Thursday, June 15, 2017

Internet Famous Blog Tour: Guest Post & Excerpt

Happy Thursday, everybody!!!

I'm EXTREMELY excited to share this post with you all! I don't know if you recall, but last year I read Danika Stone's ALL THE FEELS and I was absolutely smitten with it, so as soon as I heard about her newest book, INTERNET FAMOUS, I was sold!

I've been eagerly waiting for it for months, and guess what?! The wait is over! INTERNET FAMOUS is now on sale, and to celebrate, I'm taking part in Raincoast Book's blog tour, and I have a guest post from Danika and an excerpt to share with you all!

Just in case you haven't been counting down the days for this book like I have, here's what it's all about:



Author: Danika Stone
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Number of Pages: 320 (Paperback)


High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.



By Danika Stone

       When I was a child, I watched a Canadian children’s television show called Mr. Dress-up. On it were a menagerie of puppets, Mr. Dress-up – the host, and a “tickle trunk”. Now, while I enjoyed the antics of the puppets, Casey and Finnegan, and Mr. Dress-up always felt like another grandpa, the thing I really enjoyed was that flower-painted box of goodies. In it was every type of object imaginable! It was a veritable Canadian-Mary-Poppins box of treasures.

       As a writer, I often think back to the tickle trunk. When we write, we ask our muses to come up with a whole world of details, from the particular shade of the characters hair, to the name of their long-lost love, to their absolute dislike of the taste of radishes. The small, meaningless details are what build a living, breathing character, and the ability to do so differentiates the mediocre story-teller from the weaver of words.

       Knowing that details make the difference, how might a writer apply this approach to character development?

       For me, it involves an actual box. It’s an everyday shoebox. I write the name of the character on a piece of paper, trying if I can to match the imagined handwriting. It sits in my office on a shelf. At first, it’s empty. I don’t know the character at all. But one day – while I’m doing dishes, perhaps – it strikes me that the spoon I’m drying is one of the heirlooms she’s inherited from her mother’s family. Without a second thought, I run and deposit it into the box. The character appears for a split-second, then fades.

       Another day passes, maybe more. This time, I’m in my living room, half-listening to the news as I flip through a magazine. Distracted, I run across a photograph of a house overlooking the water. My breath catches. This, I think, is where she used to spend her summers as a child. The character’s image appears like a candle in the dark, brightly glowing. Before the commercial break ends (and the character disappears), I put this object into the box, too.

       The next day it’s a scarf of iridescent pink fabric. (The one I’ve had forever, but only today noticed.) That night, it’s a half-used tube of Chapstick. The next morning, an earring back, left on the toilet tank. One by one, they arrive, quite on their own, and become part of the box. With each object, the vision of the character glows a little brighter, lasts a little longer.

       By the time the box is full, I have a snapshot of a real person. There are flea-market finds and everyday items along with the hints of their stories. I finally sit down at the computer and begin to type.

       The words that arrive on the page aren’t nebulous guesses at “who” I’m writing. They are tethered in reality, and they have a whole history attached to them. Over the months of writing that follow as I write the book, the box flexes. Some objects join it, while others – no longer needed – disappear. And in the end, the soul that has lived there becomes a living, breathing character who I know with the same intuitive rightness as myself. The tickle-trunk’s magic is real.

       So how about you? What are YOUR tricks to writing a realistic character? Do you have any other writing advice that you follow? Give your thoughts in the comments below!


       Eyes closed, Madi stumbled blindly forward.

       “Where are you taking me?”

       She shivered as Laurent’s mouth brushed the shell of her ear. “Just trust me. Alright?” His fingers tightened around hers. “Almost there.”


       In the last minutes, Laurent had slipped on her backpack, taking one of her hands in his, the other hand sliding around her waist. She wasn’t sure where they were, but she could smell damp cement, mildew and decay. The sound of the city had dimmed in the last seconds, the red glow of sun through her eyelids replaced by darkness.

       “You know I don’t like scary movies, right? No screamers on my dashboard. No trolls in the dungeon.” She shuddered. “Definitely no trolls!”

       Laurent laughed. “This is good, chérie. I promise.” His scruff brushed her cheek, voice low. “Just a little further. Here. Take a step down. Don’t let go of me.”

       Madi stumbled, but he caught her, the faint scent of cologne reaching her nostrils as he helped her regain her footing.

       “And one more step,” he said. “A little to your left. Aha, almost there now. Hold on.”

       He put a hand on either shoulder, turning her slightly. When he let go of her, Madi’s arms rose in sudden fear, but Laurent came back at her side.

       “You ready?”

       Madi nodded.

       “Open your eyes.”

       Her lashes fluttered open to discover they were standing in the damaged interior of a building. She guessed it had been a brick apartment building, but a fire, sometime in the last years, had gutted the interior. Now it was a roughly rectangular box forming a massive chimney, three or four stories high, with charred beams and the wilting remains of fire-bent stairs clinging to one side. Below their feet, the floor was warped and uneven, but apparently sound. Above them, the wide open sky.

       Madi gasped as her eyes adjusted to the light.

       Light poured in from many glassless windows highlighting an explosion of imagery. Faces rose from floorboards. Intricate words twisted into strangely foreign shapes. Round and round the interior walls had been painted into a massive mosaic of light and color.
“Oh my God. Did you paint this stuff?”

       “Oh no, not me,” Laurent said. “Though I’ve met the artists who did.” His arm slid over her shoulders. “One of them is a MadLibber, actually.”


       He winked. “I’m pretty sure you can figure out which artist would have the attitude to do something like this.”

