLove that I’ve been listening to as I write Enforcer’s Revenge and it fits very well.


2.     Which character has been the most difficult to write so far? Do you have conversations with the characters?

God, I’m boring. . . No. LOL!

I sit down and they write themselves. . . Sometimes in ways I never anticipated or in Tino’s case sometimes in ways I’m not sure I want him to. He’s very open in the bedroom. He has no boundaries and he did a few things in this book that I was like. . . NO NO NO! DON’T, TINO. . .  And you did it. . .

But those scenes came across so honest and so blatantly Tino. . .I couldn’t really change them. I had to leave them as they were. . . I owed Tino that.

LOL! Just cause I don’t talk to them doesn’t mean they’re not real (Lie to me if it’s not true!!)


3.     How do you plan to celebrate the release of The Enforcer?

I don’t know. I was discussing that with my husband the other day. . . I don’t drink much (Hard to believe reading these books!) but we’ll probably order take out from somewhere nice or perhaps make something different and fun! Maybe I can talk my husband into cooking for me ::winks::


4. What is the main factor the men of the Untamed Hearts series have in common?

I think they’re all very loyal men. They don’t trust easily, but once they do they’ll go the distance. They’re good friends to have. . . and extremely dangerous enemies.


5. How is Tino different from the others?

Tino is a bit more sentimental where the others are completely cynical, even though Tino has more reason than anyone to have lost that optimism. More than that he still wants to believe in happy endings. Maybe not for himself, but he fights for it when others around him need that support. In every book, Tino’s always been the one who stood by his brother or his friends when everyone thought they were crazy to risk it all for love, Tino was the one who got it. . . Maybe because he knows how precious true love is. He’s always known.


UNTAMED HEARTS Series

The Viper (Untamed Hearts Book 1 ) 
The Viper Cover
Marcos Rivera is a fighter. A gang member. Someone who has seen the dark side of humankind and survived. He has lost family and gained enemies. He has stolen cars and destroyed hearts, stripping one for money and the other for pleasure. His past is haunted and his future is bleak.

Until her.

Katie Foster is a high school history teacher. Smart, strong, and sexy. She is a woman Marcos shouldn’t want. Shouldn’t touch. Shouldn’t love. He met her in Garnet, a backwards, hick town that’s the last place in the world he wants to be, but he finds himself going back, all for a taste of the forbidden.

Katie represents all that is good in the world, and Marcos knows he’s nothing but trouble for her perfect life. He fights and he screws. He commits crimes and he breaks the rules. He will never change and he will never escape his gang lifestyle.

Or can he?

What happens when two different people from two very different walks of life risk it all by giving into the passion that threatens to consume both of them? Can a woman who only knows how to play it safe give her heart to a man who lives hard and loves harder?

Can she survive The Viper?


The Slayer (Untamed Hearts Book 2) 
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To Chuito the apartment was a self-imposed prison for a lifetime of sins. To Alaine, the girl next door, it was salvation from her overbearing, religious father.

He was a devil.
She was an angel.

Two people who should’ve never met, let alone become friends, but it’s not until they give into the dangerous passion that’s been simmering under the surface for five years that things go to hell.

On the outside, Chuito ‘The Slayer’ Garcia is on top of the world. He’s successful. He’s wealthy. He’s a champion MMA fighter surrounded by friends who support him, but they don’t know what he was before he came to Garnet.

A gangster.
A thief.
An addict.
A murderer.

Now his past is churning up demons he can’t ignore. Chuito knows he needs to go back to Miami to end it, but there’s something holding him back, a single temptation he can’t resist before leaving.

Alaine.

She’s the one drug he can’t give up…even if it destroys them both.

“To me you’re coke. Fine. Smooth. Perfectly white. Very bad for me, but so fucking sexy I don’t give a shit. It’s worth going down for.” – Chuito Garcia




Haven’t read Battered Hearts yet? Book 1 is now only $.99 or free on KU! 
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Defying the Odds (Battered Hearts Book 1)
Star Crossed (Battered Hearts Book 2)
Crossing The Line (Battered Hearts Book 3)


About Kele Moon 
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A freckle-faced redhead born and raised in Hawaii, Kele Moon has always been a bit of a sore thumb and has come to enjoy the novelty of it. She thrives on pushing the envelope and finding ways to make the impossible work in her story telling. With a mad passion for romance, she adores the art of falling in love. The only rules she believes in is that, in love, there are no rules and true love knows no bounds. So obsessed is she with the beauty of romance and the novelty of creating it, she’s lost in her own wonder world most of the time. Thankfully she married her own dark, handsome, brooding hero who has infinite patience for her airy ways and attempts to keep her grounded. When she leaves her keys in the refrigerator or her cell phone in the oven, he’s usually there to save her from herself. The two of them now reside in Florida with their three beautiful children, who make their lives both fun and challenging in equal parts—they wouldn’t have it any other way. 
  Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | Spotify | Goodreads | Amazon  


Giveaway

Tour spots
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REVIEW

The Enforcer (Untamed Hearts, #3)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I could never ever do this book justice with my review. The Enforcer is definitely the best I’ve read this year, maybe the best in years. I don’t know when I have ever been so hung over. I’m devastated that I reached the end of the novel. I’d give a great deal to be able to unread it and read it for the first time again, and I will absolutely be rereading this story. Those pitiful and strong Moretti boys totally owned my heart while I devoured the pages, and they still own it.
Children born to mistresses of made men are considered lower than dirt. After the death of their mother, Nova and Tino fall under the care of their big brother Romeo. Life isn’t wonderful, but the three of them are managing to scrape by and maintain a loving home. Everything changes when their father learns that Nova is a genius. Fourteen-year-old Nova becomes their father’s yes-man because he uses twelve-year-old Tino as his whipping boy in order to make Nova toe the line.
Tino is the sweetest, most beautiful person. He tries to always please others and make them feel good about themselves despite the horrible reality of much of his life. He is physically, emotionally and sexually abused. He’s forced to deal and murder. Despite all of this, he never looses his loving nature.
This story is running over with feelings. It has loads of sadness topped with epically endearing moments. There’s plenty of humor and cuteness, and of course it has the sexy and romantic covered. The Enforcer has it all. Readers get to know the boys and the men. Oh, my heart, this truly, truly is a must read.
Also, I think the author really did her homework on the ins and outs of organized crime. It really makes everything more interesting.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***

