Tag Archives: Netgalley

Review of “Louder Than Love” by Jessica Topper – On sale now!

Louder Than Love

Title: “Louder Than Love”

Author: Jessica Topper

Publish Date: September 17, 2013

How I got the book: I got this book via Egalley from NetGalley – In Exchange for an honest review

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Summary From GoodReads:

In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.

It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

My Thoughts….

What initially drew me to this book was the title and the beautiful cover (see above), but what made me WANT it was the summary. The summary and the title and covered lived up to all of my expectations and more! Jessica Topper did an amazing job with this book. The characters, the plot, the voice – all great. For a debut novel, I think she just did a great job and I really enjoyed reading this amazing love story! The whole book is written from Kat (or Katrina’s or Tree’s) POV, and although I wish I could have seen into Adrien (or Digger’s) mind during some points, I enjoyed being inside her head for the most part. I can say, I am getting rather spoiled by all the male POV written stories though, and the tell tale sign was me reading this and in certain moments, thinking… WOW I wish I knew what HE was thinking right now – which is great because it tells me I’m invested in the story in my point of view.  Anyway – it starts out with Kat and her story (which broke my heart!!) and then I met Abby and she was…adorable..even from a book page – great personality written for her. I have to stop here and tell you one of my favorite scenes of her is her little “child’s nightclub” on the porch where she dances and dj’s with other neighboorhood kids- the image of them dancing around with their juice boxes in the air – that had me really laughing.. When Kat first meets Adrien that is also an interesting moment and night. Really the story just had me from the first chapter, I was invested in finishing this from there.. The story while something that isn’t “brand spanking” new put an edge on the theme and I love rock and roll boys with good girls, so that absoutely left me wanting more – even at the end.  I liked that the author wrote in friends for the main character, but didn’t let them take away from the most important part of the story, sometimes I feel like the back story characters take on more focus than they need to and it distracts from the main point. Topper did a great job keeping the supporting characters supporting without them being too flat or boring, it was just enough – and it has been awhile since I’ve felt that way about a story. I also didn’t feel like it was overwhelming, it was just the right amount of sad, happy, love, and heart break emotions – it encapsulated the best first parts of a relationship and put that under tight constraints with the character’s back-stories in mind, and just did a great job telling the story from start to finish. So, before I gloat anymore, we will just say it was great! Now on to the characters –

The Characters –

I’ll start with Kat – Katrina, or Tree depending what you like, but I’ll call her Kat. I thought she was really brave, after all she had been through, to keep moving for one, and to survive more importantly. She was solid. She wasn’t perfect, as none of us are and admitted her own weaknesses within the story, but at the same time she was ok with herself and forgiving – and just kept moving – no matter what. What happened to Kat, to me, would have broken more people, so to see her even out there trying again when Adrien came into the picture – was warming to my heart and a testament to the love that she could give even from the begining. One of my favorite parts in the end is where she talks about all the different types of love she has, and how she has room for all of them in her life, not just certain ones. I’m scared to say more because I feel like that will give away plot points, but once you read it, you will understand what that means…

Now let’s talk Adrien, or Digger Graves. Second name hilarious, first – intense. He is HOT. I can start with that, all his manliness was written to just jump off the page, I swear I could almost smell him in some scenes. He is also a trooper. He had been through so much, and you could tell when they first met, he ws still really going through heck and back – but the first meeting even, it’s like you saw a light go off inside of him – it changed him. His interactions with Abby – including the pancake breakfast – stole my heart – and made me ache for a man like that to be the father for my own child when that time comes – I mean..how sweet! I loved how deep his back story was, and how he had become a good guy just with that edge of bad boy. The development of his character was great – I’m a huge Digger fan – I can tell you that for sure!

My Take-Away From It All:

Loved, loved, loved it! 5/5 Stars on this one Jessica Topper — Great first book. She hit the romance and the feelings “spot on” as Adrienne might say in his brittish accent. You could feel the loss and grief and then in the end, the utter happpiness and contentment. It had a little bit of everything – tossed in with the most adorable 4 and a 1/2 year old I have EVER read about – Abbey.  It also had those HOT, and very adult moments that I really enjoy without being cheesy or staged or… too adultish, and I really liked that too. Their entire romance felt real, not scripted, and not unrealistic. He wasn’t a prince charming, and she wasn’t a princess. They were both normal people with baggage, and yet they still found each other – but you will have to read to see how it all ends up – that’s my task to you!

