June 30, 2014

Caught in the Crossfire

Caught in the Crossfire

Juliann Rich
Young Adult GLBTQ
Date Published: 6/16/2014

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Two boys at bible camp. One forbidden love.

That's the dilemma Jonathan Cooper faces when he goes away to Spirit Lake Bible Camp, situated along Minnesota's rugged north shore, for a summer of fun. He is expecting mosquito bites, bonfires with S'Mores, and photography classes with Simon, his favorite counselor who always helps him see life in perfect focus.

What he isn't expecting is Ian McGuire, a new camper who openly argues against phrases like pray the gay away. Ian is certain of many things, including what could happen between them if only Jonathan could surrender to his feelings.

Jonathan, however, tosses in a storm of indecision between his belief in God and his inability to stay away from Ian. When a real storm hits and Ian is lost in it, Jonathan is forced to make a public decision that changes his life.


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Chapter Seven, CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE by Juliann Rich
All rights reserved.


"Hey, wait up! I'll join you," Ian called to me as I walked along the beach later that evening, occasionally stopping to pick up and examine a flat, thin stone. Looking for just the right one. "Whatcha doing?"

"Not much. Just skipping rocks." Spirit Lake stretched in front of us. The sound of laughing voices carried over the campground.

"Cool. I've never done that before."

"Really? It's easy. Like this." I leaned back, arm extended, and aimed low so the stone would skim the surface and skip across it. Except it didn't. My first attempt flopped and sank.

"Like that, huh?" Ian mocked.

"Not exactly." I picked up another stone, wafer thin and flat, and let it fly. One...two...three...yes, four full skips and then it too sank and disappeared, but man, it was beautiful while it flew! "More like that." Pride crept into my voice.

"Okay, my turn." Ian crouched and examined the rocks. He took his time. Finally he chose one, elliptical and rounded at the bottom.

"Mmm, I wouldn't—"

He stopped me with one glance.

"Oh, okay. Whatever you want." I grinned.

Ian wound his arm back like a baseball player and pitched the rock. The splash was even bigger than I'd hoped.

"Excellent form, McGuire. You might have broken a record...for the shot put!"

"Aren't you just hilarious? Fine, you show me. How did you hold your arm?"

I picked up the thinnest, flattest rock I could find and reached back with my arm, waist high and parallel to the ground. Ian stepped behind me. He slid his body against mine and stretched his arm out, pressing it against my arm. The breath from his mouth, hot against my neck, stirred my hair. A shiver ran down my back when he whispered, "Like this, Jonathan?"

"Yeah, I like...um, I mean, yeah, like this. For skipping stones." My heart pounded. I stepped away and looked at Ian.

"For skipping stones, huh?" His eyes searched mine, looking for the place I never showed anyone. "Has anyone ever told you that you're really cute when you're showing off?"

The rock I'd been clutching slipped through my fingers and clattered onto the beach. Panicked, I looked around. Aaron, Sean, and Sara were sitting with a bunch of kids by the bonfire. Jake and his group were hanging down by the dock. I looked back at Ian. "Excuse me?"

"I asked if anyone has ever told you that you're cute before. Especially when you're showing off."

Sara looked in our direction. A frown passed across her face.

"Ian, what are you talking about? I'm not, you know..." My voice came out like a cross between a whisper and a hiss.

"Gay?" Though a cool breeze blew off the lake, I felt myself flush with heat.

"Yeah. I'm not gay," I whispered.

"That's good to know. Thanks for clearing that up." Ian turned his attention back to the lake. He wound his arm back again like a baseball pitcher, gripping a small boulder in his hand.

"Is that what you meant earlier? That I'd be a great junior counselor except that I'm..." I couldn't bring myself to say the word. An image of the locked safe in my bedroom flashed into my mind. For my coin collection, I'd said, when I had asked for it for Christmas. No coins, just a couple of books. Rainbow High, The Boys and The Bees. And of course, the copy of Boy Meets Boy.

Reading's just a hobby. It didn't mean anything, right?

"Yeah, but it was just a crazy thought that flew through my head. I mean, of course you're not gay. You spent a whole minute sucking face with Bethany today. What gay guy does that?" Ian's voice dripped sarcasm. 
His arm snapped forward. The stone soared through the air and splashed into the lake. It sank deeper and deeper through the layers of water, cutting through the strong current until it probed the bottom of Spirit Lake.

