ponedjeljak, 31. kolovoza 2015.

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Impossible Choice by Sybil Bartel (Unchecked #2) @SybilBartel


Impossible Choice by Sybil Bartel
(Unchecked #2)
Published by: Carina Press
Publication date: August 31st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance



Synopsis:

Book two of Unchecked
After her parents were murdered, Layna Blair spent three years on the run—until Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson stepped in and saved her. With him, Layna knew safety for the first time…but two weeks after shipping out for another tour in Afghanistan, Blaze comes home early.
When Layna sees the jagged wounds covering his body, every truth she thought she knew is destroyed. Blaze is distant and angry and though her heart is shattered, Layna desperately tries to keep their relationship together in the face of another tragedy. When the tenuous bonds holding them together are ripped apart by a revenge-hungry maniac, Layna must trust her survival instinct and bury her past for good.
But the enemy is two steps ahead, and before she can take action, Layna’s hand is forced by his deadly demands—save herself or save the man who risked his life for her freedom. Blaze saved her once. This time it’s her turn to protect him.
91,000 words

srijeda, 26. kolovoza 2015.

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Turn of the Moon by L.P. Dover (Royal Shifters – Standalone, #1) @LPDover


Turn of the Moon by L.P. Dover 

(Royal Shifters – Standalone, #1) 
Publication date: August 26th 2015
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Suspense


Synopsis:

One girl. Two wolves. Promised to one. Destined for the other.
To escape the cruel, overbearing, Kade, the Yukon Pack alpha she’s been promised to, Bailey Whitehill flees her home in search of a new life, one of freedom where she can make her own choices. However, Kade will stop at nothing to make her his and begins the hunt.
As Bailey starts her new life, everything she’s known to be true, is not. Time is of the essence and choices have to be made or consequences suffered. Not only does Bailey fear Kade, but another danger lurks deep in the recesses of the forest. Unbeknownst to her, that danger is what she’s been searching for all along. At the turn of the moon, her fate hangs in the balance . . . and it’s up to her to make the right choice.

utorak, 25. kolovoza 2015.

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Worth It by Linda Kage (Forbidden Men #6) @lindakage


Worth It by Linda Kage
(Forbidden Men #6)
Publication date: August 25th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance



Synopsis:
I fell in love once.
It was amazing. She was amazing. Life was amazing.
I lived for each time I could see her, and nothing else mattered, not that our families were enemies, our time together was forbidden, or we had to meet in secret.
Our love could conquer all.
Until it didn’t.
So I was ripped away from the love of my life and shoved into hell, forced to continue without her.
It shattered me, broke the best parts of me, left me permanently damaged.
Or so I thought.
Years later, I swear history’s trying to repeat itself because she’s back in my life, and I’m just as drawn to her as I was before. But I’m older and wiser now, and I know she should stay away from a worthless piece of ex-con like me.

ponedjeljak, 24. kolovoza 2015.

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Push Me, Pull Me by Vanessa Garden @VanessaGarden27


Push Me, Pull Me by Vanessa Garden
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: August 25th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult



Synopsis:

Since Ruby Milton’s mother committed suicide, she’s forgotten what it’s like to be seventeen.
Saddled with taking care of her toddler brother and alcoholic father, Ruby has no time for fun. She also can’t shake the growing resentment she feels for her mother’s decision, which left her unable to grieve without anger and regret.
Then she meets blue-eyed musician Byron Black, who challenges everything she believes.
Byron refuses to let anyone control his life—or his death. When he left the city behind, he was in search of somewhere where nobody knew his secret. What he didn’t expect was to meet a beautiful redhead whose views conflict so completely with his own. But as their romance deepens, he begins to doubt his choices and decides to return to the city…for one last chance.

četvrtak, 20. kolovoza 2015.

Trust in Me is now FREE + a sale on the Stripped series @skye_warren

This pearl was today in my mailbox
so fell free and download the book 
while it's FREE :)



Lovelies,

I'm so thrilled to share that Trust in Me, my very dark romance novel, is FREE for a limited time. It's the first time it's ever been free, and if you haven't read my Dark Nights series, this is the perfect time to start.

srijeda, 19. kolovoza 2015.

