Sunday, March 26, 2017

ApollyCon 2017 Was a Blast!

So, I can't find the tour info I needed to post today, so I'm just going to say that I had a blast at Apollycon the last two days, so be prepared for a post this week showcasing all of my pictures with awesome authors and talking all about all the fun I had!  I'll probably also tell you about my Harry Potter Wizarding World experience which I'll be doing today!  Hope you all had a great weekend! 

I'm also behind on reading comments and going and commenting on other blogs, but have no fear, that should happen later tonight I think!  Before I go though, just one picture I have to go ahead and share.  The main reason I wanted to go to this convention was because I HAD to meet Anna Todd. She was so sweet, and I can't wait to tell you all about meeting her.  But here I am with her!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Release Blitz: Back to You by CJ Miranda

Four years later, she's home.
And there's a storm awaiting her.
Book Cover
Genre:†Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Publication Date: March 25, 2017

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Beautiful Dark (Beautiful Rivers #3) by JL White

Book info:
Title:  Beautiful Dark
Author:  J.L. White
Series:  Beautiful Rivers #3
Publication date: March 21st, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Who is Mason Reeves?
Corrine Rivers and her cousins desperately need to find out. Evidence suggests he’s the illegitimate child of her beloved Uncle Grant. The truth is just as hard to bear.
What’s also hard is Mason himself. All over. From his broad, muscular chest and massive biceps to his “screw you” attitude. Because Mason Reeves wants nothing to do with his inheritance or the wealthy Rivers clan, and isn’t afraid to say so.
As Mason’s tragic connections to Corrine’s family emerge, the facts are reason enough for her to stay away. But she can’t seem to resist him, and what’s worse, he feels the same way about her. To everyone’s surprise, Corrine and Mason get in deep, in more ways than one. But it turns out the biggest obstacle to their happiness isn’t Mason’s past.
It’s hers.
Standing behind me, he says, “Corrine…” with that damned heated desire for me practically dripping from his voice. I ignore him.
I tug the ribbon at the back of my head, removing the mask and slapping it on the table.
I’m only just standing here, but I’m breathing hard and shallow. His breaths are coming hard too, but still he doesn’t move. He crossed half the country to get to me, but he won’t close the final one-foot gap.
I want to say that I wish he’d never come, but it’d be a big, fat lie. Even though it would’ve been so much easier, even though I’m hurt and angry about the situation we’re in now—which I know isn’t even his fault—my heart still clings to every second I’ve had with him, wishing so hard for more.
I hear his mask drop on the table next to me.
“Why did you even bother coming?” I spin to face him. And there he is. All him. No mask. No hiding. Only Mason. Just looking at him consumes me.
He doesn’t answer. His eyes grip me and his breath comes out in hard, little puffs. The intensity of his stare halts my own breath. God, he looks like he’s going to attack.
Then he does. He rushes me, cupping my face and backing me against the wall. I let out a gasp.
“I know this is a bad fucking idea,” he says heatedly, “but I’m so tired of fighting it. The whole flight over, I kept asking myself what the fuck I’m doing, but I have no idea. I only know I can’t take this any longer.”
Having this much testosterone aimed in my direction is making my ovaries pop. He’s so fucking male. I’m pinned, the wall behind me and nothing but Mason in front. He dominates everything I see. All I know is his hard body against mine, his hot breath on my lips, his gaze seizing me. I can’t look away. I can hardly breathe.
“I can’t resist you. I have to have you.” His eyes lock on my mouth. “I have to taste you.”
Stripped of the ability to speak, I can only part my lips in invitation. Begging him to give in at last.

