Thursday, January 30, 2014

Beautiful Failure - Mariah Cole



If you're looking for a heartwarming story about a girl who falls deeply in love with a troubled boy who changes her life--a sob story with pretty metaphors and a million ways that'll tell you how "broken" she is, STOP. Don't read another word of this. 

I'm not that type of girl. 

My name is Emerald Anderson and I'm not going to bullshit you: I flunked out of college after my sophomore year, I've been fired from every job I've ever taken, and I've never had a fully functioning relationship in my life. 

I wish I could say that I had a cheerleader in my corner, someone who says, "No, Emerald--You're great and you are good at something!" but I don't. My grandparents are completely oblivious to my life, and my mother's dying words to me were "You're going to end up just like me one day. A beautiful nothing." 

She was right.

As I decide to start my life over and take two jobs that will forever change me--one from the inside, and one from the outside, I keep my mother's words close to my heart so I can keep the sexy and mysterious Carter Black away. 

He's the first man who's ever pursued me, the first man who seems bent on finding out why I am the way I am, but he's wasting his time. 

I'm not broken. I don't need to be fixed. I'm perfectly fine being a beautiful failure...

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My mother was a whore.
Her name was Leah Isabelle Anderson—“Leah Belle” for short, and she was one of New Jersey’s most sought after escorts.
With deep green eyes that could take any man’s breath away, and skin so porcelain and smooth that it looked too perfect to touch, she was breathtakingly beautiful. Often compared to a supermodel, her raven black hair fell past her shoulders, and her naturally long eyelashes were always coifed to perfection. 
Growing up, I had no idea what she did with the men who picked her up in their shiny and expensive cars—the men who wore thousand dollar suits and patted me on the head while saying, “Your mom is really something special.”
In a way, these strangers became the closest thing I had to a family since I never knew my father: Her regulars, Christian and William, sent me gifts every Christmas. Arnie bought me my first bike, Steve taught me how to change a tire, and her most ruthless suitor—Vincent, took me shopping for designer clothes once a month.
Leah Belle—she never ever let me call her “mom,” wasn’t exactly a mother to me; she was more like an older friend. An older ‘I’ll-be-there-when-it’s-convenient’ friend.
She missed every elementary school play, every middle school writing competition, and never gave a damn about my grades. At first, the involuntary loneliness bothered me, but after I created an army of invisible friends and easily accessible fantasies, I came to terms with her neglect and happily accepted any attention she was willing to give me.
When I became a teenager, she started to hang around me more often—promising that she would do better, promising that she would make sure that “from here on out, [we’d] be best friends.” Since she’d run away from her parents after having me at sixteen, she made a point to never lecture or discipline me. She did however, teach me three very important lessons:
1.) “Always put tons of effort into the way you look. You need to be beautiful on the outside, no matter how fucked up you are on the inside. If you ever feel sad or depressed, suck that shit up and add more mascara.”
2.) “Don’t make friends. Make sponsors. If you can’t get anything out of someone or use them for a specific purpose, kick that person out of your life ASAP.”
3.) “Beauty wins over brains every time. Your body will always be your most important asset. Remember that.”
For my fourteenth birthday, she poured me my first shot and offered me a short line of coke, saying, “Welcome to life, Em!”
I shook my head at the coke—I’d read about the effects, but I happily took the red shot glass from her hand. 
“To the best fuckin’ daughter in the world!” She lifted her glass in the air, waiting for me to do the same, and then she ordered me to toss it back.
The initial burning sensation was painful—disgusting, but in the years to come, that bitterness tasted better and better, and I looked forward to the two of us drinking together. It was the only time that she gave me her undivided attention.
In those moments, I would tell her about another writing competition I’d won or how I’d received more early college scholarships. When it was her turn, she would tell me about “turning tricks” like other parents told their kids about a day at the office.
“I can’t tell you how weak Ben’s dick was today,” she’d say. “I mean, I feel like I should be charging him double for the weak ass fucks he puts me through.”
“You don’t enjoy it with him? Ever?” I’d ask.
“No. Never with him. But he’s a sponsor, I’m getting his money, and that’s all that matters. I just lie there, scratch his back, and say ‘HarderHarder’ to make him think I’m into it until—”
“Until he cums?”
“Yep.” She’d pass me a cigarette before sighing. “With him and a few others, I usually have to take a few shots beforehand to numb my mind. With the really good ones, all I have to do is relax. Sex can be fucking incredible when it’s done right…”
One particular Friday, after she let one of her regulars take me shopping for a Chanel bag, I unlocked the door to our home and saw droplets of blood all over the floor.
“Leah?” I set my shopping bag down. “Did you get another nose bleed?”
No answer.
I headed into the kitchen, looking for her usual remedies—hot tea and Q tips, but she wasn’t there.
“You here?” I walked around our living room and checked all the rooms upstairs. Confused, I pulled out my cell phone and called her.
No answer again.
I shrugged and opened a bottle of vodka, tossing back a few shots. I figured she’d left with one of her sponsors for a quickie and would be back by the time our favorite show started.
I decided to take a shower before it came on and headed into the downstairs bathroom.
The second I hit the lights, my heart fell out of my chest.
I wanted to believe that what I was seeing was simply a sick joke by my imagination—a twisted fantasy I’d snap out of in seconds.
Pale and blue, Leah’s body lay lifeless in our tub. Her left arm was dangling over the edge, and the small velvet bag where she kept her cocaine was dangling from her fingertips.
Scattered across the floor were hundreds of prescription pills and empty orange bottles that bore the names of strangers. On the vanity, there was an empty syringe and a folded note that read “For my Em…”
Trembling, I rushed to her side and pressed my finger against her neck, hoping for a pulse.
Nothing.
I tilted her head back and tried to breathe life into her—pressing her chest with my hands every few seconds, but it was no use.
She was gone.
I sank down to the floor in tears—cursing her, hating her, for doing this to me. To us.
I had no friends to call, no family either, so in my numb and dazed state I somehow managed to call 9-1-1. While the operator attempted to calm me down by asking me to take deep breaths, I walked over to the vanity and unfolded Leah’s last note:

Em,
I know you’re confused right now, but I want you to know that I love you. I love you so fucking much… You were the only thing that made my life worth living, and I wish I was strong enough to keep that in mind…
I’m not.
I’m tired of living a lie and I haven’t been happy in a very long time… I just can’t take it anymore…
I’ve fucked up a lot of things in my life, but the biggest regret I have is the way I raised you…I’m so sorry… This is going to be hard for you to believe—especially since I’m gone, but I need you to forget all that shit I taught you. Right now.
Fuck using your looks to get what you want. Go to college and do some good shit with your life, like write or something. You’re a good writer, you’re very smart, and you need to use your brain to get ahead. Can you promise to do that for me, Em?
Then again…It’s probably too late and I’m willing to bet that you’ll end up just like me: A beautiful nothing…
It won’t be your fault though. It’ll be—

I stopped reading and flushed that note down the toilet. Her last words were clearly written out of sadness and they were only compounding my pain. 
As far as I was concerned, Leah had raised me the best she could and she was far from a “beautiful nothing” in my eyes. In fact, I cherished every single thing she’d taught me.
Even though I was beyond hurt that she’d selfishly left me all alone, I was determined to remember her at her best and for everything she was to me:
My mother.
My best friend.
My role model.


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Mariah Cole is a Starbucks addict (hazelnut shots, please!), New Adult author, and an incessant daydreamer. Known for pushing the envelope, she's an avid reader of indie books and is always looking to chat with readers and authors alike.

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My Last Resolution - Whitney G

Release Day Banner - My Last Resolution 
 
Synopsis

My boyfriend is an asshole. 

A pure, one of a kind, I-wish-I-was-making-this-up asshole.
Every year, I write "Dump his ass" as my most important resolution, but I've never done it. 

Until now.

Well, kind of...

