Happy 6 Months Damsel Distressed!! [by Kelsey Macke!]

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Friends, I have a very special post today. DamselDistressed is one of the best books I’ve read. Ever. You can read my gushing and praises for Kelsey Macke here.Thanks so much to Spencer Hill for organizing this event and for letting me be a part of it.

 

1Damsel Distressed
Kelsey Macke
Published October 14th 2014 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
YA > Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
321pages (paperback)
Website | Tumblr Page

Purchase links:

Amazon | TBD | Kobo | BN

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters’ story. Those girls don’t get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing
Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.
When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.
While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.
And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.
Enhance the experience with the companion soundtrack, Imogen Unlocked, by the author’s band, Wedding Day Rain.

 

Alternate scene..

 
(If you haven’t read the book, this might spoil things for you a bit.)

This is an alternate mean-girl moment that was sacrificed due to the increasingly unstable livelihood of THE TWINKIE.

My phone beeps on my bedside table.

“Are you up?” Grant’s text messages are often the first communication of my day, and I can’t help but smile as my thumbs type my reply.

 

“Jesus, I’m up! What are you, my mother!?”

I ignore the tiny pang of sadness that follows my word choice, and before I can even set my phone back on the table, he’s texted again.

“Heh. More like who’s your daddy?” 

I roll my eyes and type back, “Pshhh. I just barfed. See you soon.”

~*~*~

Clearly, there’s no time for self-pity on this fine Sunday morning. I finish up my standard tech day uniform by covering my paint-crusty jeans with an old production t-shirt. My hair still has that chemical smell from the box of color I used last night. The lightish roots had been showing for a few weeks, so I re-did my whole head with my standard Starry Night. Having black hair is a self-imposed necessity for a girl who is and will forever be Completely Misunderstood.

Which is why it might be surprising that a girl who is regularly referred to as “Crazy Cakes Keegan” – by the clowns of eleventh grade – is currently lip-synching the words to “Greased Lightning.” I complete with finger-pointing choreography while packing up the rest of my bag. The tiny white headphones are too big for my ears, and always make them ache, but it’s a small price to pay to ensure that no one learns of my dark secret.
My name is Imogen Keegan. And I’m obsessed with show tunes.    

I head outside and walk to the driver’s side door and recoil as my foot sinks into something soft but crinkly that pops under my step.

The still wrapped, but now flattened Twinkie has squirted goo all over my shoe. Under the cream-filled carcass is a lime green post-it note covered in tiny black print.

“Imogen: Don’t park so close to my car next time – I could barely get in. Enjoy the Twinkie. I just knew a snack cake would be the surefire way to get your attention. -Ella”

I try to keep from shaking with rage but fail miserably.

Scraping my shoe along the curb, I crumple the post it, shove it in my hoodie pocket, and climb into the Grannymobile.

I pull out of the driveway (a little too fast), and turn on the radio (a little too loud). The alternative rock station is playing some Nirvana, which is no “All That Jazz,” but I can appreciate it.

 

It just keeps getting better because not only this book has beautiful story, it also has a beautiful soundtrack!!

 

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Damsel Distressed is the story of Imogen, a girl who’s survived the years after her mother’s death by focusing squarely on her best friend, Grant, musical theatre, and lots of cheese. The book is full of humor and heart, and also contains a few surprises. Full page sketches are scattered throughout the novel, and each one contains a QR code that corresponds to a song from the book’s soundtrack. Imogen Unlocked is a 12-song album of original music written by the author and her husband Daron as their indie-pop band, Wedding Day Rain. Together, the book Damsel Distressed and the soundtrack Imogen Unlocked work together to tell the story of a girl who might just make her own Happily Ever After, if she can just hold herself together. 

 

 

Imogen Unlocked Track Listing:

 

Heavy
No Goodbye
Something About
Sinking
Don’t Wake Me Up
Let Me Go
My Strength
Unseen
Always Speak Too Late
The End is Just the Beginning
Breathe Easy
Edge of the Fall

 

 

 

Kelsey_Author_Photo

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Tumblr

 

Kelsey Macke has been creative for as long as she can remember. From an early age she was on stage singing, penning poetry, and writing notebooks full of songs. When the idea for her debut novel, DAMSEL DISTRESSED, popped into her head, she was undeterred by the fact that she had no idea how to actually write a novel. Her bff, the internet, was her guide, and after much trial, error, and candy, she finished it, and set out to get it published… a process far more difficult than, the internet (now her mortal enemy), had lead her to believe.

