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Book Review – PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENTS (Press Pass Mysteries) by April Anderton

PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENTS (Press Pass Mysteries #1) by April Anderton

PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENTS (Press Pass Mysteries #1) by April Anderton

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Senator Morgan Maxwell’s fiancée is dead and it’s not the first time.

It’s 1996 and Boston reporter, Ali Loukas, has her sights set on advancing from radio newscaster to TV correspondent, so when the Maxwell story practically drops into her lap, she seizes the opportunity to solve the murder, scoop her competitors, and move up the broadcasting ladder.

But gaining access to evidence and witnesses without stepping on the toes of family friend, Detective Ryan McGuire, could be tricky.

Despite a knife wedged in her front door and opposition from the police, Ali is determined to prove that she can find the answers, solve the crime and earn the dream job…if she can stay alive to make it all happen.

If you love Mary Higgins Clark Mysteries, grab this one today!

Content Notes: PG equivalent – No swearing, sex or graphic violence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
Set in the mid 1990s, this is a delightful trip into my pre-kids/marriage youth, with references to some of my favorite music and other pop culture from that time. Ali Loukas moves to Boston as a cub reporter for a radio station, her sights set on working in TV some day, following in the footsteps of her idol. When she dives into the murder of a prominent citizen, she gets to meet her idol, only to discover she’s the exact opposite of what Ali imagined. As a viscous rivalry develops between the two, Ali is determined to solve the mystery first. Her sleuthing sends her directly into the path of dreamy Detective Ryan McGuire, the son of her mother’s best friend, making things doubly complicated, and then triply so when Ali discovers Ryan might just have reciprocal feelings for her. But before long, Ali somehow asks the wrong person the wrong question, putting her directly in the crosshairs.

Plot
The primary focus is the mystery – who killed Senator Maxwell’s fiancee. But there are a couple of solid subplots involving Ali’s career and her budding romance with Detective McGuire. The mystery is well done, with several twists and a culprit, who I did suspect from time-to-time, I never really latched onto as the one. The author expertly foreshadows everything, though, so the big reveal feels inevitable. Because the story takes place more than twenty years ago, there are some fun things the author takes advantage of, including the fact that smart phones weren’t a thing and the internet was still dial-up for a lot of the population.

Characters
The characters were awesome. Ali is instantly likable as a determined reporter, who is maybe a bit naive, but tenacious enough to overcome it. Ryan is swoon-worthy as her foil and potential love interest, and the moms are the absolute best, driving some of the funniest moments in the book.

Top things I Enjoyed About PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENTS
1. Ali. She’s funny, smart, and will stop at nothing to get to the truth.

2. Ryan. He’s all about the rules. At least until he meets Ali.

3. The 1990s. Showing my age here, but the 90s were my favorite decade from the music, to movies, and TV shows. The pop cultural references were a blast from my past.

4. The Mystery. It was well done and kept me guessing.

5. Humor. A lightheartedness to the story kept it from getting too dark and had me laughing throughout.

Bottom Line
A fun cozy mystery with a nostalgic edge and a lighthearted romance.

About the Book
Title: PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENTS
Series: Press Pass Mysteries #1
Author: April Anderton
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Pages: 247
Category:
Adult Cozy Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author April Anderton

Author April Anderton

About the Author
April Anderton is a designer, blogger and author of cozy and young adult mysteries, survival adventures, non-fiction how-to books and articles for blogs and magazines. She lives off-grid in the mountains of North Idaho with her husband and their homeschooled pre-teen son. She doesn’t quite understand why her grown children would rather live in cities in homes with running water, plumbing and electricity, but she loves them anyway. If you ran into April at the grocery store, chances are high that she would not be wearing makeup and may be on the edge of looking presentable. She’d still say hello..

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Where to find April Anderton
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramAmazon

 

Release Day + Giveaway – HOME WITH YOU (Rambler Battalion) by Claire Cain

HOME WITH YOU Release Day

Today is release day for for HOME WITH YOU, the first fourth in the adult contemporary military romance series, Rambler Battalion, by Claire Cain. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

HOME WITH YOU (Rambler Battalion #4) by Claire Cain

HOME WITH YOU (Rambler Battalion #4) by Claire Cain

About the Book
Title: HOME WITH YOU
Series: Rambler Battalion #4
Author: Claire Cain
Genre: Adult Contemporary Military Romance
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
I hadn’t seen Major Reese Flint in ten years—not since I was sixteen. Growing up, he was always kind to me despite our age difference and my role as the caretaker’s daughter. Our reunion forced me to see the gorgeous man he’d turned into. Reese was just as shocked by me, but evidently not in a good way since he then resolutely avoided me. 

We’re forced back together when Reese’s mother hires me to help him recover from an injury since I still live in the garage apartment above the house I watched for him while he was deployed. 

When Reese’s mom asks for more than that, I’m torn between my loyalty to the family who gave me so much during my childhood and my newfound feelings for Reese. Just when Reese stops resisting his interest in me and I have more than I could have hoped for, I discover I’m more at risk of losing everything than I could have imagined.

 

 

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HOME WITH YOU

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Excerpt
I groaned as I stood and lumbered into the kitchen where Erin promptly let out a little yelp. She pressed her hands to her heart and took a few deep breaths before laughing hysterically.

Really. She doubled over, her long hair waterfalling to the ground, leaving me to admire the nearly bare expanse of her back but for the two small spaghetti straps of her tank top. When she finally turned upright, her face was red and her green eyes were wet with tears.

“I’m sorry,” I said, chuckling long with her since the sound of laughter was irresistible.

“No, I’m sorry. I—I didn’t expect to see you. I thought you were in bed. And your beard is, like, wow, so I didn’t realize it was you, even though of course it’s you.” She pressed her lips together. “Anyway, I’m sorry for laughing hysterically. It was that, or cry, and I do enough crying so laugh it was.”

“I’ve been sleeping down here so I’m upright. Did you need something?” I asked, and as soon as her face fell, I realized I’d done it again. She set the rag in her hand on the counter and moved to go, but I grabbed her wrist.

“Please. I don’t mean that in a brusque way. I’m not trying to get rid of you. I want to help you find what you need, if you need something,” I said, lowering my voice because whenever she was this close, which was rarely lately, I wanted to say things to only her. I wanted things between us that only we knew about.

She stared down at my hand on her wrist, then back at my face, her chest rising and falling. “I, uh… I came to check and see how the kitchen was. Your mom doesn’t always clean up, so I came to make sure everything was put away so you wouldn’t wake up to a mess.” She looked down like she was embarrassed and gently pulled her arm away.

“That’s very kind of you, Erin.” Her lashes fluttered when I said her name, and I wondered if she preferred her nickname. I’d have to try it out next time.

“Not really. I’m saving myself from more work tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?” I asked, stepping closer to her because apparently my body wanted more of her proximity.

“I’ll be here to make you breakfast. I mean, if that’s ok, of course,” she said, red rising to her cheeks.    

“I’d like nothing more,” I said, catching her green eyes with mine to make sure she understood my sincerity. I was done fumbling around and failing to communicate with her. I’d bungled things between us enough already, and if my mother had obligated Erin to help me, I wasn’t going to make her feel unwanted.

She returned my stare a moment longer, her eyes moving between mine every few seconds.

And then it happened.

Then the best thing of my week happened.

The month.

Sure, maybe the year. I’d made the promotion list for lieutenant colonel and I was pleased about that, but this? This probably topped that.

Her focus moved from one eye, to the other, and then dipped down and caressed my lips. I kid you not, I could practically feel the brush of her lashes against my mouth.

Then, of course, she jerked away and plastered a smile on her face, bid me goodnight, and excused herself.

But it’d happened.

