Friday, April 14, 2017

Blog Tour: Tortured by Nicole Williams


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When he left for a twelve-month deployment, she knew it would feel like forever before they saw each other again. She didn’t realize how right she was.

When Lance Corporal Brecken Connolly gets taken as a POW, Camryn hopes for the best but steels herself for the worst. In the end, steel was what she needed to survive when he didn’t. She moves on the only way she knows how—gilding herself in more steel.

Years go by.

She builds a new life.

She leaves the old one behind.

Until one day, she sees the face of a ghost on the news. Brecken seems to have risen from the dead, but she knows she can’t perform the same miracle for herself. While Brecken was held in a torture camp for the past five years, she’s been trapped in her own kind of prison. One she can’t be freed from.  

The man she mourned comes back to join the living, but the girl he wanted to spend his life with isn’t the same woman he comes back for. Brecken isn’t the same person either. The past five years have changed them both. While he’s determined to put the pieces back together, she’s resolved to let hers rot where they shattered.

Broken or not, Brecken wants her back. He’ll do anything to achieve that. Even if it means going against the warden of Camryn’s personal prison—her husband.

“It’s been six years. Everything’s changed. I have. You have.” My eyes lifted. “Why? Why are you trying to win me back?”
He exhaled, his lips parting. “I’m going to win you back.”
When his hand slid around the bend of my waist, winding behind my back, I jerked. His touch was different tonight, hungry, determined. My head clouded, blocking out reason or letting it surface to the top, one or the other.
“I married him,” I whispered even as my hand found his chest.
“But you belong to me.”
My eyes closed as he bowed me against him. I wasn’t sure how two bodies that had been as broken as ours could be so strong when joined. “How do you know?”
“I can see it in your eyes. Every time you look at me.” His other hand lifted to my chin, tipping it until our eyes connected. His brow rose slowly, like I was proving his point right that very moment.
“That’s a confident statement.” My voice shook, but my body felt steady. Unwavering.
“It’s the truth.”
My chest was moving so hard, it brushed his with every breath. What was I doing? Where had I found myself? The man holding me had died only to be resurrected six years later. It was too late, but it wasn’t over.
No matter what, Brecken Connolly and I would never be over.
“Twenty-six days,” I said slowly. “That’s all I have to give you. That’s all I have to give. Four weeks. Once he’s back, you know the way it has to be.”
His face broke, but his hold didn’t budge. “It’s not enough.”
My fingers curled into his shirt, looking for some way to hold on to him. “I know.”
His other arm suddenly looped around me and he lifted me off the ground, his grip going around my backside when my legs tied around him. “But a fucking eternity wouldn’t be enough either, so it’ll just have to do.”
He carried me through the sand and up the stairs of the cabin, then he propped me against the wall so he could open the screen door. Something slipped out of my mouth when he flexed his hips into mine.
“Told you it wasn’t a morning issue,” he whispered in my ear, but I could hear the smile in his voice. “Just a Camryn one.”
He made the same motion with his hips, applying a little more friction this time, causing a louder sound to echo from my lungs.
Opening the screen door as silently as he could, he carried me inside.
“You can set me down, you know?” I whispered.
“I know,” he said, his arms tying tighter. Once all of the lights were off, the cabin closed up for the night, he padded down the hall.
“You know where you’re going?”
His head nodded beside mine. “I’ve always known.”
My hands went behind his neck. His skin was warm and familiar. “And where’s that?”
He exhaled against my skin as he closed the bedroom door. “Toward you.”
He set me down once he’d untied my legs from around his waist, and he took a few steps back. He stared at me for a moment then reached for the lamp on the dresser.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Turning on the lights.”
I watched him flip on another. “Why?”
“Because I want to see you. Because I want to watch your face as I move inside you. Because I want to see your skin flush when I make you come.” He flipped on one more light, then all of his attention turned to me. “Because I want to see everything.”
My heart took off as I imagined being intimate with him with every light in the room on. My body wasn’t the same one he’d left. It had carried a burden; it bore the scars of a shattered soul and a broken body. “I don’t want you to see me. Not like that. In the dark, you can imagine the way I was before.”
When I reached for the closest lamp to switch it off, he stopped me. “I don’t want to imagine.” His hand curled around mine, guiding it away from the lamp. “I want the real thing. I want the real you.”
“You’ve seen my body. You know what I look like beneath all of this.” I motioned at the fresh clothes hanging off of me, covering me from my wrists to my ankles to my neck.
“When I look at you, I see beauty and strength, and the one person in the world who gives me a reason to live and a reason to die.” He drew me to him, his face creased in lines of concentration. “That’s what I see when I look at you.”


