*REVIEW* Before we were strangers by Renee Carlino

Before I start, let me just say that I love stories about artists in general so if I come off a little swoony, it’s because of that and because the book was really good ofcourse!

I’ve been a reader for so long and it still astounds me how much power books actually possess.
Cause let me tell you ladies and gents. This one is a gem. It gave me ALL the feels!

There’s something about New York love stories that always have something magical about them. I’ve read a few that take place in NY and they were pretty good, but obviously you need more than just the setting.
You need good plot, well written complete characters, as well as character development and plot development.
Renee delivered.
This is a one day book for me. Meaning, I sat and read it all day, unable to continue with life unless I finished this first.
Let’s check the blurp shall we?
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“To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.
You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.
We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.
Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…
I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.
After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?”

The reasons I wanted to read this one was the blurp, which is super interesting, It’s mysterious and shares just enough to compel someone to read it without revealing anything major.
Also, that cover! WOW!!!

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I
‘m known to be a cover whOr, so once I saw it, I was like “yup”.
Continuing to the story, it was a cute love story that definitely reminds everyone who reads it of their first love, so It’s relatable on some level, no matter how far fetched it becomes later on.
The plot made me really emotional. I cried a lot in many parts of reading it, I don’t know if It’s because I’m hormonal or what. (I’m gonna need opinions on this one, did you guys cry at all reading it?)
I loved the past of the story (college years and love story) as well  as the present, even though I felt like some points were a  little repetitive.
This is a story about the one that got away, but was finally found 15 years later.
(I know it sounds cheesy but I just finished it and I’m still on cloud nine, bear with me!)
Finally, Renee’s writing is so good that it made me feel super connected and related to these characters, (way too much for my own good.)
I also wish I had some of the great qualities all of them possessed. Grace’s free spirit and joy about life, Matt’s quiet confidence and talent and Ash’s combination of their best qualities.
This is a tale, about love and second chances.
We all need second chances in life, even if they come 15 years later. But not too late.

Discover “Before we were strangers” by Renee Carlino
Amazon   Goodreads  Barnes & Noble  Kobo

Enjoy!!

xoxo

*REVIEW* Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Just absolutely what I needed to read right now! It’s like the universe send it my way.

You know when you’re going through a weird phase in your life, whether it has to do with relationships,or work or friends and you read a book and suddenly it just fixes everything?
Well, that’s what Open Road Summer did for me!

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After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

This book is basically about Dee a Taylor Swift-y kind of musician who goes on tour with her best friend Reagan.
Dee is the sweetheart, the kindest person ever, always thinks about what people say, basically  a goodie good girl.
Reagan, well, Reagan is kind of the rebel.She’s been through a lot, just coming out of a relationship with the wrong person,she doesn’t trust anybody but Dee.
She is incredibly sarcastic, smart, challenging and an amazing friend to Dee.
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The whole story is from her POV.
Which is interesting, considering Dee is the “superstar” and “American’s Sweetheart”.
So the girls decide to go on Dee’s tour together, without parents, just with Peach, Dee’s aunt as a supervisor.
Dee is a photographer and thinks it’s a great opportunity for her to fill her portfolio as well.
Everything runs smoothly, until a “scandal” surfaces about Dee’s former relationship and that’s where Matt Finch comes in.
Cue THE SWOONING. 

Matt is a well known musician, friend od Dee’s and comes in to save the day and avert the eyes of paparazzi and reporters from the scandal.
A heated love-hate relationship begins to form between Matt and Reagan, and that’s where the best part of the book begins.
I just adored their relationship!!
Reagan reminds me so much of myself so I was able to relate. It was not some cute-sy love story.
(Although ofcourse it had its cute moments but without it being cheesy.)
It was unique,fresh and realistic in it’s own way, beautifully written and smart.
I have to say though,that the story progressed in a way that was kinda predictable (at least to me)at about 80% in the book.
But it doesn’t matter because the book was well structured,fast paced and the characters had chemistry.
So if you need a book that will lift up your spirits, make you fall in love with a fictional character and follow the journey of a beautiful friendship, pick up Open Road Summer.
It’s one of those books that I definitely will reread, and recommend to everyone!
5 stars to the the story and the cover!
Summer book: Check.
Find it : Goodreads Amazon  Barnes & Noble
Until Next time,
xoxo

Five Celebrities: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Five.

1.

“You’ll absolutely die when you hear what happened today at the café,” my then-girlfriend said, poking her head around the kitchen door to watch me struggle to cut the ribs off the entire bunch of dinosaur kale with a dull knife.