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HOME WITH YOU

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Author Claire Cain

Author Claire Cain

About the Author
Claire Cain lives to eat and drink her way around the globe with her traveling soldier and two kids, but is perhaps even happier hunkered down at home in a pair of sweatpants and slippers using any free moment she has to read and cook. Or talk—she really likes to talk. She has become an expert at packing too many dishes in too few cabinets and making houses into homes from Utah to Germany and many places in between. She’s a proud Army wife and is frankly just really happy to be here.

 

 

 

Where to Find Claire Cain
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | InstagramAmazon

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Young Adult Book Review – MIRACLE GIRL by Jennifer DiGiovanni

MIRACLE GIRL by Jennifer DiGiovanni

MIRACLE GIRL by Jennifer DiGiovanni

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Leanne Strong hates June eighth even though it’s supposed to a day for celebration. Fifteen years ago on that date, baby Leanne was purported to be miraculously healed of a spinal cord defect after her mother prayed to a religious mystic who was later elevated to sainthood. Since Leanne’s unexplained cure, thousands of people gather in her small town every year to celebrate her miracle–a miracle she doesn’t remember but still accepts as real–most of the time.

When teen pitching phenom Braeden Dalisay moves into the house across the street from Leanne, he harbors a chip on his shoulder even larger than his athletic talent. Forced to spend the summer in the same law office, he and Leanne carry on a working relationship that vacillates between stormy and silent. After Leanne finds out that Braeden’s sister, Emeline, recently passed away, the reason for his behavior becomes clear. Emeline Dalisay was a girl who didn’t get a miracle.

Time softens Braeden’s anger, and he and Leanne eventually draw closer. But when he and his family are hit with another traumatic event, he pulls away, the unfairness of life a deep wound. Leanne wants to help Braeden and his family heal as much as she wants a relationship with him. More than that, she wants a miracle for Braeden.

 

 

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My Review
Leanne Strong is the recipient of a verified miracle that she has zero recollection of. And while she’s grateful for the life she has, she hates being “Miracle Girl” and all the celebrity that goes with it. For that reason, she’s sworn off dating until she’s in college, far away from where anyone knows who she is or her miracle status. But when the Dalisay’s move in across the street, Braeden and and his sister, Sami, challenge everything Leanne believes about herself and her miracle. She wonders if she’s been ungrateful, even as she struggles to be what everyone expects her to, someone she doesn’t believe she is. Spending the summer working in her dad’s law firm, she spends more time with Braeden, who is also making a few extra bucks between baseball games. What starts off as a tense relationship soon blossoms into more, until Sami gets sick and threatens everything Leanne understands about herself, faith, and what it means to believe in something more than yourself.

Plot
The main plot revolves around Leanne’s relationship with her miracle girl status. She initially wants nothing to do with it. She’s just a regular girl with no recollection of what happened that night 15 years before. In fact, she can’t recall a time when she wasn’t the way she is now. She knows she’s expected to be so much more to others looking for their own miracles, but she feels inadequate when it comes to providing them with the inspiration they feel they so desperately need. With the help of Sami, Braeden, her family, and a priest, she comes to realize that memories aren’t required to appreciate the life she’s been given. There are also strong subplots involving her relationship with Braeden and her own faith.

Characters
Leanne is so relatable as an ordinary girl with extraordinary expectations. She knows that the world wants more from her than she’s able to give and struggles with this burden through much of the book. Braeden is the perfect, somewhat brooding, foil for Leanne’s positivity, but they have more in common than either of them realizes. These two navigate a tenuous romance amidst all the drama, providing some of the most heartwarming moments. The rest of the characters wonderfully round out the cast, particularly Leanne’s dad’s office staff.

Top things I LOVED About MIRACLE GIRL
1. Sami. Even after everything she’s lost, Sami is a perpetually positive force and impossible to ignore.

2. Faith. It’s an underlying theme centered around hope and gratitude, so perfectly incorporated that even those who don’t profess any faith will enjoy this book.

3. Leanne. She’s one of my favorite young adult protagonists of 2019. She’s grounded in a way that is both because of and in conflict with her miracle status.

4. Braeden. The pitching phenom is as sweet as he is hot, but with a brooding undertone that adds to his swooniness.

5. Miracles. Always there, and a main part of the plot, it’s really not about the miracle itself, but how the recipient copes with her worthiness.

Bottom Line
An inspirational story about faith, first love, and refusing to allow others to define you.

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

About the Book
Title: MIRACLE GIRL
Author: Jennifer DiGiovanni
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing
Release Date: November 30, 2019
Pages: 242
Category:
Young Adult Contemporary Romance/Spiritual
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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Author Jennifer DiGiovanni

Author Jennifer DiGiovanni

About the Author
Jennifer DiGiovanni is the author of contemporary and light fantasy novels for teens. When she’s not reading or writing, she likes to try new sports and activities, from archery to ballroom dancing, all in the name of book research.

 

 

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Where to find Jennifer DiGiovanni
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – RULES OF A REBOUND (Breakup Bash) by Nina Crespo

RULES OF A REBOUND Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for RULES OF A REBOUND, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Breakup Bash, by Nina Crespo. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

RULES OF A REBOUND (Breakup Bash #2) by Nina Crespo

RULES OF A REBOUND (Breakup Bash #2) by Nina Crespo

About the Book
Title:
RULES OF A REBOUND
Series: Breakup Bash #2
Author: Nina Crespo
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Release Date: August 12, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint

It only takes one night 

Natalie Winters thought she’d married the man of her dreams…but her marriage ended way too soon in a nightmarish divorce. She even has to share custody of the dog! The stress is killing her, so she decides to take a night off and attend the Breakup Bash—a private party for women celebrating their breakups—with her friends.

Former executive security specialist turned bartender Rome Collier is drawn to the woman easily trading sexy banter with him. And if she wants the “Do Me” condoms she accidentally throws across the counter at him, she’ll have to claim them…personally. Their flirtation turns into so much more, and every scintillating night they spend together is better than the last.

Strong, protective…and hot, Rome is everything Natalie ever wanted in a man. All she has to do is convince him he’s more than a rebound.

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RULES OF A REBOUND Teaser

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Excerpt #1
Stop! Natalie sat up in bed, batting away the sadness that threatened to consume her now. Today wasn’t like the past. She wasn’t dependent upon anyone to take care of her, and no one was making her leave her home. She’d restore what was missing, and, if karma truly existed, the jackasses that had robbed her of her things and her peace of mind would get what they fully deserved. 

Natalie flung back the covers. As she walked out of the bedroom in her bare feet, she tugged down her mid-thigh- length “When I die, the dog gets everything” T-shirt. A cup of stress-relief tea would help her relax and possibly slow down her thinking long enough for her to get some sleep. 

She was almost halfway down the hall before she remembered to walk softly so she wouldn’t disturb Betsy… or Rome. 

As she crept past the closed door of the playroom, Betsy’s collar jangled, but she didn’t whine or bark. Natalie rarely locked her up, but she wanted to make sure her fur baby didn’t wander into places that she hadn’t cleaned up yet. Betsy would tolerate a night of not sleeping where she pleased as long as she was taken outside in three hours, at six in the morning. 

Natalie continued to the end of the hallway, planning to quietly make her way through the living room to the kitchen. But seeing Rome laying on top of the bedsheet in his low-slung jeans, arm resting above his head, brought her up short. 

The glow from outside streetlights streamed through small openings in the blinds, illuminating him. Even at rest, cuts of muscle stood out in his chest, stomach, and arms. When they were in the storeroom, she hadn’t gotten a look at the entire juicy package. Had she known all of that was available, she would have ripped off his shirt. 

Sex with Rome, the drink-serving god…the orgasm maker. That’s how her night after attending the Breakup Bash should have ended…with a thrill of being with him, not disaster. 

He shifted his legs, and the natural V cutting along his hips deepened, framing his impressive abs. He brought his arm down. “Is something wrong?” 

