Blog Tour Review and Excerpt – In Another Life by C.C. Hunter

blogtourHello Lovelies and Welcome to my Blog Tour stop for In Another Life by C.C. Hunter hosted by Wednesday Books. Today, I have an EXCERPT from the book, my review, and some of my favorite quotes. divider3

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What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life? 

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

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aboutbook

Published: March 26th 2019

Publisher: Wedneday Books

Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller

Format: Hardcover 352 pages

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WEDNESDAY BOOKSAMAZON BARNES AND NOBLEBOOK DEPOSITORY

GOOGLE PLAYINDIGO – INDIEBOUND

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Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

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mythoughts

Wonderfully Affecting, Quite Thrilling, and Beautifully Written

4halfhearts

This is the second book I’ve read from this author and I must say… I’m very impressed. I don’t know how In Another Life and This Heart of Mine compare with her paranormal romances, but I am positively in love with C.C. Hunter’s writing style. I think it’s absolutely gorgeous, incredibly compelling and wonderfully emotional.

The moment I started reading In Another Life, I was immediately intrigued and excited. I had a good feeling this would be one of those books that would have me glued to the pages, holding on to my breath, clutching my heart, and preparing for the worst. Well, it surely did that and MORE. It was emotionally intense, but also filled with adorable lighthearted moments. It was heartbreaking, but also sweet and charming. It made me cry, but it also made me smile, laugh and swoon. It had all the worst and the best FEELS and I loved it.

As I’ve already said, I really loved the writing style. Not only was it easy to read, but it’s just so beautifully affecting and evocative. I felt what the characters felt and it was an excruciatingly amazing experience. I liked that there was a good balance between the heavy drama, the light mystery, the sweet intimate scenes, and the adorable heartwarming moments. The characters were interesting, likable, and realistic. I loved Cash and Chloe and rooted for them so hard… not just for them to be together and have their romantic HEA, but also to find their own happiness as individuals. The romance was swoony, sweet and relatable. I liked that there were some challenge and problems in the relationship and that made the story more interesting. I also enjoyed the mystery part and trying to guess what really happened. Even though I would have liked more build-up, anticipation, and suspense, I still found myself anxious and thrilled with the twists and turns. The ending had me in tears, but it also filled me with warmth and joy. This was truly a lovely read and I enjoyed everything about this book.

In Another Life by C.C. Hunter broke my heart over and over, but also made me feel so much love and hope. I liked the message of this story about finding yourself, forgiveness, trust, love, and learning how to move on from pain and anger. It’s absolutely a wonderful story and I cannot wait to read more from Hunter.

I received an electronic advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher, Wednesday Books, via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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“What are you doing?” I ask when Dad pulls over at a con­ venience store only a mile from where Mom and I are now living. My voice sounds rusty after not talking during the five­hour ride. But I was afraid that if I said anything, it would all spill out: My anger. My hurt. My disappointment in the man who used to be my superhero.

“I need gas and a bathroom,” he says.

“Bathroom? So you can’t even come in to see Mom when you drop me off?” My heart crinkles up like a used piece of aluminum foil.

He meets my eyes, ignores my questions, and says, “You want anything?”

“Yeah. My freaking life back!” I jump out of the car and slam the door so hard, the sound of the metal hitting metal cracks in the hot Texas air. I haul ass across the parking lot, watching my white sandals eat up the pavement, hiding the sheen of tears in my eyes.

“Chloe,” Dad calls out. I move faster.

Eyes still down, I yank open the door, bolt inside the store, and smack right into someone. Like, my boobs smash against someone’s chest.

“Crap,” a deep voice growls.

A Styrofoam cup hits the ground. Frozen red slushie ex­ plodes all over my white sandals. The cup lands on its side, bleeding red on the white tile.

I swallow the lump in my throat and jerk back, remov­ ing my B cup boobs from some guy’s chest.

“Sorry,” he mutters, even though it’s my fault.

I force myself to look up, seeing first his wide chest, then his eyes and the jet­black hair scattered across his brow. Great! Why couldnt he be some old fart?

I return to his bright green eyes and watch as they shift from apologetic to shocked, then to angry.

I should say something—like, add my own apology—but the lump in my throat returns with a vengeance.

“Shit.” The word sneaks through his frown.

Yeah, all of this is shit! I hear Dad call my name again from outside.

My throat closes tighter and tears sting my eyes. Embar­ rassed to cry in front of a stranger, I snatch off my sandals and dart to a cooler.

Opening the glass door, I stick my head in needing a cooldown. I swat a few stray tears off my cheeks. Then I feel someone next to me. Dad’s not letting this go.

“Just admit you screwed up!” I look over and am swal­ lowed by those same angry light green eyes from a minute ago. “I thought you were . . . Sorry,” I say, knowing it’s late for an apology. His look is unsettling.

He continues to glare. An all­in­my­face kind of glare.

As if this is more than a spilled slushie to him.

“I’ll pay for it.” When he doesn’t even blink, I add an­ other, “I’m sorry.”

“Why are you here?” His question seethes out.

“What? Do I know you?” I know I was rude, but—hotness aside—this guy is freaking me out.

His eyes flash anger. “What do you want?” His tone car­ ries an accusation I don’t understand.

“What do you mean?” I counter.

“Whatever you’re trying to pull, don’t do it.”

He’s still staring me down. And I feel like I’m shrinking in his glare.

“I’m not . . . You must have me mixed up with someone else.” I shake my head, unsure if this guy’s as crazy as he is sexy. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. But I said I’m sorry.” I grab a canned drink and barefoot, carrying sticky sandals, hurry to the front of the store.

Dad walks in, scowling.

“Careful,” a cashier says to Dad while mopping up the slushie just inside the door.

“Sorry,” I mutter to the worker, then point to Dad. “He’s paying for my Dr Pepper! And for that slushie.”

I storm off to the car, get in, and hold the cold Diet Dr Pepper can to my forehead. The hair on the back of my neck starts dancing. I look around, and the weird hot guy is stand­ ing outside the store, staring at me again.

Whatever you’re trying to pull, don’t do it.

Yup, crazy. I look away to escape his gaze. Dad climbs back in the car. He doesn’t start it, just sits there, eyeball­ ing me. “You know this isn’t easy for me either.”

“Right.” So why did you leave?

He starts the car, but before we drive off, I look around again and see the dark­haired boy standing in the parking lot, writing on the palm of his hand.

Is he writing down Dad’s license plate number? He’s a freak. I almost say something to Dad but remember I’m pissed at him.

Dad pulls away. I focus on the rearview mirror. The hot guy stays there, eyes glued on Dad’s car, and I stay glued on him until he’s nothing but a speck in the mirror.

“I know this is hard,” Dad says. “I think about you every day.”

I nod, but don’t speak.

Minutes later, Dad pulls over in front of our mailbox. Or rather Mom’s and mine. Dad’s home isn’t with us anymore. “I’ll call you tomorrow to see how your first day of school was.”

My gut knots into a pretzel with the reminder that I’ll be starting as a senior at a new school. I stare out at the old house, in the old neighborhood. This house once belonged to my grandmother. Mom’s been renting it to an elderly couple for years. Now we live here. In a house that smells like old people . . . and sadness.

“Is she home?” Dad asks.

In the dusk of sunset, our house is dark. Gold light leaks out of next door, Lindsey’s house—she’s the one and only person I know my own age in town.

“Mom’s probably resting,” I answer. There’s a pause. “How’s she doing?”

You finally ask? I look at him gripping the wheel and star­ ing at the house. “Fine.” I open the car door, not wanting to draw out the goodbye. It hurts too much.

“Hey.” He smiles. “At least give me a hug?”

I don’t want to, but for some reason—because under all this anger, I still love him—I lean over the console and hug him. He doesn’t even smell like my dad. He’s wearing co­ logne that Darlene probably bought him. Tears sting my eyes.

“Bye.” I get one slushie­dyed foot out of the car.

Before my butt’s off the seat, he says, “Is she going back to work soon?”

I swing around. “Is that why you asked about her? Be­ cause of money?”

“No.” But the lie is so clear in his voice, it hangs in the air.

Who is this man? He dyes the silver at his temples. He’s sporting a spiky haircut and wearing a T­shirt with the name of a band he didn’t even know existed until Darlene.

Before I can stop myself, the words trip off my tongue. “Why? Does your girlfriend need a new pair of Jimmy Choos?”

“Don’t, Chloe,” he says sternly. “You sound like your mom.”

That hurt now knots in my throat. “Pleeease. If I sounded like my mom, I’d say, ‘Does the whore bitch need a new pair of Jimmy Choos!’” I swing back to the door.

He catches my arm. “Look, young lady, I can’t ask you to love her like I do, but I expect you to respect her.”

“Respect her? You have to earn respect, Dad! If I wore the clothes she wears, you’d ground me. In fact, I don’t even respect you anymore! You screwed up my life. You screwed up Mom’s life. And now you’re screwing someone eighteen years younger than yourself.” I bolt out and get halfway to the house when I hear his car door open and slam.

“Chloe. Your stuff.” He sounds angry, but he can just join the crowd, because I’m more than mad—I’m hurt.

If I weren’t afraid he’d follow me into the house all pissed off and start an argument with Mom, I’d just keep going. But I don’t have it in me to hear them fight again. And I’m not sure Mom’s up to it either. I don’t have an option but to do the right thing. It sucks when you’re the only person in the family acting like an adult.

I swing around, swat at my tears, and head back to the curb.

He’s standing beside his car, my backpack in one hand

and a huge shopping bag with the new school clothes he bought me in the other. Great. Now I feel like an ungrate­ ful bitch.

When I get to him, I mutter, “Thanks for the clothes.” He says, “Why are you so mad at me?”

So many reasons. Which one do I pick? “You let Dar­ lene turn my room into a gym.”

He shakes his head. “We moved your stuff into the other bedroom.”

“But that was my room, Dad.”

“Is that really why you’re mad or . . . ? He pauses. “It’s not my fault that your mom got—”

“Keep thinking that,” I snap. “One of these days, you might even believe it!”

Hands full, chest heavy, I leave my onetime superhero and my broken heart scattered on the sidewalk. My tears are falling fast and hot by the time I shut the front door behind me.

Buttercup, a medium­sized yellow mutt of a dog, greets me with a wagging tail and a whimper. I ignore him. I drop my backpack, my shopping bag, and dart into the bathroom. Felix, my red tabby cat, darts in with me.

I attempt to shut the door in a normal way instead of an I’m­totally­pissed way. If Mom sees me like this, it’ll upset her. Even worse, it’ll fuel her anger.

“Chloe?” Mom calls. “Is that you?”

“Yeah. I’m in the bathroom.” I hope I don’t sound as emotionally ripped as I feel.

I drop down on the toilet seat, press the backs of my hands against my forehead, and try to breathe.

Mom’s steps creak across the old wood floors. Her voice sounds behind the door. “You okay, hon?”

Felix is purring, rubbing his face on my leg. “Yeah. My stomach’s . . . I think the meat loaf I had at Dad’s was bad.”

“Did Darlene fix it?” Her tone’s rolled and deep­fried in hate.

I grit my teeth. “Yeah.”

“Please tell me your dad ate a second helping.”

I close my eyes, when what I really want to do is scream, Stop it! I get why Mom’s so angry. I get that my dad’s a piece of shit. I get that he refuses to take any blame, and that makes it worse. I get what she’s been through. I get all of it. But does she have a clue how much it hurts me to listen to her take potshots at someone I still sort of love?

“I’m going to sit out on the patio,” she says. “When you’re out, join me.”

“Uh­huh,” I say.

Mom’s steps creak away.

I stay seated and try not to think about what all hurts, and instead I pet Felix. His eyes, so green, take me back to the boy in the store. Whatever youre trying to pull, don’t do it.

What the heck did he mean?

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favoritequotes

Quotes taken from the ARC. Final publication may differ. 

I wonder if that’s all life really is, just smears of color. A collage of sweeping moments in different shades and hues of emotions. Times when you’re happy, sad, angry, scared, and when you’re just faking it.

Sometimes what you didn’t know was scarier than what you knew. Even if what you knew was already pretty damn scary.

If you’re not a little bit afraid, you’re not doing something right.

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abouttheauthor

CC Hunter_Author Photo.jpg

C.C. HUNTER is a pseudonym for award-winning romance author Christie Craig. She is lives in Tomball, Texas, where she’s at work on her next novel.

Christie’s books include The Mortician’s Daughter seriesShadow Fall Novels and This Heart of Mine.

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Have you read this book?  What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful day!

sincerelykjologo

 

 

Book Review – Love, Music, Madness by Tabitha Rhys

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Hello lovely swoonies! Today, I have my review for Love, Music, Madness by Tabitha Rhys. This is her debut novel and I think it’s a wonderfully well-written story and I hope you get the chance to read it.

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lovemusicmadness

aboutbook

PublishedApril 25, 2018

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Music

Format: Ebook and Paperback

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AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE BOOK DEPOSITORY

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synopsis

Songwriting partners Lawson Harper and Jessa Warlow’s musical ambitions are derailed when their so-called relationship ends disastrously. However, neither Lawson nor Jessa are willing to give up on the album’s worth of soul-searing songs they wrote together–songs they’re sure are good enough to change both their lives.

Will the chemistry that fuels their creativity drive them to make the record of a lifetime, or only to absolute madness?

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mythoughts

Achingly Well-Written and Riveting Story

4halfhearts

4.25 HEARTS ROUNDED TO 4.5 

“Well, nobody’s perfect. My advice to you is to be honest with yourself about what you want, and then be honest with the people around you. “

Love, Music, Madness by Tabitha Rhys was a crazy twisty emotional ride. I can’t say I was completely in love with everything, but I thought Rhys penned an achingly well-written and riveting story.

There was something magnetic and magical about this book that kept me captivated. The emotional honesty and realness in the writing style, storyline, and characters made this such a compelling and intriguing read. I liked the pacing, the imagery, the settings, and the overall feel of the story. I thought Rhys created interesting characters that were realistic and relatable. They weren’t always likable, but their personalities, actions, and flaws were amazingly believable that they felt like real people to me. I also liked exploring Los Angeles and Hollywood through Lawson’s experiences and the musical aspects of the story. Although it seemed a bit rushed, I thought Rhys wrote a fantastic conclusion… one I did not see coming and in the end, I was incredibly delighted to have read this book.

I do have to say that I wasn’t completely sure about the romance for most of the story. Based on the cutesy cover and the synopsis, I was expecting this to be lovey dovey. Well, it surprisingly was not. I felt no chemistry, no swoons, nothing. It was frustrating and I honestly could care less about the love interests. I was into reading more about Lawson’s self-discovery and personal growth. But, after I finished the book and stopped to really think about everything that happened, I found myself appreciating the way Rhys portrayed love and romantic relationships. Sometimes love can be messy, confusing, complicated, unpredictable and even ugly. Life can be that way too. And that’s okay. You wouldn’t be really living life if you didn’t experience all the good and the bad that comes with it.

This book was quite messy… a beautiful mess that had me turning the pages. Love, Music, Madness was a wonderfully affecting story about falling in and out of love, making mistakes and learning from them, chasing your dreams and doing what truly makes you happy, and ultimately finding yourself in the midst of every unexpected twists and turns and all the madness. It was an interestingly emotional read and a great debut novel that surprised me quite a few times.

Would I recommned this book? Yes. Absolutely. I think there are so many amazing things about this story that many readers will enjoy.

I received a copy of this book for the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings, and opinions are my own.

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exclusiveexcerpt

I put down my guitar mid-verse.

“Hey!” Jessa protested. Why’d you stop?”

I picked at the bottom of my jeans. “I’m interrupting you today, aren’t I? I’m interrupting you and your family.”

She scoffed. “Interrupting what? My mother made some really dry scones for breakfast and my father gave me a gift I already picked out at the store.”

“What about Christmas dinner?” I challenged.

