Welcome to the book blitz for PRESCRIPTION FOR A LONELY HEART, the first book in her adult romantic comedy series, Love in Glenco City, by Rosalie Jardin. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
PRESCRIPTION FOR A LONELY HEART (Love in Glencoe City Series #1) by Rosalie Jardin
Synopsis “If we’re both still single when we’re thirty, we’ll marry each other . . .”
The marriage pact was made during a lazy day at the beach, half in jest, and seemingly forgotten by the boy who started it.
But ten years later, Kay hadn’t forgotten. She’s still shy and introverted, not interested in relationships. So when Adrian reappears in her life—two years early—and asks her to marry him now, she surprises herself by agreeing.
So now she must deal with her mother’s disapproval, his brother’s hostility, and a load of self-doubt. Can she forge a real relationship with Adrian? Has he really changed from a ladies man to someone she can trust? Will she be able to let go of everything she’s ever thought she wanted and reach out to grab a new future?
“Give her a kiss!!” My eyes tear open and we break apart, startled. That’s when I notice the small crowd of people that have gathered, drawn together by the sight of a man on bended knee. It slaps the contentment out of me and the tension returns. Eventually I track the voice to a sweet little old lady, arm in arm with her equally sweet little old husband. “Come on now! Kiss!”
The color drains from my face as I look back at Adrian, terrified. A kiss? They want us to kiss! That is not what I signed up for! I mean, it would make sense for me to kiss him because that’s how it usually goes—right? I start to panic. My stomach is in knots. The crowd is small but it’s enough to put pressure on me to do something I’m not comfortable with doing.
Adrian, on the other hand, is as cool as the sea breeze. “We should give them what they want, right?”
He leans in and I’m frozen solid. My body fizzles and pops as he leans forward and his lips lightly brush against mine. At first, I seize up. He…he’s kissing me! What part of a platonic relationship allows actual kissing? I feel trapped and the discomfort is off the charts. This isn’t what I signed up for. But then the buzz hits as my eyes flutter close. His lips feel sensuous and soft and I know he’s being tender with me. I can hear the rush of my blood and frantic pace of my heartbeat. The buzz hits a crescendo before it evens out, a warm tingling sensation of pleasure swirling all around me.
This…isn’t so bad. It feels kind of good? It’s definitely new.
There’s a quiet urge to lean forward and press my lips against his. Explore this feeling a little bit longer. But I push it down. What the…where did that come from?
Author Rosalie Jardin
About the Author Rosalie Jardin is the pen name an American-born author living in British Columbia. Writing has been a passion since she was five, beginning with telling stories- which often got her in trouble with her teachers because they kept catching her writing instead of doing her schoolwork.
Rosalie considers herself to be living the glamorous geek mom life and channels that energy into her writings and her debut novel. Her characters rumble around in her head, demanding to have their stories told and, like any good author, she is just doing what she’s told.
Welcome to the book blitz for MISTRESS OF DEATH, a standalone young adult/new adult fantasy romance, by Kathryn Trattner. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the ebook for just $0.99.
In the city of Telum, at the edge of a dying empire and divided by superstition, anything can be had for the right price.
Gabriel Mercer, raised in the shadow of the most famous assassin the city has ever known, wants nothing more than to make a name for herself. Taking a solo contract from an up and coming politician seems like the best way to make it happen.
The night Matthew, a police officer with a spotless record, discovers Gabriel unconscious his world changes. On opposite sides of the law the pair strike up a bargain that becomes harder and harder to keep as their attraction grows.
When the city starts to burn Gabriel will put everything she’s gained at risk for a chance at revenge. Even if it means her future going up in smoke.
Excerpt #3 Gabriel shadowed Matthew, always several steps behind and a glance away. She had to press her way through the crowd, touching backs and arms, murmuring an apology when she stepped on a foot. People laughed, sang, talked, and mumbled over drinks and little finger foods. Gabriel recognized few of the faces she passed, knowing most had arrived without invitations and not caring.
Matthew chiseled his own path from the parlor through the formal dining room, around the edges of the ballroom and then another room devoted to a collection of delicate chairs wearing silk. He circled, searching, as if he could smell her through all the other scents and yet still could not pin her down.
In the ballroom people stood around the edges, packed shoulder to shoulder, watching the dancers. A new pair would join the twirl or drop out, but Matthew showed no interest in them.
In the crush between rooms, the people dancing before her and the long table covered in an ornate display of food at her back, Gabriel came as close as she’d been all night, within reach of his back.
Temptation, sin on the Right Bank, celebrated on the Left, beckoned.
He was surrounded, pressed between bodies, a flower between pages. Men and women shared skin and air as if personal space were a fiction invented by the insane. He stood motionless, facing the dancers, ignoring two giggling women behind him. They spoke, tittering voices pitched to reach his ears.
He’d been living inside her head, thoughts circling around the sound of his voice, the feel of his hands. The man had made himself impossible to forget as he paced up and down the block, watching the house and doing nothing for days. But he was an officer of the Right Bank; he wanted nothing but to turn her over for the assassination of Daniel Cyrus. She knew, was certain, there would never be anything there other than the black and white situation between them.
But below that knowledge was the want for something else; a look that meant something else, a reason for want beyond his occupation. Her desire to touch him was without meaning; she couldn’t explain it or justify it. It was just there, a feeling she couldn’t ignore.
This would be the only time she let herself give in. She pushed closer, forcing the giggling pair apart, a huff of irritation loud enough to turn heads. But Matthew didn’t turn. She half hoped he would. Excitement, trepidation tripped along taught nerves, her insides resonating with the high-pitched buzz in her head.
Now or never. Now. Never.
Reaching out, her balled fist relaxing one finger at time, she ran her hand up his spine. Thrilling at the contact, she tingled with warmth, lips parting.
His muscles stiffened.
Touching him had been a mistake.
She stepped behind the ladies, pushing into a boisterous group singing tavern songs. Gabriel picked up the words, her view blocked by a large gentleman to her right. His height and girth eclipsed her. He clapped her on the shoulder as she joined in, something about plump wenches and beer. She leaned back, chancing a look.
Scanning the crowd, Matthew stepped between the ladies, excusing himself as he bumped the brunette’s elbow. She giggled, doing her best to maintain his interest. Gabriel stepped back, out of the group, and circled Matthew until she was once again at his back.
Matthew searched, moving on to the dining area. He went around the laden table, plucking a bunch of grapes from a display of fruit. He ate them as he continued, an animal caged and circling the perimeter once more. Gabriel always just out of his line of sight.
With light pushing at the edges of night, he gave up, collecting his coat from a maid on the way out the door. Gabriel followed him through the dwindling crowds and down the front steps.
Walking with his head down, hands deep in his pockets, he shook his head. He paused, sending Gabriel skittering into the shelter of a doorway, and turned to survey the incandescent house.
Illuminated, his face held a bleak expression.
She kept to her shadow until he was out of sight.
Author Kathryn Trattner
About the Author Kathryn Trattner has loved fairy tales, folk stories, and mythology all of her life. Her hands down favorites have always been East of the Sun, West of the Moon and the story of Persephone and Hades. When not writing or reading she’s traveling as much as possible and taking thousands of photos that probably won’t get edited later. She lives in Oklahoma with her wonderful partner, two very busy children, one of the friendliest dogs ever, and an extremely grumpy cat who doesn’t like anyone at all.
Want to hear about the latest release? Sign up for my newsletter Magical Mundane Madness at kathryn.substack.com
Welcome to the book blitz for RESISTOR, the first book in the new adult cyberpunk fantasy series, Ellinor, part of the broader Eerden series, by C.E. Clayton, releasing October 1, 2020. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Ellinor Rask has wanted one thing for the past eight years: vengeance. But when Ellinor is captured, she finds herself dragged back into the world she walked away from, entangled once more with friends she would rather forget.
As if that weren’t humiliating enough, Ellinor learns first hand that her magic can be stripped away by a piece of bio-tech—and her ex-boss is happy to leash her with the technology in order to get what he wants. If Ellinor behaves, the device will be removed. All she has to do is deliver a package. One containing a creature created from raw magical energy and discarded technology. Simple, right?
But when her goals start getting people murdered, Ellinor has to decide if the year’s planning, her honor, and even her own magic, are worth the lives it’s costing. Dodging ruthless gangsters, she finds herself on the run with a creature of immeasurable magical abilities alongside her one-time friends. Now, Ellinor must relearn to trust the people she once abandoned. She must put her faith in technology, and her life in the hands of independent contractors, all while racing to deliver the package before it gets taken by force, or worse, the creature decides to make an appearance itself.
Excerpt #3 She gasped; her heart tripped over itself at seeing her belongings. It was like seeing a beloved friend after an extended absence. Rushing to Kai’s side, Ellinor’s fingers danced over her combat armor, reverently fluttering over the familiar worn edges; she pulled it close to her face and inhaled.
The armor Misho had gifted her hadn’t been lost.
She closed her eyes and saw Misho smiling back at her, his bright amber eyes flashing in delight as he watched her put the armor on. She could feel his long, graceful fingers trailing her curves as he appreciated how the fine craftsmanship hugged her body. She saw him lean down to kiss her, his full lips just a breath away—
Kai gruffly cleared his throat, and Ellinor’s eyes snapped open.
“You need a minute alone with it, Ell? Bit of privacy maybe?” Kai said, wiggling his bushy red eyebrows at her.
Ellinor frowned and cradled the gear to her chest. “Don’t be absurd. And what did I say about calling me Ell?”
“You said not to.”
“Damn right! Traitors who collar me with despicable and inhumane technology aren’t allowed to call me Ell. We’re not friends, Kai. Not anymore.”
Her heart twisted further. She didn’t want to push Kai away, not really, not again. But how was she supposed to forgive him?
“Ah, c’mon, it ain’t that bad! How can it be? It’s just a blasted piece of magic bio-tech. Just means you can’t cast is all. You don’t need abilities to kick ass. Besides, I done told you it ain’t personal. Don’t mean we can’t be friends, or friendly with each other, anyways. We were thick, you and me, not that long ago. Nothing’s gotta change unless you want it to.”