Unexpectedly hearing his voice caused her breath to hitch and made her feel a tad embarrassed. Ogling him while he slept drifted into stalker territory. “No. I’m…” 

As Rome sat up and put his feet on the floor, his rippling muscles took her words away. “If you can’t sleep, that’s normal. What happened can leave you feeling uneasy.” 

Or hot and bothered. Very hot, in fact. Suddenly, her light sleep shirt felt like a winter coat. “I’m not upset. I mean, yes, of course I’m upset. I was robbed, but that’s not why I’m here.” Her gaze drifted to his lap. Was that bulge a hard-on, or was she just dreaming? 

“Okay.” His low, husky voice made her skin tingle. “Then, why are you here?” 

Go make herself a cup of tea, or give in to the desire that made her breasts heavy and lust pool in her middle. The choice was clear. 

She walked to the pullout bed and in between his legs. His body heat seeped through his jeans and into her skin. 

He took her hand. “Do you want me to hold you?” 

“I’m not here for handholding.”

He visibly swallowed. “Tell me what you need.” 

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RULES OF A REBOUND Teaser

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Get Caught up on the Series

Book 1: THE FIRST RULE OF HOOK-UPS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audio

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Author Nina Crespo

Author Nina Crespo

About the Author
Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions — the beach, a good glass of wine, date night with her own real-life hero and dancing.

Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel.

Let Nina’s sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.

***JOIN NINA’S READERS GROUP***

Help spread the word about the books in the Breakup Bash series as well as upcoming books. Your participation will not go unrewarded. Freebies, ARC’s, awesome swag, and bookish treats are a part of the fun!

Fill out the questionnaire here: https://forms.gle/PXwA5LaJa79CDPRK8

Where to Find Nina Crespo
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | Book Bub

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – WE ARE THE GHOSTS by Vicky Skinner

WE ARE THE GHOSTS Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for WE ARE THE GHOSTS, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance, by Vicky Skinner.  See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

WE ARE THE GHOSTS by Vicky Skinner

WE ARE THE GHOSTS by Vicky Skinner

About the Book
Title: WE ARE THE GHOSTS
Author: Vicky Skinner
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
After her estranged brother suddenly dies, a girl embarks on a road trip to rediscover who her brother really was in Vicky Skinner’s contemporary YA novel, We Are the Ghosts.

When Ellie’s estranged brother, Luke, dies in a car accident, she’s not sure whether to be devastated that she lost the person who was once her best friend or enraged, still, that he left without a word a year ago. Now, the only people who seem to understand what she’s going through are Luke’s best friend and his ex-girlfriend, who she bonds with over their desire to figure out where Luke went when he walked out of their lives.

As she gets closer to them, and closer to Cade, a boy who seems determined to get to know her better, she realizes that she’s not the only one with reasons to be angry at Luke. And when Ellie makes a discovery that changes everything, she and her new friends hit the road, hoping that following Luke’s trail will bring them answers about the life Luke was living away from them.

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Excerpt #2
My hands tremble as I rip open the envelope and pull out the contents. I stare at the folded map in my hand, seeing just fragments of highways and state lines and blue bodies of water before I unfold it. 

I recognize it immediately, and it’s my first instinct to drop it, my heart beating loud in my ears. Because it’s like having Luke’s ghost in the room with me. I press my hands to my stomach and look down at it, lying sprawled open on my carpet. I can’t really be looking at this map. That map can’t really be on my floor. That map has been lost for ages. 

“These are all the places we have to visit before we die,” Luke said when he brought the map home. It was the summer before my freshman year of high school, before his junior year, and he spread the map across the dining room table like we were about to discuss war strategy. “If you want to add anything to it, just put X’s over the places, but I’ve already got most of the big stuff. Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Times Square . . .” 

For months, we took turns researching new places to add to the map, and eventually we brought Wes into it. We picked big cities, ghost towns, weird attractions along the side of the highway. It was a whole summer of daydreaming about adventures in the mountains, relaxing on the beach, soaking up history and culture and sunshine. 

I slowly reach down and pick it back up. All the X’s, in different color marker, his and mine and Wes’s, are so plentiful, I almost can’t see the city names beneath them. Notes in the margins about gas mileage and hotels and entrance fees. It’s been folded and refolded and laid out flat so many times that the original creases are gone. It was just a stupid thing he got excited about, the way he got excited about things and then didn’t usually follow through on them. The map was our world for a few months and then it was forgotten about, and that was that. 

That was three years ago. Three years ago, and here it is, in my hands, and I feel dizzy with confusion and disbelief and maybe even a little fear. Where the hell did it come from?

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Author Vicky Skinner

Author Vicky Skinner

About the Author
Born and raised in Texas, I don’t act like much of a Texan. I like cold weather and hate country music. I have a gorgeous husband, two dogs, and a Literature degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. If I’m not at home reading a book or doing laundry, I’m probably at the bookstore, nannying three rambunctious boys, or stuck on the side of the road with car trouble. I’m a reader, a writer, and a bit of a crazy person.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Vicky Skinner
Goodreads | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS by Jen Pretty

RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS, a stand-alone adult fantasy/paranormal romance, by Jen Pretty. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $0.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS by Jen Pretty

RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS by Jen Pretty

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS
Author: Jen Pretty
Release Date: July 12, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Nia hates people.
She also hates vampires.
Too bad she is one.

An innocent bit of fun finds Nia tangled with a dangerous man and the powers that be send her to live with the vampire lord of Las Vegas.

Their efforts to get Nia back on the straight and narrow are almost as ridiculous as her fathers attempt to make her this heir in his bid for world domination. It’s Las Vegas, what trouble could she possibly find? Her life takes a sharp turn when someone tries to use her in a  power struggle against her father, and her past sneaks up on her.

The past never stays where you left it, and sometimes the beginning is just the start of the end.

 

 

 

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Excerpt #2
At sundown, I took a cab to the mall. There was a high-end electronics store owned by a local guy named Darren. He could hack, I was sure. He was the only person to suspect I was up to no good with my laptop. I replaced mine more often than average, but my continued patronage assured his silence.

My father thought he could buy me back by padding my bank account.  He couldn’t, but he was rich, so I spent his money, and new laptops were my main purchase.

The mall was overrun with teenagers and old people pushing wheeled walkers with bags full of knitting supplies or whatever. No sensible person went to the mall when they could help it. The long wide hall with escalators down the center made way for the shops and department stores where well-dressed women and men rang through purchases of clothing and electronics. Beautiful women at cosmetic counters sprayed passers-by with perfumes that smelled like toilet cleaner. The teenagers hung around in a group like a cackle of hyenas, laughing raucously and shoving each other.

“Hey, Nia,” Darren greeted me as I walked up to the counter. He was geeky, in a cute way. His glasses made him look smart and his  shirt and tie- professional. I had seen him in the club a couple of times though. Not a complete nerd.

“Hey, Darren. How’s it going?”

“Not too bad. What can I get for you today?”

“Something fast and pretty,” I smiled. He knew I didn’t tinker. I wanted a laptop ready to go, like usual.

He smiled and went into the back room.

I waited at the counter and watched a kid read the backs of all the video game packages by the front of the store. The kid was no more than thirteen years old and kind of motley. He wore an over-sized coat and his hair was shaggy and unkempt.  He looked around and then tucked one game into his coat. I almost laughed but bit my lip. There was a security tag on everything in the store. Cue the fireworks.

Just as Darren came out from the back carrying my new toy, the kid walked out between the alarm sensors and lights and sirens went nuts.

“Hang on a sec, Nia,” Darren said as he went storming off after the kid. I walked to the doorway and watched as the kid raced down  the hall towards the mall exit, Darren in hot pursuit. Mall security nabbed the kid before he made it out the door and he started screaming like a stuck pig. I laughed and watched as the kid squirmed trying to break free of the overweight security guard.

