Welcome to the blog tour for SHADOWS OF NIGHTSHADE, the first book in the young adult paranormal series, The Garden of Eternal Flowers, by Lyla Oweds. See below for information on the book, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SHADOWS OF NIGHTSHADE (The Garden of Eternal Flowers Series #1) by Lyla Oweds
Synopsis I dream of a time where I was warm, safe, and loved.
But my waking reality is starkly different.
Anxiety plagues me and spirits haunt the shadows. No matter how fast I run, I can’t seem to escape my past.
The only solace and steady force in my life is my best friend, Finn.
And now… there’s a ghost haunting me. And I’m not certain if it wants help or if it wants to kill me. There’s only one person who can understand: Finn’s brother, Damen.
However, in reaching out, I’m betraying Finn and setting things into motion that cannot be undone.
But nobody ever said that doing the right thing was easy.
The Garden of Eternal Flowers is a re-envisioning of my Grimm Cases series. Eternal Flowers has taken my original vision of Bianca’s story and transformed it into something new and beautiful. Some chapters are similar, and some dialogue is the same, as The Grimm Cases, Origins, but overall, about 75% of the book has been entirely revisioned with new plot points, mystery, and interpersonal relationships. Also, unlike Origins (originally a Wattpad release), there is now a clear beginning, climax, and conclusion in each individual novel, which allows them to be read alone or as part of the ongoing series.
I hope that you will enjoy Shadows of Nightshade as much as I enjoyed writing it. Truly, it is an honor to write about Bianca and her boys, and all of these characters are near and dear to my heart.
Trigger Warning: This series deals with the aftermath of severe childhood trauma.
Excerpt #3 “It’s nothing,” Miles muttered. “Just… ghosts.”
“Oh.” That was it? Did he not like ghosts? But did he not realize that ghosts were everywhere?
Although, to be fair, I did not like to be around most people. And they were everywhere too. I, too, was exhausted from the overstimulation.
I could relate.
“Don’t worry.” I squeezed his hand. “We can work together. Okay?”
Miles slowed down, and my chest tightened as the rude nature of my question hit.
“I-I don’t want you to do everything for me!” I clarified. “It’s… I thought, maybe if we worked together, we could get finished faster.” His expression remained unchanged, and I added, almost begrudgingly. “I’ll give you some money, obviously.”
It made sense, if both of us were doing the job, we should share the profit.
His nose wrinkled in distaste. “I’m not going to take your money.”
“But…” I’d been keeping track of their spending and was working out a payment plan with interest. “I already owe you—”
“I’m not taking any money from you,” Miles interrupted. “Ever. Do you understand?”
“Okay.” I understood that he believed this, but who knew what the future held? Where there was a will, there’s a way.
Miles narrowed his eyes. “Why do I feel you don’t actually understand?”
“I don’t know,” I answered. How was I supposed to know how his mind worked? Only he could answer that question. “Why do you feel that?”
I was somewhat curious to know.
He looked at me before his shoulders slumped and he sighed. “I’m too tired to think.”
He was kind of cute, all disheveled and confused. When he was this vulnerable, it was easy to ignore the rest of the world and focus on him. His arm brushed against mine, and my heart began to beat a little faster.
There was something horrifying beginning to curl in my stomach.
I could never let him know. Even acknowledging such feelings was unsafe.
Author Lyla Oweds
About the Author Lyla Oweds is a paranormal / urban fantasy author who resides in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania with her husband, children, and animals. While she enjoys all genres of fiction, she has a deep appreciation for fantasy, romance, mystery, crime, and horror. Lyla has a bachelor’s in anthropology and will be completing her master’s in information technology in 2023.
Writing is her moonlighting passion, and she loves having the opportunity to share her perspective as a disabled (profoundly hard of hearing) woman. During the daylight hours, Lyla works as a principal / lead design and development specialist focusing on user experience and accessibility. When not working, Lyla is usually indulging in one of her many hobbies such as amusing her children, gardening, crocheting, interior decorating, baking, cooking, or playing video games..
Welcome to the blog tour for THE MATCHMAKER’S ROYAL MESS, the first book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, The First Three Dates Matchmakers, by Frieda J. Downing. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE MATCHMAKER’S ROYAL MESS (The First Three Dates Matchmakers Series #1) by Frieda J. Downing
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: THE MATCHMAKER’S ROYAL MESS Series: The First Three Dates Matchmakers Series #1 Author:Frieda J. Downing Publisher: Pinkies High Publishing Release Date: November 22, 2022
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR
Synopsis She’d rather give a mountain lion a bikini wax than mess with love again.
Been there, went viral, never going back. Hattie Montague’s life as a backcountry guide for the spoiled and famous suits her just fine, thanks. It’s the only place she feels completely safe being herself. So what if she has nightmares that she can only speak squirrel and craves pine cones for breakfast? It beats leaving yourself vulnerable to humans. Fine, all of them aren’t bad. She likes probably three, so when one needs her help, she drags herself back to civilization. If she can navigate white water rapids, she can babysit a matchmaking office for a weekend. It’s not like she’ll have to deal with people or, you know, be nice. Ew.
Alexander Greye ruined her life ten years ago. Not his proudest moment. Known as the Winter Warlocke, he’s a man born and raised to lead a country with logical precision. Yet around her, he can’t seem to think rationally. He’s never met anyone who dives into the unknown like she does or tames chaos like she can. In a world as perfectly controlled as his, that makes her irresistible and utterly dangerous. And he’s willing to risk it all to thaw his frozen heart.
It’s half past too late when he realizes his carefully laid plans to win her over covered everything except the theft of the Crown Jewels, an abandoned mine where they’d have to face their deepest fears, and the betrayal that forces them to let go.Quite literally.
Warning: Not for the faint of heart. Sassy romantic adventure, with instances of chaos, misunderstandings, and feels. Oh, and the occasional sheep. Sparks will fly, it’s gonna get awkward, and the Happily-Ever-After will be well-earned.
Excerpt Since the office doesn’t have a bathtub, I get resourceful. The closet, unfortunately, is a disaster of pillow guts and shelving covered in sheep-sized bite marks. No one would confuse me for a sheep expert, but I always thought it was goats that chewed everything to pieces. Maybe Calambity is part goat. Thankfully, the blue pillow tub is in one piece.
I carry it to the kitchenette and place it on the tile next to the sink. Once I have it situated, I pull the large plastic dustpan off the broom and place the wide bit under the faucet of the tiny sink with the narrow handle hanging off the side. When I crank the hot water, I watch the makeshift waterfall begin to fill my soon-to-be luxurious bath. I shut the curtains in Zoe’s office, then lay out the single towel I had packed. After I strip down, I test the water one more time. A quick soak to freshen up, then I’ll curl up with my pizza and catch up on some Netflix until CataXanderclysm shows.
I snort, rather pleased with myself for that one, then put some tunes on my phone. A summery, reggae sounding track fills the office. With arms overhead, I dance over to Zoe’s desk and snag the bath bomb I found earlier when I was looking for printer ink. Since Zoe said help yourself to anything, I’m doing just that. I’ll replace it tomorrow, along with everything else.
At long last, I get the thin, clingy plastic off the blue ball and, lifting it in a toast to the peace and quiet, I ease myself into the oversized bucket. If I were a tall girl, this could’ve been problematic. As it is, I have to bend my legs all the way for them to fit. It mostly works; only my knees poke out of the water. Despite that, it’s pure bliss. I drop the bright bath bomb in with a satisfying bloop. Tiny bubbles escape and an indigo cloud disperses. To my delight, it also appears to be a low-powered bubble bath. It doesn’t produce heaping mounds of fluff, but it’s enough to cover the surface with bluish white foam and fill my nose with the tantalizing fragrance of cupcakes. I close my eyes, inhale, and settle in as far as my coiled up appendages will let me. I savor the warmth and scent as they wrap around me. Since I don’t know the upbeat song playing, I make up words so I can sing along my way.
I can feel my hair still sticking up in all directions, so I tip first to one side, then the other to wet it down. However, I can’t get the middle strip, so I take a scoop of bubbles and form the remaining dry hair into a floppy fauxhawk. After that, I splash some of the scented water across my face. In the midst of one of those scrubbing sessions, the door to the office opens. Surprised, I suck in bath water and spend a solid ten seconds coughing and sputtering.
Lo-and-behold, my Personal Pain in the Stuff Sack leans against the doorjamb with his arms folded across his chest, one ankle casually crossed over the other. Too bad GQ isn’t here with cameras because Xander is cover model material in the flesh. The navy, single button suit he wears looks more expensive than most of the furniture in this office. Unfortunately, it also sets off his stormy eyes, making it practically impossible to notice anything but him.A smug grin creeps over his arrogant mug. “You look a little crazy right now.”
I scowl and hug my arms to my chest, doing my best to hide my panic. Natalie’s reminder to lock the door chooses that moment to waft through my brain, taunting me. “Why thank you. I owe it all to you. What on earth are you doing here?”
His grin grows. “I love what you’re wearing for our date.”
I hunker down deeper in the plastic storage tub and pull my knees a little tighter to my breasts. My heart’s pounding so hard it may be enough to churn more bubbles all by itself. How can he just stand there and flirt? “You act like you’ve never seen a woman having a bath before. Do us a favor and grow up.”
His lips twitch. “I’ve never seen you having a bath before. There’s a very important difference. Also, in all fairness, I’ve never seen any woman bathe in a storage bin, nor turn herself blue doing so.”
“Blue?” I glance down, then hiss. “Son of a cupcake scented bath bomb.”
Author Frieda J. Downing
About the Author Nice to meet you. I’m Frieda. I write sweet contemporary romance as well as romantic adventure.
I blame it on my childhood babysitters. For some reason they thought I shouldn’t ride our family’s buffalo. Believe me, I was just as shocked as you. Though I never did get that buffalo ride, I found plenty of other creative outlets for my adventure needs. Some were good clean fun, some got me kicked out of various and sundry events, and others ended with me getting lost in catacombs. (Not metaphorically speaking. Somewhere there’s an Austrian catacomb caretaker? guy whom I owe dinner and a large apology.)
I like to think I’ve gotten a tiny bit wiser.
I married my best friend and dove head first into the magnificent cyclone known as raising kids. I mountain bike every chance I get, lose my coffee cup daily, and bake a mean lemon merengue pie, if I do say so myself. I may indulge in shenanigans on a regular basis, but I plead the fifth every time.
I suppose it’s important to me that you know how very much I love us crazy, broken humans. We dream so big. We try so hard. Yet somehow, so often, things just go terribly, horribly wrong.
