Sunday, August 31, 2014

Interview with Cassie Mae - The Real Thing

Today we are pleased to have author Cassie Mae with us for an interview.  She is promoting her latest book, The Real Thing.  We featured a review of this sweet romance on August 29, 2014.  You can find it here.

Publisher: Random House Flirt
Date of publication: August 2014

Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world. 
When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had.

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Cassie: I've always had crazy characters in my head, and I thought that meant acting was in my future, lol. After lots of theater classes through high school then dropping it to graduate early, I kind of put that on the back burner until one day I sat in front of a computer and just wrote out what the characters were saying. Wasn't until I had written three books that I realized that, "Hey. I think I can do this instead!" 

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Cassie: From life. I dream up characters who seem completely real to me first, and their stories write themselves after. :) 

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Cassie: I have a couple more NAs, the one that is almost complete is about a newly engaged couple who challenge each other not to have sex until the big day. It's been really fun.

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Cassie: Ron Weasley, because A) I always fall for the underdogs. B) He's a ginger ;) And C) I am a MAJOR nerd and he's all around awesome. 

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Cassie: I'm so boring... but a house cat. Mine sleeps, eats, and cuddles. I could totally live my life that way and not be sorry about it, lol. 

Thanks for joining us, Cassie!

About the author:

Cassie Mae
 is a full-time writer and mother from Utah. She loves being glued to the computer, thinking up new stories, and writing the day away while the kids run wild at her feet. When she finished her first novel, she started a blog that now gets more than five thousand hits a month. Her group blog is also dedicated to reaching out to aspiring authors by providing critiques and other marketing tools to help them succeed in the industry. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.

Get your copy of THE REAL THING

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks  |  Google Play  |  Kobo  |  Other retailers

Connect with Cassie
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Pinterest
Connect with Flirt
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blog Tour: Guest Post & Review Crossing The Line by Sherri Hayes blog tour

Today, we are excited to have author Sherri Hayes with us for a guest post.  She tells us about her favorite part of the writing process.  Enjoy it after my thoughts on her latest book, Crossing the Line.

Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop
Date of publication: September 4, 2014

Detective Paul Daniels has spent four and a half years mourning the loss of his wife. He’s been doing his best to raise their daughter, Chloe, with the help of his in-laws. When they inform him right before Thanksgiving that they’re going to be moving over two hours away, Paul finds himself without anyone to watch Chloe—especially when he’s called out to a crime scene in the middle of the night. Little does he know that meeting his baby brother’s girlfriend and her sister, Megan, will change everything.

Megan Carson has taken a few wrong turns in her life, but she’s doing her best to get back on track. When she meets Chloe, the little girl swiftly worms her way into Megan’s heart. The opportunity to help Paul out and watch his daughter appears to be a blessing in disguise. She quickly volunteers to be Chloe’s live-in nanny. 

Everything is working well until the three of them head back to Ohio for Chris and Elizabeth’s wedding. Paul has a little too much to drink during the reception, and he and Megan end up sharing a heated kiss. When he wakes up the next day, he has a pounding headache but remembers nothing. 

Megan, however, isn’t willing to forget. Over the past few months since she’s been playing nanny, her feelings for Paul have changed. He is everything she never knew she wanted, and now that she knows there might be something there, she’s going after what she wants—Paul.

My thoughts:

I'm a big fan of the Daniels Brothers series.  I really enjoyed the first two books so I was eager to dive right into Crossing the Line, the 3rd book.  This story didn't disappoint.  Megan has been living with Paul and taking care of Chloe as her nanny.  Over that time, Megan has fallen for Paul.  She only needs to help him realize that they belong together.  It has been five years since Paul's wife Melissa was killed by a drunk driver.  He has never been able to let her go.

I really liked these two together and was rooting for them to get their HEA.  Megan did not have a great childhood and was something of a party girl.  But she has really made a change in her life and she wants a family.  Specifically, she wants Paul and Chloe.  While I loved them together, I thought that the family's reaction to their relationship a bit odd.  No one seemed to be very happy for them at first.  I found that disappointing.  

I liked the mystery of the serial killer.  It was hard to figure out who the killer was and I liked the twist.  The only thing that was missing was the reason for the killings. I never felt like that was very clear.   I thought that this was a good addition to the series.  I hope that Trent gets his own story next!

What is your least favorite part of writing?

That’s a toss-up between picking character names and choosing a title. I struggle with both. Those who follow me on Facebook maybe have noticed that I often refer to the book I’m writing by the couple’s names rather than a book title. That’s because, more often than not, the title of the book is the last thing that gets decided.

