contemporary

Saturday Night Author Fever #3 with Shira Glassman

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Shira Glassman. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Shira, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

I’m a queer/bi Jewish violinist living in north central Florida. I’m best known for my fluffy queer fantasy series, but I also write f/f contemporary romance (usually equally fluffy) and the occasional SFF erotica.  I’m a gigantic nerd whose listening material is primarily classical music (and old-timey folk to fill in the cracks), so I’d have to think really hard about which pop songs I like even came from the 70’s to begin with! I mean, the first thing that comes to mind is the amazing soundtrack of Star Wars, and then the musical Sweeney Todd. Oh! I can say this. When we performed a medley of songs from Saturday Night Fever last year at the Mother’s Day concert, I thought it sounded really good with full orchestra because that kind of music already has a heavy string presence. That was pretty fun.

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{#SUMMERFEELS BLOG TOUR} Review of Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology + Giveaway

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Welcome to the blog tour for Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology. Today I have my review for this amazing book and a giveaway where you can win a gift card and a few books. You definitely have to join in on the fun!

SUMMERFEELS-cover-ebookSummer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology

Publication Date: April 30, 2017

Genres: Romance, Contemporary and Anthologies

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: A lot of short stories, there is something for everyone to enjoy during the summer.

Purchase here: Amazon | Print Copy (the Philippines only)

Synopsis: Summer loving happens so fast, as you’ll find with Summer Feels, an anthology of 23 stories of love under the summer sun by #romanceclass authors. Savor the candied thrill of firsts—first loves, first kisses, first solo vacations—and the bittersweet triumph of second chances. Tour the Philippines as the stories take you to mountain retreats and island paradises. Let the magic of the hot sun, clear blue skies, and lots of love take you on a roller coaster ride of feels. With stories ranging from sweet to sexy, there’s sure to be something for any fan of romance.

Featuring stories by: Elea Andrea Almazora • Erleen Alvarez • Ella Banta • Rachelle Belaro • H. Bentham • Halina Cabrera • Charlie Dio • Mina V. Esguerra • Elizabeth Galit • Georgette S. Gonzales • Ami Granada • Irene Jurado • Catherine Lo • Arlene Manocot • Bianca Mori • Eris Peñaluna • Farrah F. Polestico • Kit Salazar • Miel Salva • Fay Sebastian • Kate Sebastian • Yeyet Soriano • Marian Tee

About #romanceclass:

#romanceclass is a community of authors who attended various writing workshops organized by Mina V. Esguerra, readers of books by those authors, and readers of English-language romance books by Filipino authors. Visit romanceclassbooks.com to see the full catalog of books!

Giveaway

For this giveaway, you have the chance to win a gift card, some swag and even a copy of the book. You don’t want to miss out on the chance.

Prizes:

  • International: Amazon gift card worth $25
  • Philippines Only: Print books from some of the authors:
    • My Dutch Billionaire by Marian Tee
    • Kate, Finally by Yeyet Soriano
    • Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers by Kate Sebastian

Enter the giveaway here: a Rafflecopter giveaway, and good luck to you, I hope you win!

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Thank you to the authors and editor Kate Sebastian for my e-ARC of Summer Feels and the chance to read and review this book for the blog tour!

Summer Feels is a book that’s cute and hot, and that makes you want to go to the ocean to take a dip to cool down. I doubt any other anthology will soothe your cravings for a good summer read like this one. The anthology starts out slow with short stories that are cute and lovely, and that will make your heart flutter and then gets hotter and hotter with every story. Towards the end, you will definitely need a fan and/or a dive straight into the ocean. The best part about this anthology was that I got the chance to read short stories both from #romanceclass authors I have loved and admired since before and also new ones where I want to devour every book they have ever written.

I do believe there will be at least one short story (but probably, very likely, a lot more) for everyone. We see so many tropes that I love in this one that I know if you are a romance fan, you will want to devour Summer Feels like you devour an ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Only this anthology lasts way longer, and will probably make you warmer instead of colder. However, you will love it. While I gave this anthology 4 cake slices as a whole, I had a lot of favorites that I believe are worthy of 5 cake slices and I really want to really highlight them here. They made me fangirl, squeal, laugh and just feel as if I was in the middle of the best summer ever which is just what I love about these short stories.

