Audiobook Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

For my next audiobook listen, I was still looking for YA, but decided to go for a contemporary story. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven was recommended to me by Audible, and I thought, why not? Sounds interesting.

This book hit me with all the feels. The blurb hinted at it being a heavy book, and well, it delivered as expected. I especially connected with Violet and her feeling of loss. The way that she grieved and retreated into herself was believable and so very sad. Finch took a little longer to win me over, but he eventually did, making the ending an emotional one. It’s just that, in the beginning, his personality was a little over the top and took a little getting used to on my part.

I really try to avoid spoilers in my reviews. This one is hard to talk about without giving too much away. If you like YA books that deal with hard issues real people deal with every day, then read this. If you like your stories to end with everything neat and tied up with a pretty bow wrapped around it, you might want to skip it.

I love stories that allow readers to experience a range of emotions. This one made me laugh and also had me choked up at times. I give it four stars.

Audiobook Review: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

As I searched Audible for my next book, the cover for The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall caught my eye and the blurb sounded like something that would interest me so I decided to give it a try.

This book is narrated by Julia Whelan. I have listened to other books read by her, and I’ve never been disappointed with the way that she portrays the different characters. Her performance reminded me of the Die for Me series by Amy Plum, since this book also has scenes in Paris, and the accents were very well done.

I liked that this book had a different take on history, with the premise involving a secret society known as the Circle who control much of what goes on in the world. The book is filled with action and many of the scenes play out in intriguing spots in Paris and Istanbul.

I found The Conspiracy of Us to be entertaining. While I liked it, I didn’t love it. I would give this 3.5 out of 5 stars, mainly because I didn’t connect with Avery as much as I wanted to. Stellan was my favorite character by far. At some point, I will probably check out book 2 in this series, primarily because I want to learn more about him. It seems he would be more heavily involved based on the way things ended. I’ll leave it at that to avoid a spoiler.

Audiobook Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

For this audiobook, there were two different narrators for each main character. I liked that it was done this way.

When I heard the opening of the story, it seemed a little far fetched. I was uncertain if I was going to like it, but once I got past Ben and Fallon’s initial meeting, I easily got sucked in to the story. As the story progressed, and plot twists were revealed along the way, the beginning made more sense and I was happy that I had stuck with it.

I don’t like to do spoilers, so I won’t give any specifics, but there are parts of this book that brought me to tears. There is one particular part that just tore at my heart. I love books that make me feel, and this one most certainly did just that.

If you enjoy books that tug on the heart strings, I think you would really enjoy this one.

Release Day Celebration: The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece with Giveaway



Happy Release Day to

The Paladins (The Artisans #2)

by Julie Reece!

Join us in celebrating this new release from Month9Books!

Enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

Happy Book Birthday, Julie!


The Paladins Cover


The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives…or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?

Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.

The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts.

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The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Publisher: Month9Books

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Gideon’s arms slide around my waist as I stand at the kitchen sink with my snack. I’m trying to work up the courage to tell him what happened in my room this morning. All day I’ve avoided delivering the news that may derail our careful plans for fall semester.

Warm breath lingers on the back of my head sending delicious chills though my body. His fingers gently brush the skin on my stomach beneath my blouse, and I fight the urge to turn and leap into his arms. The guy emits more dangerous energy than a leaky power plant. Still, I hold back.

I was the one who wanted to go slowly. Like, first gear slow. Maybe just idle. Call me old fashioned, but I always dreamed that my first time sleeping with a guy would be with my husband on our honeymoon. I still want that, and him, but I just turned eighteen.

The muscles under his golden skin flex as his arms tighten around me. How does he make me feel safe and nervous at the same time? His nose parts the hair above my ear. Steady breaths, finally drive me to place my cookie on the counter and face him. My hands slide around his neck, fingers playing with the silky curls at his nape. I love the spicy scent of black licorice that’s distinctly his.