I didn’t come up with the title Crossing The Line until after the book was already submitted to my publisher. Since Paul is a cop, I knew I wanted to play on that with the title, but nothing was sounding right. Then, I began looking at pictures for the cover and came across some pictures of police tape—the kind they use to mark off crime scenes.

As I continued to see these pictures, the wheels began turning. Megan is acting as a live-in nanny for Paul’s young daughter, Chloe. It’s a popular trope in romance. It has that boss/employee element, but with the added intimacy element since they are occupying the same house. Beginning a relationship would definitely be crossing a line.

When the title came to me, I shot a message to my beta and my lead editor. They both loved the title and thought it fit perfectly with the story.

This is usually how it happens for me, although there have been a few exceptions. With the story I’m writing now, I am over halfway through with the book and still do not have a title. It will come to me. Eventually. They always do.  

About the author:

Sherri spent most of her childhood detesting English class. It was one of her least favorite subjects because she never seemed to fit into the standard mold. She wasn't good at spelling, or following grammar rules, and outlines made her head spin. For that reason, Sherri never imagined becoming an author. At the age of thirty, all of that changed. After getting frustrated with the direction a television show was taking two of its characters, Sherri decided to try her hand at writing an alternate ending, and give the characters their happily ever after. By the time the story finished, it was one of the top ten read stories on the site, and her readers were encouraging her to write more. Seven years later, Sherri is the author of seven full-length novels, and one short story. Writing has become a creative outlet for Sherri that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create. She is most well known for her Finding Anna Series about a young woman rescued from being a sex slave by a wealthy Dominant. Sherri’s eighth novel, Crossing The Line, is scheduled to release September 4, 2014.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Blog Tour: The Real Thing by Cassie Mae

Author: Cassie Mae
Publisher: Random House Flirt
Date of publication: August 2014

Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world. 
When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had.

Nothing gets to me more than a friends to lovers story.  The Real Thing was a really enjoyable book about two friends who belong together, but have a few obstacles in their way. Mia is excited to spend the summer with her best friend, Eric.  They haven't seen each other in person in a few years, but their friendship has grown over the web. There is a surprise waiting for Mia.  Eric has transformed himself into a thinner, fitter version of his high school self.  Mia has been in love with Eric for years and hopes that their summer will lead to something more.  I loved these two together and was really rooting for them to get their HEA.

What I loved about this book was the role reversal.  Instead of the woman being self conscious about her body, it is the guy.  Even though Eric has shed a lot of weight and still views his body has less then perfect.  I thought this was great because it shows that not just females go through periods of doubt about themselves. I also thought that the author did an amazing job of dealing with the subject of anxiety. It was realistically portrayed since there was no quick fix and it didn't just go away overnight.  

The other thing that I liked about the story was how the author brought in the aspect of social media and how some people can become so obsessed with it that they miss out on what is going on around them. This is one of the things that Mia struggles with as she can lose herself for hours in her computer without even realizing it.  
I highly recommend this New Adult book.  It's a sweet and emotional romance that you won't want to miss.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Cassie Mae is a full-time writer and mother from Utah. She loves being glued to the computer, thinking up new stories, and writing the day away while the kids run wild at her feet. When she finished her first novel, she started a blog that now gets more than five thousand hits a month. Her group blog is also dedicated to reaching out to aspiring authors by providing critiques and other marketing tools to help them succeed in the industry. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.

Get your copy of THE REAL THING

Connect with Cassie
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Pinterest
Connect with Flirt
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Skyes

Author: Plum Skyes
First published in 2004 by Viking
Re-issued by Random House August 2014

The tenth anniversary edition of New York Timesbestselling author Plum Sykes’s timeless satire Bergdorf Blondes are a thing, you know, a New York craze. Absolutely everyone wants to be one, but it’s actually très difficult. You wouldn’t believe the dedication it takes to be a gorgeous, flaxen-haired, dermatologically perfect New York girl with a life that’s fabulous beyond belief. Honestly, it all requires a level of commitment comparable to, say, learning Hebrew or quitting cigarettes.

Our heroine, “Moi,” described as a “champagne bubble of a girl about town,” gets into misadventures with fellow socialite and best friend Julie Bergdorf, a department store heiress. When Moi notices that getting engaged brings about a glow unattainable by facials, she and Julie scheme and shop to attract the perfect PH (Prospective Husband). Sykes’s debut is a pitch-perfect examination of the glittering lives of the young, rich, and fabulous living in New York.

