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. .
Welcome to the sale blitz for THE TEXAS MUTINY SERIES, a new adult contemporary sports romance series, by M.E. Carter. See below for information on the books, buy links, an exclusive list of ten fun facts about the series, and details on her giveaway. Also, for a limited time, you can pick up JUKED, book 1 in the series, for free.
Synopsis Juked: verb.
A slang soccer term meaning: faked out, deceived, confused your opponent
See examples Daniel Zavaro and Quincy Watson:
As the rising star in Houston, Daniel has found fame as Captain of his Pro soccer team and the city’s most eligible bachelor. Daniel has everything – except someone special – and that suits him just fine. He doesn’t want, or need, complications.
Quincy has baggage, and lots of it. After a tragic accident spins her world on its axis, she finds herself as a single mother, raising a newborn nephew she never knew she had. Between parenthood, her full-time job, and dealing with the suffocating grief of losing her sister, every day is a struggle.
When they begin to cross paths unexpectedly and often, an unlikely friendship starts to evolve. Feelings change. Lines get crossed. What happens next surprises them both…
a person, especially a young woman, who regularly follows a celebrity in the hope of meeting or getting to know them.
See example Tiffany Wendel:
Whore. Slut. Cleat Chaser. I’m used to the names so they don’t bother me. These are my boys. My friends. So what if I like to have dirty sex with them? My body is no one’s business but mine.
Why is Rowen Flanigan making me re-think how I live my life? Making me question my choices? He’s only a rookie.
a member of an athletic team in his first full season in that sport.
See example Rowen Flanigan:
Player. Son of a legend. Rookie.
Sure, I’d heard the stories of the groupies before. Who hasn’t? I’ve just been more sheltered than my teammates. So what? I didn’t expect her to be smart. Witty. Kind. She brings me to my knees in every way – except one.
That part? I’m saving until the time is right.
So how in the hell did I end up falling for a Groupie like Tiffany? And how in the hell is this going to work when everyone at my job has had a piece of the one thing I haven’t?
Ten Fun Facts about the Texas Mutiny series By M.E. Carter Every author has their own writing process. The things that make them most comfortable and help them reach their goals. Problem is, characters seem to have a mind of their own and sometimes that means the original process goes out the window! I experienced that phenomenon over and over while writing the Texas Mutiny series. Here are Ten Fun Facts about the series and how the writing process didn’t exactly go as planned.
My youngest child, who most know as “Bug”, is the inspiration for multiple younger characters in the series. When I wrote Juked, baby Chance started out as a two month old – the same age Bug was at the time. When I wrote Goalie, Theo was about 14 months old – the same age Bug was at the time. I try to keep the characters different, but babies/toddlers all tend to be pretty similar in their learning process, so many everyday situations have been added to various scenes. .
I never planned to write a book about a groupie. But when inspiration hits, there’s not a lot you can do to stop it. I was in my car writing Juked one night, while my daughter was in dance practice. I was researching derogatory terms for “soccer groupie”. (For the record, there are several terms, but nothing I’ve been able to find that is exclusive to the sport of soccer, like “puck bunny” would be to hockey.) Instead, I stumbled across several blog posts from former soccer groupies and I was fascinated. So yes, some of the things that happen in Groupie? They’re not the result of my imagination at work as much as they are based on true stories. .
I never panned to write Goalie either. One of my beta readers for Groupie mentioned that she would be interested to know what happened with Santos and Mariana, who were at that point, just secondary characters that popped in and out very briefly. I told her there wasn’t a story there. The following morning, I sent her quite a few texts cussing her out, as I suddenly had a 30 chapter outline and story rolling through my brain. .
Goalie is about a couple going through a divorce. I wrote it while I was going through a divorce. There’s a misconception that I wrote my own divorce story. I didn’t. We could all be so lucky as to divorce a man like Santos. Which is weird to say since he’s a serial cheater. But if you make it to the end, you’ll see why I can wish for that. .
I’m not a fan of naked torsos on covers, but I wanted to try a “Social experiment”, if you will, about how well a naked torso cover is received. That’s how Juked ended up with a soccer player on the cover. Then it turned into a whole series and I have to keep the covers consistent with more torsos. Serves me right. .
Speaking of covers, one really cool feature with the paperback, if you put two of them side by side, the second one upside down, and push the covers together, the pictures come together like a puzzle to make one whole person. It works with the covers of Groupie, too. However, it does NOT work with Goalie. If you put those two pictures together, it looks like a threesome with a four-boobed alien woman in the middle. That’s a different genre, altogether. .
