RELEASE DAY EXCERPT: Stone Cold Touch (Dark Elements #2)


It's finally here! STONE COLD TOUCH, the sequel to Jennifer L. Armentrout's White Hot Kiss, releases today, and you need to get it NOW. Why? Because you have the power to shape Layla's fate in the final book in the Dark Elements series, but only if you act quickly. Read on for an excerpt from Stone Cold Touch, enter the giveaway, and then go vote!

Stone Cold Touch (Dark Elements #2), by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published October 21, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: young adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

(Synopsis) Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…


Excerpt

I’d remained in bed after that, trying to sort through the odd tingling in my chest. There was a slight smile on my lips, because Zayne…well, he’d made my day, but then I’d remember what Roth had said to me the night before and the smile would wash away as if it had never been there.

I probably needed to get used to the whiplash mood swings.

It wasn’t until after dinner that I decided to scrub a day’s worth of gunk off myself.Gingerly, I peeled the bandage off, happy to find that the cut in my arm was healing as expected. I didn’t need to cover it anymore. The arm was still tender, but the Warden blood in me was quickly undoing the damage from the iron.

After changing into fresh pj’s, like a total hermit, I padded over to my desk, where I’d left my cell phone. It had been on silent all day and when I tapped the screen, I wasn’t surprised to see a slew of texts from Stacey.
Where r u?

R u skipping, u ho?


A minute later: Y
our locker misses u. Guess u sick with the herp?

Oh my God. I laughed out loud, grinning as I thumbed through her texts.
Our bio sub is still hot. U r missing this.

Bio is lonely.

My boobs miss u. How weird is that?

That was notably weird and yet not surprising.

If I get my cell taken from me, it’s ur fault.

Holy shit, Layla, where r u?!?


Air punched out of my lungs as I read the next text and the several following them.
U have no idea who just walked into bio!!!

Roth is here!

Holy Canola oil, why aren’t u here to witness this?

Ok. He says he had mono. Srlsy? Do people still get mono? And who in the duck was he kissing? A second later—Duck? I didn’t mean duck. That’s SO not what I meant, autocorrect.

Another text had come in about fifteen minutes after the last one.
He asked where u were. I told him u joined a cult. I laughed. He didn’t.

Finally, the last text was to call her if I wasn’t dead.

“What in the Hell?” I tossed my cell onto the bed, mouth hanging open.

Make Your Choice



Roth vs. Zayne:

And don't forget! The choice is yours...

Beginning today you’ll have 3 weeks to visit the series website, www.thedarkelementsseries.com, to take a poll and decide which guy Layla should ultimately choose in the final book in the trilogy, Every Last Breath.
At the end of 3 weeks, we will tally all the votes, and that’s when Jennifer L. Armentrout will start writing Every Last Breath. The guy who gets the most votes is the one Layla will pick.

To prevent early spoilers, we're not going to reveal who won the poll in advance…you’ll have to wait until Every Last Breath goes on sale on July 28th, 2015 to find out whether Zayne or Roth wins Layla in the end. We promise the book will be epic and definitely worth the wait!

Who do you want Layla to end up with? Go to www.thedarkelementsseries.com and vote for your choice! 

About the Author

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

RELEASE DAY EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Rowdy (Marked Men #5)


Jay Crownover is back with another book in her Marked Men series! I love this series so much, and am so excited to help announce the release of ROWDY.

Rowdy (Marked Men #5), by Jay Crownover
Published October 21, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iBooks

(Synopsis) After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister.

Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good.



Excerpt

WHEN I PUT THE key he had given me in the door to his apartment it felt like the end of a long journey. Really it was only a little over twelve hours and I had stopped to nap once along the way, but it still felt like too long since I had seen his face or been able to touch all that toned and tattooed skin. Jimbo greeted me at the door when I pushed it open. His tongue lolled out of his mouth and he jumped up and put his paws on my legs. He was going to be huge when he finally grew into his fuzzy body and I was overwhelmed at how happy I was to see him. I dropped to my knees and rubbed my face in his neck as he licked me all over my face. I was obviously missed and I had to say it was just one more reason I knew I was finally where I was supposed to be. It was late, so the apartment was dark.

