Welcome to the book blitz for WHISPERS IN THE WATERS, a prequel novella in the in the adult mystery/fantasy series, Blood of the Fae, by Sarah Chislon. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
WHISPERS IN THE WATERS (Blood of the Fae Series #0.5) by Sarah Chislon
Ladies certainly don’t admit some taint of the fae has touched their souls—unless they wish to find themselves confined to an Institution.
Gently-bred herbalist Jessa Caldwell is trying to be a lady. She conceals her true nature amongst her plants and her sketches—where she can almost shut out the whispers she alone hears. But a threat to her beloved aunt forces her from the comfort of home to a town perilously near an Otherworldly Crossing, with its ever-present risk of fae incursions.
To protect her aunt and the townsfolk she comes to care for, she must uncover the individual responsible for a series of increasingly dangerous attacks—but to find this saboteur will require embracing the part of herself she fears most, an act that could cost her dearly. In a world where Vigilists lock up fae-touched mortals, Jessa must decide if she’s willing to risk exposing her true nature to obtain the truth and protect those she loves.
Whispers in the Waters, a gaslamp fantasy novella, serves as the prequel to Tattoo of Crimson, the first book in the Blood of the Fae series. If you like quick-minded heroines who solve cases with logic and intuition, Otherworldly intrigues, and beautiful yet deadly fae, then you’ll love this mystery set in a world of manners and mythical monsters.
Excerpt #2 “Miss Jessa?”
“I beg your pardon. What did you say?”
“Young folks.” He huffed. “I said I don’t believe sprites and other low fae respond to the same wards as the high fae. Course, that’s speculation, but people lump all the Otherfolk together when in fact they’re not at all alike. If you were speaking of dealings with a high fae, with power enough to shake our world, then I’d tell you to flee and count yourself fortunate if you escaped the encounter without finding yourself enslaved or killed, though they do favor toying with their prey. But low fae . . . aye, they have powers beyond our ken, but it’s possible that you might come out of an encounter unscathed. Still, though sprites may not have all the abilities of high fae, they’re plenty strong enough to drag you to the depths. And I won’t have you seeking them thinking that pendant will offer protection.”
“I know there are risks.”
“You think you know.” He clenched his pipe, fingers whitening. “Most often, mortal dealings with fae go terribly wrong—and not for the Otherfolk.”
“I understand.” But what choice did I have?
“Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But I won’t let you go without warning.” Mr. Heard proceeded to spin tales of horrors that rooted me to my chair—of mortals forced to dance until their feet were blistered and bloodied and beyond, until their very hearts at last gave out; of those compelled to slice their own flesh to ribbons at the bidding of the fae, for their entertainment; of individuals who begged and pleaded for death but were granted no such reprieve.
A rap sounded at the door, and I startled, my heart hammering as though the high fae stormed through the Crossing to batter down the door and take me captive.
About the Author Sarah Chislon lives in Virginia with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing, she’s homeschooling her children and running a web development business with her husband. As an avid reader and a lifelong story-weaver, she delights in creating fantastic worlds and exploring them alongside her characters.
Welcome to the cover reveal for GIVE ME FOREVER, the fifth book in the adult contemporary romance series, Beaumont: Next Generation, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, releasing October 11, 2022. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder links, a link to read the first chapter for free, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
GIVE ME FOREVER (Beaumont Next Generation Series #5) by Heidi McLaughlin
Synopsis From the New York Times bestselling author of Forever My Girl: The Motion Picture, Heidi McLaughlin delivers an emotional second chance romance about life, love, and what it means to truly be happy!
Elle James has it all: a loving fiancé in Ben, a promising career as a music manager, and a supportive family. She couldn’t be happier with her life. That is until the unthinkable happens and she must accept the consequences of her actions and figure out how to come clean to her family or continue living the lie.
Ben Miller had it all: a loving fiancée, a budding career, and the support of people who loved him like family. That was until he wanted more, and his fiancée was unable to meet him halfway. He makes a decision, one that affects everyone. When his life takes an unexpected turn and he’s diagnosed with a life changing illness, he finds himself fighting for more than just love.
With their happily ever after slipping through their fingers, will Elle and Ben be able to survive, or will life’s curveball be too much for them to handle?
About the Author Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.
Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband, two daughters, and their three dogs.
In 2012, Heidi turned her passion for reading into a full-fledged literary career, writing over twenty novels, including the acclaimed Forever My Girl.
Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe, and opened in theaters on January 19, 2018, and is now available on DVD & Digital.
Welcome to the book blitz for MAGIC AND MAYHEM, the second book in the adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy series, The Wrong Witch, by Annie Anderson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
MAGIC AND MAYHEM (The Wrong Witch Series #2) by Tammy Lowe
A week ago, I was the perpetual screw up of the Bannister coven and a probationary agent for the Arcane Bureau of Investigation. Somehow, I’ve managed to get myself mated to an Acosta Alpha, pissed off my family, and gotten on the radar of a dark Fae.
As much as I’d like to bury my head in the sand, I have a badge to secure—and with a new case on my proverbial desk—a job to do. Because I’m not the first witch that the Fae has tried to steal, but I will definitely be the last.
Just as soon as I get this curse under control…
Excerpt #2 Wren’s badge smacked me in the face, the hard metal shield catching me in the forehead. “A strike against my freedom? A strike against my freedom? You don’t know the first damn thing about me if you think I’m just going to let you railroad me into anything, Nico Acosta. I’m going to my cabin by myself, and I’m going to bed by myself, and I’m going to Savannah. By. My. Self.”
There was a problem with all three statements, namely that none of those things were true.
I bent, snatching her badge from the ground, and in my distraction, Wren skirted around me, marching double-time to her cabin.
Welp, in for a penny, in for a pound.
Catching up to her in no time, I put a shoulder into her belly and lifted her over my back. Wren screeched as I adjusted course, heading for my—or rather, Wyatt’s—cabin.
“You put me down right now,” she ordered, but I was doing no such thing.
I’d tried sleeping without her last night, and that didn’t work, and after the events of the previous twenty-four hours, there was no chance in hell I was trying it again tonight. Plus, the woman needed healing. Again. Already. The remnants of an acid burn and poison from a dart still coursed through her tired body.
We passed Wyatt on the trek to his cabin, the big man trying not to laugh at our antics as he polished a bright-green apple on his plaid jacket. “You’re sleeping somewhere else tonight.”
What had Wren called me? High-handed? Well, I was an Alpha, and I needed that cabin more than he did right now.
“I figured,” Wyatt said before biting into the apple. “Good luck, buddy.”
I’d fucking need it. Wren kneed me in the chest and elbowed me in the back. I’d need to teach her how to get out of this hold later, but for now, I needed her in a space—any space—with me.
Preferably sans clothes, but I’d take what I could get.
About the Author Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life… interesting.
Welcome to the book blitz for WILD AT HEART, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Wild Love, by Stacy Gold. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $1.99!
They each hit the trail solo in search of themselves…
Overworked entrepreneur Jules Martinez is sick and tired of men leaving her for their exes. Determined to wipe the giant, scarlet Rfor rebound off her forehead, she kicks off a yearlong vow of celibacy with five, blissful weeks backpacking her favorite trails through Washington State. Solo.
Out-of-work financial analyst Evan Davenport hasn’t been happy since camping in Scouts as a kid—before his wealthy parents and now ex-fiancé made all his major life decisions. Hoping to find joy and purpose, he buys all the latest ultralight backpacking gear, flies to Washington, and sets off alone on a weeklong speed hike through the wilderness.
Mother Nature has other plans, though, and keeps shoving Evan and Jules in each other’s paths. Usually naked. When sparks fly, can they find what they’re looking for in life together instead of apart?
Excerpt #4 Scrabbling for my headlamp, I unzipped my tent and aimed the beam across the small clearing. Raindrops formed silver lines, obscuring my view.
My light caught a bit of reflective material. And a bare leg. And what looked like a pile of fabric thrown over a boulder but had to be a rainfly tossed over the asshole who woke me up.
“Um, helloooo. What the fuck are you doing out there?” My breath hung like a ghost in the beam of light.
“Oh, nothing. Just trying to get some shut eye. Except my tent just broke, it’s pouring rain, and I’m soaking wet.”
“And why, exactly are you setting up in the middle of the night in a rainstorm?”
“Because I need somewhere dry to sleep.”
Fuck. I knew I shouldn’t have asked.
“Don’t you have rain pants?”
“If I had rain pants, don’t you think I’d be wearing them?” The pile of nylon shifted and settled, and the bare leg disappeared.
“You’re going to go hypothermic dressed like that.”
“Tell me something I don’t know.” The rain pounded down. “Are you going to turn off that light, or what? I am trying to get some sleep over here.”
“Sure thing.” I clicked off my headlamp and sat in the dry comfort of my tent, staring out into the dark, wet night.
The chances of my random neighbor getting any shuteye out there were pretty much nil. Ditto the chances of me sleeping through the night with his periodic shifting and cussing.
The chances of him getting hypothermia dressed like that in forty-five-degree rain, on the other hand, were pretty damn high.
I clicked on my headlamp. “Aren’t you freezing?”
Something told me I would regret my next words. But I didn’t want his death on my conscience. “You can’t stay out there all night like that. My tent isn’t big, but I can make room for you. If you want.”
Author Stacy Gold
About the Author Award-winning adventure romance author Stacy Gold would rather be in the middle of nowhere than almost anywhere else. To that end, she’s run more than 50 rivers in three countries, been heli-dropped into remote ski huts multiple times (and made it into even more under her own steam), worked for the U.S.D.A. Forest Service as a backcountry ranger, river ranger, and naturalist, and spent fourteen years as a commercial river guide and kayak instructor. Her last “real job” was serving as Communications Director for a state-wide mountain biking non-profit.
When she’s not busy kayaking, skiing, mountain biking, or hiking, with her husband and happy dogs, Ms. Gold writes about independent, badass women finding love and adventure in the great outdoors. Her latest release, Wild at Heart, came out May 2nd, 2022.
Synopsis I left the United States to find inner peace. Instead, I find myself confronting a malicious ghost.
Astyr Salt is a spiritual and emotional empath who moved to England with the intent to forget about a traumatic, supernatural event that occurred during her freshman year of college. However, when she takes a spiritual cleansing assignment in a haunted country home in Essex, she is isolated with all her own pent-up emotions.
These emotions energize the ghosts inhabiting the country home, helping them draw their own tragedies to the surface. Searching for the truth, Astyr is forced to relive the past. And the deeper she dives into the country home’s horrific history, the more the intertwined memories place her in the path of an evil and demented predator.
