Tag Archive | Contemporary Romance

Author Interview: Brandy Woods Snow

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Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star QB, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—but his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares, probably because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.

But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle.

They’re wrong.

Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.

Can love really exist if it’s all built on a lie?

 

Author Interview: Brandy Woods Snow, author of MEANT TO BE BROKEN (a Carolina Clay novel) released July 2018 from Filles Vertes Publishing

What was the inspiration for Meant to be Broken?
I originally wrote a prologue for MEANT TO BE BROKEN more than 12 years ago while sitting in a tiny, blue cubicle on my lunch break from a corporate job. I sent the file to my email where I let it sit until 2015 when I finally began writing the actual story. (Ironically that terrible prologue didn’t make the cut!) I guess my inspiration really came from something as simple as wanting to write a small-town love story. It was when I actually started writing that some of the underlying themes began to come out—the love/hate relationship with a small town; Southern culture and how it affects expectations of behavior; the thin line between truth and lies; and even religious undercurrents. Growing up in a place where everyone knows your name can be both comforting and constricting. I found my characters doing exactly what I was doing at the time of writing—stepping out of “my box” and embracing my true self. Some people support that, and some people don’t.

Do you have a favorite character in your book? Who and why?
Of course, I love both Rayne and Gage. They are so special to me (see how I talk about them like actual people?). If I have to choose, though, I’d say Rayne, for the simple fact that she reminds me so much of myself. She tries to be confident but the insecurities creep in; She has strong opinions but she’s afraid to voice them all the time; She says she doesn’t care what people think of her but she spends her life worrying what everyone will say. I like to think that while I was writing this, she and I grew up together and finally found our true selves.

Do you usually outline or just go with it?
The first draft of MEANT TO BE BROKEN was completely pantsted. I had an overall idea of what I wanted the main turning points to be, but that was pretty much it. After that first draft “wasn’t working” though, I took it back to basics and plotted out some new scenes and put it all into a very formulaic pattern. The flow and pacing improved significantly. It was a learning curve. As I write now, I plot most scenes and turning points with the plot and character advancement goals for each, but I can honestly say I’m not tied to anything. If I begin writing and a character begins pulling me in their own direction, I go. It’s more important to be true to the character and story than some random notecard I put together in the beginning.

Without me giving spoilers, did you always know who Rayne would end up with or did you question yourself at time?
I always knew it would be HIM.  I’m a bleeding heart romantic who fully believes that the decision your heart (not your head) makes is the right one—you know, that whole “love” versus “in love” thing. The guy Rayne chooses in the end is the one who knew her—all of her—and still wanted more. He wasn’t the popular choice, but he was her choice. Rayne had to learn to get herself and other people out of her own way to become the person she was meant to be in order for it to finally work. Sounds easy enough, right? But try growing up in a small town where everyone has an opinion. Sometimes it becomes a matter of “do I live their version of life?” or “do I live mine?” When Rayne finally makes that decision, the choice is clear.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Since age 4 when I read THE POKEY LITTLE PUPPY. It was the first book I ever read by myself, and I was sold on the wonder of books. At age 6, I begin typing out stories on a typewriter and illustrating them. I dabbled in poetry a bit in elementary school and wrote several emotionally-charged pieces about navigating bullies in high school. I majored in English and Writing at Clemson, though I pursued a journalism focus since everyone warned me that you can’t expect to make a living writing books. I’ve worked in corporate communications, marketing, and magazine writing/editorial for nearly 18 years now but the desire to write a novel never left me. In 2015, I moved that dream off the back burner, and here we are today.