That’s where my books begin… because that’s where the real love story’s found. I hope you enjoy reading them. Most of all, I wish you adventure, joy, and more love than you knew was possible.
Welcome to the blog tour for SHADOWED SEATS, the first book in the young adult mystery series, Oliana Mercer, by Marguerite Ashton. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SHADOWED SEATS (Oliana Mercer Series #1) by Marguerite Ashton
Synopsis Oliana knows that every family has a secret, but she never expected hers to come from the grave.
High school senior Oliana Mercer dreams of attending the prestigious Reyersen Drama Academy and pursuing her acting career. But when tragedy strikes, Oliana discovers secrets hidden from her by her adopted parents, dimming the lights on her perfect world.
As the sins of the past surface, Oliana finds herself caught up in a tug-of-war between two families while the love for her boyfriend is tested. Determined to find some form of happiness in life, Oliana becomes student director in the high school’s senior play.
When her best friend, Devin Worthy, dies during dress rehearsal, Oliana is re-cast as the lead. Everyone thinks the death was a suicide, except Oliana, whose search for clues may be enough motive for the killer to murder again.
Excerpt “Numbness held me in place as I closed the notebook and tucked it inside the wig. What did this mean? Is the Oliana mentioned in the notebook me? It had to be. But what was this about being set free? My bio parents died in a car accident.
For a second, I felt like I was standing next to a furnace, smoldering in its waves of heat. I hurried out of the attic and stood outside, trying to catch my breath.
Rain pelted my face as I glanced up at my parents’ window on the second floor, then at the driveway where Mom’s minivan and Dad’s pickup were parked. Inside the house, the lights were on in the kitchen. Probably doing what they always do together, cooking dinner.
Grief hollowed my insides. Now was not the time to confront them about what I found. Besides what was I going to do? Tell Mom, I was snooping and found something that freaked me out? The problem was I wanted to go in there and disturb their happiness, so I could get answers about what I’d read. Answers about the handwritten note to Mom by the woman I believed was my birth mother.”
Author Marguerite Ashton
About the Author When Marguerite Ashton was in her twenties, she took up acting but realized she preferred to work behind the camera, writing crime fiction. A few years later, she married an IT Geek and settled down with her role as wife, mom, and writer!
Her blog, Criminal Lines: Settled Writer Past 40 is her outlet while building dollhouses and plotting out her next book.
You’ve done a bad thing. She has you in her sights. Now you’re going to pay.
Meet Camilla Black: an affluent, respected, influential fashion magazine editor, who lives it up in her beautiful Mayfair apartment. But Camilla’s glamorous life is a lie. Behind her poised exterior beats the cold dark heart of a vigilante killer, a murderer hell-bent on wreaking vengeance upon bad men.
Camilla expects to get away with murder. She’s careful. And anyway, it’s worth the risk. She’s making the world a better place with each predator she kills. But when one of her victims’ bodies is unexpectedly found, his gruesome death is splashed all over the papers.
To make matters worse, she’s now being pursued by Detective Wheelan, a new addition to the Met with laser-sharp focus and a worrying habit of solving impossible crimes…
She knows she should stop, but she can’t. Some men just deserve to die. Will Camilla’s insatiable appetite for justice be her downfall, or can she outsmart the police?
Revised edition: Previously published as Predator, this edition of Pretty Evil includes editorial revisions.
Excerpt #3 Julian and I shuffle along, one step at a time, until finally we arrive at a row of garages. The ninth one along, with the peeling burgundy door, is mine. Julian looks around, perplexed. He mumbles something but I ignore it. We walk towards my garage. I reach into my jacket pocket and retrieve my key. I changed my outfit during our date, swapping the Chloé dress I was wearing for a pair of leggings, a hoodie, a puffer jacket – all black, all from H&M. I’ll dispose of them later. Julian didn’t notice my outfit change either. He was probably too busy picturing me naked to have even remembered what I was wearing in the first place.
‘Wha . . . ?’ he slurs as I insert the key into the garage door and unlock it.
‘Just sit down. I need to get something. Some sex toys,’ I explain, trying not to smile.
Julian flops down on to the tarmac as I pull up the creaking garage door.
This garage is where the real me lives. It’s where I keep everything I need for my dark pastimes: a wide selection of the sharpest knives and cleavers, a few choice tools I keep as torture implements (a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a mini saw, rusty nails, a corkscrew), an axe, a vat of acid, latex gloves, cable ties, a hammer, rope, drugs, bin bags, a few more wigs, a few more hats. Stuff like that. I have a bunch of ill-fitting men’s shoes I picked up in Primark and a load of socks that I layer on when I wear them. Better that the footprints I leave at crime scenes resemble those of a size ten or eleven man than a size six woman.
I’ve also got a bin bag full of bits and pieces I’ve stolen from various rapists, wife beaters and paedophiles who’ve been on my radar for a while. According to forensic science theory – Locard’s exchange principle – the perpetrator of a crime will always bring something to a crime scene and leave with something from it, and both can be used as evidence. But what if the perpetrator leaves a ton of red herrings? What if the perpetrator leaves five people’s DNA? Then what? Then who’s the perpetrator? I like thinking of the police, following a million different pointless leads, spinning their wheels, getting nowhere. Or, best-case scenario, they bang up a paedophile rapist piece of shit for my crimes, while I slip through the net, undetected. It makes me smile.
I like fucking with people, if you hadn’t guessed already.
The only furniture in my garage is an old armchair that smells of damp, and a cheap, nasty chest of drawers. The top drawer contains my burner phones. Ones with pay-as-you-go SIMs that I use for getting up to no good, like ordering roofies online or going Tinder-hunting. The middle drawer’s full of random crap – crime novels, newspaper clippings, a few notebooks where I jot down thoughts and add to my hit list.
The bottom drawer is my favourite. Like every serial killer, it’s where I keep a box of trinkets, souvenirs from my kills. I know, I’m that clichéd. Like something from a movie. I always thought I’d be tough enough to resist that particular trope – after all, I do hate clutter – but I couldn’t help myself. I guess I’m just a sentimental old schmuck like all the rest. I wanted tokens too. Mementoes. I keep them inside an old aluminium box sealed with a padlock, the combination of which is the one I used for my bike lock back when I was eleven. Imagine if that girl could see me now. God no, she’d have nightmares.
I look over at Julian, passed out on the ground. Perfect. I hook my forearms under his armpits and pull him inside. He slumps on to the floor. I yank the garage door shut and flick on a camping lamp.
I feel like having a little meander down memory lane. I find my box of mementoes and kick off my trainers before settling, cross-legged, in my skanky old armchair. I place it on my lap and click through the dials of the lock, entering the combination: three, eight, two, four. The padlock springs open. I slide it off and open the box.
Author Zoe Rosi
About the AuthorZoe Rosi has a background in journalism and copywriting. She worked as a reporter for local and national newspapers before moving into the fashion industry as a copywriter. Zoe had four romantic comedies published before writing her debut thriller, Pretty Evil. Working in fashion sparked the idea for the book, which Zoe describes as ‘The Devil Wears Prada meets American Psycho’. Someone’s Watching Me is Zoe’s second thriller.
Welcome to the blog tour for DOC SHOWMANCE, a standalone adult contemporary romantic comedy by USA Today bestselling author Zoe Forward. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis From USA Today bestselling author Zoe Forward comes a new enemies-to-lovers veterinary RomCom.
I would say Dr. Ian Todd is my archenemy. But that would require us acknowledging each other, which we haven’t done since we graduated veterinary school.
He’s famous. As in, he’s the world’s “Sexiest Veterinarian Alive” with his own wildlife TV show and a string of glamorous girlfriends.
I’m infamous as a reality TV emergency veterinarian with a snark mouth, take-no-crap attitude, and zero dating life.
When asked to fake a romance with him on TV to boost my ER show’s ratings, I want to say no-way, but the extra money will pay off my brother’s loan shark debt. Even though Ian broke my heart, playing his love interest shouldn’t be hard, especially if it means getting to watch him squirm.
Lines get blurred when the TV setups stop feeling fake. Can I chance this might be real love?
Excerpt #3 “Amber,” I said slow. “I’ve been giving you space, but I’m not giving up this time. I know we weren’t good for each other in the past.”
She dropped her head. “Don’t do this, Ian.”
I stepped in front of her so we were facing each other. I brushed a knuckle over her cheek and pulled her hair back behind her shoulder. “I’m not at this clinic for the job. I’m here for you. To have a second chance. Or, really, a first chance since we never gave ourselves a chance before.”
Would she see my words as real or bullshit for the camera? This wasn’t rehearsed. This wasn’t something I was told to say. I meant it. I could’ve walked away from the baloney of this show at any time. Sure, I wanted my own show back on TV, and I never wanted to hear about what happened in Colombia again, but I could survive without being on TV. My vlog was still wildly hot. I stayed here to see her again.
“Ian,” she said, breathless. “I don’t think—”
“What do you want me to do?” I asked, bending so our mouths were lined up so close but not touching. “What does a man like me do when the woman he wants more than anything won’t forgive him for a mistake when he was younger and stupid?”
She closed her eyes and held completely still, but I hadn’t missed the pain and uncertainty brewing in her hazel gaze. Then she moved out of my grasp. “I have to see an appointment.”
As she exited the office, the cameraman lowered his camera and said, “That was masterful, Dr. Todd.”
Her head swiveled. The vicious scowl communicated she’d throttle me if she could. Any hint that was real—because it had been—was now shattered.
Author Zoe Forward
About the Author Zoe Forward might admit to you she’s almost prepared for the zombie apocalypse before the fact she writes contemporary and paranormal romances. Her novels have won numerous awards including the Prism, Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence, Golden Quill, Carolyn Readers Choice Award, and the Booksellers’ Best Award. She’s best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud Keepers of the Veil series, which has won numerous awards. She’s a board-certified veterinarian. You can find her residing in the South with the love of her life, a menagerie of four-legged beasts and two wild kids.
Welcome to the cover reveal for CONTROL, the first book in the young adult paranormal romance series, The Lockwood Trilogy, by Melissa Cassera, releasing March 28, 2023. See below for information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
CONTROL (The Lockwood Trilogy #1) by Melissa Cassera
For Natalie Covington and Henry Thorne, only one thing is certain: things are about to get out of control.
18-year-old Natalie has big ambitions but very little control over her situation. She’s trapped at an elite boarding school on a private island, where cell phones are forbidden, militant guards line the iron gates, and her practically prearranged boyfriend has eyes for another girl.
