Review of The day he was gone

The day he was gone

BLURB:

Reeva Panchal has had a traumatizing past, but she is trying to build up her life again from scratch with her skill in art. When she receives a surprise marriage proposal from the wealthy hotelier Agnivesh Solanki, she can’t help but feel odd about it even though her parents are insistent that she agrees to it. With Agnivesh’s entry into her life, all her problems seem to alleviate at an unrealistic pace, even though Agnivesh continues to exude a dark aura for her. What unfolds is a series of unprecedented events where relations are broken, mistakes are made and the past is dug up to destroy as well as heal.

MY REVIEW:

Reading through the blurb and at a first glance the book seemed to be telling an ordinary story. But once I started reading it, I realized I was wrong. No, the author proved me wrong. The book starts with the protagonist Reeva receiving a marriage proposal from a millionaire Business man Agnivesh. No one including her parents are clueless about this guy and his whereabouts when suddenly he proposes to marry their only daughter.

Sumitra, Reeva’s mom gets elated since she gets the surety that her daughter would be well settled if she marries Agnivesh. But on the other hand Prakash, Reeva’s father is a person who understands his daughter and does not pressurize her to get into wedlock. Especially with a stranger who pops out of nowhere.

Reeva owns a handicraft workshop where she supplies gift articles for smaller celebrations. She initially resists Agnivesh, but after getting to know him over a couple of instances she falls for him finally.

The book alternates between the story between Reeva and Agnivesh and chapters from a diary “All about Sona”, where we see a letter being addresses to the diary by a guy about his to be girlfriend whom he names Sona. The part where both stories intertwine is just amazing.

The characterization is just done perfect. Especially that of Agnivesh. There is not a single spec of doubt that arises though he is portrayed to be a reserved stubborn guy initially. Getting to know he has a past and that has Reeva in connection is woven pretty well.

Reeva’s part, I won’t say is subtle, but the emotional struggles she undergoes from within and how she tries to hide them from the outside world makes her a strong protagonist. She does not fall for Agnivesh immediately when the proposal is received. She is curious to know who he is and how did he know of her and propose a marriage. She takes time to understand him and believes him completely when she is shattered by an instance which makes her solely dependent on him to prove her innocence when her own parents accuse her.

Prakash is a protective father, who does not thrust decisions on her but also wants her to settle in a good manner.

The writing is crisp and clear. Nothing was difficult to understand or required a dictionary peek to understand terms.

The cover is designed well with the picture of a girl looking dejected portraying that she is thinking of her past and in engrossed in it completely.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher:Invincible Publishers; First edition (23 September 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9388333039
  • ISBN-13:978-9388333030
  • ASIN:B07HLM164P

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born and brought up in Pathankot (Punjab), Anjum Awasthi Malik is presently residing in Noida (U.P.). She has done her Post Graduation in Engineering from G.G.S.I.P.U. Delhi and has seven years of experience in the technical world. Last she worked in Centre Development of Advance Computing (CDAC), Noida. She took a break from work to look after her kids and meanwhile started writing the stories which have always been there in her mind. ‘The Day He Was Gone’ is her second book. Her first book ‘The Twist of Fate’, published by Invincible Publishers in December 2017, is widely appreciated by the readers and has several positive reviews on Amazon as well as Goodreads. With her writing and narration style, she has carved a niche for herself. She has always been a creatively inclined person.

Review of The Nanny song

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I’m so pleased to share The Nanny Song with you all today! There’s also a great giveaway at the end so be sure to enter!

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The Nanny Song

Publication Date: May 10th, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Suspense/ Romance

Publisher: Willow River Press
Mallory Riscoe is no stranger to dysfunction. Despite her tumultuous childhood, at twenty-two, she has established herself as a fully functional, self-made woman. However the safe, mundane life she has created for herself is quickly turned upside-down when she’s falsely accused of theft and promptly fired.

Meanwhile, a dismal pall hangs over the Colt residence. Since the death of his wife, Brendan Colt has struggled to care for his children; Kason and Meela. Each is lost in their own deep grief, but there is more to this family than meets the eye.

Two worlds collide when Mallory accepts the job as nanny to the Colt children. Mallory begins to feel a connection, a whisper of trust between them, that could mean there is still hope for everyone involved to heal. But when an unspeakable secret is uncovered that bond, and possibly Mallory’s life itself is now at risk. Can Mallory unlock the mystery intertwined in this chaotic family or will all hope of closure be lost forever?