A blend of contemporary fantasy, horror, and mystery, Bly is inspired by Henry James’s classic novella, The Turn of the Screw.
Excerpt #2 I find myself sitting on the bench in the center of the box hedge maze behind Bly. To some relief, there are no endless hallways, staircases, or doors. Nothing unusual. Well, for the most part. The lake glistens in the distance, yet there is no light in the sky. No moon. No stars. Even the tree line that separates the manicured lawn from the woodlands and fields is swallowed by the inky blackness that conceals the sky. The only light is the candle that sits on the bench next to me. The flame steady, but dim. I take in a breath of crisp air and turn toward Bly. The house is completely dark, and from the exterior, nothing appears out of the ordinary. No extra windows or doors. Yet, something is still off.
Touching the pentacle charm on my bracelet, my thoughts travel to Nolyn. Despite his absence, I sense a small amount of his energy radiating from the tourmaline, acting as my anchor. Ever since I came to Bly, the anxiety I once felt in my dreams has started to ease. Maybe it’s because my mind has been focusing on Bly and the spirits of the house. Or maybe it’s because I have been wearing the bracelet both day and night since Nolyn gave it to me. I’m not really sure. Yet, I’m still feeling an emptiness. Especially right now, sitting in the darkness alone. I didn’t realize how much I have been missing him. How much I want him here with me.
The candle beside me suddenly sputters out, and a deafening silence envelops the estate. The temperature drops to the point that I cross my arms over my chest and rub my hands over the sleeves of my white nightgown. A presence glares down at me from the windows of the third level, above the governess’s rooms. I tilt my head to meet its gaze, only to find nothing but thin air. For several moments, I refuse to avert my eyes. My breathing becoming shallow as my chest constricts. Then I hear childish giggles and leaves crackling under a pair of running feet. I stand and turn, accidently knocking the candle from the bench in the process. The box hedge around me begins to grow vertically, climbing from two feet to four feet to six feet. In a matter of seconds, I’m in the middle of a box hedge maze that reaches ten feet high. My heart pounding, I work my way down the path that should lead me out of the maze. Unfortunately, having left the unlit candle by the bench, I’m walking blind. I lightly brush the palms of my hands over the branches and leaves on either side of me. My hyped-up imagination half expects large spiders or creepy vines with a mind of their own to crawl out of the evergreens.
I take several turns that should have led me out of the maze only to find myself trapped in a dead end. I back myself out and continue down the last path I was on. Taking a few more turns, I find myself at another dead end. This happens again for a third, fourth, and fifth time. Obviously, the maze has become more complex than when I first started. I take a breath and silently ask for Geb’s guidance as I attempt to draw energy from the earth. Finally, a soft, prickling sensation tickles the soles of my feet. I continue to walk until I feel it becoming stronger. The energy of the earth leading down several bends and U-turns. The box hedge falls away from my palms, opening into a wider space. In front of me are two doors, one a black-stained oak and the other a light honey-stained pine.
The prickling energy fades when I step forward to examine the doors. There is nothing obvious. No signs. No guards. No sphinx. I place my palm on the first door to see if I can get a sense of the energy on the other side. Nothing. I try the other door, just to be sure, but the only thing I can sense is the masked energy approaching me from behind. I turn, hoping to catch sight of the presence. Sadly, all I can see is darkness. The presence brushes the back of my head, running over my neck. I shiver while I feel the presence pick up several strands of my hair. The smell of fresh cut grass, tobacco, and alcohol wafts by as a frigid chill envelops me.
Author Kelsey Ketch
About the Author Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist and Data Analyst. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE SLEEPING GIANT, the second book in the young adult historical time-traveling fantasy series, The Acadian Secret, by Tammy Lowe. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE SLEEPING GIANT (The Acadian Secret Series #2) by Tammy Lowe
Synopsis When a tormented man begs 17-year-old Elisabeth London to travel back in time to save his life, she reluctantly agrees. Assuming Scotland is the destination, she ends up in Ancient Rome instead.
The good news is she finds the man; now a bold 17-year-old named Aquarius. The bad news is he’s an indentured slave, sentenced to death in the arena, and doesn’t even know her yet.
Elisabeth helps Aquarius escape and becomes an outlaw herself. Armed with her wits and his rock sling, the new friends are on the run from a relentless slave dealer, Rufus Leptis.
Elisabeth soon realizes she’s not here to save Aquarius from Rufus, but from the doomed city of Pompeii. Although trying to be brave, the thought of remaining in Aquarius’ swashbuckling world a minute longer than necessary is inconceivable.
At least, it used to be.
Before that darn, happy-go-lucky slave stole her heart.
Excerpt The thundering sounds all around them seemed to fade into the distance as Elisabeth stood pinned against the side of the cliff. Her gaze darted up to the grassy overhang. There were only two ways off this ledge; the tunnel or the rushing river that would sweep them over the falls within seconds. About to hyperventilate, Elisabeth buried her face in David’s back. Every millisecond moved at an unbearable speed. She held her breath as the inevitable moment drew nearer. Their only chance would be if Rufus didn’t step outside of the tunnel, but that would take a miracle. David looked prepared to fight, but from the side of a mountain ledge with a giant of a man? That could end up a bigger disaster.
She pushed a pile of rocks aside with her foot and shuffled as far along the ledge as possible so David could step back and they’d be flush against the wall. When they heard Rufus grumbling, she knew he had to be near the end of the tunnel. Her leg muscles tightened. Elisabeth wanted to run, but there was nowhere to go.
He was so close.
She dared not look to see if he had walked onto the ledge. He would only need to step outside to see them.
What was that noise?
Elisabeth felt the color drain from her face, and then turned ever so slightly to look at the ground beside her.
She gasped, and the sound of her heartbeat thrashed in her ears. If anyone thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, they’d be wrong. Coiled at her feet, next to the dislodged rock, was a snake, looking as startled as Elisabeth. Her mouth fell open, repulsed, but unable to look away from the creature.
About the Author An adventurer at heart, Tammy has explored ruins in Rome, Pompeii, and Istanbul (Constantinople) with historians and archaeologists.
She’s slept in the tower of a 15th century castle in Scotland, climbed down the cramped tunnels of Egyptian pyramids, scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge, sailed on a tiny raft down the Yulong River in rural China, dined at a Bedouin camp in the Arabian Desert, and escaped from head-hunters in the South Pacific.
I suppose one could say her own childhood wish of time traveling adventures came true…in a roundabout way..
Welcome to the series reveal for THE POWERS THAT BE SERIES, books 1 through 3 of the new adult paranormal romance series by Ali Lucia Sky, releasing October 11, 2022. See below for information on the series, an exclusive excerpt from book 1, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
THE POWER THAT BE SERIES by Ali Lucia Sky
About the Book Title: THE POWERS THAT BE SERIES Series: The Powers That Be Series #1-3 Author: Ali Lucia Sky Release Date: October 11, 2022
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Synopsis This World is just one of thousands of Worlds the Makers have created. The Universe and Makers are playing with those who live on it.
No one who had met Michaela Beauchamp could come away from it unscathed. She was a shrew–argumentative, crass, and the focus of all my wet dreams. I loved to hate her. We were at war and I was determined to win. I didn’t want her to just go away, I wanted to watch her fine ass as she went in that direction.
Whoever thought Gabriel Langdon was more than a pretty face never met the douchecanoe.
He had very few redeeming qualities. He was dumb, frustrating, and constantly featuring in all my sexiest dreams. I wasn’t difficult to please. I was reasonable. All I asked was that the Universe bless me with the absence of this jackhole!
What is one to do when you summon a hitchhiker and they take up residence inside your head? No fifteen-year-old girl has a good answer. With my brother and neighbor circling one another in a strange mating dance, I barely know how to ask for help.
I mean really, all I did was a little spell to Invoke Helpful Spirits and Positive Energy Beings.
Note: THE POWERS THAT BE series is a New Adult book series and for readers 18+ due to sexual content, substance abuse, reference to sexual assault, and profanity.
Excerpt #1 Not to mention that the fucker taunts me.
At least his sister is cool. Weird as all get out but kind and fun in a super odd, yet one hundred percent acceptable way. Refreshing. She was all sorts of refreshing.
Thirteen years of friendship with Gwen Lapsley molded me for a life full of serial melodrama. My history with her was a series of stories about betrayal, acquisitions, and life lessons—mostly learned as tawdry chapters of sex education. Sometimes with photographs or illustrations. I will most likely keep some as evidence in case I need to protect myself from a vengeful Gwen at any time. That is the kind of friendship we have, and it requires a state of Mutually Assured Destruction.
Still most of my life experience sits at the heels of Gwen’s tales. And she doesn’t have to embellish or lie. Gwen isn’t the type to swerve or cease.
Thea was one more person I could come to live vicariously through.
Unlike the Dipshit Langdon, the Younger Langdon was a full-on rebel.
Everything she did was Dora-level whacky—and utterly amazing. Perfectly wonderful. Complete fucking magic. I could sit and talk to her for hours on end.
After Gwen got it on with Gabriel, the highlight and play-by-play of his sexual proclivities were far too much. Thea was more than happy to share disparaging insults at dipshit’s expense with me. Her least favorite topic was Gabriel. She and Dora didn’t even call him Gabriel or Gabe.
Get this! They called him Gabby.
Fuck me, gold. Pure gold in them thar facts. I love it. Love that shit hard.
Gabby the dipshit.
Gabby the Asshat.
Gabby the Douchecanoe.
Yeah, that got mileage.
“So, what’s this shit you got going on here? What exactly are you trying to do?” I narrowed my eyes and pursed my lips to the side.
Thea was like Dora in that she was into the spiritual stuff. Dora’s into nature, energy, and all that give more, take less stuff. My mom loves that shit. Thea does spells and rituals. She doesn’t call it witchcraft though, it’s Wicca. I don’t know if it was a politically correct thing or if witchcraft is something us commoners say because we watch too much TV.
I mentioned it to Dora once trying to clue-in and not offend my new friend. She told me that ‘Wicca was a religion, and witchcraft was legends and myths—just tales said to promote secular misunderstandings of good and evil in nature.’
Yeah if it all sounds like flibberty-jibbet to you, I don’t know what it means either.
Thea’s black rimmed eyes focus on me, and her shimmery purple lips spread into a charming Cheshire Cat smile. “You want to know what I’m doing?”
The girl looks like someone plugged her in. She’s beaming with excitement. “None of the people I used to know ever wanted to know about what I do! They think Wicca is devil worshipping. At first, people would look away or just leave if I brought it up. They thought I was a loser. Then they just stopped being there. Like you know, I would invite Satan to come to sit with us at lunch or something.”
