Rom-Com isn’t an easy sub-genre to write in romance. Leave it to Belle Brooks to wrap herself around the shtick and nail it with her new release Bang Bang. She takes the wrong place, wrong time trope and runs with it, as cake-loving Miranda pulls Joe Haggerty off the street for a bite of cake and soon discovers she’s bitten off more than she can chew with the random street hunk.
Brooks brilliantly constructs the who done it with fun unconventional antics. The banter between Miranda and Haggerty flows throughout the novel. In true Brooks form, there is suspense, a sense of realism, humor, and a budding love which makes it altogether a fun light read. End your summer with a Pow and pick up Bang Bang. You won’t regret it!
Miranda Sikes is a twenty-year-old university student who hates venturing into the city, but her grandmother’s watchband isn’t going to repair itself.
The watchband doesn’t get fixed.
She misses the bus home.
She’s stuck in the one place she loathes.
But there’s a silver lining: free wedding cake by Alessandro. It’s only the best cake in the world. Now all Miranda needs is a fiancé to dine with so she can meet the store’s terms.
Miranda’s next decision will change the course of her day, her year, and her life.
And it all happens when she grabs the arm of a man named Haggerty, finds herself shoeless while running down a busy street, and is forced to dive to the ground when she hears …
There is something about Max Savage that draws the reader into his world from the first three sentences. He’s observant, reflective, and exudes a strength that forces your hand into falling into his web. Savage knows his way around the world and brings his specialty to Tulsa, Oklahoma. His charm finds himself in the middle of a puzzle with a hot, smart as a whip, witty female detective ready to make Tulsa open its doors to the big picture.
Sloane Howell unleashes a masterpiece of brilliance with Savage Beast. He paints the picture of Max Savage, Tulsa, and the underworld in a way only Howell knows how to do. Howell is spot on with the mystery and deceit and folds in a slight air of sexy mischief. He’s rich in exposition, but he’s not careless and frivolous with his intent. Howell builds up the rich good ‘ol boy’s network into an artful masterpiece which falls along the lines of Grisham, Brown, and Child’s works. What sets Howell apart from most authors is the ability to dive into new genres and take off running while nailing the themes and styles from the first word to the last word. A worthwhile read and I’m looking forward to more of Max Savage and Sloane Howell’s artistry!
They killed his best friend. Now, someone must pay.
Former soldier Max Savage lives off the grid, leaving behind the society that scorned him. But when his best friend’s murder is ruled a suicide, Savage is hellbent on finding who’s responsible and why.Partnering with a headstrong detective looking to prove her worth, Savage pursues a set of cryptic clues that lead to shady backroom deals and the highest levels of corruption.
As the clock dwindles, devastating secrets are revealed. The pair must decide whether to risk their lives against overwhelming odds or watch the world they love crumble down around them.
If you love pulse-pounding thrillers loaded with suspense, action, and twists you don’t see coming, Max Savage is for you! Click buy now and start reading today!
The time for cheers, tears, and celebration arrived with mixed emotions. The last of our offspring closing the final chapter of her fifteen years in the education system. Two years of pre-school then thirteen from kindergarten to twelfth grade. As parents, we hovered when we needed and backed away when each of our children showed the signs they acquired the skillset for spreading their wings alone.
Mr. and I watched Eldest move through first, and we learned along with him with each step. He graduated with honors and laid down a foundation of excellence which his siblings watched and followed. Middle pulled the line next and provided us the affirmation our process and playbook rang true. Both boys went through high school with the typical schedule for type A kids: AP/IB rigorous courses, played a sport at the top of their game and both were team captains, participated and involved themselves in Model United Nations—not just as delegates but as part of the elected governing body—they earned accolades and respect from the teachers and administration which made Little a legacy in the eyes of the school.
She followed this legacy all through elementary and middle school. She internalized her emotions for a long time about the difficulties of following flawless brothers, in her eyes. By the end of eighth grade, she turned to wearing mostly black and didn’t smile as much as in previous times in her life. She turned salty and bitter with less and less communication passing between her and us. We watched her grades and kept our finger on her pulse as we encouraged her to try out for volleyball, a sport she loved and played despite her autoimmune issues which take a toll on her knee, and kept playing the same playbook we did with the boys.
She entered high school excited but scared. This legacy crushed her internally, but she kept steady and solid as she played volleyball and stuck her nose in the books. We watched her like a hawk and allowed her enough space to grow but not enough to fall by the wayside. There were arguments as the pressure inside her grew, yet she held it at bay not knowing how we would react if she unloaded these pressures on us. In her mind, she was following two successful acts, and she was the downfall.