I stared at the place where the rock had hit, shattering the perfect surface. The ripples expanded and drifted toward me. "Are you gay?" I whispered.

"What do you think?"

"I think you're terrible at skipping rocks."

"Yes, I am, Jonathan. I definitely am." He chuckled.

As the ripples eased into the vast lake, I told myself that he was only talking about his rock-skipping skills, but I knew better.
Nothing about Ian skimmed the surface.



Juliann Rich

Minnesota writer Juliann Rich spent her childhood in search of the perfect climbing tree. The taller the better! Perched on a branch ten to thirty feet off the ground and surrounded by leaves, caterpillars, birds and squirrels was a good place for a young girl to find herself. Seeking truth in nature and finding a unique point of view remain crucial elements in her life as well as her writing.

Juliann is a PFLAG mom who can be found walking Pride parades with her son. She is also the daughter of evangelical Christian parents. As such she has been caught in the crossfire of the most heated topic to challenge our society and our churches today. She is committed to writing stories that shed light on the conflicts that arise when sexual orientation, spirituality, family dynamics and peer relationships collide.
Juliann recently won the Emerging Writer Award at The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans.

Juliann lives with her husband and their two chronically disobedient dachshunds in the beautiful Minnesota River Valley.

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June 29, 2014

Redeeming You

We have a lovely Redeeming You excerpt and Giveaway today!! And next Saturday I will be reviewing! So come back!

Redeeming You

Lisa Cardiff

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After walking away from a controlling relationship, Taylor Reed is broke, homeless and unemployed. When her brother, Alec, the drummer for Chasing Ruin offers her a job working for Chasing Ruin for the final thirty days of the tour, Taylor jumps at the chance.

Unfortunately, that job entails keeping Cam Donovan, Chasing Ruin's lead guitarist, out of trouble for the remainder of the tour, but Taylor isn't worried. She's smart enough to keep her distance and there's no way she'll let herself be another notch on his bedpost.

Cam Donovan's life hasn't been the same since he ruined his chances with Bre, his childhood sweetheart. With regrets eating at his soul, he fills his life with meaningless one-night stands blurred by alcohol and drugs until Chasing Ruin threatens to kick him out of the band.

When Taylor joins Chasing Ruin on tour, he'll do anything to avoid the mutual attraction simmering between them. He can't afford another the distraction. But as the lines blur, and the days turn into weeks, Cam and Taylor realize their feelings for each other might be too hard to ignore.

Redeeming You Excerpt:

Noticing a bottle of tequila, she tilted it to the side so she could read the label when her phone vibrated in her back pocket. It was from Cam.
No tequila. It impairs your judgment.
Taylor chuckled as she opened the lid and poured a small amount into a plastic cup even though she didn't intend to drink it. She looked across the room and she saw Cam shaking his head at her. She typed a quick response.
I think you stole my line.
Smiling, she lifted the drink to her lips taunting him, when her phone buzzed again.
I need to go to the bathroom.

Turning her back to Cam, she laughed as she texted him.
Do you need my help?
His one word response was instantaneous.


Lisa Cardiff Bio:

After spending years practicing law and a million other things, Lisa decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer and she must confess that inventing characters is so much more fun than writing contracts and legal briefs.  A native of Colorado, she lives with her husband and three children in Denver. When she isn't managing the chaos of raising three children and owning her own business, she can be found reading or writing a book.

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June 28, 2014

When You Are Mine Review

When You Are Mine

(The Bennetts Book #1)
Kennedy Ryan
3.5 Stars

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Forever is a heartbeat away . . .

Kerris Moreton knows how to make things work. Bounced from foster home to foster home as a kid, she adapted; when opportunity arose, she thrived. Now, about to open her own business and accept a marriage proposal, Kerris is ready to build the life she's always wanted. The only thing missing? A passionate connection with her would-be fiancé, Cam. Kerris wants to believe that sparks are overrated-until Walsh Bennett lights her up like the Fourth of July.

. . . but what about love?

As one of the East Coast's most eligible bachelors, Walsh enjoys financial independence, fulfilling work with his family's nonprofit, and plenty of female attention. But lately he's been distracted by the one woman he can't have. Lovely to look at and even sweeter to know, Kerris is the soul mate Walsh never thought he would find. The problem is, his best friend found her first . . .

Approx: 50K words.


My Thoughts……


This is Kennedy Ryan's debut novel. A first in a new series. When I started this book I was told to expect some angst with a side of angst on the side. I didn't care. I was in the mood for angst and nothing was going to stop me from reading this book.


