Blog Tour: The Unwilling

The Unwilling is the story of a young woman, born an orphan with a secret gift, who grows up trapped, thinking of herself as an afterthought, but who discovers that she does not have to be given power: she can take it. An epic tale of greed and ambition, cruelty and love, the novel is about bowing to traditions and burning them down.

For reasons that nobody knows or seems willing to discuss, Judah the Foundling was raised as siblings along with Gavin, the heir of Highfall, in the great house beyond the wall, the seat of power at the center of Lord Elban’s great empire. There is a mysterious–one might say unnatural connection–between the two, and it is both the key to Judah’s survival until this point, and now her possible undoing.

As Gavin prepares for his long-arranged marriage to Eleanor of Tiernan, and his brilliant but sickly younger brother Theron tries to avoid becoming commander of the army, Judah is left to realize that she has no actual power or position within the castle, in fact, no hope at all of ever traveling beyond the wall. Lord Elban–a man as powerful as he is cruel- has other plans for her, for all of them. She is a pawn to him and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Meanwhile, outside the wall, in the starving, desperate city, a Magus, a healer with a secret power unlike anything Highfall has seen in years is newly arrived from the provinces. He, too, has plans for the empire, and at the heart of those plans lies Judah. The girl who started off with no name and no history will be forced to discover there’s more to her story than she ever imagined.

Buy Links: Oblong Books Barnes & Noble Amazon Powell’s Apple Books IndieBound

First things first, this book is very dark and has a TON of trigger warnings, so if you are considering picking it up, please look into them and judge if this book is something you can handle. There is a lot of abuse in the story, so be warned about that. Also, I’m not sure why this is being described as young adult, because it clearly isn’t YA, it’s fantasy.

The story line was complex and unfortunately a little hard to follow at times, but it did come together. I feel like this is going to be a very polarizing book, so I’m sure some people are going to absolutely love it. The characters, though most of them are young, are complex and have unique bonds that grow or are cemented through the book. There are some great connections and relationships in this book.

Overall it was a very intriguing story with lots of twists and turns. Though it wasn’t the perfect read for me, I could definitely see a lot of people loving it.

Kelly Braffet is the author of the novels Save Yourself, Last Seen Leaving and Josie & Jack. Her writing has been published in The Fairy Tale Review, Post Road, and several anthologies. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University. She currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, the author Owen King. A lifelong reader of speculative fiction, the idea for The Unwilling originally came to her in college; twenty years later, it’s her first fantasy novel. Visit her at kellybraffet.com.

Social Links:
Author website: https://www.kellybraffet.com/
Facebook: @kellybraffetfiction
Twitter: @KellyBraffet

Happy reading!

Havenport Release Day Blitz

Welcome to Havenport, RI a fictional town not far from Newport where you’ll find romance, suspense, time travel and secrets shared by five authors in genres you love. Today they are releasing five new standalone books, come check them out and stay for a spell…

A quick note from Havenport newspaper gossip, Candy Apples…. 

Okay, here’s the skinny. Havenport’s a great town. Perfect for a gossip like me. 😉 I’ve been writing this column for years and never struggle for a story. Easiest job I’ve ever had!

We may have started as a small fishing town (stop by our maritime museum to learn more) but we’ve expanded into a thriving hub for business of all sorts. Lots of restaurants, a charming bookstore, souvenir shops, whale watching, ghost tours, even a metaphysical shop (the manager’s a member of our local coven)…there’s never a shortage of things to do here.

We’ve got Manor Road, with titans of business known for bringing the money to town—and the drama. I don’t need a shovel to dig up the dirt (or the skeletons) over there.

I’m no less busy when I take a stroll down Main Street and eavesdrop—um, I mean, talk to the shopkeepers. They’re a nosy bunch, but they’ve got your best interest at heart. I’ve seen some great couples get together over a drink at Royce’s Tavern or after dropping off a pup for daycare at Wags & Walks.

With our close proximity to major cities like Newport, Providence, Boston, and New York City, we attract just about everybody. And, in the spirit of our founding fathers, Havenport welcomes them all with open arms. And when I say everyone, I mean it.

Are you looking for a hometown hero to sweep you off your feet? A debonair best-selling author? Is a time traveler from the Roaring Twenties more your style? If you’re looking for adventure or to reunite with a lost love, you’ll find it here.

And I’ll report all the juicy details.
~ Candy Apples

Discover Your Next Read 

Heart of the Matter

Digging into the past can be murder.

Addison Moore, a well-known psychiatrist, is having difficulty coming to terms with the death of her grandmother, Cookie. The woman was everything to her after her parents died in a plane crash over Lockerbie, Scotland. Little did Addy know, an old picture tucked away in the family bible of Cookie with a handsome stranger would lead her to a discovery for which she is little prepared.

