New Adult Book Review – Lennon’s Jinx (Lennon’s Girls No. 1) by Chris Myers

Lennon's Jinx (Lennon's Girls #1) by Chris Myers

Lennon’s Jinx (Lennon’s Girls #1) by Chris Myers

Synopsis
Sometimes in love, you don’t get to choose who you fall for…

Lennon spends most of his time raising his sister Currie while skating through his senior year of high school. He prefers groupies with no-strings attached but finds himself attracted to Jinx, the straight-A student in his choir—a girl way out of his league.

Jinx is not the perfect person her classmates think she is. She conceals the black truth about herself, even from her friends. She won’t admit to them that she screwed up big time, losing what she once held most precious.

Neither Jinx nor Lennon trusts the opposite sex. When she joins Lennon’s band, she discovers that he is not the bad boy every girl thinks he is and that he just might be the one.

My Review
After reading Lennon’s Hope, I went back to start with the first book in the series and I’m so glad I did. I loved getting to know the characters better and understand them more through the book that introduced them. Lennon tries to be this womanizing, bad-boy rocker type, but it quickly becomes clear he’s deeply wounded and uses sex as diversion from his life. His parents are absent at best, completely apathetic at other times. And he never lies to girls. They all know what they’re getting, and more importantly what they’re not getting — a relationship. It’s hard not to feel for the broken boy beneath the image.

The one girl Lennon will do anything for is his nine-year-old sister, Currie, and she is his saving grace. He sacrifice his own needs, putting her first. Always. Even when that means giving up coffee, meat, and even sex when Currie demands it. She keeps him human and relatable.

Jinx is equally damaged, but for other reasons. The two of them seem to find a kinship in each other. Whether or not it turns into something more is what the story is about.

Plot
This is a solid plot for a new adult romance. It’s really upper young adult as the characters are still in high school, but because of the subject matter and language, it probably better fits into the NA category.

First, there’s Lennon’s character development as he goes from bad boy to someone Jinx might be interested in. Then there’s Jinx dealing with her stepfather/ rapist, Currie’s best friend and next door neighbor, Zoe, who is suffering from cancer, Lennon’s band and their future, and his relationship with his deadbeat parents. It’s a lot, and yet Chris Myers manages to weave it all together flawlessly so that never feels too busy or becomes overwhelming. Several interesting twists and turns kept me on my toes.

Characters
The characters are the best part of this book. They are complex individuals with a lot of issues to deal with. Lennon is extremely authentic and I feel like I really get him. He’s hard not to like, despite all of his many flaws.

Jinx took me longer to connect with. She’s standoffish by nature and her personal demons don’t make her any more warm and fuzzy. But as she grows to appreciate Lennon for who he is, some of her walls start to crumble a little and she becomes more likeable.

The supporting cast, particularly Currie, Zoe, and Lennon’s band mates, are all very well-rounded characters that are deeply developed and compliment the plot and Jinx’s and Lennon’s development. The dialogue is crisp and true to older teens.

Bottom Line
Lennon’s Jinx is a compelling story that goes beyond the typical young adult or even new adult romance. The writing is crips and the angst is palpable. Because of the subject matter and language, I wouldn’t recommend it for teen readers under 16.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book
Title: Lennon’s Jinx
Series: Lennon’s Girls #1
Author: Chris Myers
Publisher: Books on the Edge
Release Date: December 30, 2013
Pages: 220
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author Chris MyersAbout the Author
Chris Myers spends most of her free time writing and dreaming up new characters who fight each other for page time. She is an award-winning author and lives in Colorado with her daughter, her better half, and her Bichon BeBe. Her work has appeared in the NewsMag and has earned several awards including first place Paul Gillette, Colorado Gold finalist, and semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

She has taught writing workshops for conferences, PPW, and Delve Writing and was an adjunct professor at CSU. Chris is a member of SCBWI and Pikes Peak Writers. She earned a Masters from the University of South Florida. Look for her series RIPSTERS, a Young Adult, paranormal/mystery with the spark of romance, starting with DATE WITH THE DEAD.

Where to Find Chris Myers
Goodreads | Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway

Trailer Reveal – Dare to Submit (Dare To Series No. 3) by Carly Phillips

Here’s the steamy trailer for Carly Phillip’s new novel in the Dare To Series, Dare to Submit.

Dare to Submit by Carly Phillips

Dare to Submit by Carly Phillips

About the Book
Title:
 Dare to Submit (Dare To Series #3)
Author: Carly Phillips
Release Date: September 8, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | AmazoniTunes

Synopsis
Decklan Dare knows about the unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all areas of his life.

Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings.

They meet and their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run deeper – if they drop their guard and let each other in.

Decklan is first to trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive? Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain?

Author Carly PhillipsAbout the Author
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today’s readers identify with and enjoy.

After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She’s a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.

Where to Find Carly Phillips
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

Book Blast + Giveaway – The Manhattan Puzzle by Laurence O’Bryan

The Manhattan Puzzle (Puzzle Series #3) by Laurence O'Bryan

The Manhattan Puzzle (Puzzle Series #3) by Laurence O’Bryan

About the Book
Title: The Manhattan Puzzle
Author: Laurence O’Bryan
Series: Puzzle Series #3
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Thriller
ISBN: 9781847562906
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
An international cover-up that could change the course of history…

Sean has been tracking a symbol from another age. It provides a clue to a barbaric conspiracy. A puzzle with an answer feared for millenia.

When Isabel wakes to find Sean hasn’t come home she doesn’t worry. At first. But when the police turn up on her doorstep wanting to interview him, she has to make a decision.

Does she keep faith in him or does she believe the evidence?

The symbol Sean and Isabel have been chasing will finally be revealed in Manhattan as one of the greatest banks in the world totters. Can Isobel uncover the truth before time runs out…or will she too be murdered?

A thrilling, high-octane race to save civilisation that will engross fans of Dan Brown, David Baldacci and James Patterson.

Excerpt
‘Go for it. The rougher the better, girl.’ The man had a black silk blindfold tied around his head. He spoke slowly, his voice thick with desire.

Xena went to the door and unlocked it.

‘What’s that? Getting your toys out? Wow, this is even better than you promised.’

Lord Bidoner walked into the panic room. He closed the door behind him and pressed the button to turn on the air management system. The scrubber in the roof could remove the smoke from a blazing fire and turn the output into a vapour trail.

The man, spread-eagled and handcuffed to the stainless steel bed frame, had an expectant smile on his face.

‘Go on, do it,’ he said.

The navy Calvin Klein silk suit hanging from the stool beside the bed gave an indication of who he was. Lord Bidoner examined the man’s wallet. His bank ID card, a credit-card-sized piece of aluminium with an embedded proximity chip and his family name, Hare, embossed on it, confirmed what they already knew.

The head of global security at BXH, one of the world’s few truly global banks, was lying face-up and naked in front of him.

‘Don’t keep me waiting, girl.’

‘I won’t,’ purred Xena. She stroked his leg, then his inner thigh. He quivered in anticipation.

The man’s wife would surely appreciate photographs of this event, but Lord Bidoner had more pressing concerns.

He nodded at Xena.

She was dressed in a low-cut skin-tight black catsuit that fitted her thin frame perfectly. The man laid out in front of them was expecting something memorable from the woman he’d met in the champagne bar opposite Grand Central, two weeks before. Xena’s story, about being an Ethiopian diplomat’s daughter, and her eager smile, had captivated him.

She ran her finger down the man’s stomach. It trembled under her touch.

‘Don’t stop, honey. Don’t stop.’

With her other hand Xena clicked on the silver Turboflame blowtorch, the most expensive model in the world with its 1500C flame. She held the gently hissing blue, inch-long flame up and watched it glow brighter as her fingers moved slowly down his stomach.

‘What’s that?’ he said.

She didn’t reply.

Hare’s voice was still confident when he spoke. ‘Was that your sister who just came in? Is she gonna join us?’

‘We have a surprise for you,’ said Xena.

The man pulled on the handcuffs, which began to cut into his skin. It had taken a bit of persuasion, since this was their third meeting, for Xena to get him to go this far, but he trusted her now. And he’d made it clear that he wasn’t going to put up with any crap. He’d break the bed if she didn’t release him when he gave the password.

She’d smiled, hugged him and agreed.

They’d even laughed about making a written contract.

‘What’s the surprise?’ He shook the bed, testing its resilience and the strength of the handcuffs. He’d assumed they were easily breakable toys, like a previous pair she’d shown him. But he was wrong.

And he didn’t know that the bed was bolted to the reinforced slab of the panic room floor, either. Though he might have guessed that there was something wrong when it refused to move under him.

‘Just a friend of mine. We have a little question for you,’ said Xena.

‘Yeah?’ He was still curious, still expectant of further delights.

‘What is the password for the security system at BXH?’

The man didn’t reply verbally. He shook the bed from side to side, trying to break free. He didn’t know that his only hope was if his thrashing managed to separate his hands from his wrists, and his feet from his ankles. And very few people have strength enough to do that.

Xena waved the blue flame, raised it, as if offering it up. It flickered higher.

The odour of the burning butane gas filled the room like bad perfume. The sound of the blow torch was a threatening hissing now. Xena placed the tip of the flame against the top edge of the whiskey tumbler the man had been drinking from. The glass turned blue.

‘Wait until you feel this. Then you will tell me,’ said Xena. Her tone had changed. It was demanding now.

‘What? Fu . . .’ The end of that confident word was bitten off by the piercing scream that came from deep within his throat. Xena had touched the flame against the pale skin of his shoulder.

He began thrashing. Like a fish flailing. He moved from side to side, squirming away from the skin-blistering heat. But he couldn’t move fast enough. And his legs and arms were stretched out tight.

Easy targets.

The smell in the room changed and the atmosphere with it. Pain and whimpering, sizzling and guttural roars filled the air.

The man had become a dog.

Then Xena asked him again.

‘The password, please.’ She spoke softly, as if they were still playing a game.

‘If you give it up, I will release you. You can explain these little burns to your wife. But the ones I will inflict next will require hospital treatment. Or the services of a morgue.’ She clicked the flame off, then pressed the hot tip hard and fast into the biggest blister she had inflicted, near his ankle.

‘What do you say, Mr Hare?’

The man answered with a defiant, animal roar. He shook the bed under him. The last vestige of his pride in working at BXH bellowed out of him.

Xena lit the flame again. She reached forward, touched it to his chest, and ran it fast down the middle until smoke from his burning body hair filled the room with a sickly odour.

‘Stop, stop!’ he screamed. His body squirmed to escape the heat.

‘It’s #89*99,’ he shouted. ‘Please! Stop!’

Bidoner keyed the password into his phone and pressed send.

‘I hope you’re not lying,’ said Xena. ‘I want all this to have a happy ending.’

She squeezed his thigh with her hand, then stroked it.

Tears streamed from under his blindfold. His cheeks were red. It was good he couldn’t see the weals on his body, because he would know immediately that he wouldn’t be able to explain any of them to his wife.

‘Please, let me go. I promise not to tell anyone. I swear, on my children’s lives.’

Lord Bidoner’s mobile beeped as an incoming message came in. He nodded at Xena. The code had worked.

‘I believe you,’ she said. ‘But there is one more thing I must do for you.’

She put the Turboflame down and went to the fridge. She took out a six-inch-long serrated knife, honed with care to a perfect blade, from the freezer section.

She held it in the air, admiring its cold edge.

‘Now you will find release,’ she said.

The man’s body went still. His toes, which had scrunched up, half straightened. The only sound was his pain-filled whimpering.

The panic room in the apartment on Fifth Avenue, overlooking the skyscrapers of Manhattan, was soundproof. It was why they used the room.

Xena flicked the blade across the man’s pale skin, once, then twice, fascinated by how quickly blood gushed, how fast it flowed from a few simple cuts.

‘This is for my brothers,’ she said.

‘Don’t,’ he whimpered. Fear trembled in his voice. ‘I have two children, a wife.’

She growled, psyching herself up.

‘Prima quattuor invocare unum,’ she said, as she grabbed him, jerking him upwards and castrating him with one swinging motion.

She held the bloody remains up in the air.

His screams of terror and pain vibrated through the room as blood spurted two feet high. A foul smell followed and the man’s words became a babbling.

Lord Bidoner held his nose. He’d seen enough. He went out to the main room of the apartment, with its view towards the glittering Jazz-era spire of the Empire State Building.

‘You did good, my dear. The first offering has been done correctly,’ he said, when Xena joined him.

She was panting.

‘Come here.’

He pushed her up against the inch-thick glass of the window, as Manhattan glittered behind them.

Afterwards, he handed her a balloon glass containing a large shot of Asbach 21. She sipped the brandy, then downed it in one gulp.

Then she lay down on the sleek oak coffee table that dominated the room. The canyon of lights stretching into the velvet Manhattan night reflected all the way along the length of the table and onto her ebony skin.

He reached down and stroked her shoulder. It was trembling.

‘Three more before the moon rises again. That is what the book says. That is what we will do.’

She smiled up at him. Her white teeth shone as she leaned her head back and stretched.

Trailer

Author Laurence O'Bryan

Author Laurence O’Bryan

About the Author
Laurence was born in Dublin. He studied business, then IT at Oxford University.After going to England he paid for his own courses and began rising at 4AM so he could study and work at the same time.One early job was as a kitchen porter near the Bank of England cleaning the plates of the well connected.

Laurence was first published by a school newspaper when he was ten, for a short story about aliens getting lost. Thirty-five years later, he attended an authonomy workshop and not long after was offered a publishing contract for three books.

The Manhattan Puzzle is his third novel.

Where to Find Laurence O’Bryan
Website | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Pinterest

Giveaway

Young Adult Book Review – The Senior Superlative by Jennifer D.

The Senior Superlative by Jennifer DiGiovanni

The Senior Superlative by Jennifer DiGiovanni

Synopsis
As the final semester of senior year begins, the much anticipated Senior Superlative votes are revealed to the students at Harmony High. When Sadie discovers she’s been voted “Most Likely to Get Married” to Andy – a boy she’s never dated or even considered as a potential boyfriend – she assumes that she’s become the victim of a cruel joke.

Yet, the harder Sadie works to show everyone she’s not the least bit attracted to Andy, the more appealing he becomes. As senioritis kicks in and the school year dwindles down to mere weeks, Sadie realizes that proving the Senior Superlative vote was meaningless just might ruin her chance for true love.

My Review
This is such an entertaining story, with charming characters, witty dialogue and fresh plot. Sadie and Jana want to end their high school years with a bang, and realize rather late into their senior year, they haven’t really done much to leave their mark on Harmony High. Two self-described list-a-holics set out to complete the ultimate list of accomplishments before graduation.

Their attempts to letter in a sport, star in the school play, and break a school rule land them in amusing situations. And on top of all of it is the danged Senior Superlatives where Sadie, much to her horror, has been voted most likely to marry uber-geek, Andrew Kosolowski. As Sadie tries to prove the voters wrong, that she and Andy are definitely not couple material, she discovers a side of Andy she never noticed before. However, her drive to check off another item on her list could end up ruining the one accomplishment she wants the most.

Plot
Jennifer D. has written a solid plot that is humorous, sometimes wacky, and just plain fun. I love how Sadie’s top ten lists are sprinkled throughout the book — everything from how annoying Andy is, to how to kill time in detention. The story is peppered with laugh-out-loud moments as Sadie and Jana work their way through their list, revising, refining, and failing, but never giving up.

Characters
Jennifer D. has a knack for creating wildly original teen characters that somehow manage to deliver their lines with both grace and snark. Sadie is loveably antagonistic, Jana is hopeful and spirited. And Andy is adorkably sweet, but that doesn’t mean he’s a pushover. The rest of the characters are distinct, each with their own voice and quirks.

Bottom Line
A refreshing high school love story with charm, humor, and oh, those lists. Here are my top ten reasons to love The Senior Superlative:
1. A hot guy with an even hotter sports car
2. Swoon-worthy kissing scenes
3. Sadie’s unique view on life and the world around her
4. The Super K’s
5. A dancing man-eating plant
6. Hilarious driving lessons
7. Pig dissections (‘nuf said)
8. The Kosolowski metamorphosis
9. Sadie and Jana’s female bromance (girlmance?)
10. Top Ten lists

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book
Title: The Senior Superlative
Author: Jennifer D.
Publisher: N/A
Pages: 236
Category: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links to Purchase: For a limited time, read it for free at SwoonReads

Author Jennifer D.

Author Jennifer D.

About the Author
Jennifer DiGiovanni lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. She’s a freelance writer by day who also enjoys writing light-hearted YA fiction.

After graduating with a degree in English, Jennifer has participated in local writers’ workshops and has graduated from the Children’s Institute of Literature.

She’s also a member of the SCBWI and Critique Circle. Connect with Jennifer on twitter @jendwrites.

Where to Find Jennifer D.
Goodreads | Tumblr | Twitter

Young Adult Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway Unrequited by Emma Grey

Unrequited Book Blitz
Welcome to today’s stop on the Unrequited Book Blitz. I have Excerpt #5 for you.

Unrequited by Emma Grey

Unrequited by Emma Grey

About The Book
Title: Unrequited
Author: Emma Grey
Release Date: May 26, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
Seventeen-year-old Kat Hartland loathes Unrequited, the world’s biggest boy band. Is she the only girl in Sydney who can’t be bothered with perfect-looking Angus Marsden?

Give her 5 Seconds of Summer. Now.

Or maybe the seriously-hot med student who rescued her on a train—and who could be Douglas Booth’s twin! Perfect formal partner, much?

But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get complicated. Very. Throw in a deranged female popstar, final exams, a part in the musical and a mum who just doesn’t get it—and where is her best friend?

When did life get so crazy? Kat’s just an ordinary schoolgirl.

Isn’t she?

You can read the first three chapters here.

Unrequited Teaser 3

Excerpt #5
Is he going to kiss her? How would she know? She’s never done this before. Not with anyone. Pop star or otherwise …

He is. He’s going to kiss me. She thought they couldn’t get any closer on this piano stool but she was wrong. His face is near hers now, his green eyes intent. He touches her cheek with his fingers and traces a line to her chin, which he lifts, gently, almost like he’s done this a million times before.

His breath is on her lips and she can actually hear her own heart thudding. She’s sure he can, too, particularly when his other hand finds the curve of her waist and pulls her closer.

There’s nothing rushed about this manoeuvre. Yep. He’s definitely done this before. Maybe two million times. Maybe three million. After all, he’s got at least twenty million followers on social media …

‘Kat,’ he whispers. ‘Turn your brain off.’

Unrequited Teaser 2

Author Emma Grey

Author Emma Grey

About the Author
Emma Grey has two teenage girls, a three-year-old boy, a couple of businesses and another teen novel in the pipeline.

Her first book, ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ was published in 2005..

Where to Emma Grey
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway
Three (3) $10 Amazon Gift Cards (Int)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Young Adult Book Review – Iron Pendulum (The Periodic Series) by Megan Curd

Iron Pendulum (The Periodic Series #2) by Megan Curd

Iron Pendulum (The Periodic Series #2) by Megan Curd

Synopsis
A month ago, Avery thought the world ended outside Dome Four. Thought she was one of the few of her kind. Thought the war that brought the human race to the brink of extinction was over.

But a month can change everything.

After fighting to escape a tyranny she didn’t even know existed, Avery has had to come to grips with all the secrets she’s uncovered. But more secrets continue to come to light, revealing how little of her world she truly knew. When evidence starts to show that Dome Four might be under siege, Avery knows what she must do.

Returning to the dome she longed to escape is a challenge for Avery, but now she knows there’s corruption lurking in the shadows. A massive steam shortage leaves half the dome without power, and people are falling ill. Dying.

And they’re blaming Avery.

A month can change everything. One more month could kill everyone. The clock is ticking.

My Review
Although I keep hearing dystopia is dead, I’m very that Megan Curd doesn’t agree. Iron Pendulum is the second book in her Periodic Series. I haven’t read the first one yet and was concerned that would be an issue, but it wasn’t. The author does a fabulous job of providing just as much of the backstory as necessary to keep up with  what happens in Iron Pendulum. And a lot happens. The book is full of action with a lot of unexpected twists.

There are a few relationships that would probably be more meaningful if I’d read Book 1 first, but it didn’t prevent me from enjoying this fast-paced young adult novel that is part fantasy, part steampunk, and a whole lot of pulse-pounding adventure.

Avery Pike is an elementalist, someone who can control the elements. Her specialty is creating steam which is used to provide oxygen to the inhabitants of Dome Four. Even though she generates enough steam in a matter of minutes to power the dome for a month, it disappears almost overnight. Add to that a deathly illness plaguing the Traditionals (non Elites), creepy zombie-like guards, and the erection of the iron pendulum that’s supposed to keep everyone safe, and things aren’t adding up. Avery and her friends try to find out what’s going on, save the lives of the Traditionals, and bring about a revolution. Like I said, action packed.

Plot
The plot is gripping and only slowed long enough to let me catch your breath, but just barely. There were a couple of areas that I thought didn’t seem plausible, but this is a fantasy, so I chose to ignore those and just enjoy the ride. Iron Pendulum is pure entertainment. It’s on the longish side at 335 pages, but it never drags. The author has created a fascinating world that is both dark and hopeful. And because of that, anything is possible, which means nothing is predictable.

Characters
The story is full of deep, complex, colorful, and nuanced characters that are easy to root for, to love, and even to loathe. Everyone from Jaxon, the sexy dreadlocked love interest and fellow rebel, to smart-mouthed, Christian house mother, Dana. I would love to get a peek a Vincent’s character bio. He’s the son of the Dome’s Governor Lindroth and is neither completely good nor bad, but is perfectly flawed to the point that he is believably human and infinitely fascinating.

I had a hard time getting a sense of who Avery is, though. This might be where reading Book 1 first would have paid off. If I had, perhaps I would have had a better sense of who she is. Because she’s the narrator, I can’t tell if she’s deliberately holding herself back, or if the author spent so much time creating such an amazing cast of supporting characters that she forgot about Avery. Regardless, it works really well because it’s easy to step into her shoes and experience the novel as Avery.

Bottom Line
A unique story in the young adult dystopian genre with its elements of fantasy and a fun steampunk vibe. The characters are fresh and a setting so brilliantly crafted, it’s almost a character itself. Now I’m off to read Steel Lily, the first book in the series available now for just $0.99.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book
Title: Iron Pendulum
Series: The Periodic Series #2
Author: Megan Curd
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Pages: 355
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Steampunk Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author Megan Curd

Author Megan Curd

About the Author
Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.

When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Photography, traveling and snowboarding are hobbies she loves, and she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.

Megan currently resides in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is trying to convert them into Buckeye fans.

Where to Find Megan Curd
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Guest Post + Giveaway – Megan Curd, Author of Iron Pendulum

A special thank you to author, Megan Curd, for today’s guest post. To find out more about Megan and her book, Iron Pendulum, see below.

Guest Post: Judge A Book By Its Cover?

Okay, so covers. Ooo-wee. So many people want to say to not judge a book by its cover…but let me be honest. I’m a cover whore. If a cover is pretty, you better believe I’m going to pick it up, caress it, smell those fresh pages (if it’s a print book…obviously I don’t sniff my Kindle. That’d be weird.) and more than likely, I’ll read the blurb. If the blurb sounds remotely interesting, I’m looking into further.

But you know what got me to that point? The cover.

So yep, I do judge books by their covers.

In this day, indie authors are gaining respect, and more and more readers are willing to take a chance on us. The important thing for an indie, beyond all else, is a good copyeditor and a good book cover. And depending on the day, those two things change between #1 and #2…but both are non-negotiables.

So what makes a good book cover? That’s a tough question. Every person has a different opinion on what a good cover looks like, so I thought I’d share some covers that had huge influences on the feel that I wanted IRON PENDULUM to have. I was very fortunate to find Regina Wamba of Mae I Design & Photography, and she allowed me to be very hands on in the design process. She asked me to give her music that fueled the book, images, and covers that I liked. These are the covers I gave her, too.

1.) Clockwork Prince (basically any of the Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare – I LOOOOOOOOOOVE these covers. They’re gorgeous. And the actual print covers? ::falls over dead:: Yeah, I’m a fangirl for these beauties.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

2.) Hunger Games (again, the entire series) by Suzanne Collins – The simplicity of these covers made the focal point so much more important. I loved that, and I wanted my cover to be simplistic, yet still bring across the tone of the book. I think Regina nailed it. I owe her a lot of cupcakes.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

3.) Divergent (the entire series) by Veronica Roth – Again, these covers are just plain amazing. I love that there’s a definitive focal point, and I love the colors.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth

As you can see, I’m a sucker for steampunk/dystopian titles as it is, so it was only a matter of time before I wrote my own book in that theme, hah! Personally, I love book covers that leave the reader’s imagination at the wheel for what characters look like for the most part, but those Infernal Devices covers break that rule for me, haha. Which, just goes to show you, that anything can work if you break the rules right!

So, what about you guys? What are some covers that had you grabbing the book and saying, “I don’t even care what this is about, I just wanna pet the cover!” I’d love to hear your opinions!

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Iron Pendulum (The Periodic Series #2) by Megan Curd

Iron Pendulum (The Periodic Series #2) by Megan Curd

About the Book
Title: Iron Pendulum
Series: The Periodic Series #2
Author: Megan Curd
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk Fantasy
Links: Goodreads Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
A month ago, Avery thought the world ended outside Dome Four. Thought she was one of the few of her kind. Thought the war that brought the human race to the brink of extinction was over.

But a month can change everything.

After fighting to escape a tyranny she didn’t even know existed, Avery has had to come to grips with all the secrets she’s uncovered. But more secrets continue to come to light, revealing how little of her world she truly knew. When evidence starts to show that Dome Four might be under siege, Avery knows what she must do.

Returning to the dome she longed to escape is a challenge for Avery, but now she knows there’s corruption lurking in the shadows. A massive steam shortage leaves half the dome without power, and people are falling ill. Dying.

And they’re blaming Avery.

A month can change everything. One more month could kill everyone. The clock is ticking.

Author Megan Curd

Author Megan Curd

About the Author
Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.

When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Photography, traveling and snowboarding are hobbies she loves, and she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.

Megan currently resides in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is trying to convert them into Buckeye fans.

Where to Find Megan Curd
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Giveaway
A signed print copy of Steel Lily along with a $5 gift card to winner’s choice. US only

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Release Day + Giveaway – Young Adult – Iron Pendulum (The Periodic Series) by Megan Curd

Today is release day for Megan Curd’s young adult steampunk fantasy, Iron Pendulum. Iron Pendulum is the second book in The Periodic Series.

Iron Pendulum (The Periodic Series #2) by Megan Curd

Iron Pendulum (The Periodic Series #2) by Megan Curd

About the Book
Title: Iron Pendulum
Series: The Periodic Series #2
Author: Megan Curd
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk Fantasy
Links: Goodreads Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
A month ago, Avery thought the world ended outside Dome Four. Thought she was one of the few of her kind. Thought the war that brought the human race to the brink of extinction was over.

But a month can change everything.

After fighting to escape a tyranny she didn’t even know existed, Avery has had to come to grips with all the secrets she’s uncovered. But more secrets continue to come to light, revealing how little of her world she truly knew. When evidence starts to show that Dome Four might be under siege, Avery knows what she must do.

Returning to the dome she longed to escape is a challenge for Avery, but now she knows there’s corruption lurking in the shadows. A massive steam shortage leaves half the dome without power, and people are falling ill. Dying.

And they’re blaming Avery.

A month can change everything. One more month could kill everyone. The clock is ticking.

Author Megan Curd

Author Megan Curd

About the Author
Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.

When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Photography, traveling and snowboarding are hobbies she loves, and she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.

Megan currently resides in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is trying to convert them into Buckeye fans.

Where to Find Megan Curd
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Giveaway
A signed print copy of Steel Lily along with a $5 gift card to winner’s choice. US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day, Sale + Giveaway – Young Adult – Guardian by Courtney Cole

Guardian Release Day

Today is release day for Courtney Cole’s young adult paranormal romance, Guardian. Not only is this fabulous book back in a big way, it’s Courtney’s birthday! To celebrate all of the awesome she is making a few select titles only .99 TODAY ONLY!

Guardian by Courtney Cole

Guardian by Courtney Cole

About the Book
Title: Guardian
Author: Courtney Cole
Publisher: Lakehouse Press, Inc.
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real.

My name is Whitney Lane. I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy.

I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there.

Until one day, there was.

Our world isn’t what we think. There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things.
Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are.

They’re very real, and they’re terrifying.

I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t. I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true.

There’s only one thing I know for sure.

Nothing is what it seems.

Excerpt
Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real.

Happy birthday to me.

I close my eyes and burrow into my pillow as I try to sleep, as I try to escape this life.

It’s a life I never thought I’d have, a life I most certainly don’t want.

I’m still feeling sorry for myself as the blackness of sleep finally overtakes me.

I don’t know what time it is when I shoot straight upward like a rocket. Something had yanked me from the oblivion of sleep, something loud and shrill scraping my window.

My room is completely dark and I glanceat my clock in confusion.

3:00 a.m.

As my heart pounds hard against my ribcage, I quickly scan every corner of the room.

In the last few hours, dark shadows had migrated onto my pink walls, but they’re familiar, nothing out of the ordinary, although in the night, they seem twisted and scary.

I remain motionless as I allow the sleep-induced fog to clear from my brain.

As I sit, I feel common sense and logic slowly returning.

Of course nothing had touched my window because my bedroom is on the second floor. Nothing can reach it. And there are no trees near enough to brush against it. It was just a dream.

It was only a dream.

I chant it silently to myself like a mantra as I consciously slow my breathing down, hoping that my racing pulse will soon follow. It was only a dream.

But just as I’m calming down, I hear it again.

A high-pitched shrill shriek, reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard, scraping down my window. I gasp and pull my feet up to my chest, which is when I notice the temperature.

I notice because I can see my breath.

Timidly, I blow a puff out again, watching the way my breath turns white in the air.

Holy crap. Oh my God.

What the hell?

The sound stops and stillness surrounds me once again, the silence so loud that it echoes in my ear.

Nothing moves around me, the shadows are perfectly still as they twist across my wall. They look like mangled fingers and arms and legs, but they don’t move.

My legs are weak and shaking, but I know I have to move. I have to move off my bed because it feels like something is under it. Something terrifying.

With a leap, I bound across the room, my feet hitting the floor several feet away from the edge of my bed.

The floor is ice cold, as though it had been covered in a blanket of snow.

I’m trembling as I race to the far wall and check the thermostat. Because that’s the only explanation. I must’ve bumped it earlier, I must’ve turned the AC way down.

But the luminous numbers stare at me in contradiction.

74 degrees.

It must be broken. It has to be broken.

My breath is coming in pants now, terrified, anxious pants.

My fear isn’t logical. I know there’s nothing here. I’m the only one in this room.

Or am I?

The air seems to push at me from all around, something dark, something heavy, something real. Something unseen.

My fingers shake, my legs tremble, and then all of a sudden, they can no longer support my weight. I go down like a pile of bricks, collapsing onto the floor. I lie still because I can’t move, because something seems to sit on my chest, holding me down.

The shadows start to move, to slither across the walls, to reach and pull and dance.

I struggle to focus, to see what it is.

But all I can see are the numbers on the thermostat suddenly moving, rapidly counting down from 74 to 20.

Twenty degrees?

The air is frigid as I suck it in, as I try to pull the ice crystals into my mouth so I can breathe.

All of a sudden, there’s a blackness in front of me. It hovers over me, a shapeless mass, sucking in the cells of the air, the atoms and the molecules. It’s darker than the blackness of my room, blacker than the blackest black.

Something is here.

With me.

“Dad?” I whisper in a white puff. Because what else could it be?

I reach out a finger to touch it, and then I can’t see anything else, because the darkness of it surrounds me, bleeding into everything else, even my vision. The shriek is back, screaming into my ears, bleeding into my brain.

Then there’s nothing.

Courtney Cole Birthday Sale

Author Courtney Cole

Author Courtney Cole

About the Author
Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.

She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

Where to Find Courtney Cole
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Pinterest

Giveaway

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Release Day + Giveaway – Contemporary Adult Romance – Fly by T.A. Foster

Today is the release day for FLY by T.A. Foster! Be sure to check out the contest below for a chance to win a gift card!

Fly by T.A. Foster

Fly by T.A. Foster

About the Book
Title: Fly
Author: T.A. Foster
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  Smashwords | iTunes

Synopsis
Not everyone’s good at one-night stands.

Skye Stephens has the worst day of her professional career, and all she wants to do is shed her power suit and get lost in the sheets with the hot guy she met at the bar.

The problem is, this uptight ad exec doesn’t know how to do one-night stands. She has strict rules about dating and when to let a man in her bedroom.

Fighter pilot Ben “Bolt” Hardcastle is used to lovin’ and leavin’. But, after he meets Skye, one night doesn’t seem to be enough.

When these two crash-land into each other, a connection strong enough to make the loner pilot and the sexy businesswoman shed their rules about love and relationships begins to burn deeper than either of them ever expected.

Fly Teaser

Author T.A. Foster

Author T.A. Foster

About the Author
T.A. Foster met, fell in love with, and married her own Marine fighter pilot. Through deployments, trainings, and sometimes living oceans apart, their own love story continues every day.

She grew up catching rays and waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.

Where to Find T.A. Foster
Goodreads | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

Giveaway
Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. 2 Winners
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Cover Reveal + Excerpt – Shame by Rachel Van Dyken

I’m delighted to be able to share the cover for Rachel Van Dyken’s new novel, Shame, coming this fall.

Shame by Rachel Van Dyken

Shame by Rachel Van Dyken

About the Book
Title: Shame
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Release Date: October 6, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Synopsis
Everything done in darkness, will eventually be brought into the light.

I ran, but all it did was keep me one step ahead of my past. I tried to start over; new name, new identity. But you can’t change your soul.

A fresh start at college was just what I needed. For a while, it worked. I was the party girl, the one that seemed confident, but it was a lie.

When guys kissed me–I felt only pain.

When they touched me–Nothing but fear.

Deep inside, every girl wants to be the beauty in the story, to find someone that will see you as their world.

But the truth? I was the beast. And as much as I wanted redemption, I wasn’t fool enough to think I’d ever get it.

Until he walked into my life.

I wasn’t prepared to fall for someone. My scars were too deep, the wounds too raw. But he offered me peace, he offered me security. I should have known it was just another lie–I should have known that falling in love with my professor was a bad idea.

But I was powerless to stop myself from falling.

And he was powerless to catch me.

Because the darkness finally caught up to me, and as fate would have it, a cruel twist almost bled me dry. But I’m stronger than I knew. I’m stronger than you think.

You think you know my story, but you don’t….after all everyone has Shame in their lives– and I’m no longer afraid to show you mine.

Excerpt

“Just hold still!” I yelled, holding up my phone while Gabe gave me the finger. I grimaced and dropped the camera away from my face. “Nice, thanks for that.”

“I’m a giver.” He smirked.

Saylor, his wife, smacked him on the arm and rolled her eyes.

“Ouch.”

I scrunched up my face when he leaned in and took Saylor’s mouth with his, kissing her senseless in the local Starbucks like they were doing a romance scene in a movie. I coughed.

They didn’t pull apart.

So I took a picture.

I earned another finger, but Gabe still didn’t dislodge from his wife.

“Whoa!” Wes’s voice sounded from behind me. “They been at it long?”

“Are all newlyweds disgusting?” I voiced aloud.

Wes moved around the table with his wife, Kiersten, and gave me a goofy shrug. I wanted to roll my eyes, but Wes was too nice and hot. Let’s not forget the hot part. Both he and Gabe were like walking poster boys for GQ. Both blond, now that Gabe had decided to dye his hair back to his original color. It was like staring at two really bright superstars.

Hating them was like hating the Easter bunny. Try all you want, but you’ll eat every piece of chocolate in the basket, just you wait.

“So, classes?” Kiersten leaned forward. “I heard you got stuck with that hot new psych prof.”

Wes growled low in his throat.

“Down boy.” I braced my hands on the table and laughed. “Besides he’s not that hot.”

“A girl passed out.” Kiersten’s eyebrows shot up. “Like in class.”

“Dehydration?” I shrugged, taking a sip of coffee.

“Or…” She leaned forward. “…the rumors are true.”

“Rumors…” Gabe backed away from Saylor, his lips swollen. “…are always based on truth.”

“So you really did do a naked dance in your underwear last week after getting drunk downtown at Pike Place Market?” I tilted my head and waited while Gabe rolled his eyes and popped his knuckles. “Exactly.”

He opened his mouth.

I took a picture.

With a grimace, he snatched my phone away from me. “Never thought I’d have to tell you to lay off the pictures, Miss Paparazzi.”

I slumped in my seat. “It’s for an assignment with that hot professor.”

“Aha!” Kiersten jabbed her finger at me. “I knew it.”

I pinned her with a look. “Sarcasm, friend, sarcasm.”

“Boys get girls pregnant,” Gabe offered, while Wes choked on the coffee he’d just stolen out of my hand.

Serves him right!

“Don’t date them.”

“You’re going to be a great dad.” I smiled sweetly. “What? You’re just going to lock your girls in their rooms and go—” I mimicked his voice. “—uh, you see boy parts are bad, they make girls have lots of babies, like rabbits, and you know how rabbits make dad nervous and—”

“Hilarious,” Gabe’s eyes narrowed. “And please don’t talk about kids yet…”

Saylor laughed quietly next to him then squeezed his arm.

My heart dropped.

A very long time ago, I’d wanted to be that for Gabe, then Taylor happened and well… I shuddered, blocking out the painful memories, the things I’d done, the things he’d done, the things we’d done.

“You okay?” Wes asked, his voice soft. He was way too perceptive for my taste. If I’d wanted to share, he’d be the guy I’d talk to, but I was a vault. Sharing meant admitting my guilt, and admitting meant I’d probably go insane just like he had.

“Yeah…” I straightened in my seat. “…I just don’t want to fail my class, and I need to write down nonverbal cues and take at least one picture. And pretty sure I need to ace this first assignment on account that I was late to my prof’s class, and I got in trouble.”

“He spank you?” Gabe’s eyes mocked across his coffee.

“Yes, Gabe,” I said calmly. “Because that’s how they punish bad students here at UW — with a yardstick and a smile.”

“I wish.” He whistled. “What I wouldn’t give to have Saylor—”

I plugged my ears.

He threw his head back and laughed while Saylor turned bright red and put her hand over his mouth to shush him.

“So…” Wes ignored Gabe as was his usual and leaned across the table. “…why don’t you take pictures of people here in the coffee shop? I mean, ask permission, but most people here are super interesting, right? Studying? Stressed out? Tired?” He pointed to a guy in the corner. “He looks like he’s running on five cups of coffee and one hour of sleep. Go ask, take the picture, make some notes, project done.”

“You make it sound so easy,” I grumbled.

He grinned. “I’m Wes Michels.”

I hung my head lower and grimaced.

“Phone.” He held out his hand and stood.

Within minutes, not only had he snapped two pictures for me but had taken notes on two pre-med students who had stayed up all night cramming for what they’d assumed would be a pop quiz, only to find out that they’d been in the wrong class on the wrong day.

“And that’s why I’m not pre-med.” Gabe shuddered.

“Really?” Kiersten asked. “I thought it was because big words scared you?”

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. What now?” He nodded. “Keep talking, Kiersten, or keep walking.”

“Spell it.” She smirked.

“So this professor…” Gabe changed the subject. “If he tries anything, use the Mace or the rape whistle.”

“Right.” I nodded. “I’ll be sure to do that. In class. With a hundred other students. When he looks at me cross-eyed.”

“Good,” he huffed.

“I was kidding.”

Saylor patted Gabe’s shoulder. “Gotta let the baby birds out of the nest someday, Gabe.”

Author Rachel Van Dyken

Author Rachel Van Dyken

About the Author
 Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!

You can email her at rachelvandykenauthor@gmail.com

Where to find Rachel Van Dyken
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Amazon

 

Exclusive Interview + Giveaway – J.L. Berg, Author of Within These Walls

Within These Walls Blog Tour

I’m delighted to have been able to interview, J.L. Berg. If I didn’t already love her for her books, I’d love her just for being the witty, fascinating person she is. To find out more about J.L. and her book, Within These Walls, see below.

Exclusive Interview with Author J.L. Berg

Q: What are you most excited about sharing with your readers in Within These Walls?

J.L.: There are so many things. So. Many. Things. Within These Walls was so difficult to write. I cried and suffered with these characters and as much as each book is a part of me—this one really became my ultimate favorite. Lailah and Jude’s journey is a special one and I hope readers love it as much as I did writing it.

Q: What is the one thing you hope most that your readers will take away from it?

J.L.: Hope– that is what I want readers to take away from this book. This book really is a journey of two broken people finding each other after extraordinary circumstances. I hope readers feel inspired by their love story.

Q: I read your “One Year Ago Today” blog post, and as an aspiring author only months away from hitting that same button, I was inspired. How long did your idea swim around in your head before you actually decided to put it to paper?

J.L.: Honestly, not long. Once the idea of Logan and Clare formed in my head, it was hard to ignore them. I was excited, scared and felt invigorated all at once. It’s the same feeling I get every time an idea hits me—that feeling that I need to get these ideas out of my head and share them with someone, anyone. I never had grand ambitions of bestsellers lists or book signings when I began writing When You’re Ready—I just wanted to write and I hoped that maybe someone out there would want to read it.

Q: Even though you’re relatively still new to the published author arena, are you living a lifelong dream or is the writing bug something that sort of crept up on you over time?

J.L.: Writing was a childhood dream—something I tucked away when real life got in the way. Term papers and tests replaced my creative writing time and I took a practical route and majored in psychology. Professors always told me I had a knack for writing but who has time to write for fun in college? After I graduated, I started working full time and became a mom. Life was always in the way. Finally I decided there would always be roadblocks if I allowed them and now I find myself doing the one thing I always wanted to do for a career.

Q: You’ve written a number of books since you published When You’re Ready, Do your ideas just come to you, or do you find yourself struggling to come up with the next story?

J.L.: The ideas come to me all the time—at random, weird times. I keep a journal of ideas for future projects. It’s just a matter of deciding which ones are speaking to me the loudest.

Q: You, being you, must have something fabulous already in the works after Within These Walls. Is there anything about your next project you can share with us at this time?

J.L.: I do! I am currently writing Ready or Not, the next book in the Ready series. After that, I will be writing Roman’s book – a spin off of Within These Walls. Readers are already dying for this one. After that, I may have some plans for Jude and Lailah. I’m still deciding.

Q: Describe your writing environment? Do you need silence? Music? A venti vanilla latte?

J.L.: It depends on what I am writing. Sometimes, if it is a heavy or difficult scene, I need silence. Other times, I write with music. Right now, I am writing with Sofia the First playing in the background. My kids are still home for the summer, which has made writing over the last few weeks very interesting! I can’t wait for my silence back!

Q: You’re known for your contemporary romance, but what if you could write under a pen name that no one would ever discover was you? What genre would you just secretly love to write?

J.L.: I love paranormal romance. It was my first love and for years, it was all I read. I would love to be able to create a world like J.R. Ward or Karen Marie Monning. But, for now, I think I’ll stick to contemporary tear jerkers!

___________________________

Within These Walls by J.L. Berg

Within These Walls by J.L. Berg

About the Book
Title:
 Within These Walls
Author: J.L. Berg
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2014
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Synopsis
Within these walls, he became my solace, my sanctuary and my strength.

I am not strong. I am just a survivor of circumstance.

Isn’t that what we all do? Survive?

Each of us has our own set of circumstances to muddle through. Mine are just more…complicated.

Born with a severe heart defect, I’ve seen the inside of a hospital room more than my own bedroom.

I was drowning, a prisoner to the illness that owned me, until he appeared. He thinks he’s blocked out the world with his tattoos and hard exterior, but I see the real Jude, the one he so desperately wants to forget.

But is he the answer to my prayers or will he break my already damaged heart forever?

My name is Lailah Buchanan, and this is our story of hope, redemption and sacrificing it all for the one you love.

___________________________

Read the first chapter here!

Author J.L. Berg

Author J.L. Berg

About the Author
 J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis.

When she’s not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

Where to Find J.L. Berg
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Giveaway
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Romance Wednesday – Fly Week by T.A. Foster

Fly Week

I’m super excited to read this after finding out it’s set in my home town. Author T.A. Foster mentions some of my favorite local spots such as the Gaslamp Quarter, Coronado Island, and the Hotel Del. The fact that the book releases on my 15th wedding anniversary only seals the deal for me.

———————-

T.A. Foser is gearing up for the release of Fly. If you enjoy a hot romance , which might just feature a fighter pilot with the United States Marine Corps, this is the book for you. Today, she’s highlighting the romance of the book.

Romance Wednesday
I’m not sure about everyone else, but I know the reason I like to read and write love stories is for the romance. All those little moments that bring two characters together—the glances, the quippy dialogue, the thoughtful gestures that melt my heart. You know, the ones that make you sigh out loud.

You probably know by now Fly has some personal elements for me. I married a Marine fighter pilot who was living in San Diego and stationed at Miramar. I was incredibly lucky to have my own private consultant while I was writing.

Fly Teaser 1

The romance problem I had with the main character, Ben, was that he was a love ‘em and leave ‘em type, so finding a way to make him romantic was a challenge. For that, I drew on some personal experience.

Fly Teaser 2

Some of my absolute favorite dates in San Diego with my then-fiance’, where in the Gaslamp district, at the Hotel del Coronado, and walking the beaches of Coronado. By sneaking some of those ideas in I was able to work romance into a storyline that started out as a very physical connection between two unlikely people. I can’t give it all away, but there are ways that romance develops between these two that I think will surprise you, make you smile, and hopefully make you sigh out loud.

———————-

Fly by T.A. Foster

Fly by T.A. Foster

About the Book
Title: Fly
Author: T.A. Foster
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Smashwords | iTunes

Synopsis
Not everyone’s good at one-night stands.

Skye Stephens has the worst day of her professional career, and all she wants to do is shed her power suit and get lost in the sheets with the hot guy she met at the bar.

The problem is, this uptight ad exec doesn’t know how to do one-night stands. She has strict rules about dating and when to let a man in her bedroom.

Fighter pilot Ben “Bolt” Hardcastle is used to lovin’ and leavin’. But, after he meets Skye, one night doesn’t seem to be enough.

When these two crash-land into each other, a connection strong enough to make the loner pilot and the sexy businesswoman shed their rules about love and relationships begins to burn deeper than either of them ever expected.

Author T.A. Foster

Author T.A. Foster

About the Author
T.A. Foster met, fell in love with, and married her own Marine fighter pilot. Through deployments, trainings, and sometimes living oceans apart, their own love story continues every day.

She grew up catching rays and waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.

Where to Find T.A. Foster
Goodreads | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

 

Spotlight – The Dare Series by Carly Phillips

The Dare Series Spotlight

Welcome to the next stop on The Dare Series Spotlight tour. I have an excerpt for you today.

Excerpt #1
She let herself into her building, walked up one flight to her apartment, and was startled to find someone waiting outside her door. Even in the dimly lit hall, she recognized Ian Dare’s tall frame, dark hair, and handsome features. Excitement bubbled up inside her, followed by wariness.

“Finally,” he said, leading her to believe he’d been standing there awhile.

She fought against her rapidly beating heart. “What are you doing here?”
He pushed off the wall and strode toward her. “Do you realize I walked into the building without being buzzed in? I just followed behind a couple who were too busy groping each other to pay attention to who was entering behind them.”

He didn’t have to further sum up his point. Riley already knew the argument well from Alex and her stepmom. “It’s perfectly safe. I carry mace and I’m careful. And you still haven’t answered my question.”

Ian ran a hand through his hair, taking the time to tamp down on the anger that had been brewing inside him as he waited for her in this tiny hall that, despite her claim, was far from safe.

Not for a woman with her full breasts and curvy hips. Not for a woman with that mass of untamed hair and wild beauty, dressed in a short denim skirt with a ruffled edge and black sleeveless top that bared a hint of her stomach.

He fought for control over his libido and the desire to take her in every way imaginable. “I realize I didn’t return your call, but I’m here now.”

She met his gaze, brave and unwavering. “Go home. Whatever I needed from you, it’s too late now.”

His eyes narrowed. “That’s what Alex said, but he refused to elaborate. He said it was your business, so I came to the source. I was busy this week. I had meetings for the draft, and I couldn’t call you back.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Bull. I’m guessing there are a whole host of reasons why you didn’t get back to me. At the top of the list is that you hate Alex.”

“I don’t hate him.” He clenched his hands and released them again, searching for focus.

“Riley, you left me a message. Just tell me why.”

“It’s too late.” She walked toward him as she spoke.
She passed him by, heading for her door, key in hand. “I already lost my job,” she said as she slipped inside her apartment.

The door slammed closed behind her, leaving him basking in her scent.

“Son of a bitch.” He knocked hard.

When she didn’t answer, he tried again.

And again.

Worst-case scenario, he’d settle into the hallway for the night and wait to catch her when she left again in the morning. Unwilling to do that, he banged on the door again.
In the middle of his knock, she swung the door open wide.

“Fine. Come in,” she said, her eyes narrowed and wary.

He stepped inside. Once enclosed in her small apartment, her luscious scent wrapped around him once more. His cock took a definite hit as desire filled him along with that burning need only she inspired. Knowing those feelings wouldn’t be welcome, he took in her space. Bright colors on the walls, eclectic pieces of furniture, and a warm feel. She knew how to take a tiny area and make it feel like a true home.

“Can I get you something to drink?” she asked.

“No. I just want to know what happened.”

She expelled a deep breath, causing her breasts to rise and fall beneath the flimsy material. He glanced down, trying not to ogle her cleavage because that made him want to test the weight of her breasts. And once he started touching her, he wouldn’t be able to stop. Instead, he noticed her toenails were painted a bright orange, one toe surrounded by a thin silver ring. Even her fucking feet were sexy.

“I worked for Blunt Sporting Goods,” she said, unaware of his train of thought. “I was head of their distribution and sales department. The company was sold; the new boss is an ass and began laying people off. I pulled a Hail Mary and told him I had an in with you, that I could get some of our products distributed to the team. He gave me until Friday to get back to him with something substantial. I called. You didn’t. End of story.” She strode over to the door and swung it open, obviously eager to get rid of him.

He stared in stunned surprise. “You told him that after meeting me for the first time on Saturday night?”

She raised her chin. “Yep.”

“After our kiss.”

Her cheeks turned a healthy pink. “Mmm-hmm.”

“After you walked away from me without a second glance.”

She blinked up at him. “I looked back,” she said softly.

Dare to Love by Carly Phillips

Dare to Love by Carly Phillips

About Book 1
Title:
 Dare to Love
Series: Dare To #1
Author: Carly Phillips
Release Date: January 10, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Synopsis
When it comes to family, Ian Dare gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. Until one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts. He will do anything to possess her … and does.

But any future with Riley must include him dealing his half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.

Riley Taylor believes herself immune to domineering men – until charismatic Ian Dare turns a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and she discovers she likes his brand of control in the bedroom.

As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything. (love story, contemporary romance, alpha heroes, beach reads, sports heroes, bad boys, billionaire)

Dare to Desire by Carly Phillips

Dare to Desire by Carly Phillips

About Book 2
Title:
 Dare to Desire
Series: Dare To Series #2
Author: Carly Phillips
Release Date: April 10, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Synopsis
Quarterback Alex Dare, had it all — an all-star football career and his choice of willing women — until a severe injury forces him into early retirement.

Social worker Madison Evans grew up in foster homes and knows what it means to have-not. She isn’t impressed by Alex Dare’s wealth or charm. Not since she fell hard for him once before, only to discover she was just one of his too-easy conquests.

This time around Madison refuses to succumb to Alex so easily.

But Alex wants Madison. And if there is one thing Alex does well, it’s to get what he wants. Can he convince Madison to take a risk and dare to love?

Dare to Surrender by Carly Phillips

Dare to Surrender by Carly Phillips

About Book 3
Title:
 Dare to Surrender
Series: Dare To Series #3
Author: Carly Phillips
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Synopsis
After ending a relationship to a cheating, domineering man, Isabelle Masters takes off in her leased Mercedes, only to be arrested for grand theft and hauled to a local police station.

To her surprise, she is rescued by the most unlikely person possible, Gabriel Dare, a man she’s been attracted to for far too long. Gabe offers Isabelle freedom along with an invitation to Eden, an exclusive island resort where everything and anything is possible.

Although Gabe yearns to possess Isabelle, he knows all too well he must fight his primitive need to bind her to him, and instead help bring out the independent woman she yearns to become – or risk losing her for good.

A woman who needs to run her own life. A man who needs to exert control. Can she surrender to his erotic demands without losing her sense of self once more?

Dare to Submit (Dare To Series #4) by Carly Phillips

Dare to Submit (Dare To Series #4) by Carly Phillips

About Book 4
Title:
 Dare to Submit
Series: Dare To Series #4
Author: Carly Phillips
Release Date: September 8, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | iTunes

Synopsis
Decklan Dare knows about the unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all areas of his life. Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings.

They meet and their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run deeper – if they drop their guard and let each other in. Decklan is first to trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive?

Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain?

.

Author Carly Phillips

Author Carly Phillips

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today’s readers identify with and enjoy.

After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website.

She’s a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.

Where to Find Carly Phillips
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

Giveaway
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Release + Giveaway – Rival Love by Natalie Decker

Today, we celebrate the release of Rival Love by Natalie Decker.Rival Love is a Young Adult romance from Swoon Romance.

Rival Love by Natalie Decker

Rival Love by Natalie Decker

About the Book
Title: Rival Love
Author: Natalie Decker
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
Skylar Fletcher is a proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall. But nothing lasts forever. Skylar’s world shatters when her mom decides it’s time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.

At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom’s live-in boyfriend.

At first, Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon discover they’re not that different after all–and each is harboring a secret attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out?

Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.

Excerpt
“Um, I thought I made myself clear yesterday. School tour. Today. In the morning,” Caleb says in a cold tone.

I thought Mom told me this kid was smart. He seems a few French fries short of a Happy Meal. “And?”

“And nothing. Get your ass up. We need to do this now.”

I snort. “As if I care what you want me to do. Go away.”

“Let me be clear, you spoiled little brat. I’m not playing games with you today. I’ve got practice and other shit I gotta do. And I’m not about to be late and run laps so that you can throw a damn tantrum.” He yanks open a box marked clothes and tosses a pair of my skimpy shorts and a t-shirt at me. I’m so not wearing the clothes I clean the house in outside. “You’ve got three minutes. I don’t care if you haven’t changed, or all you’ve got on is a pair of shorts and freaking bra, I’ll drag you out of this house kicking and screaming.”

The heck he will. I fold my arms over my chest and glare at him. “Whatevs.”

He shuts the door and I stay on my bed. He can kiss my butt. If Caleb Morgan thinks he can talk to me like that and I’ll just do whatever he says, he’s got another thing coming. Idiot.

My door opens again, and Caleb looks over at the clothes, then at me. “Fine.” He marches over to me. Fingers bite into my arms and he yanks me to my feet. I kick his shins, and aim at other body parts, but he continues to drag me out of the room. My door slaps shut. Caleb all but carries me down the flight of steps and out the front door.

I’m in full protest the whole time. “I don’t have shoes, jerk!”

