Wednesday, 25 April 2018

New Release with Excerpt & Review: My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan



American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day. When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret. Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.



Amazon     IndieBound      Barnes & Noble     Books-A-Million     iBooks     GooglePlay



When a book inspires you to pause, mull over and digested the narrative as the final words are read. My Oxford Year is a revelation and far exceeded any expectations beyond my initial brief thoughts after quickly reading the blurb before I began reading.

Ella Durran has been working towards her personal goal since she was fourteen years old; to go to Oxford. With her jet-lagged head filled with cliché ideas and thoughts about what to expect, she quickly realises she's doomed to fail after a catalogue of disasters within the first twenty-four hours in the spiral city. However, after an eventful introduction to life in Magdalen College, life becomes more intriguing when the man she'd rather forget after an embarrassing encounter is to be her new professor.

Jamie Davenport oozes intellectual charm and is quite the dapper heart-breaker as his reputation precedes him at every turn between Oxford and Cambridge. When his mentor suddenly requests he teach one of her classes, he's unexpectedly drawn to the new American student in his class.

Ella and Jamie are physically drawn to each other, yet try to fight their attraction because their first impressions of each other are discouraging. However, it's respecting each others intelligence which brings them together in an intellectual meeting of minds.

Aside from enjoying the protagonists complex relationship blossom, I developed a new respect for poetry...it's unforeseen and I appreciate the unexpected inclusion which adds a fitting dimension to an already multifaceted narrative. Ella's quirky friends and associates play the part of secondary characters and complement the protagonists perfectly providing plenty of humorous moments. An eye-raising and laughable moment for me is the description of a British Christmas dinner, eaten for Thanksgiving by Ella. We traditionally eat turkey with Brussels Sprouts...I've never known anyone to eat it courgettes with turkey and I've never heard a Yorkshire pudding described as a bubble before...incongruous or not.

The ending is thought-provoking and very fitting for Jamie and Ella. Some readers may prefer a more defined conclusion but for me, it was a chance to ponder their life events and wonder how it may have all turned out. Any writer who engages me after the final words have been read is a fan of mine.

