Review: Rising Above a Toxic Workplace by Gary D. Chapman, Paul E. White, and Harold Myra

20702170Rising Above a Toxic Workplace
Taking Care of Yourself in an Unhealthy Environment
By: Gary D. Chapman, Paul E. White, and Harold Myra
Publisher: Northfield Publishing
Release Date: Sept. 1, 2014
Genre: Self-Help
Rating:
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Many employees experience the reality of bulling bosses, poisonous people, and soul-crushing cultures on a daily basis. Rising Above a Toxic Workplace tells authentic stories from today’s workers who share how they cope, change-or quit. Candidly they open up about what they learned, what they wish they had done, and how to gain resilience. Insightfully illustrating from these accounts, authors Gary Chapman, Paul White, and Harold Myra blend their combined experiences in ministry and business to deliver hope and practical guidance to those who find themselves in an unhealthy work environment. Includes a Survival Guide and Toolkit full of strategies and realistic insights.

1thoughtsThis was an interesting book. I’ve never read a self-help book before and honestly didn’t know what to expect. However, the title and synopsis really interested me. My job had multiple departments and my department works closely with another who’s become a bit toxic. The other department experienced all new management being brought on and since then no one had been happy. I thought this would be a great book to read to help get some insight in the whole thing.

The book focuses a lot on peoples stories of their toxic workplace. Each chapter focuses on a different type of boss. Some are just plain mean because they have the powers, others can’t handle the pressure of their new responsibilities, while others have no idea that they are neglecting their employees. The stories were entertaining to read, and a few times they reflected the management that I dealt with from the other department.

However, I never really felt any closure with this book. It was all pretty basic and simple. Deal with it because you can’t change them, set boundaries and don’t allow them to take advantage of you, don’t take it personally, and talk with your fellow co-workers who feel the same as you. Maybe it’s my inexperience with self-help books but I just didn’t come away with anything. I did however find that some of the other stories highlighted in this book made me feel like it’s not as bad as it could be.

I liked that there was a small portion of this book that dealt with the good workplace. You see, even though the other department had it’s issues, I loved my bosses. They were encouraging, always quick to bring in cake for an employees birthday, and were always thanking the employees for a long day of hard work. I always felt appreciated at the end of the day and always left work with a smile on my face.

In the end, this was an enjoyable read, even if I don’t feel “helped”. Again, that could be because I’m not a self-help reader and just didn’t fully understand it. However, it was comforting to know that there are other toxic workplaces and others that are a bit more toxic.

1favequote“What’s the one thing that most affects how much people enjoy their jobs? First and foremost, people thrive when they feel appreciated by their supervisors and colleagues — and that means they sense appreciation is heartfelt and authentic.”

kRISTIN

Excerpt: Healing the Bayou by Mary Bernsen

22041747Healing the Bayou
By: Mary Bernsen
Publisher: Etopia Press
Published: May 2, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance

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After learning that she is adopted, Eliza sets off to locate her biological family and finds them in the Louisiana bayou. But they’re more than just locals—they’re descended from the area’s most famous Voodoo queen, Marie Laveau—Eliza’s great-great-grandmother. Surrounded by a mysterious world of séances, spells, and sacrifices, Eliza finds herself worshiped as the last great priestess. What’s more, she’s inherited the ability to heal the souls of others with a simple touch of her hands.

Eliza is expected to cultivate this gift so she can claim her title as Queen and return the Voodoo community to glory. A task Eliza wouldn’t mind as long as she could perform it beside the devastating Samuel Mueller. But according to tradition, Samuel is her keeper, and a keeper never becomes romantically involved with his ward. His sacred duty is to protect her. And the bayou is rife with enemies who would sacrifice anything to eliminate outsiders like Eliza…

 
 
Excerpt

“Eliza.”