But everything had changed. Nothing felt or even tasted the same anymore, thanks to Cosmin. And Kai helped him.
Ellinor growled, “Don’t talk about things you know nothing about!”
Cosmin’s profession was in smuggling and selling illegal magitech and weapons. They harnessed natural magic and, when combined in a bullet or shackle like Ellinor’s, had devastating effects. Such items were highly regulated by the politicians and police, making them a hot commodity in the ground level markets. Cosmin was well versed in the effect his device had on Ellinor, it was his specialty.
She jabbed her finger in Kai’s chest, the bouncer bots buzzing a warning at his side. “You have no idea what this is like. What this feels like. What this does to a caster. This isn’t like those shit cuffs you had me in. I could still feel my magic. I could still summon it. This? It would be like me taking your hands away. There would just be a dead, empty space where your hands used to be. There wouldn’t even be phantom pains reminding you that your hands were once a part of you. Only a gap of where something vital to you once was.”
She took a step back, stuffing her hands under her arms, clutching her armor tight to her chest, as the automatons continued to buzz. “I can understand why you wouldn’t recognize the hole you’ve left me to fester in without my abilities, but Cosmin sure as shit does. He knows exactly the kind of hollow emptiness that comes with neutering a caster. Of how it makes you feel like you aren’t even a person anymore. So don’t you dare pretend that it’s just business because you’re hoping Cosmin will let you into his bed one day. It’s never happening, Kai!
“Once this job is done, I never want to see you again.” She shuddered reflexively. “If I do, abilities or not, my face will be the last thing you ever see. You got that?”
His shoulders drooped, and he took a step back. Kai was not magically inclined. He had no idea what it felt like to be cut off from a piece of himself so completely he couldn’t even feel a whisper of it anywhere.
Kai wouldn’t meet her eyes. His chin sagged to his chest, and he jerked his thumb back toward the door. “You just come out when you’re ready. Be quick, though. Cosmin’s expecting us to shove off soon.”
Author C.E. Clayton
About the Author C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area. After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love–writing–and hasn’t stopped. She is the author of young adult fantasy series, “The Monster of Selkirk”, the creator of the cyberpunk Eerden Novels, and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website.
Welcome to the Book Blitz for A GAME OF FATES, the story of A TOUCH OF DARKNESS as told from Hades point of view, by Scarlett St. Clair. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
A GAME OF FATES (Hades and Persephone Series #1.5) by Scarlett St. Clair
Synopsis Hades, God of the Underworld, is known for his inflexible rule, luxurious night clubs, and impossible bargains. Used to control, he is not prepared to discover the Fates have chosen his future wife and Queen—Persephone, Goddess of Spring.
Despite her attraction to the god, Persephone, an ambitious journalism student, is determined to expose Hades for his cruel and ruthless ways.
Hades finds himself faced with the impossible—proving his future bride wrong. Regardless of his efforts, there are forces who wish to keep the two apart and Hades comes to realize he will do anything for his forbidden love, even defy Fate.
Excerpt #3 What troubles you, my king?” she asked as he approached. “Is it Minthe? May I suggest lye to remedy the situation? It is quite painful when swallowed.”
Hades raised a brow. “Murderous thoughts already, Hecate? It isn’t even noon yet.”
She smiled. “I am more creative at night.”
Hades chuckled, and they fell into a comfortable silence. Hades, lost in his own thoughts. Hecate, staring at the moon. After a moment, she asked him again, “What troubles you?”
“The Fates,” he said.
“Oh, the besties. What have they done?”
“They have given me a wife,” he said, raising both his brows. “Demeter’s daughter.”
Hecate laughed and quickly covered her mouth with her hand at Hades’ arched glance.
“S-Sorry,” she said, and cleared her throat, composing herself. “Is she horrible?”
“No,” Hades said. “That’s probably the worst part. She is beautiful.”
“Then why are you so glum?”
Hades explained the trajectory of his evening in as few words as possible—Aphrodite’s bargain, seeing Persephone for the first time, realizing his primal reaction to claim her was unusual, and uncovering the thread that connected them.
“You should have seen how she looked at me when she realized who I was. She was horrified.”
“I doubt she was horrified,” Hecate said. “Surprised, perhaps—maybe even mortified if her thoughts were anything like yours.”
Hecate gave him a knowing look, but Hades was not so sure. Hecate had not been there.
“I have never known you to back down from a challenge, Hades.”
About the Author Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and spends a lot of time researching reincarnation, unsolved murders and Greek mythology-all of which made it into her debut novel, When Stars Come Out.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE PEOPLE WE MEET ALONG THE WAY, a stand-alone women’s fiction novel, by Beth Rinyu. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Would you be able to grant the same forgiveness that you’re so desperately seeking yourself?
Jillian O’Rourke’s marriage died long before her husband’s tragic accident. Years of battling with infertility and demanding careers melted their once solid relationship. Bearing the burden of guilt over his death, Jillian gets lost in despair and a series of “what-ifs”. But one chance encounter with a stranger, changes everything. Now being faced with newfound knowledge and a painful decision, Jillian must push past her anger, learn to forgive and open her heart in ways she never could’ve imagined. As she comes to grips with the devastation of her past, she learns to embrace the possibility of a future she never thought possible. A bittersweet story of love, forgiveness, and the unexpected destiny that is sometimes handed to us in life from the people we meet along the way.
Excerpt #2 “I just wish you didn’t hate me so much.” I concentrated on the coffee in my cup as I swirled the wooden stirrer round and round.
“I don’t hate you,” I said, focusing my attention back to him. “I hate what we did. I hate that I let it define who I was for so long, and I hate that I hurt someone I cared about so much because of it. But I don’t hate you—you were just one of the many cracks in my life.”
He creased his forehead. “I don’t understand.”
I gazed at him long and hard, finally fearless of the shame the man staring back at me conjured up inside of me. He held no control over me, and he never had. I stood up and pushed my chair in as he sat there waiting for an explanation. “And I wouldn’t have expected you to. Goodbye, Jonathan.”
Author Beth Rinyu
About the Author Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed Creative Writing. There was always something about being able to travel to a different place or become a different person with just the stroke of a pen – or in today’s world a touch of the keyboard.
My life is not as interesting as my books or the characters in them, but then again whose life is? I’m a mom of twin teenage boys,a crazy Border Collie and a cat with an identity crisis! I guess you can say writing is my form of Calgon!
Thanks for taking the time to learn about my books and me! If you decide to read them (and I hope you do!) please be sure to go on and review it for me – yes, even if you don’t like it!
Welcome to the book blitz for LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD, the first book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Seven Brides for Seven Mothers, by Whitney Dineen. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD (Seven Brides for Seven Mothers Series #1) by Whitney Dineen
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD Series: Seven Brides for Seven Mothers Series #1 Author: Whitney Dineen Release Date: September 15, 2020 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romantic Comedy Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT
Synopsis Who doesn’t want their mom to play Cupid?
Addison Cooper had planned on an all-expense paid vacation to the Cayman Islands to celebrate her most recent business success. Instead, she’s trekking to the outback of Oregon to help a friend of her mother’s.
Reclusive novelist Brogan Cavanaugh’s new thriller just hit the New York Times Best Seller list. To reward himself, he was planning to spend the summer at his family’s fishing cabin until his mom unexpectedly calls in a favor.
Even though moms Libby and Ruby have been best friends since they were college roommates, Addison and Brogan have barely spent time in each other’s company. And when they did, things didn’t go well.
How will they react when they start to suspect their interfering mothers are setting them up?
Find out in this deliciously funny rom-com about mothers who really do know best and the children who don’t know they need them.
Excerpt Something is definitely up.
Brogan interrupts his mom, “Where are you thinking about setting up a glamping site?”
“We have those old cabins up near the fishing cabin. I thought that would be the ideal place,” she tells him.
He visibly jolts. “No one has stayed in those in years. At this point they’re probably more shack than cabin.”
“That’s why I want to do something with them now. I thought Addie could check them out and get a feel for what we’d need to do to make them worthy of the glamping title.”
She’s got to be kidding! Before I can express my shock, Brogan lets out a great big boisterous that’s-the-most-ridiculous- thing-I’ve-ever-heard-of laugh. He sounds borderline hysterical.
“What are you laughing at?” I demand.
‘I just can’t see you being interested in a project like this, that’s all.”
“I’ve decorated resorts that specialize in all kinds of different things.”
“Don’t be rude, Brogan,” Ruby admonishes her son. “Addison is an accomplished young woman known the world over for her innovative designs.”
“I’m sure,” he says. “But she’s known for fancy five-star designs, not something like this.”
“Are you saying I can’t do it?” More than anything this gets my dander up. I am first and foremost a professional. “How about a little wager?” I ask him.
“I’m game if you are. I bet you can’t spend a week up there without running home to New York.”
I never said anything about staying up there. But instead of pointing that out, I knowingly and ill-advisedly declare, “I could do that in my sleep. In fact,” —and here’s where I totally lose my mind— “I raise your week to a month. What do you think about that?”
Author W.B. Dineen
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 ABOUT A GIRL, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Heartless, by Mary E. Palmerin. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
ABOUT A GIRL (Heartless Series #1) by Mary E. Palmerin
The girl with sad eyes who walked out of the bathroom stall; she made herself puke. The star basketball player can’t read an entire sentence, so he takes his anger out on the introverted kid after third period. His face turned purple and blue.
Olive was just a girl. Fletcher was just a boy. And there they were, together, wandering in the chaos of it all. Their paths crossed, all because of fate. She was the lost girl who wanted to love, but she also wanted to die. He was the mysterious new kid with golden eyes that held a story she wanted to know.
Together, they attempt to figure out a way to numb themselves from the pain of finding out who they are in this world, where they belong, and how to handle the memories that haunt them in their nightmares. Addiction in its nastiest of forms torments them, threatening their false paradise as they attempt to escape their pain.Will their self-destructive ways be too much for the love they start to feel? Or is it even love when it is clouded by the H they shoot into their veins? Hearts break and souls get crushed at Sprucewood High.
