Chameleon by @zoekalowriter Book Blitz #YALit #Gothic #Giveaway @XpressoTours


Chameleon
Zoe Kalo
Publication date: February 2nd 2017
Genres: Gothic, Young Adult

An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…

17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia.

When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out… Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?

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EXCERPT:

Madre Estela remained standing by the door. “Get a bucket and fill it with water.”

Her hypercritical eyes sliced through my self-worth as I grabbed one of the metal buckets, lifted it into the sink, and turned on the faucet. I watched, transfixed, as the water gushed like a torrent spurting from an open artery. The cold spray raised goosebumps on my arms.

Madre Estela snapped her fingers. “Move.”

As I hauled the bucket to the door, some of the water slushed over the edge and splattered to the floor.

“Add the detergent,” she said stiffly, irritated by my clumsiness.

I chose a green bottle, twisted the cap, and poured. The acrid pine smell stung my nostrils.

“Get a sponge and a brush from there. Get going. We don’t have all evening—unless you want to work in the dark.”

I gritted my teeth, but pretended not to be bothered. I suspected that the one thing that this nun couldn’t stand was indifference.

Outside, it was almost dusk. In spite of the intense screeching of the coquíes, the drum of the waterfall hit my ears. It was louder now than the last time I’d been here. How was that possible?

I felt a drop of rain. Great.

Madre Estela put one hand out, palm up. “My, my. What’s this?” She looked chagrined, and I suddenly realized why. If it rained, I would have to go inside, ruining her plans. “What are you standing there for? Start scrubbing.”

I was tempted to throw the bucket of greenish water at her face. Instead, I prayed for rain as I walked across the rose garden. Once at the gate, I glanced back at her.

“You’ll work until I come for you, understood?” she said, hands on hips in her usual stance. She pointed to one of the second-floor windows. “I’ll be watching from there.”

And that was it. She was gone.

For a moment I just stood there. If only my friends could see me now. They would never believe it.

I opened the gate and walked into the graveyard. The statue of Gabriel greeted me, its face fiercer in the dusk. The temperature must have been in the low seventies. I was glad I had my cardigan.

Suddenly, the garden lamp post lit up. I turned, startled. I wasn’t sure if it had automatically switched on or if someone, maybe Madre Estela, had done it from indoors. I glanced up at the second-floor window, expecting to find her face. I had the chilling sensation of being watched. There was nothing. The windows glowed with yellow light, a multitude of feral eyes keeping guard.

However, behind one of the ground-floor windows on the right, a figure appeared. Tall, blurred. Madre Superiora? I was sure that was her office. Yet, something about the shape of the head and the shoulders made me think of…Rubia. What was she doing in Madre Superiora’s office?

Just as abruptly as it’d appeared, the figure vanished from view.

The incident left me strangely unsettled.

Focus.

I splashed some of the water on one of the tombstones and got to work. The sound of hard bristles against stone blocked the hum of the waterfall. Almost.

Go away, damn it.

As I crouched to work on a second tombstone, doing my best not to get wet in the process, something shifted at the edge of my vision. I jumped to my feet, my heart thudding. Gabriel. Its wings had rippled with movement.

Dear God…what’s happening to me?

I rubbed my forehead and grimaced, my fingers shaking.

I felt another drop of rain. If it was going to rain, why didn’t it? The sky was playing with me, too. Mocking me.

I cursed the clouds and started scrubbing again.

I had another sensation of being watched and this time, yes, it was Madre Estela behind the window. I pretended I hadn’t seen her and tried to keep focused on the task at hand. The water had turned blackish with grime.

I don’t know how long I scrubbed. I lost track of time. But it was dark. My back and shoulders were sore and my hands stung from the harsh detergent.

Madre Estela was long gone from the window.

Half panting, I sat down on the edge of the tombstone and tossed the brush aside in disgust. I looked at the statue again, but it was motionless. I turned to the windows again, my eyes slowly moving from one to the other.

From one to the other.

Expecting to see the face. Wanting to see it.

Nothing.

Yet, that weird sensation of being watched, again.

My gaze shifted to the woods, to the exact place where the cemetery ended and the forest started. There was a path there. Narrow, obscured by the trees. For a long moment I sat, mesmerized. Then I stood up and began to approach it. The breeze picked up as I got closer, carrying with it the cool, slightly pungent smell of the waterfall.

I stopped at the very edge, the darkness enveloping me, the dampness seeping through my clothes.

The wind sighed, rustling the leaves and fluttering my hair.

Icy breath, on the back of my neck.

I’m in here… a voice whispered from the shadows.

I spun around in terror.

Then I hit something hard.

 

Author Bio:

A certified bookworm and ailurophile, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery. She lives amongst cats and books in Belgium, and is the author of the Cult of the Cat young adult fantasy series and the Retribution novella series for adults.

 

Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.ZoeKalo.com and get her exclusive short story “Irkalla.”

 

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Shopping for a Billionaire’s Honeymoon by @jkentauthor #romance #comedy #giveaway




 

Shopping for a Billionaire’s Honeymoon
Julia Kent
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

 

He is addicted to his phone and his new role as CEO. I’m addicted to getting some on my own honeymoon.

 

One of these things is not like the other.

 

I am pretty sure a serial killer’s lair is the only place in the world where I could stash my new husband so he can’t manage the acquisition of our new company.

 

And that seems a little drastic.

 

But only a little…

 

All I want is one week alone with him. Hours in bed, legs tangled together in ecstasy, room service and long walks on the beach in Hawaii.

 

Not vying for his kisses around a Bluetooth microphone. The Borg aren’t sexy in real life.

 

So I’m taking matters into my own hands and hitting “reboot” on our honeymoon.

 

We’re going to a place so remote that no one can find us.

 

Not even my mother.

Shopping for a Billionaire’s Honeymoon is now a full-length book of 150+ pages, with both Shannon and Declan’s points of view. Originally published with only Shannon’s viewpoint, this expanded edition is a result of reader feedback. People wanted to know what Declan was up to – so here you go. This book is meant to be read after Shopping for a Billionaire’s Wife and/or Shopping for a CEO’s Fiancée, but if you read it out of order (or even as a standalone), that’s fine. Shannon and Declan forgive you.

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EXCERPT:

Shannon

Let’s do an inventory of this fine day. My day-after-I-got-married day. In Vegas.

After fleeing my Momzilla mother.

Today is supposed be Day One of my honeymoon after marrying the billionaire of my dreams.

(Let’s not count the night before).

Woke up to the lovely sight of my husband’s tousled dark hair sliding down my torso so he could feast on me for breakfast.

Had actual breakfast in bed after room service delivered mixed berries, cream, bacon, and maple-soaked carrot-cake french toast, and the best damn coffee on the planet from the coffee chain I now own.

Made love with my delightful husband in the giant jetted bathtub in our suite. Turns out I’m as bendy as a Cirque du Soleil performer when I need to be. Maybe Mom’s insistence that I attend all those yoga classes she teaches has a silver lining after all.

Dressed and prepared to hop the corporate jet for Hawaii, kisses interspersed between readying ourselves for the trip. Undressed twice. Dressed twice. Declan insisted I not wear panties for the plane trip.

“But I’m already a member of the Mile High Club,” I’d protested.

“Not as a wife.”

He had a point.

Panties abandoned.

Found his brother, my best friend, a former colleague and an Anterdec chauffeur all married to each other.

Notice something a little different about that last one?

Yeah. Me too.

Day One of my honeymoon had promise, but now? Now it’s a little too real.

We’re on the plane, settling into our seats, and I’m doing my best not to think about my poor best friend and her chaotic mess back at the Anterdec resort where Declan and I just spent nearly a week trying to figure out our entire life.

Which we did, successfully, to my utter surprise. After fleeing our wedding in a helicopter and lying to my Momzilla mother, we managed to get to Las Vegas, ensconced in a resort on the Vegas Strip that Declan had designed himself as an intern in college. By the time my crazy family caught up to us, we’d steeled ourselves for the inevitable fallout.

And got so much more than we expected, in more ways than one. We’re married now. Husband and wife.

That’s really all that matters.

That, and honeymoon sex.

Lots and lots and lots of honeymoon sex. It’s my wifely right to walk funny for the next few days.

And his husbandly duty to make it so.

 

 

Author Bio:

 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

 

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If I Were… Beautiful by @DevonHartford Blog Tour + Guest Post #NA #Romance #FridayReads


If I Were Beautiful
Devon Hartford
(If I Were…, #1)
Publication date: January 23rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Is life better when you’re beautiful?

 

Jane Johnson has tried every beauty tip and trick known to woman, but none of them have ever made men notice her.

 

Until now.

 

Finally, something is working. She barely recognizes herself in the mirror. Is it her new haircut? Two years of yoga class? Her new eyebrow tweeze? Or is it all that nasty wheat grass juice her sister insisted she drink finally working some kind of magic? Whatever it is, something is transforming Jane from plain to downright beautiful.

 

For the first time in her life, men are noticing her.

 

Constantly.

 

Jane is getting so much attention from men she doesn’t know what to do with it.

 

Before her inexplicable transformation, she couldn’t get a date to save her life. Now she has a date every night of the week. Gorgeous eligible men are throwing themselves at her. They’re even fighting over her. Actual fist fights to win her affection.

 

It all seems too good to be true.

 

The only question on Jane’s mind is whether or not her newfound beauty is going to last or if it’s some cruel trick of fate that will fade away as quickly as it appeared.

 

Because everybody knows, when something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

***If I Were Beautiful is a saucy romance with a mystical twist that will leave you breathless to find out what happens next. This is book one of a three book series. Book two will release April 2017, Book three, July 2017 (or sooner).

 

 

Mrs. N Asks Devon: Talk about the struggles of writing in a female-dominant industry as a man. (and/or) How do you get into the head of your female main character so well? I’m fascinated by men writing female characters.

 

When I started writing women’s romance eleven books ago, I figured it would be no different from any other kind of fiction writing. It didn’t help that my first series, The Story of Samantha Smith, was set in college, and was as much of a “first year in college” story as it was a romance novel. Obviously, going to college for the first time is something men and women both can relate to for similar reasons. You’re generally on your own for the first time, you’re struggling with balancing your school/work life with having fun (emphasis on the fun part), and most of your peers are single and looking for love (or a hookup). Also, the series heroine Samantha Smith is only 19, and like many people her age, she’s very insecure. Everyone can relate to being insecure at one time or another.

 

It wasn’t until I started writing books set outside of a college environment that I discovered I didn’t know shizz about being a woman.

 

Whoa! Shocker!

 

Sure, men and women both face similar issues like finding love, finding a job, worrying about money, worrying about our loved ones, etc. But we all know men and women also face uniquely different issues. I had no problem writing convincingly about men’s issues. I’ve faced them my entire life. My buddies have faced them too. We talk about them, bitch and moan about them, compare notes, offer suggestions, make observations, and make jokes from an inside perspective.

 

But when it comes to women’s issues, I am absolutely an outsider looking in. I can’t draw from personal experience. I can only draw from other people’s personal experiences. I guess you could say I’ve learned to be like a journalist of sorts. I have to observe women. I have to ask women questions. Lots of questions. Yeah, I’m a good listener. I have to be. I’ll never ever know what it’s like to be a woman in the 21st century unless I pay attention.

 

But that’s just the research part.

 

The hard part is the writing part.

