Review: Empress in Lingerie (Lingerie #5) by Penelope Sky

Title: Empress in Lingerie
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Createspace Publishing 6/6/18
Length:  167 pages
Series:  Lingerie #5


I’m Vanessa Barsetti, the daughter of the infamous Crow Barsetti.

My father taught me how to fight. If a man lays a hand on me, I’ll put him in his grave. As a Barsetti, I’m proud, stubborn, and don’t take nonsense from anybody. 

I walk home from a bar and take the wrong path.

And witness a brutal crime.

The murderer won’t let me go. He’s handsome, lethal, and terrifying. With tattoos on his forearms and a presence full of threat, he’s a shade of evil I’ve never encountered. And then he tells me the most terrifying thing of all.

His name is Bones.

My Thoughts

Vanessa can’t catch a break now can she? First she was kidnapped and almost murdered by Knuckles – the guy who had a vendetta against Sapphire, and now she crosses paths with Bones Jr who has a vendetta against the entire Barsetti family. Poor girl. No matter how good of a fighter she is, she’s gotta cave at some point. or does she?

we know from the last book that the family discovered that Bones (the one who bought Pearl) had a son, but they didn’t know much about him. What we learn here is a bit more about who he is, what his life has been like and why he’s got a chip on his shoulder. He’s drawn the short stick because his mother was Bone’s mistress, and when he was killed by Pearl and family, she was left with nothing. When she was forced into prostitution to support her son, well that didn’t turn out well either and she was murdered and Bones was left on his own.

Where we are now in present day is just shortly after Vanessa’s horrible situation with Knuckles, she’s back to her old life and trying to really move past everything. She’s back at school, she’s getting involved with men again, but her guard is up. She takes different routes home every night in case someone is trying to follow her and wait to scoop her up, she’s taken precautions again in her home, but unfortunately for her, the route she takes home one night is the wrong one. Because she comes across a man murdering another man in an alley, and her life is changed forever. She’s kidnapped and when the man realizes who she is, things get worse fast.

Bones knows who Vanessa is, and while he’s got this score to settle with the family, he wasn’t actively pursuing her. She fell into his lap and that’s the best blessing he could have hoped for. He has his plan to kill her on video, send it to her parents and make them suffer. The problem though, as we’ve seen with Pearl and Adalina, these women are able to exude confidence, sexuality, power, and all of those things combined make their keepers unable to follow through in what they wanted to do. Vanessa makes a pea for Bones to let her go by offering herself to him, and from that point, we see a corner that they’ve turned.

The balance of the story that we have here is the endless question of what Bones is going to do with Vanessa and what chance will she have at freedom. The game that he’s playing is an interesting one because he keeps her hostage for about a week, and then allows her to go home, to live her life, have her phone, interact with her family, but if she breathes a word of anything to them, they are all dead. You can only imagine the complexity here since this is a family that doesn’t hold anything back, and doesn’t lie.

While she has her freedom though, he’s claimed her. Vanessa is his and no one is allowed to have what he wants and has. This is really where their chemistry becomes something unimaginable. It’s powerful, and intense ,to a level that none of the other couples have shared yet in my opinion. While they need each other as things progress, they also have this hatred and distrust that is a layer that’s unique to their story. The question that you have to remember is who will die since you know someone has to and how is it going to happen. Every time Vanessa thinks that she has the upper hand, she learns that Bones is a step ahead of her.

There are so many other spokes to this story that make me intrigued. For one, Vanessa keeps asking Bones what his real name is and he’s so opposed to sharing. i think there’s a story there that we don’t know yet. Next, Bones has always wanted to know who killed his mother so he could get revenge, and when things are narrowed down, it’s someone who’s maybe too powerful to take down.

The dynamic though of Vanessa and Bones is something that keeps this story moving so quickly. If you remember, Bones the elder was HORRIBLE. he was disgusting, inhumane, and vile. Bones Jr is really trying to be something different because he doesn’t believe in all that his father did, but he has to keep some sense of power because that’s what’s necessary to survive. Because he’s his own man though, we see so many redeeming qualities to Bones and want him to be a better man.

