Saturday, April 5, 2014

This is NOT Goodbye...

(Visit me @ Bookish)

  Well, this is a day that I did not for one second see coming.  I am so sad to be writing this post and honestly I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it for quite some time.  In fact it took telling someone that would remind me if I didn't to get this done.  However, as you read this please remember this is not goodbye!!  This is I will see you later... An extended vacation if you will.

  My Indie Girl March event is the event I look most forward to the entire year.  I LOVE indie authors and honestly they are the ones that keep me going.  The things is they kept me going through the month of March but at times it was a lot.  Not because of them (as I said they kept me going), but because of all of the other stresses I have had in my life... 
  In March Adam's father got ill.  I spent the better part of a week at a hospital where we found out his cancer returned...  This took a lot out of me and my family.  We know he will beat it but it is still not easy to take in.  This made me realize how easily everything can change...
Which brings me to:
 Turns out school is only getting harder.  This semester was supposed to be easier on us but there was an increase in papers.  Like lengthy papers that took up more time than I wished they had... Now as much as it irritates me I must give a little.  I was blogging here and on the amazing Bookish.  There is a team of us there and I have been letting them down.  I have not posted in a few months (2-3 shame on me), and I think at this point being where there is constant support will help me out. 

  So, all of the giveaways here will remain on and the winners will still be drawn and sent off to the authors.  My giveaway that has winners drawn from awhile back will be contacted in the next week or two, so I can get them their prizes sent out asap! If you are an author that I have worked with before I would be overjoyed that you allow me to continue on with me over on Bookish.  

  I do intend once school is done and life is settled to return here but please visit me on Bookish, as I will miss you all!! 

*Tears*  This is not goodbye...

Monday, March 31, 2014

*Review* First Kiss by Ann Marie Frohoff + INT Signed PB GIVEAWAY!

I am so happy to have this book be the last of the reviews for this month because
it was beyond amazing and I am happy to have something so spectacular to finish
this great event with!! Please give a warm welcome to Ann Marie Frohoff!!!!

Release Date:  June 11, 2013
Published By:  AMF Publishing
Length:  417 pages
Review Copy: pdf. for honest review in event

Add to Goodreads

Buy It:

  About an up and coming teenage rocker on the verge of stardom, when the girl next door becomes something more; they're forced to face the harsh realities on his road to fame and the expectations of their friends and family. Sacrifices are made as everything changes as they know it.

  This book was original, well written and will steal your heart.  Frohoff, has designed a book with music and the beauty and tragedy of love at its center.  It's hard to describe everything this book will make you feel or how it will capture your attention, because it does it so naturally you will never even notice that it has happened until you have to put it down.  To top it all off, it is hard to put down.  It has been almost two weeks since I read this book, and everything still sits as clear as day in my mind.  The book still makes me think and flashes to scenes that I wish could be written in favor of the characters that had so much against them but know they also made the book what it is.

  There is so much to say about this original plot.  When I said that music and love are at the heart of it, I meant it literally.  This talented and passionate author had lyrics to songs specifically written for her characters.  Seeing I have the soundtrack, I can her the beauty and tragedy of what the love these two have for each other caused.  However, you don't need the actual sound track to appreciate these songs because they are written right into the book!! Never have I seen this.  Every author has an idea of a soundtrack for their book, but to have one written really brought everything to light.  Then there is the wonderfully paced plot to add to it all.  The progression of everything works beautifully and nothing happens too quickly or is inappropriate.  The story, the pacing, the originality all made this read easy to enjoy.

  Alyssa is a really sweet girl.  She is the embodiment of the girl next door and yet she is more.  At the age of fourteen she has yet to experience what a relationship really is, and is not the girl that drools over every boy.  However, do not mistake her for naive, because she knows what boys and girls do and she knows what expectations can be held in a relationship.  I liked that she was for the most part written as a teen though.  Her parents expect a lot of her and the boys thing is out of the question, making it difficult to see Jake... difficult, not impossible.  She makes the choice to use sleeping over at friends houses and sneaking out after everyone is asleep to go next door to visit Jake.  You can't tell me that you never had a friend cover for you or snuck anywhere when you were a teen!  So although she was sweet and inexperienced, she had a general idea of what others believed was the norm.