 I checked the dog’s food and water, trying to be quiet in case Rowdy was already asleep. I was winding my way toward his bedroom when a haphazardly discarded sketch pad lying on the couch caught my eye in the dim light. I paused for a minute to pick it up and felt my heart stop and then start to race as I flipped through the first few pages. There were a couple of drawings that were obviously for clients, tattoos that hadn’t made it from paper to skin yet, but most of the pristine white pages were covered with images wearing my face. There was mermaid me, and naughty- sailor- girl me. There was sassy Indian girl me with long Pocahontas braids and there was sexy devil me standing next to angelic me. There were dozens of them all in different shapes and sizes, but every single image was undoubtedly modeled after my distinct look. I wasn’t sure if he had drawn them all over this last week while I had been gone or over the months we had been chasing each other in circles.

Either way it made my heart swell and the full certainty that I was it for him settle deep inside my bones. I set the pad down and tiptoed through the hall. Jimbo took one look at where I was going and huffed out a disgusted- sounding snort. The poor guy had learned early on that he wanted no part of what happened between his humans when they were together in the bedroom. The light was off and Rowdy was sprawled on his stomach across the covers. His blond hair was sticking up every- where and he hand one arm bent up under his head. The only thing that could have made the sight better would have been if he hadn’t bothered with the black boxers before crashing out.

Even with them obscuring the view, I couldn’t complain. I let out a breathless sigh and crept closer so that I could lean over and touch my lips to that anchor on the side of his neck. I felt his pulse leap and tasted the salt on his skin as he murmured sleepily and rolled over onto his back. Those infinitely blue eyes glowed at me in the dark as a grin pulled up the corner of his mouth.

“Hey.”

About the Author

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point in a new series this last summer starting with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.




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NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Promise Me This (Between Breaths #4)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Promise Me This (Between Breaths #4), by Christina Lee
Published October 7, 2014
Publisher: Intermix/NAL Trade
Format: e-book, obtained from the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
 

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Nate has developed quite a playboy reputation around campus. It's not that he doesn't respect or trust women; he doesn't trust himself. The men in Nate’s family are prone to abusive behavior—a dirty secret that Nate’s been running from his entire life—so Nate doesn't do relationships. But he can’t help himself around one girl…

Jessie is strong, independent, and works at a tattoo parlor. Nate can’t resist getting close to her, even if it’s strictly a friendship. But it doesn't take long for Nate to admit that what he wants with Jessie is more than just friendly.

With Jessie, he can be himself and explore what he’s always felt was a terrifying darkness inside him. Even when Nate begins to crave her in a way that both shocks and horrifies him, Jessie still wants to know every part of him. Testing their boundaries together will take a trust that could render them inseparable… or tear them apart.


I've decided that everyone needs a little Nate in their lives. A man who is outwardly the pretty, charming boy, but inwardly, he's a closet bad boy. That's a change of pace, right? Nate single-handedly made Promise Me This the best book in Christina Lee's Between Breaths series yet. 

Nate comes from an abusive father. His brother is already showing signs of being just like him, and Nate is determined to not let the other men in his life define him. But, the fact is, Nate is sometimes prone to a little violence himself. Granted, it's usually in the bedroom, and it's of the sexy nature, but to Nate, it's all black and white. Violence is violence, and it has no place in his life. Except, then Nate has a chance to be with Jessie, a girl he's crushed on for a long time. And, Jessie's not exactly a shy violet. As she starts to bring out those parts of Nate he'd rather keep hidden, he has to decide whether he's capable of showing her it all.

I can't imagine growing up with a father like Nate's. He beat his wife within an inch of her life, and even took a few turns at his two sons from time to time. Having a dad like that would absolutely shape the man a boy becomes. So, the fact that Nate is as sweet and chivalrous as he is is a bloomin' miracle. He's made it his life's mission to not grow up to become his dad and to eventually save his mom. Somehow, Nate has translated that into tramping down every urge he has to rough somebody up - whether it be in anger or in passion. And, that's so sad. Because those emotions - anger and passion - mean you can feel and that you're alive. As a result, Nate is practically dead inside. 

And then there's Jessie. She's artistic and creative and she brings a beacon of light to Nate's drab existence. She's had her own problems in life, but somehow Jessie has become comfortable in her own skin. And, that example is exactly what Nate needs. On an impromptu trip to Nate's old neighborhood, Jessie starts to chip away at Nate's carefully constructed composure. Because, she likes the rough stuff when it's done for fun. And, Jessie becomes determined to show him the difference, and that sometimes it's okay to unleash his inner beast. 

