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 blog tour for GIRL ON THE FERRIS WHEEL, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance by Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
GIRL ON THE FERRIS WHEEL by Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos
In Girl on the Ferris Wheel, Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos expertly tackle this quirky and poignant romance that explores what first love really means—and how it sometimes hurts like hell.
Tenth graders Eliana and Dmitri could not be more different. He’s an outgoing, self-confident drummer in a punk band called Unexpected Turbulence. Eliana is introspective and thoughtful, and a movie buff who is living with depression.
Dmitri quite literally falls for Eliana when he sees her in gym class and slams into a classmate. The pair then navigate the ins and outs of first love. Exciting, scary, unexpected, and so much more difficult than they ever imagined. They say opposites attract, but they soon realize that there is so much they just don’t understand about each other. It begs the question: How long can first love possibly last when you’re so different?
I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact that my guidance counselor’s name is Mr. Person. Is that his real name? Would someone who chose the field of guidance counseling give himself an alias? What if he had to? What if Mr. Person is not merely a guidance counselor? By day, he sits in his five foot by five foot, poorly lit office, weaving his schedule-balancing magic. By night? He squeezes his desk-trapped gut into figure-flattering spandex and flies around the city of Minneapolis, valiantly moving people’s cars out of unexpected snow tow zones.
“What brings you here today, Eliana?” Mr. Person knows my name without looking into my file. Mr. Person keeps my file in a special place on his desktop for easy access. This is not my first visit to Mr. Person’s rodeo. (Maybe he’s a rodeo clown?)
“I want to drop out of physics,” I tell him. This sounds as pathetic to me as I feel. “Dropping out” is such an extreme expression, like first it’s physics, and then high school, and then I’m competing with Girl Scouts outside the local Walgreens for spare change. But I don’t have any cookies to sell because I also dropped out of Girl Scouts!
“You don’t like Ms. Keeter?” He assumes. I have left three classes since my freshman year based solely on negative teacher vibe. Not this time. “No, she was fine. She seemed to know what she was doing.”
“Glad to hear that.” Mr. Person barely contains his sarcasm. Let it out, I say. The more the merrier.
“I got a C on a test,” I admit.
He waits for more. I have no more. “So I want to drop out,” I say, hoping that he understands.
“Eliana, a C on a test is hardly reason to drop out of a class. Have you never received a C before?” Mr. Person clicks on his keyboard. A piece of me is bummed he doesn’t have my grades memorized.
“I’m sure I have. At some point.” I pretend I don’t remember the exact test and date (seventh grade, algebra, I had a 103 fever that day and argued for a retest).
“A C is average, Eliana, and it’s just one test. I’m sure you will do even better on the next one. Why don’t you give it another couple of weeks—”
I cut him off. “Mr. Person, it will be midterms in a couple of weeks. I don’t want to do better. I want out. I don’t like physics. I don’t get physics. I won’t use physics. Just get me out of the class.” He looks down at me scoldingly until I add, “Please?”
“You need at least one more science class before you graduate to fulfill your requirements.” He does his keyboard clicking thing again. I am nearly certain he is not looking at my file but playing Words with Friends.
“I’m only a sophomore. I can take an earth science next year. That will be more practical. I live on Earth. For now.” My head takes me to that sweet place where Doctor Who arrives in the TARDIS just outside Mr. Person’s office to whisk me to a far-off planet where I won’t need a guidance counselor to reschedule my day into a slightly more bearable state than it is currently in.
Mr. Person rudely interrupts. “I have another appointment in three minutes, Eliana. Do you really need to leave physics?” Click. Click. Clickety click click.
“Would I be wasting your time, Mr. Person, if I didn’t really need something?” I realize I’m potentially setting myself up for a roasting, but Mr. Person knows this is a battle he will not win. Not without his spandex suit, anyway.
He puffs out a deflated sigh, does his clicking magic, and pres- ents me with this option. “If we don’t want to rearrange your entire schedule, and I really do not want to do that, we need to fill your third period.”
I’m about to spew a truly inappropriate joke about maxi pads when Mr. Person saves me. “Looks like your only two choices are study hall or the Art and Craft of Cinema.”
“I thought that class was filled! I tried to get into that last year.”
“I recall that appointment,” Mr. Person nods, and I flash back to how I completely lost myself and both cried uncontrollably and called Mr. Person a dicktag when he couldn’t make that happen. I guess he would remember that.
“Is there really an opening?”
“Looks like someone dropped out last week. Maybe they gotaC.”
I ignore the guidance counselor sass and relish the rare good fortune. “Can you put me in? Please?” I smile my brightest fake smile at him, which makes no sense because this moment is totally deserving of a real smile, but sometimes my face just can’t make the leap.
Click click and click. “Done. You are now a physics class dropout and a film student. Your future’s looking bright, Eliana.”
I sneer at him in that charming way I have and say, “Thank you, Mr. Person. Your guidance counseling skills are once again top notch.”
“I’ll put that on my tombstone,” he retorts.
I leave the tiny office with a reprinted schedule in hand and a spring in my step. Stuff like this never happens to me. I’m out of physics and in film class? That’s luck. That’s kismet. That’s actu- ally good news.
I stop my bouncy walk.
What terrible crap is going to happen to balance it out?
Authors Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos
About the Author Julie Halpern is the award-winning author of seven young adult novels, one novel for adults, and one picture book for young readers. In her imaginary spare time she enjoys traveling, making cosplay for her kids, and eating baked goods. Julie lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Caldecott-winning author and illustrator Matthew Cordell, and their two children.
Len Vlahos dropped out of NYU film school in the mid ’80s to play guitar and write songs for Woofing Cookies, a punk-pop four piece that toured up and down the East Coast, and had two singles and one full-length LP on Midnight Records. After the band broke up, he followed his other passion, books. He is the author of The Scar Boys, a William C. Morris Award finalist and a #1 Indie Next pick, and Scar Girl, the book’s sequel. Len lives in Denver with his wife and two young sons, where he owns the Tattered Cover Book Store.
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 blog tour for SMOKE SCREEN, the second book in the adult romantic suspense series, The Blue Trilogy, by K. Nilsson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
She was a distraction. He was a mistake. Now they’re in each others’ way.
Rookie investigator Devyn Foster knows the pain of losing family. It’s what drives her to do what she does – finding the missing and the lost and returning them to their families.
Her latest assignment is no different, finding the computer a whiz who disappeared while working on a mysterious project. Even though his case has gone cold, she won’t let his elderly parents suffer. She will find him and return him back to them.
But that was before the one-night stand that changed everything…
Private Investigator Max Carson has never let anything—or anyone—stop him from getting the job done. So when he’s hired to track down a software program that could change the world, that’s exactly what he’s going to do… until he finds himself in a dead heat with a woman who’s just as determined as he is to get the job done on her own terms.
Now Max has to deal with two problems: how to get Devyn out of the way… and out of his heart.
Excerpt #3 Ben Rosenberg
After Devyn told me about being chased home, I needed to see she was unharmed and determine if someone exposed her cover.
Heading south on the coastal highway, I wove my way through traffic to the flat I got for her. The building was a monstrous high rise overlooking the marina. The car park was multi-level and I had a key card to enter.
Swapping out her registered license plates for the dealer plates was a brilliant idea. She didn’t want a hire car when she changed flats for the job. Parking next to her, I checked the MINI Cooper’s tire wells for tracking devices and found none.
The lift was steps away and I took it to the top floor. I knocked three times—it was our code. There was movement behind the peephole. Good girl. She waved me inside with an empty wineglass. Devyn coiled her curls into a messy bun and held it in place with a chopstick.
The little spy gave me a brief hug and locked the door behind me. “Can I get you something?”
“The usual,” I replied.
Padding to the kitchen, Devyn put her goblet in the sink and got a bottle of water for me. I twisted off the top and took a few swallows. “So, you had a James Bond chase scene.”
“No. There were no missile-equipped motorcycles or bullet spraying helicopters. But I wish I had a Lotus,” she cracked.
She had circles under her eyes.
“Did you recognize anyone inside it?”
Devyn shook her head. “Not with the blackout windows.”
“When did you notice the automobile?”
“Soon after I left headquarters.”
“Did you recognize the car?”
“No. It was my second day.”
Did someone suspect she was a mole, or was it random?
“Do you think it a stalker?”
She hesitated for a heartbeat, “I don’t know, maybe?”
