GUEST POST: Barren (Barren #1) by Elizabeth Miceli + Giveaway!!

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Barren (Barren #1)
Elizabeth Miceli
Published October 6th 2015
NA >Contemporary | Romance
 
 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon 
 
 

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I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Clare and I baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was the damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.
Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When her significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless- and with an eating disorder- she turns to partying to cope. This only makes matters worse because at a party she is raped, which leaves her psyche at an all-time low. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to find herself. But if Stacey doesn’t find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won’t be able to pull her out
 
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GUEST POST:

 

Road to Publication

After finishing Barren in my senior year of high school, I took some time off from writing. With the start of college, I started to focus more on classes and put Barren on the back burner. In the summer before my sophomore year though, I worked on my query letter. It took a few weeks to hammer out the best letter I could, but with the help of some friends, I finally felt confident about sending out the letter. I started sending out query letters to agents and publishers by the end of May. I heard a lot of no. It seemed as though Barren was too raw, too hard-hitting for the people I chose to send my query letter too. That being said. a few agents said they wanted to read a longer excerpt or the full manuscript. I was starting to get down on myself and was thinking about changing my query letter when August rolled around. Then, something amazing happened. I was at the movies, waiting for “Bad Grandpa” to start, when I checked my email. It was from Swoon Romance saying that I was offered publication. I turned toward my friends, in absolute awe. They convinced me it was real but I decided that I wouldn’t tell anyone else until my mom read the email. In the morning, the email was still saying the exact same thing. This was real life. I was going to be an author.

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

 Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

 

Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a double major in both Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.

 

 

 
   

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ARC REVIEW: Em and Em by Linda Budzinski

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Em and Em/span>

Linda Budzinski

Published September 15th 2015 by Swoon Romance

YA > Realistic Fiction | Contemporary

 

 

 

3 ★★★ 1/2

 

 

Purchase links:

BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | TBD |

 

 

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The last thing sixteen-year-old Emily Slovkowski wants is to move away from her home at the Jersey shore, gorgeous surfer boyfriend Zach, and her entire identity. But that’s kind of how Witness Protection works, and Em must prepare herself for an epic do-over as she starts a new life in the Midwest.

Even as she pines for sandy beaches and the night life of the shore, the newly-named Ember O’Malley finds herself making new friends, taking photos for the high school newspaper, and thinking an awful lot about the paper’s editor, an oddly cute cowboy named Charles.

When Em stumbles upon a shady beneath-the-bleachers exchange between one of the school’s football coaches and a student, she refuses to get involved. The last thing she needs is to be witness to another crime or call attention to herself. Besides, she finally has some real friends – well, real except for the fact that they don’t know a single thing about her – and she prefers to keep it that way until the trial.

But as her day in court approaches, Em begins piecing together what she saw that day beneath the bleachers. And, as her own past secrets start to catch up with her, Em needs to figure out who she really is – Em or Em.

 

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REVIEW:

 

“Be the change you seek.”

What I like most about SwoonRomance novels are that they’re usually love stories that also deals with important and serious issues. Em and Em is not an exception to that. It was amazing how Budzinski managed to insert all those important messages in one novel. But she did it. And she did it incredibly!

Em and Em is about one girl who have to change her whole identity for a very important reason. Emily and her family is under a witness protection program. Thank God I watch enough cop shows to know what it is. The officer that are assigned for their safety decided that they have to stay away for awhile because their situation is delicate and they have to think through the steps that they’re about to make. And here was where Ember was made and met different kind of people that will help her along the way. Even though making friends is not on her original plan.

The writing was so neat that’s why it was not that hard to get lost in the story. I was instantly interested to what will happen with our main lead. It was easy being in Emily’s mind, even though she did some mistakes and bad decisions throughout the story, it just made her more real. I was also impressed by how the family relationship was written because it was realistic.

The romance was cute and adorable and very much appropriate. Linda Budzinski took her time when it comes to the main leads getting together and that’s just superb. With all the insta love going around, I really needed that.

