Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Allusive Aftershock has a NEW cover

Ta Da!! Allusive Aftershock has a New Cover



Title: Allusive Aftershock
Author: Susan Griscom
Publisher: Amber Glow Books
Release date: January 29, 2014

Available on Kindle, Nook and Paperback. 

Also available as an Audiobook from audible.com, Amazon.com and iTunes. 

What happens when a major earthquake changes life as you know it and the boy you thought you hated ends up saving you? Three times!

Courtland Reese is the guy everyone hates and makes fun of because … well, he is weird. He communicates with animals. Strange or interesting, seventeen-year-old Adela Castielle can’t quite figure out, but when he saves her from being trampled by her own horse, she begins to understand him a little better and wants to learn more about him.

But, Max--her best friend/dream guy/someday-to-be-her-husband-only-he-doesn’t-know-it-yet--hates Courtland with a passion. Adela wants to know why, except neither boy is talking. 

When Max leaves her stranded in his parents' wine cave with his worst enemy, Courtland, after what the experts are calling a “megathrust” earthquake, Adela starts to question her loyalty to Max as steamy kisses in a dark damp cellar only fuel her emotions with more conflict. 

But does she really have time to worry about that when fire, destruction and mayhem surround her?

Buy Links:
Amazon USA, UK, and Canada



Friday, January 24, 2014

COVER REVEAL - My Soul For You by Airicka Phoenix

My Soul For You by Airicka Phoenix



Title: My Soul For you
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Publisher: Fire & Ice Publishing
Release Day: March 7, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary, Thriller with strong elements of Romance
Warnings: Language and sexual content
Formats: eBook & Paperback

Stalker Links:
Author Website: http://airickaphoenix.com/Author/
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Airicka-Phoenix/252135634831614
Touch Series Page: https://www.facebook.com/TouchSeriesByAirickaPhoenix?ref=hl
Design Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Airickas-Mystical-Creations/462373910480084Morgana Phoenix Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Morgana-Phoenix/148839731972606
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AirickaPhoenix
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/AirickaPhoenix
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Airicka-Phoenix/e/B00906AGHM
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/airicka-phoenix/40/432/74
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/Search?query=Airicka%20Phoenix&fcsearchfield=Author
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/airickaphoenix/
Barns & Nobles: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/airicka-phoenix

Buying Locations: To Come Soon
 
SYNOPSIS
You are cordially invited to have your heart’s desire come true.
For Kaitlin Claremont this is a very tall order. What wouldn’t an orphan girl living over of her aunt’s shop wish for? But when her one night of magic and passion in the arms of a man that is as out of her reach as he is gorgeous turns into curdling screams and dead bodies, Katie quickly realizes that her wish came with strings, a debt she must repay or die. But can she take a life to save her own or can she find those responsible and stop them before it’s too late?
Kaleb O’Reilly has one goal, finish his internship, get his credits and graduate. His freedom can’t start until he does. But nothing prepares him for the brown-eyed beauty he just can’t seem to get out of his head no matter how many times he tells himself she’s off-limits. Kaleb can’t deny he wants her in a way that very much complicates everything. But what happens when the hunger wins and everyone he loves becomes a pawn to a deadly game? Can he turn his back on Katie to save his family or will he fight to save the girl?
Time is running out. Will they kill or be killed?

AUTHOR BIO

Best-Selling author Airicka Phoenix lives in rainy British Columbia with her beautiful family. When she's not pounding away at the keyboard, she can be found reading, shining her collection of daggers or chilling with her kids.

She is the author of the Touch Saga, The Sons of Judgment Saga, The Lost Girl Series, Betraying Innocence and Games of Fire.

Airicka also writes adult paranormal & contemporary romance under her alter ego, Morgana Phoenix. Her first novel, Capture Me, will be out 2014.

For more about Airicka, visit her website at: http://airickaphoenix.com/Author/





Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cover Reveal - More by Kimberly Hart


More
A Poetry Collection by Kimberly Hart
Release date – May 2014

Cover design by Airicka’s Mystical Creations

The debut poetry collection of Kimberly Hart. 











Words from a woman that is more than just a mom, more than just a lover, more than just a friend.  Poems that capture the complexity of the heart, giving you a glimpse into the intricate inner musings of someone longing and searching for something more.  Love & Life.  Hope & Loss.  Light & Dark.  Raw & Gritty.

Do you want more?

Warning: This work contains subject matter that is adult in nature.  Intended to be read by those 18 and older. 

