Welcome to the book blitz for THE KEEPER, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Royals and Legends, by Lynn Montagano. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE KEEPER (Royals and Legends Series #1) by Lynn Montagano
It started in the English countryside when he stopped to see if I was having car trouble.
It should have ended there.
But it turned into three of the most intense days of my life. And guess what? It didn’t end there either.
His name is Xavier Maddox. Sexy, talented, athletic. A British soccer star. The enticing bad boy.
He should be off limits for me.
My name is Victoria Chase. Ambitious, successful, broken. I’m the media relations director for the most successful football team in the United States. I have this policy about getting involved with athletes…or as I call them, the product.
Xavier was only supposed to be a one night stand. A distraction for me while I dealt with a long ignored family situation.
But he had other plans…
If he finds out what I’ve done, what I’ve destroyed, he’ll leave. Broken people like me don’t deserve a happy ending.
Excerpt #1 “Victoria,” a sultry, baritone voice revealed my name.
I stilled. Its tone washed over me, quickening my pulse. Taking a deep breath, I glanced to my left. Getting caught up in Xavier’s heated blue stare was not something I thought would happen tonight, or ever again for that matter.
Dressed in gray pants and a white button down shirt, he stood with his arms crossed. The sleeves were rolled up to expose his defined forearms. And more tattoos, just like he’d hinted at. He was motionless except for the subtle way his ring-clad thumb stroked his lower lip.
He didn’t wear a tie and the shirt remained unbuttoned at the top, but my assumption that he’d look hot in a suit, or some variation of it, was correct. I finished the rest of my bourbon in one swallow and put the empty glass down.
“Nice to see you again,” Xavier said with a sly grin.
“Alright, wait a bleeding second,” Cade interjected. “How do you—” His eyes widened. “This is the one from the pub, isn’t it? The one that got you all hot and bothered.”
Bennet draped his arm over Cade’s shoulders. “How about you and me go downstairs for a drink.” Without waiting for a reply, Bennet guided him to the stairs, where they disappeared down into the crowd.
“You seemed pretty involved in your conversation with those two.” He lifted an eyebrow. “Did I miss anything good?”
“Not as good as what just walked into the room.” The words tumbled out before I could stop them. Hitting on him wasn’t an option.
Or maybe it was.
Yep. It definitely was.
I’d blame it on the bourbon but that was a lame ass cop-out. He was hot and I felt more than a little frisky.
“I see.” He slid his hands into his pockets and before I knew it, stood inches away from me.
He smelled so good. Not of cologne or body spray or any of the manufactured crap some men seem to think they need. Just soap, shampoo and him. His scent reminded me of the outdoors. Fresh and earthy, like vetiver.
“Shouldn’t you be doing the rounds with your friends?” I asked.
“Are you a soccer player too?”
“Soccer,” he mimicked with a grin. “Yes. I play football.”
I bit my lip to stifle a laugh at his correction.
He leaned toward me, invading my personal space the way a five star general crosses enemy lines, with precision and a healthy serving of arrogance. I was essentially caged between him and the railing.
It took quite a bit of effort not to slide my fingers up his chest and unbutton the rest this shirt. Or tear it open and watch all the buttons scatter.
“Did you come here with someone tonight?” he asked.
“Like a date?”
“Yes, like a date.”
“Lucky me.” A mischievous smile pulled at his lips. “Guess that means we’re on a date now. Or at least picking up where our last date left off.”
“Hardly. I’m not so sure you’re my type.”
“I’m everyone’s type.”
“I’m not everyone.”
Author Lynn Montagano
About the Author Lynn Montagano is a contemporary romance author, writing coach, podcaster and unapologetic football fan. When Lynn isn’t writing or recording her weekly podcast, you can find her cheering loudly for her beloved New England Patriots or traveling somewhere new in this great big world.
Welcome to the book blitz for TO LOVE A THIEF, the first book in the adult contemporary romantic suspense series, Relentless Pursuit, by USA Today bestselling author Delta James. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
TO LOVE A THIEF (Relentless Pursuit Series #1) by Delta James
Synopsis When the thief he is chasing becomes more than just a job, will the distraction be his undoing or her death sentence?
Claire Mitchell is a master jewel thief, who has a secret. Although the thrill of the heist is exciting there is a reason behind her choice of profession. Family honor above all else. It was the perfect plan… until he interfered.
Ryland Fletcher is the investigator determined to catch her. As he tracks Claire and gets to know her he finds there are more questions than answers. He doesn’t trust the beautiful thief in his bed but it doesn’t stop him from wanting her. The risk is life or death but the rewards are too great to resist.
What begins as a heist of the century turns into a game of cat and mouse. When their game of cat and mouse turns deadly it’s time to bring her in.
Excerpt #2 As she tried to duck behind the pillar in order to put it between her and the photographer, she clumsily ran into a tall, muscular man in an ill-fitting and probably rented tuxedo. He had to be close to six feet, six inches tall, and his shoulders looked like those of a flanker on a rugby team. Claire was fairly sure in some circumstances those shoulders could block out the sun. She was not a small-framed woman, nor had anyone ever described her as willowy. In fact, the most complimentary way to describe her figure was a true hourglass, but slightly larger on top. This guy in his rented tuxedo and cheap loafers made her feel petite and feminine.
Because of the difference in their height, Claire must have knocked into his arm, making his drink tumble out of his calloused hand and all down the front of her black and sequined halter gown. She pulled the dress away from her body.
“Here, let me help you with that,” he said in a deep baritone voice, as he stole a blatant glimpse down the front of her dress.
She let the damp gown fall back against her body where it molded to her curvaceous upper half. “I think you’ve done more than enough.”
“Hey, it was an accident, and you bumped into me, but in my opinion, it improved the fit of your gown.”
Claire looked him up and down. “As if I’d take fashion advice from you. Where did you rent that tux? Dolts Are Us?”
“If you’d like you can give it to me, and I’ll have it cleaned.”
“Did you seriously just ask me to take off my gown in a crowded room at a charity fundraiser?”
“I didn’t mean here. You can’t possibly think you’re so hot, I’d jump you in front of a bunch of high-class strangers.”
Maybe he hadn’t meant it that way, but it didn’t matter. The little girl who’d been having a wonderful time at the perfect Evangeline’s graduation garden party, didn’t consider the ramifications when she brought her hand back to slap him.
Author Delta James
About the Author As a USA Today bestselling romance author, Delta James aims to captivate readers with stories about complex,curvy heroines and the dominant alpha males who adore them. For Delta, romance is more than just a love story; it’s a journey with challenges and thrills along the way.
After creating a second chapter for herself that was dramatically different than the first, Delta now resides in Florida where she relaxes on warm summer evenings with her loveable pack of basset hounds as they watch the birds, squirrels and lizards. When not crafting fast-paced tales, she enjoys horseback riding, walks on the beach, and white-water rafting.
More about Delta, including a full list of her books and audiobooks, can be found at www.deltajames.com.
Her readers mean the world to her, and Delta tries to interact personally to as many messages as she can. If you’d like to chat or discuss books, you can find Delta on Instagram, Facebook, and in her private reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/348982795738444.
If you’re looking for your next bingeable series, you can get a FREE story by joining her newsletter https://www.subscribepage.com/VIPlist22019.
Welcome to the book blitz for PITY DATE, the first book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Pity, by USA Today bestselling author Whitney Dineen. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Faith I should’ve known it wouldn’t work out.
In all my twenty-nine years, life has never been smooth sailing when a man was involved. Astor Hill was everything I’ve ever wanted in a partner—handsome, successful, and interested in me. Until he started cheating. The cherry on the sundae is finding out the truth less than two weeks before we’re supposed to stand up for our best friends at their wedding.
When a staggeringly good-looking and kind stranger comes to town and offers to take me to the wedding, I jump at his proposal. Who cares if he’s gay? Astor doesn’t need to know that.
Teddy She thinks I’m gay?!
I’m taking a vacation from Hollywood and going back to Elk Lake. My grandfather hasn’t been doing well after Gram died and he needs my support. Luckily, I’m between blockbuster movies so I can make the time.
My first stop is Rosemary’s Bakery for one of the gingersnaps I remember so fondly from my childhood. The only problem is that the girl at the counter has eaten them all. After spilling my tea on me, she bursts into tears and tells me her troubles. I should be annoyed but I’m oddly charmed.
I know what it’s like to be dumped by a cheater, so I do the only thing I can think of: I offer to take her to the wedding to make her ex jealous. Unfortunately, with the help of the tabloids, things quickly spiral out of control…
Faith It’s Saturday, which means I’m supposed to be in Chicago. Instead, I’m sitting in my house crying. My eyes are nearly swollen shut as a result, making me look like a prize fighter who’s gone around the ring five too many times. Note to self: The post-boxing-match look does not look good on you …
I’m tempted to go into the bakery and tell GG the news about Astor. GG is Rosemary’s abbreviation for Gorgeous Grandma, which she insists on being called by her grandchildren. The only problem is there’s no going back once I tell her. And part of me is still holding out hope that Astor might come crawling back to me.
Obviously, I’d make him grovel and beg for forgiveness. He’d have to swear that Tiffany drugged him and took advantage of him. There would, of course, need to be regular flower deliveries, and he’d have to start coming to Elk Lake instead of me schlepping to Chicago. But if all that happens, maybe, just maybe, we aren’t through.
