Thursday, January 16, 2020

Blog Tour: TWEET CUTE by Emma Lord


Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account. 

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time. 

All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built. 

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them?? — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

Christy's Review:

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"Let the games begin."

Was this seriously a debut novel? Tweet Cute by Emma Lord is one of the best YA contemporary/rom-com's I've read in so long. It was adorable, endearing, and made me laugh out loud more than once. I loved the modern day, high school spin of the 'You've Got Mail' type of story line, and it was so much fun to read!

Jack and Pepper go to the same prep school in NYC. Pepper is the overachieving student who is captain of the swim team and is constantly striving to be perfect in all things. Jack is an identical twin and feels like he lives in the shadow of his more popular brother Ethan. He works for his family's deli, and Pepper is helping her mom with their chain of Big League Burger's twitter account.

When the BLB steals one of the most popular items on the deli's menu, a twitter war ensues. And Pepper and Jack are caught right in the middle of the cross-hairs. Only they don't know it... at first. Once they figure it out, it goes from being a straight up rivalry/war to more of a game. The banter between these two was top notch and you could feel the chemistry oozing from them every time they were around each other.

I loved watching these two connect and become friends of sorts. I think my favorite part of the book was watching them fall for each other and truly connect on a deeper level in an online anonymous school app Jack created as Wolf and Bluebird. The app is where they went when they both needed a real world break. Things changed rather drastically for them, as they went from being normal high school students to the faces of their respective businesses that strangers on the internet were shipping. It was a huge shock.
"Maybe just Pepper and Jack, then," I concede.
There's a ghost of a smirk on Pepper's face, but she's so close, I can hear it more than see it.
"Pepper and Jack." She corrects me. Then her eyes light up. "Pepperjack."

Pepper was snarky and witty, and Jack was the absolute best. They both had a lot of expectations placed on them, and much of this book was a coming of age story of them figuring out life and what they wanted to do for themselves despite this family feud their family businesses have going on and all the outside pressure.

Tweet Cute is a strong YA debut that's highly entertaining, well written, and charming. Also, be prepared for this book to make you want some sweets! I would love to have a few of Pepper's dessert recipes! This book was fantastic and I recommend it whole heartily!

EXCERPT:

JACK

“Look.” I glance into the classroom, where Ethan is thoroughly distracted by Stephen and no longer keeping an eye on us. “I may have . . . overreacted.”
Pepper shakes her head. “I told you. I get it. It’s your family.”
“Yeah. But it’s also—well, to be honest, this has been kind of good for business.”
Pepper’s brow furrows, that one little crease returning. “What, the tweets?”
“Yeah.” I scratch the back of my neck, sheepish. “Actually, we had a line out the door yesterday. It was kind of intense.”
“That’s . . . that’s good, right?”
The tone of my voice is clearly not matching up with the words I’m saying, but if I’m being honest, I’m still wary of this whole overnight business boom. And if I’m being honest, I’m even more wary of Pepper. If this really is as much of a family business as she claims it is—to the point where she’s helping run the Twitter handle, when even I know enough about corporate Twitter accounts to know entire teams of experienced people get paid to do that—then she might have had more of a hand in this whole recipe theft thing than she’s letting on.
The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her. To the point of not knowing whether I can even trust her knowing how our business is doing, or just how badly we need it.
“Yeah, um, I guess.” I try to make it sound noncommittal. My acting skills, much like my breakfast-packing skills, leave much to be desired.
“So . . .”
“So.”
Pepper presses her lips into a thin line, a question in her eyes.
“So, I guess—if your mom really wants you to keep tweeting . . .”
“Wait. Yesterday you were pissed. Two minutes ago you were pissed.”
“I am pissed. You stole from us,” I reiterate. “You stole from an eighty-five-year-old woman.”
“I didn’t—”
“Yeah, yeah, but still. You’re them, and I’m . . . her. It’s like a choose your fighter situation, and we just happen to be the ones up to bat.”
“So you’re saying—you don’t not want me to keep this up?”
“The way I see it, you don’t have to make your mom mad, and we get a few more customers in the door too.”
Pepper takes a breath like she’s going to say something, like she’s going to correct me, but after a moment, she lets it go. Her face can’t quite settle on an expression, toeing the line between dread and relief.
“You’re sure?”
I answer by opening the container she handed me. The smell that immediately wafts out of it should honestly be illegal; it stops kids I’ve never even spoken to in their tracks.
“Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one. It’s like Monster Cake, the Sequel—freaking Christmas in my mouth. I already want more before I’ve even managed to chew. My eyes close as if I’m experiencing an actual drug high—and maybe I am, because I forget myself entirely and say, “This might even be better than our Kitchen Sink Macaroons.”
“Kitchen Sink Macaroons?”
Eyes open again. Yikes. Note to self: dessert is the greatest weapon in Pepper’s arsenal. I swallow my bite so I can answer her.
“It’s kind of well-known, at least in the East Village. It even got in some Hub Seed roundup once. I’d tell you to try some, but you might steal the recipe, so.”
Pepper smiles, then—actually smiles, instead of the little smirk she usually does. It’s not startling, but what it does to me in that moment kind of is.
Before I can examine the unfamiliar lurch in my stomach, the bell rings and knocks the smile right off her face. I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October. I dismiss it by the time I get to my desk—probably just all the Twitter drama and the glory of So Sorry Blondies getting to my head.
“One rule,” she says, as we sit in the last two desks in the back of the room.
I raise my eyebrows at her.
“We don’t take any of it personally.” She leans forward on her desk, leveling with me, her bangs falling into her face. “No more getting mad at each other. Cheese and state.”
“What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” I say with a nod of agreement. “Okay, then, second rule: no kid gloves.”
Mrs. Fairchild is giving that stern look over the room that never quite successfully quiets anyone down. Pepper frowns, waiting for me to elaborate.
“I mean—no going easy on each other. If we’re going to play at this, we’re both going to give it our A game, okay? No holding back because we’re . . .”
Friends, I almost say. No, I’m going to say. But then—
“I’d appreciate it if even one of you acknowledged the bell with your silence,” Mrs. Fairchild grumbles.
I turn to Pepper, expecting to find her snapping to attention the way she always does when an adult comes within a hundred feet of disciplining her. But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up—like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.
“All right. No taking it personally. And no holding back.”
She holds her hand out for me to shake again, under the desk so Mrs. Fairchild won’t see it. I smile and shake my head, wondering how someone can be so aggressively seventeen and seventy-five at the same time, and then I take it. Her hand is warm and small in mine, but her grip is surprisingly firm, with a pressure that almost feels like she’s still got her fingers wrapped around mine even after we let go.
I turn back to the whiteboard, a ghost of a smirk on my face. “Let the games begin.”


Author bio:


Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.


Early Praise:
"Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” - Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters

"Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist." - Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight

“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favorite’ from page one.” - Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest 


Social Links:  @dilemmalord (Twitter/Instagram) 

Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret... and it could demolish everything.
 



Christy's Review: 
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If there was anything in this world worth fighting for, it was his wife.
Love Her or Lose Her is the second book in Tessa Bailey's 'Hot and Hammered' series. After reading and loving 'Fix Her Up' I was so excited for this one. It wasn't as fun or endearing, but I actually loved the romance more. Maybe it's the old married person in me, but sometimes I love reading about already established/married couples and this hit the spot for me.

Dominic and Rosie were high school sweethearts who married one another. They've always been so in love and had a great relationship, but lately things have changed. I wouldn't say they've lost their spark... their chemistry is still there. But that seems like that's all that's there. They don't talk anymore, they don't spend time together (outside of their Tuesday night bedroom date) and Rosie has had enough. She decides they need some real help if they're going to make it work, so she moves out while they undergo some 'extreme marriage therapy', which is unconventional but a hoot.

Dom is a great guy. He loves Rosie something fierce and always provides for her, but with their sessions they both realize they aren't doing the right things for one another. Some people show love in different ways, and some people need love shown to them in different ways. It was the breakthrough they needed. I think this will be so relatable for some people. If you've been in a long-term relationship/and or are married especially.

Dominic is the type of hero Tessa Bailey loves to write. Alpha, stoic, sexy, and protective. This would have maybe been a 4.5 or 5 star read for me if I felt more connected to him. I feel like the biggest part of his character was his proving himself and providing for Rosie. Rosie had all these dreams and all he wanted was to be there for her and help her succeed. I guess I wanted a little more of what he wanted, and to be in his head a bit more. I think my favorite part of the book was watching Rosie come to terms with the fact that she had some blame in this and trying to do for Dom what he'd always done for her. I loved watching them love each other in the way they both needed.

 
“You love me fiercely and quietly—you always have—and you’ve started loving me out loud these last few weeks."

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was emotional, steamy, and made me laugh more than once. I enjoy Tessa Bailey's writing and characters and I'm loving this series. I have a feeling Bethany and Wes's book is next and I'm so here for it! 


Thursday, January 9, 2020

Excerpt: Release by Aly Martinez


Release - BT banner

Release, an all-new “mesmerizing” and “captivating” standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez, is available now!


Release AMAZON


Growing up, Ramsey Stewart branded my soul in ways time could never heal.


At twelve, he asked me to be his girlfriend.

At thirteen, he gave me my first kiss.

By sixteen, we’d fallen in love, planned a future together, and had our eyes set on the horizon.


Love never fails, right?

But for Ramsey, it did.

Love failed him.

I failed him.

The entire world failed him.


At seventeen, Ramsey was convicted of killing the boy who assaulted me.


Move on,he wrote in his first and only letter from prison.

Start a new life, he urged.

I don’t love you anymore, he lied. 


There was no such thing as giving up on Ramsey. Love may have been our curse, but he was mine—then, now, and forever.


So here I am, twelve long years later, waiting for a man I don't even know to emerge from between the chain link gates.


Release - AN


Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ReleaseAlyM

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2oGE1oo




Excerpt

It was funny. I’d spent almost half my life surrounded by the biggest, baddest criminals the state of Georgia had been able to capture. Yet, I was terrified of a five-foot-five woman who for some asinine reason was still in love with me.

