The Deal (Off-Campus Book 1)
Absolute “new adult” angsty-romance reading PERFECTION!!!!!!! Yes. I SAID IT. Romance reading perrrrrrrfection! In fact, could very well be my favorite of 2015. Could I have already found it? I could very well have, but either way, this one has cinched a solid spot in my forever-favorites category. In fact, I was only 75% into the book when I publicly declared it a 5-star read.

The author could have ended it, MID-SENTENCE, mid-angsty-fight moment, with “the end” and I still would have been 5-star wooooo-hooing it. YES. I loved it THAT much. Okay sure, had that been the case, I would have amended my review with a note warning y’all about the abrupt ending… TEE HEE! BUT I just knew, it didn’t matter how she ended it at that point, I was in LOVE with this read.

What would I change about this story? Not a single thing. Why does everyone love it? Because they are right!!!!

Kandace: The Deal by Elle Kennedy was so freakin good. It’s a perfect NA book. Their banter and chemistry was perfect. I think you would like this book. I know for sure your followers will big time love it. The entire gang gave it 5 stars. You’re going to be in true reading heaven. Enjoy!

Yep!! Thank you Kandace… I SO was!!

Maryse: …for those looking for a Sunday read right now? —> The Deal is awesome. It has that “old school” indie new-adult feel that I’m hooked on. It’s not crazy… or… unconventional… but the FEEL. THE FEEL of these characters is real, genuine, and addictive. The attraction, the friendship, the disinterest, the interest, the sweet-intensity of it… their backstories… the friends… LOVE IT! PLUS GREAT WRITING! I mean… YOU GUYS!!! The TIMING of it… how it plays out… you kind of know it, right? BUT OMG IT’S PERFECT. It’s exactly right. It’s SO real.

Rose: LOVED “The Deal” and knowing you, I’m sure you’ve been cracking up a few times!

Jennifer: I highly recommend The Deal!, it was Laugh Out Loud FUNNY!

Lisa: Loving The Deal!!! Don’t want to put it down!! Hooked right from the beginning!!!

Melannie: I loved it!! :D so sweet!

Jessica: I literally just finished it!!! 5 star read for me!!!!!!

Maryse: yep! 5 stars for me, too… I’ve been having an incredible winning reading streak!

Heather: Crap! I’m trying to clean my house!!! Oh well, what’s another few days of living in filth :)

Kostantina: Maryse omg I just finished it this morning !! Ughhh loved it !!! 5++++ for me :D

Maryse: I hope Logan is next. Does anybody know? LOGAN??? PLEASE? PLEASE LET IT BE LOGAN!!!! (<— no worries… this is NOT A spoiler… hilarious hottie side-character…)

Courtnie: Yes!!! Logan!!!

Maryse: *squeeeeeeeeeeeee*!!! Wheeeeeeeeee!!!! I JUST LOVE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can I have him? I LOVE Garrett, but he’s taken… Logan? ME? MINE? PLEEEEEEASE?

Kostantina: Yesssss I love Logan too !!!

Jean: I am in love with Garrett from The Deal! OMG!!

Cheryl: Finished The Deal. Loved it!!! *Garrett* I’m not sure I would equate it to Archer’s Voice Amy, but still really good. Archer’s Voice was a beautiful story with more “feeling” and angst than The Deal.

LisaM: I finished The Deal this morning. Read till 2am and then up at 8am finish!!! Book hangover!!!! So excited its a series!!! Can’t wait for the second one!!!

Paula: 20% left of The Deal – loving it!

Maryse:  My notes are riddled with: 
OMG HELP ME.
CUTEEEENESSSSS!
AWENESSSSSS!
LOVE HIM.
LOVE THIS.
THIS!!!!!

I feel like I highlighted the whole darn book! :D

Maria: Loved it five stars… logan …can’t wait

Chelli: YES!!!! it was really good!! Looking forward to the next book in series

Carol: It was so good and hard to follow so I think I am going to have to switch genres until Confess comes out!

Maryse: LOL Carol. A little drastic, but I like it! :P

Brenda: Loved it too! 5 stars from me

Sarah: I loved this book!!!

What’s so different about this “new adult” college romance read? Not anything on the “surface”, no… but OMG it’s reminiscent of that “old-school” indie feel that I fell head over heels with, once upon a time. WE ARE BACK my friends!

  • If old-school new adult indie-feel romance is what you crave, THIS IS IT!
  • If you’re looking for the unattainable bad boy jock that develops a JUST friends relationship with the book smart girl (who really, and believably wants NOTHING to do with him) and it stays that way for a good portion of the book, TEASING YOU… THIS IS IT!
  • If you’re looking for BELIEVABLE friendship, believable attraction and believable reasons why it’s not happening… THIS IS IT!!!
  • If you’re looking for LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY, your eyes welling up with tears from laughing so hard, THIS IS IT!!
  • If you’re looking for the opposite end of that spectrum… equally heart-tugglingly emotional SAD eye-welling… THIS IS IT!!
  • If you’re looking for REASON behind who these people are, and good reason for their angst-causing decisions, THIS. IS. IT!!!!
  • If you’re looking for that funny, chick-flick movie feel, with all of the fun, but with even more emotion and depth than a “chick flick” THIS IS IT!!!
  • If you’re looking for a book that has that “Archer’s Voice“, “Easy“, and sort of Slammed-ish (only in feel) FEEL, THIS IS IT!!!
  • If you’re looking for realistic dialogue (internal and external) – at times quirky and fun, and at times contemplative and hurty… THIS IS IT!!
  • If you’re looking for good romance angst, just enough but not TOO much angst (makes your heart catch but doesn’t make you want to throw your Kindle) THIS IS IT!!!
  • If you’re in a book funk and want out? THIS IS IT!
  • If you’re wanting dark, gritty romance… this IS NOT it… BUT!!!!! READ IT ANYWAY because maybe what you need is a good belly-laugh, a book-long grin, and a heartfelt sigh. Maybe you actually need that feel good love story (but not that easy!) and THIS. IS. IT!!!
  • If you’re looking for a better reason to read this book…. well… BECAUSE I SAID SO. :D *grins sheepishly*

WOW right!?? Why are you still here. GO READ THE BOOK! LOL!

