Title: In Other Words
Author: Jennifer Woodhull
Publication date: April 30th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
We became close friends in college. When Sinclair returns home to Dallas after two years in New York, I introduce her to my best friend Cole. The good-looking playboy ballplayer is the perfect kind of guy for the woman I’m sure would never be interested in me…even if seeing them together breaks my heart.
He was the nerdy PhD candidate. I was the cheerleader. We made unlikely friends. Moving back home after two years away, he looks hotter than ever. When I start dating his ballplayer best friend, things get complicated. He doesn’t see me as girlfriend material…but I can’t get him, or my feelings for him, out of my head.
There are not enough words. I don’t mean that in a dramatic way as if there are not enough words to express something with which I’m momentarily frustrated. I mean there are often times when the optimum word for something simply does not exist.
Fernweh is a German word that describes a feeling of homesickness for a place you’ve never visited before. The Swedish word, lagom, describes taking not too much nor too little, but just the right amount of something. To wear or use something for the very first time is expressed in Spanish by the word estrenar.
I love words more than anything. I love hearing someone intelligent use the absolutely perfect, most fitting word at exactly the right moment. I love anagrams, crossword puzzles, and riddles. I love how they make me think about language and how people use it. Perhaps most of all though, I love awful puns—even dad-level terrible ones. I only know one person who loves language as much as I do, and he also happens to be the very person I can hardly wait to see.
The Portuguese have a word for the sensation of nostalgia and longing for someone who is far away. Saudade. That’s what I’ve been experiencing since I moved to New York. I have saudade for Dexter Flynn, but that’s about to come to an end.
I walk into The Tipsy Alchemist, an upscale hipster place Dexter chose to start our reunion evening. I visually scour the space, and am disappointed when I don’t see him. I walk the length of the bar and just as I’m about to turn and head back toward the front, a man leans in close behind me and says, “Excuse me, miss, but might I buy your first libation of the evening?”
I turn, ready to tell the guy to get lost so I can call the person I want most in the world to see. When I turn around, though, I’m met with a pair of sweet, soulful brown eyes hiding behind tortoiseshell frames. My heart darts around my chest. I throw my arms around him so hard, I nearly send us both tumbling to the floor.
“Dex!” I squeal, squeezing his neck. His arms wrap around me, and they’re far stronger than I remember.
“It’s about time you came back,” he whispers into the side of my neck as he squeezes me tightly. “I’ve missed you, Clair.”
I feel an instant wash of relief, being here in his arms. The feel of his cheek against mine and the smell of his aftershave trigger an eruption of happy memories. My brain floods with late night talks and board game marathons. My circuits overload with shared stories and supporting each other through tough times—with gushing over books and documentaries at the independent theatre. He has been such a huge part of my life for so long, and now, with him, I finally feel like I’m really home.
When we finally break from our embrace, we both realize we’re standing in the highest traffic area of the bar, and the place is so packed we might be physically in danger from rowdy patrons clamoring for beer.
“Come on,” he says, grabbing my hand. “I reserved us a booth.”
He leads me through the trendy, dark-paneled space to the back where tiny, high-walled booths, are situated. This area of the bar is quieter than the rest, and the high walls of our booth offer some much-appreciated privacy.
The booth to our immediate right houses what I can only assume is a bachelorette party judging by the volume and frequency of the word woo, coming from their direction.
When the server arrives, I order a cocktail, and Dex orders a beer. “Miss, can I ask, the group of ladies in the booth next to us…is one of them a bachelorette, by chance?” He smirks in my direction.
“Actually, yeah. Are they being too rowdy?”
“Not at all. I was just curious,” he replies. I snicker and he winks in response.
“It’s a cool story, actually,” the server pauses to tell us more detail. “She just got out of the military. She met her fiancé while they were stationed together. He was injured, and she’s a nurse.” She puts her hand to her chest. “They fell in love while he recovered in her hospital.”
Dex and I look at each other, and each make the universal face that any red-blooded human with feelings makes when seeing a baby, or a puppy, or hearing a sweet love story. “Aww,” we say in unison, laughing.
“Would you please take them a bottle of Dom Perignon and put it on my tab? Anonymous, though, please…with thanks for her service, and her fiancé’s,” Dex adds.
“Wow, that’s really nice of you! Absolutely, I’ll take care of it,” the server replies.
When she walks out of Dexter’s line of sight, she catches my eye and mouths the words, “Lucky you,” with a wink. It makes me smile unreasonably wide.
