Welcome to the book blitz for ENCHANT, the first book in the young adult fantasy romance series, The Enchanted, by Micalea Smeltzer. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive Teaser, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Mara Pryce never imagined that her life was anything but normal and then a strange gray-eyed young man appears at her graduation. When he vanishes without a trace, she’s convinced he’s a figment of her imagination. Then he appears again and shatters her whole world.
Mara is an enchanter, part of an ancient line of Wiccan power, and a war is raging—one of good and evil—between the Enchanted and the Iniquitous.
The Iniquitous want her dead and it’s Theodore’s job as her protector to keep her safe.
When Mara and Theodore arrive at a safe house, where Mara will remain hidden while learning about her powers, they find that the real threat might be a little closer to home than they want to believe.
Author Micalea Smeltzer
About the Author Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Author Ophelia Bell is revealing the cover to DRAGON GUARDIAN,the fifth book in her adult fantasy/paranormal romance series, Immortal Dragons, releasing December 8, 2017. See below for the cover, information the book, and pre-order links.
DRAGON GUARDIAN (Immortal Dragons #5) by Ophelia Bell
Synopsis Time isn’t on Aodh’s side when he gets trapped in a magical prison on an island thousands of years in the past. The only people who can save him are an old lover he didn’t exactly part on good terms with, and the innocent ursa female whose true power has yet to be unleashed as long as she remains a virgin.
Aodh’s Fated Mates, Neph and Vrishti, have never met. When the ancient satyr and ursa princess finally do, they aren’t quite sure they can trust each other. Will they be able to overcome their misgivings enough to pool their powers and rescue the man they both love?
But even reunited, their journey isn’t over. Their mortal enemy is on the loose, and her hunger for power threatens to tear their entire world apart.
Author Ophelia Bell
About the Author Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren’t apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don’t mind being with a woman who’s in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.
Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles with her own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.
Welcome to the blog tour for PLAN B, the second book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Lost & Found, by CL Stacey. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Every tick of the clock takes something away.
Aryn Andrews is a single father doing the best he can under the circumstances.
When you meet the one you love, you plan for everything but the end—especially an end that comes too soon. After losing his wife during childbirth, Aryn vowed to be the kind of father that his daughter, Ayli, could be proud of. Every decision he makes is to ensure her happiness.
Bethany Michaelson is a victim of life.
Multiple hardships endured, Bethany never fails to find the silver lining in everything. Gracious, loyal, obedient, but above all, she is strong. All she wants is to change her inevitable fate, but in order to do that she has to be the one thing she isn’t. Brave.
Aryn has learned to accept his loss.
Bethany mourns hers every day.
How do you start over with someone who fears a new beginning?
Excerpt We say nothing but communicate everything through a simple look. I’m getting a strange sense of déjà vu.
He watches me intently, and I stare back blankly. His gaze intensifies as mine dulls. He’s good, but I’m better. Or I used to be. The longer his eyes bore into mine, the less in control of my body I feel.
We need each other, want each other, but at the same time, we can barely stand one another.
“How’ve you been?” he breaks first.
“Fine.” Miserable. “How much have you had to drink?”
“Did you drive yourself here?”
“You’re worried about me now?”
“So you’re still mad at me, then?”
“I missed you, Bethany. Did you miss me at all?”
“What are you doing here, Aryn?” I change the subject. Because yes, I did, and the last time I told him that, we jumped right into bed.
Running a frustrated hand through his hair, a heavy sigh passes through his lips. “How many times do you have to ask me that? You know what my answer is going to be. I came here to see you. I’m always coming to see you.”
I don’t know what to say to that. If I open my mouth now, I will reciprocate, but I’m not ready for that yet.
“Why haven’t you called me back, Beth?”
“I asked you to stop calling me, Aryn. If you have something to say, say it now, and then you’re going to have to leave.”
“What the hell was that at Caleb’s, why’d you leave like that? I thought we squashed everything.”
Of course he did. “I told you that nothing would change. I thought you understood that, I’m sorry,” I offer a pathetic apology. It’s more than what he’s offered me since this whole mess started.
“I assure you, it isn’t.”
“Why haven’t you called me back?” he repeats his question louder, angrier this time.
“I’ve been busy.”
“Don’t tell me that you’re still seeing Jai. You’re not that stupid, Bethany.”
Fighting the urge to wince at the way he speaks my name, I remain perfectly composed. “That is none of your business, and don’t call me stupid. Evidently, I attract buttholes like him all the time.”
“Can I help you?” I change the subject again. “Why did you need to see me?”
Checking me with a look of disbelief, he asks, “You serious?”
“You barged in here unannounced. I deserve to know why.”
“Barged? You opened the door,” he says in his defense.
“Because you threatened to make a scene.”
Shaking his head, he offers an actual response. “I came here to talk to you.”
“I don’t want to talk to you.” Lie.
“You’re impossible to talk to!” Truth.
Immediately taking offense, he spits out a cool, “Am not!”
I start ticking off my reasons why on my fingers as I proceed to give him a small portion of my list. “You’re a sucky listener. You talk over me. You yell when you can’t accept something I say. You walk out when you can’t handle it! Does that sound like a good conversationalist to you?”
“I made one mistake, Beth! I was pissed. People walk away when they’re pissed.”
Now I’m pissed. “Not everyone gets a warning before they do. I gave one, and you walked away anyway.” I point at the door. “BYE.”
“Oh, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not done.”
He huffs out a laugh, but his eyes regard me with thinning patience. “What an excellent example you’re setting for dumb ol’ me,” he snarls. “You’re being a bit hypocritical, don’t you think, B?”
I redirect my finger from the door to him. “You don’t deserve a conversation. You gave up your right to one when you walked out of here.”
“I’m here now.”
“That makes no difference to me. I told you, Aryn, I’m not interested.”
“Stop pushing me away, Bethany. I’m here to fix this.”
“You don’t even know— I told you—” I pause when I choke up, refusing to cry in front of him. I take a deep breath in and try again. “I told you that I don’t trust easy. You destroyed any chance you had with me. You burned that bridge.”
Done with our argument already, Aryn advances toward me, trying to fix this his way. Only I don’t want it.
I shake my head in warning and take an equal amount of steps back. “Don’t.”
Unfazed by my rejection, Aryn continues to eat the space between us with three purposeful strides. There are maybe a good two steps left between us now. I don’t know if I can stand to reject him another time.
As angry as I am, I miss him. I miss his touch, I miss his kiss, but most of all, I miss his hugs. He gave the best hugs.
“You are toxic,” I curse him, forcing him to halt.
“If only that were true.”
I blink at him, dumbfounded. “Excuse me?”
“If I were toxic, as you say, then I would have what I’ve been shamelessly prowling after all this time. Unfortunately for me, nothing can weaken your resolve. You’re fucking immune.”
“Immune?” I spit back.
“You are unobtainable and elusive, irritatingly so. I’ve come at you countless times, and all you’ve ever done was shoot me down. You may have let me have you, B, but you never let me all the way in. Never.”
We stand toe to toe now, both refusing to stand down. “Back. Up,” I warn him.
Passion and heat. Two things I can’t find anywhere else stand before me, neatly packaged in the form of Aryn, his smile the bow on top to mock me.
“Don’t push me.”
Accepting my threat as a challenge, Aryn raises a hand. He isn’t… My eyes follow it steadily. Slowly but surely, his hand closes in on the tiny gap between us. He is! Aryn presses his fingers to my shoulder, and then gives it a nudge. He DID. The force behind it is enough to knock my balance.
Rage seeps from every pore of my body. All I can think to do is tear him to shreds. “You—”
Aryn spans his arms wide. “Come at me,” he dares me.
He’d just love that.
Taking a deep breath in to calm every nerve firing off in my body, I spin on my heels and walk away. I’m mad, so mad—cursing in my head mad. He is not welcome in my home. I’m kicking his ass out.
I gasp when a biting smack lands hard against my ass. I act on instinct and spin back around to return it right back to him, landing a hard slap against his cheek. Clap! My palm meets skin, and Aryn answers with a guttural moan from deep within his throat.
It didn’t sound angry enough to qualify as a growl. No. It sounded like it came from a place of starvation, driven wild by hunger.
Holy friggin’ cow, my hand stings!
At leastI’m not as angry anymore. That was oddly invigorating. The only thing ruining my moment is his unexpected reaction. I was hoping to piss him off, but judging by the hint of a smile that plays the corner of his mouth, he enjoyed that just as much as I did.
About the Author CL Stacey is a Florida native, born and raised. She still resides in the Sunshine State with her husband and daughter. Relaxing with any good love story she can get her hands on is her favorite way to end the day.