Author Bio:
J.L. White writes sassy, steamy contemporary and new adult romances featuring smart heroines and the swoon-worthy men who adore them. If you’re tired of heroes who are jerks, heroines who are too stupid to live, and relationships that scream “train wreck” instead of “true love”, she’s your girl.
Her first series, the Firework Girls, centers around four amazing, hilarious girlfriends. Her newest series, Beautiful Rivers, follows the young heirs of the luxurious Rivers Paradise Resort as they find love.
Each book can be read as a STANDALONE, comes complete with a HEA, and is guaranteed to make you squirm.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway: Redux (Tricksters #2) by A.L. Davroe

Book info:
Author:  A.L. Davroe
SeriesTricksters #2
Genre:YA Science Fiction
Published:  March 21st, 2017
Pulisher:  Entangled Teen
Source: E-galley received from publisher for honest review
My rating:  5 stars

What can I say except that A.L. Davroe has blown me away once again.  This book picks up right after where book one, Nexis, left off. Which is good, because it left off at a pretty suspenseful part.  If you haven't read the first one, I can't promise no spoilers in this review, so you should click on my linked title of book 1 above and go read that review first maybe.

We had so many interesting revelations in the first book.  And now we're back with Ella, and her love from within the game of Nexis, Gus.  But maybe outside of the game, the true love that they had isn't going to work quite the same.  Not only that, but the president's sun, Quentin, seems to be interested in Ella as well, and he keeps kissing her, which irritates her to no end.  Partly because his kisses are something she can't seem to resist.  However so much is going on, not only are all the robots and other machines within their dome of Evanescence killing anything alive that they find, the rebels from outside the dome have come in and been attacking the Aristocrats as well.  So Ella and Gus, Quentin and his Dolls, along with some other Aristocrats left after the big catastrophe have gone below into a tunnel that will connect to the next dome over.  Where they hope to make it to in order to get help.  

However when they go to open the crates of what should be full of food and other much needed supplies in this disaster, they find them empty.  So now there is also the mystery of who had been into this secret room.  Now they now they are going to have to go up into the cities outside the dome to try to find the food they need in order to make it all the way through the tunnel to find the next dome and hopefully a new life.  However when the virus that caused the dome to crash took over, many things happened that as far as Quentin and Zane and the other people in on it with Ella's uncle had no idea would happen.  The machines rising up as they did, and now the atmosphere is being destroyed with what little protection it did give outside the dome.

Out in the "real world" Ella and her group must fight with the people that have good reason to hate the Aristocrats who lived in the dome.  Well, everyone but Ella, because of who she is, she is considered their savior.  Not only that, but there are the cannibals, the failing atmosphere, and the food shortage to keep them struggling.  Ella also is dealing with the fact that Gus seemed to have a life outside of the game that she did not know about.  One that includes Ella's former best friend.  Her former best friend who tells Gus exactly what Ella used to say about him before she knew him.  She also is learning that people she thought had died, may not actually be dead.  And was it really Gus or Quentin that she fell in love with during the game?  

So many secrets and twists in this story that I kept gasping when something new was revealed or something else happened that I didn't see coming.  I love the way it all went in this book. The way the author ends this is really perfect.  While I had to skim a bit to finish in time to post my review on Amazon, I am still actually finishing up going back and getting all the details that I might have missed as I sped through.  I suggest when you pick it up that you have lots of time so that you don't have to put it down, and that you take that time to read through all the descriptions and story arcs so that you can fully appreciate how great this book, this series, really is.

About the Author:
A.L. (Amanda) Davroe writes both YA and adult speculative fiction. She prefers revisionist tales in paranormal, romance, Steampunk, and fantasy. She is the author of Salvation Station (adult psych horror), The City Steam Collection (adult psych horror), For Your Heart (YA Paranormal Romance) and her YA Sci-Fi novel, Nexis, came out with Entangled Publishing  December 1st, 2015!

By day, Amanda lives in Connecticut with her two feline hench-creatures and makes cheese.  She’s a terrible blusher, has a weak spot for cuddly animals, loves Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and she’s a huge advocate of alternative healing methods.  Amanda also wears purple shoes and corsets…Though not always in the same ensemble.  She’s a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, a bit gothic, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.

