Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Review: Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

Title: Losing Hope
Author: Colleen Hoover
Kindle, 321 pages
Published: July 8th, 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: YA - Contemporary Romance
Source: via Netgalley



In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.
Purchase at: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Kobo 

  I'm going with the Goodreads rating system with this one because it was fucking hard to rate it. 2 stars on Goodreads means "it was okay," and that it was. I'm not particularly happy nor sad with this one, but I guess I didn't like it more than I liked it.

  I was really scared to read Losing Hope because I didn't like Hopeless that much, but I decided to read it because most people preferred this book to the first one. After reading this book, I found that I am the opposite. I found Hopeless better than Losing Hope because at least that book held my attention and made me feel things.

  I felt really detached to Losing Hope. I couldn't connect with Holder and I felt like there were too many narratives instead of scenes and conversation. My mind was screaming "You should be feeling hurt and sad and mad in these scenes, damn it!" but my heart didn't feel a single thing. I don't why - maybe it's me, maybe it's the book, but it just didn't work out for me.

  I found myself skimming the pages instead of drinking it all in like I should have. The only things that I could fully read were Holder's letter to Les, the conversations, and the ending. Don't get me wrong, the writing and word-choice is still amazing. In fact, the ending was so beautifully written that I loved it so much.

  Colleen Hoover is a favorite author of mine, but I just have to admit that Losing Hope and Hopeless are not for me. I don't even know why I don't like this book. *sobs* 

2.5 stars. Ah, it's okay. 



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Welcome Kim, my NEW co-blogger!







At long last I have a new co-blogger! YAY! *claps excitedly*
Her name is Kim and she's the owner of the blog, Divergent Gryffindor. While running her own blog, Kim will be helping me out a lot around my blog and she has also offered to review books here as well. Which is great since I feel my blog lacks in reviews often. In fact, she has already started scheduling posts, one of which will be out tomorrow. :)



I would love for everyone to give Kim a warm welcome! 


MEET KIM

Hey guys, I'm Kim! Believe it or not, I used to hate reading when I was young. It wasn't until the 5th grade that I started becoming an avid reader. I used to love reading vampire and supernatural books, although after blogging on my own blog, Divergent Gryffindor , I found that the genre that I truly love is YA contemporary romance. I am a person with many hobbies. Aside from reading, I also like to crochet, write calligraphy or typography, play with wire, and binge-watch tv series. I am a 2nd -year college student majoring in both AB Psychology and BS Advertising Management. I am based in the Philippines, although I am nearly pure Chinese. Weird, huh? 
Connect with Kim at: Twitter || Facebook || Instagram || Blog



Attention AUTHORS & PUBLISHERS:
Kim is now a full-time reviewer as well as I am. You are more than welcome to request a book review via Kim by emailing me and stating somewhere in the email that the review request is for Kim (only or also). Make sense? I sure hope so. Also, you can find a list of what types of books Kim reviews on the review Policy Page under mine.
If you have any questions please email me. 


I am so very excited to have Kim aboard! My goal is to make my blog fun again and have more interesting content. It's hard to run a blog all by my lonesome. hehe =D

Thanks for reading!

Release Week Blitz: Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout + Giveaway!

The Epic Finale in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s

Dark Elements Series...Who Will She Choose?

ELB Teaser 3
Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Don't miss the conclusion to this stunning Young Adult Paranormal series filled with danger and romance published by HarlequinTEEN


Grab your copy today! 
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo | BAM






9780373211142_prd_proof_FC




Some loves will last ‘til your dying breath 


Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust. 



Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction. 


Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…
Purchase at:

“Armentrout is a major talent…I just can’t stop reading!”
--New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter

“Armentrout works her magic with swoon-worthy guys and a twist you never see coming.”
--#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines on White Hot Kiss


