Thursday, July 30, 2015

Before & After by Nazarea Andrews Release Day Launch

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Today we are celebrating the release of BEFORE & AFTER by Nazarea Andrews. This book is a New Adult contemporary romance. Be sure to check out the giveaway below for a beautiful necklace and signed copy.

 

Click here to ADD THE BOOK TO GOODREADS

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BEFORE & AFTER BOOK BLURB:

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant. They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn't work--and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after. They, more than anyone, knows that life doesn't go according to plan. Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet's heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale. But what happens when the fairy tale doesn't fall apart--but is forgotten?


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Before & After Purchase Links:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | INKTERA

  B&A_ONSALE  

  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

3486225Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.



AUTHOR LINKS:

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris Review

Hey Readers, Ethan here with yet another exciting review for you guys. Tonight I'm reviewing a book I've had sitting on my TBR for quite some time by one amazing author. This time on the chopping block? The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris! Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and our author:

According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.
With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

          

Rachel Harris

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls next door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books...and kissing. Lots of kissing.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, and LOVES talking with readers.



*****
My Thoughts:

Oh man guys. I don't even know where to start with this review. I suppose the beginning is always a great place, huh? I met Rachel for the first time back in March at Austin Book Fest, I didn't really know much about her work, but I thought she was an awesome lady so I made a mental note to check her out. Flash forward three months and I saw her again at UtopYA. That second time I knew I had to get my hands on one of her books. I rushed to the bookstore and grabbed my copy of The Fine Art of Pretending. I'd heard amazing things and it was award-nominated, I figured I should check it out. I can tell you that I sure didn't expect for it to have the impact on me that it did.

I'll get the negatives out of the way first here. The only negative thing I have to say about this one is that the pacing was a little slow at times. I guess as a New Adult now, I had forgotten what the mindset of 17 year olds is like. Everything is dramatic, life is constantly crazy, and high school is the most terrifying place you'll ever go. Yes, I remember full well now. It took a little while for me to get back into a YA-contemporary mindset just because this novel is very YA-centric. If you're looking for steam and sexy-time, look elsewhere, you won't find it here. That part most definitely wasn't a negative, but I'm just pointing it out first. Once I got a knack for the pacing of the story, everything else kind of fell into place for me.

The plotline of Pretending was a unique twist on an old favorite. Much like Eliza Doolittle before her, Aly is ready to shed her skin and become something entirely different. Tired of being shunned by her peers, Aly is ready to step out and become sexy, confident, and popular. Operation Sex Appeal. Through her journey to become popular and win the heard of the school stud, Aly learns so much more about life through the eyes of her friends and herself. The story is told in alternating POVs from that of Aly and that of her 'best friend', Brandon. It was done in a much more unique way than I've ever seen before, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot was full of quick wit, laughs, and enough feels to remind us all why being a teenager is so doggone rough. Get ready for the feels, because you'll catch them all!

I have to say at one point in the plot, I was really expecting a plot twist, alas, it didn't happen. I was really conflicted with how I hoped the novel ended. With such an incredible cast of characters, it was a tough call. Through Aly's journey she not only changes her own life, but also the lives of those closest to her. Each character in the story was touched by Aly's journey in some was and it really grounded the novel in an emotional, uplifting way. I believe that all readers can relate to these characters. Male or female.

On that note, as a male reader, I was a little hesitant to check this one out. I wasn't familiar with Rachel's works before this and I didn't know how 'male-friendly' this story would be. I was blown away at how well Rachel captured the teenage male mind and formulated her male characters. Justin and Brandon were two of my favorite characters in the entire story. Rachel respects her characters, meaning her males aren't one-dimensional and are just as equally flawed and complex as their female counterparts. That earned Harris some huge points in my book.

The setting to this novel was really great. Harris fully emulated the feel of a contemporary high school setting. I found myself traveling down memory lane more than a few times with this fun-filled story. 

While this novel was an incredibly fun read, Harris touches on a number of extremely hardhitting topics that are of vital importance to YA readers including acceptance, love, maturity, responsibility, and companionship. Each theme is hit in such a way that the reader is left reflecting on their own life and the choices they have made to get there. Harris didn't set out to answer all YA questions about life and teenage happiness, but she does a fantastic job capturing the YA mindset either way. It is my belief that this read would be a perfect fit for all YA readers.

