Book Blitz: Choosing You by Allie Everhart

Choosing You [The Jade Series #1] by Allie Everhart
Publication date: September 23rd, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Add to Goodreads/Buy Amazon

When Jade is given a scholarship to an elite private college in Connecticut, she sees it as a chance to finally escape her painful past and get a fresh start. She’s determined to succeed and that means keeping her focus on school and not guys. But her plan falls apart her first day on campus when Garret, a rich prep school boy with swimmer abs and a perfect smile, offers to help her move in.

Jade tries to push him away, but she can’t deny her attraction to him and Garret won’t let her. Things quickly heat up between them, but then come to a sudden halt when reality hits and Jade realizes that a relationship with Garret may never be possible. He comes from a world of wealth where there are rules, including rules about who he can date. And not following those rules has consequences.

As the two of them try to overcome the obstacles working to keep them apart, Jade is confronted with another challenge. On her 19th birthday, she receives a letter that her now deceased mother wrote years ago. In it are revelations that explain her traumatic childhood but also make her question the past she’s been running from.

As soon as I start running, I feel the calmness I was craving. I get lost in the repetition of my movement around the oval track and I lose all sense of time. After a while the sun is really hot and I realize that it’s probably way past noon. I take a break and sit at the side of the track, completely soaked in sweat.

“Have a good run?” 

I turn to see Garret walking toward me in navy athletic shorts and a gray t-shirt. It looks like he’s been running, too, although he’s not nearly as sweaty as me.

“It was all right,” I say. “I don’t usually run on a track.”

“You should’ve come with me. I ran a couple miles around campus.”

I shake my head, sweat dripping off me like a wet dog. “That’s not far enough. I usually run 8 or 9 miles.”

He sits down next to me. As in right next to me. Can he not see how sweaty I am? I’m sure he can smell me from 10 feet away. I can’t even stand the smell of myself.

“Eight or 9 miles? You must be a serious runner. I’m a swimmer. I only run to improve my cardio for the pool. I do a couple miles at a normal pace and then I do sprints on the track.”

So that’s why he has that body. He’s a swimmer. That explains the broad shoulders and narrow waist V shape he’s got going on.

“Go ahead.” I point to the empty track. “It’s all yours.”

“Why don’t you do them with me?” he asks in a challenging tone. “Let’s race.”

I never turn down a challenge. Well, sometimes I do, but it’s rare. “I’m a distance runner, not a sprinter. But a distance runner can beat a swimmer any day. This should be easy.” I stand up, stretching my legs which are stiffening up after my short break.

“You think you can beat me, huh?” He stretches as well. “So what’s with the insults? You don’t like swimmers?”

I shrug. “Swimmers are okay. I just don’t think they have to work that hard. I mean, the water makes you basically weightless. It’s easy to go fast when you don’t have to drag your body weight around. You don’t get that benefit with running.”

His jaw basically drops to the ground. I’ve just insulted both him and something that’s near and dear to his heart. Apparently this has never happened to him before. Pretty boy must be used to only getting compliments.

“Are you shitting me? Did you just say swimmers don’t work hard?”

“Yeah, why?” For some reason, I’m really loving insulting this guy.

 “Game on, Iowa girl. Get your ass in position.”

He sets himself up in lane one of the track. I take my sweet time walking over to lane two, yawning just for added effect.

“Do you need a head start?” I ask him, stretching my arms behind my back.

“Damn, you’re annoying.” He smiles when he says it. “We do one lap around. Ready? Three, two, one. Go!”

I take off down the lane, my eyes straight ahead pretending he’s not there. I quickly round the first end of the track and hit the straightaway. I imagine myself running far away from that place. Running back home and seeing Frank and Ryan again. I round the next end and keep running.

“Stop! We’re done!” I hear Garret’s voice and slow down, noticing that I’m already halfway through a second time around the track. I finish the loop and meet up with him again. He’s bent over, hands on his knees trying to catch his breath.

