19 Mar 2019

#BlogTour: IN ANOTHER LIFE by C.C. Hunter // #Excerpt

19 March 0 Comments
Hello and welcome to my blog tour post for

IN ANOTHER LIFE by C.C. Hunter!

I have an excerpt from the book for you today! Be sure to check that out below. But first, let's learn more about the book...


IN ANOTHER LIFE

Author: C.C. Hunter
Series: N/A
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: March 26, 2019

Summary:
Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they're kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

Purchase:
C.C. HUNTER is a pseudonym for award-winning romance author Christie Craig. She is lives in Tomball, Texas, where she’s at work on her next novel. Christie's books include The Mortician's Daughter series, Shadow Fall Novels and This Heart of Mine.

Connect with the Author:
Website | Facebook | Twitter
“What are you doing?” I ask when Dad pulls over at a con­venience store only a mile from where Mom and I are now living. My voice sounds rusty after not talking during the five­ hour ride. But I was afraid that if I said anything, it would all spill out: My anger. My hurt. My disappointment in the man who used to be my superhero.

“I need gas and a bathroom,” he says.

“Bathroom? So you can’t even come in to see Mom when you drop me off?” My heart crinkles up like a used piece of aluminum foil.

He meets my eyes, ignores my questions, and says, “You want anything?”

“Yeah. My freaking life back!” I jump out of the car and slam the door so hard, the sound of the metal hitting metal cracks in the hot Texas air. I haul ass across the parking lot, watching my white sandals eat up the pavement, hiding the sheen of tears in my eyes.

“Chloe,” Dad calls out. I move faster.

Eyes still down, I yank open the door, bolt inside the store, and smack right into someone. Like, my boobs smash against someone’s chest.

“Crap,” a deep voice growls.

A Styrofoam cup hits the ground. Frozen red slushie ex­plodes all over my white sandals. The cup lands on its side, bleeding red on the white tile.

I swallow the lump in my throat and jerk back, remov­ing my B cup boobs from some guy’s chest.

“Sorry,” he mutters, even though it’s my fault.

I force myself to look up, seeing first his wide chest, then his eyes and the jet­black hair scattered across his brow. Great! Why couldn’t he be some old fart?

I return to his bright green eyes and watch as they shift from apologetic to shocked, then to angry.

I should say something—like, add my own apology—but the lump in my throat returns with a vengeance.

“Shit.” The word sneaks through his frown.

Yeah, all of this is shit! I hear Dad call my name again from outside.

My throat closes tighter and tears sting my eyes. Embar­rassed to cry in front of a stranger, I snatch off my sandals and dart to a cooler.

Opening the glass door, I stick my head in needing a cooldown. I swat a few stray tears off my cheeks. Then I feel someone next to me. Dad’s not letting this go.

“Just admit you screwed up!” I look over and am swal­lowed by those same angry light green eyes from a minute ago. “I thought you were . . . Sorry,” I say, knowing it’s late for an apology. His look is unsettling.

He continues to glare. An all­in­my­face kind of glare.

As if this is more than a spilled slushie to him.

“I’ll pay for it.” When he doesn’t even blink, I add an­other, “I’m sorry.”

“Why are you here?” His question seethes out.

“What? Do I know you?” I know I was rude, but—hotness aside—this guy is freaking me out.

His eyes flash anger. “What do you want?” His tone car­ries an accusation I don’t understand.

“What do you mean?” I counter.

“Whatever you’re trying to pull, don’t do it.”

He’s still staring me down. And I feel like I’m shrinking in his glare.

“I’m not . . . You must have me mixed up with someone else.” I shake my head, unsure if this guy’s as crazy as he is sexy. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. But I said I’m sorry.” I grab a canned drink and barefoot, carrying sticky sandals, hurry to the front of the store.

Dad walks in, scowling.

“Careful,” a cashier says to Dad while mopping up the slushie just inside the door.

“Sorry,” I mutter to the worker, then point to Dad. “He’s paying for my Dr Pepper! And for that slushie.”

