Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book Blitz: Flesh and Blood by Cynthia Rayne PLUS #Giveaway


Flesh and Blood
Cynthia Rayne

(Dixie Mafia Series, #1)
Publication date: August 29th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sometimes it takes a bad guy to catch a killer…
Belle Nunn is a desperate woman. Someone’s following her, watching her—to make even matters worse, she was fired six months ago and hasn’t been able to get a job since. Belle’s down to her last ten bucks has no idea how she’ll make the rent when she’s abducted by Dixon Wolf’s henchman. Belle’s estranged father, Emmett, borrowed money from the Dixie Mafia for his latest get rich quick scheme and—big surprise—Emmett skipped town, leaving her holding the proverbial bag.
Dix is a loan shark and launders dirty Dixie Mafia money. Since his wife died, he’s devoted all his time and energy to the organization—and being bad pays damn good. Belle hasn’t seen Emmett in years and she’d like to keep it that way.
The mob boss is taken with her and offers Belle a job, her empty wallet won’t allow her to refuse—mob mistress. When Belle’s life is in danger, Dix steps into the unlikely role of hero.
Can Dix save her? And can they have a real relationship, one that isn’t based on sex and commerce?

Book Trailer:

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Author Bio:
Cynthia Rayne is a USA Today bestselling author and co author of the Amazon bestselling Four Horsemen MC series. Cynthia Rayne's first erotic book was written when she was thirteen. Of course, the most risqué scene involved kissing, but it was the talk of her middle school! In her spare time, she enjoys dating, shopping, reading way too many romance novels, and drinking a truly obscene amount of coffee.


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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Blitz: Afterlife by Sandy Goldsworthy PLUS #Giveaway


Afterlife
Sandy Goldsworthy

(The Afterworld Saga #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 29th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

AFTERLIFE is the highly anticipated sequel to AFTERMATH by Sandy Goldsworthy. This exciting Young Adult mystery romance is a must-read.
Everything seems perfect for Emma Bennett—she has a new set of friends she adores and a boyfriend she is crazy about. But when Emma sees a picture of her hunky boyfriend kissing another girl, she begins to question if his love for her is real. As she searches for the truth, will Emma be exposed to the dangers of another world?
Ben Parker enjoys the role of high school student and boyfriend to the love of his existence. Juggling his social life with his job in the Afterworld’s Bureau of Investigation is supposed to be easy for the decorated undercover agent. But when some kid captures a photo of him in a precarious position, he’s faced with lying to his girlfriend or erasing her memory. Instead, Ben makes the worst decision of his career. Now, forced to face the consequences, he loses the only thing that matters to him—Emma.
When seemingly insurmountable obstacles separate the lovers, will the two soul mates be able find their way back to each other?

Grab book 1- Aftermath – for FREE:

22524302

EXCERPT:

Kaleidoscope
“Do you remember Emma?” Lucas asked.
“As a matter of fact, I do. It’s a pleasure to see you again.” Abe held my hand. I remembered meeting him at Ray’s auto body shop, although I could have sworn he looked different. Shorter hair, maybe?
“Nice to see you,” I answered, returning his welcoming smile.
“Lucas, did you ever meet my brother, Henrik?” Abe asked.
“Call me Henry,” he said. He shook hands with Lucas first, then reached for my hand and kissed it gently. “Very lovely to meet you, Miss Emma.” He had a hint of an accent. Even though they both looked like they were mid-twenties, Henry acted much older.
I blushed. That kind of attention might be common wherever he came from, but not here in Westport.
“You’re adorable. I didn’t mean to embarrass you, darlin’.”
Drew returned with a tray full of shots before I had time to answer Henry. After introductions, Lucas gave a toast and everyone drank back the whiskey. I didn’t want one, but I drank it anyway. Actually, I choked on it. I didn’t think any of the guys noticed until Henry put his hand on the small of my back and asked if I was okay.
“Yes. Thank you.”
When I looked up at him, I realized he had a beautiful set of ice-gray eyes. The colors were piercing. Shades of white intermixed with hints of silver and turquoise. The longer I stared, the more the hues changed. Blues faded and whites darkened. Chills ran up my arms, but I couldn’t look away. I strained to keep my eyes open despite how heavy my eyelids felt.
A tingling swept over me until I was completely relaxed.
Like a kaleidoscope, Henry’s eye colors swirled. His pupils dilated.
I closed my eyes and saw a young woman with long, brown hair running through tall grass on a sunny afternoon. I felt the warmth on my skin, tilting my head back to catch the rays. I was tired.
Was I floating?
“Emma, can I get you something to drink?” Abe asked. His hand was on my arm. Stunned, I stared up at him. Did I just fall asleep?
I shook my head quickly. “I’m okay,” I mumbled. My eyes were dry and sore, and the strange sensation, the warm, comforting feeling I had, was gone.
Did I just imagine that?