I turned to face him, and he was breathing hard. He looked disheveled, as if he had just fought a battle with himself and lost. I opened my mouth to comfort him— to tell him it was OK and I understood. Before I could he had my face in his hands and he brought his lips down onto mine in an almost desperate panic. Sinking into the sensation of his passion, I lavished in the feelings coming over

Lifting me, he wrapped my legs around his waist before he fell to his knees, laid me down, and climbed on top of me. The bottom of my dress had bunched up to my waist, and I peeled his shirt away to expose his skin underneath. I couldn’t wait any longer. I needed to feel it against mine.

 
 
author
mary

Mary Bernsen is a southwest Florida native currently living in Punta Gorda with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child that she affectionately calls husband. She spends her days creating characters on the good side of twenty-five because she is in serious denial about the fact that she is now on the bad side of it. She has a passion for fantasy of any kind along with historical fiction.

If she isn’t having conversations with her made-up friends, you can usually find her clipping coupons or out on the boat enjoying the muddy waters of Peace River (as long as it isn’t below 80 degrees).

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 
 

Review: Shatter by Erin McCarthy

18774878Shatter
(True Believers, #4)
By: Erin McCarthy
Publisher: Intermix
Release Date: Sept. 1, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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Kylie Warner prides herself on being optimistic, but after finding her best friend in bed with her boyfriend and flunking chemistry, her upbeat attitude has taken a dive. Even an impromptu hook-up with her sexy new chemistry tutor only brightens her mood slightly. After all, it’s not like she’ll ever see the tattooed scholar again…

While he’s a whiz at complex equations, Jonathon Kadisch has trouble when it comes to figuring out women. So when Kylie tells him that she’s pregnant after their night of passion, he’s at a complete loss. He’s prepared to be a good father—unlike his own deadbeat dad—but he’s less prepared to fall for the genuine and alluring blonde bearing his child.

With emotions running high, Kylie wonders if Jonathon’s devotion is out of growing love or looming obligation. And when heartbreak threatens to tear them apart, Jonathon will have to fight for the only girl who’s ever made him feel whole…

 

 
1thoughts
Kyie is flunking Chemistry. So her teacher gives her the email address to a tutor who may be able to help her. She was expecting some geeky looking guy, not the muscular tattooed hunk with glasses. To say there was instant attraction is an understatement. After a night of sex they part ways. Figuring never to see each other again. Except, a few weeks down the road Kylie realizes that she’s pregnant and she decides to keep the baby. However, she has no idea how Jonathan will take the news or if he will even want to be part of the babies life. And thus is the story of Shatter.

I was really interested in the fact that this story revolved around a smart guy and a party girl. The two POV’s were very distinguishable since the author used large scientific words for everything when we were reading Jonathan’s POV. I mean, he couldn’t say/think a sentence without using some random words I’d never heard before. I both liked and disliked it. I mean, he didn’t talk like a normal person at all. It was as if the author had a dictionary in front of her the entire time. I’d have liked it a lot more if the knowledge and wisdom he spews all over the place were a bit more random and spaced out rather than every other sentence.

The drama of this book is the fact that these two don’t know each other at all but are having a baby. They want to have a relationship but they don’t want to jeopardize the amicable relationship they have now if things were to go south. So they do this dance at first of “I want you but I don’t want to be enemies by the time the baby comes” dance. Of course there are some misunderstandings along the way and hormonal imbalances cause unnecessary drama that could have all been avoided had they just talked to each other.

It was an enjoyable read but I did find myself getting bored towards the end. I just felt like a lot of stuff was unnecessary and could have been avoided if they just spoke their feelings and communicated. I mean they were preparing to have a baby together, how much more personal can you get? However, I was kind of hoping that the ending would have been like the ending from The Breakup. Maybe I’m just a pessimist but an ending like that would have made all the useless drama worth it.

 

 

1favequote
“It’s just my creepy science mind at work. I was thinking how bizarre it is that a parasite is growing in you and will eventually explode from your body through an extremely narrow opening, and yet you will both survive.”

