NOW AVAILABLE!! Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s
not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

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Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

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Sarah A’s Review ~ A Postcard Would be Nice by Steph Campbell

 

apwbn-ebookSeventeen-year-old Oliver Wu remembers four things about Saturday night.

  1. He remembers going to the party and seeing Paloma, the girl he’s had a crush on for years.
  2. He remembers the disappointment he felt when Paloma left early, just when he was sure his bravery had paid off.
  3. He remembers the room spinning and someone helping him up the stairs.
  4. He remembers waking up next to Tarryn, a girl he barely knows, with his clothes on the floor.

There’s just one notable memory missing.

Oliver doesn’t remember saying yes.

When Tarryn laughs off Oliver’s panic and tells him he should take her out for breakfast, he doesn’t say no. He stops himself from saying no to Tarryn for weeks because he’s waiting for what never comes—an honest answer about what happened that night.

With his friends shutting him out, and the rumors swirling, Oliver is turning into himself and just trying to make it through the rest of his senior year with his head down.

But the one person that Oliver wants to hide the truth from more than himself, Paloma, is the one person who won’t back down and accept his changed behavior. Oliver opening up to Paloma not only means facing what happened that night—it means airing a truth that could easily rip Paloma’s world wide open, too.

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I was impressed with how light this book felt when it dealt with such dark topics.  Topics that are rarely tackled in any sort of literature.  I have read books that didn’t cover nearly as tragic of circumstances with the grace Steph Campbell demonstrated in this book.

When I first saw the synopsis for A Postcard Would be Nice I was intrigued.  While I’ve read several books that have dealt with sexual assault never was the survivor a male or if it was the story wasn’t his and he was only a supporting character.  Oliver was a fresh face for an issue I feel very passionately about.   Though he is a fictional character I still felt a certain sense of bravery in having those words, his story in print for the world to read.  This book shed a much-needed light on male victims of sexual assault in a way that felt real.

My only wish for this book was that it was a little heavier.  While the overarching theme of the book was extremely heavy and uncomfortable for the masses, I would have loved more darkness.  In actuality, the book was nearly perfect and moments of levity helped to bring more life, believability, and relatability to Oliver’s story.  My personal preferences always lean toward the darker, heavier, more painful storylines and that is the only reason I would ask for more of a walk down that lane.

I have previously read and loved Steph Campbell’s books and have loved every one for different reasons.  She has the ability to make her books widely relatable while still dealing with very specific themes and I appreciate that about her writing.  Her books feel like they are, or could be a person’s true life story.  In a time when often stories tend toward the unbelievable (or at the very least, highly unrelatable) Ms. Campbell always lends a voice of truth to her stories and that is what keeps me returning to her books time and again.

4 Feathers

 

 

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steph-campbellSteph Campbell grew up in Southern California, married a cajun boy, and moved to the Bayou State over a decade ago. She’s a wife, mom to four, CHD advocate, and museum addict.

When she’s not writing or taking care of her brood, she’s reading or scouring travel sites, always ready for life’s next adventure.

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Blog Tour ~ Beautiful by Ella Bordeaux

 

BEAUTIFULFront150dpiSkylar Woods unknowingly drew Wyatt Smith toward her.  He wanted… needed to learn everything about her. Though he sensed her beauty was more than just skin deep, Wyatt struggled to understand the sadness she attempted to mask with an amazing smile.

When Skylar’s eyes met Wyatt’s for the first time, her breath caught and she couldn’t look away from the new guy standing in the school office smiling at her. The connection only grew when Wyatt sat next to her in English class, allowing Skylar to dare to believe he might actually be interested in getting to know her.

For the first time in months, she felt alive.

The moment Wyatt expressed an interest, the notes started again … the ones that reminded her of a past she could never move beyond—the event that changed her life forever and robbed her of any chance of happiness.

Never believing the rumors being spread around school about Skylar, Wyatt made sure he went out of his way to prove how much he cared about her.

But when the past resurfaces, will Wyatt stand by her side? Or will he turn against her like everyone else?