The moments when that man comes out, he is tender, romantic, sweet and really gives Vanessa everything that she could need. But he still has his bite. Vanessa on the other hand is Barsetti through and through and never gives up fighting for what she believes is right either physically or in spirit. The way that she’s able to get through to Bones during certain moments is intense, and that makes their passion and magnetism even more intense. Their scenes are completely reflective of how they are – when they come together, their heat and passion is explosive, hot and well….one of my favorite pairings in the series so far.

So many questions, so few answers. Will the Barsettis figure out what’s going on without Vanessa telling them and what will it mean? Who will come close to killing the other first and what are the repercussions? Will Bones survive trying to avenge his mother’s killing, and will Vanessa be caught in the crossfire? So much to wonder, so now i need the next book. Enjoy!

Review: Lady in Lingerie (Lingerie #3) by Penelope Sky

Title: Lady in Lingerie
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Createspace Publishing 5/17/18
Length:  187 pages
Series:  Lingerie #3


I refuse to let this woman have any power over me.

She’s just my prisoner.

But once my Muse is in trouble, I’ll do anything to save her.

Anything to protect her.

She was supposed to inspire me, please me.

She was never supposed to care about me.

Or make me care about her.

My Thoughts

We get to see the more human side of Conway, the side that his family knows and loves, the side that he doesn’t show anyone, and this is the side that the world should see. All because Sapphire was able to break through some of his walls.

The bulk of this story is taking us on a journey where Conway realizes that he needs ‘Muse’ and she admits to herself that she needs him, but as we’ve seen in the previous installments, she’s not willing to compromise and diminish her worth just to let him feel powerful. The exchange of power between them is complex and entertaining. Conway realizes quickly that without Muse, his work suffers. And when Conway ‘frees’ Sapphire, she realizes that she can’t live without him.

Add to that the layer of the Barsettis that come into play in this story. We get to see a lot more of Vanessa since she and Sapphire have developed a friendship. We see that Conway’s parents are truly happy to see their son finally in a relationship and one with a woman as lovely as Sapphire. We see Carter even begin to take on a more vocal role in things. The dynamic of Carter and Conway is exactly that of Cane and Crow and i really like seeing that.

At the end of the last book, you’ll remember that Sapphire was made an offer to go work for a competitor of Conway, and that’s something that comes back up in this story as well. She’s offered more money than anyone could fathom having, and her feelings for Conway makes it a hard decision to make/turn down/take. It’ll be interesting to see how that one plays out since we know that Mr Lexington reached out to Conway first and then found his way to Sapphire. She still doesn’t know that Conway knew about the offer first.

Add to that, Bones reappears. You’ll remember him from Pearl and Crow’s story and i think that the name alone makes everyone nervous. The way that Conway and Carter discover him puts their families at risk, puts a wedge between everyone who loves each other, instills fear in everyone, and forces the younger generation to make a promise about how they will live their lives moving forward. HUGE compromises for men who are powerful, feel that they are invincible and really don’t like being told what to do.

Where we net out though is an admission of truths, anger and hatred, and all relationships that we thought were solid being pulled apart. It’s anyone’s guess on how things will pan out in the next book, but the names Knuckles, Bones….Skull Kings…they all come to mind and you have every reason to be concerned!

The consistency though that keeps this series going and makes it so enjoyable and engaging is the fact that the dynamic between Conway and Sapphire is hot, and it’s real when they are alone. They share something so deep and romantic, but it’s only behind closed doors. The chemistry that they have, the magnetism that they share is something truly remarkable and very well written in this story, that when you see things crash and burn, you know that there has to be something on the other side – even if it’s different than what was intended. On that note, i’m off to read the next book and i can’t wait to see who ends up where and with whom. Enjoy!

Cover Reveal: Dinner & Dessert by Ava Sterling

One last opportunity to make a move on her. It’s now or never.

Sophia is moving to Tulsa. Her boss made it clear that her position is being phased out, so it’s either relocating to the Midwest or she’s out of a job. Just when she’s getting more friendly with Elizabeth, an employee in her department.

Thinking of a plan, she convinces her boss to let her take out the department’s top performer for dinner as a thank you from the company, who just happens to be Elizabeth. The only snag is that her boss insists she take the top two performers, which also includes Jason.

At dinner, Sophia’s mind is racing on how to make a move on Elizabeth without Jason, and the entire restaurant staff, noticing. This launches a feverish, desperate attempt at pleasure, far beyond anything Sophia’s tried before.

If you enjoy saucy stories of lesbians, bi-curious women, and daring plans, you’ll love Dinner and Dessert.

Review & Giveaway: The Billionaire’s New Toy by Ava Sterling

Title: The Billionaire’s New Toy
Author:  Ava Sterling
Publisher/Year:  Red Lace Publishing 5/11/16
Length:   27 Pages


Claire wants to land the sale of the year, supplying all bedding materials for one of the largest luxury hotel chains in the country. The only thing standing in her way…is Connor Brenton.

A self-made Billionaire, Mr. Brenton is the type to go after what he wants. Now what he wants is Claire, but she’s more interested in padding her sales numbers than an erotic connection. At the sales appointment, it will be decided who gets what they want first.

My Thoughts

I’m a fan of this story – even more than the others that I’ve read recently by Ms Ava Sterling. What we have here is one of my favorite sub segments of the genre – the Alpha powerful man, and the sexy female who thinks that it’s her body that gets her what she wants until she realizes that she truly has the power because of how she carries herself.

What’s sweet about this story is that even though it’s a novella in length, we get an opportunity to see that there was a history between these two characters – a past shared experience and that’s what makes it feel more robust than others that I’ve enjoyed. While Claire clearly has her mind set on keeping her job and that means getting a sale out of a very successful yet handsome hotel owner, what she gets when she makes the attempt is so much more than she bargained for. Mr Benton has his mind set on success – and he is always successful. Will he be in this instance as well?

There’s a sweetness to this story while all the flirtation and heat is underneath. Mr Benton plays with Claire’s emotions and psyche which is a fun twist and the question from them will become how much will Claire bend, what will happen to her job, and what will happen to her. He’s skilled, capable of getting what he wants, when he wants it, and can she handle it? Very good question!

I wish we actually had more of this story as it has feelings of Sylvia Day and J Kenner among other authors when i read it.

And before you head off, don’t forget it’s GIVEAWAY time. Click Here to enter for a chance to win a free copy!

Cover Reveal: Solo Mission by Ava Sterling

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! As a way to kick things off today, I wanted to share an upcoming release from the one Ava Sterling! Check out below and get excited! I don’t have information for the release date yet but as soon as I do, I will come back and update you both on when you can get it and where you can pick it up! Enjoy!


There’s only one way to handle an agent who looks that good.

The evening was supposed to be simple: hold an event, have the media over, celebrate a charity, and have a few martinis in the process. These days, that’s as exciting as things get for Pearla, and she prefers it that way.

Years ago, she gave up being an operative for the agency and hasn’t looked back. She created a company using her savings and life has been treating her well. Well enough to start giving back to the community. But on the night she hosts a party for all her colleagues, her past comes back to haunt her. When she enters her office after taking a break from the crowd, she comes face-to-face with a female agent in a rather tight dress.

Minutes later, it’s a fight for Pearla’s business, her livelihood, and her reputation. They are the only things on her mind . . . that is until a new desire overtakes her, one that will suddenly take precedence over everything else.

Pearla might not be getting back to the party for a long time.

If you enjoy steamy stories about lesbian women, tight dresses, spies, and fight scenes, then you’ll love Solo Mission.


Review: In Bed with the Billionaire (Nine Circles #5) by Jackie Ashenden

Title: In Bed with the Billionaire
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year: St Martin’s Press 11/1/16
Length:   300 Pages
Series:  Nine Circles #5


In the final Nine Circles novel, there is a fine line between pleasure and pain, between sin and salvation. Jackie Ashenden shows what happens when a dangerously irresistible man and woman collide, in and out of the bedroom.

In Bed with the Billionaire

Known to the underworld only as Jericho, billionaire Theo Fitzgerald is one of the most powerful men in the world. But his plan is to tear down the criminal empire his father created from the inside out—unless someone else does it for him.

He suspects a bold, seductive woman named Temple Cross might be trying to take him out with it—but for the chance to burn in the heat she gives off, he’s not sure if he minds…

A hired hit woman, Temple has been waiting to get close to Jericho her whole life. The man who destroyed her family is worth looking in the eye before she kills him—but when she’s finally alone with Jericho, he’s nothing like the ruthless barbarian she imagined. Her reaction to his touch is explosively sexual—and their emotional connection is too powerful for her to ignore.

Is she his shot at redemption? Or will he have to risk losing her love to save her life?

