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Thursday, September 24, 2020

An Interview with Tiffanie DeBartolo

Check out this interview with author Tiffanie DeBartolo about her next book, Sorrow.  Sorrow will release on October 20, 2020. Look for my spoiler-free review.  I fell in love with Tiffanie's writing after reading How to Kill a Rock Star.  It's one of my all-time favorite books. 

Sorrow by Tiffanie DeBartolo

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55298100-sorrow

Pre-order Sorrow: 

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/33PIGVe

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2Ew3Dfx

Synopsis:

From Tiffanie DeBartolo, author of God Shaped Hole, How to Kill a Rock Star, and Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story, comes Sorrow, a poignant story about friendship and love, art and music, and how these pursuits can save us from ourselves.


Joe Harper has backpedaled throughout his life. A once-promising guitar prodigy, he’s been living without direction since abandoning his musical dreams. Now into his thirties, having retreated from every opportunity he’s had to level up, he has lost his family, his best friend, and his self-respect.


But Joe finds an unlikely path to redemption when he starts working as a carpenter for the bohemian conceptual artist October Danko. The job returns him to his hometown, loaded with bittersweet reminders of his former life, in the shadows of his beloved redwood trees. As Joe’s relationship with October develops, he yearns to take a daring step toward a bold future but struggles to escape the craven decisions of his past.


Sorrow is a stunning, moving novel that explores masculinity and suspended adolescence, all the while begging the questions: Can courage be learned? And is it ever too late to follow your heart?


An Interview with

Tiffanie DeBartolo

Tiffanie DeBartolo
  1. How have your own experiences influenced the novel’s setting and characters? 

I live in Mill Valley, the magical town where a majority of the novel takes place. I hike through the redwoods almost every day and find them just as inspiring as Joe and October do. I think a lot of the emotional core of the story, however, comes from my work in the music business. I’ve seen a number of talented musicians either abandon their dreams or sabotage them, usually because they’re full of fear and can’t get out of their own way. That kind of fear bleeds over into a person’s personal life. Moreover, in the past, I’ve certainly had the heartbreaking experience of being in love with someone who was too afraid to love me back, and that’s a big part of what “Sorrow” is about.   


2. Owning a record label, you have an established career in the music industry. How did that knowledge help when it came to crafting the plot and characters for the book?


My creative work always seems to begin with my love of and passion for music. Music informs everything I do. It has throughout my entire life, and throughout my writing career. I think many authors have themes that they return to again and again, because we have existential questions we’re trying to answer, and one of my themes is music and the powerful role that art plays in our lives. 


3. What challenges did you encounter writing your main character, Joe, from the male perspective? Are there things you would have done differently if you had decided to give that character a different gender?


To be honest, I expected it to be more challenging to write from the male perspective than it actually was. I originally began writing the book with October as the narrator, but I quickly realized that unless readers were seeing and feeling the world through Joe’s eyes, they weren’t going to understand him or empathize with him, so I switched to his POV. And my takeaway, after walking in his shoes for two years as I wrote this novel, was that men and women aren’t as different as society has conditioned us to believe we are. Deep down, we all want the same thing — love — and we’re all just trying to figure out how to overcome all the shit that holds us back from surrendering fully to that love.  


4. The famous redwoods of Northern California are a good example of how a book’s location can be a character in and of itself. Can you talk a bit about their significance and meaning throughout the novel? 


It’s interesting, because early in the writing process, I was struggling with discovering what made Joe tick, and I happened to run into a friend at the local coffee shop where I wrote a lot of the book (Equator Coffee, the same one Joe hangs out in!). My friend mentioned that he’d just read a beautiful book about redwood trees, and as we spoke about the trees for a while, something clicked in my head and heart. I was like, “That’s it! Joe! The trees!” I immediately read the book my friend was talking about, and Joe’s character blossomed into life. And, of course, the metaphor between Joe and the trees was so obvious and became a crucial component from that moment on. The more I learned about the trees, the more I learned about Joe. 


5. Let’s talk The National! The book was partially influenced by the band’s music — how did they inspire your writing, and are there any Easter eggs fans of the group can find in the book? 


