Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Review: When Stars Are Bright

When Stars Are Bright When Stars Are Bright by Amber R. Duell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have heard many good things about Amber R. Duell, which has left me curious about the author’s work. As curious as I am about the author’s Dark Dreamer trilogy, I decided it was best to introduce myself to her work through a standalone.

When Stars Are Bright grabbed my attention because I’m a lover of a good retelling, especially when it’s a retelling of a story that is often overlooked. Thumbelina is a story that is rarely retold, one that offers so many possibilities, and Amber R. Duell has left me wanting more retellings of this tale.

I’ll be honest and say this one didn’t quite have the intense level of action that I usually like in my reads, but it was not enough to stop me from powering through the book. Once I started, I had to finished. I devoured in it a single sitting, desperate to see how all the details came together, and I was not disappointed.

An easy to read story with more to it than first appears, When Stars Are Bright is well worth the read for anyone looking for a unique retelling.

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Blog Tour: When Stars Are Bright.

WhenStarsareBright copy
I'm so excited to share this highly anticipated release with you all today! When Stars Are Bright is a YA fairy tale retelling of "Thumbelina" by author, Amber R. Duell. Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!
WhenStarsAreBright_Cover
When Stars Are Bright Publication Date: January 7th, 2020 Genre: Young Adult/ Fairy Tale Retelling Publisher: Crescent Sea Publishing For Lina Holt, a Dutch seventeen-year-old with a flair for singing, 1930 is going to be her year. Her long-time boyfriend is about to propose and her mother will finally realize their relationship isn’t a passing phase. But when a stranger snatches her from her backyard, everything changes. Lina is thrust into the spotlight of a New York vaudeville show where she’s paired with Nik, a mysterious pianist. The two bond during rehearsals and it doesn’t take long before Nik puts himself at risk to confess a hidden truth. Without Lina, the show is in its last season and there’s no way she’ll be allowed to slip through the owner’s fingers. Not when she carries fairy magic in her blood—an gift that turns her song into a dangerously addictive drug. If Lina ever wants to return home, she must learn who to trust before she’s forced to remain a prisoner on stage forever. WHEN STARS ARE BRIGHT is a historical Thumbelina retelling with a touch of magic. Add to Goodreads
Excerpt
There’s a certain thrill in doing something forbidden. Sneaking out past curfew, dancing freely to a jazz band, stealing kisses in a dark corner. Any one of those things will send my mother into hysterics. I’m not sure what she’ll do if she finds out I’m doing them all at once. When she finds out, because she always does. But, if I want to see Christian, it’s my only choice. The band electrifies the air with each note they play. At least fifty strangers twist and turn around us in the empty barn, and the lingering scent of hay tickles my nose. Christian doesn’t seem to notice the lack of marble floors or fancy wall sconces. His eyes haven’t left my face since we got here, except for the kissing. His arms cocoon me near the wall, and I lean into his chest. He’s warm and sturdy against me, and I close my eyes. The soft thump of his heartbeat beneath my palm dulls the sharp edge of missing him, but it never stops cutting. It won’t as long as we’re forced to sneak around behind our parents’ backs. “Are you tired, Lina?” Christian twists one of my curls around his finger. “We can go.” “We’ve only been here an hour.” And there’s no telling how long until we can meet again. I stretch up on my toes, the hem of my yellow skirt tickling the back of my knees, and kiss the fine stubble on his cheek. “Come on. I love this song.” Pulling Christian behind me, I find a free spot in the middle of the barn. Dozens of worn, dusty boots and Mary Jane’s slam down on the planked floor, sending bits of straw and dirt into the