Aqua by M.A. George {BOOK TOUR}

Meet Layla McKelland: Novelist (unpublished, but cut her some slack…seventeen is a bit early to despair),
Slightly neurotic introvert (Alright, let’s be honest…there’s no “slightly” about it), International Woman of Mystery, and…
Okay, just scratch the bio. The only real “mystery” in Layla’s life is why her father has never been on the scene.  Or why her mother drags Layla to a new coastal home every year.
Nothing about the latest hometown seems too newsworthy…until a routine day at the beach leaves Layla questioning whether she’s read one too many paranormal fantasy novels.  The plot thickens when a random guy claims to know things about her father—a bizarre claim he backs up with an equally impossible stunt.  And Layla soon finds herself on the wrong side of a mysterious attempted drowning…on her own kitchen floor. When all is done, Layla will attest that fact is far stranger than fiction.  And nothing in real life is ever as transparent as it seems…Not even water.
Especially not water.

M. A. George is part proud mother of two adorable children, part super top secret agent…Oops, probably just lost that job.
Writing is what keeps her up into the wee hours of the night.  Fortunately, she has a lot of energy (Read: caffeine is her friend).  She has a bit of an obsession with music (It does a fantastic job of tuning out rambunctious children while she attempts to focus).
She sincerely hopes people out there enjoy reading her work as much as she enjoys writing it.  And if anyone hears of work for a super top secret agent, she’s now available (Discretion guaranteed…).

Waiting For Heaven by Heather Gillis + $25 GIVEAWAY {Book Blast}

Life can sometimes lead us to unexpected places, to only leave us broken, desperate, and hurting. Heather Gillis and her husband, Mac, waited in anticipation for the birth of their third child. Like many Christian couples, their dreams and expectations in marriage, parenthood, and daily life developed differently than they’d planned, and left them grieving a life that would never be. Their journey gives insight into a new normal and uncovers the stepping stones of the healing process. In their process, they re- discovered God’s abounding love through their experiences of joy, heartbreak, and purpose. Heather reaches out to parents around the globe to speak openly about being a wife, mother, friend, relative, or stranger during life-changing trials and devastating struggles. In God’s love, she has found beauty in the midst of pain and struggle, as well as peace in His presence on Earth while waiting for Heaven.

Meet Heather Gillis. In her book, Waiting for Heaven, Heather recalls the story of her infant son, Bowen, and her family's journey with polycystic kidney disease. Through Bowen's short life and death, she and her husband, Mac, discovered the true meaning of God’s love and grace. By telling her poignant story in the book and speaking to groups, Heather hopes she can help others through the challenges of loss and devastation; giving hope that their can be joy and happiness again.
After Bowen's death, Heather founded Bowen's Hope, a ministry serving kidney disease kids and their families, especially those getting dialysis treatments at Phoenix Children's Hospital. She's also involved with Camp Maska for dialysis patients in Arizona, and has raised over $50,000 for the PKD Foundation. In addition, Heather volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, an organization serving meals and providing temporary housing to families with children in the hospital.
Heather works part time as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. She and Mac have two living children, Brooklyn and Blake. With a serving heart, Heather’s passions are her family and helping others.

Life is not about how comfortable I can be; to expect life to be comfortable is unrealistic. I’m not exempt from the harshness or pain of this world. I have realized since Bowen’s passing that there are no guarantees in life; to think otherwise leads to disappointment. When I was pregnant, I assumed Bowen would be healthy. I assumed that when I left the house, I would return, unharmed. I assumed for some reason I would make it through life unscathed; I never thought I would be writing these words.
We can do all the right things in life, but that doesn’t guarantee us rewards or benefits in this life. We did not choose the path we are walking, but God willing, we will endure what comes our way and to where God wants us to go. We can have all the plans in the world but God is in the driver’s seat, and God knows what he is doing; we just have to trust him. Uncomfortable situations have taught me to trust in God, and I have learned more than I ever thought I would; and still am.

The Circuit: Executor Rising + GIVEAWAY {MASS AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT}

  It has been centuries since Earth was rendered a barren, volatile wasteland. With their homeworld left uninhabitable, humanity founded a system of colonies throughout their local solar system. Known as the Kepler Circuit, these settlements are strung together by a network of nonaligned Solar-Ark transports, locked in continuous motion. They have served to provide an influx of resources to every faction ruling over the remnants of humankind, most importantly the newly discovered element Gravitum which is found only in the Earth’s unstable mantle. By 500 K.C. a religious sect known as the New Earth Tribunal has risen to preside over most of The Circuit. Though there is barely a faction left remaining to challenge them, a string of attacks on their transports force them to summon the enigmatic, yet brilliant, Cassius Vale for help. What they don’t know is that together with his intelligent android creation, ADIM, he is the one orchestrating the raids.His actions lead to the involvement of Sage Volus, a beautiful Tribunal Executor sent by her masters to spy on their mortal enemies – the Ceresian Pact. In order to find out who is behind the attacks, she infiltrates the ranks of a roguish mercenary named Talon Rayne. Against all her intentions, however, she finds her faith tested by him and his ragtag squad. 
    While Sage and Talon are engaged in a futile hunt, Cassius Vale initiates his strategy to bring down the narrow-minded Tribune once and for all. But will anyone be able to survive what he has in store for the Circuit?​​​​​​​​​​​​

