Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hopeless For You by Hayden Hill

Hopeless For You
By Hayden Hill
Published: September 19, 2013
Genre: New Adult

"If I am more alive because love burns and chars me, as a fire, given wood or wind, feels new elation, it's that he who lays me low is my salvation, and invigorates the more, the more he scars me."
― Michelangelo

Ash Jensen, a squeaky-clean sophomore at the University of Tennessee, has a trail of baggage a mile long―she buried her fiancĂ© only a year and a half ago. She swore she'd never love again but when she finds herself interned to a yummy Canadian conservation officer that promise is tested big-time. Kade Gyllenhahl sports wild tattoos, a rebellious attitude and a fohawk to die for. He's definitely the wrong man for her and she knows it.

Kade doesn't have time for a girl like her. She's a pretentious, unreadable princess who lives her life by her parents' rules. Kade knows nothing about her past and he'd prefer to keep it that way. Besides, he'll lose his job if he sleeps with Ash. Now if only he could get his mind off her.

When the two of them end up alone and isolated on a routine field trip in the woods, things get a little complicated...

One man afraid of commitment.
One woman afraid to love again.
Two lives.
Two hearts.
One life-changing journey.

J&M's Book Diaries rating:

J&M's review:

Hopeless For You was just breathtaking….

Set in the wilderness of Vancouver B.C. Kade Gyllenhahl is a 22 year old anti-romantic, a bruised soul from having to lose his pregnant girlfriend and unborn child when he was only 17 yrs. old to another man.

Kade standing at 6 feet tall has a hot face, a muscular body, sexy tattoos, tousled-spiky dark hair and sea-grean eyes. He is the ultimate bad-boy and man-whore. Living in Vancouver City he couldn't wait to get back to his summer job at the Peregrine Center out in the wilderness of Canada where he felt like he made a purpose.

18 months before her intern to the center, Ash Jensen lost the love of her life and boyfriend of 3 years the night of there engagement party. She was crushed and broken. Her best friend Gina was on a mission and convinced Ash to embark in a journey outside of Tennessee. As premed students they both interned to The Peregrine Center.

Upon landing at the center Ash and Gina were immediately introduced to Kade and his room mate Blaine who they were partnered up and interned to. At first glance both Ash and Kade had immediate attraction. Kade was drawn to Ash. He never wanted anyone so badly, he wanted to protect her from all the harm in the world, and make Ash his.

For a new author Hayden Hill did a brilliant job at capturing her readers. The story picked up momentum immediately and never once faltered in its intensity. Kade & Ash have a smoldering connection that becomes evident instantly.

The plot twist was interesting and surprising. We enjoyed how the story can throw a curve ball that we didn't see coming and we appreciate how this bend in the plot was tackled, believable and not over-the-top.

The side characters also made for and nice rounded story and we can't wait to know more about Blaine and Gina.

When the story ended, we were completely satisfied reader. We are intrigued, captivated, enthralled, emotional, and enamored with them as individuals and as a couple. The story wrapped up very nicely and we can't wait to read more on Ash & Kade or Gina & Blaine. This book was just utter perfection, completely amazing!

We would also like to thank Hayden Hill for allowing us the chance to read an ARC of her first book. We genuinely enjoyed every moment of this journey you took us on. This story has us so excited & we are looking forward to any upcoming projects you have in the near future!

Meet Hayden Hill

Hayden Hill is the author of HOPELESS FOR YOU. When not writing, publishing, and blogging, Hayden is busy cycling and taking pictures in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A romantic at heart, Hayden is always looking to take that one picture or write that one story that will move the world. Maybe someday.
If you live in Edmonton or will be visiting, feel free to drop Hayden an email and say hello—Hayden is always looking for an excuse to eat White Chocolate Cheesecake with readers :)

Follow Hayden at
Goodreads: Hayden Hill
Facebook: Hayden Hill Books
Twitter: @HaydenHillBooks

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Interview Q&A's

Will there be another book to Ash & Kade's story. Is this book part of a series?

If there is another book, it will probably be about Gina and Blaine. I don't want to touch Ash and Kade, at least not yet, because they worked so hard to get together, and went through so much to make it where they are today.

What inspired you to write your first book and how long did it take you to complete it?

I love being in the great outdoors, and I love New Adult romance novels, and I wondered if I could write my own. So I sat down for eight months and came up with HOPELESS FOR YOU, my personal spin on the genre.

A lot of NA books and romance books in general are pretty formulaic, and you can tell a mile away that so-and-so is going to have sex here, and heroine A is going to push hero B away here, etc. I wanted there to be a few surprises in my book, so that when readers sensed the typical romance trope coming into play, I'd turn it around on its head and give them something unexpected! :D

Who is your favorite character in this book?

