C-I-O: Consolation Prize Tour and Giveaway!

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Consolation Prize
Forbidden Men #9

By: Linda Kage

Released November 17th, 2016
Self-Published


Muscular Male TorsoBlurb: Don’t you just hate it when someone destroys all your carefully made plans?

I mean, I had goals: college to graduate in one semester, a future I was working hard to reach, and an image of myself I wanted the world to see. My life was stacked into these precisely placed blocks. But then Colton Gamble came along and knocked them all askew.

I hated how he messed everything up, how he could hog all my attention whenever he was around, how he made my pulse quicken–but only because he ticked me off…not because I was attracted to him. Oh! And I hated how he knew how attractive he was too, the shallow, full of himself, doesn’t take no for an answer, too-flirty, too cocky, extremely irritating jerk.

The boy had all the qualities that turned me off. Or so I thought.

One night he wasn’t quite the brainless, over-confident jerk I usually took him for.

One night, he took care of me when I was at my lowest. He opened up to me and made me open up to him.

Now I’m learning maybe he’s not what I first thought he was. And maybe I’M not what I first thought I was. Maybe it’s okay to rearrange a couple of my perfectly set blocks. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop worrying about what I’m afraid everyone else will think and finally reach for something I really want. It’s possible some of my plans need to be destroyed, and Colton Gamble is exactly the kind of mess I need in my life.

What do you think? Should I give him a try?

Desperately seeking your advice,
Julianna Radcliffe


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Buy Links:      Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

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consolation-teaser05“Just for that, I’m going to make you cuddle.”

“Cuddle?” My eyes bulged as he crawled closer.

For some reason, cuddling struck more fear inside me than getting slapped or punched. I knew exactly how to respond to those—kick his ass out of my apartment. But with cuddling, I was lost.

I edged away from him, shaking my head, only to yelp out a surprised scream when he snaked out a hand and caught hold of my leg, stilling me.

“Yes, cuddle,” he said. “I like to cuddle.”

My muscles clenched and limbs went tense as he climbed up right into my personal space and wrapped himself around me like a second skin.

“I…I’m not big on cuddling,” I finally admitted, my body board-stiff against him.

“Really?” He sounded surprised by that. “Well, don’t worry, by the time I’m through with you, you’ll love it.


Author Info

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Linda Kage grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and nine cuckoo clocks. Her life’s been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing’s always been a major part of her world, and she is so happy to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.

 

Author Links:   Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 


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C-I-O: A Harmless Little Ruse Book Blitz Tour and Giveaway!

A Harmless Little Ruse
Meli Raine
(Harmless #2)
Publication date: November 18th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Political Thriller

She has no idea what she’s doing. Loose cannons never hit their targets.

And they take out plenty of collateral damage.

Four years ago Lindsay experienced the unspeakable right before me, and I couldn’t stop them.

But that’s all changed now.

When her father, Senator Bosworth, contacted me to ask — demand — that I protect her, it was a second chance. A shot at redemption.

An opportunity to right an unspeakable wrong.

Controlling Lindsay as she seeks her revenge on the monsters who hurt her won’t be hard.

Containing my own out-of-control feelings for Lindsay and keeping up this ruse of cold-blooded distance will be.

Even harder than admitting to her what really happened that night four years ago.

It turns out I don’t have to, though.

Someone else did it for me.

And I’ll make sure they regret it.

* * *

A Harmless Little Ruse is the second in this political thriller/romantic suspense trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine. This series includes:

A Harmless Little Game (Now available)

A Harmless Little Plan (release date December 13, 2016)

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

EXCERPT:

I wake up to an empty bed.

It’s not mine.

Lindsay’s gone.

I can feel a change in the air. I jump to my feet, instantly alert, blood pumping to arms and legs that are battle-ready. Her bedroom room smells like lavender and beeswax, mingled with the hot scent of sex. I swear her heat still lingers on the sheets. The ceiling fan is still, the room crackling with silence.

I grab my gun belt and —

What the hell?

My weapon is missing.

Gun’s gone.

Lindsay’s gone.

Oh, shit.

She didn’t?

She did.

“Gentian,” I bark as I shove my earpiece in. “Where’s Lilac?” Lilac’s her code name.

“With you,” he responds.

“Negative.”

Dead air.

“Gentian?”