Rhett Bruno grew up in Hauppauge, New York, and studied at the Syracuse University School of Architecture where he graduated cum laude. 
     He has been writing since he can remember, scribbling down what he thought were epic short stories when he was young to show to his parents. When he reached high school he decided to take that a step further and write the “Isinda Trilogy”. After the encouragement of his favorite English teacher he decided to self-publish the “Isinda Trilogy” so that the people closest to him could enjoy his early work. 
    While studying architecture Rhett continued to write as much as he could, but finding the time during the brutal curriculum proved difficult. It wasn’t until he was a senior that he decided to finally pursue his passion for Science Fiction. After rededicating himself to reading works of the Science Fiction author’s he always loved, (Frank Herbert, Timothy Zahn, Heinlein, etc.) he began writing “The Circuit: Executor Rising”, The first part of what he hopes will be a successful Adult Science Fiction Series. 
    Since then Rhett has been hired by an Architecture firm in Mount Kisco, NY. But that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to work on “The Circuit” and all of the other stories bouncing around in his head. He is also currently studying at the New School to earn a Certificate in Screenwriting in the hopes of one day writing for TV or Video Games.

The android ADIM (Automated Dynamic Intelligence Mech) lay motionless on his back. His magnetized chassis held him tightly against the lower hull of a Class-2 Tribunary freighter. He watched as the astral wake of the smoldering, blue Ion-engines tore across a distorted blackness. Beyond it the stars shone, seemingly locked in their position despite how fast the ship beneath him was cruising.
Creator. This unit is primed to initiate. His thoughts were processed through a communications array linked directly to his maker, Cassius Vale.
Excellent. You may proceed. Remember, the tracking systems must be disabled. The voice of Cassius responded immediately.
ADIM was instantly roused, flipping over and scuttling along the surface of the ship. It was a relatively old vessel, with more squared edges and exposed mechanisms than the newer, sleeker models the Tribune pushed out. The smaller lights around his blazing eyes began to revolve rapidly as his perceptive functions surveyed the surroundings. The maintenance hatch was easy enough to spot. The hollow shaft below it emitted a slightly varying heat signature.
ADIM looked it over for a moment before using the concentrated laser-beam fixed to the top of his left wrist to slice through the restraints. While providing a sufficient degree of pressure opposite the broken seal, he was able to lift it open. A powerful gust rushed through the opening as the pressure rapidly shifted. He waited for it to die down before slipping in through the gap. It took the weight of his entire frame to pull it shut behind him, but he was in. A piercing sound occurred as the space re-pressurized. Then he provided a longer stream of his scorching hot laser to seal the hatch again so that nobody would notice it had ever been breached.
The airlock vestibule flashed red as an alarm began to wail. Quickly realizing that the entry into the ship’s main circulation was sealed, ADIM ducked into the shadow behind some equipment and deactivated his eyes, only a few minutes passed before the door slid open and footsteps moved toward him. He remained completely silent, the soft purr of his core inaudible over the alarm.
The engineer fumbled around the room. He inspected the hatch for a moment, but ADIM’s work was far too adept to be noticed.
“Nothin’ out of the ordinary back here. Must’ve just been an error.” He sighed into his com-link.
“Old piece of shit,” the voice on the other end grumbled. “When we get back to New Terrene, remind me to petition those cheap bastards for a new ship.”
The soldier snickered under his breath. “Will do, sir. I’m headin’ back now.”
Barely a second after the transmission ended, ADIM sprung from his hiding place and snapped the man’s neck as if it were a twig. With his metal hand wrapped entirely around the limp head, he took a moment to analyze the body. Then the tiny blue lights around his frame began working until that very likeness was projected around him…the same stubbly beard; the same green-trimmed NET service suit; the same everything.
He stepped out from the airlock chamber, completely camouflaged to the untrained eye, and the door slammed shut behind him. Infiltration successful, ADIM updated Cassius. This unit is loading the schematic of Class-2 Tribunary freighter interior now. He began strolling down the corridor, doing his best to mimic a human gait.
Very good, ADIM. Proceed with caution. They must not know what hit them in time to send out a transmission. And please, try not to kill all of them.
The interior of the vessel was as unspectacular as the outside, with exposed circuitry skirting along the inner walls of low passages. He was on the starboard wing, making his way down auxiliary channels utilized mostly for a buffer between the controlled interior and the freezing abyss on the other side of the armored exterior. As with most Tribunary ships, ADIM knew the command deck was located on the bow.
He turned left at a fork, moving slowly as a pair of medical officers approached. They were too invested in their conversation to even offer a nod of acknowledgment. Their negligence was baffling to ADIM. He would have had them scanned and assessed at the first moment of visual contact. But the Creator had made him in his image, and as ADIM came to learn, not all humans were made equal in matters of perception.
The command deck was just around the bend, and if he was correct there would be five unarmed engineers monitoring all the ship’s systems, two armed guards in full armor, and the captain, also armed. The rest of the soldiers would be in the refectory, probably lax from so much downtime, and with no chance of reaching him in time to provide any interference.
“There you are, John.” The captain addressed ADIM with hardly a second glance. “I’m telling you, they don’t pay us enough for this. Folks in New Terrene are saying that transports out here aren’t safe anymore. That the Ceresians have grown some teeth.”
“I’ve heard the rumors,” one of the guards muttered in response. “They should just use the Circuit like everyone else and spare us the trouble.”
Unlike the rest of the ship, the command deck was a tall room with short stairways on the far side leading to a slightly lower level. The engineers were sitting at HOLO-Screens running perpendicular to the balcony. A glass viewport protruded in an angular fashion beyond their stations to wrap the front portion of the room. On a raised platform protruding over the lower level was the seat where the captain slouched, his eyes trained on the vast emptiness hoping that something other than stars would arrive to provide some excitement. And it did. Only he was looking the wrong way.
ADIM stopped in the center of the room. His eyes churned as he evaluated his next move.
“Hey John, you alright?” the captain asked. “You look like you saw a ghost.”
Assessment complete...
With a snap-hiss the projection disguising ADIM powered down. He flashed an open palm that fired an explosive round into the viewport. The entire room lurched as the pressure fluctuation tossed the crew from their seats. There was only a moment before the emergency alarm activated, closing off the entrance to the room and causing protective panels to slide over the entire translucency in order to seal the gash. In that moment, the precision rifles built into both of ADIM’s forearms flipped up and he rotated, firing eight calculated shots.