Email Kimberly at kimberlyhartwrites@gmail.com

Find Airicka’s Mystical Creations on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Airickas-Mystical-Creations





Monday, January 13, 2014

THE FAWN - A Goodreads Giveaway

Coming to the final stages of writing The Fawn is bittersweet. This is a story very close to my heart and a story suffered by many women around the world. It's not a new story. It is one that has been told time and time again by many different people in many different ways and with many different experiences, but with the same old problem. Hopefully through my love of my characters and emotions I've made it an interesting one. I wrote the first twenty pages of this story back in 2008 shortly after finishing the first draft of Whisper Cape. Although the story of The Fawn is completely fiction, it does represent a time in my life when I was insecure and my self-esteem was at an all time low, sometime back in my late thirties early forties. Things changed, circumstances changed, and I was able to find my own self worth. One thing similar to The Fawn is that I didn't do it alone.  The people in my life had a huge influence on me, friends mostly. And my knight who helped me realize my own self-worth time and time again. Just as Jackson is there for Lena, my knight was there for me. That is where the similarities end. But the emotion is strong in this story and I hope I've been able to portray it well enough to be appreciated. Lena's journey is very different from my own, yet, holds so much weight in my heart.    
Expected Release - March 1, 2014

A New Adult Novel 

Sexual content and mature subject matter, including domestic violence and abuse.

After a not-so-wonderful young adulthood—shuffled from one foster home to another—Lena Benton had hoped marriage would be her ticket to happiness. Wedded a year after high school graduation, Lena was certain she’d found her knight. But when Troy Harington’s true colors surface shortly after their glorious day of elopement, things aren’t quite as rosy as Lena had envisioned. When an unforeseen event turns ugly, all she can do is ... run!

But does she run far enough?

Jackson Beaumont prides himself on being a nature-loving, guitar-strumming carefree sort of guy, known for his eagerness to help injured animals find their way back into the wild. When Lena Benton walks into his bar, he’s once again swept off his feet with concern and desire to help the wounded. Will he risk having his heart torn apart again when the memory of the fawn he rescued as a child resurfaces?

Enter on Goodreads to win a signed paperback copy of The Fawn and be sure to add it to your TBR list. This contest is open internationally. 



Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Fawn by Susan Griscom

The Fawn

by Susan Griscom

Giveaway ends March 03, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spotlight - The Fountain of the Earth by H.L. Le Roy

Title: The Fountain of the Earth
Author: H.L. Le Roy
Series: The Fountain of the Earth
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publisher: Tranquille Press
Release Date: Nov 22 2013
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Paperback
Source: Author for Blog Tour & Honest Opinion


The first in a planned series, The Fountain of the Earth is set on the West Coast following a catastrophic solar flare that has destroyed civilization, leaving only a few people struggling to survive. After witnessing the vicious murder of her mother, Terra Vonn (15) has a singular focus—exacting revenge on the killers. But before she can complete her plans, savagery intervenes and she is cast alone into a brutal post-apocalyptic world. As she trails the men south through a land filled with cannibalistic criminals, slave traders, and lunatics, the hunter becomes the hunted. Terra quickly learns that she is neither as tough nor as brave as she thinks she is. Worse, she may be the only one who stands between what little remains of civilization and destruction.

Tag Line


Terra Vonn is fighting to survive in a destroyed world,
Surrounded by unspeakable horror . . .

And things are about to get much worse.

H. L. (Holly) LeRoy is an American short story writer and novelist, author of the award winning Street Crimes anthology and the novel The Fountain of the Earth (Nov. 22, 2013), first in a series of young adult adventures. Born in San Jose, California, LeRoy currently resides in Pioneer, California with his family.



 Places to find H.L. 

