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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – NORTH TO NARA (Crimson Sash) by Amanda Marin

NORTH TO NARA Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for NORTH TO NARA, the first book in the young adult dystopian sci-fi romance series, Crimson Sash, by Amanda Marin. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

NORTH TO NARA (Crimson Sash #1) by Amanda Marin

NORTH TO NARA (Crimson Sash #1) by Amanda Marin

About the Book
Title: NORTH TO NARA
Series: Crimson Sash
Author: Amanda Marin
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing

Release Date: March 20, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Dystopian Sci-Fi Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Neve Hall has always admired the good works of the civil servants who brought prosperity back to the Nation. She especially respects the Sufferers—empaths who, with the help of technology, anonymously bear others’ troubles for them. But when her assigned empath is abruptly retired, she uncovers certain secrets. Like the identity of her new Sufferer, Micah Ward… and the fact that behind his kind smile is a life filled with loneliness and pain.

The closer Neve grows to Micah, the more desperate she becomes to protect him from a cruel and gruesome fate. But in a world where only a few are allowed the luxury of love, saving Micah comes with a price: Neve must choose between her loyalty to the Nation or her heart—a decision that will take them both on a race for their freedom, and their lives.

 

 

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NORTH TO NARA Teaser

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Excerpt #4
There’s hurt and anxiety in Micah’s eyes. He’s trying to understand the reason I’d put our secret at risk. He thinks I’ve betrayed him, I realize. He thinks I’ve told them—that I’m leaving him to the mercy of Isla and the director without even warning him. And the idea of him wondering whether I might be capable of doing that to him upsets me more than anything.

“It’s not what you’re thinking, Micah, I swear—”

“Then why? Whatever it is, just tell me so I can help.” He’s begging me, with his sad, stag’s stare, not to break him.

My eyes burn, and silent tears boil over as I remind myself of my reasons. The way he limps from time to time. The fact that he’s not going to get better, only worse. The agony of knowing that I’ll someday lose him—and that I, as one of his Sieves, am partly to blame.

“It’s because I just can’t do it anymore, Micah,” I tell him, wiping tears from my face. I turn away so he won’t see me cry like this. “I won’t make you Suffer for me—not when I have the power to keep you from experiencing pain.” My body shakes with the torment of it all, but then I feel his hands on my shoulders, offering comfort, no longer afraid of me.

“It’s more than just my duty to Suffer for you, though—I want to do it,” he tells me softly. “I want to ease your pain, Neve—you, above all people. I would do anything for you. This is nothing.”

“I know you would—I never questioned that,” I tell him as I try to calm down. “But something’s happened now that I know you—it was different before, when I didn’t.” I struggle to find the words to explain—to help him understand in a way that will make sense to him. “Just as you want to ease my pain, I want to ease yours.”

I turn to wrap my arms around Micah’s waist, and there’s a strange glint in his eyes, like he’s peering into my heart and recognizing a bit of his own inside it. I’ve reached him. He sighs, and when he opens his mouth to speak again, his voice is quiet and strained.

“If you really mean that, you’ll come back to the Center,” he says. “You have to keep your appointments, Neve. They’ll get suspicious if you don’t. They’ll find out…”

He pauses, and I see conflict registering in the worried lines that form across his forehead. Once we put words to what we are, we can no longer deny it. But Micah pushes down his fear. After a moment, he squares his shoulders, tucks a loose strand of hair behind my ear, and finishes his sentence.

“They’ll find out about us.”

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NORTH TO NARA Teaser

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Author Amanda Marin

Author Amanda Marin

About the Author
When Amanda was a child, her father traveled frequently for business, always bringing her back a book as a present. Whether she was getting lost in the pages of a tale about far-away knights, girls with supernatural powers, or kindly giants, she was quickly hooked on stories.

Over the years, Amanda has followed her own yellow brick road of reading and writing, and although her adventures haven’t involved sword fights or saving the planet from certain annihilation, they have involved jobs in scholarly publishing and marketing, a modest amount of travel, and a lifelong love of novels.

Amanda holds degrees in English from Salve Regina University and Boston College. Her favorite things include Starbucks lattes, lazy summer afternoons at the beach, and books with characters that make you go “awww.” She lives in New Hampshire with her family and furbaby, Snickers the Poodle.

Where to Find Amanda Marin
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | FacebookInstagram | Amazon | BookBub

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Release Day + Giveaway – THE MARK OF THE FALLEN FLAME (Weapon of Fire and Ash) by Brittany Matsen

THE MARK OF THE FALLEN FLAME Release Day

Today is release day for THE MARK OF THE FALLEN FLAME, the first book in the young adult fantasy/paranormal romance series, Weapon of Fire and Ash, by Brittany Matsen.  See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE MARK OF THE FALLEN FLAME (Weapon of Fire and Ash #1) by Brittany Matsen

THE MARK OF THE FALLEN FLAME (Weapon of Fire and Ash #1) by Brittany Matsen

About the Book
Title: THE MARK OF THE FALLEN FLAME
Series: Weapon of Fire and Ash #1
Author: Brittany Matsen
Release Date: May 31, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
Two days before the start of senior year, Emma Duvall is attacked by creatures that hunt from the shadows. A hidden world that exists within her own, explodes around her as she is faced with menacing creatures of the deep, ugly venomous creatures with voices so beautiful they bring humans to their knees, and a wicked beast with eyes the color of blood.

When she touches them, their dark powers flow into her, awakening a hunger in her that had laid dormant for seventeen years. The darkness is seductive when it deals in rage. And rage is exactly what she needs to survive.

Not only must she keep her powers a secret, she must also contend with the new boy in school. He is both dangerous and unnaturally handsome, drawing her in like a magnet. What she can’t explain is why being close to him causes her physical pain.

And those that hunt the monsters of the night—the Giborim—sworn to protect the humans, find that Emma may be just as monstrous. Except the striking, centuries-old, Blaze, who seeks revenge for the mother and sister he lost. Emma will do anything to impress him and earn his trust. Including using herself as bait to ensnare the final piece of Blaze’s vengeance.

War between the two races is looming on the horizon as the wicked creatures of nightmares seek to enslave humankind. When Emma is thrown in the middle as the ultimate weapon, she must allow herself to be wielded…just long enough to save the world.

For when the raging fires of her wrath are unleashed, the world with be painted in the ashes of her enemies.

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THE MARK OF THE FALLEN FLAME Teaser

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Excerpt:
When Emma and Rowek were alone again, her gaze snapped back to his. He watched her, his lips tugging to the side. His eyes were brighter, the golden hue shining through. Like a flame doused with gasoline.

“What’s one thing you’d like to know about me?”

Emma thought for a moment. “What would happen if I touched you again.”

His expression burned hotter as a wicked grin spread his lips. The invisible cord that drew her to him pulled tight, and she surrendered to it. A tendril of heat licked through her. Any fear or hesitation on her part was gone. She slid her hand across the table, lightly brushing her finger over the top of his hand. A spark crackled above their skin. She started, but she didn’t withdraw her hand. Rowek didn’t seem at all surprised, he just watched her.

Her fingertips trailed up the back of his hand, and his eyes flared in response. Gently, as if trying not to startle her, his hand grabbed hers. A jolt went through her, but it wasn’t power. It was a heady sensation to be touched by him.

She let him pull her to her feet. Like she was in a trance, she let him guide her. His hands cupped her hips, and her heart galloped wildly. With little effort, he tugged her down onto him, her dress curling up her thighs as she straddled his lap. A fire stirred inside, every inch of her aware. Her hands ran up his chest, under the dark suit jacket. She could feel the toned muscle hidden beneath as her fingers brushed up to his tie and pulled it loose.

“What is your tattoo of?” Her voice was like silk.

“I’d show you all of it, but I’d have to take my shirt off.” His hot breath tickled her neck.

She worked the first button open as his lips brushed against her skin, setting her on fire. Her fingers stilled, eyes fluttered closed, letting his touch consume her. Kisses trailed up her neck, and she shivered. His lips touched her jaw bone with feather-light delicacy.

“Is it a symbol?” she rasped, fighting to remain in control.

He made a noise in the back of his throat that sounded almost feral. Like he didn’t want to stop kissing her.

“Yes,” he replied, voice gruff.

Then he kissed her. 

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THE MARK OF THE FALLEN FLAME Teaser

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Author Brittany Matsen

Author Brittany Matsen

About the Author
Brittany is an American by birth, but a Kiwi at heart, living in the wondrous New Zealand with her husband and their son. Writing has been a passion since she was very young.

In middle school she had articles published in the local newspaper, and the school paper in high school. She attended the Institute of Children’s Literature with the hope of one day creating stories for the world.

 

 

 

 

 

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Where to Find Brittany Matsen
Goodreads | Facebook | TwitterInstagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – ACCIDENTAL KNIGHT by Nicole Snow

ACCIDENTAL KNIGHT Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for ACCIDENTAL KNIGHT, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

ACCIDENTAL KNIGHT by Nicole Snow

ACCIDENTAL KNIGHT by Nicole Snow

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: ACCIDENTAL KNIGHT
Author: Nicole Snow
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Accidentally wed to a man I’ve never met…

I inherited a freaking husband. Grandpa’s will was a shocker: huge fortune, gorgeous ranch, and the best horse ever. The fine print? Marrying Mr. Grump-alicious. The man who’s supposed to protect me from…what, exactly? That’s what I hope to find out if Drake Larkin ever talks.

