Sunday, March 31, 2013

Just Remember to Breathe By: Charles Sheehan-Miles

To Add Just Remember To Breathe on Goodreads Click HERE

Just Remember to Breathe
(Thompson Sisters #1)
By:  Charles Sheehan-Miles
Pub:  November 12, 2012
Cincinnatus Press 
EARC, 199 pages
Source:  Author/AToMR

GR's Summary:

Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.

My Take on this Journey:

This is the story about college students, at Columbia University.  The main characters are Alexandra (Alex) Thompson from a well to do family in San Francisco, and Dylan Paris, from a poor, broken family, in Atlanta.  They met on a school trip to Tel Aviv, in their junior year of high school, and fall in love.  However, distance and circumstance separate them from one another.  As the years pass, fate throws them into each others paths once again.  The magnetism between these two characters is undeniable.

This novel is told through dual narration.  The reader gets both perspectives, and is able to see into the broken hearts of these two wonderful characters.  The author brings so many elements into the story, that are real aspects, that our men and women in the service deal with, when they return from war.  Death, guilt, post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, pain, agony, loss, self-victimization, depression, disabilities, and drug addiction, are all issues Dylan needed to overcome.  

There is a lot of overwhelming sadness throughout this novel.  The reader will want to reach out, and tell Dylan, "You're going to be okay."  The heartache that Alex has had to endure at Dylan's hands, is also heart-wrenching, though not intentional.  Dylan's family life was dysfunctional.  Consequently, he had low self-esteem, and he felt unworthy of love.  He carried guilt for everything that ever went wrong in his life, always carrying the heavy burden of responsibility on his own shoulders.  Alex couldn't stand up for herself, because of her overbearing parents, always trying to control every aspect of her life.  She had to gain the strength to stand up for herself.

These two characters had a lot of obstacles to overcome.  They had wonderful friends that helped them find themselves, and encouraged them to build strength, while facing their deeply routed problems.  This is a multi-faceted novel, with an array of characters that are essential to the dynamic of the story.  Just Remember to Breathe, is a fully rounded story, with so many life lessons, with twists, peaks, and valleys.  

I really feel that readers will be able to relate to this book on so many levels, and some levels they'll never want to have to face.
I give Just Remember to Breathe, by Charles Sheehan-Miles, 4 soul-searching, heart breaking, madly in love, long distance Stars.     

Purchase At:  Amazon/Barnes and Noble

About the Author:  Charles Sheehan-Miles

Charles has been a soldier, nonprofit executive, short order cook, IT manager and run a restaurant. He doesn't believe in specialization. He currently works as a communications and outreach specialist for a law firm representing disabled veterans.

Charles lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Veronica and their two children.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

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Discussion Post (4)

What do you think of Love Triangles? Do you love them? Do you hate them? What is your favorite love triangle from a book or a series?

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I enjoy love triangles in a story.  As long as the love triangle is well-developed and believable, I feel it adds excitement, and makes me feel more invested in the outcome.  It's always fun to root for my favorites, and I think it's evident with the development of team banners on many blogs, that many readers enjoy a good love triangle, and feel the same as I do. Yes, it's disappointing, and sometimes even downright upsetting when our favorite person doesn't get chosen.  However, that's life. We win some, we lose some, and we don't always get what we want.  My favorite love triangles are when I can feel the angst, turmoil, and indecisiveness of the main character.  I enjoy being able to relate to the main character, and understanding why they are having trouble choosing between the two love interests.  My favorite series that contains a well-executed love triangle is The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare.  I love Tessa, Will, and Jem. This love triangle is done really well because I can relate to Tessa, and can see why she has so much trouble picking between these two guys.  I'm team both! Jem is sweet, sensitive, compassionate, artistic, and oh so good.  Will is sexy, sarcastic, swoon-worthy, and the chemistry he and Tessa feel for one another is intense. Personally, I think she'd be lucky to land either guy, and they her.  I dislike love triangles that feel forced, aren't well-developed, and end without the character having to make a decision. I don't like when an author makes a love triangle where one of the guys dies at the end, cheats, or becomes a jerk, so readers end up disliking him, etc. In other words, I want the main character to choose between the love interests, and not fate, or some outside force to choose for them. I'm curious, out of the Infernal Devices Series, who do you think is the better choice for Tessa? Will or Jem? 

