Welcome to the book blitz for KIND OF FAMOUS, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, byMary Ann Marlowe, releasing April 9, 2020. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
KIND OF FAMOUS by Mary Ann MarloweKIND OF FAMOUS by Mary Ann Marlowe
Synopsis Layla Beckett has a secret. For the past ten years, she’s run the most trafficked fan site on the Internet for her favorite band—under an alias, naturally. When she lands a job at the prestigious New York City music magazine The Rock Paper, she’s suddenly thrust into the world she’s only observed from the cheap seats. Now that she’s brushing elbows with sexy guitarists and hot frontmen, she wants to play it cool and keep her superfan status on the down low. Although she’s dying to gush on her forum, posting her insider adventures online could expose her real-life identity and blow her cover.
And that’s all before one of those sexy musicians becomes a fan of her.
From the minute he meets Layla, Shane Morgan’s heart beats a heavy metal rhythm, but his head is full of doubt. Since only the most hardcore fans could pick the drummer out of a lineup, he’s resigned to groupies using him to get closer to the more famous guitarists. But he doesn’t want to be Layla’s passthrough.
As Layla gets to know the real people behind the music, she’s drawn to the less-than-flashy drummer’s sweet charms, fascinating mind, and banging hot body, but she worries about his insecurities. She needs to convince Shane she’s moved beyond fandom before he discovers her online history and loses all faith in her intentions.
But the Internet is forever, and secrets have a way of getting out.
Excerpt #2 Sitting at the kitchen island were three men I’d recognize anywhere. Closest to the door sat Micah Sinclair, lead singer for the band Theater of the Absurd, Jo’s hot-as-fuck boyfriend. On his right, the unmistakable red hair of his drummer whose name completely escaped me. My eyes were drawn immediately to the pretty-boy lead guitarist, Noah Kennedy. My heart tripped over itself.
I confess I’d ranked the guys’ hotness over the years. I’d gone through a phase where Micah was my number one pretend musical boyfriend from his band, and I wasn’t alone. As the front man, he got the most attention, plus he’s simply beautiful with his blond hair, blue eyes, and broad build. Once he’d fallen into a serious relationship with Jo, it became a bit harder to even joke about him in fake romantic ways. Not that it would stop me from drooling over a photo. I mean, they’re just pictures.
But that was no photo, leaning over the kitchen island with that thousand-kilowatt smile.
Then there was Noah, a bit mysterious, sometimes distant with fans, but onstage, he exploded. I’d seen him shred a guitar at a show, and I could still remember what color pants he’d had on that day, because his ass was one of those works of art that people had made a point of photographing whenever possible. Jeans, red leather pants, or the rare suit slacks all worked in service of his perfect butt. And it was sitting on a stool five feet away from me. All that separated us was a plate-glass door.
The other guy—I wanted to say Shawn—had the other two entranced with some story he was telling. His hands shot dramatically forward and up and down and back, in circles, in swoops, like he was drumming out the narrative. His face lit up so that I desperately wanted to hear what was so funny. Micah and Noah leaned in to listen, both so engaged, it made me hesitate to interrupt.
On the other hand, I was dying to actually meet these guys. What a day.
With a good shake of my hair to maximize volume, I slid open the glass door, and three heads turned my way.
Micah said, “Well, hello.”
I swallowed hard. My brain fritzed, and I stood there, frozen.
Jo popped up from the base of the fridge. “Oh, here you are. Someone came home early. Let me introduce you to my boyfriend and these other clowns.” She flipped her hand toward Micah. “This here is Micah Sinclair. This is his house, actually. I’m just a guest, alas.”
Micah grabbed her upper arm and reeled her in for a kiss. “Liar. You’d be out on the streets if you didn’t live here.”
She pushed his chest away. I admired her restraint. “Stop. We have guests.”
“I thought you were a guest.” He chuckled at himself.
Jo simply rolled her eyes to the ceiling. “Excuse him. He’s literally the worst. Meanwhile, over here, we have the insufferable Shane Morgan.”
Shane tipped an invisible hat and said, “My lady.”
He still wore a mischievous smile leftover from the anecdote he’d been sharing before I walked in.
“Finally, this brat is Noah Kennedy.”
Noah winked, and I melted a little.
“Gentlemen, let me present my newest coworker and a brand-new resident of our fair city, Layla—” she faltered “—shit, I’ve already forgotten your last name.”
“Beckett. Layla Beckett.”
Noah waved his hand toward me then Shane. “Can you imagine the children these two would have?”
Shane’s head rose as he realized Noah was talking about him. A blush crept up his pale skin to the roots of his hair.
“Red’s turning red!” Noah laughed.
I trained my eyes on Shane, willing him to look my way. His milky skin had a definite reddish cast to it, but I couldn’t tell if it was from anger or embarrassment. I’d heard every red-haired taunt in the book, and although Noah probably thought he was gently ribbing his friend, Shane’s tense jaw and gritted teeth belied years of buried hurt with layers of insults heaped on top.
Finally, with a flick of the eyes, he glanced over. I pegged him with what I hoped was a penetrating gaze, a telepathic communication to say, “I know.”
A small smile lifted the corners of his mouth, and he breathed in and exhaled. “You’re right, Noah. We’d have gorgeous kids. Look at her.”
It was the first time he’d been completely still. His hands settled onto the counter, and all the mischief and mockery drained from his face, leaving behind an open sincerity that sucker-punched me. Time slowed, and I brazenly stared at him, as if he were another photograph posted in some fictional Hot drummers thread. He might not have the glitz of Micah or the glam of Noah, but next to them anyone would appear ordinary. Overall more boyish than his two pretty bandmates, Shane had a rugged build, wide shoulders, and a tight muscle running up the side of his neck. That cord could have spawned a photo thread of its own. I followed the set of his jaw to his mouth, dragged my eyes over his plump lower lip, took in his slightly crooked nose and high cheekbones, and studied the small gauges in his earlobes.
By the time I’d made the circuit back to his arresting eyes, I’d concluded he was very easy to look at. And he didn’t seem to mind looking at me either.
My lips curled to match his. And quite possibly, my cheeks now matched my own hair.
Author Mary Ann Marlowe
About the Author Some Kind of Magic is MaryAnnMarlowe‘s first novel. When not writing, she works by day as a computer programmer/DBA. She spent ten years as a university-level French professor, and her resume includes stints as an au pair in Calais, a hotel intern in Paris, a German tutor, a college radio disc jockey, and a webmaster for several online musician fandoms, plus she has a second-degree black belt. She has lived in twelve states and three countries and loves to travel. She now lives in central Virginia where she is hard at work on her second novel. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.maryannmarlowe.com, on Facebook, www.facebook.com/marlowemaryann/, and at twitter.com/maryannmarlowe.
Welcome to the book blitz for PERFECT PENDING, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Witches of Gales Haven, by Lucia Ashta. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
PERFECT PENDING (Witches of Gales Haven Series #1) by Lucia Ashta
Synopsis Marla’s ancestors saddled her with frizzy red hair, sarcasm on tap, the Gawama last name, and the urge to run from her problems.
Her bloodline was also supposed to guarantee she’d be a powerful witch.
She isn’t, not by a long shot.
Only those with magic are allowed in her hometown. Now that her teenage children are awakening, and sparking enough power to be a fire hazard, she’s headed back.
Even if she isn’t ready. Even if she’s fresh out of divorce court.
Home is where her family is. Her nan is head of the council, and her aunts claim multiple orgasms are the source of their limber joints.
But then Marla and her kids all but blow up the town on day one. And her first boyfriend, the one who broke her heart long before her ex did, seems better than ever.
He has his eye on her…
So does everyone else.
Somehow it’s on her, and the magical creature who won’t get out of her head, to save Gales Haven. Before her former mother-in-law redecorates the town in baby pink … and breaks the centuries-old spell that keeps it safe and hidden.
Perfect Pending is a Paranormal Women’s Fiction novel. If you love snarky stories with women so empowered they’re a force to be reckoned with, then you’ll love Perfect Pending, the first book in the Witches of Gales Haven series.
Excerpt Clyde pointed forward, brushing the unruly hair he inherited from me from his forehead. “What’s that?” My heart sped up. “What’s what?” “Those wavy things in the air.” I exhaled loudly, tension I hadn’t even realized I was carrying relaxing from my shoulders. “Damn.” “Damn?” he and Macy parroted at the same time. “Yeah, damn. You had me freaking out there. Those waves distorting the air are magic. If Clyde can see them, we’re in the clear.” “How come I can’t see them?” Macy asked. “You must just not be looking right,” I said, though I didn’t know how exactly she could be looking wrong. The barrier was ahead of us, in plain sight. Anyone with magic should be able to see it. Even those with weak magic could find the town limits well enough to enter. “I must not be looking right,” Macy repeated, her voice dripping with sarcasm. My favorite. “Right there.” I pointed ahead just as Clyde had. “It’s like heat waves coming off the pavement.” “Only they go all the way up to the sky,” Clyde added, and a bit more tension oozed from me. Macy shook her head. “I don’t see anything. Seriously.” “That’s …not possible,” I said. She crossed her arms and turned the full brunt of her sass toward me: “I’m telling you, there’s nothing there. You think I’m lying or something?” “Of course not. There’s no reason to lie. Actually, there’s never reason to lie to your mother.” I arched my brow at them in my I’m-dead-serious look. Clyde chuckled. Super encouraging. “I don’t know what to tell you, Ma,” Macy said. “I don’t see anything but more pot-holey road.” Clenching my fingers around the steering wheel, I debated what to do. I couldn’t call my family. There were no cell phones or landlines in the entire town, a fact I’d purposefully omitted in my brief rundown to my kids of what was to become their new home. They would’ve fought me to leave even harder if they’d realized their beloved iPhones were about to be rendered useless.
The barrier dome that protected Gales Haven from discovery behaved as a gigantic Faraday cage. No electromagnetic pulses got in, and none got out. The concentration of magic in the community interfered with connections to the outside world. Every time landlines had been attempted, the result was the same: crackle. My options were twofold: I could drive through and hope like hell the protective barrier didn’t zap my daughter. Or I could turn around and abandon all hope that Macy would get the help she needed, guidance she could only get from my family. I’d never heard of someone with magic not seeing the barrier’s signature shimmer. I had no idea what it meant. “When your magic erupts like it’s been doing,” I asked Macy, “what does it feel like?” “Like I stuck my entire hand in an electric socket and shocked the shi—” I gave her my mom glare. “Like I get a monster shock every time,” she finished. Nodding, I nibbled at my lip. “Okay. Good,” I said, mostly to myself. “What’s good?” Macy asked. “If your magic’s too weak, the barrier won’t let you through. I assume it also won’t let you see it. But if it’s shocking you like that, you’ve got enough. For sure.” I hoped. “What about me?” Clyde asked. “Do I have enough?” “If you can see the barrier, we’re good.” I nodded to convince myself that everything would be smooth sailing from here on out, and kept right on nodding to myself when I didn’t fully believe it. Nothing had been particularly easy in my life. Didn’t mean I didn’t kick ass and take names. I did—all day long. I’ve got this. I eased the car back onto the road and crawled toward the shimmer, throwing constant glances at Macy. With her big brown eyes and long, dark straight hair, she didn’t look much like me. Maybe twenty feet from the barrier, I asked, “Still nothing?” “Nope,” she answered, popping the p. “I can’t believe you can’t see it,” Clyde said. “I can see it tons.” “It’s not like that makes you better than me,” Macy retorted right away. He hmmphed, and Macy swiveled in her seat. She gasped. “I see it! When I turned my head, I saw it out of the corner of my eye,” “Good enough for me.” I exhaled loudly and pressed down on the accelerator. I might have left Gales Haven under less than auspicious circumstances, but nineteen years had passed since then. Long enough to discover that in this world—magic or not—we make our own luck. I had no desire to be some shrinking violet. Or the meek wife Devin had expected and tried his darnedest to mold me into. I was returning to town on my own terms—sort of. And not a single woman in my family had ever done anything meekly—or quietly. I gunned the engine, and yelling out “Towanda,”I crossed the shimmering barrier.