I know what I’m in for the first time his glance tears me open. A broody enigma who’s large and in charge. A mute who curls my toes when he barks a few words. A silly, shameful, is-this-real-life crush I can’t afford.

Did I mention our pretend marriage-rodeo lasts six damn months? Long enough to teach my heart cartwheels. Time enough to seal this madness with a kiss. Insane enough for secrets to slip – and sting.

Grandpa’s last wishes scare me. So do Drake’s real motives. But it’s my beast of a “husband” who makes ridiculous seem right. Have I found my knight? Does love have a prayer when life throws us a dragon?

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow – a mistake meant to be. One moody alpha slayer gives his all to rustle up the damsel of his dreams. Full length romance novel with a heartwarming Happily Ever After.

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ACCIDENTAL KNIGHT Teaser

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Excerpt
Bella

“You aren’t going nowhere till I see how bad that knee is,” he rumbles. “Shit. If I’d known outside it was bleeding so bad, I’d have carried you in.”

Peachy. Another image I don’t need, being flung over Drake’s wall of a shoulder like this is some kind of crazy western romance novel or something.

He would have to say something like that, wouldn’t he? Kick this whole awkward attraction thing into overdrive.

I shake my head too fast. “Come on, it’s not that bad. Barely hurts. I’m sure it’s like my arms. The blood makes it look worse than it is.”

“Really?”

I nod.

“So where’s the blood coming from that’s dripping on your sock?”

“What?” I lean forward to see.     

It’s the only ruse, the only opening, he needs. Taking advantage of my movement, he lifts me up in one quick jerk.

Pain flares up my leg, into my thigh, and down again into my shin. I suck in a breath to counter it and to keep from squealing.

“Barely hurting now?” he says.

“Screw you,” I snap. It hurts, honestly. Stings so bad I can’t even afford to kick him where it counts.

“Not today, darlin’. No time for sexy business.”

Oh. My. God.

My other knee almost gives out. It’s mostly Drake propping me up, running his hands up my legs, and then…then we’re doing this.

“Hold on to the table so I can unbutton your jeans.”

I reach for it, all right, because that sentence nearly destroys what’s left of my poor sanity.

Thankfully, an iota of common sense prevails. “I’m not that helpless! I’ll unbutton them myself.”

“Go ahead. Unzip, too. Then push them down.”

“I don’t need step by step instructions!” I almost shout it.

Other parts of me are far too well aware how close he’s standing next to me.

How his hands feel on my waist, supposedly to steady me.

How I’m about to drop my jeans, and be standing here, in front of this total stranger I’m married to, wearing next to nothing.

The shine in his eyes says he’s enjoying this. Of-freaking-course he is.

It can’t be that bad, can it?

Maybe I can even have some fun, leave him with a lovely view he’ll never see again. Of all my ass-sets, I know what men like best, even if I’m still a hopeless virgin.

Deviancy strikes. I’ve worn less at the beach.

“Okay,” I whisper.

Then, meeting his gaze, I unbutton, unzip, and push down my jeans for Drake Larkin.

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ACCIDENTAL KNIGHT Teaser

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Author Nicole Snow

Author Nicole Snow

About The Author
Nicole Snow is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. She found her love of writing by hashing out love scenes on lunch breaks and plotting her great escape from boardrooms. Her work roared onto the indie romance scene in 2014 with her Grizzlies MC series.

Since then Snow aims for the very best in growly, heart-of-gold alpha heroes, unbelievable suspense, and swoon storms aplenty.

 

 

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Where to Find Nicole Snow
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | BookBub

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Young Adult Book Review – DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS by Nina Moreno

DON'T DATE ROSA SANTOS by Nina Moreno

DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS by Nina Moreno

4.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

As her college decision looms, Rosa collides – literally – with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
a sweeping tale that takes place over a few short weeks in the spring before Rosa Santo’s graduates and needs to determine what to do with her life. She has a complex history. Her grandmother gave birth on a boat fleeing communist Russia and her grandfather died on the same trip. Rosa’s own father was also taken by the sea when his boat didn’t come back one day. To say she has a healthy respect for the ocean would be an understatement. In fact, she’s never really ventured down to the docks. At least until the harbor in her small Florida town is threatened and Rosa and the rest of the town come together with a plan to save it. This plan introduces her to tall, dark and brooding Alex. Not only is he ridiculously attractive, but he bakes. And he owns a boat. So, whatever feelings Rosa is developing for Alex cannot be acted upon. Because a to love a boy with a boat means to lose him to sea. At least according to the family curse. So when life has a way of disrupting the best of plans, Rosa will need to decide if she’s going to live in her family’s past or forge her own future.

Plot
The story centers around Rosa’s quest to find out more about who she is. She wants to study in Cuba, but with the current administration making that all but impossible, she turns to her secretive grandmother, with whom she lives, and her mother, who pops in and out of Rosa’s life, for answers. But her grandmother has roots in the old ways, dabbling in santeria and other Cuban customs that include doling out the information slowly. Rosa becomes frustrated and endangers her relationship with her grandmother just as her relationship with Alex takes an interesting but scary twist. Strong themes include family ties, finding yourself, coming of age, and the value of community.

Characters
Rosa and her family are incredibly detailed. Rosa, her mother, and Mimi, her grandmother, are all complex with rich backstories and fully-developed arcs. The balance of the characters, with the exception of Alex who has is own arc, are merely props to support the main trio. However, they never nosedive into stereotypes. They may have been created to serve a purpose, but they come across as more than just fluff, which is an incredible feat by the author.

What I Loved About DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS!
1. Cuban Culture.
 I’ll admit to not knowing much about this. My in-laws are of Spanish and Native American descent, but hail from the Southwest, which means their Hispanic culture is a mixed bag. It was fascinating to learn more about Cuba and the Florida Cuban culture. Everything from the food, to rituals, and daily life was vivid and exciting.

2. The Viejitos. The gaggle of retired men and their gossip they share via their Instagram account is both endearing and hysterical.

3. Rosa. She is so complex. The things she wants, what she values, and her desire to not rock the family boat create a deep character who was easy to cheer her on.

4. Alex. He has a bohemian spirit trapped in the body of a loyal son. A romantic at heart, I was rooting for Rosa to give him a chance.

5. The Ending. More than a little confusing at times, I liked that the author left much to the interpretation of the reader.

Bottom Line
Fantastic settings, beautiful writing, and amazing character combine for this young adult tale about discovering who you are.

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

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About the Book
Title: DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS
Author: Nina Moreno
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Pages: 335
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | IndieBoundPowell’s

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Author Nina Moreno

Author Nina Moreno

About the Author
Nina Moreno is a YA writer whose writing is somewhere between Southern fiction and a telenovela. She graduated from the University of Florida and writes about Latinas chasing their dreams, falling in love, and navigating life in the hyphen. She lives by a swamp outside of Orlando where she enjoys listening to carefully curated playlists, hunting through thrift stores, drinking too much Cuban coffee, and walking into the sea every chance she gets. DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS is her first novel.

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Where to find Nina Moreno
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

 

Cover Reveal + Giveaway – CROSSING REALMS Series by Rebecca E. Neely

CROSSING REALMS Series Cover Reveals

Author Rebecca E. Neely is revealing the covers to THE KEEPER, THE WATCHER, and THE BETRAYER, the books that make up her adult paranormal romance series, Crossing Realms, available now.  See below for the covers, information on the books, buy links, and details on her giveaway.

THE KEEPER (Crossing Realms #1) by Rebecca E. Neely

THE KEEPER (Crossing Realms #1) by Rebecca E. Neely

About Book 1 – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE KEEPER
Series: Crossing Realms #1
Author: Rebecca E. Neely
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: April 27, 2016
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
A fast, punchy story with a colorful fictional world for sequels to explore.” Kirkus Reviews 

Nick Geary, jaded clan leader of human guardians, the Keepers, is doomed to love a human woman who’s forgotten him, time after time, for thirteen years: Libby Klink, a skittish accountant who’s as terrified of her recent and strange intuitions as she is of her mundane existence.

When Nick is ordered by the clan’s guiding force to seek Libby’s help in defending the clan against enemy Betrayers, romance sizzles as the pair forms an unlikely alliance in their desperate search to discover the key to the clan’s salvation–which Libby alone holds.

But a haunting secret could cost Nick everything, and in a race against time, both will be forced to choose between their hearts and duty. Can their love, and the clan, survive, or will the very forces that drew them together ultimately destroy them?

