Blog Tour + $100 Kate Spade GC Giveaway: What's Left of Us - Amanda Maxlyn

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Amanda Maxlyn is excited to share the release of "What's Left of Us", the heartwarming conclusion to What's Left of Me. Make sure to check out the teasers, pick up your copy and enter the $100 Kate Spade Gift Card GIVEAWAY below!

For more fun & giveaways, come join our Facebook Release Party & Blog Tour Event ~ Friday, November 14th

Book Title: What’s Left of Us
Author: Amanda Maxlyn

The heartwarming conclusion to What's Left of Me.

Love found me three years ago.
I’m cancer free, happily married to the love of my life, and working toward my dream career.
Our life is complete. Perfect, really.
Or is it?
I’ve always wanted a family of my own, but never dreamed I could have one. Now Parker’s ready to make my dream our reality.
But sometimes our dreams are haunted by our deepest fears. Fears of failure, having a child, and in our case … death. How do I help the person I love get over his fear when I’m still trying to overcome that same fear myself?
Together we must learn What’s Left of Us.

To Read the Prologue and First Chapter - CLICK HERE


Life works in mysterious ways.

Four years ago I became known as the girl with cancer.
I refuse to cry.
And I refuse to give in.
A relationship with a man is the last thing I’m looking for right now, but one night with Parker changes everything. He is persistent, and he knows what he wants. Me.
He doesn’t treat me like I’m fragile.
But he doesn’t know, and I’m not ready to tell him.
What if it changes everything?
Tragedy found me when I was seventeen.
Love found me when I was twenty-one.
My name is Aundrea McCall, and this is my journey.

I am the mother of two little boys, married to the love of my life, and living in one of the smallest towns in Minnesota. When I’m not chasing or cleaning up after my boys (yes, all three), I can be found writing or snuggled up with my kindle, a glass of wine, and spending time with my fictional friends and family.
I am first and foremost an avid reader! I love to read anything romance from paranormal, young/new adult, contemporary, and even yes, (wide eyes) erotic/BDSM.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: City of Secrets - Aiofe Marie Sheridan

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

“You have been touched by the hands of God.”

City of Secrets - Aiofe Marie Sheridan
Title: City of Secrets
Author: Aoife Marie Sheridan
Publisher: Synerg e-books
Published: December 5, 2013


Sarajane finds herself in the middle of a war… a war over her. While in the City of Secrets, she must learn to use her powers that God gave her to defeat a fallen angel, who wants nothing more than to walk on earth. But will she stop Lucian, the fallen angel in time… even with Tristan and Carew at her side?

A war awaits her arrival.
A warrant for her arrest.
She must rise as a princess,
And Darkness shall fall.

But will their love survive this war?
For Tristan and Sarajane?

Step back into Saskia. 

Purchase Links:

Amazon (Paperback)     |     Amazon UK (Paperback)     |     Synerg Ebooks     |     Barnes & Noble

My thoughts:

This book is as whimsical as the first book, even better.  The continuation of Sarajane's journey to Saskia with a lot of twist and turns, bumps, trials and bittersweet scenes.  It is borderline morbid, though.  The very vivid details of war and abduction, there are times I just want to mute or close my eyes during those part because of how it is depicted that clearly!

I love a story within a story, from the willow in the first book to Suraga in this one?  I am beyond the moon when I read Suraga's story.  I cannot contain how pleased I am that there was a background story about Suraga.  Suraga's story is something I keep on backtracking and looking forward to while reading.  Suraga is a progressing character in this book.  To summarize her story, she took a devil's bargain, and we all know what happens in a bargain with a devil, tricks and deception.  I feel bad for Suraga, I really do but her power, beauty (and beast) and her personality are also things to consider.  I just love how Suraga and Sarajane, the past and the present meet.  A very gripping story within a story that is executed well.  Can you see how I love this part?  Because I really do.

