USA Today bestselling author, Kennedy Layne, is unveiling brand new covers to all eight books in her adult romantic suspense/military romance series, Red Starr. See below for the new covers, information on the books, and buy links. STARR’S AWAKENING, book 1 in the series, is now available for free.
Synopsis From USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne comes a thrilling hostage rescue series that will lead you down perilous paths of passion, intrigue and suspense…
Catori Starr has been lost in a crippling grief since losing her husband, Red. Since learning he went MIA on a rescue mission abroad, she has existed more than lived. She’s a shell of who she used to be. Restarting Red Starr HRT is a last-ditch opportunity to overcome her pain–and keep her husband’s legacy alive. With a team of cherry-picked men, she must now decide if she’s willing to set aside a years-old grief to begin a new life filled with the potential of fated dreams…or deadly peril.
Neal Bauer tried returning home once before and he found that some things aren’t meant to be. When Red Starr HRT, a paramilitary hostage rescue team, offered him a position that would use his specialized skillset that had served him well in the military–he jumped at the chance.
The past has a way of returning…
Charlotte Whitefall has made some really bad decisions in her life…leaving Neal Bauer standing at the altar tops the list. Growing up in Hearth, Missouri has taught her that when someone leaves their small town, they don’t return. She saved Neal from a painful choice by moving on with her life and raising her sister alone.
When a local cult invades the town of Hearth, the citizens do their best to stay clear of the members. Everything changes when Charlotte’s little sister is drawn into their way of life. There is only one man who has the connections to eliminate the dangerous threat. Can Charlotte persuade Neal to come home long enough to rescue her sister? More importantly, can she convince him that she made a terrible mistake all those years ago–and possibly rekindle their smoldering passion?
Synopsis USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne continues the Red Starr series with a nail-biting mission that will leave you turning the pages well into the night…
Daegan Murphy lives life the way it’s meant to be lived…not a care in the world. With his motorcycle, sniper rifle, and career choice, some might think he has a death wish. But he’s got a family who loves him, team members that count on him, and hostages to rescue. He wouldn’t purposefully put himself in death’s crosshairs because he knows what it’s like to be the one left behind.
Ferrin Hewitt believes everything has order and her years in the military reflected that. She runs her civilian life as disciplined and organized as the Navy taught her. So why is it that she finds herself attracted to a former Marine who lives his life on the edge and completely opposite of what she believes in?
Ferrin’s assignment is simple–to keep those saving others safe. When the worst happens and the blame is put on her, Daegan is the only one to come to her defense. She knows help is never given without strings and when their search for the truth leads to a passion she can’t control, the one thing she’ll need rescued is her heart.
Synopsis USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne continues the Red Starr series with a highly explosive hostage rescue mission that will leave you riveted until the very end…
Aaron “Stick” Scott spent twelve years of his life protecting his country. He diffused well over fifteen hundred bombs during the course of his military career, expecting each one to be his last. Luck had a huge part in his survival but it was fate that had a laugh at his expense by having a woman shatter his heart.
Playing it safe…
Simone Laurent’s career as a cultural attaché wasn’t exciting by any means, but she did love promoting the culture of her homeland. What she hadn’t anticipated was getting caught up in political war where her life would be at risk. Her situation goes from bad to worse when the man she left behind is the only one who can save her.
Stick’s hostage rescue mission becomes sidetracked when he’s ordered to protect the one woman who couldn’t handle his job. Seeing her in the light of day brings back memories they’d both rather soon forget, but it’s the long evenings together that lights a fuse neither one can ignore. Will their reignited passion survive the highly explosive danger that’s coming their way?
Synopsis Searching for the truth finally unlocks multiple secrets in this exciting continuation of the Red Starr series by USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne…
Searching for the truth…
Kane “Gunny” Taylor has spent over a year searching for answers in his sister’s death. That time has culminated in the form of a land, air, and sea rescue operation conducted to save the lives of abducted schoolchildren in her honor. He thought he would find peace in this mission, but what he found was so much more.
Jade Amherst knows only too well the meaning of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She’s been held captive for over seventeen months and she’s counted every day, hour, and minute that passed. The rescue mission seemed surreal, the reason behind it so poignant, and the man who led the operation all too real—only she couldn’t move forward without putting her past behind her.
Gunny finally returns home after being gone for far too long, another successful mission behind him, and a potential future with a beautiful woman who was so much more. He should have known better than to think things would be easy. Jade’s past comes back with a vengeance and another hostage situation ensues. Will they be as fortunate a second time around?
FULFILLING PROMISES (Red Starr #6) by Kennedy Layne
Synopsis An unforgettable mission hits close to home in this continuation of the Red Starr series by USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne…
John “Trigger” Dixon returned to his small hometown in rural Mississippi as a favor to an old high school friend. It was meant to be a quick trip, with a short visit to his parents and an afternoon spent spoiling his two nephews. He should have known his vacation wouldn’t go as planned. The rebel in him always got in the way.
Devyn Wilde had lived up to her surname according to the townsfolk–at least by reputation. She’d never let it bother her before, but she’d finally had enough after she was brought in for questioning by the police for her brother’s murder. How could anyone believe that she would forsake her family? In the south, family comes before anyone or anything.
Trigger had last seen Devyn right before he’d joined the Red Starr Hostage Rescue Team, both of them agreeing to end their casual relationship. After all, it had been a temporary diversion–friends with benefits. He hadn’t expected to find that she was a suspect in a homicide investigation, secretly investigating her brother’s mysterious murder. Their sweet passion returns full force despite the danger, but keeping an old promise might just cost him his life.
Synopsis USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne continues the Red Starr series in a build-up to the one question everyone has been asking…is Brendan “Red” O’Neill dead or alive?
Grady Kenton has loved and lost–and he doesn’t plan on repeating it. He enjoys his semi-retired life as a consultant with the CIA while only taking the cases he finds interesting. He relishes the long seductive weekends with Brienne Chaylse, the beautiful liaison who understands his boundaries and accepts things the way he needs them to be.
Secretly, Brienne doesn’t understand why Grady can’t move on from his past. What she does know is that he’s more emotionally distant than when they’d first met and she can’t accept the friends-with-benefits play any longer. Something has to change, and fate forces her hand when her identity as a CIA special agent is leaked to the media. She and Grady must race to discover whose betrayal runs deep while their true feelings emerge in this perilous time. Unfortunately, the secrets revealed have the potential to shatter the love they’ve shared while on pursuit of a danger that could change everything.
Synopsis USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne concludes the Red Starr series with an extraordinary mission that will keep you riveted to the very last page…
It has taken Catori Starr years to come to terms with the death of her husband during a failed hostage rescue mission. She’d overcome her tragedy better than anyone could expect, but no one could truly understand the crushing black hole left in her grieving heart. She’d moved on to the best of her abilities, even reopening the doors to their business and operating a hostage rescue team she’d personally recruited.
Brendan “Red” O’Neill’s last mission didn’t go as planned. He’d ended up becoming a political prisoner to a fragmented national government in a country that was supposed to be an ally to the United States of America. He lost count of the endless days spent wasting away throughout his years in captivity, but never once had he forgotten the vision of his wife’s beautiful face. She was the only motivation he’d managed to keep for his own sanity as he clung to life.
Breathe. That’s what Starr had to keep telling herself over and over as she discovered the closely held secrets surrounding the facts of that fated mission. Her husband had been captured alive and she would move heaven and earth to bring him home, even if that meant sacrificing everything they had—including her own life.
Author Kennedy Layne
About the Author Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com..
Welcome to the book blitz for DUTY BOUND, the prequel to the young adult fantasy/romance series, Angelbound Origins, by Christina Bauer. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the ebook version of ANGELBOUND, book 1 in the series, for free.
DUTY BOUND (Angelbound Origins #0.5) by Christina Bauer
Synopsis An Angelbound Prequel Novella by Christina Bauer
As the High Prince of the demon-fighting thrax, Lincoln knows he must marry for political gain. Not that he minds. For all of his eighteen years, Lincoln’s been bound to his duty. Fighting demons is his life, and he’s never given romance a second thought. Instead, the High Prince lives for the days when he leaves his hidden realm to fight demons on Earth.
Then, everything changes.
Lincoln and his nobles become forced to visit Purgatory, the home of quasi-demons (who are mostly human with a bit of demonic DNA). Here Lincoln spies Myla Lewis, a lady warrior who inflames his heart, ignites his interest, and inspires his respect. Trouble is, Myla’s also a quasi. By thrax law, Lincoln must kill anything demonic—not date them. For the first time in his life, Lincoln wonders if he’ll follow his duty…or heed the demands of his heart. .
Excerpt (Chapter 1): I am Lincoln Vidar Osric Aquilus, High Prince of the Thrax. My people are renowned as the greatest demon hunters across Heaven, Hell, Earth, Purgatory, and the Dark Lands. At eighteen years old, I’ve killed precisely one thousand four hundred and thirty-seven demons in hand-to-hand combat, more than any other thrax in history. All of which leads to a single inescapable conclusion.
I can make it through this breakfast with my mother.
At least, I think I can.
“You haven’t touched your eggs, my son.” Mother spears a strawberry off her plate. After many years of maternal encounters, I’ve learned to keep my mouth closed in situations like this one. Mother will bring up her true concerns when she’s good and ready.
In reply, I merely maintain her stare. We’ve an odd relationship, but a close one. We’re both natural schemers, so neither wants to pass up a test of intelligence and charm.
“Perhaps you dislike formal breakfasts,” says Mother as she gestures to my tunic.
“I’m fine with wearing royal garb to meals. Rest assured, all my Batman costumes are safely packed away.” As a child, I fought hard to dress as a human superhero. Unlike demon killing, that was one battle I ultimately lost.
“So you say.” A small smile rounds Mother’s mouth. “Those tunics hide quite a lot.”
“True. I’ve a Bohemian Rhapsody T-shirt on under this thing.”
“I have no idea what that is, but I’m pleased to see you turned out so well.”