That would not be the case if GG knew what had gone down. She’d bring the cheating up every time she saw Astor, and he would never be able to get out from under her suspicions. Not that he would deserve to. The truth is, I might secretly want him to beg me to take him back just so I can make the rest of his life a living hell. Although, I’m not quite ready to admit to that. I’d like to think my intentions are pure, and we could live a beautiful life together.
I pick up my phone to call him, but quickly have second thoughts. There’s no way I can talk to him right now without spectacularly losing it. Which would negate my plan to make him jealous at Anna’s wedding.
After turning my phone off, I pull my tennis shoes out of the hall closet so I can get my food shopping done for the week. I normally go on Mondays after getting back from Chicago, but now that I’m not leaving town, I need some staples.
I start to feel a little bit better on the way to the market. That is until I flip on the radio and Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” comes on. Astor sang that to me the night he told me he loved me for the first time. It was a cringingly bad performance, but who cares? When the man of your dreams is declaring his love, there aren’t enough flat notes in the world to mess that up.
I park in the back of the lot, hoping a longer walk will snap me out of my current malaise. It helps a little as I’m not a complete basket case when I walk in. Grabbing a cart, I start my regular path through produce before hitting the cereal aisle and beyond. I grab a few apples, a couple of bananas, and a bag of greens before stopping dead in front of the dragon fruit display. I gasp before bursting into another uncontrollable sob fest. Astor told me we should plan a trip to Costa Rica so I could eat freshly picked dragon fruit. He claims the stuff we get tastes nothing like it should.
Picking up one of the hot pink fruits, I hold it to my nose. There will be no trip to Costa Rica now. Astor will probably take Tiffany, and they’ll stroll hand in hand on the beach while eating their body weight in exotic fruit. Hopefully it has the same effect on them as prunes. That would certainly ruin all chances of romance.
“Excuse me, ma’am. Can you tell me if you have any ripe avocados in stock?” The voice is too close for the man not to be talking to me.
As I turn around, I demand, “Why would I know about avocados?” I’m staring right at Teddy.
“Oh, hey, Faith. How are you?” Before I can lie and tell him I’m fine, he says, “I thought you worked here. You know …”—he motions toward my outfit—“you’re wearing the same thing the employees are.”
Is it any wonder Astor cheated on me? I look down and confirm that yes, I am wearing khaki pants and a light green shirt. I have no fashion sense whatsoever. I open my mouth to tell Teddy he should forget his ridiculous plan to help me make Astor jealous. There’s clearly no way that can ever happen. But as my lips part, no words come out. Instead, I hiccup loudly.
“Oh, Faith, no.” Teddy steps away from his cart and puts his arms around me. “I was hoping you might be feeling a little better.”
“This is better.” I rub my nose against his shoulder hoping not to leave a snot trail. It feels so nice to be held in someone’s arms. I hope he never lets me go.
Author Whitney Dineen
About the Author Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order.
Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.
She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.
Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.
Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.
Welcome to the book blitz for GUARDIAN, the second book in the adult urban fantasy series, The Liminal Chronicles, by Amy Winters-Voss. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
GUARDIAN (The Liminal Chronicles #2) by Amy Winters Voss)
“One hundred pieces of gold for every kitsune head laid at my feet!”
Convinced redemption lies in becoming a Guardian, Umeji Tatsuya seeks mentorship from the legendary tengu king Soujou-bou. Though, the rest of the Guardian Council is skeptical he’s left behind his dark yakuza past. There’s no time to prove his loyalty and worth before disaster strikes.
A pair of kitsune refugees arrive and hot on their heels is a massive oni army led by Ibaraki Douji, who plans not only to exterminate kitsune kind but also to resurrect the title of Shogun to become ruler of Japan. As kitsune are slaughtered and Umeji and his family fight for their very survival without the support of the Guardians, Umeji questions where his loyalties actually lie.
Just when Umeji thinks things couldn’t get worse, the oni army lays siege to the rural town of Nonogawa and takes on the League of Guardians themselves. When Ibaraki makes off with a legendary sword, the Guardian Council blames Umeji for its loss. He’s done playing by their rules. With family and friends by his side and all of kitsune kind counting on him, Umeji vows to recover the sword and stop Ibaraki for good.
Will the cost be too high? Because the search leads to places mere humans don’t dare tread and what Umeji and his crew find is darker than anything he saw in the mob…
Guardian is the second book in the Liminal Chronicles series. Buy now and enjoy Umeji’s action-packed journey into Japanese myth, personal redemption, and found family.
Excerpt #1 Next, the tengu king’s eyes narrow and his wings ruffle. “Let us see you in your original shape, boy. Your magic doesn’t quite match the kitsune form you present.”
He waves his feathered fan, popping me back into human shape. At least I had the sense to dress formally, in a navy suit and a tie that Su-chan picked out for me. Though, I still feel out of place. Besides my aunt and I, everyone else wears a kimono and hakama. It’s different from the streets of Kyoto, where you see the traditional clothing only occasionally.
Then Soujou-bou raises a bushy eyebrow. “Nakamura-san, why do you associate with a magic thief?”
“That is his story to tell, Soujou-sama. Know that I believe him,” she responds in a flat, neutral tone that raises my hackles. She’s never this submissive.
As I give a deep, reverent bow, he remarks, “Boy, Nakamura-san’s recommendation does not excuse the evil in which you’ve partaken. Why did you stoop so low and steal kitsune magic?”
My insides twist at having to contradict the tengu king right off the bat. Taking a deep breath, I keep it simple. “We did not steal it, sir.”
But he snaps, cutting through the air with his feather fan. “No one gives such a gift! It destroys the owner. If I do not find your explanation satisfactory, you’ll not leave my palace alive.”
The declaration sends a shiver down my spine and my words spill out. “The fox I was fighting was Date Sari. She’d repeatedly attacked me and Aunt Hisako because of an old grudge and used her magic for evil—mixing it with that of an oni to add to her power.
“When she attacked my girlfriend, I tried to stop Date without killing her by dispelling her abilities. We didn’t know it would split and settle into each of us. The kami judged Date for her actions and Inari Okami was merciful. He didn’t require us to return her magic or hoshi no tama, which would have killed us.
“My aunt gave me a chance to start again after leaving the yakuza, and I wish to honor her and follow in her footsteps.”
“Yakuza, you say?” His eyes flick to my aunt.
I whisper, “I have much to atone for, sir.” Pressing my palms together in front of me, I bow as low as I can and remain in the position as I ask, “Please, teach me so I can serve as a Guardian.”
About the Author Amy is a former programmer turned author after her first trip to Japan in 2017. Now she writes Japanese myth-based urban fantasy to reconnect with the country and culture that captured her heart. She lives in South Dakota with her supportive husband, two wonderful kids, and three wily and crazy ferrets.
Welcome to the release blitz for PLAYING FOR KEEPS,a stand-alone adult contemporary romantic comedy, by USA Today bestselling author, Julie Hammerle. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her Giveaway.
Synopsis USA Today bestselling author Julie Hammerle’s quirky romantic comedy about two strangers, a fake relationship, and a teeny mid-lie crisis…
Bryce Barrett has disappeared off the face of the earth. Well, technically she’s just temporarily hiding out in a teeny Midwest town, away from her ruined marriage and professional demise…at least until she can figure out her next steps. But when she bumps into her ex—dressed in what could be only described as “dumpster chic”—she does the only reasonable thing a woman can do: panics and pretends the cute security guard on the scene is her new boyfriend.
Free-spirited nomad Jake Warner knew returning to his hometown was a bad idea. It’s bad enough that his family’s pressuring him to step into his dad’s hypercompetitive shoes and settle down, but when a complete stranger (cute, though possibly unbalanced) enlists him as her fake boyfriend, Jake knows he’s making some questionable choices…especially when he inexplicably goes along with it.
Now these two mismatched misfits are temporary allies against a town filled with happy, normal, and annoyingly stable people. Fake dating keeps everyone off their back while they plot their respective escapes. But nothing botches a plan more than unexpected chemistry…
Exclusive Excerpt “Ted, hello.” Bryce offered him her hand, and he pulled her in for a quick, friendly kiss on the cheek. She stiffened up. Damn it, is that moldy cheese smell me? No. It’s Ted. It must be Ted.
After he let her go, Ted spoke to the woman next to him, “Ree, this is my ex-wife, Bryce. Bryce, this is Rita, my girlfriend.”
We lah-dee-frickin’ da, Ted went and got himself a girlfriend.
But I have beaver slippers.
Bryce bit her lip to keep from laughing or crying, she wasn’t sure which.
Rita offered her hand to Bryce. “It’s nice to meet you. Ted has told me so much about you.”
“Yeah, nice to meet you, too.” Bryce greeted her ex’s new girlfriend with a perfunctory handshake as she took the opportunity to give Rita the once-over. She was the kind of effortless beauty Bryce, with her hair dye and multi-session workouts and (previously) gluten free, vegan diet, had only ever dreamed of being. Rita, whose luminous face apparently had no need for makeup, wore her long, dark hair in a cascade over her shoulders. Her white pants and nautical-striped shirt were right out of a J. Crew catalog.
Bryce folded her arms across her dingy, dirty t-shirt.
“What are you doing in town?” Ted asked.
He was definitely staring at her pants—or, well, his pants. She crossed her legs, trying to hide the big, gold “Michigan.” “I’m…I live here.”
Ted laughed. “You live in Wackernagel?”
Bryce frowned. “Well, I have the house here.”
“Yeah, you do, but I…I figured you’d sell it the first chance you got.” Ted laughed. “What about work?”
