Cover Reveal & Excerpt: Just One Cup by Cassandra Giovanni

Just One Cup

Author: Cassandra Giovanni

Publisher: Self Published

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Age Group: New Adult

Release Date: June 20, 2013

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Blurb: Emma Walker was a writer who’d lost herself to someone else’s anger–who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.
Evan Levesque was a rock-god–the one all the woman wanted, but he’d never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.
With just one cup of coffee they’ll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan’s fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma’s checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words…they’ll destroy my soul–Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she’s become because of it?

Excerpt:

When he came off the plane he was wearing aviators, a black button-up, dark wash jeans and those Converse shoes that I hated on anyone but him. He lifted his sunglasses and broke into a smile as I ran into his arms. He dropped his bag and spun me around as soon as I was in his arms.
“How did you know?” he asked as he set me on the ground, his hands tangled in my hair.
“You told me what flight you were on.”
He shook his head and held my chin in his hand. “I’ve always wanted to have someone to wait for me—to spin them around and then do this.”
He pulled my chin up and tilted it until our lips touched—soft at first and then the reminder that we hadn’t kissed in two months came over us. The only thing that could pull us apart was the whistle that echoed through the terminal and then the incessant flash of cameras.
“Crap,” Evan hissed, his forehead pressed to mine with his hands on either side of my face so they couldn’t get a good picture of me. “You don’t want them to know who you are yet, do you?”
I shook my head but said with my voice shaking, “I knew the risk.”
He swallowed and then smiled. “Tilt your head down so that your hair covers your face from view.”
I did what he said and then felt his hands slip the glasses over my eyes. As I looked up his cocky half-smile made me laugh.
“They look a hell of a lot hotter on you,” he teased, throwing his duffel bag over his shoulder and wrapping his arm around my waist so that his fingers were in the front pocket of my jeans.
“I don’t think that’s possible,” I replied, breathless from the feel of his touch as my t-shirt rose, exposing the flesh of my hip to his warmth.
“It’s very possible with you,” he whispered into my ear as we made our way past the flashing cameras. “I can’t wait to see the tabloids on this one.”
“It would be much better if we did something dangerous, like locked ourselves in a public restroom.”
He looked down at me through his eyebrows. “Really? That’s not all that clean.”
“I haven’t seen you in two months,” I said, turning and stopping in front of him. “I’ve thought about you every single day. Do you know what that does to a girl? Especially when pictures of you half-naked are strewn across the internet.”
“I see you found those.” His voice was edged with amusement, but his face was red in embarrassment.
I pulled on the collar of his shirt before leaning up on my toes and whispering into his ear, “I need some real ones.”
“What do you need pictures of when I’m here?” he answered, his breath hot on my chin, voice seductive.
“I need you to burn the images into my mind then,” I said before gently biting his ear.
His free hand drifted down the small of my back to my rear pocket. “I thought I already had.”
“Mhmm…I need more.”
“I have to admit I kind of enjoy this.” He smirked down at me. “But teasing me like this is just cruel.”
“Does the rental car have blacked out windows?” I asked over my shoulder as I turned.
I watched his Evan’s Adam’s apple rise and fall. “I sure hope so.”

About the Author

cassandra giovanniCassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. In 2012 she became a published Young Adult author, releasing In Between Seasons (The Fall, #1) and Walking in the Shadows. In 2013 she branched out by using her artistic illustrating talents to publish her first Children’s novel, The Adventures of Skippy Von Flippy: Tales of Friendship (Skippy Tales, #1). Cassandra will also release her first New Adult novel, Just One Cup, in the Spring of 2013.

Cassandra is a freelance professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is the owner of Gio Design Studios, a photography and publication marketing company that designs covers and marketing materials for authors utilizing the company’s photography. She is currently studying to receive her associates degree in Marketing. Cassandra is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with the other loves of her life their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.

Just One Week Left

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It wasn’t that long ago that Cassandra Giovanni was our Spotlighted Author. I read and reviewed both of her novels Walking In The Shadows and In Between Seasons. We ended the Spotlight by offering buying incentives for both paperback and ebook copies. Have you gotten your copy yet? All you have to do is go over to Etsy and while buying Giovanni’s novels you enter the codes shown above during check out. This will enable you to receive free swag. Keychains, bookmarkers, necklaces and/or matted photographs. 20121211-220042.jpg

But wait there’s more! (Sorry I’ve always wanted to say that.) Giovanni’s paperback copies are autographed and on sale.
In Between Seasons: MSRP: $9.99 SALE: $8.99
Walking in the Shadows:MSRP: $14.99 SALE: $9.99

AND shipping is free. I think this a great opportunity. You get books at a good price, free shipping and great swag. I in particular really like the keychain and necklace. Although this offer is only available to those shopping in the US it is an ongoing sale that will last until January 31st.

Giovanni Spotlight Giveaway

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I know one of the great things about the Author Spotlights are the giveaways. This Spotlight with Cassandra Giovanni shall be now different. *Cough* Uhum, I mean there will still be a giveaway yet not in our usual style. This time around, we are offering buying incentives. If you go over to Etsy and buy Giovanni’s novels you will get free swag: Keychains, bookmarkers, necklaces and matted photographs. All you have to do is enter the codes shown above during check out.

But wait there’s more! (Sorry I’ve always wanted to say that.) Giovanni’s paperback copies are autographed and on sale.
In Between Seasons: MSRP: $9.99 SALE: $8.99
Walking in the Shadows:MSRP: $14.99 SALE: $9.99

AND shipping is free. I think this a great opportunity. Especially considering how great Giovanni’s swag is. I in particular really like the keychain and necklace. Although this offer is only available to those shopping in the US it is an ongoing sale that will last until January 31st. So not only do you have the opportunity to gift these great novels and receive this awesome swag for the holidays but this offer will be open long enough for those of you receiving cash this holiday season to be able to gift yourselves.

Book Review: Walking in the Shadows

walking in the shadowsTitle: Walking in the Shadows

Author: Cassandra Giovanni

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Seconds seem like a lifetime when the life you lived is slowly drained out of you by those who care not what you felt, hoped, or dreamed. When the darkness comes it is all-consuming; there is no light and there is no pain. It is the never-ending loss of hope that now consumes me as I die in his arms.

This is Abigail Martin’s nightmare. After her parents become the first victims of a serial killer obsessed with the vampire saga, “Crimson Reign,” Abigail does the only thing that she thinks will save her from her parent’s fate–she becomes some one else. As Vera MacIntrye, she falls in love with the very handsome Tad Knightley, and then walks into her first day at her new school to see him standing at the front of the classroom. He’s every teenage girls fantasy, but as he writes “Mr. Knightley: AP British Literature” across the white board Vera realizes the one person who filled the gaping hole in her heart will soon rip it wide open again.

Vera struggles to adjust to being a ‘normal’ teenager with very adult responsibilities like paying the rent, buying groceries and making sure that lights stay on, while being drawn time and time again back to her off-limits teacher. What’s worse is he is drawn to her too, and their worlds refuse to stay apart when Tad finds Vera screaming in terror in the parking lot after the winter formal. The murderer has struck again and is getting closer to the next target–Vera. Tad will do whatever he can to save her, even if it means losing his dream job, but will it be enough when the murderer is closer than anyone ever thought?

My Review: Imagine walking in to your Lit class the first day of your senior year and seeing your boyfriend teaching the class… So that’s exactly how Walking in the Shadows starts. Yep, Giovanni definitely caught my attention with that intro.

Vera, the main character, is someone with a very traumatic past. She is independent and strong. She is also closed off and hardly let’s anyone in. She is drowning in secrets and protects herself and those she cares about by not revealing them. Yet when her past starts to catch up to her she is forced to confide in someone and it is at this point that the story gets even better.

Tad is living out his dream as a British Lit high school teacher. He is smart, protective and very much in love with Vera. He is put in a position where he has to decide what matters more to him: Vera or the job of his dreams.

I love the theme of forbidden love and Giovanni does it very well. Tad and Vera are head over heels for each other but with her being a high school student and he her teacher, the risk of being together is always hanging over their heads. Yet their romance was very sweet and I enjoyed it.

Now for the negative: Have you guys read the blurb? The last line if the blurb states will it be enough when the murderer is closer than anyone ever thought? This line left me in suspicion. That’s right, it made me suspicious of every character and it took away from the novel for me.