“I don’t know, sir. No one’s seen her. Last we knew, she was locked in her bedroom with you.”

No trace of irony. No hint of teasing. If he had even one whiff of either, he’d have his ass handed to him.

And he knows it.

“She’s gone, Gentian. Find her.”

“Yes, sir.”

The instant flurry of activity in the house matches my organs. They rearrange themselves inside me as I assess the situation, which is pretty fucking simple.

Lindsay stole my gun and ran away.

Doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Last night was the first time in four damn years that I slept. Actual REM sleep. The night those bastards tortured us was the first night of my new life.

A life without sleep.

And last night?

I slept like someone who had finally come home.

“Jesus,” I mutter to myself. “Great job, Drew. She totally snowed you.”

I have to hand it to Lindsay. She fooled me. I believed her act the entire time. She managed to outwit us all.

Damn smart woman.

Damn dangerous, too.

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Author Bio:

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them.

Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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C-I-O: Somone Like You Excerpt Reveal and Giveaway!

Look for my review of Someone Like You coming up on December 6, 2016!!

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Someone Like You by Lauren Layne

Oxford Series–Oxford # 3

Loveswept

Release Date: December 6, 2016


Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.

Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.



Advance praise for Someone Like You

“Fun and flirty, sassy and steamy, with a deep emotional pull that will keep you turning the pages.”—Kelly Jamieson, author of Top Shelf

“An unsung hero with a story that touched my heart. Emotional and gripping. A top favorite of 2016 for me.”New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland



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Daisy took another sip of her wine, watching as wedding guests took their places on the dance floor, warding off her boredom by trying to guess how long each couple had been together based on body language. 

She was a little amused to see that Emma and all of her Stiletto friends still seemed to be in the handsy honeymoon stage with their significant others, even though she knew they’d mostly been with their respective spouses for years.

Daisy felt a little twist of her heart. Once upon a time, she’d thought that’d be her and Gary. As much in love on someone else’s wedding day as they had been on their own. At least she’d been in love on that day. She wasn’t sure someone like Gary knew what love was. 

Still, she was glad to be here. Glad to be surrounded by all of this happiness, even if it was bittersweet. Daisy wished her father could be here to see this. He’d died of a heart attack a year ago, and though their dad had wreaked plenty of havoc on Emma and Cassidy’s relationship all those years ago, Daisy wished he could have walked Emma down the aisle and had a chance at the father-daughter dance.

The way it had worked out was rather lovely, though. Cole Sharpe, yet another Oxford writer, had walked Emma down the aisle, and a whole slew of the Oxford guys had twirled a laughing Emma around the dance floor in place of the father-daughter dance.

It struck Daisy that this was Emma’s family. Sure, the twins were close, but they were orphans now, and they’d never been particularly close to the rest of their extended family. So Emma had built a family here in New York, with a network of tight-knit friendships.

And though Daisy was happy for Emma she was also . . . jealous.

“I hate to break it to you, pet, but you’re pulling off the wallflower routine a little too convincingly over here.” 

Daisy turned, somehow unsurprised to see Lincoln Mathis standing beside her, blue eyes twinkling above the pink bow tie that he pulled off with impressive masculinity.

“You cheated,” she said, by way of greeting.

He smiled, slow and flirty, as he rested one shoulder against the wall she was leaning on, looking down at her. “How’s that?”

“You made them laugh and cry in your speech. I thought we agreed that you were just going to be the funny guy.”

He smiled wider. “What can I say, I’m alluring in a multitude of ways.”

“Speaking of,” she said, nodding her chin slightly to the sultry brunette making her way towards them, “I believe your previous dance partner is wanting an encore.”

He let out the subtlest of groans, so quiet she thought she might have imagined it.

“Dance with me,” he said suddenly to Daisy, straightening and looking down at her.

She jolted in surprise, then in panic. “I can’t.”

He smiled and held out a hand. “Come on now, Wallflower. I’m very good at dancing.” 

Wallflower. Daisy had never been a wallflower in her life. Although he had a point. She did seem to be lurking in the corner a bit. She silently scolded herself. This was everything she’d been coaching herself not to do. Not to let Gary win . . .

“I don’t doubt your dancing prowess,” she replied saucily, “but—”

She broke off. What could she possibly say? I don’t like being touched?

It’s not that she couldn’t be touched. She wasn’t that broken. She didn’t freak out. She’d endured Cassidy’s hug when she’d greeted him last night; she’d danced earlier with her uncle. But those men were family.