Her whirlwind adventure was made even more unbelievable when she signed with fabulous agent, Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and, shortly after, Danielle Ellison of Spencer Hill Contemporary bought her debut.

This innovative, mixed-media art project has given Kelsey an incredibly unique opportunity to join two of her passions: writing and making music with her husband as half of the folky, indie-pop band Wedding Day Rain.

DAMSEL DISTRESSED, and the companion album of original songs, Imogen Unlocked, are scheduled for release in October 2014.

 

Have you read Damsel Distressed? What did you think? 🙂

 

REVIEWS & SNEAK-A-PEEK: BuqoYA: Taking Chances

So, I am excited for this book tour!! Okay, more like, ecstatic. It’s always fun supporting a Filipino author. Okay, now, what I’m gonna review is bundle of stories. 6 of them in 1. Though it’s much easier to review it as a bundle, I decided to make a short review of each story instead. Some are excerpts so you can take a glimpse of what’s inside. There’s also a rockin’ giveaway for a PH reader, so don’t you miss that one!!


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[check out the tour schedule here]

 

 

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TAKING CHANCES

 
Whether looking for closure, proving their worth, or wondering what happens after a moonlit night, the characters from these stories will invite you to take a chance for love. Will they find what they’re looking for? Or will their hearts get broken? Step into their shoes and find out.

 
 

Purchase link: Buqo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This bundle includes:

 

A Portrait of Jade by Justine Camacho-Tajonera

 

Jade Alverio is dying to get to summer art camp in Baguio, far away from her demanding parents and her ultra-perfect sister, Ruby. She thinks it will be a haven of likeminded spirits until she gets her first critique from Alexander Santamaria III, who seems to have converted all female camp members into his groupies.
Things get worse when she’s paired up with him on a major project. Will she survive dream-turned-nightmare art camp, or will she go running back home, the very place she wanted to escape in the first place?

My Review..

Though this book has a sweet and innocent romance that I adored, I gotta say… that’s not why the only reason liked it. Its really more because of Jade and her character growth. From the beginning, you can really see that there’s something wrong about how Jade see and carry herself. And its great that the guy helped her in some way to realize that. Because that’s really what guys are for you know. Well, yeah, free food and rides are bonus.
This started as the classic we-hate-each-other kind of scenario and it was awesome. I enjoyed their banter and how they worked up their differences. And omg BAGUIO CITY! You guuuys, Baguio is a city here in Philippines and EVERYBODY wants to go to Baguio. I can’t even imagine someone who don’t like Baguio… seriously, that’d be bizarre.

Anyway, it’s refreshing to read a story with a setting that I am familiar with. It feels I was also there with them. And that, my friends, is an amazing feeling. Self realizations, cute and young love and art references that you’ll be glad to know. I can’t get enough!

 

Second Sight to Forever by Racquel Sarah A. Castro

 

Sasha Salazar, a passionate A-Girls dancer, met her ‘crush-at-first-sight’ in the stairway of Escuela de Rojo. She ignored him because she was still into Norman Gil. The second sight at the EDR’s rooftop began the daily rooftop moments (RTMs) of Sasha with the famous basketball varsity player, Joshua Bonifacio. Take a glimpse on how their relationship bloomed as they both found out the spy.

Excerpt..

 

At the first week of January, the Salazar family went back from Hong Kong. While unpacking, Daniel took a deep breath before uttering a word to Ayie. He admitted who the spy was.
“What?” Ayie displayed dismay on her husband. “What are you thinking? Is that why you are so generous to Sasha? You have done something so bad, honey. She will feel betrayed.”
“I know, I know . . .” Daniel sighed while Ayie walked out on him.
***
RTM – First Day of School after the Christmas vacation
“I heard that mom already know who Dad’s spy is.” Sasha talked to Joshua.
“I have something to tell you . . .” Joshua got so neurotic that she assumed he was the spy.
“You are the spy!” She slapped him and walked away.
Joshua whispered, “I just want to say I love you.” He wept and thought he wouldn’t have a chance to say what he felt for her.
From that day, he spent RTM alone. Being without the other half of the SJ Duo was the hardest thing for him. He tried to focus on his studies so that he could have a chance to be the class valedictorian.
Joshua tried to reach out to Sasha but she ignored his text messages. Week 2, Ryan invited Joshua to join them for the quarterly study group session but he refused.
Sasha talked to him to return the toy ring and the bracelet. She focused her time studying at the rooftop away from Joshua. Joshua was on the other side and just loved in a distance.