What’s your favorite book you’ve read this year? And what’s your favorite book ever?
My favorite book I’ve read this year has to be WORDS IN DEEP BLUE by Cath Crowley because it deals with true love finding its way back after so many emotional hurdles. And who doesn’t adore love letters?
I have two favorite books of all time: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (obviously) and THE GRAPES OF WRATH. I’ve always adored these books and now, looking back, I can guess why. One deals with finding love and one deals with emotional suffering and finding your way as a family through various trials. Both are right up my alley.
What future books do you have planned next?
I’m currently writing Book 2 in the Carolina Clay series, which will focus on the rejected brother and his HEA/HFN.
I’m also querying another completed YA contemporary romance as we speak and have put down extensive notes and a rough first chapter on “the book of my heart” that deals heavily with an issue close/dear to me. I’m being intentionally vague here because right now, I’m keeping it under wraps. 

If you could live in any year or another fantasy world, what would it be?
I’ve always thought it would be so much fun to live in the 1950s and 60s with all the big hair-dos and drive-ins and rock and roll music. Maybe that’s from listening to a crap-ton of oldies growing up? LOL

I know you’re a Southern girl, what’s your favorite part about it?
The lifestyle. I feel like I have the best of all worlds here. From big city to rural backroads, you can go from one extreme to the other in a matter of miles. The food. The weather. The fact that strangers still wave to each other and say hello. The unique places. My biggest dream is to drive cross-country and see everything America has to offer, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the South (and more specifically, South Carolina) is my home and my heart.

What’s your favorite color?
I have two, blue (any hue) and orange (Clemson Tiger orange, to be specific!).

If you were trapped on an island with one person, one object, and one food, what would they be?
This is so easy—my husband, notebooks (and pens!), and macaroni and cheese (not the box variety but the good Southern kind in a casserole dish).

Do you have any advice for other writers out there?
There are four points of advice I always tell writers, and I don’t foresee this ever changing.
1. Find your tribe
Critique partners are the bee’s knees, y’all! Don’t trust yourself to see all the mistakes and plot holes in your own work because it’s not going to happen. The book you’re writing is already in your brain but you cannot see if you’re translating it to the paper efficiently. Fresh eyes make all the difference. Find a core group of honest, talented CP’s and your writing life will change for the better!
2. Read in your genre
Please do this. You want to learn how to show and not tell? Read. You want to know how to develop character voice? Read. You want more information on building character motivation? Read. See what other authors are doing. See what publishers are looking for. Gather all this great information while also taking in a great story, and then use that to hone your own craft. Gold mine!
3. Throw away limitations
You know that whole quote about “dance like no one’s looking”? Well, modify that to “write like no one’s looking.” I can’t tell you how many times in the beginning I found myself censoring my own words because someone I knew might not like what I was saying. For real, y’all. There goes those weight of expectations again, thrown all over your shoulders. Brush that junk off and write what’s in your heart. Quit caring if Aunt “sew and sew” will banish you to Hell or tell the Ladies League about your “free-wheeling” style. WRITE.WHAT.YOU.WANT.
4. Persevere
You’re going to want to give up. You’re going to feel defeated, rejected, worn out, and sometimes unloved. It’s a part of the whole experience. But this is your dream. Remember that when the sucky stuff happens. And just like I tell my kids, “Any dream worth having is worth fighting for.” It’s not going to be easy…it’s not supposed to be. If it were easy, everyone would do it. You are not “everyone.” You’re an author, so get back up and see this through!

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About Brandy:

Brandy Woods Snow is an author and journalist born, raised and currently living in beautiful Upstate South Carolina. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Writing from Clemson University. While creative writing has always been her first love, the media has been her home for more than 17 years, during which time she has built a strong platform that includes articles in Delta Sky, Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly, and Home Design & Décor magazine (Charlotte, Raleigh). She has also worked in corporate communications, public relations and business development for international and regional companies. Her first novel Meant To Be Broken, the first book in the Carolina Clay series, was published by Filles Vertes Publishing in July 2018.

When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her military husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.

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Author Interview: Moriah Chavis

Check these out on Swoon Reads!

 

What kind of books do you write?

I’ve written in different genres, but I’ve found my niche in contemporary YA. I love to experiment with my writing, so I have lots of different ideas. But there’s always a romance!

Do you outline or just go with it?

My writing style has changed and evolved. In past manuscripts, I’ve been a “pantser” (just went with it). With my current WIP, I outlined it first. It really helped focus the story, this one specifically. It changes story to story, though.

What’s your favorite book you have written? Tell us a little about it.

Every book I’ve written has a special place in my heart. I love the one I’m currently working on. It’s a tie between a manuscript titled The Way to Grace and this one!

What do you find to be the hardest thing about writing? The best thing?

That first page. The first page is always daunting. It’s so blank! The best part of writing is hitting that grove, where you know the story is going somewhere. I really start to believe in a story at around 30K-40K.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer, and when was the first time you wrote a story?

Twelve-years-old. I finished my first novel-length story at eighteen.

What’s your favorite book you’ve read this year? And what’s your favorite book ever?

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

It’s a toss up between Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (really anything she writes) and My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

You also have a Bookstagram account on Instagram. What are your favorite kinds of pictures to take? Inspiration?

I love #copythatcover! Meredith of @fromlibrarywithlove is a huge inspiration and so sweet. I also love @latenightreading, @erinsummerill, and @pink_eye_pro.

When you take Bookstagram pictures, do you take them daily or a bunch at one time?

I usually take them one day at a time. Sometimes I don’t have time for this, so I miss a day. But my pictures are better, I’ve found, if I don’t stockpile them.

What’s your favorite color?

My favorite color changes with my mood! I love red, blue, green, purple! I love purple right now.

Do you have any advice for other writers out there?

Keep going. It’s a never-ending process, but it’ll be worth it (I hope) in the end. You meet wonderful people along the way and get to develop your craft. Every story is a story worth discovering.

 

Author bio: 
As long as she has a book in her hand, her Nikon around her neck, or her laptop nearby, Moriah is happy. She holds a Liberal Arts degree from the University of South Carolina and loves talking literature. Currently, she’s a graduate student at USC working on her Masters in Library and Informational Science. If not being crushed by her cat, she loves being outdoors and sometimes goes for a run. And yes, a turtle passed her a few miles back.
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Review: Meant to be Broken

Title: Meant to be Broken

Author: Brandy Woods Snow

Date of Publication: July 2nd 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star QB, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—but his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares, probably because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.

But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle.

They’re wrong.

Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.

Can love really exist if it’s all built on a lie?

My Review:

Contemporary is always tricky tricky for me because most of them I just can’t truly get into. However, this book had me coming up with all kinds of emotions—aww, I want to throw this book at the wall, these characters are stressing me out, puppy dog eyes, and more!!

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Yes, for all you love triangle haters, usually me included, there is one—but it makes sense. You know right off the bat who Rayne likes. And it makes you think well, sometimes you just meet the wrong person first, and instead of stay with them, there should be a way to change that—even if it’s his brother.

Gage was pretty awesome, and I loved the chemistry between him and Rayne. Preston, I went back and forth with that boy! Actually, there were aspects all throughout the story where all the characters were stressing me out! And this was good stressing out! Because I prayed and hoped the journey would end well, but I just never knew! I’ll keep the spoilers out!

Overall, a great book and loved the addiction of it. I’d love to read more from this author and can’t wait to see what she does next!

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How does this book sound to you?

Moonlight Seduction: Blog Tour

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Moonlight Seduction: A de Vincent Novel from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout is available NOW!

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The de Vincent brothers are back—and so is the intrigue that surrounds them—in New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s sizzling new novel . . .

Nicolette Bresson never thought she’d return to the de Vincents’ bayou compound. It’s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up . . . and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki’s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected—especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki’s space as much as possible.

Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He’d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he’s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman . . . one who’s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe—and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.

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Download your copy today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2GiWCeo

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/MoonlightSeduction

iBooks: https://apple.co/2p38gCM

Nook: http://bit.ly/2Dn6v7B

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2p4hHlm

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2FBrHIW

Excerpt:

He moved forward, maybe a foot or two, but stopped like one would if they were approaching a rabid dog. A heartbeat passed. “Your hair . . .” He tilted his head to the side. “It’s different.”

“Yeah, it is.” Her hair used to be a rather dull medium brown, but then she found this amazing hair stylist in Tuscaloosa and turned her brown hair into this array of blondes and browns, using some weird technique called balayage. “It’s basically just highlights and stuff.” “Stuff.”

His gaze flickered over the bun. Uncomfortable, she scanned the kitchen. “And my hair is longer. A lot longer.”

His brows lifted.

Was she really telling him the length of her hair? This was the most strained conversation she’d ever had in her life. And that was, well, it was sad. She peeked at him. It used to not be this way. Back before . . . well, before she ruined everything, he’d be teasing her and asking about her college. He’d be talking to her like he could actually stand being in the same room with her.

She needed this conversation to be over like it was yesterday and she also needed to figure out how she could work here and not run into Gabe. The house was big enough that it should be possible. “I need to get back to—”

“Planting your face against the over door?”

Her shoulders slumped. “Actually, I need to finish the potatoes. So, if you’ll excuse me.” She started to turn away, praying that he’d just leave.

“That’s it? That’s all you have to say to me? Because I have a lot I need to say to you,” he said. “Never in a million years did I think I’d see you here again.”

Nikki’s spine stiffened like steel had been poured into it. Oh God. Her throat spasmed.

“We need to talk.”

“No we don’t,” she said quickly. “We do not need to talk about anything.”

“Bullshit,” he snapped, and his voice was so much closer that she turned to him on instinct.

Gabe was now at the edge of the massive island, only two or three feet from her. She stepped back into the counter. Her heart thundered in her chest as her gaze flicked to the kitchen door.

“No one is coming near here,” he said as if reading her mind. Her gaze flew back to his. “Dev is in his office on the second floor, in a meeting and your father is out with the landscaper. No one is going to hear us.”

A weird mixture of sensations assaulted her. One was a chill that skated down her spine. The other was a tight, hot shiver that danced over her skin.

Gabe kept coming at her, not stopping until he was right in front of her, separated by a few inches. She sucked in air, catching the crisp, clean scent of his cologne. It reminded her of storms, of that night.

That was the last thing she wanted to be reminded of.

Like his brother, he was a good head and then some taller than her, so right now, her eyes were fastened to his chest.

Thank God he was wearing a shirt.

“I . . . I don’t want to talk,” she managed to say.

“I do.”

“Gabe—”

“You owe me this.”

Her body jerked as she pressed her lips together. He was right. She owed him a conversation. “Okay.”

There was another beat of silence and then he asked in a voice so low she almost didn’t believe she heard him right.

“Did I hurt you that night?”

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My Review:

I always feel like I’m coming home when I read Armentrout’s books. They are always addicting. And I love characters she writes with A+ personality. I actually liked this one better than Moonlight Sins, and as usual, there was plenty of swoon.

What I liked best about this one was the slow build up between Gabe and Nikki. There wasn’t kissing or anything until farther in the book, although there was plenty of attraction and cute moments. I thought the relationship between Gabe and Nikki was better in this one because they had known each other before. I always love those circumstances. Also, there was some good drama!

I will say, the book did sort of feel long and could have been cut a bit. But that’s about it. Now, I’m still curious about Devlin’s book because he’s been my favorite brother since the first book, so I’ll have to see what happens to him!

Start the Series Today!

Moonlight Sins (de Vincent series, book 1)

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2v8VLen

Amazon Universal: https://mybook.to/moonlightsins

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Audible: http://amzn.to/2DJB1JZ

About Jennifer L. Armentrout

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Charles Town, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more. She is also the creator and sole financier of the annual Write Your Way To RT Book Convention, a contest that gives aspiring authors a chance to win a fully paid trip to RT Book Reviews.

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Connect with Jennifer L. Armentrout:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferLArmentrout

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JLArmentrout

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennifer_l_armentrout/

GoodReads: http://bit.ly/1DiIjRa

Stay up to date with Jennifer by joining her mailing list today: https://bit.ly/2qBce5m

https://jenniferlarmentrout.com

 

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Review: One Small Thing

Title: One Small Thing

Author: Erin Watt

Date of Publication: June 26th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.

My Review:

Erin Watt has such entertaining books. This one was the deepest and possibly my favorite. A guy accidentally killed a girl’s sister and three years later she falls in love with him. How could that ever work out was my first thought?

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I loved Beth, really loved her. The way she grieved felt real because it was basically the way I have grieved over deaths. Just because one isn’t a huge crier doesn’t mean they are affected any less inside their heads.

Chase, Chase, Chase. I wanted to shake him … a lot! What happened was horrible but it wasn’t on purpose. And he needed hugs … a bunch of them. But from Beth’s parents perspective I get it, that was their other baby. But from an outside perspective it’s much easier to see both sides of the coin.

This book was not full of lust like a lot of their other books. It was one that made me think, gave me emotions, and as hard as it is sometimes to do—forgiveness is the best option. If these two authors could write something like this together, I can’t wait to see what they have next!

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Stuck on Vacation with Ryan Rupert: Excerpt + Giveaway

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Goodreads Summary:

Aubany Winters’ life soon becomes a nightmare when her Mom gets cancer and has to leave for California with her Dad. Left with her neighbours, the Ruperts, and to her displeasure, their son Ryan, she finds herself forced to tag along on their family vacation to Nula Island. There’s just a few problems, like her fear of the ocean, her and Ryan’s mutual hatred for each other, and the psycho girl who is trying to kill them.

Will Aubany overcome her fears? Will she and Ryan ever stop hating each other? Or will their flaws and disagreements lead them right into the enemy’s hands?

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

A Holiday From Hell

Summer vacations are supposed to be fun. They’re supposed to be filled with memories of friends and first loves and the relief of being completely free of schoolwork. But clearly someone or something (I personally blamed the Fates) had decided to ruin mine by sticking me on an island for six weeks.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: what is wrong with this girl? It’s summer, and islands are the perfect place to enjoy the sunny days and clear skies that summer brings! They’re filled with surf, sand, exploring, and activities. And that’s all great if you’re someone else.

But not if you’re me.

For me, an island is the equivalent of hell. I have a colossal fear of the ocean, and the thing about islands is, well, they’re kind of surrounded by water. And if you aren’t up for ocean-related activities then, well, what good is being on an island? What good is summer vacation if it means leaving all my wonderful friends and spending six weeks trapped with my sworn enemy?

Who’s my sworn enemy, you ask? Maybe I should start at the beginning.

It was a beautiful, early summer morning in Tallahassee, Florida. I was very happily skipping through the morning television programs in the family room, lazing around, and preparing myself for a day of chillaxing. But that all changed as soon as my parents entered the room.

“Aubany, we need to talk to you,” my father said. He turned the television off, and faced me. His expression was grim; his eyes lacked their usual twinkle, and his mouth was pulled into a thin line. That made me realise it was serious. They sat down with me and proceeded to tell me the worst news of my life.

“Your mother has cancer,” Dad said. That sentence alone took me a few moments to process.

“What?” I said weakly. My Mom had cancer? My beautiful, kind and caring Mom? These kinds of things, they didn’t happen to people like her . . . right?

Looking at her now, she looked anything but sick. Her fair skin had a healthy glow, her red hair cascaded over her shoulders, and her green eyes sparkled even though, right now, they seemed sad.

My grandmother told me that Mom had looked the mirror image of me in her youth.

“I don’t understand,” I said slowly, trying to get my bearings. “What kind of cancer? How did this even happen?”

“Sweetie,” Mom said gently, putting her hand over mine, “Everything is going to be okay. It’s stage two breast cancer, and I’m going to be flying to California to see a specialist.”

“A specialist?” I repeated, feeling numb. That sounded daunting.

“I’ve been getting regular check-ups, but this came on so suddenly, and the doctor here referred us to a professional who has more experience with this kind of thing. We do have a history of cancer in the family, but it’s been quite rare and unpredictable along our generations. So, the specialist is going to try and figure out exactly what genes in our family history might be triggering it.”

I swallowed hard, blinking back tears. She had to fly all the way to California just for that? And since when did we have a family history of cancer? I’d never heard either of my parents mention it. Did that mean I was going to get cancer too?

I had so many questions, but before I could ask any more, Dad chimed in,

“I’ll be going with her.”

The way he said it implied that I wasn’t coming.

“What about me?” I asked, frowning. Did they plan on leaving me behind?

“We don’t have the money to pay for all of us to go, Honey,” Dad said. “We know you want to be there, but your mother and I need to do this on our own.”

“Then what am I going to do?” I asked, and I could feel the hysterics building. Not only were they leaving me behind, but I felt like I was being excluded, information wise.

“Well, your Aunt Celeste is busy. She can’t take you in. And the cousins are a bit too far away. We can’t afford to send you to them either. So we’ve asked the Ruperts for a favour.”

“The Ruperts?” I repeated. They were our neighbours. Josh and Renee were nice enough people, and they had always been very kind to me. Their son, however, was a different story altogether.

Their son was Ryan Rupert. He was a jerk, an ass, and pretty much every other bad thing under the sun. He was a nightmare to be around, and he hated me. Lucky for him, the feeling was mutual.

“The Ruperts have kindly agreed to look after you while we’re gone,” Dad said.

“Oh, great. I don’t have to live in their house, do I?” I asked. I really didn’t want to have to see Ryan every day. “I mean, I can just stay here – right? They can just pop in from time to time and check on me. I can cook my own meals, and buy my own food. I can get a summer job.”

I’d been trying to convince my parents to let me get a job for years now. I’d not long turned 17, and I was eager to start earning some money of my own. Melissa had been working at the record store in town for the past year, and she seemed way more mature because of it. But my parents had insisted that school should come first, and had worried that my grades would suffer with the addition of a job.

“No, Honey, it’s more complicated than that,” Mom said. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving you on your own. What if something happened? And besides, the Ruperts won’t be able to check in on you every day because they aren’t going to be here.”

“What do you mean?” I asked slowly.

“The Ruperts already have a vacation planned,” Dad said. “And you’ll be going with them.”

“A vacation?” I exclaimed, horror stricken. “Where?”

“To an island. Nula Island,” Dad said.

This could not be happening. I had to give up my summer vacation, miss out on all the parties my friends were going to throw, to be on some island with my sworn enemy?

This was so unfair, and not just because of that reason. My Mom was sick with cancer. Cancer! Of all the things she could be sick with, and my parents were forcing me to tag along on the Ruperts’ family vacation rather than be at her side?

No way. I wasn’t going to go.

“You can’t make me do that. Come on, you know how I feel about Ryan!” I protested. “And besides, I’m terrified of the ocean. How will I survive on an island?”

“Aubany, please,” my Dad said softly. “Don’t argue. It’ll upset your mother.”

I ignored his words. “Upset Mom? What about me? Aren’t I allowed to be upset? You do realise what you’re asking me, right? You think this is easy for me? To accept that Mom has cancer? To accept that I can’t be with her for the next six weeks? To accept that I’m going to be stuck with Ryan Rupert? You want me to just nod and say it’s all okay?”

“This isn’t easy for us either, Aubany,” Mom said, looking hurt now. She seemed to understand me completely, and I realised they really had no choice but to do this.

“But . . . isn’t there another way?” I said, my voice wavering. Maybe I couldn’t stay with my parents, but surely the Ruperts weren’t the only other option. “Can’t I stay with someone else? What about Melissa?” I asked, desperate to dig my way out of this. Melissa was my best friend. Surely I could stay with her, right?

“We’ve known the Ruperts since you were very little. They are more than happy to look after you. But to ask that of someone else’s parents would be too much. We’re going to be gone for a long time, and we don’t know when we’ll be back. It would be unfair to put this on Melissa’s parents,” Dad said.

I was out of ideas. I felt sort of surreal. I couldn’t believe this was happening.

I knew it seemed so stupid to whine about a six-week vacation when my Mom was sitting beside me gravely ill with a disease she could possibly die from. But it wasn’t fair, and I just couldn’t stop thinking of all the horrible ways this summer could go wrong. I hated Ryan Rupert with every fibre of my being, and having to be stranded on an island with him for six weeks was a nightmare in every sense of the word. Being his neighbour was bad enough. He had already found plenty of ways to annoy and taunt me just by living next to me. On an island there would be no escape. I’d have nowhere to run.

“We’re sorry, but this is the only way. We’ll call you all the time to tell you how things are going,” Dad promised. Mom got up and left, and Dad began to follow her. He stopped before leaving the room and said, “Try not to let this get to you. The Ruperts had a room available so they are kindly paying for you. Try and make the best of it. It’s summer, and you get to spend it on an island for free!”

I really wished I could look at this from an optimistic point of view, but nothing was optimistic where Ryan Rupert was involved.

To make matters worse, I hardly had any time to prepare myself emotionally for the trauma this whole experience was going to bring me.

Amazon Pre-order: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07CT3SD43

Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30167247-stuck-on-vacation-with-ryan-rupert

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About the Author:

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P.S.Malcolm (Pagan) grew up in Proserpine, Queensland— a small, Australian country town on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. She was a storyteller from a young age and spent years perfecting her craft. 

For two years, she juggled waitressing in tourist-filled coffee shops while undertaking two degrees in Creative Writing online— one specializing in children’s fiction and publishing. She has always had an interest in writing, but never saw herself working in the industry until she made the choice to self-publish her debut novel, Stuck On Vacation With Ryan Rupert. Realizing that she loved the process of publishing her book, she pursued an internship at a publishing house and snagged a spot as Pen Name Publishing’s Marketing Assistant. 

In between interning and writing, Pagan opened her first business working as a freelance Marketing Strategist for Paperback Kingdom— which helps indie authors with all aspects of their author careers.

Pagan also enjoys reading— particularly fantasy and paranormal— and is a passionate blogger. She reviews books that she has read on her personal website. Some of her favourite and most influential authors include Amanda Gernentz Hanson, A.G. Howard, Marissa Meyer and Michele Jaffe.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPM/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p.s.malcolm/

Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPM/

Giveaway!

Giveaway info + entry: https://psmalcolm.com/stuck-on-vacation-with-ryan-rupert-re-release-giveaway/

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Review: Moonlight Seduction

Title: Moonlight Seduction

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Date of Publication: June 26th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Nicolette Bresson never thought she’d return to the de Vincents’ bayou compound. It’s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up… and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki’s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected—especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki’s space as much as possible.

Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He’d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he’s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman… one who’s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe—and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.

My Review:

I always feel like I’m coming home when I read Armentrout’s books. They are always addicting. And I love characters she writes with A+ personality. I actually liked this one better than Moonlight Sins, and as usual, there was plenty of swoon.

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What I liked best about this one was the slow build up between Gabe and Nikki. There wasn’t kissing or anything until farther in the book, although there was plenty of attraction and cute moments. I thought the relationship between Gabe and Nikki was better in this one because they had known each other before. I always love those circumstances. Also, there was some good drama!

I will say, the book did sort of feel long and could have been cut a bit. But that’s about it. Now, I’m still curious about Devlin’s book because he’s been my favorite brother since the first book, so I’ll have to see what happens to him!

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