He lowers his head, nose rubbing mine before he lets his lips drift over my mouth. Whisper soft, his hesitant touch is an excruciating tease. Always, there’s curiosity and the promise of more to come.

My fingers untangle at his neck and drop to the bulge in his biceps. I can’t help enjoying the way they bunch when he holds me. My legs lose strength, knees weaken. There’s every possibility the boy will kiss me into unconsciousness. Can that happen? He must know because he holds me so close I hardly have the air to speak.




The Artisans


They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad’s drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven’s stepdad’s drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she’s ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries’ clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can’t imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

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Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest |Tumbr | Instagram | Goodreads



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Collide is now available!



It’s finally here. I’ve been working toward this day for a very long time, and I am so happy to announce that Collide is now available for purchase.

If you want to learn more about my debut novel, I give three reasons why you should read it on Sharon Struth’s blog today. Collide is also in the spotlight at Iris St. Clair’s blog today. I feel so lucky to be hosted by two wonderful authors. If you have a minute, I hope you click through and check out their sites.

For all that are interested in grabbing a copy, here are some links:


Evernight Teen:

Also, if you would like to add Collide to your shelf on Goodreads:

A New Normal

I’ve been wanting to write this post for weeks, but it’s been hard to find the right words and I need to get them just right.

An hour after I published my announcement about Collide getting published with Evernight Teen, I received devastating news. News which two months later still breaks my heart, and will have a lasting effect forever.

My brother passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. At first, I thought what most people would in my shoes. No way. Not possible. There must be some kind of mistake. He was only forty-four, was not ill, and had no health issues that I was aware of. How could something like this happen? It’s not fair that he’s gone. It just isn’t.

My brother was a thoughtful, generous soul, one I wish I appreciated more when he was around. He knew that I loved him, but I regret not having done more for him and with him, and I’ll never get the chance to do that over. Not a day has passed where I haven’t thought of him, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, if ever.

I miss him dearly. It’s odd to no longer get text messages from him, or to hear his voice on the other side of the phone.But, probably the weirdest thing of all is that I can almost deal with missing him. It’s knowing that he’s never coming back that really hurts.

What I’m about to say is totally cliché, but it’s never felt more true to me. Hug your loved ones. Tell them and show them how much they mean to you, because you never know which time will be the last.

When I started sharing the horrible news, I received encouraging words from a writing friend. She had lost her mother two years earlier right around the same time of year, and her insight had comforted me more than she probably knows. She encouraged me to grieve, and to not expect any sort of “normal” until a new normal finds its way past the pain. Thank you, Sharon, for reminding me that, at some point, things will feel okay again.

And, so I go on, searching for my new normal…

Happy News for the New Year!

Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year! I hope that your holidays were filled with lots of fun, with plenty of time for some good old-fashioned R&R on the side. The last week has been filled with much jolly good cheer for me, and I’m now trying to get back to the routine, which means cookies are no longer acceptable at breakfast, lunch, and dinner (but it sure was good while it lasted).

And now, for my big news…My YA Fantasy novel, Collide, is going to be published by Evernight Teen in late winter/early spring of 2016. That’s only a few months away! I am SO EXCITED! I’m listed on the Coming Soon page here:

That’s all for now, but I will continue to share more details as they become available. Watch out, 2016. Here I come!!

It’s been a while…

Wow. The fall season passed in the blink of an eye. Am I the only one that feels this way?

No worries though. I kept busy by embarking on a new story. It’s a contemporary YA romance about two high school seniors that fall in love as they work side-by-side as leading roles in their school’s musical. I’m enjoying the process of getting the first draft out. As much as I like how things are shaping up, I know the revision process will really bring them to life.

As far as my YA fantasy novel, I will have some very, VERY good news to share about that soon!

Exclusive Excerpt of Love’s Nectar by Jaylee Austin

Check out this exclusive excerpt of Love’s Nectar by Jaylee Austin below. Enjoy!