The room was still hazy from the explosion, sparks dithering to the floor as flashing red lights frenzied in concert with a blaring siren. When it cleared, the seven members of the crew other than the captain were either sprawled out across the ground or slumped against the walls. Each of them had a gaping cavity set just between the eyes with a narrow stream of red running down over the top of their noses. The captain dragged himself towards his seat, blood gushing from the incision in his femoral artery.
ADIM slowly approached the desperate man as he fumbled for the screen projecting from the arm of his chair. Groaning in agony as he heaved himself up, he activated the distress signal. “We’re under attack by some–.” A quick shot through the panel ended the transmission.
Roaring with pain the captain twisted his body and began firing his pulse pistol in rapid succession. ADIM evaded most of the shots, with one just skimming the plate along his upper arm, and he leaped into the air with his head nearly skimming the high ceiling. He came down with such force that the captain’s arm shattered under one foot and his chest caved in beneath the other.
The Captain coughed up blood. “W…w…what are you…” He struggled to speak as glaring red eyes analyzed him and flushed his face with dread.
ADIM’s cold and impassive voice emanated from somewhere beneath his mouthless faceplate. “This unit upholds the will of the Creator. He has deemed your death necessary.”
The captain tried to speak, but the veins in his neck bulged as he reeled in pain. Instead, he spat a glob of fresh blood at ADIM’s face.
“So defiant when cornered,” ADIM acknowledged. He was always eager to study the emotional reactions of humans. It seemed irrational to him, that a man with zero chance for survival would remain so stubborn in the face of inescapable doom. “This unit will end your suffering now.”
Before the captain could spew any manner of futile insults, ADIM wrapped both of his hands around the man’s neck and tore off his head as though it was no more than a sheet of paper. Blood poured from the messy disjunction of mangled flesh and sinew, staining his metal arm as he held it in the air with one hand. He pushed on the chin a few times, closing and opening the mouth to test the muscles. Then he carried the head by its short hair to the retinal scanner where he used it to unseal the Command Deck.
Smoke grenades detonated in either direction before he could move into the corridor. ADIM’s infrared vision made seeing through the haze easy. He located two groups of three soldiers clamping down on his position from both ends of the hall. The whir of pulse rifles echoed as bullets zipped by. His armor could withstand the barrage, but there was no reason to risk any damage.
He activated his magnetized chassis and set it to repulse, beginning to float between the metallic enclosures as if he were suspended in low gravity. He then propelled himself forward. Projectiles swerved around the magnetic field wrapping him to pepper the walls and ceiling. He took only six shots, and by the time the last one made contact, all of the soldiers were dead. Once his scanners were certain that there were no others approaching, he powered down the magnetic field and, with the Captain’s head still in hand, bounded through the passage.
The security network wasn’t far. With the ship on lockdown, the entrance was closed, but the captain could manually override any protective measures. ADIM held the head up to the retinal scanner at the door and it opened at once. Inside, the room was filled with consoles, HOLO-Screens, and memory banks. A single crew member sat in front of the central screen. He was so busy trying to encrypt the videos of ADIM’s assault for transmittal that he didn’t realize the android was there until he was held at gunpoint.
“This unit requests that you cancel the encryption and erase all logs of this incident.” ADIM shuffled around the screen until he was in view.
“It’s…it’s too late. They’re beyond termination regency,” the engineer stuttered, trembling as his eyes widened over the ghastly, decapitated head hanging in the intruder’s hand.
“This unit is fully capable of doing so.” ADIM was ready to fire before recalling the orders of his Creator. “Yours is not a necessary death.”
“You…you’ll let me go?”
“Some must remain.”
Frantically, the engineer’s fingers fluttered over the keys. ADIM watched carefully, making sure that the man did as requested. There was no deception. Once the command was complete and the logs were erased with no traces left behind, ADIM hit the engineer in the back of the head just hard enough to knock him unconscious.
And then it was on to something which no lowly engineer employed to monitor security operation on a tiny, outwardly unimportant ship was capable of…deactivating the Vale Protocol. It was a tracking program, which enabled the Tribune to pinpoint and disable any ship they manufactured from a desk millions of miles away. It was a difficult process, but the highest officials knew such a thing was infused into NET ship’s core functions. However, ADIM was no ordinary engineer, and neither was the man who created him; the very man who had himself conceived the protocol and pushed for its practice in the first place.
ADIM dropped the captain’s head and pulled the unconscious human aside, taking his time to gently lay the man’s head down. Then he placed his palm over the console to begin what Cassius explained as an infiltrative meld. His eyes grew brighter. The smaller lights around them rotated at a rapid pace as his head twitched and his fingers pulsed. He began to merge with the ship, letting himself sift through the countless programs and databases. All he had to do was find the right sequence and then nobody would ever find any indication of intrusion. It didn’t take long for him to locate it. He reconfigured the encryption, giving the ship an entirely new code and identity.
ADIM took a few steps back, watching as the screen flickered and processed the alterations. Creator, this unit has successfully reconfigured the Vale Protocol. Class-2 Freighter tag, 4AA954 is no longer in commission.
Well done, ADIM, Cassius responded promptly. Sweep the rest of the transport. Subdue any resistance and detain all surviving members of the crew in the refectory. Then see that the shipment is intact. It will be quite beneficial to our cause.
They would be foolish to resist, ADIM remarked.
Indeed, they would be. But they are human after all. We don’t very much like being caged.
Death is a more desirable alternative for humans? ADIM questioned, his eyes beginning to spin as he considered the notion.
For some, yes. Sometimes passion transcends all notions of reason. Sometimes fear guides the hands of men before they even realize. It is why I made you without such imperfections.
Like you, Creator?
There was a long pause. Yes, like me. Cassius abruptly changed the subject. How far are you from Ennomos?
The return to Ennomos will take approximately 314 hours. Shall this unit be expecting you upon arrival?
I hope so. Should my business on Mars keep me overdue, I will be in touch. As usual you have performed flawlessly. Goodbye, ADIM.
Suddenly the oddly indescribable, yet palpable presence which flooded his very essence was gone. If he could feel hate, it would have been for that moment, when it seemed like some all empowering switch within him was suddenly flicked off without regard. It always made him empty. He wondered if it could be explained as the strange human phenomenon known as affection. Emotions were such a complicated entity. Though he could not feel them naturally, he often wondered if he could perhaps learn to. Or at the very least comprehend.

