Thursday, December 31, 2015

Blog Tour: Strange Girl by Christopher Pike || Guest Post + Giveaway!

Strange Girl by Christopher Pike
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
ISBN-10: 1481450581
ISBN-13: 978-1481450584

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Pike comes a brand-new fascinating and seductive new novel about a girl with a mysterious ability—but one that carries an unimaginable cost.

From the moment Fred meets Aja, he knows she’s different. She’s pretty, soft-spoken, shy—yet seems to radiate an unusual peace. Fred quickly finds himself falling in love with her.

Then strange things begin to happen around Aja. A riot breaks out that Aja is able to stop by merely speaking a few words. A friend of Fred’s suffers a serious head injury and has a miraculous recovery.

Yet Aja swears she has done nothing.

Unfortunately, Fred is not the only one who notices Aja’s unique gifts. As more and more people begin to question who Aja is and what she can do, she’s soon in grave danger. Because none of them truly understands the source of Aja’s precious abilities—or their devastating cost.

Love Aja or hate her—you will never forget her.

In Strange Girl, #1 bestselling author Christopher Pike has created the rarest of novels—a love story that swings between a heart-pounding mystery and a stirring mystical journey.

Purchase at: Amazon | BN | BAM | IndieBound | iBookstore | Google Play

It was four in the morning when I heard the soft knock on our motel door. I appeared to be the only one who heard it.

Nearby, Janet and Shelly slept soundly on one bed, while on the other Dale lay like a dead man as Mike snored loudly. At the knock, I sat up on my foldout bed. I didn’t mind rollaways. If I was tired enough, I could sleep on the floor. Pulling on my pants over the gym shorts I’d been sleeping in, I slipped from beneath the sheets and answered the door.

“Hi,” Aja said and smiled. She had on the same dress she’d worn to the Roadhouse. Her hair was wet, though, as if she’d just showered, and her feet were bare. I saw no car. I assumed she’d walked over from her own nearby motel or hotel.

“This is a surprise,” I said. It was so good to see her I feared I might still be asleep, dreaming the whole thing up. “What are you doing here?”

“Want to go for a walk?”
“Right now?”
I glanced at my friends; they were still out. “Give me a second, let me find my shoes and a shirt,” I said.
Minutes later we were strolling along the cracked edge of an asphalt road beside a twenty-foot fence, topped with barbed wire, that surrounded the base. The town was silent as Elder usually was at this time of morning. There wasn’t a soul in sight.
The air was heavy with moisture and the ground was damp; clouds had chased away the stars. It made me wonder if it had been raining and if that was the real reason Aja’s hair was wet. Had she been wandering around in the dark since we’d last seen her? I asked and she nodded.
“Are you nuts?” I said. “You should have hooked up with us hours ago.”
She shrugged. “You were playing and the place was noisy. Besides, I like to take walks late at night.” She glanced over. “You look surprised.”
“I’m surprised you’re here. What made you come?”
“You invited me to hear you play. You remember?”
“Sure. How did you get here? Did Bart bring you?”
“I took a bus.”
“Why didn’t you come with us?”
“I wanted to surprise you.”
“Let me get this straight. You rode here all alone, across half the state, with only the clothes on your back. And since we last saw you at the Roadhouse, you’ve been wandering around in the dark—barefoot—in a strange town all by yourself.”
“What part are you saying no to?”
“My shoes.”
“What about your shoes?”
“I brought shoes. But I got tired of wearing them.” She added, “They’re sitting on the hood of your RV.”
“Well, that’s a relief. You’ve got your shoes to protect you. Honestly, Aja, you can’t behave like this, not in this country. You’re too pretty a girl. Anything could happen to you.”
“Anything can happen,” she appeared to agree, before adding, “Don’t worry about me.”
I shook my head. “I do worry about you.”
“Because . . . maybe where you come from it’s safe to wan¬der around at night. But this can be a violent town. You saw those guys at the club. They were ready to kill Mike and Dale.” When Aja didn’t respond I looked over at her. “But they didn’t because you showed up. How did you get them to stop?”
“I didn’t do anything. They were afraid, that’s all. They didn’t want to hurt anybody. And when they understood that, everything was okay.”
I shook my head. “If Shelly had stood on that table instead of you and begged that drunken herd to calm down, they would have beaten the shit out of her. What you did was amazing.”
“I can’t be in danger one minute and amazing the next. You have to make up your mind.”
She had a point, sort of. I was contradicting myself. Not that she still wasn’t acting naive. “What I mean is . . . ,” I began.
She interrupted by reaching over and taking my hand. “I liked when you sang by yourself at the beginning,” she said.
Her hand felt good in mine. “You were there at the start? I didn’t see you.”
“Yes. At first you were nervous, then you relaxed.” She added as if to herself, “You enjoy singing in front of people.”
For such a naive girl, I thought, she was perceptive.
“I do,” I said. When she didn’t reply, I asked, “How have you been this last week?”
“It must have made you mad getting expelled on your second day of school.”
“It doesn’t matter. I’ll be there Monday.”
I shook my head. “I can’t understand why Billard hates you.”
“She doesn’t hate me.”
“What do you mean?”
“She’s afraid of me.”
“We met over the summer.”
“At the town cemetery. I often walk there.”
“What happened at the cemetery?”
Aja hesitated. “Better you ask her.”
“She’ll explain.”
I pushed Aja to elaborate but she just shook her head and kept walking. I finally decided to shut my mouth and enjoy the touch of her hand, which was remarkably soothing. I don’t know how far we’d walked when I noticed that I was feeling awfully energized for a guy who hadn’t really slept in two days. More, I felt light, light as a balloon, as if I wasn’t walking but floating alongside the fence. And the clouds in the sky, they felt somehow closer, like I could touch them.

