Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Format: NetGalley via publisher
Challenges: 2015 NetGalley/Edelweiss
Rating: 5/5

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, its high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

My Thoughts
This is the kind of book that makes me love YA! It has everything [ok minus the whole tragic boyfriend lost] I love and wanted in high school. There is obviously the whole hot popular boy crush in Ryan. Who is so popular but at the same time super nice and sensitive. There is the “cool” group of girlfriends that would do anything for you and will always have your back. Lastly that friend who at the last second you realize is the guy who you love and are destined to be with.

This is the story of Paige who after the death of her boyfriend is just trying get back to “normal.” She just wants everyone to treat her like they use to and has recently started to like her old crush Ryan. She becomes friends with Ryan’s nerdy cousin Max and thinks that being friends with him she will get closer to Ryan. The more time she spends with Max she really gets to liking him as a friend and maybe even more. Max is the one person who doesn’t treat her like a delicate doll and who has the most in common with her. It’s all good until a friend of Paige’s starts spending a lot of time with Max that she realizes she likes him but does he feel the same? Will Paige risk it all and declare her feeling for Max or will she deny her happiness?

While I really enjoyed the whole Max/Paige thing what I loved most was the friendship with her besties. That’s the one thing I regret most, I’ve never had that whole bbf group of female friends. I’ve always been more of a guy’s girl than a girly girl, and while I love my boys I missed out on that whole slumber parties and gossip stuff. But I did totally connect on the friendship aspect of this read and always being there for one another. No matter if you have a ton of friends or just a tight knit group always have one that will always have your back. The best thing is the knowledge that someone out there will always love and support you no matter what and if you have that consider yourself one lucky person!


Review + Giveaway: One Plus One by JoJo Moyes

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes
Published: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Penguin
Format: paperback via publisher
Rating: 4/5

Suppose your life sucks—a lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. If you’re Jess Thomas, you do what you always do—make it work.

Jess and her family (including their giant, smelly dog Norman) begin their doomed-from-the-start adventure stranded on the side of the road next to a dilapidated Rolls Royce—sans license, sans insurance—having just been pulled over by the police for a missing headlight. And the unexpected knight in shining armor who rescues them? Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home Jess happens to clean. With big problems of his own, Ed, in perhaps his first ever unselfish act, offers to drive Jess and her dysfunctional brood to the Maths Olympiad and a prize that could turn everything around for Jess’s family.

This unlikely cast of characters is easy to fall for: Nicky, Jess’s stepson, wears mascara, doesn’t fit in at school, but is fiercely protective of Tanzie, Jess’s precocious math prodigy daughter; Jess and Ed are the kind of opposites you love to watch attract; and pungent Norman, the immovable mascot of the back seat, is the best guard dog you’ll ever find drooling on your shoulder.

 In celebration of One Plus One on paperback I'm honored to offer [1] paperback copy to a lucky reader.
Simply click HERE to enter! Good luck! U.S. Only

 About the Author

JOJO MOYES is the New York Times bestselling author of One Plus One, The Girl You Left Behind, Me Before You, and The Last Letter from Your Lover.  She is also the author of the e-only novella Honeymoon in Paris as well as Silver Bay and The Ship of Brides, recently out in paperback. Moyes also writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines. She lives with her husband and their three children on a farm in Essex, England.

Also published by Viking / Penguin and available as ebooks:
Me Before You / Penguin / $16.00 / ISBN: 978-0-14-312454-2
The Last Letter from Your Lover / Penguin / $16.00 / ISBN: 978-0-14-312110-7
The Girl You Left Behind / Penguin / $16.00 / 978-0-14-312577-8
Silver Bay / Penguin / $16.00 / ISBN: 978-0-14-312648-5
The Ship of Brides / Penguin / $16.00 / ISBN: 978-0-14-312647-8
Honeymoon in Paris (e-book only) / Pamela Dorman Books-Viking / ISBN: 978-0-698-14432-3

My Thoughts
What can I say I’m officially a fan! Why on earth did it take me so long to read a JoJo Moyes book?? Now that I’ve read this one I will make it my mission to go and seek out every book she has ever written that’s how much I love and adore her and her writing.