5 stars

***arc generously received courtesy of William Morrow paperbacks via Edelweiss+*** 

 CHAPTER 1
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!
Home-Thoughts, from Abroad – Robert Browning, 1845
“Next!”
The customs agent beckons the person in front of me and I approach the big red line, absently toeing the curling tape, resting my hand on the gleaming pipe railing. No adjustable ropes at Heathrow, apparently; these lines must always be long if they require permanent demarcation.
My phone rings. I glance down. I don’t know the number.
“Hello?” I answer.
“Is this Eleanor Durran?”
“Yes?”
“This is Gavin Brookdale.”
My first thought is that this is a prank call. Gavin Brookdale just stepped down as White House Chief of Staff. He’s run every major political campaign of the last 20 years. He’s a legend. He’s my idol. He’s calling me?
“Hello?”
“Sorry, I-I’m here,” I stammer. “I’m just –
“Have you heard of Janet Wilkes?”
Have I heard of – Janet Wilkes is the junior senator from Florida and a dark horse candidate for President. She’s 45, lost her husband twelve years ago in Afghanistan, raised three kids on a teacher’s salary while somehow putting herself through law school, and then ran the most impressive grassroots senatorial campaign I’ve ever seen. She also has the hottest human-rights-attorney boyfriend I’ve ever seen, but that’s beside the point. She’s a Gold Star wife who’s a progressive firebrand on social issues. We’ve never seen anyone like her on the national stage before. The first debate isn’t for another two weeks, on October 13, but voters seem to love her: she’s polling third in a field of twelve. Candidate Number Two is not long for the race; a Case of the Jilted Mistress(es). Number One, however, happens to be the current Vice-President, George Hillerson, who Gavin Brookdale (if the Washington gossip mill is accurate) loathes. Still, even the notoriously mercurial Brookdale wouldn’t back a losing horse like Wilkes just to spite the presumptive nominee. If nothing else, Gavin Brookdale likes to win. “Of course I’ve heard of her.”
“She read your piece in The Atlantic. We both did. ‘The Art of Education and the Death of the Thinking American Electorate.’ We were impressed.”
“Thank you,” I gush. “It was something I felt was missing from the discourse –”
“What you wrote was a philosophy. It wasn’t a policy.”
This brings me up short. “I understand why you’d think that, but I –”
“Don’t worry, I know you have the policy chops. I know you won Ohio for Janey Bennett. The 138th for Carl Moseley. You’re a talented young lady, Eleanor.”
“Mr. Brookdale –”
“Call me Gavin.”
“Then call me Ella. No one calls me Eleanor.”
“Alright, Ella, would you like to be the education consultant for Wilkes’ campaign?”
Silence.
“Hello?”
“Yes!” I bleat. “Yes, of course! She’s incredible –”
“Great. Come down to my office today and we’ll read you in.”
All the breath leaves my body. I can’t seem to get it back. “So… here’s the thing. I-I’m in England.”
“Fine, when you get back.”
“… I get back in June.”
Silence.
“Are you consulting over there?”
“No, I have a… I got a Rhodes and I’m doing a –”
Gavin chortles. “I was a Rhodie.”
“I know, Sir.”
“Gavin.”
“Gavin.”
“What are you studying?”
“English Language and Literature 1830 to 1914.”
Beat. “Why?”
“Because I want to?” Why does it come out as a question?
“You don’t need it. Getting the Rhodes is what matters. Doing it is meaningless, especially in Literature from 1830 to 19-whatever. The only reason you wanted it was to help you get that life-changing political job, right? Well, I’m giving that to you. So come home and let’s get down to business.”
“Next!”
A customs agent – stone-faced, turbaned, impressive beard – waves me forward. I take one step over the line, but hold a finger up to him. He’s not even looking at me. “Gavin, can I call –”
“She’s going to be the nominee, Ella. It’s going to be the fight of my life and I need all hands – including yours – on deck, but we’re going to do it.”
He’s delusional. But, my God, what if he’s right? A shiver of excitement snakes through me. “Gavin –”
“Listen, I’ve always backed the winning candidate, but I have never backed someone who I personally, deeply, wanted to win.”
“Miss?” Now the customs agent looks at me.
Gavin chuckles at my silence. “I don’t want to have to convince you, if you don’t feel –”
“I can work from here.” Before he can argue, I continue, “I will make myself available at all hours. I will make Wilkes my priority.” Behind me, a bloated, red-faced businessman reeking of gin, moves to squeeze around me. I head him off, grabbing the railing, saying into the phone, “I had two jobs in college while volunteering in field offices and coordinating multiple city council runs. I worked two winning congressional campaigns last year while helping to shape the education budget for Ohio. I can certainly consult for you while reading books and writing about them occasionally.”
“Miss!” the customs agent barks. “Hang up the phone or step aside.” I hold my finger up higher (as if visibility is the problem) and widen my stance over the line.
“What’s your date certain for coming home?” Gavin asks.
“June 11th. I already have a ticket. Seat 32A.”
“Miss!” The customs agent and the man bark at me.
I look down at the red line between my sprawled feet. “Gavin, I’m straddling the North Atlantic right now. I literally have one foot in England and one in America and if I don’t hang up they’ll –”
“I’ll call you back.”
He disconnects.
What does that mean? What do I do? Numbly, I hurry to the immigration window, coming face to face with the dour agent. I adopt my best beauty-pageant smile and speak in the chagrined, gee-whiz tone I know he expects. “I am so sorry, Sir, my sincerest apologies. My Mom’s –”
“Passport.” He’s back to not looking at me. I’m getting the passive-aggressive treatment now. I hand over my brand new passport with the crisp, un-stamped pages. “Purpose of visit?”
“Study.”
“For how long will you be in the country?”
I pause. I glance down at the dark, unhelpful screen of my phone. “I… I don’t know.”
Now he looks up at me.
“A year,” I say. Screw it. “An academic year.”
“Where?”
“Oxford.” Saying the word out loud cuts through everything else. My smile becomes genuine. He asks me more questions, and I suppose I answer, but all I can think is:
I’m here. This is actually happening. Everything has come together according to plan.
He stamps my passport, hands it back, lifts his hand to the line.
“Next!”
#
When I was thirteen I read an article in Seventeen Magazine called, “My Once in a Lifetime Experience,” and it was a personal account of an American girl’s year abroad at Oxford. The classes, the students, the parks, the pubs, even the chip shop (“pictured, bottom left”) seemed like another world. Like slipping through a wormhole into a universe where things were ordered and people were dignified and the buildings were older than my entire country. I suppose thirteen is an important age in every girl’s life, but for me, growing up in the middle of nowhere, with a family that had fallen apart? I needed something to hold onto. I needed inspiration. I needed hope. The girl who wrote the article had been transformed. Oxford had unlocked her life and I was convinced that it would be the key to mine.