He hadn’t heard. Somehow news of her great professional demise had not reached Ted.
Bryce said a quick prayer of thanksgiving for loyal friends, Ted’s aversion to social media, and the fact that their work circles didn’t overlap. His high school teachers’ crowd didn’t have much contact with Big Law beyond Bryce.
“I’m taking some time off.” Bryce crossed her arms.
“Like, a sabbatical?” Rita asked.
Bryce nodded. Sure, let’s call it that.
“Good for you.” Tim smiled softly. “I’m glad you’re finally taking some time for yourself.”
Yeah, that’s what I’m doing. Bryce shot him a relaxed, self-assured smile. Might as well let him keep thinking things are wonderful. No harm in that. “Things are going really well for me here, in fact. I’m fixing up the house”—or, technically, redecorating it with old chip bags, empty wine bottles, and assorted other garbage—“and I’m really finding myself”—by binge watching TV shows, eating ice cream, and sleeping all day.
“That’s great,” Ted said. And his eyes were back on Bryce’s pants.
These stupid pants. They were blowing her cover. Her current outfit screamed everything but “I’m thriving!” Bryce chuckled, trying to make light of her oddball clothing. “I see you’ve noticed what I’m wearing.”
Ted’s eyes widened. “I have. Have you?”
She tamped down any annoyance at his semi-snide tone.
Author Julie Hammerle
About the Author USA Today best-selling, RITA nominated author, Julie Hammerle (she/her) writes romantic comedies for adults and teens. Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, when not writing, she ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her music playlist reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.
She lives in Chicago with her husband and her two kids and a dog.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE LOST MAN, the sixth book in the adult contemporary romance series, From Connemara With Love, by A.S. Kelly. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE LOST MAN (From Connemara With Love Series #6) by A.S. Kelly
I left as he slept, believing that he’d still find me in his arms when he woke up. I left, taking everything I’d promised him. I took it all, and neither of us would ever have it again.
I left, turning my back on everything I knew, believing I could never be part of it.
I left the man who loved me, the family who raised me. I left my home, my roots, my dreams. I left my whole life behind in search of a past that was never mine. I hurt everyone who loved me, and broke him into so many pieces that I know I’ll never deserve his forgiveness.
But I’m here, now, trying to rebuild everything I’ve destroyed. I’m trying to find what I thought I’d lost. And although he says that he’ll never be the same, though he says that there’s nothing left of him, I can’t abandon him again. I can’t say goodbye to us.
They say that you always find your way back to happiness, but I’ve found my way back to the only place I’ve ever felt at home.
I’ve found my way back to him.
Excerpt #2 Niamh and I are alone again, with so much love between us and an intense fear to work through.
“What’s wrong?” Niamh asks me, curiosity splashed across her features.
“I lost myself.”
She tilts her head, her eyes questioning mine.
“I lost myself for a while.”
She smiles at me. “Thank God I’m here, then.”
Her fingers slip delicately between mine.
“Do you need help finding the way back home?”
I nod, breathless. I never want to take another breath again if it doesn’t taste like her.
“Home,” I echo. “Where is home for you?”
Niamh squeezes my hand; there’s an emotion in that gesture that I never want to give up. It trembles along my arm and into my chest, exploding with light and life.
Welcome to the book blitz for NOT TODAY, CUPID, a standalone new adult contemporary romance, by USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Bonds. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
As compiled by Scarlett Evans—executive assistant, grad student, and reluctant admirer of CEO Nick Hart’s snacktastic abs
Well, my fellow corporate drones, it’s another less-than-exciting investor meeting with the executives (Loud Talker, Human Buzzword, Master Delegator). And at the front, CEO Nick Hart, the world’s coldest—and ok, unbelievably sexy—tech badass. The man hasn’t smiled in the history of ever, he runs a tight ship filled with miserable employees, and gosh, he just really does not love feedback. Especially from me.
Development updates, acquisition delays, and…holy hell, why does he keep looking at me? I don’t work for him. I work for his brother. Which is good, because otherwise I’d spend every meeting secretly wondering what actually lies beneath that cool, aloof demeanor. Like, is he an uptight geek in the boardroom…and a sexy-assed freak in the bedroom?
He’d better not find out I’m the one stuffing the company suggestion box. What’s so wrong with a Valentine’s Day Social, anyway? But the fact that my notes are less professional and more entertainment is one seriously dangerous game. Because if he ever found out what I really thought of him, there’d be all kinds of sweet, delicious hell to pay…
Each book in the Harts series is STANDALONE:
* Miles and Miles of You
* Not Today, Cupid
Excerpt “I’ve gotta admit, I’m dying to know what you just signed up for.”
“That makes two of us.” I shove my burger aside. There’s no way I can eat it now. Not with the prospect of some half-baked project hanging over my head like a guillotine.
Miles smirks. “Drumroll, please.”
I give him the finger, but Beck indulges him, tapping the edge of the table.
“Anonymous says we need a—oh, this is too perfect.” Miles howls as Beck and I stare at him, waiting for the punchline. “A—” He chokes on his laughter and has to take a drink of water before continuing. “A Valentine’s social!”
He’s messing with me.
He has to be. Who would put that in the suggestion box? This is a place of business, not a fucking romper room.
Even if sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
“Let me see.” I reach for the laptop, shooting Beck a dark look. They’re both laughing like hyenas now. “Have you two been stuffing the suggestion box?”
“Don’t look at me,” Beck says, shaking his head. “I don’t have time for that kind of petty prank.” He chuckles. “It is pretty ironic, though. You know, since the only thing you hate more than Valentine’s Day is the suggestion box.”
Miles is laughing so hard now it’s a wonder he doesn’t bust a blood vessel.
Could this be his doing, some ass-backward attempt to make me appear likable?
It doesn’t matter. I’m not doing it.
“Pick something else. February fourteenth is the Epos launch. The timing is terrible and four weeks isn’t nearly enough time to put something like this together.”
“Oh, no you don’t.” Miles wags a finger at me. “You already agreed. Besides, that was the last one.”
Fucking hell. Leave it to Miles to pick the one week the damn thing isn’t overflowing.
“No way. It can’t be done.”
“Not with that attitude,” Miles says through peals of laughter. When he finally gets control of himself, he adds, “Relax. If anyone can handle it, it’s you.”
It’s true. I’ve never walked away from a challenge in my life, but what the hell do I know about planning a social? I’m the last person in the world who should plan this event.
On the other hand…
It could be the perfect opportunity to prove I’m not the controlling bastard Scarlett thinks I am.
Arrogant. Uptight. Cold.
Her words chip away at my brain with maddening persistence. I shouldn’t care what she thinks. I know it on a cerebral level, but after last year’s bad press, her ludicrous, ill-informed assessment is infuriating.
Salt on an open fucking wound.
“So?” Beck spears a piece of lettuce with his plastic fork. “Are you going to do it?”
My gaze slides from Miles to Beck and back again. It won’t be easy—I’m already spread thin with the Epos launch—but I’m no quitter. With a little time and a plan of attack, I can do this. And who better to help plan a Valentine’s social than Miles’s snarky, highly organized, whip-smart assistant?
“I’ll do it on one condition.” A slow grin curves my lips. “I want Scarlett to help.”
Author Jennifer Bonds
About the Author Jennifer Bonds is the USA Today bestselling author of sizzling contemporary romance with sassy heroines, sexy alphas, and a whole lot of mischief. She’s a sucker for enemies-to-lovers stories, laugh-out-loud banter, and over-the-top grand gestures. Jennifer lives in Pennsylvania, where her overactive imagination and weakness for reality TV keep life interesting. She’s lucky enough to live with her own real-life hero, two adorable (and sometimes crazy) children, and one rambunctious K9. Loves Buffy, Mexican food, a solid Netflix binge, the Winchester brothers, cupcakes, and all things zombie. Sings off-key.
To connect with Jen—and get a FREE book—visit www.jenniferbonds.com!
You can also find her on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook @jbondswrites.
Welcome to the book blitz for STARSEER, the first book in the young adult LGBTQ fantasy series, Starseer, by Katya Hernández. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Fifteen-year-old Etar can see the future in the stars—a rare skill even among magicians. But while other Starseers before him have become the stuff of legend, Etar has never predicted anything more exciting than the weather. Orphaned at age five and living under his uncle’s disapproving gaze, he yearns to prove his worth.
Disaster strikes when, in defiance of his uncle’s orders, Etar breaks into the Starseeing Dome—an ancient structure built to potentiate the powers of Starseers. Aided by the Dome, the stars send Etar a vision of ironclad warships destroying Skalland, the tiny island he calls home.
Hunted by a bloodthirsty admiral who seeks to enslave his newly awakened powers, Etar will have to fight to protect his friends while grappling with his past, his out-of-control magic, and a budding friendship turning into something more.
Excerpt #2 Hundreds of times in the ten years he’d lived under his uncle’s care, Etar had gone out to the lighthouse at night to try his magic. But this forbidden room had always been in the back of his mind, tickling his curiosity, making him wonder what it would be like to follow in the footsteps of all the great Starseers named in his book.
But in coming here, a truth both painful and mind-boggling revealed itself. He had grown up believing it was he who lacked power when in fact, it was the setting that was all wrong.
Standing in the middle of the starmirror—as his book called the pool at the center of every starseeing chamber—he was stripped so completely of his reality that he wasn’t sure anymore what flesh was. He tried to scream, an impossible feat without lungs, and everything around him became darkness poked through with starlight. No beginning. No end.
