Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Release & Giveaway: From All Sides by Griffin Peterson



"Drawing inspiration from all different styles and many life experiences, this sophomore album showcases a new, versatile sound while still staying true to the his roots of organic songwriting."

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About Griffin

Griffin was born in the small town of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He was raised on the lake and has always had a love for anything on the water.  Growing up, Griffin was obsessed with listening to music and would often find himself staying up into the late hours of the night scouring the newest releases. During this time, he was influenced by all sorts of music including his Dad’s love for classic rock and blues.  At the age of 12, his father, an avid guitar player himself, gave Griffin his first guitar for Christmas. He took to the instrument right away and found himself playing covers of his earliest influences such as John Mayer, Jack Johnson and NEEDTOBREATHE. After a couple years of lessons, he began playing in his local church's band.
     It wasn’t until college that Griffin realized his gift for translating his emotions and words into music.  He wrote his first song, “Might Go Crazy”, at age 18 during an emotionally trying time for his family. It was his first experience writing and sharing his music, which allowed him to see the impact it could have on others.  After studying Marketing at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin for two years, Griffin decided to transfer to Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. At Belmont, he was able to follow his true passion for music through their Music Business program where he blended his passion for business with his love for music and songwriting. 
     While finishing school, Griffin was able to make some essential connections allowing him to further himself as a singer/songwriter. The summer before his final semester Griffin interned at Leo Burnett in Chicago as a music supervision intern. After hearing Griffin’s music, his boss encouraged him to audition for American Idol Season 12 just two days before the audition took place. The chance paid off and Griffin ended up going all the way to Hollywood and having his audition aired on national TV.
     After Idol, Griffin had a fortuitous meeting while on a plane to L.A. where he struck up a conversation with Keith Urban’s bass player, Jerry Flowers. The two ended up coproducing Griffin’s first two independently released singles, “Makes Me Hold On to You” and “Getaway”. It was during this same time that New York Times best-selling author Colleen Hoover contacted Griffin in hopes he’d be willing to write an original album for her new novel, Maybe Someday. The album was released in March 2014 alongside the novel and garnered enough interest to hit the Billboard Heatseeker Chart as well as hold the number two spot on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart for two weeks straight.
     The book and album gained such a following that a book/concert tour was put together for the summer of 2014, solidifying the already expanding fan-base. Since then, Griffin has been honing his sound and has recently released a music video to go along with his newest single “Set Me Free”. The Video was filmed in his hometown with the help of some talented friends and filmmakers, Mark Mellens and Jake Brusha.
     In early 2015, Griffin signed with The Movement Group, a Nashville based management company. He is currently in the process of recording his new album, which is due out this summer. You can join the campaign and see the progress of the record here: Pledge Music 

Follow Griffin:

GIVEAWAY
*One winner will receive the album From All Sides by Griffin Peterson
*Format will be digital download (iTunes or Amazon)
*Enter using the Rafflecopter easy one click option below
*Several ways to earn bonus entries EVERYDAY! 



Monday, July 27, 2015

New Review: The Summer Remains by Seth King

The Summer Remains (The Summer Remains, #1)The Summer Remains by Seth King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Twenty-four-year-old Summer Johnson knows two things. The first is that due to a quickly worsening medical condition, she faces a risky surgery in three months’ time that may or may not end in her death. The second is that she would like to fall in love before then.

As spring sinks into her namesake season on the Florida coastline, Summer plays the odds and downloads a new dating app - and after one intriguing message from a beautiful surfer named Cooper Nichols, it becomes clear that the story of what may be her last few months under the sun is about to be completely revised. All she has to do now is write something worth reading.

Tender, honest, devastating and triumphant, The Summer Remains explores a very human battle being waged in a very digital age: the search for a love that will outlast this temporary borrowing of bones. In an era when many feel compelled to share and re-share anything about everything, prepare to feel a love so special, you will want to hug it close and make it yours forever.

My Review

SO MANY HANDS!!!

Have you ever wanted so badly to love a book that it’s almost physically painful when you find imperfections? When you know, you know that it deserves to be loved, but you still see its faults. You agonize over the parts that you thought were amazing compared with the parts you tried to overlook, but couldn’t.

On one hand, I had raw emotion. The final 20% wrecked me. The final 20% is what connected me with Cooper. I felt. I cried. I ached; that deep ache right at the base of your throat. I felt everything. However, on the other hand, I had the parts of the book I tried to overlook, the parts that distracted me from everything this book could be.

I feel like these two hands were constantly smacking me in the face…repeatedly.

There is a part in The Summer Remains where Cooper decides to let Summer read his book, a rough draft, something he’s never shown to anyone else. Her thoughts about Cooper’s book perfectly parallel my own.

