Behind the Scenes and a Giveaway with Becky Wicks, Author of BEFORE HE WAS GONE (Starstruck #2)

I need more time! Anybody have any available? ;) This series is sitting in my TBR–taunting me!
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Behind the scenes: How working with celebrities inspired me to write the Starstruck Series

 

Hi! Thanks for having me on the blog! I sometimes get asked what inspired me to write the Starstruck Series and I guess while the majority of it came from an idea I had about what became Noah and Chloe – two best friends fighting their feelings for each other – the rest came as a result of working with celebrities both in London and Dubai, and also Sydney. I wrote for various magazines and websites, and in Australia I worked on the morning show for a popular radio station. Super fun jobs but also really bad hours – try getting up at 5 AM to help a radio show presenter challenge Bear Grylls to a weird-food-eating contest – you do not want to see that so early).

I was always fascinated with behind the scenes…

Whenever I got to meet these famous people, it always struck me how normal they were. Sometimes I would barely recognize them, and even on the odd occasion when I’d get a little star struck they always seemed to treat everyone around them normally too. It kind of made me feel embarrassed for expecting anything else, you know? When I started researching more in order to write Before He Was Famous, I realized I could draw from my own experiences – the little glimmer I’d seen of behind the scenes.

Celebrities were always so normal. That sounds weird to say…

Up close you see the make-up, the designer labels, the entourage, yet when they talk, you also start to see the cracks; the little humanisms that so often get glossed over in the media and sensationalized. It was actually after I was sent into a paparazzi frenzy in Darling Harbor to photograph Kim Kardashian getting off a boat, that I started thinking more about the show they have to put on for people and what it must really be like for them, knowing that whatever they say or do must be scrutinized. It can’t always be fun. That’s when my two ideas, of the best friends becoming lovers, and the celebrity angle started to blend.

I almost got chosen to be on a reality TV show once…

It was called Farmer Wants A Wife Sssssh! Thank god it didn’t happen – I’d have been sent out into the middle of nowhere and made to do weird things, like cheese making and helping cows give birth, probably, but thanks to a combination of all my imaginings and my experiences, reality TV became the basis of both Before He Was Famous and Before He Was Gone. I like the fact that behind the façades we’re all just normal people and we all want to shine for who we are. We just go about it different ways, that’s all.

Before He Was Gone (Starstruck 2) is out now on Amazon!

AUTHOR BIO:author pic(1)
Becky Wicks lives in Bali and scribbles books, and she’s mostly powered by coffee. Her first book in the Starstruck Series, Before He Was Famous recently reached #1 in Amazon’s Coming of Age and New Adult & College categories, and her three travel books, published by HarperCollins are online to make feet nice and itchy. Mostly though, she loves to write love stories. She blogs most days at beckywicks.com and always welcomes distractions on Twitter @bex_wicks. Especially if you have photos of cats.
Author links:
BHWG
Before He Was Gone
by Becky Wicks
(Starstruck #2)
Publication date: Summer 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:

Sometimes, you have to get lost to find yourself…

When her rock star boyfriend breaks things off out of the blue, Alyssa applies to hit reality TV show Deserted and to her shock she gets through. Abandoned on a remote island with a bunch of strangers and none of the luxuries she’s become accustomed to, it’s not long before an undeniable attraction to the mysterious Joshua starts complicating things even further.

Joshua’s different to everyone she’s ever known – a traveller, a man with no plan, a world away from the celebrity life she’s left behind. As a series of challenges test their wits and weaknesses, things start heating up in paradise, but in a game designed to break people down, it soon becomes clear that Joshua is hiding a painful secret – one he won’t risk anyone finding out.

Struggling to know where she belongs, Alyssa will have to choose – a life she once loved that wants her back, or a brand new reality that heartbreakingly may just have its limits.

˃˃˃ “Becky does it again, delivering a searingly hot, emotionally intense and brilliantly written book. I loved it.” – Sarah Alderson (author of Hunting Lila, Fated, The Sound)

***Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and mature situations. Not intended for young adult readers.***

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New Release Review: DIVINE SANCTUARY by Cheryl Kaye Tardif (Divine Trilogy finale)

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Title: Divine Sanctuary
Author: Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Publisher: Imagin Books
Pages: 210
Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Crime/Thriller/Romance
Format: Kindle

There’s no place like home…

In the Divine trilogy finale, the heat is tripled when CFBI Agent Jasi McLellan must rescue Emily, the ghost girl that haunts her dreams; expose her own mother’s killer; and uncover a murderer that preys on the weak at Sanctuary, a controversial cult nestled in the woods near Mission, BC.

Something insidious lurks behind the safe haven of Sanctuary’s wrought iron gates. Led by the charismatic Father Jeremiah, the cult’s idyllic lifestyle seems perfect on the outside. But a lethal hunter is on the prowl, and in a carefully executed game of cat and mouse, the body count rises.

