New Release Excerpt and Giveaway! CHASING RED by Isabelle Ronin

THEY SAID SHE WAS GOING TO BE MY RUIN…

THEN LET HER RUIN ME.

He had everything—wealth, adoration, a brilliant future. Until one chance encounter changed everything.

The moment Caleb Lockhart spotted the mysterious woman in her siren red dress, he couldn’t tear his eyes away.

For the first time in his life, he wanted something. Something he knew he could never have.

The unforgettable stranger he dubs RED.

Excerpt:

It was late when I arrived at Caleb’s apartment. I was exhausted, but I couldn’t help the grin that spread across my face. I might not have gotten a job offer, but I’d gotten my résumé into as many hands as possible. It had been a very productive day.

Opening the fridge, I wondered how fast I could make Caleb’s dinner so I could slip into my bedroom before he returned home—but the fridge was as empty as my bank account.

I groaned in defeat when I heard the front door open. But when I heard heavy footsteps coming from the living room, I reached for my pocketknife in case it wasn’t Caleb. I’d already made one mistake, but still—better safe than sorry.

“Red?”

I let out a sigh of relief when I heard Caleb’s voice. He was sprawled on the couch, remote control in hand as he turned on the TV. His black leather shoes and dinner jacket decorated the floor. Discarding his clothes there seemed to be a habit.

I stood behind him, admiring the way the bronze in his hair glinted in the light.

“What’s for dinner?” he asked, propping his feet on the coffee table.

“I just got back. I’ll make you something now if you want.”

He looked over his shoulder at me. If my heart tripped—which it totally didn’t—it was a normal and healthy reaction to seeing a gorgeous face. It didn’t mean anything.

“Are you trying to butt out of our bargain already?” he asked, turning back to the TV.

Insulted, I put my hands on my hips, glaring at him. “Unless you want orange juice soup with Pop-Tart croutons, you need to go to the store. We don’t have any groceries.”

He rested his head on the couch headrest and arched up and over so that he was looking at me upside down. “You’re giving me a neck injury. Why don’t you come around so we can talk like normal human beings?”

I narrowed my eyes at him.

He sighed. In a smooth move, he straightened, turned, then climbed to sit on top of the couch. He playfully studied me. “I’m bored,” he stated.

I raised my eyebrows. Did he expect me to entertain him? “And?”

“You owe me dinner.”

“I told you—”

A grin stretched across his face as he loosened his red tie. “You can pay me another way.”

My jaw fell open.

He laughed. “Why is your mind always in the gutter?”

I blinked once. Twice. My mind was always in the gutter?

He pushed off the couch, put his shoes back on, grabbed his keys and helmet from the coffee table, and walked past me. I thought he was going to leave when I felt his hand circle around my wrist, dragging me out the door with him.

“Oh for God’s sake, where are you taking me?”

God, he was tall. For every step he took, I had to take two to keep up.

He pressed the elevator button. “For a ride.”

“A ride?”

He started laughing as he pulled me inside the elevator, pressed the Down button, and watched the door close. “I’ve never met a girl who twisted my words as much as you do. You have a filthy mind, Red. Filthy.”

“What the… A filthy mind!” I sputtered.

When the elevator door opened, he dragged me into the basement parking garage.

“A ride.” He clucked his tongue. “On my bike.”

I pulled my wrist from his hold, rubbing my hand against my jeans. His skin was hot and made me feel strange things.

He stopped and glanced back at me. “Problem?”

“It’s Sunday night. Don’t you have class tomorrow?”

“So?” He shrugged a shoulder. “I’m in college, not high school. I can skip class if I want.”

“Of course you can. You’re rich. You don’t have to work for anything.”

His eyes darkened, and he shoved his hands in his pockets, giving me a long look. “Do you like to be judged for being poor? You think having money saves me from pain?”

Chastised, I fell silent. When I opened my mouth to apologize, he cut me off. “You coming or not?”

I nodded, feeling guilty, and followed behind.

When he stopped in front of a sleek black machine, I stared at him in disbelief. It looked like it ate kids for breakfast.

“Ever ride a bike before?” he asked, tossing his black helmet from hand to hand like a basketball.

I took a step back. “I’m not riding that monster.”

His laugh was low and sexy. He grabbed my wrist again and pulled me close—closer than was necessary.

“I don’t know,” he whispered, his thumb stroking my palm in lazy circles. “I have a feeling you’re going to like it.”

My breath hitched, and he chuckled when I pulled away.

“N-no. I’d like to keep my limbs intact, thank you very much.”

