Book Review: The Road To Vermillion Lake

Back for another round of book reviews I see, well settle in because I have a new one for you. This book was called The Road to Vermilion Lake by Vic Cavalli and I read this back in February.

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This book just didn’t really do it for me. I had no idea what it was about going into it considering there is no synopsis on the back or inside cover and Goodreads has a quote from someone as the description.

I quickly found out that it is about one man’s lust for a woman that he just met and his journey of discovering more about this woman while a budding relationship forms. The woman, however, is a very astute catholic and is slowly converting him to that religion as their relationship grows. You spend most of the time inside this guy’s head with all his dreams of “what ifs” that he wants but don’t actually see much in the form of tangible content.

I found that I was bored for most of the book. There were some interesting parts here and there but overall, it just did not capture me. I think it had potential to be more than it was and there were parts where I would have taken the story in a different direction to add some more action to it but that could just be because I am not used to this genre of book (which I still am not sure which genre it is).

I’m sure that some people will enjoy this book and I hope that other readers find it and like it. It just wasn’t my taste and that is fine. I gave it a try and read the whole thing so I could come up with a conclusion based on my feelings on the book.

Book Rating: 2/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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Is anyone participating in the Magical Readathon this month? I am super excited to try and achieve the career of Hogwart’s Professor! Check out which books I will be reading for this readathon in this video!

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Book Spotlight: Venators by Devri Walls

THE DARK UNKNOWN BECKONS

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Welcome to Eon. An alternate dimension where fantasy and paranormal is reality, and humans sit at the bottom of the food chain. In this world of unadulterated power and ability, the innocent suffer greatly. The ruling council of Eon has selected two humans, born of the Venator bloodline, and brought them through the gate—wishing to manipulate their strength and special abilities for the council’s corrupt purposes. But, Grey and Rune have very different ideas.

When their college dorm is infiltrated by creatures from another realm, Rune Jenkins, her twin brother Ryker, and old friend Grey Malteer are thrown into unexpected, twisted chaos. While Rune and Gray are able to escape, Ryker is kidnapped away to Eon, the alternate world from whence these dark beings came.

With the help of a supernatural guide, Rune and Gray must now travel to Eon to save Ryker, and discover the illuminating truth about their ancestry. In this new world of fae, vampires, werewolves, and wizards, power is abundant and always in flux. Rune and Grey are being set up as pawns in a very dangerous game and must find their way through – and out of – Eon before it consumes them.

Fast-paced and supernaturally entertaining. It will leave you hungry for more!” –Addison Moore, New York Times bestselling author of the Celestra series

What an original and captivating fantasy! Venators: Magic Unleashed will suck you in, keep you guessing, and leave you breathless for more. I can’t wait for the next book!” –Chelsea Fine, bestselling author of the Archers of Avalon series

About the Author

devri

Devri Walls is an international best selling author. She lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband, two children and one adorable little mutt. Writing in all things fantasy, she would do just about anything for a working magic wand.

Mostly because she’s a walking disaster and a wand would be of enormous help…although she’d probably trip and break it. So, there’s that.

She graduated with a degree in theater and has studied vocal performance most of her life. She now teaches voice lessons when she’s not writing novels, cooking dinner, playing taxi, spending time with her amazingly supportive husband or trying to read.

Author website: https://www.devriwalls.com


Author Q & A

What motivated you to begin crafting your own YA stories? I was a theater major and a singer and had taken a break from everything while I was raising my children, but it left massive creative holes in my heart. I was desperately searching for something to fill it. In a strange series of events that are entirely too long to add here, I had the undeniable and unexplainable urge to write a book. It seemed insane at the time. But when I couldn’t ignore it any longer, I started my first project. Turns out, not only could I write; but, writing filled those creative voids better than anything else I’d ever dabbled in. I found my life’s calling completely on accident.

What—or who—inspired Grey, your Venators hero? Oh, Grey. Grey was a very important character to me. I envisioned him, trudging with his head down, letting his hair fall to cover his features, hunkering down in that trench coat—hiding from the world. And I knew that he had suffered at the hands of abuse. Grey has endured sexual abuse from a young age. It was very important to me that the character in the book dealing with sexual abuse be Grey. It’s a topic not covered nearly enough. There has to be examples for people to read about that tell male victims of sexual abuse that they’re going to be all right. That they are not weak, or dirty or broken or less of a male because of it. The thing that I love the most about Grey is that he doesn’t allow this abuse to define or destroy him. It affects his life in so many ways, but it hasn’t darkened his heart or inhibited his kindness. In fact, it has fed his charity and created a true hero as one who seeks out the broken, the lost and downtrodden. Grey may feel broken and lost; but, he lifts everyone around him.

What—or who—inspired Rune, your Venators heroine? Rune was the opposite side of Grey’s coin. In this story Grey came first, he was my original muse. And Rune was everything he once thought he wanted—athletic, popular, came from a wealthy family and your typical, “appears to have it all” kid we all knew in high school. But Grey saw, as we soon do, that her life is not nearly as perfect as it appeared. I wanted a woman who suffers from toxic perfectionism that was forced on her. A girl who was drowning under expectations and responsibilities. It’s such a problem among so many women and the human population in general.

What do you wish you’d known earlier in your career as an author, and what key piece(s) of advice do you have for other aspiring writers? Honestly? I don’t think I would’ve given myself any more knowledge than what I had. Ignorance kept me going too many times. HA! But I would probably tell myself to relax a little bit more and enjoy the journey. Advice for others… Understand that writing and being a writer as your job are very different things. If you have no desire to ever have a bad review written, to spend time promoting yourself on social media, to help with marketing and working when you don’t want to, then being an employed writer is maybe not for you. But by all means, keep creating stories! You are no less a writer for choosing that path. If you really can’t imagine doing anything else and will pay the price for your career, then go for it.

What influenced your approach to building the book’s otherworldly realm? Books like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Although Venators is very different than both of these examples, both books built something enormous. Stories with vastly different cultures and geographic features spread across the land. They widened my mental horizons and said, yes—this can be done.

How would you describe your creative process overall? A hot mess. Wait… am I allowed to say that? Probably ill advised, but I’m sticking with it. I am very much a “build as I go” kind of writer. This often leaves me with a very messy draft that I loathe. I should point out that it’s very difficult to work on something you hate. I have to go over my stories again and again, adding and tweaking as necessary until I’ve polished it into something beautiful. I’m reasonably sure this is the most painful way to create art, but it’s the only way I’ve found that allows my creativity to remain as unleashed as possible. With the high fantasy and fantasy blends that I write, being totally free in my imagination, has always lead to the most beautiful scenes in the end.

