Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

HopelessLife is seriously messed up, and quite honestly there’s nothing you can do about it but keep on living. And seventeen year old Sky’s simple life is about to get more messed up than she ever imagined. Her entire life she’s been home schooled by her overprotective, anti-technology, adoptive mother. She hasn’t been subjected to things like cell phones, computers, tablets, and the only way she gets to watch TV is when she slips out her bedroom window and sneaks across the alley to her best friend’s house. But she’s about to turn eighteen, and after some heavy convincing she’s managed to talk her mom into allowing her to attend public school her senior year.

The thing is, Sky’s coming to school with a promiscuous reputation, on account of all the boys she’s snuck into her bedroom in order to make out. It doesn’t matter to anyone that nothing more than heavy kissing has come out of those makeout sessions, or that Sky herself pretty much checks out and just endures the experience, counting the stars on her ceiling and pretending she’s not there at all. All anyone seems to care about is that she’s a slut, and the make sure she knows all about it, decorating her locker with nasty notes and propositions that amuse her more than annoy her.

Then she meets Dean Holder. Rumors say Holder got kicked out of school after he beat a gay student half to death. Gossip brands him as dangerous, temperamental, cruel… and Sky’s first meeting with him suggests he’s just a little bit crazy, but what the rumors don’t seem to mention is the heavy burden of grief pressing down on him since his twin sister Lessley committed suicide. When the two of them start running together, Sky can’t help but be intrigued, even when everything about Holder seems to be true–at least on the surface.

Moody, angry, suspicious, there are times Sky actually wonders if Holder has multiple personalities. One minute he’s the sweetest guy she’s ever met, and the next he’s raging irrationally over something she can’t even begin to understand. And he has no explanations to offer. He gives her nothing but more confusion, and the deeper their emotional bond becomes, the harder it is to just walk away–even when she knows it’s probably for the best. He is utterly HOPELESS, just like the tattoo on his arm suggests, but there’s something about him, and no matter how she tries to stay away, she can’t.

Thing is, Holder knows things about Sky, things he isn’t saying…

View JenniferMelzer.com for more:
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

My DragonCon 2015 Schedule

Princess Alethea -- DragonCon 2011The con is still two weeks out, so this is subject to change, but here’s what I’ve got right now. Also, not 100% sure I’m walking in the parade yet. Will update everyone when I know for sure.

——————-

Title: Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow
Description: Readings, music, & more from a motley band of costumed authors, plus swag!
Time: Fri 07:00 pm Location: A707 – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis, Leanna Renee Hieber, Gray Rinehart, Lisa Mantchev, Delilah S. Dawson, Zac Brewer, D.B. Jackson)

——————-
Title: Reading: Alethea Kontis
Time: Sat 01:00 pm Location: Marietta – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis)

——————-
Title: Autograph Session
Time: Sat 02:30 pm Location: International Hall South – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis, Sherrilyn Kenyon)

——————-
Title: The Source: Folklore & Mythology in UF
Description: Urban fantasy is rooted in age-old myth, legend, and folklore. Authors discuss influences.
Time: Sun 01:00 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Alethea Kontis, Leanna Renee Hieber, Jean Marie Ward, Jonathan Maberry, Valerie Hampton, Samantha Sommersby)

——————-
Title: An Hour with Sherrilyn Kenyon
Description: The bestselling author of Darkhunter and Chronicles of Nick series answers your questions.
Time: Sun 04:00 pm Location: Augusta Ballroom – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alethea Kontis)

The post My DragonCon 2015 Schedule appeared first on AletheaKontis.com.

View AletheaKontis.com for more:
My DragonCon 2015 Schedule

Teaser Tuesday: Boys Don’t Cry

boys don't cry teaser 3

Pre-order special: 99 cents

Amazon

Amazon US, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, France, Spain, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, The Netherlands

Kobo

iBooks

Nook

All Romance ebooks

View JenniferMelzer.com for more:
Teaser Tuesday: Boys Don’t Cry

Results of Hidden Gem Sale, Book Covers – Episode 133

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I talk about the results of Hunters sale on Audible and my thoughts on covers for the Refugees series and Cowry Catchers.

View The Worlds Of Abigail Hilton Podcast for more:
Results of Hidden Gem Sale, Book Covers – Episode 133

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Maybe SomedayAfter I finished Confess, I wanted to read about a thousand books by Colleen Hoover. She doesn’t have a thousand, but there are definitely a few to choose from, so my next stop was Maybe Someday.