The following short stories were all favorites of mine. Fall for Me by Miel Salva made me fangirl and fall in love with the characters that I cannot wait to read more about in the future. Then there was The Game of Twenty Questions by Elizabeth Galit which was second chance romance with stargazing, a soft spot for me. Moreover, Guide for a Day by H. Bentham also really stole my heart away with this m/m romance where a tour guide and the journalist that was given the tour fall in love. Secondhand Wanderlust by Erleen Alvarez was amazing with its travel vibes, a backstory of sisterhood and a girl finding love while also stepping out of her comfort zone. Four Basic Principles by Bianca Mori was really unique and had second chance romance and beautiful ocean scenes. Wedding Night Stand by Mina V. Esguerra was a really hot short story that makes me want to read the full book where these characters are from, it was just the best. There is also An Overdue Adventure by Kate Sebastian which had a bit of a hate to love story with childhood frenemies together with a bittersweet backstory and beautiful nature scenes. Lastly, Butter Sunset by Halina Cabrera which was steamy and had lots of food references that made me crave seafood. These short stories were all beyond amazing, and I will definitely be checking out these author’s full books in the near future.

An issue I had with a couple of the stories was that a few slurs and harmful words were used. The words crazy, gypsy and queer were all used in inappropriate and harmful ways and were completely unnecessary for the stories. They could have easily been deleted.

All in all, this is a summer themed anthology you should definitely have on your radar. If you love reading romance and finding new authors at the same time, there is no better choice than this anthology. There are so many adorable and hot stories in Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology, you will most likely fall in love with a lot of couples in it. In Summer Feels you will see enemies turned into lovers, childhood friends, romances with second chances, men with beards, female soccer players and so much more.

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Maria Hollis’ Lillac Town Birthday Games – General Quiz {Win Books!}

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Hi everyone and welcome to this exciting post I have for you today. Tomorrow, May 15, it’s Maria Hollis’ (the author the Lillac Town series) birthday and to celebrate this, Maria decided to host a few games on a few blogs, including mine, where you have a chance of winning ebooks of her books and just have lots of fun. Over on The Book Voyagers‘ blog, you can find out which character you are through a character quiz, find their blog post here. On Lisa The Bookworm’s blog, there is a game of word search and you can find that one here.

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You can find Maria Hollis’ books on Goodreads and Amazon. Find The Melody of You and Me on Goodreads here and Amazon here. Find The Paths We Choose on Goodreads here and Amazon here.

On my blog here today I have a general Lillac Town quiz for you all, with six questions all about the Lillac Town series and its characters. Down below are the questions.

  1. What books and/or authors are mentioned in The Melody of You and Me? (at least 4) (tip: Josie reads Filipino authors and f/f books)
  2. What is the full name of the four main characters from TMOYAM and TPWC? (tip: blog tours)
  3. What is the first sentence of The Paths We Choose? (tip: author’s Tumblr)
  4. Who are the protagonists of book 3?
  5. What instrument does Chris play?
  6. What’s the name of the bookstore where the girls work?

The idea is for you to send at least five answers to these questions to Maria’s email. The first five people to send the correct answers will win an ebook of hers of their choice. Since not everyone has read all of the books, there are a few tips to help you for a couple of the questions. You can also find a lot of the answers on Maria’s Tumblr, and if you have a hard time finding the answers there, you can also talk to her on her Twitter and she can give you additional tips over there. You can also search for the books on my blog since I have both reviewed and have lots of other Lillac Town blog posts as well. When you think you have the answers, send them to Maria’s email at lillactown@gmail.com.

If you have any more questions, don’t be afraid to contact Maria Hollis through any of her platforms. I know she would be more than happy to help you out in any way she can. She’s the sweetest so don’t be shy.

Good luck everyone! I hope you’ll have lots and lots of fun with these games. Also, don’t forget to go wish Maria a happy birthday tomorrow!

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Saturday Night Author Fever #2 with Marie Meyer

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Marie Meyer. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Marie, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

I am a middle school teacher by day and a romance author by night. I have a husband and two awesome daughters, whom I love spending time with. I love 70s music! I’m dating myself here, but spent a couple of years in that decade!

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Once Upon a Time a Main Character and her Brooding YA Hero met …

Hey everyone, today I have a special blog post for you all. I was chosen to be a part of the #BroodyBFF street team to promote @BroodingYAHero and his upcoming novel, Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status so today I have a Broody McHottiepants blog post for you. Expect a lot more blog posts about him and his book in the future. Today I’m gonna tell you the story of how I met this brooding YA hero.

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Once upon a time, a young girl* met a broody boy in a far away land where the birds are constantly tweeting and the sun is always shining. They call this land Twitterland. This girl would follow this broody boy everywhere and love all parts of him, even the more questionable ones.

This young girl would love this broody hero, get lost in his emerald green eyes and forget all of her old friends. He was her whole world. Friends, who? Family, what? It was the two of them against the world. Despite a second guy entering the picture, his allure tempting, in the end, the only guy in this young girl’s heart was Broody McHottiepants. He was the only YA Hero to ever steal her heart away.

Looking back, it all started a sunny fall day almost two** years ago. The young girl was strolling through a feed of tweets, deep in thought over how ordinary she was in comparison to all the other girls in the world. That’s when she first saw him, Broody McHottiepants, the boy about to become the hero to her heroine. A simple retweet, a loud laugh, and their fates were forever sealed. The click of the follow button that day would change their futures forever. Broody, with his bad boy vibes and heart only soft for one girl, was the key to this heroine’s character development. Together they would overthrow an evil force working against them while riding a ridiculously dangerous motorcycle, their chemistry like thunder on a dark summer night. This main character and her brooding YA hero would walk hand in hand towards their happily ever after, or so the story would like for you to believe, for now…

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*the girl was 19 years old, perhaps not that young after all. 

**or so she thinks. When it’s a story about true love, the epic kind where the clouds separate to make room for the sun, is accuracy really that important?

Now I’m sure you’re thinking, where can I find my very own Broody McHottiepants? Worry not, fellow protagonists, there is a @BroodingYAHero out there for everyone and you can follow him just like I did.


Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status by Carrie Ann DiRisio & Broody McHottiepants. Add on Goodreads.

Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.


Have you met your @BroodingYAHero yet? If yes, how did you meet him?

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ARC Review of How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

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downloadHow to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, and Contemporary

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Bisexual representation, explores different kinds of grief and has an interracial relationship.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

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Thank you, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, for my e-ARC of How to Make a Wish I received through Netgalley. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book early!

Trigger warning for parental neglect and emotional abuse, as well as implied sexual assault (one of the characters implies they were inappropriately touched at a bar, but the scene is not on the page).

How to Make a Wish surprised me, and had a lot of the aspects I want and crave in an excellent book. All of my friends who read this book early swore it was amazing and How to Make a Wish really delivered, and then some. This book has complex and fully fleshed characters that you will instantly fall in love with. I laughed, I cried (more like bawled like a baby) and was filled with utter joy because of this book, because of Grace’s bravery and Eva’s strength, and their shared love for each other. This book really is something special and I would recommend it to everyone who loves a young adult book that doesn’t shield away from the sad and messy parts of life, the beauty that exists between all of it and the complexity of loving someone and still knowing they’re not treating you right.

What really makes you fall in love with How to Make a Wish is the characters. We have the protagonist of the story, bisexual Grace Glasser, and her relationship with her mother, a mother who is reckless and acts like a child, making Grace the adult in the relationship. It was truly heartbreaking to see Grace deal with her mother, constantly being crushed by her expectations for things being better this time. Grace dreams of becoming a pianist, but even that dream seems impossible when her mother is completely dependent on Grace. However, there is also Luca, Grace’s best friend, and his mother and their support and love for Grace is endless and beautiful. Grace is basically a part of Luca’s family. Luca knows Grace likes no one else and he loves her so much, despite their ups and downs. Their friendship was one of my favorite parts of the book.

“But it was so easy. Up there, I didn’t belong to a messed-up mother. She wasn’t the grieving daughter. We were just Grace and Eva.”

Then we have Eva, biracial, gay and the love interest of the story, who moved to live with Luca’s family after her mother died unexpectedly. Eva had a hard time dealing with life without her mother, in a new place where nothing is the same, not even her love for ballet. I fell in love with Eva immediately, she is sarcastic and strong, and a character I think many will feel for. When Grace and Eva meet, there was an instant connection. Two lonely, motherless girls found comfort in spending summer nights together at the top of a lighthouse and before they knew it, it became something so much more than just two girls finding contentment in each other. I love Grace and Eva’s relationship because it’s so soft and tender, which is something I really miss in f/f relationships. There is something so incredibly heartwarming about the connection Eva and Grace has and I love how this book shows us the insecurities and complexities that exist with it.

“Then her whole hand slides across my whole hand, and our fingers are all mixed up, pale and dark, lavender on dark purple, wrapped over and around. The tree creaks ominously, but I don’t care. I forget about everything that came before this – every [pissed off] and jealous emotion I had from earlier tonight, gone.”

You can’t discuss How to Make a Wish without mentioning the writing. Blake truly draws you in with her use of words and imagery, and the voice of Grace is one that makes it impossible to put the book down. There are funny and sarcastic moments, sad and heartbreaking scenes, and everything in between, and Blake delivers in her execution. How to Make a Wish has amazing bisexual representation and a masturbation scene that needs to be celebrated since they are so rarely featured in YA books.

All in all, How to Make a Wish is a book you need to put on your radar this spring and summer. This book is so beautiful it hurts. You will fall in love with Grace, Eva, and Luca and see their struggles, their happy moments, and most importantly of all, their happy endings despite life not being easy or fair. This story is about grief, freedom and the complexity of love. How to Make a Wish is a magical mess of beauty, sadness, love, dreams and wishes and a book that deserves all of the praise in the world.

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Zodiac Recommendations #11 Sagittarius Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my eleventh week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’m recommending books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Sagittarius.

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This week we are embracing fire, the element of the Sagittarius, the one that they carry inside of them. Like every other zodiac sign, the Sagittarius have their strengths and weaknesses, and with these qualities in mind, I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are a Sagittarius yourself or someone who knows a Sagittarius, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations.

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For Sagittarius, I’m recommending the books below,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Sagittarius qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Check out my book recommendations for the other zodiac signs too. Next week I’m doing Capricorn, see previous recommendations here.

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Zodiac Recommendations #8 Virgo Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my eighth week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’m recommending books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Virgo.

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The earth beneath you is the element of Virgo, and it’s the one you should embrace this week with my book recommendations. Like every other zodiac sign, the Virgo have their strengths and weaknesses, and with these qualities in mind I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are a Virgo yourself or someone who knows a Virgo, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations.

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For the Zodiac sign Virgo I’m recommending the following books,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Virgo qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Check out my book recommendations for the other zodiac signs too. Next week I’m doing Librasee previous recommendations here.

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Freebie Friday #9

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Happy Friday my readers!

How are you all doing? I hope this fine day is treating you just the best, which is exactly what you deserve. This week I’ve been working hard on my English grammar course so there hasn’t been a lot of time for blogging. But, it’s Friday today and you know what that means, is that a drumroll I hear in the distance, FREE BOOKS! This week the two free books I’m recommending are Caught Up in Love by Mia Black and Counterfeit Dreams by Sasha Ravae. Both of these two books are adult romances written by marginalized authors. They have great ratings on Goodreads so I’m excited to read them. Check out the books below.

Remember guys, the books I recommend are free the moment I publish my post but I can never guarantee they’re free for long so once you see it, grab it! That’s what I do.

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Zodiac Recommendations #7 Leo Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my seventh week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’m recommending books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Leo.

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This week we are embracing fire, the element of the Leo, the one that they carry inside of them. Like every other zodiac sign, the Leo have their strengths and weaknesses, and with these qualities in mind I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are a Leo yourself or someone who knows a Leo, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations.

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For Leo I’m recommending the books below,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Leo qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Check out my book recommendations for the other zodiac signs too. Next week I’m doing Virgo, see previous recommendations here.

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