Category: Xpresso Book Tours

Counting Wolves _Blog Tour: Excerpt

Counting Wolves
Michael F. Stewart
Publication date: August 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

The Breakfast Club meets Grimm’s Fairy Tales in the lair of an adolescent psych ward.

Milly’s evil stepmother commits her to a pediatric psych ward. That’s just what the wolf wants. With bunk mates like Red, who’s spiraling out of control; Pig, a fire-bug who claims Milly as her own—but just wants extra dessert—Vanet, a manic teen masquerading as a fairy godmother with wish-granting powers as likely to kill as to help; and the mysterious Wolfgang, rumored to roam for blood at night; it doesn’t take long for Milly to realize that only her dead mother’s book of tales can save her.

But Milly’s spells of protection weaken as her wolf stalks the hospital corridors. The ward’s a Dark Wood, and she’s not alone. As her power crumbles, she must let go of her magic and discover new weapons if she is to transform from hunted to hunter.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT

“Feedback group!” Tink bounces at the door. “You don’t have to come, Milly, but you can if you want. No pressure!”
From beneath her pillow, Red groans and then throws it off. “Actually I do have something to say. Why is it that I have to go when Sleeping Beauty over there can fake sleep and get away with—”
“At group!” Tink springs away. Following her is Peter, who flaps his arms like wings and drags his broken leg behind him across the floor.
Pig points at him. “He’s here because he’s suicidal. Believes he can fly like a fairy, so he jumped from a third-floor balcony.”
. . . “He’s not suicidal then, he doesn’t want to die, he wants to fly,” I say and both of them stare at me. “What’s feedback group?”
“So you can like pre-count, if you know you’re going to say something?” Pig asks.
I nod my head.
“Oh, but now we gotta wait again. How are you even alive?” Red says and walks out of the room, adding, “Come see for yourself what this is all about.”
When I stand up, something beeps. Pig has started the timer on her watch and follows behind me. I turn to stare at her as I count. She stares back. Beady eyes unblinking.
When I’m done I say, “Please don’t.” And start counting again.
Pig huffs and walks out.
A minute later I shut my eyes and hop across the threshold of my room. I really miss my phone. At school I usually don’t have to talk; I text instead.
Tink’s high-pitched voice squeaks about how everyone’s opinion is highly valued. I use the washroom; that’s four doors to pass. Even washroom stall doors count. Even cupboard doors count, but not drawers. Drawers are different. No hinges.
After I jump into the rec room, everyone goes silent. I’d love to be rid of the jump; it attracts so much attention. The TV’s on, and Peter is too close to the screen to see anything more than a blur. Rottengoth stares at me with his mouth open. Pig’s watch beeps; she timed me anyway.
Vanet laughs. “What ho? She has to hop, too? That’s pretty sexy, isn’t it, heh? Like a Playboy bunny hops, and we gotta hop back to what we were talking about, right? Hop to it, Tink. Time is money.”
Tink presses her hands to her forehead.

Author Bio:

Michael F. Stewart is winner of both the 2015 Claymore Award and the 2014 inaugural Creation of Stories Award for best YA novel at the Toronto International Book Fair.

He likes to combine storytelling with technology and pioneered interactive storytelling with Scholastic Canada, Australia, and New Zealand’s, anti-cyberbullying program Bully For You. In addition to his award winning Assured Destruction series, he has authored four graphic novels with Oxford University Press Canada’s Boldprint series. Publications of nonfiction titles on Corruption and Children’s Rights are published by Scholastic and early readers are out with Pearson Education.

For adults, Michael has written THE SAND DRAGON a horror about a revenant prehistoric vampire set in the tar sands, HURAKAN a Mayan themed thriller which pits the Maya against the MS-13 with a New York family stuck in the middle, 24 BONES an urban fantasy which draws from Egyptian myth, and THE TERMINALS–a covert government unit which solves crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next.

Herder of four daughters, Michael lives to write in Ottawa where he was the Ottawa Public Library’s first Writer in Residence. To learn more about Michael and his next projects visit his website at http://www.michaelfstewart.com or connect via Twitter @MichaelFStewart.