“The book wasn’t totally perfect, and there were some typos and clunky paragraphs he could have smoothed out, but the bones of greatness were absolutely there.”

I’m pretty sure Seth King didn’t intend for me to use his quoted words to express my very own thoughts about his book, but ironically I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I had a very hard time connecting with the main character. I’m not sure if it was the immaturity of her voice, the constant “likes” or “whatevers”; I just didn’t feel like I was reading the POV of a twenty-four year old woman...girl? Girl woman? Her dialogue was very repetitive and certain phrases were used repeatedly. I felt like I was reading a rough draft and it ultimately distracted me from developing the feelings and emotion I think I was suppose to. It was a definite struggle in the beginning.

Then enters Cooper.

Copper highlighted the amazing writing that Seth King is capable of. If it wasn’t for his character, I may not have made it trough to the emotional hailstorm of part two. His dialogue possessed such an infectious quality. It was clever, witty, and added such a tangible eminence to the plot; I couldn’t help but want more. I think if the beginning would have had more dialogue and character interaction, and less monologue, I would have made the connection I was craving, and experienced the emotion that didn’t explode until the very end. Unfortunately the first 80% of the book just wasn’t for me.

Once we get to Cooper’s POV, everything changes. The author tapped into something genuine and so heart catching that it physically hurt to read. That is the type of writing that deserves to be praised. I just wish I didn’t have to wait until the end to get it. I bled so much emotion in that last 20% that I was overwhelmed. Those are “the bones of greatness”.

The rest of the story just needed some editing, structure and a little more cohesion; things I feel will develop with more experience. However, based on some of the beautiful quotes I read throughout the book and the emotional response torn out of me in the end, Seth King has the type of creativity and talent that can’t be taught. With that much potential, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

READ ON!

BUY LINKS:
Amazon
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View all my reviews

Atria Summer Reads Giveaway!

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother.

It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.




Armed with two years' worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude. 

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn't let her die, but he also couldn't risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move. 

Maybe it's because he saved her life, or maybe it's because he's completely different from everything she's left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone. 

And River isn't the kind of guy she'd want to catch.


B&N | BAM | Kobo | Indigo |  Google Play | Blio | Other


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the next new adult novel in her beloved Rosemary Beach series, which continues the story of Mase and Reese from When I’m Gone.

She was where my home would always be. It was time I took the next step and proved to her I was all in. Forever.

A chance meeting in Rosemary Beach has turned into a fairy-tale romance as Reese prepares to move in with Mase on his family ranch in Texas. With the loving support of the Colts, and her recent discovery that she has family of her own, Reese can finally move on from the dark horrors of her past and into a bright future.

But Aida isn’t going to let that happen. The beautiful blonde has been raised to think of Mase as her cousin, but it’s clear to Reese that Aida doesn’t love Mase like a cousin should.

And then there’s Captain, the inescapable stranger who has connections in Dallas and Rosemary Beach—and who conveniently shows up wherever Reese happens to be. Hot, mysterious, and plain-speaking, Captain isn’t afraid to tell Reese what he thinks about Mase—and how he feels about her.
As the competition for Mase and Reese’s hearts heats up, Reese’s past begins to unravel, illuminating shocking truths that will forever change the lives of the happy couple—and set the final stories of Rosemary Beach in motion.



GIVEAWAY
*Open to US Residents only
*Enter using rafflecopter
*One click easy entry with multiple ways to earn bonus entries
*One winner will receive proof copies of Racing the Sun, Chasing River, & When You're Back

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Review: Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

Racing the SunRacing the Sun by Karina Halle
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Release Date: July 28th, 2015
Atria Books |  384 pages | ISBN 9781476796482

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother.

It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.


My Review
No one can argue, Karina Halle is maddeningly flawless with her ability to create fantastical imagery. Her innate ability to transport her readers to exotic places, seeing everything through the eyes of her characters, is her gift.

This gift was overwhelmingly evident in Where Sea Meets Sky. The artistry of her writing was inspiring, but unfortunately the plot could not keep up. It was good, a nice story, but the strength of her descriptives smothered it. It was missing something, It needed something. A plot to match the power of her writing.

Racing the Sun got it right! I was engaged in the plot just as much as I was with the beauty of her writing. When reading a book, sometimes it’s painfully obvious that the author is trying to tell a story. The effort is obvious. Karina Halle doesn’t try, she is telling a story.

I hate comparing books to other novels, but in this case I do it with the most positive of intentions, with the intent of expressing the stories classic romantic feel intertwined with a uniquely written modern day romance. Derio and Amber’s story was reminiscent of a mixture between Beauty & The Beast and Jane Eyre. I really couldn’t put it down.

The tension. The build. Did I mention the tension?