So I've pretty much decided that Nicole Williams is one of my favorite authors.  Even though I haven't read every single book by her (I'm making my way through them, I swear!), I find that I have liked every single one of them.  That's not an easy task, but somehow she always writes a good one.  I was immediately intrigued when I found out about this book and its description!  This is a story about Brecken and Camryn.  They have loved each other all their lives, but Brecken has to go overseas for his job in the military.  Camryn is, of course, very nervous about his stint in the Middle East, but Brecken reassures her that he will be back.  However, Brecken is taken captive and Camryn witnesses his execution on TV.  She is of course devastated and that is where this book takes off 6 years later.  It turns out Brecken wasn't executed, but was instead held captive for the entire six years that Camryn has thought him dead.  Camryn has a new life now that included a husband and a child and it turns her world upside down (in more ways than one) when Brecken returns home.

I can't give you anything else past this point, because it would give too much of the plot away.  Just know that this is an intense story and the beginning of the last chapter made my heart stop.  This book has several great twists to it and has very lovable characters like all of the author's books.  You will love it!

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Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Blog Tour: A Star to Steer Her By by Beth Anne Miller


I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same. But I will take this journey. Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back. I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall. Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can't be together. When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.

Ari has been accepted into a semester at sea program, the only problem is that Ari is recovering from a shark attack that happened 6 months ago.  Not only was her body affected, but also her mind.  Her relationship with her twin brother has not recovered from the accident because they both believe he was the cause of Ari's accident.  She almost turned down the opportunity to sail from the Caribbean to New York numerous times, but ultimately she decides to go for it.  She is of course, cautious of the water, but she starts to find her rhythm aboard the boat.  She is enjoying her lessons and making new friends on her voyage.  Ari's interested in one of the deckhands: Tristan.  He interests her and pushes her to face her fears.  They soon become very close friends and they both realize that they click together.  However,  it is against the rules for students and boat workers to have any kind of relationship.  They both have something to lose that they have worked for their entire lives if they are found out.  Tristan helps Ari face her fears and Ari helps Tristan deal with the hurt from his past.  They both realize this is not a passing interest and both are afraid of what happens at the end of their voyage.  Will their relationship survive the trip and what happens when it's over?  Read the book to find out!  (Our copy of this book will be available soon for check-out!)

This book was so much fun!  It gives a lot of information about sailing and the trials of living at sea.  The struggles of Ari seemed very real as she overcomes such a horrific event.  She is struggling with herself and her relationship with her family.  The growth of Ari was wonderful to see and I loved the developments between Ari and Tristan.  There was so much adventure in this story and I found myself cheering for Ari as she confronted her fears.  This was such a fun read and I loved every minute of it!

ABOUT BETH ANNE MILLER Beth Anne Miller’s first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. She soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led her to a college semester aboard a schooner. She returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug she couldn’t quite shake. In addition to horses and the sea, she has a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which she explored with her first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into her new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, March 2017). A native New Yorker, Beth Anne works in the publishing industry and is always looking ahead to her next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship. Connect with Beth Anne Miller:

Star Blog Tour

Thursday, February 23, 2017

#WRC2017: It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany

This fall, members of the Vise Library are participating in the Booksparks Winter Reading Challenge! We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

About the book:

From master storyteller Amy Hatvany - whose writing has been hailed as "gripping and emotionally honest" (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times best-selling author) comes a provocative and compelling novel about two friends whose lives are changed by a drunken kiss.
I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.
Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers - trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.
Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she's getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.
What happens next will change them forever.
In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.
I will have to say that this book is very heavy and it is about a topic that needs to be discussed more often.  Consent and date rape are very real topics in our society that happen "all the time."  This book explores that topic between two people that have known each other their whole lives.  Amber and Tyler have been best friends and Amber trusts Tyler more than anyone else in her life.  She gets engaged and Tyler really hopes she leaves her fiance for him.  However, one drunken kiss leads to something that will ultimately change them and their relationship forever.  This book shows us both Amber and Tyler's points of views after the rape and revisiting their past friendship together.
This book is not just for women, but for men as well in order to understand what "no" really means, no ifs ands or buts.  I think this book sheds light on the fact that rape can happen to literally anyone and that it can happen from the person you least expect or the person you trust the most.  It is very heart felt and really hard to read at times.  However, in order to confront issues and understand them, hard things need to be taken head-on.  I think Hatvany does just that and should (hopefully) make a difference into this everyday nightmare!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

Amy Hatvany graduated with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs - some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist. 

