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{Blog Tour} Review+Giveaway: The One That I Want

Friday, August 7, 2015

Title: The One That I Want (Mirabelle Harbor, #2)
Author: Marilyn Brant 
Publication date: July 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


Purchase from Amazon || Smashwords || iBooks

Synopsis:
The summer after her beloved husband died in a car accident, Julia Meriwether Crane is still picking up the pieces of her life in Mirabelle Harbor and trying to help her ten-year-old daughter adjust to this difficult new reality.

After her best friend Sharlene—one of the well-known Michaelsen siblings—talks her into finally going out on the town again, Julia finds herself stunned to be the object of interest of several different men: The boy who’d broken her heart back in high school. The college ex she’d left behind. And most surprising of all, the movie actor she’d always fantasized about but had never met in person until now. Can one woman have more than one “great love” in the same lifetime? And, if so, how can she be sure which man that’ll be?

Sometimes the person you think will be best for you…isn’t the one you really want. THE ONE THAT I WANT, a Mirabelle Harbor story.

Review: Jesse's Girl

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
16045315Title: Jesse's Girl
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Music

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

{Blog Tour} Review+Giveaway: Wish For Me

Friday, July 31, 2015

Title: Wish for Me (The Djinn Order #1)
Author: A. Star  
Publication date: April 27th 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk


Purchase from Amazon || B&N

Synopsis:
Three wishes. Two lovers. One destiny.

When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.

Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.

But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window. As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth…a truth neither of them will ever see coming.

WARNING: Not suitable for ages 18 and under. A significant source of bad language, sexy times, and dirty jokes. If you suffer from a lack of a sense of humor, take with plenty of wine. If the symptom persists, see a doctor.

My Thoughts

Wish For Me caught my interest with the genie in a lamp thing, which made me think that it would be like a fairy tale retelling of Aladdin. But it totally wasn't.

Both characters, Irving and Glory had great personalities, and it was fun to read their interactions. Their banters and conversations were humorous, and they reeled me into continue reading. Before I knew it, I was almost done reading it! I love how Glory is independent, confident and straight-forward. Although, I just couldn't find myself entirely being able to connect with her. Maybe it's just because that she's someone who is the opposite of me. Just maybe.

The pacing was perfect also! There was a great balance between the action, character development, romance, and all those kind of stuff! It's just that, there were some parts that while they were fun to read, I just didn't get the point of it. And everything just came tumbling down by the end. I really enjoyed reading this one, I really did. But, MYGALLY!!! That ending! I really hate cliffhangers, I really do. But there are cliffhangers that I can come to accept, and there are some that I can't. Sad to say, this is one of them. I just totally did not expect the ending to be coming that soon, and I felt dumbfounded when I saw that I was already at the last page.

Nevertheless, I still think that I'll be picking up the next installment once it comes out. If you don't mind cliffhangers, go read this now! If you mind, well, maybe put this one off until the next one comes out. Either way, Wish For Me is a great read.

My Rating


About the Author


A. Star is a fan of dirty passion. She loves to read it, and she damn sure loves to write it. She is the author of the Mythos: Gods & Lovers series, the Djinn Order series, and the Knights of the Joust series. She is a night-owl and a coffee junkie, and the only sneaker she would be caught dead wearing are Converses.

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{Blog Tour} Review+Excerpt+Giveaway: All I've Never Wanted

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Title: All I've Never Wanted
Author: Ana Huang
Publication Date: June 15, 2015

Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | iBooks

Summary from Goodreads:
The Scions were the four richest, most powerful guys at Valesca Academy, and they ruled the school with iron fists. Everyone wanted to date them or be them...everyone, that is, except Maya Lindberg, who just wanted to avoid them until she could graduate.

She almost succeeded, until an ill-advised outburst on her part put her right in the Scions' path. Just like that, one became her fake boyfriend, one her unwanted matchmaker, one her guardian angel, and the one she couldn't stand the most? Yeah, he's her new housemate.

A Young Adult romantic comedy that explores what happens when a girl gets everything she never asked for, including a puppy, a new wardrobe, and, possibly, even true love.

