Friday, January 17, 2014

Come To Me Quietly by A.L. Jackson

From the acclaimed bestselling author of Lost to You and When We Collide comes a new adult novel of one woman’s obsession: a man who’s as passionate as he is elusive—and as tempting as he is trouble.…

Title: Come To Me Quietly (The Closer to You Series, Book 1) Author: A.L. Jackson Release Date: January 7, 2014 Genre: New Adult Romance Blog Tour hosted by: Shh Moms Reading, Literary Mania Reviews, and Brandee’s Book Endings


Aleena Moore is haunted by Jared Holt. It’s been six years since she’s seen her brother’s best friend, the self-destructive bad boy she secretly loved in high school. As the years pass, she knows it’s time to move on. Time to decide between a practical nursing degree and her true dream as an artist. Time to get over Jared and give another guy a chance…
Just when she opens her heart to her friend Gabe, Aly returns home to find Jared sleeping on her couch. The teenage boy she loved has grown into a man she can’t resist. Covered in tattoos and lost in rage, he’s begging to be saved from his demons—the memories of the day he destroyed his family. As the two reconnect, their passion is hot enough to torch Aly’s judgment. But can she risk her future for a man who lives on the edge of destruction?

Fred's Review

"Thunder rumbles, in the distance, a quiet intensity."  These opening lines from Painting by Chagall by The Weepies somehow capture for me the slow-building and immensely powerful development leading to the delicious denouement of this emotional and sensitive second chance romance. The story of the tortured bad boy and the sensitive good girl who loves him are not an unknown trope in our beloved genre- just as the I,IV and V chords of the classic blues are a familiar framework for musical expression.  But in the hands of a master, those elements are recreated and reignited, in a way that moves and reminds us of the crazy depths, delusions and demands of the heart.  When A.L. Jackson works her mojo, it's like music, only instead of words and sound, she uses emotions. Well, technically she does use words, okay. But in a tender and subtle way that leads to that lovely throat-constricting, tear-duct squeezing state of catharsis that her readers have to come to know and crave. Amy crafts that catharsis with her characters and poetic language, true, but also with the help of two artistic elements that never cease to create that old feeling in me. First, secrets which even though kept with the best of intentions, become black holes of emotion, threatening to draw everything into their destructive power; and second, the slow revelation of "the event," that thing that happened to Jared way back when, which now similarly exerts such a distorting gravitational pull on those who survived it.  The tension between the desire to know what happened, and the desire to look away, in sadness and shock, is almost unbearable at times.   

A.L. Jackson is at the height of her not inconsiderable powers in this dark but redemptive adult contemp. I really can't recommend it highly enough!

Painting by Chagall, The Weepies

About author A.L. Jackson

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled, When We Collide, and If Forever Comes.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children.

Links a'poppin! Get 'em while they're hoppin'!


Barnes & Noble 




Come To Me Quietly Book Trailer

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Release Day - Friend is a Four Letter Word by Steph Campbell (Grounding Quinn Series #3)

FiaFLW RD Banner

This is the third book in the Grounding Quinn series (comprised of the awesome and totally not to be missed "Grounding Quinn," and its sequel, "Beautiful Things Never Last.") It is a standalone, spinoff companion novel to its sister books, and doesn't require you to have read them to fully access the story of FFLW (although in this humble blogger's opinion, you'd be crazy not to read those two beautiful books!)  

Head on over to Have Book Will Read for an EXCLUSIVE excerpt!


Shayna Gillan is on a mission: start fresh in a new state without the small town gossip that has haunted her since her bad girl days of high school.

Carter MacPherson has long been the most together member of his crazy family--until now. With a secret threatening to crumble everything he's worked for, he wishes he could forget the recent past, too.

The last thing either Shayna or Carter are looking for is a relationship. It's best for everyone that they be left alone while they sort out their issues.  At least that's what they tell themselves - the truth is that maybe they're just too scared, skittish and full of self-doubt.

So, yeah, friends, right, that is absolutely, utterly all they can ever be.  Period.

But the best laid plans of mice and men ... don't allow for feelings, failings and friendship's limits. Once Shayna and Carter cross the Rubicon, leaving their ambiguous friendship behind, the die is cast ... and there can be no turning back.

The only question left is--whose past will catch up to them first?