I felt so badly for Nate. I get why he didn't know the difference. And, I also get why he was so scared to discover the difference. The burning desire to be as unlike his father as possible is what made me love this character so much. And, Jessie's persistence and reluctance to quit made me love her. Jessie and Nate were so perfect for one another. Nate found his perfect match - the girl who challenges him and loves him unconditionally. She loves all of him - even his wild side. ESPECIALLY his wild side. 

Promise Me This was told in dual POV, and thank goodness for that. Getting inside Nate's head was imperative for this story, I think. The chemistry and passion between Jessie and Nate was off the hook, and it was the perfect complement to the story. Of all the characters we've met in the Between Breaths series so far, these two were my favorite.     

FOOTBALL FRIDAY & GIVEAWAY: Meet Dylan from All Broke Down


It's time again for Football Friday! This week, I get to introduce you to Dylan Brenner - activist, and all-around good girl.


Dylan is a lover of lost causes and tough projects. She is a good little girl who is used to doing what her parents tell her to. She dated a lukewarm boy, and the only time she ever acted out was when she and her BFF Matt decided to take up an impossible cause. Dylan really needed to get a little dirty.


Then Dylan meets Silas. In jail, no less. And Silas sees in her an opportunity to better himself. Like, being in her company, her goodness will somehow rub off on him. Funny thing is, Dylan seems to carpe diem too, and she allows Silas to tarnish her sparkly sweetness just a little bit.


I can't wait for you to meet Dylan Brenner! Learn more about her today on Cora Carmack's website.

All Broke Down (Rusk University #2), by Cora Carmack
To Be Published October 28, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

(Synopsis) Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.


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REVIEW: Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassins #3)

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassins #3), by Robin LaFevers
To Be Published November 4, 2014
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Format: ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: young adult historical romance/fantasy
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
 

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has...


We've seen Ismae and Sybella go through their training at the convent of Mortain. We've seen them go out on assignments to assassinate those who've wronged their Duchess. We've seen them fall in love and come to the realization that their abbess doesn't always know best. All the while, Annith has been sitting by, waiting for her turn to prove herself. In Mortal Heart, Annith gets her chance, but it comes in very unexpected ways. 

When the abbess tells Annith that she is to be the convent's next Seeress, Annith knows it's not her true destiny. So, she sets out on a solo journey to find out what exactly her destiny is. While her journey starts out solo, it doesn't stay that way for long, as she is joined by Mortain's own hellequin, led by the enigmatic Balthazar. While Annith tries to get a handle on her feelings for him, she continues to puzzle out the abbess' true motives and how they relate to her past. After reuniting with Ismae and Sybella, Annith's skills as a trained killer are put to the test as Brittany is surrounded by the French in the final stand-off. 

Throughout the whole of Mortal Heart, we experience Annith's crisis of identity right along with her. She has so many doubts. I can't imagine being brought up to believe one thing, and then having those beliefs shaken to the core like they are for Annith. It's a testament to her strength that she presses on for answers. 

Speaking of answers, we get lots of them in Mortal Heart. Answers to questions we didn't even know we had. As it turns out, Annith's curious past is full of lies and deceit. She's the only one of Mortain's daughters that came to the convent as a tiny baby. She was raised on that island. She had the most years of training. And, yet, she was never sent out on an assignment. Why? What are the abbess' true motives regarding Annith? How did she come to the convent in the first place? All the answers are here, and some of them blew me away. 

Mortal Heart is a big book - 449 pages. A lot happens in those many pages. Annith discovers the secrets of her childhood. And, yes - like Ismae and Sybella, she falls in love with a dynamic and powerful man. Her romance with Balthazar was the absolute best part of this book. She denies her feelings for so long, but it's so obvious how both of them feel about each other. Their dance around each other was sweet. 

Like the other books in this series, there is a fair amount of action in Mortal Heart. Annith is good with her bow, and she has plenty of chances to use it. There's also a lot of political maneuvering and plotting as Anne and her council try and find a peaceful way out of the mess in which they're in. We see the continuation of Ismae's and Duval's story and Sybella's and Beast's story, which is satisfying. I love those two couples as much as I now love Annith and Balthazar. It's awesome to see all of them interacting with one another. In a different place and time, they would all be having picnics at one another's house. 