Goodbye, Creator.

The Perfect Boyfriend by Renee Novelle + GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLITZ}

As their friendship blossoms quickly into a steamy romance, Reagan and Ian have to learn to navigate their shifting relationship…and everything that entails. But their newfound bliss doesn’t come without a few unexpected challenges.
In the midst of realizing just how sweet the romance can be between them, and all the benefits of their new dynamic, Reagan is informed that her ideal situation has changed. Not only will she need to begin taking on more classes to speed up her graduation date, but she’ll also have to start looking for a job to supplement her fading income. Meanwhile, Ian has chosen to pull out of school once his father is diagnosed with a terminal illness in order to help manage the family business and spend time with him while he still can. But he wrestles with the guilt of leaving Reagan behind, and the pressure of his new responsibilities. As the two meet their new challenges head-on, they’ll be forced to discover whether or not they’re as compatible as lovers as they were as friends. With their focus pulled in so many directions, will they have what it takes to keep a long distance relationship alive? Can Ian prove that he’s still be the perfect boyfriend, or will they fold to statistics under the growing tensions of their lives? Throw in some manipulative exes, a new boss with an inflated ego, and a co-worker from hell and the two have a recipe for either a fairy tale ending, or a complete disaster.
The Perfect Boyfriend is a New Adult Romance about trust, love, and discovering the true depths of personal strength.