I loved Jess from the start as a woman who is simply trying to hold on her to family while everything around her is falling apart. She is left to provide for her family when her husband all but disappeared leaving her with a daughter and step son to care for. Her daughter Tanzie is a math whiz and has been invited to Maths Olympiad and the money could change a lot of things. Enter Ed whom Jess cleans for and due to circumstances they end up road trip buddies. Ed is the complete opposite of Jess in so many aspects. He is well to do, rich but in so many ways out of touch. He has in essences almost built this whole world around himself so that he doesn’t have to deal with the real world. You almost feel sorry for the guy. I became so protected of these characters that can't help but fall in love with flaws and all.

Personally the road trip was the best part of the book for me. That’s when I feel we really got to know each of these characters the good and the bad. For some reason the open road was like therapy and was just what each of them needed at this time of their lives. I love how sometimes we have to hit bottom in our lives in order to truly enjoy the good things in life, not to mention to truly appreciate them. JoJo Moyes has a way of bringing all these characters that on the surface may seem like complete opposites but beneath the surface might be more alike than they seem. I love how we see these people evolve over time and while that can be hard at times in the end is wonderful.


Blog Tour + Giveaway: The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase
Expected Publication: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: NetGalley
Challenges: NetGalley / Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5

Sarina Mahler thinks she has her life all nailed down: a growing architecture practice in Austin, Texas, and an any-day-now proposal from her loving boyfriend, Noah. She’s well on her way to having the family she’s hoped for since her mother’s death ten years ago. But with Noah on a temporary assignment abroad and retired Olympic swimmer—and former flame—Eamon Roy back in town asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper, Sarina’s life takes an unexpected turn. Eamon proves to be Sarina’s dream client, someone who instinctively trusts every one of her choices—and Sarina is reminded of all the reasons she was first drawn to him back in the day. Suddenly her carefully planned future with Noah seems a little less than perfect. And when tragedy strikes, Sarina is left reeling. With her world completely upended, she is forced to question what she truly wants in life—and in love.
Full of both humor and heartbreak, The One That Got Away is the story of one woman’s discovery that, sometimes, life is what happens when you leave the blueprints behind.

Connect with Bethany

A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bethany Chase headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.

Click HERE for your chance to win a copy of this fab book!

My Thoughts
I can't rave enough about this read...it literally had me from the start. The One That Got Away has one for the best first lines ever!
I’m also biased because this takes place in my home state of Texas in Austin to be exact which is like 2 hours away so I felt a connection from the beginning. Sarina is just trying to make her way in life trying to start up her career and trying to make a long distance relationship work when she meets up with an old one night stand. Eamon was the one guy she felt a connect to but after that one night which she thought was a fab start he never calls or contacts her again. So when she sees him again she still feels that connect that one thing she didn't realize was missing in her life. While she has a boyfriend she can't help but think of what could’ve happened, but most of all she wants to know why. Why didn’t he call or atleast tell her why he left and never spoke to her again. The closer they become she realizes he was the one that got away, he is the missing piece in her life. She knows her boyfriend doesn’t fit her life, they see their lives going into two different directions. Now she must put herself out there and come clean with both of them and decide what she really wants in her life and whom she wants to share it with. The One That Got Away is the perfect read that shows us that its important to stand up for what you want in life and to never settle. People change and who you were at 18 isn't whom you will always be. People sometimes deserves a second chance we all make mistakes and from those mistakes we find out we messed up some good things. It’s all about the timing, sometimes we aren’t meant to be with someone at that moment, sometimes we have to go through the bad to make us realize just how good something or someone really is.


Teaser: Kissing Eden by T.A. Foster

This teaser blitz is a 3 day event. Each day will contain materials highlighting a book in the box set. Today we highlight...

Kissing Eden
Have you ever thought of taking a vacation alone? I mean step on a plane, check into your hotel, and lie on the beach completely and utterly alone. No? Me either, but then right before senior spring break I got dumped.
Something about break ups makes you do things you didn’t want to do, and try things you didn’t know you were capable of.

That’s how I ended up at the Palm Palace.
That’s how I met Grey.
That’s how my spring break turned into the most unforgettable week of my life.

“Thanks for walking me back. I had fun.” My eyes shot to his. Grey leaned his arm against the frame of the door. I felt my heart racing and the heated feeling in my belly. “Why don’t you invite me in?” Willpower, Eden, be strong. He leaned down and brushed his lips on mine, taking his time to touch them fully. All I wanted to do was wrap my legs around him and let him carry me to the bed, but I untangled myself from his hold.
“I—uh—promised my mom I would call her. You know, nightly check-in.” It was an idiotic thing to say, but he had me tongue-tied in more ways than one. He rocked back on his heels. “Oh, got it.” He shoved his hands in his pockets. The fiery magic lingering between us evaporated. “Good night.” He turned and walked away. I let myself into my room. Spring break just got turned upside down on its head. Shit.