Author Lucia Ashta
About the Author Lucía Ashta is the internationally top 100 bestselling author of young adult, new adult, and adult paranormal, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance books, including the series Magical Creatures Academy, Sirangel, Magical Arts Academy, Witching World, and Supernatural Bounty Hunter.
When Lucía isn’t writing, she’s reading, painting, or adventuring. Magic is her favorite, but the action, romance, and quirky characters are what keep her hooked on books
I’ve teamed up with seven amazing young adult authors to bring you some fresh reads to help you escape from reality along with a chance to win an $80 Amazon gift card. See below for information on all the books and details on our giveaway.
I hate your floppy hair and your lopsided grin and those laughing blue eyes that always seem to be laughing at me.
I hate that you’re the most popular guy in school and I’m still the girl who sneezed and spit out her retainer on someone at a middle school dance. It’s just such a cliché.
I hate that I’m being forced to tutor you in English and keep it a secret from everyone. Because otherwise it might put our basketball team’s chances at winning State in jeopardy, and even though I hate you, I love basketball.
I hate that it seems like you’re keeping a secret from me…and that the more time we spend together, the less I feel like I’m on solid ground. Because I’m starting to realize there’s so much more to you than meets the eye. Underneath it all, you’re real.
But what I hate most is that I really don’t hate you at all.
Synopsis Alive, Kate Dunlap breezed through high school with meaningless friendships and relative ease. But after an accidental overdose ends Kate’s human existence, she’s granted the opportunity of a lifetime.
Return to Earth. Save Jake Barton. Prove her worth.
Success guarantees Kate an all access backstage pass to heaven. But as she falls in love for the first time, the reformed superficial social butterfly must risk her chance at redemption to guarantee Jake’s life on Earth.
NOT OKAY, CUPID (High School Heartbreakers Series #1) by Heidi R. Kling
Hazel McCallister loves her life. Perfect grades. Perfect best friend. Perfect boyfriend. Until her perfect boyfriend cheats on her with her perfect best friend. Now Hazel’s in free fall—until her best friend’s brother, Felix, gives her the perfect idea. Reclaim her power by taking revenge on her cheating ex.
Felix James loves his life. Casual relationships. Loads of surfing. He’s as drama-free as they come. But he can’t stand by when his sister steals her best friend’s boyfriend, and the dude insists it was Hazel’s fault. So Felix vows to help turn Hazel into a girl her ex can’t resist—so then she can break his heart.
With an alliance in place, Hazel’s revenge is all but assured. But with each piece of payback, she feels a stronger attraction to Felix, even though revenge will turn her into a girl Felix could never be with. And soon Hazel has to make an impossible choice: revenge…or Felix, the boy who’s stolen her heart.
WARNING! This book contains betrayal, revenge, and that most tempting vice of all, the bad boy you know you can’t have.
Synopsis Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can’t seem to escape her past … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.
Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.
Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the “proper” life she has built for her herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn’t like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future.
ALONG FOR THE RIDE by Rachel Meinke
Title: ALONG FOR THE RIDE Author: Rachel Meinke Publisher: Wattpad Books Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance Release Date: August 10, 2021 Links:Goodreads
Synopsis Imagine if your brother was a Justin Bieber-like pop star? And your parents forced you to go on tour?
Connor Jackson. These two words make every girl go crazy, screaming and begging for a chance to meet him. He’s the world’s biggest pop star, but for seventeen-year-old Katelyn Jackson: he’s just her older brother. When she’s forced to put her competitive soccer dreams on hold to go along on his US summer tour, she’s unimpressed. But when she meets the lead singer of his opening act, everything changes and life on the road takes a whole different turn.
PROM-WRECKED by T.H. Hernandez and Jennifer DiGiovanni
Synopsis Their prom night ended in a jail cell with forty of their closest friends. But that’s hardly the worst thing that happened to them…
When the principal announces prom is canceled this year, senior Riley Hart is determined to save it. Armed with little more than her own enthusiasm, she ends up working closely with Owen Locklear, who is more than completely off-limits. Because he’s the boyfriend of her ex-BFF, Catherine Reed. Still, Owen knows Riley better than almost anyone, and his charming ideas for turning the prom upside-down and backward win Riley over.
Then they lose their deposit. Twice. And book a band full of octogenarians. And don’t even get her started on the act of God that takes down their venue…
Riley will have an unforgettable teenage experience, damn it, if it’s the last thing she does…
Synopsis Amanda gives a whole new meaning to cool…
Amanda Smith is sick of getting chased from town-to-town. So when she lands in tiny Trifle, Arizona, she hopes it’s her last move for a long time. Despite hating the smallness of the town, she settles in and finds a best friend, and even a boyfriend. Normality at its finest.
But for a girl who can shoot snow from her hands and lift a two-ton truck over her head like a bag of feathers—normal is not an option.
The scientists who murdered her mother come barreling into Amanda’s quiet life. She must decide if she’ll run again or stay and fight. The price of either choice might be her life or the lives of those she’s come to love…
Welcome to the book blitz for RISE OF MAGE, the first book in the new adult paranormal romance series, Resurrecting Magic, by USA Today bestselling author, Keary Taylor. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
RISE OF MAGE (Resurrecting Magic Series #1) by Keary Taylor
Synopsis College is hard—classes, homework, bullies. But, being the daughter of renowned professors, I grew up at Alderidge University and was on track to have an easy start to my freshman year. Until I met Nathaniel Nightingale.
Aloof and mysterious, Nathaniel’s hands were covered in scars that told me he had a violent history. He started asking questions about my own, and then dark secrets in our family lines collided after a strange discovery in the library. We found words with power, and they unleashed abilities in the both of us that had been lost to the world.
Turns out, the witch trials weren’t entirely the product of mass hysteria. As far as we can tell, almost every mage was wiped out – killed for their knowledge and their capabilities. And now I have to wonder if my mother’s disappearance is related.
This is dangerous. It’s feels impossible. We have the weight of an entire lost race resting on our shoulders.
But we’ve got this. Together, we’ll bring it all back. Together, we’ll resurrect magic.
Excerpt “Did you know that while the Salem witch trials were the last and only here in America, that there is still official litigation against witchcraft in parts of the Middle East?” With those long fingers of his, Nathaniel opened the book and flipped a few pages. He opened to a section and handed me the book, pointing to a particular passage. My eyes scanned it, searching for what he wanted me to see.
It was a list of the names of the men and women who were killed at the Salem Witch trials. And there, almost to the bottom, was the name of Mare McGregor.
My blood chilled, seeing her name there, listed among the accused and executed. I knew her name. I knew her story, as much of it as had been recorded by her son, my great-something-grandfather, Collin. But it was always so stark, the reality that she’d been hung. Killed.
“The entire world has a history of witch hunts,” Nathaniel said, turning to the bookshelf again. He grabbed another book, opening it to a section. “Egypt and Babylonia.”
He took another book, opening it and laying it on his desk. “Across the Holy Roman Empire.”
My heart rate picked up. Sweat broke out on my palms.
Still, Nathaniel grabbed another book and another. “Russia, India, and even Africa to this day.”
I watched Nathaniel, who stood with his back to me. His shoulders were tight. His head was bent low. His words were growing lower with each one spoken.
Gingerly, almost reverently, he reached for another book. The red binding was worn, and there were no words left. Gently, he grabbed it, and he held it to his chest, his arms carefully wrapped around it.
“It is estimated at around 60,000 people were killed for being witches over the course of three hundred years, in western Europe and central Europe alone. Tens of thousands more in Asia, countless more in Africa. Miraculously, only nineteen here in America.”
There was a deep sound rushing in my ears and it took me a moment to realize it was the sound of my own blood. There was a heavy feeling of anticipation and uncertainty in my gut.
Nathaniel turned back toward me, and in his eyes, I saw something big.
“I cannot confirm that I am a direct descendant, but there was a William Nightingale killed during the Lancashire witch trials in England in 1612.” His eyes were fixed on me, but I could tell, he wasn’t seeing me. He had fallen into history, into ancestry. “There are thousands of stories of accusations and trials and deaths.”
“Yes,” I said, wanting to bring us back to a place that wasn’t so dark. I wanted everything to go back to being light. “And they were the result of mass hysteria and superstition. They wanted something to blame for bad harvests and hard financial times. A lot of innocent people died.”
Nathaniel’s focus returned to me. Three seconds passed, and finally he gave a little nod, but it didn’t seem like a complete act of agreement.
He stepped forward, and gingerly, he laid the book in his arms on the desk. I recognized it then as the one from the library, the first day we had met.
“You said you cannot read Gaelic,” he said in a low voice. He opened the book and looked down at it, gazing at the words with wonder. “But maybe you should try again.”
“Nathaniel, I-” I began to protest. But he looked up at me and begged me with his eyes.
So, I crossed to the desk to stand beside him. I looked down at the words, remembering the silly experience with it before, now weeks ago. I could recognize letters, as I’d concluded before, some of them were of Latin origin. But I couldn’t read any of it.
“I haven’t learned Gaelic in the last few weeks, Nathaniel,” I said, looking over at him. He looked at my face intently, as if he were waiting for something spectacular to happen. “I still can’t read it.”
Gently, he reached for my hand, wrapping his fingers around my wrist. I didn’t know what he was doing, but I decided I trusted him enough to humor him.
He brought my hand forward, and gently, he set my fingertips down on the edge of the pages.
It was as if I’d blinked, and it turned into a different book.
One moment it was in unreadable Gaelic. The next, it was in perfect English.
I blinked, leaning in closer to the book.
A simple matter of will and asking, levitation is one of the simplest forms of magic.
My eyes read the line without a second of hesitation or translation.
I ripped my hand back from the book and took half a step back.
Instantly, the book was once more in a language I could not read.
The room was utterly silent. So quiet it pushed in on my ears and the only sound was my own heartbeat.
I felt Nathaniel’s eyes on me. I felt meaning filling the air. I felt anticipation. But also, momentous confusion.
Cautiously, I reached my hand forward again. Filled with fear and wonder, I touched the edge of the pages.
In levitation, most users have certain affinities, whether they be metal, earth, wood, life forms, etc.
Because it was the scientific method of proving a hypothesis, I removed my hand one last time and the words became unreadable.
I touched the pages, and my eyes relaxed as the words became readable.
“You can read it, too.”
I looked up at Nathaniel and startled when he stood there with his right hand held up, his fingers generally pointed at the ceiling. And floating around his fingertips there were three paper airplanes, swirling, dipping and rising through the air. And that air around his hand had this…shimmer. Almost as if glitter floated in the air. But I couldn’t quite focus on it. And the air seemed more…golden.
“What kind of trick is this, Nathaniel?” I asked, my words hoarse and quiet.
I’d never seen this look in his eyes. They were filled with…excitement. And hope. He shook his head. “It’s not a trick, Margot,” he said. He waved his fingers, and the airplanes set off toward the opposite end of the solarium. Gently, they floated toward his bed, flying in a circle over it. They followed each other in a line, doing a flip in the air and then flying over to the couch, where they dipped down low, soaring beneath it, before they aimed back at Nathaniel. There, they swirled around his fingers once again before they gently floated down to the table and landed on the book. “It’s in my blood. And I believe it’s in yours, too.”