This morning, I’m dressed in a velvet tunic, leather pants, and tall boots. Meanwhile, Mother looks regal and lethal in her black velvet gown. She has porcelain skin, delicate features, and an all-knowing glare that reduces hardened warriors to mush.
Needless to say, I’m pleased that her glare has softened. I must remember to work Batman into our conversations more often.
For a few minutes, Mother and I continue our breakfast in silence. It would be pleasant, except for the setting. Our new feasting hall is located in Purgatory.
This place combines the worst of a rundown human suburb with the best of a rotting Dumpster. The sky is constantly cloudy with two types of weather: rainy and about to rain. It’s part of the magic of this realm that the weather is always dreary. Plus, the sky never reveals the sun or moon, and even if it did, those celestial bodies follow different patterns than they do in other realms.
Closing my eyes, I let my thoughts return to the glittering caverns of my homeland. As a rule, thrax live underground on Earth in the realm of Antrum. For some reason, the oracle angel, Verus, has demanded the royal family—and our noble entourage—move to Purgatory for a short period of time. This wasn’t a popular idea, but the oracle’s word is law, so we arrived here three months ago. Until Verus sets us loose, our days will be spent in tents and wooden halls like this one.
I scan the empty benches around me and sigh. It’s hard being separated from the bulk of my people. Quiet breakfasts like this only make things worse. Usually our feasting hall is packed with thrax sharing breakfast at communal tables. However, today Mother insisted on having a family-only morning meal, which in this case translates into me, Mother, and a half-dozen terrified workers. Father should get here any minute now. I can only hope he arrives before Mother’s temper returns.
As if in reply to my thoughts, Mother spears another wilted strawberry with a vengeance. Looks like her temper will resurface before Father does. Bugger.
“You never answered my question,” says Mother. “You haven’t touched your food.” She spears a grape with such force the entire table wobbles.
“Careful there,” I say. “You’ll bring down the roof down.”
“One perk of being queen. I can bring down roofs and no one says a thing.”
At those words, the half-dozen servants in the room visibly shiver.
There’s no question about the general topic of Mother’s angst, either. It’s always the same issue: the House of Acca. That tribe is the largest and most troublesome of all thrax.
At this point, problems with Acca could fall into one of two categories.
One, Mother might be worried about my impending marriage contract with Acca’s most eligible noblewoman, Lady Adair. If Mother thinks there are problems on that front, she would be sorely mistaken. It’s a business arrangement, nothing more. I’d regret that, but I’m a prince. I always knew I’d never marry for love.
Two—and far more worrisome—would be if Mother discovered my ongoing scheme against Aldred, the dreaded Earl of Acca himself. I’ve many issues with the Earl, but my largest is how Aldred keeps leading his warriors into ill-planned demon attacks on the Earth’s surface. Thanks to the Earl of Acca, hundreds of good thrax meet bad ends every week. I meet with the families of the fallen, trying to provide comfort as their worlds fall apart. So many tears and ruined lives…and all so the Earl can prove his so-called prowess in battle.
Even worse, my parents have forbidden me from doing anything to stop Aldred’s bloodshed. Per some ancient treaty, if I interfere with Aldred’s rights to lead his troops, then the Earl has the unmitigated right to execute me on the spot.
And as every royal knows, execution threats and breakfast do not mix well.
About the Author
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby..
Welcome to the book Blitz for A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME, the first book in the new adult romantic suspense/political thriller series, Harmless, by USA Today bestselling author, Meli Raine. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can now pick up the eBook for free!
A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME (Harmless #1) by Meli Raine
Four years ago I lost my virginity on live, streaming television.
Too bad I wasn’t awake for it.
The video went viral. Of course it would. A Senator’s daughter on camera? Wouldn’t you click “share”? Besides, that’s what three of the four guys in the video did.
They shared me.
But that fourth guy? The nondescript one in the background in the upper left corner of the screen, just sitting on the couch? The only one who did nothing?
Not one single thing.
That was my boyfriend, Drew.
And that was the last time I saw him.
Until today, when my father—now on a path to the White House—hired him as head of security for my new team as I return home after four years of “recovering” in an undisclosed location that involved white lab coats, needles, pills and damage control.
You see, the other three guys never went to jail. Never had charges pressed.
Never faced consequences.
Excerpt #1 In the video I’m wearing three scarves. One around my waist as a bright, electric blue belt that cuts neatly through my white, A-line dress.
One around my pony tail, a vibrant purple that was supposed to be the “in” color that season. Maybe even the next season. I think I was trying to be ahead of the trends. I don’t really remember why I picked it.
Can’t we just say I liked it? Isn’t that enough?
And, finally, one around my neck, a red scarf the color of pinched skin and flushed fever. The color of arousal.
The color of pain.
When I got dressed that morning I didn’t know. Couldn’t know.
I had no idea three fashion accessories would be used to tie me up so a group of “friends” could assault me. It was as impossible as thinking that my morning coffee mug would be used to bash in my skull, or that my purse would be used to choke me. That just doesn’t happen. Shouldn’t happen.
Boring objects in our lives should not be used to hurt us.
But those scarves burned. They bound me. They held me in place.
They gagged me.
Those objects of beauty became instruments of torture.
I don’t blame the scarves. They’re just pieces of cloth.
The men who used them are the ones I hold responsible.
And the man who did nothing to stop what happened was the worst of all.
Here’s some basic arithmetic:
What do you think hurt me the most? The scarves? The hot, swollen, unlubricated flesh that violated me like I was just a fold of meat to jack off into? The wrenched shoulders and torn ACL from being trussed and tied up like something in a bad porno? The broken cheekbone from being raped from behind so hard my face smashed into the coffee table leg more times than the ER doctor could document?
Or knowing that my boyfriend—my best friend—just sat there on the couch and watched?
Welcome to the book blitz for ICE KINGDOM, the third book in the young adult fantasy series, Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, by Tiana Warner. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. From now through December 25, you can read book 1 for free. See below for details.
ICE KINGDOM (Mermaids of Eriana Kwai #3) by Tiana Warner
Synopsis The final adventure in the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy …
Meela and Lysi have unleashed Sisiutl, legendary two-headed serpent of the Pacific Northwest. It was supposed to be an ally that would help them win the war. Instead, it has fallen under the control of King Adaro, ruler of the Pacific Ocean. If Meela and Lysi can’t stop him, Adaro will use the deadly serpent to rid the oceans of mankind.
With the American military using catastrophic weapons of their own to retaliate, Meela and Lysi must make peace between humans and merpeople before one race destroys the other. The journey will risk their lives and put their relationship to the test—but the vengeance that has been consuming Meela’s thoughts, day and night, might prove even more dangerous.
Excerpt #2 Benjamin Reeves had trained for disaster scenarios for the greater part of his life. Earthquakes, forest fires, storms, and tsunamis. Terrorist attacks. He was prepared to help in any situation. Except this one.
He was cruising the long way home in his pickup truck, windows down, summer breeze lifting the hair on his arms. His mind was still on the matte black twin-engine helicopter that Bagh had just shown him—the latest addition to the air wing.
“LM-80 Cormorant. Long-range enough for a medevac from the middle of the ocean. This thing’s designed for anti-submarine, anti-ship, search and rescue, cargo lift, special ops, you name it.”
Reeves was wondering whether said special ops included him when he noticed the group of people gathered in the harbour.
They were pointing at something in the distance, which he at first took to be a huge pod of orcas. Several people were taking pictures.
He rolled to a stop in an empty intersection and squinted through the sun’s glare.
His mouth slowly fell open. Not whales.
The vast shape in the water rose and fell through the surface in a connected wave, bigger than his mind could comprehend.
Sitting in the idling truck, Reeves scrambled to regain his slipping hold on reality. He clung to one certainty like a buoy: this thing, whatever it was, was heading for shore.
He shut off the truck so he could listen. People were beginning to panic. He could hear them shouting. He wrenched his seatbelt off and flung open the truck door.
By the time his feet hit the pavement, the thing was already in the harbour. Reeves cursed as a shower of seawater erupted like a mine.
Several people screamed. Dogs pulled at their leashes, barking frantically. The crowd began to sprint away from the shore as the mammoth creature crested the waves.
On the passenger’s seat, Reeves’ phone rang. He stood in the intersection, frozen by what he was seeing, when the scream of a child cut through the noise.
Propelled into action, he dove across the seat for his phone and then sprinted towards the shore with trained agility, phone at his ear.
The voice on the other end was frantic. “Reeves, I need you to get to the harbour—” It was his superior, Officer Miller.
The screaming girl’s mother scooped her up. She took off towards the parking lot.
“I’m here, sir.”
“What the hell is going on?”
“I was hoping you’d tell me.”
“All I know is we got a distress call from the coast guard, and then we lost contact.”
The tsunami siren erupted, an unceasing wail from the top of several masts along the shoreline. At this, people burst out of nearby homes and shops.
“Sir, it’s unclear what—”
At the end of the docks, something rose out of the water that made Reeves stop in his tracks. It was a black serpent’s head, as large as the moored speedboats, a flare of horns at the back of its skull. A blast of seawater rained from nostrils the size of basketballs. The serpent tasted the air.
“Reeves, you there?”
The serpent closed in, crushing the sailboats in its path and sending swells of water high enough to capsize the rest. Several people on the docks vanished beneath the waves.
Reeves lowered the phone and raced closer to the beach.
“Get out of the water!” he bellowed.
The dock shattered beneath the serpent’s weight. It did not seem to feel the shards of wood and fibreglass dragging under its scales.
People on the shore were running and screaming. Reeves stopped briefly to usher an elderly couple up the steps leading to the parking lot, then turned back in time to see the creature reach land, not a hundred feet away. The scrape of its scales across the pavement rose above the wailing siren and the noise of the crowd.
He pulled civilians back from the shore, shouting at them to get to their vehicles and to pile in as many people as they could.
A series of shrill barks rent the air and Reeves looked around, eyes landing on a border collie that had been left tied to a bike rack. He pelted across the beach and ducked next to the dog, its breath hot and fast on his neck as he freed its collar from the leash. The border collie fled without looking back, nails skittering across the pavement.
