Thursday, May 10, 2012

Streamline Blog Tour - Creating Chemistry by Jennifer Lane

I was part of the Streamline Cover Reveal a few months ago and now I'm part of the Streamline Blog Tour hosted by AToMR Book Blog Tours, today I was supposed to post a review of Streamline but the review copy was sent really late so I was not able to post a review. Alas! I have a Guest Post for you by Jennifer Lane about Creating Chemistry and a Giveaway so you could read it yourself!

Creating Chemistry by Jennifer Lane

To me, chemistry is mostly about physical attraction but there’s also an element of emotional attraction. Since I’m a big psychology nerd, I think about psychological research when it comes to chemistry.

One well-known aspect of attraction is pheromones, so I make sure to play up my romantic characters digging each others’ scents. Leo smells like soap and chlorine, and Audrey smells like coconut and chlorine. Who knew chlorine could be such an aphrodisiac? ☺

There’s also a psychological theory of attraction called the Imago theory. According to this theory, we seek romantic partners representing parents/caregivers with whom we have unfinished business. These partners might be the exact same or exact opposite of our parents. (Why do you think the words “partners” and “parents” are so similar? LOL) we’re trying to heal and grow by resolving the conflict we had with our parents through our relationship with our partners.

I hope I’ve written good chemistry between Leo and Audrey. Audrey is the opposite of Leo’s father in that she never criticizes him. Instead, sees the good in him and praises him all the time. Through his relationship with Audrey, Leo begins to heal his abysmal self-esteem. Audrey’s kindness is similar to his mother’s, but Leo’s mother has been largely absent since her accident so it feels good to Leo that Audrey needs him.

Audrey feels attracted to Leo because he’s similar to her father—he’s an honorable man. He’s also prone to addictions.

Chemistry is also about nicknames and inside jokes. I used the nicknames McSailor and Bonnie in my adult romantic suspense The Conduct Series. In Streamline, the male swimmers tease each other by feminizing their names: Leo becomes Leopatra, Eric becomes Erica, and Alex becomes Alexis.

Very interesting question that was fun to explore. What does chemistry mean to you?

About the Book

by Jennifer Lane
Published: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Genre: Young Adult

Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone.

Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter--her father--is in prison for murder.

Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline.
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Starred Reviews

This book is PACKED! So much happens! This is not your average teen-angst story. There is NEVER a dull moment. While the numerous topics covered in this book, from abuse to addition to murder and more, are incredibly heavy and intense, the author has done a beautiful job exploring the effects of each with grace and detail. - Britney

This review is so hard for me to write. To be honest, and this is a little embarrassing, I'm tearing up just thinking about it STREAMLINE. It has been enlightening and thought-provoking, to say the very least. So I'm not going to recap the synopsis. I'm not going to dissect the characters. I just want to touch on the impact of STREAMLINE. - Andrea Thompson

Another great book by Jennifer Lane. It kept me guessing the whole time. I thought for sure I knew who the real murderer was, but it turned out I was completely wrong. When it was finally revealed I couldn't believe it, but it all makes sense. - Victoria Lyons

Book Trailer

About the Author

People fascinate the psychologist/author (psycho author) known as Jennifer Lane. Her therapy clients talk to her all day long about their dreams and secrets, and her characters tell her their stories at night. Jen delights in peeling away the layers to scrutinize their psyches and emotions. But please rest assured, dear reader, she isn’t psychoanalyzing you right now. She’s already got too many voices in her head!

Stories of redemption interest Jen the most, especially the healing power of love and empathy. She is the author of The Conduct Series—-romantic suspense for adult readers—-and is currently at work on the third and final installment: On Best Behavior. Streamline is her first foray into writing for young adults, but she’s found this sort of writing even more fun. A former college swimmer, Jen was able to put a lot of her own experiences into this book.

Whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, attending book club, and hanging out with her sisters and their families in Chicago and Hilton Head.