Lucky me that such a kind, thoughtful, generous man is in my life and cares so much for me. Lucky me that he’s my friend. Unlucky me that he’s not more than just a friend.
“That was very generous of you,” I tell him.
“I had the good luck to meet an inventor whose work I really admire once at a party. Knowing I was new to success, he told me, “I always say, if you’ve got it, spread it around. Nobody likes a successful, stingy asshole.” I’ve always tried to remember that,” he says with a shrug. We toast to successful good guys.
“You look amazing, Sinclair.” Dex is grinning at me, his brown eyes sparkling.
I reach across the table and take both his hands in mine, giving them a squeeze. “You look amazing too. By the way,” I say, stifling a giggle. “I didn’t know I’d need tickets.”
“Tickets? For…what, exactly?” He cocks an eyebrow up in question.
“The gun show,” I reply, pointing to what I can see is a pronounced bicep on each arm.
His cheeks flush with crimson as he looks down and away. The expression belongs to the shy, gangly guy I met in school, not the hunky, successful entrepreneur sitting across from me.
“So, have you been hitting the gym, or did you invent some magical neurotransmitter that passively enhances muscle tissue?” I tease. “Because if you have, please sign me up as a test subject. Pilates is torture, but I like to eat far too much to ever give it up without some sort of alternative.”
He chuckles. “I like to think of the fitness thing as my transformation to Dexter two-dot-oh. I have to say, I don’t hate that my efforts are producing noticeable results. I told you about my business partner Cole, right?” He asks sheepishly.
“Your friend Cole, yes,” I reply, rolling my eyes.
I think he still has a little trouble wrapping the high school part of his brain around being friends with a jock.
“Yeah. Anyway, since he pitches for the Frontiersmen he knows all the best personal trainers. He convinced me to start working out with one he recommended. I go to the gym almost every day now. Turns out I’m not as unathletic as I thought I was.” He grins wide, pride evident on his face.
“You certainly seem like you’re feeling pretty good,” I reply. I stand up enough to reach across and squeeze his bicep. “Yep, feeling pretty darn good to me.”
He smiles, then he shakes his head and chuckles. “I really do feel good…and even better now.” Something flashes briefly in his chocolate-brown eyes, then he smirks. “I’m just so happy you’re back, Clair.”
Clair. No one but him calls me that. The way he says it is familiar and makes me feel special that he has a nickname just for me. It’s the same way I call him Dex. Those terms of endearment are just for us, like they’re special words all our own.
By the time we finish the drinks the server brings over my stomach is growling, so we head down the street to a Mexican place that has always been one of my favorites.
As we walk the four or five blocks to the restaurant, a group of girls walking the opposite direction toward us are all checking Dex out as they pass. I turn to look over my shoulder and see them all looking back, whispering and giggling. When I look over at him, he seems oblivious.
And this is why he has trouble finding the right girl. He has no clue when a woman is into him.
I bump his shoulder with mine.
“They were checking you out,” I say with a smirk.
“That group of girls that walked by. They were cute, too.”
He rolls his eyes.
“So, not seeing anyone?” I ask.
“Not at the moment.” He lets out a sigh. “Maybe I’m too picky.”
“Maybe you are,” I agree.
And that’s the other reason he can’t find the right girl. He has never fully explained the criteria with me, but he seems never to have found a girl that checks all the boxes on the list of Dex requirements for the perfect girl.
Someone as genuine and kind, as smart and as funny as Dex deserves someone wonderful, though—someone who can see him for everything he is. I have tried to resign myself to the fact that I’m not that girl in his eyes. I only hope that one day he finds her, and she deserves him.
That brings me to another word that should exist, but doesn’t. There should be a word for enjoying something you have, but still wishing it was much, much more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Woodhull is based in the Southern United States, spending time in her second home of England, and traveling as often as she can. Her love of travel permeates her work, and her characters often find themselves exploring new and foreign surroundings.
A keen observer of human behavior, Jennifer often draws inspiration from something as simple as a fleeting connection, or the glimpse of a unique trait or characteristic. Her favorite place to write is on airplanes.
“The drone of the engine, the scores of people, all traveling to something or from something, and being disconnected from digital distractions are a combination that provide the perfect place to write,” she says. “If you see a woman in seat 9F who is balancing her Macbook on her lap because it’s time to close your tray table, please have patience. I’m just trying to finish one more sentence.”