She loved volleyball, but the program did not fit her. Her volleyball coach was also the girls’ basketball coach and encouraged her to try out. She made the team not knowing a thing about basketball, but her coach believed in her, and it helped bring her back into the light. We watched her smile and grow as he continued pushing her limits and teaching her the game. We cannot thank him enough for finding the key which turned her self-esteem around. There are people who come into your life that make all the difference in the world. He rates at the top for our Little.
Freshman year she began Model United Nations. She loved it in middle school and wanted to continue on in high school. Another thing she was legacy in as her brothers also went through the program. Unfortunately, in her freshman year the teacher ended up on administrative leave and they found a less than solid person to fill those shoes. It was a constant rotation of substitutes, and the inconsistency singed the program a bit.
Then the tragedy of all tragedies occurred. Winter break hit and we received a call that her best friend also sat in the darkness but didn’t find her way to the light. The small glimmers of light in Little’s world shattered with that phone call. She fell a few rungs and the next eighteen months loomed in the outside facade of high school happiness, but her inner self warred with the “why does this happen.” Again. Mr. and I did our best to keep within her inside the circle but allowed her to grieve and work through the catastrophic impact at her own rate.
Freshman year she met Tex in her English class after break. A new boy in town with a gloomy past. We told her no dating until she reached her junior year. She didn’t listen. Deep down, Little is a fixer. She only wants to bring happiness to others. She wanted to fix all those insecurities Tex held inside and make him shine. He wanted a girlfriend to hang on his arm and absorb all the wrongs in his life. It was a terrible combo, and Mr. and I knew it. Again, we watched and parented to the best of our ability. Not leaving to chance, if we closed the door with an absolute no to seeing Tex, that in typical teen style, it would resort to sneaking around behind our backs to see him. This road was tough, but fortunately, her coach, a few teachers she adored, and the few close girlfriends she had all helped her find her own road away from Tex, and it ended in junior year.
She thought junior year would be much the same as sophomore but with more academic rigor. She warred with staying with basketball and dropped drama, except for the Cappies review team she loved. The drama program played favorites, and she was not one of them. The decision to drop those courses was tough, but she found Spanish really suited her. Spanish four was something she looked forward too.
Unfortunately, basketball changed its face on her. Her beloved coach was hired somewhere else, and a new coach stepped in. She had stuck with the team despite unbearable pain in her knee because she respected her coach and his belief in her. She arrived for the first summer practice and came home to tell us she quit. When we asked why she let us know he was a total creep and something about him was off. In our minds, she loved her first coach and thought this fell in line with other things she mourned like her friend, the end of playing volleyball, the freshman year MUN debacle, and other things she lamented over in the past. We were proven wrong when, by senior year spring, it came out he was asked to leave and arrested on a suspicion of inappropriate acts with minors. Little’s internal compass was spot on!
Spring of junior year Little hit her stride. The light flickered and began its slow rise to brightness. The IB (International Bachelorette) program requires a CAS project. She decided to write, direct, and produce her own play. Through the help of her middle school drama teacher, she wrote a play dealing with the strains social media adds to teenagers lives. She directed it toward middle school students as she believes social media, in part, was a catalyst to her friend’s suicide. She spent from April until August writing a play. The dialogue, stage directions, music, and stage sets all poured into a manuscript that she copyrighted. When school started, she worked with her middle school drama teacher and held auditions of his drama students, picked a cast, rehearsed with them and built the sets she researched and designed. It was an innovative set as she designed a six-foot mock cell phone with a backlit projector and mock social media and text exchange slides to occur during the interactions of her actors. The play was well received when show night hit in November. It was a tremendous undertaking and we believe it was the pinnacle moment when her self confidence unfolded its wings, and she began to live for herself again.
The next big boost was her participation as the elected Director General of OPI (Office of Public Information) in the MUN secretariat. Every year the program raises money for a non-profit organization that makes an impact on a world issue. She presented the idea of representing Live Literately When the founder of Live Literately, author David Michael, asked what drove her to suggest Live Literately to the MUN board for approval. She told him, “I want to represent Live Literately as they not only want to address the issue of literacy, which is a world issue, they are accepting of LGBTQ+ issues. It’s time that MUN programs reach out and represent all issues across the globe.” The program accepted her proposal and raised $500 with the donations given by participating delegates of MUN programs.