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Excerpt

A chilly breeze had picked up and it whispered all around her. She was hardly aware of the frigid temperature penetrating her thin pajamas as she stared at Brendan’s form in the darkened cemetery. His shadowy outline was so stoic and somber that Mallory had to fight against her desire to walk in alongside the man and place a comforting arm around his shoulders.

MY REVIEW:

Mallory Riscoe, the main character in the plot has suffered the post during her early ages. Her life was total chaos with negative influences.

The struggles she goes through when she comes to know that she’s been falsely accused for a theft and deprived of a job.

Brandon Colt, the other lead character is found to be in a different state of mind wherein his wife passed away and he seems to be struggling with the children.

What actually happens when the life of these two people intertwine at a point is what the plot is all about.

The parts where in the relationship builds up between Mallory and Brendon keeps you waiting on what will happen next.

Babysitting is not an easy job. And when you have two kids to take care of, it sure is not a piece of cake. The author has given a realistic touch to the conversations between Mallory, Brandon and the kids.

What does Kason confess to Mallory and how does she decide to confide it to Brandon was all very well narrated. What is the secret that the family hold? Will Mallory try to find out the answers? Well you should pick up a copy for yourself to get to know that.

The characterization is etched to perfection. I wanted the story to go on , but it came to an end abruptly.

The great story line, plot, pace of narration keeps you glued to it. The writer has a very bright future.

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About the Author

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Misty Mount has written since age five and was first published at fourteen. By day she’s a caregiver, wife, and mother to a young son but during the quiet hours of night she becomes a novelist.
“I read because my grandmother showed me how to immerse myself in books for recreation, relaxation or even as a coping skill.

I write because my head is filled with daydreams and I like to choose the endings.”

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Giveaway!

For your chance to win a print copy of The Nanny Song, or 1 of 2 digital copies, click the link below!

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October 29th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://www.readsandreels.com

Didi Oviatt (Promo) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

The Bookstanista (Review) https://bookstanista.com

The Voluptuous Book Diva (Excerpt) http://www.thevoluptuousbookdiva.com/

The Reading Mermaid (Review) https://tamarathereadingmermaid.weebly.com/

Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

October 30th

Helen Hollick (Guest Post) https://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.co.uk/

The Cozy Pages (Promo) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

Darque Dreamer Reads (Review) https://darquedreamerreads.wordpress.com

My Books, My Baby, and I (Review) https://mybabymybooksandi.wordpress.com

Life at 17 (Review) https://lifeat17.wordpress.com

October 31st

Loving Life Every Day (Interview) https://lauramorningstar.com

Valerie’s Musings (Interview) http://valeriesmusings76.wordpress.com

Bri’s Book Nook (Review) http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

November 1st

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) Dashfan81.blogspot.com

Wicked Good Reads (Review) http://www.wickedgoodreads.com

Plot Monsters (Promo) http://plotmonster.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Book Reviews (Interview) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

November 2nd

Cup of Toast (Interview) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

The Genre Minx (Promo) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

Jessica Rachow (Review) Jessicarachow.wordpress.com

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Review of the forbidden quest of Mysore

BLURB:

Around 1500 a famous astrophysicist Yagnabhatta created an ancient enigma, Gandabaerunda. To protect it from falling into the wrong hands, the great King Krishna Devaraya hid it in Mysore. Ever since then, the chase behind it has never stopped. Back in 2017, there lived a self-claimed archaeologist, Amar. He loved an intellectual girl, Pooja. Like every other Indian love story, they too had hurdles. Pooja was elder, and her father was rich. Their families were of a different caste and spoke different languages. Yet they never stopped loving each other. Embrace into the city of palaces as Amar and Pooja go in search of an impossible mission. Can the couple overcome the trials to decode the hidden secrets of the King Raja Wodeyar III? Can they fight the prejudices of the Indian society to get married?

MY REVIEW:

This book is perfect to be judged as a romantic mystery. It starts with a love story between two people from diverse backgrounds in all aspects such as region, linguistic and economy. Amar Bharadwaj and Pooja Naidu fondly called as Poo are the love birds and the two main characters. The writings bubble with love whenever there is a mention of these two. Amar’s father was an archeologist and is suspected to have run away with the biggest secret treasure of Mysore. Hs is in the papers for all wrong reasons. Amar as a dutiful son wishes to find what his father was up to and to unveil the mystery of the so called secret treasure. Pooja works in one of the biggest IT company in Mysore, while her parents stay in Bangalore.

The story builds up as Amar tries to gather various clues that are to lead to the treasure. In this treasure hunt, we are being taken virtually to all places of historic importance and architectural excellence in and around Mysore. The parts in Mahabaleshwar and Chamundeshwari temple were extra ordinary.