“Okay, I admit it. You’re fast,” he says, panting as sweat drips off his face.

“Fast? That was my normal pace.”

He glances up at me, trying to figure out if I’m kidding. Then he stands up straight and wipes the sweat off his forehead. “Remind me never to do that again.” He walks over to the edge of the track and gets his water bottle. “You should sign up for cross country or track. You’re really fast.”

“Nah. I ran cross country in high school. Now I just run when I’m stressed.” It’s true, but I wish I hadn’t said it. It makes me sound weak and I hate sounding weak, especially around a guy.

Allie Everhart writes about dating, love, and romance. She’s also a freelance writer for magazines and websites. Before freelancing, she was a book editor for a publishing company where she worked on several NYT bestselling nonfiction books. She loves to read as much as she loves to write. And when she’s not reading or writing, she’s outside running, which is when she gets her best book ideas.

Author Links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAllie


Spotlight: Read Pink

Read Pink® in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness

What’s black and white and pink all over?  The initiative by the Penguin Group (USA) called Read Pink® in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)!

This literary embrace of a life-saving cause last year resulted in more than 400,000 best-selling romances shipped with Read Pink seals and information about the charity it supports – The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF).  Penguin is thrilled to partner once again this year with BCRF, as 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs.

The $25,000 donation that Penguin Group USA contributes, regardless of sales, provides vital funds to support the mission of BCRF.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Group (USA)’s Read Pink® editions, we are featuring a few participating authors and what Read Pink® means to them…

Karen White (2013 Read Pink® Spokesperson), The Beach Tree
"To all of those who have fought the fight, or are in the middle of the battle, here’s a two-thumbs up for you.  You are not alone.  We are all in this together.”

Erika Robuck, Hemingway’s Girl
“As one whose life has felt the shadow of breast cancer through two friends’ illnesses this year, it is an honor to be included in Penguin’s READ PINK campaign. It is my greatest hope that this contribution may be a part of raising awareness and finding a cure.” ~Erika Robuck”

Jodi Thomas, Just Down the Road
“Breast Cancer is something all women fear. I’ve walked with two dear friends through the battlefield and both survived. We all must fight until the day comes when no one knows anyone who has had breast cancer.”

Carly Phillips, Perfect Fit
“So many of us have been touched by cancer, either personally, or through a family member or a friend's diagnosis.   I'm honored to be part of the Read Pink! program.  Purchasing a Pink book donates money to the The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Buy and Read Pink! and together we can do our part to eliminate this dreaded disease.”

Catherine Anderson, Lucky Penny
“Breast cancer is a killer that robbed me of one friend and threatened the life of another.  One out of four women may get this dreaded disease.  I am honored that this is my fourth title to be featured in the READ PINK campaign, and I am proud to be writing for a publishing house willing to engage, year after year, in the battle to save the lives of women.”

LuAnn McLane, Pitch Perfect
“Shortly after my mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer, I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child, a risky pregnancy that wasn’t supposed to happen. I believe that during the treatments my mother drew strength from the determination to see her granddaughter born. That was twenty-two years ago and my mother still refers to Cara as ‘her gift’.  Cara’s birthday is a lovely reminder that my mother is cancer free.  I am thrilled to have Pitch Perfect as part of the Read Pink program. Any small part I can play in the fight against cancer is a huge honor for me.”

Liane Moriarty, What Alice Forgot
The last three generations of my family have been affected by breast cancer. We, like so many other families, understand all too well the importance of research.
So I feel very moved and privileged to be a part of such a wonderful initiative as Read Pink.”

Alyson Richman, The Lost Wife
"My own life changed dramatically when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer just before the publication of "The Lost Wife" in 2011, so it is incredibly meaningful that the book is now helping to find a cure for other women who have been afflicted with breast cancer.  Read Pink is helping to unite readers and authors for an extremely important cause.  Please buy a book for a mother, a daughter, or a friend to show your support for this disease that takes too many lives. My children lost their grandmother to breast cancer, so I know I'll be buying the other books included in the program, to honor this woman we all loved.”