There was a deafening boom.
Reeves threw himself behind the bike rack and peered up through the bars.
The serpent’s great head had shattered the boathouse with the force of a crashing meteor. Its horns caught on the roof and peeled the rafters off, throwing them across the beach like twigs in a windstorm.
About the Author Tiana Warner is the best selling author of the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy. Her books have been acclaimed by Writer’s Digest, Foreword Reviews, and the Dante Rossetti Awards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. Tiana enjoys riding her horse, Bailey, and is an active supporter of animal welfare.
For a limited time, you can pick up COLD FEAR, the fourth book in the adult romantic suspense series, Cold Justice, by New York Times bestselling author, Toni Anderson. See below for information on the book and buy links.
Synopsis Winner 2015 Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence for Romantic Suspense, and the Book Buyers Best Award.
Physicist Scarlett Stone is the daughter of the man considered to be the most notorious Russian agent in FBI history. With her father dying in prison she’s determined to prove he’s innocent, but time is running out. Using a false identity, she gains access to the Russian ambassador’s Christmas party, searching for evidence of a set-up.
Former Navy SEAL, now FBI Special Agent, Matt Lazlo, is instantly attracted to Scarlett but life is too complicated to pursue a politician’s daughter. When he discovers she lied to him about her identity, he hunts her down with the ruthless efficiency he usually reserves for serial killers.
Not only does Scarlett’s scheme fail, it puts her in the sights of powerful people who reward unwanted curiosity with brutality. The FBI—and Matt—aren’t thrilled with her, either. But as agents involved in her father’s investigation start dying, and the attempts to stop Scarlett intensify, Matt and his colleagues begin to wonder. Could they have a traitor in their midst?
As Scarlett and Matt dig for the truth they begin to fall passionately for one another. But the real spy isn’t about to let anyone uncover their secrets, and resolves to remain firmly in the shadows—and for that to happen, Matt and Scarlett have to die.
Author Toni Anderson
About the Authors New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.
Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She’s addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.
Welcome to the book blitz for MARRYING AN ALIEN POP STAR, the third book in the adult scifi romantic comedy series, Alien Pop Star, by Kendra L. Saunders. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
MARRYING AN ALIEN POP STAR (Alien Pop Star #3) by Kendra L. Saunders
Synopsis Daisy Kirkwood and her best friend Kammie have adjusted to life on an alien planet pretty well, all things considered. And thanks to Daisy’s alien pop star boyfriend, Griffin Valentino, she has plenty of sexy new experiences to keep her busy. But it’s not possible to take a massive music nerd away from her home planet and not expect her to pine for a concert or a record store at least in once in a while.
Heading back to Earth with Griffin and his best friend Dev for a brief but much-needed visit, the girls want nothing more than to catch up on the underground music scene of New York City. Unfortunately, thanks to Griffin’s less-than-stellar space traveling skills, they accidentally pick up a hitchhiker. Or three hundred. Their many-legged stowaway beasties take up residence in the darkest, creepiest corners of Manhattan, leaving the gang no choice but to experience a very different underground than they bargained for.
Giant alien bugs aside, Griffin has some epic plans of his own for their trip, plans that involve a concert, an album… and the most outrageous marriage proposal that Earth has ever seen.
Excerpt #1 Somehow, every time I return to Earth, the awful smells that make up New York City seem even more welcome to my nose. A woman can only be without the olfactory cocktail of garbage, cheap coffee, morning cigarettes, and desperate hangovers for so long.
Finally, finally, here Griffin, Dev and I are, setting foot in the East Village with nothing but our clothes, one bag, and a bunch of semi-counterfeited money. Okay, not semi-counterfeited. Completely counterfeited. Griffin and Dev can create stacks of fake Earth currencies with almost no effort, which is disconcerting if I think about it for too long. I try not think about it at all, actually.
Griffin tips himself over a filthy looking garbage can and throws up for all he’s worth. I wander away a little and stare at taxis rolling by, willing my own stomach to calm down.
I’ve ‘traveled’ through space several times with Griffin, but it really doesn’t make it any easier, evidenced by my stomach’s gleeful attempt to empty everything inside it as soon as we land at our destination. Usually, I can bully my stomach into calming down before anything actually manages to come up, but the same can’t be said for Griffin. Somehow, he’s a million times worse at traveling through space than I am, despite his people’s advanced capabilities.
And see, I love him, and aspire to comfort him when he’s feeling sad or sick, but I know better than to get too close at a time like this. Besides, that’s exactly what Griffin’s best friend Dev is for.
Aforementioned best friend makes a beeline for Griffin, sidling up to him and patting him on the back. “It’s alright,” he says, in the special soothing voice he uses for Griffin in times of stomach disaster. “Just breathe through your nose, Griff. Pretend you’re on a horizon. Everything is still. Nothing moves. You’re weightless and blissful.”
Griffin raises his head and grumbles something about not feeling very blissful, and then lurches forward to vomit again.
Where Griffin is dark haired and pale and pointy, Dev’s handsomely golden in every respect. His skin always looks freshly sun-kissed, and his big gray eyes seem rested even when he hasn’t slept. He’s a calming force on everyone he comes into contact with, even his manic best friend. “Find your calm, Griff. You’re alright. You’re weightless and–”
“I’m not alright!” Griffin replies, flailing his hands around while still leaned fully over the bin.
Dev pats Griffin on the back. “I’m proud of you, Griff. You programmed our trip this time, and you didn’t kill any of us.”
His praise is justified, because this is actually kind of a big deal. Griffin is infamously terrible at travel, and has sent himself to a few dangerous places by accident over the years. Of course, reminding him of this fact never goes over well, and today is no exception. He raises his head again to pin Dev with a nasty look.
“I happen to be…” he starts to say, and then takes a long pause, “somewhat better at traveling than I used to be, thank you very much.” With that, he pukes again, and Dev bites his lower lip to keep from smiling.
About the Author Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on. She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can’t learn karate (or ballroom dancing).
She is the author of DATING AN ALIEN POP STAR, the magic realism novel INANIMATE OBJECTS, dark comedy DEATH AND MR. RIGHT, the upcoming romance THE UNLOVE SPELL, and has conducted interviews with NYT Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, goth rocker Aurelio Voltaire, and Project Runway winners Dmitry Sholokhov and Michelle Lesniak Franklin among many, many others.
Today is release day for RUIN YOU, the third book in the adult contemporary romance series, The Debt, by USA Today bestselling author, Molly O’Keefe. See below for information on the book and series, and buy links/ For a limited time, you can pick up the ebook of LOST WITHOUT YOU, book 1 in the series, for free.
The only thing that stands in the way of my revenge is her. The lying scheming daughter of the man who killed my parents. She has the secrets I need to bring down her father. And I’ll do anything to get them. I will lie to her. Steal from her. Use her. Ruin her.
It helps that our chemistry is explosive. What I’m not expecting is for her to be so sweet. And so strong. So…irresistible.
After so many years of lying and hiding, I finally have a place to call home. With people I can call a family. The Paintbrush Inn is my life now, and I won’t let anyone ruin it. When sexy and world-weary Simon checks in to the Inn, I never expect him to glance my way. I’ve spent my whole life blending into the background. Being overlooked and ignored. It’s been helpful, even though it’s lonely. And he’s way out of my league.
But our attraction is powerful. Undeniable. Dangerous. Because I can’t let anyone close. If the secrets I keep were to be revealed, my whole life would be destroyed. But something about Simon makes me break all my own rules. I’m letting him in to my home, my body, my life, never expecting he has his own secrets. His own lies.
About the Author Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.
She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.
Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she’s not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.
For a limited time, you can pick up WE WERE HERE, for free, a stand-alone prequel to GEODUCKS ARE FOR LOVERS by USA Today bestselling author, Daisy Prescott. See below for details on the book and buy links.
Synopsis In the 90s … texting involved paper and a pen … … our selfies were Polaroids … … our favorite music was on mix tapes. Sex was dangerous, music was raw, and falling in love felt nostalgic.
We were friends and lovers. We thought we knew everything.
We knew nothing. We were here.
Set in the early 1990s, a time before the internet, social media, and smart phones, We Were Here is the prequel to Geoducks Are For Lovers. This book can be read as a standalone.
“This story has it all! Just like a mixed tape; we get a dose of steamy romance, angsty ballads and sweet love songs woven together in a compelling, heartwarming and sometimes heartwrenching journey of self-exploration.” Helena Hunting, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author.
Author Daisy Prescott
About the Author USA Today Bestselling Author DaisyPrescott writes romantic comedies with heart.
Her Modern Love Stories feature characters in their thirties and forties finding and rediscovering love in unexpected and humorous ways. Her Wingmen books star regular guys who often have beards, drive trucks, and love deeply once they fall. Look for her new Rom Com series, Love with Altitude, in 2017.
Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog, and an indeterminate number of imaginary house goats. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE CANARY CLUB, the first book in the young adult historical romance series, Canary Club, by Sherry D. Ficklin. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. And don’t miss GLITTER AND GOLD, a prequel to THE CANARY CLUB, now free. See below for all the details.
THE CANARY CLUB (The Canary Club #1) by Sherry D. Ficklin
Synopsis “Bad Luck” Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.
Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.
Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York...
Excerpt #2 Dutch slides through the beaded curtain, Masie on his arm. She’s traded her dress for flowing grey pants and a long white blouse. She’s still wearing the pearls, but her hair is covered by a tan cloche hat with a little yellow bird embroidered on the side.
“Ah, I’m afraid I need to ask you a favor, Benny,” Dutch says, releasing Masie. She rounds the bar and helps herself to s shot of whiskey. “I’m going to have to head out of town for a few days. JD, I’m leaving you in charge of the club, but I’ve decided to take Tony with me.”
Masie sets her glass on the bar. “Tony? Why on earth would you need to take my guard?”