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Fred's Notes

I don't think it's any big secret that Grounding Quinn (and it's sequel, the lovely and poignantly titled "Beautiful Things Never Last") is one of my all-time, best book ever favorites.  It's such a delicate and subtle book that I feel kind of dumb being so cheerleady about it - it's like breaking out the pom-poms for an Emily Dickinson poem or something.  But it's hard to restrain my book-thusiasm about Quinn, and about Steph's gorgeous, spare but evocative style.  It's not just her characters, it's the subtle way she creates them.  It's not just her style, it's the emotional veracity and psychological depth of what she perceives and describes.  So, it's also probably no secret that I'm delighted, enthused and excited (I'm rah rah, who are you?) to return to Quinn-land, and understand more of what's happened, what is happening, and what might happen, between Quinn's brother Carter and her brittle bestie Shayna.  I'm going to save my major encomiums for my review, but let me simply say that fans of Steph's insightful, poetic and poignant world, will find pleasure and rich enjoyment here.  I urge you strongly to get your copy, either at Amazon, or by entering the Rafflecopter below, so graciously hosted by Kelly Moorhouse of Have Book Will Read! 


Steph CSteph Campbell grew up in Southern California, but now calls the Northeast home. She has one husband, four children and a serious nail polish obsession. She's repped by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Steph's works include Delicate, Grounding Quinn and Beautiful Things Never Last; My Heart for Yours and My Fate for Yours (with Jolene Perry); A Toast to the Good Times (with Liz Reinhardt) and the bestselling new adult LENGTHS series with Liz Reinhardt.

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Cover Reveal: Past Imperfect by Alison G. Bailey (Perfect Series # 2)

Today is the cover reveal for Past Imperfect, the second book in Alison Bailey's "Pefect" series.  It really captures the intensity and luminous darkness of this amazing series, right?  (And on a less literary note - to me, nothing says "sexy" like those awesome dorsal dimples our girl Mabry is sporting, right?)

Up for some details?  Here they come!

Series: Perfect #2
Release Date: February 20, 2014
Cover Designer: Robin Harper, Wicked by Design; photography by Abigail Marie, NON`PA*REIL photography

And today's awesome tour is hosted by: Wordsmith Publicity

In Present Perfect (first in the series), Brad Johnson was sexy, cocky, rich and a complete Smurff**ker. He could afford anything he wanted and could charm any girl he set his eyes on. Everything was laid out in front of him, all for the taking except the one thing he craved and needed. A tragic event forces him to reevaluate his life. When he tries to change, will the people in his life let him move on from his past or will they constantly hold him to the life altering mistakes he’s made?

Mabry Darnell is intelligent, ambitious, beautiful, and sassy. Secrets from her past haunt the present causing her to question her actions in order to shield her heart and protect her life.

From the moment Brad and Mabry met, their connection was strong, intense, and electrifying. Both knew they had found the one person who could satisfy what the other ached for. When their pasts collide with their present, will it prevent them from having a future together or will love be strong enough to conquer their demons?

And here's the book that started it all! Intense, sensitive and angst-errific, check it out!

Present Perfect (Perfect #1)

 Present Perfect (Perfect, #1)

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

 About the author

Alison was born and raised in Charleston, SC. As a child she used her imagination to write additional scenes to TV shows and movies that she watched. She attended Winthrop University and graduating with a BA in Theater. While at Winthrop she began writing one act plays which she later produced. Throughout the years she continued writing and producing several one act plays, but then life got in the way and she hung up her pen for a while. On the advice of a friend, she started writing again. In January 2013, Alison sat down at her computer and began writing her first novel, Present Perfect.

Alison lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Jef, and their two furry children (dogs). She’s addicted to Diet Pepsi and anything with sugar.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter GoodReads

Saturday, January 4, 2014

UndertowUndertow by Amber Lynn Natusch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this atmospheric and emotional contemporary romance.  I gather it's a departure for author Amber, who earned her stripes with her PNR/Urban Fantasy Caged series, which I'm def adding to my tbr.  But you'd never know this is her first foray into contemp, based on the sure-footed plotting, captivating characters, and thoughtful themes amply displayed in Undertow.

MC Aesa (pronounced "Ice-ah," but don't call her Ice, unless you want your ice kicked!) is complicated and dimensional, and although she's a prickly one, I found her broken, overcompensating and strong-willed self irresistible. She's returned to the small Alaskan fishing village she stormed away from 9 years ago on the heels of her mother's suicide, to confront and reconcile with her past, and above all with her father.  She's an ER doctor now, about to start her residency, and it's made her sensitive to the fragility of life and relationships.  But her dad, the sailor who all too rarely came home from the sea, isn't making it easy on her.  And when he suggests she ship out with him and his crew for a short crabbing trip before she begins her residency, it becomes quite a test of whether blood is, in fact, thicker than the cold water of the Bering Sea she both loves and hates.

