What Do Readers Say About The Urban Boys by K.N. Smith + Giveaway!!

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The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses

K.N. Smith

Published September 29th 2015 by Two Petals Publishing

YA/NA > Horror

 

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | iTunes

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is an action-adventure story about five teen boys who are mysteriously exposed to a foreign energy source that gives them extremely heightened senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become hypersensitive gifts that forever change the world. The story offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph, which become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. The story twists, turns, and grinds through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in a diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narrative.

Overview: The story’s small town of Danville Heights, a carefully crafted universe, contrasts with the dark, gloomy town of Sandry Lake, where evil abounds. Upon the boys’ mysterious incident with the energy source, they’re instinctively called to Sandry Lake to root out evil. Their senses guide them each time. However, secrecy about their mission, furious battles with evil thugs, extreme fatigue, and stress and pressure soon overwhelm the boys, but they must find a way to embrace their fate. A lurking, Dark Stranger seems to know their plight, and a strikingly beautiful, fearless girl lends way to heightened confusion. Shocking details about these two characters, and the evil antagonist, the dreaded Druth, twist and grind the story even further. Despite tension and fierce battles, will the boys hold it together long enough to fulfill their destiny? Intriguing, intelligent, and full of action, The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses offers a memorable, emotion-packed, thrilling ride for young and mature readers alike!1

[tour schedule

 

WHAT DO READERS SAY ABOUT THE URBAN BOYS?

The Urban Boys is wonderful book in which K.N. Smith sweeps the reader away into each of the characters with their exceptional abilities. She also has the strong literary skills to keep the reader totally engaged throughout the entire story, and that is no small feat considering the various multi layered plotlines, diverse set of characters, and wildly fluctuating events. I am ready for the next one!” (5 stars) Claire Middleton, Indie Book Reviewers

 

“The Urban Boys by K.N. Smith is the most entertaining, deep, and interesting book I have read in a very long time! From the moment I picked it up and read the first page I was hooked, as the characters are so real and loveable and the descriptions are so vivid and full of life, it is impossible to put down. The author has painted a picture of extraordinary lives of these young men which at times is very moving and action packed and done with remarkable attention to detail. It is certainly a story that will stay with me for a long time and I hope I don’t have to wait too long for the next one in the series to become available.” (5 stars) J. Thackery, Indie Book Reviewers

 

AUTHOR:

 
14431555 (1)Twitter 
| Facebook | Website 

K.N. Smith is an American author and passionate advocate of childhood and family literacy programs throughout the world. She continues to inspire students of all ages to reach their highest potential in their literary and educational pursuits. Her creative, lyrical flair sweeps across pages that twist, turn, and grind through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narratives. K.N. Smith has over twenty years’ experience in writing, communications, and creative design. She lives with her family in California.

GIVEAWAY:

1 Winner will get a $15.00 iTunes gift card | 2 Winners will each receive a signed copy of THE URBAN BOYS | 20 Winners will get eCopies of THE URBAN BOYS | Must be 13+ to enter | Ships in US Only

 

 

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TOUR HOST:

MMSAI BOOK TOURS

Paula

Author Takeover #13: Libby Cudmore, author of: THE BIG REWIND + Giveaway!!

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AUTHOR TAKEOVER IS A NEW FEATURE HERE IN HBT WHERE WE LET OUR CURRENT FAVORITE AUTHORS TOOK OVER THE BLOG. EXPECT GUEST POSTS, INTERVIEWS, LOTS OF PLAYLISTS, GIVEAWAYS AND OF COURSE, A BUNCH LOAD OF FUN!


I am so excited about a lot of things today. First: AUTHOR TAKEOVER IS BACK! It’s been so loooong. I promise you great authors you guys, watch out! And second: because an amazing debutante is here on the blog for today. Thank you so much Libby for chatting with me and dishing out deets about THE BIG REWIND! What a great way to make a comeback, by featuring an awesome book and author. 

The Book..

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The Big Rewind

Libby Cudmore

Published February 2nd 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks

A > Mystery | Music

Purchase it: Amazon | BN

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Jett Bennett moved to New York to become a music journalist. What she found was a temp gig as a proofreader, but at least she’s fitting in with the artists and musicians in the tragically hip Brooklyn neighborhood she calls home.

But when Jett opens up her mail and finds a mix tape meant for her neighbor, KitKat, a local queen bee renowned for her “enhanced” baked goods and retro videogame collection, everything changes. Jett drops off the cassette and discovers that it’s game over for KitKat: someone bashed her head in with a rolling pin… and left her pot brownies burning in the oven.

KitKat’s boyfriend, Bronco, is M.I.A. Her sister is so desperate that she asks Jett to snoop around. Then there’s that mix tape. Jett didn’t know KitKat well, but she knows music. And a tape full of love songs from someone other than Bronco screams motive—sending Jett and her best friend, Sid, on an epic quest to find KitKat’s killer through record stores, strip joints, vegan bakeries, and basement nightclubs—a journey that resonates with Jett, and her past, in unexpected ways.

 

The Author:

LCudmoreconnect: twitter | website | goodreads page 

Libby Cudmore worked at temp agencies and record stores before settling down in Upstate New York to write full time. Her forthcoming debut novel, THE BIG REWIND (William Morrow, February 2016) is being hailed as “smart, poignant, and addicting,” (Kristi Belcamino, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD). Her short stories have been published in PANK, THE BIG CLICK, THE STONESLIDE CORRECTIVE and BIG LUCKS. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and makes all her own notebooks.

 

The Interview..