I went into Bergdorf Blondes hoping I was going to like it.  I like chick-lit in general and am always up for a laugh.   I tried to look at it as a tongue in cheek tale, but there really wasn't anything remotely funny about it. I got about 1/4 of the way through and I just couldn't take any more of the shallowness and greed of the characters.

Why? Where to start..maybe it was the main character deciding a fiance would make her skin look better. Or it could have been one of the characters freaking out because someone gave her a COMPLETE set of Beatrice Potter book for her unborn baby..ungrateful much? I think the last straw was the heiress who shop lifts at her own store and daddy is happy because the scandal boosts sales. Sadly, people like this probably exist. I couldn't even like the main character "Moi".  What these characters need is a less money and a lot of therapy.  I can't say I would recommend this book.  

About the author:

 Plum Sykes was born in London and educated at Oxford. The author of the novels Bergdorf Blondes and The Debutante Divorcée and the Kindle Single memoir Oxford Girl, she is a contributing editor at American Vogue, where she writes about fashion, society, and Hollywood. She has also written for  Vanity Fair. She lives in the English countryside with her husband and two daughters.

Plum’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, August 19th: A Bookish Way of Life – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, August 21st: booknerd – Bergdorf Blondes
Friday, August 22nd: Drey’s Library – The Debutante Divorcee
Monday, August 25th: Carpe Libros – The Debutante Divorcee
Tuesday, August 26th: Books in the Burbs – Bergdorf Blondes
Wednesday, August 27th: Book by Book – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, August 28th: Reading in Black & White – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, August 28th: From the TBR Pile – Bergdorf Blondes
Monday, September 1st: A Bookish Way of Life – The Debutante Divorcee
Tuesday, September 2nd: Drey’s Library – Bergdorf Blondes
Wednesday, September 3rd: Reading in Black & White – The Debutante Divorcee
Thursday, September 4th: booknerd – The Debutante Divorcee
Monday, September 8th: Mom in Love With Fiction – Bergdorf Blondes
Tuesday, September 9th: Staircase Wit – Bergdorf Blondes
Wednesday, September 10th: Reads for Pleasure – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, September 11th: BookNAround – Bergdorf Blondes
Tuesday, September 16th: Cruising Susan Reviews – Bergdorf Blondes
Wednesday, September 17th: A Book Geek – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, September 18th: Books à la Mode – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, September 18th: Book by Book – The Debutante Divorcee
TBD: Books in the Burbs - The Debutante Divorcee
TBD: Cruising Susan Reviews - The Debutante Divorcee

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blog Tour: The Yankee Club by Michael Murphy

Author: Michael Murphy
Publisher: Random House Alibi
Date of publication: August 2014

In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.
I am a fan of black and white movies, especially film noir.  You know, the old detective stories where the women are glamorous and the men wore suits and hats and you never know who to trust? Those movies are what The Yankee Club reminded me of, so the story didn't disappoint. I found myself really enjoying the story as well as the characters. I liked not ever really knowing who was a good guy or who Jake could trust. I won't talk too much about the plot, because I don't want to give away a few surprises.

What I found amusing about the book was the inclusion of famous people of that time.  Dashiel Hammett, Cole Porter, Ethel Merman, the Kennedy clan  and more make cameo appearances in the book.  I thought that made the story really fun. Especially, when events that were happening around Jake ended up helping each artist in their creative process.  

I think fans of this genre will love this story.  It looks like it is the beginning of a great new series.  I want to read more Jake and Laura adventures!
About the author:

Michael Murphy is a full time author and part time urban chicken rancher in Arizona. He lives in Arizona with his wife of forty-one years and the four children they adopted this past year. In August, Random House Alibi will publish his ninth novel, a historical mystery set in the prohibition era, The Yankee Club.

Purchase Links

Michael Murphy’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, August 4th:  Reading Reality
Tuesday, August 5th:  5 Minutes for Books
Wednesday, August 6th:  Bibliotica
Friday, August 8th: ImaginativeMinds*
Monday, August 11th:  The Book Binder’s Daughter
Tuesday, August 12th: Read a Latte
Thursday, August 14th:  The Reader’s Hollow
Friday, August 15th:  Mystery Playground  – Author Guest Post “Drinks with Reads”
Monday, August 18th:  Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, August 19th:  Life by Kristen
Wednesday, August 20th:  Nightly Reading 
Thursday, August 21st: A Book Geek
Monday, August 25th:  Laura’s Booklist
Wednesday, August 27th:  From the TBR Pile
Friday, August 29th:  Harlie’s Books

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No Limits by Lori Foster

Author: Lori Foster
Publisher: Harlequin (MIRA)
Date of publication: August 26, 2014

Cannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body—the works. He's also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she's older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon. 

Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young—and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather's legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette's scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he'll break all the rules to do it.

I have been really looking forward to reading Cannon's story. He was one of my favorite characters from the last of the "Love Undercover" series.  I knew I was going to love No Limits and I was right!  As with all of Ms. Foster's books, it is filled with humor, sexy alpha males, and steamy scenes in  (and out of) the bedroom.   I don't know much about MMA fighting but I'm intrigued after reading this book.

Cannon has made it big in the SBC. He is back home to recover from a fight when he learns that he has inherited half a house and business from an old friend in the neighborhood.  Yvette has inherited the other half.  Cannon hasn't been able to forget Yvette since their kiss three years before.  I loved these guys together. Even though Cannon is a pure alpha male, he still treats Yvette with respect and kindness.  He is definitely on my "book boyfriend" list!  

Of course, there isn't just romance, there is a bit of a mystery. Someone is stalking Yvette and is trying to sabotage her business.  It was a good mystery.  I loved how all of the guys in the group rallied around her. It was also nice to catch up with some of the old gang from the Love Undercover series.  This looks to be the start of a great series and I can't wait to read more! 

Book Spotlight: Dangerous Destiny By Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann

Did you know that best selling author Suzanne Brockmann and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann have a new YA series coming out? 

The prequel, Dangerous Destiny is out and for today only is FREE!!!!  Check out the details below:

Dangerous Destiny, a pulse-pounding PREQUEL to the Night Sky series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann and her daughter Melanie Brockmann, will be available at all online retailers Today, Tuesday, August 26, for FREE!

Go to either of these sites for details

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Skylar is about to meet a boy who will change her life—and a girl who wants to end it.

Skylar Reid is the new girl at school. Her mom just moved them to Florida--aka The Land of the Living Dead where the average age of her new neighbors was seventy-five--to start over. Skylar is not a fan of the change or her total lack of friends. Until she meets Calvin, a funny, sarcastic boy who doesn’t let being in a wheelchair stop him from verbally shredding their preppy classmates. Skylar’s just about to decide her new school’s not a total loss when an odd girl wearing an oversized trench coat in the murderous Southern heat declares, “You’re one of us.” And then tries to kill her.

The first book in the series, Night Sky comes out October 7, 2014.  Definitely something to check out!
Sourcebooks Fire October 7, 2014
ISBN: 9-781-4926-0144-9 Hardcover/$16.99 Ages 14+

Hunted. Kidnapped. Bled. Destiny can be dangerous...

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann makes her young adult debut with a pulse-pounding novel of paranormal suspense set in the same world as her highly acclaimed and bestselling romance Born to Darkness, alongside her daughter and co-author Melanie. Young girls are being murdered for the secret that’s in their blood. When Skylar’s neighbor becomes the next victim, she must use her newly discovered abilities to save her before it’s too late.

Sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid is thrown into a strange world when she discovers that she has unique telekinetic and telepathic powers.  After Sasha, the child she babysits, is kidnapped and believed to be murdered, Sky and her best friend Calvin are approached by Dana, a mysterious girl who has super-abilities similar to Sky’s.  With the help of Dana and her sidekick Milo, the four teens embark on a quest to discover who killed Sasha, and to bring the killers to justice.

With Dana as Skylar’s surly and life-toughened mentor, Sky attempts to harness her powers to aid them in their quest. Complicating an already complex relationship with the older girl, Sky starts to fall for the dangerously handsome and enigmatic Milo – and begins to suspect that the attraction is mutual. But then Sky realizes that Sasha might still be alive, and the unlikely foursome’s mission becomes one of search and rescue, pitting the heroic teens against a very deadly enemy.


Suzanne Brockman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has won 2 RITA awards, numerous RT Reviewers’ Choice, and RWA’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year three years running. She has written over 50 books, and is widely recognized as a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today). Suzanne and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, have been creative partners, on and off, for many years. Their first project was an impromptu musical duet, when then-six-month-old Melanie surprised and delighted Suz by matching her pitch and singing back to her. Suzanne splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts while Mel lives in Sarasota, Florida. NIGHT SKY is Mel’s debut and Suzanne’s 55th book. 
Visit Suzanne at

Monday, August 25, 2014

How to Fall by Jane Casey

Author: Jane Casey
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Date of publication: August 26, 2014

Sixteen-year-old Jess Tennant has never met any of her relatives, until her mom suddenly drags her out of London to spend the summer in the tiny English town where her family’s from. Her mom’s decision is surprising, but even more surprising is the town’s reaction to Jess. Everywhere she goes, people look at her like they've seen a ghost. In a way, they have—she looks just like her cousin Freya, who died shortly before Jess came to town.

