Release Day and Giveaway! MONSTER AMONG THE ROSES by Linda Kage (Fairy Tale Quartet #1)

Will you dare to gaze upon the monster among the roses?
 
MONSTER AMONG THE ROSES
Fairy Tale Quartet #1
Linda Kage
Releasing July 24, 2017
“Do you know how to get to the rose garden?”
“No, you can’t go there. A monster lives there.”
 
Shaw Hollander is desperate.
 
Broke, unemployed, and determined to help his ailing mother, he falls on the good graces of a wealthy benefactor who is willing to give Shaw a job at his mansion in order to pay off his mother’s debts. Suddenly finding himself surrounded by lavish riches, he has no idea what his duties truly entail until he’s sent to the rose garden and meets the tragically mutilated Isobel.
This Beauty and the Beast story holds true to the core of the fable while shaking off the element of fantasy and dragging it into present day reality. Shaw and Isobel are ready to let you climb into their four-wheel-drive pickup and take a ride with them into their version of happily ever after, but only if you first dare to gaze upon the monster among the roses.
 

Great. I was lost. Shading my hand over my eyes, I decided the far right should take me in the general direction I wanted to go. So I went that way, only to end up at the edge of the house, but not where I’d started, and not close enough to the rose garden to get me inside.

Strangely enough, however, a boy played outside, using sidewalk chalk to color a picture of…what the hell was he drawing? Maybe some kind of dying animal with blood gushing from its side and an arrow sticking out of its back.

It didn’t look right, whatever it was.

I shook my head and jerked my gaze from the disturbingly morbid sketch. “Hey, kid.”

The boy jumped and looked up, hopping to his feet and backing away from me as I were the scary one.

No idea who he was; he looked too young to be Mr. Nash’s son from the photos I’d seen, plus he had white blond hair, the complete opposite shade of the young man in all the pictures in Mr. Nash’s office. But he was here, so he’d have to do.

Wanting to appear as non-threatening as possible, I smile and waved. “Hey. Sorry for bothering you, but do you know how to get to the rose garden?”

That must’ve been the wrong question to ask. His face drained of color. “No,” he said, shaking his head. “You can’t go there.”

What? “Why not?”

“A monster lives in there. Half her face is melted off. She eats the thorns from the roses so she can spit them at people, stabbing them in the neck to slice their throat open until they bleed out and die.”

O…kay.

Somehow, I’d stumbled across one of the children of the corn. Nice.

Lifting my eyebrows, I drew my own step in reverse. Time to retreat. “Dude, that’s gruesome.”

Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me.

He gave a serious nod. “It’s true. My mom’ll tell you she’s real too.”

“Oh yeah?” Relieved he wasn’t claiming he’d sprouted from Satan’s cabbage patch but actually had a mother, I glanced around for this wise, all-knowing parent of his. Maybe she could tell me how to get to the conservatory. “Who’s your mom?”

“The cook,” he said, puffing up his chest as if that were the most important title in the house. “She’s worked here for fifteen years. She knows everything about this place there is to know. So…don’t go into the roses. You won’t come out alive. Lewis, the groundskeeper, doesn’t even go in there.”

Aha! So this place did have a gardener. I knew it.

I took a second to ponder why I was being sent to garden then, when Mr. Nash already paid someone to maintain the place. But if Lewis refused to go into the roses, as the kid had said, maybe it was rumored to be haunted or something, and that was where I came in. Then again, why wouldn’t Mr. Nash just hire a new groundskeeper who wasn’t so scared and superstitious? Then I stopped pondering the whys. It wasn’t my place to question strange, rich people and their strange, oddball orders. I was just here to do what I was told and save my mom.

Nodding gravely to the boy, I said, “Thanks for the warning, kid. But I think I’ll take my chances. Which way?”

He looked at me as if he’d never see me again because I was headed forth to my death, then he lifted his hand and quietly pointed toward another opening in the path of bushes.

“Thanks.” I nodded and got out of there before some of his creepiness started rubbing off.

Fortunately, he’d steered me in the right direction. I landed right at the outdoor entrance into the glass gazebo. Propping the door open, I carted my supplies inside and then paused to breathe deeply.

But fuck me, it smelled good in here. You didn’t have to be a flower enthusiast for this garden to amaze you. It was like the holy shrine of roses. A hallowed kind of reverence filled my chest. Haunted or not, I liked it. It felt peaceful and yet revitalizing.