air. The music vibrates against my body, and we join the rhythm. The band wears worn slacks and checkered shirts like the rest of the crowd. Christian’s the only one here without patched clothes or any idea of the work that will go into filling this barn with hay tomorrow. No one will have the energy for dancing after a day of haying. They’ll be lucky to drag themselves to bed before collapsing, my mother and I included, though it will be a different field we work in the morning. Sweat trickles down Christian’s temple as we kick up dust of our own, and a wide grin breaks out on my face. I’m not the best swing dancer, far from it, but I don’t care. Giving myself over to the music makes me feel weightless. Free. No one pays attention except Christian, and he’s not much better. When the trombone sounds its last note, I laugh and collapse into his arms, breathless. “Want to get something to drink?” I ask over the start of the next song. He nods and leads me back through the crowd. His cotton shirt clings to his skin, showing off the muscles in his arms and back, and gray suspenders hang down from his waist. After more than a year together, it’s the most I’ve seen of him, and it would be a lie to say I’m not enjoying it. If we didn’t have to sneak around, I’d make him go dancing every weekend for the view alone. “Wait here.” He slips under a slanted support beam at the back of the barn, and kisses me. When he steps away, he keeps hold of my hand until he’s too far to reach. “I’ll be right back.” I scoot farther under the protection of the beam until it grazes my hair, and watch his head bob above everyone else. A lantern burns beside me, casting a warm glow, and the band plays their own version of Puttin’ on the Ritz. There’s no singer tonight, without a microphone it would be impossible to hear one anyway, but I know the words. I hum along with the smooth sound of the saxophone, my foot tapping in time with the bass and, before I realize it, I’m singing. It’s a cheery tune, but I keep my voice quiet. My mother is the only one who’s heard me sing since I was little, and she insists I keep it that way. Being known as the infant abandoned in a tulip field, I’m used to whispers behind my back. Going steady with the heir to the Van Buren petroleum fortune only makes things worse. I don’t mind being thought of as an unlovable gold digger—not much anyway—but I’m tired of standing out. I especially have no interest in drawing a crowd tonight like I did when I was five. Twelve years later, I still get chills thinking about the people that closed in on me as I hummed in the marketplace. A heavy man inches along the wall, hunching over to fit beside me. His eyelids droop over dark eyes, and his round face is close enough that I can count the pockmarks. His breath wheezes over the music. “You have a lovely voice. Where did you get it?” I slam my mouth shut on the last line of the song. Naturally, the one time I sing in public someone’s listening. Though it’s only one person, this is somehow equally unnerving. “Have you thought about a career?” The strange man leans closer. From his dialect, it’s obvious he’s from a different part of Holland. “A career?” I shift away, and scan the crowd for Christian. When I don’t see him between here and the water barrel, I step away from the wall. The man bobs his head up and down, his jowls shaking, swallowing the yellow-stained Marlboro collar. “In show business. With that delicate face of yours, the blond hair and blue eyes, it would be easy to make a name for yourself. I’ve never felt an addictive quality as strong as yours either. Of course it’s rare. Where did you get it?” “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” “Keep your secrets, little Symric. Fairy folk always do.” He inches closer still. “But what do you say? You want to make it big in America with me?” My laugh is quick and high-pitched. Where are you, Christian? “No.” “You should.” “She should what?” Christian asks from the opposite direction. He steps up beside me without refreshments and wraps an arm around my shoulders. I lean closer.
Available on Amazon
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-stars-are-bright-amber-r-duell/1135105667