  The relationship between Alyssa and Jake was really sweet but became intense quickly.  This is not actually a bad thing though.  It became intense but they for the first while remained intense friends.  The biggest reason for this was the age difference.  Alyssa is fourteen and Jake is seventeen.  Now for whatever reason it may be the three year difference doesn't mean anything if it is an seventeen year old dating a twenty year old but everyone flips out the other way around.  I would like to take this time to point out that Jake understood the experience difference and never really snuck anything more than kisses.  He was a complete sweetheart with her and not once pushed her into something greater than would be acceptable.  I really appreciated that this was done and even when Alyssa wanted more, Jake slowed it down because he didn't want her to have regrets.  Their need for each other and the tragic outcome of everything, really gave me something to think about.

  This book is original and thought provoking in so many ways.  The lyrical addition to it just gives it such an edge, that I don't even know where to start with it.  Then you bring on the NA that is more of a mature YA read.  I guess it's kind of like a pathway book, you can consider it either of these categories.  I am seriously anxious to read book two and see where this all goes because the ending just about tore me apart.  For a 417 page book, this read still didn't feel like enough because I was just left wanting more of this unique story and phenomenal writing.  Pick this one up if you are a fan of contemporary, or want something that can ease you into the NA world.

About the Author

Ann Marie Frohoff 
Ann Marie ("Annie") Frohoff grew up in sunny Southern California. As a teen and young adult she spent her time frequenting and living in nearly every beachside city up and down the coast. She settled in Hollywood at 19 working in film and TV. Soon her itch to keep moving took over again, taking her to Hawaii for a time and then back to LA.

She’s now settled in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Her wanderlust and propensity to live life out loud has brought her many life experiences so many of us only dream about. Always the storyteller, it would be of no surprise to those who grew up with Annie, that she made the transition into a book and screenplay author. You could say that she woke up one day and had an epiphany, deciding to go to school for screenwriting. It’s with this inner fire she set out to write her first screenplay. Soon after, such work made it into the hands of an agency creative executive who challenged her to write a novel to support the complex ensemble cast of characters she’d created. Thus, after only a couple of years and many hours on the road immersing herself in her subject matter; her edgy modern day "Walk The Line meets John Hughes Classics” debut novella, SKID OUT, has been completed, along with the first installment in her Trilogy. SKID OUT is the prequel novella to the HEAVY INFLUENCE TRILOGY.

The first installment in her Heavy Influence Trilogy, FIRST KISS, is set to release June 11th 2013 — The series is a story about young, reckless love between a rising rock star and his younger muse, spanning 10 years of their tumultuous and passionate relationship. Each book in the Trilogy will come with a soundtrack of original music, of which the lyrics will appear in the pages of the books. (Alternative Rock Genre).

Annie has now also delved into the supernatural fantasy world with her writing partners Shaun Barger and songwriter/musician Matthew Reich. Taking inspiration directly from song lyrics and building an entire realm of vastly complex characters and plot lines; weaving history, fantasy and heavy doses of romance together. You will be kept turning the pages of “The Zodiac Wars: My Gemini” novellas and “Precious Metal: The Prince and the Gypsy” book series. Both series of books are currently in development.

Find Her:

So amazingly LUCKY PEOPLE, one of you will win a SIGNED copy
of First Kiss and... and the ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK!!  Oh yes!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

*Review* Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown + Giveaway

Not a single person should miss the chance to read ANYTHING by this
author!!!  She blew me away to the point that I can tell you my review 
is no where good enough for this book! 

Release Date:  February 13, 2013
Published By: Twisted Fairy Publing
Length:  298 pages
Review Copy:  Mobi. provided by Author for honest review

Add to Goodreads

Buy It:

Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.

Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.

When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.

Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.

  This review is going to be brief because after writing it several times, and realizing I had spoilers throughout, I decided I had to just keep to the basics.  Why was there constant spoilers you ask... Well it is because this book blew my mind!  Stacey Marie Brown is a flipping literary genius you guys and I devoured this book and was left begging for more.  Basically I should have picked up book two already.  

  When it came to the plot and the pacing, I really have nothing negative to say.  There is never a dull moment right from the start and just when you think your questions have been answered, something new is presented.  For the most part I actually didn't even predict anything, and the few things I did I would like to chalk up to the fact that I am just clever.  I also found that the lines of good and bad were fairly blurred, which I really enjoy when an author can do this well.  