 

You could also compare what I do to being an anthropologist studying and living with another culture, one that is wildly different from your own. At first, the actions, behaviors, mannerisms, all seem completely foreign. Heck, even the language is different. At first, you have no idea what anyone is saying. Eventually, you learn the language, learn the social customs. If you spend enough time living inside a foreign culture, you can probably do a passing good job of behaving like one of them.

 

But they all know, “You’re not from around here.”

 

Sadly, no matter how much studying and observing I do, I’ll always be an outsider when it comes to the ways of women.

 

As for the books, when I’m writing a male character, it’s easy. I can come up with male dialogue and male behavior all day long. I know when it rings true and when it doesn’t. I’ve lived it. I know.

 

But when I’m writing female characters? Forget it. It’s not based on intuition. It’s not based on experience. It’s purely an intellectual exercise. And that’s why I’m constantly second guessing myself.

 

Would a woman do this?

 

Would a woman say that?

 

Would a woman FEEL this or that?

 

I can only guess.

 

I haven’t lived it first hand. I don’t have that internal measuring stick, that automatic sense of what works and what doesn’t. You know that feeling you get when you’re taking a math test and you’re not really sure if you got the answer right? You did all the work, and at the bottom of the page you wrote down an answer. But you don’t know if it’s right or wrong. You have to wait until the teacher grades your paper for you.

 

Thankfully, my beta readers (who are all women) grade my books before I publish them. They’ll point out things that don’t ring true. After eleven books, I tend to get it right most of the time. I’ve done my research and my homework.

 

But the fact remains, what I’ve learned about women through outside observation in my lifetime is a tiny fraction of what every woman learns from living her life day after day after day. Whenever I pick up a romance from a skilled female romance author, especially good romantic comedies written by women, I inevitably read lines that make me laugh out loud, and I end up shaking my head and thinking “That is comedy genius, and I would NEVER have thought of that line. Respect.”

 

I know I’ll always be a student of women.

 

I’ll always be learning.

 

And my readers will always be grading.

 

I’m okay with that.

 

As long as I don’t get a report card, what do I care?

 

Oh wait.

 

I forgot about those pesky book reviews…

 

Too bad they don’t grade on a curve.

 

LOL.

Buy it today:

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Author Bio:

Devon Hartford is a dude who writes romantic comedies because he likes to laugh as much as he likes to love.

 

Join Devon’s newsletter and you’ll receive teasers of his upcoming books before anyone else, exclusive freebie short stories and novellas, and no spam. Copy and paste this link into your web browser to sign up: http://www.devonhartford.com/newsletter/

 

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The Daughters of Maine by Award Winning @TishThawer #CoverReveal @XpressoTours #PNR




 

The Daughters of Maine
Tish Thawer
(Witches of BlackBrook #2)
Publication date: March 7th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

“With vivid scenes and likable characters, Thawer’s series is a definite winner! Come for the adventure – and stay for the awesome witchery.” ~ #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, PC CAST

 

Through space and time, sisters entwined. Lost then found, souls remain bound.

 

After being reunited in the present day, three sister witches are forced to separate once more in an effort to save their newly formed coven and themselves.

 

Foes from their past now threaten their future, and a trip that spans centuries is their only hope of survival. Chasing their enemy back through time seems like the right choice, but will walking in the footsteps of their previous lives provide the answers they seek?

 

Only time will tell.

 

A Witches of BlackBrook novel.

 

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Sequel to:

25271311

 

Author Bio:

 

Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.

 

Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received a RONE Award nomination (Reward of Novel Excellence), as well as nominations for Best Cover, Reader’s Choice, and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery).

 

Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Arizona with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.

 

You can find Tish on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTishThawer

 

A common FAQ: “How do you pronounce her last name?”

 

Answer: Think “Bower” or “Thow-er”. It’s Persian!

 

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Destined to Die: The Kingmaker by @GemmaPerfect #books #YA #fantasy


The Kingmaker
Gemma Perfect
(The Kingmaker Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: January 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

 

“I am sixteen years old and I will die on the morning of my seventeenth birthday. As tradition dictates, I will be sacrificed and my life’s blood will determine which one of my two brothers will be King. My blood will kill one and crown one. My name is Everleigh and I am the Kingmaker.”

 

The legend of the Kingmaker goes back millions of years. Their magic chooses the rightful King of the Realm and they all die on their seventeenth birthday.

 

Except this one.

 

Everleigh is special.

 

She is the Kingmaker who will live, the Kingmaker who will rule, the Kingmaker who will be Queen.

 

But not everyone agrees with an age old prophecy that says that a girl will rule the Realm and soon Everleigh is locked in a deadly battle for the throne.

 

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EXCERPT:

Halfreda

I have been sleeping so much more than normal. I believe the dreams are sending me messages. I have such a strong feeling about this one – stronger than I have ever had before; I think she might be the one.

I know what people think when they look at me, half of them revere me and half of them fear me.

I admit I exaggerate my persona but never ever my powers. My powers are real. I know things and I see things. I see things that haven’t happened yet but will happen. I know a person’s heart – I can see greatness and badness, trust or ill will. I know if someone is cursed before they tell me. I know if a woman is with child before she does. I know the private thoughts of people. Some people. Not everyone – some people are good at hiding their true self, blocking off the signals I pick up, but for the most part I can.

My persona is something else. I do have a little fun with the chanting – not all of which is strictly necessary. I enjoy staring at someone and then letting my eyes roll back in my head as if I have been overcome with some secret thing to do with them – that trick gets everyone in a fluster.

But I’m a good woman and a useful one. I do help the King. I use my powers to advise him. I use my knowledge to guide him and I have never shown him wrong. The Realm is peaceful and prosperous and I know that I have helped with that.

But my real purpose, the reason my teacher placed me here at the castle, has eluded me thus far. Through no fault of my own, I must add.

So, the blessing is over and here I am making up a future fire to see what I can see.

I’ve gathered the wood and started the fire, the flames licking upwards and warming my room. I’ve put all the necessary ingredients in to my bowl over the fire. The liquid is swirling. I’m trying to see if my hunch is correct. If I’m right about Everleigh.

Ah, I’m fed up of this puzzle. The fire will not show me anything, but does that mean I am wrong or that the future is too uncertain?

Where is my knowledge now?

Every time a Kingmaker comes to this final countdown in their life I intervene. Everleigh is the seventh Kingmaker I have known. That may give you an idea of my age I know, and yes, I am older than anyone I have ever met.

The teacher told me I will live until my life’s purpose is completed and my life’s purpose is to find the Kingmaker who is not the Kingmaker.

Does that even make sense?

When I met my teacher, I was only a teenager. I was rebelling against my power and trying to drown out my knowledge and gift with drink. Alcohol dulled the power and the voices inside me.

My teacher helped me, guided me and allowed me to live with my power, enjoying the help it gave me and embracing it fully. He also told me that I had been chosen for a special and important purpose.

He asked me if I had heard of the Kingmaker. Of course, I had – everyone had. The Kingmaker was a sacred tradition used to choose the new King of the Realm.

The teacher had been privy to a prophecy found years ago, which told of the one Kingmaker who would not die, she instead would rule as the Queen and the greatest ruler that the Realm had ever known.

I was to learn my craft and then go to the castle and work as a wise woman to assist the King. But every time the Kingmaker feast came around, I was to secretly meet the Kingmaker and test if she was the future Queen.

I have a feeling with this one that I’ve never had before. I’m more excited than I’ve been previously to test her. I’m nervous too. The one thing the teacher never told me was what happened next. If I found the Kingmaker who should be Queen, how did I convince anyone else?

My fire has let me down. I leave it to die and decide to finish for the night. After all, if she does as I’ve asked, I will meet Everleigh at the river at sunrise, which isn’t that far away.

I lay in my bed, watching the embers of the fire flicker away, and as I do I see a crown forming in the smoke. Is it a trick of my imagination or is it a sign?

I drift off to sleep pondering.

 

Author Bio:

 

Gemma Perfect loves to write. She’s been doing it since she was nine. After a few false starts – self publishing children’s books, and being traditionally published with her romance novella, she has finally found her feet writing young adult historical fantasy books. She is currently writing The Cursed Princess, set five years after The Kingmaker Trilogy finishes, following the adventures of Everleigh’s sister, Addyson.

 

Gemma lives in Wales with her husband Craig and their three boys, Sam, Corey and Oliver. She is happiest when writing, day dreaming and eating smelly blue cheese.

 

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Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card, an eBook copy of the trilogy, and a link for 10 e-copies of book one for the winner’s friends

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Cover Reveal: The Hundredth Queen by @Emily_R_King #fantasy @XpressoTours


The Hundredth Queen
Emily R. King
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: June 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

 

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

 

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

 

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda’s only hope for escape lies in an arcane, forbidden power that’s buried within her.

 

In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.

 

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Author Bio:

 

Emily R. King is a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. Shark advocate, consumer of gummy bears, and islander at heart, Emily’s greatest interests are her four children. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an active participant in her local writers’ community. She lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat.

 

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Beautiful Assassin by @Skyla_Madi #CoverReveal @XpressoTours #romance #suspense


Beautiful Assassin
Skyla Madi
(Syndicate #1)
Publication date: January 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Spoiler alert. I fall in love with the man who comes in the night.

 

He watches me down the scope of his rifle, and it’s terrifying and exhilarating, not knowing when he’ll squeeze the trigger.

 

If he’ll squeeze the trigger.

 

Maybe I’ll die tonight…

 

…maybe I’ll die next week.

 

It’s a sick and twisted game, but it’s ours. And just when I think our story ends at a distance, he comes in close, thrusting himself into my life.

 

We are at war, he and I, and eventually, he’ll have to kill me.

If he doesn’t, someone else will.

 

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*Designed by Deranged Doctor Design*

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Skyla Madi is an Australian writer from Brisbane, Queensland.

She started her writing career fresh out of high school and at 21 she is a giver of both real and fictional life.

Madi is an Aquarian, lover of the written word and author of the #1 BESTSELLING Consumed trilogy.

 

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Bette and the Beast by Liza Penn #BookReview + #BlogTour! @XpressoTours #romance


Bette & the Beast
Liza Penn
(Hotel Ever After, #1)
Publication date: September 13th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Bette owns Fairhaven’s only bookstore…but only barely. She’s struggling with bills, but she refuses to sell to the hotel mogul Richard Dickson because he only wants to tear down the beloved store and replace it with a hotel. Can these two find a compromise and save the bookstore?

 

My Review:

Bette is the owner of an independent bookstore in the small town of Fairhaven. Hotel mogul Richard Dickson wants to buy it but Bette refuses. She knows that he’s only going to tear it down to build a monstrous hotel instead. Her bookstore is more than a business; it’s a part of her. But as the bills pile up and her father pressures her to sell, she caves in. Bette’s in for a surprise when she discovers that Richard is not the cold-hearted man she assumes he is. Will she let him in or will they be worlds apart?

I loved this romance and read it in one sitting. Based on classic fairy tales, Liza Penn’s brand new series (Hotel Ever After) is sexy, romantic, full of alpha men and women, and I, for one, want to stay at this charming hotel. I connected with Bette immediately and the chemistry between Bette and Richard is electric! I was sad when I read the last page and will be reading this whole series.

If you’re looking for a sexy romance to curl up to on a winter night, 1-click this right now! Highly recommend and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

My Rating: 5+ stars

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Author Bio:

 

Liza Penn is the pseudonym of an author living with her family in the piedmont of the Carolinas. She writes the Hotel Ever After books for fun and values her privacy.