This book has showed different sides.  It has covered betrayal for self-enrichment, which happens most of the time even in the first book. The significance of power and death.  There are a lot more but these three reflect the book so much.  The greed of people to benefit themselves, to take such means just to have an advantage for themselves.  What great power a person can behold and how great is the responsibility in its return.  Lastly, death, and in a way grief.  It has its complexity to make someone numb and go crazy to do things to save someone, or it can uplift you to go through your mission.  In all these three, it has made an impact on me because it also shows reality, these things are also what happens in real life and I am pleased to know that even in this fantasy with all the war is happening there is a moral that keeps on attaching this book with reality.  That or I am over-analyzing this book, LOL.

Carew.  This guy is someone whom I unexpectedly fell in love with.  I can sum up what is this about this guy.  He is an exile, he is a good person but needed to do something to save himself and take revenge for his family.  His intentions justifies what he has done but it still does not mean it is acceptable.  Let's not dwell on that because Carew is such a refreshing character to me.  He is the guard in this book.  He is Sarajane's guard and I love how he is strong, witty and selfless.  He is still an enigma and I savor his rare smiles (and hugs).  *coughs Can I have some too? coughs*  I think it is impossible not to be touched by this guy, he has a lot of baggage but his story also shows how he is as a person and my goodness, he is a good guy.

Having met Carew, I thought this story will have a love triangle, but it does not.  I can see how Sarajane is very loyal to Tristan and will never reciprocate anything to Carew (maybe just the concern for his and Mei's safety).  She is just confused what is Carew's position.  Why is it always Carew that shows up? that saves her?  It is still a question for me but I would like to believe that Carew is Sarajane's guardian of sorts.  Or since Tristan is taken, he can be mine *wink wink.*  Kidding aside, Sarajane, Carew and Tristan make me remember The Selection Series by Kiera Cass.  The Prince and the Guard.  They are like these characters in a sense but in a more fantasy-way.

I want to tell you how much I am very much in love with Tristan!  But I will leave the swooning aside because the romance in this book is too overwhelming.  Amidst the war, Sarajane and Tristan's romance is stronger.  It shows that they do have arguments like a real couple and how they have a love bubble themselves.  I am still flailing here!

I am ecstatic that the author was able to keep up with the standard she put on this sequel.  She has manipulated her characters very well, she has created a climax and has put a reader in a conundrum in a very timed way.  I can swoon over this book again and again, as much as I feel like she left me in a cliff-hanger, I will say I am still satisfied because normally a second book in a trilogy can be very boring and dragging but this one steps-up, City of Secrets opened up secrets and has made me delve into their world in a very invigorating way.  City of Secrets has been a whirlwind journey, it has answered some questions, developed new ones and it has that feeling of progression, the story continues.

I need the last book, ASAP! #TristanSarajane!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Author Bio:
Aoife Maire Sheridan is twenty eight years of age. She lives in Kells, Co. Meath, a small town just outside Navan. Aoife was raised in Navan but left with her family at the age of sixteen. Aoife has always had a passion for writing but mostly poetry. This is her first time to write a novel.

Aoife Marie Sheridan studied Accountancy and qualified as an accountant technician. She worked in this profession for several years but with the economic downturn she was made redundant.

Aoife Marie Sheridan now works in retail as well as spending endless hours reading and writing.

Author Links:
Website     |     Blog     |     Goodreads
 Twitter     |     Facebook     |     Pinterest

-     Jassie

Blog Tour + Giveaway: More Than Forever - Jay McLean

Friday, July 25, 2014

More Than Forever - Jay McLean
Title: More Than Forever 
Author: Jay McLean 
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: July 12, 2014

There is a love so fierce it cannot be measured. 
A heart so strong it will never slow. 
There is a promise so sure it can never lie.
He promised me that love forever.
Even when it wasn't enough.

Forever. Everlasting. Eternal.
There is no measure of time. 
No sounds of the ticking of a clock. 
Just the rising and falling of the sun.
And our own sense of forever. 

But our forever isn't always.