As you can see, I really enjoyed this novel. It isn't often enough that I get to enjoy a well-written YA contemporary novel. Especially one with such complex characters, a unique plot, and hard-hitting themes as The Fine Art of Pretending. It is by-far one of my all-time favorite Young Adult Contemporary novels. Move over John Green, you've got competition! 

All of this being said, it should come as absolutely no surprise that I am granting The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris a near-perfect 5-star review. I am so glad that I took the time to check this one out. I was not disappointed at all! I highly recommend this read to YA lovers and anyone who is looking to add something special to their TBR. Be on the lookout, Harris has announced a sequel to Pretending due out in Spring of 2016! You better believe I'll be reading it ASAP!  

*****

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of The Fine Art of Pretending by the incredible Rachel Harris. Seriously folks, this was a fantastic read. I urge you all to check it out ASAP! Also, stop by and give Rachel a shout out! She doesn't bite, I promise.

Until next time, Happy Reading!

-Ethan



Before & After by Nazarea Andrews Teaser Tour Day 3

BA_TEASERBANNER  

Today we are releasing teasers from BEFORE & AFTER by Nazarea Andrews. This book will be released tomorrow, July 30th, and it is a New Adult contemporary romance. 

Click here to ADD THE BOOK TO GOODREADS

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00033]

BEFORE & AFTER BOOK BLURB:

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant. They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn't work--and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after. They, more than anyone, knows that life doesn't go according to plan. Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet's heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale. But what happens when the fairy tale doesn't fall apart--but is forgotten?

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B&A_1DAY      

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

3486225Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.


AUTHOR LINKS:
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson Release Day Launch

MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET is now available!
The Dark is here… The first book in the Timely Death Trilogy by Shannon A. Thompson premiers today. Find out why reviewers are calling this young adult paranormal romance series— published by Clean Teen Publishing— "Wonderfully unnerving." Take advantage of the special release day price of $2.99 when you start reading this exciting new series today!

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Two destines. One death.
"Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates."
Eric Welborn isn't completely human, but he isn't the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she's powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he's determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.
Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she's assigned as Eric's class partner. He won't help, let alone talk to her, but she's determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he's strived to hide.
Minutes Before Sunset is the first book in The Timely Death Trilogy.

START READING TODAY!



"Miss. Thompson twisted the concept of Light and Dark, reversing the well-known roles, changing the time-old dance and making it her own. Brilliant and true, “Minutes Before Sunset” is thought-provoking, bringing real-life lessons and morals from a world of the supernatural." – Live. Laugh. Read

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FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SHANNON A. THOMPSON:

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www.shannonathompson.com
SUBSCRIBE to her YouTube Channel here.

Before & After by Nazarea Andrews Teaser Tour Day 2

BA_TEASERBANNER  

Today we are releasing teasers from BEFORE & AFTER by Nazarea Andrews. This book will be released this Thursday, July 30th and it is a New Adult contemporary romance. 

Click here to ADD THE BOOK TO GOODREADS


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BEFORE & AFTER BOOK BLURB:

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant. They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn't work--and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after. They, more than anyone, knows that life doesn't go according to plan. Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet's heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale. But what happens when the fairy tale doesn't fall apart--but is forgotten?

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BA_TeaserDay2      

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

3486225Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.


AUTHOR LINKS:
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Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout Release Day Launch

The Epic Finale in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s

Dark Elements Series...Who Will She Choose?

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Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Don't miss the conclusion to this stunning Young Adult Paranormal series filled with danger and romance published by HarlequinTEEN.

Grab your copy today!

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound ** Kobo ** BAM

 


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EVERY LAST BREATH Synopsis: Some loves will last ‘til your dying breath Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust. Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction. Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound ** Kobo ** BAM

 
“Armentrout is a major talent…I just can’t stop reading!”
--New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter
“Armentrout works her magic with swoon-worthy guys and a twist you never see coming.”
--#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines on White Hot Kiss

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And don’t miss the first titles in the Dark Elements Series!

BITTER SWEET LOVE

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** BAM ** Kobo

WHITE HOT KISS

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** BAM ** iBooks ** IndieBound ** Kobo

STONE COLD TOUCH

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound ** Kobo ** BAM


Excerpt from Every Last Breath

Roth cleared his throat. “Shortie, look…look at your hand.”