Along with Victim Empath Natassia Prushenko, Psychometric Empath Ben Roberts and Special Consultant Brandon Walsh, Jasi follows three trails of clues that lead to one terrifying conclusion: home is not always the safest place on earth.

Review:

Divine Sanctuary is the third and final book in the Divine trilogy, but if you’re unfamiliar with the series and author (like I was), it will work as a standalone. Cheryl Kaye Tardif has created a very interesting setting here, one where PSIs–Psychic Skills Investigators–are used covertly to solve crimes, and we learn enough about it here to jump right into the drama and excitement of their world.

Jasmine McLellan, a Pyro-Psychic (she uses the scent of a fire set by an arsonist to get into his or her mind at the time of the crime) is the main investigator in the book. She has one central crime to solve, centering on the disappearance of a reporter while looking into missing persons at a creepy cult compound. At the same time, visions of a girl who has haunted Jasi since her childhood are given new urgency–is the girl actually real? Is it possible she might still be alive? If so, can Jasi save her within the three day deadline the latest incantation of the vision tells her about? Finally, the decades-old murder of Jasi’s mother, which Jasi witnessed but has suppressed most of her memories of, might have a breakthrough. Each is important to Jasi, and each deserves her attention. Can she somehow manage to find answers to them all?

Ms. Tardif did a nice job of weaving all the various suspense plots together. There’s a lot of twists and turns–many that I absolutely did not see coming–that keep the reader engaged. (Apparently I made lots of noises of the “Aha!” and “Oh…” variety that annoyed my teenaged daughter, who was also in the room while I was reading much of it. Whatever. She has her own room if my reading bothers her that much.) I am happy to say that I did refrain from yelling at the characters toward the end when I figured out what they were supposed to be looking for before they did–just barely refrained, it’s true, but still I should be given credit for it. ;) They finally figured it out, and just in time. Thank goodness! 

The romances of the book have all already been established (definitely an argument for going back and reading the first two series books, just in case you needed one!) so romance definitely takes a backseat to the solving of crimes and the twists in those plot threads. They do add a nice flavor, though, and there’s definitely something to be said for books based on established couples. For readers of the series, there is a very satisfying relationship development at the end for two of the characters. :)

Altogether this was a highly satisfying, suspenseful read. Things felt a teeny bit rushed at the end, but it did not at all detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author in the future–I really enjoyed her style of writing.

(However, can I just say how unfair it is that Brandon managed to get out of a night at The Phantom of the Opera? I certainly hope Jasi finally gets her night out sometime after the book’s end–she deserves it! I mean, it’s Phantom!)

Rating: 4 stars/ B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Excerpt:

Emily emerged from the shadows of Jasi’s closet. She drifted forward, her feet barely touching the floor. Her head, with its long blonde hair, lolled at an awkward―strangled―angle.

In this dream, an adult Jasi gasped in surprise.

The pink skipping rope noose was gone.

“You’re ready, Jasmine.”

“Ready for what?”

“To start looking for me.”

Jasi stood still, mesmerized by the bruises around the girl’s neck. They were fading before her eyes.

“The skipping rope is gone,” she said finally. “And your bruises are disappearing.”

“Yours will too,” Emily said.

“I don’t have any bruises.”

Emily led Jasi to the mirror. When she peered into it, her image shifted from a young Jasmine back to her adult reflection. One arm was bent in front of her, throbbing as though someone was squeezing it hard then letting it go. Yellowed bruises dotted her arm.

Emily tried to smile. “In time all your bruises will fade. But first, ya have to set things right.”

“And how do I do that? Oh, right, I have to find you.”

“Yes. Find me.” The dead girl floated backward.

“Wait!” Jasi cried out. “Why did your bruises fade?”

“Because you’re one step closer to finding me.”

“How? I don’t know anything more than I did before.”

Emily blended into the shadows. Before they swallowed her, she said, “You may think you aren’t any closer to finding me, but trust me, you are.” Darkness closed in around her.

Jasi took an anxious step forward. “Emily?”

Silence greeted her.

And a mystery.

She took a deep breath. “I’ll find you, Emily.”

Divine Sanctuary 2

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About the Author

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author. Her novels include Divine Sanctuary, Submerged, Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls “a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart…a beautiful, haunting novel.”

She is now working on her next thriller.

Cheryl also enjoys writing short stories inspired mainly by her author idol Stephen King, and this has resulted in Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories (collection of shorts) and Remote Control (novelette eBook). In 2010 Cheryl detoured into the romance genre with her contemporary romantic suspense debut, Lancelot’s Lady, written under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo.

Booklist raves, “Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border.”

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Release Day Launch and Giveaway! GUARDIAN by Courtney Cole (Plus, books on sale!)