OK, so despite the fact that The National have a song called “Sorrow” which is referenced in the book and obviously inspired the title, the song that planted the seed that grew into this story was “Pink Rabbits.” I remember listening to that song one day, hearing the line: “Somebody said you disappeared in a crowd/I didn’t understand then/I don’t understand now,” and my mind conjured up a scene at an outdoor concert venue, a man standing in the middle of the crowd beside the love of his life, everything about to fall into place, and for some reason he breaks, just walks away and doesn’t come back. That was the first scene I wrote, and obviously it developed into something more complex than that original idea, but the novel really grew around that nascent scene. As far as Easter eggs go, the homage to the “Pink Rabbits” song is the cocktail Joe makes in the scene where he and October talk in his apartment. Joe’s version is a little different than the traditional cocktail, and he calls it a Brown Recluse. There’s two more “Pink Rabbits” mentioned in the book, but I’ll let the fans find them on their own. 


6. What do you hope people take away from this book? 


These characters taught me a lot, and I hope people take away from this book what I took away. Namely, that it’s never too late to become a better version of yourself and that love and art can often be the portals to that becoming. 


7. As the 21st century seems to get bleaker by the minute, what would you say to someone who is convinced their best days are behind them and that they’re too old to act on their dreams?


I’ve been revisiting the work of Joseph Campbell a lot lately, so to quote him, I would say, “Follow your bliss.” It’s never too late for that. And it’s imperative to the experience of having a meaningful life. The past is gone and the future is only a possibility. All we have is this moment, and if you listen to your heart, if you take steps toward the life you desire to be living, if you just get on that path, that’s where you’ll find the truth of who you are. That’s where you’ll find joy. It’s not about success. It’s not about money. This is a spiritual quest we’re talking about. It’s everything. 



About Tiffanie 

Tiffanie grew up in Youngstown, Ohio where she insists there was nothing to do but read and listen to music. It is no surprise then that after graduating high school a year early to study philosophy at UC Berkeley, she became a writer and founded a record label.


Her previous works include God Shaped Hole (2002), How To Kill a Rock Star (2005), the graphic novel Grace: Based on the Jeff Buckley Story (2019), and the film Dream for an Insomniac (1996), which she wrote and directed.


Website: https://www.tiffaniedebartolo.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TiffanieDeBartoloAuthor/

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3i10jH1

Monday, September 21, 2020

Review: Beautifully Flawed by Laura Pavlov is LIVE!

Beautifully Flawed (Shine Design #2) by Laura Pavlov is LIVE! This contemporary romance is a standalone in the Shine Design series.  Check out my spoiler-free review below.  

Beautifully Flawed by Laura Pavlov
Title: Beautifully Flawed
Series: Shine Design #2

Author: Laura Pavlov

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 21, 2020


BLURB


Elle Fiore wants a prince on a white horse.

Maverick Wallace does not fit the description.

It doesn't matter they shared the best kiss of her life, or her friends think he walks on water...and his Greek-god looks have absolutely no effect on her whatsoever.

If only she can convince her heart he's not for her.


Maverick is happy with his free and easy no-strings lifestyle.

The last thing he wants or needs is someone complicated like Elle.

He doesn't do relationships or sleepovers.

She's beautiful, but a diva with a capital D.

 

But something magical happens whenever they're in a room together, whether they want it to or not.



GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54900705-beautifully-flawed 



PURCHASE LINKS


US: https://amzn.to/3cl5Iak
UK: https://amzn.to/3jtBlRw
CA: https://amzn.to/3hRflj7
AU: https://amzn.to/3jztimb 

B&N: https://bit.ly/2DhhCoG
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3cgM7YW


SPOILER-FREE REVIEW: 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Beautifully Flawed (Shine Design Series #2). There isn't anything thing flawed about this sweet and sexy romance from Laura Pavlov. Beautifully Flawed is about two beautifully imperfect people who make peace with their past and find happiness within themselves and each other. Elle is a spicy, southern sweetheart who works as an interior designer, and she lands a new high profile client, Jackson Wallace. Jackson is the San Francisco's Forty-Niners Quarterback and is a serial dater. Jackson isn't the knight in shining armor that Elle wants in her life. He treated her like garbage at a mutual friend's wedding. Elle isn't the forgive and forget type. As Elle and Jackson work together, their combustible attraction might catch cause the house they are remodeling together to catch fire. Jackson will either score a touchdown with Elle's heart or make a bad play and end up on the bench. This feel-good, sweet, and saucy romance is one-click worthy! I love Laura's characters and writing style. 