Guest Post: TRESPASSERS – by Saul Delino @saul_delino

Architect-turned celebrity speaker, Vincent Wright, is determined that nothing and no one is going to stunt his ambition - not disability, not agoraphobia, nor the half-brother he despises, or even the haunting spectre of a misguided adolescence. But fourteen years on, old friend and partner in crime, Langston Bola, returns with a lust for revenge fuelled by a life of hard knocks. With his past staring back at him, Vin suffers a panic attack that sends him fleeing to the sanctuary of his penthouse flat, but as Carnival Weekend approaches, a mysterious, young home help arrives at his door who, unbeknownst to him, has the power to destroy his career for good… 


Blog tour: Her SEALed Fate by Lori Ryan !ALL PREORDER PROCEEDS GO TO CHARITY! @Loriryanauthor



Synopsis
He thought he left the battlefield behind.

utorak, 18. kolovoza 2015.

Book blitz and Giveaway: Body Checked by Katherine Stark @KStarkBooks



Body Checked by Katherine Stark 

Publication date: August 18th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense


Synopsis:
SERGEI DRAKONOV. The newest left wing for the Washington Eagles hockey team is a triple threat: muscle, roughed-up good looks, and a dangerous tabloid reputation. Not the kind of guy who fits into Jael Pereira’s five-year plan. Jael doesn’t have time for a relationship, between her challenging senior-year course load and her stiflingly dull internship at the FBI. But for one steamy night, she gives in to Sergei and his smooth-talking ways.
Sergei wants more than just another one-night stand. But his brother—a high-ranking member of the Russian mob—wants him to help the family business. He can use Sergei as an easy way to launder money, or to smuggle drugs on the Eagles team plane. And if Sergei doesn’t agree, he can kiss his skating career goodbye.

utorak, 11. kolovoza 2015.

Recenzija: Crne ruže: anatomija ženske bande - Ashley Little

Oštar, bolno izravan i odvažan roman kanadske spisateljice Ashley Little kroz svoje glavne likove iznosi priču o bandi tinejdžerica u Vancouveru, “noćnoj mori cijeloga grada”. One su Crne ruže, pet djevojaka kojima se ne želite zamjeriti: Mac, samoproglašena vođa i mastermind bande; Mercy, njezina desna ruka s izrazitim darom za provale i pljačke; Kayos, crvenokosa otpadnica koja je napustila školu i rodila kćer s trinaest; Foxy, koja je pobjegla iz rodnog rezervata u potrazi za boljim životom, da bi ogrezla u ovisnost; i Z, 16-godišnja crtačica grafita. Ispripovijedan tvrdim, silovitim stilom, Crne ruže - anatomija ženske bande literarni je udarac ravno u glavu: nasilna priča o izgubljenim djevojkama u grčevitoj borbi za moć, za vlastiti glas, za nadu.
“Uzbudljiv i poticajan, roman Crne ruže temeljit je i okrutno iskren portret s dubokim suosjećanjem za likove sposobne za užasna djela.” - Kirkus Reviews
“Roman Ashley Little o vancouverskoj bandi tinejdžerica u svojoj je neobuzdanosti toliko neodoljiv da ga nećete htjeti ispustiti iz ruku dok ne doznate što će naposljetku biti s Crnim ružama... Uzbudljiva, zastrašujuća proza koja se čita u jednom dahu.” - Vancouver Weekly


Uh, što napisati o ovoj knjizi? Iskreno, malo je teško a da Vam odmah ne otkrijem što se događa u njoj, no dat ću sve od sebe.

Ne zalazim baš prečesto u ovakav žanr. Ne zato što knjige možda nisu dobre (jer jesu) nego je više razlog što me emocionalno unište na nekoliko dana (ako ne i doživotno). Prva 'emocionalno sjebana' knjiga mi je bila Forbidden Tabithe Suzume koja se na jedan vrlo bolan ali odlično napisan način upustila u priču incesta u već ionako zmrdanoj obitelji. Nakon te knjige nisam mogla doći k sebi tjednima. Plakala sam ko kišna godina. Prošlo proljeće Znanje nam je predstavilo knjigu Pitaj Alicu - dnevnik jedne narkomanke s kojim sam počela smatrati da bi ga trebali uvesti u obaveznu lektiru srednje škole. Ako vam se na neki uvrnuti način svidjela Alice, onda je i knjiga Crne ruže za vas.

