Monday, October 20, 2014

Review- On Women by Khushwant Singh

Summary (from Rupa Publications):

Well known for his unabashed interest in the fairer sex, Khushwant Singh revelled in the notoriety 
his interest evoked, almost as much as he did in the response he received from women. Indeed, this 
enduring obsession provided fodder for some of Singh’s best-known work, both as a journalist and as 
a peerless raconteur. 

On Women, a wide-ranging selection of Singh’s writings on the subject, includes Singh’s recounting 
of an embarrassingly drunken meeting with Begum Para, an actress of yesteryears; a sharp profile of 
Shraddha Mata, a tantric sadhvi who was alleged to have borne Jawaharlal Nehru’s illegitimate child; 
and a touching sketch of Singh’s grandmother in the twilight of her life. Also featured in this volume 
are unforgettable women characters from Khushwant Singh’s most popular works of fiction: Georgine, 
a clueless American teenager who is seduced by a middle-aged tour guide in Delhi; and Nooran, a 
young girl in pre-Partition Punjab, who discovers the sweet pleasure of first love only to be overtaken 
by cataclysmic events which leave her adrift.

Insightful, poignant, and occasionally wicked, the essays and extracts in On Women are testament to 
why Khushwant Singh remains one of the most popular writers of our times. 


REVIEW:

*NOTE: We (The Readdicts) received a copy of On Women by Khushwant Singh from Rupa Publications in exchange for an honest review. We thank the publishing house for the book.

 I was looking forward to reading Khushwant Singh's On Women. As I've been working on feminism and women representation for my research, I thought the book would help me in some way or the other. Turns out, I was completely wrong. It's not that I didn't learn anything. It's just that I didn't come across anything that would help me as such. Don't get me wrong. That in no way means I didn't like the book. I started off not liking it as I thought it was sexually exploitative, but as I moved ahead, I realised there was more to the retellings than just female bodies and sex. 

On Women tells the readers short tales of women in Khushwant Singh's life- either in fiction or in reality. Some of the women are characters taken from his works, while others are women he has come across, met and been with in his life. The latter goes from his grandmother, his mother to his wife, his classmates from various academic institutions, the foreign tourists that he received to a beggar on the street to famous personalities like Phoolan Devi, Indira Gandhi and Mother Teresa. 

As far as the book is concerned, I thought the stories were very well picked and put together. There was something interesting in Khushwant Singh's way of depicting women. Even when there were times when things got physical and it seemed like the whole purpose of the story, there would be something that brought up intelligence and integrity in a woman which made the stories really satisfactory and strong. I especially liked how women were portrayed as well-developed personalities and they stood their own alongside the presence of one of India's most renowned and powerful writer. 

I have previously read Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan and for the life of me, I never understood that novel but it still left a mark on me. I was pretty glad when I read and understood On Women. Overall, while I did start off not liking On Women, I ended up liking it more than I have possibly been able to say. It was a really nice and short read that could have been more interesting, but even in the absence of that, it was a great read. 
RATING:





Friday, October 17, 2014

Author Interview + Giveaway (INT)- The Etiqette of Social Media by Leonard Kim

Hi, everyone. Today on the blog, we have with us author of The Etiquette of Social MediaLeonard Kim. The author has very kindly answered all our questions in an interview and has generously offered to give away his book to two lucky international readers. Without much ado, let's get on to the post we have for you. 


BOOK SUMMARY:


BOOK LINKS:


Amazon I Amazon India | Goodreads | Flipkart Coming Soon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Leonard Kim lives with his mother in Los Angeles, California. A business professional turned writer, he has shared his life experience to help improve the lives of others. By once having everything one could ever desire to losing it all, he has acquired extensive knowledge about essential life skills and effective communication. Through his musings, he was named a Top Writer on Quora, a website with a focus on sharing knowledge and advice, which is one of the top 300 websites in the world. Oh, and he likes cookies, cupcakes and ice cream. Puppies too.

AUTHOR LINKS:


AUTHOR INTERVIEW:


Hi, Leonard! Welcome to The Readdicts. It’s lovely to have you on our blog today, and we hope you have a nice time answering our questions. Let’s get on to the questions we have for you, followed by a fun “This or That” section where you just pick one of the two choices we give you. Have fun!