Her friends sounded like assholes. I grin. “I’m not sure it’s not devil worship, but Dora allows it in her house.” I made air quotes and said, “a house that only nurtures happiness, health, and wellbeing.”
I keep quoting Dora because she is a kick to listen to and some of the things she says are rote to the point that I hear her tell them even when she isn’t there.
Thea laughs and nods in agreement. “Yeah, Aunt Dora is awesome. My mom is like her at heart but rather conservative in action. I love my mom, but she’s frighteningly normal. Gabby is like my mom and dad—sleepy, boring. All of them think that naming me after Aunt Dora is what made me weird.” She smiles happily about the name and the connection. For all the dark make-up and tight black clothes, Thea wasn’t what I imagined a goth to be. She was bright and cheerful. Upbeat even. She smiles a lot. All the goths I saw on TV were long faced and disenfranchised.
Author Ali Lucia Sky
About the Author Ali Lucia Sky is the author of The Powers That Be series. She lives in Southern California with her husband and a house full of kitty cats and a yard full of crows.
She loves laughing, drinking good coffee, vegan food, and supporting animal rescues.
When she isn’t writing or dreaming of new stories, she can be found planning her next vacation because traveling is life.
If you encounter her in the wild, don’t be offended if she should run away. She’s timid with strangers, but can be plied with shiny things and pictures of your cat or dog.
Twin thieves attempt to pull off a daring heist in Stolen City, the sophomore fantasy novel from DAUNTLESS author Elisa A. Bonnin.
The city of Leithon is under Imperial occupation and Arian Athensor has made it her playground.
In stealing magical artifacts for the Resistance, bounding over rooftops to evade Imperial soldiers, and establishing herself as the darling thief of the underground, Arian lives a life wrapped in danger and trained towards survival. She’ll steal anything for the right price, and if she runs fast enough, she can almost escape the fact that her mother is dead, her father is missing, and her brother, Liam, is tamping down a wealth of power in a city that has outlawed magic.
But then the mysterious Cavar comes to town with a job for the twins: to steal an artifact capable of ripping the souls from the living–the same artifact that used to hang around the neck of Arian’s mother. Suddenly, her past is no longer buried under adrenaline but intimately tied to the mission at hand, and Arian must face her guilt and pain head-on in order to pull off the heist.
As Arian and Cavar infiltrate the strongest fortress in Leithon and Liam joins the Resistance as their resident mage, the twins find themselves embroiled in court politics and family secrets, and the mission becomes more than just another artifact theft. The target is now the Imperial rule, and Arian will go to any length necessary to steal her city back.
Excerpt #1 There was a sudden blur of motion. Two figures darted across the wooden planks that spanned the roof, so quickly that no one would have been able to see them unless they were looking up just as Cavar and Linna were. From this distance, it was impossible to pick out any details, only that there were two of them, moving quickly, heading west over the roofs.
“What was that?” Linna asked, puzzled. “I thought the roof-top paths in the Imperial Quarter were closed. They’re too well guarded.” Cavar grinned. Maybe it was the coffee, or maybe it was the sudden charge in the air, but he couldn’t help the thrill of excite-ment that ran through him then. His informant had been right. He crushed the empty cup in his hand, tossing it into a nearby wastebasket.
“Apparently nobody told them that.”
A clamor rose from the east, a discordant alarm. The people in the streets looked up, but of course there was nothing more to see. Cavar slipped his hands into his pockets and started to walk, thinking. The Imperials would be out in force. A theft in the maximum- security vault of the First Aelrian Bank wasn’t something they could over-look. He had to catch them first.
If they were heading west, they would have to get down off the rooftops to cross the Road of Law. That would be where their pursuers would try to catch them, and if Cavar was lucky, that was where he would meet them too.
Linna hurried to catch up with him, a shadow at his side. Together, they cut through Leithon’s evening crowds, its Imperial citizens stopping to murmur at each other in wonder and confusion at the rising alarms. She didn’t try to stop him, but he could hear the impatience in her voice when she spoke up.
“You can’t tell me you mean to go after them. We’ll walk right into an Imperial patrol.”
“Aren’t you curious how they’ll get out of that?” Cavar asked, grinning.
“I’m more concerned with keeping us out of an Imperial prison.” “It’s a little too late for that, isn’t it? After all, we’re here to take their most prized artifact.”
Linna rolled her eyes. “And those are the thieves you want to hire to help us do it? Do you even know a thing about them?”
He knew a few things, thanks to his mother. But he couldn’t blame Linna for her skepticism.
The Athensor twins, the last children of eth’Akari.
He felt a shiver run down his spine, a flutter of excitement in his belly.
It was said that the Weavers were the agents of the world’s fate, weaving its loose threads together to keep them from getting tangled. But in that moment, Cavar felt as if he had been woven into the tapestry, by some hand other than his own. As if fate had gotten tired of their hubris and had decided to show the world that she could make even a Weaver dance on her strings.
It was an utterly exhilarating feeling, and Cavar couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.\
Author Elisa A. Bonnin
About the Author Elisa A. Bonnin was born and raised in the Philippines, after which she moved to the United States to study chemistry and later oceanography. After completing her doctorate, she moved to Germany to work as a postdoctoral scientist. A lifelong learner, Elisa is always convinced that she should “maybe take a class in something” and as a result, has amassed an eclectic collection of hobbies. But writing will always be her true love. Publishing a book has been her dream since she was eight years old, and she is thrilled to finally be able to share her stories. Dauntless is her first novel.
Welcome to the blog tour for THE RISE, a standalone adult romantic thriller, by Ross King and Shari Low. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
When we bury our secrets, they always come back to haunt us… Their rise was meteoric.
Only a few years before, they had been three friends from Glasgow, just trying to survive tough lives of danger and dysfunction. But on one Hollywood night in 1993, they were on the world’s biggest stage, accepting their Oscar in front of the watching world. That night was the beginning of their careers. But it was also the end of their friendship.
Over the next twenty years, Mirren McLean would become one of the most powerful writers in the movie industry. Zander Leith would break box-office records as cinema’s most in-demand action hero. And Davie Johnson would rake in millions as producer of some of the biggest shows on TV.
For two decades they didn’t speak, driven apart by a horrific secret.
Their past is coming back to bite them, and they have to decide whether to run, hide, or fight. Because when you rise to the top, there’s always someone who wants to see you fall.
An exciting new glam thriller for the fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid, Liane Moriarty and Jo Spain
Excerpt #1 Prologue
The 65th Academy Awards,
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles,
29 March 1993
The heat of the lights is as oppressive as the thick cloak of insecurity and desperation that shrouds the audience.
Billy Crystal steps to the podium, his laconic grin a teasing, gentle rebuke to a collection of egos teetering on the edge of explosion.
His fourth time in the role, Crystal introduces the presenter of the next category with an ease born of confidence and familiarity. Romcom queen, Lana Delasso, glides onto the stage, blonde hair an homage to her namesake and idol, Lana Turner. Her nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actress will be decided later and she’s done everything possible to win. Everything. In her fifties now, the best surgeons have ensured that she doesn’t look a day over thirty-five, her white, cobweb Versace gown, defying the rule that you should never show cleavage and legs at the same time. The physical reactions in the audience are instant and visceral: tight smiles of envy on bejewelled women coincide with ferocious erections under some of the $1,000 tuxedos sitting next to them.
Her words are white noise until they reach the point: ‘…. Best Original Screenplay.’
Behind her, on a thirty-foot screen, the nominations roll.
Husbands and Wives by Woody Allen. A smattering of applause, hesitations fuelled by the desire to come down on the right side of the moral judgement on Allen’s affair with Mia Farrow’s daughter. In Hollywood, picking sides has little to do with principles and everything to do with career enhancement.
Lorenzo’s Oil by George Miller and Nick Enright. More applause. Camera zooms to a row in which the suits are overshadowed by Susan Sarandon’s uncommon beauty.
Passion Fish by John Sayles. A movie that was released in only two theatres, grossing only a few tickets over $36,000 before its nomination.
Unforgiven by David Peoples. A crowd-pleaser. Directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, the audience of stars greets it with a show of worship reserved for work that has been touched by a deity.
The Brutal Circle by Davie Johnston, Zander Leith and Mirren McLean. An outsider. A harrowing story of a life born in violence, lived in violence, cut short by violence.
The big screen spans several seats, but all eyes are on the ebullient form of the producer, Wes Lomax, legendary head of Lomax Films, the studio responsible for more million-dollar-grossing movies in the last decade than any other.
The image returns to Lana Delasso, revelling in her moment. The same fingers that caressed a very married studio mogul only an hour before, now slide delicately along the folds of the gold envelope.
‘And the winner is…’
‘The Brutal Circle by…’
Sycophantic cheers drown out the names; stars rise to their feet, determined to ensure that when Wes Lomax watches the playback, he will see them heralding his triumph.
In the chaos, the director in the gallery is a fraction late in switching to the three bodies that move towards the stage, all of them almost as unrecognizable as the extras hired to fill the seats vacated by stars drawn to the restrooms by the call of nature or the need for a line snorted off the top of a toilet. When the zoom lens on Camera 5 finally catches up with the winners, they are ascending the stairs to the stage.
Davie Johnston, at twenty-two the youngest winner of an award in that category in Academy history, strides forward with the surety of a man with an unblinking eye on his destination – the spotlight of an Academy award winner and membership of one of the most exalted, exclusive clubs in the world.
Behind him, Mirren McLean, in the only haute-couture dress she has ever touched, her wild mane of Titian curls tamed to match the elegance of the midnight-blue Dior gown. Unaccustomed to heels, she steps with care, her expression a mix of concentration and disbelief.
Finally, with a demeanour that suggests reluctance, Zander Leith. For every woman who tried to ignore her partner’s sexual interest in Lana Delasso, here is six feet two inches of payback. Wide shoulders, his square jaw set in a brooding grimace, he could be heading to a wake, not the spotlight of a winner.
When only a few feet separate them, Lana’s eyes meet his and she instinctively flinches as he responds to the flirtatious flutter of her lashes with almost visceral scorn, his disdain barely masked by his own thick, black lashes. Rebuffed.
While the outside remains a movie goddess, on the inside she is twelve again: the odd kid at school that even the trailer-park waifs avoid. The one that turned into the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, but still felt she had to respond to the summons to Wes Lomax’s yacht and service his lust and his ego to get his support for her own nomination.
Davie Johnston takes the Oscar and moves forward to the microphone.