Aja suddenly stopped and faced me, her big, brown eyes bright in the dark night. She reached up and stroked my cheek, my hair, and even though I did my best to stay cool I trembled. She inched up on her toes and kissed me on the lips, just for a second or two.
“Let’s go back to your RV,” she said.
“You mean the motel? You can sleep on my foldout. I can sleep on the floor.”
Aja shook her head and tightened her grip on my hand. She began to lead me back the way we’d come. “I want to sleep with you in the RV.”
I don’t recall much about the walk back. But I do remember lying beside her on the cushions in the rear of the RV, our two bodies barely fitting between the crush of our equipment. We didn’t have sex—we didn’t even make out, nor did she kiss me again.

But she held me and let me hold her and for the first time in my life I felt as if all my hidden fears had been deftly exposed and quietly put to bed, once and for all. I had fought with her that it wasn’t safe to wander alone in the dark, but when I slept with her cheek resting on mine, and felt the brush of her eyelashes as they fluttered during her dreams, I was the one who felt protected.

Since STRANGE GIRL was published a month ago, many people have written to ask about the mystical elements in the book. But the novel at its heart is a love story. Fred meets Aja in the opening chapter and pretty much gets a crush on her right away. True, Aja is a little strange, hence the title. But while writing the book I tried to go back in my mind to how I felt in high school when it came to falling in love and my relationship -- or my lack of one -- with girls as a whole.

I was extremely shy when I was in high school. I did not grow out of the quality until I became a successful novelist in my twenties. But as a teenager at La Mirada High in the early seventies -- I was so shy it was impossible for me to ask a girl out on a date. I was a strong athlete -- I ran track and cross country -- and I was a good student; I got mostly A’s and B’s. But I would just freeze up whenever I spoke to a girl, even if I knew she liked me.

For example, I had a lab partner in biology named Kathy, and I she was always going out of her way to do me small favors. I knew if I asked her out she would definitely say yes. Yet I postponed asking the question until February of 1973. I remember the month because Neil Young was touring to promote the release of his most famous album, Harvest, and I had two tickets to see him at the Forum. When it came to asking out Kathy, I figured, it was now or never. I didn’t want to be one of those guys who went all the way through high school and never went on a date.

I ran into her late one evening at the local library and we talked for a while and I finally popped the question. She looked all excited; I was sure she wanted to go. But then I discovered she had just gone out with another guy named Jim and she felt she would be disloyal to date two guys at once. So I ended up going to the concert with my older brother, who’s name is also Jim.

That experience ruined it for me with girls for a while. But there was another girl in high school that I had a crush on. Her name was Judy, and she was without question the prettiest girl in the school -- at least to me. Our lockers were in the same halls so between classes I would often see her. I watched her so much I knew every stitch of clothing she owned. But the thought of asking her out was out of the question. For one thing she was a senior and I was a junior. Back then a girl never went out with a younger guy. It was unheard of.

But a strange thing happened the last day of my junior year. I was all alone in the school library, reading a book, when Judy came in and sat down across from me. She acted casual at first, asked how I was doing. She even called me by name, which shocked me. I had no idea she knew I existed and here she was talking to me like we were friends.

Then, out of the blue, Judy began to tell me how much she liked me. How she had watched me for the last two years. How she used to go to my races to see how I did. She even went so far as to say she was sad she had never got to know me better.

Judy told me all these wonderful things and I just sat there and didn‘t say a word. I couldn’t express any of my feelings for her. I wanted to but I was in shock; my mind short-circuited. Finally I managed to say something like, “That’s nice,” but by then, after pouring her heart out to me, she felt like a fool and began to cry. I tried to comfort her but it was too late and she got up and walked away. Since I only knew her from school, I had no idea where she lived, I had no way to contact her over the summer. I never saw her again. But for years after that, I was haunted by that day. All the things I should have said but was too afraid to say.

Yet I think the above “encounters” made me a better YA writer. So much of the experience of being a teenager is about discovering what it’s like to fall in love for the first time. Of course, as adults we look back on that phase of our lives and say, “No, you’re not talking about real love. You’re talking about high school crushes.” Well, maybe that’s true to us as adults, but when you’re a teenager the intensity of the feelings are so great they feel real. They feel more real than anything else in the world.

Like I mentioned above, STRANGE GIRL is told from the point of view of a guy named Fred, who falls in love for the first time with a girl named Aja. Granted there are qualities Aja has that make their relationship particularly challenging, but none of that changes what Fred feels for Aja. For him, first love is wonderful, it is agonizing, it is all those things mixed together. It’s true that at the end Fred is left with a broken heart but I doubt he would change a minute he spent with Aja.

I hope all of you have a chance to read the book.
Yours, Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike is a bestselling author of young adult novels. The Thirst series, The Secret of Ka, and the Remember Me and Alosha trilogies are some of his favorite titles. He is also the author of several adult novels, including Sati and The Season of Passage.

Thirst and Alosha are slated to be released as feature films. Pike currently lives in Santa Barbara, where it is rumored he never leaves his house.

But he can be found online at
Series of writing advice on Wattpad:

Tour Giveaway!

List of prizes:
25 paperback copies of STRANGE GIRL
5 paperback sets of RED QUEEN and BLACK KNIGHT
5 paperback sets of all 5 copies of THIRST series (1-5) in PB.
5 paperback copies CHAIN LETTER
5 paperback  copies UNTIL THE END
5 paperback copies BOUND TO YOU
5 paperback copies REMEMBER ME

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How to Dress For the New Year’s Eve

New Year's Eve is a festive occasion and it provides us with a great opportunity to dress up and look our absolute best. Whether you are planning to spend a night out on the town with your special someone or a more low key night with your female friends, these outfit ideas will keep you from spending too much time stressing out about what to wear. Plus, you can save money on the vast majority of these outfits by using coupons from for such shops as Neiman Marcus and many other popular outlets!

1. A New Twist on the Little Black Dress

The little black dress is a common New Year's Eve party staple and for good reason. It offers a look that is classy, while remaining sexy. But if you would like to stand out from the crowd this year, add a new twist by adding some flashy accents to your outfit. A little black dress will look great with any silver or gold accessories that you may have in your jewelry box and ensure that all eyes remain on you at your New Year's Eve shindig. 

2. Matching Pants and Heels

New Year's Eve is always a wonderful excuse to break out the high heels, but what if you also decided to choose a pair of matching pants? By matching those two, you are also giving your legs a much longer appearance. For a low key night at home, you can pair the heels and pants with a turtleneck. For a night on the town, a sparkly tank will look great!

3. Sequins and Sparkles 

When it comes to looking your best for ringing in the New Year, you can never go wrong when you add sequins and sparkles to your outfit. There are always going to be moments when you are stuck in a place that we like to call "outfit doubt." The best way out is to mix a sparkly or sequined top with some casual pants or even a pair of animal print heels.

4. Add Tights 

Want to have all eyes on you from the moment you walk into the party? Then add a pair of fancy tights to your party dress ensemble. This is a great option for women who are experiencing the budget crush that takes place after Christmas and do not wish to spend a great deal of money on a brand new dress. You can choose a pair of colorful – red, green, turquoise or fuchsia tights to go with your white or black party dress, or look for ones with an interesting pattern.

5. Try a Tuxedo 

Tuxedos, not just for men anymore! To stand out from the crowd at your get together, grab yourself a sharp jacket, a pair of heels and some matching pants. Taking a cue from the boys is a great way to look classy and also get noticed at the same time!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

ARC Review: Secret for a Song by S.K. Falls

Title: Secret for a Song
Author: S.K. Falls
Kindle, 206 pages
Published: June 10th 2013 
Publisher: Createspace
Genre: YA - Contemporary Romance - Mental Illness
Source: via Netgalley

Saylor Grayson makes herself sick. Literally.