Lincoln Mathis was . . . not family.

Dance with him, she commanded herself. Don’t be that broken woman Gary tried to make you.

She didn’t move, and slowly Lincoln’s hand dropped to his side, just as the brunette reached them.

“I love this song,” the woman said, running a possessive hand up Lincoln’s arm. “Dance?”

Lincoln held Daisy’s gaze and she shrugged before blowing him a teasing good-bye kiss. “Bye bye.”

His eyes narrowed. “Actually,” Lincoln said, turning and giving the other woman a regretful smile, “I need to step out for a moment.”

The woman’s perfectly shaped brows folded into a frown. “Step out? For what?”

“I need to show Daisy something,” he said, bending and kissing the other woman’s cheek. “Next time, love.”

Before Daisy could register that she’d been commandeered as part of Lincoln Mathis’s escape, he’d plucked the champagne flute out of her hand, setting it aside before clasping her fingers in his and pulling her toward the door.

“Wait, we’re really leaving?” she asked with a laugh as he tugged her through the throng of wedding guests. 

“Yep.”

“I can’t,” she said. “It’s my sister’s wedding, I have family here, and . . .”

“But you want to leave,” he said, turning and facing her. 

She narrowed her gaze. “Why would I want that?”

He met her eyes. “Because you don’t like weddings any more than I do.”

Click here to add Someone Like You to Goodreads

Buy Links:      Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

79a64-lauren_layne

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

 

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C-I-O: Nic Release Tour and Giveaway!

The gentle giant slowly awakens her long-dormant
passion.
NIC
Rossi Brothers #2
JM Stewart
Released Nov 14th, 2016

 

Single father Nic Rossi’s only desire is to raise his little girl with the same love and security his grandparents gave him and his siblings. That is, until Anna Thompson and her frightened daughter walk into his family restaurant, looking for employment, and turn his carefully ordered world upside down. On the run from her abusive ex, Anna wants one thing: a quiet place like Angel Bay to raise her daughter. But she needs a job to pay for that dream, even if her new boss is a man whose sheer size makes her tremble. Yet Nic’s capacity for kindness leaves her feeling safe for the first time in years, and the gentle giant
slowly awakens her long-dormant passion.

Then her ex-husband turns up like a bad penny, threatening not only Anna’s safe haven but Nic’s daughter in the bargain, forcing them to choose between love and family.

 

J.M. Stewart is a coffee and chocolate addict who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two sons and two very spoiled dogs. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily ever after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

 

 

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Excerpt:

She blew out her held breath, pushed her plate away, and offered him a smile. “Thanks for the meal. I will repay you. I need to get her to bed. What time would you like me to be here tomorrow?”

She scooted out of the booth, but his hand caught her arm before she could turn to pick up Lacey. Blood whooshed in her ears, and breathing became impossible as panic clawed its way through her chest. Tony’s face lodged itself in her mind. Eyes narrowed and staring her down.  The way he looked right before his fist came down on her …

He’s not Tony. He’s not Tony. She repeated the long-held mantra over and over and drew slow, deep breaths in an effort to put a lid back on the panic. Still the room around her spun as the past closed in on her.

“The meal’s on me, remember? You can pay me back by letting me help you.”

Nic’s voice jerked her back to the present. She lifted her head to find him watching her, gentle concern in his searching eyes. Was he really this nice? Or was this just a ruse, the way it had been for Tony? She didn’t know, but she had no desire to find out. She didn’t need his help. She just needed a job.

She glared at Nic. “What is it with you? Do you have a thing for taking in strays or something, Mr. Rossi?”

“My name is Nic, and yes, actually I do. My nonna used to roll her eyes every time I brought home a stray cat or dog.” Amusement laced his tone, his eyes crinkling at the corners.

God, did nothing faze the man?

His expression sobered. “Let me help. Because I can.”

She blew out a defeated breath. “Why do you even care?”

“Why do I scare you so much?”

Touché. 

Nic released her arm and folded his hands on the table instead. “You want the God’s honest truth? That’s why I give a damn. Because I terrify the both of you, and I hate it. Every time I look at your daughter, I see my own.”

She wrapped her arms around herself. The man left her feeling open and exposed. He offered her something she didn’t know if she could ever repay: human decency. “I can’t ask you to do that for me.”