I storm off to the car, get in, and hold the cold Diet Dr Pepper can to my forehead. The hair on the back of my neck starts dancing. I look around, and the weird hot guy is stand­ing outside the store, staring at me again.

Whatever you’re trying to pull, don’t do it.

Yup, crazy. I look away to escape his gaze. Dad climbs back in the car. He doesn’t start it, just sits there, eyeball­ing me. “You know this isn’t easy for me either.”

“Right.” So why did you leave?

He starts the car, but before we drive off, I look around again and see the dark­haired boy standing in the parking lot, writing on the palm of his hand.

Is he writing down Dad’s license plate number? He’s a freak. I almost say something to Dad but remember I’m pissed at him.

Dad pulls away. I focus on the rearview mirror. The hot guy stays there, eyes glued on Dad’s car, and I stay glued on him until he’s nothing but a speck in the mirror.

“I know this is hard,” Dad says. “I think about you every day.”

I nod, but don’t speak.

Minutes later, Dad pulls over in front of our mailbox. Or rather Mom’s and mine. Dad’s home isn’t with us anymore. “I’ll call you tomorrow to see how your first day of school was.”

My gut knots into a pretzel with the reminder that I’ll be starting as a senior at a new school. I stare out at the old house, in the old neighborhood. This house once belonged to my grandmother. Mom’s been renting it to an elderly couple for years. Now we live here. In a house that smells like old people . . . and sadness.

“Is she home?” Dad asks.

In the dusk of sunset, our house is dark. Gold light leaks out of next door, Lindsey’s house—she’s the one and only person I know my own age in town.

“Mom’s probably resting,” I answer. There’s a pause. “How’s she doing?”

You finally ask? I look at him gripping the wheel and star­ing at the house. “Fine.” I open the car door, not wanting to draw out the goodbye. It hurts too much.

“Hey.” He smiles. “At least give me a hug?”

I don’t want to, but for some reason—because under all this anger, I still love him—I lean over the console and hug him. He doesn’t even smell like my dad. He’s wearing co­logne that Darlene probably bought him. Tears sting my eyes.

“Bye.” I get one slushie­dyed foot out of the car.

Before my butt’s off the seat, he says, “Is she going back to work soon?”

I swing around. “Is that why you asked about her? Be­cause of money?”

“No.” But the lie is so clear in his voice, it hangs in the air.

Who is this man? He dyes the silver at his temples. He’s sporting a spiky haircut and wearing a T­shirt with the name of a band he didn’t even know existed until Darlene.

Before I can stop myself, the words trip off my tongue. “Why? Does your girlfriend need a new pair of Jimmy Choos?”

“Don’t, Chloe,” he says sternly. “You sound like your mom.” 

That hurt now knots in my throat. “Pleeease. If I sounded like my mom, I’d say, ‘Does the whore bitch need a new pair of Jimmy Choos!’” I swing back to the door.

He catches my arm. “Look, young lady, I can’t ask you to love her like I do, but I expect you to respect her.”

“Respect her? You have to earn respect, Dad! If I wore the clothes she wears, you’d ground me. In fact, I don’t even respect you anymore! You screwed up my life. You screwed up Mom’s life. And now you’re screwing someone eighteen years younger than yourself.” I bolt out and get halfway to the house when I hear his car door open and slam.

“Chloe. Your stuff.” He sounds angry, but he can just join the crowd, because I’m more than mad—I’m hurt.

If I weren’t afraid he’d follow me into the house all pissed off and start an argument with Mom, I’d just keep going. But I don’t have it in me to hear them fight again. And I’m not sure Mom’s up to it either. I don’t have an option but to do the right thing. It sucks when you’re the only person in the family acting like an adult.

I swing around, swat at my tears, and head back to the curb.

He’s standing beside his car, my backpack in one hand and a huge shopping bag with the new school clothes he bought me in the other. Great. Now I feel like an ungrate­ful bitch.

When I get to him, I mutter, “Thanks for the clothes.” He says, “Why are you so mad at me?”