Sydney is more or less content with her life. She’s attending college to pursue the career she wants, paving her own way, and tentatively avoiding plans to move in with her boyfriend Hunter. She loves Hunter, sure, but she sort of wants to be on her own for a bit, and he doesn’t seem to get that. Or maybe he understands it better than she thinks… because Hunter is sleeping with Sydney’s best friend/roommate, Tori, playing a little hide and seek behind her back, sometimes while Sydney’s right there in the apartment.

Her guilty pleasure is sitting on the balcony to do her homework while her gorgeous, guitar-playing neighbor practices his playlist. She tries not to make herself too obvious, refuses to allow herself to flirt, but when Ridge holds up a piece of paper with his phone number, silently pleading for her to text him, it practically sends Sydney into panic mode. Was she that obvious? At first she refuses, but Ridge is insistent. He needs help, and he’s convinced she’s the one who can give it to him. See… Ridge has writer’s block. He’s been struggling for months to come up with lyrics to his band’s songs, and he’s been watching Sydney sing along while he plays. He thinks if she can text him some of the lyrics she’s been singing, it’ll either break the block or form a partnership between them, but first he has to convince Sydney to get over her shyness and show him what she’s been singing…

View JenniferMelzer.com for more:
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Waiting On Wednesday: Boys Don’t Cry

With just about a month until Boys Don’t Cry is available for your reading pleasure, I thought I would introduce you to Taliesin Wick. Chapter one in its entirety is available below. If what you read here intrigues you, you can pre-order your copy of Boys Don’t Cry, which is on sale for just $.99 through release day. The price will shoot up to $2.99 after release, so now’s the perfect time to grab it. You can find it for sale at the following retailers:

Amazon

Amazon US, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, France, Spain, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, The Netherlands

Kobo

iBooks

Nook

All Romance ebooks

Follow the jump for chapter one.

Chapter One

My dad is one of those people who sees the potential for beauty in everything that crosses his vision. If it’s broken, he can fix it. Rundown? He’ll lift it up again. Mom says he should have been a motivational speaker, that he could have made us rich by helping people find their potential happiness, but he chose to flip historical houses instead.

I guess in some ways, I’m sort of like him in that aspect, only I tend to do it with pixels, imaginary kingdoms and people. I build them from the ground up.

We have weird dreams, I guess. And sometimes listening to him ramble on about things like wood grain and antique wainscoting makes me gawk at him like he’s from another planet, but then he gets this look in his eye, the strangest smile lights up his entire face, and I realize that’s sort of how I feel about video games. The blank canvas, something that’s mine and mine alone, I will build you a kingdom and fill it with wonderful, memorable imaginary friends.

Dad says I’ll probably be responsible for the next Dragon Age one day. More of that silly motivational nonsense he picked up from the self-betterment audiobooks he likes to listen to when we’re traveling. Even Mom believes there are things to be learned from those audiobooks, but mostly I block out their wisdom with heavy-duty headphones and a mix of techno and soundtracks.

Dad’s rules for making the world a better place don’t stop with inanimate objects. He’s like a ray of sunshine beaming across every single thing that comes within reach, and while it’s certainly a beautiful thing having a father who doesn’t seem to have a care in the world, there’s nothing more annoying than Chipper Chipmunk at nine a.m.

“Tali.” I’ve never quite been sure how he gets his voice so high pitched, the squeak of it burrowing past the thick foam padding and nipping at my eardrums. “Pancakes, pancakes, bacon too! Let’s have pancakes, me and you!”

My arm swipes out, swatting him away like a vicious gnat that won’t stop buzzing around my face and when my hand comes in contact with the scruffy warmth of his face I actually grin a little before burrowing my chin deeper into my shoulder.

“Daaaaaad, stop! It’s too early for the pancake jingle.”

“How about waffles then?”

It occurs to me that the song of the highway is no longer carrying me swiftly through the night. The inertial tug on my belly is absent, and the light painted against my eyelids is much brighter than the dome hovering between the back seats of the van. I peel one sleep-encrusted eye open to peer out at the world around me, but the sun pours through the windows, edging over his shoulder to touch my face.

Art crouches in the seat to his left, his round face beaming brighter than the sun, and every instinct inside me wants to poke the smile right from his smarmy little face.

“Waffle House,” my brother announces, and then he scurries backward through the open door, dropping down to join our mother while she stretches yoga-style in the parking lot, lifting my sister Gwen up above her to add some weight to her stretch.