Everything changes when a mysterious new student arrives named Henry Thorne. Henry is a “precog”—a hidden society of people who can see the future, and who are forbidden to reveal their powers. When Henry has a grisly vision of Natalie being murdered, he ultimately decides to save her and face the consequences. But the consequences of changing the future are more dangerous than Henry imagined, unlocking a wide conspiracy among his kind that’s linked to Natalie’s past, and a desire that threatens to consume them.
CONTROL is the first installment in The Lockwood Trilogy. This fast-paced Upper YA/New Adult Paranormal Romance is filled with thrilling turns, self-discovery, spicy language, light steam, and a cliffhanger ending that will leave you obsessing for more.
Reader Discretion: this book contains graphic language, violence, and some heat. Best suited for 16+.
Author Melissa Cassera
About the Author Melissa Cassera is a Professional Screenwriter, Author, and award-winning Publicity Expert based in Washington State.
Melissa and her work have been featured in Variety, LA Times, Success Magazine, and Fast Company. She was named one of the nation’s Top Personal Branding Experts by The Huffington Post.
On-screen, Melissa is the writer of THE OBSESSION THRILLOGY (Lifetime Network’s first trilogy of movies.) She is also the writer of the films SECRET LIVES OF COLLEGE ESCORTS, NIGHTMARE NEIGHBORHOOD MOMS, MOMMY’S LITTLE STAR, DADDY’S PERFECT LITTLE GIRL, HER STOLEN PAST, and GIRL FOLLOWED. Melissa also sold an eight-episode dark comedy series, ADDICTED, to Fullscreen. She has two additional feature films, WHO KILLED OUR FATHER and NIGHTMARE PAGEANT MOMS, coming to Lifetime Network in 2023, and six additional film projects in active development.
When Melissa is not whipping together obsession-worthy words, she can be found drinking too much coffee, playing at the lake with her dogs, or getting lost in the romance section of a bookstore.
Welcome to the blog tour for FEARLESS and FEARLESS ENCORE, from the adult contemporary rockstar romance series, Less Than Zero, by Kaylene Winter. See below for information on the books and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
FEARLESS (Less Than Zero Series #3) by Kaylene Winter
Family is everything, I protect mine with my life..
Connor McGloughlin had it all, a great family, a college scholarship and music. Tragedy forced him to grow up too fast. When his life finally is on track, Ronni Miller appears like a dream. Kindred spirits in the most unlikely of circumstances. There’s only one thing in the way— Her dark past he’s determined to protect her from.
When your innocence is stolen, trust is a precious gift..
Actress Ronni Miller tasted fame at a young age. But her path to stardom was riddled with tragedy. She never imagined falling for Connor McGloughlin, a rogue, Irish rock star. The thing is? Ronni’s got revenge on her mind. Regardless of the risk or the consequences. Or losing the one thing in her life that makes her feel alive.
Connor has only ever asked Ronni for one thing: her heart. But when her bravery is couched in lies? She risks losing the man who would do anything for her. Unless she finally realizes being fearless means placing your trust in true love.
FEARLESS ENCORE (Less Than Zero Series #7) by Kaylene Winter
“When your innocence is stolen, trust is a precious gift…”
Actress Ronni Miller tasted fame at a young age. Her path to stardom was riddled with tragedy. She never imagined falling for Connor McLoughlin, a rogue, Irish rock star.
The thing is? Ronni’s got revenge on her mind. Regardless of the risk or the consequences— Or losing the one thing in her life that makes her feel alive. Connor has only ever asked Ronni for one thing: her heart. She risks losing the man who would do anything for her.
What happens when Ronni’s bravery is couched in lies?
When your future has been tainted by innocence lost, learning to trust is an uphill battle.
For Connor & Ronni, the fight for true love is FEARLESS.
Excerpt #2 Sun streams through the filmy blinds when I wake up.
My mouth is incredibly dry. I reach for my bottle of pineapple Hint water on the nightstand. Drink what’s left and set the empty down. A couple of yawns later, I pat the bed next to me.
It’s a devastating pattern. Missing time with my husband. My family. Then again, my work schedule is mostly to blame. The past couple of weeks, I’ve crawled into bed hours after Connor and he’s up long before me to take care of the boys.
I pad across the plush carpet to the bathroom. Pee. Pull on joggers and my favorite old LTZ sweatshirt and head down the hallway. I hear little giggles and Connor’s deep voice coming from the nursery. I lean against the doorway and watch for a minute. My husband is beaming at Torin and Tristan, who are standing on their own. Assisted by the denim sofa they both cling to in order to keep themselves upright.
“Wow, they’re both standing.” I cross the room to sit next to Connor, who’s freshly showered and dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. My boys squeal when they see me and fling themselves into my arms. I smother them with snuggles and kisses.
He pulls me and the boys to him. “Morning, love. I let you sleep in; it seemed like you needed it.”
Tristan plops himself in my lap. Mama’s boy through and through. I smooth his reddish-brown wisps around his ears. “They’re at such a critical age. I feel like I miss something every day.”
“It’s temporary. I’m happy to step up,” he reassures me. I know he’s trying to be supportive, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.
Connor plucks Torin up and sets him next to his brother. Then stands and strides to the door. “Why don’t you spend some quality time with them this morning? I’ll go check to see if Yolanda has their breakfast ready.”
“Stay.” It comes out shriller than I’d intended.
He stops and turns. “Okay.” He closes the door behind him, pads back over and crouches so he’s at my level. “What’s up?”
“Nothing. I just miss my family. And my life’s about to get busier.” I kiss the tops of my boys’ heads.
Connor drops to the ground opposite me and encloses us all with his long legs. “You’ve worked ridiculously hard to get here. Once you see these projects through, they’ll be plenty of time to reassess. All of this was in motion before you got pregnant.”
About the Author When she was only 15, Kaylene Winter wrote her first rocker romance novel starring a fictionalized version of herself, her friends and their gorgeous rocker boyfriends. After living her own rockstar life as a band manager, music promoter and mover and shaker in Seattle during the early 1990’s, Kaylene became a digital media legal strategist helping bring movies, television and music online. Throughout her busy career, Kaylene lost herself in romance novels across all genres inspiring her to realize her life-long dream to be a published author. She lives in Seattle with her amazing husband and dog. She loves to travel, throw lavish dinner parties and support charitable causes supporting arts and animals.
Welcome to the blog tour for ILLUMINATED, a standalone young adult, coming-of-age, fantasy thriller, by Iris Marsh. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
Synopsis In this coming-of-age YA contemporary fantasy, a teenage girl has her life turned upside down when her family is breaking apart, and she discovers her supernatural powers. There’s no time to deal with it, however, as she’s targeted by a dangerous power-siphoner.
Nikki Chase, a 16-year-old striver, feels like her life is falling apart around her. Her parents’ marriage seems in trouble, her best friend prefers to spend time with the popular girl, and she’s quite certain she’s on the verge of a psychosis. After all, normal people don’t see colors around people or hear voices, right?
When a volunteering assignment leads her to a mental hospital, Nikki is determined to figure out what’s going on with her—and if perhaps she belongs in that facility. What she discovers is nothing she expected: Lorene, a volunteer, tells Nikki she’s not crazy but, in fact, has the power to influence people’s thoughts and beliefs. However, someone has been sucking the power out of people just like her, leaving them behind as an empty shell. Desperate for help and someone to trust, Nikki teams up with Lorene to discover who is behind the siphoning. But can she stop them before she becomes a victim? And can she do so without becoming addicted to the power herself?
Fans of suspenseful contemporary fantasy will love this YA coming-of-age fantasy thriller book about coping with difficult emotions, navigating relationships with family and friends, and the addictive quality of power.
Excerpt #1 I need more time.
Molly stared out of the window, a finger tapping on her kitchen table, the TV on only to provide background noise to drown out the silence. Only a sliver of the moon was visible through the dense clouds. The darkness was pressing. She could almost feel the pressure in the air like a storm brewing.
She eyed the sizeable antique clock standing against the wall, an old family heirloom, the cast corners faded and chipped.
The witching hour.
She snorted—it wasn’t far off. Granted, what she could do wasn’t exactly witchcraft, but it certainly came close.
Scraping her chair back, she stood up, her legs feeling too restless, too agitated, too much like a wind-up feather ready to uncoil.
She needed more time.
Images flashed through her mind as if she was fast-forwarding a show on TV. All the times she’d failed her mentor… All the times she’d been punished, given those sickening sensations of despair, pain, and darkness. Always that suppressing darkness.
Molly walked to her kitchen, grabbed a half-empty bottle of red wine, filled half her tea mug, and took a swig. The warmth and slightly tangy flavor rolled over her tongue and into her throat, an aroma of earth and fruit surrounding her like a comforting blanket on a chilly day.
Her nerves settled a little. Good. Another sip.
Time was up.
Molly jumped, a splash of the red wine falling on her burgundy blouse. Cursing, she walked to the door; she’d have to remember to clean it with some soda later.
She opened the door and shivered, both from the cold wind and the person standing in front of her.
“Come in,” she said, stepping aside.
The figure in front of her strode past her, not taking off their dark, hooded cloak. There was something wrong with the image; it was pixelated and fuzzy, like a picture taken with the wrong settings. Try as she might, Molly couldn’t get a clear image of the figure in front of her.
How was that possible?
“Some wine?” Molly asked.
In her hand, the wine trembled. She put the glass on the table, her knuckles turning white.
“Yes, thank you,” the figure answered in an equally distorted voice.
It was almost as if she was watching one of those legal shows, where they blurred the face and distorted the voice.
But why? Why wasn’t she allowed to look at her mentor? Was this a dream after all?
Molly returned to the kitchen, fetched a crystal wineglass—the only expensive one she owned—and poured the red liquid until just underneath the bulge of the glass. Walking back, she placed it in front of the figure, immediately pulling her hands away and wrapping them around her mug.
“Did you get the documents?” the figure asked.
Molly swallowed and closed her eyes briefly. “Almost.” Her voice cracked.
Molly’s palms started sweating. “I retraced them back to the Romero’s. I only need to identify the correct family—find out what last name they have now. They’ll have the ritual.”
“Hm. Romero, eh?” The figure took a sip of the wine. “I suppose that’s something. But we’re starting to run out of time. I needed those papers yesterday.”
The darkness circled and slithered around Molly, surrounding her—big, sticky, and oily. It weighed on her, even with her mental barriers up. With her mentor, mental barriers were pretty useless, anyway. How often had she tried to keep the darkness out and actually succeeded?
“I know, I’m sorry.” Molly looked down, scratching the back of her hand.
