December 14, 2014

{Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway} The Light In The Wound by Christine Brae

Hi guys! Welcome to the The Light In The Wound Blog Tour brought to you by the Bookish Diaries! Below is my review and I hope you enjoy!

The Light In The Wound
Published: July 23, 2013
Genre: New Adult

Affected by her parents’ highly publicized divorce, Isabel grows up isolated and alone, with a resolve to never fall in love and repeat their mistakes.

When Jesse Cain enters her life, she falls hopelessly in love with him, and every sadness she’s ever felt is washed away by his intensity and passion. But people change as they grow up. Things can never stay the same forever.

Jesse and Isabel fight to stay together, determined to hold on to what they once had. Isabel wonders if a second love can ever be enough to make her forget her first.

Christine Brae is gonna drop by the Philippines next year along with Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher for the Manila International Book Fair. Awesome, right?

Wanna know what's more awesome? This book. This is one of those books where I just connected with it. Not that I'm a socialite's daughter okay? You see, Isabel fell head over heels with ambitious Jesse Cain. She was so young then and you sort of think, how did that even happen? Their relationship went on for seven years! SEVEN YEARS. Unbelievable.

I can feel Isabel's doubts and anguish. Her doubts with her relationship with Jesse and then her anguish because of having to grow up as a child of divorce. Her life was handed to her with a gold spoon but that kind of life is never easy.

I was surprised to read that this is set in Manila. I actually took an entrance exam in the said university in the book. It's so cool.

I've had my share of guys who took me for granted. You never realize it happening until it dawns on you and half of your life is gone. I'm glad that Isabel took the hint. You can see it from a mile away! Thank goodness for Alex!

I was on the edge of my seat towards the end of the book. I was happy and then I was crying and then I was happy again. This book is one hell of a good read.

Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. She is currently working on her third book which she hopes to release in June,2014.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

December 2, 2014

{Book Blitz: Excerpt + Giveaway} Mending Heartstrings by Aria Glazki

Publication Date: December 2, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: New Adult, Romance

Kane’s a country singer who’s tangled with too many deceitful women. He’s learned his lesson: girls are for flirting and fun; emotions are for his music. But after spending a night with an earnest woman unlike any he’s known, he can’t force her out of his mind. So he goes in search of the woman he knows only as “Elle.”

On her last night in Nashville, the staunchly pragmatic Sabella found herself in a situation more suited to a romance novel than reality. Swept away, she ignored her rigidly self-imposed rules, succumbing to the fantasy just this once. But she knows real-world relationships have nothing in common with their fictionalized portrayals. When Kane unexpectedly shows up at her Portland apartment, she must choose between the practical truths she has learned and the desire for a passionate love she has struggled to suppress.

Despite the distance, Kane’s tour schedule, and their meddling friends, both are drawn to the chance for a romance neither quite believes is possible.

Sabella had barely returned to her wine when she heard the slight strumming of a guitar as someone settled in front of the microphone. She wasn’t certain what had prompted Kane to leave so abruptly, but she was definitely disappointed. Not that she was star-struck or anything. The fact that she had dressed up to venture outside her hotel room, to the Fiddle and Steel Guitar Bar, simply because she had heard that Kane Hartridge would possibly be trying out new material at their open mic night, did not mean she was star-struck. If anything, she was underwhelmed by his song choices tonight, and even more so by her awkward attempt at flirting. Men like Kane didn’t waste their attentions on women like her.

She took another sip of the perfectly nice Riesling and silently deliberated whether she would stay past draining her glass. This bar did have a certain, inexplicably innate, country charm that she wouldn’t mind exploring and observing further. After all, she had come to Nashville to learn what she could about the culture of country music.

As far as she could tell, the room around her was furnished with exactly the same style of unadorned, wooden furniture and boasted a similar smattering of booths around the perimeter as any other bar. Nothing about the d├ęcor particularly screamed “country.” No posters of country stars lined the walls, and if it weren’t for the distinct twang emanating from the patrons’ conversations and through the speakers, she could have been back home. If she could figure out what exactly made this bar so popular among the locals, the night wouldn’t have to be a complete waste. Plus, her flight the next day wasn’t until the afternoon, so she could afford to stay out awhile.

“Hey, guys,” Kane’s voice carried through the speaker system, quieting the room. Someone shut off the recorded music that had been playing ever since he had left the small stage, his performance intended as the finale of their open mic night. Sabella twisted on her barstool to face the stage. Kane and his guitar once again occupied the unadorned chair set behind the single microphone. His beer bottle rested just behind his leg. “Don’t mean to pull y’all away, but I have a friend in from out of town who is dyin’, she’s absolutely dyin’, to sing for you. Please join me in welcomin’ Elle—over by the bar, there, in the purple, that’s Elle—welcomin’ her to the Fiddle an’ Steel stage.”

Most of the patrons shifted their attention toward the bar, trying to find Kane’s “friend.” Sabella froze, schooling her expression. I can take anything you throw at me, she had said. He was clearly testing her claim. What in the world had she been thinking?

“C’mon, Elle,” Kane called through the microphone. “Here’s your chance.” His mouth pulled into a half smile, intended to portray solicitous charm, no doubt, not the baiting nature of his challenge.
She took a deep breath, reminding herself she would likely never see any of these people again, and slid off the barstool. Apparently, her customarily rigid practicality had been dislodged the second he’d bumped into her. Not that he was giving her much choice.