“Did you spot anyone familiar?”
The little spy fell silent, then she shook her head.
She just lied to me.
I sat next to her on the couch.
The laptop was open on the coffee table and the glasses were on the floor. I picked them up.
“Oh, you used these. May I?”
She gave me a quick nod. I sent the images to my cell phone.
While I sorted through the files, my trainee fidgeted.
The clips began with her orientation class. I had questions about the people she met, some of whom she liked.
I pointed to a man with a plaid shirt and gelled hair. “Who is this? You two are rather friendly.”
The corners of her mouth tilted. “That’s Sam. His office is next door. He’s a brilliant guy, but also a space cadet.”
Her running commentary amused me. The videos included an attractive redhead, a convincing hologram, and people around a conference table.
The day’s clips captured her trip through security. One man was familiar. I pointed to the suited shark in the images. “Who is he?”
“Oh, him? He’s a security guy,” she replied.
I replayed the clip, then noticed the collection of photos she had of him. Devyn’s cheeks reddened. It was a romantic attraction—the connection was mutual. It would be better if I didn’t comment on it. I could do something about the situation without my protégé’s knowledge.
Despite the temptation, Devyn proved her worth to Leslie while capturing screen images of the computer and a preview of the servers’ contents.
I moved away from the photos. “One last question about the chase. Did you get the license number?”
Devyn sat up straight, reached for her briefcase, and removed a note from the side pocket.
“I forgot all about this,” she said, sheepishly handing it to me.
The note mentioned the make of the automobile and included a plate number. The writing wasn’t hers.
“Well—I darted into a carport…”
When she finished, I wanted to throttle her.
Devyn yawned. “It’s been a long day.”
“Tomorrow, I’ll run down the plate. I’m glad you’re okay.”
I reminded her to engage the deadbolt and secure the jammer.
I walked through the door, closing it behind me.
“Always the mother hen,” she chided.
I didn’t leave until I heard her turn the bolt and flip the latch.
Mother hen? Me?
When I arrived home, I inspected the images, the workplace, her co-worker, and—The Praetorian, a guarded man with a dangerous persona. The way he watched Devyn was worrisome. Heat burned in his eyes when he stared at her. Devyn was not unaffected. He would point his cock elsewhere and leave my beautiful, contrary, protégé, alone.
I looked up a contact number I hadn’t used in years. The person would get my message across to the mercenary.
“Hello,” said the voice on the other end of the phone.
“There’s an overgrown wolf-pup stalking my ward. I believe he’s yours. Call him off.”
About the Author K. Nilsson’s love of reading began with the Bobbsey twins. When she ran across some Italian True Romance novellas stashed in the attic, the musty serials hooked her on adult fiction. Though black and white photos were dramatic enough to know what the stories were about, she taught herself to read in Italian and translated them to her friends. She’s an unapologetic reviewer of books, restaurants, and vacation destinations. An amateur photographer, K. loves taking editorial photos and documenting her travels. Her personal philosophy, sleeping is a waste of time.
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.
Author Jillian Liota is revealing a teaser excerpt from LIKE YOU WANT IT, the second book in her adult contemporary romance duet, Like You, releasing January 12, 2021. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and the exclusive teaser excerpt.
LIKE YOU WANT IT (Like You Series #2) by Jillian Liota
Synopsis “Sometimes, wanting someone just isn’t enough.”
I don’t want to believe those words. Because I’ve never fallen for someone like Fin Callaghan. And I can’t imagine that this feeling isn’t enough.
To say my first interaction with Fin leaves much to be desired is an understatement. He infuriates me, barely speaks, and glares at me all the time. Not to mention he thinks I’m a mess.
It isn’t in my plans to start to like him. To fall for him. To want something more. But Fin’s past is filled with a pain that makes any kind of us impossible. He can’t seem to figure out what he wants, and truthfully, neither can I.
All I know is that I want more than what he’s willing to give.
All I should be focusing on is my family as we try to sort through the wounds left by our past mistakes. I have more than enough on my plate, have sacrificed too much to fracture my focus. I shouldn’t allow a woman to get in the way. Especially one like Carly Palmer.
She’s different. Wild. A bright burst of color in my world of black and white. Before I know it, she’s all that I want. All I can think about. But it doesn’t matter. I’ve been through betrayal that still singes my skin, eats at my soul.
I won’t allow it to happen again.
Like You Want It is the second book in the Like You Series and is a standalone novel.
Author Jillian Liota
About the Author Jillian Liota is a new author writing contemporary romance and new adult fiction. She lives in Kailua, Hawaii with her amazing husband, 2 cats, and 3-legged pup.
She is the author of the new adult romance novel The Keeper, which focuses on a female college soccer goalie, as well as the follow up novella, Keep Away. Her newest release, Like You Mean It, is in the contemporary romance genre and has a more mature voice, as it follows a pregnant mother finding love in a new town. The next novel in the Like You Series, Like You Want It, will be published in Spring 2019
She has a master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and she is passionate about all things improvement, development and organization.
She’s also a big fan of taking walks with her husband and dog Maia, reading romance (obviously), watching a handful of horrible reality TV shows, and exploring the island she calls home. Check out her Contact page for more information on how to connect.
Welcome to the book blitz for UNPLUGGED, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Unplugged, by Sigal Ehrlich. See below for information on the book, buy links, and exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis An against-all-odds & forbidden rockstar romance
After surviving the long and excruciating recruitment process, I thought I would end up working for Madonna or the CIA at the very least. Boy, was I wrong. Even in my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined what I was in for. What my heart was in for. I couldn’t have possibly fathomed the lifestyle, the responsibility, how much it would take out of me, the inner battles, and mostly, the emotional whirlwind. I could never have imagined, prepared myself for, or anticipated…
It was supposed to be a job. Just a temporary job. Just a few months. Just a short stop before the journey I was about to take to follow my dream. It was supposed to be a lot of things…but not this. Little did I know it would be the one event that would shape me, would change me, would bring on such a shift in the balance of my world. Would bring…
Them. Both. Into my life.
*UNPLUGGED is the first part in a two-part series; it has a cliffhanger-ish ending.
Excerpt #3 With my teeth sank deep into butter and honey toast, I raise my eyes toward the kitchen door at the sound of heavy steps shuffling my way. I freeze mid-chew when my stare meets the person who just entered through the vast double door. I gape at the six-foot-something man who scratches his bare abs and yawns.
What the what?
Before me, tall, groggy, tattooed, blinking away sleep, stands the Tyler Lee Adams. As in the rocker god, Ty Lee Adams. All glorious, barefoot, and worn jeans, the first button undone. I try to swallow the contents in my mouth and “elegantly” choke. Coughing a couple of times, my hands dart for my teacup. I gulp half of the warm liquid and cough some more. At my salvation attempt, Tyler Lee Adams’ eyes narrow my way. For a few long beats, he just stands there, watching me as I attempt not to die.
“What you doing here?”
“Excuse me?” I cough once more while patting my chest.
“How’d you manage to stick around? Fun is over, babe, you have to leave now.”
“Um . . . ” Wha? I blink.
He produces a hundred-dollar bill from his back pocket and slams it on the table in front of me. “Order a cab, get your stuff, and leave.”
My lips part, and I blink some more. “What? Cab?”
His eyes twitch in annoyance. He shakes his head just as the bulb in my head lights up with last night’s midnight encounter.
He thinks we hooked up!
“Hold on, you think we . . . you and me, we . . . in which universe, exactly?” I snicker and light heat covers my cheeks, a product of the implied subject and, to a greater degree, irritation. His intimidating stare deepens. “Um, sir, believe me, you got it all wrong. I, well, sort of work here.”
Author Sigal Ehrlich
About the Author Sigal Ehrlich is a bestselling author of refreshing, fun, and sweet romance books. She loves books, cold weather, and the occasional bubbly drink. Living as an expat for most of her life, Sigal has been lucky enough to visit many exotic places and meet some unique people from all corners of the world, while experiencing the sweet triumphs and travails of trying to acclimate to new “homes.” Currently, Sigal calls the Czech Republic home where she lives with her husband and three kids.
Today is release day for THE START OF SOMEDAY, the third book in the adult contemporary romance series, Cedar Point, by Jillian Liota. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive release day excerpt.