Alright, so for those that want more, what’s it about?

Well… she’s a music major (phenomenal singer) and he’s a history major (who’s a hockey jock and also the son of a famous hockey star). She’s cool in her crowd, and he’s cool in all of the college world. Their worlds don’t really mix, until he realizes she’s acing a class that he’s failing in. And he needs to keep his grade-point average up, or else, so… he asks her to tutor him.

“…why is Garrett Graham staring at you?”

I follow her startled gaze and smother another groan when Garrett’s gray eyes lock onto mine. “Because he’s stalking me,” I grumble.

Her eyebrows soar. “For real?”

And considering her stance on rich and popular “bad boy jocks” (let’s just say she’s had a VERY bad experience with one in the past), she refuses. Adamantly.

Garrett snorts. “Don’t waste your time, man. She’s immune to flirting. Trust me, I’ve tried.”

But he’s adamantlier <— ;) .

“I’m not tutoring you.”

“Sure you are.” I shrug. “I just need to figure out what you want in return.”

Hannah whirls around like a dark-haired tornado. “I want to not tutor you. That’s what I want.”

And when he realizes she has a crush on a “good-boy nerdy jock” from the football team…

“I hate to break it to you, but it ain’t gonna happen, Wellsy. You’re not his type.”

Anger and embarrassment flood my belly. Wow. Had he really just said that?

“Thanks for the tip,” I say coolly. “Now if you’ll excuse me…”

he tells her he can help her get noticed by him.

“I’ll introduce you around as my date. Chicks will want to murder you. Guys will wonder who you are and why you haven’t been on their radars before. Kohl will wonder too, but we’re going to ignore him.”

“And why would we do that?”

“Because it’ll drive him crazy. Make you seem even more unattainable.”

By going out with him, being his date for a few events, possibly causing an uproar when their world start mixing.

Sounds… “usual” NA, right? I know. I KNOW what some of you are thinking that might be jaded with the NA college romance stuff. Often good girl/bad boy… some kind of deal, or meet cute that forces them to work together, or become friends, and of course, so easy to see where it’s going. And I’m not promising there are any plot twists or surprises here. But…

But see, here’s the thing about life. When it’s this good? Something inevitably goes bad.

AND OMG DOES IT!!!!

Yep. So what I am promising is that, you will, for some reason or other (let’s call it this author’s personal writing magic)… BE HOOKED from the start, fully invested in these characters (ALL. OF. THEM!!!), and in love and cheering and laughing and tearing by the end of this book. You’ve got plenty to go through.

That’s that. THAT. IS. THAT. There is no need to say any more, because for this one… reading is believing.

So go read it.

…a vise of emotion constricts my heart, because I’m pretty sure I know exactly what it is too. And I’m scared that because of my split-second moment of indecision, I just threw it all away.

Don’t throw it away, my friends!

5 stars! FIVE STARS OF FABULOUSNESS!!!!

P.S. DON’T READ ANY FURTHER, as this is from a later part of the book (although TOTALLY NOT spoiler-ish in the least but OMG HILARIOUS and it’s one of my laugh-out-loud until I was crying moments), so I just have to immortalize it on my blog…

I reach the locker room door as one of the players walks out of it.

“Is Garrett in there?” I bark. He looks startled to see me.

“Yeah, but—”

I bulldoze past him and grab the door handle. The guy protests from behind. “I don’t think you should go in th—”

I burst into the locker room and— Penises! Sweet Jesus. Penises everywhere. Horror slams into me as I register what I’m seeing. Oh God. I’ve stumbled onto a penis convention.

eek

*snort snort snort* lol HAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHH!!!! Oh and it just goes on my friends. Pure comedic genius!!!!!!!!! I mean… HOLY MOLY her reaction and her thoughts would have totally been my own had that been me.

And there is SO many awesome moments like that one… again… if I haven’t been clear enough yet —> READ IT!!!

23 comments

*squeeeee!!* I just received an awesome little bit of “audiobook” insight by one of our favorite authors who narrated her own book! THE book that had so many of us gasping in the end eek (check out my 4.5 star review of Push. You’ll see ;) ). But I had no idea she narrated it in audiobook format! (by the way, it is bargain priced even in audio…) When I found out, I had SO many questions about her experience, and she was all to happy to help!

Claire Wallis: I enjoyed reading your post about audiobook narrators. Not sure if you’re aware, but PUSH was recently released as an audiobook from Audible Studios, and I was lucky enough to read for the main character, Emma. It was a really interesting process. If you’d like, I’m happy to share some details on how the process worked from my end and what I was feeling as I did the narration. Also, I have several free downloads to share, if you’d like to give one away to a reader.

Maryse: OMG YES!!! Thank you!!! I’d LOVE your own perspective on the audiobook process. I love that you were able to narrate it. I wonder so many things, like… how long it takes to narrate a full length book, how many takes, how the reader (and the sound editors) handle emotional responses during the read, how much water you need (LOL!!) does your throat hurt…? SO MANY questions! Especially your own personal experience (or funny tidbits) with the process…

Claire: There are so many funny little things that happened during the process…I think your readers will get a kick out of hearing about them. :)

And here it is!! A “behind the scenes” (or “behind the books” look at the process of narrating an audiobook, as experienced by Claire Wallis herself! She also encourages your questions! She says:

“I’m also happy to answer anyone’s questions in the comment section of the post… I’ll check back for a few days after the post goes up and do my best to answer any questions. “

:D !! *happy dance*

My Thoughts on the Whole Audiobook Recording Process by Claire Wallis

Maryse has mentioned her newfound appreciation for audiobooks in a few of her latest posts. Having recently narrated for the main female character in the audio version of my New Adult novel PUSH, Maryse and I thought it might be fun for you to hear a little bit about my experience.