“Then do it for her.” He nodded in Lacey’s direction.

C-I-O: Someone Like You Pre-Release Blitz and Giveaway!

A man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
Oxford #3
Lauren Layne
Releasing Dec 6th, 2016
Loveswept

 

Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
 
Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his
heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

 
After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey
that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.


Advance praise for Someone Like You

“Fun and flirty, sassy and steamy, with a deep emotional pull that will keep you turning the pages.”—Kelly Jamieson, author of Top Shelf

“An unsung hero with a story that touched my heart. Emotional and gripping. A top favorite of 2016 for me.”New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland

 
 

 

 

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian. In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back. In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!
 

 

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C-I-O: Everything Bundt the Truth Blitz and Giveaway!

Everything Bundt the Truth
Karen C. Whalen
Publication date: November 2nd 2016
Genres: Adult, Mystery

Recent widow, Jane Marsh, is determined to recapture a rich, full life. She strives for youthful fun by riding a bicycle downtown on her lunch hour in a suit and heels, smoking cigars, eating at hipster restaurants, and re-entering the dating scene, even if her dates prove to be peculiar.

Her most fervent desire, though, is to join an exclusive dinner club. She auditions, but is barred when her housekeeper is found murdered, and she and her guest list become the suspect list. Her, a killer? So what if her two late husbands died under suspicious circumstances. It doesn’t make her a killer.

Having passed off a store bought Bundt cake as her own creation, she may have committed a culinary crime, but never murder!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Wild Rose Press

SNEAK PEEK:

She grumbled during the drive home from the bakery. What kind of a housekeeper would show up late on the first day on the job? What if Monica was still there when the guests arrived? She had Cheryl’s vote of approval, but the other club members may not accept Jane if the dinner did not go smoothly. Well, a delicious Bundt cake would help—or was that cheating? Would the group reject her if they found out she hadn’t made the entire dinner from scratch? Once home, she threw open the door and walked inside. “Monica? You here?” Where was she?

 

Author Bio:

Karen C. Whalen is the author of a culinary cozy series, the dinner club murder mysteries, the first of which is Everything Bundt the Truth. She works as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado and has been a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. She has hosted dinner club events for a number of years.

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  • 2x signed copies of Everything Bundt the Truth

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C-I-O: Wear White to Your Funeral Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Wear White to Your Funeral
Lisa Acerbo
Publication date: October 28th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Young Adult

Rory is your average high school senior. Or she was, until her mother banishes her to hell, also known as Trumbull, Connecticut. The small suburb with only a mall and movie theater, sure feels like the netherworld until Rory’s first day at her new school. That’s the day she meets Bowen, who begs her to join him on a class project. But when Bowen drags her to a graveyard after dark for research purposes, Rory wants to fly back home to Atlanta, or at least return to her aunt’s house unharmed and unmolested.

Nothing could go wrong, right? They talk, they laugh, and they wander among the tombstones looking for information on the local ghostly legend known as the White Lady. Then they have to run, but they cannot outrun a ghost. In addition to the ghostly woman, a half buried dead body leads Rory and Bowen into a deadly game of cat and mouse, but who is the killer? Is it human or something long dead and otherworldly?

The police are of little help, Rory’s aunt just wants her to remain safe, and Bowen, who she can’t stay away from, keeps finding ways to get her into more trouble than she has ever known. Whether breaking into a suspected killer’s house, being followed by a menacing ghost, or being stalked at school, Rory hopes finding the killer will put an end to the supernatural haunting. Before Rory can discover the identity of the killer, she is drawn into the mystery of the White Lady, which opens the door for some very real danger.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Rory tried to pay attention until she heard a husky whisper.

“Hey, new girl.” Rory turned toward the low voice. The boy with piercing blue eyes stared at her. “I’m Bowen.”

“I caught that,” she whispered back.

“Want to work together on the assignment?”

“Is it a group project?” Rory was confused by the offer.

“It is if you want it to be. Watch and learn. But first, say ‘yes.’”

He was definitely bad-boy cute. Rory giggled. “Yes.” Maybe school wouldn’t be as horrible as she imagined. She felt optimistic for the first time that day.

“Mrs. Miller?” Bowen interrupted.

“Yes, Bowen.” Miller sounded slightly irritated, but not really. It was like she already knew what Bowen planned to ask.