His eyes danced at me playfully. “Yeah? Where’s the fun in that? Rule number one,” he said, gently placing the helmet on my head, “safety first.” He fastened the straps tightly under my chin.

“Rule number two,” he continued, flipping the visor down. I felt slightly claustrophobic so I flipped it back up. “When I’m making a turn, lean your body toward the turn. Never the opposite way. Got it?”

“Sure.”

He smiled down at me, staring for a moment. I wanted to bottle the color of his vibrant green eyes. Realizing I was staring, I shook the thought from my mind and snapped, “What?”

He shrugged, then swung his long leg to straddle his bike. “Hop on.”

When I didn’t, he turned his head, eyebrows raised and eyes glinting with challenge. At that moment, he looked like a gorgeous devil who’d take my soul to hell—and enjoy every minute of it. “You scared?”

My skin prickled with irritation. It would take more than a pretty boy on a big-ass motorcycle to scare me. I’d prove him wrong. I huffed and climbed on the bike, grabbing the sides of my seat.

“Where’s your helmet?” I demanded.

“Only have one,” he replied. He was so close—close enough for me to catch his masculine scent. “Nobody rides this bike but me. You’re the first passenger.”

He turned the engine on, revving it a few times. The bike vibrated angrily.

“Forgot to tell you the last rule,” he said conversationally, looking over his shoulder. I could hear the mischief in his tone.

“I’m sure you’re going to tell me.”

He grinned. “Hold on to me. Really, really tight.”

“No, thanks.”

“Suit yourself.”

I cried out as the bike zoomed forward, and my arms automatically went around him. I could feel his shoulders and hard stomach shaking with laughter.

He so did that on purpose! Fine, he won this round.

I vowed the next one would be mine, as we exited the garage with a roar.

I didn’t like the bike. It was noisy and dangerous. But as we streaked down the road, and the wind whipped cool and damp on my skin, I felt…

Freedom.

Chasing Red Duology:

Chasing Red (Book 1)

Always Red (Book 2)

 

http://books.sourcebooks.com/chasingred/

 

 

 

Millions of Wattpad readers love Caleb and Red’s epic story:

“I love this book to the core.”

“I was so addicted… So in love that I couldn’t stop reading.”

“The characters are just so real and possess such pure, raw emotions and passion.”

“This book took me through an emotional roller coaster! I love everything about it!”

http://books.sourcebooks.com/chasingred/

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Book Review: Roman Holiday: Ravaged and Ignited by Ruthie Knox (Episodes 4 and 5)

 

Ravaged Blurb:

As the road trip up the Eastern Seaboard continues in Episode 4 of Ruthie Knox’s eBook original serial, Roman Holiday, sparks are flying—but Ashley and Roman are farther than ever from seeing eye-to-eye about what matters most.

Roman Díaz doesn’t do love. It hasn’t worked out for him. He could never survive trying to live with his heart wide open the way Ashley Bowman does. But it’s hard to keep his walls up around this woman. Every mile he spends in her power leaves him more ravaged by memories and emotions he can’t control—and drags him closer to succumbing to an attraction he can’t afford.

 

 

Ignited Blurb:

Ruthie Knox’s eBook original serial, Roman Holiday, resumes in Episode 5. While Ashley’s home and Roman’s career hang in the balance, new temptations flash like fireflies in the night sky.

As the deadline for the destruction of Sunnyvale looms, Roman Díaz and Ashley Bowman find themselves cut off from the outside world and edging closer to truths neither is ready to accept. It’s stupid to fall into the arms of the enemy, but when the passion between them ignites, Roman and Ashley can’t convince themselves to be smart. Sometimes the flames are so enticing, it’s worth getting burned.

 

 

 

Review:

(I cannot stress enough that if you haven’t read episodes one through three (and really, why haven’t you?), four and five won’t mean a whole lot to you. So if that’s the case, so yourself a favor and get all five now that they’re finally all available and read them all at once. You should probably do that now, before anything that follows accidentally spoils any little bit of the plot. Go ahead–I’ll wait.)

Finally, finally, something is happening between Ashley and Roman that isn’t strictly confined to their overactive imaginations. It’s delicious, but darn that Ruthie Knox, she’s still making us wait for episode two before she really brings out the big guns.

Darn. Her.

Still, episodes four and five are a lot of fun–yet heartbreaking at the same time. It seems like that shouldn’t be able to be true, yet somehow it is. Poor Ashley begins to question just how well she knew her grandmother–and just how much Sunnydale really meant to everyone, herself included. She has a really tough time for much of these two episodes.

