Tag Archives: YA

Bastard by J.L. Perry

 

 

 

Title: Bastard
Author: J.L. Perry
Publisher: Hachette
Genre: YA/NA
 Release Date: September 14, 2015

 

Blurb
My name is Carter Reynolds. I was born a bastard and I’ll die a bastard. I learnt it at a young age, and nothing and nobody can change that. I’m on a one-way path of destruction, and god help anyone who gets in my way. I hate my life. Actually, I hate pretty much everything. That’s until I meet the kid next door. Indi-freakin’-ana. My dislike for her is instant. From the moment I lay eyes on her, she ignites something within me. She makes me feel things I thought I was incapable of feeling. I don’t like it, not one bit. When she looks at me with her big, beautiful, haunting, green eyes, it’s like she can see into the depths of my soul. It freaks me the hell out. She’s like sunshine and rainbows in my world of gloom and doom. I hate sunshine and rainbows.

********

I’m Indiana Montgomery, my friends call me Indi. Despite losing my mum at the age of six, I have a wonderful life and great friends. My dad more than makes up for the fact that I only have one parent. I’m his little girl, the centre of his world. I adore him.

When Carter Reynolds moves in next door, my life takes a turn for the worse. He’s gorgeous—sinfully hot, but that’s where my compliments end. He seems hell bent on making my life miserable. He acts tough, but when I look into his eyes I don’t see it. I see hurt and pain. To me, he seems lost.

I should hate him for the way he treats me, but surprisingly I don’t. If anything, I feel sorry for him. I want to help him find peace. Help him find the light that I know is buried somewhere within his darkness, but, he won’t have a bar of it.

He’s warned me time and time again to stay away, but I can’t. I’m drawn to him for some reason. He’s always referring to himself as a bastard. That may be true, but to me, he’s more like a beautifully, misunderstood bastard. Whether he likes it or not, I refuse to give up on him.

 

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Trailer
Excerpt
Leaning forward, so my face is only inches from hers, I say, “I can see that.” Her pupils dilate and I hear her breath hitch. I immediately know my effect on her hasn’t diminished either. It takes everything in me not to pull her into my arms and squeeze the fucking life out of her. Why did I leave it so long to see her? Just being near her again, makes me feel alive. “It’s good to see you again, Indi.”
“Well, the feeling’s not mutual,” she says. She’s lying, I can tell. Her body language is saying the complete opposite to her words. She’s still a stubborn arse I see. My eyes leave hers, gazing down at her lips. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dreamt of those lips over the past five years. Too many to count. I want to kiss her so bad my fucking chest aches. I let my eyes drop a little lower. First I see is the necklace I bought her. I can’t believe she’s still wearing it. It has me smiling like a damn fool. You have no idea what seeing that means to me.
I watch her chest rise and fall as her breathing quickens. She can deny it all she wants, but she’s affected by me. “My eyes are up here, buddy,” she spits. I want to laugh at her comment. I love her smart mouth. I’m glad this part of our relationship hasn’t changed.
Underneath the material of her white top, I can see a hint of her white lace bra covering the swell of her breast. It gives me an idea. I can’t help myself. I lift the sponge in my hand until it’s hovering over her tits. I hear her gasp when she realises what I’m about to do. I clench my fist tight, the water drips out. It soaks into the fabric of her top, making it transparent. Her nipples harden and so does my cock. Christ. I haven’t even touched her yet, and I swear I could break diamonds with this fucker.
Peeling my gaze from her spectacular rack, I make eye contact with her again. I’m feeling quite pleased with myself, but that feeling doesn’t last long. The anger I see in her eyes is not what I’m expecting. When did she lose her sense of humour? I guess I should’ve known from past experience, when it comes to her, I’m playing with fire. Especially since she has five years of pent up anger inside her, towards me.
This is one time I’m not anticipating her next move. So when it comes, I’m totally taken by surprise. She raises her right leg slightly, and then ‘BOOM’. She knees me fair smack in the nuts. Hard. Jesus fucking Christ.
All the air gushes from my lungs as pain radiates through my whole body. My dick goes instantly limp. Fuck, I think she just killed it. I’m pretty sure my boys are now lodged somewhere in my throat.
A feral, high pitched sound escapes me as I fall to my knees in agony. “Stay the fuck away from me arsehole,” she spits, as she turns and runs inside.
Somebody call an ambulance, I think I’m gonna die.

 

 

Author Bio
**VOTED
BEST NEW AUTHOR FOR 2014 IN AUSROM TODAY’S READERS CHOICE AWARDS, AND FAVOURITE
FEMALE AUTHOR IN RRR READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2016**
 
J L Perry is a mother of one son and a wife. She was born in Sydney, Australia in 1972, and has lived there her whole life. Her love of reading, from a young age, gave her the passion to write. My Destiny was originally written for her sister, in 2013. It was never intended to be published. However, after finishing this book, she felt there was still a lot of Brooke and Logan’s story left to tell. This inspired her to write My Forever. With the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided to follow her dream and become a published Author. That dream was realised on the 6th of June, 2014.My Destiny is her debut novel in the Destiny Series. My Forever is the conclusion to this book. My Destiny and My Forever, won a gold and silver medal in the 2015 eLit Book Awards for digital publishing, with the Jenkins Group. Her series that included My Destiny, My Forever and Damaged, also won a first place in the Easychair online Bookstore annual awards in 2015. Her books received a perfect score from all the judges. Her third book Damaged – Jacinta’s Story was released October 15th, 2014. This is a standalone book, but is based on a character in My Forever. Her fourth book Against All Odds, is a standalone book, as well, but part of the Destiny Series. It was released in May, 2015.