“The new girl.” He looked at Rory expectantly.

“Rory.” She filled in her name for him.

“I think Rory needs help with the assignment, being new here and all,” Bowen said.

“Do you now?” Mrs. Miller looked at him over the top of her librarian glasses, not believing for a minute his intentions were pure. “Why would you say that? I’m sure she is a capable young lady.”

“You do have extremely high expectations,” Bowen replied, causing twitters of laughter to erupt from around the class. “And she has not been exposed to the inverted pyramid.”

Rory had no idea what that was, so maybe she did need Bowen’s help.

“So true. So true. You are a wise man Bowen Hesse. I believe it’s a good idea you pair up with Rory and demonstrate those high expectations.”

“Every time, Mrs. Miller.”

Mrs. Miller made a noise that did not sound at all teacher-like. “I expect a higher word count if you two are pairing up.”

“Really?” He smiled at Rory and she noticed a slightly crooked tooth in an otherwise perfect smile.

“Yes, really.” The teacher said through her own smile. He shrugged. “You got it. One hundred words at least.”

The class chortled in unison.

“You’re a jokester, Bowen. Class,” she addressed everyone now, “the minimum word count for this assignment is 750. Bowen, for you and Rory, it should be 1000 words.”

His blue eyes widened. Groans quickly replaced the recent giggles that had echoed through the room.

Class resumed, and Rory heard ideas for articles ranging from pumpkin carving to the best Halloween candy. With less than twenty minutes before the bell would ring, the class divided into groups based on the section of the newspaper or yearbook they wanted to write for. She was the exception. Rory watched as Bowen pulled his desk over to her. He stood two or three inches taller than her in his University of Connecticut basketball t-shirt and faded jeans.

“So you up for writing about the White Lady?”

“You don’t want to brainstorm other topics?” Rory was disappointed. She knew nothing of the local legend and hoped to do an article on something she had some background knowledge about.

“We can, but I have a great idea for a story on the ghost.”

“Really?” Rory didn’t want to lose the chance to work with Bowen and make a friend. “In that case, sure, but I don’t really know anything about her, being from the South.”

“Where from?”

The broken record began to play. “Atlanta.”

“I want to know more. I’d like to go South one day.”

“For college?”

Bowen gave a non-committal shrug. His shirt climbed up his shoulder. The last words of his tattoo peeking out of the sleeve.

“What are you doing tonight?”

“Why?” Rory asked quietly.

“I can give you a crash course on the White Lady.” He ran a hand through his short, spiky hair. Disheveled, he looked slightly dangerous but even more attractive.

“Really?” Rory didn’t know where Bowen’s interest stemmed from. Back in Atlanta men like him would have left her — the bookworm, Honor Society, AP classes kind of student — alone, very alone.

“Sure.” He gave her a devilish wink.

Her heart stuttered. Her words followed. “Weellll, I have to have dinner with my aunt, but after that, I’m sure it will be okay.” She took a calming breath.

“Excellent.” A smile formed on Bowen’s lips. “That’ll be perfect. It will be dark when we go to the graveyard.”

 

Author Bio:

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and holds an EdD in Educational Leadership. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and horse. She is the author of Apocalipstick and has contributed to local newspapers, news and travel blogs including The Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter.

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Review of Pull Me Close & Giveaway!

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Pull Me Close by Sidney Halston

Publisher: Loveswept

Publication Date: October 25, 2016


If you’ve read any of my reviews of romances, you know that I whine frequently about some romance novels not having a storyline. I blame reality tv a bit for that, not my whining (well, only in part) but about the fact that so many readers are satisfied to read about a couple who like each other but nothing happens in the course of the novel except that they have to decide if they want to be together. I pretty much figure that if I wanted that I could just sit at the neighborhood restaurant and watch couples on a date; or perhaps watch paint dry. It would be just that satisfying.

So, what does that have to do with Pull Me Close? Well, pretty much everything because Sidney Halston hits this one out of the park. It not only has a great storyline, but the characters feel so real and experience real problems, or what I expect some rich sexy handsome dude who own a nightclub in Miami might have as a problem (wink).