‘I just want to say thank you—’
More applause. Most of the audience know of this trio, despite the fact that they are barely out of their teens. Wes Lomax has ensured that their story has saturated the Hollywood press in recent months. All three are credited as writers on the script, but Mirren steered the story behind the scenes, while the two men played leading roles in a movie that had blown up at the box office. The success was due, in part, to a publicity and distribution campaign usually reserved for A-list releases, and, in part, to the fact that it was a damn fine piece of cinema. It was a raw, hardcore two hours of urban menace that had a generation of American teens queuing for their Saturday-night thriller kicks. It hit $15 million on the balance sheets after the first month, then word of mouth set it on fire. It was now well on the way to Lomax’s $100million target.
This was the kind of American dream, the triumph of the underdog, the discovery of wonder that this city loved. Three childhood friends from Scotland, pals from a run-down housing estate who’d stuck together in poverty and disfunction, before going on to be the creative talents behind an outstanding script discovered by Wes Lomax when he took his annual golfing trip to the UK. It was beyond surprising that these kids had managed to get their work in front of Lomax. Even more so that he’d taken enough time off from screwing high-class escorts in the presidential suites of the best hotels in the UK to read it.
Now the audience in the red velvet chairs furrow their brows as they try to decipher Davie Johnston’s accent. This isn’t the Scottish burr of Sean Connery. Nor does it come close to the accents they heard from Davie and Zander in the movie. It is harder. More guttural. Like bullets being sprayed from a gun in a scene from Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino’s big hit of the previous year.
‘Thank you to the Academy. Thank you to all of you for letting us be part of this incredible world. And most of all, thank you to the brilliant Wes Lomax. We owe him everything.’
Camera 3 zooms in on Lomax and millions of people watch him nod, eyes glistening, a godfather acknowledging gratitude from his chosen family.
Davie bows to signal the end of his speech, then punches the Oscar into the air. Neither Mirren nor Zander step forward. Recovered from the sting of Zander’s rejection, Lana sweeps them off stage right into the unbridled chaos of runners, technicians, gophers and make-up artists brandishing thick brushes at agitated stars.
They are propelled into a press room, cameras flashing, journos screeching questions, all of which they answer with naive honesty. Barely a few years ago they were hanging out in cafés, pooling their money to buy chips. Now they are on Hollywood’s biggest stage and Davie Johnston isn’t even going to pretend for a second that he’s not loving it.
How are they enjoying Hollywood? Fine. Great. Aye, it’s, erm, amazing.
Are they here to stay? Dunno yet. It depends. Nothing decided.
Is their next project already underway? No plans yet. Nothing concrete. Just ideas.
Davie answers most of the questions, with an occasional contribution from Mirren.
Lou Cole, a young, sparky journalist on the LA Times, changes the pattern.
‘So, Zander, how does it feel to be called the new Hollywood heart-throb?’
His bashful grin is automatic, and conceals the fact that for the second time that night his eyes flicker with pure contempt.
‘I don’t think Tom Cruise has anything to worry about.’
Oblivious to the underlying sentiment, the press pack laugh, as Paula Leno, Lomax Films’ hard-ass head of publicity, sweetly but firmly calls an end to the photocall, determined to minimize the risk of a fuck-up and all too aware that the next winners will soon be arriving on the conveyor belt of achievement.
Finally alone, there is a pause as each of them absorbs the last ten incredible minutes of their lives. Davie is the first to react, throwing his arms around Mirren and squeezing her.
‘We did it. Shit, I don’t believe it.’ As always, his enthusiasm oozes from under his skin. It has been that way all their lives. Davie is the life force, the driven one, the chancer. Mirren is the voice of reason, the one with emotional intelligence, always in touch with how everyone else is feeling. And she knows there’s a problem here.
Over Davie’s shoulder her gaze has locked with Zander’s, dispelling all notion of celebration. She can see the storm that’s been brewing for far too long is about to roar with thunder. Davie doesn’t get the memo. His first burst of excitement over, he turns to the new Hollywood heart-throb. His lifelong friend, bonded as youngsters by a shared recognition that no one really gave a fuck, their symbiotic pairing paying no heed to the reality that in the gene pool of life, Zander got height and physical perfection, while Davie got the kind of non-threatening appeal that made women want to ruffle his hair and tell him about their last broken heart.
‘C’mon, man, that was incredible! Did you hear them? That was for us. That has to make everything worth it. C’mon, man…’
The desperate repetition isn’t lost on any of them. Mirren’s teeth clench together as she raises her chin in defiance. She knows there is no point looking for resolution and rapprochement with Zander, and she refuses to show weakness by trying.
Her instincts are right.
For the last photograph, Zander was asked to hold the Oscar to give the picture editors a range of different images to choose from. Now he tosses it to Davie like it is a can of Bud pulled from the fridge to wash down a burger.
Davie’s reflexes are just quick enough to save it from the floor.
‘You got what you wanted.’ Zander’s words are barely louder than a whisper, yet drown out all other sounds. ‘Now both of you can fuck off, and if I ever see you again, walk the other way.’
Authors Shari Low and Ross King
About the Authors In January 2022, Shari Low celebrated 21 years since the publication of her first novel, What If?. Shari went on to be a best-selling novelist, publishing over 30 books, including My One Month Marriage, One Day In Summer, One Summer Sunrise, The Story Of Our Secrets and her non-fiction collection of parenthood memories, Because Mummy Said So.
In late 2020, her first novel, What If?, was updated and re-published. In January 2021, the sequel, What Now? was released, followed in April 22 by the third book in the series, What Next?. All three novels became international best sellers.
In real life, once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband and a labradoodle. Her two teenagers have now left home, so she spends an inordinate amount of time on video calls checking if they’re eating well and keeping up to date with their laundry.
For all the latest news, visit Shari on Facebook, twitter, instagram or at www.sharilow.com
Ross King is the author of the bestselling Brunelleschi’s Dome and Michelangelo & the Pope’s Ceiling, as well as the novels Ex-Libris and Domino. He lives in England, near Oxford.
Welcome to the blog tour for SHY GIRLS CAN’T DATE BILLIONAIRES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Shy Girls Sweet Romances, by Milly Rose. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SHY GIRLS CAN’T DATE BILLIONAIRES (Shy Girls Sweet Romance Series #1) by Milly Rose
I never existed until the wrong guy took notice…
I was born shy. And near him, I fall apart. No wonder he can’t stand the sight of me.
After a fire destroys our home, my family is taken in by a billionaire tycoon. His mansion has countless bedrooms, yet my room is next door to his son, Thomas Ashworth III. Yes, he’s as pompous as the name suggests. And, for some reason, he hates my guts.
Even though his arrogance drives me crazy, his chiseled features turn me into a stammering, awkward mess. I hate being stuck with someone I can’t stand. And when he does something unexpectedly kind, it confuses my heart.
When I bump into him in the middle of the night, I’d never guess it lead to us sharing secrets.
He’s impossible to get out of my head. But he wouldn’t consider dating someone like me. Would he?
You will love Christie and Ash. They are stuck together in forced proximity, becoming practically roommates. He is a billionaire, alpha male type who is learning to love. She is the new girl in school, dealing with past trauma. Together they will go from enemies to lovers in an adorable young adult romance.
Excerpt “Hi,” Thomas says, folding his arms across his chest. “What’s your first class?”
I stare at him as bags pull under my eyes. My lack of sleep and the adrenaline from panicking have taken their toll.
He unfolds his arms and tilts his head. “What’s up?” he asks.
I smooth my clammy palms over my blazer and fidget in my shoes.
“I told you, you don’t need to panic,” Thomas says, stepping closer to me. “This school is a piece of cake.”
I run a hand over my hair and turn my face away from him. I’m gonna lose it again. My insides contort with another urge to launch over a toilet bowl.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asks, placing a hand on my arm.
I jolt in surprise.
He removes his hand and takes a step back. “Sorry,” he says.
I look away. “It’s okay.”
Thomas smiles. “Glad you got your voice back.”
I blush, and mumble, “Me too.”
“Why do you look so freaked out?” he asks. “They showed you where to go, didn’t they?”
I shake my head. “Not exactly.”
“What happened when I left? Ms. Thornesmith usually handles everything, so I figured you wouldn’t have an issue.”
I fidget in my shoes again and turn my head in the other direction, staring at the closed bathroom door.
“A girl offered to show me around. Somewhere along the way, we kinda parted ways… I don’t have my schedule, and I don’t know where I’m going.” Huffing, I pause my ramble to throw my arms in the air. “I don’t know what classes I have… and I’m just lost again, like usual.”
“Don’t sweat it,” he says. “I’ll take you back to admin, and we’ll get you a new schedule. Then I’ll show you around.”
I cross my arms and let out a tired, “Humph.”
“You’ll show me around?” I say, looking at the floor. It is as confrontational as I get. It’s shocking the words have come out of my mouth.
I doubt he’d help me. Why would he?
“Christie, you need to know where you’re going. I’ll show you where to find your classrooms. It’s not a big deal.”
“It was a big deal earlier,” I say.
It’s baffling that I’m continuing with this conversation.
“Hey, I’m sorry,” he says, taking another step back. “My parents kind of threw this on me. I already had plans for this morning that I needed to follow through on.”
“Fine, whatever,” I say, crossing my arms in frustration. “You could have at least told your parents or me that you couldn’t show me around. If you had said you couldn’t help me, my mom would have come with me.” I pull my arms tighter across my midsection. “It’d be better than being alone.”
“I’m sorry you felt alone,” he says, taking a step forward. “But, be honest, you don’t exactly enjoy my company. I assumed you’d be relieved when I left.”
His words surprised me. I look up to meet his eyes, finding them filled with sincerity.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
He puffs a laugh and slides his hand into his trouser pockets. “Don’t act like you don’t hate when I’m around.”
I place a hand over my heart. “Me?”
“You’re always judging me.”
“I haven’t said anything bad to you.”
A nervous laugh seeps out of him. “You don’t have to say it. It’s in your eyes. I know you can’t stand me.”
Author Milly Rose
About the Author Milly Rose is an animal-loving romance enthusiast with a swoon-inducing book formula. Shy girl + hot guy + first kisses. Her YA sweet romance books will have you falling in love every instalment. Milly Rose is the quintessential shy girl, who you can contact via her mailing list and reply to her monthly email blasts! Milly spends her days vying for her cat’s affection, dreaming up her next book boyfriend, and writing a fun meet-cute under candlelight with a lovely brewed cup of tea.
GET A FREE BOOK HERE >> https://dl.bookfunnel.com/cod6m6wfzw
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Welcome to the book blitz for CHRIS, the third book in the adult romantic suspense series, Cross Security, by Nancy Brown. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
This will be a job from hell… I knew that from the moment I laid eyes on her.