THE START OF SOMEDAY (Cedar Point Series #3) by Jillian Liota
Synopsis ABBY FULLER wants to have a little fun. Sure, she wants a relationship… someday. But for now, a little heat is exactly what the cold weather calls for. Breaking her own rules, she tumbles into bed with a handsome tourist passing through town…only to find him standing in her living room the following day.
JACKSON PAGE is only in town for business. He isn’t expecting a sexy little something with the woman who hits on him at the bar, and he definitely isn’t expecting her to be the younger sister of the friend he’s visiting. Clearly, nothing more can happen between them…no matter how good they are together.
But stolen moments and the magic of the holidays make it seemingly impossible for Abby and Jackson to ignore one very real truth: maybe their one night together could be the start of something more.
A steamy holiday novella set in the Cedar Point series.
Exclusive Excerpt “I bet you could bounce a quarter off that ass.”
A snort from my left has me turning to look at my best friend, and I can’t help but grin at the look of complete exasperation on her face.
“What?” I ask, trying to appear as innocent as possible. “It’s true. You know it is.” Then I return my gaze to the absolutely fantabulous buns that caught my eye in the first place. “I mean…just look at it.”
“Thanks, but I’ll pass.”
Rolling my eyes at Briar’s inability to play with me about this, I continue my attempts at persuasion. “Oh, come on. Having your own boyfriend doesn’t mean you can’t objectively objectify someone else. You’re dating, not blind,” I say, nudging her obnoxiously with my elbow.
Briar narrows her eyes and lets out a long sigh, then finally shoots a quick glance in the direction I’ve been blatantly staring at for the past minute or two.
“I’d give it a solid six out of ten,” she finally says.
My eyes widen, and I seriously begin to wonder if we should just end our friendship right now because…what?
“What?” I say, and not quietly. “That is just…completely false. His ass is at least a nine, easy.”
Briar scrunches her nose and gives her head a little shake. “Mmmmm, those buns aren’t for me.”
I look back at the man in question, trying to understand how in the hell we can have such differing opinions.
This guy is built like a linebacker. Tall and muscular and broad in a way that says he can pick a girl up and toss her over his shoulder. I’ve always wondered what something like that would be like, and I bite my lip, enjoying the way he shifts to dig his wallet out of his back pocket.
“You could not be more wrong,” is all I say, finally refocusing all my attention on her. “But I can manage to forgive you, just this once.”
Briar snorts again and takes another sip of her wine.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that her eyes can no longer acknowledge other sexy men considering the fact that she’s finally ditched the old asshat and found the man of her dreams. Now that she’s all swoony in love, even managing to get her to take a look at Sexy Buns Guy should be considered a success in and of itself. Now, she only has eyes for one man.
About the Author Jillian Liota is a new author writing contemporary romance and new adult fiction. She lives in Kailua, Hawaii with her amazing husband, 2 cats, and 3-legged pup.
She is the author of the new adult romance novel The Keeper, which focuses on a female college soccer goalie, as well as the follow up novella, Keep Away. Her newest release, Like You Mean It, is in the contemporary romance genre and has a more mature voice, as it follows a pregnant mother finding love in a new town. The next novel in the Like You Series, Like You Want It, will be published in Spring 2019
She has a master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and she is passionate about all things improvement, development and organization.
She’s also a big fan of taking walks with her husband and dog Maia, reading romance (obviously), watching a handful of horrible reality TV shows, and exploring the island she calls home. Check out her Contact page for more information on how to connect.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, the third book in the adult romantic suspense series, Maximum Security, by New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL (Maximum Security Series #3) by Kat Martin
Synopsis To prove her father’s innocence, she’ll have to turn a killer’s sights on herself
When her father is accused of espionage and treason, journalist Jessie Kegan has no doubt the man she looked up to her entire life is innocent. Worse yet, before Colonel Kegan can stand trial, he’s found dead of a heart attack…but Jessie knows it was murder. Forcing aside her grief, she’s determined to use her investigative resources to clear her father’s name. But going after the truth means Jessie soon finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who wants that truth to stay buried with her father.
Protecting Jessie Kegan is a job bodyguard Brandon Garrett can’t refuse. Jessie isn’t just a client at Maximum Security—she’s the sister of his best friend, Danny, who was killed in Afghanistan. With dangerous enemies gunning for Jessie from every angle, keeping her safe will mean keeping her close, and Bran finds their mutual attraction growing, though being Danny’s sister puts Jessie out of bounds.
With their backs against the wall, Jessie and Bran will have to risk everything to expose her father’s killer—before his legacy dies with his daughter.
Excerpt #4 They ordered-in Chinese and Bran turned the TV on in the living room, but neither of them were in the mood to watch. Jessie knew exactly what she was in the mood for. She hadn’t thought about sex this much in the last three years. Now, every time she looked at Bran, having sex with him was all she could think of.
Everything about him turned her on. The cadence of his voice, the way he laughed, the way he moved. Just watching him amble across the living room sent a curl of heat into the pit of her stomach.
What would it be like to kiss him? Run her hands over all the lean, hard muscles she had seen and couldn’t get out of her head? What would it be like if he made love to her?
Would she ruin it the way she had when she had tried before? Start thinking about Ray Cummings and the intimate way he had touched her? Conjure images of the rape he had planned to carry out the third night if she hadn’t managed to escape?
Fidgety and unable to relax, she headed for the pool, Bran reluctantly accompanying her. Exercising in the warm water was the perfect stress reliever. She glanced over to where he paced the deck at the opposite end of the pool, tall and lean-muscled, blue-eyed, and built. Nothing better than swimming–except for hours of erotic sex with the man of her fantasies.
It seemed so outrageous she found herself grinning as she stroked to the far end of the pool. She was still smiling when she came up out of the water, dripping and adjusting her swimsuit, just a few feet away from him.
“What’s so funny?” Bran asked, as grumpy tonight as he had been the night before.
She looked into his hard, handsome face and some little devil made her say it. “If you really want to know, I was thinking what it might be like to have wild, uninhibited sex with you.”
Hunger flashed in his eyes so quickly she took a step back. “Is that so,” he drawled, his gaze running over her, assessing every curve her orange-striped bikini displayed.
Her whole body flushed with heat as she realized she wasn’t the only one who’d been thinking about sex.
She swallowed. “I was imagining what it might be like, but I… I know if we tried, I’d screw it up. After Ray, I’ve got, you know, hang-ups.”
His gaze grew more intense. “What kind of hang-ups?”
She picked her towel up off the mesh table next to a lounge chair and quickly dried off, then slipped on her white terrycloth robe. Fortunately, the overhead lights began to flash, signaling it was time for the pool to close.
“Time to leave.” She started walking back to the room, wishing she’d kept her mouth shut. By the time Bran opened the door and checked inside to be sure it was safe, she was starting to relax.
“What hang-ups?” Bran he as he closed the door behind them.
Jessie’s stomach instantly knotted. What had possessed her to mention it? But Bran had opened up to her yesterday, which meant she owed him the same courtesy today.
Trying to appear nonchalant, she shrugged. “You know, kissing’s okay, but if a guy starts touching me, my mind flashes back to Ray Cummings and I-I start thinking about the way he touched me, where he touched me, and pretty soon sex is the last thing I want to happen.”
Bran’s jaw looked iron hard. “He rape you?”
She swallowed and shook her head. “On the third day, just before he got home, I managed to get loose. I couldn’t get out of the basement, so I searched for a weapon.” Her lips trembled as the memory became all too clear. “I found a wooden box and pried a board loose. The board had a nail in the end so I held it like a bat, and I-I waited till he came down the stairs.”
“Go on,” Bran said so softly she felt a chill.
“He always wore this black knit ski mask with a red ring around the mouth, which made him look even more terrifying. Knowing what he planned to do gave me courage. The minute he stepped off the bottom step, I swung the board as hard as I could and smashed him in the side of the head. As soon as he hit the floor, I starting whacking him over and over with the nail in the end of the board. He was unconscious and bleeding when I took off running.”
“Finish it,” Bran said when she paused, more a demand than a request.
Her voice trembled. “The woman in the house next door let me in and called the police. Ray was still unconscious when they got there. Turned out he was a serial rapist. He had abducted four other women and locked them up just like me. Eventually, he released them somewhere, but they couldn’t identify him or the place he had taken them. I was the only one who escaped.”
She was shaking. She didn’t realize she had tears in her eyes till Bran pulled her into his arms.
