Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, July 14, 2014

If I Say Yes by Brandy Jellum (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for If I Say Yes by Author Brandy Jellum!

Author Guest Post

Summer is here for most of us (depending where you live). Which means a lot of things for different people. For me, it’s a chance for the Oregon rain to disappear for a while only to be replaced with horrible humidity and high temperatures. During these months, I whine and cry that it’s too hot and I want summer to go away but once the rain comes again…I desperately want the sun back. It also means that the kids are out of school.

I love my children, I really do. But having all four of them home, all day long, for three whole months, gets hectic. I start counting the days until September and trying to convince myself that I am not crazy and I don’t need to check into the psych ward. I’m a stay at home mother of four, ranging in ages 2-13. So trying to get them all to play and get along, all day and every day, is almost an impossible feat.

So I try and think of all the ways to keep my children happy, entertained, and NOT trying to kill the other off. You would think that since it rains so much in our lovely town all year round that they would want to spend every second they can outside playing in the sun. And that is the furthest thing from the truth. More often than not, I get the same ol’ “There’s nothing to do outside.” Or the repetitive, “I’m bored.” All they want is to sit inside and watch Netflix on the 50 inch, or play on the PS3, or be on their phone/tablet. It’s useless fight trying to get them outside.

I smile and I nod. Knowing that the problem with this generation is that they are so dependent on technology and can’t function without it. My husband and I tell our children the same thing every year, “Use your imagination. The backyard is full of adventures just waiting to happen.”

They look at us like we’re crazy and I just smile again. I sit back in my chair, take a drink of whatever I have, and remember all the adventures I once had. I have been a pirate, fighting away anyone who tried to steal my buried treasure. I have been Indiana Jones, on the search for my newest adventure. I’ve been the Pink Power Ranger (the original one). I’ve been a secret agent spying on people, an action movie star filming my newest movie, and I’ve been a princess locked away in a magical kingdom awaiting my prince charming to come. And those are just a few.

I remember the countless water fights I had with my sister and friends. Playing tag/freeze tag. Hide and seek. Simon Says, Red Rover, and Red Light, Green Light. All these memories filled my childhood days. Imagination was my fruit that I juiced to the very last drop. I was always sad when summer ended and counted the days until my next adventure. And now, I count down the days until summer ends. It’s sad and heartbreaking. I don’t tell my kids of my adventures. I want them to find their own adventures. Their own stories to tell.

What kind of adventures did you have as a child in the warmth of the summer?

About The Author

Brandy Jellum’s passion for writing began long before she actually sat down to write. As a child, she has had an obsession with reading, everything from the classic stories by Jane Austen to YA Fiction by Richelle Mead. Finally, in 2012, she decided to create her own stories for people to fall in love with. Brandy bounces back and forth writing both Romance and Young Adult Fiction (which is mainly just for fun).

At the beginning of 2014, Brandy signed a contract with publishing company Booktrope. She is very excited about the next chapter of her life and cannot wait to share her books and passion with readers.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found chasing after her husband, her four children and her black lab, Diesel. Or curled up on her favorite corner of the couch with her newest book.


Book Review

If I Say Yes by Brandy Jellum
Book 1: Say Something Series
Publisher: Booktrope
Publication Date: April 24, 2014
Format: Paperback - 190 pages
             Kindle - 427 KB
             Nook - 334 KB
ISBN: 978-1620153673
BNID: 2940149376094
Genre: Romantic Suspense


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Elizabeth Lewis was the child of Hollywood’s darling couple, until her father murdered her mother.

Six years later, she has traded her flashy, luxurious lifestyle for one of safe anonymity as a literary agent. With a different name and appearance, Liza Winter is living the life of her dreams—one where she’s known for who she is instead of what her father did. Except her apartment should be condemned, her car only starts when it wants, she hates the romance genre she has been assigned, and the CEO’s deliciously attractive nephew is out to ruin her carefully laid plans.

Reid Harder has never met an obstacle he couldn’t overcome. When his new position in the romance department comes with a benefit his uncle didn’t mention, he decides to wage a war against the intelligent, beautiful Liza to destroy every argument she has for turning him down. Still, the closer he gets to winning the prize, the more he realizes that the woman is keeping secrets that may endanger not just her life but his.

Will Liza overcome her mistrust of Reid to reveal her secrets before he learns the truth and walks away? Or will a grudge-wielding apparition from her past make her the next deadly Hollywood headline?

Book Excerpt:


Six years ago

Blood covers every surface. On the pristine, white marble flooring, the grand staircase and handrail, and what used to be a tall, square wooden end table by the large double doors I just walked through. The table now lays scattered across the foyer, broken into jagged pieces. The large, antique ceramic bowl that served as a key holder had set on the table, but now, it too is scattered amongst the broken wood and the blood bath. I follow the trail of dark crimson fluid up the stairs, my hands shaking and my breath catching. Upstairs is worse, far worse. The plush white carpet is saturated a deep shade of red; splatters and droplets are everywhere.

My heart is pounding, urging me to go, to leave, to run and call for help. My head tells me otherwise, to follow the trail of blood down the hall. The blood is smeared on the walls, as if someone was trying to grab ahold of something to prevent being dragged this way. The trail leads to my parents’ bedroom. My heartbeat quickens, and a bead of sweat forms along my hairline. The door to my parents’ room is slightly ajar, and I nudge it open a little farther, just enough so I can slip past the door.

A piercing scream escapes, and I quickly clamp a hand over my mouth. My eyes are glued to the sight before me. There’s no mistaking the familiar blonde hair attached to the crumpled body on the floor, discarded as though she is a piece of garbage that nobody wants. Just left there with a pool of blood surrounding her body. The blonde hair, the only thing I share with my mother, is drenched in the dark fluid. Another cry escapes my lips as I rush across the floor and collapse next to her, brushing the hair out of her face. My heart drops to the pit of my stomach, and I feel bile rising to the back of my throat.