 We are absolutely over-the-moon excited about the Release Day Launch for Courtney Cole’s GUARDIAN! GUARDIAN is a YA Paranormal Romance, and a book close to Courtney’s heart. Not only is this fabulous book back in a big way, it’s Courtney’s birthday! To celebrate all of the awesome she is making a few select titles only .99 TODAY ONLY! Grab them all and thank us later.

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GUARDIAN Synopsis:

Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real.

My name is Whitney Lane. I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy.

I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there.

Until one day, there was.

Our world isn’t what we think. There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things.

Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are.

They’re very real, and they’re terrifying.

I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t. I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true.

There’s only one thing I know for sure.

Nothing is what it seems.

Guardian

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Excerpt:

Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real.

Happy birthday to me.

I close my eyes and burrow into my pillow as I try to sleep, as I try to escape this life.

It’s a life I never thought I’d have, a life I most certainly don’t want.

I’m still feeling sorry for myself as the blackness of sleep finally overtakes me.

I don’t know what time it is when I shoot straight upward like a rocket. Something had yanked me from the oblivion of sleep, something loud and shrill scraping my window.

My room is completely dark and I glanceat my clock in confusion.

3:00 a.m.

As my heart pounds hard against my ribcage, I quickly scan every corner of the room.

In the last few hours, dark shadows had migrated onto my pink walls, but they’re familiar, nothing out of the ordinary, although in the night, they seem twisted and scary.

I remain motionless as I allow the sleep-induced fog to clear from my brain.

As I sit, I feel common sense and logic slowly returning.

Of course nothing had touched my window because my bedroom is on the second floor. Nothing can reach it. And there are no trees near enough to brush against it. It was just a dream.

It was only a dream.

I chant it silently to myself like a mantra as I consciously slow my breathing down, hoping that my racing pulse will soon follow. It was only a dream.

But just as I’m calming down, I hear it again.

A high-pitched shrill shriek, reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard, scraping down my window. I gasp and pull my feet up to my chest, which is when I notice the temperature.

I notice because I can see my breath.

Timidly, I blow a puff out again, watching the way my breath turns white in the air.

Holy crap. Oh my God.

What the hell?

The sound stops and stillness surrounds me once again, the silence so loud that it echoes in my ear.

Nothing moves around me, the shadows are perfectly still as they twist across my wall. They look like mangled fingers and arms and legs, but they don’t move.

My legs are weak and shaking, but I know I have to move. I have to move off my bed because it feels like something is under it. Something terrifying.

With a leap, I bound across the room, my feet hitting the floor several feet away from the edge of my bed.

The floor is ice cold, as though it had been covered in a blanket of snow.

I’m trembling as I race to the far wall and check the thermostat. Because that’s the only explanation. I must’ve bumped it earlier, I must’ve turned the AC way down.

But the luminous numbers stare at me in contradiction.

74 degrees.

It must be broken. It has to be broken.

My breath is coming in pants now, terrified, anxious pants.

My fear isn’t logical. I know there’s nothing here. I’m the only one in this room.

Or am I?

The air seems to push at me from all around, something dark, something heavy, something real. Something unseen.

My fingers shake, my legs tremble, and then all of a sudden, they can no longer support my weight. I go down like a pile of bricks, collapsing onto the floor. I lie still because I can’t move, because something seems to sit on my chest, holding me down.

The shadows start to move, to slither across the walls, to reach and pull and dance.

I struggle to focus, to see what it is.

But all I can see are the numbers on the thermostat suddenly moving, rapidly counting down from 74 to 20.

Twenty degrees?

The air is frigid as I suck it in, as I try to pull the ice crystals into my mouth so I can breathe.

All of a sudden, there’s a blackness in front of me. It hovers over me, a shapeless mass, sucking in the cells of the air, the atoms and the molecules. It’s darker than the blackness of my room, blacker than the blackest black.

Something is here.

With me.

“Dad?” I whisper in a white puff. Because what else could it be?

I reach out a finger to touch it, and then I can’t see anything else, because the darkness of it surrounds me, bleeding into everything else, even my vision. The shriek is back, screaming into my ears, bleeding into my brain.

Then there’s nothing.

Guardian Available now

 

To celebrate the release of GUARDIAN and Courtney’s birthday the following books are on sale for .99, today only!

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GUARDIAN
Confessions of an Alli Cat
Dante’s Girl
Mia’s Heart
The Minaldi Legacy
Soul Kissed
Soul Bound

HeadshotABOUT COURTNEY COLE:

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

 

 

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Release Day and Giveaway! FLY by T.A. Foster

Today is the release day for FLY by T.A. Foster! Be sure to check out the contest below for a chance to win a gift card!

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FLY BLURB:

Not everyone’s good at one-night stands.

Skye Stephens has the worst day of her professional career, and all she wants to do is shed her power suit and get lost in the sheets with the hot guy she met at the bar. The problem is, this uptight ad exec doesn’t know how to do one-night stands. She has strict rules about dating and when to let a man in her bedroom.

