Review + Giveaway: Scream


This is my stop for the third book the Lakeview series by Stacey R. Campbell. This is a young adult mystery series. The tour runs August 3-14 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check earlier posts this week for my reviews of the previous books in the series, and the tour schedule for all the other good stuff going on.

Scream-high-res-2-188x300Title: Scream
Author: Stacey R. Campbell
Publisher: Green Darner Press
Release Date: July 2015
Length: 260 pages
Series?: The Lakeview Series #3
Genre: YA, mystery

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

It’s Halle Henry’s final year at Lakeview Academy, and she is determined to make it her best year yet. But when drugs are discovered in her boyfriend Alex’s backpack and he is expelled, Halle’s life spins out of control.

Refusing to believe the accusations against him, Halle vows to get to the bottom of what really happened and bring Alex back to campus so they can graduate together.

Now, all Halle has to do is save her boyfriend, solve a murder, graduate from high school, and keep from getting killed in the process.

***** Review *****

The Skinny

This is the final book (so far?) and wraps up Halle’s senior year at Lakeview. Halle and Alex have been dating for a couple years now, and she and Izzy have stayed roommates through all their time at Lakeview. The winter term has ended and the new terms starts off on an odd note before the three even make it back to the campus. Alex swears he witnesses a strange interaction between two men on the ferry that no one else saw. Then back at school drugs are found in Alex’s belongings and he is expelled from Lakeview. Halle starts losing it. She is convinced his very weird roommate was behind it, but quickly discovers there’s a bigger plot at hand at Lakeview Academy after she relentlessly starts digging. She is determined to bring Alex back to campus. Along the way she enlists the help of the one person she knows she can trust who has the exact same goal that she does.

The Players

Halle – a senior at Lakeview; lives in Campbell house; dates Alex; is roommate’s with his twin sister, Izzy; is relentless and stubborn

Alex – a senior at Lakeview; dates Halle; Izzy’s twin brother; Wyatt’s roommate; fiercely protective of Wyatt

Izzy – a senior at Lakeview; lives in Campbell house; rooms with Halle; gossips a lot

Wyatt – a senior at Lakeview; Alex’s roommate; strange kid rumored to have been expelled from previous school for drug use

Missy – a senior at Lakeview; Wyatt’s on/off girlfriend; Halle’s nemesis since grade 8

Ramon & Lola – Lakeview’s school cooks; at the center of Halle’s investigations

First Impressions

I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this last book. I was sad that it was the last installment in the series (although I hope there are more) and had no idea where the storyline was coming from but I expected it to be good.

Second Thoughts

This is the most exciting of all the books! Campbell’s writing and craft has definitely improved from the first book. Even though this is a series, the books can be read as standalones and I highly recommend this third book to any and everyone.

The relationships in this book make up an interesting dynamic. They are different than they were in the second book, and the main focus is on Halle, Alex and their roommates Izzy and Wyatt. I was kind of sad to see the rest of the gang not pop up in the book, but they had already graduated.

Halle and Alex have such an incredibly sweet and playful romance. They support one another, but are also very wrapped up in one another. Halle struggles an incredible deal after Alex is expelled, but it also speaks to the depth of her loyalty and her refusal stubborness dedication to set things right.

Izzy and Halle have an interesting relationship being roommates and best friends, but also for the fact that Halle is dating Izzy’s twin. Izzy is very much part of the gossip mill at Lakeview, but she is Halle’s friend and refuses to believe the rumors flying around about her. Halle and Alex have to not cross a certain line that would impair Halle’s friendship with Izzy or cause issue between the siblings.

“Now she’s going to tell me how mean we were all night. I’ll never get to bed. You know how much she likes him.” 

“So what, she interrupted us,” Alex protested. 

“She’s your sister.”

“I know. That’s why it’s so fun to tease her when she gets like this.”

Halle tried to suppress her grin. “You’re such a jerk.”

Alex’s brows rose. “Really? You want to come over here and say that to my face?”

“Yeah, maybe I do.” 

Alex cupped Halle’s chin, pulling her lips to his.

There is no love lost between Halle and Alex’s roommate, Wyatt. Until Halle thinks he’s the only one that can help her figure out who is framing Alex and why. They have to be careful that wind does not get back to Alex, or he’ll have both of their heads. After realizing the implications of the danger they are indeed in, he demands Halle stop her investigations.

Speaking of Wyatt, he starts hanging around with Halle’s Lakeview nemesis. You know, growing up we all had one. That person that we can’t stand and just rubs the entirely wrong way. Well, that’s Missy. They have had evil eyes for each other since grade 8, and now Missy thinks she is ruling supreme with her taunts and rumors after Alex is kicked out. She is definitely an annoying character, but there’s the thing: the entire time I was reading, no matter where she’d pop up, anytime she had dialogue I automatically heard it in one particular accent. She annoyed even me, and I thought she was quite stupid to just be popping off at the mouth like that, so anytime she spoke I heard it in my mind as a Jersey Shores dialect, which I then thought was kind of funny because I could picture it so easily.

