Love & Decay Episode 5 – Rachel Higginson

Love & Decay Episode 5Morning has come to the lonely farmhouse where Reagan, Haley and the Parkers set up camp and watched as Page came down with strep throat. Hendrix and Nelson haven’t returned from their medicine run. Page is still very sick and the “contingency plan” hangs in the air.

Determined to save the boys she has come to care so deeply about, Reagan teams up with Vaughan to set out and rescue Hendrix and Nelson from whatever trouble they’ve gotten themselves into.

However, before they can liberate anybody, they themselves are captured.

Introduced to another scary settlement, Reagan is split up from the Parker brothers and put in the custody of a boy not much older than her. Kane Allen is possessive and fierce in his attempt to own and possess Reagan. She learns a fear that even in her dangerous, Zombie-filled life, she has not known before.

Before the night is over she has to find a way to escape Kane and his horrifying captivity. She will face armed guards, starving Zombies and the worst danger of them all- Kane.

Overall Rating: Worth Checking Out

**I received this as an ARC from Rachel in exchange for an honest review.**

Willingness to Put Down
Shoot… I was sucked into this story from the first page.
You obviously want to know what happened to Hendrix and Nelson – and Reagan and Vaughan jump right into rescuing them.
Then… all hell breaks loose.  I mean, seriously, couldn’t one mission just go smoothly?  Or is the rest of their lives just going to be one bump in the road after another?!
Once they got the the settlement where Hendrix and Nelson went – it gets so intense!  You just don’t know what is going to happen – and what this crazy cult-y settlement is going to do to the boys or Reagan (though, you do find out where Reagan is suppose to stand in all that..). 
It’s crazy people!!  CRAZY! 

And, when I got to the end, I kept clicking the next page on my Kindle, hoping that there was more!!  I needed more!!

Editing/Story/Plot/Characters
New Characters!!!  WOOT WOOT! 
I love the introduction of new characters – especially new characters who aren’t all sorts of crazy!!  Now – there are a lot of crazy new characters.. Crazy, brain-washed, cult-y characters (but you don’t really read a lot about them..) 
However, you have Miller (who you met in book 4 for about 5 seconds)… His sister Tyler, and their older brother Kane. 
Miller and Tyler are cool in my book.  Obviously they want to escape the settlement – and are willing to help out the Parker brothers and Reagan, which gets a big thumbs up from me.

Then you have Kane.
He’s an odd duck – that’s for sure. He’s possessive, he’s slightly creepy, and I did really want to scream and yell at him (and let’s face it, punch him in the face). He made me so angry with the whole Reagan stuff – and I wanted to hate him. I really did. I wanted to hate him so bad – and part of me does. Part of me never wants to see that creep again! BUT…. there is another part of me that thinks, “Kane isn’t too bad… if only he found a different woman to play caveman with.” I mean, he was also protective and semi-sweet (maybe I’m the only one who saw that?).

I would definitely like him to come up in future episodes… However, I want him to be over Reagan. I don’t want anymore drama on that front!!
Reagan finally has her man… LET IT BE!!!!

Heart Fluttering/School Girl Giggling/Tears
Let’s start with the first freaking page when Reagan says to Haley, “I’m taking the losing half of the love triangle.” 

HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!

Also – when Reagan and Hendrix see each other at the settlement… and again under the bleachers.  Ugh…and…sigh.  I love those two!

Leading Man’s Boyfriend Potential (if acceptable)
You don’t see much of Hendrix in this one – because it’s all about Kane and his creeptastic ways.  You obviously know how I feel about Kane from above….
And if you have read any of the other reviews, you know how I feel about Hendrix. 
I adore that boy.  He’s amazing.

Favorite Scene (without giving anything away… just to get you to really want to read)
I’m going to say….. THE WHOLE BOOK!
Yes, I can do that… Why?!  Well, this is my blog (but that’s besides the point)… This whole book was freaking amazing!! So much packed into it… I just cannot pick a favorite scene!

Favorite Quotes
Reagan – ‘They were like super-human GI Joes. At the end of this whole Apocalypse thing, I was petitioning to have action figures made of them.’