Fighter pilot Ben “Bolt” Hardcastle is used to lovin’ and leavin’. But, after he meets Skye, one night doesn’t seem to be enough.

When these two crash-land into each other, a connection strong enough to make the loner pilot and the sexy businesswoman shed their rules about love and relationships begins to burn deeper than either of them ever expected.

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TAFoster
T.A. Foster met, fell in love with, and married her own Marine fighter pilot. Through deployments, trainings, and sometimes living oceans apart, their own love story continues every day.
She grew up catching rays and waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.
T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.
Author Links:
Blog: http://www.tafosterauthor.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tafosterwriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TAFosterauthor
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164289.T_A_Foster
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Cover Reveal and Giveaway! THE LAST THING YOU SEE by Emma South

Coming soon…
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The Last Thing You See 
by Emma South
Publication date: September 26th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Synopsis:

Harper Bayliss is about to pay the full price of fame.  That is, if her stalker’s plans work out.

Hollywood’s new favourite starlet is already feeling overwhelmed by the insecurity of her past, a family that controls her every move, and the stresses that come with her job when a brutal attack from a mad man takes that stress to a whole new level.  But what neither Harper nor her attacker saw coming was the 6’4”, heavily muscled ex-Marine, Nick Martell, throwing himself in harm’s way to save her.  After she visits him in the hospital to offer her thanks, she can’t help but be intrigued by the man she finds beneath the bad boy exterior.
Plagued by guilt over his failure to protect the one person that mattered the most, all Nick wants is to find some peace. The tattooed former Marine is scarred, inside and out, but saving Harper Bayliss might be his first step toward redemption. What’s more, her answer to his heartfelt question is about to send them both down a path of scorching passion…and maybe even love.

With the pressures of Harper’s fame and Nick’s guilt working against them, will their feelings be enough to overcome all the obstacles, including the stalker that’s still out there?  If he gets his way he’ll show them that, even if they choose each other, you seldom get to choose the last thing you see.

The Last Thing You See from USA Today bestselling author Emma South is a New Adult Romance about letting go of the past to find unconditional love in the present.

AUTHOR BIO:

Now a USA Today Best Selling Author!

Please visit http://emmasouth.com/?page_id=31 to sign up for my newsletter.

I’m in my thirties and living in New Zealand. About 2 years ago I lost somebody very close to me. I was lucky in a way, I was given enough time to make a promise. My promise was that I would never forget our young and innocent love, and it’s a promise I intend to keep.

My writing is a way to help me keep that promise. I’ve always enjoyed writing but was forced into being ‘prudent’ and giving myself over to soul-crushing office work for the sake of a steady salary. Recent events forced me to re-evaluate my priorities and I decided to take a chance. I like to put little pieces of ‘us’ into my writing, from funny conversations we had, to apocalyptic arguments, to that special feeling you get when you hop into bed fully aware that your feet are freezing but your partner doesn’t kick you away.

Even though these things are set in fictional worlds and attached to fictional characters, in a way it feels like I’m doing something that will make our love live forever. If somebody reads one of my stories and likes a joke or sheds a tear, then our love has lived on, and I thank any readers I might have for that.

Author Links:
http://emmasouth.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7304575.Emma_South
https://twitter.com/EmmaSouthAuthor

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New Release Reviews and Giveaway: Carly Phillips’s DARE Series! (DARE TO LOVE, DARE TO DESIRE, and DARE TO SURRENDER)

I read and reviewed DARE TO LOVE here, when it still had its old cover. The next two in the series are just as enjoyable!

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daretoloveDARE TO LOVE:

When it comes to family, Ian Dare gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. Until one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him dealing his half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.

Riley Taylor believes herself immune to domineering men – until charismatic Ian Dare turns a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and she discovers she likes his brand of control in the bedroom. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything.

Reviewed here.


Excerpt:

Riley’s outburst popped the bubble of anger that had been surrounding Ian all day. She stood at the elevator, pounding at the button in a panic, and his anger, which should never have been directed at her, dissipated, replaced by concern.

“Riley.”

She ignored him.

The elevator door opened, and Ian bolted forward, grabbing her around the waist and yanking her back before she could step inside.

“Put me down!” She struggled, but he waited until the elevator door slid shut to do as she asked.

She spun to face him, fury on her expressive face.

“What the hell was that all about?” he asked.

“You tell me! I came here to check on you, and you treated me like persona non grata in front of your family.”

Yes, he had. He’d never been so angry or hurt, and it made no sense. Why the hell did he care if his half siblings showed up or not when he hadn’t wanted to invite them in the first place? He’d only done it to get Riley’s address and phone number, and when she’d bailed too, he’d taken it as her choosing Alex over him. Which clarified his blinding anger, to camouflage the hurt.

