Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Author Spotlight and Sale Alert: Not Yet by Laura Ward

When several Divas reviewed this book back in July we absolutely feel in love with it!  Now the book is on promotion for only .99 cents and the sale ends TODAY! We wanted to revisit our reviews and hope you will take another look at this amazing novel! 

Join us TONIGHT from 7-9pm Eastern when Laura Ward will be taking over our Sassy Divas Facebook page! Stop by and say hi and get to know this amazing author!  You never know... maybe there will be a giveaway or two!

Emma Harris is learning that life is just a series of lessons.

Lesson #1: Nothing goes the way you plan.

Lesson #2: You can’t trust men. Especially not the pretty ones.

Lesson #3: Turns out, appearances are almost always deceiving.

Emma thinks she has life all figured out, and what she knows isn’t good. For years, she’s put her big sister, who was born with Down syndrome, first. Now Emma’s ready to start her own life, but fate has other plans. To do the right thing for the sister she loves, Emma’s dreams will just have to wait.

She doesn’t plan on meeting Landon — a rich, flirtatious jock, who never has to wait for anything. Not for attention, not for money, and certainly not for girls. Meeting Emma marks the first time in his life that he’s had to fight for something. And Landon doesn't know how to lose.

Emma has no interest in wasting her summer with a superficial guy like Landon. But very soon she realizes she is wrong about him. The question is, can she trust him? Or will he let her down like every other guy in her life? But most importantly, can Emma trust herself enough to live the life she's always dreamed of?

Life has a way of sneaking in the most important lessons when you aren't looking. And once the heart gets involved, that's when the real learning begins.

 Life Lesson: 
Sometimes it's the wait...
the not yets of life that are the very best lessons
of all to learn.

Not Yet was definitely a fabulous story and one of my favorite types student/teacher relationship.  I know there something about the forbidden love that makes me all in for this type of story.  This story definitely isn't the normal student/teacher relationship.  In fact its opposite of everyone I have ever read.   But I will not reveal that little secret you will have to get this book to figure that out.   I would give this book a 4 star.  This book is told in dual POV's of Landon and Emma.  It has a great HEA.  It's full of twists and turns and a plenty of angst.  This is the first book I have read from Laura Ward but I look forward to more from this author.

 Landon and Emma meet during the summer at the pool they both work at.  Neither knowing eachother's past but Landon is deteremind to get to know Emma better but Emma wants nothing to do with him.  She can tell he is a playboy and will not fall into his fake charm.  She is fresh out of college and he is 3 years younger than her and getting ready to start college.  She is working the summer at the pool and doesn't need the distractions, but 
Landon is a big one but she will not let him in.

I'd never met a woman who'd turned down my invitation to the lake.  I'd found more action on that sandy bank than Magic Mike at 'over forty ladies night' in Broadripple.  This was new, and very interesting territory. -Landon

Emma never trusts anyone she has been let down to much in her life and she will never let anyone in again.  Landon and Emma get to know eachother over the summer and Emma finally gives into possibly having a hot steamy summer fling but nothing more can come of it.  But when feelings start to show and the summer is ending will she ever see Landon again.  He is going away to college and she is starting a new job. 

"I want you to want me all the damn time.  I've never been so on fire before, Emma.  I want to taste you, feel you, and hold you.  Jesus.  It's all I can think about."- Landon
Well, hell, I now knew it with every ounce of me.  I was completely falling in love with Mr. Cool.  I should have never underestimated the ability of my heart to grow and change.   In a matter of months, my jaded, doubting, angry organ had be revitalized.  All because of a boy of all things.  A backwards baseball cap wearing, sexy truck driving, deliriously delicious boy.- Emma

Landon has a secret one is he is afraid to tell Emma, but when they secret is revealed both of there lives will be shattered.   Emma trusted someone to be let down again and she will never forgive him.  Landon's life will never be the same but can there love for one another help them through it? Or is there just nothing they can do about it? Not Yet anyway!