Ex- MI6 agent Chris Winters lives by the rules. The most important rule of all: no messing around with a client. It works for him. Until it doesn’t. His newest job for Cross Security should be simple. Poppy Jones, the hottest swimwear and lingerie model on the planet, has a stalker… a ghost from her past who is coming to collect what he believes is his. Chris is to protect her and find out who is issuing the threats.
Simple. Cut and Dry.
Until it’s not.
Their chemistry is off the charts. But even as Chris fights his attraction to Poppy and discovers there is more to her than meets the eye, the real threat comes not from her stalker, but from the growing connection between them.
If he puts everything on the line, including his heart, will Chris still be able to keep her safe? Or will the ghost from Poppy’s past succeed in taking what he believes is his?
It’s a dangerous game to play. Who will succeed and who will fail?
Excerpt #2 Poppy:
I’m doing my third show this week; I’m exhausted but focused as I walk down the catwalk. I’ve tried to forget about what happened a few weeks back, but it hasn’t been easy. His voice keeps creeping back out of the box I put it in. I swear I’m losing my mind on more than one occasion, because I think I see and hear him everywhere.
When I catch a glimpse of a blond head in the front row, my eyes dart quickly in that direction. Deep blue eyes the color of the ocean stare up at me. A brilliant white smile flashes across his face as he looks at me. My ankle wobbles slightly but I somehow maintain my balance and force my eyes to snap up and look at nothing but what’s ahead of me as I complete my circuit.
I’m an internal mess by the time I get through the show. I had three outfits to showcase on the runway. I didn’t look for him again, at least not until my last circuit, when the show was finally over. I don’t see Surfer Man, but there is a man with blondish hair not far from where I saw him. It could have been him I saw. Maybe I just imagined it was Surfer Man. That must be what happened. Christ, I must be going crazy. A million thoughts are swirling through my head as I walk off stage and head back to my station.
“You okay?” someone I don’t know asks as I start to change. I don’t answer. I’m a bundle of nerves as I quickly slip into my jeans and t-shirt and bend down to tie my sneakers. I can’t get him out of my mind. God, he looked exactly the same. How is that even possible? It’s been ten years. No! It wasn’t him. You need to stop this shit; I tell myself as I stuff the rest of my things into my bag in a hurry to get the hell out of there.
Just as I’m about to leave the backstage area, one of the girls comes up to me holding a huge bouquet of pink roses. She shoves them in my direction and squeals in excitement, “Poppy, you have an admirer. These were just dropped off for you a couple of minutes ago, you lucky bitch.”
I stop dead in my tracks and give her a little smile, trying to contain the rapidly growing terror inside. “Oh wow! Seriously? They’re beautiful. Is there a card?” I glance at the gorgeous bouquet still in her arms but don’t see one.
She gives me a funny look. “No, he just handed them to me and made me promise to get them to you as quickly as possible. He said it was a surprise. God, he was super dreamy,” she says as a lusty smile crosses her face. “Does he happen to have a brother by any chance?”
I shake my head. “I don’t know. What did he look like?” I ask as I nibble on my lip, hoping like hell she’s going to say he has dark hair.
She gives me a curious look. “Tall, fit, blond, with a sun-kissed golden tan, sexy as hell smile and the most gorgeous blue-green eyes. Total dreamboat.”
She is still talking but I can’t hear what she is saying over the pounding of my heart, each beat seeming louder than the one before. It’s him. He’s here. What do I do? My stomach lurches and I can feel a cold sweat settling over my body as panic overtakes me.
About the Author Nancy Carolyn Brown is an author of contemporary romance, fond of writing love stories about hunky badass men endowed with massive hearts, and strong heroines with just the right mix of sweet and sass… flaming hot chemistry and thrilling nail biting suspense is always guaranteed!
She loves cosmos and chocolate and a swoony good book with a strong storyline.
She lives in sunny southern Alberta, Canada with her high school sweetheart husband and naughty Bengal cat. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys the simple things in life like spending time with family and friends, reading and running with her favorite playlist blasting in her ears.
All in one day, thirty-five-year-old Hallie Marsh learns that the man she loves, works for, and is living with has found someone else-and that she no longer has a job, a place to live, or a car since she crashed it into a hedge. Her feelings of rage and desire for revenge are soon replaced by a fascination with her new neighbors-four peculiar, elderly people who decide to buy an old run-down estate, fix it up, and live in it “just like family.”
Excerpt #2 Jeff Darnell stumbled over several boxes and something unidentifiable in the dark as he tried to locate the ringing telephone. The awards dinner had gone on much later than expected the night before, and by the time he and Susan got back to the house, she was too tired to do any more unpacking. Cursing, Darnell finally managed to locate a light switch and turn it on. The phone was tangled on the floor under Susan’s dress—the one he had bought for her to wear to the banquet.
“This is Vince Barnes,” the voice said, and I am interested in looking at the Braswell property you have listed.”
Jeff had to use every bit of self-discipline contained in his forty-five-year-old athletic body to keep from sounding too eager. “There are some people from up north who are also looking at the property, Mr. Barnes,” he lied, “but I’ll see what I can do to work you in ahead of them.” Jeff’s eyes, now adjusted to the glaring light, paused on a clock in the vicinity of the large, king-size bed. It was 5:10 a.m. Jeff could feel himself salivate. He wasn’t going to let this one get away. Barnes must really be interested or he wouldn’t be calling so goddamn early. He postured himself for his next move. “Are you interested in buying the property for yourself or as an investment?”
The voice on the other end of the line mumbled something about an alliance. What in the hell is that thought Jeff. He postured himself one more time. “I shall be happy to pick you up, Mr. Barnes, and we can drive out there together,” he said. “When did you want to go look at it?” Jeff liked to haul his clients around on the pretense of saving them the trouble. It helped to relax their defenses so he could find out the information he wanted without asking directly. Like where they currently lived, what kind of car they drove, how they dressed, were there kids, and if so, any in college, where they worked. And, the bottom line, how much money could he squeeze out of them. It was amazing how much people revealed about themselves without being asked. All he had to do was use his boyish smile and throw in enough personal crap, it didn’t have to be true, to make him seem like a benevolent uncle instead of a piranha, and he would have all the information he needed to give him what he was looking for—that vulnerable spot.
“That won’t be necessary,” the voice answered. “I’ll meet you there at seven o’clock Monday morning.” And the line went dead.
Jeff hung up the receiver and stared at the sleek-line phone. That’s all right, he thought to himself. I’ve dealt with tight-lipped bastards before. He crawled over some more boxes trying not to disturb Susan, not that she was a light sleeper anyway, and went over to his desk where he hauled out the telephone directory from a bottom drawer. There was no listing for a “Vince Barnes,” but there were nine listings that had the letter “V” as the first or middle initial preceding the surname Barnes. It could have been any of them or none of them. Jeff shut the directory and shoved it back into the drawer. “Well, that’s all right,” he repeated, this time out loud. “There’s plenty of time.” He smiled confidently. He went over to the closed draperies and opened them partially so he could enjoy the early morning dawn. This was a live one. He could just feel it.
Author Barbara Casey
About the Author Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, established in 1995, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014 Barbara became a partner in Strategic Media Books Publishing, an independent publishing house that specializes in true crime and other cutting-edge adult nonfiction. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her three cats who adopted her.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE MESSY TRUTH ABOUT LOVE, a standalone new adult contemporary romance, by C.L. Walters. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
A fresh start is exactly what Hannah Fleming needs after getting dumped by her cheating ex-boyfriend. While getting rejected was awful, nine weeks removed she’s recognizing the benefits, seeing that relationship for what it was: unhealthy. Then, Hannah bumps into her high school crush, Seth Peters, and is offered a second chance to see if what was in the past can once again be magical in the present. But when her past threatens her second chance, she must determine how hard she’s willing to fight for her future.
A fresh start is exactly what Seth Peters needs. New place. New people. New opportunities. Except, he runs straight into one of the greatest unresolved moments of his past, Hannah Fleming. Suddenly life is offering a second chance with her, but can he hold onto all he’s learned over the last few years to make a future with Hannah work? Or will he backslide into old ways of being to hide the truth of his darker past?
Excerpt #1 I rush through the first set of doors at Hammill, my eyes unfocused, replaying where I went wrong in the conversation with Sebastian, and bump into someone hurrying out. The books in my arms flop out, falling to the ground in a syncopated succession of thuds. “Oh. I’m so sorry,” I say and bend down to pick up the books, which I don’t want to get wet.
Shoot. Shoot. I’m so late. Matilda is going to string me up by my nails.
“So sorry,” a deep voice says at the same time. “My fault. I wasn’t–” A familiar voice, stalled now on his last word.
I look up into a face I recognize. Warm amber eyes. A dimpled smile. My heart remembers jumping around in my chest with that familiar rhythm before my eyes and mind put that recognition together. “Hannah?”
“Seth?” A smile spreads across my face and every nagging thought evaporates. “What are you doing here?” My smile won’t stop and communicates with the rest of my body that it needs to get involved in the joy. My heart hammers against my ribs. My face heats.
The last time I saw him–
My heart trips over the memory and won’t let me visit it out of self-preservation. He looks like high school Seth, but different. Older. His nose is still slightly crooked. His mouth, with perfectly proportional lips, still cuts adorable dimples into his cheeks when he smiles, which he does, causing his amber eyes to sparkle. His brown hair is darker now, effortlessly styled so that wavy locks stray across his forehead. He’s still taller than me. His face is wider, and it makes me wonder about the rest of him hiding underneath the jacket.
My heart adds a hot hum of awareness in my chest.
He’s a friend—I tell myself—one I haven’t seen in a long time.
He bends down to help me with the books. “Wow. I’m sorry. I wasn’t looking where I was going. And it’s you!” We’re crouched down together in the entryway of Hammill between the sets of doors. Someone opens the outer door, and a burst of cold finds its way under the hem of my coat and drifts up my back.
“What are you doing here?” I don’t know why I glance around, but I do, as if he’s materialized from thin air and will disappear again when the spell wears off. “How are you? It’s been, what?” He grabs the last book.
He holds the book out to me, and his eyes grasp ahold of mine. “Since that summer after senior year.” July. The beach. I remember.
I tilt my head, surprised.
I know the last time I saw him. The memory played on repeat in my mind, my dreams, my inner overthinking-monologue far too long after it happened. I try to play it cool. “Yeah! I think it was on the 4th of July get-together at the beach. After graduation.” I can’t stop smiling, and my cheeks are starting to ache. I wonder what he remembers about that night. We texted some after. Then he moved away, and the chats became fewer and farther between until they stopped altogether.
Someone opens the door from the library on their way out.
