BLOG TOUR for HOLDING ON by Karen Stivali


When you have everything you’ve ever dreamed of, the hard part is Holding On.

British NYU professor Daniel Gardner thinks life can’t get better than the day his three-year-old stepdaughter, Ella, calls him Daddy for the first time. Then his wife Marienne tells him she’s pregnant. Daniel is thrilled, but worried about Marienne’s health. Not wanting to cause her stress he turns to writing to calm his nerves. He pens a screenplay, thinking it’s nothing more than a mental health exercise, but when a colleague reads it and hands it to a producer, it turns into a production contract. Daniel accepts the offer and transfers to a teaching position at Dartmouth, hoping that small town living and a shorter commute will simplify his life.

As he attempts to juggle his new responsibilities he gets an unexpected letter from Roger, the father he never knew. For the first time since they met, Daniel and Marienne are at odds; she wants him to give Roger a chance but Daniel wants nothing to do with the man he thinks abandoned his mother. As Daniel and Marienne struggle they must contend with interference from Daniel’s sexy ex-wife, who appears to want him back, and a handsome, all-too-helpful single dad who desires Marienne as more than a play-date pal. They must both confront deep-seated issues with trust and acceptance if they’re going to find a way to make their marriage work and hold on to the love they share.

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What’s On The Bookshelf

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Literati Literature Lovers

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A Little Fiction of Every Flavour

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Guilty Pleasures

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Mrs. Condit & Friends Read Books

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My Life Beyond Lables

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Love, Laughter, Friendship
Sugar and Spice Book Reviews



Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker, and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. (source Goodreads)
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I Choose You (Friends & Lovers #2) by Bethany Lopez

Title:  I Choose You (Friends & Lovers, Book 2)
Author:  Bethany Lopez
Release Date:  Dec. 27, 2012
Genre:  Contemporary
Age Group:  New Adult

Synopsis:  A young couple kissing
Up until now, Nicole’s life has been mapped out for her. She’d go to college, marry Jake and become the upstanding minister’s wife. When she leaves that life to begin again in a small town in Texas, she finally has the freedom to live as she chooses. There, she meets Kent, a guy whose charm and passion make it hard to stick to her morals.

Dodging his father’s fists and protecting his twin sister made Kent into the man he is today. He learned by watching his mother stay by his father’s side that it’s better to keep relationships simple. Then he meets Nicole. Her sweet smile and genuine response to him land like punches to his resolve. After a lifetime of learning to protect his heart, can he finally let down his guard?

Excerpt from I Choose You

They hit the trail hard. Nicole used the time to clear her head and to reflect on what Kent had told her about his childhood.
They’d led very different lives, and Nicole couldn’t imagine the obstacles he’d dealt with growing up, but she was very impressed with the man he was today.
Kent made sure they did some cool down stretches before getting back in the car.
He’d worried briefly that Nicole would look at him differently when he’d told her a little about his upbringing, but he was happy that he had. He wasn’t ready to tell her everything yet, but he was comfortable with what he’d told her.
He drove her back to her apartment and walked her to the door.
“Do you want to come in?” Nicole asked him, her face was flush from exertion and glistened prettily.
Kent felt a strong urge to gather her in his arms and take her to her room, kissing and stroking her gloriously toned body along the way. He imagined carrying her into the shower and lathering her up.
He shook his head, trying in vain to calm his raging hormones. He felt like a teenager again: unbearably horny and unable to find release. Well… At least not the way he wanted to.
“Um, no,” He replied gruffly. “I’d better not. You have to get ready for work and I have some stuff to do at my house. I’ll give you a call later.”
He leaned down and gave her a kiss on the forehead, then turned and jogged down the stairs, leaving her there staring off after him, the confusion she felt apparent on her face.


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Bethany Lopez
About the Author:  Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult novel. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her contemporary Young Adult series, Stories About Melissa. Ta Ta for Now!, xoxoxo, and Ciao are available now. Bethany is currently working on a Contemporary Fantasy YA and a Contemporary New Adult Trilogy.