Em and Em may be short but it’s jam packed. Its about standing up for yourself, accepting the fact that you can’t do it alone and having the courage to move forward.

 

AUTHOR:

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Linda Acorn Budzinski decided in the second grade that she wanted to be a “Paperback Writer,” just like in the Beatles song. She majored in journalism in college and now works in marketing and communications. She spent 18 years at a trade association in the funeral service industry, where she discovered that funeral directors are some of the bravest and most compassionate people on earth. Linda lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, Joe, and their chihuahua, Demitria. She has two step-daughters, Eris and Sarah. THE FUNERAL SINGER is her debut novel. She is represented by Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger Inc.

THE FUNERAL SINGER is Linda Budzinski’s first novel.

 

 
   

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GUEST POST: Falling for Shakespeare by Erin Butler

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Falling for Shakespeare

Erin Butler

Published September 8th 2015 by Swoon Romance

YA > Romance | Realistic Fiction

 

 

Purchase links:

AMAZON

 

 

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Katie thought she knew where her life was going. She was dating the captain of the football team, had a BFF for life, and everyone at school wanted to be her. But then her pregnant teen sister’s pregnancy changes all that. Everyone dumps her, including her friends and boyfriend.

Hey, Katie, welcome to life at the bottom of the high school food chain. This is how the other half lives.

Then there’s Nick. He’s a straight-A student and self-professed geek who’s had a thing for her since middle school. He needs a date for the winter formal, and Katie needs something to keep her busy. Nick’s plight becomes her personal pet project. She will help him get over his insecurities and get a date. Besides, she was popular once. She knows how to get dates.

But Nick has other plans. He’s going to use these “dating” lessons as a way to win Katie’s heart.

 

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GUEST POST:

Character profiles

Introducing Nic!

Any The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones the movie fans out there? I pictured Nic like Simon Lewis (played by Robert Sheehan in the film). He’s got that quirky, nerdy thing going on.

Nice, right?

Age: 16
Likes: Video games, science, poetry, sci-fi books
Hates: What Reese Barnes stands for, muscle-head jocks who always get the girl, not being able to find the perfect word when I want it, injustice
Sweetest thing ever done for a girl: Told my parents I needed a new graphing calculator so I could buy Katie the dress of her dreams.

Introducing Katie!

I loved writing Katie’s character because I’m into underdogs but also, there’s this extra layer to her as a reformed mean girl. It just makes her so unique. So, of course, I pictured my favorite (and magically awesome) brunette for Katie: Emma Watson.

Age: 16
Likes: Coffee, my niece (for short periods of time), jotting down things in my notebook, and glasses ;).
Hates: Reese Barnes, prima-bitches, and people who don’t check facts.
Sweetest thing ever done for a boy: Hmm…I’d say dating lessons but that was an epic failure!

 

 

AUTHOR:

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Website | Facebook | TwitterInstagram

 

Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to writethe kinds of books she loves to read. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially fangirls over a sigh-worthy romance.She lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. Preferring to spend her time indoors reading or writing, she’ll only willinglygo outside for chocolate and sunshine—in that order.Erin is the author of BLOOD HEX, a YA paranormal novel, and the forthcoming contemporary romance titles, HOW WE LIVED and FINDING MR. DARCY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION. You can visit heronline at www.erinbutlerbooks.com.

