Friday, May 18, 2018

#Review: THE DUKE WHO RAVISHED ME by Diana Quincy



  5 of 5 stars

Adam Fairfax, the Duke of Sunderford, has earned his nickname "Sinful Sunny." Being a duke and enormously wealthy attracts every singer, actress, and widow in London. Adam is never one to turn down a lady's affections or two or three in his decadent "playroom." When Miss Isabel Finch shows up on his doorstep with seven-year-old twin girls and informs him that he is now their legal guardian, Adam is in shock. His lifestyle does lend it itself to him being a guardian of innocent little girls.

This book was very well-written and the twists and turns in the plot kept my interest throughout the story. It was also great to see a couple of the characters from previous books make an appearance in this one. I loved watching Adam's character change as he finally learned how to open his heart and it was especially lovely that it took seven-year-old girls to show him what love meant. The interactions between Adam and Isabel were fun to watch as they went from adversaries to so much more until a misunderstanding threatens to tear them apart. Fans of regency romances will definitely enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

#Excerpt: FORGED IN EMBER by Trish McCallan


Forged in Ember
Trish McCallan
(Red-Hot SEALs #4)
Publication date: May 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

In the final novel in the scorching Red-Hot SEALs series, a desperate mother and a Navy SEAL fight fire with fire to protect their love and save the world…
Amy Chastain has made a lot of enemies—none so ruthless as the insanely powerful New Ruling Order (NRO). When they killed her husband, it was hell. Then they targeted her children by injecting them with a dangerous, experimental isotope. Now Amy trusts only one man to help her: the ex-commander of SEAL Team 7.
In the company of Navy SEALs, Jace “Mac” Mackenzie was in his physical element. Now he’s on the run from the same cabal that poisoned Amy’s children. That doesn’t stop him from launching a mission to bring down the NRO—and find an antidote. But the clock is ticking. And as the sparks fly between him and Amy, Mac realizes he has more to lose than ever before.
As Mac closes in on the NRO, he uncovers a plot that threatens more than Amy’s children. Now it’s a race against time to stop a global conspiracy, save the woman he loves, and protect the family that’s starting to feel like his.

EXCERPT:
“You can talk to him after you’ve eaten, Benji. Now skedaddle.” She waited for Brendan to herd his brother across the cafeteria floor before turning a suddenly grave face in Mac’s direction. “The boys’ doctor asked to see Amy in private, and I suspect the news is less than good. Nobody should have to face something like that alone, but she needed help with the boys, so I couldn’t stay.”
Ah hell . . . Stiffening, Mac took a step back. “Beth or Kait—”
“Aren’t here. You are. The meeting with the doctor will be over by the time I find them. Amy needs someone now.”
Mac took another step back. “I’m sure Mrs. Chastain would prefer to have a woman with her.”
“The only woman available is me, and I promised her I’d take care of her children. Trust me, she’d be much more comfortable with me watching over her boys than holding her hand. Which means you’re currently the only person available to step up.” She leaned toward him, a militant look sheening her gaze.
Fuck.
“She’s at the clinic, Commander. Alone. She needs you.” The resolve shifted to entreaty in her eyes and voice.
Double fuck.
He spread his feet and tensed his muscles, powering up for an uncompromising refusal. No way in hell was he taking on Amy Chastain’s troubles.
“Fine.” The surrender grated as it rumbled up his throat and out his mouth.
Where the hell had that come from?
Mac scowled, regrouping. Time to nip this in the bud and retreat to safety. “Look, I’ll check in on her. That’s all I’m promising.”
He groaned beneath his breath. Agreeing to check up on the damn woman wasn’t exactly retreating.
Marion’s expression softened in relief. “I’m sure she’ll appreciate that, Commander.”
Grunting an acknowledgment, Mac brushed past Marion before she talked him into doing anything else. Of course, just because he’d agreed to check on Amy didn’t mean he had to do so. It would be easy enough to skirt that duty by heading in the opposite direction. Except his feet developed a mind of their own and carried him two streets to the right and through the clinic’s sliding glass doors.


Author Bio:
Trish McCallan was born in Eugene, Oregon, and grew up in Washington State, where she began crafting stories at an early age. Her first books were illustrated in crayon, bound with red yarn, and sold for a nickel at her lemonade stand. Trish grew up to earn a bachelor’s degree in English literature with a concentration in creative writing from Western Washington University, taking jobs as a bookkeeper and human- resource specialist before finally quitting her day job to write full time.
Forged in Fire, the first book in her Red Hot SEALs series, came about after a marathon reading session, and a bottle of Nyquil that sparked a vivid dream. She lives today in eastern Washington. An avid animal lover, she currently shares her home with four golden retrievers, a black lab mix and two cats.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

#Review: EARL OF ST SEVILLE by Christina McKnight



  3 of 5 stars

Sinclair Chambers, Earl of St. Seville, is counting on his brute strength to win enough bare-knuckle fights in London to save his earldom and the people who depend on him. Being in London is the last place he wants to be until he meets Lady Patience. Turns out Patience's mother was a famous bare-knuckle fighter as well. When Patience offers to train Sin in the fine art of fighting, he has no choice but to accept her offer. What these two don't realize is that their lives will be forever changed.