Her fifth book Bastard, was self-published in September, 2015, and became a #1 Bestseller, before she signed a five book deal with Hachette. Bastard was voted ‘Book You Must Read’ in the 2016 Readers Choice Awards. Bastard and Luckiest Bastard – the Novella, were re-released through Hachette on the 7th of December, 2015. Hooker is releasing on the 31st May, 2016. Jax and Nineteen Letters will be published late 2016.

J L’s love of romance and happy endings makes a perfect combination when it comes to writing her beautiful love stories.


 

 

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Bastard by J.L. Perry

Flirting With Love by Clara Stone

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TITLE: FLIRTING WITH LOVE
AUTHOR: CLARA STONE
GENRE : Mature YA contemporary romance

A Special Thank You to Lindee Robinson Photography for the teaser images and cover image.

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Hudson and Blake Lovelly lead a charmed life—successful careers, loving family, beautiful home. Now, on the eve of their daughter’s birth, they’re counting their blessings. Life wasn’t always so generous . . .

Fifteen years ago, seventeen-year-old Blake Voss walked into Cranbrook Preparatory High to participate in the school year’s most-prestigious debate competition. She never expected to fall for the pretentious, golden-haired boy on the opposing debate team, and he never expected to be ensnared by the quick-witted prankster with a heart of gold.

Their mutual love for joking pretense soon leads them to pull their biggest prank yet–pretending to be in love. But when danger threatens, Hudson can’t conceal his growing affection. He’ll do anything to be with Blake, even if it means risking his heart to protect her.

They didn’t plan for their friendship to grow into a love story. But sometimes, all it takes is a little Hope.

This powerful companion to Forever Kinda Love tells the history of Hudson and Blake’s relationship. Laced with haunting emotion and beautiful sentiment, this is a tale about overcoming even the darkest moments, reminding us all to love more. Give more. Without regrets.

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AMAZON US –  AMAZON UK - IBOOKS –  KOBO

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Life’s. Little. Surprises.

The last thing seven-year-old Carrigan “Ace” Casper foresaw was an eight-year-old Heath Lovelly walking into her life the day her mother died. From that moment on, Heath sticks by her side, slowly becoming her strength, her confidant, and her entire world. What she doesn’t know is, she’s his saving grace, too.

Ten years later, Ace is handed another crippling challenge that threatens everything in her almost perfect life. Only, this time, she doesn’t turn to Heath, hiding the truth instead. But Heath knows Ace too well and won’t back down easily. He’s ready to do whatever it takes and will stay by her side until she accepts that their love is the kinda love worth fighting for.

Will he be her forever triumph or her unexpected downfall?

Two lives.

One story.

And an unexpected journey to falling in love.

PURCHASE HERE

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Clara Stone lives in the beautiful city of Boise, ID. Unlike what most believe about Idaho, it’s more than a sack full of potatoes. When she’s not writing, you’ll catch Clara reading YA and NA books, mostly romance, and enjoying time with her family. She is a proud CW TV addict.

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Cover Wish by Grier Cooper

 

Wish (I)
by Grier Cooper
Expected Publication Date: December 2, 2014
Publisher: Dancing Poodle Press

Synopsis

For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.

But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.
 

Excerpt

When I hear the voice I have come to hate, I stop what I’m doing. It doesn’t matter that I’m right in the middle of abdominal crunch number 38. This gets preference. I roll on my side and press my ear to the floor. It’s hard to hear things through the carpet—more difficult to distinguish the subtle nuances I’ve learned to listen for—but I don’t have a choice. My body tenses as I strain to hear, listening to catch important clues. Is the voice sharp, scratchy and impatient? Bitter and dark? Or round and cloyingly sweet? These things matter. Each one dictates a different course of action.

 

Another voice responds. But which one? I can’t tell. The voice gets louder and I sit up, prepared to move quickly. The volume reaches a crescendo, and I jump into place by the doorway. Just in case. Loud words ring up through the floor below my feet. I stop breathing. Something clatters to the floor with a loud, metallic clank.
I hear a scratching sound. I realize with a start that it’s my nails digging into the wooden grooves of the doorframe.
I hold my breath until things go quiet again. After I wait one full minute (again, just in case) I lie down on the floor again. I know I should finish exercising but it feels good to lie still for a moment. Truth be told, I hate abdominal crunches. I close my eyes and a fragment of memory surfaces: a favorite moment from a long time ago, back before my brothers were born, when I flew. I’m not kidding. I remember my body floating weightless, toes hovering several inches above the intricate paisley patterns in our front hall carpet; dust motes twinkled in the sunlight like tiny golden fairies swirling all around me.
It was over too soon. The good stuff always is. But in those few sparkly moments I was free in a way I have never felt since.
When the memory fades, I force myself to do my last round of crunches. The overly bright pink carpet beneath me scratches the bare skin at the nape of my neck but I grit my teeth and continue. My abdominal muscles are on fire and I latch on to that fact. It’s proof that something I’m doing is having an effect somewhere.
Sometimes when things get bad, I close my eyes and imagine that blissful flying feeling in my body again. My cells remember. That’s how I know it must have happened. The closest I’ve gotten to that feeling again is during the final moments of ballet class when I leap across the floor. Those few milliseconds of freedom where I defy gravity – the chance to fly – that’s what keeps me coming back to the ballet studio.
Lately, I don’t ever want to leave.
I hope this is the year Miss Roberta takes me to audition for the New York School of Ballet so I can finally start my real life. But the second I think this, the doubts slither in. Am I ready? What about my brothers? Right now there are no answers, only questions and conflicting feelings.
A droplet of sweat rolls down my right temple and trickles into my ear. I shake it off and finish my last crunch, then flop back on the floor. I imagine what I look like from above: a cast-off rag doll, forgotten and tossed aside.
I stand and take one last look in the mirror. As usual there are a few stray flyaway hairs. I scowl at them and glue them into place with a final spritz of hairspray. That’s as close to perfect as my bun is going to get today.
The voice is back, muddled with irritation. This time I’m in the crosshairs. Mom yells again, just in case I didn’t hear her the first time. It’s impossible not to, even though she doesn’t believe in occupying the same room as the person she’s talking to.
I grab my ballet bag and fly down the stairs. I know better than to keep her waiting.