For those of you who’ve read PUSH, and perhaps its follow-up novel PULL, you already know that it’s a pretty intense book. For those of you who have not, as you read this post, keep in mind that there are lots of steamy scenes, a plethora of F-bombs and other assorted cursing, and more angst than you can shake a stick at. All of which is to say, I don’t know what the hell I was thinking when I said I wanted to narrate it…

The e-book of PUSH was released by Harlequin/MIRA on May 1st, 2014, and on July 16th, I found out Amazon’s Audible Studios was going to create an audiobook. I’ve been a radio host for ten years as part of my “real” job, so I have a little experience behind a mic. Plus, I’m always up for an adventure, and I thought it would be fun. I told my agent I’d like to be considered to read the part of Emma. The producer at Audible emailed me a few days later, asking me to send a demo. She wanted to hear me reading an excerpt of the book to see how I would do. I was told by both my editor and my agent that it’s very rare for an author to get to voice their own work with Audible so I wasn’t expecting them to say yes, but two weeks later, to my great excitement, I was approved!

Because I don’t live anywhere near either of the U.S. Audible Studios offices, their production team had to hook me up with a local recording studio about fifteen minutes from my house. They took care of booking the studio time and determining how many hours to schedule. All I had to do was show up and read. We started recording on September 8th, and it took twenty-one studio hours to complete the recording. We taped about three hours per day for a total of seven days. I read between 200 and 225 Kindle pages (85,000ish words). Whenever I would mess up or something didn’t sound right, Larry, the sound engineer who was reading the manuscript right along with me, would stop recording, and we would go back and start that sentence again. The remaining chapters, from seven different POVs, were read by other actors who recorded their parts in different studios. Then the engineers at Audible pieced all the parts together with whatever kind of amazing witchcraft and digital wizardry they have at their command.

Now, as to the actual recording experience…remember when I said I have a little experience behind a mic? Well, it turns out that that experience sooooo did not prepare me for this one! For twenty-one hours, it was just me and Larry. Don’t get me wrong, Larry was a super nice guy. I mean reeeeaaallly nice. Like the kind of nice that made it extremely difficult to read the dirty parts without drowning in a sea of embarrassment. Thank God his sound board was clear across the room, and I couldn’t see his face from my booth. It also didn’t help that my dad’s name is Larry.

I got a major case of the “uncomfortable giggles” on more than one occasion when reading some of the sexy-time scenes. I’d be totally in the groove, the words rolling out smooth as silk, and then…bam…I would suddenly remember Larry over there, listening to me reading David and Emma’s sexual escapades, out loud and in great detail. Soooo much detail.

Imagine reading a steaming-hot scene from your favorite book to a guy you’ve known for a total of like four hours. It was just like that. THAT!

Then there was the issue of my stomach. The mics we use on radio are not very sensitive; they don’t pick up every little sound. The DJ on your favorite morning show could be shuffling papers around the whole time he’s talking and you would never hear it. Radio mics aren’t made to pick up that kind of detail. But recording mics are a whole different ballgame. They pick up EVERYTHING. Just ask my stomach. We had to stop and redo twenty sentences a session because Larry could hear my stomach growling through the mic. It became a running joke. I tried eating a big breakfast. It didn’t help. I tried eating no breakfast at all. Still didn’t help. I tried chugging water before, and during, the recording session. Nope. No matter what I did, my stomach growled and we had to re-record. We had some good laughs about it though, which kept things light.

Maryse also asked me if I ever felt emotional while reading. And the answer is a resounding yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. I never cried, but I did find myself having to stop and catch my breath a few times. Obviously an author is extra-connected to her characters, and some of the things Emma endures in PUSH are beyond heart-wrenching. How could I not feel what she was feeling? And how could I not let my voice express it? I didn’t “become” Emma as I was voicing her, but as cheesy as it sounds, I did feel like she was speaking through me. I felt like I was loaning her my voice, and I would let her say all the words she needed to say. I would let her tell her story all over again. Only this time she said it out loud, instead of on paper.

All in all, it was a really great experience. And although I was nervous to hear the final results, when the audiobook of PUSH was finally released on December 23rd, I raised a glass in celebration and toasted “my” David and Emma and their crazy little story.

LOL!!! I just KNEW the steamy scenes were giggle-worthy!!! Thank you for that, Claire.

And!! Claire has TWO FREE AUDIOBOOKS to give away to two lucky commenters here! She says:

“I can give you two free downloads of the audiobook… I have a download code and instructions for the winner(s) whenever you want them.”

P.S. —> You can check out more of my “audiobook” posts right here:

Ready for that giveaway?

How to enter for a chance to win one of the two “Push” audiobooks?

Just leave a comment:

  • telling us your most favorite audiobook, or 
  • when (or where) you are when you listen to audiobooks or 
  • asking the author a question about her books or her audiobook experience OR
  • just leave any ol’ comment if you haven’t listened to an audiobook yet :D that’s fine, too!

and by 10pm EST, Wednesday March 4th 2015, I will randomly select TWO winners for a Push audiobook. The winner will be contacted and will have 48hrs to respond with an email address so that the author can provide you the code and download instructions, so if you are picked, do not delay or you will lose your chance.

Open internationally!

18 comments

Brought to my attention with the release of book #4 (that was just released today)! Lots of great reviews (and I mean GREAT) throughout the series, and full-length books to boot (#1 is a novella length but 2, 3 and #4 are all over 300 pages).

So for anyone looking for a new MC series to try (although I think this one might have an extra-dark edge to it), this one looks like it might be worth checking out.