FGMAMTC 

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents 

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Moment of Clarity by Karen Stivali Blog Tour Review


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The last installment of Karen Stivali’s Moments in Time series, Moment of Clarity, has just been released. At the same time, the paperback Moments in Time that contains all three novellas in the series has also been published!


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Title: Moment of Clarity

Author: Karen Stivali

Length: novella

Genre: gay romance, contemporary, new adult, college.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


Synopsis

Spending the summer together on Fire Island brought Collin and Tanner closer than ever, but back in their conservative college town, challenges confront them at every turn.  


As they search for their new normal in their old environment, Collin’s brother Sean surprises them with help when they need it most. But when word about their relationship gets out, trouble erupts with friends and family. When Collin’s relationship with Tanner becomes an issue in his brother’s custody battle and Tanner struggles with his feelings for a heartbroken Wendy, Collin wonders if everyone he cares about would be better off without him in the picture. 


In order to save them both, Tanner must make it clear to Collin that their love for each other is all that matters.


EXCERPT

Between classes, my work at Gino’s, Tanner’s shifts at the bookstore, and commuting back and forth to Sean’s house, Tanner and I were busier than we’d ever been. I always knew it was more convenient to live on campus, but I had no idea what a hassle it was to make the added drive daily. By the time we got to Sean’s, had dinner, spent time with the girls, and did some studying, we were exhausted.

I hadn’t touched Tanner for yet another week, and I didn’t think I’d last the day without changing that. Tanner must have felt the same. I’d seen the looks he’d been throwing me, particularly the night before while we were watching a movie together, but I wasn’t about to do anything with Sean and the kids in the house. I didn’t care that the doors locked. It didn’t feel right. And I didn’t trust either of us to be quiet enough. Especially since it had been so long.

Sean handed me the last dirty dish to load into the dishwasher while Tanner put the juice and milk in the fridge.

“I’m gonna run to the grocery store while the kids are at preschool. Any requests?” Sean asked, grabbing his wallet off the counter and shoving it in his pocket.

“If you get a can of crushed tomatoes and some spaghetti, I’ll cook.”
“Thanks. The kids loved that the other night. Anything else?”
I tried to think but couldn’t. All that registered in my brain was that Sean was going out. Tanner and I would be alone in the house. My cock was totally onboard with this thought and already looking for an escape plan from my pants.
“I think that’ll do it. Tanner, you need anything?”
Tanner looked up from wiping off the kitchen tables. His pupils were huge. I knew that look. I loved that look. He was thinking the same thing I was. My cock twitched in anticipation.
“I’m good,” Tanner said, tossing the rag on the counter.
“Okay, then.” Sean headed for the door. “It’s my turn to drive carpool home, so I’ll probably take the kids to Mickey D’s for happy meals. Lock up if you both leave, okay?”
“Sure.” My heart raced as I watched Sean trot down the back porch steps. I held my breath, listening as the car door slammed, the engine revved, and the tires crunched down the gravel driveway.
I turned to look at Tanner, but before I could even focus my eyes, he was on me. Hands on either side of my face, body pressed up against mine, lips prying mine open, tongue—oh, God, I’d missed that tongue—swirling in circles with mine.
Groaning, I grabbed his ass and tugged him closer. I needed to feel as much of him as possible. All of him. Immediately, if not sooner.
EXCERPT TWO – MOMENT OF CLARITY – STIVALI
It took me four hours to finish writing my paper, probably in part because I kept stopping to check my phone. I’d been hoping for an update from Sean even though I knew that wasn’t likely. It was the weekend, and any more info from his lawyer probably wouldn’t arrive until Monday. I also kept thinking maybe we’d hear something from Housing, but so far, silence.
After I’d saved my document, I went in search of Tanner. He’d finished his work an hour earlier and said he’d be reading in one of the lounges. I found him in one of the alcoves, sprawled on a big couch under one of the heavily leaded windows. An open book lay tented on his chest—Dostoevsky’s short stories. His eyes were closed, those thick black lashes casting shadows on his cheekbones.
I approached slowly, wanting the time to keep looking. Tanner hadn’t had a haircut in weeks. Silky dark bangs fell across his forehead, begging for my fingers to sweep them off his face. Perfect lips, ever so slightly parted, looking desperately in need of a kiss. My gaze passed lower, taking in his long strong fingers as they rested on the book, his narrow waist, slim hips. I struggled to swallow. My cock enjoyed the show with me, not so silently encouraging me to climb on top of Tanner, toss that book aside, grind against him….
Tanner’s eyelids fluttered open, and he shook his head, craning his neck to look around. He yawned and stretched as he sat up. “What time is it?”
“Little after ten.” I sat next to him, needing to be close to him. He smelled warm and sweet. I breathed in, taking in as much of his scent as possible. God, I missed that. Sleeping apart for two weeks had me waking in the middle of the night craving him—his touch, his smell, his taste—all of him.
My thigh knocked into his, and he pressed back against me. “You wanna get out of here?”
I nodded, wanting to be anywhere as long as he was there too.
A light rain had started to fall, so we half jogged to the Towers.
“What do you suppose is going on in Wendy’s room?” I asked as we rode the elevator.
Tanner brushed rain droplets off his backpack. The elevator dinged and opened. “Guess we’re about to find out.”
Wendy’s door was open. Music and voices filled the hallway, and as we approached the room, a purple bra came flying out, followed by the sound of drunken laughter and cheering.
Tanner caught the elevator door just before it closed. “What do you say we go for a drive instead?”
“I say that’s the best offer I’ve had in weeks.”