About the Author Currently living outside Missoula, Montana, Kat Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. Before she started writing, Kat was a real estate broker. During that time, she met her husband, L. J. Martin, an author of Westerns and high-action Thrillers. Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. She spends her winters in Arizona.
“I love to travel and especially like visiting the places where my books are set,” Kat says. “I love history and enjoy spending time in museums and art galleries. My husband and I often stay in out-of-the-way inns and historical houses. It’s fun and it gives a wonderful sense of a by-gone era.”
To date, Kat has over seventeen million copies of her books in print. She is published in more than two dozen foreign countries, including Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, China, Korea, Bulgaria, Russia, England, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Japan and Greece.
Kat is currently writing her next Romantic thriller.
Welcome to the book blitz for EVENTUALLY EVIE, a stand-alone adult contemporary romantic comedy, by Cat Lavoie. See below for the cover, information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
How are you supposed to get your life back on track when the Universe won’t stop messing with you?
After a series of personal and professional setbacks, interior designer Evie Glass has lost faith in herself and the world. The last thing she needs is her loud, boisterous family poking their noses in her business, so that’s why she avoids opening up about anything—especially her love life—during their weekly dinners. Thankfully, her bestie and next-door neighbor, Matilda, always has her back.
When Evie is asked to cat-sit Matilda’s beloved rescue, she’s not thrilled at the prospect. One well-meaning mistake later and a distraught Evie is rushing her furry charge to the ER where she meets and is instantly smitten with Fletcher West, a charming veterinarian who seems to return her interest. That is until they both realize they’ve met before—ten years ago when he was dating her temperamental cousin. Fletch’s break-up with Bee put him at the top of her family’s hit list and makes him the last person Evie should be dating.
In addition to navigating a secret romance with Fletch, Evie must also deal with a demanding new job, an eccentric client from her former life, and an ex who’s suddenly blowing up her phone. She convinces herself she’s got it all under control, but what happens when things start falling apart and Evie learns she’s not the only one keeping secrets?
One thing’s for sure…
Eventually Evie’s got to take a chance—on love, on life, and on herself.
@EventuallyEvie This is thirty-two. It’s completely normal to want to be alone on your birthday, right? (She asks her 5 followers.)
I know my plans for a quiet evening watching TV have been thwarted as soon as I slide the key into the door and hear Matilda’s hushed voice telling—no, ordering—Silas to be quiet. A part of me wants to slowly back away from the door and escape to the diner down the street. Or I could go eat my cold leftovers on a park bench because who doesn’t want to do that on their birthday? A party sounds like the absolute worst right about now. But if my best friend went to the trouble of filling up my apartment with people who want to celebrate the day I was born for some reason, the least I can do is be grateful and play along. I take a deep breath and open the door.
Indeed it is. And what a relief—there are only two people in my apartment, and it happens to be my neighbors from across the hall. I walk into Matilda’s and Silas’s open arms for a group hug, silently grateful I won’t have to pretend I ran out of good wine as I pour out the cheap stuff into plastic flamingo tumblers. And I also won’t have to tidy up. Now that I look around, my apartment looks cleaner than it was before I left. My collection of Designer Daily magazines is neatly stacked on the coffee table instead of scattered on the floor. And there’s the unmistakable aroma of ginger and citrus in the air—Matilda’s favorite designer room spray.
“Did you clean my apartment?” I ask.
Matilda nods, a satisfied grin on her face. “Remember when I said you’d get the rest of your gift on your actual birthday?”
“Of course,” I lie. I’d forgotten about that particular conversation—probably because I overdid it on Pretty in Pink Passion cocktails when she dragged me to a club on Friday night. A large part of that evening remains a blur.
“Well, this is it. I cleaned this place top to bottom and reorganized your bedroom closet and your kitchen cupboards.”
“You are an angel,” I say, which is what I always tell Matilda whenever she does this—the urge to clean is strong with this one. You’d think I wouldn’t like having someone rummage through my apartment and dust-busting every shameful nook and cranny, but in addition to being my best friend, Matilda is also a professional organizer and a proud neat freak. Rearranging a pantry is her idea of a good time, and since I’m such a good friend, I let her go crazy in my closets.
“Oh. And I got you gummy bears,” Silas says, handing me a small gift bag. “I’ve been told to tell you not to eat the entire bag in one sitting.”
I eat candy like it’s a medication keeping me alive. I’ve tried many times to kick the habit, but I always end up at the bodega across the street throwing bags of sour gummy worms on the counter and ripping into them before I even get back home.
“Thank you, Silas.” These aren’t the generic gummy bears I’m used to. They’re made with rosé wine and covered in pink edible glitter. These babies are definitely not surviving the night.
“No problem. Let me go see if I can help M in the kitchen,” Silas says.
“Does Matilda allow you to call her M?” I ask with a wink.
Silas laughs. “It’s tolerated, at best.”
As someone who’s been called by a nickname her entire life, I can’t understand Matilda’s aversion to being called anything other than her baptismal name. We were allowed to call her Tilly—her childhood nickname—for a while, but it recently became blacklisted again after someone (me) decided to rhyme it with silly and turn the whole thing into a Broadway show tune that I kept singing over and over again whenever she came over. Leave it to me to ruin a good thing for everyone.
Silas and Matilda have been dating for a little over a year, and they are the perfect example of completely opposite people coming together and making a perfect couple. And, yes, I am gagging at the words perfect couple. (And rolling my eyes too—that’s how nauseating their cuteness is.) Somehow, they make it work even though he’s messy and distracted and the kind of person who can lose his phone and wallet in the span of a few hours. She’s his calm and levelheaded counterpart who’s never misplaced anything in her entire life but knows exactly what to do and who to call when you lose your phone and wallet.
Author Cat Lavoie
About the Author Cat Lavoie is a chick lit writer from Montreal, Canada.
She loves writing fun and quirky romantic comedies and is the author of BREAKING THE RULES, ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN, PERI IN PROGRESS and MESSING WITH MATILDA.
A fan of all things feline, Cat loves cats and hopes to someday have a house full of them in order to officially become a crazy cat lady. (But one or two cats will do for now.)
If she isn’t reading or writing, Cat enjoys listening to podcasts (mostly comedy and true crime) and watching way too much TV. She fell in love with London many years ago and hopes to go back one day. Cat is currently at work on her next novel.
To connect with Cat and find out more about her books, visit CatLavoie.com and follow @CatLavoieBooks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Welcome to the book blitz for FOREPLAYER, the fourth book in the adult contemporary sports romance series, Rookie Rebels, by USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
FOREPLAYER (Rookie Rebels Series #4) by Kate Meader
She’s got game everywhere but the bedroom. Enter the player who knows exactly how to grade her curves . . .
After a very public breakup and a viral post that declares him the villain, power forward Cal Foreman is taking a timeout from women and relationships to focus on hockey. When Chicago Rebels captain and old friend, Vadim Petrov, “volunteers” him to help train Vadim’s sister Mia, Cal figures he can do a favor for a pal and get ready for the season with his new team. But the imperious Russian would slice a skate blade through Cal’s internal organs if he knew what lessons Mia really wants.
Yeah, not that kind of stickhandling.
Hockey phenom and Olympics hopeful Mia Wallace needs help seducing the man of her dreams. That man is most definitely not Cal Foreman: notorious playboy, thorn in her side, and her brother’s bestie. But surely a guy with his reputed skill set has a few tips on how she can nail her target—which makes him the perfect foreplayer.
Cal knows Mia sees him as merely the warm-up act in her grand plan to win another man, but as they spend more time together, he wonders if that’s enough.
If they could be more.
And if he could convince her he’s worthy of the starting line-up . . . in her heart?
Excerpt #2 She took the phone back. “So I was reading this list of ways to snag a man in the fifties.”
He exploded. “He’s in his fifties?
“No, it was written in the fifties. As in the 1950s?” She tapped a few more times. “It’s ridiculously funny, actually. One of the tips is to walk into a room with a hatbox—”
“Is that code?”
She laughed, full and melodic. His dick reacted predictably.
“I know, some of the stuff is crazy. But a couple of things struck a chord. Like stand in a corner and cry softly so he’ll ask what happened.”