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/when-stars-are-bright

Win a paperback copy of When Stars Are Bright! Click the link below! a Rafflecopter giveaway About the Author 9e912b896da8f9b17fa3bd96290703cd Amber R. Duell is an award-winning young adult author, Navy wife, and mom of 2 awesome boys. She has been a #WriteMentor mentor since 2018 and is a co-host on the live broadcast show Young Adult Edition. Red Bull keeps her kicking.
WhenStarsareBright copy
Blog Tour Schedule
February 17th
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) https://gwendalynbooks.blog/
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Tales of Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/
February 18th
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com
Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/
Once More with Reading (Review) https://oncemorewithreadingx.wixsite .com/welcome
Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/
February 19th
I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.c om
Cup of Toast Blog (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk
Bibliophile Ramblings (Review) http://lego--ergo--sum.blogspot.com/
February 20th
Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot .com/?m=1
Crossroad Reviews (Review) http://www.crossroadreviews.com
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
February 21st
Ghoulish Life & Reviews (Review) https://ghoulishspirit.wordpress.com/
Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com
Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/
Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/
Blog Tour Organized By: R&R Button R&R Book Tours

Release Blitz: Hate You Not.




Title: Hate You Not
Author: Ella James
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 12, 2020



Blurb

I didn’t know I was that person. You know—the one who gets the kids. But that’s what the will said. June Lawler: Legal Guardian.
My niece and nephew are 6 and 9, and all they’ve ever known is San Francisco. I arrive the day after the wreck, pack up my sister’s mansion, and fly them back to Georgia.
The small-town farm where their mom and I grew up isn’t what it once was, but it’s home. That’s all they really need.

*

I was courting an investor when it happened. Tromped all up and down the Himalayas, and he didn’t even buy in. It was a week before I found out what I’d lost. My little brother meant the world to me. Now even his kids are gone.
Spirited away to Heat Springs, Georgia—population 298.
They’re living on a farm that’s half a breath from bank foreclosure with a 26-year-old who didn’t finish high school. Nowhereville is not the place for little Mastersons. But I’ll get them back. It’s the money she must want, and I’ve got lots of that.
“June Bug” Lawler is poorer than that red dirt she comes from. I can make her dreams come true—and do one last thing for my brother.

I hate him.
She makes me crazy.
He thinks he can buy me off! I’ve never met a man so arrogant.
There’s no woman anywhere more stubborn.
I wish I had never met him.

But that’s not the story.







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Author Bio

Ella James is the USA Today and Amazon Top 10 bestselling author of more than twenty novels. She writes emotional, hard-won love stories with steam, suspense, and Kindle-throwing twists. She lives in Colorado with her husband, three young children, and hyperactive dog.

To connect with Ella, sign up for her newsletter at https://www.subscribepage.com/EllaJamesNews 
and join her reader group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EllasEliteTeam Questions or comments? Tweet her at author_ellaj or e-mail her at ellafjames@gmail.com.


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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Release Blitz: Breathless.




Title: Breathless
A Texas Nights Series Standalone
Author: Lex Martin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: February 18, 2020



Blurb

Joey

I wouldn’t say I ran away exactly—twenty-two is too old for that.

I’d call it self-preservation.

I have one objective: protect my heart from the boy next door who has no clue I’ve loved him my whole life, even with a front row seat to his revolving bedroom door.

My escape plan almost worked.

Except I left one thing behind.

Logan Carter hijacked my heart, and now it’s time to get it back. This time for good.


Logan

I wouldn’t say I’ve been lying this whole time—not about everything.

Not about how much I miss my best friend, and definitely not about how pissed I am that she left with hardly a goodbye.

She’s the last person I ever expected to ghost me, and her absence left a gaping hole in my chest.

When Joey Grayson steps off that bus, I know I’ll do anything to keep her home, and that means finding out the truth.

But I’m not sure how to tell her my truths when I’m living so many lies.







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Author Bio

Lex Martin is the USA Today bestselling author of the Texas Nights series (Reckless/Shameless) and the Dearest series. She writes contemporary romances, the sexy kind with lotsa angst, a whole lotta kissing, and the hot happily ever afters. A former high school English teacher and freelance journalist, she’s lived all over the country but currently resides in her hometown of San Antonio with her husband and twin daughters.


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Release Blitz: Crash Into Me.




Title: Crash Into Me
Series: Crescent Bay #1
Author: Alyne Hart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: February 18, 2020



Blurb

A sexy and emotional romance that transcends the ideas of life and death. Can you suspend disbelief?

For one entire and blissful night, I wasn't Megan the widow. I was Megan out having a drink with her best friend. I was Megan, getting hit on by a hot, younger guy. I said no to him, but everything inside of me said yes.

I was still grieving and healing the loss of my husband Sam. Getting my life back to some kind of normal. Until it got complicated. Very, very complicated. Because that hot young guy who wasn't even supposed to be on my radar? He came crashing in with this weird electric pulse between us and a chemistry that's off the charts. If that wasn't complicated enough - he's is a student in my creative writing class with enough complications of his own.

The words in his poems remind me of Sam's. He says things that are too familiar. Knows things about me no one else knows. It's like seeing a ghost. I wasn't supposed to fall for him, but my happily ever after is gone, and his arms feel like home.

But when everything starts to make sense, and the pieces come together in the end, am I in love with him? Or the memory of Sam? 







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$2.99 for a limited time!

