Tuesday, 27 October 2015

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & GIVEWAY - Blue Horizons by Kathryn Andrews

Title: Blue Horizons
Author: Kathryn Andrews
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: October 19, 2015

Will Ashton

Music is my motivation. I’ve always believed that, because of it, I would be somebody. Somebody to someone, and something to myself.

At age four, I picked up my grandfather’s acoustic guitar and, up until three weeks ago, I’ve never put it down. From a single chord to a full arrangement, music fed my soul. I craved it with every fiber of my being, but now, I just don’t know. That driving force that’s always pushed me has somehow stalled, along with the thrill, the passion, and the familiarity . . . it’s all gone. I’m beginning to worry that my love for music just isn’t enough.

As the summer tour finally comes to an end, I head to the Blue Ridge Mountains instead of returning to Nashville. It’s here that I’ve always been able to lose myself amongst the solitude and the lake, but what I didn’t expect to find was her.

Wild blonde hair, light blue eyes, and a laugh I find myself trying to coax from her has me completely enamored. She’s quiet, incredibly poised, and driven by secrets as big as the mountains around us. They’re what’s made her untouchable, and left me wanting to know more. Maybe that’s what I need. Maybe I need more. Maybe I need her.

Ava Layne

They say that life isn’t about how many breaths we take, but how many moments take our breath away. But what if those moments aren’t filled with happiness and love, but something dark and haunting? For me, it’s those moments that’ve shaped and taken over my life. I can’t change who I am, God knows I’ve tried, and, because of this, I’ve accepted the silver lining . . . I’m alive.

Fifty-two white keys, thirty-six black keys, ten fingers, seven notes, two friends, and one stage. At the piano, on the stage, with my two best friends, I finally found myself, and I live for those moments. One by one, I collect them, cherish them, patiently waiting for the next, until it arrives and changes everything. That’s the moment I meet him.


Blue HorizonsBlue Horizons by Kathryn Andrews
Trish's rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 Beautiful Blue Stars

Absolutely loved this amazing story. Kathryn Andrews is such a talented writer who brings her characters to life in so many ways. Her writing is seamless and just so perfect that it will truly draw you in from start to finish.

Honestly, I just couldn’t put this book down. The story is written beautifully and the characters are amazing. Her character development is so flawless that it will leave you feeling like you actually know them.

A chance meeting between Ava and Ash leave them both feeling something – unexplainable to both of them, but something not to be dismissed - or was it fate that happened to find them?

This story does deal with some dark issues, ones that Ava is trying to deal with. As the heroine of this story, she is brave in all that she endured. The flashbacks to the story were so important to understand where she was coming from and what she had gone through.

And Ash, how can you not love him? A rock star that has it all – or does he?

What happens when their paths cross again?

You simply have to read this beautifully stunning story to find out. It’s a definite MUST READ.

It will tear at your heartstrings but it will also leave you feeling elated at the end.

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OVER TEN YEARS ago my husband and I were driving from Chicago to Tampa and somewhere in Kentucky I remember seeing a billboard that was all black with five white words, “I do, therefore I am!” I’m certain that it was a Nike ad, but for me I found this to be completely profound.

Take running for example. Most will say that a runner is someone who runs five days a week and runs under a ten minute mile pace. Well, I can tell you that I never run five days a week and on my best days my pace is an eleven minute mile. I have run quite a few half marathons and one full marathon. No matter what anyone says . . . I run, therefore I am a runner.

I’ve taken this same thought and applied it to so many areas of my life: cooking, gardening, quilting, and yes . . . writing.

I may not be culinary trained, but I love to cook and my family and friends loves to eat my food. I cook, therefore I am a chef!

My thumb is not black. I love to grow herbs, tomatoes, roses, and lavender. I garden, therefore I am a gardener!

I love beautiful fabrics and I can follow a pattern. My triangles may not line up perfectly . . . but who cares, my quilts are still beautiful when they are finished. I quilt, therefore I am a quilter.

I have been writing my entire life. It is my husband who finally said, “Who cares if people like your books or not? If you enjoy writing them and you love your stories…then write them.” He has always been my biggest fan and he was right. Being a writer has always been my dream and what I said I wanted to be when I grew up.

So, I’ve told you who I am and what I love to do . . . now I’m going to tell you the why. I have two boys that are three years a part. My husband and I want to instill in them adventure, courage, and passion. We don’t expect them to be perfect at things, we just want them to try and do. It’s not about winning the race; it’s about showing up in the first place. We don’t want them to be discouraged by society stereotypes, we want them to embrace who they are and what they love. After all, we only get one life.

In the end, they won’t care how many books I actually sell . . . all that matters to them is that I said I was going to do it, I did it, and I have loved every minute of it. Find something that you love and tell yourself, “I do, therefore I am.”

Enter to Win a Paperback Copy of Blue Horizons on Goodreads
Closes: October 26th
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Welcome Marcus Monroe to Novels In Heels.  It is a pleasure to be interviewing you today.

As you may or may not know, Marcus writes beautiful words, scenes and poetry on his Facebook page.  My research tells me that Marcus has not published a novel as yet, but rather he gives his words freely on his social media sites.  Today, we will delve a little deeper into the mind of Mr. Monroe and why he does what he does – write that is.

Let’s start with some easy questions.

Name:  Marcus Monroe

Age:  56

Where are you based?  Saint Louis, Mo, USA

How long have you been writing?  Off and on for most of my adult life.

Have you always had a way with words?  Does it come naturally to you?  It does seem to come naturally to me, although the words normally arrive best when I am in a specific emotional state.  But it’s never been anything I could just sit and do.  It has to come to me.

When writing a scene or a poem, what does the experience bring you personally?  For the most part my words take me to the places I would like to be or with the person I write about.  It’s like a dream becoming a reality.  Best way I can describe it.

You come across as a very gentle and sensual soul.  Can you tell us what motivates or inspires you to write such beautiful scenes?  I am inspired by emotional turns in my life or having deep feelings for someone.  I guess the best way to explain it is to have love or to have lost love, or to have felt hurt.  All can be muses in some form.  Writing is my way of healing and letting go of heartbreak and helping me to move on.

Have you ever considered writing a book/novel?  I have considered it, but I have honestly never had the time available it would take to concentrate to doing it.

Is Marcus Monroe your pen name?  If so, is it the only pen name you go by?  Marcus Monroe is only a pen name, and it is the only one I have ever used.

Is writing a full time or part time career for you? Writing and sharing my words is only a hobby for me, or as I say a journey of healing for me right now.

What was the turning point for you to actually sit down and write?  This last time was a very bad thing happening to me in my life, and writing and sharing my words has been my way of letting go of the hurt and pain and moving forward.

How do you come up with such beautifully, erotic and sensual scenes?  Most all of my words are from my experiences.

Are you a professional in any other field? I have had a career in marketing for many years.  That is my true profession.

For those of us that don’t know much about you or your work, where is the best place to read what you have written?  I only share on Facebook and Twitter right now.

How do you feel writing sexy, erotic scenes?  Do you write them with experience or lots of research?  I fall completely into the erotic scenes I write about, and they are all from my own personal experiences.  By writing them I can be in the scene in my mind and my heart, and it allows me to feel the sensations and the love that I always used to feel in real life.

Can you share an exclusive scene/poem with us at Novels In Heels?  I will think about this, and I may at some point.  The things I currently do share are very personal to me.

Do you write your scenes with experience or are they totally fictional?  Everything I write is from my personal experience, and all my words are real and are me.

What are you ambitions as a writer?  If my words can make a reader feel, and in some way help them that is all I can ask.

What about some questions getting a little more personal….

What is your favourite thing to do other than writing?  That is very difficult to say.  I have many favourites, but I would have to say spending an evening with a lady and having her enjoy herself in every way possible would be the one I would have to choose.

What is your greatest achievement in life?  My children.

Tell us a little about yourself?  Something that none of your fans would know or something you would like to be known for.  I really don’t consider myself a writer.  I never intended or expected any of this reaction to my words.  I shared something I had written one day on another page and it just happened from there.  I am still humbled every day by the response I receive to the words I share.

How do you relax?  I unplug from everything and I meditate in silence.  I also relax by reading or watching movies.

What do you do when you are looking to have a bit of fun?  These days I live a very quiet life by myself.  So if I want to have fun I do something I like to do such as working in my yard or on a project inside my house.  I don’t go out a lot at night.  I did my time with that.

What is your favourite colour?  My favourite color is black.

What would be your ideal date?  Having a lady in my home one evening, making her dinner, watching a movie or reading to her, and then taking her to bed and giving her pleasure all night long.

Do you believe in Insta-love?  Why?  No I do not.  I believe love comes over time after a connection is made and a friendship is built from trust.

What does your daily ritual consist of?  I wake up and shower, have my coffee in silence and then go to work.  Once I am home I make my dinner and watch the evening news and then I watch a TV show or a ball game, along with my interaction on my nightly bedtime post on Facebook.  Then I go to bed about 10:00 pm and try to sleep.

What is your favourite book quote?  What haunts us most are the things we don’t say.

Have you ever been arrested?  Reason? No I have not.  I have never been caught!

What is the weirdest request you have received from your fans?  I had a lady ask me if she could come and marry me the next day.

Give us 3 quirky facts about you? 

  1. I honestly hate chatting in little boxes online
  2. I used to work as a disc jockey in night clubs
  3. I once drove from Milwaukee to Saint Louis one night just to buy a sweatshirt I saw someone wearing that I liked and it was the only place they were selling it.

Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?  I would love to meet Thomas Jefferson.  I would love to discuss his thoughts of what he envisioned this country should be.

What advice would you give your younger self?  Don’t trust to easily.  Most people are only looking out for themselves.

Now … just a few naughtier personal questions.

Has a particular scene ever made you particularly aroused that you could not wait to be pleasured?  Yes.  The scenes where I watch a woman give herself pleasure to orgasm.

What’s your favourite sexual position?  Missionary.  I like to look down into a woman’s eyes and be able to kiss her and watch her face when she climaxes.

Have you ever acted out a scene with your partner?  Yes.

What is your one (top) sexual fantasy?  Have you accomplished it?  To have a woman and myself pleasure one another at the same time, and then come together to make love.  And yes, I have many times.

Where / what has been the most erotic place you have had sex?  A hotel room with a mirror over the bed.  That was hot.

Are you in a vanilla or BDSM relationship?  I am by no means vanilla, but I do not go to the extreme of pain or using devices.  Restraints are as far as I go, along with some hair pulling or spanking if the lady wants that.

If you had a choice would you choose – flogger, blindfold, handcuffs, restraints, rope, whips, cane?  Blindfolds, handcuffs and restraints. 
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Marcus Monroe for taking the time to do this interview with me.  As you have just read, it really is a beautiful and insightful interview into his world and his love of writing.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

REVIEW & BOOK PROMO - Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

Title:  Before We Were Strangers
Author:  Renee Carlino
Genre:  New Adult Contemporary
Publication date:  18 August 2015

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.
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?

Before We Were StrangersBefore We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 Second Chance Stars

I love a good second chance romance story. And this certainly ticked all the boxes for me.

This is the first Renee Carlino book I have read. I had heard lots of wonderful things about Ms Carlino’s writing and I thought it was time that I checked it out myself. I was not disappointed.

Her writing style is simply amazing. Ms. Carlino writes with so much emotion and her characters are so well developed and real. Her storytelling is so effective in every way it will leave you wanting so much more. Written in dual POV, this story was set in the past and present. Ms. Carlino gives her readers a slow release of each scene which is completely absorbing.

Grace and Matt’s story is full of emotion. It was sweet, unique, intense and heartbreaking. It brings home that fate will always find a way. If you are meant for each other; your destiny, your fate, will find a way to each other.

It was a beautiful surprise for me as I delved into this story with high expectations and truly came out feeling so many things. It was highly addictive and I had a hard time putting it down. It really tugged at my heartstrings.

Recommended read

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing an advanced reading copy.

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REVIEW & BOOK PROMO - Sustained by Emma Chase

Title:  Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2)
Author:  Emma Chase
Publication Date:  25 August 2015



This book can be read as a standalone.
A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.
When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.
Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.
Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.
And that — that, I know how to do.

Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2)Sustained by Emma Chase
Trish's rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 romantic and entertainingly funny stars

I absolutely loved this book. It was full of everything. It was sexy, steamy, dramatic, romantic, chaotic and so funny.

The first Emma Chase book I’ve read and I can’t get enough of it. I know this is book two in the Legal Briefs series, and I read it as a standalone. But I have to say, I need to get book one ASAP.
Ms. Chase brought everything I love to read into this story. Her writing style is just fantastic and so easy to connect to.

I loved that we get this story from our hero’s POV. And let me just say Jake Becker is a total bad boy who you can’t help but love. His life is full of order and control and he likes it uncomplicated.

Chelsea is a smart, gorgeous heroine who is trying to cope with her six nieces and nephews who she has recently become the guardian to. Her life now is full of drama, chaos and children.

When Chelsea and Jake’s worlds collide, you just can’t get enough. The attraction they feel for each other is super-hot – but the challenges they face make it all so much more fun.

I loved watching this story evolve and Chelsea and Jake’s lives weave together and the changes they make for one another.

And the children. I loved them. They were priceless.

Such a fun read.

Highly recommended.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing an advanced reading copy.

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REVIEW & BOOK PROMO - Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

Title: Who Do You Love

Author: Jennifer Weiner

Genre: Women’s Fiction / Chick Lit

Publication date: 11 August 2015


Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are eight years old when they meet late one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she's intrigued by the boy who shows up all alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy's taken back to the emergency room and Rachel's sent back to her bed, they think they'll never see each other again.

Rachel, the beloved, popular, and protected daughter of two doting parents, grows up wanting for nothing in a fancy Florida suburb. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent that will let him become one of the best runners of his generation.

Over the course of three decades, through high school and college, marriages and divorces, from the pinnacles of victory and the heartbreak of defeat, Andy and Rachel will find each other again and again, until they are finally given a chance to decide whether love can surmount difference and distance and if they've been running toward each other all along.

With honesty, wit, and clear-eyed observations about men and women, love and fate, and the truth about happy endings, Jennifer Weiner delivers two of her most memorable characters, and a love story you'll never forget.

Who Do You LoveWho Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner
Trish's rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 Unforgettable Stars

What an absolutely heartwarming, intimate and extraordinary story about two people who, through the tests of time, find each other again and again and again. True love really has a way of finding it's destiny.

Watching these characters evolve throughout this story was just beautiful. I loved watching Andy and Rachel weaving in and out of each others lives.

The way they change over a lifetime and change one another really is something you should read for yourself. It showed me that love will always find a way.

I loved this story. I loved the emotion, I loved that it felt so real.

This is the first Jennifer Weiner book I have read, and I must say, her writing style is brilliant, flawless and exceptional.

Highly recommended.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing an advanced reading copy.

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