It’s My Birthday and YOU Can Win!

JESS BDAY GIVEAWAY

I am kind of a HUGE fan of my birthday. Ever since I was a little girl, the day seemed to be filled with magic.  So, I wanted to celebrate with all of you!

I was able to get some AMAZING prizes (seriously, some of them I REALLY want for myself) from some amazing authors, bloggers, and vloggers.

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Cover Reveal & GIVEAWAY — Promise Me Forever by Sarah Ashley Jones

coverreveal

Today we are excited to participate in the cover reveal for Promise Me Forever by Sarah Ashley Jones.  Promise Me Forever is the novella sequel to Jones’ first book, Promise Me This.  The book will be released on March 17, 2014.

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I have been WAITING for this book since the moment I finished Promise Me This. Even more so, I’ve been waiting for the gorgeous cover reveal.  So, I’m pretty excited to be a part of the reveal!

So, who’s ready to see it?

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Book Tour — Promise Me This by Sarah Ashley Jones

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Today we are SO SO excited to participate in the blog tour for Promise Me This by Sarah Ashley Jones.  Promise Me This is a new adult contemporary romance that was released on June 16, 2013.

Promise Me This AMAZON GR SW

About the Book

Cover Design by Okay Creations
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

Welcome to the South – where the tea is sweet and the accents are sweeter. This Southern way of life is all Charlie has ever known. It’s not until she loses the only person who pushed her to break free of the Southern Belle mold that she starts living the life she needs and not the life her parents forced on her.

Jhett has lived on the edge for as long as he could remember – constantly teetering back and forth between being a rock star and living a normal life. His rebellious and sometimes arrogant attitude is known to get him into trouble, especially with the girls who hang on his every move.

Charlie never thought that a trip to pack up her brother’s apartment would leave her feeling even more unsettled about the grainy details of her brother’s death. Her quest for information leads her straight to his old hangout and into arms of Jhett, who suspiciously knows more about her situation than he ever should.

Only a few questions remain – Can you trust someone based on their word alone? And if you make a promise, how far will you go to keep it?

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Excerpt

TEASER2Music began to trickle through the backyard. Hannah found the outside stereo system and led me out into the grass. The backyard was strung with white lights that draped above us, which illuminated the trees that grew in the corners of the yard. Jhett watched from the porch while Hannah and I jumped around to the beats on the radio. I was fixated on him while I danced; he always seemed to draw me in, no matter how far apart we were.

“Thank you,” I mouthed to him. I knew Ginger wasn’t the only reason why Hannah had come.

“You love him, don’t you?” she whispered in my ear as our bodies still swayed in time to the beat.

Hannah’s question caused a fire to rise through my toes and up into my chest. I never thought about what loving Jhett would be like. I only knew that I didn’t want to find out what life was like without him.

“I knew it!” she accused me. My response was a short, knowing smile and nod in her direction. “He loves you, too, you know.”

I turned to Hannah and searched her eyes; I wanted to find the truth to her theory. There was a longing in them that told me she was envious, which made me wonder – was she right?

My Thoughts

Oh my gosh! I have to start off this review by saying that I didn’t realize I would love this book as much as I did.  The first line of the synopsis “Welcome to the South – where the tea is sweet and the accents are sweeter.” along with the cover were what sold me on the book to begin with.  Being from the South, I kind of understand that way of life, even if my family is nothing like Charlie’s.

So let’s talk about the writing.  Jones is an excellent writer.  I was intrigued by the synopsis, but I was hooked by the end of the first page.  The characters are well developed and had personalities that practically lept off the page.  I felt like Charlie was a much more developed character than Jhett, but I also think it worked with the story line.  Even though we got chapters from Jhett’s point of view, he was this mystery that Charlie had to figure out.  And he has all the secrets that he has to deal with.  So in a sense, we the reader were learning about him just like Charlie was.

Charlie’s grief was real and raw — as was her personality change.  I really felt her changing into what I like to call ‘California Charlie’ was authentic.  I love the balance of strong Southern charm, along with the backbone she built up when she finally started to learn about herself.