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Author: C.L. Denault
Series: The Prodigy Chronicles #2
Publication date: March 22nd 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
In 2012, one cycle of an ancient calendar system came to a close. Humanity predicted its downfall, but it wasn’t the end of their evolutionary climb. It was the beginning.
Willow Kent is discovering that life as a second-phase prodigy comes at a price. Trapped in the London Core, her choices are limited, made difficult by her forbidden romance with Reece and the presence of a new commanding officer who establishes harsh rules. With unpredictable skills and a growing distrust in her birth parents, she is struggling to play the Core’s game. But when opportunity arises in the form of a mysterious shapeshifter, Willow realizes there’s more to her own evolution than meets the eye. She soon learns that keeping secrets is a key move, and the more dangerous they are, the greater her need to evolve into the powerful prodigy nature intended her to become.
But those closest to her have their own secrets, and her status has made her an easy target for betrayal. Who will she turn to, when nothing is as it seems?
The blow shouldn’t have stunned me. I’d grown up in a tavern, defending myself, and had spent plenty of time training with Kane and Tem. I knew how to take a hit.
This was more than a hit. Kristoffe’s swing was fast and brutal, with a force behind it that rivaled my own—enough to knock me off my feet and send me flying down the hall.
Sensations took over. There was the feel of backward motion. Loss of control as my body hit the floor. More motion from sliding, and the hot sting of my flesh scraping tile. Ceiling lights blurred into white lines. Pain throbbed in my cheek.
But it was the tightness in my throat that hurt most. The tiger clawed like mad as we slid. Her screams pierced the fog in my brain, parting it, carving out a path. If I didn’t stop her, she would use it to climb up and take control.
Let me in!
I managed to shake my head.
You need me!
“No,” I whimpered, bumping into the limp body of an elevator guard. One of his arms stopped me, and I sat up quickly, recoiling. He was spread-eagled, face down among his comrades, his fingers wrapped around a retinal scanner. I cringed. Was he dead? Had the tiger killed them all? Then my eyes fell on the laser resting at his hip.
I couldn’t. I’d never fired one before.
He’ll kill us!
Not sure who she meant, I jerked my head around. The man with the sabre was still gone. But Kristoffe and his patrol were marching in my direction, dragging Toby with them. He struggled violently until one of them drove a fist into his stomach. A savage tug tore through my belly. Gasping, I leaned over, fumbling for the guard’s laser.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Kristoffe signaled for his men to stop, but continued walking toward me. He didn’t waver, not even when I grasped the laser in both hands and aimed it at him.
“That’s far enough,” I said.
He kept coming.
“I’ll shoot.” My finger instinctively hugged the trigger. “I mean it.”
Spreading his arms, Kristoffe made a target out of his broad chest. His smile was icy. “Go ahead, then. Shoot.”
Was he bluffing? I couldn’t tell. He might have a defensive shield. On the other hand, he might go down with one shot. There was no way to know. But somehow, he’d survived the tiger. This laser was my only hope.
Do it, the tiger spat.
My pulse spiked. “I will shoot.”
He kept coming.
“Stop,” I cried, my hands shaking.
But he didn’t stop, and the closer he came, the harder I choked on the tiger’s fury. Her strength was more than I could handle. He was only a few feet away when her hissing cry forced me to pull the trigger. A matching cry left my lips. The laser clicked, shuddered—
C.L. Denault is a speculative fiction writer who loves dreaming up tales of adventure and intrigue. A former systems analyst, she gave up her nerdy code-writing skills to care for her family (including a son with special needs), and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.
Writing and working out are her biggest passions, along with drinking coffee and watching sci-fi. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and kids, she can usually be found at a library or tucked away in the shadowy corner of a hip coffeehouse. She’s also been glimpsed sneaking into her garage, late at night, to work on her time machine.
She enjoys connecting with people—especially those from other planets, nearby dimensions, and the future. To find her, just visit her website or social media pages. Or use a Stargate. Whichever is easiest.
Kingdom of Salt & Sirens Boxed Set
Publication date: March 5th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
The Little Mermaid but not as you remember it…
Beneath the turbulent seas, beyond the smokey depths, lies a Kingdom that exists in your wildest imagination. A world where mermaids swim, sirens sing and shipwrecks hide mysterious creatures.
Make waves with our 11 magical retellings of the timeless classic, The Little Mermaid.
Dive into a world filled with adventure, love and magic!
