#CelebratingDebutantes2013: Sabrina Elkins (13 Random Facts + Giveaway)

Thursday, October 31, 2013



It's Day 4 of Celebrating Debutantes 2013 and I'm featuring my third author and the first new adult author! Her debut novel, which was recently released last October 1, sure stirred up lots of raves. Let's all welcome the author of STIR ME UP, SABRINA ELKINS!



About Sabrina Elkins

I am a former journalist who worked for the Los Angeles Daily News and other newspapers in the greater Los Angeles area. Prior to this I worked in advertising, writing ad copy for corporate travel accounts and major motion pictures. My first job out of college was as an administrative assistant to an executive chef and a food & beverage director at a Four Seasons hotel. I also spent some time working as a prep cook for Spago in Beverly Hills.


I received my Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California. While in graduate school, I had the privilege of studying fiction writing under renowned author Hubert Selby, Jr., and comedy writing under famed comedian Shelley Berman. I am a past participant of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Summer Writing Workshop.



Raised in the woods of Vermont, I now live in the greater Los Angeles area with my husband and three children. STIR ME UP is my first novel.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook




THIRTEEN THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT SABRINA ELKINS


1. I’m a USC grad. Go Trojans!


2. I’m a hobby chef who has worked for real chefs and briefly as a cook for Spago in Beverly Hills. Mostly chopping onions.


3. The recipes in Stir Me Up and all the food portions of the novel were reviewed by an executive chef friend of mine.


4. Stir Me Up is set in New England, where I was raised. I’m a bit nostalgic about the place, and I think that comes across in the way I describe it.


5. The high-rise German apple pancake in the novel is the dish I make for my family every Christmas morning.

6. I’m currently writing a book about Cami’s bff, Taryn.


7. The main song that reminds me of Julian is Sail by AWOL Nation. Even though he has PTSD not ADD, I still really like it for him.




8. I’m deathly afraid of any escalator that goes down.


9. I have two dogs, but actually I prefer cats.


10. I like yoga but never seem to have time to go to class.


11. I studied ballet for years as a kid and dreamed of being a ballerina and marrying famous ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov.

12. The first album I ever bought was Styx, The Grand Illusion. I still like it.

13. I married my best friend’s hot older brother. The first time I met him though, he was wearing the ugliest Fozzy Bear sweater I’ve ever seen in my life.

***


Aaaaaww, way to go, Sabrina! Marrying your best friend's hot older brother! And I've always dreamed of being a chef. Then I moved on from that dream to dreaming of marrying a chef. It's always food that gets me, you know? Hee. Now, let's check out Sabrina's debut novel, STIR ME UP!

***

Stir Me Up
Title: Stir Me Up
Author: Sabrina Elkins
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Date of Publication: October 1, 2013

Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated...

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

Giveaway

Sabrina is giving away four ecopies of STIR ME UP, open internationally. Good luck!



Thank you so much for celebrating your debut year with us, Sabrina! Now, go on to Michelle's blog and check out her interview with Liz Fichera, author of HOOKED!

Are you a 2014 debut author? Are you interested in participating for Celebrating Debutantes 2014? Fill out this form!

#CelebratingDebutantes2013: Erin Bowman (13 Random Facts + Giveaway)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013



It's Day 3 of Celebrating Debutantes 2013 and I'm featuring my second author! Not just any author but THE author of TAKEN, one of my top anticipated 2013 books. Let's all welcome, ERIN BOWMAN!

First, let us read her bio and know the face behind TAKEN! And stay because she's sharing 13 things you don't know about her and giving away her book!


About Erin Bowman

Erin grew up in rural Connecticut, where she spent most of her childhood telling stories. It is rumored that her first words were not "Mama" or "Dada," but "Once upon a time." In middle school, when kids were going off to sleep-away camp for the summer, Erin was attending writing camp and penning short stories.

She studied web design (and minored in Creative Writing because she couldn’t stay away from stories) at the Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York. After several years working in advertising and designing websites for various brands, she moved from Boston to New Hampshire, where she now lives with her husband and writes full-time.


When not writing, Erin can often be found hiking, geeking out over good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter. She drinks a lot of coffee, buys far too many books, and is not terribly skilled at writing about herself in the third person.