Excerpt

“Why you get ride from strange boys?” My grandmother glared at my mom. “This how you raise daughter?”
My  mom  just  looked bewildered. She obviously  had  no  idea what was going on. Actually, neither did I.
“No, he’s not a strange boy!” I was desperate to make this stop. “He’s—uh...“ Suddenly, I had a lightbulb moment. “He’s my boyfriend!”
My mom, grandmother, and Parker all whipped their heads around to stare at me in shock. They spoke at the same time.
“He is?”
“You are?”
“I am?”
I smiled sweetly and reached out to grab Parker’s hand, squeezing it tighter than normal. “Yes. This is Parker. He was the boyfriend I told you about.”

My Thoughts

I got engrossed with this one pretty quick - I was even scolded by my mom because apparently she had been calling me for dinner three times already (and I didn't hear her.) YES. It wasn't intense, but it was definitely attention-catching. I just love the humor! Especially the parts where Maya's grandmother is involved - gotta love the grandma! <3

Actually, when I was reading the first few chapters of this, I thought that the story seemed very familiar. And whoa! I just read somewhere that it was inspired by Hana Yori Dango (I totally did not know about this one.) At first, my urge to continue reading lessened. It may be funny, but I didn't want to reread the entire Hana Yori Dango story again. I'm glad I finished this one, though.

While there may be similarities, there were also things that kept All I've Never Wanted different from Hana Yori Dango. It was refreshing, and a great break from the academic stress I am right now in. I just couldn't stop smiling! :D

I can't say that I exactly felt a connection between the characters and me (I didn't experience the same things as them), but it wasn't hard to find myself liking them, as each of them had their own personalities. I especially love their interactions with each other as friends. Although, I couldn't say the same for the romance. There were some, especially for Carlo's case, that I hoped was developed more. At times, it made me feel like they were able to find their love just so that everyone could have their own HEA, and it didn't really suit me that well.

Also, I just didn't like how the POV kept on shifting without any cue. It was confusing at most times, especially when I didn't really know who's POV it was. And while it was humorous and spirit-lifting (at least for me), towards the latter part of the story, I felt that it started becoming a little bit draggy.

Nevertheless, All I've Never Wanted is a great read, even though the story isn't really entirely new. While the romance may seem a little bit too perfect, it was still cute and fun to read, nonetheless.

My Rating


About the Author

Ana Huang, better known as ACRL37 on Wattpad, primarily writes Young Adult and Romance. She started writing her first novel, All I've Never Wanted, when she was sixteen; it was originally inspired by the Asian manga Hana Yori Dango (also known as Meteor Garden and Boys Over Flowers). Her second novel, If We Ever Meet Again, was loosely based on her own study abroad experiences in college. Her stories currently have a combined view of over 20 million on Wattpad. 

Besides reading and writing, she also enjoys politics, brunch, and traveling.

Author Links:
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{Blog Tour} Excerpt+Giveaway: Faking Perfect

Friday, July 3, 2015
Title: Faking Perfect
Author: Rebecca Phillips
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
K-Teen
272 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
“Edgy and honest, Faking Perfect is the real thing.” –Huntley Fitzpatrick

When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High's resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules:
1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben.

Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?

Rebecca Phillips has been a fan of contemporary young adult fiction ever since she first discovered Judy Blume at the age of twelve. After a brief stint writing bad poetry as a teenager, she finally found her niche with realistic, coming‑of‑age YA. Her third novel, OUT OF NOWHERE, was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She's also the author of the best-selling JUST YOU series. Her next YA novel, FAKING PERFECT (Kensington), is set to be released on June 30, 2015.