I was not a fan of this book even though I do enjoy Ms. McKnight's books. When I read a regency romance, I prefer romances that follow a more traditional theme. I did not care to learn about the fine art of boxing nor that her mother was a famous fighter. I did finish this book, but there were many times I just wanted to put it down.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

#Excerpt: THE RAINMAKER by Petra Landon


The Rainmaker
Petra Landon
(Saga of the Chosen #2)
Publication date: March 30th 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

As they race to untangle the past and thwart a power-hungry Wizard, Tasia must face her toughest decision yet. Can she take a leap of faith and risk her deadliest secret?
Tasia Armstrong is no longer a nondescript, friendless and naïve Wizard flying under the radar on the fringes of Chosen society. With her fate now publicly entwined with that of a powerful Shifter Pack, she must navigate the minefield of Pack politics while keeping her secrets and cover safe from the Chosen who hunt her. With a Pack to defend her, a powerful Alpha to protect her interests and friends to watch her back, her life is a far cry from before. But living with the Shifters holds new challenges for a Chosen more used to the shadows.
The stakes have never been higher as old fault lines, long-buried secrets, Wizard dysfunction, and Lady Bethesda’s ruthless machinations draw the Chosen ever closer to a civil war. While Tasia grapples to avoid the pitfalls and confront her demons, it is an unlikely nemesis who forces her to face her moment of truth. Tasia finds herself at the crossroads – at stake are her carefully constructed house of cards and her tangled relationship with the man who holds her enemies at bay. Will Tasia risk opening Pandora’s Box or will she disappear into the shadows again?

Author’s Note : The Rainmaker continues the story from The Prophecy. The books are not standalone and are intended to be read in order.
On sale for 99¢ for a limited time only!
EXCERPT:
“I …” Tasia paused, choosing her words with care this time. “My work with your Pack …” “Fuck the Pack.” His voice was very even. “This has nothing to do with the Pack. I’m talking
about us — you and me.”
“No.” She shook her head, wishing the noise in her head would abate and allow her to think
more clearly. “There’s no us.”
An eyebrow arched up in the near darkness. “So, that kiss in the cave …”
Tasia interrupted him. “I didn’t kiss you.”
He shot her a look.
“You kissed me” she insisted, responding to that look. “Both times.”
“No” he said unequivocally. “We’ve both been willing partners in this dance. I lead, but you’ve
been with me every step of the way.”
They stared at each other, the air between them charged with an awareness that they stood on
the edge of a precipice. She couldn’t discern his expression but she wondered what he read in hers, with his night eyes.
“Any time you’d like a demonstration, let me know” he remarked sardonically.
Tasia flushed. They’d been leading up to this moment, she realized. This was the dance he talked about. She should have put a stop to it before. Now, she’d have to defuse it carefully or the resulting conflagration would destroy her.
“I’ve been around the block a few times, witchling. You and I — we make our own fire, no tinder required. That’s not it. Something else has you stepping back. What is it?”
Tasia thought furiously, through the fog in her head. “You don’t get involved with Pack” she reminded him.
“I’m willing to make an exception for you” he said clearly.
Tasia blinked, once. He wasn’t going to make this easy for her.
“I did tell you once that I’d ignore my principles for the right person.” It was his turn to remind
her.
Tasia, who remembered the occasion well, said nothing.
“Am I to continue with the Pack?” she asked.
“Yes.”
She hesitated. “What happens if things … uh … don’t work out between us?”
He laughed, a sound singularly devoid of amusement.
“You’ve walked away from the Pack before. I didn’t let that stop me from going after you,
when I thought you were in danger. What does that tell you, witchling?”
Tasia couldn’t refute him. There was nothing to say. He would not let his personal feelings get
in the way of his responsibilities to his Pack or to her, no matter how bad things got between them. Then, something seemed to strike him. “Is it because I’m a Shifter?”
Tasia wondered wildly if he would accept that. Perhaps his pride would not let him pursue her if he believed that she wanted no part of a relationship with a Shifter. It would make her sound like a bigot. But she’d take that.
“Will you let this be if … if I have reservations about Shifters?” she asked hopefully.
“Hell no.” His response was immediate and forceful. “I’ll do my damnedest to change your mind.”
He frowned, something about her answer registering finally. “Is that what this is about — being with a Shifter?”
Again, he was forthright with his query, and Tasia realized she could not bring herself to lie to him. Like him, she too was willing to make an exception. For him.
“No” she admitted softly.
There was a short silence while Tasia tried to get her jumbled thoughts into order. The wild cacophony in her head was now so loud that it drowned out everything but his voice, even the gentle lap of water against the wall and the whoosh of the wind behind her.
“Let me simplify this for you” he said, the gold eyes holding her gaze. “Tell me what you want, and we go from there.”
“What I want?” Tasia repeated mechanically.
I can’t have what I want.
“Don’t tell me you don’t know what you want.” His eyes narrowed in the darkness.
Tasia shook her head, her eyes darting away as if to seek an escape. She’d have to walk away, she thought despairingly. She saw no other way out.
His initial fury having abated, Raoul was starting to use his connection to her, much as he had before, when he’d been so attuned to her unspoken words. He had realized it almost immediately, taking it in stride. He wondered if she had picked up on it yet.
“You told me once that you don’t run away” he reminded her, picking up hints of her roiling emotions.
Tasia said nothing.
“If you run from me because you don’t want to deal with whatever is between us, witchling, I will come after you.” His voice hardened as a spike of anger flared in him. “I won’t stand by again while you run recklessly into the fire.”
Tasia looked away from him. There seemed no way out of this impasse. He would not back away, not without an explanation from her. She could not give him one, not without endangering all sorts of secrets, and she was very much afraid that, unless she convinced him to walk away first, she’d eventually succumb to him.
Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire!
Raoul stared at her, puzzled by her inexplicable desire to deny that which sizzled like a living entity between them. He tried to piece together what he could sense from her.
Suddenly, it hit him. “You’re afraid!” he muttered incredulously.
This was the primary emotion he sensed from her, overriding everything else. He had sensed many emotions from her before but terror, the kind he sensed now, had thus far been reserved exclusively for the Clan.
She said nothing, neither confirming nor refuting his statement. Jolted, he took a step back. “Of what?”
Tasia stared at him mutely, her hesitation palpable.
“Of me?” he asked, his voice hoarse.


