Monday, 28 July 2014

Tourmente, a playlist

As promised here is a playlist for Tortured, created by the author herself. Please also check out the spotlight I put up for the book and the excerpts as well. This link leads to a Spotify version of the playlist. There is a star (*) next to the songs that weren't available.

Shinedown, Save Me

The Fray, You Found Me

Get Scared, Built for Blame

3 Doors Down, So Far Down*

Bush, Greedy Fly

Nickleback, Savin’ Me

Stone Sour, Bother

Papa Roach, Scars

The Fray, How to Save a Life

Coldplay, Fix You

Imagine Dragons, Demons

Jasmine Thomspon, Everybody Hurts

Seether, Fade Away

Goo Goo Dolls, Before It’s Too Late

Sick Puppies, All the Same

John Legend, All of Me

Hoobastank, Lucky

Adelitas Way, Alive

Evanescence, Bring Me to Life

Little Green Cars, The John Wayne

Breaking Benjamin, Diary of Jane

Fireflight, Desperate

LynardSkynard, Free Bird

Goo Goo Dolls, Here is Gone

3 Doors Down, Let Me Go

The Fray, Never Say Never

Art of Dying, Die Trying

Which song is your favourite? Leave a comment~ Also, stay tuned this week for a blog revealing what sorts of things I get in the mail: from companies, friends, authors; possible reviews depending on my schedule; and cool things from cool authors. Who knows? There might even be a giveaway or two coming. 

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tortured excerpts

Hello everyone~ In my last blog entry, Tortured by Kate Givans was the topic. Complete with a synopsis, teasers, photos, and even author contacts, it was supposed to be a creative way to feature Tortured - so maybe it wasn't so creative, but I really enjoyed doing it and Kate loved it. Today I've got excerpts from the book, and in the next few days you'll get to see an interview with the author as well as a playlist for the book!

Currently, Tortured is up on Amazon for $0.99! A total steal, if you ask me. Not to mention that if purchased through Amazon Smile, you can choose a charity to support that will receive 5% of the money you've spent. (Again, like I said yesterday, I've personally chosen to support the Wounded Warrior Project.) So support an author's debut novel and an organization you love!

WARNING: This book is intended for 18+ readers ONLY. Potentially triggering content and concepts in books to follow. 

          E X C E R P T # 1 :

I first met Willow out on Old Mill Road. Standing on the ledge of the arched concrete bridge, her arms spread wide, she looked like a bird about to take flight. I probably would have taken more time to admire the absolute freedom she embodied in that moment, the auburn curls whipping around her upturned face, the way the moonlight made her porcelain skin shimmer…but it looked like she was about to jump.
I remember my hesitation, how desperately I wanted to turn back the way I’d come and pretend I’d never seen her. I know it makes me sound like an insensitive prick, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled athaving the life or death of some crazy chick thrown in my lap. Not that I didn’t understand, at least on some level, what might be going through her head. Hell, I knew, better than most, what it meant to feel like life would never get better.

It’d only been six weeks since my release from Shady Oak’s mental facility. I wasn’t the person to talk her down; I didn’t know the first thing about helping someone find the light at the end of the tunnel. Hell,I still had days that I’d much rather jump right along with her than try and brave another day.

Thankfully, that particular day hadn’t been one of them.

I stood there a few moments longer, considering my options. I could turn around and go back the way I came, but I wasn’t exactly up for that.I could go past her and risk spooking her, but the last thing I needed was the aftermath of watching her plummet to her death – calling the police, filing a report, explaining what had happened. It wouldn’t hurt to at least
try and talk her off the ledge, right?
Having made my decision, I edged cautiously along the gravel path, taking slow and calculated steps towards bird-girl. Stopping just feet away from her, I weighed the risk of grabbing ahold of the oversized sweater jacket she was wearing. My luck, the damn thing would come clean off and she’d end up in the water anyway, so I decided against it.

I was still trying to decide how to go about helping her when she spoke, voice confident as she kept her face upturned towards the night sky. “I’m not going to jump.”

I cleared my throat and hoped to God the irritation didn’t seep through. “No offense, miss, but that’s not what it looks like from here.”

Her head tilted slightly, as if she were trying to shrug, but the movement came up short. I waited for some other response, but the uncomfortable silence stretched on, giving me the impression that my presence was both unwanted and unnecessary.
“Well, you…uh, have a nice night,” I finally said, taking a couple backward steps towards town.

“You could join me.” Her words, prying and inquisitive, stopped me dead in my tracks.

“Yeeaaah….Thanks, but I prefer to keep my feet on the ground.”

She chuckled. The light, carefree sound intrigued and, for some unknown reason, annoyed me all at once. Maybe because I’d never laughed like that. Hell, I didn’t know
anyone that had. It left me questioning what the hell she was doing up there in the first place.
Crazy. Definitely crazy.