Promo/Excerpt/Giveaway: Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

Published by Henry Holt BYR | On sale March 24, 2015
Hardcover | Ages 14 to 18 | Grades 9 to 12 | 224 pages | $16.99 | 978-0-8050-9257-8

Abram and Juliette know each other. They’ve lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don’t really know each other—at least, not until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. Sharing the same
subdivision is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don’t speak.
Fast-forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a year later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite Juliette to Taco Bell.
To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins.

Praise for Finding Mr. Brightside
"I have rarely rooted for anyone—fictional or real—more than I rooted for Abram and Juliette. Jay Clark—you just wrote one of my favorite YA books ever. Thank you!" —Jerry Spinelli, author of Stargirl
About the Author
Jay Clark is the author of The Edumacation of Jay Baker, which was named a Bank Street College Best Book. He’s also a random blogger. Surprisingly popular entries like “How to stop hating people in 21 minutes” and “8 tips for posting your best selfie yet!” He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Connect with Jay

I'm honored to giveaway [1] copy of Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark.
Click HERE to Enter
U.S. Only

THERE SHE IS, standing behind the counter: my CVS pharmacist, Mindy. We’re on a first-name basis. Not sure how she feels about that, but the other day I hid inside the Starbucks bathroom for five minutes to avoid running into her, so …
I walk up and slide my prescription toward Mindy’s waiting hand, ignoring the sign reminding me not to forget this year’s flu shot on purpose again.
“Hi, Juliette.”
“Hey, Mindy.”
Mindy picks up the paper, stares at it like we don’t go through the same embarrassing routine every month.
“Let me check if I have this medication in stock.”
She does—I called ahead but don’t want to admit it, just watch as Mindy walks over to the safe where they keep all the stuff worth getting prescribed. She crouches down and practically folds herself over the front of it, paranoid I might memorize the combo as she punches it in. At best, she looks awkward. At worst, I’ve already memorized it—never know when things will get more desperate than they already are.
She walks back, tells me they have it, and starts typing my order into the computer. Frowning, she says, “Your insurance won’t cover this until the end of the month.”
“Really?” I say innocently. Went a little overboard on my daily dosage last week. After hesitating for what seems like an appropriate amount of time, I tell her I’ll pay out of pocket and remove my sketchy online discount card from my purse. Mindy shoots me a conflicted expression that I’m not mentally equipped to help her feel better about. I have my own problems, clearly.
“When would you like to pick up your Adderall?” she practically bellows.
“Ten minutes, please,” I say, my voice a sharp, pointy whisper.
Mindy pushes back the bangs she probably shouldn’t have cut in the first place, wanting me to understand how heavy the burden I’m placing on her is. The store is empty. Mindy’s going to be okay.
When we’re almost finished with each other, a noise rings out from the aisle behind me—a bottle of pills dropping to the floor. We’re not as alone as I thought. Nevertheless, I don’t turn around. Why? So I can see someone I know? Or, worse, someone-I-know’s mom? I look up toward the shoplifters-beware mirror mounted to the corner wall. Not liking what’s reflecting back at me. At all.
I’m seeing a crown of wavy blond surfer-dude hair, droopy gray sweatpants, flip-flops. But it’s the bewilderingly cute face, his face, and the watery-blue color of his eyes, which stir up feelings I haven’t yet figured out how to compartmentalize.
For now, I give my brain tips like Stop it and I hate you. I’m still getting a faceful of Abram Morgan at CVS, on a Friday, at midnight, dropping a bottle of fish oil on the floor.
He places the bottle back on the shelf, mutters an apology to no one in particular, and walks away. Why is he here? Shouldn’t he be playing tennis, or doing whatever Abram Morgan does on the weekends so I don’t have to worry about seeing the waistband of his boxer briefs outside of eighth-period English?
I finish up with Mindy and then duck past the greeting cards into the most boy-repelling aisle I can find: the tampon section. Then I go one aisle past that one, because I just can’t be that girl right now, even in hiding. Eyes lowered as far as they can go, I examine the boxes of hair color as if I’m in the market for a new hue that’s destined to result in my best friend, Heidi, a genuinely nice person who could do a lot better for herself than the damaged goods I’m bringing to the table, throwing me a pity party and having to pretend it’s just as fun as a regular party.
One of the hair models, a doll-like woman with an intentionally disheveled blond bob, looks eerily similar to my mother. Her lips are painted a deep red, her chin tilts upward like she’s found a secret beauty ingredient bubbling forth from the fountain of youth, and wouldn’t you like to buy what it is? A chill plays the piano down my spine.
I pick up the box—the last one on the shelf—and drop it quietly to the floor, sliding it underneath the bottom shelf with my worn-out running shoe. For a second I flash back to my mom in a hospital bed, eyes closed, face flawless and scratch-free, her brain the only injured part of her body. Even close to death, she looked very, very much alive.
My chest feels tight, and I can’t breathe, and, new rule, no thinking about my mother on life support again for at least the rest of my days. Especially with Abram Morgan, a living reminder of who she’d become, nearby.
Then it hits me. Not another anxiety attack. Not anything close to inner peace. The Adderall I classily swallowed at the kitchen sink, before my two-mile jog over here? Unfortunately, that’s it. The side effects are giving me a false sense of euphoric confidence that I could maybe, possibly, confront Abram Morgan, head-on, and “kill my frog,” as my well-meaning father, a lifelong people-procrastinator himself, likes to preach but rarely leaves the house to practice.
Say I did walk over to Abram right now—how would I go about forcing casual conversation? Should I unzip my track jacket so he can get a clearer view of my protruding clavicles? Flirtatiously release my dry-shampooed hair from my extra-taut runner’s bun, mid-sentence, to indicate how relaxed I’m not in his presence? Smile through the pain I’ve been distracting myself from by taking more than my fair share of ADHD pills?
I start searching for him, pretending I’m the silly-but-lovable blond heroine (addict) in a low-budget indie film I just made up. Working title: Prescription for Love. My character, a type-A smart girl with mom issues and a one-track mind, is completely unaware she’s about to find a cute guy where she least expected, at CVS, while waiting for her refill. Prescription for Love has direct-to-DVD flop written all over it, but there’s a Redbox conveniently located outside the entrance here, should anyone want to rent it after we’re done filming.
There he is, in the candy section: Abram. Deep breath. I’ll do my best to make the next scene more take-charge than outtake, but no promises, being that his father killed my mother a year ago.


Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: Kissing Eden Box Set by T.A. Foster

KISSING EDEN Box Set by T.A. Foster

Kissing Eden Box Set (Includes Kissing Eden, Loving Eden, and A Very Grey Christmas)
March 2015
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon / BN / Smashwords

Kissing Eden Box Set
Get swept up in spring break fever in South Padre, Texas with Eden and Grey.
Set contains two full-length novels and one novella.

Kissing Eden
Have you ever thought of taking a vacation alone? I mean step on a plane, check into your hotel, and lie on the beach completely and utterly alone. No? Me either, but then right before senior spring break I got dumped.
Something about break ups makes you do things you didn’t want to do, and try things you didn’t know you were capable of.

That’s how I ended up at the Palm Palace.
That’s how I met Grey.
That’s how my spring break turned into the most unforgettable week of my life.

Loving Eden
Have you ever thought of packing up everything you own and moving halfway across the country?

I’m talking about leaving your entire life behind—friends, family, school—with no turning back. No? Me either, but that was before a week of spring break changed my life forever. Before I did something I never thought I’d do at twenty-two. Before I fell in love with Grey.

Sometimes happily ever after isn’t always what you think it will be.

A Very Grey Christmas
I was getting ready to spend the single most important holiday of the year alone. Completely and utterly alone.

That meant he wouldn’t be there Christmas Eve. No making Christmas cookies, or listening to my dad sing off-key while my mom bustled around wrapping last-minute gifts. No decorating the tree. No midnight Christmas kiss.

No waking up in Grey’s arms. We were actually going to spend our very first Christmas in different states.

That was until Grey gave me the most unexpected gift of my life.

About T.A. Foster
T.A. Foster once spent a monthlong spring break on South Padre Island, where she soaked in the Texas sun, beach, and learned what real Texas country music is. Sometimes fiction does spring from reality.

She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.