“Where are we?” I lower the headphones around my neck and tilt my head right until my joints crack, alleviating some of the cramping from sleeping like a vagabond in the back of a moving train. I don’t need to swipe my hand across my face to know I was drooling, and I can only imagine what my hair looks like stuffed into my hoodie, wild rainbow tangles jutting every which way but straight, but even that subtle movement is enough to draw attention to how hungry I am.

“Historic Chambersburg,” Dad says, dropping back onto his heels and, thankfully, blocking out the sun. “It’s 8:30, and we have about three hours, or so, until we get to Sonesville, but Mom’s hungry and Art has to pee, and I figured you could use some pancakes.”

“Waffles.”

“Chocolate chip waffles,” he winks and begins backing out of the van. “I’ll save you a seat.”

I draw my stretched out legs up, wrap my arms around my knees and pull myself halfway up. My back is killing me, and while I am feeling hungry, I think I’d give my left arm right now if I could just tie into my running shoes and make dust. My muscles need more than just stretched; they need worked, pounded until my body aches from exertion, not inactivity. We’ve been driving for an eternity, since Texas, Mom, Dad and me taking turns at the wheel and only stopping for food, fuel and bathroom breaks. I honestly don’t know how we did it, but here we are.

Pennsylvania.

I stretch my neck to look around. For the most part Chambersburg doesn’t look so bad, and I imagine Sonesville will be more or less the same, though probably not as densely populated. All the research I did online suggests it’s very much middle-of-nowheresville. Farms stretching as far as the eye can see, and a population barely peaking at two thousand people, it’s going to be a huge adjustment… for everyone.

From what I see beyond the window, it’s greener than Austin, with a lush thickness to the grass carpeting the curb against the sidewalk. I feel the humidity rolling in through the open door and I already know we’ve traded one hellish summer for another. I’ll be halfway through the parking lot before my clothes start sticking to my body like duct tape and by the time the air conditioning of the Waffle House sweeps out to welcome me into faux winter my hair is going to look like I was locked up in a tower doing science experiments for weeks.

Dropping onto the concrete, I tug my hood down around my face, blocking out the sun and keeping my unruly locks in check, then I march toward the restaurant to rejoin my family. I hear them before I see them, which truth be told, isn’t exactly hard in a Waffle House. I swear these places are made like Wild West saloons, so everyone in the building can turn to gawk at whoever walks through the bell-chimed doors, narrowing their eyes in suspicion.

Dad, Gwen and Art are already wearing their black and yellow paper hats, and Mom is wrestling Gwen into the booster seat, but she doesn’t want to sit. She wants to stand in the booth and wave her chubby little fingers at the old couple sitting two tables away from ours. They glimpse me as I approach the table, the colorful strands of hair snaking out of my hood and bouncing around my face with every step, and all the smiles they have for my little sister fade as they sink down into their seats and ignore the crazy family from out of town.

“They’re all out of waffles.” Art smirks up at me, the slight overbite of his front teeth and mussed golden brown curls making him look even more cartoonish and ridiculous than he usually does. He crowds in beside our mom, squishing her between himself and the booster seat Gwen still refuses to sit in.

“Are they all out of high chairs for baby Art, too?” I slide in next to Dad and he elbows me a warning not to start. I don’t even have to look over at him to see the unspoken reminder on his face that I’m eighteen years old and well above that kind of childish behavior. I know the grimace well, but Art’s almost twelve, and he really brings out the worst in me, especially before I’ve had my morning coffee.

Three minutes ago, all I could think about was how much I was going to respect the refreshment of that air conditioning, but I’m already cold and anxious to steal Dad’s body heat as I tuck into myself and snuggle closer. I tilt my head to rest on the shoulder of a faded black Depeche Mode t-shirt that’s almost a decade older than I am.

“They heard you were coming and dumped all the chocolate chips into the trash,” Art adds, pushing across the table so his paper dining mat shoves into mine and sends it into my lap.

“That’s enough, Arthur. Sit down before the waitress comes.” Mom sighs and sweeps her hand across her brow like she’s got a headache. Sitting next to Art, I wouldn’t be surprised. He does that to me, too.

I can only imagine how long my siblings have been up, whining from the middle seat about starving, dying of dehydration, having to go potty, needing a new DVD in the player to entertain them. Gwen’s only three, so she can hardly be blamed when she starts throwing a tantrum, but Art really should know better. He’s been traveling like this his entire life, bouncing from home to home, school to school, starting over every time he thinks he’s settled in. It doesn’t bother me much, I sort of like seeing the country this way, but the last two times Dad’s finished a house, packed our belongings and moved us onto the next one, it’s really taken its toll on my little brother. He got used to Austin. He made friends there and started to believe we’d never leave, but then Dad found a historic Victorian in Sonesville, Pennsylvania, and it wasn’t long before we were on the road again and speeding toward another new life.