Author Website:

Author Blog:

Author Twitter@ALDavroe

Author Facebook:

Author Goodreads:


 Author Interview:

1.  What does your writing process look like?  Do you know the whole story when you start?  Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)?  If you plan it out, how do you do that?  Outline, note cards, post-it notes, etc.?

Absolute chaos.  Obviously a pantser, with an answer like that.  I usually know a concept – a little hook or elevator pitch before I start.  But, I usually have no idea of characters or plot when I first sit down to write.  I world-build as I go and the characters come piecemeal.  I had to hand in an outline for Redux when Nexis got sold.  I tried to follow that outline and the resulting work was not only crud, but I didn’t follow it anyway.  I ended up having to rewrite the whole thing, so next time I’m just gonna write and see what happens.  Seems to work for me so far.

2.  How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?

All kinds of things.  Usually some kind of concept, like I mentioned above.  I may see it in a dream.  I may see two movies and wonder what would happen if I crossed them.  Maybe another book or an anime show will give me a plot bunny and I’ll follow the white rabbit down into another world.  Dialogues and scenes come to me when I’m walking, driving, and showering.  If I have difficulty with something, usually I’ll talk at some unfortunate someone until I eventually circle to a solution – these are the days my friends and family loathe me most, I think.

3.  How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since freshman year of high school.  Not actively, mind you, but when the fancy strikes.  That was…1999.  I’m not gonna do the math from there because it will depress me and make me feel old, LOL!

4.  What tips do you have for aspiring writers? 

Everything is about luck and timing.  I can’t stress that enough.  So long as the writing makes you happy and stories keep wanting to be told, you keep on writing.  Lack of success doesn’t mean anything and no one says that, just because you wrote a book, you have to share it with the world.  There is a lot more to being an author than writing books and the additional requirements may make you hate your hobby.  Some of the best books in the world lay at the bottom of a pile of papers in a closet somewhere and that’s okay.  The point is that they were written and brought joy to their creator.

5. If you had to pick one of these dystopian book worlds to live in, which would you pick, and why?  Hunger Games, Divergent, Uglies-(Scott Westerfeld), Legend - Marie Lu, The Giver

Ugh, who wants to live in a dystopian world?!?!  LOL!  Hm…  Well, I’ve admittedly not read Legend, so that’s out.  I’ve read and loved the others.  I couldn’t live in a world where I was micromanaged down to my very identity as a human being – being told what job, what class, what I looked like, or how I thought.  So no Divergent, Giver, or Uglies.  I don’t think I’d enjoy living in constant fear of being put in a battle to the death (or having to watch that year after year until I died), but where the other series you listed require control of body/mind, the world of Panem doesn’t require it of everyone.  It requires adherence to authority and the occasional sacrifice, but it’s possible to go about being the person you are (within the confines of your district), so I’d have to pick that one.  Ideally, one would live on the outskirts or as part of the resistance in each of these worlds.  If I could be on the outside, I’d be okay with any of them.


I have many favorite books, too many to list.  SF/F, paranormal romance, historical fiction, urban fantasy.  Neil Gaiman, Brom, Faith Hunter, Carrie Ryan, Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, Charles deLint, Holly Black.

Movies/TV Shows:
Anything by Hayao Mitazaki, Tim Burton, or Guillermo del Toro.  Disney movies.  Anime shows, historicals like Downton Abbey and Vikings, crime shows like Bones and X Files.

Anything except country and rap?  Some favorites are A Perfect Circle, Breaking Benjamin, Delta Rae, and Afro-Celt Soundsystem.

Food/writing snack:
Tea and grilled cheese are my life staples.  Chai lattes, scones, broccoli, Cadbury chocolate mini-eggs.

Social Media Site:
Facebook owns my soul  

   a Rafflecopter giveaway

I sag to the floor, a shaking mess.

            Slowly, Quentin gathers the rope up once more, coiling it around his arm. Then he’s still for a long minute. I can tell he’s staring at me, waiting. “Elle?”