EVERY LAST BREATH Excerpt

“Oh my God!” This time my hand connected with his arm. “You’re going to be in so much trouble, Roth! So much trouble.”
He shrugged a shoulder. “Defended myself.”
“Defended myself.” I mimicked him, bopping my head back and forth. “You can’t just go around killing Alphas, Roth!”
“You killed those angels?” Stacey asked, so I guessed she did remember them.
He sent her an innocent grin. “Well, I didn’t, but…”
“Roth!” I shouted, backing away before I started choking the ever-loving life out of him. “This is not a joke. You—”
He was damn fast when he wanted to be. One second he was several feet away from me and the next he was there, clasping the sides of my face. He lowered his head so he was eye level with me. “There are rules, Shortie.”
“But—”
“Rules that even the Alphas have to abide by. They cannot attack me without physical provocation. If they do, they tick the Boss off, and then the Boss retaliates in a way that makes what the Lilin could do look like child’s play. I’m not just some random demon. I’m the Crown Prince. They took a swing at me, and I defended myself. End of story.”
But he had provoked them—maybe not physically, but he wasn’t an innocent bystander in this. As the shock ebbed, there was a different kind of bitter pill to swallow. What if Roth had gotten his rules wrong? What if more Alphas were even now on the way to avenge their brethren?
“I’m going to be okay.” His eyes held mine as he stepped closer, lining his booted feet up with mine. “Nothing is going to happen to me. I promise.”
“You can’t make that promise,” I whispered, searching his gaze intently. “None of us can.”
His hands slid back and he curled his fingers in my loose hair. “I can.”
Those two words were like throwing down a gauntlet to the whole universe. I lowered my gaze as he dragged my hair back, tucking both sides behind my ears. It was then, as he slowly withdrew his hands, that I remembered we were not alone.
I jerked back and my gaze collided with Zayne’s. For a moment, I let myself really see Zayne. I hadn’t almost killed him. I had almost done something much, much worse than that. When a Warden lost their soul, they turned into a horrific creature. I knew that for a fact, because I’d seen what had happened to a Warden after their soul had been taken from them. I’d almost done that to Zayne, and he was still here, standing by my side.
A hole opened up in my chest as I saw the keen wariness in his stare. My stomach twisted something awful and I opened my mouth, but I didn’t know what to say. My heart and head were suddenly tearing in two very different directions. Fortunately, I didn’t get the chance to say anything.
“I leave you alone for a few hours, and you let Thumper fry and eat an Alpha.”
Yelping, I spun around as Stacey screamed. Cayman stood in the center of the destroyed living room. He’d come out of nowhere. Poof. There. He wore dark trousers and a white dress shirt he appeared to have gotten bored with when it came to buttoning it up, and his blond hair was loose around his angular face. When it came to the demon pecking order, Roth had once explained that as an Infernal Ruler, Cayman was middle management. He was kind of like the demon-of-all-trades, and I had a feeling he was more than just a…um, coworker of Roth’s. Whether Roth claimed it or not, they were friends.
“That was quick,” Roth commented, folding his arms across his chest.
Cayman shrugged. “It’s a sign of the times, man. It’ll probably be on some Alpha’s Facebook wall within the hour.”
Alphas had Facebook accounts?

image2

 And don’t miss the first titles in the Dark Elements Series!

BITTER SWEET LOVE

WHITE HOT KISS

STONE COLD TOUCH

Author Photo
About The Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Jennifer @
 # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Guest Post: Danny Goes to the Beach by Andrew Joyce (written from his dog's POV)


Hi everyone! I would like to welcome author Andrew Joyce to the blog today! He will be doing a fun and exciting guest post! Enjoy!


My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Beckie has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my latest book, Molly Lee. It’s averaging 4.9 stars on Amazon. It is also available in paperback. Please check it out.

I would love to tell you all about it, but instead, I have to turn the writing duties over to my dog whose name is Danny. You see, he can be pretty insistent at times. We recently had some excitement in our lives and he can’t wait to tell you about it. For what it’s worth, this is a true story. And when you are finished reading it, please click on the link to my book and check it out. Danny is not the only genius in our household.
Danny Goes to the Beach