Places to find The Fountain of the Earth 



Monday, January 6, 2014

New Release - WIDE OPEN by Shelly Crane - Review and Giveaway



Title: WIDE OPEN
Author: Shelly Crane
Genre: New Adult
Released: January 7, 2014






Milo

       My mouth tasted like vomit. That wasn't unusual. The arm creeping over my middle wasn't unusual either nor the way I felt completely repulsed and sick. I worked so hard, drinking, doing any drug that I could get my hands on, sleeping with any girl that looked in my direction and didn't slap me for my foul mouth as I told her all the things I wanted to do to her. Slurred, really.
       I knew it wouldn't be long until Mason was there to pick me up. The small get-togethers, he wouldn't get wind of, but the big ones, he always came and tried to save me. It had been about a month since I'd seen him. He just didn't get it. I didn't want to be saved.
       At least, not at first.
       I hated him. I hated him with every fiber of my being for what he did to Mom. I couldn't stand to look at him let alone live with the bastard. So I started going out all the time just to get away from him, only seeing Mom during the day when I skipped school and Mason was at work.
       But she never remembered me the right way, so it was pointless to keep seeing her. I just tortured myself by staying there and I wouldn't feel guilty for leaving. Finally, I spent so much time away that it felt like I didn't live there anyway and stopped going home.
       Mason texted me so much that I eventually just tossed my cell out of the window of my friend's car one night. They laughed and laughed, whooping and telling me how free I was. We smoked enough dope to chill for the next day and a half. I never went back to school after that. I never went back home either.     Why would I? No one understood me, no one really cared about me. They all just wanted me to 'make something of myself'.
       But how can you do that when you don't even know the parts that make you up, the parts that make you you, the parts that piece together and make you feel whole. I hadn't felt whole in a really long time. I felt older than I was. I may be a seventeen year old, but inside I felt like I was fifty.
       The girl next to me groaned and dug her nails into my side just a little. "What time is it?" her raspy voice breathed against my shoulder.
       I leaned over the side of the bed and lifted my phone from my pants pocket. My new cell was dead. "Don't know. Does it matter?"
       "I have to work tomorrow." She yawned and stretched.
       I started to get up, but she grabbed my arm. I winced at the burn on the inside of my elbow. I looked down at it, seeing the bruising from the needles under her finger tips.
       "I'm outta here." I shook her hand off.
       "Wait. Why so eager to get away?" She rolled over on her stomach, her naked behind peeking out from the sheet, her feet swinging back and forth in the air. "You weren't so eager to leave earlier."
       I scoffed. "Passing out and wanting to stay are not the same thing."
       "Sometimes they are. Sometimes it just doesn't matter." She watched as I zipped my jeans, commando. "I'll cook you breakfast," she bribed.
       I paused. I couldn't even remember the last time I'd eaten. I was so thin that I had to belt my pants to keep them up. I always crashed wherever I was or with a friend, ate whatever came my way, but sometimes it didn't come very often. For all intents and purposes, I was homeless, but had yet to sleep outside.
       At her mention of food, my stomach decided to throw a fit. "What do you want for it?"
       "Got any blow?"
       I reached into my pocket and pulled out the little baggie. "Some."
       "Split it with me," she said, biting her lip and sitting to let the sheet fall away. I stared at her chest since she was offering the view. She slithered up to me, unzipping my pants as she pressed her lips to my ear and said, "Come back to bed for a while, we'll hit the blow, and after, I'll make you some eggs."
       "Why do you want me to stay?" I asked, not really caring, but wondering why she was offering me more sex and breakfast.
       "Because," she pushed my pants down my hips, "my parents will be gone 'til tomorrow morning and there's nothing better than sex after a hit."
       I watched as she took the baggie from me with her fake nails. She leaned forward and kissed my cheek before dipping her pinkie nail in and sniffing the little she took up her nose. She put her finger back in the bag and I took it, rubbing what was left of the powder on my gums.
       Normally, I would have bolted, but I didn't have anywhere else to go anyway. The promise of food was almost as satisfying as the sex I was about to have.
       She set up the lines and after we did them, one after the other, she pushed me down on the bed and straddled me. I rolled with the drugged ecstasy that crawled slowly through my veins as she groaned and moaned on top of me.
       And that was how Mason found me.
       The door opened and my head fuzzed over as I turned to look at him. His eyes locked on mine before he turned away, but not before I saw the disgust on his face. I gripped the girls hips to make her stop since someone coming into the room wasn't a clear enough cue for her. I pushed her off onto the bed and sat up, scooting to the edge.
       I stared at his back in the doorframe. "Leave. I don't need you here."