       Madi’s eyes widened. “ArtWithAttitude? This was painted by Ava?!”

       “Among others.” Laurent said. “This is one of my special places. One of the hidden gems in the city. It’s one of the places I wanted to take you.” He stared up at the broken-down walls and vibrant graffiti with the reverence some people saved for church. “I love this place. I’ve photographed almost all of it.” He looked down at her and grinned. “The murals are always changing. Come back in a week, this’ll be new again.”

       Madi smiled. “This is the inspiration for your photographs.”

       He nodded.

       “And the… the feeling of it is what you want to capture?”

       Laurent’s eyes widened, gold dancing in the green. “Exactement! I want to photograph the life and spirit of a place. Not just the structure, but what a building is because people have put their lives into it.” His hand rose to cup Madi’s cheek. “Because they’ve loved it. Their vision is imprinted on it for— for— always.”


       “Yes. Forever… Inaliénable. Indélébile.”


Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous) adults (Edge of Wild and Intaglio). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Follow Danika:
Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Website

Just so you don't forget after her guest post, Danika asked:
  So how about you? What are YOUR tricks to writing a realistic character? Do you have any other writing advice that you follow? Give your thoughts in the comments below!


 And I want to know:

Are you as excited for INTERNET FAMOUS as I am? 
What did you think of that excerpt?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Double #KennedyFox Cover Reveal:

It's an exciting day today! Today I get to share the cover reveals for the next Duet in Kennedy Fox's Checkmate series! This duet is all about Kayla and Logan!!! :D Their books, This is Dangerous and This is Beautiful will be releasing in July and September, respectively...and you just got to see a sneak peek in the cover reveal header, but scroll down further for a better look, some teasers and excerpt, and a giveaway, too!!

Without further ado, here are the covers for CHECKMATE: THIS IS DANGEROUS and CHECKMATE: THIS IS BEAUTIFUL...keep scrolling for more details and extras!! ;)

Title: Checkmate: This is Dangerous
Series: Checkmate Duet Series (Logan & Kayla, #1)
Author: Kennedy Fox
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trope: Second Chance Romance
Photographer & Designer: Sara Eirew
Release Date: July 11, 2017


Introducing book 1 in the Logan & Kayla saga of the Checkmate series from a secret duo of romance authors who teamed up under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox! This second-chance romance will have you gasping and cheering this two on from the first to the last page! Are you ready to play the final game?

Logan Knight is a real life knight in shining armor.

A detective godsend in a sleek black suit has me thinking less than secretive thoughts. Brooding and mysterious, he’s the kind of guy every girl instantly notices. Between his seductive smirk and charming good looks, it’s no wonder I can’t help the way he makes me feel whenever I’m near him.

Too bad he’s unavailable—or so he says.

He thinks I’m a do-gooder who shouldn’t get involved with a guy like him. His past is messy and relationships just add to that. He insists the timing is all wrong and he’s devoted to his career, but I don’t buy that excuse for a second. I see the way his body tenses and his jaw ticks every time another guy is around me. He just won’t admit it, but I’m more determined than ever to show him what he’s missing.

I’m a devoted animal rescuer and I’ll risk everything to save them, but when a dramatic turn of events puts both our lives at risk, I’m positive Logan will write me off for good. But when he asks for my help with a personal crisis, I know it’s my last chance to finally show him I can handle anything he throws my way—messy past and all.

He might think he has me all figured out, but I’ll prove him wrong no matter what he thinks. This game of push and pull has me running in circles. One wrong move and we could both lose.

Checkmate, Knight.

*Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.*
**This is book 1 in the Logan & Kayla Saga–a second-chance romance. You don’t need to read any of the other Checkmate series to enjoy this one, but is always recommended as they are both introduced in the earlier books.**



Every part of my body is on fire, fueled by the electricity between Logan and me as his lips glide across the softness of mine. The low hum in my stomach aches when he pulls us apart, and I fight the urge to press my lips back to his.

His lips are red and swollen, probably just like mine are right now. I don’t know what got into him, but Logan and I have never, ever kissed before. Hell, we’ve slow danced before at weddings, but nothing this intimate—ever.

“I think that did the trick,” he finally says, catching his breath. Fred left over two minutes ago.

“Yeah, I think so.” I take a small step back, trying to act unaffected, but the hard beating in my chest gives me away. I know he feels it, too. I just don’t understand why he pretends he doesn’t. “Thanks for your help,” I say, breaking the tension.

“Anytime. It was fun watching him sweat.” He grins, rocking back and forth on his feet, gripping the coffee cup tight in his hand. He’s just as nervous as I am.

“Don’t you get enough of that at work?” I tease.

“Can never have enough.” He flashes a pleased smile.

“You do have some sick fetish for that, don’t you?”

“I do. Gets all my juices flowing,” he quips.

And just like that, we’re back to our platonic friendship as if the kiss never happened. However, the ache between my legs knows otherwise. It happened, and it was hot as hell.

“What are you doing on a dating website anyway?” he asks after I grab another cup of coffee and sit across from him at the table.

“How else am I supposed to meet guys?” I ask, although it’s really a rhetorical question. “Guys in bars just want sex and one-night stands. I have a strict no dating guys from work rule and everyone else is taken or just wants me to be a part of their menage a trois.”

His brows lift. “What kind of people are you hanging out with?”

I sigh. “This city literally has no available, decent, single men. I might as well just move to another planet. Like Pluto. Get as far away from here as possible.”

“Actually, Pluto isn’t a planet anymore,” he tells me matter-of-factly.