Author Bio:
An avid reader all her life, only recently has Petra allowed her own imagination to run riot. She loves to travel, loves the outdoors and reads everything she can get her hands on, time permitting. Her taste in books is very eclectic – she tends to like stories with vivid and quirky characters that have elements of fantasy, adventure, romance and mystery interspersed together. A good book for her is one that makes the reader think long after it has been finished and set aside. And, one that draws the reader back to it, again and again.
To share the tales that have lived in her imagination for so long is a labor of love and a lifelong dream come true for her.


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Monday, May 14, 2018

Interview with Jane C Brady, CASCADING PETALS


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
My latest book, Cascading Petals, is a standalone. The novel offers a strong message of bullying, depression, and suicide in school-age children. The out-of-control bullying and suicides in my hometown along with my teenage daughter’s experience from the day she stepped into the school system inspired this book. I wrote Cascading Petals for her and other kids to encourage them and let them know they aren’t alone.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I used a graphic designer and told her briefly what I wanted. I find that with artists, masterpieces can come from not giving them limitations.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I briefly outlined my story and then went back and layered in things as ideas came to me.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I hired multiple editors to edit Cascading Petals. I hired a developmental editor first, followed by a line editor, a copy editor, and a proofreader. I also prefer different editors for each stage of editing.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I’ve learned a lot through my self-publishing journey. The most significant lesson I’ve learned is to make sure the editors you hire are who they say they are. I had a rough experience with the first line editor I hired for Cascading Petals. I would never publish a book without having it edited and for me finding the right team of editors has had its challenges.

The other important thing I’ve learned is that when it comes to reviews, not to let negative reviews cripple me. My work isn’t going to be for everyone. However, I do try to find something to glean from those negative reviews that I can improve on as a writer. Knowledge is power, and I love to learn.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
My novels are available on multiple platforms such as iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo.com and Kobo ca, Indigo, public libraries, and some others.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I find it very difficult to juggle time between marketing my books and writing the next. I write in a couple of genres and under different pen names. Balancing multiple websites, social media, and trying to write takes a lot of dedication. I’m a firm believer, though, that hard work always pays off.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
My advice to a new author would be never to edit your final manuscript yourself. Editors are vital in helping you present your best work to the world, and readers deserve the best you can offer. Writing takes a lot of dedication, time, and hard work. Don’t rush to publish until your work is something you are completely happy with. As a new author, you want to make a positive name for yourself from the start.

My final advice would be to learn from other authors’ mistakes and read as much about the writing craft as you can. If you have never taken a creative writing course, then I’d suggest that you do. In the end, you will be happy you did.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer: Dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
I prefer dogs, chocolate, coffee, text, and day.

What’s next for you?
Next up for me is an adult fantasy/romance series. I don’t like limits put on where I can take a story, so this is exciting for me.