The first couple of chapters introduce the above situation, the characters (including swoony deckhand Decker - I love Amber's names, btw, they're real, but suggestive in a Dickensian kind of way), and the past that Aesa is struggling to overcome.  I also love the way Amber uses the imagery of the home Aesa left behind to reflect the interior landscape of Aesa and her father's relationship, without being heavy handed or too direct.  Once that bit of exposition is over, however, hang on to your Dramamine, because as soon as the Norwegian Queen sets sail, plot developments and events start raining down faster than hail in an Alaskan squall.  And they don't let up until the reader, like Aesa, is left shaking on the shore, wondering what the hell happened, and how we're going to be able to move on in one emotional piece.

There's romance (satisfying and mature), for sure, and conflict and drama - but there's also a deeper story, one of healing and wholeness, of family and secrets, and of the way the past isn't always quite what we thought it was. No review would be complete without mentioning the vivid creation of Aesa's world - I was in the Merchant Marine (summers during undergrad), and Amber aptly recreates the claustrophobic and bone-wearying atmosphere of a hard-working small-crew ship, and the semi-macho culture surrounding it. The bars, the brawls, the bravado, it's all there.

So high kudos to author Amber for creating a gripping, compelling and characterful read, with a fresh and real feeling setting and vibe.  I hope she continues to work her sweet and substantial skills in this genre, as well as in her primary realm of Urban Fantasy.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cover Reveal - All Good Things by Jodie Beau (The Good Life #0.5)

Today is cover reveal day for All Good Things (The Good Life #0.5) by Jodie Beau.
The cover is so pretty and it's perfect for a fun summer romance novel.
What do you all think ... ?
Title: All Good Things
Author: Jodie Beau
Age Group/Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publisher/Release Date: To be self published on 31st January 2014
Goodreads Add


All Good Things…are wild and free.

This is going to be the best summer ever! Bonfires, pool parties, trips to the beach, throwing her arms in the air while riding down the open road in a convertible – she’s going to do it all.

Roxie has plans. It’s the last summer before college graduation. By this time next year she’ll be living in the “real” world; ie: paying bills, searching for a job that doesn’t require an apron, and maybe even sleeping on a bed that doesn’t turn into a couch. If there’s ever a time to be fun, irresponsible and reckless, it’s now.

But things don’t always go as planned.

Before the summer has even started, Roxie makes a discovery that breaks her heart and shatters her confidence. Her hopes of having the Best Summer Ever go straight in the trash. Forget the beach. Forget the bonfires. Forget summer altogether.

If only her childhood friend, Jake, would let her be. His contagious smile keeps popping up and dragging her to every social event in Ann Arbor. Reluctant at first, his happy-go-lucky attitude becomes an addiction. It isn’t long before Roxie starts to wonder if her longtime friend might be the perfect cure for her heartbreak. This summer might be good after all.

But All Good Things…must come to an end.

**All Good Things is an NA prequel to the contemporary 2013 release The Good Life. The books can be read in either order, or as stand-alones.**

Fred's Notes

So many things to love about Jodie Beau and her lovely The Good Life series.  First (well, for me, anyway) they are set in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I lived in Ann Arbor for many years, and the whole vibe of it is still part of who I am.  So a book set there, that captures that feel, is going to capture a part of me, too.  Second, whoa, every single one of the reviews of The Good Life is by a trusted friend/reviewer whose taste I admire.  So def gotta get in on that.  Finally, I really love the phrase "All Good Things."  Among other things, it reminds me of this song, by my beloved Weepies, who've played many times at The Ark, in Ann Arbor, one of the coolest venues for folk and indies artists ever.  I hope Jodie won't mind if I link to their song "All Good Things", it's classic Weepies bittersweetness. 

About Jodie Beau

Jodie Author Pic

I'm a wife, mom, waitress, book nerd, Chapstick addict, and a really bad driver who still believes in happy endings and can't walk in high heels. Writing is what I do when I'm avoiding other cleaning.

I once had big dreams of being a Hollywood screenwriter.

But then I met a boy and got distracted.

Three years later we met another boy, this one even cuter.

The three of us are now living happily ever after in the Detroit area. All Good Things is my second novel. And our house is kind of a mess :)
**Haven't read The Good Life yet? Well now is your chance!
To celebrate the cover reveal of All Good Things, you can currently pick up
The Good Life for FREE until Sunday!!**