Also Vera, I found, was a strong character. She was dealing with a lot of problems and a lot of emotions but she found a way to hold it all together. I found her to be brave and smart and headstrong. However, at some point in the book she starts to unravel. Honestly, I found her weakness at the time to be reasonable. Yet it took away from the novel for me. After all, what I enjoyed most about her character was her strength. I dislike weak characters and once her strength started to shatter, I tended to get really frustrated with the book. I have a whole shelf on Goodreads dedicated to books like this- “cringe inducing”. It is mostly reserved for novels with weak and needy protagonists. And although this faze did not last long for her, it took the book out of the 5 star range.

Even with that, there is something about this novel that really got to me. It may have been the beautiful romance or Giovanni’s take on modern vampires. It was a good read with its action, suspense and drama. Walking in the Shadows is unique and a book I enjoyed reading.

*I received a free copy of this nil in exchange for an honest review

Spotlight Interview: Cassandra Giovanni

1. As a child what did you wish to be when you grew up? A writer, and at one point a vet, farrier and a professional jockey (I went through a horse phase, but throughout it I always wanted to be a writer)
2. What’s your favorite movie of all time? Oh, I don’t know. Comedy: Easy A; Drama: Sherlock Holmes (the first one); Jane Austen Movie: Emma
3. Who is your favorite author? Jane Austen
4. What is your favorite pastime? Photography and advertisement design
5. What is one of your favorite quotes?. “Being human explains everything, but excuses nothing.”

Q: What led you to sit down and write your first novel?
A: I was fifteen, and the thing about writing for me is, if I don’t do it, it drives me insane. I literally can’t think of anything else, and I have to write it. I have about 5 novels that I started that way, but never developed into anything, then I have the ones that did. I love those ones. I wrote my first full length novel when I was fifteen as well. It was about a girl who loved horses and dirt bikes and you better believe there was a hot guy thrown in there.cassandra giovanni

Q: You are the author of two published novels: Walking in the Shadows and In Between Seasons. Which has been the hardest for you to write and why?
A: Honestly, writing usually flows out of me naturally, but with In Between Seasons when I edited it I kind of lost touch with my complete writer. I was reading a lot of “edit yourself into print” books and in the end I cropped out who I really was. I learned a lot with that novel, though, about whom I was as a writer and to stand up for what I really thought was right. I also learned to keep every copy of my original novel once I started the editing process because I don’t have the original version, so I can’t really compare it to anything. I still think In Between Seasons is a great book, and I am definitely a “show not tell” writer, but could it have been better? Yes. Could Walking in the Shadows be better? Yes. Could whatever I publish next be better? Yes. Nothing that is published is ever perfect, but we can try to get as close to it as possible. I aim to show continually growth throughout each novel I publish and to designate myself as a unique writer that you know it’s Cassie Gio when you pick it up.

Q: What are you currently working on at the moment?
A: Muahaha. That’s a secret! 😉 I was working on my first New Adult novel, Let the Fates Decide until I woke up one day from a dream and HAD to write it. Now, my fingers are on fire, and that’s why I got up at 4 AM today because I don’t have enough time for anything and I need to write, for my sanity, of course.

Q: To date, what has been your favorite thing about being a published writer?
A: Connecting with readers—I cannot say how much I value my readers, and the realization that people “fan” me. I literally do a little dance each time someone “fans” me on Goodreads. It feels absolutely amazing. A few weeks ago one of the clubs I am involved in ran an interview with me and then readers started to comment, and it was so great to get to talk to people who want to read my novels, to hear their thoughts and communicate with their enthusiasm. I’ve actually copied the whole thread and keep it here to remind me when it gets tough, why I am doing this.

Q: If you can have one lasting impression on your readers what would you want it to be?
A: That hard work will eventually get you were you want to be. Am I there yet? No, but I hard pressed believe that my drive will get me there someday. You can’t forget why you are doing something, and you need a good support system to keep you grounded. When I get stressed my husband reminds me why he stopped playing music, and that he doesn’t want that to happen to me. My mentor is only a phone call away when I get a bad review, and my parents are saints. As readers, realize how very important you are to the author, especially indie authors like myself. You can make our careers catch on fire.

Q: Lastly, being that you are now in the Spotlight, are there any parting thoughts you would like to share?
A: Wow, I think that personal advice is to do what you have to, but always make room for what you love. Work hard, and you will get there even if it’s slow, it will be worth it in the end.

Q: Where can readers follow you?
A: http://www.cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com
And on Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6094287.Cassandra_Giovanni

Book Review: In Between Seasons

in between seasonsTitle: In Between Seasons (The Fall #1)

Author: Cassandra Giovanni

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Blurb: At eighteen there is one thing Kate Ericson is certain of—the world is at war and has been since she was two years old. That was when her father pulled her family and a group of close friends to a God forsaken place in the middle of nowhere. For Kate there is no escape from the sea of lies she is drowning in until her world collides with Hunter Marks—the son of her father’s biggest opponent. An opponent that Kate didn’t even know existed. What Hunter kidnaps Kate for, and what her family will try to kill her to keep secret, is a knowledge that she doesn’t have. Now Kate’s innocence seems to becoming undone at the seams of reality. Hunter then finds himself fighting the hopelessness that is creeping into the edges of her heart as she learns more about the corruption that has devoured their lives. As Hunter and Kate forge a strong and unique relationship it becomes clear that their love is something that the bureaucracy never expected, and that Hunter’s father will do whatever he can to destroy it. Hunter believes he must sacrifice love in order to teach Kate that the world’s deadliest weapon is her. Hunter and Kate will have to find the strength to rise above a deception that is so great, even the ones who created it don’t realize its depth.

In Between Seasons is a new kind of post-apocalyptic novel, one that focuses on the characters and uses the lack of understanding of a corrupt world as the backdrop to shape them into who they are as people.

My Review: In Between Seasons is definitely an interesting novel. It is a dystopian novel that I found to be different. Giovanni weaves history and truth and paints a post-apocalyptic world that is believable and realistic.

The novel does not necessarily start off slow but it takes me a little while to feel as if I am connecting to its characters. It starts off with action and it surely piqued my interest. However, I felt myself not really into the novel. It took me two or three chapters to get into the story and feel a connection to the characters. With that being said, I enjoyed the main characters. The story is told in first person POV from Kate’s perspective. I like her determination, strength, guile, intuition and perseverance. Hunter on the other hand, is her love interest. They share a lot of the same characteristics but man is he swoon worthy. 🙂 He does so much to protect Kate and he kind of becomes her knight in shining armor, her beacon in the darkest of nights. I enjoyed the way Giovanni portrays them- cold and indifferent. Yet, that’s simply how they look to the world. With each other, they let their guards down and we get to see the real them. I enjoyed seeing the two sides to these characters. Also, the connection they both share lead them to go against the molds their families have for them and there is just something about their forbidden love that makes it all the more beautiful.

The truth is that the biggest attraction to this novel is the romance. Any romance lover or romantic at heart can read this novel and totally swoon over it. It’s nice in the get to know each other way. Kate and Hunter have crazy chemistry and they endlessly tease each other. They’re romance reminded me a bit of the Montague’s and Capulet’s- Two rival families who are at war but amidst all of that an unexpected love forms between two of its members.

Overall, In Between Seasons is a great read. The emotions are very real and I enjoyed the themes presented in this book: Love, betrayal, loss, revenge, hatred, humor, friendship… I also loved what I found to be the moral of the story- that love has the power to heal, give strength and bring out the best in people. That love is a force and with determination it conquers all.

*I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review

Author Spotlight: Cassandra Giovanni

We are once again in that time of the month where I introduce the next Author Spotlight:

cassandra giovanniCassandra Giovanni is an avid writer of young adult novels and can’t wait to share her work with you. The genres of her novels include dystopian, paranormal, mystery and romance all aimed at appealing to adults and young adults alike. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. She began writing at a very young age, in fact from the moment she could draw she was telling stories that way. At age seven she won a contest in American Girl Doll to have a chapter she had written published. From that point on she was always writing, if not on paper than in her head. In May 2012 she published her first novel, In Between Seasons, which demonstrated her unique writing style and approach to the genre of post-apocalyptic fiction. On Halloween 2012 Cassandra released her second novel, Walking in the Shadows. This novel puts a new twist on the obsession of vampires in literature and explores some of the darkest parts of human nature, while still showing that there is always hope–if we only choose to believe in ourselves.

Cassandra and I have been working on a few things and this Spotlight will definitely be unique. 🙂 I hope you enjoy all that we have planned and Cassandra, welcome to the Spotlight!