“I’m meeting with the DelVecchio family. Tony used to work for them before the war. Plus, he knows his way around Chicago. But don’t worry, I’m not gonna leave you unprotected. Not when someone just tried to put a hit on me.”
That’s when he turns to me. “Benny, you can look after Masie for a few days, right? Just while she’s out and about. We have security at the penthouse. She just needs someone to stick close when she’s outta the nest.”
“Of course, sir. I need to get some new suits tomorrow. What time will you need me, Miss Masie?” I ask.
She throws back another shot. “As it happens, I have some shopping to do tomorrow as well. Why don’t you come pick me up around two? That way, we can go together?”
“I can certainly do that,” I say, still a bit unsteady with the entire situation.
“Good man.” Dutch pulls me away, walking me across the now-empty floor toward the back room as the barmen follow us, cash bags in hand. He slips me five hundred dollars. “This should cover any,” he waves his hand, “extraneous expenses you might incur while minding my daughter. I don’t need to tell you that I’m trusting you with my most prized possession, do I?”
The tilt in his voice makes his meaning crystal clear. If I let him down in this, if anything happens to his daughter on my watch, I won’t have to be worried about getting shot again. I have no doubt he’d kill me with his own hands, so I nod as we turn into his private office. It’s a formal desk with a stack of ledgers and a candlestick phone on one side, a newspaper in the middle, and a cigar box on the other corner.
“Though I should mention, she can be a bit of a handful. I brought Tony in because he was Special Ops back in the war. He’s the only guard she’s never given the slip or tricked into doing…well, whatever.”
“I’ll watch her like she was my own sister, sir.”
Seemingly pleased by my response, he smiles. “Glad to hear it. I doubt there will be any trouble, though. Everyone loves Masie, you see.” Releasing me, he crosses the office to a tall metal filing cabinet. I think he’s going to open it, but he pushes it aside, revealing a safe built into the wall. I deliberately turn my back as he spins the dial and cracks it open. I turn back around to see the barmen hand him the bags and the night’s receipts, which he slips inside and closes with a click.
I follow the three of them out. That’s when I see Tony for the first time. He’s tall and sturdy with short grey hair and a well-groomed beard. He glances me over in a way that makes a shiver roll up my spine before opening the car door for Masie and Dutch to slip into. Once they’re inside, I take the moment to offer him a handshake.
“I’m Benny, the new security guy,” I say, offering him a hand. He looks at it distastefully and turns his back on me, sliding into the front passenger seat. As soon as his door closes, the car rolls away into the dawn.
“Don’t worry about Tony,” JD says, patting me on the back once. June stands beside him on wobbly legs, one arm draped across his. “It’s been his life’s dream to take lead for Dutch, but he never had the chance. He used to work for one of the Chicago families, you see. Until one of them took a bullet to the head on his watch, that is. That’s why he came out here. He wanted to be Dutch’s guard, but with something like that on your record, it’s hard to be trusted. For a fella like that, being stuck babysitting the boss’s daughter is quite a demotion.”
“Watching after Masie can’t possibly be that bad,” I say, earning me a sympathetic grin.
“Never underestimate the fairer sex’s ability to cause a ruckus, Benny.”
His own car rolls up to the curb, and he helps June into it before sliding in himself. “You need a ride?” he asks out the window.
I’m about to say yes when I see Dickey sitting on the curb across the street, sucking on a Lucky. “Nah, I’m jake. Thanks anyway. See you tomorrow.”
I cross the road to my friend who, despite the pained grin on his face, turns his chin toward the sun. “If I didn’t know better, I’d call you the luckiest bastard on the planet, Benny.”
I offer him a hand up, which he accepts. “Yeah, all I had to do was get shot and almost die.”
He shrugs, tossing the butt on the ground and stomping it with the toe of his shoe. “You just remember who made the introductions there, Mr. Big Shot.”
“I doubt you’ll let me forget,” I joke, slapping him on the back. “What happened to the dames you were with earlier? I expected to find you necking in a back booth.”
Now he grins. “What, those baby vamps? Nah, chunks of lead compared to that canary I saw you beating your gums at.”
“She’s Dutch’s daughter,” I say, shaking my head as we walk toward the trolley stop. “Might as well have hands off tattooed across her forehead.”
“Man might risk it for a dame like that,” Dickey says, shooting me a warning scowl. “Don’t go getting crushed now. Them fellas, they may walk like us and talk like us, but make no mistake, Benny, we ain’t nothin’ like them.”
Don’t miss the exciting prequel, now available for free!
About Sherry D. Ficklin Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
Welcome to the sale blitz for BRUTAL OBSESSION, the first book in the adult mystery/romantic suspense series, Safeguard, by USA Today bestselling author, Kennedy Layne. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for FREE!. See below for all the details.
Synopsis From USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne comes a thrilling new military romantic suspense series that will leave you on the edge of your seat…
Keane Sanderson never thought he’d survive to see a day past his latest deployment with the United States Marines in Iraq. That was six years ago and he’s finally ready to ease off the accelerator. A unique opportunity to work for a top-shelf security and investigations firm in Florida is right up his alley.
Ashlyn Ellis had everything she’d ever wanted—a high-profile career as a federal prosecutor, an upscale apartment in the city, and a beach house for when she needed to decompress from all the stress that accompanied the job. All three are threatened when she realizes someone has been following her every move for a very long time.
When Ashlyn comprehends the lengths her pursuer is willing to take things, she calls in a favor. She never expected her plea for assistance to materialize in the form of Keane Sanderson—the one man who had every reason to revel in her misfortune. She’s finally given the chance to rekindle the flames of desire she never should have extinguished, just in time for it all to be taken away when the stalker takes his obsession a step too far.
Series Description: Safeguard Security & Investigations (SSI) is owned and operated by Townes Calvert, a retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant who returned home to the States a bit more damaged than he’d care to admit. Not that anyone could tell outside of a very select group of former active duty buddies. It had taken Townes quite a while to acclimate to civilian life and he’d kept himself busy in the interim working in treacherous situations with even more dangerous friends. The final result is a close-knit unit of highly trained former military men who have the experience to protect the innocent, investigate crimes on the gritty edge, and aid local law enforcement when justice has taken a back seat to political correctness. Follow along as Kennedy Layne conveys each of their gripping stories as they work together on investigations that lead them down perilous paths of passion, intrigue, and suspense…
Author Kennedy Layne
About the Author Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.
Welcome to the book blitz for AT ANY PRICE, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Gaming the System, by USA Today bestselling author, Brenna Aubrey. See below for information the book, buy links, a post from the author on the redesigned covers, and details on her giveaway. You can currently pick up the ebook for Free!
AT ANY PRICE (Gaming the System #1) by Brenna Aubrey
When Mia Strong, proud geek-girl and popular gaming blogger, auctions off her virginity online, she knows she’ll make waves. But what she will not be making is a love connection. Her rules are set in stone: One night. No further contact.
It’s a desperate step, but it’s the only way she can go to medical school and pay her mother’s mounting hospital bills.
Difficulty Level: Millionaire CEO
Adam Drake, the enigmatic auction winner, is a software prodigy who made his first million at seventeen. Now, in his mid-twenties, he’s sexy, driven and–as CEO of his own gaming company–he’s used to making the rules. Before Mia knows what’s happening, he’s found the loophole in the rules of her auction. Every stipulation she’s made to protect her heart gets tossed by the wayside.
She can’t tell if he’s playing her…or if he’s playing for keeps.
This New Adult book is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content and adult situations.
A Whole New Look Same “stunningly addictive” story, but with a whole new look!
The new Adam & Mia covers were over a year in the making! Over the period of ten months, photographer Lindee Robinson followed the life journey of real life couple, Marcus and Elena.
When it came time for me to choose a new “face” for Adam & Mia, the beloved couple featured in five of the Gaming The System books, I knew Marcus and Elena would fit the part. I contacted Lindee for her assistance in the new look and she was thrilled, informing me that Marcus and Elena, both professional models, had so much natural chemistry together, they’d be perfect!
So we contacted them soon after their own real life fairytale wedding, but were informed that timing would not be on our side for a little while… they were thrilled to learn that they were expecting their first child. Instead of searching elsewhere for new models, however, Lindee came up with a wonderful idea. Why not document their pregnancy, the early infancy of their child and launch an epic project fit for an epic super couple?
So we did just that…over the course of ten months and three different photo shoots, we collected enough images for the new look for the Gaming The System books. Elena was eight months pregnant during their first shoot, their child, six months old at the second. For the third, Marcus and Elena recreated their own wedding, complete with Elena’s wedding dress for the cover of Adam & Mia’s wedding book. All the pieces fit into place. Lindee had taken over a thousand photos of them over the course of many hours in photo shoots. Now it was time for a new design.
I had no question that I’d go back to Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations to give the books a fabulous new look. After all, she’s the one who created their original, amazing brand four years ago when I went to her with At Any Price. And as with her previous covers, they are compelling, eye catching, classy and colorful. Covers fit for Adam & Mia.
I hope you all enjoy the new look as much as I enjoyed working on this project when I got the idea over two years ago! I’m glad they are finally ready to reveal–well….almost all of them…but I’ll be talking more about those other ones later!
Author Brenna Aubrey
About the Author Brenna Aubrey is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary romance stories that center on geek culture.
She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover’s heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. She’s also a mom, teacher, geek girl, Francophile, unabashed video-game addict & eBook hoarder.
She currently resides on the west coast of the US with her husband, two children, and two adorable golden retriever pups.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE CHOSEN KNIGHTS, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, The Angel Knights, by Mary Ting. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE CHOSEN KNIGHTS (The Angel Knights #1) by Mary Ting
About the Book – FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME Title: THE CHOSEN KNIGHTS Series: The Angel Knights #1 Author: Mary Ting Release Date: March 19, 2016 Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar. However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.
There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.
HIGHLY recommend to read prequel first–The Angel Knights
SOME BOOKS AREN’T MEANT TO BE OPENED
***City of Bones meets The Da Vinci Code. Urban fantasy lover’s dream! Demons, vampires, angels, witches, and fallen angels all set to the back drop of high school in Hawaii, and astral travel to the past to Knights Templar era.