Seven blocks before we reach the ballet studio she is screaming so loudly that I see her larynx. Wait. That’s not the right word. What is the word…you know, for that dangly thing you always see vibrating in cartoon characters’ throats when they yell? The uvula. That’s the word. Only this is no cartoon – it’s my life.
I see all the signs that a blowup is coming: tight jaw, white knuckles on the steering wheel, growling about every little thing that’s bothering her. Usually I jump in and smooth things over, but not this time.
“I’m sick to death of picking up after a houseful of pigs! I’m so goddamned tired all the time because of you!” Mom yells.
Her hands pound the steering wheel and my stomach twists with a sick, fluttery feeling. It’s like the world has suddenly spun out of control and there’s no solid ground under my feet. I should be used to this by now – I’ve had almost sixteen years of practice.
My head droops like a wilted flower and I stare at my lap. I shut my eyes. It’s so hot in the car that my thighs are sticking to the blue leather seats. I hate that.
I have to escape. My mother is driving me crazy.
I ask myself why this keeps happening. I know she hates driving. Plus today, her lead-footed determination fell short by a few seconds and she missed the light at that one intersection on Post Road where you have to wait an eternity before the light turns green again. Charlie left his towel on the bathroom floor this morning; that kind of stuff always pisses her off. Maybe she’s just having a bad hair day. It’s Saturday and she’s not due back at the hairdresser’s until Wednesday morning. All of these things add up, heat her inner coil until it boils over and spills out ugly words.
On the outside my mother looks like an old-school movie star – polished blonde perfection, hair always in a flawless twist – but lately she’s wound up like a tightly coiled snake on the inside, ready to strike at any moment. When I think of her, competing emotions swirl around in my ribcage: disappointment, anger, fear and something else – longing. For the person she used to be, a person who now makes occasional cameo appearances. Sometimes I feel sorry for her, but watching her now, her contorted screaming face, (uvula shimmying back and forth like a bobble-headed hula dancer on crack) all sympathy evaporates.
I need to get out of this car to focus on my body, to feel the cool metal ballet barre in my hand. If Mom doesn’t stop yelling soon I’ll be late for class and Miss Roberta will have my head. I’m tuning it out for now, like watching a movie without sound. Watching without listening almost makes it comical. Like noticing the uvula thing.
She jabs a well-manicured, red-lacquered finger in the air (religiously re-manicured every Tuesday morning) and Charlie cries louder. Poor kid gets blamed for just about everything since he was the mistake, the unplanned child. He’s too small to stick up for himself so I try to protect him as often as I can. I squeeze his little hand three times, our secret sign. I love you and it’ll be okay. He scoots in closer to my side.
Brad rolls his eyes at me from the front seat and smirks. I ignore him and stare at my reflection in the window, hating my strawberry blonde hair and pale skin, all the parts of me that look like her.
Here’s another tactic: only listen to every third word she says. Using this filter, the dialogue goes something like, “Christ… goddamn… ever-loving… useless… godforsaken… dirty… you… tired… enough.” I’ve edited out most of the obscenities. Seriously, half of what my mother says would be censored by the FCC. Pretty ironic, since she went to Catholic school from kindergarten through senior year. The woman was practically raised by nuns.
She’ll eventually exhaust herself and tell my dad what crappy kids we are the second she gets home. Dad will do what he usually does, which is nothing. Or he’ll go work in the yard so he doesn’t have to deal with it. Until next time. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Charlie’s scream pulls me from my thoughts. My eyes snap open. My mother grips him by the arm as she shakes him, hard. “Another goddamn mess to clean up. Like I don’t have enough already.” Charlie’s cries turn to sobs. I notice scuff marks from his shoes on the back of Mom’s seat.
“Great, just great,” she growls.
Not right, not right, not right, says a little voice inside me as my heart races frantically. I can’t let her hurt him.
“Mom, you can’t—”
“Shut. Up.” She whips her head towards me, eyes blazing. “Do not start with me or I swear to God I will make you regret it. Just try me and you will find yourself out of ballet classes so fast your head will spin.”
The words hover in the air, followed by a sudden blistering silence. A door slams shut in the center of my chest. I fight back the leaden weight of anger and panic with slow, steady breaths. I wish I could make her stop freaking out all the time. But how? I clench my fists, digging the nails into my palms to stifle any urge to respond.
At last she guns the accelerator and drives the final few blocks to the ballet studio. The car rolls to a stop and she eyes each of us in turn. Slowly she turns back toward me. “All right,” she says. “Get out.”