“Mmmhh?,” I responded.

“Well, we were listening to that Judy Garland album you put on the store iPod,” she said, stepping into view in the door frame. Her jeans were dusted dark brown where she wiped her hands after each shot of espresso, and she smelled like work in that way I loved: salt and coffee and warm milk. “Philip Seymour Hoffman came in, ordered a couple iced lattes for him and Mimi, and was standing by the bar waiting for me to finish making them.” She came up beside me and gently took the knife from my hands, easily dispensing with the ribs and cutting the kale…

View original post 738 more words

Let’s All Sell Out

Something I’ve been thinking about for a loooooooong time.
Good job!

Seven Years Late

Sellout

I hate money.

The reality is, I hate not having money. Or, even more accurate, I hate needing money and not having it. I’ve never been as depressed in my life as when I’ve found myself with more bills than cash. Because that’s what it means to be poor: Knowing you can never afford to do all the things you want to do.

Which is why it bothers me so much when I hear people say that their favorite musician, artist, filmmaker—whatever—has “sold out.” To some people, a sellout is someone who abandons their roots in favor of a fat paycheck. But what it should really mean is, “Oh, good, that person I enjoy will be able to continue to live.”

It’s hard to make art when you’re dead. Unless you’re an extreme performance artist.

Most artists get into art to make art, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want…

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Innocents (Dusty #1) by Mary Elizabeth and Sarah Elizabeth

Synopsis
Bliss knows all about bad choices but has yet to make them herself. With an innocent heart, she searches for freedom and finds it in the delinquent down the hall.
Dusty is a foul-mouthed troublemaker, tear-maker and heartbreaker. The boy with summer sky-blue eyes knows to stay away, but he can't resist the girl who made his house a home.
She's his reason, but he might not catch her when she falls.
She loves him. He loves her crazy. 
This is what happens when a love made of secrets is kept with rules instead of promises.
Buy Now

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Excerpt
Front windows cracked, we’re relaxed in the back of his parents’ old Audi and it feels good again.
“Caffeine isn’t good for you, you know,” Thomas says, glancing over. 
The sun has set and the purple sky and the Yaquina lighthouse paint my temperamental troublemaker in soft hues. The scent and sounds of the sea drift in with the breeze, mixing with smoke from the blunt he’s relit and the low melodies of Citizen Cope singing about a girl that won’t give in and he’ll never let go of.
Taking another drink of the coffee he bought me, I shrug. I don’t know what he said to get the baristas to make a pumpkin spice latte in February, but cinnamon and caffeine fill me with warm relief. 
Under his breath and around a hit, Thomas chuckles.
“It’s bad for your bones and skin,” he says, smirking as I tuck my toes under his leg. “And your heart. Uncontrolled beats are a prelude to heart attack, princess.”
I roll my eyes and laugh some, because I do feel them. I felt them earlier in his bed, and before that, when I was thinking of him. My unsteady heartbeats have nothing to do with coffee.
“Bring on the palpitations,” I say before taking another drink, letting Dusty lecture me about bad habits, as if I’m too young to understand irony.
“I’m serious,” he continues, smoking up and blowing out. “Your body will build a tolerance. When you feel it’s becoming bad for you, you’ll want more. You’ll need more. Caffeine’s a drug, Leigh.”
I laugh. I can’t help it. Maybe I’m still high.
“Oh yeah?” I ask. “Like pot?”
This boy blows a cloud of smoke up, and I watch it swirl-spread out across the car’s ceiling.
“Pot’s from the earth,” he says, puffing smoke rings while I wrap both hands around my cup, absorbing its warmth through my palms. I inhale the cream-sweet scent of cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger, and it may be full of stimulants, but I feel calm.
Thomas’ presence is the best Valentine’s Day gift. Candy is nice, and candy flavored blunt wraps were thoughtful, but this is what I wanted most. Just us.
“Pumpkins are from the earth,” I say. “And coffee beans.”
“You think there’s real pumpkin in that?” he asks. When I can’t do more than smile and stare at his lips, he sits up straighter.
“Caffeine’s an analeptic. It fucks with your impulse control and your insulin resistance.”
I laugh because, “What?”
He pulls a hit. “That shit will give you stress hormones, Bliss.”
“How do you know all this?” 
“Baseball.”
We’re quiet for a second, looking at each other. His carefreeness is back, but his smile is understated.
“You sure you’re not worried it’ll stunt my growth?”
Between licking his bottom lip and bringing the blunt back up, Dusty glances at my chest without a stitch of modesty.
“You’re growing up fine, girl.”
My cheeks heat, and I hide my smile with another drink. 
After I’ve finished my coffee, Thomas offers me the blunt. When I decline, my actual addiction leans into me, nudges his hood from my head, and exhales his smoke all over my neck. 
The playful punk that was lecturing me is gone. This honest to a fault, recklessly unflinching, too-beautiful, fated youth is a person only I know. This is my person. 
He tosses the blunt out the window while I drop my empty cup to the floorboard, and we shift together. We kiss open and deep, claiming and binding. We kiss the way I wanted to earlier, with eyes closed and hearts open, and I know the real drug is here. It’s between us and inside us.
It’s the way he opens my lips with his lips to kiss me deeper, and the way my pulse feels like his name is in my veins.
It’s the way I can’t stay hurt or mad or jealous, and the way he can’t stand for me to.
It’s the craving that never goes away, the need for more that grows as we feed it. It’s the tolerance he was talking about and knowing he’s right. 
It’s this, our secret.
We’re the drug.
Teaser

