Blog Tour + Sneak Peek + Giveaway: Three Broken Promises by Monica Murphy

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Three Broken Promises

Title: Three Broken Promises (Drew + Fable #3)

Author: Monica Murphy

Release Day: TODAY! (December 31st, 2013)

Breakout New Adult sensation Monica Murphy returns with a hot new contemporary romance—a heartfelt story of second chances, forgiveness, and redemption.

Commitment. That’s what I really want from Colin. Ever since my brother, Danny, died in Iraq, Colin’s done so much to help me, including giving me a job at his popular restaurant so I can leave my crappy waitressing job at the strip joint. But lying in bed with him every night to comfort him from his horrible nightmares isn’t enough anymore. I know he feels guilty about Danny’s death, about not going to Iraq, but I can’t keep living this double life. 

I love him desperately, but he’s got so many demons, and if he can’t open up to me now, then he’ll never be the real partner I need him to be. I gave him a month, and now I’m out of here. If he truly loves me like he says, he knows where to find me.

You guys, I am SO excited to be part of the release day launch for this book! Seriously. I am a huge fan of Monica’s previous two books of the Drew + Fable story and I can’t awit to give this one a try. It is going to be hard to move on from two characters that I have come to know and love but I am really excited to see what Colin and Jen’s story has in store for me.

In honor of the books release, we’ve got an AWESOME sneak peek for you today as well as a giveaway! Be sure to check out all of the goodies below!


“You’re going to turn me away yet again, aren’t you?” she asks when I don’t say anything. The irritation in her voice rings clear as her entire body goes tense. “I can’t believe it. I offer myself up to you with no strings attached and you’re trying to figure out how to let me down easy. God, I am such a moron.”

Unable to hold myself back, I rush toward her, angry that she would insult herself. Panicked that she really is going to walk away and I’m going to lose my chance. Thinking too much sucks. I need to just let it happen. Take this opportunity that she’s presenting me.

And let her go when our time is up.

“You’re not a moron,” I murmur, reaching for her. I cup her face in my hands and position her so she has no choice but to meet my gaze. I skim my thumbs across her cheeks, feel her shudder at my touch. “You make an offer like that and a man needs to process it first.”

The unshed tears still glimmer in her eyes and one escapes, leaving a damp trail across her skin. Leaning in, I stop its descent with my lips, tasting the salt, hearing the catch in her breath. “We do this and it’s not going to be some half-assed thing, you know,” I whisper.

She closes her eyes, her tears tangled in her long, thick lashes. “What’s it going to be, then?”

“A discovery.” I nuzzle her nose with my own, breathing in her scent, her very essence. God, I could devour her! It’s taking everything within me to keep calm and not unleash all over her. “An exploration.”

“That sounds like . . . research.” Her breath hitches in her throat when I drop a tender kiss on the tip of her nose.

Chuckling, I shake my head. “It’s the farthest thing from research.” I drift my lips across her cheek, blazing a hot path on her petal-soft skin. “You’re right when you said I don’t do commitment. The closest thing I’ve ever been to commitment is . . . what I share with you.”

She tentatively places her hands on my hips, her fingers curling into the waistband of my jeans. Having her hands on me sends little darts of fire throughout my insides, making me harden in an instant. She has no idea what sort of effect she has on me. How much restraint I’m using at this very moment not to throw her over my shoulder like an oversexed caveman and cart her off to my bedroom.

“But it can be no more than friendship with added . . . benefits.” I lift my head so I can look into her troubled gaze. She doesn’t like what I have to say and I don’t like it either, but I have to be honest. Stringing her along and making her believe this is something more is a mistake.

The two of us together would never work. I’m too damn selfish. I’d disappoint her. I’d hold her back when she needs her freedom. I’m not worthy of her. She’s everything sweet and good in my life, where there’s little sweet and good remaining.

I’ve kept her—and our relationship—as pure as possible even after all of these years. With the realization that she’s leaving me, that we’ll never be together again, I need to take my opportunities where I can.

Jen bites her lip and drops her gaze. “I can handle that.”

Her body language is more than telling me she doesn’t really want to handle that, but I can’t worry about it now.

I want her too damn much.


Monica Murphy

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Amazon


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Enter the giveaway by clicking this link!


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Tune In Tuesday (137): Kate’s Top Tunes of 2013

Tune In Tuesday

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! This feature was originally created by Ginger over at GReads! but you can now find it here at Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands. If you would like to participate in this weekly feature, make a blog post showcasing a song (or a few!) and link up at the bottom of this post by clicking the cute blue guy! While you’re here make sure to check out all the other awesome blogs that have decided to participate!