  1. Hi Libby!! Thanks for stopping by on the blog!! We’re so excited! To start off, can you tell us how you got into writing? Is this your first profession? 🙂

    I’ve been writing since fifth grade, when I had a dream that I had written a book.  My dad, Dana Cudmore, was a writer (The Remarkable Howe Caverns Story) and my mom was a storyteller, so I grew up reading a lot and hearing stories told.  But originally, I wanted to go into musical theater.  I didn’t get into my top-choice of theater colleges, and ended up going to Binghamton University, where I really focused on my writing.  Now I work as a reporter for the Hometown Oneonta/The Freeman’s Journal, which I love doing. 

  2. Murder and Music seems to come together in your debut novel, The Big Rewind. Was this the original concept that you wanted for your first novel?

     Like most writers, I have a few “first novels” that didn’t sell.  I didn’t sit down and say, “I’m going to write about music and murder,” the story came to me and evolved organically.

  3. How would you introduce your main character, Jett, to us? Did you have a particular muse for her?

    I wish I could say Jett was me, but she’s much cooler than me!  But one of her friends is inspired by a girl I went to college with, and I “cast” a few of the characters with different actors so I could get a sense of how their dialogue would sound so that I can make sure each character has their own “voice” — most notably, early drafts of Sid had cast him as Walton Goggins, who I think is just darling.

  4. How did the whole concept of the book materialized in your head? Is there an event or a person or something that sparked the plot? 🙂

    I was on the bus home from work, listening to Syd Straw’s “CBGB’s,” and the whole first chapter came to me like I was watching a movie. And it all just took off from there.

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(Pictures of the notebook I started in! – Libby)

5.      The title and the cover of the book is really eye catching, how did you decide it? And will you change anything if you could?

The original title was No Awkward Goodbyes, in homage to Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, my favorite novel.  It was a clumsy title, so I worked with my great editor, Chelsey Emmelhainz at William Morrow, to come up with something a little more streamlined, and sure enough, I got my Chandler homage.   And the wonderful HarperCollins art department gave me my cover.  They hit it out of the park on the first try.

6.      What is the hardest thing you ever did while writing The Big Rewind? Can you share a bit of your experience?

 Writing this book taught me to enforce a writing routine.  I work long days at the newspaper, so if I was going to get any writing done, I had to carve out and protect that time.  I had to be honest with myself, which is never easy, and realize that the earlier in the morning I got up, the more work I got done.  So 6:45 am, I’m out of bed and turning on the coffee maker.  Doesn’t matter if worked until midnight the night before.  I put in at least an hour with either an open document or a notebook.  Some days I just have time for that hour before I have to go into the office.  Some days I have the whole morning.  But if I hit snooze, I may not have any time. Teaching myself that discipline was difficult, but it made me a better writer.

7.      What will readers expect from the romance aspect in this book?

 There are a couple love stories throughout, but they don’t always end the way the characters want them.  It’s very realistic in that way, which I think is something the readers will really connect with.  But don’t worry!  There is a big romance.  It still makes me swoon when I read over it.

8.      Did something creepy or funny or even scary thing that happened while writing The Big Rewind?

When I finished the first draft, I woke up one morning and just felt flooded with poetry.  I’m not a poet by any stretch of the imagination, but my sentences all felt abstract and fractured in this fascinating way.  So I wrote a whole series of poems about TV shows like The Shield and Burn Notice and The X-Files.   And I thought that I was going a little crazy from burn-out, but then I was at a reading and two other novelist friends of mine read what they called a “post-novel poems.”  Apparently, they’re a very real thing.  I posted a few of them on my blog, and one go picked up in the lit mag Paper Darts.

9.      Are you working on something new already? Do you have a WIP that you can tell us about? 🙂

I do have a WIP in very early stages, but right now, I’m working on a few short stories, seeing where those go.  I’m also hosting a weekly live-tweet event I call #RecordSaturday, where I share an album from my vinyl collection.  It’s a lot of fun; I’ve played Warren Zevon’s Excitable Boy, the Flashdance soundtrack, The Smiths The Queen is Dead.  Sharing music is really important to me, so I’ve been really enjoying that.  A couple of Sid and Jett’s favorite albums are coming up, so keep an eye out! 

10.  Lastly, what’s your three current book/song favorites?

 My favorite songs at the moment are Steely Dan’s “The Second Arrangement” (which only exists as a demo; the original was lost during the recording of Gaucho) as well as Duran Duran’s “Pressure Off” and The Smiths “There Is A Light and It Never Goes Out.”  As for books, right now I’m really in love with Matthew Quinn Martin’s Nightlife, Donna Minkowitz’s Growing Up Golem and April Ford’s The Poor Children.

Thanks again, Libby, for the Q&A!

Listen to The Big Rewind Playlist!!

 

The Giveaway..

And because Libby and people over at Harpercollins are generous, they’re giving away 2 print copies of The Big Rewind to a lucky US/Canada residents!

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Thank you so much about stopping by guys! Don’t forget to share your thoughts about THE BIG REWIND! Have you read it? Will you be reading it? We wanna hear everything! 🙂

SNEAK-A-PEEK: Forever Night Stand by Ysa Arcangel + Giveaway!!

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Forever Night Stand

Ysa Arcangel

Published December 20th 2015 by Blvnp Publishing Inc

A > Romance | Contemporary

 

Purchase links: Amazon 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

“What the mind forgets, the heart remembers.”

Brandy Curtis is a strong and independent career woman who does not care for commitment. She prefers no strings-attached, one night stands because that’s all she can give with what little free time she has. This is the life she has chosen and the life she is used to.