 

 

 

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ARC REVIEW: Summer of the Oakmoon by Laura Templeton

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Summer Of The Oak Moon
Laura Templeton
Expected publication: May 5th 2015 by Month9Books
YA > Contemporary | Romance
300 pages (paperback)
arc via publisher
 
 

4 ★★★★

 
 
Purchase links:
Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD
 
 

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Rejected by the exclusive women’s college she has her heart set on, Tess Seibert dreads the hot, aimless summer ahead. But when a chance encounter with a snake introduces her to Jacob Lane, a black college student home on his summer break, a relationship blooms that challenges the prejudices of her small, north Florida town.
When Jacob confesses that Tess’s uncle is trying to steal his family’s land, Tess comes face to face with the hatred that simmers just below the surface of the bay and marshes she’s loved since birth. With the help of her mentor Lulu, an herbal healer, Tess pieces together clues to the mysterious disappearance of Jacob’s father twenty-two years earlier and uncovers family secrets that shatter her connection to the land she loves.
Tess and Jacob’s bond puts them both in peril, and discontent eventually erupts into violence. Tess is forced to make a decision. Can she right old wrongs and salvage their love? Or will prejudice and hatred kill any chance she and Jacob might have had?
 
 
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 Welcome to my stop for the Summer of the Oakmoon tour. This book is so refreshing! It really surprised me. I’m here to convince you guys to give this book a go. I hope my review can achieve that. Happy reading!!

 

REVIEW:

 

 

“A black guy going to dinner with a lily-white girl like me was bound to raise eyebrows in Port Saint Clare, where civil rights laws were all well and good for city folks, but blacks dated blacks and whites dated whites and exceptions weren’t tolerated”

You know that feeling when you started reading a book and you didn’t expect anything so it surprised you big time? Summer of the Oakmoon surprised me with its emotional depth. From the first chapter, I was already invested in. Tessa is a delightful heroine. I thought that the book being set in 1982 would be a problem but instead, it made the book more readable. The time and setting of the book is perfect with the story and it was a big part of the plot… it was believable and everything is perfectly in place.

Laura Templeton writes such authentic characters. She made me fall hard with Tessa and Jacob in a heartbeat. At first, Tessa is what you expected. She’s scared and confused. Dating a black guy is not something you would normally do in their town. Unless you want people raising their eyebrows when they see you or you want to be talked about in such a bad way. But good thing Jacob is brave enough for both of them. Racism was at large at their time and place. I was hurting for Jacob. But also admiring him.

The romance in this book belongs now in the list of my ALL TIME FAVORITES list.

 

“..he ever so gently tipped my face up to his. “Now, I’m going to kiss you. Then, I’m going to tell you that I love you.” His voice dropped to a husky whisper. “And that’s all that needs to be said.”

I was in a emotional rollercoaster and its the first time I’m not complaining. These two went through A LOT and from the moment they saw each other, I’m already rooting for them. I will seriously fight for these amazing characters to be together. Insta love was a no show so that makes me love this book more. Its amazing how Templeton weaved a simple and beautiful love story that will leave a huge impact to your heart.

Laura Templeton grabbed my heart, squeezed and twisted it and then repaired it again. This time, its filled with love and hope. Tessa and Jacob’s story is so far from easy. You’ll get painful family secrets along the way, disagreeable characters that gets in Jacob and Tessa’s way… but all of that will be worth it. With a dash of magic and a lot of love, Summer of the Oakmoon is perfect for readers who is looking for a deep and hopeful novel.

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

author pic 1

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Laura Templeton lives near Athens, Georgia, with her husband, son, and a menagerie of animals. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gardening, learning to figure skate, and taking long walks on the quiet country roads near her home. Something Yellow is her debut novel, and her creative nonfiction has appeared in various publications..

 

 

 

 

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Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton (INT)

 

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SNEAK-A-PEEK: Snark and Stage Fright by Stephanie Wardrop

SnarkAndStageFright

Snark and Stage Fright
Stephanie Wardrop
Published February 24th 2014 by Swoon Romance
YA/NA > Contemporary
 
 

Purchase links:

Amazon
 
 

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Happily-ever-after isn’t as happy or forever as Jane Austen makes it look. Just something Georgia Barrett learns when her sharp tongue costs her the only guy she’s ever really cared about: Michael Endicott.
Determined to move on, Georgia lands the lead role in the school’s fall musical. But to survive on stage, she’ll need to learn to express herself without her protective shield of snark. She soon discovers being honest with others means being honest with herself, and the truth is she’s still in love with Michael.
But from the looks of Michael’s new girlfriend, Georgia isn’t the only one who tried to move on. Apparently, some people are just better at it than others. And when Michael and his girlfriend join the cast of the fall musical, Georgia finds out that snark and stage fright are the least of her worries…
 