Sarah Jio, The Last Camellia
"Breast cancer is a villain more sinister than any shadowy figure in my stories. I know someone with an advanced case of the disease, a woman who is bravely fighting, but who has been given a short time to live. She will leave behind three children, a husband and a truly beautiful life. All I can says is that if there is hope to end this horrific disease, to bring this villain to justice, I want to be part of it. And I'm so very honored that The Last Camellia was chosen to be a part of Penguin's Read Pink campaign. Together, we can help write a new story for breast cancer and hopefully give more women the happy endings they deserve."

Full List of 2013 Participating Authors:
Karen White, The Beach Trees
Nora Roberts, Chasing Fire
Erika Robuck, Hemingway’s Girl
Jodi Thomas, Just Down the Road
Carly Phillips, Perfect Fit
JoAnn Ross, Sea Glass Winter
Karen Rose, Did You Miss Me?
Catherine Anderson, Lucky Penny
Kate Jacobs, The Friday Night Knitting Club
LuAnn McLane, Pitch Perfect
Liane Moriarty, What Alice Forgot
Alyson Richman, The Lost Wife
Sarah Jio, The Last Camellia
Penelope Lively, How It All Began

Mark your calendars and remember to join in the conversation with @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA on Twitter in October.  Make sure to use the hashtag #ReadPink!

For more information follow @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA, and visit www.us.penguingroup.com/readpink.

Read Pink® Blog Tour Schedule
Please support the blogs taking part in this special, Read Pink® Spotlight Tour!

October 1 – Guest post and entire Read Pink 2013 collection giveaway by spokesperson Karen White on Chick Lit Is Not Dead

“Spotlight” Blog Tour
September 23            Bridger Bitches Book Blog; Wicked Little Pixie
September 24            A Tasty Read Reviews; My Daily Romance
September 25            The Allure of Books; Ticket to Anywhere
September 26            Bookish Babe; Swoon Worthy Books
October 1            Eye on Romance; Books, Books, and More Books
October 2            Books-N-Kisses; Reviews By Tammy and Kim
October 3            Urban Fantasy Investigations; The Book Cellar
October 4            Supernatural Snark; Got Fiction? Books
October 7            Theresa’s Reading Corner; Romantic Book Affairs
October 8            Book Addicts Not So Anonymous; The Romance Dish;
October 9            Bitten By Love Reviews; Kindles & Wine
October 10            The Book Bellas; Stuck in Books
October 14            Boekie's Book Reviews; The Romance Studio
October 15            Paranormal Book Club; Ruby’s Reads
October 16            Stuck in YA Books; Caffeinated Book Reviewer
October 17            Always YA at Heart; Fiction Vixen; The Reading Café
October 18            Fiction Fare; My Book Addiction and More
October 21            Adria’s Romance Reviews; Cocktails & Books
October 22            Reality Bites! Let’s get Lost!; Literal Addiction
October 23            G Reads Books!; Reading Between the Wines
October 24            The Book Binge; SheReads.org
October 25            The Irish Banana Reviews; Harlequin Junkie
October 28            Readers Live A Thousand Lives; The Delighted Reader
October 29            Reviewing Wonderland;
October 30            Smexy Books; Hesperia Loves Books


Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Perfect Ruin [The Internment Chronicles #1] by Lauren DeStefano
Expected Publication: October 1, 2013
Format: ARC provided by publisher
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYR
Rating: 5/5

 On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

My Thoughts
I received this book as a total surprise from the publisher. I’ll be honest I didn’t know if this was a book I could or wanted to get into. I had never read anything by Lauren DeStefano so I thought I’s at least give this a try and see what happens.

OMG!! This book blew me away from the very start. Lauren DeStefano? Awesome! Why haven’t I read her books sooner? This book took me on a ride I will never forget. She paints a picture of a world that’s mysterious, beautiful and one that I want to know how she could dream up. The setting and back drop, those of a floating city, curious people who want to explore more of the world than just their own known as "jumpers", and arrange marriages that are made way before individuals are born. How people are only live to a set date then die to make way for the next generation.