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi Sarika!  Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me.  Oh it’s such an honor indeed! 
I’m so glad I have the opportunity to share a few of my thoughts with you.  Well, let’s see.  My name is Leonard Kim.  I’m just a regular guy who lives in Los Angeles, California with my mother.  I have a wonderful girlfriend and each time she smiles, my heart melts. 

Through my life, I have had a lot of ups and downs.  In the past, I used to be the Vice President of Marketing for two startups and worked in business development for other companies.  I did everything from hire and train staff to create all the marketing material.  I once had everything going for me.  Then all of a sudden, my life came crashing down.  No matter what I tried, I failed. 
Business after business, idea after idea, nothing worked.  I kept ending up with nothing.  Then on one gloomy day in November of 2011, I bought a hotel room with this girl I once knew at Petit Ermitage, a boutique hotel in West Hollywood.  The same night, she kicked me out of my own hotel room, ordered a love kit and charged it to my card.  After being defeated so far, I wanted to end it all.  I calculated out how to do it with the highest probability of success and I announced it publicly on Facebook. After that, I shut off all my social media profiles.  I was going to go through with it.  Luckily, before I went to jump off the bridge that led to the 5 Freeway on the Broadway exit, I was saved and brought back to my senses.

From there, I knew it was time I had to recalculate my life.  I knew that what I was doing was getting me nowhere.  I had to make a change.  There is a quote out there that says that experience is the mother of wisdom. So I decided to take some time to reflect upon all the decisions I made in my life and put them together so I could learn from them.  After I found the lessons, I felt that I needed to share these stories with everyone I could. I did so by writing on the Internet.  By sharing the details of my failures online, I somehow attained over eight million views on my content in less than a year and half and was named a Top Writer on a website focused on sharing knowledge and advice, Quora. 

2) Tell us about your book, The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media.

When I first wrote The Etiquette of Social Media, I had one goal in mind: To solve the epidemic of poor form.  Our world is changing.  We may all think we are experts in social media, since it has been around for close to the last decade, but are we really?
There are students out there trying to get into college.  They are being turned away because admissions officers are finding something on these people’s social media profiles that put them in a negative light.
There are college graduates looking for new jobs.  Employers are turning down qualified candidates because they are finding images that put them in a negative light. 
There are business owners and startup founders who are looking to connect with others, find mentors and create partnerships.  They are stuck because they lack the proper communication skills on how to build rapport online. 
In my book, I have fifteen chapters that solve all these problems:

INTRODUCTION
WHY ETIQUETTE IS IMPORTANT
VISIBILITY: CAN EVERYONE POTENTIALLY SEE WHAT I WRITE?
BE. DO. HAVE.
PERSONAL ETIQUETTE
RESEARCH AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
HOW TO INITIATE A CONVERSATION WITH A POTENTIAL FRIEND
HOW TO INITIATE A CONVERSATION WITH A POTENTIAL BUSINESS ASSOCIATE OR CLIENT
HOW TO SEEK OUT A MENTOR OR ASK FOR ADVICE
NASTY PEOPLE. TOXICITY AND ITS DOWNSIDES
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CONTROL AND ZEN STUFF
HOW TO RESPOND TO NASTY COMMENTS
TIPS TO A HAPPY LIFESTYLE, LIKE DRINKING TEA AND HAPPY RELATIONSHIPS
CONCLUSION: START CONNECTING TODAY
BONUS CHAPTER: DON’T BE AWKWARD
These chapters teach the readers everything from having a positive image, the right philosophy, researching the people whom they contact, how to deal with negativity and how to make meaningful connections with others.
I feel that as we grow more and more disconnected with each other through the advances of our technology, guides on essential online communication become absolutely necessary in bridging the gaps that are slowly widening each day.  I put my heart into writing the best content that I could in this book, to help teach everyone how to maintain a proper image in the world of social media. 

3) What inspired you to write your book?