Hi there Tune In Tuesday-ers and the happiest of New Years to you! It has been a crazy year full of ups, downs, and oh so awesome music. I decided that for today I would share the playlist I made up of my favorite tunes from 2013! Keep in mind that while a lot of these songs are on the newer side, there are also a lot of oldies but goodies mixed in because they helped get me through this last year! Take a little listen and let me know what you think!

On a side-note, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for the amazing year! I love sharing music with the people of the blogosphere and it makes my heart happy to see that other people want to share it too. Here’s to another rocking year!


Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway: Kiss Me At Midnight by Diane Alberts

Kiss Me At Midnight

Title: Kiss Me At Midnight

Author: Diane Alberts

Publisher: Flaunt, an Entangled Imprint

My Rating: 3.5-4/5 Stars

Source: I received this book in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

Her New Year’s resolution was seduction.

Doctor Ashley Hanes has one mission and one mission only—end her annoyingly long dry streak and ring in the New Year with a bang. Literally. When her long lost and oh-so-sexy ex-best friend, Ethan Pierce, shows up as if he hadn’t broken her heart all those years ago, suddenly she doesn’t want to bring home just any man. She wants Ethan.

What should have been one night of blow-your-mind make-up sex quickly turns into another. And another. Before long, Ashley thinks maybe she and Ethan should reunite for good. If only the elusive bachelor will stop running from his tortured past and trust a future in Ashley’s arms.

Kiss Me At Midnight Teaser

Kiss Me At Midnight by Diane Alberts was the absolutely PERFECT book to read right before we all ring in the new year! I’ve come to know and love Diane’s books for what they are: quick, hot books that have a whole lot of swooning and heart packed into a little punch.

Ashley was a great main character! Since this story is definitely on the shorter side, we don’t have the luxury of getting an in-depth history of all of the characters but despite that, I felt like I really got to know Ashley. I learned that she was driven, hardworking, and would do anything for those she cares about. I also learned that after getting her heart-broken by her best friend and crush in high school, she has moved on to do bigger and better things. Well that is until she finds herself back in town at the same time as said high school ex-best-friend-and-crush and is once again reminded of the pain he caused.

One thing I loved in particular about this book is that it’s told in dual points-of-view. This really helps push the story along as well as helping to introduce you to yet another main character. Ethan Pierce isn’t the same awkward, nerdy boy he used to be. All grown up, uber successful, and all sorts of attractive, Ethan wants nothing more than to make it through his visit at home and then bolt at the first available opportunity. While looking for a distraction in the town’s local bar, Ethan spots an Ashley look-alike who just so happens to be well, Ashley, but all grown up.

This here is where the story really begins! Ashley, who has so “moved on” from Ethan (a lie she tells herself) and Ethan who has so “moved on” from the pain he suffered at the hands of bullying in high school (you guessed it, another lie) both decide they should just sleep together, have some sexy time, just once, and get it out of their system; give themselves some closure of sorts. But of course that is not the way it works out. Because there is a whole lot of history between these two and also these tricky things called feelings, lust, and love. I really liked that while neither character really thought their relationship would move on and both fought so hard to resist when it actually did become more, I could see it coming from a mile away. I could see the attraction but most importantly the feelings between these two and it had me rooting for them the whole time.

Trying to get over the past is hard but trying to get over the past while also trying to work your way through the present is even tougher. Ethan and Ashley learned this struggle pretty fast when it came time for them to decide what exactly they were going to do with this relationship of theirs. Ethan couldn’t come back home to the very town that caused him so much pain and Ashley couldn’t leave town since she just moved there to help her mom out. This here is where my one and only irritation with the story lies. Both characters have a valid, somewhat reasonable option should they choose to stay together. However, both were too stubborn to give in. I may or may not have yelled at fictional characters at this point in the story. They oh so obviously wanted to be together but neither one wanted to be the first person to make a move.

Despite this small setback, Ethan and Ashley’s story is a good one. A hot one full of sexy times, quite a few laughs, and a lot more heart than I expected from it but a good story nonetheless. If you are looking for a quick read full of these very things, then I definitely suggest you pick yourself up a copy of Kiss Me At Midnight just on time for the New Year!

Kiss Me At Midnight Teaser


Diane Alberts

Diane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling contemporary romance author with Entangled Publishing. She also writes New York Times and USA Today bestselling new adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. ON ONE CONDITION hit #18 on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list, and TRY ME hit #76 on Amazon. CAPTIVATED BY YOU hit #31 on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author.  Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another.