Author Keary Taylor
About the Author KearyTaylor is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels. She grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now splits her time between a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest and Utah, with her husband and their two children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night.
Welcome to the book blitz for HUSH OF STORM & SORROW, a novella between books two and three in the adult fantasy series, Earthsinger Chronicles, by L. Penelope. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
HUSH OF STORM & SORROW (Earthsinger Chronicles #2.5) by L. Penelope
Synopsis While battling a vicious winter storm, Roshon ol-Sarifor, along with his father and twin brother are kidnapped and thrust on a journey that takes them far from home—leaving his sister Jasminda believing them dead. Their captors claim that the Queen Who Sleeps is behind their abduction—She wants them to reclaim a magical object hidden in a deadly part of the ocean. But a violent encounter with a gang of pirates forces the ol-Sarifors to seek refuge on a smuggler’s ship, where Roshon meets a girl unlike any he’s encountered before.
Ani Summerhawk never met a risk she didn’t take. But with a price on her head, she and her older brother need to make a quick getaway from a deal gone bad. Every ship in the sea is seeking the reward for returning her to a ruthless captain who believes she’s his property. But when her brother agrees to transport three passengers to a dangerous destination, Ani’s heart is put on the line for the first time.
The two families battle a treacherous sea, greedy sailors, and a powerful mage as they struggle to retrieve and secure the ancient artifact. And the attraction between a high-spirited girl and a cautious boy comes to a head when they discover that their biggest fight just might be with each other.
Set two years before the events of Song of Blood & Stone, this action-packed novella answers the question of what happened to Jasminda’s family and sets the stage for the events in Cry of Metal & Bone (Earthsinger Chronicles, book 3).
Excerpt #2 Tai walked around the back of the sample crate they’d brought and levered it onto the rolling dolly. She knew just how heavy it was, but he made it look effortless. Another thing Father had taught them: make everything appear easy. A good negotiator is a blank slate—no emotions, no challenges, no problems. A deal was just a deal you could take or leave, as far as the other party was concerned.
They were halfway to the exit when Bor spoke up. “How about another offer for you, Summerhawk?” A counter had been expected. It was all a part of the bargaining process, after all, but something about Bor’s tone made the hair on the back of Ani’s neck stand up.
“And what’s that?” Tai called without looking back.
“You take my price and I don’t tell Noa about his apprentice being here with you instead of on his ship, as contracted.”
Tai whipped around, anger flashing in his eyes. He didn’t even look at Ani before his own blade was out, ready in his hands. The four men chuckled, and a sick feeling hit Ani’s gut. She’d been itching for a fight, but something wasn’t right here. The fact that these men knew about her mother’s deal for her meant a bounty had gone up. They’d known it was a possibility when she hadn’t shown up for her apprenticeship but hadn’t thought that Mother would go so far. That’s the last time Ani would underestimate the woman’s ruthlessness. The price of the cargo Tai possessed was nothing in comparison to the benefits of being in both Noa’s and Mother’s good graces. Besides, Noa would pay handsomely for the retrieval of his property—her.
“Ani, go. Now,” Tai said from the side of his mouth.
“You can’t take them all alone,” she replied. Bor’s three friends were tall, though none as wide as their leader. Their builds were similar to Tai’s, lean and ropy from living on boats most of their lives.
“As your captain, that’s an order,” he hissed.
“And as my brother?” she asked, not taking her eyes off their adversaries.
Tai growled low in his throat as the men approached. Between them lay a jumble of boxes and crates, leaving no clear shot for any of her blades.
She was a member of her brother’s crew and should really obey his order, but she was also a Summerhawk. Ani shook her head and planted her feet. “Raunian women don’t run. We fight,” she said through gritted teeth.
About the Author L. Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of fantasy and paranormal romance. Equally left and right-brained, she studied filmmaking and computer science in college and sometimes dreams in HTML. After living on both coasts, she settled in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents. Sign up for new release information and giveaways on her website: http://www.lpenelope.com
Entangled Lovestruck and author Laura Brown are revealing the cover to MATZAH BALL SURPRISE, a stand-alone adult contemporary romantic comedy, releasing March 16, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, preorder links, and an exclusive excerpt.
Synopsis This Passover is starting to feel like the ten plagues might be coming back to haunt them before the weekend is over…one hilarious misstep after the next.
Gaby Fineberg just wants to get through Passover Seder without her “well meaning” family playing matchmaker. She needs a date, just for one simple meal—that includes singing, the history of her forefathers, and not one bit of yeast. The hot guy at her gym would be perfect. He probably hates bread, anyway, with a body like that. But when she finally works up the nerve to ask him…he doesn’t hear a word she said.
Levi Miller is deaf and happily single. Initially, he doesn’t know why this beautiful woman is talking to him, but it’s clear she needs help—and suddenly so does he. In a very complicated situation, Levi finds a simple solution. Gaby will pretend to be his new girlfriend to bail him out, and he’ll return the favor. But he didn’t bargain for a family dinner quite like this one…
Excerpt He picked up the paper and wrote one letter: A, then pointed to her hand and his, which was back in the shape.
“A?” she asked, like an idiot, but… oh! The alphabet!
He tapped his nose then took her hand again, rearranging her fingers to be straight, with her thumb across her palm.
He was teaching her the alphabet. And since each touch of his hand to hers made her all tingly, she had to concentrate extra hard. This would work, if she could pay attention. They needed some way to communicate beyond writing, otherwise what would her family think?
She knew what they would think, the same thing Riley thought. The same thing the low pulse deep in her belly wanted, that this relationship was purely sexual. But a sexual relationship wasn’t what one brought home for Passover.
A half hour later she still didn’t know the difference between D and F, and she kept messing P up, but she had the gist of it. Sort of. All the mistakes frustrated her to no end, but Levi sat, relaxed shoulders, smile on his face, as if this were a tranquil evening at home. And his mellow state was contagious.
Or maybe that was the wine.
He pointed to her and then made a motion with his hands, “L-E-A-R-N G-O-O-D.” He formed the letters painfully slow, and it took a few repeats, but she amazed herself by following.
When she realized what he meant by those two words, she blushed—blushed! Acting like she hadn’t had a compliment in ages. Deep inside she knew it had been a while—a long while thanks to Tom—but not enough to warrant blushing.
She thought of the alphabet and the shapes and her fingers and made her first attempt at putting a word together. “T-G-S-N-P Y-O-V.”
It took another ten minutes for him to get her to correctly spell “thank you.”
Author Laura Brown
About the Author After spending her childhood coming up with new episodes to her favorite sitcoms instead of sleeping, Laura Brown decided to try her hand at writing and never looked back. A hopeless romantic, she married her high school sweetheart. They live in Massachusetts with their two cats and son. Laura’s been hard of hearing her entire life but didn’t start learning ASL until college, when her disability morphed from an inconvenience to a positive part of her identity. At home the closed captioning is always on, lights flash with the doorbell, and hearing aids are sometimes optional.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE PLAN, the third book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Creek Water, by Whitney Dineen. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE PLAN (Creek Water Series #3) by Whitney Dineen
Synopsis Bead shop owner Amelia Frothingham has been keeping a secret from everyone she knows.
She pretends to be the ultimate care-free bohemian chick, but the truth is, she’s the world’s biggest control freak. Much to the delight of her Southern family, Amelia’s life appears to be smooth sailing. That is, until bad boy rockstar Huck Wiley mysteriously blows into town like a spring tornado.
Like every other woman under eighty with a pulse, Amelia’s intrigued. So when Huck starts showing up in her shop with flirtation in mind, she finds herself getting sucked into the rock god vortex. But her previous attempts at long-distance love have always ended on a sour note, so Amelia has vowed never to repeat the experience.
What Amelia doesn’t know is that Huck has a secret of his own, and he has no intention of returning to Los Angeles before he’s good and ready.
Will Huck stay in town, scattering the beads Amelia has finally gotten sorted? Or will he head back to his glamorous life and take her last chance at spontaneity and love along with him?
Find out in this deliciously funny romcom about love and life in Creek Water, Missouri!
Excerpt #3 The band starts driving a rhythm which almost brings down the house. Gizzy yells to be heard over the roaring crowd, “This here is called ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’ by Mr. Tom Petty.” Then he motions to our side of the stage and introduces, “And this here is my best friend and co-dreamer, Huck Wiley.”
Over seventeen thousand people scream in sheer ecstasy that Huck is going to perform tonight. I don’t think I know seventeen people who be more than marginally happy to see me. Yet, the excitement these folks are experiencing transcends all words. If they’re feeling a fraction of what I’m feeling, it’s a high no drug could ever match. I have never witnessed such a scene, and I expect I never will again.
Maggie is jumping up and down beside me like she’s got springs in her shoes, but I stand riveted to the ground in awe of the sheer power these two men possess.
Three women from the front row charge the stage but are held back by security as Huck picks up his guitar and joins his friend. They perform the whole song while the crowd dances and sings along, celebrating this moment in time. The band plays song after song together, some Gizzy’s and some Huck’s. Their voices are gritty and rough while at the same time melodious and full of emotion.
I feel like I’m in an alternate universe where everyone is pure energy. There are no boundaries holding us in. We’re like one massive heart, beating together in a giant expression of joy. The sheer intensity of this experience is life-altering for me. I’m not afraid of the crowd. If anything, I’m feeding off of their exuberance.
After a bunch of songs, Huck runs offstage and takes a water bottle that Maggie hands to him. His chest is heaving and he’s dripping with sweat. He drinks the whole thing down in one gulp. Then he picks up his daughter and kisses her on the forehead before putting her back on her feet.
Then he turns to me.
Huck Wiley kisses me like I’m the air and he’s been underwater for five days. He consumes me and I let him. I couldn’t tell you what day of the week it is or what planet I’m on. All I know is that my essence leaves my body to mingle with his. It is the best, most intoxicating experience in the whole wide world.
I vaguely hear Gizzy say, “If Huck would come back on stage and quit kissing the beautiful Amelia, we could keep this concert going.” The crowd screams their approval and the sound forces my eyes to open. I follow the gaze of the audience. Huck and I are the focus of all three Jumbotrons, visible to every single one of the seventeen thousand fans inhabiting this building. I push him on stage and take a giant step back to remove myself from view.
The concert could have lasted two hours or two days, I can’t tell which. All I know is that my head is spinning. Never in a million years could I have ever imagined a night like tonight. There’s no way Creek Water, Missouri can prepare a girl for the magnitude of a rock star’s life.
The band performs seven encores, once again taking turns between Gizzy’s songs and Huck’s. On the last one, Gizzy says, “Okay folks, this is it. We’re going out the same way we came in.” They play “Runnin’ Down a Dream” one more time.
This night is a dream. I could pinch myself until I was black and blue to verify the reality of it, but it can’t be real. There’s no way. How does Huck do this night after night for weeks on end with only a few short months before doing it all over again? How can he survive the avalanche of adoration that’s heaved upon him?
About the Author Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order. Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.
Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.
Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.
Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.
Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.
Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017
Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017
Welcome to the book blitz for DANGEROUS, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Wicked Hearts, by Sara Cates. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Murph They call me dangerous. Which is fine by me. It keeps everyone out.
Then some new girl walks into my shop and turns everything upside down. It started out physical until she becomes the one person standing between me and the future of my business.
Now this mysterious new girl has me right where she wants me—physically, mentally…and emotionally.
Savannah I’ve been burned before. Now I look out for myself.
The last thing I expect is to inherit a tattoo shop run by the world’s scariest—and sexiest—business owner. If I were smart, I would cut him out and use the money to start a new life for myself—one free from the demons in my past. But Murph’s hard eyes and gentle touch do something to me. It’s like he can see something no one else can, and no matter how hard I try, he won’t let me walk away.