 

After the Moment by Six de los Reyes

 

Under the most normal of circumstances, Aria de Luna could never imagine herself kissing the boy she has always considered to be miles and miles out of her league. She’s known as their year’s resident emo-girl and she plays the part flawlessly with her violet hair, scuffed boots, and her alleged angst from living under the shadow of her over-achieving, perfect, older sister. Meanwhile, Kristoffer Li is living the perfect life. He’s popular, next year’s captain of the basketball team, attractive, if maybe a little too frowny for people’s liking, but he looks very pretty on a chocolate-milk drink carton.
So it is only under the most unusual circumstance that Kris shows up at the Arts and Culture Festival Aria has been looking forward to all year. But does a morning of awkward conversations, an afternoon of provoking discussions, and a moment under the moonlight really change three years of oblivious coexistence? Or will everything go back to the way it was after the moment?

My Review..

 

So, this is my favorite. And no, it’s not because of the love interest named Kristoffer Li. Psh! I mean, why would you even think- seriously, what kind of reviewer do you think I am?? ………okay fine, it is because of him. But wait, before you start judging me, I want to say that he is not the only reason. Its also because of Aria and her hair, and her snarky comebacks, her introvert self, the setting, the awesome writing, the realistic pacing of the story.. Don’t you love reading stories that keeps you hopeful and makes you say ‘wow yeah, this can totally to me too’ I love fairy tales just as much as the next girl does, but when it comes loves stories, I still want a huge hint if reality into them.
I swooned. I laughed. My heart just lifted! It’s amazing how short this story was (compared to my usual reads) and yet, the character depth is superb! I’m not the artsy type. The best thing I can do with a sketchpad and a pencil is, well, stare at them. Not into orchestra and stuff like that as well BUT despite all of that, I can still relate Aria. ….and I’m still jealous of her name. Her introvert self and mind is so easy to get into. I really just breezed through the story. Not realizing that it’s the end when I saw that ‘To Be Continued..‘ dear god, it scared the crap out of me, I thought its gonna end just like that. I was not prepared!!

Overall, this story is such a success. Can’t wait for more from these characters and this author. … is so charming, so sweet, every readers need this kind of stories once in a while.

 

When a KISS Falls by Kaye Dee

 

Do you know someone tagged as a KISS?
Nastasha and Stefano are both aware of the uncanny relationship they have as best friends. Nash has always been the KISS or knight-in-shining skirt – always so protective of Stef. In her, Stef found a personal on-call heroine. Stef, on the other hand, is often seen as vain, weak and feminine, making him the perfect bully target. Until one day, Stef realizes it should be the other way around. It is time to switch their roles and be his best friend’s protector and defender. But being the strong-willed girl that she is, Nash just cannot deal away with her tough nature.
Will Stef prove his worth and fulfill the new role in their friendship? Will this be the bridge that can take their friendship into something more?

 Excerpt..

 

I looked at myself in front of the mirror, trying to fix my plaid skirt that sat just below my knees. My white blouse was neatly ironed. I had my long unruly hair pulled up in a ponytail like I always do every morning. After I double checked if I have everything I needed in my backpack, I went on my way to kick off my last year in high school.
I almost hopped my way, looking a little too ecstatic. Maybe it was the amount of caffeine I had this morning or it could be the eternal vibe of today.

The Athenaeum Integrated School, known as AIS to many, had to be the best school in our small town of Cordova. Maybe even one of the most prestigious schools in the island province of Mactan. There was no denying that for suburban teenagers like me, AIS is more than what we can possibly hope for in an educational institution.

AIS had always been a pride of Cordova because of its top notched facilities and faculties. We always rank high on both regional and national achievement tests. Not only does our school cater to producing intelligent students, we also have a great curriculum that brings into being talented artists and athletes.