My Thoughts

WOW – so, i think that we got exactly what we were hoping for as a conclusion and resolution to this fairly complicated story.  Not only was it filled with twists and turns, i think that we also got to see the true colors of people.

Before i get into the meat of this story – i have to say it again- i don’t know how Ms Ashenden does it, but what we have is another example of a series that’s made up of stories about couples that happen in a chronological order of sorts, but instead we have a series that’s made up of stories that are completely connected, and you have to really follow the series as it goes to truly understand what everything means to each other part.

So in this final installment, we get to see how it will all play out.  You know that throughout this one, we have seen couples come together in the hopes of taking down a kingpin only to learn that there’s someone bigger and badder who’s behind it all, and then when we find out that it’s Theo, Violet’s brother who’s supposedly dead, well that makes things all that more complicated.  He has his motivations but the question becomes whether we can trust him or not.  and the guess is not.

Then there’s Temple – the woman that we had met as Eva’s driver, hired by Zac to protect her and when we saw her betray Eva a few installments back, you had to wonder what that was all about.  We learn that she’s linked to them all in a deeper way – having her ties to Elijah in the hopes of taking down the ring as well as trying to find her sister who was taken by them and sold.

Of course you know that since she’s personally invested, there’s another revenge saga.  Add to that the fact that she’s an assassin, and you know that things are going to get spicy – FAST.   Temple takes on a job at the request of Zac to locate Jericho (or Theo) and take him down, kill him all so that this can be done with.  What no one expected was that there would be feelings there, that we would see the truth behind Temple and the truth behind Jericho and perhaps that there was so much more that was going to come out.

Throughout this story we see the fight of chemistry between Jericho and Temple.  She wants to get information from him in regards to where her sister is/was and then kill him, all while playing him and herself.  She won’t admit what she’s feeling towards Jericho and she won’t even it admit the reasons behind it, but with the prodding that he does, and his need for control, we start to see things unravel.

Then there’s Jericho.  He’s got his motivations, the fact that he knew all about what it was that his father did, and his intent all these years was to take down the ring and make sure that his father paid for everything.  Even if it means that his sister will never look at him again.  And we know that Violet is a tough one – so you never know.

The journey here isn’t as deep but very angst ridden since they both have so much pain and it’s all tied to the Nine Circles desired outcome.  What we don’t know is how it’s going to end, who’s going to remain alive and what that will mean for these friends and family.  I think that there’s a level of expectation of the happy ending and i think that it’s highly unreasonable to expect that to be the case now that things are being shaken up, so it’s the masterful writing that gives us closure in a way that makes sense and gives us hope.

Also, true to her form, Ms Ashenden gives us some incredibly steamy scenes.  Not the bondage that Zac loves, not the control of the others, but the power and rage that only Jericho can have and the fight that only Temple can bring.  It’s hot and sensual and really really intense.  To top it off, we get romance, and we get saving grace and that’s what we need at this point.

Now i’m bummed that i don’t have more with this series, but i think that it was exactly what i needed right now to read.  I hope you guys give it a try!

Blog Stop: Stealing Mr Right by Tamara Morgan

Hi all!  You guys know that i love supporting authors and new releases, so today i bring you yet another one.  I hope you take a moment to check it out!  And on top of it, there’s a giveaway included!

Rafflecopter Code for $150 BaubleBar gift card:

Sneak Peek!! 

His voice was softer than I expected: low but controlled, the sound of an authority figure who knows he doesn’t have to shout to be heard. I’ve since realized that’s the most dangerous kind of man to go up against in a fight. He didn’t bluster and yell the way Riker did, and he didn’t speak in terse rebukes, the way I remember my dad doing when I made an error in the middle of a job. Grant was all control and manners.

I hadn’t expected manners.

“I’ve never seen a man so intrigued by concrete before,” I said, less polite but still within the bounds of friendliness. “I’ve run past you a total of four times now, and you never once glanced up to check me out.”

The surprise faded to amusement. “Is that a fact?”

“Yes. And I thought for sure three times would do it.”

Since it appeared he wasn’t about to book me for fifty counts of conspiracy, I took a moment to appreciate him up close. From a distance, packed into a dark suit, always on the scent of something we didn’t want him to be, he really was more like a ferocious guard dog than anything else. But up close? Unf. There was nothing canine about him, and fear wasn’t my primary reaction. He was a behemoth, taller than me by at least a foot, his build not powerful so much as overpowering. He wasn’t handsome—at least, not in a clean-cut, underwear ad sort of way—but he was incredibly attractive. It’s possible for a man to be a perfectly assembled collection of model parts and invoke nothing more than a mild appreciation, like looking at a sculpture or a really nice diamond tiara. It’s equally possible for a man to boast coarse features, oversized limbs, and a rugged smile—and make a girl want to take off her clothes on the spot.

Happily, I refrained.

“How do you know I didn’t watch your ass as you ran past?” he asked, picking up my flirtation with ease. I should have been disappointed that he was sharp enough to follow along—a  slow, stupid nemesis is always preferable to a fast-witted one—but all I felt was a warm feeling of pleasure. “Maybe I was being discreet.”

“You didn’t,” I said smugly and switched to stretching the other leg. “If you had, you would’ve stopped me ten minutes ago and asked for my number.”

“Maybe I’m in a relationship.”

“You’re not. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be watching my ass now.”

He laughed but didn’t relax. I only noted this because men have a universal way of dropping their shoulders and opening their stance once they realize they’re being hit on. Women probably do it, too—you can almost see the walls coming down around their hearts—but Grant’s wide shoulders remained firmly in place.

I stuck out my hand, hoping physical contact would do the trick.

“I’m Penelope,” I said, not bothering with an alias. That was one lie I’d never had any use for. I was born a thief, raised a thief, and would probably die one. A fake name wouldn’t benefit me any more than changing spots would a leopard. “Penelope Blue.”

That look of surprise moved across Grant’s face again, but he managed to quell it long enough to take my hand and shake.

It would have been pushing things to say there was a tingle of electricity, or that my life flashed before my eyes as the rough texture of his palm grazed mine, but there was no mistaking how strong his grip was. With just the flick of his wrist, he could have broken the bones in my hand, conquered me right then and there. Instead of being alarmed by his physical mastery, I felt no sense of danger. Only wonder.

This man could crush me, I thought. But he won’t.


“A sexy, fun, cat-and-mouse chase that hooked me from page one!”
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author of The Marriage Bargain
I’m a wanted jewel thief.
He’s FBI.
What’s that saying? Keep your friends close…and your husband closer. 

Being married to a federal agent certainly has its perks.

1. I just love the way that man looks in a suit.
2. This way I always know what the enemy is up to.

Spending my days lifting jewels and my nights tracking the Bureau should have been a genius plan. But the closer I get to Grant Emerson, the more dangerous this feels. With two million dollars’ worth of diamonds on the line, I can’t afford to fall for my own husband.

It turns out that the only thing worse than having a mortal enemy is being married to one. Because in our game of theft and seduction, only one of us will come out on top.

Good thing a cat burglar always lands on her feet.

Available March 7th 
Penelope Blue:
Stealing Mr. Right (book 1)
Saving Mr. Perfect (book 2)
Seeking Mr. Wrong (book 3)

Blog Tour: Quinn’s Honor by Shirleen Davies

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Honor, Book Three, MacLarens of Boundary Mountain Historical Western Romance
book of Shirleen’s never fails to draw me in and make it impossible to put down
until I devour it!”
one true love…Circle M, the family ranch. He makes it a habit of working hard
and playing harder, spending time with experienced women who know he wants
nothing more than their company. He buries the love he feels for one woman deep
inside, knowing he’ll never be the man she needs.
is a
true ranch woman, working long hours to help keep the family ranch thriving.
Feisty, funny, and reliable, she’s the girl all the single young men want—after
they’ve sewn their wild oats. Few know Emma has her heart set on one man. A man
who may never grow up enough to walk away from his wild ways and settle down.
tragedy strikes, Quinn’s right where he doesn’t want to be—as temporary foreman
of the Pearce ranch. Stepping in to fill Big Jim Pearce’s shoes isn’t easy.
Neither is keeping his feelings for Emma hidden and his hands to himself.
Honor-bound to do what is right, Quinn meets the challenge, losing Emma’s
friendship in the process.
to Quinn’s worries, something sinister is working its way through the thriving
town of Conviction. Unforeseen forces are at work. Debt builds, families lose
their ranches, and newcomers threaten to divide not only the land, but the
people—including the Pearce family.
events unfold, Quinn faces the difficult challenge of keeping his feelings for
Emma hidden and his honor intact. Doing what he believes is right couldn’t feel
more wrong.
all, what’s a man without honor?
Honor, book three in the MacLarens of Boundary Mountain historical western
romance series, is a full-length novel with an HEA and no cliffhanger.

“I wondered if you’d decided to quit.”
Quinn spun around. Emma stood not six feet
away, wrapped in a thin coat, her arms crossed. He took a couple steps toward
her, surprised she’d gotten so close without him knowing.
“I didn’t hear you come in.”
She walked closer, closing the distance until
they were a foot apart. She hadn’t seen the complete exhaustion on his face or
the slump of his shoulders until now. He’d been working from dawn until late
each night, doing what her pa hadn’t been able to do since Jimmy’s death. The
ranch was in better shape than ever, the ranch hands having a competence they
lacked before Quinn arrived. Even though she still felt some justification for
her actions, all she’d done was make his life harder.
Reaching up, she swiped an errant strand of
hair from his forehead. The rush of feelings when her fingers touched his skin,
caused her face to heat. She licked her lips as a pulsing sensation rushed
through her. Dropping her gaze to his eyes, her heart tripped at the intensity
of his stare. His gray-blue eyes turned stormy, the color of the night sky when
lightning ignited the heavens.
Her stomach fluttered and heart raced when he
said nothing, continuing to study her. Before she could step away, Quinn’s hand
came up, his fingers wrapping around her wrist, pulling her close.
She didn’t flinch. Didn’t try to pull away or
break her gaze. Instead, she leaned forward, almost touching his chest.
“Emma…” He breathed her name out, almost as a
She could see the vein in his neck pulse,
hear the almost desperate agony in his voice. Still, she didn’t move away.
“What is it, Quinn?”
Searching her face, he sucked in a shaky
breath, seeing trust and so much more. Lowering his head, he stopped an inch
from her mouth, wanting her to pull back, needing her to meet him.
Lifting her chin, she placed her other hand
on his chest, splaying her fingers wide. Her lips parted an instant before
Quinn’s touched them.
His actions were gentle, a mere caress before
becoming more urgent. Letting go of her wrist, he wrapped his arms around her,
aligning her body with his. Melting into him, she lifted her arms around his
neck, drawing him down on a deep sigh.


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Davies writes romance—historical, contemporary, and romantic suspense. She grew
up in Southern California, attended Oregon State University, and has degrees
from San Diego State University and the University of Maryland. During the day
she provides consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses. But her
real passion is writing emotionally charged stories of flawed people who find
redemption through love and acceptance.
She now lives with her husband in a beautiful town in northern Arizona.
Author links

Cover Reveal: Fractured Lies by Abigail Davies

:*´¨`* COVER REVEAL*´¨`*:

Title: Fractured Lies
Series: Mac Security #1
Author: Abigail Davies
Cover Designer: MG Book Cover and Designs
Release Date: June 20th, 2016
Some days I didn’t know where the lies finished and the truth began.
It happened with one innocent lie and before I knew it I’d created a whole web
of lies.
Nobody likes a liar.
What if you had to lie? To protect yourself and your child?
If those lies were revealed, I would be a shell of my former self.
Fractured into a thousand tiny pieces.
I just hoped I could be put back together.
*** WARNING ***

This book contains
scenes that readers might get upset about. This book does have a Cliffhanger.
Author Bio:
New adult author Abigail Davies grew up in the UK with a
passion for words and story telling. Now following her dreams of writing she
can be found talking to her characters, often out loud. When she’s not writing
she’s mom to two daughters who she encourages to use their imagination as much
as they can as she believes the imagination is a magical thing. An avid reader
if Abigail is not writing a book, you can be sure that she’s reading one.
Stalker Links:

Blog Tour: Invisible by Jeanne Bannon

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Lola’s not
pretty. Lola’s not popular. Lola wishes she could disappear … and then one day
she does just that…For seventeen-year-old Lola Savullo, life is a struggle. Born to funky parents
who are more in than she could ever be, Lola’s dream of becoming a writer makes
her an outsider even in her own home. Bullied and despised, Lola still has the
support of her best pal Charlie and Grandma Rose.

Not only is she freakishly tall, Lola’s a big girl and when forced to wear a
bathing suit at her summer job as a camp counselor, Lola’s only escape from
deep embarrassment seems to be to literally vanish. Soon after, she discovers
the roots of her new “ability”.