For over a year, I declined to acknowledge that I was a writer.  I felt that I was just a guy who shared stories online, a marketer per se.  Never once did I ever think that I was a writer, but others did.  I finally gave in to becoming an author when I reached out to James Altucher and he told me that I should take this path. 
This particular idea for a book came when I went to dinner with Terrence Yang and Vivy Chao of Yang Ventures.  Vivy has a thorough background in education, ranging from professor to principal, to fellow for Education Pioneers, part of the LAUSD.  We were laughing and joking about how ridiculous many of the comments and messages we receive were.  She made a comment and mentioned that never before was there a class that taught the etiquette of social media.  Then it dawned upon me.  I could share the experience I had gathered over the last decade to write a book of everything I had learned on the topic. 

4) What kind of research went into writing your book?

I did some fact checking with some statistics that talked about the importance of the topic of social media etiquette.  Did you know that 30% of College Admissions Officers found something online about an applicant that negatively impacted their college application?  Here. Or that more than two in five (43%) Hiring Managers found information online that caused them to not hire a candidate? Here.
Etiquette is a subjective topic.  A lot of the foundation is based on people’s personal tastes and opinion.  Most of my research in regards to the matter comes from real world experience.  I have over a decade of experience on the Internet, starting back in AOL chatrooms when I was 14 years old.  Most of my relationships, I started through online sites like Findapix.  Back in 2008, I built a Myspace page with over 10,000 friends.  Since May of 2013, I started my journey on becoming a social media personality, ranking within the Top 20 most followed Top Writers on Quora.  These are the successes I have had.  However, there have been horror stories as well.

It takes a lot for a person to make an extreme decision like I did in November 2011.  A lot of small things just kept piling up in my life.  I don’t really have many friends.  Acquaintances sure, but friends not so much.  The problem with not having a lot of friends is the inability to have people to confide in.  Since I didn’t have many friends, through the many years I have been on social media, I made every mistake I could.  Years ago, I got into arguments with others, I scared away genuine friends, I was blacklisted by important people and made myself look like a fool.  I even got to the point where my friends were blocking and unfriending me. 
Now, on the other hand of the equation, when I evolved into a more mature creature and decided to take everything I learned and share my story with the world, people reached out to me.  When I pieced together how horrible I acted online in the past and how much the messages of the people who messaged could have been improved so I would have a higher probability of responding to them, I realized that there was a need for proper online etiquette to be taught.  I just never thought that I would be the one to teach it.  However, being on both ends of the spectrum, I had a birds eye view about the topic and knew that my personal experience was best suited to lay out the foundation to such a topic as social media etiquette. 

5) Tell us why readers should pick up your book.

In life, the basics are the most important things within our foundation.  To have a healthy life, we need to do a handful of things.  For me, I do the following ten things each day.

1. Get 8 hours of sleep a day. 


2. Eat at least two meals a day. 

3. Stop living in the past or the future. 

4. Live in the moment. Take time to appreciate what is around you. 

5. Have an attitude of abundance. 

6. Think of all the people you are grateful for every morning. 

7. Let the people of whom you are grateful to have know that you are grateful to have them in your life. 

8. Forgive everyone of whom wronged you. You don't have to let them know you forgive them. Just forgive them internally. 

9. Volunteer to help others. Expand that abundant mindset. 

10. Exercise. Walk like 15 minutes a day. 


The days I don’t follow these steps, things become detrimental.  I start to have anxiety.  I feel scared.  I start to become on edge.  Sometimes, it reflects in my voice.  I start to react poorly to situations and become a bit toxic to be around.  Why?  Because I start to miss the basic foundation to my overall well being, the ingredients that I absolutely need to be healthy and to have a clear mind.  My book is exactly that, the basic foundation necessary to create and maintain successful relationships online.

6) According to you, in today’s day and age, how important a role does social media play in spreading the word about a book?

Now that depends.  If I am on social media talking about my own book, it doesn’t do much.  However, if other people go out and talk about my book, or even someone else’s book, that creates a much more meaningful impact.  When I sit around on social media and talk about my own book, it is considered self promotion.  Many people are turned off by that.  However, when I go and talk about a friend’s book, I’m making a recommendation.  People love recommendations.  So if social media is used by engaging an audience, then it is absolutely essential.  Otherwise, only die hard fans really care. 

7) What’s your take on online book shopping? Does it affect you in any way?