 

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Catwalk Dream by @authorsqorpin #BlogTour @XpressoTours #giveaway #romance


Catwalk, Dream
S.Q. Orpin
(Catwalk, #1)
Publication date: January 7th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

In a world of glitz, glamour, and excess, sizzling hot Casi Roberts is the reigning queen. Swimsuit model by day and club girl by night, 29 year old Casi thrives in the LA culture, on the arm of her celebrity boyfriend, Alix Grey. Documenting her charmed life on social media, Casi has mastered the art of hiding her insecurities in a world obsessed with youth and beauty.

 

Ruggedly handsome, blue-eyed, Kyle Jensen has built an enviable life in Blackberry Falls, WA. When Casi walks into his life, Kyle’s carefully crafted lifestyle begins to unravel, igniting a passion in him that is electrifying. Captivated by her beauty and seduced by her provocative nature, Kyle is left reeling from their chance encounter.

 

As Casi’s life implodes after a tragic accident, she finds solace in a passionate relationship with Kyle, but the temptation of the glamorous lifestyle she has been living and the pressures of her career, threaten to shatter that dream.

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EXCERPT:

Kyle was kneeling beside the redwood bar, which had been recently added to enhance the terrace for the residents. He had his iPod earphones in, and she could hear the faint throng of heavy metal music. He didn’t hear her approach, and she took a minute to admire him as he leaned forward to secure a hinge. A smile crossed her lips as she strode to the bar and placed the wine bottle down. Having been caught unaware, he sat back on his heels, kneeling before her, slowly removing the earphones. He looked at her with distrust, his sea-blue eyes lingering over her bare legs in the short dress. He looked as if her actions confused him, and he was unsure what to make of the situation.

“Peace offering,” she said, glad her words and tone, for once, were not that of a stunted third-grader.

She gave him a bright smile, but he narrowed his eyes and said, “I don’t know what game you’re playing, but I’m not interested in your scam.”

Ouch, well that was well deserved. “I’m not sure what came over me the other day, and I apologize for what happened afterward. If you got to know me, you’d see I’m a much better person than that.” She extended her hand and said confidently, “I’m Casi Roberts. I’m twenty-nine, and I’ve been a model since I was seventeen. I live in one of the third-floor apartments with my boyfriend, Alix Grey, a well-known artist. I should be at his reception, but I felt like I should formally introduce myself.”

A smile reached his eyes, as he looked her over. He rose slowly and took her extended hand, leaning against the bar. “Hello, Casi Roberts. I’m Kyle Jensen, from Blackberry Falls, Washington. I’m thirty-three, and obviously, a custom woodworker. Do you come here often?” He gave a slight laugh at his pickup line.

“Only when I need to apologize for my bad behavior, so pretty much every Tuesday,” she joked back, shaking his hand, aroused by its strength and roughness.

He reached past her for the bottle of wine, and she could feel the electricity between them all the way to her toes. “Nice choice. Do you have a wine opener?” he asked.

“Damn it! I’ll be right back,” she said, as she ran down the stairs to her apartment.

Kyle shook his head and took out his phone, quickly sending a text to his brother. “The gorgeous woman who kissed me the other day, just came up to the roof where I’m working and brought a bottle of wine?”

Jake texted back, “She probably put a date-rape drug in it. Get out of there!”

Grabbing the wine opener, Casi glanced at her reflection in the mirror over the bar. “What the hell are you doing?” she asked the fresh-faced girl, staring back at her. She didn’t know what was about to happen, but for once she felt like living in the moment.

She hopped back up the stairs and handed him the wine opener. He kept his eyes on her, as he opened the bottle and filled the glasses. He took a sip of wine and said, “I’m not sure what you’re aiming for, but it’s not the first time I’ve heard mention of a boyfriend. You’re a beautiful woman, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to grab you and throw you down on the chaise and get to know you intimately. I have two weeks left on this job, and then I’m headed home. I don’t need the distraction of a spoiled model.”

Wow! This guy cuts to the chase. Casi set down her wine glass and stepped toward him. “Two weeks?” She cocked her head as she ran her hand over his chest, and looked into his deep, blue eyes, and smiled seductively.

Kyle put a firm hand on her hip, and moved her back. “Little girl, you need to take your games elsewhere.”

She again stepped forward. “I’m not a little girl, and I’m not playing games.” She brought his head to meet her, kissing him gently. She could taste the wine on his lips as she parted his mouth with her tongue. He hesitated and searched her eyes, trying to figure out what she wanted. He returned her kiss and pulled her closer. He trailed down her neck, as he caressed her back. He kissed her more passionately, growing in intensity, as he brought his hands under her dress and over the lacy panties she had carefully chosen.

She ran her hands over his t-shirt, feeling the definition of his chest muscles and toned abs, slipping her hands under his shirt to feel the heat of his skin. Casi liked to express herself sexually, an intimacy between lovers, but there was something different about Kyle. This feeling was foreign to her, the loss of control and willingness to let her body take over. She moaned as he slid his hands further up her dress toward her breasts, and she began to unbutton his jeans. He placed his hand on top of hers, stopping her from going farther. What the hell? Why was he stopping? Was he playing a game now?

Kyle stepped back and refilled their wine glasses. She wasn’t sure how to react to his apparent rejection. He turned back to face her and handed her the glass. The silence was suffocating. “Is this what you want? A quickie on the rooftop? Then you go back to your boyfriend, and I pretend like nothing happened for the next two weeks, and return to my life in Washington?”

Casi realized she hadn’t thought it through; this wasn’t a movie, magically ending with happily ever after. It was real life, messy and awkward. “That’s not what I want,” she surprised herself with the statement. “I honestly came to apologize for what had happened, but somehow ended up in the same place. Although I’m sure the sex would be mind-blowing for fifteen minutes, you’re right, we both have lives to return to.”

“Fifteen minutes? You’re seriously underestimating me.”

She loved the way his eyes crinkled when he laughed. She kissed him on the cheek and said, “Goodbye, Kyle, I have an installation to attend. I’ll be seeing you around.”

She straightened her back, and walked down the stairs to her apartment, feeling his eyes following her. As she closed the door, she realized she had been holding her breath. She walked into the bedroom and pulled the cotton dress off, exchanging it for the black jersey, halter dress. Black liner, red lips, chignon, and she was out the door in ten minutes.

 

Author Bio:

 

Canadian-born author, Suzy Orpin, has always had a vivid imagination and keen desire to write. Suzy views the world through her own narrative, weaving in the fascinating challenges, triumphs, and lifestyles of the people she meets. As a professional culinary instructor in Berkeley, California, Suzy is also intrigued by the diverse culture around her. Having travelled extensively through the Pacific Northwest, Suzy is drawn to the rich history and landscape of the area.

 

The Catwalk Series was motivated by an accident which redefined the life of her model-niece, Sterling. Wanting to give a voice to additional characters, Suzy expanded the original book, Dream, into a six-part series. Dream focuses on the struggle to overcome challenges and build a new life. Hope picks up where Dream ends, continuing to tell the love story of Casi and Kyle and the challenges they face. Casi and Kyle are the main characters in Trust, as well, but other key characters become an intricate part of the story.

 

All of the books are written in an omniscient viewpoint to give the effect of watching a movie, and allowing the reader into the thoughts of the characters. The story delves into deep, and sometimes, dark subject matter, weaving in back story and intrigue. The complexity of the characters was crucial to the plot, spanning almost five years, and told throughout the six books.

 

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Falling Out of Focus by @BrynnMyers #CoverReveal! #ParanormalRomance


Falling Out of Focus
Brynn Myers
Publication date: January 24th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

 

I was drowning, but all I needed to do was breathe.

 

It was 5:45pm when I decided my future. By 9:43 I was well on my way to making it all come true. At 11:16 I took the first step to make it a reality. At 11:17 I fell and found peace.

 

When a dream of dying actually becomes a chance to live. All you have to do is fall.

 

 

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Author Bio:

Brynn Myers is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance author. After considering writing a hobby for years, she finally turned her passion and talent into a career. She came into the paranormal genre later than most but has always loved fairy-tales and all things magical. Using that love, she creates charmed worlds by writing stories involving passionate, strong willed characters with something to discover.

 

Brynn lives with her family in the Brevard County, Florida area.

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The Countess Refuses by @katywalters07 #HistoricalRomance #KindleScout #Romance


The Countess Refuses
Katy Walter
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

With the deaths of both her parents, Miss Cassandra Whitney is left to care for her sisters and young brother. Now, unless her younger sister Isabella, gives in to the odious attentions of their landlord, Baron Nash Scudder of Urswick the family face eviction. She is both shocked and relieved to receive news of an inheritance from her estranged great grandfather the illustrious Earl of Elsborough. Her solicitor explains her grandpapa changed the entailment of his will to include the female line as he was loathe to allow the title to pass to a distant relative, a wastrel who had already frittered away a fortune. To Cassie’s relief and delight, not only does she inherit a title, but a substantial estate on the outskirts of Bath, which includes a ruin of a castle, farms and three villages albeit derelict.

 

News of the inheritance travelled fast throughout the south of England drawing in the avaricious designs of the ton. A certain dowager duchess sees the castle as a perfect ploy to raise her son’s and therefore her own status in the top ten. Such is her greed that she will stop at nothing to gain control of the castle. Her son, Maximillian, the illustrious sixth Duke of Taunton with a penchant for well-endowed mistresses has other plans. Can Cassie fight off these two predators, can she save the castle and her family?

 

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EXCERPT:

Jack sat down on the rickety settle whilst Belle, the love of his heart busied herself making tea.

Cassie sat across from him, perching on a three-legged stool; furniture was sparse in the little cottage. ‘Jack dearest, this morning, we had a visitor by the name of Mr. Arkwright, who informed me my great grandpapa entailed part of his fortune to the female line. It is my good fortune to inherit one of his estates near Bath, and … the title of Countess.’

‘Good Lord Cassie, an estate you say?’

‘Yes, a ruined castle, messuages, villages, farms, meadows, pastures and livestock.’

‘You never mentioned you be rich Cass.’

‘I was not Jack; it was a delicate matter; my mother refused to speak of her parents. However, Mr. Arkwright informs us our grandmother was cast out by her family, because she eloped with a commoner.’

‘So you are—?’

‘Commoners too, and proud of it, but now that has all changed.’

Jack grinned. ‘Then I must doff my cap to you all.’

‘Oh no Jack,’ Belle murmured, stroking the rugged jaw.

‘I have the deeds here.’ Cassie said, walking to the dresser. Reaching up for the key, she unlocked a drawer, taking out the roll of parchments and handing them to him.

Jack saw the coat of arms and insignia. ‘I can’t read Cassie, but it looks grand. So I am sitting here in this kitchen with gentry.’

Belle laughed, taking his hand. ‘Cassie has inherited—’

‘Belle,’ Cassie interrupted. ‘I intend to share this good fortune with you, Rosamond, Amelia and Teddy.’ She smiled at the bright faces of her family. ‘Tis a dream come true.’

Q & A WITH THE AUTHOR:

I live on the South Coast of the UK in the midst of Regency Towns. I enjoyed a long career as a research psychologist and psychotherapist. As the children grew and flew the nest, I decided to change direction and turned to writing historical romance, with an underlying theme that I hope inspires those who long to overcome inhibiting fears and reach their goals. Much of my inspiration for plots comes as I walk with my dog Lily along beaches, and in the nearby woods.

 

Is there an underlying theme to your book?

Yes, it’s a message which I hope inspires confidence in women or men subjected to pressures in their lives. I built up my own confidence through writing and work as a psychologist. I was delighted when a few readers wrote to me saying how my novels strengthened their outlook on life.