  Ember was the typical outcast, that people shunned because of her differences, except for a select few.  If I am telling you honestly, I thought she was going to be like every other misfit... She wasn't.  Ember ended up being so different and I loved her.  I felt sorry for her at the same time because nobody ever bothered to tell her why she could go all Carrie if she didn't keep her emotions in check.  Also, she is never really sure who she should trust and who she shouldn't.  Heck I was never sure who was really on her side and who wasn't.  I want to believe the one is but once again: Not Sure!  Overall, Ember ended up being the type of character that you enjoy reading and look forward to reading more of.

  The romance part of this book is a little more tricky for me to describe and where most of my previous review problems stemmed from...  I will say that there are two guys but no triangle.  It's hard to make a triangle with one guy never really there and the other hot and cold 99% of the time.  This isn't saying that I didn't love what one of them had going and that I don't hope things work out because I do.  It also doesn't mean that I didn't love the romance because I did.  This is an entirely complicated thing for me to describe and not make you all think I didn't like it because it drew me to it like a moth to flame.

  Now I know this isn't short but it actually is compared to the first couple.  I had basically written a short story on why you should read these books.  They honestly are amazing, and this author oozes talent and awesome!  If you are looking for something that is different, exciting, has a romance that will leave your head spinning, I highly suggest this book.  Personally I am looking forward to more development in the romance area next book and am eager to get my hands on it!!!!!

  My repressed anger was reaching its crescendo.  Tormenting me was one thing.  My friends were off limits.  Rage, I normally tried to keep on a tight leash, started to break free.  The darkness that lived deep inside me and that I kept concealed from the world stirred.  Trying to find its way out of a cage, it was like a monster I couldn't control.
  The icy raindrops lashed out at my face, making mt tighten my hood as I headed to the bus stop for school on Monday.  Mark had watched my every move that morning, waiting to see if I would start licking windows or talk to the refrigerator.
  Was the earth trying to help keep me alive?  Funny, when you were about to die the things that would normally terrify you don't.  Deep down, I wasn't surprised that we, the earth and I, could feel each other's pains and joys.

  "Have you ever heard of the Tuatha Dé Danann?" Cole tilted his head as he spoke.

  And, finally, there goes Alice, down the rabbit hole...

About the Author
Stacey Marie Brown by day is an Interior/Set Designer, by night a writer of Paranormal Fantasy, Adventure, and Literary Fiction. She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. Even before she could write, she was creating stories and making up intricate fantasies. Writing came as easy as breathing. She later turned that passion into acting, living and traveling abroad, and designing. Though she had never stopped writing, moving back to San Francisco seemed to have brought it back to the forefront and this time it would not be ignored.

When she’s not writing she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing

Find Her:

 So because Stacey is AMAZING, 5 people will win their
choice of 1 ebook!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

*Review* The Druid's doorway by S.G. Daniels + Giveaway

I hope this review and book speaks for itself!  Welcome S.G. Daniels to 
Indie Girl March!!!

The Druid's Doorway

Release Date:   Date:December 14, 2013
Published By:  Author
Length:  334 pages
Review Copy: Mobi. provided for honest review

Add to Goodreads

Buy It:


Jake Reese thinks he’s just a screwed-up high school kid living in a small town isolated in the Arizona desert. Traumatized at an early age by his mother’s sudden death—and believing he might have had something to do with it—he’s allowed his guilt and lack of self-confidence to rule his life.

Hailey is the fiery little redhead that sees Jake as more than just a good friend. When she invites him as her date to a school function, it brings down the walls he's built to protect his heart, and sets off a series of events that threaten not only Jake’s life, but that of everyone around him.

The discovery of a portal on the outskirts of town brings Jake face-to-face with death and reveals a closely guarded secret about his mother. No longer is his memory of her the only thing that haunts him. Something evil from her past has escaped through the portal, and nothing will prevent it from trying to steal Jake’s future.

Can Jake overcome his fears to keep Hailey safe? Will the decisions he's forced to make destroy everyone he knows and loves?
And he strong enough to live with those choices?

  I was excited to start this one because you don't see druid's around the writing world often, and I am not sure why.  However, despite the name this was not as much about druids as I had hoped it would be.  On the other side I really believe that the way that this book was written, did not lack anything because of this.  In fact I think that between the writing and the fantasy bits tragically placed throughout, that I couldn't have been more happy with this book.