I love online book shopping, but then again I also love sitting in Barnes and Noble for two hours on the carpet, combing through books in the business and self help section.  In America, on Amazon, to qualify for free shipping, we have to make a $35 purchase.  Due to this high price point to qualify for free shipping, I’m ashamed to say that I have often left books I really wanted in my cart.  Sometimes, I have come back to purchase them.  But more often than not, they go to my graveyard of dreams.

8) Do you prefer e-books or physical copies? Why?

Personally, I can’t read a book on my computer.  I can’t read it on my phone either.  I just was introduced to an iPad earlier this year.  I can read a book on it and it is quite enjoyable.  I used to hate how I would have to hold a physical book open with both hands, or manuever myself in a way so the book won’t shut.  Luckily, technology solved that problem.  I find that the perfect book is the one read on an iPad. 

9) Give us glimpse into any normal day of your life.

Oh, this is such a long question to answer.  I could go on days about this.  I mean a whole days worth of time, since this is the answer to a normal day in my life.  I’ll try to be as brief as possible. 
I wake up at 6:40 in the morning.  On Monday through Friday, I go to my office.  I stay there from 8:30 to 5:00pm.  On each of my two breaks, I walk the track and do four pull ups.  I tend to grab a soup for lunch, occasionally indulging in fried goods.  After, I come home, I take a short nap.  When I awaken, I call my girlfriend.  We chat a bit.  Then I either write, finish up paid writing gigs, do school work or watch TV.  Out of all the things I could do, I like watching TV the best.  Then after eating dinner and showering, I chat with my girlfriend some more until we both fall asleep at midnight.  On weekends, I am blessed with the opportunity to spend time with her.  She is just absolutely amazing.  No matter how tough life gets, she always knows how to make me smile.

10) If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, what book would you pick and why?

On December 21 of 2012, my birthday, my best friend gave me a gift.  It was a book.  I always respected her and knew that she was an avid reader, so I knew that if she bought me something like a book, then it would have information in it that would illuminate my mind.  The next day I opened it up and started reading it.  I finished the book in two days.  I emailed and texted her and told her how profound the book was.  I told her that the four new principles I learned in the book were so basic, yet so profound.  I told her that I would immediately put them into practice.  She responded and was happy that her gift had brought enlightenment into my life.  Little did I know that day we met would be the last time I would ever see her.  So if I could read any book for the rest of my life, it would be The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  Why?  Because of the impact it had on becoming the foundation that helped me change my life and for the significance of who gave it to me. 

1. Day or night? Day.

2. Dark or light? Light.

3. Black or white? Black.

4. Tea or coffee? Tea!

5. Coke or Pepsi? Coke!

6. E-book or physical copy? Physical copy.

7. Novel or novella? Novel.

8. Beach or mountain? Beach!

9. Salty or sweet? Sweet.  Mmmmmmm…

10. Left or right? Left!

Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer our questions and stop by our blog, Leonard. We really appreciate it and we wish you lots of happiness and success in life.

GIVEAWAY:

As you already know, guys, Leonard has generously offered to give away two physical copies of his book to two lucky international readers. The contest is open for all- yay! 

Giveaway rules are simple:

*The giveaway is international.
*Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below.
*Once winners are picked, they will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or else we'll be compelled to pick new winners.
*The book will be shipped by the author. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the form doesn't load, go here.

That's all there is to it. May the odds be ever on your favour! 

I'd like to thank Leonard once again for everything. And thank you, readers, for stopping by. Happy reading! 




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review- Scorched by his Fire by Reet Singh

Summary-

Convenient boyfriend, inconvenient attraction!

Mita Ramphul can't face another family set-up with a 'nice young man'. What she needs is to divert her family's attention so introducing the devastatingly handsome Tanay Devkumar as her new boyfriend is a stroke of brilliance. Until Tanay's scorching hot kisses threaten to shatter her plans for the perfect pretend date. 

He might drive her crazy, yet spending time with Tanay sparks a passion Mita never knew she had. It's only meant to be temporary, but when Tanay looks at her with that smoldering fire in his ebony eyes Mita can't help but surrender to the temptation of her fake boyfriend.

Review-

I had the pleasure of meeting Reet Singh at the Pune Lit Fest this year. This is where I found out that she is the author of Scorched by his Fire. I can never say no to reading a romance and Scorched by his Fire turned out to be a really sweet and romantic read.