The Day Death Welcomed Me
The Day After Love
I sat there with a silent jar of thoughts, which was consuming every ounce of myself that I had left. My long, unkempt black hair dangled annoyingly across my face as I laid atop my tiny safe place with my knees pulled up to my chest. The creaking of the ground sent dust up into the humid spring air from the thunderstorm the night before, and my attention span was that of a fly. My window air-conditioning unit was useless during the grueling Kentucky weather. I couldn’t help but dazzle my stare with the dirt that danced just before me. It was strangely calming as I sat there, half-naked with my still developing body in nothing but underwear and a button up flannel, wondering if I would have the balls to die today.
My life was different. My life had changed. I was not going to make it until tomorrow. My script had been altered, it was re-written due to fate. The sirens of my heart were singing and screeching the highest they ever had. I was off track and at the most desolate place I’d ever been in my life. Isolation isn’t true when you are unsure about the thoughts and feelings in your head. I had ten-thousand emotions taking up space in mine. I wasn’t alone. I was in the presence of things that didn’t make sense. Truths had yet to be revealed.
I wanted to fall into a tunnel where the pitch black of night could suffocate me, just like it did in my head. I wished I could dance over the moon with the stars in my dreams where nothing else mattered, where pain didn’t exist, but the world was turning more hateful every single day that I woke up. As time passed, I would often stare at things, not understanding why my knees would buckle as my tongue would tie itself to the syllable before making me stutter like a little kid who was called out during class. Weird instances and feelings occurred more often, and over time, my teenage self couldn’t wrap my brain around my frame of mind. I started to make choices, self-destructive choices, which sent me closer to the edge of hell after things happened and nightmares were the result.
I never said much. Talking wasn’t something I was used to doing. I became an expert introvert. I never thought I would’ve been able to come up with the right words if I decided to talk to my mother, so I did what I did best. I stayed quiet until my will found a way.
‘Hey, Mom. Not sure why I feel weird when I see or smell certain things, especially old trucks or walk past the cologne aisle at the convenience store. I’m feeling a little down. I’m not sure what’s going on inside my head.’
I don’t even remember the day I started to change. It’s ironic how phases meld together like colors from paint swirling about in water. I muddled around, leaving pieces of myself behind. I regularly hurt myself, toying with the idea of suicide, but the definiteness of death was something I needed before the puzzles from years ago came together to haunt me with a pain that would no longer be tolerable. And then fate had to come in and hurt me even more. Who would have guessed, as much as I prayed for death, I was too much of a coward for it. Well, apparently I prayed hard enough.
“Branch. You up and ready? We need to leave to get to Dr. Sarya’s office.”
That’s what I was to my mother. Her little olive branch; the peace offering of her life that fell apart before it could come back together and fall apart one last time. My parents divorced when I was six, and my father never took time to look back. I remember little about him except his dark hair and deep voice. He walked out of our two-bedroom country house and never looked back with his torn leather suitcase in tow, staring at me with sad eyes. I remember that moment, but never one with him before. Now, I understand how bizarre his behavior was, and mine was even more peculiar. I was never able to recall a birthday celebration, Christmas, or Thanksgiving with him.
No memories would be recalled until years later.
As time passed and I entered the gates of hell, also known as Sprucewood High School, the invisible crack was pried open. I was forced to face the girl who I was destined to become. The more I tried to understand the change in my head, the more I attempted to find an answer. But the harder I looked, the more I was hurt.
That day, I was done trying. My body was too tired to fight anymore.
I laid in bed, my sweat clinging to my comforter like Saran Wrap. My eyes made their way over to the corner of my room, and I smiled at the only constant in my life that laid crooked in the corner. I imagined them, the worn pink fabric pointe ballet shoes, still remembering how my feet felt in them when I would leap across the floor without any care. I used to point my foot, inserting it until they were laced up perfectly. I would do the same with my other foot when I could still dance. My feet used to feel like heaven. If only my heart and body could join them, then life would have been easy for me.
I grabbed the remote to my stereo and turned my CD player on, which had a tendency to skip anytime you put in anything except my Ani DiFranco or Janis Joplin. Ani started belting out in her deep, raspy tone and I daydreamt about my feet gracefully sweeping across the floor as my eyes remained closed. I was trying to find my heaven, convinced I could change my mind before it was too late. Time, to me, had been wasted. It did nothing but hurt. I let myself smile as I continued to imagine myself standing in second position, my arms out to my side as I prepared to pirouette and dance until the sun burned the pain away; the same kind of discomfort I failed to understand, the type that was thrown my way at that hell-hole where perfection and pain walked down the halls like yin and yang.
I saw goodness for a little bit. He was the boy with golden eyes and brown hair that hung above his eyes. He had pain like me. I could see it. Fletcher was hiding from the ugly, trying to comprehend his own demons, but he’s gone and it’s too late to get him back. He was sucked into the same kind of fucked up shit that I was. He lost. I was losing, too.
Thinking of him made my heart ache as silent tears started to fall from my eyes. The girl I had become was unrecognizable. My hair was disheveled, my hips wider with weight, and my eyes sunken in from either lack of sleep or too much; there was never an in-between. My heart was tired of working so hard. I was tired of living.
A year before, from the outside looking in, my world looked fine. I was the ordinary girl with supposed friends and decent grades. My crooked-tooth grin was deceiving, though. My brown eyes were sad, and even more so since I lost the only boy who had a chance of understanding me. I hurt him, and now he’s gone. My eyes were growing too tired to care anymore. I felt it coming, the end. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. Who would have guessed I would be just a girl about to die alone?
I wished I could still punish myself for hurting Fletcher. He was the only decent thing I had and I fucked it up. There was no going back. It was too late.
I pulled his handwritten goodbye letter from underneath my pillow, sobbing at his message, understanding that I needed to be with him. My tears stopped in that second when I reached the clarity I had been searching for through the murky misunderstandings of my so-called life. It’s ironic how one can reach such a conclusion when death is sure to greet you.
I remember gazing out my window, imagining it open despite the heat from the unapologetically warm summer day, remembering how Fletcher would look at me from below with a pebble in his hand and a sparkle in his eye.
The ghost of my yesterdays floated away as I continued to remember the lattice that led up to my window, the same thing Fletcher would use to climb up to see me, but he wouldn’t be seeing me anymore. Instead, every day, I would be reminded as little pieces of him were left behind with evidence of my mistakes.
My eyes grew too heavy as echoes from my mother’s voice screamed. She was an ocean away and it was too late. I was too far gone to be saved. I closed my eyes as visions of better times washed away the pain. Finally, I would be able to dance over the moon and the stars would be my friends. They could shine for me and love me, despite the darkness I never understood.
Author Mary E. Palmerin
About Author Mary E. Palmerin is an internationally bestselling author of The Monster Series, Redeeming Rhys, and half the madness behind The Red Market Series. She currently resides in Indiana with her husband and two boys. She enjoys writing raw, taboo tales that strike various emotions in her readers. When she isn’t busy writing, she usually has her nose in a good book. Mary loves spending time with her family and friends, being outdoors, cooking, art, tattoos, red wine, traveling, and anything that makes her laugh. She loves to connect with her readers!.
Welcome to the book blitz for ESCAPE, the first book in the adult romantic suspense series, The Covington Heights Crew, by Deana Birch. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
ESCAPE (The Covington Heights Crew #1) by Deana Birch
Synopsis Book one in The Covington Heights Crew series
The only thing she has to give is exactly what they want.
The Covington Heights Crew has a funny way of protecting their own. With rapes from rival gangs and human trafficking riddling their poverty-stricken streets, they’ll keep the girls from their neighborhood safe—for a price. No money? No worries. They have quite creative payment plans.
Messed up? Yeah, they know. They’re criminals.
Twenty-one-year-old Fiona Thompson was happy to stay off the radar of the twisted drug dealers who encourage her mother’s habit. She’s sure that she can work her way out of Covington and find a better life for herself and her baby sister. But then she beeped. Loud.
Second-in-command Leo Ricci is a poser. The web of lies he’s spun for a life unravels every time he’s around Fiona—every day he’s trying to keep her safe and every second he’s avoiding his destiny.
When his missteps challenge the authority to which he’s pledged his allegiance and Fiona’s life is at stake, there’s only one solution—become the man he never wanted to be and leave the place that was saving him from a worse, but unavoidable fate.
The day was turning out to be a fucking beauty. Not only had Golden Boy figured out some online shit that was beyond my scope of understanding, but whatever he had hacked had already started generating money on the virtual black market. Then the hottie I’d been checking out since I’d gotten to Covington had run right toward me, screaming to be rescued.
Bonus of the day? Those Bradford Tower idiots had taken one look at me and Golden Boy and run in the other fucking direction. They knew who I was—or at least they’d heard what I was capable of. No one but the bossman actually knew who I was, which was A-fucking-okay by me.
The crew sent catcalls as I ushered the little brunette past them. There was only one way she could pay us back, and I’d bet they’d also seen through her boring-ass uniform and imagined the perfect curves awaiting underneath as many times as I had. And curves she had. The glimpse I’d gotten earlier in the day had my imagination running fucking wild.
It was pretty cute how she’d tried to push my arm off her shoulder and sworn at me under her breath. Did she know what she’d gotten herself into? Probably not. Did I give a flying fuck? Nope. Was that cold and cruel? Maybe, but I was born a criminal. My moral compass had been smashed into a million pieces before I’d had the pleasure of taking my first steps.
I opened the clanky glass door of Covington Heights Two and gave the little hottie a ‘gentle’ nudge to step inside. She stumbled a little and swatted my hand away. I smiled as I pressed the button to call the elevator. I was a sucker for feisty.
“Ever been to the third floor before?” I asked, more serious than I felt.
She glared at me and propped her hands on her gorgeous hips that were in harmonious proportion to her insanely perfect-sized tits. Fucking hell, angry suited the shit out of her. I could have licked that flush right off her pale cheeks.
