Welcome to the excerpt tour for WISHING FOR A COWBOY, the third book in the adult contemporary romance series, Wishing River, by New York Times bestselling author, Victoria James. See below for information on the book and series, preorder links, and an exclusive excerpt.
WISHING FOR A COWBOY (Wishing River Series #3) by Victoria James
Synopsis From New York Times bestselling author Victoria James comes a heartwarming love story about family, forgiveness, and the true meaning of “home.”
Janie Adams has been a single parent to her nephew since he was a baby. Fifteen years later, she’s finally found out who his father might be, so the two of them travel across the country to find him. She’d do anything for this kid. But when they arrive in the small town of Wishing River, Montana, and Janie finally meets the ruggedly handsome cowboy she’d been told had abandoned his son, his shocked response changes everything.
Aiden Rivers can’t dispute this is his kid when he sees his own features staring back at him, but he had no idea Janie’s sister was pregnant when she left him. He didn’t even know she had a sister—clearly they’d all been lied to. Now he has fifteen years of fatherhood to make up for and no idea how to be a dad. This was never in his plans.
Janie sticks around to help him ease into parenting, everything from showing him how to lure a sulky kid out of his bedroom to keeping up with the latest teen-speak. Together, they surprisingly make a good team, this city girl and country boy. But when the past catches up with them, Aiden and Janie must decide what’s best for the boy who’s connecting them, not only for each other…which could mean splitting them apart.
Excerpt Aiden tensed at the sound of someone whispering. He quietly left the kitchen and spotted Morris jumping on the couch and Janie sitting up.
“Did I wake you?”
He heard a sigh, and then the table lamp turned on. Janie was sitting up, wrapped in a blanket, a tangle of gorgeous, shiny hair around her head. She snatched her glasses from the end table and put them on. “Couldn’t sleep, actually.”
Her gaze flickered over him, and then her face turned red. He hadn’t bothered with a shirt because he didn’t think he’d see anyone and he was used to being the only person in the house. His plan had been to take his coffee back to his room.
“I, uh, didn’t think you’d be awake. I’m just going to go grab a shirt. Coffee is brewing if you want some,” he said over his shoulder, heading back to his room, trying to brush off the strange sense of intimacy that hit him when she looked at him.
When he came back, Janie was in the kitchen, still wrapped up in the blanket, drinking coffee. She quickly poured him a cup. He found the hurried gesture odd but chalked it up to the nerves of being in a stranger’s home. “Thanks,” he said, accepting the mug.
He noticed she went out of her way to not touch him, and if he hadn’t been fast, the cup would have ended up on the floor. “So…why couldn’t you sleep? Is it the couch? I really don’t mind switching with you.”
She shook her head, her eyes on him as she took a sip of coffee. “No, no. It’s not the couch,
it’s…” She let out a weak laugh. “Life.”
He ran a hand through his hair. “Yeah. Tell me about it.”
“You’re not on any social media,” she said abruptly, tilting her head, her eyes on him intently.
He swallowed, having the distinct feeling he was being evaluated again. That was fine. Deserved. “I’ve lived in Wishing River my entire life. I know everyone I need to know, and I know way too much about them already. Why would I want to see these same people online? Selfies and all that? No thanks.”
She smiled as though that answer was acceptable. “You were looking me up?”
She shrugged, the blanket falling slightly, revealing a glimpse of the smooth, creamy skin of her shoulder and the strap of a pink tank top. He tore his gaze from that and kept his eyes on hers. “I had looked you up before, but it dawned on me as I was lying on the couch that we really don’t know much about you. And you don’t know me, either, but I don’t just sleep at strange guys’ houses, especially not with my nephew, who I’m supposed to be protecting.”
He kept his expression neutral and definitely didn’t open his big mouth until he could appropriately filter his thoughts.
About the Author Victoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.
Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.
In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.
Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after’s for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.
Sign up for Victoria’s Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming releases and exclusive giveaways, follow her blog for daily antics and insight into her daily life, and get to know her on twitter and Facebook. She loves hearing from readers! www.victoriajames.ca
Welcome to the blog tor for SILVER DAWN AFIRE, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, The Seventh Age Saga, by Sonja J. Breckon, releasing March 16, 2021. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SILVER DAWN AFIRE (The Seventh Age Saga #1) by Sonja J. Breckon
Synopsis Myridians are coming, each wielding one of Six Cataclysmic Powers that will lay waste to the world and wake the God of Neutrality. What happens when one refuses to succumb to her myridian nature and sets out to save the world instead?
SIDRA ANATOLA will soon die a human death and be reborn as one of the myridian, beings destined to destroy the World of Aetheria. In a desperate attempt to change her dark fate, she flees home and the young man she loves to seek help from a powerful entity who has lived through all the ages. But she may not make it in time before she is killed by hunters—or by the love of her life, also a myridian, who fights every day to hold onto the emotions that made him human.
BRESEIS ERISWEN was expelled from the academy and failed her father who expected her to carry on her late mother’s profession as a myridian hunter. But Breseis never wanted to be a hunter—she refused to kill, and she never believed in myridians, to begin with. She leaves home with big dreams, lacking experience, and a broken heart, to prove that she is more than a failed hunter.
Two contrasting paths converge to become a turbulent one. A mouthy intellect with a colorful personality, and a skilled warrior with a frosty attitude, put their differences aside and travel the rest of the way together, robbing temples, angering false gods, and escaping numerous predicaments with their lives. Amid the chaos, they form a friendship despite a gut feeling that both hide dangerous secrets that can save or destroy the world and each other.
Excerpt #4 A familiar dizzying sensation rolls through my head like a wave; my hand flies to my forehead in response, and all I can think is: Not now…please, not right now.
Memliech rises into a frightening, towering stand.
The ground rumbles again, and this time I am certain it has nothing to do with my rune reading.
“You must leave here now,” Memliech warns, all traces of smiles or friendly conversation disappear from his face. The guardians in the room go into a frenzy, shedding their solid forms as they disappear into a vortex of wispy golden mist.
Then the amber of Memliech’s eyes turns black, as does the golden sheen of his hair.
If you transition in my presence, Memliech tells only me, I will kill you to absorb your powers and soul.
The cave shakes now with tremendous force, almost knocking Breseis from her feet as she stands over me, trying to help me up. The room blurs in my eyes; the stalagmite pillars loom over me like giants, moving in and out of my vision.
“Hurry,” I breathe out the words; I grip Breseis’ arms as I am lifted to my feet. “We have to get out—now, Breseis!” I have never spoken words more imperative.
Pieces of rock fall from the cave ceiling, small at first as the rumbling earth chips them away bit by bit. But then they break off in larger chunks, crashing to the cave floor.
“What’s doing that?” Breseis shouts over the booming noise as she helps me down the stone steps. “Is it an earthquake?”
We make it down the steps, large chunks of rock breaking all around us, the ground moving with terrible violence. There are so many guardians in the cave now that their transparent form glides through the air in a whirlwind of golden mist, so bright, so windy that I want to shut my eyes, but I cannot. I glimpse Memliech at the top of the rock platform, his wild hair growing and darkening, pupils swirling with fury in their black depths; he raises both arms out wide at his sides, and the black of his hair spreads out behind him like a portal into the violent, endless universe. Only able to ignore the pain and the wind and the earth coming apart beneath me for one moment, I believe Memliech is genuinely the closest thing to a god I have ever seen.
But a god that will kill me if I don’t get out of here in time. A god that will kill Soren, because I know now the cause of the earthquake is Soren coming for me.
Author Sonja J. Breckon
About the Author Sonja J. Breckon is a builder of fantasy worlds and not ashamed to admit she lives in them more than in the real world. Besides writing books, she works with various programs to create her own cover art, interior art, design, formatting, and fantasy maps. She loves nature, the universe, coffee, and bookstores. Oh, and chicken potato enchiladas.
Welcome to the book blitz for OFF CINDERELLIS, the second book in the adult LGBTQ+ fairytale retelling romance series, Once Upon a Vegas Night, by Evie Drae. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
CINDERELLIS (Once Upon a Vegas Night Series #2) by Evie Drae
Synopsis As the son of music industry royalty and a famous rock star in his own right, Henry “Cinder” Cinderford has spent his life on the road. Craving stability, he signs on to do a special limited engagement in Las Vegas and plans to spend the next six months discovering the meaning of home.
After losing his mom at a young age, Ellis Tremaine survived a childhood with an abusive stepfather who took out his anger on the son he never wanted. Nearly two decades later, Ellis continues to struggle against the emotional manipulations of his family, even in his career. But when he meets none other than the Prince of Pop himself, things start to change.
From attraction to friendship to something so much more, Ellis and Cinder become the celebrity ‘ship known as “Cinderellis.” But when reality threatens their storybook romance, all they can do is hope there really is a happily ever after for every once upon a time.
Excerpt #1 Ellis leaned his elbows on the handrail of the narrow metal catwalk overlooking the frontstage area and closed his eyes, allowing the music below to encompass him from all sides. Surrounding his senses. Filling his soul.
About three-quarters of the way through Cinder’s set, there was a song that dripped with passion and heart, making exquisite use of his stunning vibrato. It had become a favorite of Ellis’s almost from the get-go, most especially because its simplicity allowed him a moment to breathe, to open himself, and to fall heart-first into the music.
The constantly moving parts of the high-concept production ground to a halt during those three minutes and forty-two seconds. The fly space he occupied went still and quiet as a single bloodred spotlight focused on center stage, highlighting a lone wooden stool and a microphone stand. Following his third wardrobe change of the night, clad in skintight black jeans and a white ribbed tank, Cinder stepped onto the stage clutching the neck of an acoustic guitar. As if on cue, the audience swooned into the orchestrated mood change.
They all knew what came next, and with a soft, collective gasp, the whole theater held its breath. Then, like the beat of a heart, as Cinder rested a hip on the stool, adjusted the strap of his guitar, and drew the microphone close, the crowd exhaled as one.
With the first note of the now familiar song, Ellis’s chest tightened. Music had always held an important place in his life, affecting him in ways he couldn’t explain. But nothing in his twenty-six years on this earth had ever latched on to his very being the way Cinder could with his haunting tenor as it trembled up an octave before plunging in both register and depth. Straight into his heart.
He looked forward to this brief respite more and more each day, surprised to find himself curious about the man who made such soul-moving compositions. Ellis rarely cared about anything other than the music itself, but something about Cinder’s music was different. Something about Cinder was different; Ellis just couldn’t put his finger on what.
Growing up in Vegas with a stepfather in show business, Ellis had never been impressed by celebrity. He admired the effort that went into reaching and maintaining stardom, but he could say the same thing about a lot of jobs out there. If someone put in a full day of hard work, they earned his respect, no matter what the end goal or result.
But Ellis’s curiosity over Cinder wasn’t based on the novelty of his fame or even over the man himself. It was the music Ellis yearned to delve deeper into. It affected him in ways he didn’t understand, but he wanted to. It was like Cinder saw into a part of Ellis even he had never known was there, and he needed to know why… and how?
He wanted to put a face to the voice if only to prove Cinder was real. To prove the responses he drew from Ellis weren’t figments of his imagination. To prove he was still capable of emotions that ran so deep they could penetrate the walls he’d built around his fractured heart after his mom’s death.
To prove he could still feel.
About the Author
Evie Drae (Ze/Hir/Hirs) is a registered nurse by day and a best-selling, award-winning male/male romance writer by night. Ze has won first place in seven Romance Writers of America® (RWA®) competitions, including the prestigious title “Best of the Best” in the 2018 Golden Opportunity Contest. Ze was a double finalist in the 2019 Golden Heart® in both the Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense categories.
One of Evie’s favorite things to do is encourage hir fellow writers. To that end, ze started the #writeLGBTQ and #promoLGBTQ hashtags on Twitter to support and promote LGBTQ+ authors and allies while providing a safe space to connect and grow as a community. Ze is married to the love of hir life, is the parent of two wonderful fur babies, and runs almost entirely on coffee and good vibes.
Evie loves to link EvieDrae@gmail.com or find hir on hir social media accounts listed below. Twitter is where ze’s most active but be sure to check out hir blog too. Ze focuses on reviews for LGBTQ+ authors and allies with the occasional quirky advice/recommendation post just to toss things up.
Welcome to the book blitz for IN COMMAND, a novella between books 2 and 3 in the young adult dystopian series, Aunare Chronicles, by USA Today bestselling author, Aileen Erin. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
IN COMMAND (Aunare Chronicles #2.5) by Aileen Erin
Synopsis Amihanna di Aetes is used to fighting, surviving, and relying on her strength to get through the hard times. She thought the worst was over when she accepted her engagement to Lorne ni Taure, the High King of the Aunare, and claimed her place as the future High Queen.
It should be easy to slide into her new role. How hard can it be living in luxury with your soulmate after growing up alone on the streets?
But the more she learns about the Aunare and their politics, the more she realizes that the true test of her strength is just beginning.
Amihanna di Aetes is in for the battle of her life if she wants the Aunare to accept her.
*In Command is a 65K novella that takes place between Off Balance and On Mission (Books 2 & 3 of the main Aunare Chronicles). The series can be enjoyed without reading this story, but you can’t enjoy this story without reading the series.
Excerpt #2 It was too much. This feeling of love and contentment grew until it nearly consumed me, and I knew that no matter what we faced tomorrow and the next day and ten years from now, it would be okay.
Because we were together. And when we were together, it was like my soul was whole again.
I never realized how broken I was until I’d found him, but I was okay.
I was better than okay.
His fingertips slipped up my ribcage, spreading warmth through my body, and I gasped. “You still with me?” he asked.
All I could see were his aquamarine eyes as they stared down at me, and I knew whatever happened, everything was going to be all right.
I reached up, pulling him down closer to me so that I could kiss him. “Your eyes are still my favorite color. That’s how obsessed I am.”
His already bright skin brightened a little more as he pulled away, searching my face. “They are?”
“Yeah. I don’t think that’s ever going to change.” I was with him. I was with him for whatever came next.
And I would find a way through whatever came at us.
About the Author
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE SILENT SPEAK, a standalone adult psychological thriller, by Val Collins. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis “There’s a lunatic out there who butchered five innocent people and nobody is looking for him.”
Aoife Walsh has plenty keeping her busy—finalising her divorce from her manipulative husband, settling into her still-new relationship with Detective Conor Moloney, and trying to win the trust of his teenage son. So for the moment, her fledgeling career as a freelance journalist has been put on hold.
Then comes the horrific news that an entire family has been slaughtered in their own home. Aoife is shocked to discover two of the victims were members of her on-again-off-again book club. Even more disturbing is the revelation that the police believe it was a murder-suicide.
That’s when Aoife receives a tantalising offer. Lisa, the main suspect’s sister, will grant Aoife access to the victims’ extended family for an exclusive news story—if Aoife will help find the real killer. Moved by Lisa’s unwavering belief in her brother’s innocence, Aoife agrees to help.
As she digs into the secrets of her fellow book club members, Aoife discovers potential suspects everywhere: people having affairs, a jealous husband, and a power-hungry business partner who’s clearly hiding something.
Aoife keeps pulling at the threads of the story, untangling more and more deception. Is the killer really dead and buried? Is it someone Aoife already knows? Could the lunatic be closer than Aoife ever imagined?
You won’t be able to put down this twisty thriller from international bestselling author Val Collins.
Prologue She read the note again.
Twice in the past three years, similar notes had been splashed all over the newspapers. She knew immediately what it meant, but her brain wouldn’t allow her to process it. For several minutes she just stared at it. Her lips formed words that never came. When her brain caught up, it went straight to denial.
This could not be happening.
Things like this did not happen in ordinary families.
Not in families like hers.
She pulled down the door handle. The door was unlocked. That was a good sign, right? She would go into the house and find everything exactly as it had always been. There just had to be some simple explanation for that note. Yes, she nodded to herself, relieved to have come to a decision. She nudged the door open and put one foot on the wooden floor. The house was eerily quiet. No kids running around. No noise from the kitchen.
‘Now don’t panic,’ she muttered to herself. ‘Everything will be fine. Just go inside.’
She tried to lift her foot, but her brain wouldn’t cooperate. Hands shaking, she pulled out her mobile and dialed 999. She was still frozen in the doorway when the police arrived.
Author Val Collins
About the Author Val Collins is the author of the award-winning psychological thriller GIRL TARGETED, the international bestseller ONLY LIES REMAIN and her new release THE SILENT SPEAK. All three books feature heroine Aoife Walsh.
A native of Ireland, Val began reading at the age of three and still devours books at the rate of one per week. Her favourite authors range from Philippa Gregory and Sophie Kinsella to Lee Child and Linwood Barclay.
Join Val online at valcollinsbooks.com, and on social media @valcollinsbooks.
Author Melanie Munton is revealing the cover to THE MIX-UP, the third book in her adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Southern Hearts Club, releasing April 6, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder inks, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE MIX-UP (Southern Hearts Club Series #3) by Melanie Munton
Synopsis She thought she accidentally slept with her boss… Then she met his twin brother.
Real talk: I slept with my boss. Back before he even was my boss. Back when I had no clue who he was.
Real talk: My boss is an arrogant jerk. I hate him. If we didn’t work so well together, I would have told him exactly where he could shove his pompous attitude a long time ago.
Turns out…my boss has a twin. Identical twin.
Now I know why he’s always acted like our one night together never happened. Why he acted like he’d never met me before when I started working for him.
It wasn’t him that night. It was his brother. A brother who’s just as gorgeous as my boss and a hell of a lot nicer.
Real talk: I’m kind of…bothered that it wasn’t my boss that night.
But that’s before certain revelations about that night come to light.
A thin manila file is dropped on top of my French fade manicure, halting my progress in the email I’m furiously typing. My fingers pause as I suck in a much-needed breath. Because only one person in this entire office would have the balls to do such a thing. And unfortunately, he signs my frigging paycheck.
I hear a muffled male voice and know he’s probably telling me to “turn off the squabbling, men-bashing drivel” and pay attention. That’s exactly what he called Kennedy’s podcast one day when he’d been curious to know what I was always listening to and had swiped up one of my earbuds before I could stop him.
I tap my Bluetooth earpiece, turning it off. But I don’t look at him. Why? People not making eye contact when they speak to him is one of his biggest pet peeves.
Heh. Take that, prick.
“Gee, sorry, boss man. Didn’t quite catch that.”
He pauses for a moment, probably to grind his teeth together hard enough to give himself a migraine. “Spec sheet for prospective client,” he grates in a low voice, referring to the file still balanced on my hands as I resume typing. “Look over their queries and come up with an approximate quote, as well as a realistic timeline for each individual project.”
My eyebrow notches up, though I keep my focus trained ahead. “I guess saying ‘please’ is too much of a time waster?”
“Yes. Since I know you’re going to do it regardless, that one syllable would have been a waste of my time and breath.”
I slowly nod at my computer screen. “Yep. Better save all that hot air for the next ass you have to blow smoke up.”
“Better than kissing those asses.”
I click my tongue against my teeth. “If I were you, I’d start puckering up because your personality is severely lacking in both charm and tact.”
“From the horse’s mouth, huh, duchess?”
Now, now, I look up at him.
Did I mention that Ryder Colson is a brutally beautiful man?
Because of course he would be.
His hair color is somewhere between dark blond and light brown, complementing his golden skin tone. It’s slightly longer on top and cut shorter at the sides. He always somehow manages to get that floppy part to sweep across his forehead at just the right angle to look suave. A small strand perpetually hangs over his left eyebrow, no matter how many times he shoves it back. His eyes are a soulful blue, his nose is long and straight, and day-old stubble claims permanent residency on his square jawline.
Worst of all, his bottom lip has this full, rounder thing going on that pisses off my neglected libido to the point that I want to dig my teeth into that flesh until I draw blood.
Easy, girl. Your momma didn’t raise no psycho.
Despite the casual leniencies that he affords his employees, Ryder never dons anything other than crisp, immaculately tailored suits. Hellaciously expensive ones that I’m pretty sure he has shipped in from London. As the owner and CEO, he frequently meets with clients, in and out of the office, so he always has to look professional. And flaming hot.
Hey, I’m human. He’s sex on two legs. There’s nothing criminal about noticing it.
I dagger him with a look that would eviscerate a lesser man. And as much as it galls me to admit, Ryder here could never be categorized as lesser in any aspect of his life. “You could have just emailed this to me, you know. No need for these precious heart-to-hearts of ours.”
His navy eyes dance with something resembling amusement. “Now, what kind of person would that make me when I can clearly see how cutting me down at every opportunity brings you such joy?”
I narrow my eyes. “A prospect you’re more than familiar with.”
He smirks. “I don’t cut you down, duchess. I vex you. There’s a big difference.”
“The end result is the same no matter what verb you use,” I say through clenched teeth. “I can only assume your overall goal is to piss me off.”
He shrugs, like the apathetic jerkoff he is. “You do your best work when you’re exasperated. Part of my job as boss is to keep my employees motivated.”
“You’re confusing infuriation with motivation.”
He slides his hands in his pockets, far too casually. “And yet I know you’ll have that to me by the end of the day. Seems my methods are effective. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?”
My teeth clamp down on my tongue to silence the instinctual vitriol.
I’ll do a swan dive into a river of boiling lava before I ever admit that he’s right.
I can’t resist a challenge. He knows I’m going to bust my ass every day at work, no matter how acerbic our conversations get. Something about Ryder’s demeanor toward me, his work ethic, and his general expectations of his employees have always lit a fire inside me, making me want to rise to the occasion. It’s irrational—and just plain idiotic—how much I’ve wanted to impress him from day one. Ever since I found out that my boss has absolutely no memory of sleeping with me, I’ve been determined to prove myself.
So help me Mary Magdalene, I will make him remember me.
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 SKELETONS, the second book in the young adult contemporary thriller series, Elephant, by Natalie Rodriguez, releasing February 26, 2021. See below for information on the book and series, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SKELETONS (Elephant Series #2) by Natalie Rodriguez
Synopsis When was the last time you confronted the skeletons in your closest?
Immediately following book one, “Elephant,” Matthew “Matty” Smith awakens from his coma and discovers that his worst nightmare is all true: his grandmother, Jamie, and Derek have gone missing and his mother murdered his father and grandfather years ago.
With the hospital placing him on lockdown, including no visitation rights by his loved ones such as his best friend, Lisa, Matty finds himself deteriorating into a state of the abyss, consumed with the secrets of his family. Convinced that it was the ‘stranger’ who kidnapped his grandmother and friends, no one believes him. The hospital only believes that Matty is slipping into a toxic mental state, repeating the cycle of his family.
Until one day, Lisa helps Matty escape the hospital.
On the run from Dr. Brown, Officer Barry, and the town of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Matty and Lisa set off to find their friends and Lucia and for answers on who the ‘stranger’ is. Once they unmask who the ‘stranger’ is, Matty continues to unravel the deepest secrets of what was supposed to be forever hidden in the Smith family as well as the town.
This story is for those who feel their voice is unheard and for children, teenagers, and adults who never had the chance to heal from their pain.
Excerpt #4 ON THAT BLAZING SUMMER DAY in August, an elderly man of seventy years old sat in a wheelchair. He gazed down upon two gravestones that stood in front of him. It was heartbreaking. A breeze whispered through one ear and then out the other. He crinkled his nose from the chilliness it brought. The elderly man bundled himself up in his burgundy snow raincoat. A beanie hugged his hairless head, and solid-colored gloves covered his fingers, like angels who looked out for him from above.
After months of chemotherapy and radiation, the aftermath of cancer left him restless. Yet, he still yearned for his old reality. The river of tears that skimmed down his face added more blemishes to his crumpled and desiccated skin. He broke down even more and concealed his face with his fuzzy, dark gray gloves.
From afar, an elderly woman, also in her early seventies, listened to his whimpers until she could no longer bear it.
“Sweetheart!” She bundled herself up in her pink woven sweater and ran over to the area. She leaned in and pressed her cheek against the elderly man’s stubble.
“What is it, sweetheart? Tell me.” She caressed his dampened cheeks.
“Mom!” a handsome male in his mid-thirties bellowed, as he dashed into the depths of the cemetery.
Following a few feet behind the handsome man was two women, both in their twenties—one of them was six months pregnant; she took her precautions, holding the hand of a child. Beautiful, like the adult man and two women, the child slipped her fingers through the non-pregnant female’s hand, as though it were a sign of devotion
“’Am about to fall!” her minuscule voice rasped.
The woman who was not pregnant, scooped up the girl into her arms while she and her pregnant sister-in-law scampered over to her brother’s side. They waited with him underneath a tree that stood taller than most of the others. Except, that tree had more greens and cherry toppings. It was the tree of life itself, magnificent and a reminder of what was beautiful…
“What’s going on?” the pregnant woman asked and reached for her husband’s palm—The Handsome Man.
He gave her fingers a squeeze before he released them and stepped aside. He sniffled and pressed his free hand against his round lips. He closed his eyes, as though to be swept away by sweet dreams.
“Whaa’s goin’ on?” the little girl asked, broken-hearted by the sight of her father’s tears. She and the two women (the pregnant one being her mother; and the non-pregnant woman being her auntie) glimpsed back and forth at the elders and the man.
“Talk to me sweetheart.” The elderly woman spoke tenderly and daubed away her husband’s tears with a tissue. “You can only go so long until, a whisper turns into a scream.”
The elderly man met her sight. When her hand contacted his cheek, he flinched from the coldness of her fingertips. He gazed into her eyes; and her eyes only beseeched him to speak. Teary, she pressed his hands together and lowered them to kiss theirs tops. By the time she looked at him, his eyes were closed in agony. A moment later, he shook his head because now was the time to address the elephant in the room.
“Then when is?” she asked.
“What’s wrong with papa?” The sister (non-pregnant woman) turned to her brother, who daubed the wetness off his eyes. “He’s been like this for the past few months.”
“It’s because he’ll never get over it,” he whispered back.
The little girl disengaged her fingers from her mother’s hand—the man’s wife remained in place—and reached for her father.
“Is papa gonna be alright?”
“Yes. Yes, he is.” The man hugged his daughter back. From behind, the pregnant woman swaddled her arms around her husband and rested her cheek against his back. Off her touch, the handsome man relaxed a palm on his wife’s wrist and gave it a peck.
“I’m fine,” they heard the elderly man protest—the man and non-pregnant woman’s father.
The elderly man wiped a sleeve across his lukewarm, moist face.
“I’m fine,” he repeated, as though he convinced himself. “I just had to let it out.”
“Sweetheart.” His wife knelt onto the dirt. “Don’t do this. Don’t you dare pull the ‘everything is okay’ card. It’s okay. It’s okay to be…sad.”
“I am not sad—!”
“You sure about that?”
And then, he cracked. “I, I thought I was. A long time ago, I didn’t want to live.”
“It’s true,” he said. “But I don’t feel that way anymore.” He turned to his wife. “I promise.”
She smiled. She believed him.
“But I’m okay now,” the elderly man informed his group of family members. “I have been for all these years. I swear…I’m okay. We’re okay.”
He looped his fingers through his wife’s shaky ones—the one with the wedding ring on it that he gave her many years ago. It still shimmered in a halo glow as soon as the sunlight hit it.
“You don’t need to feel guilty about anything,” he said to her. “You gave me the best gift that any man could ask for. I have four wonderful and beautiful family members because of you.”
The relatives beamed like one of those families about to be snapshot onto a Christmas card.
“I’m the luckiest man on Earth. So far, eighty is looking great in the next decade.”
It got a chuckle from his wife, their two children, daughter-in-law, and grandbaby. The elderly woman leaned toward him. He met her halfway for another sweet, and still sensational, kiss. Like many years ago, the scent and taste of her chapstick—not lip gloss—thrived on his lips like caramel from an apple.
“I love you, sweetheart,” she vowed. “Always here, since day one.”
The elderly man smiled. He brushed a strand of fallen hair behind her shoulders. It was difficult to not admire her beauty—his heart skipped a few beats, even after forty-years together. Marriage was the best decision he made; well, they promised to each other as teenagers, a long time ago. Together, they listened to the chorus line of birds and the rustle of leaves. The family stood in silence for a few more moments. The adults and grandchild stayed at their short distance, so the grandparents had some time to themselves.
The sunlight tip-toed through the swarm of tree branches and created a glow around the elderly woman’s body. She had aged gracefully and was the definition of a woman who embraced getting older. There was never shame in it, at least not for her.
In a flash, the elderly man saw the younger woman she once was—her gray hair melted back to its dark brunette roots. No matter how many years bypassed, the elderly man was attracted to his wife more than ever. He touched her cheek.
“I always knew I’d marry you,” he said.
She smiled and kissed each of his fingers. They were each other’s everything and world. In unison, they inched closer, until their lips met. Their eyes shut, and the memories floored back for them—from the first time they made eye contact; introduced themselves; spoke; spooned; kissed; made love; and finally, married each other. The elderly man nuzzled against his wife as strands of her hair toppled over his beanie. She was forever the girl of his dreams.
About the Author Natalie Rodriguez is an award-winning writer, director, and mental health and anti-violence/trauma advocate based in Los Angeles, CA. In 2014, she graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio-Television-Film. Her first experience in entertainment was an internship at the Conan O’Brien show and Peter Guber’s Mandalay Pictures, where she worked at the offices of producers, Matthew Rhodes (“Cherry,” “Men in Black: International”) and Academy Award-winner, Cathy Schulman (“Sharp Objects,” “Crash”). Natalie was also a panelist at events, including Google, Hispanicize, and YouTube, where she has shared her story as a writer, filmmaker, and a female working in the entertainment industry. Some of her previous writing work can be found in publications such as the HuffPost Blog, Thrive Global, Anxiety Resource Center, Opposing Views, NowThis News, Zooey Deschanel’s Hello Giggles, The Mighty, and more.
In 2017, she founded her production company, Extraordinary Pictures, focusing on both films, television, digital series, and social issue projects. The company has a list of projects in its roaster, including development on a TV sitcom, “The D,” which placed in top-ten for best comedy screenplays at Stage 32. At the moment, Natalie’s second directorial feature film, “Howard Original,” is in post-production and set for an August 2020 release date on YouTube Premium. The film is based on the award-winning short film about a washed-up screenwriter named Howard, who encounters more than just selling a story, a studio rejection, and writer’s block when his pet cat comes to life.
Natalie’s directorial feature film, “The Extraordinary Ordinary,” which she also wrote, produced, and was the executive producer on, is making its round through the festival circuit. The film deals with young adults, mental health awareness, and the aftermath of trauma. The film won ‘Best Film About Women’s Empowerment’ at the Glendale International Film Festival and scored nominations in Best Director, Best Female Director, and Best Picture. The film also had a sold-out world premiere screening at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival (LADFF), winning ‘Best Performance’ by the leading actress, Maddison Bullock. Further details on the project can be found @theextraordfilm, including recent film festival awards and nominations.
Her other screenplays and films have also been featured and placed in the final rounds at HollyShorts Film Festival, NALIP: Latino Lens Film Festival, ShortsTV, Stage 32: Comedy Screenplay, Beverly Hills Film Festival, Culver City Film Festival, Indie Night Film Festival, Hollywood Screenplay Contest, Table Read My Screenplay – Austin Film Festival, and others.
Natalie was most recently an ambassador for Jen Zeano Designs (JZD), a clothing company in association with USA Networks. While she continues to build her creative background, Natalie is always open to collaborating with other artists and advocates. Currently, she awaits the publication of her first young adult novel this April 2020, “Elephant,” a story about four childhood best friends who uncover a family secret. The book was also a finalist at Clare Books’ the Binge-Watching Cure II contest for ‘Best Novel.’.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE WISE ONE, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, The Scottish Scrolls, by K.T. Anglehart. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE WISE ONE (The Scottish Scrolls Series #1) by K.T. Anglehart
Synopsis Mckenna’s never thought much of her nightmares, but on her seventeenth birthday, a vivid dream of burning at the stake awakens her dormant abilities, thrusting her into a world where faeries are real, spirits hold a grudge, and a High Priestess obsessed with a 16th-century prophecy is tracking her every move.
Now, her overprotective dads, Seán and Andre, are forced to tell her the truth—they know who her birth mother is, and her life is not the surrogate story she’s always been told. Abigail, Mckenna’s mom, is some sort of mystic, and Mckenna a Wise One.
Whatever the hell that means.
With the help of a persistent little wren and company of a newfound friend, Mckenna journeys to Ireland in search of her mother and real answers. Along the way, she learns to harness her innate magic and trust her intuition, as best she can anyway—Cillian, a kind and passionate delegate who crosses her path, is proving much harder to read.
Only her mother could truly help her halt her ill fate and prepare her for what’s to come . . . before she gives in to the darkness she knows is buried deep within.
Excerpt #2 A sulphery scent filled the air, carried by a chill breeze. Pulled by the rushing sound of waves, Mckenna walked to the road’s end. Far below, the sea whispered its calming notes, both melodic and fierce, as though longing to impart wisdom to the land and sky. “I hadn’t realized we drove so high up.”
She followed Esme about a mile down a red dirt path, which gradually wound downwards to the water’s edge.
“Where are we?” Mckenna said as a rocky landmass came into view.
“Below, where you see the rock formation—that’s the Giant’s Causeway.”
As they drew nearer, Mckenna did a double take at the dramatic sight before her: At the foot of the cliffs lay uneven hills of thousands upon thousands of interlocked black rocks in the shape of hexagons. Like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, the pieces fit together flawlessly. Esme urged Mckenna to walk around the site. She did, stepping up and down from stone to stone.
How could they have formed so perfectly? And why were they all at different heights? How were they floating on the sea?
That was when she realized . . . “Esme, these aren’t rocks, are they? These are columns.”
“Indeed. Forty thousand columns beneath the sea—basalt columns, meaning they’re formed from lava. Some as tall as thirty-nine feet. All of this was the result of a volcanic eruption some fifty million years ago, during the Tertiary period—but of course, there’s also an Irish legend that explains it all.” Mckenna smiled at this. “A Scottish giant, Benandonner, challenged an Irish giant, Fionn MacCool, to a fight. Being very proud, Fionn accepted and built a causeway across the North Channel to Scotland for the two to battle. But when Fionn saw the size of Benandonner, he ran back to Ireland and had his wife disguise him as a baby.
“The funny bit is, when Benandonner saw the size of the baby, he thought, ‘if the baby’s that big, can’t imagine his dad!’ So, he bolted back to Scotland, destroying the causeway along the way. Across the sea to the Scottish isle of Staffa, there are the same columns, made of the same basalt.”
“So, which story is true?” If faeries and ghosts existed, why not giants?
“Which do you believe?”
Author K.T. Anglehart
About the Author Katrina Tortorici Anglehart is a born and bred Italian-Canadian from Montreal. A devoted academic, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism; a graduate certificate in Scriptwriting; and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. After dabbling in TV writing and working as a digital marketing content manager, she left the nine to five to launch her freelance editing and coaching career. Today, she relishes in helping aspiring authors to develop and refine their stories.
Besides English, Katrina speaks French, Italian, and Spanglish. When she’s not writing, diving into magical reads, or Netflixing, she’s travelling with her favourite human–her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, Andy–and obsessing over her pet bunny, Magic, and newly rescued pup, Nessie. Katrina currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE SWEETEST VALENTINE, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Sweetland Valley, by Lacey Baker. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE SWEETEST VALENTINE (Sweetland Valley Series #1) by Lacey Baker
Synopsis When the idea for a new script brings Hollywood actor Kelan Hunter to the Wine & Chocolate Festival in the small town of Sweetland Valley, MD, sparks fly with the charming candy shop owner who has a list of reasons for why their love isn’t meant to be.
Ruthlessly organized Sydni Murray’s life goal checklist was derailed after her broken engagement last Valentine’s Day. Now, with the holiday fast approaching again and the town’s biggest chocolate festival on the horizon, she must put her biases about love on the backburner. Until Kelan walks into her shop with his model good looks and a box of his grandparents’ love letters that melt her heart.
But happy ever after may not be in the cards for the couple as Sydni’s in danger of losing her shop and Kelan’s plan to stay in Sweetland is threatened by an unbelievable career opportunity.
Excerpt #2 Syd hated memories. They crowded her mind more often than she wanted. Uninvited, unwelcome and oftentimes unbelievable. Closing her eyes, she leaned forward until her forehead touched the glass.
“You can try again,” her mother’s voice sounded softly from behind. “Remember you fell off that pretty pink bicycle the day after your daddy bought it for you?”
She didn’t have to turn around to know her mother walked further into the kitchen, going over to the stove area to do something that pertained to the dinner they were all waiting to have.
“I stood on the front porch watching you, my heart beating frantically for fear you’d hurt yourself. I would’ve preferred he’d bought you the dollhouse you’d circled in that catalog that came in the mail. But your daddy said no, it was time for you to learn how to ride and you did. No matter how many times you fell. Your little knees took a beating that summer.”
And so had her pride but she hadn’t given up. She’d finally mastered riding that bike without ever needing the training wheels and when Iman and all the other kids on the block got up early in the morning and set out to roam the town on their bikes three weeks later, Syd had been with them. She was the youngest of the bunch but determined to keep up.
“Life’s not really like riding a bike, Mama. I know it’s a nice sounding cliché, but it doesn’t actually apply to all situations.”
“I don’t know. You’ve opened a store and run it successfully for five years since coming home from Germany. I’d say you got back on that bike after the fall and started riding again.”
Syd sighed because that was something to be proud of, she just hated that the proclamation always came on the heels of thinking about the heart wrenching events that led up to her doing that great thing.
Turning, she walked over to the refrigerator, opened it and pulled out the pitcher of fresh brewed sweet tea her mother always kept chilling. “But I’ve never tried falling in love again.” Those words seemed to echo throughout the kitchen as she set the pitcher on the counter and opened the cabinet above to grab a glass.
Claudia kept on moving. “Now, I didn’t say anything about falling in love. All I said was the movie star guy was handsome and he was coming to the luncheon tomorrow. I’m not cupid, nor do I meddle in matchmaking anybody.”
She was glad she hadn’t been sipping from her glass of sweet tea when her mother spoke those blasphemous words. Claudia and Odell did more matchmaking in Sweetland than Marabelle did gossiping. The thought made her smile as she poured the tea and took a slow sip. Delicious as always. Her mother knew just the right amount of lemon and sugar to add to rival any bottled brand on the grocery store shelves.
“And you’re going to be at the luncheon anyway, so you might as well be nice to him. He’s a tourist and you know we’re a hospitable bunch here in Sweetland. Besides, Odell thinks he might be here to make a movie. Wouldn’t that be something? A movie about Sweetland.”
Claudia kept right on talking, while Syd leaned her backside against the counter, sipping her tea. Kelan had said he was writing a script, something he’d never done before, about a love story no doubt. That was the part that had pricked something inside her. He wanted to write a love story and aside from Valentine’s Day being her most lucrative season, Syd didn’t want anything to do with love. Not after being dumped on the sweetest holiday five years ago. So what were the odds that he’d come into her shop of all places in town and ask her about his grandmother’s letter.
It wasn’t chance or fate or anything like that because Syd didn’t believe in such things. She lived her life by her planner and relied only on that which she could predict and work toward making a reality. Anything else was foolishness and a waste of time. Like standing here thinking about a guy she didn’t know who was going to leave town just as quickly as he’d showed up. When her tea was finished so were her thoughts about Kelan Hunter, at least that’s what she’d intended.
Author Lacey Baker
About the Author Lacey Baker, a Maryland native, lives with her husband, three children, two grandchildren and English Bulldog in what most would call Suburban America–a townhouse development where everybody knows each other and each other’s kids. Family cook-outs, reunion vacations, and growing up in church have all inspired Lacey to work towards her dreams and to write about the endurance of family and the quest to find everlasting love. To date she has written in several genres including small town romance, YA paranormal (as Artist Arthur), a cozy mystery series titled Rumors and adult paranormal (as A.C. Arthur).
Welcome to the book blitz for WYNTER, the first book in the adult paranormal romantic comedy series, Silver Skates, by Mia Harlan. 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 99 cents!
Synopsis When a pair of magical skates helps me find my fated mates, the last thing I expect is to get rejected, betrayed, and framed for a crime I didn’t commit.
I moved to Silver Springs to escape my past. Fell in love with the small supernatural town. Made friends with its quirky residents. Even got my dream job.
But just when life’s finally looking up, disaster strikes. The cleaning company I work for falls under threat, and I’m framed for a crime I didn’t commit.
Then, I find my fated mates:
• A shifter hockey player who knows how to handle his stick.
• A sweet journalist who shifts into a block of ice but is oh so hot.
• And a mage detective who already broke my heart once.
This should be the happiest time in my life, but my mates reject me, one by one.
As the new life I built starts to crumble around me, can I work things out with my mates and catch whoever framed me? Or will I end up broken-hearted, alone, and behind bars? Because I may be the best magical maid in town, but my life is one mess no spells in the world can fix.
If you like sassy witches, wonky magic, panty-melting fated mates, and intriguing mysteries, you’ll love this steamy, laugh-out-loud paranormal romantic comedy with all the feels!
Wynter is a standalone in the Silver Springs shared universe and comes complete with a happily-ever-after. Scroll up to read this fun, quirky romance today.
Excerpt #3 I take a deep breath and stare at Terence like I’ve seen a ghost. Though technically, I have. Not because he’s dead, though I kind of wish he were. Okay, maybe not dead, dead. But missing a limb. Or at least a pinkie.
Either way, he’s dead to me. That and it’s what everyone else called him. Ghost. Though he is the furthest thing from pale. Dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes. He looks exactly like I remember him, and nothing like it. Older. Harsher. More unforgiving. Scratch that. Unforgivable. Because after what he did…
He pulls off his winter gear, and my brain short-circuits. First his hat, revealing hair cropped short, not long and unruly like I remember. Then gloves, with all ten fingers still intact. What? A girl can dream.
He takes off his coat next, and that dream? It starts to feel more like a nightmare. The kind that starts with Cleanly Den clients getting robbed and ends with a hotter-than-ever Terence. No, scratch that. Ghost.
The muscles underneath his sweater bulge, and I get this sudden urge to peel it off. Only out of curiosity. Morbid curiosity. Because I’m not attracted to him. Nope. Not one bit. I’ve ridden on the Ghost train once. Had a one-way ticket to Heartbreak Town. I do not need a repeat.
Then, his sleeve rides up, showing off a strong, inked forearm, and my heart nearly stops. The Terence I knew did not have tattoos. The Ghost standing in front of me has swirling flames disappearing beneath black fabric.
I take him in—okay, fine, I stare—until he finally, finally, notices me.
“Wyn?” His eyes widen as he gapes at me like he’s the one who’s seen a ghost. Yeah, I know. I’m hilarious.
I’d roll my eyes at myself if I weren’t using all that energy to levitate. That and to keep my Mood Tea from glowing red. As in red with desire, because knowing Ghost is a Hole with a Capital Ass doesn’t stop me from wanting him.
So I focus on channeling turquoise instead. Calm, serene, indifferent turquoise. Because my go-to happy pink or excited silver won’t do. Terence—Nope. Ghost. Just Ghost—doesn’t deserve either one. He gets to see how little I care. And that he no longer has the power to hurt me.
I guess my heart doesn’t get the memo because the turquoise starts to darken. It’s a momentary lapse in magic—one Ghost doesn’t notice. And if he does? He’s one of the few people who know I can manipulate Mood Teas, so he wouldn’t trust it anyway.
Which is why I do the one thing I do best. I bluff.
“Well, if it isn’t Terentius White,” I say brightly. Like I’d read his name straight out of the Academy Yearbook. Not that we had a yearbook. Kind of defeats the purpose, when it’s not even supposed to exist.
Author Mia Harlan
About the Author Mia Harlan lives in Canada with her husband (who’s definitely Not a Vampire) and their adorably fluffy cat. They recently welcomed a Mini Mortal (a baby girl) into the world and are happy to report she doesn’t have fangs. Mia is a librarian by day and an author by night. She’s been reading romance since she turned thirteen and published her first one in mid-2019. She writes humorous, quirky (and mostly paranormal) reverse harem romance.
Welcome to the book blitz for A SHOT AT NORMAL, a standalone young adult contemporary, by Marisa Reichardt. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Marisa Reichardt’s A Shot at Normal is a powerful and timely novel about justice, agency, family, and taking your shot, even when it seems impossible.
Dr. Villapando told me to get a good attorney. He wasn’t serious. But I am. I’m going to sue my parents.
Juniper Jade’s parents are hippies. They didn’t attend the first Woodstock, but they were there for the second one. The Jade family lives an all-organic homeschool lifestyle that means no plastics, no cell phones, and no vaccines. It isn’t exactly normal, but it’s the only thing Juniper has ever known. She doesn’t agree with her parents on everything, but she knows that to be in this family, you’ve got to stick to the rules. That is, until the unthinkable happens.
Juniper contracts the measles and unknowingly passes the disease along, with tragic consequences. She is shell-shocked. Juniper knows she is responsible and feels simultaneously helpless and furious at her parents, and herself.
Now, with the help of Nico, the boy who works at the library and loves movies and may just be more than a friend, Juniper comes to a decision: she is going to get vaccinated. Her parents refuse so Juniper arms herself with a lawyer and prepares for battle. But is waging war for her autonomy worth losing her family? How much is Juniper willing to risk for a shot at normal?
Excerpt #2 I skate for at least an hour to clear my head, then arrive at the urgent care clinic at five o’clock. The sign on the door tells me they’re open for another few hours. That should be enough time. I pull the bottom of my shirt up to wipe the sweat from my forehead and go to the front desk, not exactly sure what to do. My insurance card is in my mom’s wallet. And I don’t have any money.
The door to the hallway where the nurse took my vitals a few weeks ago is over my left shoulder, but the L- shaped check- in counter has one half in the waiting room and one half in the hallway. I can see the shut doors of exam rooms inside the hallway, which means those rooms are full and I might have to wait a while.
“I need to talk to someone,” I say.
A guy looks up from his computer and pushes the clipboard on the counter toward me. “Sign-i n sheet’s right there.”
“Can I get shots here?”
“A flu shot?”
“Shots. Plural. All of them.”
He squints at me. “What do you mean? Are you traveling out of the country?”
“Nope. But I’ve never had any vaccinations, and I want all of them. How do I do that?” He looks at me like I’m kidding. “I’m serious.”
He finally pulls away from his keyboard and really looks at me. “Are you eighteen?”
“Do you have a parent or guardian here with you?”
“They’ll say no. I need to take care of this by myself.” He puts his elbows up on the desk. Leans forward. “No vaccinations ever? MMR? Tetanus? Chicken pox?”
“None of them.”
He leans back in his chair, hands behind his head like a cradle. “Wow.”
I’m a freak. An anomaly to someone in the medical field.
Coming up on the right, Juniper Jade, nocturnal and not vaccinated. Don’t feed the bears. Don’t vaccinate the children.
Author Marisa Reichardt
About the Author Marisa Reichardt is the critically acclaimed author of the YA novels UNDERWATER, AFTERSHOCKS (2020), and A SHOT AT NORMAL (2021). She has a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California and dual degrees in English & American Literature and Creative Writing from UC San Diego. Before becoming a published author, Marisa worked in academic publications, tutored high school students in writing, and shucked oysters. These days, you can probably find her huddled over her laptop in a coffeehouse or swimming in the ocean.
Welcome to the blog tour for AUDREY’S INN, the third book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, The OGs, by USA Today bestselling author, Elle Aycart. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
Synopsis Third installment of the OGs, a trio of hilarious octogenarians who believe age is nothing but a number and enjoy meddling in their grandchildren’s love lives.
Audrey Fleming never had much of a family or place to call home, so when she gets the chance to buy an inn that once belonged to her late namesake, she doesn’t think twice. Never mind her lack of funds, connections, and experience.
For years, she and her roommate followed on social media the shenanigans of the OGs, three octogenarians who’d been besties with Audrey’s long gone maternal grandma. Au has yet to meet them, but she already loves them. Besides, the small town of Alden seems like the ideal place to lie low. No one would come looking for her in Massachusetts. She’d be safe, far away from Texas and all the ugliness and insanity.
Connor Stonewell, beloved grandson of Greta, OG extraordinaire, was once one of Alden’s Golden Boys. Now he’s a hot mess. He’d never envisioned a future where he wasn’t in the military, so getting discharged after a mission gone horribly wrong has left him adrift in a civilian world he doesn’t know how to navigate anymore.
He’s too dangerous to be around his fellow soldiers—never mind a certain sweet, sexy innkeeper he can’t seem to stay away from. He should stop playing with fire. Pack his shit and disappear for good. Too bad he can’t do it. Walking away from Audrey is something every fiber of his being refuses to do. Plus his dad and grandma are in a war path and need a referee, preferably one who won’t lose it at a drop of a hat and kill them both. So yeah, tall order.
Audrey and Connor both know their secrets will sooner or later catch up with them. Whether they’ll survive or crash and burn under the weight of revelation is anybody’s guess.
Get Caught Up on the Series – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
About the Author After a colorful array of jobs all over Europe ranging from translator to chocolatier to travel agent to sushi chef to flight dispatcher, Elle Aycart is certain of one thing and one thing only: aside from writing romances, she has abso-frigging-lutely no clue what she wants to do when she grows up. Not that it stops her from trying all sorts of crazy stuff. While she is probably now thinking of a new profession, her head never stops churning new plots for her romances. She lives currently in Barcelona, Spain, with her husband and two daughters, although who knows, in no time she could be living at the Arctic Circle in Finland, breeding reindeer.
Welcome to the book blitz for MY SWEET ENEMY, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Simone’s Chocolates, by Jenny Hartwell. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
MY SWEET ENEMY (Simone’s Chocolates Series #1) by Jenny Hartwell
Synopsis The only thing tempering their insta-hate is delicious attraction.
Sunny chocolatier Charlotte Beecher is unemployed, in student debt, and on the verge of hawking her beloved copper pots just to make ends meet. So when a gourmet chocolate factory chooses her as one of five candidates to help re-launch the company in their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspired competition, Charlotte begins to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Fellow contestant Luke Wells complicates her plans to win by a landslide with his flow charts and marketing projections. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Haughty is all about the bottom line and is as bitter as she is sweet. And when he snubs Charlotte in the first challenge, misunderstanding or not, she transforms from cream puff to jawbreaker. Bring. It. On.
But when these two rivals find themselves distracted by delicious attraction, will they let their passion get in the way of winning the competition?
Excerpt #2 The soft click of the key card in the front door sounded. Luke straightened from the island as the door opened. The soft glow from the undercabinet lights illuminated Charlotte, frozen in the doorway as she stared at him with wide eyes.
She wore high heels, tight jeans, and a fitted jacket over a low-cut top. She was, in a word, gorgeous.
Luke forced himself to blink.
“Um, hi,” she finally said, pulling her key card out of the lock without taking her eyes off him.
“Hello.” He kept his feet rooted to the spot.
Charlotte slowly walked into the kitchen area. Her unblinking gaze roamed over his bare chest and abdomen.
Luke’s skin felt hot, as if her stare was actually touching him.
“Did you have a good day?” he asked, trying to sound normal. Normal? Ha. He could barely manage normal on a typical day, let alone late at night when he was half-naked and the woman who’d caught his attention was looking delicious enough to eat.
She walked closer, her eyes still roaming across him. She was like a surveyor, mapping the contours and terrain of his muscles and sinews and flesh with precision. With focus. With intensity.
“I had a pretty relaxing day myself,” he said, filling the silence as he fidgeted with his ice-cream spoon.
She set her purse on the counter next to his bowl and stepped closer. Now only a foot separated them.
She was so short that he could see straight down the low-cut neckline of her shirt. He tried to look away. After all, he wasn’t a perv trying to sneak a peek, but his gaze returned to the tempting curves and shadows of her cleavage nonetheless.
Willpower, thy name is enemy.
Charlotte finally looked up at him. Her eyes seemed to glow in the soft, muted light.
“Charlotte, I just wanted to say again how sor—”
She covered his mouth with her fingers and shook her head. “I don’t want to talk about that.”
He spoke against the light pressure of her touch. “But— ”
She arched an eyebrow.
Her lips tipped up at the corner as she scanned him once more. She seemed to relish the sight of his bare feet and plaid pajama bottoms hanging low on his hips, as well as the half-eaten bowl of ice cream on the island counter beside him.
She kept one hand on his mouth, and with the other, she plucked the spoon out of his nerveless fingers. Scooping up a small mound of ice cream, she slid the spoon between her lips and slowly pulled it out. Her tongue darted to her lower lip to capture a drop of the melted dessert. Charlotte closed her eyes and hummed as she swallowed the bite.
“I’ve been thinking.” She set the spoon back into the bowl on the counter with a clink and took a half step closer.
The air between them grew hot. Or there wasn’t enough air. Or something else involving air was happening because Luke’s lungs suddenly felt like they needed more oxygen than was available.
He opened his mouth to question her, but she traced her fingertips lightly over his bottom lip. Luke forgot what he’d meant to say. He forgot the year, his name, and even how words worked.
“Luke,” Charlotte whispered. Her face was luminous. Her scent, vanilla and flowers and a hint of chocolate, teased his nose. Her lips were pink and gorgeous and inviting.
He nodded, and her fingers dragged across his mouth with the slight movement. He wanted to close his eyes and take her finger into his mouth and swirl his tongue around it and groan, but he did none of those things. Yesterday, he’d hurt her. He needed to treat her with respect. He needed to tread lightly. He needed to—
“Kiss me,” she whispered.
Luke swooped down, capturing her mouth with his.
Author Jenny Hartwell
About the Author Jenny Hartwell has a confession-she loves People magazine as much as Pride and Prejudice. Her fun, pop culture adoring side shines in her contemporary rom-com novels set in a gourmet chocolate factory while Jenny’s Regency romances feature strong damsels and swoony lords. Her writing has won or finaled in numerous contests including the Golden Heart, The Emily, Four Seasons, Fool for Love, and The Catherine. Jenny lives with her family in the verdant Pacific Northwest. She loves movies, travel, and staying up late with a good book. And, of course, chocolate. Jenny is represented by Lesley Sabga of The Seymour Agency.
Welcome to the book blitz for A FLOOD OF POSIES, a standalone adult scifi fantasy, by debut author Tiffany Meuret. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis *2020 Cygnus Book Award for Science Fiction Long List*
Sisters, Doris and Thea, exist worlds apart, despite living within a few miles of one another. Doris with her regular home and regular husband and regular job, and Thea slinking along the edges of society, solitary and invisible. When a storm of biblical proportions strikes, the wayward sisters are begrudgingly forced together as the rain waters rise, each attempting to survive both the flood and each other.
One year later, Thea—now calling herself Sestra—floats throughout a ravaged, flood soaked world. Her former life drowned beneath metric tons of water, she and her only companion, Robert, battle starvation, heatstroke, and the monstrous creatures called Posies that appeared alongside the flood. When they run across what they assume to be an abandoned tugboat, their journey takes a new turn, and the truth about the flood and the monsters seems more intricately linked to Thea’s past than she may realize.
Excerpt #3 Knock knock. She mouthed the words, realizing a while later she hadn’t actually knocked on the door.
James answered once she did. She made sure to come when Doris wasn’t around. He seemed shocked to see her. He shouldn’t have been.
“I need some money.”
Realization dawned on him, his pasty jaw shivering at the indignity. “You stole my wallet.”
“Of course I did. Now I need more money.”
Blocking the doorway with his body, he leaned toward her as if he meant to shake her. “Where’s my ring?”
“Why was it in your wallet?” she asked. It’d been bothering her since she found it.
“Where is my ring, Thea?”
“It’s odd for a married man to keep his ring in his wallet during clandestine meetups with his sister-in-law. Very, very odd, if you ask me.” It was so easy to toy with him; his emotions reeled against his features.
“Where is my ring?” He was getting angry now.
All the better. Angry people were the least reasonable of all people. “Some people might get the wrong idea.”
“What wrong idea? What the hell are you talking about?”
She shrugged. “You know what I mean.”
He was fit to explode, but somehow buttoned it up just in time. “You don’t have it anymore, do you.”
The pawn shop had paid handsomely for it, but he didn’t need to know that. Yet.
“It’d look awfully bad for me to show up with your ring on my finger. Who knows what people might think?” She laughed. God, he was the easiest mark on the planet.
But he laughed too, as if the idea of them together was too ludicrous to take seriously. “Doris wouldn’t believe that for a second and you know it.”
“She’s probably the only one to not underestimate the depths of my shittiness. I’m sure she’d figure it out. But the rest? Jesus, can you imagine what my mother might say? Can you imagine how tiring that would be? Especially for Doris.”
His body went rigid, to the point that she could have rung him like a bell. “You truly are a psychopath.”
No, she wasn’t. Of course she wasn’t. She was smart and he was dumb, and this was all too easy. She wasn’t a psycho—she just needed money. And he was going to give it her.
She smiled. “Small bills, please.” Then she waited.
James stood in the doorway, stunned. It was all too easy. Too easy.
Then he backed away from the door, moving at an odd slant that had her wondering if he was fainting or was just too upset to function properly. Slipping into the dark of the living room, she grabbed at the edges of the door and peered after him.
“I don’t have all day, James. And if I know Doris’s schedule like I think I do, neither do you.”
But he was gone. The shades were drawn and the lights off—the room was completely empty. No furniture, no pictures on the wall. The archway into the kitchen was black as tar.
When had they moved in? It was years ago. She remembered their housewarming party—Ma had been adamant that Thea show up and be presentable for the love of God. There was champagne, and she’d stolen an entire bottle for herself, boozing it up in the corner of their yard while pretending to smoke. Ma had found her, and she’d been spitting mad.
Where was all that shiny new furniture now? Where was James?
She was about to step inside when a low gurgle echoed from the black space where the kitchen should be. Then came the water—a slow trickle at first, like runoff from a leaky cooler.
No one responded.
The water picked up, churning into the living room and spilling through the doorway. Where was all this water coming from? It just kept coming, more and more and more. Thea wanted to back away, to run, but something rooted her in place.
“James!” Her voice cracked, springing from her throat in a panic. “What the fuck is going on, James?”
A voice—so familiar and so strange and so not possible.
“I told you they were coming, sister.” The noise oozed from the black space. “Now look what you’ve done.”
She spoke delicately, so that Thea had to lean in to hear.
There was no answer.
“This isn’t funny. Fuck this, I’m leaving.” Her body wanted to bolt, to get the fuck out of there as quickly as her feet would carry her, but the moment she stepped back from the doorway, a wail erupted from the house. Something monstrous and huge shuddered and shook the walls apart. The floors began to rock, splashing against the drywall in waves.
Before she could run, a tentacle sprung out of the black. It snatched her around the waist, crushing her organs between her bones with ease. She tried to scream or fight or do something, but it gripped too tightly.
It pulled her down and down and down. Down under the house. Down under the waves and water. She could do nothing as the house sealed up over her head, her breath pressurizing in her lungs.
Down she went.
Down she stayed.
Author Tiffany Meuret
About the Author Tiffany Meuret is a writer of monsters and twisted fairy tales. Her publications include Shoreline of Infinity, Luna Station Quarterly, Ellipsis Zine, and others. When not reading or writing, she is usually binge watching comfortable sitcoms from her childhood or telling her kids to put on their shoes for the tenth time. She lives in sunny Arizona with her husband, two kids, two chihuahuas, gecko, and tortoise.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE HOLLOW WORLD the third book in the young adult fantasy scifi series, Fragments, by Tracy Auerbach. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE HOLLOW WORLD (Fragments Series #3) by Tracy Auerbach
Synopsis The time has come for Kai and her friends to make a final stand, and as the war begins, everyone must choose a side. But with the lines between good and evil more blurred than ever, Kai has to stick with her convictions and follow her heart. Kai’s first priority is to free Finn from the clutches of Tessa Raven, who has become no better than the evil she once fought against.
As Kai reluctantly turns against the people she once considered her closest friends, she becomes entangled in a struggle with a mysterious new power that threatens to destroy what is left of Finn and change everything she thought she knew about the planet.
Meanwhile, Charlie and Aric remain behind and help Raven breach the underground world of the Science Council. All bets are off as they prepare to cross every line and burn every bridge in an attempt to claim the world that has abused them for too long.
Excerpt #2 Aric stormed into the weight room section of the training facility and cast his eyes around, over the two soldiers working out with dumbbells, before catching sight of the huge type ‘A’ soldier he’d been looking for.
Charlie stood in the center of the gym, a good ways apart from the other soldiers, curling a massive bar weight up to his chest and down again in quick reps. Beside him, on a sit-up bench, sat the trademark type ‘A’-sized flask of whiskey that he was rarely seen without nowadays. Or was it scotch? It hardly mattered.
“Charlie,” called Aric, approaching him.
“That’s me.” Charlie grinned dopily, dropped the weight—which sent a shockwave through the floor—and reached for his drink.
“Enough of that,” Aric snapped. “Are you even sober enough to understand what I’m saying?”
“Sure.” Charlie kept the grin plastered on, but Aric noticed it didn’t reach his bloodshot eyes. It never did anymore. He was so changed from the hopeful, intense, good-natured soldier that Aric had known back at the fort. That had been back when Charlie had hope—when he’d been in love.
“I need to talk to you,” Aric whispered, “but not here.” He glanced toward the other two soldiers, lowering his voice even further. “We need privacy.”
“Privacy?” mumbled Charlie. “I can do that.” He turned toward the other soldiers, shouting, “Get out!”
As his deep voice echoed through the gym, the soldiers—Aric couldn’t remember their names—beat feet out the door as Charlie slumped down against the wall he’d been standing beside, uncapped the flask, and took a swig.
“I…” Aric didn’t know how to begin. The rumors he’d heard about Raven’s plan for Finn Turner were too awful, and he didn’t know how Charlie, his only friend, would react to them. He took a seat beside Charlie. “I’ve heard a few things that won’t be easy for you to hear, Charlie, but I need to tell you because we have to decide what to do.”
“I’m listening.” Charlie stretched his arms above his head and exhaled, filling the air around them with the sweet, heavy reek of liquor. Aric winced.
“Raven’s been talking to her inner circle, and the rumors have spread because Larson can’t keep his big mouth shut, so now everyone knows… I think.” He paused. “Charlie, I think she’s planning to use Finn as a missile. She’s going to have him run into that crystal column at full force. It will probably be our best chance of breaking the thing, but it’s a suicide mission.”
A long silence stretched out between them. Charlie took another, longer swig from the flask, and they both sat there for a moment, staring off into space. Finally, Charlie cast his eyes to the other object on the sit-up bench: the tablet that controlled Finn. It was never out of his sight.
At first, Aric had thought it an odd choice for Raven to leave it in his keeping. But then he’d realized the brilliance of the decision. Nobody—not even the other type ‘A’ soldiers who were controlled by Raven—could get something away from Charlie Manning if he didn’t want to give it up. Charlie knew how to fight, and he was smarter than the others.
Also, Charlie had confided to him that Raven kept calculating things about the people she’d known on an emotional level: Aric himself, Charlie, Kai, and Finn. A lot of her calculations for “potential outcomes”—the way she read probabilities to see the future—were inconsistent when it came to them.
However, one thing that was always the same was Charlie’s loyalty to her. It was always one hundred percent. Not ninety-nine point nine. One hundred. Every single time, regardless of what factors she used in her equations.
Aric supposed it was hard to argue with odds like that.
“I guess there’s nothing I can do, then,” said Charlie, scooping up the tablet. He also grabbed a towel off the bench and mopped sweat off his dripping face. “She’s made her choice.”
Aric’s heart sunk, and he failed to suppress a grimace. This wasn’t the Charlie that he had known. Not at all. Even if the type ‘A’ was resigned to his own fate as Raven’s lapdog, Aric had a hard time believing that he would allow something like this to become of his best friend. Charlie had fought so hard for Finn—only to give up now? If only he’d quit the damn drinking, maybe he’d start acting like himself again.
“How long have you been working out?”
“About three hours.”
“Not much else to do.”
“I’ll see ya around, Aric.” The type ‘A’ waved then as he exited the gym, bringing his towel, flask, and Finn’s tablet with him.
Aric bent and, just for curiosity’s sake, attempted to lift the immensely weighted bar that Charlie had been using off the floor. He couldn’t even roll it; his body jerked down, and he felt a pop in his back.
“Holy shit,” he muttered through the pain. “He is strong.”
Shaking his head, he left the room and walked down the hall. The few soldiers who’d been idling outside, waiting for Charlie to leave, shot Aric a side-eye before heading into the gym. Raven didn’t trust him, so, by proxy, none of her goons trusted him.
Aric once again ruminated on his own part in all this as he walked down the brightly lit corridors, passing soldiers who either ignored him or shot him suspicious glares. Had his actions back at his bunker—driving Tessa and Finn away and experimenting on Charlie—somehow dragged all of them further down this awful path? And then they’d helped him, even when he hadn’t deserved their help.
Damn it! I can’t let this happen. I owe it to all of them not to let this happen to Finn.
Since Charlie was, as usual, not very responsive, Aric figured he’d go and give Kai a try next. Not that he thought she’d be much better. She truly cared about Finn but hated Aric himself so much that he doubted she’d be willing to work with him in any capacity, even to save Finn.
Aric drew in a deep breath, preparing himself for the well-deserved ire he knew was coming his way.
“Hey, Kai,” he said, knocking on her door. “It’s me. Aric.”
“Screw off!” she shouted from inside her quarters.
“It’s about Finn…”
He heard footsteps, and the door opened with a creak, exposing Kai’s tear-streaked face. Her dark eyes, so much like Dex’s, shone with fresh wetness, pooling and dripping down her cheeks.
God, he missed Dex.
She blinked, scowling at him through her misery. “Come to rub it in?” she asked. “Well, you’re too late. I’ve already heard.”
“Maybe there’s something—”
“Not with you!” She wiped at her eyes with her fists. “I’ll save him, but I’ll do it on my own. I’d let him die before accepting your help. I don’t even know why you’re still pretending to give a crap.”
Before he could answer, she slammed the door in his face.
With a sigh, Aric walked back to his room, marveling at his own uselessness. He’d once been so powerful, and he’d sunk so low. Sometimes, he wished he’d never gotten emotions, because times like this hurt so bad, he felt like he was falling down a deep well. And every day, the chance of ever crawling out of it seemed farther and farther away.
About the Author Tracy Auerbach is an author of science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. As an avid reader with a vivid imagination, she chose to study film, English, and education, and went on to teach and write STEM curriculum for the New York Department of Education. This helped to polish her writing skills and ignite her passion for science fiction and fantasy.
Her first scholarly article, published in Language Magazine, was about the value of active, creative learning in science. On the fiction side, Tracy’s work has been featured in the online literary journal Micro-horror, The Writing Disorder fiction anthology, and the “(Dis)ability” short story anthology, in addition to her novels.
When she is not teaching or writing, Tracy is usually reading or spending time with her family. She lives in New York with her husband and sons.
Welcome to the blog tour for BEAUTIFUL FACADE, a standalone new adult contemporary romance, by Kathryn S. Rose. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis On the day that 16-year-old Winter Starling had her life and dreams shattered by a sexual assault, she meets Kai, a boy from her high school obsessed with music. They develop a deep friendship, which comes to an abrupt end when Kai unexpectedly has to leave. Winter has no idea why he went or any way to contact him.
Ten years pass, and Winter has constructed a new reality for herself. Now living in Melbourne, she has a successful career in advertising and is engaged to Liam King, a star player in Australian Rules Football. Winter has a perfect life.
During a night out, Winter runs into Kai, now the lead singer of ‘The Stonevilles.’ Winter and Kai rekindle their friendship, and to everyone around them, their attraction is evident. With Kai back in her life, Winter’s past threatens to ruin her relationship with Liam and everything she has worked to achieve. But can she risk losing Kai a second time?
Emotional and edgy, Beautiful Facade is about love, loss, healing, self-discovery, and the messy battle between one’s head and one’s heart.
Excerpt #2 Just before midnight, The Stonevilles took to the stage. Their first song transported me back to the night of the gig and the moment our eyes caught. Perhaps he was experiencing similar déjà vu because our eyes became locked once again. Kai’s magnetising energy made it hard to focus on anything else. This band was going places. A few songs in, the group played a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for Aria. Her face lit up, and she pranced around on stage, fanning her face. I poked Maddie in the ribs to get her attention, and we chuckled at the spectacle.
The song finished, and she sidled up next to Kai. “I want to thank everyone for coming tonight. You all mean the world to me,” she said, slurring into his mike. “I especially want to thank The Stonevilles for singing me ‘Happy Birthday’ and for being the most awesome band in the whole wide world!” Kai held out a hand for the microphone, and she wrapped her arms around him. Then she yanked his head down and planted a kiss right on his lips. The crowd roared their approval. Kai looked as if he was trying to pull away. I chose that moment to visit the toilet.
“Hey,” Kai said. His hands were in his pockets, and he was leaning against the brick wall outside the ladies’ room. “I thought you’d passed out in there.”
“I haven’t done that in a long time.”
A frown darkened his features, and he took a moment before he said, “You’re upset.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yeah, you are.”
I lifted my chin. “Why would I be upset?”
“Because Aria kissed me.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Then why did you hide out in the toilet for so long?”
He did have a point. I had a history of hiding out in toilets. Damn him and his memory. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was redoing my makeup.”
“Why does it look as bad as it did before you hid in there?” The mischievous grin spreading across his features took the sting out of his remark.
He’d been this close to a swift kick to the groin region.
“You’re an ass,” I said, smiling at his attempt to lighten the mood. “But seriously, why would I care?”
“That’s the million-dollar question.”
“Well, I don’t. You can do what you like. And who you like.” The words came out more forcefully than I’d intended. And I didn’t mean them. The James Dean vibe he was giving off was prickling at my skin. “Where’s Maddie?”
“Where do you think she is?”
Author Kathryn S. Rose
About the Author Kathryn S. Rose is a mum, wife, reader, writer, traveller, and food enthusiast. Writing a book was always on her bucket list, and finally, with Beautiful Facade, it has come into fruition. Kathryn is interested in the study of human behaviour and obtained a Bachelor of Social Science, with a focus on Community studies and Welfare Work.
Since completing her studies, she has worked in several jobs, which have enhanced her understanding of social issues, human development, relationships, and lifestyle. Some of these insights are reflected in her writing and give her inspiration. Besides books, Kathryn has many other loves. She enjoys listening to live music, relaxing at the beach, embarking on random hiking adventures, and indulging in too much food and wine with family and friends.
When Kathryn and her family aren’t traipsing around the world, they can be found residing in Perth, Western Australia.
Welcome to the blog tour for THE COWGIRL’S SURPRISE MATCH, the third 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 details on her giveaway.
THE COWGIRL’S SURPRISE MATCH (Tillbridge Stables Series #3) by Nina Crespo
Dearly beloved, we are (not) gathered together…Maid of honor Zurie Tillbridge has been working secretly with best man Mace Calderone to plan her cousin Tristan’s wedding to a well-known actress. To keep their wedding plans from leaking to the press, Zurie and Mace must pretend they are the ones getting married. Cake tasting and flower arranging seem like harmless fun…until wary workaholic Zurie realizes she’s feeling something real for her fake fiancé…
From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.
Excerpt #2 As he approached the far end of the parking lot, his headlights illuminated Zurie’s Mercedes in her reserved space. She was just getting out of her car.
Mace backed in beside her, turned off the engine and got out of the truck.
Lights from the porch of the guesthouse helped lessen the shadows.
Surprise and something he couldn’t place was on Zurie’s face. “Mace, what are you doing here?”
“You forgot something.”
“An explanation for why you kissed me.”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
Not in the mood to guess or try to figure her out, he got straight to the point. “No. It isn’t. You either liked kissing me or you didn’t. Which is it?”
“Does it matter? You said it was no big deal.” She gave a shrug of indifference, but the slight hitch in her voice indicated the opposite.
I know I said that, but I was wrong.” Mace stepped closer to Zurie. “You kissing me, it matters.”
“That kiss. It can’t happen again.”
“If that’s what you want.”
“She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Why did you have to follow me?”
Chances. He’d taken more than his share in his life. But answering her question was one of the biggest ones yet. “I liked kissing you. And I wanted you to know that.”
Her long lashes raised from her cheeks, and what they revealed took his breath away. Before he could recover, she gripped his arms and sealed her mouth to his. As she parted her lips, he glided in, tasting the desire he’d witnessed a minute ago in her eyes.
His heart went haywire.
Mace curved his hands to her waist, bringing her closer, and need hummed through his veins as he explored the curves and hollows of her mouth.
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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Welcome to the blog tour for A STOLEN KISS WITH THE MIDWIFE, the 1,157th book in the adult contemporary romance series, Harlequin Medical Romances, by Juliette Hyland. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
A STOLEN KISS WITH THE MIDWIFE (Harlequin Medical Romance Series #1,157) by Juliette Hyland
Midwife Quinn Davis and Dr. Milo Russell have been friends forever. So why is it now that they’re working together things have become…awkward? Quinn can’t get Milo out of her mind—and when they share an explosive kiss, she’s left questioning everything! Free-spirited Quinn never planned on settling down…and Milo has a life plan of his own. Are they ready to think about a new life—together?
From Harlequin Medical: Life and love in the world of modern medicine.