 

What is your favourite genre?

I have always loved historical novels. Whilst on holiday some years ago, I discovered I had links to a regency writer, Captain Gronow, who lived through those times. This spurred me on to research the era, and I fell in love with it; the research notes became the seeds for my first novel.

 

Who is your favourite author?

 

As a child, I adored Jeffery Farnol. I then discovered the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen. I was fascinated with the novels of Barbara Erskine. I also loved the poetry of Yeats, Longfellow, Wordsworth and Coleridge. Yet I am also fascinated with science fiction and the paranormal, so I would say I have an eclectic taste in authors.

 

 

Author Bio:

USA Today Best-Selling author, Katy Walters’s e-books and paperbacks are read in their thousands, and her pages equally so, in Kindle Unlimited. Katy lives in the midst of Regency towns on the South Coast of England. Being of Welsh and Irish parentage, her novels tend towards Celtic themes. Her main interests are historical and regency romance with an underlying theme of time travel. She is equally drawn to the paranormal myths of the Dark Ages, the pre-medieval era, where the ancient Britons were known as the People of the Trees. It was an era of travelling knights and their ladies, of ancient shamans and shapeshifting wolves and dragons.

 

Katy’s enjoyed an eclectic career, delighting in every one of her occupations. Although her childhood dream was to be a writer, Katy endured some dark times in her young life that made it impossible for her to reach her goals. On leaving school, the office beckoned and became her prison, one she managed to escape taking up operatic singing. Katy was spotted in London by an agent who managed Tommy Steel and Cliff Richards to name a few. Becoming the lead singer in a girl trio, she toured England and abroad, meeting with some famous names of the day in the music world. On marrying the love of her life, she chose to raise a family, enjoying every moment with her spouse and children. Later on returning to university, Katy went on to enjoy a long and rich career as a research psychologist, psychotherapist and hypnotherapist.

 

Katy then took up painting and was thrilled with this new world. Her husband and family encouraged her all the way. Pop Art was her main love and to her delight, her paintings were used as the theme for a new restaurant built on Miami Beach. But then her first love, writing, beckoned, and she was in a position to write to her heart’s content. It was a dream come true when Amazon opened up the doors to publishing.

 

Even now Katy has times where she has to fight to banish those early memories in her life, memories she said, are like scars, they fade, but never go away. But in those times, she boots up the PC and turns to the next chapter in her life, embracing each new interest as a support that becomes a delight.

 

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The Story Behind The Evanders Series by @ElleLainey #fantasy #YA #LGTB


evanders-schoo-tour-banner-new

Evanders wasn’t my first MM romance, but it was certainly the first with primary gay characters. My first MM romance came within The Belesone Pack Trilogy, when I wrote the character Leo, who never fitted with any of the female characters I tried to pair him with. Then I found the right man for him and everything fell into place.

 

Writing Evanders wasn’t that easy.

~

I started writing fiction around the age of fourteen. That’s when I really started making my own stories and inventing new characters. Of course, they were mostly based on people I’d read about or met at first, until my imagination grew. And back then I had a few gay friends, but it was never really something anyone thought too strongly about. It wasn’t a big deal, it wasn’t something that made them different. Back then, to us teenagers, it was the same as having a different hair colour: it just was. It was a fact of life, something they were born with and we accepted that without a fuss.

From what I saw, there wasn’t all this bullying and name calling that you read about in stories or on TV shows. And if there was, then I never saw it, because believe me I’d have been kicking their butt if it happened around me.

So when I started writing my fiction stories, all my main characters were Male to Female and had extraordinary romances. That’s just because that’s what I saw on a daily basis, from TV to movies to books and real life. Then I came across the M/M genre – which I hadn’t previously known existed – by accident. I was doing research for a story and stumbled across from fan-fiction by the excellent Beren_Writes AKA Natasha Duncan Drake. They weren’t YA by any means, but I devoured all the stories I could read – Harry Potter and Tokio Hotel mostly. I was gobsmacked. I’d never read anything like it, but it was amazing. These stories were excellent pieces of writing, with great storylines and plot and I just had to read more.

When I had finished reading everything of Beren_Writes that looked good to me, I started scouring Amazon for free M/M stories so that I could further explore this wonderful new (to me) genre. Through that, I opened my reading world to new authors as I began to explore more options.

Thanks to Beren_Writes fan fiction stories and a magical novel by a writer friend D.M. Andrews that I was privileged enough to review for him, I was suddenly flooded with inspiration. I wanted to write my own paranormal/magical story, inspired by but not based on these two authors stories. I got my plan together and decided on what I wanted.

Then, without even realising it, I looked back to find that my main character Riley, a banshee, was a male who fell in love with the other main character Payson, a vampire. Also male. And HOT DOGS I realised I’d just accidentally written my first M/M story, too buzzed with excitement to notice. It certainly wasn’t intentional; the creative juices often flow right out of me until I barely remember what I’ve written, only that I’m about five pages in and itching to keep going.

Of course, not everything goes smoothly when you have a new story. It sat at just three chapters for nearly six months, while my first published book was released. I had absolutely no idea how much promotion was required by the author when a book was released, so I had to abandon my new story, simply called Evanders at the time, for a while.

Thankfully, by the time the first few hectic weeks of promotion were done, I was still flooded with inspiration and dying to get back to my Evanders story. All I had at that point was the introductions to a few of the characters, though in a far different format and in a less well written style than what you’ll find in the final book.

But I had a problem. I was lost within the story. I had no idea how to get it from Point A – these three chapters I had written – to Point B – to where it might form a useable storyline. I though the problem was that I was writing in a genre I wasn’t accomplished with and that I shouldn’t try my hand at. Because, really, all those awesome M/M writers were so much better than me and I lost my confidence in the story as it was. So I went back to what I knew – MF romance.

For the next month, I changed every he, him and his in Evanders to change Riley from a boy to a girl. I was going to make it a traditional MF romance, since it was always going to be PG rated anyway. And for another six months I barely wrote anything. I got maybe two more chapters added, but five chapters didn’t make a novel. It certainly didn’t mean anything, either, because these five chapters were purely short introductions to the characters I wanted to include in the trilogy, mostly only about 3-word document pages long. It was nothing. Not enough for a story.

Eventually, I realised what the problem was: I wanted Riley to be a boy and fall in love with Payson. Without that part of the storyline and without going with my gut instincts the story would never get written. So I went back to the beginning and replaced every she and her with he, him and his to change Riley back from a girl to a boy, returning to my original plan. Now, changing the sex of your character five chapters in is never easy, but I did it and read every word of what I’d written so far. Suddenly, all that inspiration was back and I was writing again.

It took me a long time to realise that my original problem wasn’t that Riley was a boy; it was that I had limited my thinking in the general scope of the story. I always knew I wanted to write a trilogy, because I wanted each of the eight main characters to have a big part in the overall story. But I had limited my original plot to romance. I had book 1 featuring Riley and Payson’s romance. Back then, Spike never existed as more than a side character because I’d once again limited myself – notice a theme here? – to a two-person relationship that just didn’t feel right.

By the time I was ready to write the entire first novel, I had a better idea of where it was going. I had decided to let my characters speak to me and encourage me, to tell me where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do. Then I sat down and wrote out the brief outline of the paranormal/fantasy aspect. I wrote the plot that would arc throughout the trilogy – the prospect of the troubles they would encounter and how it would come about, even the difficulties in facing it and the things they’d have to do to find the truth. Then I wrote out each of the character’s parts, how they fitted in and where they would lead the story.

At the end of book 1, I was a little exhausted from the story. I had been working on it non-stop and thinking of nothing else. I needed a break. But I couldn’t shake the idea that Phil needed his own story, too. So, I set the magical aspect aside and wrote out Phil’s story, which somehow flowed out of me over a few days.

I finally had a basis for the trilogy.

After that, I took a few months off. It wasn’t intentional, but I’d written more adult MM novels and by publishing them, I had given myself more work. More editing, more planning, more writing, more promotion and so much more of everything required to go into a published book.

When I finally realised how long it had been since I had completed book 1, I re-read the entire novel and all my notes for books 2 and 3. I was shocked to find that it was all in bullet point, note form, with no real plan set forth on how to bring it together into a novel.

I spent a week or two reformatting my notes into something workable. Then I started writing. Book 2 was actually quite easy to write, just because I had all this information to work with and I knew now how I wanted to put it together.

Book 3 wasn’t so easy. In fact, it took me a year off between books 2 and 3 to actually finish writing it. Again, it was due to other demands, but I was determined to finish the series. It was hard, because I had the foundation blocks, as well as the middle evolution of the plot, but I didn’t know how to finish it. My notes had been used up and there was nothing left. It was all down to me thinking up the ending, without any help from previous notes.

It took me a while, perhaps a few months, to put it all together and then I was off.

I had finally finished.

~

The way the story came to be was exhausting. But what I really loved about the process was that it worked.

I began writing a romance novel, that progressed into a paranormal fantasy and became some epic trilogy that exceeded my expectations. Yes, the romance part was important at first, but the story that evolved from Riley and Payson’s initial friendship was so much more important.

Without them, the story would have stagnated at a romance and never gone any further.

 

evanders-1_front-cover

The School of Second Chances
(Evanders School for Enchanted Personage #1)
by Elaine White
Genre: YA Fantasy (LGBT)
Release Date: August 28th 2016
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Summary from Goodreads:

When a group of mishaps are drawn together at the most prestigious magical school in Scotland, vampires meet banshees, witches meet wolves, and things begin to happen that haven’t happened for an age. For these eight teenagers, turning sixteen has never seemed so terrifying. To learn how to hone their skills, they will discover more secrets lurking behind the shadows of their mythical lives than they ever realised existed. How they survive the school is one thing. How they survive each other will be quite another.

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The Lost and Lonely

(Evanders School for Enchanted Personage #1.5)

by Elaine White

Genre: YA Fantasy (LGBT)

Release Date: August 28th 2016

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Summary from Goodreads:

Phil always thought his life was going to be chaotic. Orphaned as a child and having grown up in foster care, his boyfriend Logan is the only shining light in his world, along with Phil’s two foster sisters, Ella and Estelle. But when Estelle goes off to a fancy new boarding school, suddenly everything changes. His life won’t always be dark and lonely, but it will no longer be simple, either. When the Sutherland’s enter his life, Phil has to question what secrets he’s willing to keep and where the word ‘magical’ fits into his normal, human life.  

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About the Author

Elaine White is the author of multi-genre romance, covering everything from paranormal, crime and contemporary. Growing up in a small town and fighting cancer in her early teens taught her that life is short and dreams should be pursued. Living vicariously through her independent, and often hellion characters, she lives comfortably at home with a pack of wolves cleverly disguised as one standard poodle.

The Winner of two Watty Awards – Collector’s Dream (An Unpredictable Life) and Hidden Gem (Faithfully) – she has explored the worlds of multiple genres, but remains a romantic at heart. A self-professed geek, Elaine has fallen in love with reading and writing LGBT romance, offering diversity in both genre and character within her stories.

Author Links:

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Blog Tour Organized by:

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The Adventures of Natalie Bloom by @HiBrookeStanton #bookboost #giveaway


The Adventures of Natalie Bloom
Brooke Stanton
(Bloom Sisters, #2)
Publication date: December 2nd 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Natalie’s dreams are about to come true. She’s found the perfect spot for her new restaurant and a perfect business partner to make it happen – gorgeous Luke Hawker – until she discovers things are not as they seem. Luke has run off with her money, leaving her dreams crumbling around her.