Cascading Petals
Jane C. Brady
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Despite the years of bullying in school, Jewel Hart has remained sweet and kind. She has it all—a great life, a great family, and beauty—but she has never been able to obtain the one thing she wants—to belong.
When Jewel meets Kaiden Carter, a good-looking, charming new student at York Mills High, things start to look up. On the surface, he is perfect, but Jewel can’t shake the feeling that everything is not as it seems.
When the devastation of the rising suicides in her school hits too close to home and drives Jewel into a deep despair, she clings to Kaiden’s strength to find her way back. Through the pain and fear surrounding her, she finds hope and the will to go on. But just as she picks herself up, tragedy strikes again, threatening to steal her last glimmer of hope. How will she go on? Can she ever find her place in the world?


Author Bio:
Jane lives life to the full because she doesn’t want to wake up twenty years from now regretting all the things she didn’t do. She’s an avid traveler who also loves throwing elaborate dinner parties where she wows her guests with gourmet meals. Jane has a passion for writing, interior design, history, movies, board games, and fitness. In her quest for an exciting life, however, she now draws the line at zip-lining, which she experienced in Costa Rica. Never again!
Jane comes from a family of six sisters and lived in a Tennessee plantation house for several years while growing up. She now lives in Western Canada but dreams of owning a vacation home in South Carolina. She lives with her husband (her high school sweetheart), two teenagers, and two dogs. When she grows up, she’d like to be her brilliant sixteen-year-old daughter (minus the mood swings).


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#Excerpt: UNBREAKABLE BOND by Jess Bryant


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jess will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Sometimes fate gets it all wrong.

Zoey Kent has lived with that fact ever since she turned eighteen and learned that the man she loved could never be hers. He’s a born shifter, a wolf, and she’s a mere human. Fate doesn’t care if on paper they’re a perfect pair. She isn’t his fated mate and she’s resigned herself to the knowledge that someday, she’ll have to watch Michael mate with another. It’s never crossed her mind that there might be someone else out there for her, that she would be the one to mate another, to choose another over everything she’s ever known or wanted.

Sometimes fate gets it all right.

Rafe Hudson left his pack behind years ago. Physically and mentally scarred from an attack that left his parents and twin dead, he walked away from his responsibilities as Alpha. He never intended to return but lone wolf or not, he can’t leave Michael open to an attack he’s learned is coming for his only brother. What he didn’t know was that going home would mean scenting his mate, the one person in the world that could make him whole again, that could give him everything he thought he’d lost. His pack, his home and his family.

But fate always has a plan.

There’s no way Michael’s brother is her future, is there? Just like there’s no way that the girl his brother has loved since they were kids, was always meant to be his, right?

Only fate knows why they were brought together but there is one thing for sure, the sparks between Zoey and Rafe are undeniable. The bond between them is unbreakable. And together… they’ll change the face of the pack forever.
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01ANYTW2Y 

Excerpt:

Ignoring the bite of pain, he reached through the bars and wound a hand in her hair. He tilted her face up and pressed his lips to hers. The silver burned his cheek where he couldn’t avoid the bars of his cell but it didn’t matter. Nothing did. Not when he finally, finally had the taste of his mate on his lips.

Sweet, so sweet. Her taste seeped inside of him and started a riot in his bloodstream. Her lips were soft and sweet and when they met his, it felt like a piece of the puzzle he’d always been missing slid into place.

How had he lived without this? All this time? All these years? And his mate had been right here, waiting for him.

About the Author:

Jess Bryant is an avid indoorswoman. A city girl trapped in a country girl's life, her heart resides in Dallas but her soul and roots are in small town Oklahoma. She enjoys manicures, the color pink, and her completely impractical for country life stilettos. She believes that hair color is a legitimate form of therapy, as is reading and writing romance. She started writing as a little girl but her life changed forever when she stole a book from her aunt's Harlequin collection and she's been creating love stories with happily ever afters ever since.

Jess holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a lifetime supporter of her school and athletic teams. And why not? They have a ton of National Championships! She may be a girlie girl but she knows her sports stats and isn't afraid to tell you that your school isn't as cool as hers... or that your sports romance got it all wrong.

For more information on Jess and upcoming releases, contact her at JessBryantBooks@gmail.com or follow her on her many social media accounts for news and shenanigans.

http://www.jessbryantbooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/jessbryantbooks
http://www.instagram.com/jessbryantbooks
http://www.twitter.com/jess_bry




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Friday, May 11, 2018

#FREE Regency Romance, LOVE BY SECRETS by Debra Elizabeth

Book 1 in the Age of Innocence series is FREE May 11, 12, 13.  LOVE BY SECRETS is enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program so it’s another way to read the book for FREE.

Blurb:

Eighteen-year-old Emily Stanton is excited to attend this season's society balls and begin her search for a husband. She is thrilled when the dashing and handsome Connor Preston begins to show her more attention. After each ball, Emily finds a love note in her drawstring reticule, and she expects a marriage proposal from Connor any day.

When her father objects and forces Emily to accept the proposal from Lady Tisbury's shy nephew, Ethan Richardson instead, her heart is broken. How can she love her new husband when her heart belongs to the man who wrote her such beautiful love letters?