EXCERPT


"Get your mangy mutt off me.” She covered her mouth with her hand to keep Daisy’s urgent kisses away.

Hell, he couldn’t help but laugh, of course the spicy Southern prima donna disliked dogs. And who the hell wore white dress slacks, a white blousy tank top, and high heels to Lake Tahoe? It was like wearing a wedding dress to a campground. He doubted the little princess was one with nature.

“Daisy.” He used a stern voice, which got her attention. Not the bitchy one on her back, but the non-human bitchy one who couldn’t stop wagging her tail. His pup moved obediently to his side, and Maverick reached for Elle’s hand to help her up.

“Why are you smiling?” she hissed. He pulled her to her feet, and she tore her hand away as if the mere contact burned her. 

She dramatically brushed dirt from her pants. 

“You all right, Peaches?”

“I’m fine, and you best call me by my name, seeing as I’m here for professional reasons.” She stood straight, face flushed. “And why haven’t you trained your beast of a dog? He probably ruined my outfit.”

“She’s a girl and just a pup. Still gets a little excited when people come over, but I will tell you, not the wisest move to wear all white in Tahoe. 

It’s kind of an outdoorsy place, you know? I hope you brought other clothes, for your sake.” He scanned her from head to toe. So fun to look at. A gorgeous pain in the ass. 



ALSO AVAILABLE 


#1 Beautifully Damaged


US: https://amzn.to/3hPviFU

UK: https://amzn.to/2XoL5RR 

CA: https://amzn.to/2FTbpxj 

AU: https://amzn.to/2LzFuFX 

B&N: http://bit.ly/2YyN47d 

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3hPvAfY



AUTHOR BIO


Laura Pavlov writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance that will make you both laugh and cry. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, mom to two awesome almost-grown kids, and dog-whisperer to a couple crazy yorkies. Laura resides in Las Vegas where she is living her own happily ever after.   



AUTHOR LINKS


Website: https://www.laurapavlov.com 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/laurapavlov 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraPavlovAuthor 

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2464715543785142 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laurapavlovauthor 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6569734.Laura_Pavlov 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/laura-pavlov 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Pavlov/e/B07T26ZJS1 

New Review: The Devil's Crown by Monica James

The Devil's Crown (Book 2) by Monica James is LIVE!  You don't want to miss the final book in this dark romance mafia series.  This is the final book in the All The Pretty Things spin-off series.  Check out my spoiler-free review below.


The Devil's Crown by Monica James Image
THE DEVIL’S CROWN  (Book 2)

Monica James 

The Devil’s Crown-Part Two 

Series: All the Pretty Things Trilogy Spin-Off 

Genre: Dark Romance 

Cover Model: Frankie

Photographer: Ren Saliba @rensaliba

Cover Designer: Sommer Stein—Perfect Pear Creative Covers 


Release date: September 21st


With the enemy dead, my throne awaits my return. But the reason I’m still standing is being held captive by another foe.

I’ll move heaven and hell to find her, but when I do, everything changes forever. Ella is broken, broken because of me.

The only way to save her is to return to the ruthless leader I once was.

A war has been waged, and to win, I need to kill every last traitor and rebuild my kingdom to make her feel safe once more.

However, this war is like no other. And my enemy won’t stop until one of us is dead. But he doesn’t stand a chance. None of them do.

I’m a bad man. And I’m okay with that.

This is my world.

My rules.

I’m the goddamn king, and it’s time to adjust my crown.



Download your copy NOW:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35QWr8Z

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2RNcqwE

Nook: https://tinyurl.com/y5rrlfd4

Kobo: https://fave.co/3iQUGwe

Goodreads: https://tinyurl.com/y6qzxwwu

BookBub: https://tinyurl.com/y22gqe75


UK Kindle: https://tinyurl.com/y3cb54ve

Australia Kindle: https://tinyurl.com/yxjpx53s

Canada Kindle: https://tinyurl.com/y32d4yj6


Read The Devils Crown (Book 1) FIRST:

https://amzn.to/3iQAj2d


All the Pretty Things Series:

Bad Saint - https://amzn.to/3iQApXD

Fallen Saint - https://amzn.to/2RHVtDP

Forever My Saint - https://amzn.to/3cgtg0l


Spoiler-free review: The Devil's Crown (Book 2) 5 out of 5 Stars! 