 

Previous reviews from True Believers
Believe
kRISTIN

Review: Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice by Stacy King

21433253Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice
By: Stacy King, Po Tse (Illustrator), and Jane Austen
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Published: Aug. 19, 2014
Genre: Manga
Rating:
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Beloved by millions the world over, Pride & Prejudice is delightfully transformed in this bold, new manga adaptation. All of the joy, heartache, and romance of Jane Austen’s original, perfectly illuminated by the sumptuous art of manga-ka Po Tse, and faithfully adapted by Stacy E. King.

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

1thoughts
I must admit that I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice. I’m not one for classics. Maybe it’s because I’ve been turned off by the fact that they were forced on me in school. Who knows, so I’ve never really had any desire to read P&P. However, I love reading manga, and when I saw this, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to see what everyone is talking about without bogging myself down in a massive book. You know, kind of like cliffnotes but comic book style.

I must say that I don’t think I’d have enjoyed the original story. Just the fact alone that not a lot progresses in this manga, I couldn’t imagine drawing it out for hundreds of pages. I think the manga does a great job summing up the story in entertaining illustrations. The artwork is great and has the feel of a historical classic while still keeping true to the manga feel.

Maybe it’s just me but I was not a Darcy fan. Heck, I wasn’t even a Elizabeth fan. So, the story itself didn’t really do it for me. The first day Darcy meets Elizabeth he goes off about how she’s a country bumpkin, who’s only out to get money, and how his friend had already set his sights on the prettiest one of the sisters. However, after giving this beautiful speech, to which Elizabeth overhears, he ends up having a change of heart the next time they meet. Now she’s the more beautiful woman he’s ever met and he chases her throughout the rest of the book. Meanwhile, after hearing such awful things about her, she pines away for him at first. Then decides he finds himself above her, and then she loathes him and tries to find another husband. I get that the story is called Pride and Prejudice for a reason but it all just seemed silly to me. I definitely could not have read the original novel.

I think this is a great novel for those who’ve read the classic, to see the characters come to life. However, it’s also great for people who haven’t read the book. It gives us an idea of what the book is about without overwhelming us with a huge book.

1favepart
ppI just thought this was funny because she always talks about how ornery he is and the fact that him being betrothed to someone who is meek and sickly would be a huge contrast to his character.

kRISTIN

Review: The Arrow by Monica McCarty

19288180The Arrow
(Highland Guard, #9)
By: Monica McCarty
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: Aug. 26, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating:
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The talents of legendary marksman Gregor “Arrow” MacGregor are crucial now, as Bruce moves to reclaim his Scottish holdings. Gregor is considered the most handsome man in Scotland, and his fame as an archer is rivaled only by his reputation with the lasses as a heartbreaker. But when his infamous face is exposed during a covert mission, Gregor is forced to lay low. He returns home only to find a new battle waiting: a daring game of seduction involving his now very grown up and very desirable ward, Cate of Lochmaben.

A born fighter, Cate was clinging to life when Gregor rescued her after a vicious English raid on her village left her mother dead. But five years later, the once scrappy orphan Gregor took under his protection has become a woman. Brave, strong, and skilled in warfare, Cate is determined to lay claim to the warrior who refuses to be trapped. The heat in his eyes tells her she has his attention . . . and his desire. But will Gregor allow his heart to surrender before danger finds them, and the truth of Cate’s identity is revealed?

 

 
1thoughts
Cate was rescued by Gregor and his fellow Phantoms when the English attacked her village. Since her mother was killed in the raid, Gregor took in Cate as his ward. However, because he is part of Bruce’s secret elite army, the Phantoms, he doesn’t spend much time at home. So he has no idea how much Cate has grown or how beautiful of a woman she’s become over the time apart. However, Cate is determined to make him see her as a woman. A woman who he can;t live without.

I love this series. There’s so much rich history in the books that it’s hard not to be taken back in time. The author does a lot of research for her books that it’s hard to remember that it’s technically a work of fiction. Even though the series is amazingly entertaining, this one just didn’t hold up to the others. The story was still entertaining but I had some problems with the main characters.

