Welcome to the book blitz for CHRISTMAS AT THE LAKE, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Great Escapes, by Charlotte Blake. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
CHRISTMAS AT THE LAKE (Great Escapes #2) by Charlotte Blake
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited! Title: CHRISTMAS AT THE LAKE Series: Great Escapes #2 Author: Charlotte Blake Genre: Adult Contemporary Holiday Romance Release Date: September 10, 2017 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Sometimes love gets forgotten …
Hugely successful Lexi Stuart is used to guys pursuing her, but for all the wrong reasons. Sure, she’s beautiful and rich, but the men in her life never seem to want anything more serious than just sex. It’s a stark reality she’s become used to.
As a code writer in Silicon Vally, Adam Hunt doesn’t have to worry about money. And as a heartthrob in general, he doesn’t need to worry about attracting women, either. But when he meets Lexi during a Christmas holiday in Lake Tahoe, he’s floored that she won’t give him the time of day after one wild night together.
Now, this sports bum is about to take Lexi on the ride of her life. All she needs to do is hang on!
NOTE: This STAND-ALONE romance contains very steamy love scenes. All of the books in the Great Escapes series can be read in any order.
Excerpt Sweeping views of the lake and the surrounding land were better than all of the other views she’d seen put together. Several chairs were situated by the windows with small drink tables between each pair. Two pool tables dominated the inner space, but that wasn’t all. There were three dart boards, and, she was delighted to see, two machines of skee ball.
“Oh, I love skee ball!” Lexi said, walking up to to one of the games. “How do I get the balls to come down?”
“Over here at the bar is a basket full of coins you can use to release them.”
She immediately went to the basket and grabbed a handful.
“I’ve never been very good at it,” she said, putting one of the coins into the slot.
Six wooden balls descended into the holder, and she was immediately distracted from both the tour and Adam. She took her first shot, ten points. Her second, ten points.
“I told you,” she said.
But on her next one, it went so far awry of her intended direction it landed in one of the fifty point cups.
“Ha! Look at that!” She smiled triumphantly.
Adam clapped appreciatively.
“I think we’ve seen all we need to for now, Mary. The lady seems to have found her activity for the morning.”
Mary laughed. “Well, if you two need anything else, don’t hesitate to come down to the office. There’s a fully stocked bar over there in the corner. Help yourselves.”
“Thank you for the tour, Mary. This place is wonderful.” Lexi still had her eyes on the machine.
“You’re quite welcome. I’ll leave you to it.”
Adam walked up next to Lexi, swiping one of the coins she had placed on the edge of the machine.
“Now this I’m good at.” He aimed his ball expertly and immediately sunk one into the fifty point cup.
Lexi was not deterred. She didn’t care about winning this game. It was simply fun for her. She made a mental note to have one of the machines installed in her apartment when she got back home.
“So,” Adam said, finishing up his game. “I think our minds were supposed to be on pool.”
“I know. Just a few more balls.” She was in heaven, completely distracted from everything else she’d had on her mind.
Adam walked over to set up the pool balls. “Just a few.”
But she didn’t stop. Finally he walked up behind her and whispered in her ear.
“You said you’d play me at pool, remember?”
The feeling of his lips brushing against her ear made her breath catch. She leaned down, bowling the last ball, then she turned. They stared at each other for a few moments. Then he moved in for a kiss.
It was forward of him, a risk.
But his lips were soft, delicate. He put one hand on the small of her back and drew her body toward him. The feeling of his body up against hers made her giddy. Usually, the men she was with stripped her down right away, not caring about the tease.
But this Adam … he knew how to do things. She was suddenly thrilled, filled with anticipation.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
“For what, exactly?” she purred.
“For pool.” His words were quiet, suggestive.
“Are you sure that’s all you want to do?”
“For now.” He separated himself from her, walked over to the pool table, and grabbed her a cue and a piece of blue chalk.
She slumped as he walked away.
She couldn’t remember feeling the way she did now. She wanted him to take her upstairs, that was for sure. But her finely honed veneer was starting to crack a little. She was so used to being in charge. But he seemed to be leading this little game of theirs.
Just once, she reminded herself. Maybe twice.
Or maybe the whole trip.
Her family didn’t need to know, though she imagined they might figure it out. Her older brother, Andrew, and his wife, Amanda, had been hounding her for years about her need to find someone to settle down with. But why? So she could pop out a couple of kids? That wasn’t a life she wanted. Her work was too intense, too busy to be able to raise a child. Maybe when she was older, when there was no time left and she had made her fortune large enough to really sustain her for the rest of her life, then she could look for a man to hang onto and have children with. Or not; she could just do it on her own.
It was how she’d done everything since her mother had left her all that money. She was guarded, and trusted few. And that was fine with her. Her mother had been the same way, only with a dash of never-good-enough to hold over Lexi’s head.
It made it hard to leave work, even for the holidays. Even though her mother had passed years ago, she still felt the same pressure to perform. The same pressure to be the best at everything. No room for error. It was an expectation that both helped her rise and held her down. There was no winning. Not even now.
“I’ll let you break,” he said, wrenching her out of her thoughts. “Since you’re so terrible at this game, I feel it’ll be more fair to let you have the first shot.”
She smirked and walked over, taking the cue he’d offered and hanging it back up on the wall. She chose a shorter one more suited to her and rubbed some of the chalk onto the tip.
“You set the balls up wrong.” She leaned over the table, getting ready to take the first shot.
“I thought I just needed to keep the white one out.”
“That’ll be fine. I’ll beat you either way.”
But it didn’t work out that way. She was definitely talented at pool, but he was a perfect match to her skills. At the end of the first game, only three balls remained, two of hers and the eight ball. It was his turn and he sunk it without any trouble at all.
“You know, I’m starting to feel like maybe we should be making bets,” he said.
“No, I’m not betting you anything, you filthy liar.” She was laughing, but part of her was angry with herself for having given up the game so easily. “Best out of three.”
“You’re on. But not before a little taste.”
He walked up to her, leaning her gently against the table, and unloaded one of those kisses again. She tried hard not to gasp this time, but she couldn’t help it. She was tempted to toss the cue away and head upstairs. Her body was getting warmer and warmer every time he touched her. And in a way she wasn’t used to.
But there would be time for that later. It was only ten in the morning, and the snow was still coming down outside. She’d have at least two nights alone at the lodge with him. Hopefully.
So she picked up her cue and started searching through the pockets for the sunken balls, rolling them onto the table.
“Let me show you the right way to set the balls,” she said.
“I know the right way. I was just playing you. Are you sure you want to play again?” He walked up behind her and put his hands on her waist.
“We have all day for that,” she insisted as his mouth traveled to her earlobe, giving it a little bite. “Now hands off so I can show you how this is really done.”
But she had barely cracked the balls when he was on her again. It was getting harder and harder for her to resist him. She felt sure that she’d be up in his bedroom by noon.
Author Charlotte Blake
About the Author I am happy to call the San Francisco Bay Area home, where I lives with my husband, two kids, one dog and three cats. I started writing at an early age, but have only been writing novels for the past five years. I love the idea of love conquering all, and that is what drove me to begin the Great Escapes series, where the reader follows couples meeting up in exotic locations around the world. In this series, each book is a stand-alone, and each can be read in any order.
But readers, be forewarned, there is a healthy amount of steam in these books!
Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy Great Escapes!
Welcome to the book blitz for RUNNING WITH WOLVES, a stand-alone young adult historical adventure, by Summer Lane. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive Q&A with the author, and details on her giveaway.
He spilled their blood. Now, she’s out for revenge.
Jenna Renee is a woman wronged. When her adoptive parents are brutally murdered by an outlaw named Conroy Parker and his gang of thugs, they take everything from her: her family, her happiness, and her money.
Determined to bring Conroy and his boys to justice, she hires a gruff but dangerous gun-slinging United States Marshal, Jeremiah Black, to help her hunt Conroy down.
But there is more to Alaska than meets the eye.
The cold touch of the arctic winter is dangerous, and the corruption of Conroy Parker and his comrades runs deep. The tundra is unforgiving, and so are the wolves. Nothing is as it seems.
