May I introduce - J Andersen "At What Cost"

Please welcome J Andersen today to my blog.

J Andersen only recently released her book  "At What Cost". Reviews have been very good:
  • "At What Cost is a MUST READ for all teenage girls"
  • "Author J. Andersen created a realistic story that is well-written and easy to get lost in…"
  • "At What Cost is a realistic contemporary that offers glimpses into family tension and relationship reconciliation through a situation that reaches the point of no-return. If you like sensible stories that talk about realistic issues, you’ll want to add this title to your read list."

.... Definately on my TBR list now!

And I'm grateful J. Andersen took some time to do this speed interview for this blog.


1. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
2. Night owl or early bird? Night owl
3. Outline or fly by the seat of your pants? Outline
4. Traditional or self publish? Traditional
5. Hand write or type? Both
6. Milky way or Snickers? Milky Way!!!
7. Chinese food or Mexican? Chinese
8. Wine or coffee? Eek. Both. Wine in the evening; coffee in the morning.
9. Dogs or cats? Dogs
10. Amazon or In-store purchases?In store
11. Cook in or out to dinner? Out
12. Starbucks or Tim Hortons? STARBUCKS!
13. Twilight or Hunger Games? Hunger Games
14. Introvert or Extrovert? Extrovert
15. Indoors or outdoors? Indoors
16. Music or silence? Silence
17. Sedan or Minivan? Crossover
18. Endless edits and revisions or One time through...perfection? Endless edits
19. Camping or Hotel? Hotel
20. Organized or disorganized? Organized


Do you share the same answers ?


 Blurb for "At What Cost"

During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side.
While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.

 Available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

#SweetSat Sample - 06/10/2012

Welcome back To Sweet Saturday Sample!
Here's a little teaser from my recently released story "Innocent Tears".
Enjoy :-)
He sat next to her and she stiffened, her hand tightening around her wine glass. Biting her lip, she slowly moved her head towards him. Mistake! Big mistake. When their eyes met, he smiled a deviously handsome smile and the silence in the room echoed in her ears.
As he took a deep breath, he placed his glass onto the table next to the sofa. “I’d better not keep you up too long then,” he said as he turned back to her. “Thanks again for having Nadine.” He smiled.
She was still biting her lip.
With an arched eyebrow he said quietly, “Sweetheart, lips are there to be kissed. Not to bite on them until they bleed.”
Emma placed her fingers on her lips instantly, and then she blushed. Good grief. She was about to turn her head away from him, when he slowly brushed away a strand of her hair. Flynn took her fingers into his hand and cupped her chin with his other hand. He hesitated for a moment before he leaned forward to touch her lips with his. His touch sparked shivers down her spine as his fingers traced along her jaw line. Emma’s hands moved to his flat chest to gently push him away, but when she sensed his hands exploring the hollows of her back, she just closed her eyes and kissed back. Mixed sensations rushed through Emma’s body, and she slowly relaxed next to him and sunk into his cushioning embrace.
Thanks for stopping by!
Please leave a comment, and be sure to check out samples offered by other great authors by going to Sweet Saturday Samples.

Innocent Tears - Chapter One

Chapter One

“My Mum is dead.”
Somewhat startled by this statement, Emma peeked over the reception desk into beautiful green eyes that belonged to a cute little girl with brown curly hair and a freckled button nose. She couldn’t help but smile. There was something in the girl’s eyes that held a hint of mischief and curiosity, as well as some sadness, and Emma was drawn to her instantly.
The stern voice of an elderly woman approaching the reception caused Emma to nearly jump out of her skin. The girl stiffened with eyes wide open.
“My apologies for that,” the woman said to Emma, though her expression didn’t actually reveal any signs of apologies. The woman’s face reflected a life of bitterness, the lines appearing deep and weathered.
Emma smiled. “No need to.”
An elderly man joined them, and after a brief nod of acknowledgment she asked, “May I help you?”
“Yes. We would like to check in. Gibbs. William and Teresa Gibbs,” the woman replied.
Emma typed the name on the keyboard, and while she waited for the details, she smiled at the girl, and asked, “Holidays?”
Nadine’s face spread into a small smile, but it was enough to show she had her two top teeth missing.
“And I see the tooth fairy has been to see you recently.”
“Excuse me–” Mrs. Gibbs glanced at Emma’s name badge. “–Emma. Can we proceed with the check-in please?”
“My apologies, ma’am.” Emma read the details on the screen, made a few notes and turned around to activate the automated door card in the back office. All the while, she felt Mrs. Gibbs’ glare on her and instinctively pulled on her navy uniform skirt feeling slightly uncomfortable.
Emma sighed inwardly. In her early twenties and she still lacked confidence in what other people thought of her. Tucking a lock of her curly, tawny hair behind her ear, she tried to keep a positive attitude because, after all, she loved working at the “All Stars” Hotel in Melbourne. It was something she always wanted to do – to greet people to this beautiful city, and make their stay as comfortable as possible. And she was often told how popular she was with staff and guests alike for her positive attitude, her generous heart and kind spirit.
“Ma’am, that’d be room five-o-two. If you go to the right over there, take the lift to the fifth floor and follow the hall to the near end, you will find room five-o-two on your right.”
Teresa Gibbs took the card from Emma and turned it in her hands.
“Ma’am, you slide that into the door instead of a key. I’m happy to ask someone to come with you and show–”
“I’ll be fine thank you.” And Mrs. Gibbs turned to go.
Emma leaned across the counter and smiled at Nadine. “Enjoy your holidays,” she said and winked. “And come see me sometime to tell me about the tooth fairy.”
“We’re not on a holiday,” the girl said in almost a whisper. “We’re here to meet my dad.” Then she hopped off after Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs, who Emma assumed were the little girl’s grandparents.
Emma wondered about that remark and then remembered what the girl had said about her mother. She watched as Mrs. Gibbs rushed her husband and Nadine into the lift, and the door slid shut.
A familiar voice startled her. “Emma! Come on, stop dreaming.”
Emma turned around and saw her colleague Jack standing next to her. She smiled.
“Jack! Where’ve you been?”
He lifted one side of his mouth. “Morning tea.”
“Are you for real? You’ve been gone for an hour.”
Grinning, he ruffled her hair. “Another bad hair day?”
She gently pushed him away and rolled her eyes. “You’re avoiding the subject!”
With raised eyebrows he asked, “Which subject?”
She poked her tongue out at him. Why should I care if he gets into trouble!
“Miss Gallagher!” The familiar authoritative voice came from behind them.
Emma startled and with heat creeping up her cheeks she slowly turned, only to see her boss standing behind her. “My apologies, Mr. Morgan,” she said with a tilt of her head. Deep inside she cursed Jack. Out of the corner of her eye she saw him attending to a guest. Typical of him to leave her to vices.
Leo Morgan’s square jaw tensed visibly. A man in his mid-forties, he was still handsome with his olive skin. Even though the hair showing the first signs of grey around his temples, it suited him well and emphasised his blue eyes. He took a deep breath and stepped slightly closer.
“Listen Emma,” he whispered. “I only hear good things about you. People like you and you have a good–” he paused seemingly trying to find the right word, “–let’s call it repute. But there’s a certain standard here, and I need you to uphold that. Are we understood?”
She nodded. “Yes, sir”
“Good. Now, go and do your job and whatever it is between you two, keep it outside the hotel.”
She stood straight. “But there is nothing–”
“Miss Gallagher!”
“Yes, sir. Understood.”
Emma turned around and checked-in the next few guests. It was only after she had finished her shift that she was able to talk to Jack.
“Thanks for getting me into trouble again.”
Jack placed his arm around her, and gave her a kiss on her forehead. “Sorry for that. But you seem to attract this guy.”
“Yes, and it’s exactly every time when I muck up, his focus seems to land on me.”
“You’ll be right. How about dinner at my place?”
Emma rolled her eyes. “Jerk!”
He grinned, and held his arms up in defence. “What?”
“You’ve got to be joking,” Flynn said into the phone. “What do you mean you need to see me?” Pacing up and down his office he finally settled by the window. He looked out, and his gaze wandered along the Yarra River watching people strolling along the Southbank Promenade. He liked the view – seeing the people walking at different paces as they took in the sights, or looking for restaurants, or as they were simply in a rush to get to their next destination. His eyes wandered further up and took in the sight of the Eureka Tower and a small shiver came up his spine as he remembered what he gave up for being there, for making his life in Melbourne and for getting this job.
The conversation he was having wasn’t going well, and he let out a long breath. “Yes, I’ll be there. And this better be worth it.”
He walked over to the door and swung it open with such force his assistant Joyce almost jumped out of her chair.
“Joyce, could you please reschedule the appointment tomorrow afternoon with Harry? I’ve got some private business I’ve got to attend to.”
“Not a problem, Flynn. You’ve got your hair cut tomorrow at–”
“Slipped my mind,” he mumbled and cursed a few words, but looking at Joyce’s face he knew she ignored his small outburst, but patiently waited for an answer.
He exhaled, and while heading back into the office he said, “I’ll go by tonight and see whether Richard can squeeze me in.” And he slammed the door shut.

