Sunday, April 30, 2017

Pinterest Review: Iced Coffee Protein Shake

I love coffee. It's my go to drink, but I've been trying to cut back because I LOVE adding sugar and almond milk. All that does is add calories. So, I decided to make this protein shake to give me energy as well as caffeine. 
You can find the pin here and the directions here.

I'm in love. Now, the recipe says this makes 2 servings, but I'm greedy and drank it all myself in place of breakfast. And I hate eating breakfast. It's never been my thing; however, I recognize the need for nutrition in the morning. The only modification I made was to leave out the ice. It's fine without it. 
This is my go-to drink in the morning and I get so much more energy out of it than if I just drank my cup of joe.
Try it and let me know what you think or what modifications you made.

Happy pinning. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Blitz: Painting Sky by Rita Branches plus #Giveaway


Painting Sky
Rita Branches

(Painting Sky #1)
Publication date: April 25th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Nobody ever said life was easy…
People pleaser, Jane Skylar wants nothing more than to earn her art degree, start her life, and bask in the bliss of living with her boyfriend.
But things don’t always go as planned…
Struggling with her creative side, Jane finds herself in turmoil, often confiding in her roommate – another, more talented art student, Keith Hale. Keith just so happens to be her boyfriend’s older, brooding brother. After a devastating breakup, Jane turns to Keith for comfort. But when the lines blur between roommate and lover, Jane’s life becomes more complicated than ever before.
When Keith’s past comes back to haunt him, their lives all get turned upside down, forcing the truth to surface. Now Jane must fight for what she wants–even if it hurts everyone she loves.
*It’s a Stand-alone*
EXCERPT:
The next towels were easier. I was getting colder and so tired that my eyes started to shut and I dozed off. When the towel on my stomach was removed, the breeze on my skin made me shiver and woke me up.
“Just one more time, and then we’ll check if the fever has lowered.” He changed the towels again. I had stopped feeling awkward about the lack of clothes a long time ago: maybe between the cold towel or the scared look on Keith’s face.
My shivering never stopped. After Keith took all the towels from my body, I just wanted to curl up and sleep. The sheets were wet, though, as well as my clothes. Keith left for a minute and I opened one eye to see him standing at the door, frowning.
“What is it now?”
“I can’t find any clean sheets,” he answered. I wasn’t feeling good enough today to do laundry, so the other set was dirty.
“Come on. Try sitting up.” Keith opened one of my drawers.
“What are you doing?” It was where I kept my underwear. He ignored my protests and took some black cotton panties and a matching tank top and placed them on the bed.
“I’ll be in the hallway. Call me when you’re done—unless you want my help.” His smirk was weak, but I knew he was trying to make me smile. I shooed him out of my room with a wave of my hand and took my time changing out of my clothes. My body hurt, especially my ribs.
“I’m coming in,” Keith warned, as soon as I pulled the tank top down. “Can you get up?” I obeyed him, unsure of why he wanted me to get up if I didn’t have any clean sheets to change the bed with. My bedroom swung around me and I had to sit back down again. I was too weak to stand. Keith sighed and put his arms under me. I stiffened instantly, not just at the gesture, but also at my lack of clothing. He picked me up and left my room.
“What are you doing?”
“What do you think? I’m taking you to my room. The sheets are clean, I haven’t slept there this week, and they are dry, at least.” He winked while pushing open his bedroom door with his shoulder. I had been in his room once or twice to bring him his clean clothes, but I’d never taken the time to look around. I wouldn’t do so this time, either, as the only light on was from the lamp on his bedside table.
The space was clean and tidy. I imagined all his clutter was in the attic, where he spent most of his time.
I whimpered against his cold sheets. “Come on, scoot over,” he said, as soon as he laid me down. I did what he asked and the next thing I felt was his warm body against mine. I gasped at the contact, but scooted back against his chest. I tried to ignore the chuckle that came from him, which shook my body slightly.
His hand came to rest on my stomach for a second before he pulled my tank top up. I was prepared to turn and punch him in the face when I realized what he was trying to do. He lifted his own shirt and hugged my bare back. I sighed, trying not to moan. For the second time tonight, I wasn’t cold, as his body was warmer than mine.
“Just so we’re clear, in the morning, we go back to not caring much for the other, right?” I asked, more to try and clear the air. I felt him tense before answering me with a weird shrug.
“I guess,” he mumbled.
“Why do you hate me?” I whispered.