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THE WATCHER (Crossing Realms #2) by Rebecca E. Neely

THE WATCHER (Crossing Realms #2) by Rebecca E. Neely

About Book 2 – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE WATCHER
Series: Crossing Realms #2
Author: Rebecca E. Neely
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: November 30, 2016
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Hellbent on avenging his own death, former Keeper Dev Geary eagerly accepts when the Watchers task him with returning to the human realm to discover the secret for rendering Similitude—the very thing that killed him.

But to succeed in the seven days he’s been granted, he’ll need to work with the one human who wants nothing to do with him, and who he can’t help falling for—Meda Gabriel, a cagey, street-smart bar owner with a unique skill set and, maybe, the key to his mission.

With the clock ticking and the Betrayers barely a step behind, can Dev conquer his demons and find the answers the clan so desperately needs, with Meda at his side? Can love find a way, or will he be forced to abandon her and the clan, leaving them all to face imminent destruction?

 

 

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THE BETRAYER (Crossing Realms #3) by Rebecca E. Neely

THE BETRAYER (Crossing Realms #3) by Rebecca E. Neely

About Book 3 – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE BETRAYER
Series: Crossing Realms #3
Author: Rebecca E. Neely
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: March 13, 2019
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
With the Second Rebellion raging in the city, Curtis Geary, the Keepers’ tech guru, receives a Compulsion for Jordan, a Betrayer ousted by her brood and left for dead. His orders? Obtain information from her that can save his clan—before it’s too late. Plunged into a war zone, cut off from his clan, Curtis quickly discovers this woman is no ordinary Betrayer. Not only does his Vitality energy inexplicably save her life, she may be the missing link in the Keepers’ quest to restore Similitude—the Betrayers’ manufactured weapon deadly to Keepers.

Despised by her own brood, Jordan’s mysterious ability and a wicked set of street smarts have kept her alive—along with the havoc she’s been forced to wreak on humans as a means of creating dark energy. Against his better judgement, Curtis is helplessly drawn to this enigma of a woman, who defies the logic of his trusty computers.

Despite a lifetime of mistrust and her soldier’s survival instincts, Jordan can’t help falling for this at times awkward but genuine man who offers her what she’s always yearned for—love and an opportunity for a better life. But in a race against time and a brood master hell-bent on destruction, love and loyalty will come under fire—within the brood and the clan.

Can Jordan find the courage to embrace her future and find love? Or will she betray the clan and herself as the Keepers wage what may be their final battle to save the human race?

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Author Rebecca E. Neely

Author Rebecca E. Neely

About the Author
A sucker for a happy ending, Rebecca writes the kind of stories she loves to read–gritty, suspenseful and featuring authentic, edgy and vulnerable characters, smack dab in the middle of action that explodes from page one.

JOIN MY VIP READER LIST for sales, special offers & giveaways ~ Visit www.rebeccaneely.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Rebecca E. Neely
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – VOW OF SILENCE by Melynda Price

VOW OF SILENCE Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for VOW OF SILENCE, a stand-alone adult romantic suspense novel, by USA Today bestselling author, Melynda Price. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

VOW OF SILENCE by Melynda Price

VOW OF SILENCE by Melynda Price

About the Book
Title: VOW OF SILENCE
Author: Melynda Price
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: December 12, 2017
Genre:
 Adult Romance/Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
A killer is hiding in Plain sight…

The hunt for a serial killer leads Homicide Detective Josiah Troyer back to his Amish roots. To catch a madman preying on young women, Joe must return to Lancaster County and regain the trust of a shattered community.

The FBI knows Joe is the best chance they have of solving this case. By returning to Lancaster, he will face shunning, and resentment from the people he once called family and friends.

Hannah’s heart was broken when Josiah abandoned her eight-years ago to live with the Englishers. Forced to wed a man not of her choosing, her husband’s untimely death has left her struggling to put her life back together.

When unspeakable tragedy strikes again, Josiah unexpectedly returns, investigating the murder of her sister and two other young Amish women. Hannah quickly discovers the man that’s come back is not the same one she fell in love with.

Gone are Josiah’s easy smiles and gentle ways. He’s harder, colder—a true Englisher… But not even shunning can stop the attraction from consuming them both, and Josiah soon opens Hannah’s eyes to a world of passion and pleasure she never imagined. Choosing Josiah would mean walking away from the only world she’s ever known.

Josiah’s investigation begins to unravel when he discovers the killer is closer than he thought. Soon, he’s in a race against time to save the only woman he’s ever loved before she becomes the next victim.

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Excerpt #1
“Ya left me…”

Joe froze, barely hearing her accusation over the pounding of his heart, every muscle in his body going ripcord tight. She had no idea. And he resented her implication that any of this was his fault. He’d sacrificed everything for her—given up who he was so she could have the life she’d always wanted. Joe was careful not to look at her, but it was impossible to keep the anger from his voice when he replied, “Has the thought not crossed your mind even once in the last eight years, that I did it for you?”

“For me?! If ye’re expectin’ me to thank ya for breakin’ my heart, Josiah Troyer, then you’ll be waitin’ till hell freezes over!”  

Joe tossed the hammer aside and shot to his feet. His temper too short, and his emotions were running too high for him to soften his words. “Would ya rather I stayed and made an adulteress out of ya?” With his anger, the lilt of his Pennsylvania Dutch accent returned. It tasted foul on his tongue, further fueling his anger. As he advanced on her, Hannah’s vibrant blue eyes widened with surprise. She stumbled back, countering his advance until she couldn’t retreat anymore.

Joe planted his hands against the chipped siding, caging her in his arms and growled, “I would’ve gotten us both shunned because make no mistake, if I’d stayed, ya would’ve been mine, husband or no’.”

She gasped sharply at his confession, staring at him with scandalous shock. Hell, he should really scandalize her and kiss the woman senseless. But he’d only be torturing himself, because Hannah Beiler-Adams was not his to have.

“Ya musn’t say such things, Josiah.”

“Why not?” he challenged. “Can’t handle the truth? I suppose it’s easier to keep on hating me.” He spun around, needing to put some distance between himself and the only woman that had ever owned his heart.

Her voice was a soft whisper behind him. “I was angry… I still am… But I never hated ya, Josiah. I hated myself.”

She sounded so sad, so…defeated. He turned back to face her, and his heart clenched. The crushing ache made it difficult to breathe. “Why would you say that?”

“I wasn’t a good wife,” she confessed. Her eyes filled with tears, turning them into luminous pools of regret that reached into his chest and ripped his heart out.

“I seriously doubt that—”

“It’s true. I never loved Jacob the way he deserved. He was a good man, Josiah.”

Of course, he was. Joe never would’ve found the strength to leave if he hadn’t been.

“He deserved the love of a good woman, not the leftovers of a heartbroken mess who couldn’t let go of the past. He knew I was in love with ya and he married me anyway.”

It was easy to see she had many regrets. If he could, he’d take her pain away, but he wasn’t sure that the truth wouldn’t hurt her more.

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Author Melynda Price

Author Melynda Price

About the Author
Melynda Price is a USA Today Award-Winning Finalist in Contemporary Romance. Her bestselling mixed-martial-arts romance, Against the Cage series, has multiple times hit #1 in the Amazon Bestsellers list. She is releasing a new romantic suspense series, Beneath the Surface, this fall.

A multi-published author of contemporary and paranormal romance, what Price enjoys most about writing is the chance to make her readers fall in love, over and over again. She cites the greatest challenge of writing is making the unbelievable believable, while taking her characters to the limit with stories full of passion and unique twists and turns. Salting stories with undertones of history whenever possible, Price strives to plant her characters deep into her readers’ hearts so they will long be remembered.

She currently lives in Northern Minnesota with her husband and two children, where she has plenty of snow-filled days to write while curled up in front of the fireplace with her Chihuahua and a hot cup of coffee.
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Where to Find Melynda Price
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | BookBub

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Giveaway
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Teaser Reveal – THE SECOND COMING (Rogue Academy) by Carrie Aarons

THE SECOND COMING Cover Reveal

Author Carrie Aarons is revealing a teaser from THE SECOND COMING, the first book in her new adult contemporary sports romance series, Rogue Academy, releasing June 2, 2019. See below for information on the book, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR, and the exclusive teaser.

THE SECOND COMING (Rogue Academy #1) by Carrie Aarons

THE SECOND COMING (Rogue Academy #1) by Carrie Aarons

About the Book
Title: THE SECOND COMING
Series: Rogue Academy #1
Author: Carrie Aarons
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Sports Romance
Release Date: June 2, 2019
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
They call him the second coming.
Of honor for British football.
Of God in an athlete’s body.
Of every English woman’s fantasy.

Jude Davies is my country’s prodigy on the pitch. More famous than the nobility in Buckingham Palace, he and his merry band of scoundrels rule the Rogue Football Academy and the London nightlife scene alike.

And now, he’s aiming his well-honed set of skills directly at me. His devilish charm is lethal, but with the tragic hand life has dealt me, distractions like him aren’t an option.

Plus, we’re only playing a game. One of convenience, where he needs me to save his reputation, and I need his money to save the one person I love.

Until he wraps me around that immoral finger.
Until I crave that reckless, wild high he provides.
Until I hope for a future that will never happen.