Katherine suffers from PTSD-related agoraphobia and hasn’t left her apartment in about 11 months, except she does this particular evening because she doesn’t want to let down her half-sister, who’s celebrating her bachelorette party. While at Panic, a Miami nightclub, Katherine begins to experience a panic attack (not sure if that’s an author-intended pun), feels sick, light-headed and pops a quarter of a Xanax, which makes her feel drowsy. Just as she’s about to faint, the nightclub’s bouncer catches her and takes her to Nick Moreno’s office. Nick immediately feels disgust presuming that she’s just another addict like so many who’ve come through the club’s doors.

Because the nightclub has experienced bad press in the past year, Nick doesn’t want to call an ambulance and have the police show up so he takes Katherine home and sits with her to make sure she’s alright, while still believing that she’s an addict. Katherine is touched by Nick’s decency. He didn’t need to make sure she arrived home or stay with her. So she forces herself to start to make life changes.

That little description is just the beginning! Nick has been caught up in some unsavory situations, not of his own making so it takes him a little while to trust. And, Katherine obviously has a lot of issues that she needs to come to terms with.

There is romance. And, again, if you have read my blog you know I’ve posted at least three or four times about Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe.” How could I not love a novel in which that’s the song that Nick chooses to play for a romantic moment with Katherine?  This is what romance is supposed to be! Sigh.

And, in case you wondered, there is sex. The blurb on the author’s website says: “Because some love stories are better when they’re a little naughty . . .” So there is a little naughty in here for those who like it like that.

So, what do we have? Drama. Conflict. Fun. Romance. Chemistry. Steam. Just Breathe.

This is the first book in the Panic series.

I highly recommend Pull Me Close if all of those items appeal to you and it’s so, so, so much better than watching paint dry!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

From AmazonPull Me Close


rating: butterflybutterflybutterflybutterflyladybug


 

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An Excerpt this blogger most “heartily” approves:

My heart melts at the scene around me. Four months ago I couldn’t have dreamed this, and now I’m living it. I love these people. Really love them. My heart is so full right now it feels as if it’s going to burst.

I’m alone in the booth with Nico, who is sitting with a cigar in one hand and a tumbler of amber liquid in the other, looking so damn sexy and dangerous.

“You drunk, baby?” he asks, indicating the flute with a nod of his chin.

I put the flute on the table and slide closer to him. He puts his cigar and drink down and wraps an arm around my waist.

“Drunk enough to want to say something to you, but not drunk enough that it won’t count.”

“What do you want to say to me, corazón?” He tucks some stray hair behind my ear and his thumb strokes my cheek.

“I’ve decided I’m going to let myself fall in love with you,” I say.

His smile fades. He brings his other hand to my cheek, those emeralds eyes looking intently at me.

“Then you need to catch up, baby.”

“What? Are you drunk?”

“Drunk enough that I want to make love to you on this table right now, but not enough to actually try it.”

I laugh and throw myself on him.

One hand holds me tightly against him, while the other one grabs his phone. “One second,” he says as he ferociously types something into his phone. Jeez, so not the right time to be texting.

“Come on,” he says at last, and helps me up. He pushes the table back a little so that we have more space. I’m not exactly sure what is going on, but I don’t question it. Suddenly the fast-paced dance music stops mid-song and the DJ comes on the speakers.

“A special request,” the DJ says. The strobe lights stop and the overall lighting dims, and then a familiar song that does not at all belong in a modern dance club starts playing. People look confused for a moment, as do I until I recognize the song: “Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam.

“Just breathe,” he tells me, because I’ve stopped breathing.


sidney_halstonAuthor Info

USA Today bestselling author, Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “Just Do It”–Nike. And that’s exactly what she did.

After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative, romantic side and wrote Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading and reading and reading. She’s a reader first and a writer second. When she’s not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Author Links:  Facebook | Twitter | Website | GoodReads

Website:  http://www.sidneyhalston.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Sidneyhalston

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SidneyHalston

GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6916557.Sidney_Halston


 

Buy Links:      Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

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C-I-O: Concealed and Giveaway!

Concealed
Christina Bauer
(Beholder #2)
Publication date: October 25th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

As a Grand Mistress Necromancer, Elea’s a witch who commands the ultimate power over spirit and bone. It’s magic that she’ll need in order to stop the Vicomte Gaspard from killing her Sisters by draining their magic along with their life force.

To find and free her fellow witches, Elea must venture into some of the most dangerous places in the realm. What starts off as a rescue quest could easily turn into a suicide mission. And with the handsome warlock Rowan along to help, Elea may be risking more than her life. Her growing feelings for Rowan might put her heart on the line, too.