Especially when Britney told me this:

Britney: Try out the mc series by Kira Johns. was the best of the year in my opinion why it’s not on the list I don’t know but it should be.

Kelly: I liked the series. I’m excited!! I didn’t realized book #4 was out. Thanks for the post!!

Fiona: Read all of them a. Must read is anyone like me fed up with trilogy’s get into a book then see others on their way I give up,and then wait for them all to be published and the books with 70 pages ugh…

About book #1:

Jade Moore was no stranger to the MC lifestyle. Growing up the daughter of the President of the Satan’s Rebels, she knew all about family and loyalty. Her world slowly crumbles when she loses not only her parents, but her brother and best friend. Her Uncle steps in and becomes the family she so desperately needs.

But what happens when the only family you have left betrays everything you have ever known?

Jade is dragged into the Condemned Warrior’s world where she is imprisoned for four agonizing years. Beaten and brutalized, she wishes for death, but it never comes.

Reaper inherited the MC from his brother, Halo, and will do whatever it takes to keep the club safe. Anything, including handing over his niece to the club’s enemy. All he has to do is convince her brother, Tank, and best friend, Shadow, that she has run away. Easy. But what Reaper never expects is for Tank and Shadow to come home looking for answers years later and discovering the truth.

Tank and Shadow return to their hometown to investigate missing funds. It’s when they begin digging for the evidence, they discover a much darker secret that Reaper has been hiding. Enlisting the help of the club’s Sergeant at Arms, Viper, they set out to rescue Jade and bring her home where she belongs.

Viper’s reputation is well known both inside and out of the MC. He is a cold-blooded killer, incapable of any feeling but hatred. His allegiance lies with Tank and the club. He will do whatever it takes to bring Jade home, even if it means crossing enemy lines to save her. What he doesn’t expect is to fall for her.

   

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<— More of Karina Halle’s bad guy magic in this new series. Y’all know how much I LOVED evil (well I dunno… evil-ish ;) ) “Javier” from her “The Artists Trilogy” (in fact, HE interviewed ME last year for his next potential “queen” of evil eek *thud*. But!! I didn’t make the cut. confused *hrmph* rolleyes).

Nonetheless, he kicks of this series, right here! Book #2 has just been released with a 3rd on the way, and the author says:

**Dirty Angels is the first standalone novel in the Dirty Angels Trilogy, in which all books feature or involve different characters. The character of Javier Bernal is from The Artists Trilogy, and while reading TAT is recommended if you want additional insight into this twisted character, it is not required.**

Val: That is so great!  I just finished Dirty Angels.  I love me some Javier!

Michelle F: Been anxiously awaiting Dirty Deeds! Karina Halle is one of my all time faves.

About book #1:

For Luisa Chavez, a twenty-three year old former beauty queen, a better life has always been just out of her reach. Sure, she’s had men at her feet since she was a young teenager but she’s never had the one thing she’s craved – security. Having grown up in near poverty, her waitressing job in Cabo San Lucas can barely let her take care of herself, let alone her ailing parents. Every day is another unwanted advance, every day is a struggle to survive.

When Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel, takes an interest in her, Luisa is presented with an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up. She’ll become Salvador’s wife and exchange her freedom and body for a life of riches – riches she can bestow upon her deserving parents. But Luisa quickly finds out that even the finest wines and jewels can’t undo the ugliness in her marriage, nor the never-ending violence that threatens her every move.

Soon, Luisa is looking for an escape, a way out of the carefully controlled life she’s leading. She finally gets her wish in the worst way possible.

As it is, being the wife of Salvador makes her an ideal target for rival cartels and there’s one particular man who needs Luisa as part of his cartel’s expansion. One particular man whose quest for power has destroyed lives, slit throats and gotten him out of an American prison. One particular man who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.

That man is Javier Bernal. And he wants Luisa. He wants to take her, keep her, ruin her.

Unless she ruins him first.

Some men were born to create empires, some women were meant to be queen.

 

2 comments

<— This is one of the two that are at the top of my TBR list and I don’t know which one to start first. BOTH are getting equally awesome reviews and one author I already know and love and the other, I can’t wait to discover. *sigh* decisions… decisions. Okay so my weekend reads, including today’s will be: The Deal (Off-Campus Book 1) and Fighting Silence. Which one should I start with? I don’t think it matters. They’re probably both going to rock my worlds the way our fellow readers are loving ‘em.

But!! I have more reader recommendations and awesome looking bargain finds below, just in case something else grabs your attention, because these aren’t the only two that readers are squeeing over.

P.S. Look what just went live on Amazon! Fire Down Below (Gynazule Book 1) by Debra Anastasia and the er… *reviews* (or should I say comments) for it have been hilarious.———————————> 

P.P.S. Let me know if I’m missing any or if you loved any (from this list or elsewhere).

P.P.P.S. Get Maryse’s Book Blog updates delivered by email (you’ll get one daily email that will have each post from that day consolidated on it).

(NOTE: bargain priced when I added them, but prices can change on Amazon, so make sure to check before you finalize your order).

AUDIOBOOK BARGAINS (if you already have the Kindle ebook these are INCREDIBLY bargain priced!!! Like… e-book bargain priced!!!) PLUS check out the free audible trial + 2 free ebooks deal

           