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Blog Tour: A.C. Marchman’s Overwhelm Me (Callahan Series #1)


Title:  Overwhelm Me
Author:  A.C. Marchman
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Publish Date:  December 31, 2012

Synopsis:  Allie Marshall has dealt with a traumatic past that she desperately wants to keep buried. She moved to Atlanta to escape her old life and pursue her dream of becoming a Physician Assistant. With the help of her roommate, Livey, she has finally gotten her life back on track and will be graduating from Emory University with honors.

Then, she meets Donovan Callahan, a sexy and wealthy doctor who Allie cannot resist. Their relationship starts off intense and full of passion. Donovan wants to give Allie the world. But she soon learns he was involved with Claire Dubois, a reality star convicted of murdering her husband. Will she stick by his side when all of his baggage comes to the surface or will she be overwhelmed and turn her back on him?

Contains explicit sex and graphic languageoverwhelm me

Teaser #1        Teaser #2


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Cover Reveal & Excerpt: M Leighton’s Up To Me

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: January 06, 2013

Happily ever after doesn’t come easy. But for love, it’s always worth the fight.

Olivia finds bliss unlike any she’s ever known in Cash’s arms. He sets her skin on fire and melts her heart right inside her chest. Unfortunately, their happily ever after is short-lived when a shadow from Cash’s past threatens to turn their world upside down.

Dangerous people from his father’s world have discovered that Cash holds information that could put them away for a very long time. And they’re willing to do anything—and hurt anybody—to get it back. Giving it up means Cash must choose between the life of his father and the life of Olivia.

Having nearly overcome her wariness of bad boys, Olivia’s trust is shaken when this new threat arises. Now she finds that Cash is not only a danger to her heart, but his family has associations that are a danger to her life as well. She soon discovers that there are some situations in life where trust is a girl’s only option. And this is one of them. If she’s to live, she must trust Cash with her life. But to Olivia, that’s much, much easier than letting go and trusting him with her heart.

The worry over Cash coupled with the lyrics is enough to take my breath. Literally. For a few seconds I feel like I can’t breathe.

But then, suddenly, I can.

There, standing in the doorway of the office, is Cash. His eyes lock with mine and I feel them, really feel them all through my body. It’s like standing naked in the middle of the night during a warm summer rain. He’s everywhere. He’s on my skin, under my skin, in my heart, in my soul.

I feel like I might burst with the desire to go to him. It takes every ounce of my willpower to stay put, to school my expression. To pretend. But I do it. Somehow, I do it.

Until he starts toward me.

And then I stop. Stop everything. Stop moving, stop breathing, stop thinking. All I can do is stare as Cash’s long legs eat up the distance between us. Without a single word, he shoulders his way through the people standing around us. When he reaches me, he steps up to the bar, reaches across it and offers me his hand.

His eyes are still on mine and the rest of the world has disappeared. Suddenly it doesn’t matter who’s watching. Nothing matters but Cash. Nothing ever has. And nothing ever will again.

I slide my fingers into his and he tugs on my hand. I step onto the rail and put one knee on the bar. Cash releases my hand, reaches forward and sweeps me off the slick countertop and into his arms.

I can feel his breath, coming hot and fast, fanning my cheeks. I can feel his need, wild and hungry, searing my soul. And, for just a second, I think I can feel his love, too. It burns me, but in a completely different way. Like a brand that says I’ll always be his and he’ll always be mine.

And then he drops his head and his lips cover mine. Vaguely, I hear shouts and hollers and clapping, but I don’t care. I don’t care who sees or who knows or how they feel about it. I care about the man carrying me. Always carrying me.

Spotlight & Excerpt: Brae Wyckoff’s The Orb of Truth

Orb_of_Truth_Cover_Final_12 copy Title: The Orb of Truth (The Horn King Series)
Author: Brae Wyckoff
Genre: Epic Fantasy

In the hundreds of years since the Holy City disappeared, darkness has fallen over the land. Human kingdoms have seized control of the realm, scattering the other races into hiding.

Bridazak, a skilled thief, and his friends, a Dwarf and a fellow Ordakian, have dared to remain within the human communities and live relatively quiet lives, until they discover a mysterious, magical artifact. The three friends are thrust into an adventure that will challenge their faith, their purpose, and their destiny as they chase a forgotten and lost prophecy across the realm of Ruauck-El, where they hope to discover the origins of the strange item and their place in its history.