With Max Euston – her friend and secret crush -alongside her, Natalie must race against the clock to find Luke and get the money back before it’s too late.

With twists and turns, Natalie won’t know who to trust (or love) until the very last page.

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Here are some bonuses if you buy the book between Dec 2and Dec 6:

1: 75% off the retail price

2: entrance into an exclusive giveaway for a $50 Amazon Gift Card

3: A FREE, advanced copy of The Downfall of Catie Bloom

The bonuses will be available in the table of contents under Bonus when you buy the eBook.

Q&A with Brooke Stanton

Tell us a little about yourself.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I used to keep notebooks filled with short stories starting in middle school. If I’m going to be completely honest they were filled with some pretty risqué stories. I was young and didn’t know much about romance or sex, but my aunt wrote romance novels and I used to sneak and read them, so I tried to emulate her. I didn’t really understand the subject matter. I don’t think I’d even kissed a boy, yet. Once I got to high school, I wrote more mainstream fiction in my spiral notebooks. They were never for anyone to see. Just my own enjoyment. I went to a performing arts high school and funnelled my creativity on stage at the time. But I always knew one day I would publish a book.

Why do you write?

I write for the same reason I used to get on stage and sing and act. It’s cathartic. I love diving into different stories and characters. It makes me feel alive.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

To have the freedom to write what I want in many different genres. I hope my readers love my books as much as I love writing them.

What has been the hardest part of building your career?

Being patient!

Which writers inspire you?

Jojo Moyes, Emily Giffin, Meg Cabot. All their stories and characters are interesting and unique and I love how their stories unfold. The love stories feel authentic and there’s always a bit of fun and laughter.

What have you written? (Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest).

My debut novel was the award-winning RomCom, The Misadventures of Catie Bloom. My follow-up novel is The Advenutres of Natalie Bloom, which is the second book in the Bloom Sisters series (but can be read as a stand-alone). I have a blog on my website that focuses on my writing career with day-to-day life anecdotes. When I was trying to get preggers, I had a humor blog called Vagina Vacancy. I also contributed to Natural Awakenings magazine and wrote a column for examiner.com.

What inspires your ideas?

Everything! No, really. I never know when an idea is going to hit; I could be on a plane, in a car, watching a movie, reading the newspaper, about to fall asleep. My phone is filled with notes of story ideas. I have at least a dozen. And they will all be written.

Are there any correlations between the books you write and your life experiences?

The Adventures of Natalie Bloom was largely inspired by my yearly trips to Red Frog Beach in Panama. My parents own a place there and it’s a beautiful, unique, inspiring location. The wheels in my head were turning every time I went down there and out of that came this book.

My novel, How to Survive New York on Three Dates a Week (co-written by Corinne Barlow), is the most biographical. Most of the stories are pulled right from our lives. It’s scheduled to be released in early 2018.

All my books have a few anecdotes I took either directly from my life or my friends. If you know me, read carefully…you may find a bit of your life staring back at you!

Do you work from an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

I used to write and see where the story took me. But I found writing for discovery without any kind of outline takes too long. Now I write a short outline before I write any book. It has done wonders for the speed in which I can write a book now. And there’s still a lot to discover, even with an outline.

Tell me about your most recent release.

It’s a romantic adventure about discovering what you and what you’ll do (and won’t do) to get. It’s a bit of romance, adventure, and mystery all tied together. Natalie Bloom discovers to get what she wants she has to fight for it and not be afraid to get hurt…a hard thing to do for all of us.

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp? I don’t focus on a message as much as I focus on giving my readers something to indulge in, like sneaking a pint of rocky road ice cream and savouring every morsel as it slides down. But the most prominent theme in Natalie Bloom is not letting fear get in the way of living your life – stand up for what you want and go out and get it, no matter what the obstacles.

Any new projects we should look out for?

The third and final book in the series, The Downfall of Catie Bloom, is coming out in the summer of 2017.

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Author Bio:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on Facebook or her personal website.

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

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“Maia must trust someone to survive” Shadow Fall by @AudreyGreyBooks #books #scifi #YA


Shadow Fall
Audrey Grey
(Shadow Fall, #1)
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.

The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.

When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.

The question is who?

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You can get your copy now for the special release price of 99 cents, and be sure to meet us at the Facebook Party happening right now!

EXCERPT:

My legs wobble as I step into the now lukewarm water. I sink to the bottom. Tiny bubbles escape my nose as I watch all the ugly remnants from the last seven years leave my body.

Lungs burning, I rise and come face-to-face with Pit Boy.

I glare at him. “You really have to work on the knocking thing.”

Despite the fact that I’m indecent, his attention never falls from my face. I almost wish it would, just to give me a break from the intensity of his focus.

“I only get a few more hours to be the ‘one-eyed freak’ from the pit. Might as well take advantage.” He doesn’t dare crack a smile, so it’s hard to tell if he’s joking or serious.

“Don’t worry. In my heart, that’s exactly who you’ll always be.”

His words remind me that soon we’ll be reconstructed using forbidden nanotech. But it won’t just be our flesh they’ll reengineer. It will be our brains, too.

I don’t foresee my rewiring being too complicated, but Riser needs to upload almost twenty years of false memories. That will be tricky and time-consuming.

And time is the one thing we don’t have.

Riser flicks his gaze to the mirror. He lifts a hand, touches the patch of mottled flesh where his eye should be.

“How did it happen?” I ask.

“Careful, my lady.” His gaze settles on my face. “You’re beginning to sound like you care.”

I roll my eyes. “And I thought I was lacking in conversational skills.”

He focuses his attention on the graffiti sprayed across the mirror.

“It’s written language,” I blurt, even though all I want to do is end the conversation so Pit Boy can leave. His presence unnerves me more than the other Pit Leeches ever could. “It’s how we communicate.”

“I know what it is.” He examines his jagged thumbnail. “I just . . . can’t read it.”

“It’s just stuff about the Chosen. You know, insults.” The populace is finicky. As much as they love watching the Chosen with their petty intrigues and court life, they would be just as happy to see their heads on a pike.

“Chosen?”

Time to explain what you are, Everly, Nicolai’s voice grates inside my head. Riser’s eyes flutter just enough that I know he’s heard Nicolai’s voice too.

You do it, I think, watching Riser’s reaction. But his face remains emotionless; either he’s a good actor or only Nicolai can hear my response.

“The Royalist astronomers discovered the asteroid twenty-one years ago,” I begin. “It’s actually a slow moving planet called an earth-crosser, meaning its orbit and ours intersect every twenty-thousand years. Usually it’s too far away to affect us, but this time it will pass close enough to wreak havoc and make the earth uninhabitable for years.” I stir the water with my big toe. “Before I was born, the Emperor decided that creating a population of genetically superior humans would be a great idea, you know, just in case the Caskets don’t work or the asteroid does more damage than predicted.”

Riser’s hyper-focused gaze bores through me. “You’re one of them?”

“Yes.” I run my hand through the filthy water. “But my father’s a Bronze, so even though my mother comes from a Gold House, the Emperor only allowed them one Chosen instead of the customary twins. So it’s just me . . . not Max.”

“What makes being Chosen so special?”

“I don’t know . . .” I bite my lip, trying to remember everything my parents told me. “My genes are perfect, I guess.”

For some reason, talking about my body makes me remember that I am naked in a room with a boy. As if reading my mind, Riser slowly lets his gaze fall, his expression both curious and unapologetic as he takes me all in, his thoughts cryptic.

“What are you staring at?” I blurt, smashing my breasts beneath my hands. Not like there’s much there to cover. “Haven’t you seen a naked girl before?”

A smile twitches his lips. “Not one that’s genetically flawless.

“It doesn’t work that way! You can’t just look at us and tell. We look like everyone else—”

“No.” Riser shakes his head, a dark swath of hair covering his damaged eye. “You don’t. Whatever you are.”

“You must be happy . . . about our reconstruction, I mean,” I mumble, trying desperately to change the subject. “They’ll fix your eye . . . and . . . and all those horrible scars.”

I freeze as he slides off the counter, unable to look away as he hooks one finger beneath his shirt and lifts.

Scars ravage his anemic body in varying shades of red and silver and white. Some deep and pitted like the craters of a far-away planet, others smooth and neat. One particular nasty scar carves down his shoulder, tunneling across his chest and stomach. A fresh red wound nestles just below his throat.

He carefully touches the long ugly one. “I’m not ashamed for surviving.”

 

Author Bio:

Audrey Grey lives in the charming state of Oklahoma, with her husband, two little people, and four mischievous dogs. You can usually find her hiding out in her office from said little people and dogs, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for her characters to live in.

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J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis by New York Times Bestseller @KatyRegnery #Romance #Books


J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis
Katy Regnery
(The Rousseaus, #3)
Publication date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Did you fall in love with The English Brothers? Were you hot for the Winslows? Katy Regnery’s New York Times bestselling Blueberry Lane series continues with The Rousseau siblings in 2016!

If the best man and maid of honor are both single, it’s practically an unwritten rule that they should pork.

…so begins a rocky acquaintance between Jean-Christian “J.C.” Rousseau and Libitz Feingold at the wedding of J.C.’s brother and Lib’s best friend. While manslut best man J.C. is surprised when maid of honor Libitz soundly spurns his advances, his curiosity is piqued. The girl he couldn’t have becomes the only one he wants.

So, when he finds a seventy-year-old portrait in the attic of his sister’s mansion that bears an uncanny resemblance to the prickly gallery owner, he enlists her help in solving a mystery seven decades in the making. Traveling from Philadelphia to New York to Marseille, a couple who started off as enemies will discover that even cynics can find true love…and mortal man is no match for destiny.

*All books in The Blueberry Lane Series can be enjoyed as standalone novels.*

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EXCERPT:

“You must be the famous Libitz,” he’d opened, taking his assigned seat beside her, and flashing his sexiest grin.

After all, if she was his chosen conquest for the weekend, there was no time like the present to work his wiles. Wearing a simple black sheath dress with aqua circles, 70s-style mod make-up and oversized silver and crystal chandelier earrings that almost brushed her thin shoulders, she’d turned to him and blinked those wide, all-seeing eyes.

“And you…must be kidding.”

Taken aback, he’d stared at her for a second before chuckling. “Wha—I mean, how’s that?”

“Let’s start over,” she said, cocking her head to the side. “Here’s your line, Romeo: “Hi, I’m Étienne’s brother, Jean-Christian. It’s nice to meet you.” Want to give it a try?”

He cleared his throat, his smile fading. “Hi, I’m Étienne’s brother, Jean-Christian. It’s nice to meet you.”

She locked eyes with his, her lips neutral, neither tilted up nor down. “Hi. I’m Libitz Feingold, Kate’s best friend…and it’s not cold enough.”

“What?” asked J.C., feeling completely turned around.

“It’s not cold enough in hell for me to fall for someone like you,” she said, then shifted back around to talk to the person on her other side.

Well, fuck me, thought J.C., taking another gulp of beer as he tried to figure out if he was insulted or impressed. After a moment, he nudged her in the side with his elbow and she looked at him over her shoulder, her expression annoyed.

“Yes?”

“I hear the temperature’s dropping there,” he said casually, then added, “because they’re expecting a visit from you.”

“Ha!” she chortled, a genuine grin brightening her eyes for a moment before she quickly reigned it back in to practiced ennui. “Is that right?”