She is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, and is the author of the Taken Trilogy (available from HarperTeen).

Website | Twitter | Tumblr


THIRTEEN THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ERIN BOWMAN

1. I'm a morning person, usually up between 6-7am.

2. All dresses and skirts should have pockets. Pockets make everything better.


3. I prefer the country to the city. (Although cities always do have the best food.)


4. My favorite season is fall. Give me apples and sweater weather and pumpkins and cider and chai lattes and golden leaves forever and ever.


5. I rewatch Firefly about once a year.


6. I read widely, but have a soft spot for dark fairytales.


7. Nothing makes me giddy like good typography and gorgeous hand-lettering.


8. I wanted to be a writer since the age of six, and still can't believe I am paid to make things up.


9. Current music obsession: Lorde.




10. Favorite series: Harry Potter. (Always.)

11. If I walk into a bookstore, it's inevitable that I will leave with one (or seven) new books in hand.


12. I really enjoy cooking, but this is a recent development.


13. I like odd numbers more than evens, and am happy this list ends at 13.



***
*raises hands* Dresses with pockets are THE best clothing EVER. Actually, I love everything about Erin's list and I practically nodded with every fact. Except being a morning person. Wow, you have to drag me out of bed every single day. So with that, let's check out her debut book, TAKEN.


***

Taken (Taken, #1)
Title: Taken (Taken #1)
Author: Erin Bowman
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of Publication: April 16, 2013

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

Purchase from Amazon | B&NThe Book Depository



Frozen (Taken, #2)
Title: Frozen (Taken #2)
Author: Erin Bowman
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of Publication: April 15, 2014


The Heists were only the beginning.

Gray Weathersby escaped from the primitive town of Claysoot expecting to find answers, but what he discovered shook him to the core: A ruthless dictator with absolute power. An army of young soldiers blinded by lies. And a growing rebellion determined to fight back.

Now Gray has joined a team of rebels on a harsh, icy journey in search of allies who can help them set things right. But in a world built on lies, Gray must constantly question whether any ally—or enemy—is truly what they seem…



Pre-order from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


Giveaway


Erin is giving away an ecopy of TAKEN or if you've read TAKEN already, a pre-order of an e-copy of FROZEN! Guys, I tell you, you have to read TAKEN! And if you've read it, GAH, I know, right? I can't wait for FROZEN and the novella, STOLEN! Good luck!


Thank you so much Erin for participating in CD 2013 and stopping by my blog! Can't wait for STOLEN and FROZEN! Check out Michelle's feature today on Jack Croxall, author of TETHERS!

Are you a 2014 debut author? Are you interested in participating for Celebrating Debutantes 2014? Fill out this form!

#CelebratingDebutantes2013: Liz Coley (13 Random Facts + Giveaway)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Wee! Today's my first post for Celebrating Debutantes 2013. If you wanna know more about CD, click on the banner to check my introductory post.

I am very honored to feature and start CD 2013 on my blog with this fabulous author. She wrote PRETTY GIRL-13, which was published by Katherine Tegen Books in the US. PRETTY GIRL-13 is now available in ten languages (WOW!) such as Czech, Slovakian, Swedish, Taiwanese, Brazilian, German and a whole lot more. Not only am I featuring this lovely author, she's also sharing 13 random facts about her and giving away her book! Let's all welcome LIZ COLEY to Oops! I Read A Book Again!

First, let's get to know her a bit more!

***

Liz Coley has been writing long and short fiction for teens and adults for more than ten years. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and several speculative fiction anthologies: The Last Man, More Scary Kisses, Strange Worlds and Flights of Fiction.

In 2011, she self-published Out of Xibalba, a story that begins when the world ends. The same week that work launched, Liz sold dark contemporary psychological thriller Pretty Girl-13 to HarperCollins for US/UK publication. Overseas editions are available in nine translations.

Liz lives in the YA writing mecca of Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and teenaged daughter, sans the two older boys who have flown the nest. Her hobbies include singing, photography, and baking. She plays competitive tennis to keep herself fit and humble.



