Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Review: Forever for a Year by B.T. Gottfred

Forever for a Year by B.T. Gottfred
Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co

When Carolina and Trevor meet on their first day of school, something draws them to each other.  They gradually share first kisses, first touches, first sexual experiences.  When they’re together, nothing else matters. But one of them will make a choice, and the other a mistake, that will break what they thought was unbreakable. Both will wish that they could fall in love again for the first time . . . but first love, by definition, can’t happen twice.

Told in Carolina and Trevor's alternating voices, this is an up-close-and-personal story of two teenagers falling in love for the first time, and discovering it might not last forever

Forever for a Year by B.T. Gottfred is a story of first love and finding yourself. The story is told by alternating point of views between Carolina and Trevor. Trevor acted his age about half the time, but Carolina acted much younger than a Freshman in high school. The characters followed all the teenage stereotypes closely. Their thoughts and inner voices are repetitive, they have no common sense, and they rarely use condoms. They listen to bad advice from people who are clearly not their friends. They make obviously bad choices. They have no parental supervision, and what little they have is by incompetent parents. Then you have the shallow mean girl who turns into a deep(possibly high) and friendly person then disappears. What? ... I mean, yes, all these things happen in high school. They're stereotypes for a reason, but it felt like every teenage stereotype was put into these characters and amplified by three, and that's simply not realistic. Plus, what teenage male is going to talk to their mother about not being able to give their girlfriend an orgasm? See? Not realistic. I don't know. Maybe that was the whole point of the book. If it was, I clearly missed it.

Everything is so dramatic when you're younger. The world can begin, end, and begin again all in one day. Also, you could really see and relate to the insecurities Carolina and Trevor had of themselves and each other. The author succeeded in capturing these aspects of teenage life and thinking.

Forever for a Year by B.T. Gottfred was kindly provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.

And… yeah… I’m crazy but can pretend really, really well I’m not. Sort of what I feel about everybody. (Except for the people who can’t pretend they’re not crazy. You know who you are. Actually, never mind, you probably don’t.)

Anyway, here’s some stuff I’ve done to help me feign sanity:

Wrote and directed the play, “Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A**holes” that has played over four years in Los Angeles and Chicago and just made its Off Broadway premiere at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre. Los Angeles Times said: “Seldom have I been a part of a more enthusiastic and vocal audience. Brad T Gottfred’s play about young couples stumbling through the minefield of codependency taps a universal nerve.”

Wrote, directed, and executive produced the feature film “The Movie Hero” which played at over 20 film festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards including First Prize at the Rhode Island Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival.

My first play, “Marry, F**K, Or Kill” was called “a guilty pleasure for veterans of the single life” by the Los Angeles Times. It went on to an Off Broadway premiere in the fall of 2011.

First web series “Sex and Love Conspire to Destroy the World” was released by MyDamnChannel in 2013.

My first-ish novel, “Forever for a Year”, was released in July 2015 by Macmillan/Holt.

To learn more about B.T. Gottfred and his books, visit his blog.You can also find him on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Review & Excerpt of The Bride Wore Denim by Lizbeth Selvig, Plus Author Interview!

The Bride Wore Denim (Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys #1) 
by Lizbeth Selvig
Genre: Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Avon Impulse

When Harper Lee Crockett returns home to Paradise Ranch, Wyoming, the last thing she expects is to fall head-over-heels in lust for Cole, childhood neighbor and her older sister's long-time boyfriend. The spirited and artistic Crockett sister has finally learned to resist her craziest impulses, but this latest trip home and Cole's rough-and-tough appeal might be too much for her fading self-control.

Cole Wainwright has long been fascinated by the sister who's always stood out from the crowd. His relationship with Amelia, the eldest Crockett sister, isn't as perfect as it seems, and with Harper back in town, he sees everything he's been missing. Cole knows they have no future together—he's tied to the land and she's created a successful life in the big city—but neither of them can escape their growing attraction or inconvenient feelings.

As Harper struggles to come to grips with new family responsibilities and her forbidden feelings for Cole, she must decide whether to listen to her head or to give her heart what it wants.

The Bride Wore Denim is the first book in The Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys series by Lizbeth Selvig, Harper and Cole have known each other since they were children,but Cole was of limits as he dated Harper's sister Amelia... Sister code and all. For various reasons, Harper left home after high school to find herself as an artist, but due to a death in the family, she's back and the family farm is in trouble. With her family, including six sisters, Harper and Cole are responsible for the fate of the farm. I loved how easily Harper and Cole get back into their friendship. I think they have a common goal in regards to the farm, but they butt heads about how to go about getting it done. The whole family is in disagreement. Add in some close calls and an accident or two and it seems all is lost. The feeling of family felt real within this book... both good and bad. It wasn't all warm and fuzzy. They have issues to work through. I loved Skylar. I really hope she's one of the Seven Brides in future books in this series. I'm excited for more in general. In already attached to this family.