He was right.  I was young and I wasn't really living my life.  But he let me down just like every other guy I ever knew.  I was sure I would regret not letting anyone in someday, but I just wasn't sure who I could trust or how to turn things around anymore.- Emma

You have to pick up this book!  Go get it now!
Thanks for a great story and I am a huge fan now!

I love being able to read a novel from an author that I have never heard of.  What I love even more is when that novel knocks the socks off of me and leaves me wanting more!  When I read the blurb, it intrigued me.  A summer fling romance, sure why not.  What I got was just SOOOOO much more!  I absolutely loved this book and devoured it!  It is so well written, funny, witty, and my favorite element in a book, a little bit of heartbreak.  I so did not expect this amazing of a novel and I am now telling everyone to go get this book!  I loved that instead of chapters we have lessons.  And at the end of each lesson we learn lesson learned quotes, these at times had me laughing my ass off!  This is a complete story and told in dual POV.

Fresh out of college with her degree in teaching, she takes a summer job supervising life guards at the local country club while she applies for teaching jobs in the fall. She keeps a tough façade so everything assumes she’s a bitch and stays away from her.  She has a sister with down syndrome who she loves and adores and will do anything for.  Everything she does is to help her mom and sister make ends meet.

“…if I acted like a bitch, everyone would stay way from me. People let me down more often than not, so it wasn’t worth the time or effort.”

This hard exterior of hers has always worked until she met Landon.  He works as a lifeguard and charms his way into Emma’s life.  He comes across as being your typical jock but when it comes to Emma, nothing else matters to him.  What should be a summer of partying and mindless hookups ends up being one of the best summers of his life getting to know Emma and her sister.

“Lesson learned: It took just one.  One person.  One friend. One act of kindness.  Just one summer to completely change my world”.

Like all good summer romances, it comes to end and Landon has to leave for football camp.  He has been struggling to tell Emma his secret but figures he will wait until he comes back.  He knows this will change everything about their relationship but doesn’t have the guts to tell her.  While Landon is away, Emma gets the news she’s been waiting for.  She accepted a teaching position at the local high school.  It wasn’t her first choice as she is only a couple years older but she knew she couldn’t be picky.   With football camp and the first day of school being so close to each other, Emma and Landon never have a chance to speak.  Emma assumes he has left for college and that they would catch up soon.  Oh Lord have mercy this is where things go from all happy and in love to ohhhhhh… no he didn’t!!!!!! 

The secret Landon has been hiding is enough to break Emma’s world apart!  It’s her worst nightmare that she never saw coming. She is devastated but knows she must replace her mask and be the bitch she always has been.  Months go by and the heartbreak and betrayal is something Emma knows she just must work through.  She finally lets someone in just to have her heart ripped open.  Gawh….  I live for these types of novels!  And even though Landon betrays her, I have such the soft spot for him!  I want to like him… I really do. Even with the betrayal I want them to work things out.  I want them to be happy.  He tries to convince Emma to give him time.  That even though their timing is off, they will have their time when it’s right.

“Please don’t give up on us, Em.  Let this be our “not yet”.  Give me one more chance.”

Will Emma and Landon be able to work things out? Will Emma wait for him until their time is right? It’s a journey of many life lessons that will have you rooting for them just like I did.  Laura Ward is definitely an author to keep an eye on!  If I could give this novel more than 5 stars I so would!  It's just that good!

"Remember...it's just not yet for us."

Not Yet by Laura Ward was an unexpected story of how true love can stand the test of time and how one person can actually change how you view the world and make you a better person.  Each life lesson that Emma felt she "learned" had both good and bad points, and it allowed the reader to truly relate to her story of  falling in love for the first time, the heartache that accompanied that first love and the struggle to either follow her dreams or stay to support her family as she felt she needed to do.  I would rate this book 4 stars and would highly recommend this to everyone to read!

"I was pissed that he had gotten under my skin so damn quickly. The question that most baffled me was, why?"

Emma had a way of living her life, she didn't let anyone in, especially guys, as she felt that everyone eventually lets you down at some point.  She had faced quite a few disappointments in her life, not ever knowing her father, having to graduate college early to come home and support her family because her mother couldn't do it alone, and because of all of this she shut herself off from everyone who tried to get close to her.  That is until she met Landon, one of the lifeguards she was in charge with at the country club.  Landon worked his way into Emma's world and her heart a little at a time until she was falling in love with him.  A love that she yearned to express to him, finally letting down her walls and trusting him completely.  A love that almost shattered her when she turned around during her first day at her new job and discovered that everything he ever said to her was a complete lie.

"She wanted to know what was inside of me.  If this was what real, true intimacy was, then sign me up.  This must be what a true family felt like."

Landon grew up in a family of wealth, where football was the be all end all and where he spent his time being popoluar, hanging out with different girls, and spending time with the boys, like normal teenagers do.  That is until he met Emma.  Emma showed him, through her interactions with her sister Evie would had down syndrome and Trevor, the autistic boy at the country club pool, that there was more to life then just coasting along, living for other people and accepting how everyone thought you should be and how you should act.  He began to pave his own way, and as he did so, his feelings for Emma continued to grow into a love that he wanted to express for the first time in his life, a love that he knew was forever for him and hopefully for her.  Until that fateful day where everything shattered in the blink of an eye.  His secret was revealed and not through his own doing, but circumstances that were beyond his control, although the reader may lean to believe he should have revealed to Emma long ago.

The struggle of whether or not their love for each other could survived one year apart was the basis of this story and it drew the reader in, wondering if they would be able to eventually find their way back to each other.  Would Emma be able to once again trust Landon and let her guard down?  Or would she walk away for good?  Only time would tell how their love story would end.  Landon continued to prove that his love was realy to Emma, perhaps not directly as he was unable to do so, but in the way he started to live his life and his actions when no one else was looking.  It seemed that Emma fell a little bit more in love with him as time went on, how he started to treat Billy and Amy, people he had previous ignored at school, he now went out his way to help and befriend.  Landon outwardly became the person that Emma always knew that he was, the person he had showed her over the summer that no one else had gotten to experience until now.

There were times when I was a little teary eyed at the situations that took place during the book and as I was reading, I was hoping that their love story would have a happy ending.  Although the road to coming back to each other was paved with heartache, difficulties and some pretty serious obstacles, Landon and Emma never seemed to waiver from how they felt about each other, even when they weren't together.  This book is a must read for all!  Amazing Job Laura Ward!!!

"Over the past fiver years. He taught me to be patient, to wait for what is really important, to trust that he never would leave me, and to believe in love.  And I did.  I believed in love.  I saw it in others around me and I felt it in my heart each day..."

Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.

Twitter- @laurarosnerward
Instagram- _Laura_Ward

Release Day Blitz and Giveaway: The Sinner's Bargain by Claire Contreras

We're celebrating the release of The Sinner's Bargain by Claire Contreras! We have an excerpt and some teasers to entice you, so be sure to let us know what you think!

Author: Claire Contreras
Age group: Adult
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Najla Qamber

Being pulled in different directions, Amara must choose what she wants to believe and whom she'll trust.


“Holy shit,” she breathed when she looked at the four women standing in front of her. Courtney wasn’t kidding when she’d said Philip collected lookalikes. All of them looked like Amara. Not identical, but enough that a person who didn’t know her could confuse them or think they were sisters. They all had dark, straight hair that reached their elbows, a couple had layers like hers, and the others were cut the same length. Their bodies were all thin like Amara, although with slight variation in the hip area. 
“You must be Amara,” one of them said, speaking up.
“I am,” she said, uneasily. “Isn’t it against code to use real names?”
The girl laughed. “What am I supposed to call you? Jasmine?”
“Yes,” she responded slowly.
“Okay, Jasmine, I’m Jasmine.”
Amara’s brows furrowed. “For real?”
“All of our Méchant names are Jasmine for the night.”
The girl shrugged. “That’s what they told us. We’re all wearing the same thing; we’re all standing the same way, and using the same make-up.”
“But how will… Okay,” Amara said, blinking rapidly. She reminded herself she had this one last thing to do before she was free.
They all dressed in threads of fabric, artfully shredded, tiny black shirts that left little to the imagination and similar skirts, barely covering the panties beneath. Before long, Vivienne appeared at the door, much to Amara’s surprise.
“It’s been a long time,” Vivienne said with a smile when she spotted Amara.
Amara nodded in response, still gaping at her.  She noticed  pairs of handcuffs that Vivienne held in her hands.
“Okay, girls, stand in a single line so I can put these on you. Don’t look so scared, Ava, they come off after the auction,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I’m also going to put masks on you,” she added. “Just a final touch so you can look more…alike.”
As Vivienne fastened the handcuffs on each girl, she put a key on the side of their panties and gave them a level stare. “For after.” She continued to give her unwanted comments as she stood in front of each girl. Sometimes, “where did they find you?” others “your hips are too big.” Nobody responded to her ”they just let her talk, cuff and slip the black, demure masks over their faces.
“Ready,” she chimed before walking out of the room. “Follow me!” she called over her shoulder.
The women followed Vivienne to a stage where they lined up in a row  beside one another, their shaky arms rubbing against the other’s as they looked into the crowd. A few scattered women accompanied some of the men. They watched with equal attention and excitement. The look on their faces sickened Amara.
“This is crazy,” she heard Ava whisper beside her.
“It’ll be over soon,” Amara whispered back.
Her eyes scanned the crowd again.  The lighting in the room was dim, like everywhere else, and it gave everyone in the crowd a rosy glow. Amara wondered where the man was—the one looking for her—and that’s when she spotted Colin sitting off to the left side, by himself with a drink in his hand.  Shit. Amara cursed repeatedly. She tried to see if she could spot Sam or Philip, but couldn’t. She needed to tell somebody about him. If he decided to bid on her, if he could even bid on the right her, it would throw everything off.
Before she could do anything else, the auction started. Ava was pushed up first. She stood in front of the line with her head tucked into her chest, just waiting, as Vivienne introduced her as “Number One.” So they would do it by numbers. Nothing more was said about Ava, before a woman stood up and placed her bid of five thousand dollars, only to be countered by the woman at her same table with a bid of twelve thousand. They both laughed, as if it was such a hilarious thing to be bidding on this poor girl’s body. They gave each other a knowing look, which made Amara’s stomach turn. Ava knew what she was in for, though. The girls in Méchant were prepared to give their bodies away without hesitation.
Three more numbers went by before it was Amara’s turn: Number Five. She stood, with head held down as the others had, until she heard Colin’s opening bid of fourteen thousand dollars. Her eyes snapped up to meet his. She wanted to warn him to stop. A man standing off to the other side of the room countered him. Twenty thousand. Colin raised it to thirty. Her hands sweated, shaking so hard she was forced to clamp them together in front of her body as her eyes searched the room for Philip, Vivienne…anybody who could help. The man raised his bid to forty and Colin countered with fifty. Amara waited on bated breath and sighed in relief when the man didn’t counter the offer. She should have been nervous knowing Philip would be furious if that was the guy they’d been waiting for, but a part of her was relieved. Vivienne said that standard procedure was for them to check who the winning bidders were before they left with the girls —that’s how they would know if the man was there. Maybe if he bid on one of the others and was caught, Amara wouldn’t have to do much more.  
The longer she counted the numerous ways this could go, the more tied up she felt. The cuffs around her hands began to be weighty, and the mask on her face felt like it was suffocating her. Amara had to squash  an overpowering need  to get out, to run and never look back.

Auction over, each girl stepped off the stage and stood beside their winner,  eyes still downcast, Amara included, until Colin squeezed her chin and tilted her face toward him. He glared at her, but she was defeated.  She met his gaze openly, brokenly, until he finally dropped his hand.

If you haven't read the beginning of Colin and Amara's story, grab The Devil's Contract now!

Author: Claire Contreras
Age group: Adult
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Najla Qamber
Amazon | BN | Kobo | iTunes


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About the Author:

Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Miami, Fl, where she currently resides with her husband, two boys, and two American Bulldogs. 

Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones.

Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway: The Edge of You by Theresa DaLayne

The Edge of You by Theresa DaLayne
Published by: Bloomsbury Spark
Publication date: September 25th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

He left home to escape. She made a new life out of guilt. Neither one expected to find love—but not even the Arctic can cool this steamy romance.
Maya knows she’s doing the right thing by moving to Alaska with her parents, but that doesn’t mean she has to be happy about it. Forced to give up a scholarship to a prestigious art school, she relocates to a Podunk town with one college the size of her high school cafeteria, all to help hold her family together after the death of her little sister. But a fresh start can only do so much.

Jake doesn’t like handouts and he certainly doesn’t need any distractions. Working on a salmon boat in Kodiak, Alaska is the only way to pay for his mother’s surgery back in the lower forty-eight. Juggling college courses and constant worry about his mother’s health, Jake couldn’t imagine anything else fitting into his life. That is, until he meets Maya, the sexy Californian artist who tints his world in technicolor.

But when Maya’s family starts to crumble and Jake’s mom takes a turn for the worse, will they drag each other down, or can they find what they were missing all along?

In this new adult romance, Theresa DaLayne paints a swoon-worthy story about life under the midnight sun, following your heart, and learning to live on the edge.



What happened affected us all Maya.  It ruined all of our lives. Not just yours."

The Edge of You by Theresa DaLayne is a story about finding your niche in life after tragedy.  The story of Maya and Jake will warm your heart and have you hoping that they will both have the happily ever after that they both desperately wish for.  I rate this book 3.5 stars and recommend that other read this amazing story!

The story opens with Maya leaving the only home that she has ever known in California, her art scholarship at a prestigious institute and moving to Kodiak, Alaska with her parents in the hope of starting over after the death of her little sister Grace.  Although Maya is old enough to be on her own, she is worried that her sister's death will continue to break her family apart and she carries the weight of keeping everyone together on her shoulders.  Moving to the incredibly small town of Kodiak is the last thing that she wants to do, but the guilt she has over Grace's drowning has her packing her bags along with her parents for what they hope is a fresh start. 

Jake has struggled his entire life to pick himself up and be better than the trailer park that he was raised in by his single mother.  Staying in Kodiak to work on a fishing boat while attending classes online and at the small University on the island, he has no time for a life, no time for a relationship beyond family ties.  His yearning for something more for his life has him worrying and working non-stop to achieve what he believes is the unattainable.  Along with all of these stresses that he places on himself, he worries for his mother who lives in Washington State, who is sick and lives with her deadbeat boyfriend.

Jake and Maya meet in an art class, one Maya was looking forward to as an escape from the distress she is feeling at home with her father working  non-stop at the Coast Guard base and her mother secretly drinking again behind the closed doors of her room.  Maya being a forward California girl at heart, befriends Jake as she knows no one on the island and is extremely lonely and homesick.  The friendship begins to blossom into something so much more, something Maya seems to embrace but Jake questions at every turn.

It is only when Jake struggles to find another job after the fishing boat he worked on burns to the ground and his mother is fighting for her life, needing a surgery that they cannot afford that everything seems to take a turn for the worse.  He doesn't know how he will leave Maya to return to Washington, to the loser he believes he is, in order to care for his mother without breaking both of their hearts in the process.

All of the struggles that Maya and Jake face are completely relatable to the reader, and it is the way that the author writes them that sucks you into this story, yearning for more, hoping for more for both of them.

"Maybe he had already found what made him feel alive.  Maybe he didn't need to keep looking because maybe, just maybe, she was already in his arms."

Theresa DaLayne is a north-south-east-western kind of girl with a quirky personality to match her nomad life. Born in California, she migrated to three different cities in Washington State, a tiny island in Alaska, North Carolina, and finally to the suburbs of Ohio where she currently lives with her husband, three kids, vegetarian cat, and her ungrateful fish.

Always on the lookout for a new story, Theresa is a shameless eavesdropper and will take anyone who provides inspiration and mold them into a character without a second thought. She enjoys writing both paranormal and contemporary stories, considering her mind wanders between worlds of fantasy while she’s forced to live in the real world, very much against her will.

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