She scrunched her nose in full disgust and I wondered if steam might blow out of her ears like in a cartoon. It was hard to hold back my laugh.
She spat, “Why the fuck would I go to the third floor? My mom is a fucking junkie. The last place on earth you will find me is asking for any of your fucking product, you miserable prick.”
Steaming hot—every last curve and hair on her pissed-off body. It really was a banner day.
But, in fairness, I was a prick. However, I was the farthest thing from miserable. And not just because the grumbling beauty in front of me was going to probably go ballistic when Anton explained the terms of our payment plan, but also because I had escaped a destiny that I did not want.
For the three months I’d been living in Covington, I’d made my own unattached money and become a part of something greater than just family. I’d made friends—real friends, casual friends, small-nod-on-the-street-as-a-sign-of-respect friends. And unlike those stupid fucks in Bradford, none of our crew used drugs.
Sure, we’d kick back a beer at the end of a poker game we’d hosted or get a little drunk after one of our fights, but absolutely none of us were addicts.
We all worked out at least once a day, either with weights or sparring. We ate real fucking food and, yeah, we sold drugs and hosted back-door dice and card games—but we had some limits. No raping, for example. That was a big no-no for Anton. His mom had been the leader of their crime family for years, and not abusing women had been drilled into Anton for as long as I’d known him. It might have been our only virtue.
The elevator dinged and the little hottie’s mouth fell open. Yeah, the third floor didn’t look like any of the others. With sleek and polished concrete and the dark wooden doors to the suites, it resembled a luxury hotel instead of the projects.
“To the left.” I thumbed the direction and watched that fine ass exit in front of me. I bet she didn’t think she was half as gorgeous as she was. It wasn’t like someone with her life could afford make-up or nice things. But with her long dark hair, smoking little body, perfectly thin nose and high cheek bones, she was a bona-fide beauty. I had to swallow down the fucking drool as she stomped down the hall.
In front of the last door on the left, I typed in the security code, and after the small buzz of the unlocking mechanism, I pushed through. Anton sat at the counter and his steel blue eyes scrutinized me, then her. He sat perfectly still, giving away nothing, which almost made me laugh, because I knew exactly what he was thinking.
The rebellious spark the brunette had boasted in the hallway flickered out with the bossman’s silent power. Her shoulders fell and her eyes widened. Anton was thicker than me, just a little shorter and way fucking crueler than I was. She seemed to understand that in just the small twinkle of his light eyes.
She turned to me and chewed her bottom lip. Yeah, I was the safer option—which, when put into perspective, was downright hilarious. I walked over to Anton and slapped him on the back.
“Anton, meet… What’s your name, anyway?” I licked my lips slowly.
A bit of her fight came back with a glare. “Fiona.”
I continued, “Meet Fiona. She owes us for protection.”
Without taking his eyes off Fiona, Anton said, “Well, isn’t she lucky. BTs?”
“Chased her all the way home. But Goldie and I scared them off. Fucking pussies. I could have used a good fight.”
Anton glanced at me, but in that fraction of a second, it spoke volumes. I always needed a good fight. The beast inside me was malnourished, starving for the real deal.
But Fiona would understand nothing of our exchange. He sat back on his bar stool and interlaced his fingers behind his head. “Let’s go ahead and assume that since this is home, you can’t pay us for our protection. And let me tell you something you probably haven’t realized yet. You are now on the top of their list. The minute they catch you alone, they’ll nab you.”
“Let me tell you something you don’t know,” she spat. “I already was at the top of their list.”
Author Deana Birch
About Author Contemporary romance and erotica writer Deana Birch was named after her father’s first love, who just so happened not to be her mother. Born and raised in the Midwest, she made stops in Los Angeles and New York before settling in Europe where she lives with her own blue-eyed Happily Ever After. Her days are spent teaching yoga, playing tennis, ruining her children’s French homework, cleaning up dog vomit, writing her next book, or reading someone else’s.
Welcome to the book blitz for REVENGE IN THE CAPITOL, the second book in the adult romantic suspense series, In the Capitol, by B. Ivy Woods. See below for information on the book and series, buy inks, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.
REVENGE IN THE CAPITOL (In the Capitol Series #2) by B. Ivy Woods
Months after Rae and Flint thwart a stalker’s attempt to destroy their relationship, they are focusing on themselves. Their relationship is better than ever and Flint’s political campaign is taking off. But as his campaign heats up, his schedule only gets busier. Rae can’t help feeling like she’s been left out in the cold.
Things go from bad to worse when their past comes back to haunt them. A forgotten foe is bent on revenge and will do everything in their power to get it, including ruin Rae and Flint’s relationship for good.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, but will Rae and Flint stop them before it’s too late?
This is book two In The Capitol series.
Rae answered the knock on her door with a smirk. “Took you twenty-eight minutes to get here.”
“This will take a lot longer than that.” Flint stepped forward, leading Rae to step backward. He did it once more and closed the door with a thud. Before he could remove his coat, he stepped forward once again, kissed Rae, and in one swift motion, had her back pressed against the wall. His kiss turned rough as their tongues became intertwined. His hands moved from her face, down the curves of her body. This is what home felt like. He was her home.
Those thoughts quickly left her mind when he broke the kiss, took a small step back, and helped Rae remove the tank top from her body. She stood there looking at him in a daze.
“You know, I wish you would have kept that shirt on you had earlier.”
Rae tried to catch her breath as she asked, “Why is that?”
“Because I was hoping to rip it off.”
He stalked over and was on her in seconds, his body flush against hers. His hands and lips were everywhere as she felt her brain short-circuiting because her nerves were frayed. His breath on her lips when he took a small break from kissing her made her quiver. She felt their bodies moving backward down the hall, making their way toward the bedroom without breaking contact. About halfway there, he had enough and lifted her up, and she reacted by wrapping her legs around his waist and her fingers through his hair. Within seconds, they made it to his bedroom, and he had unclipped her bra. In a flash, her hands were out of his hair as she slipped the straps down her arms and threw her bra somewhere in the room. Rae felt the gears in her mind begin to work again and placed her hands on his chest to halt him. The look on his face mirrored a five-year-old who had been told that they couldn’t have cookies before dinner.
“You have way too many clothes on.”
She smirked as she undid his tie at a painstakingly slow pace. Rae thought she might have heard him growl, and she let out a low snicker. “Patience is a virtue.” She had finally finished undoing his tie and placed her hand on his chest. The pounding of his heart under her hand made her body quiver.
“One that I don’t have.” If Rae had to guess, it took him about two-point-five seconds to step back from her touch and remove his button-down shirt and slacks. She was sure she heard at least one button hit the floor as it flew off his shirt, but they could take the time to figure that out later.
Seconds later, his hands were all over her once more. His fingers moved quickly, yet thoroughly over her body as if he was examining every inch of her. The moan that left her lips bounced off of the walls in the room.
“You’re so beautiful,” he said as his head traveled down to her breasts with light touches and licks. Her moans increased as his mouth and hands set her body ablaze. They threw any thoughts besides finding ecstasy out of the window. He lazily made his way down her body and landed right where she wanted him. His fingers splayed over her thighs before they curved under the sides of her panties and slipped them down over her legs. Flint continued to take his sweet time worshipping her body.
Rae waited in anticipation of what he would do next. “Think you can move faster?”
“Now who isn’t being patient?” With that, his lips landed back on hers, silencing any remarks on the tip of her tongue to his comment.
About the Author B. Ivy Woods has been writing for as long as she can remember. After getting her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Environmental Policy and a Master’s in Energy Policy and Law and working in the environmental field for several years, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. That is when thoughts of a writing career really took off. Although she competed in NaNoWriMo multiple times, 2019 was the first year that she won. This win inspired her to make writing a career. Her debut novel will be self-published in 2020.
Although she is originally from New York City, she currently lives in the DMV (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia) with her husband, daughter, dog, and cat.
Synopsis Seventeen-year-old Harley Martin has been obsessed with Paris for years. Between her passion for studying architecture and wanting to spend time with her cousin, Gretchen, there’s nowhere on Earth that she’d rather go. So when Harley’s parents feel guilty enough about their constant fighting to offer to send Harley to visit her cousin, Gretchen, she doesn’t hesitate.
But Gretchen and Harley have both changed in the years they’ve been apart. In an effort to rekindle their friendship, Harley agrees to Gretchen’s suggested activity, even though it’s outside her comfort zone: a tour with Gretchen and her friends through the off-limits section of the Paris Catacombs. Miles and miles of tunnels deep under the city, filled with the remains of more than six million people.
When a cave-in kills their guide and leaves the group injured, terrified, and lost with limited supplies, they must search for a way out from the endless maze beneath the city of light. But surrounded by shadows, it’s hard to tell friends from enemies. Harley doesn’t know if she can trust anyone, including her own cousin. If they ever want to get back to the surface, they’ll have to fight for everything they hold dear–for their sanity, their humanity, their very lives–in a place that only embraces death.
Excerpt Across the room, I see a slight rain of dust fall from the top of the pillar the others are looking at. Paolo is bent over behind it like he’s examining something. I squint, focusing my flashlight on the falling dust, and I see the dirt around the bottom of that particular pillar is thicker than around the others. It looks different too, like powder . . .
Anders takes a step back from the pillar, shaking his head. “This doesn’t look very stable.”
James shoots Anders a look before saying, “You’re one to talk.” Anders stiffens.
Everything seems to slow down as Paolo pulls a skull from the pillar, holding it out teasingly toward Maud. My heart stops and my limbs go numb as I realize that the thick powder around the pillar is crumbled plaster. “No,” I say softly, but our guide must hear me because he spins around.
Lambert reacts much faster than I do. He runs, arms stretched out and body rigid with panic. Maud recoils from Paolo in disgust as he puts down his flashlight and pulls another skull free from the pillar.
“Stop!” M. Lambert shouts. “Don’t touch that!”
“Run!” I scream.