The descriptions and pace of the story especially in these parts were commendable. Together Pooja and Amar set out on the quest to discover the secret weapon. They occasionally, no no very often stay at a common friends place who does help them out by making them stay at his place and of course not to forget to give a mention about his delicious food which is a favorite of Poo and Amar.

During the course of time, we see the usual struggles in love marriages- caste differences, financial background differences play a major part. Poo is emotionally blackmailed by making her mother the prey to lose interest on Amar. The cat mouse race between the father & brother of Poo and Amar is the usual interpretation. Nothing very new here.

In between we have a crucial part by Dr.Venkatacharya who discloses shocking facts about the treasure and Amar’s father. This actually brings about turning point in the story.

Does Amar discover the treasure, does he unite with Pooja, what happened to his father is the remaining part of the story for which you should definitely grab the book.

The characterization is very good, especially that of Amar as a dutiful son, a good brother, a fond lover and a determined treasure hunter.

The pace of the story was right at the needed places but I felt a romantic overdose a few places which would not be liked by all. The vocabulary is crisp and was fluent.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback
  • Publisher:HALF BAKED BEANS (17 October 2018)
  • ASIN:B07JHRG24N

Get your copy from amazon: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07JHRG24N/

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4.5/5

plot: 4/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Puneeth JH is an Indian writer, relishing in Germany. He indited his first book at an early age of nineteen and covet to write until he is ninety. He presently writes codes in C++ for living and stories for his love for words. He inscribes on the vivid issues of romance, feminism and mythicism.

Apart from writing, his Jekyll and Hyde tendencies make him a researcher cum programmer in the field of future wireless communication. In laymen words, he is one among the million engineers, who are trying to connect multiple smart vehicles with ultra-reliable low latency communication, so that they could drive on their own, and bring down the loss of life in road accidents.