I step to the side and grasp the sleeve of Seth’s coat to draw him to the side with me. The girl walking past glances at Seth and does a double take. Not surprising. He’s always captured the girls’ attention. I refocus on his smile. No dimples.
Author C.L. Walters
About the Author As a kid, CL Walters, world revolved around two things: stories and make believe. She’s built a real life around those two things: a teacher of stories and a writer of make believe.
With four books now published, she’s looking forward to her fifth release October 13, 2020, a YA Contemporary Romance called The Stories Stars Tell.
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Welcome to the book blitz for THE SWEETEST GAME, the third book in the new adult contemporary sports romance series, Southern U O’Brien Brothers, by Cookie O’Gorman. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE SWEETEST GAME (Southern U O’Brien Brothers Series #3) by Cookie O’Gorman
Hopelessly in love with my best friend’s brother.
That’s what it will say on my tombstone. Here lies Junior “June” Dorsey. Tomboy. Car lover. Bookworm. She suffered from a severe case of unrequited love syndrome.
It’s not like I haven’t tried liking other guys. I have. It’s just none of them measure up to him.
Baylor O’Brien. Beautiful. Cocky. Talented (on the field and in the bedroom—or so I’ve heard).
And completely oblivious to my love for him.
When Bay asks for my help, I can’t say no. He needs my PR expertise to revamp his reputation and up his chances of being scouted after one scout—the one he really wants—dismisses him as nothing more than a party-loving playboy.
When he asks me to be his fake girlfriend, I accept his proposal.
But how am I supposed to act like I’m in love without revealing the truth? And why is Baylor so good at pretending?
One thing I know that’s true:
All’s fair in love and baseball.
Wish me luck,
Excerpt His arm tightened around me.
I felt his breath hitting my neck.
If this wasn’t some form of heaven, I didn’t know what was.
“Where’s your dad?” he asked.
“He’s away for a few days,” I said. “So, I’m in charge of the garage.”
“How was the game going before it got rained out?” I asked.
“Honestly, Sunshine? I couldn’t tell you,” he said. “There were other things on my mind.”
We were quiet for a few moments, and then Baylor started to stand.
“I think you’re warm now,” he said. “No chance of hypothermia, so that’s good.”
“I don’t think I was ever in danger of that,” I said dryly.
“You never know, Sunshine. I’ll see you later then.”
Before he could move from the bed, I looked back and reached for his hand. Baylor looked down and then back up at me. He’d ditched the baseball cap, so his hair was wet around the sides. Baylor shirtless was a thing of beauty. His muscles glinted under the lights in my room, and I couldn’t believe he was actually here. His piercing gray eyes held a question in them.
“Will you stay?” I asked, hoping it didn’t sound too desperate. “You can leave later if you want, but…could you stay? Just for now?”
Baylor gave a small smile and got back under the covers.
“Of course,” he said, dropping a kiss against my shoulder. “I wouldn’t want any of your toes falling off.”
“Not funny, Bay.”
“You’re delirious from the rain. I’m hilarious.”
“And you are surprisingly sweet.”
“Nah, that’s the fever talking.”
“My fake boyfriend carried me through the rain,” I said like a damsel in distress. “It was glorious.”
“And now she’s hallucinating. Get some sleep, Sunshine. You need it,” he said, settling me more firmly against him. Tiredness swamped me in a wave. “We can talk about getting you a first aid kit in the morning.”
“I’m fine,” I said softly, feeling my eyelids begin to droop.
“You are,” he said.
“Is this lesson two?”
“Yeah, it’s called spooning.”
“I think I like it.”
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About the Author Cookie O’Gorman writes YA & NA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her novels ADORKABLE, NINJA GIRL, The Unbelievable, Inconceivable, Unforeseeable Truth About Ethan Wilder, and The Good Girl’s Guide to Being Bad are out now! She is also the author of NA sports romance, The Best Mistake..
Welcome to the blog tour for CROW, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, The Sinful Guardians M.C., by C.M. Marin. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
CROW (The Sinful Guardians MC Series #1) by C.M. Marin
One minute I’m content just enjoying life with my club, running one of the businesses we own, and the next a woman sneaks her way under my skin for the first time in my life.
I never saw her coming.
Wild hair, almost black, and dark brown eyes star in my fantasies, but Paisley keeps herself out of reach. She’s shielded behind a solid brick wall that I want to knock down more than I’ve ever wanted anything. As I get to know her, my hero complex grows as fast as the chemistry burning between us. Maybe it’s just the former soldier and the sergeant at arms in me talking, but I want to protect her from both my past and whoever sent her running to Montana.
And I will protect her, because this woman is mine.
Three months ago, I found out how much cruelty can flow through someone’s veins. My whole world collapsed, and suffocating fear for the most precious thing life has ever given me sent me running.
Now, Montana is my new home. For how long? Only time will tell.
But when fate puts a sturdy, intense biker in my path, everything changes. The connection between Seth and me is palpable, and it grows stronger every day that I get to know him. It lures us together despite my efforts to stay away. And clearly, I fail at staying away. Because soon, what scares me the most is no longer the dreadful ghost of my recent past.
Now, I’m terrified I’ll have to run away again and lose the man I’m falling in love with.
Excerpt I know that staring down at the nasty mush of food splashed across my kitchen sink is going to awaken the urge to vomit the rest of the lunch I ate three hours ago—most likely before I even manage to get my breathing under control. My churning stomach is the only proof I need. But for a long couple of minutes, the loathsome prospect of a repeat doesn’t set off enough motivation for me to move. But maybe motivation isn’t the problem. Maybe I’m simply not sure it’s wise to take the leap yet. If my legs shake with as much fervor as my hands when I try to walk away from the repugnant smell, the chances of cracking my skull on the hard, light gray tiles of my kitchen floor are sky-high. It doesn’t help that my brain has started to race despite myself, trying to come up with an explanation for the discovery that forced me to puke into the sink, the sickness arising too suddenly to allow me to race to the bathroom. It’s searching for any explanation that would give me even the slightest flicker of hope that the past fourteen months of my life haven’t been a pure lie.
A complete sham.
But as I finally push off the countertop and stagger back to the kitchen island despite the risk of collapsing on the way, my gut, my heart and my head are all on the same page. When my gaze falls back to the few papers that literally made me sick, every part of me knows that the last fourteen months have come to an end. There can’t be many explanations for the papers I found hidden under a loose board of the living room hardwood floor ten minutes ago.
These papers have changed my life. It sounds dramatic, but it’s not. It’s a fact.
My eyes stay anchored to the passport displaying the picture of the man I’ve loved for the past fourteen months, despite the need to fight back a new wave of nausea as more food threatens to make its way up my throat. Through my frenzied heartbeat, my trembling body, and my roiling stomach, I keep reading the name adjoined to the very familiar face with sharp features and soft blue eyes, topped with a mop of light brown hair. The first name is the same I’ve always called him. Brendan. But the last name isn’t his. At least, it’s not the one I thought belonged to the man that I thought was the love of my life until about fifteen minutes ago. And now, the face I’m staring at is the one of the man I love, but strangely, it also isn’t.
If not for the three other pieces of paper I found with the passport, I could have let my mind wander through far-fetched explanations like how the man I’ve shared so much with was some kind of secret agent who had to keep me in the dark for safety reasons. I might have let my love for him convince me of that. But the other papers are spread out here, right before my eyes, and two of them drape a layer of cold chills all over my skin, worsening the shaking that’s taken over my body. The two train tickets scheduled for the same day Brendan booked me a spa day don’t leave much doubt as to what’s going on.
Just for you. You deserve a long day of being pampered.
Those were his words when he gifted me the thoughtful spa day a few days ago, kissing me like I was a treasure. His treasure. But I’ve never been a treasure to him, and he’s never been some undercover hero fighting the most dangerous criminals in the world. I’m a fool, and he’s a fraud. A fraud that is intending to leave Oregon in less than a week.
Why is this happening? Why is he doing this? To me? To us? The possible answers to those questions send an even stronger wave of sickness rolling through me than the papers in front of me, so I’m not even going to think about it. At least not now. Does knowing why matter anyway? To me, in this moment, it doesn’t. All that matters to me is that the man I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with is planning to rip away from me the most precious thing life has ever given me. The last piece of paper on the counter is proof of that. I didn’t even know it had arrived yet. The past three weeks have been nothing but adjustment and trying to sleep when I can, so it’s no surprise that administrative stuff hasn’t entered my mind once. But it has been on Brendan’s, obviously. Now I’m back to staring at one of the last names appearing on the document; Travis. Brendan Travis. I’m then reading my own name again, not knowing if it’s a consolation or not. I don’t know much anymore, except that the man who is now a stranger to me is planning to do something heartless and unfathomable. But so help me God, the only way I’m going to let that happen is if I’m dead. And when the door of my apartment opens and footsteps get closer before I have time to put away the incriminating documents, I’m sweating with the thought that something irreversible is really going to happen.
Author C.M. Marin
About the Author C.M. Marin is an author of romantic suspense and contemporary romance.
Even though she lived in the crowded and beautiful city of London for a few years, she is now a small-town girl. Quiet and nature are all she really needs now… as long as there are books and a box full of assorted teas within easy reach!
She hasn’t found her own happily ever after yet, but she sure loves to write about falling in love and finding forever. With a touch of suspense, just the right amount of sexiness, and plenty of love, she writes books for every lover of romance around the world!
Welcome to the book blitz for THE SELECTIVE MUTE PRINCESS, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Royal Bodyguard Romance, by Samantha Jayne Grubey. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE SELECTIVE MUTE PRINCESS (Royal Bodyguard Romance Series #1) by Samantha Jayne Grubey
Synopsis Princess Amelia has been silent for ten years, ever since Amelia and Ava were kidnapped. One returned home the other did not. Amelia has always kept herself guarded with her twenty-first birthday approaching things are going to be changing.
Ethan Sparks is on his first assignment, guard the Princess in the Palace. The longer he’s there the more he finds himself being drawn to Princess Amelia, he can see she’s drowning and he wants to help.
Romantic interests stirs in a mixing pot of emotions as Amelia and her family recover from the kidnapping and murder of her sister. Unsure what to feel or who to believe, Amelia needs to find her truth, as she deals with her trauma and finally brings her family to mend. Along the way they find themselves hitting challenges at every wall. So many questions left unanswered by the kidnapping and murder, can she finally find the answers she’s searching for? Can Amelia finally allow herself to live and be freed from the guilt she feels? Can Ethan survive the challenges that come with falling for a Princess in line for the throne?
I sent him a small smile and walked through the halls, entering the cinema room and grabbing the remote. Ethan shut the door, and I patted the seat next to me. I flicked through one of the many streaming services, finding Harry Potter.