Welcome to the book blitz for LOVE THE WINE YOU’RE WITH Book Blitz, the second book in the adult romantic comedy series, Vineyard Pleasures, by Brooke E. Wayne. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
LOVE THE WINE YOU’RE WITH (Vineyard Pleasures #2) by Brooke E. Wayne
About the Book
Title: LOVE THE WINE YOU’RE WITH Series: Vineyard Pleasures #2 Author: Brooke E. Wayne Release Date: November 1, 2017 Genre: Adult Romantic Comedy Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis SPRINKLE an emotionally unavailable woman, a lovelorn man, and some delicious chemistry into the middle of the holidays then candy coat it with a whole lotta passion when a friends-with-benefits arrangement turns a vacation into an unexpected journey.
Blanca Grazia, queen of calm, has it all under control. Headstrong. Self-reliant. Determined. She thrives on an intriguing challenge. So, when Blanca’s bestie, Maxine Novaline, begs her to distract Maxie’s boyfriend’s cousin while he’s visiting them in Napa Valley, California, Blanca is all about stepping it up for her BFF. Hot French guy? Yes, please.
All Blanca plans on doing is the—ehem—favor. Then she’ll just friend-zone Julien L’Angevin’s butt all the way back home to France where he belongs. … Until that wrecking ball of a man decides to cash in on a favor of his own.
All Julien wants is another opportunity to see what this wild, pint-sized, fireball of independence is actually made of. Sugar? Spice? Everything nice? Counting on Blanca’s wanderlust for worldly adventures, Julien invites her to his home in Champagne for Christmas. A traveling opportunity the American beauty can’t resist. So what if they decide to add a little pinch of friends-with-benefits to the mix after they come face to face once more and realize that their physical chemistry can’t be denied?
Besides, their arrangement is only for one week. Then they’ll be continents apart again, and life will go on. Right?
LOVE THE WINE YOU’RE WITH is about a young woman bent on staying single while falling in love one scintillating wine tasting at a time.
***This novel is a snarky, passionate, sexy, funny, feel-good CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE-ROMANTIC COMEDY full of twists and turns that will have you laughing out loud from start to finish. Grab a glass of Champagne, kick up your stilettos, and enjoy the journey.***
Whine with Cheese (Vineyard Pleasures Series, #1) Love the Wine You’re With (Vineyard Pleasures Series, #2)
Although, Love the Wine You’re With is the second book in the Vineyard Pleasures Series, it can be read as a STANDALONE. The story also plays fair to the other seasons, in addition to Christmastime, so it can be enjoyed all year long.
Excerpt They walked in silence as they weaved around tourists of all nationalities. Blanca soaked in the diversity and half-heartedly discerned the different languages she heard in passing, picking up a phrase here and there as the Christmas spirit thrived among the bustling crowd.
In the distance, Julien leaned against the trunk of his car with his arms folded across his broad pecs. He was dressed in a dark blue cable knit sweater and gray slacks like he’d just come from a semi-formal event even though the sun had only been up for about an hour. He tilted his head to the side, and his blond hair fell in large, unkempt waves covering half of his face. Neither a smile nor a frown played upon his full lips, but the subtle wrinkles at the corner of his eye betrayed his excitement in seeing all of them.
He looked so beautiful … beautiful and sad.
Maybe, heartbroken might be a better word.
Blanca’s footsteps fell into a slower pace as she inspected him. It was one thing to know in the recesses of her memory that she had seen … and touched … and, let’s just come right out and be blunt … licked all of his bits and parts. But it was an entirely other matter when she had him trapped in her iPhone as nothing but an extreme close-up of sea-glass-bleached-by-the-sun eyes with a wicked grin that could seduce her outright. Except that she was impervious to his moves thanks to their lack of continental proximity.
But, seeing him again face to face sent an unexpected and entirely unwelcome zing of feels to her bits and parts, and an overwhelming urge to turn around and hop the next flight out kicked her in the chest right where she felt the biggest zing of all.
The gravity of the moment rushed up on all of them as Julien reached out to Chase first. Both men embraced one another, planting kisses on each other’s cheeks and breathing out their condolences over the loss of their grandmother.
They had grown up together at Julien’s family’s estate. Chase, though American-born, had spent almost all of his summers living in Champagne with Julien and his family, which was just a short walk across the driveway to his grandmother’s home, according to Chase’s explanation during one of their flights.
Julien pulled back from his cousin and faced Maxie, gripping both her shoulders and tugging her into a stoic kiss that barely grazed her cheek. When he finally turned to Blanca, his expression shifted to a curious eagerness that bordered on desperation, and her pulse decided to skyrocket.
“I am so pleased you’ve come to see me, to see my home. I wish it were under better circumstances.” Julien cupped Blanca’s face with his ice-cold palms and leaned down to kiss her cheek, catching the corner of her mouth causing her breath to hitch out loud.
As Blanca searched for a reply, Julien turned and opened the trunk and, with Chase’s help, jigsaw puzzled the suitcases and duffel bags into his car while Maxie shuffled Blanca into the back seat with her.
She crossed one leg over the other and started bouncing it back and forth.
“Are you okay?” Maxie patted Blanca’s white jeans-clad leg. “You’re going to stab one of these guys in the back with that spiked heel on your boot if you don’t calm down. What gives?”
“Nothing. Everything. I probably shouldn’t have come.”
“Why? Julien obviously wants you here. He only asked you every day for the last week if you’re still coming, and you even cancelled appointments for him. You can’t back out now. Besides, it’s Christmas. It’s our duty to spread some joy up in these guys.”
Spreading definitely leads to joy.
“I just don’t want him to get the wrong idea. I’m only here to see more of France. I didn’t think—” she lowered her voice to a whisper as Julien and Chase walked around the sides of the car. “I’d ever see him again, or, if I ever did, it would be like a whole year from now at another one of Chase’s parties or after our routine chit-chat eventually lost its steam.”
“So what? You talk to him all the time. What’s the big deal?”
“He’s just a friend. I don’t regret fooling around when we met, but I can’t be more than that now.”
Maxie chuckled and shook her head. “No one’s asking you to.”
Tell that to my heart.
Julien and Chase got into the car, slamming their creaky doors and continuing their conversation in French as Julien fired up the engine and pulled away from the airport. Maxie shrugged at Blanca and leaned in, expecting a translation.
Blanca listened for a seconds, tugging her fingers out of her black leather gloves. “The funeral is tomorrow afternoon with a huge gathering afterward, and it’s going to be packed,” she whispered. “We’re also the last to show up. Almost everyone’s here in the city. They’re, uh, he’s offering, no wait, he said you guys should stay with Chase’s parents at his grandma’s house because of all the drama he caused the last time you three were under one roof.” Hmph. “Which he’s still sorry about,” she added, under her breath. Then, her eyes flew open, and she swatted Julien’s shoulder with her gloves. “Hey, where am I supposed to stay?”
“With me,” Julien replied, then continued his conversation with Chase.
“Hellllo? Don’t I have any say in this decision?”
“You can stay in one of my parents’ guestrooms. I’m sure they won’t mind, but wouldn’t you rather keep me company? You spend all your nights with me on FaceTime as it is.”
He’s got me there.
Blanca leaned in and whispered into Maxie’s ear to ensure they couldn’t hear her. “If things get weird staying with Chase’s parents, I’ll fake a meltdown and get us into a hotel, and if Julien gets all grabby hands on me while I’m staying with him, I’ll, eh, I guess I’ll just see how it goes.”
Damn, I’m weak.
Chase twisted around in his seat. “What are you two scheming now?”
“Nothing,” they both exclaimed at the same time.
Author Brooke E. Wayne
About the Author BROOKE E. WAYNE is a Contemporary Romantic Comedy novelist who lives the RomCom dream in California. She is married to a South Philly, Eagles-obsessed Italian who she met online before it was cool. They have two young daughters who flood their happily-ever-after lives with girly giggles and immeasurable love.
When she is not dribbling sticky sweet/sensual romance with a lighthearted, witty twist all over the pages of a RomCom manuscript, she teaches English Language Arts.
Award-winning author, Bethany Lopez, is unveiling the cover to TOO ENCHANTING, the fourth book in her adult contemporary romance series, The Lewis Cousins, releasing March 26, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and a pre-order link.