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After practice, I looked up and saw Skylar in the bleachers. She was sitting on the opposite side of the field from everyone else, and I immediately knew why. Jenny would agitate her if she’d sat on the home side.

Running over, I took off my helmet, and Skylar walked down to the field.

“Hey,” she said with the cutest damn smile.

God, the things this girl does to my heart.

“Hey back atcha.”

“Smith! Get in the shower now!” Coach yelled out.

Skylar looked at Coach and scrunched up her face. “I didn’t get you in trouble, did I?”

Laughing, I said, “Nah. Besides, seeing your beautiful smile is worth it.”

Her eyes lit up, and my stomach felt like I was on a damn roller coaster.

“I have tonight off work,” she said.

My heart started beating faster, and it wasn’t from all the running I had just done in practice. “Oh, yeah?”

“I was wondering if you might…like to go to a movie? I mean, it would be a double date ’cause Mitch and Michelle would be there.”

I wiggled my eyebrows. “A date, huh?”

“A double date,” she replied with a chuckle.

“Smith! Less than thirty seconds to get your ass moving and into the shower!”

Skylar glanced over to Coach again and then back to me. She jutted her lip out into a pout and said, “You’d better go before you get in trouble.”

My heart stopped as my eyes fell to those lips. I was falling hard for Skylar, harder than I’d ever dreamed I could.

I started to run backward. Winking, I said, “Count me in!”

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kellynewWriting young adult fiction under the pen name of Ella Bordeaux, Kelly Elliott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author.

Finding her way back to one of her favorite genres, Ella will be publishing her first young adult fiction book, Beautiful, June 7, 2016.

Ella lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter and two puppies. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW – This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

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Title: This Raging Light

Author: Estelle Laure

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books

Published: December 22, 2015

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Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

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**PREORDER – RELEASES DECEMBER 22ND**

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A journey worth taking with a heroine who demonstrated unsurpassed courage and determination despite her circumstances.

The romance junkie in me was drawn to the idea of the heroine falling for the best friend’s brother. However, this story is SO much more than that. It was about a girl who faced what life threw at her with grace and purpose. She was the glue that held together what was left of her family refusing to succumb to the emotions that bubbled just beneath the surface.

I adored Lucille. She was wise beyond her years and yet pleasantly naive making her a bit of an anomaly. She was forced into adulthood much too soon but faced the challenge with eagerness and determination. My motherly instinct was to reach into the pages and hug this girl and then shake some sense into her. The budding romance with Digby was sweet and frustrating – par for the course with most teen relationships. It provided a little something normal for Lucille in an otherwise challenging time in her young life.

A pleasant twist of angelic proportions made my heart soar and nicely wrapped up this story. Laure’s writing style was engaging, the story was enjoyable and the characters were likeable. My only regret is the haste with with the story concluded. I would have enjoyed a bit more of the events leading up to the conclusion , but overall I am content with where things ended.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

*I was provided a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.

From the Author Website:

There was something savage and brutal about being a kid, something all the My Little Ponies and Cabbage Patch Dolls couldn’t smooth over, but it was filled with magic too, most of which I found in books. I think The Breakfast Club is the perfect movie, falling down the stairs and denial are my biggest fears, I try to read at least a book a week, and I still occasionally play dress-up.

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BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY, His Reverie by Monica Murphy

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Synopsis

I knew from the moment I first saw her she was the one. The only girl I could ever want.
The only girl I could ever love.
She is light.
I am darkness.
She is innocent.
I’ve done too much.
She is good.
I am bad.
She is my every dream.
I should be her every nightmare.
We come from different worlds. She’s…perfect. And I’m…Not.
Somehow she wants me anyway. So we’ll grasp at what we can. We’re going to make this summer count. She’s my secret. And I’m hers.
The problem with secrets is they never last for long. And when others discover we’re together, they’ll do whatever it takes to keep us apart. All I know is: I won’t let them.
Because Reverie Hale? She’s mine.

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Whitney’s Review

3.5 to 4 Stars

I was given an advanced copy in exchange my honest review. No spoilers here!