So I made a plan: get to Oxford.
After going through more customs checkpoints, I follow signs for The Central Bus Terminal and find an automatic ticket kiosk. The “£” sign before the amount looks so much better, more civilized, more historical than the American dollar sign, which always seems overly suggestive to me. Like it should be flashing in sequential neon lights above a strip club. $ - $ - $. Girls! Girls! Girls!
The kiosk’s screen asks me if I want a discounted return ticket (I assume that means round trip), and I pause. My flight back to Washington is on June 11th, barely sixteen hours after the official end of Trinity term. I have no plans to return to the states before then, instead staying here over the two long vacations (in December and March) and traveling. In fact, I already have my December itinerary all planned. I purchase the return ticket, then cross to a bench to wait for the next bus.
My phone dings and I look down. An email from The Rhodes Foundation reminding me about the orientation tomorrow morning.
For whatever reason, out of all the academic scholarships in the world, most people seem to have heard of The Rhodes. It’s not the only prestigious scholarship to be had, but it’s the one that I wanted. Every year, America sends 32 of its most overachieving, uber-competitive, social-climbing, do-gooder nerds to Oxford. It’s mostly associated with geniuses, power-players, global leaders. Let me demystify this: to get a Rhodes, you have to be slightly unhinged. You have to have a stellar GPA, excel in multiple courses of study, be socially entrepreneurial, charity-minded, and athletically proficient (though the last time I did anything remotely athletic I knocked out Jimmy Brighton’s front tooth with a foul ball, so take that tenet with a grain of salt). I could have gone after other scholarships. There’s the Marshal, the Fulbright, the Watson, but the Rhodies are my people. They’re the planners.
The other finalist selected from my district (a Math/Econ/Classics triple-major and Olympic archer who had discovered that applying Game Theory to negotiations with known terrorists makes the intel 147% more reliable) told me, “I’ve been working toward getting a Rhodes since Freshman year.” To which I replied, “Me, too.” He clarified, “Of high school.” To which I replied, “Me, too.”
While, yes, the Rhodes is a golden ticket to Oxford, it’s also a built-in network and the means to my political future. It ensures that people who would have otherwise discounted me – this unconnected girl from the soybean fields of Ohio – will take a second, serious look. People like Gavin Brookdale.
Going after things the way I do, being who I am, has alienated my entire hometown and most of my extended family. My mom hadn’t gone to college and my dad had dropped out after two years because he’d thought it was more important to change the world than learn about it, and there I was, this achievement machine making everyone around it vaguely uncomfortable. She thinks she’s better than everyone else.
Honestly, I don’t. But I do think I’m better than what everyone, besides my dad, told me I was. 
#
I wake up in a moment of panic when the bus I’d boarded back at Heathrow jerks to a stop, sending the book on my lap to the floor. Hastily retrieving it, I force my sleepy eyes to take in the view from the floor-to-ceiling window in front of me. I chose the seat on the upper level at the very front, wanting to devour every bit of English countryside on the way to Oxford. Then I slept through it.
Pushing through the fog in my head, I peer outside. A dingy bus stop in front of a generic cell phone store. I look for a street sign, trying to get my bearings. My info packet from the college said to get off at the Queens Lane stop on High Street. This can’t be it. I glance behind me and no one on the bus is moving to get off, so I settle back into my seat.
The bus starts up again, and I breathe deeply, trying to wake up. I jam the book into my backpack. I’d wanted to finish it before my first class tomorrow, but I can’t focus. I was too excited to eat or sleep on the plane. My empty stomach and all-nighter is catching up to me. The time difference is catching up to me. The last twelve years spent striving for this moment is catching up to me.
Inside my jacket pocket, my phone vibrates. I pull it out and see the same number from earlier. I take a deep breath and preemptively answer, “Gavin, listen, I was thinking, let’s do a trial period of, say, a month, and if you feel that I need to be there –”
“Not necessary."
My throat tightens. “Please, just give me thirty days to prove that –”
“It’s fine. I made it work. Just remember who comes first.”
Elation breaks through the fog. My fist clenches in victory and my smile reaches all the way to my temples. “Absolutely,” I say in my most professional voice. “Thank you so much for this opportunity. You won’t be disappointed.”
“I know that. That’s why I hired you. What’s your fee? FYI: there’s no money.”
There’s never any money. I tell him my fee anyway and we settle on something that I can live with. The Rhodes is paying my tuition and lodging and I get a small stipend for living expenses on top of that. I decide right then that what Gavin’s going to pay me will go directly into my travel budget. 
“Now, go,” he says, “Have fun. You’ve clearly earned it. There’s a pub you should visit in the center of town. The Turf. See where one of your fellow Rhodes Scholars – a young William Jefferson Clinton – ‘didn’t’ inhale.”
“Ha, got it. Will do.”
“Just take your phone with you. Your phone is an appendage, not an accessory. Okay?”
I nod even though he can’t see me. “Okay. It’s a plan.” Just as I say this, the bus rounds a bend and there she is:
Oxford.
Beyond a picturesque bridge, the narrow two-lane road continues into a bustling main street, lined on each side by buildings with a hodge-podge of architectural styles, no room to breathe between them. Like the crowd at the finish line of a marathon, these buildings cheer me on, welcoming me to their city. Some are topped with sloped, slate roofs, others with battlements. Some of the larger buildings have huge wooden gates that look as if they were carved in place, a fusion of timeless wood and stone that steals my breath. Maybe those doors lead to some of the 38 individual Oxford colleges? Imagining it, dreaming of it all these years, doesn’t do it justice.
I look skyward. Punctuating the horizon are the tips of other ancient buildings, high-points of stone bordering the city like beacons.
“The City of Dreaming Spires,” I murmur to myself.
“Indeed it is,” Gavin says in my ear. I’d forgotten he was still on the line.
That’s what they call Oxford. A title well deserved. Because that means, before it was my dream or Seventeen Magazine girl’s dream, it was someone else’s dream as well.  