Teško je reći, ili napisati, da vam se ovakva knjiga sviđa. Iskreno, pomalo je i glupo. Jer što vam se u njoj ima sviđati? Priča je to o pet djevojaka koje su odavno na ulici, a ni jedna od njih nije niti približno punoljetna. Mac kojoj se mama prodavala samo za drogu, Kayos, cura koja je sa svojih trinaest godina rodila kćer očuha i koja je vrlo nasilna, Mercy, lijepa cura koja može ukrasti sve što poželi, Z, neshvaćena umjetnica grafita, te na kraju mala Foxy unakaženoga lica koja se cijeli život propatila i ovisnica o cracku. 



 Iako su sve one na drugoj strani zakona i svi mi osuđujemo takvo ponašanje, u ovoj knjizi dobili smo uvid u njih kao osobe jer na kraju krajeva, one su bile samo pet djevojaka koje su se borile za život i sanjale u bolje sutra iako su to bolje sutra namjeravale ostvariti ilegalnim aktivnostima.

Znala sam da je u ovakvoj knjizi teško očekivati neki sretan kraj no kroz cijelu priču čovjek se i dalje ipak nekako nada no svi mi znamo da je to nemoguće. 

Radnju knjige vam ne mogu pretjerano otkriti, a da se ne raspričam o svemu što se dogodi. Ovo je priča o curama koje se bore za život na ulici a ujedno i priča o tome koliko god da djevojke mogu biti opake, u jednom trenu muški rod ih opet izgazi i natjera na drastične poteze.







Knjiga je pisana iz šest perspektiva: Mac, Mercy, Foxy, Kayos, Z te Vancouvera, grada u kojemu je radnja smještena. Upravo u tom djelu koji priča grad sažeta je sva okrutna poetičnost ove autorice. Cure pričaju svoju priču, no Vancouver je taj koji nam ih prikaže u onom malo drugačijem svjetlu, onom žešćem i bolnijem.


Na kraju, bih li preporučila knjigu? Da, svakako i to vrlo rado iako je knjiga teške i tužne teme. Mislim da se barem jednom godišnje treba primiti neke ovakve knjige tek toliko da nas se spusti sa sedmoga neba te da vidimo da postoje i teže teme od onih o kojima najradije čitamo (u mom slučaju ljubići, YA i što već sve sa tim žanrovima dolazi u paketu, više manje happy end knjige).

Knjigu možete naći u izdanju Jutarnjega Lista za 49,90kn. 

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Lumière by Jacqueline Garlick (The Illumination Paradox #1) @garlick books


Lumière by Jacqueline Garlick
(The Illumination Paradox #1)
Publication date: December 12th 2013
Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult


Synopsis:
Even in a land of eternal twilight, secrets can’t stay hidden forever.
Seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth is no stranger to living in the dark. She’s hidden her secret affliction all of her life—a life that would be in danger if superstitious townspeople ever guessed the truth. After her mother is accused and executed for a crime that she didn’t commit, the now-orphaned Eyelet has no choice but to track down the machine—her last hope for a cure. But Eyelet’s late father’s most prized invention, the Illuminator, has been missing since the day of the mysterious flash—a day that saw the sun wiped out over Brethren forever.
Alone and on the run, she finds the Illuminator—only to witness a young man hauling it away. Determined to follow the thief and recover the machine, she ventures into the deepest, darkest, most dangerous part of her twisted world.



Purchase:
Amazon
B&N





AUTHOR BIO:
I'm Jacqueline Garlick, author of young adult and new adult fiction. I love strong heroines, despise whiny sidekicks, and adore a good story about a triumphant underdog. (Don't you?)
I love to read, write, paint (walls and paper). I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate, grammar, and technology and would rather hang out with a dog, than a cat. I prefer creating things to cleaning things, and believe laughter is a one-stop-shop solution to all that ails you. You will always find a purple wall (or two) in my house (currently in my writing room), and there may or may not be a hidden passageway that leads to a mystery room. (Okay, so you won't find a hidden passageway, but a girl can dream, can't she?) Oh, and tea. There will always be tea.