       "You do, Milo," he said before turning. He looked and he saw all there was left of me. I suddenly felt like I was wide open for him to see it all, for him to see all the rot and gore inside me. He shook his head, his eyes searching my face. "God, help me. You do need me."
       I scowled. "No, I-"
       "Milo…when's the last time you ate something?" He rubbed his hair. I noticed how good he looked. He looked like he'd gained some weight, the good kind. His arms and torso were bigger, new tattoos peeking out from his shirt sleeves. I realized it had been weeks since I'd seen him.
       I stood and yanked my jeans on, spitting my words, hating how good he looked, knowing that he was happy with that girl that I'd seen before. "None of your fu-"
       "Milo!" he scolded, just as a hand crawled around his arm. The girl - his girl - looked around him, the sympathy pouring off her in droves as she looked at me. He touched her arm, his fingers caressing, smoothing. He looked back at me. "Don't use that filthy mouth with Emma here."
       She gulped as she looked at me. Her eyes lingered on my stomach before she looked up at my face. She smiled, just barely. "I've got some hot coffee in the car if you like mocha," she offered.
       He looked at her again as she came to his side. They barely fit in the doorframe together. He circled her waist with his arm, looking strung out and guilty. It angered me that he felt like he deserved her or anything else that would make him happy. "Trying to lure me out with hot coffee," I mused angrily. "Wow, Mason. Getting the girl to do your dirty work for you."
       "Milo," he snapped.
       "It's my coffee," she smoothed over, "but you're welcome to it. I haven't drank any yet."
       She rubbed his chest and he sighed. He looked at me again, renewed determination in his eyes. "Let us take you to get some food at least. Anything you want."
       "No." I searched for my shirt and tugged it on roughly. I realized it was inside-out too late, but left it. I didn't care.
       "Come on, Milo. You can still hate me, but do it while you're eating something." I gave him a droll look. "Milo…you look like hell, bro."
       "Aw, thanks," I sneered.
       "I'm serious," he said quietly. "Please, Milo."
       He begged me. He had never begged before, just ordered me around, dragging me to my room, and then I'd sneak out before he woke up. He'd never tried to feed me before.
       "Come with us, Milo," his girl asked. "There's an omelet place five minutes from here that's pretty amazing."
       I gritted my teeth. I didn't want his charity. As if she read my mind his girl said, "I'm buying."
       She smiled and tilted her head. I sighed, sticking my dirty-socked feet inside my boots without tying them. "Whatever. I eat, then I'm out." I looked over at them and glared. "Don't try to stop me from leaving."
       "We won't," she insisted. She rubbed Mason's arm and looked up at him sadly. She looked as if she were about to cry. I had no idea why. It couldn't be for me. I didn't even know this chick.
       I lead the way from the room. The girl I'd left on the bed yelled something at us. I could tell she was mad, not understanding what was going on, but I just kept walking. I was pissed, really, because she had gotten my last hit and I hadn't gotten off before Mason interrupted us.
       Mason's car wasn't parked on the street. I looked for it, but blondie passed me and went to a big truck in the driveway. He got a new truck? How the heck did he have money for that?
       I didn't say a word as I climbed into the backseat. She handed me the coffee and I snatched it from her hands, tossing the lid off, and gulping it down. It burned my tongue and lips, but my fogged brain was past the point of caring or stopping. As I finished it, I watched as she scooted all the way over to press against his side. They whispered things back and forth that I couldn't hear. The drive was short. Blondie had been right about that. We piled into a booth in the back, them on one side and me on the other, and I didn't even pick up the menu.
       It pissed me off just smelling the food. My stomach growled so loud and hard it hurt. I was cold and rubbed my neck. When the waitress came, I ordered a root beer and a western omelet with cheese and hashbrowns. Mason ordered the same and the girl got waffles.
       Before an awkward silence could settle in, she started talking. "I'm Emma, by the way." She smiled. I stared at their intertwined hands on the tabletop. Mason had never had a girlfriend before, really. He wasn't the touchy-feely type either. I was oddly fascinated at the way his thumb ran over her knuckles, over and over.
       "Hi, Emma," I spouted sarcastically and let my gaze settle on her face instead.
       She was one of those girls who was gorgeous by design and didn't even have to try. Her eyes, her nose, her cheeks. They all seemed to fit so perfectly. Her lips - they were Mason's favorite thing, other than her legs, which I knew were his absolute favorite. He'd always been a legs man. And she had some nice twigs on her, from what I'd seen. I settled my eyes lower on the barely-there sliver of cleavage that peeked from her top.
       It was the first time I'd seen a girl blush in what felt like years. The girls I kept company with didn't blush. They were beyond that point, beyond the level that allowed them to feel embarrassed about sexual things. They'd done it all.