Not as tough as Roman though. Holy schmoly, do we find out a good chunk of his backstory–and whoa, it’s not pretty. No wonder the poor guy is the way he is–I seriously had to keep reminding myself that it was just a book with fictional characters because boy does Ruthie give the guy a rough life to overcome. Ashley too is treated to some of his background, which really goes to show just how much she is helping him to open up. I have great hopes for the two of them in the second season–whenever the heck that is going to be released.

Seriously, this is cruel, making us wait. Though I’m sure Ruthie will make it all worth it in the end–to Roman, Ashley, and the readers.

But first–we have to wait.

Argh.

On the plus side, I still have new episodes of Emma Approved to get me through the week–and Ruthie’s serial Truly should still be up on Wattpad through the end of the year.

I may have to have an afternoon of both a few times between now (end of Roman Holiday,  season one) and then (season two) to get me through it.

Ratings: B+ for Ravaged and A- for Ignited.

I received ARCs from the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.

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It’s Free, and It’s Finished! Read Ruthie Knox’s Truly at Wattpad Now!

Title: Truly
Author: Ruthie Knox
Series: New York
Genre: Contemporary romance
Published: 2013 (for sale 2014)
Pages: 138 (48 parts)
Format read: online, at Wattpad
Rating: A

I’ve been reading Truly by Ruthie Knox for just over two months now–it’s been the best part of my Mondays for weeks, and I don’t know what I’ll do now that the story is finished. (Maybe just stay in bed? What are the chances I can convince my boss that I’m ill each and every Monday? Oh, and manage to find a competent sub to cover my classes? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. Sigh…) At least I still have a new episode of Emma Approved to look forward to on Mondays. That’s something.

Truly is the story of May Fredericks, a Wisconsin native who just isn’t having the New York experience she’d been hoping for. Her celebrity boyfriend, new quarterback for the New York Jets, just proposed to her in the most backhanded way possible. She not only rejected him, she stabbed him in the hand with a shrimp fork. In public. The video has already gone viral on YouTube.

Seriously–what guy thinks a proposal that includes the words  “[she’s] just as plain as you see her now”  as a description of his beloved–who happens to be all dressed up for a formal fundraiser that they’re both at at the time, as he speaks into a microphone–as a good one?

No guy who doesn’t want to get his hand stabbed, that’s who.

Long story short (because I definitely don’t want to spoil anything here–go read it! Fast!), May ends up at a Packers-themed bar that she’d noticed in the neighborhood, and spends her last few dollars on a beer. There she notices grumpy guy Ben, and their first meeting is pure magic:

May hopped off her stool, sucked in her stomach, and approached. “What are you reading?” she asked.

The guy canted the book so she could read the cover, but his hand covered most of the title. All she could read was the word Dying.

Awesome.

“Any good?”

He didn’t look at her. He was a bent, dark head, an ear, a declaratory elbow. When she heard a low voice, it took her a second to understand that it belonged to him. “They’ve got their mother’s corpse in a coffin in the back of this wagon, and they’re taking her into town to bury her. The youngest kid thinks the dead mother is a fish, but he also thinks she can’t breathe, so he bores holes into the coffin and right into her face.”

The bridge of her nose wrinkled. A totally involuntary response.

“One of the two older sons is going insane,” he added. “The other one’s broken leg is starting to rot, and the sister’s knocked up.”

A few beats passed. She tried to think of some kind of segue into normal conversation. The best she could do was, “Yeah, but is it any good?”

“It’s super.” He injected the maximum amount of sarcasm into the word.

Okay, so when I said “magic”, I meant the dark kind, obviously. I’d like to say he gets much better from there, but it takes awhile for him to act like a semi-normal socially adept human being.

Fortunately, May can see right through his gruff I-hate-humanity exterior for what he really is: a good guy who’s been burned by life and a rotten ex. Through a truly (pun not exactly intended, but I’m pleased with it nonetheless so I’ll keep it) impressive chain of events, May ends up staying with Ben for a few days. Then he drives her back to Wisconsin, where he’s also from (hence the hanging out in the Packers bar bit) but has sworn he’ll never go back to.

They fall  in love, of course. The path runs anything but smooth, naturally. And eventually, two lost souls move forward toward finding out what kind of  people they truly (!) are, deep down, and what they’re going to do about it.

And how they’re going to do it–together.

I absolutely adore Ruthie Knox’s writing, so if you haven’t read anything by her, here’s your big chance! Hurry, though–it’s only up there for a limited time, and then you’ll have to wait until next year to buy it.

Don’t. Read it now–you won’t be sorry. Truly. 😉

(Seriously, though–is that book Ben’s reading a real thing? Because if so–scary.)