THIRTEEN THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT LIZ COLEY

1. I still have my yellow baby blanket and first pillow.

2. I can do a headstand and a cartwheel. My fifteen-year-old daughter can’t.



3. I know the secret recipe for Roy’s chocolate soufflĂ© which is so good it makes your toes curl.

4. I have a space rocket bank collection in my writer’s garret.

5. I like cold Brussels sprouts. Really.

6. I can fall asleep after a double espresso. That’s a problem.

7. I met the wife of the inventor of the atomic bomb in seventh grade.

8. I stole my friend’s doll when I was four and secretly returned it the same day.

9. I have a terrarium that hasn’t been opened in fifteen years. It’s pretty scary.

10. If I had to pick one food, I could eat pizza every day for the rest of my life.

11. My first child weighed 10 1/2 pounds at birth. I am five foot two. Not a good combination.

12. I named my first cat “Black-under-the-chin.”

13. The first year of Pretty Girl-13’s publication brought all sorts of challenges, surprises, and rewards.

Getting the word out that a new book exists was the biggest challenge. So far, I’ve guest blogged 45 times, attended 8 bookstore signings, participated in 5 conferences or festivals, visited one book club, and done one TV interview.

The biggest surprises came in the form of media-mail packages containing copies of foreign editions. That’s how I found out what they named my book in other languages: “Angie, 13 years disappeared,” “Return from darkness,” and “Tell me please, Who am I?” That’s also when I saw the new cover art created in France, Taiwan, UK, and Russia. It’s fascinating to see the face of the book reinterpreted for different cultures.

The sweetest rewards come from readers who have been touched by my story. I’ve had letters, emails, Facebook posts, and tweets from so many interesting people and places. The ones who stand out? An Australian high school student decided to go into the field of mental health after reading the book; a Czech nursing student decided to specialize in trauma and dissociation; with the help of a kind librarian, a boy in the juvenile system wrote me to share that through Pretty Girl-13, he had discovered the joy of reading.


***
Liz can do a headstand! I am floored. And she loves pizza. I love pizza. I can eat pizza forever. How about you? What do you think of these random tidbits about Liz? Sound off on the comments section below!

Moreover, let's check out her book!
***

Pretty Girl-13
Title: Pretty Girl-13
Author: Liz Coley
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Date of Publication: March 19, 2013

When thirteen-year-old Angela Gracie Chapman looks in the mirror, someone else looks back--a thin, pale stranger, a sixteen-year-old with haunted eyes. Angie has no memory of the past three years, years in which she was lost to the authorities, lost to her family and friends, lost even to herself. Where has she been, who has been living her life, and what is hiding behind the terrible blankness? There are secrets you can’t even tell yourself.

With a tremendous amount of courage and support from unexpected friends, Angie embarks on a journey into the darkest corners of her mind. As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: when you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the people responsible, or is there another way to feel whole again?

Liz Coley’s alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing—and ultimately empowering—page turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Giveaway

Liz is giving away a print copy of PRETTY GIRL-13! You can even choose if you want the US version, the Czech, French, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish, Taiwanese, UK, German, Brazilian or the Swedish one!


Thank you Liz for visiting my blog! I am giddy as a kid to have you here and I'm hoping I can read your book soon! I've read so many raves and hopefully, I'll be raving about it soon. *eyes my copy*

So that's it for my first Celebrating Debutantes 2013 post! You should go check out Michelle's blog for her feature on Alexia Casale. Come back tomorrow here at Oops! I Read A Book Again as Erin Bowman, author of Taken from HarperTeen, dishes out her 13 random facts!

Are you a 2014 debut author? Are you interested in participating for Celebrating Debutantes 2014? Fill out this form!

#CelebratingDebutantes2013: Introduction

Monday, October 28, 2013


Yeehaw! Today, I am introducing you to the blog event I'm co-hosting until early January - CELEBRATING DEBUTANTES 2013. Celebrating Debutantes is an annual event started by Michelle of The Escapist last year that aims to highlight debut authors and their books. This year, I'm co-hosting it and we'll be featuring tons of authors every day until early January. Yes, you read that right, EVERY DAY. There will be lots of giveaways as not only are we spotlighting these debut authors, we are also celebrating their being published.

Authors will either share 13 random facts about themselves (yay for the number '13'!) or answer 13 questions in an interview as we want to know more about THE author. So expect some crazy and wild random tidbits about your favorite debut authors and stories of how they celebrated getting their book out in the world.