       This girl… I shook my head and smirked at Mason. "Not sampled the goods yet, brother? She's mighty skittish."
       "Shut your face, Milo," he stood and growled.
       I was actually taken aback a little. This was as worked up as I'd ever seen him. And over a girl of all things? Holy crap. He was in love with this chick. I felt my hatred soften a little before snapping it back in place. I rubbed my neck again on that itchy, cold spot.
       "Whoa, Nelly," I joked. "Calm the eff down. It was just an observation."
       I laughed. It sounded strange even to my ears. It sounded like a sick person's laugh. I glanced at Emma and actually felt a little bad at the embarrassed way she tucked her hair behind her ears. I squinted. Was there a story there that I didn't know?
       "I'm Milo," I mocked. "Nice to meet you, princess."
       "We've met before and you know it," she countered easily.
       "Yeah," I muttered and rubbed my cold neck. "I remember. You held my hair back as I puked." I laughed condescendingly.
       "Basically." She smiled, not falling for my ploys to piss her off. "You're welcome, by the way."
        I didn't respond to the beauty queen. I just pointlessly stirred my root beer. She was beautiful to the point of distraction, sweet and annoying all wrapped up in one, and I could tell that she had my brother wrapped around her finger whether she knew it or not.
       And it pissed me off. Mason shouldn't be so freaking happy.
       And he was, I could tell. He watched her when she wasn't looking. His entire presence shifted when she did. The waitress brought our food soon thankfully, and just as I was taking a bite, I saw the ring on Emma's finger.
       "You're getting married?" I heard my gravelly voice say.
       Emma pulled her hands off the table into her lap, as if unsure if I was supposed to know that. Mason lifted his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close, kissing her temple. It shocked the hell out of me how much I wanted to be happy for him.
       "Yeah," he said low. "I asked Emma to marry me."
       I didn’t ask when or how. I didn’t care.
       "And she said yes," he continued harder.
       "That's great," I spouted sarcastically with a mouthful of food.
       "And mom's doing fine, too, by the way."
       "I didn't ask," I growled and took another bite. I could see I was going to have to get out of here so the food-shoveling kicked up a notch.
       "She has a nurse that comes and helps take care of her. I work with her every day on her exercises, but she still can't walk. She and Emma get along great, too. Emma was one of my patients and lost her memory as well."
       I jerked my gaze up to the beauty queen. She was watching me with parted lips, her eyes practically begging me to give in to Mason and stop the feud. I wondered if she knew what Mason had done, how Mason had-
       Mason leaned forward and glared as he barked, "Don't look at her like that. And yes, I told her all about me. How I'm the devil that destroyed your life and Mamma's. How I killed my best friend." She gripped his arm, tugging on it and pleading with him to stop. "She knows it all."
       They stared at each other and I believed him that they had talked about it. It looked like they had talked about it plenty, in fact, but I could also tell that she kissed his boo-boos and made him think that it was all OK.
       But it wasn't.
       I chugged my root beer and grabbed both pieces of toast, wrapped them in a napkin and stuck them in my pocket, scooting down the bench seat. "I'm out here."
       "Will you just eat, Milo," Mason said in exasperation. "I'm not going to make you come home. Just eat."
       "You couldn't make me," I spat. I stood and leaned right in his face with my palms on the table. "Always trying to run my life. Good ol' Mason." I saw him flinch slightly at that. He stood, too, licking his lips angrily in an attempt to calm himself. "I hate you so much. You killed our mother."
       "Our mother is alive," he replied loudly.
       People in the restaurant were now privy to our conversation, but I went even louder. "What she is isn't alive! When she doesn't even remember me?"
       "She remembers you," he countered.
       "Not in the right way."
       "She remembers you in the most important way. In the only way that truly matters."
       "What could be worse than her not remembering me as I am?"
       "Not remembering you at all," Emma said, barely. She looked up, her eyes dark. "When I woke up from my coma, I didn't remember anyone. Not my parents, or my friends, even the guy I had been dating. I still don't." Mason sighed as if all of this was exhausting. "It could be worse, Milo. She could not remember you at all."
       "Doesn't matter," I steamed ahead, unwilling to let them deter me. "The fact is that you ruined my mom. It's pointless to even go see her because she won't remember that I've been there."
       "Doesn't matter," he spouted back at me. "Doesn't negate the fact that you should come see her."
       "Ooh," I mocked. "Using big words on little high school drop-out Milo. Whatever."