What a time I had yesterday! I went to the beach with my human.
Good morning, I’m Danny the Dog, teller of tales, bon vivant, all around good dog and lover of hotdogs. And oh yeah, my human’s name is Andrew. Now that you know the players, on to my story.
I like to wake Andrew up early and take him for his walk before it gets too hot. And I like our walks because there’s a whole lotta good sniffing out there. But yesterday it was Andrew that roused me from a sound sleep. I was dreaming of hotdogs. I was about to bite into a big, fat juicy hotdog when he shook me awake. I almost bit him.
Anyway, he told me we were going to the beach to watch the sun come up. When we walk, I lead the way, but when we go to the beach, Andrew drives the car because I don’t have a driver’s license. Can you believe it? Florida doesn’t give dogs driver licenses! I emailed the governor about this injustice, but I haven’t heard back from him yet. I know that not having thumbs would be problematic, how would I grip the steering wheel. But I figure I’ll worry about that after I get my license.
Sunrises, and sunsets for that matter, don’t do much for me; they have no scent, you can’t smell them. So what’s the big deal? But I allow Andrew to take me to the beach because I have my own agenda. I love to bark at other dogs. The beach we go to is secluded, and dogs are not allowed (another email I must send to the governor). However, dogs take their humans there in the early morning and as long as everyone is gone shortly after the sun comes up, there’s no trouble. And it’s a good thing for the human cops because if there was trouble I’d bite them.
So we get to the beach and Andrew sets up his folding beach chair. He’s such a wuss; can’t he just sit on the sand like everyone else? Me, he ties to a palm tree. Then he waits for the sun to come up. What does he think, it’s not going to come up unless he watching?
As I said, I have my own reasons for being there, so I start my nose a twitching. I can smell another dog from a mile away. If I were a super hero, I’d be known as SUPER SNOOT. I would sniff out my nefarious nemeses and bring them to justice. I think I’d look cool with a cape. I look good in blue, so it would be blue with a big red “D” emblazoned right in the middle of it. Danny the Dog, mild-mannered dog by day, SUPER SNOOT by night! I like the sound of that.
I digress, back to my story.
So Andrew’s getting excited because the sun is coming up (what a surprise!). And I’m sniffing for dogs when all of a sudden I detect something good, as in chicken-bone good. So I put my super snoot to the ground and start my search. Of course, being SUPER SNOOT I find the bones right away. They were only a few inches under the sand. But before I take one of those delightful bones into my mouth, I give Andrew a surreptitious glance to make sure he isn’t going to ruin my fun. I needn’t have worried, his attention was on a red ball coming up out of the ocean, turning the clouds a bright pink and orange; some clouds were still purple. So he was engaged. That’s when I bit into the first bone. CRUNCH! At the sound, Andrew turned and saw my find. I didn’t know the old guy could move that fast. He was out of his chair, and before I could do anything about it, he had my whole stash. At least I had half a bone in my mouth and he wasn’t going to get that.
The short of it is, I distracted Andrew from his precious sunrise. He took my bones, and I didn’t get to bark at a single dog. What a bust! On the ride home, I didn’t go over and lick his face as I usually do. I was mad at him and he was mad at me. But when we got home all was forgiven and he gave me a hotdog. That’s why I keep him around.

My next adventure will be published in SUPER SNOOT Comics. Look for it at your local comic book store.

Want to find out more about Andrew and his novel, Molly Lee?
Then check out the links below! 




Thank you Andrew and Danny for stopping by! *pets danny*

I hope everyone enjoyed this post and as always, Happy Reading!

Friday, July 24, 2015

#FF | Follow Friday #32 | Favorite Movies!



Hi everyone! It's been a long while since I done a FF post so I thought today would be a great day to start doing them again. I used to do them every week when I first started blogging but ended up stopping. Anyhoo, this weeks question is about another one of my passions, MOVIES!

Happy Friday!






This week's question is:
What is your favorite movie? – Suggested by A Kernel of Nonsense


This question is a hard one for me since I have so many favorite movies, so I am going to divide the question up into parts. I will be telling my favorite movie(s) for all of my favorite genres. 

In horror, my favorite movie series is Paranormal Activity.
In comedies, my favorite movies are The Change-Up and Nutty Professor 1 and 2.
In Animationmy favorite movies are Frozen, Big Hero 6, and The Little Mermaid
In Drama, my all time favorite movie is Titanic! I watched it 16 times in the theaters when it first came out. 

In Sci-Fi or fantasy, a few of my favorites are The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, and Predestination.



If you decide to follow me (which would be awesome if you did) please follow via Bloglovin or GFC. Anyway is fine really and all ways can be found on the right sidebar. :) Be sure to leave me a comment with a link to your blog so I can visit you back and follow back as well. 

To all new followers and all of my old ones (YOU ROCK) happy friday! Hope you all enjoy your weekend. I'm planning one spending some time by the pool with a book. XD

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

DOUBLE Book Review: Yolo Juliet by William Shakespeare & Brett Wright // srsly Hamlet by William Shakespeare & Courtney Carbone

Title: Yolo Juliet
Author: William Shakespeare & Brett Wright
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published: May 26th, 2015 
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA - Graphic Novels > Retelling
Source: via publisher



Romeo and Juliet, one of the greatest love stories ever told . . . in texts?!

Imagine: What if those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!

Two families at war.
A boy and a girl in love.
A secret marriage gone oh-so-wrong.

and h8. The classics just got a whole lot more interesting. ;)

tl;dr A Shakespeare play told through its characters texting with emojis, checking in at certain locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for hip theater lovers and teens.