An ancient, unknown enemy threatens the completion of their journey at every turn. Bridazak is about to face the biggest adventure of his life, one that may change the known realm, and answer the questions he has carried all his life. Will they unlock the truth?

Here is a scene in The Orb of Truth with the heroes trying to find out information by seeking a creature that “knows of magic beyond magic itself.”

“Who dares to enter my domain?” The deep voice bellowed.

Bridazak hesitated before speaking up, “I’m Bridazak and these are my friends. We seek an audience with The Great Oculus.”

The voice thundered once more, “Two ordakians and a dwarf, in a place they should not be. Many seek my voice, but find only fated death. What has brought you to the door of oblivion?”

“A mystery, one that came from my dream. We seek your help, oh Great One,” said the Ordakian.

“Show me what has turned from a dream into reality.”

Bridazak produced the ornate box in his small hands, and began to speak, “We don’t know what the writing—”

“Silence!” The ground shook under their feet. “I know what you seek, but you must answer my riddle. If you are correct, then I will reveal to you the meaning of this gift. If you fail, then you will be sent to the grave. There will be no rest inside the gates of the netherworld, your soul will thirst for death again for all eternity and generations forthcoming will never know you existed.”
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Excerpt: Jillian Dodd’s Kiss Me & Giveaway

Kiss Me CoverTitle: Kiss Me(The Keatyn Chronicles: Book Two)
Author: Jillian Dodd
Genre: Romance, Mature Young Adult

I’ve always written scripts for my perfect life.

But no way could I have ever scripted this. My life is so far from perfect, it’s not even funny. All because of a stalker.

I’m at a boarding school where I have to lie about who I am. I can’t see my family. I’m tutoring a hottie god that tortures me with his smile. The most popular girl already hates me. But there’s this boy. This hot, sweet, sexy boy.

So I’m going to stop trying to script my life and just live it. Because who knows how long I have left.

He tells everyone we’re tired and drags me into the house.

Then I think his hormones kick into overdrive.

He kisses me, like, fast, hard, long, intensely deep kisses. He pushes me up against the counter in the kitchen, holding my hips tightly in his hands. He kisses hard down my neck and then strips off my shirt and tosses it on the floor.

Then he walks me backward through the house while still kissing me, quickly working his way back to the bedroom. He pushes me against a wall in the hallway, where he pulls his own shirt off, then unties my bikini top, his warm, naked chest pressing against me as he shoves his tongue deeply into my mouth. I suck on it recklessly.

We finally get to the bedroom, where he quickly shuts and locks the door, then pushes me up against it. He’s kissing me and, like, ravishing me. I feel like I’m living a hot romance novel. And this is the kind of thing I have always pictured.

Always dreamed of.
Continue reading

Excerpt: Margaret Lesh’s Finding a Man for Sylvia & giveaway

Title: Finding a Man for Sylvia
Author: Margaret Lesh
Genre: Chick-lit, romantic comedy, adult
Release date: Nov. 23, 2012
Goodreads: Page

A well-intentioned but clueless romantic is determined to find love for her lonely neighbor over her exasperated husband’s objections.

Julia Hawthorne-Florez has the best of intentions, and everyone knows what the road to Hell is paved with. Her husband Javier accuses her of playing God with people’s lives, but Julia is simply a fool for love. (Or maybe just a fool?)

When lonely Sylvia moves in across the street, Julia is determined to find her match. Of course, there are obstacles. Javier, for one, who’s forbidden any further matchmaking attempts on his well-intentioned wife’s part. And there’s the little matter of Sylvia being in love with a man who’s taken a vow of celibacy.

Julia schemes; the hamster wheel in her head spins furiously. Handsome Ted is Julia’s first choice. Except shy Ted happens to be interested in Julia’s best friend, certified dominatrix Lisa. And so it goes. Julia spins her web; Javier laughs at her. But Julia always gets the last laugh in this Latin-infused contemporary romantic comedy.

Ted stood awkwardly before me, lamenting his poor dumb fat kitty, and I felt a sudden twinge of inspiration. What could be more perfect and beautiful than bringing two shadow people together? It was the exact right thing to do. Ted and Sylvia were both background players. Who could possibly be a better match for my love-worn friend? I was practically picking out their china pattern, wondering what their children would look like. Good looking, of course; very shy.