I blink, unamused. “Great. I can’t escape this damn city.”

He chuckles, and I only slightly hate that he finds my pathetic dating life entertaining. “You’re still young. No need to panic until you’re like…thirty.”

I grab a piece of his pastry and throw it at him. “You suck.” I scowl. “I’m twenty-six, which means I’m almost thirty, and almost thirty means I should be with the guy I’m planning on marrying. Otherwise, I’ll be forty, my looks will be gone, my boobs will have fallen to my feet, and I’ll have gray hair,” I ramble, knowing I’m over exaggerating, but right now it feels true. Every date is a disaster. More than the last.


To get a one time notification when
Checkmate: This is Dangerous is live on all platforms,
please sign up here



Title: Checkmate: This is Beautiful
Series: Checkmate Duet Series (Logan & Kayla, #2)
Author: Kennedy Fox
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trope: Second Chance Romance
Photographer & Designer: Sara Eirew
Release Date: September 12, 2017


To get a one time notification when
Checkmate: This is Dangerous is live on all platforms,
please sign up here



A secret duo of romance authors team up under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox who share a love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make your lady bits tingle and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you!

Connect with Kennedy Fox:

What do you think?
Are you a fan of Kennedy Fox's books?
Do you love the covers for This is Dangerous and This is Beautiful?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Blog Tour Review:
by R.S. Grey

Source: Received a copy from the author to
give an honest review for the blog tour.
Release Date: June 1, 2017


When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups.

Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.
It’s too bad I underestimated Adam’s irresistible charm and the undeniable attraction that burns between us. The day he pins me to the wall and silences me with a kiss, the line between reality and ruse begins to blur. Every teasing touch brings me to my knees. Every kiss promises more.

It looks like my hot mess of a life is about to get a little hotter.
Buy It Here: Amazon 


 I've been on a rom-com kick when it comes to my romance books lately and THE FOXE AND THE HOUND was just what I needed and exactly what I hoped it would be!! 

I first stumbled across R.S. Grey when she published a couple of sports romances around the Brazil Olympics. I quickly fell in love with her writing style, and I haven't looked back since! With each book she continues to blow me away and THE FOXE AND THE HOUND wasn't any different that way. Her characters are dynamic, vibrant, and they're all extremely unique! Her stories definitely have drama, but never in excess, and the romance is always swoon-worthy and steamy!

As far as THE FOXE AND THE HOUND goes, I adored the main characters and I thought their romance was utterly adorable! Madeleine and Adam were fantastic and their chemistry was soooo good!!
Their meet-cute was fabulously awkward, and I loved every single awkward meeting...and not-so awkward meeting that followed. I also loved that Adam was a vet, and that Madeleine's dog, Mouse was so big in the story...both in size (don't let the name "Mouse" fool you! haha) and in his role. I'm ALWAYS a sucker for dogs in a story. :)

Overall, I absolutely adored THE FOXE AND THE HOUND!!! If you're a fan of animals, snarky heroines and rom-coms, I think you'll love it, too!!! I also just cannot recommend R.S. Grey's books enough. She's quickly become one of my favourite romance authors and I can't put her books down once I start! If you're a romance reader, I definitely think you should give her books a shot!


R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga!

Visit her at

Follow R.S. Grey: Website | Twitter | Facebook
R.S. Grey's Little Reds Facebook GroupNewsletter | Instagram

*dreamy sigh* I love a good rom-com, and this one was soooo perfect!

What do you think?
Are you a fan of rom-com books?
If not, are you planning to?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Release Day Blitz:
by R.S. Grey

Woo hoo! 

R.S. Grey's THE FOXE & THE HOUND is now available! 

I've already read this one...and trust me, if you love any kind of rom-com, you will LOVE this one!!! :D You definitely don't want to miss getting your hands on this sexy and hilarious new read from R.S. Grey. Find out more about THE FOXE & THE HOUND below and grab your copy today!


When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups.

Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.
It’s too bad I underestimated Adam’s irresistible charm and the undeniable attraction that burns between us. The day he pins me to the wall and silences me with a kiss, the line between reality and ruse begins to blur. Every teasing touch brings me to my knees. Every kiss promises more.

It looks like my hot mess of a life is about to get a little hotter.
Add THE FOXE & THE HOUND to your Goodreads list here!

Get your hands on THE FOXE & THE HOUND
by R.S. Grey now!

Get a Sneak Peek of THE FOXE & THE HOUND

I follow his gaze to where my dress has ridden up. When I’m standing, it’s a modest length, but the leather seats in his Audi have hiked up the skirt and a few inches of my thighs are now on perfect display.

His gaze drags down, pausing on my lips for a moment before he trails down my neck and chest. He’s studying my dress—no, he’s studying my body beneath the fabric. His smile is slow to spread, a little haunting…sexual.

About R.S. Grey

R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga!

Visit her at

Follow R.S. Grey: Website | Twitter | Facebook
R.S. Grey's Little Reds Facebook GroupNewsletter | Instagram

What do you think?
Does THE FOXE & THE HOUND like a book you'd like?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Grand Slam Release Week Blitz: Heidi McLaughlin's Top 5 Sport Anthems! #Top5 #Giveaway

Sports romance fans! It's time for the release week blitz for Heidi McLaughlin's Grand Slam!!! 

I'm going to start this post off by telling you a bit about the book, and about Heidi! Keep scrolling for Heidi's "Top 5 Sport Anthems" and a release week giveaway from the publisher! 