Instead of showing up to our "secret" engagement party, I've shown up to the airport--ready and willing to go wherever the next flight is bound. Determined to keep and fulfill all of my resolutions, I'm proud of myself for finally striking out on my own.
Until I never make it to my final destination. Until the sexy stranger who sat next to me on the plane changes everything. Until my "last resolution" is fulfilled a lot earlier than I thought...


My Last Resolution - With - High Resolution (1)



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Excerpt
Prologue

Eleven.

Not ten. Not twenty. Eleven.

Ever since I was a little girl, my mom would force me and my sister to list our resolutions at the end of the year. She’d tell us to fold them up and carry them in our pockets as a reminder, and to make sure that the last one (“lucky number eleven”) was the most important one of all.

I never understood the purpose behind those resolutions, and in the early years I’d do it just to make her shut up. I’d write things like, “Stop telling Mom that she gets on my nerves,” “Learn how to dropkick the boy who always pops my bra straps,” “Steal better snacks from the cafeteria at lunchtime.”

Yet, as the years passed and I entered high school, I started to take them a little more seriously: “Lose lots and lots of weight by the summer.” “Try to work on my writing every day.” “Stop trying to fit in so much and just be myself.” And I always looked forward to writing that number eleven. Although it was supposed to be a goal, mine was more like a dream: “Find a real life bad boy, make him fall in love with me, and live wild and carefree together for the rest of our lives.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t find him in high school—that “lots and lots of weight” took way too long to lose, and the lames that came shortly after were only interested in having sex.
Very, very bad sex.

My real life bad boy stormed into my life during my senior year of college, in the form of a sweet-talking, former womanizing, ultimate-alpha-male-sweetheart named Adrian Smith III. After preventing me from nearly walking into a moving bus, he told me I was “the sexiest woman [he’d] ever seen,” and the rest was history.
Our love affair was fast and frantic, uncontrollable and overwhelming; it was so reckless and volatile that it almost became an obsession.

I fell in love with him after only a few weeks, but I knew he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

He was my dream.

My number eleven.

After we graduated college—when things began to slow down and settle, we decided to stay together for the long haul. We had separate goals and aspirations, so we promised to strive for them while still hanging on to each other.

Unfortunately, that’s where the nice version of my story ended.
My life with Mr. Bad Boy became more of a tragedy than a love story, and at the end of last year I did something I hadn’t done in years…

I changed my number eleven.
 
MeetTheAuthor


A self diagnosed candy addict, travel junkie, and hypochondriac, Whitney Gracia Williams LOVES to write about characters that make you laugh, cry, and want to (in the case of Selena Ross) reach through your Kindle and slap them.

She is the "imaginary bestselling" author of the Jilted Bride Series, Mid Life Love, Wasted Love, and Captain of My Soul. When she's not locked inside her room, feverishly typing away on her laptop, she can be found here: http://www.whitneygracia.com She also loves getting emails from her readers, so if you want to tell her how much you loved (or hated) her stories, email her at whitgracia@gmail.com.
 
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review of Raw - Bella Aurora *SPOILERS*

Have you ever got so angry after reading a book you had to share it with someone?  Okay, well how about reading a book that you hated so much you loved?  As in 5 star love, would give it more but they don't allow you to rate any higher, love/hate.  That's how Raw made me feel.  Spoiler Alert, because I'm about to dissect my thoughts here, like I didn't want to do on the major retail sites.  Raw left me feeling just that, torn apart, angry, amazed, frustrated, even thinking that some people just don't deserve to be on this earth.  So yeah, I think the book got to me.  The author claims it's not a love story, and she's right!  It's a great story that will make you want to consider physical violence to the characters and should be made into a movie!

I'm sitting here just trying to process what it is about this book that brought me to the point of wanting to rip these characters out of my Kindle, smack them around, and take them to the nearest psychiatric ward. Twitch is a sadomasochist with some serious mental issues, and that's being nice.  The guy needed to have his assets kicked until he hit the floor then should've been allowed to wake up only to have it happen again.  I hated him.  Not just, man what a jerk off kind of hate, I wanted to rip off his... well you know... and slap him in the face with it a few times.  So let's get to Lexi!