Buy Links





Moments in Time – Series Paperback

Contains books 1, 2, and 3 – Moment of Impact, Moment of Truth, and Moment of Clarity.




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Haven’t read books 1 and 2? Then hurry up as Moment of Impact and Moment of Truth will be on sale for 99 cents for a limited time (May 5 -18).


Moment of Impact

Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who’d disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner’s not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.


Buy Moment of Impact


Moment of Truth

Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he’s living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being “out” takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.


Buy Moment of Truth



Want more? Moment of Silence and Moment of Fate, featuring secondary characters in Collin and Tanner’s story, will be released in late 2015 and early 2016.


About the author

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. Her lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life. 
When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:





REVIEW

Moment Of Clarity (Moments In Time #3)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this series. These two worked their way into my heart. They started out so clueless and have slowly figured things out as they go along. Through all the hardships and heartaches, they continue to be there for each other, and their love grows. I love their youth, inexperience and excitement in life.
This installment is more of them having to prove to the world how real their feelings are and endure more abuse. They’re both such great guys, my heart hurt for them during this journey.
Moment of Clarity was a great way to wrap up the Moments in Time novella series.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


toni


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Spark by Erin Noelle Blog Tour Review

Title: Spark 

Author: Erin Noelle 

Genre: Mature New Adult 

Release Date: April 20

Spark-FOR-WEB  

synopsis  I’m failing. My younger brother is getting worse, and my job – my duty – is to help him at all costs. We’ve tried everything modern medicine has to offer and nothing works. Nothing. Deciding to turn to unconventional treatments, we end up at Fire-on-the-Mountain, a holistic resort deep in the Rockies. In our search for medical marijuana, I find beautiful, free-spirited Hudson Shavell – a girl who may not only hold the key to heal my brother, but to fix me as well. Even though I can’t afford distractions right now, she’s all I can think about. All that I want. It’s funny how everything can change with one little SPARK.

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♬ •♩ ·.·´¯`·.·♭•♪ SPARK PLAYLIST ♪ •♭·.·´¯`·.·♩ •♬
 