Author: Heidi McLaughlin
Series: The Boys of Summer, #3
On Sale: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Forever
eBook: $4.99 USD

Win the game. Lose your heart.

Everyone knows who I am and that I could have any female fan I want. That's supposed to be the "perk" of playing left field for the Boston Renegades. But I don't want just any woman; I want her.

She should be just another face in the crowd, but I can't stop thinking about the one night we spent together-and her look of regret the morning after.

Because Saylor Blackwell is the kind of woman who haunts a man. Smart, sexy as hell, and one of the best managers in the business. She's every ballplayer's dream woman. And I'd do anything to make things right with her.

I'm done sitting on the bench when it comes to Saylor Blackwell. Time to swing for the fences.


Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL and her brother, Racicot.

When she's isn't writing one of the many stories planned for release, you'll find her sitting court-side during either daughter's basketball games

Heidi's first novel, Forever My Girl, is currently in production to be a major motion picture.


Top 5 Sports Anthems (What songs would you love your characters to walk out onto the field to!)

"Sorry" – Justin Bieber – it’s literally the funniest when the guy strikes out. He’s at least apologizing before it happens.

"Beat It" – Michael Jackson

"YMCA" – Village People

"Friends in Low Places" – Garth Brooks

"Billionaire" – Travie McCoy & Bruno Mars

Add all three books on Goodreads: 



If you like these books and other Forever titles,
you can follow them online, here:

What do you think?
Have you started the Boys of Summer series yet?
Does it sound like a series you'd enjoy?

Monday, April 24, 2017

[Timeless Tour]
Review: The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer

Hi again fellow historical fiction fans! I'm back today with my final post for Simon & Schuster Canada's TIMELESS TOUR

During the course of this tour, I've been a part of a group of bloggers sharing posts relating to three of S&S Canada's big historical romance books this season: PROMISES TO KEEP, THE ENEMIES OF VERSAILLES, and THE SCRIBE OF SIENA!

I've been having a great time with this tour, and I hope you've been having a great time following along! 

Today for my final post of the Timeless Tour, I'm sharing my review for Melodie Winawer's THE SCRIBE OF SIENA!

Here's a bit about the book:


Author: Melodie Winawer
Publisher: Touchstone
Source: Received an ARC from S&S Canada to participate in the
Timeless Tour and give an honest review.
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Number of Pages: 464 (Hardcover)

Accomplished neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato knows that her deep empathy for her patients is starting to impede her work. So when her beloved brother passes away, she welcomes the unexpected trip to the Tuscan city of Siena to resolve his estate, even as she wrestles with grief. But as she delves deeper into her brother’s affairs, she discovers intrigue she never imagined—a 700-year-old conspiracy to decimate the city.

After uncovering the journal and paintings of Gabriele Accorsi, the fourteenth-century artist at the heart of the plot, Beatrice finds a startling image of her own face and is suddenly transported to the year 1347. She awakens in a Siena unfamiliar to her, one that will soon be hit by the Plague.

Yet when Beatrice meets Accorsi, something unexpected happens: she falls in love—not only with Gabriele, but also with the beauty and cadence of medieval life. As the Plague and the ruthless hands behind its trajectory threaten not only her survival but also Siena’s very existence, Beatrice must decide in which century she belongs.

The Scribe of Siena is the captivating story of a brilliant woman’s passionate affair with a time and a place that captures her in an impossibly romantic and dangerous trap—testing the strength of fate and the bonds of love.

Links: Indigo | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks


As soon as I read the description for THE SCRIBE OF SIENA, I was intrigued. A heroine who happens to be a neurosurgeon who accidentally time travels to Siena when it's on the cusp of the Great Plague outbreak? I was sure that it was going to be the kind of book that I didn't want to put down, and I was right! 

Most of the historical fiction that I've read have taken place in either England or Scotland, so the Italian aspect of THE SCRIBE OF SIENA were new to me, and I loved that! One of my favourite parts about historical fiction is that you learn about history and places while reading, and that was something that Melodie Winawer did an amazing job with. The setting and Beatrice's life in 14th century Siena felt extremely real and everything was described very vividly!

It took me a little bit to get into THE SCRIBE OF SIENA, but once I was around the 100-page mark, I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed getting the story through Beatrice's POV, and I loved the story even more once we got to Gabriele's POV, too. I loved seeing their world through the two of them, and I also loved seeing how they saw each other. There were a few other POVs in the story that were smaller, and I have to admit that I didn't enjoy them as much. I did like seeing the young priest's POV, but for the others, especially Iacopo, I would've preferred the sections to be shorter, or in a brief omniscient perspective. His parts of the story dragged for me, and I was always eager to get back to Beatrice and Gabriele's parts. 

The story itself was riveting!! The time travel was a bit of a mystery, and it was unsurprisingly (as the description hints at it) a fairly small part of the story. I really, really loved seeing all of Beatrice's various jobs though! Her work as a neurosurgeon was intense and fascinating, and I loved seeing how her "empathy," as she called it, played into what she was doing. Then when she got to Siena, I thought that her work as a historian when she was striving to finish her brother's research was also very interesting! I especially loved her passion, and finally, when she got to 14th century Siena, I loved seeing her work as a scribe!! It was described perfectly, and I think being a scribe would definitely be my 14th century Italian dream job, too. ;) 

Along with Beatrice's vast skill-set, I loved how Gabriele's painting was described! His process was amazing, and the way his finished artwork was described was phenomenal. I wish he had been a real painter so that I could've looked up his real life's work! ;) The final aspect of the story that had me glued to the page was the conspiracy! Beatrice's brother, Ben, had been working on research as to why Siena was hit harder by the plague than other places, and the explanation that was given in the story was intense and really well thought out! I loved seeing how everything fit together, and by the time I got to the final pages, I was definitely satisfied! 