TOO ENCHANTING (The Lewis Cousins #4) by Bethany Lopez
About the Book Title: TOO ENCHANTING Series: The Lewis Cousins #4 Author: Bethany Lopez Release Date: March 26, 2018 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads | iBooks
Synopsis When she was young, Serena Lewis was uprooted from the life she knew. Her parents took her from everything and everyone she loved, including her best friends… her cousins. Rebelling against the change, Serena became a young woman she knew her family wouldn’t like. Now that she’s moving back home, she hopes to keep that part of herself in the past and become the woman she’s meant to be.
Jed Monroe is a self-made man. Forced to grow up at a young age, he’s always taken care of himself and worked to get what he needed. Working construction has given him stability, but working with wood is where his passion truly lies.
On the outside, petite and perfect Serena and rough and hardworking Jed have nothing in common. When Serena moves into the house next door, Jed is determined to ignore the sexy art gallery manager, who he just knows will be a pain in his ass.
But their shared loved of creating beauty from pain, along with the intangible chemistry that fires whenever they’re in the same space, forces them to dig beneath the surface to find their vulnerability. Jed will soon see that whether he likes Serena or not, she’s Too Enchanting to ignore.
Too Enchanting is the fourth in an all-new small town romance series by Bethany Lopez. Follow the Lewis cousins of Cherry Springs, the kind of place where there are festivals for every occasion and everyone knows your business, as they learn about love and loss.
TOO ENCHANTING (The Lewis Cousins #4) by Bethany Lopez (Full Cover)
About the Author Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In-N-Out burgers.
Welcome to the Release blitz for A VERY MARRIED CHRISTMAS, a holiday novella in the adult contemporary romance series, Silver Bells Falls, by Samantha Chase. See below for information the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
A VERY MARRIED CHRISTMAS (Silver Bell Falls #3) by Samantha Chase
Synopsis She’s ready to deck the halls… But not with wedding decorations.
For the most part, Melanie Harper has made her peace with her negative feelings toward Christmas. Thanks to her fiancé, she’s even learned to enjoy the holiday. But that doesn’t mean she wants to share it with her wedding day!
He’s dreaming of a white Christmas… Complete with a wedding!
Ever since they first met, Josiah Stone has done his best to show Melanie how magical Christmas can be. He’s gotten her to participate in parades, decorate trees and even celebrate the holiday, but asking her to marry him on Christmas Eve just might be more than she’s ready for.
Will this be a very Merry or very Married Christmas?
Excerpt “What?” she cried.
Josiah knew he was taking a big risk in presenting this to her—after all, Melanie had grown up hating Christmas. Hell, he’d only gotten her to have some good feelings toward the holiday in the last two years! But he knew if she’d just give him a chance, he’d be able to prove to her how a Christmas wedding would be amazing.
Jumping to his feet, he looked down at her shocked expression and did his best to keep his tone light and encouraging.
“Just…hear me out, okay?”
The look on her face said she would, but she certainly wasn’t happy about it.
“What could be better than getting married during such a festive time of the year?” he began but didn’t give her a chance to reply. “Think about it—everything, everywhere is already beautifully decorated. Any place we go won’t require much from us because it will already be decorated! The Poinsettias, Christmas trees, the lights…all that work will be done for us.”
“And everyone will be in town already so there won’t be a need for them to make a separate trip.”
“Who’s everyone? My dad is already here; he’s the only family I have and your family doesn’t live that far away. It’s hardly like they’d be making a huge sacrifice to come to town,” she countered.
“But all of our friends will be here too. You know how most people we know tend to travel either before Christmas or after the new year because they love all the festivities here in town Christmas week.”
Melanie let out a small sigh. “Look, I get what you’re saying. I really do. But…you know my feelings on Christmas.”
He immediately sat back down at her side. “And we’ve come such a long way, Mel! When we first met, you hated the holidays and everything about them. But after that first Christmas here, you changed. You saw how it all wasn’t so bad and—admit it—you even enjoyed it.”
She gave him a sour look. “I know that first Christmas was amazing but only because you made it that way for me. You went out of your way to make up for every single crappy Christmas I’d had since I was five!”
“And what about last year?” he prodded.
Another sigh. “You proposed last Christmas so of course that’s going to make for a great memory.”
“So you see…”
“But,” she quickly interrupted, “that doesn’t mean I want to get married during the month of December or anywhere near Christmas!”
He silently admitted to himself that he knew there were going to be some challenges in getting Melanie to see his way of thinking, but he was kind of hopeful that she wouldn’t be quite this hostile toward the idea. How was he supposed to convince her that this could be good for them? Great, even? What could he possibly do to show her how wonderful a Christmas wedding could be?
Author Samantha Chase
About the Author Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Carrie Ann Ryan is unveiling the covers to FALLEN INK and RESTLESS INK,books 1 and 2 in her newest adult contemporary romance series, Colorado Springs, a spin-off of the Montgomery Ink series. See below for the covers, information the books, and pre-order links.
FALLEN INK (Colorado Springs #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan
Synopsis The Montgomerys are coming to Colorado Springs and they’re bringing their ink and angst with them. Three Montgomery sisters have watched their brother and eight of their cousins find their happy ever afters and want nothing to do with walking down the aisle and men who don’t understand what they want—in bed and out. Add in a brand new tattoo shop, family secrets, and a tragedy that no one was prepared for, the Montgomerys are ready to set the world by storm…or at least find a relationship that won’t break their hearts.
Each book can be read as a stand alone.
The Montgomery Ink: Colorado Springs series is set in the same world as the Montgomery Ink, Gallagher Brothers, and Whiskey and Lies series.
FALLEN INK releases April 17th, 2018! Preorder your copy now.
RESTLESS INK (Colorado Springs #2) by Carrie Ann Ryan
Synopsis The second book in the Montgomery Ink: Colorado Springs series.
More information coming soon!
Each book can be read as a stand alone.
The Montgomery Ink: Colorado Springs series is set in the same world as the Montgomery Ink, Gallagher Brothers, and Whiskey and Lies series.
RESTLESS INK releases September 18th, 2018! Preorder your copy now. .
Author Carrie Ann Ryan
About the Author Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.
Welcome to the book blitz for BLACK & BLUE, a stand-alone adult contemporary LGBTQ+ romance by Ily Jacks. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Trouble seems to follow me everywhere. No doubt accepting a ride from a sexy, fierce biker on a rainy night seems like another bad move. Except this one desperate leap of faith brings Declan into my life.
From unreadable machine to possessive lover, he challenges me to want more.
Can I finally throw off the shackles of my tough life and embrace the promise of a good man?
Black & Blue is a standalone M/M romance with graphic sexual content, violent situations, and extreme profanity.
Excerpt Stumbling from the Harley, my legs feel like jelly. My starving stomach no longer growls, now as numb as the rest of my cold, battered body.
“Where are we?” I ask when the biker only stares at me.
Soft rain soaks his thick, dark hair and beard. He looks like a wild man, ready to skin and devour his kill. I’m desperate to look away from his nearly black eyes and remain in control of myself. I can’t, though, because he both terrifies and intrigues me.
“I live in the apartment upstairs. You can crash here until you figure things out.”
When his hand jerks forward, I immediately flinch and expect more violence after a shitty day that’ll never end. His hand grips the back of my neck, sending panic and pain through me. I fist my hands and prepare to fight him. Exhausted after so long running, I never expect his lips to crush mine. He forces my mouth open and tastes me roughly.
I can’t think. Nothing about the biker’s earlier demeanor made me believe he desired me, so his kiss throws me off guard. I never consider what he might expect from me in return for a safe place to stay for the night. No, instead my fear violently shifts into the kind of lust I’ve long imagined and never enjoyed.
Before I can meet his passion with mine, the biker releases me and turns away. I’m left rejected and desperate, yet unable to show either emotion. My only option is to follow him obediently.
Author Ily Jacks
About the Author Living in Indiana with my three sweet sons, three wacky cats, one super mom (and her ugly dog), I love cats, 1970s rock, Call of Duty, and sitcoms canceled before their time.
I also write M/F contemporary romance as Bijou Hunter.
Today is release day for IN BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SKY, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by Heidi Hutchinson. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?
Remington Rohan was not a rule follower. Former model (though not one of the “super” kind), successful influencer and life coach. Currently paid to tell people how to achieve the best from their lives and careers. In other words, a complete contradiction to how he preferred to live—namely, on his own terms and without input from others.
Everything about his life was going according to plan. Until he started spending way too much time with a woman who defied his prejudices and challenged his beliefs.
Lydia Larkin was not a genius. Gifted, clever, and stubborn. Raised on star maps and Hendrix, she was born an explorer. Temporarily tied down to a private sector science job, she knew she was biding her time before she was off to discover and build something new. Not one to let society tell her who she was, she wasn’t about to let a professional influencer tell her she had to change to be happy.