It sort of sucks. He’s trying really hard to hide his frustration with it all from Dad because our father’s excitement is contagious. Seeing him happy is a beautiful thing, but I know my brother. It’s an act, and when Art’s not happy, I’m not happy. He works really hard to make sure of that.

God, I don’t know if I can do this all again, even if it’s just for the summer.

Our waitress comes, lowering plastic cups with straws in front of Mom so she can pass them out, then she pours the three of us coffee before asking if we’re ready to order. It’s strange, the absence of the southern twang I’ve grown accustomed to over the last three years. There’s no y’all, and while she’s pleasant enough there’s nothing welcoming or hospitable about the smile she plasters on for us before promising to put our orders in straight away.

I could have stayed in Austin. I got accepted into the Interactive Games Studies program at St. Edward’s University back in December. Merry Christmas to me! Then Dad put the house he spent the last three years restoring on the market, tamping down any plans I might or might not have been considering about living at home while matriculating. Now when I go back, if I go back, I’ll have to stay on campus.

“I miss Austin.” The words are spoken before I’ve even had time to think them through, and for a moment everyone but Gwen grows quiet. She’s patting her hands on the table, splashing little fingers into the ring of condensation left behind by the cup Mom’s already moved out of her reach.

I can always go back. Dad promised, and I know he wants to see me pursue this budding dream of mine, but we’ve spent so much of our lives living this way, traveling together like some kind of circus, and I just don’t know if I can let go of that. Not yet.

Art won’t ever admit it, but he’ll struggle without me there to back him up.

I keep telling myself maybe Pennsylvania will suck. Maybe it’ll be so awful here, I’ll find the courage to let go and set out on my own, but then I look at my stupid little brother with the tip of his straw poking into his nose and I wonder if Art would make it without me.

Reaching across the table, I slap the straw, catching him off guard and making him sniff chocolate milk into his nose. He starts coughing, and Mom’s whacking him on the back, her stern brown eyes glaring at the beads of cow juice soaking into the pictures of pancakes and waffles coloring Art’s place mat.

“You’re—such—a—jerk!” he chokes out.

And then Gwen’s shouting the word ‘jerk’ with glee, slapping her hands together in celebration and giggling at the mess our brother’s made because Gwen likes messes. They’re her favorite thing.

“Thank God we’re almost there,” Mom groans, swiping napkins from the dispenser to sop up the mess. “I don’t know how much more of you two I can take.”

“Kids.”

Only when Dad says it, there’s no warning, nothing aggressive in his tone. He almost sounds amused, and when Mom shoots her glare over at him I know he’s grinning at her because it’s only a matter of time before she’s smiling too.

View JenniferMelzer.com for more:
Waiting On Wednesday: Boys Don’t Cry

Confess by Colleen Hoover

confessWhen I finished reading My Skylar by Penelope Ward, my husband thought for a minute and then said, “I think I know what you might like much more.” He thrust Confess by Colleen Hoover into my hands and said, “I really like Maybe Someday, but I haven’t read this yet. You might like it.”

So I read the description and found myself intrigued by the concept of using other people’s anonymous confessions to create art. I read the first two chapters, put the book down, swooned a little and wondered where Colleen Hoover had been all my life.

Twenty-one year old Auburn knows exactly what she needs to do to put the pieces of her broken life back together. She needs a good lawyer, one that’s going to cost her a lot more than she’s making working as a stylist. Walking home from her meeting with the lawyer, she passes an art studio with written confessions plastered all over the front windows. Amid them is a help wanted sign, a hand reaching out from within to quickly change the level of desperation required by the artist within. Owen only opens his studio gallery once each month, selling the paintings he creates from other people’s anonymous confessions at such prices he can afford to spend the weeks in between showings creating.

Owen’s former partner and ex-girlfriend left him high and dry. He didn’t know their break-up meant she wouldn’t be participating in the business anymore, which means he needs someone NOW, possibly twenty minutes ago because the gallery opens tonight. Promising to pay Auburn $200 for two hours of work, she overlooks his eccentricities and the bizarre nature of his request because she really needs the money for that lawyer. Owen watches as she browses the paintings in his gallery, reading the confessions, and in her he sees something rare: someone who gets it, someone who isn’t drawn in by the scandalous nature of the confessions themselves, but the emotional resonance emanating from every painting on the walls.

The thing is, Owen already knows Auburn…

View JenniferMelzer.com for more:
Confess by Colleen Hoover