Cate has been in love with Gregor since he saved her. She’s been anxiously waiting for his next trip home from the war so that she can woo him with her womanly charms. I could see her wanting him to see her as a woman but some things she did just didn’t really work for me. She claims she knows how he loathes being looked at as a prized trophy husband for his looks alone. She claims she knows him for who he is. However, her advances towards him were all wrong for what she claims. She corners him, forces herself on him and just doesn’t take no for an answer because he’s surely just fighting his love for her.

Gregor was a likable character at first. He does everything he can to stay away from Cate. She’s a nuisance sure, but he can’t deny her gravitational pull. He tries to discourage her advances by parading around with other women. However, when he is good and “trapped” into marrying Cate and finds out how she manipulated everything to get her way he decides to prove to them both that he doesn’t truly love her. So what does he do? He seeks out another woman. That was when I lost all respect for him. He stopped being the hero in the story and instead became a douchebag.

It’s true that these were not my favorite characters from the series. However, I am still a huge fan of the series and will continue to the next book. I like how the epilogue shoots forward in time. It makes me wonder if maybe the next book will have a whole new list of people to follow.

 

 
1favepart
“That is, if you can bear to tear yourself away for a few hours from the bevy of admirers. ‘Oh laird, I brought you this tart because I know how much you love figs,’ she mimicked, “Or ‘Oh, my laird, have you had this cheese from our farm?’” She made a sharp scoffing sound. “Their ploys are so obvious. Does ever woman think the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?”
He crossed his arms and grinned at her. “Well, I do like figs and cheese.”

 

 
Previous reviews from Highland Guard
The Chief
The Hawk
The Recruit
The Hunter

kRISTIN

Interview & Giveaway: Alexxxa by DT Dyllin

alexxxatour
 

 
author

 

dt

D.T. Dyllin is a Bestselling Author who writes both New Adult and Adult Romance. She is a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and also her local chapter, the MCRW (Music City Romance Writers).

D.T. was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Black & Gold for life, baby!) She now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two spoiled GSDs.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

interview

Welcome back to Book Sniffers Anonymous! Long time no see. How have you been since you last stopped by?
Yay! I’m excited to be here! It has been a long time since I’ve done a guest post of any kind for BSA, or anywhere for that matter. *Bad Author * Let’s see… Since I last stopped by I’ve been writing lots of books for people to sniff, and when not doing that, I’m sniffing books. Hehe But seriously… Lots of book sniffing happening up in here.

So, tell us a little about Alexxxa. What can the readers expect with this one?
As per usual with all of my books, readers can expect a scorching romance. Alexa is a porn star…obviously…but she has been noticing that her life is ‘missing something’ lately. It takes meeting David to figure out exactly what that something is.

Now I’m sure you’ve been asked this already but I have to know, why a porn star? Why not simply a stripper?
I wanted to write a heroine with a very sexual past. I also wanted it to be more than just her having had a lot of sex, and or partners. If she was merely a stripper, having sex isn’t part of her job, so when she meets her love match, obviously she’d want to only be with the hero. Throwing in the porn star element complicates things a bit, on many levels. I like messy and complicated.

Can you give us the inside scoop on the leading man in Alexxxa?
Since Alexxxa isn’t a paranormal romance, David can’t pull all the super Alpha crap that a lot of my supernatural leading men like to do. I can’t blame them because not being human changes things. David is just a normal guy. But in my opinion, he’s the kind of ‘normal guy’ that women could actually date and fall in love with. Oh and did I mention that he’s a huge Doctor Who fan? Well he is. Lol

Is there anything that you would like readers to take away from this story?
Hmmm… Well maybe as women we should all be a little bit tolerant and understanding of other women. Just because another woman makes a choice about her life that you wouldn’t about yours…doesn’t mean either one of you are necessarily wrong. Live and let live.

I know this is the most difficult question in the whole interview but what is your favorite quote or part from Alexxxa?
Actually it’s not as hard as you think. I’m a huge Doctor Who fan myself, so making Alexa clueless and David a fan, was amusing to me. My favorite part is the first interaction between David and Alexa in the beginning of the book. David is kind of condescending that Alexa doesn’t know what a Dalek is and she doesn’t let it bother her…she’s interested in other things.