Julia Whelan is a screenwriter, lifelong actor, and award-winning audiobook narrator. She graduated with a degree in English and creative writing from Middlebury College and Oxford University. While she was in England, her flirtation with tea blossomed into a full-blown love affair, culminating in her eventual certification as a tea master.



Website     Facebook: @justjuliawhelan     Twitter: @justjuliawhelan     Instagram: @justjuliawhelan     Goodreads


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Release Day: Hot Response by Shannon Stacey



Hot Response by Shannon Stacey
Series Boston Fire Series
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Carina Press
Publication Date April 24, 2018


The men of Boston Fire are back and hotter than ever! Don’t miss this brand-new novel from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey.
Gavin Boudreau lives for the job, but he also believes in “work hard, play harder.” As the youngest guy in Ladder 37, he figures he’s got plenty of time before settling down becomes a priority. Soft, pretty women who aren’t looking for promises are exactly his type, and he’s comfortable with that. Working with a gorgeous EMT isn’t going to change who he is.
The last thing Cait Tasker needs in her personal life is a firefighter whose challenges on-scene have been a thorn in her side from minute one. Her plate’s too full for a man anyway. Back in her childhood home to help her family cope with an unexpected tragedy, she’s got enough to handle without throwing a hot, testosterone-laden fireman into the mix.
As long days on the job lead to long nights together, Gavin and Cait will discover how far temptation can take them—and what happens when the one you thought was all wrong for you turns out to be the person you can’t live without.