Other Books by Jennifer


Want a chance to read Streamline? Enter the giveaway for a chance to win Streamline eBook

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*Jennifer is hosting another giveaway on her blog! Make sure you enter for a chance to win $20 Gift Card of Choice here

Happy Mother's Day - Kindle Fire Giveaway

Orangeberry Book Tours
Happy Mother's Day Kindle Fire Giveaway
May 10th to 17th

A swirl of recipes from around the world,
a love story that spans for decades,
a family at the crossroads of life
and so much more ...

This Mother's day,
the authors from Orangberry Book Tours
are sponsoring a host of freebies
and a Kindle Fire giveaway.

To the special women in our lives,
to the bloggers who help us on our journey
and to the readers who make it possible to
share our stories ... we thank you.

Sponsored by :
Bruno McGrath - Elevenses from Around the World
David M. Brown - Fezariu's Epiphany
Pandora Poikilos - Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out & Frequent Traveller
Perry Martin - Pretty Flamingo
Shannon Mayer - Ingredients of a Cauldron
Stephanie Abbott - Past Lives #1 Rachel
Suzanne Anderson - Mrs. Tuesday's Departure
Terri Giuliano Long - In Leah's Wake

35 Winners!
1 x Grand Prize = 1 Kindle Fire and 1 copy of all 9 ebooks
9 x 1 copy of all 9 ebooks
25 x 1 copy of any three ebooks

Giveaway Details: 
The prize will be sent as an Kindle Fire Gift Card.  You must live in the US or have an account to redeem the gift card.
Ends May 17th

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Monday, May 7, 2012

[Guest Post] Writers Who Write About Their Writing by Shane W. Smith + G!veaway

Guest Post: Writers Who Write About Their Writing  by Shane W. Smith

Here are some thoughts that suggest that writers are not, as people tend to believe, the best people to talk about their work.

In fact, after reading this, you might come to believe that they are the worst possible choice.

1. I’m not qualified to talk about my book

In How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read, Pierre Bayard notes that:

[Paul]Valery posited that despite appearances, an author is in no position to explain his own work. The work is the product of a creative process that occurs in the writer but transcends him, and it is unfair to reduce it to that act of creation. To understand a text, therefore, there is little point in gathering information about the author, since in the final analysis he serves it only as a temporary shelter. (Bayard, p 16)

I have discovered that this is, to at least some extent true, as the conscious effort of creation is tremendously supplemented by a myriad of subconscious influences that I cannot even identify, let alone qualify or quantify. While, for example, The Lesser Evil is not by any means a deeply subtle text, I can but presume that similar principles are at work here.

2. My book becomes your book

Bayard goes on to describe

an experience familiar to all writers, in which they realise that what is said about their books does not correspond to what they believe they have written. Every writer who has conversed at any length with an attentive reader, or read an article of any length about himself, has had the uncanny experience of discovering the absence of any connection between what he meant to accomplish and what has been grasped of it. There is nothing astonishing in this disjuncture; since their inner books differ by definition, the one the reader has superimposed on the book is unlikely to seem familiar to the writer. (Bayard, p 97-8)

There’s a lot to say on this.

The first and most obvious conclusion that one can grasp from this statement is that by talking about their work, an author is pre-loading their text with extra meaning, colouring the reader’s experience in a certain way, coming closer to ensuring that the reader has the experience the author intended.

Even for the author, I don’t believe that this situation is ideal. Being very new to the prospect of having an audience for my work, I can’t say from experience how it feels to have someone read something into your work that you didn’t realise was there … but it sounds very exciting, not something to be feared or avoided.

Of course, I can imagine circumstances where a universal reading experience would be the ideal, especially in the realm of non-fiction, and also in fictional texts where the author is championing a cause or point of view.

The second conclusion I draw from this has to do with the author’s level of control. Anyone who writes a book is a control freak … on the page, if not in the real world as well. It seems to me that letting go of that book, sending it out into the world to make something of itself would not be too different from releasing a carefully-moulded child in the same way.