LOVE BY SECRETS is a novel. (~200 pages)


 
Reviewers Comments:

"As a fan of the incredible Jane Austen ... this novella was a real treat for me to read. The author does a wonderful job with descriptions, such as when she describes Emily's first ball as a kaleidoscope of colors as the couples dance the night away."

"Love by Secrets is a sweet, bite-size love story. ... I really liked the time period the book was set in. It reminded me of Pride & Prejudice in that regard." 

 "The story was captivating, truly well-written.....Overall, Love by Secrets was an enjoyable, quick read. The author did a good job in conveying all the right elements of a sweet historical romance and I look forward to continuing the series, as well as read her other works. I recommend giving this one a try.”


#Excerpt: LOVE ME ONLY by Susan James Pierce and Justice K Chambers


Love Me Only
Justice K Chambers & Susan James Pierce
(Love Me Only Duet, #1)
Publication date: May 7th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Bridesmaids meets Sleeping with the Enemy.
A haunting past. A specific set of rules. One man determined to break them.
Chase Anniston has a haunting past full of drug abuse and heartbreak, and now as a recovered heroin addict, she’s focused on keeping her life and career on track. The way she does it? She’s formed a set of rules to keep her safe from the two things she deems trouble – men and drugs:
Never give into your cravings.
Never fall in love.
Never date your boss’ clients.
And these rules have kept her out of trouble for years… until Jared came along.
Jared Bryan is a country music star who used to be more notorious for partying and womanizing than his music, and he’s now a client at the PR firm where Chase works. A chance run-in with her at a bachelorette getaway in Vegas leaves him both intrigued and perplexed. Chase is like no other woman he’s met before. She’s beautiful. She’s feisty. And she’s not easily impressed. Chase might be everything he’s ever wanted, but he’s also the last thing she needs. He’s hell bent on winning her over anyway.
Love Me Only is Book One of the Love Me Only Duet, a Romantic Suspense series. Intended for readers 18 and over.
This book may contain substance and domestic abuse triggers for some.

Are you a book reviewer?
Request a review copy here!
EXCERPT:
You know the moment you can feel someone standing behind you? Like you can sense their energy? Multiply that by about a thousand, and that’s what this feels like.
I turn to see who’s in my personal space, expecting it to be some drunk idiot, but it’s not.
Holy crap.
It’s a guy who looks exactly like Jared Bryan… the playboy country singer Stella represents – fair skin, eyes so blue they can’t be real. I’ve never met him in person; he’s never come to the Atlanta office. But I’ve seen numerous pictures, and this guy’s dark hair is a little longer than Jared’s. And he seems… taller than I imagined Jared to be. Leaner. Not skinny, but lean in a cut way. In a really tasty way.
He could quite possibly be a hotter version of the singer himself. And apparently he knows it.
He smirks at me as I study him.
I shake my head. Get it together.
“Jared Bryan,” he says, extending his hand for a shake.
I laugh. “Right.” What a douchebag. Going around pretending to be him.
He cocks his gorgeous head. Gives me a ‘you don’t believe me?’ look.
“Okay, Jared,” I say, mocking him, and then shoo him away with my free hand. “Go use this one-man sideshow on someone else.” I’m not buying it. Last I heard, the real Jared was in Nashville working on his latest album. “Like a girl who’s drunk and incredibly desperate.”
He just stands there, still smirking. Like he’s waiting on me to cave.
When I turn back to the railing and scan over the crowd for my friends, I hope he’ll get the hint. But of course he doesn’t.
I take a long sip of my cranberry juice, wishing it had a shot of something strong in it, and suck in a piece of ice.
He moves to stand beside me, abs pressed against the railing. “Full house, huh?” he says.
I ignore him, crunching on the ice.
“Oh my God, look…” a girl says below. “It’s Jared Bryan!” He waves.
She whips out her phone and takes pictures.
I turn my head away, shielding my face with my hand as much as I can. I don’t want to be seen next to Fake Jared on social media.
Girls flood over to the bouncer to try and get up the stairs.
I’m too amused at this point to be irritated. I can’t help but smile smugly at him. “You’re eating this up, aren’t you?” He studies me, almost a little too intensely, his smile widening. God, he’s got a killer smile, and I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t make my lady parts melt. He’s good, I’ll give him that. He’s even wearing Jared’s signature leather jacket.
“I’m not sure how to answer,” he finally says.
“Oh, cut the crap,” I chuckle. “You’re a Jared impersonator looking to get laid.”
He shrugs, looks back over the crowd. “Maybe, maybe not,” he teases.
“Is it safe to look now?” I ask.
“Yeah, she’s stumbled off to the bar. You’re good.”
When I face the crowd again, he says, “Not a drinker?” I look into my cranberry juice, back to him. “Nope. I prefer to be the sober one. It’s more entertaining.”
As if to prove my point, a guy below attempts to break dance and ends up smacking his head on the floor and passing out. “Like so,” I say, gesturing toward the break-dancer wannabe.
Jared leans against the rail with a small laugh. “Where’s your drink?” I ask. “The real Jared Bryan is a partier, you know.”
He gives me an odd look.
“But you have the playboy part down.”
“Playboy?” he repeats.
“Yeah.” I motion to myself. “Like how you’re trying to pick me up at the moment.”
“You think I’m hitting on you, huh? Maybe I’m just being nice to the lonely sober girl.”
I bark a laugh, but part of me scrambles to think back over this short encounter to see if I misread things.
No. That’s what guys like him are so good at – I’m playing hard to get. Or as far as he knows, I don’t want him to get me at all. And he’s playing it off like I might be conceited to save him from feeling rejected. “I’m sober but I’m not lonely. I’m here with my girlfriends.”
“And where are they?” he asks, almost taunts. Like I’m making them up to not seem like a loser. Irritation swells inside, and I scan the dancefloor for them. I’ve only known this guy five minutes and I’m not sure if I want to push him over the railing or take him up on a one night stand. Fake Jared would obviously be game.
Truth be known, I’ve thought of Jared several times over the years when I slept with other guys. This might be as close as I’ll ever get to the real thing. At the very least, though, he distracted me from my heroin craving.
“There,” I say, pointing at them a little too eagerly. Why do I feel like I have something to prove to this guy? The three of them are dancing in a circle while holding their drinks, and apparently, Shea had a wardrobe makeover in the bathroom. She unbuttoned her blouse enough to show some cleavage and has tucked the bottom of it up under her bra. A Hildie creation, I have no doubt. But I can’t deny it looks better than before. Who knew Shea had a killer body?
“The blonde, the redhead, and the strawberry blonde?”
“Yep.”
“Why aren’t you down there with them, then?” I sip my cranberry juice. “Not really my scene.” I say it sharply, hoping he’ll feel the sting of it. This is obviously his scene as well.
“Let me guess,” he says, straightening and rubbing his stubbled jawline. His eyes roam over the tattoos on my arm. Over my little black dress and messy bun. I subtly bend my arms more so he won’t see the injection scars. “Art galleries and poetry readings?” I shake my head, though the poetry part is pretty accurate. Not that I would tell him.
I smile pointedly and throw his previous answer back in his face, “Maybe, maybe not.
” He tosses his head back in laughter, and when he looks back at me, there’s a flash of something in his eyes – familiarity. Respect. Intrigue. I’m throwing his game right back at him and he’s not used to it. And though I can see he likes it, I can also tell he’s not sure if he can crack me. He’s like every other egotistical man – how much should he try with me before he gets too far into rejection territory? Am I worth the risk?