The ARC of The Bride Wore Denim by Lizbeth Selvig was kindly provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.

Another lucky grab garnered her a little Australorp who was returned, protesting, to the yard.

Glancing around once more to check the empty, rainy yard, Harper squatted back under the eaves of the pretty, yellow chicken mansion and let the half dozen chickens settle again. These were not her mother’s fowl. These were her father’s “girls”—creatures who’d sometimes received more warmth than the human females he’d raised.

Good memories tried to flee in the wake of her petty thoughts, and she grabbed them back. Of course her father had loved his daughters. He’d just never been good at showing it. There’d been plenty of good times.

Rain pittered in a slow, steady rhythm over the lawn and against the coop’s gingerbread scrollwork. It pattered into the genuine, petunia-filled, window boxes on their actual multi-paned windows. Inside, the chickens enjoyed oak-trimmed nesting boxes, two flights of ladders, and chicken-themed artwork. Behind the over-the-top manse stretched half an acre of safely-fenced running yard trimmed with white picket fencing. Why the idiot birds were shunning such luxury to go AWOL out here in the rain was beyond Harper—even if they had found the gate improperly latched.

Wiping rain from her face again, she concentrated like a cat stalking canaries and made three more successful lunges. Chicken wrangling was rarely about mad chasing and much more about patience. She smiled evilly at the remaining three criminals who now eyed her with concern.

“Might as well give yourselves up,” she called. “Your day on the lam is finished.”

She swooped toward a fluffy Cochin, a chicken breed normally known for its lazy friendliness, and the fat creature shocked her by feinting and then dodging. For the first time in this hunt,

Harper missed her chicken. A resulting belly-flop onto the grass forced a startled grunt from her throat, and she slid four inches through a puddle. Before she could let loose the mild curse that bubbled up to her tongue, the mortifying sound of clapping echoed through the rain.

“I give that a nine-point-five.”

A hot flash of awareness blazed through her stomach and lodged there manufacturing unwanted flutters.  She closed her eyes, fighting down the embarrassment that followed in their wake. She hadn’t yet found her voice when a large, sinewy male hand appeared in front of her, accompanied by rich, baritone laughter.  She groaned and reached for his fingers.

“Hello, Cole,” she said, resignation forcing her vocal chords to work as she let him help her gently but unceremoniously to her feet.

Cole Wainwright stood right in front of her, the knot of his tie hanging three inches down his white shirt front with the two buttons above it spread open. That left the tanned, corded skin of his neck at Harper’s eye level, and she swallowed. His brown-black hair was spiked and mussed, as if he’d just awoken, and his eyes sparkled in the rain like blue diamonds. She took a step back.

“Hullo, you,” he replied.

His grin, wide and warm and charming, hadn’t changed since they’d been kids. His pirate smile—the one that had been dorky when he’d been ten and she’d been eight and they, together with Harper’s five sisters, had been the only pirates who’d sought treasure on horseback rather than from a ship’s deck. Then she’d turned twelve and one day found she’d preferred being the captured princess to one of the crew, because that smile had no longer been dorky.

How long have you been writing?
I have been making up stories for as long as I remember. I used to tell myself stories in bed at night when I was as young as five. When I was about eleven or twelve I started writing what I guess could be called fan fiction about all my favorite rock stars—primarily Paul McCartney and Davy Jones and  Bobby Sherman (I have totally dated myself now).  Eventually I began making up my own characters and worked on lots of short stories. I submitted a few and started my first full-length novel while I was raising my kids. Then, during a three-year stay in Alaska, I got to be a “real” writer and get serious. In 2010 I won RWA’s Golden Heart award and I hope some day the rest will be history!

What inspired you to write The Bride Wore Denim?
This is proof that it sometimes takes a village to raise a book series! I needed a new idea to pitch once my first four books were finished, and I knew I wanted to keep some kind of a “horsey” theme and setting to my stories. What I originally came up with was a modern-day Bonanza starring sisters instead of brothers, complete with a giant ranch and a small nearby town. So were born Paradise Ranch and the little town of Wolf Paw Pass. My wonderful editor at Avon helped flesh out the idea, and my supremely gifted agent helped me hone the characters and their stories. I threw out the idea of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” almost as a joke, even though none of my heroes are brothers. With a little more tweaking, the Avon editors came up with the idea to make this a Brides series called “Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys.”  I have totally fallen in love with the idea and with every new character—and Harper and Cole, the stars of THE BRIDE WORE DENIM, are two of my favorites!