But none of that explained why she’d suddenly freaked—because that’s what she’d done. Yeah, he’d been an ass, but not enough for her to react that way. He knew she wouldn’t budge until he gave in first.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

Her eyes opened wide.

He was just as shocked by the words that came out of his mouth. Words he never used, because in his experience, they made him weak. With this woman, it seemed there was nothing he wouldn’t do or say.

Needing space, he stalked over to the wet bar in the living room and poured himself a drink. Pausing for a long sip as the liquor burned down his throat, he studied her, seeing her for the first time tonight.

She wore a white, strappy dress that clung to her generous curves, her curls falling over her shoulders and down her back. Now that he’d regained his sanity, he wanted nothing more than to grab hold of all that gorgeous hair, pull her hard against him, lose himself in her warm, wet body, and forget that he’d allowed his half brother to get to him. Make her forget that he’d treated her so badly, but that wouldn’t solve anything between them.

They’d both overreacted. He understood his own reactions, at least when it came to her. He still didn’t understand hers, and the mystery of Riley remained.

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DARE TO DESIRE:daretodesire

Quarterback Alex Dare, had it all — an all-star football career and his choice of willing women — until a severe injury forces him into early retirement. Social worker Madison Evans grew up in foster homes and knows what it means to have-not. She isn’t impressed by Alex Dare’s wealth or charm. Not since she fell hard for him once before, only to discover she was just one of his too-easy conquests.

This time around Madison refuses to succumb to Alex so easily. But Alex wants Madison. And if there is one thing Alex does well, it’s to get what he wants. Can he convince Madison to take a risk and dare to love?

 

Review:

Second chance romance FTW!

Alex Dare was a major player–both in football and in the bedroom. Madison Evans totally had his number, and managed to resist his charms–for a while. Once she gave in to their undeniable chemistry, she found herself cautiously optimistic about their chances.

Until Alex’s career-ending injury changed everything.

(Seriously. Thanksgivings have to be a total downer for the guy from now on–so not fair.)

A new, bitter Alex pushes everyone away–and it works, with everyone but his family. His best friend and new sister-in-law Riley seizes a chance to help him get his life back on track by helping others with a new pilot program that will assist athletes prepare for their lives after football before their careers are over. The catch? He has to work closely with Madison, whose heart he shredded last November.

This was such a satisfying read! I loved watching Alex develop back into more of the down-to-earth guy he was before he became the playboy quarterback, and seeing Madison slowly grow to trust him again. Alex and Ian’s relationship too made some major strides–they’re not going to be giving each other mani-pedis anytime soon, but it was nice to see them start to work through their issues together.

A trip to NYC gives us a glimpse of Gabe, the cousin who will star in book three. I am loving this series!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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daretosurrenderDARE TO SURRENDER:

After ending a relationship to a cheating, domineering man, Isabelle Masters takes off in her leased Mercedes, only to be arrested for grand theft and hauled to a local police station. To her surprise, she is rescued by the most unlikely person possible, Gabriel Dare, a man she’s been attracted to for far too long. Gabe offers Isabelle freedom along with an invitation to Eden, an exclusive island resort where everything and anything is possible.

Although Gabe yearns to possess Isabelle, he knows all too well he must fight his primitive need to bind her to him, and instead help bring out the independent woman she yearns to become – or risk losing her for good.

A woman who needs to run her own life. A man who needs to exert control. Can she surrender to his erotic demands without losing her sense of self once more?

 

Review: 

Dare to Surrender has a different feel to it from the first two books in the series–not in a bad way, but definitely different.

For one thing, it’s told in both first person (Isabelle) and third person (Gabe) point of view. I liked how it worked here; the fact that each section was indicated with the character’s name and a fun label (for example, two of Isabelle’s consecutive sections were labeled Out of the frying pan and Into the fire) made it even better.

Secondly, even though the Dare family is here, they didn’t feel as if they were quite as much of a focus as in the first two books. Part of this might be due to the fact that Gabe is one of the New York branch, whereas the first two books focused on the Miami Dares. The elder Mr. Dare who resided in New York (he and his wife died just after Gabe’s college graduation) managed to sire only a single family, so there was less family drama here than in Ian and Alex’s books.

Finally, as part of the Invitation to Eden series, a good chunk of the story takes place on the mysterious resort on Eden Island, with gives it more of an escape-from-reality feel. The first two books were definitely more grounded in the everyday lives of the characters.

That said, Dare to Surrender is a great addition to the series. The switch to a more personal drama from the bigger family focus was refreshing–hopefully while we’re spending some time with this side of the family (the next series book is Gabe’s younger brother Decklan’s book) Ian and Alex can put more of their differences behind them. Gabe and Isabelle are great characters–Gabe is another strong alpha hero, like his cousins, though he does seem to have his act together a bit more than his Miami counterparts when it comes to knowing what his woman needs to find her way. Iz managed to re-create herself after her ex did a real number on her, which took a lot of courage and strength.