excerpt

Hudson “Hudson, it’s your night to set the table,” my mom shouts down the hallway to where I’m hiding out in my room, puffing on my one-hitter while watching Pitch Perfect for the umpteenth time. “Lasagna will be ready in ten minutes. It’s just us tonight.” Groaning, I reluctantly roll off the solid white comforter thrown haphazardly atop my bed until my toes squish into the soft carpet—shag, of course. Then, trudging my way to the kitchen, where my mom and Grams are putting the final touches on dinner, I grab the plates, silverware, and napkins for everyone. Dinnertime with my family, even when it doesn’t include all of the resort’s guests, is certifiably insane. Even though my older sisters flew the coop, they keep showing up at meal times, claiming they miss us, but I know they’re just here for the free meal. Scavengers. Thankfully, tonight’s not one of those nights. I’m not in the mood for their twenty questions about how the date with Beckham went, especially when the flavor of Crew’s lips is still fresh on mine. Not to mention, I’m positive my mom or dad will be sure to ask for the most inappropriate details within the first five minutes of us all sitting down. One of the major downfalls of having unconventional, free-spirited parents who preach peace, love, and rock and roll is having the most awkward, cringe-worthy conversations with them. “Thank you, sweetie.” Mel kisses me on the cheek when I walk by. “When you’re finished, can you tell your dad and Denver that the food’s ready? They’re outside chopping wood for the cold front moving through tomorrow.” “Yeppers. Is it finally gonna snow?” I ask, passing under the arched doorway that leads into our spacious dining room. “That’s what the weather guessers are claiming, at least,” she replies distrustfully, then adds, “Let the girls know it’s time too, please.” Ever since I can remember, we’ve always eaten dinner together at the table, a time to share about our day and stay connected as a family. When my mom says it’s time for dinner, unless we’re sick in bed or have other special plans that have been previously approved, our butts better be in our chairs, ready to participate in the conversation. This has never really bothered me, because before today, I’ve never had anything exciting to talk about, and now that I do, I don’t much feel like it. For once, I want something to be all mine. After I quickly set the table, I call upstairs for Cheyenne and Brighton to come down before alerting Doug and my little brother that it’s time to head inside. I haven’t changed out of my clothes from earlier, wanting to hang on to the faint trace of Crew’s cologne lingering in my plaid flannel shirt, so before everyone else joins me at the table, I take a quick sniff of it and allow a giddy giggle to escape, still a little uncertain about what what happened earlier means. “Yes, you need a shower, and no, it’s not funny.” Cheyenne startles me as she comes up from behind, making me jump several inches in my seat. She plops down next to me and crinkles her nose up like something stinks. “You always smell like outside…earthy; it’s no wonder you never have boyfriends.” “Leave her alone, Chey,” Doug scolds as the rest of the family filters in, everyone taking their usual seat. “She had a date just last night, which I’m sure she’s dying to tell us all about. Aren’t you, Hudson?” I squirm uncomfortably in my chair, hoping no one is paying much attention, since they’re all busy piling their plates full of Italian deliciousness. Several minutes pass without another mention of it, but as soon as everyone has served themselves and settled with their food in front of them, the topic is approached again. “Now, we’re all ears, Hudson. Tell us about last night. When are you seeing him again?” Mel asks eagerly. All eyes are locked on me, everyone waiting for me to divulge into some sensational story of heated passion. Setting my fork down on the edge of my plate, I take a drink of water and clear my throat. “I’m not sure I’ll be going out with Beckham again,” I mumble apprehensively, twisting a napkin in my lap. “The date was pretty bland, and I think we’re just better off as friends.” “Oh, honey, what happened? Were you embarrassed to see him afterwards at school today?” Mel’s expression quickly morphs into one of disappointment and pity. “If so, that’s totally normal. Don’t think he’s gonna go around telling his friends what you were like in bed, ‘cause that’s just a myth. Guys really aren’t like that.” “Yes, we are,” Doug interjects, “but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Be proud you were good enough that he wanted to gloat. I tell all my friends how incredible Mel is in the sack.” What in the hell? “There’s nothing for him to talk about! We didn’t have sex! He took me to a movie, then brought me home and kissed me goodnight. That was it,” I insist, trying not to make eye contact with anyone while ignoring the snickers from my sisters. “Why not? Did you tell him you weren’t interested?” Mel inquires. Tossing my napkin down on the table, I shout, “No! He didn’t ask if I was interested or not, but if he would’ve, my answer would’ve been no!” I pause to take a deep breath then lower my voice to a calmer octave. “After hanging out together, I just wasn’t feeling it. It was like going out with Denver…there was no spark between us.” No one says a word for what seems like an eternity until Grams chimes in. “Did you feel a spark when you were making out with that cute boy in front of cabin eight this afternoon?” Somebody, please shoot me now. All hell breaks loose at the table as everyone’s shouting different things at me…everyone but Grams, who’s curiously silent again, sitting directly across the table from me, wearing a smug smile like she just won the damn lottery. “Enough! That’s enough!” Doug stands up and bangs his spoon on the table like a judge with a gavel, demanding the courtroom’s attention. Once it’s quiet, he falls back into his chair and slides his eyes over to me. “Hudson, please enlighten us on what Grams is talking about. Is it true?” Fidgeting like a guilty defendant on a witness stand, I shake my head no, but murmur, “Maybe.” More pandemonium ensues, mostly coming from Cheyenne and Brighton, who are arguing they already claimed him and that life isn’t fair. Annoyed that my sisters are trying to make this about them, this time it’s me who jumps out of my seat to get everyone’s attention. “Stop it! All of you! Just stop being so weird!” I scream, my control teetering. They all shut up and stare at me in amazement. I never lose my cool, like never ever, and this is the second time I’ve yelled in less than ten minutes. Shaking my head, I drop my chin to my chest and take several deep breaths. “Look, Beckham is a nice guy, but we’re just gonna be friends, because that’s all I want from him.” I stop and peer up at everyone, ensuring they’re paying attention before continuing, “I don’t know anything about Crew Elliott other than I met him last night, then saw him again this morning, and I felt something different. Call it a spark, an attraction, whatever you want, but it was definitely more than I’ve ever felt around another guy.” “But, sweetie,” my dad interrupts, “they’re only visiting. He’ll be gone next weekend.” “No, they’re actually moving here. Mary, the mom, had a job interview today, and they went looking for a place to live this afternoon,” I clarify as I sit back down. “The younger son, Caleb, has epilepsy, and they haven’t had any luck with the traditional drugs and treatments, so they’re moving here in hopes that medical marijuana can help with his seizures and migraines.” Both of my parents’ eyes fill with compassion as I go into detail about the family’s situation, and I know instantly that no matter what happens between me and Crew—even if it’s nothing at all—they’ll want to assist in any way possible. I explain how I researched the strains and took some samples of our stuff over to the cabin this evening, in order for Caleb to hopefully get some relief while they’re getting settled here. “You know we’ll do whatever we can, Hudson,” Mel says sincerely, glancing around the table. “All of us…anything they need. I can’t even imagine what that poor woman’s going through. We’ve been so blessed to have healthy kids.” Nodding appreciatively at my mom and dad, I relax momentarily, thinking the craziness has passed, but the second I pick my fork up, ready to finally dig into the now-cool meal in front of me, Cheyenne opens her big mouth. “What does any of this have to do with you kissing Crew today?” she snaps, obviously still bothered by the thought. However, rather than blowing up again or telling her to mind her own business, I simply flash a sugary-sweet smile in her direction and say, “Girls who smell like dirt must do it for him.”

   
  trailer

author bio 
erin noelle   Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History at the University of Houston, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child. A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels. Her titles published include the Book Boyfriend Series, the Dusk ‘Til Dawn Series, Translucent, Conspire — co-authored with SE Hall, Surviving Us, and MILF: Wrong Kind of Love. Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100.

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REVIEW

Spark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I wanted to read this because I thought it would be unique with the weed angle. I’m not really caught up in the marijuana debate so I’m not even going to touch that. I will say that if someone is strongly anti-marijuana this probably isn’t a story for you. There is both medical and recreational usage and talk throughout the story. The author also has note at the end with discussion on the topic.
Crew is newly graduated. He’s the oldest son and lives with his single mom and brother. His brother, Caleb, has a severe form of epilepsy. After exhausting all efforts with traditional and experimental medicines available with no results, the three move to Colorado in search of help in the form of medical marijuana. When they first arrive, they happen to be staying on the property of a family of growers/sellers/users.
Family is a major part of the plot. The Shavell’s have a whole hippy vibe going on. They have several kids. They all work together and are very close. The extended family is also very close, uncles, grandmother, etc. The Shavell’s, especially Hudson, are givers. They immediately try to help Crew’s family. Crew is a wonderful big brother. Caleb’s personality makes everyone fall for him. They all fit in together perfectly. Hudson and Crew have an attraction that cannot be denied, but it is tested.
Sometimes while reading I was expecting one of those mixups that get blown way out of proportion so I was preparing to roll my eyes. Thankfully, it didn’t go down quite that way. Major mistakes and bad things and sad things do happen, but they didn’t make me dislike the characters for it. The reactions and results felt true to life.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


toni


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The Consequence of Loving Colton by Rachel Van Dyken Blog Tour Review






RELEASE DATE: APRIL 21, 2015





It’s all fun and games…until someone’s heart is broken.

They’re not kids anymore, but Milo Caro is certain that Colton Mathews will only see her as his best friend’s little sister for the rest of their lives. After all, he made that clear the night before she left for college. But four years later, her brother is getting married and Colt’s the best man—and guess who is the best man’s last-minute date?

Milo vows to use the wedding to either claim the smoldering firefighter’s heart or douse this torch for good. When Max—her best friend from college, who may be carrying a torch of his own—crashes the party, they devise a plan to make Colt see what he’s missing. But after Colt catches on, he decides to cook up his own revenge.


Now it’s personal. Colt and Milo are at war, and between Max’s questionable acting methods, an unfortunate trip to jail, and a maniacal fiancée, what could possibly go right?








I slept like crap all night—proving my point again. All men should burn in hell. I switched between nightmares of Colton’s rejection and dreams of Max riding in to rescue me on a giant-ass aloe vera plant.

Groaning, I tossed and turned, finally falling into a deep sleep around two a.m.
“Fire!” A voice penetrated my dreams. “Fire! Wake up!”
I jolted out of my bed to see Max sitting calmly at the end. He had two Starbucks cups in hand and was sporting a pair of black skinny jeans, a blue V-neck T-shirt, and a smile that looked like it belonged on the cover of GQ.
“Hey, you’re awake.” His grin widened.
“Yeah, weird, I thought there was a fire.”
He handed me the coffee. “There is. In your pants.”
“Pardon?”
“Because you’re a liar.” He patted my leg and shook his head. “Do I even want to know how this happened? Or was it the usual?”
“Usual?” My voice was gravelly, I took a large sip of coffee—it did wonders for my mood.
“Yeah, the usual Milo freak-out where you speak before you think. Typically involves lots of cursing, yelling, sometimes a fight breaks out, and I always end up having to fix it.”
My face burned.
Max nodded. “The usual, then. Gotcha.”
“Why are you here? What time is it?”
“Five a.m.,” he answered. “Your mom’s a fox, by the way, I swear she checked my ass out twice as I walked up the stairs.”
“She did not.”
“Your dad did the same. Ten bucks says your mom asks where I got my jeans and buys him a pair—oh, and by the way, you owe me big. I finally asked out the Starbucks girl and had to cancel our date on account that my other girlfriend”—his eyes narrowed—“had an emergency.”
I winced. “Please tell me you didn’t explain it that way to her.”
“Course not. I said my asthmatic little sister had an attack and almost died screaming my name . . .”
“You don’t have a sister.”
“Little Maddie’s screams were so loud, all she wanted was her big brother Max.”
“Who’s Maddie?”

“And I can’t deny her the one thing she wants in life, the one thing that makes her go on living.” Max wiped a fake tear. “I’m a broken man, Milo, and sisters are more important than dates.”

“I’m sure she was understanding.”
Max grinned. “You could say that.”
“Gross.”


“What?” He held up his hands. “I’m a guy. Just because you labeled me your gay friend freshman year does not actually make it true.”





Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.


She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at 
www.rachelvandykenauthor.com






REVIEW

The Consequence of Loving Colton (Consequence, #1)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have liked other books from this author so I wanted to give this one a try. The premise is girl has loved her big brother’s best friend for years, but he’s always treated her like a little sister. I was expecting a sweet new adult with lite humor and lots of cuteness. It did start out this way. It felt similar to several novels dealing with childhood crushes and being all grown up now. I was liking it, but I wasn’t amazed. Then, wham, it goes crazy with the funny.
Milo is home from college to attend Jason’s (her brother) wedding. Of course Colt (her brother’s best friend and her life-long crush) is there. The three of them were their own little gang growing up before feelings got in the way. After making a move on Colt and being shut down, she is trying to keep her distance. To save her pride, she accidentally says Max (her best friend) is her boyfriend. Max shows up to help with the wedding and operation win Colton. Oh, and everyone hates the bride-to-be.
At this point, everything just starts snowballing. There’s beaucoup physical/slapstick comedy, hilarity overload. Some of the characters are walking disasters and others need full protective armor. Every person in the story has a different personality. They all work so well together. Some are ridiculously silly and others more deadpan. ‘Hell in a hand basket’ is an accurate description for this wedding party. Oh, and the character comedy like Grandma, bwahahaha. I don’t know which persona in this story I love the most. So much giggle-factor. Seriously, I didn’t know if I would ever finish because I would read a couple lines then wheeze-laugh, read a couple lines then wheeze-laugh. . .
The romance and endearing parts are present also, some declarations that make you go awww. It actually has a few really wise and profound statements about love and time too. The analogy the mom makes with breathing and love is a great one.
I’m 100% glad that I took the time to read it. If you’re looking for something serious or erotic this probably isn’t it. If you’re looking for some laughs in your life, you’ve found it.
“All in all I think the weekend went pretty good. We should do this again sometime.”

4.5 stars



***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


toni


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Moment of Truth by Karen Stivali Release Day Review




MomentofTruth cover


Title: Moment of Truth (Book 2 of the Moments In Time Series)

Author: Karen Stivali

Length:  33,000 words / 140 pages (novella)

Genre: New Adult, contemporary romance, gay romance, M/M

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


Synopsis

Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he’s living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being “out” takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all. 

Buy Moment of Impact

About the author

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. Her lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life. 
When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:




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Haven’t read book 1 yet? It’s on sale for 99 cents until March 7th!

Moment of Impact

Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who’d disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner’s not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.


Buy Moment of Impact

REVIEW

Moment of Truth (Moments In Time #2)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was really impressed with book one, and book two is even better. This series is about two young men starting out a relationship in college. Book one was all about sneaky discovery. Book two follows them as they navigate the ups and downs, the awkward moments and the ohmigod revelations.
I’m crazy about these boys. They are both super sweet and so green. The reader gets to figure things out with them as they go. I’m not a gay man so I don’t have first hand knowledge, but to me as a reader, it feels so honest. Their reactions, hesitancies and experimentations feel so real. I ‘went there’ with Collin and Tanner. And it made me über jealous at times. *wink*
At the end of book one, a huge milestone is met. It’s the same with two. They came so far and conquered so many fears. I’m eager to see where they’re heading (waiting impatiently for the next book).
My overall impression is that it was romantic and sexy and hell. I wanted to give out a few backhands to some of the cast, but I loved it, and I firmly recommend to the M/M lovers.
4.5 stars





***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


toni


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Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez Blog Tour Review



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Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it’s the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?
I’ve always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine.  I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn’t a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.
You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.
They both happened anyway.
Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.
Fighting for her.
Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

I think that’s the sound I’ll miss the most.


Meet Till & Eliza in Aly Martinez’s newest fighter series!
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NOW AVAILABLE


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Excerpt
“Hi.” I stood up off the bed as he started climbing through the window.
His eyes went wide when he saw me, causing him to momentarily lose his balance on the windowsill and go crashing to the floor. “God. Damn,” he cursed as he rose to his feet while taking in my new wardrobe. “You… I…um…” His hand went to his lip.
He was rooted in place only a few steps away, but his eyes traveled over every inch of my body and back again.
Till was speechless. I had never felt so empowered in my life.
“Are you okay?” I feigned concern as I slowly approached.
“Not even close,” he told my breasts, making me giggle.
After sliding a hand under the edge of his T-shirt, I raked a fingernail over each of his abs before dipping it into the waistband of his jeans.
“I’m sore today,” I announced, closing the distance between us. My breasts were pressed against him, but he still hadn’t even attempted to touch me yet. I had plans to remedy that. I smirked then stood up on my tiptoes, kissing the base of his neck. “Make me sore for tomorrow too.” At the last second, I darted my tongue out to the hollow dip at the base of his neck. It was meant to tease him, but as the taste of his skin hit my tongue, I was flooded with memories of taking more of him in my mouth. The moan escaped before I’d even felt it coming.
A loud rumble shook his chest, but that was the only warning I received. Suddenly, I was off my feet and sailing through the air. Just as I landed on the bed, Till crashed on top of me. His mouth roughly landed on mine.
“Tell me we can’t do this again,” he demanded as his hands found my breasts.
“We’re definitely doing this again.” I arched into him.
“It’s gonna get so messy, Eliza. Please.” He groaned as I reached into the front of his jeans.
“I’m okay with messy,” I breathed, guiding his hand from my breast and into my panties.
“Fuuuuuck” he cursed when he discovered just how thorough I’d been with the razor earlier. His finger pressed inside me as his body traveled down the bed and settled between my legs, stripping my panties off during his descent.
He added another finger in a less than gentle but overwhelmingly intoxicating, rhythm.
“Tell me to stop, Eliza. We can’t do this again.” He grazed his teeth on the inside of my thigh.
“We’re already doing it.”
“Tell me to stop.”
“No.”
“It’s going to ruin us.”
“If you don’t stop talking, you’re going to ruin this.”
“I’m serious.” He kissed the inside of my other thigh, his fingers never faltering in their steady pace.
“So am I. Stop trying to talk yourself out of this while your fingers are buried inside me.” I threaded a hand into his hair and gave it a gentle tug.
“Goddammit. Tell me to stop!” he demanded one last time, but his fingers sped before twisting in the most delicious way.
I decided to give him what he wanted, but only because I knew he wouldn’t follow through.
“Stop.” I rolled my hips forcing him even deeper.
“Well, it’s too fucking late now.”
I would have laughed, but his mouth sealed over my clit and stole my breath, words, thoughts, and orgasm. My body shook as he pushed me higher even while I was falling. It shouldn’t have worked like that, but whatever voodoo magic Till Page was working with that night was all right with me. He didn’t stop swirling his tongue until I used his hair to pry his mouth away.
“Too much!” I cried.
He looked up with a wickedly proud grin. His hand disappeared, and seconds later, his cock replaced it.


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About the Author:
Aly Martinez
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Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.


GIVEAWAY
$50 AMAZON GIFT CARD  (2 Winners)


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REVIEW

Fighting Silence (On the Ropes, #1)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This story has it all— awesome fighting (I lurve me a fighter), tragedy, romance, action, sweetness. It’s freaking outstanding!
Till Page and Eliza Reynolds are forgotten kids, the ones that slip through the cracks because no grown up loves them. While trying to escape their realities, they happen to meet. The meeting changes the course of both of their lives. They become each other’s person. For people who have never had someone in their corner, it’s like stepping from the darkness into the light. The loneliness is removed. For both life continues to be a struggle, but they know they have the other to lean on.
The story follows them through being teens, adults, friends, lovers and things in between. I fell for both characters. Their personalities are perfect. *Alert* Nothing is annoying. They are salt of the Earth people. Life dumps so much on them and especially at such young ages, but they keep plodding along. The ups and downs are tremendous.
The writing is exceptional. It has the most heartfelt moments, the sad tears, the happy tears, the sexy, the touching…and much more rolled in. Just thinking about the playfulness between the leads and the family aspect with them and the side characters makes me feel so sentimental. I’m still invested in the story. It really ‘took me there.’ If these people were real, I could just sit around and watch them all day.
I could ramble on and on about my passion for this book, but I won’t. And I’m not giving away any more details on it either. This story needs to be experienced without any spoilers. Every reader needs the full intensity.
I am ardently waiting for the next book.
I hated seeing those faces. I might have only been in love with one Page man, but I absolutely loved all of the Page boys.




***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


toni


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Bright Fire by MJ Austin Blog Tour Review

Bright Fire

MJ Austin

YA Fantasy

Synopsis
Delfia thought she was a normal girl about to turn sixteen until her adoptive parents are murdered by creatures from the underworld. Her life gets thrown into chaos as she teams up with her best friend, a strange guy, and a prophetess. 
She soon discovers her biological father, Hades, ordered the attack on her and her family because a prophecy names her as the one to take him down. She must first complete a set of tasks to free Persephone, her mother, from the underworld and defeat Hades. 
Will she be reunited with her mother or will she get sucked into the underworld?
*Book is geared towards readers that liked Percy Jackson Series, Need Series, etc.*

Excerpt

As I’m standing outside the school waiting for my mom to pick me up, I feel a tap on my shoulder. I jump a little, what was wrong with me today? I turn around to see who’s trying to get my attention and meet the gray eyes of Alec Hales for the second time today. He’s never given me a passing glance before and now he seems intent on getting my attention. What does he want with me?

“What?”That catches him off guard as he takes a step back. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t expecting such a snippy greeting. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to snap at you. I’ve been having a rough day.” Why was I telling him this?

“I’m sorry if I freaked you out earlier with the whole staring thing.” He rubs the back of his neck. “I was just wondering if maybe you… Never mind.” He composes himself and just as he’s about to say something else; my mother pulls up and honks.

“Sorry, I gotta go,” I run off grateful to get out from under his stare.
“What was that about?” my mother asks as I shut the car door.

“I’m not sure.”

“What do you mean?”
“He was just acting super strange. It seemed like he wanted to tell me something but then stopped.” I shrug. Although, I don’t really know him well enough to say that this isn’t his normal behavior.

She turned on the blinker and pulled out of the parking lane. “Oh.”

I have a feeling there’s an undercurrent beneath that response, but I don’t know what it is.

“How was school?”

“The usual, I had a Chem test today, which I am sure I passed.”

“With flying colors,” she smiles turns on the blinker and pulls out of the school parking lot.

#

“Are those my two favorite girls in the world?” my dad asks as we walk through the door.
“Nope, we’re robbers here to steal all your stuff.” I slide my coat off and hang it on the rack.
I see my dad shuffling papers at his desk in the study. He smiles at me, “Well..my daughter won’t be too happy if you steal all her birthday presents.”
“Haha, very funny.” I grin at him.
“How was school?” He goes back to shuffling his papers.
“Strange.” I crinkle my nose at the memory.
“Yeah, why’s that?”
“This boy was acting weird and staring at me.”
“What’s his name? Do you want me to talk to his parents?”
I laugh a little, “Dad, that would be embarrassing. Besides I have to learn to handle this stuff on my own. Isn’t that what child psychiatrists say? I’ll just do my best to ignore Alec.”
His head snaps up and he drops his papers on his desk. “Alec? Alec Hales?”
“Yeah, how’d you know?”
“Just a guess, I’ve seen him working at the grocery store . He’s a good kid, you should give him a chance.”
A chance for what? “Ooook then. I’m going upstairs to do my homework. What time is dinner?”
“7 o’clock sharp. Don’t be late, or I won’t leave you any food.” he winks at me, but something about his attitude is different. I may not have ever had a boyfriend, but I’ve talked about boys before. It’s like now that I’m turning sixteen they’re finally realizing I may be girlfriend material.
“Love you, dad.” I turn towards the stairs and head to my room.
I start thinking about Lyla’s comment earlier. Sure they were becoming more intense as she pointed out, but they must have a good reason. My parents adopted me when I was born and they never hid it from me. We’ve always had an open and honest relationship, and I trust them. If they feel like they need to be over protective, then they have their reasons.
I drop my bag on my bed and pull out my homework.

#

After all my homework is done I figure I have some free time, so I decide to take a shower. I’m probably the luckiest teen on the planet to have my own bathroom. More than anything I want to just sit and relax in the Jacuzzi tub, but then I would be late to dinner. So I opt for a shower instead. I wash up slowly, reluctant to step out of the shower and leave the blissful heat.
I dry off and pull on some clothes just as I hear my mother yelling, “Delfia Marie Stryker!” Uh oh, the use of my full name, not a good sign.
“Yes, mom?” I’m trying to remember if I forgot to take out the trash this morning? I’m pretty sure I did.
She pokes her head through my door, “Just want you to know I love you.” She smiles, “Oh and dinner will be ready in 10 minutes.” She chuckles at my reaction, knowing she had me scared for a minute.
I haven’t seen this side of her in a while. With the way she and dad have been acting lately, you would think the war was coming. They are extra cautious when driving; they check all the locks on the doors and windows, and while they love Lyla they are even giving me grief about spending time at her house. Even though I trust them, I just wish they would explain to me why they are acting like drill sergeants.
I head down the stairs slowly taking in the scene. There are ‘Happy Birthday’ banners and streamers everywhere. It’s a little toddler-esque, but it still makes me smile. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven as I walk into the kitchen. The smells coming from that general direction are making my mouth water and my stomach grumble. I can tell what is there before I make it to the dining room. They’ve made all of my favorites: pot roast, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, cheesecake and pumpkin pie.
“Holy moly, are we feeding an army? What’s the occasion?” I say all blasé like.
I start to sit in my usual chair on dad’s right side, but he gently grabs my arm to stop me. “No, no, not tonight birthday girl. You get to sit at the head of the table.”
I flush; they’re going to extravagant measures to make me feel special on my birthday, “Aww, guys! You really didn’t have to do all this.”
“Sure we did. Our only daughter will only turn 16 once,” she smiles but it doesn’t reach her eyes. I guess my growing up is hard for her. After all, college is only two short years away.
“Just so you know, most of this is mine, I am absolutely famished after spending all day on the spreadsheets for the Myers’ account.” My dad is staring at the food rubbing his stomach. My parents are accountants. Average; I know, but it pays for the Jacuzzi I have, so I don’t judge.
“Yeah, yeah. You try acing a Chem test, when your lab partner sleeps through the semester.”
“Oh now, I’m sure you did great.”
“Well… as a reward for acing this test, maybe you can let me get a license like every other 16-year-old on the planet.”
My mom gives me a reproachful look. “Dell, we only want what’s best for you.” Which translates to ‘never gonna happen’.
I suck in a breath, getting ready to argue my side when my dad cuts in. “Now ladies, let’s not let this feast go to waste. How about we eat?”
We both mumble OK, but there is no way I’m letting this one go. I pile my plate with doubles of everything. I’m not sure I can eat it all, but it’s just too delicious to pass up. I tune out my parent’s small talk as I savor every bite of my food. All of a sudden, I start thinking about Alec. It all just seemed so bizarre. The creepy feeling, the way he just stared, and how he was not even embarrassed when he was caught. I wonder what he was going to tell me before he changed his mind.
“Earth to Dell!” My father’s voice pulls me out of my train of thought.
“Huh?”
“I asked if you are doing anything special for binge night with Lyla this weekend? Are you feeling OK?” He studies my face, his full of concern
“Yeah. I’m sorry; I’ve got a lot on my mind. Lyla mentioned something, but we never got to officially plan anything. I’ll find out tomorrow.”
“OK, just remember—”
I cut him off, “Don’t to stay out too late and call to check in.”
He grins a little and then turns serious, “I know you think we are being too hard on you, but we do this for your own good. The real world is a scary place for someone like you, and it is our job to protect you.”
“Wait, what?” that got my attention, “What do you mean someone like me?”
He hesitates for a just a second, but it is enough to make alarm bells go off in my brain. “I just mean a young lady.” His glance shifts to my mother for a brief second, but I notice it.
“Is there something you aren’t telling me?”
“Can you go into the basement and grab one of the jars of jam? I think I want to try it on this delicious looking cheesecake.” He keeps a straight face when looking at me but I can see a faint trace of something resembling worry behind his eyes.
“Uh, sure.” Obviously they want to be alone to discuss something they think I am too young to hear. Whenever they used to disagree on something they would send me off on a task so I wouldn’t overhear. I get up and head into the basement.
I stop at the door and listen. I know eavesdropping is childish but they are obviously hiding something from me.
“Molly, we should tell her.”
“James, now is not the time. It’s her birthday, we should wait until she can understand. Until she is more prepared.”
“She’s stronger than you give her credit for and once she turns sixteen…”
“I’m well aware of the situation, but is it too much to ask to keep her innocence just a little while longer?”
“Yes, let’s finish this discussion later, she should be coming back soon.”
My head is spinning. What were they talking about? I take a deep breath, compose myself and grab the doorknob. Before I can open it, I hear my mother scream.

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Ten Fun Facts

1.) I am a mother of 3
2.) I’m always working on crafts like knitting, crochet, etc.
3.) I was born in Germany
4.) I have a Master’s in IT project management
5.) I love photography
6.) My favorite authors are Tess Gerritsen, Lisa Gardner, James Patterson, and Lilly M. Love
7.) I am 28 going on 45
8.) I live in Tennessee
9.) I am a tech junkie and try to buy all the newest tablets, phones, etc.
10.) I make a mean meatloaf

About the Author

M.J. Austin has always found the world of fantasy preferable to the real world. She channels this love of mystical worlds and creatures into her writing. She is an avid reader and proud bookworm. She has a Master’s Degree in Project Management, but her true passion is writing.
When she isn’t working or writing she is diving into random projects as often as possible. She lives in Tennessee with three children, husband, and three dogs.
Read more about M.J. at http://www.mjaustinbooks.com

Contact MJ Austin

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REVIEW

Bright Fire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It caught my attention straight from the get go. The first 30% or so was the best part in my opinion. Through it, you really don’t know what is going on. Everything is an interesting new discovery.
It begins on Dell’s 16th birthday. She is just a normal high school girl with overprotective parents. Then everything changes. She discovers that she is so much more. Soon several new characters come into the picture. There’s a lot of Greek mythology. She’s dealing with tragedy and coming of age while also facing love and adventure.
I mean really what do you say to your soulmate before you head into the Underworld.

It has a great Epilogue that totally makes the reader want the next book. If your desire is an adult read, this isn’t for you. If you’re looking for YA fantasy, you should give Bright Fire a try. In the synopsis, it is compared to the Percy Jackson series and Need series. I have not read Need, but this is like the Percy Jackson books. It also reminded me a little of Beautiful Creatures. Some parts weren’t as good from an adult standpoint, but I think all of it is awesome for teens and preteens.
3.75 stars





***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


toni


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