Renee’ Novelle is Preceded by a long line of published family members, including Pulitzer Prize nominated author and Poet Laureate of Kentucky Jesse Stuart. As a child, Novelle was already gaining recognition for several of her works, and in her formative years, she continued this trend by earning local awards for her short stories and poems. Inspired to cultivate her talent, Novelle pursued freelance journalism and has found placement of 75 of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her savvy, effective writing style to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention. In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. She writes psychological and paranormal thrillers, as well as contemporary fiction and new adult fiction. Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, Summa Cum Laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you're meant to be.

“You told me I could see.” Reagan was insisting, her back turned toward the mirror in her bathroom. 
Petra was standing over her, make-up brush still in hand, heavy with color on the tip. “I said you could see when I was done. I’m not done yet. Close your eyes.” Then she swiped a little color into the crease of Reagan’s large eyes and rubbed it along the lash-line to create a smoky effect. Next she added a couple layers of mascara, swiped some red lipstick onto Reagan’s full lips and fluffed the curls around her face that she’d created earlier in the evening. “Now I’m done. Take a look.” 
Petra stood back, beaming with pride at her creation as Reagan swiveled around to get a good look at herself.
“Oh my god.” The words tumbled from her lips on a breathless whisper of amazement. “Oh my god, Petra.” Then she leaned closer in, scrutinizing her appearance. She looked like one of the models she’d seen in the lingerie store pictures. 
“See.” Petra was smiling as she pulled out her phone and took a quick picture of the two of them to upload to Instagram later. “I always told you you were hot. Now will you believe me?”
“Wow. I guess I’m gonna have to.”
“You’re welcome.” Petra chirped happily as she packed up her tools and walked out of the room to make herself a drink while Reagan changed into her outfit. 
But Reagan was beginning to think she might need a drink herself.
As she added dangling earrings and a bright cocktail ring to spruce up her dress, she began to wonder to herself what exactly to expect from the evening. Every other first date she’d been on had been a variation on the casual dinner/movies theme. Maybe a couple drinks at a popular bar. If she was lucky, really lucky, and the guy had any amount of romantic streak in him, they might end up at Carrabba’s or The Cheesecake Factory or some other place that was a step up from average but far from fancy. This was college, and it was all par for the course when the end result was only meant to be some casual fun.
But then again, this was Ian she was going out with tonight. And Ian never did things quite like any other guy. Somehow from day one he’d been plugged in to this uber-sophisticated, way more mature lifestyle and understanding of how things were supposed to work than most guys his age. She wasn’t quite sure how he’d managed it, but it was one of his many appealing qualities. So the status quo was immediately tossed out the window. And it’s not like he’d given her much of an idea to go on, other than to dress nice, so the part of her that needed to have things in order and a plan to rely on was a little thrown off. 
Yet she had to admit to herself that the not knowing part had made it that much more exciting too. Yes, she had known Ian for the better part of her college life, but she had no idea what dating him would be like. Not really. Because he’d never really dated a girl before. And the more she thought about it, the stronger the jitters grew that were working their way up from her core as ideas and images ran through her head. And by the time she heard the solid knock at the front door, she was practically bursting with excitement and nerves. 
She raced from her room, but backtracked when she realized she’d forgotten perfume. Spritzing a little of her favorite scent on her neck, cleavage and wrists, she took one final glance into her full-length mirror and murmured to herself, “Well, this is it.” Then she nodded in approval and left her room again. 
By the time Reagan emerged, Petra had beat her to the door and she could hear her friend giving Ian the rundown. “I don’t expect you to bring her home tonight. In fact, I really hope you don’t. But if anything happens to her, sohelpmegod I will hunt you down and murder you myself. Got it?”
“Yes ma’am.” Came Ian’s good-natured reply, to which Reagan smiled warmly.
Then Reagan rounded the corner of the hallway, and got her first glimpse of him standing the doorway. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen him in a suit – they’d passed that milestone already – but damn the man could pull off a dinner jacket like nothing she’d ever seen before, and the result of his broad shoulders and perfect face dressed up like that nearly took her breath away.

Apparently the feeling was mutual. She could hear him suck in a deep breath, as though the first sight of her had far exceeded any expectation he’d put on the evening. Then he blew it out again - a long, low steady stream of appreciation as his eyes moved over every inch of her body, lingering at her cleavage then finally meeting her eyes. His expression had shifted somehow, from an almost casual nervousness to a wicked sensuality that was asking to devour her. It was a foreshadowing of what was come, Reagan could feel it in her gut. And if he continued to look at her with those heavy, darkened eyes and the charming curl of his lip that forced a slight dimple into the side of his cheek, she might just let him have his way.