He fell upwards, and as he shot through the endless night, he noticed with alarming lucidity that he was being pulled into a disc of burning red light. A star, surely, but he had never seen one up this close. He’d never noticed the torrents of fire whirling and exploding on their surfaces.
The star soon eclipsed his view, and a high-pitched sound pierced maddeningly through his core. There were words in there. He could distantly recognize the cadences of spoken language, but to his understanding, it was all terrifying gibberish. He recoiled from the turbulent sea of red light. He knew the message the star was trying to convey was important, but Etar didn’t want to hear its discombobulating yammering anymore.
As the star pulled him in with unfathomable force, he tried to scream again, and this time his breathless efforts shattered the trap of his subconscious like a crystal wall. He was in the Dome again, a fact he only registered because water sloshed around his feet, and Jossan’s voice was coming from somewhere near his face.
“… wake. Please, wake up!”
Etar shook all over. He couldn’t draw enough breath to speak. But most concerning of all, he couldn’t see. The ghost of the star dominated his visual field. He dug the heels of his hands desperately into his eye sockets and screamed when the light persisted behind his tightly shut lids.
“Etar, please, tell me what’s wrong,” Jossan said, holding Etar’s shoulders firmly between her hands.
It took several minutes for him to recover some composure. Every time he’d gone up among the stars, he returned with a pleasant sensation of having just woken from a good night’s sleep. Now, he couldn’t stop crying, he was blind, and his head felt like someone was trying to rip it open with a cleaver. “I can’t see,” he whispered, his voice breaking. His body faltered.
“Fuck,” Jossan said under her breath, her voice shrill. “Hang in there.” She hauled him up over her shoulder and started going somewhere. Etar could guess the rise and fall of the stairs, but after they hit the hallway, it was impossible to know where they were. All he could hear was Jossan’s frantic, whimpering breath and some of her men asking her questions she clearly couldn’t answer.
And slowly, as they moved along the castle hallways, Etar’s consciousness slipped out of his grasp.
Auithor Katya Hernández
About the Author Katya is a writer, illustrator, and graphic designer who lives with her partner, two cats, and two dogs in sunny El Salvador.
Her cats are her harshest critics, but she loves them all the same.
When she’s not writing or drawing the fantasy worlds that live in her head, she’s cosplaying as the creepiest monsters from all her favorite horror movies.
Welcome to the book blitz for WOODED DISCOVERY, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Spellbound Chronicles, by B.B. Swan. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
WOODED DISCOVERY (Spellbound Chronicles #1) by B.B. Swan
Synopsis Previously published as Out of the Woods by B.B. Swann.
His senior year just turned magical. Now if only he can win his crush’s affections without getting killed.
Seventeen-year-old Zaidyn Mitchell would rather not be weird. But nothing can be stranger than when the self-proclaimed bookworm wakes up one night, floating several feet above his bed. Still desperate to fit in after his parents unceremoniously unlocked his abilities, all Zaidyn wants is to date the girl of his dreams.
With his magic a little uncontrolled, the budding wizard finally makes a move and promises his beautiful classmate to help stop a construction project from destroying the nearby woods. But when an unknown force attacks and tries to separate them, Zaidyn fears this supernatural world is about to send them to their doom.
Can the teen would-be hero find a way to save them both?
Wooded Discovery is the delightful first book in the Spellbound Chronicles YA urban fantasy series. If you like humor and drama, fun twists and turns, and a dash of danger and romance, then you’ll love B.B. Swann’s coming-of-age adventure.
Buy Wooded Discovery to awaken hidden enchantment today!
Excerpt #2 Mom sits on the stool next to mine. “I’m glad you found someone you like. And you know the whole you growing up thing scares me. I like having you home.”
“Yeah.” I point at my chest with my thumbs. “President of the mama’s boy club.”
“I’m the founder. I’ve ordered t-shirts.” She laughs. “But that’s not why I’m worried.”
“Then what’s the problem? Everything else in my life has been thrown into a magical blender. Why is this one normal thing the part everyone is against?”
Mom raises her eyebrows. “Who said we were against it?”
“No,” Mom looks at Dad and he nods. “It’s just that you got serious fast. We don’t want to see you get hurt.”
“Piper isn’t going to hurt me.” I grab another pepper. “Well, unless she breaks up with me, but that’s the risk you take in any relationship.”
“True, but that’s not what I meant.” Mom twists the wedding ring on her finger. “What I mean is… she’s not a witch.”
The sweet pepper turns to ash in my mouth and I stand to throw the rest into the trash. I have my thoughts on that issue, but I’m not telling my parents about it.
“I’m dating Piper.” I cross to the door and turn back around. “And if I can find a way, I’ll get around the stupid law. Or fight to change it.”
“Zaidyn that’s not a good—”
“Not a good idea. Yeah. I’ve heard that before. Sorry if it bothers you, but I’m not going to accept their bigotry without a fight.” Like everyone else does.
Mom flinches at my thought.
Oops. Didn’t mean to broadcast that one. But the truth hurts—obvious from her tears.
Before they can argue anymore, I leave, slamming both the front and my car doors. I drive to Piper’s house with the radio blasting a raunchy rap song. Anything to keep me from thinking about what my parents didn’t say—that I couldn’t stay with Piper, even if it’s what we both want.
Author B.B. Swan
About the Author B.B. Swann writes books for the young and the young at heart. She is devoted to giving her readers characters they can relate to who overcome their struggles with hope, love, and sometimes a touch (or two) of magic. After twenty-seven years of teaching, she now represents authors as a literary agent with The Purcell Agency and helps others achieve their dreams—no magic required, but she does feel like a fairy godmother at times. She loves to hear from readers. Visit her website at www.bbswann.com or find her on social media from her Linktree here.
Welcome to the book blitz for LEGENDS OF ASH AND DUST, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, The Fearless Saga, by Kate Cowan. See below for information on the book , buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
LEGENDS OF ASH AND DUST (Fearless Saga #1) by Kate Cowan
Synopsis They forged her into a weapon. Now, she is the last.
Aerona was raised by legends. Her people, the Shae, are the closest thing this realm has to the supernatural: they train their entire lives to protect, forging their bodies like steel. They are the stories told to children in the night, the monsters who lurk in the woods. Or, they were — until the massive Red Wolf army attacked, slaughtering them all in a single night.
Now, Aerona is the last, and it doesn’t help that she is the only female Shae in history. Besides the revenge she has sworn to get, she has one final mission: to protect Niran, a handsome prince with secrets of his own.
In Niran’s home, the Palace of the Golden City, nothing is as it seems. Aerona’s enemies are lurking around every corner, the Emperor is blackmailing her into becoming his assassin, and an ex-Shae librarian is convinced that she has a long-forgotten Shae magic hidden on her skin.
Caught between two worlds, Aerona must kill, spy and betray… even if it means unlocking the magic this world has long been starved of…
Excerpt #3 “What is it?” I demanded. “What’s happening? Kentric, I saw fire—“
“We’re being attacked,” Kentric said. Shouts and bangs and running footfalls filled the air, filtering in through the dark window.
“What?” I started for the door, but he pulled me back to face him. “We have to go, we have to fight—“
“There are too many, Aerona. Far too many.”
“Too many? We’re Warriors.”
“Fifty of us have already been slain in the Sanctuary,” Kentric said quickly. “More at the outposts and farmhouses. There are hundreds of them, Aerona, an army. We cannot win.”
“No,” I breathed. The world had been opening before my eyes that morning: now, it felt as if it closed in from every angle, crushing me.
Taking a step back, I looked to the glowing window, listened to the screams in the distance.
“We can fight them! Drive them off,” I was pleading, tears in my eyes, but there was ice in Kentric’s gaze.
He had stopped listening. From around his neck, he pulled something on a thin black cord out of his robes. It was small and silver, glinting in the faint light from the window. The symbol of the Shae—all of the Masters wore one, a hand-forged silver pendant. A mountain overlaid with two crossed swords, surrounded by a circle of four dragons. He pushed it into my hands.
“No. I can’t,” I took a step back, looking shakily down at the heavy, cold pendant.
“There’s no time for this. Listen to me carefully,” he took my shoulders, standing so close I could feel his breath on my face. “The prince is your responsibility now. He’s in the barns, Malik told him to meet you there. Take horses and get off the Shae mountain. Get far, don’t stop moving, and don’t use the gates to get past River’s Edge. Go through the river itself. Don’t come back here, don’t try to fight them. You are Shae. You are one of us. Never forget that. We will fight them as long as we can. Stay off the main roads and away from anyone until you reach Dothor.”
I tried to suppress the tears welling up in my eyes, clenching my jaw and my fists, but my heart broke as Kentric wrapped me in a fierce hug. He was old, but like an ancient willow, he was supple and strong.
“Now go, Aero,” he whispered in my ear. “Go!”
I knew I would regret it, Gods, I knew I would—but I did as Kentric told me.
Author Kate Cowan
About the Author Hi, I’m Kate Cowan. I’m an author, writer, painter, and illustrator. When I’m not writing or creating art, I love to take my three insane dogs out for hikes and explore the beautiful Niagara region of Canada, where I live. My passion is in telling stories that move people and capture their imaginations. I also strive to create art that is full of life and beauty. I love creating pretty things, both written and painted. I’m also a martial arts instructor, 3rd-degree black belt in Goju-Ryu Karate, and lover of badass characters (which I’m sure you can tell from my books!!)