Ready to play some Russian roulette with your heart? The Devils Crown 2 picks up right where the first book left off with Alek and Ella. This pulse-pounding, sexy mafia romance is equally dark and addictive. I don’t know how Monica did it, but she made Alek, the devilish anti-hero, into a likable monster with a heart of gold. Talk about redemption! Please try to read the whole series. You won’t feel lost if you pick up this spin-off series on its own. But to get the full picture and understand how the characters evolved, you should read The Pretty Things trilogy before The Devils Crown duet. This all-consuming, dark, and twisted romantic suspense is total Kindle Crack!


Bio

Monica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson.

When she is not writing, Monica is busy running her own business, but she always finds a balance between the two. She enjoys writing honest, heartfelt, and turbulent stories, hoping to leave an imprint on her readers. She draws her inspiration from life. 

She is a bestselling author in the U.S.A., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, and the U.K.

Monica James resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her wonderful family, and menagerie of animals. She is slightly obsessed with cats, chucks, and lip gloss, and secretly wishes she was a ninja on the weekends. 



Stalk Me

Website: authormonicajames.com

Facebook: facebook.com/authormonicajames

Twitter: twitter.com/monicajames81

Goodreads: goodreads.com/MonicaJames

Instagram: instagram.com/authormonicajames

Pinterest: .pinterest.com/monicajames81

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2E3eCIw

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2EWZSyS

Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2nUaRyi


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Playing with Fire by L.J. Shen is LIVE

“Clear off a top spot on your Best of 2020 list. 
Playing with Fire is coming in HOT!”
--Harloe Rae, USA Today bestselling author

LJ Shen Books
Playing With Fire, an all-new intense and all-consuming small town standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!  Check out my spoiler-free review below.  Read this book for FREE using Amazon's Kindle Unlimited! 


Synopsis: 
A broken boy on the path to destruction.
A scarred girl without direction.
A love story carved in secrets, inked with pain and sealed with a lie.

Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.
She is the strange girl from the food truck.
He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.
She is invisible to the world.
He is the town’s beloved bad boy.
She is a reject.
He is trouble.
When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or tragic ending.
But the harder she pushes him away, the more he pulls her out of her shell.
Grace doesn’t know much about anything beyond her town’s limits, but she does know this:
She is falling in love with the hottest guy in Sheridan U.
And when you play with fire—you ought to get burned.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/PWFLJShen
Add to PLAYING WITH FIRE to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/MDVljgr 

Review of Playing with Fire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My heart is on fire after reading Playing with Fire by L.J. Shen. Two broken souls come together and ignite each other’s hearts in this unputdownable and empowering story. I loved Grace and West, and their journey through the ashes to find each other.  This book will be on my top 2020 book list.

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About L.J. Shen
L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries. 

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Connect with L.J. Shen
Stay up to date with L.J. Shen by signing up for her mailing list:


Thursday, September 3, 2020

New Book Review: EVIL LOVE by Ella Fields

EVIL LOVE by Ella Fields is live!  Check out my spoiler-free review of the enemies-to-lovers bully romance. You can read it for FREE using Amazon's Kindle Unlimited!
Evil Love by Ella Fields Image
AVAILABLE NOW!!
FREE in Kindle Unlimited!


Add to Goodreads:


Blurb:
There was a time Jude Delouxe didn’t hate me, and I’m fairly certain it was when he didn’t know I existed.

Senior year, I finally caught his eye long enough to throw word vomit at him like the obsessed teenage girl I was.

That was then.

You see, the most wanted guy in school blamed me for losing his second chance with his girlfriend. Ex-girlfriend? Whatever. Point is, the Adonis loved to hate me.

It wasn’t my fault he’d followed me. It wasn’t my fault he’d stared too long and stood a little too close, just daring me to accomplish my wildest dreams.

And it most certainly wasn’t my fault his ex-girlfriend arrived when he’d decided to kiss me back.