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Week in Review: What I’m Reading (Writing. I mean WRITING. 11-9-13)

 

It’s November 9, so all the WriMos out there know what that means, right? Time for the all-day writing marathon, online and locally! (I get emails from my local chapter, but have yet to actually attend any of their events. If you’re not as lame as I am, you can find your local liaison here and see if they have anything planned that you can join in on.)

It’s also a big day for donations, so if you think the NaNoWriMo program is one that should be kept going, please consider a donation! You’ll get a cool halo on your profile pic on the website, and have the chance to win hourly prizes. (You can also choose to have your donation go towards the Young Writer’s Program part of the organization. I’m just sayin’.)

Here’s the short-and-sweet version, straight from their site:

No time for reading… Must write!

The short version: Join us on Saturday, November 9 for day-long noveling madness in person and online, and donate to help us reach our $50K goal. Keep NaNoWriMo running the course for years to come!

All the glory of a traditional marathon, none of that pesky training. Just you, your novel, and a deep and abiding love of helping others discover the joy of writing.

We’ll see you there.

I will have to take a short break from the day-long madness to attend the Mini Moes’ high school football playoff game–they’ve made it to the big time yet again this year, and are playing at the Ralph, where the Buffalo Bills play! (And frequently lose. But that’s a whole ‘nuther story.) But that’s my only major plans for the day, and then it will be back to catching up on my word count. And making a donation. And catching up even more on my word count.

Keep your eyes peeled to that word count widget, ’cause it’s going to be moving! I hope.

I’ll admit it, though–I did get some reading done this week. Not a lot, but some. In ebook I read Ghosts of the Falls and Ghosts of Kingston Cottage–despite similar names and locations (both are set in Maine, oddly enough, one of my favorite states to visit), they were really refreshingly different. Next I started T.J. Bennett’s Dark Angel (see her Becky on Books interview here) in ebook and the actual, real-live print version of Read it and Weep by Jenn McKinlay. Up next…too much to read. Especially when I need to be WRITING.

Oh, and the final installment was up on Monday, so I also finished reading Ruthie Knox’s Truly on Wattpad. Absolutely. LOVED. Will post a review next week. Run, don’t walk to Wattpad to sign up and read it while it’s still available!

On audio, still listening to The House of Hades. Actually lost track of my iPod for a day and a half this week and thought my brain would self-combust. The end is in sight (not that I want it to end, it’s a fantastic addition to the series), and next I’ll be picking up Mary Balogh’s The Arrangement because at this rate I’ll never finish the print copy and I’m dying to find out how Vincent and Sophia finally figure out what everyone else has known all along–that those two crazy kids are perfect for one another.

Yep, broke down and got the audio. Even though I already own the print AND ebook copies. No, I don’t think I have a problem. At least, I’m fairly certain I don’t.

Really.

How has your week been? Here’s hoping I can avoid the depths of despair that week  two (and three, for that matter. Don’t even get me started on week four. Why do I do this to myself again? I forget…) of NaNo frequently bring…

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What I’m Reading: Week in Review (10-20-13)

photo (11)

Mini Moe#2, Cody Hodgson, and Mini Moe#1 after the walk (MM#1 is standing a little in front, but yes, he is taller than the professional hockey player. MM#2 keeps feeling the need to point this out)

All three Moes woke up bright and early this morning to drive down to (sunny, thank goodness–it’s been a rainy few days) Buffalo, New York to take part in the Gold and Blue Star Military Family Tribute Walk. All proceeds from the event will go towards a memorial for all the western New Yorkers (so far there have been 64) who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the sponsors was our very own Buffalo Sabres, and several current and former players were there to show their support. The Mini Moes cornered Cody Hodgson (a goal-scorer in Saturday night’s game, which MM#1 and I were at–that goal was a highlight, trust me) at the after party and got a picture. It was awesome to see so many players (Hodgson was joined by Steve Ott, Patrick Kaleta, John Scott, Jamie McBain, Andrew Peters and a few other former players, along with the voice of the Sabres, Rick Jenerett and Bandits lacrosse player Mark Steenhuis–I’m forgetting a few others, I know, so I apologize now) out there supporting the community. It’s been tough to be a Sabres fan so far this season, so it’s especially great to see them show up at something like this. Within stalking photo op-distance, too. 😉

We all walked 3.2 miles before lunch! No wonder I was ready for a nap before the Bills game even started. (Which they won! The “fish” have been squished!)