Look at my hand? Why in the world would he be asking me to do that in the midst of all the cray?

“Do it,” he said quietly and too gently.

The dread exploded in my gut like buckshot, and my gaze dropped to my left hand. I expected to see the weird marbling of black and gray, a mixture of the demon and Warden that existed inside of me and a combination I’d become almost familiar with by now. My nails had lengthened and sharpened, and I could tell they were hard enough to cut through steel, as hard as my skin, but my skin…it was still pink. Really pink.

“What the…?” My gaze traveled to my other hand. It was the same. Just pink. My wings twitched, reminding me that I had shifted.

Zayne swallowed. “Your…your wings…”

“What about my wings?” I almost screeched, reaching be‑ hind me. “Are they broken? Did they not come out—” The tips of my fingers came into contact with something as soft as silk. My hand jerked back. “What…”

Stacey’s watery eyes had doubled in size. “Um, Layla, there’s a mirror above the fireplace. I think you need to look in it.”

I met Roth’s gaze for a second before I spun around and all but ran to the fireplace I was sure Stacey’s mom had never used. Clutching the white mantel, I stared at my reflection.

I looked normal, like I did before I shifted…like I was going to class or something. My eyes were the palest shade of gray, a watered-down blue. My hair was so blond it was almost white, and a mess of waves that went in every direction like usual. I looked like a colorless china doll, which was nothing new, except for the two fangs jutting out of my mouth. I wouldn’t show them off at school, but that wasn’t what caught my attention and held it.

It was my wings.

They were large, not as massive as Zayne’s or Roth’s, and normally they were almost leathery in texture, but now they were black…black and feathered. Like legit feathered. That soft, silky thing I’d felt? It had been tiny feathers.

Feathers.

“Oh my God,” I whispered at my reflection. “I have feathers.”

“Those are definitely feathered wings,” Roth commented.

I whipped around, knocking over a lamp with my feathered right wing. “I have feathers on my wings!”

Roth cocked his head to the side. “Yeah, you do.”

He was absolutely no help, so I turned to Zayne. “Why do I have feathers on my wings?”

Zayne shook his head slowly. “I don’t know, Layla. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

“Liar,” hissed Roth, shooting him a dark look. “You’ve seen that before. So have I.”


*****
JLA_Author-photoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout: # 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads


Minutes Before Sunset (The Timely Death Trilogy #1) by Shannon A. Thompson Book Blitz

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Title:  Minutes Before Sunset
Series:  The Timely Death Trilogy #1
Author:   Shannon A. Thompson
Published:  July 28th, 2015  
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Content Warning:  Violence, Adult Language
Recommended Age:  13+
Synopsis:  Two destinies. One death.
“Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates.”
Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.
Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.


Excerpt from Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson:

“You look mad,” he said, quieter this time.
I wouldn’t look at him. “I am.”
“Why?”
“Because I don’t get you,” I admitted. “I have no idea why you’re acting this way, and it makes me feel like I don’t know you.”
“I didn’t realize you wanted to know me,” he said, and I turned around, momentarily meeting his eyes. They were dark, shadowed by an expression I hadn’t seen before.
“Why wouldn’t I?” I asked, feeling heat crawl over my neck. “We’ve already spent a lot of time together.”
“For a project that’s completed, Jessica,” he said, and he shook his head, driving silently through my neighborhood. I waited for him to speak, but he didn’t. Soon, we were at the end of my driveway. Eric shoved the gears into park, and I reached for the door, but he locked it.
“Why are you so interested in my life?” he asked, and my heart pounded. I didn’t say anything. His eyes met mine, filled with an intensity that made me shudder. “It’s not that great.”
“I know,” I managed. My voice was shaking.
            His face reddened. “But you ask questions.”
            “And you answer them.”
            His mouth opened, but then it snapped shut. He sighed, turned away, and grabbed the steering wheel as if he were driving again. We remained parked. “I’m Eric James Welborn,” he stated, his voice wavering into an awkwardness I’d never heard with his normally confident and cocky attitude.
            James? His middle name felt personal—like he had opened up a side of himself he’d forgotten about. But I didn’t feel intrusive. I felt comforted, like I already knew the answer before he’d spoken it. But I hadn’t.
            “Your name doesn’t tell me who you are,” I said, surprised by my fluidity.
            He barely smiled. “Maybe I like it that way.”
            “I don’t.”