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Enter the giveaway by clicking here!


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Tune In Tuesday (136): Christmas Tunes Edition!

Tune In Tuesday

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! This feature was originally created by Ginger over at GReads! but you can now find it here at Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands. If you would like to participate in this weekly feature, make a blog post showcasing a song (or a few!) and link up at the bottom of this post by clicking the cute blue guy! While you’re here make sure to check out all the other awesome blogs that have decided to participate!

Hi there everyone! Let me be the first to wish you an early but still genuine, MERRY CHRISTMAS. Today is Christmas Eve which means my family will be celebrating with food, gifts, and spending time with each other. Considering we were hit with a terrible ice storm and are currently without power (it’s not expected to be back on until Saturday. YIKES!) this is sure to be the most interesting Christmas we’ve had in a while. Regardless though, I cannot wait!

To celebrate, I’m posting a few holiday tunes with you all today. These aren’t traditional Christmas songs by any means but I love them all anyways. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I will see you in 2014!

Santa Stole My Lady by Fitz and the Tantrums

I have been a big fan of these guys for a long time. I love that they put their signature sound on a Christmas song!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams

My boss calls this song “the creepiest date-rape song” she’s ever heard. I respectfully disagree. It’s still one of my favorites!

Christmas Moon by Brooke Waggoner

Brooke’s voice is insanely gorgeous. I love this song so very much.

Christmas Without You by OneRepublic

I have Ginger to thank for this song! She posted a holiday playlist on her blog (here) and this is the song I instantly fell in love with!

Winter Song by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson

This song is one of my favorite not only Christmas songs, but song in general. It is so sweet and catchy! Also, is it not the most adorable video you’ve ever seen!?!?


Blog Tour + Review + Book Playlist: Sweet Nothing by Mia Henry

Sweet Nothing

Title: Sweet Nothing

Author: Mia Henry

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Elliot Halloran is running away. Away from her privileged Manhattan upbringing and a promising future at business school. Away from her family, which plummeted from A-list to disgraced after her criminal father’s atrocities were exposed. Despite the guilt Elliot feels for abandoning her family, she has no choice. She is too recognizable to live life as the person she has always been. So when an old family friend offers her a position as an economics instructor at Miami’s elite Allford Academy, Elliot jumps at the chance to distance herself from her past. She cuts her hair, changes her name, and vows never to speak of her old life again.

Keeping her identity hidden is harder than Elliot expected, especially with a roommate who seems to be on the verge of uncovering her true identity. As she fumbles through the opening chapters of her new life, Elliot encounters an entirely unforeseen obstacle: photography instructor Luke Poulos. Luke is sensitive and spontaneous. An art lover. Smart. Everything Elliot has ever wanted. Luke and Elliot’s connection deepens when she learns that he lost his parents in a car accident when he was a teenager. Like Elliot, Luke understands that life can shatter in an instant.

Elliot knows that a relationship with Luke is impossible; that he would never love her if he knew the details of her past. But as she struggles with whether to open herself to love or keep her true self locked away, Elliot learns that she’s not the only one with dark secrets.

Sweet Nothing by Mia Henry was such a sweet, sweet surprise. I found myself totally engrossed in Elliot’s story as she starts her new life in Miami and tries to forget all the trouble and hurt from her past in New York.

When we first meet Elliot, there is obviously something troubling that has happened in her past. At first it was what really grabbed my attention in this book because it was like this big mystery I was constantly trying to figure out. Little snippets would sneak out and I felt like I got a little closer to finding out what pushed her away from her life in New York but it was never quite enough to get the full story. While this is what initially stole my attention, it got a bit old after a while. The other characters we were introduced to and certain things going on with Elliot and the oh-so-swoon-worthy Mr. Luke Poulos, soon stole the limelight and I just wanted to know Elliot’s full story without all of the waiting and guessing. Despite this supersmall irritation, I fell in love with Elliot and just about every character in this book!

Elliot is obviously hurt and struggling when we are first introduced to her. Life is not going her way and hasn’t been for a long, long time but she is trying to make it better for herself. After basically dropping her old life at the New York borderline and picking up a new one before she reached Miami, Elliot is virtually unrecognizable. I found her move to be so very brave. She left her sister who happens to be her best friend, she left her safe and comfortable (for the most part) lifestyle and she moved to a place where she didn’t know anyone, had to get a new job, and was faced with some real-life struggles. I loved how she was this sweet, determined person but she was also this closed-off, scared person. She wasn’t totally perfect and she wasn’t totally broken, just somewhere in between and it was so refreshing. I loved that I got to see her at her worse and I also got to see her as she made it to her best.