Suddenly intimidated because I didn’t want to mess anything up in such a perfect place, my hands shook as I flipped back to the pages about rose care. The more I skimmed, however, the more confused I became.

These roses didn’t need a lick of my attention. They were all in excellent condition as if someone already tended to them. Maybe creepy kid had been wrong, and Lewis the groundskeeper came in here hourly to care for them.

Still…What the hell?

I frowned and slid my finger along the silken petals of a blood red rose. Perfectly pruned, weeded, and watered. It was as flawless as a thing could get.

But I couldn’t go tell Mr. Nash they didn’t need anything, could I? What if he fired me for lack of work to do, or because he thought I was lazy and lying about the roses not needing care?

I looked around again, searching for anything to water, or clip, or re-soil. It was crazy how thriving every single flower looked.

Maybe this was some kind of test, and Mr. Nash wanted me to fail. What if he’d never intended for me to work for him and the contract I’d signed to save my mom was being burned in the fireplace in this office as I stood here like a dumbass with nothing to weed.

Confused and worried, and growing a little angry, I scowled at a wall full of pink vine roses growing to my right. But they were honestly too pretty to be glared at, so my mood settled.

I bet Mom would love them. She was a fan of pink. And flowers. Plus, these were the good-smelling kind. I’d be a good son if I brought home such a flower to her. And it seemed as if they grew in abundance, not as if they were one of the rare breeds Mr. Nash had spoken of. So I reached for a bloom to pluck it from the vine without even thinking beyond how much it’d make my mother smile.

Behind me, a voice growled, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Jumping half out of my skin because I’d been certain no one had been in here with me, I whirled around only to gasp, “Shit!”

The creepy cook’s son hadn’t been lying.

In front of me stood an irate woman with half her face melted off.

I grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now I live in Kansas with my husband, two daughters, nine cuckoo clocks, and a cat named Holly. My life’s been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing’s always been a major part my world, and I’m so happy to finally share some of my stories with other romance lovers.

I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, and I’ve been through a writing correspondence class in children’s literature from The Institute of Children’s Literarture, and then I continued my writing lessons by majoring in English with an emphasis in creative fiction writing from Pittsburg State University.

 

 

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Cover Reveal! THE RULES OF PERSUASION by Amity Hope

The Rules of Persuasion
Amity Hope
Published by: Entangled Crush
Publication date: August 14th 2017
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

After tragedy hit her family, Meg Matthews officially crossed the line from “good girl” to “bad girl.” Motorcycle? Check. Graffiti? Check. The only thing Meg hadn’t planned on was blackmail. Too bad now a certain infuriating boy holds Meg’s future in his hands…

When Luke Prescott—star pitcher and town golden boy—catches Meg vandalizing the school, she’s given two choices: face the consequences or enter into a fake relationship with him to get his parents and his ex off his back.

But as Meg and Luke grow closer, they both realize they’ve been keeping secrets from each other. Their fake relationship might be doomed from the start—if they can’t learn to open up to the one person they never thought they’d trust.

 

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Author Bio:

Amity lives in beautiful northern Minnesota with her two sons, two cats and their Rottweiler.

She has a degree in elementary education and worked in that field for ten years before deciding to self-publish.

Her first self-published novel, Twisted, was listed by Amazon as a Top 100 Kids & Teens Kindle Book of 2012. It hit Amazon’s Teen & Young Adult Contemporary Romance Best Sellers List in several countries. Truths and Dares held the #1 position on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Teen & Young Adult Contemporary Romance eBooks in the UK. Her latest book, The Rules of Persuasion, will be releasing this August from Entangled Publishing.

If she’s not writing, or spending time with her boys, she’s most likely reading.

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New Release! FIREFLY by Molly McAdams (A Redemption novel)



Title: Firefly
Author: Molly McAdams
Series: A Redemption Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense

The next captivating installment in New York Times bestselling author Molly McAdams’s Redemption series.

As the Princess of the Irish-American Mob, there’s no shortage of men ready to help guard and protect me. To slowly suffocate me to the point of seeking freedom—a place where I can breathe.

Kieran Hayes has been saving me for as long as I can remember. It’s in his blood, and one of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Until my favorite trait became his biggest flaw, making me resent the man I love. An unwavering warrior, his love for me has been shrouded by those instincts.

Save Lily. Protect Lily. Hide Lily. Cage Lily.