  Daniels did an amazing job capturing a concept that could carry a story and tie in the druid. She also did a wonderful job of writing in multiple voices.  Though the main voice was Jake to start, she easily added in Jessie, Hailey, and their father Gavin.  Being a lover of multiple POV, this really pulled me in because it was done absolutely wonderful!!  There was just so much unique about this read and the writing was beautiful and pacing done just right.  With this book I never felt like anything was put on pause or like someone had hit fast forward and I missed half.   There are twists that will make your jaw hang open and even a couple that may upset or make you angry like it did me.  However, it is in her ability to make me feel that I know I had some form of connection to the characters.

  Jake was a really sweet character.  Oh, he had his flaws like they all do and is blind as a bat when it come to Hailey to start but he is a good guy.  I enjoyed reading his POV and found that it was really easy to feel with him or for him.  He had a lot going on and so many things that he had never told anyone because of his fear of being crazy or something.  It's when reality hits home and his father tells him the most of what is going on that he sees all the pieces coming together.  It's also in this time that Hailey proved to be not just a teenage fluff.  She didn't freak out and was willing to stick with Jake.  Under normal circumstances I would say that the romance between these two simply grew too quickly to be enjoyable...normally.  Thing is in this read despite the quick advance, it didn't feel forced or sad, they had been friends for so many years that honestly it just felt right.  These two are unforgettable characters, as far as I am concerned.

  There is also Jessie (Jess), Jakes brother, Kase and the boys father, Gavin.  I know this seems like a lot of characters but really, truly, honestly Daniels used all of these characters to make the story richer.  All of these characters had a meaning and played their part.  I don't believe there were any small parts either because without any of these people there would have been a hole in everything I think.  Though I will admit I thought that Jessie was a little arrogant to start, it turned out he really wasn't and i was just jumping to conclusions.

  The Druid's Doorway is a unique and fast paced read.  I eagerly look forward to when this author next graces us with book two and more of the story.  After an ending like there was in this one, the loss and the growth, there is o doubt that it will be just as stunning and addictive as this read was.  Though this is highlighted as fantasy, I believe firmly that fantasy lovers and people that normally shy away from it will both love it!  I highly recommend you pick this awesome read up if you want something that you wont want to put down.

About the Author


S.G. Daniels lives in rural Central Illinois with her husband of thirty-one years, and two spoiled cats, Payne and Jenks. She works full-time in a local medical facility as a patient accounting refund specialist. Most of her evenings she can be found in front of her computer, working on story ideas, or learning the ins and outs of the writing world. On the weekends, if she’s not spending time outside, she’s usually found nose-deep in a book. When S.G. unleashes her inner daredevil, she usually takes off through winding timber trails or country roads on the ATV. Her weaknesses are iced tea and pretzels, especially when she’s working on a story.

1 LUCKY winner will get a Kindle copy of this baby!! I am 
beyond excited that one of you will get to share my love of this read!!

~Tour Stop~ Fever Pitch by Ann Marie Frohoff + Giveaway

FEVER PITCH (Heavy Influence, #1.5)
By Ann Marie Frohoff Release Date: March 25, 2014 Paperback, 150 pages Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Tough Issues / New Adult

 Desire? Definitely. Forever? Maybe.
When Jake and Alyssa's virtual affair peaks while his band tours Europe, Alyssa decides it's Jake that she wants for her 18th birthday. She surprises everyone, including Jake, with a planned trip to London.
After three years apart will it be everything they've both dreamed of? Alyssa is soon thrown into Jake’s stardom, delicate family matters and a side of him she's never seen before.



This is AMAZING!! Check out this awesome playlist!!!  I put it as a guestpost
but honestly it is WAY too awesome to be JUST a guest post... Enjoy guys and
let me know what you think of this line up!!!

