Friday, February 14, 2020

"If You Only Knew" by Prerna Pickett


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
If You Only Knew
by Prerna Pickett

If You Only Knew by Prerna Pickett

If You Only Knew by Prerna Pickett is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
A boy recently released from jail and the daughter of a prosecutor fall for each other against the odds in this YA novel.
Corey has just been released from jail, and all he wants is a new beginning. But when his former gang comes knocking, Corey agrees to vandalize the home of Kent Hopper, the prosecutor who put him away.
To erase the guilt she carries from getting away with a crime, Tessa spends most of her nights riding her motorcycle. When she catches Corey destroying her father’s car, she doesn’t see a criminal: She sees a way to finally right her own wrongs. So instead of turning Corey over to the police, she convinces her father to give Corey a second chance.
As Tessa and Corey spend more time with each other, it becomes difficult to ignore the pull between them. But they’re both keeping secrets, and when those secrets come to light, they’ll each have to face their demons in order to have a future together.

Excerpt
Corey
For the last five years I’d lived by one simple rule: Stay alive.
I put that rule to the test by making one simple statement. “This isn’t a good idea.”
Vance waited in the shadows, molding himself to them. The whites of his eyes narrowed. He clenched his jaw.
“I’m not asking for your opinion.” He lifted the hem of his shirt and stuck his thumb into a belt loop. His piece glinted against the little bit of light filtering through the row of windows on the garage door.
I gripped the bat in my hand and gritted my teeth. Being in jail had rusted my instincts, short-circuited my sense of self-preservation. All I needed was the sight of Vance’s gun to remind me of that.
“I know what I’m doing, Fowler. Right, boys?” His question echoed and fell around me as he nodded to Drew and Jaimie. They stood at the back of the detached garage in their matching black shirts and jeans, holding flashlights. Drew frowned, a grim line set across his mouth.
I cleared my face of all emotion, a blank canvas, tightening my hold on the bat in my hand and tried to convince myself it wasn’t created to hit baseballs, but rather elite sports cars.
“You know you want to. That lawyer deserves worse.” Vance crept closer to my ear, egging me on with his jittery presence. “Just one swing, right there on the front windshield.”
Hopper didn’t deserve it. Not really. Especially not after everything he did to get my sentence reduced. Which wasn’t part of his job, considering he was the prosecuting attorney.
“Not like he can’t afford another one,” Jaimie taunted.
The words didn’t offer me any comfort. My hands kept sweating, making my hold on the bat slick. I forced myself to shut off the danger sign flashing at the back of my head. This wasn’t exactly how I planned on paying back Hopper for his kindness.
I rolled the bat back and forth, tossed it in the air and watched it twist, the black ingrained logo showing its face with every turn. Vance’s wide grin reflected across the shining surface of the car.
“A year in that hell. And for what? Nothing you did.”
I almost snorted at that one. Maybe I hadn’t done exactly what I was charged with, but I still picked the path that led me to the dank and dark cell.
“Corey, do it.”
This time, it wasn’t a question. Jaime and Drew already had dumped out all the garbage onto the patio, spray-painted the back and side of the house, and broken a couple of windows. All the commotion was blocked out by the house party next door. When the lawyer was away, the neighbors came out to play.
I gripped the bat tighter and ground my teeth as I pictured the look on Mom’s face every time she came to visit me in prison.
What the hell was I doing here?
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“This is an awesome story.” ~ Emily Hollman
“I enjoyed the backstories of each character and the fact that Corey is a bad kid, but is trying to redeem himself and is caught in a tough place. So far it's reminding me a bit of the Fast and Furious movies.” ~ Tara Tsai
“I loved this sweet YA contemporary!!! If You Only Knew follows two heroes you will be rooting for the whole time.” ~ Shannon Young
“I could not stop turning the pages, the many twists and turns kept me riveted as I rooted for Tessa and Corey. Teens will love their adventures; the motorcycle, the race, their date, and the chemistry of their attraction […] This book will be a hit with teens!” ~ B. J. Neary
“I also enjoyed Tessa’s character. She was very headstrong and stood up for what she believed in! Overall this was a very cute YA read that had the type of suspense, forbidden love plot that kept me reading!” ~ Amazon Customer

About the Author
Prerna Pickett
Prerna Pickett believes in magic, fairytales, and unicorns. Writing was always her dream job and now she gets to live the dream. When Prerna isn’t writing, she can usually be found daydreaming about writing, or at the library helping her five kids choose books. If You Only Knew is her debut novel.


Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of If You Only Knew by Prerna Pickett (US only).

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Friday, February 7, 2020

"The Reading Parrot Named Darwin" by Mary Sage Nguyen


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Reading Parrot Named Darwin
by Mary Sage Nguyen

The Reading Parrot Named Darwin by Mary Sage Nguyen

The Reading Parrot Named Darwin by Mary Sage Nguyen is currently on tour with Bewitching BookTours. The tour stops here today for some excerpts and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
This is a Children's Picture Book for children ages 2-12.
Lana is a writer who is suffering from a case of writer’s block. She receives an African grey parrot from her elderly aunt. She later finds out this parrot is no ordinary bird, but one that can read. The parrot assists her with overcoming writer’s block. They become friends, and she learns that inspiration can come from anyone!

Book Video


Excerpt



Praise for the Book
The Reading Parrot Named Darwin is a sweet picture book story that will give young readers a few chuckles and inspire them not only to read, but also to write their own stories. As Lana and Darwin bond in friendship and creativity, the two teach each other the strength of working together as a team. They also help each other realize their dreams and goals and to really believe in themselves - important concepts for young readers.” ~ Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“An absolutely sweet children's book that is encouraging to young girls and women to over come challenges and find their muse and strength. I love Mary's writing. It is sophisticated and empowering. It is a great read to kids and the illustrations is so cute and colorful. Mary is a thoughtful writer and author that plans her story and illustrations.” ~ DJB
“I have a copy of this book and was impressed with the quality of the artwork...Its a very fun book..cant wait till my grandkids visit so I can read it to them.” ~ Perry Faulk
“Girls and women who aspire to literary success will find much to like about Lana's efforts and the surprising interruption that turns her life around, providing new changes that spark her creative impulse. The story moves in an unforeseen direction in a stimulating tale that is both fun for leisure readers and inspirational for would-be writers searching for their muses.” ~ Diane


About the Author
Mary Sage Nguyen
Mary Sage Nguyen is the youngest daughter of Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants. Vietnamese was the language spoken at home, so the only way she was able to learn English was through the public school system. Even though English was not spoken at home, Mary became an avid reader as a young child and always dreamed of being a writer someday.



Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a hardcover or paperback copy of The Reading Parrot Named Darwin by Mary Sage Nguyen (US only).

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Friday, January 31, 2020

"Thirst Trap" by Zachary Ryan


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Thirst Trap
by Zachary Ryan

Thirst Trap by Zachary Ryan

Thirst Trap by Zachary Ryan is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Tragedy comes in all forms, and you never know how you’ll deal with it. Four friends have all dealt with their fair share of struggles. Dillion, an aspiring writer with writers block because of his brothers sudden death, Jesse the emotional stunted drink thanks to his boyfriend’s suicide, Ivan the abused victim just looking for a place to call home, and Leo the stubborn romantic trying to get his friends to open up, while keeping his issues close to his chest.
With these four friends, they avoid all their elephants in the room like a death card agreement between Dillion and Jesse, Ivan completely hoping his abusive lover with change or even Leo focusing on his friends problems instead of his own. Can these four friends learn to embrace and accept their own tragedy or will they be stuck in the past?
Thirst Trap is a humorous coming of age novel dealing with sexuality, tragedy, substance abuse, and the most beautiful insane friendships.


Excerpt
Chapter One
Dillon
I hadn’t expected to be here so shortly between my visits, but when you feel a burn downstairs, you need to make sure you didn’t catch anything. I looked over at the stupid sign promoting safe sex, and rolled my eyes. I knew damn well the gay scene in Chicago didn’t believe in condoms. I wanted to blame barebacking porn, but I knew it was just because I was too lazy and impatient for the guy to wrap it up.
A guy came and sat next to me. He looked nervous, and I could tell that he was having a mini panic attack. His left leg was vibrating, and he was constantly checking his phone. The guy kept turning toward me. He had dirty blonde hair, a little bit on the heavier side, and had nice blue eyes. He would be more Leo’s speed than mine. I could tell the guy kept checking me out.
I was used to people checking me out. I knew that sounded cocky, but I made my money dancing on top of bars in nothing but a thong. I had to make sure I had my body in shape, my brown hair perfectly styled, and my hazel eyes needed to scream that I was going to rip your asshole apart later that night.
I smiled at him. “First time?” I asked.
He glared at me. “I’m just here for a checkup.”
I leaned back and put my hands behind my back. “Don’t worry.
You will quickly be able to push aside the internal shame of getting tested, after your fourth or fifth time.”
He didn’t say anything else. He just got up and walked across the room. I rolled my eyes. I knew he couldn’t take a joke. Maybe that was why I wasn’t a stand-up comedian. I felt my phone vibrate. I pulled it out to see it was a text from Jesse, asking if I was still coming in for a drink. He had texted the group, which consisted of my other two best friends; Ivan and Leo.
“Mr. Nelson?” The nurse came out with a clipboard. I raised my hand. “That’s me.”
The nurse looked me up and down. I knew they weren’t supposed to judge you, but I could tell that she remembered me from a couple of months back. I got up to follow her, turned to the guy that hated me. “Don’t worry, they’ll get to know your name soon enough, too,” I winked, and laughed when his hookup app notification went off.
I followed her into a room, and she asked me the same questions that I’m always forced to answer. She wrote down my answers and tried her hardest to keep her mouth shut, when I told her that I hadn’t used condoms my last couple of times. She drew some blood, and told me that they would have the results in a couple of days.
I walked out of the building to the brisk chill of a fall day. I had the night off, and I was planning to forget about this whole day and hopefully, end up in bed with a stranger for the night. I felt my phone go off, and it was my mother.
I forgot that it was our weekly phone call. “Hey mom, this isn’t a good time,” I said.
“Really?” she asked. “You continue to tell me that every time I call you. I know you don’t have class right now. You’ve sent me your schedule, and I don’t see anything at this time.”
If she only knew that I dropped out of college two years ago. “I just wanted to get this new short story done for my fiction class.”
“I’m happy to hear you’re focusing on writing instead of drinking,” she said.
I had always wanted to be a writer, but life had caused me to go in a different direction. “You’re right, mom. I spend all my nights at home being a loser,” I said.
“I can hear the sarcasm in your voice. I’m glad you only have two more semesters until you graduate college. My baby boy graduating from college.”
I could make things better and tell her that I technically have a degree in twerking and making my ass cheeks clapping together, but I knew that wouldn’t go down well with her. “You need to stop bragging about me. I think the other housewives might get pissed at you.”
Thirst Trap
She sighed. “It’s refreshing knowing that you’re doing better after everything that happened with Wade,” she said.
I knew she always wanted to bring him up, but I didn’t feel the desire to get into it. “Mom, I have to go. I’m sorry that I have to cut this short, but I see my professor coming,” I said.
“Always focusing on your academics,” she said. “I love you. Talk to you soon,” she paused. “You also need to give your dad a call.”
“Can’t you relay I’m doing well?” I asked.
Hi mom and dad, I know you’re cool with me being gay, but I dropped out of college to be a homosexual thirst trap. You still love me, right?
I rolled my eyes at the thought. “I will. Love you.” I hung up before she could say anything else.
“You had better be on your way to the bar. There’s a couple of cute boys here, and I know damn well you have nothing else going on,” Jesse had said in a text.
I responded that I would be there in a couple of minutes. I needed a good drink, and an even better lay. I didn’t want to think about the clinic, my parents, or even worse, Wade.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“All four main characters are well fleshed out. The supporting characters are shown with depth also. I liked that it was not a Harlequin style book. Each man needs to own his issues and stop evading the causes.” ~ Richmond Reader
“If you need a group of friends story with all the feels, this is IT. I was instantly immersed in the world this group of four exists in and while it's really rough, it's also really REAL.” ~ AurenRose
“I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a lot of emotional highs and lows in their reads. If you enjoy stories about people learning what it means to “adult” in an often times cruel and unforgiving world, where even the smallest moments of happiness have to be fought for, you will enjoy this one.” ~ Sharonica
“It was enjoyable, engrossing, emotional (be prepared), and I had a hard time putting it down. Each character has their time in the spotlight, and no one overshadows another. It's a story about growing up, coming of age, and so much more. You have to read this one for yourself.” ~ Maria V.
“This is the 2nd book I've read written by Zachary Ryan; he has done a great job at writing a good book; I will definitely be reading more of his books. The story line caught my attention at the very beginning and kept me interested throughout the entire book. I loved the characters.” ~ Jeanne Richardson

About the Author
Zachary Ryan
Zachary Ryan grew up in a black-and-white box in Maryland, before moving to Chicago to start a new life. There, he found that he was accepted for his misfit status–and learned that it’s perfectly normal to spend your twenties feeling lost and confused.
After a disastrous sexual encounter, Ryan stumbled on a group of true friends, or “soul cluster”, that he connected with. Through his writing, he hopes to help other broken souls out there find comfort amid the chaos.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

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