Parting thoughts:

The reluctance of an author to relinquish the right of reading to the reader can, in my opinion, damage his/her book’s impact upon its audience. Take everything I say about my work with a grain of salt.

That said, you should probably check out The Lesser Evil, as (I think) it’s a powerful and exciting graphic novel that explores what it’s like to have a dream, and what that dream can end up costing... regardless of whether it comes true. (Feel free to apply any of the above principles while reading it to debunk this byline!)

About the Book

The Lesser Evil
by Shane W. Smith
Published: August 24, 2011
Publisher: Zeta Comics

Stanley Myres, Chancellor of the galactic Senate...Elam Padakan, Overlord of exiled superpower Padakan House...Young Ross Tillman, a student on Messar...When civil war erupts on Messar, these three men aredrawn into the conflict. And as their paths begin to intersectand tangle together, they come to realise that the galaxyhas very different plans for all of their dreams.The Lesser Evil is a graphic novel that examines what itmeans to have a dream... and what that dream can end upcosting, regardless of whether it comes true.
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Starred Reviews

I don't usually read graphic novels but I found this very enjoyable. It had a good storyline. The only downside was some of the pictures were hard to see as they were quite dark. I will definatly check out the next one. - Becky

I have to admit this was somthing very different for me, not only was it my first graphic novel, I'm not the biggest Sci-Fi fan when it comes to books. But that being said, I actually quite enjoyed this. I found it a quick and easy read, fast paced and action packed. - Emma

There are 3 things I loved about this book. (1) It's got great writing, which is rare even for Graphic Novels that aspire to be "literary". (2) I read Lesser Evil while also reading Game of Thrones and I got into how much the Lesser Evil also cared about its characters' inner lives and how they thought and felt about the messes they made. It's Epic but deeply personal. And (3) the author did the book himself with 3D animation software, which kind of blew my mind that a writer can create a comic book without being able to draw. - Robert Simon

About the Author

Shane W. Smith was born in 1985. For quite a long time after this, nothing much happened. Then he got used to writing about himself in third person for bios like this. Before The Lesser Evil, his proudest professional moment was getting a comic book entitled Academaesthetics published in an A-ranked academic journal. His family makes up the remainder of his proud moments.

Shane has a Bachelor Degree in Creative Writing, with First Class Honours, and believes that analysing stories to find out what makes them work is the best possible use of his brain power.

His first book, a sci-fi graphic novel entitled The Lesser Evil (ISBN 978-0986842856) was published by Zeta Comics in August 2011.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

[Book Blast] Kings & Queens by Courney Vail + $100 Amazon G!veaway

Kings & Queens
by Courtney Vail
Published: January 27, 2012
Publisher: Little Prince Publishing
Genre: Young Adult / Mystery

Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.

All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.

So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Starred Reviews

Majesty, spunky and defiant, stumbles upon a disastrous church massacre plot and will do anything to intervene before innocent people are killed. The scenes are so believable that I can already picture some of them coming to life. The story has a complex plot, but once you start reading it’ll be hard to put down! - Candace (Lovey Dovey Books)

This book... was something else. I'll start with the outside and work my way in so I can form the right words for what I want to say about Kings & Queens. The cover is gorgeous. I love the colors, I love the slight grunge feel to it with the text and brushes. The lips and everything about the cover sums up what you'll get to look forward to in the book. Confused? You should be. - Missy (Missy's Reads & Reviews)

Courtney Vail's Kings & Queens has a complex and vivid story. At times, I found myself confused about some of the events that took place and how they came about. The characters and their individual POV's are just as complex, but each is really unique. I didn't really understand what was going on with the dreams of disaster--were they real premonitions or just their minds playing off the events happening in real life? And there were times when we are fed so much information that it can be overwhelming sometimes. - Christina Madison

Book Trailer

About the Author

COURTNEY VAIL writes totally twisted YA and adult suspense. She enjoys braiding mystery, suspense & romance with some kind of weirdness. Her addictions to crazy coffee concoctions, Funny Bones, Ben & Jerry's, and bacon keep her running and writing. She currently lives in New England with a comedian stud and a wild gang of kidlets.