 
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EXCERPT:

 

We heard Michael’s mom calling from the house, “Michael, phone for you!” and he said, “Well, Georgia and I should get back to the house before we miss lunch … ”

“But I just got here!” Catalina pouted for a second, then said, “Why don’t you go take your call and grab something from the kitchen to bring back so we can catch up? It’ll give me a chance to get to know Georgia—and tell her all your dirty secrets.”

Michael looked at me uncertainly, then back at the house, then back to me. I nodded, albeit reluctantly, so he got up and started walking away. I wanted to stay on that beach blanket and dish with Catalina about as much as I wanted a Sharknado to shoot onto the beach and bite off one of my limbs. At least I’d have a story to tell Cassie later, one that she would actually want to listen to—my afternoon in the sand with my boyfriend’s supermodel summer beach house bestie.

Catalina stretched her impossibly long and tanned legs in front of her and cooed,

“So you and Michael are going out? He makes an excellent boyfriend, doesn’t he? He’s a little stiff at first, but once you loosen him up … ”

I could taste my breakfast in my throat when she said that.

“Michael and I have had a little thing going every summer since I was about fourteen, I guess,” she explained, then gave a sharp little laugh, “Guess not this year!”

“Guess not.”

She looked at me, all of me, up and down and back again, as if trying to figure out how she’d lost out on her yearly fling to a troll like me. But as uncomfortable as she was making me, I was determined to hold my tongue rather than upset any more of Michael’s family, friends, and assembled guests, lest they send me back over the Bourne Bridge to the mainland—leaving Michael here with Catalina.

“So you and Michael … ?” Her question trailed off; it was too ridiculous to ask.

I nodded and said, “Me and Michael.”

“Wow. I mean, I’m sorry, but … Just—wow. It’s a surprise, that’s all.”

I should have held my tongue. Manually.With both hands. But I just couldn’t.

Before I could stop myself, I said, “Well, it’s part of his community service.”

Her sandy brows drew together over her lowered sunglasses and she looked at me.

“Really?” She drew out the word so that it had about eighteen syllables.

“Yeah. Michael got arrested for passing bad checks. But he was just sentenced to community service since his family knows the judge and all. So he has to take orphan girls with no hope of modelling careers down to the Cape once or twice a summer. And I’m this week’s lucky orphan!”

After a few seconds, she snarled, “Michael would never pass bad checks,” and eyed me with great indignation.

“That was the part of the story you found unbelievable? Not the orphanage for failed models?” I laughed.

“I’m finding this whole situation pretty unbelievable, to tell you the truth.” She shook her head. Don’t you find it an eensy weensy bit surprising yourself?” she asked me and then sat there with two fingers poised like pincers a fewmillimeters apart to indicate the “eensy weensy-ness” of my chances of being with Michael.

“What’s that, Catalina? Your cup size before the surgery?” I blurted out—just as Michael showed up.

“Everything okay here?” he asked after he dropped a cloth shopping bag filled with some crusty bread, cheese, and a bunch of big green grapes onto the towel.

I waited for Catalina to burst into wounded tears. But she chirped, “Georgia is sooo funny,” as if we had just been laughing and braiding each other’s hair in one of history’s finest moments of girl bonding.

Interesting ploy.

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

stephanie wardrop

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Stephanie Wardrop grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, a town mostly famous for being a railroad card in Monopoly. After giving up on her childhood goal of becoming a pirate, she decided to become a writer but took a detour through lots of college and grad school and ended up teaching writing and British and American literature. She’s the author of the Swoon Romance e-novella series Snark and Circumstance, based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and lives in western New England with her husband, kids, cats, and gecko.

 

 

 

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