I will be updating this post every day with links to our posts so you can bookmark this as the awesomest page ever. (Maybe not the awesomest but admit it, it's pretty awesome.) But just see the line-up we have for you and the books you can win!

Today, Kasie West, author of Pivot Point and The Distance Between Us and the upcoming Split Second and On The Fence, visits Michelle's blog and shares 13 cool facts about her. She's also giving away a SIGNED copy of THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US. So head on over there and win!

Below, you can find the schedule and the links to the posts. Have fun getting to know our debut authors and winning!



And here's our button you can put on your blogs!



The Escapist


Are you a 2014 debut author? Want to participate in Celebrating Debutantes 2014? Go fill out this form!

Spotlight + Giveaway: Kiss the Tiger by Raquel Lyon

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kiss the Tiger
Title: Kiss the Tiger
Author: Raquel Lyon
Date of Publication: September 1, 2013
Genre: contemporary NA romance

Amy’s love life sucks. At college, she thought she’d found the man of her dreams, but she hadn’t planned on his brother’s sadistic intervention, and after that night, Amy’s life was never the same.

Deciding the only way to forget is to move on, she searches for comfort in the arms of other men, but no amount of one night stands can replace her lost love.

On a long awaited summer holiday, her sister hopes to change Amy’s luck, planning to find them both plenty of sexy fun on the hot summer nights, but when ghosts from the past reappear, they threaten to drive a wedge into sisterly love.

Josh would rather be anywhere, than Greece. It isn’t the country he dislikes; it’s the company. Being forced to work out his differences with his brother was not how he’d planned to spend his summer. So far he’s stuck to his good behaviour promise, but what will happen when the cause of the dispute turns out to be his blind date?

Kiss the Tiger is a New Adult romance novel containing language and sexual situations that may not be appropriate for readers under 18.

Purchase from Amazon

Excerpt

The midday sun had heated the air to an unbearable level, and I understood why the word siesta existed in certain hot countries. In fact, it had turned into one of those days where the only thing you want to do is open the refrigerator door and stand in front of it. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I grabbed a quick bite to eat in the cool of the air-conditioned snack bar and returned to my room, intending to stick a film in the DVD player and chill out until the rays lengthened. The opening credits were rolling when there was a knock on the door. It couldn’t be the maid. When I’d returned, the bed was made and my top had gone to the big dumpster in the sky.

I pressed pause. “Who is it?”

“Manager.”

What? Why? Had someone reported my drunken antics? Had Nessie not cleaned up my mess properly and the maid had complained? Mum would love the excuse that we were forced to go home because I got us thrown out of the hotel.

“Just a minute.” I quickly tied a sarong around my bikini bottoms and opened the door, mentally preparing an apology, and totally unprepared for the sight that met me.

Casually leaning with an elbow against the door jamb and one ankle crossed over the other was a familiar figure. His dark head lifted with a crooked smile.

Our eyes locked, and for one brief moment I was too shocked to speak. A warm tingling radiated out from my chest, down my arms and legs, and my body weakened. What was he doing here?

I managed to find my voice. “Manager, huh?”

“Figured you might not open up if you knew it was me.”

I’ll open anything you ask me to.

Josh’s eyes flicked past my shoulders. “Are you alone?”

I nodded. “Yes.”

“Can I come in?”

I stepped back on shaky legs, and he squeezed through the gap, brushing my arm with his as he passed. His electric touch gave my nerves another jolt.

He walked over to the balcony access and slid it shut. “Are you going to close the door?”

Hadn’t he just done that? I faltered for a second before realising what I was holding. “Oh. Yeah. Right.” I let go of the handle. The door latch caught, and I leaned back against the fire notice. I needed to sit down before my legs gave way, but the only place to sit was the bed, and as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t go there. He might get the wrong idea. So I went to the dressing table and perched on the edge, hoping it was strong enough to support me. An uncomfortable silence ensued.

Josh stared leisurely through the glass at the view, and I stared at him. The white cotton of his T-shirt was fitted enough to show the contours of his muscular back, and his hands in the pockets of his beige, linen shorts stretched the material tight across his buttocks. My mouth went dry with an overwhelming need to touch him. I couldn’t believe he was here, in my bedroom. If I’d fallen asleep again, and was dreaming it all, I didn’t want to wake up.