Overall the conflict and drama of this novel seemed to be brought down a notch from the other two–perhaps the influence of sand and sun? ;)

The island location is intriguing–I’ll definitely be looking into picking up more books in that series to see what kinds of experiences other couples are having there. 

And I’m really glad that the Dare family is such a large one. So many more series books to look forward to!

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon

B&N

iTunes

 

And coming soon…DARE TO SUBMIT!

Synopsis:

Decklan Dare knows about the unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all areas of his life. Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings. They meet and their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run deeper – if they drop their guard and let each other in. Decklan is first to trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive? Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain?

Release: Sept 8

Buy links:

Amazon

iTunes

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:#8173 Carly Website Photo

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today’s readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She’s a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.

Links:

Website: http://www.carlyphillips.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carlyphillips

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10000.Carly_Phillips

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Carly-Phillips/e/B001I9W0MS

 

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New Release Excerpt and Giveaway: IRON PENDULUM by Megan Curd (Periodic series #2)

Each day of the tour is spotlighting a different excerpt, so make sure you check out the tour schedule links at the bottom of the post!

IP BT Banner Final

IRON PENDULUM Synopsis:

A month ago, Avery thought the world ended outside Dome Four. Thought she was one of the few of her kind. Thought the war that brought the human race to the brink of extinction was over.

But a month can change everything.

After fighting to escape a tyranny she didn’t even know existed, Avery has had to come to grips with all the secrets she’s uncovered. But more secrets continue to come to light, revealing how little of her world she truly knew. When evidence starts to show that Dome Four might be under siege, Avery knows what she must do.

Returning to the dome she longed to escape is a challenge for Avery, but now she knows there’s corruption lurking in the shadows. A massive steam shortage leaves half the dome without power, and people are falling ill. Dying.

And they’re blaming Avery.

A month can change everything. One more month could kill everyone. The clock is ticking.

Excerpt:

Alice huffed, the sound sending static through the earpieces. The Alliance had provided us the new and improved masks, capable of allowing us to speak without lifting our masks and exposing us to low oxygen levels. It was a great development, one that Sari had worked on for months to perfect. One that was currently annoying me, since all I heard was a flurry of irritation at my momentary attention lapse.

I adjusted the map and clicked on my headlamp, its dull glow illuminating the wrinkled, water-stained blueprints in my hands. I traced the lines of our route. “I think we need to go left.”

“You think?” I heard Jaxon’s voice, not through the muffled sound of the speaker, but loud and clear beside me. His lips grazed the side of my cheek, not exactly kissing me, but dissolving my focus all the same. His musical tone sent shivers down my spine, even when he was being infuriatingly sarcastic.

Jaxon’s ability to breathe in lower-oxygen situations was because of his father, Riggs, who had performed research on Jaxon from a young age. While Riggs had been forced to do it by Xander—the man behind the Resistance, and the one responsible for the fact that we were living in hiding—I still didn’t have much love for Riggs. He’d hurt Jaxon, and that hurt me. It would be a while before I trusted Riggs, no matter what he said or how many times Lexie vouched for him.

Jaxon leaned against the cement wall with his arms crossed, his dreads pulled back in a standard leather tie. His headlamp sat cockeyed, as if in tribute to his off-kilter humor and devil-may-care attitude. I wouldn’t want it any other way, even though I knew he did care, and he wasn’t nearly as unimpressed with the world as he’d like everyone to think. He’d proven that when he’d taken a vial of my blood, allowing himself to be a test subject once more for the sake of learning more about my abilities. We didn’t know how the blood would affect him—would it hurt him? Give him abilities like mine?—but it was a chance he was willing to take.

Iron Pendulum high res Cover

About Megan Curd:Author photo

Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.

When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Photography, traveling and snowboarding are hobbies she loves, and she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.

Megan currently resides in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is trying to convert them into Buckeye fans.

 

Links:

Website:  http://megancurd.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMeganCurd?sk=wall

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MeganCurd

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/macdizzledoo/

Author Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4904383.Megan_Curd

IRON PENDULUM Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17984513-iron-pendulum

 

Blog Tour Schedule:

August 26th

Book Lovin’ Mamas – Excerpt

Fabulous and Fun - Excerpt & Review

Once Upon a Twilight - Excerpt & Review

Coffee Books & Art – Excerpt

August 27th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Excerpt & Playlist