If I want to save myself, I have to ruin him. And to ruin him feels far more dangerous than what I’m running from.
Dangerous is the second swoon-worthy installment in the Wicked Hearts series. These stories can be read as standalones or together. Warning: this fast-paced romance might leave you breathless and a touch corrupted.
Excerpt #2 “So what’s your story, huh?” He stalks in, grabbing an apple from the bowl on the counter. Leaning against the granite, his thick forearms folded in front of him, he takes a bite and glares at me with a harsh grin.
I don’t answer him.
“I’m being serious.”
“Oh really?” I answer, coyly. “I had you pegged for Mr. Comedy.”
“I know nothing about your past, where you came from, what brought you to Wickett. You might as well be my foster sister.” He takes a bite of his apple, and something intense floods through my bloodstream at the way he bites and grins as if he were thinking of me between his fingers.
“Ugh, please don’t say that. We are not even close to being related.”
“You have a story, and I want to hear it.”
For a minute, I consider telling him something real—but then I remember his threat to me just an hour ago, and I want him to know nothing about me. Especially since our relationship sits in this gray area.
“I moved into town, started looking for a job, and found Hazel. What else is there to know?”
“What are you running from?”
My eyes shoot up to his face, fixing on those bright green irises that seem to be pulling me in. Is my story so written on my face that he can tell I’m running from something…or someone?
“I’m not running from anything,” I answer, tossing the kitchen towel against the counter.
“You show up at my shop, throw yourself at me like you haven’t been touched in years. Clearly you have a secret, something you’re hiding. And I’ll figure it out.”
He stands from his position bent over the counter and tosses the half-eaten apple into the garbage. Then he marches toward me, keeping his gaze on my face, the intensity making me shudder. Without stopping, he presses his body against mine, pinning me to the counter.
Part of me wants to push him away, and another part wants to grab his face and wrap my legs around his waist, losing all abandon in this intensity.
He leans down, bringing his face closer to mine. I ready myself for a kiss, leaning my head back and giving it a slight tilt.
His lips whisper delicately close to mine. “All I can think about is look on your face while you were trembling on my lap.”
My breath hitches in my throat. I can smell the sweetness of the apple on his breath, and I inhale it, desperate to consume him in any way that I can.
My body completely betrays me as I wait for him to kiss me, and it’s like I’ve forgotten why I should not put my trust in this new stranger who suddenly ambushed my new life.
Suddenly I hear the sound of water behind me, and I turn my gaze to see him running his hands in the water, one arm on each side of me so that he’s practically hugging me. His stare doesn’t waver for a second.
All too soon, he pulls away and flicks his wet hands toward me. The cold water against my face feels like ice, doing nothing to cool the red hot anger.
“I’ll figure you out eventually,” he calls, and then he’s gone.
Welcome to the book blitz/special promo for THE CURSED CROWN,the first book in the epic fantasy series, The Darker Woods, by USA Today bestselling author May Sage and Alexi Blake, releasing December 1, 2020. See below for information on the book, preorder links, the exclusive excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR. For a limited time, you can preorder the eBook for just $0.99!
THE CURSED CROWN (The Darker Woods Series #1) by May Sage and Alexi Blake
Synopsis My lips hitch up an inch as the hulking, slender man bends down to whisper in my ear. “A divided kingdom without a leader is weak. You will fall. You will fail. You will all die without my kindness, little girl.” He expects me to falter, shiver, and drop my gaze to the ground like the flock of gentry buzzing around him. My eyes widen in feigned dismay. “Kindness? Why did no one think to tell me you had any?” I have to allow him that one concession: Rydekar is fun to tease. He doesn’t even smile. I don’t think anyone has taunted him. “I have none. You will beg nonetheless.” I just may, in his dreams. And in my nightmares.
No one was ever born less suited to ruling than Rissa, the thorn of the seelie realm—a half-fae so wild she’s spent the better part of a hundred years in the woods.
For all her flaws, she’s the last of the high court bloodline, and the southern king seems to think that’s reason enough to slap a crown on her feathered head. He needs her to unify the seelie forces. She needs him to forget about that nonsense.
In an effort to aid her people without condemning herself to a lifetime of misery, she sets off on a journey to find the one person with a stronger claim to the throne than hers: the cursed prince. Sealed in the mountains of the Wilderness, under many spells, the heir of the first seelie queen is the only royal strong enough to protect the fae lands from their immortal invaders.
Surviving the untamed tribes and awakening a thousand-year-old prince seem a lot easier than ruling an entire kingdom where everyone hates her very nature.
And her choices won’t come without consequences.
Excerpt The first time the high king sent hunters after me, I terrified them, drowning them in the depths of their worst nightmare. I can get rather bored in the forest, and their fear entertained me for a day or two.
The second time, I was less kind. Instead of a handful of men, he sent two dozen. Half returned home, none of them whole.
I am no simple beast foreign kings can summon at their leisure. I am no weakling to bow to the will of another court.
I am a nightmare.
Half a nightmare, if one wishes to be technical about it. No one does, however. The folk like to conveniently forget that I am part gentry.
Half a nightmare. Half a child of the Court of Sunlight. Entirely wild.
I didn’t expect a third assault. I should have. I may have met Rydekar Bane only once, but it’s enough to understand what kind of king ascended to the throne of Tenebris.
A single rider enters my woods this time. Just one man on a pale horse. Yet I bristle. The stems growing inside my veins, sprouting out of my pores, crawl along my arm, protectively wrapping me under their thorns. I feel the feathers on my shoulders flutter.
One rider on a pale horse, yet I am afraid.
It isn’t in my nature to fear anything. My instincts aren’t prepared for it. Am I to flee like prey? Am I to remain to await my fate? Prepare to fight?
I’m so lost I end up doing nothing at all. I’m still perched atop the sturdiest branch of the ash tree I’ve claimed as my home when he appears, standing alone.
Somehow, I never expected that he’d come in person. Not here.
The first time we met, it was in the dazzling light of the Crystal Keep, right at the core of Court of Sunlight. I was but a child, but already, I knew a predator when I saw one. I knew a fellow monster, too.
A hundred years have passed, and nothing has changed at all. He wears layers of black, fashioned in a parody of a court outfit. He cannot fool me. His clothes are light and easy to move in, yet reinforced with spells and iron casts. This is a set of armor if I’ve ever seen one.
His hair falls in waves, coating him in a golden halo. Of the number of weapons in his arsenal, his beauty is perhaps the most insidious. From the way he smiles at me as he saunters, there’s no doubt that he knows how to make use of it.
“I see you’re tired of sending underlings for me to play with,” I say lightly, eyes closed.
Rydekar chuckles. “They tell me you’re a tricky beast to hunt, precious. I thought I’d give it a try. I rather like the chase.”
I don’t doubt it. “What do you want, Bane?”
I will not call him king, highness, or anything of the sort. His dominion ends at the border of my woods.
Rydekar is lord in the south, on unseelie territory. The Darker Woods are on seelie land, and answer to no one.
No one except me.
“What does any fae want?”
“A beating heart for dinner? Endless, boundless entertainment? No, I know.” I glance down at him. “Better clothes. Well, I don’t share my tailor. Find your own.”
His laugh is music, another trap meant to endear him to me.
“Power, Rissa. I want more power.”
I roll my eyes. “And you’ve come here to seek it?” I gesture around me, to the peaceful clearing.
“Come down, precious.” His voice is sickly sweet, wrapping around me like a cloak.
He aims to seduce me, and if I were any weaker, he might manage, too.
Weaker, or stupider.
“I’m quite content up here, thank you, Bane.”
He sighs with a feigned sadness that makes me smile. “I would prefer not to be forced to make you obey me, Rissa, precious.”
I laughs so hard I nearly fall off the branch. “Make me?”
No one has ever made me do anything, not as a child, and certainly not now. Some tried. Pixie nurses, imp maids and an endless stream of tutors hired to bleed the wilderness out of me.
That I now live alone in the woods shows just how proficient they were in their endeavor.
“Make you,” he repeats, ever so softly. “I would prefer for us to have a partnership, if we could. But I’ll get what I’m here for either way.”
“Will you, now?” I practically purr.
He’s so very delightful. I haven’t had this much fun in an age.
I do leap down from the tree, if only because I want him to regret asking for it.
He saw me as a child in the Court of Sunlight, back when I hid the nightmare within me. There was only a hint of me showing through, back then.
Now, I’m another creature.
In the light of the moon, my complexion is sky blue, like that of a drowned corpse. The feathers grow right out of my shoulders, like the twisted twigs on my arms and legs.
Back then, I wore long sleeves, hiding what I am as best I could. I’m dressed in a midnight spider silk so fine he might even see through it in this light.
Rydekar’s violet eyes take me in, from my dirty, bare feet to my eyes, stopping on every feather, every thorn.
Then he smiles, takes one step forward, and snatches my hand before I can recoil. “There you are, precious.”
I’m so stunned I let go of my power, and feel the nightmare drain out of my skin. My hand is as warm as his, and has returned to the shade it dons when I’m not defending myself. It’s just like his. The twigs and flowers have retreated back inside my veins, and my feathers still.
In this moment, I hate him. He’s taken my shield without any effort.
“What do you want?” I repeat. This time, it sounds like a threat.
Rydekar is done smiling. He’s dropped the pretense, his eyes flashing with a raw need. I am getting a glimpse of the monster beneath his mask. “You,” he tells me. “Where you belong.”
I snatch my hand back.
He dares? He dares!
I’m about to lash out, pushing every drop of magic in my blood to maim him.
He concludes his insult. “On the throne of Denarhelm.”
“You’re a spineless, worthless waste of space.”
He shrugs. “I’ve heard worse.”
“Get out of my woods. I’ll gladly flay you alive if you stay.” And I mean every word, though killing him here would start a war.
“Unlikely, but I’d enjoy your attempt.”
Attempt? I could—and would—end him with little effort. I imagine freezing him in place and extracting every drop of pain and agony from his mind.
“Alfheimr is raising an army, Rissa. Now that the strongest among us have left, we’re vulnerable. Hundreds of thousands of men are arming themselves, and they’ll march on your kingdom first. It’s easy pickings. I could claim it tomorrow if I so wished.”
“There is no throne of Denarhelm,” I reply, gritting my teeth.
The seelie kingdom has long been divided into the thirteen minor courts. The last high queen ruling over them all left the throne vacant for good reasons. While I do have her blood in my veins, even suggesting that I could claim it is preposterous—and cruel.
The Court of Sunlight didn’t even want me to take my father’s place upon his passing. I hadn’t harbored any desire to rule, but the rejection had cut deep.
The thirteen courts would never bow to me.
I could make them, if I so wish. But I don’t.
My lips hitch up an inch at the thought of forcing the thirteen courts to their knees.
I’m so lost in my fantasy, I don’t see the hulking, slender man bending down to me until he whispers in my ear. “A divided kingdom without a leader is weak. You will fall. You will fail. You will all die without my kindness, little girl.”
He expects me to falter, shiver, and drop my gaze to the ground, like the flock of gentry buzzing around him.
My eyes widen in feigned dismay. “Kindness? Why did no one think to tell me you had any?”
I have to allow him this one concession: Rydekar is fun to tease.
He doesn’t even smile. I don’t think anyone has taunted him. “I have none. You will beg nonetheless.”
I just may, in his dreams. And in my nightmares.
“Get out of here,” I repeat.
This time, to my surprise, he complies, walking back to his silver-white warhorse. “I’ve said my piece. When the time is right, send word. I’ll arrange for your coronation.”
I’m confused and out of sorts. He’s leaving, after all this?