Love’s Nectar

By Jaylee Austin


What if fate pushed you to make a choice between keeping a promise and revealing a truth? After her grandmother’s death, she opens an unexpected letter containing an unwanted request. Isabel feels obligated to honor her grams final wish. In the process she risks losing the man of her dreams.

Six months before their marriage Isabel reveals a time bomb that will forever change their lives. He loves her but the betrayal of not trusting him weighs heavy on his heart. Trust means everything to Seth.

One ring, journal, box, spirit, and flower will teach everyone the power of commitment and the importance of honesty.  Secrets left buried will always haunt the living, a life lived truthfully leads to happily ever after. Will Isabel and Seth realize this before they are doomed to replay the mistakes of the past?


“Good morning, beautiful,” he said, gulping the rest of his coffee.

She sat in the lounge chair to enjoy the early morning, the seagulls diving into the sea, hunting their morning meal. “Did Renee pick up the gala tickets at the Pageant of the Arts booth?”

“Yeah, there in the drawer by the fridge.”

He put everything in that drawer. Good luck locating the tickets anytime in this century.

Seth set down his sketch and pencil, and joined her on the chaise lounge. He pulled her down beside him and slid his hand inside the robe, cupping her breast.

Isabel moaned and opened her body so he could fully explore her hardening nipples. The murmur of voices from the beach below shattered the solitude. Securing her robe, she sat up and finished her coffee.

“I want to show you the portrait I painted.”

“Let me change into my bathing suit and shorts.”

“Good idea, I’ll set the easel and portrait in the living room.”

Isabel quickly changed and brushed her teeth. Stepping from the bathroom, she stopped in her tracks, dropping the hairbrush. “Grams. You painted Grams and me.” She glided her fingers across her grandmother’s image. A wave of tenderness for the man who’d painted it threatened to break down her resolve, and send her to her knees to plead his forgiveness for every poor choice she’d ever made.


About the Author:

Jaylee Austin lives in Apple Valley California with her partner and dog. Jaylee has a Master’s in Education and works to inspire young writers to take the challenge to find their creative mojo.

Jaylee loves to hear from readers, so please e-mail at  or follow me on twitter@jaylee_austin



Summer’s Sweet Embrace

A Sweet Romance Anthology
by Various Authors


Release Date: August 19, 2015
Genre: Romance Anthology (Short Stories)
Keywords: Summer, Beach, Ocean, romance, contemporary, Summertime Romance, short stories

Description: Summertime love is always the sweetest. These eight sweet tales of summer romance are the perfect companion for a day at the lake or the beach.

Truly Paradise – Michelle Ziegler

Waiting for the right one can be torture.

Too bad for Hailey, impatience got the best of her. Finding Mr. Right in time for a destination wedding couldn’t happen fast enough. Instead of listening to reason, or rather her friends, she’s stuck in paradise alone, again. Nothing ruins a tropical paradise faster than catching your date with another woman.Justin’s ready for a change. He’s been caught up in his own success for too long and is looking to finally settle down. Timing is everything and his cousins wedding is the perfect start of his new life. His luck is changing with the captivating mystery woman on the beach.  Now all he has to do is find her, before he agrees to his family’s match making plot.

Ocean Dust – Laurie Treacy

Carly Dawson, 18, is facing her last summer before leaving for college, all alone. Still nursing a broken heart over the loss of her boyfriend, Chase Montgomery, she wants the next two months to be different. A shocking unexpected visitor one night just may offer Carly the excitement she seeks. Her only decision is whether or not to choose what this visitor offers her.

The Beach Rose – Christa MacDonald

Annie Thomas can’t believe her good luck when she inherits the family’s beach house in Oceanside Maine.  It’s one of the few places she was truly happy so she sells everything she owns, quits her job, and moves in hoping that her new business, The Beach Rose, will bring in enough money in its first season to let her live up there year round.  But on her first day things aren’t as easy or as simple as she’d hoped.  To cap it off she discovers that her best new client is actually the boy she had a huge teenage crush on.  So much for rekindling a summer romance.