A Book Vacation – Excerpt & Review

Becky on Books – Excerpt

Born To Read – Excerpt & Review

August 28th

Adventures in Writing – Guest Post & Review

In between The Pages – Excerpt & Review

Let Me Be Fictional – Excerpt & Review

Bibliophilia, Please – Excerpt

August 29th

Roxy’s Reviews – Excerpt & Review

A Dream Within A Dream – Excerpt & Review

Paperback Cowgirl Reviews – Excerpt & Review

SassyCat’s Books Review – Excerpt & Character Playlist

August 30th

Book Sense – Excerpt & Review

Loves All Things Books – Excerpt & Dream Cast

Girl in the Woods Reviews – Excerpt & Review

The Small Nerd – Excerpt & Review

August 31st

Ashley’s Paranormal Book Blog – Excerpt & Review

One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads – Excerpt & Review

deal sharing aunt – Excerpt & Interview

Chibi Reader – Excerpt & Review

September 1st

GenGen’s Book Blog – Excerpt & Review

Resch Reads and Reviews – Excerpt & Review

Shelfspace Needed – Excerpt & Review

This Redhead LOVES Books – Excerpt

September 2nd

The Revolving Bookcase for Young Readers – Excerpt

Dowie’s Place – Excerpt & Review

Istyria book blog – Excerpt & Review

The Bearded Scribe – Excerpt & Review

September 3rd

Addicted Readers – Excerpt

Shayna Varadeaux Books & Reviews – Excerpt & Guest Post

K.R. Grace – Excerpt & Review

Mercurial Musings – Excerpt & Review

September 4th

Avid Reader Musings – Excerpt & Review

Bookinfatuation – Excerpt & Review

Out of Time – Excerpt & Review

Morgan Wylie~Author – Excerpt

September 5th

Fabulous and Fun – Excerpt & Interview

A Cup of Coffee and a Book – Excerpt & Review

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

September 6th

The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Excerpt & Review

Write Away Bliss – Excerpt & Review

Racing To Read – Excerpt & Review

September 7th

Such a Novel Idea – Excerpt & Guest Post

The La La Land of Books – Excerpt & Review

paranormal book club ( PBC) – Excerpt & Review

The Book Beacon – Excerpt & Review

September 8th

Much Loved Books – Excerpt & Review

Life Between the Pages – Excerpt & Review

Reading on the Farm – Excerpt & Review

Shelves of Books/ Reading For Fun – Excerpt & Review

September 9th

Books for a Delicate Eternity – Excerpt & Review

The Bookie Monster – Guest Post & Review

Dizneeee’s World of Books – Excerpt & Review

 

Pre-Release Spotlight: The Romance of FLY by T.A. Forster

We are gearing up for the release of FLY by T.A. Foster. If you enjoy a hot romance, which just might feature a Fighter Pilot with United States Marine Corps, this is the book for you!

Today we are highlighting the romance in the book.

FLY_WEEK

 

Romance Wednesday

I’m not sure about everyone else, but I know the reason I like to read and write love stories is for the romance. All those little moments that bring two characters together—the glances, the quippy dialogue, the thoughtful gestures that melt my heart. You know, the ones that make you sigh out loud.

You probably know by now Fly has some personal elements for me. I married a Marine fighter pilot who was living in San Diego and stationed at Miramar. I was incredibly lucky to have my own private consultant while I was writing.Hot young couple kissing outside on the stairs.
The romance problem I had with the main character, Ben, was that he was a love ‘em and leave ‘em type, so finding a way to make him romantic was a challenge. For that, I drew on some personal experience.Marriage Having Erotic Moment
Some of my absolute favorite dates in San Diego with my then-fiance, where in the Gaslamp district, at the Hotel del Coronado, and walking the beaches of Coronado. By sneaking some of those ideas in I was able to work romance into a storyline that started out as a very physical connection between two unlikely people. I can’t give it all away, but there are ways that romance develops between these two that I think will surprise you, make you smile, and hopefully make you sigh out loud.

 

Fly_FrontCover_web

BOOK SUMMARY:

Not everyone’s good at one-night stands.

Skye Stephens has the worst day of her professional career, and all she wants to do is shed her power suit and get lost in the sheets with the hot guy she met at the bar. The problem is, this uptight ad exec doesn’t know how to do one-night stands. She has strict rules about dating and when to let a man in her bedroom.

Fighter pilot Ben “Bolt” Hardcastle is used to lovin’ and leavin’. But, after he meets Skye, one night doesn’t seem to be enough.

When these two crash-land into each other, a connection strong enough to make the loner pilot and the sexy businesswoman shed their rules about love and relationships begins to burn deeper than either of them ever expected.

 

Add the book to GOODREADS

 

PRE-ORDER IT NOW!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/XK4tdQ

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/YRrknN

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1znYoip

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

TAFosterT.A. Foster met, fell in love with, and married her own Marine fighter pilot. Through deployments, trainings, and sometimes living oceans apart, their own love story continues every day.
She grew up catching rays and waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.
T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.