Enter to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card compliments of Author Courtney Vail. Last day to enter is May 14th.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Until I Die Blog Tour: Excerpt + G!veaway

Today is my stop for the Until I Die Blog Tour hosted by Mundie Moms. I'm having this very short excerpt taken from Until I Die and I hope you enjoy it! UK fans did you get Until I Die already? I know for you that you're devouring on it! As for US fans Until I Die will hit the shelves May 8th so you better check this one out!

We lay there motionless for a few minutes as I savored the sweetness of feeling his body pressed against my own. Finally we eased apart enough to look into each other's eyes.
If you're looking for a SECRET WORD for the Riddle the word is:

Make sure to follow the tour and gather all the secret word for the Grand Prize at the end of the tour. Drop by at Good Choice Reading tomorrow for a Review of Until I Die and another Secret Word!

About the Book

Until I Die
by Amy Plum
Published: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers / ATOM

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Starred Reviews

I am completely head over heals for this series! The world of Revenants has both fascinated and intrigued me. I now wish that I lived in a world with hot undead guys. - Samantha (Falling For Books)

The sequel to Die For Me did not disappoint one iota... in fact, I think I loved it even more. Everything I adored about the first book was turned up a notch in Until I Die. There was plenty of Kate and Vincent, plenty of romance, plenty of Paris, plenty of the other revenants (good and bad) and plenty more revenant lore to sink our teeth into -- all woven around another great plot that had me riveted! - Michele (Canadian TwiMom)

This book for me was an emotional roller-coaster, there were twists and turns, some I guessed, some I didn't. I was literally laughing out loud, sighing, saying things like "Aw, that is so sweet!" and the very next page I was shouting "Holy Shit no way!" - Lily

Book Trailer

About the Author

Amy Plum is the author of the International Bestseller DIE FOR ME, which is an Indie Next List pick, Romance Times top pick, and recipient of a starred review from School Library Journal. DIE FOR ME is the first novel in a YA trilogy set in Paris. Book 2 in the series, UNTIL I DIE, releases in May 2012.

Amy grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she can be found on most days either daydreaming or writing (or both) in a Parisian café.

Enter for a chance to win Signed Bookmark plus an Eiffel Tower Bookmark! Giveaway is Open International! 

#EpicReads has an EpicDeals!

Epic Reads is yet having another Epic Deals on eBooks! Deal runs till 6/2/12 you might want to stack up your eReaders with some awesome titles. If you are looking for Summer Reads checkout the title below!
These title for $2.99 only!

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
Deadly Cool Gemma Halliday
L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
Kiss, Crush, Collide by Christina Meredith
Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
Love and Other Things by Catherine Clark
Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Die For Me with Bonus Material Ends 5/8/12

If you haven't read it I suggest you do! My very gushy review of Die For Me here
If you've read Die For Me by Amy Plum I suggest you pre-order Until I Die because it may have a shirtless Revenant in it! *evil laughs*

*note: if you buy using the links, it will help us fund International giveaways for you!

Happy Reading!

Summer Lovin' Blog Tour: Guest Post by Katherine Grace Bond + G!veaway

I'm part of the Summer Lovin' Blog Tour; The season’s best beach reads, The Summer of No Regret and While He Was Away. Today I bring you a Guest Post by Katherine Grace Bond author of The Summer of No Regrets about finding the real you.

Finding the Real Me

Sometimes I feel, as far as social groups are concerned, that I’m sort of a minor hello and goodbye part.
Diary, 3-29-77

As teens read THE SUMMER OF NO REGRETS, I’ve been reading my teenage diary. REALLY embarrassing, but it has to be done. How else will I know whether I’ve actually grown up?

