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 preorder blitz for RAISE THE HEAT, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Beastly Bosses, by New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo, releasing February 23, 2021. See below for information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
RAISE THE HEAT (Beastly Boss Series #2) by Cassia Leo
About the Book Title: RAISE THE HEAT Series: Beastly Bosses Series #2 Author: Cassia Leo Publisher: Gloss Publishing, LLC Release Date: February 23, 2021
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: GoodreadsBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay
Synopsis Recipe for a successful promotion:
STEP 1: Never get fired by the most egotistical chef in Manhattan.
STEP 2: Never accept a job working for his infuriatingly sexy, deliciously tattooed twin brother.
STEP 3: Never let someone catch you licking chocolate sauce off your new boss’s utensil.
STEP 4: Never risk your career—for the second time—by falling in love with your boss.
Each book in the Beastly Bosses series can be read as a stand-alone, but you’ll love reading them as a series.
Author Cassia Leo
About the Author New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time re-watching Game of Thrones and Sex and the City. When she’s not binge watching, she’s usually enjoying the Oregon rain with a hot cup of coffee and a book.
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.
Setting out on her adventures, Angie is best described as endearingly tragic as she gives a truly laugh-out-loud account of what could possibly go wrong when her long-term marriage comes to an end. Extolling the many pitfalls of being single is no laughing matter and being thrown into the dating arena is even worse.
When curiosity to view a certain piece of the male anatomy takes priority, bedlam unfolds. Angie’s journey will leave you in fits of laughter while raising your eyebrows in absolute disdain.
Taking you from “Hell No” to “Hell Yes,” this two-part true story taps into a range of emotions as you travel along with Angie on her voyage of self-discovery. A captivating exposé of courage and raw honesty in finding a new beginning when life takes a nosedive, this compelling portrayal of compassion gives insight into the weakest and strongest moments of what it is to be human.
You will fall in love with Angie and won’t be able to stop turning the pages to see what she will do next. To err on the side of caution is not Angies strong suit. Heart wrenching, yet hilariously funny in the unique style of telling her tale, it’s never a surprise when she ends up on several occasions with her tail between her legs!
Does she ever learn?
This book is one of a kind, and better still, so is Angie Bardot.
“What an inspiring, self-reflecting, self-effacing, honest, eye-opening sex goddess she is – I loved it!” MARY – WHO WANTED TO KNOW MORE
“Uplifting and HILARIOUS, I’ve never, ever laughed so hard. I literally couldn’t stop reading.” VANESSA – WHO ISN’T A READER
Author Angela Bardot
About the Author There is more to Angela Bardot than meets the eye. Abducted at the age of five and as a teenager running away from her abusive childhood, Angela traveled overseas to an idyllic peace-loving commune which later becomes an army base and war zone. With no hope of escape, Angela’s endurance from the events of this early part of her life have given her strength. After leaving the commune Angela traveled behind the Iron Curtain where very few westerners dared to go before a year spent in Canada living with her friends loving family which gave Angela an insight into what a family should be. She felt loved for the first time and was ready to return home.
Angela settled down to a somewhat normal life and obtained a Diploma of Copywriting and Advertising and a Certificate in Business, becoming a successful business partner. Angela is proudest of her role as a wife, mother, and grandmother. The importance of her family remains her greatest achievement. Angela traveled to many more countries over the years, but the one she holds dearest was her time spent in Canada, as part of a loving family environment.
Angela Bardot published her first book, Hell No in 2017 which is now incorporated as part one in her new book, The Life and Times of Angie Bardot.
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 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 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..
Welcome to the blog tour for CAPTURING FATE, the second book in the adult romantic thriller series, Fatal Truth, by Abbie Roads. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
CAPTURING FATE (Fatal Truth Series #2) by Abbie Roads
Can love untangle a web of lies and expose the truth?
A loner with a mysterious childhood…
FBI agent Dolan Watts is no stranger to pain. From his childhood spent in foster care to his daily grind of hunting down hardened criminals, it’s been the one constant through the years. Pain carved out gut feelings he can trust and instincts able to solve cases in record time. Until now. Confronted by a malicious new enemy who revels in mind games, Dolan begins to doubt his own perceptions. Fearing he’s spiraling into insanity, he seeks help from the one woman who can shine light into the darkness consuming him.
A woman haunted by a secret…
Psychologist Daughter Dawson sabotaged her own safety the moment she accepted Dolan as a client. Still, she felt compelled to help him. Dolan’s past mirrored many of the questions about her own, making his torment achingly familiar. Despite their growing attraction, her career demands she keep an ethical distance. Yet when she makes the mistake of confiding in him, both their lives are thrust into unimaginable danger.
Nightmares come to life…
When gruesome tragedy uncovers a serial killer’s twisted agenda, Daughter and Dolan must cling to each other if they hope to survive. Can they stop the body count from rising? Or will they find their only purpose from the start was to be pawns in a reign of evil?
Excerpt #2 Through the shifting snow, a mass moved toward her from the edge of the water, growing more solid until she recognized the shape of a man. Somehow, someone with a boat was here to save her.
The man stalked through the snow, his vibrant green eyes locked on her.
The world around them slipped away until it was only him and her and the snow between them.
The flakes seemed to slow, hanging suspended as time halted.
She stared, unable to move, unable to believe the message her eyes were sending her brain.
Time turned back on, and he came to her, stopping only inches from her. His eyes carried a pain in their depths that only love could tame. He’d been through so much.
Slowly, as if worried he would frighten her, he reached out with a bare hand and cupped her cheek. His touch warm and magnetic and soothing, and she couldn’t help herself, she reached up and pressed his hand harder to her face, trying to absorb him. She closed her eyes, savoring the moment. She wasn’t certain she wasn’t dreaming. If she was dreaming, she’d make the most of it.
She turned her face and kissed his palm before settling it against her skin again.
“Daught?” Her name came out in a choked whisper.