My writing style has been described as edgy and rule-breaking, and by some--a touch Tim Burton-esque. Because of this, I am often referred to as the Quentin Tarantino of YA among writing friends.

In my former life, I was a teacher (both grade school and college-don't ask), but more recently I've been a graduate of Ellen Hopkin's Nevada Mentor Program and a student of James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass. An excerpt from Lumière earned me the 2012 Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship.

Lumière--A Romantic Steampunk Fantasy--my debut novel, is the recipient of an indieBRAG Medallion!!! B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree October 15, 2014) I am so proud! (LUMIERE by Jacqueline E. Garlick is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!) Book II of the ILLUMINATION PARADOX SERIES, is out January 26th, now on pre-order.

Also, check out my young adult contemporary romantic/mystery serial, IF ONLY, where reluctant telepathic sleuth Kyla Cooper must embrace her powers and risks all to solve the mystery of what happened to her boyfriend Denver Munro, becoming his voice of truth, before he has no voice at all...

I love hearing from READERS! Please contact me, either at my website: www.jacquelinegarlick.com, or catch up with me on twitter @garlick books, or on facebook:http://bit.ly/jegarlickfb

I'm open to reviews and interview, requests for skype visits, guest blogs, pod casts and book club meetings! I LOVE TO HEAR FROM READERS!

You can also find me here:
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jackiegp/lumiere-by-jacqueline-garlick/
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/jgarlickgr
Blog: http://garlickbooks.blogspot.ca




utorak, 4. kolovoza 2015.

Book Blitz: Play It Again by Ashley Stoyanoff (PRG Investigations, #2) @AshleyStoyanoff


Play It Again by Ashley Stoyanoff 
(PRG Investigations, #2) 
Publication date: August 4th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:

Ten days ago, someone threw a brick through my front window. Nine days ago, someone keyed my truck right in my driveway. Eight days ago, someone spray painted the words ‘stay away’ across my garage door. That one really pissed me off. The jerk didn’t even have the courtesy to tell me what the hell I need to stay away from.
Each day it’s something new, a new piece of my property vandalized, and I’ve had enough.
Wanting a security system, something with cameras so I can catch the vandal, I let my best friend hook me up with her cousin, a private investigator with the PRG Investigations team.
His name is Vance and I’ve secretly been in love with him for three years. He’s a badass, a little scary, incredibly hot, and he’s never showed an interest in me … until now.


Excerpt

“You know,” Piper says, settling in, pulling her legs up under her. “I think this is exactly what I needed. I don’t remember ever feeling this relaxed. Not even in Mexico.”
I laugh. “We’ll have to make this a regular thing then.”
She looks at me, a tiny frown tugging her lips. “Do you do this a lot?”
“Do what?” I ask curiously.
“Make picnics and bring girls out here,” she asks, her voice hesitant, as though maybe she doesn’t actually want to hear the answer.
I stare at Piper.
She stares right back at me.
Jesus, she sounds … jealous. She looks it, too.
It’s a pretty look on her.
Always so damn pretty.
I grin at her, and then pull the lid off the cooler, reaching in and retrieving a beer.
“You’re the first,” I say, twisting off the cap and handing it to her. “Don’t bring too many people out here, actually.”
Her eyes widen. “What?”
“You’re the first,” I say again, reaching over to her, lightly trailing the back of my knuckles along the curve where her neck and shoulder meets. It’s a barely there touch, but the contact makes her shiver and blush. “And I’ve never made a picnic for anyone before you either.”
“I, uh, I …” her blush deepens and her voice wobbles. “Really?”
She’s nervous and she takes a long pull from her beer.
“Really,” I say, letting my hand fall away, wanting to put her at ease. I reach into the cooler, grabbing a beer for myself, twisting it open.
When I glance back at her, she’s staring at me, confused, as though I haven’t answered her question at all, so I decide to elaborate.
“This is my getaway, the place I come to clear my head. The guys come out with me every once in a while, but for the most part I keep the boat to myself. It’s … special to me, sacred even. I don’t bring just anyone out here.”
“So it’s a special place,” she reiterates, surprised. “Your special place.”
I take a pull from my beer. “Essentially, yeah.”
My response relaxes her, and she beams at me as though being here makes her special, too.
It does.
She is special to me.