So many reasons. Which one do I pick? “You let Dar­lene turn my room into a gym.”

He shakes his head. “We moved your stuff into the other bedroom.”

“But that was my room, Dad.”

“Is that really why you’re mad or . . . ? He pauses. “It’s not my fault that your mom got—”

“Keep thinking that,” I snap. “One of these days, you might even believe it!”

Hands full, chest heavy, I leave my onetime superhero and my broken heart scattered on the sidewalk. My tears are falling fast and hot by the time I shut the front door behind me.

Buttercup, a medium­sized yellow mutt of a dog, greets me with a wagging tail and a whimper. I ignore him. I drop my backpack, my shopping bag, and dart into the bathroom. Felix, my red tabby cat, darts in with me.

I attempt to shut the door in a normal way instead of an I’m­totally­pissed way. If Mom sees me like this, it’ll upset her. Even worse, it’ll fuel her anger.

“Chloe?” Mom calls. “Is that you?”

“Yeah. I’m in the bathroom.” I hope I don’t sound as emotionally ripped as I feel.

I drop down on the toilet seat, press the backs of my hands against my forehead, and try to breathe.

Mom’s steps creak across the old wood floors. Her voice sounds behind the door. “You okay, hon?”

Felix is purring, rubbing his face on my leg. “Yeah. My stomach’s . . . I think the meat loaf I had at Dad’s was bad.”

“Did Darlene fix it?” Her tone’s rolled and deep­fried in hate.

I grit my teeth. “Yeah.”

“Please tell me your dad ate a second helping.”

I close my eyes, when what I really want to do is scream, Stop it! I get why Mom’s so angry. I get that my dad’s a piece of shit. I get that he refuses to take any blame, and that makes it worse. I get what she’s been through. I get all of it. But does she have a clue how much it hurts me to listen to her take potshots at someone I still sort of love?

“I’m going to sit out on the patio,” she says. “When you’re out, join me.”

“Uh­huh,” I say.

Mom’s steps creak away.

I stay seated and try not to think about what all hurts, and instead I pet Felix. His eyes, so green, take me back to the boy in the store. Whatever you’re trying to pull, don’t do it.

What the heck did he mean?

18 Mar 2019

#Review: PHOENIX UNBOUND by Grace Draven

18 March 1 Comments

PHOENIX UNBOUND

Author: Grace Draven
Series: Fallen Empire #1
Source: Finished Copy via Publisher
Publisher: Ace Books
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses. 

But this year is different. 

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

Please note: There is heavy and graphic content in this one, depictions of violence and rape, and multiple characters discuss rape. Please take caution before, during, and after reading this one if any of that triggers you.

There was a lot that I loved about this one but some parts that I didn't really enjoy at all, but overall I think it was a really good start to this series! I'll definitely be continuing on with it so I can see what happens next.

16 Mar 2019

Stacking the Shelves (9): March 16, 2019

16 March 3 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
I got a bunch of books this week because I finally went to pick up my books in the US. The problem I have right now is I don't know where to put them! I hope I can get to all of them soon though.

How has everyone's 2019 been going so far?

15 Mar 2019

ARC #Review: THE TRUE QUEEN by Zen Cho

15 March 1 Comments

THE TRUE QUEEN

Author: Zen Cho
Series: Sorcerer Royal #2
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Ace Books
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
In the follow-up to the "delightful" Regency fantasy novel (NPR.org) Sorcerer to the Crown, a young woman with no memories of her past finds herself embroiled in dangerous politics in England and the land of the fae. 

When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can't remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade away. The only hope of saving her is to go to distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal has established an academy to train women in magic.

If Muna is to save her sister, she must learn to navigate high society, and trick the English magicians into believing she is a magical prodigy. As she's drawn into their intrigues, she must uncover the secrets of her past, and journey into a world with more magic than she had ever dreamed.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.


See my review of SORCERER TO THE CROWN!