I can hardly recognize my mother’s soft, delicate face; she was a natural beauty, one that everyone wanted to star in their next movie at one point in her life. Her face is mangled with large, jagged cuts that run across it. The blood is already starting to dry. Examining the rest of her body, I see she is covered from head to toe with multiple stab wounds. Under the cross-hatch of wounds, I can see faint bruises forming from the multiple contusions she has suffered as well.

“Mom,” I whisper. I scoop her body into my arms and pull her close to my body. Her head rests against my chest as I begin to rock back and forth. “Don’t be dead…please, don’t be dead.” I know my plea is useless; she is already gone. The amount of blood throughout the house and pooling around her, and the blank expression in her blue eyes is proof enough. Tears form in my eyes. “You can’t be dead.”

I cry out loud, and my body begins to shake involuntarily. “I didn’t mean what I said…I forgive you.” My voice breaks and barely comes out. I think back to the last conversation we had. Which, honestly, isn’t anything outside the norm, since we fought constantly the little time we are around each other. We had a toxic mother-daughter relationship. If there’s an award for worst parents ever, mine would win, hands down. But today, today’s argument was different. It had been the final straw in her attempt to break me down. I had yelled at her, uttering all the same obscenities and same ‘I hate you.’ I had told her that she was the worst mother in the world and that I would be better off if she would just die. I never really meant that last part. No matter how unloving, cruel, and horrible they were, neither of my parents deserve to die, at least not like this.

I shake my mother slightly, but she doesn’t stir. Of course she doesn’t; she is long gone. “Please…please… just come back.” I choke out the last three words. It doesn’t matter that I have spent a lifetime hating her nor does it matter that she took the one thing that made me happiest in the world right out from under my nose. At the moment, I could care less about all the horrible things she has said and done. Nothing, I repeat nothing, she has done warranted her death. I begin to cry, sobbing uncontrollably. I cry because however rotten she was, she is gone, and I never got to say goodbye or to take back any of the things I have ever said to her.

“It’s a shame things had to end like this.” I snap my head up and find my father leaning against the door frame. His dark brown hair is a tousled mess. He is still wearing the charcoal suit I last saw him in, minus the jacket and tie. His forehead is creased, and his dark brown eyes, the exact same shade as mine, narrow. In one hand, he is holding a large, white, terry cloth towel stained with blood. In the other is a large butcher knife dripping blood. His lips quirk up into a sinister grin that sends a chill down my spine. “You can’t really be sad, can you? Not after what she did to you…to me…to us.”

His words linger in the air.

“Y-Y-You did this?” I ask weakly.

He struts across the room toward me, and I pull my mother closer, as if I can protect her from any further harm. I glance up at him hovering over me, and my eyes flicker to the knife in his hands. My father follows my gaze and smiles. He tosses the knife onto their oversized poster bed and wipes his hands off with the towel before tossing it onto the bed as well.

“Of course I did,” he sneers. My father smiles, not showing one ounce of remorse for what he has done.

“Why? Why would you do this?”

“The bitch had it coming.” He smiles again and sends another wave of chills down my spine. “I did it for us, but more importantly, I did it for you, Elizabeth.” Then he lunges for me…

My Book Review:

Are you looking for a thrilling romantic suspense tale to wile away a lazy summer day? Well then I found the book for you ... sit down, buckle up, and get ready to be captivated by the riveting debut novel,  If I Say Yes by author Brandy Jellum.

Six years ago Hollywood socialite Elizabeth Lewis ran away from her traumatic past and reinvented her life. Now twenty-four, she goes under the name of Liza Winter, a literary agent in the Romantic genre at the prominent Harder's Literary Agent House. Liza has worked hard to keep her past behind her, but when she unexpectedly meets Reid Harder, the literary agency owner's nephew and her new boss, hidden secrets and painful old memories come to surface, threatening to turn her life upside down once again.

In If I Say Yes, the first book in the Say Something Series, author Brandy Jellum weaves an intriguing romantic suspense tale that captivates the reader's attention from the opening paragraph, and easily keeps them holding their breath and guessing what will happen next. You can't help but get drawn into this riveting story as it unfolds, the tangled web of haunting and painful memories and hidden secrets once again comes to the surface and threatens Liza's carefully reinvented life.

This fast-paced multi-layered and complex story has enough intriguing clues, suspense, and thrilling twists and turns that will keep the reader sitting on the edge of their seat. You can't help but want to keep turning the pages to see what will happen to Liza and Reid's developing romantic relationship when her traumatic past resurfaces with chilling threats and danger lurking around every corner.

I think the author did a great job of interweaving a nice balance of romance and suspense throughout the story, it kept my interest and made me want to figure out how the story would end ... but alas ... the author teases the reader with a breath-holding cliff-hanger of an ending that leaves the reader wanting more, only to have to wait for the release of the next book in the series.

If I Say Yes has everything that a true romantic suspense fan could ever want in a book, just take my word and read it, you can thank me later!


Contest Giveaway

Win Signed Bookmarks

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Virtual Book Tour Event Schedule

Tour Schedule:

June 30 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review
June 30 - Ski-Wee's Book Corner - Guest Post
July 1 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Excerpt
July 2 – All About a Book – Review & Excerpt
July 3 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review
July 7 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review
July 8 – Reading In Black and White – Review & Excerpt
July 9 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
July 10 – Reecaspieces – Review
July 11- Goth Girl Gabs – Review & Excerpt
July 14 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt


  1. Thanks for closing out the tour!

    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.