Play by Piper Lawson (Review)



A book that shot up my 2016 favorite books list is this month’s recommendation. Read on for all the details, my book review, and how to enter for a chance to win a magic 8 ball and also get to name a secondary character in the follow up of PLAY!

This tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

PLAY
Piper Lawson
Publication date: August 15th 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

I’m Payton Blake. A successful, balanced twenty-something living the dream.

OK. So it’s a big, shiny-ass lie.I could be all of those things. If I had friends outside of work. And if I didn’t mainline watermelon slushies like they were a food group. It wouldn’t hurt if I’d had sex in the last year, either. (My best friend insists Jorge the Nightstand Boyfriend doesn’t count.)

But when you know where you’re headed, who needs to enjoy the ride? Even if part of me longed for a little between-the-sheets adventure, Max Donovan would be the last guy I’d call.Sure, he made the indie video game that broke the internet. His eyebrow piercing’s sexy, in an ‘are-you-in-a-band?’ kind of way, and fighting with him gets me off faster than Jorge on bezerker mode. But he’s arrogant. Presumptuous. Colder than a cactus and twice as prickly. And I’m not talking about his face, because the guy’s barely old enough to shave.None of it changes the fact that I crave Max Donovan like a watermelon slushy on a hot summer day.

I should ignore him. But I can’t, because he just became my biggest client. And whether he’ll admit it or not, he needs me even more than I need him.

So what happens when the girl who lives to work goes head-to-head with the guy who was born to PLAY?
Game on, Max Donovan.PLAY is a sassy standalone romantic comedy about life, love, and video games. For 18+ due to language and Kindle-incinerating steamy scenes.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Review

The one thing I love in romance novels is the one thing I rarely find. Relatable characters. And by that I don’t mean characters with a couple of traits that simply make them fall into a category with a neon sign screaming “a-hole bad boy” or “dominant CEO” or even “brooding hermit”. I mean 3-D real people with complex stories that make their reactions hard to predict. Heroes that don’t make you roll your eyes.

That’s where Piper Lawson delivers in spades. Max and Payton became my friends overnight. He’s way more complex than a sexy gaming genius geek. She’s way more interesting than a bank junior associate missing dates over balance sheets. And their relationship is way more plausible than your standard insta-attraction that goes wrong.

There’s scorching sexual tension, enough false-starts to want you to eat your Kindle but when these two do hook-up it’s the fourth of July. And it’s not just the build-up and the hot sex. It’s that by the time it happens, you’ll know both of them so well you won’t want to let go.

That’s the recipe for a book you won’t easily forget.

Author Bio:

Join my Insiders list now for a steamy exclusive excerpt! ➜ http://eepurl.com/bNQmYT

I love reading and writing about sassy, sexy, smart women and the guys who fall hard for them. Schooled is the introduction to my Travesty series about ambitious girls who chase their dreams of a fashion label from California to New York and back again.

My main household expenditures include books, coffee and chocolate, not necessarily in that order. Coffee = life (and I’ll defend it accordingly). I have two business degrees, neither of which I’ve leveraged into a fashion label.

Home is Canada plus occasional sunny winter escapes. Come find me on the tennis court, at the beach, on the web at http://www.piperlawsonbooks.com or on twitter @piperjlawson.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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This is Me by C.E. Wilson #SciFi #romance

Ever since watching ET, I find stories which connect alien or android forms with humans fascinating. This is the kind of story C.E. Wilson unfolds in This is Me, a Sci-Fi romance, currently touring with Xpresso Book Tours. Read on for all the book details and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

This is Me.
C.E. Wilson
Publication date: August 11th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

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Rogan is a robot. More specifically, he is an Asist – a personalized humanoid servant that provides protection, assistance, and companionship for a lonely young woman living on her own in the city. Chloe is trying to get her big break, singing at bars and clubs all over the city at night while she pays the bills as a substitute teacher during the day. Ever since she activated him many months ago, Rogan has been her beautiful, dependable, obedient, dead-eyed security blanket.

One morning she is shocked when he disobeys a direct command in an attempt to please her and his dull artificial eyes flash a hint of something new. Is this the result of the adaptive Asist servility programming or is Rogan actually thinking? Can a robot think? Can a robot feel?