She opened her eyes. He still stood there, staring down at her with such love and longing in his eyes, her heart swelled and threatened to erupt. “You’re here? You’re really here?”
The corner of his mouth tipped up. “I’m here.”
And then it was like reality and her mind finally melded together. Her arms were around him and his mouth was on hers. They talked into the kiss, his words, her words blending together.
“Are you okay?”
“I missed you.”
“I missed you.”
She tasted him on her tongue, smelled the warm masculine scent of him, and stared into eyes the color of summer leaves. He was oxygen, and she hadn’t had a breath in months.
She loves Snicker Parfaits. Gotta start with what’s most important, right?
She writes dark emotional books featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.
By day she’s a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. At night she burns up the keyboard. Well… Burn might be too strong a word. She at least sits with her hands poised over the keyboard, waiting for inspiration to strike. And when it does—the keyboard might get a little warm.
She can’t stand it when people drive slowly in the passing lane. Just saying. That’s major annoying. Right?
She loves taking pictures of things she thinks are pretty.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE SECRET OF DARTWOOD MANOR, the first book in the young adult fantasy romance series, The Witchling Trilogy, by N.A. Triptow. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE SECRET OF DARTWOOD MANOR (The Witchling Trilogy #1) by N.A. Triptow
Synopsis Witches. Ghosts. An ancient secret. Enter a world of myth and magic through this contemporary fantasy reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved classic, Sense and Sensibility.
The small New England town of Tarryville, Maine is steeped in history, having been settled by the Dartwood and Farris families who fled Salem during the witch trials. The Dartwood sisters, Eden, Mariah, and Melissa, unexpectedly return home after their parents are found murdered. Upon their arrival, the girls are plagued by dreams in which dark spectral beings haunt them. When the hellish creatures seem to be more than just nightmares, another mystery begins to unravel as they discover that the circumstances around the murder of their parents may be far more menacing than they appear. Frantic for answers, they must untangle the mystery of their parents’ murders and reconstruct the pieces of an ancient secret. With the help of the young assistant curator of their family museum, Baden Correia, and an estranged friend from their past, Evan Farris, the orphaned Dartwood sisters must uncover the truth before the darkness haunting their family descends upon them as well.
Excerpt #2 Mariah found herself staring at the blank screen of her laptop for longer than she intended after the video call ended, hardly even noticing when the tears began to stain her cheeks. When there were no more tears left to shed, she closed her laptop and placed it on her bedside table. Rearranging herself on her bed she crawled under the covers and tried to shut her eyes, but the room around her tugged at her mind, summoning all of the haunted bedroom scenes she’d watched a million times in movies. Suddenly thankful for the old-fashioned four-poster bed, she pulled the curtains tight around her, blocking out the unwanted sights and was finally able to go to sleep.
The stillness of the manor was like a quiet pond just waiting for a fish to upset its equilibrium. The manors beside one another were nearly identical in their architectural design, but now, in the gloom of the night, the Farris manor echoed the dread of the once bright Dartwood manor with such exactness that it seemed as if they were all sleeping in a cemetery. No one stirred in the house, save for the shadows thatdanced through the windows in the moonlight. The stillness was disturbed, however, as one by one the shadows in the three Dartwood girls’ rooms began to move in purposeful strides. The moonlight no longer directed them in a nightly waltz as they made their way toward the girls.
The shadows, each a ghostly orb of darkness, started their trek from different locations in the rooms. In Eden’s room the mist trickled in from the window, while in Mariah’s it inched between the moth-eaten holes in the cloth ceiling of the four-poster bed, and in Melissa’s it crept in from under the bed itself. Slowly, the haze advanced upon each girl, their forms growing ever more into the silhouette of a person as they neared them. Hovering now only a foot or two above the girls, in unison, as if directed by the moon once more, an ethereal hand reached for each girl, fingers looking more like claws than anything else. A high pitched and yet deep hiss of sound escaped what should have been lips on the silhouettes, darkness protruding and encircling itself around the sleeping forms of the girls below them. Then, without warning, all three silhouettes shrieked a cry of disappointment, an unearthly
The sound woke each girl as they came to the terrible realization that what had been haunting them in their nightmares was in reality hovering just above them as they slept. Gasping, the silhouettes dissipated into nothing so quickly that none of the girls were quite certain of what they had seen. Nonetheless, each rose out of their beds with such haste that they all opened their doors at the same moment, only to be greeted by the horror-struck faces of their siblings.
Author N.A. Triptow
About the Author N. A. Triptow graduated from The University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching with minors in History Teaching, Theatre, and British Studies. She teaches high school English and Film Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Strategic Communication and Advertising from Purdue University. In her free time, you can find her reading, watching and analyzing movies and television shows, attending the theatre, going on walks or hikes, and playing board or video games with family and friends. She lives in Utah.
For more from Nicole, including character artwork, playlists, swag, excerpts, trailers, and more, visit her website!
Welcome to the book blitz for FEISTY, the third book in the adult comedy romance series, Do-Over, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Julia Kent. See below for, information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis I’m not too proud to admit that finding Mr. Right involves swiping right. Right? Welcome to dating in avocado toastland.
Here I am, on my first blind date, ever, courtesy of a smartphone app and my two annoying best friends.
So what is Chris “Fletch” Fletcher doing, walking across the room, looking at his phone like he’s pattern matching a picture to find a real person he’s never met before?
Oh. Oh, no.
The guy I drop-kicked in seventh grade cannot be my blind date. The guy who earned me this infernal nickname.
More from New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent as Fiona “Feisty” Gaskill gets her chance at love – drop-kick included.
Excerpt #2 My lungs have decided that the world is too dangerous to make a move, utter a sound, do anything. I’m frozen, the pulse inside me growing stronger as time ticks away. My own shut-down system is the barrier to oxygen. The disconnect between what my body needs and what my tattered psyche can handle is causing my overload to leak out in a really obvious way.
“Fiona?” Josh says, shaking me gently, Michelle looking to him for certainty.