Jess immediately feels a strange connection to Freya, whom she never got to meet alive. But the more Jess learns about the secrets Freya was keeping while she was alive, the more suspicious Freya’s death starts to look. One thing is for sure: this will be anything but the safe, boring summer in the country Jess was expecting.

How to Fall is a well written YA that kept me engaged through to the end.  When Jess and her mother go on summer vacation to her mother's home town, Jess finds out that she looks just like her cousin Freya who dies mysteriously the year before.  Jess takes it upon herself to discover what really happened the night that Freya died.  

I thought the mystery was really good.  I didn't see the reveal coming.  There were a number of suspects and scenarios, so it was anyone's guess as to what really happened.  I liked Jess and her determination to get to the truth.  She came across as a strong teen who felt comfortable in her own skin.  It was nice to read a YA with a female lead who isn't angsty and love sick! 

I looks like there will a be a sequel to the book.  I thought the ending for this one was perfect, so I am curious to see where things go for Jess in the next book.  I do recommend this one and I think any YA fan will enjoy it.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

by:  Jodi Lynn Anderson
published by:  HarperTeen
publish date:  July 1, 2014

Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.  The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

Kari and I both started out listening to this audiobook, but Kari didn't care for it.  I'll admit that it didn't start out that great, but I stuck with it and I ended up liking this book in the end.  I was a little let down, because I thought this was going to be a serial killer type book and it wasn't really.

The story is about Maggie and her move from Chicago to the very quiet Door County.  She becomes friends with Pauline and Liam and they have a very turbulent relationship as Maggie's arrival upsets the delicate balance of Pauline's feelings for Liam.  The killings going on in the town are almost background noise, as the real story is the relationship between Maggie and Pauline and both girls' feelings towards Liam.

I have to say the ending was a bit of a surprise for me.  I definitely didn't see it coming.  In terms of who the killer was, that was a bit of a let down.  But, I guess realistically speaking it makes sense.  Personally, I would recommend this book.  I think older YA readers would appreciate this book more than younger YA readers would.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

by:  Matthew Quick
published by:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
publish date:  March 5, 2012

Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in gray, broken Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish Mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, he takes care of his disabled grandfather, and at school he’s called “White Rabbit”, the only white kid on the varsity basketball team. He’s always dreamed of getting out somehow with his girlfriend, Erin. But until then, when he puts on his number 21, everything seems to make sense.

Finley lives in a rundown town.  He lives with his father and grandfather who have been beaten and broken by the Irish Mob.  Despite the racial tensions, and being the only white player on his basketball team at school, Finley feels comfortable in his world.  Then his coach asks him to take a new kid under his wing and it turns his entire world upside down.  Finley's position on the basketball team is no longer secure, his relationship with his girlfriend becomes strained and even his family's position in the neighborhood becomes questionable.

I've had this book for a while, I don't know why it took me like 2 years to read it.  It was a really good book.  It seems like anything Matthew Quick writes is amazing.  This book would appeal to wide variety of YA and adult readers.  This would be an especially good book for the kids interested in sports, because it deals with the stresses that athletes face.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

TEASER TOUR: My Highland Spy by Victoria Roberts

We are excited to be taking part in a teaser tour to promote Victoria Roberts's latest book, My Highland Spy. Over the next two weeks, a different blog will be releasing a new excerpt every day.  We have part 5 for you below!  To read the other parts, check out the tour list at the end of the post!

Author: Victoria Roberts
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: September 2, 2014
ISBN: 9781402292002
Mass-market Paperback

This Highland Laird won’t bow to the Crown
Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do—he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.

But this lady spy might make him...
Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.

If she doesn’t betray him first
Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?

Hello! Thank you for having me at From the TBR Pile today, the fifth stop on the My Highland Spy Teaser Tour!   

My Highland Spy is the first book in my new Highland Spies’ series, and I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. We left off yesterday finding out why Ravenna is a spy for the Crown. She’s about to be given her next assignment.