I shopped a lot, but thought I looked terrible in the “in” clothes (which included something called “gauchos”.) I went to a folk dance convention, was dumped by my best friend, fought with my mother. My dad yelled a lot. I almost got to be an exchange student in France. I asked a boy named Lyle for his picture every single week.

What strikes me, as I read these awkward entries, is that I expected other people to tell me who I was.

That was the year I followed puppy-like after friends who treated me shoddily, hoping I’d become worthy

I glowed under the praise of teachers and knew I was smart.

I longed to shake off my parents’ overprotectiveness so I’d be mature.

I was certain my life would be “so great” if only fill in boy’s name here liked me. Then I’dbe pretty.

Once, when a brand new song came on the radio, my best friend asked, mid-song, whether I liked it.

“Do you like it?” I asked.

“I’m not going to tell you,” she replied, and I faced the ultimate dilemma: Should I love it? Should I hate it? I couldn’t know until I got her opinion; I didn’t have one of my own. The still, small voice inside me had gone missing.

Though Brigitta in THE SUMMER OF NO REGRETS, hides the “real she,” she’s still more self-possessed than I was. But I did eventually find the “real Katherine,” and I’ve learned a few things about going from fake to real.

  1. Create, create, create: write, sing, sculpt, build. What you create is uniquely yours. The more you create, the more comfortable you become in your own skin.  
  2. Pay attention to your body. That feeling in the pit of your stomach may be telling you to get out of a bad situation. That exhilaration in your lungs may be telling you, “I should come here more often.” Your body knows your likes and dislikes—usually better than your friends do.  
  3. Love boldly. Notice what you care about and act on it. Homeless kids? Volunteer at the shelter. Poetry slams? Start an open mic. Your grandmother? Pick up the phone.
  4. Be an encourager. I’m more myself when I encourage—“calling out” someone’s gift can be life-changing. One of my sweeter diary entries read, “Mary wrote my poem on the front of her notebook. She said, ‘Don’t erase it! I think it’s so beautiful.’” Mary, now a librarian, always encouraged my writing. Now, through TEENWrite, I get to do the same.
And as it turns out, I’m more than a hello and goodbye part. And so are you.

About the Books

The Summer of No Regrets
by Katherine Grace Bond
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

The day Brigitta accidentally flings herself into the lap of a guy she's never met, her friend Natalie is convinced he's Trent Yves, egotistical heartthrob-in-hiding. When the boy, who calls himself Luke, is nearly eaten by a cougar, Brigitta finds herself saving his life, being swept into his spectacular embrace and wondering if she wants Natalie's fantasy to be true.

As the two spend the summer together raising orphaned cougar cubs, Brigitta still can't be sure of his true identity. But then again, since her grandparents' death, her father's sudden urge to give away all their possessions and become a shaman, and her own awkward transition from girlhood into a young woman, she isn't sure of anything. What is the truth? More importantly, can she accept it?
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Praise for The Summer of No Regrets

"What do you get when you mix a teen heart throb, orphaned baby cougars, and a girl on a search for answers to life's big questions? You get The Summer of No Regrets, a story full of fun and heart." --Deb Caletti, National Book Award finalist and author of The Six Degrees of Maybe

"The Summer Of No Regrets will nudge its way into your heart with its endearing characters and captivating storyline. Katherine Grace Bond has deftly created a very appealing read that brims with hope and humor." --Justina Chen Headley, author of North of Beautiful

About the Author

Katherine Grace Bond often finds herself in the woods of Washington State escaping from giant cats and shadowy figures in cloaks. She is the creator of TEENWrite acting/writing workshops, where participants come as their characters. Visit

While He Was Away
by Karen Schreck
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: NetGalley

"This is just something I have to do, okay?" I hear David say. "The right thing."