And then suddenly, Josh is out of my sight, replaced by two clear, calm, green eyes, light brown hair, and hands that feel like anchors.
“Feisty? Feis–Fiona?” Fletch corrects. The sudden pivot to using my proper name is jarring, given the fact that every atom in the world is buzzing inside my ears and nothing anyone does will help me to breathe.
I make a strange sound. I know it’s strange because his eyebrows turn down in the middle, his facial muscles pushing them low enough to show concern.
Concern for me.
“Breathe,” he says slowly as he puts one hand on my diaphragm, fingers warm and firm.
I make a sound to indicate that I am confused and the speech centers in my brain have shut down. Empathy floods me as I realize this is exactly what my student with severe apraxia, little Myles, must feel like when he loses his words under extreme stress. For years, I’ve said “use your words” to four-year-olds having anxiety fits.
“Breathe, Fiona,” he murmurs, taking a deep breath to demonstrate, his belly expanding in a comical way, though I know his technique is strong. Hypnotic and commanding, his voice and body tell me what to do, guide me back from being lost in the woods to a cleared trail where I can find my footing, take a rest, and possibly feel safe again, knowing I can find my way home.
I inhale, the insides of my nostrils cold, the air hitting my nasal passages a welcome assault, diaphragm spasming and sputtering back to life.
“That’s my girl,” he whispers against the curl of my ear, his breath like coffee, his hard forearm muscles all I can see, the ripped cord of his strong lines drawing my gaze. “You just breathe. It’s over now. You did it. You saved them. It’s okay to breathe.” He inhales, then slowly exhales. “Let’s do this together now.”
About the Author New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.
Welcome to the book blitz for TRUST ME, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Manhattan Marriage, by Candace Hutton. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
TRUST ME (Manhattan Marriage Series #1) by Candace Hutton
Synopsis Brooke Anderson never pictured herself as a divorcee at twenty-eight. But when she mentions getting a post-nup to her husband Garrett after one deliciously sex-filled year, he promptly serves her with divorce papers. Admittedly, she could’ve told him about how her father left her and her mother homeless when she was young, and how she’s never been wired to trust anyone. Especially those closest to her. Now, all she wants to do is avoid anywhere he might be so she won’t have to face him again.
But she’s not the only one who can’t seem to trust.
Garrett Call grew up with parents who married for money and wants no part of a life that puts material possessions above love. He reinvented himself in college, complete with a new last name so he couldn’t be tied to his family’s lucrative business. He never even told Brooke the truth. Admittedly, he could’ve handled the issue of a post-nup better with his ex-wife. Maybe he didn’t count on how much he was going to miss having her in his life.
When their best friends’ wedding forces the exes to see each other again, a dangerous man from Garrett’s world threatens Brooke’s life. And they realize the only way to save themselves is to finally learn to trust each other.
Excerpt Brooke Anderson was one hundred percent completely over her ex-husband. She didn’t even care that he was updating his social media sites with #single or that he had some blonde beauty hanging off his arm in a couple of his more recent photos.
She hated that even in her office in the middle of this godforsaken Monday, she was staring at her ex’s social media account.
She didn’t want to think about where they would head after dining at Le Bernardin, or if he would take her to his new apartment and do all the things with her that he used to do with Brooke. Like drinking a glass of wine before bed because it helped her to relax, or ducking his head between her thighs because he liked to see her come first.
No. She wouldn’t go there. The first rule of singledom was to not think about your ex. Or his fingers. Or his tongue. Or how good his stubble felt on smooth skin.
Brooke crossed her legs in the hopes of relieving the ache between them. She had done the right thing. Her year-long marriage to Garrett had been nice. Sexy. But a divorce was the right idea. Even if it hadn’t been her idea.
She could admit that she’d panicked. When her co-worker, who was on the fast track to becoming partner at the firm, was fired suddenly and with no warning, Brooke realized the same thing could happen to her.
She and Garrett were both fiercely independent, and the thought of losing that, having to depend on someone else… She couldn’t do it. And worse, what if Garrett didn’t want to take care of her while she searched for another job? He would leave her, just like her father had left her and her mother when finances got too bad.
To her, a post-nup seemed like the perfect solution. That way, if she lost her job, Garrett would still feel financially secure and wouldn’t feel like he had to help her out. Money didn’t have to be an issue between them.
Unfortunately, Garrett hadn’t agreed.
The minute she had brought up signing a post-nup, Garrett had balked. He’d walked right out of their Manhattan apartment and reappeared hours later to tell her they should get a divorce right then because there was no way in hell he would ever sign a post-nup, not for anyone. Post-nups were for people who weren’t really in love, and if she felt that way, they should end it.
It was the first time Brooke could remember seeing literal red. It still stung to think he’d said it, that he thought she didn’t love him just because she wanted to make a smart financial decision. She would’ve talked with him about it if he’d let her, but he was so arrogant and cold about it all. So opposite from how he normally was.
And yeah, maybe she could’ve relinquished a bit of her pride, but it still wouldn’t have fixed it. She was on track to start making seven figures a year by the end of the year, and she didn’t want to end up like her mother: abandoned by her husband and raising a child on welfare.
Maybe she’d never told any of that to Garrett, but it shouldn’t matter. He should be willing to bend a little. If he really loved her, wouldn’t he have signed it? She knew she should’ve asked about a pre-nup before they were actually married. Though, their wedding hadn’t exactly been orthodox. They’d been in Atlantic City for the weekend with their friends Chad and Noah, and Garrett had just asked her. She could still remember the sea breeze whipping her hair back as she looked down at him on one knee. The Boardwalk had been the perfect place to propose. Intoxicated by the sights and the way Garrett made her feel, she’d said yes.
They’d gotten married in a small chapel an hour later.
It wasn’t fair to bring up a post-nup after a year of marriage, and she’d thought she could handle it, but it had grown to the point where she was having trouble sleeping at night, imagining what would happen if Garrett suddenly decided he wanted a divorce and she had no legal paperwork to protect her.