            I shake my head. “I-I can’t.”

            He crouches down in front of me, meets my haunted eyes. I feel him take up my hands, hold them against his chest. “You’re shaking.”

            Of course I am. I don’t want to die.

            “You can do this,” he whispers.

            Mute now, I shake my head again.

            “Hey.” Shifting both my hands to one of his, he reaches out with the other, stills my head with a palm to my cheek. “Look at me.”

            I do, only because I don’t have a choice. He has me trapped.

            His expression is calm. Serene, like the boy who shot my uncle in the head. I wish I could turn off like that, become cool and calculated and unfeeling. “I will not let you fall. You need to trust me. You need to trust yourself. Stand up.”

            Swallowing hard, I get to shaking legs. I don’t know how I’m going to go down on such unstable things. One is injured as it is.

            “Shoes,” he prompts.

            I slip out of my heels, let the cold stone touch my synthetic skin. It feels strange being on flat feet. I’ve grown up on heels. Without them he seems like a giant as he bends and comes around to my back, putting them into my pack as I stand like an idiot. Seeing that I’m being useless and silly, he bends at my hip and I feel him tugging my skirts. I wince as I hear the tearing noise of him splitting my beautiful dress from hem to seam.

            Four times, like Violet did with hers.

            And then he’s winding the strips around my thighs, his fingers passing in and out like butterfly wings. My legs go from shaking to jelly and I have to hold the wall to keep myself upright.

            When he’s done, he stands in front of me, stares at me, and frowns. After a thought, he unbuttons his jacket and slides it off his shoulders.

            I blink at him, confused.

            “Put it on.”

            I do as I’m told. It’s big on me, stiff in the shoulder from all the dried blood. It smells like him and the weight of it makes me feel like I’m being held. My fingers fumble on the buttons and he steps into my space to help, his knuckles grazing my hitching chest. The warm certainty of his presence disappears for an instant as he bends to retrieve the rope and then he’s back, tying it under my arms.

            When he finishes with the knot, he just sort of goes still, his body close to mine and me wavering against the solid weight of him. His fingers slide from the knot, inch up, flutter along my clavicle, against my neck. One hand slips back behind my neck and into my hair, tugging just slightly, as the other tips up my jaw.

            His breath is warm and minty as he breathes something that seems like relief, and if it’s possible, something about him—his expression, his body—eases me. He stares down, his eyes clear and true, and that melts me into his body and his touch.

            And then he’s kissing me again. And I’m kissing him. It’s just like it was in the aerovator during our escape. That heat, that familiarity. That instant awakening and settling inside of me—like a flock of birds and a lazy pool of molten heat exploding through my veins and muscles at the same time. That feeling like it’s perfect and sound. It’s everything I ever wanted of a kiss from Quentin Cyr before…before…Gus.

            I shove at him, step away from him, gasping. “What are you doing?” I demand. “You can’t keep kissing me, you’re-you’re in love with someone. I heard you tell Carsai.”

            Unapologetic, he grins at me. “Hmm, that’s something to think about, isn’t it?”

            “You’re a cad.”

            He shrugs. “You’re not scared anymore, though, are you?”

            Heaving in confusion, glaring in heat, I growl as I have to admit that no, I’m not scared anymore.

            “I’m not sorry,” he says, voice quiet. “I like kissing you.”

            Gritting my teeth, I march over to the ropes and pass them around myself as I saw Violet and Bastian do before. I shore up my grip on both ends of the rope and I don’t look down. To look down would be to see where I’m going and right now, I don’t want to.

            “Hey,” Quentin calls to me from where he’s standing, lifting the security rope around him as he backs his weight against it. I feel it tug a little against my chest, like he’s drawing me back to him.

            I pause, look at him even though I don’t want to make eye contact.

            “Go easy,” he says, voice like honey. “Just breathe.”