“That’s … ludicrous.” And a genius move. No man would resist asking a woman why she was crying. He took the phone from her again. “You want to go in sounding like a sad sack? What else have we got? Tell him funny stories. Wear a Band-Aid. Ask his advice.” He looked up and grinned, when inside he didn’t feel like grinning at all. He felt like snarling, then punching out all these idiots who needed to be strategized into falling for a woman. “Ah, Mia, is this a cunning ploy to seduce me after all? Does this guy even exist?”
Something changed the moment he said it. Maybe the funny old notion that she might be plotting to seduce him, Cal, and not this other guy, who he fucking hated at this point because he wanted her to think of Cal this way. To work this hard to get him. To want him the way he wanted her.
The charge in the air was thick, electric, so when Mia laughed, he heard her nerves, and it strangely excited him.
“Of course he exists.” She took a sip of her soda.
He tilted his head. “You don’t sound so sure. All this advice-asking could be your way of finding out what works for me. Like asking for a friend but the other way around.” His pulse was racing, not because he believed the nuts-and-bolts of this theory for a damn second, but because he wasn’t alone in thinking about the possibilities. Of them.
It had definitely occurred to her, maybe a vague notion of what it might be like. To touch, to kiss, to want … a bolt of lust thrashed through him and knocked him on his ass.
“You’re crazy, Foreman.” It came out faint and unconvincing.
“Would it work?”
“Would what work?”
Her voice was a whisper. “The cunning ploy to ask you advice about some guy?”
Sometime in the last sixty seconds, she had stepped in closer and he became vaguely aware of his thighs parting, accepting her into their embrace. An invite to get in good and tight against the part of his body that needed her so fucking badly.
“It might,” he said, warming to the hypothetical situation. “You talk about all the things you might be able to do to win him. To seduce him. To make him yours. And all this time, you’re really thinking of me. Of what might work to get my attention. And I’ll tell you here and now, Mia …”
“What?” She licked her lips and his cock turned as hard as the granite countertop he was leaning against.
“I wouldn’t need any games. No pretend crying. Or funny stories. Or wearing a Band-Aid. Or carrying a damn hat box. Because one look at you and I’d be all in. No seduction necessary.”
Her eyelashes fluttered, inky, sooty frames for those lovely eyes, ones he’d happily fall into. Drown in. Die in.
The air zipped with the energy that always existed between them, a thick, drugging force of knowing and what he now realized was recognition. Of seeing inside someone’s soul. He didn’t dare speak in case he ruined whatever was happening.
“No seduction necessary?” The words were a ghosted breath on her lips, almost disbelief in her tone.
“None. No one should need to be tricked into kissing you.”
“Hypothetically,” she whispered.
He watched her mouth, mesmerized by the plumpness of her lips, the dark pink color, the slight quiver that invited him in.
“Hypothetically,” he returned, his mouth so close to hers it would take an act of Congress to move him away. She would have to withdraw because he sure as hell was going nowhere. This was where he wanted to be.
Needed to be.
A small sound emerged from her throat, and with it some sort of plea. He took it as such and took her mouth with his.
About the Author Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.
Welcome to the book blitz for EVIL VILLAIN, the third book in the new adult contemporary romance series, The Royal Court, by Rebel Hart. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
EVIL VILLAIN (The Royal Court Series #3) by Rebel Hart
Synopsis The man I love is missing, and there’s nothing I can do.
I need to find Deon.
All I want is to be in his arms again, but I don’t even know if he’s alive.
The Royal Court has changed dramatically, and we have to learn who we are again while trying to keep ourselves safe.
Will my new steely personality prevent my friends from accepting me?
Will our enemy get to Deon before we can?
Or will I be forced to mourn the death of the love of my life and my friends a second time?
Excerpt #4 When Cherri and I entered the kitchen, all eyes turned to us. Across from me, and much to my surprise, Nathan looked like he was on the brink of tears. Everyone’s glances bounced between us, and even as uncomfortable as it made me, I had to admit it was good to see him. He took a step forward and so did I. He shook his head with a little chuckle and held his arms out for a hug.
And then Sicily jumped in front of him and threw his arms around me.
“Deon!” he whined. “It’s really you! I’ve been dreaming of this day!” Even though there was damn near a foot between us, he squeezed me tightly. “I kept looking for you! Your best friend never gave up.”
“I heard,” I said, finally managing to wedge between us to push him back a few feet, but I set my hands on his shoulders. “Thank you. You took care of Cherri, you never gave up on me. You really are the best friend a guy could ask for.”
What I’d learned about Sicily in the limited time that we had to develop a friendship was that he didn’t do emotions very well. He was a natural jester, and when his feelings started to get the best of him, he did what any good jester did—he played it off with a joke. His feelings about being reunited with me must have gotten the best of him, because he started out kidding, but in the wake of my earnest statement, I watched all of his inner jokester fade away.
“Deon,” he said in his serious tone, an octave lower than his usual jubilant tone. “You’re like, the first real friend I ever had, and as much as I hated thinking you were out there in a ditch somewhere, if that hadn’t happened…” He looked past me to Cherri. “I wouldn’t have made the second real friend I ever had.”
Cherri stepped forward and slid between Sicily and me to pull him into a big hug. When she released him, I pulled her back so her back was against my stomach and put a hand on Sicily’s head. “You’re the first real friend I ever had too. When I went missing, you looked after the most important people in my life, my queen…” I looked across at Nathan. “And my brother.”
In an instant, Sicily turned back into the class clown, and his typical tone was back. “Oh! He called me his friend! Nathan did.” He looked back at him. “Tell him.”
Nathan nodded. “I did say that, and I’ve regretted it ever since.”
Everyone chuckled a little, then Cherri stepped aside and dragged Sicily with her. I finished crossing the kitchen, and doing something I honestly never thought I’d do, I pulled Nathan into a huge bear hug. I closed my eyes and breathed in the moment—actually bonding with a brother I hated. We had something that bonded us more than anything else ever could.
The manipulation of Connor Loche.
“So,” Nathan said, pulling away. “How about that dad of ours?”
I shrugged. “I don’t see him as my dad.”
Nathan nodded. “Oh good, I don’t either.”
Colette raised her hand. “Don’t you have to acknowledge that he’s your dad to some extent? Otherwise you wouldn’t be brothers.”
“No,” Nathan and I said in unison, and it brought that concept to an end in a flash.
“He’s done all he needed to do in making us brothers by spreading his seed,” Nathan said.
I nodded. “And now it’s time to stop him so he can’t bring that level of harm to anyone else.”
About the Author Rebel Hart is an author of Dark and Contemporary Romance novels. Her debut series is a #1 Amazon Bestseller called Diamond In The Rough. It’s a High School Bully Romance with four books and a novella. Book one is Play With Me.
Text REBEL to 77948 to don’t miss any of her books (US only) or sign up at the bottom of the page to get an email alert when her next book is out.
Welcome to the book blitz for MURDER MITTENS, the thirteenth book in the adult paranormal romantic comedy series, Magical Romantic Comedies, by USA Today bestselling author, R.J. Blain, releasing December 25, 2020. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
MURDER MITTENS (Magical Romantic Comedies Series #13) by R.J. Blain
Synopsis Becoming a bounty hunter and taking on the call sign of Murder Mittens wasn’t Harri’s brightest move, but what’s a lynx to do with millions of debt while working a customer service gig? The scars deforming her face won’t remove themselves, and she’ll bag and tag every criminal in the United States to get rid of them if necessary.
Being assigned a handler could make or break her, but did the powers that be really have to toss Sebastian Sumners her way? The lion with a stubborn streak as wide as hers tests her patience on a good day, but nothing makes her purr more than goading him into roaring.
Add in a protective family, a serial killer on the loose, and more trouble than any one cat needs, and it’s going to take a miracle for Harri to get through the most important job of her life.
Warning: contains magic, humor, cranky shapeshifters, cats, murder, and mayhem. Proceed with caution.
Excerpt #1 Above all, I hated the rule that we were not supposed to hang up on clients. It wasted time. Had I been allowed to just hang up, I would have wished him a good day, disconnected the call, and began the tedious process of adding notes to his file so the next customer service representatives stuck with him knew they had trouble on their hands.
My phone rang, but instead of a customer, my phone reported my boss wanted to speak with me. With slumped shoulders, I accepted his call and answered, “Sir?”
“I listened in on your Code Red.”
I hated when my boss actively monitored my calls; thanks to how the system worked, he could listen in on me at any time. But, a job was a job, and with my scarred face, finding a job became troublesome at best—and nobody in the call center knew or cared what I looked like. Oh, well. Before I jumped to conclusions, I’d ask. “What’s my grade, sir?”