Buckle up and brace for impact.
IN BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SKY by Heidi Hutchinson (Full Cover)
Excerpt “Guests are supposed to be announced.”
Remington jolted to a stop on the stairs leading up to Lydia’s apartment. The man at the landing below him shoved his glasses up his nose and crossed his arms.
Remington tried not to make it too obvious as his eyes skated over the peeling and patchy paint on the walls , or the dim overhead lighting because one or two bulbs hadn’t been replaced yet. It didn’t really give off “guests must be announced” type of vibe.
“Are you security?” Remington asked, slowly taking one step back down.
The man with the glasses pulled his shoulders back and stuck out his chin. “What resident are you here for?”
Remington narrowed his eyes and licked his bottom lip. But he didn’t answer.
Glasses huffed and rolled his eyes. “Let me guess, brunette, loud, and dangerous?”
Remington couldn’t help it, he cracked a smile. He wouldn’t describe Lydia as loud or dangerous.
“Brunette, smart, sassy,” Remington returned with a smirk.
“You tell 4B she can’t be having men come and go at all hours. She knows the rules.”
“I’ll be sure to remind her,” Remington sighed and continued up the stairs. How many men were stopping by to see Lydia? So many that her neighbors were complaining? Remington shook his head. It didn’t matter to him. He was just her friend.
With the first knock on the door, it swung open.
“Larkin?” he asked as he stepped inside, the hairs standing up on the back of his neck.
Light singing reached his ears and he followed the sound, his hairs going back to their regular place as he picked out the lyrics.
Led Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve Been Loving You.”
He stopped when he reached the open window to her balcony. If you could even call it that. A stone platform jutted out from the roof of the building and sloped down to the picture window in her living room. The glass of the window was removed and set against the wall. It was only a ten inch step up and out onto the platform.
Remington took that step and joined Lydia outside. Though she hadn’t noticed him yet.
Earbuds in, hair in a mess at the top of her head, jeans that had seen better days, and a wine-colored shirt with a band name on it he couldn’t read anymore because it had been rubbed off—she was bent over a small planter, crooning one of his favorite Led Zeppelin songs to the leaves.
Her body jolted and she sucked a breath when she caught sight of him.
“Newton’s second pair of knickers, you scared me,” she breathed out around a laugh.
Remington arched an eyebrow and lifted his chin to the plants before her. “Were you just singing to them?”
She glanced down and back up, not looking embarrassed in the least. “Don’t you sing to the things you love?”
He tilted his head at her question and she rolled her eyes. What a silly man he must seem to her. What kinds of things did she know and just kept right on treating him like he should know them too.
Author Heidi Hutchinson
About the Author Heidi Hutchinson was born in South Dakota and raised the exact right distance away from the Black Hills. She had an overactive imagination very early on, and wasted no time in getting most of her friends in trouble due to her unrealistic and completely ridiculous ideas. Seeing as she was so lazy and also afraid people would think she was bonkers, she didn’t write down any of the story lines that played out in her daydreams.
During her high school years, she took pen to paper and filled more notebooks than she is proud of with angsty, depressing, self-deprecating poetry. This led to her writing down more things: notes, ideas, character bios, plot twists that had no plot yet to twist. After years of cleaning up her own scraps of imagination with nothing solid to hold on to, she sat down and wrote the story that had been in her head the longest. Fueled by coffee and her unwavering and perfectly normal devotion to Dave Grohl, she discovered a writer living inside of her.
She still lives in the Midwest, though not as close to the Black Hills as she would prefer, with her alarmingly handsome husband and their fearless child. They eat more pizza than God intended and she listens to her music the same way she lives: loudly.
Today is release day for DEADLY PREMONITIONS, the sixth 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 an exclusive excerpt.
DEADLY PREMONITIONS (Safeguard #6) by Kennedy Layne
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.
Excerpt Why would Townes come for her now?
That question nagged at Shailyn as she walked through the office door and down the long hallway to where the elevator banks were located. The black suit he’d been wearing made him seem to be a part of either the FBI or the U.S. Marshals Service. It was hard to believe that he would have joined the federal government in any enterprise, especially considering his affiliation to the one percent motorcycle clubs. She wondered if he was still a patched member bearing the Nomad rocker.
Why was she even curious?
What Townes did with his life was of no concern to her.
His voice brought her up short, as if a wall had appeared. There was a raspiness to his tone that was discernable only to him. She closed her eyes to ward off the onrushing memories, knowing she could never go back and reclaim her past from the wreckage.
“There’s nothing to say, Gunny,” Shailyn whispered, having no doubt that he heard her use his charter name. It wasn’t coincidental that the nickname for his rank in the Corps and his charter name were the same. He’d gone by that handle for so long that at one point a large number of his associates in the one percent world never knew his given name. She’d had the privilege to know that particular nuance due to the closeness of their relationship at the time.
She was afraid to speak in a normal tone for fear she’d break down, but she didn’t want to appear weak. She cleared her throat and gathered what courage she had left. It was easier to use his familiar nickname as a form of self-defense, letting him know that she was a part of the past he’d left behind. He was a remembrance she would have given anything to have back, but that would never happen.
“You shouldn’t have come here. You’re not welcome.”
Shailyn forced her legs to move forward once again. It was getting harder and harder to breathe the longer she remained in his presence. He had taken all the air out of the building. “Moss didn’t give either of us a choice.”
And there it was. He’d been forced to this conclusion. Townes hadn’t come to Maine for her. He’d come because of Moss. His intention wasn’t to help the U.S. Marshals transfer her to another small town under a different banal name in order to maintain her anonymity. He wanted Shepherd Moss, and the only way to draw him out was through her as bait.
“You always have a choice, Gunny. Moss isn’t in charge of your agenda. Or is he?” Shailyn braced herself as she turned around to face him. Her attempt at composure almost cracked before she managed to slip it in place. His grey eyes saw too much. She wondered if he could still read her like a book. She fought the urge to tug her black turtleneck a little higher to hide the scars. “It doesn’t matter. I still have a choice. And I’m choosing to go back to the life that was created for me. You don’t need me to solve your problems.”
“Moss will eventually find you.” Townes turned the tables a bit, causing her to question his original intention. “It’s only a matter of time.”
Shailyn came very close to asking why he thought she would be better off with him, but she stopped herself before the words could escape. He would take her sentiment the wrong way. It was abundantly clear that he still blamed himself for what had happened to her all those years ago. He couldn’t see past his precious, self-involved guilt to recognize the truth— only one man was responsible for what was done to her. His name was Shepherd Moss.
“Moss has had over four months to find me,” Shailyn pointed out, refusing to be drawn into a debate that neither one of them would win. “Other than you placing me at risk by bringing me here tonight, what makes today any different from yesterday?”
A strand of his long brown hair came loose from the tie at the base of his neck, but it didn’t hide the fact that his scar turned white in response to his clenched jaw. He seemed to think she was purposefully making his job harder than it needed to be in terms of her consent.
“What is it exactly you want from me, Townes?”
“I want you to come back home to Florida with me.”
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.
Today is release day for A COLD DARK PROMISE, a novella 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 the exclusive excerpt.
A COLD DARK PROMISE (Cold Justice #9) by Toni Anderson
Synopsis A COLD DARK PROMISE takes place during the week leading up to the wedding of former assassin Alex Parker to FBI Agent Mallory Rooney, who meet and fall in love in the novel, A COLD DARK PLACE.
In the midst of wedding preparations, a shadowy figure from Alex Parker’s past reappears and threatens the joy he’s found with Mallory Rooney.
Four years ago, Jane Sanders’s rich and powerful ex-husband kidnapped their young daughter and Jane hasn’t seen her since. Now she finally has a lead on her location and she knows just the man to help her get her daughter back. Trouble is, he’s an assassin. And he terrifies her.
Despite his upcoming nuptials, Alex agrees to help, but it doesn’t take long for the routine operation to turn complicated—and deadly. Can the former CIA operative make it home in time to marry the woman he loves, or will his dark past destroy all hope for their future?
Excerpt Their breathing quieted. Heartbeats slowed and melded.
The dying sun cast long shadows through their bedroom window.
“You have to help her,” Mallory said quietly.
His arm curled over her hip, and he pulled her closer.
“I can take another week off work,” she said.
“No way are you getting involved in this.”
She looked over her shoulder and smiled. “You can’t stop me.”
He kissed her fingers and smiled sadly. “I know I can’t stop you, but if you insist on coming with me, then I won’t go.”
