Blog Tour & Review Dirty Little Secret By Jennifer Echols

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Title: Dirty Little Secret

Author: Jennifer Echols

Publisher: MTV Books

Publication Date: July 16, 2013

Source: Blog Tour

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

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Summary

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Review

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols has a lot of great elements in it. The Nashville setting, especially the scenes in the clubs, are interesting. It really gives you insight into what it takes to become big in a town full of talented musicians. The love story between Sam and Bailey get’s pretty steamy and I enjoyed how Jennifer Echols handled the sole sex scene. It is spicy without ever veering into cheesy territory.

I would have liked to have more of the family dynamic, especially between Bailey and her parents. It really does seem unnecessarily cruel when they ban her from playing her fiddle because of a few youthful indiscretions. I am not a parent, but it does seem like parenting 101 that when your child is making public, out of character mistakes, that they are often looking for attention. The fact that her parents instead decide to ignore her and focus solely on her sister, seems to cruel.

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols does touch on Sam’s dysfunctional relationship with his father. A man who never made it in Nashville, even though he is obviously talented. His character is almost used as a cautionary tale of what can happen when your dreams don’t come true and gives Sam some extra dimensions. Sam is interesting that he does have serious problems at home but is so focused and driven to success that he is willing to do anything.

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols is a solid read that music lovers will enjoy. There is humor and romance plus the added depths of dealing with familial dysfunction. I enjoyed Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols and look forward to reading some of her other books.

Author

Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

Playlist

I put a mix of older country, probably what Bailey and Sam played in the mall, with songs that capture a few important moments in Dirty Little Secret.

Giveaway

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I was given a copy of Dirty Little Secret but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Books For My Stacks July 2013 Edition

All the books I want to add to my stacks that are released in July, 2013.

July 2

 

The Longings Of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown

The Longings Of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown

It’s an idyllic New England summer, and Sadie is a precocious only child on the edge of adolescence. It seems like July and August will pass lazily by, just as they have every year before. But one day, Sadie and her best friend play a seemingly harmless prank on a neighborhood girl. Soon after, that same little girl disappears from a backyard barbecue—and she is never seen again. Twenty years pass, and Sadie is still living in the same quiet suburb. She’s married to a good man, has two beautiful children, and seems to have put her past behind her. But when a boy from her old neighborhood returns to town, the nightmares of that summer will begin to resurface, and its unsolved mysteries will finally become clear.

The Arrivals by Melisa Marr

The Arrivals by Melissa Marr

Chloe walks into a bar and blows five years of sobriety. When she wakes, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world, The Wasteland. She discovers people from all times and places have also arrived there: Kitty and Jack, a brother and sister from the Wild West; Edgar, a prohibition bootlegger; Francis, a one-time hippie; Melody, a mentally unbalanced 1950s housewife; and Hector, a former carnival artist.

None know why they arrived there–or if there is way out of a world populated by monsters and filled with corruption.

Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.

Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.

When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Tampa by Alissa Nutting

Tampa by Alissa Nutting

In Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa, Celeste Price, a smoldering 26-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida, unrepentantly recounts her elaborate and sociopathically determined seduction of a 14-year-old student.

Celeste has chosen and lured the charmingly modest Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his eighth-grade teacher, and, most importantly, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after dark, rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works the late shift, and body-slamming erotic encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress of pure motivation. She deceives everyone, is close to no one, and cares little for anything but her pleasure.

Tampa is a sexually explicit, virtuosically satirical, American Psycho–esque rendering of a monstrously misplaced but undeterrable desire. Laced with black humor and crackling sexualized prose, Alissa Nutting’s Tampa is a grand, seriocomic examination of the want behind student / teacher affairs and a scorching literary debut.

Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall

Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall

The summer of 1963 begins like any other for nine-year-old Starla Claudelle. Born to teenage parents in Mississippi, Starla is being raised by a strict paternal grandmother, Mamie, whose worst fear is that Starla will turn out like her mother. Starla hasn’t seen her momma since she was three, but is convinced that her mother will keep her promise to take Starla and her daddy to Nashville, where her mother hopes to become a famous singer—and that one day her family will be whole and perfect.

