When It's Real by Erin Watt

FREAKIN ADORABLE!!! Erin Watt fans are going to implode with all the feels! Totally my kind of YA read. I love when books labeled YA are just that: Young ADULT. It’s about people that are learning what it’s like to move and navigate through the real world, just with a bit of a learning curve; figuring out what’s right, what’s acceptable and what are, in fact, the best situations to put yourself into for maximum life knowledge.

We have two very different people here. Oakley Ford is a teen rock star with all the perks of daddy’s money and fame to back him up. He acts up and acts out. He’s let the celebrity and the people around him corrupt and coddle him, giving into his every whim.

Vaughn Bennett is the extreme opposite. She is the second oldest in a family of four children­— four now orphaned children. Life was never luxurious, but it was good. It was normal and it has been shattered. Between Vaughn and her sister, they are doing the best to get their younger sibling through school while maintaining a “normal” for them.

When It’s Real is a fantastic story of a girl getting an opportunity to take care of her family while trying to bring some wholesome image repair to a spoiled rock star.  What happens is expectedly unexpected.  Irritation turns to liking, liking turns to respect, and respect turns to love. But the best underling thread throughout When It’s Real is the discovery of self and the realization that supporting someone else’s needs and dreams can be just as fulfilling as getting your own needs met.

“--You told me not to settle. You said to find my passion, but I don’t know what that is. I only know what I don’t want.” “That’s as good a place to start as any.””

5 Stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley's team decides it's time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he's settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of "normal." Under ordinary circumstances she'd never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn't have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley's team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley's a shallow, self-centered jerk? It's not like they're going to fall for each other in real life…right?

Get it on AMAZON

Indie Author Spotlight ~Laurie Olerich~

Laurie Olerich is the author of the Primani and Demons After Dark series. Part romance, part paranormal, part adventure...Three things she can’t live without! Laurie spent most of her life in the Northeastern United States and in Western Europe. She now lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her son and Dalmatian muse, Rambo. In an attempt to re-live her wild and crazy younger years, she lives vicariously through her characters by setting their adventures in her favorite city, New York, and the mountain forests of New England as often as possible. Before diving into a writing career, Laurie dedicated 20 years to her country by serving in the United States Air Force. Much of her time was spent around men with guns and cool toys...this explains her obsession with both.

KT Book Reviews Interview with Laurie Olerich

What do you want people to know about you and your process?

I describe my writing style as action oriented, fast paced, and conversational. My characters tell the story from the prologue to the epilogue. Sure, I have to guide them along and fill in the details, but the story comes from them. I love the twists and turns this brings to the plot. The romance is as important to me as the plot and action scenes so I let it flow as the characters want. I believe romance has to flow organically so I don’t try to rush it. Same thing for sex. Each couple has their own personalities so their romance and sex scenes will be as true to that as I can make it. For example, my crazier couples will have sex in public or indulge in hot, wild monkey sex. My more spiritual, sensual couples are more likely to make love in a steamy lagoon or an elegant hotel room.

In a nutshell, I write stories to sweep readers into my world. I prefer to sprinkle clues and Easter eggs across the book and weave the backstories along the way to create that delicious feeling of anticipation that my readers really want.

Where do you get your ideas for your novels?

Most of my ideas come from my own desperate need for a good time! I love all things supernatural and have been known to explore creepy cemeteries, underground catacombs, and abandoned buildings. I’ve even been a Ghost Hunting 101 panel member at ComicCon. I’m fascinated with the human mind so I like to play with telepathy, telekinesis, and other psychic abilities. I’ll research a particular concept---take reincarnation or retrocognition for example, and base the book on that. Take that concept, add a ton of action in really cool places, throw in hot bodies and crazy good sex, and there’s a story!

Will we see any new works from you soon? What will they be?