Excerpt


When I seduced Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, I never imagined he’d still be sneaking inand out of my bedroom window six months later. Then again, nothing about our relationship had ever been conventional. “Shh,” I said. “My mom’s upstairs.” “She never hears anything,” Tyler said with a frustrated grunt. My window was stuck again. I lay on my stomach on the bed, my eyes on his slim silhouette as he banged his palm against the latch, trying to loosen it. A string of profanity followed each thump. Tyler had zero patience for things that didn’t yield easily. I rolled over and pulled the covers up to my chin. He was right—my mother never heard anything. Not even the strange noises coming from her daughter’s basement bedroom in the middle of the night. Just like she never smelled my cigarette smoke or saw the roadmap of red lines that snaked through the whites of my eyes after a particularly wild party. She probably wasn’t even aware that my bedroom window opened up to the side of the house where a person could slip in and out, undetected in the darkness. After a few more minutes of abuse, the window finally creaked open. The faint, crisp scent of winter filtered through the stuffiness in the room. Tyler shoved his feet into his sneakers and turned to thewindow, bracing his arms on the sill and steeling his body in preparation to boost himself out. Then, changing his mind, he spun back around to face me. “You really need a new window.” His voice was louder than usual He raised his voice as if he wastryingto alert my mother to his presence. He loved to goad me, see how far he could push me before I got mad and started locking him out. “I can’t risk getting stuck in here for the night.” My insides recoiled at the thought of spending the entire night with him. “I’ll just grease the hingesagain or something. Good night.” “Anxious to get rid of me, Lexi?” “You’re letting all the heat out,” I replied. He reached behind him to shut the window again and returned to the bed, where I was still snuggled up under the multicolored quilt my grandmother had made for me when I was a baby. I wondered what she’d think if she could see me now. “What are you doing?” I asked when Tyler kicked off his shoes and crawled onto the bed. He settled on his back on top of the quilt’s patterned squares, eyes closed, arms crossed over his chest. “I’m not ready to go yet.” I squinted at his profile. Usually, he was out of here before his heart rate and breathing even had a chance to slow down. He never stayed with me, never lay next to me while my cheeks still burned from his prickly stubble and my own secret shame. “We’re going to get caught, Tyler.”


“We’re not going to get caught,” he said with utmost confidence, like the petty criminal he was. “You said your mom never sets foot in your room.” This was true. She’d avoided my room for years, and not because she respected my privacy. Six years ago, when I brought Trevor home from the pet store, I quickly realized that owning a corn snake came with some unexpected perks. For one, people thought I was weird, which I didn’t mind much back in sixth grade. And two, my mother’s deathly fear of snakes afforded me hours of uninterrupted alone time in my room, which I didn’t mind either. I wasn’t sure why she was so afraid. Trevor (named after a boy I had a crush on at the time) lived in a tank on my dresser and rarely escaped anymore. He spent most of his time either hiding or eating the dead mice I stored in boxes behind a stack of ice trays in the freezer. Mom avoided the freezer too. “So,” Tyler said, wrapping one of my strawberry-blond curls around his index finger. “You wanna do it again?” “No.” I reached down to retrieve my T-shirt and slipped it on under the blankets. Once was enough. Once was always enough to release the pent-up frustration inside me, if only for a little while. Twicewouldn’t happen unless I initiated it. I needed to be the one in control, which was why I’d chosen Tyler, Oakfield High’s resident badass/burnout/man-whore. His type dodged commitment and never fell in love. He didn’t care about being used, and he knew how to be discreet. And even though he was failing most of his classes, he wasn’t stupid. He’d never risk the good thing he had going with me. Also, the sneaking around turned him on. Tyler gave up on trying to tempt me with an encore and lit up a cigarette. He wedged a couple pillows behind his head and took long, lazy puffs as if relaxing in the park. Annoyed, I sat up and flicked on the lamp. “Hey,” he said, shutting his eyes against the light. I looked over at him, noticing that his perpetually tousled dark hair was even messier than usual, likely because I’d been running my fingers through it earlier. His shirt was inside out, his zipper half-down, his neck mottled with what looked like a bite mark. Was this what he looked like afterward? I’d never actually looked closely at him after the fact. Usually, all I saw was his back and then his legs as heshimmied out my window. “Why are you still here, Tyler?” I asked, waving away his smoke. “It’s one o’clock in the morning. I want to go to sleep.” He smirked. “And have sweet dreams about Mr. Wonderful?” “Don’t push me,” I warned. “Oh right. Sorry, I forgot. It’s a Lexi Rule.” I shot him a look. Okay, so I did have a few rules, but nothing unreasonable or difficult to follow. One, he had to avoid me at school. Two, he had to keep his mouth shut about what we did together. And three ... under no circumstances was he ever allowed to tease me about my friend Ben, who I’d had an unrequited crush on for two years. Ben, with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, did not belong in this room with us. He wasn’t like us.


