Friday, May 29, 2015

LEGACY by Stephanie Fournet blog tour with review & #giveaway

Contemporary romance is what we have on tap today. We are today's stop on the Legacy tour. This is a sweet and touching love story featuring a couple anyone could root for. TODAY readers can download a FREE copy of this book. Click below. Enjoy and enter the giveaway. Have a great weekend.

Legacy by Stephanie Fournet
Contemporary romance
Paperback/eBook, 313 pages
Published February 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Corinne Granger doesn't want to get out of bed. Or paint. Or talk about her feelings. Losing Michael, the man who taught her to believe in love, has left the 25-year-old portrait artist trapped in grief, a stranger to herself. Before Michael’s death, she was a force to be reckoned with. Intelligent. Talented. Terrifying. And Michael adored it all—even her hot temper and her sharp tongue. When you lose the only person who “gets” you, the world becomes a lonely place.

Wes Clarkson can numb the pain of missing his best friend if he pushes his body hard enough. A personal trainer and Ironman triathlete, Wes can forget his grief at the gym—or between the legs of one of his clients. And this works for him as long as he doesn't think about the promise he made to Michael on his deathbed—to look after Corinne. But who could handle such a woman?!?

The only thing Corinne and Wes had in common before Michael died…was Michael. But when the two find themselves living under the same roof, everything changes.

Is there hope for the man who’s never been in love and for the woman who’s afraid to love again?

LEGACY: Amazon | Goodreads

Rating: 4 (of 5) really liked it
Cover comment: Upon first glance I'd say the cover works because the reader gets to imagine this couple in their minds without the guidance of people on the cover. Yet, on a second and longer view, I'm not sure the girl is truly defined. She seems kind of just there.
Book source: I received a promotional copy.

I started reading Legacy not sure to expect. I've read other romances about women losing their beloved boyfriends, fiances, or husbands. Some clicked, others did not. I feel for these types of stories a perfect kind of balance needs to be met for it to be successful, otherwise the tale can become too melodramatic, or too depressing, or even sappy. Luckily, Legacy by Stephanie Fournet hit all the right notes in just the right ways.

Legacy deals with loss and how losing someone close affects the one who is left behind. There are many stages to grieving and main character Corinne goes through them. But when her family begins to notice the passage of time and how she's not returning to some semblance of her old life, they become worried. Then there's Wes, best friend of her boyfriend Michael, who knows Corinne doesn't like him, but unbeknownst to her, he promised his bud to take care of her. But how can he keep a death bed promise to his closest friend if the young woman won't let him near? Legacy tackles Corinne's depression gently and realistically. The oversleeping, the loss of doing anything fun, no appetite, lethargy, the dependence upon medicine to feel numb, and more. Corinne is merely existing.

Told from both points-of-view of Corinne and Wes, this is also a story of hope, of determination, and of acceptance. Losing someone is always terrible, but one must be able to accept another love if the opportunity arises. Corinne's growing acceptance and fondness for Wes scares her in many ways. Is she betraying Michael? Is there a guarantee she won't lose him? Can her heart handle another love? Her inner battle is poignant and I felt for her. I was very surprised by Wes and his character development. The tough looking personal body trainer dedicated to health and fitness became my favorite character in this story. He thought he didn't deserve someone like Corinne, someone with such talent, class, and beauty. Corinne on the other hand had to drop her preconceived opinions about Wes and get to know the real man underneath the muscle tees. 

This is such a refreshing love story. I never felt down or upset, there was always this constant hum of hope throughout. And the romance was believable all the way. Wes wants to help after his mistake and Corinne realizes she does need assistance. As they learn to live with each other, Wes sees she needs to begin to embrace living and shows her how. There were so many scenes I enjoyed watching these two connect, accept, and finally realize that being together just may be what their beloved friend intended all along. I recommend this contemporary romance to anyone who enjoys poignant and hopeful love stories.

About the author:
Stephanie Fournet, author of Fall Semester and Legacy, lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and her daughter Hannah, their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and an immortal blue finch named Baby Blue. When she isn’t writing romance novels, she is usually helping students get into college, teaching AP English, or running.  She loves hearing from fans, so you can follow her on Facebook or message her on Goodreads.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Artisans by Julie Reece blog tour #YA #giveaway #review @chapterxchapter @JulieAReece @month9books

Good day everyone! We have a YA fantasy and fairy tale retelling book today as we bring The Artisans blog tour to you. We hope you like our review. Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Title: The Artisans
Publication date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Julie Reece

They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

Rating: 5 (Beware: I use the word 'love' a lot in my review)
Cover comment: This may seem like a 'simple-looking' cover and I think that's what drew me in. The striking green color, the curves and swirls, the font, I like it.
Book source: I received a promotional copy.

Ask my family what I was doing the other day and they'll tell you I was "lost." In a book that is. Which one? The Artisans by Julie Reece. I was glad I didn't remember the synopsis when I began reading this book because what I found on its pages surprised me. I really fell into this story, totally loved Raven and her cool talent to design and create unique clothes (those steampunk watches--very cool!), and her two closest friends, Dane and Mags, were what the word friend means. Raven's world has been dealt a bunch of changes and she held everything together the best way she could, but living with her alcoholic stepfather Ben wasn't easy. His depression over losing her mother and the lawsuit took its toll on him and he caved in to the pressures. Raven was determined to keep what remained of her family intact and her insistence (even when things didn't sound hopeful) to keep going on was admirable. When she took up Gideon Maddox's offer I realized this was a retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales, Beauty and The Beast (which I'd recently reread a bunch of versions of late last year). Yay! Talk about being happy.

Julie Reece's writing style drew me in with an intriguing beginning, a strong-willed seventeen year old main character and a brooding yet charismatic mystery man in Gideon (I've always loved that name). Add in a spooky house, ghosts (hello Cole!), a nice cook, and other mysterious things, and I'm ready to leave planet earth for awhile. I found The Artisans engrossing, addicting (since I didn't want to stop reading), and fun to read. The Victorian Gothic setting really provided the perfect ambiance for the story, along with the Maddox house and property and Raven's love of Edgar Allen Poe and poetry all combined into a perfect backdrop. Can I say I loved that she had a Maine Coon cat named Edgar (I have a Maine Coon too-they're big and lovable like stuffed animals with paws)?

I really liked the author's style and found this story easy to visualize. The visuals were wonderfully described and Raven's voice had this striking combination of honesty, raw emotion and grit with moments of humor I simply adored. The chemistry between her and Gideon literally jumped off the page and I found myself anxiously waiting for their next scene together. The story line was easy to follow, the plot, though predictable in parts, still managed to surprise me with some twists and turns I did not expect and only made me delight in the story more. Being a reader for so long, I still enjoy finding new authors to admire and stories to fall in love with. I can honestly say I LOVED The Artisans. Engrossing, with a unique main character, a charming leading man, a strange house and gripping mystery, this YA fantasy/fairy tale retelling is a delight. Thank you Julie Reece and Month9Books! 

About the author:
Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Artisans by Julie Reece (INT). Winner will be drawn June 19, 2015.
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Two for Thursday Book Blitz: Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway & Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake @chapterxchapter @eholloway300 @AshelynDrake @Month9Books #T4T

Hello and welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
This week, #T4T presents to you:
Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway and
Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!