If the wilderness doesn’t kill Jenna, the pack will. Revenge comes with a price, and so does love. There will be no mercy….only the hunt.
A romantic adventure from #1 bestselling author Summer Lane, set amidst the gritty and awe-inspiring setting of Alaska during the last great Gold Rush.
This is your first historical fiction. How different was the writing process, as opposed to the past 17 novels you’ve written – which have all been post-apocalyptic? A historical novel is more strictly attached to the time period in which it takes place. The way people talk, dress, act, and even eat are different than how we do all of those things modernly. I had to do a lot of research, of course. I have been slowly working on this book for roughly 2 years, when the idea originally occurred to me. I have read so many books about Alaska…toward the end of the writing process, I was devouring whole college textbooks and double fact-checking everything I had until I was entirely sure my eyes were going to fall out of my head.
With my apocalyptic books, the research is tactically-oriented, if that makes sense. With Wolves, I had to make sure the slang and vernacular was correct and that the history was right on target. I took a few artistic liberties with the story, as all writers do, but everything is based in fact. Everything.
Where did the idea for Running with Wolves come from? I have always loved animals. I have always loved dogs. I first was enraptured by the idea of setting a story in Alaska when I was a little girl, after watching the animated film Balto for the first time. The concept for this particular novel sprung up about 2 years ago. It took me a long time to cultivate the plot to a point where I liked it enough to go ahead and write the book. I have always wanted to write a western-style novel, and that’s what Wolves is. A western novel set in the snow, with adventure and romance.
Where does the story actually take place? I have constructed a fictional tale within the boundaries of the boomtowns and mining camps that existed in 1898. The main character, Jenna Renee, lives outside of a town called Dyea. I used prominent and famous historical hotspots, such as the Chilkoot Pass and Dawson City, in the book, too.
Can we look forward to some romance, in addition to adventure? Yes! One of the central themes of the novel is the romance story between Jenna Renee and the rather callous but handsome United States Marshal Jeremiah Black. I love Jeremiah’s character – he’s got a lot of surprises up his sleeve, and I think readers will love him as much as Jenna does.
What are your upcoming projects? Well, I have a non-fiction novel coming up in the next several months: Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel. I’m also releasing the first installment of the anticipated Resurrection Series in January 2018. Resurrection will continue the adventures, fights, and romances of Commander Cassidy Hart from the hit Collapse Series.
Author Summer Lane
About the Author Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 18 novels, including the smash-hit Collapse Series. She owns Writing Belle Publishing. Lane is also an experienced journalist and creative writing teacher. Writing Belle is her online magazine, where she has interviewed and featured hundreds of writers from around the globe.
Look for her upcoming books, Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel, and Resurrection: Shadows of Omega, the hotly anticipated continuation of Cassidy Hart’s post-apocalyptic adventures.
Summer lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, Scott, and their German Shepherd, Kona.
Welcome to the book blitz for BETWEEN YOU AND ME, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by Lynn Turner. See below for information on the book, buy links, a couple of teasers, a deleted scene, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Love at first sight strikes Seattle Scientist Finnegan Kane at the worst possible moment, paralyzing him as he’s pitching his cutting-edge idea to powerful New York venture capitalist Emanuela Monroe…
Finn survived the crash that killed his parents when he was sixteen. Twenty years later, his smart devices are about to redefine what it means to be disabled.
Emanuela makes dreams come true for a living, but still longs to fulfill her own. Despite Finn’s stunning secret, she thinks his idea might be worth the risk…and he’s determined to show her that he is, too.
Deleted Scene #1 Christmas Eve
Finn removed the large gift box he’d hidden in Emanuela’s closet and set it on the bed in front of her. He sat at its edge, his obvious anticipation of her opening it almost as great as hers. “Happy Christmas Eve, Emmi.”
She smiled and, at his nod, lifted the lid. “Whoa.”
She reached in, carefully lifting the model house from the box. It was alabaster in color, and the detailing was incredible. She recognized the floor-to-ceiling windows at the south end and gasped, turning it to admire the familiar wrap-around deck. There were grooves indicating the planks of wood the deck was made from, and exterior lighting just like the ones on the house Finn rented in Penn Cove. She fingered the tiny fibers that made up the rigid parts of the house.
Her eyes narrowed. “You printed this?”
He nodded again. She giggled at his body language. He was as still as a log, his ears perky, eyes bright–If he’d had a tail, it would have wagged.
“Take the roof off. Have a look inside.”
She lifted the ends of the roof and it came completely off. Inside was a perfect replica of the interior, each room complete with removable furnishings and detail equally as stunning as the outside—like the natural granite of the free-standing fireplace in the living space and the logged walls of the bedrooms. Perfect—except there seemed to be extra space.
She frowned. “I don’t remember that being there.”
He grinned, crinkles appearing at the corners of his eyes. “That’s because it isn’t there yet. Turn it again, but this time go slow.”
Her head jerked to the side, but she did as instructed, turning the model until the front of the house faced her again. There, just out front, was a tiny signpost that read “Sold.”
She yelped. “Oh my God! When? I thought he wasn’t selling?” Her voice grew higher and squeakier with each question.
He shrugged. “I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
“Finn!” She smacked him impatiently.
He laughed, lifting his shoulder against her assault. “My offer was more than fair—well above market value. I could tell he wanted to keep it, but after I told him it held sentimental value for me—and that he could buy a house almost anywhere with what I was offering—I convinced him to sell.”
She could have cried. She loved that house, but was resigned to living somewhere else, convincing herself that anywhere with Finn would be home. Maybe it was selfish, but she’d been heartbroken at the prospect of someone else living there, getting to watch the sunrise—their sunrise—every morning.
She pointed to the extra space again, her voice barely above a whisper. “And this?”
“A bigger office, a den, a pool—whatever you want, Emmi.”
She slid the model to the side, enough to clear the space between them, and beckoned him to her with her finger. “I’m so happy,” she whispered against his lips.
“That’s all I want.”
Author Lynn Turner
About the Author Lynn Turner inherited her writing gene from her mother, who created fantastic tales about witches, invisible worlds and talking animals, and read them to her children at night. Lynn isn’t as great with the voices as her mother, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
She discovered romance far too young, when a mission to find a young adult fantasy title led her to historical romance. She spent hours skimming those sumptuous pages, drinking in the vivid descriptions of settings and clothes, feisty heroines and looming lords, and poetic language. (She may or may not have enjoyed the PG-13 bits too, tucking a new title beneath her pillow at night).
She enjoys character-driven narratives most, and anything that transports her someplace else. Passionate about food and travel, she features healthy doses of both in the stories she crafts. Above all, she is dedicated to writing inclusive stories that explore what it means to be imperfectly human.
When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling, dreaming of traveling, or watching old Samantha Brown travelogue videos and wishing she had her job. She and her husband share their home in California with their two extraordinary children, and hope to add a little furry one to the family very soon..
New York Times bestselling author, Emma Hart, is unveiling the cover to MISS FIX-IT, a stand alone adult contemporary romance, releasing October 31, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.
Synopsis One handywoman. One single dad. One set of twins. And the wall isn’t the only thing being drilled…
I learned the hard way that being a handywoman isn’t easy. The questions, the stares—the assumption I’m the proud owner of a cock and balls. Not that it matters. I’ve proven over and over that I’m ready for anything the judgmental asses throw at me.
Except the hot, single dad of twins who just moved to town.
Brantley Cooper gets the shock of his life when I show up on his doorstep to fix up his kids’ new rooms. His son is confused why ‘the pretty lady has a drill,’ and his daughter has a new obsession—me.
On paper, my job is easy. Go in, do their bedrooms, and leave.
In theory, I’m spending eight hours a day with a guarded, sexy as hell guy, and I’m staying for dinner more often than I’m eating it alone, on my couch, with Friends re-runs.
I shouldn’t be staying for dinner. I shouldn’t be helping him out with the twins. I shouldn’t be falling in love with tiny toes and dimpled cheeks.
And I most definitely should not be kissing my client.
MISS FIX IT by Emma Hart (Full Cover)
About the Author By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling new adult author, Emma Hart, dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.
Author Shannyn Schroeder is unveiling the cover to MEETING HIS MATCH, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, releasing October 12, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
MEETING HIS MATCH by Shannyn Schroeder
About the Book
Title: MEETING HIS MATCH Author: Shannyn Schroeder Release Date: October 12, 2017 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links: Goodreads
Synopsis Malcolm “Mac” Sterling has one goal: take over the family matchmaking business. His final obstacle? Host his family’s new dating show and prove he can help each contestant find true love. One catch. Mac’s meddling mother has approved a co-host, a so-called expert who seems impervious to his charms. Now he could lose everything, because if his co-host proves she’s the better matchmaker, he can say goodbye to his legacy.
Natalie “Gem” Hale never intended for her alter ego as an online dating expert to get her the opportunity of a lifetime—or for that opportunity to come with a co-host who’s as infuriating as he is tempting. But she didn’t get this far by backing down from a challenge. All she has to do is keep her secret identity a secret.
Except as sparks fly and the competition heats up, Mac realizes his co-host is hiding something. He’s just got to figure out what.
Author Shannyn Schroeder
About the Author Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies. .
Gloss Publishing, LLC and New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo are releasing the first chapter from THE HEIRESS, a stand-alone new adult romantic suspense novel, releasing September 26, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, an exclusive first look at Chapter 1, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis A new heartfelt and suspenseful stand-alone novel from New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo.
How much is love worth?
Twenty-two-year-old Kristin and her single mom have always struggled to make ends meet. When her mother’s body begins to deteriorate after many backbreaking years of working as a housekeeper, Kristin must say farewell to her college dreams and hello to a full-time job waitressing. She doesn’t really mind. After all, giving up on her dreams will be her penance for that one horrible night.
Her luck begins to turn when she meets Daniel Meyers. Daniel is sexy and funny, but most importantly, he wants to get to know the real Kristin. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also extremely wealthy and intent on protecting her. Kristin feels safe with him. She wants to open up to him, to share the details of the awful night that changed her life. But she can’t shake the feeling that Daniel may be keeping a dark secret of his own…
Chapter 1 – Taken Care Of The dimly lit stairwells in our five-floor walk-up in the Bronx smelled even more like cat piss than usual.
The August humidity had a lovely way of extracting the aromas that were usually trapped inside the dingy walls of our building. I tried to breathe through my mouth as I climbed the final steps to the fifth floor. But when I stepped into the corridor, a bright yellow notice taped to the front door of apartment 502 made me gasp, and the sharp smell got sucked into my nose again.
I gagged, then marched toward my apartment. “What the actual fuck?”
My curse came out much louder than I’d anticipated.
Dropping my canvas bag of groceries on the floor, I quickly snatched the paper off the door, but not quickly enough. Mr. Williams walked out of his apartment as I bent over to stuff the notice into my grocery bag.
“Good morning, Mr. Williams,” I said, breathing far too heavily for a casual walk to the bodega. “How’s your day so far?”
He tilted his head a bit as his dark eyes remained focused on my bag. “Is that an eviction notice?”
I unzipped my purse and dug frantically through the receipts and half-used drugstore makeup, which had probably been there since I dropped out of college two years ago. “It’s just a mix-up,” I replied with a chuckle when I found my house key. “Same thing happened a couple weeks ago. At least this time it happened on a Monday morning instead of a Friday night. I’m heading straight to the property manager’s office as soon as I get these groceries in the fridge.”
“Is everything okay with you and your ma?” he asked through narrowed eyes.
“We’re fine,” I said, forcing a smile. “Thank you so much for asking, but we’re just fine. This is just a huge mix-up.”
Mr. Williams scratched his scraggly white beard, which sparsely covered his chestnut-brown skin. “Okay,” he said, slowly nodding. “Well, if you need anything, don’t you hesitate to holler at this old fool.”
My smile widened, and this time it was genuine. “Thank you, Mr. Williams. I promise I’ll do that.”
He stuck his chin out and beamed with pride. “That’s a good girl. You take care now,” he said, then ambled back into the apartment across the hall.
When I was five, I often wondered if I was invisible—not metaphorically speaking, but actually invisible. I would watch in complete silence as my mom came home from a fourteen-hour shift, cleaning up other people’s messes. She’d collapse onto the sofa, turn on the evening news, and eat her dinner with a tired smile. Then I’d retreat to my bedroom and dream of a world where I existed.
It wasn’t until a fateful evening in September two years ago, my fingernails peeling off as I desperately clawed my way up a highway embankment, that I finally realized how tangible I was, how heavily I was anchored to this merciless world.
Now, as I rushed inside the humid apartment I shared with my mother in the South Bronx, I wished I could be invisible again.
Closing the door softly behind me—so as not to attract the attention of any more neighbors—I power-walked into the kitchen and tossed my canvas grocery bag onto the counter. Yanking out the bright yellow eviction notice, I contemplated the ten-digit phone number scrawled on it in black marker.
No. I wasn’t going to give those incompetent pricks at the property management office the courtesy of calling before I showed up. No way would I give them time to come up with some trumped-up violation that my mother or I had supposedly committed.
Despite the fact that our building was more than a hundred years old and in serious disrepair, the bylaws consisted of a list of rules—I kid you not—at least sixty pages long. The list was mailed to us every year with an offer to renew the lease—with another rent increase, of course. And every year, the list got longer.
One rule actually stipulated we were not allowed to walk around in high heels after ten p.m. I supposed it was a good thing I had no social life. I was in no danger of violating that rule.
Of course, whatever bone the management was picking with us now was probably not due to anything I did or didn’t do. The eviction notice was almost certainly a response to what I had threatened to do. Three weeks ago, I threatened to file an ADA—Americans with Disabilities Act—complaint if they didn’t fix the loose handrails in the stairwells.
When my mom and I moved into this apartment more than ten years ago, my mom was in excellent physical shape. Despite the fact that she had spent most of her life working as a housekeeper, she had managed to take good care of her body. Until she fell off a ladder at home and shattered her kneecap. Three surgeries later, she was desperate to return to work so I could return to NYU, but no one would hire her back.
If the eviction notice was left on our door, that meant my mom wasn’t home when the notice was served, which meant our neighbor Leslie had come by to take her shopping.
I put the groceries away and stuffed the eviction notice into my purse before I left the apartment. I thought of leaving a message with Leslie’s family, but decided against it. I didn’t want to worry her or my mom.
Leslie was a stay-at-home mother with two kids in high school and a husband who drove a bus for MTA. She helped my mom up and down the stairs once a week to go shopping. Having amazing neighbors like Leslie and Mr. Williams was one of the many reasons I was hesitant to move to another apartment building with an elevator.
One subway ride and nine blocks of walking in the glaring summer sun later, I arrived, sweaty and determined, at the front doors of Golde Property Management. I entered through the glass double doors, which squeaked on their hinges as I pushed my way inside. The black and gold confetti design on the linoleum looked like something straight out of a ’70s discotheque. The faux oak furniture in the waiting room, with the wood-grain laminate peeling off the corners, confirmed that I had stepped into an office stuck in another century.
In the decade since we moved into our apartment, and ever since I began paying the rent a couple of years ago, I’d never had to visit Golde Property Management. I always paid the rent on time, and I always agreed to the new lease terms. If I had known that they were living in the ’70s, I wouldn’t have bothered asking them to bring our apartment up to modern building standards.
Nonetheless, I needed to clear up this eviction nonsense. The last thing I needed was for my mother and me to be thrown out on our asses over a clerical error.
The receptionist sat at a desk behind a sliding-glass window at the back of the waiting room. She watched me approach without even attempting to smile.
I slid the yellow eviction notice across the counter onto her side of the glass. “I want to know what this is about.”
She spun in her chair to face the computer on her left, positioning her fingers over the keyboard. “What’s the property address?”
“Twenty-four eighty-three Hughes,” I replied sharply.
She typed in the address, then her eyes scanned down to the lower-right part of the computer screen and stopped. “It says here that the eviction notice was posted today at 10:02 a.m. by the Bronx County Sheriff’s Department due to violation of the rental agreement. The violation listed here is nonpayment of rental dues in the amount of $7,050.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Are you kidding me? Our monthly rent is $1,175. That means $7,050 is what, like, six months’ rent? We’re not even late one month, let alone six. I want to speak to a manager.”
She rolled her eyes as she picked up the beige phone handset and dialed an extension. “Is Jerry in his office?” she asked the person on the other end. “I’ve got a tenant here who says she’s paid up, but she just got served.” She sighed as she balanced the handset between her ear and shoulder. “Well, tell him when he’s done with his meeting that I got someone waiting for him up here. Okay? Okay.” She hung up the phone and looked up at me with a bored expression. “He’s in a meeting with an investor. You’ll have to wait a few minutes.”
I wanted to protest for the simple fact that if I caused a scene it might ruin their chances with this investor, but I decided not to press my luck. “I’ll be waiting right over there,” I said, nodding toward the tweed sofa in the waiting area.
Taking a seat on the sofa that smelled like desperation, I picked up a copy of the NY Post from the coffee table. The paper was dated thirteen months ago. This place needed an investor more than my mom needed a disability-accessible apartment building with an elevator.
Of course, my mom would never admit that she needed anything.
The eldest of four sisters, my mom left her small hometown in South Dakota to make her way in New York City when she was just nineteen. After a brief brush with homelessness, she started cleaning houses and saving up money to start her own cleaning business. Not long after that, I was born, and her dreams of being her own boss were tossed out the window.
I had just finished reading a story about a feud between the hosts of two popular YouTube channels when a door leading into the back office opened. The first man who stepped into the waiting area—whom I assumed was Jerry—looked to be about sixty years old, and wore brown slacks and a short-sleeved blue button-up shirt, the fabric thin enough to show the dinginess of the tank top he wore underneath.
The second man who walked through the door looked more like a mirage than a man.
He was no more than twenty-eight years old, wearing a sharp navy-blue suit and a swagger in his step that said he didn’t just own the place, he owned the world. His dark hair was short, but not so short you couldn’t help but notice it held the perfect amount of wave. Every inch of him, from his prominent brow to his broad shoulders and beyond looked sturdy. This man was built to last a thousand lifetimes.
But it was his face that made me wonder if I was actually staring at a desert mirage.
His strong jaw and brilliant green eyes looked as if they’d been chiseled by Michelangelo. As a former student of sculpture at NYU, I could make that type of comparison in the more literal sense.
If this investor bought out Golde Property Management, I’d probably sign a hundred-year lease.
I shrugged off this ridiculous thought. It wasn’t as if this wealthy godlike man was going to send my next lease renewal along with a handwritten marriage proposal.
Will you be my wife? Check yes or no. Please send reply in the enclosed envelope with full rent payment by the first of the month.
“Are you Kristin?”
I snapped out of my absurd fantasy to find the man I suspected to be Jerry staring at me as he held the door to the back office open. “Excuse me?”
“Are you Kristin Owens?” he replied. “Here about the eviction notice?”
His question set my blood on fire with anger. “Yes. I want to know what this is all about,” I said, getting to my feet as I held the yellow paper in front of me. “We’ve paid our rent on time every single month for the past ten years. If this is about me threatening to—”
Jerry held up his hand to interrupt me. “Okay, okay. Let’s go into my office,” he said, his expression a mixture of shame and anger, probably because I just made a scene in front of his potential investor. He looked up at the man. “I look forward to hearing from you again, Mr. Meyers. Jennie over there can validate your parking.”
Mr. Meyers cocked an eyebrow as he looked me over. “Maybe I should sit in on this.”
Jerry waved off the suggestion. “Oh, no, this is just routine admin stuff. It will be over in two minutes. Don’t want to waste your time.”
I stared at Jerry, making no attempt to avoid looking directly at the huge hairy mole protruding from his temple. “So now I’m a waste of time?” I asked. “If you think you can get away with—”
“Excuse me,” Meyers interrupted, taking a step forward. “Earlier, you said you’ve paid your rent on time every single month for the past ten years. So, forgive me if I’m wrong, but that allows you to continue living in the unit until any further disputes are settled in court. Am I right?”
Jerry shook his head. “But she hasn’t paid her rent,” he insisted. “I thought it was strange when the computer spat out the notice, but they only come up when a tenant is coming up on six months past due. Computers don’t lie. People lie.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I shouted. “Are you calling me a liar? You piece of trash. I swear to God, I will bury you in so many legal—”
“Whoa-whoa-whoa…” Meyers interrupted again. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” he said, casting a calm, confident look in my direction, holding my gaze for a moment before he turned back to Jerry. “You said computers don’t lie, but they do sometimes glitch. You even said you thought it was strange the computer spat out her name.”
“Yeah, but it doesn’t randomly spit out names all day long,” Jerry objected.
Meyers nodded and pressed his lips together in an expression that said he understood where Jerry was coming from. This guy was good. He was refereeing this dispute like a seasoned mediator.
“But it’s possible the computer got it wrong,” Meyers continued as he looked back and forth between Jerry and me, smiling when I crossed my arms over my chest. “How about this? I’ll pay the past-due amount until you can figure out the glitch in the system. Does that sound fair?”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “Who the hell are you?”
His veneer of confidence cracked for just a fraction of a second before he regained his composure. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you,” he replied. “You’re right. It’s very presumptuous of me to think I could settle this with the swipe of a pen. Forgive me.” He turned to Jerry and gave him a curt nod. “I have some…thinking to do. I’m not sure your organization is a good fit for us. We’ll be in touch.”
“Wait!” Jerry shrieked. “I think she was just taken by surprise with your offer. Right, Christina?”
“Kristin,” I corrected him. “And I don’t need him to pay my rent. I already paid it. I need you to fix this!” I crumpled the yellow eviction notice and dropped it at his feet.
“I can’t,” Jerry replied as Meyers quietly made his way to the receptionist’s desk. “My lawyer handles the evictions. He won’t close the file until the rent’s paid in full. I can’t pay him if I don’t have your money.”
“You have my money!” I yelled so loudly I could almost hear my vocal cords snap.
I cursed myself as tears stung the corners of my eyes. Blinking them away, I glanced over my shoulder, expecting to find Meyers staring aghast at my lack of control. He probably wasn’t accustomed to that sort of thing in his perfect world of privilege. But he wasn’t there. He was gone. I didn’t know if I felt more relieved that he hadn’t witnessed my outburst, or disappointed that the only sure way out of this eviction mess—at least, temporarily—had just walked out of my life.
God, why didn’t I just let him help me? It wasn’t as if I knew the guy. I didn’t need to maintain some foolish sense of pride in front of him.
I was becoming more and more like my mother every day.
“It’s taken care of.”
I looked up at the sound of the receptionist’s bored voice.
She waved a piece of paper in the air, which looked suspiciously like a check. “He took care of your rent,” she said, looking annoyed.
I turned to Jerry, but all he did was shrug.
What the fuck just happened?
Author Cassia Leo
About the Author New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time re-watching Game of Thrones and Sex and the City. When she’s not binge watching, she’s usually enjoying the Oregon rain with a hot cup of coffee and a book.
Welcome to the book blitz for PREMONITION, the first book in the young adult science fiction romance series, The Division, by Leigh Walker. See below for information on the book, buy links, the book’s playlist, and details on her giveaway.
PREMONITION (The Division #1) by Leigh Walker
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: PREMONITION Series: The Division #1 Author: Leigh Walker Publisher: CMG Publishing Release Date: July 19, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis When Riley heads off to boarding school for a summer work-study program, she knows it’ll be demanding. What she doesn’t expect? To be thrust into an intense physical training program described as special, exclusive and worst of all–top-secret. She signed up for tuition assistance, not to be held in a secret government facility for boot camp…
Welcome to The Division, the government agency that’s so classified, most United States senators have never heard of it.
The Division wants Riley bad, but she can’t figure out why. Skeptical of what she’s being told, Riley’s determined to uncover the truth. Boot camp is intense, physically and mentally draining. The upside? One of her new teammates is the cutest boy ever. Watching Finn hit the gym wearing a tank top doesn’t suck–although sometimes his brooding attitude does. But when training forces Riley to confront her tragic past, even Finn’s big biceps aren’t enough to make her want to stay…
Beware: The Division isn’t something you just walk away from. You better run.
Riley realizes her capabilities and strengths are greater than she’d ever imagined. But she also learns she wasn’t just chosen for this special program…
She was made for it.
Playlist The Other Side – Bruno Mars Elastic Heart – Cia Leave Out All the Rest – Linkin Park Look What You Made Me Do – Taylor Swift I Don’t Wanna Live Forever – ZAYN and Taylor Swift Starlight – Muse We Found Love – Rihanna Princess of China– Coldplay and Rihanna Attention – Charlie Puth Dusk Till Dawn – ZAYN and Cia
Author Leigh Walker
About the Author Leigh Walker lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. She has a degree in Journalism and a law degree. She’s never been to the Naval Shipyard prison in Kittery, ME, but she’s driven by it…and boy, is it creepy!
Ink Monster, LLC and author Aileen Erin are unveiling the cover to BEING ALPHA, the seventh book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Alpha Girl, releasing February 13, 2018. See below for the cover, pre-order links, and and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
Synopsis For the first time since Tessa met Dastien, life is quiet. The evil witch, Luciana, is six glorious feet under, St. Ailbe’s is closed due to human trespassers, and people are finally getting used to the fact that supernaturals exist in the world. It seems like the perfect time for a honeymoon.
Tessa and Dastien’s trip to the Caribbean is turning out to be the honeymoon that fantasies are made of—sunset cruises, long walks on the beach, and every romantic cliché you can imagine. She couldn’t be happier. So, when a local man turns up inexplicably dead on the beach, Tessa brushes it off. Not every bad thing that happens in the world is a supernatural mystery to be solved. And when Sebastian—one of the Council of Seven Alphas who rule all the werewolves—appears on the island, she thinks it must be a coincidence. Everyone needs a break now and then. Even council members. Right? Besides, Tessa is beyond determined to not let anything get in the way of her romantic vacation.
But when Dastien goes missing, the honeymoon is most definitely over. Tessa can’t ignore the signs anymore. Something huge is going on. And whoever messed with Tessa’s mate is in for a rude awakening. Because if there’s one thing fighting rogue witches and werewolves has taught her, it’s how to be Alpha.
Author Aileen Erin
About the Author AileenErin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.
Welcome to the book blitz for I STOLE HIS CAR, the first book in the adult romantic suspense series, Love at First Crime, by Jessica Frances. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
I STOLE HIS CAR (Love at First Crime #1) by Jessica Frances
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: I STOLE HIS CAR Series: Love at First Crime #1 Author: Jessica Frances Release Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis She stole his car, so he stole her heart…
I saw something I never should have seen.
I took something they wanted back.
I was desperate.
So, I did something I never would have normally done.
I stole a car.
Not just any car.
Now I have no choice but to trust him.
Only he can help me get out of this mess.
Then, when we both become hunted,
And when feelings begin to complicate things,
Can I still count on his protection?
Can I trust what is happening between us to be real?
Because, as some people say: there is nothing quite like love at first … crime.
Excerpt #3 “I promised to protect you,” he says, not moving his hand and pushing his hips harder against me so my back is flat against the door.
“And you did. You told me to get out. You kept me calm, and we got away.”
“But it could have so easily gone wrong. You should have been safe there.” He sounds self-reproaching.
“This will all be over soon.” I lift my hands to his face, careful of where he appears to be hurt. “You said that. We can make it just a little bit longer.”
“I don’t think I can go through that again …” He is whispering now, his husky voice full of emotion.
“You won’t. They might have known where we were before, but they don’t have a clue now. We’re safe, right?”
“We’re safe,” he affirms, finally moving his hand from my chest and up over my shoulder, over my neck, and then cupping my face. “I want you so badly.”
His words cause my breath to hitch and desire to pool low in my belly. I already guessed as much, but hearing his words, listening to them echo inside my head, sets off a chain reaction I can’t stop.
I have wanted him since the first time I laid eyes on him.
Author Jessica Frances
About the Author Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.
Welcome to the blog tour for SECOND CHANCE GIRL, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Happily, Inc., by New York Times bestselling author, Susan Mallery. See below for information on the book, pre-order links as well as buy links for YOU SAY IT FIRST, book 1 in the series, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SECOND CHANCE GIRL (Happily, Inc. #2) by Susan Mallery
Synopsis From the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author SusanMallery, read the second irresistible installment in the Happily Inc series!
Mathias Mitchell’s easy smile hides a world of hurt. After the worst kind of family betrayal, he moves to Happily Inc., California—the wedding destination town supplies a steady stream of bridesmaids, perfect for his “no promises, no pain” lifestyle. Yet he can’t stop watching for his beautiful, elusive neighbor on the animal preserve behind their homes.
Gamekeeper Carol Lund knows she’s not special enough to attract an alpha male like Mathias, so his offer to help her adopt a herd for her lonely giraffe is surprising—and his determined seduction, even more so. But just as she finally welcomes him into her bed, his careless actions crush her heart. Will she give him a secondchance to prove she’ll always come first in his heart?
Don’t miss You Say It First, the first book in the Happily Inc series.
Excerpt #4 Carol couldn’t remember how the standing date with her friends had begun. Perhaps it had existed before she and Violet had moved to Happily Inc and they’d simply been invited to join in. Regardless, it was one of her favorite times—enjoying a couple of hours with the women in her life.
The hosting duties rotated and whoever served as host chose either lunch or dinner and provided the entrée and drinks. Everyone else brought something and a good time was had by all.
If the weather cooperated, Carol always picked lunch when it was her turn. Her friends joined her out by the largest grove of trees on the faux savanna. Her father and uncle set out a big table and chairs for them. Carol had a camp stove where she heated the chicken she’d cooked that morning and would warm the tortillas. The other ingredients for the taco bar were ready in plastic containers and she’d made a sparkling pink non-alcoholic punch to add a festive touch.
“Hi!” Silver Tesdal called as she walked along the path. The tall, leggy platinum blonde carried a shopping bag in one hand. “I always feel as if I need a passport when I come here. I love it!”
They hugged, then Silver set down her bag. “I have the strangest dessert ever, but I think it’s a real find. We’ll have to see.”
Carol eyed the plain white bag. “Now I’m curious.”
“As you should be.”
Before Carol could ask more, the other women arrived. Her sister Violet, Natalie Kaleta from the gallery, Pallas Saunders who owned Weddings Out of the Box, and Wynne Beauchene, owner of the town’s graphic design and print store.
Violet, who knew about the tacos, had brought chips, dip and guacamole. The other women contributed a green salad and cookies. Carol reached for the champagne glasses she’d carted along, then nodded at Pallas who was doing her best not to grin too broadly.
“Show them,” Carol told her friend.
Pallas laughed, then held out her left hand. A diamond solitaire sparkled on her ring finger.
Violet, Silver and Wynn shrieked, then lunged for their friend and started a group hug. Carol was waved in and they all hung on in celebration.
“How long?” Violet demanded when they’d released each other. “When did he propose?”
“Saturday at the Under the Sea wedding.”
Silver looked from the pink, bubbly drink to Carol. “You knew.”
Carol raised a shoulder. “I helped Nick pick out the ring. He had it narrowed down to three and texted me pictures from the jewelry store.” She’d been surprised Nick would ask her opinion but then had guessed he’d asked Mathias to name a woman who could be trusted not to spill the secret.
She smiled at Pallas. “So if you don’t like it, it’s my fault.”
Pallas clutched her left hand to her chest. “What’s not to like? It’s beautiful.”
Carol passed out the drinks and they all toasted their friend, then sat down to lunch. She quickly heated tortillas for everyone and they served themselves from the taco bar and salad, then took their seats.
Author Susan Mallery
About the Author #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. She’s best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.
Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur.
Author Heather Christie is unveiling the cover to WHAT THE VALLEY KNOWS, a young adult contemporary romance/romantic suspense, releasing January 25, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
WHAT THE VALLEY KNOWS by Heather Christie
About the Book Title: WHAT THE VALLEY KNOWS Author: Heather Christie Release Date: January 25, 2018 Genre: Young Adult Romance/Suspense Links:Goodreads
Synopsis Millington Valley is a quintessential small Pennsylvania town: families go back generations. Football rules. Kids drink while adults look the other way. High school is a whirlwind of aspiration and rivalry, friendship and jealousy.
When smart and pretty Molly Hanover moves to town and attracts the attention of the football team’s hero, Wade Thornton—a nice guy with a bad drinking habit—longtime friendships are threatened and a popular cheerleader tries to turn the school against Molly.
The young couple’s future is shattered when Wade, drunk, wrecks his truck and Molly is thrown through the windshield. She wakes from a coma to find her beauty marred and her memory full of holes. As she struggles to heal, she becomes sure that something terrible happened before the accident. And there is somebody in the valley who doesn’t want her to remember.
Author Heather Christie
About the Author Heather Christie grew up in rural Pennsylvania and, at age seventeen, took off for New York City in hopes of becoming a movie star. Flash forward several decades, a couple degrees, a bunch of cats, two kids and one husband later, she’s back in Pennsylvania writing her heart out and chasing dreams again. She loves to read, run, drink tea, and make Sunday dinner. Follow her blog at www.HeatherChristieBooks.com and say “hello” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Today is release day for HIS HAND-ME-DOWN COUNTESS, the first book in the adult historical romance series, Lustful Lords, by Sorcha Mowbray. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive teaser.
Synopsis His brother’s untimely death leaves him with an Earldom and a fiancée. Too bad he wants neither of them…
Theodora Lawton has no need of a husband. As an independent woman, she wants to own property, make investments and be the master of her destiny. Unfortunately, her father signed her life away in a marriage contract to the future Earl of Stonemere. But then the cad upped and died, leaving her fate in the hands of his brother, one of the renowned Lustful Lords.
Achilles Denton, the Earl of Stonemere, is far more prepared to be a soldier than a peer. Deeply scarred by his last tour of duty, he knows he will never be a proper, upstanding pillar of the empire. Balanced on the edge of madness, he finds respite by keeping a tight rein on his life, both in and out of the bedroom. His brother’s death has left him with responsibilities he never wanted and isn’t prepared to handle in the respectable manner expected of a peer.
Further complicating his new life is an unwanted fiancée who comes with his equally unwanted title. Saddled with a hand-me-down countess, he soon discovers the woman is a force unto herself. As he grapples with the burden of his new responsibilities, he discovers someone wants him dead. The question is, can he stay alive long enough to figure out who’s trying to kill him while he tries to tame his headstrong wife?
About the Author Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband.
She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!
Welcome to the book blitz for THE VIXEN’S LEAD, the first book in the new adult paranormal romance series, Kit Davenport, by Tate James. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.
THE VIXEN’S LEAD (Kit Davenport #1) by Tate James
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: THE VIXEN’S LEAD () by Series: Kit Davenport #1 Author: Tate James Publisher: Big Dog Books, LLC Release Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis I want vengeance so badly that I can almost taste it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. So, I did what any privileged, adopted boarding school girl would do. I slapped on a secret identity and became an internationally renowned thief, known as The Fox. Nobody knows me. Nobody can catch me.
Or so I thought…
It turns out; I have what they want. Special abilities. And trust me, these abilities are coveted–and dangerous. Now, I don’t know who to trust or where to go. Peril lurks on every corner as I try to uncover my past and origin. Teaming up with unlikely allies may be my only chance at survival or my biggest mistake. Only time will tell.
I’m Kit Davenport and this is only the beginning.
Author Tate James
About the Author Tate James was born and raised in the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand) but now lives in Australia with her husband, baby and furbaby.
She is a lover of books, red wine, cats and coffee and is not a morning person. She is a bit too sarcastic and swears too much for polite society and definitely tells too many dirty jokes.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE DOWNFALL OF CATIE BLOOM, the third book in the adult romantic comedy series, Bloom Sisters, by award-winning author, Brooke Stanton. See below for information on the book, buy links for all three books in the series, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE DOWNFALL OF CATIE BLOOM (Bloom Sisters #3) by Brooke Stanton
Synopsis Catie’s little white lies have finally caught up to her…
The award-winning Catie Bloom is back! And she’s still got it all—a husband, a successful career, and she’s America’s #1 Domestic Goddess. Except, it’s a big fat lie. She can’t cook, she’s a slob, and her husband left her years ago. But she’s trying to leave the lies behind and become an honest woman. Too bad someone already knows her secrets…
Catie’s life comes crumbling down when she’s outed on national TV by a person she trusted. And in that instant, she loses everything—her job, her sister, and the man she loves, Sam Harding. So much for “the one.” When Catie needs Sam the most, he disappears…with his ex. Then two miracles happen: a new man steps into the picture, eager to help Catie, and a New York socialite hires her to do the one thing she’s truly talented at: interior design. The great news: the multimillion-dollar loft Catie’s designing will be featured in all the top design magazines. The bad news: Catie has to keep her involvement a secret.
As she tries to find a way back into the design world without revealing her secret project, Sam returns. And with him comes a twist she never saw coming.
Will Catie find her happily ever after, or will her past lies ruin her future forever?.
Excerpt In the back corner of the bar, there’s a woman tucked away from the revelry. Something about her makes me stop. At first, it looks like she’s laughing, but she wipes her eyes and I see she’s crying. Then she lifts her head, and I feel like one of the skis above the bar has kicked me in the gut. I suck in air, but I can’t seem to get any down. The room is spinning, and for a moment, I feel like I might pass out.
How can she be here? I step closer but keep hidden behind a group of older men, devouring pizza and beer, their faces chapped from the slopes.
It’s definitely her. Liv.
Why is she here and not in Manhattan with her husband? Is she on assignment? But she doesn’t write for the sports section. She’s a metro reporter and only writes about local news. There’s nothing local about this comp.
The air escapes my lungs in a rush when I spot Sam standing above the table where Liv sits. He’s been here a day, but he already has a touch of Raccoon face—white half-moons down his cheeks under his eyes, the bottom of his face pinkish from the sun and wind.
He slides into the booth next to Liv and puts his arm around her and pulls her in tight, comforting her. He kisses her head, and the love on his face is unmistakable. So is the pain. The pain of seeing her in pain.
His eyes glance up and widen in surprise when he sees me. I step back, bumping into a young man, his beer spilling down the inside of my sweater, the liquid cold against my skin.
I hurry out of the bar and rush back toward the lodge, but as I turn the corner, I hear Sam’s voice calling my name. A few moments later, his hand grabs hold of my arm, turning me around as his bright-blue eyes capture mine, as they always do, making my rapid breathing stop short.
“You’re early. You’re supposed to be coming in tonight,” Sam says. His voice sounds surprised but not upset. “Where’s your luggage?”
“At the hotel.” I step back, and he drops my arm. “What is she doing here?”
“Oh, she…” Sam rubs his hand over his face, considering something. “It’s…I don’t think she’d want me to say. She needs to escape her life for a while. She got some bad news.”
“Well that’s not your problem.” The words sound harsh, especially after I saw how upset she was. But what the hell is she doing seeking comfort from Sam? In Tahoe?! She has her own damn family. “You shouldn’t have to comfort her.”
“Catie, show a little compassion. Look, if I told you what was going on, you’d understand, but I promised her I wouldn’t say anything.”
“Compassion?!” I spit out, shocked at his words. “My whole life was flipped on its head and beaten to a pulp. My career is over, and I’m hanging on by a string here. I don’t have many people I can count on right now, but you should be one of them.”
“If I told you what’s going on, you’d understand.”
“Then tell me.”
His forehead crinkles, and worry sits on his face, showing his internal struggle. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe he’s standing there acting as if she has any right to him and his loyalty. He was going to propose, and she cheated on him. With his friend.
Unless…seeing her the other night sparked all the old feelings in him. It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened. Doesn’t everyone have the-one-that-got-away somewhere in their past? Well, maybe not everyone, but lots of people do. And maybe Liv is the one. Not just the one that got away, but the one.
Author Brooke Stanton
About the Author After her own misadventures in New York City, LA, and London, Brooke Stanton now lives in sunny South Florida. She’s an award-winning author who has contributed to Natural Awakenings Magazine, wrote a column for Examiner.com, and is the author of The Bloom Sisters series.
Today is release day for THE MISSING: The Curious Cases of Will Winchester and the Black Cross, a young adult historical paranormal by Jerico Lenk. See below for information on the book, buy links, and details on his giveaway.
THE MISSING (The Curious Cases of Will Winchester and the Black Cross) by Jerico Lenk
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: THE MISSING: The Curious Cases of Will Winchester and the Black Cross Author: Jerico Lenk Publisher: Month9Books Release Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Historical/Paranormal/LGBTQ
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis It is 1890, and London has secrets. For sixteen-year-old Will Winchester, born Willow Winchester and raised as a young man, the safety of his own secrets rests one atop the other. Hiding his gender queerness is important. But so is hiding the ghostly voices of the Missing, which Will hears when no one else can … until the Spiritualist Black Cross Order of Occult Occurrences wants him in their service to keep peace between London’s living and dead.
The freedom to be himself may come with a price. Working alongside a patchwork team of misfits and unlikely allies, Will finds he isn’t the only one keeping secrets. Someone does not want him to uncover the truth about the ghosts who aren’t just missing from the world of the living, but missing from history itself. Can he find the Missing before he ends up becoming one of them?
Author Jerico Lenk
About the Author Undergraduate studying Creative Writing, Classics, Russian and Western European History. Unabashed weeb probably burning incense and drinking too much coffee at this very moment. Out for queer representation and great sex hair. Beyond ready for the upcoming Vampire Chronicles TV series.
Lenk writes Young Adult/New Adult, spec fiction, poetry, and screenplays. He is currently unagented.
His poems have appeared at/in USF Tampa’s Thread Literary Inquiry, biannual 6×6 creative writing showcase, and placed second in National Poetry Month 2015; Tethered By Letters’ F(r)iction Spring 2016 poetry contest finalist; winner of the 2017 Bettye Newman Poetry award..
Today is release day for HONEST INTENTIONS, the fifth book in the adult mystery/romantic suspense series, Safeguard, by USA Today bestselling author, Kennedy Layne. See below for information on the book, buy links, and the exclusive excerpt.
Synopsis USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne continues the Safeguard Series with this fast-paced romantic suspense novel that leads the SSI team on the trail of a serial killer who continually seems to be one step ahead…
Coen Flynn has always done the right thing, even it meant siding against his own family. His sense of justice was what led him to take a job in law enforcement, though his choice of agency was a bit unorthodox. His current assignment was believed to be a simple protection detail. He was never supposed to be identified by his charge, but a murder took priority and changed the course of his mission.
Brettany Lambert’s life is suddenly rocked when she finds the body of a dead friend on the eve of what was supposed to be a special wedding. Now Brettany and Coen are trapped in the middle of a blizzard and their attraction will fuel the heat of temptation. Good intentions always have a way of backfiring, but his desired intent won’t matter if a notorious serial killer can finish what he started.
Chapter 1 “Brettany?” Coen set his half-drained glass of orange juice back on the counter as he regarded her with curiosity. He misunderstood her silence. “Shepherd Moss has been quite busy in Florida, very far from here. It’s doubtful he’d make his way this far west. It’s a risk for him to travel even a short distance.”
Brett didn’t want to talk about murder, serial killers, or anything that had to do with his chosen profession or what she’d stumbled into last weekend. The storm had ended hours ago, the snow plows were out clearing off the streets one by one, and the sun was shining in a clear bright sky. It was a new day and one she wanted to celebrate with him.
She drained the rest of her tea and carefully placed her cup in the sink. This was it. There didn’t seem to be enough oxygen in the air, but that might be due to the fact that she’d stopped breathing. Her adrenaline spiked just enough as she walked around the kitchen island.
“Are you okay?” Coen asked cautiously, turning his stool slightly to the left so that he was facing her. “You haven’t—”
Brett closed the distance between them before she could change her mind. She slipped her fingers underneath the leather of the holster that seemed to be a permanent fixture over his shirt and pulled him close.
“Give me this one morning before you leave,” Brett whispered imploringly, searching for any sign that he was willing to ignore this attraction between them. Her heartbeat faltered when the rich brown of his eyes darkened in sensuality. “No strings. No expectations.”
“You don’t want to do this with me.” Coen raised his arms and gently clasped her wrists to stop her from sliding her hands up behind his neck. “I’m not—”
“Looking for anything serious?” Brett finished for him, although she inferred his statement as a question. “You might not believe this, but I’m not expecting you to want that with me. The plan I’ve laid out for myself doesn’t include a man in your line of work. I do want that white picket fence with a husband who will play baseball with our son in the backyard…but not for some time to come. In the meantime, I’m not without desire, Coen. I’m a woman with sexual needs…and I want to be with you very much before we part ways. I warned you there was a chance I’d take you up on what you had so temptingly dangled in front of me. Well, here I am…just like you wanted.”
Author Kennedy Layne
About the Author Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.
Welcome to the blog tour for THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by Delaney Foster. See below for information on the book, buy links, the book’s playlist, and details on her giveaway.
THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN by Delaney Foster
About the Book Title: THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN Author: Delaney Foster Release Date: September 5, 2017 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis For Nathan Alexander it’s not an option. It’s a way of life.
As an attorney he defends the defenseless. But when the suit comes off and the gloves go on, his passion is teaching others how to defend themselves.
His life was purposefully methodical. Completely under control. Just the way he likes it.
Until Emma McClain walks in his gym. Battered. Broken. And utterly breathtaking.
After his last relationship, Alex swore he’d never give another woman the power to hurt him. But with her unforgettable smile and killer legs, Emma has him fighting for control.
Little does he know she is fighting for her life.
Will he be able to save her before it’s too late? Or will an unexpected revelation cost them both the ultimate price?
Playlist Kesha- Praying Taylor Swift- Begin Again Somo- Control Sam Hunt- Take your Time Timeflies- Monsters Miguel- Coffee Bebe Rexha- Small Doses Luis Fongu- Despacito Taylor Swift- You are in Love Brian McKnight- Win Halsey- Gasoline
Author Delaney Foster
About the Author Delaney Foster is a Louisiana native, not far from New Orleans, where eating, drinking, and dancing are pretty much a requirement for citizenship. She loves all things romance, a good glass of wine, and Saturdays at the baseball park. She definitely believes leggings are pants and is a bit of a book whore. It all started with Jane Austen and her Darcy and has evolved to the likes of Ella Frank, Mia Sheridan, and Colleen Hoover. Just to name a few. In her love stories you will find sexy, alpha males and the strong women who love them.
Welcome to the blog tour for WILD FOR YOU, the third book in the adult contemporary romance series, Love With Altitude, by USA Today bestselling author, Daisy Prescott. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
WILD FOR YOU (Love With Altitude #3) by Daisy Prescott
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: WILD FOR YOU Series: Love With Altitude #3
Author: Daisy Prescott Release Date: September 14, 2017 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Cowboy fantasies. Oh boy, do I have them. I blame the shiny belt buckles and those chaps. Mother of pearl buttons, those chaps.
After getting dumped by my Not Future Husband, I’ve decided to spend the summer in Aspen exploring new adventures. First on the list is rugged, sexy rodeo champion Justin Garrison, who seems happy to accept the challenge.
What if I fall in love with the real man behind the fantasy?
Being the charming cowboy is an easy role to play. Whenever I’m on the back of a horse or riding a bull, everything’s simple, uncomplicated. Running my family’s ranch and trying to keep the past buried are a lot harder.
When my path crosses with a beautiful brunette at a rodeo, I’m not looking for more complications. Feisty Zoe Saragossa’s not a typical buckle bunny and I’m definitely not her type.
Can a city girl fall for a real cowboy?
Wild for You is a standalone, slow burn cowboy romance. It’s part of the Love with Altitude series of standalone romantic comedies set in Aspen, high in the Rocky Mountains.
Justin’s warm, rough fingers cradle my hand like it’s something precious. I blindly follow him through the bar to the dance floor. He could probably lead me right out the door and into the night, and I wouldn’t protest.
It’s the first time we’ve touched skin to skin for more than a minute, and my body responds like he’s flipped a switch, flooding light where darkness has loitered for months.
The warmth from his hand around mine is the sun breaking through storm clouds.
On the small stage—only two feet higher than the rest of the floor—is a quartet of older men playing old fashioned country tunes. One has a slide guitar splayed in front of him. The tunes are upbeat, but the lyrics I catch could drive anyone to drink whiskey for breakfast.