“You did fine. You stayed professional, you didn’t come across as too condescending, and frankly, there’s no sane tech on this planet stays totally cool a Code Red. It could have been much worse.”
I checked the clock, breathing a sigh of relief that I’d hit the end of my shift and wouldn’t have to take any more calls. “What do you need?”
“I had a question about your schedule. You’re off for the next week, correct?”
“Yes, sir.” I had plans, and they involved the International Most Wanted List along with every legal bounty list I had managed to get my hands on in the past month. If my boss tried to put an end to my hard-earned vacation, I’d finally do what I should have done months ago, snap, and quit.
I wanted him to cross my last line so badly.
“Ted wants an extra shift. How would you feel about an unpaid day added to your vacation? I’ve already gotten approval if you’d like to claim the unpaid day.”
Score. I’d bid for time off almost a year ago, but sick days were the bare minimum the state allowed, which accounted to five for the entire year. An extra day tacked onto my vacation might let me bag an extra bounty.
Any day I bagged an extra bounty was a good day in my opinion.
“I can take an unpaid day, sir. That’s fine. Can you send me an email confirming the unpaid day off?”
“It’ll be in your inbox within the next ten minutes, and I’ll CC human resources notifying them you’re excused for that day.”
“Okay. Will the rest of my schedule remain the same once I’m back from vacation?”
“Yes. Ted just asked for extra hours, and the others with seniority declined the day off.”
I bet; on our income, every hour mattered. Most who worked for the call center had seen better days. I lived like I’d seen better days and I looked like I’d seen better days, but appearances lied. I only worked at the call center to maintain appearances. Thanks to depression in my teens and therapy that hadn’t gone like my parents had wanted, my entire family demanded I check in at least three times a week to ensure I remained human.
They believed if they took their eyes off me, I might shift into a lynx and never come back.
Two years ago, they wouldn’t have been wrong, but I’d found a new purpose in life.
Author by R.J. Blain
About the Author RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.
Welcome to the book blitz for ENTICED, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, The Fullerton Family Saga, by Ginger Voight. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
ENTICED (The Fullerton Family Saga #1) by Ginger Voight
Synopsis Rachel Dennehy had a crazy thought. If she could just start over somewhere else, she could forget about all the ghosts that chased her. When an email landed in her inbox, to tutor a difficult student whose father just happened to be a prominent businessman, the apple was a bit too enticing for Rachel to refuse. She moves to Beverly Hills, where she is tasked with turning around young Jonathan Fullerton’s bad attitude, one that stems directly from his parents’ ugly divorce and even uglier custody battle.
That Drew Fullerton is one of the handsomest and most eligible bachelors in the world means nothing to Rachel. Drew’s brother, Alex, however, assumes otherwise. This sets the two immediately at odds, though they both have young Jonathan’s best interest at heart. Unfortunately the more he tries to warn her away from Drew, the closer he ultimately propels her toward her charming boss.
Rachel stays solely to protect young Jonathan, trapping her into this sticky web despite her own history of loss and betrayal. How long will she last? More importantly, what will she be required to give to save these Fullerton men who continually tug her in three different directions?
Excerpt “Maybe I’m keeping you too busy,” he mused as his eyes scanned my face. “A young woman such as yourself must have certain… needs.”
I shook my head. “You know better than that, Drew.”
“Do I?” he asked softly. “You’re human, flesh and blood. Certainly there are moments when you simply yearn for the touch of another.”
His voice was low and hypnotic. It stirred that very longing as if summoning it from the dead. “Listen, Drew…about what you saw…”
He flung the expensive jewelry onto my crumbled bedcovers. He stepped close enough to pull me towards him. “Tell me, Rachel,” he continued as he fit my body against his hardening contours, “do you long to be held? To be kissed?” He bent toward me and whispered, “To be taken?”
My brain scrambled as he lifted me up to crush his mouth on mine. It was every dream realized, though I was blissfully conscious. I groaned under him as he parted my lips and dominated my mouth. Every alarm in my head sounded, but my treacherous body ignored each and every one as it strained for him with a hunger so strong I was powerless to control it.
His fingers wound in my hair as he stole the very breath from my lungs with each kiss. His mouth dragged to my neck, his breath hot in his ear. “Tell me you want me, Rachel.”
I shuddered against him. “Drew…”
“Tell me,” he begged in a hoarse whisper as his hands slid down the arch of my back and over the curve of my hip.
My hands braced on his chest, but instead of pushing myself away, my palms delighted in how solid and real he felt. It sent a jolt through my entire body. “I don’t want you,” I eked out in a pitiful whisper.
“Liar,” he growled as he picked me up into his arms and carried me around to the bed. He followed me down onto the firm mattress.
Author Ginger Voight
About the Author Ginger Voight is a screenwriter and bestselling author with nearly thirty published novels. Having covered everything from travel to politics as a nonfiction freelancer, she is unafraid to explore multiple genres like romance, paranormal, and dark, “ripped from the headlines” mainstream fiction with surprising depth.
Ginger discovered her love for writing in sixth grade, courtesy of a Halloween assignment. From then on, writing became a place of solace, reflection, and security. This was never more true than when she found herself homeless in L.A. at the age of nineteen. There, she wrote her first novel, longhand on notebook paper, while living out of her car.
In 1995, after she lost her nine-day-old son, she worked through her grief by writing the story that would eventually become The Fullerton Family Saga.
In 2011, she embarked on a new journey–to publish romance novels starring heroines who look more like the average American woman. These “Rubenesque” romances have developed a following thanks to her bestselling Groupie series. Other titles, such as the highly-rated New Adult series, Fierce, tap into the “reality-TV” preoccupation in American entertainment, which gives her contemporary stories a current, pop culture edge.
Known for writing gut-twisting angst, Ginger isn’t afraid to push the envelope with characters who are perfectly imperfect. Whether rich, poor, sweet, selfish, gay, straight, curvy or svelte, her characters are beautifully flawed and three-dimensional. They populate her lavish fictional landscapes and teach us more about the real world in which we live simply through their interactions with each other. Ginger’s goal with every book is to give the reader a little bit more than they were expecting, told through stories they’ll never forget.
Welcome to the book blitz for AIN’T SHE SWEET, the second book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Seven Brides for Seven Mothers, by Whitney Dineen. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
AIN’T SHE SWEET (Seven Brides for Seven Mothers Series #2) by Whitney Dineen
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: AIN’T SHE SWEET Series: Seven Brides for Seven Mothers Series #2 Author: Whitney Dineen Release Date: December 15, 2020 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romantic Comedy Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT
Synopsis Tara Heinz began her modeling career at the tender age of twelve. After spending fifteen years drooling over forbidden foods, she does the unthinkable. She enrolls in culinary school and becomes a pastry chef.
After a nasty breakup with her rock star boyfriend that leads to tabloid war, Tara takes a job at a rural lodge in Oregon to escape the spotlight she no longer desires.
James Cavanaugh is a farmer in Oregon. His days are spent building his business and his nights are spent sleeping, so he can get up at four in the morning.
Ruby Cavanaugh has plans for her son that involve her new pastry chef. Of course, neither James nor Tara know what’s going on until it’s too late.
Excerpt #3 James is dawdling behind me on the way back to the lodge from the garden site. He’s moving as quickly as if he were on his way to have his legs amputated. “Hurry up, I have tons of stuff to do today,” I snap at him.
“I think I’ll just head home,” he says, veering his trajectory toward the parking lot.
“Get back here,” I order. “For some reason, your mom wants me involved in this garden. Being that she’s my boss, I’m going to do what she’s asked. Unless you want me to tell her you can’t be bothered consulting me, that is.”
“Are you seven years old? You’re going to tell my mom on me?”
He’s got a point. James definitely brings out the child in me, and not in a good way.
“The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can part ways,” I tell him. I don’t think I’ve ever annoyed a man as much as I do this one. Okay, there was that makeup artist who told me his makeup brush wasn’t a wand when I complained about how he applied my blush, but other than him, I usually get on pretty well with men.
“What kind of flowers do you want in the garden?” James asks like it’s causing him physical pain to do so.
“Obviously nasturtiums and roses, but I’d like dahlias, pansies, and violets, too.”
“Obviously …” he mumbles under his breath before asking louder, “What about hops?”