Welcome to the book blitz for UNDERTAKING LOVE, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Last Chance Responders, by Megan Montgomery. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
UNDERTAKING LOVE (Last Responders Romance Series #2) by Megan Montgomery
Synopsis Bethany West upgraded her lucrative career as a sex worker for her dream job as a death worker when she partnered at Smythe & Co. Mortuary. She expected her eco-friendly innovations and death positive attitude to blow the roof off the Victorian-era relic. But that was seven months ago, and during that time, she’s only managed to piss off her embittered business partner, George Smythe, a man dead set on maintaining the status quo and driving Bethany out of his namesake business.
When the pair reluctantly travel together to a mortuary conference in New Orleans—and compete in dueling embalming demonstrations—George finally recognizes the value of Bethany’s business model for the first time. He’s also starting to recognize a growing attraction to his blonde bombshell business partner. Meanwhile, Bethany learns the truth behind George’s cold contempt, and it’s much worse than she thought, stemming not from a single incident, but from the constant on-call status, the compassion fatigue, and the overwhelming stress of the job.
Bethany has 4 days to crack open his tough outer shell to reveal the compassionate man she knows is inside, and she has a plan, but unless George learns to open his heart and lean on her, at the risk of succumbing to their cremation-level attraction in a dangerous way, he’ll jeopardize both the business and their hearts by refusing the true partnership they both need.
George I gripped the edges of the cot and crouched on the balls of my feet, taking a minute to steady myself, head hanging low on my shoulders. I gave myself two full seconds before standing up and getting to work.
No point in wasting time.
I removed my jacket and unbuttoned my shirtsleeves, rolling them up to my elbows, still thinking about what it must be like to walk through life looking like her, putting people under spells.
It wasn’t just her beauty, although I had to admit she was objectively beautiful.
Playboy beautiful. OnlyFans beautiful.
Men spent a collective fortune to look at still images of her. Or so I was told. I would never ever go to her site. Not even to satisfy a morbid curiosity. Why the hell would I? We were oil and vinegar. I spent every waking moment trying to avoid my business partner.
A body could only look so good naked.
I had to hand it to her though; the way she deliberately dulled herself to look more approachable, less intimidating for clients.
Wearing polo shirts and khakis for pickups didn’t quite work, though. There was nothing she could do to disguise her bone structure or her crystalline eyes. Or lips that were full and plump and pink even without her bloodred lipstick. The best she could do was drape her otherworldly figure in baggy, unflattering, generic workwear.
In those tight, vintage-glam, days-off dresses, her body was indecent, perhaps even downright obscene, the way her mountainous hips curved out from a tiny waist. If she wore those outfits around here, her giant boobs displayed alongside the caskets and urns, nobody would be able to get any work done. Who could make a decision around that?
She was cartoonishly drawn, the utmost decadence sprung to life in the form of a woman. Obscene beauty. It was too bad it was packaged into such an unlikeable creature.
Or maybe it wasn’t bad at all.
Because despite her extra helpings of bone structure and sex appeal, the woman posed not the slightest whiff of temptation. Not for me.
Sure, stunningly gorgeous women had once been my type. Just the thought of slipping my hands around a woman’s waist, moving lower as wide hips inched my fingers farther apart would make my dick hard. I used to love that overt type of femininity that threw back to a different generation, with heightened proportions, heels, lingerie. I liked to clutch a woman’s ribs and delicately trace the underside of heavy boobs.
Too Much, amplified by the confidence to own it definitely used to be my type.
Now I had no type. I was as celibate as my brother, Gus, in his last year of seminary. I was ruined by divorce, work, stress, and the feeling that nothing I ever did was good enough. The constant need to push myself further, do more for the clients, make things perfect at any cost. That drive was my mistress now.
I wasn’t a man, I was a granite statue, ensconced in my niche that was this home, this business. There was no blood or desire left inside me. My hands were plastered to my sides, unable to reach for the soft skin of another. Any hardness wasn’t in my cock but in my soul.
So, no. I wasn’t tempted. Temptation was for men who didn’t work eighteen-hour days, remaining on-call the other six. Temptation was for men who could allow themselves to be hurt again.
About the Author Megan Montgomery writes romance. Sometimes they’re funny. Sometimes they’re morbid, but all her characters have cool jobs. She and her husband, Johnathon Olavarria co-host Forced Proximity podcast, a weekly romance book and movie club.
Her debut novel, Well . . . THAT Was Awkward was inspired by her homesickness for southern Maryland. She now lives halfway across the US on the prairie with her husband, son, and mom.
When she’s not writing, reading, lifting weights, or cooking dinners her son won’t eat, you’ll find her toiling in the garden or brewing potions from her medicinal herbs.
Welcome to the book blitz for QUEEN OF ROSES, the first book in the adult fantasy romance series, The Once and Future Morgan Le Fay, by Briar Boleyn. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
QUEEN OF ROSES (The Once and Future Morgan Le Fay Series #1) by Briar Boleyn
A doomed love, a dangerous mission, and a kingdom on the brink of war…
A cast-off princess…
Born into a life of duty and sacrifice, Morgan Pendragon’s destiny has never been her own. Rumored to carry the tainted blood of the fae in her veins, her birthright is stolen from her when she is a mere child. Growing up in the shadow of her brother the king, she has been promised to the goddesses when she comes of age. So, when her brother commands that she seek out a fae weapon of legendary power, Morgan seizes the chance to break free from the chains of her fate.
A dangerous temptation…
As she travels, Morgan finds herself drawn into a strange group of outcasts, led by a dark and enigmatic warrior whose sharp wit and fierce beauty set her heart ablaze. But while Morgan struggles to reconcile her desires with her duty, she and her new comrades discover dangers that await them beyond anything in their wildest nightmares.
A slumbering kingdom awoken by blood…
Believed to have vanished generations ago, a fae kingdom dreaded by mortals is ascending once more, bound to reclaim what was lost by violence and bloodshed. As the fae world, with its intricate web of lies and mysteries, is slowly revealed to Morgan, she is led to the terrible realization that the secrets she carries in her blood make her a greater threat than she could ever have imagined.
The first in an action-packed new series brimming with magic, danger, and spellbinding slow-burn romance, Queen of Roses is perfect for fans of Holly Black, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and Sarah J. Maas.
Excerpt #2 “Who did this to you?” Draven’s voice was a guttural growl. The sound of a furious animal, not a man.
I shook my head mutely.
“You won’t tell me? You think I won’t find out for myself?” He shook his head as if in frustration. “Morg–”
My eyes widened.
He tried again. “Princess. My lady.” I could see him trying to soften his voice. Which was impossible. A steel sword could never become silk. “Tell me so I may help you. That is all I ask.”
I tried to clear my throat. When my words emerged, my voice was hoarse and cracked. “Thank you, but… there is no need for any of this. I’m fine.”
This time he really did growl. A sound low and deep in the back of his throat.
I tried not to flinch. I failed.
“Last night in the market. Now this. You are not fine.” He crossed his arms over his chest and tilted his head. “Tell me this. Has it happened before?”
I was quiet.
The truth was, it had. But not this badly. Last night… Last night was the worst.
Florian had cornered me before. He had hurt me, bruised me. He had even used his knife. I had small scars in a few hidden places from those encounters.
But compared to last night, those had all been childsplay.
Again I thanked the Three that Draven could not see the rest of the marks I bore. Strange, the things we thought we ought to be grateful for.
If he could see Florian’s name carved across my chest, just above my breasts, well… I had the feeling he would explode into a tempest of rage that nothing would be able to contain.
Author Briar Boleyn
About the Author Briar Boleyn is the fantasy romance pen name of USA TODAY bestselling author Fenna Edgewood. Briar rules over a kingdom of feral wildling children with a dark fae prince as her consort. When she isn’t busy bringing new worlds to life, she can be found playing RPG video games, watching the birds at her bird feeder and pretending she’s Snow White, or being sucked into a captivating book. Her favorite stories are the ones full of danger, magic, and true love.
Welcome to the book blitz for GRAND GESTURES, the first book int the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Planners and Dreamers, by Lynne Hancock Pearson. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
GRAND GESTURES (Planners and Dreamers Series #1) by Lynne Hancock Pearson
Synopsis She will grit her teeth and smile at the snobby and suspicious CFO if it means landing the contract. But she won’t put on a dress and definitely not heels.
Event planner Jane Beckett has big dreams for her small company and is bending over backward to accommodate demanding clients. Jane doesn’t have to like them. She doesn’t have to spend her free time with them. But she wants to tease the grumpy pencil-pushing executive who always seems to be in her way, muss up his hair and show him that there’s more to life than boardrooms and bottom lines. That is, when she doesn’t want to yell at him. Or punch him.
Liam Cross believes every woman has a hidden agenda, one that involves taking advantage of big hearted, clueless billionaires like his best friend and co-worker. He’s watching Jane and her sister to ensure that party-planning is all that’s going on. Even though she manages to steal his assistant, he likes what he sees in the smart-mouthed brunette, admires her stubborn independence, and wants to help her fledgling firm succeed despite his misapprehensions.
Paintballs, punches, and sparks fly when inflated egos and miscommunication threaten relationships between friends, family, and partners.
Excerpt With whiskey warming his belly and muddling his mind, signing up for a paintball session seemed like a great idea, in the light of day and with a pounding headache, not so much. He intended to argue his way out of the non-refundable fee he’d paid in his drunken state. Settling his sunglasses firmly over his eyes, Liam hauled his sorry ass out of the car. His back hurt, his head hurt, and his hands hurt.