Purchase:


AUTHOR BIO:
Ashley Stoyanoff is an author of paranormal romance books for young adults, including The Soul's Mark series and the Deadly Trilogy. She lives in Southern Ontario with her husband, Jordan, and two cats: Tanzy and Trinity.

In July 2012, Ashley published her first novel, The Soul's Mark: FOUND, and shortly thereafter, she was honored with The Royal Dragonfly Book Award for both young adult and newbie fiction categories.

An avid reader, Ashley enjoys anything with a bit of romance and a paranormal twist. When she's not writing or devouring her latest read, she can be found spending time with her family, watching cheesy chick flicks or buying far too many clothes.

Ashley loves hearing from her readers, so feel free to connect with her online.

Author links:

ponedjeljak, 3. kolovoza 2015.

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Caught in Us by Layla Hagen (Lost #3) @laylahagen


Caught in Us by Layla Hagen
(Lost #3)
Publication date: August 3rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:
Dani Cohen knows Damon is trouble the second he walks in during senior year. He has bad boy written all over him. . .from his arrogant smirk to his perfectly toned abs. He is arrogant, intense, rebellious.
Dani has her future all planned out. She’s not the type to fall for a bad boy, no matter how panty-melting his grin is or how shamelessly he flirts. But something about Damon draws her in, awakening a desire she’s never felt. Slowly, she uncovers the secrets Damon hides: underneath his arrogance lies a tortured soul, his flirting smile masks despair.
Damon arrives in Dani’s life against his will. Carrying the scars of a dark past and facing an uncertain future, he knows he should stay away from her, but can’t. Her innocence consumes him, as does the desire to indulge in the passion igniting deep inside her.
An all-consuming bond blooms into a reckless love. But when mistakes from the past threaten their already fragile future, can their love survive?
A steamy and emotional full-length, standalone love story from the USA Today Bestselling author of Withering Hope.


Excerpt
"You're not all that bad for a rich girl," he says.
This snaps me out of my daydreaming. Or, well, lip-dreaming. "You say it like I should take it as a compliment."
"It is a compliment. You're a breath of fresh air." He shifts on his side, facing me.
"So are you. You're different from everyone I know."
"Is it because I'm devastatingly good-looking?" he says mischievously.
I roll my eyes at him. "It's because you are extremely modest. We should go back. You know, hanging around with me is going to ruin your reputation."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You didn’t notice the way people looked at us last Friday? Or today in the cafeteria?"
"So what?" His eyes widen, and he grins. "You're ashamed people might see you with me?"
I gasp slightly. "That's not true."
"You're afraid they'll think we were secretly making out," he teases.
"They will not think that." Heat surges in my cheeks.
"Hazel seems to think exactly that."
I can't be blushing. I can't be blushing. Damon eyes one of my cheeks and then the other. His grin widens. Of course, I'm blushing.
"You'd like to make out with me? You just have to say it. I assure you I'm a perfectly good kisser." He leans into me, his eyes scanning me playfully. Does he know what he's doing to me with his dark green eyes and his annoyingly beautiful lips? He, who must have touched tens of other lips with his, and toyed with as many hearts? My heart beats so fast I legitimately fear I might faint. He's just joking, Dani.
"Not every female around wants to kiss you." How I muster the wits to say the next words, I'll never know. "You're not as good-looking as you think."
"But you admit I'm good-looking?"
"I didn't say that."
"You didn't deny it," he says. 
"Please go work your charm on someone else who is more experienced with these games. I'm not."
He pulls back. "What do you mean?"
"We have to go." I take my plate and jump to my feet. He catches up with me on the stairs, grabbing my arm.
"You've never been kissed?" he asks.
I debate lying for a second, but I've never been any good at it. "No, I haven't. Go ahead. Laugh."
He's not laughing. "Why?" he seems genuinely confused, and I almost laugh. He reminds me so much of James right now, who is always completely bewildered by the fact that no guy is into me.
"I don't think I'm anyone's type here at school," I explain.
"Figures. I knew most here are idiots; I didn't realize just how much."
The implication in his words fills me with warmth and relief: that there is something wrong with them. Not with me.
"So no one was lucky enough to taste your lips," he says, and then does something that petrifies me. He runs his thumb over my upper lip, then my lower one. My thighs involuntarily press themselves together as heat billows between them. A whiff of breath rushes through my lips.  
"We should go to class," I murmur.
"Sure." A smile plays on his lips all the way to the class. We attract stares, just as I predicted. This time, he does notice them. Leaning into me, Damon says, "You were right. They are looking at us, but I was right too."
"What do you mean?"