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Love triangles...I really enjoy them if they are played well. The Twilight series!  Loved it!  I loved the way Jacob was there for Bella, when Edward was not.  I fell in LOVE with Jacob and was torn for Edward because I knew how deeply he loved her.  The ending played out extremely well.  That to me was perfect, because I wanted both guys to be happy, and Ms. Meyer figured out the perfect solution to make it happen.  My current fav love triangle is Tucker and Christian from the Unearthly series...I haven’t read the third book and I’m the minority in this, but I want Clara to realize she belongs with Christian. Usually, the girl sticks with the guy she first falls in love with, I hope this time it's different, but, I have a feeling that I’m not wrong here.  A part of me is afraid to start the book for that very reason.  Oh well, we’ll see how it plays out. 

The Punchline

Love triangles add a certain flare to any good book! I love any well-executed love triangle.

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I think it's great to have a good love triangle.  I enjoy going back and forth in the book between boyfriends, getting mad, happy, and sad, with the main character.  I get the happiness, and the angst the author is portraying, and scream out loud, "No, don't do it!!!"  Other times I'm yelling, "Yes, Yes, Yes!"  It's hilarious in my house, when I'm reading a great love triangle.  In the Untouchable Series, there was a great love triangle between Micah, Annalisa, and Ryan.  Wow, the excitement was never ending!  Thrills galore, and the fact that Annalisa, (Leese) is sleeping in another man's bed for comfort, but eventually ends up feeling things she doesn't want to allow herself to feel, was over the top.  Leese is a beautiful blond, innocent (to a fault), girl next door, with the voice of an angel.  Ryan was great looking, well built, had beautiful blue eyes, and one of a kind.  He was head over heels for Leese, would do anything for her at any cost, even chancing losing his girlfriend.  Micah, is the all powerful hit man, full of rage and anger, penetrating green eyes, a body to die for, with abs for miles, and loves Leese with all his heart and soul, but doesn't know how to trust in his relationship enough to love unconditionally. This was a roller coaster of a ride, a thrill a minute, and undeniably one of the best series, with a love triangle, ever!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Avoiding Intimacy by K.A. Linde

Avoiding Intimacy (Avoiding #2.5)
K.A. Linde 

Pub. Feb 26, 2013

Gr’s Summary

Growing up, Chyna was handed everything on a silver platter. She never wanted for anything, except love—unconditional love from her parents. Love was a foreign emotion, and watching her parents love/hate relationship was never easy.

So when it came to her personal life, she made sure she never had to relive that. With looks that could kill, it was simple for Chyna to be the love 'em and leave 'em kind of girl.  And she had always been okay with it.  She would rather be single the rest of her life then end up as miserable as her parents.  So when a man rescued her after she was drugged in a night club, she never expected to start a relationship with him.

But one chance meeting changes it all. Chyna is offered a once in a lifetime opportunity that could sky rocket her career, and she is forced to make a decision that could ruin everything.

The Way I See It 

Eeeeeeeeeep!  When I say, K.A. Linde does NOT DISAPPOINT...I flipping mean it!  The Avoiding Series is one of my many guilty pleasures(winky face)!  This Novella was my W.O.W. a while back, and can I just say, I’m glad I pushed all of my other books aside for this! Chyna is one of “My Fav’s” because, she is absolutely fabulous!  When I saw there was to be a Novella about her, I was floored!  When I saw how long it was, I was delighted! This book is “real,” fluff-free, and chalk full of drama! Just the way I like it!

A-lluring, Marco is without a doubt a delicious honey trap.
V-icious, modeling is a cut-throat industry, and K.A. Linde shows us how crushing it can be! 
O-pportunity,Chyna reaches for the stars, and achieves her heart's desire...
I-ncredulous, was Chyna, at what Cassandra drops in her lap!
D-evour, what you will do with this great read!
I-ndecisive, is what I am over Adam or Marco.
N-aughty, steamy, sexy and sultry! ;)
G-orgeous Star!  Chyna shines throughout the book, and I love her even more!

I-ntimacy, something Chyna doesn’t yet know she truly desires.
N-otorious, Marco carves his way into her life, introducing her to his lifestyle.  
T-ame, Adam loves Chyna in a way she has never known.
I-ncriminating... vengeance finds a way to crush unrealized Dreams.
M-arco, Marco, Marco!  I want more!  I need more of him!
A-dam, honest, Kind, Loving, and he is all the things Marco is not.
C-hyna, Strong, Desirable, Confidant, she shines, and sucks you right in.