However, everything changed when she met Ivo, a gorgeous doctor with irresistible charm. He was just supposed to be another hookup, but he quickly became so much more. The more nights they spent together, the more Brandy felt that life had given her something to live for.
Things seemed perfect… until a visit to the doctor sends her world crashing. The timing couldn’t be worse. As her heart gets closer to Ivo, her memories begin to fade.

Will Brandy be able to actually live her life with Ivo… or will she succumb to the condition that threatens to claim her forever? Find out how this touching journey of life and love turns out. Grab your copy now!

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[tour schedule

 

EXCERPT:

 

“Come, take a walk with me.”

We ambled through the side roads through the farmlands and eventually ended up in a barn. We walked inside in silence and saw some hay blocks. Ivo started to arrange the hay blocks into a bed and pillows, not making much of a mess. I just stood there watching him work.

“What are you doing?”

“Making a makeshift bed, can’t you see?”

“Ivo, what are you planning to do?” I asked, narrowing my eyes at him.

“I don’t have plans to have sex with you here, Brandy, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“Nah, you like me too much to make me sit on the cold hard ground.” I rolled my eyes playfully.

“But if you keep on doing that I might just change my mind,” Ivo said and I quickly let out a laugh. “Let’s just sit and relax and talk maybe. My feet hurts, we’ve been strolling around for hours now. Are you just gonna watch me make our bed?”

Ivo pulled me in and I instantly snuggled beside him.

“So far how do you like it here?”

“I love it here. It’s stress-free, the life here so far is tranquil and fun.”

“That’s why I always wanted to go back here even when I was in Atlanta.”

“I know, right? Everything here is just so peaceful and quiet. The people are nice except that Bettina.”

Ivo let out a soft chuckle. “She didn’t do anything bad to you.”

“Well, she threatened me with that text. She’ll ruin everything that we have, you know.”

“We have nothing,” he stated.

“Arrangement…  we have an arrangement, Ivo,” I reiterated. “Can we not talk about her, so how was your trip to Rome?”

“Everything went well. We have a promising case. The subject is quite hesitant to talk about her condition but hopefully she’ll open up so I can help her get through her situation.”

“Good. I’m glad you accomplished something in that small amount of time.”

“Did you miss me when I was away?”

I blushed and crossed my arms over my chest. “No,” I quickly answered. “I was too busy having fun with the kids.”

“I’m glad you’re happy around them. You miss having a sister, do you?”

“Yeah, I haven’t had any since mom started to—” I dared not continue. “Let’s not talk about me, Ivo. You’re not going to get anything out of me.”

Ivo took my hand from my chest and held it. “It’s okay to talk Brandy. If you don’t like this ‘thing’ we have taken to the next level so do I, but I could be your friend. You can tell me anything.”

I pulled my hand back. “Friends with benefits, huh?”

“Yeah, apparently it’s a thing nowadays,” he said and we both chuckled.

I sat up and played with some of the hay blocks beside me. “I grew up in a family of boys, Ivo. I grew up strong. Independent. I don’t want to cling to anyone and depend on anyone except myself.”

Ivo listened attentively to me.

“My family has a history of Alzheimer’s, Ivo. I am next in line. I know better than to have a boyfriend, start a family, raise kids…”

“I can help you Brandy,” he cut me off and took my trembling hands. “If you’ll just let me.”

“Nobody can help me.”

“I will. Trust me. You’re going to be okay,” he assured and held me close to him.

“No!” I stood up and shouted at him. “I’m not gonna be okay, Ivo! I’m not gonna be okay! I can feel it. It’s coming for me, Ivo. I can feel it.” I broke down.

Ivo came up to me, cupped my face and sat me down on the make shift bed. “Sshh…  sshh, it’s okay. It’s okay just relax.”

Ivo held me in his arms like I was the most fragile thing in the world until my cries turned into faint sobs.

“Doesn’t it get boring?” Ivo said in a deep drawl as he glowered at me

I suddenly realized he still had me in a tight embrace, so I quickly drew away from him.

His smirk widened and his eyes narrowed dangerously as he grabbed my hand and pressed me against the barn wall.

I frowned and stuck my tongue out. Ivo flicked his tongue against mine, quickly taking my tongue in his mouth and sucking gently.

I pulled away and pretended I was disgusted at his actions. “Ivo, I’m serious! I don’t want to do it here!”

Ivo merely chuckled and pressed his lips against mine. “Shut up, Brandy,” He mumbled when we parted. I groaned inwardly. He was being such a tease and I knew that if Ivo pushed me far enough I’d let him do whatever he wanted with me.

Unfortunately, he also knew this, and I knew he was ready to hear me say, “I want you inside me.”

While I was lost in my thoughts, Ivo had brought my hands above my head, holding both of them in his larger hand while the other roamed my body, caressing every curve.

I gasped when Ivo’s hand cupped my breast through my shirt. I squirmed slightly as he began licking my neck, giggling occasionally as it tickled my face. I arched a little, allowing him more room to suckle my neck. I vaguely registered his hand gripping my thigh and lifting it upwards to curl around his waist.

He smirked triumphantly when a lusty moan crept out of my throat as he slowly grind against me.

“See, you do want this.” Ivo said as he let go of my hands. I wrapped them around his neck and kissed him.

“Be quiet and make love to me.” I giggled at my boldness. He seemed to like it, though.

He slid my shirt off, leaving me in my underwear. Ivo quickly flicked the button of my pants and unzipped them, letting them fall to the floor. He stood back to stare down at the half-naked woman that stood before him. I blushed and crossed my arms over my chest.

“Don’t stare at me like that, I feel like a piece of meat.”

Ivo chuckled at my words and began to undress until he leaned against me once more, this time clad in only his boxers.