Justin leads me to the far edge, where it’s less crowded with couples rotating counter-clockwise around the floor.
“Trust me.” With a jerk to my hand, he spins me around to face him. He lifts my left hand to his shoulder and rests his on my back near my bra strap. It’s a formal position with lots of room between our bodies for the Holy Spirit. Or at least the big gap makes me think of dancing supervised by Catholic nuns.
“What’s so funny?” The corners of his mouth curl up.
“Nothing,” I say with a shake of my head. “I’m nervous.”
“Don’t be. I’ve got you.” The smile he gives me is nothing but sweet and genuine.
“All I ask is you catch me before my face plants on the floor.”
He barks out a chuckle. “Promise.”
“Swear on your belt buckle. Or Cisco.”
He’s still chuckling when he meets my eyes. “Take me at my word.”
Beneath his black Stetson, his eyes are dark as a night without stars. It would be so easy to get lost in them forever. He begins talking again and I try to focus on his words and not the trifecta of his eyes, his hand on my back, and mine touching his shoulder.
“We’re going to go quick quick, then slow slow. Step on your right foot first.” He lifts and lowers his feet to demonstrate. “Follow me. When I want you to turn, I’ll put a little pressure on right here. Can you feel that?”
Yes, yes I can. I nod as he flexes his hand against my bra strap.
“Good, now open your hand and rest your palm on my shoulder.”
I’m fondling his shoulder. It is everything and more. Strong, rounded with muscle, and hard as a rock. A girl could have fantasies about his shoulders. I add it to my collection.
“Here we go.” He smirks.
Dancing with Justin is like skiing in fresh powder. Effortless and smooth. Even though I’m dancing backward, he leads me around the floor, weaving us through the other couples. With a gentle press of his fingers on my shoulder blade, he guides me through a turn. Amazingly, I don’t trip.
“You look surprised,” he whispers when I’m back in his arms.
It’s an understatement for how I’m feeling right now.
I’m a minute from turning into a pile of swoony goo. Never in my life have I swooned over a man before.
But Justin isn’t a regular guy.
He’s a cowboy.
Author Daisy Prescott
About the Author USA Today Bestselling Author DaisyPrescott writes romantic comedies with heart.
Her Modern Love Stories feature characters in their thirties and forties finding and rediscovering love in unexpected and humorous ways. Her Wingmen books star regular guys who often have beards, drive trucks, and love deeply once they fall. Look for her new Rom Com series, Love with Altitude, in 2017.
Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog, and an indeterminate number of imaginary house goats. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.
Author Jacqueline Garlick is unveiling the cover to LIAR’S PACT, a young adult paranormal romance, releasing October 17, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
LIAR’S PACT by Jacqueline Garlick
About the Book Title: LIAR’S PACT Author: Jacqueline Garlick Release Date: October 17, 2017 Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance Links:Goodreads
Synopsis What’s a Little Lie Among Friends?
A wild barn party. A disturbing sensation. A foolish prank. A near-fatal crash. Kyla Cooper wakes the next morning to find herself the center of an investigation, accused of triggering her estranged boyfriend’s attempted suicide.
Wrought with heartache and rocked by jealousy, she left the party early, haunted by formidable, telepathic-like visions of stolen kisses, speeding cars, twisting metal and breaking glass. Kyla now fears she may have ignored the warning signs of danger. Could the visions she was experiencing been a preview of what was to come?
Convinced what happened to her boyfriend is no accident, Kyla embarks on a dangerous journey to expose the truth. But the only one who knows what really happened, is her boyfriend Denver. And he’s trapped in a catatonic state unable to speak.
As Denver slips deeper and deeper into catatonia, Kyla rushes to embrace her newly-found powers in order to reach him, as all the while, a dangerous pact is forming, intent on making sure the truth is never unearthed. Navigating the landmine of the mean-girl cliques and runaway gossip that swirl the halls of her high school, Kyla’s fights against blame and time to free Denver from his catatonic prison, and expose the liars in their game.
Will Kyla’s power be enough to bring Denver back, or will the pact of liars get away with near-murder?
Author Jacqueline Garlick
About the Author Jacqueline likes gritty stories with beating hearts, dislikes wimpy heroines and whiny sidekicks, and loves a good tale about an irresistible underdog. Don’t you?
Lumière—a steampunk-fantasy, romance adventure—is the award-winning Book One in her young adult Illumination Paradox Series.
Jacqueline is a graduate of Ellen Hopkin’s Nevada Mentoring Program, and has also studied under James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass, where she was the 2012 recipient of the Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship.
Jacqueline is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes pod casts, guest blogs, Skype interviews and speaking engagements, as well as comments and emails from her readers..
Welcome to the blog tour for COLD MALICE, the eighth book in the adult romantic suspense series, Cold Justice, by New York Times bestselling author, Toni Anderson. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
Synopsis When an international ring of sex traffickers kidnaps an eight-year-old girl in Boston, FBI Agent Lucas Randall heads undercover. But his rescue operation goes disastrously wrong and Lucas barely escapes with his life. Now the ruthless traffickers are hunting him down, along with everyone else who threatens their operation.
Computer expert Ashley Chen joined the FBI to fight against evil in the world—evil she experienced firsthand. She has mad skills, and deadly secrets, and once she starts working with Lucas, she also has big trouble, because after years of pushing people away, she’s falling for the guy. The feeling is more than mutual, but as Ashley intensifies her online pursuit of the trafficking ring, her traumatic past collides with her present and suddenly Lucas can’t tell which side she’s on. And as the case escalates into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, it turns out Ashley isn’t the only one with something to hide.
If neither can trust the other with their secrets, how can they trust each other with their hearts?
Excerpt #1 No way would Cole be involved in something as despicable as murder. There had to be a reasonable explanation. Should she ask him about it? And say what exactly? Hey Cole, where were you this morning? Out committing double homicide?
What if he lied? Worse— what if he told her he was involved? Then what would she do?
Dread took a tight hold of her innards and gave them a slow, painful twist.
She pressed her hand hard against her stomach. Could it be, despite all her efforts, he’d turned out like their father after all?
No. She refused to believe it. Cole was the one person in the world whom she believed in and she wasn’t going to sacrifice that trust on the basis of a piece of paper.
There was no way Cole was capable of murder. Maybe the file belonged to one of his buddies? Should she talk to the cops?
Hell, no. That was not an option. That would involve answering a lot of questions she didn’t want to deal with.
One thing she did know. Her brother couldn’t know she’d snooped through his stuff. She gathered up his paperwork, rushed back to the office, opened the filing drawer and slid each piece of paper back into its respective folder. With shaking hands, she pulled out the black file and debated whether or not she should take it with her.
And what? Become an accessory? That realization had fiery panic licking along her nerves. The last thing she needed was anyone connecting that file to her. She wiped the cover and the pages she’d touched with her sweater and eased it gingerly back into place using the sleeve of her cardigan.
Everything appeared like it had before. She shut the drawer and ran back into the kitchen and stood there, trying to catch her breath. Then she crammed her belongings into her laptop case, washed up her cup, dried it, put it away in the cupboard. Rearranged the kitchen table into its familiar mess. She stuffed her arms into her coat sleeves, searched around to make sure no trace of her visit remained.
She took a breath. It looked precisely like it had when she’d let herself in thirty minutes ago.
She left, locking the door behind her, and sat in her car for a moment, trembling, her heart racing as her carefully constructed world fell to pieces.
Then she remembered whom she was dealing with. Her brother, whom she’d watched take his first steps, whom she’d walked to kindergarten, whom she’d taught to stand up to bullies. Her brother, whom she knew and loved with every molecule of her being. Not some violent jerk who liked guns or fighting, but a registered Democrat who bought her flowers on Valentine’s Day when she was single and called himself a feminist. For his birthday this year, he’d asked her to adopt an endangered species from the World Wildlife Fund in his name. No way would Cole commit murder, but she needed to know what was going on and how he was involved.
Blind trust was for the gullible and foolish. She’d rather put her faith in facts and empirical data. Unlike people, numbers never lied.
Author Toni Anderson
About the Authors New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.
Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She’s addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.