That’s the thing about going toe-to-toe with the next football legend. He’s faster, stronger, and will destroy me every time.

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THE SECOND COMING Teaser

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Author Carrie Aarons

Author Carrie Aarons

About the Author
Author of romance novels such as Red Card and the Captive Heart Duet, Carrie Aarons writes sexy, swoony and sarcastic characters who won’t get out of her head until she puts them down on a page.

Carrie has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book. She loves spinning tales that include dapper men, women with attitude, and the occasional hunky athlete.

When she isn’t in what her husband calls a “writing coma”, Carrie is freeing up her jam-packed DVR, starting her latest DIY project, or planning her next travel adventure. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, who is more than happy to watch sports while his wife plots love stories.

 

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Where to Find Carrie Aarons
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Street TeamTwitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon

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THE SECOND COMING Teaser

 

Teaser Reveal – A GIRL LIKE YOU (Magnolia Sound) by Samantha Chase

A GIRL LIKE YOU Cover Reveal

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Chase, is revealing a teaser from A GIRL LIKE YOU, the second book in her adult contemporary romance series, Magnolia Sound, releasing June 11, 2019. See below for information on the book and series, preorder links, and the exclusive teaser.

A GIRL LIKE YOU (Magnolia Sound #2) by Samantha Chase

A GIRL LIKE YOU (Magnolia Sound #2) by Samantha Chase

About the Book
Title: A GIRL LIKE YOU
Series: Magnolia Sound #2
Author: Samantha Chase
Publisher:  Chasing Romance, Inc.
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Sam Westbrook has always been the family hell-raiser, but as an adult he’s enjoyed not being under the constant watchful eye of his family. That was until his great-grandfather passed away. Forced to move to the small coastal town of Magnolia Sound, Sam can’t escape the reputation that has followed him since his teenage years. But he’ll have to do it to get his inheritance.

Shelby Abbott was always the good girl – it’s what happens when you’re the pastor’s daughter in a small town. Now, she’s ready to leave that image behind. For years she’s heard about wild Sam Westbrook, but she never though she would be the one to catch his eye. And being the center of Sam’s attention isn’t something Shelby ever prepared for.

Sam’s time in Magnolia Sound has an expiration date and Shelby’s not sure she’s the kind of girl who can be just another one of his flings. But Sam’s ready to make some changes. And a girl like her is just who he needs.

 

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A GIRL LIKE YOU Teaser

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: REMIND ME
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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A GIRL LIKE YOU

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Author Samantha Chase

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.

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Where to find Samantha Chase
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

 

 

Book Review – THE EMOTION THESAURUS (A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression) by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

THE EMOTION THESAURUS (A Writer's Guide to Character Expression) by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

THE EMOTION THESAURUS (A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression) by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
The bestselling Emotion Thesaurus, often hailed as “the gold standard for writers” and credited with transforming how writers craft emotion, has now been expanded to include 55 new entries!

One of the biggest struggles for writers is how to convey emotion to readers in a unique and compelling way. When showing our characters’ feelings, we often use the first idea that comes to mind, and they end up smiling, nodding, and frowning too much.

If you need inspiration for creating characters’ emotional responses that are personalized and evocative, this ultimate show-don’t-tell guide for emotion can help. It includes:

Body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for 130 emotions that cover a range of intensity from mild to severe, providing innumerable options for individualizing a character’s reactions A breakdown of the biggest emotion-related writing problems and how to overcome them Advice on what should be done beforedrafting to make sure your characters’ emotions will be realistic and consistent Instruction for how to show hidden feelings and emotional subtext through dialogue and nonverbal cues And much more!

The Emotion Thesaurus, in its easy-to-navigate list format, will inspire you to create stronger, fresher character expressions and engage readers from your first page to your last..

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My Review
I want to scream from the rooftops to every author out there: go get this book! We’re constantly told to “show, don’t tell,” but finding the right way to show can make all the difference in the world between a scene that merely goes through the motions and one that that brings the reader deep into the story and allows them to get lost. THE EMOTION THESAURUS is part how-to, and part reference. After learning how to use the guide, there are 130 entries to help you find the right way to show character emotions. With helpful cross-references it’s easy to find the right way to show escalation from anger to rage or de-escalation to mere annoyance. All the body language, both internal and external, can be used to kickstart the analogies and symbolism necessary to tell a compelling story. Because weak verbs can be the death of good writing, the authors also include power verbs for each entry to further stimulate creative writing. And finally, each entry includes helpful writing tips, such as:

Pay special attention to the events leading up to an emotional response. If the plotting feels contrived, the character’s emotion will feel contrived as well.

Each entry includes physical signals, behaviors, internal sensations, mental responses, long term responses to an emotion, and signs that an emotion has been suppressed rather than dealt with, providing all the pieces to construct dazzling scenes.

Bottom Line
One of the best references for creative writing I’ve ever read.

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About the Book
Title
: THE EMOTION THESAURUS: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression
Authors: Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
Publisher: JADD Publishing
Publication Date: February 19, 2019
Pages: 304
Category: Writing
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble

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Author Angela Ackerman

Author Angela Ackerman

About the Author
ANGELA ACKERMAN is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of 7 bestselling books for writers, including The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (now an expanded 2nd Edition). Her books are available in six languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world.

Angela is also the co-founder of the popular site Writers Helping Writers®, as well as One Stop for Writers®, an innovative online library built to help writers elevate their storytelling. A strong believer in writers helping and supporting other writers, she tries to pay-it-forward however she is able to..

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Where to find Angela Ackerman
Goodreads | Website | Twitter.

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Author Becca Puglisi

Author Becca Puglisi

About the Author
Becca Puglisi is a speaker, international writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via her newest endeavor: One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library like no other, filled with description and brain-storming tools to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter..

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Where to find Becca Puglisi
Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Book Release – STEALING VENGEANCE (Vengeance) by Kaylea Cross

STEALING VENGEANCE Release Day

Today is release day for STEALING VENGEANCE, the first book in the adult romantic suspense/military romance series, Vengeance, byNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Kaylea Cross.  See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive teaser.

STEALING VENGEANCE (Vengeance #1) by Kaylea Cross

STEALING VENGEANCE (Vengeance #1) by Kaylea Cross

About the Book
Title: STEALING VENGEANCE
Series: Vengeance #1
Author: Kaylea Cross
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense/Military Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
She’s an expert at getting into places she doesn’t belong.

The government created Megan, transforming her into a Valkyrie—a deadly operative only whispered about in certain circles. They took everything from her and made her into a weapon. Now someone is leaking secret information about her sisters-in-arms, betraying them for money. Loyal Unto Death is the Valkyrie motto. So when Megan is recruited to find who leaked the files, she takes the high-risk assignment. Even if it means working with the man who betrayed her trust long ago. Even if it means giving her life. Because she’ll do whatever it takes to find justice.

But this is one situation she can’t escape from on her own.

Tyler Bergstrom never forgot the resourceful woman who escaped during the toughest phase of SERE school. So when he learns the stunning truth about her and his unwitting part in her past, he volunteers to work alongside Megan for a chance at redemption. Except she doesn’t want a partner. Doesn’t want to let anyone into her life, including him—hell, especially him. Yet whether she likes it or not, for this mission they’re partners. Now it’s a race against the clock to bring down the shadowy figure targeting Valkyries. But the threat goes deeper than they ever imagined. No one is safe. And if they can’t overcome the past and learn to trust each other, they’re both dead.

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STEALING VENGEANCE Teaser

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Preorder Book 2 Now!

Book 2: COVERT VENGEANCE
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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STEALING VENGEANCE Teaser

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Author Kaylea Cross

Author Kaylea Cross

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and has been nominated multiple times for the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.

 

 

 

 

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Where to Find Kaylea Cross
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | TwitterInstagram | AmazonBookBub

 

 

Cover Reveal – THE HOLLOW QUEEN (Stolen Empire) by Sherry D. Ficklin

THE HOLLOW QUEEN Cover Reveal

Clean Teen Publishing and author Sherry D. Ficklin are unveiling the cover to THE HOLLOW QUEEN, the fifth book in the young adult historical romance series, Stolen Empire, releasing September 23, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and pre-order links.

THE HOLLOW QUEEN (Stolen Empire #5) by Sherry D. Ficklin

THE HOLLOW QUEEN (Stolen Empire #5) by Sherry D. Ficklin

About The Book
Title: THE HOLLOW QUEEN
Series: Stolen Empire #5
Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Historical Romance
Release Date: September 23, 2019
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
As a princess of the Romanov Empire, Elizabeth has enjoyed a life of luxury and privilege. But the sudden deaths of her parents leaves her unprotected – awash in the dangerous tide of her family’s political rivals. When the supreme council crowns her half-nephew Peter II in her place, Elizabeth is left with no title, no power—and no allies. Now little more than a bastard in the eyes of the world, she is sent to serve in the palatial home of Prince Menshikov—the real power behind the boy king.

But Elizabeth won’t fade quietly into the background.