My favorite scenes were the ones where Halle and Wyatt make riddle out the issues surrounding Alex’s expulsion and make their plans, especially when they sneak off campus through the woods the first time.

Wyatt and Halle bloom into fast friends after coming to a truce and consensus regarding their one mutual goal: getting Alex back on campus. Alex is the one person whom Wyatt can confide in, and this reason alone is what starts the basis of Wyatt and Halle’s friendship.

I’m not sure if there will be any more books in the series, given that both Henry girls have graduated Lakeview Academy and Halle’s plan is to attend St. Andrews in Europe, but the ending was enlightening for me about the potential for spin-off series and an entirely new relationship. 😉

***** About the Author *****

View More: R. Campbell lives in the San Juan Islands with her husband and three daughters. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and a dyslexic writer that believes there is no such thing as a bad reader.  She is the author of the young adult novels Hush, Whisper, Silence & Scream and the highly acclaimed middle grade swashbuckling Pirate book ARRGH!

When not at her desk writing she can be found hiking, sailing, or skiing. She enjoys chocolate in any shape or size, too many cups of coffee and laughing (often too loudly as her daughters say) with her friends and family.

Stacey is available for classroom visits via Skype and loves working with writers and readers of any age; especially those with learning disabilities like her own.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

***** Giveaway *****

$20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

set of ebooks of the Lakeview series (INT)

set of paperbacks of the Lakeview series (US)

Ends Aug. 18th

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!


Sunday Post ~ Freaky February

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a weekly news post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase the books and other goodies you’ve received, and share news about upcoming events on your blog. Be creative and personalize it! To get in on the Sunday fun day, see the rules here: Suday Post Meme.

This week I spent A LOT of time with my yearbook kids. Monday afternoon we spent 2 hours preparing for the elective fair that night, and then almost my entire staff showed to support and lead our booth. We handed out all of the applications we had. I’ve had so many kids at the last minute asking about applications. I also feel really confident for the staff next year as now 10 of my current students have decided to stay on. Tuesday night we had our production meeting and got more accomplished. Some people got new pages, we submitted one spread, and we’re ready to proof two more to send this week. While we’re moving along much slower than last year in terms of production and sales, I am not stressing about it. I want them to enjoy the experience and do their best.

Also on Monday my department head literally had a shit fit moment (all day). She called an emergency department meeting – sans administrators – to literally scream at those present. Our district is doing away with our reading program, and the week prior our principal gave us the go-ahead to tell our students and parents about the changes. She and her partner were having epileptic fits because they chose not to tell their students. One person said they were very sure things were about to come to blows. My partner and I also got a nastygram from her that she, as the department head, was in charge of disseminating information to our parents. Last I checked, the Texas Education Agency and the superintendent, school board, and my principal have me listed as the teacher of record for my classroom. My principal took the heat for it and did not hold them accountable for their unprofessional behavior in the least. Apparently it’s perfectly legit to act that way at work…for those two ladies. At the least, an apology should have been issued. It has created quite a divide in our department, and all day during our training on Friday said ladies and their cohort kept turning around to stare at my partner and me. *sigh*

Wednesday morning I met with our instructional specialist to review our benchmark data. I was bothered by not seeing students make growth that I expected to from their 5th grade state testing. I was surprised by a couple who made significant growth, by nearly 20% or more. Then I had a handful who significantly regressed and should not have.

Thursday my students finished testing and I was able to get quite a few things done. That evening I met with my mom to set up her new phone. She is leaving her flip phone behind and has a little smart phone. It reminds me of the sliders, but without a slide-out keyboard, and it is touch screen. She doesn’t like it, but I’m hoping the more she uses it the more she’ll like it.

Earlier in the week I was talking to a coworker in 7th grade who has a CPAP. She was telling me right after she got hers, she slept through her alarm and the first class of the day and was late to work. Oh, the irony of that conversation. That is exactly what happened to me on Friday. I had a tickle in my throat around 3am, so I got up and took a small sip of the promethazine with codeine syrup so I could stop coughing. When my alarm went off, I just turned it off. My phone started ringing 3 minutes before the first class period. My partner wanted to know where I was because my kids were already in the hall! I was like, “Oh, shit! I just woke up!” I still had my CPAP mask on, so I’m sure I sounded funny. I ran around like a madwoman and got all my crap loaded up. I arrived right after the second class started.

I am feeling better, although every once in a while I still have a crackle in my ear. I will say I’m not all stopped up in the mornings anymore now that I have the CPAP. The Man is over his strep, however, he now has a super infection: sinus, ear, etc. He’s still trying to blame it on me. He’s been a turd all weekend. He is one of those men who gets all bent out of shape and moody when sick. And he’s now mad that he didn’t remember my birthday is this coming week.

