ARC Book Review: Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen!

Life Unaware
by Cole Gibson
Release Date: April 28th 2015
Published: Entangled Teen
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Regan Flay has been talking about you. 

Regan Flay is on the cusp of achieving her control-freak mother's "plan" for high school success―cheerleading, student council, the Honor Society—until her life gets turned horribly, horribly upside down. Every bitchy text. Every bitchy email. Every lie, manipulation, and insult she's ever said have been printed out and taped to all the lockers in school.

Now Regan has gone from popular princess to total pariah.

The only person who even speaks to her is her former best friend's hot but socially miscreant brother, Nolan Letner. Nolan thinks he knows what Regan's going through, but what nobody knows is that Regan isn't really Little Miss Perfect. In fact, she's barely holding it together under her mom's pressure. But the consequences of Regan's fall from grace are only just beginning. Once the chain reaction starts, no one will remain untouched...

Especially Regan Flay.
“I had no idea that I was…destroying people.”

When I start reading, I usually don’t look at the synopsis nor remember what it says. I’m just forgetful. Imagine my surprise when the heroine is a real bully. Not just a popular girl who does nothing to stop her friends from bullying everyone else. It’s actually a story about the perspective of a bully and the bullied.

Regan Flay is a popular teen in her high school. She’s working hard to get in the cheerleading squad and to win as a student council. All of those things aren’t what she wants, but what she needs to do because of her Mother’s plans for her and also for her Mother’s political campaign. While being pressured into achieving the best, she also needs to deal with her anxiety attacks. She’s composed on the outside – which she learned from her mother – and chaotic on the inside.

The story was detailed on how all the things she tried to build and achieve came crumbling down on top of her. Regan’s feelings when everyone turned on her was greatly shown. One day, from a likable person, the next she became the hated. Texts, emails and every single mean word she typed and said was plastered all over the lockers. With all the cyber bullying, she actually thought of taking her pills and killing herself.

But amidst all the nasty looks and words thrown at her, she found a friend. His name was Nolan. Well, it was annoying at first since he was always holding a camera that I found so annoying. Lol. Little did I know how I would swoon at his persistence as the story progressed. He was there when she crumbled. He was just there for her. Even her best friend Payton was nowhere to be found.

I found the book enlightening. It’s never easy being bullied. I, myself, experienced this. But here in this book, we actually tried to solve it. Not just something that was a norm in the society, but bullying is viewed as a problem we need to fix. For the first time in my reading history, I somehow understood bullies. That for every person we meet every day, we have to be nice because we don’t know what they’re going through. We don’t know their story.

From what I’ve said earlier, I experienced bullying in my teenage life. What this book taught me is to break free with what usually society tells you what’s normal and be kind to one another. Revenge isn’t going to change anything but just makes it worse.

Aside from the social issues plaguing today’s society, I also loved Regan’s character. She wasn’t a total bitch or a weakling. She can stand on her own despite her problems. She also didn’t turn blind or deaf when she was developing feelings with the MC Hero. Over-all, I loved her.

The title was so fitting with the story. Regan’s character felt real and flawed. Life Unaware tackles eating disorders, mental illnesses and coming out. It caught the core of bullying and what we can do about it.
I love writing, day-old chinese food, and my nail polish is always chipped. My YA novel, KATANA, will be released, spring 2012 by Flux. You can check out my website at Word to your mother. (But seriously, you should call her. She worries.) 

Book Blitz: Nearly Almost Somebody by Caroline Batten

Nearly Almost Somebody by Caroline Batten
Publication date: March 26th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance



She’s nearly perfect – He’s almost the one

When Patrick’s caught in flagrante with a local beauty queen, his father delivers an ultimatum: one more newspaper scandal and Patrick will be out on his ear. Desperate not to lose his job at the family veterinary practice,
Patrick needs to avoid trouble – and girls like Libby.

The Broken Ballerina’s a headline waiting to happen, but mourning her short-lived career as a dancer, Libby casts a Wiccan spell to summon a new love: Good-looking, honest, non-brown eyes, English, good with animals… in a nutshell, she summons Patrick.

But fighting Libby’s love spell will be the least of Patrick’s problems when an old lady dies from a ketamine overdose – ketamine stole from his surgery.

Witchcraft, Scandal, Murder...

Will anyone find their perfect Somebody?

Goodreads: Purchase:

Caroline Batten - The Interview

Caroline is the author of #Forfeit and Nearly Almost Somebody, contemporary romances she likes to call “Chick Lit with Edge” – forget shoe-shopping and cupcakes, expect binge drinking, eating disorders and Class A drug-taking.

#Forfeit is the sordid tale of five friends who play a game of increasingly dangerous dares. Nearly Almost Somebody is filled with Wiccan love spells, murder and local scandal. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere I can. Music, films, the Antiques Roadshow.

Totes. It’s where I saw the antique forfeit ball that Daisy rolls in the book.

Tell us your usual writing routine.
I work full-time, we have a 6 year-old daughter and we’re renovating an old farmhouse - writing routine, you say? Lol. There isn’t one. When I’m in the zone, I’ll write whenever and wherever I can, but when I’m not... life does get in the way.   