Tyler finished his cigarette and dropped the butt into the half-empty can of 7-Up on my nightstand. Ashe did this, I heard a cough coming from upstairs and then footsteps plodding across the floor. My mother was walking from her bedroom, where she stayed up late every night watching the Game Show Network, to the kitchen, which was right above my room. Next, she would pour herself a glass of iced tea or white wine if there was any left over from the weekend, and then trudge back to her bedroom and shut the door.Family Feud, Press Your Luck, Match Game, Password, The Price is Right... she watched them all for hours on end, her expression never changing aside from a raised eyebrow now and again when a contestant was being particularly boneheaded. She gave me the same look sometimes. “Okay, it’s time to go now,” I said, elbowing Tyler in the ribs. It freaked me out that he was beside me and not evacuating the house like it was on fire, which had been the case most other nights. Having him here while my mother was awake went way beyond my comfort zone. “I have a math test first period tomorrow. Come on.” I poked him again, and he finally started to get up. “Oh yeah, I guess I do, too.” He looked down at me and smirked again. “Thanks for helping me study again. I never knew vectors and shit could be so interesting.” “You’re welcome,” I said, even though we hadn’t studied at all. The last time we really studied together was back in late September, when I used our upcoming math quiz as an excuse to get him into my room for the first time. He needed a tutor, I needed an outlet. It was all very practical and casual. Clinical, almost. Devoid of emotion. Lately, though, I could feel something changing, the way animals can sense when a storm is near. A subtle shift in the air between us. A possessive look burning into my back as I passed him in the hall at school. A touch so gentle it made my breath hitch. And now this, sticking around as long as he dared, not quite ready to leave. This was bad. It seemed Tyler was on the verge of breaking the one rule I’d left unspoken. Do not get attached. I needed to squash this problem immediately.


“Let’s not do this anymore,” I said to his bare back as he took off his shirt and turned it right side out. I kept my eyes on the tattoo on his left shoulder blade—the grim reaper in his black cloak, smiling and holding a scythe. The harvester of souls. Tyler pulled on his shirt and glanced back at me with a flickering of a smile. I tried not to let it get to me. All my life, I’d suffered such a weakness for boys like him. In the first grade, I’d had a massive crush on Cody Hatcher, who pushed kids at recess and regularly spit on the teachers. By middle school, I felt myself drawn to the troubled boys with bad home lives who cut class and sneaked cigarettes behind the convenience store. Then, in the tenth grade, when I started cultivating my good girl image and making new friends, I gave up on the bad boys and set my sights on the nice, well-adjusted ones. Like Ben Dorsey, for instance, track star and honors student and way too good to be true. Too good forme, anyway, which was why I’d strayed back to the bad boys again. But nobody could ever know about that. “Do what?” Tyler said, even though he knew full well what I meant. He’d heard those words from me before. “This.” I gestured to the tangled sheets and my half-nude body and then to him, the ultimate bad boy with his tattoo and cigarettes and close, personal acquaintance with the entire Oakfield police department. “This,” he repeated, leaning over the bed toward me, his hands sinking into the mattress. I pulled away from him, but not before I caught the warm, smoky scent of his skin. He saw my reaction and laughed, which infuriated and excited me. “You really want to stop this. You want me to leave and never come back. Right?” “Right.” We stared each other down. From above, I could hear the faint applause of a live studio audience. “Right,” Tyler said, lowering his face to mine. He kissed me and I let him, even though once had been enough and he was the one in control and my mother was upstairs and awake. I knew I was supposed to refuse him, to squash this problem once and for all and become the girl most people saw each day—the smiling, confident girl who’d secured a place at the top of the high school food chain. But I could never truly be her, at least not permanently. So I turned off the lamp, wrapped my arms around Tyler’s neck, and pulled him closer. I shut my mind to everything else, including the intrusive thoughts of Ben. Ben, who I possibly could have loved if only I was brave enough to love someone like him. I didn’t love Tyler Flynn. I didn’t even like him.