Both on and off the page, you’re passionate about empowering other women; how has that mission informed the characters you create? I’m so excited to watch Rune on her journey as she tries to shed this old shell and learns to embrace who she really is. For the first time in her life, Rune will have to start making choices for herself. She will trudge through triumph, grief, guilt and pride, then roll over to do it again. I want to write REAL women. There was a trend in literature for a while to write more women, which was fantastic! But the pendulum swung a little too far the other direction. We started seeing book after book of “kick-butt women” which translated into, invincible, power-hungry, emotionless women. They weren’t the greatest role models as no one besides an AI can actually BE all of those things. I strive to write women who are strong yet flawed. Determined, yet emotional. Capable in some areas and weak in others. Because really, what is the point of reading about a fantastic female character you could never emulate or learn from? It’s like our world trying to actually become that Phototshopped, curated version of the pictures in magazines. But reading about a woman who struggles and gets back up again. Now that is inspiring.

What can fans expect next from the Venators series? Oh. My. Gosh. You can expect everything!!! This series is going to just keep getting bigger and better as Rune and Grey venture deeper into Eon. Book two will deliver big time on what the fans have been begging for and that is more Beltran! We also get a twisted look into Queen Feena’s Fae garden that has Grey a little “wrapped up”, while Rune is forced to embrace a side of herself she’s not quite ready for. And book three?? Well, let’s just say the games will be of epic proportions!



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Time to show off what I am reading in March!! I’m getting more ambitious each month. Soon I will be reading 10 books a month (haha yea right). What are you guys reading?

Book Blitz: X-Rated

Happy publication day to author Bridget Beasley! Today marks the release of her hilarious book, X-Rated! I have the first chapter for you to read AND the most amazing giveaway– A chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of the book!

Book Tour Cover Photo

X-Rated: A virgin. A porn star. A comedy.

Publication Date: February 21st, 2020 (Today 🎉)

Genre: Romcom/ Comedy

Bailey Finch is twenty-four, living in LA, and working for a trendy Sex & Relationships magazine as their entry-level Calendar Editor.

She’s also painfully body-conscious, clinically anxious, and still a virgin.

When Bailey lands the chance to interview Elijah Mattox – coined the Ryan Reynolds of Porn Stars – she seizes the opportunity to befriend the man behind over three-thousand BDSM films, with popular titles such as The Domination of Elia Rose, Dungeon Sluts and Whores of Riverdale County.

As she delves deeper into Eli’s world, and their relationship takes an unexpected romantic turn, she realizes that this piece couldn’t possibly be just an interview. There was something much bigger yet to come. No pun intended.

X-Rated: A virgin. A porn star. A comedy.

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Excerpt

Chapter One – The Dick Cake Guy

Cue: Darude – Sandstorm.

Wait. 99 Luftballons. That’s a much better intro song.

No. That’s not how I want to start this shit show. Or is this supposed to be a romantic comedy? You know, happy ending, lots of tissues, laugh-out-loud dialogue. Brilliant and sweet, with well fleshed-out, dynamic characters. Because that’s usually a thing, isn’t it?

And I’m already rambling.

How the hell do I start this? I’m twenty-four. Name’s Bailey Finch. Yeah, that’s a good name – it’s not just my actual name, but it also looks damn good in print. A good, solid protagonist name.

And the guy? There’s always a guy. I know you’re waiting for the guy.

Well, what to say: Tall? Check. Muscles? Sorta-check. Tattoos? Check. Wry grin and one of those devious smiles akin to Ian Somerhalder? Check and check. One-thousand checks.

His name is Elijah Mattox. He’s twenty-eight years old. Favorite things that I’ve scrounged up so far include Asian-fusion cuisine, Single Malt Scotch, and perfecting his purposely tousled hairstyle. He’s an actor, trying to break into main-stream, silver screen, accolades and Oscars.

As for now, well – he’s only the most renowned Porn Star in the country. Over three-thousand films. Yeah, no kidding.

And here I am, sitting at my desk, pen in hand, trying to conjure up some questions to ask him that don’t consist of how many tits he’s seen and what his thoughts are on the real-to-saline ratio. How many times could he climax in one session? Was his relationship with sex boring now? What is sex like once you’ve made a career out of using your cock?

Was he worried that working in porn might affect his career as a mainstream actor? This isn’t some one-time Kardashian sex tape. Even though I’m sure he’s got one of those floating around somewhere. The guy has history.

Then again, I’ve never actually seen his stuff. Never been much into porn. Even the soft-core variety. I mean, I’ve done a few Google searches in my time. I technically know what a penis looks like. One time in fourth grade, me and my old best friend, Ginny Weirkowitz, looked up Two Girls One Cup, and refused to eat for the rest of the day. Whatever you do, don’t do it. Don’t Google it. My eyes went to hell.

But IRL, I’ve never seen the real thing. I’m a virgin. And I don’t say that to sound interesting, either: I’ve wanted to get laid more times than I could count. I have a vibrator, thank you very much. Have you ever used a Hitachi Magic Wand? Let me tell you…

I’ve just, you know, never had a real dick. I’ve never made love, had intercourse, fucked. Real hands, rough, desperate, passionate. Body-crushing. Mouth-on-mouth action. My only real kiss was Sophomore year of high school, on a dare, and that same guy ended up pouring an open container of spaghetti into my backpack after I reminded our Geometry teacher that he had forgotten to collect our homework.

I tapped my pen against the edge of my desk, glancing around the office: large windows, exposed brick walls, and blown-up copies of magazine covers from over the years, largely featuring notable men and women of the celebrity variety.

This was Come’s first porn-star. Clever magazine name, I know. Come as in, welcome, enter. Come as in…orgasm.

We were known for our sex tips and relationship advice. That said, it’s been agreed upon that fucking in the shower just doesn’t really work. I’ve never even fucked a guy before, and even I can tell you that I know for a fact, unless maybe you’ve got one of those shower-bath combos or a seat in your shower, it’s freaking impossible. I’d like to put out a request: if you’re a woman who has had mind-blowing shower-sex while standing up, please write to me.

I grinned unabashedly, outwardly, probably looking ridiculous. I hadn’t accomplished a lick of work in the past two hours. I couldn’t concentrate. I was hungry: one of those gripping, all-consuming, carb-salt-sugar craving hungers. I wanted a pretzel, doughnut, and Diet Coke, stat.

What do you ask a porn, star, though? What are the questions?

I don’t know, Bailey. Maybe treat him like a normal human male. Like a person. Like you.

I flushed at the thought. Like me, a virgin. A big-mouthed mope of a virgin, with brown hair that was frizzy on good days and unhinged on bad days. Shoulder-length. I wore loafers and slacks to work, button-downs with quirky designs. Today was yellow ducks. But Bailey Finch, as a whole, was painfully unquirky. I was a poser. Inauthentic. Maybe a little too self-deprecating. I was most authentic at home, in bed with my laptop, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, leggings, and cabin socks. The fluffier the socks, the better.

I wondered briefly what Elijah would think of me in comparison to the girls he’d been with on-screen. Did that even matter? No, of course not.