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EXCERPT:

Rowan stepped into my path, forcing me to stop. “We can’t worry about the Tsar just now.”

“How can I not? This is the Tsar we’re talking about. The man killed off thousands of my people. If he comes back, I’m his top target.”

“No one is getting anywhere near you, Elea.” Rowan’s voice was a rough rasp. “You have my word. I know what you care about, and it’s your Sisters. That’s all you need to think about. At least, for the next two days. Promise me?”

Rowan’s words helped to center my thoughts. “You’re right. Little time remains to save Ada and the others. I need to stay the course. Thank you, Rowan.”

“I’ll always be here for you.” Rowan stared at me for a long moment. I thought he might have more to say. Instead, he shook his head, stepped across the cave floor, and picked up the loops of rope. “Any ideas on where your Sisters are imprisoned?”

“Amelia wants to check the Havilland mansion first.”

“I can send in someone from my team. They’re experts at subterfuge.”

“No. These are my people. I have to go.”

Once again, Rowan moved to stand so close our bodies were only inches apart. “Trust me on this. My people can handle the Royals.” He brushed the backs of his fingertips up my cheek and I melted into the touch. “I want you safe, Elea.” He leaned in until his mouth was only a breath away from mine.

This wasn’t the time for emotion. I couldn’t seem to stop my zuchtlos feelings, though. My heart thumped with such force I thought it might burst from my chest. Rowan’s voice became low and gentle. “Return to Braddock Farm. Stay safe. I will end this. Once it’s done, I’ll find you there. I swear it.”

My legs felt wobbly beneath me. In my mind’s eye, it all appeared so easy and clear. Rowan could handle this. I’d return to my farm and help the faithful servants who’d kept it thriving. Then one day, Rowan would arrive and we’d be together. How wonderful would that be?

I closed my eyes and stepped away from his touch. This was impossible. My people were my responsibility. No one else’s. And the idea that Rowan and I could be together? That was an illusion.

“It’s a sweet dream. We both know it isn’t the truth. You’re part of the Caster Imperial family. Your uncle is none other than Genesis Rex. You can’t have a life with me as a farmer, can you?”

Rowan’s gaze intensified. “No.” He stepped closer once again. “I’ll still find you, though.”

“And when you do, what will I be?” I wanted to touch him and to be with him. I knew that now. But not at any cost. “Your mistress? Your absentee wife?”

“You’ll be mine.” He pulled me into his arms. Every ridge of his hard body pressed against my soft curves. I’d never craved anything more in my life than I wanted to kiss Rowan right now. He leaned in closer than ever before. His warm breath cascaded over my lips. “Don’t fight this. Please.”

My control snapped, and I pressed my mouth to his. Yes. Our first few tastes were tentative. Gentle. Rowan was as delicious as I’d imagined, a flavor that was somewhere between musk and desire. Every touch of his lips sent spasms of want through my core.

Our kiss quickly turned rough. Rowan nipped my bottom lip, and I let out a rough groan. This kiss could go on forever. Still, some small part of my brain shouted for me to stop.

I didn’t know how I found the strength, but I pushed Rowan away. “I want you too. That’s not enough for me. We’re from different worlds. Your place is with your people. I need to save mine. Once this is over, we’ll never see each other again. I can’t afford to feel more for you than I already do.”

Rowan’s eyes took on that intense look I knew so well. A muscle worked in his jaw for a long moment. “I understand. We both have work to do.”

I exhaled. “I’m glad you can accept the truth.”

“I didn’t say that.” He scooped up the ropes and offered them to me. “This isn’t over.”

I stared at the green cords coiled around his palm. I wanted real ties between us as well. Yet wanting a thing wasn’t the same as having it. I pulled the rope from his hand and looped it around my shoulders. “We better get back.”

 

Author Bio:

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Zerto. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien’s text, it’s entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.

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C-I-O: The Decision Book Blitz and Giveaway!

The Decision
L.K. Kuhl
(Everlasting Trilogy, #2)
Publication date: October 20th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

The guests are invited. The cake is all set. In just a few short hours Sophia Bandell will be saying “I do” to a guy she isn’t sure she loves. But where does she go from here? She feels her life is headed in a downhill spiral. Her first and real true love, Tate Forester, is a ghost. But he’s the man she wants to be with…the one she can’t live without. Sophia is faced with the toughest decision of her life. Does she forget about Tate and marry the egotistical lawyer, Aaron Stuart? Or does she take the plunge and join Tate to be with him for eternity?