“So, Ted, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?” I said, making conversation, trying to draw him out a little.

He began to fumble and stammer, “Oh, Thanksgiving. Um, wow. I hadn’t—I—uh…”

Only Ted. He hadn’t a clue, and it was the next day.

“We’re eating at three. Join us. Please. I insist.”

“Oh, uh, my mother —” Continue reading

Book Spotlight: Kiss of Fire Excerpt

Title: Kiss of Fire
Author: Rebecca Ethington
Release: Amazon | B&N

The scar is the reason she is being hunted.

If only she knew that she was.

I turned my head toward what everyone was staring open mouthed at and my heart plummeted to my toes.

A bright, yellow sports car, I knew all too well, had pulled into the teachers’ parking lot. Ryland leapt out of the car, his dark, curly hair bouncing. He pulled off his Whittier Academy blazer and draped it over one shoulder, revealing a tight-fitting, white V-neck T-shirt. He looked like an ad for cologne or men’s underwear. My heart kicked into overdrive; I couldn’t move.

“Oh no, oh no no no,” I groaned, causing Wyn’s head to whip in my direction. “He promised he wouldn’t…”

“Do you know him?” she asked, her voice laced with a combination of entertainment and worry.

I couldn’t bring myself to answer her, only nod numbly as Ryland scanned the crowd for me.

“Well, I will leave you to it then,” she said. “See you tomorrow, Joclyn.”

I didn’t even register Wyn’s departure; I was still staring at him as he searched for me. He glossed over most of the student body, giving them all a chance to notice him and his expensive car. Finally, he found me and began moving in my direction. The second his eyes met mine, my shock melted away, leaving me feeling blissfully numb, my heart calling out in sheer joy to see him. It took a moment, but even that melted away as I registered everyone looking between us, and my joy deteriorated into a half-hearted anger. He rushed to me then, sweeping me up in his arms and spinning me around as if this was some strange scene from a chick flick.

He pressed his cheek against mine as we spun, his deep chuckle echoing in my ear.

“I’m in so much trouble, aren’t I?” his warm breath tickled my ear as he whispered to me.

My heart sputtered. “You have no idea.”

“Then, I might as well do the thing thoroughly.” He set me down again and kissed my jaw line. His lips lingered for a second longer then they should have, freezing me into place. I just hope I didn’t look too much like a deer stuck in the headlights.

Book Trailer

PT McHugh Keeper of the Black Stones Cover Reveal & Excerpt

Release: February 2013


Jason Evans, a shy, introverted high school freshman, thought that his mundane life was all there was – girls, golf, physics, and the occasional bully. Until he found out about the secrets his grandfather had been keeping from him … a set of stones that allowed him to jump through time … a maniacal madman who used the stones to shape history to his liking … and Jason’s role as one of the few people in the world who could stop that man.

Against impossible odds, a fourteen-year-old boy must take up his legacy, learn everything he needs to know within one short day, and travel helter skelter into the Middle Ages, to join Henry VII’s fight against Richard III, end the Dark Ages, and stop the man who now holds his grandfather captive. In this romp through history, Jason and his friends must race against time to accomplish not one, but two missions.

Save his grandfather.
And save the world.

“What is this place?” he asked breathlessly. We were in a dark underground room, much smaller than our basement. The room was lined in thick concrete blocks. There was no light coming from the outside, and I guessed that the room was probably soundproof as well. Not a room built for entertaining. A room built for keeping secrets.

Paul found a cord in the ceiling and pulled it. We both jumped as several light bulbs clicked on and flooded the room with harsh artificial light. The light revealed a small metal desk with an old wooden straight-back chair against the back wall. A computer monitor and hard drive sat on top of the desk, along with several pens and pencils and one red three-ring notebook. Beside the desk stood two wooden bookshelves, filled to bursting with books. Next to those, a large map of England was taped to the concrete wall.

I ran my eyes over the map to the floor on the left, and froze. The desk and map were odd, but at least they were everyday items. The large black slab of stone lying next to them was not. The cold chill ran down my spine again, and I shuffled backward several steps.