I don’t understand him. What would he have to gain if I do as he wishes? Wanting a stronger enemy in the north doesn’t make sense.
He looks back at me, and smiles one last time. “You were right, you know. I’ll steal your tailor.”
That’s a promise and a threat.
I don’t doubt he knows I make my own clothes. There’s no one else around, and nothing much else to do with my time.
Without another word, the infuriating high king of the unseelie is gone.
Author May Sage
About the Author May Sage is a USA Today bestselling romance writer dabbling in different genres, although the readers who follow every series know they’re all related.
When she isn’t writing, she spends her time with her German Shepherd, her two Savannahs, and her black rescue cat, in England. She loves reading, ballet, running, and cake. Mostly, cake.
Follow her on Facebook or join her newsletter for the latest update.
Welcome to the book blitz for WHERE WE BELONG, a stand-alone adult contemporary, by Shann McPherson. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis An emotional, compelling page-turner from your next romance obsession, Shann McPherson, about the power of friendship and finding love where you least expect it.
When Alice ‘Murph’ Murphy’s beloved mother died, she promised to keep the family bakery in Graceville, Georgia afloat—even if it meant letting her high-school sweetheart, Nash Harris, go. For years, Murph has been biding her time, waiting for Nash to come back for her.
So when he strolls into Piece O’ Cake, Murph’s heart skips a beat—until he hands her an invitation to his wedding… There are painful secrets in both their pasts that only the two of them share, and Murph can’t bear the thought of Nash belonging to someone else.
There’s only one thing Murph can think of to do: fake a relationship with local bar owner and old friend Harley Shaw to remind Nash of what he’s losing, and win him back for good.
Nash is Murph’s best friend, a vivid reminder of her childhood and all the things she’s lost—but the more time Murph and Harley spend together, the more the lines between real and pretend begin to blur. Can Murph choose between the one who got away and the one who never left—and heal her aching heart?
Excerpt #2: And, that’s when I spot him, behind the bar, serving a line of customers waiting at the counter. For a moment, I just stand there, on the spot, watching him. The way he moves so effortlessly, reaching for glasses up above, and bottles behind him, pouring shots like some professional mixologist as he laughs casually with his customers like they’re his very best friends. I clamp my bottom lip between my teeth as I continue staring at him from across the bar.
He looks good tonight. His wayward curls are contained by a backwards End Zone cap, his strong jaw shadowed with a smattering of stubble. His dimples pull into his cheeks as he laughs at something someone says to him, adding a hint of boyish charm to his already charming exterior. His Adam’s apple bobs in his throat with every word he says, and the tattoos inked into the smooth skin over his forearms seem to dance with every movement of his strong hands and long fingers. I’m not normally attracted to tattoos, but the longer I find myself unable to look away from him, the more they taunt me, hypnotizing me. I have to force myself to snap my gaze away, my eyes widening at my own thoughts.
Oh no. Please no. This isn’t right. It can’t be. Despite the dread sitting at the bottom of my belly, I convince myself to continue ahead and, by the time I come to stop at the counter, I find Harley right there, smiling down at me with a grin that only causes his green eyes to sparkle deviously like he knows a secret, and that’s literally the last thing I need to see right now. I shake my head in an attempt to push him and his beautiful eyes to the very back of my priorities.
“You told Emma?” I hiss over the counter, placing the empty pitcher on the bar.
“Yeah.” He nods, looking at me with a crease of confusion pulling between his brows. “Isn’t that the point of this whole thing? To…tell people?” He shrugs a shoulder.
“Yeah, I guess.” I sigh, not realizing until this very moment just how soft and full his lips seem to be up close. Again, I shake my head at my own thoughts. “But Emma? She’s your…your smash buddy. You said so yourself.”
Author Shann McPherson
About the Author With big dreams of being a published author since she was an eleven-year-old girl writing Beverly Hills 90210 fan fiction before fan fiction was even a thing, Shann McPherson has been writing angsty, contemporary romances for most of her thirty-something years.
Living in sunny Queensland, Australia, when she’s not writing Shann enjoys making memories with her husband and cheeky toddler son, drinking wine, and singing completely off-key to One Direction’s entire discography.
Welcome to the book blitz for DINGO, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Devil’s Fury MC, by Harley Wylde. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Meiling – All I’ve ever known was pain. My life has been far from a fairytale. No parents. No friends. Just an endless nightmare that I can’t wake from. Until the day a man offered me his hand and promised to keep me safe. I’ve never trusted anyone before, but there’s something about him. Maybe it’s insane, but I know he won’t hurt me, and when he puts his arms around me, for the first time in my life I feel loved.
Dingo – I’ve always had a soft spot for women and kids in trouble. One look at Meiling, and I knew I had to protect her at any cost. The beautiful girl with the wounded soul. After all she’s suffered, all I want is to make her smile, make her feel secure, and give her a chance to find happiness. But first, I need to take out the men and women responsible for hurting her. It might get ugly, and messy, but they don’t call me Dingo for nothing. I’m a crazy bastard and I won’t stop until she’s safe. I just didn’t count on falling for her along the way.
Warning: Meiling’s past isn’t pretty. Dingo and Meiling’s story deals with issues of human trafficking, bureaucratic corruption, and vigilante justice. This book contains darker themes that may trigger some readers.
Excerpt #2: I slipped Dingo’s shirt over my head, smoothing it as it fell to my knees. Even though I didn’t have on panties underneath, it was still the most covered I’d been for as long as I could remember. I didn’t see a hamper so I tossed the towels over the top of the shower so they would dry, then cautiously opened the bathroom door. I could hear the TV going and saw a pair of booted feet propped on the coffee table, even though I couldn’t see the rest of him. Scurrying into my room, I shut the door, then stared in amazement.
Sacks. Lots of sacks. They were just from one of those twenty-four-hour stores, but as I peeked into each one, I saw clothes, shoes, and other things that had to be for me. They were all in my size, and Dingo hadn’t mentioned his sister would be visiting. Since they were in the room he’d said I could use, it had to mean they were mine, right? Tears gathered in my eyes. I ripped into the package of panties and slipped on a pair, loving the way they actually covered my ass. The only two pair I owned were thongs and I hated them. The bras were a soft material that wasn’t the least bit transparent, and the clothes…
A sob built in my throat, but I tried so hard to hold it in. Jeans, modest-looking shirts, and shoes that were made for comfort and not to entice men. I lost the battle and tears streaked my cheeks as I cried so hard my throat and chest hurt. Booted steps came running toward the room, and Dingo must have slid to a stop just outside. He didn’t barge in, at least not right away. As my cries grew louder, he pushed the door open and rushed inside.
“Mei? Honey, what’s wrong?” He dropped to his knees next to me.
“I-I-I…” I couldn’t even tell him why I was crying. I just gestured to the bags, then threw my arms around him and held on.
Dingo held me, letting me soak his shirt with my tears, and he gently rubbed my back. Eventually, I got myself under control and took a few shuddering breaths. He rested his cheek on the top of my head, just holding me. Not once did his hands try to roam somewhere inappropriate. Beau was the last person to hold me like this, and I’d only been fourteen. I hadn’t realized until now just how much I missed it. My foster dad’s version of affection was vastly different.
“When’s the last time someone bought something for you?” he asked.
“My foster parents gave me only what they were required to purchase, and the clothes were never like this. No one’s ever been this nice to me.”
“They aren’t much, Mei, but I wanted to make sure you had enough clothes to get by for at least a few days. You’re welcome to use the washer and dryer off the kitchen whenever you need to, and we can always get a few more outfits.”
I fisted his shirt and lifted my head. The concern in his eyes, the gentle way he held me, it was all overwhelming. Men had taken what they wanted from me ever since I’d hit puberty. Not once had I ever kissed someone just because I wanted to, but right now, this very moment, I wanted to kiss Dingo. Before I could second-guess myself, I pressed my lips to his. He tensed and drew back, his gaze searching.
“Mei, you don’t have to do that.”
“I know,” I said. “I did it because I wanted to.”
There was a moment of hesitation in the way he held himself, the look in his eyes, and then he leaned toward me. This time he kissed me. Dingo threaded his fingers into my hair and held me as his mouth devoured mine. I melted against him, feeling desired for the first time in my life. Cherished. Men had wanted me before, but they’d wanted to take not give.
Dingo broke the kiss with a groan and pulled away.
Author Harley Wylde
About the Author Harley is the international bestselling author of the Dixie Reapers and Devil’s Boneyard series. When Harley is writing, her motto is the hotter the better. Off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place.
HarleyWylde is the “wilder” side of award-winning science fiction/paranormal romance author Jessica Coulter Smith. For fans of Gay Erotic Fantasy Romance, Harley/Jessica also writes as Dulce Dennison. Check out Harley‘s other books, and read some random facts about the author, at harleywylde.com.
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Welcome to the book blitz for LINGERIE WARS, the first book in the adult contemporary romance/romantic comedy series, Invertary, by Janet Elizabeth Henderson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
LINGERIE WARS (Invertary Series #1) by Janet Elizabeth Henderson
Synopsis Englishman Lake Benson loaned his life savings to his dippy sister so that she could buy a shop. It was a big mistake. His sister has been steadily flushing his money down the drain – and now he wants it back. Years in the special forces taught Lake that if you want a job done, do it yourself. So he steps in to make the shop profitable, sell it and get his money back. The only problem is, the business is an underwear shop. And all Lake knows about underwear can be summed up in how fast he can unsnap a bra. To make matters worse, the tiny highland town already has a lingerie shop. A successful one, run by an ex-lingerie model. A very gorgeous ex-lingerie model, who’s distracting him from his mission more than he’d like to admit. If Lake wants to get his savings back, and get out of Scotland, he only has one option – wipe out the competition.
Kirsty Campbell has spent years rebuilding her life after she woke up in hospital in Spain to find her body scarred, and her ex-fiance had run off with all her money. The last thing she needs is a cocky, English soldier-boy trying to ruin all she has left. Her home town is only too happy to help her fight the latest English invasion, although Lake is beginning to sway them with his sex appeal and cut price knickers. With the help of her mother, and the retired ladies of Knit or Die, Kirsty sets about making sure that her shop is the last one standing in Invertary.
It’s Scotland versus England as you’ve never seen it before. It’s lingerie war.
Excerpt #2 Kirsty jumped as the man stepped into view. There were men, and then there was this man. He was the kind of man that made the rest of the male population seem feminine. It was everything about him—his broad shoulders, his square jaw, the tiny dimple in his left cheek, the intense look in his blue eyes. Everything screamed man with a capital M.
“What exactly do you know about the underwear business?” she demanded.
He took a step towards her. Kirsty took a tiny step backwards. He noticed, and his eyes crinkled slightly at the corners.
“I know that women buy the stuff for men, and I’m a man. That gives me the advantage. They’ll be queuing up to get my advice.”
Rainne jerked to attention. “You’re staying? You plan to run the business.”
“You got a problem with that, little sister?” he asked, but his eyes never left Kirsty.
“You know what I think?” Kirsty said, saving Rainne from having to answer.
“I’m not sure I care what you think, but go ahead anyway.”
Kirsty hands fell to her side and balled into fists. It had been a long time since she’d felt the urge to thump someone.
“I think you’re in over your head,” she said. “You obviously don’t have a clue about running a shop or selling lingerie, and you’ve just insulted the only expert in town who was willing to help you.”
His lips twitched slightly, giving the impression that he was going to smile, but nothing happened. His face was still impassive.
“Do you know what I think?” he said. “I think you’re scared of a little competition.”
Kirsty barked out a laugh that surprised her more than him. “You’re not competition. This”—she pointed to Betty’s handmade sign—”is not competition. There’s no way you could be a threat to me, or to my business.”