Determined to uncover the truth behind her mother’s murder and expose the men who mean to rule Russia in secret, she grows closer to the handsome young king, and swears to protect him and his rule at any cost. But the forces that oppose them are as dark as they are far-reaching–and this time, Elizabeth could lose more than just her title…

 

 

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: QUEEN OF SOMEDAY – FREE on Kindle
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble

Book 2: QUEEN OF TOMORROW
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble 

Book 3: QUEEN OF ALWAYS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble 

Book 4: THE WINTER QUEEN
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble

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Author Sherry D. Ficklin

Author Sherry D. Ficklin

About Sherry D. Ficklin
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people.

She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

She is the author of several YA novels and in her spare time she co-hosts Curvy Writer Radio.

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Where to Find Sherry D. Ficklin
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE LADY RAVEN (A Dark Cinderella Tale) by Rebecca Henry

THE LADY RAVEN Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE LADY RAVEN, a stand-alone adult dark Cinderella fairytale retelling, by Rebecca Henry. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE LADY RAVEN (A Dark Cinderella Tale) by Rebecca Henry

THE LADY RAVEN (A Dark Cinderella Tale) by Rebecca Henry

About the Book
Title: THE LADY RAVEN
Author: Rebecca Henry
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Genre: Adult Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
In The Lady Raven, Rebecca Henry tells the tale of Zezolla, a little princess abandoned by her father into the hands of her evil stepmother and wicked stepsisters. A familiar fairy tale you may think but all is not as it appears. The reader is soon drawn into a web of witchcraft, lies and deceit, and gradually realises that this is no typical fairy tale but a dark and macabre take on one. Zezolla is treated with the utmost cruelty, neglected and vilified, and left to live in the damp cellars of the castle. The only friends Zezolla has are her beloved raven and her pet wolf. Her only comfort lies in the loyalty of the creatures of the forest and her mother’s hazel tree. Will Zezolla have the power to escape her torment and ultimately save herself from the unscrupulous clutches of the king? The Lady Raven is a compelling tale and one that is not for the faint-hearted.

 

 

 

 

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Excerpt #2
Baldric bent down, whispering into his wife’s ear. “I am going to drown you in the river, my love. I want you to hear my words and know that it is I who will kill you.  Do not think that I do not know what you did.” Before Avelina could protest, her face was plunged into the icy water. She tried pulling her head up, but Baldric was too strong. She began to buck her legs around like a mule, desperate to make contact with Baldric, anything to weaken his grip. Baldric climbed on top of her and pinned her body beneath his. “Die, Avelina.” he growled. Hands were flying all around him as he drowned his wife, the only woman he ever loved. Princess Avelina was a fighter and she determined to stay alive, but it was to no avail.

Baldric kept her head under the water well after her body stopped moving. Avelina’s betrayal caused Baldric’s love to turn to hate, just as water turns to ice in the frozen kiss of winter.

“Die, you lying witch. Die! You do not deserve the life you have. You do not deserve me. You have taken everything I’ve loved away and now I will take everything from you.” Baldric’s hands trembled with rage as he dismounted his wife’s limp body. Baldric arose, looking around the grounds to ensure that no witnesses could testify to his crime. Still, he would not suffer the consequence of murdering his wife. To seal his innocence, he gathered heavy rocks from the bank and shoved them in Avelina’s robes.

“They will think it a suicide and my hands will never be traced to her death.” He bent down to see her face one last time before kicking her corpse into the lake.

“I loved you mind, body, and soul. I would have loved you until my dying breath, but I will never think of you again. From this day forth, you no longer consume my heart. May you rest in hell, my love.” He watched her body sink; he was triumphant, sentencing her to the punishment that fitted the crime: death.

Before her body disappeared into the ultramarine water, he spat on her. One final act of defiance.

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Author Rebecca Henry

Author Rebecca Henry

About the Author
Rebecca Henry is a newly published author. Her debut novel is The Lady Raven, A Dark Cinderella Tale, which was published in 2017. The Lady Raven, is for those who have an affinity for fairy tales retold with a link to witches, magic and the macabre. Her second novel, Louisiana Latte, a chick lit comedy was released February 28th 2019. Louisiana Latte, is a feel good comedy that focuses on the bonds of sisters, and how audacious life can be when you have a diva for one! Both books are available on amazon as well as Barnes & Noble.

Rebecca Henry is a world traveler living abroad in England. Besides being an author of two published books, Rebecca is also a podcast talk host on the show The Latte Talk. The podcast was inspired by her latest novel, Louisiana Latte and her diva sister Deb. She is a serious vegan, gardener, crafter, wife and mom who practices yoga. She loves to laugh, her drug of choice and loves all things witchy with a hint of the macabre. Her favorite holiday is Halloween and her favorite movie of all time is Practical Magic.

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Where to Find Rebecca Henry
Goodreads | Website | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Teaser + Giveaway – JACKSON (Reed Security) by Giulia Lagomarsino

JACKSON Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for JACKSON, the fourteenth book in the adult contemporary romance/romantic suspense series, Reed Security, by Giulia Lagomarsino. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.

JACKSON (Reed Security #14) by Giulia Lagomarsino

JACKSON (Reed Security #14) by Giulia Lagomarsino

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: JACKSON
Series: Reed Security #14 (Book 2 of a 3 Book Arc)
Author: Giulia Lagomarsino
Release Date: May 27, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
This is the 14th book in the Reed Security Series and the 2nd book of a 3 book arc. The arc books need to be read in order and it is suggested that the rest of the series is read in order as well.

Jackson Lewis saved Raegan Cartwright from a terrible situation and has been keeping her and her parents safe. Raegan knows she can trust the sexy man she’s staying with, but her confidence has taken a beating. Still, she refuses to be the wilting flower that everyone expects of her. If only she could get Jackson to see that. He sees only what he wants to, sure that her refusal to talk about what happened as a sign she couldn’t move on. But when all hell breaks loose at Reed Security, Raegan is pulled into one dangerous situation after another. When it is discovered that Raegan isn’t just an innocent bystander but directly linked to Reed Security’s current situation, she finds herself even more intertwined and is fully prepared to face her issues head-on. But this is more than just an abusive ex. This is something that involves innocent people and deadly consequences. But Reed Security is relying on her and she won’t let them down.

 

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JACKSON Teaser

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Trailer

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Author Giulia Lagomarsino

Author Giulia Lagomarsino

About the Author
I’m a stay at home mom that loves to read. Some of my favorite titles are Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Horatio Hornblower. I started writing when I was trying to come up with suggestions on ways I could help bring in some extra money. I came up with the idea that I could donate plasma because you could earn an extra $500/month. My husband responded with, “No. Find something else. Write a blog. Write a book.” I didn’t think I had anything to share on blog that a thousand other mothers hadn’t already thought of. I decided to take his challenge seriously and sat down to write my first book, Jack. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed writing. From there, the stories continued to flow and I haven’t been able to stop. I hope my readers enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them. Between reading, writing, and taking care of three small kids, my days are quite full.

Where to Find Giulia Lagomarsino
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – SHANTALLOW by Cara Martin

SHANTALLOW Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for SHANTALLOW, a stand-alone young adult horror novel, by Cara Martin, releasing September 24, 2019. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SHANTALLOW by Cara Martin

SHANTALLOW by Cara Martin

About the Book
Title: SHANTALLOW
Author: Cara Martin
Publisher: Cormorant Books
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Horror
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
Tanvi isn’t the girl of Misha’s dreams; she’s the girl from his nightmares. She has appeared in his chilling dreams before he even meets her; when he DOES meet her, he falls for her.

Their relationship turns stormy, bordering on abusive, and takes a dramatic turn when they are held captive by a group hoping to extract money from Tanvi’s wealthy family.

But there is something more sinister at work, and the kidnappers and their victims find themselves struggling for survival as a supernatural force from Misha’s nightmares makes itself known in the real world.

 

 

 

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Excerpt #2
She wasn’t a dream. We weren’t standing in the clearing in the woods, the sky as black as dirty oil and gloom pressing in on us from every angle. She was a regular teenage girl next to me, one of her overalls straps threatening to slip off her shoulder.

Tanvi shifted into park and furrowed her eyebrows. “You like what you see?” she asked pointedly, right hand firmly clutching the gearshift. Brown eyes stared at me appraisingly, a current of antagonism headed directly for my forehead while I refused to duck.

“Excuse me?” I said.

“You’ve been staring at me practically the entire ride. I figured you must like what you see.” If she’d seen me in her nightmares she would’ve stared too. On the lawn and again in her car. No matter how she tried to stop herself.

“I do,” I admitted. I like it a lot. The hairs at the back of my neck stood on end. My calf muscles clenched and my jaw along with them, the falling sensation expanding inside me like a mushroom cloud, annihilating everything else.

A sour smile skimmed across Tanvi’s lips, only to be replaced with a frown. “What if I followed you inside?” she asked. “What would you do?”

That wasn’t a fair question, and I frowned back. Outside a dog was barking wearily, as if purely by habit. Arctic air from the car vents brushed my arms like invisible fingertips.

“You don’t want me to?” Tanvi asked, leaning back against the headrest.