Elliot’s plan is to just coast through her new life in Miami. Don’t get too attached, just make a living, get her act together and move on. She can’t afford for anyone to recognize her let alone find out about just what she left behind in New York. But as the case often goes in stories like this, her plans soon change. Elliot meets the gorgeous Luke at a work party and there is definitely an attraction there. Despite the physical attraction, these two connect on a deeper, very believable level. Luke lost a lot at a young age and Elliot lost a lot just recently. This commonality allows Elliot to connect with him despite her best efforts. She finds that it’s hard to stay away from someone so understanding (and also really hot because let’s face it, that doesn’t hurt!).

I LOVED Luke as a character. He was so sweet and attentive and also just there for Elliot whenever she needed him. There were many times during this book that Elliot would catch herself getting too caught up in Luke and would try to push herself away or build a wall between them but Luke knocked them all down. Someone please tell me how you don’t swoon over something like that? Perhaps what I loved even more about Luke was his honesty and humor. He was so believable as a character and these traits made him all the more believable.

While Elliot and Luke are obviously the two characters I became the most in love with, Elliot’s roommates were also quite awesome. Waverly and Gwen were hilarious roommates. At first I was kind of leery of both of them but as the story went on, I learned to love and appreciate each of them as they were; sort of flawed, a little bit mysterious, not entirely trustworthy but when it came down to it, they were exceptional new friends to Elliot.

This story ended really odd for me. The story was going good, then it was going great, and I was loving the twists and turns, the ups and downs, but then at the end it just stopped. It definitely leaves room for a sequel of some sort but I feel like it could have been rounded out just a bit more at the end of this one. A fan of cliff-hangers, Kate is not. Despite this minor setback at the end, I LOVED everything about this story. There were moments where I giggled and moments that made my heart hurt. There were characters I loved and characters that added a little something special to this story. But above all there was a great love story mixed in with a great real-life story in which Elliot comes to terms with her past and learns to embrace her future. I definitely, definitely recommend this book!


Mia has put together an awesome playlist for this book! I loved going through and listening to it after I read the book because I could definitely see why some of the songs were featured! I made up a Spotify playlist of her songs below!

**Two songs on Mia’s book playlist were not on Spotify. Those songs were “Wicked Game” by Gemma Hayes and “Swimming In Miami” by Owl City**


Mia Henry adores all things romance, from steamy stories to ugly cry-inducing movies. She lives in Florida, where she dreams up storylines during beach walks with her muse, a ferocious 8-pound pup named Lulu.

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For your chance to win one of three $25 Amazon gift cards, follow the link below to enter the giveaway!

Click here to enter the giveaway!


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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon

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Must Love Otters

Title: Must Love Otters

Author: Eliza Gordon

Publisher: West 26th Street Press, NYC (a division of Writers House)

Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.

Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.

This is one Chick-Lit book I saw on goodreads and was instantly intrigued by. The title is what first grabbed my attention. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love otter? The cover is what kept my attention second because while it is not IN YOUR FACE ADORABLE, it is still sweet and cute in a very understated way. But what truly made me want to pick up this book was the summary. It sounds just like my type of book. I love that there is sure to be a little romance, the main character seems to share my same sense of misadventure but more than that it seems like she really discovers more about herself during this story.

Shortly after stumbling across this book on Goodreads, I was contacted by YA Reads Blog Tours to host this as part of a book blitz. I couldn’t say no! And because my lucky stars seemed to be lining up quite nicely as far as this book is concerned, I learned that it is at a discounted price ($1.99) from now until December 29th. So please feel free to enter the giveaway below but if you want to ensure you get this book, I would snag it at this super awesome price!


Eliza Gordon


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Eliza Gordon is a husband-and-wife team of controlled chaos who writes romantic comedies and silly stories for hearts that haven’t given up on the possibility of a Happily Ever After.

Website // Website // Twitter // Facebook


You’ve got the chance to win 1 of 3 e-copies of Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon. Click the link below to enter!

Enter the giveaway here!

Life As Kate (39): Holiday Fun Edition

Life As Kate

Hi there everyone! It has been far too long since I’ve had a Life As Kate post and since our household is going full speed ahead into the holiday craziness…err, I mean fun, I figured now is as good a time as any! I’ve got loads of fun pictures to share with you all today so I hope you enjoy :)

Last weekend was busy, that’s for sure but we were able to fit in lots of holiday activities. On Saturday, my dad, stepmom, siblings, and I met my older sister, her husband, and my nephew Henrik at the country club for brunch with Santa!