Finally he spoke. “You stood me up.”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“Okay, walked out on me.”

“Yeah.”

“Girls don’t do that.”

I bet they don’t. “Did I dent your pride?”

He swung around, and with two slow, purposeful strides, he was standing in front of me, his nose six inches from my face. “No.” He angled his head. “I understand why you left. It was a shock for me too.”

I struggled to keep my breath even. “It was?”

“You were the last girl I expected to see.”

“Sorry to disappoint.” Why was I smart mouthing him when he’d done nothing to deserve it?

His lips curved into a smile. I’d never noticed his dimples before, but then I’d never been lucky enough to see them this close. “I wasn’t disappointed,” he said.

“Really? You’re not pissed you didn’t get the quick leg-over you were expecting?” Shut up, Amy, before your mouth ruins everything.

His eyes fell to my cleavage. “That’s Jacko, not me.”

The way he was undressing me with his eyes said otherwise.

About Raquel Lyon

Most of Raquel’s childhood was spent taking long walks in the beautiful English countryside with only her imaginary friends for company. She has lived around Pendle Hill, a magical mysterious place, all her life and has always been interested in the folklore surrounding it. Some of her favourite places have been the inspiration for her books’ settings.

She currently lives near Pendle Hill with her partner, two teenage daughters, and bunny rabbit Florence.


Giveaway

Spotlight + Giveaway: Throwing Heat by Jennifer Seasons

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jennifer Seasons is taking over @AvonBooks and chatting with you live on Sunday, October 27th 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM (ET). She’ll be discussing all things baseball! The Cardinals vs. Red Sox game, her new novel THROWING HEAT, the sexy heroes of the Denver Rush baseball team, steamy sports romances, and more! Use the hashtag #WORLDSERIESLUV to join the chat. But for now, I'm shining the spotlight on THROWING HEAT and giving it away!

Throwing Heat (Diamonds and Dugouts #3)
Title: Throwing Heat (Diamonds and Dugouts #3)
Author: Jennifer Seasons
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Date of Publication: October 15, 2013

The sexy baseball players of Jennifer Seasons' Diamonds and Dugouts series slide into home with a final fiery romance worthy of a World Series win.

Nightclub manager Leslie Cutter has never been one to back down from a bet. So when Peter Kowalskin, pitcher for the Denver Rush baseball team, bets her that she can't keep her hands off of him, she's not about to let the arrogant, gorgeous playboy win. Especially when the prize could put her business on the map. She's got this in the bag, just so long as she can stay out of his arms … and his bed.

Peter struck out once before with Leslie, but this bet is sure to be the second chance he's been waiting for. Determined to stoke the passion he knows is there, he'll do anything to win—even if it means playing a little dirty.

But as things heat up, this combustible pair will have to decide just how much they're willing to wager on one another … and on a future that just might last forever.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

About Jennifer Seasons

Jennifer Seasons is a Colorado transplant. She lives with her husband and four children along the Front Range, where she enjoys breathtaking views of the mighty Rocky Mountains every day. A dog and two cats keep them company. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family outdoors, exploring her beautiful adopted home state.


Giveaway

Stacking the Shelves (30)


For Review


Won

Bought


Shine by Lauren Myracle
Skinny by Ibi Kaslik
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver



Swag


Thank you to Victoria of Hachette Children's Books, Jessica of Hardie Grant Egmont, Pam of Paranormal Reads, Lauren Miller, Guinevere of Chronicle Books, Jessica Brooks, Rachel of My Book Empire, my local Book Sale, Mary Gray, Erin Bowman, Liz Fichera and my parents!

{Blog Tour} Review + Playlist + Giveaway: Far Too Tempting by Lauren Blakely

Monday, October 21, 2013

I'm posting for FAR TOO TEMPTING's blog tour! Which releases today! Happy release day to FAR TOO TEMPTING! Aside from my review, I have my own break-up playlist to share! So check that out and the giveaway below!

Far Too Tempting
Title: Far Too Tempting
Author: Lauren Blakely
Publisher: Entangled Edge
Date of Publication: October 21, 2013

Jane Black has written the breakup album of the century, earning her a Grammy, a huge legion of new fans, and the pressure to repeat her success. Sure, the heartbreak from her husband’s unconventional abandonment might have been her inspiration, but it hasn't done her any favors in the dating department. So when Matthew Harrigan, the toughest music journalist out there, asks for an interview, Jane agrees—as long as her personal life is completely off-limits.