Author Bio:
Multiple Award Nominated and Bestselling Author Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare time to writing Paranormal, Sci-fi, and Romantic Suspense novels.
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
Justice K. Chambers is from the suburbs of Atlanta, GA and is a stay at home mother of two. Her passions include reading and writing poetry, and taking care of her farm animals.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

#Excerpt: IN THE DARKNESS by KM Scott and Anina Collins


In The Darkness: A Project Artemis Novel
Anina Collins & K.M. Scott
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Persephone Gilmore comes from a life of privilege. The oldest daughter of media mogul Marshall Gilmore, she grew up wanting for nothing. But her father taught her more than just how to make billions, and even though she could sit by the pool and eat bon bons every day for the rest of her life, she chooses to work as an ER nurse and live on her own away from the family estate and her father’s security.
Then one night, those choices come back to haunt her.
Nick Hanson hasn’t been truly happy since he left the FBI. Life as a hired gun for wealthy clients has paid well and made him very much in demand, but it isn’t the same as the life he used to have. When Marshall Gilmore wants to hire him to rescue his daughter after she’s taken hostage by a terrorist group, he agrees, but to save her, he’ll have to go undercover and become one of them. It’s dangerous work, but he knows what to expect and he’s never been one to turn down a challenge.
What starts out as just another case turns into something much more, and Nick finds out just how much he’s willing to do to save Persephone.


Author Bio:
K.M. Scott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy contemporary and paranormal romance. When she's not writing, you can find her reading a book, watching TV or movies, or cooking for family and friends.

Anina Collins has always loved a good mystery. As a child, her favorite books were Nancy Drew books passed down from her grandmother, and as she grew up, she moved on to Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and their famous detectives. She currently lives in North Carolina and writes her Poppy McGuire Mystery series.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

#Excerpt: A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRE AND FURY by Julie Reichwein


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Julie will be awarding a $75 Amazon GC, and another Amazon GC for $50, to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Detective Michelle Velasquez kicks ass with the Santa Fe Police Department, and she’ll need all her moxie May, 2013 as she’s assigned two cases which may be related. She’s assigned a vicious rape case of Maria Acevedo, an intern with the Jones Financial Group, as she gets a call from an old friend, Richard Stanberry III. He’s intent on re-connecting, but she’s suspicious of his motives for good reason.