Henrik and Santa

Santa was looking like he had a rough sleigh ride on the way to brunch (seriously though, what’s going on with his hair?). Even though he didn’t look his usual, jolly self, Henrik was so good for his first time meeting Santa!

Henrik and Zeke  Zack and Henrik

Uncle Zeke and Uncle Zack had so much fun playing with their new toys, and of course Henrik!

Family Picture

While at the country club, we were able to snap a rare family portrait. Unfortunately my little sister Kari and her husband Zach couldn’t be there. A flight to Michigan from Hawaii is a bit expensive for a family photo. On a more serious note, this year is going to be very hard as it will be our first year without Kari around to celebrate with us. But since she is so far away and so VERY pregnant, we will just keep her in our thoughts during this time of year.

Following brunch with Santa, my family (minus Jennifer, Dane, and Henrik) ventured to the Christmas tree farm right down the road from us. Windy Hill Christmas Tree Farm is an absolutely adorable little place to go to pick out a tree, see some reindeer, go on a hayride, visit Santa (this one much jollier and more put together!), freeze your ass off, and of course snag some treats at their shop (hot chocolate and cider included…oh and donuts and popcorn too!)


Isn’t this Santa much more adorable than Brunch Santa? I thought so too.

Christmas Trees  Reindeer

Michigan was hit with a snow storm that day which sucked in a way because it was really freaking cold, but it sure made for some pretty pictures of trees and reindeer!

Family Hayride Abby and Zeke

While at the Christmas tree farm, we made sure to go on the hayride and Abby took Zack and Zeke through the maze.

Andrew and Zack Zack and Kate

Andrew and I both took a second out of our Christmas tree hunting to pose with Zack. He was in a fun (i.e. not fun at all) mood that day so I’m really surprised both pictures turned out nice.

Zeke and Kate Family Picture 2

I also made sure to take a picture with Zeker before he ran off with my dad to get some hot cocoa. While he was away, the rest of us kids posed for a picture but as you can obviously see, the snow had other plans. I wasn’t lying when I said a snow storm was kicking Michigan’s butt.

Miracle on 34th Street

Later that night while our Christmas trees thawed out (yes, TREES as in plural because with our family, one Christmas tree just isn’t enough) I went to my younger cousin’s performance of Miracle on 34th Street. It was an adorable production and my cousin made an even more adorable singing elf. The director even gave her a special part in the play to bring out her guitar (which she JUST learned how to play) and play and sing to “Last Christmas.”

It’s safe to say that it was a busy day but the fun continued the next day when Jen, Dane, Henrik, and my Grandpa Torrey came over for our first of many Christmas parties this year.

Henrik and Kate IMAG1979 Jen, Henrik, and Grandpa

It was nice to eat breakfast and visit with everyone (especially with the totally adorable Henrik!) before I left for work that day!

IMG_20131215_173343 IMG_20131215_192644

When I got home from work, my sister Abby, and I (of course Lola attempted to help too!) decorated our downstairs tree. It took us way more time than it probably should have but I think it turned out rather adorable.

IMG_20131219_215554 IMG_20131219_141423

And what would be better than to follow-up a crazy weekend with more holiday fun during the week? Zeke managed to sneak into my secret stash of Swedish Fish candy canes (they are my new addiction people. They taste JUST like Swedish fish). Even though Zeke denies all accusations of eating the missing candy canes, I think the above picture is good enough evidence.

Since I had yesterday off, my cousin Stephanie and I baked Christmas cookies (and ate way more dough than we probably should have) so the family and I can frost and decorate them later this week. Christmas cookies our a huge deal in this household (seriously, we eat them like it’s our job) so I was definitely feeling the baking pressure. Thankfully all the cookies are baked and locked away until we can decorate them!


So what’s keeping me sane during all of this holiday fun? Good tea and a good book of course! Okay, okay….AND cheesy, late-night holiday movies usually found on Lifetime, Hallmark, and ABC Family. <<<I have been watching these types of movies EVERY night. I’ve seen more corny than I really need to but mixed in there have also been some pretty spectacular Christmas movies.

So that’s it for Crazy Christmas Madness, at least for the time being. If I know my family, which I think I sort of do, there will be more fun photos to share soon. Until then though, I hope you all are enjoying your holiday season!

Cover Reveal + Sneak Peek + Giveaway: I See London by Chanel Cleeton

Title: I See London

Author: Chanel Cleeton

Release Date: February 3rd, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin HQN (Digital First)

Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.

When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.

Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.

This is a New Adult romance recommended for readers 17 and up.