In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car, quit her job, and take a chance on her passion: writing books. Her background in sociology inspires and informs much of her writing as she tackles timely and controversial issues in her novels including mental illness, domestic abuse, and alcoholism. She is the author of BEST KEPT SECRET, OUTSIDE THE LINES (a Target book club pick in 2012 and a Costco Pennie's Pick in 2013), THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS, HEART LIKE MINE, SAFE WITH ME (a Good Housekeeping pick), and SOMEWHERE OUT THERE (a Target Recommended Read).

Amy lives in Seattle with her husband and children. You can learn more at

Connect with the author:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

#WRC2017: The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

This fall, members of the Vise Library are participating in the Booksparks Winter Reading Challenge! We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

About the book:

“I am the housekeeper, the hired help with a messy past who cleans up other people’s messy lives, the one who protects their messy little secrets.”

When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend—who also happens to be her boss—leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley (England’s answer to Martha Stewart), is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true.

Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life in a hectic world. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic, and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime, and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide and Anne’s own disturbing past threatens to unhinge everything.

For fans of Notes on a Scandal and The Woman UpstairsThe Housekeeper is a nuanced and nail-biting psychological thriller about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets.
Anne is having a bit of a rough go at the moment: her boyfriend cheats on her and leaves her.  To add insult to injury, her former boyfriend was also her boss.  So needless to say, Anne needs a new job and a way to get over the whirlwind that is her life.  One day while stalking her favorite celebrity homemaker, Emma Helmsley, Anne comes across a post that will change her life.  It turns out Emma is in need of a new housekeeper.  Anne thinks this is just what she's been looking for and becomes Emma's employee.  Anne really loves the Helmsley family and will do anything for them.  However, Anne soon learns that everyone has a level of deception and also finds out that Emma's husband could be the key to unlocking the secrets of her past.  This book was a fun read when Anne is learning about the Helmsleys and it was interesting to find out who Anne's father was!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author (taken from the author's website):

Thanks for visiting. My new novel, The Housekeeper, will be published in February 2017 by Atria/Simon and Schuster. I hope you read it and like it.
My first novel, After Everything, was published in 2014, again by Atria/Simon and Schuster. Soon after, Target selected me as one of their 2015 Emerging Authors.
I grew up in Sydney, where I worked as a journalist and television reporter before moving to England two decades ago. I’ve worked for Sky News as a producer and director for the original series of The Book Show.
I’ve also run a B and B, worked as a cook, a gardener and a carer. I live in London, where I like writing in the London Library, walking the Thames River towpath and going to the theatre as often as possible.
Connect with the author:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Book Review: Choosing Forever by Mia Kayla

Choosing Forever (Torn Duet #2) by Mia Kayla
Release Date: February 13, 2017
Life is made up of choices. Single choices like bricks laid out in a path. A path that leads to your future. At twenty four years old, I would have never guessed I would be stuck between two men—two men from opposite spectrums of the universe. Their lives, their worlds, their demeanor is as different as the darkest of nights and the lightest of days. I love them both, but I have to choose. There is only one choice I can make. And I choose forever.  


This book ends where Torn Between Two left us off. There was a major cliffhanger in the first book so I can't get into the specifics of where the second book begins. Sam has a really hard time throughout the book. She is torn between Hawke and Sam. Hawke's lifestyle reminds Sam too much about her mom's choices growing up. That is hard for Sam to get past. Meanwhile, Josh is determined that he and Sam belong together. But, of course, Hawke has to the potential to get in the way of all of that. This book takes you through a roller coaster of a story and all the emotions that go along with it. There is some MAJOR that happens that threatens to crumble everything that Sam holds dear. This has a satisfying ending to this duet! 
Purchase Links
Amazon International:
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Torn Between Two (Torn Duet #1)
On Sale for 99¢!
Purchase Links
Amazon International:
About the Author
Mia Kayla is a New Adult/Contemporary Romance writer who lives in Illinois. Most of the time, she can be caught on the train with her nose in a book sporting a cheeky grin because the main characters finally get their happily-ever-after at the end. She loves reading about happy endings but has more fun writing them.  
Connect with Mia
Facebook Author Page:
Facebook Group:
Goodreads Author Page:
Amazon Author Page:
BookBub Author Page:

Friday, February 3, 2017

#WRC2017: Sweet Lake by Christine Nolfi

This fall, members of the Vise Library are participating in the Booksparks Winter Reading Challenge! We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

About the book:

Linnie Wayfair knows just how many people are counting on her. But knowing doesn’t make doing any easier.
Everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio, wants her to muster all her business sense and return the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope she’ll forgive her scoundrel of a brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want her to open the inn—and her heart—to new possibilities. And her hilarious lifelong friends Jada and Cat are dropping none-too-subtle hints for her to ignite a romance with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who’s been pining for her for years…
Now a shocking turn of events will open old wounds and upend the world Linnie has carefully built. She has to make changes quickly—and the results, though not entirely what she expected, might be what she’s been yearning for all along.
Linnie has been taking care of the family business (managing an inn) ever since her father had a stroke.  Linnie has made several improvements since she has taken over and believes that the inn will eventually be handed over to her.  However, the family has always been in the care of the first son in the family.  This is where some hostility with her brother comes into play and to top it off, he does something pretty terrible that makes things even worse.  Not only is their personal relationship in ruins, but Linnie wonders if the business will still continue to thrive with Freddie in the picture.  There is a group of women called the Sweet Lake Sirens that have taken on the task of repairing Linnie and Freddie's relationship.  Linnie has to decide if she can ever forgive Freddie in order to move on.  There is plenty of real-life family drama to this story and a great group of side characters.  Linnie has an admirer in Daniel that makes you want to root for them throughout the entire story.  This book was such a wonderful read!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

Some writers are gifted with an unusual life and I’m certainly one of those. I’ve lived in Ohio, Virginia, California, Utah and now South Carolina. In college I was featured on the front page of the Houston Post for a lark that erased all my debt. I first met my four adopted children in the sweltering heat of the tropics. I helped build several companies and was lucky enough to earn a living doing what I love best—writing—in a PR firm I owned.
If you’re wondering about beginnings, here they are: I’m the middle child in a litter of six kids raised in Cleveland, Ohio during the psychedelic 60s. My late mother swore I taught myself to read at the age of two. While this claim stands unsubstantiated, I can tell you that I spent most of my childhood toting a book in one hand, and pen and paper in the other. I’ve been writing ever since.
In 2004, I made the wisest and most irrational decision of my life, and began writing fiction full-time. The five books in the award-winning Liberty Series have all reached bestseller status, and are “highly recommended” by The Midwest Book Review. I’ve also begun releasing the Heavenscribe series, and have several other works as well.
In February 2017, look for Sweet Lake, the first installment in the new series I’m writing for Amazon Publishing’s Lake Union imprint. The second book in the series will release in July 2017.
All the years of hard work pay off daily in sweet notes, comments and reviews by readers. Please continue the mail, tweets and comments on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. I cherish your support and love chatting with readers.
Connect with the author:

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Database of the Month : Flipster

If you've been in a library instruction session or had to do any research during your time at CU, then you know that the library subscribes to research databases to help you find sources. But did you know that the library subscribes to 110 databases? With that many, it's easy for some of our resources to get overlooked and underutilized. To help showcase some of our underused resources, as well as any brand new ones we subscribe to, we're starting a Database of the Month series.

Our February 2017 database of the month is Flipster, which is described as "a next-generation digital magazine solution that makes it easy for you to read your favorite magazines on your computer or mobile device."

Flipster has Apple and Android apps available. Once you have downloaded the app, there are three steps to complete before you can read your first magazine.

First, open your device's browser, then visit your library's website to see if your library has subscribed to Flipster. Obviously, since we're writing this, we subscribe to Flipster! ;) You will need to visit the Articles and Databases link, then go to the letter F, and click on Flipster.

You will also have to log in on the white screen by using the same username and password you use to access CAMS, Canvas, etc. Okay, so that's basically four steps in this first part, but I promise the next two steps are shorter!

Second, browse the Flipster website for digital magazines. Tap on a magazine to open it in your browser.

Third, go to the menu in the top left corner and select 'Open in App' for offline reading.

The magazine you have selected will be downloaded into the app where it will remain "checked out" for seven days. You can always check it out again after that time period if you don't get to read it.

The library's Flipster subscription has 28 titles, including Cosmopolitan, Essence, Glamour, GQ, and Sports Illustrated.

If you'd like more information or help using Flipster, check out some of the tutorials available or contact the library!