And what if they’d had children? What if he walked out and she couldn’t take care of them? She couldn’t bear the thought of being homeless again, especially with a child. The whole experience had reopened her eyes. She’d been foolish to get married in the first place. She would rather be alone than end up like her mom, always forgiving a man who did nothing but take.
Brooke sighed and leaned forward in her desk chair, allowing the afternoon sun streaming through the window to slant across the back of her neck, warming the skin there. She needed to get her mind off Garrett, needed to stop wondering what he was doing and who he was doing it with.
Keeping her gaze averted from her computer screen, she pulled a stack of files closer. Her job at Whitman and Lyon was standard for a lawyer, but her favorite part about it was making sure newly-single moms like her own nailed their husbands for alimony and child support. Not that she didn’t do it for newly-single dads too. If someone was trying to wheedle out of paying to help their kid grow up in a safe environment, she’d take care of it, no matter the gender of the good parent.
Her phone dinged with a new text message, but she ignored it. It had been ten days since the divorce was finalized, and she still hadn’t been able to bring herself to change the background photo on her phone—a picture of her and Garrett wrapped in each other’s arms. Every time she looked at it, she got a sick feeling in her stomach and heart. Just because a divorce had been the right move didn’t mean she wanted to do it. A knock sounded on her open door, and then Kai Goodman leaned into her office, flashing a dimpled smile.
“Hey,” Brooke said, closing her current file. “What’s up?”
“I made a coffee run and they had your favorite out.”
Brooke’s heart lifted. Kai was new in the office, working as a paralegal. He’d only been there about three weeks and already knew her favorite coffee—white chocolate mocha with chocolate sprinkles and whipped cream.
“They tried to use rainbow sprinkles, and I wouldn’t let them,” Kai said, moving into her office to set the cup on her desk.
She laughed and wrapped her hand around the warm cup, not caring that it was July and still way too hot for this drink. “Thanks. I need this.”
“Everything okay?” he asked, taking a sip from his own cup. A cell phone number was scrawled on the side. Most likely the barista’s.
She smiled and shook her head. “Yeah, I guess.”
“Is this about the wedding?” Kai asked, perching on the edge of the chair in front of her desk.
“Wedding?” Yeah, Noah and Chad’s wedding was the coming weekend, but she didn’t realize her going was the subject of office water cooler talk.
“Yeah. Giselle mentioned you were worried about going because your ex would be there.”
“Oh for god’s sake. Is that all anyone around here can talk about?” Her coworkers knew Noah because he was there frequently. They’d met when she’d gotten a case of a young father who was trying to win custody of his six-year-old son after finding out his wife had been abusing their child. Noah was the boy’s therapist at the time, and she’d called him as a witness.
Kai flashed his dimples again. “For the record, I think they’re just jealous. Noah has a lot of friends here, apparently, and you’re the only one from the office they invited.” She didn’t really think that was it since her coworkers really loved to gossip, but he was trying to make her feel better, and that was sweet.
“I guess,” she finally said, trying to ignore the heat rising in her cheeks. “It’s just… This is the first time I’ll see him since we signed the divorce papers. I just know he’s going to look amazing and have some model hanging off his arm.”
“You could do the same,” Kai said with a shrug. “Get yourself a hot date and show him up. I guarantee you, you will be sexier than any other woman he could possibly bring.” The blush spread a little more on her face. It was pretty inappropriate workplace talk, but she was comfortable. And he was now slouched back in the chair and sipping from his coffee like he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
“I don’t know. I haven’t dated in so long.”
“Neither has your husband,” Kai pointed out. Then he frowned. “Unless he has been, and that’s the reason for your divorce.”
“Oh, no. No, Garrett wasn’t like that.” She never once worried that Garrett was seeing another woman.
“Then what’s the problem? It’s not like it’d have to be a real date or anything. You just need someone to go with you to a wedding.” He turned the cup around and studied the barista’s phone number. “I don’t want to sound forward when I say this, but I’d go with you.”
Brooke looked up at him, surprise flooding through her. Kai had flirted with her a bit, but nothing too overt. She liked the attention but didn’t think he’d ever ask her out for real. He was shyer than Garrett and she knew Kai had been on at least three dates since he’d started working at the office because he’d told her about them.
“As friends,” he quickly amended when he caught her watching him. “I just know you’re probably not ready to jump into the dating pool, and we’re friends, so why not?” She turned the thought over in her mind. She liked Kai. He was thoughtful and strong, and he was gorgeous in a boy-next-door kind of way with his square glasses and curly hair. It would be nice not to go to the wedding alone. It’d be even nicer if she showed up with a hot date in front of Garrett.
“Are you sure?” she asked Kai. “I don’t want to ruin any plans you had for the weekend.” He waved his free hand. “I don’t consider spending time with you as ‘ruined plans.’ What time do you want me to pick you up?”
“Oh, the courthouse they’re getting married at is only a block up from my apartment. I’m just going to walk there.” She wasn’t really looking forward to that trek in heels. Maybe she’d do the old flats-first, heels-later thing.
Kai grinned. “Then I’ll go to your place and walk there with you.”
“Okay.” She gave him her address and he tucked the slip of paper into the front of his shirt pocket.
“I’ll be the one in the suit,” he said with a wink.
“I appreciate you doing this,” she said. It had been so long since she’d gone on a date with someone other than Garrett, she’d almost forgotten how to act about it. “No appreciation needed. Going as friends, but it’s never a burden to spend a day with a beautiful woman.” He stood and shifted the coffee cup to his other hand. “I’ll see you Saturday.” She gave him one more smile, then watched his form retreat down the hall. She wanted to feel attracted to someone else, anyone that wasn’t Garrett, but it just wasn’t coming. Kai was nice and smart and knew his way around a law book, but he wasn’t Garrett. He never would be. And she really hated how much she wished it was her ex taking her to the wedding instead.