“I know you are.”
Author Iris Marsh
About the Author Iris Marsh is a behavioral researcher turned writer. As such, she focuses on her character’s journeys as well as the plot. Her YA fantasy debut novel Illuminated is no exception: it’s both suspenseful and heavy on character development. Currently, she lives in the Netherlands with her partner and cat.
She would be overjoyed if you visited her website IrisMarsh.com and would love it if you followed her journey on Instagram.
Welcome to the blog tour for THE ENDGAME, a standalone adult contemporary sports romance, by Bianca Borell. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
Synopsis Every girl with a brother grows up with one fundamental rule: his best friend is off limits. That’s one rule she longs to break when he crashes into her life.
Amelie Weston has been taking the safe path for as long as she can remember. Not disappointing her parents by pursuing the career she wants. And not pursuing the guy she’s been crushing on.
But she’s tired of being the good girl.
Her brother’s best friend is pushing her to stop being a people pleaser and open the bakery of her dreams. Little does he know he’s also at the top of the list of her heart’s greatest desires… and he’s making himself impossible to resist.
Levi Kingston fully intends to become a legend on the field as one of the best quarterbacks ever. He must stay focused and work relentlessly toward his goal. He doesn’t have time for distractions… until he meets his best friend’s sister, and his well-laid plan is challenged.
Bad timing, responsibilities, and loyalty to her brother keep them apart. But the connection between them only grows stronger. Their feelings become impossible to ignore, and the fight against them is pointless.
Will they take a chance on love? Or waste an opportunity for long-awaited happiness?
Author Bianca Borell
About the Author Bianca Borell is a contemporary romance author, voracious reader, nature lover, and unapologetic daydreamer. She spends her nights deciding between getting up to write or trying to silence the voices of her characters. The battle is never-ending.
She has a weakness for tormented characters, second chances, and happy endings.
She currently lives in Germany with her amazing husband and indulges in way too many pastries than she should.
For updates, news, and releases, be sure to visit Bianca’s official website at www.biancaborell.com.
Welcome to the blog tour for NEVER PLAY FAIR, the second book in the adult thriller series, Sydney Evans Mysteries, by Leah Cupp. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
NEVER PLAY FAIR (Sydney Evans Mystery Series #2) by Leah Cupps
Can Sydney find her FBI boyfriend in time, or will this gamble be here last?
Instagram Influencer Sydney Evans has seen and lived her share of photo-worthy experiences, but now, she’s found herself entangled in a situation she never saw coming.
After her FBI agent boyfriend, Alex, disappears while working a case involving a notorious Latin gangster, Vincent Estavez, the Department of Defense is forced to change tactics. Determined to bring down Estavez and the illegal online casino crime ring he’s been running by any means necessary, the FBI orchestrates an operation to infiltrate the gangster’s stronghold.
But Sydney only has one motivation for her own investigation: find Alex before he becomes collateral damage.
Desperate to locate her boyfriend in time, she flies to Costa Rica and is forced to seek help from an unlikely ally: her criminal ex-husband, Jack. He may be the last person she wants to see, but she’ll do whatever it takes to find Alex alive.
But Sydney isn’t the only one with a motivation against Vincent Estavez.
Never Play Fair is a fast-paced standalone thriller. If you like real-world issues, lavish socialite parties, and electrifying twists and turns, then you’ll love Leah Cupps’ provocative cozy mystery.
NEVER PLAY FAIR is the second book in the Sydney Evans Mystery Series and can be read as a standalone.
Excerpt #1 Why am I still alive?
The question had been tumbling through Ethan Evans’ mind for months. He stared at the concrete brick wall in front of him, which was the color of stained teeth. Nothing was bright in this place, and little of it was clean. He had been left alone, sitting in a small room, waiting for his transport out of ADX Florence, a maximum-security prison in the Rockies.
Pale gray light dropped in from a small window near the ceiling, highlighting the specks of dust that hung in the stale air. The chill of the room bit through his thin clothing.
Under normal circumstances, he would fetch himself a jacket, but he didn’t have the freedom these days. The thought made him nervously wriggle his wrists inside the cold, steel cuffs.
Although his clothes were ill-fitted on his six-foot-two frame. But, he didn’t miss the abrasive fabric of the orange jumpsuit he’d been wearing earlier that day. It was one of the many discomforts of prison, less painful than others, though it branded him as one of the lost souls who needed redemption. Today, he had been given a pair of slacks and a button-up shirt from his old life. Even they didn’t feel as comfortable as they once had. At this point, Ethan was used to being uncomfortable, yet he had found a fortitude within himself he didn’t know he had. He was a survivor.
Surviving the mind-numbing routine of imprisonment had given Ethan plenty of time to ruminate over his feelings; the main one had been anger. It had been three months since he had been placed in a high-security facility to face the consequences of his decisions in Jamaica. Months to think about how his brother had betrayed him.
He had also felt fear. Fear that left him drenched in sweat every night, not knowing if he’d live to see the dawn of another day. When the cell block grew quiet, he still heard sounds and movement. And he would wonder.
Is today the day? The day he will send someone to kill me?
He knew Vincente Estavez would never let him live after learning Ethan had worked with the FBI. Estavez was still a free man, but the upcoming trial could change that rather quickly. From what little Inspector Sam O’Connell had shared with him during their interviews, the FBI had been working tirelessly to put an airtight case together to bring Estavez down.
Then again, nothing was nothing was guaranteed. Ethan was acutely aware of that little issue.
About the Author Leah Cupps is an entrepreneur and author. She writes Middle Grade Mystery Adventure Books as well as Thriller, Mystery, Suspense for Adults.
Leah’s novels are fast-paced mysteries that will keep you up at night as you can’t wait to see what happens in the next chapter.
Leah lives in Indiana with her husband, three young children and three dogs. When she isn’t losing sleep writing her next novel or scaling her next business, she enjoys reading, golfing working out and spending time with her family.
Welcome to the blog tour for BRATVA BEAUTY, the fourth book in the adult contemporary mafia romance series, The Ivankov Brotherhood, by Sabine Barclay. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
BRATVA BEAUTY (The Ivankov Brotherhood Series #4) by Sabine Barclay
They say I’m the best looking in my family. I couldn’t care less.
But her…She takes my breath away.
Not everyone sees her the way I do. That’s fine by me because she’s mine.
I pity those who think they can come between us.
I won’t stop until she’s at my side. Mine to touch. Mine to love. Mine to push to her limits then bring her back.
She’s my everything. She’s my soulmate.
Bratva Beauty is an interconnecting, standalone Dark Mafia Romance with a HEA and no cliffhanger. It contains extra-steamy scenes that will make your toes curl and your granny blush. This is book four in The Ivankov Brotherhood, a six-book series that’ll keep you warm at night.
Excerpt #1 Pasha
The elevator pings and opens on the seventh floor. Sumiko darts a glance at my relatives before she looks at me.
“Do you want to come?”
My wolfish grin makes her blush. I don’t bother looking at anyone else as I follow her out of the elevator. I watch Tiffany and Sarah each head to a door before I stop behind Sumiko at a third one. I’m glad she has her own room. Once the door closes behind me, I snag her arm, spin her around, and pin her against the door.
“Tell me what you do and don’t want. We stop when you say so.”
“I want you.”
“To do what, malyshka? Tell me, and I’ll grant whatever wish you have tonight.”
I watch her bite her lip, and I can’t stop myself from prying it loose with my thumb, then replacing her teeth with mine. I nip and tug as her arms come around my neck. I push her skirt up to her waist and run my hands over the outside and inside of her thighs. I can feel the sticky moisture that coats the inside of her thighs. Then my hands are on her ass. Her smooth, bare ass. Finally.
“Fvck, Sumiko. I’ve been wanting to do this since you walked past me on the sand.”
I step back and spin her around before dropping to my knee. I smatter kisses over each globe, kneading the flesh and squeezing until I see my fingerprints. I drag my teeth along her left cheek, and she pushes her hips back. I flick my tongue into the top of the division between each half. I wait to see what she does. She reaches back and presses against the back of my head. I snag her hand and pin it to her lower back. The other joins it, surprising me. When she crosses her wrists, I know all I need to. I bring my hand down on her right cheek, enjoying the sound and how the flesh bounces. I squeeze as hard as I did in the club. She pushes back into my hand. I alternate spanking her with squeezing. I keep gliding my teeth along her ass and flicking her crack with my tongue.
She’s begging. But for what?
“You have to tell me, malyshka.”
“More. Something. Anything. Just more.”
“Do you want my fingers in you?”
It’s a breathy answer, and it makes my cock twitch. I thrust two fingers into her, and she tightens her muscles around them, locking them inside her pussy.
“Do you want my tongue in you?”
That was a definite moan. I nudge her legs apart. My free hand stops smacking her and pulls her hips back until I can get my mouth on her clit. I lick and suck until I feel her trembling and getting close. I draw back, and she whimpers.
I stand and sweep her into my arms, making her squeak.
“You don’t have to—”
“I want you in my arms.”
I carry her to the armchair near the window and sit, arranging her to straddle me. I pull the pieces of material covering her tits out of the way. Her light brown nipples are hard, pointing straight at me. They’re begging to be sucked, and I’m happy to oblige. As I go back and forth between them, I return my fingers to her cunt and work her as she rides them. My thumb rubs her clit until I feel her pussy tightening again. I pull back again.
“Pasha, please. I need to come.”
“Then ask, malyshka. I think you know that.”
Her eyes widen as she sits back onto my knees. My hands rest lightly on her thighs. When our gazes lock, she asks the question I expected.
About the Author Sabine Barclay, a nom de plume also writing Historical Romance as Celeste Barclay, lives near the Southern California coast with her husband and sons. Growing up in the Midwest, Sabine enjoyed spending as much time in and on the water as she could. Now she lives near the beach. She’s an avid swimmer, a hopeful future surfer, and a former rower. Before becoming a full-time author, Sabine was a Social Studies and English teacher. She holds degrees in International Affairs (BA), Secondary Social Science (MAT), and Political Management (MPS). She channels that knowledge into creating engrossing contemporary romances that will make your toes curl and your granny blush..
Welcome to the book blitz for THE SHADOW OF THE APENNINES, a standalone adult contemporary/historical women’s fiction by Kimberly Sullivan. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis An American divorcée. An Italian shepherdess. Separated by a century, united by common dreams.
The sleepy little Abruzzo mountain town of Marsicano seems about as far as Samantha can flee from her failed marriage and disastrous university career. Eager for a fresh start, Samantha begins to set down roots in her Italian mountain hideaway.