She ate her first needle when she was seven. Now, at nineteen, she’s been kicked out of college for poisoning herself with laxatives. The shrinks call it Munchausen Syndrome. All Saylor knows is that when she’s ill, her normally distant mother pays attention and the doctors and nurses make her feel special.

Then she meets Drew Dean, the leader of a local support group for those with terminal diseases. When he mistakes her for a new member, Saylor knows she should correct him. But she can’t bring herself to, not after she’s welcomed into a new circle of friends. Friends who, like Drew, all have illnesses ready to claim their independence or their lives. 

For the first time, Saylor finds out what it feels like to be in love, to have friends who genuinely care about her. But secrets have a way of revealing themselves. What will happen when Saylor’s is out?

  I was given a review copy by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  If you've been following/reading my reviews for this past few months, you may know that I've been quite fascinated by mental illnesses recently. I've had this book on my Kindle for a while now, but only decided to read this after my recent fascination. I must say, it was a pretty great and interesting read.

  Secret for a Song is about Saylor, who has Munchhausen's disease, meaning she deliberately makes herself sick in order to gain attention. Now I know this might sound really weird and most of us will be quick to judge. Who wants to be sick, right? This is why I was so glad that the author, S.K. Falls, decided to write about this topic and I really enjoyed learning more about Munchhausen's in this book. Of course, I don't really know what people with Munchhausen's are thinking, but through this book, I can somehow understand them a little better.

  Secret for a Song is not only a great book because of the topic that it discussed, but it also has a pretty amazing story. More than Munchhausen's, there were also some other diseases like FA, cancer and AIDS. And more than diseases, this book is about friendship, family, living life to the fullest and acceptance. 

  I really enjoyed the story in this book, and I loved how it unraveled. I liked how the story progressed and even though I didn't like what happened in the end, I felt like it was a pretty great ending. 

  Although there were some things that I think wasn't explained well enough or felt like loose ends, it became easy for me to overlook some of those things. What I really didn't like though was how [ it was not explained what happened to her friendship with the rest of the people from the group besides Drew.

  I really enjoyed this book and I recommend people to read this for the story and insight on Munchhausen's disease.

3.5 stars: I liked it. Would recommend.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! Whether you celebrate the holidays this time of year or not I wanted to send warm wishes to all of my AWESOME blog readers. Each and every one of you are so special to me. Why? Because YOU take the time to come visit my blog and leave your wonderful comments. I hope you all had a lovely day spending the day with family and friends. Also, I hope everyone got all the presents you wished for, especially those new books. 

2016 is just around the corner and I just know it will be a great year in books and here at Bittersweet Enchantment!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

With love, 
The Bittersweet Enchantment family:
Beckie, Kim and Carole!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Giveaway!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Oh look, it's a Christmas themed giveaway! 

The wonderful people at Simon and Schuster (pocket star) have given me a print copy of Baby, it's cold outside to give away on my blog today! 

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling indie authors Jennifer Probst, Emma Chase, Kristen Proby, Melody Anne, and debut author Kate Meader come together to write a sizzling romance anthology. 

Outside it may be frosty, so turn the heat way up with these stories of desire!

Searching for You 

Can a determined woman executive and a playboy billionaire survive being stranded together in a snowstorm? Jennifer Probst depicts an encounter almost too hot to handle... 

It's a Wonderful Tangled Christmas Carol 

Drew and Kate play an encore to Tangled in this sexy take on a "Christmas Carol" by Emma Chase. When a Christmas Eve argument condemns Drew to a troubled night, three dream women teach him that no gift could be more tantalizing than Kate... 

Saving Grace 

With Kristen Proby, ski slopes are quite delightful. Grace Douglas is sure she'll never learn to ski, but instructor Jacob Baxter could teach her lessons of a different kind... 

Safe in His Arms 

Can a southern California transplant survive Montana's deep snows? Melody Anne, author of the bestselling Andersons series, melts the icy drifts completely away with the heat between sexy Hawk Winchester and brand-new teacher Natalie Duncan... 

Rekindle the Flame 

What could be hotter than a firefighter? Kate Meader shows how, as Beck Rivera and heiress-turned-tattoo-artist Lucy Cochrane discover, nothing ignites holiday flames like rekindling a lost love... 