EBOOK BARGAIN FINDS & READER RECOMMENDATIONS

  • The Deal (Off-Campus Book 1) by Elle Kennedy <— Sofia is LOVING it! She says: “Ohhh… I’m LOVING Elle Kennedy’s new NA romance The Deal. He’s a hockey player, yumm! 30% in, and I don’t want it to finish...”
  • Dirty by Megan Hart <— Tried and true! I LOVE this author and Betty now does too. She said: “Maryse’s Book Blog, thank you for recommending Megan Hart to me! OMG, I’m going to buy all her books. They are fanfuckingtastic! They remind me of Mia Asher and C.D. Reiss and of course Cara McKenna. I read the book Dirty, and it gave me THAT feeling, the angst, the emotions, loved loved loved loved it. Then moved on to Tempted. Sigh….the books are expensive (over $6) but I don’t care!” (my review)
  • Night Owl (The Night Owl Trilogy Book 1) by M. Pierce <— Jennifer found us this super-deal of one of our favorites! She says: “Hi Maryse, I hope you don’t mind me posting this here… I just saw that my favorite book, Night Owl by M. Pierce is on sale for $2.99. That is HUGE steal, and I thought I’d pass the info along since the trilogy ends in March.” (my review)
  • By Any Other Name (Forbidden Book 1) by J.M. Darhower <— Stacey recommends it, saying: “I read By Any Other Name last week and LOVED it.”
  • Blushing (Entangled Embrace) (The Brightside) by Katie Delahanty <— JUST RELEASED, BARGAIN PRICED, ACTOR ALERT and Cheryl says: “Blushing the sequel to In Bloom by Katie Delahanty was released. …Famous actor story. I really enjoyed In Bloom and looking forward to Blushing”
  • Blushing (Entangled Embrace) (The Brightside) by Katie Delahanty <— ROCK STAR ALERT & BARGAIN PRICED TOO! And it’s the first one! “How does someone like me, an ordinary girl from Pittsburgh, wind up in the arms of the world’s sexiest rock star—surrounded by celebrities, fashion, and music—and not be eaten alive?
  • The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson <— TEAR-JERKER ALERT! One of my latest 5-star favorites and Shane is loving it too and it’s still on sale!! She says: “Currently reading 5 Stages, you weren’t kidding Maryse, it’s sob, sob in the begining…Thanks for the updates….” (my review)
  • Fighting Silence (On The Ropes Book 1) by Aly Martinez <— FIGHTER ALERT! This is getting TONS of great reviews and I AM DYING to start it!! Review after review after delighted review. Like this one from Michelle <— “I loved it – great story and characters with a little of everything; it was sweet, romantic, angsty, emotional, beautiful and tear-jerking. I needed an excellent well-rounded book like this to remind me what good writing and storytelling was after a few duds the last couple days. It’s another series that is getting added to the list of ones I want to continue with. Now I have no clue where to go next…” and Clare agrees! “Maryse, I’ve just finished Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez, and WOW! I know you loved her other books, I did too but she’s raised the bar, incredible read – I finished Thoughtful last night and was in a fog but I literally can’t top what I’ve read today. Amazing!”
  • After (The After Series Book 1) by Anna Todd <— ANGSTY ROMANCE/ROCK STAR ALERT (and Tessa was TICKED!!!) Tessa is having frustrating fun with this one! “Right now, I’m reading Anna Todd’s After. So many feels, and I am constantly wanting to take my tablet and beat both Hardin and Tessa upside the head. Hardin need to just not talk, sometimes. Gah.” and then… “*jaw drop* Anyone else read After? Because, um… I gotta vent and the end…omg! That’s all. Now to number two, because omg!”
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi <— Michelle found out this one’s on sale and SO many LOVE it like crazy!
  • Promise to Keep (Promises Book 2) by Jessica Wood <— JUST RELEASED!!
  • Untamed (Unbeautiful, #2) by Jessica Sorensen <— JUST RELEASED!!
  • Falling For My Best Friend’s Brother by J.S. Cooper <— JUST RELEASED!! “He’s devastatingly handsome, sexy, arrogant and he’s out of reach. He’s my best friend’s brother and the one man I can’t have.”
  • Risking It All: A Hellfire Riders MC Romance (The Motorcycle Clubs Book 14) by Kati Wilde <— JUST RELEASED BIKER BOOK ALERT!
  • Twisted Affair Vol. 1 (An Erotic Romance) by M.S. Parker <— JUST RELEASED!!
  • Sunk by Renea Porter <— JUST RELEASED!! SOUNDS ANGSTY ALERT! “She’s already lost her husband to divorce and now her child in death. It’s all too much to grasp. But a chance encounter with Sly Wilkes is all it takes to come completely undone.”
  • Dangerous Temptations by Brooke Cumberland <— CRAZY WRONG THING THAT HAPPENED ALERT! JUST RELEASED!! Oooooh what happened!!?? I gotta know! “To society, I was the girl only after his money. I was the party-goer who managed to seduce a man twice my age to have the lifestyle some could only dream of. I was every magazine’s cliché of what a gold-digging whore was. I wanted to prove them wrong—that our love was real and that I wasn’t that girl. But then everything changed. One wrong decision. One unfaithful night. One haunting reality. Perhaps they were right. The media didn’t see it coming…and neither did I.
  • Broken by Lies (Bound and Broken Series Book 1) by Rebecca Shea <— JUST RECENTLY RELEASED! “He brought me back to life. He gave me strength and a safe place to land. And then he broke me.” WELL! That sounds right up my heartache alley!
  • Dirty Bad Wrong by Jade West <— JUST RECENTLY RELEASED! “The man I want to consume me, own me, break me and corrupt me. Yet I’ve never seen his face.”
  • Amplify (Rockstar Book 3) by Anne Mercier <— JUST RECENTLY RELEASED! ROCK STAR ALERT!! And tons of great reviews already! “He’s my protector, my confidante. Then one night he became more. I want him, I need him, and, if I’m honest with myself, I love him. I just don’t know if he’ll ever see me as more than what we’ve always been: friends.
  • Blurred Lines (The Line Between 1.5) by Tamsyn Bester <— JUST RECENTLY RELEASED! Best friends that lose it all…
  • Sia by Josh Grayson <— ON SUPER SALE and she wakes up with amnesia on a bench and realizes she’s friends with the in-crowd bullies, and she’s the worst one… “Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.
  • Something Reckless (Reckless and Real Book 1) by Lexi Ryan <— also on SUPER-SALE!! Sounds good ’cause she doesn’t know him but by text… “I’ve fallen for an anonymous stranger, and now the anonymity ends. I want more than typed secrets and texted promises. I want something reckless. Heat. Passion. The thrill of being entirely possessed. Because I suspect this anonymous stranger isn’t a stranger at all.
                      

PRE-ORDERS

      

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Author News Roundup – February 26th 2015

by Maryse on February 26, 2015 · 9 comments

in News

SO  much awesome author and book news today, I just couldn’t help myself. I had to compile all into a comprehensive *squeeeee!!!* list! :D From upcoming book releases, to cover reveals, to super-deals, to books that just went live, to authors letting us in on their “works-in-progress”… we have plenty to look forward to and to indulge in, right now!

Like…

  • Taylor Jenkins Reid <— COVER REVEAL and I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!! She is one of my latest absolute “100% BEST AUTHOR EVER” favorite authors and she’s just revealed the cover for her upcoming release —> Maybe in Another Life: A Novel. And oh boy does it sound awesome!!!

“In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate? Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.” eek

And here are my reviews of her two other standalone books that ROCKED. MY. WORLD!!!! (Both 5 stars!) After I Do and Forever, Interrupted.

  • Kristen Ashley announces a bunch of books coming out in audio format! She says:

“Audio News!

As you know, I have a bunch of books coming out in audiobook and now I have news about the latest batch of pre-orders!

My UNFINISHED HEROES will be out on April 14, 2015. KnightCreedRaid and Deacon all will be whispering in your ear this spring!”

“And, just a note that Soaring will be coming out on audio on its release day! That’s right, March 16, 2015, Soaring (The Magdalene Series Book 2) will be available in print, eBook AND audio.”

Sidenote from Maryse: Speaking of audiobooks, check out this Amazon/Audible deal —> Free audible trial + 2 free ebooks deal

  • Kristen Ashley has another book coming out June 30th 2015!! Ride Steady (Chaos) <— Biker book alert and HERE is the cover!
  • S.C. Stephens just announced the upcoming release of her next “Thoughtless Series” book, Untamed (A Thoughtless Novel) (Griffin’s book!!) It’s releasing November 3rd 2015, and he’s such a… er… well. You know. ;) I can’t wait to see how he’s gonna drive us crazy in his OWN book. *happy dance* (P.S. Here’s the series reading order. This series is a MUST READ!)
  • S.C. Stephens also just posted the cover of Untamed. Yep. Griffin’s pretttttty hot!
  • Colleen Hoover raised a TON of money for charity last week with her very first “The Bookworm Box” and she’s looking to do more!! She says:

“Are you an indie author?
Do you write books with elements of romance?
Do you want a new way to reach your readers?
Do you like having a hand in doing great things for charity?
Yes?
Great! Read below.

We want to introduce you to The Bookworm Box. We launched last Friday and sold out of hundreds of boxes in just a few minutes, raising over $11,000 for charity!
We’d love to feature your books in our April indie boxes…” (more)

  • Colleen Hoover also has another surprise for us! She’s writing and LOVING her latest book boyfriend!! She says:
“In precisely (or not so precisely) one week or one week and a day or nine days or something like that, I’ll be doing a cover reveal for November 9. The book that releases November 10th, ironically enough.
I just have to say I haven’t been this excited for a book cover reveal since ever. I’ve also never been this into writing a book before. I’m loving it.
I don’t know why. Maybe because I love Ben Kessler.
That’s right.
Benton James Kessler. Our new book boyfriend.”
  • JoJo Moyes <—- Claudia found us this awesome news saying: “Ladies, look!! I’m so happy, one of my favorite books ever now gets a sequel yayayayayay:” A SEQUEL to “Me Before You”?!!!! YESSSSSSSS!!!!! *thud* <—- I fainted! Here’s my review of this fabulous read!!! From the article:
“Moyes is writing a sequel to her novel called After You, due on Sept. 29 from Pamela Dorman Books.”
  • Jodi Ellen Malpas is writing!! How do I know? ‘Cause she just posted THIS on her Facebook page: “I need to stop creating men who I want to marry. Hello, new man!” <— LOL!!!
  • Tina Reber is writing too! Continuing one of our favorites, her “Love series”! (Here’s my review of book #1: Love Unscripted). She says:
“I’m currently writing Love Unguarded (LU3), hoping that my readers realize and remember that Marcia Gay Harden was mentioned in Love Unrehearsed (LU2) LONG before she was cast to play Mrs. Grace Trevelyn Grey. Marcia was cast to play along side Ryan Christensen in his movie, Reparation, in my novel. The reason I bring this up is because I’m writing from Marie’s POV and she recalls the memory meeting her at the after-party, which I just typed in my manuscript. So no rolling eyes at me. LU2 published in 2012, long before she was cast to play Mrs. Grey…”
  • Claire Wallis is preparing an exclusive fun tidbit-y post for us!! It’ll be posted sometime this weekend or early next week, and I think, considering what we’ve been talking about lately, this one’s gonna be right up our alley. She says: “There are so many funny little things that happened during the process…” <— And yes, it’s concerning one of my favorites from last year, her book “Push” (here’s my review)
  • Aly Martinez is teasing us with her latest upcoming angsty piece (it’s a novella that will appear in the  What If: The Anthology that she is still working on and will be released April 1st 2015). Yes. April Fool’s Day. Is this a joke? ;) I LOVED her book #1 in this series (Changing Course <— my review) and so… here’s the teaser pic… and she says:
Fighting Silence and the Page brothers have invaded my mind, but today I’m listening to my Stolen Course playlist. Why
  • Bonnie Dee just early-bird released her latest one!! Guarded Passion (Wyatt Brothers Book 3) is now LIVE on Amazon, and I simply LOVE this author (Here’s my review of one of her books: Finding Home <— FANTASTIC!!!). This new one’s about a single mother struggling to make ends meet, and a criminal businessman… 
  • Kitty Thomas (one of my TOP queens of dark reads – here’s my review of Comfort Food - and there’s nothing comfortable about it!) just posted an observation about reader dark-read expectations and pushing the limits and all that cool stuff since the beginning of dark-reads to where we are now. She says:

“Something I’ve noticed within my genre: When I started and released Comfort Food, I’m not saying I was doing anything “brand new” because dark erotica already existed, and there really was plenty of it already. It just wasn’t “everywhere” at that point. But at the time Comfort Food came out, few regular readers were “jaded”, so by most people’s experience it was VERY dark. For a lot of people it was too dark. It was just well outside their comfort zone of reading.

But now, as the envelope keeps being pushed farther and farther in the genre, many of my books are rather “tame” by comparison. And I’m okay with that…” (more)

  • CJ Roberts <— Speaking of Queens of Dark reads, Check out this great video that CJ just released!! She says:
“In case u missed it. My mom’s video reply for “Ask CJ’s Mom Anything”. Please enjoy. I did.

                 

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Welcome to the twenty first installment of “You’ll Never Believe…”

For those that don’t know what these new featurettes will be about, here is the scoop! “You’ll Never Believe…” will feature the weirdest questions or encounters that authors have been asked/had. Might be about their books or random things, like meetings in a bathroom where someone asked what brand of toilet paper they normally use. Fun stuff and inside scoops that an author would not normally share.

Today’s “You’ll Never Believe…” celebrates the release of Rachel Blaufeld’s latest book “Redemption Lane (Crossroads Book 1)“, and she takes us on a VERY personal trip down memory lane! ;)

You’ll Never Believe by Rachel Blaufeld (Author of Redemption Lane and The Electric Tunnel Series (Electrified & Smoldered)

“Geez, I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to me and what you’ll never believe. I feel like I’m an open book––one of those people who equally shares the pretty Instagram-able moments and the embarrassing ones. But let’s see if I can let you in on a few morsels. As long as you don’t use any of them against me…

Since I can’t seem to only make fun of myself once, I’m going to take a small trip down memory lane with a few items You’ll Never Believe:

I’m an only child.

I’ve been awkwardly tall at 5’11ish since the 9th grade.

No, I never played basketball or volleyball.

Nor was I stripper––like the ladies in my first series.

I used to religiously take aerobics in one of those leotards with the dental floss up the butt. My favorite was a pink iridescent one that I would wear with WHITE spandex. Clearly, I didn’t pay attention to the mirror!

I’m actually terribly klutzy. During college, I fell and tripped on a weight at the gym. This little accident resulted in me having 35 stitches along my eye. My friend stayed and held my head as I watched the entire procedure––I wasn’t allowed to close my eye.

One month later, I rode the mechanical bull in Cancun, Mexico over spring break. Apparently, I’m also very ballsy.

I was in a wet T-shirt contest during the same trip (that was an incredibly long time ago).

I’ve been to Buffalo, N.Y. once in my life. I only remember because it was the coldest place I’ve ever been to, and I didn’t know I was going there. It was a mystery trip with my sorority, and I didn’t bring a winter coat.

In graduate school, I became an amazing pool player aside from receiving my degree.

I have a Master’s of Social Work. During school, I worked with various addiction groups, which made writing Redemption Lane extra special.

Now, I practice my counseling at home with my kids and use my overactive imagination and past experiences in my writing.

My husband thinks he’s my muse. Sometimes he is. Other times, it’s Charlie Hunnam.

And last but not least, You’ll Never Believe…MY MOM reads all my books!!”

Blurb:

Sometimes the past bleeds into the future.

Bess, a wild party girl running from herself, literally falls victim to her demons when she collapses in the most unexpected of places.

Lane, a tightly wound, up-and-coming CEO who can’t seem to stop enabling his brother, doesn’t know what hit him when Bess falls at his feet and into his life.

It was a night she doesn’t remember, and one he can’t forget.

But rather than stay and help the needy college coed, Lane decides to teach his brother a long overdue lesson––a decision that later comes back to haunt him and only adds fury to the transgressions of his past he is already fleeing from.

Years later, Bess and Lane meet again. She doesn’t know him, and he doesn’t share that he knows what happened on that ill-fated night when she almost died. After all, he has a web of complicated lies from his own youth to protect.

Both are seeking salvation in the arms of others and ignoring the truth—that the only road to redemption lies in confronting your past.

When the past and present collide, is there any chance at redemption?

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23667855-redemption-lane

Author Rachel Blaufeld

About Rachel Blaufeld

Rachel Blaufeld is a social worker/entrepreneur/blogger turned author. Fearless about sharing her opinion, Rachel captured the ear of stay-at-home and working moms on her blog, BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and inventing a product, often at the same time. She has also blogged for The Huffington Post, Modern Mom, and StartupNation.

Turning her focus on her sometimes wild-and-crazy creative side, it only took Rachel two decades to do exactly what she wanted to do—write a fiction novel. Now she spends way too many hours in local coffee shops plotting her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end lusciously.

Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs. Her obsessions include running, coffee, icing-filled doughnuts, antiheroes, and mighty fine epilogues.

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The Hurricane
Enjoyable and sweet, and just a touch of angst. Good for an easier feeling romance read, especially if you’re looking for a bossy-pants alpha-male that becomes absolutely obsessed with that one special girl. ‘Cause you’ve found him!

And yes, it *did* have that feel… reminding me of some of our favorite bad boy fighter books (many of our fellow readers pointing to my absolute favorite book). I can see it…

Vicki: I started this last night, struggled to put it down, I’m really tired this morning and wish I didn’t have to work!!

Shunda: Just finished The Hurricane and OMG!! I died. It had such a BD feel to it. Read through the night and was a zombie for work. SOOOOO worth it!!

Amy: Shunda, you’re gonna start a frenzy around here with a BD comparison like that. ;)

Lauren: Shunda, I loved it too. I wasn’t sure about it since I’d never heard of the author but….from the first sentence, you’re totally in. I couldn’t put it down. I gave it a 5 star review on Amazon.

Jean: OMG Shunda! BD feel….. those are magical words around here. 1-clicking The Hurricane right now!

Maryse: Magical is right!! :D Okay one clicking… bargain priced, too!

Jen: I am loving The Hurricane! I have to ask what are you guys talking about when you say it has a BD feel? Thanks!

Tara: I loved it.. Read it in a few hours.. I need a new book like this, any recommendations?

Jenny: Just finished the hurricane. Loved it

Rosheen: Thanks for the Hurricane recommendation . Great read! Usually avoid NA like the plague (no offence to anyone who reads and enjoys them, just not my thing). But very compelling read.

Paula: Hurricane was brill really enjoyed it and want the second one!

Vicki: I finished it last night. I liked it too. It was a really sweet book and I was thinking it would be more suspenseful.

But for some reason this one didn’t drown me in that delicious drama. The stuff that my favorite unputdownable books are made of. A constant push and pull laden in emotion, excitement, devastation and fury. Furious love and furious jealousy and everything in between. Where I become so invested, and my reactions are so visceral that I forget I’m NOT them.

That is what makes the difference between some of my absolute favorite bad-boy books, and some of the sweeter ones that I enjoy (like this one) but that I don’t devour so intently that I daydream about it, you know?

There were definitely those that loved it like crazy (up there and plenty of ‘em!!) and a few of us that enjoyed it, but didn’t feel that book-rush that we are always chasing:

MichelleS: So far so good on Hurricane. There’s some repetition, where the writer keeps saying the same thing or making the same point, but I like the characters so far….

Maryse: Me too… so far, good writing… has a similar “fighter/good girl” feel to others, but I’m hopeful it’s going to blow me away! :D

Jean: I’m only at 35% of Hurricane but liking it so far.

MichelleS: I keep squirreling away from Hurricane. I want to finish, but nothing I’d happening!!! I need a fight. Some misunderstanding. Something…

Angela: 75% done and honestly not understanding what all the hype is about. Finding that its dragging. Hopefully the last 25% will redeem it.

Alyssa: Just keep reading. So. Good. I absolutely love O’Conner. And Em is so sweet. And so honest!!!

Jean: I agree, not a lot of angst in Hurricane. I’m at about 50% and wanting some kind of fireworks. But Con is so sweet and caring….. he is seriously making me swoon!

Maryse: I’m loving how they always manage to fall asleep together. So sweet…

Lucy Ann: I really enjoyed it. I loved Em, I loved O’conner and I loved the humour.

Andrea: Just finished! It’s a nice read with that indie feel to it. Reminds me of Remy but lighter.

Oh yes, Jean. Con and all of his “MINE” intensity feels SO real in that respect. I believe him. I see him. I feel him and I could love him. BIG TIME!

“I know I’m scary and loud. I’m f**ked up, and I’m gonna f**k up with you a lot because I’ve never done this before. I don’t date girls, I f**k them and walk away because that’s what they expect. It’s all they think I’m good for. I’m not smart like you, and I know I don’t deserve you. Right now, I’m dirt poor , but one day, I’m not gonna be. I will fight to make something better of myself, to be someone better. Someone you can be proud of. If you need time, then I’ll give you time. If you need friendship, then I’ll give you friendship. But you’re mine, and when the time is right, when you’re ready, I’m coming for you.”

*swooooooooooooon* He IS PERFECT and totally “makes the show”, for sure. Well… him AND Danny.

And Andrea… YES!!! EXACTLY. You pinned it down perfectly.

Yep! It was good, had an interesting “meet-cute” intro, and was engaging. And when the intensity was on between them (the insecurities, the claiming, the private discussions…) well… I was into it! Plus, what made this book so much more than just a cute love story between a typical “book-bad-boy” and the good girl, was his entourage. His family of fighters, and their make-shift dad (gym owner and coach) that had me smiling.

This mismatched band of people, educated and uneducated, fighters and pacifists, were slowly becoming the family that I’d never had. With them around me, I was young and happy, and for the first time in my life, carefree.

But the two main characters had some “bad guys” in their lives too, and for those reasons, both of them damaged and struggling to connect. Because she was in hiding from her abusive step-father, in school and struggling to make ends meet,

I WAS SO GRATEFUL to have escaped my former life that living for three years without forming any attachments seemed like a small price to pay for my freedom. The reality was that I had escaped from hell, only to find that fear still incarcerated me in a prison from which there was no escape. I was afraid that the more memorable I became; the more likely it was that I would be found.

and he had his own set of issues. His mother. Ugh!

But I’ll let you meet ‘em all yourself, and work out that “crazy”. Overall though, pleasing with moments that had me swooning,

“Baby, I’d better be the only one on that list. I feel like I’m gonna lose you before I even get a chance. I’m f**ked- up possessive over you. I know that, and I’m afraid that you’ll get sick of all the bullshit that comes with me.”

laughing (’cause of the guys!!),

“Con’s gonna be ten times more protective now that he’s staked his claim.”

“Tough shit, arsehole,” Tommy replied cockily, “cause right now Danny’s dropping medicine balls on Con’s stomach, and I’m going home with his girl’s chocolate cake.”

tearing up, and scowling. All of it, but sometimes… well for me? Not enough of that angsty *oomph* to thrill me into screaming it from the rooftops.

But like bev said:

“But I’m sometimes ok without the conflict or angst, yes I am boring. At times I just want a we’re falling in love story. Though I love good conflict and angst and the whole 80% something is going to happen heart in throat moments too.”

So this one just might be for you! Good writing, good story, sweet girl, and FREAKING AWESOME guy. Just sayin’ ;)

3.75 stars! (but 5 stars for him!!) :D

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