Happy Book Birthday! You'll Never Know by Katie Cross

Happy Book Birthday to
You'll Never Know by Katie Cross!

Summary
Rachelle Martin is a hot mess.

After losing 110 pounds, she expected to be happily flirting her way through countless dates, not lost as a college dropout. Now that she’s arrived at her ideal weight, why isn’t she happy?

When an injury prevents her from running her dream race, she realize she can’t run from her ghosts anymore. Rachelle must take the one step she’s sworn she’d never take: professional therapy.

Can Rachelle push herself through pain and let go of the past? Or will her demons continue to haunt her one bad decision at a time?

You’ll Never Know is the unforgettable novel in the groundbreaking Health and Happiness Society series. It tackles the false idea of conditional happiness and the exhausting path to self forgiveness.


Goodreads  -  Kindle  -  Nook 

I'm only a few chapters into reading You'll Never Know, but it really resonates with me. Also, people keep posting pictures of macarons and cupcakes with the book, so you KNOW I'm there for that!

This is the third book in the Health and Happiness Society series. I adored the first book, Bon Bons to Yoga Pants (which is totally a love letter to every big girl who's ever been told "You have such a pretty face...") and I just recently purchased the second book in the series, I Am Girl Power, which promises to be equally amazing. Also, these covers are so cute!!!

 


Peekaboo's Corner: Books to make you run away from the beach this summer

We’re hitting peak summertime here in the United States. The sun is our constant companion, temperatures are spiking, and all people want to do is flock to the beach to relax and cool off. Especially if you live in Minnesota, land of (over) 10,000 lakes.

Elley did a post last week about her favorite beach reads, fun, relaxing reads that are perfect for sitting under a giant umbrella with a delicious drink and whiling away the summer hours.

But what something were to go wrong? What about the things that lurk in the water? What if you want your relaxing summer beach trip to be a little more… scary?

Don’t worry, boo. I got you covered.

Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant.
This was also Elley’s rec for “books to make you run away from the beach” because we both loooooved it, and also there are killer mermaids in here.
Basic premise: Woman joins a reality film crew/research team on a ship to find out what happened to the last crew that went out and violently got muderized by an unknown something out in the ocean trenches. Chaos ensues. Also, queer characters. Also spoiler: they were murderized by killer mermaids. I’m not saying this book made me stay away from water for a long time, but also I haven’t gone to the beach since I read it soooo…

The Meg - Steve Alten

I didn’t care for this one quite as much, but it does have 4 stars on GoodReads, so obviously some people did.
Basic Premise: Hotshot scientist survives an attack by the biggest fucking shark in the whole world (see: Megalodon), and becomes gunshy, but is convinced by his equally hotshot ladyfriend sub pilot that he should join her team to go down and help deal with the shark because it’s gonna start nomming on people soon. I am gonna give this one another go. It’s coming out as a movie this fall staring My Boyfriend Jason Statham.  I didn’t make it far enough into the book for the feasting to start, but judging by the movie trailers, A LOT of people are about to become a huge shark buffet.

Beast - Peter Benchley
I immediately added this to my TBR as soon as I found out it existed. It’s by the same guy who did Jaws. (Yes, Jaws WAS a book too.)
Basic Premise: The main character’s name is Whip Darling, which is a romance hero name if ever I heard one. From the (frankly excellent) cover art, I gleaned that a giant squid-type-creature awoke from it’s eternal slumber and is ready for human tar tar. And our Whip Darling is leading the charge to stop it, while being no doubt rugged and also damnably down on his luck. My biggest issue with these books is I so often root for the monster, because the characters are so often twatty and dumb. So Squiddy McSquashson, I shall root for you.

Cujo - Stephen King
We’re diverting a bit here from “things that lurk in the sea” to “things that lurk on land”, and we’re going with the classic Cujo.
Basic Premise: A kid’s two hundred pound Saint Bernard gets rabies and terrorizes a small Maine town. It sounds kinda dumb, but let me tell you a thing. 1) It’s Stephen King, so it’s guaranteed to be creepy as hell and very atmospheric, and 2) I made the mistake of reading this book in a cabin in the middle of the woods (where lake time often occurs in Minnesota!) and I spent the rest of the weekend being terrified that every noise I heard was Cujo coming to eat me.

Grab one of these reads, your drink, your sunscreen, and prepare for a different kind of beach experience.

Book Blitz: The Boyfriend Whisperer by Linda Budzinski (Excerpt, Giveaway)


The Boyfriend Whisperer
Linda Budzinski
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: November 15th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
As President and CEO of Boyfriend Whisperer Enterprises, Lexi Malloy is Grand View High School’s undercover Cupid. One problem: She’s stuck in the friend zone when it comes to her own crush, Chris Broder. She and Chris have been best friends since the third grade, and he doesn’t even seem to realize she’s is a member of the opposite sex.
When pretty and popular cheerleader Lindsay LaRouche hires Lexi to whisper Chris, she has to decide whether to place her commitment to her company—and Chris’s happiness—before herself.


EXCERPT:
I crank up Mumford & Sons on my iPod and pull up the Boyfriend Whisperer Enterprises files on my tablet. With Valentine’s ten days away, I need to plot out some big moves for my clients.
I start with Jolene. I watched Brendon staring at her this afternoon during the pep rally. He’s falling hard. No need to play it subtle. He likes spicy food, so Red Hots are an obvious choice, in a heart-shaped tin. What should the card say? Something super flirty. “Let’s heat it up on Valentine’s.” No … “spice it up.” I jot that down and move on to my next client.
Just as I’m picking out a sweet YouTube link I want her to send her BF-to-be, Coach Reilly pulls my earbud out and scares me half to death.
“Malloy! I’m talking to you. What are you working on?”
I slam my tablet shut. “What? Homework. Sorry. What do you need?”
She shoves my backpack to the floor and plops down beside me. “Let’s talk about tomorrow. We’re expecting scouts from all over. Rumor has it someone from U Conn might even turn up.”
She pauses as if to gauge my reaction, so I force a smile. “U Conn? Wow. That’s great.”
She leans in. “There’ll be a lot of buzz in that arena. Parents, coaches, other players. They’ll all be talking about the scouts and about you and your future. Here’s the thing: You need to ignore them.”
“Ignore them.”
“Exactly. You have one job tomorrow, and that’s to play the best game Alexis Malloy knows how to play. Run, pass, shoot, rebound. That’s it. The rest is static. Ignore the static.”
“Got it. Static.”
Coach furrows her brow. “You nervous?”
“Maybe a little.”
She pats my arm as she stands. “A little nervousness is good. You’ve got this, Malloy. You can do it.”
I smile and slump back into my seat. The fact is, I’m not at all nervous. I only said that so she wouldn’t launch into a lecture about being too cocky. She’s forever vacillating between warning me not to be too nervous and not to be too cocky, when in reality, I’m neither. The truth is, when it comes to college scouts, I just wish they’d leave me alone.



Author Bio:
My young adult novels, EM & EM (2015) and THE FUNERAL SINGER (2013), were both published by Swoon Romance YA. My upcoming novel, THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER, scheduled for publication in fall of 2016 by Swoon, received the Romance Writers of America Young Adult Chapter’s 2015 Rosemary Award and the Virginia Chapter’s 2015 Fool for Love Award.
I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, Joe, and our feisty chihuahua, Demitria (also known as Dee Dee, The Puppy, and Killer). I’m a sucker for romance and reality TV and have been known to turn off my phone’s ringer when watching “The Bachelor.”
My favorite flower is the daisy, my favorite food is chocolate, and my favorite song is “Amazing Grace.”
When I’m not writing, I work in nonprofit management. I’m represented by the amazing Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger Inc.

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Blog Tour: A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian (Review, Excerpt, Giveaway, Teaser)




A NEW NOVEL IN THE SEDUCING THE SEDGWICKS SERIES BY CAT SEBASTIAN.
Once beloved by London’s fashionable elite, Hartley Sedgwick has become a recluse after a spate of salacious gossip exposed his most-private secrets. Rarely venturing from the house whose inheritance is a daily reminder of his downfall, he’s captivated by the exceedingly handsome man who seeks to rob him.
Since retiring from the boxing ring, Sam Fox has made his pub, The Bell, into a haven for those in his Free Black community. But when his best friend Kate implores him to find and destroy a scandalously revealing painting of her, he agrees. Sam would do anything to protect those he loves, even if it means stealing from a wealthy gentleman. But when he encounters Hartley, he soon finds himself wanting to steal more than just a painting from the lovely, lonely man—he wants to steal his heart.

About the Book

A Gentleman Never Keeps Scoreby Cat Sebastian
SeriesA Seducing the Sedgwicks Novel
GenreAdult
Historical Romance
PublisherAvon Impulse
Publication DateJuly 10, 2018
Purchase Your Copy Today!Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks

Excerpt

Now that he had this stranger in his library, Hartley was having misgivings about the soundness of his plan.
First, this man was significantly larger than anyone needed to be. The Hepplewhite chair hardly contained him. Hartley had good reasons for not feeling particularly at ease around large men, but this man didn’t seem threatening. He sat in that chair as if it were a church pew, his hat politely on his lap. Hartley started to lower himself into the matching chair beside his guest, but then thought better of it and perched on the edge of a table, enjoying a false but comforting sense of height.
Second, it was unwise to trust strangers with his secrets. But Hartley had no secrets anymore; he had nothing to lose. It occurred to him for the first time that he could perhaps take advantage of his situation. He might as well behave fearlessly, if it meant getting a bit of his own back.
He was aware that Will would say he ought to put his grievances to rest, that making peace with the wrongs that had been done him was the only way forward. And he had to concede that Will knew something about that topic. But Will was also kind and decent, and Hartley was neither; he was petty and vindictive, because those qualities were all the sword or shield he had.
He poured some brandy into two glasses and handed one to his guest. “The long and short of it is that I would like nothing more than to do a grand disservice to Martin Easterbrook. If you’d like to join forces with me, then I’m interested. If not, so be it. We can pretend tonight never happened.”
“And if I don’t want anything to do with you? If it turns out this Martin fellow is my best mate and I tell him you’re set against him? What if I tell a gossip rag that you tried to approach me?” The man spoke with a rough London accent that was laced through with something else that Hartley couldn’t identify.
“You’re welcome to,” Hartley said lightly. “My name is Hartley Sedgwick. Hartley with an E. Be sure to have the paper spell it correctly.” He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his card case with a flourish that was marred by the hinge being stiff from want of use. “For reference,” he said, holding out a card between two fingers.
Something went wrong because the man palmed the card but then politely shook Hartley’s hand. Hartley froze. The man wasn’t wearing gloves and Hartley had removed his own—gentlemen didn’t eat or drink with gloves on, and Hartley couldn’t bring himself to abandon the rules he had worked so blasted hard to master. Hartley didn’t much care for being touched, least of all being touched skin to skin. He felt like he was being flayed alive. Were other people’s hands always so warm, or was this stranger about to succumb to the ague?
“Samuel Fox,” the man said as he finally let go of Hartley’s hand.
“A pleasure, Mr. Fox.” Hartley tried to sound like someone who wasn’t in danger of becoming unglued.
Mr. Fox took a sip of the brandy, and Hartley realized belatedly he ought to have offered ale or cider. Fox wore trousers that were worn at the knees and a coat that strained badly across his broad shoulders; his hands were rough with work. He was plainly not of the brandy drinking classes, and to have presented him with the drink now seemed farcically affected.
“Who is Easterbrook to you?” Fox asked. “I thought this was his house.”
“It was. It’s mine now. Sir Humphrey Easterbrook was my godfather.” Hartley’s voice only caught a little on that designation. “He died a few years ago and left this house to me. Your turn,” he said briskly. “What was Easterbrook to you?”
“He has—had—something that belongs to a friend of mine.”
Hartley raised his eyebrows. “I’m not going to ask whether you intended to walk in and help yourself to—to what, may I ask?”
He took a sip of brandy as he watched Mr. Fox decide whether he could be trusted. Hartley wondered what it must be like to be able to judge trustworthiness on sight. No, he wondered what it must be like to even want to. It was much easier to simply not trust people at all. Hartley trusted Will. He also trusted his older brother, Ben, but that wasn’t any great accomplishment because Ben was utterly incapable of malice. He supposed he also trusted his youngest two brothers, but they were far away so he didn’t have to put it to the test.
“It’s a painting,” Fox said.
Hartley’s glass dropped to the parquet, shattering into bloodred shards. He squeezed his eyes shut. He didn’t want to see Fox, didn’t want to see the mess he had made, didn’t want to see the empty spaces on the walls. A second passed, and he willed his composure to freeze him over into something cold and solid and impenetrable. When he opened his eyes, he knew he had mastered himself, at least as far as it was possible for him to do so.


Review

For starters - Content Warning from Author: This book includes a main character who was sexually abused in the past; abuse happens off page but is alluded to.

I loved the first book in this series, and It Takes Two to Tumble was so low angst and just warm and cozy and glad. I really enjoyed A Gentleman Never Keeps Score  as well, but HOLY ANGST, BATMAN, is there a very different tone and level of seriousness to this novel than the first in the series!

Hartley and Sam are both dealing with some major things. Sam Fox is a black man and former ex-pugilist (that means boxer!) who runs a bar that is basically a second home to other black people in Regency London to go to in order to have a save space, fellowship, and maybe a helping hand if they need one. He lives amidst a lot of suspicion and prejudice, but carries himself with pride and is this deep, strong river of good man. He is also very careful not to give the (white) constable who has it in for him any reasons to shut down his bar or look too closely into his life.

While Sam is surrounded by people who love and care about him and basically exists as this warm beacon of hope, Harley is cold and alone. He lives in a house bequeathed to him by his godfather (who was a human piece of garbage). While Sam is someone at the same time a warmly blazing hearth fire and a deep peaceful river, Harley is cold, knotted up, and shriveled in on himself. He is so filled with self-loathing he can't even allow his brothers to love him, and it's so sad and breaks my heart. He goes for walks alone in the odd hours of twilight when no one else is around and it's just so sad. And then coming home one night he bumps into Sam...

I love the relationship between Sam and Hartley. It grows in a way that's so heart-rending to watch, but Sam is the perfect (patient, kind, good, wise...) man to help Hartley with his layers of self-loathing and fear. The side characters are also a treat, and I love Sam's family (both blood and made-family) as well as Hartley's brothers. The relationships Hartley develops with Alf and Sadie are just great, and I love when Sam tries to do things to annoy Hartley and is so surprised by the man Hartley really is underneath his layers of clothing and polish and snobby manners.

I wish I could go more into what I love about this book, but everything I want to say comes way too close to spoilers territory. I love that this is a look at a London that is not totally whitewashed and pristine, and instead shows more diversity (THAT DID EXIST AT THE TIME, ROMANCELANDIA! I'm looking at you!) This was a bit higher on the angst scale than I usually like, but it pulled me in and held my heart tight in a steely grasp throughout so I was unable to put it down. Cat Sebastian has now enslaved me for life.

This is the second book in the Seducing the Sedgwicks series, but can be read as a stand alone. There are not really spoilers for the first book, and you're not missing anything vital to the story by reading A Gentleman Never Keeps Score first. That being said, definitely also read the first book in the series, It Takes Two to Tumble, because Ben is like a male version of Pollyanna and that books made my heart so glad.

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of A GENTLEMAN NEVER KEEPS SCORE by Cat Sebastian, we’re giving away three paperback copies of IT TAKES TWO TO TUMBLE!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. Three winners will each receive a paperback copy of It Takes Two To Tumble by Cat Sebastian. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 7/23/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.

About Cat Sebastian

Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.

Author Links

Newsletter Sign Up  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon






Discussion: Summer Beach Reads

Since it's summer I figure it's pretty much the ideal time to talk about beach reads.

For me, beach reads are books you can relax with on the beach or by the pool; books that are light and witty and bright. Contemporary romances (especially romantic comedies) are the perfect beach reads for me. I don't want anything heavy that's going to have me super emotionally invested, or sitting on the edge of my seat worrying about what's going to happen next. The perfect beach read is something you can get invested in but still be fine putting down when it's time to go splash in the water. And no, they don't need to be set at the beach (though summer and vacation themes *are* fun!) They do tend to be somewhat shorter (no Game of Thrones books here!) and mass market paperbacks are perfect for slipping into your purse or beach bag and taking with you on-the-go (sorry, hardcover new releases - not today!) Thrillers also work well for this purpose. Again, these are my own personal opinions on what I consider to be a beach read.

Here are some great books that I consider excellent beach reads:


And because what fun is the beach without a book to make you terrified to go into the water...:

Do you think "beach reads" are a thing? What type of book is a "beach read" to you? Recommend a great beach read in the comments!!

Cover Reveal: Mewranters - Attack of the Sea Monster by Kachi Ugo


Mewranters – Attack of the Sea Monster
Kachi Ugo
Publication date: November 6th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Middle-Grade, Young Adult
If there are no sea monsters ravaging the seven seas, or three-headed hydras prowling our streets, it’s not because they don’t exist; it’s because we exist.
We are the last line of defense against nature’s indiscretions.
We are nature’s police.
We are Mewranters.

When Perry Johnson hits twelve, he finds out he’s a Mew—an almost extinct species of people who possess the ability to change shape into three different forms: an aerial form, a terrestrial form, and an aquatic form.
On the day of his initiation, he shifts into a huge Golden Eagle. But this is a bad thing since no eagle Mew makes it past the age of twelve. To complicate his life, his shifting into an eagle Mew has reawakened the sea monster. A tentative partnership is formed between the different clans. But when Perry Johnson realizes that this partnership could mean the death of his parents, he has a decision to make.
With every Mew in the country out to kill him, and the sea monster calling him out to the sea, Perry must quickly learn why every Mew is threatened by the existence of an eagle Mew if he is to stand a chance at saving his parents and killing the monster. If he fails, it may very well be the end of his family…and the rest of the world.


Author Bio:
My whole life has evolved around writing. I started writing stories when I was about seven years old. Then, of course, the stories I wrote were horrible: bland, uninteresting, and twist-less. When I was about ten years old, I dabbled into writing comics. Then, I would take my favorite cartoon characters, and I would draw stories around them. I would make these characters do and say whatever I wanted them to do and say. I enjoyed it! After filling my notebooks with these drawings, I would curl up on my bed in the night and read them to myself. It never failed to bring me joy.
When I hit twelve, I stopped writing comics and I started reading novels. While my mates still flipped through picture books and comics, I took an interest in thick-sized, picture-less “story books” that opened me up to a whole new world of possibilities and adventures. Then I would often finish a full-length fantasy novel in less than a week. It was about this time that I really started to write stories. I started with writing short stories in the universe of my most enjoyed series. Then as I developed as a writer, reading other writers’ works, I began to write stories in universes I created.
Now, I’m an avid reader and author of contemporary/epic fantasy. For me, writing is much more than a hobby. It’s a passion. I love writing, and I love readers!

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Cover Reveal: The Witch's Tower by Tamara Grantham (plus Giveaway!)


The Witch’s Tower
Tamara Grantham
(Twisted Ever After, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 11th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Gothel is a witch. Punished for the actions of her mother, her choice is simple: either she stands guard over Princess Rapunzel—or she dies. But just because a choice is easy doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. Protecting Rapunzel means watching as the princess lays trapped in a tower, bedridden by hair that is so long and heavy it’s slowly driving her insane. Gothel’s life has become one of imprisonment and solitude as well—until a prince and his handsome squire appear at the tower.
Only one object can cut Rapunzel’s hair and end the curse: a pair of magical shears. But the shears are guarded by the most terrifying witches in the land, who also happen to be Gothel’s aunts. As Gothel and the prince’s squire, Raj Talmund, work to form a plan, she finds herself more and more drawn to the mysterious young man from the Outerlands. Unfortunately, his destiny is far more dangerous than she wants to admit: to save a princess, he must kill the witch who’s been forced to guard her.
THE WITCH’S TOWER is the first in an inspired new series of fairy-tale retellings from award-winning fantasy author Tamara Grantham.


Author Bio:
Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon with over 200 five-star reviews.
Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Lamar University. She has been a featured speaker at multiple writing conferences, and she has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.
Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks--which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds--and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made. You can find her online at www.TamaraGrantham.com.

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Blog Tour: The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista (Excerpt, Giveaway)


The Boyfriend Bracket
Kate Evangelista
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
The only way to get over a hopeless crush is to find someone new…Enter: The Boyfriend Bracket!
Putting a new spin on a classic trope, Kate Evangelista explores family bonds, changing relationships, and senior year as our heroine tries to get over her brother’s best friend.
Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of―starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend, Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.
Or it seems like the perfect plan . . . right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?
The Boyfriend Bracket puts a new spin on a classic genre in a fun, unforgettable way.

Excerpt
“Ha. Ha. Not funny. Plus finally accepting the truth about Will does not a broken heart make.”
“But you’ve been in love with him since—”
“Crush,” she corrected. “I was in crush with him. Like you said, it was silly. Nothing more. And you will be happy to know that I have decided on Joey Esposito as my homecoming date for Friday.”
“You finally picked someone!” Franklin clapped. Then he moved to the board and crossed out Tommy’s name from the running.
“Might as well move forward, right? I like Joey. He’s fun to be around.” For their second date he had taken her on a hike around her favorite park in town. At sunset. And he had pre- pared a small picnic at the end. How could she not reward that with going to homecoming together?
“What about the other half of the bracket?” Franklin ges- tured to the other names. “Have you decided who goes to the semifinal?”
“Move Mike Cortez and Hector Villegas up.” She went back to work hand sewing the final details without looking at the board. “They are both solid four star, four heart guys.”
“You got it,” he said, adding the names to the next set of rectangles. “And this way Aaron can write a song about you, and he’ll become famous like Taylor Swift.”




Author Bio:
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with an Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full time and is based in the Philippines. To learn more about Kate, please visit her website at www.kateevangelista.com or follow her on Twitter @KateEvangelista

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Blog Tour: The Gorgon Bride by Galen Surlak-Ramsey (Excerpt, Review, Giveaway)


The Gorgon Bride  

Author: Galen Surlak-Ramsey  

Summary THE GODS ARE FUNNY. Except when you piss them off. Then they suck. They really, really suck. (Really). Alexander Weiss discovers this tidbit when he inadvertently insults Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, and she casts him away on a forgotten isle filled with statues. Being marooned is bad enough, but the fact that the island is also the home of Euryale, elder sister to Medusa, makes the situation a touch worse. The only thing keeping Alex from being petrified is the fact that Euryale has taken a liking to the blundering mortal. For now. What follows next is a wild, adventurous tale filled with heroes, gods, monsters, love, and war that is nothing short of legendary.


Excerpt
At 9:03 a.m., on a cold Tuesday morning, Alex would get his fifteen minutes of fame. In truth, his share would be closer to one minute; the orca would garner the other fourteen.
   
Alex’s neighborhood of exquisite prairie homes and Jaguar drivers was a whale-free zone. It always had been, and everyone expected it always would be. Thus, when Alex sat down at his Steinway grand piano to practice Chopin’s first ballade at 8:30, he considered the day to be routine. But when his doorbell rang a minute before nine, things changed.

Alex muttered a few curses and took to his feet. He opened the front door and felt a twinge to burn the heretic who had interrupted his worship service. Chopin, as far as Alex was concerned, was a god.

At the foot of his doorstep jogged a man of impeccable physique who had his index and middle fingers pressed into his neck. Before Alex could raise a hand to shield his eyes from an unusually bright sun, the man thrust a fancy looking clipboard into his chest. “Delivery for Alexander Weiss,” the man said. “Sign here.”

Alex hesitated. He took the board and examined the man. He wore a nondescript white uniform, sneakers, and ball cap that screamed athletic commercial. “Who exactly are you with?” Alex asked.
   
“With?” A puzzled look crossed the deliveryman’s face, as if the question had never been posed to him before.
   
“Yes, with. Who do you work for?” Alex looked at the man’s running shoes. The emblem on the sides looked vaguely familiar. “Nike?”
   
“Gods, no.” The man rolled his eyes. “I hate doing jobs for Nike. Always going on about triumphing over adversity. Thankfully, Olympus doesn’t have me at Nike’s beck and call.”
   
“Olympus, huh? Startup company?”
   
The man grinned. It was mischievous and the type of grin a child might give after thieving a cookie or two. “No, we’ve been around for a while.”
   
“Funny, never heard of you.”
   
“We’re from overseas. Closed shop for a bit.” The deliveryman peered around Alex. “Say, you’ve got a lot of nice stuff inside.”
   
Alex glanced over his shoulder. “Thanks.”
   
“Really nice.”
   
“Again, thank you.”
   
“Nicest on the block, by far. Care to part with any of it?”
   
“No, I’m afraid not.”
   
The smile on the man’s face grew. “Your neighbor said the same thing about her cookies. But I must say they are delicious. You should help yourself to some.”
   
“Mrs. Nemur gave you a homemade cookie?”
   
“Well, gave is such a strong word,” he said with a wink.


Review
This book is so clever and fun in this wry way. You can't help but feel kind of bad for poor Alexander Weiss... Athena drops a whale on his head and it just kind of gets worse from there for him. Then again, he's kind of an arrogant ass so there's a little bit of thinking he gets what's coming to him. I love the relationships between the Olympians, especially the rivalry between Athena and Ares. And OMG Kharon, LOL!

Alex got on my nerves some, and I'd have loved to seen more of Euryale. This was a fun, light read as long as you're not looking for it to be more than it is. I think fans of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Neil Gaiman's American Gods, and Terry Pratchett's Discworld books (especially Death in the Discworld books...) will be big fans of The Gorgon Bride by Galen Surlak-Ramsey. If any of those authors/series are your jam, or if you love lighthearted comedic romps featuring a cast of characters from Greek mythology, definitely check this one out!


Giveaway
Galen Surlak-Ramsey will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Check out the rafflecopter for how to win, and make sure to comment and visit the other stops on the tour to increase your chances of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Author 
When not writing, Galen Surlak-Ramsey has been known to throw himself out of an airplane, teach others how to throw themselves out of an airplane, take pictures of the deep space, and wrangle his four children somewhere in Southwest Florida.
He also manages to pay the bills as a chaplain for a local hospice.

Drop by his website https://galensurlak.com/ to see what other books he has out, what’s coming soon, check out the newsletter (well, sign up for the newsletter and get access to awesome goodies, contests, exclusive content, etc.)

http://www.goddessfish.com

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