“Which one is your favourite?”
I held my hand up, signalling five.
“Really? Some people think that is the worse one; it comes in at number three on my list of best Harry Potter films.”
I chuckled, laying my head on his chest. I was determined to make it through all eight films, and I hoped I could binge watch them all in one day. I pressed the first film, and it began to play. I had yet to find something better than watching a film with Ethan by my side.
The first film finished, and I lined up the second one, hitting pause. “Do you know sometimes I wish we could order a takeaway to the palace?”
“I know you are.” He laughed. “You could have it ordered, but by the time it’s gone through all the checks, it’d be cold. What are you fancying?”
“Chinese. I know the chef can cook, but sometimes a takeaway is needed,” I muttered. “Why?”
“I’ll go get us some. I should see if Katie wants anything.”
“You could invite your sister to watch films with us too, you know,” I said pointedly. “I don’t think I’ve actually gotten to spend time with her other than our initial meeting.”
“She’s being a brat,” Ethan muttered sourly.
He rolled his eyes. “She’s not opening up, and I don’t know how to deal with teenage Katie. I’m way out of my depth here… like oceans away out of my depth.”
“Teenage years are hard,” I told him. “Maybe all she needs to know is that you love her still. Have you told her lately?”
“Ethan, teenagers always know, but have you said the words?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. “Have you told her lately? She’s clearly going through a lot, ignoring the fact that she can’t speak.”
“Okay, I’ll see if she wants to come with me,” he said. “What do you want?”
“Egg fried rice, chicken chow mien, vegetable spring rolls, Hawaiian chicken, and chicken balls,” I said as I watched him type it on his phone.
“I’ll be back soon. I’ll post a guard outside your door.”
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes slightly. He left the room, and I sighed. I wondered if it was time I invested in a phone. I stood up, opening the door and made the short walk to my room, ignoring the guard following me. If I ignored them, then I couldn’t see their looks. I grabbed my blanket and Mac and made my way back to the cinema room, waiting for Ethan to return.
I wrapped myself in the blanket and switched on the Mac. I loaded up Google Chrome and stared at the blank search engine. I still had no idea what my project would be. I suppose part of that was due to the fact that I knew nothing. Maybe it was time to go back to school. I typed in universities and began scrolling through them. I had no idea what I was even looking for. If I was going to take over as queen, then I should at least know more about our history. I mean, our history books were fine, but I didn’t want to just stick with what we had. I wanted to experience the outside world, and I knew convincing my parents would be the hardest part.
“I’m back.” I jumped a mile, shutting the laptop quickly. Holding a hand to my chest, I glanced at the clock and saw half an hour had passed. He chuckled. “You must have been really deep into whatever you were doing.” I held onto my chest, trying to calm my breathing. I had completely gotten lost in my research.
Ethan sat next to me, and I looked to see Katie had sat on the other side of Ethan. I waved, and she smiled and waved back.
“What were you looking at?” Ethan asked curiously.
“If you won’t tell me, I’ll just assume it was porn. You naughty, naughty princess.”
I couldn’t help the giggle that escaped. Ethan was definitely something else. He sat next to me, handing me a plate with a lot of food and handed Katie hers, then he pressed play on the film. It had been so long since I had takeaway food. My parents tried to limit us, but every now and then, we managed to convince a nanny to sneak us out of the house. I picked up a vegetable spring roll and began to eat it as I concentrated on watching the second Harry Potter film.
As I looked at Ethan, I noticed our legs had become intertwined as they laid out in front of us. I couldn’t help but smile; everything felt easy with us. I didn’t know if that was good or bad, but Ethan made it easy.
Author Samantha Jayne Grubey
About the Author Samantha Jayne Grubey is an author of new adult romance.
When she’s not writing, reading, you can probably find her heading back to university for teaching training. If she’s not doing any of that then she’s probably playing sims (sims 3&2 are the best out of the franchise) or colouring.
Follow her on social media, learn all about the books at: https://www.samanthajaynegrubey.com
Welcome to the book blitz for THE FIRST DARK SORCERER, the first book in the Young Adult Steampunk Fantasy series, Whisper Court, by Abby Arthur. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE FIRST DARK SORCERER (Whisper Court Series #1) by Abby Arthur
Synopsis An awkward wizard. An aspiring ballerina. And a dark god with a wicked vendetta.
Clyde Blitzkurr is devastated. Rejected by every reputable magic academy in the realm, this seventeen-year-old aspiring wizard resolves to make his sister’s dream come true. But things take a turn when a demon tries to kill him.
Aylee Blitzkurr’s deepest desire is at hand. Accepted to the most prestigious dance academy, this sixteen-year-old ballerina is a breath away from becoming a principal dancer. But when her brother’s life is threatened, and ghosts start leaving cryptic messages, fighting for Clyde’s wellbeing takes precedence.
The siblings begin to uncover dangerous secrets connecting them to a vengeful god. Neither is safe. Clyde must grasp the untapped power he possesses. Aylee must discover the courage to face her darkest fears. If they do not, they will lose more than their lives … they will miss their destiny. And the realms are counting on them.
Phantom of the Opera meets Cassandra Clair’s Clockwork Angel in this young adult steampunk fantasy!
Escape to a world imbued with magic and the paranormal. Find mermaids, demons, dragon shifters, elves, wizards, sorcery, and a healthy dose of fantastical ballet. This exciting book for teens is for boys, girls, and everyone in between.
Aylee “Students, please give him space.” Madam Ruelle looks us all over, and there’s this underlying threat in her gaze. It says if we act out of line in front of the most important man in our lives, there will be drills galore in our future.
“Oh, this is going to be good,” Mr. Taylo says not-so-quietly to Sedric. They both watch as Nori moves to the center of the room.
“What song shall we play?” Madam Ruelle asks Nori.
He doesn’t need a translation for that, but answers something in his fast-paced Kuromanese. The piano begins the song, apparently understanding him. On the first note, I understand the song as well.
It’s a well-known piece from an opera called the Warrior and his Bride. This is “the Dance of the Warrior”. My body chills at the idea because this is one of the hardest dances to perform. I know because I’ve done it. Normally, it’s a duet where the Warrior brandishes his sword, killing foes and protecting his love.
Nori looks at me when he takes his first pose.
No, I mouth to him, and pray he understands what that word means. We may have been partners during auditions, but there is no way I’mdancing this song with him. The last time I performed it was three months ago at the North Kingdom’s Dance Competition. My old instructor wanted me to do it with Drew, a boy in our studio. In training, I was whacked with a wooden sword too many times to count. Worse, during the final performance, I broke my ankle because Drew dropped me.
Let’s not forget that sword Nori holds isn’t wooden.
I will not have myself be made a fool in front of Mr. Taylo and his son.
Nori looks away as the music cues his movements, and I let out a breath in relief.
Quietly, Nori speaks words we all know. It’s a spell to call up mist … a well-known spell in dance, to add dramatics.
The room fogs with a heavy haze that rises from the floor, billowing like smoke. As it builds, Nori draws his sword in the theatrical movements of the Warrior. His gaze is dark, and his lips continue to move in a spell. The mist takes on the silhouette of a foe, and he watches it like a man ready to kill, as he should. This is the moment the Warrior prepares to slay for his Bride.
A battle is about to happen.
A new sort of hush falls over the room as the music builds. The fog grows so thick that the dance studio disappears. There’s only Nori slowly dancing the choreography, and the fog made foes circling him. Tension builds in the air as well, but not the same as when we expected trouble. This tension is of anticipation. Will Nori pull this off?
Following the build of music, Nori spins, slicing his blade through a fog-made foe and leaping at the same time. The foe bursts into the mist, dissipating into nothing. Simultaneously, Nori spins, and the surrounding mist accentuates his movements, making everything he does that much more captivating. This is a dance mixed with ballet and swordsmanship, and Nori is consumed by it. He runs across the room, slicing his blade through numerous fog-foes as he goes. He rolls to avoid a blade of mist and gets back up to dance again.
My mouth is open in awe at how well he acts out the scene. His form is spectacular, and his control with his weapon is just as good. I want to watch him dance this scene forever.
As the story goes, the first part of this dance is the Warrior killing foes to free his bride. Usually, the female dancer is in a cage at this point. I half expect Nori to end at the moment he sets her free. Or maybe he will attempt to improvise where the duet normally comes.
He does neither.
Nori jumps through the air in a marvelous spin and lands before me.
His free hand takes mine. I open my mouth to protest, but he spins me against his chest and says, “Feel the music,” in my ear with his heavy accent. Then he spins me out into the fog.
Author Abby Arthur
About the Author Abby’s books combine magic, action, swords, and dragons with a healthy dose of sarcasm. She started winning writing contests and getting published in newspapers when she was just sixteen.
Her magic portal is located in small town Iowa, protected by herself, her husband, and their son. For more info on Abby and her books check out her site: www.abbyarthur.com
To view her character illustrations, check her out on your favorite social platform!
Welcome to the book blitz for SAVING SOPHIE, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by Debbie Schrack. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Seventeen-year-old Gabe Hunter knows he has a purpose in life. He has always strived to be the “best of the best,” but lately nothing has gone his way. Gabe was devastated six months earlier when his half-brother Josh had a drunk driving accident that killed four members of a family and left a sixteen-year-old girl named Sophie an orphan. Josh went to prison and Gabe struggles to forgive him because how can he forgive the unforgivable? When Gabe reluctantly agrees to do math tutoring for his senior service project, he discovers that the girl he will be tutoring is also named Sophie. But in a town of eighty thousand people, what are the odds it will be the same person? Astronomical, Gabe figures.
Gabe soon discovers, though, that it is the same Sophie. A former National Merit Scholar finalist, Sophie had a severe brain injury in the accident. She has seizures, amnesia, and can barely read or write. When he meets her, Gabe realizes what his purpose in life must be—to help Sophie and make amends for his brother. His plan is to spend the rest of the school year tutoring Sophie, then say goodbye and go quietly off to college without ever telling her that his brother was the one who killed her family. What Gabe doesn’t count on is falling in love.
Excerpt #2 After Mom got the call that Josh had been in an accident and had been taken to the hospital, it was our bad luck to have to drive right by the place where it happened, the intersection of King and Park. It’s one of those intersections that’s needed a traffic light for years—a four-way stop where no one really stops. It’s just far enough on the outskirts of town that people usually get away with it.
I will never forget what I saw there. Splotched sheets on the road. Glass everywhere. A burned-out Chevy Suburban, upside down on its roof. Josh’s silver Camaro, farther down the road, also upside down and so flat it looked like a crushed soda can. Red and blue flashing lights casting a garish purple glow over everything.