Little continued writing drama reviews for Cappies and served as a co-lead critic for the program. Her love of theatre is strong, and I don’t see her giving it up completely when she arrives at college.
By graduation day she filled her requirements and earned membership into the National Honors Society, California Scholarship Federation, MUN four year member, International World Languages Medallion, IB diploma, and graduated with honors, in the top 7% of her class of 557.
We left her last night for graduation night. They were going to an undisclosed location, and we were to pick her up at six am the next morning. By ten-thirty we had a text from her that the private bus company never showed. Grad night was canceled at eleven-thirty, and we picked her up from school with a frown and not the smile we left her with as she left the graduation ceremony. In the end, this actually was the perfect culmination of her high school experience. Each step of the way she learned something new, despite it coming on the heels of an unfortunate experience.
Little is a beautiful soul with so much to give the world. I know deep in my heart that she will spread her wings in the fall at college and look back on the past four years with a bit of salt but in the end it will taste way sweeter when she realizes she wouldn’t be the young woman she is today without each of those experiences in her tool kit. This new road shimmers with excitement, and her self-esteem is intact and solid which warms my heart as we prepare for her to fly.
Indie O’Connell embraces her genetic blemishes and turns them into flawless works of art. She’s loved and admired in her family. A place colored with freedom and safety. Indie’s twin, Royal, stands by her side as a best friend, protector, and her light in the dark times. When Royal finds his happiness in Camden, a fellow college student, Indie gains a new confident but loses a bit of Royal.
Kai, Camden’s roommate, fights his own demons. He shields himself from his own pain through swimming, majoring in something he believes will make others proud, and finding friendship in the least likely of places; his teammate, Royal. The complication comes when he makes a move to make himself happy, and he finds himself seeking shelter in Royal’s sister. A girl who asks him for nothing but makes him want to be a better man. A man she can trust and rely on as his own world falls apart.
I knew diving into Johnson’s work the themes and topics would follow the tropes of difficult choices, situations, and taboos most authors shy away from penning. Johnson once said, “This work might upset her following as it contains the least amount of sex of any of her works.”
I disagree. Indie and Kai develop as two lost souls and search to find the key to those flaws they see within themselves. They each desire love, commitment, and trust. Deep down within each of them is an innocence they work hard to cover up to the outside world; An innocence which needs fostering and molding by the best artists. Artists who know it takes time developing perfection and dance with purpose through the process.
I made the mistake of finishing reading Seven Shades of You while in my classroom. Johnson’s words moved me in ways only her works are capable. She showed me the layers of violets, reds, blacks, browns, blues, yellows, and more which breathed life and passion into every word of this prose. She touches on mental illness, deadly diseases, suicide, and self loathing while building the backbone of the series which relies on truth, trust, and an open heart for viewing others and oneself in a light of joy and depth which destroys the naysayers and builds only the bridges of love, light, rainbows, and happiness. In the end, Johnson checks off one more incredible work which opens the doors for taboo subjects and healthy discussions and solutions for all walks of life to enjoy.
Seven Shades of You (A Twin Heart Series Standalone Novel)
Her world was color. Canvas and paint.
Indie O’Connell lived inside her head.
Her voices the muse.
And as a freshman at St. Peter’s College, all she wanted, was to create a name for herself with the brush in her hand.
His world was over.
Despite his humble upbringing, Kai Carter seemed to have it all.
Captain of the swim team and a full scholarship. His golden boy status a mask he had to wear to keep his dream and his family afloat.
All the pieces of his life dangled precariously from his fingertips.
Forced to fight a battle he’d never signed up for, Kai’s loyalty turned out to be his undoing, and like a good captain, no matter what the cost, he’d gone down with the ship.
They never planned for their worlds to collide.
He was her brother’s best friend.
She was supposed to be invisible.
Being together, regardless of how much they wanted it, was a line they’d never cross.
But when lives get messy, lines get blurred, and in love, nothing is ever black and white.
The beauty of Zane Michaelson’s works lies in his willingness to challenge the status quo. He takes on risky topics and fleshes out all the details good, bad, and indifferent. He explores the dark corners of desperation and sex trafficking in his latest release, Pimped Out: Selling My Soul Part One. The ugly truths of Tyson Reece come to light when he finds himself out of a job and starving. He turns to the most dangerous man he knows for help. A man who broke him once and won’t be afraid to do it again. Michaelson weaves in a hungry young detective, a heart-stopping best friend, and a world tainted with drugs, sex, and deceit behind the high rollers of Liverpool’s seedy underworld.