Though my years in AIS have been nothing short of amazing, God knows how much I wanted to leave its four walls; wear a toga, march up to the stage, get that diploma, and begin my college journey. I even started to do a countdown for our high school graduation, and would eagerly cross out every passing day off my calendar.

 

Loving You All My Life by Rafael P. Pascual

 

Isang ulirang estudyante, kaibigan at anak si Danielle Natasha Lastimosa. Ang kanyang pagsisikap, talino at kabutihan ang nagdala sa kanya sa Philippine Institute of Arts, Entertainment & Culture (PHINAREC), ang pinaka-una at natatanging paaralan para sa mga nagnanais makapasok sa larangan ng sining, kultura at libangan. Maayos na sana ang kanyang buhay-estudyante nang isang Jairus Roman Vera-Perez ang biglang nagpagulo rito. Ang lalaking iyon ang anak ng may-ari ng PHINAREC, pero ito rin ang pinakalider pagdating sa katamaran, kayabangan at kakulangan ng disiplina. Pagtatagpuin sila ng isang kakaibang proyekto para sa kursong kanilang pinag-aaralan. Maging mitsa kaya ito ng lalong paglala ng kanilang bangayan, o ito na kaya ang magsilbing daan para sila ay maging magkaibigan – at magkatuluyan? Masabi kaya nila sa isa’t isa ang katagang “I’LL KEEP ON LOVING YOU ALL MY LIFE”?

Excerpt..

 

DANA’S POV
Philippine Institute of the Arts, Entertainment & Culture
February 16, 2000

Hay, salamat! Natapos din ang isang linggon pagsusunog ng kilay. Kakatapos lang ng examination week at kaming lahat ay nabunutan ng tinik sa dibdib.

Pa’no ba naman: ang hirap na nga ng pagre-review, masyado pang mahigpit ang mga propesor – na pati ang pakikinig ng radio sa cellphone ay ipinagbawal din nila! Para naming walang tiwala ang mga propesor sa aming mga estudyante sa PHINAREC. Sabagay, prestihiyosong paaralan iyan para sa mga nagnanais pumasok sa media at showbiz, kaya gayan sila kahigpit.


Anyway, my name is Dana – Danielle Natasha Lastimosa. Anak ako ng isang retiradong inhinyero at ng isang dating government employee na napunta sa pagtitinda ng sigarilyo at kendi sa NAIA. At kung ang iniisip n’yo ay mahirap ang pamilya naming, tama po kayo.

Mahirap ang pamilya naming, kaya dumating ang panahong kailangan ko nang magtrabaho para matulungan ang aking mga magulang.

Kaya lang naman ako nakapag-aral sa PHINAREC ay dahil may nakapansin sa talent ko. Siya lang naman si Mr. Art Paglinawan, ang pinakasikat na newscaster sa kasalukuyang panahon. Simula kasi nang Manalo ako sa News Reading Competition ng FBN, at nang Makita niya ang sitwasyon ng pamilya naming, tinulungan niya ako sa pag-aaral ko dito – sponsored niya ang mass communication scholarship program ng PHINAREC.

 

Never Too Late by Jen C. Suguitan

 

When Cass goes to a trip to Corregidor, she thinks that it’s the key to finding closure over her sister’s death. But things change when she gets mixed up with the wrong tour group where she meets Noah, a budding filmmaker and photographer who wants to relive his grandfather’s war stories through the tour.
As they explore the historic island together, will Cass and Noah find what they are looking for? Or will they find something more, like a chance to fall in love, too?

 My Review..

 

This is the story that transported me. The vivid description of the setting is so easy to fall for. Like the other stories, this one is believable as well. And yeah, the guy is also SO swoony. And not the he-only-exist-in-books kinda swoony, Noah is, he-is-out-there-amd-i’m-waiting-for-him kinda swoony. I like the first kind, but I much prefer the latter.
Fate and Destiny played a big part in this story and I JUST LOVE THAT. This also deals with grief and I can say that it was handled very well. Cass’s emotions rolled off through the pages and I felt it. This story is so uplifting. I finished with a swoony sigh and a goofy grin. Good job to the author, and just like the others, I’m looking forward for more.