*** SILVER AWARD WINNER 2016–YA FANTASY–READERS’ FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD***
A page turning mystery with a supernatural twist that entertains to the last page! ~InD’tale Magazine
Excerpt Eli willed his sword away. It disappeared behind his back, just the way I would have done it. “You know nothing. Nothing about me is human. I won’t be a part of something that could kill any one of you.”
“How could it kill us if—?” Then I had a thought, recalling the first time I’d seen him in the cafeteria. I had no evidence but it was worth the shot. “You can astral travel, can’t you? You’ve done it before, when you first saw me in the cafeteria. You can travel in the present too. That’s why you took off.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Do you even know what that is?” His jaw clenched.
I knew he was lying. “Out-of-body experience.” I followed behind him when he started walking away.
“You have no idea of the consequences when you travel. Astral travel.”
“Then let it be my consequence.”
Eli whipped around. His face was just a breath away from mine. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Then show me.”
Eli pierced his eyes into mine. His heart drummed a mile a minute. “You want to feel pain, Lucia? You want to know what happens to people when they astral travel?”
“I-I—” I didn’t know what to say. I certainly didn’t expect him to say the things he did.
Eli extended his arm to me. “Take my hand.”
“Take my hand, Lucia.” His tone was stern.
I shook my head.
“Last warning for—ELI.” I screamed. My stomach dropped, along with my body. Eli’s arms embraced me as we plunged through multiple layers of clouds with my back facing down. Hair whipped my face and the force of gravity made me dizzy.
“You didn’t heed my warning, Lucia,” Eli grumbled.
“So you’re trying to kill me?” The normal reaction for someone in this situation would be to fight back, but my instincts told me I wasn’t in danger. “What are you doing?” The clouds got smaller as we plummeted faster by the second. I began to have second thoughts. Wanting to believe so badly I could get through to him, I’d let it possibly cost my life.
He ignored my plea. Looking squarely in my eyes as air rushed against us, he said nonchalantly, “Get ready to die.”
Author Mary Ting
About the Author International Bestselling, Award Winning, Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
Welcome to the book blitz for WRONG, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Wrong, by New York Times bestselling author, Jana Aston. See below for information on the book, buy links for the entire series, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis I have a history of picking the wrong guy. Gay? Player? Momma’s boy? Check, check and check.
Now I can’t stop fantasizing about one of the customers at the coffee shop I work at between classes. It’s just a harmless crush, right? It’s not like I ever see this guy outside of the coffee shop. It’s not like I’m going to see him while attempting to get birth control at the student clinic. While wearing a paper gown. While sitting on an exam table. Because he’s the doctor. Shoot. Me.
But what if, for once, the man I’ve had the dirtiest, most scandalous fantasies about turned out to be everything but wrong?
Excerpt #2 “Sophie, he’s going to be back for more. Trust me.”
I load a tray of cupcakes and slide them into the bakery case. “I don’t know, Everly. He’s really sophisticated and clearly lives a lifestyle a long ways from Cowbell Lane,” I say, referencing my grandparents’ home in Willow Grove.
“Bitch, please. The guy is pushing forty and you’re a hot co-ed with a brand-new tight, shiny pussy. He’ll be back.”
My eyes widen. “Everly, Jesus!”
“Just saying.” She holds her hands up in mock defense before breaking into a huge grin.
“You don’t really think he’s forty, do you?”
“He just turned thirty-six in August.”
“How do you know that?”
“You Googled him?”
“You didn’t?” Everly looks aghast.
“Uh, no.” Truthfully I thought about it, but I didn’t want to get any more invested in him than I already am.
“Well, look what the pussy dragged in.” Everly is smirking.
“Everly, that’s not the saying. It’s ‘cat.’ ‘Look what the cat dragged in.'”
“Oh, I think I’ve got the saying right. He’s here.”
My stomach explodes in nerves as I glance towards the door. Luke is here. I wondered if he’d stick to his normal Tuesday routine and stop here for coffee. I’ve figured out this Grind Me location is between his Rittenhouse Square condo and the student clinic, but it’s hardly the only route he could take or stop he could make.
My heart is beating so fast as I take him in. Is he going to speak to me or go back to just ordering coffee and leaving like he has the last several weeks?
He’s in a navy suit today, crisp white shirt and a silvery blue tie. And then my heart stops beating so fast. There’s a hand on his arm. I follow that hand to the redhead from Saturday night.
Author Jana Aston
About the Author ana Aston likes cats, big coffee cups and books about billionaires who deflower virgins. She wrote her debut novel while fielding customer service calls about electrical bills, and she’s ever grateful for the fictional gynecologist in Wrong that readers embraced so much she was able to make working in her pajamas a reality. Jana’s novels have appeared on the NYT, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists, some multiple times. She likes multiples.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Cristin Harber, is offering her SWEET GIRL, a prequel in the Titan Series, for free for a limited time. This is my favorite book in the series! See below for information on the book, an exclusive teaser, and buy links.
Nicola Hart grew up under the heels of her older brother and his sexy best friend, Cash Garrison. Years of ignoring her spark with Cash has transformed their friendship into a slow burning sizzle. One night with him could ruin everything. Or it could be more than she ever dreamed. They play. They flirt. But they haven’t crossed the line because too much is at stake. Family. Friendship. And the deepest kind of love that she’d have to be crazy to walk away from.
HE CAN’T STAY AWAY FROM
She’s his best friend’s little sister. The definition of hands off. Cash has tried to ignore her for years. Those innocent eyes and her smile that screams kiss-me-if-you-dare… Instead, he’s looked at every pretty little thing who’s crossed his path, all to ignore the girl he seems destined to want. But when his hard partying ways get old and everyone at school is interested in Nicola, it’s time to stake a claim. To make Nicola his girl, no matter the risks, and hold the hand of the one he really loves.
Sweet Girl is the novel length prequel to USA Today best-selling Garrison’s Creed. Before Cash and Nicola can fall in love forever, they have to suffer through their first love.
Author Cristin Harber
About the Author Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.
Author BB Easton is unveiling the cover to SPEED, the lsecond book in her new adult contemporary/military romance series, 44 Chapters, releasing September 11, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can currently pre-order for just $0.99, and pick up SKIN, the first book in the series, for free.
Synopsis Because BB Easton had so much fun writing her bestselling, award-winning memoir, 44 CHAPTERS ABOUT 4 MEN, she decided to give each of her four men his own steamy standalone! SPEED is the second book in the 44 Chapters spin-off series—a gritty, taboo love triangle overflowing with dark humor and tangible teen angst. It is based on a true story.
After her possessive, psychopathic, rage-fueled ex, Knight, joins the Marines, sixteen-year-old BB is left trying, and failing, to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart. It isn’t until she meets Harley James—an easy-going, tattooed mechanic with a face as angelic as his habits are sinful—that she learns how to live again. How to laugh again. But will she learn to love again?
Over Knight’s dead body.
*Due to excessive profanity, violence, graphic sexual content, and themes of juvenile drug use and delinquency, this book is not intended for—and should probably be completely hidden from—anyone under the age of eighteen..
Excerpt When I woke up on my sixteenth birthday, I didn’t leap out of bed to go get my driver’s license. I wasn’t thinking about the appointment I had to buy my first car that afternoon—a car that
I’d been saving for since the day I turned fifteen and was legally able to work. I didn’t give two shits about going to the mall, or opening presents, or eating a fucking piece of fucking cake. All I wanted for my birthday was to sleep through it, because whenever I was awake, so was my gnawing, soul-crushing pain. I could feel it chewing through the lining of my stomach, devouring my once bubbly personality, sucking the energy from my bones like marrow, swallowing my will to live. Being eaten alive hurt. Being awake hurt. Being asleep didn’t.
I reluctantly opened my eyes and glanced over at the nightstand. The red numbers on the clock announced that I’d slept past noon again. The blueberry muffin sitting next to it with a candle shoved haphazardly in the top told me that my mom must have come in and tried to wake me up. My wide-open blinds—which were letting in an obscene amount of summer sun—let me know that she’d tried more than once. And that little white pill and glass of water on my nightstand? Well those only pissed me off.
I sat up and squinted at the assorted bullshit on the table until I spotted my pack of Camel Lights. Swinging my spindly legs over the edge of the mattress, I reached past the food and water, opting for poison instead. I lit a cigarette and waited for that comforting, calming first inhalation to do its thing, but even smoking had become joyless. Just like everything else, I was going through the motions.
Hand to mouth.
I ashed my cigarette in an empty Altoids tin on the nightstand and stared at the pill my mother had left for me—the tiny white hope that had turned out to be just another disappointment. I picked it up and inspected it. If it hadn’t had the word PROZAC stamped on the side of it I would have assumed they’d just been giving me Tic Tacs.
That shit did nothing. Nothing but mute the vibrant colors of my world to a dirty, dull gray. Instead of my feelings being a violent riot of bitter, angry crimsons, churning, crashing ceruleans, and blinking, cautionary yellows, my inner world was now as gray as the cloud of smoke that hung four feet above the floor and three feet below the ceiling in my bedroom. As gray as my skin, where it draped between my ribs and puddled in the hollows of my cheeks and eye sockets.
As gray as the fading knight tattoo on the inside of my wedding ring finger.
I threw the glorified breath mint across the room and listened to the plink, plink, plink sound it made as it bounced off the wall, onto my “desk”—which was just two filing cabinets and an old door that my mom had scrounged up at Goodwill and spray painted black—and landed in a heap of shiny army-green nylon on the floor.
My chest felt as if someone had come up behind me and yanked the laces on an invisible corset. Tears stabbed at the corners of my eyes as images began flashing, unbidden, behind them. Images of a skinhead standing behind me at my locker, sliding an army-green flight jacket up my arms and over my shoulders to warm my perma-chilled skin. Images of his smile when he turned me around to admire the fit. I’d never seen him smile before. Not like that. Making him do it again soon became my reason for getting out of bed every morning.