Still, I wondered. Maybe I should flat-iron my hair, or wear shoes with wedges. Lip-gloss vs. lip balm.

Procrastination: I typed out on the keyboard. Failure to concentrate. Here are some random facts: Scotland has 421 words for ‘snow’. Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump. The first oranges weren’t actually orange. The most common name is Mohammed. Cats can hear ultrasound. Children grow faster in the springtime. Karaoke means ’empty orchestra’ in Japanese.

Delete. Roll eyes. Sigh heavily.

As I sat there, staring at a blank Word document, my boss Deborah – a tall, all-limbs woman, popped her head into my cubicle.

“How are the interview questions going?”

Her expression was vaguely fatigued despite remaining without a single crease or line; her face was elongated, elegant. She had the most delicate bird-face. Long, a pointed nose, elven cheek-bones. Her eyes, two silver buttons, were wide, perpetually surprised. Her foundation was light enough that I could still see the subtle, natural gloss of oil on her forehead. She was, all said, pretty in a pained sort of way. Her ash-blond hair was always styled as if she were ready to step out onto a runway. She wore Louis Vuitton stilettos and a tailored houndstooth-print suit.

“Excellent,” I lied. “I’m wrapping them up now, actually. I’ll email them to you in a minute.”

I’ll email them to you in a minute. Panic. My heart jumped. Why did I always do this? I was a people-pleaser to my core, and it always, always ended up biting me in the ass. I lived in constant pause-or-panic.

“Awesome,” she was indeed pleased. Her smile showed a bit of rose-pink lipstick on her front tooth. “Don’t feel the need to get too detailed with them. Let him lead the interview, if you can. He seems talkative enough in past interviews. He did a very informative interview with Cosmopolitan last fall – we want to go deeper than that. Deeper than male skincare, workout regimens and how to maintain an erection, at least.”

“Do you want me to confirm how many inches he is, exactly?” I inquired.

Deborah laughed.

“These are the imperative questions,” she said. “Yeah. If you can get his favorite lay, too, there’s a good one. Best orgasm story.”

“I doubt his best orgasm has been on-film,” I quipped. “I mean, porn is technically work.”

“Then in a relationship! I don’t really care. I just want the details and we can Jane Doe or John Smith the rest.”

“Gotcha,” I nodded. “I’ll keep it professional. I’ll keep it sexy.”

While still focusing on the fact that he was now looking to step away from the Adult Industry. Maybe he wouldn’t want to talk about anything sexual. He possibly wouldn’t. Maybe he’d find it offensive – like a strain on his shirt that he was hoping nobody would notice, or an unruly cowlick.

Deborah scurried off in the direction of her next to-do, and I shook my head, a common mind-reset practice of mine. Like one of those Etch-A-Sketches.

Elijah Mattox, who are you, sir?

My fingers lingered on the keyboard, hesitant. I pressed my lips together, gave another heavy sigh, and then began typing. Twenty-minutes later, I had produced something palatable. Questions sure to please Deborah, keeping it sexy, keeping it professional, keeping it to the point: Elijah, the whole person. Not just the lead in I Didn’t Know She Was Your Mom: Anal Edition.

I sent the email off. As soon as I hit send, my pocket vibrated. It was also a known fact about myself that I wore pants loose enough to permit for large pockets. I hated purses. I had one, of course, but it contained mostly my wallet, a few old receipts, loose change and three Chap Sticks. I hated fishing for my phone, or taking the time to search for anything, really. Pockets simplify. It’s a beautiful thing.

The text was from Charlie, my roommate.

Charlie: Important. Come to the shop immediately. Consider this urgent.

The shop, as it were, was the bakery Charlie worked at. It was infamous for its cupcakes and house-brew. It also offered a wide array of customized-confectionary.

I clicked my tongue, typing out a response.

Me: At work. Will stop by after.

Charlie’s reply was instant.

Charlie: THERE’S A DICK CAKE HERE. YOU NEED TO SEE THIS.

Charlie: BAILEY.

Charlie: I KNOW YOU AREN’T WORKING. YOU HAVE THE WORST WORK ETHIC OF ANYONE I KNOW. HOW DID YOU EVEN GET THAT JOB?

Calendar Editor, and through an excellent referral at university. It was more of an administrative role, entry-level, truth be told. I worked on the weekly calendar of events for the publisher. This was, officially, my first stint doing an actual interview. My first written-piece, scored through the fact that I just so happened to be replacing the original auteur, who was on Maternity Leave. Everyone else was swamped. This was my one chance, and it had to be good.

My phone vibrated again.

Charlie: THAT WAS MEAN. I LOVE YOU.

I tossed the phone into my purse with a soft thud, forgetting my pocket sentiments. Somewhere out there – that somewhere actually being a bakery in East LA – a Dick Cake existed, which apparently was a must-see. Akin to the Seven Wonders of the World. The Pyramids, or Stonehenge. A Dick Cake. Enough said.

The bakery smelled like burnt blueberry scones and buttercream. Baristas were pouring coffee from French Presses, their hair in updos – even the guys. Long hair was a thing here. They served pastries on small ceramic plates depicting clever quotes and tiny paintings of animals or flora, and espresso, tea, coffee from plain paper cups. No lids. Names were scribbled on the side hastily in black ink. One time I was Bali. Another time I was Bobby. I’ve been Bailie, Baley, and SO CLOSE – Baile.

Charlie was at the counter, grinning ear-to-ear.

“You best not be wasting my time,” I told him. “I’ve got an interview to prep for.”

“Oh, since when do you prepare for anything?” his tone was joking. He was an asshole, but a loving one. “I’ve got a date I should be grooming for, but I’m here, slaving away for the corporate giants.”

“This place is a family-owned. There is literally no other Pastries & Coffee in Los Angeles, or anywhere for that matter. Also, great business name. To the point.”

“Whatever. My pubes look like my dick has a bad perm.”

I shot a quick look over my shoulder to make sure he wasn’t blabbering to listening-ears. Etiquette Police. The shop was quiet, with only a few sitting by the windows, lightly chatting, drinking their drinks and eating their croissants or danishes or tiny, adorable tea cakes.

“Who is it this time?” I asked. “Also, where is this aforementioned Dick Cake that you insisted I come here and see?”

He motioned for me to follow him behind the counter, into a small back-room. The counter was covered in frosting (I might have tasted it – vanilla marscapone) and cake scraps. A squat fridge sat in the corner, holding the awaiting custom orders.

I stole a cake scrap and popped it into my mouth. Ginger-lemon. Score.

Charlie carefully pulled the cake from the fridge, resting it on the counter. We both took a step back, just looking at it. Taking it all in.

There it was. Indeed a cake, shaped like a giant dick. Pubes and all.

“Well, shit, you weren’t kidding,” I muttered, candidly in awe. “Who is this for?”

Charlie shrugged. “Don’t know. But the inside is almond and there’s a chocolate-ganache filling. I wouldn’t mind a slice of that D.”

