Swoon Thursday – Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

It’s SWOON Thursday, hosted by the awesome authors over at YA bound. Here’s how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog. We want to know!

This week, I’m SWOONING over:

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Our lips moved together. Gently at first, then desperate. Greedy for one another. This was what it meant to be kissed, only this time I didn’t need to be taught. Kissing him felt natural, as essential as air. I breathed him in, filled my mouth with the taste of him.

SO NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! On your blog and/or on Twitter, tell us what’s got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering.

Be sure to attach your link to YA Bound and shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound.

Release Day Buzz and Giveaway: The Only Answer by Magan Vernon

We’re excited to celebrate the release of The Only Answer by Magan Vernon! The world needs more #TreyChapman’s! Check out the excerpt below and let us know what you think!
Author: Magan Vernon
Age Group: NA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 8/25/14

Goodreads | Amazon


The sequel to the international hit, The Only Exception.

A boy burdened with a family legacy.

A girl haunted by a shattered past.

Both searching for answers to a future threatened by the unknown.

Three years ago, conservative Trey Chapman and liberal Monica Remy met their match in one another – and made the only exception that would change their lives forever.

Now, Trey’s father is running for president, forcing Trey and Monica to put aside their personal beliefs to be the model of perfection.

But fate has other ideas, casting the family in scandal.

Some seek to use that disgrace to further their family legacy, while others refuse to let go of the past. Trey and Monica soon find themselves lost among questions that challenge their true feelings. Will they be able to rediscover that the only answer lies with one another, or will they lose each other forever?

The cabin John’s family owned wasn’t as big as the one my parents owned on Lake Michigan, but what it lacked in size it made up for in entertaining area. There were seven of us: John’s brother Ben, his brother-in-law Mark, and our fraternity brothers Brad, Gabe, and Short Stack. We were huddled around the sixty-four-inch TV that was installed above a brick fireplace. The room was equipped with surround sound, leather couches, and enough alcohol to probably kill a small animal.
I was fine with that. I would rather just hang out than be at some overcrowded bar while girls tried to grind on me. I’d had my fair share of that in college when I attempted to go to parties at our fraternity house or the few times I ended up at the bar with John as his designated driver. I would have rather been at home with Monica anytime.
A loud knock came at the door. I guessed pizza or something. John’s sister had only sent a few bags of chips and some guacamole. That’s as far as food went.
“Hey Chapman, since you’re not playing can you get that?” Ben asked.
“Sure.” I stood up and walked the few feet to the front door.
Upon opening it my eyes widened when a woman with bright blonde hair in a police uniform stood at the door. She was wearing a pair of aviators that she promptly whipped off and showed heavily made up eyes. “Excuse me, I received a call about a noise complaint?” She put her sunglasses in the front of her shirt that was way too low and cleavage-baring for someone who represented the law.
“Oh. I’m sorry, ma’am. It’s my friend’s bachelor party. I’ll tell them to keep it down.” She smiled slightly and shaking her head. “A polite one, eh? I like that.”
“You’re welcome.” It was all I could think of to say. I’d never actually had an altercation with the police so I wasn’t sure what I should say or do.
“But you’ve been naughty and I think it’s time for you and the rest of these boys to be punished.” She stormed inside, slamming the door behind her.
My eyes widened and everything moved too fast for me to even react any farther. The sound
went down on the TV behind me and I heard someone yell something about a stripper as the pseudo-police officer pulled an iPod out of the pocket of her short shorts and pressed it so that the theme from Cops blared from the speakers. She tossed the phone behind me and I heard someone catch it. She then put one hand on my shoulder and used the other hand to rip open her button down shirt, exposing a very large pair of breast with pierced nipples that had tiny tassels dangling from the hoops.
“Go Chapman!” someone else yelled.
The topless girl pushed me back and I fell onto a chair I didn’t know was there. As soon as I sat down, she tossed her shirt to someone behind her then slipped off her shorts, tossing those as well. She stood there just wearing those nipple rings and a pair of white panties that had the words #bachelorparty printed across it.
“Chapman? That’s your name?” she purred, swaying her hips back and forth.
“I like a man with a good strong, name. Hope your body’s just as strong.” She slid onto my lap. I’m not sure where her legs went, but all I could focus on was the way her body moved on my lap. I was trying not to stare, but the rings were dangling in my face and she was twisting and turning so lithe that I didn’t know what she was going to do next.
Slowly she leaned forward, putting her lips to my ear. “Mr. Chapman, I think your phone is vibrating, unless you’ve brought something else to the party.”
“Uh, no, that’s probably my phone.” I scrambled, reaching in my pocket for my phone. I would have thought that would have given her the hint to slide off of me but instead she turned around and spread my legs, sliding her body up and down between me. The guys were hollering so loud behind me, I could barely make out what they were saying or anything else going on.
But my attention was definitely brought back to the moment when I saw the name on my phone: Monica. She was out at Melanie’s bachelorette party, I didn’t know why she would be calling. My first thought was that she got sick and I needed to pick her up so I needed to answer immediately.
I unlocked my phone and slid it to my ear. “Hey, what’s going on, are you okay?”
Her voice was jumbled. Static-y. I could barely make out what she was saying. I thought since there was a great Internet connection for gaming, my cell service would be the same.
“Monica? Monica? Can you hear me?”
The stripper bounced on my lap and reached out for my phone. “Is that the new wifey? Lemme tell her what a bad boy you’ve been.”
I dipped to the left, avoiding her long nails. “Yes, it’s my future wife.”
“Trey? Hello? Who is that?” Monica’s words were scrambled but it was pretty loud and clear that she heard the stripper.
“Hold on.” I put my phone to my chest and looked straight at the girl on my lap. Not at the damn tassels or her underwear, but in her overly done up eyes that were staring at me like there was nothing up in her big blonde head. “Ma’am, I appreciate that you have a job to do but I’m not the bachelor at this party and my fiancée needs to speak to me. If you could please hop on down and go sit on John’s lap it would be greatly appreciated.”
She didn’t say anything. She just stared at me open mouthed as I quickly sat up and she practically fell off my lap instead of just standing like I asked her to. I took my phone and ran out the back patio door, hoping I could get a better signal there.
“Monica? Are you there? Can you hear me?”
“Trey. Internet. Bar. Pregnant.” It was all I could understand in the jumbled mess. Her voice was frantic and that’s all I could get. Whatever those four words meant, it couldn’t be good and I knew I had to go back to her.