Once the guard had the kid well in hand, he told Darren he would call the police, but Darren just took his game back and told the kid not to enter his store ever again–probably scared him straight. Or set him up to be a career criminal. Either way, everyone settled down, and Darren came back to ring me through.

“Sorry about that, Nia. This has been happening more and more. I’m thinking about putting the games behind a glass case.”

“You’re pretty fast. I thought for sure that kid would make it.”

Darren looked at me and raised an eyebrow. When I didn’t respond, he chuckled and rang through my purchase. “You’re a strange one, Nia. I hope this laptop lasts longer than the last one.” He put it in a bag, I thanked him and walked back out of the mall.

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RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS Teaser

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Author Jen Pretty

Author Jen Pretty

About the Author
JenPretty is a well- known and prolific writer of smart urban fantasies. Her novels are character driven, witty, often violent, and with a liberal sprinkling of course language. Some of her books genre-hop into mythology, pulling characters and situations from a variety of sources.

When not writing, Jen can be found in the barn with her horses, or knee-deep in the vegetable garden at her home in rural Ontario, Canada, which she shares with her husband, three children, and a white husky dog named Salt.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Jen Pretty
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – MILLION MILES AWAY (Million Miles) by Alice Bane

MILLION MILES AWAY Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for MILLION MILES AWAY, the first book in the new adult science fiction romance series, Million Miles, by Alice Bane, releasing October 5, 2019. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

MILLION MILES AWAY (Million Miles #1) by Alice Bane

MILLION MILES AWAY (Million Miles #1) by Alice Bane

About the Book
Title: MILLION MILES AWAY
Series: Million Miles #1
Author: Alice Bane
Release Date: October 5, 2019
Genre:
 New Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
For the past year, sleep paralysis has been little more than a thorn in Natalia’s side. That is, until she meets Korin, a strange but beautiful alien being who makes her question everything she knows about the universe.

Life-changing love almost feels like an invasion.

I won’t bore you with details about the mysterious medical issues I’ve had over the last year;

the sudden severe allergies to food and medication, the sleep paralysis. All I’ll tell you is that they turned my life upside down.

But I’m a rational person.

Naturally, I assumed that my mind was playing tricks on me when I saw the strange figures standing over me.

But it felt so freakishly real;

especially one face in particular that always stayed with me long after I woke up.

Something about him always drew me in and I knew he was different. He made me feel different.

All my life, romance has felt like something that was reserved for everyone but me. I’d accepted that the only love in my life would be experienced through my artwork.

Now I’m questioning everything I know about myself, about reality, and especially about love.

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MILLION MILES AWAY Teaser

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Excerpt
The girls would always tease me about how put together my life was. Sure, it looked good on paper; top-rated artist in my department, an amazing house which I always kept immaculate, and when I wasn’t working, I was at the gym. They seemed to think that I had a perfect life. They had no idea how much I envied them. They both had incredible relationships with gorgeous men who doted on them endlessly. They were always commenting on how jealous they were of my body, but they also never missed a chance to eat delicious foods that I couldn’t so much as smell without getting sick. They didn’t realize that my house was always clean because it was empty and sterile; just like the rest of my life. 

I didn’t even have a pet. Ever since little Ivan died, I accepted that I wasn’t pet owner material. If I couldn’t keep a goldfish alive, what chance did I have with a more complex and emotionally dependent animal? Besides, with my work schedule, it would be cruel to even try.

“Before we get started with what we’ve got on today, I need to ask you guys a really important favor,” Abiola said, circling the desk to take both mine and Laura’s hands in hers. “The two of you have been such a huge part of my life. You’ve been there for me through all my family drama and I couldn’t love you more if you were my flesh and blood sisters.”

“Abi,” Laura pushed out her bottom lip. “That’s the sweetest thing you could possibly say.”

“Well, I would be so honored if the two of you would be my bridesmaids this spring. Please say yes!”

The three of us all wrapped our arms around each other in a sickeningly sweet display of female solidarity. I forced a smile and swallowed the lump in my throat as I imagined walking down the aisle on the arm of some random groomsman who had a wife or girlfriend somewhere in the church. This would be the second time I was a bridesmaid at someone’s wedding. The old saying ‘three times a bridesmaid, never a bride’ rang out in my mind. 

“I would love to be a bridesmaid at your wedding,” Laura crooned.

I mustered the minimal amount of excitement I could get away with for the situation and said, “Me too. I love you, woman,” then patted Abiola on the back. 

Abiola nodded and wiped at eyeliner from beneath her watering eyes. She was an old soul with a soft heart. She spent her weekends volunteering at a children’s group home. That was where she met her fiancé Trevor, and they bonded over their dysfunctional family situations. They would probably adopt a bunch of foster kids right after their wedding and live happily ever after. She deserved that; it was all she ever wanted.

“Okay ladies,” Abiola clapped her hands. “Today we’re looking for something we can use for the promotion of the OSA campus, which will be opening next year in Portland, Oregon. Boss says our primary focus is to attract engineering and architectural students for the Lunar-retreat that’s in the works.”

“So, where do we start?” Laura said, looking right at me.

“I am going to need to work up some concept drawings for the Lunar Resort. Also, if you could give me the clearest photos of the most beautiful views the Lunar Surface has to offer, that would be cool to show exactly what the students should be aspiring to be a part of. I want to see some dramatic landscapes with visible craters, maybe some rock formations. Anything to pull people in.”

“I’m on it,” Laura nodded and sat down at her touch responsive computer.

“I’ll go to engineering to get permission to use blueprints of the resort that you can use to make the concept drawings,” Abiola said, then turned and headed towards the elevator. 

It was an exciting project. I used to fantasize that by the time I was ready to retire, I would be able to cash in on all the vacation time I had accrued and maybe even spend a few of my golden years at that resort. The thought of waking up in the morning and looking out the window to see the Earth just as we see the moon from down here always gave me a sense of calm.

Four hours later, all final decisions had been made on what I wanted to use on the project. Right on cue, my trusty assistants started complaining that they were starving to death.

“If I don’t get some corned beef nachos in me in the next ten minutes, I might actually die,” Laura said and stood up dramatically from her desk.

“I want waffles and bacon,” Abiola rubbed her belly.

I sighed at the memory of bacon; I would probably just have some raw vegetables and berries. I was still looking at my screen and inspecting one of the photos, trying to decide on how I would alter the image to bring it to life. My eyes burned. I clenched them shut and rubbed them, forcing them to rest. Eye strain was the enemy and this day was proving to be particularly difficult since I had hardly slept the night before. I couldn’t shake my anxiety about today’s social gathering after work. Stress and lack of sleep usually meant a big fat migraine, which was the last thing I needed at Laura’s party. 

“I’m going to head to the chill room. I need a nap more than anything.”

“You better be rested for tonight’s festivities,” Laura wagged her finger at me.

“I’ll bring my party face, I promise,” I said. I stood up but couldn’t stop the oncoming yawn. “The fatigue is killing me.”

“Yeah, no coffee or sugar in your morning will do that to you,” Abiola said with a shake of her head. “I don’t know how you do it.”

“Well, it’s easy since a cup of coffee could put me in the hospital again, I guess.”

“Jesus,” Abiola pressed her fist to her mouth. “I didn’t mean to…” 

“It’s fine, Abi,” I assured her. “I just need to get a little rest.”

The two girls headed down to the food court while I made my way to the sleeping pods. White, plush, and stacked like a honeycomb, they were an inviting image that screamed comfort. I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief to find my favorite lower level pod was unoccupied. Turning on the sound system, I selected a playlist I knew I could sleep through. Sometimes I would choose guided meditation tracks or audiobooks. Today’s selection was soft cello. Something about the deep tones helped me unwind no matter what was on my mind. I settled in, turning on the heated cushions and closing my eyes.

I practiced the deep breathing exercises the doctor had taught me as I pictured myself floating through a dark endless sky toward the moon’s surface. The pictures I had looked at for over four hours served to be the subject of my meditation. I inhaled deeply, focusing on relaxing my arms and legs. Exhaling, I imagined moving further out into space. In… and out… 

As soon as sleep found me, I was swept up in a flurry of blinding light. My stomach turned as the light began strobing violently, causing me to feel disoriented. My body tensed as I realized it had been several weeks since I’d had an episode. Right on schedule, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Oh no, no, no, no… I can’t deal with this right now, not at work!

I struggled to wake myself, I couldn’t move. The cold sensation of a smooth metallic surface beneath me was confusing. I felt my fingertips twitch as I tried desperately to flail any and all limbs that might respond to my will, but my body remained where it was. I strained to sit up or scream, but I couldn’t even open my mouth. I was trapped, overwhelmed by the weight of my chest collapsing in on itself. If I didn’t put every ounce of will I possessed into sucking air through my nostrils, I had a very real fear that my body would simply shut down, leaving my body as a cold stiff corpse which might be found hours later in my cozy little pod. Filling my lungs with intention, I gasped for air, breath after panicked breath, hoping someone would notice and wake me.

The strobing intensified for what felt like several minutes and when it finally stopped, there remained a constant blinding light that made my eyes water. Tears streamed from the outer corners of my eyes into my ears.

“Help… me…” I managed to whisper to no one in particular. 

From the edge of my vision, a blurry figure leaned over me. 

“Please,” I sobbed, trying to turn my head to get a better look at who it was, but I couldn’t. 

My chest burned as my heart pounded out of control. I tried to calm myself by reciting the scientific facts about what I knew was happening.

During REM sleep, your muscles are essentially turned off to keep you from sleepwalking. When a person wakes up during REM, they are fully conscious but completely paralyzed. Usually, physical stimulation from someone rubbing or shaking them will pull the victim out of the purgatorial state. Unfortunately, living alone means I have no one to rescue me during these episodes, which can sometimes last for hours.

 “Just close your eyes. Everything will be okay,” a distorted voice spoke through the fog of my half-conscious state. 

Maybe my brain is morphing the cello music into a voice. Sleep paralysis is often accompanied by waking dreams or hallucinations, after all. 

I thought I could force myself to come out of it but, instead, I moved even deeper into unconsciousness. It wasn’t like falling, but more like being underwater and sinking slowly. I struggled against what felt like a chemically induced calm. I tried again to force myself awake but couldn’t. The darkness swallowed me up and I finally surrendered to it.

To my surprise, I suddenly found myself vividly aware of two things; one, the fact that I was breathing without much effort, and two, I was no longer in my cushioned sleeping pod, but rather stretched out flat on my back on a cold metal surface. All efforts to move just made me realize that what I was experiencing was very different from the sleep paralysis I was familiar with. I could move my fingers and flex my wrists and feet. There were actual physical restraints fastened around my wrists, neck, forehead, and ankles that were preventing me from moving.

Blinking hard, I strained to look around at my surroundings. The entire room was reflective as if every surface and object was made from surgical steel. It was shockingly cold, almost like the inside of a walk-in refrigerator. I grunted, twisting my wrists in hopes that I could slip out the straps. 

There was a continuous hum that was so low I didn’t hear it so much as felt it vibrating through my entire body. There was a spherical light that seemed to be floating in the air a few feet over me. The ceiling was high above that and almost too dark for me to make out anything but the vague shape of what might have been a reflection of myself and the rest of the room around me. I strained to see past the light so I could study what else I could make out in the reflective ceiling. My heart pounded in my ears as my attention was drawn to a distorted human shape in the darkness at my side.

A chill spread through my body as I realized that someone, or something, was quietly watching me struggle but I couldn’t for the life of me work out who, as the silhouette disappeared from my view the moment I noticed it. Even when I turned my eyes as far as I could, the dark corners of the room remained completely obscured. Regardless of the deafening silence and the fact that I couldn’t see anyone, I knew someone was there.

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MILLION MILES AWAY Teaser

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Trailer

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MILLION MILES AWAY Teaser

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – MIDNIGHT by J.V. Speyer

MIDNIGHT Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for MIDNIGHT, a stand-alone adult contemporary LGBTQ+ romance, by J.V. Speyer. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

MIDNIGHT by J.V. Speyer

MIDNIGHT by J.V. Speyer

About the Book
Title: MIDNIGHT
Author: J.V. Speyer
Release Date: August 14, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Contemporary LGBTQ+ Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Brandon loved Adrian, so when Adrian abruptly moved out of their apartment Brandon was devastated. Six weeks later Brandon is ready to start to ease his way back into life again, but a chance encounter leaves him questioning everything he thought he knew – about Adrian, their relationship, and himself.

His friends are there to see him through it, especially his best friend Greg. Greg wants what’s best for Brandon. He’s always wanted what’s best for Brandon, even when it’s not necessarily what’s best for Greg.

As Adrian’s true nature is revealed, Greg starts to wonder if maybe what’s best for both of them wouldn’t be each other.

 

 

 

 

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Excerpt
Brandon sat down on one of the chairs.  “Yeah. I mean I know he had to hide. I knew that going in.  A lot of guys had to do that. Most of them figure it out. And I’m not mad at him or anything.  I just want to move on.” He frowned. ”What are you trying to get at here, Greg? Why does Adrian have anything to do with tonight’s party?”

Greg inclined his head down, toward the spot on the street that he hadn’t been able to tear his eyes from.  “Because he’s been here this whole time.”  

Brandon choked on his gin and tonic.  “What?” 

“He’s been sitting outside the condo, watching the building, this whole time.  I mean, I get it.” 

“I don’t!” Brendon declared, standing up again.  He clutched his drink in his hand and couldn’t decide if he wanted to hurl it at the ex standing on the ground or if he wanted to go inside and hide.  Throwing the glass would be wrong. It would be irresponsible; it would get people hurt. He didn’t want to hurt Adrian, even if this latest stunt was creepy and stalker-ish.  “He’s the one who walked away. Why is he hanging around outside my building like some kind of lonely ghost?” 

“He wanted your attention.  He didn’t know how to get it, and his ploy backfired spectacularly.  I think he regrets what he did.” Greg sighed. “I’ve been watching him all night, trying to figure out what to do.  I was thinking about bringing him in.” 

Brandon spun, bringing himself face to face with his best friend.  “Why would you do that?” 

“Because you love him, Bran!” 

“So what?  I’m moving on, trying to rebuild my life.  Something you have not been shy about encouraging, I’ll point out.  And you want to just… what, drag him back in here? What could that possibly accomplish?”  He pulled at his hair.  

“I thought it might give you guys a second chance.”  Now it was Greg’s turn to sit down, flopping into one of the other patio chairs like it was the only thing holding him up.  “I want to see you happy, Bran. I keep hopping this fence – I know you weren’t with the people who made you happy, but you seemed so perfect for each other.  And I desperately want you to be happy.” He sighed heavily, gesturing back in Adrian’s general direction. “But I didn’t do it. The guy’s in his thirties. If he wanted to come up he could ring the doorbell like an adult.”  

Brandon shook his head and rubbed Greg’s shoulders.  “I knew I could trust you.” Greg leaned into the touch, just a little bit, and Brandon grinned.  “I thought we established that Adrian can’t make me happy at this point. We’re not right for each other, even if we thought we were.”  

“I know.  I just don’t know what to do here.” He leaned back.  “I mean, this is kind of creepy. He’s just out there, watching.  If I’m not going to invite him inside, I probably ought to call the cops.”  