What I wasn’t prepared for was Dare—the man who would set my world on fire with just one touch. He saw straight through to my soul, as though he knew I was desperate for freedom, and silently demanded my heart from the beginning.

And I didn’t expect Dare to be Demitri Borello—the reason for so many deaths in my family. A man who will take my life the moment he finds out who I am.

Despite it all, I’ll love him until that moment comes.

A fire will die if there is no oxygen for it to consume. Ours is rapidly stealing every last breath we can sacrifice to it.

 

***The Redemption series is a series of romantic suspense standalones***

“I’m wrecked, ruined, destroyed, and in awe.” – #1 New York Times bestselling author, Rachel Van Dyken

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“Nothing’s getting past me,” I assured her.

Her breath washed over my lips as I leaned in to kiss her again when she whispered, “I thought we were talking about you.”

I paused for a few seconds, then looked up into her hazel eyes. “What?”

“I think I’m in danger from you.”

My brow pulled tight, and I forced out a low, frustrated laugh. “Me.”

She nodded again, the movement of her head so slow as her eyes explored mine. “I need you to let me go for so many reasons, but I easily forget why when you don’t. I think there was a reason neither of us crossed that invisible barrier before today. Because being in your arms?” She hesitated, her tongue quickly darting out to wet her lips. “Trust me, it’s dangerous.”

A weight pressed down on my chest, making it hard to breathe. Because damn it if she wasn’t right.

There were dozens of girls over the years who’d meant nothing more than a night. Maybe two. Not one could I remember the name of, most I couldn’t remember their face.

Then there’d been one who I would’ve sold my soul for if I could’ve had one more night with her.

My days with her had been everything. A slow burn that had built over time until I hadn’t been able to get enough of her. Until she’d meant too much.

And there hadn’t been a girl since.

Not a second glance. Not a thought. Nothing.

Until one morning at Brooks a few years ago.

But there was nothing slow about the thoughts and needs for the girl pressed against me. There hadn’t been since the very first morning I’d found her staring at a mirror like it had the power to destroy her world. Like that possibility fascinated her.

Fuck, if I didn’t need to find out why.

Dangerous was exactly what we were. Only she had no idea just how much.

My gut twisted as unwanted thoughts entered my mind, but I pushed them away. Because I knew what I needed to do. I needed to let her go and force myself not to follow.

But when there’s a flicker of light in your life after so much darkness, it’s impossible to stay away.

And this girl burned so damn bright.

Calling to me and beckoning me toward her, and I knew no matter how many times I let her slip away, I would follow her just to catch her again.

I brushed my thumb across her full lips. “Goddamn firefly.”

A powerhouse romantic suspense that will have you questioning your morals and second guessing your view on love.

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molly-mcadams

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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Grand Finale Blitz and Giveaway! REBEL IN A SMALL TOWN by Kristina Knight (Slippery Rock #2)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Launch for
Rebel in a Small Town
By Kristina Knight

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch – Note from the Author

My family’s special project for this new series is continuing with the release of Rebel in a Small Town, too. We’re donating a portion of the proceeds from the Slippery Rock series toward providing Sweet Cases from TogetherWeRise to foster children. Most children going in to foster care have nothing but the clothes on their backs. Sweet Cases are duffel bags given to children coming in to care, and once given, the bags remain with that child, giving them a sense of home and, hopefully, a sense that they aren’t alone. Each duffel includes a warm blanket, a teddy bear, hygiene kit, and art supplies.

— Kristina

Sylv.net – Story Inspiration

I love a rebel! Especially, a rebel that is a little bit unexpected, and I hope that’s what you’ll love about Rebel in a Small Town. Because instead of James – the hero – being the big, bad rebel…it’s Mara. And she’s not so much a crazed, angry, rebel without a cause (although I do like a good rebel without a cause) as a women trying to live down her rebellious past.

Beck Valley Books – Excerpt

“Touché.” James put his hands in his pockets. “You look good.”

“So now that I’m not an attached lesbian-slash- bisexual, you’re going straight into hook-up mode?”

James grinned. “It was a statement of fact,” he said, “not an invitation for either of us to go jumping into whatever lake we were swimming in up until two years ago.”

Becky on Books – Review

“Mara and James’ story, the second in the Slippery Rock series, is a sweet second chance/secret baby romance. . . . Slippery Rock was heartening; their HEA, when it comes, is very sweet. Seeing the rest of their collection of friends once again makes me anxious to see what will be in store for future books in the series, especially Adam and Jenny, Levi, and the mysterious, absent Aiden.”