Author Bio:
Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she´s not reading) writing emotional stories. Visit: http://ritabranches.wordpress.com/

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Book Blitz: How We Fall by Melissa Toppen plus Giveaway


How We Fall
Melissa Toppen

Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

It’s not always about how we fall- it’s about where we end up once we land.
I remember the very first time I laid eyes on Cole Lincoln. It still feels like yesterday when he stumbled into my life with his messy brown hair and dark eyes. Even though I was only ten years old at the time, I knew right then and there that he was going to change everything.
From that point on Cole and I were always together—inseparable—and I naively believed we’d be best friends forever. But forever didn’t last nearly as long as I expected.
We grew up and grew apart, life driving the distance between us, but my love for Cole never faltered. Even long after he moved away, leaving me and our little town behind, I still carried a piece of him with me every single day. Because Cole wasn’t just my childhood best friend- the boy who knew me better than anyone else in the whole world. He was also my first love- a part of my very core.
When a tragic death brings us face to face again after six years, every single memory comes rushing to the surface. Only this is not the boy I fell in love with all those years ago. The man before me is hardened, intimidating, and so damn sexy I practically melt when those dark eyes meet mine for the first time in six years.
And like the first time he walked into my life, I know with complete certainty that everything is about to change.
How We Fall is a STANDALONE Contemporary Romance.


Author Bio:
Melissa Toppen is a Reader's Choice Award Winning and Bestselling Romance Author of New Adult, Contemporary, Erotic and Romantic Suspense. She is a lover of books and enjoys nothing more than losing herself in a good novel. She has a soft spot for Romance and focuses her writing in that direction; writing what she loves to read.
Melissa was born and raised in a small town in Ohio and now resides in Cincinnati with her husband and two children, where she writes full time.
In addition to spending time with family and friends, Melissa loves going to concerts and is obsessed with the T.V. shows Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time and Outlander.


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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Guest Post by Cathrina Constantine, author of Incense and Peppermints plus Giveaway

Guest Post on Writing Young Adult

My first writing endeavor was a romance for adults. I still have it nestled away on my computer.

Then, I decided to tackle writing a young adult story and in the process I hoped to inspire and entertain by telling an action-packed, gritty paranormal.

 It’s kind of like the classic christian tale of good versus evil. There’s demons, angels, and a snarky teen with unusual powers. Wickedly They Come was my debut novel, and I’m in the process of writing a prequel.


I love reading all genres, but I’m addicted to writing and reading young adult books. I like the angst and the complications of that age group.


Incense and Peppermints
Cathrina Constantine

Publication date: March 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties, and a musical revolution, flower power, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations—young and old—into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.
Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.
With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.


Author Bio:
Cathrina Constantine is the Best Selling author of Don’t Forget To Breathe. Her book won Readers’ Favorite International Book Award for 2015 and The Literary Classics Seal of Approval and Literary Classics Gold Award. Her Paranormal Fantasy, Wickedly They Come has been awarded the 5 Star Seal from Reader’s Favorite. Tallas from her dystopian series received Literary Classics Silver Award and Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
Cathrina resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and her cat, Bones. Author @chbbpublishing. Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. When not attached to her computer, she likes to take long walks in the woods with her dogs, drink way too much coffee, and is an avid movie watcher. She loves music and doesn’t need a dance floor to shake a leg.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Blitz: Shopping for a CEO's Wife by Julia Kent plus #Giveaway


Shopping for a CEO’s Wife
Julia Kent

(Shopping for a Billionaire, #12)
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