The story focuses on Morgan Stockhour who is a teen with curiosity burning inside her. She wants to know if there is a life better and bigger than Internment, if there is really a life down there on "the ground." She holds on this in because if she doesn't she knows it wouldn't be good for her or her family. While she holds these secrets inside of herself, a "murder" happens. Is it murder? Or just someone trying to cover up something, so the people of Internment who are willing to let their curiosity of the possibility of another world won't let it get the best of them. It's a world filled with lies, secrets and in my opinion possible cover ups to what's really going on.

This is a fast paced read one that DeStefano paints to perfection. I personally can't wait for the next installment, to see where this ride takes me. If you are looking for the next great series to get into, I recommend this wholeheartedly. Trust me you won't be disappointed!


WoW [47]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
This week’s WoW feature is:

Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler
Expected Publication: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother -- whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her...and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not.

And it may be more than Emma can handle.

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop...

This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

Why I Can’t Wait....
Very interested story! Can’t wait to see how this story evolves and what becomes of it’s characters.

What are you waiting on? Please link me up to yours. I’d love to see your picks!


Book Blitz + Giveway!: To Know Me by Marcy Blesy

To Know Me by Marcy Blesy
Published: August 21, 2013
Add to Goodreads
Buy Amazon

Summary from Goodreads:
To know me is to die...
Seventeen-year-old Mae is convinced that the consequences of her poor decisions have caused the untimely deaths of her dad, sister Laura, and grandma who all die within a year, no matter how ludicrous her thoughts seem to those she loves. The solution? Run away so no one else she cares for gets hurt (even if she has to keep a GPS tracker on her phone at all times).

Desperate to earn her diploma and salvage something of her life, she transfers schools when people get too close. After switching to Woodson Prep with only two months to go until graduation, Mae keeps her goals in sight. But when she meets Ty, the "perfect boy" with his own secrets and a relentless interest in Mae, she must decide if she can stop running from the past and still protect those she loves.

To know me is to die. I mean, to really know me, like when you know I can run for hours without so much as a water break, or that cinnamon sugar doughnuts are my weakness, or that my dad gave me a whole different name. But I don’t let people get that close. I’ve learned the hard way. Too many people die in my life. Grandma said I was only unlucky.

"It’s not your fault all those people you love die. It’s just bad luck that you’ve had to deal with grief so young. Not fair at all," she’d said. That was right before she died on my seventeenth birthday and right after my sister Laura, my dad, and my dog Petie.

I direct Mom Number 4 toward the front door of the high school. I always get a new mom when I transfer schools. I have yet to find a school that allows a seventeen-year-old to register herself. I wanted to graduate in Ohio, but too many people started asking questions. They weren’t important questions. Just stuff like, "How come I can’t ever come over to your house?" or "Why won’t you ever talk about yourself?" or when I do, "That’s not what you told so-and-so." I had to leave. To let people into my life isn’t an option anymore. But, there’re no worries anyone will start to ask questions here. It’s already March. That diploma is as good as mine. Then I can enroll in online college and try to salvage something of my pathetic life.

About the Author:

In October 2010 I had an essay published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories For Mothers. Another essay will be published in November 2013 in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just Us Girls.

In 2012 my debut picture book was released by Bronze Man Books. Am I Like My Daddy? follows the journey of a child who seeks to learn if she is anything like the dad who died when she was young.

My middle grade novel, Confessions of a Corn Kid, as well a YA short story trilogy, The Lexie and Rhett Chronicles, and To Know Me, were released direct to kindle in 2013.

I am a great eavesdropper and person profiler which proves a fabulous advantage for a writer. As my favorite shirt says, Be careful or you’ll end up in my novel.
I am a former elementary school teacher and currently run an elementary library which is the perfect job for my interests.

Author Links:

2 e-book copies of To Know Me (mobi) (US)