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Author Bio

Alyne Hart is a contemporary romance author and wine connoisseur living in Walla Walla, WA. She's known for writing stories that pack an emotional punch and get you right in the feels.

She loves writing real, flawed characters and writing about realistic, gritty and raw romance. She's a romance junkie and happy endings addict, and if you’re a lover of deeply emotional, flawed and realistic romance reads with lots of delicious angst, her books are for you. Alyne's stories involve characters with bigger problems than just finding love. She writes stories about making peace with the past, rekindling old flames and healing old wounds. She loves small towns, men in uniform and alpha males with a heart of gold.

She began her story-telling journey first with her dolls, then it progressed to paper. She has a deep love for anything romantic, and she's a believer that in love anything is possible.

When Alyne isn’t writing, you can find her reading, scrap-booking, and spending time with her two children and her boyfriend. She enjoys trips to the mountains just as much as trips to the city, live music, chick flick movie marathons and hanging out with her eclectic group of friends.  

Release Blitz: Power Twist.




Title: Power Twist
Series: Power Play #2
Author: Kennedy L. Mitchell
Genre: Romantic Suspense
 Release Date: February 18, 2020



Blurb

With the campaign over, a new devious challenge awaits.

I thought the toughest part was behind us. Stupid me. Now I have to live with the consequences of winning, some that make me regret ever stepping foot in this city. Day one in office I learn of the president’s true plan, one so manipulative I can’t allow it to come to fruition. But with zero allies to call on, I’ll need to work with my enemies to stand a chance at stopping him.

At least I have Trey, even if our scorching-hot affair can only happen in secret. Until the best part of my new life makes his own deal with a devil, I’m forced to make a choice. I can’t have it all in this power game they’ve woven, and watching me flounder is just part of their sick fun. Or can I play the game, change the rules, and have everything in the end?

Too bad for me, luck has never been on my side. It’s sink or swim here in DC, and I’m the idiot wearing cement shoes to the party.

Power Twist is the SECOND book in the five-book Power Play series offering more twists, turns and HEAT. Each book cannot be read as a standalone. All five books follow one main couple’s relationship as it grows through a five year time period. It’s suspenseful, steamy, and oh so unputdownable. If you’re a fan of Tiffany Snow, Meghan March, and Skye Warren then this series is for YOU!







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before jumping into Power Twist!

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Releasing April 20

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Author Bio

Kennedy lives in Dallas with her husband, son, and 80lb Goldendoodle who still believes he's a lap dog. A bookworm at heart Kennedy loves to snuggle up in bed or by the campfire with an unputdownable book. She began writing two years ago with Falling for the Chance and has no plans of stopping. Her novels are witty, action-packed, and offer enough steam for a great facial. If you like strong heroines and sexy, tattooed men who can't keep their hands off them then this author is the one for you.

Cover Re-Reveal: The Wrong/Right Man.




Title: The Wrong/Right Man
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: RBA Designs
Photo: Wander Aguiar
Release Date: March 3, 2020



Blurb

Waking up to a text asking why you stood up your blind date is not the best way to start the day, especially when the man in question is standing half dressed in your kitchen.

Maybe Dakota Newton shouldn’t have assumed the gorgeous man with a devastating smile standing outside the coffee shop was her date. She probably— Okay, she definitely shouldn’t have slept with him, regardless of how hot the chemistry between them was. But how could she know Mr. Right was actually Mr. Wrong?

Braxton Adams has been called a few things in his life, but a liar was never one of them. That all changes when he’s approached by a beautiful woman who thinks he’s there to meet her for a date.

As a businessman, Brax knows to trust his gut and never let an opportunity pass him by, so he pretends to be someone he’s not.

Maybe he shouldn’t have lied. Maybe he should have come clean. But in the end, it doesn’t matter, because now he has to prove he’s not the wrong man but the right one.

So what if he’s not the man she’s expecting? She’s the one he’s been waiting for.







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Author Bio


Aurora Rose Reynolds is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author whose wildly popular series include Until, Until Him, Until Her, Underground Kings and Shooting Stars.

Her writing career started in an attempt to get the outrageously alpha men who resided in her head to leave her alone and has blossomed into an opportunity to share her stories with readers all over the world.


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