“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” 
~Oscar Wilde

            Had I really nodded off, drool dripping out of the side of my mouth? Kill me, yes, I do. I quickly looked around to see if anyone noticed. Mr. Chapman, my Calculus teacher, looked like he was dozing off himself. His hand propped his head up. He’d allowed us the last half of class to study for our next exam. I could hear Nicole snickering while she kicked the back of my chair. I turned and glanced at her over my shoulder, frowning. Looking at the clock, I was relieved to see we only had fifteen minutes to go.
            Nicole kept tapping at the back of my seat and she whispered, loudly. “Late night?” She giggled. “How was the Skype sex?”
            Without turning around, I waved my hand at her, hoping she’d shut up. My eyes darted in every direction, hoping no one heard her. Geez. What the hell? Nicole Hamilton and I had been best friends since practically Kindergarten, and now we were finally seniors. I would be eighteen in six weeks and I had big plans. BIG plans.
I’d kept these secrets from everyone in my life, except Nadine. She was now attending Cal State Long Beach. Nadine Lewis was my rock, my confidant in every single way, much more so than Nicole. Nicole and I had never fully recovered our friendship to the level prior to my Jake meltdown. It was totally catastrophic, like movie shit, like put-me-in-the-loony-bin crazy, for real. People would pay to watch the shit that went down with Jake and I.
It was hard for me to believe Nicole’s sincerity, since she’d chosen sides (in a number of ways), and had decided not to hang out with me while I was chilling with my other dear (and gay) friend Marshall. Nicole had thought it would damage her rep if she hung out with him, since he was different. Even after apologies and tears, for two years we were distantly cordial to each other.
            The bell rang, shaking me from my memories. I bolted out of my seat, shoving past everyone. I was desperate to get home before my mother. I’d absentmindedly left the envelope that held the passport application documents, laying on the coffee table, along with the scribbled notes of where Jake was staying in London. I wasn’t ready for her or my dad to know about Jake being back in my life, and it would be immediately obvious what I was planning if she got a hold of that envelope.
            “Aly! Wait up,” Nicole hollered. “Dude, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.”
            I smiled. Nothing could upset me these days. “No worries. I just have to get home. I left something out in plain view I don’t want my mom seeing, yet.”
            “Dish! What?” Nicole shuffled alongside me and nudged my shoulder. 
            I slung my backpack over to the other side. “That passport application I told you about.”
            “Why would you care if she saw that? She has no idea what you’ve been up to. Just tell her you’re thinking ahead or something. Like we’re planning a graduation trip to Mexico.”
            “She wouldn’t care, really, but I stupidly wrote Jake’s address in London, and like an idiot, scribbled little hearts and his name over and over again all over the envelope.”
            Nicole laughed. “Aww, how cute.” She breathed in heavily, shaking her head. “I still can’t believe you guys are getting back together. I thought he had a girlfriend, that girl in all those pictures with him. What’s her name? Sophia something.”
            My heart lurched. I hated hearing her name. We strode through the parking lot to my car. “For the record, I don’t know if we’re getting back together. I have so many mixed emotions. Like, are we really right for each other? But I want to see him. I want to see how I feel when I’m with him. We’ve been talking for so long and so much has built up. You know, we kinda owe it to each other. And as far as this girlfriend, he says she’s more like a companion, and he told her that he couldn’t make any serious commitments.” I shrugged, trying to convince myself. “Who knows if he’s telling me the truth, but he’s never lied to me before.”
            Nicole tapped the window for me to unlock the passenger door. I slid into the driver’s seat. She huffed as she slammed the door shut. “Didn’t he lie to you about seeing that Eva chick, who he went on tour with?”
“No, he didn’t lie,” I sneered. “He just failed to mention it. That was a long time ago. I was a baby back then. Now I understand why he didn’t tell me.”
“You’re so lucky,” she murmured under her breath, almost like the thought slipped out by accident.
            “What?” Here we go. These were the types of comments that made me hold back confiding in her. Nicole always thought of things as a competition. I don’t think she’d ever realize how lucky and fortunate she was.
            “You’re going out with the hottest musician-rock star…in like…ages. I just can’t believe it’s Jake, of all freaking people. This is like the stuff you watch on E! True Hollywood Story.” She laughed. “And that you two are getting back together.”
            “Dude, we’re not getting back together.”
            “Uh, dude, yes you are. I can feel it in my bones.”
            Pulling up to my house, thankful that my mom wasn’t home from her volunteer job yet. I rushed through the door into the family room, and could see the manila envelope with the blazing red heart doodles practically beating. Picking it up, I looked over my shoulder like my mother would be standing there or something. On my eighteenth birthday, I would be first in line at the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard to turn in my passport application. My heart raced as I thought of Jake and how surprised he’d be when I told him he was what I wanted for my birthday.
            I sank down into the sofa thinking of what it would be like to touch his skin again and to feel his lips on mine. If it weren’t for our several nights a week Skype sessions, I wouldn’t believe it was real. He still wanted me after all these years. It bothered me that I couldn’t talk freely with Nicole about my feelings for Jake. Instead, I chose to stay on the surface with information. Maybe it was because if I admitted to too many people how I truly felt about Jake, they’d think I was losing my mind again.
            I looked up at the clock and it was three-thirty. I needed to talk to Nadine. I had to figure out how to tell my parents that I was going to see Jake. They had no idea that we’d been carrying on, since they’d thought it ended. Guilt rushed through my veins as I thought of how disappointed my dad would be. Ugh. Would he really be? I mean it’s not like Jake was some loser; he actually did make something of himself with his music and has stayed drug free. My dad should really be proud of Jake. 