Life? How much time do you spend procrastinating on Facebook?
Yeah. That.

Do you have a favourite snack when you are in your writing zone?
Does Prosecco with a sliced strawberry in count as a snack?

What was the first book you remember reading and enjoying?
Without a doubt, Jill’s Gymkhana by Ruby Ferguson.

Did you have a favourite literary hero/heroine as a child?
That would be the Jill with the gymkhana. The girl was a superstar. Practical, witty, sharp, utterly dismissive of all things soppy - including her own mother’s nauseating Enid Blyton style books. She dreamed of becoming the first female MFH and so introduced me at the tender age of nine to equality and sex discrimination. And she beats the rich girl in the gymkhana. Hurrah.  

What's the wine in that glass?
Er... Prosecco. Obvs. 

Have you ever given up on a manuscript because it just wasn't working?
No. A few times people told me to put Forfeit in a drawer and move on, but I couldn’t. I loved Daisy and Xander too much to give up on them and the story.

Do your sex scenes make you horny?
*Blushes* A wise friend once told me to write books that I wanted to read because chances are someone else would want to read them too. Another wise friend, Kitty French told me to write sex scenes as though no one would ever read them. Put the two together...

Zoe’s a bit of a loose-moralled minx–
She’s great, right? I loved writing her scenes.

Will we see more of her in your next book?
You’re not the first person to ask that.

No. Sorry.

What can your readers look forward to?
Afterglow should be out later this year. It’s about backpackers getting up to no good in Bondi Beach.

You said, ‘should be.’ Does that mean you’re not in the zone yet?
*Is watching cat videos on Facebook* Sorry, what?

You went to a Book Signing earlier this year. Are you planning any more?
Yes. Dublin and Birmingham this July, then Aberdeen in August. Oh, and Dublin again in 2016.

Is there any of that Prosecco left?
Yes. But I’m not sharing. :p

Any advice for aspiring authors?
Drink less.
Caroline lives in the Lake District with her husband, small child and two Kune Kune pigs.

She daydreams of one day owning a pair of Louboutin's and having somewhere fabulous to wear them. Until then, she'll be found plodding up a mountain in her trusty hiking boots.

#forfeit is Caroline's debut novel. Her follow up, Nearly Almost Somebody is also available from Amazon.

Author Links:

Release Week Launch: 99 DAYS by Katie Cotugno!

It's finally here! We are beyond excited to bring you the Release Week Launch for Katie Cotugno's 99 Days!!! Did you enjoy How To Love? Then grab your copy of Katie's latest novel today!

by Katie Cotugno
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.
Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.

Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is due out from Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013.

The great loves of Katie's life include child's pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston (and in sin) with her boyfriend, Tom.


The Tour by Shelby Rebecca BOOK BLITZ!

The Tour by Shelby Rebecca
(Phoenix Rising #2)
Publication date: April 20th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Mia, the saint
Kolton, the sinner
The Tour is the conclusion to The Stage: a Phoenix Rising Novel
After the finale of The Stage, Mia comes to terms with where she’s placed in the competition. But that night, Kolton and Mia come face-to-face with both of their biggest fears: fire and loss. Not everyone will survive, and the challenges that their relationship cause won’t end when the show does.
Kolton needs Mia’s trust, and he’ll do anything to get it—even exposing himself and what makes him vulnerable. He’ll do anything to keep her.  Knowing the choice is hers to make doesn’t make it any easier. The secret about the night of the finale, about the choices made in a moment of survival can’t stay hidden when a celebrity’s life is fodder for the masses.
In the midst of this chaos and loss, Mia has to balance her love for Kolton and the future of her career. Will she sign with him, letting him be her boss with control over her future? Or will she go out on her own, with a sup par record contract so that she stands on her own equal to Kolton in her own right?
When there are so many questions and decisions to be made, going on tour could either make things clearer or make all the weaknesses in their relationship pull to the surface. Those fissures either get stronger, or break so permanently nothing can repair them.
When loves burns so bright, is it sustainable?


The Tour: A Phoenix Rising Novel, book 2, excerpt from Chapter 9. Copyright (C), Shelby Rebecca. All rights reserved. This excerpt is meant for readers 18 + due to adult language and sexual content. 