 

 

AUTHORS:

 

Justine Camacho-Tajonera

 

Justine Camacho-Tajonera was born and grew up in Cebu City, Philippines. Despite starting a corporate career in telecommunications, she pursued an M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies to keep her close to her first loves: reading and writing.
Her poetry has been published in several anthologies and local publications and she has published two books: Artemis Lets Go, a novella, and Gift, her first collection of poetry. She maintains a poetry blog, Claiming Alexandria.
She works full time at a corporate job promoting e-reading in the Philippines, is married, and has two children.
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Rafael P. Pascual

 

Rafael P. Pascual is a 20-year old Mass Communication student at Universidad de Manila. He is a reader of romance, teen fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery and history. He is currently writing under the username raffythequizzard on Wattpad.com.
He also loves to read Wattpad books, particularly those published by Summit Media’s Pop Fiction imprint. He has attended the Wattpad seminar at the 35th Manila International Book Fair, the Pop Fiction Academy at the 1st Philippine Literary Festival, and the 3rd Pop Fiction Festival.
He currently lives in Navotas City with his mother and six other siblings.
Twitter | Instagram

 

Jen C. Suguitan

 

Jen C. Suguitan is a PR practitioner by day and a storyteller by night. Her love affair with words and letters led to a Journalism degree and stories cramped in her hard drive that the world has yet to see. She started writing professionally for a local broadsheet when she was seventeen, and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. When she’s not writing, she’s probably thinking of what to write about next.
Twitter | Instagram

 

Racquel Sarah A. Castro

 

Racquel Sarah A. Castro is living with Cerebral Palsy. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology in AMA Computer College-Binan Campus. She always wanted to inspire people in all ways. She also desires to prove the goodness of God through her life.
Racquel is living with her parents in Binan City, Laguna, Philippines. She is a geek, a math tutor, a food addict, a web designer, and a freelance programmer.
He family is currently a ground volunteer of Basics Global, a non-profit organization based in Dubai, UAE. She also leads a music ministry branch in Jesus Christ Rules Bible Christian Church. She aspires to be an emissary of People with Disabilities. She started the campaign on Novel Cerebral Palsy Awareness Drive by featuring her disability on her works.
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Six de los Reyes

Six de los Reyes has been reading and making up stories for as far as she can remember. In fifth grade, she learned to wield dragons and phoenixes through written word. Her day job has absolutely nothing to do with creative writing, and she wishes it did.
Twitter

 

Kaye Dee

Some people say actions speak louder than words. But actions are temporary. Words are forever.
Twitter | Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

One powerbank to a lucky Philippine resident!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

TOUR HOST:

Oops, I Read A Book Again tours

ARC REVIEW: Captive (Captive #1) by Brighton Walsh a.k.a ‘gotcha!’

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Captive (Captive #1)
Brighton Walsh
Published March 24th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin
NA/A > Romance | Suspense
288pages (paperback)
arc via publisher

 

3 ★★★

 

Purchase links:
Amazon | BN

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

He’s the most dangerous man she’s ever met…and she’s falling in love with him.
Madison Frost is desperate to escape her life. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she has everything a girl could ask for. Except for a family who’s present in her life, and anyone to talk to outside the four walls of the prison she calls home. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.
Now she’s being held captive by a man who’s as frightening as he is sinfully gorgeous. Enormous, muscular, and filled with secrets, the man they call Ghost is an enigmatic mercenary, and Madison is trapped with him. She doesn’t know who hired him or why, but the more time she spends at his mercy, the more she realizes he’s not what he seems. Beneath his rough exterior lies an unexpected gentleness and a heart as broken and battered as her own.
But as Madison lets down her walls, Ghost holds tight to his, hiding secrets that could destroy everything.

REVIEW:

 


“I didn’t even have the time to scream..”

I’m not lying when I tell you guys that reading this is a step out of the comfort zone for me. This kind of concept doesn’t really appeal to me that much but since a lot are buzzing about this book and the author seems a good one, I decided to give it a go. This is my first captor/captive story and my first from Brighton Walsh as well. And I’m confident that it won’t be the last. To both.

Though it didn’t WOW me like I expected it would, I still enjoyed the whole story. To be honest, I’m not focused on the romance (which is shocking, i know) but really, I’m more focused on Madison’s behavior. What leads her to falling to her captor. Basically, I started reading this book with questions in my head.