Michealson’s Pimped Out hits the reader in the chest and leaves no room for skipping a page or closing one’s eyes. This work touches on a current topic of sex trafficking that exists more than citizens choose to recognize. Modern authors, such as Grisham, hit racial discrimination in A Time to Kill with a brutal rape and murder of a young girl in the backroads of Mississippi. It opened the eyes of the public wide to the injustices still alive and well in the 21st century. Alice Sebold hit the market with Lucky, her own brutal account of being raped while attending New York University. Then she followed it up with Lovely Bones. It later went on to be made into a film. These authors also sought to open up the eyes of the public to brutal truths in modern day society. I appreciate the bold honesty with which Michaelson opens the doors to the brutality and darkness within sex trafficking and the modern world. Society cannot stop what they sweep under the carpet and authors bold enough to tackle the big issues are well worth reading.
‘Selling my Soul: Part One – Pimped Out’
by Zane Michaelson
Dear Life follows the lives of four characters whose lives turned in a direction they never expected. Daisy is the sheltered one, while Carter wears a chip on his shoulder. Jace makes a choice which is one of the hardest decisions he must wrestle with, and Hallyn has her fairytale ripped from beneath her. Megan Quinn brilliantly tells this tale of fate, love, sacrifice, and rebirth with a conviction that moves the soul. She leaves her audience thinking about how many are given a new lease on life and how many are left behind. Quinn brought tears and empathy as well as happiness and joy to these flawed survivors.
Quinn takes the plunge into writing this novel through several lenses. First, a four character POV. Then she weaves in letters and texts to enrich the depth of the sobering themes. Overall, Quinn explores the ups and downs and creates a beautiful tribute for this thing we call life. I waited to read this one as I knew the emotional rollercoaster of the words Quinn penned between the covers. This will definitely be a re-read as it moved me in ways I never expected!
It’s New Years Eve and time for a resolution. Time for decision and self-discovery. After all, isn’t that what starting over, in a new year, is all about? Forgiveness. Clean slates? Finding beauty in heartbreak and pain, and finding yourself along the way?
We hope so.
Because we’ve immersed in the anonymously published Dear Life program, designed to help us step outside of our comfort zones and start anew. Forced to face obstacles and relinquish our demons we’ll come together–or fall apart– to prove our existence:
Hollyn: The perpetually hurt
Daisy: The sheltered and naïve
Jace: The athlete with a heart of gold
Carter: The bitter and pained dreamer
Win big or lose it all, we’re at a crossroads in our lives; four strangers meeting in the middle. Do we have what it takes to use this one chance and start over? Or will we fall apart
The Vampyre Romance continues with Dangerous Game. Michaelson provides a slow expositionary novella in book one, The One. In book two, Dangerous Game, he picks up the pace as Zahir combs the continents in search of Adriel, Sebastian, and Sienna. Michaelson digs deeper into the realm of vampyres, witches, and the ethereal natures of the PNR genre. His ability lies in character development and strong connections within the setting. He paints the picture of old lore with modern-day attributes and combines the centuries of history with flawless transition and beauty.
Michaelson’s versatility among the subgenres of romance continues entertaining his audience. He pens each word of Dangerous Game in the PNR world just as easily as he blotted the paper for contemporary romance, non-fiction romance, and erotica. The PNR series floats back to styles of Shelley in Frankenstein and Stokers, Dracula. All in all the series is shaping up and I can’t wait to see what taboos and debauchery among the vamps and witches Michaelson will unfold next in this series.
❈*✫•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫♥️✫•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫*❈° ♥️░O░U░T░ ░N░O░W░♥️ °❈*✫•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫♥️✫•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫*❈° °❈*✫DANGEROUS GAME ✫*❈°
After the shock discovery of Adriel’s true nature, Sebastián and Sienna whisk her away to Venice in the hope of tracking down Millicent Balanza.
A powerful witch in her own right, Millicent, is a direct descendent of Sienna, and Adriel’s only hope.
Wary of her own gifts, Millicent has retreated from the real world and lives a solitary existence. She hasn’t spoken to another living soul for many years, but this could change as she senses Sienna’s presence.
Will Millicent reveal herself to Sienna?
Is she powerful enough to protect Adriel?
Only time will tell.
Back in London, leader of the vampires, Zahir, is on the hunt for Sebastián and Sienna, hell bent on making them answer for their crimes.
Following the death of Lucy, Zahir will leave no stone unturned until he finds out why she was murdered by Sebastián, and why Sienna conspired to cover up the crime.