Technically, Greg was right.  Brandon probably ought to call the police, because no good ever came from one ex staking out the other’s home like this.  “Do you think he’s dangerous?” Brandon hedged. “Seriously, has he said anything that’s struck you as dangerous?” 

“Other than creepily hanging around outside your house?  Nah. Not that he’d say anything to me, you know?” Greg snorted.  “I’m pretty much the last person he’s talking to right now, except maybe you.”

“What do you mean?”  Brandon’s arms froze on his friend’s shoulders.  

“He’s all pissy because I lit into him about stalking you through the rally.”  Greg waved a calloused hand in dismissal. “Like okay, fine, he wants to be with someone new.  Okay. And so what if the guy’s an undergrad – it’s a little weird, he’s a little young for a midlife crisis but who am I to judge?  But that whole thing – like anyone didn’t know what he was up to.” He shook his head again, and Brandon could feel his shoulders tensing up again underneath his hands.  “I wasn’t going to just sit there and not say anything.”

Brandon let his hands fall.  “Oh, Greg. I’m so sorry.” 

“What the hell for?” 

“I never wanted to come between the two of you.   You’re friends. You should be doing friend things, not arguing over me.”  He turned away, clutching at his drink so he could do something with his hands.

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MIDNIGHT Teaser

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Author J.V. Speyer

Author J.V. Speyer

About the Author
J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before making the greater Boston, Massachusetts area her permanent home. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house old enough to remember when her town was a tavern community with a farming problem.

J. V. finds most of her inspiration from music. Her tastes run the gamut from traditional to industrial and back again. When not writing she can usually be found enjoying a baseball game or avoiding direct sunlight. She’s learning to crochet so she can make blankets to fortify herself against the cold.

 

 

Where to Find J.V. Speyer
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – ACCEPTING AERIN (Beckley’s Daughters Romance) by Tinsley Sellers

HEALING HEATHER Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for ACCEPTING AERIN, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Beckley’s Daughters Romance, by Tinsley Sellers.  See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the ebook for just $0.99.

ACCEPTING AERIN (Beckley’s Daughters Romance #2) by Tinsley Sellers

ACCEPTING AERIN (Beckley’s Daughters Romance #2) by Tinsley Sellers

About the Book – $0.99 for a Limited Time
Title: ACCEPTING AERIN
Series: Beckley’s Daughters Romance #2
Author: Tinsley Sellers
Release Date: November 16, 2018
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Former Chicago Cubs third baseman Chet Coakley needs a quiet place to write the last novel in his best-selling series.

When a freak accident ends his baseball career, Chet finds his second chance writing a series of retro-detective novels. He’s on a deadline and can’t afford a distraction—especially not in the form of a vivacious blonde innkeeper who challenges everything he believes about himself.

Professional chef Aerin Buckholtz owns a vintage lodge and fifteen cabins on a secluded lake in the Michigan woods.

Betrayed by her best friend and self-conscious about her appearance, Aerin believes that romance isn’t meant for her. She’s building her business—and working to earn good reviews seems safer than admitting her attraction to a handsome former athlete who feels far out of her league.

Can Aerin and Chet learn to see themselves through each other’s eyes and accept a love neither one saw coming?

Welcome back to Beckley, Michigan! Autumn is in the air and as the days get shorter, the air gets cooler and the trees begin to turn every shade of gold and red. The people are just as warm, friendly, smart, funny, and real as you remember. When you need a place to call home, Beckley welcomes you—and sometimes the family you choose is as strong as the bonds you’re born with.

If you like small-town romance, you’ll like Beckley. If you like smart heroines who balance demanding professional careers with a commitment to family, friends, and finding love, then you’ll definitely like it here. If you like strong, sexy, hard-working heroes who have not-so-secret soft spots for kids, kittens, and classic cars, you may find that you never want to leave!

Accepting Aerin is the second in the Beckley’s Daughters Romance series. This series is recommended for adult readers and contains explicit language and intimate situations.

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Excerpt #1
Aerin. Nichelle had given me that much information, at least. Well, that and the part about owning the lodge and being the cousin of the best man, an enormous mountain of beard and muscle ridiculously named ‘Buck.’ However, the best way to gather information is always from the primary source. Unfortunately, the midnight-dressed, violet-eyed primary source was nowhere to be seen.

The music started, and the bridal couple took to the floor, dancing romantically close and whispering in each other’s ears. Nichelle left me and returned to the head table, where she leaned into a close conversation with the ginger-bearded best man. I strolled to the bar, scanning the room in vain. Optimistically, I asked the bartender for two glasses of champagne. I wanted a second chance to make a first impression.

Strolling the perimeter of the room, I scanned the crowd and failed to find her. Finally back to my original table, I noticed the lights. Along the lakeshore, one by one, lanterns flickered to life. I quickly found the door and followed my hunch. She was there on the beach and even more beautiful, barefoot and bathed in candle glow.

Smiling, I offered her the champagne flute. Three or four wise-guy one-liners flitted through my thoughts before I opted to go with the simple truth. “I was looking for you.”

Even in the diminished light, I could see her cheeks flush. She looked away, sipped nervously.

“Thank you,” she whispered. “For the wine.”

“No, thank you. For letting me crash your perfectly planned and expertly executed wedding dinner. That was a spectacular meal.”

Her eyes lit up with the compliment, so I gave her another. “You know, you’re very beautiful.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Her sapphire eyes flashed then narrowed slightly, and her lips pressed together.

“Excuse me,” she said, a slight edge in her voice. “I need to finish lighting these.”

She struck another match with a scratch-hiss-flare and a whiff of sulfur. Walking away, she carefully lit the remaining lanterns. What had I done? I wasn’t sure, but her guard was up. When you tell a woman she’s gorgeous and she runs the other way…I hurried to catch up and apologize.

“I said the wrong thing, didn’t I? Aerin, I’m sorry. I was out of line.”

“Not to be blunt, but who are you?” She waved the long match and the flame died, a thin stream of smoke wafting skyward. She pointed the burnt end at me. “You know my name, and I have no idea who you are or why you’re even here!”

I raised my hands slowly, taking a step backwards. There was an undercurrent of genuine fear in her voice, and I definitely didn’t want to frighten her.

“Sorry,” I apologized again, gently removing the charred stick from her fingers. “You could put somebody’s eye out with that, you know,” I chided in a humorous voice. There it was. A tentative smile.

“I’m Chet Coakley, and Nichelle and I have been friends forever. She’s been trying to get me up here for months, but she had no idea I was coming tonight, and I had no idea that I’d be crashing a wedding.”

“You’re…” she swallowed, her eyes uncertain. “Chet Coakley? As in Chet Coakley?”

I nodded.

“Chet Coakley,” she continued weakly, “As in Clubhouse Confidential? That Chet Coakley?”

“Christopher Ethan to my mother,” I nodded again with a grin, “but yeah, ‘Chet’ to my friends.”

“Oh my god!” she exclaimed. Then her brow furrowed and her plump lips pursed. She grabbed the 6-inch spent match from my grasp, poking me in the chest with it to punctuate her words. In her bare feet, the top of her head didn’t quite reach my shoulder.

“No.” Poke. “More.” Poke. “Sultry brunettes!” Poke! Poke!

I laughed out loud. So she did know who I was. Chet Coakley was my real name, but it was also my pen name and the name of my chief protagonist. The Clubhouse Confidential series of retro detective novels was my very small claim to fame. ‘Chet Coakley’ the character was a washed-out baseball-player-turned-clubhouse-manager for the Cubs who kept accidentally stumbling into mysteries while keeping his players in line. The series took place in 1950s Chicago, and ‘Chet’ was always falling for sultry brunettes who turned out to be bad news. He never learned.