Fingering a fresh blister on the palm of his hand, he cursed himself for not wearing gloves at the batting cage the night before. He’d gone directly from the office to the sports field in Magnuson Park. For two hours, he’d slugged away at balls. Personal day. Liam had never taken a personal day. Other than dental and medical checkups, he never took a day off. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d done anything fun without Chuck. He’d whacked the ball time and time again, thinking about his best friend potentially getting his heart stomped on. Again. Worn out from swinging the bat, he’d stopped for booze and takeout, then headed home to stalk Jane Beckett online.
Bullseye Paintball was located in an old salvage yard off Aurora. Whooping with glee, kids erupted out of SUVs and mini vans in the parking lot. Wincing at the noise, Liam made his way to the office and pulled open the heavy door.
“What are you doing here?”
Wearing black cargo pants tucked into combat boots and a black hooded sweatshirt, Jane Beckett lounged against the registration desk. She flicked her bangs out of her eyes with a toss of her head and smirked at him. “You’re not playing, are you?”
Her dismissive tone rubbed against his raw nerves. “Yes. Why wouldn’t I?”
Sipping from a travel mug, Jane’s gaze roamed up and down his body, taking in his khaki shorts, fresh white collared shirt, and sneakers. Her lips twitched. “Oh, no reason at all.”
The door opened, and the small office filled with kids, backing Liam into a corner and saving him from having to reply. Jane shifted her attention to the kids and raised her arms in the air.
“Who’s ready to have fun?” she yelled.
“Yay!” the kids replied at the top of their lungs.
“Who’s ready to get dirty?”
They yelled louder.
“Who’s ready to plant a garden?”
The kids looked confused.
“I’m just messing with you!” Jane grinned and opened the door to the playing field. “Head out and find Jason. He’s going to fit you with safety equipment and guns.”
The kids stampeded out, leaving two dads dressed in camo-chic, looking both excited and nervous. One of whom wore an air cast on one leg. “Oh dear,” Jane said, “you’re not going to be able to play with that.”
The man in the cast replied, “Stan and I discussed strategy. I figured I’d prop myself up in a corner and shoot from behind cover.”
“Yeah,” Stan said. “You and I can run and juke, draw their fire, and Carl can pick them off. He can as well.” He looked toward Liam. “Sorry, I didn’t catch your name. Whose dad are you?”
Three pairs of inquisitive eyes turned toward him. “Nobody’s. I’m not part of the party.” He felt like a fool. How the hell to get out of this while saving face?
“Liam’s never played before. He’s here to scout the place for a team-building event for his company.”
Carl and Stan nodded at Jane’s remarks. Liam shot her a quick smile of thanks.
Then she cocked one hip, crossed her arms, and threw him under the bus. “We’ve got tactical gear you can borrow for firsthand experience, Mr. Cross. How about it?”
“Yeah,” Carl said. “You’ll be able to see how much fun it is. And help us out. There’s twelve of them, and with my bum leg, they’ll make mincemeat out of us.”
Stan nudged Carl’s shoulder. “Don’t scare him.” He turned to Liam. “It won’t be that bad. The girls are experienced. We’ll tell Jessica, that’s our daughter, to tell them to go easy on you.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Liam caught the grin Jane was attempting to hide behind her hand. Great. She was laughing at him. There was no way he could get out of this and still keep his man card. “I’m in.” He extended his hand to Carl but glared at Jane.
Thirty minutes later, he found himself cowering behind a stack of wooden pallets with a barrage of paintballs coming at him. What the holy hell?! This was not fun. This was terrifying. He looked back and spotted Carl wedged between empty oil drums, cackling maniacally as paintballs pinged off the metal. What was wrong with these people?
Author Lynne Hancock Pearson
About the Author Lynne Hancock Pearson writes fun, flirty, feel-good fiction set in the Pacific Northwest. Stories of people finding their way, even if it takes a while to get there.
She lives near Seattle with two and a half finicky felines and one long-suffering husband. She is a left-handed middle child who grew up in the Great White North.
Welcome to the book blitz for I USED TO BE FUN, a standalone adult contemporary/women’s fiction novel, by Melanie Summers. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
“Insightful, entertaining, and satisfying. A deliciously dishy look at a typical American family behind closed doors.” ~ USA Today Bestseller Whitney Dineen
“A life-affirming emotional rollercoaster. Perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette!” ~ USA Today Bestseller Kate O’KeeffeA richly satisfying family dramedy for any woman who has asked, “Whose life is this?”
Jessica Holloway is miserable. As mom to two ungrateful, almost-grown children and wife to one appreciative-but-needy husband, she has all-but-abandoned the extraordinary—and extraordinarily fun—woman she used to be.
She may be smiling while she volunteers at the school’s dog wash fundraiser, but inside, she’s seething. Having traded her future as a high-powered attorney for motherhood nearly two decades ago, she’s now desperate to reconnect with the woman she once was.
Pushed to her breaking point, Jessica is secretly terrified at what she might do.
Go on strike permanently?
Take the dog and run away to Mexico?
Tell her mother-in-law what she really thinks of her?
Whatever it is, it’s going to be a disaster. Because this time, Jessica will stop at nothing to get her power back – no matter the cost.
Excerpt #1 She was bored. No, not bored. How can someone so busy be bored? It was more like disconnected—slightly separated from everything and everyone around her. She didn’t see the point of any of it, which seemed ridiculous because on paper, Jess had it all. A healthy, mostly-happy family, a part-time job she didn’t mind going to, financial security, good friends. It was enough that she felt guilty wanting anything more. But that didn’t change the fact that she did want more. She wanted to live. Some other life. One that amazed her or, more accurately, one in which she was amazing. Before she was Jessica Halloway, she was Jessica Saunders. And Jessica Saunders was supposed to be extraordinary. She was going to do something important in this world, like run a Fortune 500 company or be a high-powered attorney. She’d be out in the world making her mark and people would say, ‘There goes Jessica Saunders. Look at her. So determined and talented, not to mention dressed to kill.’ Jessica Saunders had actually settled on going to law school, and had even scored in the top five percent in the country on her LSAT. But then she got married and she and Mike decided he should focus on his career first, since he already had his degree and only needed to sit for the exams to get his Chartered Professional Accountant designation. But then Winnie came along, followed by Noah, and pretty soon, she’d forgotten all about picking up her studies where she’d left off.
That had happened so long ago, she completely forgot that she used to be thrilled by it all. Jess Saunders was one of those enthusiastic, take-life-by-the-horns sort of girls. The life of the party. She’d dance all night, she’d laugh all day. She was witty. Smart. Great at banter. People were drawn to her. She loved everything. Impromptu trip to Mexico? I’ll grab my passport. Sex? Yes, please. Plenty of it. Mountain mud pie with caramel sauce for dessert? Hand me a fork.
Jess missed her. She really, really frigging missed her. She knew that impressive young woman was buried somewhere inside her. She must be there, right? So, where was she?
Author Melanie Summers
About the Author Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.
Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.
In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally – then she’ll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for ‘K’ Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn’t require makeup and/or nylons).
Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she’s not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something–more like just staying until they turn the lights off.
She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE STAINED SEA, the first book in the new adult fantasy series, Omen, by Paul Carver Williams. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.
THE STAINED SEA (Omen Series #1) by Paul Carver Williams
Synopsis In the wake of a lost messiah, an oppressed religious sect known as the ‘singers of Oros’ are targeted by those in power. A lone singer calling himself Runo works tirelessly to revive the faith of his people by any means necessary, involving a hunt for a witness who could expose his darker actions/
Meanwhile, a young slave named Cai is called on by a philosopher to aid in a catalogue of the wealthiest families in Grecuria, starting with the owner of the library where he works. On his journey he must confront a past that isn’t his own.
Lastly, sailing on a sky ship surrounded by merchants, Mele Amahki was given passage to begin a new life. However, everything changes when they find themselves in a new, unexpected world. Mele is thrust into power, unsure of what is best for her crew.
Knowledge, religion, power, and blood run through the veins of the Grecurian islands, but through these three headstrong individuals, the veins will be cut and darkness will stain the sea.
Excerpt #3 “Something has already happened to Akamai. And what— we’re to trust this, this Lili Mele in his place?”
Mele bristled, but tempered herself with a glance to Akamai, finding his eyes staring dead into hers. To her surprise, he tapped his lips. A gesture on a list he wrote. It meant she was allowed to speak freely. Mele burst from her seat and pressed her hands into the table. “Lili Mele? I am not the one who sold myself to the council of nobles in exchange for a good word with the emperor. Don’t fool yourself, Lili Takaahae, this is not the world we used to live in, and I am the most valuable asset you sniveling council of cowards has. What choice is there but to wait for now? Min needs the energy when he returns. I’d imagine tracing the edge of the land has drained his stores far lower than any of ours. Now I’m begging to return to our plans for when the search parties return. My brain has been decaying with every syllable that exits your mouth.”
Author Paul Carver Williams
About the Author An LGBTQ, Black-Latino young adult, Paul Williams has struggled with his identity, eventually leading to mental illness. However, with support from his siblings, he gained new confidence to express his inner emotions through art and writing. At age seventeen, he published his first book. He is now working endlessly to carve a place for himself among the creative professionals and pave the way for other talented ‘students’ of art and literature.