FallenSnowTeaser


Author Bio:
Sandy Goldsworthy was raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, blocks from the rocky shores of Lake Michigan. As a child, she fantasized about becoming an author. She jotted story lines in spiral notebooks and drew images of characters that never came to life. Her passion for putting pen to paper began when her high school English teacher inspired her to be more descriptive in her work. Ever since, Sandy dabbled in creative writing, searching for that perfect shade of red and that character you want to get to know.
A graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Sandy is the YA author of the paranormal romance series, The Afterworld Saga. She spends her days managing corporate client programs, and her nights and weekends drafting new plot lines in spiral notebooks. She resides in southeastern Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and an energetic puppy. Learn more at www.sandygoldsworthy.com.


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Monday, August 29, 2016

Guest Post by Pat Esden, author of Beyond Your Touch plus #Giveaway

Finding Inspiration by Pat Esden

Hi, my name is Pat Esden. I’m the author of the Dark Heart series from Kensington Books. HOLD ON ME, book one in the series, is currently available. Book two, BEYOND YOUR TOUCH, is going to be released on August 30th

It’s hard to talk about the inspiration for BEYOND YOUR TOUCH without giving away at least one of the secrets at the heart of the first book, A HOLD ON ME.  So take that as a warning—there are book 1 spoilers ahead. :)

By the end of A HOLD ON ME (Dark Heart series book 1), the main character, Annie, has discovered that the mother she’d assumed was dead was in truth kidnapped and taken to the djinn realm. Annie’s aunt and uncle had previous attempted to rescue her mother, but had failed when the genie Malphic used magic to seal the veil between the human and djinn realms.

Part of what inspired BEYOND YOUR TOUCH was my hunt for the perfect way for Annie and her family to be able to safely pass through the veil on their way into and when escaping from the djinn realm. While I was brainstorming ideas, I came across this YouTube of a man playing the Divje babe.  


Not only do flutes have a reputation for being used in magic, but the sound produced by this bone flute was totally otherworldly.  I became even more convinced that this idea was solid when I discovered various bone flutes have been used across the globe, a detail that is vital to the series’ mythology. From there, I began to think about how flute-magic would work. What sort of person would use it? How it would affect the plot and characters?

There are several other secrets from book 1 that inspired plot threads in BEYOND YOUR TOUCH, but I’m not going to give away any more of the story. However, I will say that my desire to not let Annie and Chase have an easy time falling in love was a large part of my inspiration.


Beyond Your Touch
Pat Esden

(The Dark Heart #2)
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: August 30th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

She wants more than he can promise.
His desires could lead to betrayal.
But without each other, neither can survive the dangers ahead.

Annie Freemont knows this isn’t the right time to get involved with a man like Chase. After years of distrust, she’s finally drawing close to her estranged family, and he’s an employee on their estate in Maine. Though she never intended to stay on the estate for long, her father’s illness and the mysteries surrounding her family made leaving impossible. And now with the newfound hope of rescuing her long-missing mother, Annie’s determined to be involved with the family’s plans one way or another.
If only she could keep her mind off Chase and focus on the impending rescue. But there’s something about the enigmatic Chase that she can’t resist. And she’s not the only woman. Annie fears a seductive stranger who is key to safely freeing her mother is also obsessed with him. As plans transform into action and time for a treacherous journey into a strange world draws near, every move Annie makes will test the one bond she’s trusted with her secrets, her desires—and her heart.
Sequel to:

25810168


Author Bio:
PAT ESDEN would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.



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Friday, August 26, 2016

Cover Reveal: Illusion of Ecstasy by Nicole Loufas


Illusion of Ecstasy
Nicole Loufas

(2nd Dose in the Thizz Series)
Publication date: October 21st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

When Dani discovered the cash hidden in her attic, she had no idea the problems it would bring. With the help of the Marino’s, Dani is able to launder her father’s dirty money, but their help comes with a price. Her relationship with Matt.
Not wanting to hurt Dani’s future or freedom, Matt removes himself from the equation until it’s safe to return. When it’s time to go home, Matt can’t leave his family. Will being with his dying sister cost him the love of his life?
Nick is determined to make good on all the bad he’s caused. Helping Dani launder her father’ money. Making sure Matt is taken care of. Finally, accepting his role as a Marino. Fate doesn’t make it easy for him. Especially, when he returns from Europe to find Dani is falling apart on her own. With Matt out of the picture, Nick contemplates a future with the only girl he’s ever loved.
In the conclusion to Thizz, A Love Story, follow Dani, Matt, and Nick on a soul-searching journey into adulthood. The Illusion of Ecstasy explores the emotional tribulations they encounter without the help of thizz. How to deal with real emotion becomes the biggest obstacle of all on their road to maturity.


Author Bio:
Nicole was born and raised in California. She claims to be a San Francisco native, however she’s lived in both Northern and Southern California. She credits her creativity to the fact that she attended 12 schools between kindergarten and her senior year in high school. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to reinvent herself often. Some might say she was a liar. While others see the stories she told as a coping mechanism. Twelve schools, in six cities, in twelve years – give her a break. Today she channels her storytelling ability into writing novels. Long story short – kids that lie become writers.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Blitz: Dream Junkies by Anne-Marie Yerks PLUS #Giveaway


Dream Junkies
Anne-Marie Yerks

Publication date: August 8th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Actresses in a Chicago comedy troupe, Daphne Corbett and Kristin Brewer share a stage as Jean and Jeanette, a pair of dim-witted legal secretaries upstaging the show’s headliners. When their performance attracts an ambitious entertainment agent from Manhattan, the girls move to New York with hopes of stardom and success. But the search for apartments and showbiz jobs takes them in different directions.
The shared journey leads them to understand that dreams are worth only as much as the struggle to achieve them and that the hardest part to play is yourself.