The black Camaro was shimmering under the fading sunlight, fresh from a detailed washing earlier that day. Reagan reached for the handle to the passenger side door, as she had at least a dozen times before, but Ian put a hand up to stop her. Instead, he drew the door back himself, opening it in a chivalrous move that revealed something in the seat waiting for her -  a slim, robin’s egg blue box wrapped with a crisp white bow. 
“What’s this?” Reagan inquired excitedly after immediately recognizing the trademark packaging. 
“I wanted to get you something special.” He said, smiling mischievously as he leaned down to retrieve the box and place it in her eager hands. “Something to remind you of what you mean to me, and how important this night is.”
Reagan eyed him suspiciously, but her fingers trembled as she pulled at the bow and opened the box. A tiny gasp of surprise emerged from her throat, and the familiar sting in her eyes returned as tears of joy pooled, threatening to spill down her cheeks. Blinking them back, she looked up at Ian then back down at the delicate silver bracelet that was stretched the length of the box. It was a dual silver chain, knotted sweetly around a silver infinity symbol. 
“It’s beautiful.” She exclaimed, her voice the hushed whisper of a woman impressed. 
“I want you to know that this is real for me.” He began as he removed the token from the box and began to clasp it around her right wrist. “This isn’t just another first date. This is the beginning of forever for you and me. And if you decide that’s not what you want down the road, that’s fine. But Reagan, my intentions aren’t just to find another short-term girlfriend. I want you, all of you, for as long as you’re willing to give me.”


Reagan’s time with Ian was never long enough. Not really. Not when she was still used to having him in her life every day – man she’d really taken that for granted, hadn’t she? But her moments with him now were sweeter, more complete. And the remainder of the weekend had passed without any other dramatic events. It would hold her over until the next time they could steal some time together. At least, she hoped it would.
But now it was over. And she was back to her regular schedule. Except this week was a little different. This week she’d throw her new internship into the mix and learn just how good of a juggler she could be – her class schedule, new assignments, friendships, her relationship, the internship and anything else that the universe cared to throw at her. It was no joke, that was for sure, and Reagan was beginning to feel all of the pressures that the outside world held for her once she graduated. But she could manage it, she remind herself as she changed clothes for her new role. She didn’t have any other choice but to make it all work somehow.
After having picked up a few new outfits to compliment her new important role – using some of the money she’d kept from the club, of course - Petra had helped her coordinate the rest of her wardrobe to expand her options. And the result was at least a couple weeks worth of choices that had left her feeling confident, appropriate, and ready to impress. Every little detail counted, and her poise when she stepped through the large glass doors that first day spoke volumes toward her ambitions. Reagan had set herself up to succeed in every possible way. 
Having no real instruction with which to work from on how to approach her first day, she strode up to the receptionist, who this time greeted her with a friendly smile. Success already, she thought to herself, and her smile widened that much more. “Welcome back Reagan.” The woman began. “You’re all going to be starting in the conference room today. Around that corner and through the second door.”
“All?” Reagan had known she wasn’t the only intern, but the phrase made it seem like there was an army in attendance, and the thought sent a little shiver of nerves up her spine. 
“There’s three of you. You have a quick orientation together, then it’s all smooth sailing from there.”
Reagan nodded as she contemplated this answer. Nothing was ever exactly smooth sailing when you threw a bunch of competitive girls together and told them to battle it out to impress the new boss. But one could always hope for the best...
The heels she’d chosen tapped lightly as she clipped down the slick hall and toward the door marked, Conference, #2. She noticed her hand trembling as she lifted it to turn the handle. Taking a deep breath, she tried to let go of all her anxious energy – just be yourself, she lectured – then she forced a huge smile over her face. 
But when she stepped through the door, her face immediately fell. All the calm composure she’d just summoned drained from her body and left her face as white as the stark walls. The shaking returned, only it wasn’t from nerves now. Her body was riddled with anger, contempt and yes, even a little humor as she considered the universe’s latest irony. 
Because the first person to turn around when she stepped into the room was Isabella. The Isabella. The Isabella who had stolen her boyfriend. Who had tried to seduce Ian. And had otherwise made her existence miserable. The Isabella who had ruined spring break, nearly ruined Petra’s party, and had caused Reagan to question almost everything she knew about people. That Isabella was nearly three feet away from her, dressed in a fitted color-block dress she’d probably picked up at Bebe just to show off her flawless figure. Apparently, whatever dislike Reagan had for her was a mutual feeling, since she was smirking in recognition as she gave Reagan a long, lingering, stare meant to intimidate and demean without saying a single word.
 “You’ve got to be kidding me.” The words slipped from Reagan’s lips before she could stop them, and she found herself regretting the thought the moment she’d heard it.