More Than Forever Goodreads Link

Purchase Links:
Amazon     |     iBooks     |     Barnes & Noble     |      Kobo

My Thoughts:

I’m pretty biased because my all-time favorite ‘More’ book is Logan’s. I think that was because I was able to really delve more on Logan’s and Amanda’s minds and it was a two-part book.  The given is that I love Logan, that’s it. But there was one thing I missed, and that was… I haven’t read Cam’s and Lucy’s yet.

By the end of the Logan’s book, the epilogue was Cam’s. I knew I needed to prepare for his and Lucy’s story. I had my expectations for this book – my anticipation just raised the bar and my hopes? Let’s say I just know it was going to be good but au contraire, it was better than what I had hoped for.

If I were to summarize Cam and Lucy’s story,
the best description I can think of is:
a story of firsts and forever.

I love it. I love it overall – the story line, the sequence, the climax, the gist and mostly the characters. Everything came into place. It was imperfectly and beautifully written. I had nothing negative to say. The author was able to make this novel better than her previous ones. It seems like Jay McLean was getting better in every book. So again, I love it. I love that the familiarity of the book did not waver, that it was still connected to the prior books without distancing it from what I knew about Lucy and Cameron. Truth be told, it felt nostalgic to be able to read the past, present and future of this couple, Lucy and Cam. Cam and Lucy was a couple that was bound and will forever be bound by love.

It will not be an emotionally-charged book without its drama. I say, yes, it was filled with these moments. Moments that I savor. Through tragedy and humor, through love and hate, I was suck into the story. Of course, the humor, that was the stereotype I had dubbed with Lucy. Lucy would not be Lucy with her antics and love for romance. It was more than that. Lucy had the worst that I could have ever imagined but thank you, Cameron. Cameron who was the perfect guy, an ultimate book husband (yes, he is the forever-type). I love Cam and Lucy’s chemistry, it was not forced. I knew that both have the spark within them. It was about Lucy, it was about Cam, and it was also about them.

As usual, I would say the author, Jay McLean, has a knack for dramas. Again, it would not be complete without having something tragic, not only on Lucy’s Mom but something that had happened between Cam and Lucy. Their relationship was put to the test and I was literally almost-ripping my pillow out of comfort. What happened was something that didn’t cross my mind. I was so engrossed with each scene that thinking and imagining beyond what was in the page was overlooked. I got frustrated, I swooned, I got infuriated, and then I was overjoyed. All these emotions and feelings took over me. It was amazing how the author was able to control my emotion but still make me delve deeper with the story. The author created a persona on each character. A real one. Each character felt real, every smile and tear seemed like a real person breakdown in front of you. When they got hurt, I did too. I felt each part. I felt for each character.

Then there was Cam. Cam was there before Lucy had even noticed him. Cam was there and every time, he proved himself worthy for Lucy. Lucy was a stubborn but fragile woman. She was a joy and a pain. A pain to watch as I read her part yet a joy because she was a person who loves to escape with books and her humor when she was drunk. There were so many great things about this woman and I could not say more without giving away the story. And Cam, this very loving, caring and passionate man plus a man that excels in drawings, his imaginations that were something I could personally be proud of, humble and *swoon* this man’s mind works and how his heart feels were just overwhelming. Cameron was (and will forever be) a man that you cannot ‘not’ fall in love with.

This book has dealt with my favorite topics, aside from romance, family and friendship. It was so worth it to have a good set of friends and a supportive family. They were not a picture perfect friends or family but what they all had been through with the couple was something amazing. I personally love the part between Cam and Mark – he was the Dad that Cam knows – I was such a sap at that part. There were times that there were misunderstandings, which were normal in everyday life but they make it right. Sometimes these misunderstandings create a taint in the relationship but it either make them walk away or to stay; stronger or weaker. Even in its complexity, I treasured those parts. The depiction for family and friends were real – something anyone can relate to.

There were moments that I linked myself to Lucy. Recently, my Aunt passed away with cancer. I had read the book and I felt what Lucy was feeling. I think about how bad was it that I even think of ‘What if God will just end her suffering?’ Does it make me a bad person for thinking it? Then when my aunt passed away, was it “really” better? I did have my doubts but I learnt to accept it. So in that moment, I would say, I was sheltered by the guilt of Lucy and was comforted with the words of Cameron. For that, thank you. On another note, let’s just say that my name is Jasmine and I have an AKA partner with the name Cameron Aladdin. *wink wink*

In the end, ‘More Than Forever’ made me ‘feel’. That was the most apt, best and understated word I could think of. The ‘More’ series could also be described as that but ‘More Than Forever’ encompassed the realness of one, true and only love. It portrayed the imperfections and realness of love, and to feel each hurt and bliss of falling and being in love. So cheers to ‘More Than Forever’, cheers for making me a sap and feel that romance and forever is true and still within reach.

Rating: 4.5 – 5 out of 5.



"I hate that guy," Logan jerks his head toward Jake and a new kid.

"The new kid? Dylan?"

He nods. "He thinks he owns the school."

"Really?" I glare over at them. "Apparently he kills it on the basketball court, but I dunno." I shrug. "He hasn't said two words to me. He seems quiet."

"Those are the ones you have to worry about, Cam. The quiet broody assholes get all the girls. Better watch him around that new girl of yours."

I play dumb. "What new girl?"

"Shut up, asshole. You don't think I notice you watching her all the fucking time?"

I lift my chin. "I think if there's an asshole in this entire school to watch out for, it's you."

He laughs and adjusts his cap. "You don't need to worry about me. I'm not into stealing my friend's girls." He shoves his hand in his catcher's glove and smacks my arm with it. "Say the word. Claim her. I promise to stay away and I'll make sure she's untouchable to everyone else."

"I'm not an asshole and she isn't property. I can't own her."

"If that's what you want." He raises an eyebrow. "She's cute. In a couple years she'll be hot. Guys will be all over her. I'm just trying to help out." 

I think about what he's saying, and he makes a good point. Only he's wrong—she's hot now. "Fine. I claim her. She's mine."

His smirk is instant. "You can't own someone, you pig. She isn't property."

I laugh. "Fuck you."

Jake struts over to us. "Ya reckon that new kid Dylan can hang out with us this arvo? He seems like a top bloke."

Logan's gaze moves to me, confusion clear on his face. 

I shrug. He lets out a chuckle before gripping both of  Jake's shoulders and shaking him gently. He looks him  right in the eye, speaking slowly and clearly. "I have no idea what the fuck you just said."
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The More Series:

More Than This, #1


In one night my fairytale ended. Or it may have begun. This is my story of friendship and love, heartbreak and desire, and the strength to show weakness. 


One night I met a girl. A sad and broken girl, but one more beautiful than any other. She laughed through her sadness, while I loved through her heartbreak. 

*This is our story of a maybe ever after.* 

He was right. It made no difference whether it was 6 months or 6 years. 

I couldn’t undo what had been done. I couldn’t change the future. 
I couldn’t even predict it. 

It was one night. 
One night when everything changed. 

It was so much more than just the betrayal.
It was the Tragedy. 

The Deaths. 
The Murders. 
But it was also that feeling. 
The feeling of falling.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US     |     Amazon UK     |     iBooks     |     Barnes & Noble

More Than Her, #2

"For every action there is an equal or opposite reaction."

For every choice you make there are rewards, 
or there are consequences.
It was my choice to walk away the first time.
And my choice to chase her the second.
But sometimes you don't get a choice, 
and all you get are the consequences.

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, 
while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Unless that someone is Logan Matthews. 
Because loving him didn't give me 
the strength to walk away.
It didn't give me 
the courage to fight for him.
And when it was over, 
all it gave me was a broken heart.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US     |     Amazon UK     |     iBooks     |     Barnes & Noble

More Than Him, #3

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us." - Marianne Williamson

We live in a world of darkness and shadows,
where monsters hide and aim to ruin.
And they did.
They ruined us and turned our dreams into nightmares.
But now we're back.
And we're fighting.
Not just for us, or for each other, but for our light.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US     |     Amazon UK     |     iBooks     |     Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:
Jay McLean is the author of the More Series, including More Than This, More Than Her, More Than Him and soon to be released, More Than Forever. She also has two standalones coming soon titled The Road, and Combative. Jay is an avid reader, writer, and most of all, procrastinator. When she's not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, or devouring some tacky reality TV show. She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her smile, make her hurt, and make her feel.