“You are the worst,” I said. He slid the cake back into the fridge, and we walked back out to the storefront. “I’ll take a coffee, black, and a Bear Claw. And tell me about this date.”

“Their name is Sacha. Pronoun: they. Likes watercolor, wearing combat boots, and The Aquabats. Most importantly, DTF.”

“DTF,” I said. “What, are we still in high-school?”

“They literally said it,” Charlie said defensively, whipping out his phone. There it was, a text from Sacha, reading: whatever you want to do. I’m DTF. “Besides, I’m not expecting anything. Just hopeful. Really hopeful. If not, we’ll enjoy the extended version of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King celibately, and I’ll enjoy my blue balls.”

“Follow your bliss,” I told him, taking my coffee and pastry. “Just be safe about it.”

“And you watch out for tall men in sunglasses,” he replied. “Behind you, Bailey. Oh God.”

I turned, completely oblivious, and knocked straight into said Tall Man in Sunglasses.

The sharp sunlight cast shards through the window, and in the brightness I couldn’t really make out his face, but I knew he was grinning. Grinning and soaked in hot coffee. Hot coffee that I had spilled, all over him, because of course I did.

“Ohmygod,” one word. I chocked. “I’m so sorry! Do you want a napkin? No, a towel. I could get you a towel.”

Charlie tossed a rag over the counter, and Tall Man grabbed it with an acknowledging nod.

“It’s fine,” he said, blotting the fabric. “Trust me. It’s a shirt. I have others. Besides, this isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with a spill.”

“Oh.”

Great reply, Bailey.

“Me either,” I stuttered. “I spill stuff all the time. I’m pretty much a walking mess.”

He laughed. I tried to find his eyes behind the sunglasses, but I couldn’t.

“You’re a little weird, aren’t you?” he said, placing the rag on the counter. “Like one of those girls who wasn’t very popular in high-school because they preferred wearing a Harry Potter house robe instead of normal clothes, and hung out in the teacher’s lounge, and watched BBC at home with your cat.”

“What the fuck kind of person says that to a complete stranger?” I snapped. “You don’t know me, dude.”

Tall man laughed.

“You’re right, dude,” he said. “So tell me, what house are you?”

“Hufflepuff.”

“Of course you are,” he said, and then: “I’m a Slytherin.”

“Bullshit.”

“I have a Sorting Hat on my keychain. Here, look:” he pulled his keys out of his pocket, and there it was. It glinted in the sunlight. “See? Guys can watch BBC at home with their pets, too.”

I studied him. Dark hair, obviously fit. Even though it was a wretchedly hot day outside, he wore a black T-shirt and gray hooded sweatshirt, so I couldn’t quite see his body. I tried to fill in the spotty imagery in with my imagination: sinewy, strong, not an ounce of fat. He didn’t look like a guy that ate carbs. No bagels. No muffins. No Bear Claws, obviously. What a miserable life.

His smile was coy. His lips pulled at the corners teasingly. From over the counter, Charlie was on his phone, unphased. The shop had emptied; the afternoon lunch drizzle having dried up.

“Enjoy your afternoon,” he said. There was a distinct conclusion to his tone. The conversation was over. A sense of tension hung in the air; I was intrigued at how someone, with a simple three words, could be so commanding and yet apparently had a nerdy streak.

How nerdy? I wondered briefly. Like, cosplay nerdy?

“You too,” was all I could say. I didn’t bother asking for another coffee. I could feel the paper bag wrinkle in my fist, still holding my pastry. My stomach grumbled. “See you around.”

I wouldn’t, of course. He was just a passerby. I decided it was best to leave.

From behind me, as my hand touched the door, I could hear his brief banter with Charlie: light, nonchalant. And then, as if by some stroke off magic, he said:

“Just here to pick up an order. I’m the Dick Cake Guy.”

I smiled inwardly, pure satisfaction: like the first pop of a pretzel bite into your mouth. Buttery, delicious, so unhealthy but oh-so good.

See you never, Dick Cake Guy.

Available on Amazon!

Giveaway: For your chance to win a digital copy of X-Rated and a $50 Amazon gift card, click the link below! (Giveaway will run from Feb. 21st to Feb. 24th)

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About the Author

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Just another smut-peddler.

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I was tagged to do the Books and Bakes Tag !! It was so much fun and be prepared for all the randomness that is me 😜

Book Spotlight: Headliners

Lucy Parker fans rejoice! Her latest novel is here, and we’re thrilled to share Headliners, book #5 in the London Celebrities series! Read on for an exclusive excerpt, purchase details, and a chance to win a print copy!

Book Cover

Headliners (London Celebrities #5)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: January 20th, 2020

Publisher: Carina Press

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant co-hosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

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Excerpt

Their boss started turning her pen in circles again. “You are correct in that you’ve both knocked yourselves out of contention for the evening show. That position will be offered elsewhere.”

Sabrina released a long breath, and Nick closed his eyes momentarily.

“So that’s it?” she said, with a slight feeling of unreality. Despite the setbacks since the summer, apparently she hadn’t really expected this to happen. “We’re both out?”

“Of the evening programming, yes. Your nights are going to be considerably more open.” Hania looked past Sabrina again, as the office door opened. “But if you agree to my suggestion, you’re also going to have to start getting up a lot earlier.”

Nick turned his head first, and his entire body went still.

She swung around and was greeted with her own smiling face on a full-length poster board. Her printed image had been placed back-to-back with Nick’s, and someone had done some excessive editing, because she’d never leaned on him in her life.

Her gaze travelled from their glossy heads to the sarcastic advertising copy scrawled across the cardboard: ’tis the season for peace and goodwill. And miracles. Wake Me Up London with Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport, weekdays at seven throughout December.

They broke the silence with an unusually united sentiment.

“Oh, I don’t think so.” Sabrina physically retreated from the horrifying prospect.

“I hope that’s a bad joke.” Palpable outrage from Nick. His fingertips were digging hard enough into the arm of his chair that she could see his knuckles flexing. “I don’t mind the odd piece of human-interest filler—nobody wants doom and gloom 24/7 and there are people who deserve recognition—but the morning show has been egregious rubbish for years. If you seriously think I’m going to sit there and smile inanely while people with too much time on their hands argue about—what was one of their scintillating topics, the ethics of putting tutus on puppies?—you can think again. And why am I second billing on the poster?”

“Alphabetical and moral seniority,” Sabrina said breezily. He was so annoyed that she’d recovered a bit of composure in response. She inclined her head towards their chummy-looking cardboard selves. “And it pains me to state the obvious, but you’re literally the poster boy for inane smiles, Troy McClure. Bit late to change your brand now.”

Nick’s jaw had stopped twitching, but his eye picked up the slack.