Anders steps back, pressing himself against the wall. Maud and Paolo simply freeze, whipping their heads around to look our way. I hear the rumbling before I feel it. Paolo must too, because he grabs Maud and James and jerks them back hard toward the far wall. Grabbing Gretchen, I drag her over behind the pillar I examined earlier. It’s strong, sturdy, and it might be our only chance of not being buried alive. As we rush past, I shout Henri’s name.
“What in—” Liv says.
“Move!” Henri pulls her toward me so fast she drops her camera and stumbles into Gretchen and me.
Our world vibrates and then a roar of noise fills my ears. Rocks crashing, bones and stone cracking, people screaming. I’m screaming too. I’ve never heard so many people sound so desperately afraid. Flashlight beams spin wildly about before all the light is dimmed by falling dust and debris. Gretchen and I hold tight to each other and I close my eyes against the dust that burns them like fire.
The shaking seems to go on forever until suddenly it stops. Seconds pass in eerie silence. My lungs burn and Gretchen coughs against my shoulder.
Somebody moans. I think it’s Henri. I reach for him, finding his jacket and gripping it.
“Are you okay?” I try to say, but the words aren’t clear. My voice sounds raspy and broken.
I open my eyes a little. The dust is settling, and if I squint I can see a bit without my eyes burning. Not that there is much to see. There are spots of light shining through the dust cloud in a few places, but most of the flashlights have been buried. I’m afraid to sit up straight, terrifi ed that the shaking will begin again and the ceiling will fall in and crush us all. My breathing comes in tight gasps as I fight to push away the panic. The air burns my throat and lungs until I’m coughing again.
Henri digs out his big flashlight and shines it around the room. “Oh no,” he whispers.
Gretchen and I shift our position until we can see where he’s looking. My stomach rolls and I feel like I might be sick. Where the farthest pillar stood, now there is a massive pile of dirt, rocks, and bones. Nearly half of the room is caved in. The pile reaches up to the ceiling. Two of the five tunnels out of the room are blocked.
Author J.R. Johansson
About the Author J.R. JOHANSSON is the author of the Night Walkers Series (INSOMNIA, PARANOIA and MANIA) as well as standalone novels, CUT ME FREE and THE ROW. Her books have been published in over a dozen languages and more than twenty countries worldwide. She is the creator and host of the Riveting Reads podcast and the AuthorGamerGirl channel on Twitch. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. She lives in a valley where the sun shines 300+ days per year with her hot tub named Valentino. Visit her online at www.jrjohansson.com.
Welcome to the book blitz for A THOUSAND ASHES, the second book in the adult fantasy series, Titanlord, by M.G. Darwish, releasing October 14, 2020. See below for information on the book and series, buy inks, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.
A THOUSAND ASHES (Titanlord Series #2) by M.G. Darwish
Synopsis No one thought the Gods would descend. Plucked from his reality, Griffyn never thought that the Gods would be so terrified of him even when a Titan stood before them. The Red Hand entrusted him with the only sword that allows him to fight back: the Masamune.
Now that the Gods have sworn to eliminate humanity, the Empire has fallen, ravished and turned to dust. The Magmars are no more, and he alone holds the key to salvation.
He has endured many losses, but will he succumb and accept his fate? Or will he rise from beneath a thousand ashes?
To win, he must quell the Titans within him and tame them. But every time he uses their power, he risks losing himself.
Book 2 of the Titanlord Series. A direct sequel to Titanlord: of Death & Sacrifice
The Capital that was once a glorious sight to behold was no more. It laid in destruction and agony. The cries of children filled the restless skies as deformed creatures began to defile the lands. Tormented souls that were meant to remain banished wandered out in the open.
The demons cut through all; old, young, strong, or weak. Nothing halted them from executing their God’s justice as they began to initiate their plans of erasing mankind and starting the world anew.
Griffyn was running far away from the Capital. By some miracle, he had escaped with the sword that the Red Hand entrusted him with, the sword that harbored the only thing that could pose a threat to the Gods that descended: the Masamune.
Tears were running down on his cheeks as he flew past the terrified citizens. Those who stood their grounds and tried to fight for their right to live were being left for slaughter. Yet Griffyn did not wait, he did not fight back.
“Forgive me, forgive me,” he repeated in agony as he rushed outside the keep and made his way through the courtyard. The demons that tore the place down seemed to ignore him as they had their jaws full of flesh. Griffyn ran and did not look back, the horrors trapped in his mind.
Within minutes, he was outside the once proud city that boosted its invulnerability. He paused as archers readied their arrows at him. Just outside, some of the remaining forces of the late King had rallied up and built a few barricades to keep the monsters at bay.
“Stop!” he shouted. “What are you all doing?”
“Hold your fire!” a voice commanded as he emerged into the light of the struggling sun. Squirmy eyebrows sat on a square face beneath a head of shiny golden hair. His eyes were a piercing light blue as he met Griffyn’s gaze.
“Wilson?” Griffyn mumbled.
“What in God’s name happened inside? What did you all do?” Wilson asked as he grabbed him by the shirt and pushed him around.
“Careful who you plead to. Gods are all out of mercy.”
About the Author M.G. Darwish is an award nominated author who writes dark, twisted and action-packed fiction. He tries his best not to base his characters on anyone he knows in real life to avoid that extra weird conversation about how they were brutalized and killed in the book. Oh and he’s terrified of a penguin uprising more than ghosts and demons.
He is best known for his Secret of the Moonlight which was featured on Wattpad.
Welcome to the book blitz for SCANDAL’S PROMISE, a stand-alone adult historical romance, by Pamela Gibson. See below for information on the book, buy inks, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Haunted by questions and her own insecurities, Lady Emily Sinclair longs to discover why her betrothed abandoned her and married another. Seven years have passed, but the pain of his betrayal still lingers, buried beneath layers of humiliation and mistrust. When he returns after the Napoleonic Wars, she vows to avoid him. If only her foolish heart felt the same.
Broken and addicted to his medication, widower Andrew Quimby, Lord Cardmore, rattles around his ancient manor, oblivious to his deteriorating health and state of mind. When he learns the woman he was forced to abandon remains unmarried, he vows to try to win her back, even if it means returning to a society he despises.
But Andrew soon discovers he has a secret enemy. Threatening notes appear and sinister accidents put those in his inner circle in danger. Can he overcome his demons in time to keep them safe or will everyone and everything he loves disappear forever.
She willed herself to be calm, to speak in the prim tones she’d perfected over the years. “Shall we start at the beginning? Or perhaps somewhere in the middle. We announced our engagement at a grand ball. And then?” She gazed out over the water rather than look at his face, afraid she might detect a falsehood.
Oh ye of little faith.
“I’d accepted the invitation to the Livingston house party, thinking you would be there.”
“I’d planned to go. But Mama took ill. I remained behind to help nurse her.”
He stirred beside her, as if searching his memory for long-ago details. “On the, er, night in question, I joined the billiard players after dinner rather than take tea with the ladies. We wagered on every game. The challenges took hours, and we all drank heavily. When I look back on that night, it was Woodley who kept my glass full. In the wee hours of the morning, I stumbled to my room. I’d sent my man to bed hours before, knowing I’d probably collapse fully clothed once the door closed behind me.”
He paused and let the remaining stones in his hand fall to the ground. “This next part is hard.”
She glanced at his bowed head. “This is the part I need to hear from your own lips, Andrew.”
He nodded. “She was under the coverlet—Miss Woodley—in her night rail. I hadn’t lighted a candle. I didn’t notice her until I had removed most of my clothes and climbed up to the bed. She laughed, a high-pitched screeching sound. I-I couldn’t believe my ears or my eyes. Then the door opened, and her mother and another lady who were just passing by in the hallway barged in.” He rubbed the back of his neck, his eyes downcast.
“Mrs. Woodley screamed, ran over to me, and pelted me with her fists. Several people gathered at the door to watch the drama. I thought it was a joke. Caroline was still laughing, and I wanted to join in the merriment even though my brain was sluggish and I feared I would pass out at any moment. Her father came in, ordered everyone else out, and bellowed at me in outrage. By then Mrs. Woodley had escorted her daughter out of the room.”
He paused. “I never touched her, Em. I swear I didn’t even know she was there. They’d hatched a parson’s mousetrap and decided the night was ripe to spring it because they knew I was thoroughly foxed.”
She’d been told only part of the story. But the last part was new. Had it been a trap? There had been moments of entrapment in the ton, but most eligible bachelors were careful to stay clear of unscrupulous mamas who had unweddable daughters. Andrew had been betrothed and technically off the market. Had he been chosen because of his fondness for spirits? Many of the eligible bachelors of the ton drank to excess. That couldn’t be the reason, could it? And why?
Caroline Woodley had not been an antidote. On the contrary, she’d had many suitors, but had not accepted any. That was the perplexing part. Why go to the trouble of entrapping Cardmore and contracting a scandalous, Gretna Green marriage when eligible men surely had applied for her hand?
She hunched over and picked up one of the stones. Smooth and round, it was perfect for skipping across the water. She grasped it tightly, forming words she needed to say. “I’m still confused. Caroline was popular. She never lacked dancing partners, and a cadre of beaus followed her around. Why would she trap someone? Had she no offers?”
“Many, or at least that’s what I was told.”
“Then why did she not accept any?”
“I asked her. Do you know what she boldly said? She was in love.”
Emily frowned. “With you? Was she in love with you, Andrew?”
“No. But by then it was imperative she marry quickly.”
“I’m still confused.”
He rubbed his hands on his knees. “Caroline was carrying a child, and she told everyone it was mine.”
Author Pamela Gibson
About the Author Author of eight books on California history and fifteen romance novels, PamelaGibson is a former City Manager who lives in the Nevada desert. Having spent the last three years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of Ralph, the Rescue Cat. If you want to learn more about her activities go to https://www.pamelagibsonwrites.com and sign up for her quarterly newsletter and occasional blog. Or follow her in these places:
Welcome to the book blitz for THE SIX MONTH LEASE, the second book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Southern Hearts Club, by Melanie Munton. See below for information on the book and series, buy inks, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE SIX MONTH LEASE (Southern Hearts Club Series #2) by Melanie Munton
Synopsis Never have I ever…moved in with a guy after dating him for only three weeks.