Now what reason did I have? Knight was gone. All I had left was his stupid fucking jacket.
Author BB Easton
About the Author BB Easton lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her long-suffering husband, Ken, and two adorable children. She recently quit her job as a school psychologist to write stories about her punk rock past and deviant sexual history full-time. Ken is suuuper excited about it.
Author Brenda Rothert is unveiling the cover to SWEET SIXTEEN, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance, available for free exclusively on INKLO, a mobile app and digital self-publishing platform that turns written stories into real-time, social experiences. See below for the cover, information on the book, and all the details to read it for free on INKLO.
SWEET SIXTEEN by Brenda Rothert
About the Book Title: SWEET SIXTEEN Author: Brenda Rothert Publisher: Silver Sky Publishing, Inc. Release Date: April 25, 2017 Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads | INKLO
Synopsis In Roper, Missouri, football is everything. At least, to everyone but high school senior Gin Scott. Gin plans to escape her hometown as soon as she graduates, but her plans to stay under the radar until then are ruined when her secret crush, quarterback Chase Matthews, offers her a coveted spot as one of the Sweet Sixteen. It’s an honor Roper girls dream of, but for independent Gin, it’s more like a nightmare. By rejecting Chase’s invitation, she is ostracized from her classmates, and eventually, most of her town. How sweet it is.
About INKLO: INKLO is a mobile app and digital self-publishing platform that turns written stories into real-time, social experiences. The app is very user-friendly. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you will be able to follow authors and stories to read the new chapter posted each week. Reading stories on INKLO is and always will be FREE.
Author Brenda Rothert
About the Author Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters. .
Welcome to the book blitz for SHAG LAKE, a new adult action adventure/scifi romance, by Susan McEachern. See below for information the book, pre-order links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can grab THE KISS, the prequel novella, for free. Find the details here.
Synopsis Geri McKenna hasn’t seen her brother’s best friend, Sean Eastman, since he graduated high school. Sean left their little town of Pembroke just hours after she nailed him with a kiss behind the shed, never to be seen or heard from again. No calls, no texts, no social media to stalk online.
Eight years after the awkward incident behind the shed, Geri and Sean meet again. She’s now an ambitious journalist working in a dead end job, and he’s a successful structural engineer working on a classified government project. For different reasons, they’re both interested in a woman who has gone missing midst allegations of a Sasquatch encounter in the vincinity of Shag Lake. Geri is determined to get the scoop on the hottest story to hit the Internet, while Sean is determined to stop her.
Dodging other-worldly creatures and a corrupt shadow government, Geri and Sean struggle to find neutral ground in this debut new adult adventure by author Susan McEachern (who also writes young adult as award-winning author S.M. McEachern).
Excerpt #1 My sister Emma’s eyes widen to full capacity, and she steals a sideways glance at me. “Are you kidding? You didn’t hear me when I said who was in town?”
“Um…” I search my brain for a name I might’ve vaguely heard.
She rolls her eyes and huffs. “Your lover boy from the summer of ’08.”
I hesitate for a few seconds, afraid to confirm it’s who I think it is: my brother’s best friend from high school, who I had a huge crush on. “You mean, Sean Eastman?” An uncomfortable knot begins to tie itself in my stomach.
“Who else would I be talking about? Or did you have a couple of guys on the go in tenth grade?”
It’s my turn to roll my eyes. “Oh. My. God. Will you let it go already? It was a stupid kiss behind the shed eight freakin’ years ago. I was what—fifteen?”
“Let it go?” she asks incredulously. “You searched the Internet for weeks to see if there was an earthquake at the exact moment you kissed him. There’s no way I’m letting that go, sista. Ever.”
I slap a hand over my eyes as if that will blot out the most cringe worthy moment of my life. But it’s still there, right behind my lids, playing out in living color. Sean and I were behind the shed by the woodpile, and I was stacking firewood onto his outstretched arms when I got a huge splinter in my finger. I screamed, grabbed my injured hand with my good one, and stared at it with the kind of horror usually reserved for a severed limb. Sean dropped the wood he was holding, snatched my hand, and yanked the splinter out. Seriously. No tweezers required because it was practically the size of a piece of kindling wedged under the first two layers of my skin. I could’ve pulled it out myself, but I wanted my hero to save me because I was fifteen and a total drama queen. And if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I had to go and sway against him in what I can only describe as a bad impression of a swooning southern belle, and kiss him.
That was the last night I saw him—thank the Lord—because that particular end-of-school party was the last soiree for the high school grads. The next day they all went their separate ways, and we never heard from Sean again. Ever. He just disappeared. Mark tried to track him down over the years, more recently renewing his search to send him a wedding invitation. And I’ll privately admit to conducting my own online search for his profile too. But nada. It’s the like the guy dropped off the face of the earth.
The thought of seeing him again is creating a knot in my stomach that cinches so tight, my abs are clenching.
Breathe, Geri. He’s probably forgotten all about it, I reassure myself.
Yeah, but my sister is going to make sure to remind him.
My eyes shoot left, assessing that little smirk on her face. This is our brother’s wedding weekend, and with all the parties and family gatherings planned, she’s probably already composing the perfect delivery for this story to maximize the humor value. Okay. Game on. She needs to know that I am not without a counterattack.
“Two words,” I say. “Tommy. Weenerrammer.”
She screws her face up in disgust at the same time she guides the car off the highway and onto the exit ramp. “First, it’s pronounced ‘whiner-rammer’ not ‘weener-rammer.’ Second, Tommy’s last name is Weisman. Third”—she pauses for dramatic effect—“everybody makes mistakes, Geri.”
“Exactly what I’m saying. You keep quiet about my faux pas, and I’ll keep quiet about yours.”
She slows to a stop at the intersection. “Oh c’mon. The one date I had with Tommy”—she holds up one finger to emphasize the singularity of that event—“was the desperate act of a heartbroken girl trying to make her ex-boyfriend jealous.” She flashes her wedding ring at me before she turns left. “And it worked. On the other hand, you kissing Sean Eastman behind the shed had no other motive than you wanted him for your lover.” She pucker ups, aims a kissy face at me, and eases the car left at the intersection.
I hold up one finger, mimicking her, and say, “The one time I kissed Sean Eastman—”
“He rocked your world,” Emma says, cutting off my next words. She gives a couple of ha ha has then shakes her head while muttering, “An earthquake…”
“What? They happen in Ontario. And that would’ve been about the right time of year for one.”
One of her eyebrows shoots up, while the other crinkles into a furrow. “You mean like earthquake season, Eyeore?”
I stifle a laugh. “Oh, stop. You know what I mean.” Emma shakes her head, eyebrows still askew. “Like this time of year—mid-April,” I explain. “When the warmer temperatures penetrate deep enough to melt the frost layer and the basement rock begins to expand, it creates earthquake conditions.”
“Oh yeah. Sure,” she deadpans. “I’m totally onboard with that theory.”
“Good,” I say. “Because if you start sharing your version of what happened between me and Sean Eastman, I’ll be forced to share the whole seedy story about your date with Tommy Weenerrammer.”
“Go ahead,” she says. “I’m already happily married with a kid and”—she pauses and looks away from the road for a second to make eye contact with me—“another one on the way.”
My mouth drops open. “What?” And even though she has her hands full driving, I plant a kiss on her cheek. “How far along? Do Mom and Dad know?”
She smiles coyly. “I was going to wait until we got through earthquake season unscathed, but I was too excited and blabbed the news. I’m already past the first trimester.”
I make a squee noise because I’m really excited for her—and for me too, since I never intend to get married and have a gaggle of kids. I’m more than happy to placate my raging baby hormones via my nephew and… niece?
“Keep it to yourself, though,” she says. “I haven’t told many people because this is Mark and Shauna’s big wedding week. I’ll share the news after they leave for their honeymoon.”
“You haven’t changed. Always looking out for your little brother.”
She pats my knee. “And my little sister too. Which is why I’m giving you a heads up about your old flame being in town. You might want to clean up around the back of the shed in case your basement rock gets penetrated.”
Author Susan McEachern
About the Author Award winning author S.M. McEachern (also known as Susan) attended Dalhousie University in the 1990s where she earned an Honours Degree in Sustainable Development Studies, specializing in ocean resources. With a background in international development and resource management, as well as being the wife of a military officer, Susan has had first hand experience in international affairs and policies. She attributes Elizabeth Mann Borgese–daughter of Nobel prize winner, Thomas Mann–as one of the greatest influences on her view of world politics. Susan had the privilege to work and study under Mann Borgese, an author, teacher and political activist for world peace. The first book of a series, “Sunset Rising”, combines Susan’s knowledge of politics and resource management with her love for Young Adult literature and action and adventure. The second book of the series, “Worlds Collide”, was published March 2014. The third book, titled “New World Order” was released January 2015.
Welcome to the book blitz for RISE OF PRINCES, the second book in the adult historical/fantasy romance series, The Homeric Chronicles, by Janell Rhiannon. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. This book is free for a limited time on Amazon. You can also pick up book 1 for free from here.
RISE OF PRINCES (Homeric Chronicles #2) by Janell Rhiannon
About the Book – FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME! Title: RISE OF PRINCES Series: The Homeric Chronicles #2 Author: Janell Rhiannon Release Date: May 1, 2017 Genre: Adult Historical/Fantasy Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis In the Song of Princes, the western Greek world is set afire by the brazen escape of Helen of Sparta with Paris, the Forgotten Prince of Troy. As their ship plows east across the Aegean, the Great War trails close behind them. Not even the gods could silence the thundering shields and singing arrows following the lovers back to Troy.
In Rise of Princes, Agamemnon and his horde lay siege to Trojan allies for nearly nine years, but it is Achilles, the Golden Warrior, who brutally ravages the Troad lands becoming the Sacker of Cities. His fierce onslaught prompts the gods to intervene on behalf of the Trojans and their allies. Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty and patroness of Troy, sends the Princess Briseis to calm the bloody fury of Achilles.
Hektor, the Golden Prince, leads the Trojan army against the western invaders, keeping Troy safe behind the Great Wall. As Defender of the Citadel, he grants sanctuary to thousands of refugees seeking safety from the death and destruction sweeping the land. Behind the solidarity of the royal family, tensions over the continued presence of Helen of Sparta threaten to topple the empire. When the fate of Troy appears most grim, a ray of hope is offered by a new prophesy. Despite his private losses, Hektor vows to remain the strength his people need.
Across the Aegean, the Greek kingdoms struggle with disturbing news from Troy. Queen Clytemnestra of Mycenae, reeling from Agamemnon’s ruthless betrayal, loses faith in the gods and plots her revenge. Queen Penelope of Ithaka, young and uncertain, prays to Athena for her husband’s swift return. And Tyndareus, the former king of Sparta, works to usurp Menelaus’ throne.
Trojans and Greeks face heartbreak as the war, sparked by the vanity and greed of men, continues with no end in sight.
Excerpt #1 “Take your stance, little Neo,” Chiron said. “Hold your ground and do not back down.”
“I never back down.” Smirking, the boy narrowed his fire blue eyes at his master, and added, “Ever!” He charged the centaur like an enraged bull, tilting his shield just so that it was part battering ram. He did not flinch, nor hold back the might of his assault. This was warfare. He crashed into Chiron’s side like a wave upon a wall; the centaur stumbled with the force and Neo fell straight back into the sand. “You are heavy.”
“You, young master, have much to learn.”
“I will not be fighting centaurs, only men. And I will break them all.”
“Bold words from a boy,” Chiron huffed, and twitched his tail impatiently. “How did you become so insolent?” Neo was not as easy to like as Achilles had been, or even Peleus for that matter. Achilles’ son was stubborn and headstrong; willful and arrogant enough to call down the wrath of the gods at any moment. Chiron found himself searching the sky for signs of impending doom and punishments. But, so far, Zeus had seen fit to let the boy alone. “Again.”
Neo brushed off the sand sticking to the side of his sweaty face, hiked his shield on his left arm, and hefted his sword in his right hand. “I am ready, Chiron.” This time, when Neo charged, he tilted his shield, aiming much lower. The centaur reared up, slamming his front hooves down heavily onto Neo’s shield, but not before the boy swung his sword arm around, landing a hard blow against Chiron’s shin.
“Ahh!” The centaur kicked sand at Neo. “You are just as clever as your father.”
Neo smirked. “I will be better than my father.”
Chiron thought, No, you will not be fiercer than Achilles, but you will be feared among men. The centaur was troubled by a reoccurring vision—one in which he saw Neo, tall and strong, his golden hair flying like the mane of a lion, leading the Black Shields of his father’s against a burning city, which he guessed to be Troy. The troubling dreams began when Neo’s training had begun. He knew more about the gods than to dismiss the visions. He knew they were warnings, but warnings of what? That he couldn’t answer.
“Chiron?” Neo asked suddenly.
“What is it, little Neo?”
“Is it true what my grandfather says? That you trained my father to be the best fighter in the entire west?”
“I trained your father in many arts, fighting among them.”
“Fighting is the only art worthy of study.”
There it is, Chiron thought, the shadow surrounding the boy. “Young Neo, you will soon learn that to be a warrior of the highest caliber, as your father is, requires knowledge of many things. And most importantly, requires equal portions of passion and compassion.”
“Compassion is for women. I hear the deeds of my father. I hear how he slays the enemy, cuts them down by the thousands. I know he stoned a princess before her own city walls.”
Chiron narrowed his eyes. The boy’s tone was sharp as a blade, over-confident. He’d have to begin reining him in tightly … if it wasn’t already too late. “He is at war, boy. Best to remember that. Have no doubt, Achilles learned to balance his bloodlust with civility.”
“I will have none of your civility, Chiron. I will go to war someday, like my father. And I will prove myself in battle.”
“That is enough practice for one day,” Chiron said abruptly. “I have other matters to attend to. You may run. Run the mountain course I taught you, for if you are to match your father’s prowess, you will have to first run like the wind.” He cocked an eyebrow at his pupil. “He is the only mortal to ever win a foot race against me. Perhaps, you will be the second.”
Neoptolemus laughed. “I may be the second, but I will be the fastest.” The young master threw down his weapons, running from the training pit to the narrow trail.
Chiron watched after him, twitching his tail impatiently. “He should have been sent far earlier to me. He is more trouble than Achilles ever was.” Much more.
Author Janell Rhiannon
About the Author Janell always had her nose in a book, reading by flashlight when it was “lights out” time. Her love of reading turned to a curiosity about writing. She now writes in all the spare moments she can squeeze out of a day. She also writes fiction and fantasy with some romantic spice for good measure. Janell adores Mythology and Fantasy. Anything magical and mystical. And dragons. And gargoyles. Her guiding motto: “I tell stories, not genres.”
Welcome to the book blitz for BREAKER AND THE SUN, the second book in the young adult historical series, Paper Stars, by Lauren Nicolle Taylor. See below for for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt and details on her giveaway. Book 1, NORA & KETTLE, is currently available for free! See below for links.
BREAKER AND THE SUN (Paper Stars #2) by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Synopsis Times means nothing. It’s just the sun and moon changing places.
New from Lauren Nicolle Taylor, the best-selling author of Nora and Kettle, comes a fresh take on a classic tale.
Breaker Van Winkle is a recently returned Vietnam vet, struggling with PTSD and the difficulties of readjusting to civilian life with his mother. Sunny is a high-achieving eighteen-year-old Chinese-French immigrant who fled Vietnam during the war. Sunny is usually as cheerful as her name implies, but she has her struggles too. Haunted by violent memories of the bombing that killed her parents, and chafing under the rule of her eccentric grandmother, she finds solace deep in the Catskills, at a place she calls the Ugly Tree.
When Breaker stumbles upon Sunny and the Ugly Tree, things start to change. They are drawn to each other, and feel called to the tree. As they spend more time together and their relationship deepens, they notice that their time at the tree is becoming twisted somehow. Sunny’s mind yawns and her ambitions begin to slip away. Breaker feels safe and carefree, his memories finally burying themselves in the distant past. They are being lulled toward a tempting, peaceful sleep—but there is a cost to this magical serenity, and it may be more than either of them can bear…
Excerpt #1 – Sunny Walking up the stairs, I pause and bend down, plucking some stubborn weeds from the hard earth. I shake the dirt from them and look at the struggling roots before tossing them in the garden bed. Is he just a jerk? Seems like there must be more to it than that. At least, that’s what I’d like to believe.
I sigh, wishing I could be like Cara sometimes. To stop searching for the reasons behind things and just accept the world for what it is and all the jerks in it.
The smell of garlic and peanut oil seeps from the front porch, luring me inside and throwing my thoughts into the frying pan. I walk up, my foot hovering over the last cracked bit of peeling concrete. I open my ears and smile wide as I listen to the cackling and coughing coming from within.
“You love my voice, eh?” Ama shouts as metal clatters in musical harmony.
“I love you to shut up!” Gung grumbles.
Ama starts humming out of tune. I can picture Gung’s surly expression. His eyes following her around the room like they’re trying to decipher one tiny particle of the code that makes her, but then he’ll give up. We always give up.
I take off my shoes and open the door.
I’m looking at my rainbow-striped socks when a white china bowl comes flying at my knees. I jump out of the way, and the bowl hits the doorframe and bounces off without breaking. “Ama! What the he…heck?” I manage to avoid saying hell before my intensely religious grandmother slaps me.
“See, George! Doesn’t break.” She throws another bowl my way like a Frisbee, and I sidestep as it skitters across the cork floor with a clanging marble kind of sound.
I giggle and step into the lounge, kissing Gung on the cheek, inhaling his sweet tobacco smell just as he runs a hand through his thinning hair and shouts at Ama, “You crazy woman!”
“It’s Corr Relle!” She says it like it’s two words, not one, and like that should explain her throwing crockery. My eyes turn to the kitchen and the dining set strewn across the floor. Ama stands on her tiptoes in the small spaces between the overlapping plates and bowls, knees bent as if she’s considering jumping out of the mess she’s created.
I put my hand up to stop her. “Ama, let me help you pick all this up.” I kneel and start stacking the plates.
“Twenty-five percent off, Sun,” she whispers, squatting down on her haunches to help me. She has the balance of a gymnast, leaning her thighs against the back of her calves with ease. Whenever I try to do that, I fall backward. But that could also be because she usually tries to knock me over with the end of a broom.
Ama grins, all red lipstick and white powder, and I smirk. She looks half like a Geisha and half like a forgotten Beatle with her died black hair and pageboy cut.
Gung coughs and strains his ears to hear us. “How much you pay for all this?”
Ama winks at me and lies, “Ten dollars the lot.”
He accepts this, although I’m sure he suspects she’s lying.
After we rise, she places a bowl in front of me at the counter, serving up some sweet corn soup. I lift the spoon to my mouth.
She asks, “How was rest of day at work. Make any tips?”
“Only from that one guy, you know, the weird one,” I mumble.
She shrugs, turning her back to me to rattle a frying pan on the hob.
I take a sip, swallow, stall…
I reach for my spoon again, and Ama grabs my wrist. “You mean the army man who gave you hating eyes because you Eurasian?” she asks, narrowing her eyes at me.
I wonder what she’ll say. I never know with her. What side she’ll pick.
“Yeah, that one,” I start, looking to Gung. He has angled his whole body my way, but he hasn’t deemed this conversation worthy of getting all the way out of his chair. I feel more comfortable addressing him. “Though I don’t think it’s because I’m Eurasian, Ama. I think it’s just because I look Asian.”
Ama snaps to attention, grasping my chin and pulling it toward her fierce eyes. “Nothing wrong with way you look. You beautiful Eurasian girl.” She traces under my eyes with her wrinkled finger. “Eyes like watermelon seeds…”
I smile and try to pull back. “He’s a Vietnam veteran. Maybe I reminded him of something bad,” I mutter, defending the guy. “Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I doubt he’ll come back in again, and I got to keep his change.”
Ama turns to Gung and says proudly, “I gave him my finger. The middle one! But then…he is soldier.” She sighs very loudly. Everything exaggerated. “Maybe we can be generous to him.”
I roll my eyes. Gung rolls his eyes too. The way she flips back and forth is exhausting.
“Are you all right, Sun?” he asks.
I shake my head. “Nothing a Douglas can’t handle,” I say proudly, sitting up straighter in my seat.
“I saw you roll the eyes at me, Sunny. Rolling around like marble in bowl.” Ama waggles her finger at me, dangerously tipping into a temper. “American soldiers save your life. You should be grateful.”
I know. I remember.
But it wasn’t this exact soldier. It wasn’t his hand that reached for me in the rubble.
“Maybe when you doctor, you fix all the soldiers,” she announces, and I bow my head to look like I’m agreeing with her.
First, I need to fix what’s wrong with me.
Gung flicks on the TV, turning up the volume and trying to stop the conversation from happening. The one about college and where I’m going to go, but Ama’s not that easily distracted tonight.
She comes around the counter to stand in front of me. I look up from where I sit on my stool. “Ama. S’il vous plaît. Please. Can we not have this conversation? I don’t have to decide just yet.”
Gung clears his throat and speaks, softly but firmly. “Annie. Leave the girl in peace. Let her enjoy her good fortunes for one day.”
Ama glares at Gung, and then her gaze settles on me. “You lucky I listen to Gung.”
Gung snorts and waves her over to watch Wheel of Fortune.
I know I’m lucky.
NORA & KETTLE (Paper Stars #1) by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Synopsis What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?
Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to—the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them”—things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.
Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naïve, eighteen-year-old Nora—the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.
For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.
In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.
Set in 1953, NORA AND KETTLE explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.
Author Lauren Nicolle Taylor
About the Author LaurenNicolleTaylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.
She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.
She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Kristen Proby, is revealing an exclusive excerpt to EASY NIGHTS, the sixth book in her contemporary romance series, Boudreaux, releasing June 27, 2017. See below for information on the book and series and pre-order links. For a limited time, you can pick up EASY LOVE, book 1 in the series, for free and EASY CHARM, book 2, for just $0.99. See below for links.
EASY NIGHTS (Boudreaux Series #6) by Kristen Proby
Synopsis The Boudreaux Series—Sexy. Intriguing. Easy.
No one said change was easy…
Savannah Boudreaux knows what it is to hurt. To bleed. To be afraid that the man she’s promised to be true to until “death do us part” might in fact separate them far sooner than anyone had ever anticipated. But Van also knows what it is to survive. To move on. To live life to the fullest. With five brothers and sisters and a loving mother as her constant source of strength during the pain and the healing, Van realizes there is little else she needs.
But some things never change…
Benjamin Preston sat on the sidelines of the Boudreaux family for years, in love with a woman he couldn’t have. As the best friend of the Boudreaux brothers since childhood, Ben has seen both tragedies and joys in the family. And as a former MMA fighter and Krav Maga expert, Ben’s used to fighting for what he wants—and winning. His hands were tied when Savannah married her high school sweetheart not long after graduation, but now two years have passed since Ben found Savannah broken in her own home.
Sometimes what you need most has been right in front of you the whole time…
Van’s convinced that happiness isn’t in the cards for her, no matter how right it feels to be in Ben’s strong arms—and his bed. Ben is determined to win her heart and fight for her trust. He’s promised to protect her, to be her friend. But more than anything, he wants to finally make her his, and this is one fight he’s not willing to lose.
Eli Boudreaux’s family has built ships and boats in Louisiana for generations. He comes from a hard working, wealthy family and his empire is growing by leaps and bounds. At thirty, he is the youngest CEO to ever head Bayou Enterprises, co-chairing with his eldest brother. His head for business and his no-nonsense work ethic is also quickly making him the best the company has seen in generations. His staff admires him, women adore him and Eli’s family is solid. But he’s recently discovered that someone on the inside of his business is stealing from him and he’s determined to find out who.
Kate O’Shaughnessy is hired by companies all over the world to slip inside and investigate every member of the organization from the CEO down to the custodial staff to find the person or persons responsible for embezzling. She’s excellent at blending, becoming part of the team, and finding the weakest link. She’s smart, quick-witted, and she’s now been hired by Bayou Enterprises, specifically Eli Boudreaux. The attraction is immediate and the chemistry is off the charts, but Kate has heard all about Eli’s playboy past and she has a job to do. Sleeping with the boss isn’t a part of that job, even if just the sound of her name rolling off that Cajun tongue and the way he fills out a designer suit does make her sweat.
Eli’s southern charms surprise Kate. The man whose reputation labels him as a ruthless, callous womanizer is not the man she’s coming to know intimately. He’s generous, protective and makes her smile. Cracking through Kate’s cool, reserved demeanor and discovering her love of sexy, expensive lingerie is a challenge Eli can’t resist, but her sweet nature, love of family and sense of humor pull at him in ways no one else ever has.
But when the person responsible for trying to single-handedly dismantle Eli’s empire comes to light, and it’s time for Kate to move on, to what lengths will Eli go to keep the woman he he’s fallen in love with by his side?
Synopsis Gabrielle Boudreaux, the youngest of the Boudreaux clan, is a single mother of her young son, Sam. Running a Bed and Breakfast at the family plantation house at the edge of the Mississippi River, Gabby loves her inn, her boy and her family. She meets new people every day, and takes pride in the house and land that has been in her family for more than five generations. Blessed beyond measure, she’s also lonely, although she would never admit that to anyone. Until Rhys O’Shaughnessy walks through her door, brooding and wounded and the sexiest thing she’s ever laid eyes on.
Rhys has been at the top of his game as a major league pitcher for the Boston Red Sox for more than ten years. Baseball is in his blood. But when he tears his rotator cuff and has to sit a season out, he retreats to Inn Boudreaux at the recommendation of his cousin, Kate, to heal and work toward building his shoulder back to perfect shape with only one goal in mind: to return to the game he loves. But he didn’t plan on being utterly charmed by a devastatingly beautiful woman and her baseball-loving son.
When Rhys’ shoulder has healed and he’s given the chance to return to his team, will he leave the family he’s come to love behind, or will he stay with Gabby and Sam?
EASY MELODY (Boudreaux Series #3) by Kristen Proby
Synopsis Callie Mills never intended to return to New Orleans and the life she left behind more than a decade ago. There was no need to open old wounds when she had the life she’d worked hard for in Denver. But when she’s fired from her awesome job in Colorado and her father dies, she has no choice but to return home to run the derelict bar left to her in the heart of the French Quarter. Callie must not only face bad memories but turn The Odyssey into something she can be proud of.
And who better to help bring in crowds of people than Declan Boudreaux?
Declan is a sought-after musician who knows he’s good at what he does and loves doing it. Known to pack the house, he also loves women and doesn’t expect to be knocked back a step by the beautiful new owner of The Odyssey. Callie is sharp, gorgeous and funny, and makes him yearn for something he never has before… Commitment.
But when Callie’s able to turn the business around with renovations, making it one of the hottest bars in the Quarter, will she sell out and leave her past behind once and for all, or will Declan be able to convince her that’s she’s where she needed to be all along…in his arms..
EASY KISSES (Boudreaux Series #4) by Kristen Proby
Synopsis The Boudreaux Series. Sexy. Intriguing. Easy.
Simon Danbury, an internationally sought after motivational speaker, helps women from all walks of life with love, self-esteem, dating and career building skills. Handsome, witty and wealthy, Simon seemingly has everything a man could want.
But appearances can be deceiving.
While Simon may have the answers for millions of women all over the world, when it comes to his own love life, he’s a giant, sexy mess. Divorced, and convinced that he’ll never love again, the very last thing he expects is one Charly Boudreaux.
Charly doesn’t want to be at this seminar in the middle of nowhere, but her sister made her go. She’s the one who has her life together. Great career, amazing family, nice home, and loyal friends. So what if she doesn’t have a man? She doesn’t need one. If she’s learned anything in her almost thirty years, it’s that men are more trouble than they’re worth.
And they have a nasty habit of breaking your heart into a million tiny pieces.
So she’ll sit through all of Simon’s touchy feely crap and go home and get on with her life. Except Simon isn’t really spouting crap, and when he smiles at her, the butterflies are ridiculous.
Never mixing business with pleasure, Simon finds Charly, a bright spot in a universe that’s been dark for too long. But will he be able to resist her?
Synopsis The Boudreaux Series. Sexy. Intriguing. Easy.
Family. Responsibility. Stability.
As the co-CEO of Bayou Enterprises, and the eldest of the Boudreaux clan, Beau is the epitome of these. Now that his baby sister Gabby is happily settled down, Beau has moved into the company loft in the heart of the French Quarter to be closer to his office while his own home is built. He doesn’t have time for anything but the family he adores and the company that drives him.
If only the bewitching owner of the herb shop downstairs from Beau’s loft wasn’t so damn tempting.
Mallory Adams is living the life. The good life. The best life for her. After years of hiding who she is, and the gifts she’s been cursed with, Mallory opened her little shop in the French Quarter, offering herbs and lotions for anything from soothing a sunburn to chasing those pesky ghosts New Orleans is known for out of a client’s home. Some call her eccentric, and some say she’s simply odd, and that’s okay with her. She is a bit odd, but in her experience, all of the best people are.
When an old pipe bursts in the loft above her store, flooding her storeroom, Mallory comes face to face with Beau Boudreaux, and she doesn’t need the clairvoyant abilities that have been passed down through generations to know that she’ll never be the same. Beau is her exact opposite; serious, straitlaced. He wears suits for Pete’s sake and probably wouldn’t know the difference between arnica and flaxseed if his life depended on it. But when he touches her, the electricity is through the roof and she’s smart enough to know that a chemistry like theirs doesn’t happen every day.
Can two people so very different possibly find their way to happily ever after?
Author Kristen Proby
About the Author New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.
Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps. .