EXCERPT:

The Last Night
The Saturday before she left for New York, Daphne Corbett wrote her ex-boyfriend’s address on a Post-it note and boarded the Pink Line train to West Pilsen. From the CTA station, she walked down 18th Street to find the house where Alec was living with his new band, Saturn Box.
It was a sunny morning in late July and most of the shops hadn’t yet opened. At a corner liquor store, a group of men and a big dog were gathered around a cement stoop. A taxi cab pulled up and the driver tried to wave her over, but she shook her head and kept on going.
“Hey Miss,” one of the men called, blowing smoke from one side of his mouth, “can I ask you a question?”
Daphne ignored him and held her purse a little closer. This was the kind of neighborhood Alec liked because the big houses could be rented for cheap. Everyone could have a bedroom with plenty of the house left over for practice space and a common living area. Alex wasn’t onto mind the shabby people on the streets or the long trek downtown. He’d told her that he wasn’t home much anyway because his band was taking off.
She referred to the Post-it to locate the side street and turned. The house was halfway down the block, easy to find because of the spray-painted Saturn symbol on the side. Alec’s green Volvo station wagon was parked at the curb, loaded up with speakers and amps. Daphne remembered all the work they’d gone through finding the equipment at consignment shops and thrift stores. They’d had fun doing that.
A girl answered the door, a very thin girl with dishwater blonde hair and pierced eyebrows, wearing a greyish t-shirt. It had to be Lorene, the back-up singer. Alec had mentioned something about her the last time they’d talked.
“Is Alec here?” The girl assessed Daphne’s flowered skirt and white sandals with watery blue eyes.
“I think so.” Lorene stood aside and motioned toward the staircase. In one of the upstairs rooms, Daphne found Alec and his guitar in an upstairs room, stretched out on a ratty orange couch, writing in the composition book spread in his lap. It was the same composition book he’d used for song lyrics ever since she’d met him. His handwriting was so small it would take him a month to fill a page, so small that he probably could use that one notebook the rest of his life. Alec’s soul was in that book, she knew. It was in there even more than in his music.
“What brings you out here?” He sat up to make space on the couch, and she sat down. The curtains hanging in the window behind them were a pair that Daphne had brought when they used to live together in Wicker Park. In those days, they had struggled to survive on their tiny paychecks and a good yard sale find was gold.
She took a breath. “I’m moving to New York. On Monday.” Alec lit a cigarette and took a drag, eyes focused across the room at some equipment arranged in a semi-circle: a sheet music stand, a sax, and a keyboard. He smoothed his bangs. “What for?” Daphne told him about the agent who’d come to the comedy club and the audition for the sitcom. She gave all the details, the things that had happened over the past six months, more than what was necessary because she knew he would listen, that he still cared in a way that other people didn’t.
“So, you think this agent is for real?”
This was what everyone wanted to know. Her mother had asked the same question. Are you sure this is the real thing, Daphne? I mean, it’s a big deal to pack up your whole life and move away . . .
“Pavia is definitely for real.” “Did you sign a contract?” “Sort of,” she told him. “Just for representation. Kristin has a role on the show, but I don’t.
Not yet. I’m going to do some modeling until they call me in.” “What’s this sitcom called?” Alec took another puff and then crushed the cigarette into the ashtray. “Streethearts. It’s about Chicago even though it’s filmed in New York. The idea is that the people who work in the little shops on the street get to know each other and fall in love and have affairs and misunderstandings. Typical kind of thing.” She didn’t tell him how much she had wanted to be on the show and how disappointed she was with the second-string position. But he probably knew.
“What about your sculpture? I thought you were going to set up a workshop someday.”
When she first began college, she had pictured herself alone in an art studio, digging her hands in the clay and wood-firing her work in an open field. But even after five years of classes and a senior show, she’d yet to sell a single piece. The fact there were galleries everywhere— even little ones that would take a chance on someone new—was another reason she was going to New York. She couldn’t take all the sculptures with her—there wasn’t enough space—but she had a nice set of slides that her new step-father and her mother had financed as a graduation gift.
“I’m not giving up on the idea, but I don’t know where it can go. The art world is so artificial. The money goes to the wrong place.” She was fighting the tired trend, the urban refuge type thing done a million times over that everyone couldn’t seem to get enough of: Virgin Mary statuettes glued onto banged up car doors, iron fencing worked into sex positions, bottles filled with plastic fruit floating in tea.
“You think acting isn’t artificial?” he asked. “Just take a look at the posters downtown, Daph. It’s the most artificial world there is. It will suck everything pure out of you and spit it back out in plastic.”
“Rock and roll is artificial, too,” she pointed out. “Those guitars you smash onstage are from the Salvation Army.”
“Come on, get real. You don’t even have a job in New York. Sorry to tell you this, but dreams aren’t edible. And they don’t pay bills. At least you have a job here, something a lot of people would like to do. And it makes people laugh. Why give it up for nothing?”
She didn’t tell that she had already given it up. She and Kristin had quit Side Stitches the week before. Downstairs, a dog began to bark. Then another dog. Then another.
“Lorene has three mutts,” Alec said. He stood up and tucked the cigarette pack into the pocket of his flannel shirt. “She feeds them on the top of the kitchen table. Supposedly it’s demoralizing for them to eat from bowls on the floor. If I don’t get down there, she’ll give them my leftover meatloaf.”
They walked downstairs and stopped at the doorway. The sun was dancing over the tops of the cars in the streets. The flowers in the beds were pale and tired, burning into August.
“Send me a postcard,” he said. “From Manhattan?” she asked. “I don’t know. From anywhere. Surprise me. I’ll send you one too.” When they said goodbye at the front door, she caught a look in his eye, one that had never been directed at her before. Envy. But that was normal, she thought, walking north to the bus stop. Most people would be a little envious of someone whose career is about to take off. She tossed the Post-it note into the trash at the Metra stop. As the train pulled away, she could somehow still see the note through the grate—a bright little square of neon orange that seemed to be saying Stop.
At home on Sunday, Daphne listed the things left to do. Most of the furniture would stay where it was. The new tenant, an incoming grad student at DePaul, had bought the couch, chairs, and dining set for a few hundred bucks. Her mattress would go to the curb. The floors needed a good sweep and the baseboards should be washed. The refrigerator was frightening. And she should find the smoke detector and hang it up in the hallway again. She’d removed it months ago because it kept going off when she dried her hair.
Everything was packed into boxes except for her sculptures. In the morning, she would cover them with plastic and use the blankets in the rental van as cushioning. For now they lined the wall in front of a window, their angled shadows stretched across the wood floor. This would be their final hours in the light for quite a while, Daphne thought, running a hand over her favorite—a piece she called “Panda.” It was her simplest work— a tall smooth cylinder with a fist print in the middle—and most recent (she had brought it home the week before). The only exhibition it’d get would be in the living room unless she could find a way to include it in the things she took to New York. She wondered if Kristin would be a picky roommate, or if she would be too busy to care.
The mail had brought a birthday card from her mother with a check tucked inside.
Sorry I can’t be with you! The honeymoon is wonderful! Be careful. Love, Mom.
The envelope was postmarked and stamped from Jamaica with her mother’s new name in the upper left-hand corner: Elizabeth Peepers. She’d just married a man named Al Peepers on a cruise ship.
Daphne folded the check into her wallet. After tonight, when she unloaded the kilns for the last time, she would be unemployed. Money would be tight for a while, she knew. Apartments in New York were beyond expensive. The first time she’d skimmed the classifieds in The Village Voice she thought it would be impossible to pay such prices. Pavia was the one who suggested that she and Kristin share for a while. That way all expenses were cut in half. Daphne was all for the idea, but she sensed that Kristin wasn’t completely sold. Then again, she hadn’t said “no” to it either.
Daphne called Kristen to make sure everything was set. “I’m not even close to ready,” Kristin said. “Are you?” “I’m packed, but I’ve got to get rid of some dirt and grime if I want my rent deposit back.”
Daphne considered the filth on the baseboards as Kristin went on.
“How much room will we have? I don’t think I can fit all my stuff into a car. Should we rent a van or something?”
“I thought you were getting us a van.” “I thought you were getting it.”
It was typical Kristin to forget something important like this, to assume that it would all fall into place without any effort on her part. Probably everything in her life had gone that way, Daphne thought. She had been spoiled by good looks, the perfect complexion, and long blonde waves—angelic features that contrasted with her on-the-brink sexuality. Everywhere she went people looked at her. Her boyfriends were the gullible, earnest types who fell into an obsessive love that drove them to seek her out twenty-four seven. Sometimes they appeared backstage after the show, eyes overloaded with longing and a kind of resignation beneath the yearning. They all knew that Kristin Brewer would cast them out with time, that they were mice in the claws of a cat who would play until the plaything became boring, then hunt for a new one. Maybe they didn’t, but they should have.
Daphne found a number for U-Haul.
Yes, Kristin could drive men crazy. She was much better at collecting suitors than she was at being an actress. Daphne was the one who had carried their show technically. Her minor at DePaul had been theatre arts and she considered herself professionally trained.
When she had auditioned for Side Stitches, a comedy troupe that performed in a popular downtown club, she’d beat out dozens of other girls for a spot. Kristin, who had come out of nowhere, was given the other role. Together, they created a blonde and brunette duo called Jane and Janette, the silly secretaries whose incompetence with calendar software was the chagrin of their stuffy executive bosses. It was one of the troupe’s most successful ongoing skits and it got their faces featured on color posters and TV ads even if it didn’t make much money. This was how Pavia found them.
In the beginning, Pavia seemed like a sweet lady who demanded respect in the same way a schoolteacher might. She was tiny, only a little over five feet, with tight spiral curls that made her look like a Raggedy Anne. Daphne would have described her as “cute” on first impression, but then she began to take note of the points and angles in the woman’s face, the way she clenched her teeth when she was even slightly impatient, the way her dark eyes would whip and judge and assign anything in sight to a proper caste.
But she could be warm and friendly, too.
“I think you girls have more talent than you realize,” she’d said to Daphne and Kristin that first night. And it was only a few days later that she’d given them both representation contracts and sent them to an audition for a network television pilot called Streethearts. The leading female role, a florist named Erica, was up for grabs.
“Now, both of you have a shot at this,” Pavia had said, leading them into the studio the day of the audition, her heels clicking on the tile. “The producers haven’t decided on a blonde or a brunette,” she paused and turned to them, her hand on the doorknob, “but they definitely want an emerging actress from Chicago. Make the most of that Midwestern drawl, the long O’s and A’s . . . don’t be ashamed of who you are.”
Daphne was a native of the Chicago area but had trained her accent away during drama school at DePaul. Kristin, who was from some small town in Wisconsin and had never taken acting lessons, had retained a farm girl nasal twang. When Daphne sat under the lights with the script and began reading the lines labeled ERICA, she was overly aware of the long O and A sounds and her accent sounded artificial. The casting people watched politely. They asked her a few questions and then told her she could leave. Pavia called later with the news that Kristin had won the role. “But it’s not all bad,” she’d said to Daphne. “The producers actually liked you. They don’t think you’re right for Erica, but they might have a role if the show takes off the way they hope it will. Just come with us to New York. We’ll find something for you.”
Daphne had wanted to kick herself. How could she have flubbed the audition? Why had Pavia screwed her up by mentioning accents right before she went in? Or was it Kristin’s big boobs? That’s what they cared about, of course. And being blonde.
“Think about it,” Pavia said. “You won’t be able to do the comedy show with Kristin gone anyway.”
“They could find a replacement, ” Daphne said flatly. “It wouldn’t be the same.” Pavia was right. There was a certain magic that made people laugh and it didn’t grow on trees. Besides, what if a replacement actress upstaged her or tried to take over? “OK,” she said. “I’ll go.” Then began the flurry of to-do lists, packing, job-quitting, and the good-bye party for Side Stitches. The plan was that Pavia would drive them to Manhattan and they could stay in her neighbor’s sublet for exactly one week until they found their own place. Kristin signed up for the Actor’s Guild, and Daphne was ordered to put together a modeling portfolio. She didn’t have any pictures, though, so Pavia hired a photographer. Daphne had spent an afternoon and evening with him doing things like meditating on a park bench, standing on a train track, and leaning against a graffiti-splattered wall. A set of shots arrived in the mail the next week. Daphne thought they looked good, but Pavia said only that they were “passable.”
In the kitchen, Daphne took on her last task in Chicago, cleaning the refrigerator. For this chore she played her Les Miserables soundtrack and sang along, imagining the glory of Broadway lights. Soon she’d be in New York living alongside some of the most famous, rich, and talented people in the world. The future stretched out a long and lavish pathway brimming with unnamed experience.
If only there wasn’t this nagging feeling, this sense that all wasn’t as she wanted it to be.
She glimpsed at her reflection in the window as she rinsed a mound of moldy chicken salad from a bowl. Maybe she wasn’t a glittery blonde, but she was tall and slender with shiny chestnut hair and a pretty face. She had a brilliant smile, a college degree, and a great sense of humor. And she was dedicated to her dream in a way Kristin could never even begin to understand. Dragging the trash out to the alley, she took a mental snapshot of the back porch of the apartment where she lived, the noble oak that shaded the porch, the busy road out front. Back inside, she lowered herself onto the couch that was no longer hers and closed her eyes. She assured herself that, with time, the nagging feeling would go away.
Her cat Mario snuggled into the crook of her knee, and that was how they both fell asleep their last night in Chicago.