When Starla is grounded on the Fourth of July, she sneaks out to see the parade. After getting caught, Starla’s fear that Mamie will make good on her threats and send her to reform school cause her to panic and run away from home. Once out in the country, Starla is offered a ride by a black woman, Eula, who is traveling with a white baby. She happily accepts a ride, with the ultimate goal of reaching her mother in Nashville.

As the two unlikely companions make their long and sometimes dangerous journey, Starla’s eyes are opened to the harsh realities of 1963 southern segregation. Through talks with Eula, reconnecting with her parents, and encountering a series of surprising misadventures, Starla learns to let go of long-held dreams and realizes family is forged from those who will sacrifice all for you, no matter if bound by blood or by the heart.

July 9th

 

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

When Leila discovers the Web site Red Pill, she feels she has finally found people who understand her. A sheltered young woman raised by her mother, Leila has often struggled to connect with the girls at school; but on Red Pill, a chat forum for ethical debate, Leila comes into her own, impressing the Web site’s founder, a brilliant and elusive man named Adrian. Leila is thrilled when Adrian asks to meet her, flattered when he invites her to be part of “Project Tess.” Tess is a woman Leila might never have met in real life. She is beautiful, urbane, witty, and damaged. As they e-mail, chat, and Skype, Leila becomes enveloped in the world of Tess, learning every single thing she can about this other woman—because soon, Leila will have to become her. An ingeniously plotted novel of stolen identity, Kiss Me First is brilliantly frightening about the lies we tell—to ourselves, to others, for good, and for ill.

July 11th

 

45 Pounds More Or Less by K.A. Barson

45 Pounds (More Or Less) by K.A. Barson

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.

And a size 17.

Her perfect mother is a size 6.

Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.

So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

After Iris by Natasha Farrant

After Iris by Natasha Farrant

Blue Gadsby’s twin sister, Iris, died three years ago and her family has never been the same. Her histrionic older sister, Flora, changes her hair color daily; her younger siblings, Jasmine and Twig, are completely obsessed with their pet rats; and both of her parents spend weeks away from home–and each other. Enter Zoran the Bosnian male au pair and Joss the troublemaking boy next door, and life for the Gadsby family takes a turn for the even more chaotic. Blue poignantly captures her family’s trials and tribulations from fragmented to fully dysfunctional to ultimately reunited, in a sequence of film transcripts and diary entries that will make you cry, laugh, and give thanks for the gift of families.

July 30th

 

Earth Bound by Aprilynne Pike

Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike

Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told. Tavia will soon discover that she’s an Earthbound—someone with the ability to create matter out of nothing—and that she alone holds the key to stopping the Reduciata, an evil society that manipulates global events for its own shadowy purposes. Tavia will ultimately have to make a choice: to come into her powers and save the world from the evil Reduciata or to choose free will and a love of her own.

What books are you looking forward to in July?

 

All covers and summaries are from goodreads.

The Good, The Bad, And The WTF Books To Movies

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they pick a fun topic for a top ten list. This weeks list is Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations.

The Good

About A Boy Movie

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Hugh Grant in one of his best roles. Hilarious and touching, About A Boy actually improves on the book by Nick Hornby (which you should read pretty much all of his books if you haven’t.)

High Fidelity Movie

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Yes, this is another book by Nick Hornby. (Maybe my harping on this will get you to read all of the Nick Hornby books? It should.) John Cusack, Jack Black are pitch perfect. High Fidelity is so very good.

Harry Potter All The Movies

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Obviously, the Harry Potter movies are all amazing.

The Lord Of The Rings Movie Trilogy

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The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy like the Harry Potter movies should (and probably will be) on every list. They are amazing. (Even though there is a place to argue about things that were left out. Still, really great movies.)

The Stand Mini-Seires

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I love The Stand! It is such a great book and like many Stephen King books, quite long. So how they take this amazing book, with a huge cast of characters and make it into a move? Make it into a mini-series. I watched it when it originally aired (in 1994) and just loved it.

The Bad

 

Confessions Of A Shopaholic Movie

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Confessions Of A Shopaholic was such a disappointing movie. They changed so many aspects of the book, like Becky being American and her relationship with Luke. The book by Sophie Kinsella is hilarious but the movie just fell short. It actually makes me sad how horrible this movie is because I really wanted to see other books in the series made into movies.