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About the Author:
Shannon A. Thompson is a twenty-three-year-old author, avid reader, and habitual chatterbox. She was merely sixteen when she was first published, and a lot has happened since then. Thompson’s work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies, and her first installment of The Timely Death Trilogy became Goodreads’ Book of the Month. As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Between writing and befriending cats, she graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and she travels whenever the road calls her.


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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A bookmark swag pack and winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook.
Giveaway is International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 http://junipergrovebooksolutions.com/blitz-minutes-before-sunset-by-shannon-a-thompson/

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Pledge (College Bound #1) by Laura Ward and Christine Manzari Review Tour (Review + Giveaway)


Hey readers, Happy Monday! Ethan here with a fun post for you guys today. My stop on the blog tour for one of my most anticipated reads of the summer. A collaboration between two of my favorite authors that really blew me away. What are we talking about? The Pledge by Laura Ward and Christine Manzari. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and our authors:

TitleThe Pledge
Authors: Laura Ward & Christine Manzari
Age: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designed by: Okay Creations, Sarah Hansen
Release date: July 27, 2015


Taren needs a do-over. She’s decided the best way to put the high school bullies behind her is to pledge a Taylor-Swift-lip-syncing, beer-guzzling, sorority. Sisterhood helps Taren find the acceptance she’s always craved, but not the love she needs.

Alec wants freedom. To escape his father’s iron fist and unrealistic expectations, he pledges a campus acrobatics club where he finds that drugs and alcohol aren't the only ways to get high. His addiction to danger helps him gain his independence, but it comes at a heavy price.

When the two cross paths, Alec fears his undeniable attraction to the party girl just might threaten everything he's worked so hard to earn. Taren hasn’t forgotten that Alec humiliated her back in high school, but she also can't deny the chemistry they share.

Alec and Taren have nothing in common, but fate is bound and determined to bring them together. They know falling in love is a risk, and yet it’s too hard to ignore. When their worlds clash and they both end up suffering, will they fight to stay together? Or are some pledges too hard to keep?


About the Authors:



Laura Ward

Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.  


Find Laura Ward






Christine Manzari

The first thing Christine does when she's getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She's addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.  

Facebook Twitter Website Goodreads 


***
My Thoughts:

As anyone who follows this blog well knows, I am a huge fan of both Laura Ward and Christine Manzari. I have been closely following their careers for over a year now and have absolutely loved each novel they have released. Imagine my excitement when I discovered the two of them were collaborating on a new project, a new adult contemporary with a lot of potential! Well, did it live up to the hype?

In short? Yes. But, it didn't come without a few faults. Allow me to explain.

The most intriguing part, to me, about this collaboration was just how Laura and Christine were going to pull it off. Anyone who has read from these ladies will tell you that they write very different stories with very different content. Their writing styles are like night and day at times. I love their writing for multiple reasons, but each reason is different. I go to one author when I want one style and the other when I'm looking for another. Make sense? So... as you can imagine, I was a bit nervous about the collaboration between the two of them. 

I will go ahead and admit that The Pledge took me a while to really get into. I was enjoying it at a surface level, but the spark that makes both of these authors so special to me really wasn't there for a while. Each chapter in this story alternates POVs between Alec and Taren. Each character was written by a different author. And it's very distinctive. It's almost as though you are reading two entirely separate novels for a little while. I found myself anxious until I got to the part where the story finally 'clicked' and it was smooth sailing from there.

I'll also admit that prior to reading The Pledge, I have had very little experience with reading novels that are co-written (Beautiful Creatures being the only other that comes to mind). I've spoken with other readers who have confirmed to me that this is a normal feeling when reading a collaboration between two authors so I do feel better about it now than I did when I first devoured the story. 

Once I was able to see find the 'streamline' part of the story where the chapters blended together much easier, I was really able to plant myself into the story. In one sense, this was kind of a negative to me, but in another sense, after finishing the novel, I found the feeling to be very fitting. It really showcased just how different our MCs are from one another and is reflective of the plot as a whole. I don't imagine I will see any other collaborations between Manzari and Ward to have this issue, but seeing as this was their first collaboration, I can totally understand how this would happen. Writing is hard when you're doing it alone. I can't imagine how co-writing would be!