When it comes down to it, I just really love a good LOVE story, and this my friends, is a great one. So, September 17th will be here before you know it – go out and check this one out! I’m going to put the link for Kindle to pre-order below and I hope you will at least check it out. It’s worth the cash and I would even verge to say worth a re-read and you know that is a big reccommendation in my book! I’m also going to give you a quote below – I think it sums up the whole book actually and yet doesn’t give anything away – so check it out and then check out the book!

The Quote:

“You’ve got this…this love-no, it’s louder than love. It’s passion and beauty built up inside you that deserves to burst out.”

Where You Can Buy NOW:

http://www.amazon.com/Louder-Than-Love-ebook/dp/B00AR49H2Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378761620&sr=1-1&keywords=louder+than+love

Happy Reading!

Kelley

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ARC Review of “Deeper” By Blue Ashcroft

Deeper

Title: “Deeper”

Author: Blue Ashcroft

Publish Date: 8/3/2013

How I Got a Copy: From NetGalley in exhcange for an honest review

Link To Purchase On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Deeper-ebook/dp/B00EA1YDLM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378386971&sr=1-1&keywords=deeper

Summary From GoodReads:

Rain Wilson isn’t ever going to love again.

It’s a promise she made the day her boyfriend died in a water park accident, one she still blames herself for.  Now she’s a senior lifeguard in a new town with a new pool and she’s just going to keep her head down and everyone safe.

Until a mysterious guy follows her into the waves at the pre-season bonfire and kisses her senseless.  It’s just one mistake, and Rain is determined to put it behind her, until the dark haired, blue eyed hottie turns out to be her new co-supervisor Knight Mcallister. 

Knight is hot, tatted, and carrying baggage of his own.  He’s not happy about having Rain for a co-supervisor, and he’s even less happy about his attraction to her.  

But between lifeguard drama, hot underwater kisses, and a growing attraction between them that can’t be stopped, Knight and Rain are being pulled deeper into their pasts, and realizing that sometimes too much broken can make a relationship impossible.

Then again sometimes it’s the broken parts of us that fit together best.

My Overall Thoughts:

First Of all I have to say that Rain and Knight are awesome character names and had me interested from page one. The way the author started the story really was..hot..and catching – it 100% had me wanting to read more of that – and so I kept reading….

I absolutely have never wanted to be a life guard more in my life, it made it a HOT profession for sure. But I really liked how honest the story was and how real it was about what can happen – that all life guards do deal with serious things, not just looking hot and swimming around in the pool. Blue and Knight both had really tragic things happen to them and it left them both so hesitant to be vulnerable with other people.

So to the story. When I first started reading it, to be honest, the first chapter was catching, but in reality who does that? It was a pretty intimate moment to have with someone you don’t know at a work party who may work under you when the season starts – maybe even a little in appropriate. But all that being said, it kept me turning the pages. When they did discover who they were in relation to the job, I caught myself already silently cheering for them to continue despite the fact they shouldn’t because of their job titles. The interesting thing I think is the fact they they were both so scarred and didn’t want to trust anyone allowed them to have the intimacy with a stranger that night in the water, but it’s also that same tragedy that kept them from wanting anything more when they fully realized who the other person was. The story from there on out was sort of like a yo-yo and I will admit frustrating at some points. I think that some of the back and forth could have been eliminated, but overall I kept rooting for Knight and Rain! I really wanted them to work out, to both get over their demons. The author did a great job throwing in some plot action, while still making it believeable based on the storyline and the context of the story. So, overall I thought it was a fresh and different storyline – it had points that were frustrating but overall I thought all the moments of the book added up to a great overall story.

As far as the life guard portion of the book, I thought it was done really well. The descriptions of events that could happen, of how to save someone, and of actual job duties seemed pretty realistic to me. It’s also a great summer read – being that  it’s based in a summer setting with a water background and with YA working their summer job, so it screams summer beach read to me. It also has a “coined” summer romance.

The Romance – I really enjoyed the romance in this book. It’s hard to find a story that i haven’t seen before in some form or fashion and I haven’t seen one in awhile where both the boy and girl were fighting demons in their own ways. I rooted for them both to overcome those demons in a serious way – and I”ll get more into the characters next but I thought they were written very well. Knight – what a HOT name and Rain is refreshing – like rain.. It definetly says something about the story and not using the cliche story or names. I found that the back story for both characters was real and although intense as to what they experienced, gave the story some meat. Knight is so swoon worthy, he was absolutely my book boyfriend for the time I was reading this – and the understanding he had for Rain and her situation was beyond amazing. I also thought it pointed out that the coping was not healthy and I liked that they both ended up in therapy which is what needed to happen after what they experienced.

The Characters:

Knight —

Knight is just like his name sake, a knight in shining armor – or a shining bathing suit in this case. He was real and wasn’t afraid to admit his fears. I like that the novel was narrated by both characters so you could see what was going on in both of their minds, I think that was really key here to understanding the back story and how it affects them both now. That being said, what Knight experienced was horrific to say the least and while it was different than what Rain experienced, they both had issues being trustworhty or putting their feelings out there for someone else for fear of being hurt. The one thing I did not like about Knight was the way he acted during their small “interval” where they were not together. The whole scene with the two girls in the hot tub seemed kind of… unrealisitic, I mean really? You are single for one day and two girls maul you in a hot tub and offer to basically go all the way – that is not reality. But other than that, I have to say I thought he had layers, was honest, was genuine, and fought for what he wanted – even though it may have taken awhile to realize it. There are some serious swoon worthy quotes from Knight but we will get to those later…

Rain—

I liked Rain’s character. I thought in the begining being inside of her head that she may be a little crazy for not allowing herself to have fun, but that’s really just before i knew why she was not allowing herself that pleasure. Once I knew the whole story, my heart literally broke for her and what she had endured. I mean, seriously — that is one of the worst things I have read happening to a character in a good and long time – and the description – I mean WOW..it gave her serious issues and a real reason to have them. I was frustrated with her at the back and forth with Knight and how she kept denying what she wanted even though he was fighting so hard for her — but in the end I love the way it played out. I love that she realized what she wanted and I really love that they both did what they needed to do to get healthy.

The Other Characters—

While there were other back story characters and some played a role in the story that was important, the two most important characters I think were the exes who you never even really got to meet, but I think these are crucial characters because they made the lead characters who they are today – seeing Knight’s girlfriend’s pain over what happened and hearing how adored Rain was by her crush made me feel something for these characters, even though they were not directly in the storyline. I think the author did a great job with all the characters and blending them to make a real story.

My Take-Away:

Read it. I give this story 4/5 stars. It was one I requested, and then was not sure about, but I’m super glad I did pick it up and read it. It was different, and real – and although dark at some points, it was a great read. Again, even though it’s dark I think it’s a great beach read.

Romance and love obviously are the overall themes and what girl does not love that! I also loved how the story was narrated by both main characters so you got to see into both of their brains, as they were thinking and worrying over what was happening. Seeing this insight made a huge difference for me, and really helped me to understand both characters. The storyline and back story was realistic and believeable. I wouldn’t say this is a re-reader, but I would say check it out for sure! Right now it’s only $2.99 on Kindle – so check my link above and get it today – great story for a great price! Get it today while it’s still warm, and enjoy what may be your last summer read for this year — Or wait until the winter and enjoy while it’s freezing outside thinking of next summer already! Most importantly enjoy it – the characters and story and characters will lure you in so be prepared to do some reading, I read it cover to cover in 3 days so be ready for a true page turner here!

The Quotes:

“I’m a lifeguard.  A head lifeguard, and if he thinks I’m going to fall for the superhero act he probably lays out for most women he’s wrong.  I know the water like I know air.  I can’t be hurt here, and I can’t be saved here either.” ~ Rain

“I want to make her burn forever.  I want to stay here with her until the sun sets over us, painting the world in dramatic, beautiful colors.  I want everything, and I want it from a girl who has already told me her limits.” ~Knight

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I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll end there, but I can tell you there are more swoon worthy quotes from Knight and from Rain for that matter – so check it out!

Happy Reading!

Kelley

 

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Monday Musing – August 26th

MusingMondays5Hosted by Should Be Reading @ http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits. • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s). • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it. • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us! • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

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Happy Monday Everyone!

I’m not sure what to muse about today to be honest – so I’m just going to “vent” a little – speak up if you can understand where I’m coming from…

Blogging was something I started for fun and to get books early so I could review and get the word out to everyone else – it also helps support my book habit..

I have been on a whiz lately – Reading like a crazy woman, but now I have the question – how do I get all of these books reviewed? I read 5 books within the past week (It was a crazy reading week – not normal) but now I’m faced trying to get these things reviewed and to be fair to everyone that allowed me to read early in exhcange for these reviews.. Hmm… Plus I do have a full time job – which pays my bills so kidn of have to respect that.

Anyway, having too many books to read, reading too many great books is never something I complain about but the busier the blog becomes it’s hard to sometimes manage my time – what do you think? Do you set aside days just for reviews, review right after you read something? How do you make it work – always open for advise!!

Happy Monday!

Kelley

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WWW Wednesday August 21st

WWW_Wednesdays4Hosted by Should Be Reading@ http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/www-wednesdays-aug-21/

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Hey Everyone! Happy Wednesday! I have missed my blog world the past week or so – but I”m back! Let’s get this thing started — What are you guys reading? What’s New/Next/Now? If you don’t have a blog link to post, just post your answers –

Before I start, I must clarify my current Colleen Hoover Obsession – On a recent work trip to NYC I finally picked up “Slammed” and within two days I have devoured that and “Point of Retreat” – where have Will and Lake been my whole book life?? So these are the books consuming my WWW Wednesday for this week – a celebration of the amazing writing of Colleen Hoover – that drew me in from the first page. They were great reads, went by almost too fast, and I can’t wait to get the reviews up – so if you haven’t read this or if you had – share! I want to know what you think abou them!! So before you see my whole list is this series, just a warning.. I do read other things but I’m totally affixed on this right now!

1. What Am I Currently Reading?

This Girl (Slammed, #3)“This Girl” by Colleen Hoover

*Just started today and it’s amazing! I love WIll and Lake!

2. What Did I just Finish Reading? – Kind of sad to admit this but I have read 4 books in the past week – so here they are—

Deeper“Deeper” by Blue Ashcroft (thanks to NetGalley)

Elite (Eagle Elite, #1)“Elite” Rachel Van Dyken (again Thanks to NetGalley!)

Slammed (Slammed, #1)“Slammed” By Colleen Hoover

Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2)“Point of Retreat” by Colleen Hoover

So you can tell I’m on a Colleen Hoover kick right now – and possibly a new love for the Avett Brothers – such wisdom for songwriters..

Anywa – what are you reading? What’s next for you??

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Kell

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Would LOVE to Read a Sequel To!

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish @ http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com/2013/08/jens-top-ten-books-she-wished-could.html

I LOVE standalone books. But every once in awhile you come across a story, a new world or characters you want to get to know better and you need MORE insight into their world. This is my list of books I wish would have continued just a little longer – So here is my list of the Top 10 Books I wish Had Sequels!

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Top Ten Books I Would LOVE To Read a Sequel To!

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight“The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight” by Jennifer E. Smith

I loved this story and really would have loved to see more of the “after” !

Requiem (Delirium, #3)“Requiem” By Lauren Oliver

While I am not one of the “I hate the ending of this book” bloggers – I would love to see the story continue – basically I just want more Alex! Swoon! And I would love to see Julien happy too.. I would read more about these characters any day!

Complete Me (Stark Trilogy, #3)“Complete Me” by J. Kenner

I feel like this story is one of the undiscovered awesome love stories! There is so much hype into this genre right now and while the Bared To You and 50 Shades are amazing series, I really fell in love with this one – this is the last in the series for “now” and I am really hoping the author doesn’t end here – I want more Anna and Damien!!

Tangled (Tangled, #1)“Tangled” By Emma Chase

If you read my blog at all, you will know I am hopelessly in love with this book and the characters – I did like there was a small flash forward at the end, but I want MORE – Drew is one of the funniest narrators I’ve ever had and I would love to hear more from him and this story!

The Infinite Moment of Us“The Infinite Moment of Us” by Lauren Myracle

I know this isn’t out “yet” and I don’t want to give any spoilers away – but I could absolutely use a sequel to this book – More Wren and Charlie Please!!

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)“Lola and the Boy Next Door” by Stephanie Perkins

I loved “Anna and the French Kiss” and I could use more of Anna and Etienne – but I LOVED Lola and Cricket – and I want more of their story — what happened after the dance, did she go to college where he did? Did they live happily ever after?? I need MORE from this story! (I understand this probably will not happen – but this list is about want not reality right?)

Rule (Marked Men, #1)Jet (Marked Men, #2)“Rule” and “Jet” by Jay Crownover

These Marked Men books are HOT! And I love the characters in them – I devoured both of these books. I do love that in each sequel you get to see more of the characters you are already know and love but I would love a sequel just about these two couples or one for each of them – Shaw and Rule especially – that story is not done.. They aren’t even married yet! More Please!!

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)“Beautiful Disaster” by Jamie McGuire

This book is on auto-repeat on my Audible account. I cannot get enough of their story. I loved that “Walking Disaster” showed Travis’s POV and also showed a little more into the story, but I still want more – I am greedy today, huh?? Seriously Travis – more?!!

Left Drowning“Left Drowning” By Jessica Park

I loved, Loved, loved this story! With “Flat Out Love” we got “Flat Out Matt” for some type of sequel and I’d love to see one here too – the story ended awsesomely – don’t get me wrong, but there is more to tell – I know it —

Tumble & Fall“Tumble & Fall” by Alexandra Coutts

This is another book not out yet officially – but I am just saying there is more to tell – the ending left me wanting way more! SO I would love to see a sequel here!

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Well that’s it ladies and gentlemen – my Top 10 I want more list!

What came in on your list -what characters would you love to see more – Let’s talk about this — what a great Top Ten Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday!

Kelley

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Monday Musing – August 5th

MusingMondays5Hosted by Should Be Reading @http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits. • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s). • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it. • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us! • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then

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Today I’m going to muse about a few books I’m desperate to read, but haven’t gotten approval for the ARC from Netgalley or Edelweiss —

1. Panic by Lauren Oliver

2. Just One Year – Gayle Foreman

3. The new Katie McGarry book out in November I think…

The new Katie McGarry is not on the sites yet, but the other two are on Edelweiss and I have the hardest time getting things approved there… Lately, I’m not having great luck on Netgalley either – I would love any tips from anyone?

I’m hoping to catch an ARC tour for these and get to read early, but sometimes the best books or the ones I want the most are the most difficult to get… so frustrating!

Bottome line – if you have some advice how i can improve my profile for Netgalley or Edelweiss and get better books approved or more books approved – or even better how I can get paperback books from the Publisher – HELP! I would love to know how you get started on getting books directly from the publisher..

Happy Monday!

Kelley

 

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Monday Musing – July 29th

MusingMondays5Hosted by Should Be Reading @ http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/musing-mondays-july-29/

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits. • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s). • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it. • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us! • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then

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I was thinking all morning what I would muse about today — and I”m coming up empty handed… So I think I will gush about the new Book Tour site i’m starting to participate in and how awesome it is! I’m not sure if you all are familiar with Around the World ARC Tours – but if you have a blog and keep it updated with new content you can sign up to read/review books you mail from one reader to the next. This has given me a chance to get a lot of the larger name books that I could not have gotten myself probaby – so it’s super exciting. I didn’t realize how much I missed actually holding and having a paperback book – so many of mine are Ebooks that I get from Netgalley/etc and while that is super convenient and I love it, holding the actual book is nice too – just the smell of books, I know that sounds nuts..but it reminds me of why i love reading so much.

I’m on my 4th book right now and I have about 4 more on the way at this point and just really enjoying it. The site is run super well – you get the book, have 1 week to read and 1 to review, so you arn’t crunched for time – but it keeps you on target too and the schedule moving. I think it’s just a great opportunity, especially for those of us who are newer to blogging and don’t get ARC’s from the publishers themselves.. If you want to participate to check it out I’ll post the link below —

Anyway from the 4 books I’ve received so far – 3 have been great and 1 was a will not review (subject was NOT what I thought it would be at all).. You get 5 chances to not review a book each year and it resets in October I think..

Anyway – instead of book gushing today, I thought I’d gush about this and the amazing opportunity it is for anyone who wants to check it out!

Happy Monday!

Here’s the link: http://aroundtheworldarctours.wordpress.com/

Check it out – you never know –and if you get a lot of review ARC’s in paperback and want to share – we would love it and it’s very easy to do that too!!

Kelley

 

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