Author Links:
You can follow Jay on Instagram and twitter @jaymcleanauthor.
You can also find her on her blog at where you can subscribe to her newsletter and get teasers and updates first hand.
Her Facebook page at or her fan group on Facebook at,
Or you can contact Jay directly at

All her other social media links can be found below.

-     Jassie

Release Day Blitz: Accidentally Married on Purpose - Rachel Harris & Her Secret, His Surprise - Paula Altenburg

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The summer is warming up with two new releases from Bliss this month.

One is our latest Red-Hot Bliss, Her Secret, His Surprise by Paula Altenburg, which throws the bedroom door open.

The second is a traditional Bliss, Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris, which while it's a behind closed doors story it's definitely not lacking in sizzle.  Plus, Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris is on sale!

See below for more details.

Accidentally Married on Purpose - Rachel Harris

About Accidentally Married on Purpose:

One ring plus one wild night equals one crazy love

Sherry Robicheaux loves men. She loves love. And she loves an adventure. So when she meets a mysterious man while working backstage at a country music concert in Vegas, she’s all about what happens in Vegas staying there.

Country music superstar Tyler Blue just wants a weekend of anonymity…though there’s something about the spunky waitress with the streaks of purple hair that tempts him like no other. Until the next morning, when they both wake up with fuzzy memories…and rings on their fingers.

Convincing Sherry to maintain the ruse for his public image isn’t the hardest part—it’s reminding himself that their time spent playing husband and wife in her small town of Magnolia Springs can’t last. Tyler’s first love will always be music—and the road is no place for a sweet downhome girl.

Entangled site:


Add it to Goodreads

 Enter Rachel's giveaway

Her Secret, His Surprise - Paula Altenburg 
About Her Secret, His Surprise:

Conflict of interest is an understatement…

Since being disowned by her strict father, Cass Stone has spent her adulthood trying to prove him wrong. Her drive has led to more success than her family ever thought she’d achieve, and life is looking great. Not even an incredible and mysterious one night stand that leaves her a single mom can trip her up...until the father of her baby stumbles back into her life, as sexy and unreliable as ever.

Logan Alexander hasn’t forgotten the night he spent with Cass two years ago, but he never expects to end up undercover as her assistant. His job saves lives—like it should have saved his brother—and he can’t afford complications. It’s difficult enough to maintain his cover as a carefree wanderer when he realizes his attraction to Cass hasn’t faded...and then he meets Cass’s daughter.

Entangled site:

Add it to Goodreads
Follow the Her Secret, His Surprise Blog Tour

Enter Paula's giveaway


Pick up a copy of Seven Day Fiance this week only for just $.99!

Seven Day Fiance - Rachel Harris
About Seven Day Fiance:

One bad boy. One good girl. One unforgettable week.

Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning him at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little fiancé game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.

Pick up your copy of Seven Day Fiance before it goes back to full price! 
Add it to Goodreads

Blog Tour + 2 Giveaway: How I Fall - Anne Eliot

How I Fall - Anne Eliot
What if the one person you can't stop thinking about... 
...can't stop thinking about you? 

What if during one long day you failed at everything because you met this glitter-crazed new girl who practically ruins your life? Worse, she insists you and your secret crush become best friends—with her?!! Only you don’t have time to be friends with insane people, and you think your crush might need to stay the way it’s always been: Distant. Impossible. In your head. This is because you have problems and secrets a crush would never understand. 

But what if the three of you wind up assigned to a group photography project, and rumors are already circling about the new girl being ridiculous? You know she’s nice but alone, so you convince your crush to help protect the new girl. Working on the project suddenly makes hanging out, texting, talking—and even high school—seem completely normal when it’s anything but. 

What if you fall for each other just enough to kiss…and it’s perfect? You tell secrets and make the kind of promises that might be impossible to keep when you’re only sixteen. Which is why, long before it all falls apart, you already knew nothing this beautiful could have been meant to be yours for long. 