Determined to get as far away from her as possible, I started backing away. I didn’t make it but a few steps when she glanced over her shoulder at me. The wide-eyed conviction in her sparkling, crystal blue eyes ensnared me, rooted me to the ground beneath my feet.
“How will you ever learn to fly if you don’t take time to spread your wings?” she asked.

And just like that, the pull I’d felt just seconds before shook free, floating away with the cold, bitter wind. I’d taken enough rides on the crazy train to last a lifetime. “Well, anyway. It was, uh, nice meeting you.” 

E X C E R P T # 2 :

I was still trying to sort out the opening when a knock came at my door. 
My heart flipped for a few rapid beats. The only person it could be would be appalled by how bad I’d let the mess get.
“Hold on, Mom!” I yelled at the door.

Completely abandoning the trash bag, I started stuffing pizza boxes, empty chip bags, snack cake wrappers, and soda cans into the cabinets and drawers, under the couch, into the entertainment center – basically anywhere they would fit. The pounding was getting louder, most likely because my mom both worried and annoyed about being left out in the cold to wait. “Coming!” I hollered, making my way to the door, glancing around the apartment quickly. I still had a sink full of dishes, but at least the mess was contained t just one area. “I’m okay, Mo---“

The rest of my sentence fell flat when I pulled the door open. If it had been summer, a fly probably would have flown in my mouth. Standing there on my doorstep was the last person I ever would have expected to see.


“Expecting someone else?” Annoyance plagued her furrowed features, but I could tell she was trying to suppress a smile. Satisfaction at surprising me, maybe?
“Uh, no. Not really. I just…”

“Didn’t expect to see me?”

Heat rising in my neck and spreading through my cheeks, I stumbled through my words, racking my brain for any excuse that sounded at least somewhat plausible. “No…I mean, uh—I did, just. I—“

“Forgot?” She lifted one perfectly shaped eyebrow at me.

“Yeah. Forgot.” A lie, but it was better than trying to explain the truth.

Her lips scrunched together and moved back and forth for a second as she chewed it over. Apparently, she’d decided it was sufficient enough; that grin that she’d been suppressing went on full display. I couldn’t help but notice how much her smile magnified the intense sparkling of her eyes.

“Well, no worries! I’m here now!” she exclaimed, stepping through the doorway, not even waiting for me to invite her in. She stopped in the middle of my living/dining area to face me. “You ready?”Still holding the door open, letting the cold air in, I stood there, staring at her like my brain had taken a vacation.

Besides being dumbfounded as to how she’d found me, I was extremely uncomfortable about having her in my apartment. I hadn’t had a girl there in…well, never, unless you counted my mom and Brad’s girlfriend, which I didn’t. And I didn’t even know this girl, which made the entire thing awkward and wrong on so many levels. But somewhere else, somewhere deep inside, it almost felt right, like she somehow belonged there.

Shaking the ridiculous thought from my head, I found my voice. “Uh-sure…just...give me a sec.” She nodded her silent response and then took to looking at the various posters hanging on my walls.

Even in an alternate universe, no good could come from having this mess of a girl in my apartment. But I was going to go with her, it seemed, despite my own best advice to steer clear of all things Willow. I guess it got her out of my place, at least. After that…I’d find a way to get her out of my head and out of my life.

That’s what I told myself, anyway.

“No rush,” she called over her shoulder as I made my way to the bedroom.

Sorting through the pile of clothes on my bed, I tossed half of them on the floor again. They would have ended up there eventually anyway. I eventually decided on a white and navy blue striped long-sleeve polo. After pulling my t-shirt over my head, I tossed it on the floor and then pulled on the polo. I was just fixing the hem when I had the distinct feeling of being watched.

I turned to look at the door, which I’d stupidly left open. Leaning against the frame, Willow stood there, looking at me, a stupid smirk on her face. “Don’t you ever knock?” I asked, heat warming my ears.

“The door was open. I was just going to ask you if you had any water.” She pointed in the direction of the kitchen before crossing her arms over her chest. “I wasn’t expecting a show.” Her eyes swept over me, head to toe, giving me the sense that she’d been trying to undress me with her eyes. I didn’t know if I should be flattered or embarrassed.

This wasn’t a new conflict. Even though I’d only just met her, I always felt this internal struggle when she was around. It was worse when she focused those eyes on me, giving me the sense that she could see right through me. Maybe that was what she wanted me to think. Or maybe I was going crazy. Or maybe two years of not getting laid was starting to really wear on me.

Willow didn’t really seem like my kind of girl – trailer park, too comfortable around guys, always into trouble. And I wasn’t the kind of guy to just use women for sex. In fact, I could count the women I’d been with on one hand – two in high school and one in college, all three former girlfriends that I’d dated for no less than six months. But I couldn’t deny that there was something there with her. I thought about her when she wasn’t around, and whenever she landed in my path, I found myself agreeing to spend time with her, even though I was sure I didn’t want to.