Mortal Heart was an incredible ending to an incredible series. Balthazar was my favorite hero of the three. I was captured in the pages of this book, and every time I had to put it down, I was thinking of when I could pick it back up again. Balthazar's character, Annith's bravery and the culmination of all the actions in the first two books made this book a forever favorite. 

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Alex (Cold Fury #1)


Sawyer Bennett is one of my one-click authors. It doesn't really matter what she writes. If it has her name on it, I'll buy it. Welcome to the blog tour for ALEX, the first book in her newest Cold Fury series, organized by AToMR Tours. Read on for my review, and enter the incredibly cool giveaway at the end!

Alex (Cold Fury #1), by Sawyer Bennett
Published October 14, 2014
Publisher: Loveswept
Format: e-ARC, provided by NetGalley
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
 

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.

As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people—like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries—and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy fa├žade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.


I loved ALEX. Alexander Crossman was definitely a jerk, which is one of my favorite sorts of heroes. Their upbringing shaped them into the asshats they are now, and all it takes is one woman to change everything. That's my kind of story. 

Alex Crossman is the Carolina Cold Fury's star player. The MVP - Most Valuable Prick. He might be an amazing player, but he hates the game, and it shows. He's nasty to fans, his team mates, and the bossmen. When he pisses off one too many people, those who sign his checks decide Alex needs an attitude adjustment. So, they assign him community service under the guidance of Sutton Price. At first he thinks she'll be an easy conquest, but it doesn't take long for Alex to realize that there's much more to Sutton than what he originally thought. 

Alex really was pretty awful in the beginning. His father abused him as a child, and that contributes to his feelings about the game of hockey. It's so sad, because you could tell he loved to play once upon a time, but he's come to associate hockey with pain and misery, so it's just not fun for him. Alex is searching for something he thinks doesn't exist - someone who would love and care for him unconditionally and completely. So, he fills his time off the ice with meaningless things, and on the ice, he's so miserable, it manifests in his reactions to both praise and criticism.

Despite Alex's awful attitude, it doesn't actually take much for him to start to soften. It's like, he was just waiting for the right people to come along and take a genuine interest in him. And once those people came along, he opened up and became a different guy. Sutton was the first person to have an affect on Alex. She didn't take his crap, and she didn't get offended very easily by his rough demeanor. She presses him for details about his childhood, and while he hates that at first, it turns out to be exactly what he needs. 

Garrett, the newest Cold Fury team member, is the other person to come into Alex's life at just the right moment. He doesn't know that Alex prefers to be left alone, and Garrett is a force to be reckoned with, so he just blows in and gets in Alex's space whether he wants him to or not. Between Sutton and Garrett, Alex is taken far outside of his comfort zone, and that is what begins the remaking of Alexander Crossman. 

It doesn't seem to take him long to fall in love with Sutton, but it does take him a long time to admit that to himself. Despite Alex's crankiness, the man is actually quite sweet and romantic. There's this part at the end... well, you'll have to read it for yourself, but trust me when I say, it may be one of the sweetest, most romantic book scenes I've ever read. I actually read it three times, it was that perfect. 

There's a lot about redemption in ALEX. Alex, his brother, his father, and even Sutton all have a lot to feel guilty about, even though some of that guilt is sorely misplaced. Knowing when it's time to let that go so that you can really start to live is hard for Alex, but with Sutton's influence, he starts to get it all figured out. Not without a few false starts, though, of course.

I'm so excited for this series. If the second book - Garrett - is anything like Alex, I'm sure to love it. Alex was sweet and steamy and angsty and frustrating. All good things. I can't wait to read more. 

About the Author

USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.





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Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

It's that time of year again!


I always pick a creature to feature for this giveaway. Two years ago, it was vampires. Last year it was ghosts. This year is the year of the undead.

ZOMBIES

I'll give one international winner any book of their choice from The Book Depository, as long as it features zombies or zombie-esque creatures in some way. Need some inspiration?






There are SO many more! How will you ever choose?

You know what to do. Fill out the Rafflecopter, and then visit the next blog on the list for more chances to win awesome books!

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