From her seat close to the offending poster, a member of the social media team cleared her throat. “Er…is the plan to boost WMUL’s embarrassingly shit ratings by turning the set into a Hamlet-style bloodbath? Because it’ll be job well done in any scenario that puts them on the same couch.”

“I’ve worked for the network since I was twenty-one,” Nick said, slipping back into his shield of drawling amiability. It tended to net more wins. One may smile, and smile, and be a villain. “I’ve headlined alone for almost four years, and I’ve made a damn good job of it.”

“Yes, you have,” Hania agreed. “You’re excellent at your job. Witty, tenacious, attractive—the public accolades are spot-on.” Before Nick’s head could expand too far, she continued, “You also humiliated your boss in a public forum. If you wanted to keep your name on the evening billing, you should have exercised some discretion. You’re on such thin ice here that one false step is going to drop you right in it. I hope I’m making myself clear.”

She walked around her desk to sweep a glance up and down the poster board, before she leaned a companionable elbow on it. “Happily for us all, the public is fascinated with your obvious feud. You surmise correctly that Wake Me Up London is in a losing battle where the ratings are concerned. I have a feeling that the two of you could salvage that situation.”

Nick opened his mouth again, and Hania finished, “And you’ve got from the beginning of December until Christmas Eve to prove me right.”

Now Available!

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About the Author

Lucy Parker - Author Photo

Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and galleries, and doodles unrecognisable flowers when she has writer’s block.

Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well, and the rest was history.

Lucy Parker | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

One lucky fan can win a print copy of Headliners! Click the link below to enter (US Only)!

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Blog Tour Schedule

January 20th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

January 21st

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

January 22nd

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

January 23rd

Wordy & Whimsical (Review) https://wordyandwhimsical.wordpress.com/

January 24th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Cup of Books (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/

***No Weekends***

January 27th

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

January 28th

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

January 29th

Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

January 30th

Magical Reads (Review) https://magicalreads7.wordpress.com/

January 31st

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


It’s that time of year again where we tell each other about our reading goals and what we plan to accomplish for the upcoming year. Here is mine! (plus a Christmas haul)

Book Spotlight: Men Of The Year

Welcome to the blog tour for Men of the Year by Colleen McMillan! Read on for an exclusive excerpt from Colleen’s debut novel!

MofY digital cover.jpgMen of the Year

Publication Date: October 8, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Willow River Press

Cassie doesn’t want your pity. She doesn’t want your sympathy. And she certainly doesn’t want to date you.

When perpetually single Cassie McTiernan agrees to her friends’ online dating scheme, she thinks she’ll go on maybe two dates then bail before things get uncomfortable. She’s turning 30; might as well give it a shot, right? Little does she know that they’ve devised a contract, binding her to date one man per month for one year. Sure, if she finds Mr. Right she doesn’t have to complete their challenge. How hard could dating be?

Jumping through an increasingly long list of hoops, Cassie realizes that she might have to endure the entire torturous year with twelve strange men beside her. What could go wrong? Why does her first date need two cellphones? And is the man who broke her heart years before lurking behind that shadowy bush?

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Excerpt

“We have a proposition for you,” says Alicia, suddenly in let’s-make-a-deal mode. Her tone fits a power suit more than her jeans and sequined top.

“More of a bet, you guys said it was a bet,” says Keeley in a much more anxious voice than Alicia. There better not be a male stripper waiting at my apartment building when I get home. Hopefully they didn’t shave my cat like last Fourth of July.

“You’re such an ass Keel,” says Lindsey, in no way helpful. “She won’t win anything if she does it.”

“Oh, she’ll do it. She’s curious already.” Alicia’s grinning now too, but I feel my smile fading. It’s like I’m in front of a court-marshal hearing.

“What did you do?”

“It’s really awesome! I think it’s a really good idea! Lindsey and Alicia thought of it.”

“Great, so what is it?” The bar music changes to the Dropkick Murphys’ thudding beats, and I notice how many people are in the bar. A public place. Somewhere I can’t lose it and scream at them. “What is it?”

They all talk at once, cutting each other off.

“Don’t be mad—”

“Who cares if she’s mad, she’s doing it—”

“It was a good idea, right?”

“Enough you guys!” I pound the table with my mug, sloshing beer. It spills on my hand and I reach for some napkins. “Did you get me something stupid like a pony?”

“You wish,” says Alicia.

“It’s better than a fucking pony.”

“It’s a boyfriend!” Keeley’s exclamation startles me. She covers her lips with her fingers. “Sort of…”

“Not very easy to wrap,” I say and cross my arms over my chest. Please not a blow-up doll, please not a blow-up doll, not in front of all these people.

“It’s not the sort of thing Macy’s gift-wraps for you with a sprig of mint or whatever,” says Alicia as she waves her cocktail straw back and forth in a motion that suggests scolding one of her children. “We got you something thoughtful this year. Something you actually need.”

“I need a new loofa,” I mumble. And maybe some nice bath soaps. Is it too much to ask for nice bath soaps? Maybe honeysuckle-scented?

“Stop bitching and listen,” says Lindsey. “Alicia, Keeley, and I got together and really thought this through. Step one: you need to stop moping about dating and just get on with it, or ‘get it on with it’ if you will, you’re not getting any younger or thinner.”

“Thanks a lot.”

She ignores me and goes on, “Step two: stop whining about your job and get a better one.”

“She means start writing again,” whispers Keeley, trying to sound supportive.

“So basically, what you got me is an inspirational rant from a divorcee whose sole purpose in life is to sleep with as many men as she can before her vagina falls off.”

“Ha ha. Listen. We signed you up for an online dating service.”

“You did what?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

colleen

Colleen may be a writer, but she’s also a dater. Many of the events in this novel happened to her or someone she knows, both male and female. Who hasn’t felt the harsh slap of an unanswered email on Match.Harmony.Fishing.com? Who hasn’t narrowly avoided an oncoming mouth with its tongue sticking out and drool tendrils forming in the corners? She wrote this novel because her fellow online daters needed a voice, or at least a fun read to get them through the day after their online crush quit the website because he “found someone else.” She has been published in Iconoclast literary magazine as well as in her college literary journal, Prologue. She lives in Minnesota with her faithful cat, Duncan.

REASON FOR WRITING THIS PARTICULAR NOVEL

My love life is disastrous, mainly because it’s nonexistent. What dates I did go on in my twenties went well enough, or so I thought. After a long string of first dates with men who weren’t too keen on my opinions once we actually met in person, I wondered if my other friends were having the same issues. Hint: they were. This was before rampant “dick pics” emerged, and most online dating sites were pay only. I signed up for Plenty of Fish, a free matchmaker site my friend recommended, which was an even bigger school of sharks masquerading as tropical fish. I had a terrible relationship stemming from that site, which prompted me to finish the little novel I’d been working on for years.