Hearts & Scribbles – Top 5 Rebel Movies

Movies are my favorite form of entertainment – next of books, natch! Rom-coms, dramas, action flicks, period dramas, historical reenactments…I’ll watch anything at least once. But I’ll watch a good rebel movie more than once. In some cases, hundreds of times.

underneath the covers – Excerpt

She motioned to her bag and tried to shout above the racket of the beepers. “I’m with Cannon Security,” she said, but the teenager kept wielding the broom handle at her like it was a machete. “I’m on a security check,” she said, trying again, but neither of the employees seemed able to hear her. Maybe the two of them didn’t want to hear her.

Thoughts of a Blonde – Review

“Star-crossed lovers, town secrets and a surprise baby … just a few of the things that make this such a fun read! A visit to Slippery Rock is always satisfying!”

Mythical Books – Top 5 Rebel Songs

5. Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall: I think my love of this song comes directly from my dad’s disdain for it. He was a school teacher, and took great offense to a chorus of ‘we don’t need no education’…which, of course, meant I just had to love it. It helped that one of my older brother’s friends (who I thought was quite cute) used to play it while he was working on his old beater car. Sans shirt.

Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview

Does writing energize or exhaust you? – A little bit of both, actually. When the words are flowing, I have a tendency to get totally lost…which leads to more time at the keyboard than I should probably spend…which leads to lost sleep and caffeine highs…and coming down from those is exhausting!

Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford – Review

“One thing I love about a book series is that it allows you to return to your favorite place and find out what’s happening to some of your favorite townsfolk. . . . While there are some adult situations in the book, it’s an entertaining small town read that makes me look forward to Ms. Knight’s next Slippery Rock book.”

It’s All About the Romance – James’ Tips for Reforming a Rebel

Loving a rebel is a hard thing, especially when you’re neck-deep in sheriff duties. And, you know, when your family has been the law in your town for longer than you can remember. People have expectations. And thoughts. And expectations.

Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader – Review

“This book has history, love, friendship, humanity and sexual chemistry. The small Town of Slippery Rock is being rebuilt by everyone that once loved it. You don’t want to miss this sweet heart warming story about a Rebel coming home!”

The Reader’s Handbook – Excerpt

“Mara.” His voice was quiet, and the sound of her name on his lips made the sizzle burn a little hotter. She froze, needing to keep the heat between them under control, but wanting it to burst out like a wildfire. His mouth hit hers, but instead of the anger that had fueled that kiss outside the B and B, the contact was slow. Smooth. And it nearly undid her. His mouth was strong against hers, familiar, and yet it was as if he had never kissed her before.

Nicole’s Book Musings – Mara’s Tips for Dating a Good Man

The thing is, you can’t run forever. I learned that the hard way, when I fell in love with James Calhoun. I ran, and my life hasn’t been the same since. My problem is that I can’t run anymore because there are more than just my feelings to think about. I have Zeke’s feelings to consider. And James’.

Harlie’s Books – Excerpt & Review

“No, no, no. Please, no.”

The siren grew louder, and a few cars passing on the street pulled to the side.

“Let it be a fire. Let it be a fire.”

But it wasn’t a red fire truck that entered the parking lot. It was a big black SUV with Wall County Sheriff plastered along its side. She was definitely not making it to the B and B for snack time.

“Secret baby, childhood friends to lovers, small town tropes, oh my. Sign me up. Not to mention the secret that is between them that the town still blames Mara squarely for. This book has it all for me. Plus, it has smexy times and what an opening to a book. Ms. Knight shook up the mold when she wrote Mara and James.”

Always Reading – Excerpt & Review

James cupped his hands around her neck, pulling her to him. Mara squeaked as he laid his lips on hers, silencing her before she could say, for the fifteenth time, that she could be everything for the little boy in the picture. That James could walk away and never feel guilty about it. As if that would ever happen.

“This book warmed my heart. I grew up in a small town called Slippery Rock. When I saw that this town was called Slippery Rock, I knew I had to read it. We moved away from there, but it is always good to go home.”