Book Blitz and Giveaway: Birthright - The Legacy Series - Book One by Jessica Ruddick

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Swoon Thursday #3: Redux (Tricksters #2) by A.L. Davroe

This keeps popping up on other blogs and I always want to do it, but run out of time or forget to mark the spot in the book where the quote is so that I can go back and share it. Today though, the book that I'm reviewing tomorrow as part of a blog tour had the best quote as part of a pre-made teaser.  So I'm going to share that.
  • From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering
  • Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting

The domed city of Evanescence is in ruins. With nowhere to go, prodigy hacker Ellani “Ella” Drexel and a small band of survivors flee to the Undertunnel below their city.

To escape the wasteland she unknowingly created.

But sanctuary is hard to find. With malfunctioning androids and angry rebels at their backs, the group hopes to press on for the neighboring city of Cadence. But Ella’s chosen path is challenging…life-threatening, even. Worse, the boy she loves is acting distant, and not at all like the person she first met in Nexis.

But then Ella learns a secret…and it changes everything.

Ella knows she needs to turn back and make a stand to reclaim her home. She’s determined to bring a new—and better—life to all who’ve suffered.

Or die trying.

You'll have to guess who says it.  I'll be posting my full review right here tomorrow!

Review: Lyrical (Legal #2) by Bree Dahlia

Book info:
Author:  Bree Dahlia
SeriesLegal #2
Genre:  adult, comedy, romance, older woman younger man
Published:  March 15th, 2017
Source:  Received e-galley from author for honest review
My rating:  5 stars

Just like with the first book, Legal, I was hooked.  I love the idea of the older woman/younger man story just because I have always been attracted to younger men.  I was so glad to hear that Jillian and Chase were getting another story, because I wanted to see exactly just where this story could go.  Could they actually last past the novelty of such a relationship?  Well, this book starts up showing that yes, they can.  But now the little hitch in the whole HEA is that Jillian's son(stepson) is coming home from school. Why is that an issue? Well, he's basically the same age as Chase.  At first it seems as if her son Daniel is okay with Chase.  Even though her ex is still being a jerk about it.  But soon Jillian sees there is a difference in Daniel, right about the time he brings a date to family get together and it is Cassie, the woman that tried to come between Chase and Jillian in the first book.  Cassie seems to want to just be with Daniel.  And Daniel seems to really like her.  So Jillian tries to give her the benefit of the doubt, even though she and Perry, her best friend/brother's fiancee, still don't quite trust Cassie.  

Soon it seems Daniel has changed his opinion about Chase.  And things all come to a head about the time of Perry's bachelorette party.  While strippers/hookers end up at the bachelor party, and then when Perry gets sick and goes back to her hotel room, Jillian follows her, only to have a stripper show up in their room and try to do his little performance on Jillian.  

Someone gets pictures of Jillian when the stripper is there, and also things are leaked to Jillian about what Chase might have been up to at the bachelor party.  There is one common denominator in all this drama.  When things start to go from bad to worse, Jillian has to decide if she is going to give up this true love that she has with Chase for her stepson, or if her stepson needs to come to terms with her relationship.

I like the way that Jillian handles the whole situation.  I feel like so much was handled realistically in this book for the most part.  The sex scenes were still hot as in the first one.  And I definitely am still in love with Chase.  I'm excited to know tht we will probably get a story about Perry and Jillian's brother soon, as I do love Perry and want more with her.  

This is a sweet and fun, yet emotional romance, one I highly recommend.  The first book only got 4 stars from me, but this one was a 5 star. 


Release Day Blitz and Giveaway - Royally Relinquished: A Mondern Day Fairy Tale by Hayley Faiman

Title: Royally Relinquished: A Modern Day Fairy Tale
Author: Hayley Faiman
Genre: Contemporary Romance Standalone
Release Date: March 23, 2017

The only thing royal about Caitriona Geneva Grace is the blue of her beat-up sedan. While luxury and vanity are terms she could use to describe her everyday life, they're not words she lives by. Rather, they're words that keep her fed—barely. As a receptionist at a medical spa, her life is far from glamorous, but she gets by. For Cait, anything beats the life she left behind when she said goodbye to her small town after high school. 