I toyed with just letting the soccer team be the Houston Dynamo, which is our actual team here in Houston. Then the inspiration for Groupie hit and I figured their very real PR department wouldn’t want to have any sort of association with some of the things my players do off the field. And since a lawsuit didn’t fit into my schedule, I very quickly changed the team name. .
Speaking of changing the team name, I couldn’t come up with one I liked for anything! So I had a contest in my group for one. The winner, Helen Cope, came up with the name “Texas Mutiny”. Not only did she win some books, she is a character in Juked. Remember Rosemary Cope? Erik’s mother? Helen’s middle name is Rosemary and liked the sound of it for the character. .
In the acknowledgements of each Texas Mutiny book (except Megged) is the name John Marshall. He is the husband of a good friend of mine and has been obsessed with all things soccer since he can remember. He’s in his 40’s and still plays on a competitive league. John has never read a romance book in his life until he beta read the entire series. It’s not uncommon for him to send me notes from his job because he’s gotten caught up in a chapter. His wife has even texted me pictures of him reading my books the day they go live, so he can see the final product! I also been told the conversations they had while he beta read Groupie were, um…. Interesting. .
My favorite characters in this series, by far, are Tiffany and Rowen. There is something so lovely and wonderful about knowing nothing in your past matters to the person that loves you the most. I love them so much that they are getting a second book, tentatively titled Outswinger. It’s scheduled to release in July.
a player in the goal whose duty is to prevent the ball from entering or crossing it
See Santos and Mariana DeGuajarado
As goalie of the Texas Mutiny, Santos is damn good at protecting that net. But he never bothered to protect his marriage.
Letting the fame and notoriety go to his head, he lost the things he loved the most… his wife and kids. Now he has one shot to make it right before losing at this relationship game and he’s determined not to miss this time.
Mariana has been scarred so deeply by Santos’s betrayals, she will carry the wounds forever. After almost ten years of marriage though, she knows him well, and she knows he won’t let go without a fight. Still, she refuses to be a push over.
Synopsis Megged: noun.
a playing technique where the aim is to kick, roll, dribble, throw, or push the ball between an opponent’s legs
See examples Santos and Mariana DeLaGuajardo:
It’s been two years and three months since Santos has had sex. Not that he’s keeping track. After the way he betrayed the love of his life, he’s willing to give up sex altogether as long as it means keeping her in his life. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t thought about it…
Despite living in the same house for months, Mariana is still hesitant to cross that final, physical line. The wounds that Santos left combined with her insecurities stop her from taking what she really wants.
When a misunderstanding makes them realize they’re finally on the same page, Santos and Mari must decide what’s most important to them. But this time, it’ll be Mari’s way or nothing.
*****MEGGED IS A 13,000 WORD SHORT FOLLOW UP TO GOALIE. IT IS INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY*****
Author M.E. Carter
About the Author My name is ME Carter and I have no idea how I ended writing books. I’m more of a story teller (the more exaggerated the better) and I happen to know people who helped me get those stories on paper.
I love reading (read almost 300 books last year), hate working out (but I do it anyway because my trainer makes me), love food (but hate what it does to my butt) and love traveling to non-touristy places most people never see.
I live in Houston with my four kids, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who was just a twinkle in my eye when I came up with my pen name. Yeah, I’ll probably have to pay for his therapy someday for being left out..
Welcome to the book blitz for THE FORGOTTEN CHILD, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, The Outsider, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lorhainne Eckhart. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.
THE FORGOTTEN CHILD (The Outsider #1) by Lorhainne Eckhart
Synopsis In THE FORGOTTEN CHILD, Brad Friessen wasn’t looking to love again. But what he got was a woman who shook his lonely bitter world upside down, and touched him in a way no other woman could.
Emily Nelson, a courageous young mother, ends a loveless, bitter marriage and strikes out on her own. She answers an ad as a cook and live-in caregiver to a three-year-old boy on a local ranch. Ranch owner Brad Friessen hires and moves in Emily and her daughter. But Emily soon discovers something’s seriously wrong with the boy, and the reclusive, difficult man who hired her can’t see the behavior and how delayed his son is. So Emily researches until she stumbles across what she suspects are the soft signs of autism. Now she must tell him, give him hope, and help him come to terms with this neurological disorder—to take the necessary steps to get his child the help he needs.
As their lives become intertwined, their attraction is unavoidable—a connection sparks between them. But just as they’re getting close, Brad’s estranged wife, Crystal, returns after abandoning the family two years earlier. Among the shock and confusion is one disturbing question Brad can’t shake: How does Crystal know so much of his personal business, the inner working of the ranch, and Emily’s relationship with his son?