"They are convinced we spent the entire break making out. And if you continue to blush so deliciously, I'll wish we had." 


Purchase:

AUTHOR BIO:
My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough

Author links:

nedjelja, 2. kolovoza 2015.

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Choosing Happiness by Melissa Stevens @MelissaTStevens



Choosing Happiness by Melissa Stevens
Publication date: July 21st 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance

Synopsis:

Jake and Andrea met once. When Andrea was in college, Jake came with her brother Ben who was visiting on leave from a deployment in Afghanistan. Now, years later, Jake gets a job in Ben’s home town to be close to his best friend. He hadn’t counted on Andrea. The attraction he’d felt then was still there. And this time he wasn’t headed back to a war zone where he could very well be killed.
Andrea is drawn to the man who calls Ben brother. Something about him speaks to her, but she’s not sure what. She falls into things head first, but when something makes her question how fast things are going she slams on the breaks. Can the two of them figure out what’s going on with them before it’s too late?



Excerpt
Later in the evening, after people started to leave, Jake asked Andrea to dance. It was a slow song and he had his arms around her. He leaned in until his lips brushed against her ear. "I'd like to take you home with me."
Andrea smiled. "I’d like to take you up on that but I need to stay, at least until Ben and Jeanie leave. I have to help Mom load the gifts. She's going to take them home and keep them for Ben and Jeanie until they get back."
"That's fine. I can hang around and help."
"That's really sweet of you, but you don't have to. I'm sure you have to be up early tomorrow."
"Actually, I'm off. There's nothing stopping me from staying out all night if I want."
"Well," her face heated. "I also don't want my family thinking I would pick someone up at my brother's wedding and go home with him." She looked down so he wouldn’t see her blush.
"No problem." He smiled against her ear. "I'll hang around and help. When we’re done we can leave separately and meet somewhere else. We can go to my place or we can go out for coffee. I don't know about you, but after all this," he motioned around them, where the flashing lights and loud music vibrated through their bodies. "I'm going to need to decompress for a bit before I'm anywhere near ready to sleep."
She looked up at him a moment, seeing his point. "What part of town do you live in?"
"The northwest side, why?"
"So I don't tell you to meet me someplace in the opposite direction." She fell silent for a few seconds as she thought about places that would be open when they finally got out of there. "In the Ranch district, that's what that side of town's called, I don’t know why. There's a Denny's on the corner of Maple and Waterson. You know where that is?"
He thought for just a second. "It's in the shopping center with Grant's Market isn't it?"
"Yeah, I think so. Let's meet there. We can have some coffee, eat something if we feel like it and unwind a little. Then, we can decide where to go from there."
"That works. I’ll look forward to it." He placed a gentle kiss on her ear.
The music ended and they made their way off the dance floor, each going separate ways. Jake went to Ben, Andrea saw them standing together talking while she made her way to her mother.
“How are things going?” She sat down beside Sophia.
“So far so good.” Sophia looked around the room, watching for anything that might need her attention.
“Where’s Dad.”
“He’s around here somewhere. I saw him over there talking to Eddie Cruz a little while ago.” She motioned to one side of the large room. “Is the car ready for Ben and Jeanie to leave?”
“I’m not sure. I’ll check on it.” Andrea went out to see if the car was ready. She smiled at the balloons attached to the top and trunk. She thought the groomsmen had decorated it well and let her mother know it was ready.
Less than an hour later they had loaded the newlyweds into the decorated rental car and sent them on their way with shouts of good luck and have fun. People started drifting away faster after the couple of honor were gone. Within an hour there were less than ten people left. Andrea started cleaning up, picking up the abandoned plates and cups scattered around the room and depositing them in a large trash can she dragged with her, until her mother made her stop.
"We'll get this done in the morning, dear," Sophia said "Let's just get the gifts loaded and call it a night."
Andrea looked around and seeing that all the plates of food were gone, she nodded. "Alright, Mom. Do you want to back the car up near the door? I think that will be easier than hauling them all the way out."
"Will you do that for me? I don't trust myself to back it in, not in the dark." Sophia held out the keys to her car.
"No problem." She accepted them and headed outside.
Between Andrea, her parents, Jake, and a couple other friends who had hung around to help, they made quick work of stacking the gifts into the back of Sophia's car.
Closing the trunk, Andrea turned to Sophia. "Do you want me to follow you home and help unload these?"
"No, I'm going to pull the car into the garage and not worry about unloading them until tomorrow. I think your father and I can manage it."
"All right." Andrea started to walk away but turned back. "What time do you want to meet here to finish the clean-up in the morning?"
"Not too early. I plan to sleep late tomorrow."
"So about nine?"
"That sounds good." Sophia agreed.
"I'll be here, too," Jake interrupted.
"You don't have to do that, dear." Sophia told him.
"But I do. I can't leave you two to do all the work. Those tables are heavy and you're not moving them by yourselves. Besides, Ben told me I could adopt his family and I won’t let you do all this work alone. You're just going to be stuck with me." He grinned, letting them know he was as serious as he was teasing.

