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#BlogTour ~ Tortured (Tortured Soul #1) by Kate Givans

A contemporary romantic drama about loss, healing, and love's ability to reach beyond scars and secrets, no matter how deep or hidden.


WARNING: This book is intended for 18+ readers ONLY. Potentially triggering content and concepts in books to follow.

More than a year after the death of his best friend, Josh is still tormented by the past. Everything changes when free-spirited Willow barges into his life. She challenges him, helps him feel something other than the overwhelming pain, sadness, and anger.

There’s just one problem.

Underneath that carefree spirit, Willow is elusive and secretive. Josh believes she may be fighting a few demons of her own, but he harder he tries to uncover the truth, the more she pushes him away.

Can Josh get her to open up before it’s too late? Or will he discover that some secrets are better left untold?
About Kate
Quirky, clumsy, and always a little off-key, Kate Givans has always loved books and the words contained within. Now that she’s writing the stories, she’s filling them with broken characters, angst, and even a few of those happily-ever-afters that seem to evade us in real life.

When not writing, this gypsy-hearted wife and mother of five can be found guzzling coffee, day-dreaming, dancing for no reason at all, playing with the voices in her head, watching her favorite shows (Originals, Grey’s, OUAT, The Following), listening to music, and reminding herself to “breathe.”
Connect with Kate
 
Four Solid Stars

**Possible spoilers ahead**

To me, death is peace. Peace from pain, and from an existence much worse than death: torture.

First things first: This was a fantastic debut novel. I honestly couldn’t believe how well written this story was; and from a first time author. BRAVO, Kate!!

Secondly: This was not an easy read.

There. Whew! I thought I’d get that out of the way only because this was far from a typical romance story. I wouldn’t necessarily call it dark or anything like that, but parts of this did make me want to jump off the emotional rollercoaster. However, I was drawn to story, so much so that after I jumped off the ride, I had to pick it right back up and jump back in.

I knew so little about her past, but I knew her present. She was a friend, a lover, an old soul that connected with me on a level that couldn’t be explained.

Ok. How do I accurately describe Josh and Willow? The words broken and complicated come to mind.

Josh is going through a lot in his life. After the death of his best friend, in which he blames himself for, he almost completely shuts people out of his life. He has no room for complications or relationships. But when Willow suddenly enters his life, he finds himself being drawn by her free spirit. The draw she has on him was almost instantaneous and he had no choice but to see where it would lead.

All I’d wanted was for her to open up to me, to let me in, let me love her and for her to love me back. I hadn’t ever considered whether or not the relationship would be healthy for either one of us.

Willow is full of secrets; a whole boatload of them. This woman remains a pure mystery to Josh, and if I’m being honest, me. She was such a whirlwind of energy that I understood why Josh was drawn to her. But as much as she wants to be with Josh, something is holding her back.

“I hide for a reason, Josh.”

That quote right there says A LOT! I had big issues with Willow, like HUGE. The biggest of them all was that I knew nothing about her. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. I liked her free spirit attitude, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to make sure that whoever this chick is, she deserves my beloved Josh.


This book isn't all rainbows and butterflies. In fact, we deal with a lot of heavy emotions. And I will warn you: This is NOT a standalone and there are two more parts of the series. I know, I know…not all of us are fans of these types of books, especially me, but I’m really happy to have given it a chance. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book. Bravo, Kate!
Excerpt
     I first met Willow out on Old Mill Road. Standing on the ledge of the arched concrete bridge, her arms spread wide, she looked like a bird about to take flight. I probably would have taken more time to admire the absolute freedom she embodied in that moment, the auburn curls whipping around her upturned face, the way the moonlight made her porcelain skin shimmer…but it looked like she was about to jump.

     I remember my hesitation, how desperately I wanted to turn back the way I’d come and pretend I’d never seen her. I know it makes me sound like an insensitive prick, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled at having the life or death of some crazy chick thrown in my lap. Not that I didn’t understand, at least on some level, what might be going through her head. Hell, I knew, better than most, what it meant to feel like life would never get better.

     It’d only been six weeks since my release from Shady Oak’s mental facility. I wasn’t the person to talk her down; I didn’t know the first thing about helping someone find the light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, I still had days that I’d much rather jump right along with her than try and brave another day.

     Thankfully, that particular day hadn’t been one of them.

     I stood there a few moments longer, considering my options. I could turn around and go back the way I came, but I wasn’t exactly up for that. I could go past her and risk spooking her, but the last thing I needed was the aftermath of watching her plummet to her death – calling the police, filing a report, explaining what had happened. It wouldn’t hurt to at least try and talk her off the ledge, right?

     Having made my decision, I edged cautiously along the gravel path, taking slow and calculated steps towards bird-girl. Stopping just feet away from her, I weighed the risk of grabbing ahold of the oversized sweater jacket she was wearing. My luck, the damn thing would come clean off and she’d end up in the water anyway, so I decided against it.

     I was still trying to decide how to go about helping her when she spoke, voice confident as she kept her face upturned towards the night sky. “I’m not going to jump.”