Then her cellphone chirped, demanding her attention and giving me extra time to work out her desired reaction. Was she messing with my head? Baiting me so that she could relish shooting me down? What could I do or say that wouldn’t be the wrong thing? Who the hell was this girl? Why was she stalking my nightmares?

Tanvi fished her phone out of her overalls pocket, biting the side of her lip as she glanced at the screen. “My friends back at the movie theater,” she volunteered with a glance. “They realized I was gone.”

“Why did you leave?”

Tanvi shrugged, her dusty pink lips drooping at the corners. “I didn’t want to be there.”

“Because of your bad day?”

“Uh-huh.” Any anger coming off her had dissolved, sadness gusting in to take its place. My defensiveness began to fall away as the change registered.

“I don’t think you really want to be here either,” I observed, heart punching against my rib cage. “Why’d you drive me home?”

“I don’t know.” She laid a finger against the amethyst centerpiece of her bracelet. “Don’t you ever do something without really knowing why?”

“All the time,” I replied. Not the whole truth, but it made Tanvi smile.

“Actually, I do know,” she admitted with an incline of her head. “I didn’t want to think. I wanted” — her lips lingered, blooming in slow motion — “a break. But I don’t want to talk about what from. That defeats the purpose.”

“Okay,” I said quietly, the ground beneath us shifting and whatever was going to happen between us tonight beginning to come into focus. “Then … come in if you like.” I unbuckled my seatbelt, the joint pain and headache worse now that I was opening the car door and stepping onto the asphalt. Nervous energy collided with the flu symptoms, struggling to overtake them. Leaning down, I peered into the car. “I do want you to,” I said.

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Author Cara Martin

Author Cara Martin

About the Author
Cara Martin is the author of several acclaimed novels for young people published under the name C. K. Kelly Martin. Her most recent novel, Stricken, was released in 2017. A graduate of the Film Studies program at York University, Cara has lived in the Greater Toronto Area and Dublin, Ireland. Within the space of 3500 miles she’s worked a collection of quirky jobs at multiple pubs and video stores, an electricity company, a division of the Irish post office, a London toyshop, and an advertising analytics company. She’s also been an image editor for a dot-com startup that didn’t survive the 90s, and a credit note clerk for Canada’s largest national distributor of General Merchandise. Cara currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband and is still afraid of the Child Catcher from the film adaptation of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.

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Where to Find Cara Martin
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – WHITE COLLAR RANCHER (Part-Time Cowboys) by Marie Johnston

WHITE COLLAR RANCHER Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for WHITE COLLAR RANCHER, the third book in the adult contemporary western romance series, Part-Time Cowboys, by Marie Johnston. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

WHITE COLLAR RANCHER (Part-Time Cowboys #3) by Marie Johnston

WHITE COLLAR RANCHER (Part-Time Cowboys #3) by Marie Johnston

About the Book
Title:
WHITE COLLAR RANCHER
Series: Part-Time Cowboys #3
Author: Marie Johnston
Publisher: LE Publishing
Release Date: May 20, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary Western Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Justin used to rule the boardroom. Now he rules his own little plot of land, or he could if he weren’t a clueless single dad with a newborn. Desperate for help, he calls out an SOS to an old friend—the doctor who delivered his son. But the longer she’s around, the harder it is to ignore that a stunning intellect isn’t her only appeal. 

It was supposed to be just two friends getting through a baby’s colic together. Only Priya has harbored way more than friendly feelings for Justin for years, and she’s struggling to keep her thoughts platonic around the scruffy, rugged rancher. It doesn’t hurt that he’s the only friendly port in a frigid small town that was supposed to welcome her back with open arms.

Justin’s sworn off women and refuses to change for anyone. Priya’s fighting to save her job and has no time to soothe male egos. So a friends-with-benefits arrangement seems like the perfect solution…except no one warned them one of the “benefits” could be a broken heart.

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Excerpt #1
Justin looked like hell and it wasn’t fair how handsome he still was.

Priya swaddled Isaiah, doing her best to secure him as snugly as possible. She’d reviewed all the education she’d had on colic and tried to recall every mom who lamented about the hard days and longer nights of raising a baby with it. She liked to think that one of the signs she was maturing as a doctor was that she listened and learned from those stories as much as from her teachers. She was focused on women’s health and not infant health, but Isaiah seemed healthy.

It was time to deal with the dad. The dad with the sinful stubble that looked better than when he was clean-shaven.

Since she’d moved home, he always seemed to have a few days of growth darkening his face and deepening the blue of his eyes. The contrast with his dirty-blond hair was intriguing and something she thought about way too much. His loose pants hung low on his hips and his lean muscles were too apparent through the thin material of his shirt. She’d be tempted to drool if the dark circles under his eyes and the hang of his shoulders didn’t snap her back to reality. A reality in which he was not just her best friend’s ex, but the ex of a friend who had recently died—under her care.

Tonight was about Justin, not her unresolved feelings for him. “Go lay down,” she said in her best authoritative tone, the one she used in the surgery suite. “I’ve got him.”

His look was a strange mix of hopeful, relieved, and terrified. “I don’t think I can.”

He’d better. Isaiah’s screaming wasn’t going anywhere and if the baby had colic, then this was Justin’s life until it passed.

“Doctor’s orders.” She waved him off.

The corner of his mouth hitched up, and he shuffled to a short hallway that must house the door to his bedroom. He stopped and glanced over his shoulder. “Formula and bottles are by the sink. We have rural water but it tastes weird without being filtered. There’s a water jug next to the can of formula.”

She nodded, uncertainty trickling in. How would she know if Isaiah was hungry? Her training came back to her. Rooting. Right. But in the throws of colic, he probably wasn’t going to eat anything.

“Where’s the nursery?” she asked before he disappeared completely.

“Upstairs.”

Perfect. The distance would muffle the cries. If she were more comfortable driving through the county in the dark, she’d load Isaiah’s car seat and go for a long drive. Maybe next time.

She paused and looked up the stairs. Who said there’d be a next time?

But come on. The guy was alone with a baby with colic. Last year, she’d had a mom break down with sobs that shook her body. She’d cried so hard, Priya had worried she’d upset her C-section healing even after six weeks. The poor thing had been facing the end of her maternity leave and her baby had been like Isaiah since week three.

Okay, so there’d be a next time. And she’d bring earplugs. The nursery was quiet and—

Wow. Not the nursery she’d expected, but then Justin hadn’t planned on being allowed much access to his own kid.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: RANCHER IN TRAINING
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: RED HOT RANCHER
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Marie Johnston

Author Marie Johnston

About the Author
Marie Johnston writes award-winning paranormal and contemporary romance and is a RITA® Finalist. Before she was a writer, she was a microbiologist. Depending on the situation, she can be oddly unconcerned about germs or weirdly phobic. She’s also a licensed medical technician and has worked as a public health microbiologist and as a lab tech in hospital and clinic labs. Marie’s been a volunteer EMT, a college instructor, a security guard, a phlebotomist, a hotel clerk, and a coffee pourer in a bingo hall. All fodder for a writer! She has four kids and just as many cats.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to find Marie Johnston
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | InstagramAmazon

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal + Giveaway – TAKE ME AWAY (Everly Place) by Rachel Kirwin

TAKE ME AWAY Cover Reveal

Author Rachel Kirwin is revealing the cover to TAKE ME AWAY, the first book in her new adult contemporary romance series, Everly Place, releasing June 24, 2019.  See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

TAKE ME AWAY (Everly Place) by Rachel Kirwin

TAKE ME AWAY (Everly Place) by Rachel Kirwin

About the Book
Title: TAKE ME AWAY
Series: Everly Place #1
Author: Rachel Kirwin
Release Date: June 24, 2019
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Link: Goodreads

Synopsis
Iris Everly is trying to figure out her place in the world. A world that has caused her heartache, loneliness, and uncertainty of her future. When her sisters and the Keller boys return from college she is forced to face some of the pain from her past but it also allows her to open her heart to new possibilities and maybe even love.

Basically, it’s a small town romance about three sisters who grew up next to three brothers. The younger of the two, Iris and Clay, have always had a strong connection but Clay’s dad became Mayor and they moved to the other side of town and grew apart. Once he returns from college for the summer they reconnect but life has a way of always tearing them apart. Some tearjerkers, steamy scenes, and great loss.

 

 

 

 

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About the Author
The most important title that I hold is wife and mother. My husband and I have been happily married for 10 years and have three beautiful children.

As a young child I was always conjuring up stories and filling them with colorful characters, sharing them with anyone and everyone who would listen. Since then, I’ve progressed quite a bit to formulating longer and more complex stories with the hope of sharing them with much larger audiences.