A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For example: tl;dr means too long; didn’t read.

Purchase at: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Kobo | Indiebound


Today's generation is all about technology. Cell phones, e-readers, tablets, computers and many other devices we use to have fun, communicate and live. Have you ever wonder what it would have been like if hundreds of years ago we had this same technology? 
YOLO Juliet does just that! The beloved classic tale by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet gets bumped into the 21st century now being told by text messages. Yes, you heard right, text messages as well as fun little emoji's we often use. Hmm...I wonder if Romeo has the new iPhone? 0_o 

The story of Romeo and Juliet has been a fan favorite of mine for a long time. I read the book in HS and really enjoyed watching the Leonardo Dicaprio version of the movie. I could quote the book word for word. I totally loved reading YOLO Juliet, in fact, I read it twice cover to cover. I really enjoyed how the story was being told from such a fresh and unique perspective. I mean texting is now even more popular than picking up the phone and calling someone. To take such an amazing story re-told many times throughout history and give it a massive "upgrade" is not only a fantastic idea but one that will not soon be forgotten. The younger generation will enjoy reading this book, as well as us older kids. ;)  

One of many of my favorite parts of the book is the emoji's used throughout the book. Many of them are used to display who is who in the book and what certain words mean. For instants, a means "kill". The  would be used instead of the word. Also, the story itself was not written in the classic Shakespeare wording, like: 

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

would become:
what's the point of names anyway? srsly, you could call a
 a different name, and it would
just as sweet.



All in all, YOLO Juliet is a super fun remake of one of Shakespeare finest works. I loved every second of it. If you're a fan of this classic tale and love texting then this book is right up your alley! 


Romeo & Juliet + Cell phone = AWESOMESAUCE


Totally EPIC! One of the best books I have read. A MUST read!!


Title: srsly Hamlet
Author: William Shakespeare & Courtney Carbone
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published: May 26th, 2015 
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA - Graphic Novels > Retelling
Source: via publisher


Hamlet, one of the greatest stories ever told . . . in texts?!

Imagine: What if Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, and the tragic Ophelia had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!
A kingdom on the brink of war.
A stolen throne.
A boy seeking revenge.
and h8. The classics just got a whole lot more interesting. ;)
tl;dr A Shakespeare play told through its characters texting with emojis, checking in at certain locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for hip theater lovers and teens. 
A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For example: tl;dr means too long; didn’t read.

Purchase at: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Kobo | Indiebound


srsly Hamlet also has the same idea using cell phones to tell the story but this time the book being retold is HAMLET. Now I myself have never read the book/play. Of course I have heard of it before, I think everyone has. So this was all new to me. A whole new set of characters all of which I know nothing about. This for me was good and bad. Bad because some of the story I didn't understand until I got more into the book, which was a little confusing because of the emoji's being thrown into the storyline. And Good because I got to finally read Hamlet and it turns out I really enjoyed it. The romance, the war between each other, betrayal and most of all a lot of death. Like basically everyone dies at the end of the book. x_x 

Besides all the doom and gloom, I ended up totally liking the book and I think others will too. Being told through cell phones gives the story so much more character and easier to understand. It's a fun little read for kids who want to get into the classics or even adults who grew up reading them. I definitely recommend, srsly Hamlet it each and everyone one of you! (as long as you don't mind depressing endings...ha!)


 Totally Awesome! I loved it, would read again.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Book Spotlight: Gone for You by Jayne Frost | Guest Post & Giveaway!



Hello, everyone! Today I have a special treat in store for you all. Author Jayne Frost has recently had published her new book, Gone for You. A sexy contemporary romance novel that you won’t need to turn up the heat—Gone for You has plenty! In this post, you can learn all about the book and the author as well as read a riveting guest post by Jayne. Oh, and let's not forget a GIVEAWAY to win a copy of your very own! 

Enjoy!



Title: Gone for You
Author: Jayne Frost
Available in Paperback & ebook, 174 pages
Published: April 28th, 2015 by Sixth Street Press
Genre: Adult - Sexy Contemporary Romance


As the guitarist for the rock band Caged, I know the rules: no relationships. No complications. Leave ‘em smiling when you go, but always go. Besides, it’s not like I’m ever in one place for more than a few days at a time. As the next hottest thing out of Austin, the band and me are riding the wave, and the music is all that matters. 

Until her…

Lily Tennison has “complication” written across her beautiful face. But I can’t get involved. The timing’s all wrong. But she’s under my skin, and I can’t resist her troubled eyes and sweet smile. And I do have a little time to kill. Not much, just a few days in Dallas.