He shrugged, tipping his bottle of beer back as he held her eyes, challenging her to come back at him with something clever. “So I heard.”

“From all the friends you’ve got there?”

He almost spit his beer out. Damn, but she was quick.

“Truce?’ he asked, placing his beer on the table and holding out his hand.

She stared at his hand for a moment, then looked away, leaning forward to pick up her champagne glass and bringing it slowly to her lips. “No, thanks. Mama didn’t raise no fool.”

“You’re unreal.” She shook her head, that bored look still in place.

“Nope. I’m real. I’m just not a good target for charming scamps looking for trouble.”

“A target? Shit. Who got to you?” he asked, feeling a little abused by her insta-judgement of him without actually getting a chance to know him in person. Not that she was wrong exactly. But getting into trouble with the right person could be a hell of a lot of fun.

“The list is long and distinguished,” she shot back.

His eyes widened and his lips wobbled.

“Oh, God,” she said, shaking her head as her cheeks bloomed an appealing pink under her make-up. “I walked right into that one didn’t I?”

“Yes, you did,” said J.C. with what he hoped was a disarming grin. “All together, now…”

“So’s my Johnson,” they said at the same time, quoting the rebuttal line from Top Gun.

“Hey, look at that,” he said, still smiling at her. “You do know how to have fun. I was beginning to worry.”

Her smile instantly faded. “You’re not as cute as you think you are.”

“Yeah,” he said, nodding as he finished the last of his beer. “I am.”

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.

Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.

Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.

In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

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To the Ends of the Earth by @skye_warren #romance #newrelease #giveaway


 

To the Ends of the Earth
Skye Warren
Publication date: November 15th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

 

Another rundown apartment. Another job that pays cash. Every new city it becomes harder to hide but I can’t stop running.

 

There are two men after me. One wants to save my soul. The other wants to claim my body.

 

Part of me wants Luca to catch me, even knowing what he’s capable of. An enforcer. A fighter. The only language he speaks is violence.

 

How far will he go to find me?

 

What will he do once he does?

 

A wild glance over my shoulder. The shadows are moving. I’m about to find out.

 

Start the Stripped Series Today: http://www.skyewarren.com/books/ 

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EXCERPT:

His growl makes the hair on my neck stand up.

“You’re not going anywhere.” He flicks the bathroom light on, revealing the gruesome spray of blood across his face. I cry out at the gash over his eye, the long ridge of dried blood along his chest. He looks like a gladiator after a long-drawn-out battle in the arena.

And he didn’t just manage to escape. He must have killed those men. That’s the only way he could have managed to leave that parking lot. All those lives on my head.

More pain. More death. No matter how fast I run, I can’t seem to escape it.

“I don’t understand,” I whisper. “Why me?”

In the world he comes from there are a hundred beautiful women. Women who know how to wear pretty dresses and put on makeup. Women who know how to please a man as rough as Luca. Candace used to live in Harmony Hills with me. She was the first person to ever get out alive. And she turned herself into a siren, someone who could command men with a single flick of her perfectly manicured nail. She did it to prove that she could. And I…well, I can’t. I haven’t even been able to cut my long hair.

He steps close, and I’m suddenly more aware of my naked tummy, my breasts covered only by a single layer of fabric. My chest rises and falls with heavy, panicked breaths.

“You captured me, little bird.” He trails a blunt finger down my temple, lifting a long blonde lock. It looks pale and silky against his scarred fingertip. “I follow you for the same reason you run.”

 

Author Bio:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

 

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Celtic Fire by @LizGavin_author #coverreveal #paranormal #romance




 

Celtic Fire
Liz Gavin
(Highland Celts Series, #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Paranormal, Romance

REDUCED PRICE UNTIL RELEASE DAY ONLY

 

This is a standalone, historical/paranormal romance. Its mature themes – violence, religious war, and pagan rituals – might not be appropriate for audiences under 18.

 

When ancient gods ruled and Druids kept Faith alive, the Celts thrived as a democratic, matriarchal society. Then savage Roman soldiers swept across Europe, killing and enslaving. The Celts did not succumb without a fight. Their Old Ways survived centuries of ruthless domain until another menace loomed: a tortured god worshiped in cold stone buildings. The sacred shores of Avalon began to drift away, the mists threatened to hide the island from mortal eyes forever.

 

Against the bleak backdrop of war, the gorgeous Scottish Highlands stood tall, sheltering its inhabitants from greedy invaders. Yet the reach of the eagle banners was long and the highlanders turned to the Goddess for protection. However, the sacred groves felt silent and grim as Avalon faded away. Once sad, pealing bells began to sound strangely comforting while the high walls of monasteries offered an alluring barrier from violence. Caught in the middle of this centuries-old war, a young High Priestess might be Avalon’s last chance.

 

Wise beyond her years and powerful like no other Priestess in her lifetime, Rowen had served the Goddess faithfully, forsaking her family and the company of her soulmate. When the Lady of the Lake asks for another sacrifice, it might be one too many for her scarred heart. How could she obey the Goddess without betraying Caddaric? Could she trust Eochaid, who embodied everything she despised and hated? Would she be able to fulfill her duties without losing her soul?

 

Caddaric had been Rowen’s companion in countless lives; but, now, they existed in different realms. Beautiful Rowen lived in the mortal world while sweet Caddaric remained in the sacred isle of Avalon, watching over her. Could he step aside to allow another man – a flesh and blood man – to become her protector?

 

Eochaid had sworn to protect the Old Ways. The rude warrior never quite understood his faith yet his loyal heart belonged to the Goddess. A gorgeous, fiery High Priestess was not in his plans. He would risk his life to protect Rowen; but, would the Goddess safeguard his heart? Could he defend the bewitching maiden from himself?

 

When stakes were so high that a simple mistake could cost their very world, a priestess, a Druid, and a warrior must learn to trust each other and the mysterious ways of the Goddess. Their success would save Avalon. Their failure would tear the island from the human realm forever, condemning it to oblivion.

 

Failure was not an option.

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Author Bio:

 

When Liz Gavin was in Second Grade – just a couple of years ago, really – her teacher told her mother the little girl should start a diary because she needed an outlet for her active and vivid imagination. She was a talkative child who would disrupt the class by engaging her colleagues in endless conversations. She loved telling them the stories her grandfather used to tell her.

 

Apparently, the teacher wasn’t a big fan of those stories, and Liz’s mother bought her a diary. She happily wrote on it for a couple of months. Unable to see the appeal of writing for her own enjoyment only, she gave up on it. She missed the audience her friends provided her in class. She went back to disturbing her dear teacher’s class.

Since then, she has become a hungry reader. She will read anything and everything she can get her hands on – from the classics to erotica. That’s how she has become a writer of erotica and romance, as well.

 

As a young adult, she participated in a student exchange program and lived in New Orleans for six months. She fell in love with the city and its wonderful inhabitants. NOLA will always hold a special spot in Liz Gavin’s heart. Nowadays, living in Brazil, Liz’s creativity has improved many times because it’s such a vibrant, gorgeous and sexy country.

 

Welcome to her world of hot Alpha males and naughty, independent women. Add a touch of the paranormal in the presence of some wicked souls and you’ll get the picture.

 

Sit back, fire up your Kindle and enjoy the ride!

 

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#CoverReveal: The Lost Girl by @Candy_Atkins #Books #YA #Fantasy




 

The Lost Girl
Candy Atkins
(The Lost Knight, #2)
Publication date: November 20th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

If Stratagor Ziras doesn’t kill me, my training program will!

 

Every day I wake up and go through the motions, but they’ve figured out that I’m not a Knight. I can’t ride, I can’t fight, I can’t do magic, and worst of all, I can’t see whatever it is I’m supposed to see in this stupid Orb.

 

Nothing is what it seems here. Everyone says they want what’s best for me, but who can I trust? The lying snake? The feathery crocodile trying to lock me away? The Queen who wants me dead? Or the devil himself?

 

I don’t know what I’m more afraid of—the enemies that have made several attempts on my life, or my allies now that they know they’ve made a huge a mistake.

 

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Sequel to:

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Get exclusive sneak preview sample excerpts of The Lost Girl by subscribing to Candy’s newsletter!

After the blitz, the author will giving away one signed copy of The Lost Knight and one signed copy of The Lost girl to one random newsletter subscriber.

 

Author Bio:

 

Candy Atkins is a full‐time writer who lives with her husband and two kids in Orlando, Florida. She’s an avid reader and lover of all things fantasy and sci‐fi. Her debut novel, The Lost Knight, is volume one of the six‐part Lost Knight Series.

 

Her life’s journey has taken her from dining with the President to being on food stamps to running her own company. And since all author bios end by naming and quantifying pets…she also enjoys spending time with her boxer, Butler, and Wynona the cat.

 

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Dark One’s Mistress by @AldreaAlien Blog Tour #NewAdult #GothicRomance


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Dark One’s Mistress

by Aldrea Alien

Genre: NA Gothic Romance

Release Date: October 31st 2016

Thardrandian Publications

dom-cover

Summary from Goodreads:

For centuries, the people have lived under the protection of their so-called Dark Lord. Now, with news of his death reaching the quiet village of Everdark, rumour whispers that his son, Lucias, is hunting for a mistress to beget him an heir.

Clara doesn’t put much stock in village gossip, until she finds herself forcibly taken to the Lord’s fortress. Escape is not easy. She has no way out and, against a man with magic, little chance of fighting back. But the Lords are still men and the death of Lucias’ father is proof that they die just the same. And yet, if Lucias dies heirless, his army will be free to terrorise the land.

Such is the goal of Lenora of Ne’ermore, an old enemy and ex-prisoner of the kingdom. She is sending a man to slaughter Lucias and, to ensure there’s no chance of an heir, his mistress must die as well.

Caught between regaining her freedom or losing it for the good of the kingdom, Clara struggles to decide her path before certain death breaches the gates.

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Excerpt:

Clara squished her face against the window and peered at the roof below. It had to be no more than a story lower. She used to clamber down such heights on a regular basis during her childhood. Surely she still could now. Her fingers caressed the latch. The metal gave a faint screech as it moved. If she could just open the pane wide enough to get out, she could escape this room. But to where?

Her brow twitched, squeaking on the glass. The longer she stared at the roof, the more certain she became of its steep pitch. One mistake could send her plummeting over the edge. There had to be another, less dangerous, way out.

A small bed sat against the wall to her left, its bedding smooth and the drapes pulled back. On the far side hung a mirror, the silver backing near opaque with age. A table stood under it, on top of which sat a candlestick, its metal bands glinting in the light as she rounded the bed end.

She picked up the candlestick and, removing the unlit candle, bounced it in her hand. The smoothed wood felt hard and solid. It might, just, be heavy enough.

Someone rapped on the door. “Miss?”

Scurrying across the room, Clara pressed herself against the wall beside the door.

Another, harder, knock came. “I would come back another time, miss, but I’ve been instructed to serve you the evening meal now.” The rattle of a key in the lock followed, then the creak of the door handle.

She stiffened. The door slowly swung into the room. The unmistakable jingle of crockery filled the silence. Lifting the candlestick high, Clara waited for the man to step into view.

“Miss?” A head, the hair just beginning to show the signs of balding, stuck out from behind the wooden panel.

She struck with all the force she had, sending the man to the floor before he’d the chance to fully enter the room. The platter he’d been holding fell with a clang. Plates smashed as they connected with stone, their contents spilling onto the rugs.

