Today is release day for EMPIRE HIGH UNTOUCHABLES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Empire High, by international bestselling author Ivy Smoak. See below for information on the book, buy links, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR, and details on her giveaway.
EMPIRE HIGH UNTOUCHABLES (Empire High Series #1) by Ivy Smoak
Synopsis The Untouchables. That’s what everyone calls them. At least, it’s my best friend’s nickname for them. And since she’s the only one that talks to me at my new school, I’ll take her word for it.
The nickname probably comes from the fact that they’re exorbitantly wealthy. Old wealth. The kind that isn’t flaunted around. But you can tell by the way they carry themselves. Or maybe the name just refers to the fact that they’re so beautiful it’s almost hard to look at them.
No matter the reason for their nickname, it’s an ironic one. Because I’ve only been going to this school for a week and I already want to touch.
Author Ivy Smoak
About the Author Ivy Smoak is the international bestselling author of The Hunted series.
When she’s not writing, you can find her binge watching too many TV shows, taking long walks, playing outside, and generally refusing to act like an adult.
Today is release day for A SPECTACLE OF SOULS, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Circus of the Stolen, by Jessica Julien. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
A SPECTACLE OF SOULS (Circus of the Stolen Series #1) by Jessica Julien
Synopsis Caitlyn always thought she was just your average small-town waitress, but she’s anything but average. Suffering from frequent headaches and vivid daydreams, her oddities mask a secret hidden deep within her mind—one that could defeat even the cleverest of psychics.
When a mysterious circus arrives in town, Caitlyn is immediately drawn to it. While visiting the hypnotic show, she meets a seer who warns her of a gruesome future and urges her to stay away. But soon, Caitlyn finds herself ensnared in the show and the Ringmaster himself.
Recognizing Caitlyn’s powers for what they are, and believing they are the ones he has been searching for, the Ringmaster is determined to claim them as his own. Trapped within the circus and the Ringmaster’s devious grip, Caitlyn realizes that to escape the seer’s foretold fate, her only choice is to fight. Banding together with Bevier, an imprisoned psychic, Meg, an eccentric seamstress, and Daniel, a handsome magician, Caitlyn falls into the Psychic Realm to thwart the Ringmaster and stop the show before they succumb to his control and are trapped forever in his spectacle of souls.
Excerpt #2 The Ringmaster loomed in the shadows, peeking out from behind the heavy curtain. Letting his eyes wander over the audience, he stopped here and there allowing his attention to focus on certain spectators.
“Anyone?” Madam Svetlana asked, gliding up beside him.
Shaking his head he replied, “No, not yet.”
He had done this a thousand times, searching the crowd for a pulse—a pull— an aura that glistened a little brighter than the others. Those were the juiciest, the ones with the buzz.
“There are many happy auras tonight but…” the Ringmaster let his voice trail off as he squinted, trying to goad one to pop out at him.
There’s always someone, a voice whispered in his mind.
“There!” He pointed.
Madam Svetlana followed his gaze, landing on the girl she had spoken with the day before. Her long hair pulled back into a loose braid, her eyes still glowing with the same majestic blue. Frustrated she hadn’t heeded her warning, Svetlana had switched out the card hidden within her pocket and had Ian add something extra to drink softening her aura and ensuring she wouldn’t be noticed. But it hadn’t worked, he still found her.
“Caitlyn,” Madam Svetlana said obediently.
“Caitlyn,” he repeated, as if testing the name on his tongue—tasting it, feeling it—to ensure it felt right. “Yes,” he nodded, “You’ve met her? Did you know she held an ability?”
“She came into my booth the other night, wanting a reading with her friend.” Madam Svetlana nodded toward Vanessa who now stood on stage about to be sawed in half. “I did feel an ability within her, but she does not know it is there.”
“Tell me about the power,” he demanded, his eyes never straying from his prey.
“It felt strong,” she shrugged.
Delicious, the voice salivated.
The Ringmaster turned toward her to watch her face more carefully. Squinting subtly, he read the quivering aura around her. He knew she was hiding something from him by the soft nervous purple it emitted.
“And…” he urged, taking a step closer to her, daring her to lie or withhold any information.
“It was powerful. Stronger than I’ve felt in long time.”
“But?” he pushed.
“But,” she continued, “it seems blocked. Stuck inside her mind, and she is stubborn girl—young. She may never release it.” The psychic fluttered her hands about.
The Ringmaster turned to the stage once more. “On her own.”
“What?” she asked, tilting her head.
“She may never release it on her own, you mean.” He glared back, watching Madam Svetlana nod once.
“Yes, I suppose,” she replied. “But do you really believe she is the one?”
“I’d need to get close to her to find out for sure,” he said as he watched Caitlyn smiling happily. Her aura pulsed a sublime shade of pinkish-purple where the edges glistened slightly with her hidden ability. He knew she had power within, waiting to be released, he only needed to find the right key to unlock it.
Daniel shouted, “Abracadabra” from the stage while the audience clapped. Vanessa stepped out of the sawed through box, perfectly unharmed.
“Send her the tonic,” he told Madam Svetlana.
“Are you sure? As I said she is not pliable enough yet. It may not work, or worse, it could damage her mind completely. She is too young to lose—”
“Send. It,” he commanded, lowering his tone to a depth that sent an icy shiver down the psychic’s spine.
Madam Svetlana nodded before turning to leave. The Ringmaster waited, mindlessly twisting his wedding ring, as his gaze drifted over Caitlyn. Nodding gently, as if answering an internal question, the Ringmaster knew she was the one he’d been searching for. She had to be.
Hungry. It whispered in the back of his mind.
He shook off the voice with a heavy sigh.
Author Jessica Julien
About the Author Born in the picturesque state of Washington, Jessica Julien is the marketing director of a boutique publishing company, a stay at home mom, wife, and wanderluster. When not drafting marketing plans or doing laundry, she spends her time writing young adult and new adult novels focused on the paranormal and supernatural inspired by her love of all things dark and twisty. With her vivacious imagination, witty personality, and ability to bring sarcasm to a new level Jessica creates unique worlds and characters that readers can’t help but hate to love and love to hate.
In her free time, Jessica can be found enjoying a cup of dark roasted coffee while snuggling under a blanket with a good book. When the weather is right she hops in the car with her husband, son, and dogs to road trip across the country where she delights in eating red vines, drinking iced lattes, and singing loudly in the passenger seat.
Today is release day for POWER SURGE, the fourth book in the adult romantic suspense/political romance series, PowerPlay, by Kennedy L. Mitchell. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
POWER SURGE (Power Play Series #4) by Kennedy L. Mitchell
Everything has changed, and not for the better. The not-so-perfect life I had as VP is gone, along with the team that’s been by my side each step of my political journey. Every move I make, every breath and thought, now affects millions, and the weight wears me down without Trey as a welcomed distraction.
They tell me war is coming, and I’m the one who has to stop it. But how is the question no one can answer. Past enemies lurk in the shadows while new ones hide in plain sight, stalking, watching, and waiting for the right moment to take me out. I need Trey back. I need them all by my side and ready to fight for me.
Can I undo the mess that my predecessor left in his wake, or will I break under the burden to save the world?
No pressure, right?
Power Surge is the fourth book in the five-book Power Play series and is a continuation of Randi and Trey’s epic love story. The books in this series cannot be read as standalones. All five books follow one main couple’s relationship as it grows through a five-year time period. It’s suspenseful, steamy, and oh so unputdownable. If you’re a fan of Tiffany Snow, Meghan March, and Skye Warren, then this series is for YOU!
About the Author Kennedy lives in Dallas with her husband, son, and 80lb Goldendoodle who still believes he’s a lap dog. A bookworm at heart, Kennedy loves to snuggle up in bed or by the campfire with an unputdownable book. She began writing two years ago with Falling for the Chance and has no plans of stopping. Her novels are witty, action-packed, and offer enough steam for a great facial. If you like strong heroines and sexy, tattooed men who can’t keep their hands off them, then this author is the one for you.
Today is release day for SASSY BLONDE, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Three Chicks Brewery, by USA Today bestselling author, Stacey Kennedy. See below for information on the book, buy links, the exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SASSY BLONDE (Three Chicks Brewery Series #1) by Stacey Kennedy
Synopsis From USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy comes a steamy contemporary romance featuring a brooding hero with too much baggage, a spirited heroine who is always up for adventure, and a sexy-as-hell road trip that will change their lives forever.
Maisie Carter has always been a free spirit. An artist by nature, she has no idea what she’s doing as co-owner of Three Chicks Brewery. But she’s determined to prove to her older sisters that she can be an asset to their grandfather’s beer legacy. The best way to do that? Make the rounds at Colorado’s craft brewery festivals and turn Foxy Diva, their top beer, into an award winner. Unfortunately, after more than one “beer mishap,” it becomes clear that she’s going to need some help.
Hayes Taylor knows he has a chip on his shoulder, but he has no interest in working through his traumatic past. He just wants to work on his horse farm, alone. The last thing he needs in his life is a woman, especially his dead wife’s best friend, the sweet-as-pie Maisie Carter. But she’s always brought out his protective instincts, and he can hardly say ‘no’ when she asks for his help…
As the two embark on the festival tour, beer filled days turn into lust filled nights, and neither Maisie nor Hayes can deny their growing attraction. But Hayes knows love leads to heartbreak…. Can Maisie show him that their love is worth the risk?
Excerpt “You’re fired.”
Maisie balked at Clara, trying to ignore the dinging alarm coming from the hospital room across the hallway. She’d been in the hospital for six terribly long hours now. After she’d been knocked out, and an orthopedic surgeon realigned the fracture fragments, they’d given her a horribly ugly splint. While that all sucked, the worst part was that she had hurt her dominant hand. No painting. No drawing. No creating. For…weeks? That was bad. But this? “You can’t fire me,” she implored.
“You and Amelia gave me full control of running the business, so I obviously can,” Clara said, placing her hands on her hips. “Even before your accident, I seriously doubted you could do this. Now? Maisie, let’s be real here, you can’t handle the festivals.”
Defeat sank in, and even Maisie doubted herself, but yet, she still asked, “Who says I can’t?”
Clara waved at the saline bag attached to Maisie’s hand and then pointed at Maisie’s broken finger. “I’d say today is evidence enough this isn’t working out.” Her sister’s expression softened, and she took Maisie’s uninjured hand and squeezed tight. “I know you wanted to do something more for the brewery than the logos and signage, and you tried. We’re proud of you.”
Amelia nodded and gave a soft smile. “So proud.”
Clara added, “But you’ve been struggling at this before you even hit the ground running. We’ll just have to find you something else to do within the company.”
But there wasn’t anything else for Maisie to do, and they all knew it. Clara was the brains of the operation. Amelia was creator of the beer. Even, Penelope, their cousin, had taken over the brewery tours since Maisie, well…sucked at that too. Maisie was the painter, the dreamer, the woman trying desperately to fit into the box that she didn’t fit in. “Okay, I know having the keg fall on my hand wasn’t my finest moment,” she hedged, “but I can fix this.”
Clara’s brows rose. “How?”
“I’ll figure that out soon,” Maisie said with a smile.
Clara frowned. “That sugary sweet smile has gotten you many, many chances, but I’m afraid you’re out of them.”
No! No. This couldn’t happen. Clara and Amelia had been fulfilling their end of their bargain. Maisie may have broken her finger, but she was determined to do the same. To help fulfill Pops’s final wish. “Just give me one more try,” she pleaded. “Please.”
Obviously taking pity on Maisie, Amelia cut in, nudging Clara’s arm. “It’s not going to hurt anyone to give her one more chance.”
A muscle near Clara’s eye twitched. Like, maybe a few of those gray hairs she dyed lately were because of Maisie. She finally huffed, then said to Maisie, “I don’t even pretend to know how you’ll pull this off, but fine, one more chance. That’s it, though, Maisie. Our reputation is riding on these festivals.”
“Got it,” Maisie said with a firm nod.
Clara loosed another breath and stepped closer to the bed to drop a kiss on Maisie’s forehead. “I’m sorry about your finger.”
Clara wasn’t all tough. She had an incredibly soft heart. It was just that her heart had thorns around it, ready to hurt, if need be. Maisie couldn’t blame her. Clara had Mason to think of, and being a single mom was a big weight. The brewery had to succeed.
“Thanks,” Maisie said, studying her finger in the splint. “It actually doesn’t even hurt anymore.” She smiled at her sisters. “But maybe that’s the morphine talking.”
Amelia chuckled, her eyes twinkling. “Probably, but since you are feeling better, how about I go see about getting you out of here?”
“Lord, yes, please.” Maisie had been stuffed into a semi-private room, the blue curtain separating her and the next bed. She didn’t want to be there when that next person came in.
Clara grabbed her purse off the seat. “I need to pick up Mason from the sitter. She’s probably wondering where I am.” When Clara reached the curtain, she turned back. “You’re really okay?”
Maisie nodded. “The only thing hurting right now is my ego.”
Clara’s brow wrinkled, obviously disbelieving. “Okay, call me if you need me. I’ll stop off at the pharmacy and pick up your painkiller prescription”
Maisie often felt bad for Clara. The burden of responsibility always rested on her shoulders. Maisie couldn’t remember the last time Clara ever did anything for herself. “Thanks. Love you.” She forced a smile, giving her sisters a quick wave before they shut the curtain closed behind them.
The moment they were gone, tears pricked Maisie’s eyelids. One more chance, and then what? Before she broke her finger, she had doubts she could pull off the beer festivals without epically screwing up. Now? Even she knew the finish line was near impossible to reach. She couldn’t even move a damn keg without it falling on her.
This was beginning to feel like a nightmare she couldn’t wake up from. Being a disappointment to her sisters was normal. She’d always been Maisie, the baby who always got caught sneaking out and never followed the rules. But disappointing her grandfather, not seeing his final wish for the girls he’d raised come true, was harder to stomach. She slowly breathed through the pain, knowing one thing for certain—she could not fail.
Voices stirred next to her as nurses rolled a bed in. A moment later, a high feminine voice snapped, “Sir, you need to stay in your bed.”
“I’m fine. If you’d just let me go, I’d show you.”
There was a muffled creak as the person adjusted in the bed before the nurse practically growled, “I’m going to sedate you if you don’t stay put.”
Maisie fought her laughter at that low baritone voice. Only one man would cause someone so much grief. She slid off the bed, grabbed the curtain, and whisked it open. First, she met the nurse’s scowl. Then she met Hayes’s whiskey-colored eyes. He practically filled the hospital bed with six-foot-two feet of pure, hardworking muscle. And just the sight of him warmed Maisie’s belly.
That was a problem lately. Hayes had always been Laurel’s guy. Then Hayes had become a friend. But over the last few months, something had shifted between them, and Maisie still couldn’t figure out why her heart suddenly wanted him. But there was no denying the draw there, the want, the need. She’d tried to fight her growing attraction, feeling horribly guilty, but there was no point. Her heart demanded Hayes. While she knew Laurel would want them to be happy, Hayes hadn’t acted on the attraction, and neither had Maisie. Yet. To keep things light, she joked, “Aw, you felt so bad I was in here, you wanted to join me.”
Hayes’s mouth twitched, his eyes warming when they met hers. “Didn’t want you feeling left out,” he said.
A snort came from the doorway. Maisie glanced up, catching Beckett’s bemused expression. “I told him to wear armor. He didn’t listen.”
Maisie smiled at Beckett, but her smile fell when she glanced at Hayes. “What happened?”
Hayes looked more than annoyed, his eye twitching. “After your sisters brought you here, I went back to the farm. I had little a disagreement with a horse.”
“No,” the nurse said. “He fell off a horse, and that’s why he needs to stay in this bed.”
Maisie gave Hayes a totally fake chastising look. “You’re not being a terrible patient, are you?”
Hayes set his jaw. “I don’t want to be a patient at all.”
The nurse frowned at him. “You might have a concussion. The doctor wants you to stay overnight, just to be safe.”
“Yeah, that’s not happening.” Hayes sat up, his large frame filling up the small space. He swung his legs over the side of the bed, sand falling off his cowboy boots.
Maisie took in the dirt covering his worn blue jeans and black T-shirt, realizing he most definitely did have a fall.