Welcome to the book blitz for ONCE UPON A LEGEND, a standalone young adult fantasy romance, by Mary Ting. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
A story of love and a power that echoes through time.
A prophecy foretold by the Council.
A sword forged by the Ladies of the Lake.
A child born from love and the hope of thousands.
Seventeen-year-old Idrisa is a student from Dumont Orphan School. When the Emperor of Dumonia invites all citizens to a birthday gala for Prince Merrick, she attends and becomes entangled in a world beyond belief.
At the party, Idrisa begins to hear strange voices that urge her to go to the lake. A student from school follows and tries to kill her, but in the fight for her survival, Idrisa gains possession of an eternal sword—gifted by the Ladies of the Lake.
The Emperor demands it, but only Idrisa can wield the sword, so he imprisons her. Her only hope is Prince Merrick, but he is grieving the death of his mother and doesn’t care about anything happening around him.
While held captive, Idrisa uncovers secrets that challenge everything she thought she knew about Dumonia. Enemies and allies emerge when they hear news of the sword, and she must unlock the mystery of the weapon before darkness descends on the empire forever.
Excerpt #2 “They are all children of the Blood Plague.” The Council’s voices seemed shocked, almost afraid.
“It’s not possible,” Thalia shrieked, folding her arms to her chest.
But it was possible if Mariam and Delphi had lied to us. About fifty of us in my year had been brought to the school as babies. They could have lied and told us we were two when we’d really been three. Delphi would know, but she was gone.
“You can ask the other scholars. They can explain,” I shouted my random thoughts. “Lady Mariam, our director, she’s coming the …”
Had I said too much? But where was Mariam? Had the other scholars not informed her about us missing from the school? And if they had, did she not care?
The emperor twirled his ring on his finger, looking into the distance. Hopefully he heard my words and was contemplating mercy.
The emperor sighed. “What shall we do, Sister? We can’t afford to have this happen again. Not after all we have done.”
A soft, diabolical purr escaped from Ravana as she walked away from the golden circle. Her eyes darkened and pulsated like a thunderstorm ready to burst. The room went dead silent as we awaited her verdict.
“Kill every single one of them,” Ravana hissed. “The scholars. The little brats. And burn the school down. I don’t want any survivors. Not even an insect.”
“No,” I yelled.
My friends’ wails joined mine.
All those children, students, and scholars. My home, the only home I’d ever known. The emperor wouldn’t, would he? When he smirked, I had my answer. I had to do something. This was my fault. The goddesses’ fault. Help us, I prayed.
Why go through the trouble of giving me the sword when I didn’t know how to use its power? Despair and rage controlled me. The air warmed and the tingling sensation in my hand burned hotter, until I was holding unadulterated power, however impossible it seemed. Wind whooshed through the room, strong enough to ruffle hair and clothes.
I closed my fists when orange light burst from my palms like a birth of the first pure light. On the ground, Caliburn began to rattle. Anticipation choked off my breath. Everyone stared and backed away. Then the blade flared with lustrous silver and soared into my hands like a bird flying home.
Author Mary Ting
About the Author Born in Seoul, Korea, author Mary Ting is an international bestselling, multi-gold award winning author. Her books span a wide range of genres, and her storytelling talents have earned a devoted legion of fans, as well as garnered critical praise. She is a diverse voice who writes diverse characters, often dealing with a catastrophic world.
Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.
Synopsis Four sisters in hiding. A grand duchess in disguise. Dark family secrets revealed…an alternate future for the Romanov sisters from Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar and The Lost Season of Love and Snow.
With her parents and brother missing and presumed dead, Grand Duchess Olga Romanova must keep her younger sisters safe. The Bolsheviks are determined to eliminate any remaining holdovers from the tsarist regime, hunting down the last Romanovs and putting them to death. Now living in England, the Romanov sisters remain hidden to protect their identities, even as isolation strains their relationships.
But they can’t distance themselves from the world forever.
Olga learns that a peer of the realm has accused the late Empress Alexandra of betraying Russia and her allies during the Great War. Under the spell of the scheming Grigori Rasputin, Alexandra disclosed military secrets to the enemy and pursued a separate peace with Germany. If this rumor becomes history, it will destroy her mother’s legacy and her sisters’ futures.
Disguised as “Olivia,” a wartime nurse turned maid, Olga accepts a position in Lord Hammond’s household. There, she works to discover the truth about her mother. When Olga meets his lordship’s heir—an alluring, enigmatic war veteran—her situation grows even more precarious. Could she fall for the son of her new enemy? As she learns more about the tragedies of his past, Olga realizes the connection between their families is more complicated than it appears.
Excerpt: August 1918
The fugitive lay on her back, bruised limbs pressed flat, hidden alongside her sisters underneath a mound of coarse blankets. As the ambulance rumbled to a halt, gasoline fumes flooded the rear compartment, masking the heavy odor of their unwashed bodies. Her breathing grew labored. She didn’t know where they were or who had stopped them. She only knew they must not make a sound.
Over the past weeks, they moved slowly through land held by the Bolsheviks. Every evening at dusk, they ate carefully rationed portions of tinned meat and dry wafers while their two saviors—agents from England with forged papers identifying them as officers of the Red Guard—checked the radio transmitter for word of Allied progress toward the northern ports along the White Sea. Then, during the scant hours of darkness afforded by the short summer nights, they traveled a tortuous course to avoid military checkpoints.
Bundled in tattered sweaters, Olga and her three sisters were gaunt. Their neglected hair hung limp about their shoulders. But their faces once adorned postcards, calendars, and boxes of fancy chocolates. If detained, they would be recognized at once.
The missing daughters of the tsar.
Anastasia’s warm body pressed closer, trembling as she tensed her jaw and tried to stifle a cough.
A terrifying scenario unfolded in Olga’s mind. Thick boots pounded on the roadway before soldiers with red stars tacked to their lapels tossed the blankets aside and dragged Olga and her sisters back into the hellish world they’d been so desperate to escape. What if this journey had been for nothing? Worse than nothing because they had left their parents and sick little brother, Alexei, behind.
Olga was twenty-two years old and the eldest. It fell on her to get them through this nightmare, no matter the outcome.
She felt around until she located her youngest sister’s hand. She held it tight, flinching at the hard calluses and pus leaking from an erupted blister on the pad of Anastasia’s thumb.
Deep masculine voices, muddled and indistinct, rumbled outside. The fingers of Olga’s free hand balled into fists, rage displacing fear. The Bolsheviks may have stolen everything she held dear, but Olga would confront them as a true Romanov. Unbroken. When they raised their revolvers, she would hold her head high and ensure her face haunted these traitors for the rest of their lives.
The back door of the old field ambulance creaked open. Tentatively, Olga drew the blanket down. After hours of near-darkness, sunlight momentarily blurred her vision. When Olga released Anastasia’s hand and sat upright, a cool breeze caressed her forehead.
Before her stood a broad-shouldered gentleman of about fifty, with black brows, a full beard flecked with gray, and brown eyes behind wire-framed spectacles. The man wore a khaki tunic, as Papa had during the war. The coat’s golden buttons and belt buckle gleamed in the morning sun.
“Your imperial highness.” The gentleman removed his hat and bowed his head. He had spoken in English. She assumed he was the commanding officer. A half-dozen other men stood behind him, each dressed in the same khaki uniform. Some rose on tip-toe to get a closer look at Olga.
None bore a red star on his lapel.
Her sisters emerged from under the blankets. They pressed her shoulders, exhalations warm on the back of her neck.
“I think he’s in charge.” Tatiana, the second eldest, whispered in Olga’s ear. “And waiting for you to speak first.”
A spark of hope ignited in her heart, yet Olga didn’t trust these strangers. It had been far too long since anyone outside her family had shown her kindness or respect. For months, they had been kept under constant watch: shoved about, subjected to barking orders and humiliating whims, and made to feel they clung to life by the thinnest of threads. Olga remembered the defeated expression on her little brother’s face when she’d said goodbye for the last time. Even her once proud father bent under the weight of captivity.
Their saviors, the two men who had rescued them from that nightmare, rounded the vehicle and walked toward the soldiers, broad smiles brightening their ruddy faces.
And then the words fell from Olga’s tongue easily, as Mama had always preferred to speak English with her family. “We are here then? We’ve made it to British soil?”
“We have delivered you to Arkhangelsk. From here, you will be transported to your new home.” “We are in your debt, sir.”
Olga waited because she knew he would say more. There had to be more. While they had been rescued, their parents and brother remained imprisoned in Ekaterinburg, along with a handful of loyal servants.
“You will return for the others, won’t you?” she said, heart thumping. “My family. Our doctor. My mother’s maid. You must promise.”
The officer held her gaze. “The Bolsheviks fortified their defenses around the city’s perimeter. We can’t send our agents back to the house.”
Faced with those terrible words, Olga couldn’t bring herself to ask anything else. Couldn’t bear to hear it was too late. Her stomach churned, but she must not break. Not here. Not yet. As the eldest, she needed to stay strong. For her sisters.
When Olga said nothing more, the officer turned back to his men. Three soldiers joined him, lining up before her sisters to help them out of the ambulance.
“I know you are in pain,” the officer told her. “Remember that you and your sisters are safe. You survived. And we have done everything in our power to find a secure place for you. I promise.”
Author Jennifer Laam
About the Author An avid history nerd, Jennifer currently lives in California with a spoiled tabby cat named Jonesy. When not reading or writing, she enjoys planning cosplay for the next San Diego Comic-Con, experimenting with vegetarian recipes (to mixed results), and obsessing over House Targaryen or Baby Yoda.