Mita is a twenty six year old. Like every family, her family wants her to get married to a nice young man and Mita needs to divert their attention. I really liked Mita. I think she was sweet and funny and feisty. She was protective and a little bit possessive of her loved ones but her heart was always in the right place. All in all she was very easy to relate to.

Then we have Tanay. Tanay is suspicious that Mita is having an affair with her best friend. The best friend also just happens to be Tanay's brother-in-law and Tanay will do anything to protect his sister from getting hurt. Even if it means pretending to be Mita's boyfriend. At first, I thought Tanay was very easy to jump to conclusions about Mita but as we see his side of the story we get to understand him.

Tanay and Mita have undeniable chemistry since the moment their eyes meet. Though they have sparks flying all over the place they don't trust each other. I found their journey of finally realizing their feelings for each other very sweet. 

The book spans from Mauritius to Kolkata where Mita goes in search of her family's origins. Reet Singh's writing style is easy and engaging and I flew through the pages of Scorched by His Fire. I really wanted to get to the end and see Mita and Tanay's much deserved happy ending. I did wish that we'd gotten an epilogue though. Scorched by His Fire was a quick, good read.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review- One in a Million by Jill Shlavis

Summary-

As the brains behind wedding site TyingTheKnot.com, Callie sees it all: from the ring to the dress, the smiles . . . to the tears. It's that last part that keeps her single and not looking. Getting left at the altar will do that to a girl. But when Callie returns to her old hometown, she finds that her sweet high school crush is sexier than ever. And he makes it hard to remember why she's sworn off love . . .

Tanner is a deep-sea diver with a wild, adrenaline-junkie past—and now his teenage son is back in his life. How can Tanner be a role model when he's still paying for his own mistakes? It's hard enough that gorgeous Callie has appeared in town like a beautiful dream, challenging his best-laid plans to keep his heart on lockdown. Though there's something about being around her again that makes him feel like he can be the man she—and his son—deserve. Little Lucky Harbor holds their past; can it hold a beautiful new future?

Review-

One in a Million is the twelfth and the last book in Lucky Harbor series. I have loved this series and all the Lucky Harbor residents so I am feeling really bittersweet to see this series end but I am happy none the less. One in a Million is Tanner and Callie's story and I really liked it.

Callie is the grand daughter of Lucille. I really liked that it all came back to Lucille because she has been such an integral part of Lucky Harbor. I love Lucille in all her whimsical glory and we get to see a lot of her here. But coming back to Callie, she runs a wedding website and even though she doesn't believe in happy endings it is her job. I liked Callie. She was sweet and past experiences keep her from believing in love.

Then we have Tanner. Tanner is a deep sea diver. Now Tanner's teenage son is back in his life and he is trying hard to juggle everyone. I really liked Tanner. He was the calm and collected one to Callie's klutziness. He seemed to be in control of the situation on the outside but he had his own issues to deal with.

Tanner and Callie both don't believe in love in the beginning so they start off with a no strings attached relationship. But soon they are thoroughly tangled up in each other. I did find that this book had more cliches than any of the Lucky Harbor books. But I enjoyed it none the less.

I also loved to see how well Sam and Becca and Cole and Olivia were doing. We also get a glimpse at a few old favorites- Sawyer and Chloe - and that just made the book so much more pleasurable for me. All in all One in a Million was a good end to the series. All the Lucky Harbor books will always have a special place in my heart.

Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cover Reveal- Among Monsters by Jamie McGuire

Travel back to Red Hill on Halloween!
AMONG MONSTERS will be here on October 31st!


Title: Among Monsters (A Red Hill Novella)
Author: Jamie McGuire

Among Monsters will be available in ebook and paperback on Amazon!
*Amazon Exclusive


Follow Jenna and Halle's terrifying journey as they make their way to Red Hill Ranch. Head over to http://www.jamiemcguire.com/ for sneak peek!


                                      About the Author:

Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, OK. She attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with international bestseller, Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel Walking Disaster debuted at #1 on the New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. She has also written apocalyptic thriller Red Hill, a novella titled A Beautiful Wedding, and the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy.

Jamie lives on a ranch just outside Enid, OK with husband Jeff and their three children. They share their 30 acres with cattle, six horses, three dogs, and Rooster the cat.