So I’ll scratch the itch and move on, like I always do.

Simple, right?


CHAPTER 1 – GONE FOR YOU BY JAYNE FROST
My knee bounced up and down nervously as the cab inched along in the heavy afternoon traffic on I35. Pulling out my cell phone, I hit redial.
“Yeah?” Logan answered, sounding as frazzled as I felt.
“Have you heard anything?” Biting off a piece of my nail, I spit it on the floorboard.
From the front seat, the cab driver glared at me in the rearview mirror. I gave him an apologetic smile.
“Not in the last five minutes,” Logan said, his exasperation evident. “I told you I’d call if I heard anything. Where are you?”
Looking around, I tried to find anything that looked remotely familiar. I was from Austin, for Christ’s sake. The only time I ever ventured the two hundred miles north to Dallas was for a gig or a football game.
“Fuck, dude. I have no clue.”
“Just get here as fast as you can. Christian’s phone is still off.”
The exasperation in Logan’s voice had an edge of fear. The same fear I felt fluttering in my belly.
“I’ll be there as soon as I can.” I raked a hand through my hair. “Just call if...”
“Yeah, yeah, I will. Fuck. Lindsey just walked in. I gotta go.”
Before I could reply, the line went dead. I was a buffer between Logan and our half-witted manager, Lindsey. The insensitive bitch could work him up in a hot minute under the best of circumstances. I met the driver’s gaze in the mirror.
“Hey, man, how much farther?”
The cabbie gave me a half shrug. “About twenty minutes in this traffic.”
Taking off my sunglasses, I rubbed my tired eyes. When I got the call that Christian had been in an accident, I jumped in the first cab I could find, not bothering to wait for the car service the label had on standby. At the moment, I regretted that particular decision. The fucking cab looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in a year, and the driver looked like he hadn’t bathed in just as long. His funk permeated the entire space.
Reaching over, I hit the button to crack the window. Nothing. I hit it again.
“Hey, man, can you open the window back here?” I barked over the music.
“No can do. Too many fumes out there.”
I stared at him incredulously. Unfuckingbelievable. It smelled like a dog’s ass in here, and the dude was oblivious. Dropping my head against the back of the seat, I closed my eyes.
“Before we get back to our super set, we’ve got some news,” the DJ on the local rock station began in a somber voice. “I’ve just gotten word that Christian Sears, bassist for the band Caged, has been involved in an accident this afternoon in Dallas...”
“Oh, man. That’s terrible,” his female counterpart cut in. “I hope it’s nothing serious.”
Sitting bolt upright, I leaned forward. “Turn that up!”
Startled, the driver reached for the volume button on the radio. The speakers crackled to life.
“We haven’t got any official word yet on his condition. Caged is scheduled to perform this Saturday at the AT&T Stadium. We’ll keep y’all advised. Our thoughts are with you Christian.” And just like that, the DJ went back into his cheery radio persona.
“And now back to our Monday super set. Here’s the latest from Caged, ’Above Me,’ on 97.1 The Eagle.”
I hit the cracked, vinyl seat with a balled fist.
“I knew you looked familiar,” the cabbie said, his smile fading when he met my gaze in the rearview mirror. “You’re Colin, right? The guitarist from Caged?”
“Cameron,” I said wearily. “Cameron Knight.” I managed to give him a halfhearted smile. “Man, I love your music.” Cutting across two lanes of traffic, he jerked the cab onto the shoulder, spitting up gravel. “I’ll get you there as soon as I can. Hold on.”
My chest contracted as the air left my lungs, my shoulders sagging in relief.
“Thanks, man, I appreciate it.”
As the cab barreled past the four lanes of gridlock, I curled my fingers into the edge of the seat so I wouldn’t slide around. The lump of dread in my throat was like coal—dry and bitter. I swallowed hard to dislodge it. And I prayed.
































Romance.

I write romance. So when a story starts to take shape in my head, one of the first questions I ask myself: Is this romantic?

Since we are all the products of our own experiences, what I might think is romantic may not appeal to everyone.

When I wrote my first romance novel, I gave it to a friend to read. Since she was my friend, she gushed about the story and the writing, all the things that a friend is supposed to do. She did, however, make one comment that struck me.

“It’s a perfect story,” She said with a smile. “Even with the insta-love thing going on.”
Insta-love?
What did that even mean? Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen?

I thought back to my own experiences, all the way back to my first love.