“Um, earth to Josh!”

Great, now I was getting lost in my own head. “Sorry, what?”


“Oh, yeah. In the fridge.”

She disappeared from the doorway. A few seconds later, I heard the fridge door open. In just a few more, she was leaning in the doorway of my bedroom again. At least my body wasn’t on display this time.
“So…just wondering…how did you know where I live?” I asked, shoving my feet into a pair of Doc Martins.

Willow took a big swig of water before answering. “A stalker never reveals her secrets.” 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

"We all suffer from the scars of torment."

"Some are just more visible than others."

Tortured, book one of the Tortured Souls series and debut novel by Kate Givans, is out now! If you are into contemporary and romance reads, this one is for you. The perfect mixture of drama, loss, healing, and love, this novel shows "love's ability to reach beyond scars and secrets, no matter how deep or hidden."

WARNING: This book is intended for 18+ readers ONLY. Potentially triggering content and concepts in books to follow.

It's over a year after the death of his best friend, but Josh is still tormented by the past. Free-spirited Willow changes everything when she walks right into his life, challenging him and helping him to feel something other than the overwhelming pain, sadness, and anger he had fallen into. 
The only problem is that Josh finds Willow to be secretive and elusive. He believes she must have a few skeletons in her own closet, but is pushed away when he tries to uncover the truth about her.
Will Josh be able to get her to open up before it's too late? Or will he discover that some secrets are better left hidden?

For $2.99 you can get the Kindle version of this novel! Even better is if you do so through the link provided (Tortured via Amazon Smile), 5% of your purchase will be donated to the charity of your choice. Personally, I donate to the Wounded Warrior Project with every digital and physical purchase I make.

"We live, we die, we love, and we lose. Those moments of loss and death were hell on the soul; no amount of love or life could make the pain less hurtful, but they were the moments that carried you through, gave you the strength to fight another day. Willow gave me something to fight for."

If you do read this book, please take the time to give an honest review - and if time or words is something you do not have, please at least leave a rating. Indie authors appreciate this more than you can know. 

"Life wasn't meant to be a day-in-day-out routine. Sure, those things could offer you stability and security when you had a family, or when you were older and ready to settle down somewhere. But the world was just too damn big to spend it all in one place; I couldn't think of a better way to see it than with the girl I'd fallen hopelessly, helplessly, and unashamedly in love with."

Keep an eye out for my review of Tortured, a possible interview with the author, and other cool things as the release continues over this and next week.

While I'd love to keep giving you quotes, I do hope that this has sparked your interest in the book. You can check in on her facebook for teaser photos and more. For more information on following releases or to connect with the author, please use the following links:



Congratulations, Kate!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Instagram Photo Diary: 2012 Edition

I first got on Instagram during the latter half of 2012, but never really had access - thus letting photos build up and get posted in large amounts. Eventually I was able to get on more frequently, but still wasn't too Instagram savvy. Most of these photos are lame. This set was going to be most 2012 up until holiday, as I had originally planned to post all of them and then delete them all. A similar Instagram photo diary will happen, there will just be a large/odd gap. This was already drafted, so laugh it up. I must warn you - these are actually pretty terrible.

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11 August 2012, 20: 53 | Hanging out with le losers | ♥3

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11 August 2012, 20:56 | Merp. I'm actually smiling | ♥14

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12 August 2012, 14: 25 | Big Daddy enjoying some #sizzler | ♥6

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12 August 2012, 14:26 | #trolled | ♥4

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12 August 2012, 14:28 | Dani so cayooot | ♥3

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12 August 2012, 14:35 | Hi there | ♥11

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13 August 2012, 16:56 | Am I #cute yet? | ♥4

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13 August 2012, 16:28 | #planetoparis ? #killmeslowly #dangerous #eiffeltower #cute haaaay | ♥8

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13 August 2012, 17:00 | Went to le traintracks! Got my #on2thenextLA #swagg #YOLO I feel so lame | ♥14

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15 August 2012, 21:11 | Taking extensive notes for psych. Me gustaaaaaa | ♥7

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16 August 2012, 21:27 | This cutie needs a home still! #help 8 months old | ♥11

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16 August 2012, 20:37 | This is seriously a good question..... Totally goes with the fork | ♥5

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16 August 2012, 20:41 | I really have nothing to say. Perhaps I just have too many thoughts. | ♥7

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23 August 2012, 20:12 | #KillTheLights & drive me wild tonight | ♥5

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 23 August 2012, 20:18 | #throwbackthursday me & ms sully backstage :3 | ♥3e

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Thirteen Things, issue 1

Things that inspire me, things I find aesthetically pleasing. Things I want to share, things people want to share. Email me if you'd like something featured.