I should have listened.


I am having a really hard time writing a review for this book. It doesn't feel finished. (Because it's not). The story cut off in the middle and left us hanging. No happy ending, no real way that a happy can even happen for anyone in this book. It really doesn't seem fair for me to write a review for the first one but I am going to. I wasn't sure if I wanted to throw my kindle against the wall or not. But I chose not to because this story isn't finished and I trust the author and hope she can find a way for a happy ending. Even though I am not sure there is a way there. So because I am having a hard time reviewing I am going to write the things I liked and the things I didn't care for.


What I Liked-


  • This book kept me invested. I wanted to keep reading just to find out how this emotional story was going to end.


  • There was no predicting how this book was going to go. Every time I thought it was going to go in one direction it went in a completely different one.


  • The story was different. Most books likes this one are all the same. Boy she's with currently has flaws, boy 2 doesn't. Boy 1 does something that can't be forgiven which send girl to boy 2. Happy Ever After. This one isn't like that. Cam was a likeable guy and he took care of Kerris. There really wasn't anything I can say that was bad about him.


  • I really liked Walsh's dad. He was a character that you really couldn't understand when he enters a scene. He seemed to be the stereotypical asshole business men but you would see glimpses of some depth to him. In the end we see a heartbreaking scene with him and his ex-wife which adds a complexity to his character that I really liked.


  • I want to read the next book.


  • There were a lot of emotions. This book was really good at making you antsy the whole time you read it.


  • I liked there was another person that was in love with someone they shouldn't be. Even though I didn't like how judgmental they were with walsh and kerris.

What I didn't Like-


  • I am a big believer in soul mates, people who are meant to be, destiny, fate, whatever you want to call it. But I also believe in fighting for what you want. I don't think that Walsh for one fought as hard as he should have to try and get his "soul mate". And I feel like he should have stayed away from her after she wouldn't be with him. If they were meant to be they will be eventually. Whether Cam and Kerris are married or not.


  • I had problems with Kerris and Walsh as characters. Fidelity, loyalty, and trust are important characteristics and it seems like they lacked those. Maybe not so much loyalty but still.


  • Cam and Kerris' relationship wasn't real to me. She shared more of herself with Walsh then Cam and Cam was willing to take whatever she was willing to give. Neither Cam nor Kerris were willing to tell the other their secrets. How can you start off a marriage still hiding parts of yourself?


  • I feel like the "love" between Kerris and Walsh wasn't really there either. We didn't get to see them actually form a connection to make it believable. We saw them in the hospital and a few stolen moments but for me there wasn't enough to make me believe they are soul mates who are trying to fight it.



Things that didn't bother me but might bother other readers-


  • The love triangle. Don't get me wrong I hate them too. These are the only stories that I accept them and move past it. The only reason is because we know who the protagonist should be with she just won't accept it.


  • Infidelity. Emotional mostly. There was a kiss or two.


  • No ending. There is another one after this one.


Final Thoughts-


Overall I liked the story and I want to read the next one. It is just so hard to rate this one because the story hasn't ended yet. All I can hope for is everything being ok in the end.

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Changing Forever Review

Changing Forever 

(Rain Book #2)
Lisa De Jong
4 Stars!!!

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I've always let my past dictate my future, letting it paint a picture of exactly what I don't want to be. Where I don't want to end up.

Drake Chambers is as arrogant as I am stubborn. A college quarterback, a national star. I thought he was just another one of those guys … the type every girl should stay away from, but he's carrying more than the weight of the football team on his shoulders.

He unravels the feelings and beliefs I've held onto for so long.

I thought we had it all figured out. Two people who'd finally found their happily ever after, but the past always has a way of sneaking into the present.

With one decision, everything changes … forever.


My Thoughts….


"He kisses me like this might be the last time. Like it's the first. Like it's the sum of every kiss we've ever shared."


This is the first book I have ever read from Lisa De Jong and I was not disappointed. This is the second book in the Rain series but it didn't feel like one. Even though I have not read the first one it didn't matter the first one was a stand-alone and so is this one. But if you have read the first one you get to see a little bit into Kate and Beau after their book has ended. The best thing is that you don't even get a hint about what they go through in this book so even though I read this one first I still don't have any idea what happened in the first book. This book was also a dual POV for Drake and Emery. Which if you have read my reviews before you know I love and I love both of these characters.