He cradles my face in his hands. He kisses me hard. Then he lets go of me. His eyes dart from me to whatever's next.

All she wants is for him to stay. She's been doing pretty well, pretending he doesn't have to go. But one day, after one last night to remember, she wakes up and there's no denying it anymore. He's gone.

When Penna Weaver's boyfriend goes off to Iraq, she's left facing life without him. As summer sets in, Penna tries to distract herself with work and her art, but the not knowing is slowly driving her crazy. Especially when David stops writing.

She knows in her heart he will come home. But will he be the same boy she fell in love with?
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Praise for While He Was Away

“Is love strong enough to outlast time, conquer distance and survive the harsh realities of war? That’s the question Karen Schreck explores in this riveting novel about a young soldier sent to Iraq and the girl who stays behind, struggling to put the pieces of her life together when it seems her whole world is falling apart. Told against a backdrop of family secrets, lost loves, and old wounds, this novel is full of powerful emotions and true-to-life drama that will pull you in from the very first sentence and live on in your heart, long after you turn the last page.” --Pam Todd, author of The Blind Faith Hotel, winner of the 2009 Great Lakes Booksellers Award

“A tender and honest examination of love, longing, and loyalty in the face of modern war, While He Was Away is full of rich and complex characters whose wounds don't always show on the outside. Beautifully written, with a fascinating mystery that keeps the reader turning the pages, Schreck's novel asks if true love sometimes requires more courage than we think we have, and if forgiveness isn't the bravest act of all.” --Laura Ruby, author of Bad Apple

My review of While He Was Away here

About the Author

Karen Halvorsen Schreck is the author of the young adult novel Dream Journal, a 2006 Young Adult BookSense Pick, and the award-winning children’s book Lucy’s Family Tree. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and an Illinois State Arts Council Grant. Karen works as a freelance writer and editor, teaches writing and literature, and lives with her husband, the photographer Greg Halvorsen Schreck, and their two children in Wheaton, Illinois. Visit


Want a chance to read The Summer of No Regrets and While He Was Away? Here's your chance to win a copy! Giveaway is open US/Canada Residents Only* Enter the Rafflecopter to enter!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

[Book Blast] Dangerous Favor by Joyce DiPastena + $50 Amazon G!veaway

Dangerous Favor
by Joyce DiPastena
Published: January 17, 2012
Publisher: Walnut Spring Press


Her father has been accused of stealing from the king, an allegation that has reduced her family to poverty. She has one chance to find and marry a man who can help her prove her father's innocence. Lord Therri, heir to a rich barony, has the wealth and connections Mathilde needs to delve into the mysteries of her father's past. Furthermore, Therri embodies all her romantic dreams.

Etienne, the younger son of a disgraced family, has neither wealth nor connections, but is smitten with Mathilde at a glance. She finds the knight intriguing, but believes he is only out to seduce her. While she seeks for a way to win Therri's attention, Etienne tricks her into granting him her favor, an embroidered white ribbon, for a tournament, setting in motion a dangerous chain reaction of events. Can Etienne save Mathilde from a nightmare from her past and prove himself the true hero of her dreams?
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Starred Reviews

DiPastena has done it again! I can't get enough of this series. The rich world of medieval France continues in it's tangled web of loyalties of love. I was sucked in once again and simply couldn't put it down. Building on two side characters in previous books, Etienne and Therri have their own adventures of finding love and testing priorities. Their wonderful characters are complimented by Mathilde and Lady Violette. - Englishrose

Joyce DiPastena has lived true to her reputation and written another outstanding historical romance set in the tumultuous backdrop of France in the Middle Ages. With extraordinary skill, she has woven intrigue and danger around the exquisitely delicious romance between Etienne and Mathilde. - Wanda Luce