As we made out against the wall of the barn I realized something was pressing against my tummy, I lowered my hand to touch his arousal gently through the silky fabric of his boxers. Ivo swatted my hand away quickly, and hurriedly unclasped my bra and buried his face between my breasts. As Ivo sucked my nipple, one of his hands lowered and cupped my panty-clad sex, making me breathe in sharply. He pushed a finger into me through the cotton fabric and watched my face in delight as I moaned softly.

I began panting heavily as he brought his lips down against my throat and his hand steadily pinched and pulled at my nipple.

I gripped his shoulders and dug my nails into them as I gasped and rocked myself against his fast-moving fingers. With a loud cry I shuddered as I felt myself release. Ivo slid my now wet underwear down my hips and carried me over the make shift bed bridal style and lay me down.

He reached for his pants and grabbed his wallet, pulling out a tiny foil packet.

He removed his boxers and I bit my lip. He rolled the condom down on his now fully hard member, and then he gently pushed my thighs apart.

“You’re so ready,” I breathed. I was waiting for him to thrust into me, but instead, he just rubbed it up and down my wetness. “Oooh,” I let out a high-pitched moan as his manhood pressed ever so slightly into me. I tried to move my hips forward and close my eyes. I didn’t even care that we were in a barn anymore.

“A boy scout is always prepared. I don’t want you reminding me about your 4Ns rule anymore,” he said and gave me a wicked grin. “Brandy, watch me,” he ordered.

I opened one eye, ever so slightly then opened both and sat up, supporting myself on my elbows as I watched him press his erection between my legs. Ivo entered slowly as he watched me watch him, and I had to admit, it was more arousing.

When he had entered his whole length into me, he pushed me back into a laying position pulling my hips up to his waist. He plunged himself deeper inside me. I gasped and moaned as he pumped at a frantic pace. I tightened my legs around his waist, allowing my hips to smoothly rock along with him as my arms circled around his neck. I arched my back and grabbed handfuls of golden hay as I brought my arms above my head.

The sensation was washing over me and I mustered up my voice to push Ivo over the edge. “Come on, Ivo. I want it so bad.”

He cried out my name as he pulled out and came intensely. I felt his warm liquid inside me. I sighed pleasurably, my legs wound around his waist once more, he pulled my hips closer to him.

Ivo leaned forward on top of me, and let out a contented sigh. He plucked out pieces of straw from my hair and kissed my tired lips. “I love fucking you,” he whispered.

“You mean ‘I fucking love you.’”

Ivo rolled off me and began picking up our discarded clothes.

“Definitely, maybe.”

I blushed but didn’t bother objecting.

We returned to the house and I walked into the kitchen to drink some water. I felt so dehydrated after a long day of walking and our intense sack session in the barn. I smiled at that thought.

As I opened the refrigerator, a cute little notebook fell from the top. The notebook fell open on the floor. I crouched, picking it up carefully. I should have never done that, but I couldn’t stop right then. I couldn’t put it back, not when I saw my name written over it.

 

Patient Name: Brandy Curtis

Case #220: Suspected onset of Alzheimer’s

11:45AM — While Brandy was helping me prepare for lunch, I asked her to pass me the eggplant. It took her quite a while before she took the tomato and passed it on me. She doesn’t know which vegetable is which.

2:30PM — Brandy asked me thrice the name of the triplets on different occasions.

5:00PM — Brandy tried and tasted the Lake Garda olive oil. After she turned her back from the personnel, she again asked me if she could try to taste the oil. She didn’t remember she tasted it already.

6:30PM — We went to the wine festival in Bardolino on the shores of Lake Garda where we enjoyed wine tasting. Brandy had at least four wines tasted in a row. She was all smiles and happy then she turned to look at me and asked what we were doing at that place.

 

The room started to spin around me as I fell to the ground, the notebook falling on my chest. I took a deep breath and forced myself to get up off the ground. I pulled my hand across my eyes trying to wipe away the quiet emotions inscribed in my mind.  Did it really happen? Why can’t I remember any of this?

I tried to settle the emotions inside me. But they were fighting their way out, fluttering in my stomach and came hand in hand with the realization I was being used for some sort of research and how pathetic that made me feel.

I stormed outside and Ivo looked at me, a question in his eyes, as if to ask me what is wrong.

“I’m not a case that you need to solve, Ivo! Damn you!” I felt the tears start to roll down my cheeks leaving a warm trail underneath my icy glare.

Ivo moved closer to me, scaring me even more. He attempted to talk but shut his mouth and the shocked expression on his face morphed into one of concern. He pulled me in and tried to wrap me in his arms. I was having none of it and I pushed him away. My feet stepped onto the slick sidewalk, and I left with no particular destination in mind.

The rain started to pour. Hard. The winds were so strong that the rain fell nearly horizontally. The howling winds deafened my thoughts.

“Brandy, stop!” Ivo ran after me and pulled me into a tight embrace as the rain soaked our clothes.

Even his warmth couldn’t stop the shivers. The cold has seeped too deeply into my bones.

His fingers gripped my arms and shook me gently to make me open my eyes. “Let’s talk, don’t just go. Let me get you a towel. You need to get out of those clothes.” He moved away, but I grasped the back of his shirt, he spun around and at that moment everything turned pitch black.

 

 

AUTHOR:

 Caroline-Patti-225x300Twitter | Goodreads | Website 

Ysa Arcangel is a Filipino author based in Manila. She works as a Spanish-English GDS Helpdesk by day and a writer by night. She is a loving partner to a chef and a mom to three amazing kids.

She enjoys creative writing and uses her obsessive nature by writing contemporary paranormal and romance fiction with lots of laughs, tears and sighs showcasing sweet, funny and badass female leads with raunchy and hot male love interests whether human or supernatural.