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…

Rebel in a Small Town
(Slippery Rock #2)
Kristina Knight
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
July 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

He’s not giving up his family without a fight

James Calhoun has never been able to resist Mara Tyler, or her knack for mischief. Her reputation as a reckless teenager drove Mara from their hometown. So Slippery Rock is the last place James ever expected to see her, and Mara’s timing couldn’t be worse. With the upcoming election for sheriff, she threatens the squeaky-clean image James needs to win. Because Mara has brought with her the result of their steamy affair: his two-year-old son, Zeke. After the initial shock, James is determined to have both his family and career. He just needs to convince Mara that her home is where it’s always been. With him.

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Other Books in the Series:

Famous in a Small Town
(Slippery Rock #1)
Kristina Knight
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
May 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

Lifestyles of the small-town famous

Forced to leave Nashville after a scandal, Savannah Walters has come home to Slippery Rock, Missouri, with a bruised ego and her singing career in jeopardy. As if that isn’t humiliating enough, on her way into town she’s rescued by her swoon-worthy childhood crush, Collin Tyler.

His hands are full running the family orchard and dealing with his delinquent teen sister, so Collin doesn’t need to get involved with someone as fiery and unpredictable as Savannah. But the intense attraction between them can’t be denied. And when disaster strikes, they’ll both be surprised by who’s still standing when the dust settles.

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And coming September 2017…

Breakup in a Small Town
(Slippery Rock #3)
Kristina Knight
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
September 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

This isn’t the man she married…

Jenny Buchanan never considered what “for better or for worse” meant when she married Adam Buchanan at nineteen. Six years and two little boys later, “for worse” arrives in the form of a tornado that ravages Slippery Rock and injures Adam. Now he’s a stranger to his family…and love won’t be enough to bring him back.

Only when Jenny asks him to move out does Adam become the husband she needs…but Adam isn’t the only one who’s changed. As their attraction sparks back to life, Jenny and Adam must learn what it is to grow up—and grow together—before this small-town breakup lasts forever.

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About the Author:

Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer’s capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way, she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she’s living her own happily ever after.

Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!

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Other Harlequin Superromance Books by the Author

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a signed copy of Protecting the Quarterback and some fun swag
– US residents only
Ends July 25th

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Tour Schedule

July 16th:
Sylv.net
Beck Valley Books
Becky on Books
July 17th:
Hearts & Scribbles
underneath the covers
Thoughts of a Blonde
July 18th:
Mythical Books
Deal Sharing Aunt
Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford
July 19th:
It’s All About the Romance
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
July 20th:
Nicole’s Book Musings
Harlie’s Books
Always Reading
July 21st: Grand Finale

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New Release Review! SOME KIND OF HERO by Suzanne Brockmann (Troubleshooters #17)

Some Kind of Hero
by Suzanne Brockmann

Synopsis:

Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.

 

Review:

The Troubleshooters are back!

Oh, I loved this one so much–there were actual tears during the epilogue! It had everything that is so awesome about the Troubleshooters series: fantastic main characters (both single parents! Of teens! Older woman/romantic suspense author + SEAL!), great camaraderie between them and the secondary characters (many of them a fun selection of previous Troubleshooter series MCs), edge-of-your-seat suspense, and smoking hot romance 🙂

I loved how Shay’s profession (romantic suspense author) was such a part of her life (occasionally talking to her own fictional character out loud, LOL! Does she ever explain those random comments to Peter, I wonder?) and how her particular skill set helped her to help Peter defeat the bad guys in the end. Although I loved this one cover to cover, the last 25% was truly unputdownable.

Please tell me that there’s going to be more to this series! I need me some more Shay and Peter…

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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New Release and Giveaway! LAST CHANCE COWBOYS: THE OUTLAW by Anna Schmidt (Where the Trail Ends #3)

Title: Last Chance Cowboys: The Outlaw
Author: Anna Schmidt
Series: Where the Trail Ends, #3
ISBN: 9781492613022
Pub Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Western Romance

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

“‘Someone like me?’ Is that how you see me, Amanda? As someone people should fear?”

“I don’t know what to think,” she said. “One minute you seem so dangerous, and the next you’re sweet and caring and…”
He took a step closer, his eyes sweeping her face. “And which do you want me to be?” His voice was low; it sent shivers down her spine.

“Both,” she whispered, and lifted her face for a kiss.

 

Amanda Porterfield longs to experience real adventure. So when she’s offered a position in bustling Tucson, she leaps at the chance despite unknown dangers—dangers like the mysterious Seth Grover.