I'd have to say Kade. I mean come on, he's got a lion tattooed over his heart and a hawk inked onto his neck. Can't go wrong there. Poor guy was hurt in the past, so it's hard for him to open up, but deep down he truly loves Ash and would do anything for her, ANYTHING, even though he denies it to himself for most of the book.

How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

All the hiking and wilderness stuff is real. You can actually knock over a tree with a drill, or make fire from ice! Most of the character backgrounds and events are fictional, but the interactions and playfulness you see between the characters are all based on aspects of myself, and my observations of people.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Probably the feeling that I didn't know what I was doing, and that no one would read it or like it. But these are feelings all writers face, and I just had to blot out all those insecurities and push on. I even made a note and pasted it on my desktop: I'm going to have FUN! I don't care about sales, or if readers like it, etc... I'm going to have FUN writing this story, dammit...

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Well, there's a phrase I wrote on the cover which is the message, and overarching theme of the novel, and that phrase is: "Dare to love."

It means, dare to open up your heart and truly let someone in. Dare to love. It's not the easiest thing in the world for a lot of people, and it's a risk, it always is, and it can hurt, but it can be the most fulfilling thing in the world when it goes right.

If you can go back and change anything you have written what would it be & why?

Well, I wanted to fit in more steamy scenes between Kade and Ash, but it just didn't work with the pacing and story, so I had to leave them out. That would definitely be something I'd like to see more of in future stories.

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

Mostly indies like H.M. Ward, Jay Crownover, J.C. Reed, J. Lynn, Georgia Cates, Rachel Van Dyken.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

This is a hard one... I learned so much by reading novels from all genres, and you can definitely see the patterns emerging, and get an understanding of what readers in a specific genre expect. So I'd be definitely happy to mentor under any one of the indies I mentioned in my answer to the last question, or even under some traditionally published authors like Nora Roberts or Brenda Novak or Nicholas Sparks.

What are your current projects?

I have a fantasy novel I've been working on for the past ten years, and a science fiction book I'd like to finish someday. And of course I'm outlining a potential sequel for HOPELESS FOR YOU. Guess what it will be called? HOPELESS FOR YOU, TOO. :)

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that persistence and perseverance pay off. That I shouldn't doubt myself, and that the best writing is from the heart. That if a particular scene moves me, it will move the reader too.

Do you have any advice for other new writers?

Make sure you are widely read. Study novels from all genres. When you find the genre you like best, read as many books from it as possible. Only then are you ready to begin. :)

Hire a developmental editor appropriate to your genre when you think you're done. She'll help you get that laser sharp focus you need for your character conflicts, and improve your pacing.

Get beta readers from places like Goodreads. When you get to the point where your betas are all loving the story, you're in good shape.

Don't forget what I mentioned about making a note to yourself. You have to have fun writing the story. Don't worry about sales and all that other stuff. Have fun, otherwise you're defeating the whole point of writing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I love you all. I really do. Keep reading and supporting your favorite authors, whether they're indies or traditionals. We're all in this together :)

In my bio I mention I'm always looking for an excuse to eat White Chocolate Cheesecake with readers, and I really mean it. Feel free to get in touch!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Redemption of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

The Redemption of Callie and Kayden
By Jessica Sorensen
Published: July 30, 2013
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance

The dark secret Kayden has kept hidden for years is out. Worse, he's facing charges for battery. The only way he stands a chance against the charges is if Callie speaks up, something he'll never ask her to do.

Callie knows Kayden is going back to his dark place and desperately wants to save him. But saving him means admitting her secrets aloud. Callie and Kayden are stronger than they think, especially when they're together. Together they move forward, face their demons, and finally start to heal from their traumatic pasts.

J&M's Book Diaries rating:

J&M's review:

What a heartbreaking, emotional, & beautiful book. The Redemption; A story about looking back and accepting a horrific past, letting go, and moving forward. A true story about overcoming emotional and physical damage done by ones that are close to you.

In the first book we got to know Callie, and Kayden. These two broken people who came together to find love, & trust in each other, after years of keeping thier demons to themselves. In this second book they have to try to find away to heal and to move on & forward in life. They both have so much to work through in order to reach that happiness that they both want so bad with each other. They are the perfect couple; they are constantly facing demons but they do so much better facing them together. Together, they are the light to their dark, the hope to their despair, the laughter to their tears and the answer to their pain. They honestly complete each other.

The ending was a great lead in to what we assume will be Luke's story, and I'm looking forward to seeing what that will be.