Michael is represented by Talcott Notch.

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Return to Heartland: Book Blitz



Return to Heartland
Jacquie Gee
Publication date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Will the girl save Heartland, or will Heartland save the girl?

Lingerie and cupcakes have Becca Lane living the sweet life in New York City—until the call that sends her home. Heartland Cove may sound endearing, but in essence it’s a small, nosey, rural town, in the middle of backwoods New Brunswick—a place Becca couldn’t wait to leave. She arrives to find her mother acting strange, the family business in peril, and the town in dire straits. What to save first? Worst of all, Jebson Jefferies, Becca’s former fiancé—and a man she could happily never see again—has been elected mayor and is threatening to destroy the future of Heartland, along with Becca’s family legacy—and all she stands to inherit.

Not that she ever wanted it. It’s…complicated.

Trent Nash, a former football star, is a displaced Aussie with a big secret. He has escaped to small-town Heartland Cove to start a new life and is determined to remain incognito. He thinks he’s just about pulled it off when, a sassy redhead walks through his door of his struggling establishment…and right into his heart.

As she becomes embroiled in a crusade bigger than she bargained for, the beautiful, bronzed stranger comes to her aid. Will she be able to put aside her dislike for him long enough to accept his help to save Heartland Cove, or will he and Heartland Cove become Becca’s savior? Perhaps deep down, what really needs rescuing here, has less to do with Heartland, and more to do with Becca’s heart.

Return to Heartland is the first in a series of sweet, (no sex on the page), contemporary romances set in Heartland Cove.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Dropping my bags, I press my hands to the sides of my face and peer in through the stained-glass in the front door. The same stained-glass that has graced the front door of my family’s home for over a century now. Homestead. Not a—whatever this Green Grub thing is supposed to be.

Is that a cappuccino maker, I see? Mom doesn’t own a cappuccino maker.

I scan the room, my vision slightly skewed because over peering through the stained-glass.

No sign of Mom anywhere.

I don’t get it. Wouldn’t she have told me if she’d moved house? My conversation with Mrs. Peterson comes to mind. I whirl around, unnerved, and stare out at the town. They didn’t have her put away, or something, did they? Surely to goodness, Aunt Penny would have called if that happened. My blood threads with panic. No, she’s here. She’s got to be here.

Unless… unless this is how they were planning to tell me. Maybe that’s why they summoned me here. To break the news. My mouth goes dry.

Nonsense, they wouldn’t be that callous.

I run sweaty palms down the sides of my skirt. Whatever’s happened, I’m gonna find out.

I pick up my bags and charge on through the door— the heavy, ornately carved Victorian wood door of the home where I was raised, and where my mother still lives, according to the address on her mail. Or at least last Christmas. The door slams shut behind me, giving my spine a jolt.

Customer warning bells tinkle overhead that look suspiciously like the ones from my Mom’s store across the way.

“Oh, hey… hi!” A head pops up from behind a serving counter. A head attached to a very a nice-looking face, and I neck I sense I should be throttling. I repeat, there is a freaking bar-slash-serving-counter sitting smack dab in the middle of my mother’s formal parlor! And I suspect he’s the culprit that put it there. “Can I help you?” he says, and his eyes sparkle—a stunning shade of emerald green, rimmed by a thick set of dark eyelashes. Like that improves things. They’re set behind a sexy set of lenses. Clearly, he’s one of those guys who looks even better with glasses on. You know, the kind. Where the glasses just add to the already amazing features of his face. He’s sexy enough on his own, but the glasses take it over the top. Not that any of that matters right now. Neither does the fact that he has a killer accent—which, if my language sense serves me, I believe is Australian. Though it could be South African. No, definitely Australian. Again, not that it matters.

“Oh, jeez, where are my manners.” All six-feet whatever of him shoots forward, yanking an arborite chair out from under an arborite table, offering me a place to sit. In my own living room!