“Around here, we leave it at breakfast. My dad’s working on a paper. I think my mother started the laundry. And here I am, with you, trying to write a record. I think it’s going pretty well, too. That song we just came up with is going to be our best. I can already tell.”

“Really?” I warmed with what felt like a compliment. “Then let’s keep going. I won’t interrupt again. I promise.”

But Jessa had already set her guitar back on its stand. “First, I think you should tell me what’s wrong. And what you’re really doing here.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, why aren’t you at home, spending Christmas with your family?”

I hesitated. I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to admit, or how much Jessa really wanted to know. I considered telling her that my family “left it at breakfast” too, but I had never been a convincing liar.

“My dad was trying to pick a fight,” I said finally, “and I didn’t want to be in one.”

Jessa cocked her chin. “Why on earth would he do that?”

I wasn’t sure I had arrived at a complete answer to that question. Still, the words came spilling out. “The way my mom relies on me—and how attached my sister is to me—I think it makes him jealous.” I felt my blood pressure rising. “I don’t know what he expects. I mean, I’m the one that takes care of them when he won’t.”

“What do you mean when you say take care of them?”

“Of course there’s more to it, like just being there and helping Allison with her homework, but I mean bills mostly. My dad doesn’t send my mom any money, and she hasn’t had anything from her publisher for almost a year.”

“So what are you living on?”

“What I make as a cook.”

Jessa was unable to hide her surprise. “All three of you?”

I turned away. “Hey, forget it.”

Jessa reached for my hand, but I pulled it back.

“I’m sorry,” she said, “I didn’t mean to get too personal.”

I felt very strange. Sort of exposed. “Today was a terrible mistake,” I said, without really meaning to. “I shouldn’t have come here. It’s Christmas. It’s a major holiday.” I was just thinking out loud, but for some reason I couldn’t shut up. “I’m your guitarist—songwriting partner, if you want to be really generous—and I still show up on your doorstep unannounced. Then  I tell you all my problems like some angst-ridden teenager.”

“You can come over here whenever you want,” Jessa insisted. “On holidays, major and minor, and you can talk to me. About anything you want to.”

“You don’t have to say that.”

Jessa made another grab for my hand. Her fingers wound through mine. “I said it because I like you! I mean, I really like you. You’re smart, and very easy to be with. I wouldn’t want to sit around my bedroom for hours at a time with just anybody. No matter how good they were on the guitar.”

I fidgeted.

She narrowed her eyes. “We’re just getting to know each other and all, but I see good things coming, Lawson Harper.”I almost didn’t believe her. I hadn’t dared hope that Jessa Warlow would actually be into me.But there it was. She’d said it, clear as anything. Jessa “saw good things.” I was suddenly fighting a smile. Then a grin. Finally, I just gave in. Messed-up mouth be damned.

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abouttheauthor

tabitharhys

Tabitha Rhys is a writer with a passion for music, misfits, and subculture. Love, Music, Madness is her debut novel.

Although entirely a work of fiction, Love, Music, Madness is inspired by Tabitha’s adventures on the road as an independent musician and in DIY studios during the rise of the digital recording revolution.

Tabitha became entrenched in the independent music scene in the early 2000s when she moved from the Philadelphia suburbs to L.A.’s colorful Venice Beach. There, she joined a band despite owning only a starter keyboarder that a local soundman quickly dubbed “The Radio Shack.”

After investing in some better gear, Tabitha went on to travel the West Coast, singing and playing keys and guitar. At varying times, she called Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle home. At other times, home was the car or van she lived in while performing shows at the dive du jour.

After roughly ten years, a mid-tour wreck ended Tabitha’s travels. With her gear destroyed, Tabitha canceled the rest of her scheduled shows and took a hiatus out in the desert. Holed up in a casita, she finally sorted through her notes from the road and the many stories she’d written over the years. Together, they became Love, Music, Madness.

Currently, Tabitha resides in Riverside, CA with her husband and favorite little wild child, her toddler son. She is excited for the upcoming release of the print edition of her book and busy writing her next novel.

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Thanks for stopping by and I really hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments down below. I always love hearing from you.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

sincerelykjologo