       I turned to go, scratching my cold neck and feeling the rawness of my skin begin to set in. He grabbed my arm and before I knew it, I was looking at Mason holding his jaw as he leaned back against the table. Emma fussed over the blood coming from his lip with insistent ministrations with a napkin. I hadn't even realized I hit him until my hand started to ache. The entire diner was watching us with these looks of disgust on their faces. Well, they were watching me.
        I shook out my fingers, wincing but not regretting it. I turned to go once more and heard Mason from behind me.   "I love you, bro." That stopped me in my tracks. I didn't turn around. "I love you and I know that you won't ever forgive me. It took me a long time to forgive me, too. I would still hate me if Emma hadn't come along and showed me that I couldn't blame myself forever. It was an accident, nothing but. I not only lost my best friend that day because he wouldn't listen to me and drove anyway, and my mom, the way she was, but I lost you, too. I take care of Mom; I became a physical therapist to take care of her. But you, I don't know what to do for you, Milo. I don't know how to help you. If you ever need anything or want to come home, the door's always wide open. Always. I love you, even if you can't love me back."
       I hated the fact that he made me want to turn around, to make-up and forget everything that happened.
       I hated him. I hated all he'd done. I hated how he tried to reconcile every time I saw him. And I hated that he was getting this great, perfect little life with a wife and kids.
       I didn't look back again as I weaved through the tables on my way out. He yelled my name and something about giving me some money. I should have taken it and would have had it been anyone else. But I didn't want his money.
       I walked for a long time to a friend's apartment over the Irish Mug bar. Not only would he let me crash, but more than likely he had some smoke he'd front me. After Mason's little haphazard intervention, I needed it. I crossed the street to the bar and heard the honking before seeing the bright lights. I raised my hand and saw the car screeching to a stop right in front of me. He cursed and honked. I flipped him off and kept walking across the road. I heard him peel away as I climbed the stairs on the side of the building for his apartment. The bar was hopping, the music was so loud I couldn't even hear my footsteps up the stairs.
       I knocked, but knew he couldn't hear me, so I tried the handle. When it turned, I pushed it open. He had called me a few times, but I never checked my messages. My phone was just a drug ferry basically. I never used it except for making a drug buy or find a friend's how to stay at because minutes cost too much for someone who never had money. I had odd jobs sometimes, but after you don't show up on time for a few days in a row, they can you. That was the only way I could buy minutes and buy weed on a regular basis. But usually, I floated until my next paycheck, whenever that may be, and some friends would front me some things if I didn't have the money.
       But I was a little behind right now and owed a few people. OK, a lot of people, and a lot of money. Even my friend I was going to see had threatened to cut me off if I didn't pay him something. I usually just avoided the ones I owed money to.
       I'd gotten into the other side of the business a couple times, but didn't sell much of it when I smoked it or snorted it instead. I had my foot broken once for not paying up when they realized the drugs were all gone and it was me who had used them.
       I still walked with a little limp because I couldn't go to the hospital without them calling Mason or my mom. So my friend put a makeshift cast on me and I practically dragged the thing for a few weeks.
       Nikko's place was dark and I couldn't hear anything but the noise below us. I turned the corner to find him on the couch, some girl on his lap. I turned around to keep her naked behind out of my sight. I heard him curse.
       "Milo! What the hell, man?"
       "Sorry, uh…" I peeked back, but it was still too soon and turned back around. "I wanted to see if I could crash here."
       "Damn it, Milo…" He kissed her, I heard the smacking, and told her he'd see her later, that he needed to take care of something. She walked by me and gave me a sullen look for ruining her night. I turned to find him pulling a black wife-beater on. "Dude, you can't just come in like that."
       "I knocked. The music's too loud." I stuffed my hands into my pockets. "Let me crash, OK?"
       "Milo." He shook his head. "You look like a heap of hell, man."
       "That's because I haven't had anything all day and my nosey brother wanted to flaunt his hot girlfriend in my face."
       He sighed. "There's nothing wrong with getting lit on the weekends and making a living off of selling, but you...you're not just having fun anymore. You're hooked. You're hooked, messing with deals you shouldn't, and people are looking for you." He took a step forward, but looked at me sadly. "I tried to help you. I knew you had it rough at home, but…you can't stay here, man. Go."
       Oh. It wasn't sadness he had for me, it was pity.
       "Just for the night," I begged.
       "I can't." He gulped and leaned against the kitchen bar. "Mikey's looking for you. And…so is Roz. Go. Now."
       The curses piled in my head. I knew I owed him money, but for him to start actively looking for me wasn't good for my health.