A Seriously entertaining, and deliciously captivating read!  Drama, drama, drama, love, love, love, Chyna’s story!  It was everything I’d hoped for and more!!

My Fav’s 

Was there any doubt?  Don’t think so!!  I love Chyna, and I will shout it from the roof tops!  Avoiding Intimacy  highlights her strengths, but doesn't leave out her weaknesses.  Even though Chyna is flawed, she comes out on top!  Not only does she come out on top, she does so effortlessly,  Okay, maybe it was a struggle, but she does the right thing, and she continues to impress me!  I doubt anyone else would have her strength.  That is why she continues to be one of my fav’s in this wonderfully dramatic series!


Okay I’m not exactly sure why I love him so much, because he’s an A**!  He has done some awful things, and will stop at nothing to ensure all debts are paid.  I want him to be more.  I know he is broken, and I want to fix him!  I want to know more about him, and how deep his love runs.  I want to see more of him, and I want to know what makes him tick, and do the things he does.  I hope one day he gets the opportunity to redeem himself.  I can see him doing great things.  He is sexy, and I may be stupid for saying this, but I love him, and he is definitely one of my fav’s.

My Rating

4.5 Milan, Photo camera, Bright star, A-hole brothers, Sweaty basketball game filled stars!  I highly, highly recommend this book for a great drama-filled afternoon!! I love all of these great characters and hope you do too. Go on!!  Go read it!!

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cover Reveal: Of Silver and Beasts

Of Silver and Beasts (A Goddess Wars Novel)
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound
Cover Designed by: Steven Novak

Summary from Goodreads:
In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena. 

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.


I open my mouth to say something comforting, but I’m unsure of what. In this moment, I’m reminded that I know little about him. Other than the sarcasm and desire to understand nothing of my queendom, he hasn’t allowed me past the surface. But then, I have my own walls, hiding things I’d never want him or any other to know. And I understand that need to hide them. You can’t trust anyone. “Caben…” I start, but still can’t find the right words. He lowers his hand from his face, never taking his eyes off the glinting water top. “You’re right,” he finally says. “Let’s find the access to Lilly’s section.” A hollow pang hits my chest, and I’m not sure why. Something in his voice sounds lost, broken. I imagine the gears around my heart spinning faster, trying to keep up with my racing heart. When he sidesteps me, I reach out and grab his arm. “Caben, I didn’t mean—” “It’s fine, Kal,” he snaps. “We have work to do.” “No, I’ve said something to offend you.” I drop my hand, but keep close to him, not allowing him to leave my side. Goddess, trying to understand the male brain is harder than anything in protector training. I’ve heard people say that you have to tip-toe around a woman’s emotions, but a man’s ego is every bit as fragile, if not more so. He releases a heavy breath through his nose and walks back to the pool. He sits down along the edge and rolls up his pants, then slips off his boots. “I honestly don’t think Bax or his goons will be returning tonight.” He sinks his bare feet into the water and sighs. Glancing at the back of the cave, I plant my hands on my hips. We don’t have time for indulgencies, but the prince is still my charge. If it were my empress, I’d give her anything she’d ask for. Allow her as much time as she needed to collect herself. I have to watch over his mental state as well as protect him, so I try to push the pending need to find Lilly aside and sit down next to him. “Here,” he says, turning his hand out near my crossed feet. “You have to feel this.” A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth. “I can remove my own—” “Have you never been pampered a day in your life?” he asks, lifting an eyebrow. “I know that the Nactue are fierce and will put a hurt on any man for touching them. But try to relax.” “Is that the rumor in Perinya?” “What?” I bite my lip, suddenly regretting my blurt. “Nothing. Never mind.” From the corner of my eye, I see his lips pucker into a pinched smile, as if he’s trying not to. “Ah,” he says, like he’s made some great universal connection. “Well, there are many whisperings about the Nactue. Some I dare not repeat for fear I’d leave here missing a limb, but that’s one, yes.” He takes my booted foot and begins to unlace it. “I’ve heard that the empress’s protectors are untouchable—forbidden to give themselves to men. And that they’ll snap a man’s neck just for making an advance.” My mouth drops open. Appalled, I counter, “That’s not true.” “All right,” he says, as if he hasn’t just insulted my very existence. “It’s only rumors. Things men jaw about in pubs. The unattainable woman is a fantasy, Kal. Don’t be offended.” “Unattainable?” I grit my teeth, trying to maintain my composure. “Tell me, prince. Do men in your country just go around bedding every woman they can in order to keep them compliant?” I shake my head. “If their fantasy is a woman that would have nothing to do with them, it seems to me it’s their way of feeding their egos after being rejected.” His eyes widen. “No! How does your brain come up with these—” He bites off his words, his lips thin as he presses them together. “Look, it was a joke.” I nod, many times. “Another joke. I’m glad that our hard work and sacrifice is amusing to the men of Perinya.” Caben lets out another sigh and slowly pulls off my boot. His warm fingers skim my calf as he inches up my pant leg. “Just stick your foot in,” he says, then adds lower, “while I stick mine in my mouth.” Unexpectedly, I laugh. “At least it’s now clean,” I say. “Would you like some help getting it to your face?”