     I cleared my throat and hoped to God the irritation didn’t seep through. “No offense, miss, but that’s not what it looks like from here.”

     Her head tilted slightly, as if she were trying to shrug, but the movement came up short. I waited for some other response, but the uncomfortable silence stretched on, giving me the impression that my presence was both unwanted and unnecessary.

     “Well, you…uh, have a nice night,” I finally said, taking a couple backward steps towards town.

     “You could join me.” Her words, prying and inquisitive, stopped me dead in my tracks.

     “Yeeaaah….Thanks, but I prefer to keep my feet on the ground.”

     She chuckled. The light, carefree sound intrigued and, for some unknown reason, annoyed me all at once. Maybe because I’d never laughed like that. Hell, I didn’t know anyone that had. It left me questioning what the hell she was doing up there in the first place.

     Crazy. Definitely crazy.

     Determined to get as far away from her as possible, I started backing away. I didn’t make it but a few steps when she glanced over her shoulder at me. The wide-eyed conviction in her sparkling, crystal blue eyes ensnared me, rooted me to the ground beneath my feet.

     “How will you ever learn to fly if you don’t take time to spread your wings?” she asked.

     And just like that, the pull I’d felt just seconds before shook free, floating away with the cold, bitter wind. I’d taken enough rides on the crazy train to last a lifetime. “Well, anyway. It was, uh, nice meeting you.” 

Playlist
Get Scared, Built for Blame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k82La8Lkra8
The Fray, How to Save a Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjVQ36NhbMk
Jasmine Thomspon, Everybody Hurts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWGL3SbhLDQ
Goo Goo Dolls, Before It’s Too Late: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtSAIhP1-5s
Evanescence, Bring Me to Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YxaaGgTQYM
Little Green Cars, The John Wayne: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJEVkuNsEi0
Breaking Benjamin, Diary of Jane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWaB4PXCwFU

#CoverReveal ~ Bronagh (Slater Brothers #1.5) by L.A. Casey

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Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
Series: Slater Brothers
Publication Date: August 15, 2014

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Bronagh Murphy has been through a lot over the past few years, a hell of a lot, so when her 21st birthday rolls around all she wants to do is relax and spend the day with her family. Quietly.

Her boyfriend, Dominic Slater, doesn't do relaxed or quiet. He never has, and he never will. He plans out a day for Bronagh that is both romantic, and exciting. However, Dominic's version of exciting is very different to Bronagh's as she will soon find out.

When things take a turn for the worst, and a bad altercation leaves Dominic once again fighting for his girl, Bronagh will have to decide once and for all if she will fight in Dominic's corner or walk away and never look back.

Bronagh loves Dominic, and what Bronagh loves, Bronagh protects.

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BronaghBlack_scroll_with_transparent_background 3   SLATER BROS SERIES   updated full wrap  

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  Black_scroll_with_transparent_background 3 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

L.A. Casey was born, raised and currently resides in Dublin, Ireland. She is a twenty two year old stay at home mother to an almost two year old German Shepherd named Storm and of course, her four and half year old (the half is apparently vital) beautiful little hellion/angel depending on the hour of the day.

Her first novel, Dominic, was released on March 17th, 2014, and on March 21st, 2014, it became an international Amazon bestseller.

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Bound to Danger by Katie Reus ~ #Excerpt Blog Tour and Giveaway


Title: Bound to Danger
Author: Katie Reus
Series: Deadly Ops #2
Publisher: NAL/Signet Eclipse
Release Date: August 5, 2014

Synopsis:
At a benefit dinner, community activist Maria Cervantes overhears two men plotting a terrorist attack that could rock Miami to its core. But before she can alert authorities, she’s almost killed in a massive explosion—and wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened. As the sole survivor of the attack, she is now a person of interest to the NSA—and especially to Agent Cade O’Reilly. Because Maria is the one woman Cade has never been able to forget.

Years ago, they were closer than either was willing to admit—until Cade disappeared when Maria needed him most. Now he’s sticking by her, whether she likes it or not. Because the memories locked inside her mind could hold vital clues to the next attack. Because terrorists want her dead—and because he never wants to let her go again.


Excerpt:

Her heels clicked along the pathway up to an intimidating man wearing all black. His expression was cool and assessing as he took her in. “Normally I’d check you for weapons, but Nash says you’re all right.” He opened the door for her with a sharp gesture that said she should enter.

Okay, then. They stepped into a kitchen that was humming quietly with activity. Various people were setting up dessert trays and plates, but this definitely wasn’t the main kitchen. Maria had been in that one a couple of years ago.

“This way,” the security man urged, clearly not liking that he was her temporary escort.

All the food aromas were overwhelming, so she hurried after him but not before snagging a mini-cupcake. She hadn’t eaten in hours and sugar probably wasn’t the best idea, but she needed something in her stomach. Shoving it in her mouth, she stumbled trying to keep up with the long-legged man. He took her down a lot of hallways and too many turns to count. Dizziness swarmed her as they reached the end of a hallway that emptied out into a room where well-dressed people were all drinking either champagne or martinis. Female servers were walking around wearing . . . holy shit, they were wearing only body paint made to look like tuxedos. Maria blinked and tried to listen as Cormac gave her directions to the weapons room. Nodding politely, she fought more nausea as he hurried away while talking into an ear mic. Before she’d taken two steps, a woman named Greta Dobbins latched onto her arm.

