NEW RELEASE!! Begin Again anthology ~ Sarah A’s Review

A collection of short stories about Hope, Healing, and Love, benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and NAMI.

There are times when the Earth stops moving and the weight of its gravity pulls you down, deeper than you ever thought possible. You tumble farther than you ever imagined falling…

And when the sun goes black and your heart feels empty, starting over seems like an impossible feat…

You’re not alone.

Twenty-Two Authors have joined together in this collection of short stories about fresh starts and second chances to help illustrate that even when life takes away everything, and when hope is a horizon you think you’ll never catch, it is possible to Begin Again.

*All Proceeds will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and NAMI*

Foreword by Rebecca Yarros

Featuring short stories by:
A.M. Johnson
Stephanie Rose
J.A. DeRouen
Ginger Scott
Anne Jolin
Ariadne Wayne
Emery Jacobs
M. Andrews
K.P. Haigh
K. Renee
Maria MacDonald
Faith Andrews
K.K. Allen
Mara White
Autumn Grey
Josephine Brierley
Amanda Richardson
Stephie Walls
Jaci Wheeler
Stephanie Alba
L.A. Taylor

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Man, I have a love-hate relationship with novellas. I love having a story that can be read in less than an hour, but all too often I find myself needing more. It’s like a sampler platter, so, so good, but there are always items you didn’t get enough of. The Begin Again anthology had a lot of that going on since it is predicated on new beginnings. In full disclosure, I didn’t read all of the stories in this book before writing this review.

Breaking Point
Autumn Grey

This is one of the stories I needed more of. I loved how Mason and Asher’s story was starting, and I hope that Ms. Grey finds the time and desire to write their story to a happily ever after. She did a wonderful job of whetting my whistle as far as these two were concerned, but I need more to feel satisfied.

Mason pulled at my heartstrings, so much. He’d been through so much, lost so much; it was hard to not feel heartsick for him. Especially when part of what he’d lost was right there, every day, enforcing that missing part of his life. Asher was more of a mystery, and I would love to get more of his backstory. From the little we did find out about his past, it seemed like he had a lot to recover from, too.

I loved Asher and Mason when they were together. The addition of Asher’s twin, Addison, added just enough levity to the story to keep it fun. I hope, eventually, we’re treated to the rest of Mason and Asher’s story, as I imagine those two are going to have quite a ride to get to a place where they can be completely whole and happy.

Waiting for Autumn
JA DeRouen

This story broke my heart. It really brought to mind how easily one small choice, something a person does all the time can irrevocably change lives. It also highlighted how easy it is to put the blame for those poor decisions in the wrong place, whether it’s on yourself or on a scapegoat because it’s easier than accepting what actually happened.

Sebastian was wonderful; I loved that he took a horrific situation and – with a little support from kind-hearted people – pulled himself from the depths of his own personal hell and found success. He also showed strength not many people his age have, especially those who’ve experienced the losses he had. He won me over with little effort, and I loved seeing him overcome the circumstances thrust upon him by others.

I sincerely hope JA DeRouen gives Sebastian and Autumn a full-length novel. I would love to see them work out all the history they have and learn to love and trust one another fully again. It would also be wonderful to see more of Brady, as he proved himself to be a wonderful character in the little time he was in the book.

Connect with the Authors

A.M. Johnson: http://bit.ly/2AIEbv9

Stephanie Rose: http://bit.ly/2qJo4hp

J.A. DeRouen: http://bit.ly/2Fibo49

Ginger Scott: http://bit.ly/2naNBxx

Anne Jolin: http://bit.ly/2maam1x

Ariadne Wayne: http://bit.ly/2CJX3vI

Emery Jacobs: http://bit.ly/2ctSfOk

M. Andrews: http://bit.ly/2Epfq9I

K.P. Haigh: http://bit.ly/2qHcXpe

K. Renee: http://bit.ly/2AJf63t

Maria MacDonald: http://bit.ly/2Fi7OXI

Faith Andrews: http://bit.ly/2CXPIgo

K.K. Allen: http://bit.ly/2CHTuWP

Mara White: http://bit.ly/2miq2At

Autumn Grey: http://bit.ly/2EpsFqM

Josephine Brierley: http://bit.ly/2Fj5W19

Amanda Richardson: http://bit.ly/2vVxruL

Stephie Walls: http://bit.ly/2AJFzOe

Jaci Wheeler: http://bit.ly/2AIHDGa

Stephanie Alba: http://bit.ly/2EnDj1p

L.A. Taylor: http://bit.ly/2mhMg5Q

Havoc boxed set by Autumn Grey ~ Cover Re-Reveal & Sarah A’s Review

A three-month modelling contract in Paris.