This story has twists and turns all along the way. Just when all is about to be revealed something else bad happens. The story had true history mixed with a lovely tale that put you right in the middle ages. I didn’t want it to end and come back to my time. If you ever wanted to time travel this book is as close as it gets, you really feel you are there. It's a tale of knights, tournaments, betrayal, murder, treason, unrequited love, sacrifice, and true love... What more can you ask for in a book? - Julie

About the Author

I am the author of three "sweet" medieval romances, Loyalty's Web (a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist), Illuminations of the Heart (past RWA Heart of the West Winner, and a 2009 Whitney Award Finalist), and Dangerous Favor (2012 release). I've also written a short medieval Christmas story titled "An Epiphany Gift for Robin" published in the Christmas anthology, Stolen Christmas and Other Stories of the Season, also available as a "single" on Smashwords.

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[Book Review] While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

While He Was Away
by Karen Schreck
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: NetGalley

"This is just something I have to do, okay?" I hear David say. "The right thing."

He cradles my face in his hands. He kisses me hard. Then he lets go of me. His eyes dart from me to whatever's next.

All she wants is for him to stay. She's been doing pretty well, pretending he doesn't have to go. But one day, after one last night to remember, she wakes up and there's no denying it anymore. He's gone.

When Penna Weaver's boyfriend goes off to Iraq, she's left facing life without him. As summer sets in, Penna tries to distract herself with work and her art, but the not knowing is slowly driving her crazy. Especially when David stops writing.

She knows in her heart he will come home. But will he be the same boy she fell in love with?
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


While He Was Away has a very touching and moving story along with it. I find this book very relatable especially with the Long Distance Relationship of Penna and David. I can feel for David and Penna, the way they miss each other, the way they try to communicate. It felt that every emotion was captured in every line. The story is very inspiring for people who are having long distance relationship. You’ll find yourself smiling and relating to their journey. On how they try to make things work out despite missing each other, on how Penna try to hold on with missing David.

The journey of Penna and David is very inspiring, I think aside from learning on how to cope up with missing each other this book will teach you how to be patient and strong for the people you love. If you love someone you’ll hold to them no matter what happens.

David is a very commendable character; I like how he keeps in touch with Penna. He’s a very sweet character and you can really feel that he loves Penna. He tries his best to call or write emails to Penna, he is a lovely character that I think you’ll love. Penna on the other hand is a very anxious character. But who could blame her for feeling this way? What would you do if the person you love chooses to be away? I can say that Penna is a very vulnerable character, despite David going away she tried her best to be strong for their relationship. The relationship of Penna and David is admirable, they love each other and I think that is enough.

If you think this book is just your normal love story, I say you think twice. This book also tackles on how Penna fixed her family. On how she try to be strong for her family along with missing David, I find it heartbreaking knowing about her grandmother. There is more than this book that meets the eye. I must say that I’m really surprised with the ending, I was expecting something different but I think it happened for a reason. Not exactly the perfect ending but I think it was for the best.

Cover wise it's perfect! I think the cover captures every emotion that the book conveys. With the quote “Love can conquer any distance… right?” I think it’s the perfect cover for the story.

If you are looking for a great summer read you won’t get disappointed on this one! I like the premise and the story, you’ll find yourself sucked in the moment you know about Penna and David, on how they struggle of missing each other. This is not your typical story and I say you don’t dare miss it!


I got this book in participation of the Blog Tour and has no way affected my review of the book.

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About the Author

Karen Schreck is the author of the young adult novel WHILE HE WAS AWAY (Sourcebooks Fire, May 2012), as well as the novel DREAM JOURNAL, which was a 2006 Young Adult BookSense Pick, and the award-winning children's book, LUCY'S FAMILY TREE. The recipient of a Pushcart Prize and an Illinois State Arts Council Grant, Karen received her doctorate in English and Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She writes and teaches for a living, and she loves visiting schools and other gatherings of readers and writers to talk about her books the writing process.

Watch out for Katherine Grace Bond's Guest Post for a chance to win a copy of The Summer of No Regrets and While He Was Away!

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