MeetTheAuthor



 
Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets. Known as The Realist, she is one half of The Elizabeths—a duo brave enough to never hide the truth. Born and raised in Southern California, she’s a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her stranglehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is told. 
To follow Mary’s upcoming solo and collaborative projects, she can be found at her website http://www.maryelizabethlit.com/.
Brought together by their love of storytelling, Mary and Sarah Elizabeth are a pair of dedicated writers with complementary strengths who’ve cultivated a literary style that captures a Realist’s brutality with a Poet’s grace, uncovering the self-seeking side of tenderness and the undisguised truth of honesty. Inspired by the lyrics of a song, Dusty was born between emails and long G-chats before a single chapter was ever typed. A short story turned into a monster, and more than four years and several edits later, the first half of their collaboration, Innocents, will be released on July 14, 2014. And its conclusion, Delinquents, is set to release on October 23, 2014. 
If you’d like to contact The Elizabeths, they can be located on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheElizabethsDusty?ref=hl.

MeetTheAuthor
   
Listener, messenger, secret keeper, Elizabeth, and TrueLove, Sarah works two jobs by day so that she's able to really work by night. She's written since she was old enough to hold a marker, and her writing bridges the sacred and profane, from first love to forbidden, with a longing for truth and a passion for hearts. She is currently based in Kansas City where her army is comprised of one little buffalo. Her best friends are girls named Moses and Bunny. Her hero is a boy named Bishop, and the one she loves has ocean eyes. In addition to Dusty, Sarah also has a collaborative novella, Light and Wine, due to be released on June 8th, and her solo work will be featured in the anthology Branded, this August.
Brought together by their love of storytelling, Mary and Sarah Elizabeth are a pair of dedicated writers with complementary strengths who’ve cultivated a literary style that captures a Realist’s brutality with a Poet’s grace, uncovering the self-seeking side of tenderness and the undisguised truth of honesty. Inspired by the lyrics of a song, Dusty was born between emails and long G-chats before a single chapter was ever typed. A short story turned into a monster, and more than four years and several edits later, the first half of their collaboration, Innocents, will be released on July 14, 2014. And its conclusion, Delinquents, is set to release on October 23, 2014. 
If you’d like to contact The Elizabeths, they can be located on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheElizabethsDusty?ref=hl.

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Book Review: More than Music (Chasing the dream #1) by Elizabeth Briggs

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“Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars.

Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.”

First of all, just look at that cover.
Look how freaking pretty it is!!

More than Music

Gorgeous.
I got this book as an arc, from NetGalley,and I read it pretty quickly,considering I was going through the most terrible part of the year.
Exams season.
Anyway this one really got my attention after propably 30% in, where the romance between the two characters begin.
Obviously it is a rockstar kind of book, but what differentiates it from the other rockstar themed books, is that the rockstar doesn’t act like an asshole at first because he has soooooo many deep problems that after he meets the girl of his dreams magically dissappear,No.
This guy -Jared- is actually a really nice dude. He just has that “heartthrob,ladies man” reputation, cause he sleeps around.But that’s pretty much what every other rockstar does anyway, so that’s realistic.
I loved the way the story progressed, the pace was really good,kept me wanting more and the author’s writing style was lovely.
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What I didn’t like was that somewhere towards the end, it became a bit predictable in the sense that you count the pages and you knew that there are enough pages for something dramatic to happen and for them to make up and live happily ever after.
I was just expecting something else to happen, anything different from the other rockstar books and it didn’t. But that’s alright because it still was pretty damn good.
I gave this one 4 stars!

