Recent Reviews...

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(there were some cute moments though), 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 called 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. This one wasn't for me, but don't take my word for it. It might be for you.

Everything is so dramatic when you're younger. The world can begin, end, and begin again all in one day. 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 off 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Ends 8/14/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Review: Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett

Eternal Starling (Emblem of Eternity #1) by Angela Corbett 
Genre: New Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Pendrell Publishing

A love so strong, even eternity can't separate them. Evie Starling has lived a relatively uneventful life hanging out with friends, gossiping about boys, and driving her 1966 Mustang. 

All of that changes when she moves to Gunnison, Colorado, to start college and meets two mysterious men. For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie but they each have their own reasons for wanting to be with her. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she s not the person she thought she was. Soon, Evie finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between the Amaranthine Society the soul protectors, and the Daevos Resistance the soul destroyers. With a past she doesn t understand, and a future rife with danger, Evie has to decide who she can trust. But Alex and Emil aren t the only ones who want Evie, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.

Eternal Starling is the first book in the Emblem of Eternity by Angela Corbett. This book' cover lured me in and the fantastic story kept me glued to my tablet. Evie is a strong and intelligent female lead character. She is given so much information about herself and her history, plus she has too amazing guys trying to win her heart. This isn't your run of the mill love triangle. I usually have a clear favorite, and though I'm leaning towards Emil, either guy would be a perfect choice for Evie. There is so much history within the world building, and it's told so well, I can't wait to get my hands on the next book. Evie has so much more to learn about herself and those around her. I'm anxious to learn it all right along with her.

Suddenly, I felt like I was falling into a dream. I watched as a girl not much older than me brushed chestnut colored ringlets off her face with a gloved hand. She was beautiful in a long scarlet ball gown with a deep lacy neck, and skirt that opened slightly in the front showing a ruffled petticoat underneath. A male figure stood about ten feet in front of her. They were outside, shrouded by darkness and trees. Though I could see the girl clearly, the male figure was too far away to make out any details—but I could hear him.

“This is your choice?” he asked, contempt obvious in his tone.

The girl nodded in response, the slight movement emitting a palpable sadness.

“Why him?” he asked. “Why now?”

“I can’t help what I feel,” the girl said. “I’m in love with him.”

“No,” he said through his teeth. He paused, then stalked to a tree and punched his fist against the trunk. “You’re in love with what he wants you to see, not who he is.” He exhaled in disbelief and shook his head. “I’ve done everything I can up to this point, and now you tell me you’re in love with him? Stabbing me in the heart would be no less painful.”

The girl moved toward him, her eyes downcast. “I’m sorry,” she said, coming up behind him and putting a hand on his shoulder. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

He tilted his head toward the spot her hand was resting and then without warning, he reached around her and grabbed her by the waist, pulling her with him into the darkness. She gasped before he leaned down and kissed her, hard at first, like he was trying to prove a point, then becoming gentler until he pulled back from her lips and rested his head against her forehead. In a husky voice, he asked, “Do you still think you love him?”

She didn’t move.

“Do you?”

She didn’t look at him as she gave an almost imperceptible nod.

He dropped her from his embrace and stepped away, turning his back toward her. Minutes ticked by and the muscles in his shoulders tensed. He shifted his head to the side, his profile barely visible, and said, “He will disappoint you.” He stood for a few seconds more before he started walking away from her.

She ran her fingers lightly over her lips and looked up, eyes wide as she watched him leave. “Wait!” she yelled. “Where are you going?”

He stopped and pivoted on his heel, his legs apart and arms crossed over his chest. His face was shrouded by his shoulder length hair as he stared at her. Then he answered her question, “To prove which of us truly loves you more.”

As a child, Angela Corbett’s most prized possession was a set of read-along books. She used to follow along with the narrator on the stereo and dream of when she would be able to read by herself. Her childhood reading habit led her to consider her future career. However, after consulting with her parents, she realized she had already exceeded hobbit height and since fairies and dragonslayers were tricky jobs to get, she decided she wanted to create worlds of her own. She started writing poetry in elementary school and worked as a journalist in high school and college, but could never leave her love for writing fiction behind.

She is a graduate of Westminster College where she double majored in communication and sociology. She has worked as a journalist, freelance writer, and director of communications and marketing. She loves classic cars, traveling, and escaping in a good book. She lives in Utah with her incredibly supportive husband and their five-pound Pomeranian, Pippin, whose following of fangirls could rival Justin Bieber's.

Eternal Starling is her debut novel and the first book in the Emblem of Eternity trilogy.

To learn more about Angela Corbett and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review of Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity by Rachael Anderson

Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity (Meet Your Match #3) by Rachael Anderson
Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: June 29, 2015
Publisher:  HEA Publishing

Home for the summer, Samantha Kinsey steps into her role as nanny for her two favorite little charges. But when she realizes she'll be playing chauffeur more than playmate, her summer outlook quickly turns from fun to bleak. That is, until she meets Colten McCoy--a genuine, hard-working cowboy, who's as set in his ways as he is handsome. Although he claims he doesn't need any spontaneity in his life, Sam's determined to help him find it. But she'll soon discover that cowboys are about as easy to change as wild mustangs.

Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity is about an adaptable girl and a not so adaptable guy. It's about learning to accept people for who they are and realizing that sometimes who they are is exactly who they should be.

Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity is book three in the Meet Your Match series by Rachael Anderson. This book stands alone just fine, but I love how you can see how characters from the previous two books are doing as well. I like being updated. The setting primarily revolves around a horse ranch, so you know I'm on board. Cole is the perfect cowboy too. Cowboy-ness seeps off the pages when he's around, and I loved him for it. Sam is your country girl turned city girl, but you can tell as much as she wanted to leave, the country never left her. It gets in your blood. These two people together made for a reading addiction. I didn't put this book down. This was a clean and fun love story with horses, including a Mustang. You can't get much better than that!

The ARC of Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity by Rachael Anderson was kindly provided to me by I'm a Reader Not a Writer for review. The opinions are my own.

Read my review of the next book in this series!

Check out my reviews of  more books by Rachael Anderson!! 

Rachael Anderson is the author of four books: Divinely Designed, Luck of the Draw, Minor Adjustments, and The Reluctant Bachelorette. She’s the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

To learn more about Rachael Anderson and her books, visit her blog.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.
$50 Blog Tour Giveaway
Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 7/31/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.a Rafflecopter giveaway