When he went to stand, she grabbed him by the arm with her uninjured hand, desperately aware of the muscles stretching and flexing beneath her fingers. “Don’t be stupid.” She pressed her hand to his chest and he willingly let her push him back on the bed. When the warmth of his eyes returned to hers, time stopped. She became instantly lost, trapped by the intensity she saw on his face. He slowly wrapped his fingers around her wrist, and maybe because it was the anniversary of Laurel’s death, or something else altogether, but she remembered the last time his fingers wrapped around her wrist.
“Maisie. Go home.”
Maisie stood in the dark bedroom in the empty house. She had no idea how bad Hayes’s depression had gotten, when she’d been so deep in her own. Then Beckett called and begged her to help. Now, here, with Hayes, she couldn’t believe her eyes, and yet, she understood, having been so lost herself.
The beautiful, expensive property that Hayes bought when he moved back to River Rock had been gorgeous when she’d come for the spreading of Laurel’s ashes on the weeping willow hanging over the creek. Now, without him mowing the lawn or tending to the property, everything was overgrown. The three-bedroom house had no furniture. Hayes slept on a camping mat on the floor, the curtains on the windows were drawn. The darkness of the place was near stifling.
She’d been right where he was. Until her sisters’ love brought her back to life.
Determined to get Hayes there too, she moved to the curtains and whisked them open, letting the sunlight spill inside. She turned back, finding Hayes lying curled on his side, looking thin, his hair long, his beard far past scruffy. “You’re getting up,” she told him. “We’re going outside.”
When he didn’t move, she dropped to her knees next to him. He rolled onto his back and she placed her hand on his chest. “Laurel would be devastated if she saw you like this. You’re going to get up and face each day, with me here, until we both have some kind of life worth living.”
Tears welled in his eyes. His fingers wrapped around her wrist tight. “I’ve got nothing left.”
“That’s not true,” she said, hearing the raw emotion in her voice. “You’ve got me.” She grabbed the blanket and yanked it off, paying no attention to the fact that he was naked. She tossed him the jeans that rested in a heap on the floor next to him. “Get dressed. I’m making you breakfast.”
Maisie blinked away the memory of the day Hayes had become her friend, instead of just Laurel’s husband. They’d come through dark times together, and they had history together. So much history. Some good. Some bad. Some unimaginably painful. But this new thing that had sprung out of nowhere over the last few months made her cheeks hot, and she averted his gaze. What was once friendly between them had become taut with tension that seemed to get tighter every day. This man staring at her wasn’t broken anymore. Hunger lived in his eyes. “You need to stay here,” she told him. “Let them look you over.”
“I’m fine,” he said, his voice lower than before.
Not wanting to, but knowing she had to, she slowly took her hand off his chest, watching her fingers drag against the hard muscles, feeling like touching him wasn’t all that friendly anymore. “I’ve been here all day,” she pointed out. “You can endure getting looked over.”
He held her stare. “Fine, I’ll get looked over. But there”—he glared at the nurse—“is no way in hell I’m staying the night.”
The nurse turned away, but even Maisie saw her roll her eyes as she left the room.
Hayes snorted, lying his head back against the pillow, staring up at the ceiling, that muscle in his jaw twitching again. “Believe me, the feeling is mutual.”
Author Stacey Kennedy
About the Author Stacey Kennedy is a USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romances full of heat, heart, and happily ever afters. With over 50 titles published, her books have hit Amazon, B&N, and Apple Books bestseller lists.
Stacey lives with her husband and two children in southwestern Ontario—in a city that’s just as charming as any of the small towns she creates. Most days, you’ll find her enjoying the outdoors with her family or venturing into the forest with her horse, Priya. Stacey’s just as happy curled up indoors, where she writes surrounded by her lazy dogs. She believes that sexy books about hot cowboys or alpha heroes can fix any bad day. But wine and chocolate help too..
Welcome to the book blitz for DECEPTION AND DESIRE, the first book in the adult historical romance series, MacNaughton Castle, by Aubrey Wynne. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
DECEPTION AND DESIRE (MacNaughton Castle Series #1) by Aubrey Wynne
Synopsis Two rebellious souls… An innocent deception… One scorching catastrophe…
Fenella Franklin is too tall, too intelligent, and has no title. Her talents lie in numbers and a keen business mind, not in the art of flirtation. When she becomes the object of a cruel wager during her come-out in London, she vows to put off the penniless noblemen vying for her sizeable dowry. But her season is cut short after her mother discovers the subterfuge, and Fenella retreats to Scotland.
Lachlan MacNaughton has neither the temperament nor the patience to be the next MacNaughton chief, preferring to knock heads together rather than placate bickering clansmen. He readily accepts a reprieve to help with the family’s textile mill in Glasgow. A sizzling chance encounter in the rain introduces him to the new female bookkeeper. His grandfather may want him back in the Highlands, but his heart has been lost in the Lowlands.
The attraction between Fenella and Lachlan sparks a passion not even two rebellious souls can deny. But an innocent deception tests their newfound love and threatens the freedom they both crave.
Excerpt #2 The blood pulsed through Fenella, her temples throbbing as she gripped the iron handle and yanked with all her might. She stepped inside the entrance hall of the warehouse and leaned back against the great oak door. Her trembling hands pushed against the solid, ridged wood, trying to steady her racing heart. Mercy! What just happened?
Heat flushed her cheeks again as his image came back to her. The warmth spread to her belly, doing somersaults that pushed a giggle up her throat. Her hand went to her mouth, still tingling with the touch of the man’s lips. He’d kissed her. He’d kissed her while he held her in his arms. As if she weighed no more than a child. She smiled as her fingers traced her lips.
My first kiss. In the rain. With a stranger. Oh, if her mother could see her now. Would she approve, or only be irritated he’d been a Scot?
A handsome Scot in a kilt, his knees showing above muscular calves. He’d held her close, and she’d been transfixed by those cobalt blue eyes.
And all Fenella could manage was, “Oh.” She tipped back her head and closed her lids, shutting out the world for a moment. The image of his thick auburn waves, damp against his strong neck and chiseled face, made her shiver. He was the most divine man she’d ever seen. Touched. The only man she’d ever touched. Like that. Her heart pounded, and she couldn’t seem to catch her breath. Is this what sent those silly London girls into high-pitched titters?
Steady, now! Fenella took in deep gulps of air, hoping to recover some semblance of her wits. She had to present herself for an interview, in a bedraggled state, after being ravished by a stranger. In the middle of the afternoon! Her sister couldn’t have read a better plot in one of her romance novels. Her bonnet tipped, now perched precariously over one ear. Oh, Lord! Her hands flew to her damp locks, quickly smoothed them back, and adjusted her straw hat. She retied the ribbons and wiped the remaining moisture from her face.
Author Aubrey Wynne
About the Author Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule, and barn cats. Obsessions include wine, history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas. Her Chicago Christmas series hasreceived the Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and twice nominated as a Rone finalist by InD’tale Magazine.
Aubrey’s first love is medieval romance but after dipping her toe in the Regency period in 2018 with the Wicked Earls’ Club, she was smitten. This inspired her spin-off series Once Upon a Widow and the Scottish Regency series A MacNaughton Castle Romance with Dragonblade Novels.
Synopsis Deep in the Appalachian Mountains, a brilliant scientist and his daughter retreat from a catastrophic global plague. Worried for Molly’s future, James crafts the ultimate gift for his lonely little girl: A sentient AI charged with the task of protecting her and keeping her company in the event he is no longer able to do so. His creation, Will, is bestowed with an expansive intellect, superhuman strength, and a fierce protective streak. However, as year go by, Will’s feelings start to change from duty and service to something more.
At eighteen, Molly knows little of the world beyond a collection of grainy VHS classics. Life with Will and James is idyllic. But Will’s mission to protect involves keeping dangerous secrets, including some that could destroy the trust between them forever. Will struggles with the rigid self-discipline of his programming, versus turbulent, irrational feelings that grow stronger each day. True love can’t exist without honesty and risk; the two things Will has been programmed to control at all costs. But trouble is brewing outside their sheltered utopia, and ignorance might be a luxury neither of them can afford any longer.
From the primitive heights of the Appalachian Mountains to the revolutionary scientific breakthrough hidden within, Adamantine, a story of love, sacrifice, and sentience is scheduled to be released in June 2020.
Excerpt Fatigue lines circled James Walkers eyes and forehead; dry canals of wrinkled flesh ran down the sides of his face. A flood of light washed over him, flickering ever so often. He found himself hissing at that inconvenience before resuming his examination. James spent months inspecting every piece of hardware and taking voice notes—he was ready to proceed.
“James Walker, Ph.D.,” he said into the recorder. “After meticulous examination that produced minor wins and fails, everything seems to be in order. The mechanism is responsive. I’m proceeding to the next step—implementation. Cooling systems have taken to the previous modifications, refer to doc-234. Internal examinations will continue intermittently.”
James clicked off the recorder and sighed. He walked across the room and paused inches from his destination, letting his eyes scan the table and its contents. The thin, silicone-based polymer suit reflected the soft light in the room. The project was close to completion and when he thought of what was at stake, the usual litany of questions and doubts arose. He scratched his stubble and pushed aside thoughts of consequence. He knew all too well that one wrong move might bring down his research like a flimsy deck of cards.
“Positivity doesn’t exist in the realm of fringe science, but you have to try,” he muttered under his breath. Those words fueled James, who focused on the most favorable outcome.
The augmented bio-hybrid suit had muscles, tendons, and ligaments designed to replicate the human body—an exact replica. He rolled the table close to the gurney then proceeded to couple the parts together. It took thirty minutes of concentrated effort to get the body sheathed. James took a step back and admired his masterpiece. It reminded him of a Renaissance anatomical painting he once saw in a museum. A smile tugged at the corner of his lips, but he wiped it away with the back of his hand. He attached a transfusion tube to the small glass cylinder filled with dense liquid. He injected the mixture into the body’s cervical vertebrae. Spider-like microscopic nanocells hurried down the spine and spread into the hybrid suit. The muscle tissues expanded and solidified over the impenetrable frame underneath.
James watched the process unfold. His heart beat in double time, eager to move to the next phase. The pulsating vibe in his ears synced with his anxiety. He ambled to a wall lined with metal cabinets and retrieved the synthetic skin from its compartment. At the table, he arranged them over the entire body like a giant jigsaw puzzle. He watched the panels of skin adhere to one another. His hands imprisoned within his pockets to resist the urge to touch. Soon, skin covered the mechanical suit and a man lay in its place. The transformation was a success.
Exhausted, James glanced at his watch and wondered if he should call it a night or continue to the next phase. Logic advised against that course of action, but the restless inventor needed to proceed. A tremor ran through his hand, a reminder of the imminent situation he was in. Time was no longer a commodity he could afford.
He shook off the reverie and began the final phase. He flipped a switch and waited.
James didn’t expect movement, so when the eyes fluttered, he was startled. Rapid eye movement meant the system transmitted the packets of data through a private server James created, which allowed limited access to a vast global network.
“William? Can you hear me?” James whispered. He moved closer to the table and repeated the question. The eyes continued to flutter for a moment, then flew open. Gracefully, the body sat up and surveyed the room. It—he—was trying to assess its surroundings.
“How do you feel?” James asked tentatively.
“William? Is that my name?” His deep voice resonated throughout the room. His eyes stopped on the bespectacled man in a dark green, cable knit sweater, who stood next to the table. He looked to be in his fifties with tired blue eyes and short, graying, brown hair.
“Yes. Your name is William. And my name is James. I am your creator.”
The AI tilted his head to the side. His dark brown eyes rose to meet James’. “You’re ill. You ha—”
“I-I know,” James interrupted. “Do you know what you are?”
Will held up his hands and flexed the digits. “Am I awake, or am I programmed to feel awake?”
James smiled and sat in a chair near the wall. Excitement welled up inside him. “The fact you even ask that question gives me hope that you are exactly what you’re meant to be.”
“I’m not human,” Will stated.
“No, you’re far more advanced. I was able to correlate specific patterns of the central nervous system with emotions and thought processes to create something beyond a program—an organism. You are the first AI ever to have this organism installed.”
They held each other’s gaze for a moment before James broke contact and continued.
“This evolutionary system will gradually alter and determine your choices based on the human interaction you experience throughout your life, much like a regular person. Over time—I’m not sure how long—but over time, you will start to engage in a more human-like behavior. You will continue to write code as a sentient being.”
Will canted his head and blinked rapidly. “I’ll be able to freely write my own code?”
“To a degree. There are restrictions, uh, goal-oriented programs. More specifically, there is a source code which will prevent you from accessing data that can alter or corrupt your program. Once certain milestones are crossed, you will have the ability to act upon your own thoughts and emotions.” James looked at Will and let out a deep sigh. The expunged breath formed a visible cloud over his face before it dissipated. “For the time being, I need you to remain here in the lab until I’m certain your program is fully functional and is safe enough.”
“Safe enough for what?” William asked.
James didn’t answer.
Author Rosie Weir
About the Author Rosie Weir is an authoress by passion and now profession. She penned her first story at the age of 10 and has been writing ever since. Obsessed with science fiction, horror, and sometimes dark historical romances, her writing repertoire is wide-ranging and wildly diverse. On a quest to tell unconventional stories, human behavior and humanness are at the heart of all her literary works; stories that inspire readers to rethink and reshape their perspectives. When she’s not busy writing, she’s baking and chasing after a tiny, and rambunctious human.
Her debut novel, Adamantine, is scheduled to be released in June 2020 with The Champagne Book Group..
Today is release day for TRAP ‘N’ TRACE, the the fourth book in the adult contemporary romantic suspense series, Federal K-9, by Tee O’Fallon. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
TRAP ‘N’ TRACE (Federal K-9 Series #4) by Tee O’Fallon
For wealthy socialite Katrina Vandenburg, business meetings and charity galas are all part of her orderly, structured world—one that gets blown to hell after finding two dead bodies in the same day. The police think she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. FBI Special Agent Dayne Andrews thinks otherwise. Dayne and his K-9 Remy are tracking a cold-blooded killer, and that trail…leads straight to Kat.
Kat and her rescue shelter—the Canine Haven—are the only common denominators between the murders, and Dayne is convinced she’s dead center in the killer’s sights. Protecting her will test every ounce of his steely resolve. She’s the most intriguing woman he’s ever met. And everything he shouldn’t want. Too bad neither of them seem to have gotten the memo.
And they need to focus on catching a killer now more than ever. Because if Dayne and Remy fail in their mission, nothing will stand between Kat and the killer’s deadly blade.
Excerpt High heels clicked as Kat glided down the stairs into the foyer, looking so regal and so incredibly beautiful Dayne was struck utterly dumb. For the last four days, he’d tried not to think about kissing her again. Since then, they’d avoided each other as much as possible and barely spoken. Now he couldn’t talk even if he wanted to.
Her rich chestnut hair was pulled back into a cluster of curls, and as she turned to greet his friends, the glittery clip in her hair shimmered like jewels. Her gown was just as glittery, reminding him of pale pink champagne. Tiny sleeves fell just off her shoulders, displaying the graceful curves of her upper arms and shoulders and making him want to kiss every inch of exposed skin. The dress’s neckline dipped to a deep vee, stopping just short of baring the tops of her breasts, while the rest of the
gown hugged her torso and hips, flaring at the bottom in pink waves. Dayne hadn’t known his mouth hung open until Eric’s hand beneath his chin nudged it shut.
“You look amazing,” Tess said.
“Thank you.” Kat gave Tess a quick hug. “How’s Rosie doing? Are she and Tiger still getting along well?”
“You should see them together.” Tess whipped out her phone and pulled up pics Dayne had already seen of Eric’s Dutch Shepherd K-9, Tiger, and the pretty Australian sheepdog-shepherd Tess had adopted from the Haven.
Kat shifted to look at the phone, and holy hell. He’d thought the front of her dress was eye-catching. I’m doomed. The back of the dress draped—no, make that swooped— teasingly low to just above her waist, leaving most of her back exposed. All that smooth, creamy skin called to him like an ice cream cone to a kid on a 95-degree day. He wanted to lick every last inch. Someone gulped, and damned if it wasn’t him.
Jaime unclipped his cell and began snapping shots of Dayne. “I gotta send these to Nick and Matt.” Kade and Eric joined in, and the air filled with the snapping clicks of cell phone cameras.
Dayne gritted his teeth so hard they squeaked. “Knock. It. Off.”
Kat stepped closer, massaging her chin as she examined the tux. “Something is a bit off. I wonder…” She pulled open the right side of the jacket, exposing his Glock. “Must you really wear this dastardly weapon of death? It ruins the cut.”
About the Author Tee O’Fallon is the author of the Federal K-9 Series and the NYPD Blue & Gold Series. Tee has been a federal agent for twenty-three years and is now a police investigator, giving her hands-on experience in the field of law enforcement that she combines with her love of romantic suspense. Tee’s job affords her the unique opportunity to work with the heroic men and women in law enforcement on a daily basis. When not writing, Tee enjoys cooking, gardening, chocolate, lychee martinis, and all creatures canine. Tee loves hearing from readers and can be contacted via her website http://teeofallon.com where you can also sign up for Tee’s newsletters.
Welcome to the book blitz for FALSE START FAIRY TALE, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance by Kelly St-Laurent. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Adèle Villeneuve is attempting the impossible. At twenty-four she’s opened an events company in her small French village, which at last count has a population of 1501. Even her parents tried to stop her. But Adèle has a plan. Or, at least she did.
Then the Reniers returned to town.
Aside from the dilapidated chateau that’s sat in ruin for the past forty years, Saint-Germain is known for one other thing: a bitter feud between the Reniers and the Villeneuves that has gone on for so long no one remembers how it started. It’s practically folklore, a hatred so deep it ended with the Reniers leaving France back in the eighties, never to be seen or heard from again.
With the feud reignited, Adèle’s quiet life is upended. Even more so when she finds out that the Reniers are not only refurbishing the chateau but also opening a competing events company. When Finn Renier, the alluring son of her father’s enemy, offers her a truce that could save her business, she makes a decision that goes against her family, a choice that changes everything.
As she finds herself falling for the one person she’s not supposed to, secrets and lies become entangled, a dangerous truth threatening to be revealed.
Because Finn isn’t all that he seems.
And the Reniers didn’t just return to Saint-Germain for a fresh start.
Excerpt #2 “What were you doing out for a drive at seven o’clock in the morning?” she asks, bringing the coffees over to the table.
“I like driving,” I say, joining her on the sofa. My dream floods my brain, the memories haunting me like a nightmare.
“Are you okay?” she asks, watching me closely.
“Yeah.” I force a smile. “So how are you feeling about tonight?”
She leans heavily against the sofa. “I’m nervous. I mean, usually I get anxious before events, but today, knowing I have to take part, it has my stomach tied in knots.”
“What are you nervous about?”
She looks at me like I’m missing a key point. “I have to take part.”
“You’ll be great,” I say, meaning it.
Her laughter is light but uneasy. “I don’t do well with strangers.”
“Isn’t event management all about meeting strangers?”
“That’s different,” she says. “I’m okay with clients. I know this business and I’m good at what I do. But a table of singles, all there to size each other up, that is not something I’m comfortable with.”
There’s a vulnerability in her words, and I can tell there’s more to this than she’s letting on. “Well, you won’t be alone,” I tell her. “I’ll be there.”
She gives me the smallest smile. “Somehow I think you’ll do fine tonight all on your own.”
“Oh yeah? Why’s that?”
“Well, you’re…” She motions toward me as though that answers my question.
Her cheeks flush, and I enjoy it far too much.
“You’re actually going to make me say it, aren’t you?”
“I have no idea what you’re trying to say,” I tell her, even though I do.
“For goodness’ sake, Finn, you know you’re handsome.”
I can’t stop myself from smiling. “You think I’m handsome?”
She groans in frustration. “As if you don’t stand in front of the mirror every day thinking that same thought.”
“Well, yeah,” I say, making her laugh. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t like hearing other people say it.”
“That’s narcissistic.” She takes a sip of her coffee.
“There’s nothing wrong with liking the way you look. And besides” —I take a sip of mine— “you’re the one who brought it up.”
For a moment, we don’t talk, the silence between us comfortable, as though we’ve done this a thousand times. Me sitting on her couch, drinking coffee, asking about her day. When her phone buzzes, she picks it up off the table, her nose scrunching slightly.
“Serena’s on her way. You probably shouldn’t be here when she arrives.”
“Are we hiding our friendship from Serena too?”
Adèle looks at me with something in her eyes I can’t make sense of. “I think it might be easier, for now, if we keep this to ourselves.”
I finish my espresso and get up from the sofa. “Well, secret friend, thank you for the coffee.”
She stands, and I notice she seems nervous. “Thank you for your help.”
I make my way to the door and stop, turning back to face her. “Don’t worry about tonight,” I say. “The men won’t be able to keep their eyes off of you.”
I take my leave, not daring to look back at her, not daring to let her know that I’ll be one of them.
Author Kelly St-Laurent
About the Author From the moment when she believed that the worlds inside the television were real, KellySt–Laurent has run away with her imagination.
Born in one of the most beautiful corners of the planet, she spent her childhood inspired by the mountains and oceans of New Zealand, constantly wondering about the places beyond the horizon. At age nineteen she decided to find out and hopped a plane to Canada. And, so began her love affair with the Great White North, that has come to be her second home.
Prior to writing her first novel in 2016, Kelly worked as a production coordinator in visual effects where she got to help bring fairies, dragons and monsters to life.
Kelly currently lives in Montreal with her husband Alex and their Shetland Sheepdog Bucky. When she isn’t writing, she’s often found re-watching her favorite films with a wine in hand.
She still believes the world inside her television is real.
Today is release day for THE MARRIAGE GAME, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by Sara Desai, One of Oprah Magazine’s Most Anticipated Romances of 2020. See below for information on the book, buy links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
Synopsis One of Oprah Magazine’s Most Anticipated Romances of 2020
A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.
After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door…
As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he’s forced to share his space with the owner’s beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.
As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.
Author Sara Desai
About the Author Sara Desai has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer and librarian. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, kids and an assortment of forest creatures who think they are pets. Sara writes sexy romantic comedy and contemporary romance with a multicultural twist. When not laughing at her own jokes, Sara can be found eating nachos.
Today is release day for TAKING HER CHASE, the second book in the adult contemporary romance/romantic suspense, small town enemies-to-lovers series, Dare to Surrender, by Danielle Pays. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
TAKING HER CHASE (Dare to Surrender Series #2) by Danielle Pays
Synopsis He’s in love with his best friend. She’s dating his number one suspect. What could go wrong?
Harmony Brose can’t stop fantasizing about her best friend. After a few drinks, she took a risk. She asked Chase to kiss her. It was the best kiss of her life. Until he jumped up and left, breaking her heart.
Officer Chase Harvey had thought about kissing Harmony for years but never crossed that line until that night. Fearing Harmony was drunk, he had to cut it off until he was sure she truly wanted him. Apparently she didn’t, because Harmony just started dating the new man in town.
Chase doesn’t have time to waste on regrets. A woman vanished from their small town and he’ll do whatever is necessary to solve the case. When evidence points to the new man, Chase must follow the lead. It has nothing at all to do with the fact the man is dating Harmony…
Now he has to decide. Is he willing to risk losing the woman he loves in order to protect her?
Excerpt Harmony answered her phone. “Good afternoon.”
Even through the phone, this man’s voice caused her to squeeze her thighs together.
“Will you be working all night?”
“Actually no. That’s why I called. I’ll be done in about two hours. Do you want to hang out?”
“That sounds good,” she said casually.
“All right. I can swing by and pick you up.”
“I’m at Lauren’s. Can you pick me up here?”
He chuckled, and she could imagine the lines by his eyes when he smiled.
“You two having happy hour?”
“All right. Just don’t get too carried away. I have plans for you later, and you’ll need your energy.”
She took a drink of wine to keep from laughing. She knew what he was thinking but was curious what he would say when pressed.
“Plans that involve my head between your thighs.”
She spat out her wine. “Holy shit, Chase.”
He laughed. “Too much?”
She grabbed a napkin off the table and cleaned up. “No, just unexpected. I guess I never really knew this side of you.”
“Just thinking of you brings up so many dirty thoughts.”
“Yeah. And I can’t wait to share every one with you.”
“You want to share some more now?”
He chuckled. “I never knew you liked dirty talk.”
“There is a lot you don’t know about me,” she said, hoping her voice sounded sultry.
“Mmm. Is that so?”
“If you play your cards right, I might let you get to know more.”
He growled. “Tonight, I’m going to get to know you really well, babe. I’ll see you in a couple of hours.”
“I’m looking forward to it.”
She ended the call. “Damn that man!”
“Someone has it bad.” Lauren walked into the room, carrying a bowl.
About the Author Danielle Pays writes steamy romance novels with a touch of suspense. When not trying to write her characters into some kind of trouble, she can be found guzzling coffee at her kids’ soccer games. Black coffee is a requirement as she lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Today is release day for COLD WICKED LIES, the third book in the adult romantic suspense series, Cold Justice – Crossfire, by New York Times bestselling author, Toni Anderson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
COLD WICKED LIES (Cold Justice – Crossfire Series #3) by Toni Anderson
Synopsis Read the latest FBI romantic thriller by New York Times bestselling author Toni Anderson.
In an effort to halt an armed standoff, FBI negotiator Charlotte Blood tries to unravel the mystery of a young woman’s death on a remote mountainside. Pity she has to fight her stubborn, sexy, Hostage Rescue Team counterpart every step of the way.
As a highly skilled operative, HRT leader Payne Novak doesn’t have time to play detective or make nice with killers who flout the law. His focus is getting inside the compound and ending the siege as quickly as possible.
Forced to work together, the battle-hardened HRT team leader and the quietly determined negotiator figure out they might have more in common than they anticipated. As the clock ticks, Charlotte discovers there are some dangers she can’t talk her way out of, and the race to unearth long-buried lies becomes a matter of survival for everyone on the mountain.
About the Authors ToniAnderson writes award-winning, bestselling, FBI Romantic Thrillers. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, RITA® finalist, science nerd, professional tourist, dog lover, gardener, mom. Anderson‘s books have won the Readers’ Choice Award, Aspen Gold, National Excellence in Romance Fiction, Book Buyers’ Best.
Originally from a small town in Shropshire, England, Toni studied Marine Biology at University of Liverpool (B.Sc.) and University of St. Andrews (Ph.D.) with the intention she’d never be far from the ocean. Well, that plan backfired and she ended up in the Canadian prairies with her biology professor husband, two kids, a rescue dog, and a laid-back leopard gecko.
Toni started writing while pregnant with her first child and never stopped. Her greatest achievements are mastering the Tokyo subway, climbing Ben Lomond, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and surviving fifteen Winnipeg winters (fingers crossed). She loves to travel for research purposes and was lucky enough to visit the Strategic Information and Operations Center inside FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 2016. She also got to shove another (police) car off the road during pursuit training at the Writer’s Police Academy. Basically she has way too much fun!
Today is release day for THE COWBOY’S CLAIM, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Tillbridge Stables, by Nina Crespo. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
THE COWBOY’S CLAIM (Tillbridge Stables Series #1) by Nina Crespo
Chloe Daniels is determined to land the role of a lifetime. Even if she’s terrified to get on a horse! And the last thing her reluctant teacher, Tristan Tillbridge, wants is to entertain a pampered actress. But the enigmatic cowboy soon discovers that Chloe is as genuine as she is gorgeous, and he’s determined to make her his. Will this unlikely pair discover that the sparks between them are anything but an act?
Excerpt Chloe didn’t realize her hand was raised in his or that his other hand rested on her back until a dancing couple bumped her closer to him.
Chloe held on to his arm for balance. He wanted to dance with her. “But I don’t know this one.”
Tristan leaned in near her ear. “I’ll teach you. Trust me. It’s not complicated.”
Not complicated? Every cell of her being was awakened by his proximity and his familiar scent warming on his skin. She’d probably make a fool of herself. “Okay. I’ll try.”
He moved back a little. “It’s just a simple two-step. When I step forward with my left foot, you step back with your right. Then it’s quick-quick, slow-slow. Quick-quick, slow-slow. I’ll guide you through it.”
Right away, she jumbled the steps.
Tristan chuckled. “Wait. Let’s do that again. Start with your other right.”
Meaning not her left foot. Instead of cringing with embarrassment the humor in his expression made her laugh, and she tried again. A few steps later, she followed his lead finally easing into the smooth easy movements without stepping on the toes of his boots.
He caught her off guard as he released her and twirled her around. When he took her back into his arms, her leg slid between his, aligning their hips and melding her to his chest…just like during their kiss in the pasture.
Nearby, Adam and Bethany danced just as close. When Adam spun her around, in one deft move, Bethany snagged his brown cowboy hat from his head and put it on hers. Bethany wound her arms around Adam’s neck, and he rested his forehead to hers as his hands slid to her waist.
A hint of envy filled Chloe as she longed for that kind of intimacy with Tristan, but unlike Bethany and Adam, that kind of closeness would put all eyes on them, making people wonder about them, and raise questions that she didn’t even have the answer to about her relationship status with Tristan.
Needing to change focus, Chloe looked to his cowboy hat. His other hat was in the front seat of her rental, parked just off the road near the pasture gate along with the cars of other Spring Fling attendees. She’d planned to hand it over to him after the party.
“Your Stetson reminds me, I need to give you your ball cap back.”
“Or you could trade up.”
“What exactly does ‘trade up’ mean?” The huskiness in his voice made her look directly into his eyes.
Tristan’s slow lean in near her cheek brought her closer to him, and she drew in an unsteady breath as his lightly whiskered cheek grazed hers. “You tell me.”
Author Nina Crespo
About the Author Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions — the beach, a good glass of wine, date night with her own real-life hero and dancing.
Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel.
Let Nina’s sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.
***JOIN NINA’S READERS GROUP***
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Today is release day for ACCIDENTALLY FAMILY, the latest release in the adult contemporary romance series, Pecan Valley, by Sasha Summers. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
ACCIDENTALLY FAMILY (Pecan Valley Series) by Sasha Summers
Synopsis Welcome to Pecan Valley, where the town may be small but the townspeople will always lend a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on. Where good times, good humor, and good people will always lead to happily ever after.
Life for Felicity, and her teen children, is finally back on track. After her divorce, she wasn’t sure if her sweet family would ever be the same. But things are good––right up until her ex’s spirited toddler lands on Felicity’s doorstep. If the universe is going to throw lemons at her, thank God she has her best friend, Graham, to help her make lemonade out of them. How did she never notice how kind and sexy he is?
Graham is still recovering from his wife’s death years ago and trying to help his teen daughter get her life together. Who is he kidding? His daughter hates him. Forget lemons––he’s got the entire lemon tree. So when Felicity suggests they join forces and help each other, he’s all in. And suddenly he can’t stop thinking about her as more than just a friend. Too bad their timing couldn’t be worse…
Because life rarely goes as planned. Luckily there are many different kinds of family to hold you together and lift you up…plus maybe even a little love between friends.
Publisher Weekly Review “… Readers will find it easy to root for their mutual care to blossom into love, but the pair’s children have a tougher time adjusting to their new relationship, providing some thorny obstacles for the budding couple. Graham and Felicity are great parents and they make great partners, and Summers does a good job of grounding all the drama of their lives in sweetness. Readers will be pleased.”
Excerpt Her sister was the strongest person on the planet, but she had to be running on fumes. Not that Felicity would say so, or confide, or lean—she was way too into the big-sister protector thing. Still, Matt had been dead five days. In those five days, her sister had been saddled with his funeral arrangements, keeping her kids’ spirits up, and the whole “when will the ex’s illegitimate love child and destroyer of her niece and nephew’s happy family wake up from his coma?” thing.
Charity felt for the baby, she did. But her loyalties were here, to Nick and Honor, and Felicity, too.
She grabbed a bag of sour-cream-and-onion chips and added it to her pile of snacks, then backed out of the kitchen. “Who’s hungry?” she asked, flopping onto the couch beside Honor.
Honor was watching the bloody melee on the television, a growing look of disgust on her face. “This is horrible. I keep jumping.”
Nick chuckled. “You should try it. Definitely calms the nerves.”
Charity snorted. She was pretty sure trying to shoot a zombie before it bit into you wasn’t relaxing. At least not her idea of relaxing.
“Right?” Diana added. “Dad took my game away because of the whole pot thing. It sucks, big time. Which is why I have lots of sleepovers.”
Charity didn’t say a word. She wasn’t sure how to read Diana yet. Was she really messed up? Or was she acting messed up for attention?
“Pot?” Honor asked.
Diana nodded, taking a licorice lace from Nick. “It’s no big deal. It was one joint. One. The school totally flipped out and expelled me.”
“You were expelled?” Nick looked skeptical.
“Why else do you think I’m going to your school next year?” Diana rolled her eyes. “Dad can’t buy my way back into any of the private schools. Why he thinks I’m better off at a private school versus a public school is beyond me. Where does he think I bought the pot to begin with?”
So, the real deal then. Not that she was going to judge the girl. She couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to lose a parent. There had been plenty of times during her school years when she’d wished her parents would leave her alone—disappear even. But death? Permanently losing one? She couldn’t imagine that.
Was this one of those times she should act like an adult or not? Felicity would probably pop off some after-school-special message that would instantly and forever change Diana’s outlook on life into some happy rainbow-and-cupcakes-kitten thing. But Charity didn’t know how to do that. She didn’t know how to be a mom. The kid in her belly was getting a raw deal. She needed to start taking notes on Felicity’s parenting style
Author Sasha Summers
About the Author Sasha Summers grew up surrounded by books. Her passions have always been storytelling, romance and travel–passions she uses when writing. Now a best-selling and award winning-author, Sasha continues to fall a little in love with each hero she writes. From easy-on-the-eyes cowboy, sexy alpha-male werewolves, to heroes of truly mythic proportions, she believes that everyone should have their happy ending–in fiction and real life.
Sasha lives in the suburbs of the Texas Hill country with her amazing and supportive family and her beloved grumpy cat, Gerard, The Feline Overlord. She looks forward to hearing from fans and hopes you’ll visit her online. Facebook: Sasha Summers Author, Twitter: @sashawrites, or her website: www.sashasummers.com
Today is release day for BROKEN BONDS, the latest book in the adult romantic suspense/military romance series, Crimson Point, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Kaylea Cross. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive teaser.
BROKEN BONDS (Crimson Point Series #4.5) by Kaylea Cross
Synopsis Autumn winds and rain have returned to Crimson Point.
It’s November in the Pacific Northwest and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Beckett and the Crimson Point gang are looking forward to celebrating the holiday together. This year they all have more to be thankful for than ever…but that also means they have even more to lose.
But this year a different kind of storm is looming.
Recent problems at work have left Beckett and crew scrambling to get projects completed. It’s all hands on deck, and just as the end is finally within sight, a deadly threat emerges from the shadows. When things take a lethal turn, the Crimson Point team must once again come together to save one of its own, and hunt down the vengeful killer before he can strike again.
*Note: This novella is a final wrap-up of the Crimson Point Series and is not intended to be read as a stand-alone..
Author Kaylea Cross
About the Author New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and has been nominated multiple times for the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.
Today is release day for EASY, the sixth book the adult contemporary sports romance series, Chicago Blaze Hockey, by Brenda Rothert. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
EASY (Chicago Blaze Hockey Series #6) by Brenda Rothert
Nothing rattles me. Well…almost nothing. As the most even-tempered player on the Chicago Blaze, I take everything in stride – hockey, fame and life in general. No one knows that deep down, even I’ve got a trigger. She’s a tall brunette with a gorgeous smile and an iron will. The woman who crushed my heart long ago. I never plan to return to Emery, Wisconsin and lay eyes on Allie Douglas again – until suddenly, I’m left without a choice.
Somehow, I’m keeping it all together. Raising my nieces and nephew alone and working takes everything I’ve got and then some, but I get by. I don’t have time for love, and who needs a man, anyway? I gave up the love of my life a decade ago, and now he’s just a distant memory. Until one day, he comes back home. And once I see him, I’m not keeping it together anymore.
About the Author Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.
Today is release day for FLATLINE, the third book in the adult romantic suspense series, The Investigators, by Linda Bond. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
FLATLINE (The Investigators Series #3) by Linda Bond
Synopsis People are dying in Dr. Joshua Salvador’s ER. His medical assistant, only weeks from delivering her baby, hangs on to life by a thread. The symptoms seem horrifyingly familiar, and he begins to suspect the deaths are targeted at him. But, before he can figure things out, top TV investigator Rachel Wright is standing in the middle of his ER, convinced an outbreak, an epidemic, or even a botched flu vaccine could be the cause, and she’s going to tell the world.
Excerpt “We should go to the bedroom.” His eyelids were heavy, his eyes intense with desire. “Your mom.” He sounded winded. “Elizabeth.” Like he was having trouble breathing, too.
“Both asleep.” All Rachel could think about was how long she’d fantasized about this very moment. The reconnection. She wanted it fast and furious. “I’ve waited five years. I’m not waiting a second more.” She reached for his shirt, to pull him closer.
His hand shot out. Stopping her.
Her heart skidded. “What?”
“At least let me…” He sprinted to the wall near the hallway. “Turn off lights.” He flipped the switch.
The room went dark.
The hair on her arms rose.
“We’ll just be quiet.” Suddenly, he was on her again, arms around her waist, pulling her up, lifting her into him. Onto him. If only she didn’t have the damn yoga pants on.
He took a step back. Wobbled.
She threw out her hands, looking for something to steady herself. Her right hand knocked her wine glass, sending it sliding across the marble island, dropping to the tile floor with a loud crash.
They froze. She wrapped her legs around his body, wrapped her arms around his neck, buried her face in that warm space where his neck and shoulders met and held her breath.
No lights flipped on.
No one was coming.
That’s when she heard it. The sound of his desire. Blood pumping through the artery in his neck, pulsing with intensity.
Then, she felt it.
His heart thumping in his chest like a boxer’s fist.
Her own flapping against her rib cage in time with his.
She couldn’t breathe in this loud silence. Couldn’t see in this blinding darkness. But she could speak. “Oh God, don’t stop.” This time, her mouth found his, and she kissed him, urging him on.
He carried her across the room, stumbling as his foot hit a piece of furniture, spinning. He hit a wall. He broke the kiss. “Your bedroom would be safer.”
About the Author Author Linda Bond was born in San Francisco, California but spent most of her life in the south, attending middle and high school in Greenville, South Carolina and college at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.
She’s worked as a television news reporter and anchor in Fort Myers, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. For more than twenty years, she’s been a reporter, sharing important information with viewers on the latest medical breakthroughs and writing emotional, human-interest stories on those who have the courage and spirit to fight for their lives.
She writes every day, under deadline, but has always loved losing herself in a good fiction story.
Entangled Publishing released Bond’s two romantic thrillers Alive at 5 and Cuba Undercover. Flatline her newest medical thriller, releases in May 2020.
Bond has received numerous writing awards in Romance Writer’s of America chapter contests.
She has also won 13 Emmy awards, numerous Society of Professional Journalist, and Associated Press awards, as well as a Florida Bar award and Edward R. Murrow award.
This former baton-twirling beauty queen from the deep south, now lives in Tampa Florida with her husband, two daughters and two stubborn Bulldogs named Sanford and Athens.
Today is release day for THE BEGINNING OF THE END, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by R. Holmes. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Ambrey My last name was royalty in New Orleans, at least, I guess to those who mattered. But to me…my last name was a curse. High society. Expectations. Old money. Politics. Everything I despised. If only they could see what happened behind those high-society closed doors. The same doors my daddy paid a lot of money to keep closed.
Deceit. Destruction. Bribery. You name it, my family was guilty of it. My father’s throne was built on lies. Our family was the epitome of faux royalty. Then, I fell in love and oh what a fool I was. I was just a pawn in my father’s game. And to use the man who claimed to love me…
Five years ago, I walked away, and left my father to his riches. And that man who left me in broken, jagged pieces? Well, what goes around, comes around.
Grey Four years in a prison cell changes a man. I spent those five years fighting to survive. When I emerged, I was nothing like the man who had walked through those cell doors all those years ago. I overcame things that I never imagined I’d be faced with..
The one person who promised to never leave, did. The life I thought I knew, gone. The future I once thought I had, up in smoke. Like so many things in my life, my story and my future were stolen from me.
Sure, it’s made up of the usual parts…a beginning and an end. But just like every story, there’s a hero, there’s the villain…and then there’s me. And this is the beginning of the end.