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EXCERPT:

I turned again and caught a glimpse of Aaron coming into the backyard, dressed to the nines in a black tuxedo, his arms splayed wide. He advanced toward my sister-in-law Kristy, who had just come out the backdoor, his voice tight and full of despair. “No sign of her. I’ve looked everywhere. I don’t know what to do next.” His arms flopped down to his sides, and he slumped into a lawn chair on the deck. “This is so unlike Sophia to do something like this.”

Just then, all of my bridesmaids, my best friends—Claudia Bunker, Jenny Staid, and Laura Anderson—came out of the house to join them on the deck. All three of them, along with Kristy, were dressed in their lacy purple bridesmaid dresses, long diamond earrings, and flattering braided up-dos.

“Sophia, you’d better go break the news to them now. Don’t put them through this any longer.” Tate gave me a gentle nudge, urging me to put an end to this.

My chin trembling, I answered him with a small nod. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t answer, my mind tossing a stormy chaos of what to do next. Did I go break the news to everyone that the wedding is called off? Everyone go home. It’s over. There will be no Mrs. Aaron Stuart today. My eyes slanted back to the yard again. This time Aaron sobbed into his hands. I blinked, then blinked again, my vision blurry.

My chest ached, and I shivered as though the wind had shifted, wind that carried in cooler air— air consumed with an acidic premonition and a feverish guilt. My hands fell limp and I sagged against the tree, sliding down the length of the trunk to deposit my butt on the ground, too weak to stand.

I rubbed my face, trying to come up with the right words, words that wouldn’t disintegrate me— kill us. There were none. This was going to be the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life, but I’d been weighing the consequences since early this morning. Ever since Tate told me there was no possible way there could ever be a future for us, not in this life anyway. Carrying out this agonizing feat would mean shredding my existence, tearing every piece of livable being out of me and turning me into a hollow shell. But I saw no other way.

My breathing picked up pace, amped, making the dizziness spin my world out of control. I was losing it. It got so bad I could no longer breathe. I gasped and wrenched my body, reaching for the sun— grasping, grabbing, trying to save my life. But the air was gone. Nothing to sustain me.

Tate knelt beside me and clutched my shoulders to keep me sitting upright. “You going to be okay, Ladybug? I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t think it would be this difficult for you.”

Finally, my voice spewed the bitter, vile words out like a hot rush of lava. The knife had already sliced its way through and gutted me, my heart pierced to the end of the blade, long before they spilled forth. I was too debilitated to even clear my throat. I gurgled out. “I’m letting you go, Tate.” The repugnant, volcanic ashes floated to the ground in a hushed whisper, singeing the ground as they lit.

Tate tipped his head, his mouth falling open. His eyes wouldn’t move, they drilled into me. “What are you saying?”

The tears… I couldn’t stop them. They surged forth like a rapid river, spilling down my face. “I’m so in love with you and… and I know that this time… this time I’ll never be able to forget you. And I know what that means. It means that in six weeks you’ll be going away. But I can’t fight it anymore. My love for you is too strong, and I’m too tired.” Now that I said the words I knew there was no going back for Tate. He would be gone.

Tate lowered his head, his lips pressed into a thin line. He swallowed twice, a small sound escaping from the back of his throat like something wanted to burst forth but couldn’t quite get the job done, caught somewhere between hurt and anger. He sat back on his heels, looking at his hands that trembled on his thighs, then finally whispered. “Do what you have to do. For as much as it hurts both of us, I think it’s for the best. You’ll find someone besides Aaron and move on, and we’ll be together in eternity.”

 

Author Bio:

L.K. Kuhl lives in Nebraska with her husband Gene of twenty-nine years, young son, Nathan, and Greg, their Black Lab dog. She has two older daughters, Morgan and Brittani and son-in-law, Trevor. L.K. has been writing for over twenty years. She first began writing children’s books and poetry, moved on to writing music, and is now writing Young Adult and Adult novels. She loves spending time with her family, vacationing, writing, reading, and taking long walks. It’s the characters who write their own stories in her novels, and she is just their messenger, sharing it with the world.

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