Where to Find Rachel Kirwin
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – FIGHTING FOR YOU (Connor Family) by Layla Hagen

USA Today bestselling author, Layla Hagen is unveiling the cover to FIGHTING FOR YOU, the fifth book in her adult contemporary romance series, Connor Family, releasing June 18, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and preorder links as well as a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

FIGHTING FOR YOU (Connor Family #5) by Layla Hagen

FIGHTING FOR YOU (Connor Family #5) by Layla Hagen

About the Book
Title:
FIGHTING FOR YOU
Series: Connor Family #5
Author: Layla Hagen
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads  | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Audiobook

Synopsis
Jace Connor has received many titles in his career, and enjoyed them all. Although, he’s working on changing the last one. There’s more to Jace than the media portrays—a man who loves his tight-knit family, being his nieces’ and nephews’ favorite uncle. 

The reformed party-boy is now steering clear of anything that could blemish his reputation. But when the coach’s gorgeous daughter is hired on as the team’s new sponsorship manager,  keeping on the straight and narrow becomes impossible. Her warm and bubbly personality coupled with her sexy-as-sin body makes her irresistible. 

Brooke Derringer wants to prove to everyone that she wasn’t hired due to her personal connections. She’s determined to keep things strictly business and focus only on work. She learned the hard way that the office isn’t the place to make friends.

But a certain smoking hot–and bossy–soccer player is determined to change her mind. Surprising her with clandestine dinners and late-night gym sessions, Jace is inescapable. 

For the first time in his life, Jace wants more. He wants the whole package…with the one woman he can’t have. But Jace doesn’t let that deter him. He’s determined to fight for her. And he will.

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FIGHTING FOR YOU Teaser

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: ANYTHING FOR YOU
Goodreads  | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Audiobook

Book 2: WILD WITH YOU
Goodreads  | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Audiobook

Book 3: MEANT FOR YOU
Goodreads  | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Audiobook

Book 4: ONLY FOR YOU
Goodreads  | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audible

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Author Layla Hagen

Author Layla Hagen

About the Author
Layla Hagen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. 

She fell in love with books when she was nine years old, and her love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.

She writes steamy and romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.

She is represented by fabulous Louise Fury (The Bent Agency)

 

 

 

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Where to find Layla Hagen
Goodreads Website Facebook Twitter | Instagram

 

Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – YOU, ME AND LETTING GO by Katie Kaleski

YOU, ME AND LETTING GO Blog Tour

 

YOU, ME AND LETTING GO by Katie Kaleski

YOU, ME AND LETTING GO by Katie Kaleski

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Van Sato’s got labels. Tourettes, ADHD, SPD – words that have defined his existence since the time he was old enough to know what they meant. Now, Van wants to prove he’s more than an acronym, a syndrome, a problem kid. He takes a summer job as a day camp counselor to prove he’s capable of independence and moving on to the next phase in his life. Maybe, he might even make a friend while there. Someone who’s got just as many or even more labels than him. Someone who understands what it’s like.

Tabby Dubanowksi wants to forget about everything, the hospitalization, the judgment, the whispers behind her back. As a camp counselor, she will be admired, looked up to, and able to help people who don’t know anything about her old life. Tabby wants a fresh start and a chance to re-ignite her passion for film-making, if only for one summer.

After running away from their pasts, Van and Tabby collide in a storm cloud of attraction laced with self-doubt, insecurity, shame, and blame. Now, with Van feeling like he might have to quit his job, and Tabby struggling to quell the urge to cut, they will struggle to find themselves in a world designed to keep them apart.

 

 

 

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My Review
Two misfits, who see the humanity in each, find a bond that goes beyond mere attraction. What I loved best about this tale is that it wasn’t like they wound up together because no one else would have them, no one else understood their struggles, or any of the typical tropes with characters who have serious medical or psychological issues. Instead, they two were genuinely attracted to each other despite their issues. Their own challenges kept them from reacting to each other in a way most people would, which only fueled that attraction into something more. The meet cute was anything but cute when Van, who suffers from Tourettes, called Tabby by her hated high school nickname, “Lard Ass” when they run into each other at the same summer camp where they’re both working as counselors. But even after Van apologizes and Tabby decides it’s not enough, he never uses his Tourettes as an excuse for why he blurted it out unbidden. Their friendship develops without that understanding, making it more authentic and deep. Tabby has her own issues stemming from an eating disorder and cutting herself in an attempt to cope. But somehow, Van and Tabby overcome every obstacle to find solace in friendship and maybe just a little bit more.

Plot
The main plot centers on the relationship between Van and Tabby, but because they both have huge obstacles to overcome, there are strong subplots involving these as well. Van hopes for a life of independence even though on top of Tourette’s he has ADHD and SPD. Tabby has a tenuous relationship with food and deep-seated insecurities that drive nearly everything she does. She’s just trying to learn how to live life outside of Hope Springs where she spent time dealing with her anorexia. Romance isn’t on either kid’s radar, but some things just can’t be denied.

Characters
Oh the characters!! They are my favorite thing about the story. Van and his irreverent humor when it comes to his condition. Tabby and her confident insecurities (yes, that is actually a thing). The loving families who just want what’s best for Van and Tabby but still manage to do so much wrong. And best friends, Matt and Maritza are people I’d want to hang out with. The author totally does right by her characters, giving them depth, humanity, and creating such amazingly authentic-feeling three-dimensional beings that I was rooting for them from the opening chapters. Sometimes characters need to grow on me, but not this bunch!

What I Loved About YOU, ME, & LETTING GO!
1. Van.
 The boy with the tics so severe he hits himself and others with uncontrollable arms has a heart of gold. The way he deals with the kids in his care will melt anyone’s heart.

2. Tabby. It can be difficult to identify with and not get annoyed with insecure characters, but Tabby is so much more than that and I loved her from her first chapter.

3. Summer Camp. The kids are hysterical, from a boy who eats everything to a girl who likes to dissect whatever is found, including her food, bring humor and adorableness to the pages.

4. Honesty. The author’s honest portrayal of anorexia, cutting, Tourette, ADHD, and SPD show that people are so much more than the labels we attach to them.

5. Friendship. The bonds of friendship throughout the tale were heartwarming and the threads that tied everything together.

Bottom Line
A wonderful young adult tale about overcoming odds and taking control of your own life with some of the best characters in the genre.

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

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About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: YOU, ME, & LETTING GO
Author: Katie Kaleski
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Pages: 197
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Katie Kaleski

Author Katie Kaleski

About the Author
Katie Kaleski has started down many career paths and held many jobs—indie craft store clerk, pizza maker, photo developer, shoe salesperson and cashier, dental assistant in the army, daycare teacher, student teacher—but her favorite one by far is being a writer.

She’s originally from Chicago, so she says things like pop, gym shoes, and front room. Her favorite food group is sugar, and she loves writing young adult novels.
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Where to find Katie Kaleski
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – SUMMER BUCKET LIST by T.K. Rapp

SUMMER BUCKET LIST Cover Reveal

Author T.K. Rapp is revealing the cover to SUMMER BUCKET LIST, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance, releasing July 15, 2019.  See below for the cover, information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

SUMMER BUCKET LIST by T.K. Rapp

SUMMER BUCKET LIST by T.K. Rapp

About the Book
Title: SUMMER BUCKET LIST
Author: T.K. Rapp
Release Date: July 15, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Recently graduated from high school, Holland Monroe had no expectations for her last summer before heading off to college to be anything but ordinary.

Until she got a job as a waitress at the local country club to make extra money for school.

Milo Davis was smart, cute, and absolutely not interested in Holland. At least that was what she believed. But the day she started working at the restaurant, everything changed.

Finally together, they were left with only three months to spend time together before she moved away.

Good thing they decided to make their time as memorable as possible.

But will they remain friends? Or will checking off items on their summer bucket list lead them to something they didn’t expect — Falling in love.

 

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Author T.K. Rapp

Author T.K. Rapp

About the Author
T.K. Rapp is a Texas girl born and raised. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M and it was there that she met the love of her life. He had a contract with the U.S. Navy that would take them across both coasts, and ultimately land them back home in Texas.

Upon finally settling in Texas, T.K. worked as a graphic designer and photographer for the family business that her mom started years earlier. She was able to infuse her creativity and passion, into something she enjoyed, but something was still missing. There was a voice in the back of her head that told her to write, so write, she did. And, somewhere on an external hard drive, are several stories she started and never finished.

Now at home, raising her two daughters, T.K. has more time to do the things she loves, which includes photography and writing. When she’s not doing one of those, she can be found with her family, which keeps her busy, hanging with family and friends, and mostly relaxing. She is a lover of raunchy humor, gossip blogs and a good books.

Where to Find T.K. Rapp
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | TwitterInstagram

 

 

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE HATE YOU DRINK by N.R. Walker

THE HATE YOU DRINK Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE HATE YOU DRINK, a stand-alone adult contemporary LGBTQ+ romance, by N.R. Walker. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE HATE YOU DRINK by N.R. Walker

THE HATE YOU DRINK by N.R. Walker

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE HATE YOU DRINK
Author: N.R. Walker
Release Date: May 23, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary LGBTQ+Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Erik Keston, son of the Keston Real Estate empire, knows what it takes to be successful. Despite his inherent wealth, he holds his own. He works hard, he’s grounded, he’s brilliant. He’s also secretly in love with his best friend.