I couldn’t be around her. Not if I wanted to keep my head straight and my eye on the prize. I had three years before I got off parole. I needed to get a job, tuck away some cash, and, the second I was allowed to leave Georgia, get the hell out of there. Maybe, if I was lucky, I’d be able to convince my sister to come with me. We didn’t have to go far. We could stay in the south if she wanted. South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee—there were schools everywhere. Nora wouldn’t have trouble finding a job. The hardest part would be convincing her to leave Thea.

However, maybe if she did, Thea would finally move on with her life and stop obsessing about me.

I’d known they lived together for a while. I didn’t want anything to do with Thea while I was locked up, but I was happy as hell Nora had someone to lean on. I had been under the impression that Nora had gotten her own place when she found out about my release. I had been under that impression because Nora had straight-up told me she was getting her own place after I’d declared there was no way I was living with Thea.

Now, I was hiding in my room, waiting for Nora to wake up, open my door, and escort me to breakfast like a damn bodyguard so I could avoid confrontation.

Next up in my efforts to kill time was a workout. Sit ups, push-ups, planks, running in place. This was when I realized Nora hadn’t bought me any deodorant.

Another shower.

Another naked lap around the bedroom, and this time, I managed to keep my hands off my cock.

Finally, I got dressed. This required me to pick through a bunch of preppy shit Nora had bought for me to find tattered jeans and a fitted green tee that clung to my chest like a damn glove. In my closet, I found a belt and a pair of distressed brown lace-up boots that maybe could have doubled as combat boots if the war was taking place on a runway. But what the hell did I know about style? I’d been wearing orange or puke beige for almost half my life.

When I was done with all of that and there was still no sign of Nora, I sat on the edge of the bed and decided to give the phone thing a try. I wasn’t totally out of the technology loop. We had computers at the library and we were allowed to use them if we earned the privileges. But they might as well have been dinosaurs compared to the phone she’d bought me. I couldn’t even get it to read my face with the fancy secret laser thing. I gave up trying pretty quickly.

So there I was, bored out of my mind, starving, and poking at my newfound wrinkles in the bathroom mirror, when I heard a knock at my door.

“Ramsey?”

I froze, my eyes locked on the mirror, panic staring back at me. 

Thea.

Jesus. I needed to find somewhere else to live.

Leaning out of the bathroom, I stared at the door. If I was super quiet, maybe she’d think I was still asleep and go the hell away.

When I didn’t reply, she knocked again. Her voice was timid and sweet, not at all like the fearless girl I’d grown up with. I hated it.

“Ramsey? You hungry? I’m making breakfast? I was wondering if you wanted something?” Everything from my name to the fact that she was making breakfast was a question, as if maybe she was asking permission to cook in her own house.

My stomach was currently feasting on my backbone. Still, I said nothing.

She sighed. “Okay. Well, if you change your—” There were several seconds of silence.

I quirked my eyebrow at the door, trying to figure out why she’d abruptly stopped talking, and then cursed my inability to develop x-ray vision.

I held my breath, hoping to hear her footsteps as she walked away.

No. Such. Fucking. Luck. 

The door swung open and she came walking inside with her hands stacked over her eyes. “Look, I know you’re awake. I heard you running earlier. I also heard you take at least three showers. Sorry, but the house isn’t that big. Neither is the hot water heater. Are you at least dressed so I can open my eyes?”

Brave. Unapologetic. And completely oblivious to boundaries. Now that was the Thea I knew.

“Get out,” I barked.

“Dressed? Not dressed? Help me out here?”

“Get. Out.”

She kept her eyes closed. “You gotta eat, Ramsey. You can’t stay locked up in this room forever.”

I wanted to tell her to get the hell out again. Honestly, it was on the tip of my tongue. But it never made it past my lips because my traitorous eyes stole a head-to-toe of her lithe body. She was barefoot, wearing jeans—tight ones that tapered at her ankle. They looked like mine in the sense that they had a rip in the knee. They didn’t look like mine in the sense that they hugged the curve of her hips and more than likely her ass too. A pink tank top stretched across her chest, and I swear on my life, fuck x-ray vision because I could see the pebble of her nipples beneath the fabric.

It wasn’t a ridiculous dress.

It wasn’t stupid fucking heels.

She wasn’t wearing a face full of clown makeup.

She was just Thea. 

The nostalgia pumped through my veins like acid even as my cock stirred. Fuck, I should have jerked off again in the shower.

“I’m dressed,” I bit out, desperate for her to put her damn hands down and maybe use them to cover her tits instead. 

Her long, brown lashes fluttered as she opened her eyes. Those fucking eyes had once owned me. As a huge smile lit her face, I felt the claim all over again.

“Oh, look, you chose one of the outfits I picked out for you.”

Of course I had. Of fucking course. As soon as I got her out of my room, I was going to take the outfit off and light it on fire.


About Aly
aly martinez profile picOriginally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her husband and four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and olives. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.



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