       But I needed a place to stay and I needed…something, anything to make me stop shaking and scratching. It felt like ants were in my veins and he needed to give me something. "Fine," I bit out. "Just…float me a J."
       "You already owe me for ten joints, not to mention all the blow and nuggets I fronted you."
       He looked around, nervous as all get out. My brain was in a fog. I didn't care if I slept on a bench outside. My friends usually came through for me, but lately they seemed less eager to let me stay. So fine, he could throw me out as long as he gave me something to tie me over.
       "I'm good for it. My brother said he'd give me some money until I get back on my feet. I've got a job lined up starting next week," I lied. "It's just…been bad lately. I'm under so much stress."
       "Classic druggie line," he scoffed. "Get out, Milo. The longer you stay here, the worst you're making it for me." We heard a car door outside and he sucked in a breath. "Go, man, now!"
       I went to the window and peeked past the dingy blue curtain that the previous tenant had left and saw one of the guys who always set up my buys from Roz. I shook my head, backing away, and looked at him to help me. "Go out the back. And don't say I never did anything for you," he growled and went to the front door. "Go!"
       I ran, but as soon as I opened the back door, there was another guy there. "You got Roz's money?" he asked.
       I stalled and started the typical plea. "Well, I'll have it-"
       He didn't wait for anything else. His fist connected to my jaw and I heard the crunch, knowing it was hurt tomorrow, as I went down. He followed me and gripped my collar in his fist before slamming my cheek with his free fist. He beat on me for so long and hard all over that I blacked out. I came out of it a couple times, but it was so blurry and the haze of pain was thick. I could never grasp onto reality.
       No time passed at all for me. I closed my eyes and the next time I opened them, I was in a hospital bed. No one was there with me. It was a regular room, not the ER. I lifted my head to survey the damage and immediately regretted that hasty decision. My head hurt so badly, I thought I might black out again. I pushed with my elbows and made myself sit up. I touched my head to find a bandage, my eye was swollen, my lips all busted up, and my jaw was so sore, it hurt to even touch it, let alone try to open my mouth.
       I remembered being brought there, the cops, they asked questions…
       I had to get out of there.
       Right then, that was the only thing that truly mattered. I had rolled over on Roz. I owed so much money to so many people, but none of that mattered compared to the fact that I told the cops Roz's operating spots and their names and everything. He was going to kill me.
       I had no idea how long I'd been in the hospital and the lack of drugs made me way more lucid than the drug-induced stages I usually resided in. There wasn't any morphine in that drip because I hurt all over so badly, I thought I might vomit. The fact that they hadn't given me any morphine made me realize that they knew I was a…drug addict. There, OK, yes, if I didn't get drugs every day, I felt like I'd crawl out of my own skin. So, yes, I was addicted. And they knew it because they hadn't given me anything to help with the pain.
       And I knew I was in deep.
       It hit me all at once as I yanked the needle out of my arm how bad things had gotten. I'd ran myself into the ground. It had been way too long since I hadn't had anything in my system and my hands shook as I eased off the bed onto the floor. I tried to yank the hospital band off, but I was too weak. The name on the band read John Doe. So they didn't know who I was. I pulled on my jeans from the back under the bed. My body ached so bad all over, but I knew I had to get out of there.
       Once all my clothes were on, I peeked out the blinds to see an officer standing by my room. I cursed under my breath. That was probably the only reason the Roz hadn't come after me. But the cops wanted me for something, and I could guess it was for me to roll over on Roz. They didn't just guard anybody; only the people who they wanted something from.
       I pushed the food cart to slam into the bed and then jumped behind the door. When he opened it, like I knew he would, I waited until he came into the room. He cursed and moved forward, bending to look under the bed. I scooted behind him around the door and acted as normal as I could as I walked down the hall. I heard him on his radio as he said that the suspect was missing. Then he argued with them that he'd been by the door the whole time. I turned into the first stairwell I saw and took them as quickly as I could. I heard them coming from the lower floor and stopped. I could hear the crackle of a radio, so I jumped through the door with a peeling number four on it.
       It led to an alcove in the hall and I waited for them to go up as they passed. When it was quiet, I opened the door slowly and crept my way down the stairs, out of the hospital, and into the street.
       I didn't know where I was going, but I knew I had to get away. It was then that I knew I'd never see Mason or my mother again.
       I went to the highway, even though it was almost dark, stuck my thumb out and waited for someone to stop and take me away - give me a ride to anywhere but there.