I met him when I was fourteen. And when I say met him, I mean a lightning bolt struck me down in the spot where I was standing because I knew this person was someone so important that I had to know him. He was a couple years older, but still just a boy.

He didn’t pick me up for our first date with flowers in hand. I think he spent most of his money putting gas in his car. Which is really practical, when you think about it. And besides, he didn’t come to the front door, so there was no place for me to put the imaginary flowers that I never received.

I was too young to date, according to my parents at least, so we met at a party. But it was a date, I assure you.

And a scant five days later while I was laying on the bedroom floor with the phone pressed to my ear, he uttered those three little words that changed my life: I love you.

It didn’t matter that we were in different places, geographically speaking, when he said the words. It was a school night, so I was at my place and he was at his. But he said them. I felt them. And we knew them, him and me. It was love.

Not everyone shared our enthusiasm. When I told my mother about my little romance, she was quick to give me her thoughts on the matter.

“It’s puppy love,” she said with a smile. “Enjoy it. “

My own smile quickly faded when she continued. “Because in a few months, you won't even remember his name. You’ll fall in love many times before you find ‘the one.’”

Since I believed my mother to be the vessel of all knowledge, I was crestfallen by that statement. But I didn’t take her advice. I didn’t play the field as she suggested. And my boy was right there, front and center on my fifteenth birthday a few months later. The silence that fell over the room when he handed me the little box that held the ring with the tiny diamond was deafening.

“Who gives a fifteen year old girl a ring?” I heard my mother tell my grandmother later that evening. “This is the nineties, not the fifties.”

The funny thing is, my boy never asked me to marry him when gave me that ring. He just wanted me to wear it. And I did. It wasn’t about an engagement or a wedding. It was about love.

My sixteen-year-old daughter found the ring in my jewelry box one day. The band was so thin that it bent in this weird oval shape and the diamond was so small, I don’t think it registered on the carat scale.

I quickly told her to put the ring back in the box, and no, she couldn’t wear it.

She gave me the oddest look as she gazed at the two-carat marquise solitaire on my wedding band.

“Whatever, mom.”

She put the ring back in the jewelry box. My husband had given me that box; it played the song from the first dance at our wedding.

As soon as she left, I took the ring out, like I'd done so many times before, and I slipped it on the ring finger of my right hand. That’s where I always wore it, mostly because my mother would’ve have had a cat if I put it on my left hand. Because that would have made it an engagement ring and “fifteen is too young for that kind of nonsense.” (I’m paraphrasing here.)

When my husband walked in and caught me sitting on the couch in our bedroom, he looked down at my hand.

“What are you wearing that for?” He asked, taking a seat next to me and pulling me in his arms.

I snuggled into his chest, still looking up at the misshapen piece of metal with the non-existent stone.

How could I explain what the ring meant to me? The token of affection


from the boy that told me he loved me five days after we met. It shaped everything that I am. It shaped my entire view on love and romance, the way I think about it, and the way I write about it. It was everything, that little ring.

I shrugged and looked up at the man I married, the father of my only child.

“Because you gave it to me.”

So at the end of the day, I will continue to write about insta-love and happily ever afters. And though I’m likely to have some readers admonish me for that, I won’t change it, because I believe in those things. I know they exist.

About The Author: Jayne Frost

You can find me at Twitter at @jaynefrostbooks, Facebook, Pinterest, and my website.


I guess I should start with the basics. The backstory. I was born and raised in California. At this point I'm usually asked what it was like to grow up near the beach, but sadly, I don't know. I grew up in the "other" part of California. Perfect for an aspiring writer, if you ask me. You learn a lot about keeping yourself busy when the nearest house is a mile away...and it belongs to your grandparents.

By the time I went to high school, I started writing romance. Why? Because I met my very own prince charming. I wrote love poems in my journal about the green eyed boy that stole my heart. He promised, the way all storybook hero's do, to sweep me away and take me on a grand adventure. And he did. 

We picked up and moved to the Lone Star State, and began the story of us. The best stories begin without a road map or a compass. Veering off course makes the journey so much more interesting. 

True to form, just when I thought my life was set, we started the next adventure. I traded in my cowboy boots and followed my green eyed boy to Las Vegas. My home will always be in Texas, but my heart is anywhere that he is. 


Writing is what I love. I might stray from the romance every now and then if that is what moves me...but I always come back. Some of the stories don't seem romantic at all. They are gritty stories about flawed characters that find each other and hold on tight. Those are the stories that speak to me. Because that's life. I believe that every story should have a happy ending- even the difficult ones.
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