Today is a super-freaking-exciting day. Do you know why? It’s because it is the official cover reveal for Chanel Cleeton’s I See London. If you’ve seen this blog before, you know I am a fan-girl of all things New Adult. I am all for trying a new book by a new author and this one sounds like one I am totally going to love. It doesn’t hurt that foreign bad boys are involved. So without further ado, let’s see the cover to this sure-to-be-awesome book….

I See London

So what do you think? Totally gorgeous, right? I LOVE the couple on the front because well, HOT but the details in the background mixed with the pretty shades of blues is what really catches my eye. Be sure to take a look at what Chanel has to say about the cover-making process as well as the sneak peek down below for even more I See London awesomeness!

A note from the author: I love, love, love this cover.  From the beginning I wanted an iconic London image.  I wanted something romantic, sexy, and adventurous that really captured the heart of the book.  We played around with a couple ideas, wanting to convey both the sexy NA feel and the unique setting.  It was a tough cover- my hero is half Lebanese, so finding stock images was a challenge.  Harlequin was amazing to work with and I was so lucky to have tons of input.  I actually created my own cover and sent it over to them and they did a beautiful job of taking my idea and improving on it tenfold!  There’s this line in I SEE LONDON about London nights being full of adventure and possibilities.  That will always be London for me and I think this cover represents that spirit perfectly.  What do you think?



“So are we going to talk about it?”

I jerked my head up. A knowing smile spread across Samir’s lips. An awkward tension filled the air between us. It was strange to think that on one hand we’d been more intimate than I’d ever been with anyone and yet he still felt like a total stranger.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I bluffed.

He quirked a brow at me, his head tilted to the side, his expression considering. “So that’s how you’re going to play it?”

“Pretty much.”

I knew I was the polar opposite of smooth, but I didn’t know what to say to him.

Samir grinned. “Fine. I have my memories to keep me company.” He winked at me. “And believe me, I have plenty of good memories.”

I reached out and shoved him, the move reflexive, my hand fisting the expensive fabric of his shirt. I froze mid-motion, my hand clutching the fabric, half-pulling him towards me, half-pushing him away.

Samir’s voice deepened, grew seductive. “Why won’t you admit you want me? It was pretty obvious when your body was wrapped around mine.”

I flushed. “My body was never wrapped around yours,” I snapped, releasing my hold on his shirt. “It was a one-time, stupid, drunken thing. It’ll never happen again.”

“Sure it won’t.”


Chanel Cleeton

Originally a Florida girl, at seventeen Chanel moved to London to attend an international university.  In the four years that followed, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, learned how to dance, travelled through Europe, and made lifelong friendships.  Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever.  But fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise, when an American fighter pilot with smooth dance moves, swept her off her feet.

Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in South Korea.  An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she is happiest curled up with a book.  She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband.  Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers.  Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads


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In celebration of this cover reveal, Chanel is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card. To enter the giveaway, click this link!


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Blog Tour + Sneak Peek + Book Playlist + Giveaway: Taken by Felicia Starr

Taken Blog Tour Button


Title: Taken (Breaking The Darkenss #1)

Author: Felicia Starr

Opening her eyes to an imposing prison of complete darkness, Kasha is accused of possessing powers and abilities she had no previous knowledge of until the moment she comes face to face with herself while meditating. Haunted by memories strung together by lies and deceit, she soon discovers that maybe her beloved grandmother kept a few secrets she hadn’t been aware of. Secrets that could be her salvation… or her undoing.

As she struggles to control her newfound powers, only time will tell if they will be enough to help her decipher who has imprisoned her or what they want from her. She must search for the answers and the freedom she so desperately desires. Could a handsome guy who vows to help her get away prove to be the man of her dreams… or perhaps her worst nightmare?

Not knowing who to trust, she must find a way to escape before she pays the ultimate price and finds herself taken by the darkness.


Without the sun and moon to guide my inner clock, there was really no way for me to
distinguish how many nights or days had passed. The darkness was different from any I had experienced before. My eyes could not quite adjust.

Although I had a real bed and a partial bath with a toilet and small wash sink, there was no sense of comfort. What seemed to be the only entrance was   sealed so tight that no light seeped in from the perimeter. There were no windows; the walls were cold and barren. My hands explored my surroundings, yet I could not even find an outlet or light switch.

I tried to escape my fears by focusing on remembering less stressful times, most of which were with Gram. I replayed the past in my head, hoping that somewhere hidden in those memories might be a clue as to what happened and how I ended up in the dark.