Absolutely! I’ve got a busy writing schedule for the rest of 2017. I’m releasing a Primani Series novella in late July. This story spotlights one of the Primani children coming into their powers. My core readers have been begging for this and I think they’ll love it. I’m releasing the third book in the Demons After Dark Series in September. Look for “Koivu.” He’s a hot mess. In December, I’ve got an Omega Team Kindle World novella coming out and I’m really hoping to release another book in the Primani Series by the end of 2017. Next year will be just as busy. You know what they say. There’s no rest for the wicked!

Favorite wine and favorite chocolate?

For red, I love Ghost Pines-any variety. They’re all yummy. I’m not a huge white wine fan, but I recently discovered a sauvignon blanc from Angeline that is out of this world good. I always have a bottle chilling--just in case! My go-to all-time favorite chocolate is Ghiradelli sea salt caramel squares. Mmmmm. To die for. I tell myself I’ll only eat one, but that never lasts. I can’t be trusted around the bag.

Favorite movie/television programs?

I hate to admit how much television I watch each week. I really do spend entirely too much time in front of the TV at night. There’s just such an awesome variety of fabulous shows. My faves are mostly on the CW and SyFy channels: Supernatural, Arrow, The Originals, 12 Monkeys, The Expanse. I love the complex storylines and deep characters. The writers never disappoint. Favorite movies? Pride and Prejudice; Indiana Jones (all); and Lord of the Rings (all). Also, from November through mid-June, I will be watching hockey by myself since none of my friends will watch with me. I’m a hockey fanatic for sure.

Does any music/situations/media inspire your writing process? If so, what?

Music probably inspires me more than any other external stimulus. I’ve created entire character personalities based on the edgy, gritty, raw lyrics of bands like Seether, Staind, and Shinedown. Lead singers Shaun Morgan, Aaron Lewis, and Brent Smith have the kind of voices that rasp over my ears and sink deep into my mind while I’m gazing into space looking for inspiration. I love my complicated male characters and these singers speak to me of damage, vulnerability, and anger that fit perfectly in my Primani and Demons After Dark worlds. Sometimes only a single verse ignites an entire chapter. Maybe that’s weird, but it works for me.

What’s the best way fans can reach out to you?

I answer my email daily so that’s super easy if someone has questions about a story or wants to pass on info that takes up a lot of space. Facebook is a great option (of course) for messages and page posts. I respond to those quickly too. By the way, I love, love, love hearing from readers so please drop me a line! EMAIL: laurie.olerich@gmail.com

One of my causes: Dalmatian Rescue

Over the years, I’ve rescued and rehabilitated 26 Dalmatians. There are so many abandoned and unwanted animals out there and I’m glad I was able to find new homes for these beautiful dogs. At any given time, we usually have two or three Dals in the house. Although now we’re down to only one since my favorite girl died last year. Princess Domino was 15. She may be gone, but I immortalized her in my Primani books in the years before she died. Yes, she really did play hacky-sack with us! Luckily, we’ve still got Rambo. He’s my writing buddy now. We rescued him from an abandoned crack house. Once we got him cleaned up and healed from terrible injuries, he’s been a wonderful, loving member of the family. I recommend adopting a rescued animal to anyone looking for a new furbaby!

(Demons After Dark Book One)
by Laurie Olerich

Team Lucifer?

Introducing the Demons after Dark series! It’s hot paranormal romance featuring unlikely alpha heroes who will make you laugh, cry, and swoon. Known only as Trinity demons, this band of brothers was stripped of their powers and violently exiled from Hell. Forced to live as humans, they’re left with no memories and no weapons while a secret society quietly plots Lucifer’s demise. For these big, bad demons, adjusting to life as a human is, well, harder than Hell!

The series begins with Vanek:

Thanks to her family’s curse, psychic Dylan McDonagh has been promised to a sadistic soul broker demon and she’s desperate to escape a terrifying future. After an impulsive act leads her to Morningstar Sanitarium, she’s inexplicably drawn to the sad and mysterious Vanek. Their tentative connection is broken when they escape and go their separate ways. Forced into hiding, Dylan turns to Expat Security for protection. Stunned to find the disturbingly sexy Vanek working there, she almost walks away. Another demon is the last thing she needs in her life.

Formerly one of Hell’s most renowned Painkillers, Vanek is horrified with being human until he discovers he’s been thrown into the body of a badass mercenary with a definite kinky streak and a box of sex toys. Wondering how he got so lucky, he jumps into his new role as second in command of Trinity’s ops center--Expat Security. When Dylan comes to them for help, he knows he’s got to handle her case personally. As his attraction to her grows, so does the conspiracy that landed him in Brooklyn.

Excerpt From Vanek

Vanek is a demon who’s been thrown out of Hell and into the body of a human. It’s tough to get used to, but he’s figuring it out. In this scene, he’s brought the heroine, Dylan, to a safe house in the mountains and they’ve gotten snowed in. When the blizzard finally lets up, she goes exploring while he stays on the deck, pondering the state of his new life:

The idea of living in Hell as a tormented soul for eternity was a total no-go, even without giving it any real thought. Not going to happen. His job as a Painkiller was torturing the worst of the worst for eternity. Nothing could convince him to change places no matter what was at stake. He’d rather live and die topside than find himself strapped to a rack. And then there was his mother—
A ball of snow slammed into the side of his head; then another before he got his wits about him and ducked. Whirling around, he caught a flash of red disappearing around the corner. Peals of female laughter faded as she ran around the house. Taking off, sliding, falling on his ass, lurching upright again, he chased her. The second he turned the corner on the back of the cabin, she hit him in the chest with another ball of snow. Giggling like mad, she lobbed a couple more, but this time he saw them coming and batted them off to the side.
“Are you just going to stand there and let me hit you?” She stood knee deep in the yard, her face glowing with cold and mischief. She weighed a fresh ball in her palm, eyes daring him to stop her.
“What do you want me to do?” He stood securely on the porch, unarmed but game to tackle her. Judging the distance, he could throw himself forward and take her down.
Giggling some more, she pitched the ball of snow dead center into his chest. Fist pumping with victory, she said, “This is called a snowball fight. Duh. Make a snowball and try to hit me.” Bending over, she quickly packed another snowball and held it for his inspection. “See? I’m warning you though. I was a pitcher in middle school. I have a mean fastball.” To prove her point, she hit him in the nose.
Okay, that’s it! Fuck these balls of snow. He launched himself over the railing, catching her by surprise and knocking her on her ass. Whooping with laughter, she scrambled to get away, arms and legs churning snow, covering them both as he counterattacked. Her hat fell off, his gloves went flying. She kicked him in the stomach. He snatched her by the front of her coat and jammed a handful of snow inside her shirt, pinning her arms so she couldn’t retaliate. Her wild shrieks of protest reminded him of home without the blood and pain. Before she could catch her breath, he hauled her into his arms and kissed her.

Find Laurie and all her books on AMAZON

Other Books by Laurie Olerich:

Demons After Dark Series: Hot Paranormal Romance
Koivu (Coming in Sept 2017)

Primani Series: Urban Fantasy Romance
Call the Lightning
Stone Angels
Broken Souls
Darkness Calling

Saol Mates

Buns by Alice Clayton (Hudson Valley #3)

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

One of the most adorkable books in the series thus far! From the get go you are thrust into a meet-cute of epic proportions. Love-hate with a side of good intentions lends itself to making this an un-put-down-able, laugh-out-loud read.

Clare is smart, capable, and ready to take on the world of old hotels that need a little oomph! Archie is aged beyond his years and is a pocket protector away from being overly stuck in his ways. The two of them slam together with abrasive hilarity, making Buns one of the best funny-sweet reads of 2017. Beach reading perfection!

5 Stars

JUST ONE TOUCH by Maya Banks ~ With Excerpt

A suspenseful and sizzling story of a young woman who 
escapes a terrifying past… into a more uncertain future.

The BookEnd ~May 19, 2017~

Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti - Review by Tanja

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Exclusive Excerpt Info for BLACK TIE OPTIONAL by Ann Marie Walker

The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker's 
new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional!

Wild Wedding #1
Ann Marie Walker
Releasing May 30, 2017
St. Martin's Press

The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker's new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional, which New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst calls, "a fun, sexy romp that will keep every reader entertained!"

Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips - on the surface he’s pure perfection.

Too bad he's an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.

Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.

So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.

Chapter One

Just like clockwork, Olivia thought. She watched the gas-guzzling SUV roll to a stop alongside the curb, its hazard lights blinking as if some sort of justification for bringing a full lane of Chicago’s morning rush hour to a grinding halt. Every day the sleek black car stopped in exactly the same location so the almighty Coleman Grant III could get the same extra hot, double shot Americano from the same big-chain coffee shop, bypassing the smaller, neighborhood establishments trying to stay afloat as corporate America runs them into the ground.
            A mountain of a man in mirrored aviator shades jumped out of the front seat to open the rear door, giving Olivia a clear view of the luxury vehicle’s interior. Two leather captain’s chairs with fold down keyboards and armrest tablet holders sat facing several television monitors mounted above what appeared to be a full-service bar.  Forget running a business, it looked as though Coleman Grant ran NASA from his back seat. Honestly, what could possibly be so important that it couldn’t keep until he got to the office? The commute from his Gold Coast penthouse to his Loop headquarters was less than two miles. Hadn’t the guy ever heard of just chilling out with some tunes?
            Olivia approached the car just as Grant climbed out of the back seat. He paused to button the jacket of his navy blue Tom Ford and for a moment she forgot he was an arrogant, self-righteous prick hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time. For a moment, she allowed herself to take in the physical perfection standing in front of her. From his dark wavy hair that stood in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that seared her skin, to his full, sensual lips - everything about Coleman Grant oozed power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart-stopping, gasping-for-air-after-you’ve-screamed-so-loud-you-can’t-breathe kind. But then his eyes narrowed and his lips curved into a knowing smirk and Olivia remembered exactly who she was dealing with.
            “Mr. Grant,” she began.
            The bodyguard moved to step between them but Grant waved him off. “Ms. Ramsey, what a surprise,” he said, not at all surprised since this was the eighty-third day in a row she had approached him. Not that it mattered. She had no plans to stop these sidewalk sessions until he either agreed to her demands or filed for a restraining order.
            He made his way toward the coffee shop with Olivia tight on his heels. “You know, most people simply make an appointment with my assistant.” 
            “I’ve tried that, Mr. Grant. But for some reason your schedule is always full.”
            “Pity,” he said, his voice void of all emotion. When he reached the glass doors, he yanked one open. “Please, after you.” 
            Bastard. Normally he charged in like he owned the place, never mind if she or anyone else got a face full of door. How dare he try to throw her off her game by acting chivalrous. As if the man had a courteous bone in his body. Olivia stood frozen in place, debating how best to handle this latest twist in their balance of power. As she did, Cole’s gaze raked her from head to toe, from her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
            She hated to admit it, but the scrutiny of his gaze was unnerving. And it wasn’t just the laser like focus. There was something about his expression, as if he wasn’t looking at her fully clothed in a shop brimming with customers, but rather undressing her with his eyes. She shifted in place, debating if she should call him out for his piggish behavior or simply stick to the topic at hand.
            “Suit yourself,” he finally said, stepping through the doors and leaving her alone on the sidewalk. 
            Not so fast. She took a deep breath and joined him at the service counter.  “Mr. Grant, as I’m sure you’re aware, the northern long-eared bat was recently granted protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.”
            “Rather difficult to forget given your daily reminders. Although I must say, Ms. Ramsey, you disappoint me. No visual aids today?” He turned away from the counter with his extra hot, double shot Americano to find Olivia standing behind him with an 8 x 10 glossy in her hand.  “Ah, it seems I spoke too soon.”
            “This particular species of bat has been the most impacted by white-nose syndrome and the resulting decline in their numbers is what—”
            “Those really are the most vile creatures,” Grant interrupted. “Have you ever considered taking up the cause of a more appealing animal, say a manatee?”
            “There aren’t any manatees in Lake Michigan.”
            “Precisely.” He smirked. “Perhaps you could move? I’m sure you could find some poor, unsuspecting Floridians worthy of your attention.” He raised his left hand and for the first time Olivia realized he was holding a second cup. He thrust it in her direction and without thinking she took it, dropping the photograph as she did. “You seem like the type who would order your latte with a hundred and one specifications, but hopefully skinny vanilla will do.”
            Olivia blinked. He bought her a coffee? What the actual fuck? Did he really think he could charm his way out of the hot seat? She had spent her entire adult life and most of her teens speaking on behalf of those who couldn’t. It was going to take a lot more than a few random acts of fabricated kindness to get her off his back.
            She was about to tell him not only where he could stick his latte but how in her twenty-eight years on earth she’d never ordered a “skinny” anything, when he turned toward the door. She bent to scoop up the photo then hurried after him, fast talking her case all the way to the curb where his bodyguard stood waiting with the door already open. As usual, Grant didn’t say a word, much less defend his stance. Instead he simply flashed a grin that would have made her drop her latte, not to mention her panties, if she didn’t find him to be lacking in not only morals and ethics but quite possibly a soul.
            He gave her a quick nod before ducking into the car.  “Until tomorrow, Ms. Ramsey.”
            With that, the door slammed shut and the SUV pulled into traffic to the sound of protesting horns.
            “Asshole,” Olivia muttered under her breath. “Gorgeous asshole, but still.” She turned on her heel and started down the street with her head held high. Coleman Grant III might have been trying to make a mockery of her attempts to persuade him, but their standoff was far from over. A slow grin curved her lips as an idea began to take shape. She’d just pulled her smartphone out to send herself a reminder when it began to vibrate in her hand.
            “Are you bringing your swimsuit?” her best friend asked before Olivia had even managed a hello.
            “To the desert? You’re joking, right?”
            “I wasn’t sure.”
            “Cassie, I know you’ve had your head buried in cookbooks for the past few years but surely you can remember how a vacation works…lounge chairs, suntan oil, blended drinks with tiny umbrellas that make you say ridiculously inappropriate things to cabana boys.”
            “I have never said anything inappropriate to a cabana boy. And that’s sexist by the way.”
            “Cabana person?” Olivia laughed at her own joke. “I’m playing. But you’ve got to lighten up a bit. We’re headed to Vegas, Sin City, what happens there stays there and all that.”
            “You sound like a tourism ad.”
            “All I’m saying is you better be ready to party Hangover style.”
            Cassie snorted. “Yeah, cause that worked out so well for them.”
            “I promise I won’t leave you stranded on a hotel roof.”
            “This is a bad idea. I should be staying here and looking for a job.”
            “You’re the sister of the groom. You can’t very well ditch out on the bachelor/bachelorette festivities. Besides, if I can break my ‘Harass Coleman Grant’ streak for a few days, then you can certainly give the stand mixer a rest.”
            “How’s that going by the way?”
            Olivia groaned. “New day, same story. ”
            “Maybe it’s time to—”
            “Move on? No way.” While it was true that working freelance allowed Olivia a certain amount of latitude, she prided herself on never giving up. There was no way Coleman Grant was going to blemish her perfect record. “I’ll just have to double my efforts.”
            Cassie laughed. “I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the guy.”
            “Don’t be fooled by the looks. He might be hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Ian Somerhalder combined, but underneath that perfect exterior beats the heart of an ogre.”
            “Sounds like someone has wet panties.”
            “Why Cassandra Miller, is that smutty talk I hear coming out of your mouth? There may be hope for you yet.”
            “Don’t change the subject. You’ve got the hots for this guy.”
            “Hardly. He’s eye candy all right, but he’s also a spoiled, self-centered asshole who think it’s his way or the highway. Not this time though.” Olivia nodded to herself. One way or another he was going to give in to her demands. Coleman Grant III had finally met his match. He just didn’t know it yet.

Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She's a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. If it's December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her at AnnMarieWalker.com where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.