Snowbound. Sounds so romantic, with visions of cuddling before a roaring fire, hot chocolate spiked with brandy, and a secret elopement.
Wait. What?
My fiancé’s father won’t stop trying to turn our pending wedding into a three-ring media circus so he can get free publicity for his family’s Fortune 500 company. My mother has decided she’s done with All Things Wedding and asks her teacup Chihuahua for mother-of-the-bride advice.
They’ve all gone certifiably mad.
Then the stress from the wedding puts my mother in the hospital, I scream at my future father-in-law in front of a camera crew and the video goes viral, and the romantic wedding that started with Andrew’s grand Pride and Prejudice proposal looks less like Jane Austen and more like Dostoyevsky.
So what do you do when you’re a fixer and you can’t fix something?
You give up on it.
Not on Andrew, silly.
The wedding.
Shopping for a CEO’s Wife is the 12th book in Julia Kent’s New York Times bestselling Shopping series. As Shannon and Declan enjoy their newlywed bliss, Andrew’s father wants to exploit Amanda and Andrew’s nuptials, much to Amanda’s chagrin. Can she learn to stand up to her future father-in-law and fight for what’s right? But the real question is: will Spritzy the teacup Chihuahua end up being a flower girl?
EXCERPT:
“You have a remarkable capacity for imagining the strangest worst-case scenarios, Amanda.”
“I have to. I’m in love with you.”
“Hey!”
“Did I or did I not walk miles in an 1800s Regency-era costume after you lost your car keys AND a three-carat diamond ring in Walden Pond?”
“Yes, but — ”
“Did you or did you not have to rescue me, half clothed, from a pool at your brother’s wedding?”
“I am sensing a trend.”
“And did you, or did you not, wake up with me in a Vegas hotel room, thinking for a few hours that somehow we’d both married more than one man?”
Now he just sighs.
Ah.
Victory.


Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

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Book Blitz: Deathbringer by Tamara Grantham plus #Giveaway


Deathbringer
Tamara Grantham

(Fairy World M.D., Olive Kennedy)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Some heroes are fated to save the world. Others are meant to destroy it…
Olive Kennedy is all about positive thinking. She’s been stuck on Earth for the past four months, waiting for the spring equinox to arrive so she can return to Fairy World — but she’s staying positive. She’s hopeful she’ll once again see her handsome Viking fiancé who’s waiting for her. She’s optimistic that her mission to reclaim the sword of Dracon — a sword of King Arthur fame and the only weapon capable of killing Theht — won’t result in death and destruction. And then there’s the small matter of an asteroid that’s been ripped out of its orbit and is hurtling toward Earth…no biggie.
One last thing — she’s fated to destroy the world. To stop that prophecy from being fulfilled, she may have to sacrifice the one person she loves the most.
Good thing she’s staying positive.
EXCERPT:
I stood and crossed to my bedroom, then grabbed my backpack and slung it over my shoulder. After grabbing my temporary mirror case out of a drawer, I placed it on top of my dresser.
I wasn’t sure if I should cringe or laugh as I scanned my new mirror. I’d found it at the dollar store after a frustrating day of trying to create a new mirror box with no success. I’d bought it because it was absurd and to remind myself that it was temporary.
The plastic box was pink with the name BARBIE scrolled on the top. Inside was a foam liner that had once held five nail polish bottles. I’d cut the foam to make larger slots. Now, it held my five figurines that represented the races of Faythander: Dragon, elf, Wult, pixie, and goblin.
After unlocking the latch, I opened the lid. “You’re fabulous! Inside and out!” sang to me in a bubble-gum voice as I propped the lid open.
As I said, temporary solution. Extremely temporary. It had a mirror under the lid and was the perfect size for my figurines, so it worked. For now.
Scanning my figurines, I found the Wult and removed it from the foam, then propped it upright against the mirror. I needed to get to the Wultlands, and this would be the easiest way to do so.
I ignored the glittery scrolling along the edges of the mirror and focused on the glass. Taking a deep breath, I paused before touching my fingers to the mirror.
Months ago, the portals had started acting erratically. I’d thought the problem had been solved after we’d restored the fairies’ stone, but when I’d returned to Earth four months ago, the portal had almost torn me apart. I’d gotten several stitches in my abdomen because the crossing had been so violent. Since then, I hadn’t once been able to open a portal, but tonight, I had no choice. I needed to return to Faythander before the equinox, and I had one thing in my favor—I hadn’t tried opening a portal with my new Barbie box yet.
Here’s to hoping my luck improved, I thought. Then again, this was my luck we were talking about. Yeah, probably not.
Carefully, I placed my fingertips to the screen, inhaled a deep breath, and then conjured the word to open the portal.
Magic flowed from my heart, through my arms and hands, and into the mirror. Gold and amber swirls licked like fire over my skin as the magic interacted with the mirror, mingling with the blue glow coming from the plastic case.
The power grew inside me as the portal opened. Wind swirled around me until the room disappeared and I floated in a void. Voices came from somewhere. Soft whispers. Among them was a familiar one. The cold, detached voice of Theht.
I am here. I am waiting.
I’d gotten better at tuning her out, but being in a place like this, between worlds, made it almost impossible to keep her away.
Soon, we shall destroy the world together. Deathbringer.
The wind grew stronger and faster, wrapping around me, squeezing the air from my lungs. It compressed me until I couldn’t breathe. Pain coursed through my nerve endings as the pressure weighed me down. I felt as if I’d been buried under millions of tons of sand.
I cried out, but couldn’t hear my voice over the wind. Tears leaked from my eyes. I felt their warmth on my cheeks. In a desperate attempt to survive, I focused on the magic within me, unleashing every ounce, pouring it into the portal to keep it steady.
I thought for sure I was dead when I hit the ground. I landed awkwardly, my shoulder and hips taking the brunt of the impact. My mirror, on the other hand, made a graceful landing in a pile of leaves beside me.
I lay on the ground, panting for air, staring at the faded blue sky through the patchwork of branches with budding green shoots.
“Never again,” I muttered between gasps. Next time, I would find a Viking ship and cross through an underground ocean filled with man-eating sea-snakes before using a portal. “Never. Again.”
On the bright side, at least I’d finally made it back to Faythander. The $.99 investment into the Barbie mirror wasn’t such a bad buy after all.