Author Links:
Blog: http://www.tafosterauthor.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tafosterwriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TAFosterauthor
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164289.T_A_Foster

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Cover Reveal! LITTLE BEGINNINGS by Madison Street (Second Chances #1.5)

We are happy to reveal the new and gorgeous cover of Little Beginnings, a Second Chances novella by Madison Street. Little Beginnings is the continuation of Duke & Raya’s story.

LB Cover_Final

Little Beginnings (Second Chances #1.5)
Madison Street

Cover designed by Lindee Robinson Photography

Goodreads

Expected Release: Fall 2014

 

Synopsis

After you took her from me, everything changed. I knew my life would never be the same, and it wasn’t. But just because I was isolated, trapped, and afraid, I never gave up. I kept on fighting. You thought you could control me, but you were wrong.

There’s one thing that you could never take from me; HOPE. And with that, I overcame the struggles and the despair. I battled against my inner demons and confronted the tortures that surrounded me. And here I am today; free.

And now, it’s you that’s confined. You cannot escape; you cannot win. There’s no one to help you now. Everyone sees you for what you truly are; a monster.

I’m not afraid of you anymore. I will start a new life; one that you cannot control. And as I take steps toward a new beginning, I won’t ever look back.
****WARNING: Suited for 18+ years of age. This book contains some disturbing situations, strong language and sexual content.****

LB Spread_Final

 

Little Things (Second Chances #1)

Goodreads

Everything in Duke Grayson’s life was all he could ever ask for: A loving family, loyal friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and a scholarship to his top choice college. It’s his senior year of high school, and all he needs is to focus on his grades, lacrosse, and keeping his girlfriend happy. That is until Raya walks into his life.

From the moment they meet, Duke is drawn to her, not only for her natural beauty and her stunning crystal blue eyes, but because he’s aware there’s more to this girl than just his alluring pull to her. He senses secrecy and fear.

Throughout the year, their bond grows stronger, and his feelings for her become undeniable. Just when he is about to express his love, tragedy strikes and Raya disappears.

For six years, Duke is tortured by his struggles, as he’s unable to find her and blames himself for failing to protect her. Until the day, she’s found, and he’s given a second chance. Will Duke become her beacon of hope and make her see that it’s the little things that make life worthwhile? Can Raya overcome her fears and fight against the terrors that haunt her? Or will her dark and torturous past be too much for her to battle against?

*Warning: This book contains some disturbing situations, strong language and sexual content. Suited for 18 years and over.

Purchase Links

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

 

About Madison Street

Madison Street was born in New York City and was raised in the Bronx, where she resided until she was 17 years old. After 9/11, Madison joined the United States Navy to serve her country.

During the deployments, Madison constantly wrote short stories and she discovered her passion for writing. You will find Madison always on the computer, whether she’s on Facebook, designing websites, messing with Photoshop, or writing for her blog.

Besides writing, her second passion is music and dance. Even though she’s a terrible singer, she’ll still belt it out in the shower, especially if the song is her jam! She currently resides in Virginia with her husband of 8 years, 2 children, a dog, and a cat. She is so excited to start this amazing journey and is honored to be part of such a compassionate and loving community.

Contact Madison

Website Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Google +

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Cover Reveal! ALIBIZ by Karice Bolton (Afterworld #2)

Afterworld #2 (book one was featured here) has a cover!
kariceindustrial red-2
AlibiZ
by Karice Bolton
(Afterworld #2)
Publication date: October 2014
Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
Synopsis:

Rebekah vows to expose the truth behind the RecruitZ that are killing the innocents. These creatures must be stopped, but so should the people controlling them. When Rebekah uncovers who is behind the uprisings, her own life becomes in danger.

Rebekah knows that she is not alone in this fight but vengeance alone won’t help her and the others to victory. Forced to build a battalion with the very creatures she needs to destroy, it is up to her to uncover the truth for the public before the world is turned over to an elite few.

Regardless of what may happen to her, she knows it’s a race against time to destroy these creatures and the monsters controlling them before there is no one left worth saving.

AUTHOR BIO:Karice
Karice received an MFA in Creative Writing from the U of W. She has written fifteen novels and has several exciting projects in the works. Karice lives with her husband and two English Bulldogs in rainy Washington.Books currently available:
Luke Fletcher Series: Hidden Sins (Book 1), Buried Sins (Book 2) – coming soon
Beyond Love Series: Beyond Control (Book 1) Beyond Doubt (Book 2) Beyond Reason (Book 3) Beyond Intent (Book 4) Beyond Chance, Beyond Promise, and Beyond the Mistletoe coming soon
Afterworld Series: RecruitZ (Book 1) AlibiZ (Book 2) – October 2014
The Witch Avenue Series: Lonely Souls (Book 1), Altered Souls (Book 2), Released Souls (Book 3) Shattered Souls (Book 4)
The Watchers Trilogy: Awakening (Book 1), Legions (Book 2), Cataclysm (Book 3), Taken Novella (Watchers Prequel)
The Camp

Author Links: