Monday, 31 March 2014

***Cover Reveal + Giveaway***The Art of Keeping Faith by Anna Bloom (Uni Files #2) 

***The Art of Keeping Faith by Anna Bloom***
(Uni Files #2)
Publication date: April 2nd 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance


Lilah and Ben. They are meant to be a thing.

Well they were. The best thing ever. That was until Lilah decided to teach herself a lesson, and let go of Ben as she learnt The Art of Letting Go.

Now it’s a new academic year, and Lilah has it all to play for and it all too lose as she battles scary lecturers, evil PR girls and her own inability to make the right decision at the right time.

Life has moved on for Lilah and her friends, and life off campus is more complicated than any of them would have guessed.  As the reality of being second year students sets in and the study starts to build up, cracks begin to appear in the very fabric of their friendships. There is a chance that none of them are going to complete Year Two in one piece.

Facing down her worst enemy: herself. Lilah has to try and change her own past mistakes when she realises that the only way she is going to get the future she wants is if she manages to learn The Art of Keeping Faith in herself.

The Art of Keeping Faith is the second year in The Uni File Series and continues Lilah McCannon’s diary as she searches for love, tries to find and earn trust, and ultimately discovers who she is really meant to be.

Sometimes the only way to meet your future is to face your past.

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Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series. Anna’s main aim in life is to create the perfect book which makes a reader laugh and cry at the same time, hopefully causing a convulsive (impossible to ignore) donkey noise. It’s a work in progress!  Anna also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.

Author links:
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Review : Worth the Chance (MMA Fighter #2) By Vi Keeland


Meet Liv Michaels
It may have been seven years, but I’d know him anywhere. Sure, he’s grown, filled out in all the right places, but his captivating blue eyes and cocky grin are exactly the way I remember. Even though I’d much rather forget.

Liv Michaels is almost there. She’s smart, determined and weeks away from landing the job she’s dreamed about for years. Time healed old wounds, even her broken heart from the devastation of being crushed by her first love.

Meet Vince Stone
Women love a fighter, especially a good one. Lucky for me, I’m damn good. But there’s one woman that isn’t interested. Not again, anyway. 

Vince ‘The Invincible’ Stone is every woman’s fantasy…strong, sexy, confident and completely in control. Growing up surrounded by chaos, he’s learned never to get too attached. Love will drag you down. He adores women, treats them well, puts their own needs before his own…for the night anyway. With the biggest fight of his life coming up, his focus should be on training.

When fate brings Vince & Liv back together again, there’s no denying the chemistry is still there. But can Vince erase the old scars their past left behind? Or will Liv hurt him instead?


I absolutely love Vi Keeland's writing style. She writes passion and emotion into every character and every page. Vinny's character intrigued me and broke my heart in Worth the Fight. I was pleasantly surprised at how Vi transported us into the future where Vinny is all grown up into a fiercely protective and loyal man. He stands by his mother who really didn't deserve it. He respects Nico who helped him change his life. But most of all he goes after what he wants. He want's a chance with Liv and he isn't going to give up. I loved how he showed her constantly how much he wanted her and even with some humor he kept their scenes sizzling with sexual tension.
Vinny had a big heart but never really opened it to a woman until Liv, once when they were too young to embrace it and now when they both want it so badly. There were some moments I wanted to knock him upside his head but he was an amazing character who left me wanting more of him and part of that was to heal his scars and enjoy his passionate personality in all areas of his life. Vinny exuded LIFE and it was amazing. 
I loved Liv, she didn't take crap and she also stepped up when she made mistakes. So many times she'd jump the the wrong conclusion and Vinny would set her straight and she'd apologize and they would move on. These two set the pages on fire and I only wished for more.


Sunday, 30 March 2014

***Promo Post*** Distraction And Desire By Kizzie Darker

She was his distraction, he her desire.

Joanna woods thought her broken heart would never heal again when Luke ripped her world apart.

Upon deciding to take a much needed vacation to Paris, the city of love, would a chance meeting change her life forever?

Nathan Jones moonlights as a successful business man but unbeknown to Joanna he secretly works as a C.I.A agent travelling the world, tackling crime.
He has already lost one love of his life; will he risk it all when he meets Joanna?
Joanna and Nathan have chemistry but will it be enough to make their relationship work?
Will Joanna be able to handle the truth when she finds out who Nathan really is or will it end in further heartache?

***Cover Reveal*** Written On Her Heart By Paige Ryan 

***Written On Her Heart b Organisedyan***
Publication date: April 23rd 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance


To escape the ensuing media whirlwind after scandalous events in his novels were revealed to be true, big-time author Ford Delaney relocates to Callaway Cove.

When 21-year-old budding writer, Andi Callaway, returns home for college break, she discovers her literary idol – Ford Delaney, a world famous novelist – has taken refuge in her tiny hometown.

Andi determines to win a job as his assistant – but being hired by the handsome, reclusive author means competing with her friends for the job and ignoring the wishes of her longtime boyfriend.

As romantic sparks begin to fly between Andi and Ford, the heat they generate will either forge a powerful, enduring love or threaten everything she holds dear.

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

***Cover Reveal***  The Eternal Series Vol. 1By Candy Crum  


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 covergifTitle: The Eternal Gift
Series: The Eternal Series Vol. 1
Author: Candy Crum
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Audience:  17+
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
Publisher: Candy Crum
Cover By: Megan Parker with EmCat Designs
Editor: Nathan Squiers with Literary Dark Editing
Pages: 224
ISBN-10: 061546050X
ISBN-13: 978-0615460505
ASIN: B00522J7HS
Exspected Date of Publishing: April 13th, 2014

A young girl (Kailah) discovers that she is from a lost and forgotten powerful Immortal blood line after she meets a strange new physician at work. She begins to have visions and see spirits and has trouble controlling bad things from happening when she is angry. Along the way she discovers the terrible truth about who she is and the incredible power that is locked away deep inside her. Her Immortal ancestors want to use her to destroy the vampire race. Vampires want to use her power to destroy her Immortal ancestors. But hiding in the shadows are those who have been watching her since she was born. They want to help Kailah discover who she is and help her learn to use her abilities. They simply want for her to make the right decision before it's too late. Unfortunately for them time is not on their side and the Rogue Vampires have plans for Kailah no one could have imagined.
glitter maker

CHAPTER ONE (first half)
The night was cool and thick as it sheathed me in total darkness. The satin shorts and camisole that I’d gone to bed in were now damp from the moisture hanging heavily in the air. Holding my hands in front of my body, I blindly wandered around in blackness as I tried to find some kind of clue that would give me a better picture. My bare feet told me that I was standing on soft ground, the tall grass tickling my calves as I moved. It was possible that I was in a large pasture, though the clean, crisp scent of the air let me know that no large animals were near.
Thunder cracked in the distance and the ominous, coal-black clouds had even chased the moon and stars into hiding, not even the faintest glow giving away their location. It took a moment, but my mind was finally beginning to recognize this place. This was a dream world, one that I’d seen before. With every passing night, with every passing dream, I was able to travel further and further into this illusion as I tried to discover its meaning. I’d had recurring dreams before, but there was something different, disturbing about this one that seemed to speak to me. There was something that I was supposed to learn here and I needed to find it.
The wind began to pick up and I looked to the north, the same direction that I looked to every night. Lightning cascaded across the sky, illuminating the massive, empty pasture in which I stood. The momentary flash brought something to my attention that I’d never seen in the dream before. Two figures stood off in the distance, several yards between them, facing off. Even with great distance between us, I could feel the tension rolling off of them. That must be the dark, heavy feeling in the air that I’d felt: anger, hatred.
Thunder rolled again as the lightning danced across the sky. Using the display to light my path, I ran toward the figures ahead of me. As I approached, a bolt of raw, electric energy reached down from the sky and ignited the immediate area in flames. The swift turn of events stopped me short, nearly throwing me to the ground. The flames spread into a perfect circle as it surrounded both figures, blocking any further approach by me. Sharp chills cut through me from head to toe as I realized that one of them was fully controlling the blaze.
Now that I was closer, I could tell that the figures were women. One woman, maybe an inch or two over five feet tall, stood around fifty feet away, and to my right. Her long, jet-black hair reached just below her hips and whipped around in the increasing wind. As I studied her, I began to see a deep-red, transparent cloud, like an aura surrounding her. She was strong, very strong, and I could feel her overwhelming power from here.
Looking to my left, her opponent was roughly the same height; only her hair was frosty white and hung to her knees. This woman was much different. She was surrounded by an aura cloud as well, though hers was dark blue. Something about her called to me and it took everything I had not to trudge barefooted through the flames to reach her.
Rain began to fall and quickly soaked everything around us, though it was still unable to extinguish the fire. Movement brought me to attention as the white haired woman lifted her arms. The earth began to quake beneath me as it broke free all around her. She looked like a dancer as she maneuvered her body, forcing the element into submission under her power. The packed earth sailed through the air towards the dark haired woman, but she was quick to react.
In a flash, she completely disappeared from my sight, managing to dodge the attack. My eyes moved quickly as I focused to find her. My body locked up as my vision was suddenly clouded with the mysterious dark haired woman as she appeared before me, seemingly out of nowhere. Her dark, emerald green eyes and dilated coal-black pupils stared into mine, glinting in the firelight. Her raven hair seemed alive as it brushed my skin and sent tingles running through my body. Her flawless, olive-toned skin nearly glowed as she stood there, concern in her expression.
“Kailah.” As her soft, sweet voice spoke my name, I inhaled sharply. Though her mouth barely moved as she spoke my name, her perfect, white teeth showed just enough for me to make out four tiny, yet still elongated, razor sharp fangs. My heart fluttered rapidly as I wondered if this woman was the creature that she appeared to be, and if so, how did she know me and what did she want with me?
“Y-yes?” I stammered.
“This is not a dream, Kailah. It’s a warning.” She leaned in closer. “Run,” she whispered.
“Wait, what?” I asked, chills once again stabbing me like thousands of needles running from the roots of my hair to the bare, wet soles of my feet.
As soon as I turned to run, the dark thunder cracked overhead and the lightning began touching the ground all around me, trying to hold me where I stood. I heard a loud growl sound out from behind me, but decided not to look back. The earth began to shake again and my bare feet slid on the wet grass, the soft ground cushioning me as I fell hard on my right hip.
“Hello Kailah.” The new voice sent a shiver down my spine as I looked into the icy blue eyes of the white-haired woman.
Though her hair would have suggested otherwise, she looked no older than me: around twenty. Her skin was also olive toned and absolutely flawless, just like the other woman. Though, normally, one would look to the light as salvation and the darkness as hell, I didn’t think that was the case in this situation. Her crystalline blue eyes had death in them and I found myself backing away from her, toward the raven-haired beauty.
She laughed and the sound enveloped me like frigid water. “Kailah, you would choose the Vampire over your own grandmother?”
Before I could digest the words that she had unleashed on me, her attention shifted and the blue aura cloud surrounding her exploded into a barrier. Instinctively, my eyes closed and I threw my hand out as a large throwing knife bounced off the cloudy shield and headed for me.
“It is you!” she said with wonder.
My eyes snapped open and surrounding my hand was the same blue energy that surrounded the white-haired woman, only mine had a throwing knife buried in it. I couldn’t stop the scream that bubbled up out of my throat as the energy dissipated and the knife fell in my lap. What the hell was going on?
Her attention shifted again and with soft, graceful movements, a lightning bolt responded as it split from the sky and reached for her outstretched hand. She caught the energy easily before throwing it at her opponent. Another loud growl sounded out only a moment before something slammed hard into the barrier. That something, I realized, was the woman she had referred to as the Vampire.
Dark red energy swelled around the supposed Vampire as she pushed against the barrier of the opposing woman. “Kailah! She can find you in your dreams! Go, now!” As soon as the order left the raven-haired beauty’s lips, energy exploded from her body as the white-haired woman was thrown several feet away. “This dream is a figment of your own mind but, make no mistake, this is a premonition. You are the key to ending this war and if she finds you, it will doom all humans to a fate worse than death. Leave this realm now and prepare your mind. Your life is about to change.”
clip_image006Candy Crum lives in Indiana and is the Author of “The Eternal Series” and other short stories. She published her first novel, The Eternal Gift, in May of 2011 and has been publishing ever since. Candy is an avid lover of the paranormal genre, stemming from years of reading the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice when she was a teenager. Later, she developed a deep love of the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead and the House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, furthering her love of the genre and pushing her to really push to finish and publish her novel.
Since then, Candy has released three other books in The Eternal Series and will release another later in 2014. Now, Candy is trying her hand at more contemporary pieces of work, like that of Lean on Me and other books she will release in 2014.
Some of Candy’s interests include the usual reading and writing, music (of most types), movies (action and comedy or any combination of the two), cartoons (she loves to say that her children watch cartoons because she does), and drawing. She loves talking with her fans and loves reading the reviews that her fans are kind enough to leave for her. Always feel free to find Candy on Facebook and send her a message!

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Friday, 28 March 2014

***Cover Reveal***Paradox by Kelly Carrero (Unearthly Paradox #1) 

***Paradox By Kelly Carrero***
(Unearthly Paradox #1)
Publication date: April 2014
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult


Never in a million years would I ever fall for the son of a drug lord. Or so I thought until I moved two doors down from Jett.

Zara thought her life was over when she had to move just days before graduation. The situation went from bad to horrible, when she discovers just how cruel the kids at her new school can be.

When Zara is set up by some bullies and almost raped, she somehow gets free, but she’s haunted by the eyes of the one she believes rescued her.

Later, bad boy Jett is only too willing to step in and help. In fact, Zara can’t seem to get rid of him or his family, who all seem to have a strange obsession with her.

Will letting down her guard be one of the biggest mistakes of her life, or is Zara destined to become a part of his life, an existence that no human could ever understand?

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REVIEW : Crossing By Stacey Wallace Benefiel


Due to heavy subject matter, Crossing is recommended for readers 17+.

He stole her lipstick…and her heart.

Twenty-year-old Dani Walker can’t believe her luck when she’s paired up with the gorgeous Liam Garrett as her Acting I scene partner – or when he ends up in her bed. Being a Plain Jane with a mouth on her hasn’t exactly served Dani well in the guy department. In fact, she’s had nothing but one night stands. Still, she lets go of her insecurities and falls for Liam, despite feeling like he’s holding something back.

When Dani finally discovers Liam’s secret, she must learn the true meaning of accepting the ones we love for who they are, or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.


I never thought that that opening line of this book would mean so much more than - definitely so much more! Plus this is one of those rare times that a story definitely leaves me somewhat disturbed and a bit skeptical. Crossing is not your generic Contemporary story. At first, I thought it was just that but I was definitely wrong. It deals with more prominent issues that I was honestly not aware of until I have read this.

Dani is our chubby heroine with body and social issues but usually brush it away by giving self-depreciating jokes about her. She's sarcastic and witty! I understand her shortcomings but sometimes it gets too much and with Liam telling her sweet nottings her insecurities wouldn’t go away and it’s eating her up in a not so good way. Her background wasn’t much explore which has its pros and cons - con because I wanted to see where those short coming and insecurities of her came from; I'm looking for some history. The pro to this is that the author did a good job of at least balancing out her past and focusing more on the present pressing matters.

Liam was also okay but I didn’t get quite a connection with him. I guess it was because of his too deep and reflective character - I don’t know. But I do like how he challenged Dani.

The way these two met has me really smiling. And their interactions make me giddier about them. I like how Liam keeps up with Dani's attitude - sarcastic wit or not. Their relationship starts of normal - sweet and slow building - but once you got to know it all and the beans are spilled I thought their relationship was really not normal at all - it was unique and if it works for the both of them - lets just leave them at that.

If you wanted to see something fresh and something new you should give Crossing a try. It was a story more on the side of acceptance, overcoming fears and self discovery.


Thursday, 27 March 2014

***Cover Reveal*** Discovery By Brina Courtney 

Discoveries can be dangerous. Discoveries can be deadly. 

Nine months ago, Teagan Matthews' boyfriend disappeared and took her sense of stability with him. But when the opportunity to live with her aging grandmother in Salem arises, she decides it's time to get on with her life. A new home, new job, and new friends are adding up to a beautiful summer...

...until a young girl's body shows up one night in town, wearing a pentagram necklace exactly like Teagan's.

  Now a guy looking remarkably like her missing boyfriend has arrived in Salem along with a mysterious stranger who may have some answers that Teagan has desperately been searching for. Teagan must now decide who to trust. It's a matter of life... and her death.

About The Author
Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She's spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs. 

***Cover Revea + Giveaway*** Forever Layla By Melissa Turner Lee

Title: Forever Layla
Release date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: AltWit Press

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What if the woman you envied most is the person you are destined to become?

In 1994, high school senior David Foster was the lackey and soundboard geek for his best friend's grunge band. During spring break, the band lands a dream gig playing at a motel in Myrtle Beach, SC. David expected all the girls to ogle the guys on stage, but when a beautiful blond "Bond Girl" approaches him and calls him by name, he's shocked to find out she knows more about him than a stranger should.

She even knows about his notebooks and his visions of time travel.

What she thought was a quick time-travel-sightseeing trip takes a surprising turn when she meets the young adult version of the man she'd heard stories about as a child. His fairy-tale romance with the woman he'd loved, Layla, inspired her to accept nothing less than a love just as strong...but hopefully not as tragic. When she won't tell the younger version of him her name, he calls her Layla--and the world as she knows it changes forever.


Melissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.
Blog | | @melissatlee1975

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

***Cover Reveal***War of Wizards (Secrets of Shadow Hill 3) By S.P. Cervantes

S.P. Cervantes is ready to release the cover for War of Wizards, book three in the Secrets of Shadow Hill series.

Title: War of Wizards (Secrets of Shadow Hill 3)
Author: S.P. Cervantes
Age group: YA
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Center One Publishing
Hosted by: Wordsmith Publicity  

Ava and Dalton want nothing more than to forget about the danger their love puts them in, and live peaceful lives in Shadow Hill; but that is not their destiny. Evil continues to haunt them, threatening to destroy everything. Volikai’s determination to summon the dark powers that the Originals have kept hidden for centuries before the Prophecy can be fulfilled.

When Patrick finds a new love, and learns of the reason for his powerful connection with Ava, he will stop at nothing to protect those he loves and destroy the evil that has plagued the world since the beginning of time.

Together, they will be faced with unimaginable choices to save the one’s they love as the final secrets of Shadow Hill are revealed.


About the author
S.P Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children, where she is a teacher.  She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel. 

S.P. Cervantes is the author of the highly rated New Adult Romantic Fantasy series Secrets of Shadow Hill.  “Always and Forever” and “The Prophecy” are the first two book in the series that are available now.  The third book in the series, “War of Wizards”  will be released in the summer of 2014.

S.P. Cervantes also has released her first book in a contemporary romance series, “Dust to Dust (A Broken Fairy Tale)”, with the second book of the stand-alone series, “Wished Away,” coming out late July 2014.

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***Cover Reveal*** FINALLY MINE By Anne Hansen

Author: Anne Hansen
Age group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover designer: Anne Hansen
Organized by: WordSmith Publicity

Book Description:
An incredible stroke of luck lands Vin Moretti a plea bargain—he spends his summer slaving at a country club instead of rotting in a jail cell. He plans to keep his head down and avoid the trust fund brats.

He never expects to fall for a gorgeous, amazing girl way out of his league.

When Keira McCabe falls in love with Vin Moretti, it’s head-over-heels, crazy, incredible love. She’s sure nothing can ruin what they have…but she has no idea how far Vin will go to protect her from the one thing he’s most afraid of: himself.

Summer ends, and Keira returns to the sprawling suburbs where she belongs, while Vin slinks back to the wrong side of the tracks and his old trouble-making ways. They promise to make long-distance love work.

It’s just dumb luck that her father’s unexpected demotion moves Keira smack in Vin’s gritty neck of the woods. Vin realizes he’ll need do whatever it takes to keep Keira safe—even if it means shutting the person he loves the most out of his dangerous life completely.

When Vin turns his back on Keira at her lowest moment, it finally hits her: she was never going to be anything more than his dirty little secret. Her life as she knows it has been torn to shreds, but she’s determined to make the best of it…with or without the guy she gave her heart to over the summer.

Vin starts to have second thoughts about his decision when he realizes how empty life is without Keira around. The problem is, Keira’s learned her lesson, and she isn’t about to be used again.

Vin realizes he’s going to have to pull out all the stops and turn his life around if he wants to make Keira finally his.

About the Author:
Anne Hansen is a die-hard romantic who loves fast cars, unsung heroes, and those crazy, funny conversations that make you laugh so hard, you end up in tears with stomach cramps. She likes to travel and has been all kinds of cool places--like Knoebels Theme Park, the biggest Paul Bunyan statue in Minnesota, and Paris. She loves listening to indie music, sitting around the campfire with her awesome family, and obsessively flipping through celebrity Instagram accounts (don't judge). But, most of all, she loves reading books and writing them, and she's excited to share her greatest passion with other book lovers!

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***Cover Reveal***Collide by Christine Fonseca 

***Collide by Christine Fonseca***
Publication date: April 29th 2014
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult


The most dangerous secrets are the ones that kill.