-Colleen McMillan

Between the Lines Publishing


MenoftheYear

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 7th

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

Al-Alhambra Book Reviews (Review) https://alalhambrabookreviews.home.blog

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

January 8th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

The Middle Years Journey (Review) https://themiddleyearsjourney.com/

I’m Into Books (Review) https://imintobooks.com

January 9th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight)http://www.crossroadreviews.com/

January 10th

On the Shelf Reviews (Review) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋

Book Review: Crier’s War

I was graciously given an advanced reader copy of this book by Harper Collins and I can safely say that it became one of my favorite books of the year! This one was called Crier’s War by Nina Varela.

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Synopsis: After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

I loved this book so much. From the minute I picked it up, I struggled to put it down. The worldbuilding was done flawlessly with not a lot of info-dumping but more or less little bits and pieces were given to you as you learn more about the main characters and their pasts.

It was told from two different perspectives and I really enjoyed going back and forth between the two characters. It is really refreshing to see one person’s opinion and then see the other person’s opinion and how it differs. What each is thinking and wondering how it will all play out when they are on 2 different sides. The tension between these two characters is intense and it builds up as the novel progresses. One of the many reasons why I could not put the book down.

I found this book to be a perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy. It was really cool how they used magic and robots blended together. I will be anticipating the second and final book to this duology when it comes out!

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book in physical format by Harper Collins to read and give my honest review.


I did my first ever reading vlog! It was a lot of fun to make and it was kind of like a review as I read the book. It was also my first ever Brandon Sanderson book!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

EIS - Book Cover (Small)

Book Spotlight: Last To Love

Today we’re celebrating the upcoming release of Last to Love by Alexa Whitewolf! Read on for an exclusive sneak peek, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

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Last to Love (Moonlight Rogues #4)

Expected Publication Date: December 31st, 2019

Genre: Paranormal/ Shapeshifter Romance

He’s the last one standing… So they sent the best one to break him.

Lucas

Love is for fools. I left all that wuss shit behind, and no fairy-like, smiling godmother will change my mind. I’ve got enough on my mind with a beta pushing my buttons and a town to keep safe. Never mind these urges inside me surfacing again, when I thought I’d buried them for good.

My wolves are falling in amore like bowling pins, and no amount of reasoning will make them stop. Now the third one’s gone over the moon, and they all expect me to be the last to love.

Only, they’ve got another thing coming. ‘Cause the only way I’m falling in love? Is over my dead body.

Monica

One more job, they said. One tiny thing I have to do, to bring the prodigal son back home in the warm arms of his beloved family. They said it would be easy. They gave me all the tools. But the minute I’m facing Lucas, I know all those plans have just failed. Burned, thrown out the window, type of failed. And I fully expect he’ll throw me out on my ass. So why is it he’s suddenly more interested in getting me in bed, rather than exiled? And what happens when I fall for it, but it’s too late to stop the events I’ve set into motion?

*Book IV in a paranormal shifter series filled with werewolves of all kinds, feisty females who stand up to them, and enough suspense to make it interesting. Can be read as a standalone for the romance, but for a better experience it’s suggested you read the full series first.*

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Excerpt

Monica

Damn it, but they could have warned me what to expect!

Luciano Conti is nothing like I pictured. He’s gorgeous, and fine as hell, sure. But he’s also cold, and unsettling. And in control. I didn’t miss the way his wolf responded, that flash of interest quickly squashed as soon as he realized who I am – nor did I miss the pack outside of here. Clearly, I’ve walked in the middle of a warzone.

The question is, how much more chaos can I cause before Luciano – or Lucas, as he calls himself now – throws me out of here? I bite my lower lip, noticing his gaze drop to it. My instructions were clear. Ruin the life he built here, and force him to come back home. If I do, I’d be free, and Alessandro Conti would ensure it.

Only problem is, as I’m standing opposite Luciano, it takes all my will to ignore the hum of electricity between us. I’ve always been the one in control – always. And yet his dark gaze does something to my insides that makes me feel almost…shy.

Basta! Don’t be a fool.

In an effort to distract myself, I look around. “You’ve done well for yourself, Luciano. Your parents will be proud.”

A noise escapes him, and I meet his unnerving gaze just in time to catch a glimpse of amusement. Then he schools his expression once more. I’ve known men who are good at that, but he makes it into an art. He is a piece of art.

Focus…

“What was so funny?” He clearly doesn’t like my question. But it’s his words that unsettle me more.

“What’s funny, cara, is you keep mentioning parents as if I have two of them. My mother died years ago. Matter of fact, she committed suicide after my brother died in a failed deal – all thanks to my father. But surely Alessandro Conti told you all this, before sending you into the wolf’s den?”

His grin is nothing short of predatory. And that dangerous glint in his onyx eyes causes a low tremor to start in me.

Merda! I’ve been had, that’s for sure. Only question is, how the heck do I get out of this now?

Will be available on Amazon December 31st!

The Moonlight Rogue Series

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*Note for bloggers/ and or book reviewers: The entire series is available for review. Contact the author for details!

About the Author

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Alexa Whitewolf is a fiction writer, newspaper columnist of daily issues and author of the critically acclaimed Moonlight Rogues shifter series.

Alexa has been a lifelong writer and first began creating other worlds and characters at the ripe age of 12. Growing up in the Transylvania region surrounded by epic mountains and a never ending stream of legends and stories was bound to create an overactive imagination. This shines through Ms. Whitewolf’s writing by creating worlds filled with unique folklore, life wisdom and plenty of furry creatures.

An avid traveler, Alexa writes under a penname and spends her days between an office job and writing, in Canada’s capital when she’s not flying somewhere with lush landscapes and plenty of hiking trails.

Her series focus on strong heroines, kind yet sexy men, fights of good and evil and the never-ending learning curve of humanity’s strong – and weak – points. Romanian folklore is intertwined with her writing, more notably in her shifter romance series, the Moonlight Rogues. Her other series draw on world mythology, such as the Avalon myth and Arthurian legend (the Avalon Chronicles) and Ancient Egypt (The Sage’s Legacy).

You can follow her blog at http://www.alexawhitewolf.com/blog or on social media. Her column in Observatorul also tackles various issues, including health, technology, and a writer’s life.

If you want up to date releases, make sure you sign up for her newsletter www.alexawhitewolf.com/contact

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads

For a chance to win a signed copy of Last to Love, click the link below!

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Blitz Schedule

December 16th

Reads & Reels – http://readsandreels.com

Breakeven Books – https://breakevenbooks.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds – http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Crossroad Reviews – http://www.crossroadreviews.com

December 17th

I Smell Sheep – http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Turning the Pages – https://turningthepagesonline.wordpress.com

The Genre Minx Book Reviews – http://www.thegenreminx.com/

December 18th

Banshee Irish Horror Blog – www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

I Love Books and Stuff – https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Bibliophile Ramblings – http://lego–ergo–sum.blogspot.com/

Books, Teacup & Reviews – https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

December 19th

Book Dragon Girl – https://bookdragongirl.com

Literary Dust – https://literarydust.wordpress.com/

Rambling Mads – http://ramblingmads.com

Book Blitz Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


December is here and the year is almost over. Check out all the books I got as a last haul of 2019!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann (, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

EIS - Book Cover (Small)

Book Highlight: Love, Look Away

Congratulations to Lisette Brodey, on her October release of Love, Look Away!