“We’ll see. Prepare to shut up shop.”
Kirsty pursed her lips as she felt her cheeks burn. “That is incredibly arrogant of you.”
“Or honest. It’s obvious there’s only room in this town for one lingerie shop. I’d rather it was mine.”
“If you think I’m going to let you run me out of town then you’re deluded. This is my home. You’re the foreigner here.”
He rocked back on his heels as he thrust his hands into the pockets of his jeans. Although there was nothing in his manner to give him away, she got the distinct impression he was enjoying himself.
“Ah, that old chestnut. We hate the English. The English are the root of all our problems. Blah, blah, blah. Scotland needs to get over itself. You lost. We won. We own you now. There’s no point being bitter.”
Kirsty reeled before blustering nonsense.
His eyes sparkled at her. “That’s right. The English are here to stay.”
“That’s it,” she said at last. “You’ve crossed the line.” She turned to Rainne with a tight smile. “I’m sorry, honey, but I can’t help you now. You’re stuck with him.” She hooked her thumb towards the brother. “You have no idea how much I feel for you.”
“I get that a lot,” Rainne mumbled.
“As for you,” she told the English imbecile, “bring it on. You don’t stand a chance.”
“So, last shop standing?”
“It’ll be mine.”
“I like a healthy imagination in a woman.”
“You’re going to regret annoying me this much.”
At last he grinned. Kirsty felt her world shift as something unseen pulled her towards him.
“It’s on, then?” he said with delight.
“It’s on.” She stepped back, feeling slightly disorientated.
“Great.” He nodded. “War. This I do know.”
“Ah, but you don’t know lingerie war,” Kirsty said. “Sit back and watch, soldier boy. You’re about to have your backside handed to you.”
About the Author Janet is a Scot who moved to New Zealand fifteen years ago. Among other things, she’s been an artist, a teacher, a security guard at a castle, a magazine editor, and a cleaner in a drop in center for drug addicts (NOT the best job!). She now writes full-time and is working on her 19th book. Her books have won several awards, including the Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery and suspense. When she isn’t living in her head, she raises two kids, one husband, and several random animals. She survives on chocolate and caffeine.
Welcome to the book blitz for MARRIED TO THE EARL, the third book in the adult historical romance series,The Wallflower Brides, by USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Holt. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
MARRIED TO THE EARL (The Wallflower Brides Series #3) by Samantha Holt
Synopsis Going from vivacious society belle to widow wallflower can leave a lady wanting…
Joanna Lockhart is trapped in a mire of grief and boredom. Still recovering from the sudden death of her husband, the beautiful widow is tired of being treated like a fragile porcelain doll. But when a severe illness nearly claims her life, Joanna finds the perfect outlet for her natural vitality—a charity.
Unfortunately, her sudden interest in all things philanthropic is marred by the presence of one Ambrose Creassey. For some unknown reason, this handsome cad has decided to cast aside his reputation as a rake, and take up the mantel of charitable patron.
As the Earl of Newhaven, Ambrose has enjoyed his life of delicious debauchery. But recently the earl has hungered for more noble pursuits. A charity seems to be the perfect outlet for his newfound desire to be more than just a rake. And of course, he doesn’t mind the aid of a beautiful, well-connected woman like Joanna… Especially when he cannot resist riling her a time or two.
After all, she does rise so beautifully to the challenge.
Focusing on their work is harder than either of them thought. There’s no denying the attraction between them, but is Ambrose truly prepared to cast aside his hedonistic history? And even if he does, is Joanna ready for a new love?
Excerpt #1 “It is hard to see how this will become a hospital,” she murmured.
“I should imagine you would rather see it as a grand house once more, ready for a ball.”
She glared at him. “Considering we hardly know one another, Lord Newhaven, it is a wonder you can imagine anything that I might think.”
He shrugged. “It is not hard to take a guess.”
“If we wish to take guesses, I would rather expect you would prefer this house to be used for raucous house parties.”
His lips quirked. “I suppose we should cease guessing then.”
“That would be preferable, yes.”
“Let us continue our tour.” He opened another door, leading through into a drawing room.
No furnishings existed and a thick layer of dust coated the grand stone mantlepiece. Beneath her feet, the rugs were worn and frayed. “This is going to take a lot of funds.”
“My understanding is we have enough to ensure the house can be converted into a hospital, but our current pledges will not cover the ongoing running of it.”
So, he knew something about his charity. That was interesting. She could not be certain why the earl had decided to take a closer look at how things were run but he was not entirely ignorant. However, if he was to be interfering with her work, she would have to speak up. They had far too much toil ahead of them for him to be causing any chaos.
She paused by the fireplace and turned to face him as he wrenched open the shutters on one window. Blinking in the sudden influx of light, she tilted her head. “Why exactly have you decided to assist the charity? Mr. Bartlett told me you are only a figurehead.”
“Well, that is incorrect. I am also the biggest donor.”
She lifted a brow.
“Does it surprise you that I might wish to actually have a hand in the running of the charity?”
A smile curved his lips. “Well, I do enjoy a frank woman.” He strode over to join her by the fireplace. “And why have you taken up the mantle as the charity’s latest philanthropist?”
She could come up with some pithy remark perhaps. Some flippant reply that would have him eyeing her with amusement once more, but she could not help feel they had reached some odd moment of honesty. She blew out a breath. “I should like to find something useful with which to occupy myself. Being a widow is a tiresome occupation.”
“For someone like you, I imagine it is.”
“Someone like me?” She stiffened her shoulders.
“Someone as vivacious and as intelligent as you.”
The air flew from her lungs. She let her shoulders drop. “Oh.” for some reason, the flattery made her cheeks warm.
Welcome to the book blitz for OFF BALANCE, the second book in the young adult dystopian series, Aunare Chronicles, by USA Today bestselling author, Aileen Erin. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis From USA Today Bestselling Author Aileen Erin comes the second book in the Aunare Chronicles.
Broken, beaten-down, and plagued by nightmares, Amihanna di Aetes is surrounded by the Aunare race that makes up the other half of her heritage, but she feels alien amongst them. She’s not sure which is worse: SpaceTech’s overt hatred of Aunare or the Aunare’s covert hatred of halfers. She hears their whispers whenever she enters a room and sees her death reflected in their eyes. Amihanna doesn’t know who to trust anymore, but she hasn’t survived this long by ignoring the warning signs all around her, especially when her instincts are screaming that a familiar choice is coming: flee or fight.
Her parents assure her everything is okay—that there won’t be any reason for her to fight, let alone flee—but with Amihanna’s sudden return, questions arise among the Aunare: who should be blamed for the start of a full-scale war with SpaceTech, how much danger will the war bring, and is Amihanna truly fit to be the next high queen?
Honestly, Amihanna wants to forget all the politics, her betrothal to Lorne, and the possibility of being queen. Her needs are much more basic. All she wants is a solid night’s sleep where she doesn’t wake up screaming with the phantom pain of her skin burning. All she needs is to live without fear of a mob tearing her away from her family. All she hopes for is a chance to dream of a future instead of constantly fighting for her right to live.
And yet, somehow, everything she does leads her back to Lorne. He always seems to know when she’s about to break under the pressures of her new life. His quiet patience is wearing Amihanna’s protective walls down, and she’s terrified of what will happen if they fall.
Excerpt #3 “Let’s get this one thing straight—I’m not breaking our betrothal contract.” He stalked back to me. “Not now. Not ever. If you want to break it, then we’ll discuss it. They’ve talked a lot about our contract on the news, so I’m sure you have it in your head that I’m planning on breaking it. But I’m not. I haven’t brought it up because you’ve been dealing with enough. I was giving you time, but I’d marry you tomorrow if I thought you’d agree.”
Tomorrow? I had zero clue before this moment that he was completely insane. He couldn’t marry me, especially not tomorrow. I couldn’t be queen.
“What if I want to break our betrothal?” I wasn’t sure I did, but I wasn’t sure I didn’t either.
He strode quickly to me, knelt in front of my chair. I hugged my legs tighter to my chest, but he grabbed my ankles. “Look at me.”
I looked everywhere but him.
“Look at me, please.” He squeezed my ankles and let go. “Please.”
I blew out a breath and rested my chin on my knees so that I could meet his gaze. It was hard to really look at him. Every time I did, I wanted him more and more, and I wasn’t sure how much more I could want him without becoming completely addicted. It took everything in me not to wrap my arms around his neck and pull him to me.
He let go of one ankle and cupped my cheek. “Do you want to marry me?” He was using his low voice, the one that set my skin on fire.
My skin was so bright and my stomach fluttered and flipped and I forced myself to choke down my first immediate response. The dumb one that wanted to slide past my lips effortlessly. I couldn’t answer his question because I didn’t trust myself to give him the right answer. The one that made sense.
All signs of anger melted away from him. His back straightened, he held his head high, his fao’ana stopped flashing, and his skin dimmed a little.
But it was his smile that told me he knew exactly what I’d been thinking.
“This is where being your shalshasa comes into play. I’m as sensitive to frequencies as you are, but even more attuned to yours. I can feel your frequencies as your moods shift. Your immediate answer was going to be yes before you got scared.” He rose just a little, cupping my face with both his hands, and all I could see were his aquamarine eyes.
The color I associated with calm and safety. The color I’d painted the walls in my room on Earth so that I could feel more at home. The color I wanted to get lost in forever.
He brushed a soft kiss on my lips. It was quick, too quick, and it left me wanting more.
“Until you can say no—honestly and without stress—I’m going to assume your answer is yes, and that you just need more time. I don’t want fear to be a part of your decision. Okay?”
He leaned in for another kiss, and I wanted. I wanted it more than anything. But I made myself lean back in the chair, pulling my face from his hands.
“I can’t do this.” The words were shaky, but I’d said them. I had to stop it before this went too far.
“Because…” There were too many reasons.
Because he needed a queen.
Because I didn’t want that much responsibility.
“Because you deserve someone not broken.” That wasn’t the one I meant to go with, but words slipping out of me seemed to be the theme for our little chat.
“You’re not broken. If anything, you’re confused. Which is totally understandable. You’ve been through a very rough thirteen years, and memories that would help you readjust to being home aren’t there. So, you need some time to heal. Which is what I’ve been giving you. I think you’d feel less fragile if you got a decent night’s sleep. If you ate more. If you took a moment to take care of yourself instead of spending twenty hours a day in the gym. Declan and his mission are going to kill you.”
About the Author
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.
Welcome to the book blitz for HOMETOWN GIRL FOREVER, the third book in the adult contemporary romance series, Hometown, by Kirsten Fullmer. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
HOMETOWN GIRL FOREVER (Hometown Series #3) by Kirsten Fullmer
Synopsis Lizzy is making changes. Her recent move to Smithville and her job at the spa, as well as her boho-chic alpaca farm, are perfect. However, her overbearing socialite mother will not stop interfering with her plans. The woman may have run her life back in Boston, but Lizzie is determined that those days are in the past!
Elliot, a successful big-city architect, is visiting Smithville to check on his latest Spa design. The last thing he expects to find is a gorgeous gypsy-style spa manager and her demanding mother. Elliot is instantly drawn to Lizzie, but doesn’t understand her mixed signals. Unused to small town life, he is completely out of his element and in for one surprise after another.
Lizzy can’t help but be attracted by Elliot’s charms, but he’s exactly the type of man her mother would choose for her. Once Again, Smithville folk interfere with plans at every turn, forcing Lizzy and Elliot to face their personal dilemmas, and each other, head on.