On to the books! I’m still listening to Emma right now to prepare for my NaNoWriMo novel. I’m taking it slow and only listening when I can really pay attention–currently I want to drop-kick Frank Churchill into the next century, so I’m really not sure he’ll be able to sufficiently make all of this up to Jane. We may be looking at an AU version….

I managed a bit more in ebook form this week. I read (and reviewed) Annie Seaton’s Outback Affair–a nice addition to the series. I also scored a copy of book one in the series–Holiday Affairthe only one I hadn’t read already–at the author’s Facebook release party on Monday (Tuesday, in Australia). Thanks, Annie!

Next I read Sweet Treason by Gail Ranstrom, which I also reviewed, and featured in Friday’s post. It was a very interesting take on the American Revolution time period. I’ll be interested to see what she writes next.

Finally, I read the upcoming (out tomorrow!) release Hunter’s Moon by Lisa Kessler. She’ll be joining us this Friday with a guest post, and I’ll be reviewing the book later on this week. I absolutely loved it–didn’t want to put it down, even for the hockey game last night! (I did, though, since we were there. Didn’t want to be rude. If I’d been at home, though….)

Up next: Seven-Day Fiance by Rachel Harris and the next HEA Book Club book pick for this Thursday’s meeting, Hope Ramsay’s Last Chance Book Club. Oh, and tomorrow’s Monday, which means more chapters released in Ruthie Knox’s NA novel Truly exclusively on Wattpad, and another episode of Emma Approved on YouTube! Happy days!(Except that it’ll still be Monday. All day long. But still, could definitely be worse–and there’s much to look forward to!)

What are you reading this week?

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More FREE Books (and Books on Sale)!

From FreeDigitalPhotos.net

From FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Bethany House, publisher of Christian fiction and nonfiction books, has a whole page of books that are free and discounted right now. There’s a little bit of everything here–historical, contemporary, mystery, fantasy, and nonfiction, just at first glance. Check it out before the deals are gone–they should be good at most major e-tailers right now. Some of them retail at $14.99!

Harlequin’s ebook store also has a page of Ebook Super Deals. Offerings right now range from novellas to novels to three-book collections. Many are free, while others are priced from 99-cents (including the four three-novel sets!) to $2.99. Amazon frequently price matches these sales, if you’re partial to shopping at Amazon (or have an Amazon gift card or two burning a hole in your wallet!)

And finally, I can’t say enough about Ruthie Knox’s serial novel Truly that’s free to read right now at Wattpad. Twelve chapters are up so far–with more on the way Monday–and I’m loving each one more than the one before it. Ruthie’s also doing Truly-themed giveaways on her Facebook page–right now it’s a grocery tote of NYC from Map Tote.

Seriously, it’s giving me a reason to look forward to Mondays.

Any of the free or sale reads look good to you?

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Free Reads! Who Doesn’t Like Free?

I love Ruthie Knox’s writing. Her Camelot, Ohio series is one of my current favorites–and I haven’t even read book two yet! (I have it, so there’s really no excuse. It’s on the tabletop of my Nook and mocks me every time I turn the reader on to read something else I need to finish on a schedule. I will read you soon, Along Came TroubleI swear I will!)

The first book in Ruthie’s New York Series, Truly, is currently being released as a serial on Wattpad, the “the world’s largest community for discovering and sharing stories”–and it’s free! All you have to do is sign up, and every Monday from now until November 4 more chapters are released. Once it’s all up, it will be pulled–and not released for purchase until NEXT FALL. I am seriously loving this story–Ruthie really knows how to write characters who are quirky and real. It’s a definite must read!

Plus, as an added bonus, Ruthie actually responds when you comment on the story. It’s beyond awesome. You can be stalker-like without actually stalking! Not that I would stalk authors online.

Much. 😉

Wattpad is also available as a free app for Apple, Google Play, Blackberry, and Kindle Fire.

Two more free reads: Lisa Wingate, who writes Christian-themed fiction that isn’t hit-you-over-the-head preachy, currently has two free ebooks available. I don’t know how long they’ll last, so if you’re interested, make sure you pick them up soon. They are:

Larkspur Cove, a full-length novel that I read from the library two years ago and really enjoyed (and honestly didn’t even realize for most of it that it was even classified as Christian fiction). Free. Yep, definitely going to buy, because it was an “I’d read that again” kind of book. (Barnes and Noble linkAmazon link–plus, you can get the audio for just $3.49, thank you Whispersync. Again I say, darn you, Amazon–you so have my number.)

The Sea Glass Sisters, the novella prequel to her latest novel, The Prayer Box (Barnes and Noble link, Amazon link). Only 86 pages, but free books are free books.

So, who doesn’t  like free? Hope you enjoy!

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