I bit my lip and batted my eyelashes, extending my hand towards the inked up skinnier version of Clark Kent. “What’s a Dalek?” I asked, eyeing up his t-shirt, which had a weird looking robot thing on it with the accompanying term ‘Dalek’.

His lips turned up into a tiny smirk. “You don’t know what a Dalek is… shocker.”

I shrugged and dropped my hand, letting my eyes dance onto the real area of interest, his crotch. “I don’t really care about your stupid t-shirt, just what’s under it. Or really, what you’re packing in your pants.”

Thanks again for stopping by, D.T. Before you go, do you have anything in the works that we should keep an eye out for?
Thanks for having me! Aaaand… Ummm… I always have stuff in the works. The second book in my M-Day series, E-Day is a new release, and in October the final installment of my Death Trilogy, Becoming Death will be released. That’s just off the top of my head. I have to keep contributing to the book of the world, so I’m sure there will be more news soon. ;)

 

 

about the book
22751808

Alexxxa
By: DT Dyllin
Publisher: Tik Tok Press
Published: July 20, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Love and sex, sex and love… Can you have one without the other? As a world famous porn star, Alexa James thinks she has everything all figured out. But what happens when someone who gets paid to have sex has an existential crisis? Suddenly sex isn’t enough, and love seems out of reach. Will Alexa’s career choice permanently crush her spirit? Or will she discover that real love is about more than just the physical?

 

 
1giveaway
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Review: Taste of Darkness by Katie Reus

20776002Taste of Darkness
(Darkness, #2)
By: Katie Reus
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: July 24, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:
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He spent more than a thousand years imprisoned in hell…

Drake is an ancient dragon shifter, one of the most powerful beings in existence, but a millennium trapped in utter darkness has left him ill-equipped for modern society. If it wasn’t for Victoria, the sweet female brave enough to befriend him, he’d be lost. She’s smart and gorgeous and everything he never dared dream of during his years of agonizing loneliness. He may not have anything to offer her, but one thing he knows for sure: he’d die to keep her safe.

Only to fall into the heaven of her touch.

Victoria is a wolf shifter, healer of the Stavros pack. She’s seen a lot, but she’s never met anybody quite like Drake, the fiery, fascinating shifter who can blaze through the skies unseen by mere mortals. He’s lost, dangerous, and the last male she should fall in love with, but the more time she spends helping him navigate modern life, the deeper—and hotter—their connection becomes. She’s thrilled when they finally locate his family, but reuniting with his people plunges them both into unimaginable danger. It’s a race against the clock trying to figure out who wants them dead and who they can trust, especially when the threat is closer than they ever imagined.

 
 

1thoughts
Even though this storyline focuses on two different characters from the last book, you really need to read them in succession. When I started reading this one I felt like I was missing something. The characters seemed way too familiar with each other and there seemed to be some time gap in what was going on for the book to just be starting. So I reread the ending from Darkness Awakened and refreshed my memory of how these two characters met. Then afterwards I was able to jump right in the story with no problem.

Drake was a very interesting character. Yeah, he’s all macho Alpha, he is a dragon after all, but he’s way out of his element in the modern world and leans on Victoria and others for help when it comes to the unknown, like driving. You see, when Drake was a little boy he was sacrificed and sent to the depths of hell where he spent over a thousand years trying to survive. That is, until he escapes and finds himself protected by the Stavros wolf pack. So imagine everything that’s changed in the last thousand years. It’s pretty safe to say that Drake has a lot to learn about the new world. He grew up in hell and doesn’t really have the lifetime experience in dealing with people. So he tends to be a bit gruff when interacting with others. He also has no memory of who he was before his time in Hell. So over time, little things trigger his memory, slowly revealing who he was as well as snippets of his gruesome time in Hell.