Both characters have a past that as of right now they are just trying to live with. They haven't forgotten or moved on. They are just trying to live with the pain and guilt that both Emery and Drake live with every day. Drake and Emery each of their own struggles that they have to go through throughout this book but they also go through many of those as a couple. The dynamic between the two was really interesting. They didn't even like each other in the beginning. The more time they spent together the more they liked each other and they became friends. Now the trouble started with moving out of the friend zone. It needed to happen but Drake had his own demons that were keeping them from doing just that. And just when they found their grove fate steps in and Drake goes back to pushing Emery away and this time it might be for good.


I really liked Emery's character. She knew how she wanted to be treated when she finally let someone through her walls and she didn't let Drake get away with treating her any different. She took him back so many times but love is irrational and I can understand why she did it. And to be honest Drake didn't really do anything that couldn't be forgiven. He definitely couldn't be trusted for a while there but he could be forgiven. Emery was great through this book. She was forgiving and she worked hard. She also grew a lot as a person. She learned to let a few people in and tell them about their past. She saw her childhood through different eyes and she was able to let go of the pain of her mom.


Now Drake is a different story. He struggle and growth took a lot longer to happen. To me it felt like he didn't want to let it go so it got a little old there at some points. I wanted more of Him and Emery happy and a couple. This book was more about each of their struggles than anything else. Even though he doesn't like to admit it he can be sweet through this book even when he doesn't try. Drake, to me, has a little bit of a savior complex with his family. His mom is clearly getting better but he still doesn't let the pressure he feels go to help them out and go through with football. But he is also amazing when it comes to caring about them so much.


The story was written really well. The writing flowed and kept me interested through the book. There wasn't a part where I was bored or wanted to skip ahead. One of the two twists I saw coming. And that's fine some books are predictable but still good and this was one of. I would definitely read more from this author and I am definitely going to buy the first book with Kate and Beau!

"It's these moments of truth and honesty that attract me to her. It's in these moments that I want to be with her. I want her to be the girl I kiss after each win. I want her to be the one who takes care of me when I'm injured. I want her to be the one who I tell everything.
                God knows I need someone."

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June 27, 2014

Inside Out Series

I have some things for you guys!!!
Let's start out with an excerpt from the lovely Inside Out series!!


My pickpocket has dashed for the door in a full sprint.
Chris turns to me, hands solidly planted on my shoulders. "Stay here. And I mean stay here, Sara." Then he runs for the door.
I'm running before Chris is even outside. There's no way I'm staying inside when he's chasing a criminal who could easily be armed.
Shoving my way past the doors, struggling to slide my purse across my chest, I burst outside, and I might as well have been sprayed in the face with a fire hose for the fierceness of the cold rain attacking me. Shoving my soaked hair from my face, I desperately scan for Chris, and find him in a hard run to my left. Instantly I am in motion, wishing my thin silk blouse was warmer and my heels lower. Wishing even more that I dared have my phone ready in case I need to call for help, without the downpour ruining it.
When I am a half a block from the embassy, Chris is another half block ahead of me, and the rain is torture. I swipe the water clinging to my face, as if that will really help. I blink again and panic when I can't find Chris. One minute he was in front of me, the next he is out of sight. Panic assails me, and my heart jackhammers. Thunder crashes above me and I nearly jump out of my skin, but I keep running.


The wonderful books themselves…..


If I Were You:

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When Sara McMillan finds a stack of journals in a storage unit, she's shocked and enthralled by the erotic life the writer led. Unable to stop reading, she vicariously lives out dark fantasies through Rebecca, the writer--until the terrifying final entry.


Certain something sinister has happened, Sara sets out to discover the facts, immersing herself in Rebecca's life. Soon she's working at the art gallery Rebecca worked at and meeting Rebecca's friends. Finding herself drawn to two dangerously sexy men, the manager of the gallery and a famed artist, Sara realizes she's going down the same path Rebecca took. But with the promise of her dark needs being met by a man with confident good looks and a desire for control, she's not sure anything else matters. Just the burn for more.

Buy Links:

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 Rebecca's Journal—A Novella:

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Kept under lock and key, discovered by chance, dangerous new secrets and scintillating adventures lie within Rebecca's private diaries—searing scenes from a passionate journey inside a world where pain is pleasure, pleasure is pain, and where every limit she once had is no more.

Buy Links:

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Being Me:

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I arch into him, drinking in his passion, instantly, willingly consumed by all that he is and could be to me. . . .