But what if… 

Purchase Links:
Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts:
Fate, pixie dust, Thumbelina, Luna Lovegood, Captain America.
Did that catch you attention? Well, better grab ‘How I Fall’ and you’ll get more of that.
“I fall. I just do.”

Based on the summary above, that's what this book's about. Ellen and Cam. They both like each other but they don’t jump into it. Ellen has a CP and half of her body cannot function; Cam is the QB, rich and of course, Mr. Popular. They will work on a group project (together with Ms. Pixie – Laura; and Ellen’s protect-slash-best friend, Patrick) which will make these characters learn about each other and learn how they are the same. But not everyone agrees with them, to cut the chase, Cam’s parents and most of the people in their school didn’t like this pair. These couple faced such obstacles that I never imagined a sixteen year old could take. This book would be an adventure that will surely leave you with a high (or low) emotional rollercoaster hangover.

The author, Anne Eliot, has done it again. I have fallen in love with her quirks, writing and mostly, the emotions she managed to bring out from her words. I first fell in love with her Unmaking of Hunter Kennedy, wherein I became a total fangirl of hers. Hunter’s book was borrow by my friend and will be borrowed by several more (I hope my copy wouldn’t be tattered soon). The thing about Anne’s writings are that she makes a story about the things often overlooked around us – the people that are somehow considered an outcast. These characters never fails to give a spotlight to who they are, may they be depressed, has CP or even just that dorky teen out there; Anne makes a reader understand and read the character as a human with emotions and feelings. I really love how Anne was able to portray her characters with issues but manage to make a reader feel that even if they lack or exceed with something, they can still be normal. To be honest, normal depends on a person – a rebel is a normal to one rebel; a conservative person is normal to the same; and so forth.

Those rantings aside, I’ll dwell on the book now. Anne Eliot, as usual, never ceases to amaze me to make me feel with her books. In this one, it made me feel like a High School student all over again! She made me swoon yet again, unleash my romantic YA-side. It really feels nostalgic to read this book because I remember the feeling back in HS. The flutters never wavered and this book just amps up that level.

“That’s when I decide there might be no better kisses
than the ones that happen when you’re
laughing all the way into each other’s hearts.”

Ellen likes Cam. Cam likes Ellen. These two were so adorable. I love the alternate POVs, as usual it helped a lot in unraveling the thoughts of our dear characters. I love the TV and movie show references, I could feel their age group, kudos Anne! It was such a pleasure reading their internal monologue, most especially Ellen’s pep talk. I had such a laugh with it. I love how real her thoughts were. I enjoyed every bit. I feel the pain when she thought about it. I swoon when she does. These two were sweet but not borderline cheesy. The couple portrayed teen romance starting from crushes but with something more.

I love the photography part in this book. I love the creativity and the spot-on details on how the author depicted every each photograph. The enthusiasm and feelings in the photos represented the character’s emotions. Excuse my pun, but the book focused and zoomed in with the finer details of the story. The two adorable couples and their maturity with their love, absolutely amazing.

Of course my favorite part, my ultimate favorite with regard to Anne’s books is how she depicts first kisses. Vivid and emotionally-charged. I would say my favorite was Hunter’s (I am pretty bias with this book so forgive me) but Cam’s and Ellen’s? It was wonderful, sweet and in that spur-of-the-moment thing. You know what they say: the best things are the ones you didn’t expect. I literally felt the butterflies in my stomach. I was squealing like a teen all over again! *swoons*