Overall, I really enjoyed THE SCRIBE OF SIENA! While I could've done without a couple of the smaller POVs, I absolutely loved Beatrice and Gabriele, and I really enjoyed the historical aspects of the story. The time travel, historian, scribe, fresco painting, and conspiracy aspects had me hooked to the story! I'd recommend this one to fans of historical fiction who like intrigue, a little mystery, fantastic descriptions, and slow burn romances!

About the Author:

Melodie Winawer is a physician-scientist and Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University. A graduate of Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University with degrees in biological psychology, medicine, and epidemiology, she has published forty-seven nonfiction articles and book chapters.

Dr. Winawer lives with her spouse and their three young children in Brooklyn, New York. The Scribe of Siena is her first novel.

Follow the rest of the TIMELESS TOUR:

Are you a fan of historical fiction?

Does THE SCRIBE OF SIENA sound like a book you'd enjoy?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Release Blitz + Excerpt Reveal: THE HOT SHOT (Game On #4) by Kristen Callihan

I'm sure you all know by now, but I'm a HUGE fan of sports romances, so when I saw that Kristen Callihan's next book in her Game On series, The Hot Shot, was releasing soon, I jumped at the chnce to share an excerpt!! It released earlier this week on the 17th, and if you keep scrolling, you can read a little snippet of the book below! ;)

Here what's the book is about...and a bigger version of the sexy cover for your viewing pleasure, too. ;)

(GAME ON #4)

Author: Kristen Callihan
Release Day: April 17th

First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?
B&N | KOBO | 


Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.



     Grumbling, I toss on some black lounge pants and my oversized Tulane t-shirt and head to the drugstore.

     My head throbs by the time I get there, and my insides are writhing. I rest my hand against my lower stomach and grab a basket before calling James to complain.

     “I swear,” I tell him as I grab a bottle of painkillers. “It’s like this entire day has been cursed.”

     He snickers. “Curse. Get it? Curse?”

     I roll my eyes, even though he can’t see me. “Laugh it up. Meanwhile, it feels as if someone is playing Battleship in my uterus.”

     “Poor Chessie bear. At least we know why you were in such a foul mood.”

     A flush washes over my cheeks. “Yeah.” Lie. Lie. Lie. A tub of salted caramel gelato makes its way into the basket.

     “Tell me you’re getting some gelato,” James says.

     I smile. “Just grabbed it.”

     “Salted caramel?”

     “You know it.”

     I find the feminine products aisle and search for my brand. “I’m going to go home, take a long bath with my gelato, and forget this fucking day.” Forget Finn. “And then I’m going to go on Amazon and buying a freaking year’s supply of tampons so I don’t have to make these kinds of emergency runs anymore.”

     A low, deep chuckle rumbles from behind me, and all the tiny hairs lift on my arms.

     “But you’ll still need your gelato,” a familiar—fuck me, seriously?—voice points out.
My insides swoop even as my cheeks burn.

     “Who is that?” James asks in my ear.

     I slowly turn on one heel. “The plague,” I say, glaring up at Finn Mannus’s smiling face.

     “From asshat to plague.” Finn scrunches up his brow. “I’m not sure if that’s a step down or a tie.”

     “Who is that?” James nearly yells now.

     I don’t take my eyes off Finn. “I’ll call you back.”

     James’s squawks of protest cut off as I hit the end button.

     “Are you stalking me, Mannus?”

     Finn a rests his hands low on his lean hips. “Having a healthy amount of conceit myself, I have to admire yours, but no, buttercup. My buddy Woodson lives a few blocks away. It’s poker night. I’m stocking up on beer.”

     It’s only then I notice a twelve pack tucked under his other arm.

     “And tampons?” I ask, with a pointed look around the aisle we’re standing in.

      “Not tonight,” he says easily. “Though we used to keep a pack of them back in college. Light flows were perfect for stopping up bloody noses.”

     A snort escapes me. “Now there’s a visual.” Somehow, I’ve taken a step closer to him. He’s freshly showered, the golden brown strands of his hair still damp at his temples. And I wonder if he’s just come from the gym or practice. “So back in college you went and bought these tampons?”

     “Nah,” he says with a cheeky smile. “I’d ask one of the girls hanging around to get me some.”

     “Of course you did.” My nose wrinkles with annoyance.

     “Give me a little credit, Chess. I’d buy them now if I had to.”

     “Hmm…” I eye him, trying not to return his smile. If only because it’s more fun when he teases. “So why are you in this aisle now, if not for potential nosebleed needs?”
     “That’s easy.” He steps closer, a warm wall of muscle and clean scent. “I heard your voice.”

     For a second I just blink. “You recognized my voice?”

     His gaze darts over my face as if he’s trying to get a read on why I’m gaping at him. “Not to be…ah…rude, but you’re loud when you talk on the phone.”

     “Yeah, but… You recognized it.” We’d only just met. It occurs to me that I’d recognized his both times he’d snuck up on me. Then again, his voice is distinctive, flowing like hot honey when he’s relaxed or hammering down like iron to rock when he’s taking command of a situation.

     A soft flush of pink tints the tips of his ears. If I wasn’t staring at him, I might have missed it. He shifts his weight. “Was I not supposed to?”

     “No. Yes.” I shake my head and laugh. “I don’t know.”