Buy Links


Praise

"Edgy and honest, Faking Perfect is the real thing." - Huntley Fitzpatrick

"Poignant, edgy, and real, Faking Perfect is an honest look at the courage and strength it can often take simply to be yourself." - Julianna Scott, author of The Holders

About the Author

Rebecca lives just outside the beautiful city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband, two children, and one spoiled rotten cat. She absolutely loves living so close to the ocean. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found vacuuming up cat hair, spending time with her family, watching reality TV, reading all different genres of books, or strolling around the bookstore with a vanilla latte in her hand.

Rebecca is represented by Carly Watters of P.S. Literary Agency.

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Blitz+Giveaway: Pixelated

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Title: Pixelated
Author: L.S. Murphy 
Release Date: 06/30/15
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Summary from Goodreads:

Senior Year. 

Middle of nowhere. 

What's the new girl to do?
For Piper Marks, the answer is simple. She’s determined to have her photography rock the cover of National Geographic someday, and moving to Clarkton, Iowa for her last year of high school is not going to stop her. Even if her usual subjects have changed from bright lights and skyscrapers to fields, cows…and more fields. 

But when photographer at the local paper quits in a huff, she steps into his spot. Her new job keeps Piper busy capturing tackles, and zooming in on first downs and end zone dances, not to mention putting her directly in the path of varsity football star Les Williams IV. Her new friends warn her off, but she can’t resist the pull she feels toward this mysterious country boy. But this small town is keeping a secret, and it’s one that could destroy any chance they have to be together.
It’s up to Piper to decide what to do with the distorted truth. Can she risk exposing her heart? It might be worth it, 'cause Les is about to change her world from black and white to fully saturated color. 


Buy Links:

Praise for Pixelated:

"In Pixelated, L.S. Murphy weaves a complex web of secrets and lies with a ‘will they or won’t they’ romance that kept me turning pages and holding my breath!" ~ Julie Reece, author of The Artisans and Crux

"Beautifully written, with a full spectrum of emotion and complex characters, Pixelated will tug at all your heartstrings. I easily lost myself in the world L.S. Murphy created and couldn't stop reading because I needed to see how the story ended." ~ Kelly Oram, author of Cinder & Ella


"L.S. Murphy brings something for every reader with Pixelated: romance, secrets, mystery, and a main character torn between two choices. Murphy's writing is sharp and steeped in emotions, deftly hooking her readers from the first sentence to the last." ~ Sarah Bromley, author of A Murder Of Magpies 


About the Author

L.S. Murphy obsesses about St. Louis Cardinals baseball, fangirls over her favorite authors, and watches every episode of Doctor Who like it's the first time. When she's not doing those time-consuming things, the former farm-girl turned city slicker turned suburbanite writes sweet romances for teens and adults.

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Blitz+Excerpt+Giveaway: Saving London

Friday, June 12, 2015

Title: Saving London
Author: Taylor Dawn
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Purchase from: Amazon || B&N

Synopsis:
The List. That Signified Finality.
The Journey. That Would Span The Globe.
The Sacrifice. That Would Decide The Outcome.
The Choice. That Could Unleash Evil On Earth.
The End Is Only The Beginning…

“You have terminal cancer.”

London Patterson, a seemingly healthy young woman, had her entire life ahead of her. That was until four little words brought everything to a screeching halt. As the shock and grief begin to fade, London decides to map out her last year and embark on an epic journey to complete a bucket list. She wants to do the things she’s been afraid to do in her life, step out of her self-contained box, and see the world. What she didn’t expect was for a mysterious stranger named Adam to breeze into her life like a breath of fresh air.

Adam offers to help London complete her list on one condition…that she sees it through to the end. Agreeing on those terms, the two set out on an adventure of a lifetime. But London soon realizes that Adam isn’t quite…human. Along their journey odd occurrences happen that cause London to question who or what Adam is and why he’s helping her.

Follow London as she checks off her bucket list in this inspiring new Urban Fantasy novel from Taylor Dawn.