I feel all weird and shaky as I climb out of the car. I close the door and lean against it with my head bowed. I take a deep breath. I have to pull it together before I go to class. Not easy to do when you have liquid hate pulsing through your veins.
“Indigo, is that you?” a voice says out of nowhere.
Crap. It’s Mrs. Davis. Her blonde wavy hair is shellacked into place, her perfectly shaped eyebrows arched in excitement. My heart sinks even further. I swear she and Mom have a secret arranged marriage thing planned for me and Ryan Davis, the maniac perverted son I was forced to play with all through grade school. He spent every one of our play dates either beating me up or trying to look under my dress.
She eyes me up and down like I’m the main course for supper. “I’m so happy to run into you. I have a favor to ask.”
Dread keeps me rooted in place, paralyzed. Must escape before it’s too late. Behind me I hear the car window glide down. I turn to see Mom leaning across the front seat to angle herself into the discussion.
“Why, Pam, how nice to see you.” My mother’s voice oozes with syrupy sweetness. She’s talking in that nice phony voice she only uses when we’re out in public. We call it her Christmas voice. It’s as fake as the rat poison disguised as sweetener that all the skinny moms in town stir into their morning lattés. No one would ever guess that only moments ago she was screaming her head off at us in the car.
“Likewise, Elizabeth. How are your boys doing?”
“Busy with hockey, as always. And yours?” Mom’s voice now has a slight Southern twang to it, as it does when she’s laying it on extra thick.
“Same. But you know, I was just about to talk to Indigo about tutoring my Lila; she’s behind in reading. I think learning from an older girl she looks up to would do her a world of good.”
Before I can stop her, Mom says, “Well, of course, she’d love to help out.    Wouldn’t you, Indigo?”
No reason to ask me what I think.
They both look at me expectantly. Mom’s lips are pressed together in a tight line, a sure sign that she expects no argument from me.
“Uh, sure, Mrs. Davis,” I say.
“Oh, fantastic, honey. Thank you so much. How about first thing next Saturday morning, at your place? I’ll pay you ten dollars an hour. Oh, Lila will be thrilled!”
I can’t believe how easily I just got roped into tutoring Lila. That’s the thing about this town: it’s impossible to go anywhere without running into someone you know, and usually it’s the person you were hoping to avoid.