About the Author Candace Hutton was born and raised on books. She spent a great deal of her teenage years in libraries and bookstores and still tries to sneak off to them as often as possible. Some of her other favorite things are coffee, puppies, and the smell of rain. You can connect with her on Twitter @authorcandace
Welcome to the book blitz for THE LOST PRINCESS, the first book in the adult fantasy romance series, Blood Feud, by R.G. Angel. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE LOST PRINCESS (Blood Feud Series #1) by R.G. Angel
Synopsis “The path to peace is full of wars just as the path of love is full of pain.”
Fay Newman is about to start college, a new chapter of her life—a way to reinvent the nature lover and unsociable introvert she has always been.
However, when she saves her roommate’s life in a way that no human could, she finds more than she bargained for when she is thrown in the midst of kingdoms’ wars, blood feuds, forbidden love, and forgotten promises.
With the fate of humanity hanging in the balance, Fay tries to navigate her new reality, with friends and foes being closer than she realizes. When nothing is as it seems, she doesn’t know who or what to trust until taking up the weapon to fight is all that’s left.
Any choices available to her will ultimately lead to sacrifices. Fay must figure out what she is ready to sacrifice—her heart, her soul, or even…her life.
Excerpt #2 “Can I help you with something?”
He turned around with a shrug. “Are you dating him?”
I took a step back, surprised by his question. Tamlin and I were developing a friendship recently but nothing to the point that would allow him to ask this question.
“I’m not sure… How is that your business?” Please tell me you like me, please tell me you’re jealous, anything to let me know you care too.
“It just won’t look very good on you to date a member of the faculty. I don’t want you to have this stigma following you around, that’s all.”
I don’t think he could have managed to make me angrier if he’d tried.
I stood straighter pursing my lips. “Well thank you for your concern, it’s duly noted.” I opened the door – gesturing him out. “But you need to remember you’re not my brother, nor my protector. And right now? You’re barely my friend.”
We walked to me stiffly but instead of going out kicked the door closed. “What if I am?” He growled leaning over me, all menacing but he didn’t raise any fear out of me. No unfortunately what he rose was quite the opposite.
“What’s if you’re what?”
He opened his mouth but closed it again as if he was rethinking his next words. “I’m your friend Fay. I care for you.” He sighed, taking a step back, getting out of my space which disappointed me a bit. “I’m not… good at this.” he finished rather lamely, rubbing the back of his neck.
I sighed, letting go of his irritation. “I take it you’ve got no sister?”
He shook his head. “Only child, my mother died when I was very young.”
Fuck me – Way to kill any annoyance I had against him.
Author R.G. Angel
About the Author R.G Angel is a trained lawyer, world traveler, coffee addict, cheese aficionado, avid book reviewer and blogger.
She considers herself as an ‘Eclectic romantic’ and wants to write romance in sub-genre she can think of.
When she is not busy doing all her lawyerly mayhem, and because she is living in rainy Britain, she mostly enjoys indoor activities such as reading, watching TV, playing with her crazy puppy and writing stories she hopes will make you dream.
If you want to know when R.G.’s next book will come out, or what signing she will be attending please follow her Facebook page.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE WINTER HEALS, the second book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Honey Cove, by Marie McGrath. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE WINTER HEALS (Honey Cove Series #2) by Marie McGrath
It was almost impossible to heal when everyone was out to get you.
Shelby Rowe was stuck between two worlds—the one she wanted and the one everyone else wanted for her. As the daughter of a prominent family in Honey Cove, Shelby’s life was out of her control. Her friends, interests, and even her love life was controlled by others.
When a new girl moves to town, Shelby’s life was turned upside down as she gets a glimpse of what life could be like—no obligations, no pressure. As the Christmas break begins, Shelby is left stuck between what is expected and what she feels is right. Split in half, Shelby has to make decisions to correct her life and heal her spirit.
Will she allow others to control who she is? Or will she finally go out on her own?
Excerpt #2 Luke chuckled. “I had no idea we were this similar. I’ll admit I thought that’s exactly who you were until …”
Luke averted his gaze and stared into his coffee. Had he felt the shift too? “The ball when we actually talked, the real you and me.”
“I thought it was just me who felt the shift.”
“No, I did too. I wouldn’t have invited someone like that to get coffee.”
“No? You hounded me pretty hard to pull off our ball operation.”
“I had to. My parents expect certain things from me too, and to have an offer come from the Rowes, you don’t take no for an answer. They couldn’t go, but what better way for that to be overlooked than for the son to attend the ball. My hands were tied just as much as yours.”
I rolled my eyes. “See, that’s just it. Why does my family have all this power? So what, my father’s company has hundreds of employees and gives money to charities and supports the community? What makes him or us so damn special to act like we are royalty?”
Luke shrugged. “That’s just the way it’s always been.”
“Well, I don’t like it. If someone has that much power, they should be using it to help others. To be genuinely altruistic. This half-and-half nonsense is sickening, and I’m tired of it.”
Luke grinned, flashing his perfect dimple. “Then change it.”
I peered into my hot chocolate and contemplated his proposal. He hadn’t been the first to say that. Riley, Randy, and several people at this point had told me the same thing. What if I did change how others saw the Rowes? What if I changed how things were done? How would people take it, and would they even listen to me?
“Hey, don’t do that,” Luke said.
I peered up to gaze into his perfectly hazel eyes. “Do what?”
“Doubt your power.”
I smiled. “Who says I have any power?”
“You and I both know you do. You’ve shown me glimpses of it this whole time. You just need to decide what you want to do and who you want to be. Otherwise, why kill yourself about your image?”
I had to admit he had a point, and I enjoyed our banter. Never in a million years did I think I could have a genuine conversation with Luke Warrington. Maybe his image was just as flawed as mine was.
Roger dropped Luke’s burger and fries on the table. “Would you like anything else, ma’am?”
“I’ll take another hot chocolate if you don’t mind.”
Luke stared at his food, mouthwatering like a dog in a treat store.
Luke met my gaze. “Was I drooling?”
I laughed. “Just a little.”
“It’s just so good. You must try it.”