The stage was closer than she would have preferred, but the walk over from the bar still gave Sabella plenty of time to admire Kane’s comfortable posture. He wore jeans and a faded, black, button-down shirt, with a few buttons left unfastened and rolled-up sleeves. With his brown hair cut raggedly to slightly above his ears in front, somewhat longer in back, and his stunning green eyes, he really was more handsome than any man had a right to be. Especially one who was trying to embarrass her in front of a bar full of people.

“What exactly do you have in mind?” she murmured as she took the short step onto the stage.
He covered the microphone. “Name a country duet.”

At least he wasn’t going to force her to sing alone. Still, she wasn’t exactly a country music savant. “The only one that comes to mind is ‘Picture.’” That wasn’t strictly speaking true, but she was betting he would be even less thrilled with her choice if she had named one with Kelly Clarkson.

All Kane said was, “All right.” He shifted his chair so it wasn’t squarely facing the microphone then started to play an intro. “Not the newest song in the book, but a guilty pleasure for some of y’all, I’m sure,” he drawled, smiling at the crowd.

His voice captured her as he sang, its purity reminding her why his was the only country music to which she really listened. As she watched him, Sabella almost forgot he had manipulated her into joining him on stage—for a duet. She looked out over their somewhat captive audience, filled with men in worn-out jeans and flannel shirts—even a cowboy hat or two—and some amazingly beautiful women. Maybe this was actually a bizarre dream, and in reality she was sleeping in her hotel room, or even back home in her bed. If only.

When Kane finished the first chorus, he looked up at her in anticipation. Little crinkles appeared around his eyes. He didn’t think she would do it.

To be fair, normally she wouldn’t have. This is simply a more active form of research, she assured herself. Sticky sweat still gathered between her fingers and coated her palms. Sabella surreptitiously wiped her hands on her thighs and stepped marginally closer to the microphone.

She scrambled to remember the lyrics, staring at the floor as she sang. When no one booed by the end of the stanza, she risked a glance out at the room. About half of the tables had reverted to quiet conversation, but others appeared to be listening. At the end of her chorus, she looked over at Kane.
He was watching her, eyebrows drawn slightly together, as if he wasn’t altogether sure what he was seeing. Maybe he was shocked she was still singing, despite the blatant difference in their abilities. She had never been one for public displays of foolery, and the remaining shreds of
her rationality were appalled by the ridiculousness of her behavior. Running off the stage would be worse, though, or at the very least more memorable.

She finished their interchanging lines with her eyes on him. The last chord he strummed hung in the air until the murmuring of patrons’ conversations wiped it away. Sabella backed away from Kane and the microphone, then turned to step off the stage, and wove her way toward the hallway that led to the bar’s restrooms and a door with an “Employees Only” sign. She pressed her back to the wall for support and resolutely steadied her breathing. This night wasn’t turning out anything like she could have expected.

Aria Glazki's writing story started when her seventh-grade English teacher encouraged her to submit a class assignment for publication. That piece was printed, and let's just say, she was hooked!

Since then, Aria has run a literary magazine, earned her degree in Creative Writing (as well as in French and Russian literatures), and been published in a few collections. Though her first kiss technically came from a bear cub, and no fairytale transformation followed, Aria still believes magic can happen when the right people come together - if they don't get in their own way, that is.

Other than all things literary, Aria loves spending time with her family, including her two unbearably adorable nieces. She also dabbles in painting, dancing, playing violin, and, given the opportunity, Epicureanism.

December 1, 2014

{Book Blitz: Excerpt} Walled by Anne Tibbets

Publication: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Carina Press (HQN)
Genre: New Adult, Dystopia

Freedom means making brutal choices.

Rebel lovers Naya and Ric have survived one year in hiding, raising Naya’s twins from infants to toddlers in the shadow of the brutal Auberge dictatorship. They’re alive, and they’re together, but the city is crumbling around them and the haunting memory of Naya’s dark days on The Line have never fully left them. Living in isolation won’t be an option forever.

When a mysterious revolutionary seeks their help to infiltrate Auberge’s electronic heart and shut it down, it’s an opportunity—it’s risky, yes, but if it works they’ll get out of the city and taste freedom for the first time. Naya needs this. They need this.

Beyond the broken walls of Auberge, Naya and Ric find the paradise they’ve always longed for. But with anarchy reigning and Naya’s children lost amidst the chaos, they’ll need to forfeit their post-apocalyptic Eden…or commit an unspeakable act.

“No!” Sonya shouted, clenching her jaw as her eyes bugged wide. “Not enough! It’s our fault we got those girls killed. Her fault!” She pointed at me again, and I felt my insides burst into flames and scatter like ash. “So don’t stand there and tell me how feeling compassion is the way to go. Compassion only gets people killed faster. It’s using your fucking brain, and thinking, planning, strategizing, that’s going to end this war. It’s following your goddamned mission and not getting distracted! And guess what? People are still going to die. So go ahead, stay behind because it feels right. Choose the fate of hundreds of thousands of people based on your fucking feelings.”

Anne Tibbets is an SCBWI award-winning and Best Selling author. After writing for Children’s television, Anne found her way to young/new adult fiction by following what she loves: books, strong female characters, twisted family dynamics, magic, sword fights, quick moving plots, and ferocious and cuddly animals.

Along with CARRIER, Anne is also the author of the young adult fantasy novella, THE BEAST CALL and the young adult contemporary, SHUT UP.

Anne divides her time between writing, her family, and three furry creatures that she secretly believes are plotting her assassination.

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