As Chloe struggles with these thoughts she is blindsided by the singular Niven Adams, a handsome, confident man with the voice of an angel who is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for her, except for one problem. Niven doesn’t approve of Asists and takes an immediate dislike to Rogan. As Niven charms his way deeper and deeper into Chloe’s heart, Rogan tries to convince her that he is more than a mass-produced disposable servant.

With Rogan doing everything in his power to prove that his thoughts and feelings are real and Niven trying to persuade her to abandon her robot and have a normal human relationship, Chloe is trapped between the two things that mean the most to her. Does she embrace her relationship with the blond newcomer, or face that her Asist’s feelings may be more than features of his programming?

What really makes a person a person?

Is it a ticking muscle inside their chest, or is it something more?

Goodreads / Amazon

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Author Bio:

C.E. Wilson is 32 years old, grew up in Millersville, Pennsylvania, and has been living in Pittsburgh since 2009. For the first few years living in Pittsburgh, she was an English teacher. Her first book, “Oath of Servitude,” was published in 2012. In 2013, she quit teaching to be a full time author and hasn’t looked back since. She loves spending time with her daughter and husband.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Street Team / Twitter / Instagram

 

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Chick-lit meets thriller: Scandal (Part 1) by Alison Foster (Review)

A real page-turner. It’s been a long time since I read a book that really made my pulse accelerate (what is Ella getting into?) and laugh out loud with her snarkiness. Scandal: Part One(a serialized novel) is free right now, so if you’re okay with a heroine with a no holds barred approach and a dirty-mouthed sex god (who could be a murderer), click on the title below. This review tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

Scandal: Part One by Alison Foster

Publication date: July 31st 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
Purchasing Links: Amazon|  B&N

Official Synopsis

Ella Wade knew working at a website called The Daily Scandal might lead to an interesting summer job after graduating college. She did not know that one big mistake would pull her into the heart of a sleazy world of publicity where truths are worse than lies and a murderer is on the loose.

When Ella gives into temptation and sleeps with her stepsister Madison’s ex, her world flips upside down. It doesn’t matter that Madison is dead or that Jaxson Cole wasn’t, in fact, her boyfriend but a publicist’s stunt to link two of the hottest catwalk models romantically in order to feed tabloid curiosity. The damage is done and with deadly consequences.

Even worse, Jax definitely knows things he won’t say. Falling for his epic hotness could mean one good screw will screw Ella for a lifetime.

My Review

She: Fresh-out-of-college Ella Wade, aspiring writer, lands a summer job with The Daily Scandal—a rag. Her waning interest turns into obsession when her boss asks her to go sniff out her dead stepsister’s murderer. The story is written from Ella’s PoV.

He: One word is needed to describe Jaxson Cole: god. The wet dream of million of women worldwide, this top model is spoiled, arrogant and wants Ella. Bad. But his ex-girlfriend (who wasn’t his girlfriend) just died and he wants to help Ella find the culprit. Or mess with her and cover his tracks.

The conflict: The ordinary sibling enters the glam and dirty world of her super model step-sister, which killed her. Determined to find the truth, she dives right in, but Jaxson is the most potent drug. Will she find the truth or lose herself?

The heat: OMG. Very original writing there. Warning: it goes into erotica terriroty.

The good stuff: Super fresh writing. Incredibly witty with subtle yet amazingly effective observations that turn the protagonists into truly complex characters. The suspense element is there, getting stronger towards the end.

The other stuff: for a romance, I wasn’t certain who the Hero was. If not for the blurb, I wouldn’t be sure who Ella would find her HEA with. Still not entirely sure.

Bottom line: One of my best recent reads. I’ll definitely buy the rest of the series.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Alison Foster loves reading a good love story almost as much as she loves writing one. She spends her time dreaming up strong heroes and even stronger heroines and she enjoys finding unexpected strengths within her characters when they are in the most unexpected places.

She believes that passion makes the world go round and that a sexy grin is as sweet as candy. She loves interacting with readers, so feel free to drop her a line.

Connect with the Author

Follow Alison on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlisonFoster

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http://eepurl.com/2pWEv

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Waterfall & Waterproof by Amber Garr (NA – Dystopian)

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A world that starves for water. A nuclear holocaust. A boy and a girl fight to survive against all odds. That’s the gripping tale of the Water Crisis Chronicles by Amber Garr, presented today. Read on for all the book details, my four-star review and details on how to win a Kindle Fire (if you’re in the US) or ebook copies (open internationally). This tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

Waterfall & Waterproof by Amber Garr

(The Water Crisis Chonicles, #1)
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult

Purchase Links Book 1: Amazon |  B&N

Purchase Links: Book 2: Amazon |  B&N

Waterfall

Waterproof

Official Synopsis

Synopsis book 1 – Waterfall:

The water is gone. The wars have begun.

Clean water is a luxury most can no longer afford. Climate change, industrial sabotage, and greed have turned country against country as each one tries to provide for its citizens. Terrorist groups target desalinization plants and frustrated governments hunt those who work against them. Rationing, sequestering, and patrolling have become routine at a time when there are too many people and not enough resources.

While the world around them disintegrates into chaos, Zach and Vivienne hope that their life in a government-run complex will retain some semblance of normalcy. But when attacks on their water supplies bring war to their sheltered community, they must accept their new fate. Stay and fight or flee and endure—it’s a difficult decision with lasting consequences.

Will they choose what’s safe? Or will they choose to survive?

Synopsis book 2 – Waterproof:

Dying of thirst is the new reality.

Five years after the last drop of clean water disappeared, global societies collapsed and nuclear war shattered all hope of recovery. In a place now only a skeleton of its former self, survivors fight to avoid capture by the government. Forced to work in factories that produce the only drinking water available, those who go in, never come out.

Zach and Vivienne have lived as deserters since they were teenagers. Fighting amongst their own and scrounging for the necessities of life, they’ve learned to rely on each other in every way. Yet when tragedy strikes and the true objectives of the government facility are revealed, their world is ripped apart. A fate once thought to hold their demise may be the sole answer to their survival. Who can they trust? Who can they believe?

In this life, it pays to be waterproof.

My Review of Waterfall

Why I selected this book

A waterless earth and the ensuing chaos, combined with a solid blurb was what attracted me to this book. The budding romance between a boy and a girl fighting for mere existence, having lost everything was the other factor.

My impressions after I read Waterfall

This is a well written book. Amber Carr is an excellent line author. The action is heart-pounding, relentless and vividly portrayed, involving all senses. I really felt I lived in this world. However, I didn’t find myself particularly engrossed because I saw no endgame. Struggle to survival is the theme of this story, but there’s no conflict or a defining moment (after the world goes down) to help me get more involved. I’m sure this is more evident in the second book, but I needed to have a clearer idea where this was leading to. The two MCs, Zach and Vivienne, get off to a great start, but their relationship is very static in this first book.

Bottom line: if you enjoy action-packed, dystopian stories, Waterfall is the book for you. As a reader who goes for character-driven stories, I expected more.

Enter here for a chance to win a Kindle Fire (US) or ebook copies (Int’l)

About the Author

AmberAmber Garr spends her days as a scientist and nights writing about other worlds. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner, author of the bestselling novels The Syrenka Series, the award-winning Water Crisis Chronicles, The Leila Marx Novels, and the Death Warden Series. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie. Find out more at www.ambergarr.com.
Author links:
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Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley (Book Blitz)

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I usually do review & excerpts posts here, but I just had to include this super sweet, lavender-purple cover that I adored upon laying eyes on it. Finding Perfect  is a new YA romance by Entangled Crush. Read on for all book details, info on how to win a $25 Amazon gift card, and other goodies by Kendra C. Highley as well as to find out what the author’s favorite teen movies are plus an excerpt. And then, resist buying.

Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley

Published by: Entangled Crush
Publication date: September 14th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Purchase Link: Amazon |    B&N

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Official Synopsis

For “Perfect Paige” Westfeld, today is “D” Day. As in, she just got one on her calculus test. With  her dreams of Stanford, her reputation, and her parents’ expectations at stake, Paige needs to  find a way to save face before everything she’s worked for goes up in flames.

Ben Franklin (yes, he’s related) is from the wrong side of town, with the wrong clothes and the  wrong kind of life. He also knows an opportunity when he sees one, and he’ll be happy to tutor  Paige—if she makes him into the kind of guy her best friend, the hottest girl in school, will date.

It’s the perfect arrangement. And Paige is determined not even the inconvenient—and utterly imperfect—attraction simmering between her and Ben will ruin it…

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Enter here for a chance to win $25 Amazon gift card and signed FIND PERFECT and SIDELINED bookmarks as well as a signed copy of SIDELINED (US only)

Kendra C. Highley’s favorite teen movies

Being a newbie to writing a contemporary YA romance, but a long-time fan of teen movies with a romantic bent, I thought I’d share my five favorite teen movies:

5) Pride and Prejudice (The A&E version)

Does this really count? I think so, since Lizzie was only twenty when her epic romance with Mr. Darcy began. Plus, Lydia? Scandalous, silly Lydia? Only fifteen and proof that even two hundred years ago, some teen girls are seriously boy crazy. The angst and the tension and the miscues between Lizzie and Mr. Darcy are superb. It even made my 12 year old daughter sigh.  Oh, and the pond. Collin Firth, I tip my hat, sir. Jennifer Ehle was delightful as Lizzie—lovely, sharp tongued, and independent.

4) Juno

Based on this list, Michael Cera might be emerging as my unlikely favorite leading man. Truth is—he picks great movies. Juno is a unique and quirky love story about a girl who got pregnant by her friend the very first time they had sex. The love story comes into play with them becoming closer while they cope with this big change.  Juno (a remarkable Ellen Page) also makes the decision to give her baby up for adoption and that’s a love story, too. The line, “She never really belonged to us,” makes me cry every single time.

3) Some Kind of Wonderful

Okay, if you’ve only indulged in Say Anything as your 80s teen movie, you missed a few. One of my favorites isn’t one you usually see on lists, though. Some Kind of Wonderful is a crazy-amazing look at the divide between popular/rich and unpopular/working class. John Hughes wrote it, and his touch shines through. If you took Pretty in Pink, gender flipped it, and gave it the ending we really wanted—there you have it. It’s gloriously acted by Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Lea Thompson.  Key line:  “You look good wearing my future.” Swoon!

2) Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist

This might be all about the casting, but the adventure of running around NYC, looking for a band leaving clues about where they’ll perform, is also an achingly sweet love story. The scene in the recording studio? Wow. Michael Cera and Kat Dennings are adorable together and the whole movie makes you feel like your greatest moment is right there, waiting.

1) The Breakfast Club

This movie stands up. It’s amazing how well it stands up. I saw it first when I was 13. I remember it so clearly (I was home with strep and thoroughly miserable)— it made me feel like someone got me. Someone understood what school, what teens, were like. And, come on, Bender and Claire (Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald)? That chemistry oozed off the screen. It was the perfect opposites attract, rich girl/bad boy romance. I watched it recently and swooned all over again. Oh, sure, the kids don’t have iPhones and who does Saturday detention anymore, but the essence of it is still…perfect.

How about you? What are some of your favorites?

Excerpt

Ben rocked from foot to foot, then said, “Want to come in? I mean, it’s not much, but—”

“I’d love to!” she answered in a rush, before he could change his mind. He raised an eyebrow and Paige almost laughed—he and Zoey could play Eyebrow Battle Royale when they went out. A wave of cold washed over her. She had to stop thinking about how this would all end, otherwise she’d make herself sick. “Well, are we going in or not?”

Looking nervous, he let her in a side door near the carport. The first thing she noticed was the house smelled like… “Brownies? You have brownies? For real? Where are they? Can I have some?”

He hung his keys on a hook by the door and turned to her, smiling. “My mom usually cooks stuff before she goes to work. We can go look.”

They went through a tiny utility room—more like a hallway—into a small, clean kitchen. The rest of the room, because it was all one room, had a little dining table and a living area with a sofa and a TV. Paige took all that in with one quick glance, then zeroed in on the baking pan on the range. Speechless, she merely pointed and gave Ben a single, pleading look.

By now he was laughing. “If I’d known you had a brownie fetish, I wouldn’t have worried so much about bringing you home.”

He pulled the foil off the pan and cut her a big square. The first bite was heaven. “Ohhhh my God. Mmmm.”

“Okay, so fetish was the right word. You sound a little like a porn soundtrack.” He cut a brownie for himself. “What, you don’t eat brownies at your house?”

“No.” She had to eat another bite before explaining further. Heavenly bliss on a napkin. “My mother, in addition to being randomly rude—I’m so sorry for the way she acted, by the way, because she was a total bitch. No idea what her problem was. Anyway, she’s a health fiend, and an all-organic champion. No junk food is allowed in the house. When Mom bakes, it’s low-fat, gluten-free, and non-GMO. She wouldn’t even let me buy something good at my own bake sale today. I have to buy candy bars on the way to school and hoard them in my locker if I want a fix.”

“Wow…that sucks,” he said emphatically before popping the rest of his brownie in his mouth.

She nodded, too drunk on chocolate to bother answering.

His expression softened, and he reached out to brush her cheek. Goose bumps covered her arms and she gulped down her brownie. “What is it?”

He leaned forward, looking down into her eyes, before smiling. “Crumb on your cheek.”

She flushed head to toe, not sure if she was embarrassed or something else. Good God, she needed some air. Their faces were inches apart. All she’d have to do was lean forward and tilt her mouth up and they’d kiss. Would that bother him? Scare him off? He swayed closer to her and his hand drifted from her face to her shoulder.

No, to hell with worrying about it. She wanted him to kiss her. She turned her face up to his, and their lips were a breath away from touching. He stared down at her, mouth slightly open, and any second now, any second and he would kiss her. Any second…

About the Author

KendraKendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important cats. This, according to the cats, is her most crucial job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.

Author links

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Funny and heartwarming: Neighbors with Benefits by Marissa Clarke

A fun contemporary romance published by Lovestruck (Entangled) is on the menu today. Opposites attract with great insight into character growing, masterfully done by Marissa Clarke. Read on for my five-star review of Neighbors With Benefits, the second book in the Anderson Brothers, and all the book details. This review tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

Neighbors With Benefits
by Marissa Clarke

Published by: Entangled: Lovestruck
Publication date: June 30th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Purchase Links:  Amazon  |  B&N

Neighbors

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Official Synopsis

Love thy sexy jerk of a neighbor…

CEO Michael Anderson might be something of a “control freak.” Still, he’s not quite sure why his therapist thinks dogsitting will fix anything—especially since he and the canine share a kind of mutual loathing. And to make matters worse, a house sitter moves in next door disrupting his peace—and his dates—with the worst possible music at the worst possible time… every time.

Free-spirited artist Mia Argaropolis has settled into the perfect gig—housesitting in NYC’s Upper West Side while working as an art therapist. Too bad she’s stuck living next door to a bossy control freak with a penchant for calling building security when she blasts music to drown out the noises coming through his bedroom wall.

Post-apocalyptic dinner rolls that nearly take her kitchen with them, a douchebag ex, and a Shih Tzu with the personality of Godzilla attack Mia in one day, and her unlikely neighbor comes to the rescue. Like it was her fault. And now, somehow, they find themselves engaged? Both agree, this neighborly feud just got taken to a whole new level.

My Review

She: Mia Argaropolis, a near-starving artist with a huge heart, earns money as a house-sitter to make ends meet keeping her job as an art therapist at a senior citizens’ home. Bringing joy through art is her one goal. Because, frankly, she has no other. It’s not her fault she’s flaky, impulsive and no one can count on her to carry something through. That’s who she is, and whoever doesn’t like her, can take a hike.

He: Michael Anderson is a CEO and everything that comes with it. In other words, he breathes control and order. Okay, color-coordinating socks maybe shows he should let go, but dogsitting? His therapist’s idea is as foul as the dogpoo he ended carrying in his pocket. In a business meeting. The annoying neighbor seems to know her way around dogs though, so helping her out as her pretend fiance in exchange for her dogsitting services makes sense. Her almost burning down the house while flooding it doesn’t.

The conflict: Opposites attract goes on a whole new level. A rigid, self-centered, mega-successful control freak needs to make things work with a hot-mess of a woman. Figuring out why he needs that and claiming her makes for a truly fun read.

The setting: Contemporary Upper East side, Manhattan and the Hamptons.

The heat: Slow building. I thought it would stay sweet-ish but when the couple came together, fireworks popped.

The good stuff: The fully fleshed characters. I loved how Marissa Clarke paints a full picture with one character (Michael) not perceiving his flows and the other (Mia) not seeing her strengths. Merging two extremely opposite characters in a plausible way takes skill and mastery, which the author has in spades. The writing is great. I had several laugh-out-loud moments. The Queen B’s, the elderly, inappropriate ladies at the seniors’ home were an interesting change from the cookie-cutter slutty girlfriend sidekick.

The other stuff: Maybe, the overall pace of the book cranked up a notch. And the major misunderstanding that tore the couple apart was a bit exaggerated.

Bottom line: A fun read. Witty, heart-warming and sexy. I’ll sure pick up, Sleeping with the Boss, Book 1 in the Anderson Brothers series.

About the Author

Marissa Clarke lives in Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn Terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa’s heart) with an iron paw. Marissa Clarke is a pseudonym. Her real name is Mary Lindsey and she also writes young adult novels for Penguin USA. She loves to connect with readers and can be found at http://www.marissaclarke.com and on Twitter at @MaryL_MarissaC

For sneak peeks at upcoming projects and chances to win prizes, join her Facebook street team group, Camp Clarke: http://www.facebook.com/groups/CampClarke/

To receive updates and insider information on Marissa’s upcoming books, subscribe here: http://www.tinyurl.com/marissanews

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Sugar Skulls by Glenn Dallas & Lisa Mantchev (Cover Reveal)

I rarely do cover reveals on this blog since, well, if I can’t know what a cover will look like, it might well be not to my liking. And that won’t work. However, I loved this book’s blurb, and I thought I’d help spread the word. And guess what? I love the cover, too! If that doesn’t draw the reader’s attention, I don’t know what will.

Sugar Skulls by Glenn Dallas & Lisa Mantchev is a sci-fi, dystopian, New Adult story with a unique plot. Read on for all the book details and a sneak preview. This cover reveal tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

Sugar Skulls by Glenn Dallas & Lisa Mantchev

Published by: Skyscape
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult, Science Fiction
Date of Publication: November 10, 2015
Purchase Link: Amazon

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Official Synopsis

Welcome to Cyrene, a city where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young citizens. Everyone lives on the grid, and the residents of the world’s largest playground are encouraged to pursue every physical and emotional pleasure imaginable.

Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, an all-girl band that is Corporate’s newest pet project. Micah haunts the city like a ghost after an overdose of a deadly illegal street drug knocks him off the grid. When Micah and Vee forge an immediate, undeniable connection, their troubled worlds collide.

Trading concert stages for Cyrene’s rooftops and back alleys, they have to evade vicious thugs and Vee’s possessive manager as they unravel the mysteries connected to their dark pasts. And before the curtain falls, Micah and Vee will bring the city to its knees in their desperate bid for love, home, and a future together.

 

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Sneak preview

If strings ran up my spine, she just plucked the high E, a fierce vibration that shakes me to my core.

She looks away, and quakes subside into mere tremors. Propping myself up against the bar, I abandon my drink to process the last few seconds.

All these months, there’s been nothing. But just now? I felt it. I feel it. I pulse with life, lightning dancing across my skin as she batters the crowd with furious verses.

But I’m stuck on that first gasp.

One note. One word. She laid me low and resurrected me in one fell swoop.

Who is this girl?

About the Authors

GlennWhen not working on puzzles for Penny Press or writing about them for PuzzleNation, Glenn Dallas is an author of short stories and at least half of one novel. After appearing in the acknowledgments of several outstanding novels, he looks forward to returning the favor in the future.

LisaLisa Mantchev is the acclaimed author of Ticker and the Théâtre Illuminata series, which includes Eyes Like Stars, nominated for a Mythopoeic Award and the Andre Norton Award. She has also published numerous short stories in magazines, including Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, and Fantasy. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with her husband, children, and horde of furry animals. Visit her online at www.lisamantchev.com.

Author links (Lisa)

Author links (Glenn):

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