“I make a mean, stout brownie. I could use hops in it to add a sort of sedative effect.” Desserts tend to use a lot of things that are meant to soothe the palate after a big meal. Mint and lavender are two of the more common herbs, but hops would be a nice addition.
James interrupts my thoughts by asking, “Why did you come to Oregon?” He sounds perturbed again, or should I say, still.
“Clearly, because I somehow knew it would irritate you and I couldn’t help myself,” I fire back.
“Seriously,” his tone evens out to an almost conversational level. “You don’t seem the type to live someplace outside of the fast lane.”
“You don’t know me.”
“I know plenty. For instance, I know you were on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition four times by the time you were twenty-five, I know you were engaged to Romaine Choate, and I know you can swear in French.”
“Caught that episode of Jimmy Fallon, did you?”
“I think the whole world watched that one.” His eyes twinkle with amusement.
“Part of the fun of being interviewed on late night television is the ability to be a bit salty. I simply took advantage of the situation.” Not to mention, Jimmy Fallon has a decent sense of humor about himself and he likes when people don’t fawn all over him. Although, I’m sure he would have forgiven me almost anything thanks to the dress I was wearing. Men seem to have a hard time concentrating when an attractive woman is practically painted into her clothes.
A whisper of a smile crosses James’s face before he says, “It takes talent to call someone an effing gasbag and have them laugh at it.”
“If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were a fan.”
He rears up and stops moving as soon as the words are out of my mouth. “Fan? No. I may have appreciated your physical attributes from time to time, but I was never a fan. Please disabuse yourself of that notion immediately.”
“Yet I recall your mom telling me that you hung my posters on your wall when you were in high school.” I can’t help myself; I have to tease him about that.
“Just because I liked the way you look on the outside doesn’t mean I like you.”
“That’s very superficial,” I tell him.
“Seems to me the whole modeling business is superficial. You’d think you’d know that being part of it for so long.”
There is no getting along with this guy, so I stop trying. We make the rest of the trek back to the lodge in total silence, which is far preferable to the conversation we had been having.
About the Author Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order. Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.
Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.
Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.
Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.
Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.
Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017
Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017
Welcome to the blog tour for THE LUCKY ONES, the seventh book in the adult contemporary romance series, Love Is…, by Cassie Cross. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
THE LUCKY ONES (Love Is…Series #7) by Cassie Cross
Synopsis Kendall Moore’s professional life has never been better. She’s an in-demand video editor who’s just started her own business, and that business is booming. She rarely has a moment to relax and has completely thrown herself into her work, which is just the way that she likes it. There’s just one tiny issue in her pursuit of professional and personal happiness: she’s getting burned out.
Of course, it doesn’t help that she’s hopelessly and secretly in love with her totally off-limits business partner, Jordan.
Jordan Murphy is an aspiring filmmaker with a past that he’s desperate to put behind him. When an opportunity arises to go to Vegas and film for a project he’s working on, he gets Kendall to agree to come along with him. After he makes a lucky bet that leads to a weekend full of fun, unexpected confessions, and a visit to a wedding chapel that neither one of them can remember, Kendall and Jordan head home wondering if what happened in Vegas should stay in Vegas…
Excerpt #2 He told me that I’d know where to find him, and after a few minutes of thinking about it, I knew where he’d be. We’d come to Vegas for a convention a few years ago, and came here one day during a break in the schedule. We explored a little, but I was absolutely taken with the autumn display in the conservatory. He snapped a picture of me cracking up laughing next to the display of bears digging into a honey jar. He printed it out and has it on his desk in his office.
He says it’s his favorite picture of me, probably because I look like a complete goober. I’m certain it’ll be used in some kind of blackmail against me in the future.
I head over to the conservatory, and sure enough, there he is. He’s in this amazing black suit that fits him so well it looks like it must be custom tailored. He’s wearing a red tie, and has his hands shoved in his pockets, looking like an freaking model.
I take a couple steps closer, and he turns and looks in my direction, like he senses my presence. He looks absolutely stunned for a second, then his gaze settles on me and there’s barely concealed want in his eyes.
It sends a rush right through me. This dress is magic.
It’s cheesy, I know, but in that moment it’s just him and me, and the rest of the world falls away.
Jordan’s the only one who’s ever been able to make me feel this way. It started from the moment I met him years ago, and these feelings I have for him have been following me around ever since. I’ve tried to date them away with men who couldn’t even remotely compare to him. It wasn’t a fair fight. And now here he is, looking at me like this, and I want to believe that Skye is right. I want to believe that he feels the same way about me. Moments like this one make me think it’s a possibility, but as soon as I start to get lost in it, the reality of our situation comes crashing down.
There’s so much on the line that could be ruined if things didn’t work out.
He smiles, and all those doubts melt away.
“Wow,” he says, running the palm of his hand down the length of my arm. I don’t even know if he realizes that he’s done it, and the touch leaves goosebumps in its wake. His eyes drift down to take me in, lingering on the skin revealed by the plunging neckline.
He reaches out to me again, like he wants to touch me everywhere at once and doesn’t know where to start.
“Ken,” he breathes. “You’re beautiful.”
Get Caught up on the Series – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
About the Author Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80’s sitcoms.
Welcome to the book blitz for HER MARINE NEXT DOOR, a stand-alone contemporary romance, by Aliyah Burke. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis My next door neighbor Parker Jax is not my type. He’s covered in tats, rides a motorcycle, and his parties keep me up all night. The fact he’s sexy as sin doesn’t change the fact we are oil and water.
I’m a quiet artist. He’s a rowdy marine. I’ve got a broken heart. I’m convinced he doesn’t have a heart at all.
Thankfully, my bad-boy neighbor is on leave from the Marines for only thirty days. But then the jerk has to go and show me that he has a soft side beneath all those hard muscles. He actually leaves his own party to help me, and he didn’t even have to.
Fantastic. Now I owe him.
I’m not worried, though. What are the chances he’ll need me to do anything before the month is up?
But when a woman shows up with a kid at her side, knocking on Parker’s door, it turns out those chances are pretty good…
Excerpt #2 “She doesn’t need any help moving wood. If it has to happen, I’ll handle it. Like I’ve been doing.”
That deep reverberating voice tore through the flimsy barrier she’d pretended she’d erected while staying away from him for the afternoon.
“And you are?” Dr. Morse asked.
“I’d be the fiancé.” Parker stared at her, looking like he just walked off some sexy tattooed man cover.
Instant heat hit her, making her knees weak and her mouth dry. It’s not fucking fair. Even now, right here, there wasn’t any way to ignore the pull he had on her. Not just on her hormones, but her.
“Interesting.” Dr. Morse reached out his hand. “Dr. Morse. I’m sorry, I had no idea Skylar was engaged.” He made a pointed look down to her left hand that was suspiciously empty of a ring.
Parker drew her close to his side, which happened to be the one of Parker’s furthest away from her doctor. His fingers flexed along her waist, but the smile never left his face. “You know Skylar, she’s not one who likes the limelight. We’re keeping it quiet until my woman here, picks a date.” Only then did he shake the man’s hand.
He kissed her temple and she stewed but kept her mouth shut. He wasn’t playing by the rules, but then, she shouldn’t have expected him to do so.
“I didn’t know you were coming to the doctor today, baby. I would have brought you.”
She forced a smile into her tone. “I thought you were busy and didn’t want to concern you. Just a checkup on my hand.”
Skylar had no doubt he saw far more than she wanted him to about that matter.
“We can get lunch on the way home. I had to take Mrs. O’Neary to a bridge game, so I swung by here after I dropped her off and did my physical therapy.” Parker looked back to Dr. Morse. “I’m sorry, we should get going, I’m sure you’re a busy man. Thanks for fixing up my woman.”
Not a single person in that room missed out on the utter proprietary claim Parker put on her with that statement. She swore every one of them also turned to look at them. Dr. Morse, thankfully, just gave a patented smile and pushed his hands in his lab coat.
“Just doing my job.” He dismissed Parker. “I meant what I said back there, Skylar. Take it easy. Call and set something up if it starts hurting again. Your knuckles will be sore a bit longer but at least they’re not broken.”
“Thank you,” she said.
Parker’s grip on her clamped down when she tried to move away from him. The moment they were outside, she tried once more to put some distance between them. Again, only to be denied.
She saw her truck there and reached for the driver’s door only to stop when he snorted and drew her back by him.