I do have a couple of complains and one was ironically Drake himself. I felt that for someone who hadn’t grown up in the modern world, he sure did acclimate fast. For instance, my mom has had a cellphone for almost 10 years now. That woman just learned how to text. When she came out to visit a few months back she tried telling me that her phone only came with one ringtone, the carriers signature tune. Knowing that wasn’t right I, within seconds, changed her ringtone to some obnoxious DJ BLAST tune. It took her a couple of weeks to figure out how to get rid of it, and I think she even enlisted the help of someone. So considering that Drake’s only been in our world for four months, I’m not buying that he’s able to pick up on our technology so fast. Maybe had I seen the transition period in those first 4 months that would’ve been different, but we are presented with the Drake who’s been around for 4 months and I wasn’t a fan of the fact that homeboy was texting like it’s cool.

My other issue was that I felt like there were way too many POV’s going on. I’m totally fine with getting a couple extra POV’s mixed in pertaining to either the villain or upcoming highlighted characters but this one was all over the place. I honestly don’t know who the next book will be about because there was just so many things going on at once. I would have liked it to focus a bit more on the main characters and their story and not try to branch out twenty different ways.

Since Drake was sent to Hell as a little boy, he was never told about the birds and the bees. Let alone did anything with a female. Victoria’s been coddled and babied since she was adopted into the pack. So she never really had the opportunity to date. So the fact that these two were starting out on equal ground was pretty interesting. It’s not too often that you have two older characters who are both virgins. It was a nice change of pace.

The romance isn’t the only thing this book has to offer. There are some pretty awesome fight scenes as well. Since whoever put Drake in hell is still out there, there are some moments where things get a little bloody. You have to figure that Dragons don’t fight with fists or weapons. So there are a lot of scenes where Drake chomps onto a neck and rips the head from the body or incinerates the person with his fire breath. That may be a turn off to some, but he’s a dragon. If he went around throwing glitter on everyone it wouldn’t be very threatening. And dragons are huge threatening creatures that would make Godzilla pee in his non-existent reptilian pants.

In the end, this is a great paranormal romance series. I’ve loved just about every book of Katie’s that I’ve read. This one started out strong for me but once everyone started butting in with their POV’s I got a little distracted and lost sight of the story at hand. It was still highly enjoyable though. I will definitely be waiting for the next book to come out.

1favepart
“The predator inside him took over, gaining a stronger foothold. He must do this to survive. No weakness. Ever. The boy inside him cried out for his mother, begging her to find him, to save him.
But she never came.”
 
 
Previous reviews from Darkness
Darkness Awakened

kRISTIN

Excerpt & Giveaway: Dependent by Brenda Corey Dunne

depDependent
By: Brenda Corey Dunne
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Published: July 29, 2014
Genre: Fiction

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When 45-year-old Ellen Michaels loses her husband to a tragic military accident, she is left in a world of gray. For 25 years her life has been dictated by the ubiquitous They—the military establishment that has included her like chattel with John’s worldly goods—his Dependents, Furniture, and Effects. They—who have stolen her hopes, her dreams and her innocence, and now in mere months will take away the roof over her head. Ellen is left with nothing to hold on to but memories and guilt and an awful secret that has held her in its grip since she was 19. John’s untimely death takes away her anchor, and now, without the military, there is no one to tell her where to go, what to do— no one to dictate who she is. Dependent deals with issues ever-present in today’s service families—early marriage, frequent long absences, the culture of rank, and posttraumatic stress, as well as harassment and abuse of power by higher-ranking officials. It presents a raw and realistic view of life for the lives of the invisible support behind the uniform.

 
 
Excerpt

There is no more conversation. Young men with close-clipped haircuts straightenup and square their shoulders. Mothers wipe their eyes with soggy tissues. One by one, their sons grasp their duffels and walk forward.

“Michaels, John! Board now!” the man screams.

John turns to face me, a determined gleam in his eyes. “Don’t wait up,” he says.