Ethan Taylor is an art historian. He’s lived with his Great Uncle Ben for a long time and would do anything for him. He never anticipated Ben’s dying wish would introduce him to his biggest sacrifice.

Neither Addy nor Ethan are prepared for the lengths at which their families went through to keep Cookie and Ben apart. As they put the pieces together, they uncover a decade’s old unsolved murder implicating Cookie and Ben. Will Addy and Ethan’s blossoming love be able to stand the strain of finding the truth? Will they be able to get to the heart of the matter?

Grab your copy: Amazon | Add to Goodreads

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventures and contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. Her stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. She lives in New Jersey with her hero, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and vice president at an international bank where she was a product/ marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance.
She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures.

Everything

Gage and Dani have been through it all: the struggles of life, exciting military service, rocky relationships, and heart breaking deaths. In twenty-plus years of being best friends, they’ve never faced as big of a challenge as they do now. Can their friendship and hearts survive the ultimate test of time?














Grab your copy: Amazon | Add to: Goodreads

D.C. “Desi” Stone is a best-selling romance author and full-time investigator. She lives in the northeast with her incredibly supporting husband, two kids, and the ever-growing family of pets. After serving eight years of service with the United States Air Force, she went on to transition into the world of financial and organized crimes and became a lead investigator for many years. Reading has always been a passion of hers, and getting lost in a good, steamy romance is one of her favorite past times. Her writing concentrates on romantic with specifics in paranormal, suspense, and erotica. When she isn’t trying to solve a new puzzle in the world of fraud, she is engulfed with coffee, her laptop, and all those crazy characters. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hudson Valley Romance Writers, New Jersey Romance Writers, RomVets, RWA Kiss of Death, and the Liberty State Fiction Writers. She served as the 2014 NJRW Vice President and Conference Chair.

Always

Brianna Baxter thinks she has the world figured out. She lives a life of privilege and does whatever she wants. After living in New York City, London, New Jersey, and Florida she settles down in Havenport, Rhode Island. As the Christmas holiday approaches, a secret is revealed and she is challenged with the most important decision of her life.

Workaholic Simon May gets an unexpected vacation over the holidays and visits family in London. At his childhood home, he finds an envelope that holds the answer to his future. Or does it? He throws caution to the wind and jumps on the next available flight across the pond in search of what he lost. He takes the biggest risk of his life, unsure of what he will encounter once the plane touches down.

Will the uncertainty of Brianna’s future steer her in the right direction? Will Simon receive the answer he seeks?





Grab your copy: Amazon | Add to: Goodreads

Lita Harris spends her time between New Jersey and the Endless Mountains region of Pennsylvania. She even lived in Alaska for a short time just for fun. Her two rescue dogs are always close by and travel everywhere with her. An avid crafter, unused supplies clutter her basement and attempts at making pottery, jewelry, and stained glass are scattered throughout her house. She also makes candles and homemade soap. With enough books to stock a small library she may need to construct a building to store her literary obsession. She writes multiple genres, women’s fiction, contemporary romance, paranormal, and cozy mysteries.

Rescuing the Ranger

Gabe Preston’s been sent on a mission: clean out his beloved grandmother’s house in Havenport and help move her into senior living—or so he thinks. Havenport had always been a special place to visit while growing up, but during this ride into town he finds more than he bargained for. Surviving multiple deployments as an Army Ranger hadn’t ever proved this type of challenging. All Gabe desires is to ride his motorcycle, enjoy his time out of the Army, and figure out his next stop in life. The best laid plans don’t necessarily work out when you’ve got a meddling, matchmaking grandmother.

Francesca Montefiore loves Havenport, and her recently acquired florist shop. She’s finally made a fresh start in her life, one stem at a time. When she’s “adopted” by the local Garden Club members she treasures the ladies as family, something she’d been sorely lacking. When her past comes back to threaten her contentment, she’ll need the help of one hunky, visiting Army Ranger, the Garden Club President’s grandson to come to her rescue. But will she be the one doing the rescuing instead?

Grab your copy: Amazon | Add to: Goodreads

Nicole S. Patrick is a Human Resources professional by day and romance novelist the rest of the time. She’s a founding partner in Timeless Scribes, Publishing, LLC and crafts contemporary romance stories about military heroes. Former President of New Jersey Romance Writers, she met her business and writing partners at a meeting and the rest is history. Together they created the fictional town of Havenport, RI, where magic is in the air, and love happens with every story. Nicole currently lives in central New Jersey with her husband and two sons who keep her house in a state of constant chaos…but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Time After Time

When Sophia Segarra, the owner of Time After Time Antiques in Havenport, finds a packet of love letters from the 1920s in her shop, she can’t help but fantasize about what it would be like to find a love like the one described in those letters. But even though she’s told the pearl necklace from her Halloween costume will bring the wearer to true love, she never imagined they’d transport her back in time to the Roaring Twenties.