I wasn’t prepared for the horror of it all, the obliteration of both vehicles, the number of police and firemen sifting through the aftermath. I remember the smell of burnt metal, the sound of Mom’s gut-wrenching sobs, the way my insides shriveled into a twisted knot. Because even if Josh was alive when they pulled him out of the car, there’s no way he could have survived that. No one could survive that.
A police officer approached our car and I rolled down the window. He leaned in to look at us. “This road is closed. You’ll have to find another way around.”
“That’s my son’s car,” Mom wailed, pointing at what was left of the Camaro. She was sobbing so hard her whole body was shaking. “Please. I need to see my son.”
“Sorry, ma’am,” the officer said, glancing back at Josh’s car, his face grave. “I’ll get you an escort.”
While we waited, his words tumbled over and over in my mind. Sorry, ma’am. Sorry, ma’am. Did that mean that Josh was already dead? That taking him to the hospital was just wishful thinking?
Within minutes, the officer was back, and we were hauling ass behind a cruiser, sirens screaming in our ears. As I drove, I kept thinking about the people in the Suburban. Where were they headed in such a hurry that they didn’t have time to stop? Why didn’t they see Josh’s car? Because there was no doubt in my mind that they were the ones who caused the accident.
I’ve never been so wrong.
Author Debbie Schrack
About the Author Debbie Schrack has spent her professional life working with children and young adults. She has a B.S in Special Education from the University of Virginia, and an M.Ed. from George Mason University. Although the character Sophie in her debut novel SAVING SOPHIE is fictional, she is a composite of many of the struggling learners Debbie has taught over the years.
Debbie lives with her family in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Debbie finds personal fulfillment in creating new things, whether it be a novel, a painting, or a batch of croissants. She loves animals, and horses are her special passion. When she’s not writing or horseback riding, Debbie is a sucker for musicals, enjoys visiting art galleries, and desperately wants to travel more. She also loves hanging out with her three children, who she will always consider her most amazing creations.
Welcome to the cover reveal for REASONS WHY NOT TO DATE YOUR NEMESIS, the second book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, Shell Grove, by Melanie Munton, releasing October 4, 2022. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder inks, and details on her giveaway.
REASONS WHY NOT TO DATE YOUR NEMESIS (Shell Grove Series #2) by Melanie Munton
Synopsis There’s a new sheriff in town…
And he’s her worst nightmare.
Reason #1: Ben Crawford is Olivia Knight’s long-time arch rival. They’ve been sworn enemies ever since she wore overalls to school one day, and he asked her in homeroom where she parked her cow. Now that he’s back, it doesn’t appear much has changed. He’s still arrogant. He’s still trouble. And this time, he’s got a badge and handcuffs. Which will make murdering him and disposing of his body much more challenging for her.
Reason #2: Sheriff Ben has done a lot of growing up during his time away from Shell Grove. He went and got himself some muscles and tattoos, and has the nerve to wear that sheriff’s uniform absurdly well. For some reason, that’s all she can seem to focus on whenever they cross paths. All the nice changes he’s made, instead of how vehemently she’s vowed to hate his guts for all eternity.
Reason #3: The complicated connection that has forever entwined their lives doesn’t have a pleasant backstory. As adults, they should be able to forget what happened when they were teenagers and move on. But in a small town where everyone has long memories, there are reminders everywhere of the nasty events that destroyed both of their families years ago. And she’s not sure their growing feelings for each other are enough to forgive the sins of the past and carve out a future…together.
Ben has a secret. A big one. The longer he’s in Shell Grove and surrounded by people who know his sordid history, the more likely that secret is going to come out. But if it does, Olivia will never speak to him again. Which will not do. Because he’s finally realized that Olivia is the reason why he came back to town in the first place. And if he doesn’t want to lose her forever, he needs to correct the mistakes he made a long time ago and prove he’s not the NEMESIS she’s always thought him to be.
Excerpt: “Well, if it isn’t Livvie Knight. Long time, no see.”
You would think his head had just rotated around 360 degrees before he projectile vomited all over the place for how fast she scurried to the other side of the room.
“Not long enough, in my opinion,” she hissed. “And don’t call me Livvie.”
He clutched his chest dramatically. “You wound me. What, you don’t have a smile for your old pal?”
“Oh, there are many things I have for my old pal,” she said through gritted teeth. “And all of them would require you to wear some sort of protective gear.” She snorted. “Or not.”
Even as she spewed venom like a viper, her eyes murdering him on the spot, she was still one of the most gorgeous women he’d ever seen. Even more gorgeous than she’d been in high school.
And that had always been the crux of his contradicting feelings when it came to Liv. His unwanted attraction toward her. It had slowly and unwittingly developed in high school and evolved with every encounter they’d had. He’d been disgusted with himself, causing him to lash out at her even more viciously. As if the way she had stirred his dick to life every time he saw her was her fault. He supposed it was, in a way, but it wasn’t like she’d been doing it on purpose.
Fortunately, he’d been able to focus on other aspects of her personality that he’d convinced himself drove him crazy. Like the fact that she’d been a goodie two shoes, straight-A student who won everything and never broke the rules. Never got reprimanded by the adults around her. Everyone she came into contact with swooned over her within two seconds of meeting her. Ultimately, the perfect child. Basically, she was everything Ben wasn’t.
As his eyes raked over her, his mind mentally replaced all the teenage images of Liv he had stored in his brain with the adult version. A hell of a lot of appreciation accompanied those images too. Her toffee brown hair fell past her shoulders now, with blunt bangs that framed her oval-shaped face and complemented her features well. Her breasts had gone from a small A to a full C—clearly a late bloomer—and her shorts hugged her flared hips like a dream. There definitely hadn’t been that much shape to her figure at sixteen years old.
She was no girl now.
Beauty aside, how did he really feel about seeing her? Honestly, he had no fucking idea. It wasn’t completely enjoyable, but it wasn’t wholly unpleasant either. He had years of negative impressions of her swirling around in his head, but he couldn’t discern whether those still held water or not. Or if they rationally ever had in the first place.
The sound of her snapping fingers had his eyes darting back up to hers.
“You getting a good look?” she asked acerbically.
Propping himself up on his hands, he lazily stretched out across her table, putting his entire torso on display. She had dropped the sheet in shock when she’d realized who she’d been massaging and was now trapped in a room with. The sheet was splayed across one of his legs and part of his other thigh, barely covering his package. He had no inclination to move it.
He had changed a lot since high school too.
And part of him wanted her to see that.
“Figured I’d return the favor,” he drawled. “You know, since you’ve been getting a good look for the past half hour.”
Her nostrils flared. “Believe me,” she seethed, “if I’d known it was you, I never would have taken the appointment.”
“Funny. It sounded like you were enjoying yourself a minute ago.”
She raised an eyebrow. “I don’t think it was me asking you out for a drink.”
“Well, I thought I was asking out a funny, intelligent, kind woman.” He waved down at her. “Amazing how anonymity can warp the mind.”
She crossed her arms over her chest, plumping up her full breasts. Her low-cut tank top revealed just enough cleavage to have him discreetly adjusting the sheet to conceal more of his rising issue.
Stay down, you dumb bastard. This one’s not for us.
“Great attitude, Sheriff Crawford. I’m sure you’ll be very popular among all the other smug jackasses in town.”
Wrapping the sheet around his waist, he rose to his feet and moved toward her. He couldn’t prevent his grin from forming when she refused to back up. Classic Olivia, always giving back as good as she got, never afraid to stand up for herself. While she might have been a goodie two shoes in high school, she’d never been a pushover. At least, not with him.
“Careful, Livvie,” he warned in a low voice. “You don’t want to get on a law officer’s bad side.”
About the Author Traveler. Reader. Beach-goer. St. Louis Cardinals fan. Pasta-obsessed. North Carolina resident. Sarcastic. Bit of a nerd.
Author of the Cruz Brothers, Possession and Politics, and Timid Souls series, Melanie loves all things romance, comedies and suspense in particular because it’s boring to only stick to one sub-genre! From light-hearted comedies to sexy thrillers, she likes to mix it up, but loves her some strong alpha males and sassy heroines.
Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects!
Welcome to the book blitz for JESTER, a standalone young adult fantasy romance, by Brielle D. Porter. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Lisette’s father killed the King. His execution leaves Lisette alone, disgraced, and without the magic he intended to pass on to her. In Oasis, that’s a problem. Glutted with enchanted performers, Oasis is a sin city where courtiers pay in gold to drink, gamble, and above all, be entertained. To survive on its competitive streets, Lisette peddles paltry illusions in place of magic.
Desperate to prove herself, Lisette enters into a deadly competition to be chosen as the highest-ranked magician in the world, the Queen’s Jester. But her rival, the irritatingly handsome Luc, possesses the one thing Lisette does not—real magic. Lisette will do anything to win, but when evidence implicating the Queen in her husband’s murder surfaces, Lisette must choose between redeeming her family name, or seizing the fame she’s hungered for her entire life.
Excerpt Even though the knife feels like it’s blistering my palm, I take a moment to pan the audience. This is always my favorite part. The tension is a palpable thing, visible in held gasps, wide eyes, and awe.
And that’s when I see him. Expression carefully neutral, almost bored, one eyebrow raised, arms folded across a suit that costs more than my father made in a year. A seeker.
My heart pounds, as I realize more than Stefan’s crotch is at stake here now. If I nail this, that pretentious clown in a suit has the power to get my act in front of the queen. I could be the next Jester. It’s the reason I’ve come here tonight, the same reason I’ve performed for thousands of crowds like this one.
Sucking in a breath, I hold the knife level.
Stefan thrashes, but the binding’s pinning him to the wheel like a dead butterfly hold. Right as I pull back to throw, there’s a shout. “Kingkiller!”
The knife slips in my grip, but it’s too late. I watch, horrified, as the blade wobbles in the air, the trajectory off. It clatters to the ground a few feet away from Stefan, flames smothered in the dirt. There’s a moment of shocked silence, as though the crowd is waiting for me to do something.
Make a joke. Throw another knife. Something. I can still save this.
Even Stefan gawps at me as I stare unseeing at the crowd. But I don’t do anything. I just stand there, the word pounding in my head, over and over.
Even real magic couldn’t save me now.
Author Brielle D. Porter
About the Author Brielle D. Porter decided to become a writer after a well-meaning elementary school teacher told her she had a gift for it. Stolen moments under the covers reading anything from Harry Potter to William Goldman solidified the desire to tell stories herself one day. Jester is her debut novel.
Brielle lives with her husband and three sons on a lavender farm in Northern Idaho. When she’s not writing, she can be found running and beekeeping. Only ask her about her hobbies if you have plenty of time to spare.