His silver gaze wasn’t angry or demanding. It was calm. Implacable. Mallory blew out a big breath of frustration. It was the first time Alex had refused to let her be involved in something. She knew he hid things from her occasionally. But the two of them had made a promise to one another the day investigators had uncovered her sister’s body.
No more lies.
And that was why he was telling her this now, she realized.
Her fingers gripped his, hugging him to her. “I don’t want something bad to happen to you.”
“I can take care of myself.”
She swallowed. “I know you can, but I don’t want you to have to take care of yourself. I want to look after you. I want to be the one watching your back.”
He ran a finger down her spine and followed it with his lips.
She closed her eyes. “You know what I mean.”
“I do. I feel it every time you go to work without me.”
But he let her go anyway, because she needed the space to do her job, and he respected that. He respected her.
She rolled onto her back. She didn’t want Alex to go on this job without her, but she knew she wasn’t the only one who needed space to work, even when that work wasn’t clearly defined. She touched his face.
“I can’t go.” Alex insisted, but there was no conviction behind his words. “We have a wedding to prepare for and a dog to look after.”
Rex was in the living room on the couch. He’d fetch a ball from dawn until dusk, but he was generally a couch potato which suited them both perfectly right now. Mallory intended to get a puppy or two after the wedding. She’d convince Alex by reminding him dogs were good security.
“All you have to do for the wedding is turn up— and write those place name cards. The wedding planner,” who Alex had nicknamed the General for good reason, “is doing virtually everything else including arranging transportation for all the guests who are flying in. I can make any last-minute adjustments and double-check on the flowers and still go to work every day next week. Hiring that woman is the best idea you’ve ever had.”
He laid his ear against her belly. “Not the best idea, but pretty inspired.”
She sank her hands into his hair. “When will you be back?”
“I imagine Wednesday at the latest.” He placed one large palm on her stomach and held her gaze. “I won’t take any unnecessary risks, and I won’t do anything stupid. If the child is there I will either figure out a way for the legat to get involved.” The legat was the FBI’s official presence in a foreign country. “Or I’ll sneak them away when no one is looking and bring her, and Jane, back to the States.” Alex kissed her stomach again. She knew he was impatient to meet the newest member of their family. “I’m not sure the daughter— Taylor— will remember her mother after four years.”
Mallory’s heart clenched, and her hand went to where their baby was kicking her low ribs. Alex linked their fingers. She already felt overprotective. The idea of someone stealing her baby… She swallowed hard. This was important. Jane Sanders had always seemed a little aloof, and no wonder. Her child had been stolen and the fact it was by the father made it no less heartbreaking for the mother.
Mallory touched Alex’s lips. “Don’t be late for the wedding. Promise?”
Silver eyes met hers. “I promise.”
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.
Today is release day for THE NEGOTIATOR, a holiday novella in the adult contemporary romantic suspense series, Games People Play, by HelenKay Dimon. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE NEGOTIATOR (Games People Play #2.5) by HelenKay Dimon
Synopsis Lauren Gallagher’s life changed almost three years ago. After her husband disappeared at sea, she was left with a failing pleasure boat company and more than a few secrets. Now, after years spent rebuilding the business and paying off the pile of debts, she finally feels in control. But when she finds her husband, actually dead, on the floor, she becomes the leading suspect in his murder investigation.
Garrett McGrath wants Lauren in his bed, not his heart. He doesn’t do emotions, but every time he sees her, holding himself back gets harder and harder. When Lauren comes under suspicion for killing her previously presumed-dead husband, he knows he has to help her, any way he can.
But as the danger becomes more intense and Garret and Lauren grow closer than either planned, they’re in danger of losing everything…including their hearts.
Excerpt He rose from the dead.
Lauren Gallagher couldn’t come up with any other explanation. Her once-dead husband was very much alive and standing on the other side of her front door…and she felt nothing but numbness spreading inside her.
For a man who supposedly washed overboard in the middle of a violent storm, he looked pretty healthy. Big smile. Bright white teeth. Khaki pants and deck shoes. She forgot how much she hated the deck shoes.
The wattage on his super smile dimmed a bit as he shifted his weight from foot-to-foot and rubbed his hands up and down his arms. “Aren’t you going to let me in?”
Her mind went blank. The world literally flipped sideways on her and her stomach rolled. The whole time she could hear him talking but the words didn’t make sense. None of this made sense. She opened her mouth but nothing came out but a tiny whirling gasping sound. That’s all she could muster as she blinked, trying to process what she was seeing.
“Lauren? Why are you just standing there? Open this door.”
An order. The sharp smack in his voice sounded far too familiar. That fast it brought her crashing back to reality.
She really wanted to say no to his command. Not that she hadn’t mourned him. Even with the dysfunctional state of their faltering marriage at the time he disappeared, she had. She’d grieved for what could have been and dreams that fizzled out early in their time together. She grieved for his loss as she would an old friend, not as a person she viewed as her soulmate, if there even was such a thing.
That was less than three years ago. The police arrived and she dropped to her knees feeling sick and hollow at the idea of Carl gasping for breath as the water he loved so much overtook him.
Months had passed slowly after that. She’d been locked in a perpetual state of shock, topped off with a wallop of guilt because she’d visited a divorce attorney for the first time just before he disappeared. With him gone she’d found about the lies. His hidden debts and how he’d taken their business to the brink of bankruptcy, all while showing her fake bank statements he’d manufactured. He’d gone to a lot of trouble to carry on the ruse of pretending their finances were fine.
And then things had gotten even worse. All those whispers about Maryanne, the girlfriend who seemed to be an open secret to everyone except Lauren. The one who, unlike Lauren, did not have any debts or an unpaid mortgage or a business and house on the verge of bankruptcy. Maryanne Lightwood, the same woman who mysteriously walked out on her rent and left town right as Carl’s boat disappeared.
Lauren prided herself on being practical. She was skeptical of coincidences and not stupid, so confusion had turned to fury in record time. As the cool December wind blew in the front door of the small cottage now she realized the fury still simmered inside her.
She lived far enough from the water that the breeze wasn’t frigid, but it carried a bite. For the past few years early winter in Annapolis, Maryland meant an unwelcome amount of snow. This year had been mild. As someone who ran a pleasure boat and fishing tour business and depended on tourists, she thought she might get lucky this year and only have to survive a short off-season.
Apparently her luck had just run out.
“Lauren, honey?” Carl pulled on the handle of the screen door. When it didn’t immediately open, he shook it, rattling it on the doorframe. Still, it didn’t move.
She’d never been so grateful for her lock-the-door paranoia. He should be happy, too, because the thin screen might be all that was saving his sorry lying ass right now.
Under the numbness and shock lurked a layer of bubbling resentment and rage. She’d kept up the outward farce of being fine for so long that she’d started to believe it. Now the mask slipped. She wanted to throw open the door and pound on his chest and make him apologize for every wrong.
But Carl had never taken responsibility for anything in his life. Even now he had the nerve to stand there with a stupid look on his stupid face, as if she were the unreasonable one in not welcoming him home with a big hug. So, yeah, the door stayed closed for his protection because she knew once she unleashed she would not stop.
“Hey, what is this?” Carl’s hand dropped to his side as he frowned at her through the mesh screen. “Honey, I’m back.”
Honey? What kind of man checked out of his life for almost three years and expected to step right back in it, no questions asked? It’s as if he were empty inside, without a conscience. And he was so close to getting a kick in his junk.
“Yeah, I can see that.” She tried to swallow but couldn’t choke down the lump of anger racing up her throat. “Tell me where have you’ve been.”
“Lauren, Jesus. It’s freezing out here. Let me in.” He pulled on the handle again as if he expected a different result than last time. The door made a thumping sound as it hit against the frame. “What’s wrong with you? Snap out of it.”
He kept up that tone. Short, dismissive, demanding. The only time he hadn’t been obnoxious was during the years when she thought he was dead. Even then…
That’s all it took. Something inside her snapped and wave after wave of uncontrolled, boiling hot rage raced through her. He wasn’t the only one filled with attitude who possessed an I’m-done tone. “Where the hell have you been, Carl? You don’t contact me at all and then you just stroll up to my door. You rip my life, my work – my everything – apart and now act as if you’ve only been gone for an afternoon. What is wrong with you? What happened?”
“I was left for dead.” His surfer boy good looks faded a bit as his eyes narrowed. “Thanks in part to you.” Wherever he was he must have forgotten how locks worked because he rattled the door one more time. “Now open this.”
He was blaming her. Of course he was. She likely was as fault for the fact his hair wasn’t the same sunny blond it once was and he now had a few wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. He was forty-one, having celebrated two birthdays while he was gone. She doubted he was taking the transition out of his thirties all that well.
She’d been thirty-three and inching very close to thirty-four when he went missing and already back then he’d mentioned “hip spread” to her more than once. Hers, of course. Not his. She’d expected him to battle aging as fiercely as he’d fought to be the only one in charge of handling the bills. Now she knew why…because he hadn’t bothered to actually pay any debt with her name on it.
“You disappeared.” Right there, in that moment, she kind of wished he’d do it again and had to push back a wave of guilt that came with that realization. She’d had no idea how much hate festered inside her until he popped up again. The frowning, his ridiculous summer shoes in winter, that voice – it all worked on her nerves and it had been less than ten minutes.
“A wave hit the boat. It tipped and I went overboard.” He shrugged. “Are you satisfied now?”
Not even close. A hundred questions filled her head. “Who could be satisfied with that? What’s the rest of the story?”
His body language and easy dismissal of how his terrible choices impacted her life only made her more determined to understand what his days looked like during the last few years. Then maybe she’d let him in, but probably no.
He waved her off. “None of that matters now.”
“It does to me.” His short non-answers ticked her off even more, and she wouldn’t have said that was possible. “I deserve an explanation. A real one. All of the facts, not just pieces.”
He leaned in closer as his jaw tightened. “I said later.”
Wariness surged through her. She wasn’t afraid. No, scared wasn’t the right word. Carl had never been violent, never raised a hand or threatened her. But near the end he’d been distant and that had turned into flashes of meanness. Snide comments about how he’d married a woman but got stuck with a fisherman. Sneak attacks of blaming her that they didn’t make more money in the boating business.
So much confusion swirled around him and his stories and all that deception. She’d convinced herself he ran off with his girlfriend. Not that she ever admitted that to anyone or said the words out loud. No, there had been too much at risk.
To save her house and business she’d needed the insurance and a final judgment from the court about Carl’s fate. A confirmation that he was legally dead. She had to pretend to believe it. It had taken her almost two years to persuade the court and wrestle the business and house away from the legal No Man’s Land it landed in when he disappeared. The insurance company still had refused to pay on the claim. That meant she’d had to salvage what she could with him gone.
Now he was back, and as much as she hated it, they needed to talk. She tried even though as her brain screamed for her to slam the door. “I think we should–”
“I can’t believe you’re being a pain in the ass.”
Her head snapped back at the fury lacing through his voice. “Me?”
“Jake warned me you’d gone from grieving to stone cold in a matter of months.” Carl shook his head. “I didn’t believe it. Not after everything we’d been through.”
She lost the thread of the conversation as soon as Carl mentioned his brother. “Jake?”
“That’s where I’ll be. At his house.” Carl started to shift away from the door. “But get your act together and do it fast, Lauren. I plan on being in this house and back at work by Christmas.”
“That’s two weeks away.”
“I’ll be back tomorrow.” He made a face that suggested he was sick of her again already. “Be over your shock and ready to talk by then.”
Lauren watched Carl walk back down the path to the car parked on the street. She recognized the dark sedan. It belonged to Carl’s brother, which meant Carl went there first.
Her mind spun with questions about where he’d been and why he was back. She had no idea how he planned to explain and argue his way out of this…or why he thought he could walk back into her life now without any real explanation or sign of remorse.
A gust of cold air got her moving. She slammed the front door closed and rested her palm on it. Tried to breathe in, to think.
Her usual calm detachment abandoned her. Jumbled thoughts crashed into her brain. Panic rose in her chest, threatening to swamp her. Finding a lost husband should be a good thing. For her, it amounted to a nightmare. Her world tilted and all she wanted was to tip it right again.
Help. She never asked anyone for help. Not ever. She’d learned long ago that needing someone, depending on them, lead to heartache and disappointment. But Garrett McGrath’s face kept flashing in her mind. Sarcastic, charming, sinfully handsome Garrett. They’d met in the summer and he’d been asking her out for two months. Hanging around, texting, insisting he’d wait for her to be ready to date again.
The guy honed his Tall, Dark and Smoldering look and for some reason he’d decided to aim it full force at her. Probably had something to do with the thrill of the chase. That was the only answer she could come up with. Because once he knew her, really knew her, he’d back off. Any sane person would.
But right now, as the walls closed in and she struggled to hold onto a coherent thought, all she could do was think of his face. The dark brown hair and those big green eyes. That firm chin…and his uncanny ability to solve complex problems while making a joke and without breaking a sweat.
She glanced around her cottage. It had a beachy vibe with weathered white beadboard walls overstuffed blue furniture. It consisted of two small bedrooms, a bathroom and a joint living and eating area. Her refuge. The place she rented when she lost everything else. The same place Carl for some reason thought he had a right to live in.
She grabbed her cell off the couch and dialed the number Garrett had put in there when they first met. The phone rang and his deep voice came on the line. Voicemail.
She waited a few minutes. Gave herself a bit of a pep talk and mentally insisted she could handle this, just like she handled everything else.
Instead of leaving a message she texted him. She tried to think of the right thing to say. She went with the only words that made sense to her… You were right. Carl is not dead.
About the Author HelenKay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a…divorce attorney. Not the usual transition, she knows. Good news is she now writes full time and is much happier. She has sold over forty novels and novellas to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Kensington, Harlequin, Penguin Random House, Riptide and Carina Press. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. She is on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America and teaches fiction writing at UC San Diego and MiraCosta College. You can learn more at her website: www.HelenKaydimon.com.
Synopsis Mad Magic is a beautifully dark and rich Young Adult fantasy from Nicole Conway, bestselling author of the Dragonrider Chronicles.
Josie Barton is a high school student living in terror. Invisible creatures torment her everywhere she goes, constantly getting her into trouble at school, and even haunting her apartment. But just when Josie thinks things couldn’t get any worse . . . she meets the guy from across the hall.
Zeph Clemmont is a changeling with enemies in all the worst places, fighting to undo a curse that threatens to end his life. Survival means he will have to swallow his pride and trust Josie with all his darkest secrets.
With the help of a gun-slinging shaman and the enigmatic Prince of Nightmares, Zeph and Josie are only a heartbeat away from defeating one of the most diabolical faerie villains their world has ever known.
Excerpt “What does the faerie language sound like?”
Eldrick’s tense, furrowed brow went slack. His expression became as serene and blissful as the cool surface of the moon. “Music,” he breathed the word as though it were ecstasy.
“You mean like the chimes?” I knew that sound well.
He nodded slowly. “Ages ago, some called it the music of the spheres. Your father possessed an exquisitely intimate knowledge of spellsongs. He could hear the tones and translate the harmonics into the human language.” We paused at a corner, letting a few bicyclers pass on the sidewalk. “To be perfectly frank, I’m impressed he was able to do such a thing. The details of our language, particularly the ancient spellsongs that comprise spellwork, are difficult for even an elder fae to discern. I’ve never seen so many texts about us in the human language before.”
My head spun with questions as I tried to keep up with Eldrick’s long strides. “What’s a spellsong? And what does it have to do with spellwork?”
“A spellsong is, as you described it, the chimes. The use of magic of any kind has a unique sound. A song, if you will.”.
Author Nicole Conway
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.
Author Kate Kisset is unveiling the cover to ST. HELENA SANTA, a holiday novella in her adult contemporary romance series, Family Ties, releasing November 15, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her Facebook giveaway.
ST. HELENA SANTA (Family Ties #2) by Kate Kisset
About the Book Title: ST. HELENA SANTA Series: Family Ties #2 Author: Kate Kisset Release Date: November 15, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Holiday Romance
Synopsis He’s a former tight end with a bad reputation. She’s a gorgeous computer geek who doesn’t date. Will these opposites attract, or drive each other into the end zone?
Lilly Martelli’s first vacation in over a year has her on a mission to support her two busybody relatives in St. Helena. Helping the grannies bake stinky fruitcakes for their Christmas bake sale is bad enough, but being forced to co-host the fund-raiser with Mr.-Fun-in-the-pants Brett Benning might be too hot to handle.
Brett had hoped retiring from football, becoming a firefighter, and moving back to Napa Valley would be enough to repair his reputation. But he’s sick to death of the tiny town gossip, and tired of dating in the shallow end of the pool. He’s looking to score The One.
Who knew he’d find her helping with the annual bake sale? His smart and sexy co-chair has him eating out of her hands and asking for seconds of her grandmother’s nasty fruitcake. For the first time in his life, Brett might be in over his head.
Will the magic of Christmas give them the courage to admit they’ve made the catch of their lives, or will their holiday season end without a win?
St. Helena Santa is a contemporary romance from Kate Kisset’s Family Ties series. If you enjoy small town romance, romantic comedies, and sexy love stories with a full cast of grannies in orthopedics, then you’ll love St. Helena Santa.
Excerpt “Brett is Mr. July, darling,” her nonna offered.
Lilly turned from the coffee maker to find her nonna’s grin-covered face.
“The St. Helena Hotties Fireman’s Calendar,” Cha-Cha clarified, as if Lilly should know, while she unloaded five fruitcakes from the bottom oven. She placed them on a cooling rack on the counter, then removed her jingle-bell oven mitts like a doctor after surgery.
Looking a little sneaky and very guilty, she tiptoed closer to Lilly. “All the firefighters are holding the most adorable little puppies,” she whispered. “And the proceeds go to St. Paws Rescue. Let me show it to you.”
“Oh, no, no, no…”
“Get comfortable,” Cha-Cha commanded, giggling. “You won’t believe your eyes.”
“Nonna, please. It’s okay. I don’t need to see Mr. July, or any other mister without his clothes on. Honestly, I don’t—” She’d do it in private later.
Cha-Cha tucked a stray curl back into her bun and strutted to the counter near the oven. “Sit, sit, sit…” She waved at her and pointed to the island, her red-beaded sleeves flapping. Lilly reluctantly slid onto her stool again. “Those hotties are in here somewhere…” Cha-Cha shuffled through a drawer.
ChiChi looked up from her gooey project long enough to give Lilly a sly smile.
“Viola!” Cha-Cha pulled a glossy package from the drawer. “I’ve been saving this for Mr. January. But at my age I might not be around, so why wait?”
“Please don’t say that, Nonna.”
“What God wants…” ChiChi volunteered. And at the mention of the lord above, the sisters simultaneously blessed themselves. “Name of the Father, the Son…”
Lilly took a deep breath. She couldn’t imagine the planet without her nonna. Life was difficult enough without Grandpa. Although her nonna kept her Ryo maiden name, like her sisters had, Cha-Cha Ryo remained head over heels in love with Edwardo Antonio Martelli until the day he died. He was the love of her life. So, as much as Lilly had zero desire to look at Brett Benning in the buff—with the grannies—she was tickled to see her grandmother so happy.
Cha-Cha tore the wrapping off the calendar and smirked, letting her know her dead-on intuition had picked up Lilly’s interest in Brett. Presenting the calendar like a fragile piece of china, Cha-Cha practically danced to her. “Wipe your hands. We don’t want to get anything on the pictures. Especially the good parts,” she chuckled.
“You didn’t have to unwrap it,” Lilly said, reluctantly wiping her hands on a bright red dish towel. “You could’ve left Mr. January in the drawer.”
Cha-Cha sidled next to her. “Okay.” She beamed, excitedly flipping the pages. Bare chests, rippling muscles, and gorgeous smiles flashed by at Mach one.
Lilly grinned. “On second thought, slow down.”
“Here he is…” Cha-Cha read the caption. “St. Helena’s Brett Benning, hotter than the fourth of July.” She pointed to his photo. “Now, tell me that’s not a fun-raiser!”
Lilly gulped, praying there wasn’t anything fun raised below his belt. Why couldn’t her grandmother act like a normal granny, for crying out loud?
Her nonna nudged her and jiggled the calendar. Lilly rolled her eyes and then cautiously glanced down.
Oh, God. There was that smile…and, sweet baby Jesus. She scanned his beautiful, strong shoulders and down past the adorable chocolate Labrador puppy in Brett’s droolworthy arms, down to his six pack abs, and down. Down to the muscles that formed a v below, leading down, down…
“Close it. I don’t want to see any more.” Thank God Brett kept his pants on. She’d need to take another peek later though, just to be sure.
Author Kate Kisset
About the Author Former San Francisco disc jockey Kate Kisset is the author of Wine Country Romance. A series of original contemporary romance novels set in Sonoma, Napa Valley, St. Helena and San Francisco, California.
Although Kate wrote her first story in the third grade, she became serious about writing romance after she lost her mother to pancreatic cancer. The tragedy left her searching for, and eventually writing happily-ever-afters to lift her spirits.
Kate divides her time between Northern and Southern California. Her stories feature strong heroes and heroines set in the real-world vineyard settings found outside her front door.
When she’s not writing, Kate’s favorite job is being “The Mommy.” She enjoys hiking, cooking, listening to music and walking her loyal companion, Luciana Parmigiana her rescue-dog-editor.
USA Today bestselling author, J.A. Huss, is unveiling the cover to TOTAL EXPOSURE, the first book in her adult romantic suspense series, Jordan’s Game, releasing January 16, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis The spotlight is my enemy. The cameras are my cure.
Jordan Wells says he can help me. Heal my soul and fix my fear so I can perform on stage again to a sold-out crowd. His game gives me a reason to go on, but his price is total exposure.
The stranger watching my every move is anonymous. Or is he?
The daily notes he leaves seem familiar. His unreasonable requests bring out all my hidden fears. And then one night in the dark… his touch is everything I ever wanted.
It was supposed to be a guaranteed win. A way to move past the performance anxiety. One less thing to worry about in a sea of dreadful things to worry about.
But what we do in the secret anonymity of night might be more frightening than anything else. Because I like it. And I want more of it. And I’m willing to give up everything just so I can play this game forever…
TOTAL EXPOSURE (Jordan’s Game #1) by J.A. Huss (Full Cover)
Author J.A. Huss
About the Author JA Huss is the USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.
If you’re interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list (http://eepurl.com/JVhAr) and get those details delivered right to your inbox.
Welcome to the blog tour for UNMASKED, a new adult contemporary sports romance/romantic comedy, by international bestselling author, Magan Vernon. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Can a hotshot snowboarder de-ice the ice queen?
At twenty-six, Blake Tremblay is one of the oldest snowboarders in the game. His sights are set on the gold medal, and he knows it’s now or never.
Kelly Johnson has spent her entire life skating and winning. She’s had no time for friends or an active social life, earning her the nickname “Ice Queen” – in and out of the rink.
Blake makes a bet without knowing all the terms. His ego won’t let him back out, even though his target is none other than the American Ice Queen herself.
What are the odds the dreadlocked playboy can warm the frosty figure skater when the real games are unmasked?
Let The Games Begin.
UNMASKED by Magan Vernon (Full Cover)
Excerpt #2 “Who’s the winner now?” I yelled, holding up a snowball.
He laughed, the sound vibrating in his stomach and straight to my core that was so close to his belly button and another very hard part.
Before I could drop the snowball on him, he’d tossed a ball of snow up, hitting me in the face.
I screamed. “Oh, you’re going to get it for that one.”
Leaning over, I grabbed a pile of snow and smashed it into his dreadlocks as he thrashed his head from side to side. Then he took both of my wrists, holding them above his head.
“Now what are you going to do?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.
I sucked in a deep breath, staring into those endless blue eyes. As if he knew what I was thinking, he leaned in, pressing his lips to mine.
Our first kiss was just a peck. A very explosive one. But this was different. This one caused a deep growl to emit from low in Blake’s throat before he fisted my hair and I opened my mouth to his. He nipped at my bottom lip before licking it then his tongue met mine slowly in a delicious torture of kisses and lip nibbles.
I’d never been kissed like that. A kiss that lit my whole body on fire and gave me a rush more than skating ever could.
I moaned without even thinking what I was doing, which caused him to pull me closer to him, his lips trailing from my mouth down to my neck, pushing aside the thick fabric of my coat.
I pushed my core into his groin, grasping onto his coat sleeves as he continued to bite, suck, and kiss down my neck. The thin material of my leggings did nothing to hide the friction of his jeans against me, and I bit down on my bottom lip, already on the brink of orgasm from just some making out and grinding my body against his. I should have been embarrassed that I was dry humping this man in the snow, but he felt so damn good against me, and it had been so long. And he wasn’t stopping me. At least not at that moment.
Blake slowly kissed up my neck and jawline then leaned back with a small smile on his face. “As much as I’d like to continue this, I’m getting snow in my ass.”
“Oh, uh, right, sorry,” I muttered and stopped moving, a flush crossing my cheeks. Maybe I should have calmed myself down before humping the man. Slowly I sat up before climbing off of him, hoping there wasn’t a giant wet spot on the front of my leggings.
He stood up and took my hand. “This gives us a perfect opportunity to warm up.”