Author Links

Win a $5 Amazon Gift Card
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WoW [114]

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

Untangle by Calia Read
Expected Publication: August 11, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine

They say my name is Victoria.
They say I'm twenty-seven.
They say I've been in this psych ward for over a year.
They say my husband is dead, and that my daughter is too.
But. Wes visits me almost every night, and I hold my daughter every day.
They say, they say, they say...
I say, it's time to untangle the past, and uncover the truth.

Why I Can’t Wait
This one sounds really good and I’m very interested in finding out more about this read!

Feel free to link me to yours.


Promo + Giveaway: The Shopkeeper's Daughter by Lily Baxter

The Shopkeeper’s Daughter by Lily Baxter
Publisher: Avon Impulse

In World War II-torn England, a young woman must fight to keep her family together, whatever the cost.

Ginnie Travis has been working in her father shop for the past five years trying to keep it afloat. When scandal rocks her family just as relentless Nazi raids threaten their very lives, Ginnie and her sister are forced to flee and stay with their aunt in the north of England. The last thing she expects to find in the quiet countryside is love, especially with an American soldier. A soldier who has secrets of his own.

Tragedy strikes, the horror of war rages on, and Ginnie will do whatever she must to protect everything she holds dear.

I’m honored to host a giveaway of this book.  Click here to enter! U.S.Only


Book Blitz: Fragile Simplicity by Tara Neideffer

Fragile Simplicity (Sweet Haven #2) by Tara Neideffer
Published: January 29th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon

It only took one letter to make every painful memory resurface. But it took Kyleigh Helton thirteen years to bury those memories. The question in that letter will force her to make a difficult decision. Forgive, or continue to let resentment and anger consume her fragile core.
The simple life she craves seems miles away when she’s dealing with an ex who won’t let her go and a boyfriend whose problems mimic a past she’d rather forget.
She realizes it’s time for things to change. But every decision and change she makes has a consequence, and she begins to wonder if she’s strong enough to handle them.
David Madison has been struggling with guilt and grief since his brother’s death and finds comfort in the one thing Kyleigh despises. When a phone call pushes him over the edge and guilt consumes him even more, he breaks a promise to Kyleigh that threatens to tear them apart.
As quickly as things fall back into place, his world shatters again, pushing him to the breaking point, and he begins to wonder how much more he can take before he turns to the one addiction that started it all.
But he can’t. He promised. He needs to stay strong for Kyleigh. Because now she needs him more than ever, and he won’t let her down again.

***This is book two in a trilogy but each book can stand-alone***
***Due to sexual content and language, this novel is intended for audiences ages 18+***

Tara Neideffer was born and raised in Indiana with a love for animals, especially horses. As a child, she could always be found in the saddle, running her horse at full speed through open fields. She also has a love of ghost stories and a morbid fascination with watching murder mystery shows. When she's not busy writing, she's taking care of her animals, spending time with her family or reading. She still lives in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and stepson, on twenty acres, with too many animals to name.

Connect with me online!

A surprise swag pack
5 ebook copies of Fragile Simplicity
A signed paperback of Fragile Simplicity

Bringing her gaze up to his, the smile she wore took away all the pain from a few moments ago. “I love you, David.”
Clasping her cheeks in each hand, he gave her one last look as he pressed his lips against hers. His kiss was slow, his tongue moving against hers in a rhythm that mimicked a slow dance, where the music that played was the sound of their racing hearts and rapid breathing.
With one hand gripping the small of her back, the other tangled in her brown waves, he began taking small steps forward, directing her backwards to the couch. Once the back of her legs hit the cushions, they found themselves falling onto the black leather. He leaned back on his legs, staring down at the heavy rise and fall of her chest, and finding it hard to take his eyes off the fullness of her lips. He touched the outline of her cleavage that was peeking out of her shirt, and as he slid his finger along the crease, he watched her eyes momentarily close. Pulling his bottom lip into his mouth, he thrust her shirt down with both hands, giving him the access he craved. The whimper that escaped her mouth teased him even more, and she arched her back, begging him to take her. A low growl rumbled deep in his throat as he bent down and pulled her breast into his mouth.
The urgency in her touch as she gripped the back of his head pushed him along, and before he knew what he was doing, he was yanking the rest of her clothes off, along with his own.
As their bodies folded together, their desire ignited even more, and before long they were in a seamless rhythm as each breath, each kiss, and each gasp conveyed the feelings that they couldn’t find the right words for. They spoke with their bodies and it was a feeling David had feared he’d never experience again.