Guest Post

I started writing almost six years ago after receiving an email about National Novel Writing Month, more commonly knowns as NaNoWriMo. I read the email that told about the international challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days and thought, “That’s insane,” and I threw the email away. But the seed had been planted. The idea wouldn’t leave me alone. And it haunted me night and day. I checked my trash bin, because I needed more information, but the email was gone. I finally had to google it. It didn’t take long before I was on the right website, taking in all the information they had to offer.
On November 1st I started writing, and I wrote and wrote and wrote, and low and behold I managed to finish the book, and get the 50k in 30 days. I was hooked. Over the next year I didn’t do much, we bought a house and moved and I had a preschool child still at home, that was all I could handle. Then in September I found a deal online for some bookshelves for the new house. I was talking to the woman who was selling them and she told me how she was trying to write and sell a book, I told her I’d written one but I hadn’t really tried to sell it. Let me tell you, that was embarrassing. Not that I’d written it but that I hadn’t done anything with it since. So I went home and started rewriting, then submitted it to a couple of small publishers. While I waited for responses, I plotted and did NaNoWriMo that year. I had a good portion of that book done, 65k, at the end of the month and I set it aside for the holidays.
During that break I started getting responses back on the first one, rejections… but there were a couple of really good rejections in there. How can a rejection be good you might wonder? Well, if the editor offers any kind of reasoning or advice, that’s a good rejection. You can learn from it. There were a couple of those in there... “I really like the <story, style, whatever> BUT… and while it’s not an acceptance, those buts can be really helpful if you choose to take the criticism constructively.
By the time I got these responses, I’d been over that first book about 8 times in just a couple months and I was done with it. I didn’t want to look at it again to fix it so I just set it aside and went to work finishing then rewriting the book I’d mostly written that November.
The next year (2011) I signed up to be my region’s Municipal Liaison for NaNaWriMo. What that means is I was the local front person trying to spread the word, gain participants and do events for the month. I loved it, but it was a lot of work. After 2011 I started writing all the time, not just in November. In the process of getting ready and finding people for NaNo 2011 I found a writing group that meets at my local library. They have been a godsend to me.
Because of my writing group I investigated and started self-publishing, my first book releasing in January of 2012. We had some major life issues that summer and I decided I just didn’t have the time to ML again, so I dropped it… but this year I’m back, with a friend from my writing group, and we’re doing it together. We’ve already scheduled “NaNoWriMo Prep classes” with 2 branches of our local library. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it
Oh, and how have I done in the last few years? My 8th book just came out and I have several more in different stages. 

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AUTHOR BIO:
Melissa was born and raised in Arizona, she's spent her entire life living across the southern half of the state. She's found that, along with her husband and three children, she prefers the small towns and rural life to feeling packed into a city.

She started reading at a very young age, and her love for series started early, as the first real books she remembers reading is the Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Through the years she's found that there's little she won't read, and her tastes vary from westerns, to romance, to sci-fi / fantasy and Horror.

She's been writing since 2009, and enjoys nearly every minute of it.

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