Madison is a decent MC. She’s tolerable, she can be admiring and most of the time she has her head in her soldiers which is pretty much what she needs in her situation. But Madison is kind of bland too. There’s nothing really… memorable about her. And sadly, I could say the same with the love interest. Ghost is just like his name… a ghost. I didn’t really feel anything towards him through out the whole book. He doesn’t feel genuine. His feelings, his thoughts…I don’t buy it.

The romance left me with doubts. Actually, there’s a lot of instances that made me skeptic. I remember, at one scene, she has a pen.. so why didn’t she use it?? There’s a lot of me wanting to go inside the book and make her do something but then again, its so hard to imagine myself in her shoes. Honestly, I don’t want to. Anyway, let’s get back to the romance. That I didn’t enjoy. Brighton Walsh writes hot and heavy kissing scenes, but even with all of that, I still wasn’t satisfied.

I just really have a very high expectation from this book and got disappointed. Despite that, I don’t have the heart to rate it lower than 3 stars. Brighton’s writing was decent and absolutely readable. She threw some twist towards the end that I didn’t see coming and I really liked that. I believe this is a its not you, its me case so I still recommend it to you guys.

 

Paula

ARC REVIEW & HAPPY RELEASE DAY: Everything (Songbird #3) by Melissa Pearl

TG

Everything (Songbird #3)
Melissa Pearl
Expected publication: April 24th 2015
NA >  Romance

 

4 ★★★★

 

Purchase links:
Amazon | itunes | Kobo | Smashwords | BN 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

Jody Pritchett had a dream…but life had other plans. Instead of singing and dancing on Broadway, Jody’s a twenty-year-old single mom, living at home with her disapproving father and overbearing sister. The choice to keep her little Angelia came with a high price and although she adores her baby girl, it doesn’t take away the sting of kissing goodbye her chance at a career on the stage.
Leo Sinclair had his own dream…but got lost along the way. After a failed marriage that left him hollow and downtrodden, the Australian songwriter wonders what joy his future could possibly hold. Encouraged by the one family member who doesn’t think he’s a failure, Leo decides to stop living the life everyone expects him to and start chasing his dreams again.
When the perfect opportunity comes knocking, Leo leaves Australia behind and hops a flight to LA. With his sights set on selling a musical to a Broadway producer, Leo is determined to finally realize his life-long dream. But life gets in the way again, when he spots a young mother outside his apartment in tears. He never realized how one person, one voice, and one Angel could have him contemplating abandoning his dreams once again.
As these two burned hearts wrestle to overcome their past struggles, Leo and Jody must decide what dreams are worth clinging to…because, sometimes, everything you want is not everything you need.
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Melissa Pearl is one of the best authors I know. she always have the best ideas. This romance/music  book is another hit by her and I just can’t get enough! Sweet romance plus music! Yep,this book is just perfect.


 

 

REVIEW:

 

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I swear, Melissa Pearl does things inside of me that I can’t explain. Is it butterflies? Jumping unicorns? I don’t know. But what I do know is that she’s the only one who can do it. I started reading this book knowing that I won’t be disappointed. And boy, was I right. Melissa did it again! With a hot melting romance, real and raw characters and music that soothes your heart and soul, Everything is what Melissa Pearl is all about.

Jody and Leo is Melissa’s new masterpiece and they couldn’t be more perfect for each other. Jody is admirable. I felt and hurt for her. She’s too young to experience all the hurts that was thrown at her way but it was amazing how she dealt with everything head on. True, she was stupid. She got played. But some lessons need to be experienced in the best hurtful way and Jody know all about that now. But she got her little Angel out of it… and that makes it all worth it.

Leo has his own obstacles to push through. He has his own dreams that he wants to happen. And its great that when Jody came into his life, he wasn’t distracted (okay he was, but in a good way) but most importantly, he was inspired more than ever. Ahhh, Leo. How do I describe Leo? He’s this British guy that when you get a sight of him you can’t help but ask him if he wants to be the father of your first child. Then you’ll be embarrassed for yourself so you’ll blame his eyes. His smile. His accent too.

The romance was perfect as usual. Hot and sweet. Full of sexiness and chemistry that only two in love characters can make. You can feel it roll off through the pages. Everything made me feel lots of emotions. But the most was love. Love for the characters. Love for music. Love for the author. This book is a love story. But it also deals with family, being a parent, your dreams.. a book that only Melissa Pearl can write.