Desperate for answers, he tracks down Adriel’s ex-lover, Benjamin, who has been compelled by Sebastián to forget the events of the last few days.
Dax Morgan leaps onto the music scene with his band 22 Goats. The youngest of the Morgan crew finally steps on the stage and collides with his ultimate muse, Violet Rhodes. The two find all the fuel, lighting the flame between them, but timing and circumstances block their path to easy street.
Lauren Rowe continues filling in all the missing pieces of the Morgan family and truly rocks Dax Morgan to his core. Rowe weaves in the usual humor of the Morgans and the pained realities of how love wraps itself around one’s soul. The road to love is never easy and Rowe paints the pros and cons of hitting it big in the entertainment arena with all its glitter and glory along with its gluttony and wrath. The way Rowe seamlessly weaves in the Morgan family, and their entourage of sidekicks, is a brilliant display of talent and hard work as she captures within the entirety of the series. Rockstar is sweet with a cherry on top and the perfect HEA!
It was lyrics at first sight when I saw Violet Rhodes across that crowded party. She was lights and darks, swirled together. Music in motion. And all of it while looking like a hitwoman at an Elvis convention.
I had nothing to offer the intriguing girl but a one-night stand. I figured I’d revel in my last night of anonymity before my first tour and shoot her a quick “We’ll always have L.A.!” goodbye the next morning.
But nothing went according to plan.
In one night, Violet crawled under my skin and into my bloodstream. She tattooed her name across my chest and between my legs. She became my muse. And then she was gone.
Now, months later, here she is again. And in a twist I never saw coming, it turns out Violet is ultra-violet radiation. Beautiful, ethereal light bringing with her the promise of damage and destruction.
My brain tells me to walk away from this girl, but my heart can’t stop feeling like she might be one of a kind . . . the sort of girl who comes along once in a violet moon.
ROCKSTAR is a standalone romance, the love story of Dax Morgan and the electrifying woman who rocked his world during his journey to worldwide rock superstardom
Joshua Edward Smith continues dazzling his audience with his newest work, Singularity. The plot hits too close to home with its topic nailing the tainted financial institutions and the 21st-century era of hacking and empty currencies corrupting the stock market. Smith’s ability diving deep into a topic shows as he dissects the idea of cryptocurrency and explores the dark side of greed and deception as his cast characters hack away at the financial system. Even for those who do not dabble in the marketplace, Smith provides plenty of explanation and exploration of this explosive topic. Singularity adds one more notch carved out in Smith’s wide repertoire of works.
Eileen is a smart, successful Millennial with a great career, a best friend, and an exciting new love interest. Yet nothing in her idyllic life is as it seems: her love interest has a devastating secret; her friend’s life is imploding; her job may be triggering a global financial crisis. As everything unravels, can a small group of friends change the course of the world economy?
Fast-paced, suspenseful, and sophisticated, Singularity paints an intimate portrait of the evolution of deep friendships on a canvas woven from cryptography, blockchain, quantum physics, law, and finance.
LJ Shen began the journey of the Hot Holes with Defy. A little novella which introduced us all to Jaime Followhill and his wicked ways of seducing Melody Greene into his bed and forcing her to face her dreams. Now, Shen is back to introduce Daria Followhill; the beautiful offspring with the devious mini-me characteristics of her father and his fellow All Saints High Hot Holes. Daria wants the angel on her shoulder to shine brighter, but the devil in red simmers behind her pupils and forces her hand when her firsts are promised to Penn Scully long before she understands how to handle the demons of puberty and jealousy inside.
Shen’s artistry with the written word and ability to deflower a plot and deliver it to maturity brings out this brilliantly flawed new age romance. Shen takes the ugly secrets of high school rivalries, clicks, and torment to a new level. The emotions run high as Shen unfolds these fragile characters, wrapping the reader between the inked words, the angst of reliving high school horrors, and the beauty of growing past all the ugly sides of puberty into amazing adults. Reckless is a wonderful addition to the Hot Hole family and a must read!
If you haven’t started at the beginning you need to #oneclick now!
✔ Teacher-student romance ✔ Taboo ✔ Angsty ✔ Perfect length (novella) ✔ The prequel to the Sinners of Saint series!
From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an intense, high school enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced.
I took her first kiss.
She took the only thing I loved.
I was poor.
She was rich.
The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.
Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.
Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.
There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.
Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.
Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.
In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.
Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.
His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.
Now? Now he is making me pay.