I purchased my tires yesterday. With the President’s Day sale and using my DT card, I saved $160! I paid less than $600 for my tires. I am excited about that savings. That means I have an extra $700 from my tax return to put toward credit cards this month. I’m working on zeroing them out!

Five Days, Five Kisses was a cute, quick read. This is a new venture for Angela Carling, not quite like what she’s written before. I enjoyed the childhood friendship in this one. I had wanted to get my review written in time for Valentine’s Day, but that just didn’t happen. I’ll be working on it for this week.

I started The Rogue is Back in Town. I’ve had this one for a while and I’m glad I picked it as one of my first NetGalley books of the year. I really enjoyed the story, despite some of the historical flaws. I finished it after a few sittings and started in on Wallflower Most Wanted, wherein four bluestocking women inherit Beachaump House and they each have a mission to carry out within the year from the benefactor. I remember the first book had some surprisingly scary turns, and this one started off in the same vein with a character falling from a cliff.

I didn’t work on the blog at all this week, and now I am no longer ahead on my scheduled posts. I have no Top Ten or Teaser Tuesday posts for this coming week, so I will be working on the next few weeks’ worth to get built back up again. I also have three reviews to write, too.

  • Monday
    • Review ~ Game of Hearts
    • Discussion ~ YA vs. NA vs. Contemporary
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ TBD
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ TBD
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
    • My Favorite ~ Movie of 2017
  • Thursday
    • Beyond the Books ~ Kids & Social Media
  • Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 2.23.18

Check back soon!


Review: Tumble Creek


Title: Tumble Creek
Author: Louise Forster
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Release Date: April 2016
Length: 225 pages
Series?: sequel to Home Truths
Genre: Romance

Art teacher and occasional life model Sofie Dove wants to know what’s up with Brock Stewart. Everything about the ex SAS soldier turned police officer seems to scream passion—and it’s all for her—but he just won’t express it. All she knows is he has a past that still keeps him up some nights.

After a semi-trailer crashes through Sofie’s house and the driver disappears into thin air, Brock insists he’s the only one who can keep her safe—but can he, when they can’t seem to trust each other?

While Sofie works on figuring out why this man keeps giving her mixed messages, Brock is determined to find out who’s out to get her—as they both find out why falling in love is a bit like being hit by a truck.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

My Thoughts

The plot revolves around a truck crashing into Sofie’s house and the driver mysteriously disappearing, as well as fellow citizen Britt up and disappearing. Rumor around town is she is in witness protection…but she isn’t. She’s on the run. Those looking for her – and what they think she left behind – also brought them to Sophie’s house.

While Sophie is trying to start something new in town – her art classes – that is quickly dashed away. After the first chapter, it’s never mentioned again and her classes don’t resume and Britt and her entire scenario never resurface, which I found odd and hinted at the underdeveloped plot and lack of a fully fleshed out story.

It seems Sofie’s actual job is working at her sister’s restaurant, Veronica, where she and her teen daughter now reside upstairs with her sister. After being left by her manipulative husband for a younger woman, Sofie got divorced, moved to Tumble Creek, and both she and her daughter changed their last names to her maiden name.

Sofie herself seems like an overly emotionally-wrought woman who can’t get a grip on herself. She literally grabs at people nearby for the first six chapters or so, and again later in the book, to physically steady herself from her emotional spells. Her dialogue with other characters, from Brock to her sister, seem filled with her jumping to conclusions and creating misunderstandings. It wasn’t an appealing character trait. However, I loved her relationship with her daughter. It’s the best feature of the book, IMO.

After the crash and Sofie’s daughter kicking her to shreds sharing a bed, Sheriff Brock (The Rock) insists she and her daughter move into his extra bedrooms. An extremely nice gesture. I found it unlikely that other sleeping arrangements couldn’t be made above Veronica‘s. And THEN. Then Sofie moves into Brock’s house. ALONE. By herself, without her teenage daughter. For Cripe’s sake, someone is out to get them for her ties to Britt, it has been explained to her that this is a dangerous situation, a parcel is being checked out by forensics. And she moves into a stranger’s house without her daughter. That was the moment I became very skeptical of the plot. Here was another big reason: when Sofie asked Brock what made him special, he replied that she did. NO. There’s nothing more to Brock than his love for his parents and some kind gestures. He has no development beyond that.

As soon as moving in, suddenly Brock and Sofie are a couple. Him calling her “babe” with every breath, and her being “his.” It was so neanderthal and didn’t seem right for two characters who’d been sizing each other up for six months to suddenly fall into live-in life like this. It was stilted and stiff. Once steamy scenes started up, they were SO corny. I cringed and almost quit reading at least a dozen times, but I kept holding out hope that things would get better.

They didn’t.

Sofie’s haughty grandmother has her own little story and Sofie’s ex surfaces trying to convince her to move back. This brings the plot out of Brock’s house and away from Sofie’s fascination with Brock’s armpits (mentioned about 50 times) and speeds things up a bit.

The mystery driver is eventually discovered. As is the contents of the parcel mysteriously left at Veronica‘s and the bearer of it. Britt and her whereabouts are not. That entire subplot is never flushed out. Takumi lets Sofie do something that could get her arrested and cost him his job – very against policy.

This book had great potential – I could see several ways Brock and his coworker Takumi could be more meshed into the storyline. I was shocked that one of the two driving factors of the plot just died and there was nothing more about Britt to the story. Some of the instances seemed odd, but all compiled together there were too many things that made the plot unbelievable.


Louise Forster grew up in a Victorian country town. She ran barefoot along dirt roads and loved looking through the leaves of tall eucalypts at the azure summer skies. Eventually, she grew up, and the country town became a suburb of Melbourne. Running barefoot to catch her train to work would have caused more than a few raised eyebrows so she opted for stilettos, of course. At eighteen, Louise traveled through Europe, parts of Africa and the Pacific Islands. These days Louise lives on the far north coast of New South Wales on a small property that includes her extended family, three dogs, three cats and all manner of wildlife.

Find the author: GoodreadsWebsite | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday Teaser & Intro: Tumble Creek


I read this one a while back. I was pulled in by cover love…but I did not love all that much.

Synopsis ~ Tumble Creek

Art teacher and occasional life model Sofie Dove wants to know what’s up with Brock Stewart. Everything about the ex SAS soldier turned police officer seems to scream passion—and it’s all for her—but he just won’t express it. All she knows is he has a past that still keeps him up some nights.

After a semi-trailer crashes through Sofie’s house and the driver disappears into thin air, Brock insists he’s the only one who can keep her safe—but can he, when they can’t seem to trust each other?

While Sofie works on figuring out why this man keeps giving her mixed messages, Brock is determined to find out who’s out to get her—as they both find out why falling in love is a bit like being hit by a truck.


Chapter 1 

Sofie Dove should’ve been ecstatic this morning, but for some bizaare reason, unease twisted inside her. An ominous expectancy, so poerful it made the skin at her nape prickle and her stomach tie in knots.



“You need to grow a pair,” he whispered into the night.  [Loc 1190]


Three hours later Doreen asked Claudia to come visit and gave her address as twenty-two Lavender Lane – where Sofie and Claudia lived before their house had been demolished. “Oh.” Claudia gave her mum a wide-eyed look, then turned back to Doreen and carried on as if nothing were amiss.  [Loc 2063]

Would you keep reading? 

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you’re reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too. Link up HERE.

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon. Link up HERE.


Famous Last Words #24

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


Art teacher and occasional life model Sofie Dove wants to know what’s up with Brock Stewart. Everything about the ex SAS soldier turned police officer seems to scream passion—and it’s all for her—but he just won’t express it. All she knows is he has a past that still keeps him up some nights.

After a semi-trailer crashes through Sofie’s house and the driver disappears into thin air, Brock insists he’s the only one who can keep her safe—but can he, when they can’t seem to trust each other?

While Sofie works on figuring out why this man keeps giving her mixed messages, Brock is determined to find out who’s out to get her—as they both find out why falling in love is a bit like being hit by a truck in Tumble Creek.

WWW Wednesdays (July 19)


This is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.

What are you currently reading?


I didn’t know this was a sequel…and it’s not even listed as such in the title on Goodreads. Either way, I’m hoping Tumble Creek doesn’t require a dependency on book 1 and can read as a stand-alone. I started it just yesterday so I’m not too far into it, but so far I’ve met Sophie (not that I know a lot about her besides she’s an art teacher) and her friend Britt has mysteriously disappeared. Her art students say the rumor is she’s in witness protection. It will be interesting to find out!

In the sequel to Home Truths, Louise Forster returns to the sleepy country town of Tumble Creek with the story of a cop, a teacher and a mystery that will bring them together—or tear them apart.

Art teacher and occasional life model Sofie Dove wants to know what’s up with Brock Stewart. Everything about the ex SAS soldier turned police officer seems to scream passion—and it’s all for her—but he just won’t express it. All she knows is that he has a past that still keeps him up some nights.

After a semi-trailer crashes through Sofie’s house and the driver disappears into thin air, Brock insists he’s the only one who can keep her safe—but can he, when they can’t seem to trust each other?

While Sofie works on figuring out why this man keeps giving her mixed messages, Brock is determined to find out who’s out to get her—as they both find out why falling in love is a bit like being hit by a truck.

 What did you just finish reading?