Find this book:

Amazon      Barnes & Noble       iTunes      Kobo

Until Next time, xoxo

Cover and Blurp Reveal for The I Surrender Trilogy by Monica James 

The I Surrender Trilogy has been re-edited, re-vamped, and re-covered, and will be released July 1st, 2014!!! Are you ready for more Jasper White?

I Surrender (Book 1 in the I Surrender Trilogy)

I Surrender- cover

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Singapore has stolen a piece of Ava Thompson.

It took one life shattering moment for her to realize her ex-boyfriend is not the man she believed him to be. Returning home to Los Angeles was never going to be easy for Ava, as her heart has been shattered to smithereens and she’s convinced it’ll never heal. Or, so she thought.

Enter Jasper White.

Unbeknown to Ava, he will change her life forever.

The attraction is instantaneous, which troubles Ava, who has sworn off men indefinitely. Yet, she is finding resisting Jasper—with his tousled bedroom hair and piercing cerulean eyes—harder than she ever imagined. That’s because Jasper knows what he wants … and he wants her.

Can Ava surrender to her feelings for the one man who compels her to love again? What happens if love isn’t enough?

Surrender to Me (Book 2 in the I Surrender Trilogy)                                    

I surrender trilogy-teaser

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Ava Thompson left her one true love, Jasper White, to unearth her destiny. It was the only way for Ava to grow into the woman she’s always wanted to become.

Sadly, that destiny has led her back to the place that broke her … Singapore.

And more importantly, it has led her back to the man who broke her … Harper.

Ava is no longer the scared, lost girl she once was. She is stronger and determined to accomplish her dreams in order to find happiness. Hopefully, at the end of it all, she will return into the loving arms of Jasper White.

Six months later, Ava travels back to Los Angeles for an event that embraces the true meaning of love. Sadly for Ava, her meaning of true love has been lost.

Los Angeles is not how Ava left it. Things have changed. People have changed. She has changed. However, what has remained untouched is her passionate love for Jasper White.

But does Jasper feel the same?

Surrendered (Book 3 in the I Surrender Trilogy)                        

I Surrender Trilogy- covers

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When Ava Thompson met the cerulean eyed rock god, Jasper White, her whole world was tipped on its axis, and nothing has been the same ever since.

Thankfully, life for Ava has settled, and that includes being in a healthy, stable relationship with Jasper at long last.

Their turbulent love has withstood many obstacles, but when not one, but two bombshells are dropped at Ava’s doorstep, will she and Jasper be able to survive? Will the cunning ex and bothersome mother rock the stable foundation they have built together?

Will Ava get her happy ending? And will that happy ending be with the man everyone desires?

Goodreads Links

Here are the goodreads links for The I Surrender Books:

Book 1: I Surrender

Book 2: Surrender to Me

Book 3: Surrendered

about the author

MonicaJames1

Monica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson.

When she is not writing, Monica is busy running her own business, but she always finds a balance between the two. 

She enjoys writing honest, heartfelt and turbulent stories, hoping to leave an imprint on her readers, and her inspiration comes from every day life. She is an Amazon best selling author in the US, UK, Canada and Australia.

Monica James resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her wonderful family, and menagerie of animals.

She is slightly obsessed with cats, chucks and lip gloss, and secretly wishes she was a ninja on the weekends.

Author Links         

Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Website – Pinterest

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Other Books by Monica James

  • Something Link Normal

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Mia Lee has a secret… 

A secret she’s kept hidden since she was eight years old, however, Mia will no longer allow that secret to define her.

An irrevocable decision has left Mia Lee a fugitive and on the run—a circumstance that should leave her weak and scared, yet Mia has never felt so alive.

Under the pseudonym of Paige Cassidy, Mia is ready to live the life she’s never had, and she’s determined not to allow her tainted past dictate her promising future.

Paige is on a Greyhound bus heading from L.A. to South Boston, Virginia, to start a new life. A life that includes finding her mother, who abandoned her at age three. But what she finds, is four people, who will change her life forever.

Yet no one can outrun their past…

Especially one filled with bitter memories, which refuse to remain hidden.

Goodreads

Buy Links for Something Like Normal

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Amazon AU – B&N –  Kobo