Find Jamie at www.jamiemcguire.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Release Day Event- Apolonia by Jamie McGuire


We would love for you to join us in celebrating the release of   APOLONIA by New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie McGuire!


TitleAPOLONIA
Author: Jamie McGuire
Age: NA
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Publisher: Jamie McGuire LLC (October 6, 2014)
Cover Design: Okay Creations, Sarah Hansen



Blurb:

“They killed me, but I survived.”

Three years after Rory Riordan foiled her own murder, she still trusts no one. Not Dr. Z, the eccentric college professor who has taken her under his wing, not Benji, the endearing, attractive classmate who insists on following her around, and certainly not Cy, the beautifully dark and mysterious boy who sits on the first row in Dr. Z’s Astrobiology class and asks far too many questions.

When Rory witnesses Cy being abducted by soldiers in the middle of the night, she finds herself submersed in a world that holds even more secrets than she could imagine--even darker secrets than her own.

From #1 New York Times Bestseller Jamie McGuire, experience the perfect combination of her bestselling books Providence & Beautiful Disaster. This New Adult Sci-Fi Romance is an action-packed, whiplash-inducing roller coaster ride. Page after page, this unpredictable, dark and sexy nail biter will keep readers guessing until the very end!

EXCERPT:

“Welcome!” Dr. Z began. “I am Dr. A. Byron Zorba, and you’ve arrived at Geobiology and Astrobiology . . . uh . . . with lab. That’s a separate class. Uh . . . later,” he added. “You should also be enrolled in the lab, separately from lecture. If not, see administration. So! Here, and in the partnering lab, you will study organic matter from microbes, rocks, and environmental samples. In lab, you’ll extract and, more importantly, interpret these samples. Beyond that, we will reconstruct ancient environments to understand how life evolved within the samples.”

“Yeesh,” Benji whispered.

“It’s really not that bad. Don’t be a baby,” I said, keeping my voice low as the professor went over the rules and syllabi.

“I’m still running in the mornings,” Benji said. “You should come with me sometime.”

“I don’t run.”

“It’s good for you. You should try it.”

“I’m not getting up at the crack of dawn to run until I stop freezing. That’s not healthy. It’s stupid.”

Benji just smiled, clearly amused.

“Excuse me, professor,” Cyrus said, holding his pen in the air. “Whom shall I contact . . .?”

I blocked out the rest of his question. The trace of a British accent in his voice and his perfect grammar would have never piqued my attention before, but on that day it was annoying and snooty.
Not only was Cyrus tall, dark, and handsome but, as class progressed, he also proved to be Dr. Z’s most adept and eager student.

“That would be Dr. Rosen,” Dr. Z said. “May I ask . . . from where do you hail?”

“Excuse me?” Cyrus responded.

“I was curious to know if you happen to be Egyptian?” the professor asked.

I don’t know what expression was on Cyrus’s face, but he must have smiled, because Dr. Z clapped his hands once, and a wide grin made his already full cheeks puff out.

Dr. Z patted Cy’s shoulder and shook his finger a few times. “We’ll have much to talk about. See me after class.”

“Oh, Christ, get a room,” I snarled under my breath.

The professor’s hobby was trying his hardest to be an Egyptian scholar. I thought maybe Cyrus’s origin was the reason for Dr. Z’s fascination, but that didn’t turn out to be it at all. Cyrus never answered the questions that Dr. Z presented to the class, but he asked at least a dozen of his own. He was curious, and I couldn’t deny that his questions were a work of art.

Dr. Z answered a few questions before lecturing for just ten minutes, giving us a reading assignment, and then waving us away, twenty minutes earlier than expected.

Everyone looked around, unsure what to do until I began packing my things. That started a chain reaction, and noise filled the room as students crammed their laptops into their bags and moved to leave.

After our dismissal, Cyrus stood next to Dr. Z’s podium, and they spoke in low voices with a lot of nodding and a few smiles. Oh, hell no. I stood up, grabbed my bag, and walked down the steps, standing in the space next to Cyrus.

“Cyrus has just returned from a summer in Mali,” Dr. Z said, smiling.

“Oh?” I said, with cold eyes. “You have family there?”