British, gorgeous, and way too tempting, Matthew’s the first guy Jane’s been attracted to since her husband. As she spends more time with him and their relationship heats up, though, so does her writer’s block. How can the queen of the break up pen the perfect follow-up when she’s seriously in love?

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

Review

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thank you very much to Lauren for the eARC! This in no way affected my views of the novel.

Because this book would be the first of Lauren's that I will review, I can't just go say "DUH. Of course it's amazing. Of course I loved it. It's by Lauren Blakely!" because you still don't know how her writing is the B-O-M-B. So let me discuss what I believe are the three main aspects of a novel and you can see why I'm a fan for life.

Characters. Lauren writes very realistic characters. They're not perfect, they can be selfish at times, they can be stupid at times, they have their hang-ups but they don't claim to be broken. I love that. With new adult and adult contemporary romances saturated with these self-proclaimed broken and cynical characters (I can tell for myself if a character's broken, no need to say it so), it is so refreshing when you read a novel that doesn't rely on brokenness for drama and angst. Lauren's characters feel like one of your friends. Sure, I don't know a Grammy-winning rockstar like Jane Black but Lauren's portrayal of this person, this entity, is 100% believable. I can hear her cuss, I can see her cry and eat Chinese takeout, I can imagine her reading books to her son, I can empathize with her and I unequivocally root for her. I don't feel detached to the characters while reading. I feel like I'm one of their friends who get to see all the action, who get to share their emotions. Characters who make me care about them are the best. <3

Of course, there's this bit too with a sexy, smart, witty and funny English music journalist named Matthew Harrigan who uses words like "lovely", "fancy" and all panty-dropping English words with the accent. That's always a plus. A HUGE plus.

And who says "I'm phenomenally attracted to you". And says "The more I know you, the more I want to get to know you". Who also says "Always. Because that's how long I'll want you, and that's how long I'll love you". Good lord, have mercy on me and give me my own Matthew!

Then there are all the side characters who added so much flavor and fun in this novel. (Seriously thinking of naming my future son Ethan so he can be as adorable as Jane's son!)

Plot. Ahoy, mate! Welcome to Lauren's dimensional plots. Another bit I love about Lauren's novels is that she dresses up romance basics and changes things up that you get something new/not common. It's refreshing and satisfying at the same time because you're not reading a rehash of every other romance novel out there but you still come off sated and happy with a grin on your face and a fluttery heart. I know I love musicians in my novels but I think there are definitely not enough FEMALE musicians in books. Leave it to Lauren to do just that!

Moreover, Lauren's novels touches that little bit of a feminist (more like an equal rights/opportunity advocate) in me. In Trophy Husband, it was the heroine's boyfriend marrying a trophy wife and her quest to get a trophy husband. In Pretending He's Mine, a girl takes charge to get what she wants in her career and hires a pretend-boyfriend who ends up as her real boyfriend. In here, Jane Black wrote Crushed, THE break-up album, when her husband left her in an epic fashion. (Not saying because it's not in the blurb!) We then get to read how Jane coped with it and eventually, move on from it and love again. We also get to read how she wrote her music as that definitely comprises a chunk of the plot. (I totally love how the music process was tackled and that the rockstar/music scene wasn't just used as a setting. It's definitely part of the plot.) Additionally, Lauren doesn't focus on the romance alone. She puts in conflicts for the characters so they'll grow and have a life outside the love interest. The girls in Lauren's novels aren't damsels in distress waiting for their hot princes to come love them. They're careerwomen and successful ones at that. I can't express how much I adore (an English word!) Lauren and her novels because of this.

Writing. Seriously, just go read it. Lauren Blakely's writing is beautiful. They're lyrical and totally quotable. She sets the mood and atmosphere SO GREATLY that even though I haven't experienced snow, I was able to completely imagine the scenes with snow. THAT is how good she is. I've read my bunch of contemporary romances (YA, NA and adult) and some definitely don't invest much in the writing, focusing more on the actions and the romance. But with Lauren, you get everything. A fantastic plot, wonderful characters and writing you'd write home about.