One click now for your happily ever after.Authors include:J.A Armitage
Balanced Scales by Laura Greenwood:
“What happens at the end of your version of the story?”
I shrugged. “Much the same as in your version, I guess. She falls in love with the Prince, he with her, they get married and live happily ever after.”
Erickson’s face fell. “That’s not the same as our version,” he responded. “Ours is a lot more sinister. She loses her chance to marry the Prince. When her sisters find out, they barter for a dagger. The mermaid could return to the sea if she stabbed the Prince through the heart with it.”
I shuddered. “That’s horrible. Did she do it?” If she had, then maybe it would explain why humans seemed to be so against the mer.
“No. She turned into sea foam and disappeared into the air. Some versions say she’s taken pity on by some sylphs and became one of them.”
“Sylphs?” I’d never heard of them and had no idea what he meant. They certainly weren’t part of the stories I’d been told as a child.
“I don’t know how to explain them. They’re made of air and hang around in the atmosphere.”
“And what do they do to her?”
“I’m not sure. In our version of the story, mermaids don’t have souls. When they die they turn to sea foam and just cease to exist.”
I laughed lightly as we turned down another street. “I can assure you, that’s not what it’s like.”
“I guessed. You can’t have a soul stolen if you didn’t have one to begin with.”
“Which do you think is the true version of the story?” My words came out barely above a whisper. Part of me didn’t want to ask at all. Especially if it would mean he said he thought his version was the right one. If that was true, then how had my people gotten souls to begin with…
“Neither. I think it’s nothing more than a story. Each side will tell it the way that puts their own people in the best light. Just like with every other legend like that.”
“I suppose…” Though I didn’t like to think of the mermaid I’d heard so much about as nothing more than fiction. She’d been an inspiration to so many young mer who wanted adventure. Not so much on land, but out in the open sea.
“You never know, maybe one day they’ll be telling our story like they do hers,” he said jovially.
From The Little Monster by Jennifer Ellision:
“Wait!” The little human lurched forward, a single hand outstretched, the other anchored firmly to the ship’s railing. It swallowed as the little monster raised a brow to her. The hand fell lamely back to her side.
“I… don’t even know your name.”
“What are you called?”
“I don’t understand.” What was she called? She was a predator, a hunter, a Mordgris, a…
“I am a monster,” she said simply.
“You’re all monsters,” the human breathed. “But you’re not quite like the rest. How am I to call you and you alone?”
A thrill spiked through the little monster. Why hadn’t she thought of this before? She deserved her own name. She was the best of her kind. There was nothing in the sea that could best her except, perhaps, the sea itself. And that made choosing a name simple.
“You may call me Mara,” she said.
“Mara,” the human repeated slowly. “Mara… for the sea?”
Another thrill surged within her as she nodded, knowing the word belonged only to her. The little human had understood the meaning instantly. In a way that prey was not meant to understand its hunter.
“I am Amista,” she said, lifting her full lower scales to cross the bottoms of her fins and bob on deck. “And it has been a pleasure to meet you, Mara.”
Mara dove back into the cool embrace of the sea, feeling Amista’s eyes on her back as she swam away.
The little monster had become Mara.
The little human had become Amista.
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TODAY IS RELEASE DAY FOR THIS HISTORICAL FICTION TALE.
TO READ MY FULL REVIEW, CLICK HERE.
After you finish reading this book, please come back here to let me know your thoughts on it.
Author: KATE MASCARENHAS
Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION
Length: 320 PAGES
Publisher: CROOKED LANE BOOKS
Received From: NETGALLEY
Release Date: FEBRUARY 12, 2019
ISBN: 9781683319443 (Hardcover)
Price: $26.99 USD
Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐
In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.
Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?
Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.
“We need fictional and real role models for women in science.”
The year is 1967. Margaret, Barbara, Grace and Lucille are all very different women, but they have one massive commonality – together they discovered time travel.
“Margaret was a baroness turned cosmologist. Lucille had come from the Toxteth slums to make radio waves travel faster than light. Grace – who never gave the same account of her history twice – was an expert in the behaviour of matter. And the last was Barbara: the baby of the group.. She specialized in nuclear fission. All four women were combining their knowledge in a new, and unique, project.”
When they were ready to debut their time machine to the Press, one of the women has a breakdown on national television. The others force her off the team to protect what they see as the integrity of their invention. Of course, this means that despite her contributions, one woman is left in obscurity while the other three team members go on to become famous.
Fast forward fifty years. Time travel has become BIG business.