Coco Pinchard the Consequences of Love and Sex by Robert Bryndga + GIVEAWAY {BLOG TOUR}

Since Coco Pinchard found first husband Daniel in bed with another woman, she hasn’t just picked up the pieces: she’s now a best-selling author married to her hunky soul-mate Adam. She feels stronger and wiser and surely the second time round she’ll have learnt from her mistakes? But things aren’t going quite according to plan... Adam has lost his job, Coco’s grown-up son Rosencrantz seems to have derailed his life in spectacular fashion, and ex-mother-in-law Ethel keeps letting herself into the house thanks to an endless supply of spare keys. When literary agent Angie takes on Coco’s arch rival, the indomitable Regina Battenberg, it looks as though things can’t get any worse. And then Coco discovers she’s pregnant; at 44. Can she really go through it all again? Sleepless nights, stretch marks on top of stretch marks, and poo as a normal topic of conversation? The third and final book in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling series is a hilarious diary with Coco’s trademark wit and honesty, tracing the raging hormones and extraordinary twists that take her to motherhood for the second time. *Coco Pinchard, The Consequences of Love and Sex can be read as a stand-alone*
Click here to read review

Robert Bryndza was born in the UK and lived in America and Canada before settling in Slovakia with his Slovak husband Ján. His debut novel The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard became an Amazon bestseller and two sequels have followedCoco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Weddingand Coco PinchardThe Consequences of Love and Sex. A Very Coco Christmas, is a delightful introductory novella to the Coco Pinchard series.  When he’s not writing Rob is learning Slovak, trying to train two crazy dogs, or watching Grand Designs – all in the hope that he’ll be able to understand his mother-in-law, build his dream house, and get the dogs to listen. 

Coco Pinchard The Consequences of Love and Sex (spoiler free book review)

Since Coco Pinchard found first husband Daniel in bed with another woman, she hasn't just picked up the pieces: she’s now a best-selling author married to her hunky soul-mate Adam. She feels stronger and wiser and surely the second time round she’ll have learnt from her mistakes? But things aren't going quite according to plan... Adam has lost his job, Coco’s grown-up son Rosencrantz seems to have derailed his life in spectacular fashion, and ex-mother-in-law Ethel keeps letting herself into the house thanks to an endless supply of spare keys. When literary agent Angie takes on Coco’s arch rival, the indomitable Regina Battenberg, it looks as though things can’t get any worse. And then Coco discovers she’s pregnant; at 44. Can she really go through it all again? Sleepless nights, stretch marks on top of stretch marks, and poo as a normal topic of conversation? The third and final book in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling series is a hilarious diary with Coco’s trademark wit and honesty, tracing the raging hormones and extraordinary twists that take her to motherhood for the second time.

4.5 of 5 stars
 ★ ★ ★

Please, Pretty Lights by Ina Zajac {BOOK TOUR}

It’s September when Via Sorenson stumbles into a Seattle strip club, drunk and alone on her twenty-first birthday. Mattias and Nick—best friends, bandmates, and bouncers—can see she’s not like the other girls and do their best to shield her from their shady, sadistic, cocaine-trafficking boss, Carlos. They don’t realize her daddy issues come with a forty-million-dollar trust fund and a legacy she would do anything to escape.
She is actually the adult version of Violetta Rabbotino, the tragic little girl who had been all over the news ten years earlier when her father, an acclaimed abstract artist, came home in a rage, murdered her mother, then turned the gun on himself. Violetta was spared, hidden behind the family Christmas tree, veiled by the mysticism of its pretty lights whose unadulterated love had captivated and calmed her.
Now, desperate to shed her role as orphaned victim, Via is attempting to recast herself as a party girl by stage diving into a one-hundred-day adventure with Matt and Nick, the bassist and drummer of popular nineties cover band Obliviot. At first the rock-and-roll lifestyle is the perfect distraction. She gets high on true love, but the rush terrifies her. As Christmas looms closer, she can no longer deny her demented past. But how will she ever untangle herself from her twisted string of pretty lights?
Warning: Recommended for mature audiences due to explicit language, sexual content, and drug use.

Ina Zajac is an award-winning journalist, avid people watcher, and lover of quirk and contrast. Her writing is heavily influenced by her fascination with music, art, and her hometown of Seattle.