Just kidding. That’s exactly what I did.
And like most of you are probably thinking, it inevitably blew up in my face when we broke up two days after signing our lease.
Now, I’m stuck living with my ex. The same man who turned my life completely upside down in record time.
For. Six. Whole. Months.
It doesn’t matter how many times he flashes those abs at me after a shower, or how close his bedroom is to mine. I will resist him because he’s simply not the right guy for me.
But if I thought he’d done a number on me before, that’s nothing compared to what happens after I finally learn the secret he’s been keeping from me this entire time.
“I’d so love to continue this battle of wits, but some of us have things to do today that require a shower first.”
His eyes lower to my cleavage, mouth parting. I steadfastly refuse to allow that action to affect me in any way. Then he brashly lets his gaze travel over the rest of me like we’re still dating and he has the right to do such a thing.
I hate how many tingles I still get when he does that.
For God’s sake, have some self-respect.
“Need any help with that?” he rasps, his eyes locked on the swell of my breasts.
Images of our naked bodies crushed together in the shower assault me. Him kneeling before me. My head bobbing between his legs. Water sluicing over his ripped abdominals. His roars of pleasure echoing off the tiled walls as he comes. Unfortunately, those images aren’t fantasies. They’re memories. Which are so much harder to dismiss.
Maddeningly, my mouth goes dry, but I still manage to push words out. “I think the days of you helping me with anything in the shower are ancient history.”
His eyes shoot up to mine. “Careful, princess. You just broke your own rule.”
My pulse spikes.
We have another heady standoff where the residual lust that still simmers between us but is never addressed crackles in the air like fire embers. I know I need to say something—anything—to get him out of my room before we foolishly reacquaint our tangled bodies with a bed, but I’m coming up with a big, fat zero.
This, right here, is why I’m being so damn strict about the rules.
Because I honestly don’t think I’m strong enough to resist the temptation that is West.
Despite how we broke up—how furious he made me when we fought that night, when he said things that still linger at the forefront of my memory—I still want this man. Like, bad want him. Which has nothing to do with feelings or emotions. It’s all due to our forced proximity and the flames of our former physical connection that have yet to be completely doused.
After all, it’s not like his looks have changed in the three weeks since we broke up, as much as I prayed for a miracle that they would. I can’t make my body flip a switch and not find him objectively attractive just like that. The arousal that attraction inflicts is a pain in the ass, but it’s manageable as long as I don’t dwell on it.
Or stare at him too long.
And maybe I have a bit of a devious streak in me because I’ve kind of been shoving my body in his face at every opportunity. Not that I should give a crap what he thinks about my appearance since we’re no longer together, but there’s still my pride to consider. Which is what I was protecting when I quickly checked myself over in the full-length mirror just before he marched down the hallway and blew into my room.
It was pride that had me checking that my hair was still falling in its neat waves, that my makeup hadn’t faded, and that my boobs were supported nicely in my sports bra and peeking out the top of my workout tank. I may have also glanced back over my shoulder to see how my ass looked in these spandex pants. But again, that was pride.
It had nothing to do with reminding him of what he’s missing out on.
Okay, maybe a teensy bit.
“You going to camp out in here all day?” I ask, hands on my hips. “If so, you could have at least brought marshmallows with you.”
Tension broken, he snorts in laughter and walks backwards through the open doorway. “Holler if you need help with any of those hard to reach places.”
Then he’s gone.
And I’m left reeling.
You stupid, stupid fool! You know rule number six is the most important one of all.
Rule number six: there will absolutely, unequivocally be no mention of our past relationship.
I made that one easy to remember.
Six is one letter away from sex.
Which is the one thing I will definitely not be getting any of for the next five and a half months.
At least, not with West Devereaux.
Author Melanie Munton
About the Author Traveler. Reader. Beach-goer. St. Louis Cardinals fan. Pasta-obsessed. North Carolina resident. Sarcastic. Bit of a nerd.
Author of the Cruz Brothers, Possession and Politics, and Timid Souls series, Melanie loves all things romance, comedies and suspense in particular because it’s boring to only stick to one sub-genre! From light-hearted comedies to sexy thrillers, she likes to mix it up, but loves her some strong alpha males and sassy heroines.
Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects!
Welcome to the book blitz for A HAUNTED LOVE, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by Dakota Star. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Ash detests Halloween. Three years ago, her husband’s death during the same week left her scarred. Now, all she desires is a simple, ordered life in the small town of Humble, Connecticut and time with the cutest boy ever – her nephew. That becomes impossible when her sister brings a handsome soldier, Cole, to her door.
From the moment they meet, Ash has a hard time ignoring his good looks and those intense gray eyes that have seen enough war and heartbreak to fill a lifetime. What starts as a mutual attraction and a romp in bed leads Ash to face her demons. War has left Cole with more than just physical scars as well.
But does serendipity, a ghost, or something sinister have other plans for them? When someone starts stalking Ash, Halloween turns to horror. Does Cole have what it takes to incinerate Ash’s doubts and keep her safe?
“Please stop scrutinizing me that way.”
“What way?” His head tilted, eyes never leaving hers.
“That sexy, smiley way.” Ash’s insides fluttered.
“Whatever you want,” Cole said but kept her gaze.
Color rose, spraying her neck with red. “I’m wondering if this night doesn’t need something stronger to end it with instead of the wine.”
“Which was great by the way.” He rose from the table to help clear the few items left.
They moved into the kitchen. “I’m not a huge hard liquor fan, but I have some left over from the Halloween party. Let me see what there is.” She moved to the pantry and returned with two tumblers of whiskey. “Why don’t we have these in the living room?”
They settled on the couch and Ash flicked up the end-table lamp switch, illuminating the room with soft glow. Sitting side by side, she took a sip of whisky, relishing the burn as it went down. A cozy warmth filled her.
He downed his drink in one gulp and then shifted so their faces were only a few inches apart, close proximity making her nervous and giddy. Again, her stomach flipped, urges that she never thought she’d experience bubbling inside.
“I thought going back into the Navy would make me happy, but I see other options now.”
“You do?” Her voice turned soft and breathy.
“Yes. And one option is sitting right next to me.”
“This is moving too fast.” Ash moved back, squeezing against the couch cushions. “I think it’s time to call it a night.”
“I’m sorry if I misinterpreted the situation. I thought maybe…” He trailed off.
She studied him and wondered how honest she should be. A sigh escaped as the truth emerged. It must be the drink. “You’re right. I’m attracted to you, but it’s not that easy. I lost my husband three years ago and I still miss him every day. I can’t do this.” She couldn’t think of a way to clarify the situation further and hoped he’d understand.
Remaining quiet, his head tilted to the side, eyes trained on her. “I understand, but can I ask you a question?”
She pushed a strand of hair behind her ear and pulled her sweater cuffs over her fingers, self-conscious of the way he studied her. “Okay.”
“You aren’t allowed to have fun in bed anymore?” He smiled. “Have you left that part of your life behind for good?”
She huffed at his attempt to lighten the mood. “I don’t want an emotional attachment right now. His death is still too fresh and raw.”
“It’s been three years.” His hand caressed her knee. “Bonnie told me a little about the situation.” He paused, appraising her. “Let’s take emotional attachments out of the equation. I promise not to fall in love with you, if you promise the same. I just got out of the service, and I’m not sure where my life is headed.”
He ran a hand over his crewcut, skimming the short hair. “I could be back in the Navy in a few months. I like you. You’re beautiful and fun to be around. You have a great dog and really nice sister. How about we have some fun and leave it at that. We can go a day, a week, a month. You decide that part.”
He stood, grabbing his jacket from the chair where she’d placed it when he arrived. “Think it over.” He moved toward the door, but then returned to her, grabbing her hand, pulling her off the couch and close to him.
Her head buzzed and her stomach muscles clenched as he dropped a kiss on her cheek.
“I hope to see you again soon.” His mouth caught hers as she was about to speak, making words flee. Longing filled her as his lips pressed against her. It was coming home and starting a new journey at once. Hunger filled her as his mouth demanded more. His lips on hers made everything else bearable. She took a step closer as he pulled away.
Ash stood dazed in the living room even after she heard the screen door bang shut.
Author Dakota Star
About the Author Dakota Star likes worn-in cowboy boots, a well-trained horse, a cold beverage, and trails to ride in the woods.
She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. Both her daughters have finished college and moved away so her dogs, cats, and retired horse now keep her busy. When not outside hiking or horseback riding, she loves to read and travel.
She has worked as an editor, a freelance writer for local newspapers, and an educator at local environmental non-profits like aquariums and The National Audubon Society.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOOKING GLASS, a stand-alone adult romantic suspense, by Kathleen Harryman. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOOKING GLASS by Kathleen Harryman
Synopsis She wakes up to a life she doesn’t recognize…And to a husband she can’t imagine loving.
Kate find herself in a hospital with no memory of who she is or anything about her life. Everything is blank.
An attractive, well dressed and obviously wealthy man stands there claiming to be her husband. Yet, as she first looks into his cold eyes, she wonders how she could have loved and married the man.
As Kate is taken home to her luxury mansion. she realizes her ordeal is just beginning. Life with the controlling Liam, her husband, is more than she bargained for.
Then, her memory starts to come back and the truth emerges…
“A well written, thought-out, intriguing and beguiling story by the author, as told by the characters involved.” ~ Goodreads Review ~
“The Other Side of The Looking Glass by Kathleen Harryman was intense, intriguing, well paced and an absolute pleasure to read.” ~ Goodreads review
Read this romantic suspense thriller from the author of Hidden Danger and When Darkness Falls, The Other Side of the Looking Glass is a tale of subterfuge, mystery, mistaken identity and true love.
