Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton Release Day Blitz

Alicia here, celebrating the release of Fly With Me! My review will be up on Sunday. Enjoy!

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Fly With Me
by Chanel Cleeton

May 3, 2016
Wild Aces #1
Adult Contemporary Romance
Penguin/Berkley



BOOK SUMMARY:

From the author of the Capital Confessions Novels comes the first in the steamy Wild Aces Romance series.

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.

Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down. 

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…


Praise for Fly With Me:

“Sexy, funny, and heart-wrenching—this book has it all!”
- Laura Kaye, New York Times bestselling author

“A sexy fighter pilot hero? Yes, please. For anyone who’s ever had a Top Gun fantasy, Fly with Me is for you.”
- Roni Loren, New York Times bestselling author


Add to Goodreads
Read the first chapter




BUY THE BOOK:

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/20ewq86
Google Play: http://bit.ly/23eFOei



Check out Book 2 in the Wild Aces series, Into the Blue (out July 5, 2016):


From the author of Fly with Me and the Capital Confessions Novels comes the newest in the sexy Wild Aces Romance series.

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancée.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?


Add to Goodreads

PREORDER THE BOOK:

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1OFUJnZ
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1lvnY4M





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure.
Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her husband. 


Chanel writes contemporary romances, women's fiction, and thrillers. She is published by Harlequin HQN, Penguin/InterMix, and Penguin/Berkley and is the author of the International School, Capital Confessions, Assassins, and Wild Aces series.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website:   www.chanelcleeton.com



Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2016 Unique Formatting Challenge Link Up


I can't believe it's May already, and that means a new monthly link up for the Unique Formatting Book Challenge. I have a page under my blog header that will give you links about this challenge, book ideas to read, and past monthly link ups if you are curious about joining! You can join in whenever. Read and review a book with a unique format? Link it up!

I'm heading to BEA next week, so I think I'll wait and do a giveaway next month for people that have linked up through May (so link link link!!), hopefully giving away a fun ARC or two!! If you have read/reviewed a unique format book since January and didn't link it, you can now!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Author Interview: Danika Stone


I'm happy to have author Danika Stone back to answer some of my questions about her adult novel, Edge of Wild, which will be released next month. She also has a YA novel, All the Feels, which will be released on June 7th. Be sure to pre-order or save on Goodreads so you remember! 

Interview with Danika Stone

Questions by Lauren

1. Edge of Wild is a mystery novel and the question always begs to be asked - what part of this story did you come up with first?
I always start with character. Plot comes later.
The original story circled around Louise Newman. She was the first character that appeared to me and her relationship with Rich was the lens through which I understood the story that eventually came. It wasn’t until the second draft that the creepy elements began to evolve.
2. I love the simple, but striking nature of the book's cover. Did you get any say in what it would look like?

The Stonehouse team is phenomenal, and they’ve welcomed input at every step of the way. Early on, I was asked to send photographs of what I’d imagined the cover to be, and from there, designs were generated. As soon as I saw what they were thinking of, I was sold. I love the simplified cover so much!



3. Now that you've written for adults and young adults, do you find you ever have a preference?

I truthfully love both, and I love them for completely different reasons. YA is fun but short, whereas Mystery lets me delve into more complexity, but it also requires far more revision. Asking which I prefer is like asking someone whether they rather only eat main courses or dessert. Obviously it would be hard to choose just one!  I’ll go with both. 

4. Readers can find you on social media, especially Twitter. What can people expect from you there?

Short answer: A barrage of gifs, bookishness, and POP-CULTURE SQUEE! Ha!

Long answer: I am obsessed with books (among other things), and I love talking with readers and finding out what they are reading. If you’re an aspiring writer, I hope that some of the quotes and blogs can inspire you. And if you’re just there to celebrate the release of your fave movie / television show, I want to join in!

Don’t be shy. Talk to me. (Authors love that!)

5. Anything you'd like to be asked and never have been? Or something you think people should know about you, your writing, or Edge of Wild?

I’ve never been asked which parts of Edge of Wild are real, but I’ll tell you that one of Lou’s stories – the one about the three lost boys – is actually true. My father was one of the children lost on the mountain, and the description of that night, lost in the woods with a trail that inexplicably wasn’t there, has stayed with me to this day.

An interesting tidbit I just discovered this weekend is that William Shakespeare is my great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great-Uncle (through his younger sister, Joan Shakespeare.) That’s pretty cool!

Lastly, I’d like people to know where to find me. Come on over! I’d love to talk.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Book Reviews: Fight to Forgive + Skeletons in the Closet


Fight to Forgive by J. Leigh Bailey

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Recent college grad Aaron Elliott is a pro when it comes to avoiding conflict. So when he hears his mother and stepfather plan to sell the family’s rambling summer retreat, it takes everything in him to object. The lake house is where he feels closest to his late father. It’s where he fell in love with his best friend…and it’s where he let family pressure decide his future rather than following his heart.

A combat injury has naval officer James “Freddie” Fredrick dry-docked, possibly for good. But the pain in his shoulder is nothing like the hurt he feels when he sees Aaron back in town. It’s been four years since the love of his life left without a word—and though Freddie would give anything to deny it, the heat between them hasn’t faded.