            I sent a text to Nadine, asking her to come over as soon as possible.
            “So you’re gonna do it? For reals?” Nadine chomped hard on her gum like her life depended on it. She dropped her keys and purse on the floor next to the coffee table. “I’m thirsty. You’re giving me cotton mouth, making me all nervous for you.”
            My hands tingled thinking about it. “Yeah. I need to plant the seed, you know.” I sighed, covering my eyes. I could feel the blood pumping behind them. “How do you think I should do it? How do I go about telling them that Jake and I have been talking?”
            “Aly, you can’t really sugar-coat it. Just tell ’em how it is. You’re practically an adult. You’re going away to college soon. Speaking of, have you decided where? How many colleges did you apply to?”
            “Twenty, but two have already offered me a full ride. I have to make a choice, soon.”
            “Wow.” She said shaking her head. “You’re so fucking lucky.”
            Maybe I really was. I smiled at Nadine. The way she said it, she was really happy for me, unlike Nicole’s edgy tone. “I worked hard at it, you know.”
            “I know you did.” She said and went into the kitchen and grabbed a drink from the fridge. She cracked the top of the Gatorade bottle and looked around. “Where’s your sister?”
            “She’s working at HBO now. She got her marketing dream job and decided to take the last year of college classes at night. I have to say I didn’t think she could do it, but she’s doing it.”
            Nadine nodded her head and concern dashed onto her face. “I don’t know what I wanna do with my life.”
            I cracked a week smile. “It’s ok. I still don’t know what I wanna do either. I’m going to play volleyball and hope to figure it out along the way. I’m going to major in Communications. My dad was hoping I’d be a lawyer like him, ain’t happening.”
            She opened the cupboard and grabbed a bag of chips. “Can I open these? I’m feelin’ snacky.”
            “Help yourself.” I waved her off, my mind elsewhere and reached for my phone. It was five o’clock and the middle of the night in London. Jake would usually hit me up right around this time, with one simple text – ‘How’s my beautiful Alycat?’  I was anxious for his message. It was like a daily drug dose, my fix. I tingled all over thinking about him. I swallowed. “I’m thinking about moving to New York and going to NYU.”
            Nadine eyes sprung wide open as she lifted the lid of the trashcan, spitting her gum into it. “Ummmm. NYU is not on the volleyball school list. Do they even have a team? This is totally all about Jake.” She smiled mischievously at me, opening the bag of chips.
            I sighed. “Why can’t I have it all? Why can’t I have Jake and volleyball and get my degree?”

            “There’s no beach volleyball in New York City, Aly. Do you hear yourself?” She stuffed a few potato chips into her mouth. “I’m all for love and shit like that. Jake with his hot ass and lifestyle, fucking pick me! You’d be living the dream, that’s for sure, but be real, Aly.” She slumped into the chair across from me, filling her mouth with more chips. I watched her chew and talk with her mouth full. “You have a real chance at playing beach volleyball and traveling around the world. Like gold medal shit, you’re that good. You need to be where you can train.”