Don’t forget to see where Trey and Monica’s story began, in The Only Exception! Also, fall in love with John Boy and Melanie’s story in The Only One!


The Only Exception

GoodReads  |  Amazon Barnes & Noble

GoodReads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


  $50 Gift Card to winners choice between Amazon, BN or iTunes ->a Rafflecopter giveaway

MaganMagan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. When not writing she spends her time fighting over fake boyfriends via social media. You can find her online on:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter


Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop!

clear your shelf

Welcome to the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop, hosted by I am a Reader, not a Writer! For the hop, one winner will get will have a chance to win:

Here are the Rules:

  1. You must be 13 years or older to participate. Giveaway is open internationally.
  2. Fill in your name and email in the form below (one entry per person, please – duplicates will be deleted).
  3. The Clear Your Shelf Giveaway will close at 12:01 AM, August 28th.
  4. No following or retweeting required, but much appreciated. Also feel free to leave a comment below if you would like, I love meeting new people!

Good Luck!!

This Giveaway is now Closed. :)

Click here to follow Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop and view the other great giveaways that are occurring!

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Monster Within by Kelly Hashway

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side—a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.

She’s now a monster that drains others’ lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.

But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

The car stopped, and Ethan’s hand slipped from mine. I turned to him, blinking against the fluorescent lights of the gas station.

“Sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to wake you. I just needed to get some gas and a few things from the convenience store. There’s no food at the cottage. I thought I’d grab some crackers and soda. Stuff like that. I’ll even see if they have black licorice for you. I know you love it.”

I nodded and started for my seat belt.

“No. You stay.” Ethan opened his door and stepped outside. I let my hair fall across my shoulders, trying to warm myself against the night air. “I’ll be right back.”

The trunk opened, and a moment later, Ethan opened my door, handing me one of his sweatshirts. “Here, you look cold.”

I smiled. “Thanks.” He knew me so well. I watched him walk inside the store and heard the soft click of the car locking again. He wasn’t taking any chances with me. I knew he’d protect me from anything. He’d already protected me from death. He was my every- thing now. I would never see my family or friends again. I had to start over. The thought terrified me, but at least I had Ethan by my side.

I hugged the sweatshirt to my body. I was too tired to actually put it on, and, this way I could breathe in Ethan’s scent while I kept warm. I inhaled deeply at first, and then my breaths became shallow, which was weird considering how tired I felt. I yawned. Exhaustion overwhelmed me. Apparently it took a lot of energy to return from the dead.

I leaned my head on the window, hoping the cool glass would keep me awake, but my head spun, making me dizzy. My arms and legs tingled with the sensation of pins and needles. I felt like I had a million spiders crawling all over me. I threw the sweatshirt off me and onto the floor. My arms were bare. No spiders. But the feeling didn’t go away. I panicked. The walls of the car were caving in on me. The air around me was tight, strangling me.

I searched the convenience store windows for Ethan, but all I saw was a guy in a cowboy hat, and a woman taking her little boy to the bathroom. Where was Ethan? The lightheadedness was getting worse—more intense. My breathing was labored. In a panic, I reached for the door handle. It took me a moment to remember it was locked, but when I finally got it open, I stumbled out of the car into the fresh air. I gulped oxygen into my lungs, hoping it would make me feel better, but it didn’t.

I was suffocating. Life was draining out of me. I collapsed to my knees, skinning them against the pavement. Wheezing, I crawled forward, trying to reach the convenience store door. Trying to reach Ethan. I needed help. I didn’t know what was happening to me, but it felt like I was dying…again.

Monster Within teaser 2

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Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pintrest

Redemption in YA

Today I’m chatting a little about Redemption as a theme in young adult novels and how it applies to my main character, Seth O’Keefe. Be sure to check it out at Plain Talk BM:


{Blog Tours} Character Profile and Giveaway: If Ever I Would Leave You by Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and Jenny Trout

If-Ever-I-Would-Leave-You bannerWelcome to my stop on Honey Queen blog tour hosted by YA
Bound Book Tours
.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

If Ever I Would Leave You_CoverIf Ever I Would Leave You: Arthurian Stories For A New Generation
by Jessica JarmanBronwyn GreenJenny Trout writing as Abigail Barnette
Release Date: 07/2014

Summary from Goodreads:

Bronwyn Green

A year after Tabby Nolan’s sister vanished from the Lake Michigan shore with her boyfriend, Liam, Tabby visits the spot where the two were last seen– and finds herself pulled into the crumbling world of Avalon.

Since his disappearance, Liam has been trapped in the mythical land, with no link to the world he knew. Now, their shared memories of Tabby’s missing sister are all they can cling to as Avalon dies around them.

But Tabby doesn’t want to be a replacement for her sister, and her growing attachment to Liam feels like a betrayal. As Avalon fades around them, Liam and Tabby must rely on each other– or be lost with the ancient kingdom forever.

Albion’s Circle: The Deepest Cut
Jessica Jarman

For nineteen years, Anna has been plagued by dreams of lives lived only in legend. Finally free from the family that believed her hopeless and worthless, she’s ready to start her life over—alone.

When Anna meets an enigmatic stranger claiming to be the legendary wizard Merlin, she is forced to question the very reality she’s struggled to accept. With the mythic figures from her dreams intruding on her waking life, Anna learns that she’s been reborn to fight an ancient evil alongside King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Caught in an ages old conflict, Anna is the key to stopping a dark magic that will destroy the world—and Merlin wants to make sure that this time, Anna isn’t alone.

A Choice Fit For A Queen
Jenny Trout
writing as Abigail Barnette

For perpetual overachiever Madison Lane, a summer studying Arthurian mythology in the Welsh countryside with professor Thomas Evans is a dream come true, and the adventure of a lifetime.

Of course, the enormous crush Madison developed on the professor after a semester of his lectures at U of M has absolutely nothing to do with her desire to learn more about the enduring legend of Camelot. At least, that’s what she’s telling her parents.

When Madison meets fellow student Rhys Crewe, sparks fly, throwing her plans for wild fling with Professor Evans completely out of whack—as do her unexpectedly complicated feelings for Thomas. With tales of Arthur and Lancelot haunting her every waking moment, Madison has to make the most difficult choice of her life.



***Character Profile***

Name:  Tabby Nolan

Age: 18

Personality:  She’s pragmatic, determined, loyal, giving, self conscious, feels inadequate, but manages to hide her self-doubts. She’d sacrifice everything for those she loves, but wouldn’t expect the same in return.

Tabby’s most important truth: Sometimes second best is all there is, and it will have to do.

Likes:  Sailing—she likes the feel of the water beneath her… it’s calming in its unpredictable nature. She likes the empty beach at nightfall—the breeze through the trees, the sand between her toes. Solitude brings her peace. She also loves her sister and would do anything for her. She wouldn’t turn down dark chocolate if someone offered it to her.

Dislikes: She dislikes feeling like a failure and really hates feeling like she’s let anyone down. She dislikes feeling trapped—both physically and emotionally and dealing with people who refuse to look at both sides of a situation. She allows herself to be motivated by guilt, and she hates that about herself.


DVD Prize Pack: King Arthur, The Mists of Avalon, Tristan + Isolde

2 $25 Amazon gift cards

Click Here to Enter -> a Rafflecopter giveaway

jessica jarmanJessica Jarman is an author, blogger, and rather obsessive fangirl. Having grown up in Upper Michigan and currently living in Minnesota, she is a Midwestern girl through and through. And wouldn’t have it any other way.

When Jessica isn’t working to get words on the page, she passes the time with her amazing husband and four children, attempting to be crafty (and failing miserably), squeeing uncontrollably over her favorite shows or curling up with a good book.

bronyn greenBronwyn Green is an author, blogger and compulsive crafter. She lives Michigan with her husband, two sons and three somewhat-psychotic cats. When not frantically writing, she can be found helping in her youngest son’s classroom or binge-watching Netflix while working on her latest craft project. Bronwyn loves to talk to her readers and can be found at www.bronwyngreen.com

abigail bJenny Trout is an author, blogger, and funny person. Writing as Jennifer Armintrout, she made the USA Today bestseller list with Blood Ties Book One: The Turning. Her novel American Vampire was named one of the top ten horror novels of 2011 by Booklist Magazine Online. She is a proud Michigander, mother of two, and wife to the only person alive capable of spending extended periods of time with her without wanting to kill her.

Blog Tour Hosted by:


Book Review: The Monster Within

Author: Kelly Hashway

Genre: YA paranormal fantasy
Published: June 17th 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Pages: 220
Source: ARC from Author
Available at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads Summary:

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side–a completely unfair shot at life.

But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.

She’s now a monster that drains others’ lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.

But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

My Rating of this Book – 5 out of 5 stars

My Review:

If you enjoy a young adult twist to the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a little witch craft thrown in, then The Monster Within is the novel you’re looking for.

The plot was refreshing compared with the usual young adult reads that have been released over the past year. The idea of unleashing the monster inside, even if it’s just yourself craving survival and life, hasn’t really been played on in a lot of the novels I’ve seen on shelves, when in fact, many of us actually do battle our inner monsters each day. And though I didn’t really see Sam and Ethan as the dark characters that were advertised, the story and antagonist that caused this didn’t disappoint. It was definitely intense and the motives behind the whole plot were totally wicked.

The only real head banger for me as I read this novel was that Sam was so trusting. There’s a reason to this, and I understand, but I just wish she fought a little harder and questioned certain things a little more instead of being totally blind. Especially when certain stories didn’t line up—at least, in my opinion, they didn’t. Actually, they kept pointing in a completely different direction as far as I could see.

Overall, this was an amazing standalone novel, and I actually hope there might be a second. Whether it’s a sequel or companion I really don’t care. Sam and Ethan’s story was great, and honestly, I want to read more about Dylan. He was the most fascinating to me and I would love to learn more about him and his past. Hell, I’d love to learn more about the whole coven!

I highly recommend adding this novel to your bookshelves.