The Prologue


I’d come to believe that we are privy to an overabundance of petrifying sounds in our lives. Noises that breeze through our ears enter our brain and cause chills to run down our spine. We attempt to shake off the feelings that these sounds illicit, but the sheer terror of them do nothing but brand our skin with gooseflesh and nervousness. I thought I’d heard most of them already. That I’d taken in the echoes that strike fear through most individuals. However, I was mistaken. I undoubtedly found myself absorbing the most chilling of them all. It was unexpected and I still have trouble convincing myself that what’d happened was tangible. No, it wasn’t the shrill scream of someone in grave danger. Or the fictitious screech of a science fiction creature with hefty teeth and an appetite for human flesh and blood. The one thing that I heard was something that stopped me dead in my tracks. It put my life at a stand-still, in only a fraction of a second. I developed tunnel vision when I grasped onto the spine-chilling noise, my entire body seized up as if I’d been taken over by another life form. The ability to control what I was thinking was gone, out the window it flew like a winged creature that’d been set free. What was it? It was the sound of fear in my own voice. There was an unstable quake when I’d open my lips to speak and nothing came out. The Words I’d tried to construct wouldn’t form themselves and I felt as if I’d lost the capacity to communicate. I’d never had a reason to be afraid of it…until now.
“That can’t be right. Maybe you need to check it again.” The wavering of my speech told me I was somewhere between disbelief and denial. Neither of which was welcome near me.
“We went over the results with a fine tooth comb, Miss. Patterson. Science doesn’t lie in this case.” The expression on the doctor’s face was dripping with subtle bleakness.
“Well, there must be some other explanation. Maybe you mixed the results up somewhere along the line.” I felt a tinge of hope color my weak words.
“Listen, I know this is hard. But I assure you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the tests.” The salt and pepper haired man sat down behind his desk.
“Okay, fine. I’m assuming there’s some sort of treatment I should start soon?”
I didn’t much care for the grim look that fell over his face like a mask of doom. “I wish I could say yes. But unfortunately there isn’t anything we can do. The surgery is too risky. You could undergo Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment, but if I’m being honest, I don’t feel as though either would do much good.”
So I don’t have any options. This is just…it?”
He slowly nodded. “At best, in a case such as this, I would say you have a year.”
“A year to do what exactly? Sit in my house and rot?” I felt my anger bubbling to the surface like an over baked pan of lasagna.
“I understand your indignation, I really do. I think maybe if there’re some things you’ve wanted to do, it’s time to start doing them.”
How could such few words have a blatant finality to them? How could I come down with a common cold and then find out my life had been reduced to a handful of months?
“I can prescribe some medication to get you through the general symptoms, but above that…” He trailed off. He was being somewhat compassionate I suppose. I wouldn’t want to tell someone they were dying either, what a crap job.
I’d thought medical professionals were supposed to heal you? They would diagnose the issue and bam you were handed a bottle of antibiotics and better within a week. But unless he had a freaking miracle stashed beneath that prescription pad, I was toast.
“If you’d like someone to talk to, I can recommend someone.” He began to extend some sort of business card across the desk toward me.
I abruptly raised myself from the chair that felt as if it were squeezing the life from me. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather not waste the time I have left lying on a sofa and spilling my problems to a stranger.”
It was difficult holding my anger at bay. Counting to ten while I exited the medical facility helped but the urge to hit something was a fierce impulse to fight off. Did I cry? For some reason, I didn’t at that moment. I can’t say why either. I wanted to, but the tears wouldn’t come. They stayed hidden in their little duct homes while I walked around seeing red.
Cancer of the Liver is what they called it. Yeah, he’d given me some mumbo jumbo scientific name for it, but all I heard was the ‘C’ word. The word that no one wants to hear in their lives. The word that rips hope away from the person being diagnosed, and replaces it with desperation and depression. With a disease like that, you’d think I was a raging alcoholic who did nothing but fill her days by holding down a bar stool while finding the bottom of a bottle. But I wasn’t. I didn’t touch the stuff. So how was it I became strapped with a terminal disease such as that? Why was this happening to me of all people?
I know life isn’t some kind of tranquil state that we float through without a care in the world. I would be utterly stupefied if I honestly believed that. No, life is a series of unfortunate circumstances that lead us to make decisions we don’t really want to make. What to have for breakfast, what to wear, and even what to say to the person occupying the seat next to us on the city bus. We don’t really put much thought into it all, but what are we really doing here? Why were we put on this planet for only a miniscule amount of time? Is there some grand plan that we aren’t seeing, like a big picture that has our entire life mapped out already?
Up until the dreaded news, I’d thought life was something to take for granted. That I could wake up every day and be guaranteed tomorrow. It’s hard to believe that everything can be changed in the course of a few ounces of blood and a doctor’s visit. I continued to shake my head wondering what really happened, was I dreaming of all of this? I wish I was. Things would be easier that way. But such as life, nothing is easy. We’re screwed no matter which way we go, and end up paying the consequences for it every day of our lives.
I made a decision. I wasn’t going to sit around and watch myself waste away like a banana rotting slowly on a counter. Nope, I was going to live my life like I just didn’t give a crap anymore…well, not in a negative way. I was going to throw caution to the wind, balls to the wall, take no prisoners and do the things I’ve always wanted to do. You could call it my bucket list, or my death list, whatever you feel comfortable with is alright by me.
My life is timed; I have an expiration date stamped on my rear like a yogurt container in the dairy section. After my time is up, that’s it. I don’t get a free pass. I’m okay with it now. I have to be. If I weren’t, I’d be that banana…I am not a banana.
But in the end I’ll get to laugh and smile at the things I’ve accomplished with my time on this earth. I can’t wish my fate away, I can’t find a genie in a bottle on a desolate stretch of beach to grant me more time. I’m accepting it like you’d accept a second place trophy in a one-legged man’s butt kicking contest.
At least I was given a year. To some it might seem like a small amount of time, and truly it is. But when you’re given only that long to live, it can in a way, seem like an eternity. I’ll do the things I’ve wanted to do because in the end…no one can save London Patterson.