Someone leaves a mysterious newspaper clipping for Ruby Rubello’s “Grandma Bee,” (Barbara who was the woman forced off the original team) Ruby becomes obsessed with the information contained in that article. This leads to fascinating and sometimes sinister events.
ecause this is a time travel novel, it skips between multiple people and multiple years. It could easily have become confusing and difficult to follow for the reader, but author Kate Mascarenhas has somehow kept that from happening.
What I love the most about THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL is the fact that all the lead characters are female and, not only that, but they are from varying races and of diverse sexuality.
Despite the fact that this is her debut novel, the author is able to keep the story flowing perfectly despite multiple characters and multiple timelines which would be a challenge for even a seasoned author. This bodes well for her future projects and I can’t wait to discover what she comes up with next.
I rate this book as 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I recommend it to readers who love a good mystery as well as those who are interested in time travel and in books containing strong female characters.
“Life’s better with a few risks than a lot of regrets.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kate Mascarenhas is a writer.
Born in 1980, she is of mixed heritage (white Irish father, brown British mother) and has family in Ireland and the Republic of Seychelles.
She studied English at Oxford and Applied Psychology at Derby. Her PhD, in literary studies and psychology, was completed at Worcester.
Since 2017 Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Previously she has been an advertising copywriter, bookbinder, and doll’s house maker. She lives in the English midlands with her partner.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links:
PLUS+ IS BEING RELEASED TODAY – Get your copy and a couple extra copies to give as gifts.
The message of Body Positivity this book conveys is sorely needed in today’s world.
Title: PLUS +
Subtitle: STYLE INSPIRATION FOR EVERYONE
Author: BETHANY RUTTER
Genre: NON-FICTION, PHOTOGRAPHY, STYLE, LIFESTYLE, PLUS SIZED WOMEN, PLUS SIZED STYLE, DIVERSITY, DISCRIMINATION
Length: 224 PAGES
Publisher: ANDREWS MCMEEL PUBLISHING
Received From: NETGALLEY
Release Date: FEBRUARY 5, 2019
Price: $14.99 USD
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Be inspired by 100 of the very best plus-size street style images from fashion influencers and tastemakers from around the world.
Plus-size fashion is daring, experimental, and deeply personal. There’s no longer any shame in not fitting the traditional ideals of beauty, as proven by Gabi Gregg, Tess Holliday, Beth Ditto, and thousands of bloggers and models around the world.
The online plus-size fashion community is loud, international, and confident. Millions of #ootd photos are shared every day, showing off amazing style and beautiful people. Plus+ gathers together the very best, and celebrates all shapes, sizes, and aesthetics—a beautiful, sharply designed, glossy collection to inspire everyone, plus-size or otherwise.
“My style is practical, stylish, feminine (at times) but most of all, true to me.”
– Quote by Chloe Pierre
PLUS + is a must buy coffee table book.
Are you a plus size woman?
Have you ever been told that you couldn’t wear a specific outfit due to your size?
If so, PLUS + is the book for you. With photographs of plenty of plus-sized women wearing whatever they want, this book will easily become your go-to when you need some inspiration in your day.
Each professional photograph is accompanied by a quote from the model.
These quotes range from:
“I dress for the celebration I want my life to be”
all the way to:
“Fuck flattering! No rules. Just Style.”
The included quotes run the gamut from sassy to demure, and from angry to inspirational.
Finally there is a book that celebrates fashion for regular sized women, rather than for stick people with no curves. Body positivity is the message.
As an added bonus, each photo layout includes the @ tag for each model which allows readers to go online and follow their favorite model even after finishing reading this book.
If, after reading, you do not come away feeling better about your body, and your personal style, then you are missing the point and I suggest you read it again.
I rate PLUS+ as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I hope to see this book become the go-to present for all your female friends regardless of their dress size.
***Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.***
QUOTES THAT REALLY SPOKE TO ME:
“I’m probably one of the worst people to talk about trends. I wear what I want, how I want, whenever I want. Dressing for myself is the only rule I understand.”
– Fluvia Lacerda
“I dress according to my mood, and I love it.”
– Aileen Melendez Salinas
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
To learn about this author, blogger, and Podcaster visit the following links:
INFO ABOUT BETHANY’S PODCASTS:
Prolific readers Alice Slater and Bethany Rutter take a literary theme, from ghost stories to crime to fat women, and chat about it for the next 40 minutes.
Follow them on Twitter @WhatPagePod