Crystal must’ve had a plan, as she somehow gains the upper hand, driving a wedge in the emotional bond forged between Brad, Emily, and the children. The primary focus for care and therapy of three-year-old Trevor is diverted. The lengths to which Crystal will go, the lies, the greed, just to keep what’s hers, are nothing short of cold and calculating. Emily’s forced out of the house. Brad fights to save his boy, to protect what’s his, and struggles over his greatest sacrifice—Emily, and the haunting question: Has he lost her forever?
Author Lorhainne Eckhart
About the Author New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorhainne Eckhart recently received the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Award for Suspense and Romance for her two titles Vanished & The Bloodline. With over fifty titles under her belt, her big family romance series are loved by fans worldwide. Books that celebrate love, family, commitment, hope, and making a relationship work. With flawed strong characters, characters you can relate to. Lorhainne writes the kind of books she wants to read.
She is an award winning author and frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, such as romance, western, military and mystery/suspense. She has written multiple series, including The Outsider, Walk the Right Road, The Wilde Brothers, Saved, The Friessens, and her two newest additions, Married in Montana, and her high-stakes suspense and sizzling, red-hot romance series, Kate and Walker, Deadly, Dangerous and Desired.
Welcome to the book blitz for HONOR, the fifth book in the adult contemporary romance series, First to Fight, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Nicole Blanchard. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up ANCHOR, book one in the series, for free!
Synopsis A gorgeous woman, a heart pounding kiss under the mistletoe. It should’ve been the start to making some Christmas magic, but I pushed her away.
She deserved better than a wounded warrior, someone who could barely face getting up in the morning.
A year later I’ve turned my life around, made myself into a man she could be proud of. A man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
And all I want is a second chance with her.
This is a NOVELLA-LENGTH, STANDALONE, with NO CLIFFHANGER.
Holidays never end well in my family.
“Faith,” my sister Lila hisses from the entrance to the dining room.
I turn away from the annual sharing of presents going on in the living room and glare at her. It’s been a mild holiday for us. One that hasn’t devolved into someone calling the cops or an all-out brawl in the front yard. “What?”
I have my eye on the medium-sized box sitting just under the tree. Aunt Ethel has been giving me suspicious glances all night, and I know she must have gotten my name. After thorough reconnaissance, I ferreted out which of the gifts under the tree she brought. Ethel always has a heavy hand with the presents, so I know it’ll be good, and I don’t want to miss when they call my name.
Lila skirts around two of our cousins with a harried smile. “We have a problem,” she whispers in my ear as her fingers wrap vise-like around my upper arm.
A collective gasp comes from the living room, and I stretch up to my toes to see over the heads of the crowd. With my eyes on the biggest present of the bunch, I say, “Did Grandpa get into the eggnog again?”
“Good. The last thing anyone needs is another look at those cinnamon buns again.” I shiver just thinking about it. There are some things you just don’t need to know about your grandparents. What they look like naked is all of them.
“Jesus, Faith, pay attention,” Lila hisses.
I turn to her and remove her hand from my arm. “What’s the problem? It can’t be worse than Grandpa streaking across the front lawn.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” she says with a heavy dose of sarcasm, “would you consider Aunt Marie not bringing our guest of honor a present for the Secret Santa exchange a problem?”
“You’re kidding,” I say. Though, I’m not very surprised.
There’s always that one miserable individual who decides they don’t want or need to take part and forgoes purchasing a gift. I thought no one would dare forget to bring a gift for this recipient.
Lila’s expression is grim and for a good reason. The present in question is for local legend and hero, Scott Green, who returned from Afghanistan a year ago minus a limb.
My parents are patriotic to the extreme, my father having served for twenty years. So, when he heard Scott would spend the holiday alone, he invited—or ordered—Scott to attend our annual Christmas party. It must have been an oversight to allow his Secret Santa to be Aunt Marie—a bad one.
“I’m serious as a friggin’ heart attack.” Lila wipes a hand over her sweaty brow. “Dad doesn’t know yet, but Mom’s been keeping track of all the Santa’s and their gifts, and she told me to figure something out.”
A glance back to the living room shows the gift swapping still in full swing. I scan the attendants, but Scott isn’t among them. I haven’t laid eyes on him yet, but my brother Paul saw him earlier. With as many family members as we fit in our little house during the holidays, it’s no real wonder I haven’t met him yet. Hordes of them part around us on their way to the kitchen or the bathrooms causing us to squeeze against the wall to escape the crush. Clouds of perfume and cologne make me wrinkle my nose. We have to shout to hear one another.
“What the hell are we supposed to do now?” I ask Lila.
She bites a nail. “Do you think we have time to run to the store?”
I glance at my watch as if it’ll have answers. “Depends. How many people are waiting on presents? Did Mom say?”
Lila grimaces. “Okay. Okay. What about money? Too crass to give him money?”
I snort. “That’s an excellent idea. That’s like the ultimate pass-off gift. No imagination.”
Lila glares at me. “You’re not helping!”
A crash comes from the kitchen, and Lila whips around. “Oh, no!” she shrieks. “Grandpa’s into the eggnog. You handle the present, and I’ll make sure he doesn’t drink himself out of his clothes again.”
I open my mouth to protest and then remember seeing Grandpa naked. She got the worse out of the two. How hard could it be to find a present for this guy? With one last mournful look at the box under the tree, I cross the room to where my mother sits.
She’s in the middle of the melee, calling out names from a little sheet. We tried to do it without moderation one year, which resulted in one of the more epic police visits. Her wild eyes meet mine, but her panic doesn’t show in her voice when she calls out the next name to receive their gift.
“Did your sister talk to you?” she asks under her breath.
“Yes, she did. I’m working on it.”
Relief wipes away the tightness around her eyes and mouth. “Thank goodness. Your father will kill Marie. I only have a couple people left before Scott, and if we don’t figure something out, that poor boy will be the only one here without a present. I swear that woman doesn’t have a damn thing between her ears except meanness.”
“Do you have any presents stashed away in the closet?”
Mom stops mid-name and glares at me. “What do you mean ‘stashed away in the closet’?”
“C’mon, Mom, you can’t think I didn’t know where you keep them.”
“Faith Louise, you better not have been snooping around my closet.”
I roll my eyes. “Let’s not get off track here. We don’t have time for this.”
“I’m not off track. I’m on track. And you’ll damn well make time, young lady. How long have you known?” Her eyes widen. “Christmas of ’07. I knew you weren’t surprised about the life-sized cardboard cutout of that movie star you liked.”
I heave a groan. “Mom, this is not the time. Everyone has a re-gift stash somewhere. We can debate about it later.”
She doesn’t seem to hear me. “You’d think a teenaged girl would be excited about something like that, but no, not you. Why do you always have to make everything so complicated?”
Someone laughs behind me, making my shoulders tense. It’s a male laugh. A mocking laugh.
“I’ll go look myself,” I say through gritted teeth before spinning around. Though the stranger is vaguely familiar, I can’t put a name to a face. I may not recognize him, but I understand the humor in his all-too-attractive warm brown eyes. Having no time for a stranger’s evident joy in my humiliation, I bite out a prim, “Excuse me,” and give the guy a tight smile before scooting past him.
I squeeze through the crowded hallway to my parents’ bedroom and push through the door. The couple on their bed springs apart, and I cover my eyes with one hand.
“Jesus, God,” I squeak. “Uncle Melvin?”
“Hey, buttercup.” There is a series of rapid whispers and the tell-tale sound of squeaking bed springs. “We’ll just . . .. er . . . get out of your way.”
I ease into the room using my hands to guide myself along the wall and wait. When I’m sure it’s safe, I peer through my narrowed eyes and sigh in relief when I find the room empty.
Mom is shouting from the living room, and it’s a testament to her desperation I can hear her over the pulsing Christmas music and the loud conversation. “Next to last for our Christmas Secret Santa . . .” she yells.
I yank open the closet door and, just as I suspected, find dozens of wrapped gifts. There’s a pile to the right of ones yet to be stuffed in a gift box or painstakingly smothered by gift wrap, so I get to my knees and paw through it.
There are gift sets of body washes, perfumes, and lotions. I dismiss those and reach for a likely box with branding geared toward men. It’s a gift set for flavored lubricant “for his pleasure,” which I throw as far away from me as possible. For a few horrifying seconds, I wonder who the hell bought it for my mother.
“And our last Secret Santa . . .”
My stomach plummets as I get to my feet and scramble back down the hallway, elbowing past relatives. I reach the living room, breathless, and try to wave down my mother’s attention, but Uncle Melvin and his lady love block her from seeing me. They couldn’t care less about what is going on around them, either. They are much more interested in the mistletoe hanging overhead.
“Is our hometown hero, Scott Green!” Mom finishes and looks my way with an expectant expression.
I make panicked eyes at her, but the crowd in the hallway is already parting, and I hear the dreaded steps of Scott making his way to the living room.
Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck!
I’ve never dealt well with pressure. Public speaking gives me hives. I’m known to call in on test days or big presentations. When all eyes swing in my direction, and I look up to find the man who laughed at me after my awkward conversation with Mom, I’m about three seconds away from having a veritable meltdown.
I didn’t get a good look at him before, because I wished he’d disappear and stop enjoying my moment of humiliation, but I get an eyeful when he draws to a stop next to me.
He’s wearing a red-green-and-black flannel shirt with the top three buttons undone. I’d never noticed how tempting such a suggestive expanse of skin could be. Those three buttons make my fingers itch to undo the rest. A silver chain disappears into the shadows beneath, and my eyes try to see through the material. I have the sudden urge to reach in there and feel the skin-warmed metal for myself. The sleeves of the shirt are rolled to his elbows and leave his muscular forearms and rough-hewn hands bare.
Realizing I’m staring—and so is everyone else—I flick my gaze to my mom, whose eyes are wide as she mouths, “Where’s his present?”
Panic spears through me, and I whip back to Scott. His dark gaze studies me as if we have all the time in the world, a little smile playing around his lips.
Uncle Melvin and his lady push me to get out of the limelight—no doubt to find another room in which to make out. My gaze lifts and my stomach clenches when the mistletoe in the doorway that inspired their kiss only seconds before fills my line of sight.
“Faith,” I hear my mother hiss. She clears her throat. “Faith has your present, Scott.”
Wrinkles form at the corners of his eyes as he full-on smiles. “I must have been a good boy this year,” he says in a low voice that shoots through me like a good shot of whiskey, warm and dark with a hint of heat.
The crowd around me laughs, and I smile half-heartedly. All the attention is making my heart beat double time in my chest. I resist the need to rub my hands on my dress and glance again to the top of the doorway.
Scott’s smile turns contemplative, and he follows my look up to the mistletoe. There’s a tense pause where his throat bobs with a swallow before he looks back at me, and his smile melts from his lips.
“Faith,” Mom says, her voice leaning toward high-pitched. “Why don’t you give Scott his present?”
“Yes,” Scott says, his eyes still twinkling at my discomfort, “why don’t you?”
There’s a dull thudding in my ears, and my heart is beating so fast I could use some of Grandpa’s medication. Before I can second-guess myself, I take a step forward, place my hands on his shoulders, and press my lips to his.
Synopsis I thought it was just one night with my brother’s best friend. The boy I had dreamt about since he gave me my first kiss, under the lights of the Ferris wheel.
I knew he was about to leave for a year – no chance for a future.
But our one night together would create memories for a lifetime.
Our paths crossed again, but I had lied, and he was no longer the man he once was. He was warring against demons. Against the silence that was threatening to swallow him. And I had kept a secret from him, one he would never forgive me for.
But my secret was about to be ripped open. Displayed for the world on national news. And I had only one way to repair the damage.
I had to trust the man I lied to.
The man I never got the chance to make a life with.
The only man who could save what we had created together..
SURVIVOR (First to Fight #1) by Nicole Blanchard
About Book 3 Title: SURVIVOR Series: First to Fight #3 Author: Nicole Blanchard Release Date: April 26, 2016 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Synopsis I knew falling in love with him was bad for us both, but I did it anyway.
For a brief moment, we had it all. Even though he was leaving to join the Marines and I had four years of college ahead of me, he was everything I ever wanted and didn’t think I deserved.
But real life has a way of dashing dreams—and that happy future we envisioned together? It disappeared at the hands of a monster.
Ten years have passed and I’m not the same naïve girl that believed in happily-ever-afters. When unforeseen events draw me back to our hometown and I find myself caring for my two teenage brothers, the last thing on my mind should be reconnecting with the hottie-turned-hero who I loved at seventeen.
As the past begins to repeat itself and old threats resurface, I’ll have to trust him with the secrets that tore us apart if I want a second chance at his heart.
SAVIOR (First to Fight #1) by Nicole Blanchard
About Book 4 Title: SAVIOR Series: First to Fight #4 Author: Nicole Blanchard Release Date: April 26, 2016 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Synopsis I thought I put my past behind me.
I lost everything when I testified against my fiancé for the murders of five women. After the jury delivered a life sentence, I ran. I hoped if I could disappear, maybe the horror he caused would, too.
When I return to Florida for the first time after his conviction, I’m determined to face my fears and get my life back. Then, a woman is murdered and I’m the only one who believes her death features the same signature as those I’m trying so hard to forget.
Instinct tells me to run again, but local cop Logan Blackwell has never let a suspect–or a woman–get away. He’s made it his own personal mission to solve the case and he needs my help to do it.
I have no choice once we learn I’m the next target, but I’m not interested in getting close to another man, especially not a sexy former Marine who has secrets of his own.
This is a FULL-LENGTH, STANDALONE, with NO CLIFFHANGER..
TRAITOR (First to Fight #6) by Nicole Blanchard
About Book 6 – PRE-ORDER NOW! Title: TRAITOR Series: First to Fight #6 Author: Nicole Blanchard Release Date: May 1, 2017 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links:iBooks
Synopsis I thought I knew better than to break the rules.
There are dozens of Marines under my command, but only one who gets under my skin. Sergeant Ford Collier. He tests my limits. Pushes my boundaries. He especially doesn’t know how to follow an order.
Like when I tell him we can never be together. As a female Marine, it’s hard enough to gain respect and getting caught would ruin everything I’ve worked for.
Despite the regulations, our attraction grows and so does the danger of our relationship being discovered. When an investigation into his actions during his last deployment brings all eyes on us, Ford will either be exposed as a traitor-or declared a hero.
This is a FULL LENGTH, STANDALONE with a HEA and NO CLIFFHANGER.
Author Nicole Blanchard
About the Author New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nicole Blanchard lives in Mississippi with her family and their menagerie of animals. She chooses each day to chase her own fairy tale even if they contain their fair share of dragons. She is married to her best friend and owns her own business.
Nicole survives on a diet of too many books and substantial amounts of root beer and slim jims. When not reading, she’s lavishing attention on her family or inhaling every episode of The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory.
Welcome to the book blitz for MY DELICATE DESTRUCTION, the first book in the new adult science fiction adventure series Wolfegang, by Jillian Ashe. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for free!
MY DELICATE DESTRUCTION (Wolfegang #1) by Jillian Ashe
About the Book – NOW AVAILABLE FOR FREE!
Title: MY DELICATE DESTRUCTION Series: Wolfegang #1 Author: Jillian Ashe Release Date: July 26, 2016 Genre: New Adult Science Fiction Adventure Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis They Promised her Hope…
My name is Katerina Anderson. In 2016, a drug called Hope was created. Administered during suspended animation, the drug was supposed to cure the cancer my twin brother and I had. When an earthquake leveled Los Angeles, we were presumed dead.
Forgotten, we slept.
The day I woke up, I realized everything had changed. My brother was missing, and everyone else I knew was dead. I booked passage on a ship to find Kris. The government thinks I’m a criminal and the cure did more than just cure my cancer. My brother is the only one who might have the answers I need, but that drug and all its false hope set me on a path I’m not sure I can follow.
Will I find my twin and learn exactly what they did to me before it’s too late?.
Excerpt I sat in the interrogation room, waiting. I was annoyed. If they were arresting me for the car, then why was I in an interrogation room? Did they need me to confess? It all seemed a little strange. There had to be some sort of retinal scan that threw up some red flags on my lack of identification if I wasn’t there for the whole car thing.
I tried not to panic. I could totally get out of this. All I had to do was sweet talk them into thinking I was a dumb girl who lost her license…or whatever I was supposed to have.
I waited for almost two hours before Officer Smith came in to do the preemptive paperwork. When he was done, he paged his partner, Officer Cromwell.
Officer Cromwell was the big, burly guy who had knocked me out. One of his arms was the size of my torso and he could probably tear me in two.
“We want to know what connection you have with Captain Chase Wolfe.” His voice was so deep it made the air around him vibrate. I was impressed despite my automatic hatred for him.
Wolfe was the last thing I expected them to ask me about. They went to all that work to arrest me, but for none of the things I was actually guilty of. They wanted to know about the captain instead. My nerves went haywire, surely trying to warn me; the basic survival instinct kicking into overdrive.
I knew nothing about this captain. At least if it was something I’d done I could answer their questions. “Well, I booked passage with him,” I replied. “I’ve never met him prior to today.”
“You’re sure?” the smaller one asked as he walked in, Smith.
“Positive. I actually have no idea why I’m here.” My hands felt constricted in the cuffs, and they jangled unpleasantly when I moved.
Why would they hunt me down for information on this guy? I was on that ship for barely an hour. Things must be worse for the Wolfegang then I’d originally thought. The authorities wanted them bad.
“You have no identification, you aren’t in the system, and you recently went to the bank to exchange a large amount of cash for credits,” Cromwell stated. “It’s not possible to have nothing to identify you. This means you had it wiped somehow, most likely for criminal reasons. Oh, and you stole a car. Anything else I’m forgetting?”
Well, shit. They did know about my criminal activities, but somehow, they thought it was connected to this captain. What exactly had I gotten myself into?
He threw down a plex that showed the stolen car report, the bank transactions, and my passage receipt.
How had they gotten it all so fast?
“You deposited five thousand dollars in cash. Where did you get it?”
“My grandfather left it for me.” At least that wasn’t a lie. I didn’t know what they wanted me to tell them, but they were so convinced that I knew something. How was I going to get them to understand?
Maybe if I played this cool enough they would let me go. Though, I doubted it. Best-case scenario: I was thrown in a holding cell with a court date and no one to pay my bail. Worst-case scenario…I could only imagine what was legal for law enforcement now.
“Have you ever contacted Chase Wolfe prior to the purchase of your passage?” Smith asked me.
“No.” Another truthful answer. I was getting lucky. I was also getting annoyed. I hated roundabout questions that were just the same question reworded. I’d already told him that I hadn’t.
“But you do know a Kristopher Anderson.”
Crap, I had a bad feeling about this. “Yes.” How could they possibly connect me to him? There were probably a million Kristopher Andersons in the world.
“We arrested him a while back on assault charges and resisting arrest. Served time too.”
I didn’t say anything. I didn’t move or react in any way. He watched me, and it made me feel cagey.
“Why are you headed to the same planet that was his last known location?”
Damn, these guys were good. “Vacation.” I didn’t bother to elaborate.
Cromwell slammed his fist on the desk. I jumped about an inch off my chair. “Stop playing around! I know he’s your brother; the DNA we took when we processed you matches. Are you smuggling weapons to him? Are you working for him or Wolfe? Give me answers, damn it!” His fist left an impression in the table.
Author Jillian Ashe
About the Author My readers are what’s important to me. Yes, I write for myself and the enjoyment of it, but I adore when a reader actually has a great time reading a story I slaved over. I don’t write any particular genre, but I do stick to kick-ass female characters. I love writing about all types of differently strong women. My debut series is Young Adult Science Fiction. The first novella is free to see if you enjoy what I write.
I’m very involved with my fandoms, and love all things geeky and nerdy. I love connecting with my readers, so if you’d like to contact me just head over to my website 🙂 .
New York Times bestselling author, Annika Martin, is unveiling the covers to her adult romantic suspense series, SPIES & SINNERS, releasing February 16, 2017. See below for all four covers, information on the books, and buy links. Also, you can pick up THORNE for free during this promotion!
COLE (Spies & Sinners #1) by Annika Martin
About Book 1 Title: COLE Series: Spies & Sinners #1 Author: Annika Martin Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense Release Date: February 16, 2017 Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis She hates him. And now she has to play his girlfriend.
Deadly abs. Deadly aim. Deadly brilliant. Cole is one of the Association’s top agents, but he’s never come up against a psycho like Borgola…and he’s running out of time.
Then he catches Angel cracking the man’s uncrackable safe. He’ll blackmails her into helping him. He can’t worry about her safety. She’s just some criminal…right?
But the deeper they fall into Borgola’s web, the more innocent Angel seems…and the more real those fake kisses start to feel..
MAC (Spies & Sinners #2) by Annika Martin
About Book 2 Title: MAC Series: Spies & Sinners #2 Author: Annika Martin Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense Release Date: February 16, 2017 Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis Where do you hide when your ex is the world’s most dangerous psycho?
Laney fled to Bangkok—new life, new identity, new everything. She keeps mostly to herself until the night she meets arrogant, gorgeous Professor Peter Maxwell and the sparks fly. He shatters her defenses—along with her pride when she discover he only seduced her to steal some secrets.
Just hours later, she finds him shirtless and sweaty, chained up in the hotel basement. He’s some sort of undercover agent. She should probably leave him there after what he did to her, maybe even kick him for good measure. But her pscyho ex is on his way back—she can feel it in her bones—and she could use a dangerous friend.
THORNE (Spies & Sinners #3) by Annika Martin
About Book 3 – NOW FREE! Title: THORNE Series: Spies & Sinners #3 Author: Annika Martin Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense Release Date: February 16, 2017 Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis He’s gorgeous. He’s a killer. And he can never discover he’s Benny’s father.
Nadia fell for the most feared hitter on her late father’s payroll, but she’s not sorry; without Thorne she wouldn’t have their beautiful boy. Now Thorne’s burst back into her life, arrogant and demanding, making himself right at home. She can’t let him figure out Benny is his…so she enlists a friend to play their son’s daddy.
Thorne knows exactly how Nadia sees him—as a brute and a killer just kinky enough to play her sexy games. And that’s how it has to stay. Leaving her two years ago was the hardest thing he ever did, but it was the only way to protect her. Now his undercover mission has thrown them back together…and it drives him crazy to see her with this other man, this new family.
HUGO (Spies & Sinners #4) by Annika Martin
About Book 4 Title: THORNE Series: Spies & Sinners #4 Author: Annika Martin Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense Release Date: February 16, 2017 Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis What do you do when dangerous criminals win your twin sister in a card game? Trade places, of course.
Zelda and her sister grew up with identical faces, but their paths went in opposite directions—Zelda became a secret agent while her sister got caught up in drugs. Zelda will do this one last thing to save her sister. She’s handled lethal men before…she can do it again.
But things don’t go as planned. Zelda ends up getting traded deeper and deeper into South America. Suddenly she finds herself at the beck and call of a domineering and mysterious new captor. Is he just another criminal? Or is could this be the legendary killer she spent so many years hunting back in her secret agent days?
SPIES AND SINNERS Series by Annika Martin
Author Annika Martin
About the Author Annika Martin is a NYT bestselling author who lives with her awesome husband and two cats in a home full of plants, sunshine and books. She’s heavy into writing love stories about criminals–some of them are dirty and fun, others are dark and intense. She also writes as the RITA-award winning author Carolyn Crane. Get on Annika’s private email list here: http://eepurl.com/qzztT
Author Karen Gordon is unveiling the cover toDEPARTURE the third book in the adult contemporary romance/chick lit series, Vivienne, releasing February 23, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, pre-order links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR. You can currently pick up the eBook of FEARLESS FLYING, book 1 in the series, for free!
DEPARTURE (Vivienne Series #3) by Karen Gordon
About the Book Title: DEPARTURE Series: Vivienne #3 Author: Karen Gordon Release Date: February 23, 2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis There’s never been a crisis that Vivienne Ramsey can’t figure her way out of—until Jack. The reluctant future CEO still thinks his ambitious assistant is too much work and not enough play.
Its beauty versus brains and super-smart Vivienne is determined that she can help turn her boss into the leader their company needs, or she might die trying. Is a trip to Vegas just what they need to become a winning team or will too many delicious distractions in sin city pull them drastically off course?
Departure is the third book in The Vivienne Series–seven hilariously fierce and flirty chick lit novellas. If you like inspiring stories filled with relatable sexy, smart women then you’ll love this glass-ceiling smashing, worldwide journey by feminist fiction author, Karen Gordon.
HI JACK (The Vivienne Series #2) by Karen Gordon
About the Book Title: HI JACK Series: Vivienne #2 Author: Karen Gordon Release Date: January 12, 2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads
Synopsis Overthinking-control-freak Vivienne Ramsey’s life is out of control.
She’s lost her dad, the man she thought she would be with forever moved away, and her best friend is about to get married. The only stable thing in her life right now is her job. Thank God for her job.
But even that might be up in the air.
She’s been summoned to meet with the CEO of the company and has no idea why. The handsome, married exec has had his eye on her. But is she ready for a move to the executive suites? Can she out play a big-time player like Joel Rockhurst?
Hi Jack is book 2 in the Vivienne Series, a continuing story of one woman trying to shatter the glass ceiling without her life breaking to pieces.
FEARLESS FLYING (Vivienne #1) by Karen Gordon
About Book 1 – NOW AVAILABLE FOR FREE! Title: FEARLESS FLYING Series: Vivienne #1 Author: Karen Gordon Release Date: November 3, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis An amazing job, check
An adorable apartment, check
A super supportive best friend, check
There’s only one thing missing from Vivienne Ramsey’s perfect life…
And after ten years of waiting the time is finally right for her to seduce her dream man. Tonight she’s going to wear Danny out in bed until he dies a happy man. But before she can begin her carefully crafted strategy of seduction he’s headed for the door. And for once in her over-organized life Vivienne doesn’t have a back-up plan.
If he had only read the memo about his part in her happily-ever-after.
Or is there?
Author Karen Gordon
About the Author Karen Gordon is an indie author who loves supporting strong and sexy women in fiction and in real life.
Born and raised in St. Charles, Missouri, she found her love of extraordinary stories about ordinary places by finding excitement in mundane suburbia. Although she currently writes romance and chick lit, you never know what she might do next. (You’ll never find a woman-hating, bad-boy hero though.)
She currently lives with the loves of her life, three very cool geeky men and one perfect puppy, just outside of Memphis, TN.