I shook my head. “I’m okay. Thanks though.”
“You sure?” he asked as he wiggled his eyebrows.
He took a huge bite of his burger, and when he pulled away, his chin was slathered in barbeque sauce.
I couldn’t contain the giggles. “You have a little something …”
Luke smirked and dabbed his face with his napkin. “Better?”
I nodded. I could never eat a burger like that. The mess alone would deter me—but his fries, now those looked delicious.
While Luke was midbite, I snatched a fry from his plate and plopped it in my mouth.
He gasped, and his eyes bulged. “Did you just take a fry?”
I quickly chewed and muttered, “Maybe.”
He chuckled. “You did!”
I swallowed the last bit. “It was good though.”
“That’s okay. I’ll share some, but don’t eat ‘em all. I would be too sad to not have my burger and fries.”
I raised my hand and crossed my heart. “I promise.”
Our gazes locked, and I could have sworn my stomach felt fluttery. Maybe I was hungrier than I thought? Because there was no way the flutters had anything to do with Luke.
About the Author Marie McGrath lives in a small rural town in Maryland. She hopes to inspire others with her stories. Her favorite genres to read are YA Romance and Contemporary Fiction. She loves the color turquoise, tigers, and listening to music.
Welcome to the book Blitz for STOLEN HEARTS, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Hearts, by USA Today bestselling author, Molly O’Keefe. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis The flare of a cigarette, the sound of a stranger’s voice, and the handsome Irishman in the shadows–I wanted it all, but I wasn’t allowed to want.
Ronan was danger and beauty, murder and mercy. To me, he was a mystery, but he was also the only man who ever knew me.
In that single stolen moment before I had to give my life to someone else, I imagined myself with him, the man with scars and bruises. The one who knew what hurting meant far more than I did at that time.
Instead I was given to another man, one who broke my soul right along with my bones.
Through it all, there was always that memory of the man in the shadows, the one who said–not in words–that I was strong, that I could endure, that I was more than just a princess in a ballgown.
Now Ronan is the only man who could keep me safe from two warring families that wanted my blood. The spark that started two years ago burned brighter with each touch, each glance, each kiss. He woke me from the nightmare, giving me life with soft touches and sharp words.
Two years ago, Ronan gave me strength, but he took something in return. I never gave him my heart, but hearts like mine are made to be stolen.
Excerpt #3 “Poppy,” he said, and then once we were out of the ballroom he grabbed me by my elbow and pulled me down a darker hallway. I fought him, yanking my arm free, only to have him grab it harder in a grip that would leave a red mark on my skin.
I was an expert in such grips.
But still I kept fighting. If this guy was going to hit me, let him. Let him try and hurt me. There was nothing left of me to hurt.
“Poppy, goddamnit, stop,” he said, and so fast he had a key out. He swiped it through a door, and we were in another room. A dark office with an empty desk. No windows.
All right. Now I was a little scared.
“What are you doing?” I asked, putting my hand over my elbow where he’d grabbed me.
“Did I hurt you?” he asked, watching me touch my skin. God. I not only felt outrageously alone with this man. I felt stupidly naked. This dress was nothing. Where was a suit of armor when you needed it?
I reached behind my back, pressing the doorknob lever, but he was there quick, putting his hand against the door right beside my head, keeping it shut. His breath stirred the small hairs escaping my too-tight bun.
The champagne only gave me so much courage, and I looked, not in his icy blue eyes but at his square chin with its five o’clock shadow. There was a scar there, just beneath his jaw line. It ran a straight line near his ear to nearly the point of his chin. Another jump from a window, I wondered. Or worse. Because Ronan seemed incredibly capable of worse.
“I’m going to ask you again,” I said, my voice only a little shaky. “What are you doing?”
“Giving you a second to catch your breath,” he said.
“Well, I was leaving, so why don’t I just do that?”
He reached over and turned on a small lamp, the golden pool of light illuminated his face. And I’d talked to this man for what? A half hour, total in my life. A half hour over two and a half years. I owed him nothing. I pushed down the lever and pulled open the door.
“You’re making a fool of yourself out there,” he said, and I gasped in outrage, turning to face him.
“It’s the truth. And you know it. You can’t show them how much they’re under your skin.”
“What the hell do you know about anything?”
“I know I’m under your skin.”
Said skin blazed hot and undoubtedly red. Right. This was the expected embarrassment. The humiliation right on cue. The ice cold look on his face melted and what was left was something so much worse. Something horrible.
“Don’t,” I spat at him. “Don’t look at me like that.”
“Like what?” he asked.
“Like the rest of them look at me. Like all I am is something to be pitied and whispered about. Something to be used and shuffled around.”
I shoved him. My hands against his rock-solid chest, and I shoved him. Hard enough he stepped backwards, and everything ignited in me. Everything. I looked at my hands, surprised they weren’t flames.
He smiled, as if he could see the chemical reaction rippling through my body. And he liked it.
“I’m leaving,” I said. Slightly scared of this. Slightly scared of myself. And him.
“You don’t want to leave,” he said, stepping closer, and the fire in my hands and my chest exploded between my legs. Desire like I’d never felt, like I’d never been allowed to feel fueled by rage and champagne and his Irish accent rippled all the way through me.
“You don’t know a single fucking thing about me,” I snarled.
“I know you don’t want to be pitied. And I know you just got fucked around pretty good up there in front of a thousand people.”
I breathed hard through my nose.
“I think you want to fight,” he said, a breath away from me. If I was another person I’d kiss him. Grab him by the silk lapels of his tux and pull that wicked mouth to mine. But I wasn’t that person, for a million reasons. His eyes assessed me, and the longer I was silent, standing there burning and wretched, the pity came back.
“Or maybe I’m wrong about you,” he said. “You don’t have any fight in you. You are exactly what they made you.” He reached for the door, and I knew he was going to let me go. Whatever test this was, I’d failed. “I’ll make sure you get home.”