I have thoroughly enjoyed Monica’s books before and was excited to read this YA release but I was left a bit disappointed since my expectations were so high.

This is a dual POV novel. We hear from Nick first hand and then from his love interest Reverie through her journal/diary. I love dual POV books but this was a little odd since we only knew Rev from her writing. It felt almost like her character said/wrote the same thing every time she had a chapter.

Nick is awesome! He’s only 17 and the poor kid has faced tremendous upheaval. Falsely accused of murder, he spends almost a year in jail only to get released and have his world rocked again. Reverie Hale is a preacher’s daughter. A preacher who happens to be Nick’s new boss.

Despite knowing he’s not good enough for her, she becomes the only bright spot in his day and the two begin sneaking around to spend as much time together as possible.

I won’t say anything else regarding the plot so I don’t ruin things. I thought the story was well written and Nick’s character developed well. I had a hard time connecting to Rev and their relationship seemed too rushed. I get that they like each other but I don’t think they know each other well enough to be in love yet. Certainly, Rev is not mature or experienced enough to love Nick yet.

The ending is a doozy but thankfully book two is out in August. I will definitely read the next book just to see what happens with Nick. I’ll also keep my fingers crossed that I like Rev and connect with her more as her character development is really what got in the way of my rating this book higher.  I do still recommend this book for anyone who enjoys YA or Monica Murphy because her wonderful writing style is apparent.  I definitely expect the story to improve with book two.

 

Buy Links

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo

 

About Monica Murphy

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.

 Links

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

HIS REVERIE Goodreads ** Monica Murphy Goodreads

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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW – True Colors by Melissa Pearl

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Book: True Colors (The Masks Series #1)

Author: Melissa Pearl

Genre: YA/ Coming of Age

Published: February 16, 2014

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Synopsis

Caitlyn Davis always cruised through life, not being the type to ruffle feathers or involve herself in high school drama. That is, until a chance encounter with a strange, homeless man changes everything.

Suddenly, Caitlyn has the ability to see behind people’s masks. She discovers that her life isn’t as simple as she imagined and high school is filled with secrets…some very sinister ones.

Unable to ignore her new gift, Caitlyn embarks on a mission to learn why one of her friends suddenly appears terrified, but masks her fear with a bright, smiling veneer. Will Caitlyn’s new ability lead her into hot water? Or is her new found vision a blessing that will expose her friends’ true colors?

Her quest will lead Caitlyn to lose friends, stand up for those in need, and even find love.

At Palisades High School every face tells a story.

Katie’s Review

Caitlyn is a high school senior living it up without regard for the consequences of her choices. When she comes face to face with a homeless man one fateful night, she is entrusted with a gift that will force her to reevaluate her life. Will she continue on the path of recklessness and self-destruction or will she choose to utilize this gift for the greater good? As the true colors of those around her come to light, she discovers things are not as they appear.

When Caitlyn sees something she shouldn’t, she is forced to look outside the box and decide if this gift is worth putting her life in danger. Will she learn to accept her fate or will she run to Wyoming leaving everything she ever knew behind? Feeling alone and overwhelmed, she must also decide who she can trust.  Will she chose the guy who she doesn’t know that represents all this is good? Or will she choose the guy who she is comfortable with that represents the bad that resides within all of us?

“Help those around you, one person at a time, and you will have a full and happy life.” – Homeless Guy 

I was intrigued by the premise of this story and I was pleasantly surprised by the underlying message surrounding bullying and abuse. The voice of reason is ever present along with the internal struggle between good and evil. This coming of age story takes you on a wild ride with plenty of drama true to the YA Genre. The story is very well written and the characters were likeable. It brought me back to my high school days. If you are looking for a good read and some reminiscing, this story is for you. Overall, I enjoyed the story and the message it conveys. Due to some of the content, I would recommend it for 16+.

I was given a complimentary copy from the Publisher, Evatopia Press, in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5 – 4 STARS

Purchase Links

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About the Author

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Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book is coming out in February 2014 – True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.

“I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love.”

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