“Woman,” he growled. “You’re not driving. And when we’re on the way you’re going to tell me what the fuck is going on that you had to get back to the doctor.”
And that way of saying woman, still had that ability to turn her into a small pile of mush.
He opened the driver’s door and lifted her to the seat.
“This is my truck,” she protested.
He cocked a black brow in her direction, a taunting smirk on his face. “Keys are down the front of my pants, want to go after them?”
Hell yes. Her grin more feral than anything. “Aren’t you afraid something down there is going to be jealous with the keys outsizing them?”
His eyes, more green than blue right now, blazed with heat.
Author Aliyah Burke
About the Author Aliyah Burke is an avid reader and is never far from pen and paper (or the computer). She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at http://aliyah-burke.com/blog/contact/
She is married to a career military man, they have four Borzoi. Her days are spent sharing her time between work, writing, and dog training/showing.
Synopsis Poignant and uplifting, Cemetery Songs is a compelling YA about a girl, a ghost, and the graveyard that sends them both on a journey of self-acceptance.
When Polly Stone’s birthmother dies, she feels lost and adrift. How do you mourn someone you never knew? Even the dead, whose final thoughts Polly can hear, offer no advice.
Instead Polly fails her classes, alienates her friends, gets fired from her summer job, and accidentally sets fire to the high school. At a loss, Polly’s parents ground her and insist she volunteer at the local archives.
The dusty boxes are boring, but Polly is intrigued by her assignment: mapping an abandoned Black settlement on the edge of town. At the very least, it gives her time to examine her confused feelings for Billy Meyer, a former classmate who is also blackmailing her.
Amid weedy tombstones, Polly and Billy encounter the charming ghost of Harrison Card, who died in 1924. Sensing there’s more to the story than Harrison can recall, the unlikely trio investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.
The discoveries are unnerving, especially since the ugly racist history reflects some of Polly’s own experiences as a biracial teenager. Past and present collide when Polly’s attempts to help Harrison go tragically wrong. As Polly grapples with the consequences of her actions, she must decide if she is brave enough to heed the wisdom of the dead.
Excerpt “You about ready?” I ask as I sit in the grass at the corner of the gravestone.
“Sure,” Billy says, sitting back on his heels. He swings the flashlight to illuminate his handiwork. A series of objects is arranged around the perimeter of the grave. Nearest me is a chipped coffee mug with the Monroe city logo on it. Next to that there’s a single golf glove and a pile of tees. A worn dog leash curls in the corner, nestled against a plastic water dish.
“He’s the guy who died at his desk, isn’t he?” I ask. “Like two weeks ago or something.” My mom mentioned it over dinner the other night, the city employee who’d been physically fit but plagued with anger management issues. Apparently he died in the middle of a conversation.
“Yeah, that’s him. You know him?”
“No, but I’m about to.”
I wrap my hands around the mug, drawing in a few deep, clean breaths and turning my attention to Arnold Weber, sliding into his mind, or whatever’s left of it.
He died during an argument, I learn. What the hell, Scott? was his final thought. I hold the mug tighter and images start to appear in my mind. I see the inside of an office paneled in wood and carpeted in gray. There’s an industrial desk dominating the small space, buttressed by several filing cabinets. A clock ticks on the desk and I see that it’s golf-themed and inscribed with the word “Pinehurst.”
A wave of memories rushes through me as I amplify Arnold’s mind further. I see a woman’s blonde hair shot gray at the temples, her eyes tired and distant. I see the same woman in a photograph, younger, her eyes wary but hopeful beneath the veil of her wedding dress. I see a parade of children and I see Arnold and the woman standing near this very spot on a cold, October day, watching as a tiny coffin is laid into the ground.
There are more memories. Christmas morning, Halloween night. Endless meetings and workshops where the phrases “organic synergy” and “workflow analysis” rattle around sterile conference tables. There’s a cruise in the Bahamas where everyone got sick and another to Alaska where they saw whales. As I release the mug, there’s one last image of Arnold as a college student, skipping over the art class that tugs at his pen and reluctantly signing up for an accounting class instead.
I can feel myself return to the surface, can hear Arnold’s voice yelling at Scott in my mind. Before I break through into consciousness, I hear the words “Jessam Crossing” and a voice says, “She can’t use what she can’t find.” Then I’m back in my own body, crouching over a mound of earth.
Billy is studying me.
“How long was I gone?” I ask.
“About thirty minutes. You okay?”
“What did you learn?” he asks.
“Lots.” I shake my head. “Lots of images and memories. I’m not sure where to start.”
“I can ask you the security questions when I find them,” Billy says, his voice low.
“Might be easier,” I interrupt. I clamber to my feet and we start walking back to the truck. I’m concentrating so hard on trying to recall other snippets of the conversation that I step into a badger hole and stumble to my knees.
“I gotcha,” Billy says. His hands slide from behind me to cup my elbows and leverage me to my feet. When I’m standing again, I’ve got my back to him. We’re not touching, other than his hands at my elbows, but I can sense him, his entire body towering over me, sheltering me. It’s electric. I swallow and feel my breath speed up. He moves a hair closer to me, his chest against my back, his legs brushing mine. He’s so much taller than me but I feel tall and strong standing here like this. His head dips and I can feel his breath on my neck.
“Polly—” he says, just as a bat swoops overhead, breaking the spell. I jump and take a few steps toward the truck.
“I should get home,” I say. I put my hand over my throat to conceal the rapid flutter of my heart, even though I know he can’t see it in the dark anyway.
“Let’s go,” he says at last, his voice gravelly. We go back to the truck and don’t talk the rest of the way.
Author Julie Gilbert
About the Author Although Julie K. Gilbert’s masterpiece, The Adventures of Kitty Bob: Alien Warlord Cat, has sadly been out of print since Julie last stapled it together in the fourth grade, she continues to write. Her short fiction, which has appeared in numerous publications, explores topics ranging from airport security lines to adoption to antique wreaths made of hair. Julie makes her home in southern Minnesota with her husband and two children.
Welcome to the book blitz for A SWEET, SOFT GLOW, a stand-alone adult thriller, by Joshua Magnotta. See below for, information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.
Synopsis In the ten years since John Malley lost his wife and daughter, he has slowly faded into obscurity in a rural Pennsylvania town. He spends his days at the local bar and tries to numb the pain of his loss. That is, until Ted’s Dead Rose Tavern becomes the home of the biggest mass killing in the history of the town. John, the lone survivor of the killing-spree, is forced on the run. He heads north where he hopes to hide out at his brother’s house.
Meanwhile, in New York City, young Melanie Parker investigates a disturbing new trend she discovered online. From what she has learned, metallic black bands worn along the forearm are responsible for some form of mind control. Skeptical of this theory, Melanie embarks on a night time excursion that places her in the middle of a riot in the middle of the city. Melanie fights for her life as chaos spreads throughout the city.
As John witnesses the events in New York, he is compelled to take action. But once in the city, John is forced to confront his past.
Excerpt #3 He felt a soft, cool touch on his arm. He opened his eyes, and to his right, standing next to him in the rain was Elly. Tears streamed down her cheeks, her hands outstretched toward her father. John let go of the gun and rushed to her. He swept her off her feet and held her close. Her small arms squeezed him around his neck like they always had. She was here; he could feel her heart beating against his chest as he held her tight to him.
“Elly,” he cried, his tears fell into her locks of golden-brown hair.
“Daddy,” she said.
Her arms still tightly around his neck, Elly leaned back so John could see her face. Her bright blue eyes shone back at him. And there it was, that smile he missed so much. Her face was bright, ebullient as always.
Then she was gone. John’s arms were still locked in her embrace, but she was no longer there. When he blinked, he could see her like the image on a polaroid coming into focus except in reverse. Each time he blinked, she became a little less. His head was numb, and he suddenly felt lightheaded.
Author Joshua Magnotta
About the Author Josh Magnotta has been a resident of northern Pennsylvania for most of his life. Throughout his early life and teenager years he was an avid writer but during college drifted away from the passion as work and other priorities took precedence. In 2014 he graduated from college and soon began working swing shift in a factory. It was here, during off shifts where Josh would read during the night to stay awake, that his passion for writing was rekindled. After leaving the factory-life behind Josh went back to college and began work on his first novel, A Sweet, Soft Glow. He has since been writing ever since.