Clara dropped the candlestick. Picking up her skirts, she hurdled the chaos she’d created and ran. Down the spiralling steps, one hand on the inner wall to keep her steady. A brief pause on the first landing, then out through the door and into the empty corridor.

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Trailer:

About the Author:

aldrea-alien

Mother. Animal lover. Vampire. Fangirl.

Aldrea Alien is a New Zealand author of romantic speculative fiction of varying heat levels.

She grew up on a small farm out the back blocks of a place known as Wainuiomata alongside a menagerie of animals, who are all convinced they’re just as human as the next person (especially the cats). She spent a great deal of her childhood riding horses, whilst the rest of her time was consumed with reading every fantasy book she could get her hands on and concocting ideas about a little planet known as Thardrandia. This would prove to be the start of The Rogue King Saga as, come her twelfth year, she discovered there was a book inside her.

Aldrea now lives in Upper Hutt, on yet another small farm with a less hectic, but still egotistical, group of animals (cats will be cats). She still hasn’t yet found an off switch to give her an ounce of peace from the characters plaguing her mind, a list that grows bigger every year with all of them clamouring for her to tell their story first. It’s a lot of people for one head.

Author Links:

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Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

Give Me Chaos (The Wolfegang Series #5) by @JillianAshe #YA #books #coverreveal


City of Wind by @Jordan_Rivet Cover Reveal #Fantasy #YoungAdult #books


City of Wind
Jordan Rivet
(Steel and Fire, #4)
Publication date: December 20th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Dara Ruminor is a serious young duelist in the mountaintop kingdom of Vertigon, a land of dramatic cliffs and misty peaks where mysterious Fire magic runs through the stones like blood. The secluded kingdom has been peaceful for a hundred years. Swords are used for sport, and successful athletes live like kings as long as the crowds love them.

 

Eighteen-year-old Dara needs to find a wealthy patron in order to duel professionally and avoid a lifetime working in her parents’ Fire Lantern shop. Her efforts are disrupted when her coach asks her to train with Prince Siv, an infuriating—if handsome—young man who refuses to take the sport as seriously as she does. But the prince’s life may be in danger, and soon Dara will discover that Vertigon isn’t as peaceful as she thought.

 

As threats emerge from the shadows, Dara will have to raise her sword to protect Siv—if he doesn’t irritate her so much that she decides to run him through herself.

 

From the author of the Seabound Chronicles comes a new fantasy series about sword fighting, cur-dragons, molten Fire magic, and one young woman’s effort to prove herself.

 

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Previous books in the series:

29749132 30175685 31793524

 

Author Bio:

Jordan Rivet is an American author of swashbuckling fantasy and post-apocalyptic adventures set at sea. Originally from Arizona, she lives in Hong Kong with her husband. She was a fencer for many years and hasn’t made up her mind about whether the pen is mightier than the sword.

 

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20 Holiday Stories: Love, Christmas by @mimisgang1 #holidayromance #POTLReads #mgtab


Love, Christmas Boxed Set
Publication date: October 1st 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

♫♪Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer.♫♪

 

We Need a Little Christmas by Leanne Banks – Can a handsome cynic become a Christmas believer?

 

Frosty the Snowman by Mimi Barbour – Stranded in an Alaskan snowstorm, strangers Hali and Terry are forced to rely on each other for survival.

 

Last Christmas by Joan Reeves – Annabelle gave him her heart, but Rick threw it away. He wants redemption, she wants revenge.

 

Holly Jolly Christmas by Mona Risk – Pregnant at 18. Adoption would save the baby’s future but may cost her the man she loves.

 

Do You Hear What I Hear? by Patricia Rosemoor – Live-in-lovers Shelley and Jake are now in a cold war of their own over Christmas.

 

White Christmas by Rebecca York – Was she in a coma, or was she in a Christmas fantasy?

 

So This is Christmas by Denise Devine – He was her child nemesis, now he’s her best friend forever.

 

Grown Up Christmas List by Donna Fasano – All she wants for Christmas is to feel safe… then she meets her guardian angel.

 

Blue Christmas by the Sea by Traci Hall – Alone for Christmas, Tamsyn helps mystery writer Evan find his mojo–love is a gift neither can refuse.

 

Santa Baby by Taylor Lee – Lily’s only hope was that this time, he wouldn’t be able to find her.

 

Let It Snow by Stephanie Queen – A stranger and a snow storm on Christmas Eve create the ultimate test for Dane & Shana.

 

Merry, Did You Know? by Jennifer St. Giles – Can a Christmas Miracle change the future of a woman who doesn’t believe in love and a man who can’t love again?

 

O Christmas Tree by Alicia Street – Can Piper convince Cody to let go of his painful past and embrace the hope of Christmas and possibly love?

 

Sleigh Ride by Katy Walters – Miss Sophia Vale faces poverty. Enter the Earl of Breconbridge, renowned as a rake hell with a conscience.

 

Deck the Hearts by Rachelle Ayala – Can Holly’s jolly Christmas spirit help Grinch Gordon Gills save the town of Christmas Creek?

 

Silver Bells by Jacquie Biggar – Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants?

 

Hark the Herald Angel Falls by Michele Hauf – To earn her halo, angel Merit must convince the person who holds her earthly soul in limbo–her husband–to stop loving her.

 

Little Drummer Boy by Dani Haviland – How could a mere drummer boy help those stranded in the worst winter storm of the 18th century?

 

I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Nancy Radke – When former a former Navy SEAL plucks a woman from the Mediterranean Sea, he discovers a fighter tougher than he.

 

Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Cynthia Cooke – A big city girl reunites with a small town boy–magic. A Santa in need of an elf–Christmas magic.

 

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Free Spirit or Cold-Blooded Killer? Tattoo Killer by @AJNorris_Author #POTLReads #FridayReads


Tattoo Killer
A.J. Norris
(A Tattoo Crimes Novel #1)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Mikey Hardin is a murderer. At least that’s what his ex-wife wants the police to believe…

 

A tattoo artist and single father, Mikey becomes a suspect in a series of homicides thanks to an anonymous tip from his ex.

The case against him seems straightforward, especially since Mikey is connected to the victims, but police detective Harry Hunter knows finding the psychopath isn’t that simple. The physical evidence doesn’t add up. After Mikey is released and amid the turmoil of his life, he meets Grace Bell, a beautiful divorcee, in a chance encounter.

 

Mikey is everything that straight-laced Grace isn’t…

 

Grace is tired of living a rigid existence and wants to break free from the routine of her mundane life. The tattoo artist’s free spirit and charm quickly draw her into his world. From the back of his Harley, he teaches her how to let go and have fun, leading to a sizzling passion she never knew existed.

 

Another woman is found dead, and the killer isn’t finished yet…

 

Grace is unaware of Mikey’s part in the investigation of the local homicides, but when her estranged father, detective Harry Hunter, finds out who she’s dating, he’s quick to fill her in. Even though he thinks Mikey is innocent, there is a killer in Webster and he’s not stopping until he gets what he wants. Every victim is connected to Mikey, and her father fears Grace will be next.

 

After Detective Hunter receives a threatening phone call from the killer, he rushes to protect his daughter, but is Grace really the next target of the…

 

Tattoo Killer?

 

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Author Bio:

A.J. Norris is a lover of all books but her loyalty remains with her first crush; romance. She graduated from a mid-western college with a degree in absolutely nothing to do with writing whatsoever. It wasn’t until well after college when the build-up of voices inside her head became too overwhelming and needed to be let out, that she began to write. She isn’t following a family legacy of writers, only a need to put words on a piece of paper. Her romantic suspense novel, Tattoo Killer, published by Limitless, LLC releases October 2016. Her Black Wings, book one of The Dark Amulet Series, a paranormal romance, released in July 2016 and book two, Her Black Hearts released August 23, 2016.

 

A.J. is a movie buff, especially book adaptations, loves watching her son play baseball and communing with other writers. She lives with her family who are extremely tolerant (at least most of the time) of all her late nights behind the computer.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Can She Bring These Girls Together? Spies Like Me by @DougSolter #YA #POTLReads #Giveaway


Spies Like Me
Doug Solter
(The Gems, #1)
Publication date: October 4th 2016
Genres: Adventure, Young Adult

Can she bring these girls together?

 

When she discovers her father’s plane crash wasn’t an accident, sixteen year old Emma wants to punish those responsible. Even if it means becoming a spy. The mysterious organization known simply as The Authority wants Emma to join the Gems. This team of all-girl spies knows how to handle themselves on dangerous missions…like stopping an evil plan to incinerate the world’s food supply.

 

Meet the Gems…

 

Olivia, code-named Emerald, is seventeen years old. Half English and half Jamaican. Specializes in leadership, marksmanship, and is a rated pilot.

 

Miyuki, code-named Ruby, is sixteen and from Okinawa, Japan. She specializes in gymnastics and martial arts. Trained in jungle survival and deep sea diving. Once blew up her boyfriend’s motorcycle using a rocket launcher.

 

Nadia, code-named Sapphire, is sixteen and from Saudi Arabia. She’s a science and computer nerd. Nadia’s zero-gravity school agriculture project created interest from NASA and the European Space Agency.

 

Emma, code-named Black Opal, specializes in high school theater and shopping.

 

Each girl comes from a different background. Each girl comes with different skills. Each girl comes with their own drama.

 

The Authority thinks Emma is the missing link to make this team work.

 

Emma thinks The Authority is her only chance for revenge.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Amazon Canada / Apple / Nook / Kobo / Google Play / Inktera

EXCERPT:

Emma led Ruby up the metal ladder inside the gigantic empty wine barrel. Both girls passed through the winery’s gift shop and went outside to the parking lot. Emma unlocked the doors of her car and the two girls climbed inside it.

“Mercedes AMG,” Rudy said. “How fast does it go?”

Emma pushed the start button. “I don’t know. I just got it a few months ago.”

“No speed?”

“I don’t like to drive like that.”

Ruby nodded. “Safety conscious.”

Emma rolled out of the parking lot and took California Highway 29 south out of Napa Valley towards Vallejo. As the car settled on a speed, Emma flipped on the cruise control. She gripped the leather-stitched steering wheel and exchanged a few glances at Ruby, who grinned. Normally Emma welcomed uncomfortable quiet over uncomfortable conversation, but Mrs. B was quite insistent that Emma should get to know this girl, so…

“Can you tell me your real name?”

Ruby shook her head. “Top secret.”

“Oh. Sorry. I’m new to all this spy stuff, so—”

Ruby covered her mouth as she laughed. “Only kidding. Messing with you. My real name is Miyuki.”

“Miyuki?”

“Mi-yu-ki. Yes, it’s Japanese for awesome girl from Okinawa.” She laughed again. “What is your name, Black Opal?”

“Emma.”

“What does Emma mean in English?”

“I have no idea.” Emma thought about it. “It’s English for normal girl who loves books and puppies, I guess. I’m boring.”

“You forgot to add pulls hair like a mother-trucker.” Miyuki laughed again. Her laugh was so rich and genuine. Something a person could get addicted to.

Miyuki talked all the way from Vallejo, through Berkeley, and over the bridge to San Francisco. She told Emma about the Gems and how they moved here from London, where they were stationed previously. About how much she looked forward to seeing America. About how Emma’s habit of not looking before changing lanes was a tad dangerous.

“I know. I keep forgetting there might be a car over there.” Emma checked her side mirror as they reached the end of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Miyuki’s eyes lit up like a little girl. “So beautiful. San Francisco is so beautiful.”