When a surprising mental breakdown draws too much attention from a secret government group call the Order, 17-year-old Dakota discovers that her so-called boring life isn’t so boring after all. Between the lies, secrets and assassins out to kill her family, Dakota discovers there’s more to paranormal activity than ghosts and cheap mind tricks. Now she must uncover the truth before a new breed of terrorism takes everything away – including her life.

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About The Author:

Critically acclaimed nonfiction and YA author Christine Fonseca is dedicated to helping children of all ages find their voice in the world. Drawing on her expertise as an educational psychologist, her nonfiction titles address issues of emotional intensity, resiliency and giftedness. In fiction, she explores the darker aspects of humanity and delivers gothic thrillers that take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. In life, she teaches her own children to embrace their unique talents and find their voice by being a force of positive change in the world.
When she’s not writing or developing programs to support children with exceptional needs, she can be found spending time with her family, sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. For more information about Christine Fonseca or her books, visit her website – or her blog

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

***Book Blitz***Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles

Twelve Steps
by Veronica Bartles
Release Date: 03/25/14

Book Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. There in Laina's shadow, Andi's only noticeable feature is her pretty awesome hair. And even that is eclipsed by Laina's perfect everything else.

When Andi’s crush asks her to fix him up with Laina, Andi decides enough is enough and devises a twelve-step program to wrangle the spotlight away from Laina. After all, great hair must count for something.

Step 1: Admit she’s powerless to change her perfect sister, and accept that her life really, really sucks. OK, maybe that's two steps in one.

Step 4: Make a list of her good qualities besides great hair. There have got to be at least three good qualities, right?

Step 7: Demand attention for more than just her shortcomings, and break out of her shell. Easier said that done, but worth the effort in the long-run. 

When a stolen kiss from her crush ends in disaster, Andi finds that her prince isn’t as charming as she'd hoped, and realizes she may need a new program--perhaps with less steps!

As cracks in Laina’s flawless façade begin to show, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.


“I really am sorry you’re so upset. You can yell at me, if it helps,” Laina says.

Of course I’m not going to yell at her. But obviously, I can’t tell her about Jarod’s visit this afternoon either. If she ever stopped being so clueless and realized he’s in love with her, I’d lose any hope of a chance with him.

I swallow hard and sit up, crossing my legs and leaning against the headboard. “You should be sorry. You’d think a straight-A student like you would be smart enough to realize that Oreos cannot be properly devoured without the requisite glass of milk.” I frown and stare at my empty hands, as if waiting for milk to magically appear.

“Oops!” Laina jumps up, giggling, and races out of the room. 

I feel the slightest twinge of guilt over manipulating her compulsive need to please people, but sometimes Laina’s neuroses totally come in handy. And right now, I really need a few minutes to plan my next move. Thomas Jefferson’s advice about being cool and unruffled is perfect in almost every situation, but sometimes life requires a little bit of carefully-constructed drama. And if I’m going to get ungrounded in time to show Jarod he’s going after the wrong sister, this is definitely one of those times.

Laina returns a few minutes later and hands me a tall glass of cold milk. I carefully twist open an Oreo and lick out the crème filling before dunking the cookie part into my milk.

“Okay, now will you tell me what’s bothering you?” Laina asks.

I blink back a few well-timed tears. “Nothing. I’m fine. Really.” I dissect another cookie. 

“Come on. You can tell me.”

I take a deep, shaky breath and set the cup and the decimated cookie on my nightstand. Then, I shrug and pick at imaginary balls of lint on my quilt.

Laina wraps an arm around me and pulls me in for a protective, big-sister hug. “Talk to me. Maybe I can help.” 

I shake my head and pull away. “I’m just so tired of being grounded. You’d think they could overlook one silly, little D. I still have a B average, and who cares about biology anyway?” I frown and look up at her through droopy eyelashes. “What’s it like, being the favorite child?”

About the Author:

As the second of eight children and the mother of four, Veronica Bartles is no stranger to the ups and downs of sibling relationships. (She was sandwiched between the gorgeous-and-insanely-popular older sister and the too-adorable-for-words younger sister.) She uses this insight to write stories about siblings who mostly love each other, even while they’re driving one another crazy.   When she isn’t writing or getting lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, Veronica enjoys knitting fabulous bags and jewelry out of recycled plastic bags and old VHS tapes, sky diving (though she hasn’t actually tried that yet), and inventing the world’s most delectable cookie recipes.  TWELVE STEPS is Veronica Bartles's first novel.

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