The Christmas voice echoes in my head as I climb the stairs to Miss Roberta’s ballet studio. It’s only when I reach the top of the stairs that I realize my hands are gripped into tight fists and my jaw is sore from gnashing my teeth together. I unclench my fingers and shake out my hands, imagining I’m flinging off the bad juju.
The smooth leather texture of my ballet slippers is comforting as I slip my feet into them. I throw on leg warmers and look for a spot at the barre. There’s one last spot, right next to Marlene James, ex-fourth grade best friend, now turned horrible person. Lovely.
Monique gives me a questioning look from her spot three places down at the barre, but I shake my head and look away. While I mechanically prepare for class, I don’t talk to anyone. I’m still too upset. I throw my right leg up on the barre and fold my body over it, then switch to the left. A thorough full-body stretch is a must before every class, but thanks to my mother that’s all I have time for today.
“All right, girls, let’s get started,” Miss Roberta says, clapping her hands loudly.
I hold the barre lightly with my left hand and begin moving when the music starts. It’s the same music I’ve heard in every ballet class I’ve taken for the past ten years. We always start with pliés. 
My knees bend in time to the music: demi plié, demi plié, grand plié. My body moves through the positions while my mind replays the scene in the car. The image of my mother’s uvula is stuck in my brain.
“Indigo, where is your focus this morning?” Miss Roberta’s voice pulls me back into the present moment. I glance in front of me at Marlene’s feet and realize I’m in the wrong position. I shake my head to clear it. Go away, Mom. This is the one place where I get away from you – even if it’s only for an hour and a half.
Compared to the rest of my life, ballet classes are refreshingly orderly and predictable. Barre exercises always follow the same routine. Do everything that works the right leg, then turn and repeat everything with the left.
We move through the barre exercises. Every beat of the music dictates what comes next. The rhythm makes demands and the body answers with precision. Already my muscles are beginning to feel warm and stretchy.
“Monique, your leg does not end at your ankle. Point those toes! Jeanine, you’re sagging. Stand up straight!” Miss Roberta’s voice carries through the room. Today she’s all in pinks with a floral chiffon headscarf. She’s the classic tiny dancer: dark-haired with pert features. Her eyes flicker across the class, constantly appraising technique and posture. Even though she’s tiny, she commands the room. If she sees imperfections or lack of good effort, she will call you out.
Moments later we are doing grand battements. Droplets of sweat roll down my back and the sides of my face. My extensions suck today; my leg just won’t go as high as usual. I’m straining to get it up near my shoulder when it’s usually as high as my head. Everything feels heavy.
“What is going on with your extensions today, Indigo?” Miss Roberta looks disturbed. She addresses the room. “All of you are operating at half speed. Can anyone tell me why?”
“Must be how hard they’re working us in PE at school,” Monique pipes in.
“Great, just great. Those people have no idea what havoc they are wreaking on my dancers. Do you girls have to kill yourselves in gym class?” Her lips curl like she sucked on a lemon. Miss Roberta is extremely cautious about this stuff. In her world, dancers shouldn’t do half the stuff that other normal people enjoy. Skiing, for instance. She has forbidden me to ski because I could break a leg. The list of things I’m not allowed to do gets longer all the time.
“The human body is naturally lazy, girls. You have to make it work for you,” Miss Roberta reminds us. This is the first of the “Rules of Ballet According to Miss Roberta.” The complete manifesto goes something like this:
Humans are naturally lazy and dancers have to work hard to overcome this tendency.
There is always room for improvement. If you think you are a good enough dancer, you’re wrong!
There will always be someone who is a better dancer than you.
It takes hard work and discipline to get ahead.
If you can’t take constructive criticism, you are in the wrong place.
If you are too tall, too fat or too lazy, pick a different career.
The love of dance brought you here and it will carry you through your career.
Ballet is equal parts dedication, inspiration, and perspiration.
The human body is a dancer’s most important tool and our biggest challenge (see Rule #1).
Ballet involves sacrifice (of certain dangerous activities…including and most especially boys).
“Girls, get the lead out. Let’s see some energy in those leg extensions. Make your bodies obey!” Miss Roberta is not known for her subtlety. Also, she is perfectly comfortable discussing touchy subjects, such as personal hygiene. Three years ago she alerted us about the need for deodorant by making a loud public statement in the middle of class that went something like, “Many of you girls are old enough now that you need to wear deodorant. Some of you are beginning to smell.”
We put on pointe shoes and practice more relevés and turns at the barre. Turns are all about balance and spotting. I spot the back of Marlene’s head in front of me each time I turn. It’s a dance secret; the key to spinning around without getting dizzy. Keep your eyes on a single spot as you start to spin, then whip your head around quickly and find the same spot again.
Marlene is an amazing turner. Today I want to hate her, but it doesn’t matter anyway, since she probably won’t get much further in ballet with those D-cups of hers.
I yank my attention back to turns. It’s nerve-wracking, spinning around multiple times on the tip of a pointe shoe. You’re balancing on maybe three square inches of surface space, so you have to focus. It doesn’t help that I’m tall; there’s more of me to control.
Finally it’s time to move to the center of the room. I’m always glad to be done with the barre even though it’s where the foundation is built. The steps we repeat over and over again are like words in our dance vocabulary, and once we are in the center we flow into fluid dialogue.
We do more tendus and then an adagio. My body blooms and stretches as I raise one leg to the ceiling. Everything remains still as my bottom foot rotates and I revolve like a living jewelry-box ballerina. The music is painfully slow today. We have to make it look easy, but it isn’t.
Miss Roberta demonstrates some quick footwork with the lightness of a flitting sparrow. I watch her and wonder what her career was like. I know she was with the American Ballet Theater in New York City – there are photos and newspaper clippings posted around the studio.
Out of the corner of my eye I see Miss Roberta patrolling the edges of the room, watching while we work. Sometimes I swear I feel her eyes burning into the back of my skull. “Feet together in the soussous, Indigo! Imagine you are being sucked up into a straw.”
As I dance, I watch my feet in the mirrors that line the front of the room. She’s right. They should be tighter. I catch Marlene flashing me a haughty look in the mirror. I watch my feet closely, placing them with care.
“Better. Now apply that same diligence to every step you take.”
That’s a tall order for me today, but I know she’s right. I have to maintain that same level of care if I’m going to make it as a dancer. Each time I’m here, my job is to move one more step closer to perfection. And if I get my wish, I won’t always have her around to remind me.  
For now, Miss Roberta is part mentor, part mother and part tormentor. She embodies the strength and willpower I’ll need to get ahead, and she reminds me relentlessly.
While the second group does the exercise, I go to the side of the room and take off my pointe shoes – just for a moment. I’m starting to get bunions on the outer joints of my big toes. Some days my feet ache so badly I want to cry, but I have to work through the pain. Pointe shoes look beautiful on the outside, all pink and satin. But they are instruments of torture. Cement ball gowns. The music ends so I quickly stuff my feet back inside my shoes and tie the ribbons. Just in time for turns.
“Long spine, Indigo!” Miss Roberta’s eyes find mine in the mirror. “Shoulders down, Elizabeth! Chin up!”
Another turn. I spot my eyes in the mirror, turn twice and land. I hate this floor; the linoleum is slippery and I worry about falling. Only think about turns. No fear. I imagine an iron spike going down through my supporting shoulder and into the ground. It works. I nail the landing perfectly.
“Good, Indigo. Try for three next time.”
We move to the far corner of the room for jumps on the diagonal, the giant leaps that are my favorite. Doing them in pointe shoes is challenging because we’re supposed to jump soundlessly. Not easy when you’ve got cement blocks on your feet.
We end class with a reverence, the same way dancers bow on stage at the end of a show. In class it’s a show of respect for our teacher.
“Thank you for your hard work,” Miss Roberta says. I take a deep breath and begin to relax, at last. The feeling I get at the end of class is always warm and yummy. I take a gulp from my water bottle to replace the fluids I lost from all the sweating.
“Indigo, I need to see you a moment,” Miss Roberta says quietly.
The other dancers filter out into the dressing area and I step into her “office,” the corner where the music player lives. She shuts the divider, closing the studio off from the dressing room. Not a good sign.
Miss Roberta clears her throat. “I know you’re working hard.” I hold my breath, waiting for her to continue. “But your footwork is still sloppy. Your jumps have improved, but could be stronger and you’re still a little loose through your core. You really need to step it up if you intend to audition this year.”
It’s like a punch to the gut. I stare at the floor in quiet desperation as I hold back tears, nodding at her directives.
Her face softens. “Look, you have all the tools you need at your disposal. But what you do with them and how far you go – that’s up to you.”
 