In 1928, Liam O’Connell is writing an article on the Main Street Bandits for the Havenport Herald while investigating the disappearance of his brother. He’s not having much luck with either and a trip to Tilly’s speakeasy on Halloween is about to make life more interesting.

Liam’s reporter instincts tell him Sophia’s hiding something, and he’s determined to find out what. Will her secret keep them apart, or will they come to realize that time after time, love overcomes all obstacles?




Grab your copy: Amazon | Add to: Goodreads

EMMA KAYE is married to her high school sweetheart and has two beautiful kids that she spends an insane amount of time driving around central New Jersey. Before Scouts and drama club entered her life, she decided to try writing one of those romances she loved to read and discovered a new passion. She has been writing ever since. Add in a playful puppy, two patient cats, and a snake, and she’s living her own happily ever after while making her characters work hard to reach theirs.

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Blog Tour: Temporary Wife Temptation

Much more than he bargained for…

“You want me to find you a wife?”

“No. I want you to be my wife.”

Garrett Song is this close to taking the reins of his family’s LA fashion empire…until the Song matriarch insists he marry her handpicked bride first. To block her matchmaking, he recruits Natalie Sobol to pose as his wife. She needs a fake spouse as badly as he does. But when passion burns down their chaste agreement, the flames could destroy them all…

I can honestly say that I loved this one – I’ve never read anything by Jayci Lee, but after experiencing her writing I’ll be sure to pick up more. So much of this made me think of kdramas (which are something I love) that I had a great time reading it.

It was so spicy and such a fast read (maybe at some points advancing too fast, but understandably with it’s length) that I almost read it all in one sitting. I would definitely say that the characters had depth and each had their ulterior motives for the relationship. I do love a good fake dating trope and this one definitely satisfied that for me. Overall, I would definitely read it again and look forward to reading more of Jayci Lee’s writing.

Jayci Lee writes poignant, funny, and sexy romance. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. She is semi-retired from her 15-year career as a defense litigator, and writes full-time now. She loves food, wine, and travelling, just like her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal. She hopes her books will do the same for you.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: Witness Protection Widow

Can the witness protection program keep her identity secret?

After Allison James finally escapes her marriage to a monster, she becomes the star witness in the case against her deceased husband’s powerful crime family. Now it’s up to US Marshal Jaxson Stevens, Ali’s ex-boyfriend, to keep the WITSEC widow safe. But as the danger escalates and sparks fly, will Jax be able to help Ali escape her ruthless in-laws?

This was my first title from the Harlequin Intrigue line as well as from Debra Webb and I was not disappointed. This story was a non stop from the beginning to the end and filled with action. While I’m not a huge fan of a lot of misunderstandings, it was understandable between these characters considering their past. I really enjoyed the way they were written as well as their points of view while going through the story.

Webb’s writing was easy to read and really enjoyable, I just loved the fast pace of the story and flew through this story. I will definitely be looking forward to future in this line and from Debra Webb herself as I really enjoyed her writing!

DEBRA WEBB is the award winning, USA Today bestselling author of more than 150 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, the Colby Agency, and the Shades of Death series. With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood on a farm in Alabama. Visit Debra at www.DebraWebb.com.

Witness Protection Widow is out now, so if you’re interested be sure to check it out. Happy reading!

Blog Tour: Don't Read the Comments

Slay meets Eliza and Her Monsters in Eric Smith’s Don’t Read the Comments, an #ownvoices story in which two teen gamers find their virtual worlds—and blossoming romance—invaded by the real-world issues of trolling and doxing in the gaming community.

Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…And she isn’t going down without a fight.

Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Kobo Indie Bound Google Play

I was super excited about this book when I heard about it. Being a gamer myself I’m very aware of the toxicity that can be found in the gaming community, especially when it comes to female players, so having a book that tackles this head on was such a joy to see.

I was not disappointed at all and can easily say that Don’t Read the Comments will likely appear in my favorite books of the year list. It not only discussed the gaming community and how celebrities in that community are treated, but also addressed other issues in the gaming community, different family dynamics and issues and so much more. The discussion regarding how Divya guards her identity and information out of fear of being pursued or doxxed is something that is seen in a number of industries, not just the gaming community.

I fell in love with so many of the characters, even when they perhaps weren’t acting the best. They were all moving cogs within the story that contributed greatly to the plot. There were also wonderfully inserted moments of humor that not only lightened the events, but perfectly added a realness to the story.

This was really such a wonderful read and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Eric Smith is an author, prolific book blogger, and literary agent from New Jersey, currently living in Philadelphia. Smith cohosts Book Riot’s newest podcast, HEY YA, with non-fiction YA author Kelly Jensen. He can regularly be found writing for Book Riot’s blog, as well as Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine, and Publishing Crawl. Smith also has a growing Twitter platform of over 40,000 followers (@ericsmithrocks).

Social Links: 
Author website: https://www.ericsmithrocks.com/
Twitter: @ericsmithrocks 
Instagram: @ericsmithrocks
Facebook: @ericsmithwrites

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: First Cut

Wife and husband duo Dr. Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell first enthralled the book world with their runaway bestselling memoir Working Stiff—a fearless account of a young forensic pathologist’s “rookie season” as a NYC medical examiner. This winter, Dr. Melinek, now a prominent forensic pathologist in the Bay Area, once again joins forces with writer T.J. Mitchell to take their first stab at fiction. 

The result: FIRST CUT—a gritty and compelling crime debut about a hard-nosed San Francisco medical examiner who uncovers a dangerous conspiracy connecting the seedy underbelly of the city’s nefarious opioid traffickers and its ever-shifting terrain of tech startups.

Dr. Jessie Teska has made a chilling discovery. A suspected overdose case contains hints of something more sinister: a drug lord’s attempt at a murderous cover up. As more bodies land on her autopsy table, Jessie uncovers a constellation of deaths that point to an elaborate network of powerful criminals—on both sides of the law—that will do anything to keep things buried. But autopsy means “see for yourself,” and Jessie Teska won’t stop until she’s seen it all—even if it means the next corpse on the slab could be her own.

BUY LINKS: Harlequin Indiebound Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million
Target Walmart Google iBooks Kobo

I won’t lie, part of the reason I was drawn to this book was because it is set in the Bay Area and that is one of my favorite settings for a book, but I was also really interested in the plot. I have not read from the M.E.’s point of view before, especially one that dives into cases and tries to unravel the mysteries of them. Needless to say I was intrigued.

This story was full of twists and turns, sometimes due to Dr. Teska’s decisions and assumptions, sometimes because of the actual crimes and criminals. I really enjoyed how things starts falling into place throughout the story. I also loved the personal touches such as Teska’s propensity to curse in Polish, her interactions with her brother and the hijinks of her dog.

I would keep in mind that this is told from the point of view of a M.E. so there are autopsy descriptions that are graphic, though matter of fact. If that kind of thing makes you squirmish please be aware of that.

Judy Melinek was an assistant medical examiner in San Francisco for nine years, and today works as a forensic pathologist in Oakland and as CEO of PathologyExpert Inc. She and T.J. Mitchell met as undergraduates at Harvard, after which she studied medicine and practiced pathology at UCLA. Her training in forensics at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner is the subject of their first book, the memoir Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner.

T.J. Mitchell is a writer with an English degree from Harvard, and worked in the film industry before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad. He is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner with his wife, Judy Melinek.

Social Links:
Twitter: Judy: @drjudymelinek TJ: @TJMitchellWS FB: @DrWorkingStiff

Instagram: Judy: @drjudymelinek

Goodreads:
Judy: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7382113.Judy_Melinek
TJ: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1899585.T_J_Mitchell

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: A Love Hate Thing

When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the affluent coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares, and the total feeling of not belonging in the posh suburb. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the mean streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He doesn’t even care how the rest of his life will play out.

In Pacific Hills, image is everything. Something that, as the resident golden girl, Nandy Smith knows all too well. She’s spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in. After learning that her parents are taking in a former childhood friend, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. It’s the start of summer vacation and the last thing Nandy needs is some juvenile delinquent from the ’Wood crashing into her world.

Stuck together in close quarters, Trice and Nandy are in for some long summer nights. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

Buy Links: Harlequin Amazon Barnes & Noble Indie Bound Kobo
Books-a-Million Google Play

I don’t read a ton of contemporary YA but the premise of this one piqued my interest and I wanted to check it out. It was definitely a compelling story that delved into subjects such as stereotypes, perceived status, racism and more. I can’t speak to the accuracy of the representation, but I really enjoyed the progression of the story and characters. There were characters that I wish we’d had more of an insight into, as they were a little two dimensional. I found myself wanting to know more about their back stories so that I could understand some of their actions, but since they weren’t the main characters I do understand why there wasn’t more about them.

The pacing and switching off of the POVs made this a really fast read and the story kept moving really well. There were definitely some sections that made me anxious because of what was happening which to me is a good sign of the quality of writing. Overall this was a really compelling and worthwhile read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Whitney D. Grandison was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, where she currently resides. A lover of stories since she first picked up a book, it’s no surprise she’s taken to writing her own. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers.

Social Links: Instagram: @wheadee
Twitter: @whitney_DG

Happy reading!