Maria guessed the white-haired woman was pushing eighty. She was slim, a few inches taller than Maria and had a wicked grip. “Hi, sweetheart. I just saw your mother. She told me you were coming and I’m just so glad. It’s amazing how much time you dedicate to that center. Of course I know your dear mother wishes you’d settle down and get married. . . .”

Oh, sweet Lord. Maria’s eyes and ears glazed over for a moment as she took in the room. Two sparkly chandeliers hung above them and classical music was being piped in from somewhere. About forty people in long, glittery gowns or tuxedos talked among themselves. She recognized some of them, but not everyone. Pasting on a smile for Mrs. Dobbins, she tried to focus on the woman’s face, but bile rose in her throat as clamminess descended over her bare skin. Oh yeah, that cupcake had been a really bad idea.

“Maria, you don’t look so good.” Without waiting for a response, Mrs. Dobbins practically dragged her across the marble floor to the other side, ignoring the calls of her husband.

“Where are we going?” She had no strength to fight the other woman and just prayed there was an empty bathroom nearby.

Taking Maria by surprise, the older woman opened a door Maria hadn’t even seen. It was built into the dark wooden paneling, seamless in its architecture. “We’re going to find you a place to rest and I’m going to get your mother. You shouldn’t be here. She told me you weren’t feeling well, but you look like death warmed over. I know how dedicated you are to that center, but this is unacceptable.”

Even though she wanted to argue, Maria knew the woman was right. Her face and hands were clammy, but sweat had started to blossom across her forehead, between her breasts, and down her back. A chill snaked through her body, making her shiver. “How did you even know about that door?”

Mrs. Dobbins chuckled. “Oh, I know a lot about this place. Flora has me over for tea at least once a month. And that’s code for martinis.”



Buy Links
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Katie Reus Bio:
Katie Reus is the New York Times, USA Today, & IndieReader bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom's stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn't always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

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Therapy by Kathryn Perez #Review

Title: Therapy
Author: Kathryn Perez
Series: Therapy #1
Published: February 2014

Synopsis:
I’m needy.

I’m broken.

Cutting breaks through my numbness, but only opens more wounds.

Depression, self-harm, bullying....that's my reality.

Sex and guys....that's my escape.

The space between the truth and lies is blurred leaving me torn, lost and confused. And while the monsters that live in my head try to beat me-- the two men that I love try to save me.

This is my story of friendship, heartache, and the grueling journey that is mental-illness.

Sometimes you have to get lost in order to be found…



Five Stars

You know when you start to read a book that you've had on your kindle for awhile and you start reading and don't want to stop and you think 'what took me so long to read this?' Yeah, that was me about 5% in!

Therapy was an amazing story of a girls heart-achingly beautiful journey to become who she was meant to be, even while battling her demons!

I know better than anyone how easy it can be to fool people and hide your darkest secrets inside. Because I do it every day.

This book, certain parts I should say, were very difficult to read. Especially since I have a daughter of my own, I kept 'thinking where are the parents?' 'Why doesn't anyone see what's happening here?' - when it comes to bullying I HAVE NO TOLERANCE!! The way that Jessica suffered at the hands of classmates, the ignorance of the school and the neglect of her parents had me actually going from growling at the book to having tears run down my face. Jessica's story had my emotions all over the map!

I keep saying Jessica's story, because even thought the secondary characters were amazing as well, this is ALL ABOUT JESS! Her journey!

I adored both Jace and Kingsley and my heart broke for both of them at times, and I wanted to shake Jace and scream at Jess and really just hug Kingsley but all in all this was a beautiful ride and I am thrilled to say I finally took it! I am a huge fan of emotional stories, the more emotion an author can bring out of me, the more I love them. This author truly has a gift for making my heart ache...and I loved every minute!

Accepting the ugly shit in life is just part of living. Pain tells us we are still here; it lets us know we've survived.


Book Links:

About the Author:
Kathryn lives in her small East Texas hometown with her family. She 's a music infused writer and self-proclaimed book junkie. When she isn't listening to music, writing or reading you'll probably find her watching her favorite sport, UFC.
 
Kathryn is also an anti-bullying advocate and avid supporter of mental-illness and suicide awareness.

#BlogTour & Spot Light ~ How I Fall (How I Fall #1) by Anne Eliot


ELLEN LIKES CAM * CAM LIKES ELLEN *
What if the one person you can't stop thinking about...
...can't stop thinking about you?
*CAM LIKES ELLEN *
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.
*ELLEN LIKES CAM *
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.
ELLEN LIKES CAM * CAM LIKES ELLEN *
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…
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Purchase Links
About the Author
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 Amazon.com 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
Goodreads ~ Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Tumblr
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.
Giveaway
One winner will win a signed copy of HOW I FALL!
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