Slowly, with Charlie’s help, Lola learns to control the new super power. The
possibilities are endless. Yet power can be abused, too…

When tragedy strikes, Lola must summon her inner strength, both at home and at
school. She has to stand up for herself, despite the temptations and possibilities
of her newfound super power.

A coming-of-age story that will warm the heart.

“Lola, get
your suit on and help supervise the pool. The more eyes the better,” Justine,
the athletic, sun-kissed, twenty-one-year-old camp director ordered once we
wrangled our none-too-obedient charges off the bus. The gaggle of four to eight
year olds ran around in a loud, unruly horde as soon as their sneakered feet
hit the parking lot pavement. Counselors soon managed some semblance of
organization. Calls for straight lines and, “Hey, get back here,” reached my
Luckily, my
group was well behaved, perhaps because I had the fewest kids—only six of them
and most, thank God, were girls.
Justine was beside me, glaring. “Didn’t you hear me?”
looking at her, I shook my head no.
But I had heard her, loud and clear, except I wanted desperately to push her
words away, hoping she’d recant and it would be business as usual.
“Get. Your.
Suit. On,” she said again and this time, my heart took off in a sprint.
“What? Why?”
I tried to hide the wobble in my voice. It was my job to watch the kids who
weren’t swimming—the ones who’d left their suits at home or didn’t feel well.
expectant gazes turned to my way as fellow counselors waited with evil
half-grins, for my reaction. Although no one, except my best friend Charlie,
knew how I felt about wearing a bathing suit, I realized my co-workers had to
be aware of my private horror, because it was the horror of every fat girl.
Justine sighed
as she flipped through the sheets on her clipboard, running a finger down the
column of names. “No campers are sitting out today, Lola, so you have to help
supervise the pool.”
impossible had just happened. In my three summers as a counselor, there had
always been at least one measly kid
who didn’t swim on pool day.
For one
long, awkward moment, I stood frozen in place. How could I get out of this? A
sudden migraine? My period? I tried to speak, but nothing came out except a
tiny, almost inaudible, moan.
rolled her eyes and walked away, taking my chance for escape with her. I
searched through my bag for my black one-piece, barely able to see a thing
through my tear-blurred eyes. Somehow, I managed to stuff away the panic and
gather the nerve to march past my co-workers, who I’d never thought of as
friends, despite working with them summer after summer.
Finally, in
the dank change room, I entered an empty stall and locked the door with shaky
fingers. I was sweating from both the heat and anxiety. The stench of my panic
filled my nostrils as I felt around in my bag for a stick of deodorant, though
I knew full well, I wouldn’t find one. With a sigh, I stretched my suit over
sweat-slicked skin, wriggling and struggling to pull it up past wide hips and a
bulging belly.
A moan
escaped me. Not only was I fat, I was freakishly tall. God only knew why, since
Mom was petite and Dad was on the short side. My older sister, Eva, was the
spitting image of Mom, fair and fine boned. Apparently, I took after Dad’s
side—bulky, dark, and thick. I must have gotten some of Uncle Sammy’s genes,
the giant of the family, who topped out at six foot five.
I peered
down at the coarse dark hair creeping up my calves to just past my knees, where
it gradually petered out. My insides dropped as if I’d placed a foot on a step
that wasn’t there. I ran a hand across the tops of my thighs. The triple bulge
of my belly prevented a good look at what my hand told me was a sorely
neglected bikini area. There had never been a reason to shave. Even in the
blazing August heat, I wore baggy cotton Capri pants, never exposing more than
an ankle.
My throat
pulsed with an ache to cry and my eyes misted again. I swallowed my distress
and pinched away tears. It would be torturous enough to step out of the change
room looking like this, but I wouldn’t give the other counselors the
satisfaction of watching me have a meltdown. I lifted my chin in resolve and
opened the door. As I peeked out, I spied a line of girls jumping with excitement
and a few harried counselors corralling them to the exit.


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Jeanne Bannon has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. She currently works as a freelance editor and writer.

When not reading or writing, Jeanne enjoys spending time with her daughters, Nina and Sara and her husband, David. She’s also the proud mother of two fur babies, a cuddly and affectionate Boston Terrier named Lila and Spencer, a rambunctious tabby, who can be a very bad boy.

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