     He grins then. “You’re cute when you’re flustered.”

     “I’m not flustered.” I am.

So what'd you think of that excerpt?

Does The Hot Shot sound like a romance you'd like to read?

Are sports romances anyone else's weakness...or just mine? ;) 

Monday, April 17, 2017

[Timeless Tour] Discussion Questions

Happy Monday!

I've got another post for you today for Simon & Schuster Canada's TIMELESS TOUR

As I introduced a couple of weeks ago, I'm part of a group of bloggers sharing posts relating to three of S&S Canada's big historical romance books this season: PROMISES TO KEEP, THE ENEMIES OF VERSAILLES, and THE SCRIBE OF SIENA!

I hope you've all been enjoying the tour so far!

Today, my post is a little different! Instead of being centred around one of the books, I have some discussion questions instead!

  1. What was your favourite historical time period among the Timeless Tour reads? Did you know anything about this period before you began reading the book?
    I enjoyed all of the time periods in the books, but I really liked learning about the Acadians in Canada in Promises to Keep the most. While I did learn about Canadian history in school, I don't ever actually remember learning about the Acadians, so it was all really new to me. I've always been a fan of historical fiction, but I didn't realize just how little there is on Canadian history until Genevieve Graham's previous book, Tides of Honour, released. When I first heard she was going to be writing about the Expulsion of the Acadians, I was immediately on board. While I didn't know much about the Acadian Expulsion prior to Promises to Keep, I felt like Genevieve did a great job at bringing the reader up to speed with the events surrounding the characters, and I really appreciated getting to see a side of Canada's history that I wasn't familiar with.

  2. How did the historical events in each book influence the character’s choices and personalities?
    I think that all characters are influenced by their surroundings in books, so I have to admit that I don't really think that these characters were any different that way. In Promises to Keep, Amélie is forced to make decisions that she thinks will aid in her family's survival, and I think her personality was actually shaped more by her family in the story rather than the historical events. She was raised to speak her mind, and so she had a very strong personality and she was determined to perverse. I think Beatrice from The Scribe of Siena was the same. She was raised by her brother, Ben, and he taught her to be an academic. She ended up being a neurosurgeon, so it's not very surprising that she was a rather rational and clinical thinker. I think the historical events surrounding these characters definitely influenced their choices because they have to react to what's happening around them, but I think ultimately, that their personalities are separate from the historical events.

  3. If you could invite one of the Timeless Tour leading ladies (Beatrice, Jeanne, or Amelie) to dinner, who would you choose and why?
    I'd want to have Amélie for dinner. I absolutely loved Promises to Keep, and I thought that she was such a strong character that I really would love to get to know. I'd love to hear her talk about what it was like living in Grand Pré, and I think it'd be fascinating to hear about her every day life...especially since she was living in Canada before it had actually become Canada yet.

  4. The Scribe of Siena starts in the present before Beatrice is transported back in time to 1347, whereas Promises to Keep and Enemies of Versailles are firmly rooted in one timeline. How did this change your reading experience?
    I thought that the time travel in The Scribe of Siena added a pretty different feel to the story. While Promises to Keep and The Enemies of Versailles are strongly grounded in their historical time periods, The Scribe of Siena isn't limited to just the historical. Beatrice is shaped by the present time, so I think that adds a very different feel to the character and there's that sense of unease and confusion whenever unexpected time travel happens...even if you go into the book knowing that it's going to happen eventually. It kind of reminded me of Outlander in a way because the time travel really isn't the biggest part of the story, it's really just the plot point to get Beatrice to where...and when...she needs to be.

  5. In the past, powerful women have been written out of textbooks. How do the protagonists of the Timeless Tour reads challenge the misconception that women in history were passive, submissive and dependent?
    Hmm, I don't think it's correct to say that women in history were passive, submissive and dependent. While women aren't as prevalent in history as men are, there were still a few very notable powerful figures, like Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and Cleopatra. It is disappointing that you don't hear about many ordinary women in history that way, every day women were largely passive, submissive, and dependent. I think a big part of that is the fact that women actually wouldn't have been able to have been in a position to be active, dominant and independent...unless they were nobility. I think the leading ladies in these three books challenge misconceptions about women in history because in a way, they're not confined in the same way that many common women in history would've been. They're all educated, and have certain freedoms to be independent that wouldn't necessarily be available to many women historically. In short...they're allowed to be protagonists in their own lives during times when women wouldn't necessarily be given that freedom.

Follow the rest of the TIMELESS TOUR:

Do you have any answers for the Timeless Tour Discussion Questions?

Or if you haven't read any of the tour books, what's your favourite historical fiction?And what makes it your favourite?

Monday, April 10, 2017

[Timeless Tour] Promises to Keep Deleted Scenes!

Happy Monday historical fiction fans! I've got another amazing post for you today for Simon & Schuster Canada's TIMELESS TOUR

As I introduced a couple of weeks ago, I'm part of a group of bloggers sharing posts relating to three of S&S Canada's big historical romance books this season: PROMISES TO KEEP, THE ENEMIES OF VERSAILLES, and THE SCRIBE OF SIENA!

Today I have some AMAZING deleted scenes from Genevieve Graham's PROMISES TO KEEP

In case PROMISES TO KEEP is a new book for you,
here's a bit of an introduction to it:


Author: Genevieve Graham
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Received an ARC from S&S Canada to participate in the
Timeless Tour and give an honest review.
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Number of Pages: 336 (Paperback)

An enchanting and poignant story about the unfailing power of love in a world turned upside down by war—from the bestselling author of Tides of Honour.