Sara McMillan is still searching for Rebecca, the mysterious woman whose dark, erotic journal entries both enthralled and frightened her. Tormented by a strong desire to indulge the demands of her new boss while also drawn deeper into her passionate bond with the troubled artist, Chris Merit, Sara must face a past as deeply haunting as Rebecca's written words. In one man's arms, Sara will find the safe haven to reveal her most intimate secrets and explore her darkest fantasies. But is safety just an illusion, when the truth about Rebecca has yet to be discovered?

Buy Links:

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The Master Undone—A Novella:

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I told him goodbye, and I will not call him. I know if I do, it will be my undoing, and I'll once again be caught up in his spell. I will once again be…lost.


In her private journals, Rebecca laid bare her soul, revealing her obsession for the one man whose erotic demands captivated her imagination—and enslaved her forever. Now, with Rebecca no longer in his life, her former Master is lost—questioning everything he thought he knew about himself, and the control he holds in such high regard. One woman will reach out to heal him and then turn away, leaving him haunted. She is nothing he thought he wanted, and somehow everything he needs. He tells himself to forget her, but he cannot escape his desire for her. He has to have more...

Buy Links:

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 Revealing Us:

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You've discovered Rebecca's secrets. You've discovered Sara's secrets. Now Sara will discover "his" deepest, darkest secrets...but will those secrets bind them together--or tear them apart?

Buy Links:

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And now because I like you…..another slightly longer excerpt!!!! And then we will end will an amazing giveaway!

Rounding the corner, I enter the hallway, and Chris is suddenly there in the narrow passage with me, pressing me against the wall, his powerful thighs framing mine.
My hand goes instinctively to his t-shirt-clad chest. I am immediately aware of the intimacy of the touch, of my body's reaction to the man who has betrayed me. "Don't shove me against another wall and try to intimidate me, Chris."
"I'm not trying to intimidate you. I was protecting you, Sara." His hands move to my waist, scorching me, and my reaction to the sizzling touch is instant. I cover his hands with mine, trying to control what he does next, but it doesn't help. Now, my hands are on his hands and his hands are on my body.
"Call it what you want," I ground out, "but you had no right to do what you did."
"He had to know he couldn't manipulate your dream. Money, and my many resources at your disposal, does that."
His words knock my anger and my breath away, and confusion consumes me. His actions and his words conflict at every turn. "Why would you help me? You said I don't belong in this world."
"Because I won't watch him gobble you up and destroy you."
I remember his words, and understand now that he wanted me out of this gallery, not this profession. "Because he's a dark, messed up, arrogant asshole who will play with my mind and use me until there is nothing else left of me I recognize."
"That's right."
"And yet you say you're worse."
He stiffens and cuts his gaze, seeming to struggle before fixing me in a turbulent stare. "I am, Sara, which is why you should run as far away from me as you can. And I should step back and let you."
"Then why aren't you?" I whisper.
His eyes hold mine, and what I see there, the depth of his desire, overwhelms me. He flattens his palm on my belly and I tremble beneath the touch, and he has to feel it too. "Because," his voice low, seductive, his hand traveling up the center of my body, "I can't stop thinking about you, and everything I want to do to you, everywhere I want to touch you."
His hand presses to the swell between my breasts, and my nipples ache with a wish he would touch them. His boldness ignites something sultry and dark inside me, a side of me that defies the good-girl school teacher who is appalled I haven't stopped this. I want him. I want him here and now, and any way I can have him.
And when his gaze lowers to my mouth and lingers, I know he is thinking about kissing me and I have never wanted to be kissed so badly in my life.
"Do you taste as good as I think you do?" he asks, but he doesn't wait for my reply.
Suddenly, his fingers have tunneled into my hair and he's dragging my mouth to his. I am all soft submission, yielding to the moment, to the man. I melt into him, welcome the hardness of his body pressed to mine. And when his tongue presses past my lips, a long, wicked caress, I taste his hunger, his need. There is possessiveness to his kiss, to his hand on my back, molding me closer. I am lost in the ache that has become my need for this man, this stranger I cannot resist. He says he's protecting me; he says he's dangerous. I am conflicted, and sure I should be angry with him, but I am completely incapable and unable of processing why.



Lisa Renee Jones  Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland, Austin Powers, Must Love Dogs) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today and USA Today lists.

Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on twitter and facebook daily.

Author Links:

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