REVISED _Love, Look Away COVER

Love, Look Away

Publication Date: October 10, 2019

Genre: Romantic Comedy/ Women’s Fiction

Twenty-nine-year-old Sage Gordon has had it with love. When she’s not busy running her metaphysical gift shop in the old-money town of Swansea, New York, she’s content with the company of her dog and two cats.

Years ago, the boy she thought she’d marry someday disappeared in the middle of the night and was never heard from again. Haunted by the loss of Jimmy, she remains wary about love, until she is set up with a gorgeous NYC marketing executive. Love moves quickly, and she finds herself engaged — but if only he had betrayed her before she sent out the save-the-date cards.

Sage reverts to her former mindset: love, look away. Forever. Despite her best efforts, though, two completely different yet wonderful men enter her life. Still haunted by the past, can she let romance back into her life?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Love, Look Away is set in the same fictional town (Swansea, NY) as my first romantic comedy, Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! This book is not, however, a sequel or a series. Love, Look Away is a stand-alone novel. Some readers will recognize several characters from Molly, including Molly herself, playing supporting roles.

And to readers who have never read Molly, but who may wish to do so, rest assured this novel does not give away the ending.

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Excerpt

Sage hurried back into the store, to see a gorgeous man with a huge head of tousled brown hair and a sexy two-day growth on his face. He was wearing a button-down blue-and-white checked cotton shirt, with three buttons undone and a pair of sunglasses hanging from the V neckline it created. His sleeves were rolled up to reveal three leather bracelets on his left wrist and a watch on the right. He wore khaki chino pants and ankle-high brown moccasins. And he had the biggest smile Sage had ever seen.

“G’day!” he said before she could greet him. He turned to see Godiva. “And g’day to you too.”

“You must be Freddie’s houseguest,” Godiva said. “From Australia.”

“Benton Bradley,” he said, taking care to make eye contact with both women before Rufus greeted him with enthusiasm. “G’day, fluffy mate. I reckon you and my Kelpie Matilda might enjoy a good pash.”

“Is that short for ‘passionate?’” Sage asked as she walked around the counter to greet him, her eyes bright and curious. “Hi, I’m Sage Gordon.”

As Rufus finally settled on his mat by the meditation cushion, Benton took both of her hands in his. “Indeed it is, Sage. You’re beautiful as.”

Unnerved, but not put off by the intimacy of the exchange, Sage delicately pulled away. “Benton, you said, right?”

“I did.” He winked. “You can call me Bent, but please, don’t call me crooked.”

Sage laughed, finding herself unable to avert her gaze.

He looked at Godiva. “You must be Freddie’s lady, Godiva Jones.”

“I am,” Godiva said as she walked over to shake his hand. “Or I will be,” she mumbled under her breath. “It’s lovely to meet you, Benton.” She winked at Sage. “I’m going into the office to finish those website updates we talked about.”

Sage’s eyes widened in surprise, then narrowed as if to playfully chastise Godiva. “Yeah, by all means, update my website. Seems like we’ve been talking about that incessantly … and nothing else.”

“Don’t I know it? Well, you know where to find me if the bells clang too much,” Godiva said. She walked behind the curtains with a satisfied smile.

Sage looked at Benton while his eyes scanned the store with great interest. “Quite a place you have here. I like it.” He looked at the sign above the counter. “What’s that all about?”

“Oh, the Private Property sign. It’s just there for decoration.”

“I don’t suppose you’d like to sell it. I’ve got a small farm, and that would be a welcome addition to my front gate.”

“It’s not for sale,” Sage said. “Besides, you can’t bring wood into Australia. They’d confiscate it at customs.”

“No wood for me then,” Benton said, laughing to himself.

Sage felt oddly tantalized by the stranger’s words.

“That sign looks a good deal older than you.”

“It is, I think. Or maybe it just ages faster. Besides, I use moisturizer twice a day. I don’t think the sign cares about self-preservation.”

“It could use a good oil rubdown,” Benton said, grinning. “I’d be happy to do that for you.”

Purchase Here!



About the Author

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Lisette Brodey is a multi-genre author who writes strong, character-driven novels/stories, infused with humor, centered on the lives of flawed human beings in both tragic and funny situations. She writes mostly women’s fiction and literary fiction, but has written a YA paranormal trilogy, and a 1970s coming-of-age novel.

She was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She spent ten years in New York City, and now resides in Los Angeles. In addition to writing, she occasionally works as a SAG background actor in movies and television. And she loves animals.

Lisette Brodey | Molly Hacker | Twitter | Facebook

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It’s already November! I am being pretty ambitious and will be trying to read 5 books this month. Check out what I will be reading!

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Book Spotlight: The Giving Heart

Welcome to the blog tour for The Giving Heart by bestselling author, Toni Blake! Read on for exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a copy of the book!

The Giving Heart by Toni Blake

The Giving Heart

Expected Publication Date: October 29th, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Small Town Romance

Publisher: HQN Books

Spend a white Christmas on Summer Island, where the fires are warm and the romance is hotter

Lila Sloan wonders why she ever thought house-sitting for her sister Meg on the remote Summer Island was a good idea. And to make matters worse, local real estate developer Beck Grainger is trying to cut down the beautiful trees that line the property. Lila can’t let this happen; Meg will never forgive her.

Beck can understand Lila’s anger—sort of. The trees are actually on the neighboring property, and the land was zoned for development months ago, so his plans were no secret. But he dislikes being at odds with his friend’s sister, especially because Lila is appealing in every way: loyal, quick-witted and completely stunning.

Lila hates that she’s so attracted to Beck, who seems like a genuinely good man, despite his tree-murdering tendencies. And their chemistry is off the charts. She just wishes he’d let this development go. As Summer Island counts down to a snowy Christmas, Lila and Beck will have to strike a compromise that seems impossible for them both—or risk losing the best thing either of them has ever had.

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Excerpt

Five long, cold minutes later a tall, broad-shouldered man wearing a winter coat with blue jeans and some weird, worn, leathery sort of cowboy hat on his head came walking down from the direction of West Bluff. Despite herself, and for the first time ever in her life, she found herself envying work boots like the ones he had on because they appeared so sturdy and dry. She braced herself for a fight.

When she looked up at him, two things struck her simultaneously. First, he was ridiculously handsome—with dark hair peeking out from beneath that dumb hat, and dark stubble on his chiseled jaw to match. And second, his warm brown eyes wore that same confused, cautious look as the man on the bulldozer’s as he said, “I’m Beck Grainger. And…there seems to be some sort of problem here?”