Giveaway is open to US residents only! 
Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click the image above to be taken to some amazing book deals!
Perfect for the holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Release Day Blitz: This Raging Light by Estelle Laure + Giveaway!

Hello, everyone!
I am so excited that THIS RAGING LIGHT by Estelle Laure releases today and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Estelle Laure, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book and a bottle of nail polish that matches the cover courtesy of Estelle, HMH, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Author: Estelle Laure
Release Date: December 22nd, 2015
Pages: 288
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

"A funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by surprise.” —Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Exclusive Excerpt:

When Wrenny and I roll up the hill to Eden’s house in Mom’s ancient Corolla, Digby and his dad, John, are outside playing basketball, and I want to get in the house as fast as possible,
because otherwise I might be trapped here all day, staring. I get a little twinge of something seeing a dad and his kid playing ball like dads and kids are supposed to. That’s a real
thing, and my hand wants to cover Wren’s face so she can’t see all that she is missing.
Which reminds me. “Wren.”
“Yeah?” She’s wiping at her shirt, reading a book on her lap, and she’s a little bit filthy, her hair greasy and knotty in spite of my efforts this morning. At some point the braids came out, and she’s reverted to wild.
“You know how Mom hasn’t been around lately?”
She stops. Tightens. “Yeah,” she says.
“Well, we don’t want anyone to know about that, okay?
Even Janie and Eden and Digby and John.”
“But Mom’s on vacation. She’s getting her head together. She’s coming back.”
“Okay, yes,” I say, “but still. We don’t want to tell anyone, because they might not understand that. They might get the wrong idea.”
“Like that she left us permanently?” There is so much more going on inside that Wrenny-head than I can ever know.
“Maybe, or at least for longer than she was supposed to.” I reach for the handle to the door because I can’t look at her. “Someone might think that.”
“She didn’t, though,” she says. “She’s Mom.”
“Of course she didn’t.” Lie.
“So who cares what anyone thinks?”
“Wren, just don’t, okay?”
“Some things are private.” I open the door, then lean back across and wipe uselessly at her shirt with my thumb. “Like Mom being on vacation. So, okay?”
“I said okay, okay?” She gets out and waits, stares at me like I’m the most aggravating person on earth. “Hey, Lu?”
“Yeah?” I say, bracing myself for what’s next.
“Your mama’s so fat, she left the house in high heels and came back in flip-flops.”
I would tell her that I hate her new obsession with fat jokes, but I’m not in the mood for any dawdling, so I half laugh and get moving. I want to get inside and quick because there’s also the other thing. And by “other” I mean what makes me sweat just standing here. And by “thing” I mean Digby, who I have known since I was seven but who lately makes a fumbling moronic moron out of me, a full-on halfwit. Ask me my name when I’m in his presence and I’m not likely to be able to tell you. I’d probably just say, “Lllll . . . lllllllu . . .” and you’d have to catch the drool running down my chin.
I know. It’s not at all attractive.
But really. Tall, sweaty, and not wearing a shirt, so the muscles are all right there for the watching. He doesn’t exactly glisten, on account of the fact that he’s whiter than white, that he tans by getting freckles so he’s covered in them now after a whole summer outside. But seeing his hair all plastered to his forehead, his body so long and lean, looping around his dad to get the ball into the hoop, I want to fall out of the car and onto my knees in the driveway, say Lord have mercy, hallelujah, write sonnets and paint him, and worship that one little curve where his neck meets his shoulder that is just so, so perfect.
He is beautiful.
Which is why when he says hi as I pass him, I barely raise a pinky in response. There are two main problems here, aside from the fact that he is Eden’s twin and that’s all kinds of weird.
One, he’s had the same girlfriend since the dawn of time. They’re pinned, she wears his jacket, their marriage certificate is practically already signed. Angels bless their freakin’ union. And two, if I ever did get a chance with him, like if he ever kissed me or something, I would die of implosion. I know I sound like a twelve-year-old mooning over some celebrity, and not the extremely self-possessed woman-tobe that I actually am, but something about him makes me lose my mind. Something about the way he moves, about his himness — it shatters me all the way down. So I hope he never does kiss me. That would be nothing but a disaster. No one needs to see me fall apart like that. Least of all him.
Actually, maybe least of all me.

About The Author: Estelle Laure

Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a hardcover of THIS RAGING LIGHT and a bottle of Essie Nail Polish that matched the book cover. US Only.

Ends on December 31st at Midnight EST!


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