Something I knew better than most.
The worst types of pain, I knew them intimately.
But pain is subjective, we all feel it differently.
Pain takes a body and leaves it hollow, a mere shell of the living, breathing human that it used to be.
Sometimes I wonder how one person can feel so much pain yet never die?
But, here I still stand. Living proof that no matter how much pain you’ve endured, the worst part was living through the memories of it.
Eight years ago I was thrown inside a concrete prison, a four-by-four cell where I would grow up. I would be taught all the fundamentals of life, my mentors and instructors the lowest of criminals. They would take me, shape me, make me. Leaving me nothing of the man whom I once was.
I learned the hardest lessons in life, alone.
The worst lesson I learned?
Love was foolish, but it wasn’t what made me a fool.
What made me a fool is that even though love put me in prison, I still sought that love out in my dreams. Like a siren, she sang to me.
I would’ve followed her wherever she called.
That was before.
Before I sold my soul to the devil in exchange for her freedom. She doesn’t have to know the truth.
The truth won’t set her free.
It’ll shackle me to the walls of this concrete prison and I’ll gladly take my sentence for love. It’s what put me in here anyway.
Author R. Holmes
About the Author Holmes is from a small town in southern Louisiana where she lives on a farm, with her husband and two little boys. Whenever she’s not chasing around the goats and her boys on the farm, she spends her time watching ridiculous amounts of Netflix and is almost always stuck with her nose in a book. She thrives on horror films, sarcasm, and reruns of Harry Potter. A perpetual night owl, you’ll find her in her office locked away until the wee hours of the morning. She loves to meet her readers and discuss her latest favorite books and her upcoming projects!
Connect with her via Facebook, Instagram (@RHolmesAuthor) and twitter!
Welcome to the book blitz for HARD TRUTH, the fourth book in the adult contemporary romance series, Alpha Antihero, by USA Today bestselling author, Sybil Bartel. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
HARD TRUTH (Alpha Antihero Series #4) by Sybil Bartel
Synopsis I couldn’t escape the hard sins of my past.
I couldn’t unsee the truths in my mistakes.
Every breath she took was a reminder of the pain I’d caused.
Growing up at the mercy of a madman, I swore I would never give anyone that kind of power over me again. But here I was, on my knees, begging for a life I lost.
Except no amount of forgiveness would bring it back.
Excerpt #4 Her shoulders rose with an inhale, and she turned around. Her eyes met mine. “Please stop.”
Fuck. “Stop what?”
“Don’t do this.” She shook her head. “Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. I don’t want you to change. I never did. I don’t need you to be anyone but who you are. If that’s an angry biker with a street name, so be it. But please, just…” Her hand waved toward the stove. “Don’t do that. The man I dragged outta the swamp, he didn’t make tea.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “He never would’ve done that.”
She was right.
Lost inside my own damn house, hell, my fucking life, I laid it all out for her. “Everything I did, I did for you.”
Her gaze cut to the floor. “I thought I was doin’ the same.”
“He played us both.”
The waves crashed outside, the water on the stove boiled, and the air conditioner kicked on. We stood there. She stared at her damn feet. I stared at her.
“I don’t know what else to say to you,” I admitted.
“The Tarquin I knew wouldn’t have done that either. He wouldn’t have said that.”
I dared to fucking ask. “What would he have said?”
“Nothin’.” She looked up at me. “He didn’t waste words.”
Author Sybil Bartel
About the Author Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.
Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.
She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.
To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.
Synopsis After her husband is killed by a drunk driver, Kelly Harris and her son TJ move into a sprawling Victorian house in Ohio that her husband inherited from his grandmother. Dealing with her overwhelming grief is a struggle as she adjusts to life in a small town. And, just as she’s beginning to feel more comfortable, life takes another unexpected turn.
The Alexa unit in her son’s bedroom starts to cry, and a little girl’s voice comes out of it asking for help.
At first Kelly is unnerved by the presence of the voice. After ruling out all the other likely possibilities, she begins to put the pieces together, and suspects the girl is a ghost. Unwilling to be uprooted from another home, she decides to find out what the child wants. Maybe she can help.
Kelly isn’t the only one interested in the voice. Detective Rob Porter is investigating the disappearance of a child named Marilee. As the two cross paths, Porter is taken aback when Kelly’s ghost mentions Marilee’s name. In fact, the ghost says “Marilee’s with me.”
Whether that means the child is a ghost as well is a question Rob and Kelly hope to answer.
Excerpt #2 A frightened “Mom” roused me from a fitful sleep. I swung my legs off the bed, the hardwood cool against my feet. “I’m coming,” I called as I rushed to TJ’s room. I found him sitting up in bed, his eyes big and worried.
“What is it, sweetie?” I asked as I sat beside him. “Did you have a bad dream?”
“Mom, Alexa was crying again.”
“What do you mean?” I tipped his face up and looked him in the eyes. “Alexa can’t cry. She’s not a real person. Tell me what happened.”
“I was asleep and I heard a little girl crying. There wasn’t anybody in my room but I could still hear it.”
“Maybe you were dreaming.”
He crossed his arms over his chest and glared at me. “I wasn’t dreaming, Mom.”
“Okay, then. Maybe it just sounded like crying.”
“There were words, too.”
He nodded. “I said, ‘is anybody there’ and the crying stopped. Then Alexa said Help us.” His serious eyes dared me to not believe him.
Author Pamela McCord
About the Author Born in Arkansas and raised in Southern California, PamelaMcCord started writing later in life when she was challenged by a friend to create a book out of his story idea. Since then, she’s become an internationally published author. Pam has spent over 40 years working as a legal secretary at a law firm in Orange County, California. Aside from writing, she follows the stock market, buying, selling and trading stocks and options. In contrast to that, she loves trips to Las Vegas where she can spend many happy hours at the Pai Gow tables. She shares a condo with her very own My Cat From Hell TV star, Allie, who manages to exude just enough affection to make her scary feral ways tolerable..
Today is release day for ALL BECAUSE OF YOU, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Morgan’s Bay, by Theresa Paolo. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
ALL BECAUSE OF YOU (Morgan’s Bay Series #1) by Theresa Paolo
Synopsis Sometimes you have to lose everything to find your happy ending.
Olivia Green had the picture-perfect life. Dating one of the most successful businessmen in New York City, living in a penthouse over Manhattan and a budding career, until one dreadful night when it was all ripped out from under her. If only she’d gone home like she was supposed to, she wouldn’t have known her future fiancé was a two-timing jerk. Now with no choice she is leaving the city to move back in with her parents in the small town of Morgan’s Bay.
Shane McConnell believed he had no family other than his mother, but on her death bed, she revealed the father who died before he was born, came from a large wealthy family. With nothing to lose he sets out to the east end of Long Island to spend a summer with his newly discovered family. What he doesn’t expect is the secrets and lies dating back to long before his father’s death. Nor could he predict the beautiful hot mess he met on the train would find a way into his closed off heart.
Both struggling with the realities of their new lives they unintentionally lean on each other. As their attraction builds and their undeniable chemistry explodes into passion, Shane holds onto his own secret that threatens his chance at love.
“For three years, I tried to be everything I thought he wanted. The sad thing is, I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I’ve never felt comfortable in my own skin. I’ve always thought if I was just taller, thinner, had blonde hair, curly hair, if I was smarter, sexier… I guess what that all means is I don’t think I’m good enough.”
Shane’s hands came around her waist, holding her close, but not close enough that she couldn’t look deep into his eyes. “You are good enough and whenever Daniel or anyone else pops in your head and makes you think you’re not, think of this moment. Right now. Think of my words. You, Olivia Green, are more than good enough. You’re pretty damn special.”
Author Theresa Paolo
About the Author Theresa Paolo lives on Long Island, NY with her fiancé and their fish. She is the author of NA and Adult contemporary romances. Her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, released in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and the companion novel (ONCE) AGAIN released Summer 2014. Mad About Matt, the first book in her new Red Maple Falls series, released March 2017.
She loves to write heartfelt romances with a dash of fun and a side of spice. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, brewery hopping, daydreaming, wasting time on Pinterest, trying to get 10k steps on her FitBit or can be found chatting away on Twitter and Facebook. She also writes YA romance under Tessa Marie and has no idea how to smile for a picture.