 

About the Author

Since she was forced into ballet lessons at age five, Grier has performed on three out of seven continents. Her first crush was in fifth grade but Tchaikovsky was her first real love. She left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet but after living in New York City, San Francisco and Miami she’s decided she prefers to live outside of cities. Today she lives in a somewhat secret seaside hamlet with her husband, daughter and Coco Chanel (a black standard poodle). She is a dance activist and recovered sugar addict.

Media Links
Goodreads Author Page Link: http://www.goodreads.com/griercooper
Website: http://www.griercooper.com
Facebook Page:http://www.facebook.com/griercooper
Twitter:@GrierCooper

 

Giveaway

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Blogs Participating

 

My Review-Tyler (Inked Brotherhood 2) by Jo Raven

Tyler (Inked Brotherhood, #2)Tyler by Jo Raven

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Inked Brotherhood continues…..WOW compelling and heart wrenching.

Tyler (Inked Brotherhood Book 2)

Tyler, WOW!! What a guy. Tyler made the decision to leave home thinking it would be for the best. He abandoned his little brother Asher and his girlfriend, Erin. He comes back wanting to make things good between them and it’s not an easy decision. The relationship between him and Asher is non-existent; Asher wants nothing to do with him. Erin still loves him, but how can she forgive him, he just left.

Book 2 reveals Tyler’s suffering, his hell, and his demons. All I can say: what a great guy. He had a very tough past. This story is very real, deals with abuse at the hands of someone you are supposed to trust. He had no one to protect him. Sometimes we make decisions thinking they are for the best, only to find out they were not. How do we take these decisions back? How do those that were affected by your decision forgive?

Read this book, it is a compelling and realistic story. Jo Raven continues with the stories of the Inked Brotherhood in a beautiful and compassionate way. Although these stories are stand-alone, I find it best to start with Book 1, the story of Asher. They are intertwined; it will give you better understanding of all the characters and what makes them who they are. Not necessary and you won’t be lost if you don’t read them in order, but reading them all will enrich your experience.

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My Review – Asher (Inked Brotherhood Book 1) by Jo Raven

Asher (Inked Brotherhood, #1)Asher by Jo Raven

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bad boys to love! A beautiful story. A MUST READ!!!!

Asher (Inked Brotherhood Book 1)

A group of friends, 5 young men and 5 young women; bound together by their friendship, love and suffering. They have flaws and are broken. Book 1 introduces us to Asher and Audrey. They used to be best friends; he was her first kiss and then he turned his back on her and broke her heart. Tragedy strikes and Audrey moves away, returning after 3 years. Time and distance should ease feelings and desires; Audrey soon finds out that is not the case.

Asher covers up his suffering with the bad boy persona, but that is only his way of dealing with the abuse. Deep down he is still that boy Audrey kissed. When Audrey comes back they slowly work their way back to each other. It’s not an easy path and there will be moments of anxiety.

Jo Raven has written a beautiful and real story. It is a heart wrenching story full of hope. The writing flows nicely and draws you in. The other characters are introduced, giving us a glimpse of their stories to come.

Buy this book today, you will fall in love with the Inked Brotherhood and hold them in your heart.

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RELEASE DAY – HOME IS WHERE YOU ARE BY TESSA MARIE

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HOME IS WHERE YOU ARE BY TESSA MARIE

RELEASES SEPTEMBER 30 2014

FIND IT ON AMAZON: http://bit.ly/HomeAmazon

FinalHome

Anna’s life reads like a check list.

Straight A’s (Check)

Editor of the school paper (Check)

Volunteering time at the local soup kitchen (Check)

Ivy League (So close she can taste it)

Falling in love with a homeless boy (Not on the list)

Dean has a plan too. Survive. After being subjected to his foster father’s violent attacks, Dean made the hard choice to leave. Now he lives on the streets doing everything he can to get by, refusing to let people help him. But when he meets Anna, he realizes not everyone is out to hurt him.

Slowly, Anna and Dean let each other in, blending their two worlds into one. But when a series of events brings Dean’s world into perspective, he pushes Anna away. Not willing to accept the line that divides them, Anna sets out to bring Dean back to her. Her determination and faith in their future puts her on the tracks of danger, and he is the only one who can save her.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/HomeIsGR

Anna

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tessa

Tessa Marie lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Under her real name, Theresa Paolo, she released her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and (ONCE) AGAIN released this summer. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

 

COVER REVEAL – DESTINY’S DETOUR BY MARI BROWN

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Destiny’s Detour YA Edition Cover Reveal

Release Date: October 2014

 

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Synopsis:

Destiny Williams heads off to spend her senior year of high school at the prestigious Caldwell Academy. She will be living with her older brother David while she finishes high school. She is excited about the opportunities Caldwell offers for her dance career and it doesn’t hurt to hang out with her brother and his college friends.