Emma focused on the traffic, which could get tricky heading into the city. Miyuki continued to point out every fascinating thing she saw out the window. There was no desperate need to be loved in Miyuki’s voice. No compromising herself in some attempt to get Emma to like her more. Miyuki said whatever she was thinking at the top of her head, and Emma found it refreshing.

Emma led Miyuki into the San Francisco Centre Mall and the girl’s eyes were dazzled by the five indoor floors of shopping.

 

Author Bio:

Doug Solter lives in Oklahoma where he writes young adult novels full of escapism. He’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Doug respects cats, loves the mountains, and one time walked the streets of Barcelona with a smile on his face.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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#ReleaseDay: Amber Sky (Dark Sky Novella) by @amybraunauthor #POTLReads #books


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AMBER SKY is the first prequel novella preceding the adventurous steampunk horror tale CRIMSON SKY, and tells the story of Nash before he joined the Dauntless Wanderer when his only means of survival was to fight to the death, and how he was forced to make a choice that would change his life forever…

 

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Buy it here:

 

Kindle | Kobo | B&N  |  iTunes | Smashwords | Goodreads

 

AMBER SKY is set two years before the first novel in the DARK SKY series, CRIMSON SKY, and is told from the perspective of the Dauntless Wanderer’s quartermaster, Nash. It delves into his life when he was a pit-fighter for Ryland, the ruthless leader of the Stray Dogs, and tells the strange story of how he met Sawyer, his future friend and captain. Their friendship was forged out of hard-won battles and trust, both young men taking risks and fighting for something greater and more meaningful.

I’m a huge fan of novellas that take place in between or before the events of full length novels. I like reading new perspectives from characters who are fan favorites, but not necessarily key to the story or the plot. I love the Dark Sky world and wanted to tell more about it, but I didn’t want to write a story between Midnight Sky and the final Dark Sky novel, scheduled for February 2017. After the finale of Midnight Sky, I knew I couldn’t just leave readers hanging, so I decided to tell the stories of two side characters– Nash and Gemma.

In Midnight Sky, there are events that hint at Nash’s past. The more I wrote it, the more interested I became. It’s one of my favorite scenes in the full length novel, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to tell more of it in Amber Sky, the prequel novella. I worked on a simple, straightforward plot that was true to Nash’s character and expanded on his time with the ruthless Stray Dog Clan, steadily bringing Sawyer into the picture.

 

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I have to say, that was my favorite part of writing this novella. Nash and Sawyer have a pretty easygoing relationship (as long as Sawyer isn’t feeling moody), but their banter always made me smile. Their friendship is unexpected for both of them, and forms out of a truly dark place.

As happy as I was to complete Amber Sky, there were of course steps to take to ensure it’s publication. The story was too short to send to print, so I chose to offer it as an ebook only. I like this exclusive, because it gives me a chance to offer something free to my newsletter subscribers. I had the manuscript edited by a Beta reader, who had great insights, and an editor who’s helped me with the Dark Sky series before.

After that came the absolutely stellar cover. Deranged Doctor Design always does amazing work, but this truly blew my mind. I was so happy with the end result that I approved the first draft. No nitpicking for this one!

The biggest challenge then came with promotion. I’m still learning the tricks of the independent publishing world, and tried my hand at creating my promotion without the use of a blog tour service. I’ll likely return to that for the final Dark Sky novel, but I wanted to try my own hand at it. I’m pretty impressed with the final result, and have nothing but gratitude for the reviewers and bloggers who have been kind enough to host me. Offering a free short story for newsletter subscribers is great, but I couldn’t have done this at all without the people I’ve listed above.

Writing Amber Sky has been a fun little challenge that I’m grateful I undertook. I feel it added to the experience and depth of the Dark Sky novels, and can’t wait for other readers to enjoy this new perspective.

 

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Excerpt:

The fight couldn’t have been going worse.

I got that Ryland wanted his champion in the Crater. I got that he wanted to give the Runts and the Dogs a show. I even got that he wanted to push me so I’d stronger, faster, better.

But I didn’t get why he had to pick the two biggest, meanest bastards from the crew to fight me. Two men who wouldn’t stop beating me until I was just a red stain on the ground. The taunts and advice from the crowd over our head didn’t help either.

“Crush ‘em, Nash!”

“Come on, Stanner!”

“Hit him, Dylan, hit him!”

“Nash is costing me bets! Someone kill him already!”

Being the Crater’s reigning champ definitely had its drawbacks.

Stanner moved along the edge of my vision. He lifted his foot, ready to drive it into my head and crush my skull. I rolled, grabbed his foot, and pulled. Stanner barked angrily as he lost his balance and landed hard on the ground. I crunched up and slammed my heel into his chest. There was a loud crack that made Stanner cry out in pain, and gave me a chance to–

If Dylan hadn’t shouted his rage, I never would have known he was coming. He snapped a kick down at my head. I crossed my arms and blocked him, gritting my teeth as his shinbone connected with the bruises on my arms.

I pushed his foot away and blocked the punch that sailed toward my head. I surged to my feet and pushed Dylan back. He swung a fist at my skull. I ducked under it and plowed into him. Dylan might have more muscle than me in this two-on-one brawl, but I wasn’t small or helpless.

The moment he hit the ground, I hammered blows onto him.

Skin bruised and split under my knuckles. Bones crunched and cracked. I didn’t stop when his eyes swelled shut. I’m not sure I would have stopped at all if a thick forearm hadn’t wrapped around my throat and tightened.

I clutched the arm and tried to yank it off, but the hold was good. Wasn’t long before my lungs started to burn. Punches started smashing into my battered ribs, each one harder than the last. Weakening me. Keeping me from fighting back.

But my sight was red. I lost control when I got Dylan on the ground. It was out of my reach now.

And I didn’t want it back.

Growling like an animal, I bent my knees and jumped back, letting myself fall onto the ground. Crushing Stanner beneath me. He screamed as my weight pounded on his fractured chest. The arm around my neck was gone.

Then I rolled off him, and really started the beating.

Stanner couldn’t move. Probably couldn’t breathe. None of that stopped me from kicking and stomping every part of him I laid eyes on. He tried to kill me. Would have killed me.

Should have known better.

Nash!

I stopped. He called my name, shouted it at the top of his lungs. The rest of the crowd fell silent. This probably wasn’t the first time he’d shouted at me.

I looked over my shoulder, lifted my eyes from the wide dirt pit, and found Ryland.

He was impossible to miss, nearly twice as big as me, despite his age. Broad shoulders and swollen biceps strained against his black leather vest. With long grey hair hanging to his shoulders and a wild grey beard, Ryland looked every bit as rabid as the snarling dog tattooed on his chest.

He stood on the rim of the Crater, staring at me with piercing grey eyes. A scowl twisted his weathered face, slowly turning into a smug grin.

“Congratulations,” he said for the crowd to hear. He looked at the rugged Dogs and the filthy Runts. “Let’s hear it for Nash, still the undefeated Crater champion!”

Most of the crowd roared with joy. Others booed. I was too tired to care about which I appreciated more.

A rope ladder was rolled over the edge of the Crater. Before I went to it, I looked back at my opponents. Now that the rage was gone from my vision, I could clearly see what I had done.

Dylan was still lying in a heap, his face red, swollen, and lumped from bruises and broken bones. Stanner groaned and winced, rolling on the ground with his hands wrapped around his ribs and chest as if to hold his bruised and likely broken bones inside his skin.

Horror filled my chest, the way it always did when I finished a fight in the Crater. Crushing shame filled my heart and drowned me. I took a couple steps closer to Stanner, wanting to help him.

He cringed at the sight of me.

“Nash!”

I stopped and glanced over my shoulder at my captain. He was waiting impatiently. As far as Ryland was concerned, anyone beaten in the Crater didn’t need help from the Dogs. Until they proved otherwise, they were beneath us. Weak and useless.

I grabbed the rope ladder and climbed from the Crater, my victory feeling more hollow with every step.

 

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Q & A: Amy Braun and Amber Sky– MINOR SPOILERS BELOW.

 

Q: What inspired you to write Amber Sky?

 

A: I’ve always been a fan of Nash, and wanted to tell the story of how he and Sawyer came to meet. They have a good relationship in Crimson Sky and Midnight Sky but it wasn’t always like that. They endured mistrust and battles the same as all sturdy friendships do, even trading blows a couple times. It was a lot of fun to not only tell their story, but to expand on an element of Midnight Sky that I enjoyed–– the crew’s journey to the Barren.

 

Q: Why did you chose to tell the story from Nash’s perspective?

 

A: In the novels, Nash is a pretty quiet character. He’s often the voice of calm and reason, the one who knows how to relax Sawyer and Gemma. Ironic, since he’s heavily built and muscular. Readers who are familiar with him are likely used to his steady demeanor, and know little of the violence he used to be capable of. He’s a lot more complex than you would realize reading Crimson Sky and Midnight Sky, and after I hinted at his past in Midnight Sky, I knew I had to tell his story through his eyes.

 

Q: Did you find it easier to write a shorter story? Did you prefer it to writing a full length novel?

 

A: Easier? Yes. Definitely. My word count as just over 30,000, less than half of what a typical Dark Sky novel will run. I had a simple story line, a “simple problem” for the characters to solve, and no need to tie up a hundred different plot holes. But, if we’re talking about preference, I actually enjoy writing full length novels more. As an independent author, I’m not hindered by word counts and will write until the story is done. This means that I can experiment and add new elements to a story that I don’t usually get to do in a novella. That definitely doesn’t mean I’ll stick to novels my entire career– every big series I write will likely have at least two or three novellas attached to them– but they are definitely my comfort and creative zone.

 

Q: There was a serious lack of Gemma in Amber Sky. Where is she?

 

A: Ah, yes. Gemma. Readers of the novels will know that she’s Nash’s other half, the moon to his stars, the heat to his fire. They will also know that she is most definitely not in Amber Sky. When I planned to write some novellas after Midnight Sky, I definitely had a plan about what those two stories would be about. Nash’s story comes first, because the second novella, Smoke Sky, is all about how Gemma entered the lives of the crew. Her story is one of my absolute favorites, and I knew that her romance with Nash would be a key element. So while she’s not in the picture for Amber Sky, she’ll be entering it soon.

 

Q: What can you tell us about the next novella and novel in the Dark Sky series?

 

A: Smoke Sky, which will be released December 2016, will be told from Gemma’s perspective and tell the tale of how she first met Sawyer and fell in love with Nash, and the wild adventures they had before she was accepted to the crew. There will also be a short story told from Sawyer’s perspective called Engineered Deceit, which will be featured in Ghosts, Gears, and Grimoires from Mocha Memoirs Press, as well as my collection for short stories called The Shadow Omnibus by the same publisher. Both will be released in the next few months, before Smoke Sky. The final novel in the series will be released in February 2017, and is titled Obsidian Sky. It’s perhaps my top favorite in the entire Dark Sky saga, as it’s full of action and told from both Claire and Sawyer’s perspectives. I went wild with the world in the third and final chapter of this series, and can’t wait for readers to experience the last adventures of the Dauntless Wanderer.

 

Giveaway:

 

Amy Braun

 

Author Biography:

Her short stories published by independent houses like Mocha Memoirs Press and April Moon Books, and she has independently published a collection of standalone and series novels including Storm Born, Path of the Horseman, and the Cursed and Dark Sky series. Many of her short stories have been featured in anthologies such as Amok!, Avast, Ye Airships!, and That Hoodoo, Voodoo, That You Do, and Stomping Grounds.

 

Social Media Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

 

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We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word!