HOT RESPONSE by Shannon Stacey 
“Hey, try not to push any firefighters down the stairs this time, okay?”
“It was one time, Tony.” Cait Tasker reached between the seats to get a couple of blue gloves from the dispenser mounted on the back wall of the ambulance cab and snapped them on as her partner pulled up behind a fire truck. “And that was an accident.”
“So you’ve said, multiple times. Hell, I’m pretty sure you said it twice before he even hit the landing.”
“Funny.” She grabbed her bag and headed toward the door of the building, leaving Tony Colarusso—her partner of four years—to grab the OB kit since it sounded like they’d probably need it. Dispatch was also sending a paramedic, but it was going to be a few minutes.
A police officer was holding the door open for her and she nodded her thanks as she passed through. The first flight of stairs was no sweat, but she felt the weight of the bag by the time she reached the second. Another officer was standing there, and he pointed off to his right.
Not that she needed any help finding the commotion. The reported screaming had stopped, but there was a gaggle of firefighters in the hall. Or a herd or a flock or whatever you’d call a bunch of guys holding turnout gear, standing around and doing nothing.
They parted to let her through, and she saw the back of the firefighter kneeling between the patient’s legs. And his back was all Cait needed to see to know it was Gavin Boudreau.
That freaking cowlick.
They crossed paths occasionally, and there was something about the man that got under her skin. The first time they’d been on the same scene—a minor MVA involving a confused tourist going the wrong way up a one-way street—she’d gotten sucked in by his good looks and quick humor. She’d been working up the nerve to ask him if he wanted to grab a coffee or a drink sometime when he’d called her ma’am.
Not only had she not asked him out, but every time she saw him, she remembered the ma’am. It made her feel old and these days, she didn’t need any help feeling older than her years.
Gavin glanced over his shoulder and as soon as he caught sight of Cait, he moved to the woman’s other side and gave an update—including the patient’s name and what vital info he had—as he moved.
Then Kelly grabbed a fistful of Gavin’s shirt and pulled so hard, she almost yanked him down on top of herself. “Don’t leave me.”
“I’m not going anywhere. I just need to get out of Cait’s way so she can take over. She’s better at delivering babies than I am.”
He knew her name. Why that should stand out to her in their current situation, she didn’t know, but she noticed it and was surprised. “Kelly, he can stay by your head, but I need room for my partner.”
“By my head, like a husband,” Kelly said with a short, breathless laugh.
“You should at least buy me dinner first.” He moved toward Kelly’s shoulder without letting go of her hand.
Cait ignored him as she moved into the position he’d vacated. It was baby time.
“I want my
husband,” Kelly said, and her face began to crumple as tears welled in her eyes. But before the crying could begin in earnest, her face paled and her eyes widened. Her sharp intake of breath held a note of panic, like a sour musical tone, and Cait blocked out everything but the baby crowning between her patient’s legs.
Tony was next to her, ready to take and assess the infant. It went as smoothly as unplanned labor on a hallway floor could go, and by the time the paramedic arrived, Kelly had a squirming, fussy bundle of baby boy on her chest. Though it was a busy day for EMS and there were a lot fewer paramedics than EMTs, they always tried to transport newborns with them in case they needed advanced medical care.
Phil had a rookie EMT with him, but Cait and Tony stood back and let them take over since they had to take care of the OB kit and somebody had to bag the mess. Gavin was still holding the patient’s hand as they put her on the stretcher, and Cait saw him smile at Kelly.
He really had a great smile.
“That’s a good-looking boy you have,” he was saying. “If you and your husband have trouble coming up with a name for him, Gavin’s not too bad.”
She laughed and said something Cait couldn’t hear. Then Phil had the firefighters in motion, ready to carry mother, child and gear to the ground floor.
It was just Cait’s luck that Gavin also lingered. She couldn’t blame him for letting the other guys do the heavy lifting down the stairs, since they’d basically done nothing during the incident, but seeing him was a reminder she hadn’t dated in a while and, considering how things were going at home, wouldn’t be for a while. And that made her feel even older than the ma’am
had.
“I feel like I should be handing out cigars,” he said, and both he and Tony laughed.
Gavin’s laugh made her even more tense. It was rich and deep and made heat curl through her insides. It was his laugh that had first turned her head, so every time she heard it, it reminded her of that day.
“Not gonna lie,” he continued. “I’m glad you guys got here in time for Cait to play catch.”
Play catch? “At least I took the situation seriously.”
He’d been in the process of picking up her bag, and his head jerked up as if she’d slapped him. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“Emergency childbirth isn’t playing catch.” She took her bag and slung it over her shoulder.
“Jesus, lighten up. It was a joke.”
She was tired. She was hungry, and she wasn’t in the mood. “Like I said, I take my job seriously.”
“When I got here, she was laying on the floor screaming, and not just from the pain. She was in labor and in a full-blown panic. Her BP was through the roof and that’s no good for her or the baby, so I did what I had to do to relax her.”
She headed for the stairs before the conversation could escalate any further. If she really pissed him off, Tony might feel obligated to intervene and that wouldn’t be fair to her partner.
“At least you’re going down first,” Gavin called after her. “I don’t have to worry about you pushing me down the stairs.”
“That was an accident,” she shouted over her shoulder, and she might have been tempted to go back and explain it a little better, but she heard both men laughing.
Gavin was pushing her buttons and she’d let him get under her skin. Again.
After helping load mommy and baby into the back of Phil’s truck, Cait and Tony took a few minutes to pack their gear away in their own ambulance before climbing into the cab. The firefighters were still milling around on the sidewalk, laughing and talking about who knew what.
Her gaze landed on Gavin because it always seemed to, whether she wanted it to or not. She wasn’t sure how old he was. One of the younger guys in his house, but around her age—late twenties or so. There definitely weren’t enough years between them to merit him calling her ma’am.