His highness, Prince Henrik Stuart, is a slave to his royal status. Bound by duty and controlled by the crown, he fears a future chained to a woman of good breeding--a match not made in love. While known as the foolhardy prince, the thought of settling down isn't what troubles him. Rather, if he could find a woman who cared nothing of his title, he would give her the world.
When a weekend trip leads to a chance meeting, both Caitriona and Henrik feel a spark between them unlike any they've experienced before. To each, the other is too good to be true, but one night of fun cannot be denied.
When she said 'yes' to the handsome, green-eyed stranger, Caitriona didn't know that she was stepping into her very own fairytale.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...except when it's legally binding.
*Recommended for readers 18+ due to Sexual Content and Language.

32 years young... born and raised in California, did a stint in Oregon only to return to the Golden State. Lived that life a while until the Lone Star State called to us, Hill Country, Texas is where we call home, where our boots rest and loving that country life. Living the life with one bearded power pole climbing husband, two little boys that are full of energy and drive us crazy plus a chocolate lab named Optimus Prime.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #9: The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.  My pick this week is a book that just sounds interesting.  Partly for the archaeology aspect, partly for the ghostly aspect.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell.

Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.

Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.

As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.

Sounds like it could be good, right?  What book are you waiting on this week?

Cover Reveal: One S'more Summer (The Campfire Series #1) by Beth Merlin

Title:  One S’more Summer
Author:  Beth Merlin
Series:  The Campfire Series #1
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: May 30th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Since that first bus ride to Camp Chinooka twenty long years ago, Gigi Goldstein has been pining for her best friend’s guy. She knows her crush is wrong and has to stop, but her heart won’t listen to reason. To escape the agony of their impending wedding, Gigi accepts a summer job at the only place she’s ever been happy.
But working at Chinooka isn’t all campfire songs and toasting marshmallows. Gigi’s girls are determined to make her look bad in front of the boys’ Head Counselor—the sexy but infuriating Perry—and every inch of the campground is laced with memories.
When Gigi realizes she can’t fix the present by hiding in the past, she’s forced to reexamine her choices. Maybe everything she thought she wanted wasn’t what she actually needed… But if she can get her act together, Gigi might have one last shot at the summer love of her dreams.

Author Bio:
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Promo Post: With Ballet in My Soul - Adventures of a Globetrotting Impresario - A Memoir by Eva Maze

Book info:
TitleWith Ballet in My Soul - Adventures of a Globetrotting Impresario  
Author:  Eva Maze
Published:  April 1st, 2017
Publisher:  Moonstone Press LLC
Source:  Received from Book Publicity Services for promo and possible review 

A life spanning close to 100 years is noteworthy, if only because of its longevity. The rich life of a woman committed to a professional vision ahead of its time, filled with glamour, excitement, and adventure, is truly remarkable. Narrated in her own words, this is the story of such a woman, Eva Maze, who, from the time she left Romania as a teenager in 1939, dreamed of being a ballet dancer, and through a series a circumstances, became instead one of the most successful theatrical impresarios in Europe – with a career spanning more than 40 years.

Now in her nineties, Maze looks back at the path and passion that led her from Bucharest to the United States as an immigrant, and then, as a married woman, back again to Europe and Asia, where she found her professional calling.

Set against key historical events of the 20th century, including the building of the Berlin Wall, the massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, as well as the rise and fall of Pan American Airlines, Maze’s fascinating past is brought to life through a combination of serious commentary and amusing anecdotes about the risks and rewards of the business side of theater and dance, some of the personalities who were part of those worlds from the 1940s to the 1990s, her own motivation for being an impresario, and her personal life. Her narration is supported by more than 250 captivating historical and modern images going back to her birth in 1922.