When my fear and confusion subsided enough, I willed myself to sleep. It was my only escape from the heaviness the darkness imposed upon me. This didn’t help my capacity to estimate the length of my imprisonment. I didn’t know how long or how often I drifted off to sleep. There were moments I lay there struggling to determine if my eyes were open or closed.

One would think the quiet would be soothing, only it amplified every little thing. I realized there was no true stillness. I could envision the flecks of dust floating through the air, crashing into the floor like pellets of hail on a summer day. The anticipation of hearing footsteps approaching my room sent continuous chills up my spine with every little noise the silence allowed.

There was something about the smell in the air and the chill of the walls and floor that led me to believe I was still somewhere in the desert. The lack of moisture in the atmosphere left my mouth sticky and dry. Being dehydrated from lack of fluids wasn’t helping. I wasn’t sure if the faucet water was safe to drink.

The pains in my stomach reminded me how much I longed for a veggie-filled pita with hummus and feta cheese. My mouth watered at the thought of a guilt-filled bag of Doritos. I should have been grateful I wasn’t completely being starved in there. I don’t know how or when, but food did appear in my room from time to time—and I use the term food loosely. A couple of crackers or a piece of jerky doesn’t really constitute food to me. I had to take what I could since I still didn’t have a clue where I was, who was keeping me, or why.

Since Gram died, while I was away at college, there really wasn’t a home to go back to. I decided to take the small amount of money she left me and put most of it in the bank. I’d just moved to Santa Fe and
prepaid a year’s rent for a studio-sized house on a small side street. Santa Fe was appealing because it was close to the last place Gram lived, La Cienega, just outside the city limits. The sad thing is, without employment and friends or family in the new city, no one would miss me.

At this realization, my heart grew heavier. Although I could feel the burn in my throat, threatening the shower of tears, I choked it back. Tears wouldn’t fight off the shadows. Appearing resilient would help me keep up my strength.

I contemplated screaming out, demanding an answer as to why I was there. Trepidation brought that action to a silent halt. I didn’t want to face the potential terrors that stalked the future. I watched enough crime television shows to know how much worse this could get. I counted on my silence as my best defense.

I continued to make desperate attempts at feeling around the walls that encased me. Pressing my face against the cold surfaces, I struggled to hear a trace of someone, anyone, only my ears were denied. Could it be I was truly alone in this unwarranted exile? Perhaps this was it; in the end the darkness would consume me.

I dropped to my knees at the center of my prison. I could feel the surge of sadness and anger coursing through my body. My core heated and it felt as though my blood was on fire. I acknowledged each pore of my skin as the fine hairs stood at attention from the vibration that shook my extremities. With my teeth clenched and my eyes pressed shut, I tried to regain my breath and focus on Gram.

In a whisper, I called out to her. “Gram… Gram, I know you are out there watching over me. I just wish I could hear your voice.”

I continued to speak to her in my head. As much as I always wished something exciting would happen to me, being incarcerated in this godforsaken dark box wasn’t at all what I had in mind.

As I looked down toward the amulet resting on my chest, my fingers encased the charm. I closed my eyes, and memories of the time my grandmother draped it around my neck flocked to the forefront.

It was the summer I turned sixteen. Gram and I took a road trip to the Painted Desert, one of our favorite places to visit. I loved being surrounded by mountains made of rainbows of rock. Some people referred to this location as the “badlands.” When I was there, though, I felt filled with a unique sense of lightness that almost lifted me off my feet. Being there was effortless.

I could walk for hours, soaking in the beauty and freshness of the landscape. I felt connected, not necessarily to anything in particular; I just felt at one with nature. It was like the spirit of the earth moved through me. Even when I was alone on a trail, I never felt lonesome.

The day Gram gave me this necklace, it was as if the heavens had opened up and dumped colors all around us. The sun sank past the painted-rock walls that bordered our location. The sky swelled with layers of purple, pink, orange, and even a touch of gold at the tips of the earth. Gram always knew how to pick just the right moment and location to make a special occasion feel magical.

“Kasha, you are becoming a strong and beautiful young woman. The women in our family have always had a special bond with one another. You must always remember, even when we’re not together, we’re a part of each other, linked always.”

I knew part of what she was being at had to do with my mother. It had been many years since I saw her last, but now was neither the time nor place to start thinking about that. Squeezing the pendant in my hand, a giant, slow breath helped push her out of my head, for now.

Gazing back down at my necklace, I pretended to make out more than the silhouette in the darkness. In my mind, I could see the pentagonal piece of petrified wood encased in silver. The pie-shaped stones enhanced each point of the rounded pentacle. Beautifully etched floral designs in the metal surrounded the stones. A remnant of something engraved on the rear side was almost visible, but it had worn down long before I took possession. If only I could make out what had been there; I often fantasized about what it might have said.