Once upon a time, Aaron let Freddie go without a fight. He won’t screw up their second chance to have a happy ending. But unless he makes peace with the past, Freddie won’t be able to face their future.


Review: J. Leigh Bailey is a favorite of mine so I'm always excited to see that they have a new book coming out. In Fight to Forgive, the book takes place in the present day with Aaron and Freddie reconnecting after years apart. However, the book has flashbacks to help the reader understand their previous relationship. It starts with the two meeting and then continues on until they are a couple and then finally we reach the moment where everything changed and Aaron ran off instead of talking to Freddie, because he hates confrontation. While I can understand both of the boy's sides, this is one of those books where all could have been fine if Aaron had just talked to Freddie. At the same time, despite there not being a story, the boys also wouldn't have had a chance to grow up and evolve, and I think it was important that they did.

While I really enjoyed this one, I did want to push the two together multiple times throughout the book and yell "stop being so stubborn and open up!" Alas, it does happen eventually. I feel like Fight to Forgive is easy to predict in a variety of ways, which isn't a bad thing. Most romances are fairly easy to predict after all. I would say you have to have some patience with these two, but I really liked the overall story. There are some nice and also some not-so-nice secondary characters to get to know as well!


Skeletons in the Closet by Kayla Bain-Vrba

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: It's no secret that Riley used to practice dark magic, but he gave it up gladly when he fell in love with Landon. But Riley has spent the last year trying to shield Landon from just how dark his past really was, desperate to keep him safe and hold on to their fragile relationship.

Then Dyami, Riley's old partner, returns to town and threatens to kill them both if Riley doesn't return to his old ways…

Review: Skeletons in the Closet is a novella but it was an interesting one! I really liked the premise that these two, Riley and Landon, could do magic. I wish the book was longer actually! However, this novella is about these two men who have been dating for a little while and while Landon knows that Riley used to do dark magic, he doesn't fully know the details and Riley is always afraid he's going to hurt Landon.

The past appears in the form of a girl who Riley used to work with and she's not ready to let go of dark magic anytime soon. Riley and Landon end up in the middle things, marking a true test to their relationship as Riley might have to use his dark powers to save them.

Like I said, it's an exciting premise, and it's one I wish had filled up a larger book, but I still really enjoyed the novella. It's easy to feel for Riley. He wants desperately to change but he's afraid that if he uses his full powers, they will be dark and not light, like Landon. As much as Landon says he understands about Riley's past, it's also easy to see his side of things. Granted, Landon isn't that worried about Riley until he starts to see dark magic in action. Finally, while this novella focuses largely on magic and the like, there are some graphic sex scenes in the beginning and end, so definitely an adult title!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Reviews: The Haters + Gena/Finn



The Haters by Jesse Andrews 

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryFor Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It's pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It's three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they're in Ash's SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.

Review: Okay, to be honest, I didn't really like this one. It was almost a DNF for me mainly because I have a lot of books to read and I just didn't want to invest time in something I wasn't really liking. However, I persevered, because I was curious about how things would end and it wasn't all bad. Overall, the characters felt realistic. The actual adventure of running off and doing a tour isn't that most realistic, but it's not unrealistic, if that makes sense. It's something that could happen; it just felt a bit strange to be reading about these teens that did that. Anyway, I haven't read Andrews' debut Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and I hear great things about it, so I do want too. I just wouldn't say this one was a favorite of mine. It's definitely middle-of-the-range. I wouldn't recommend it per se, but I could see people really liking how the teens spoke and acted like real people. Boys might enjoy it more than girls, with all of the guy humor, though!


Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Gena and Finn would have never met but for their mutual love for the popular show Up Below. Regardless of their differences—Gena is a recent high school graduate whose social life largely takes place online, while Finn is in her early twenties, job hunting and contemplating marriage with her longtime boyfriend—the two girls realize that the bond between them transcends fanfiction. When disaster strikes and Gena's world turns upside down, only Finn can save her, and that, too, comes with a price. Told through emails, text messages, journal entries, and blog posts, Gena/Finn is a story of friendship and love in the digital age.

Review: Now this is a book that I really loved. For one thing, it's easy for me to relate to as I have met a lot of great people online - whether we ever met in person or not. We've talked about the things we love, especially when it deals with some sort of fandom or nerdy love. For Gena (pronounced like Jenna) and Finn (two girls) they bond over the TV show Up Below. They start to write each other about their lives and the things they are going through. Finn is a bit older than Gena and she's living away from her family with her boyfriend, but she's not sure she really wants to marry him. As for Gena, she's dealing with absent parents, mental health, and something of a secret that is revealed later.

As these two communicate, and especially after they meet in person, their friendship starts to blur a bit. Do they love each other as more than friends? Is one of them more in love than the other? It's an interesting question and it was great to see this in a book. It's easy, especially with girls, to see how friends could start to fall in love if they get too close to each other. Obviously this doesn't happen with all best girl friends, but it is something that probably happens more often than people realize.

I loved the different formats -we get journal entries, text messages, emails, etc. It's a lot of fun and it makes the story move quick, but also allows you an intimate look into both of these girl's worlds.

Gena/Finn comes out May 17th - pre-order your copy now! 


Both of these books fall under the Unique Formatting Book Challenge. I explained Gena/Finn, but The Haters does as well; it's just a bit more difficult to explain! I have everything linked up (including the monthly link up) under the page Unique Formatting Book Challenge - just look under my header for the link! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hosting Blog Tours for LGBT+ Books

source
Hello everyone!!

I've been tweeting about this for a bit now but I know not all of you are on there, or even follow me (though if you want too - @shootingstarmag), so I thought I'd share this in a more prominent post here.

There a lot of blog tour companies out there, and I think it's great. Authors and books need more love and a bit more push sometimes with so many titles coming out all the time. However, I am starting a blog tour company that focuses solely on LGBT+ books. These won't all be YA titles, and they won't all be Adult titles. I like to read a mix of LGBT+ books, so I want to do more of what I can to spread the word.

However, I need blogger help! Through Twitter, I've had a lot of people say they would wish to help, but I could always use more, especially before I start really spreading the word to authors. If you are interested, I just need your email. That's it! You will get emails once I start working with authors. These emails will include details on the book and author and what we're looking for - reviews, guest posts, social media help, etc. If you are interested in the book and helping out, you will just write me back and let me know what you want to do!

That's it! Simple enough, right? So yes, please do let me know if you wish to be included on my blogger list. Also, I'd love it if you could spread the word to your fellow readers in case they want to help out!

Oh, and if any authors are reading this: get in touch if you have a future LGBT+ title that could use some help! I can't promise to work with every author, but I will do my best!

-Lauren

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blog Tour: Static by Eric Laster + Two Great Giveaways



Welcome to Day #7 of the #STATIC Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of #STATIC by Eric Laster (4/19/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Eric and 10 chances to win a copy of #STATIC, as well as a chance to win a 6-in-1 Bluetooth Entertainment Center in the Grand Prize Giveaway!

Recording Punk Rock by Eric Laster

Whenever he’s not scribing, Eric records punk rock and presses it to vinyl.

As a writer, I spend most of my time being as precise as I can, choosing the right words and stringing them together in sentences I find pleasing; sentences, paragraphs, the pacing of chapters—there are so many details to consider in every piece of writing, and I can never be too detail-oriented.

Recording punk rock allows me to indulge in overall attitude instead of details. When I write and record punk, I embrace messiness—spewing emotions without painstaking forethought. And this might sound weird, but for me it’s also a celebration of anger. Punk allows me a cathartic release from the strictures of the everyday and acts as a steam valve through which I vent some of the worst aspects of my personality (though I do exaggerate and poke fun of this over-the-top version of myself). Curiously, when I “sing” punk I become a character, which in the end is not unlike being a novelist or short story writer.

Parsing the whys of my interest in punk is dangerous. The music should be heard and felt, and certainly not dissected by the one playing it. You can check out some of Eric's music on Bandcamp.

*****

Stop by Pretty Little Memoirs tomorrow for the next stop on the tour!


Blog Tour Schedule:

April 18th – The Book Cellar
April 19th – Once Upon a Twilight
April 20th – Fall Into Books
April 21st – Twenty Three Pages
April 22nd – The Fandom
April 25th — Book Briefs
April 26th – Shooting Stars Mag
April 27th – Pretty Little Memoirs
April 28th – A Belle’s Tales
April 29th – The Reader and the Chef

Buy: Amazon
Follow Eric: Twitter | Facebook | InstagramWebsite
When Curtis Brooks starts receiving phone calls from his older brother Wilt, who’s been dead a week, he’s sure it’s to help him find evidence that will lead to a murderer’s arrest. But Wilt claims he wasn’t murdered; his calling, meant to help him adjust, is standard protocol for newly deceased at the Aftermart—a kind of inescapable, ever-expanding Walmart filled with discontinued products. Wilt’s death ruled a homicide, Curtis embarks on a dangerous plan to find the killer, which soon has him scheming against a billionaire and floundering toward love with his brother’s ex-girlfriend Suzy, all while struggling through high school and his single mom’s poor choices. Why does Wilt help Curtis win over Suzy, even as he organizes a rebellion at the Aftermart? Who’d wanted him dead? Curtis risks his life to answer these questions, in the process forging a bond with his brother unlike any they’ve ever had.
A New Yorker by birth, Eric Laster lives in Los Angeles. After a successful stint as a best-selling ghostwriter, Eric re-launched under his own name with the middle-grade novel Welfy Q. Deederhoth: Meat Purveyor, World Savior.  Whenever he’s not scribing, he records punk rock and presses it to vinyl.
GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY
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ShootingStarsMag Giveaway:

I was given the opportunity to offer up one copy of Static by Eric Laster for giveaway.
You must be in the U.S. or Canada
You must be at least 13 years of age or have permission of parents to enter
Once I pass along your information, I am in no way responsible for the book getting to you
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