Troy is captain of the football team, sexy, sweet and her brother’s best friend. Practically a member of the family, Troy has always been off limitsuntil now.

One night together changes everything…

A childhood crush turns into more and Destiny has no choice but to grow up sooner than she planned. Will life’s unexpected detours derail her forever? Is there a happily ever after in the cards for Destiny and Troy?

Only time will tell.

Mini Excerpt:
At first, I am stunned and don’t respond to his kiss, but I quickly get over my shock and begin kissing him back. My hands wrap around his neck and I dig my nails into his hair just a bit as the kiss intensifies. Troy’s hands begin to wander around the waistline of my pants. I don’t understand what is going on between Troy and me. There has never been this kind of attraction between us before. It’s all so strange, yet right at the same time. We finally break apart, and I get up, slip on my tank top, and walk out of the bedroom, leaving a stunned Troy behind

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About the Author:

I have been writing as far back as i can remember. I spent most of my teen years writing short stories that my friends were always begging for more for me it was nothing more than a hobby and a way to entertain myself even though I did manage to get published in the school paper a couple times.

I met and married my very own Alpha male, 19 years ago and we have a 18 year old daughter, and two sons ages 15 and 14. We have 3 dogs and 2 cats. There is never a dull moment around my house. We live on the beautiful Gulf Coast of Alabama. We are blessed to have a home on the river and to have the beach just 20 minutes away.

Over the years I wrote a few short stories in between raising my babies, but it wasn’t until 2012 I decided I needed to pursue my dream of writing a full novel. It took a while, but in January of 2014 my debut novel was self published. There is always a story in my head and characters talking to me. I enjoy being able to share my characters with others.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maribrownauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5447758.Mari_Brown

Website: http://maribrownauthor.com

Twitter: @MariBrownAuthor

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mari-Brown/e/B00JND6YO6

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY – BEAUTIFUL ONE BY MARY COPE

Beautiful One BT Banner

Title: Beautiful One
Author: Mary Cope

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synopsis

Transformation, empowerment, love and music come together in the book, Beautiful One.

Elizabeth Ryan is a beautiful, shy, naïve high school senior. Having never dated she meets the boy of her dreams, Aidan Mitchell. Despite his history of womanizing Liz is drawn to him. Soon Liz becomes the envy of all the girls on campus, when they become a couple and her dream boyfriend sweeps her off her feet and into the dating world that is all too new and strange for her. When other guys start to take notice of Liz, Aidan is troubled with fits of jealousy.

Elizabeth then meets the ruggedly handsome, Spencer Hayes and they quickly bond over their passion for music. Liz begins to struggle with the feelings that spark between them.

In the end Elizabeth finds herself torn between helping Aidan overcome his jealousy and anger and giving into what her heart truly wants.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

Beautiful One Teaser 1

excerpt

The faint sounds of a guitar drifted through the walls of my bathroom as I savored the last of the hot water before it became lukewarm. Stepping away from the spray, I turned the shower knob and watched the droplets trickle down the drain. Inhaling a deep breath my mind focused on one thing. Aidan Mitchell.

Hearing Mason’s band practicing meant he would be here. I was ninety-nine percent sure Aidan wouldn’t blow off their practice. He knew how serious my brother was about the band, but he also had been avoiding me for days.

The past week had been awful. I was determined to talk to him. All I wanted was a few answers. My emotions had run the gamut from confusion, frustration, regret, and sadness… sadness consumed me most of all, at night usually, and I was exhausted from it. But at this moment all I felt was anger. Anger was good. It was certainly better than pain.

As I rushed down the hallway, the floorboards creaked beneath my feet and the walls began to vibrate with the beat of Derek pounding on the drums. When I entered my room the music was deafening, but today I didn’t mind. I untwisted the blue-and-white-polka-dot towel from my head and tossed it to the floor.

The deep conditioner I used helped my fingers glide through my long damp curls. If I was going to confront Aidan, I wanted to look my best. No Frizzy Lizzie for me. That nickname, coupled with my big butt, had tormented me, growing up in a beach town surrounded by beautiful people. I had longed to look like a typical California girl: tall, blond, perfect. But, with dark hair and bordering on five feet three inches, that was never going to be me.

After I blow-dried and flat-ironed my hair, I took off my purple robe and draped it over my desk chair. I slipped on a pair of jeans… yes, slipped them on. I didn’t have to tug, pull, or jiggle my butt to get in my pants anymore. When I easily pushed the button through the top of my jeans, it still made me smile. I couldn’t even count how many times I had to lie on my bed and suck in my stomach so I could zip up a pair of pants. Every time I slipped them on, I never took it for granted. I had worked my butt off… literally. I put on my bra and a green sweater before I pulled on my boots.

I rushed downstairs to the door that led to the garage. Thinking about confronting Aidan and having to stare into those piercing blue eyes started to intimidate me. But this was my chance. I knew he was a few feet behind the door, and I needed to deal with him. Before I completely lost my nerve, I inhaled a deep breath and exhaled then pushed open the door.

The stream of sunlight coming in through the open garage door blinded me for a moment. With squinted eyes, I made a beeline to the old brown sofa in the corner. My heart was beating so fast it almost seemed in tempo with Derek pounding the drums. I scooted over our yellow Labrador, Maggie, and wedged myself between her and the arm of the couch. Finally, I looked up to focus my attention on Aidan.