“It’s over, Reagan. They’ll never touch you again. They’ll never see you again. You’re OK. You’re with me. I’ll keep you safe.” – Hendrix

“Never again.” – (Vaughan, Tyler, Hendrix and Reagan)

Buy L&D Episode 5 on Amazon for only .99cents!
Seriously… I’m done here… Go buy the episode!

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{BLOG TOUR} Vlog Episode 5 – Striking by Lila Felix and Rachel Higginson

Striking 01Can two hearts be forged into one?

Cami Montgomery stole a car and smashed it into the front of a building in upscale Beverly Hills after a lousy date with the epitome of sleaze balls. The worst part, her parents are following through on threats after this latest plea for attention. Banished from her L.A. paradise and plunged into the Appalachian Mountains with her industrious aunt and uncle, Cami is about to find out how precious life really is.

Stockton Wright has been thrust into a hard life. He sacrifices everything to give his family and community what they need. He’s exhausted from life and work—and he’s only twenty four. What he needs is some change, and some sunshine. Even he will agree to that. He just doesn’t expect to find it in a stuck up, pompous, entitled Californian.

Cami bursts into Stockton’s life like wildfire, consuming all his thoughts and tangling him in her web. What starts out as a contentious rivalry evolves into a desire neither of them expected. When hammer meets metal, will they crack under pressure or be forged as one?

Cami and Stockton might just end up being exactly what the other one needs, but first their love will have to be drawn out in fire.

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Vlog Review:  We discuss our favorite scenes. How much we love (or hate) the characters. And much more. Check it out!

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About The Author(s)

Lila Felix Author PicLila Felix made the decision to write a book after being encouraged by friends. She is a stay at home mom to three wild children and three boisterous dogs and her high school sweetheart husband encourages her daily. Between writing books, she loves to read and watch sappy 80’s movies. Favorite things: ice cream, anything purple, roller derby and any kind of music she can get her hands on. If you’re looking for her, try looking in the swamp, she’s probably duct taping something under the shade of a Cypress tree.  Facebook/Twitter/Website

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rachel hig photoRachel Higginson was born and raised in Nebraska, but spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. But came back home to marry her high school sweetheart and now spends her days raising her big family. In those few spare moments she has, she is either reading or writing Young Adult Fiction.

Facebook/Twitter/Website

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Check out every stop on the Striking blog tour!

StrikingtourbannerSEPT 1 – Happy Ever… {Book} Hungover
{Blog Tour: Review} Striking by Lila Felix & Rachel Higginson

SEPT 2 – i read indie
STRIKING Blog Tour {Top 10 with Stockton & my 5 Star Review}

SEPT 3 – Christy’s Written Word Love
Blog Tour: Review for Striking by Lila Felix and Rachel Higginson

SEPT 4 – Fabulous and Fun
Striking by Lila Felix & Rachel Higginson – Mikes Review

SEPT 5 – Turn The Page
**BT & REVIEW** STRIKING ~ Lila Felix & Rachel Higginson

SEPT 6 – Luna’s Book Sweets!
http://lunasbooksweets.blogspot.com/

SEPT 7 – Fabulous and Fun
Striking Blog Tour  – Jen’s Review

SEPT 8 – Paperback Cowgirl
Blog Tour: Character Interview Lila Felix & Rachel Higginson’s “Striking”

SEPT 9 – Rain’s Reading Room
Blog Tour: Striking by Lila Felix & Rachel Higginson

SEPT 10 – Book Nerds Across America
BLOG TOUR: Striking by Lila Felix and Rachel Higginson

SEPT 11 – H&C Reads
{BLOG TOUR} Vlog Episode 5 – Striking by Lila Felix and Rachel Higginson

SEPT 12 – Regan Claire
http://www.reganclaire.com/

SEPT 13 – TSK, TSK, What to read?
http://www.tsktskwhattoread2.blogspot.com/

SEPT 14 – Life Between the Pages
http://www.lifebetweenthepages.com/

SEPT 15 – Holly’s Hot Reads
http://hollyshotreads.wordpress.com/

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Vlog Episode 4 – 50 Random Things About Us

So… We were suppose to review Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker this week… but Hales failed to finish it…
So instead, we are doing 50 Random Things About Us.. You guys get to find out… probably much more than you want to about us!!  Enjoy!

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The Violets of March – Sarah Jio

The Violets of MarchIn her twenties, Emily Wilson was on top of the world: she had a bestselling novel, a husband plucked from the pages of GQ, and a one-way ticket to happily ever after.

Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily’s good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life.

Overall Rating: Worth Checking Out

Cover Appeal (because, let’s face it, we all know we judge books by their covers)
I love Sarah’s covers!  LOVE THEM!! My absolute favorite cover is Blackberry Winter – but this one is so lovely too!  The old chair, the book, the violet… I love simplicity – and this just works so well with the story!

Willingness to Put Down
Truth be told – I want to take my time with this book. Plus, there is so much going on – that if you read it as quickly as I typically read books – I would have been even more confused than I was!! 
I did love this story though. And I kept trying to see if I could figure out who all the people from the diary were. I had so many different ideas. I’d think one thing, then read a little more and have to change my guess.
My brain hurt after trying to guess so much!!  Eventually I just decided I needed to give the guessing a rest and just enjoy the book – and see where it goes.
But it is a very gripping story – and if you love mysteries and stories about the past – it’ll be a hard one to put down.

Editing/Story/Plot/Characters
I love stories that mix the past and present.  Aside from this book – the only other book of Sarah’s I’ve read is Blackberry Winter – and I love that story too.  I also love Kate Morton’s books (same plot lines of present day characters trying to find out a mystery from the past).
This story gripped me from the beginning. Emily was broken and defeated and went off to her great aunt’s house on an island near Seattle. There she discovers a diary – and makes it her mission to find out the truth behind it. All the while, she starts to heal from her divorce. Oh… and she meets Jack – who is probably very much her soul mate.
The story had me guessing. For whatever reason, when I read books like this, I have to figure out what is going on before I am told. So, my brain goes at 1,000 miles a minute to try to figure out what is going on. I had different theories – then different ones when those didn’t pan out… and finally, I just gave up – and decided to enjoy the story without causing myself to go crazy with theories.

Now, I must say, I kind of felt this story ended with a few things left unresolved. I could have done with another few chapters to tie up all the loose ends. I just felt like maybe Emily’s mom deserved some closure – and with the way the book ended, you find out…. things… that I’m sure her mom would want to know.

Heart Fluttering/School Girl Giggling/Tears
One part that I know for certain my heart fluttered (because I was totally caught off guard, and needed to read the paragraph three times)… was when Jack called Emily after she returned to New York. And what he said at the end of the voice message.  Sigh…. that was so freaking sweet!!

Leading Man’s Boyfriend Potential (if acceptable)
I guess we’ll call Jack the leading man – thought Elliot had a good part for the 1940s…. But talking about Elliot makes me think like I’m talking about my grandpa – and that is just a little strange.
So… Jack. Sweet, caring, passionate, intense, charming… Jack. He’s a good guy.
Emily has an overactive imagination – and thinks things that aren’t true with Jack.. which she probably should have discussed with him before she took off running…. but thus is the story.  But Jack doesn’t give up – and that voice message he leaves her while she’s in New York…. sigh… so sweet. 

Favorite Scene (without giving anything away… just to get you to really want to read)
The ending… with Elliot and the blue scarf.  I teared up.. it was so sweet!

Favorite Quotes
“If summer had a flavor, it was pink bubble gum.”

“It’s like I’m trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle, and everyone is hiding the pieces from me.”

“Great love endures time, heartache, and distance. And even when all seems lost, true love lives on.”

Buy The Violets of March on Amazon

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Vlog Episode 3 – Love & Decay Episodes 1-4 by Rachel Higginson

LoveandDecayEpi1-4Vlog

We talk about Zombies (of course), love triangles, how Hales feels to read her name in the books, our new signature drink (for all Rachel books)… and much more!!

 

The Rachel Higginson Drink 01

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Reckless Rebels Blog Tour – Charming Interview with Lila Felix and Rachel Higginson, co-authors of Striking (Forged in Fire #1)

Striking 02Striking – coming to e-readers near you SEPTEMBER 1ST!!

You guys – I loved this book!
And more – I love the authors!
They are two very amazing ladies, who are capable of blending their work seamlessly together into one incredible book.
I was lucky enough to be able to ask Lila and Rachel a few question… random question.
And they were gracious enough to answer – letting you in on their guilty pleasures, hardest scenes to write, do they have road rage?… and much more!
Curious?! Well, let’s get to this interview then!

Rachel – Thank you for having me today Caylie and Haley!! I just love this blog!!! And you ladies of course!

Thanks Rachel! Thanks for being here and taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions!

In Striking, what was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Lila – Here’s the thing: I love writing the aftershocks of the breakup.  I have no problem making my characters rip their clothes, vomit, cry on the floor, you name it, I love to make them suffa! That being said, I liked writing Stockton writhing in pain after—you know.  It’s horrible of me, I know. 

The other chapter I always love to write is the first one.  I don’t know about other writers, but the first ten thousand words are a piece of cake for me.  I have about seven manuscripts on my computer that all have the first eight to ten thousand words written on them.  It’s easy and new and the characters are fresh in your mind, it’s another one of my favorite parts to write, always.

Rachel – This is a really hard question because the entire book was really great for me. It was one of the most enjoyable writing experiences I’ve ever had- thanks to Lila- so to pick one is almost impossible! So I’m breaking the rules and picking two!!!

The first chapter was really exciting for me to write. I have a thing for writing first chapters anyway, but this one was especially fun. As a writer I usually struggle with making sure my heroines are relatable and appealing to the reader. But with Cami’s first chapter I didn’t have that pressure at all. In fact, I was almost challenged to make you hate her. I love writing snotty girls, and obnoxious behavior, so her first scene was absolutely one of my favorite parts.

The other favorite scene of mine was Cami and Stockton’s date to the river. Their feelings are kind of laid out there, you get to see real growth and maturity from Cami and it’s just a really sweet, beautiful scene. I love how Stockton reacts and pursues Cami. And of course the getting almost naked part….

I love how you both like writing the first chapter of your books!  Lila, it seems slightly twisted that you love writing the suffering scenes.. but you are so amazing at it, that I won’t complain!  And Rachel, you did a great job at making me hate Cami in the beginning!

In any of your books, what was the hardest scene you have ever written?

Lila – The abusive scenes in Emerge were extremely difficult for me to write since Emerge is mostly based on my life.  It was hard to revisit those moments.

Rachel – I’ve had several- probably way too many- scenes that were really emotional for me to write. I turn into a sobbing, hysterical, snot-nosed mess over my characters on a daily basis. But the hardest scene I’ve ever written is actually in my upcoming Adult Contemporary book, The Five Stages of Falling in Love. And it’s in the prologue! Which seems like a strange place for a difficult scene, since most of them take place in the climax or final scenes of my books. But it was probably the most emotional I’ve ever gotten while writing. And even now, just thinking about it, it can still devastate me.

Oh dear, I’m not sure I can read either of these books. I’m already an emotional mess most of the time – just what I need, a good ugly cry book…

What is the weirdest thing that has ever been said/done to you by a fan?

Lila – I had a fan once who wanted to send me a shirt to sign.  I said great, send it on.  I thought it maybe was a roller derby shirt or maybe a book shirt or something.  So, I go to my post office box to get it and it’s just this plain white t-shirt and I unfold it, and it’s like toddler size.  Seriously, it would be too small for most toddlers.  I brought it home, signed it with my eyes darting around the room, waiting for the hidden camera show people to come out, and sent it back.  I haven’t heard from them since.  Kinda odd, right?

Rachel – So, between Fearless and the release of Endless I had a reader email me and offer to send me a box of potatoes. That was by far the most bizarre offer I have ever gotten. But, her husband is a potato farmer, which makes potatoes a little less random. And actually through the whole thing we became really, really good friends!!! I just love her to pieces now. But it is amazing that such a good friendship started over a box of potatoes!

Bahaha!  Toddler t-shirts and potatoes?! You two have interesting fans!! I can send some good ol’ Wisconsin cheese… you know it’s amazing!!

Imagine all your main characters are on survivor. Who will be voted out first?

Lila – What a fun question! I would have to say Breaker James.  He would probably quit before they even had to vote since he would be completely uncomfortable with all the cameras and attention.

Rachel – I would love to see all my main characters on Survivor. That would be the best TV show ever!! But if any one character had to be eliminated first, it would definitely be Ivy. She’s my anti-heroine heroine. And she’s a little bit girly. She’d be so gone.

Rachel, I was thinking maybe your characters would gang together and try to get the strongest players out first.  So, my thought would be Avalon first, then Jericho.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure read, song and movie?

Lila – I can’t believe I’m going to admit to these things.
Read—The Black Dagger Brotherhood, every single time.  ‘Ya feel me—true?’ Ugh, gets me every time.
Song—it depends on my mood.  For something depressing, Great Expectations by Elbow or Tell Me Baby by Phosphorescent.  Dancing with my kids in the kitchen—Take on Me, A-HA.  Feeling pissed off—Coming Undone, Korn or When They Come For Me, Linkin Park.  My writing is usually accompanied by Miner, Alpha Rev, Silent Film, Freelance Whales, Wild Child, Fink and lots of indies.
Movie—oh, I’m such a sappy movie lover.  Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Center Stage, Jane Eyre, Becoming Jane, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, North and South, I love them all!  I’m also a huge horror movie fan, like the old Alfred Hitchcock stuff.

Rachel – So, I think I have way too many guilty pleasures…  But here we go!! As far as movies go, I like mine really shallow and really pointless. If I’m going to watch a movie I want to escape reality and not think at all. Some of my favorite guilty pleasures are Mean Girls, Empire Records and Clueless- and I probably have each of them so memorized I could repeat them for you word for word.

Songs, I’m just as bad. I am obsessed with 90’s music. But my guilty pleasure of the 90’s would have to be rap songs. I have a surprising amount of them memorized. And I can’t help myself!! I love to rap. But like, a certain kind of rap….. Think Coolio, Warren G, DC Talk, Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song…  I’m pretty sure karaoke with me would be the most confusing event ever. 

And then for books, I’m going with anything Shifter in nature. I try not to read a whole lot in the genres I’m writing. And right now that includes almost everything: Adult, Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal and even Dystopian. I’m not left with a whole lot of options. But I love a good Shifter novel. And as of right now I don’t imagine writing a Shifter-dominated story, so it’s also safe for me. And it feels maybe like a completely random choice for me if I had to choose. But I can’t help it. I love Shifters. There, I said it.

Um… Empire Records was my favorite movie when I was a teen! 
And…and…and… Could you Please do a vlog where you rap the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme?!?!  PLEASE?!?!

Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or slippers on, or still in your pajamas and when realizing it, just said screw it?

Lila – I have a pair of flip-flop looking slippers and many a time I have gotten to the store and realized that I had those on instead of real flip-flops.  Does that count?

Rachel – Ok, I wear my slippers out on practically a daily basis. They have a hard sole and I always forget that I have them on!! I just wore them to pick up my kids from school last week. And pajamas?? Don’t we all do drop-off in pajamas??? Or am I the only one that prefers ten more minutes of sleep over getting dressed for the day? So, yes, to answer your question, I say “screw it” A. Lot.

Do you make your bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?

Lila – I do!  My kids make their beds every morning, so I kinda have to.

Rachel – While my personal hygiene might suffer, I do make my bed every day. I need clean spaces, and having a made bed makes me feel good about the rest of my house! It’s the first thing I do in the morning.

I feel like such a slob now….

Do you get road rage? What pisses you off the most about other drivers?

Lila – I don’t.  I’m kinda laid back.  There’s not a whole lot that pisses me off in general. 

Rachel – Um. Yes. I’m a pretty laid back as a person… until I get behind the wheel. I don’t know what it is about driving that makes me angry, but it’s a little scary!!! I think there are two things that contribute to this… The first being that I am ALWAYS late. To everything. Every day of my life. I do not do things on time. And so I’m usually trying to get somewhere really fast and slow drivers really piss me off. And the second thing is that I’m not a very good driver to begin with…. My brother once told me that I’m not a “Defensive” driver, I’m an “Offensive” one. I’m not even sure I know what that means!!! But it’s sadly true… Instead of acknowledging my own faults as a poor driver though- I just blame everyone else!! And they make me angry. My kids have picked up the phrases, “Are you kidding me?” and “Oh, that’s real nice,” from watching me drive. Not one of my proudest parenting moments.

Hahahaha…. I’m sure my kids are going to be picking up a lot of bad words from being with me in the car. I can’t help it that every other person on the road is an idiot?! Right?!

Best life moment?

Lila – Seeing the boy across the classroom with the caramel skin who I knew would one day be my husband.

Rachel – Oh gosh. As in one moment? Only one?? I don’t know… publishing my first book was pretty great. And each of my four children, they were also pretty great!! I’m going to go with my wedding though. I got to marry the love of my life. It was a fantastic day. I do things differently- I just do. So our ceremony was really unique. And my wedding was no exception. I was really relaxed about the whole thing and we had a lot of fun. Zach is an amazing man and we laughed so much and just enjoyed the day and how it would change our lives forever. And it’s the last big-event memory I have with my dad while he was still alive and healthy.

Awe – you two are so cute!! Those are great life moments!

What advice would you give to… well, anyone?

Lila – I don’t really feel qualified to answer this question. I guess something that I struggle with is being present.  Especially since starting to write, I struggle with being out with my family but having my characters or something career related on the brain.  So, that’s my advice, be present in all you do.  Live in the moment.  Hell, just live!  Not exist, not survive, not comply—live. 

Rachel – I would say figure out who you are and be true to that. It probably sounds a little cliché, but it’s my saving grace, daily.

Maybe being a writer is a little more difficult than most in the self-esteem department. I’m judged daily in reviews and comments, message boards and blogs. And even the “nice” comments can carry criticism. It can be disheartening and discouraging. But mostly, it kind of sucks! I’m not complaining, it’s part of the whole deal. I’m publishing something with the purpose of being judged, I have to deal with it. And sometimes- a lot of times- it can be helpful. But it will probably never feel good, no matter how right or wrong they were.

What has saved me- what’s given me the drive to push forward, to see beyond the negative reviews and still find value in me at the end of the day- is that I know who I am and what I stand for. I’m not going to write a book that every single person in the world loves. That’s impossible. Not even the greats can do that. There will always be a critic. But I can write a product that I believe in, that I stand behind, that I’m proud of. And those are the moments I fall back on when things get rough.

Not everyone has to deal with criticism like I do, I know that. But I also know that this lesson carries over into every avenue of life. Because sometimes bad reviews seem a thousand times easier than dealing with the things I don’t want judged that get critiqued anyway- being a mom, being a wife, trying to get my new short hair into a pony tail and it’s just not working out for me, getting all my two weeks’ worth of groceries for a family of six through the check out and then realizing I forgot my wallet at home…. What I’m trying to say is that at the end of a bad day, if you know who you are and know what you stand for, the rest of that seems easy. Most of life seems possible because you know where you’re going and what you want in life. The negative chatter fades into the background because you can rely on your self-worth and confidence. And you can go after the things you want because you know exactly what they are.  

Beautiful advice ladies!  Thank you so much for doing this interview!!

Lila – Thank you so much for this amazing and unique interview.  I’m so happy you enjoyed Striking. Brazing, Bridger’s story, will be out in December 2013!

I cannot wait to find out more about Bridger!  The parts with him in Striking have left me wanting to know more about him!

Thank you again for taking the time to answer the question!!  I loved finding out more about you two!

Striking comes out SEPTEMBER 1ST!!!
Mark it on your calendar… add it to your TBR list on Goodreads… and make sure you have no plans on September 1st!!!

Stalk Rachel on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Website, Youtube
Stalk Lila on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Website

Check out the other stops on the Reckless Rebels Blog Tour for Striking!

Regan Claire: An Interview with Rachel Higginson! Striking Blog Tour.

Christy’s Written Word Love: Blog Tour: Author Interview with Lila Felix and Rachel Higginson

Christina’s BookReviews: *Reckless Rebels Blog Tour* Character Interview w/the stars of Striking by Rachel Higginson and Lila Felix

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Love & Decay Episode 4 – Rachel Higginson

Love & Decay Episode 4

Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

Haley Gable has been on the run from Zombies and other evils for almost two years. She is exhausted, cynical and bored. Her overactive brain is ticking away at her sanity and the endless struggle for survival ahead of her seems overwhelming.

Until she meets the Parker brothers.

Now traveling in company with five overprotective brothers and a little girl that has completely stolen her heart, Haley finally feels a breath of relief.

That is until Nelson, the middle brother, decides that Haley is exactly the girl he’s been waiting for.

Panicked by the idea of love and confused about what kind of future any relationship could possibly have when surrounded daily by the looming threat of death, Haley avoids Nelson and all his advances.

When the group finds a solar powered farmhouse, Haley’s defenses are down in light of such an exciting thing as electricity and Nelson takes the opportunity to pursue her. Caught up in Nelson’s charm, Haley has trouble resisting him and everything he offers her.

A temporary fling doesn’t sound so bad, but what Nelson wants from her is something so much stronger than casual, so much deeper than anything she’s ever felt before. Nelson wants all of Haley, every last part. But can she give up her fear and doubt and give him a chance? Will he turn her world of decay into something made of love and hope?

Overall Rating: Worth Checking Out

**I received this as an ARC from Rachel in exchange for an honest review.**

Willingness to Put Down
This story was a toss up for me. When I first found out it was going to be from Haley’s point of view, I got sad. I mean, I really, really want to know what is going to happen with Reagan and Hendrix – and having to add a new storyline in there, just threw me off.
So, I didn’t want to like reading about Haley…. But I LOVED it!! 
Haley is so freaking awesome – she is definitely different than who I thought she was.
And those Haley/Nelson scenes?! Holy Hell!!!
Obviously these are shorter stories, so they are already quick reads – but you literally cannot put this one down!!  There may be no zombie fights, but there is so.much.more!

Editing/Story/Plot/Characters
Like I said, I loved finding out who Haley was. She totally blew me out of the water with what actually makes her tick… and what she apparently struggles with on a daily basis.
We also find out more about Nelson – aside from the obvious sexual chemistry between the two. We find out who Nelson was in college (I suppose Vaughan and Hendrix too, a bit).
Also – and here’s the big thing… you finally see how deep Nelson’s feelings for Haley actually run!! 
And while there was no zombie fights in this story -there was still drama. There is still an event that will make your heart pump a little faster, and you hope that things will turn out for the best… because if they take a turn for the worst… You.Will.Be.Heart.Broken!!

Heart Fluttering/School Girl Giggling/Tears
Okay – so who knew that Harrison was so funny?!  He totally added comic relief to this story. From the points in the van – to when he finds Haley and Nelson in the barn – he adds so much to the story! 

“Think of it like my education. You know, since there’s no other way for me to learn about the birds and the bees.” – Harrison

Also, Nelson finally gets Haley to admit her feelings for him. And there is a mighty make-out scene. Personally, I would be terrified to get lost in a make-out like that, in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, in a place that you aren’t very familiar with. But these two… psht. Guess they would have died happy, right?

Leading Man’s Boyfriend Potential (if acceptable)
Nelson… I honestly didn’t know what to expect from him. But I can tell you, he blew me out of the water! Sweet, caring, passionate, intense (I swear, all the Parker brothers are intense!!). He goes for what he wants, and what he wants is Haley.

“He’s not the Parker you want, Haley. I promise you that.”

“I find that I am much more attracted to good girls that put others before themselves, that meet little eight year old girls and immediately adopt them as their little sister. In my newly formed opinion, good girls make the best out of a devastating situation by finding the best pieces of everywhere they go and not only enjoying the world we live in today, but somehow making it possible to remember the past without it being traumatic.”

“Don’t doubt me, don’t doubt what’s between us and don’t ever doubt what I will do to return to you.”

Favorite Scene (without giving anything away… just to get you to really want to read)
Chapter 1 – The van ride.
Chapter 3 – … well.. I mean… Chapter Three!!!

Favorite Quotes
“You’re awfully brave, Nelson Parker. Did you forget my gun is loaded?” – Haley

“I remember what it was like when we had to leave my mom. I remember what they were like after we left home. Vaughan told me when we love something we love it forever. And when we love someone they know we love them forever. Even if we can’t tell them anymore. If Nelson loves you Haley, he will always love you.” – Page

“This is one of those times I need you more than you need to be independent.” – Hendrix

Haley – Nelson had given me something more to feel, something more to experience. He’d replaced my despair with hope, my misery with something to anticipate.
And he’d exchanged my emptiness with love.

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