Excerpt #3 Liam
Opening the file, I look at Pete’s report. While a sister is mentioned, there are no photographs, nor is there an age or date of birth. At the time, this missing information didn’t bother me. Now, it sends anger slithering through my veins. The answer to the problem of Kate’s coming death should have been contained in this file, not left to a chance encounter. The oversight is going to cost Pete, but for now, I smile. The sister isn’t just Kate’s younger or elder sibling. No, she is her twin. Her identical twin.
I flip through the photos I have taken, cropping and enlarging the woman’s face on the screen. There is no telling them apart. For the first time since getting Kate’s cancer diagnosis, my body relaxes.
The waitress sets my gin and tonic on the table and I dial Pete’s number.
“I’ve sent you a number of photos. You need to start explaining why you failed to tell me that Kate has an identical twin sister.”
Pete owes me, and I am collecting my debt – plus interest.
No one feeds me incorrect information without paying the price, and Pete is about to discover that price. With Charles leaving to go live in some godforsaken remote place in Scotland, there is no one to stop me.
The phone echoes with the urgent fumbling of a man not prepared to accept his fate. My lips grow thinner.
“Well, I haven’t got all day. Frankly, I’ve waited long enough. How many years is it since you compiled the information on Kate for me?” I don’t wait for Pete to answer. “I’ll tell you, Pete. Six years. Six years, and in that time, you never bothered to check that the information I paid for was complete. You know I’m not a tolerant man, Pete. Tolerance is for fools, and I will not be treated like a fool.”
“You didn’t specify how far back to go, so I only did a preliminary scan of the time before Kate was taken in by her aunt. I did inform you about the sister. The aunt sold her to a couple who couldn’t have children. You weren’t interested in the sister at the time.”
I put down my glass with a thud. The occupants of a table near me look over but are soon engrossed in their conversation once again.
“Don’t you ever try and weasel your way into thinking that this is my fault. It’s not going to go away that easily. The issue here isn’t whether I was interested in the sister at the time or not, it’s that you should have done your job properly. You didn’t, you were sloppy, and now you owe me.”
“Mr. Thornton…” Pete stutters, and I can sense him gathering his excuses.
“I wouldn’t go down that road if I were you, Pete. People like you are ten a penny. You have no living relatives, no wife or children. It’s fair to say no one will miss you.”
“Are you threatening me?” Pete sounds stunned.
The poor man really is stupid, despite being an excellent private detective. If he thinks his sloppy work won’t have any consequences attached to it, he’s a silly, silly, silly man.
“No, Pete, I’m not threatening you. I am telling you that you have twenty-four hours to finish getting all the information on Kate and her sister. And, to clarify – when I say all the information, I mean down to blood type and pimples, or you can kiss your existence goodbye. I hope I have made myself understood.”
“Yes.” Pete bites out the word like someone is holding a gun to his head and threatening to pull the trigger.
The image makes me smile.
“Good. I shall see you tomorrow at ten a.m. sharp, at my office.”
“But that’s only sixteen hours away.” At least Pete can do the maths.
“Then you’d better get going, before I move our meeting forward.” I hang up, leaving Pete spluttering into his phone.
Picking up my drink, I start working out my options.
First things first. I have to get the real Kate out of the way and into her final resting place. I will have to curb my impatience and ride out the forty-eight hours left.
The sun no longer feels unwelcome. Like my brightening mood, I find its radiance has a warming effect.
Author Kathleen Harryman
About the Author Kathleen Harryman is a storyteller and poet living in the historically rich city of York, North Yorkshire, England, with her husband, children and pet dog and cat.
Kathleen first published a suspense thriller in 2015, The Other Side of the Looking Glass. Since then, she has developed a unique writing style which readers have enjoyed and is now a multi-published author of suspense, psychological thrillers, poetry and historical romance.
Welcome to the book blitz for BOOKED FOR MURDER, the first book in the adult urban fantasy series, Vigilante Magical Librarians, by USA Today bestselling author, R.J. Blain. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
BOOKED FOR MURDER (Vigilante Magical Librarians Series #1) by R.J. Blain
Synopsis Life as a bodyguard and driver for the rich, famous, and powerful is dangerous on a good day, and after sustaining a crippling injury while on duty, Janette’s left with few options. Having signed a ‘for life’ contract but unable to work, she uses her skills to disappear.
Her new life as a librarian suits her. Nobody cares she limps and sometimes requires a cane to walk. She’s wanted for her knowledge, not her lethal magic. She’s surrounded by books, a woman’s best friend.
But when her former employer’s best friend is murdered on the steps of her library, old loyalties and secrets might destroy her—or set her free.
Teaming up with her co-workers to find the killer might keep her from being booked for murder, but unless she’s careful, she’ll find out exactly how far her ex-boss will go to reclaim what is rightfully his.
Her. For life.
I assumed he still did. Bradley Hampton wasn’t the kind to quit once he decided to do something.
A sports car roared by, and it surprised me to discover I missed my once upon a time.
The vehicle, a red Bugatti worth more than the idiot who drove it, darted through traffic. I scoffed at the driver’s inaccuracies, skirting too close to the lines for anyone’s comfort. Precision mattered when controlling a car at high speeds—or at any speed, really. A single tap of the brake could end lives or save them. The wrong turn of the wheel could result in a crash. Such a mistake, not on my part, had cost me my once upon a time, and a chill sliced through me at the memories the red vehicle revived.
Once upon a time, my job had been to drive one of those cars, protect the man I’d been sworn to for life, and rise above all others except for him.
Bradley Hampton wanted only the best and to be the best, and he’d expected more from me than anyone else.
My once upon a time had ended with the recklessness of another bodyguard who’d believed a few minutes of time might actually matter. My last conscious act had been to position my car so my precious passenger would walk away from the accident. Even as I’d hit the brakes and turned the wheel, I’d been aware I would pay for his life with mine.
I’d done so with pride.
I couldn’t remember any fear, only pride.
I couldn’t remember any pain, either. Trauma could do that to a person, erasing critical moments.
Taking the brunt of the accident, created by another bodyguard’s foolish pride, had cost a principal his life in addition to dumping me into a coma so deep and long I’d been transferred across the country to a specialty hospital and left for dead.
I gave my ex-boss credit; he’d taken the ‘for life’ portion of my contract seriously, and he’d refused to have my plug yanked. Others of his ilk would have without hesitation. It didn’t change anything for me, though. His instructions, should I awaken, had been brutal and simple enough.
He didn’t want to hear a damned word about me until I could return to duty.
In typical Bradley Hampton fashion, he’d believed I’d be returning to duty.
Author by R.J. Blain
About the Author RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.
Welcome to the book blitz for I AM HERE NOW, a standalone young adult coming-of-age, by Barbara Bottner. See below for information on the book, buy links, and exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Set in the 1960s, Barbara Bottner’s I Am Here Now is a beautiful novel in verse about one artist’s coming of age. It’s a heartbreaking, powerful and inspiring depiction of what it’s like to shatter your life—and piece it all back together.
You can’t trust Life to give you decent parents, or beautiful eyes, a fine French accent or an outstanding flair for fashion. No, Life does what it wants. It’s sneaky as a thief.
Maisie’s first day of High school should be exciting, but all she wants is to escape.
Her world is lonely and chaotic, with an abusive mother and a father who’s rarely there to help.
So when Maisie, who finds refuge in her art, meets the spirited Rachel and her mother, a painter, she catches a glimpse of a very different world—one full of life, creativity, and love—and latches on.
But as she discovers her strengths through Rachel’s family, Maisie, increasingly desperate, finds herself risking new friendships, and the very future she’s searching for.
BANG, BANG, BANG
In his bedroom, Davy, awake again, knocks his head against his wall. I have to admit, he’s too distraught for someone who still doesn’t have one single hair growing out of his baby face. Bang. Bang. Bang. He’s a human metronome. Once, he said, “I do it to escape the chaos of this place.”
“I escape by drawing. Why don’t you just play some Gershwin?” I asked.
He didn’t bother to answer.
Judith made him pick out his carpet. I remember how insistent she was that he choose it for himself. As if that could make him feel that he belongs in a family of people who have brown eyes, brown hair in common, but mainly are falling apart. Not falling, no. Ripping. I wonder, can you exchange one sort of hurt for another?
Mother marches into his room, says: “Stop this! It can’t be good for you, David! I worry about you.”
She never speaks in a soft, concerned voice, Why are you doing this, honey? What’s the matter? Davy has an entire repertoire for this habit.
He quits just long enough for her to leave. Then bang. Bang. Bang, again. It stops. I can’t make out anything else. Did she go back in? Is she hugging him? Straightening out his blankets? Her few moments of maternal instinct for the entire week are spent now. And as soon as she leaves again, thump, thump, thump: a perfect rhythm. It’s distracting. I can forget about it for a little while, but then I can’t doze off; thump, thump, he’s not a boy, he’s a machine.
I tap the wall between us. “Davy, stop it!” He misses a thump. Then another. “Thank you! Go to sleep!” But he begins again. “That’s bad for you, Davy!” I hear those words as if I didn’t say them. It is bad for him, really bad.
I get up, trot to his door, knock softly. “Davy, please listen to your sister.” Saying “sister” somehow makes me well up with tears. And then I’m begging: “Hey, Davy, open the door!”
It does open, slowly. I notice his glassy eyes, as if he’s in a trance. He goes back to bed. He lets me take his warm, toasty hand. It hits me; Davy’s hurting and fragile. I wait while his eyes drift close. I hear his soft breathing. I can’t believe I never thought about this; my brother is another me.
Author Barbara Bottner
About the Author Barbara Bottner has written about 50 books for children of all ages. In May, her first YA novel in free verse, I Am Here Now is coming out from Macmillan (Imprint) She’s written a NY Times Bestseller, as well as staffed prime time sit-com, sold screenplays, published essays and short stories in both national and literary magazines and reviewed children’s books for both the NY and LA Sunday Book Review. Many of her works have been multiply translated and animated, and adapted for short plays. When she was an animator, she won “Best Film For TV” from the Annecy International Animation Festival. When very young, she briefly appeared on stage and in Europe with La Mama Plexus and in television movies. She teaches writing for children privately but won The Distinguished University Teaching Award from The New School For Social Research. Her papers are collected in the Arne Nixon Center for Children’s Literature at Fresno State.