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
I have to say it’s Abby Stadtler from THE RANCHER AND THE ROCK STAR.  Abby is the me I want to be. She’s loyal and tries to find the best in people, she’s a great mom but doesn’t know how great, she works hard and is kind of a Jill-of-all-trades, and she’s wise about people—she understands them. She’s also naturally graceful and well spoken. Those are the qualities I wish were stronger in me. But Abby’s also stubborn, a little stuck in her own head, and slow to take constructive help. Those are the qualities I already possess. I feel a little like the kid who inherited all the bad genes!

What book have you read too many times to count?
I have a confession that might get me kicked out of the romance reading club. I rarely re-read books. My life is so often in such a serious time-crunch that I feel I barely have the time to read the books I want to read once. I have re-read a few LaVyrle Spencer novels and I’ve re-read all the Black Stallion novels from when I was young, but that’s about it. Sad, I know.  

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I have a 15-month-old granddaughter who is my equivalent to crack cocaine—I’m totally  addicted to her. I get to babysit several times a month and hang out often since she’s only twenty minutes away, so there’s no hope of the addiction clearing up anytime soon!  I also love to quilt and have a huge to-be-finished pile as well as plans for more quilts than I can make if I live to be a hundred. Finally, I have a horse—a gray Arabian gelding named Jedi. I love riding but don’t get to do it nearly often enough. I read, I work on and off at my daughter’s horse farm, and I love visiting my parents who are in their eighties but still young at heart!

Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I think people who know me find lots of “Hey, I know where you got that from” moments in my books. My first series is set in a fictional town near where I live in Minnesota, so all the places around that setting are real. Jill Carpenter, the heroine of my second book, RESCUED BY A STRANGER, is a three-day event rider and a vet student. My own daughter is an equine veterinarian and a three-day-event rider, so that’s the closest I’ve come to copying a living person. In my tiny town of Webster there is a wonderful mechanic named Dewey so I named the mechanic in THE RANCHER AND THE ROCK STAR Dewey as well, thinking he’d be a cameo role. To my surprise, Dewey showed up in all three first books, and I fell in love with him. He got his own story in GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK—and I had to go tell the real Dewey he now has a namesake. They’re nothing alike—but he was pleased. In the new series, Harper in DENIM has my ability to dwell on a problem and hope it will get fixed by someone else until she has no choice but to solve it herself. The other sisters have little pieces of me, too. You could say I’m discovering I have slight multiple personality syndrome!

Lizbeth Selvig writes fun, heartwarming contemporary romantic fiction for Avon books. Her debut novel, The Rancher and the Rock Star, was released in 2012. Her second, Rescued By A Stranger is a 2014 RWA RITA® Award nominee. Liz lives in Minnesota with her best friend (aka her husband), a hyperactive border collie named Magic and a gray Arabian gelding named Jedi. After working as a newspaper journalist and magazine editor, and raising an equine veterinarian daughter and a talented musician son, Lizbeth entered Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® contest in 2010 with The Rancher and the Rock Star (then titled Songbird) and won the Single Title Contemporary category.

In her spare time, she loves being a brand new grandma to Evelyn Grace as well as to hike, quilt, read, horseback ride, and play with her four-legged grandchildren, of which there are nearly twenty, including a wallaby, an alpaca, a donkey, a pig, a sugar glider, and many dogs, cats and horses (pics of all appear on her website She loves connecting with readers—contact her any time!

To learn more about Lizbeth Selvig and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Courtlight Series Blast!

Courtlight Series by Terah Edun
Genre: Young Adult (Fantasy)
Publisher: Self

Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the empire. But beneath her empire’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.

Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companions Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.

But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.

This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.

Grab your FREE Copy of Books 1-3 Now!

Praise for Courtlight

“Beautiful world-building with strong characters.” —Tabby Shiflett Reviews

“Captivating from beginning to end. Edun’s writing style reminds me of Tamora Pierce and Sara J. Maas!” – Netgalley

“If you’re a fantasy lover, this is one world you don’t want to miss out on.” – City of Books

Terah Edun is a young adult fantasy writer that writes the stories that she always loved to read as a young girl. Her Courtlight and Crown Service series can be seen on the USA Today Happily Ever After blog and together have sold over 100,000 copies.

To learn more about Terah Edun and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

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