Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Title: Kissing Max Holden
Author: Katy Upperman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads

Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea…

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn’t himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn’t know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn’t let him kiss her. But she can’t resist, and when they’re caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it’ll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?

What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre?
I have always been a fan of stories about real life people that take place in real world settings. My favorite movies growing up were Troop Beverly Hills and Dirty Dancing, and I loved to read about The Baby-Sitters Club and The Sweet Valley Twins and all of Judy Blume’s awesome characters. While I enjoy a good fantasy every now and then (The Princess Bride is another favorite!), I’m drawn to contemporary stories, particularly if they’re character-driven, because I relate to them best. And I adore romance – see my above mention of Dirty Dancing! I’m fascinated by the different ways love stories play out, and I enjoy nothing more than reading about a couple with super intense chemistry. So, when I decided to try my hand at writing, contemporary romance was where I started, and I haven’t looked back.

When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
While the actual drafting of a book is my least favorite part of the process, I do love to outline. I’m very Type A, so I spend a lot of time mapping out a story’s structure and making sure I’m hitting the right highs and lows long before I start actually writing. And I totally get lost in the details: character names and what they mean, sketches of settings, pinning inspirational images to storyboards on Pinterest, and brainstorming my characters’ passions. I like revising, too – digging into a messy first draft and making sense of the story hidden underneath. For me, the writing process is often a “the grass is always green” situation; I always want to be doing what I don’t actually *need* to be doing.

When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
I definitely read more contemporary books than any other genre, but I mostly just want to get lost in a story that makes me feel. I’m bound to love an intense, complicated romance whether it’s set on the moon, or in Michigan.

If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
Oh, Judy Blume – easy. I’ve been obsessed with her books since I was eight – they’ve been incredibly formative – and I think she’s brilliant. I had the privilege of meeting her at an author talk a few years ago, and she was smart and funny and insightful – an utter delight.

Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
Later in life… That makes me feel about a hundred – ha! Though I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, it never occurred to me that writing was something real people did as an actual job. It just seemed so glamorous and unreachable. I went to school to become a teacher; I spent a few fulfilling years in a fifth grade classroom, and then when my daughter was born, I quit to stay home with her. Writing was something I picked up mostly to fill a creative void, but the more I did it, the more I loved it, and the more I wanted to make a career of it. Fast-forward nearly a decade, and my debut novel is on its way into the world!

Author Bio:
Katy Upperman is a graduate of Washington State University, a former elementary school teacher, and an insatiable reader. When not writing for young adults, Katy can be found whipping up batches of chocolate chip cookies, or exploring the country with her husband and daughter. Kissing Max Holden is her debut novel.


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Gabriel by RJ Scott

Title: Gabriel
Author: RJ Scott
Series: Legacy Ranch #2
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: August 2, 2017
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Trapped in darkness, can an escort find a man to help him into the light?

Gabriel Reyes never gave in. He fought and was hurt, was abused but escaped with his life. He made his way in the world using the one thing he was good at: sex. He earned a place with a man who controls everything but Gabriel is safe; he’s made it.

Cameron Stafford hires Gabriel for a night, needing nothing more than a pretend boyfriend to get his dysfunctional family off his back. With the money he has in the bank and his own hotel, why won't they just leave him alone? It doesn’t matter that a degenerative disease has stolen his vision, or that his last boyfriend was a bastard who tried to steal from him; for now he has purpose.

When Gabriel and Cam fall for each other, can they find real happiness and, maybe, a forever that will save them both?

A new story set in the world of Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes and the Double D Ranch, Texas.

💡Please be aware: emotional and physical abuse are depicted on the page in this book💡

“You got another letter,” Stefan snapped, and threw it at Gabriel, where it bounced against his naked belly and fell to the floor. He didn’t make a move to pick it up, not until Stefan had left. Fucking letters and the ache they caused. Stefan had opened it, the tear jagged, and Gabriel could imagine the temper that Stefan must have felt when he ripped it open. He didn’t blame Stefan; who wanted Gabriel’s past to intrude into what they had now?

He finally picked up the envelope and slipped quietly into his room, closing the door. He didn’t lock it—last time he’d done that, Stefan had broken the door, told him a story about a time when he hadn’t been able to get into a room and that it scared him. That he was thinking about Gabriel.

The letter wasn’t long. They never were.

Legacy Ranch appeared at the top of the paper, in strong, determined capitals. Whoever this Kyle guy was, he had neat, considered handwriting. Gabriel scanned the letter and closed his eyes, waiting for the door to open.

And just like clockwork, Stefan pushed into the room, salve in one hand and a sandwich on a plate in the other, coffee perched precariously on the side.

“I made you some food,” Stefan said, and sat on the bed, causing Gabriel to shift toward him. Gabriel didn’t move away—he didn’t want to upset Stefan.

“Thank you,” Gabriel murmured.

“What did the letter say?”

That was normal. As if it was a test, even though Stefan had already read it. The first time Gabriel had said something wrong, Stefan had looked so damn disappointed. All he’d said was that he loved Gabriel but he didn’t like a liar. He hadn’t needed to say anything else, but the bruises had taken a long time to heal when he’d finished being disappointed with Gabriel.

“They have this horse, Mistry. Apparently it’s still not been claimed.”

“Anything else, Angel?”

Stefan’s use of that nickname was a switch inside Gabriel that made him tense.

“The usual things—that they want to help me and when I’m ready they’ll be there.”

Stefan reached out, and Gabriel schooled his features so he didn’t wince. Stefan cradled Gabriel’s face, and his grip was firm.

“You know what will happen if you go back to that kind of life, my sweet, innocent Angel. You know they’ll hurt you. You don’t need help. You have me. I look after you.”

“I know.” Gabriel knew the right answers to give now. He’d once hoped that the world this Kyle guy wrote about would have a place for him, but that wasn’t an option for someone like Gabriel.

“I look after you, Angel,” Stefan said, and pressed the softest of kisses to Gabriel’s lips. “Now get some sleep. I canceled your two appointments for tomorrow. You need to eat your food, get your chocolate and sleep.”


Stefan helped Gabriel get settled in the soft nest of pillows, and brushed Gabriel’s short hair.

“This will grow back,” he said.

Gabriel placed a hand on Stefan’s arm. “They held my head, Stefan.” He wanted to say more about what they’d done, but he didn’t have to—Stefan wouldn’t want to hear the details.

“It will grow back,” Stefan repeated, then patted Gabriel’s head. “’Night.”


Author Bio:
RJ Scott has been writing since age six when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and was told to write a story. Two sides of A4 about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born. She reads anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror; however, her first real love will always be the world of romance. From billionaires, bodyguards and cowboys to SEALs, throwaways and veterinarians, she writes passionate stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and more than a hint of happily ever after.


Gabriel #2

Kyle #1

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