Chet the author (me) was a washed-out baseball-player-turned-novelist who had turned a bad break (literally) into a fairly sustainable franchise. I wasn’t always falling for sultry brunettes, but there was definitely an aspect of art imitating life. My first sultry brunette was long gone from my life—and married to another man. I had tried to erase the bitter taste with a second, even sultrier brunette. She was smart enough not to want me on the rebound, and we had parted ways after only a few months. 

The first Clubhouse Confidential novel had sold well enough to be optioned by a respectable film director, but in casting it had morphed into a vanity project for an aging Hollywood pretty-boy. When it bombed at the box office, the actor blamed the script. The screenwriter, in turn, blamed the source material. As a result, the last two books in the series hadn’t sold nearly as well as the first three.

And that’s why I was here, at the Starbrite Lodge in remote Beckley, Michigan crashing a stranger’s wedding on the evening of the autumn equinox. I needed a break from Chicago. I needed a break from my agent and my editor, and I flat-out fired my publicist (that she was my sister didn’t make it any easier). I had one book left on my contract, and I wanted ‘Clubhouse’ Chet’s sixth and last adventure to be his very best. But I was working with a deadline; the finished manuscript had to be on my editor’s desk by December first.

“So do you really have four older sisters? Or is that just ‘Clubhouse’ Chet?” Aerin derailed my train of thought.

“Oh yeah, absolutely. ‘Real’ Chet couldn’t possibly make that stuff up. ‘Clubhouse’ Chet’s sisters are about as real as I can make them without getting sued by my own family.”

She sighed wistfully. “It must be nice to have a big family. Is it fun to have a houseful of siblings?”

I shrugged, “It’s all I know. I was 18 and away at college before I was ever anybody other than so-and-so’s baby brother. Turns out I actually missed it.”

A cool breeze blew off the lake, and Aerin shivered in her sleeveless dress. I wasn’t wearing a suit because I hadn’t anticipated a wedding; I had no jacket to drape across her bare shoulders. I contemplated putting an arm around her but before I could make a move, she had already marched halfway back to the reception. Neither of us remembered the black satin heels in the sand.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: HEALING HEATHER
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Tinsley Sellers

Author Tinsley Sellers

About the Author
Tinsley Sellers grew up in Chicago, spending her summers with her grandparents in a tiny town a lot like Beckley, Michigan. Life took her to Arizona, Washington, and Idaho before she finally found her home in Arkansas. She is married to an amazing, supportive (and handsome!) man, with whom she has rescued three dogs and two cats. When she’s not writing, she teaches physics and engineering at the local university. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s probably trying new recipes. She enjoys fast cars, loud music, fine whisky, and big books. In no particular order.

 

 

 

.Where to Find Tinsley Sellers
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE YEAR I LEFT by Christine Brae

THE YEAR I LEFT Book Blitz

Welcome to the book Blitz for THE YEAR I LEFT, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by Christine Brae. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE YEAR I LEFT by Christine Brae

THE YEAR I LEFT by Christine Brae

About the Book
Title: THE YEAR I LEFT
Author: 
Christine Brae
Publisher: 
Vesuvian Books
Release Date: 
July 30, 2019
Genre: 
Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
“A thousand half loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

Carin Frost doesn’t understand what’s happening to her. A confident businesswoman, wife, and mother, she begins to resent everything about her life. Nothing makes sense. Nothing makes her feel. Maybe it’s the recent loss of her mother in a tragic accident. Or maybe she’s just losing her mind.

Enter Matias Torres. As their new business partnership thrives, so does their friendship—and his interest in her. Carin is determined to keep her distance, until a work assignment sends them to Southeast Asia where a storm is brewing on the island. In the midst of the chaos, Matias asks her to do something unimaginable, exhilarating, BOLD. Carin knows the consequences could be dire, but it may be the only way to save herself.

An honest look at love and marriage and the frailties of the human heart, this is a story of a woman’s loss of self and purpose and the journey she takes to find her way back.

 

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Excerpt #1
Sometime in the late summer when the air began to tingle and the leaves started to fall, I opened my eyes one morning and my view of the world had changed. 

Just like that. I can still see it in my head. The way I let it all unfold. It was a train wreck waiting to happen, and I let it.

I left for a business trip that morning with my house in total disarray. I had no good reason for refusing to take Charlie to his school bus, and despite having some time to change our dog’s water bowl, I chose not to do it. There it lay, next to the unwashed food dish, crusted with the remains of last night’s dinner. I figured Jack would get home from the gym and handle it all.

Piles of paper gathering dust on the floor and debit card receipts busting out of a little white box screamed for my attention. I ignored them. My home office, the place where I used to hide all day, was like a war zone. 

And it wasn’t like we had money issues. Paying our bills was the least of my worries. Jack had made a killing when his startup was bought out, and I was the head of client services at a global real-estate company. 

I just stopped giving a damn. Nothing interested me. I was beset by indifference. I just couldn’t keep up anymore. The sleepless nights, the exhaustion, the constant streaming in my head. Everything seemed so insignificant, so mundane. My successes, my accomplishments, they had lost all meaning.

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THE YEAR I LEFT Teaser

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Author Christine Brae

Author Christine Brae

About the Author
Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Her second book, His Wounded Light was released in December, 2013.

Christine’s third book, Insipid, is a standalone that was released in June, 2014, and her fourth book, In This Life, released in January 2016.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin Literary Management..

Where to Find Christine Brae
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – HEALING HEATHER (Beckley’s Daughters Romance) by Tinsley Sellers

HEALING HEATHER Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for HEALING HEATHER, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Beckley’s Daughters Romance, by Tinsley Sellers.  See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the ebook for just $0.99.

HEALING HEATHER (Beckley’s Daughters Romance #1) by Tinsley Sellers

HEALING HEATHER (Beckley’s Daughters Romance #1) by Tinsley Sellers

About the Book – $0.99 for a Limited Time
Title: HEALING HEATHER
Series: Beckley’s Daughters Romance #1
Author: Tinsley Sellers
Release Date: July 20, 2018
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
She’s going 120mph in a 65 zone—and if driving even faster could change history, Professor Heather Harris would floor it. She’s on a collision course with Sergeant Brian Daniels, a state trooper determined to enforce the speed limit and slam the brakes on his own heartache. Can a fast-moving physicist find love with a laid-back law officer, or will ghosts from their pasts keep driving them apart?

“All relationships come with an expiration date. All of mine just happened to fall on the same two days.” —Heather Harris

After a long year of tragedy and loss, Dr. Heather Harris is finally ready to come to terms with the deaths that have left her devastated and alone in the world. Spending summer break at the lake cottage she inherited from her grandparents is the first step in coping with her crushing grief, but she soon finds herself on a collision course with Sergeant Brian Daniels, a police officer whose passion for classic cars won’t stop him from enforcing the speed limit.

Brian Daniels embraces his small-town, laid-back, lakeside life. After years of heartbreak at the hands of his first love, he’s finally free—and a fast-driving, karaoke-singing physics professor offers an exciting diversion. Opposites attract, but the sudden appearance of a blonde on a Harley threatens to throw a monkey wrench in the works. Will the pull of his past be stronger than the promise of his future?

Welcome to the small-town world of Beckley, Michigan. The two-lane roads are long and winding, the many lakes are cool and blue, and the dense forests are green and shaded. Summer days are warm and sunny and summer nights are clear under the glittering stars. The people are warm, friendly, smart, funny–and very, very real. When you need a place to call home, Beckley welcomes you—and sometimes the family you choose is as strong as the bonds you’re born with.

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Excerpt #2
As I emerged from the ice cream parlor with my enormous probably-better-than-sex sundae, the first thing I saw was a fully-restored classic pick up. Parked directly in front of Johnson’s, right next to Violet, it was a Dodge, 1951 or ’52, five-window. From the pristine condition of the Sea Mist Green paint to the spotless whitewall tires, I surmised that it still had the original straight-line 6-cylinder engine and three-speed transmission. Brian stepped wordlessly aside while I handed him my sundae and circled the truck, utterly transfixed. I may have been drooling just a little. Clicking the latch, I lifted the driver’s side bonnet—and gasped out loud.