Two strangers drawn together by fate.

A stalker hell-bent on keeping them apart.

Selene Michaels is determined to never let anyone make her feel inferior again. After a painful divorce, she finds herself in Paris on a working holiday, hopeful that this will be the opportunity she has been waiting for. She intends to have fun and maybe find someone to flirt with; someone who will show her a good time, treat her right. What she does not expect to find is Remington St. Germain and his adorable son, Adrien. Remington is intense, devastatingly hot and a Prince Charming on the outside, but a dirty talking, insatiable devil behind closed doors and not the type to give up on something that he wants. Adrien makes her loss almost bearable. Selene soon realizes that life with Remington is not only interesting but adventurous and dangerous. Someone is eager to keep Remington and her apart and will go to great lengths to make sure that happens.

Remington is at a crossroads. He can either let Selene go, forget about her. Or pursue her with determination, just like he does everything else. Otherwise, he will be right back where he was before she came into his life. The clock is ticking, and danger looms closer. He will do anything to save the woman who is fast becoming a part of his soul.

Sometimes life gives you a second chance. But what happens when danger threatens that chance?

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HAVOC

I’m really glad I have this entire series to read one right after the other.  I don’t think I could handle having to wait to see what is coming after the way Havoc ended.  I’ve read worse cliffhangers, but this one was still a doozy!

Havoc is a novella, so it was a pretty quick read.  I’m usually not a huge fan of novella series but, judging by the way this first book of the series was written, it was an appropriate way to tell this particular story.  This book set up the world well, it gave just enough information about the characters to make me care for them while leaving so much left unsaid I’m dying to jump into the next book, Obliterate.

I loved the characters in this book, especially Selene.  She was so broken in the prologue, it was good to see how much she had healed and grown once we got to know her in the present chapters.  I only wish we would have been able to see some of that healing, it would have really rounded out the book, for me.  That being said, the confidence she projected, even when she was feeling unsure on the inside, was wonderful.  It was great to read about a regular sized girl loving herself and helping other girls learn to love themselves, too.

Remington was so interesting.  For all we’ve learned about him in Havoc he is still such an enigma.  I can’t wait to learn more about him and his past, I have no doubt it’ll be fascinating.  On the surface, he seems magnanimous and caring, but I have a feeling that is only one extraordinary layer of this intriguing man.  Regardless of whatever else he proves to be, there is no doubt the man is a wonderful father, above all else, that gives him all the bonus points in my book.

While there was a lot of world setting and character building in this book, it never felt stale or boring.  Autumn Grey was able to weave in these building blocks with a plot that was interesting and compelling.  It wasn’t particularly fast moving, but it held my interest easily.  I can’t wait to see what is coming up next for Selene and Remington!

OBLITERATE

Can we just all agree that when a novella series revolves around one couple and there is uncertainty about their relationship at the end of the first book the presence of a second book, in and of itself, is a spoiler as to what will happen in said second book?  Yes?  Great.  That makes this so much easier.

As far as cliffhangers go, I loved the one in Havoc.  They didn’t separate for horrible reasons, they didn’t hate each other, there was nothing to make up to one another.  They had only split because they thought it was the only way for everyone to stay safe.  And isn’t that kind of selflessness a true demonstration of how much two people care for one another?  I was just ecstatic Selene and Remington didn’t have a huge amount of hurt to overcome.  They just each had to decide that what they were building was worth the risk and after Havoc I was certain they were building something life altering, for everyone involved.

Obliterate spent a decent amount of time having Selene and Remington bare the most broken parts of themselves to one another.  It was a wonderful demonstration of just how much they truly cared and trusted one another.  Between these deeply intimate and emotional moments, this book was rife with action in the form of a secretive woman threatening their lives.  The heart pounding moments were a great counterpoint those more deeply emotional scenes and drove the book, and Selene and Remington’s relationship, forward in a really amazing way.

I’m neck deep in this series and can not wait to see what the final book, Mend, has to reveal.  I have my theories as to what is going on and who is involved but I’m going to hold on to those, for now, to see how close I am.

MEND

I think, after reading the first two books in this series, the bar was set a little too high for me.  This just didn’t quite stand up to the rest of the series, for me.  It was still a good book, I never had a hard time getting through it, it just lacked some of the magic of the first two.

I still loved Selene and Remington, they were great together, there just wasn’t enough of them being a couple.  I also missed the wonderful dynamic Adrien added to their chemistry, he was largely a background character in this installment of the series and that made me sad, he was so wonderful in the first two books.