I finished Blue Steal Tuesday morning and the ending was spectacularly crazy. Not unbelievable, just a bizarre series of events that bring all the living Holloway relations to the once-grand Empire hotel. I was dying to know where the Petrovsky sapphire necklace was hidden since it never turned up after the “burglary” 50 years before or the previous week when the matching ring was found at the bottom of the dumb waiter shaft. Despite the story that her great-uncle told the police, the truth is revealed and Selina does find the sapphires. Now her sister’s expensive surgery can happen…but Lewis is still looming over her. There were some excellent examples of figurative language sprinkled throughout, especially toward the end. Some were quite comical…as long as it someone else’s situation.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I still have to write up my review of Blue Steal, and I’m sitting at 8% for NetGalley. Continuing on with some summery-looking NG reads. While I probably won’t meet my goal of 50 NG books by the end of the year, I’m thinking I have a good chance of being at 12% by the end of the year. If anyone knows how to remove approved books that you never downloaded, I’d love to know (if that’s even possible). It’s progress!


 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂

Blitz + Giveaway: Beautiful Sacrifice

Beautiful Sacrifice
Ember Raine Winters
(Pride and Honor, #2)
Publication date: April 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Being a cop, I didn’t have any choice, but I really wish I hadn’t got mixed up in this case. My dark past is catching up to me ever since he barreled into my life without a care. It terrifies me that he sees right through me. He could be the one to save me . . . or break me.

It was just a job. Until it wasn’t. By then the sexy little redhead had her claws in me. Now, she’s in my life and I’m lost. How am I supposed to keep the demons from her past from eating her alive? I don’t know, but I will do whatever it takes to make her mine.

Goodreads / Amazon


It happened again. I didn’t think a person could dream when they were that drunk. I was wrong. She let out a blood-curdling scream, and I jumped from my spot on the couch and ran into the bedroom. I was looking around wildly for any possible threat, when I noticed Tasha thrashing and whimpering in the bed.

“Tasha? Tasha!” I bellowed.

I walked over to the bed and brushed the hair from her face and watched as she settled. Walking around the bed, I figured I’d stay and make sure another nightmare didn’t come back. I leaned up against the headboard and watched her sleep for a bit. I was drowning.

I couldn’t believe how much this woman had gotten under my skin. I didn’t like it, but as I sat there looking at her sleep, her scarlet locks framing the pillow, I knew I was done for. I would do anything to protect her, even from herself.

Everyone joked and talked crap about how I reacted in times of stress, but I learned that from living in foster care and on the streets. I became that way after having to not only watch my back, but also watch Kelly’s as well. It did me a great deal of good in the military. I just wished I knew what to do to help Tasha.

“GO, go, go!” I screamed at Kelly as we ran down an alley.

We had a really big ugly dude on our tail. I was pretty sure he was after Kelly. She was a cute little thing, and we had our fair share of big guys trying to take advantage of her.

We ran down the alley and came to a busy street. There were people everywhere so we slowed our pace.

“Do you think we lost him?” she asked with a tremor in her voice.

I wrapped an arm around her and continued down the street. I could tell she was scared. I hated that she came with me. She actually had a decent family this time. Mine had sucked and the guy had tried to hurt me several times.

When I told Kelly what was happening, she insisted that we take off again—she was a persistent little thing. Finally I agreed after the guy punched me in the face, blackening my eye.

“I don’t know, Tink,” I sighed and hugged her closer.

A moment later she was ripped from my arm and I turned around to see Big Ugly with his meaty paw wrapped around her biceps. She squealed in pain and was thrashing against him. I saw red.

“Let her go!” I raged and stepped forward.

He laughed then. The sound grated on my already fried nerves. I was looking around. It wasn’t good to cause a scene in the middle of a busy street. If someone called the cops, we would be going back to foster care.

It didn’t matter that the guy was roughly pulling Kelly down a sidestreet, struggling all the while. I walked up behind him and punched him in the back of the head as hard as I could.

“What the fuck?” he yelled and swung around with a right cross, but I ducked under his arm and plowed into his middle. He got me from behind, and each blow he delivered to my back felt like I was getting hit by a truck, but I refused to let go. Once he had me on the ground, he flipped me over and straddled my waist as he rained blow after blow on my head and chest. I vaguely heard Kelly’s panicked screams. I was covering my face in an attempt to ward off his punches when everything went black.

My eyes shot open as I looked around wildly. I didn’t recognize anything in the room I was sleeping in. After a few minutes, I relaxed when I noticed Tasha asleep in the bed next to me.

I hadn’t even realized that I had fallen asleep sitting up, until Tasha rolled over and moaned.

“Twitch? What are you doing here?” She yawned.

“Sorry, you had a nightmare. I came in to try to calm you. I must have fallen asleep.” I put my legs over the bed and stood up.

“It’s okay, just stop screaming at me,” she groaned.

I chuckled and then I went to the bathroom. Grabbing a bottle of water and aspirin, I walked back to the bed and handed them to her.