This book was more about losing someone or falling in love.  It was about learning who you are outside of others, especially your parents.  As someone who has spent her entire adult life working with college students, this is something I try to instill in my students.  You have to live your life for yourself, otherwise you will never truly be happy.  It was also about learning to move on after someone close to you dies — and to accept those people for who they were when you weren’t in their lives.  Charlie has to come to grips with Cameron when he lived apart from her, but she also had to see herself the way he saw her.  It was heart-breakingly beautiful.

I cannot gush about how much I loved this book.  There are so many new adult books that just sound like any other one.  But THIS book stands out.   I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens to Charlie, Jhett, and all the others from Promise Me This.

My rating: Four point five out of five

About the Author

sarahashleyjones

Sarah Ashley Jones was raised in San Diego, California, but currently wrangles her husband and four dogs in Clarksville, Tennessee. When she’s not writing she works in a pottery studio and comes home covered in paint on a daily basis. She has a slightly unhealthy obsession with cupcakes and chapstick. She is an eternal optimist and can often be found dancing and singing to music at any given time. It’s rare to see her not smiling or laughing, but if you do, just bring her a cupcake and it will cheer her up.

 Promise Me This is her first novel and is a story that weaseled its way into her heart and wouldn’t leave her alone until she typed it up on the computer. She already is hard at work on ideas for her next book and hopes that the

characters never stop coming to her. Her huge imagination was always in overdrive as a child and now she is beyond excited to put it to good use as an adult. She plans to write as long as she has stories that need to be told.

Connect with Sarah

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Inside the Author’s Head

1. Welcome to the blog!  Can you first tell readers what drew you to write this story?

Hi! I am super excited to be over here today! Promise Me This was never just a romance novel to me. Sure, eventually Jhett wiggled his way into the story and my heart, but I wanted to get a story out there about finding out who you really are and letting that person shine through every day. It’s something that is so very close to my heart, and I feel like so many young adults go away to college and think that they have to just follow what is the norm for them, when you should be embracing your own self image, flaws an all!

2. I know you were a blogger and beta reader before you became an authorHow do you think that has helped your writing/publishing process?

I was! I don’t know if it helped much while writing, but I know it has put into perspective the amazing things blogger do for authors. I knew that coming into being a writer, so I try keep bloggers who take the time out of their day for me, whether it was so ask me for an ARC, send out a little tweet, or feature me on their blog – I try and share my joy and love back to them. Heck, I love you guys! And I beta read for an amazing author who always was doing something special for us, so I modeled myself after her in that regards.

3. I love your character profiles on your blog!  Why did you decide to add those?

Thank you! I felt like I was sharing these teasers and talking about these characters that no one would know about until they read the book, and I love my characters so much, I couldn’t stand making people wait. I know it’s pretty 50/50 about how some people like to see what the author pictures in their head and others like their own character ideas. I tried to not give away too much in them, so that people can still take away their own perception of each character, too. 

4. Can we just talk about your awesome hair color?  How does your hair fit your personality?

Oh THE hair! I think it’s beginning to create its own personality. I had crazy colored hair like this in High School, and then I went into the “real world” and had to tame it down. I still never had my natural hair color, but it wasn’t the greens and purples I was used to, and even though I loved my job, it just wasn’t making me happy (does this theme sound familiar?)  About a year ago, I was blessed to quit my full time job and started my day job now in a pottery studio, which is arty fartsy, so I went back to my crazy colored hair and began to finally feel like myself again. So, I’d say my personality is a direct reflection of my hair: bright, enthusiastic, unique, and a little crazy!

5. On your website, you have a soundtrack from Promise Me This.  Obviously, music plays an integral part of the creation of this book.  Can you talk about some of your favorite songs on that list?  Why are they your favorite and what part did they play in the book?

Oh gosh – yes music is HUGE for me. My husband is a musician (again, sound familiar?) and I grew up signing, dancing, and doing theatre until High School. I’m going to pick a few songs so I don’t go on and on about music for hours. Haha!

For Your Love – Josh Record: So this is the song I feel like could be feature in a movie trailer for Promise Me This that featured Jhett’s side to the story. There’s something about the drumbeat in the song that is eerie and intense feeling, and that’s how I would kind of describe Jhett’s feelings for Charlie. He’s sucked into her essence and completely taken by surprise how fast he knows he would do anything for her.

Battle Scars – Lupe Fiasco: This is another themed song. There’s a part in the book where he has a moment when he kind of snaps and looses it while he is alone. When I heard this song, I knew it would be the soundtrack to this scene. I could see the chairs flying across the room in slow motion while the glass shattered and sprayed the floor in pieces. I honestly think my heart breaks a little bit every time I hear this song (I’m listening to it now) because I can feel the internal struggle Jhett is feeling during this scene. GAH. Poor Jhett!

Feel So Close – Calvin Harris: This song makes me so happy. I wrote the bonfire scene to this song and it gives me a feel good, carefree feeling in the pit on my stomach. It’s another one I knew would fit the scene when I heard it. I can see Ginger and Charlie in their beach attire, cup in hand, sweaty from the fire, and dancing their hearts out – sometimes slow, sometimes fast – but laughing and enjoying themselves the whole time.

6. Okay, so I always like to see what authors read.  What are your top five favorite books and why?

  1. The Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness – I read the first book not knowing it was a series, and I had a hard time finishing it, unless the end, when this crazy plot twist happened and I was rendered speechless. Then I gobbled up the next to and Ness doesn’t disappoint. He’s my idol of plot twists, seriously. SO GOOD!
  2. The Premonition Series by Amy Bartol – Brennus. That’s all you need to know. Well, so there’s some awesome other characters, but Brennus is such a bad guy in love with the pure hearted main character, Evie, and I hold out for his redemption…or not because then he can just have me, right?
  3. The PJ Stone Trilogy by D.T. Dyllin – Dragons weren’t really my thing, until I read these books, and now I’m hooked. There’s steamy dragon love and a love triangle that was one for me that I could not honestly pick a team until I was FORCED at the end!
  4. The Dark Duet by CJ Roberts – Super sexy time reads is my guilty pleasure. I’ve read a ton, but this one if a favorite because it’s such a mind trip. The whole time I wondered what I would do and how I would feel, and I almost always end up agreeing with Livvie, which makes me even more WTF in my head!
  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – UMMM. I heart kick-butt girls and romances that aren’t the main story line. This has it all. And Katniss! I want to be her…like now.

7. Night owl or early bird?  How does it help with your writing process?

 Night owl, hands down. I’m a terrible morning person. I hate mornings. I also can’t write unless it’s dark. I’ve tried. I’ve had weeks off work and get nothing done until the sun goes down. I call myself a word vampire because if the words come out in the day, they go up in flames – it’s that bad.

8. If you could live in one ‘book world’ which one would it be and why?

Oh crap. I’m going to go classic and say Hogwarts. A lot of other book works are scary and full of crazy conflict. I think I’ll just stick with becoming a wizard and having an awesome wand. It’s the simple things. Also, Honeydukes sounds magical.

9. Where do you think your characters are headed in the future?

That’s up to them! I really don’t plan much in my books, as I let them dictate what happens most of the time. I can tell you it’s not the end of Charlie and Jhett’s relationship. And there may be a trip to visit her home in Tennessee, which if you know anything about her mother, it should be interesting.

10. And finally, can you tell us about your upcoming project, Promise Me Forever?

Besides what I mentioned above, I am beyond excited to get it out to the readers. Charlie finally embraced her inner awesomeness and started the journey to healing after her brother’s death, and she’s going to have to revisit a lot of those feelings again. Jhett has some of his own demons he’s going to have to face, and you’ll learn a little more about him as well. 

 

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There is a tour-wide giveaway going on for two different prizes.  The first (US only) is for a signed paperback copy of Promise Me This plus swag.  The second (INT) is for an e-book copy of Promise Me This.  This giveaway is hosted by the tour, therefore the Terms & Conditions will be listed on the link below.

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Well, that’s it!  I hope you enjoyed this stop of the blog tour.  For more information on this tour, visit MPTB Tours.