Excerpt #2 The spa door opened and Elliot tromped in, scuffing his feet on the mat. “Hey there! Looks like today was a success…” He froze in midsentence, his smile fading to concern. “What’s wrong?”
Dashing away her tears, Lizzie jumped up and attempted to hide her sadness. “Nothing, I’m fine. I…” She smoothed her lab coat and offered a limp grin to accompany the false happy tone of her voice. “I think today went well.”
Elliot strode to her side and took her hand, his face filled with concern. He led her gently to sit down on the sofa. “What happened?” he asked as he perched on the edge of the ottoman facing her.
She pulled her hand away and shook her head in an attempt to convince him she was fine, but her mother’s harsh words rang in the back of her mind. Tears gathered at the corners of her eyes and she dabbed at them with her knuckle.
“Did someone have an issue with the spa?”
She shook her head. “No, no, of course not. It was a wonderful day.”
Elliot’s brow puckered. “Then why are you so upset? Something happened.”
Lizzie shrugged. “It’s nothing really. Nothing I don’t deal with every day.”
He waited, his elbows resting on his knees, not wanting to press her to speak.
Finally she sniffed and squared her shoulders. “I’m sorry, here I am all blubbery when the spa was a hit.”
He searched her face, waiting for her to explain.
Fluttering her hands in front of her face, attempting to dry the tears, she continued. “Oh, it’s just—just my mom. She isn’t on board with me being here…” Understatement of the century, she thought grimly.
Perplexed, Elliot sat up straight. “What do you mean? Why would your mother care if you’re here?”
Lizzie snorted. “Oh, she cares all right.” Anger flashed across her face. “I’m not back home letting her run my life and that irks her no end. She has to get her digs in, make me feel like absolute garbage…” She paused, realizing she was emotionally vomiting.
“I take it she’s, what do they call it nowadays, a helicopter mom?”
She stared at him, a question in her eyes. “She hovers…” “Oh!” she said, getting his joke. “Yes, but more than that, she is determined that I live the life she wanted.”
“What do you mean?”
Her hands twisted in her lap. “Oh, you know, I went to the schools she couldn’t get into, wore the expensive clothes that she couldn’t afford before having me ruined her body, took the jobs she couldn’t have because she had to stay home with me. I had to buy the condo in the neighborhood she wanted to live in…”
“I always knew I had to toe the line or things would get ugly, but…”
He waited for her to continue, but the lump in her throat was choking her. “But?” he offered.
She sniffed and shrugged one shoulder. “Today was the straw that broke the camel’s back, I guess. She’s never going to be proud of me. Never.”
Unsure what to say, he stammered, “I’m sorry. You’ve done a great job with the spa.”
Suddenly embarrassed and overwhelmed that she’d fallen to pieces in front of Elliot, Lizzie struggled to collect herself. “Anyway, I’m okay now, really.” She stood, desperate to end the whole emotional scene.
Elliot stood too, putting them face to face. Or her face to his chest, as it were. A moment slipped by without either moving, both held by an invisible magnetic force. Slowly Lizzie’s head tilted back, and Elliot’s chin lowered. Their eyes met, his sizzling with concern and warmth, hers still teary and bright. His fingers skimmed softly up her arm, raising goose bumps that raced up Lizzie’s chest and neck and across her scalp. The backs of his fingers continued on up to brush her cheek, wiping away a shimmering tear trail. Then, ever so slowly, both of his palms framed her cheeks, tilting her face to his.
Lizzie’s hands came up to cover his, her eyes drifting closed as she rose up on tiptoe. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she fell into what she knew would be an epic kiss.
The spa door flew open and Tara clattered in, her arms full of boxes. “Hey guys, I was…” When she saw Lizzie and Elliot she jerked to a halt, nearly dropping the packages in shock.
Elliot and Lizzie jumped, each trying to jolt back but tripping over the sofa and ottoman. Finally Elliot managed to stumble away, momentarily resembling a kid staggering on stilts as he found his balance. Lizzie flopped limply onto the sofa and her eyes rolled toward the ceiling.
Tara cleared her throat. “Well crap. Sorry… I…”
Lizzie shook her head, lamenting the great impression she must be making on her new boss.
About the Author Kirsten is a dreamer with an eye for art and design. She worked in the engineering field, taught college, and consulted free lance. Due to health problems, she retired in 2012 to travel with her husband. They live and work full time in a 40′ travel trailer with their little dog Bingo. Besides writing romance novels, she enjoys selling art on Etsy and spoiling their three grandchildren.
As a writer, Kirsten’s goal is to create strong female characters who face challenging, painful, and sometimes comical situations. She believes that the best way to deal with struggle, is through friendship and women helping women. She knows good stories are based on interesting and relatable characters.
Welcome to the book blitz 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, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $0.99.
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.
Praise for VOW OF SILENCE
“Thought I had it figured out. But I was wrong. Lots of twists and turns before the surprise ending!” -Becky S., NetGalley
“Vow of Silence is a terrific romantic suspense. Great plot that kept me on the edge of my seat!” -Marcia S., NetGalley
Vow of Silence had the perfect balance of thriller/suspense and romance, with fast-paced storytelling.” -E-Reader Addict
“OMG it was so good!!! To say I was on the edge of my seat, is putting it mildly. I didn’t know who the killer was until a few pages before it was revealed in the book. That doesn’t happen often for me.” -Jessica’s Totally Over the Top Book Obsession
Excerpt #2 Josiah’s lips pressed against hers. It was better than she’d remembered. His scent, his heat… She needed a moment to forget about everything and escape to a time when it had only been her and Josiah, and his promises of forever.
A low groan rumbled in his chest as his tongue swept the seam of her lips. At the heated sensation flushing through her, Hannah startled, jerking back with a broken gasp. This was not how Josiah kissed her eight years ago. Her fingers trembled as she raised them to her lips, eyes wide with surprise. She’d never experienced anything like this…
A blasphemy flew from his mouth before he could bite it back, and another quickly followed because of the first.
Her shocked stare grew as Josiah ran a shaking hand over his mouth. “I’m sorry, Hannah…”
She wasn’t sure if he was apologizing for the kiss or the curse—maybe both. “Is this…” Her cheeks heated with embarrassment, but she had to know. “Is this the way all Englishers kiss?” Hannah wished she could say it was unpleasant. Surely, it must be a sin to touch another with your tongue, if for no other reason that the startling pleasure it gave her couldn’t be pure. The places she felt his kiss, they weren’t permissible for him to touch, and yet it made her ache there terribly. The discomfort deep inside her made Hannah want to beg him for relief from something she understood nothing about.
“Yeah, I guess it is…” he answered gruffly.
“Ya kiss a lot of girls like that, then, Josiah Troyer?” It mattered not that she had no right to be angry or jealous…
Josiah regarded her cautiously, seeming to contemplate his response. “I suppose I have. More than I care to discuss with ya.” There it was again, that slip of his accent he seemed so determined to hide…
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. .
Welcome to the book blitz for PERFECT, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by award-winning author, Tricia Copeland. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis One driven woman. Five passionate paths to the perfect spouse.
Chloe refuses to compromise when it comes to romance and success. Powering through her sophomore-level college business classes, she’s done with the effort of distance-dating her high-school sweetheart. But when he proposes just as she hits it off with a hunky basketball player, she worries following her heart could send her bright future to the bench.
As Chloe matures to become a rising star in the fashion industry, love knocks another four times. But while each potential suitor eventually pops the question, only she knows her ultimate happy ending.
Whose arms will embrace Chloe when she chooses her forever man?
Perfect is a standalone clean contemporary romance. If you like tender moments, lighthearted comedy, and endings you choose yourself, then you’ll adore Tricia Copeland’s option-filled tale.
Buy Perfect to pick your ideal walk down the aisle today!
Excerpt Chapter 2
Bree hooks an arm in mine as we stroll to the apartment building entrance. “I usually can’t shut you up. Talk to me. What’s going on?”
“I miss Adam. It’s been a month since we’ve seen each other. I don’t know if I can do this anymore.”
“What do you mean? Stay here, or stay with him?”
“I love him, and we’re miserable apart. But I’ve got two more years of school.”
“Only two more weeks till summer break.” She skips ahead of me and presses the elevator button. “Let’s do a girls’ movie night. We’ll order pizza and eat popcorn.”
We evaluate movie and takeout options on the elevator ride. She complains that I always want to watch Titanic,and I veto her hamburger dive restaurant choice. Reaching our floor, we wind through the maze of halls. As I make the last turn, I stop short.
“I can’t be in this apartment. I’ll go crazy.”
Bree fits her key in the doorknob and holds the door for me. “It’s Thursday. Let’s go out. You never come out with me. Dancing is what you need.”
“I could go for some dancing.” I drop my pack on the floor as we enter the apartment.
“Yes, we’re doing this. I’m texting everyone.” Bree starts tapping on her phone.
Author Tricia Copeland
About the Author Award-winning author Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado with her husband, three kids, and multiple four legged and finned friends. An avid runner, hopeless romantic, and paranormal fan, she also enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble.
Kate Edison witnesses her father’s death and, in order to keep his memory alive, decides to follow in his footsteps by joining the CIA. She molds herself into becoming exactly what the CIA is looking for—and captures their interest, both personally and professionally. But before she can finish the CIA process, Kate is offered a position as an espionage agent in another highly secretive government agency, which she accepts.
While completing her agency training, Kate is catapulted into a shadowy world where wealth and power are the ultimate goal, and those in charge will stop at nothing to get it. While on the job, Kate uncovers secrets that, if revealed, would cost her life, but if kept, could bring down a nation. Isolated and unsure of who to trust, she brings in a fellow agent, but pulling him into the web of conspiracy and lies puts a target on both their backs – and it will take every skill they’ve ever learned as agents to stay alive long enough to stop the enemy no one else can see.
Excerpt “Ms. Edison, this is Officer Lyon.”
This was it. All my hard work, all the hours of studying—all the sacrifice came down to this moment. This phone call.
“I appreciate the opportunity, Officer Lyon,” I said, nervousness swirling in my belly. The phone in my hand felt big and heavy. I was sitting on my old bed, in the room I’d grown up in. The call needed to be made over a landline, and the best option was at my mom’s house. Though, if my mom had known what call this really was, she would have kicked me out of her house and slammed the door.
The room hadn’t changed much. My desk, where I had spent so much time, was still across from my bed, my old and likely useless computer still perched on top. The maps that showed the origins of all the languages I had intended to learn—marked with different-colored pushpins—still covered the wall above my desk. The same funny-nerdy science posters still flanked the maps. One read, “YOU MATTER. Until you multiply yourself times the speed of light squared. THEN YOU ENERGY.” That one still made me smile. Remnants of the sticky-sweet perfume I had used in my youth, in quantities far too large, still hung in the air.
Officer Lyon was all business. “This will be your first official interview with the Central Intelligence Agency. I must advise you that this call will be recorded, as well as all future calls, interviews, and interactions with the CIA throughout your interview process with us, however long that may be. This will likely be our most casual interview, so relax and answer the questions naturally. Please state your full name.”
I cleared my throat. “Katherine Elaine Edison. But please, call me Kate.”
Right. I should have assumed formality would be important here. Mistake number one, check. That would be my last.
“I am curious to know if you have any notion as to why the CIA is interested in you.”
I didn’t mind talking about my accomplishments—I worked hard, after all—but I didn’t want to come off sounding self-important either. I thought through my words carefully. “Well, I speak several languages and graduated at the top of my class in both my undergrad and law school. I assume that has something to do with it.” I could have also mentioned that those schools were Ivy League, that my double major in international law and diplomacy and in journalism were both preferred programs at the CIA, and that I didn’t just graduate at the top of my class—I was the top of my class, as in the number-one student. But I assumed he already knew all of that and that it was how I had landed the interview in the first place.