Summer 1755, Acadia

Young, beautiful Amélie Belliveau lives with her family among the Acadians of Grande Pré, Nova Scotia, content with her life on their idyllic farm. Along with their friends, the neighbouring Mi’kmaq, the community believes they can remain on neutral political ground despite the rising tides of war. But peace can be fragile, and sometimes faith is not enough. When the Acadians refuse to pledge allegiance to the British in their war against the French, the army invades Grande Pré, claims the land, and rips the people from their homes. Amélie’s entire family, alongside the other Acadians, is exiled to ports unknown aboard dilapidated ships.

Fortunately, Amélie has made a powerful ally. Having survived his own harrowing experience at the hands of the English, Corporal Connor MacDonnell is a reluctant participant in the British plan to expel the Acadians from their homeland. His sympathy for Amélie gradually evolves into a profound love, and he resolves to help her and her family in any way he can—even if it means treason. As the last warmth of summer fades, more ships arrive to ferry the Acadians away, and Connor is forced to make a decision that will alter the future forever.

Heart-wrenching and captivating, Promises to Keep is a gloriously romantic tale of a young couple forced to risk everything amidst the uncertainties of war.

Now that you know a bit about the book,
it's time for some deleted scenes from PROMISES TO KEEP:


Amelie’s Family

     My papa, Charles Belliveau, was sixteen and still living with the Mi'kmaq when he met my maman. Sylvie Fontaine had grown up only a few houses from where he had been born. The story goes that he saw her walking into the church with her parents, but since he wasn't properly dressed to enter the house of God, he waited outside for the service to be over. Papa never told me much more about how they eventually met, except to say that she was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. Every time he said that, she blushed as if no time had passed at all. That alone was reason enough for us to ask him to tell the story again and again.

     For her he'd shed his buckskin, cut his hair, reverted to his mother tongue. When their engagement was announced, the entire community got together in the traditional way to build the newlyweds a house.

     Papa was good with the animals, and he put together a garden which my mother would always tend, but his hands were usually busier with chores brought to him by the sea. He was a fisherman for most of the year, and sometimes he helped with boat building. I remembered the first time I saw the long, tapered trunk of a white pine stretched out beside our barn, supported by thick wooden blocks. It would someday be the mast of a great ship, Papa told me.

     This wasn't the first or final mast I saw him build. I never tired of admiring his obvious skill. For weeks I watched him work, sweating through his shirt under the summer sun. Using his adze, he squared the wood then cut it down to sixteen sides in preparation for planing the edges into a round shape. My brothers and I helped him sand down the marks his tools had left until at last he declared himself proud of the finished product. When the other men came to carry it away, I pictured it adorned with sails, bravely cutting through the Atlantic swells; my father's mast would always guide the travelers safely home.

     After my parents’ wedding, we children weren't long in coming. I was the fourth child, following André, Henri, and Claire. Mathieu and Giselle were born after me. By the time I was born André was already five. When I  was five, he was ten, and I worshipped everything about him. He was like Papa with his quiet strength, like Maman with her wisdom. Though I am certain now that he would much rather I not follow him constantly, he never showed any annoyance with me.

     I wished I could say the same for myself when Giselle was born exactly five years after me. Sweet as she was, I had no patience for her constant chatter and butterfly dances. I fled whenever I could, and often I went up to the Mi'kmaq village. There we had another family. My Mi’kmaq sister Mali and I shared parents, meaning we each had two fathers, two mothers, and twice as much love as the other families who did not approve of the people of the forest.

     Like me, Henri preferred the Mi'kmaq way of life, and we shared a best friend in Mali. He learned to hunt and fight their way, and he knew every one of their legends better than he knew the Bible stories. In the summer, when his skin darkened under the sun, he could almost be mistaken for one of them. My dear Henri was the dark opposite of André: acting before thinking, speaking out of turn, but always able to do it with a grin. He was a bit of a rebel, but I adored him.

     When Maman married Papa, he brought with him a culture based on the idea of living by example. He taught her of the Mi'kmaq's belief that every living thing worked together, and she adopted that into her way of thinking. Maman was not only wise, she was kind. And lovely. Maman was the kind of person whose soul was as beautiful as her face, and that was beautiful indeed. I suppose she would have to have been, allowing a scrubby blond Mi'kmaq to woo her, but I imagine Papa was charming. And it was obvious to everyone she loved him with all her heart.

     I was not the quiet, dutiful daughter my parents had in my older sister, Claire. Nor was I the delightful, talented younger sister. That was Giselle. Giselle was twelve now, and I was seventeen. She acted young for her age, and we had little in common. Both my sisters were fair in colour, their long golden hair lit by sunshine, their bright blue eyes clear and wide. My hair was dark under my cap, and though my eyes were blue they were never lowered demurely, and every one of my emotions was plain to see through them.

     Claire and I loved each other, of course, and we had played well together up to a certain age. Then she discovered boys, and her attitude changed so much I had trouble interesting her in any of the games we'd played as children. She started to take extra care when she was dressing in the morning, and I teased her when I spotted her batting pale eyelashes at one of the boys.