“Thanks.” She popped the aspirin in her mouth and downed the bottle of water. “I don’t really remember much of last night. I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable,” she said shyly.

“No worries. I have dealt with many drunk people before. You were fine,” I laughed.

“Ugh,” she groaned. “I let her get to me.”

“I figured that. You okay?” I asked, making sure to lower my voice.

“Yup, I’m here to do a job. That’s all!” She was getting fired up. “I’m not going to let her and her selfish need for my forgiveness get to me.”

“Okay, well, you feeling good enough to get this show on the road then?” I asked.

“Absolutely,” she said sitting up, stopping for a second as if noticing something for the first time and looked at me accusingly.

“Did you undress me?”

“Nope, that was all you,” I chuckled. “Carried you to the bed after you passed out on the sofa, but you woke up and started stripping. I hightailed it out of here as soon as I realized what was happening. I only came back in when I heard your nightmare.”

She looked around, seemingly for the first time, and saw her clothes and shoes sprawled across the floor and shook her head.

“This is why I never drink whiskey,” she sighed dramatically.

“You drank whiskey?” I asked flabbergasted.

“Yeah, and a lot of it.” she replied. “Can you leave so I can get dressed, please?”

“Sure thing.”


Author Bio:

Ember Raine Winters is a new author who just self published her first book. She went to community college to study political science and philosophy. She is currently taking classes to get her BS in business majoring in Sports management. She is an avid reader mostly fantasy and science fiction with a little romance thrown in as well. She loves writing Science Fiction mainly dystopian but is trying her hand in Fantasy as well.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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Blitz + Giveaway: Incense and Peppermints

Incense and Peppermints
Cathrina Constantine
Publication date: March 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties, and a musical revolution, flower power, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations—young and old—into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.

Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.

With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.

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September 1969

The corners of my bedroom had dulled to a muddy gray by the time my brother leaned on, or rather wobbled against, my door. His glassy eyes floated in their sockets. Stoned, again.

“Whatcha doing, Sis?” Stevie, my older brother slurred.

My gaze slipped over his pasty chest, sprinkled with wiry hair, and past his jockeys to his stick-like legs. Did he realize he was only wearing saggy underwear? Normally, I’d say gross and mock him, but only because he normally treated me like a speck of toe scum.

“Nothing much.” I slipped my diary into my sock drawer, away from prying eyes. Our parents weren’t home, and our little sister was asleep in her crib on the other side of my room.

“You need to grow up,” he said. “Here, it’s party time.” Pinched between his thumb and finger, he revealed an ordinary aspirin as if he’d procured the magic solution.

“Uh… I don’t have a headache.”

“Hey, turd. It’s not an aspirin. Stop the nerd act and get with the program. Grow up.”

Our sibling behavior toppled into the belittling and ridiculing stage. Though I figured it was his way of helping me. Yet, staring at the pill, I was interested, but a hootenanny of cymbals clashed inside my head and my sensible side screamed.

You’ll puke! I hate puking. Wasn’t it only last week Stevie was tripping and heaving guts like a water hose?

Shaking my head, I declined his kind and strange offer and tried using simple logic to get rid of him. “Not tonight. Mom and Dad will be home any minute. Go to bed. It’s late.”

“They’ll be so-o plastered. I can’t stand them like that.” Dejected, his shoulders slouched, and his body seemed to deflate. Until he tossed the pill, saying, “Catch.”


Author Bio:

Cathrina Constantine is the Best Selling author of Don’t Forget To Breathe. Her book won Readers’ Favorite International Book Award for 2015 and The Literary Classics Seal of Approval and Literary Classics Gold Award. Her Paranormal Fantasy, Wickedly They Come has been awarded the 5 Star Seal from Reader’s Favorite. Tallas from her dystopian series received Literary Classics Silver Award and Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

Cathrina resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and her cat, Bones. Author @chbbpublishing. Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. When not attached to her computer, she likes to take long walks in the woods with her dogs, drink way too much coffee, and is an avid movie watcher. She loves music and doesn’t need a dance floor to shake a leg.

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Blitz + Giveaway: Ares Road

Ares Road
James L. Weaver
(Jake Caldwell, #2)
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication date: March 2nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Thriller

With his days as a mob enforcer behind him, Jake Caldwell’s trying to go straight.

But it seems his past won’t let him go.

His first job working as a private investigator turns up a teenage girl screaming down a dead man’s cell phone, and Logan, his mentor and the only man with answers, beaten into a coma.

Now Jake’s taking it personally.

The only clues Jake has to unravel the mystery are a Russian with a stolen, silver briefcase and three names: Snell, Parley and Ares. Teaming up with his best friend Bear, the Sheriff of his home town, and an attractive FBI agent, Jake quickly discovers they’re not the only ones looking for the briefcase and its deadly contents.

It’s no longer about seeking revenge.

The thrilling second book in the Jake Caldwell series is a heart-stopping ride that won’t disappoint fans.

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“How do you know, Mr. Logan?” a uniformed cop named Murphy asked Jake while a couple of young paramedics tended to Logan. Murphy had a low forehead and wide-set eyes, and spoke like he’d been dropped on his head multiple times as a child.

“We work together.”

“You a PI, too?”

“Sort of. I was learning the ropes from Jack. Don’t have a license yet.”

Murphy jotted in a notebook. Paramedics wheeled Logan out of the office on a stretcher, and Jake wondered how they would get him down those three flights of narrow stairs. A rail-thin, black detective with a shaved head and a cheap, tan suit slipped into the room. His polar opposite partner squeezed through the door, red faced with beads of sweat rolling down his jowls from the three-flight climb. The fat one was as tall as he was wide and waddled into Logan’s office. The bald one talked to Murphy, took some notes, and turned to Jake.

“I’m Detective Ogio. You know Jack Logan long, Mr. Caldwell?”

“Three years,” Jake answered. “We were supposed to meet tonight.”

“To do what?”

The detective waited with raised eyebrows for an answer. Ogio’s acorn eyes were hooded, giving him a sleepy look, but there was light there. The guy wasn’t stupid. He was suspicious of Jake, which pissed him off because he’d given them no reason to be suspicious. Plus, Jake couldn’t tell the cop the truth because it would start a whole line of questions he didn’t want to answer. He had to stonewall them.

“We were going out to dinner,” Jake lied.


“Does it matter?”

“It does if I’m asking the question.”

“I didn’t do this,” Jake said.

“I didn’t say you did. You’re a big guy, though. Six two and what…two hundred twenty pounds?”

“Six three, two thirty. Like that matters. Why would I beat the shit out of him and then call you guys?”

“Like I said, I didn’t say you did. Why are you getting defensive?”

“You think I’m being defensive?” Jake asked.

Ogio’s head ticked to the side. “A little.”

“I’m worried, that’s all. My buddy just got his ass kicked.”

“What were you guys working on?”

Jake shifted, tired of answering these banal questions.

“We were between jobs.”

“Must make it tough to learn the ropes.”

“What ropes?”

Ogio’s thin lips pressed together. “The ones Officer Murphy said you were learning from Mr. Logan.”

“A bit. We done here? I want to go to the hospital.”

“Why do you think Mr. Logan’s office was trashed?”

“Somebody was looking for something.” Jake hoped the detective caught his sarcasm. He laid it on pretty thick.

“You think? Maybe you should be a detective.”

“Maybe you should too.”

Ogio grinned. He clearly had a good nature. “He say anything to you about anyone being after him?”

“He said he did a lot of divorce cases. Maybe someone looked for photos of their cheating wife.”

“Always possible,” the detective said. He handed Jake his card—Thomas Ogio.

“Where are they taking Logan?”

“Truman Medical Center,” Ogio answered, flipping his notebook shut. “You got my number. Call me if you think of anything else. Stay reachable.”

Ogio headed toward Logan’s office to join his partner. Jake strode out the door, down the steps, and out into the early March evening. He stood on the sidewalk wondering what to do. Did Logan meet with his contact that would lead them to Voleski? Did the contact do this to him? Was this about another case? Somebody wanted something up there and it wasn’t divorce photos. What did Logan say? The less you know on this one, the better.

Jake rubbed his hand over the day’s growth on his face. The one person who could answer his questions and give him a direction to go was Logan. Jake jumped in his truck and headed toward Truman Medical Center.


Author Bio:

James L Weaver is the Kansas City author of the Jake Caldwell series featuring IAN Thriller of the Year finalist Poor Boy Road and soon to be released Ares Road from Lakewater Press. He makes his home in Olathe, Kansas with his wife of 19 years and two children. His previous publishing credits include a six part story called “The Nuts” and his 5-star rated debut novel Jack & Diane which is available on Author note: a handful of the raters are actually not related to him.

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Blitz + Giveaway: The Piper’s Price

The Piper’s Price
Audrey Greathouse
(The Neverland Wars #2)
Published by: Clean Reads Publishing
Publication date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult

Peter is plotting his retaliation against the latest bombing. Neverland needs an army, and Peter Pan is certain children will join him once they know what is at stake. The lost boys and girls are planning an invasion in suburbia to recruit, but in order to deliver their message, they will need the help of an old and dangerous associate—the infamous Pied Piper.

Hunting him down will require a spy in in the real world, and Gwen soon finds herself in charge of locating the Piper and cutting an uncertain deal with him. She isn’t sure if Peter trusts her that much, or if he’s just trying to keep her away from him in Neverland. Are they friends, or just allies? But Peter might not even matter now that she’s nearly home and meeting with Jay again.

The Piper isn’t the only one hiding from the adults’ war on magic though, and when Gwen goes back to reality, she’ll have to confront one of Peter’s oldest friends… and one of his earliest enemies.

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They found the forest’s hiking trail moments before breaking the tree line. “Where are we going, Peter?” He was heading toward a mobile home community next to the state park.

He continued to walk with confidence. His usual cocky stride looked surprisingly like the swagger of an ordinary teenage boy. “My friend lives here. Don’t worry. Don’t look like such a stranger here.”

She didn’t want to appear conspicuous, but Gwen was too baffled to help it. The unkempt lawns were boxed in by chain-link fences covered in varying degrees of rust. They passed a lawn littered with bicycles; on the other side of the gravel street, two different cars were parked on the lawn, clearly non-functional. Satellite dishes were on every trailer home. Despite all being painted differently, the track housing still managed to present a uniformity of depressing color.

Multiple houses had motorcycles out front or a dog milling around their yard. When she and Peter passed a pack of Rottweilers, the dogs ran up to the fence and began snarling until all the other dogs in the neighborhood were barking too. “Ignore it,” Peter advised her.

She was scared. This was not the sort of place she ever expected to visit with Peter. She didn’t trust his ability to protect her here. This wasn’t his world, but it wasn’t hers either. They were both out of their element. Peter just didn’t have the sense to realize it.

Winding down the gravel road, Gwen matched Peter’s pace almost step for step. They approached a blue-and-grey house. Like the others, it had wooden latticework around the bottom to help obscure the fact it didn’t have a foundation in the ground. The square house reminded Gwen of how she would take shoeboxes and try to turn them into homes for her dolls by decorating them. It was hard to fathom that she was walking up the plastic steps of the porch to knock on the door.

She waited, feeling her heartbeat in her throat, her toes, and everywhere besides her chest. Even the predictable noise of the door opening startled her.

A woman with a long, black braid and beige cardigan stood in the doorway. Gwen looked up at her, and then watched as the sharp features of her dark face dissolved into unadulterated shock.


The startled woman ushered them in. She was just as uncomfortable with their presence in the trailer park as Gwen. Once inside, they stood in a living room full of old furniture, facing a kitchen with old electric appliances. There was no unity or romance to the orange recliner, chipped mixing bowl, off-white blender, dull toaster, and sunken couch. It was a bunch of old stuff that looked like it represented several decades of objects abandoned at Goodwill. The chingadera and bric-a-brac wasn’t any more cohesive: porcelain angles, an antique pot, a vase full of bird feathers, and a stopped clock made the place confusing and strange in the same way her grandmother’s house had been.

“What are you doing here?” she hissed, pulling her cardigan close and tossing her thick braid over her shoulder and out of her way. She had a shapeless housedress underneath the beige sweater, and a pair of black leggings insulating her legs as she stomped around, heavy-footed in her leather slippers. She looked comfortable, except for the unexpected guests who were putting her so ill at ease. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“I need your help,” Peter said.

“They’re still keeping tabs on me.”

“That’s why I came in disguise.”

“You’re being irresponsible. You’re jeopardizing us both, and Neverland to boot.”

“I took all the right precautions. This is important.” Hollyhock and Foxglove wrestled their way out of the pixie purse and came twinkling out now that they knew they were safely inside.

“You brought fairies here?” she exclaimed. She leaned down and grabbed a hold of his arm, forcing him to look her dead in her dark eyes. Gwen wanted to leave. This wasn’t a friend, not anymore. This was a grown-up, and unlike Antoine the aviator, she was not amused with Peter’s wartime antics.

“What happens if they figure it out and come to question me?”

Peter scoffed. “You won’t tell them.”

“What if they threaten to arrest me? They could put me away forever until I told them what they needed to know, and nobody here would stop them.”
Peter broke free of her hold with ease; she wasn’t actually trying to restrain him. “Preposterous,” he declared. “If they did that, you would sit, stone-faced and silent in your cell until they all died.”

“What if they beat me?”

“You’d take the blows as though you were made of rock, and you would not speak.” Peter seemed to disregard the question.

“What if they tortured me and stuck blades under my nails?” she demanded.

“Then you would not even scream, but stay silent as a stone!” Peter insisted, hopping up onto a wooden kitchen chair at her dining table, looking down at the woman.

“What if they bring knives and cut off my fingers, one at a time, until I told them how to find you?”

Peter yelled right back, “Then you would steal their knives and scalp them all like the redskin princess you are!”

Her anger slunk off her face and out of her shoulders. She shook her head, frowning as a sad laugh escaped her. She clung to her sweater, blinking back tears, until, at last, she flung her arms around Peter. Still on the chair, he had to bend down to return the embrace.

“Oh, Peter,” she muttered, unaware of the tears slipping off her smiling face. “Oh, Peter.”

“It’s good to see you, Tiger Lily.”


Author Bio:

Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University’s online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot. You can find her at

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