At first, the mountain retreat appears idyllic, but an outsider’s clumsy attempts at breaking into the closed mountain community are quickly thwarted when the residents discover Samantha’s snarky blog ridiculing the town and its inhabitants.
Increasingly isolated in her mountain cottage, Samantha discovers the letters and diaries of Elena, a past tenant and a survivor of the 1915 Pescina earthquake. Despite the century that separates the two women, Samantha feels increasingly drawn into Elena’s life, and discovers startling parallels with her own.
Excerpt #2 LOOKING BACK to when I bought this house, I realize that I was bamboozled by the weather. I should have known better. A fool and her money are easily parted.
It was the kind of day real estate agents would trade their eyeteeth for. The air was still crisp, but the sun shone warmly, laden with promise for the long, lovely days beckoning just around the corner. Snow still capped the mountaintops, yet the grass was green and lush.
We approached a front yard, and I could see the wildflowers sprouting around the edges, forming sporadic beds of color against the imposing grey stone of the house.
Lost in my reveries, I forgot all about the agent beside me. She smiled as she switched off the engine. “Here we are. The lovely little cottage I told you about.”
“A drafty little money pit, to be sure,” said Tom from the backseat, a wide smile carefully plastered on his face as he spoke the words.
I started to regret having invited him along. Worried about understanding everything in Italian, and even more terrified about not understanding the local dialect, I’d asked Tom to join me on my house hunting. Now I was ready to strangle him.
To be fair, Tom had been honest from the outset about his lack of enthusiasm for my plans to purchase property in Abruzzo. He made those views abundantly clear on each house tour. Since the agent didn’t understand a word of English, he masked his caustic comments with a ridiculous smile. The routine was becoming old.
With the benefit of hindsight, perhaps I should have heeded Tom’s warnings. Back then, however, I was in no mood to entertain his negative thoughts. I summarily ignored Tom’s comments, instead concentrating my full attention on the little cottage from the passenger window. I unlocked the door and stepped out, breathing in the invigorating mountain air, the earthy smell of soil and grass freed from winter hibernation under thick layers of snow.
Now I see it was all staged. The agent gave me just enough time to drink in the idyllic scene as she fumbled slowly for the keys in her purse. Timing was crucial. Standing before the old stone house, its cool grey exterior bathed in bright sunlight, I began to imagine it as my own. I envisioned my new life within those walls.
I imagined the garden I would plant, and lounging in a hammock tied between two ancient oaks. I fantasized about finally finishing that book I’d never completed. How could I not be inspired, with the majestic views of the mountains all around?
I wondered who’d lived in the cottage before. Had children played in its big yard? The cottage was set slightly apart from the town, but an easy walk in. That isolation could mean it was particularly cold in the winter. I made a note to examine the heating system and fireplaces within its thick walls.
The agent and Tom stood at the gate as I walked around the entire cottage. Fruit trees were scattered out back. A lovely little garden appeared to have been untended for quite some time. A large table would be perfect there, a spot for gathering with new friends or working.
The cottage was simple, but solid. Like all houses up high in the Apennine Mountains, the windows were small, the walls thick. I’d heard complaints that newer constructions were built cheaply, with thin walls, while these older homes were built to withstand the harsh mountain climate.
Returning to the front of the house where Tom and the agent waited for me, I paused. Scattered white dots punctuated the ankle-high grass. Narcissus flowers. Six delicate white petals surrounded yellow pistils rimmed in a narrow edge of bright pink; its arching stem lent elegance to the dainty bloom.
I knelt down to smell the sweet nectar of the flower, the perfect little wild flower—the metamorphosis of the vain Narcissus, who was unable to part with his handsome reflection in the pond. I spared a thought for poor Echo, who pined away until only her voice remained, after she was unable to win Narcissus’ love.
Had I been much better when Michael’s indifference toward me was laid plainly at my feet? Hadn’t I pined away, hoping for his return? When I think back to the humiliation I endured in my useless attempts to win him back, I cringe with shame.
I looked with fresh eyes on the sun-drenched cottage so far removed from my former life, at the lawn scattered with the symbol of unrequited love. This must be a sign. Perhaps this was the place where I was meant to construct my new life.
I returned to the front yard walkway. The agent smiled at me, holding out the key that caught a glint of sunlight and appeared to burst into a glow of light. Another sign, surely?
“Signora Samantha,” she said, her tongue losing its battle with the difficult “th.” “Shall we look inside?”
The tour was irrelevant. My mind was made up.
Author Kimberly Sullivan
About the Author Kimberly grew up in the suburbs of Boston and in Saratoga Springs, New York, although she now calls the Harlem neighborhood of New York City home when she’s back in the US. She studied political science and history at Cornell University and earned her MBA, with a concentration in strategy and marketing, from Bocconi University in Milan.
Afflicted with a severe case of Wanderlust, she worked in journalism and government in the US, Czech Republic and Austria, before settling down in Rome, where she works in international development, and writes fiction any chance she gets.
She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) and The Historical Novel Society and has published several short stories and two novels: Three Coins and Dark Blue Waves.
After years spent living in Italy with her Italian husband and sons, she’s fluent in speaking with her hands, and she loves setting her stories in her beautiful, adoptive country.
Twin thieves attempt to pull off a daring heist in Stolen City, the sophomore fantasy novel from DAUNTLESS author Elisa A. Bonnin.
The city of Leithon is under Imperial occupation and Arian Athensor has made it her playground.
In stealing magical artifacts for the Resistance, bounding over rooftops to evade Imperial soldiers, and establishing herself as the darling thief of the underground, Arian lives a life wrapped in danger and trained towards survival. She’ll steal anything for the right price, and if she runs fast enough, she can almost escape the fact that her mother is dead, her father is missing, and her brother, Liam, is tamping down a wealth of power in a city that has outlawed magic.
But then the mysterious Cavar comes to town with a job for the twins: to steal an artifact capable of ripping the souls from the living–the same artifact that used to hang around the neck of Arian’s mother. Suddenly, her past is no longer buried under adrenaline but intimately tied to the mission at hand, and Arian must face her guilt and pain head-on in order to pull off the heist.
As Arian and Cavar infiltrate the strongest fortress in Leithon and Liam joins the Resistance as their resident mage, the twins find themselves embroiled in court politics and family secrets, and the mission becomes more than just another artifact theft. The target is now the Imperial rule, and Arian will go to any length necessary to steal her city back.
Excerpt #1 There was a sudden blur of motion. Two figures darted across the wooden planks that spanned the roof, so quickly that no one would have been able to see them unless they were looking up just as Cavar and Linna were. From this distance, it was impossible to pick out any details, only that there were two of them, moving quickly, heading west over the roofs.
“What was that?” Linna asked, puzzled. “I thought the roof-top paths in the Imperial Quarter were closed. They’re too well guarded.” Cavar grinned. Maybe it was the coffee, or maybe it was the sudden charge in the air, but he couldn’t help the thrill of excite-ment that ran through him then. His informant had been right. He crushed the empty cup in his hand, tossing it into a nearby wastebasket.
“Apparently nobody told them that.”
A clamor rose from the east, a discordant alarm. The people in the streets looked up, but of course there was nothing more to see. Cavar slipped his hands into his pockets and started to walk, thinking. The Imperials would be out in force. A theft in the maximum- security vault of the First Aelrian Bank wasn’t something they could over-look. He had to catch them first.
If they were heading west, they would have to get down off the rooftops to cross the Road of Law. That would be where their pursuers would try to catch them, and if Cavar was lucky, that was where he would meet them too.
Linna hurried to catch up with him, a shadow at his side. Together, they cut through Leithon’s evening crowds, its Imperial citizens stopping to murmur at each other in wonder and confusion at the rising alarms. She didn’t try to stop him, but he could hear the impatience in her voice when she spoke up.
“You can’t tell me you mean to go after them. We’ll walk right into an Imperial patrol.”
“Aren’t you curious how they’ll get out of that?” Cavar asked, grinning.
“I’m more concerned with keeping us out of an Imperial prison.” “It’s a little too late for that, isn’t it? After all, we’re here to take their most prized artifact.”
Linna rolled her eyes. “And those are the thieves you want to hire to help us do it? Do you even know a thing about them?”
He knew a few things, thanks to his mother. But he couldn’t blame Linna for her skepticism.
The Athensor twins, the last children of eth’Akari.
He felt a shiver run down his spine, a flutter of excitement in his belly.
It was said that the Weavers were the agents of the world’s fate, weaving its loose threads together to keep them from getting tangled. But in that moment, Cavar felt as if he had been woven into the tapestry, by some hand other than his own. As if fate had gotten tired of their hubris and had decided to show the world that she could make even a Weaver dance on her strings.
It was an utterly exhilarating feeling, and Cavar couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.\
Author Elisa A. Bonnin
About the Author Elisa A. Bonnin was born and raised in the Philippines, after which she moved to the United States to study chemistry and later oceanography. After completing her doctorate, she moved to Germany to work as a postdoctoral scientist. A lifelong learner, Elisa is always convinced that she should “maybe take a class in something” and as a result, has amassed an eclectic collection of hobbies. But writing will always be her true love. Publishing a book has been her dream since she was eight years old, and she is thrilled to finally be able to share her stories. Dauntless is her first novel.
Welcome to the blog tour for THE RISE, a standalone adult romantic thriller, by Ross King and Shari Low. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
When we bury our secrets, they always come back to haunt us… Their rise was meteoric.
Only a few years before, they had been three friends from Glasgow, just trying to survive tough lives of danger and dysfunction. But on one Hollywood night in 1993, they were on the world’s biggest stage, accepting their Oscar in front of the watching world. That night was the beginning of their careers. But it was also the end of their friendship.
Over the next twenty years, Mirren McLean would become one of the most powerful writers in the movie industry. Zander Leith would break box-office records as cinema’s most in-demand action hero. And Davie Johnson would rake in millions as producer of some of the biggest shows on TV.
For two decades they didn’t speak, driven apart by a horrific secret.
Their past is coming back to bite them, and they have to decide whether to run, hide, or fight. Because when you rise to the top, there’s always someone who wants to see you fall.
An exciting new glam thriller for the fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid, Liane Moriarty and Jo Spain
Excerpt #1 Prologue
The 65th Academy Awards,
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles,
29 March 1993
The heat of the lights is as oppressive as the thick cloak of insecurity and desperation that shrouds the audience.
Billy Crystal steps to the podium, his laconic grin a teasing, gentle rebuke to a collection of egos teetering on the edge of explosion.