As she digs into Maria Acevedo’s rape case, she’s assigned a thirty year old murder case of her former friend, Susie Murphy, who happened to be Richard Stanberry III’s girlfriend at the time of her murder. If Detective Velasquez wants to solve both cases, she’s going to have to put her life on the line to uncover some dark secrets that some prefer to stay buried.

Excerpt:

“Has he given you problems before?”

“I’m new.”

“Are you afraid to tell me who he is?” She nodded in the affirmative.

“I wasn’t a person to him. Just a body to poke his dick into for my humiliation.”

“If you tell me who he is, I can arrest him, and you’ll never have to worry about him again.”

Tears started down her cheeks. “Can you tell me why you are so scared of him?”

She said, “Because he threatened me.”

“But you called the Police?”

“No. The cleaning crew came in, after closing hours, and found me. I begged them not to call you, but they did.”

“I’m glad they did.”

“Please don’t make me tell you who he was. He’ll destroy me.”

I said, “You know most rapists threaten their victims to keep them quiet, but they seldom follow through.” As I said it, I didn’t believe a word of it because to confront your attacker would not be easy. I’d shoot the bastard where it counted, if I ever got raped before I’d get dragged through the system. She continued to shake her head from side to side, so I said, “Why don’t we do this. I’ll take you to St. Francis Hospital, and we’ll process the evidence. You don’t need to make a decision, at the moment, on disclosing his identity. If in the future you change your mind, we have the evidence.”

“I don’t think there will be evidence because he used protection.”

“We need photographic evidence of your injuries plus he may have left a hair or two behind.” She shook her head faster, so I said, “It’s just a few photos. Nothing too obtrusive,” but they were anything but. If she named her rapist, her life would no longer be private. But without evidence, I had no chance of an arrest. “Let me take you to the hospital. I’ll call a rape counselor for you to talk to. It’s confidential between you and her.” She nodded. I’d get the son of a bitch because he wasn’t going to get away with destroying Maria Acevedo’s life. #Timesup

I rode with her in the ambulance, to St. Francis Hospital, where I stayed with her through the abysmal experience. They loaded her onto a gurney. They cut her clothes off and replaced them with a gown. Wrapped in a blanket to keep her warm, they shuffled her from room to room.

Once they reached the examination room, they had her stand. They removed the blanket and gown as the nurse held a ruler to the different abrasions while they photographed them. They swabbed her vagina and anus and gave her various shots and pills. After the shots were administered, they aimed a Canon between her legs. Once they had sufficient pictures, they inserted long beaks inside her and smeared her vagina with blue paint to check for abrasions. When they finished, they let her shower.

Her rapist wasn’t a novice, so I would check the database for any similar reported attacks. Otto and I went home after her rape counselor showed up. I’d get the son of a bitch because the arrogant prick thought he was entitled to take what he wanted, but he didn’t know that I would get the final say. I would be Maria Acevedo’s avenger. Scumbags like her rapist understood one thing, you had to punch back.

About the Author:

I'm a debut author who has long had an interest in crime thrillers and an interest in criminal psychology, specifically, sexual assault. I was stalked two times in my 20's and had to relocate both times as I barely escaped rape both times. I used those experiences in creating one of my fictional characters in the book.

I'm an avid outdoor enthusiast and a lover of animals. I own 5 dogs and have horses, too. They're my babies.

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/CRIMEBOOKGIRL1
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/julie.reichwein
WEBSITE: http://www.juliereichwein.info

Buy the book at Amazon: http://amazon.com/dp/B07BC7CYMQ

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Monday, May 7, 2018

#Excerpt: ACCORDING TO AUDREY by Happy LaShelle


According to Audrey
Happy LaShelle
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 30th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Cautious and introverted, seventeen-year-old Dove spends most of her free time pursuing her one true passion: painting.
The twinkling lights of Balboa Island, the ferryboat to the peninsula, the fire pits on Big Corona Beach…these have long been the subjects of her canvases as she daydreams about finding an Audrey Hepburn-film kind of romance.
A hotshot jock is exactly not the type of guy she’s been looking for—but when Leo Donovan drops his cool act to show his vulnerable side, Dove begins to question everything. But first she’ll have to navigate her way through claim-staking mean girls and disapproving parents—and still keep her focus on attending the art school of her dreams.
Being in love turns out to be more complex than the average silver-screen classic. Can Dove follow her heart (and Audrey’s cues) to create her own perfect Hollywood ending?