Monroe Wellman lost his parents three years ago and never grieved, never recovered. Inheriting the family company and wealth means nothing, and his spiral of self-destruction is widespread and spectacular. Dubbed Sydney’s bad boy, he spends more days drunk than sober, and the only person who’s stuck by him through it all is his best mate.

But when Monroe hits rock bottom, Erik gives him an ultimatum, and his entire world comes to a grinding halt. But it’s when the haze is lifted that Monroe can truly see what he’s been searching for was never in the bottom of a bottle. It’s been by his side all along.

An 80,000-word friends to lovers story about fighting the demons within, and trusting in the love that takes its place.

“Because when all you drink is hate, that’s what you become.”

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Excerpt #1
I didn’t need to see the photographs of the wrecked car or the glass and metal strewn across the gutter. I didn’t need the reminder of how close it had been this time. I closed the newspaper, folded it in half, and slid it across the counter and let out an exhausted sigh. I didn’t want to meet Jeffrey’s disappointed gaze. I knew that look. I’d seen it more times than I could count. Jeffrey Kwon, a distinguished Korean-Australian man with short greying hair and a kind face, had been a close friend of Monroe’s parents as well as their trusted lawyer for thirty years, and Jeffrey assumed the same role for Monroe when his parents died. He was no-nonsense and astute, but he had a heart of gold and everyone knew Monroe would be lost without him. Well, everyone but Monroe.

“Where is he?”

“Still asleep,” I replied. I walked over to the nearest couch and all but fell into it, my head in my hands.

“You haven’t been to bed yet?”

I was too tired to even scoff. “Nope. It was after three by the time we left the police station. And then I had to get him into bed.” I didn’t tell him that I’d sat on the end of Monroe’s bed when he’d passed out, trying to calm my anxiety. How many nights had I got a phone call from him, drunk, needing help or a lift, to pick him up from a bar or the police station? A quick glance at my phone told me it was just after eight. The morning sun was up and glaring angrily over the Pacific like it could feel my mood. I scrubbed my hand over my face, feeling the minutes of sleep I’d missed. “How he didn’t hurt himself or someone else, I’ll never know.”

“It’s only a matter of time before he does.” Jeffrey’s tone was as sharp as his suit, whereas I felt like Monroe’s crumpled wreck that had been winched onto the tow truck last night.

I nodded, because he was right. We all knew he was right. Everyone, that was, but Monroe.

“I’ll have the insurance forms sent over this afternoon,” Jeffrey said. He rarely let his emotions show, but I could tell he was angry and disappointed. He was probably a dozen different emotions right now. What he wasn’t was surprised. This was far from the first time.

“Thanks, Jeffrey. He does appreciate it.”

He gave a nod and walked toward the grand foyer, but he stopped before he got to the door. “Does he? Does he appreciate all you do for him?”

I didn’t answer. Even if I knew what to say, I couldn’t get the words out. But Jeffrey didn’t wait for a reply. The soft click of the front door was loud in the silence.

My heart was a weighted lump in my chest. My ribs felt too tight like I couldn’t breathe properly. Like I hadn’t been able to breathe properly in years. The space of Monroe’s house was vast—tiled floors, high ceilings, glass walls overlooking the ocean, no expense spared—yet the vast emptiness was overwhelming. A mansion worth several million dollars, on every elite real-estate list in Australia, was a hollow void of loneliness and grief, much like the man who owned it. Who was, at that very moment, passed out drunk in his bed.

The heaviness of the last twelve hours settled over me, and I slumped down on the couch, pulled a cushion under my head, and closed my eyes.

* * *

“Hey, sleeping beauty, wake up.”

I startled and shot up. Disoriented at first, until I remembered I was on Monroe’s couch. He was standing at the end of the sofa with his arms full of brown paper bags, and then I could smell something.

“I was starving,” he said. “And Uber Eats is a gift from the gods. Shuffle up.”

I slid up the couch a little and he parked himself next to me, shoved the bags and a pizza box onto the coffee table, then pulled it toward us. “I didn’t know what you felt like, so I got that wood-fired pizza you like and some curry and—”

“What time is it?” I asked. Usually the view out the window was a good indication of the time, but it had come over cloudy. Summer storms usually rolled in around four.

“Half two.”

“Shit. I didn’t mean to sleep that long. I was supposed to go into the office today.”

Monroe shrugged like he did to most responsibility. “Here, get this into ya.” He opened the pizza box and turned it to face me.

I took a bite and moaned. It was so good. “How long you been up?”

“An hour or so.”

His black hair was damp and he smelled of salt water. “I didn’t hear you swim.” Which was surprising considering the living room opened up into the pool area.

“Stealth mode,” he said with a grin, his blue eyes sparkling. “Nah. You were dead to the world.”

I didn’t bother explaining that I didn’t get to sleep till after eight. I studied his face; there was a small scratch on his forehead and marks on his hands, probably from the glass or air bag. “How you feeling?”

“Good.”

And that was his problem. He always woke up feeling fine. Maybe if he’d ever suffered just one hangover in his life, he might think twice about drinking so much.

“Your picture’s in the paper,” I said. “And photos of the car.”

He grimaced for half a second before he took another forkful of curry. “You see Jeffrey?”

I nodded. “He was here before eight this morning. He brought the paper with him.”

Monroe stirred his curry, frowning. “Was he mad?”

“Yep. Said he’ll have the insurance papers sent around for the car.” I took a bite of pizza and swallowed it. “Wanna tell me what happened last night?”

He sighed. “Not really. I had one too many. You know how it is.”

“One?”

“Okay, a few.”

“And you drove.”

“I was fine.”

“Your blood alcohol level was high range.”

He frowned again, this time stabbing a piece of curried beef. “I was fine. I didn’t feel drunk at all.”

I knew there was no point in arguing with him, so I tried a different approach. “You could have hurt yourself, Monroe,” I said gently. “Or someone else. You’re lucky it was a pole you hit and not a pedestrian or a car full of kids.”

“Yeah, it was stupid, I know. I won’t do it again.”

“Well, no, you can’t. Because now you don’t have a car or a licence.”

He pointed his fork at me. “That is true. Well, there’s the old Discovery in the garage,” he said. “Haven’t driven that in a while.”

“Old? It’s two years old,” I said. “And you’re not driving it anywhere. You get caught driving unlicensed now and the judge will likely throw the book at you to prove a point. Not to mention that unlicensed means uninsured.”

“Where’s your sense of adventure?” he asked, giving me that sly grin that usually got him out of all kinds of trouble.

“My sense of adventure is keeping you out of jail.”

He chuckled and nudged me with his shoulder. “Always looking out for me,” he said. “Thanks, by the way, for coming to get me last night.”

“I should have left you there,” I said, nudging him back. “In a cell with two guys named Warthog and Donk.”

He laughed. “Sounds like a dream I had once. It didn’t end badly, let’s just say that much.”

I snorted, unable to stay mad at him. And that was my problem. I could never stay mad at him.

He put his curry down and took a slice of pizza, biting into it. “Mmm, this is good too. Hey, we should go out tonight. There’s a summer blues night on at the Wharf.”

I shook my head, but he was, like always, relentless and charming and so fucking cute, and I could never say no to him. Which was another one of my problems.

“Come on, it’ll be fun. It’s summer. We’ll have a swim, laze about for the afternoon, have a nap, then we can go out later. Who knows, you might even find some random to take home.”

I forced a smile, like I always did. “Unlikely.”

“Dunno why,” he said, oblivious. “You don’t look half bad,” he said with a smirk and a nudge. “If a young Robert Redford is your thing and you have more money than God. And fuck knows guys throw themselves at you.”

“More money than God?”

“Shut up, you know you do.” He pushed the pizza box away. “You know what your problem is, Erik?”

Actually, I did. But I played along. “Nope, tell me what my problem is.”

“You’re too picky.”

I snorted. “Is that right?”

“Yep. So tonight, when a guy looks twice at you, take him into the bathrooms.”

“Not really my style, but thanks.”

He laughed and stood up, then walked toward the pool. The glass doors were all pushed back, transforming the inside living area into a huge outdoor living area. He peeled off his shirt and stopped to face me. He looked even better in the sunlight. “Are you gonna lecture me about swimming after eating?”

“Wouldn’t dream of it.”

“Then get your arse into the pool with me. It’s too nice a day and life is too damn short.” He tossed his shirt and dived into the pool.

And there were both our problems laid bare. His was that he shirked off all responsibility, drank far too much, and lived like every day was his last, which in his case, with his drinking problem and reckless nature, it very well could be.

My problem was that I couldn’t stay mad at him and I couldn’t say no to him.

Oh, that, and I was absolutely head over heels in love with him. Had been since we were eighteen years old. I was so in love with him, I’d let him treat me like a doormat if it just meant he’d keep me around. It was a sickness.

He had his addiction, and he was mine.

His addiction to alcohol was killing him.

And watching him slowly spiral out of control, being so close to him but so far away, was killing me.

Addiction, in all its forms, fucking sucked.

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Author N.R. Walker

Author N.R. Walker

About the Author
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words. She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

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Where to Find N.R. Walker
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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