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*


All That Glitters_Book Tour

~ All That Glitters by Liza Treviño ~

Book Tour – 1st to 10th March




Book Details:


Title: All That Glitters – A
Tale of Sex, Drugs and Hollywood Dreams

Author: Liza Treviño

Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Koehler Books 

Published Date: March 1, 2017

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1633933083

ISBN-13: 978-1633933088



Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon




Synopsis:

Alexandria Moreno—clever, sexy, ambitious and, at times, self-destructive. She blazes a path from Texas to Los Angeles at the dawn of the 1980s to make her dreams of becoming an A-list Hollywood film director come true. She and her best friend arrive in Los Angeles with little more than hope and the determination to make it big. Alex, a beauty as dark and mysterious as her scarred heart, stands at the bottom of the Hollywood mountain looking up, fighting for her chance to climb to the top. Will her quest to live fast and take no prisoners on her way to success destroy her in the end?


All That Glitters is a women’s fiction Jackie Collins-type saga that introduces a strong, driven Latina heroine at the center of a rags-to-riches story spanning a decade of action. Along the way, Alexandria walks the fine line separating ambition and self-destruction, and discovers that some sacrifices will cost her everything.


What early readers are saying:


“Treviño tells her story with wit, intelligence, and an undercurrent of sadness at the plight women face to make a name for themselves as human beings instead of strictly as women. Treviño may have cloaked her ideas in entertaining vignettes and snappy dialogue, but underneath is a bite that stays with you.”

— Jonathan Marcantoni, author and publisher of La Casita Grande Press.

“Liza has a way of taking you with her as she tells this very compelling story. She draws readers in with her as she describes scenes and characters with colorful detail and vivid imagination. This story is a testament to it’s title: it really glitters!”

—Reesha Goral, author, The Servant Boy

“With distant echoes of Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls in the background, Alexandria Moreno, the protagonist of All that Glitters, chases after the allure of Hollywood, all the time substituting pills, booze and sex for genuine happiness. It is only after she reaches success that she has an awakening leading her to realize the emptiness of her aspiration, and finally accepting true love. Kudos to Liza Treviño for giving us this unique image of the New Latina! I urge reading All that Glitters. You won’t regret it.”

—Graciela Limón, author


Read an Excerpt:



Los Angeles

Oscar Night, 1990
When did things start going wrong?

Alexandria Moreno gulped another swig of champagne from the bottle. She picked at its broken gold foil. It was the same stuff she used to buy back in the days when spending more than ten dollars on bubbly was an extravagance. Now she sat in the best limo money could buy, inching along the craggy hillside road waiting for her turn to put in an appearance at the first of many scheduled post-Oscar parties. She was obligated to dole out heartfelt hugs and kisses to any of the beautiful people who might want one. Tonight, everyone was going to want a piece of her. She was the girl of the hour.

Until recently, Moreno had been an unknown writer-producer. She rocked Hollywood, winning Academy Awards for Best Director and Original Screenplay for the lushly violent, low-budget film, Win or Lose. Moreno, widely considered a dark horse contestant in the Oscar race, was the first  woman to be nominated, and win.

Two golden statues for writing and directing lay on the limo’s floor and the vehicle glided to the top of Hollywood’s heights. Beyond the winding canyon road, the Los Angeles electrified grid shimmered like Moreno’s own personal cauldron of gold. She understood that more than just a movie had won tonight.

She had won.

So why doesn’t it feel better?

Why don’t I feel better?

Despite everything she’d done to reach this moment of glory, Alex understood that none of it mattered. Not one bit. No matter what happened to her, she was still alone and drinking the same convenience-store champagne.

“Want some of this blow, babe?” Nick sniffed and dropped his head back with a slight shake, giving the chemicals a little jumpstart in the brain he liked to say.

“No thanks,” she said, “I don’t want to mix tonight.” Alex turned her attention from the scrubby hillside to handsome Nick Sirianni sitting across from her, casually relaxed in his Armani tuxedo. Though he favored stiff Wall Street suits, Nick was always casually relaxed due to the fact that he was worth millions from a Hollywood Midas touch.

Alex heard Leonard Cohen’s gravel-rubbed, breathless voice floating faintly through the air, crooning his patented melancholy love proclamations, and she couldn’t help but let her eyes wander along Nick’s impeccably tailored suit. Her hands absently grazed the familiar bluish-purple marks on her wrists currently hidden under make-up.

Nick’s thin lips curled into a slow, understanding grin. “Fine, but I have some X for later, and I don’t care what you’ve taken already,” he said in a tone Alex had learned not to question. “I’ve got plans for you, babe.”

“I guess it’s gonna be a long night.”

“The longest ever.”

Alex could tell he had taken off. She absently twirled a lock of her black, shoulder-length hair.

“Hey,” Nick nudged her leg with his polished leather dress shoe, “let me see.”

“Not right now.”

“I’m not asking, Alley Cat. Let me see. And do it right.”

Alex locked eyes with him, but she relented.

She found the fold of her straight wraparound skirt of crepe and beading that draped to the floor. She peeled it back and uncrossed her legs beneath the gown, giving Nick a peek-a-boo of her

narrow ankle and high-heeled foot. She loosened her knees, proving to Nick she’d followed his instructions.

Nick looked her over and loosened his collar.

“Good girl,” Nick said and shifted toward her, the leather seat creaking beneath him. He knelt between her legs and softly traced the length of her pale grey stocking from her shoe, along her leg, up to the matching garter, and over her supple brown thigh exposed between the garter and its straps. Nick kissed her just above where the stockings ended. He breathed in deeply and peered up to her.

“I gotta have a taste, baby,” he said and dipped his handsome face between her thighs.

Alex sighed and sank back into her seat.

How did things get so out of control? Isn’t tonight supposed to be everything I’ve worked for? Everything I’ve sacrificed for? Or, what I’ve sacrificed everyone for?

Alex knew she had purposely cut off anyone who had the misfortune of ever giving a damn about her. And there were such people.

It certainly wasn’t Nick. She’d made her deal with this particular devil nearly a year ago. Things between them were comfortably tawdry. Nick owned her. She knew it. He knew it. They had an understanding.

A flicker nudged her: so many things that could have been. She took another swig of champagne, letting the alcohol’s fizz and burn push everything back into the darkness.

Alex registered Nick’s velvet tongue expertly stroking her crevices, and she couldn’t help but give him all the access he wanted. She felt him smile when she dropped her head back and settled deeper into the limo’s bench. The car halted forward and the lazy, swaying sax turned up the tension in Cohen’s sonic plea for love.

Alex peered beyond the cracked sunroof, searching the starless LA sky for some answers. A corner of the tinted sunroof caught her faint reflection and she saw a vacant-eyed, thirty two-year-old wasted stranger. She’d never known herself less than at this moment. Her passion for work was burned out and, even tonight, she couldn’t muster excitement. Now, everything was just a game requiring too much effort.

She shut her eyes tight and sucked in air sharply, breathing in the car’s mixture of broken-in leather and artificial lemon scents. She clasped at Nick’s broad shoulder, wringing the expensive jacket sleeve as if it were nothing more than a cheap cocktail napkin. After a moment, she relaxed.

Nick brushed a sweet kiss on her inner thigh before he returned the thin black crepe material of her skirt to its full length. He slid back to his seat across from her and smoothed his hair back.

“Damn, you taste good, honey.” He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“We’re next in line, ma’am,” the chauffeur’s voice crackled through the intercom. The limo moved into place with a definite stop.

Nick grinned. “It’s show time, Alley Cat.”

The cool night air took Alex by surprise as she waded into the sea of people and flashing cameras. She staggered, unsure she could move.

“One foot in front of the other,” Nick said in his soft voice through her hair. “I’ll get you a drink once we get inside.”

Alex smiled serenely and nodded. She focused on the live band somewhere in the distance belting out a Sinatra standard. Her eyes found the majestic Griffith Observatory looming in the distance, hovering above the white party tents.

Inside, the camera flashes kept coming.

“And here we are,” Nick offered as he swiped a couple of champagne flutes from a roving waiter’s tray. “This should get ya right, babe.”

Alex took the glass automatically. Another bulb flashed near her and she saw blue sprinkles. She regained focus quickly, but then her stomach dropped. Across the room was the last person she wanted to see.

◊◊◊
Jamie Douglas stood out in any crowd. Angular looks punctuated by oceanic blue eyes, a naturally lean athleticism, and down-to-earth boyishness had made him a reigning movie star around the world for almost twenty years. And right now, Alex saw Jamie’s eyes find hers through the crowd. When they caught each other, a flash sparked between them like one of those popping camera bulbs. Jamie’s surprised look gave way to a lopsided grin; it was a look so familiar to her.

Alex registered Nick snake his arm around her thin waist and she broke her gaze from Jamie.

“Okay, Alley Cat, time for our victory lap.”

“Perfect timing,” she said.

Timing—everything always came down to timing. It seemed to her that her timing had always been off. Not crazy off, just that extra millisecond that pushed everything either too early or too late. And now, she understood that it was too late.

Suddenly, she couldn’t bear to go through with the whole charade of tonight. Maybe, she couldn’t even bear to go through with the whole charade of her life any longer. Just leave, a soft voice whispered inside her head. There’s nothing written you have to stick around. It’s practically programmed into your DNA that you’ll be checking out of this world early.

All at once, Alex understood that simple fact. She, Alex Moreno, would leave Los Angeles tonight as anonymously as she had arrived nearly a decade earlier. She knew that wasn’t an entirely accurate account of how she’d started.

Now I’m alone, and that’s just how I knew things would always turn out.
Author Bio:

Liza Treviño hails from Texas, spending many of her formative years on the I-35 corridor of San Antonio, Austin and Dallas.  In pursuit of adventure and a Ph.D., Liza moved to Los Angeles where she compiled a collection of short-term, low-level Hollywood jobs like script girl, producer assistant and production assistant.  Her time as a Hollywood Jane-of-all-trades gave her an insider’s view to a world most only see from the outside, providing the inspiration for creating a new breed of Latina heroine.




Catch Up with Liza Treviño on her Website

Glorious end

Spring means new,
Spring means life,
Spring means beauty in the facade of change.
New leaves grow,
Old leaves bow,
Replacement in full blow,
Taking cue from the season,
I wanna change,
Everything bad, everything not so good,
People holding me back,
People sucking me dry,
People, things everything.
This season for a change,
Let’s bring the change,
Make a new page,

A beginning with glorious end.

Above poem is in response to:

https://scvincent.com/2017/03/02/thursday-photo-prompt-spring-writephoto/

Giggle

Tonight I want to make you giggle,
Giggle, giggle till your head jiggles,
Giggle till your stomach aches.

Each time I see you my stomach lurch,
I wanna make love,
But not tonight,
Some Night definitely,
Tonight I just want to make you giggle,
Till your pain dissipates,
Till your despair precipates.

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:

  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

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:

Goodreads 

Purchase at:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

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.

Goodreads / Twitter

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