EXCERPT:
Leo gently took the bag from my nose and wrapped the ice in the washcloth. “This will be more comfortable,” he said, eyeing my nose like an expert. “It doesn’t look swollen at all, that’s good.” He put the ice into my hand and helped guide it back to my face.
It was not possible to feel any more un-pretty than at this moment. Pain and embarrassment had now mingled into one big uncomfortable feeling. But another feeling was creeping up. I stole another glance at him. He looked like a Hollywood film star from the 1950s—chiseled, with a squinty stare.
I summoned the nerve to look into his eyes and finally spoke. “Thanks, I think I’m okay.” My attraction clashed with my desire to hide. Suddenly I wanted him to go away and stay all at the same time.
His brown eyes locked onto mine, and his mouth turned up at the corners. Was he enjoying my embarrassment? I had no choice but to laugh. “What?” I asked, pulling the ice away from my face.
He grinned and sat down next to me. “Dove, you need to keep the ice on it,” he said, placing it back onto my nose.
The gentle way he said my name made my heart race faster and I searched his face, drinking in its sincerity: his deep gaze—somehow it made me feel safe, and his lips seemed to be just waiting to… kiss me.
All at once, my enamored thoughts screeched to an abrupt stop.
No way.
My stomach twisted into a painful knot. How could I have fallen for the sensitive, caring act? Was I really lame enough to get all dreamy-eyed over a few sweet words and a pack of ice? There was no way I was going to end up as one of his conquests. With the ice still held to my nose, I stood with as much dignity as possible.
“Thanks, I’m fine now.” I lowered the ice and looked straight into his dark, concern-filled eyes, shooting him a glare. “I have to go.”


Author Bio:
Happy LaShelle is a writer, mom of three, and wife to a Basque baker who brings home loaves of crusty sourdough everyday. She lives near the mission bells in sunny Santa Barbara, but loves the cold, rainy banks of London's Thames River just as much as the sandy shores of her Newport Beach hometown. She studied History at UCLA and enjoys taking pictures of old stuff. Because everything has a story.


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Friday, May 4, 2018

Interview with Leslie North, TEMPTING THE RANCHER

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Tempting the Rancher is the first book in my Meier Ranch Brothers series. Each book in this series is about a different Meier brother. The Meier family are fourth-generation cattle ranchers in central Texas. They live near a town called Close Call, which is a quirky Texan town! It’s my own twist on a classic love story, between two childhood sweet-hearts.

Do you have a favorite character?
In Tempting the Rancher, my favorite side-character has to be Moo Donna! My favorite character in this book is January Rose – I love her free spirit and strength.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I have a fantastic ARC team. A wonderful group of readers who are willing to read my books before I publish them. They are great at sending me constructive feedback and they are an invaluable part of my writing process. They are priceless, I don’t know what I’d do without them!

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I do try to construct an outline for each story. I want each of my books to give the readers a positive message and exciting experience! Back before I was a professional writer, when I didn’t use an outline, then my story, characters and the direction of the book tended to become convoluted.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Yes, I do. She is phenomenal and I don’t know what I would do without her!

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Absolutely! I’m still learning, but my publisher, Relay Publishing, is fantastic at removing a lot of the publishing worries.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Find a good publisher! A great publisher will give you creative freedom, but also assist you in finding your voice. Don’t settle, write what you love, and what you’d like to read!
I’m really relieved I don’t have to do all the technical bits of publishing, like uploading books on Amazon, so I can focus on talking with my readers. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads and Bookbub -  those all take up a lot of time!

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
My other passions are my partner, the love of my life; my two dogs, who are basically my babies; Italian food; Spanish wine; walking in the rain; relaxing on the beach and of course reading in a warm bubble bath!

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
I adore both dogs and cats, but prefer to live with dogs.
Chocolate over vanilla, no one wants to eat a bar of vanilla… but it we are talking about men... then chocolate, vanilla and every other flavor!
I adore tea - especially English Breakfast with the perfect dash of milk.
Talk! I write during the day, then in the evenings I want to catch up with my friends and family. I love to pick up the phone and hear their voices!
I love sunsets, and staying up all night to read, so I would have to choose Night!

What’s next for you?
I’m working on a new series called the Royals of Danovar. It will be out May 24th!


Tempting the Rancher
Leslie North
(Meier Ranch Brothers, #1)
Publication date: April 26th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Texas rancher Nathaniel Meier always puts his responsibilities first. With his father dead, his brothers away, and his mother off “finding herself,” it’s Nat who runs their sprawling ranch. But with cattle to sell and the bank breathing down his neck, he needs all the help he can get, even when that help comes from the last person he ever expected to see again—his childhood sweetheart January Rose.
Free-spirited January always dreamed of traveling the world. The moment she turned eighteen, she left Close Call, Texas behind and barely looked back. So now that she’s home, she intends to stay only long enough to earn some cash and get back on the road. But when she comes face to face with Nat Meier, she quickly realizes the boy she left behind is now all man.
Even for a nomad like January, wanderlust sometimes gets lonely, and Nat is the one person who’s called to her, even after a decade apart. But for a man ruled by responsibility and a woman whose suitcase is her home, the future is uncertain. And the closer they get, the more Nat worries he’s going to get burned…again.

Author Bio:
Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.
The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.
Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

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