Book blitz – Tiny pieces by Stephanie Henry

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New Adult Romance
Date Published: October 2, 2018
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We all carry tiny pieces of those who built us.
And those who wrecked us.
For Aria Clarke, Cole Porter is all her tiny pieces.
When Cole shows up in Aria’s hometown a decade after being gone, her whole world changes. She thought she had moved on, but the past has a way of taking hold of her again and dragging her back into the depths of first love and first heartbreak.
After everything she believed to be true turns out to be a lie, she’ll have to decide if the hurt she endured in the past is too much of a risk to try again, or if just maybe first love deserves a second chance after all.
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Excerpt
Chapter 1
With one glance at him, a thousand memories flood my mind, taking my breath away – Cole Porter as a small child, late nights at John’s house, swing sets, a dark closet, the beach, dropping to the floor in a heap of suffocating tears. I want the good memories to win, but the bad memories have a way of seeping themselves further into my consciousness and marking me forever, darkening my once vibrant soul. I can’t forget what Cole did to me. Which is why seeing him now, after all these years, has brought my heart to a complete halt. I can’t believe he’s here. My pulse quickens when my heart begins to beat once more. I try to appear calm and collected on the outside but internally I’m screaming from the top of my lungs.
Scarlet’s mossy eyes get big as she looks at him and then back to me. “Is that Coleton Porter?” I’d answer her, but I can’t breathe. “Holy shit, Aria. That is Cole. When did he get back in town?”
I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. Panic floods my senses and my knees start to quiver. “What is he doing here?” I manage to squeak out. I place my glass of champagne on the bar top because I don’t trust myself not to drop it. He shouldn’t be here. I don’t want him to be here. We stopped existing in one another’s worlds long ago. Sucking in a deep breath, I exhale, trying to gain some composure, but it isn’t helping.
“I have no idea. I didn’t know he’d be here,” she whispers, offering me a guarded but apologetic smile. She knows what seeing him again is doing to me.
My only response is the tight grip I have on the edge of the bar as I stare at the bartender, my eyes avoiding any area where they may accidentally catch sight of Cole again. I don’t want to see him, and I certainly don’t want him to see me.
“I swear,” she says, “I had no idea. John must have invited him without telling anyone.”
That’s nice of John, I think sarcastically. I plan this whole engagement party for Scarlet and John… and John goes and invites the one person he knows I never wanted to see again. Real nice. I wonder if Reese knew. She would have to have known he’d be here. John would have told her, I’m sure. John and Reese have always had a close brother-sister relationship, despite their nine-year age difference.
Scarlet’s aunt Margo walks up to us and I’m momentarily distracted by the strong, stifling scent of her perfume. Her white hair is layered on top of her head neatly and her floral dress flows down to the floor. “I’m just delighted for Scarlet and your brother,” she tells me, smiling sweetly while placing a hand on Scarlet’s shoulder. “You are John’s sister, right?”
“Actually, no,” I absentmindedly tell her, my mind far too occupied on Cole’s reappearance to notice I’ve made a mistake in trying to explain our complicated family dynamic. She scrunches her eyebrows together, giving me a perplexed look, further confirming that I’ll now have to explain something that most people have a hard time understanding. I suppress the frustration that begins to boil to the surface and instead smile sweetly back at her. I hate trying to explain my relationship with John, but saying so would sound rude. From the expectant expression on her face, I can tell she’s waiting for me to continue, so I try to keep it as simple as I can. “My step-sister is his half-sister. So even though we have a sister in common, John and I aren’t actually related at all.”
Scarlet gives me a warning glare. I want to tell her I realize what I’ve done, but it’s too late now.
Scarlet’s aunt shakes her head back and forth. “I don’t understand.”
“Aunt Margo,” Scarlet chimes in, “You remember Reese, right? Well, Reese is Aria’s step-sister – Aria’s step-father’s daughter.” She waits for her aunt to nod in understanding before continuing. “And Reese is John’s half-sister – they have the same mother, but not the same father. So Reese is their sister, but technically Aria and John are not brother and sister themselves.”
The look of confusion on Margo’s face disappears, but I can tell she still doesn’t understand. She waves her hand in the air, dismissing the whole conversation. “Never mind. It’s not important.”
I agree. The fact that John and I aren’t blood related has never been important to me. Even though there’s no DNA between us, we spent a lot of time together as kids. I’ve always thought of him as a brother. Not today, though. Not if he invited Cole here, knowing how damaging seeing him again would be to me.
I risk a quick glance around the room but don’t move from my defensive stance at the bar. I want to run away. I want to leave my glass of champagne on this bar and make a beeline straight for the exit. But I don’t. I planned this party for my best friend. I planned every detail from the food down to the napkins. I won’t be running out in fear. Plus, my purse is halfway across the room – only about five feet away from Cole – and I would need that, especially with my car keys inside it, in order to leave. Not happening. I’m not taking the chance of bumping directly into him. I’m not sure my heart could take it. I haven’t quite recovered from the initial shock of him being here. In fact, with each passing second, I find my hands are starting to sweat and feel clammy at the same time. I feel physically ill.
I decide to run to the bathroom. I need to collect myself, and I can’t do that with Scarlet’s sympathetic eyes on me. When Scarlet’s aunt begins to question her on the wedding details, I take advantage of the moment and move through the event room, keeping my eyes straight ahead while trying not to trip in my high heels.
In the bathroom, I grip the counter just as tightly as I gripped the bar. How could he show up here? Why would he? He hasn’t been around in years. Why now? I hang my head and concentrate on breathing in and out, not ready to meet my own eyes in the mirror. I know what’s coming. I try not to remember, but I can’t keep the memories at bay. No matter how hard I fight to keep them tucked away, they demand my attention. Refusing to be ignored any longer, reality slips away and the past comes hurling right at me. Punishing myself as always, I acknowledge the recollection and let it wash over me.