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy

To Add One Week Girlfriend to Goodreads Click HERE

One Week Girlfriend

By:  Monica Murphy
Nook, 429 pages
Pub: January 10, 2013
Source:  Purchased
Mature Content:  17+
Disturbing Content

GR's Summary:

Temporary. That one single word best describes my life these last few years. I’m working at a temporary job until I can finally break free. I’m my little brother’s temporary mother since our mom doesn’t give a crap about either of us. And I’m that temporary girl all the guys want to get with because I give it up so easily. According to the rumors, at least.

But now I’m the temporary girlfriend of Drew Callahan, college football legend and all around golden guy. He’s beautiful, sweet—and he’s hiding way more secrets than I am. He’s brought me into this fake life where everyone seems to hate me. And everyone seems to want something from him. The only thing he seems to want though is…


I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I know is, I think Drew needs me. And I want to be there for him.


One Week Girlfriend was an amazing read!  At first glance, I was expecting a sexy, fun, flirty, romantic read about a couple, and what I got was so much more than meets the eye!  There is a whole lot of depth, and harsh reality, included within this story.  I loved One Week Girlfriend with a passion, and it has earned a spot on my favorite's shelf.  Lately, I have been reading a lot of New Adult Contemporary Romances, but what set aside, One Week Girlfriend, from the masses, was that this story was about so much more then sex.  It touched on alcoholism, an absentee parent, the death of another parent, abuse, and having an emotionally withdrawn family.  These topics were difficult to read, and yet there was something in the story that I'm sure everyone can relate to.  Monica Murphy, did a great job of showing that we all have our inner demons, secrets, and challenges to overcome.  Each of us is unique, and we deal with our inner turmoil in different ways.

The two main characters were Drew and Fable.  Drew went through his life in a state of numbness.  He always kept himself extremely busy, and didn't have time for a social life.  To all outward appearances, Drew had the perfect life.  He came from wealth, was a full-time college student, a football star at his school, popular, and had natural good looks, and a spectacular physique.  However, Drew was full of turmoil, anger, guilt, and unhappiness.  His biological mother died when he was young.  His step-mother was a horrible, possessive, and manipulative woman.  His father was cold, and his younger sister had just died a few years ago.  He avoided leaving college and visiting his family.  However, he was expected to spend a week with his family in the very house his sister had died in.  

Fable, grew up with an alcoholic mother, who went from boyfriend to boyfriend, and was never there for her children.  Fable was more of a substitute mother, than a sister, to her 13- year old brother.  She supported her family by working full-time at a bar.  (Her mother only worked part time, couldn't hold a job down, and spent all of her money on beer.)  Therefore,  Fable wasn't able to attend college, and learned the skills that it took to feed a family, and pay bills on a limited amount of money.  She had a reputation around the local college campus for being promiscuous.  However, all she was looking for was stolen moments of feeling like someone actually cared about her, and a way to deal with the loneliness that her life had become.  

Drew propositions Fable, with $3,000, to make a deal.  He needs her to go with him to Carmel for Thanksgiving week, and pretend to be his girlfriend, and save him from his horrible family.  While Fable is hesitant, at first, she eventually agrees because her family is in desperate need of money.  The week Drew and Fable ended up spending together felt like a lifetime.  They bonded, forged a friendship, fell in love, saved each other, and learned each other's darkest secrets....

One Week Girlfriend was well-written.  Drew and Fable were three-dimensional characters, that had distinct personalities, flaws, challenges in their lives, and were so real that they could have easily been based off of real people.  I saw their lives, and heard their voices as I flipped each page.  I connected with Fable,  and how she felt over-protective of Drew, and just wanted to save him.  I kept rooting for her to slap Adele, Drew's stepmother, and put her in her place!  I needed her to stand up for herself when Drew's snobby parents treated her like she was beneath them, and I fell in love with Drew, when he stood up for her!  The intense chemistry, and attraction that Drew and Fable had for one another, held me utterly captivated!  There were many swoon-worthy scenes, and it looks like I'm adding Drew to my coveted Book-Boyfriend list!  Ms. Murphy is a master at capturing the anticipation, and desire between Drew and Fable, and weaves each scene like a delicious dessert to be savored!  The descriptive writing gave me a graphically detailed picture in my mind.  This story was character-driven, with such dynamic, and well-written character's, that I found myself reading a little slower than usual, because I didn't want the story to end.

Another aspect that I enjoyed in this story was the beautiful setting in Carmel.  Ms. Murphy did a fabulous job describing the gorgeous ocean view, the little shops, and the wealthy little city's beauty.  The plot kept me hooked to this book!  I would get exasperated every time I got interrupted while reading.  There were so many ups and downs in this story, and my emotions were all over the place, as I read what happened.  Even though I figured out one of the major revelations early on, there were still a few surprises that I didn't see coming.

One Week Girlfriend, by Monica Murphy, would be a welcome addition, to readers that enjoy New Adult Contemporary Romances that deal with real, and gritty topics.  This is not a light fluffy story, as it may appear based off of the book cover and title.  It is fast-paced, has a lot of depth, and will make you a ball of emotion.  I would put it in a category with books such as, The Sea of Tranquility, by Katja Millay, Hopeless, by Colleen Hoover, and The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, by Jessica Sorenson.  Some scenes in this story will be difficult to read, and contain some disturbing content.  However, this book deals with the realities of life, the healing process, and the beauty that comes from setting yourself free from your past, finding love, friendship, meaning, and joy in your life.  Also, finding the strength, and support, with someone who loves you unconditionally, with every fiber of their being.  I am highly anticipating the sequel, Second Chance Boyfriend, and can't wait to continue the emotional journey of Drew and Fable.

I give One Week Girlfriend, by Monica Murphy, 5 Dynamic, Delicious, Gritty, Marshmellowy Stars!  It's on my favorite's list, and I know if you read it, you will have discovered a new favorite also!

"I don't want to become dependent on Drew, yet it's too late.  I am.  Slowly but surely I am and if I don't stop it soon, my heart will become so entwined with his, I know I will literally bleed if we're ever separated.  (Nook, 272)

"As our mouths find each other, I'm overwhelmed with emotion for this girl.  I've craved this connection with her for days.  Hell, I've craved this sort of connection with someone for years, always too afraid to believe in it.  But I'm a believer now.  Thanks to my one week girlfriend.  Thanks to Fable.  (Nook, 335)

"I want you to be mine, Fable.  Loosening his hold on my wrists, he dips his head, nuzzling my check, my nose.  It's the sweetest, sexiest gesture and I moan as I circle my arms around his neck and cradle him close.  I want to be yours, I answer in a breath whisper.  I want to belong to you Drew.  Only you."  (Nook, 346-347)

*I got this from Ms. Murphy's Website (and the marshmellow's have a special meaning in the story.)

I'm a wife and a mom. I drink too much coffee and spend too much time in front of my computer. I like to read, I like to write, I like to watch bad reality TV and I like to think I act younger than I really am. Though sometimes I'm sure my kids think I'm a complete buzz kill.

I'm not going to lie - it's been a while since I was in college. But do you ever forget those troubling, indecisive, exhilarating years? Where you're not exactly sure what you're supposed to be doing, how you're going to pay the rent, how much you hate your boss and oh my God, how much did I drink last night anyway?

Whoops. I think I just revealed I went to a major party college (major as in what a good time I had!). And really, I didn't hate my boss, she was amazing. I worked with some pretty amazing girls, too. We all became great friends and I had this guy who was the worst. guy. EVER. Yet I still stuck with him for years because I was in love (insert sing-songy voice).

Yeah, see? Those years, my early twenties...I can't forget them. And I hope I convey those turbulent, messy emotions in my books. ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND is the first in a series (like I'd leave Drew + Fable hanging like that! I'm not that mean) and the second (still untitled) book should be released in early April. So stay tuned...

Psst - I love to hear from readers. Email me at missmonicamurphy @ (minus spaces) and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

Monica Murphy's:  Website/Goodreads/Facebook