I smacked him. I smacked him so hard my hand hurt. It burned and tingled. There was a print of my hand on his skin and that was the first time I’d ever done that, and part of me wanted to be horrified, but deep in my fully rioting soul, I was pleased.
The dark wing of his hair fell down over his eye, and he turned to face me, sweeping it back.
“There you go, Princess,” he said. “That’s what you need.” He smiled at me like he suddenly recognized me as kin. Something long lost. But I felt undone. Incomplete. Something had started, a domino tipping over and setting off a chain reaction. And I needed him to complete it.
Or stop it.
Bursting right out of myself, I grabbed his lapels, pulling us into each other. Our bodies collided and sparked.
And I kissed him.
Author Molly O’Keefe
About the Author M. O’Keefe is the darker, more dangerous pen name of bestselling author Molly O’Keefe. She is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Everything I Left Unsaid series and the upcoming Stolen Hearts. To find out more visit www.molly-okeefe.com.
Welcome to the book blitz for SIMPLY YOU, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Hope Valley Romance, by MaggieWild. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SIMPLY YOU (Hope Valley Romance Series #1) by Kaylene Winter
She needs someone she can count on. He’s gun-shy after being hurt. Can a brush with fate in a rained-out English village turn into enduring love?
Sarah Tildon thinks she’s found the perfect man. But after her overbearing future mother-in-law insists her quiet country wedding become a high-society shindig, she sets out on a two-week ride to rethink her plans. Stranded when her bicycle is stolen in a picturesque hamlet, she’s touched by the kindness of a handsome young farmer who comes to her rescue.
The big city failed Michael Marsden’s ample ambitions. After his fiancée cheats on him, he turns his back on the hustle and bustle and takes on a farm to prove he can lead a self-sufficient life. And taken by surprise when a charming outsider helps sing his hens into laying, he realizes his newfound Eden is missing its Eve.
Unexpectedly falling for the sweet homesteader, Sarah is torn between the security of a gilded cage and the precarious freedom of raising chickens. And when her fiancé arrives to bring her back to London, Michael fears she’ll leave him with yet another shattered heart.
Will this unlikely couple throw caution to the wind and embrace a destined second chance?
Simply You is the first book in the heartwarming Hope Valley Romance series. If you like fun heroines, pastoral backdrops, and endearing courtships, then you’ll adore Maggie Wild’s sweet tale.
Read Simply You to start fresh today!
Excerpt #2 Sarah lay on her back in the center of the stone circle, her whole body softened by the beers they’d drunk. Beside her, Michael plucked at the grass. The wavering sound of music drifted up from the village, ebbing and flowing as the wind carried the sound toward them. In the lulls, the silence lapped over them, interrupted by the occasional twittering of a bird heading in for the evening. Sarah gazed out across the moors fading now into the late pink glow of evening. She loved the way the light changed as the day went on, highlighting the colors of the heather, the trees, the grass. Maybe before she left she would come up here in the early morning, watch the sun rise over the village. Maybe Michael would come with her.
For the first time in a long time, Sarah felt alive. Away from the confines of Amir’s family and the expectations of her behavior, she could be herself and she was surprised to find that who she was wasn’t who she’d expected. She liked this Sarah.
She played back the events of the evening, relishing again the simple joy of the evening spent with Michael and his family. She pictured Nicki with her hair stuck to her face from hours of non-stop dancing, the smear of dirt on Kate’s cheek where she’d taken a tumble in the sack race. She tried to imagine Claudette climbing into an old potato sack and jumping down the length of a field for fun. Claudette and fun weren’t two things that often went together.
She thought then about flying through the air with Madison and George. That was the thing that was sticking in her chest. In the future life she’d so carefully mapped out, would she ever ride a fairground ride with her children and laugh like she’d laughed tonight? Would Amir ever take her by the hand and give her a piggy back up to a stone circle at the top of a hill? So much about her life with Amir was safe and comfortable, what she’d thought she always wanted. But tonight she had felt the opposite, free and a little reckless, but instead of scaring her, it had felt good.
Could I live this life? she thought. This unstable, scary, wonderful life?
Michael had been quiet for a while and she turned to see if he was mesmerized by the light too. But he wasn’t. He was hunched over, working intently on something in his hands.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
He didn’t respond at first and she wondered if he’d heard her, then he looked up and smiled. It was such a lovely boyish grin and it made her tickle inside.
“I made you a present,” he said, then suddenly looked coy. He held out the thing he’d been so focused on and she saw it was a long thin loop: a daisy chain. She laughed and Michael seemed suddenly embarrassed. He started to put it down, but she leaned forward, ducking her head.
“It’s silly,” he said.
“No. I love it.”
He smiled again and it filled his entire face. She felt the glow of it transmit into her. He leaned in and placed the necklace of flowers around her neck. She arranged it so it fell neatly down the front of her dress. When she looked back up he hadn’t moved. His face was inches from hers and before she could stop herself, she leaned in and kissed him.
Author Maggie Wild
About the Author Maggie Wild lives in California Wine Country with her own Mr. Right and a small collection of furry friends. A native of Yorkshire, England, she returns “home” every day through her fictional worlds. When not writing her fun, contemporary romance stories, she loves to watch the birds in her garden and hike through the local redwoods.
Welcome to the book blitz for RESTLESS, a novella in the adult contemporary rockstar romance series, Less Than Zero, by Kaylene Winter, releasing January 15, 2021. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
RESTLESS (Less Than Zero Series #0.5) by Kaylene Winter
My mistakes nearly cost me everything, including my life.
Carter Pope is a rock superstar on the rise. His band Limelight catapulted him into a world of fame and excess. Meeting his soulmate was not in his plan. Neither was having a son at age 19.
When he succumbs to a crippling addiction? It’s all gone in an instant. Now he’ll do anything to redeem himself and reclaim his family.
I got off the merry-go-round to protect my son.
Stunning prima ballerina Lianne Rocks is taking the ballet world by storm. Coveted, worshipped, she has her pick of suitors. But she only has eyes for one man. Guitar superhero, Carter Pope. Caught up in a merry-go-round of addiction and fame.