I wasn’t sure if there was any significance to the markings, but they looked ancient. Maybe it once belonged to an Egyptian pharaoh or a Celtic princess. Too bad I never took the time to ask Gram if she knew the history of this piece. It would have been interesting to know to whom it had belonged.

“You have an intensity about you that is unrivaled. Keep this with you at all times. You will find it will keep you grounded and connected to what is important.”

Gram always said weird stuff like that. I’d gotten used to it and stopped trying to figure out if her comments had hidden meanings. As a kid I would get embarrassed when she talked like that in front of other people. I saw the way they looked at her, probably thinking, What a shame that beautiful woman is so crazy. It was that quirkiness I grew to love most about her when I became a young adult.

I guess Gram was at least a little bit right about this amulet. Holding it brought thoughts of her to me. It seemed to cool me down and calm my nerves. At the same time, it warmed me and gave me comfort. A brief moment of peace helped subdue the constant fear and avoid the panic that could set in at any moment.


A note from the author:

I did not listen to a specific play list while I wrote Taken. Sometimes I needed to write in the dark and be with the silence or what we think of as silence. I had to really heighten my hearing and tune in to what the darkness sounded like.

When I had to write or edit during the day, I would often plug in and listen to Pandora. This is a playlist of a hand full of songs that I either found myself listening to or that resonated with time and the story


Felicia Starr

Author Felicia Starr lives five miles from her favorite Jersey Shore destination with her amazingly supportive family.  She loves to spend time creating special memories with her husband and two young boys.

Everyone expected her first publication to be a cookbook, but her love for writing has surpassed her love for cooking.

Felicia graduated magna cum laude from Kean University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a post baccalaureate in elementary education.

She is a licensed real estate sales person, a certified yoga instructor, and most importantly, a stay-at-home mom.

Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Website


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Click here to enter the giveaway!


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Tune In Tuesday (135)

Tune In Tuesday

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! This feature was originally created by Ginger over at GReads! but you can now find it here at Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands. If you would like to participate in this weekly feature, make a blog post showcasing a song (or a few!) and link up at the bottom of this post by clicking the cute blue guy! While you’re here make sure to check out all the other awesome blogs that have decided to participate!

Hi there everyone! I hope your week is off to a spectacular start. Mine is going pretty well considering I’ve had loads of work lately but I have a feeling it will be getting better soon (on a somewhat related note: the family is making Christmas cookies on Thursday and also I have Saturday off. Saturdays off are a rarity in the business of retail *happy dancing*) Also more good news: I actually get a chance to catch up on everyone’s Tune In Tuesday posts!! The past few weeks have killed my blogging energy but I happen to have some free time today so YAY! I cannot wait to hear the tunes you’ve all picked even if they are a bit late….

So let’s get to the music. This week I am going to be sharing a band that I love, love, love to absolute pieces. I began listening to them at the beginning of the year and somehow strayed away from it (I blame Spotify and their endless supply of music). Fortunately I have reacquainted myself with their music, and honestly people, I couldn’t be happier! The Ballroom Thieves are so very unique. Some of their songs are soft and folksy and other have this super cool alternative rock feel to them with a bit of a bluegrass flare. Considering I have no knowledge of actual music terms I probably butchered what their “true sound” is but I hope you understand what I meant.

I like that while their songs are always so very them, they have different versions of them meaning not one song sounds exactly like another (I apologize if that sentence makes no sense. It’s the only way I could explain it.) Anyways, I’ve picked out a few of my favorite tunes of theirs so I hope you take a listen and enjoy! (Sidenote: Most of the videos happen to be live performances, yay! But I also made sure to include my Spotify playlist of their music so you can listen to the other versions as well)

Vampires by The Ballroom Thieves

This song is so different for them which just goes to prove my point. It almost has some bluegrass-y tones to it. I love it!

Loose Lips by The Ballroom Thieves

I think this is such a cool song! (And yes, I still believe it’s cool to say “cool”)

Save Me by The Ballroom Thieves

This is one of my favorite of theirs and I cannot even tell you why not because it’s a secret, I just don’t know why. I’m just hooked.

Wait For The Water by The Ballroom Thieves

This song has a very Lumineers/Mumford & Sons feel to me which is very much a compliment coming from me because I adore all things The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons.

Delia by The Ballroom Thieves

ALL TIME FAVORITE. It’s sweet, simple, adorable, and insanely catchy.