As an undercover detective working to stop a gang of outlaws, Seth can’t afford the distractions a woman like Amanda inspires. Yet when the fiercely intelligent beauty is thrust into the middle of a heist gone wrong, Seth will fight for a future that may never be theirs…even if it means risking everything he holds dear.

 

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EXCERPT:

Amanda fought her attacker with all her might, ineffectually flailing away at him with both fists. Then, realizing her nails and teeth were better weapons, she raked his neck even as she bit down hard and got a mouth filled with the taste of her attacker’s leather glove for her trouble. She struggled to free herself from his solid, muscular body pinning hers to the ground by straddling her. She went completely still, hoping to surprise him, but he hauled her to her feet, leaving her hat in the dirt and her hair falling free of the pins she’d used to hide it under the crown of the Stetson.

She took some pride in the realization that she’d put up enough of a fight to leave the man breathless. On the other hand, he was practically “Amanda?” Seth Grover was breathing hard and staring down at her, one hand touching her breasts, which were heaving noticeably after the exertion of the fight.

“Explain yourself, Mr. Grover,” she demanded as she planted both hands flat on the solid wall of his chest and shoved him away. He let go, but the sound of fabric ripping told her he’d taken the top couple of buttons of the shirt with him. When she saw his eyes riveted on her exposed skin, she covered herself with crossed hands and felt heat race through her body. “Well?” she hissed, aware that they were standing outside and anyone might pass by or hear them.

“I thought…are you following me, Amanda?”

“Do not flatter yourself, Seth. Miss Jensen might keep tabs on you, but your comings and goings are of no interest to me whatsoever.” She dusted off the seat of her pants, then realized she’d once again exposed herself to him by letting go of her shirt front. “A gentleman would avert his eyes,” she said, “or at the very least offer a lady the cover of his coat.”

He chuckled. “Have to say I’m not much a gentleman, ma’am, but if you’re feeling a chill…” He shrugged out of his coat and draped it over her shoulders, allowing his hands to linger there until she stepped out of reach.

“Thank you.” She bent to retrieve her hat and slapped it against her thigh as she’d seen her father, brothers and the cowboys at the ranch do more times than she could count. The gesture made her feel tougher and taller at the same time. She shook her hair back from her face and planted on the hat, tugging at the brim until the fit was snug. “I’ll leave your coat outside your room. Good evening, Seth.”

“I’ll walk you back.” He fell into step beside her. “Shall we take the street or the alley?”

He was mocking her. She remained silent but picked up the pace.

“Oh, then we’re going to race back?” He matched her step for step, an easy feat given his long legs.

“Will you please…”

He took hold of her arm, forcing her to stop walking. “I am not leaving you alone, Amanda. You shouldn’t be out at this time of night.” His tone bordered on patronizing. He sounded like her brother Jess, and that irritated her.

“Why do you care?” she snapped and meant it to be a challenge, but found that she really wanted to him to tell her. “You hardly know me.”

He was still holding her upper arm. She could feel the heat of his fingers through the coat and realized that he’d removed the leather gloves. While she processed this thought, he led her to a small lane that passed between the pharmacy and the milliner’s shop. There he took hold of her other arm and pulled her closer.

She was sure he planned to kiss her. She was also sure that she had never wanted anything in her life quite as much as she wanted to find out what kissing Seth Grover might be like. Here at last was the true adventure she’d come to Tucson to find.

“Listen to me, Amanda. You’re looking for trouble, and I won’t always be around to make sure you don’t find it, so fair warning. You need to stop these midnight wanderings. You need to stop getting yourself dressed up to look like a boy. You need to…”

So, kissing her was clearly the last thing on his mind.

She wrenched herself free of his hold. Not that he fought to hold on. “I can take care of myself,” she muttered as she massaged her arms, wanting him to believe he had hurt her when in fact his touch had been firm but gentle.

“Really?”

“Really,” she snapped, and started to walk away.

He caught her hand, and then before she knew what was happening she was pressed up against the side of the building by the length of his body. He had his other hand over her mouth again—this time without his glove. His skin smelled like leather, though. She struggled and he tightened his hold on her. His face was so close she could feel his breath, hot against her cheeks.

“Wake up, Amanda. You are no longer residing on your family’s ranch where no doubt you had others looking out for you. You are alone here in Tucson, and you need to take care.”