The real issue in this book was there was just too much going on.  New characters, tons of storylines that needed to be wrapped up and even more giant developments completely contained within this novella.  Had this been a full-length novel it may have worked, as each storyline could have been fully fleshed out and dealt with in with the delicacy they deserved.  Since it wasn’t, everything felt rushed. It could have been truly amazing, had it been twice as long.

While I was trying to not be over-critical, as I’m sure this was an effect of the amount of action in this book, it seemed there were some issues with the timeline. One such incident was when the first day they’d been at the hospital with Selene; a few things happen, which had added up to several hours, then Remington says they’d been there for 48 hours, then in the next scene he speaks about how long yesterday (the day Selene was injured) was.  There were a handful of these type of things that momentarily took me out of the scenes.

Overall, I enjoyed this series.  It was engrossing and entertaining.  The world was rich and well-built, I could really feel myself experiencing things along with the characters.  Foremost, was the character development.  I loved each and every one of them and I never felt like they took giant leaps outside of the realms of who they were.  My only wish would be that the final book was either much longer or broken into at least two books, to really flesh out and finish all the storylines more fully.

Autumn Grey writes sexy, angsty contemporary romance that always ends with a happy ever after.  She loves reading stories with flawed and quirky characters, broody alphas and sassy heroines.

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GIVEAWAY & Release Blitz ~ Breaking Gravity by Autumn Grey ~ Sarah A’s Review

I’ve always followed my dreams with ruthless determination.

My life was going well. Success was at my fingertips.

Until it wasn’t.

All it took was three seconds to send my world crashing down around me, ripping my dreams to shreds.

Then I meet her, with her large hazel eyes that slay me at first glance.

And everything starts to make sense again.

I try to keep my distance.

To remind myself I am her mentor.

That we can’t be more,

but every time I push away, I’m pulled deeper into her.

The line between student and teacher is blurring.

One kiss.

One taste.

They’re all it would take to cross the line.

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The thing I regret most about my experience in reading this book is that I didn’t reread Fall Back Skyward right before I started.  These books have overlapping timelines and I hadn’t read Nor’s story since shortly after it released in May of 2016, understandably I had forgotten a lot of what had transpired in that book and I feel like having that all fresh in my mind would have made Breaking Gravity so much more impactful.  Throughout the story, I continually regretted my decision to not do a reread.  I will definitely be scheduling a series reread before the next book in the series comes out.  Just for clarifications sake, I would like to assure you these books are interconnected stand-alones and can be read without having read the other books, but I would highly recommend reading the books in order and the series in full.

Elon and Nathaniel had both been horribly scarred by love, both physically and emotionally.  Elon, however, made the decision to continue living whether she was destined for love or not.  Nathaniel chose to live in his pain, grieving the loss of the things he loved most in the world became the crux of his existence.  They were so similar, both so damaged, so alone, yet wildly different in the ways they faced the world after the events that changed their lives so terribly.  It was these differences, these completely different world views, coupled with the acuity of their pain, that made Elon and Nathaniel such perfect partners.  Each of their strengths and weaknesses were perfect counterpoints to the other.

Breaking Gravity was deeply moving and quite different from other student/teacher romances.  There were honestly times when I forgot Elon and Nate had a student/teacher relationship at all because they seemed on a completely level playing field outside of the classroom, if anything Elon often had the upper hand in matters of the heart.  I have a deep appreciation for how Autumn Grey depicted the quiet strength Elon possessed and how she used that strength to both her own heart and Nate’s.

I would have loved to have seen the end of the book explored more thoroughly.  I appreciate that the loose ends were tied up as well as they could be, while still leaving room for the next book in the series, but it felt rushed to me.  After an otherwise well-written and purposeful book the last few chapters didn’t have the same feeling or tempo as what had come before.  I always prefer a show, don’t tell approach to storytelling and that aspect of the ending feel short, for me.

Autumn Grey has proven to me, over the course of the two books of hers I’ve read, that she is someone to pay attention to.  Her stories are important and fresh, her writing allows me to get lost in words that I love.  I am sure that her artistry will continue to provide poignant and innovative storylines.  I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next and the ways she’ll make me feel those words deep in my heart.

Fall Back Skyward (Fall Back #1) by Autumn Grey

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Autumn Grey is the author of Havoc, Obliterate, Mend (Havoc series) and Fall Back Skyward. And just like her characters, she is quirky, sometimes funny and definitely flawed. She writes sexy contemporary romances full of drama, steamy kisses and happy ever afters.

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