He didn’t show.

I sunk my head back into the cushions, exhaling a deep, long sigh, trying to rid the tension from my body. The guys were practicing their newest song. Indie-Alternative was their style, and they called themselves Random Plan. I glanced at Mason and could tell he was angry. I mouthed the word “Aidan?”

Mason just shook his head.

“Derek!” The tone in my brother’s voice made me sit up straight. “Derek!” Mason snapped again.

Finally Derek stopped and silenced his cymbals.

“What?” He lifted the front of his black t-shirt to wipe the sweat from his forehead, exposing his six-pack. His brown eyes bored into Mason’s. “Hey! Just ‘cuz you’re ticked off at the pretty boy, don’t take it out on me.”

Derek reached back and grabbed a water from an old bookcase that held a few water bottles, electrical cords, an old CD player, and a collection of CDs. “Hey, Kyle, ya want one?”

Kyle nodded and Derek tossed one across the garage to where he stood behind the keyboard.

“Mason?”

“Yeah, I’ll take one… Sorry, Derek.”

Derek gave Mason a head nod and tossed him a bottle. He took a sip while Derek chugged his down.

“Okay, start again.” Mason commanded.

Derek picked up his sticks and began tapping.

I leaned my head back, closed my eyes and listened to the music. Funny, I’d come into the garage so fearless it almost made me laugh. Who would have thought the once-overweight Elizabeth Ryan would stand up to the likes of Aidan Mitchell? I smiled to myself, allowing my mind to drift back to the time when I’d found it hard to even look at him…

Beautiful One teaser 2

Author Bio

Mary Cope

Mary Cope is a freelance writer of romance. Her book, Beautiful One, is the first in a planned trilogy. She is currently writing, Beautiful Mess and Beautiful Life will follow.

Mary enjoys spending time with her family, baking gourmet cookies, listening to music and taking long walks with her yellow Labrador, Maggie.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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HOME IS WHERE YOU ARE BY TESSA MARIE

Home is Where You Are by Tessa Marie

YA Comtemporary

Available – September 2014

Anna’s life reads like a check list.
Straight A’s (Check)
Editor of the school paper (Check)
Volunteering time at the local soup kitchen (Check)
Ivy League (So close she can taste it)
Falling in love with a homeless boy (Not on the list)

Dean has a plan too. Survive. After being subjected to his foster father’s violent attacks, Dean made the hard choice to leave. Now he lives on the streets doing everything he can to get by, refusing to let people help him. But when he meets Anna, he realizes not everyone is out to hurt him.

Slowly, Anna and Dean let each other in, blending their two worlds into one. But when a series of events brings Dean’s world into perspective, he pushes Anna away. Not willing to accept the line that divides them, Anna sets out to bring Dean back to her. Her determination and faith in their future puts her on the tracks of danger, and he is the only one who can save her.

 

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1nAn5la

About Tessa Marie

Theresa Paolo lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, released in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin). (ONCE) AGAIN will release this summer. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series, under her pen name Tessa Marie. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Website / Twitter / Facebook

Cryostorm Blog Blitz and Giveaway

Cover

 

 

  • Book Title: Cryostorm (Touch of Frost #3)
  • Author: Lynn Rush
  • Release Date: 7/18/14
  • Genre: Upper YA/New Adult Paranormal

 

Cryostorm (Touch of Frost Book 3)

 

Cryostorm Synopsis

They made his body, she’ll awaken his soul…

Three months ago, my twin sister, Georgia, and I had to die so our loved ones would be safe from the scientists hunting us. After months of searching, we’re close to finding the one person who can help us find closure, Georgia’s adoptive mother, Lois.

Snowstorms and an unexpected run-in with GenCorp, the latest entity charged with capturing us, delay our mission and break our spirits. The only light in my supernaturally chaotic life is Nate. He’s given up everything to protect and take care of me, and each minute I’m with him confirms how much I love him. Finally ready to share my heart again, I take the next step, admitting my true feelings.

The mad scientists who want to tear me apart and use my body for a freak show, once again taint my happiness with a disturbing technology that rips Nate from my arms. As I battle GenCorp’s warped technology to save my soul mate, I’m faced with the vivid reality: the Nate I knew and fell in love with may be lost forever.

And if I get him back, will I still be able to say those three precious words?

 

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Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22379266-cryostorm

 

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Frostbite (Touch of Frost Book 1)

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Absolute Zero (Touch of Frost Book 2)

 

AUTHOR BIO

 

LynnRush
Originally from Minnesota, Lynn Rush currently enjoys living in the sunny Arizona desert with her husband and her lovable Shetland Sheep dog, Maddux. Rush holds a degree in psychology from Southwest Minnesota State University and a master’s degree from the University of Iowa. When she’s not busy writing her next trilogy, she can be found pounding the pavement, training for her next endurance event.
Connect with Lynn on Twitter, through Facebook or her website. Lynn also writes as Reese Monroe and you can find her alter ego here http://reesemonroe.net/

 

Author Website: http://www.LynnRush.com

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rush_Monroe

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LynnRushWrites

Author Goodreads: http://bit.ly/LynnRushGoodreads

Author Amazon Page: http://bit.ly/AmazonLynnRush

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/f55fL

Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RushMonroeRockStars/

 

Cryostorm Rafflecopter Code: Giveaway runs: 7/17/14-7/31/14

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