 

AUTHOR:

 

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Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book is coming out in February 2014 – True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.

 

ARC REVIEW: Any Way You Slice It by Kristine Carlson Asselin

 111Any Way You Slice It
Kristine Carlson Asselin
Expected publication: April 21st 2015 by Bloomsbury Spark
YA > Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
arc via tour host
 
 

3 ★★★1/2

 
 
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BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
Penelope Spaulding just can’t catch a break. Between long hours at the family restaurant, homework, and her parents’ plans for her future, it’s hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, everything slips away…
Racing around the rink allows her to blow off steam after yet another fight with her dad about going to culinary school. So when Jake Gomes, the bad boy who lives down the street, dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her father and his expectations.
The more she plays, the easier it is to keep lying, and soon Pen finds it impossible to come clean. She’s sneaking out to practice—and loving every minute of it. It doesn’t take long for her to fall in love with hockey…and Jake’s not half bad either. But she knows it can’t last. As soon as her dad finds out, she’ll be benched. For good.
She’s absolutely not going to tell her parents until she’s sure it will be worth the inevitable fight. Not only is she skipping shifts at Slice Pizza while a foodie reality show is on the horizon, but her lies are starting to take their toll on her game. It’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart.
With the team counting on her and with her relationship with Jake on the line, will she have to sacrifice the thing she wants most for the people she loves? Or can she step up and take her best shot?
 
 
K
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Welcome to my stop for the AWYSI blog tour! Reading this book is so much fun. Probably everything you wanted in here like Pizza, cute hockey players… 😀 Don’t forget to check out the book trailer and  join the awesome giveaway at the bottom of the post!


 

 

REVIEW:

 

This book has ‘adorable’ written all over it. I like that while it’s cute and adorable it also deals with serious and important stuff. I love parents. I love that they have our best interest in their hearts. But as much as they love us- there are still some unavoidable agreements that bounds to happen.

So why am I saying this? Its because of our main character’s situation. Her parents have a different idea for her when it comes to the career she’ll be pursuing. It was amazing how much I relate to Penelope. Maybe because I’ve been in her situation but Kristine Asselin really wrote a believable teenager who is struggling to make her own dreams happen. I was touched by how much persistent she can be. Sure, there are a lot of lies and sneaking around that happened but it was great how she realized how bad that was. And as a teenager myself, I understand her. I’m sure you will too no matter what your age is.

The romance was simple and sweet. Not really my usual cuppa since I enjoy the NA/A Romance more but I still enjoyed it. The love interest has his own issues that needs to be dealt with and it was great that it was tackled accordingly. The characters are young and the level of their intimacy is just perfect!

I am impressed too and very much intrigued now with Hockey because of this book. I was not a fan back then but because of the glimpses that Kristen Asselin showed us when it comes to Hockey really caught my attention. The excitement was very much present. The urge to cheer for Pen cannot be ignored. And I was rooting for her the whole time. I can’t help but feel like I was inside the book. Standing with the audience.

The family aspect was well done. I love how realistic Pen’s relationship is to her family and even to her bestfriend who is so hilarious btw! I like the pizza place that they have and even their crew. Kristine just made me care for all of them.

I still don’t know whether I should sing or crave for pizza whenever I read this title but one thing I know though is that I truly enjoyed reading it. It was funny and heartfelt. I recommend Pen’s adventures for readers who wants to be encouraged to chase her own dreams. And if you’re a parent? This is a MUST for your kids!

 

 

BOOK TRAILER:

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

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Kristine Carlson Asselin is the author of fourteen children’s books for the school library market. In addition to nonfiction, she writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. She has a BS from Fitchburg State University and an MA from the University of Connecticut.

Her debut YA novel – ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT – will be available from Bloomsbury Spark in 2015. Her first picture book, WORST CASE OF PASKETTI-ITIS was published in June 2013.

A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Kristine loves attending workshops to practice her craft and meet other writers. She is currently on deck to direct the 2014 New England SCBWI Conference.

She loves books–mostly middle grade and young adult. She’s a sucker for a good love song. And she can’t resist an invitation for Chinese Food or Ice Cream. But not together.

She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Kristine lives with her husband and daughter in a suburb near Boston.

Find out more about Kristine at www.kristineasselin.com or www.krisasselin.blogspot.com.

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

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