Former students include: Lane Smith, Robin Preiss Glaser, Peggy Rathmann, Bruce Degen, Barney Saltsburg and Antoinette Portis.
She feels blessed to have a passion that seems to stick with her no matter how the larger world goes out of control.
Welcome to the book blitz for KATE, a standalone new adult contemporary romance, by Charyse Allan. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $0.99. See below for information on the book, buy links, and exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis This book will have you feeling ALL THE FEELS and then some! You will be mad, sad, happy and on the edge of your seat.” – Sassy Southern Book Blog
After escaping her past, Kate builds her life around a single purpose: staying hidden. But when the unexpected threatens to unravel her tightly kept secrets, her will to remain alone falters.
Kate ran, planning to leave behind a shell of a life, giving herself strict rules to live by in order to keep the past hidden. But these rules have her trading one prison for another.
Then Kai sneaks into her life, shoving through her shields, getting her to break every one of her rules. An unexpected surprise threatens to unravel her secrets and strip away the control she fought so hard for. But she embraces it, diving into the unknown with Kai.
When her past catches up with her, she battles to keep those she has come to love protected, refusing to relent the strength she found within. But when stuck in a place she never wants to return to and with no chance of escape, she fears losing everything she’s allowed herself to cherish.
Excerpt #2 Her gaze jumped between my eyes and lips, eyes and lips. My blood boiled. I was going to devour her. But I gritted my teeth to keep from doing so. I’d already gone to her over and over, made every move. It was about time she did the moving.
And she did.
Leaning over the armrest, she brushed her soft lips over mine. The sharp breath I sucked in couldn’t be stopped. Blood rushed through my veins, my pulse pounding in my ears. I wanted to gobble her up but again stayed my hand. She pulled back slightly, and I bit my cheek to keep from grabbing that braid and crushing my mouth back to hers.
“Oh, and I forgot to add, no more being a jackass,” she murmured against my lips, and my heart sang.
I fucking adored her.
I chuckled darkly, muttering, “Now that’s one thing I cannot abide,” before snaking that braid around my hand and brushing my lips against hers.
Author Charyse Allan
About the Author Charyse published the first novel of the Valley of Death Series in 2014 and has published four books since. She is working toward her BA in Professional Writing through GCU. Now married to her best friend/high school sweetheart, they live in the sweltering heat of Arizona raising their four kiddos and two Goldens. She’s a bookaholic and chocoholic; her vices keep her sane, but YAH keeps her patient.
Welcome to the book blitz for FOR THE WIN, a standalone adult contemporary sports romance, by Raine Thomas. See below for information on the book, buy links, and exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
It’s what gets Jasmine Li out of bed every morning. She’s determined to overcome the injury that has derailed her career in ballet, the only love she’s ever known. She can’t afford to allow a baseball player to distract her, no matter how hot and persistent he might be.
Will Campbell defines the word. It’s what makes him a successful pitcher and it’s helping him learn how to be a single dad to a little girl with plenty of trust issues. Just his luck, the one person his daughter—and his heart—finally respond to is a stubborn, sexy ballerina with plans that don’t involve relationships or children.
But Will didn’t become the best closer in the majors by giving up. He knows what he wants and what his daughter needs, and he’s going to get it. Jasmine Li has met her match…and he’s playing for the win.
Excerpt #2 The strains of some kind of classical music reached Will before he entered the room. He didn’t immediately see Katie and Jasmine. When he reached the chair he’d pulled down for himself, he saw them standing at the barre, facing the mirror.
He was pretty sure his eyes nearly plopped out of his head.
Jasmine was performing a standing split. Her long legs, now covered in tights rather than the baggy pants, made one straight vertical line. Her right hand grasped the barre while her left hand grasped her calf in the air, leaving her torso curved in an elegant arch.
“So that’s the second position stretch,” Jasmine said, lowering her leg. “But as I said, that will come later. Our barre work will be much more basic to start.”
She spotted him as he dropped down into his chair. He did his best to close his gaping mouth.
“All done?” she asked.
Thank God she didn’t ask him anything else. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to find his voice again.
Jesus. She was magnificent.
There was no doubt Jasmine was a beautiful woman. She had dark, lustrous hair, a flawless porcelain complexion, high cheekbones, and almond-shaped brown eyes that hinted at Asian heritage somewhere in the mix. She was lithe and slender, her every movement a study in grace and precision.
And she had fucking killer legs.
Sure, she was beautiful. But now…good lord. Those tights and that leotard showed him just what her baggy clothes had been hiding. Combined with the refinement of her movements, it had his body responding in a completely unexpected way.
Which was crazy, he told himself, since her poise and control were the two traits he had initially disliked about her the most.
Life could sure be ironic.
He shook off his reaction and returned his focus to the lesson, doing his best to look only at Katie. He pulled out his phone and used his camera, both to take pictures and capture some video. His dad was going to want to see them later.
The lesson went over the hour by nearly twenty minutes. Will hadn’t even registered how much time had passed. Having the opportunity to watch his daughter learn something that made her happy had the time passing in a blink.
“I know going through the moves and positions is repetitive,” Jasmine said as she and Katie sat to change their shoes. “But these are building blocks to learning routines.”
Katie nodded sagely. It had Will’s lips twitching in amusement, especially when he observed how she was mimicking Jasmine’s posture and mannerisms.
“It seems you enjoyed yourself, huh, kiddo?” he said, walking over to her and giving her bun a gentle tug.
She smiled and nodded.
“Would you like to do this again?” Jasmine asked her.
Another nod, this one more vigorous.
Jasmine also smiled. The genuineness of it made her attractive on a whole other level. It revealed to him that she wasn’t just polished, poised, and aloof. There was passion inside her just waiting to be ignited.
Five minutes later, he locked Giuseppe’s doors and walked with Jasmine to the back of the Jeep so he could load the barre for her. She reached past him to toss her gym bag into the back and he caught her scent, something lightly floral and utterly feminine that once again made his libido take notice. And when she reached up, untwisted her hair tie, and released her glorious dark hair so it spilled down between her shoulder blades, there was even a moment where he forgot how to breathe.
“Call or text me when you’re ready to schedule another lesson,” she said as she closed the Jeep’s rear hatch.
“Sure,” he managed. Then, remembering he hadn’t paid her, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He handed her the hundred dollars plus an extra twenty for the additional time she’d given them. “Thanks again for doing this.”
“It was my pleasure.”
He and Katie waved her off and then climbed into his truck to head home. As he started the engine and backed out of the parking spot, he took a moment to reflect on how the lesson had gone.
He had started it with serious reservations about working with Jasmine because he hadn’t thought she would be invested in Katie, and he quite frankly hadn’t liked her very much. Now here he was ninety minutes later, having serious reservations about working with her for the exact opposite reasons.
He wasn’t at all sure what to do about that. When he’d come up with this idea, he’d had some expectation that he’d have to help protect Katie’s heart from being broken if this didn’t work out.
What the hell was he going to do to protect his own?
Author Raine Thomas
About the Author Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen. She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.
Welcome to the book blitz for QUEEN OF FATES AND FIRE, the sixth book in the adult urban fantasy series, Rogue Ethereal, by Annie Anderson. See below for information on the book, buy links, and exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
QUEEN OF FATES AND FIRE (Rogue Ethereal Series #6) by Annie Anderson
Synopsis A crown I don’t want. A bargain I can’t take back. A life I refuse to sacrifice.
After four hundred years on my own, one would think I’d be able to walk away and never look back. I’d done it a thousand times before with nary an inkling of guilt. But with my brand new predicament, there is no way I can turn down the offered bargain—not if I want everyone I love to stay alive.
Now, all I have to do is trek through the very realm I nearly died to keep sealed. Sure. Because there’s no way that could go wrong.
Unseelie Court, here I come.
Excerpt #2 “Way to be vague, Atropos,” Marcus growled. “What kind of Fate are you? Yeah, let’s just let a whole fucking realm tank and not say anything.”
Then it was Atropos standing in anger, her red hair flying about her head in a halo of rage. I wondered if we should all start standing when we had a grand statement to make. “I do what I can. You know the laws I am bound to. You know, Marcus. So, don’t sit there and tell me I’m doing a shitty job. I’m doing what I freaking can, okay? I’m here, aren’t I?”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake. Settle down. I’ll just talk to him, okay? I’ve done it a couple of times already. I’ll talk to the guy and see if we can get him out of whatever pocket dimension he made for himself, and we’re good, right? Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy and shit.” Yep, I was slurring the shit out of my words, but I had a feeling my message was clear enough. “Then you can give me back my husband, the world won’t end, and things can calm the fuck down.”
I took a little sip of what was left in my cup, and gently set it down on the coffee table. Okay, so I had to close one eye and aim extra careful, but I at least attempted to set it down gently.
Then I snuggled into the blanket and closed my eyes, calling on the element that was as elusive and ephemeral as smoke. Spirit wasn’t like the other elements. Those I could feel all the time here. They were like breathing or my heart beating—they seemed to flow into me without thought. Spirit only wanted to touch me when I was at my lowest, when I didn’t have enough strength to go on.
Kinda like right now. I felt the pull at my chest, the heat of all the elements filling me, healing me… stealing my damn buzz, but whatever. Then it felt like I was falling for a second, a sensation I hadn’t yet felt while contacting Dušan.
I opened my eyes, but he wasn’t there. The forest that was blurry at the edges, the night sky that was too close and too far away at the same time, the wooden stump he sat on—those were all there.
But he wasn’t.
Frantic, I called out, “Dušan! Come out. I need you!”
My eyes swept the tree line for the giant of a man with purple hair and lightning in his eyes.
But no one came.
Pulling out of the little pocket world took far too much effort, and by the time I made it back to my body, I could tell something was wrong.
Teresa and Andras were holding onto me, forcing my arms to my sides as I thrashed. Also, I was on the floor—that was another clue that something was amiss.
About the Author Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life… interesting.