Lexi, I got her in the beginning.  She was almost raped by her stalker *might mention that Twitch was her stalker* who saved her from being raped, and she felt gratitude toward him.  So okay, when she gives in to his demented mindset the first time you could almost forgive her for being stupid.  But does she wake up?  Hell to the no, she continues to allow him to abuse her, and by abuse it's more mental in my opinion, because she just can't resist.  Cue me wanting to smack her around for being so stupid!

The things this man does are beyond what any sane woman would put up with.  And it just keeps going until you're ready to scream in frustration.  Then you get to the point where you decide if the stupid woman keeps going back, she deserves what she gets!   So I'm so mad now that I just think they both deserve each other and I'm reading along, rolling my eyes at their insanity, when the next hit comes!  Holy crap I was even madder than before.  You know what?  I'm not going to tell you what he did because I think you should suffer through it too!

I will say that I had no pity for Twitch in the end.  He got exactly what the hell he deserved and I went to bed smiling about it.  Can you tell I'm still angry?  So Raw is a book that I will never, as long as I live, ever forget.  I will say that I have never hated characters this much and at the same time loved what I was reading.  I recommend this book because it's just that unforgettable.  Is it a love story, uh no!  But it's an emotional journey that will leave you reeling long after the last page.

You can find all the links on the Goodreads page here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18468559-raw

Monday, January 27, 2014

Private Show Debut - Danielle Torella

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Tess has just discovered sex. And now, she’s about to discover sex as a weapon.


The Seattle barista and art student is happy with her beautiful Brit boyfriend, Ben — especially in the bedroom. But while Ben’s her first, she’s hardly his. And Ben’s sexual history seems to be popping up in Tess’s face like something out of a zombie movie, and it has her questioning his commitment — and questioning whether his appealing alpha maleness is just a cover for a controlling personality.

Maybe one that’s meant to keep her from asking too many questions.

Is Ben the problem, or is everybody from his past the problem?

Tess is asking the questions, and pushing hard for answers.

Is Nicole, the ex-fiancĂ© who cheated on Ben, trying to worm her way back into his life? Was there something between Ben and Tess’s best friend, Erin? Or what’s going on with Ben’s adored teenage sister, Caroline, and Ben’s best friend Dan? And how did Ben get Tess a job interview with Mr. Andrews, his sophisticated but slimy boss at the music magazine?

As Tess comes to learn, relationships — especially sexual ones — are as much about power as love. With each new discovery, she finds herself in a struggle to hold her head together as much as her heart.

And to find where her own power lies.

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Did you somehow miss the first book in the series?


Tess has never had sex. Believe it or not, she’s never had a decent kiss.

The aspiring Seattle painter and photographer is still recovering from the trauma of being beaten and nearly raped at a rock show nearly three years before. So she keeps life simple: she goes to school, goes to work in a coffee shop, goes home, goes on living.

But then Ben’s naked body crashes—almost literally—through Tess’s wall against the world.

Ben is doing his dad’s art-teacher girlfriend a favor when he agrees to pose nude for her drawing class. But what he draws is the interest of the irresistible punk-looking girl—and it’s interest he reciprocates, with interest.

Their sexual chemistry is too much to resist. But it’s when they have their clothes on that their heat quickly slips on ice. Ben’s womanizing history is one thing, but it’s history of another kind—related to that fateful night at the rock show—that threatens to tear the young lovers apart forever.   Add it to your Goodreads Reading List!



MeetTheAuthor



Hi! I am Danielle live in Western New York with my husband and two sons. I never knew I had a dream to become a writer until I started becoming obsessed with reading in the last two years. The obsession began with Twilight and then matured to Fifty Shades. While used to reading mainstream best sellers, found a new love for indie authors. I love to do paintings related to the books I read and eventually turning into Pushy Girl Paintings and now do work for other indie writers and readers. My first book idea started from a dream I had one night and became obsessed with the story and started writing. Now having arguments with the people in my head and loving every moment of it, even when they take control of the story.

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