About the Author

C.D. Taylor/Taylor Dawn began writing as an item to check off her bucket list. She resides in the southernmost part of Illinois, right on the mighty Mississippi river. She enjoys the quiet country life with her husband, son and the many farm animals that make up the rest of the family. She. decided that farm life was just a little too mundane, so she started writing erotica and fantasy to liventhings up, so far so good. C.D./Taylor entered cosmetology school right out of High School and practiced the art of hair styling for 12 years. When she isn't writing, she can usually be found sitting around a table making people laugh. She has always wanted to be a standup comic. She loves pulling practical jokes, dresses up in a costume every Halloween and believes that dancing is the key to a happy life (even if you aren't a good dancer). She believes that life shouldn't be taken too seriously, we will never get out alive anyway. More than anything, she is a kid at heart, she doesn't believe in bedtimes, eating everything on her plate, or having ice cream only for dessert. Her favorite quote is by Dr. Seuss..."Why fit in, when you were born to stand out."

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Review: Since You've Been Gone

Saturday, June 6, 2015
Title: Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Synopsis from Goodreads:
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um...

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

My Thoughts


I first saw this title a few months ago, but I only got around to reading it the other week, and when I finished it, all I could think was why did I ignore this on my TBR for so long?! One reason might be that I read something similar (where the main character has this list of fears to overcome) some time ago and I never really got into it, so I couldn’t help not expecting much from Since You’ve Been Gone either. Man, was I wrong.

Matson’s writing sucked me right in; I couldn’t stop flipping pages! It was a big relief that it was not instalove (THANK YOU!) between Emily and Frank. Their relationship was actually allowed the time to develop, to form something that was actually believable. Their moments together were cute and sweet but they never got cheesy, which is another plus. Even the secondary characters were likeable, especially Collins who I found to be both really fun and a good, supportive friend.

Honestly, I thought the story might turn out a bit shallow at first, but it was actually quite meaningful. The ending may have been somewhat anticlimactic, but I found it nice all the same. There were some parts that weren’t given much closure for me, like Emily’s relationships with Gideon and Dawn, but I guess that’s okay. Overall, Since You’ve Been Gone is a hit for me! :)

My Rating