FAR TOO TEMPTING, like a seducing songstress, will lure you into its story and charm you into unproductivity as you are rendered unable to stop. You will be tempted to finish this in one sitting and you definitely should! I did and I definitely didn't mind not sleeping AT ALL and going straight to work. If FAR TOO TEMPTING had a body, I'd say it would be as eminently lickable as Matthew Harrigan. Ha!

Playlist (by moi)

If you don't know, FAR TOO TEMPTING's original title was THE BREAK-UP ALBUM. Totally makes sense since our heroine, Jane Black, wrote THE break-up album. In the spirit of my love to share music, I made my own break-up playlist! The songs are divided into the stages of a break-up. Honestly, there's no flow in my playlist tonally as I focused more on the lyrics. Moreover, I included bits of the lyrics and hopefully, it will explain why. But enough of this chitchat. Let's get to the good stuff!

Stage 1: Denial/Hope that you can get him/her back


I'm gonna get you back anyway I can, anyway anyway I can
I'm gonna get you back anyway I can, anyway anyway I can
Kiss my face, it's so good, can I kiss you back?
But you said no
Give me some, feels so bad when you take it back, take it back


Girl, you really got me bad
You really got me bad
I'm gonna get you back
I'm gonna get you back

Stage 2: Begging (still cute)


Why can't we just hit reset?
Rewind this lock-up cassette,
And take it back to the start, yeah,
Before my stupid mistakes,
Tripped us up, got in the way,
And broke the both of our hearts, yeah,

'Cause the world doesn't need another break-up song,
The world doesn't need another break-up song,
Another sad story 'bout a love gone wrong,
The world doesn't need another break-up, break-up song

Stage 3: Begging with anger


What the fuck do I do?
Can’t we just cut the shit find harmony for two
You and me live happily, I don’t know
Anything anymore

Stage 4: RRR: Resignation, Regret, Reminisce


Does he watch your favorite movies?
Does he hold you when you cry?
Does he let you tell him all your favorite parts when you've seen it a million times?
Does he sing to all your music while you dance to "Purple Rain"?
Does he do all these things, like I used to?


My pride, my ego, my needs, and my selfish ways
Caused a good strong woman like you to walk out my life
Now I never, never get to clean up the mess I made, ohh…
And it haunts me every time I close my eyes

Stage 5: Emo

(In the spirit of sharing not-so-famous artists! Best cover EVER!)

What am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you?
And what am I supposed to say when I'm all choked up and you're OK?
I'm falling to pieces, yeah,
I'm falling to pieces

Stage 6: Trying to move on by failing


I'm feeling like I've been buried alive
but I tell myself I'm over you
On weekends, I feel you
It's like I'm breathing
and you're next to me
And even, If I tell you
You wouldn't listen

Stage 7: Moving on


I've been lost, I’ve been out, I've been losing
I've been tired, I'm all hurt and confusion
I've been mad, I'm the kind of man that I'm not
I'm going down, I'll be coming back fighting
I may be scared and a little bit frightened
But I'll be back, I'll be coming back to life
I'll be coming back to life

And I'm a little bit lost without you
And I'm a bloody big mess inside
And I'm a little bit lost without you
This aint a love song this is goodbye (oooooh)
This aint a love song this is goodbye (ooooh)

Stage 8: Moving on and meeting someone new

(The whole song is actually about moving on and meeting someone new. Listen to this song. It's one of my favorites ever. So sad at the start and then so uplifting. Even if you got your heart broken, remember that you're strong enough to lift a car ALL BY YOURSELF. You can do anything all by yourself. You'll meet someone soon. :D)

I won't lose it, I won't lose it, I won't lose it
I won't lose it, I won't lose it

Hold it steady, hold it steady, hold it steady,
Hold it steady, hold it steady

All by myself
I can lift a car
All by myself
I can lift a car

I can lift a car up all by myself

So that's it folks! Breaking up in eight stages with ten songs to listen to. Happy listening! Don't forget to grab FAR TOO TEMPTING! (Is it obvious that Walk the Moon is my favorite band? Haha! Go check them out as well!)

About Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He's Mine, Playing With Her Heart, Trophy Husband, and Far Too Tempting. On November 21, she'll release the edgy new adult novel THE THRILL OF IT. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.


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