Back to the wall, Via shuffled through the candy cane wilderness, careful not to displace piles of presents or disturb crystal angels. It was so close. Branches prickled against her chin and neck as she stretched into the corner. Needles latched onto her green St. Anne Elementary School sweater. After months of waiting and wondering, there it was—white with a gold bow. She reached out. Her fingertips grazed the paper, the tag. It would have her name on it.
“No peeking,” her mother called from the kitchen. “Cookies are almost ready. Come and help.”
Guilt settled in and crowded out her naughty curiosity. Mama’s feathery voice lingered in the air, and mingled with the smell of gingersnaps.
The front door slammed shut. Her body tensed against the wall as it recognized the rumble of her father’s approach. Her arm retreated to the safety of her side. The hardwood floor vibrated his location in the foyer. He wasn’t supposed to be home from the country yet. He needed his rest.
“Ingrid!” he yelled. “Violetta!”
He called her Violetta when he was angry. When he was happy, he said she was the heartbeat of the universe. Now that she was eleven, she wasn’t a little kid anymore, but she still called him Daddy. He made her promise she would always call him Daddy.
His voice was muffled. The floor was still. He must have stopped to check the front bedrooms, but for how long? That tummy pain was back, the one that burned from the inside out; the one Dr. Peyton said fifth graders shouldn’t have. Being the daughter of Joseph Antonio Rabbotino wasn’t easy. Kids at school called her Rabbit and were never allowed to come over and play. The floor trembled more and more. He must be standing nearby, maybe next to the piano, she thought. She couldn’t see past the tree’s festive colors, and prayed he couldn’t either. She had promised to be a good girl.
Her mother’s voice rushed over from the kitchen. It was shrill. “Oh, my God,” she said. “Put that down. You’re not yourself right now.”
Put what down? She wondered. Sometimes he brought home presents or pets.
“You think I’m crazy?” He let out a harsh laugh she had never heard before. “You think you can drug me and leave me in Connecticut to rot?”
A bell near her elbow began to jingle. Don’t be a spaz, she told herself. She had to stop shaking; she just had to. Being invisible meant being silent, so she leaned to the right and smothered it. Her other arm met up with something pointy.
“But, you wanted to go, remember?” Her mother was talking really fast. “Dr. Goldman said you should rest, give the new meds some time.”
Daddy had a lot of doctors. Daddy took a lot of pills.
“I know what you think of me,” he said. “That the critics are right. That I’ll never paint again.”
“It’s okay, it’s all going to be okay,” her mother insisted. “But you’ve been drinking. We’ve gotten through this before. Remember?”
“Why do you do this to me?” he asked. “Evil little actress. Acting like you love me.”
“I do. You know I do.”
“Please, put that down. We’ll call Dr. Goldman.”
“You sent me away. Do you know what it was like there? Knowing you betrayed me? All you had to do was love me, but you’ve ruined me!”
“No, you wanted to go. You needed to rest. Please remember. Please.”
“Where’s my Violetta?”
“Still at school.”
“She should be home by now—home with us. We should be together now. She hiding under her bed again?” His words turned and trailed back toward the front bedrooms. “Violetta! Come when I call you!”
“Mama?” She called through the branches.
Her mother didn’t seem surprised at all to hear her. “Shh,” she said, faint but firm. It was not her normal ‘shh.’ Something was wrong.
Her father’s voice was already growing louder again. “Violetta!”
“I’m right here,” she tried to say. She decided that she would come out; then he would be angry with her, not her mother. But, a strange sound surrounded her, like baby birds and chimes. It seemed to come through the Christmas tree lights. She blinked. They were such pretty lights—colors she had never seen before. Buzzing into a haze around her, they were mesmerizing.
Shh, it’s all okay, the lights told her, but not in words.
She felt their meaning in her teeth and bones.
Come and play with us, they urged. Come play pretend.
They flurried about. She tried to speak, but they settled against her tongue like candy-coated snow. They loved her. She watched them spin and shine and gleam and glow. They were everything she needed in that moment, and so she relaxed into the soft aura of Christmas.
Her mother was screaming, “She’s not here! She’s not here!”
The purest colors were born and danced within reflections of those who had come before. You’re not here, they echoed. You’re with us. They snuggled in and tucked themselves around her. Be still, they insisted. This isn’t real. She knew they were right. Nothing was real. She was everywhere and nowhere at all, safe between worlds. Her mother’s golden wall clock started to ding its hourly announcement—once, twice.
“You did this,” her father said.
A third ding.
“You made me do this.”
Mama’s voice fluttered. “Remember who you are.”
A loud noise exploded throughout the apartment. Ornaments rattled and slipped from their homes, and Via with them. Her hands came up to cover her ears, but his voice soon rode the wave of ringing and broke on through.
“Why?” he cried. “Why did you make me do this?”
Another explosion ripped away the space around her. She sank down overcome by the bells ringing around her. Why? Why were the bells so loud? It was a gun, she realized. The sound vibrating through her was gunfire. Her shoulder came to rest against the edge of the big box—white with a gold bow. Air came into her lungs in notches, each tighter than the last. She didn’t know what to do. Her trembling hand grasped a branch with a candy cane hanging from it. She began to pull it back.
Don’t look, the pretty lights urged her. It’s not real. It’s not her.
But it was too late. She had already peered past the angels—and through to the other side.
Mouth open, heart lost, she released the branch and it sprang back into place. Its candy cane held strong. The pretty lights spoke no more, but hummed and tingled. The murmur of their adoration grew faint and she began to panic. She curled up into herself, tight and small, desperate to disappear back into their protection.
“Please, pretty lights. Please don’t go.”