He was average height for a guy, but with a better than average body. Or maybe that was just her take on it. She liked guys who were in shape, but not such good shape they spent hours at the gym and expected applause when they flexed an arm. Physically, he definitely checked all her boxes.
And every time she saw him—which thankfully wasn’t that
often—she wanted to smooth that damn cowlick down. Maybe run her fingers through his hair a few times to help it stay. Then she’d invariably remember how close she’d come to asking him out, and why she hadn’t.



Amazon      Carina Press      Barnes & Noble      Kobo      Google Play      iBooks 


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and off-roading with her friends and family. You can contact Shannon through her website, www.shannonstacey.com, as well as sign up for her newsletter.





GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR. Giveaway ends 4/30/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per person. Duplicates will be deleted.


Monday, 23 April 2018

Cover Reveal: Healing Touch by Brenda Rothert



 HEALING TOUCH by Brenda Rothert

Coming June 12!





She spends her nights treating patients, but Dr. Jocelyn Drake's own wounds are unfixable. Her ex-husband and his younger, bouncier girlfriend work just a few floors away at Tulane Medical Center, and they serve as a constant reminder of what Joss lost. But a fierce determination to continue her research project and a shred of remaining pride keep Joss from transferring out of the Big Easy.
Carson Stephens recently returned from a tour of duty in the Middle East, and though willing women present themselves at every turn, his closest companion is loneliness. His night-shift work supervising the electrical and mechanical systems at the hospital is a perfect fit - it's solitary work putting broken things back together.
When the electrical system on Joss' floor goes haywire, she's frazzled by the sexy electrician who sparks her dormant sex drive. He's brooding and cocky - so not her type. But if Carson has his way, his hands will work their magic on more than just the wiring, and he'll show Joss a night of passion that restores her shattered confidence. 
But what happens after that night? As their relationship grows into something more, Joss and Carson face ups and downs, and they both realize that the healing has only just begun.


Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.


Website      Facebook      Twitter      Pinterest      Wattpad      Amazon




It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? This book blog meme has had a few hosts in its past but is now in the capable hands of Kathryn at The Book Date. It's a place where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It's a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and to put new titles on your reading list.

Life right now!


This is the first morning I haven't coughed or had to blow my nose for weeks. My son had a relapse but is getting better and is back at school. The warm temperatures these past few days has accelerated the snow melting, the crocuses are finished and the daffodils should be in flower within the coming days. Reading wise, I'm still only managing two books a week and my writing has taken a backseat too as I've begun to catch up with everything that has been neglected around the house these past weeks whilst we've all been ill. Now that Winter feels truly behind us, I'm beginning to feel more energised, so I should become more productive...I hope ;-)

What am I currently reading?

Lennon Reborn by Scarlett Cole

Lennon McCartney is not a broken man. Because being broken implies being whole once. When a horrific accident deprives him of the one thing he loves—his talent as a fierce and explosive drummer—Lennon is left with a life chained by an abusive mother, by crushing guilt over a tragic past. A life he doesn’t want.