“Oh my God, is that it?” Paul asked nervously.

I ignored the question and inched my way forward, toward the stone. It was large, perhaps 7 to 8 feet wide and 10 to 11 feet long. Easily 3 to 4 inches thick. Hundreds of symbols were etched into the dark surface, in a language I’d never seen before. The stone was glossy, but didn’t reflect light the way it should. Instead, it seemed to suck the light from the room around us, building its own dark aura. And it hummed. I could feel the pulse of the stone in my bones, like a giant, steady heartbeat. It beat again and again, matching my own heartbeat, and I forgot to breathe. Doc hadn’t been lying, then. The stone did speak to him. And it called to me the same way it called to him. I’d been hearing it for days. I just hadn’t realized it. Continue reading

M Leighton Exclusive: Nash’s POV

Down To You CoverWe’ve got another excerpt from M. Leighton’s Down to You!

In this excerpt Olivia and Nash are going to an art show and she’s worried about her outfit. If you are wondering what the book is about and to read two additional excerpts, go here.

Excerpt 3: Nash’s POV

The material is some kind of thin, almost sheer stuff in dark red. It flutters in the air that stirs as the door comes to a rest against the stopper with a muffled thump. Olivia stands still and lets me appraise her before she starts toward me. I clench my jaw to keep my mouth from dropping open as I watch her. The wispy cloth clings to her body as she walks, outlining her form perfectly. She might as well be nude.

Holy mother, I wish she was.

I shake off the thought, knowing I can’t go forward tonight thinking things like that.

Think with the big head, man! Think with the big head!

She glides to a stop in front of me, all grace and luscious skin. Her bare chest and shoulders glow in the low light. I want to touch her, caress her, so much so that I ball my fingers into tight fists to keep them to myself.

“You look beautiful.” My voice sounds strained, even to my own ears.

Her face falls. “It’s too tight, isn’t it? I’m wearing taller heels to make the length right, but there’s nothing I can do about the rest.” I can see that she’s genuinely distressed, which makes me want to smile, although I don’t. That would be the wrong thing to do in front of an upset woman. “Marissa is so much thinner than me,” she says, one of her hands fluttering as she talks. “And I just don’t have anything that—”

I reach out and take her spastic hand, pressing the forefinger of my free hand to her lips. “Shhh.” She stops talking immediately. Yes, I could’ve shut her up a hundred different ways without touching her, but I figure this is better than kissing her, which is what I really want to do.

Good God, how I want to kiss her!

It takes me a few seconds to focus on something other than the way her lush lips parted just a little. It would be so easy to slide my fingertip between them, to feel the heat of her mouth, the wetness of her tongue.

I’m both surprised and irritated that I feel my tuxedo pants shrink a size in the crotch. I’ll have to be extra careful with this girl. I can’t remember the last time someone so thoroughly tested my restraint.

M Leighton Down To You Cover Reveal & Excerpts

Down To You Cover

Release: October 2, 2012

The scorching tale of one girl, two brothers and a love triangle…that’s not.

Olivia Townsend is nothing special. She’s just a girl working her way through college so she can return home to help her father run his business. She’s determined not to be the second woman in his life to abandon him, even if it means putting her own life on hold. To Olivia, it’s clear what she must do. Plain and simple. Black and white.

But clear becomes complicated when she meets Cash and Nash Davenport. They’re brothers. Twins.

Cash is everything she’s always wanted in a guy. He’s a dangerous, sexy bad boy who wants her in his bed at any cost. He turns her insides to mush and, with just one kiss, makes her forget why he’s no good for her.

Nash is everything she’s ever needed in a guy. He’s successful, responsible and intensely passionate. But he’s taken. Very taken, by none other than Marissa, Liv’s rich, beautiful cousin. That doesn’t stop Olivia from melting every time he looks at her, though. With just one touch, he makes her forget why they can never be together.

Black and white turns to shades of gray when Olivia discovers the boys are hiding something, something that should make her run as far and as fast as she can. But it’s too late to run. Olivia’s already involved. And in love. With both of them.

Both brothers make her heart tremble. Both brothers set her body on fire.

She wants them both.

And they want her.

How will she ever choose between them?

Read for 2 excerpts: Continue reading