If I came off sounding pompous, Officer Lyon didn’t react. “Those are all likely things that did add to your qualifications. What exactly do you think we do here in the CIA?”
Again, an answer I had to think about carefully. “I am aware that there are many different positions within the CIA: analytics, language, science, engineering, and technological positions, to name a few. Also, of course, directorate of operations.”
The last one—directorate of operations—was where I wanted to be. Where I was meant to be. Where my dad had been. The clandestine service of the CIA. This was my goal.
“Of course … the spies. I should tell you that if this is an area of interest for you, you will have to get in line,” Officer Lyon said. Derisiveness dripped from his words.
I wasn’t sure if he was trying to discourage me or motivate me with that comment. But I definitely felt the latter. I had worked hard for this opportunity. I kept myself out of trouble—not too hard a task when a person’s studies took up all of the daylight the sun had to offer and then some—and I was careful to only keep up friendships with people who also valued education and abiding by the law. I was always the girl who chose her studies over parties. When my friends were in need of a break from the monotony of school, they would go the beach for a weekend. While they were gone I cherished the quiet, taking the time to study harder. I never found school monotonous; I craved learning.
Officer Lyon asked questions for another thirty minutes. Then, before hanging up, he scheduled a face-to-face interview with me for the following week and recommended a book for me to read beforehand.
I smiled. I knew the book. I’d read it years ago.
Author L.A. Clayton
About the Author
L.A. Clayton has been an avid reader her entire life, devouring books at an alarming rate. Her husband often jokes that if she didn’t buy so many books they could retire. She went to bed one night a reader and woke up with a fresh memory of a dream she’d had the night before, sat down and became a writer.
L.A. Clayton lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband and their four young children. She makes time for writing in between wiping noses and packing lunches.
Welcome to the book blitz for FINDING OUR MORNING, a stand-alone adult historical romance/mystery, by Mickie B. Ashling. See below for information on the book, by links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Ginny Tate bides her time on the family stud farm in San Antonio, Texas, waiting to start veterinarian school in the fall. Bullied as an adolescent, she’s finally shed her old skin, but the emerging beauty still harbors insecurities and would rather hang out with horses than people.
Sponsored by his uncle, the Shah of Iran, Dariush—David—Akbari, a twenty-five-year-old NYU grad with a degree in International Law, is also a skilled polo player. He joins the royal traveling team for a tournament in Plano, Texas.
A decade in America has gradually altered David’s views on certain aspects of his culture. Torn between familial obligations and his adopted country, David resists the idea of returning to Iran so soon after graduation.
At the traditional after-party, David strikes up a conversation with Ginny, who is refreshingly honest. He receives an invitation to visit Tate Stud Farm and, on the pretext of buying another polo pony, persuades the shah to make a detour.
Great horsemanship coupled with self-effacing charm sets David apart from the entitled braggarts who normally populate the sport, and Ginny falls hard. His visit turns into a life-changing week that neither can foresee. Will they walk away unscathed or live to regret their impulsive behavior?
Inspired by events preceding the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty, Finding Our Morning is a love story that catapults us from Texas Hill Country to the epicenter of a monarchy on the brink of collapse.
Excerpt #1 So much time had elapsed since Ginny issued the invitation, she didn’t know what to expect when David called two weeks later to arrange a meeting. Was he passing through town or was this an intentional stop? Either way, the days leading up to his arrival were pure torture.
On the morning in question, Ginny took longer than necessary to get ready. She left her hair loose instead of tying it back in her usual ponytail. Her luxurious locks were the only thing she could count on to draw eyes away from her face. The dark blond strands fell in a silky curtain to her midback and had been compared to a palomino’s coat on many occasions. As for the rest of her, it was business as usual. Faded jeans, a checked cotton shirt, and her favorite red cowboy boots. Her complexion was clear this morning, thank God, and she took her time applying eye makeup. It was out of the ordinary to get dolled up during the day, and her parents noticed as soon as she sat down to breakfast.
“Going to a party?” Margery asked.
“No, but you know the Shah of Iran is about to grace our doorstep, and I thought I’d look nice for a change.”
“You always look good,” Ray commented. “Anyone who thinks otherwise is a blind fool.”
“What about your chores?” Margery inquired. “Won’t your hair get in the way?”
“I’ll get ’em done,” Ginny promised.
“See that you do,” Margery replied. “I know you want to make a good impression, sweetie, but those foreigners aren’t coming to socialize. We have to present our best, and a clean, well-organized farm is just as important as our livestock. You wouldn’t eat in a dirty kitchen.”
“For Christ’s sake, Marge. Leave the girl alone.”
“Seriously, Mom. You’re overreacting as usual.”
“Then explain why you look more like a debutante than a rancher’s daughter this morning?”
“He offered dinner and dancing the last time we were together. I don’t want him to change his mind.”
Aghast, Margery exclaimed, “The shah?”
“God no,” Ginny said. “David.”
“Which one is he again?”
“Their number-three player.”
“He was good,” Margery recalled.
“What are you going to wear tonight?”
“I’m not sure it’s happening, but I bought a new dress in case.”
“What color is it?”
“You’re too young to wear black,” Margery opined with a tsk.
Ginny rolled her eyes. “Give it a rest, Mom. I’m eighteen.”
“Black is more appropriate for someone older and more experienced.”
Ginny refused to take the bait. Her mother was being overprotective, given her dating history, and was understandably worried. Nonetheless, it was too early in the morning to argue. She scooped up the last of her egg yolk on a piece of toast, swallowed it down with orange juice, and stood up to go. “I’ll catch you guys later.”
Standing on the steps outside the kitchen door, she paused and scanned the horizon. The sun was already a bright ball of pulsing heat in the cloudless blue sky, and she could tell it was going to be another scorcher. Ginny hoped the Iranians had the good sense to come early to avoid the worst of it.
As she headed toward the stable where they kept the horses for sale, she scrutinized their property and tried to see it through the eyes of a stranger. Theirs was a small operation compared to other stud farms, but they had a stellar reputation. Margery Tate was the driving force behind their prosperity. The woman was a stickler for order and quick to remind new employees that pride in ownership was as important as a good pedigree.
Margery acquired her code of ethics from her parents who’d started the stud farm with one stallion and a few mares. As their only child, she’d inherited the bulk of the estate, with small portions divided among the loyal ranch hands who had been around until her father finally passed, a year and a day after her mother died of cancer. Her gender had never been a good enough excuse to avoid the hard work necessary to ensure the success of the farm, and Margery expected her only daughter to work as tirelessly as the rest of them.
She did have a point, Ginny conceded begrudgingly, but her advice was often framed in criticism, which usually rubbed people the wrong way. Horse breeding could be a messy business when things got out of hand, and organization was key.
She made the rounds swiftly this morning, inspecting each area with a critical eye, paying particular attention to the horses for sale. This would be their first stop and she wanted the area to be in tip-top shape. She could only imagine what the royal stables must look like with dozens of helpers at the shah’s beck and call. Well, they might not have his manpower, but over the years, the stud farm had gained a well-earned reputation for their excellent stock and integrity.
By the time the shah and his entourage arrived two hours later, her nerves were frayed. The group of six, dressed in casual attire, climbed out of a gleaming limousine. Ginny wasn’t sure what to expect, given their status, but these men looked like any prospective buyer, albeit better dressed. Her parents greeted the Iranians deferentially and offered to be their guides as they toured the premises. While they concentrated on the shah, Ginny walked up to David with an outstretched hand.
“I’m glad you could make it.”
“Was there any doubt?” he asked, stepping forward and clasping her hand in his. He was so close she could smell his sweet breath, overlaid with a hint of coffee. His eyes weren’t black as she’d first thought. They were deep brown with a touch of caramel and were gazing at her appraisingly. Now that he was actually here, Ginny’s confidence faltered as she met his intense scrutiny. Had he come to buy a horse or check her out? Her heart rate sped up as nerves and anticipation made her breath falter. It was at once unexpected and exhilarating. Ginny withdrew her hand and stepped back, laughing off the moment awkwardly.
Author Mickie B. Ashling
About the Author
Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multi-published author who resides in a suburb outside Chicago. She is a product of her upbringing in various cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West.
Since 2009, Mickie has written several dozen novels in the LGBTQ+ genre—which have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Lately, her muse has been nudging her in a different direction, and she’s learned through past experience to pay attention to creative sparks that show up unexpectedly. Her pen name is a part of her now, and will travel along on this exciting new journey, wherever it might lead. She promises to be very specific in her book blurbs and cover art to avoid any confusion.
Welcome to the prerelease blitz for MALICE, a stand-alone young scifi/paranormal thriller romance, byNew York Times bestselling author, Pintip Dunn, releasing February 5, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, and an exclusive excerpt.
What I know: a boy in my class will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.
What I don’t know: who he is.
In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I’ll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I’m starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice they’ve lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way—because now they’ve drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved.
Excerpt A streak of electricity zaps through my head.
My eyes pop open. What was that? I swear I felt my brain short-circuiting.
Cautiously, I glance around. A couple of my classmates are biting into fat, foil-wrapped burritos, and a girl with a feather tattoo is stretched on the lawn, using her girlfriend’s stomach as a pillow. A group of guys throw a basketball around on the court,
Not a single person looks at me. Clearly, no puff of smoke billows around my head.
Okay, then. I was probably just imagining it. Lack of sleep and too much fatigue from carving all those veggies. That combo’s enough to make anybody hallucinate.
Giving my head a firm shake, I start walking—
My breath hitches.
The synapses inside my brain sizzle, as though they’re being held over an open fire. I grab my temples between my hands, but it doesn’t help. The pain intensifies, as though my brain is slowly being brought to a boil.
My vision blurs, and I lurch behind a tree, dropping to my knees. A muffled voice rumbles. I don’t pay attention. I have more pressing concerns, like keeping the brain inside my skull. The voice rumbles louder. FLAMING MONKEYS. Can’t you see a girl is dying here? Go. Away.
“Maybe I would if you would listen a moment,” the Voice snaps, much more clearly this time.
What? Disoriented, I look up. But there’s no one around other than a butterfly flitting by my head.
“I’m in here,” the Voice says, as though I’m a wayward two-year-old. “In your head.”
The pain dials back a notch, but my stomach is still swirling with nausea. A voice…in my head? No way. I’m hallucinating. I’ve got to be. The chicken tasted worse than normal—maybe I have food poisoning. Any second now, I’m going to vomit or pass out. Probably both.
“Focus,” the Voice barks. She sounds feminine, but I can’t tell if she’s young or old. “Do you want this pain to stop?”
The flames roar back, burning even hotter. This is the worst food poisoning ever. I’m never cooking again. “Yes!” I moan. “I’ll do anything. Just make it stop.”
The pain shuts off like a door being slammed, and I collapse against the tree trunk, panting.
“Good. I’ll go away, once and for all. You won’t have to deal with this pain anymore. You just have to do one thing for me.” She pauses, as though gathering her thoughts. “Tell Bandit that you love him.”
“Huh?” The electricity must’ve fried my hearing. “Who?”
“Bandit,” the Voice bites out. “You know. The Thai boy playing basketball across the field?”
Pushing myself off the tree, I peer around the trunk. Across the courtyard, a guy with electric-blue hair raises his hands to shoot the ball, and his shirt rides up, revealing nicely defined muscles.
“You’ve g-got to be kidding,” I sputter. “I don’t even know him! I’m not going to profess my love to some random guy.”
The Voice sighs. “Yes, actually. You are.”
Author Pintip Dunn
About the Author Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.
Pintip’s novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, and the upcoming STAR-CROSSED and