She’s a lover of coffee, tattoos, and giant dogs. She is also an extreme sports enthusiast. When she’s not writing, you can see her spending time with her family, reading, or having TV series marathons.

Her debut novel is titled Forever Night Stand.

In this enthralling debut novel, you will find out about the heart that never forgets and the disease which has the power to rob, damage, and destroy yet cannot vanquish the feeling of love and being loved.

   

 

GIVEAWAY:

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE TO WIN A GIFTCARD AND EBOOKS!

 

 

TOUR HOST:

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ARC REVIEW&BOOK PLAYLIST: The Hometown Hazard by Dawn Lanuza + Giveaway!!

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The Hometown Hazard

Dawn Lanuza

Published January 29th 2016 by Indie Sisiw Books

YA/NA > Romance | Contemporary

 

Purchase links: Amazon | Buqo 

 

4 ★★★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Jules Coronado has been away from her hometown for almost a decade but when an intruder breaks in to her childhood home, she finds herself coming back. Changes evidently took place in her small town, including her childhood best friend’s younger brother, Kip – now tall, slightly scruffed, all grown up and caught climbing into their garden wall.

Kip Villamor has a mission and despite Jules’ doubts, they team up: going on fieldtrips, tackling unsuspecting men, and trespassing offices to dig up dirt. But Jules has secrets of her own, one that might be exposed – unless she keeps her walls up. But climbing walls are Kip’s forte, remember?

Will her secrets keep her on his side, or will it force her to disappear again?

1

[tour schedule

 

REVIEW:

asdfjkl

 

Yep. That’s just me the whole time. Dawn Lanuza brings out the romantic side of me from my icy and snarky exterior. Well played Dawn! Well played!

 

 

 

 

“You ever felt like there are two versions of you, and they dont exist in the same place.”

 

I have bee a fan of Dawn Lanuza ever since I read her first book, The Boyfriend Backtrack, which by the way is a great life choice because not only did I enjoy that smart and sweet story but I also got the chance to meet our main character in The Hometown Hazard which is Jules. I have to say though, because we’re totally being honest here, that the blurb of this books caused some double taking from me. The girl-being-younger-than-the-love-interest (no matter how much the age gap) is something I avoid aggressively. So. If you’re like me, I’ll tell you right away that THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BOTHER YOU.

The book started off with Jules waking up because of a phone call from her parents saying that somebody broken inside of their house and apparently, the intruder was very interested at Jules’ room. Could Jules know who the culprit is? Jules being the caring daughter decided to go home to her hometown which she left long time ago because of an incident. From here we meet her loving parents and of course the swoony daredevil, Kip. All grown up and enjoying his new hobby: sneaking into offices and running from people. Just like from Dawn Lanuza’s first novel, she made another set of characters that are authentic and fun. They are a bunch to let go. Jules is the definition of a likeable character. I like the fact that she’s matured and her background story agrees with her. I mean, you don’t expect me to like a character who says she graduated from law school but don’t act like it. Stuff like that are very important. You can see though from the first part of the story that Jules’ character is pretty flawed. She have fears and issues that she needs to overcome. Plus the fact that she’s running away from something that happened years ago and it’s affecting her future. And this is where Kip comes in. Kip is.. wow how do I describe Kip? Well he’s my favorite guy by Dawn Lanuza. He’s the right amount of dangerous and swoony. He’s all mysterious but I liked the fact that with every page, the author keeps peeling off a layer from Kips mysterious personality.

The romance is set in a pace that is believable and its just my favorite thing! No instalove. No love triangle. No unnecessary dramas. I think what makes The Hometown Hazard stands out from other love stories out there is that ITS NOT JUST A LOVESTORY. There’s also a mystery that is going on plus a huge revelation about our main characters pasts. It’s truly such an incredible story!

Written in a very easy and witty atmosphere, The Hometown Hazard is written not to only entertain but to tug at your heartstrings. Dawn Lanuza just keeps getting better and better! Hilarious, romantic and real.. Readers need to make room for The Hometown Hazard in their shelf. 

 

BOOK PLAYLIST:

I actually have playlist for the story while I was writing it on Spotify. But these are the top tracks:

The Naked and the Famous – No Way (Quiet)

This is actually the first song that came to mind when I was writing the book. It’s a beautiful track and I think it matches a certain part of the book. If you read the book, I think you’d know where it fits.

Chicago – If You Leave Me Now

This song just reminds me of lazy Sunday mornings and I feel like that’s how Jules pictured her childhood home and her hometown.

Raleigh Ritchie – The Chased

Just because there’s a lot of running and chasing.

Tom Waits – I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love with You

In the book, I made Kip and Jules dance to a James Taylor song but when I was writing it, I was imagining it with Tom Waits’ “I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love with You.”

Tegan and Sara – Drove Me Wild

This is my Kip song. I think about him when I listen to this song.

The Head and the Heart – Let’s Be Still

This is the song that’s playing in my head when I imagine the beach scene.

Colony House – Learning How to Love

I think this song’s lyrics is spot on with Jules.

Imogen Heap – Entanglement

Last scene. I’ll leave it with that. 

– DAWN

 

 

AUTHOR:

 Caroline-Patti-225x300Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

Dawn Lanuza started writing stories when she was just a kid (they weren’t good or even finished). She works for the music industry by day and writes meet cutes and snappy comebacks by night. ‘The Boyfriend Backtrack’ is her first book. She currently lives with her family and an adopted dog.

     

 

 

 

 

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SNEAK-A-PEEK: In Place of Never by Julia Anne Lindsey + Giveaway!!