Excerpt Five/Chapter One:

“The Highland lairds are completely out of control and the men refuse to listen. Between their squabbles among themselves and increased rebellions against the Crown, the king has required that all Highland lairds send their heirs to Lowland Scotland to be educated. Futhermore, the men are to regularly report to Edinburgh to stand for their actions. King James demands conformity and hopes that by abolishing the Gaelic language and destroying Scotland’s culture, he will get it. The lairds won’t conform on their own so the king is left with no choice but to force their hand.”

“And what does that have to do with me, precisely?”

“There is a man in the Highlands that the king’s men have been watching—Laird Ruairi Sutherland. He has not sent his heir to be educated, and he has not made an appearance in Edinburgh for quite some time. Although he claims his wife is gravely ill, the king’s advisors think this is nothing more than another clever plot to refuse King James’s authority. They also believe Sutherland’s absence in Edinburgh is because he’s conspiring with other lairds in the Highlands to raise arms against the realm.” He sat back casually in the chair.

“Whether these rumors are true or not, an example is to be made of Sutherland. The king grows tired of these…Highlanders”—he sniffed—“and their constant disobedience. These barbarians need to understand they cannot do whatever they please and pay no heed the authority of the king. Sutherland has a formidable stronghold in northern Scotland. He could be a pow­erful enemy. He’s been told a governess will be sent to his home to educate his son, since his wife is ill. You will travel to the Highlands. Find out if what he says is true, or if he and others conspire against the Crown.”

Ravenna’s eyes widened and her voice went up a notch. “A governess?” She cleared her throat. “Uncle Walter, surely my…talents would be much more valuable closer to home. I have spied on men who’ve conspired against the realm, uncovered a wealthy lord’s machinations in selling secrets to the French, discovered a traitor before he made his escape to the colonies, and now you ask me to masquerade as a governess for some Highland laird’s child?”

He chuckled. “Not me. His Majesty.”

“Surely there is a more appropriate assignment for me. A governess—I have no idea what or even how you expect me to teach a boy anything, especially one who doesn’t speak English. And travel to the Highlands? The place is completely uncivilized. More to the point, you know I can’t be gone for that long. What about the girls?”

“I understand this assignment will take a few months. I will, of course, see to their welfare while you’re away. As a woman, you have the perfect dis­guise. You’ll be safe, Ravenna, and you’ve certainly been placed in more dangerous circumstances than in the Scottish Highlands as a governess. I’ll have George and Mary escort you.”

She groaned. “I don’t like this.”

He gave her a sympathetic smile. “I know. At times, your father didn’t, either.”

“I’ve been managing to live in two worlds quite well. You know how strongly I desire to follow in Father’s footsteps, but I can’t be traveling to Scotland or God knows where. There are more than enough troubles in England. As always, I will fulfill my duty to the Crown, but please recognize how imperative it is for me to be here for my sisters, my family. I want the girls to have an ordinary life. How can they do that if I keep disappearing for long periods of time?”

“I tried to speak on your behalf. You don’t have a choice.”

She let out a heavy sigh.

Her uncle rose and walked around the desk to embrace her. “Passage is being made two days from now.”
She stepped away from him, her mouth pulled into a sour grin. “The girls are not going to be happy.”
He patted her on the shoulder and then walked to the door. “They never are. Safe travels, Ravenna.” The door closed and reality struck.

Sourcebooks will give away one copy of My Highland Spy to a lucky commenter (US and Canada only, please.) What’s your favorite book genre?

Tour Stops:
8/18 – The Reading Café:
8/19 – Books-n-Kisses:
8/20 – Fiction Vixen Book Reviews: 
8/21 – Long and Short Reviews:
8/22 – From The TBR Pile:
8/25 – SOS Aloha Book Blog:
8/26 – The Bookish Babe:
8/27 – Fresh Fiction:
8/28 – Harlequin Junkie:
8/29 – Urban Girl Reader:

About the author:

Victoria Roberts writes sexy, award-winning Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. Prior to ever picking up a single romance novel, she penned her first young adult novella at 16 years old. Who knew her leather-studded motorcycle hero would trade in his ride and emerge as a kilt wearing Highlander wielding a broadsword? Victoria lives with her husband and their two beautiful children in western Pennsylvania. Visit her at

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“An exciting Highland tale of intrigue, betrayal, and love.”

—Hannah Howell, New York Times bestselling author of Highland Master

“Roberts’ newest features a surprise-laden, quick-paced plot, replete with unconventional and fiercely independent characters. Her lyrical prose grabs readers’ attention, and the high level of emotional tension simply adds to the depth of the story. This book begs to be read and reread.”

—RT Book Reviews