Amanda had no idea what came over her. Maybe she just wanted him to stop telling her what she already knew. She cupped his face with her hands and kissed him.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning author ANNA SCHMIDT delights in creating stories where her characters must wrestle with the challenges of their times. Critics have consistently praised Schmidt for her ability to seamlessly integrate actual events with her fictional characters to produce strong tales of hope and love in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She resides in Wisconsin.

Find her online:

Website: http://www.booksbyanna.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/as_li_sh/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/690598.Anna_Schmidt

 

GIVEAWAY:

Enter for a chance to win a copy of the previous book in Anna Schmidt’s series, Last Chance Cowboys: The Lawman!

 

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New Release and Giveaway! ADDICTED TO LOVE by Jennifer Wilck (Serendipity #1)

Addicted to Love
Jennifer Wilck
(Serendipity, #1)
Publication date: July 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

“So what’s Hannah like?” Tess sank into the chair next to him. Dan refrained from telling her to go to bed. For once she wanted to talk—he’d spend all night with her if necessary.

“She’s nice. Funny and smart, too.”

Tess winced. “Sounds great.” Her tone implied anything but.

Dan nudged her. “Trust me, she is. I didn’t think you’d want to hear other kinds of stuff.”

“Eww, no. Where’d you guys go?”

“I took her to the planetarium, and afterward, to Isabella’s.”

Tess sat up straight. “You took her there? I thought you were joking!”

“What? She liked it.” “Really? Or was she just pretending?” He paused and considered Hannah’s reaction. It hadn’t seemed fake. He’d been careful not to overload her with too much geek data, which might fascinate him but bore others. No, he was sure she’d liked it.

“Her eyes didn’t glaze over, and she pulled me along to show me things she thought were interesting. So I’d have to say really.”

“Weird. Are you going to see her again?”

This was worse than he expected, as he tried to keep from squirming in his seat under Tess’ direct gaze. “I hope so.”

“When do I get to meet her?” “You’ve met her, Tess. At the JCC concert.”

“I know, Dad, but when do I get to really meet her? If you like her enough to go out with her so often, I should at least get to know her better. Invite her over for dinner.”

He glanced at his watch. “Shouldn’t you be…in bed or something?” He regretted his eagerness to talk to her. Well, that was his feeling lots of times as the father of a teenager, but this time she was talking about Hannah. And for some reason, she made him feel like his mother was interrogating him, rather than his daughter. He needed to regain the upper hand. Somehow. “Dinner’s a good idea, Tess. Just not right now.”

“Why not? You’re a good cook. Everyone has to eat. You can invite her here, impress her with your culinary skills, and she and I can get to know each other better. What’s the problem?”

The idea had so many problems her compliment didn’t hit him until after.

“Thanks,” he said.

“For what?”

“For telling me I’m a good cook.”

“You’re welcome. But changing the subject won’t work.”

Damn. He ran a hand through his hair and remembered he needed a haircut. Turning in his seat, he grabbed his phone and added it to tomorrow’s to-do list. “Tess, I think it’s too soon in our relationship for this to happen.”

“Too soon? What’s too soon about it? You’ve been dating a couple of weeks, right?”

“Ten days.” Was it only ten days? “You have a daughter.”

He nodded.

“So, it’ll look weird if you keep me hidden away, like Mr. Rochester’s wife.”

“Oh, a literary reference,” he said. “Nice touch.”

She grinned. “I thought you’d appreciate it. As my reward, I think you should listen to me. I could always come with you somewhere if you don’t want her at the apartment.”

Letting out a sigh, he faced her. “Like a chaperone? Oh, sounds fun. Come here.”

She stood and he pulled her into a hug. “I’ll think about it. I’m glad you’re okay with the idea of me dating.”

Tess shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, Hannah seems nice, but do you have time to date? You always tell me how busy you are.”

He pulled her into another hug. “No matter what I do, I’ll always have time for you. I promise.”

 

Author Bio:

When I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).

One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital—the computer was way less scary) and now I’m a published author. My first book, A Heart of Little Faith, was just declared a Finalist in the Fiction: Romance category of the 2016 Best Book Awards.

In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I run youth group activities, train the dog we recently adopted from a local shelter, and cook dinners that fit the needs of four very different appetites. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.

When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life. My inspiration comes from watching the people around me and fantasizing about how I’d do things differently.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Saturday Morning Video! BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY by The Muppets

 

In honor of the opening of the Jim Henson Exhibit at the Museum of Moving Arts (reviewed here by the New York Times:  This Time, The Muppets Take Queens, and funded by a Kickstarter campaign sponsored by yours truly–you can see the list of sponsors here, and no, I’m not in the $1000 list ;)) I give you a Muppet music video featuring just about all of them 🙂

Thanks to bro-man for the video!