I grin, half-heartedly, and finish our little saying. “Don’t be late,” I say. He leans forward and kisses me, then nods, turns, and walks forward, as if this were the easiest thing in the world, his legs swinging in more of a saunter than a walk. He pops his bag in the compartment and hops up the stairs. Only when he is seated by the window does he look back. He waves to his parents and then his eyes find mine.

I breathe in quickly, caught off guard by what his eyes are saying. My cheeks burn at the dangerous grin he gives me, not much different than that of five weeks ago in the flashing red glow. His gaze flicks down to the neckline of my blouse and below. It’s as if he’s having sex with me in his mind, as if we are alone and together, not separated by a crowd of sniffling parents and twenty-five feet of soggy paved space. I feel my body respond—my breath quickens and something flutters behind my breastbone. The rush of need shocks away my unshed tears.

I hear the sound of marching feet, slamming doors, and revving engines, but

I don’t look away. The corners of John’s mouth twitch, and the bus moves forward.

Parents wave frantically as it pulls away, calling their goodbyes and well wishes to the stench of exhaust and flying water.

I am left alone, standing in a puddle of need and lost dreams as John drives away in search of his own.

 
 
 
author
d

Brenda Corey Dunne trained as a physiotherapist, worked several years as a Physiotherapy Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force before meeting the love of her life, RCAF Colonel Tom Dunne, and becoming a military dependent herself. Brenda currently resides on a small hobby farm in Eastern Ontario, Canada, with her husband and three children.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 
 
 

1giveaway
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Review: Songbird by Jaymin Eve

songbirdSongbird
(Sinclair, #1)
By: Jaymin Eve
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: July 13, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance

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It took many years but finally Melodee Lee is in control of her life. The twenty-three year old trusts no one, and spends her time nomadically wandering with the underground cage fighting scene. Her innocent looks are an asset and she utilizes them to their fullest extent. Fighting is how she makes her money and she’s damn good at it. Yeah, sometimes she’s lonely, but her set-up guarantees no one screws with her and she doesn’t have to think about the ten ways she knows how to kill a man. Of course, that was before she met the Sinclairs.

Nathan Sinclair; one of the four brothers that dominate the city of Syracuse. Nathan’s a rising basketball star, set to be signed by the NBA and despite the fact his slam-dunk nickname was earned both on and off the court, he’s decided that it’s time for a break. He’s over the drama of college women.

An accident, a baby and unforgettable circumstances bring these two people together when their worlds should never have collided. And the end result have both of them questioning their lives and the choices they’ve made to be happy.

4review
Melodee is an underground cage fighter who trusts no one. She moves around a lot and doesn’t make any connections with people. She grew up in the foster system and learned real quick that the fighting skills her deranged parents (who were also assassins) gave her were useful when dealing with one crappy foster home after another. Now an adult, she uses those same skills to make money and win fights. After every fight she moves to a new location to get away which is how she ends up in Syracuse and in Nathan’s path.

I thought for sure I’d love this one. I mean, how many times have you read about a female cage fighter? They’re always males. So that was really intreging. Also, Nathan is supposed to be a hot shot basketball player at SU as well as a local celebrity in Syracuse. Which by the way is where I was born and raised. So… the fact that this takes place in my hometown, even cooler. However, this story fell flat with me. It started off strong with Melodee fighting in the cage and then afterwards getting on a bus and winding up in Syracuse. She seemed really bad-ass and I was all in. Then one of her apartment neighbors spots her walking in a snowstorm from the grocery store and insists that he gives her a ride home, but first needs to make a stop at his friends house (Nathan’s) to drop off some stuff. Now, for someone who is a loner and doesn’t trust people, she got into the car, but whatever I can deal. But when they get into a fatal accident killing her neighbor and the driver of the other vehicle, leaving Melodee and the woman’s baby the sole survivors things started changing. Nathan hears the crash from his place, goes out to investigate and that’s where he and Melodee meet up. Just about the entire inner dialogue of both parties is about how hot the other one is. Nathan shows very little to no grief over his friend’s passing. Hell, at one point they are wrestling in his cabin after the accident laughing and having a good ol time. Now, I get that the snowstorm knocked down power lines and there’s no cell service to call and report the accident but jeesh, show some emotion. Melodee I could see not being sad, she didn’t know the guy, but Nathan didn’t really care that his lifetime friend was dead, body frozen in a vehicle by his house. Not to mention that when Child Services shows up the next day to take the baby to a foster home, all Nathan has to do is say his name and that he and Melodee want to keep the baby and *BAM* the woman walks off in agreement and Nathan and Melodee are the new proud foster parents of an infant. …. WHAT?! Apparently if your father is a Senator and you play in college basketball, you’re totally fit to be a parent. Screw background checks or interviews, nope… if you want that snotty nosed infant, you can have it! Nope, not buying it.

At about halfway through I stopped reading. It went from being a great story with new and exciting characters to totally changing to a sweet and sappy love story that I’ve read 100 times before. Except those stories made sense and flowed together, this one was all over the place and just sort of made stuff up as it went along. I wish Melodee showed more of her f*ck-off personality throughout the story. Instead she not only jumps Nathan’s bones but tells him and his brother about the torture she endured. And for someone who keeps to themself, that was just too out of left field. I just couldn’t get into the story or connect with the flippant nature of the characters.

1favequote
“More often than not the best people were the ones with the rough edges. Life had tried to chip away at them, but they still carried on.”

kRISTIN

Review & Giveaway: E-Day by DT Dyllin

22210144E-Day
(M-Day, #1)
By: DT Dyllin
Publisher: Tik Tok Press
Published: Aug 10, 2014
Genre: Dystopian Erotic Romance
Rating:
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M-Day was the dawn of a brand new harsher world. A world where old lives could be left behind and secrets buried for good. At least that’s exactly what Tammie Miles had planned. But even with her new identity as Evo, she discovers that your past is never far. When a man from her old life tracks her down, will she risk everything to keep her secrets? Or will she finally learn that maybe even she can love the right man?

1thoughts
This was a great addition to M-Day. Even though this story deals with different characters, you should still read the first book before diving into E-Day. Evo is actually a secondary character from the first book. Not only does she get her moment to shine in this one, but Zee and Max (MC’s from M-Day) play a huge part in Evo’s story. So in order to not feel left out, I highly suggest reading M-Day.

Evo is a kick-ass, hold no bars fighter. She’s definitely the girl you want in your corner if you come across any infected men. Which is probably why every time there’s a “mission”, she’s on it. However, her armor starts to crack when they save an un-infected man in a warehouse. A man who was obviously being brutally abused by infected men. A man who just so happens to be Evo’s estranged husband. Dun Dun Duuuuuun. However, Evo’s built a new life since the world changed. She gained a new image, a new name, and a new history. So she’s not too happy to run into her estranged husband who could ultimately reveal all the secrets she’s kept hidden.

This was a great story. You’d think it’d just be about Evo keeping her secrets while kicking ass. And that is part of the story but the author went above and beyond that. She added depth to the characters. She didn’t just give you their stories, she made you feel for them. She also took the original story and evolved it into so much more than it originally was. One minute I’m all like, “okay this is a story about suped-up-soldiers-gone-wrong”, and the next I’m like, “woah! What the hell just happened?”. The author is definitely writing to her own tune on this one and I couldn’t be happier. I was starting to get worn out on the same ol storyline in a lot of books I’d been reading recently. So I was happy to finally get out of the rut I was in. The author added so many new elements to her story that I literally could not put the book down. I kid you not, I literally plopped my butt on the couch until I finished the book. This girl right here, ATE OVER HER BELOVED KINDLE! That’s how unwilling I was to put the book down.

I highly recommend this series to anyone who’s looking for a post-apocalyptic story that also happens to have some erotic parts to it.

 
1favequote
“Once a few months back, I’d found a sign for Texas, only to discover I was in Florida. Some dumb-ass thought they were funny, apparently. Who had the time, really?”

 
 
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1giveaway
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