She leaves to create a stable life for herself and Zane. Her son, the musical prodigy who really needs his dad.
When Carter gets clean, Lianne reluctantly lets him back into their lives. Only so he can reconnect with his son. Little did she know. A restless soul can always be tamed by true love.
Excerpt #2 LIANNE
Carter Pope’s long, black curls flew behind him when he skidded across the stage on his knees, punctuating the end of a guitar solo that ripped the hearts out of the entire sold-out crowd at The Mission. His eyes were squeezed shut, like he’d just had the best orgasm of his life. Sweat shone on his ripped chest, arms and abs, all of which were covered with tattoos ranging from musical scrolls to script to vines. One arm held his guitar away from his body, the other arm remained dramatically raised high in the air, thick leather-studded bracelets enclosed both his wrists. Two crosses hung from chains around his neck, pointing to a happy trail which disappeared into his worn, tattered leather pants.
My mouth watered just looking at him.
My pussy flooded with desire when I saw the distinct bulge of his hard cock.
He’d been pursuing me for months, but I’d held him off. Not because I didn’t want him. Everyone wanted him. He was the sexiest, coolest musician on the club circuit right now. And charming as hell. The thing is? I deserved to be more than a notch on his bedpost. After all, I’d just been promoted from soloist to principal dancer at the Pacific Northwest Ballet.
A ballerina of my stature had options. I had my pick of lovers. Hot, young models. Wealthy older men. Tech geeks. I wanted the budding rock star, and I’d have him. When Carter and I eventually fucked—and we’d fuck, make no mistake—I wanted him to be hooked.
Together, we’d be Seattle royalty.
The rock star and the famous dancer.
I could see it so clearly.
When Limelight finished their set, I positioned myself on a stool in the grimy bar. No need for Carter to think I watched his entire show. The fact I was even here after I’d played coy about whether I was coming or not was enough. With every ounce of willpower I had, I fixed my gaze straight ahead, while I slowly sipped my vodka soda with lime.
“Aren’t you a vision.” Carter’s hoarse voice was close to my ear, the floral tattoos on his hands visible where they rested on each shoulder. “Have you been here long?”
I smiled, composed myself and leaned back into his embrace. “I caught the last song.”
“Liar,” he whispered, causing my entire body to shiver with anticipation and need.
Turning slightly, I tilted my head up to rub my nose on his scruffy chin. “Prove it.”
In an instant, my barstool was spun around and Carter stepped in between my knees. He clutched my hips, yanking me forward so his still-hard cock rested against my core. Letting me know it was for me. He leaned in close and brushed his lips along my ear and down my neck. “I’m so fucking obsessed with you, Lianne. Please put me out of my misery.”
Before I could reply, his lips found mine. His tongue pressed inside to begin a mating dance with mine, tentatively, then more aggressively. Carter’s hands moved to cup my butt, pulling me tighter to him so he could grind his cock against me as we kissed. I wound my arms around his neck, not caring that he was still sweaty from his performance. No, the opposite. He turned me on like I’d never been turned on before.
Lost in our public make-out, I was startled when a loud round of applause interrupted the moment.
“Fuck yeah, Pope!” Beau Bixby, Limelight’s lead singer clinked his Rainier beer bottle against drummer Siggy Bengstton’s own brewski. “Lianne, you look especially lovely tonight.”
I rolled my eyes and disentangled myself from Carter, smoothing my skirt back over my legs, which were clad in thigh-high black stockings. I wore a simple off-the-shoulder black jersey sweater and black combat boots. My hair was pulled back in a severe ponytail. Topping off my look was a black velvet choker and giant silver hoop earrings.
“After party at our pad?” Limelight’s bass player, Lucas Williams and rhythm guitarist, Frankie Rossini joined us at the bar.
“Fuck yeah,” Carter mumbled, never taking his eyes off me. “Lianne, come with us.”
“I don’t think so, guys.” I picked up my drink from the sticky bar. “I’m not into it.”
Frankie scoffed and walked away, muttering, “Uptight bitch.”
Carter’s eyes bored into mine, challenging me. I stared right back at him, not willing to bend for him or any man. “Come with me,” he mouthed.
I raised an eyebrow. Shook my head.
“We’re outta here, see ya back at the junkyard.” Siggy gave us a middle-finger salute. “Carter, settle up with Gus, yeah?”
“Yeah,” Carter answered, not looking away from me.
I reached under the bar, where my purse was dangling from a broken hook. “Well, Carter. I’m going to head home.”
His tattooed hand traced my hairline. “Stop by the party. Just for half an hour.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Please.” Our eyes remained locked. Carter motioned to the bartender for a pen, and turned my palm over to write down the location of the famous Limelight crash pad. “I just want to talk to you, I promise.”
“Maybe.” I pulled my hand away.
“See you there.” Carter stepped back “I gotta settle up.”
And then he disappeared back into the crowd.
Thirty minutes later, I climbed the dilapidated steps up to the “Junkyard,” which certainly lived up to its name. Old furniture, burned-out cars, and piles of garbage littered the yard. The house itself looked like it would implode from rot and decay at any moment. The porch was soggy. When I reached out to open the door, it swung open.
Carter’s boyish face gleamed with happiness. “You came!”
He opened the door wider to let me in and yelled, “Yo, guys! My future wife just arrived.”
About the Author When she was only 15, Kaylene Winter wrote her first rocker romance novel starring a fictionalized version of herself, her friends and their gorgeous rocker boyfriends. After living her own rockstar life as a band manager, music promoter and mover and shaker in Seattle during the early 1990’s, Kaylene became a digital media legal strategist helping bring movies, television and music online. Throughout her busy career, Kaylene lost herself in romance novels across all genres inspiring her to realize her life-long dream to be a published author. She lives in Seattle with her amazing husband and dog. She loves to travel, throw lavish dinner parties and support charitable causes supporting arts and animals.