“I told you. But I knew you’d be like this so I put your tennis shoes in the car.”

A car with screaming girls passes by the house, honking their car horn. My socks dig into the lawn immediately. Caleb waves at the passing car. Once they’re at least three houses down the road, he turns his attention back to me.

“You’re trying to get me killed out here!” I scream.

He gives me a stupid smirk. “Get over yourself, Bulldog. Like it or not, we have a tour to get over with and unlike you, I have friends here. I wave to them. I talk to them. And I sometimes date them. Let’s go.”

“No!”

“Have it your way.” He wraps his arms around my waist and hauls me over his left shoulder.

Balling up my hands, I beat them furiously against his backside. “Put me down! You stupid, arrogant jackass, I mean it!”

Caleb doesn’t let up. He somehow opens his car door and places me down in the passenger seat. “Shoes are on the floor, brat. If you want to keep your limbs I suggest you keep them in the car.” I huff and he slams the door shut.

The door to the driver’s side pops open and from the corners of my eyes, I watch him slide against the gray interior. I pick up my shoes and give him a disgusted look. “These are my cleats.” I dangle them in front of his face.

He shrugs like this is nothing that concerns him. If I didn’t hate him so much right now, my OCD side would compliment him on the impeccably clean inside of his VW Passat. “I refuse to do this! I’m not stepping foot in that school and if you attempt to manhandle me again, I’ll bite you.”

—————————————–

Author Natalie Decker

Author Natalie Decker

About the Author
Natalie Decker is the Author of Rival Love. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort.

She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity.

If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!

Where to find Natalie Decker
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter

Giveaway
$10 Amazon gift card + ebook of Rival Love (INT)
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Release + Giveaway – Reluctantly Royal (Suddenly Series) by Nichole Chase

Reluctantly Royal Release Day Launch

I’m thrilled to be a part of the release day launch of Reluctantly Royal by Nichole Chase. Reluctantly Royal is a New Adult Contemporary romance published by HarperCollins’ Avon Imprint and is the third book in the Suddenly Series.

Reluctantly Royal (Suddenly Series #3) by Nichole Chase

Reluctantly Royal (Suddenly Series #3) by Nichole Chase

About the Book
Title: Reluctantly Royal
Series: Suddenly Series #3
Author: Nichole Chase
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | KoboIndiebound 

Synopsis
Maxwell Jameson Trevor, prince of Lilaria, hates his royal role. Despising the limelight, he takes solace in his art studio and steers clear of any drama. But when one of the newly discovered royals passes away, Maxwell’s brother Alex asks him to break the news to the old man’s granddaughter. Though he hates to be the bearer of doom and gloom, he doesn’t want the poor girl to find out from the tabloids. For Maxwell knows all too well how devastating that could be.

Coming from a broken home and modest background, newly ordained Lady Meredith Thysmer has seized her chance to make a better life for herself and her son. She’s not afraid to use her best assets to get what she wants. But when the unpretentious yet devastatingly handsome Max delivers his news, her plans for the future come crashing to a halt. In the challenging days ahead, Max’s compassion, humor, and steadfast loyalty to Meredith and her son win her over. She quickly finds herself doing something she swore would never happen again: falling in love. And yet Maxwell still refuses to completely drop his guard. Somehow Meredith’s got to find a way to seduce this reluctant royal.

Excerpt
As I turned to leave the room, my eyes fell on a sketch pad and I couldn’t help myself. Sitting back down in the chair I flipped it open and smiled at the drawings inside. Marty had promise for such a young kid. Turning to a blank page, I glanced around and searched for a pencil. Charcoal would be best, but pencil would do.

I started with the lines of his forehead, the curve of his impish nose, the roundness of his cheeks. I was lost in the sketch, enjoying the shadows, the tenderness in his expression, working to capture that moment of utter innocence.

“That’s beautiful.” Her voice was soft.

I looked up from what I was doing, not surprised that she had snuck up on me. When I’m lost in a project, the world disappears; the only thing I’m aware of are the layers of the project I’m working on.

“He’s a good subject.” I turned back to the paper and finished up the shading of the blanket.

“Only because he’s asleep and not moving.” Her quiet laugh sent shivers over my body.

“That does help.” I smiled up at her. “But it’s the contrast. The contrast of him awake versus him asleep. He looks so young right now, so innocent.”

“What do you mean?” She leaned closer to look at the picture.

“He’s so mature, quick-witted.” I whispered the words. “But here he is, looking like the child he is.”

“His teachers say that,” she said. “That he’s quick to pick things up.”

“I’d say so.” I turned and handed her the sketch pad. “I hope you don’t mind that I drew him. The light and shadows were too perfect to resist.” Sort of like her right now. The way the moonlight glinted in her eyes and shone along her hair. Her perfect features would make any artist ache to draw them. Her pixie nose, the heavy eyelashes, the curve of her body hinted at by the oversized sweater she had wrapped around herself. It made my palms itch. Partly because I just wanted to touch her, to see if she would taste as sweet as she looked in that moment.

“Thank you for keeping him entertained.” She stood up. “Can I keep this?”

“Of course.” I stood up and stretched. Her eyes swept over my chest and then back up to my face. Maybe I wasn’t the only one tempted to touch. I hated to admit it, but I had a flare of pride. “I enjoyed hanging out with him.”

I was surprised to realize I meant it. I never would have thought spending time with a six-year-old would have been enjoyable.

“Looks like he did too.” She moved away from the door and I followed her into the hallway.

“Did you get everything settled?”

“I think so.” She frowned.

“What’s wrong?” Her expression worried me.

“Granddad would have hated a large ceremony.” She sighed and headed for the stairs. “But I guess that as a duke there are some things that have to happen.”

“I don’t blame your grandfather.” I followed behind her. “I would want a small ceremony, not to be made into a production.”

“I’m starting to think you don’t like any type of production.” She looked at me over shoulder.

“Not really, no.” I wasn’t going to lie. “I don’t like being the focus, being the center of attention. It makes me uncomfortable.” I wasn’t going to lie, but I hadn’t intended to tell her so much about me.

“And yet you agreed to help me with my grandfather’s funeral.” She turned to me at the bottom of the stairs and set the sketch pad on a table. “Why?”

I stared at her for a minute, enjoying the way her eyes looked up at me, the tilt of her chin, the way her hair cascaded around her shoulders. “I don’t know.”
Unable to help myself, I reached out and touched her cheek with my fingers. Her pupils dilated and she inhaled softly. With one thumb I traced the dip under her plump bottom lip. Her hand reached up to trace my jaw and she took a step closer to me.

“You should be running from me as fast as you can.” She whispered the words. “I’m everything you don’t want.”

“I’m not so sure.”

“I live for the spotlight, it’s my food.” Her eyes were half lidded as she edged closer to my mouth. “And you’ve seen my family. I’m trouble, Max.”
Did I care? I wasn’t sure I was capable of making a real decision as her smell wrapped around my senses. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to taste her, to touch her, to press her against my body. To hear her say my name again.

Dipping my head, I grazed her lips with mine and I was lost. On a sigh, she leaned into me and wrapped her hands around my neck. Tilting her head back, I brought my mouth to hers carefully, softly, tasting. I wanted to deepen the kiss, to hear her moan, to feel the way her body could wrap around mine, but I kept it soft, sweet, and simple. She was in such a hard place, she needed to be protected, treasured by someone.

And right now, I was that person.

—————————————–

Author Nicole Chase

Author Nicole Chase

About the Author
Nichole Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Suddenly Royal, Flukes, The Dark Betrayal Trilogy, and several short stories. She is also the instructor of Say What? a dialogue class at the Romance Academy.

Nichole lives in Georgia with her husband, energetic daughter, superhero dog, Sulcata tortoise, and two cats. When not writing, you may find her reading, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.

Where to Find Nichole Chase
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Amazon

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Release + Giveaway – I Want It That Way (2B Trilogy) by Ann Aguirre

I Want It That Way Release Day

I’m thrilled to be a part of Ann Aguirre’s release day launch of her New Adult contemporary romance, I Want it That Way. I Want it That Way is the first book in her new 2B Trilogy Series published by Harlequin HQN. You can read an excerpt below.

I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre

I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre

About the Book
Title: I Want it That Way
Series: 2B Trilogy
Author: Ann Aguirre
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | BAM Indiebound | Vroman’s | Book Depository | Powell’s 

Synopsis
Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, dating’s the last thing on her mind. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can’t risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, the last thing he wants is noisy students living in the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia’s and Ty’s paths cross, and soon they can’t stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can’t know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

“A tender, sweet, and sexy story about how life—and falling in love—can never be planned.”—Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You

Read the First Chapter HERE!

Excerpt
“Where are you from?”

Ah, an actual question. That means I can ask one back.

“Nebraska, toward the South Dakota and Wyoming side, if that helps.”

“I’ve never met anyone from there.”

Michigan was a long way from home. “I usually get ‘not in Nebraska anymore’ jokes, and then I have to decide if I’m going to remind them that’s Kansas or play along.”

“What do you usually do?”

“Play along.”

“You don’t like conflict, huh?” He sounded normal tonight, as if talking to me wasn’t an unpleasant chore anymore.

That was a relief since I’d come to look forward to these moments with him so much. More, maybe, than I’d like to admit. Right. Friends. I distracted myself by considering his question. “Not if it can be avoided. I’m not what you’d call pugnacious, no. But I like to think I don’t back off important issues. What about you?”

“No.” His voice was bleak and quiet. “I don’t. Even when I should.”

Wow, that took a dark turn.

If I could’ve jumped onto his patio without breaking an ankle or waking Sam, I’d have been down there like a shot. The distance between us seemed intolerable, and from the knot in my throat, I didn’t see how I could live another second without touching him, finding out if his hair was as soft as it looked or what he smelled like. I wanted him in a way I never had before.

In high school, I had a boyfriend who played basketball, and we broke up when I left the state. It was a rational decision, and I didn’t miss him that much once I was gone. My freshman year, I went out with a lot of different guys, one date here, two dates there, but I never clicked with anyone enough to focus on them. Sometimes there were hookups with no strings, no expectations. Classes, friends and work seemed a lot more important. The intensity of this attraction was foreign and frightening, if exhilarating. I might already be backing off if I had the faintest sense that Ty was jerking me around on purpose.

Wish he didn’t make me feel this way. It’d be so much simpler if I could friend-zone him.

I realized I still hadn’t touched his verbal grenade. “We all have things we’d do differently in hindsight.”

“What is it about you?” he asked in a wondering tone.

“Huh?”

“You make me…better. Calmer.”

“Like a sedative?” I snickered. It was the least sexy thing a guy had ever said to me, including a junior high squeeze who said my face wasn’t actually that bad.

He laughed, too, a sheepish sound. “I didn’t mean it like that. Just…I’m worried pretty much all the time that I’m dropping the ball somewhere, about to face-plant, but when I come out here and hear your voice, everything backs off like ten steps. I can breathe again.”

—————————————–

Check out the rest of the series below.

2B Trilogy

As Long as You Love Me by Ann Aguirre

As Long as You Love Me by Ann Aguirre

About Book 2
Title: As Long as You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2)
Author: Ann Aguirre
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM Indiebound | Vroman’s | Book Depository | Powell’s 

Synopsis
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He’s the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever—until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

“I loved everything about this book… I just have two words: more please!”New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack on I Want It That Way

Read the First Chapter HERE!

The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre

The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre

About Book 3
Title: The Shape of My Heart (2B Trilogy #3)
Author: Ann Aguirre
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM Indiebound | Vroman’s | Book Depository | Powell’s 

Synopsis
Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school—only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney’s social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she’s made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate, Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore.

Max knows about feeling lost—he’s been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it’s time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney’s the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything….

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that’s ever been broken, there’s another that can make it complete.

“New Adult storytelling with an elegant and refined voice that is entirely unique in the genre.”
New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover on I Want It That Way

Read the First Chapter HERE!

Author Ann Aguirre

Author Ann Aguirre

About the Author
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order.

She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

Where to Find Ann Aguirre
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter Signup | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

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Release Day + Giveaway – Contemporary Adult Romance – Stealing His Heart by Diane Alberts

Diane Alberts new adult contemporary romance, Stealing His Heart releases today from Entangled Publishing’s Brazen imprint.

Stealing His Heart by Diane Alberts

Stealing His Heart by Diane Alberts

About the Book
Title:
 Stealing His Heart
Author: Diane Alberts
Series: Shilling Agency
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance
Release Date: August 25, 2014
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
Shillings Agency employee Jake Forsythe is not happy to discover that the thief who he has to track down is none other than his ex-partner from his past. Now he’s forced to blackmail her into submission…or throw her in jail.

Tara Harris steals from the rich and corrupted, returning objects to their rightful owners one case at a time.

When Jake shows up in her life, at first, she’s thrilled. But then when she finds out that she has to help the man she stole from or go to jail…it’s the choice between two evils.

These two can’t deny the burning passion between them, but when push comes to shove, they’ll have to lay their hearts and their lives on the line.

Author Diane Alberts

Author Diane Alberts

About the Author
Diane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling contemporary romance author with Entangled Publishing. She also writes New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling new adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. She’s hit the Top 100 lists on Amazon and Barnes and Noble numerous times with numerous titles. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Where to Find Diane Alberts
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon

Giveaway
Enter to win a paperback of TEMPORARILY YOURS (Shillings Agency #1) and a $20 gift card.
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Special Announcement – Karina Halle

Choose the adventure! Here’s your chance to vote for the destination of Karina Halle’s next novel!

Enter this simple poll, and choose one of these three amazing locations: Amalfi Coast, South of France, Prague.

Karina and her assistant will jet to the winning destination for a week-long, interactive adventure, where YOU can participate as they take part in all the fun tourist attractions you’ve chosen. The entire trip will be captured on video and with photos so you too can relish in this unforgettable experience.

Cast your vote now!
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Author Karina Halle

Author Karina Halle

About Karina Halle
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and rock music journalist and the USA TODAY bestselling author of Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Experiment in Terror and other wild and romantic reads. She lives in a 1920’s farmhouse on a bucolic island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails, and devours a lot of books.

Karina is represented by the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency.

Where to Find Karina Halle
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

New Adult Book Blitz + Giveaway – A Beautiful Thought (Beautiful Series) by Alicia Rae

A Beautiful Thought Blog Tour
Welcome to today’s stop on the A Beautiful Thought Book Blitz. Today, I have Ten Facts about The Beautiful Series.

Ten Facts about “The Beautiful Series”

  1. A Beautiful Thought is a heartfelt story of finding love when you least expect it. Gail came to me, struggling to find a way to continue helping her sister Caroline. And throughout The Beautiful Series, Damon Johnson has always had this dominant yet caring persona about him. He finds himself wanting to help Gail every step of the way. What he doesn’t expect is the unexplainable pull he feels toward her. Can Damon break through all the barriers Gail has so carefully placed around her heart and prove that he’s different? Or will Gail’s reservations keep her from falling in love? One thought could change everything.
  2. Beautiful Chances, My Beautiful, and Beautiful Dreams are the first three novels in the series, all revolving around Kyle Madison and Lily Tidsdale. Lily came to me instantly, but her heart was damaged and fragile. Kyle suddenly invaded my thoughts, wanting to protect and comfort her in his possessive, overbearing ways. He was perfect for my Lily. They complemented one another’s strengths and weaknesses. Their story is one of healing a broken soul as the heart finds true love, yet battles against the fear of loss.
  3. Beautiful Ties is a heartwarming, standalone novel of a woman, Abbey Madison, who builds a friendship with a young, neighborhood girl, Pearl. Their friendship quickly blossoms into a loving relationship. All the while, Abbey meets the man of her dreams, and she finds herself being tested between balancing her love between Jason and Pearl.
  4.  Blake Johnson, Jason Johnson, and Damon Johnson are all brothers as well as cousin’s to Lily Madison. Abbey Madison is Kyle’s younger sister.
  5. The Beautiful Series tells a story of a family growing alongside one another as each person finds their own way in life. Will they each discover who they were meant to be with in life?
  6. Blake, Jason, Damon, and Kyle form tight bonds in their friendships together as Lily, Abbey, Gail, and Audrey also share the same fate.
  7. Beautiful Chances is based in Sanibel Island, FL. The rest of the series is based in Lake Tahoe, CA.
  8. Each of the couples story can be read as a series or a standalone. As of now, there will be six stories in The Beautiful Series. However, this may change.
  9. “A Beautiful Thought”, Damon & Gail’s story, will release on July 14, 2014. “A Beautiful Purpose, Blake & Audrey’s story, will release on August 26, 2014.
  10. The Beautiful Series order:
    “Beautiful Chances” – Book One – Kyle & Lily
    “My Beautiful” – Book Two – Kyle & Lily
    “Beautiful Dreams” – Book Three – Kyle & Lily
    “Beautiful Ties” – Book Four – Jason & Abbey (Standalone)
    “A Beautiful Thought” – Book Five – Damon & Gail – releasing July 14, 2014 (Standalone)
    “A Beautiful Purpose” – Book Six – Blake & Audrey – releasing August 26, 2014 (Standalone)

~ From the bottom of my heart, thank you for taking the time to read my novels, and supporting me on this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy The Beautiful Series as much as I love writing it.

A Beautiful Thought by Alicia Rae

About The Book
Title: A Beautiful Thought
Author: Alicia Rae
Series: The Beautiful Series
Release Date: July 14, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Links: Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
As a physical sports therapist, Gail Bennett is accustomed to working with gorgeous athletes every day, but after falling for a few of these attractive men, she has been left heartbroken one too many times. When Gail’s hours at work are unexpectedly cut, she must find a way to continue helping her parents pay for her sister’s education.

Reluctantly following her best friend’s advice, Gail takes on a roommate—with the one man she has been avoiding since the first time she laid eyes on him.

Damon Johnson loves a challenge, and he is not the type of man to back down when he wants something. From the first moment he meets Gail for dinner, he feels an inexplicable pull between the two of them. In his determination to have her, he finds himself helping her in any way he can.

Can Damon break through all the barriers Gail has so carefully placed around her heart and prove that he’s different? Or will Gail’s reservations keep her from falling in love?

One thought could change everything.

Author Alicia Rae

Author Alicia Rae

About the Author
Alicia Rae is a Contemporary Romance Author who lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with her husband and three beautiful boys. Alicia has a passion for reading all types of romance, writing to bring a story to life, and photography.

Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading. And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing into my mind. I am forever grateful. Xo

Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you.

Believe in yourself and follow your dreams…

Where to Find Alicia Rae
Goodreads | Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

 

Giveaway
Readers – Kindle Paperwhite
Signed paperback of A Beautiful Thought