Author Bio:
Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than half a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Mythology and Fairy Tales categories with over 100 reviews.
Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has been a featured speaker at the Rose State Writing Conference and has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.
Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks, which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds, and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made. You can find her online at www.TamaraGranthamBooks.com.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Guest Post on Inspiration by DJ Hunnam, author of Faking it with Damian PLUS Giveaway



Inspiration for FAKING IT WITH DAMIAN 
by DJ Hunnam

A lot of the inspiration for my novel, Faking It with Damian, came from my own life and or from experiences my friends have had. Faking It is centered around Janice, a woman navigating the corporate world, who has a demanding and smoldering new boss. I worked at an engineering firm for sixteen years, so a lot of Janice’s experiences with coworkers were gleaned from my own, although I never got the chance to hook up with a super-hot, alpha boss. Bummer!

I think that workplace romances resonate with people, because we’ve all had at least one colleague or boss we found attractive. We spend a lot of time with the people we work with. And while those individuals don’t usually pursue us as aggressively as Damian pursues Janice, it is easy to fantasize about being chased by a sexy coworker. Acting on that attraction can lead to a whole host of other problems, which are explored to varying degrees in Faking It.

Both protagonists are dealing with serious issues. Janice is dealing with her ailing mother, which is another similarity from my own life. Lucky for me, I had family to share the burden with when my mother passed away, eight years ago, but Janice does not have that luxury. Damian is also working through some pretty horrific events from his past. In spite of that, he pursues Janice unapologetically and is willing to give love another shot. Janice is the exact opposite; she’s scared of intimacy and keeps Damian at arm’s length as long as possible.


I wanted to write a story about a strong woman who isn’t the cliché damsel in distress, even though in the end Damian does save her. Janice is the type of girl that inspires jealousy. She’s smart and beautiful, unafraid of her sexuality, has no qualms about sleeping around, and doesn’t need a man to make her feel whole, or at least that’s what she wants to believe. So many romances revolve around a man who sleeps around, is scared to commit, and has never been in love. In Faking It, the female protagonist is the one who is afraid and the male protagonist is the one who is ready for love. I loved writing that dynamic and flipping the cliché on its’ head!

Faking It with Damian
DJ Hunnam

Publication date: January 23rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance

I don’t do relationships… especially not with egotistical jerks like my new boss, Damian Wood. The man is vile, arrogant, condescending… and scorching hot. If he weren’t my boss and a grade-A a*&hole, I would turn on my world-famous charm and seduce the pants right off the man. But giving in to his undeniable allure might just cost me my job. Or worse yet, my heart.
I’m a prick…and Janice Holder’s new boss. Which means I should stay away, but I’ve never claimed to be a nice guy. If I don’t get my twisted fascination under control, it will only be a matter of time before I bend her over my desk and screw her. Hard. The way I’ve imagined no fewer than a thousand times since we met. I’m playing with fire and neither of us can afford to get burned, but landing in hot water might just be worth the risk.
Faking It is a full-length, standalone office romance. It contains steamy scenes with a ton of heat and strong language intended for mature audiences.


Author Bio:
First introduced to the genre by her grandmother, DJ Hunnam is an author with a true love for great romance novels. After reading hundreds of them over the last twenty years, she finally decided to put pen to paper and craft her own happily ever afters (HEA). She loves to write about strong heroines who fall in love with even sexier heroes, while tackling real-world problems. Her books are packed with sizzling scenes sure to make you blush.
A scientist by day and author by night, DJ Hunnam straddles the fence between the mundane and the erotic on a daily basis. When she isn’t writing, you might find her curled up with a book, chasing her two wild sons, or pursuing her own HEA with her husband of ten years. She’s a sucker for dark chocolate, a good bottle of Malbec, and a sexy six-pack.


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Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Blitz: Redeeming Ryker by Kelly Collins plus Giveaway


Redeeming Ryker
Kelly Collins

(Boys Of Fury #1)
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Imagine finding out that everything about your life is a lie.
Imagine falling for the man who thinks he killed you.
Imagine having to remain dead so you can keep him.

Twenty-four-year-old Ana Barrett knows who she is. She’s a struggling artist, a loyal friend, an orphan raised by loving grandparents. After a string of unlucky events leaves her homeless, broke, and alone, she receives a timely gift from her deceased grandmother—a house in Fury, Colorado. It’s a gift guaranteed to change her life in ways she can’t imagine.
Ryker Savage has always known who he is. He’s a brother, a friend, an orphan, and a murderer. One decision made twenty years ago altered the future of an entire town. At twenty-eight, he’s done his time, paid his dues, and wants to be left to his misery.
When Ana arrives in Fury, she changes everything he thought he knew. His light becomes dark, his dark becomes light, and his truth becomes the lie he’s lived forever.
Ana’s future hangs in the balance. Ryker’s future is carved from his past. Destined to have the two collide, can there be a chance for a future together?
EXCERPT:
I opened the door and stepped onto the porch. A soft wind swirled around me, bringing the scent of him. That was Ryker, clean and fresh and strong. A tinge of smoke wafted in on the breeze, and I scrunched my nose. That wasn’t Ryker, or at least I didn’t think it was. “You smoke?”
He pushed off the trunk of the enormous oak tree and tossed his cigarette to the ground, smashing it with the toe of his boot. Out of the shadows, he stepped in front of me. “Generally no. But when I’m stressed, yes.” He dropped his head as if shamed.
I don’t know what compelled me to touch him, but I couldn’t resist laying my hand on his chest. I felt his heart thumping under my fingertips. “What stresses you?”
“Everything stresses me. Sheriff Stuart. This damn house. This damn town. It all stresses me the fuck out.” He kicked at the dead grass under his boot. “You stress me out.”
“Me?” I gripped the edge of his jacket. “Me? Why?”
His gaze lasered into me. “When you dropped me off, I went upstairs and tried to sleep, but I couldn’t. I’m fighting with myself.” He reached for my cheek. His fingers sure and able. His touch soft. “I want you.” He threaded his hand through my hair. “I know if I have you, I’ll destroy you. I destroy everything I touch.”
He leaned closer and then stepped back, but didn’t drop his gaze. Didn’t drop his hold.
I leaned in. I wanted him closer. I wanted the kiss he was denying me.
“Fuck it, I’m weak when it comes to you.” He pulled me into his arms, and his lips crushed mine with a ferocity I’d never experienced. I tried to throttle back the dizzying current that raced through me, but it was no use. If Ryker was intent on destroying me, I was a willing victim.


Author Bio:
Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping the love alive. Always a romantic, she is inspired by real-time events mixed with a dose of fiction. She encourages her readers to reach the happily ever after but bask in the afterglow of the perfectly imperfect love.
Kelly lives in Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her husband of twenty-five years, their two dogs, and a bird that hates her.
In her spare time, she enjoys walking the trails and visiting the mining towns like Cripple Creek. She likes to think it's the ambience that brings her there and not the amazing slot machine in the back of the casino.
In the winter, you'll find her tucked into herseat at The World Arena cheering her beloved Colorado College Tigers Hockey Team. After several losing seasons she knows there's a win coming soon. Kelly is no fair weather fan.
She has three amazing children, and she wonders how they all turned out to be engineers when only the creative side of her brain seems to work. She just chalks it up to the engineering genes her husband contributed to the mix.
Creative minds need an outlet and writing books is where she focuses her excess energy.

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Book Blitz: Debutante by Marie Silk plus Giveaway


Davenport House Prequel: Debutante
Marie Silk
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

The family saga begins in Debutante, a prequel to the best-selling Davenport House series. A life of luxury for the Davenports means drudgery for the servants on the grand country estate. This is their story in 1909 America, six years prior to the events of book one.
While her father is away on business, sixteen-year-old Mary Davenport feels confined and alone, despite her privileged life at the family’s mansion. As the day of Mary’s debutante ball draws near, the servants are conflicted by instructions from Mary’s mother to starve her until she fits into a gown that was made too small. Mary is also under pressure to act the part of society while being forbidden from seeing her only friend, the servant boy who works in the stable.
In a shantytown hours away, a young girl called Abigail is hired to sew a gown for a dressmaker’s wealthy patron. Abigail gives up her education in order to provide for her impoverished family. Neither she nor Mary is aware of how connected their futures are destined to become.
Special release price of 99¢!
AND: Each book in the series will be on sale for 99¢ between April 22-27!


Author Bio:
Marie Silk has enjoyed writing stories and plays since childhood. She lives with her family in the United States and travels the globe as often as life permits. She is an admirer of history, antiques, and architecture. Marie is the author of the best selling Davenport House family saga.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pinterest Review: Nutella Chia Energy Bites

I love energy bites. They're quick and easy to make and are perfect for that afternoon pick-me-up. When I discovered these Nutella Chia Energy Bites, I had to give them a go. 

You can find the pin here and the directions here.

The directions are simple and the bites came together quite well. As for taste... well ... they were okay. I was disappointed too. Nutella is one of my favorite things on the planet, but for some reason, these tasted bland. My solution is to make peanut butter bites and add a tiny bit of Nutella for the chocolatey goodness and the chia seeds for the health benefits. I won't make this exact recipe again, but I'll create a new one instead. I still call this a semi-win. Got to try new things, ya know? :)

Happy pinning.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Book Blitz: Last Semester by Corine Mekaouche Plus Giveaway