Welcome to the book blitz for CASTELON, the third book in the young adult fantasy series, The Wraithwood Trilogy, by Alyssa Roat. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
CASTELON (The Wraithwood Trilogy #3) by Alyssa Roat
Fifteen hundred years of Arthurian legend come to a head in the final installment of The Wraithwood Trilogy.
The sword of legend, ancient magic, and a dead man’s secrets-together they could save Brinnie’s world or end it forever.
Brinnie barely escaped Mordizan with her life. Battered and broken in body and soul, she knows she’s running out of time. And though she has discovered the identity of Mordred’s bane, no one knows where to find the legendary weapon.
To discover the truth, she and Marcus must journey to Castelon and seek the aid of the Council. However, their actions at Mordizan brand them as enemies and war criminals. Between Mordred’s armies engaged in full-scale war and the political machinations of the Council, Brinnie struggles to balance the battlefield and the courtroom while estates fall before Mordred’s wrath.
As magic ravages her own body, threatening her survival, the allure of ancient, forbidden power grows brighter. And only one man holds the knowledge of the weapon that could destroy Mordred once and for all-a man they buried in the gardens of Wraithwood.
Excerpt #2 Nathan blazed a trail to a pair of carved wood doors and turned the brass handle on the left, pushing the door inward. “After you.”
She stepped inside, the smell of leather and old books wrapping around her. In the center of the room, an ostentatious solid wood desk shone in front of a massive hearth, over which hung a painted portrait of what appeared to be Scott Castelius and family, his children with their spouses and children. Shelves lined the walls, with free-standing bookcases making up a couple of rows on either side, most of the books beautifully bound, many accented with what appeared to be gold leaf.
She spun slowly. “These are beautiful, but they don’t strike me as books about dark magic.”
“Oh, these aren’t.” He strode past her, heading for the wide stone hearth behind the desk. He walked right in, ducking only slightly, turned to the right, and was gone.
Brinnie’s eyebrows shot up. She followed, peeking around the corner of the fireplace. Beyond the initial line of stones, a tunnel led back several feet.
They emerged from the tunnel into what felt more like an archive than the display library in front. Old books and scrolls were carefully labeled on well-organized shelves.
Nathan headed straight to the back of the room and gestured to one of the bookshelves that housed both scrolls and tomes. “These might help.”
She gathered her skirts to better navigate the narrow rows. She leaned toward the shelf he had suggested, squinting at the labels, all in the ancient language.
She took a deep breath and rubbed her eyes. If magic allowed her to speak and understand the language, it should help her read it as well.
She opened her eyes and squinted at the lettering. Mental translation felt unwieldy, like reading her high school Spanish books, but she could understand enough.
One word stood out—dywledrith. Dark magic.
“Thank you, Nathan. These should be quite helpful.”
The one type of magic even Mordred wouldn’t touch. Which meant he would be powerless against it.
About the Author Alyssa Roat has worked in a wide variety of roles within the publishing industry as an agent, editor, writer, and publicist. She is the managing editor at Mountain Brook Fire. She has held positions as the publicity manager for publisher Mountain Brook Ink, an associate literary agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, an editor with Sherpa Editing Services, and a freelance writer with hundreds of bylines in local, national, and international publications. She holds a B.S. in Professional Writing from Taylor University. She would love to connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well @alyssawrote.
Welcome to the book blitz for EVERY BIT A COWBOY, the fifth book in the adult contemporary romance series, Creedence Horse Rescue, by USA Today bestselling author, Jennie Marts. See below for information on the book and series, and exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
EVERY BIT A COWBOY (Creedence Horse Rescue Series #5) by Jennie Marts
Synopsis “Filled with humor, heart and real love.” —Michelle Major, USA Today bestselling author
USA Today bestselling author Jennie Marts proves there’s nothing quite like a cowboy.
No matter how swoony the cute cowboy is, romance is the last thing on Carley Chapman’s mind. But it’s hard to ignore Knox Garrison and the spark of attraction she feels every time he’s near. When a water line break floods her building, she’s forced to move her salon out to the Heaven Can Wait Horse Rescue ranch, and Knox shows up to help. But things get even more complicated when Carley’s no-good ex comes sniffing around and Knox “fixes” the problem by telling him they’re engaged…
Praise for Jennie Marts’s cowboy romances:
“Funny, complicated, and irresistible. Sometimes a cowboy isn’t perfect but you got to love him anyway.”— JODI THOMAS, New York Times bestselling author, for Caught Up in a Cowboy
“Full of hope, humor, and undeniable swoon.”— A.J. PINE, USA Today bestselling author, for How to Cowboy
“Deliciously steamy but still sweet, with a secret at its heart.”— JOANNE KENNEDY, award-winning author, for Wish Upon a Cowboy
Excerpt #2 He gently pulled her into his arms then tenderly smoothed the spot on her forehead. “You can trust me you know.” He spoke softly, saying the exact words she ached to hear.
She didn’t need platitudes or stupid pet names. She needed a man she could trust.
She fought against the emotions building in her as she stared into his gorgeous brown eyes, so full of care and conviction. “I do trust you,” she whispered then lowered her gaze. “Just not with my heart.”
About the Author Jennie Marts is the USA TODAY Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”
She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.
Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.
Jennie loves to hear from readers. Follow her on Facebook at Jennie Marts Books, or Twitter at @JennieMarts. Visit her at www.jenniemarts.com and sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest news and releases.
Welcome to the book blitz for CAPTURED SECRETS, the first book in the adult contemporary western romance series, Seven Tine Ranch, by Carmen Peone. See below for information on the book, and exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
CAPTURED SECRETS (Seven Tine Ranch Romance Series #1) by Carmen Peone
Synopsis “Brimming with suspense and adventure, Captured Secrets, is a love story I’ll not soon forget. An engrossing tale with all the twists and turns that make a contemporary Western so hard to put down.” Debra Whiting Alexander, award-winning author of Zetty
After her parents die in a horrific car accident, Sydney Moomaw is thrust into running their guest ranch in eastern Washington. She soon discovers that her parents were keeping secrets. Why is the ranch in serious debt? Why did her parents allow the insurance to lapse? Why didn’t they tell her about it? And where are their wills? Sydney needs to figure out a way to save the ranch she loves before her sister sells it.
Photographer Trey Hardy arrives at the ranch the same day Sydney’s parents are killed. His working-vacation plans change when he decides to help Sydney save her ranch. But, his offers to help are met with resistance. Her stubbornness and independence are both maddening and alluring.
Amid the tangle of finances, tensions with her sister, and her own grief and anger, Sydney begins receiving threatening notes. They must be from her abusive ex-husband, but he’s in jail. Isn’t he? When a teenager appears at the ranch insisting she is Sydney’s daughter, Sydney finally realizes she’s going to have to start trusting people to help her. Will Trey’s plan work? Can they save her beloved ranch? Can she really have the life she’s dreamed of?
Excerpt #3 Sydney found Trey resting under the shade of a ponderosa pine tree near the mare and foal pen. She rode one horse and led a second. “Wanna take a ride?” She leaned back and padded her bulging saddle bags. “I have a picnic.”
“Your talk with Glenda must have gone well.”
“Something like that.”
“Where we going?”
Trying to keep her composure, she said, “Somewhere special.”
Trey took the reins that were attached to a blue roan with the Seven Tine brand on its rump and mounted.
Shade and cool air from towering trees and valleys, wildflower’s Sweet aromas, streams trickling over rock beds surrounded them on the north pasture, and he became more enamored with the setting the longer they rode.
Sydney led him to a cool spot in a copse of aspen by a creek. She dismounted, then pulled out two sacks and a thermos from the worn saddlebags. After finding a nice patch of green grass, she arranged cheese, crackers, and apple slices on the bags and poured two tin cups of iced tea, handing him one of them.
“Trying to butter me up for something?” He winked at her, then took a drink.
“No.” Her face warmed as she gave him a sassy sideways glance. “Maybe a little.”
“This is one of my favorite spots. I come here to think.” She gestured to the food. “Dig in.”
Trey put a slice of cheese on a cracker. “I’d like to bring the stud colts here, a couple at a time, and take photos for the website.”
She looked around and pointed to a backdrop of aspen and rock bluffs. “Over there’d be a nice spot.”
“It sure would.” He ate the cracker and took a sip of tea. “Why did you bring me here?”
Oh. Why? She held her hands in her lap so he couldn’t see them shaking. “Um.” Do I tell him straight out, or should I ease him into it? “I thought you’d like this spot for taking pictures.”
He set his cup on the grass. “This isn’t about horses, is it?”
Of course it wasn’t. Here goes nothing. “I’ve considered your offer.”
Author Carmen Peone
About the Author Carmen Peone is an award-winning author who has lived in Northeast Washington and on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation since 1988. She had worked with a Tribal Elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes Language and various cultural traditions. She owns and trains her horses and competes in local Extreme Challenge and Mountain Trail competitions. With a degree in psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. With the love of history and western-woman lifestyle, she brings stories of hope, family, relationships, and faith to her novels.
These books were a labor of love, especially the second edition of the True to Heart Trilogy.
Thank you to my cover model, Shayna Palmanteer of the Colville Confederated Tribes, for your willingness to be a part of this adventure. Visit my website for information on the workbooks that go along with my young adult books at https://carmenpeone.com/books/..