            I narrowed my eyes at her and my stomach flipped. She was right, but I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted her to back me up. “Look at you being all mom-ish. You don’t think it’s a good idea? Really? I can play indoor. I kinda don’t care if the team is division 3 if Jake means what he’s saying. I can get the degree that I want.”
            She sighed loudly and put her feet up on the coffee table. “It sounds perfect. I mean, I guess you can play anywhere, but what’s your coach gonna say? You’ve been playing and winning these beach tournaments, Aly. Pepperdine and USC are offering you something that people would sell their souls for.”
            “I applied to NYU, and I’ve been talking to the girls volleyball coach there.” I blurted out and paused when Nadine’s voice cracked with a hack. “You’re the only one who knows.”
            Nadine coughed more and sat up, grabbing her Gatorade. She took a huge swig and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “Wow. Does Jake know?”
            “It was his idea.” My hands trembled with nerves from hearing myself admit to what had been churning below the surface.
            My parents were going to shit a ton of bricks.
            I sat in front of my laptop with my wet hair wrapped in a towel. Jake finally sent me a text a few hours later than he normally did. He’d been in rehearsal most of the day with the band, for an upcoming tour through Spain and France. We had a Skype chat set up. It was just about seven in the morning for him. I pulled the towel from my hair and checked my image on computer screen. My heart raced from the excitement streaming through me. I couldn’t wait to talk to him. You’d think after all these years and all that we’d been through that I wouldn’t be reacting this way. Every time I heard his voice or thought about what it would be like to touch him again, my insides fluttered.
            I leaned back into my pillows and pulled my comforter over me. It was cold, the first of December, and Christmas was just around the corner. My big February birthday was just on the horizon. Jake kept asking me what I wanted for my birthday. He was beyond thoughtful. I didn’t want anything from him. Last year he’d surprised me with a Hermés watch. I totally had to lie to my parents, saying it was a knockoff I’d gotten in Venice Beach. I took in a deep breath, trying to calm my nerves. I only wanted him, and tonight I was going to tell him just that. I would inform him of my plans to visit him in London during our Ski Week winter break. My hands became damp just thinking about it, wondering how he would react.
            The familiar ping of Skype rang out, sending my heart into my throat. I took one last look at my reflection in my closet mirror and answered the call.
            “Hey Alycat.” Jake’s voice streamed through my computer. His eyes sparkled so blue, I was desperate to touch his unshaven face. He looked beyond hot, sitting there shirtless. I wanted to kiss every inch of him.
            “Hey you.” I giggled. “You better go put a shirt on. You’re killing me.”
  “Mmm. I think you need to take yours off.” 
            “How was practice?” I giggled, brushing off his pervy come-on.
            “Long and sweaty.” He smirked. He was trying to egg me on, and normally I would have bitten, but I was so anxious to share my surprise.
            I clasped my hands under my chin. Here it goes. “So I have something to tell you. I know what I want for my birthday.”
            “Ok, let’s hear it…and don’t tell me ‘nothing’, and leave me to my own devices like you did last year.”
            “Shush.” I teased, placing my index finger over my lips. “I want you for my birthday.”
            A sly, sexy grin spread across his face. “You already have me, Alycat.”
    I squirmed, shifting my legs into a new position. “Not physically, I don’t.” My heart thrashed in my chest, forcing the words to come out. “I want to feel your body next to mine and I don’t want to wait until summer. I’m planning on visiting you about a week after my birthday.” Holy shit, I said it! I’m not sure if it was surprise on his face or what.
            Jake leaned in closer to his screen. “Do you know how badly I want to kiss you? Do you know how you make me wanna do bad things to you, bad good things?”
            I felt the heat rise through my body and an ache penetrated every inch of me. It literally made me wet hearing him say those things to me. “You take my breath away,” I whispered, smiling at the screen. I reached out to touch the image of his face that smiled back at me. I wanted to melt into the screen. “Soooo, to continue,” I said quietly, trying to keep my composure, “I bought a plane ticket already. I haven’t told anyone of my plans, other than Nadine, and I’m gonna spring this on my parents as soon as I grow some balls.”
            He gave me a hearty laugh. “I prefer you without balls, but ok.” He winked at me and shook his head. “Aly I want nothing more than to have you with me, but I don’t know about this. Your parents already hate me…”
     “They don’t hate you,” I interrupted. At least my mom doesn’t.
            “I know they don’t think too highly of me.”
            “They’re actually proud of you, Jake.” My mom was, but my dad had no idea what Jake was up to. Jake’s eyes softened and his mouth clamped shut. “I bring you up every now and then, you know. They’re very aware of all your accomplishments.”
            He sighed, running his hands through his hair. His image became pixelated to match his mood. “I’d love to be a fly on the wall when you tell them what your plans are.”
            I laughed nervously. “I know, right?”
“So when do you think you’ll do it?”
“I don’t know, but the longer I stare at you, the braver I get. Sooooo?” I hummed and propped my chin in my hand. I leaned in closer to the computer. My question lingered, and he just stared back at me, dreamy and perfect.
            “So, the so is I want to touch you so bad.”
            “Ditto,” I purred.
            “I want to kiss you all over.”
            His words made the butterflies swarm. “Mhmm. What else?”
            “I wanna make you…”
            “Alyssa?” I heard my mom’s voice squeeze through my door, and it nearly launched me to the ceiling. My heart thundered like I’d been shocked by a defibrillator and little white dots floated in my vision. My immediate reaction was to slam my laptop lid shut. Oh my god! Did she hear us? Fuck. The doorknob rattled. “Are you alone?”
            I was beyond agitated. What was she still doing up? It was midnight. “Yes, Mom!” I hopped off the bed and grabbed the doorknob, unlocking it. I stalked away getting back in my bed, pulling the laptop back on my lap. 
“What’s up?”
            She stalled, blinking twice. “Are you okay?”
            “Yes, Mom,” I growled. “I was watching YouTube. What is it? Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”
            She gave me a stern look to quit it with my attitude.
            “Mom, I’m sorry. I was just starting to nod off and you scared me. You’re usually asleep by now.”
            “I forgot to tell you that the doctor called and rescheduled your physical therapy appointment to five-thirty tomorrow. I’m leaving early in the morning and didn’t want to forget.”
            I sighed, leaning back into my pillows. “Ok. Thanks.” She eyeballed me a little longer, like she was about to call me out or something. Then she shut the door without another word. I opened my laptop and began to write Jake an email. I was too fearful that my mom was lingering at my door to try for another Skype session.
            OMG! I am soooo sorry. My mom came knocking at my door and I freaked out. I thought she heard us, but she didn’t. Thank God. I would have died. Ugh… you have no idea how bad I want February to be here. I think about you every moment of every day. I dream about what it’ll be like to feel you again. I can’t wait to kiss you. I can’t wait to feel your body against mine.
            Love you madly, Aly.
            I hit send and stared at my screen. I kept hitting the refresh button, hoping that he’d answer back right away. He finally did…fifteen minutes later.
            Hey Alycat – Oh man... I needed to cool off anyway ;) You have no idea how bad I want you. You really don’t. I don’t think words or songs or anything can truly describe my feelings for you. I have to show you, touch you...send me your flight info so I can pin it to my wall or somethin’.
            You’re my everything. J