Author Bio:
Anne-Marie Yerks is a fiction writer, essayist and journalist from the Metropolitan Detroit area. Her essays have appeared in the online editions of "Good Housekeeping," "marie claire," "Country Living" and "Redbook." She has work forthcoming in "Modern Memoir" (Fiction Attic Press) and in "Recipes With A Story" (Blue Lobster Books). Her novel, Dream Junkies, will be published in 2016 by New Rivers Press. Find her on Twitter @amy1620.



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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Guest Post by Sandy Hall, author of Been Here All Along PLUS #Giveaway

BEEN HERE ALL ALONG PLAYLIST

by Sandy Hall

I don’t tend to write while listening to music, but I do like to make a playlist for each novel I write, to get me in the mood for the story. I’ll listen to it in the car or while I’m taking a walk, and just think the story over. The songs on my BEEN HERE ALL ALONG playlist are:

All Alright by Fun.
I Found a Boy by Adele
Luck by American Authors
Kingdom Come by Coldplay
Friday I’m in Love by The Cure
Smile by Sheppard
Everyone is Gay by A Great Big World
What a Good Boy by Barenaked Ladies
It Comes Back to You by Imagine Dragons

And “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift.
Fun fact about this song, it actually inspire the story. When my editor and I were discussing what my third book should be about, I asked her, honestly, what was on her manuscript wish list. She had the most fantastic answer.


She explained that there was this fan made video of “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift featuring two boys and that what she really wanted was a book inspired by it. We all scampered into an office to watch the video and I was SOLD. This was exactly the kind of story I wanted to tell. It strayed a lot from the song/video but it was a really great jumping off point.




Been Here All Along
Sandy Hall

Publication date: August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do.
Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong…


Author Bio:
I’m a teen librarian from New Jersey where I was born and raised. I have a BA in Communication and a Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. When I’m not writing, or teen librarian-ing, I enjoy reading, slot machines, marathoning TV shows, and long scrolls through Tumblr. A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT is my first novel.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Blitz: Recipe for Lust by Alice Ward PLUS #Giveaway


Recipe For Lust
Alice Ward

Publication date: August 19th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

Combine two hot guys and one lonely girl. Add a teaspoon of longing and a pinch of drama, and what do you get? The perfect recipe for lust.
My life had been one big comfort zone — long term boyfriend, long term friends, long term boring life. I wanted sizzle. Something new. Something different. When they say you better be careful what you wish for… believe me, you better.
I’m Claire Walker, and on a whim, I applied for the hot reality show, Extreme Cuisine, to launch my dream career as a chef. I soon found out I’d bit off more than I could chew when I was tossed into the pressure cooker of the show.
Over nine long weeks, I served up my best, even while cameras and everyone else watched my every move. So, how does a good girl from LA end up in the tabloids with a famous chef, surrounded by scandal and betrayal? Welcome to my life…
Remember Claire from Unraveling the Billionaire? If you loved Lauren and Asher, you’ll adore Claire and her journey to step out of her comfort zone, take a few risks, and discover love. Beware, it’s hot in the kitchen. 18+
This is a standalone book so even if you haven’t yet read Unraveling the Billionaire you can jump right into this one with no problems. HEA included.

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Author Bio:
Alice Ward is the bestselling author of dozens of hot and steamy contemporary romances. She’s an amazingly prolific writer, releasing a new book almost every single month. Her books are widely read, especially by women and any other lovers of the romance genre. My Stepbrother, My Lover, was her first smash hit.
Alice lives in Miami with her hunky husband. The beach is her all time favorite place to relax with her laptop and write.
She might or might not have a thing for Gerard Butler (it’s the accent).
To find out what Alice is up to currently, visit authoraliceward.com.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Guest Post by Allyn Lesley, author of Deeper: Desent PLUS #Giveaway

Guest Post by Allyn Lesley

blogs and coffee, thank you so much for allowing me to speak directly with your readers. It’s always great to connect with new readers.

For those who aren’t familiar with me, allow me to tell you two things about myself: I’m a new author who’s written six novels and I love the romance genre. I released my first novel, Deeper (Book One of The Deeper Chronicles), back in 2014 with great fear and excitement. So while it may seem that with two years at this writing thing and six books under my belt, I know about ‘the writing process’ (which is what this post is about) I really don’t because I’m still learning.

Given what I’ve stated to be a true fact, when it comes to me specifically outside of the editing process there really is no rhyme or reason to my writing process. Sometimes, inspiration for a novel comes from my own life, sometimes from driving down the street, and sometimes from a song. Across the six novels I’ve shared with the universe so far, the complexity of life is a driving force behind all of my characters, their motivations, and their decisions. I don’t plot, in the traditional sense. By that I mean, sometimes, but not all the time, I only know the gist of the story ... the beginning, middle, and end remains a mystery until I sit down with my laptop.

But, almost always here are the two things integral to my writing process: characters backstories (even if they change once the novel is flushed out) and my muses. Backstories, to me, grab a read. These are the reasons readers either cheers for or calls for the death of a character. I need my readers to fall in love with my hero and heroine. And lastly, I’m a visual person. I need to know what my characters look like and so I spend hours creating Pinterest boards for current and in-the-process stories.


That’s my writing process . Thanks so much for having me. 




Deeper: Descent
Allyn Lesley

(The Deeper Chronicles #2)
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

He’s been a pawn in a game all along…
The King of New York is back. And now, he’s got a Queen on his arm. Just when Noah Adams and Avi Linton are finally settling in to their “happily ever after,” another evil is preparing to make a move. This time, the game just got a little more dangerous and nobody will come out unharmed. Determined to protect her at all costs, Noah puts his life on the line for the only woman who ever mattered to him. But that might not be enough.
When the past begins to threaten their future, Avi and Noah must fight for their present. But can they battle against their enemy without descending deeper into danger?


Author Bio:
allyn lesley writes real stories about real people.
As a teen, allyn lost herself in the pages of some of Romance’s heavyweights, trusting that a happy ever after was just around the corner. In allyn’s own writing journey, as in life, she’s learned that people don’t always experience recovery and restoration after a fall. Her stories speak to the gritty side of life where the right choice isn't always easily identified and happiness not quickly gained.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Book Blitz: Midnight Sky by Amy Braun plus #Giveaway


Midnight Sky
Amy Braun

(Dark Sky #2)
Publication date: August 2nd 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult

There are secrets, there are betrayals, and there are sacrifices…
The Behemoth has been destroyed, and the bloodthirsty Hellions seem to have left Westraven. But Claire Abernathy’s mind is not at ease. A terrible disease plagues her sister, appearing to have been brought on the Vesper, the leader of the Hellions beyond the tear between worlds– the Breach.
To save Abby and stop the Hellions for good, Claire must find the machine her parents built before the attacks, and fix it before the monsters return. To do so, she needs the help of her crew, and must ignore the secrets and rivalries between her captain and the man she saved.
Because the Hellions are not the only dangers following Claire. Twisted humans and old enemies surface to stop her and destroy all she loves. While she is determined to endure the trials, a single betrayal could shatter the hope of a better world, and force Claire to make a choice that will cost her dearly…

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Author Bio:
Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for "author voice, world-building and general bad-assery," and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn't writing, she's reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.


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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Blitz: Extracted by Sherry D. Ficklin & Tyler Jolley plus #Giveaway


Extracted
Sherry D. Ficklin & Tyler Jolley

Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 15th 2016
Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult

Two opposing factions of time travelers vie for control of the future in this thrilling steampunk series opener dubbed “Interesting” and “Unexpected” by Kirkus Reviews.
Lex and Ember—two time travelers with no memories of their lives before being recruited into the time war—are torn between the factions. When Lex accepts a mission that lands him deep within the heart of the Telsa Institute, he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who they were, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them once again.
EXCERPT:
My breath comes in short, shallow bursts. I can feel the warmth of Ethan’s body radiating like a tuning fork against my back. In front of me, there is only darkness. I strain, listening, waiting for the next wave of attack. The leather straps holding up my suede harness dig into the skin of my shoulders, but the ache only sharpens my focus. The urge to turn around is strong, though I know better. Months of training have taught me exactly what happens when I turn my back to the darkness. So I listen, honing my senses until I catch the sound of Ethan taking a small step forward, away from me. My eyes are useless, so I close them. Knowing my attackers are well paid for their ability to move in silence, there is little hope that they will give themselves away. We need another strategy. As if reading my mind, Ethan picks up the conversation we were having earlier.
“All I’m saying is, maybe you need the extra practice,” Ethan says, his tone mocking. Even without being able to see him, I can sense him moving, beginning to circle counterclockwise. I know he’s trying to draw them out, to bring the fight to him. It seems like a sound strategy, so I jump on board.
“Oh, yes, because it isn’t like she turned around and kicked the crap out of you, too.” I’m mimicking his movements now. My voice is flat, free from emotion, and my words are empty. I can’t see him moving, but I can feel him, as if we’re connected by a million invisible threads.
“How am I supposed to just punch a girl?” Ethan asks. “And I was tired from taking the guy out like five seconds earlier.”
“She isn’t a girl. She’s more like a pissed-off kangaroo in a top hat. She has a nasty right hook, I’ll give you that.”
I hear the sharp whip of air as a bamboo pole cuts through the darkness, headed toward my face. Even with our phony argument going on, I’m able to hear it coming before it lands. I bring up my hands and block the blow with my forearms. The impact stings, bruising the bones there, but better my arms than my face. With a movement perfected after one too many blows to the head, I grab the pole and pull it aside, dragging my attacker with it. As he closes in, I drop the pole and lock arms with Ethan. I flip over his back and kick out, knocking my attacker to the mat. As he struggles back to his feet, Ethan spins into my place, delivering a secondary kick that sends the man flying into the wall with a dull thud. “Yeah, but she’s scrappy,” he says.
“Scrappy? Is that boy code for you couldn’t stop staring at her rack?”
Behind me, I feel Ethan duck a blow, and then land one of his own before pressing his back against mine. “I… that’s not… I didn’t even… I mean…” he sputters.
I smirk. Busted.
Footsteps approach, but we keep sparring. I bend over, using my attacker’s own momentum against him as I put my shoulder into his gut and stand, propelling him over my head and onto his back on the mat. I don’t need to see my victory to realize what the maneuver has cost me. A muscle in my lower back seizes, and it’s all I can do not to drop to my knees in agony. I clench my fists until I feel my fingernails cut bloody crescents in my palms. There is no way I’m going to be the weak link—no way I’m going to let Ethan fight alone. Back to back, that’s how Rifters are trained to fight. And Ethan always has my back.
“Don’t feel too bad. She was pretty scrappy after all.”
Ethan mumbles, “It’s a girl thing.”
“Hold up, what’s that supposed to mean?” I ask, stiffly regaining my footing as my back screams in protest.
As usual, Ethan turns to check on me. “Nothing personal, Ember.”
Not wanting him to get slammed for it again, I grab him by the shoulder and pull, revolving us to our starting positions just as the first attacker flips back onto his feet and lunges. He would have taken me in the stomach, but I bring up my knee just in time to block his advance before kicking him in the face. There is a loud crunch that sounds like breaking bone. I hear him hit the mat with a groan. The lights flick back on, and Mistress Catherine blows her whistle.
Normally we spar with off-duty guards, since most of them have military training of some kind. They know how to take a hit and how to deliver one without doing too much damage. We might be lowly recruits, but Rifters are rare, and our lives are precious.
But as the man whose nose I have just broken pulls off his black ski mask, my heart falls into my shoes. Flynn is staring up at me, and his face is covered in blood.
“Nice hit, Ember,” he says as blood drips from his nose and onto his white shirt. Mistress Catherine hands him his horn-rimmed glasses and shoots me an amused smirk. Behind me, Ethan snickers.
Great. And here I was thinking this day couldn’t get any worse.
Reaching down, I offer Flynn a hand up, which he accepts with a smile.
“I’m so sorry,” I mutter, but he waves it off.
“Catherine told me you were really coming along. I wanted to see for myself.”
The others are shuffling out, so I turn to grab a towel and follow them, but Mistress Catherine closes the door behind a worried-looking Ethan, presses her back against it, and narrows her eyes at me. I used to think it was hard to look menacing in a knee-length pencil skirt and beige brocade top, but she radiates power. It might be the stern pucker of her thin lips, or the way her graying hair is knotted tightly at the nape of her neck. She resembles a librarian except for the long, jagged scar that runs from her left temple to the cleft in her chin. Well, that and the spider-shaped, iron shoulder harness permanently affixed to her upper arm.
Not sure what’s going on, I freeze, yellow towel in hand. Before I can say anything, I feel something moving behind me. I manage to move to the side just as a wooden staff comes slamming down against the spot where I’d stood a heartbeat earlier. I turn and see Flynn grinning, blood still dripping off his chin. He spits before whirling the staff like a windmill in front of him. “What I don’t understand,” he says, circling to my left, “is how that Hollow got the best of you. According to Ethan’s report, Kara had no problem with her. And Catherine here tells me that you mat Kara at almost every practice now.”
I have no idea what to say. Does he think I let her beat up on me? Just then, my legs are swept out from under me. I fall to the mat, but, rolling swiftly backward, I bounce up onto my feet. Catherine has a staff, too, and comes toward me from the right. I hold up my hands and back up slowly. In the corner of the room, a vent erupts in a cloud of steam, and Tesla’s image appears but says nothing.
“Look, I didn’t let her get away,” I say. “If that’s what you’re implying. She was strong. And fast.”
Catherine shakes her head. “You are strong. And fast. And clever.”
“I’m sorry!” I blurt out when my back hits the corner and they are still coming at me.
I don’t think Flynn would ever hurt me, not really, but Catherine, well…
Without another word, they both attack. I manage to duck one blow but take another in the ribs before I decide to make a break for it. Jumping as high as possible, I’m able to get a hand on the chain attaching one of the punching bags to the ceiling and hoist myself up. I leap over Flynn and roll as I hit the ground behind him. They’re quick, though, and have me surrounded again in seconds.
It’s easy to forget that they are trained Rifters, too. Catherine doesn’t rift anymore, but Flynn is still active and in really good shape. They aren’t holding anything back either. Flynn lands a blow to my lower back, but when Catherine moves in, I’m able to grab her staff and force it from her bad arm. Suddenly, time is moving in a blur. I’m not thinking about my next move anymore. My body is reacting of its own accord. I’m not sure how it happens, but I blink and Catherine is on her knees. Flynn is standing in front of me, and I have the two staffs crossed at his neck. He’s holding up his hands and saying my name.
I drop the sticks and step back. The muscles in my arms and legs are twitching like I’ve just run ten miles.
“That’s what we mean,” Catherine says, climbing stiffly to her feet. “You could have taken the Hollow girl. So, why did you hesitate?”
I close my eyes, calling the fight to the front of my memory. There was something about the girl. She was beautiful, for sure, but that wasn’t it. There was something else, too. Something I can’t put into words. I look up to find they’re staring at me, waiting for some kind of answer. I can feel Tesla glaring holes into my back, watching me like one of his little science experiments. “I don’t know what you want me to say.”
Flynn sighs and holds his hands out to me. I take them without hesitation. “Ember, I know it’s hard. I know you don’t like hurting people. It’s against your very nature to harm someone or let someone suffer. But you are too important to risk losing. Understand? Sometimes, you have to put someone down, let someone get hurt or even die, to save yourself and your team. You can’t hold anything back.”
I take a deep breath. “And what if someone dies because of me? Because, for some reason, my life is worth more than theirs?”
Flynn lowers his head, looking me in the eye. “That is a burden you will have to learn to carry.”


Author Bio:
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
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Tyler H. Jolley is a sci-fi/fantasy author and full-time orthodontist, periodontist (see: Overachiever). He divides his spare time between writing, reading, mountain biking, and camping with his family.
Author links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter

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