Pre-Order Blitz! ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL by Jennifer Probst (Billionaire Builders #3)

ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL by Jennifer Probst will release in 4 days (July 25th)!

HGTV’s Property Brothers meets The Marriage Bargain in this third volume in the Billionaire Builders series, an all-new, heart-wrenching, and sexy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.
Tristan Pierce left the family business to carve out a life of his own, but never forgot his passionate affair with the much younger, inexperienced Sydney Greene, or the hurtful breakup that tore him apart. When he’s forced to return home and face his past, will he be able to carve out a future, or will lies ruin his second chance at love?Sydney Greene loved Tristan her entire life but when he left, he took not only her heart, but her trust along with him. Now that they’re together again, it’s time they both face the biggest secret of all…

Enter the pre-order giveaway if you like Bonus Scenes and for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or Signed set of the whole Billionaire Builder Series!!
http://bit.ly/AONAA_PreorderContest

————-
AUTHOR INFORMATION: 
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

New Release! PLANNING PENELOPE by Erin Lockwood

We’re celebrating the release of PLANNING PENELOPE by Erin Lockwood!

 

PLANNING PENELOPE
by Erin Lockwood
Psychological Suspense/Romance

Blurb:
Alexander George Bishop V has an obsession. He controls every detail of her life, and she doesn’t even know he exists.
Everything always goes as planned … until it doesn’t.
Excerpt:
She has an oral fixation, so I have an oral fixation—hers.
Usually, it’s a pen cap, a pencil, or the plastic lid of her coffee cup, but tonight, she has nothing but her fingers lingering over her soft light-pink pout. I’ve been watching those lips and anything that comes near them for years now. It’s more than my obsession. This woman has become my masterpiece, and I’m the unknown author.
I won’t let anything chip away at my creation.
Especially this guy.
He’s standing behind her, carnal determination obvious on his face and with a fierce urge to bite into the skin on her back. I can see it in his eyes, the way they’re focused on her flesh. He leans forward, and my protective glands swell in my throat.
Although I’m several feet away and one level down, I lean in, as he did, but with anticipation to lurch.
She’s resting on the railing, staring out at the band onstage, unaware of what is about to hit her. Her left elbow is touching the metal bar, but her fingers are on her delicate, smooth pout, touching so lightly across, back and forth.
The loud nightclub drowns out one of her key senses. So, mine heighten in response.
I move to set down my beer. I’m ready. Ready to fight for her and keep her from the predator lurking at her back—the one messing with my masterpiece. He moves closer to her skin and bends his head to kiss the top of her shoulder. She doesn’t flinch.
I exhale a deep breath I didn’t realize I was holding.
She turns around, wraps her arms around him, and kisses him on his mouth. Her delicate, smooth lips are on his unworthy mouth. My jaw muscles tighten, and my teeth clench. This makes me angry, but I won’t act on it. Not yet.
“Alex, what’s wrong?” Kevin asks, nudging me with his elbow, still keeping his beer close to his face.
“Nothing,” I tell him and turn to pick up my beer from the high-top where I set it.
My eyes go back to her. They have been seeing each other for a few weeks, but I know it won’t last much longer. Not after
tomorrow. Not after what I found out. This one isn’t the worst, but he’s still not good enough.
Her typical type—blond, tall, fair-to-medium skin—Hitler’s dream and my worst nightmare. I knew he would be a threat when they crossed paths last month. I keep them away as best I can, but there are too many unpredictable forces in life.

 

About the Author:

Erin Lockwood grew up in Castro Valley, California and attended the University of Oregon, where she graduated in 2003 with a degree in journalism. From there she moved to Denver and spent the next seven years searching for the love of her life and building the family of her dreams.

It wasn’t long until, with children starting preschool and more time on her hands, Erin refocused on her career, beginning with a successful entry into the world of residential real estate as a Realtor. Free time was spent reading book after book (and binge-watching the subsequent films) in the New Adult genre. Feeling hopelessly in love with her husband, she wrote him a short story leading up to their fifth wedding anniversary. That’s when she discovered her tireless passion to share her experience of falling in love through fictional characters. That story evolved into the first novel in the Angles trilogy.

Erin still lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, Phil, and their three children.