***
The first time I met Cole, I was six years old. I had no idea he would end up meaning so much to me. I was with Reese for the night. My mom and step-father went out almost every Friday night and she always babysat me. Sometimes her mom would call her to come babysit John too, which is exactly what happened on this particular night. I hated going to John’s house. He didn’t have any Barbie dolls and boys had cooties that I might catch if I play with one. Reese talked us into watching a movie while she gabbed on the phone for hours.
“Shit, Amy, I gotta go. My mom’s home. Talk later.” Reese hung up the phone just as the front door opened.
Mrs. McGregor’s eyes grew wide when she saw John and I still awake on the couch. “Reese, they should be fast asleep by now!”
“They were watching a movie. Besides, what are big sisters for if I can’t let them get away with breaking the rules every once in a while?” She shrugged her shoulders while offering a sly smirk.
Mr. McGregor rolled his eyes at his step-daughter.
I stood up and stretched, stifling a yawn that ultimately came out. I thought we were leaving, but Reese just kept chatting with her mom. I waited. And waited. And waited.
Then the knock came.
“Who would be here at this time of night?” Mrs. McGregor asked, looking over at her husband with concern. She was an older version of Reese, just as petite and pretty.
We all moved for the kitchen and Mr. McGregor got the door.
I saw the police uniforms before I saw the boy. My heart started racing. I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew that police coming to your house late at night wasn’t usually a good thing.
Reese ushered John and me back into the living room, even though we both wanted to stay and find out what was happening. She turned the TV back on for us, but neither of us could pay attention to what was playing on the screen. We were both intrigued and eager to find out what was going on. After what felt like forever, a boy came in and sat with us.
“Hey. What’s going on?” John asked the boy, clearly recognizing him.
He didn’t answer John, but he kept looking over at me with curiosity. I was curious about him too. He was John’s age, both of them about a year older than me. He had dark blond hair that was shaggy around his face. He was in desperate need of a haircut. But despite the shaggy hair, his eyes still stood out. They were the bluest eyes I had ever seen. I have blue eyes myself, but there’s no comparison. Mine are a dull, dark grayish-blue. His are like the crystal-clear waters of an ocean. He was staring straight at me and all I could do was stare back. Who is this boy?
“Aria, we have to go.”
I snapped my head up to break the staring contest I was having with the boy. “It’s about time,” I told Reese. “I was ready hours ago.” She only chuckled in response.
In the car, I turned to her. “What happened? Why were the police there? Who was that boy?”
“One question at a time.” She tucked her shiny brown hair behind her ear and started the car before explaining. “That’s Cole. He’s John’s friend. I guess his parents got into a fight and the police wanted him to stay at my mom’s tonight.” She shrugged and drove me home.
For a long time after that, every time my mom and step-father got into the littlest of arguments, I always worried the cops would come and take me away. I didn’t realize back at that young age how horrible Cole’s parents must have been fighting in order to get the cops called on them.
From then on, every time we went to John and Reese’s mom’s house, Cole was there. I think he moved in with the McGregors, but I couldn’t be sure because I never asked. All I knew was that going there wasn’t quite so bad anymore. And Cole definitely did not have cooties.
***
The bathroom door flies open, bringing me back to reality. Reese walks in, all five-feet-nothing and barely a hundred pounds. I glance up at her in the mirror, but I don’t turn around. She makes eye contact with me, but I hang my head back down, my grip on the bathroom counter never loosening, even though my knuckles ache.
When my mom married her dad, I had no issue with having a step-father. I had never known my biological father, since he cheated and bailed on my mom before I was even born, and Reese’s dad seemed nice so I was okay with the marriage. However, I wasn’t sure I’d like having an older sister. Reese didn’t seem too keen on having another younger sibling either. But throughout the years we grew on each other. By the time I turned twelve and wanted all the name brand clothes my friends had, I realized having an older sister – especially one as small as Reese – could have its advantages. Not many twelve-year-olds could fit into their twenty-one-year-old big sisters’ clothing, but much to Reese’s dismay, I could… thanks to Reese’s small size. I would steal her clothes often – the only time we’d ever fight. But it was always worth it. By the time I was a teenager, I realized how much of an asset having an older sister was. Reese would help me with my makeup, keep all of my secrets, teach me about boys. She was invaluable to me.
Her lips purse, disguising a sympathetic smile. “I know why you’re in here and you can’t hide out all night.”
I lift my head and look at her through the mirror again. It’s obvious we’re not related by blood. Not only is she extremely petite, but her dark eyes contrast my light ones. The only resemblance we have is our deep chestnut-colored hair, but whereas mine is long and straight, Reese keeps hers short and wavy. She puts her hands on her hips while narrowing her eyes at me through the mirror.
“You’re a traitor.” I narrow my eyes at her in return.
She softens. “I only found out today.” She lets her hands fall off her hips, but she doesn’t break eye contact.
“Any heads-up would have been better than being completely blindsided.”
“You would have chickened out. You would have made an excuse and bailed on your best friend’s engagement party. The party you threw for her. And you never would have forgiven yourself for it.”
Maybe she’s right, but I’m still angry with her. She should have said something, so I could have been prepared to see him again.
“Come on, Aria. It’s okay to take a minute to pull yourself together, but you have to suck it up and get back out there. It was so long ago. And besides, the best revenge is to just live your life and show him you’re happy.”
We were supposed to be happy together, I think to myself. I fight back a sob. How did it come to this? “What if he approaches me?”
She moves away from the closed door and walks further into the restroom. “Then you plaster a smile on your face and you tell him you’re doing amazing. You tell him you’ve never been better, that life is great. And then you excuse yourself to talk to someone else.”
I move away from the mirror, turning to look her straight on. “You make it sound so easy.”
“It’s only as complicated as you make it.”
“And what if he just completely ignores me?” A much as I want to dodge an encounter, I don’t know if my heart can bear him ignoring me altogether.
She lets out a heavy breath and releases it. “Honestly? Then it won’t be any different than the last ten years. You’ve done just fine without him and you’ll continue to do fine after tonight too.”
I rest my head in my hands and stay like that for a moment, concentrating on getting my breathing steady and controlled. I feel Reese place a hand on my shoulder. We’ve never been the affectionate type, so this is her way of comforting me. “Let’s get this over with.”
I turn back around and stare at myself in the mirror, suddenly feeling very self-conscious. This morning I thought I looked great. But now…
I swipe my fingers under my eyes, fixing the bit of eyeliner that smeared, and I run my hands through my long hair, which is starting to frizz up a bit. Then I smooth out my dress, which suddenly feels too tight. I was beautiful and confident coming into this party and now I’m falling apart with insecurities. Funny how seeing an ex can do that to you. I take a deep breath as Reese locks arms with me and leads me out of the restroom.
Scarlet runs up to me right away. “Oh, thank God. I thought you left.”
“Just needed the ladies’ room.” I smile brightly at her, even though I know she can see right through my facade. “I would never ghost you on such a special day. Especially one I planned.”
She gives me a warm smile in return right before someone else moves beside her and starts to chat. That’s the thing about parties – they’re always more for the guests than the actual guests of honor. Scarlet gets stuck making small talk with distant relatives she barely ever sees, while everyone else gets to eat and drink and talk to whomever they want.
“Aria.”
I freeze in place at the sound of his voice. Goose bumps pebble across my arms and I hope he can’t see my physical reaction to the sound of my name on his tongue – like it has always belonged to him. I haven’t heard that voice in over ten years. Time has changed it – it’s deeper, raspier, sexier – but I would still recognize the timber of it anywhere. I take a deep breath, trying to control the butterflies swarming through my stomach, and plaster a smile on my face before turning around to face him. “Cole. How have you been?”
He’s not smiling. He almost looks… tortured. He is still as handsome as he always was. In fact, my memories don’t do him justice. His hair is cropped shorter than he wore it before, but his eyes, as wounded as they appear, still hold the heart of the ocean in their depths. “Wow. You are…” He swallows, nods his head, and tries again. “You’re stunning.” My smile fades. I don’t thank him. Instead, I look around the room awkwardly. He takes the hint and moves on to something else. “So, you put this together, huh? You did a great job.”
“Yeah. I planned all of this for Scarlet and John… right down to every last detail. I just don’t recall sending you an invitation…” I thought I had let go of a lot of the resentment I had for Cole, but evidently, all it takes is three minutes with him for it to all come boiling back out. I know I’m being mean, but he deserves it. No. He deserves so much worse.
He nods his head like he understands my bitterness toward him. He looks away from my venomous glare and swallows before fidgeting with the collar of his shirt, as though it’s too tight on his neck. “I know. I wasn’t going to show up here uninvited, but the McGregors said it would mean a lot to them and, well, after everything they’ve done for me…”
This time I nod in understanding. What can I say to that? I make an effort to release some of the anger I’m holding on to, if only for tonight. I get why he would come here if the McGregors had asked him to. I just wish they hadn’t asked. Sometimes I wish Coleton Porter had died the day he left me. I don’t really mean that… but it would be easier to deal with, I’m sure. There’s nothing harder than missing someone who’s right in front of you… except maybe accepting an apology you never received. That’s what it feels like I’m doing right now. I should be screaming at him, not standing here calmly talking to him. I feel like I’m letting him off the hook. I never got answers and I certainly never received an apology. Yet here he is. All six feet of him, standing in front of me with that same look he always reserved just for me – the one that lets his vulnerability shine through, his innocence be seen, if only slightly. He’s bigger than he was as a teenager. His muscles strain against his royal blue button-down dress shirt. His shirt makes the blue in his eyes even deeper than I remember them being. They’re intense. I get lost in them for a moment as they roam mine for answers, as if I’m the one who owes him any. Then I snap out of it and break eye contact, letting mine travel down his face. He never had scruff in high school, so I can’t help but stare at it now. It’s sexy as hell, even if it kills me to admit that. I was hoping if I ever saw him again he’d be old and decrepit. I’d wonder what I ever saw in him. But much to my dismay, time has served him well. He’s even hotter than he was back then, and that’s saying a lot. He didn’t die after he left me… he flourished. It was me who died. I died every single day that he was gone. I died a painful death, full of agony, until the Aria Clarke whom everyone knew no longer existed. Only love can murder you, yet still keep your heart beating enough to feel every bit of the pain.
“If you’ll excuse me, I need to go check on something.” I do what Reese suggested and make up an excuse to end the awkward conversation. I should call my mom and check on Lucas anyways. I’m sure he’s fine, and it’s not like it’s the first time my mom has watched him, but I still worry. I guess that comes with being a mom. I turn to walk away, but as soon as I do Cole grabs onto my arm, stopping me in my tracks, his touch searing me.
“Aria, wait.” I look at his hand around my arm and then back up into his deep blue eyes. He hesitates and I know for a fact that he can feel what I feel – what I’ve tried for all these years to forget – that electric spark that passes between us whenever we touch. It’s still there. I’ve never felt it with anyone other than him and I absolutely hate that. It’s like my body betrays my mind. I’ve tried so hard to feel this untamed electricity with someone other than Cole, but it always falls short. “I know you’re busy hosting the party, but I was hoping we could talk.”
My heart pounds against my chest – speaking of my body betraying me. He’s had over ten years to talk. Why now? “I really am busy and you haven’t had much to say to me in over ten years, Cole. I hardly think we need to talk now. This really isn’t the time or place.”
“Tonight then. After the party,” he presses.
I’m taken aback for a moment. He doesn’t break eye contact. He’s serious.
“We can grab some dinner… or just drinks… whatever you want. Please?” His eyes beg and I feel that familiar pull that always made it so hard for me to say “no” to him. My heart pangs in my chest, reminding me he still has a hold on me both physically and mentally.
About the Author

 photo Tiny Pieces Author Stephanie Henry_zpsdhi2dt0f.jpg

Stephanie Henry is the author of What Doesn’t Kill Us, The Story of Us, the C-Vac series, and most recently, Tiny Pieces. She loves writing, as well as immersing herself in a good novel. Whether in a book or on screen, she’s a sucker for an epic love story. She lives in Central Massachusetts where she is a mom to her young son and daughter, as well as a full-time office manager. Find Stephanie on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorStephanieHenry/
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Cover reveal – Promise me forever

Promise Me Forever
Jennifer Woodhull
(Promise, #3)
Publication date: November 8th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

He Knows How Lucky He Is…

That Doesn’t Mean He’s Happy

There are a hundred guys in Nashville who would kill to be in Rome’s shoes. He’s a damn good guitar player, and in Nashville, that means one thing – country music is his bread and butter. Rome’s passion is classical guitar, though, and in Guitar Town, those gigs are few and far between.

His brother-in-law offers to get him an audition with an artist in the United Kingdom who needs a guitarist to play classical and Celtic music with her on tour. The opportunity is a dream come true. When Rome meets Lauren, the brooding and mysterious musician, though, he finds out the tour may be more than he bargained for. He’s the magnet to her broken steel. Lauren’s painful past keeps her at arms’ length. Is the promise of forever one Rome can really keep? Or will he end up leaving her behind, just like everyone else?

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Author Bio:

We all need moments of escape. With all the demands on us day in and day out, we each need something just for ourselves. Perhaps nothing provides a private moment – a brief respite from the everyday – like escaping into a great story. When you pick up one of my books I hope you find that place that you can escape to. Explore the streets of Paris with new heroines, or fly around the world to reclaim your lost love with a favorite hero. Whether it’s the romance that takes your breath away or those climactic encounters that make your pulse race, I hope you find that solitary moment of enjoyment while lost in one of my stories.

Jennifer Woodhull is based in the Southern United States, spending time in her second home of England, and traveling as often as she can. Her love of travel permeates her work, and her characters often find themselves exploring new and foreign surroundings.

A keen observer of human behavior, Jennifer often draws inspiration from something as simple as a fleeting connection, or the glimpse of a unique trait or characteristic. Her favorite place to write is on airplanes.

“The drone of the engine, the scores of people, all traveling to something or from something, and being disconnected from digital distractions are a combination that provide the perfect place to write,” she says. “If you see a woman in seat 9F who is balancing her Macbook on her lap because it’s time to close your tray table, please have patience. I’m just trying to finish one more sentence.”

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Book blitz- Because you’re the love of my life

Because you're the love of my life
Because you’re the love of my life
Book & Author Details:
Because You’re the Love of My Life
by Sarah Kleck
Publication date: September 25th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Because you're the love of my life cover

Because you’re the love of my life cover

Synopsis:

How do you recognize the love of your life? Do you have butterflies in your stomach? Do you see showers of sparks and fireworks as soon as he steps into the room? Or, is your big love composed of something quieter?

Annie longs for nothing more in her life than someone to love her with his whole heart. With Holden, this wish seems fulfilled, and the two build their own world. But how much pain can happiness bear? When something utterly shocking happens, Annie’s life becomes unstable, and nothing is as it once was. Then, she unexpectedly bumps into her teenage love Seth, and her life is completely thrown off balance—especially when fate intends its own tragic story.

From the Editor:
Because You’re the Love of My Life is a story of love, heartbreak, and more love—romantic and otherwise. As a senior in high school, our protagonist, Annie, takes charge of her life, and she bravely separates herself from a difficult mother and home life, and from recent heartbreak. She moves across the country—without financial or familial support—to attend college at Harvard. “I felt at home in Boston in a way I never had . . . This was right for me,” Annie says.
And, it is true: she blossoms personally, academically, and, then, professionally. Though she fumbles at times in ways that seem utterly human and familiar, she forges friendships, commits to a relationship, and navigates through profound tragedy.
Annie narrates from a point well past when the events of the novel took place and with the perspective gained from that time. Yet, Sarah Kleck renders Annie’s narration so vividly that it seems as if these memories are unfolding in present time. Sarah Kleck’s devotion to Annie’s story shines through sharply written dialogue, authentic detail of culture and place, and a cast of richly rendered characters—among them Grace, Annie’s sassy best friend, and the various loves of Annie’s life.
Because You’re the Love of My Life made me wish I could accompany Annie beyond these pages, and it left me hungry for Sarah Kleck’s next novel.
– Rebecca Friedman, Editor

Excerpt

“Good evening, what can I do for you?” The pharmacist greeted me at the counter.
“ . um . . . need a laxative,” I said embarrassed. I would’ve preferred to pick one on my own, but I didn’t have a clue which was best, so I went straight to the pharmacist.
“How long have you been constipated?” she asked, unfazed.
“About three days.”
She nodded. “Are you drinking enough fluids? Do you exercise and eat a healthy diet?”
“Yes,” my voice was becoming stiff, “normally my digestion works just fine.” Couldn’t she just go and get the stuff? I didn’t feel like discussing my bowel movements with her. This was downright humiliating.
“Well, for acute constipation, the drugs for that should only be taken over a short—”
“Just give me something that’ll help me go to the bathroom by tomorrow morning.”
“Fine,” the pharmacist answered and went off to get my laxative. At that moment, I heard a strange clicking sound. I turned around. It was Holden, on crutches, and he had a big white cast on his left leg.
“Hi,” he said with a big smile. At least he seemed happy to see me.
“Hi,” I forced a smile. “How’s your leg? It looked pretty bad during the game last Saturday.”
“Clean break,” he said, gesturing toward his leg. “The good news is,” he continued with a sly grin while pulling a crumpled-up prescription from his jeans pocket, “my doctor prescribed the works for my pain.”
Just then the pharmacist returned with a box of Dulcolax in her hand.
“Have you used this before?”
Oh no . . .
“Yes,” I answered quickly, hoping she’d shut her damn trap and let me pay before Holden saw what I was buying. My wish was not granted.
“Just take one tablet this evening. That’ll soften your stool overnight. After six to eight hours, the constipation will have loosened up.”
Oh God! Take me now!
While I blushed beet red, I could see Holden looking at me from the corner of my eye—with the broadest grin you could imagine.
I’m gonna die!
“If this is a particularly bad case of constipation,” the pharmacist continued mercilessly, “you can take two tablets. Don’t take more or you’ll have diarrhea.”
What the fuck was wrong with this woman? She wasn’t a doctor, and this wasn’t a goddamn doctor’s appointment!
She packed the little box into a small plastic bag. I dared to hope it was finally over—but, no, she started right up again. “Your intestines will void completely after intake, so don’t expect another bowel movement for two to three days.”
What have I done to deserve this?
Since I couldn’t think of anything to say in the face of this humiliation—especially in front of him—I just nodded silently while my ears were burning.
The pharmacist rang me up and handed me the bag with a cheery “Have a good evening.” Then she turned to Holden. “What can I do for you?”
I didn’t dare look at him. I mumbled a goodbye, squeezed by him as quickly as I could, and headed for the door.
“Bye, we’ll get together sometime,” he replied, while clearly trying to suppress a grin. “Oh, Annie,” he called after me before I could complete my escape from this hell.
I stopped on the spot but didn’t turn around. “Yes?” my voice was trembling with shame. I shut my eyes.
“Good luck!”

AUTHOR BIO:

Sarah Kleck

Sarah Kleck

Sarah Kleck was born in 1984 in Southern Germany. She studied education, psychology, and sociology at the University of Augsburg. Today, she lives with her husband and their daughters in Germany near Lake Constance.

Sarah caught the imagination of 120,000 readers worldwide with her first novel “The Concealed” and its sequel “The Revealed”. After this successful fantasy series for young adults, she is now entering new territory with “Because You’re the Love of My Life”. Already a bestseller in Germany, this novel is now being published in English.

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