More on the love, I love the cover. It was so YA (even the sequel was perfect).  Also, I love the main characters! I love Cam, Ellen, Laura, Patrick, Ellen’s Mom and Nash (Ellen’s PT and somehow Daddy-figure). These characters made up the story stable. I love how Anne Eliot was able to connect the characters without it being too overdone. The book dealt not only with the romance aspect but showcased the different relationship – friendship, romance and family. Though Cam’s family was despicable (so as Cam’s friends – mostly that freaking Tanner), Ellen’s family and friends made up for it. I wouldn’t dwell much on Cam’s family but I’ll say this, Cam’s showed a controlling, degrading, materialistic and power-consumed family. I was glad Cam was nothing like them. This goes to show that it still depends on the person if he or she chooses to become someone like his or her parents. Moving on, I love Ellen’s family, as much as I her real dad was a loser for leaving them because Ellen was diagnosed with CP; I love the firm love Ellen’s Mom has and Nash’s support. This was a family with a support system, they were judged from the outside but a very intact, loving and caring one on the inside. Meanwhile, Patrick and Laura were the best of friends you could imagine; these two could never ever ditch you. These were real friends that will be backing you up until the end. They proved it, through and through. As for Cam and Ellen’s? Theirs were the toughest one, I wouldn’t spill much but they were such tough cookies for a bunch of sixteen. I was astounded by these two. They love. They feel love, they know love… they are in love. Anne Eliot was able to put the spotlight on every each part, all the kinds of relationships were shown without overshadowing the others.

Then this will be the part where it’ll get heavy… this was a book that held so much. I was practically overwhelmed with every emotion. I loved it but at the same time brokenhearted with it. Personally, my feelings were running around. One moment I’d be laughing with the character’s antics, next I would be amazed with the scenario, next I would be swooning over Cam and Ellen, next I would be shaking my head while smiling with both Patrick and Laura, next I would be angry towards Cam’s parents and so-called friends… too much emotions got me but I was glad because I was able to immerse with the book. I felt I was there, if not a voyeur of some sorts. The contradictions and the double entendre, sometimes even the lies, were the things I had the pleasure of being amazed to. These things that were like a mask for the protagonists (both Cam and Ellen), the lies were their protection, a pretension that they need to be in front of the others. Cam was a puppet on his parent’s demands and Ellen was a puppet with her CP (well, sometimes); they both need a front to become strong on the outside. When you pretend most of the time, sometimes you believe that it is the truth. Maybe that was what these characters were doing, if they held on much more maybe it will become their truth? That if they hope much more, Cam may like football in the end or maybe Ellen’s CP might be gone? Mostly, maybe if they pretend that all will be well, they relationship will be too. I think I’m being dramatic over here. There were tons of thing in my mind while I was writing this and I don’t even think if it’s still coherent or something… I’ll just continue.

“That stupid kid – the kid that sadly, is still a part of you –
somehow hold you back
from the adult you are trying so hard to become.”
Such hypocrites. Cam’s parents, I do pertain. They were so judgmental and all those sickening things. They were helping Ellen with her treatments but to be with her was something unacceptable. They were helping for show. That was just horrid. I couldn’t fathom the parts where these parents were included. They were just so wrong.

I felt sorry for both Ellen and Cam. Because they do love each other but they really are young. But it was real, right? Well for me it was. I admire the persistence of Ellen, I do hope that Cam would realize it too. Their age hinders them, it was true that they were sixteen, “suddenly old enough but you’re still a kid”.

It made me feel a lot of things. It made me realize that these characters were sixteen but they held such maturity at their age. They wanted to defy the odds but the reality creeps back at them. They knew what and when to believe. They started and learned how to sacrifice at a young age. Young love. I hope they’ll prove the others wrong. They’re ‘it’ for each other.

“But there was nothing cute or great or romantic about this.
This was me, somehow saving him.
This was him, dying in front of me.”

No worries, no character death. Ellen was just saying a metaphor about ‘dying’. However, one thing that shocked me about this book was its drama. I experienced the drama before with Hunter but this one was another level. It doesn’t just cover the protagonist’s parent but parents. This was sort of a star-crossed lover’s story. I didn’t expect it to be heavy towards the end. I felt every harsh word given to them. How they were being broken-up and how adamant they were.

This is the first time that Anne made a two-part book. I really thought it was a standalone so to have the “to be continued” in it. I was screaming: “I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW!” I wonder what’ll happen next.