     I was stubborn like Maman, inquisitive like Papa. Maman called me impatient, and I suppose that was fair. I did not like to waste time that could be better spent. I couldn't sit still long, but I was not driven to move in the way that Giselle needed to move. She was a rabbit, hopping from one thing to another without purpose. I was a hummingbird, direct and determined. I needed to see everything that was happening. If we were preparing bread in the kitchen, I needed to know why Henri was running so quickly outside the window. If I was at the weir, I longed to climb the hill and scout for my younger brother, Mathieu, who was constantly finding trouble. When my parents were busy, I needed to keep my eyes on both my younger siblings. Matthieu knew not to go near the aboiteaus, but Giselle was unpredictable. When I was her age, Papa had told me to keep my distance from the openings to the dikes or the sea eels might bite me. He had warned us all, and so far we had all been free of the nasty things, but perhaps after five children he had tired of reminding us. Had he ever mentioned the eels to Giselle? Just in case, I took it upon myself to constantly remind her, to make sure she showed respect in the dikes.


 History of Acadians/Mi’kmaq

     When my people first came to this land over a hundred years ago, they brought with them the wisdom of their homeland. The founding fathers settled in a land on the edge of the ocean and decided the marshy grasses—which revealed themselves twice a day when the tide receded—would become our fields. They called our new home Grand Pré, or “Great Meadow.”

     When I was very small, Papa explained to me that silt and dirt left behind by millions of departing tides fed the grasses and made the land fertile. The difficulty, of course, was keeping the ocean from stealing our crops. But our ancestors had been smart. Using ferrées, pitchforks, axes, and their powerful backs, the early Acadians spent years building huge dikes to stand against the sea. Ditches were dug through the remaining marshes, and hollowed-out tree trunks reinforced with marsh mud were put in to serve as tunnels. The ends were gated by aboiteaus, little gates which moved with the tide, letting excess rainwater escape into the ocean but not letting the seawater in. Once these were in place, more dikes were built over top using marsh mud and sod. The dikes demanded a great deal of our time, but they were something we could not live without, so no one ever complained.

     The Acadians built homes and gardens where no one had been before—other than the Mi’kmaq, who had lived here since the creation of the world. I imagined our settlers would have been nervous at first, meeting these mysterious people, but they had nothing to fear. The Mi’kmaq were a sharing, generous people, and they would have been equally curious about these awkward white people who had stumbled into their home.

     The Mi’kmaq and my people have always been at peace. My ancestors did not wish to cut down the forests or fight them for their lands, so the Mi’kmaq watched them create fields from the sea. Even though they were not Christian at that time they must have seen that we were like them, wishing to live in harmony with the earth and its creatures. Once they realized we could work side by side, they taught my ancestors the true meaning of living off the land. Through them we learned to build fish weirs and eel traps, even to fish through ice during those frozen months of winter. After they mixed berries into our food, sickness came less often, and the herbs they shared with us eased our illnesses and pains. They traded with us, bringing warm, protective furs in exchange for our metal pots and axes. Through my ancestors the Mi’kmaq learned to worship the Lord, and some even accepted our ancestors’ invitation to join our Order of Good Cheer. We became good friends and neighbours. If it hadn’t been for the Mi’kmaq, we never would have lived to see today.

     The British eventually arrived, but as long as they did not cause any trouble there was plenty of land to go around. Declaring victory over the French forces at Fort Louisbourg had whet their appetite for this land, and they decided to stay. When the French won it back three years later the British reacted by founding Halifax—right in the Mi'kmaq moose hunting territory.

     Tumas' expression tightened every time he spoke of this, so I only asked once—but I heard the story many times over the fire. I imagine the subject burned so hotly within his heart that the flames brought it to the fore. His rage was a frightening thing to see, I must admit. I loved the man like a father, but the way he paced, the way his massive hands clenched while he spoke made me want to flee his furious gaze. He argued—against no one, for none of us would dare contradict him!—that Halifax could not exist. He said a treaty had existed for a hundred years, keeping the Mi'kmaq and British on friendly terms, but this Halifax had been established without any negotiations at all. He raged at the presumptuous British, at their disrespect for the land and its people. On some nights, when he simply could not sit quietly anymore, the rants changed form. His expression set, he went off into the forest with some of the other men. I knew they would be discussing the British, and not in pleasant terms. Sometimes he did not come back until the following morning. Then he was quiet, focused on his own private thoughts.

     It wasn't long before the Mi'kmaq declared war upon the British. From that moment on, the Mi'kmaq and the British had fought, since the British were not willing to hand back the land they had claimed. As the conflict grew even more heated, terrible, forbidden whispers about scalping on both sides were passed around Acadian hearths. Someone once told me that the British were paying for Mi'kmaq scalps, but I couldn't—wouldn't believe such a repugnant idea. Who could ever … ? No. It had to be a lie.

     As Acadians we were determined not to get involved but to live in peace with everyone around us. We still brought food to the soldiers as we always had, and we continued our close friendship with the Mi’kmaq, though our visits became less frequent and were sometimes strained. Mali had warned me things were getting worse. She said the Acadians would soon need to choose a side, but I hadn't wanted to talk of such things with her or with anyone else.

     I didn’t understand. As far as I could tell, nothing had changed. 


Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in music in 1986 and began writing in 2007. She is passionate about breathing life back into history through tales of love and adventure, and loves the challenge of re-living Canadian history in particular. Her previous novel, Tides of Honour, was a Globe and Mail bestseller.

When Graham is not writing, she can be found relaxing with her husband and two grown daughters, teaching piano to children in the community, or tending the garden along with a friendly flock of heritage chickens. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Follow the rest of the TIMELESS TOUR:

In case you missed it, you can find my review for PROMISES TO KEEP, here. I absolutely loved it, and I'm so excited to be able to share these deleted scenes with you all!

What did you think?
If you've read the book, did you enjoy these deleted scenes?
And if you haven't, do they make you curious about PROMISES TO KEEP?