“Yeah,” he nodded over my shoulder, “it’s a 392 Hemi. Just like yours.” He grinned and started spooning my sundae into his mouth. “I bought her about eight years ago, and it took me six years to bring her back to life. I figured she deserved the Hemi.”

He scooped another generous spoonful of my ice cream into his mouth and savored. “Dang, did Lizzie make this? Just gets better every time.” He handed me back the paper bowl and closed the truck bonnet. “Wanna go for a ride?”

Did I ever. Girl Code or Common Sense 101 be damned, there was no way I was turning down a ride in that beauty-on-the-outside, beast-on-the-inside truck. Without a word, I climbed into the cab on the passenger side. The interior had been meticulously restored, and the tan leather bench seat had been customized with intricate stitching.

He roared the engine to life, and my heart skipped a beat. In seconds, he had turned off the main highway, and we headed east an empty two-lane, windows rolled down and radio turned up.

“So, if I remember correctly, this is the part of the country song where I kick my shoes off and put my pretty bare feet on the dash.” I smiled sweetly and licked the caramel from my spoon, a little more suggestively than was strictly necessary. Something about the rolled-up sleeves and half-unbuttoned casual shirt he wore over a plain white tee spoke to me on an almost cellular level, triggering a sensual response I couldn’t really control. I took another bite, swirling my tongue through whipped cream with an exaggerated innocence.

“Followed by the verse where I kick you out of my truck for spilling ice cream all over the leather,” he looked meaningfully at the paper bowl and its rapidly melting contents. The molten caramel and the summer heat had conspired, almost liquefying the butter pecan.

“Sorry,” I said meekly, sitting up straighter and corralling my wayward thoughts. “I won’t spill, I promise. But you may have to help me finish this, it’s a double.”

“Now that’s an offer I can’t refuse.” He kept his left hand on the wheel, and while I held the bowl, tried unsuccessfully with his right to secure a spoonful. “I’m a lefty. Help me out here?”

I slid over a bit closer and held the sundae-loaded spoon to his lips. Without taking his eyes from the road, he took the bite with obvious relish. I repeated the process, then helped myself to a spoonful. Sharing the single spoon felt intimate and little romantic.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 2: ACCEPTING AERIN
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Tinsley Sellers

Author Tinsley Sellers

About the Author
Tinsley Sellers grew up in Chicago, spending her summers with her grandparents in a tiny town a lot like Beckley, Michigan. Life took her to Arizona, Washington, and Idaho before she finally found her home in Arkansas. She is married to an amazing, supportive (and handsome!) man, with whom she has rescued three dogs and two cats. When she’s not writing, she teaches physics and engineering at the local university. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s probably trying new recipes. She enjoys fast cars, loud music, fine whisky, and big books. In no particular order.

 

 

 

.Where to Find Tinsley Sellers
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Release Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – CALL HER MINE (Harmony Pointe) by Melissa Foster

CALL HER MINE Release Blitz

Welcome to the release blitz for CALL HER MINE, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Harmony Pointe, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Melissa Foster. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

CALL HER MINE (Harmony Pointe #1) by Melissa Foster

CALL HER MINE (Harmony Pointe #1) by Melissa Foster

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: CALL HER MINE
Series: Harmony Pointe #1
Author: Melissa Foster
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Audible | iBooks Audio

Synopsis
Fall in love in Harmony Pointe, where hearts are lost, found, and sometimes misplaced…and everyone get a happy ever after.

If a woman can’t find love in the quaint town of Harmony Pointe, it’s sure to find them—whether they’re looking for it or not. Here, the remaining single Dalton siblings are about to discover that they’re next in line to get swept away by love. A sweet and sexy spin-off of Melissa’s beloved Sugar Lake series.

Ben Dalton has always been honest, except where his heart is concerned. He’s been in love with his best friend—saucy, smart-mouthed Aurelia Stark—forever. But Ben’s a planner, and timing has never been on his side. When he finally decides to make his move, Aurelia beats him to the punch with a move of her own—to a different town.

Aurelia loves her new life in the charming town of Harmony Pointe. She has a great apartment and her very own bookstore, and best of all, the sinfully hot, commitment-phobic friend she’s crushed on for years is no longer just around the corner. Maybe she’ll finally be able to leave her unrequited love behind and move on.

But when a baby is left on Ben’s front porch—a baby that is presumably his—Aurelia is there for him. Neither one knows the first thing about babies, but how hard can it be? Ben and Aurelia are catapulted into a world of love, laughter, and tracking down the baby mama, and it might even add up to a very happily ever after . . . just not one either of them expects.

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CALL HER MINE Teaser

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Excerpt
AURELIA LOOKED LONGINGLY at the muscular arm circling her waist and the large hand cupping her breast over her shirt and promptly closed her eyes, chastising herself for doing it againAlways a bridesmaid, never a bride was beginning to ring too true, and it was all Ben Dalton’s fault. She’d had a ridiculous crush on her Henry Cavill–lookalike best friend for far too long, and it was getting in the way of her life, her thoughts, hereverything. Every time she went out with a guy, she compared him to Ben, who looked rugged and yummy in jeans that hugged his thick thighs and perfect ass and could rock a suit like he’d strutted off a runway. But it wasn’t just his looks. She quickly bored of every date, waiting for them to be quippy, fun, and unknowingly seductive like Ben. If she wasn’t careful, she’d end up the spinster of Sweetwater, New York. Harmony Pointe, she corrected herself. Though she’d grown up in Sweetwater and had moved back to reopen her grandmother’s bookstore and combine it with the Ben’s sister Willow’s bakery, Sweetie Pies, Aurelia had recently changed directions. In an effort to stop waking up in Friendsville, she’d bought an adorable bookstore with an apartment above it on the corner of Main Street and West Avenue in the next town over, Harmony Pointe.

She allowed herself another minute to enjoy the feel of Ben’s broad chest against her back, his titillating breath warming her neck, and yes, even his morning wood pressing into her bottom. The situation would be sexier if the man child wrapped around her wasn’t also drooling on her shirt.

That was about all the action she’d ever see from him.

She’d spent the last month swearing she was done doing this with him. But when he’d called her last night and said, “Come on, Rels, hang out with me. I miss you,” that’s all it had taken. The way he said Rels always made her stupid heart melt. She’d been called Aurelia since the day she was born—the day her mother had died—by everyone except by Ben. He had coined the nickname Rels—or Relsy if he was in a particularly sweet mood—and he only seemed to use it when they were alone. It was ridiculous that a secret nickname could made her feel special, but it did. She knew she was important to him. She was the first person he called to share any kind of news, and they were known in their circle of friends as Ben and Aurelia—always linked, like Ben and Jerry. Two people who seemed to exist as one perfect combination.

Except she didn’t want to be Ben and Jerry.

She wanted to be the perfect combination of man and woman, like Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. The type of couple who had wild, crazy sex and woke up naked, tangled in each other’s sticky body parts, not clothed on a chaise lounge in the middle of Benjamin Unable-to-Commit Dalton’s couch with drool on their shoulders. 

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CALL HER MINE Teaser

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Author Melissa Foster

Author Melissa Foster

About the Author
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Readers adore Melissa’s fun, flirty, and sinfully sexy, award-winning big family romance collection, LOVE IN BLOOM featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, Seaside Summer, Harborside Nights, and the Wild Boys After Dark. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. 

Melissa also writes sweet and clean romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website.

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

Where to Find Melissa Foster
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Street TeamTwitter | Amazon Author Page | Pinterest

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Giveaway
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