My breath comes out in puffs, and I watch it because it’s the only diverting thing I can do while I pout outside. I’m shivering but I’m not going in the house, not yet. My plan is to remain stubborn until I can’t take it any longer then I’m going to sleep on the floor in Riley and Deloris’ room. He won’t go in there because of Deloris. At least he has some boundaries.
The door opens behind me and he sticks his head out. “What if I take one of those off the agenda tonight?” he asks, his voice slow.
“Talking, spanking, fucking. I’ll take one off the agenda,” he clarifies, coming to stand, in all his glory, forearm pressed against the doorjamb, “if you’ll come inside.” He blinks again for a long time, sways a little, and then stares right into me like he’d done the first time he’d ever laid eyes on me.
“I’m not doing any of that shit,” I tell him, breaking the trance by staring out toward the trees. I’m shaking so hard from the chilled air that my voice sounds like a vibration.
“Fine, you win. Just come inside. My only demand is that you sleep in my bed, where you belong.”
“This is my final offer. I’m willing to bend on all the other stuff, even though it would do you some good to get a good spanking. You’d probably like it, which would lead to…you know, the other two in a different order than I’d previously offered.” For whatever reason, he actually makes me smile. It’s a cold-face smile—my lips are numb and my hands are getting stiff.
“Just the sleeping. No talking. No—other stuff.” He nods, smiling, and puts his hand out for me. As I walk toward him, I put my arm out to meet him half way. His hand is as warm as a Christmas evening by the fire. Once I’m inside, he puts his arm around me, his hand sliding down to rest at the small of my back, and walks me down the hall and into his room. Slowly, he pulls down the covers and helps me in like a gentleman helping a lady into a carriage—except he’s in sweats and I’m in mix-matched jammies.
I watch him walk around to his side, and my stomach does a little butterfly flip when he slides in next to me. I cross my legs at the ankle. Off limits.
At first he’s looking up at the ceiling, but then he tilts his head to the side. “You can’t do this, Mia.”
“What can’t I do?”
“What I’m trying to say is you can be mad at me, and I can be really fucking mad at you,” I try not to giggle when he slurs the word ‘fucking,’ “but you can’t shut me out like that,” he whispers and rolls over so he’s facing me. “I’m not even gonna say that you can’t go to bed angry. I’m just going to ask that you sleep with me every night, even if you’re mad. Can you agree to that?”
“I felt weird coming in here after you yelled at me.” He nods, and looks down acknowledging that he hurt me. He looks up, and tunes into me, looking through me, and runs his finger along my jawline.
“Your place is with me. What’s mine is yours. End of story.” He hums a little, the drugs making him melodious.
I want to protest for the sake of protesting, my immaturity peeking out its little baby head. Instead, I swallow and nod. “Okay.” Take that, immaturity.
“Hmmm. That wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be,” his mouth bends into the side smirk he gives only me. I move on to my side and wrap my leg over his.
“So I get my way after all,” he laughs as he smacks me hard on the ass, grabbing it and pulling me on top of him.
“No, you didn’t,” I laugh.
“Even in the order I wanted it. Talking, spanking, fu—” he says, before I take his mouth with mine and pull my shirt over my head. As I look down at him, his face is all soft angles. “You dazzle me,” he says.
“Dazzle, who says that anymore?” I laugh and he stills me with his hands on my hips.
“Well, I’m on all kinds of drugs right now,” he says. “Can’t be responsible for what I say or do.”
“You have to be kidding.”
“Take off your pants. I’ll show you some dazzle,” he adds, and I giggle as his finger runs a soft line up my thigh. He knows that I need this just as much as he does. I sit up straight and unstrap my bra. When he sees my breasts, he swallows hard and his jaw tenses.
I push my pajama pants over the curve of my hips, slowly pulling them down. I’m hesitating because I know this is wrong, he’s wounded, and he probably shouldn’t exert himself. “Take them off,” he demands.
I nod and look him in the eye as I push my pants over my hips, move backward so I’m sitting between his legs, and let him take them off one leg at a time. I can see how ready he is, as I climb over him. My heart is aching as he fists his hand in my hair, running his other hand up my outer thigh, and kisses my lips, flicking my tongue once like I am life and he’s ready to live. I rub my panties against his length as it’s pressing into his stomach. The friction is both exciting and breaking my heart. We almost died. What if I’d lost him?
He fingers my nipple, hardening it before he takes it in his mouth. It’s like a direct line to my core as his tongue moves back and forth before he sucks and squeezes me. I feel my heart constricting, pumping the blood through my veins. I feel like I’m glowing.
I know this is what he needs after the fire, after his fear that we were hurt at the mall. But it’s because he’s never known real love. He lost his mother before he could form a real memory about her. In this moment, I’m grateful that our physical closeness eases his anxiety. But, it makes me move my mouth away from his to catch my breath. When I do, I think too much. I see the wound over his heart and remind myself that he’s a human man—not a rock god. “This could hurt you.”
His fingers travel between us and he moves my panties to the side. I bite my lip as his fingers slide into my soft, wet folds. “Does this hurt?” he murmurs, as my mouth opens and my hips start to move in time with his hand.
“No.” I shake my head, and I can feel my chin start to tremble.

Shelby grew up between two mountains and a lake in Wasilla, Alaska. She used to run around in the tall grass, catch frogs, rescue dragonflies, ride horses, and ice-skate during recess. She still likes adventures and has even gone skydiving. Today she lives in Northern California with her husband, John and their daughter, Elise, their two dogs, and a fish named Jade.

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Under the Influence by LB Simmons + Giveaway!

Under The Influence

I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, na├»ve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.
Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.
I loved you.
I raged for you.
I wept for you.
And now, I’m letting you go.

Author’s Note:  Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.

L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science.  She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years.  She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.