When it comes to the plot of The Pledge, I was overall satisfied. There were a few bumps in the road and a few things I didn't completely understand at the time of reading, but in the end all questions were more or less answered. One of the really unique aspects of this plot was the inclusion of Gymkana. I love college books with a twist or some kind of special activity/organization that makes their college experience unique. The Gymkana thing really was fun to read about. Each scene was fun and did a fantastic job of setting the tone. The novel had a few plot twists that I didn't really see coming which were fun as well. When it comes to college novels, I really get ridiculously aggravated when the characters done have 'real life' college experiences. Thankfully, I found The Pledge to be an accurate description of college life. That was a huge plus for me. 

The Pledge really pulled out the feels in terms of characters. While I absolutely loved our MCs, I despised the supporting characters. I don't know if it was because of their attitudes or what, but I found nearly all of the supporting characters to just be all around horrible people. Their were immature, really crappy friends, and... just not very important in the grand scheme of things. Particularly the supporting female cast, I was really shocked at just how much I despised those characters. I'm hoping that in future installments of this series they grow on me a bit, but for now I really didn't care for them. Back to Alec and Taren though, I really enjoyed them both. I will say I was a bigger fan of Alec, just because I was really able to relate to some of the hardships he faced. Alec really has a big 'growing up' moment in The Pledge that really shapes his future in the novel. It was emotional for me in particular, but I gained so much more respect for him as a character. It was so refreshing as a male reader to see such a turnaround and inspirational development from a male character. Huge kudos to both Ward and Manzari for that.

While I've never been to the University of Maryland, I loved the description that Ward and Manzari put into The Pledge. Having recently graduated from college myself, I was able to immerse myself into the setting and really get the most out of the story. Everything from the campus feel to the college dive-bar atmosphere, I really felt myself transported into the story in a way I haven't been in quite some time. 

In true Laura Ward fashion, The Pledge included themes dealing with mental illness. I really love how Laura finds a way to include these special characters into her stories. Each character gives the story heart and emotion in a way you don't see anywhere else in the genre. It's truly an art to see these characters and setting so beautifully crafted. Manzari's signature snark is present as well. One of my favorite things about Manzari's writing is how well she able to emulate the YA/NA mindset into her written words. It's not easy to plant readers within the mind of a character and to see things their way, but Manzari always blows me away with this and Alec and The Pledge were no exception.

As you guys can clearly see, I have a lot of thoughts on The Pledge, and thankfully most of them were huge pluses! I know I has a few negatives to point out in this one, but overall I still enjoyed the story immensely. I believe that this first collaboration between Ward and Manzari was an awesome journey that will only strengthen their bond as authors and with their readers. With a full series planned, I know each passing installment will get better and better. I am ridiculously excited to see what these ladies come up with next!

All-in-all, I am granting The Pledge a well-deserved 4-star review. While it isn't my favorite story from either author, I found it to be a fantastic addition to the New Adult genre and highly recommend it to any NA reader who is looking to add something a little different to their summer TBR lists! Thank being said, do yourself a favor and check out The Pledge and the other works from these amazing authors, I can assure you that you'll not be disappointed!
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GIVEAWAY:
THE PLEDGE: 1 print 3 ebooks


Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of The Pledge by Laura Ward and Christine Manzari. I'm huge fans of each of these ladies works and consider them to be both friends and great inspirations of mine. They truly are amazing women. Reading this first ever collaboration from the two of them was a great honor. I cannot wait for more from them! 

Special thanks to our authors and the team at Mark My Words Publicity for allowing me to participate. Until next time, Happy Reading!

-Ethan

Before & After by Nazarea Andrews Teaser Tour

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Today we are releasing teasers from BEFORE & AFTER by Nazarea Andrews. This book will be released this Thursday, July 30th and it is a New Adult contemporary romance. 

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Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant. They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn't work--and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after. They, more than anyone, knows that life doesn't go according to plan. Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet's heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale. But what happens when the fairy tale doesn't fall apart--but is forgotten?

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

3486225Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

AUTHOR LINKS:
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I absolutely devoured this novel last week and CANNOT WAIT to share my thoughts with you guys on Thursday. It's well worth the wait. Trust me! Add this to your TBR ASAP! Until next time, Happy Reading!

-Ethan