For Craig, Annie was everything he wanted when he was a geeky seventeen year-old.  Now that he’s pushing forty and the owner of half the real estate in town, he wants another shot at convincing her that he’s everything she needs.  He didn’t count on her owning the business he just signed a contract with though.  Craig has to find a way to help Annie’s struggling business without her knowing it since anything else would push her further away and that’s the last thing he wants.

Together they may get a second chance for a summer romance.

When the Sea Swallows the Sun – Kim Strattford

A trip to Clearwater Beach was supposed to be a fun escape from the D.C. rat race for Emma and her boyfriend Sam.  Until Sam dumped her, leaving her with a ticket she was too cheap not to use and a resolution to enjoy her time in the sun and get over him.  A plan that sputters when Sam’s good friend Rick shows up.  Rick, who’s never seemed to approve of her for reasons she’s never understood.  Rick, who seems to think he has license to bug her just because he bought Sam’s ticket.  Rick, who may be a much nicer guy than she ever realized, and who might have a very good reason for not thinking much of her.  Can they make peace in the beautiful Florida sun and surf?  Peace—or maybe more?

Love’s Nectar – Jaylee Austin

What if fate pushed you to make a choice between keeping a promise and revealing a truth? After her grandmother’s death, she opens an unexpected letter containing an unwanted request. Isabel feels obligated to honor her grams final wish. In the process she risks losing the man of her dreams.

Six months before their marriage Isabel reveals a time bomb that will forever change their lives. He loves her but the betrayal of not trusting him weighs heavy on his heart. Trust means everything to Seth.

One ring, journal, box, spirit, and flower will teach everyone the power of commitment and the importance of honesty.  Secrets left buried will always haunt the living, a life lived truthfully leads to happily ever after. Will Isabel and Seth realize this before they are doomed to replay the mistakes of the past?

Love’s High Tide – Niki Mitchell

Tired of the vacationers hitting on her, surf shop owner, Skye Taylor quits dating. In walks the cocky, Harley Nicholson from Idaho. She’s not open for another summer fling. Can he convinces her to give love a chance?

Harley sees Skye shooting through the Huntington Beach Pier on her surfboard. Mesmerized by the woman’s connection with the wave, he sets out to meet the brazen surfer. He bets his cousin that before he leaves in three weeks, she’ll be his.

Skye’s life is kept busy running the Epic Surf Shop and training for annual surfing contest. The handsome, buff Idahoan interests her, but she doesn’t want another disastrous summer fling. Harley charms her into giving him a surfing lesson, woos her with moonlight strolls, and coaxes her with sweet gestures. Skye discovers Harley’s betrayal. She refuses to see him or hear his explanation.

Miserable, Harley must do something monumental to win her back. Will Skye ever forgive Harley?

Linger – Melissa J. Crispin

Tracey Thompson isn’t like most twenty-year-olds. She’s looking forward to settling down and marrying her soul mate, Noah Martin. Even though their love bloomed when they were just little kids, they never doubted it and never looked back.

When a tragic accident separates Tracey from Noah, she struggles to go on without him. As the days wear on, she becomes aware of a chance for them to be together once again. All she needs to do is understand what tore them apart in the first place. But, overcoming this is harder than it seems. Will she be strong enough to find her way back to him?

Above Reproach – Sheryl Winters

Executive Secretary, Margaret Simms should have had it all. An apartment on the beach and a job at Reynolds Ad Agency, working for her best friend and business mogul, Garrett Reynolds.

A one night stand leads to a pregnancy and a re-evaluation of her life goals. In reality, Margaret’s always hated her office job and culinary school is her life dream. But that too is ripped away from her when Garrett, her best friend and father of her child, develops cancer.

Obligation forces her back to the work she hates. When office espionage threatens her life, Margaret finds she must make a choice. Stand up for what she truly believes in or lose all she’s ever wanted.

Purchase Links

Roane Publishing


Amazon (UK)

 Smash Words



A paperback copy of Summer’s’ Sweet Embrace and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!


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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.