His fourth time in the role, Crystal introduces the presenter of the next category with an ease born of confidence and familiarity. Romcom queen, Lana Delasso, glides onto the stage, blonde hair an homage to her namesake and idol, Lana Turner. Her nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actress will be decided later and she’s done everything possible to win. Everything. In her fifties now, the best surgeons have ensured that she doesn’t look a day over thirty-five, her white, cobweb Versace gown, defying the rule that you should never show cleavage and legs at the same time. The physical reactions in the audience are instant and visceral: tight smiles of envy on bejewelled women coincide with ferocious erections under some of the $1,000 tuxedos sitting next to them.
Her words are white noise until they reach the point: ‘…. Best Original Screenplay.’
Behind her, on a thirty-foot screen, the nominations roll.
Husbands and Wives by Woody Allen. A smattering of applause, hesitations fuelled by the desire to come down on the right side of the moral judgement on Allen’s affair with Mia Farrow’s daughter. In Hollywood, picking sides has little to do with principles and everything to do with career enhancement.
Lorenzo’s Oil by George Miller and Nick Enright. More applause. Camera zooms to a row in which the suits are overshadowed by Susan Sarandon’s uncommon beauty.
Passion Fish by John Sayles. A movie that was released in only two theatres, grossing only a few tickets over $36,000 before its nomination.
Unforgiven by David Peoples. A crowd-pleaser. Directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, the audience of stars greets it with a show of worship reserved for work that has been touched by a deity.
The Brutal Circle by Davie Johnston, Zander Leith and Mirren McLean. An outsider. A harrowing story of a life born in violence, lived in violence, cut short by violence.
The big screen spans several seats, but all eyes are on the ebullient form of the producer, Wes Lomax, legendary head of Lomax Films, the studio responsible for more million-dollar-grossing movies in the last decade than any other.
The image returns to Lana Delasso, revelling in her moment. The same fingers that caressed a very married studio mogul only an hour before, now slide delicately along the folds of the gold envelope.
‘And the winner is…’
‘The Brutal Circle by…’
Sycophantic cheers drown out the names; stars rise to their feet, determined to ensure that when Wes Lomax watches the playback, he will see them heralding his triumph.
In the chaos, the director in the gallery is a fraction late in switching to the three bodies that move towards the stage, all of them almost as unrecognizable as the extras hired to fill the seats vacated by stars drawn to the restrooms by the call of nature or the need for a line snorted off the top of a toilet. When the zoom lens on Camera 5 finally catches up with the winners, they are ascending the stairs to the stage.
Davie Johnston, at twenty-two the youngest winner of an award in that category in Academy history, strides forward with the surety of a man with an unblinking eye on his destination – the spotlight of an Academy award winner and membership of one of the most exalted, exclusive clubs in the world.
Behind him, Mirren McLean, in the only haute-couture dress she has ever touched, her wild mane of Titian curls tamed to match the elegance of the midnight-blue Dior gown. Unaccustomed to heels, she steps with care, her expression a mix of concentration and disbelief.
Finally, with a demeanour that suggests reluctance, Zander Leith. For every woman who tried to ignore her partner’s sexual interest in Lana Delasso, here is six feet two inches of payback. Wide shoulders, his square jaw set in a brooding grimace, he could be heading to a wake, not the spotlight of a winner.
When only a few feet separate them, Lana’s eyes meet his and she instinctively flinches as he responds to the flirtatious flutter of her lashes with almost visceral scorn, his disdain barely masked by his own thick, black lashes. Rebuffed.
While the outside remains a movie goddess, on the inside she is twelve again: the odd kid at school that even the trailer-park waifs avoid. The one that turned into the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, but still felt she had to respond to the summons to Wes Lomax’s yacht and service his lust and his ego to get his support for her own nomination.
Davie Johnston takes the Oscar and moves forward to the microphone.
‘I just want to say thank you—’
More applause. Most of the audience know of this trio, despite the fact that they are barely out of their teens. Wes Lomax has ensured that their story has saturated the Hollywood press in recent months. All three are credited as writers on the script, but Mirren steered the story behind the scenes, while the two men played leading roles in a movie that had blown up at the box office. The success was due, in part, to a publicity and distribution campaign usually reserved for A-list releases, and, in part, to the fact that it was a damn fine piece of cinema. It was a raw, hardcore two hours of urban menace that had a generation of American teens queuing for their Saturday-night thriller kicks. It hit $15 million on the balance sheets after the first month, then word of mouth set it on fire. It was now well on the way to Lomax’s $100million target.
This was the kind of American dream, the triumph of the underdog, the discovery of wonder that this city loved. Three childhood friends from Scotland, pals from a run-down housing estate who’d stuck together in poverty and disfunction, before going on to be the creative talents behind an outstanding script discovered by Wes Lomax when he took his annual golfing trip to the UK. It was beyond surprising that these kids had managed to get their work in front of Lomax. Even more so that he’d taken enough time off from screwing high-class escorts in the presidential suites of the best hotels in the UK to read it.
Now the audience in the red velvet chairs furrow their brows as they try to decipher Davie Johnston’s accent. This isn’t the Scottish burr of Sean Connery. Nor does it come close to the accents they heard from Davie and Zander in the movie. It is harder. More guttural. Like bullets being sprayed from a gun in a scene from Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino’s big hit of the previous year.
‘Thank you to the Academy. Thank you to all of you for letting us be part of this incredible world. And most of all, thank you to the brilliant Wes Lomax. We owe him everything.’
Camera 3 zooms in on Lomax and millions of people watch him nod, eyes glistening, a godfather acknowledging gratitude from his chosen family.
Davie bows to signal the end of his speech, then punches the Oscar into the air. Neither Mirren nor Zander step forward. Recovered from the sting of Zander’s rejection, Lana sweeps them off stage right into the unbridled chaos of runners, technicians, gophers and make-up artists brandishing thick brushes at agitated stars.
They are propelled into a press room, cameras flashing, journos screeching questions, all of which they answer with naive honesty. Barely a few years ago they were hanging out in cafés, pooling their money to buy chips. Now they are on Hollywood’s biggest stage and Davie Johnston isn’t even going to pretend for a second that he’s not loving it.
How are they enjoying Hollywood? Fine. Great. Aye, it’s, erm, amazing.
Are they here to stay? Dunno yet. It depends. Nothing decided.
Is their next project already underway? No plans yet. Nothing concrete. Just ideas.
Davie answers most of the questions, with an occasional contribution from Mirren.
Lou Cole, a young, sparky journalist on the LA Times, changes the pattern.
‘So, Zander, how does it feel to be called the new Hollywood heart-throb?’
His bashful grin is automatic, and conceals the fact that for the second time that night his eyes flicker with pure contempt.
‘I don’t think Tom Cruise has anything to worry about.’
Oblivious to the underlying sentiment, the press pack laugh, as Paula Leno, Lomax Films’ hard-ass head of publicity, sweetly but firmly calls an end to the photocall, determined to minimize the risk of a fuck-up and all too aware that the next winners will soon be arriving on the conveyor belt of achievement.
Finally alone, there is a pause as each of them absorbs the last ten incredible minutes of their lives. Davie is the first to react, throwing his arms around Mirren and squeezing her.
‘We did it. Shit, I don’t believe it.’ As always, his enthusiasm oozes from under his skin. It has been that way all their lives. Davie is the life force, the driven one, the chancer. Mirren is the voice of reason, the one with emotional intelligence, always in touch with how everyone else is feeling. And she knows there’s a problem here.
Over Davie’s shoulder her gaze has locked with Zander’s, dispelling all notion of celebration. She can see the storm that’s been brewing for far too long is about to roar with thunder. Davie doesn’t get the memo. His first burst of excitement over, he turns to the new Hollywood heart-throb. His lifelong friend, bonded as youngsters by a shared recognition that no one really gave a fuck, their symbiotic pairing paying no heed to the reality that in the gene pool of life, Zander got height and physical perfection, while Davie got the kind of non-threatening appeal that made women want to ruffle his hair and tell him about their last broken heart.
‘C’mon, man, that was incredible! Did you hear them? That was for us. That has to make everything worth it. C’mon, man…’
The desperate repetition isn’t lost on any of them. Mirren’s teeth clench together as she raises her chin in defiance. She knows there is no point looking for resolution and rapprochement with Zander, and she refuses to show weakness by trying.
Her instincts are right.
For the last photograph, Zander was asked to hold the Oscar to give the picture editors a range of different images to choose from. Now he tosses it to Davie like it is a can of Bud pulled from the fridge to wash down a burger.
Davie’s reflexes are just quick enough to save it from the floor.
‘You got what you wanted.’ Zander’s words are barely louder than a whisper, yet drown out all other sounds. ‘Now both of you can fuck off, and if I ever see you again, walk the other way.’
Authors Shari Low and Ross King
About the Authors In January 2022, Shari Low celebrated 21 years since the publication of her first novel, What If?. Shari went on to be a best-selling novelist, publishing over 30 books, including My One Month Marriage, One Day In Summer, One Summer Sunrise, The Story Of Our Secrets and her non-fiction collection of parenthood memories, Because Mummy Said So.
In late 2020, her first novel, What If?, was updated and re-published. In January 2021, the sequel, What Now? was released, followed in April 22 by the third book in the series, What Next?. All three novels became international best sellers.
In real life, once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband and a labradoodle. Her two teenagers have now left home, so she spends an inordinate amount of time on video calls checking if they’re eating well and keeping up to date with their laundry.
For all the latest news, visit Shari on Facebook, twitter, instagram or at www.sharilow.com
Ross King is the author of the bestselling Brunelleschi’s Dome and Michelangelo & the Pope’s Ceiling, as well as the novels Ex-Libris and Domino. He lives in England, near Oxford.
Welcome to the blog tour for SHY GIRLS CAN’T DATE BILLIONAIRES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Shy Girls Sweet Romances, by Milly Rose. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SHY GIRLS CAN’T DATE BILLIONAIRES (Shy Girls Sweet Romance Series #1) by Milly Rose
I never existed until the wrong guy took notice…
I was born shy. And near him, I fall apart. No wonder he can’t stand the sight of me.
After a fire destroys our home, my family is taken in by a billionaire tycoon. His mansion has countless bedrooms, yet my room is next door to his son, Thomas Ashworth III. Yes, he’s as pompous as the name suggests. And, for some reason, he hates my guts.
Even though his arrogance drives me crazy, his chiseled features turn me into a stammering, awkward mess. I hate being stuck with someone I can’t stand. And when he does something unexpectedly kind, it confuses my heart.
When I bump into him in the middle of the night, I’d never guess it lead to us sharing secrets.
He’s impossible to get out of my head. But he wouldn’t consider dating someone like me. Would he?
You will love Christie and Ash. They are stuck together in forced proximity, becoming practically roommates. He is a billionaire, alpha male type who is learning to love. She is the new girl in school, dealing with past trauma. Together they will go from enemies to lovers in an adorable young adult romance.
Excerpt “Hi,” Thomas says, folding his arms across his chest. “What’s your first class?”
I stare at him as bags pull under my eyes. My lack of sleep and the adrenaline from panicking have taken their toll.
He unfolds his arms and tilts his head. “What’s up?” he asks.
I smooth my clammy palms over my blazer and fidget in my shoes.
“I told you, you don’t need to panic,” Thomas says, stepping closer to me. “This school is a piece of cake.”
I run a hand over my hair and turn my face away from him. I’m gonna lose it again. My insides contort with another urge to launch over a toilet bowl.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asks, placing a hand on my arm.
I jolt in surprise.
He removes his hand and takes a step back. “Sorry,” he says.
I look away. “It’s okay.”
Thomas smiles. “Glad you got your voice back.”
I blush, and mumble, “Me too.”
“Why do you look so freaked out?” he asks. “They showed you where to go, didn’t they?”
I shake my head. “Not exactly.”
“What happened when I left? Ms. Thornesmith usually handles everything, so I figured you wouldn’t have an issue.”
I fidget in my shoes again and turn my head in the other direction, staring at the closed bathroom door.
“A girl offered to show me around. Somewhere along the way, we kinda parted ways… I don’t have my schedule, and I don’t know where I’m going.” Huffing, I pause my ramble to throw my arms in the air. “I don’t know what classes I have… and I’m just lost again, like usual.”
“Don’t sweat it,” he says. “I’ll take you back to admin, and we’ll get you a new schedule. Then I’ll show you around.”
I cross my arms and let out a tired, “Humph.”
“You’ll show me around?” I say, looking at the floor. It is as confrontational as I get. It’s shocking the words have come out of my mouth.
I doubt he’d help me. Why would he?
“Christie, you need to know where you’re going. I’ll show you where to find your classrooms. It’s not a big deal.”
“It was a big deal earlier,” I say.
It’s baffling that I’m continuing with this conversation.
“Hey, I’m sorry,” he says, taking another step back. “My parents kind of threw this on me. I already had plans for this morning that I needed to follow through on.”
“Fine, whatever,” I say, crossing my arms in frustration. “You could have at least told your parents or me that you couldn’t show me around. If you had said you couldn’t help me, my mom would have come with me.” I pull my arms tighter across my midsection. “It’d be better than being alone.”
“I’m sorry you felt alone,” he says, taking a step forward. “But, be honest, you don’t exactly enjoy my company. I assumed you’d be relieved when I left.”
His words surprised me. I look up to meet his eyes, finding them filled with sincerity.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
He puffs a laugh and slides his hand into his trouser pockets. “Don’t act like you don’t hate when I’m around.”
I place a hand over my heart. “Me?”
“You’re always judging me.”
“I haven’t said anything bad to you.”
A nervous laugh seeps out of him. “You don’t have to say it. It’s in your eyes. I know you can’t stand me.”
Author Milly Rose
About the Author Milly Rose is an animal-loving romance enthusiast with a swoon-inducing book formula. Shy girl + hot guy + first kisses. Her YA sweet romance books will have you falling in love every instalment. Milly Rose is the quintessential shy girl, who you can contact via her mailing list and reply to her monthly email blasts! Milly spends her days vying for her cat’s affection, dreaming up her next book boyfriend, and writing a fun meet-cute under candlelight with a lovely brewed cup of tea.
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Welcome to the blog tour for BUCK UP BUTTERCUP, the first book in the new adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Montgomery Brothers, by Anna Alkire. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
BUCK UP BUTTERCUP (Montgomery Brothers Series #1) by Anna Alkire
With Randi and Buck, it’s hard to tell the two apart…
An uptight, self-contained college girl, Randi Becker just needed one thing: a room. Somewhere she could study, and keep away from the things that most confuse and frighten her: people.
Unfortunately, the “nice quiet place” she reserved turns out to be a room in the campus’ most raucous house. A place seemingly designed to make studying impossible, made even worse by the other girls’ non-stop drama.
But then Buck, a fun-loving cowboy whom all the ladies love, shows up…and everything gets much worse.
Buck seems to have it all: friends, fun, and a never-ending line of admirers. But what he most desires is a break. So when Buck spots Randi, he figures she’s a perfect decoy: he can play up a “crush” on her that will take him off the market; buy him some breathing room. And if he can tease her a bit, and get under the skin of the uptight busybody? Well, that’s just gravy.
But Buck is about to find more than he bargained for. Randi’s strong-willed, opinionated, difficult—and maybe just what he needs. And Buck isn’t alone. Soon Randi wonders as well…if the world she wanted is really the world she needs. If her future is nothing more than a diploma on the wall. And if the most important thing in her world isn’t a grade, but the cowboy who’s planted his boots firmly in her heart.
Fans of Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game will delight at this mix of romantic comedy, contemporary romance, and cultures colliding in a campus town with a western flair. Grab your copy today, and fall in love with Buck Up, Buttercup!
Excerpt The cab driver obviously smoked cigarettes and didn’t use his air conditioner. Or deodorant. Randi pulled off her thin cardigan in the stuffy backseat. It still felt like mid-summer down here, even with October twelve days away.
She would finish her degree and get out. Done is better than perfect, she told herself for the hundredth time. Companies hiring for business, marketing, and graphic design (her combined major) wanted graduates, not perfect grades. A good thing because she’d be lucky to pass everything.
At last, the car turned onto a gravel road winding into an orchard. The cab’s high-beams lit up the bushy branches and thick gnarled trunks of hazelnut trees. She couldn’t wait to see it in daylight.
“Shit!” the driver yelled. He slammed on the brakes and the cab jerked to a stop, swirling dust up from the gravel road. Randi gasped. Someone ran right in front of the cab, pink, naked skin glowing in the headlights.
Male butt cheeks sprinted up the middle of the road blocking them from passing. Pale, hairy legs ended in cowboy boots. One of his hands was holding a cowboy hat on his head. He whooped and veered off into the orchard.
They sat in silence for a stunned moment. If that was somebody’s boyfriend, she would be moving out.
“Did a naked guy jump in front of the car?” Randi said, taking her glasses off to rub her eyes.
The cab driver grunted.
“Do you see that kind of thing often?”
“Hazing week,” he grumbled. “You want to keep going?”
She paused, her head a foggy cloud. What did he mean, keep going? Did he want her to jump out and walk the rest of the way? Not with insane naked men running around. “Yes,” she said.
Belatedly, her brain caught up with the conversation—he’d meant he could turn the cab around with her in it. A lump the size of a fist lodged in her throat. Something was brewing up ahead and it wasn’t herbal tea before bedtime.
The cab rolled forward at a slower pace, veering around the largest potholes. Her clenching stomach churned with acid. She couldn’t think. They rounded a bend. Cars lined both sides of the road, wedged between the trees. Women came tumbling out of one of them—young, wearing cowboy hats, short shorts, and halter tops.
Randi’s mouth opened and closed. The cab kept going. Beer cans and red keg cups littered the gravel and the dirt shoulder. Noise was filtering in: shouts and high-pitched laughter. She realized the seat belt was clenched in both her fists. They drove out of the orchard. A sea of cars spread out in row after row on the grass in front of a farmhouse, like the parking lot of an outdoor concert.
People swarmed everywhere, blocking stairways, twenty deep around the sides of the house. A huge bonfire burned in front of a barn.
The driver turned off his radio. The overwhelming muddle of music, shouting, whooping, and a few hundred people talking at once brought reality crashing home. She sat suspended, unable to speak, chest heaving, panting in short gasps. Her sweating back could have been glued to the sticky leather seat.
“Hey, kiddo,” the driver said, “got a pickup in twenty minutes. You want a ride back into town?”
She stared at the house number. It was correct. Not to mention the old farmhouse matched the picture online. And so did the orchard. Over the summer, Trish had emailed her back promptly, answering all her questions. This was the house of “studious women serious about school.” When asked directly about parties, Trish had responded, “Little get-togethers— yes. Massive parties—absolutely not.”
Anger boiled up, burning away the paralyzing fear. She huffed in dawning realization. They’d taken her savings. Conned her. After working fourteen-hour days, seven days a week for three months in Buenos Aires, she’d spent everything to secure her spot living at this house. She would get her money back, tonight—first and last month’s rent, plus a deposit. Her stomach roiled.
“Meter’s running. What’s it going to be?”
Author Anna Alkire
About the Author Anna Alkire has been a long-term college student, a business owner, and a world traveler. Now “settled”—with a sigh and a cup of decaf—Anna lives in Washington state, where she splits her time between a husband who thinks the North Pole would be a great place to live, chasing her hurricane of a son, learning new handicrafts, and creating worlds full of the kind of romance and fun she most wants to read. Find more about her (and grab a freebie or two) at her website, annaalkire.com.
Welcome to the blog tour for THE PARADISE PLAN, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Hilton Head Island, by USA Today bestselling author, Elana Johnson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive teaser excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
THE PARADISE PLAN (Hilton Head Island Series #2) by Elana Johnson
Synopsis Cassandra Haslam loves plans. Lunch plans, wedding plans, and floor plans—they all bring her joy. In fact, she’s had her entire life planned out—career, marriage, and family—since age ten. She’s smart, hard-working, and a real go-getter, and everything has fallen into place so far.
Until her husband dies suddenly, right when she’s about to enjoy the fruits of all of her hard work and planning, leaving Cass reeling and…well, without a plan.
When her youngest graduates three months later, making her an empty-nester as well as a widow, Cass decides it’s time to make a new plan for herself.
It’s not a back-up plan.
It’s a paradise plan.
With one of her best friends now living in Hilton Head, Cass makes a move and purchases a piece of waterfront property on the island. It’s the perfect place to build her paradisiacal life and her new self as she designs and constructs a beautiful beach house.
But when she injures herself—not in the plan, by the way—she meets general-contractor-turned-doctor Harrison Tate. He helps her out of a jammed thumb, a sprained ankle, and a bruised ego.
When he keeps showing up unannounced at her construction site, sometimes with her favorite pastries, Cass starts to wonder if she should add him to her daily routine… If she does, will her perfectly laid out plans fall short of paradise? Or could she find her new life and a new love, all without any plans at all?
Welcome to the blog tour for TRAPPED IN LOVE, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, MacGregor Brothers Brewing Company, by Danica Flynn. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
TRAPPED IN LOVE (MacGregor Brothers Brewing Company Series #2) by Danica Flynn
Synopsis When my boss forced me on vacation to think about my career at the brewery, I wanted to scream. Then my sister suggested I spend the week at our dad’s cabin in the Poconos to think about what I really wanted.
Hoping for a relaxing week of fishing, hiking, and drinking lots of beer, I didn’t expect to find my sworn enemy already there. It was clear we had been setup by my meddlesome sister.
I had no desire to work out my differences with Felix freaking Jameson. He already broke my heart twice and I wasn’t going to let him do it a third time.
I just hoped the cabin was big enough for the both of us. And that I could forget how good it felt when his mouth was on mine. I definitely wasn’t going to let him into my bed again. Definitely not.
Trapped in Love is a small-town summer vacation romance set in the Poconos. If you love enemies to lovers and forced proximity, this one is for you.
Excerpt #3 She set her beer down and got up to poke at the fire again. She put in more logs, but on her way back to her chair, she tripped over my feet. I reached an arm out and pulled her into my lap before she fell on her ass. Or worse, into the fire.
“Whoa there,” I said.
A blush rose across her pale face. For a moment, time stood still as I cradled her in my arms, and she stared into my very soul. She slid her hands around my neck and bent her head to mine to meet me in a slow kiss.
When she kissed me, I forgot about all the reasons why this was a bad idea. I didn’t stop her when she took the lead and ran her tongue across mine. Instead, I slid my hands up the back of her hoodie, my body tingling as I felt the warmth of her skin, and I kissed her harder. We kissed for so long the fire had died down when she pulled away.
She shifted, straddling me like she might ride my dick right here in front of the fire.
Don’t think about that, Felix. Stop thinking about fucking her again.
“Yeah?” I croaked out.
“Tell me to stop,” she said as she rested her forehead against mine and her lips ghosted across mine. “Tell me you don’t want to kiss me again.”
I cupped her face and pulled back to take her all in. Her cheeks were flushed pink, and her lips were swollen from being kissed too much. And yet not enough. I wanted to kiss her all night long until she begged me to stop.
“Gem, I want to kiss you until you can’t breathe. I want to take you inside and have my way with you until you’re gasping for breath and can’t handle one more orgasm. And then I want to give you one more.”
She bit her lip, and then the little brat rubbed herself on my dick. Fuck me. She was going to be the end of me.
I gripped her hair in my fist. “I can only give you this week. I can’t give you anything more.”
She dipped her head back down and hovered over my mouth. “Give me this week. Fuck me until you break me, and come Sunday, we’ll go home with nothing changed.”
“I want something to change.”
“What’s that?” she asked and stared at me with eyes hooded with lust.
“After this week, you won’t hate me anymore.”
“No promises,” she said and kissed me again.
We were kidding ourselves with these promises, but we were too horned up to think about the consequences. If she wanted a summer fling, I could give her that, but that was all I could give her. No matter how much I longed for something more.
About the Author Danica Flynn started writing at an early age, and thinks Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series is why she loves both writing and romance books. She is a rabid hockey fan of both The Philadelphia Flyers and the Metropolitan Riveters. When not writing, she can be found hanging with her partner, playing video games, and reading a ton of books.
Welcome to the blog tour for HEADS ON FIRE, a standalone adult contemporary romance by Elora Nicole Ramirez. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
Nova Scofield isn’t looking for anything serious. She’s not looking for anything at all, actually. Still recovering after walking away from her narcissistic fiancé weeks before their wedding, she is happily focused on her floral shop, Wild Flora.
But then Jax Stratford walks into the shop and Nova suddenly remembers what it’s like to feel the gravitational pull of chemistry. For one night, she allows herself the freedom of letting her desire lead her.
The only problem is Jax isn’t a one night stand — he’s a potential business partner. Despite her best judgment, she agrees to a date and finds herself falling head over heels.
But Nova’s ex refuses to let go — he keeps showing up and threatening to take over the flower shop she built with her best friend — making it impossible for Nova to move on from their relationship and the control he had over her.
To make matters worse, history surfaces and her ex shares something with her, making it seem Jax has kept the truth from her this entire time.
Will she give into the heat she feels with Jax?
Or will everything she’s worked for turn to ash?
Excerpt #4 Music drifts from inside and I feel his chest vibrating from laughter.
I look back at him, my arms around his neck.
“What’s so funny?”
He leans his head back, glancing at the stars above us. “This song. I haven’t heard it in ages.”
“Dancing in the Moonlight?” I ask.
He nods, and finds my gaze. “My mom would have these dancing parties with us growing up and this was one of the songs she’d play. We go outside, under the moon, and just be completely stupid with each other, spinning around under the stars.” His eyes twinkle and scratches at something on his cheek. He goes quiet for just a few seconds, lost in memories.
“That sounds amazing,” I say. “My parents were incredible growing up — I’m so grateful for the relationship I have with them. But we don’t have any fun memories like dancing under the stars. It’s more like, creating presentations to determine where we are going to vacation this summer type of vibes.”
His eyebrows shoot up. “Are you serious?”
I laugh, my turn to go quiet with the memories.
“The last time we did it, my uncle actually won. We ended up going to Palm Springs simply because he wanted to experience the mind-melting heat.”
“Hopefully y’all had a pool to cool off in during the day?”
“Oh yeah. It was actually a beautiful spot. I would go back in a heartbeat, just not in the middle of July.”
Stepping back, he holds out his hand. “Wanna dance?”
I stand there for a moment.
“Here? Now?” I blink.
“Well, it’s what the song says, right?”
He claps to the beat, doing a quick turn on his heels before looking at me again with an inviting smile. I laugh, surprised by the shift in conversation, but grateful for his willingness to hold the heavy spaces as well as the silly moments. His green eyes look back at me and I sigh. This is the third time this man has gotten me to dance with him. There’s no way I will be able to say no.
I tentatively place my hand in his, and he twirls me around. “It sounds like you need a core memory of dancing under the stars.”
I laugh again, soaking in the moment. He’s not missing a beat, his shoulders moving with the rhythm and his feet slowly stepping side to side before doing a quick shuffle and moving me with the music. His hips rock side to side and before I know it, I’m not thinking about our conversation from earlier or whether the team breaking down the event inside will come out and see us and wonder why we haven’t left yet. I’m lost in the feel of his hips against mine, his hands on my back, and the confidence he has in leading us around the wooden porch. He pushes against my back, twirling me again, and I spin a few feet away.
My hands go out to the side and I groove for a few beats before getting a playful glint in my eye.
“You know this is where I run toward you and you lift me like Baby in Dirty Dancing.”
“If this were a rom com, yes,” he agrees. Instead, he holds his arms out to me in an invitation, and I don’t run toward him because we’re not that stupid to attempt a trick like that on a whim. We know this moment, just like all of our other moments, are held with care and with the knowing that it might be our last. But right now? Right now we’re experiencing something deeper than any movie anyway. I walk with the beat and turn my back to him when we reach each other and he wraps his arms around my waist and we stay there, moving in tandem with massive smiles on our faces, the stars sparkling above us and the fire cracking beside us, in our own little dance party for two.
It was better than any rom-com I’ve ever seen.
Author Elora Ramirez
About the Author Elora Ramirez has always been a word girl.
It started when she was four, when she taught herself how to read and write as a way to entertain herself while her grandmother kicked and danced in aerobics class. She cut her teeth on books from Dr. Seuss and writing anywhere she could find the space — including her Fischer Price kitchenette, the pages of picture books, and Highlights Magazines.
She’s matured a bit since then, now choosing to write in the margins of her books and on the mirrors of her bathroom ideas and thoughts surrounding story and what makes us human. By day she leads a team at a tech company, waking up before the sun rises to get in her love for words before stepping into her role of helping others see the plot line of their own story under development.
Intuition and beauty get her through the day, as well as her chef-husband and their little lion son. Curious Obsession is her fourth novel.
Welcome to the blog tour for AND TIME STOPPED, the third book in the young adult contemporary fantasy series, Keeper of the Watch, by Kristen L. Jackson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
AND TIME STOPPED (Keeper of the Watch Series #3) by Kristen L. Jackson
Synopsis After a smooth jump to Dimension 9, Chase, Alyx, and chimera pup, Bo, discover that this world’s peaceful existence only extends as far as the local high school. A different kind of battle wages there, and the identity of the school bully is a surprise they never anticipated. When Chase decides they have no choice but to enroll at Dune Harbor High and repeat their senior year, Alyx is less than thrilled. But the two soon discover the influence just one person can have over the decisions, lives, and even deaths, of those around them. While they try to prevent one tragedy, another one unfolds even as Chase unravels one more piece of his family history. What he discovers will leave him reeling, and his life will never be the same.
Excerpt #3 Alyx fastened the collar around Bo’s neck, snapping the leash on. Bo scratched at the collar, his hind leg a blur, then ran in mad circles, trying to catch the leash between his teeth. Once he succeeded, he growled deep in his throat and shook his head wildly back and forth, his little puppy growls forcing a smile to bloom. “I don’t think he likes his new things,” she chuckled.
“He’ll get used to it. We don’t want to lose him again,” Chase replied.
“No. Or get into trouble with Carson. Officer Murphy, I mean.”
Bo dramatically threw his body on the ground, paws in the air refusing to stand. “C’mon Bo. Let’s go for a walk,” Alyx coaxed, tugging on the leash.
The pup snorted, legs flailing in the air. One lone whimper escaped before he turned his back on them.
Chase and Alyx looked at each other. “Maybe we’ll just carry him for now.” Chase lifted Bo. The pup lay its head on Chase’s shoulder, snuggling as close as possible.
“We can’t carry him everywhere.”
Chase ran his hands over the soft fur, heading toward the sidewalk. “No. He’ll get used to the leash. Eventually.”
About the Author Kristen L. Jackson lives in Reading, PA, with her husband, two grown sons, and four large-breed dogs. She has been a teacher for over 20 years, and writing for children of all ages is close to her heart. Her debut novels KEEPER OF THE WATCH and MAGIC HARBOR (Books 1 & 2) are available now, as well as a novella, DIMENSION KEEPER, which is the prequel to the series. A children’s picture book, JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS, (2019 1st Place Pencraft Award Winner) is also available now. Kristen enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her family at their cabin in the Pocono Mountains of PA. Follow Kristen on Social Media.