Two Years Later
Milo
                
       I sat and looked at the envelope. It had the results of my GED exam. Finally, I was going to have a piece of paper that told me I had finished high school instead of just dropping out and being a runaway.
       I flipped it over and over in my fingers. It wasn't like this was an application into Harvard or anything. It was a GED, but it was my GED. It was all I had.
       "If you don't open that already, I'm going to stab you with my fork."
       I glared up at Joey playfully. "Shut it."
       Joey had been my friend for a long time now. It felt like forever, but had actually only been a little shy of two years. Joey worked at the shelter that I crawled into a few nights after I left the hospital. I hitchhiked for two days, sometimes with a ride, sometimes walking or sitting on the side of the road. I was starving, so weak I could barely walk, dehydrated except for a bottle of water a trucker gave me. They pulled me into the shelter at the church in some town.
       Joey was the one who made sure I got a bed in the shelter that night and for the next two months while I tried to straighten myself out. There were many bumps in the road. I still wasn't sure exactly how many days the hospital had kept me, because I hadn't know even what day it was when I went in, but the detox had begun then. I struggled with it, but had already gotten through some of the hard part. They made it clear that drugs would not be allowed in the shelter and anyone on drugs after the rules had been explained would be removed.
       To be completely honest, I fell hard off that wagon once or twice. I couldn't believe how hard it was. That first pill or sip or hit after days and days of not having anything was like pure ecstasy, my body betraying me and making me believe it was what I needed and wanted.

       But Joey came and got me from wherever I was, yelled and told me how I needed to get straight, snuck me back into the shelter and made me promise never to do it again. Finally, that promise stuck. It's been over a year since that wagon had caused any problems for me.

Now for my review of Wide Open:


What a lovely spin off from Wide Awake, which I absolutely loved. I am so inspired by Shelly Crane’s work, I can’t even begin to say how much. Watching her career grow is such a fun experience to witness.

Wide Open is a must read and my favorite of Shelly Crane's books so far. Particularly if you’ve ever known anyone who has gone through the struggles of any type of addiction or even memory loss. As these are the two subjects of this story, even though there is a wonderful love story at the core. Which I don't have any problem admitting I now have a book crush on Milo.

Both Milo and Maya have so many inner demons that they are coping with, but Milo's seemed to hit me more, maybe because I enjoy reading from the male’s POV so much. I am so glad that Shelly decided to give him his own.

I have a couple of friends who are addicts and this story actually helped me see them in a different light, made me so proud of their accomplishments. I know it is such a struggle and one I can’t even begin to comprehend. Thank you so much, Shelly Crane for allowing me to read this story. It is one that will stay with me for a long time.
Buy Links for Wide Open

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Now for the giveaways be sure to enter both

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Review of Learning The Lies by D. Love - Giveaway!!!!!

I'm excited to showcase this new book by D. Love and share my review with you. I had the pleasure of beta reading this for Ms. Love and I fell in love with the story. I'd also like to add that the beautiful cover photo was taken by my very own personal assistant, Tina Donnelly.



by D. Love
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release date: December 25, 2013




Synopsis:

Fourteen hundred miles has separated Bailey Jones, from a tragic heartache. After her first love ends their relationship, Bailey continues forward with her decision to move with her Aunt in Maine. Adjusting to a new home, job, and friends was supposed to be simple but love interests have come knocking on her door.
The question is can either of them be trusted? Each of them is harboring secrets but once exposed, will it send Bailey running or will it be her salvation? Amongst the chaos of her love life, a unexpected appearance comes back into her life and could possibly change everything.
Bailey is ‘Learning the Lies’ but which will she accept?

Buy Links:
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Add it to your TBR on Goodreads

My Review:

I loved this book. Learning the Lies draws you in from the very first sentence.

I am so honored to have been given the opportunity to beta read this book by D. Love. She really knows how to pull on my heartstrings.

I loved Derinda’s first book, Today Only, and let me tell you, Learning The Lies is just as good. It won’t make you cry like the first one, but it has a wonderful message. Those awesome messages that only Derinda can deliver. You can’t help but fall in love with D. Love’s story telling.

This is a wonderful coming of age story about an ordinary young girl, wanting so much to belong and make a new start in her life.

Annnnnd if a new heartthrob happens to cross her path, so much the better.

There are so many twists, turns, and secrets in this book, you will be amazed and you would never guess them. Well, maybe one, but not until you get close to the ending, which is fine, because by then, all you want is for everything to work out. Bravo and congratulations, Derinda, on another winner!

Want to win an e-book copy of D. Love's Learning the Lies gifted from me? 

All you have to do is comment below on my review and follow my blog and Follow D. Love's blog HERE. Let me know how you followed in the comments. Do all three of those things and be sure to put your email in the comments so I can contact you if you win. I will pick a winner randomly through random.org. on January 6th. Thanks for visiting and I can't wait to read your comments.

and remember, always