Then the cruelty began. I’d thought I could handle it, so long as his lips kept gracing mine and he kept giving me more scorching firsts.

Until he took it too far, and all his carefully kept secrets blew open the doors to a brand new world. A world he was all too familiar with. 


Obsession became loathing and fear replaced naivety as Jude was forced to hold my hand and help me navigate a secret society rife with sin and debauchery—the crème de la crème of Peridot Island.

If I wasn’t careful, I’d do more than lose what remained of my heart. My first love and greatest foe wouldn’t be satisfied until he’d devoured my soul, too. 

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW: 
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
4.5 - 5.0 Evil Love by Ella Fields is one hell of a badass bully romance. The title says it all. THIS is an Evil Love story.

We meet Fern, a sheltered high school student who is obsessed with her classmate and neighbor, Jude. Jude is the school's untouchable golden boy. Fern's maddening obsession with the cocky prick turns into a heartbreaking and dysfunctional relationship that plays out in front of the school and a secret society. This delightful dysfunctional enemies-to-lovers romance will make you want to throw your Kindle a few times. I don't know how Ella did it, but she made the craziest and most fiendish characters into ones that are likable. Evil Love is the first book in the Nightingale series of standalones, and I can't wait to read Wicked Want (Nightingale #2)  One-click worthy! 



About the Author:
Ella Fields is a mother and wife who lives in Australia.   

While her kids are in school, you might find her talking about her characters to her cat and dog.  

She’s a notorious chocolate and notebook hoarder who enjoys creating hard-won happily ever afters.


Connect w/Ella:

Monday, August 31, 2020

NEW RELEASE REVIEW: The Anti-Boyfriend by Penelope Ward

The Anti-Boyfriend by Penelope Ward is LIVE on all platforms and a BEST SELLER on Amazon right now!   Did you guys buy it yet? FYI... the price is currently $3.99 and will go up to $4.99 soon and will stay at this permanent price.   Check out my spoiler-free review below! 

Best-sellers rank #3 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
#1 in Contemporary Romance Fiction
#2 in Contemporary Romance (Kindle Store)
#2 in Contemporary Romance (Books)

Romance Books


Title: The Anti-Boyfriend
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 31, 2020

BLURB

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

At first, my neighbor Deacon frustrated me.

Sure, he was great-looking and friendly.

But our walls were thin, and on occasion, he’d bring women to his place and keep me awake while he “entertained” them.

As a single mother to an infant, I didn’t appreciate it.

So, finally it was my turn. 

When my daughter wouldn’t stop wailing one night, Mr. Manwhore came knocking on my door.
Miraculously, at the sound of his voice, Sunny stopped crying. And when he held her…she eventually fell asleep in his arms.

Deacon was rough on the exterior, but apparently on the inside? Mr. Single-and-Ready-to-Mingle was a baby whisperer.

After that night, we became friends.

He’d go for coffee runs. Come over to chat. Normal friend stuff.

But over time, our conversations ran deeper. We got closer.

Until one night we crossed the line.

Our friendship turned into a complicated mess.

I’d gone and fallen for a guy who’d sworn off commitment and kids.

I knew Deacon was starting to care for me too, even though Sunny and I didn’t fit into any plan he’d ever imagined for himself.

He was wrong for me—so wrong that I’d dubbed him the “anti-boyfriend.”

Then why did I wish more than anything that I could be the one woman to change him?




PURCHASE LINKS
Apple Books    https://bit.ly/theantiboyfriend
Google Play  https://bit.ly/3hreFkw

Review of The Anti-Boyfriend
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
OMG, What did you do to my heart, Penelope Ward?! I just finished The Anti-Boyfriend, and I literally could have posted a selfie of my teary eyes. My heart sustained a swift kick in the feels while reading this book. This friends-to-lovers romance is everything—sexy, sweet, and unputdownable. My book-loving heart fell hard for Deacon! I thought I knew how this story would play out UNTIL I DIDN'T! I LOVE Penelope's books, but this book was special and unique. Penelope brought her A-game and scored a top spot on my best of 2020 book list! 


AUTHOR BIO
author photos

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism. With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in
bookstores around the world.

AUTHOR LINKS

OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD

Just One Year


The Day He Came Back


When August Ends

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3aGl1cU

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