It wasn’t without flaws. However, they didn’t tarnish my overall feel for the book. I was left with a few unanswered questions about “the accident” and the ending’s resolution did transpire a little quickly. I understand how the “tragic event” made Amber re-evaluate her issues with their relationship, but her one-eighty was rather abrupt. She just seemed to drop her concerns without any real resolution.

Maybe I’m being selfish. In fact, I know I am, but I also wish we could have gotten more out of the epilogue. I guess I just needed more Derio and Amber. See. Selfish.

Overall, I found this to be a great summer read. Truly engaging and enticing. I seriously couldn’t put down. In fact, I may have to go read it again.

READ ON!

PRE-ORDER NOW:
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ONE MILLION VIEW CELEBRATION!! Marrow by Tarryn Fisher: Book Trailer Premiere, signed copy and $20 Amazon gift card GIVEAWAY!



It seems like forever ago that I made my very first book trailer....


Every single trailer that came next was inspired by truly amazing books, written by amazing people.


It was a fun hobby, "happy accidents" created through much trial and error on Windows Movie Maker. Then everything changed. I bought my first MacBook, and I remember the very first trailer I made with it....


And I'll never forget the first trailer to hit 150,000 views...


Then there's my personal favorite...



It has been a blast!

THE GIVEAWAY
To celebrate 1,000,000 views, I'm premiering my newest book trailer for Marrow by Tarryn Fisher and giving away a signed copy of Marrow along with a $20 Amazon gift card!! All you have to do to enter, is click on rafflecopter's easy entry and BOOM...you're entered, but of course there are several additional ways to earn bonus entries. Just check out rafflecopter below. 

Also, don't forget to check out my YouTube channel, and subscribe for more book trailers!

Marrow by Tarryn Fisher 




*Will ship signed copies anywhere in the US. International residents may enter but will forfeit the signed copy of Marrow in exchange for the book's value added to the amount of the gift card.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Gold by K.A. Linde: Review & Giveaway


Synopsis
The prey becomes the predator.

Love. That cursed four-letter word no longer belongs in Bryna’s vocabulary. The only four-letter word she knows now is gold. 

...and fuck

She’s well acquainted with that one. And that’s exactly what she plans to do. She’s no longer the golden girl, and when she meets a businessman who promises everything she could ever want from the arrangement, she intends to get her money’s worth.

Follow the conclusion to Bryna’s gold digging story in this scandalizing, duplicitous second book to the USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s All That Glitters series.

★★★★ 4 Stars ★★★★

My Review
Diamonds (All That Glitters, Book #1) was met with mixed emotions; readers were suffocated by their own ambivalence and frustration. These emotions fueled intense feelings, both negative and positive. I personally thrive on any emotion a book can create, even if that feeling strongly resembles hate. For others though, these emotions can alienate them from truly connecting to a story or most importantly, the characters. In this case, it was the heroine, Bryna, who was the trigger. The loaded gun. She was an absolute mess. The entire story was a mess.  You are kind of left hating everything.

But I liked it.

Not only did I feel that Diamonds was a necessary foundation. I also felt the author purposely forced the readers to hit rock bottom in order to build something amazing from the ashes. To quote myself from my original review of Diamonds:

“I wasn't so much in love with this book, as much as I'm in love with where it's going.”

 Gold went there.

I LOVED IT!! But what absolutely kills me, is that I can’t detail why without MAJOR spoilers.

THERE WILL BE NO SPOILERS!

I just need to emphasize to you that the relationship in Gold, THE relationship (you’ll know the one I’m talking about) is fantastically indescribable. I loved everything about him. Them. Their journey.  These are the type of relationships I read to find! This was an entirely different book, an entirely different Bryna.

It even has an HEA! Which terrifies me. Truly horrifies me. With two more books left in this series, the other shoe is bound to drop. Damn you shoe! What the hell will K.A. Linde do to me next? I can’t wait to find out.

The thing I want for everyone to get out of this review is that despite how you felt about Diamonds, you need to read this book. Don’t get smothered by your own negativity, continue the journey.

It will take you there.

READ ON!
★★★★ 4 Stars ★★★★



Books in the Series
Diamonds (All That Glitters, #1)

Gold (All That Glitters, #2)

Platinum (All That Glitters, #3)
Release TBD. The third stand alone book in the All That Glitters series. Follows Trihn Hamilton, one of Bryna's best friends, in their junior year of college as she navigates her parent's expectations and the heady lifestyle she and her friends have created in fabulous Las Vegas.
Goodreads
Silver (All That Glitters, #4)
Release TBD. The fourth stand alone book in the All That Glitters series. Follows Stacia Daniels, the second of Bryna's best friends, in their senior year of college as she struggles with the consequences of her jersey chasing desires in fabulous Las Vegas.
Goodreads
GIVEAWAY
K.A. Linde is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!