Representing artists and companies abroad from a vast array of talent in the performing arts of the time – including The Alvin Ailey Dance Company, The Living Theatre, and The Swingle Singers – this unique woman became a prolific producer of more than 100 different types of theatrical programs from the world of dance, music, mime, cabaret, and drama.

Preorder Links
My thoughts: This isn't a book that I normally sit down and read, and I'll admit I didn't actually read it cover to cover, word for word.  However, I did page through it, stopping at passages that looked interesting, as well as checking out the pictures that show so much history and culture.  Eva Maze's life is one that is something you rarely hear about.  All of the different times of the world that she experienced.  Also she gives such a great example of what a strong woman can accomplish if they go out and do what they want and don't take no for an answer.  This is a book I am going to place in the high school library where I work, knowing that my students will get a lot out of it, both just in her life story, as well as the great history resource she provides.

Chapter 1 – Bucharest

My dreams of becoming a ballerina were shattered when I was diagnosed with scarlet fever in the Spring of 1929. “I can’t see, Mamma. Mamma, I’m blind,” I kept repeating over and over again. My body shook, racked with a very high fever, and I couldn’t stop crying. “It will be fine,” my mother whispered as she held me in her arms.“ The doctor is coming.” My mother’s voice was calm as she tried to soothe me, but nothing she said or did seemed to help. I was seven years old, exhausted, and terrified. In my panic, I remember a doctor coming to our house to deliver the verdict.

It was not unusual in those days for a child my age to come down with scarlet fever, or what was also known as “brain fever.” Usually contracted at school, it would begin with a sore throat and rash, and once diagnosed, the entire family was isolated and quarantined. There were no vaccines or antibiotics then, and the child would often die.

Following a previous misdiagnosis – that of an ear infection – I was finally rushed to the hospital for an operation by a specialist, a 70-year-old ear, nose, and throat surgeon known as Professor Popovici. He ended up breaking the mastoid bones behind my ears to drain the buildup of fluids from my brain. In today’s world, this disease would have successfully been treated with antibiotics, but this was Bucharest, Romania, in 1929, and many medical advances lay in the future. The surgery was successful, and with two scars that, to this day, have remained behind my ears, I am indebted to Dr. Popovici for having saved my eyesight – and my life. While this was to be the most traumatic experience of my childhood, it taught me something perhaps more valuable that has carried me through life: to have courage.

As far back as I can remember, I had dreamt of becoming a ballerina, and though I eventually made a full recovery, my hopes of dancing on stage soon faded when my parents, concerned about my health, refused to allow me to exert myself physically in any way. Ballet classes I had previously taken and thoroughly enjoyed were now forbidden. I was their only child, and had almost died, so their overprotection was perhaps understandable, but I was very disappointed, especially since, prior to my illness, my mother had actually wanted me to study ballet. She had taken me to a ballet performance at the Opera House in Bucharest and, much to my delight, arranged for my first ballet lessons at the age of five. My teacher at the time – an imposing former Russian dancer named Madame Semeonova – thought I had a talent for ballet, and even offered me a scholarship. Once I had recovered completely, she did her best to convince my parents to have me resume my lessons, but they would have none of it. My mother had made up her mind that any strenuous activity, including ballet, would endanger my health.

I did, however, continue to dance around the house on my own, since moving my body to music came naturally to me. We all have different ways of expressing ourselves, and responding to beautiful music physically made me feel romantic and ethereal – as if I were floating on air. It would be another 13 years until I returned to my early love of ballet class when, as a young, married 20-year-old, I began training seriously in New York City. By then, I knew it was too late for me to have a professional career as a ballet dancer, though I continued to have a deep affection for the world of music and dance – and felt an almost mystical connection to it. Little did I know this feeling would eventually lead me to another fascinating career in the performing arts: that of managing and touring other talented dancers and artists. Though I myself would not end up dancing on stage in front of audiences around the world (other than in a few bit parts early in my professional life), I would do my best to work behind the scenes and instead, as what is known as an “impresario,” bring the wonderfully artistic world of dance – and other highly creative theatrical mediums – directly to the myriads of passionate spectators who support them worldwide.


Lively, educational, and a fun romp through Europe's professional circles, With Ballet in My Soul blends the artistry of performance and visual enhancements with an adventurer's heart to provide a heady mix of travelogue, career journey and personal odyssey that's hard to put down. - Midwest Book Review

A fascinating life story about a remarkable woman who had a thriving career as an impresario that lasted for more than forty years, With Ballet in My Soul is an excellent memoir about one woman’s world travels, and how the places we travel to can shape our lives. Growing up in Bucharest, Romania, the narrative told in Maze’s own words spans the course of her life, following her leaving Romania in 1939 and immigrating to the United States, with dreams of becoming a ballet dancer often on her mind. After getting married in Brooklyn, New York, Maze eventually returns to Europe, and then travels to Asia, finding her calling not as a dancer, but as an impresario, who put together many successful theatrical performances. With intriguing images following along the rich text, the life of Maze comes alive on the page, as real world events such as the building of the Berlin Wall, the Munich massacre, and the rise and fall of Pan Am airlines are discussed through Maze’s viewpoint. The story is told in a variety of styles, including straight-forward commentary and entertaining anecdotes detailing the business side of theater and dance, revelations about personalities who were part of those worlds across the decades, and Maze’s own motivation for being an impresario, with details of her personal life sprinkled throughout the text, allowing the reader to get to know the author in an intimate fashion. This is a well-constructed autobiography about a woman who has accomplished much in her years. With beautiful photographs throughout the book, accompanying a pleasing design that makes the memoir feel as if it is almost a scrapbook, the story is engaging, well-written, and constantly surprising.” – 5 Stars, Red City Review

"Although this memoir details the life of a remarkable woman, it documents many important historical world events. From life in England shortly after WWII, to New Delhi in the 1950s, to being a part of the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics, to living in Greece during turbulent times, there is a wealth of interesting, factual material. She includes many photographs, newspaper articles, and personal artifacts throughout the book. In With Ballet in My Soul: Adventures of a Globetrotting Impresario, Eva Maze shares many memories from her extraordinary life. Ms. Maze is an excellent writer, captivating the reader from the first chapter to the last.” - 5 Stars, Readers’ Favorite

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Thank You For Holding by Julia Kent and Elisa Reed

Title:  Thank You for Holding
Author:  Elisa Reed and Julia Kent
Publication date: March 21st, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Having it all is a fantasy, right?
Carrie Shelton thought her boyfriend was too good to be true. Her best friend’s brother? A guy who loved antiquing? Who cuddled on the couch while watching foodie YouTube clips and talking about artisanal spices? Who helped her accessorize her outfits?
So when he ran off with Kevin, the owner of an antique shop, right before his sister’s wedding, Carrie’s life went from fantasy to nightmare.
As maid of honor, she can’t back out of the wedding. And her ex is the best man – but now he has his own best man.
She needs a date. Stat.
Enter Ryan. Sure, he’s a hot male stripper at the O Spa where she works as junior designer, but he’s a few years younger and just, you know — a friend.
Perfect. She needs a friend more than she needs a boyfriend.
A weekend of playing her boyfriend so she can save face is a lot to ask, but for some reason Carrie doesn’t understand, Ryan’s all in. Enthusiastic, even.
Especially when it comes to physical displays of affection.
Public kisses turn to private confessions, and pretty soon, Carrie can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality.
Because if Ryan’s just pretending he’s in love with her, then why does the chemistry between them — and between the sheets — feel so real?
Carrie can’t settle for almost, though. She’s already done that. She’s not putting her life on hold anymore.
Turns out Ryan won’t, either.
He’s holding out for more.
Thank You For Holding is a STANDALONE in the On Hold series. You do not need to have read book 1 in the series, but after reading about Carrie and Ryan’s friends-to-lovers adventure, you’ll want to.

Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.