Dr. Georgia Starr is a legend. She’s one of the most successful neurosurgeons in the world, coming from a long-line of respected New York doctors. Her life is built around solving complex medical cases in order to bring relief and hope to sick children. But the one problem she can’t solve is how to live her life. How to be shake loose the burden of being her elitist, arrogant father’s daughter. How to be free.

Can a man who despises his life and a woman who desperately needs to live find the answers, and love, with each other?

Thoughts so far...

This is book four in the Preload series and although I've only read one previous novel in the series, Lennon is definitely the character who stands out and I've been anticipating his story ever since. So far (at 40% on Kindle), the book is exceeding my expectations. Whilst Lennon is a complex character, Dr. Georgia Starr is an interesting match for him. The plot is flowing effortlessly and I can't wait to continue reading it. It's definitely a great reading start to my week.

Book(s) I've read this past week?

Broken Promise by Tara Thomas

In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless enemy is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

SHE SWORE TO KEEP HER PROMISES.
BUT CAN SHE KEEP THEM SAFE…AND PROTECT HER HEART?


Charleston Police Officer Alyssa Adams made a promise years ago to protect innocent women from harm. Now, she won’t rest until she can reunite every lost daughter with her family. Bring closure to every grieving husband. And, most of all, find out what happened the night her own sister disappeared, more than ten years ago…

As the eldest of the Benedict brothers, Kipling will stop at nothing to protect his family from a threat that aims to destroy them once and for all. But when a long-lost sibling is kidnapped by a powerful adversary, Alyssa is the only one he can turn to to get her back.

As Alyssa and Kipling band together to find their lost siblings, a powerful attraction builds between them that they can’t ignore. As the truth comes to light, will one broken promise tear them apart?

*****
Deadly Summer by Denise Grover Swank

(from Goodreads) Ten years ago, Summer Butler was television’s most popular teenage sleuth. Since then, she’s hit—what gossip sites just loveto call—the gutter. Nearly bankrupt, betrayed, estranged from her greedy mother, and just about unemployable, she’s coaxed into that desperate haven for has-beens: reality TV.

Winging it as a faux PI, she’ll solve off-the-cuff mysteries in her hometown of Sweet Briar, Alabama. For added drama, there’s police chief Luke Montgomery, inconveniently Summer’s first and only love.

It’s when Summer stumbles upon a very real corpse that Darling Investigations takes an unexpected twist. The growing list of suspects is a big draw to viewers, but the reality is that Summer doesn’t know whom she can trust. Someone has written this killer new scene especially for her, and unless Summer gives the role everything she’s got, it could be her last…

What are you reading?


Friday, 20 April 2018

Book Blog Hop: 20th-26th April 2018



About the Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer's permission, I relaunched the meme on February 15, 2013.

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop's purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 
Question: How do you organize your books for review? Does it work for you or have you had to change it? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)

Answer: I have all my blog schedule on Google Calendar and use different colours for different types of posts. Reviews are RED. As I live in Norway, all arc's are ebooks. If a galley comes from Edelweiss+ I post a reminder for myself to read and write the review before the galley expires as they are time critical...usually one week before the deadline. Other than that, I read them according to my mood, so not necessarily in date order either for publication or download. Also, I don't tend to write reviews as soon as a book is finished because I need time to 'digest' the narrative. Therefore, I change the calendar colour to ORANGE until the review and posts are written and uploaded...always done to meet the publication date or a date arranged with the publisher/Pr Company.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Release Day: Good Girl Gone Bad by Carmen Falcone

GOOD GIRL GONE BAD 
by Carmen Falcone 
Get your copy and go bad today!



Lily has always lived up to her preacher father’s expectations of how she should behave, but all that changes when a hot stranger walks in to her hair salon and a feral need to have him takes over her common sense. On a whim, she screws him in the supply room, caving to a desire that only grows with each kiss.

When she learns he’s the billionaire alpha who wants to boot her out of her business for the sake of his own, she’s livid. But the pulse between her legs never got the memo. Things heat up even more when he offers her a naughty proposal that’s going to make this good girl stop thinking twice about being bad…