Excerpt #2 “IT’S A GOOD THING you kept your town house in Oceanside,” Quinn said, leaning against Milo’s shoulder as he put the key in the lock. They smelled of smoke, and it had taken them nearly twice as long as it should have to reach Oceanside. Then Milo had insisted that she let him check the cut on her forehead after they’d gotten Ainsley and her daughter checked into the Clinic and said a brief hello to Milo’s stepdad, Felix.
Now she had six stitches above her eye, and she couldn’t remember the last time she’d been this exhausted. She’d been in tense situations multiple times during her career, though, so Quinn knew from experience that her brain was too wired to let her drift into oblivion.
Her stomach growled—another function the body forgot about during stress.
When had they last eaten?
“Tell me you have food in the fridge!”
“Nope.” Milo swung the door open. “It’s fully furnished, since I rent it out most weekends as a vacation spot. But the rent doesn’t include food. Luckily, it’s not due to be occupied for the rest of the month. Wildfire concern caused my last two renters to back out.”
Her stomach roiled with emptiness, but she ignored it. Focusing on her hunger wouldn’t make food magically appear. “At least I can get a hot shower,” Quinn sighed.
“And our Thai food should be here by the time you’re done. I ordered it while you were saying hi to Felix.”
“You are the best!” Quinn wrapped her arms around his neck without thinking. Today had been hell, even though it had ended well on all fronts. She didn’t care that they were both starving and in desperate need of showers. She just wanted to hold him, to remind herself that they were fine. Her body molded to his as Milo’s strong arms pulled her closer.
Her day’s fears melted as he held her. This was where she wanted to be so badly. Her fingers itched to run through his short hair. To trace her lips along the edge of his jaw and see what happened. Sparks flew across her back as his fingers tightened on her waist.
If she held him any longer… Quinn swallowed. This embrace had already gone on for too long. She needed to stop this before Milo started to think she was crazy.
Her cheeks were warm as she pulled away. “I promise not to steal all the hot water.”
“Wait.” Milo grabbed her hand.
Her body vibrated with need as Milo ran his fingers along the bandage on her forehead. His touch burned as she stared at his lips.
So close, and yet so far away.
“The bandage I put on seems watertight.” Milo’s husky tone raced around her.
“Since you put it on less than an hour ago, I would hope so.”
Was he looking for reasons to touch her?
“Yes, but it’s important the wound doesn’t get wet.” His words were so matter-of-fact.
Of course they were.
He was a good physician and her oldest friend.
But just for a moment, she’d thought he might need to touch her, need to be near her, to hold her, too.
“I should clean up.” Her throat was dry as she pulled away, but Milo didn’t stop her again.
When humans were stressed or escaped catastrophe, they often sought comfort in the arms of another. A reminder that they’d lived to fight another day. She’d seen it happen when she was serving in areas that had been hit by earthquakes and floods. It was standard. But Quinn had never felt the urge to seek out that comfort—until tonight.
Author Juliette Hyland
About the Author Juliette Hyland believes in caffeine, hot drinks and happily ever afters! She lives in Ohio, USA, with her prince charming, who has patiently listened to many rants regarding characters failing to follow the outline. When not working on fun and flirty happily ever afters, Juliette can be found spending time with her beautiful daughters, giant dogs or sewing uneven stitches with her sewing machine.
Welcome to the blog tour for WHAT BIG TEETH, a standalone young adult gothic fantasy, by debut author Rose Szabo. See below for, information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Rose Szabo’s thrilling debut What Big Teeth is a dark, gothic fantasy YA novel about a teen girl who returns home to her strange, wild family after years of estrangement, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls.
Eleanor Zarrin has been estranged from her wild family for years. When she flees boarding school after a horrifying incident, she goes to the only place she thinks is safe: the home she left behind. But when she gets there, she struggles to fit in with her monstrous relatives, who prowl the woods around the family estate and read fortunes in the guts of birds.
Eleanor finds herself desperately trying to hold the family together. In order to save them all Eleanor must learn to embrace her family of monsters and tame the darkness inside her.
Exquisitely terrifying, beautiful, and strange, this fierce paranormal fantasy will sink its teeth into you and never let go.
Excerpt #2 “When I was young,” Miklos said, “I was not Miklos. I was not Zarrin. I was a boy with no name.”
I glanced around the table. Rhys and Luma had leaned forward, ears pricked, dutifully attentive. Mother had stretched her arm across the table to stroke Father’s hand, Father was watching Arthur, and Arthur was watching me. I wondered what each of them saw, or thought they saw.
“You were an orphan?” I asked.
“No,” Miklos said. “I had a family, a mother and a father and two sisters who were older. They had no names. None of us had names. Because none of us had any words.
“We lived like this.”
He shifted in his chair, raised both hands, and began to pantomime like a silent movie star. His gestures created invisible objects: A wooden bowl worn smooth by generations of hands. A pitchfork that he used to stab at mounds of hay. A soft hat that his mother sewed for him and placed on his head.
I watched, transfixed.
Grandpa Miklos made a gesture that seemed to embody transition, the passage of time. “And so when I walked across the land—”
“Europe,” said Grandma Persephone.
“—Europe, to the water, and got in the boat, that was almost the first time I heard people talking. I knew maybe people talked, but only the nobles, royalty. And on the boat, everyone was talking all the time. Such a waste! I loved it.”
“But why did you leave the old country?” I asked.
The focus of the table shifted to me. Grandma Persephone raised an eyebrow. I stared her down. What did she want from me? How was I supposed to let my eyes adjust if I wasn’t allowed to see anything at all?
Grandpa Miklos looked a little proud. “Ah, trying to get me to tell, I see. Clever,” he said. “Not today.”
“The boat,” Grandma Persephone prompted.
“But the boat! I loved the boat. The men there, they taught me so many words. The ones who taught me good words, like hello, and share, and blanket, they lived and came to America, and the ones I could find later when I was rich, I made them rich. But the ones who taught me bad words . . .” He shrugged, and in the candle flicker, he let his face slip shape. One moment he was Grandpa Miklos. The next he was just a snarling mouthful of teeth.
It was over in an instant. I didn’t have time to faint, so I just clung to the table for dear life while my heart thundered in my chest.
“Miklos!” Grandma Persephone said. “She’s not ready for those kinds of theatrics.”
“She used to love it,” Grandpa Miklos said. “Grandpa, Grandpa, show me the wolf—”
“I’m fine,” I said. He nodded at me approvingly. He could like me. He would like me. I’d make sure of it.
“And then I came to New York,” he said. “And it was so busy! I didn’t know there was more than one language; they taught me Polish on the boat, I think. And here, Spanish and Greek and Italian and English. I tried to get food, but I had no money. I tried to go in a house to sleep, but they chased me out. I fell asleep in a—a hole between houses.”
“An alley,” Grandma Persephone supplied.
“With trash cans and dead birds. And then when I woke up it was dark, and a drunk man was pissing near me!”
My face flushed hot. This was not a good story.
“And I was hungry,” Miklos said. “And, well . . .” He bared his teeth and clacked them together. “And then I saw he had these fine clothes, so I put them on. And then I felt something in the pocket.”
He reached into the pocket of his own vest and pulled out a cheap gold-plated watch on a chain much finer than the watch itself. He flipped it open and showed me the inside of the lid. It was stamped with the name miklos zarrin.
For a moment I thought, absurdly, This creature has eaten my grandfather.
Author Rose Szabo
About the Author Rose Szabo is a nonbinary writer from Richmond, VA, where they live with an assortment of people and animals and teach writing at VCU. They have an MA in English from the University of Maine and an MFA in creative writing from VCU. Their work has been published in See the Elephant and Quaint magazines. What Big Teeth is their first novel.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE HAUNTING OF SOLOMON HOUSE, the first book in the adult urban fantasy series, Blair Graves, by Marnie Vinge. See below for, information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE HAUNTING OF SOLOMON HOUSE Blair (Graves Series #1) by Marnie Vinge
Synopsis Blair Graves’ father went missing seven years ago.
The legal death of her paranormal radio host father tilts her world sideways on its axis. When no will can be found, Blair is forced to adapt to a quickly shifting reality. One in which she’s forced to sell her family home.
When a historical fixer-upper catches her eye, she goes all in, hoping to escape her father’s legacy and the long shadow cast by his very public disappearance.
But when the house starts presenting more problems than just the creaks and groans associated with old age, Blair starts questioning what she knows about life, death, and what comes after.
When the very arrogant and handsome Cash Kelly–a ghost-hunting expert–offers his help, Blair is sure he’s the same kind of attention-seeking, conspiracy-promoting, dollar-chasing content creator hack as her father.
As she begins to question his motivations for helping her, the haunting escalates to a dangerous point, forcing Blair to confront the reality of the world her father believed in.
And what it means to be his daughter.
The X-Files meets Supernatural in this urban fantasy series about the strength of a father-daughter bond and how, sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.
Excerpt #2 I lean my back against the door and listen to the crackle of the fire in the fireplace. I’m not quite ready to put it out yet. I look around, wondering how to fill another hour before bed and my eyes land on the door that leads to the backyard.
My little furry friend.
I grab a coat, scarf, and some mittens and decide I’m going to spend a little time outside and see if I can spot the raccoon. Out back, I walk to the edge of the empty art deco pool. I glance to the bottom, now clean and free of the animal remains it once held. My eyes travel upwards to the tree line at the back of the property. I narrow them to slits, trying to make out any shape in the darkness.
And that’s when I hear it.
Almost a snort. A huge exhalation through a snout. An animal. An animal much larger than a raccoon.
And the same sound that woke me in the middle of the night.
A chill descends on me.
My heart begins to race. An instinctive part of my brain suddenly shifts into prey mode. That’s what I am. Prey. Meat. Sustenance for whatever is making that sound.
A bear? A mountain lion?
Why would I have heard it in the house? In my bedroom? So close to my ear that I could practically feel the hot air being forced from its lungs.
I stand, frozen on the spot, my eyes still trying to make out shapes in the darkness. But now, through a lens of fear, I feel like I see them everywhere. A shadow here, one over there. My eyes dart around, trying to follow whatever it is that I’m seeing—or that I think I’m seeing.
Fuck. I feel crazy.
Suddenly, I’m wishing Noelle and Hooper were still here.
That anyone was here.
That I wasn’t surrounded by empty fields for miles.
I’m sure of one thing, though, as I creep back to the house.
I may feel lonely.
But I’m not alone.
Author Marnie Vinge
About the Author Marnie Vinge is a novelist and storyteller as well as the creator of the podcast, Eerie Okie.
She first started writing at the ripe age of 7, creating a science fiction horror story about a monster that lived in seaweed off the coast of Corpus Christi. Since then, she’s stretched her wings by writing urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and horror.
To check out Eerie Okie, search your favorite podcast platform. If you’re an Oklahoma ghoul who loves the morbid and macabre, it’s the podcast for you..