The DaVinci Code Movie

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It is difficult to wrap my head around why this movie was so bad. The DaVinci Code seemed like it would make a great movie when I was reading it and it stars Tom Hanks. Something is just off here. I remember seeing it in the theater and lots of people walking out in the middle.

The Golden Compass Movie

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The Golden Compass should have made an excellent movie. It has action, adventure, and a really great story. The movie also stars Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman. It just did not live up to Pullman’s book and sadly the other books will never make it to the big screen.

The WTF

Queen Of The Damned Movie

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When I discovered The Vampire Chronicles series by Anne Rice as a teenager, I tore through those books like it was my job. Being a fan, I looked forward to seeing the books on big screen. The Queen Of The Damned movie pretty much killed my interest in vampires until Twilight happened.

 

In The Stacks (17)

What I added to my stacks (and stacks and stacks) this week. I am linking up with Stacking The Shelves by Tynga’s Reviews.

I am slowing down on the book buying front because my TBR mountain needs to be tackled. When you start to run out of shelf space, it means you need to read the books you own.

For Review

 

The Thinking Womans Guide To Real Magic by Emily Cory Barker

The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman.  During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she’s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty.  Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true.

Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally—and a reluctant one at that—is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel’s student—and learning magic herself—to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her “real life” against the dangerous power of love and magic.

The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic just sounds fun. I really do love magic in books and do not read enough of them with it. Also, the cover is very cool, seems to be filled with lots of hints at the plot.

What did you add to your stacks this week?

 

Summary and cover image taken from goodreads.

Blog Tour–Review–Giveaway Saving Ben By Ashley Farley

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SavingBen

Title: Saving Ben

Author: Ashley Farley

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publication Date: January 31, 2013

Source: Blog Tour

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Mystery

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Summary

Life is sweet for Katherine Langley. A freshman at the University of Virginia, she is free from the drama of her parents’ dysfunctional marriage and ready to focus on studying to become a nurse. Her brother, Ben, belongs to the hottest fraternity on campus, and her new roommate, Emma, is beautiful and charming, a party girl whose answer for a hangover is happy hour. She is also a psychopath.

When Katherine’s obsessive-compulsive overprotective brother succumbs to Emma’s charms and falls dangerously off-track, Katherine must save Ben from himself. Lives are threatened and someone disappears on New Year’s Day. The only evidence left: a single set of footprints in the snow.

From the university campus to a cozy cottage on Carter’s Creek, Virginia, Saving Ben is a haunting tale of love and loyalty, anger management, substance abuse, and betrayal.

Review

Saving Ben by Ashley Farley is really two stories. The first is the sibling relationship between Katherine and Ben. They are very close and always haven been. The second story is about Emma, who at first seems to be sweet and a little wild, but turns out to be someone with serious problems.

Emma and Ben begin a relationship which is pretty unhealthy from the start. In a short period of time, Ben starts to change. Katherine becomes very concern with Ben’s behavior and tries to help her brother anyway that she can. Emma not only effect’s Ben in a negative way but seems inflict damage on those closest to Katherine.

I found the beginning a bit on the slower side but Saving Ben really starts to pick-up towards the end. There is a mystery with a few twists and turns. The book errs on the side of tragic but does leave the reader with some hope. I enjoyed how Ashley Farley used her own life and relationship with her brother to shape the characters.  Saving Ben by Ashley Farley is a solid choice if you enjoy the New Adult genre and are looking for a book that is not romance centered.

About The Author

Ashley

I wrote a novel, SAVING BEN, in honor of my brother, the boy I worshipped, the man I could not save. It’s not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

I’m a wife and mother of two teenagers. I have lived in Richmond, Virginia, for seventeen years, a city I love for its history and traditions. Personal experience with my brother inspired me to become involved with the leadership symposium in my son’s school where I’ve helped bring in speakers to raise parents’ awareness of the alcohol and drug problems children face. When I’m not steering volunteer committees or working on my next novel, I can be found swimming laps or playing tennis.

Giveaway

 
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I was given a copy of Saving Ben but all opinions are my own.