The sequel to the ah-mazing SORCERER TO THE CROWN, THE TRUE QUEEN has magic, mayhem, and strong female characters that you root for the whole way through. I loved seeing the old characters, meeting new ones, and being introduced to more magic in this than we previously saw.

13 Mar 2019

Subscription Box #Review: #IndigoBookBox (January and February 2019)

13 March 2 Comments

I am reviewing TWO of the Indigo Book Boxes for you today because they came out around the same time and I unboxed them at the same time. While Indigo DOES send me their Staff Picks of the Month for review and promotion, they DO NOT send me these Teen Book Boxes for the same purpose. I purchase these myself.

They are a little difficult to find on the Indigo website because Indigo is (much) more than just a subscription box website as they are the only Canadian big box store for books, home goods, etc.

Past boxes (that are still available):
Today, I am reviewing the January box (Leigh Bardugo, KING OF SCARS) and February box (Angie Thomas, ON THE COME UP) for you! I'll start with January and move into February and give you a full wrap-up of worth, value, etc. at the bottom for both.

January 2019: Leigh Bardugo


Price: $29.99 (with free shipping)
Shipping Time: 3 days
Included inside...

  • A copy of King of Scars (regular edition) signed by the author
  • A letter from Leigh Bardugo
  • An exclusive King of Stars travel mug – perfect for that fortifying hot or cold beverage to help you battle through your day
  • A tube of FOLKLORE Sweet Honey Hand Cream to soothe your hands after turning each of those awesome pages
  • Grishaverse pin that looks amazing on my pinboard
  • Bookmark for CROWN OF FEATHERS by Nicki Pau Preto

11 Mar 2019

#Review: MEM by Bethany C. Morrow

11 March 1 Comments

MEM

Author: Bethany C. Morrow
Series: N/A
Source: Purchased from Audible
Publisher: The Unnamed Press
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
Set in the glittering art deco world of a century ago, MEM makes one slight alteration to history: a scientist in Montreal discovers a method allowing people to have their memories extracted from their minds, whole and complete. The Mems exist as mirror-images of their source ― zombie-like creatures destined to experience that singular memory over and over, until they expire in the cavernous Vault where they are kept. 

And then there is Dolores Extract #1, the first Mem capable of creating her own memories. An ageless beauty shrouded in mystery, she is allowed to live on her own, and create her own existence, until one day she is summoned back to the Vault.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
I really enjoyed this one and thought there was so much good conversation about "true" selves and what constitutes "yourself." I loved the alternative history aspect to this, but found it was really hard to be anchored in the year/time because it was never quite clear if it was the past, present, or some variation of the future.

9 Mar 2019

Stacking the Shelves (8): March 9, 2019

09 March 2 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
I have been so much more productive in the first week of March than in all of February for my blog. I hope I can ride this wave for as long as possible! But I was behind schedule for reading and am now about 15 books AHEAD of schedule! I am hoping to catch up on some eARCs this week and get on track for that type of reviewing schedule.

But I don't want to put too much pressure on myself either. I think that's what happened in February! I had such a good January and thought I could keep it up, but work pressures got to me and made it that much harder to do anything for blogging because I felt like nothing was enough. So I am doing little things every day to try and prep myself for the next day so I don't get too overwhelmed but still have an active blog.

What are your goals for March?

8 Mar 2019

#Discussion: Top 5 Books by Women for International Women's Day

08 March 1 Comments
Happy International Women's Day! I am going to a gala tonight to celebrate and have spent the day at work promoting works by women (we watched Scandal, so that's how much fun I had!). What better way to celebrate a day for women than by showcasing books by women! See my list below and add any more that you love in the comments!

Top 5 Books by Women for International Women's Day

1. LET'S TALK ABOUT LOVE

Author: Claire Kann
Series: N/A
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: January 23, 2018

Summary:
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting--working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she's asexual). Alice is done with dating--no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
Purchase:

2. WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
Series: N/A
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Summary:
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
Purchase:

3. THE NOWHERE GIRLS

Author: Amy Reed
Series: N/A
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 10, 2017

Summary:
Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.
Purchase: