Saturday, January 20, 2018

BLOG TOUR: Stolen Secrets by L.B. Schulman


Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for L.B. Schulman's Stolen Secrets! The tour will contain various posts from various participating blogs. On our tour stop today, I will be sharing my thoughts on this book. Plus, don't miss all the other tour festivities. So... Check it out and grab your copy now! And... Don't forget to follow the tour, HERE!


Genre:
Young Adult
Historical Fiction/Mystery
Publish Date:
September 19, 2017
Publisher:
Boyds Mills Press

Synopsis:
After an abrupt move across the country to San Francisco, sixteen-year-old Livvy discovers a grandmother who she believed was dead. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, Adelle shouts out startling details, mistakes her own name, and seems to relive moments that may have taken place in a concentration camp. When Livvy and her new friend Franklin D. find journal entries from the Holocaust in Adelle’s home, Livvy begins to suspect that her grandmother may have a shocking link to a notable figure -- Anne Frank.



      

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Praise for Stolen Secrets

“The author captures the desperate uncertainty of life with an alcoholic and having to parent a parent. Whip-smart Franklin has a uniquely drawn personality and his dialogue with Livvy sparkles…VERDICT An engaging coming-of-age novel recommended for libraries looking to highlight issues of alcoholism, Alzheimer’s, and family estrangement.' ―School Library Journal 

“Stolen Secrets is a solid mystery with family drama and teen angst. Livvy is a likable character who is smart and perceptive at times, yet, like most teens, naive and clueless at others. The novel is easy to read and would be a good companion read for students reading Anne Frank’s diary. Stolen Secrets will need some hand-selling to teens, but once they pick it up they will not be disappointed.” ―VOYA

“This is a well-written book that sympathetically examines the roles of Holocaust survivors on both sides of the war as well as guilt and forgiveness. The main and supporting characters are funny and engaging…a good addition to those who want to read more books with a Holocaust theme. Recommended.” ―School Library Connection

“A…contemporary story with a Holocaust secret at its core….a jam-packed narrative with a full complement of tropes and topical elements: new girl; friend issues; alcoholism; family secrets, neo-Nazis; predatory elder care; armed robbery—and a romance. The grandmother’s mysterious past intrigues…” ―Kirkus Reviews


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**About the Author**
Photo content from L.B. Schulman
Stolen Secrets is L.B. Schulman’s second young adult novel. Her debut, League of Strays, was published in 2012. She grew up in Maryland and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two daughters, and a pair of loveable mutts. When she isn’t writing, she’s visiting genealogy sites, trying to find famous people she’s related to.

Stay connected with L.B. Schulman
    

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*My Thoughts*

Note: This review contains NO spoilers

Hmmm... Stolen Secrets is a complex coming-of-age story of a young girl learning more about her family history and the secrets that filled it. There was so many layers within the story that made this a compelling mystery to solve. L.B. Shulman weaved an intricate story with a balance of drama, romance, mystery, history, and teen-age angst. The twists in the story is so compelling making this a riveting page-turner.

With the intricate character development and world-building, the story drew me into the mystery of who Livvy's grandmother really is. I even got all caught up into solving the mystery...haha! And.. Wow! This is definitely worth the read! Plus, there is an Author Note that everyone that reads this should read. It is apparent in her writing that she took great care in researching the history of Anne Frank when she wrote this. L.B. Schulman take great care in being accurate with history while intertwining it into her fictional story.

My Rating:

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***The Giveaway***



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BLOG TOUR: Thrive by Aly Martinez

Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Aly Martinez's Thrive, the second standalone book in the Guardian Protection series! This is a Reviews & Excerpts tour! Today, we have an exciting excerpt to share! Check it out and grab your copy today!

Genre:
New Adult
Contemporary Romance
Romantic Suspense
Series:
Guardian Protection, #2
Publish Date:
January 18, 2018

Synopsis:
When I was nineteen years old, I was faced with a choice that changed my life.
Keep the safety of what I already knew or risk losing everything with the young, hotheaded soldier who stole my heart.

I chose the wrong man, and for seventeen years, I paid in tears, blood, and shattered dreams for that decision.

Now, there’s a man in my house, holding a gun to my head on the order of my ex-husband—given from his prison cell. 

That hotheaded soldier I was too afraid to choose? He’s now a six-foot-three wall of muscle who works at the country’s most premier bodyguard agency. I’ve always wanted him, but now, I’ve never needed him more.

It’s the call I’m terrified to make. 

I’m sure he still hates me… Even though I’ve never stopped loving him.


     
*FREE on Kindle Unlimited*


*Excerpt*
“This is yours?” I asked in awe, trailing my fingers over the shiny, black hood of a newer-model Ford pickup truck.
He’d lifted it and put huge tires on it, and while the top was spotless, there was a thin layer of mud covering the running boards, letting me know that it didn’t stay locked away in his garage waiting for a Chicago snow. It actually got used—and in places that weren’t covered in asphalt. My Southern heart, which had been relocated to the Midwest all those years ago, quaked in its stunning presence.  
He stared at me, his arms crossed over his chest, the muscles of his neck straining beneath a gray henley, but not because he was stressed or upset, but rather because his muscles were so thick and defined that they were always straining.
He answered with a simple, “Babe.”
I swung my hand to the Escalade parked in the driveway. “What about the SUV?”
Twirling the keys on his finger, he walked over to me. “It’s not a crime for a man to own two vehicles.” Gripping my hip, he swayed me toward him. “If I have the kids, I drive the Caddy. If I’m by myself and the Caddy isn’t blocking the garage, I’ll take the truck.” He grinned, dipped low, brushed his lips to mine, and whispered, “If I’m with Mira, I take the truck even if the Caddy is blocking the garage and I have to move it so it’s not.”
My stomach performed gold-medal-worthy somersaults as I pushed up onto my toes and gave him far more than a lip brush.
His mouth opened, inviting me in. His warm tongue rolled with mine, acting as the welcoming committee. My head became light and I fisted my hands in the front of his shirt for balance. The moan that slipped from my throat made his tantalizing lips curve up in a smile before he pulled away.
Resting his forehead to mine, he rumbled, “Breakfast and condoms, baby. We can’t do anything without them.”
“Not completely true,” I murmured. “I saw a loaf of bread in your kitchen. Toast will serve as sustenance, and you can eat while I do other things with my mouth that don’t require condoms.”
His hand slipped down to my ass. “I’ve missed your mouth, Mira. But not a chance in hell you start things on your knees and I don’t end them inside you. And, for that, I’m gonna need more than toast. So it looks like we’re back to breakfast and condoms.” He gripped my ass, rocking me against him. “But we’re going to take the truck so you can slide in real close. And, on the off chance you feel like getting handsy while I drive, I won’t object.”
That had happened a lot when we were younger. The minute my ass had hit his seat, he’d lift his arm in invitation and I’d slid all the way over, as close as I could get without being in his lap. And then he’d drive. Windows down, the world passing us in a blur, him being the only thing in focus.
Inside that truck, I had been free to be Mira.
And, the idea of having that now, after seventeen years of feeling like someone else, I became giddy with excitement.
“You have a bench seat?” I gasped, staring up at him with a megawatt smile.
Smirking, he released me and opened the passenger’s door.  “When I lift the armrest, I do.”
I giggled. “Jesus, it’s like you knew I’d be coming back.”
His shoulders jerked, and his jaw turned to granite. And then Jeremy Lark slayed me, brought me back to life, and then ruined me once and for all. “No. Because if I’d thought there was any chance of you ever coming back, I’d probably still be sitting on the tailgate of that clunker in the woods, waiting.”



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Don't forget the first standalone in the Guardian Protection series!
(cover links to Goodreads)

       
*FREE on Kindle Unlimited*

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**About the Author**
Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

Stay connected to Aly Martinez
     


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Friday, January 19, 2018

EXCERPT REVEAL: Verona Blood by Lili St. Germain


Today, we are excited to share with this Excerpt Reveal for Verona Blood, the first book in the Califronia Blood series, by Lili St. Germain! Check it out and pre-order your copy today!

Genre:
New Adult
Dark Romance
Suspense Thriller
Series:
California Blood, #1
Publish Date:
January 30, 2018

Synopsis:
San Francisco is going to burn if the coveted princess of California’s criminal underworld isn’t returned to her family in one piece …

Avery Capulet is missing.

Taken by a madman. Kept in the dark.

She might not survive.

He’ll use her body. Destroy her mind. All before he ever lays a hand on her.

Rome Montague is a drug dealer. A criminal. A thief.

And he needs the secrets Avery and her family are keeping – even if it means cutting them out of her pretty Capulet flesh.

Rome Montague is missing – but nobody will miss him.

Not that it matters; After the things he’s done to this girl, he doesn’t deserve to be found.

* * * * * * *

Prepare to step into the dark and bloody underworld of California, as Lili St. Germain brings you a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, in the same vein as her bestselling Gypsy Brothers series.

The California Blood series, set in the criminal underbelly of San Francisco, follows two warring families who are ruled by blood, power and twisted desire.


      

*Excerpt*
AVERY

I need somewhere to wipe my palms; but the puffy skirt of my designer gown doesn’t seem appropriate.
“Avery Capulet, everyone!”
Five hundred pairs of eyes look my way as I sashay down the middle of the glass-ceilinged ballroom my father has decked out with nauseating arrays of flowers, of twinkling fairy lights and enough champagne to fill the San Francisco Bay that shimmers beyond the heights of our palatial hotel.
Really, that’s what it’s called: The Palatial Hotel. Because it’s like a damn palace built on the edge of the financial district, full of Austrian crystal chandeliers and Calacatta marble floors.
It’s unseasonably hot in San Francisco this year, especially since we’re in the middle of a heat wave. People in Southern California would probably laugh at us as they roast through their regular hundred-plus summer days, but in the North we’re a little more used to clouds and fog.
I could blame my sweaty palms on the heat wave, but it’s crisp and cold inside the hotel’s grand glass enclosure. Cold like a refrigerator. Like a morgue.
You’re daydreaming again, Avery.
I take a deep breath and focus on my father’s booming voice, forgetting about the crowd of family and my father’s friends. I feel like a head of cattle being marched through a market to fetch the highest bidder. Because although this is merely my twenty-fifth birthday and not an auction, almost everybody is here for one reason.
Money.
My money.
The money that, according to the antiquated rules of our family’s trust, cannot be accessed by women heirs until they marry.
Which is complete fucking bullshit. We’re living in the age of equality, yet, according to the Capulet decree, all women born bearing the Capulet name would be penniless unless they marry a man of their father’s choosing.
Arranged marriage in the twenty-first century? In America?
I almost wish somebody in the crowd would shoot me, put me out of my misery.  
“Think of all that money,” I hear somebody whisper as I walk through the middle of a parted crowd. I look in the direction of the voice, finding a guilty face staring straight back at me. Jacob Goldstein. Preppy guy, Ivy League, all that crap that people spend their lives and their fortunes making sure they’ve got. I went to high school with Jacob, the most exclusive prep school on the West Coast of the United States. He’s been trying to get into my pants since his voice broke and I grew out of my sports bra. Sorry, buddy, you were never on my shortlist.
Yes, I am the only child of the most powerful man in California. Daddy has enough collective money and assets to rival anyone on the Forbes rich list, but he prefers to be discreet with his fortune. If for no other reason than the fact that his wealth isn’t entirely honest. The Capulet family is the Rothschild family of the criminal underworld. Instead of owning and controlling banks, we own and control other things. Diamonds. Guns. Drugs. People. The crisp Benjamins in our vaults might be legal tender, but they likely weren’t obtained through legal channels.
And yes, we own hotels. Lots and lots of hotels. After all, you have to launder the money somewhere, right?
My family has so much money, you could never spend it all. It’s not in any one account, or controlled by any one person, but we have enough money to burn piles of the stuff as tall as this building, and not miss it at all.
Many of the men eyeing me off in the crowd find that staggering wealth extremely attractive.
Me, I learned a long time ago that money doesn’t mean much. Beyond granting you food, and shelter, and warmth, money doesn’t do much at all. It doesn’t hold you at night when your father is still working, always working. It doesn’t help you trust anybody who might be a romantic possibility.
Money doesn’t bring your mother back from the dead after she dies giving birth to your stillborn brother when you’re twelve years old. It doesn’t help you understand why your older sister drowned in your backyard when she was about to be married off, leaving you to inherit the burden of everything she was better equipped to handle than you will ever be.
Money: I’m about to have more of it than any of these greedy fucks could imagine.
And I don’t want it.
Not a nickel. Not a penny. Not a dirty dollar bill.
But for my father, I will take it. I will assume the throne of the Capulet family. It’s my destiny, whether I want it or not.



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**About the Author**
Lili St. Germain writes books about vengeful girls and villainous men. Her USA Today bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the girl who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a prequel trilogy of fell-length novels that explores the beginnings of the club, to be released worldwide in print and ebook in 2015 by HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

Stay connected with Lili St. Germain
     


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