Lila drew back. This was Beck Grainger? Who Meg had spoken of so fondly? And even Suzanne, too, during their short visit yesterday, had mentioned him as a friend. Meg had told her he’d been interested in dating Suzanne and she’d declined, but they both still thought he was a great guy.

“Well, I’m Lila Sloan,” she said. “And yes, there’s a problem. I’m not letting you destroy Meg’s property value like this.”

Beck Grainger’s dark eyebrows shot up beneath his leathery brim. “You’re Meg’s sister?”

She gave a terse, crisp nod.

The handsome man sighed, shifting his weight from one work boot to the other. “Look, no one is trying to destroy anyone’s property value. And I assumed Meg knew about this. It’s not a secret. It was brought publicly before the town council and zoned for residential use back in the spring.”

Ugh. None of this was good news. But Lila was certain Meg didn’t know. Her sister had been dealing with a lot this past year and perhaps hadn’t been paying attention to island business. They’d actually discussed these very woods over the Thanksgiving table last week, recalling how they’d played here as children when their grandmother was still alive and running the place. Meg said that a couple of years ago she’d crossed the stream to plant some shade-loving trillium and blue cranesbill among the trees, and that the small blooms had added color visible from the patio each of the last two summers. Meg loved and valued these trees. And Lila brimmed with anger that no one had made Meg aware of this—but that was neither here nor there. “I can assure you she doesn’t know.”

The handsome man’s brow narrowed skeptically. “Well, if it’s a problem for her, why didn’t she just pick up the phone and call me?”

“Because she’s away right now—traveling. And even if she were here, she wouldn’t have known you were the person to call. And maybe she would have done something sensible—because Meg is definitely sensible—like contact someone on the town council. But I, being less sensible and more rash, took a more direct approach. Meg left me in charge of the inn while she’s away—and I can’t let you do this. I just can’t.”

The tilt of Beck Grainger’s handsome head told her he was going to try reasoning with her. “You know, it’s not gonna be that bad. Luxury homes. With big yards. They’ll fit into the landscape.” He even ended the sentence with a wink. Was he serious? Given what Lila had been through recently, he was definitely barking up the wrong tree with an elitist suggestion that rich people made better neighbors.

“I don’t care what you’re building—you’re doing it at the expense of my sister’s inn. People stay here because of the ambiance and atmosphere. They stay here to listen to crickets in the trees and see fireflies blinking in the woods. We played in these trees as kids. They’ve been growing here since…well, since before Summer Island was even Summer Island. I can’t let you tear them down.”

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About the Author

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USA Today bestselling author Toni Blake’s love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Since then, she has written over twenty contemporary romance novels. Her books have received the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, her work has been excerpted in Cosmopolitan, and she has been nominated for a RITA Award. Toni lives with her husband in Northern Kentucky.

Toni Blake | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

October 21st

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

October 22nd

On the Shelf Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

October 23rd

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

October 24th

Romantic Reads & Such (Spotlight) http://romanticreadsandsuch.wordpress.com

Viviana MacKade (Review) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

October 25th

The Bookish Mrs. Harding (Review) http://thebookishmrsharding.home.blog

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

October 28th

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Ruby Red Romance Review (Review) https://rubyredromancereview.com/

October 29th

Books, Teacup, and Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Eclectic Reviews (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

Jane Hunt Writes (Review) https://www.jolliffe01.com/blog

October 30th

Alys in Bookland (Spotlight) https://alysinbookland.wordpress.com/

Past Midnight (Review) http://pastmidnight.home.blog

November 1st

Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

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Honesty you say?! Well, take a listen and let me be completely honest with you…..

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Book Spotlight: The Baker’s Guide To Risky Rituals

Trick or Treat? The Baker’s Guide to Risky Rituals by Kathryn Moon is the perfect witchy tale for this time of year! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a giveaway as sweet as the treats in the book — A signed paperback, swag pack (signed postcard, magnet, and two character buttons), and a $20 amazon gift card!

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The Baker’s Guide to Risky Rituals (Sweet Pea Mysteries #1)

Expected Publication Date: October 18, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

A Kitchen Witch with a bite, a King of Hell on a mission, and a candy coated town hiding bitter secrets.

Josie Benoit, gourmet patissier and kitchen witch, may not be a Sweet Pea native but she’s made the small town her home and she intends on keeping it that way. When trouble rolls into town on the seats of shining motorcycles, and the safety of her home and her own reputation are put at risk, Josie bands together with her coven to protect her world from a dark influence.
If only that dark influence wasn’t so deliciously handsome.

King Beleth is not a demon to be trifled with.
Leader of the Hell’s Bells MC and one of the great warlords of the Bowels, Beleth takes pride in his work and has the patience of a… man who knows what is best is worth waiting for. Known as Bell—to his friends, which you are not—he’s come to Sweet Pea to dismantle the core of good at the heart of the little town. But upon arrival he discovers three things that might just get in the way of his work:
Sweet Pea is more disgustingly adorable than they were warned.
The town has a coven of witches protecting it.
He’s developing a sweet tooth.

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Excerpt

He was painfully handsome, face broad and lips wide, eyes narrow. His weathered leather jacket was fitted to those shoulders with all the care of a lover. His eyes studied Josie until every hair on her body stood on end. She crossed her arms over her chest and lifted her chin, studying him with equal interest as he glanced down at her bakery case and frowned.

“Where are the cupcakes?”

Josie blinked and it took a moment to shake that whisper soft voice out of her head, like shooing away an affectionate stray cat, knowing it could scratch at any moment.

“This is a patisserie. I don’t carry cupcakes.” She could give him the spiel she gave to Mrs. Montgomery when the old busybody asked. Cupcakes could be bought at the grocery store for less than a dollar a piece. Josie’s wares were baked with techniques that took professional training, if not at least regular and studied practice. Mrs. Montgomery still asked every other visit.

“Three dollars for… what is that?” He asked, sneering at the brightly dyed macarons.

“It’s a cookie, but harder to make,” Josie said, cocking her hip. His eyes licked at the movement and the response of her skin was a betrayal, her imagination conjuring warm fingertips stroking up her side and raising goosebumps. She had to stifle her gasp.

“It’s a rip off. I could fit two of those in my mouth for one bite,” he said.

“For six dollars you could.”

Purchase on Amazon and Books 2 Read!

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About the Author

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Kathryn Moon is a country mouse who started dictating stories to her mother at an early age. The fascination with building new worlds and discovering the lives of the characters who grew in her head never faltered, and she graduated college with a fiction writing degree. She loves writing women were are strong in their vulnerability, romances that are as affectionate as they are challenging, and worlds that a reader sinks into and never wants to leave. When her hands aren’t busy typing they’re probably knitting sweaters or crimping pie crust in Ohio. She definitely believes in magic.

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I recently wrapped up the books I read in September and spoiler, there were some good ones!

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