When you read the book, there was this line:
“A wheelchair is the only worse thing I can think of.”
After reading the book, a reader would feel what it means for Cam after what happened. And if there were words I can depict Ellen with, those are: patient, courageous and optimistic. This girl was such a darling sunshine and I couldn’t ask for a better heroine for this book than her.

I wouldn’t sugarcoat the ending but it was in a way it was angst. It left room for more. The ending held so much heaviness in it. I was expecting it but reading the part itself was both maddening and heart-wrenching. I hurt at what Cam wrote and did but there was a nagging feeling at the back of my head that he must’ve said that because he was still protecting Ellen. Or his personal demons got the best of him. Nevertheless, I thank the author, Anne Eliot, for the Book 2 preview. It helped me and made me still believe about Ellen and Cam’s feelings.

Rating: 4.5 – 5 out of 5.

PS. Anne Eliot, I must say, our school colors are: black – gold (yellow) – white. Not only that, our ‘mascot’ is a tiger. What a coincidence!

(1) Signed book
(1) ebook copy

Signed book:
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Inspiration for the Story:

The character of Ellen Foster is fictional, but her Cerebral Palsy symptoms and hemiparesis/balance issues loosely match what an amazing teen (and I girl I’m proud to call my friend) named Allison Winn, faces every single day. Her condition was not brought on by CP, but was brought about due to complications Allison suffered after the removal of a childhood brain tumor which resulted in side effects that will be with her for the rest of her life. 

Despite all that sadness, with the help of her mom, Dianna, dad Brian, the patience of her sister, Emily, and the inspiration from a tiny rescued dog named Coco, Allison was inspired to help other kids by baking dog biscuits (thousands of them) so she could raise money to help other kids like her. These biscuits were hand sold by Allison for months (and now years) so other sick kids and sad families could afford to adopt a fully trained dog from a very special program into their lives. 

At age nine, Allison’s goal was to raise enough money so one special trained dog could be placed with a kid who had life threatening issues. She met that goal, and that same year adopted out 10 dogs with the sales of her dog treats! Now she’s fourteen and her project has a name: The Stinkbug Project. Stinkbug has now adopted out 40+ dogs to kids who live around the Rocky Mountain Region all because Allison never gives up baking. Now so many people help to raise awareness while others donate baking and packaging supplies and volunteer to help Allison bake and sell the treats.

This girl, who soon will be an amazing woman, is now cancer free but she still works tirelessly at baking and selling biscuits for what has become a thriving community charity effort. The trained dogs are all rescued dogs who come from the very special, Colorado based, K-9 correctional dog training program. Adoptions and applications for a dog are now handled via the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. More information about The Stinkbug Project, Allison, and RMHF can be found at: 
Every year, a donation will be sent by me to support this amazing project, and at all book signings I will be accepting donations on behalf of this wonderful project and donating them to Allison’s efforts as well.

Author Bio:
Anne Eliot writes sweet, first-love stories. She was raised in the mountains of Colorado, but says she really learned about life, love and friendships from summers spent with her large, Italian immigrant family in Ontario, Canada. 

Anne is grateful to have had schools with inspiring teachers and librarians who directed her to worlds she would not have found on her own. To this day, she adores school visits, teaching writing to teens, and is dedicated to making sure kids in need have access to books that will fuel their hopes and dreams. 

While growing up, Anne hid her own anxieties by hiding and reading book after book. She developed an addiction to first love, first kisses and her favorite: the happy-ever-after story. This is what she writes today. Now she's a mom of two and happily married to her own first love. Anne works hard to juggle being a wife and parent while writing, but fails at cooking because she is still trying to read book, after book of love stories on the side. 

Anne Eliot’s first book, Almost, became a top 100 best selling Kindle book, and was a Readers Choice, Top 12 of 2012 book for at #11, and will be translated and released in Germany and Turkey fall 2013. Her second book, Unmaking Hunter Kennedy, is a also a Kindle, top 100 best selling book in Teen Romance for 2013. She's hard at work on her third novel, another sweet teen romance releasing fall/winter, 2013. She loves to hear from readers. Please look for her on Facebook or tweet her @yaromance. 

Author Links:

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-     Jassie