Last Semester
Corine Mekaouche
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?
EXCERPT:
“Breathe, Rob! Just breathe!” I demand in a panicky voice from the back seat as we swiftly pull up to the entrance of the hospital. Clutching his chest in pain next to me, he heaves out a few spouts of air, but it’s not enough to help him.
Shit!
I watch my roommate Rob’s cheeks turn from a shade of deep pink to a dark crimson red. “A.J.! He’s getting worse!” I yell to my other roommate in the driver’s seat. He rolls his eyes then turns around.
“Calm down, Jo!” he exclaims. “I can’t think when you’re yelling like this!”
Drew, our other roommate, and usually the voice of reason, says nothing as he quickly jumps out of the Range Rover and runs into the hospital entrance.
“Can’t. Breathe,” Rob manages to force out of his mouth, then before I know it, his body falls limp and his head somehow ends up on my lap. His eyes roll to the back of his head.
“I think he’s dying!” I whine and suddenly I’m losing my breath.
Releasing a loud groan, A.J. climbs out of the SUV and casually walks into the hospital as if nothing is wrong.
Why is he so calm and I’m flipping the hell out?
I begin to shake Rob’s shoulders but he doesn’t respond and I’m almost positive that he’s not breathing at all now.
It’s official.
I killed my roommate.
Okay, maybe he’s not dead yet, but if death was a road, he just made a left turn for the worse then ran over a few annoying potholes and some week old roadkill…and probably drove off a cliff or something…
Ugh! I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore! I feel guilty for doing this to him and I feel even more guilty because I kinda hate his arrogant, smug ass, but just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean that they deserve to die, does it?
The back door opens and I see A.J. and Drew standing outside with a wheelchair. A.J. roughly wraps his arms around Rob’s body and begins to pull him out of the car. “Fuck! He’s like the size of an ogre,” he complains as he struggles to get Rob into the wheelchair. The fact that Rob is as useless as a wet noodle right now makes it difficult for A.J. to adjust Rob’s body in the chair. I cringe just watching it.
“I knew this was going to happen one day,” Drew says shaking his head. “The inevitable always happens.”
Shooting Drew a snarling glare, A.J. grits his teeth. “Just roll the goddamn chair into the hospital,” he instructs. Drew turns the chair around and begins to jog into the emergency room with Rob’s body leaning to one side. A.J. looks at me in the SUV, annoyed. “Well, are you coming?” he asks and I just freeze.
Do I stay? Do I go? I don’t know what to do with myself!
Taking a quick yet deep breath, I climb out of the SUV, shut the door and join A.J. on the other side of the vehicle.
“I’m horrible,” I blurt out and I can feel wetness welling in my eyes. “I’m a horrible person.”
“Dammit, Jo! I hate it when girls cry,” he complains as he shuts the other back door and begins to walk into the hospital. He pauses in his tracks when he notices that I’m not following him.
I’m frozen.


Author Bio:
The geek and a dreamer, Corine Mekaouche has always had the vision of becoming a writer. While growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, Corine spent her childhood immersed in music, novels, and writing. To her, the arts was the best escape ever. For college, she attended Rutgers University majoring in English and minoring in Theatre Arts. Somehow, Corine survived the college experience and became somewhat of a grown-up yet still kept the vision of being a writer alive because it may be all she’s qualified for. So, she wrote and wrote until Last Semester, a new adult novel about college life and growing up, was born. Currently, she is writing other novels and plays for future release. When she’s not writing, loudly singing to songs in her car or dancing in random places for no apparent reason, Corine is being an awesome wife and a mom residing outside of the wonderfully flawed New York City..

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Book Blitz: The Gentleman's Promise by Frances Fowlkes plus Giveaway


The Gentleman’s Promise
Frances Fowlkes

(Daughters of Amhurst, #3)
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

A social pariah due to her scandalous activities, Lady Sarah Beauchamp yearns for redemption to obtain a husband. The assistance of Society darling Mr. Jonathon Annesley gives her hope of success. However, the more effort he puts into helping her, the more she realizes the only esteem she wishes to earn is that of the handsome Jonathon. However, her reputation would potentially ruin his political aspirations.
Offering a gentleman’s promise to help his sister’s friend regain the favor of the ton should be easy for son of a viscount, Jonathon Annesley. After all, he’s well liked and considered a rising star in Parliament. Until he learns Sarah’s ultimate goal is a husband. No man is good enough and could ever appreciate her for all she is. But she is not for him—his focus rests solely on gaining reforms for society’s weakest members. Yet, a promise made cannot be broken…


Author Bio:
After viewing her all-time favorite love story, "Anne of Green Gables", at the impressionable age of ten, Frances Fowlkes has been obsessed with affable boy-next door heroes, red-heads, and romance stories with lots of "highfaluting mumbo jumbo" written within their pages. It only seems natural then that she married the boy who used to pull on her curls in her high school English class, had not one, but THREE red-headed boys, and penned multiple love stories with bits of flowery prose.
When not writing, Frances loves spending time with her family, fangirling, and planning her next vacation.
Frances Fowlkes, originally a northern mid-westerner, now lives in the southeast with her ardent hero of a husband, three playful and rambunctious boys, and one spoiled standard poodle.
A self-professed Anglophile and summa cum laude graduate of LeTourneau University, Frances Fowlkes combines her passion for happily-ever-afters with her interests in both American and English histories.

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