“No,” Cyrus said flatly. He didn’t offer further explanation, so I stared at him until he became uncomfortable and looked away. That was my very favorite thing to do to everyone.

“Cyrus is researching the Dogon tribe. Very interesting,” Dr. Z said. “He’s the third member of our team.”

“What?” I said the word louder than I’d meant and high enough to be embarrassing.

Cyrus nodded once to us both, and then he was gone.

“Are you replacing me?” I asked, my heart pounding. My assistant job was connected to my scholarship. If Cyrus stole it from me, I could be in real danger of losing that money. It was too late to find a student position that wasn’t already taken.

“Of course not. You saw the data I sent. You’ll never have time for anything else if I don’t add someone to the team.”

“I can do it,” I said, only feeling a tiny bit relieved. “You know I don’t go home for the holidays. I don’t mind working weekends.”

Dr. Z smiled. “Rory, I know you don’t mind working weekends, but you should.”

He walked out of the classroom, leaving me among his weird sculptures and artifacts. None of it made sense. Dr. Z had always been careful. I couldn’t imagine he would invite someone he didn’t trust into his precious laboratory. Something about Cyrus felt off, but he didn’t seem dangerous or untrustworthy. If the professor had been considering Cyrus as just a third team member, he would have mentioned it before today. The only explanation for my exclusion from this news was that he was planning to replace me. What’s more, hastily inviting a new student into his lab wasn’t just uncharacteristic; it was troubling.

My eyes were all over the place, looking at a different inanimate object with every thought. I couldn’t lose my position as Dr. Zorba’s assistant. Everything was riding on it.

The room grew darker, bringing my attention to the large windows. The clouds outside were gray. At this time of year, the weather was more likely to bring in a cold front than a storm. The wind began to blow the few leaves that had just started to fall from the huge oak trees. I pulled one of several tubes of lip balm from my jacket pocket and ran it over my lips. I loved winter up until the night I died. Now it just seemed ominous.

Clenching my teeth with determination, I lifted my bag and swung it over my shoulder. I refused to lose my assistant position with Dr. Z. Cyrus could take his thought-provoking, eloquently worded questions and shove them up his ass.

GIVEAWAY:

3 Prints, 5 APOLONIA ebooks


About the Author:


Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, OK. She attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with international bestseller, Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel Walking Disaster debuted at #1 on the New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. She has also written apocalyptic thriller Red Hill, a novella titled A Beautiful Wedding, and the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy.

Jamie lives on a ranch just outside Enid, OK with husband Jeff and their three children. They share their 30 acres with cattle, six horses, three dogs, and Rooster the cat.

Find Jamie at here or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cover Reveal- Idle Bloom by Jewel E Ann

Presents
COVER REVEAL: Idle Bloom
By Jewel E Ann

Full Jacket/Cover
Idle Bloom
(A standalone novel)
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Genre: A New Adult Romance novel

RELEASE DATE: December 1st
Cover
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"What lies beneath my veiled perfection is the ugly truth—my truth, my reality, my destiny."
Vivian Graham has an acceptance letter into Harvard, a badass tattoo, loyal friends, ties to marijuana, a penchant for Dunkin’ Donuts, and her pesky V-card.
Everyday she takes the Red Line to her job at The Green Pot in Boston while her friends enter the coveted, black iron gates to higher learning. The ramifications from a tragic accident have put her life on hold while time marches on for everyone around her.
After graduating from Harvard Law, Boston native, Oliver Konrad, moves to Portland to start his career and his life. Three years later, after a horrific discovery, he returns home to trade in his three-piece suit for leather work boots and his suburban home for a condo in Cambridge.
All he brought back to the East Coast was an aversion to pillows and secrets he keeps hidden behind a mysterious locked door. Oliver’s days are predictable and his nights are lonely until he meets Vivian on the subway. Her long raven hair, green eyes, and mile-long legs are achingly sexy, but the way she "innocently" fingers and licks her Boston Kreme doughnut can only be described in two words—complete torture.
When their paths cross at every turn, laughter is abundant, friendship is easy, and love is unintentional. However, their future seems improbable.
About the Author:

Jewel E Ann

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Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.
With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.


After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.


When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.


THANK YOU!