Author Magan Vernon
About the Author Magan Vernon has been living off of reader tears since she wrote her first short story in 2004. She now spends her time killing off fictional characters, pretending to plot while she really just watches Netflix, and she tries to do this all while her two young children run amok around her Texas ranch.
Welcome to the book blitz for GOLDEN CHAINS, the third book in the new adult romance/romantic suspense series, The Colorblind Trilogy, by Rose B. Mashal. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
GOLDEN CHAINS (The Colorblind Trilogy #3) by Rose B. Mashal
Synopsis “Royalty is a dirty game.” That’s what he’d once told her, but she couldn’t imagine how dirty it could really get.
Blessed now more than ever, Marie’s love for Mazen continues to grow, and with it, her worries and doubts, as well.
Just as they think that all of the past drama could be left behind, an enemy starts plotting revenge and ways to break them apart, forcing Marie into facing her worst fears.
With everything around her threatening her happiness, along with the well-being of the ones she loves the most, is there a limit to what Marie will do to protect them from certain danger? There might be none.
Because when it comes to love, pain can be bearable and chains become breakable.
Prologue The smell of death saturated the air, assaulting my nose and filling my lungs with its unwelcome stench. With it came the horrible feeling of sickness and the fear of the unknown.
The scenario of dead people surrounding me, and others struggling as they fought for their lives wasn’t new to me, I’d seen it before. The only difference this time was that I wasn’t a scared little girl anymore. No, I was a horrified, fully grown woman.
For the past few days, I trusted that everything would be okay in the end. It was the only thing that kept me going. I refused to let go. I refused to allow anxiety to start stabbing at my heart or hold my brain in its disgusting claws.
But right now, I didn’t know how to be strong anymore. I didn’t know how to keep it together while feeling this agonizing pain in my body, or this unbearable ache in my chest. Being here was much more than I could tolerate.
Screaming my heart out seemed like a pretty good idea. Something in me believed that it would give me some sort of relief. But I couldn’t do that because I didn’t know if it would mean my rescue, or if it would only bring unwanted attention to me. The kind of attention that I didn’t want.
So, I held in my screams, but I couldn’t keep my tears from flowing. They simply escaped, just like the blood that was now seeping out of my body. I had no control over either of them.
I wasn’t mad at myself for crying, no. I was proud of the strength I’d shown since I was brought here. Mazen would be proud of me as well.
Mazen… My heart sank at the memory of the last time I’d seen him. My mind replayed the image of him, his head held high, and he stood tall, his features were colder than ice, and the look in his eyes was harder than stone.
I remembered the tears I’d shed as I watched him spitting orders and shouting commands. I remembered the struggle I felt to keep breathing as I heard him making threats and promising the unthinkable.
I also remembered calling to him, and him never answering me.
I remembered exactly when my heart broke. And I recalled promising myself that I’d never show weakness ever again.
But realizing what was happening now – I knew this was probably the end. There was no point in not showing weakness, no point in being strong; nor there was a point in keeping it together.
At the top of my lungs.
My scream declared all of what I was feeling during the past days – the hurt, the pain, the fear, the worry, the shame, and the broken heart.
All it earned me was a split second of relief. I knew very well that it could be heard beyond those doors. I knew it could be the cry of the prey, which made it easier for attackers to locate it.
It couldn’t be undone, and I didn’t have it in me to regret it. I was ready to meet my fate.
Author Rose B. Mashal
About the Author Rose is a loved mother, wife, and a stay at home lawyer. Writing is her passion, and reading is her obsession. Music is her best friend and sarcasm is her speaking trend. One of her joys is bringing happiness to others and her biggest wish is that they stay true to one another. Through her stories, she wants to spread nothing except understanding, peace and love.
Welcome to the blog tour for RUIN YOU, the third book in the adult contemporary romance series, The Debt, by USA Today bestselling author, Molly O’Keefe. See below for information on the book and series, and an exclusive excerpt.
The only thing that stands in the way of my revenge is her. The lying scheming daughter of the man who killed my parents. She has the secrets I need to bring down her father. And I’ll do anything to get them. I will lie to her. Steal from her. Use her. Ruin her.
It helps that our chemistry is explosive. What I’m not expecting is for her to be so sweet. And so strong. So…irresistible.
After so many years of lying and hiding, I finally have a place to call home. With people I can call a family. The Paintbrush Inn is my life now, and I won’t let anyone ruin it. When sexy and world-weary Simon checks in to the Inn, I never expect him to glance my way. I’ve spent my whole life blending into the background. Being overlooked and ignored. It’s been helpful, even though it’s lonely. And he’s way out of my league.
But our attraction is powerful. Undeniable. Dangerous. Because I can’t let anyone close. If the secrets I keep were to be revealed, my whole life would be destroyed. But something about Simon makes me break all my own rules. I’m letting him in to my home, my body, my life, never expecting he has his own secrets. His own lies.
When the truth comes out, we’ll both be ruined.
I pull her off the wall and turn my body, so my back is to the corner if anyone comes around they’ll only see black shadow, or me. Not her. I spin her in my arms, my strength and my size making it easy. Her back is against my chest. My dick, pressed uselessly against her spine. I spread my hands wide against her stomach and her head rests against my shoulder.
She’s tense, but she’s not leaving.
“Do you want to come?” I breathe into her ear.
“Oh, my God,” she whispers, her knees buckling.
“Tell me, Penny.”
“I have to…go. They’re calling me.”
“Do. You. Want. To. Come?”
She pulls in a breath. Holds it. Holds it forever and I realize I’m holding my breath, too.
“Yes.” She says on a soft, sweet exhale, her body relaxing against mine. The perfect curve of her ass resting against me. “I want to come.”
“Will you let me…?” My fingertips pop open the button of her jeans, slide down the zipper. I see the slice of her belly in the shadows. No tattoos there. I ease my fingertips under the elastic band at the top of her underwear. I wait for her consent and get it in spades when she puts her hand over mine and pushes me between her legs.
She is hot and damp. And her hand stays over mine as I stroke through her thick folds finding the hard knot of her clit.
About the Author Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.
She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.
Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she’s not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.
Welcome to the blog tour for IN ACTING ON IMPULSE, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Silverweed Falls, by Thea Dawson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
ACTING ON IMPULSE (Silverweed Falls #2) by Thea Dawson
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: ACTING ON IMPULSE Series: Silverweed Falls #2 Author: Thea Dawson Publisher: Aeroplane Media Press Release Date: October 11, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon| Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis She’s camera shy. He’s a big star. Is love worth the limelight?
Thirteen years ago, Chris McPherson drunkenly declared his love for Joy Albright … right in front of her husband. Though her angry rejection still stings, Chris, now a successful Hollywood actor, has never forgotten his feelings for her. When he returns to Silverweed Falls to direct a summer Shakespeare play, he is thrilled—and a little nervous—to learn that Joy will be managing the play.
Joy Albright’s marriage imploded in a public scandal a year ago when her husband was caught by the press with another woman. All she wants now is to avoid the limelight, but she can’t refuse the request of a dying friend to help save the local theater group.
Reunited, sparks fly. Joy is desperate to avoid more gossip. Chris comes trailed by the tabloids. But neither of them can deny the temptation to act on their impulses.
Excerpt #4 Chris took his position. Victor had blocked the scene so that they began on opposite ends of the stage and slowly circled each other, coming closer and closer with each pass until they were near enough to kiss. He cleared his throat and began.
“Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?”
“Yea, and I will weep a little longer,” replied Joy, back in character despite the sloppy t-shirt and denim cutoffs.
They circled around each other, speaking the lines that drew the two characters into each other’s arms.
“I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?” said Chris. There was a slight tremble in his voice that had never been there before.
More lines, a tighter circle. They were within a step of each other now.
“Why then, God forgive me!” Joy/Beatrice cried.
“What offence, sweet Beatrice?” asked Chris, his heart pounding suddenly, like it never did in front of an audience.
Joy met his gaze, her expression full of longing. “You have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to protest I love you.”
They were so near each other now that he could see the streaks of gold in her green eyes. She dropped her gaze as he spoke his line: “And do it with all thy heart.”
She lifted her eyes to his again and they took the last, fatal step toward each other. “I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest,” she said, managing to drop her voice and project it at the same time so that it would be audible for the last row yet still sound intimate.
He leaned in for the kiss.
Author Thea Dawson
About the Author Thea Dawson has lived in Rome, Tokyo and London, and spent much of her twenties traveling around the world. Eventually she met the love of her life and settled down in the Pacific Northwest, where she now lives with her husband and three children.
After a checkered career which included stints as an English teacher, librarian and editor, she now writes full time, telling tales of romance and adventure.