11

In Place of Never

Julie Anne Lindsey

Published February 2nd 2016 by Lyrical Press, Inc

YA/NA > Romance | Mystery

 

Purchase links: Amazon | BN 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Can the truth set her free?…
 
A part of Mercy died the summer her sister tragically drowned. Now Mercy has a chance to discover if Faith’s death was an accident—or murder.  Her first step is to confront the lead suspects: a band of traveling gypsies—the last people who saw her sister alive. But Mercy finds an unexpected ally in Cross, the soulful musician in their ranks. He’s a kindred spirit, someone who sees into her heart for the first time in, well, forever. Yet stirring up the past puts Mercy in danger…
 
Suddenly someone is shadowing Mercy’s every move, making her even more determined to uncover the facts. With Cross by her side, she is ready to face it all, even if that means opening up to him, knowing he may one day leave her. What she discovers is a truth that rocks the foundation of her small river town—and a love worth risking everything for….

1

[tour schedule

 

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1

 

The Sideshow

Faith is dead.

The words had formed my first thought every day for three years. Strangely, on the anniversary of her death, my mind was blank.

My bedroom door stood open, courtesy of my little sister, Prudence, no doubt. This was her way of nudging me into motion. Muted shades of gray light filtered through rain-washed windows, barely enough to illuminate dust motes floating overhead. Time to face the worst day of the year.

Sounds and scents of breakfast climbed two flights of stairs and settled into my thoughts with an eerie echo. I pulled clothes from the pile and brushed my teeth and hair. These were the things I’d only begun to appreciate before everything changed.

Far too soon, my toes curled over the top step outside my room. I pulled in a deep breath and braced my palms against cool stairwell walls, dragging my fingertips over the grooves and planes in the wood paneling as I inched downstairs.

From the quiet hallway outside our kitchen, life looked surreal, like the setting for a play with actors in motion but no audience or script. Dad’s clothes were as neat as a pin, and his hair fell in the same schoolboy style he’d outgrown thirty years ago. The morning paper lay open in front of him, beside a full cup of coffee that had lost its steam. Pru stood at the stove shoveling eggs from a pan onto a plate. She, too, appeared ready for the day, if I ignored the tremor in her hand and the strain in her brow. She nearly dropped the plate when she turned from the stove.

“Mercy.” She pressed a hand to her heart and stumbled to the table with the eggs. “Why are you just standing there?”

Dad turned blank eyes on me, unspeaking.

I moved to the counter and filled Mom’s favorite travel mug with coffee, ignoring the palpable tension. In sixty seconds, I’d be out the door with my free, portable caffeine.

Pru untied the apron from her waist and folded it on the counter. She stared at me. “Aren’t you eating?”

I sealed the mug. “No.” I needed to be anywhere but here.

Dad tensed. The paper crumbled around his tightened grip, but he wouldn’t get involved, especially not today. Today we’d pretend we were still a family. Three months from now, we’d do it again.

Pru bit her trembling lip. “Mercy.” The word was barely audible, even in the quietest house on Earth.

Something tore inside me, and I wavered, slowly sipping coffee until the bitter taste Mom had loved turned my stomach.

Dad pressed the paper against our ancient Formica tabletop and lifted cold coffee to his lips.

I settled onto a chair and tapped my nails over tiny flecks of gold and silver embedded in the table’s white surface. He and Mom had received the kitchen set as a wedding present from her parents. A grooved metal wrap curled around the table’s perimeter. My sisters and I had done homework at that table. Birthday cakes and Thanksgiving dinners were served there. When our family was whole, we’d played cards and board games together every Friday night. Family night. Lately, we were a family of ghosts, figurative and literal.

The legs of Dad’s chair scraped over worn linoleum. He poured his coffee into the sink and freed his jacket from the chair back where he’d sat. He threaded his arms though too-large holes. “I’ll be home late.”

Pru flopped her arms against her sides. “But you didn’t eat.”

He scooped his Bible and keys off the counter and pulled the front door closed behind him.

Pru collapsed into the seat across from me. Bony elbows slid across the tabletop. “Please eat something.”

“No thank you.”

Her frown deepened. “No one eats around here. It isn’t healthy.”

“We don’t sleep or talk either. At least we’re consistent.” A deep cringe pinched my heart. I’d promised myself not to provoke Pru. She was only a kid. The least I could do was use restraint and good manners. “Sorry.”

I stared into her wide blue eyes, wanting to say a million things I couldn’t. “You didn’t need to make breakfast. It’s not your responsibility.” The word lodged in my throat, filling the space until air struggled past.

“Sorry.”

Hurt welled in Pru’s eyes. “Whose responsibility is it then? Yours?” She stood in a burst of energy I couldn’t fathom, rocking her chair onto two legs before it settled with a thump. “I’m fifteen, not five.” Pru whirled through the room, dumping eggs in the trash and shoving dishes into the sink. Defeated by her loved ones before nine AM. It wasn’t fair.

She turned on her heels and glared at me. “You’re leaving in six weeks. Then what?” She bit her bottom lip and scrubbed a plate hard. “You could at least pretend you don’t want to go. Even if it’s a lie.”

“I’m not leaving. I’m going to college like everyone does.”

Her weary eyes drooped at the corners. “Not everyone.”

“Not Faith.” As if I needed the reminder. As if I didn’t think of that every day.

She dried her hands and pursed her lips. “What are you doing today?”

Thunder rocked the house. “I’m going out.”

“Out where? There’s a storm. Besides, my friends are coming over for movies and popcorn. Why don’t you stay? Company could take your mind off…stuff.”

Stuff. Right.

“Me, Prudence, and the color guard?” I flipped a handful of sandy curls off Pru’s shoulder. “I’m not sure that’d be fun for anyone.”

“Please.”

“Can’t. I’m going to go see Mom and Faith. I’ll be home later.” Her doe-eyed expression stopped me short. Since when was Pru so needy? She’d certainly never needed me. Had she? Even if she had, what was I supposed to do about it? “If you want, you can come up to my room when your friends leave. We’ll eat cold pizza and drink warm soda after Dad falls asleep.” My throat constricted further with each word. Faith and I had spent many nights that way when Pru was small and sound asleep in her room next door.

She paled. “Maybe.”

I narrowed my eyes. “Maybe?” That was the best invitation I’d ever offered and she’d turned me down. Something was up. “Why? Do you have plans after Dad falls asleep?”

“Maybe.”

I sucked air. “You can’t go out after curfew.”

She crossed thin arms over her chest. “I said maybe. Anyways, since when do you care? Is this a joke? You think you’re in charge?”

My gut wrenched. Was I? Everyone ahead of me on the chain of command had either died or otherwise checked out. “You can’t stay out all night.”

She clenched her jaw.

I grabbed my bag off the coat tree and secured it cross body before she lashed out. “I can’t do this right now. I’ll be home soon. I won’t interrupt your movie day, but I will look for you tonight.”

Pru scoffed as I edged past her and out the door where Dad had disappeared minutes before.

My muddy Chucks waited on the rack against the railing.

Pru glared at me through the window.

I couldn’t stay. I had to visit Mom and Faith before the storm washed the roads away.

I gathered my hair into a knot as I sloshed through the rain toward the edge of town. Puddles splashed warm water onto my ankles. Raindrops swiveled patterns over my forehead into my eyes, blurring my vision and masking a hot tear of frustration on one cheek. The streets were empty of pedestrians. Cars with wipers on warp speed settled at stoplights or outside shops, collecting women in rain gear and children wielding umbrellas shaped like storybook characters.

Dad’s car sat alone in the church lot. He dreamed of inspiring the town and he prayed fervently for a healing of our broken community. The concept was nice if you weren’t one of his forgotten daughters.

I ducked my head and moved faster, dashing through the lot and across the intersection at Main Street. Soggy, wind-battered flyers waved from light posts on every corner. The annual River Festival returned this month, assuming St. Mary’s didn’t wash off the map before then. I tugged my hood over my ears and sloshed onto the sidewalk. American flags lined store windows. Support our Troops shirts and Uncle Sam bobbleheads monopolized every retail display in town. The Fourth of July fun was right on schedule, only a few days until the big parade and concert in the park. My family didn’t celebrate this weekend anymore.

Several yards away, two guys took shelter under the awning outside our local honky-tonk. Their laughter broke through the drumming of rain on rooftops and pounding of truck tires through puddles. Both were tall, dark, and out of place in my town. Instead of jeans and boots, like cowboys or country singers, or the shorts and gym shoes of locals and tourists, this pair wore black pants and dress shoes. Their matching V-neck shirts were equally out of place in St. Mary’s, West Virginia.

The broader one noticed me first. His smile vanished and his posture stiffened. He locked his wrists behind his back and nodded. The short sleeves of his shirt nipped his biceps. The ridiculous breadth of his chest

tested the limits of the thin black material. His clothes probably hid the grotesquely oversculpted figure of a body builder.

My feet slowed instinctively, weighing the merits of crossing the street to avoid them. Crossing meant moving away from my destination, staying meant eventually sharing a three-foot patch of cement with two guys already filling every spare inch.

The leaner, younger-looking one turned his face toward me. Black ink crawled up his neck from the collar of his shirt to his earlobe. A scar pierced one eyebrow and a thin silver hoop graced the corner of his mouth.

Dad wouldn’t approve.

I rounded my shoulders, withdrawing into my hoodie and averting my eyes.

The broad one whipped a hand out as I stepped onto their patch of cement. “Miss.”

I jumped back, wrapping my fingertips around the strap of my bag.

His enormous arm blocked my path. He clenched a mass of silk flowers in his fist. “For the lady.”

“Uh.” I pulled in a shallow breath. “No thank you.”

The younger one’s eyebrows dove together. “I think you’re scaring her.” His dark eyes settled on mine. His voice was deep and low. “Is he scaring you?”

The big guy handed the flowers to his friend and stepped back, palms up.

The younger one offered them to me, extending his arm slowly as if being careful not to frighten a wild animal. “I’m Cross. This is Anton. Anton thinks he’s a magician.”

I glanced over one shoulder at the church behind me before accepting the strange offer. A lifetime of forced manners pushed my name from my mouth. “Mercy.”

Cross’s lips twitched. “He’s a lot to take in, but he’s a marshmallow.”

I bit back an awkward smile as Anton protested the remark with a shove. “Mercy’s my name. It wasn’t an exclamation.”

Cross relaxed his posture. “Good to know.” He shoved his fingers into his pockets. “Do you live here?”

“Yeah.” A measure of unexplained confidence wound through me. “Not you, though.” I scrutinized their strange ensembles again. Their clothes were almost like costumes, or what I imagined a mortician would wear in the nineteen hundreds. “What are you doing here?” I sidestepped them, exchanging my view of the distant willows for a view of the church.

The low tenor of their voices collided as Cross said, “Visiting,” and Anton said, “Performing.”

Cross narrowed his eyes at Anton.

Interesting. A sign tucked into the corner of the honky-tonk’s window announced another round of live bands. Cash prizes and a guaranteed Nashville record executive in the audience meant lots of newcomers to St. Mary’s. Maybe these two were country singers. “Performing what?”

Again with the twin speak, Cross answered, “Nothing.”

Anton answered, “Everything.”

I frowned. “Well, that’s cleared up.” I waved the bouquet. “Thanks for the flowers.”

“You’re welcome,” they answered.

Dad’s face appeared in the church window, and I darted into the rain. “I have to go.”

I stuffed the flowers into my bag as I jogged away from the street of shops, closing the space between the willows and me. Thunder cracked in the distance. The storm was passing for now. I stepped into the pavilion outside St. Mary’s Cemetery with a sigh of relief. Willow trees lined our small town along the river’s west edge. Their craggy branches swept the earth with every gust of wind. The town cemetery stretched fingers of marble graves into the distance, marking lives lost in the mid-eighteen hundreds beside others lost in my lifetime. Two of those graves marked the lives of Porter women, Faith and Mary Porter. My older sister and my mother.

When the drops thinned to sprinkles, I made my way up muddy paths to their grave sites, sliding down as often as I moved forward. Dad said he’d chosen the spots at the top of the hill so Faith and Mom could look over our town. If they truly had a view, theirs was perfect.

The sopping earth squished under my weight as I left the path. A week of relentless rain had ruined the dirt roads and flooded the lowlands mercilessly.

I knelt before the headstones. “Hi. I bet you didn’t think I’d come in the storm.” Tears burned my eyes. I’d come selfishly. “You’re the only one I can talk to.”

I rubbed my wrist over each eye. “I am so amazingly sorry.”

Wind beat against the trees, shaking limbs and freeing wads of green leaves from their branches. “The storm’s gathering again.”

I wiped pine needles and dirt off Faith’s name. Wind tossed sticks and tiny American flags across the thick green grass. A batch of grave flowers rolled down the hill toward the river, reminding me of the ones in my bag.

“I have something today.” I unlatched my bag and pulled out the silk flowers. “Some very weird guys outside Red’s gave these to me. I think you should have them, Faith. I don’t bring you flowers enough. Maybe that’s why I ran into those two. You needed flowers.” I stabbed their plastic stems into the mushy ground and pressed the grass tight around them, anchoring them the best I could.

“I miss you. I wish you knew how much. Dad’s still trying to save the town. Pru’s still pretending she’s like everyone else. The color guard’s coming over for popcorn and movies.” I rolled my eyes. “I think she’s planning to sneak out tonight, and I don’t even know if it’s the first time.”

I settled in the wet grass and tilted my face to the sky. “I’ve never minded our summer storms. Remember when we used to dance in the rain until Dad begged us all inside? He’d laugh and say,” I mocked Dad’s deeper voice, “‘I guess the rumors are true. My girls don’t have the sense to come in out of the rain.’”

A sound in the distance caught my attention. A rhythm. “Do you hear that?” Wind whipped through the trees, but the eerie sound of tinny pipes and organs floated to my ears. I rubbed my palms over gooseflesh-covered arms and an icy shiver slid down my spine.

I stood on wobbly knees and moved to the hill’s edge.

A line of black vehicles crawled along the river toward the campground. Each truck was marked with the symbol that once haunted my dreams. A fancy letter L, circled in curlicue lines and tiny words from another language. “The Lovell Traveling Sideshow came back?”

After three years, it was back.

I turned to my sister. “I bet they came for the River Festival. What should I do?”

I sensed her presence and felt her voice in the wind, obscured by the ringing in my ears. My weary conscience screamed, “Leave it alone,” but my every curious fiber disagreed.

I’d researched, cyberstalked, and obsessed over the Lovells off and on for two years before I backed off. I squinted at the caravan of trucks below. If one of them knew what happened to Faith, I needed to hear it. Maybe someone at their campsite could help me.

Dad refused me the courtesy of knowing what happened to my sister. When I’d followed him through our home begging, he’d said I was too young. Faith was too young. I should pray for peace. I’d scoured the local paper and Internet for information. Three years later, the only things I knew for sure were Faith was dead and Dad blamed the Lovells. I’d heard him and Mom after Faith’s funeral. He hated them, but it didn’t make any sense. Faith drowned. Dad believed the Lovells contributed to Faith’s death somehow, despite the coroner’s accidental drowning conclusion.

I looked over one shoulder at Faith’s headstone. “I’ve got to go. I’ll be back.” I rubbed wet palms against my jeans. My feet stumbled through the grass on autopilot. This was my chance.

I sprinted toward home, formulating a plan. First, I needed a shower and change of clothes. Next, I needed a picture of Faith from that summer. The Lovells probably saw thousands of new faces every year and three years had already passed. Expecting them to remember one girl from a town as unremarkable as ours was asking the impossible.

I slowed my pace on Main Street. Outside the honky-tonk, a fresh banner hung from the awning, a photo advertisement for the Lovell Traveling Sideshow. My mouth dropped open as my gaze swept over the ad. I missed the curb and planted one foot in ankle-deep runoff racing for the gutter. “Gross.” My palms hit the sidewalk, stopping me from a complete fall. The open flap of my bag dripped against my pant leg when I stood. I buckled the bag without looking, unable to drag my focus away from the banner. A woman covered in tattoos posed with a set of acrobats front and center. A shirtless strongman with a mask and endless muscles stood behind her. I tried to match Anton and his flowers to the masked man in the photograph. Was it possible?

A man in tuxedo tails pulled fire from his hat and a woman in a ball gown swallowed swords. Animals in black tutus and studded collars pranced at her feet. Behind the others stood a brown-eyed guy with neck ink, a guitar, and a frown. Cross was a performer all right. He was one of them. A Lovell.

 

 

AUTHOR:

 Caroline-Patti-225x300Twitter | Facebook | Website 

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus, most days you’ll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. Julie started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world.

Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.

   

 

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