March 25th Bookish  – Review
March 25th A Diary of A Book Addict – Review
March 25th Book Blogger Mom – Promo
March 26th Booksniffer Book Reviews – Review
March 26th – Nerd Girl Official – Promo
March 26th The Reader and The Chef – Character Interview
March 27th Author Janice G. Ross  – Guest Post
March 27th Paranormal Book Club – Promo
March 27th Globug and Hootie Need A Book – Review/Playlist
March 28th I Read Indie  – Review
March 28th The Loyal Book  – Review
March 29th Red Hot + Blue Reads  – Review
March 29th Lost In Ever After – Review
March 30th Lustful Literature  – Review
March 30th Always YA at Heart  – Character Interview
March 30th YA Book Addict  – Playlist

Ann Marie ("Annie") Frohoff grew up in sunny Southern California. As a teen and young adult, she spent her time frequenting and living in nearly every beachside city up and down the coast.
Ann Marie is an author whose vision to tell a story started out like many other aspiring writers, with a dream, literally.
After taking her then eight-year-old daughter to a concert, her dream weaving took on a life of its own. Long story short, she quit her high- paying corporate job and went for broke to follow her dream.
The first installment in her Heavy Influence Trilogy, FIRST KISS, released June 11, 2013 — The series is a story about young, reckless love between a rising rock star and his younger muse, spanning 10 years of their tumultuous and passionate relationship. Each book in the Trilogy will come with a soundtrack of original music, of which the lyrics will appear in the pages of the books.
Annie has settled in the South Bay area of Los Angeles with her family.

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