Click here to add "Innocent Tears" on Goodreads!

And if "Innocent Tears" makes it into the 1,000 on Amazon, I will giveaway 3 x $10 vouchers for Amazon ....
Did you like it?
Buy it ;-)

Eva Márquez - Sweetest Taboo

Publisher: Terra Mia Press
ISBN: 9781478136811
My rating: 2/5
Isabel Cruz was fifteen years old when she met Tom Stevens. She was 15 when they started dating, and 16 when she lost her virginity to him. By the time she turned 18 and went to college, everything had fallen apart.

This hadn’t been an ordinary love, though. Not a love between two dear friends, or even high school sweethearts. This had been the most taboo sort of love there was: a relationship between a student and her teacher. Isabel started her high school career as a normal student, but set her sights on Tom Stevens as soon as she met him, and pursued him with an intense – and sometimes reckless – fascination. When he finally approached her after swim practice and told her that he shared her feelings, it was the start of a forbidden and dangerous relationship.

Join Isabel as she makes her way through this dark love story, hiding from teachers, lying to her parents, and defying the authorities to make a life with the man she loves. Watch as she discovers the wonders of love and romance, and the terrible betrayal of jealous friends. And cry with her when she learns the hard truth about life and the people in her world.

Sweetest Taboo is inspired by the true and tragic stories of students who fall in love with their teachers, and live with the hard truths of forbidden romances. In a world full of after-school specials on sexual predators, this touching book seeks a different path, casting both student and teacher in a gentle light, and showing that true love may lie at the base of even the most illicit romance.
My thoughts
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I'm really sorry, but I didn't like the story. And having said that, it's got little to do with the subject, more the whole package. I'm actually a bit surprised that it did so well at the Amazon Breakthrough Award.
Anyway, I thought it was boring, nothing really happens over the almost 300 pages, except the love story of a young 15-year-old student and her teacher. Well written and I won't even go into the subject of student/teacher relationship, but nothing else.
I wanted to give it 3 stars, but there were a few issues I had:
*There was a lot of assumption on the girl's side re the teacher's feelings, but we never found out why, out of all students, she was the one he was so attracted to.
*What happened to the girl who reported the whole affair to the police. Did I miss something or was she never mentioned again?
*What was the significance of the parking ticket?
*Why did she go out the guy from the department store? To figure out what?  For me, she came across double cheap, not only did she have an affair with a married man, no, she went out with a guy who was about to get married.
*And the teacher's excuse that he didn't love his wife, he was drunk and on drugs when he proposed to her seemed wayyyyy to convenient to be believable.
I wish Eva Marquez all the best for the launch of this book, and thanks again for giving me the opportunity to read it.