I glare down at the atrocity gracing my Mother’s parlor, then scowl up. “Who are you? Why are you here?” Is that a ketchup stain on the brim of his hat?

“Hello to you too,” he says.

“Where is she?” I look around, darting doorway to doorway.

He squints. “I’m sorry, were you supposed to meet someone?” He screws up his face.

“No, I’m not meeting someone here. I live here. Lived here. Now, where is she?” I drop my bags and kick off my shoes—cause, you know, habit.

“Are you always this friendly when you meet someone?” The stranger glares.

“Only when I arrive home to find a dazed-looking cook standing in my Mom’s formal living room.”

His stunning eyes flash. “Aah!” He finally clues in. “Oh, my gosh. That’s who you are! You must be, Becca!” He lunges forward, sticking out a hand for me to shake. I don’t take it. “Oh, excuse me.” He retracts his hand, wipes it off on the front of his grimy apron and sticks it out again, like that was the problem. “I’ve heard so much about you.” He breaks into an eye-squishing grin.

“Funny?” I cross my arms. “I haven’t heard a thing about you.”

I let his hand hang out between us like a cold, dead fish, ’cause you know, I don’t like him.

If I were forced to classifying him, say for my friend Tia or something, I’d go with the ‘ruggedly hipster urbanite’, which makes me wonder why he’s here, in the middle of backwoods New Brunswick, posing as a short order cook. He’s sports one of those scruffy beards that looks like he only half bothers to shave, and his curly hair is a mess under that baseball cap worn backward on his head. Gawd, that cap is disgustingly grimy. I’ve never understood why do men go for that look? I mean, sure, they don’t have to shave, but still, women might want to kiss them or run their hands through their hair. Have they ever considered that?

Not that I want to kiss this one or anything. It’s just an observation.

“Perhaps I could get you a drink or something?” He clasps his hands together.

“Perhaps not.” I poker-smile back at him.

My gaze runs up his muscled frame, along his broad, thick shoulders, and back onto his flawless face. Gosh, didn’t the buff-spirits give this one everything? But it’s all ruined when he opens his mouth. A bit of a smart-arse, isn’t he? “How about you tell me who you are, and why you’re here, and what you’ve done with my mother?” I growl, despite how good-looking he is.

“Your mother hasn’t told you yet?”

“Does it look like my mother’s told me?” I blink.

“Aaah…I’m Trent.” He tries to offer me his hand again, but I still don’t shake it. “I bought the place from your mom about a year back.”

“You what?” Now, I’m really not shaking his hand. I hope my voice didn’t just shriek as loud outside my head as it did inside. A year ago? I know I didn’t make it home for Christmas the past few years, but—


Author Bio:

Jacquie Gee is the alias of Jacqueline Garlick. Maybe you’ve read her?

We are one and the same. Two faces of one author with very different writing styles. That way, I keep readers happy by keeping my writing passions separated.

On a personal note, I love to talk… strange for a writer, I know, but I do. I’m told I can be pretty funny, though, my kids see things in a different light. I love to write romances with a strong, sassy, heroines, and scrumptiously, gorgeous leading men. I write sweet romance surrounded by chocolate and an overweight sheltie. Neither of which are related. And there are always with fresh flowers in the room. Raised in a small town in the country myself, I like writing about them best. I mean, who doesn’t love a small-town? Enough about me, what about you?

Drop me a line and let’s get to know each other.

jacqueline@jacquelinegarlick.com I love to hear from readers!

Website / Facebook / Twitter


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Grunt_Blog Tour: Excerpt



Grunt
Kailee Reese Samuels
(The SOS #3)
Publication date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Erotica, Romance

Six days.

No one thought I could last

Here in the cell—I now call home

They didn’t know I grew up in the prison of my crime family’s dream.

Six weeks.

No one thought I could withstand

The loss, the drugs, the torture

They didn’t know how much I would enjoy their game.

Six months.

No one thought I could survive

Their puppet and prey—but I like to play—Hard.

And I don’t lose.

They picked the wrong guy. Their so-called ‘grunt’ would fight to get home and take revenge. I vowed to come back—for her—for Kaci. But everything changed.

My maniacal mind wrapped with a pretty mug, I am an unforgiving opponent, tough—tougher than they ever imagined.

And I will never – ever – break.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT

            “Kink and terror manifest in much the same way.”

                                            – Kaci Hope

The flight took forever.

Hearing the voices of men talking in a foreign tongue, Sal couldn’t understand a single syllable. Uproarious and loud, almost jovial, he listened as his future played out like a record skipping repeatedly. The scratching hummed between each revolution until the drub became the only audible sound.

When the plane landed, the man corralled Sal for the same routine in reverse. He tread Sal down the stairs, guiding him to another vehicle. Only this time, he stepped upwards into some sort of SUV. The man hurled the door as he said, “Good luck.”

The long, bumpy ride passed over winding and curving roads, hurting his aching body.

His senses on fire, stinging from no use, he needed unbound. They could do with him what they wanted, but bondage had never been his forte. With no idea where they were or who they were, he tried in vain to close his eyes, seeking a rest that would not come.

The one thing Sal knew—he needed to piss like a race horse. He heard a phone ring and the man with an accent said, “Ten minutes.” Between the skips in the record, the drum beat

with his words–ten minutes.

Ten minutes to figure out what the fuck to do.

Ten minutes to decide how to play this hand.

Ten minutes to remember who he was.

The heralded golden boy highly anticipated to serve as a Master. The moment Sal set

foot in Texas, everyone knew that boy – that submissive – would grow into a Dominant to behold. The kind to wield his emotions through intellect and treat his partner as a princess. With a heavy hand and a ruthless ability, Sal would shine because they trained him, raising him to be no less than the best regardless of the role. He was the pride and promise of Juliet.

Trying to calm his mind, Sal went back through every moment he could remember.

Anything to provide a clue as to what the Juliet council planned, or where this journey ended. He had been initiated and that was rare. But now, he had been taken captive…like a hostage. He didn’t recall any members ever engaging in such a brutal and unnerving scene.

The vehicle stopped, lurching his body forward. Suddenly, they moved again, but this time slower until the car turned off. The driver got out, opened his door, and gripped him on the shoulder. The burly voice requested, “Come on, Raniero. You got people waiting.”

Again, not anyone he knew. Judging by how the man handled him, he wasn’t into gentle either. His mind fraught with the possibilities as to what he was about to endure, but he agreed to this.

He wanted this.

He begged for this.

“Push me further, I can do more. Don’t go easy on me.”

He would succeed in this scene for no other reason than he feared disappointing Serene or Jack or Anna. Too many people invested time and money in his development and training for him to wuss out now.

He heard a jingle of keys and a door opened. Guided over the threshold and through a series of hallways, the man led him down two flights of stairs. Again, another long hallway emerged.

Inhaling the stench of his retch, Sal mumbled beneath the hood, “This place feels like a prison.”

The man said nothing as the keys clattered. Hands shoved at his shoulders, pushing him down on his knees, and the door slammed with a thunderous echoing roar.

His worst fears just came true.

© Kailee Reese Samuels 2017 Grunt

Author Bio:

Embracing diversity. Coffee addict. Mango lover. Blueberry fetishist. Sweet peach tea crazy. Red wine devout. Whiskey deviant. Tattooed & pierced. Loves shoes. Collects rosaries. Fanatical organizer/cleaner/list-maker. Never sleeps. Hermit and recluse.

Storyteller.

KAILEE REESE SAMUELS has been spinning tales since she can remember. Her books are contemporary fiction with a no-holds-barred attitude. She adores listening to her characters ramble and putting them into situations that push the boundaries.

Creativity is the way to change.

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Dead over Heels – Book Review

DEAD OVER HEELS
by Theresa Braun

Published
by: Frith Books

Publication
date: November 16th 2016


Genres
: Adult, Horror, Paranormal, Romance

SYNOPSIS

Veronica’s first date with Sebastian not only stirs up a powerful attraction, but also a series of supernatural events that will tear them apart.

After countless hours of dead end online dating, Veronica meets up with Sebastian at a reportedly haunted restaurant, since he knows she has a fascination with the paranormal. While enjoying their meals and each other’s company, they share a shocking supernatural experience. Their romantic connection is overshadowed by the ghosts of their own pasts that threaten to destroy their budding relationship. Veronica decides she must return to the restaurant to face her past and dig up more answers. Unfortunately, she realizes she must go back, this time with a reluctant Sebastian. In the end, they join forces against the evil that stands between them, but will they make it out alive?

REVIEW

​This short story opens with the narrator and her boyfriend sitting in a police station, then it goes back into the past, a month ago, their online meeting, and then a date. In the The River House restaurant, where they went for their date, they notice a couple, but the waiter firmly believes that no one was sitting on the table they were talking about. Then as their relationship proceeds, their past revisits, secrets are spilled and soon their lives goes topsy-turvy….

Dead over Heels story was actually- eerie-creepy-scary and thrilling. It kept me on the edge of my seat, almost throughout the book. Definitely it was a quite a engaging read. 

The story line was good, it was predictable at parts but mostly unpredictable. I even loved the predictable parts.

Though this story had a supernatural/paranormal angle, but it didn’t feel much unbelievable. The story just kept me so engrossed, with a pageturner effect that I somewhat didn’t get the time or desire to judge it’s believability.

“It’s not the way I wanted to spend eternity with the man I love, but it will have to do. At least we’re together. If only he could see and hear me. I won’t ever give up trying, though.”~Veronica

The climax, was chilling and horrifying, being true to the genre horror.

 The romance between the leads was sweet, a nice reprieve from the scary experience.

Overall I would say it was quick and engaging read that I recommend to all horror lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐

(4 stars)

* I got this book through the Review Opportunity of Xpresso Book Tours*


Corrupt Me – Book Review

CORRUPT ME
By Jillian Quinn
(Philly Corruption #1)

Publication
date: January 17th 2017

Genres
: New Adult, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

Izzie Rinaldi has everything going for her. All she has to do is make it through her senior year of college, and then she’ll be off to law school, one step closer to assuming her position at the head of her family’s empire. After a chance encounter with the campus bad boy, Izzie can’t get him out of her head.

Luca Marchese, the smooth-talking son of the most notorious man in Philadelphia, is used to getting what he wants. He hasn’t forgotten the girl he knew as a child, and now that he has Izzie’s attention, Luca will stop at nothing to have her.

Luca’s defiance of the law turns Izzie on more than she cares to admit. She wants Luca to corrupt her in every way possible, despite his reputation as the king of one-night stands. Their attraction is undeniable, but their desire for one another isn’t enough for Izzie to overlook visits from federal agents and the potential ruin of her family.

Linked to Luca and a criminal underworld, Izzie discovers she’s more like him than she thought. But a future with Luca could mean swapping her diamond bracelets for a pair of handcuffs.

*Corrupt Me is a standalone novel that is the first book in the Philly Corruption series.*

REVIEW:

Luca Marchese, a Don’s son and Izzie, granddaughter of one of the richest man, know each other from the childhood. Back in the wine cellar they had their first kiss when they were still very young but soon after their families severed ties and and they got separated. They again meet eachother in the college, but Izzie kept her distance from him, because she is still a bit heartbroken and also because Luca’s manwhoring ways also came to Izzie’s ear. Also Izzie thought their families won’t agree if they start off anything between them. In senior year, Izzie bumps into Luca. Their attraction is undeniable and with Luca continuously pursuing her, Izzie may soon have to reconsider her decision to stay away from him…..

I would start off by saying that I liked both Luca and Izzie’s characters. Both had really strong personalities. Even though Luca’s father was a Don but he preferred to learn law and become a lawyer. Luca never wanted to be a criminal like his father. Izzie on the other hand, though she belonged to a rich household but she worked really hard to get into the college and also for the position in her family empire. She will never take any shit from anyone. I also liked her snappy comments.

I loved their love story. It was at place cute and funny, and at other times there were some really intense and passionate moments. I especially liked that part, where Izzie was drunk but Luca didn’t take the advantage of the situation, even when Izzie in her drunk state asked him to have sex with her.

For steam lovers, in the later half, there was also some really sexy in between sheets action.

“You are my family now. I’ve never felt like I was part of something, other than a company, until I met you. You are my everything. Without you, none of this matters to me .”~Izzie

This story also gives a kind of inside story of some big empires and how they work. I am not saying that whatever is told in this novel is the story of every other business empire, but is definitely for some. These big empires present their company as spotlessly clean but inside they can be really immoral and corrupt.

The last few chapters were especially very exciting with FBI behind Luca and Izzie’s grandfather and the only key to save them lies in Izzie’s hand, but there was a lot at stake for that key to be used. So how eventually things got sorted out, made the last bit interesting. Also some long kept secrets were spilled out and traitors in both sides were discovered.

Other than these I really liked some small characters like Luca’s mom, Mark, Luca’s friend among others.

Overall I would say I loved Corrupt Me and would recommend this book to all romance lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars)

*I got this book through the Review Opportunity of Xpresso Book Tours*


Finding Paradise_Blog Tour – Excerpt



Finding Paradise
V.P. Ortiz
Publication date: September 24th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Mila Quinn is ready to finally move out of the college dorms into an apartment with her longtime boyfriend, Ethan Lowe. But when Ethan reveals a big secret, her world is suddenly turned upside down, stirring up old memories of love and loss. Completely torn apart, she boards a plane to Hawaii to escape for the summer.

Even though Mila wants to spend her time in paradise in isolation, fate has other plans when it drops sexy local Gage Madden in her lap. Hesitant at first, she agrees to let him take the reins on her island exploration. As Mila discovers the wonders of Oahu with Gage, it becomes harder for her to fight the budding attraction between them.

But behind the curtain of island adventures and undeniable chemistry, trouble is brewing where Mila least expects it. Secrets begin to bubble to the surface that could destroy her all over again. Will Mila find her paradise? Or will she leave Hawaii with another broken heart?

Add to:

Goodreads 

Purchase at:

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EXCERPT

We’re not at this café for a normal lunch between a boyfriend and his loyal girlfriend. No, my dear, we’re here for an ambush. A bombshell. A catastrophic turn of events that’s about to turn my uneventful life upside down. And I’m supposed to have words at this point to speak?

What are words?

“Mila…”

Ethan utters my name, but I can’t peel my gaze away from the image in front of me. My tunnel vision is focused on the small grayscale picture he slid towards me with guilty eyes a few minutes ago. The picture next to the Cobb salad that will never be eaten and next to the iced tea covered in condensation dripping down the glass, crying for me.

The picture is actually perfectly clear. They say it’s hard to make out anything but blobs of gray in these things, that you can’t see much at this point. But they say a lot of things, like that love conquers all, and all you need is love. Whoever they are, they are full of shit.

I can see everything in the picture so perfectly. The tiny button nose, the delicate fingers, the rounded belly. I can make it all out just fine.

The baby in the ultrasound picture in front of me belongs to my boyfriend.

But the baby in the ultrasound picture doesn’t belong to me.


Author Bio:

V.P. Ortiz lives, works, and breathes in sunny/snowy/beautiful Colorado with her loving husband, their two beautiful children, and their three fat cats. While her home may be in the Rocky Mountains, she left her heart somewhere on the island of Oahu, where she plans to retire someday in a tiny house with an avocado tree and free-range chickens. Besides reading any book in sight, her hobbies also include eating, dancing, lip syncing, and occasionally running until her husband has to pick her up eight miles away because she got lost and has a leg cramp.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Bluff_Blog Tour – Book Review



Bluff
Julie Dill
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Chelsea Knowles is surrounded by the privileged. Michael Kors gym bags and designer shoes are part of her daily scene, but the talented cheerleader has a secret: she and her dad can barely pay the bills. Broken by his wife walking out on their family, Chelsea’s father ignores his responsibilities. Between cheer costs, grocery bills, electricity, and other regular financial burdens, it’s no surprise when a cut-off notice arrives in the mail. Chelsea knows it’ll be up to her to keep the lights on.

With the deck stacked against her, Chelsea decides to bet their future on the dubious poker knowledge she learned from her father before he gave up on parenting. Nervous but determined, Chelsea heads to a casino with very little security and wins big. Thrilled by her win, she’s quickly drawn to the casino again and again. She risks it all, especially when the attractive, young pit boss , Nate takes an interest in her.

Chelsea’s life, no longer filled with cheerleading, school, and hanging out with her friends, is now consumed by smoky casino floors and the ups and downs of a gambler’s life. True gamblers know when to fold, but Chelsea keeps betting long after her needs are met. The complicated web of lies soon begins to spin out of control, threatening to expose everything. Will someone see through her bluff?

Add to:

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Purchase at:

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REVIEW

Chelsea, a 17 yr old girl, to meet her and her father’s need for money she decides to play poker, under the false name of Chandra. When in front of casino she saw that no one is checking the IDs so she decides to give gambling a try. But soon poker transforms into something she can’t stay away from…

I think the best thing about this novel was that I was easily able to relate to Chelsea. Chelsea is like any 17 yr old girl, having dreams and desires. But in the same time, she is also very different, she has a irresponsible father, so the responsibility of the whole house, to pay all the bills is on her shoulder. Chelsea character was a really well built one.

Another thing that I liked about this book is Chelsea and Ms Stella’s friendship. Chelsea and Ms Stella met at the casino, and Chelsea was immediately drawn to her. Both have their own set of secrets, which both of them keep to themselves, they don’t ask each other questions. They both realise that friendship is more important than feeding their curiosity.

I also liked Nate and Chelsea’s romance. Their were some really cute moments between them. Nate knew her as Chandra but still when he discovered her truth he didn’t break their relationship, and understood her.
This novel showed gambling/poker addiction really well.

            “I go straight to the bank to cash it. Although it’s money already spent, it feels so nice, these two $100 bills in my hands. It triggers the memories of a big win, and the rush of having stacks of money in my purse. It’s the equivalent of an alcoholic taking that one little sip. The one little, dangerous sip that sends everything spiraling.” ~Chelsea

Sometimes a event triggered a childhood memory, so snippets from Chelsea’s childhood were thrown here and there through the book. These snippets showed Chelsea and her father’s relationship after her mother left. These were really sweet.
Even though Bluff was not from the genre mystery but it was quite a page turner for me because l found myself asking questions like When will all this end? What would happen when casino people will know about her age? What will happen when Chelsea’s dad would know about gambling? How would he react? What will happen to Ms Stella and Chelsea’s relationship? And what about Nate and Chelsea? In the quest of finding the answer to these questions I kept on reading more and more.

Bluff had a different kind of end, that is not very typical. It was quite unpredictable and really very practical. It’s kind of a end where your heart doesn’t want it that way but your brain says this is what happens in real life. But inspite of this dilemma I quite liked the end.

Overall I would say that Bluff is a different kind of story and also a very well written one, which you would surely love if you are a Young Adult fan.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars)


Author Bio:

Julie Dill lives in Oklahoma City where the wind always comes sweeping down the plains—literally.

As a young girl she always wanted to be a teacher, so she went on to receive her Bachelor’s of Science in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and taught in elementary schools for ten years. Currently, she serves as an adjunct professor and loves helping students achieve success. One of her greatest professional accomplishments is earning her National Board Certification.

She holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Oklahoma City University and continues to work on various writing projects. From hiking in Colorado, to playing poker in Vegas, she’s always up for a new challenge. Julie is a busy mom of two teenage daughters, and any extra time that she may carve out is spent reading, writing, and rooting for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Her debut novel, Bluff, is scheduled to be released on February 7th, 2017.

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