Images only sourced if I know the definite source (i.e. off personal tumblrs, instagrams, etc.) as most of these images are found by others before I find them.

#1, art journals || source

#2, vintage style French diagrams

#3, educational summer reading || source

#4, art study

#5, sunflowers

#6, deer || source

#7, making music

#8, creative baths

#9, glass bottle vases

#10, Peter Pan

#11, "The History of Love" || source

#12, healthy salads

#13, organised planners || source

Friday, 4 July 2014

The good, the bad, the lovely

Unlike my last experience with VoxBox, this was perfect. I got accepted at what seemed to be the last minute. The box arrived without warning during finals week which made for such a great surprise when my stepdad pulled the box from behind the driver's seat one day.

What was sent in the Spring Fling vox?
  • Playtex Sport Fresh Balance tampons
  • Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retroglam mascara
  • Kiss Everlasting French nails
  • Nivea Body Skin Firming body lotion
  • Softlips Cube lipbalm/moisturizer
  • Labor Day film hangable car scenter

Photo taken from my facebook.

Each product I was sent this time were things I have thoroughly enjoyed. Except for the Labor Day gift, as I don't have a car and it fell out of the box somewhere in my room. Eventually I shall find it and gift it to someone I know would appreciate it - in true Influenster fashion because isn't sharing great things the point?

Because of a glitch with the spam catcher on Blogger, my blog was accidentally deleted because of the last post in which I used all HTML. Due to that glitch, I ended up posting two reviews on my tumblr. You can click here for "#PlayOn with Playtext Sport" or here for "Kiss #EverlastingFrench Manicure"

When it comes down to being straight to the point, I'd have to say that the Nivea Skin Firming lotion is my favourite product. Each of the products are equally good and all have a drawback or two - but with my blogs I love to show photos. Who wants to see a bunch of selfies in which you can't tell if I've even got mascara or lip balm? No one! 

Photo taken from my facebook.

Have I ever known hydrated skin until now? I'm not quite sure I have. In fact, this lotion did so much more than I expected and I'm excited to be buying more of it. Since this product seems to be quite oily on the hands and face, I definitely wouldn't recommend it for facial use like other lotions and would advise washing the hands after application. Overall, this product is perfect for the summer months and I'm quite happy to say I recommend this!
My personal rating: 4/5 stars

Photo taken from my twitter.

Value for money, 5/5. Quality, 4/5. Effectiveness, 4/5. Definite London look! Unlike other mascara products I have used, the non-waterproof version does not hold up to any form of water - even watering eyes - which I found odd and slightly disappointing. It also seeded to make my eyelashes really dry. Despite these two drawbacks, I found the product to be extremely effective in creating bolder looking lashes, as well as gliding on a little easier than any other brands I have owned. The brush alone is pure perfection, so I would totally recommend a little DIY to keep the brush and use it in the future. If this mascara was a little friendlier for sensitive lashes/eyes, it would definitely be a 5/5. I may buy and review the waterproof version just in case, as it might be the difference for us sensitive faced people.
My personal rating: 4/5

My softlips review can be found here on their facebook page. These products are most likely to be found at any grocery store (Ralph's, Albtersons, etc.) or pharmacy (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) near you! They can also be found online at places like Walmart or Target.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Cover reveal with Melanie Harlow for FORKED! (I'm back, obviously)

(Book 2 in the FRENCHED series)

by Melanie Harlow 

A  Sexy Adult Contemporary Romance

Expected release: September 2014

  Twenty-eight year old Coco Thomas knows the recipe for disaster:

1)      Agree to plan last-minute engagement blowout for spoiled Mafia princess before you realize her choice of caterer is Nick Lupo, a despicably gorgeous young chef with a hot new restaurant in town, a reality TV show victory, and a romantic past with you—one that did not end well.

2)      Strike a deal with Nick in which you agree to spend a weekend with him in exchange for his services, under the strict conditions there will be no talking about the past, no second chances, and definitely no sex.

3)      Violate all three conditions within 24 hours and spend two glorious days remembering what made you fall for the sexy, egotistical bastard in the first place, and why it hurt so much when he broke your heart.

Add one road trip, plenty of good scotch, and endless spoonfuls of chocolate cake batter drizzled over your body and licked off inch by oh-my-God-yes-right-there inch, then just admit it.

You’re totally FORKED.

About the Author

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. Her stories are inspired by a sense of place, an appreciation for the past, and unexpected pleasures in life—especially the romantic kind. She lifts her glass to readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

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- - -

I'm so excited to have been part of the cover reveal. If you would like a direct link to the first book in this series, Frenched, please click here to be redirected to Amazon. 

Or you can also click here to be taken to Amazon for a Frenched novella (Frenched 1.5): Yanked.

Show Melanie some love, she is fantastic!