New Release and Giveaway! RUNAWAY HEIRESS by Syrie James (Dare to Defy)

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Runaway Heiress
by Syrie James
Series: Dare to Defy Series
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: June 12, 2018

When a runaway heiress runs into trouble, she may end up exactly where she belongs… 

Brainy and college-educated, American heiress Alexandra Atherton will do anything to avoid marriage to the English peer her mother has chosen for her–even abandon the life of privilege she’s always known. But as her escape goes horribly wrong, Alexandra must invent a new identity to gain the help of a handsome stranger.

Thomas Carlyle, the Earl of Longford, sweeps in and out of London disguised as a humble artist, earning just enough to keep his ancestral Cornwall estate afloat. When Alexandra crashes into his life, she awakens feelings and desires that he vows will stay buried. Despite himself, he needs this beautiful newcomer, for his sisters have run off another governess.

Alexandra is surprised to find she thrives in her new position at Longford’s home. But as she grows closer to Thomas and his sisters, and her relationship with the emotionally guarded earl unleashes their hidden passions, the truth Alexandra’s been forced to hide may end up coming between her and the only man she’s ever loved.

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Excerpt:

“One first-class ticket for Liverpool, please.” Alexandra Atherton managed a smile for the ticket agent behind the window.

“One way or return?”

“One way.” Alexandra anxiously made her way across the busy train station, hardly able to believe she was doing this: running away, dressed in her maid’s old clothes, bound for Liverpool and the steamship that would take her home.

Her escape, she knew, would cause something of a scandal. Over the past few years, whenever her name or one of her sisters’ names had cropped up in the press, it was always followed by “the American heiress,” or “the daughter of multimillionaire banking tycoon Colis Atherton.” As if they were not actual people in their own right.

Alexandra hated to feed the gossip, but after last night, what choice did she have?

She had left a note explaining where she’d gone and why, which her maid Fiona was to “accidentally discover” later that afternoon. By then, it would be too late for her mother to prevent Alexandra from sailing. She just prayed that upon her reaching Liverpool, a berth would be available aboard the Maritime.

The train platform was alive with the clamor of movement and conversation. Gentlemen in black frock coats and ladies in elaborate plumed hats darted to and fro, checking the printed timetables, studying the large clock hanging from the rafters, purchasing apples from a vendor and papers from the newsstand. As Alexandra wove through the crowd, she heard a high-pitched voice at her elbow:

“Got a penny for a poor orphan?”

She paused. Before her stood a raggedly dressed, dirty little girl. Alexandra’s heart went out to the creature, who gazed up at her with wide eyes, her hair all in a tangle.

Alexandra wondered how a penny could possibly be of any help to a child in such need. Withdrawing her coin purse from her reticule, she offered the child a shilling. “Here you go, little one.” Suddenly, more children in similarly dirty clothing appeared and crowded around her.

“Mine!” cried a boy.

“No, mine!” cried another.

A grubby fist flashed out and snatched the shilling from Alexandra’s grasp. She couldn’t tell if it was the first girl who took it or one of the boys; indeed, she wasn’t entirely sure what happened next. All Alexandra knew was that multitudes of small, filthy hands were striking at her as young voices erupted in raucous shouts. Her coin purse was suddenly wrenched from her grasp, and a second later her handbag was gone.

“Wait! Give it back!” Alexandra cried, as the flock of children fled. “Help! Stop those children! They’ve stolen my bag!”

No one made any move to help her. Alexandra pushed her way through the crowd, racing after the children, but the ragamuffin band vanished as quickly as it had appeared. At the end of the platform, she stopped to catch her breath. The whole incident, she saw now, had been cleverly played, the efforts of a pack of urchins who preyed on unsuspecting travelers.

She searched for a policeman (what did they call them here? Bobbies?), but realized that even if one materialized, she couldn’t report the theft. She was dressed as a servant, in the act of running away.

Alexandra stood rooted to the spot, overwhelmed by a crushing sense of horror and disappointment as the depths of her predicament became clear to her. Her handbag was gone. It had held all her money as well as her train ticket. She hadn’t been able to take anything else with her, and now had nothing left except the clothes on her back. Clearly, there would be no trip to Liverpool today, and no voyage to New York.

Tears stung Alexandra’s eyes as she made her way back through the train station. What should she do now?

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About Syrie James:

Syrie James is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Nocturne; Dracula, My Love; The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte (Great Group Read, Women’s National Book Association; Audie Romance Award, 2011), and the international bestseller The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Best First Novel 2008, Library Journal.) An admitted Anglophile, Syrie loves paranormal romance and all things 19th century. She lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America.

Author Links:

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Tour Wide Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of RUNAWAY HEIRESS by Syrie James, we’re giving away one paperback copy of THE LOST MEMOIRS OF JANE AUSTEN!

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GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of THE LOST MEMOIRS OF JANE AUSTEN by Syrie James. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 6/24/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality PR.
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Release Day and Giveaway! BLOOD OATH by Amanda McCrina (Blood Oath #2)

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Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for

Blood Oath by Amanda McCrina

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

CONGRATULATIONS, AMANDA!

 

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Blood Oath (Blood Oath #2)
by Amanda McCrina
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Month9Books

The aftermath of what happened in the capital has shaken Torien to the core. Battling self-doubt and bitterness, he must find his resolve as he is sent back to Tasso to quell a violent uprising on the Road.

But Torien will need more than resolve to navigate the deadly path before him. His troops are inexperienced and his new adjutant untrustworthy. A series of murder attempts leaves the whole camp on edge. As the threat of mutiny builds, the mission seems doomed before they even reach Tasso—and Torien is beginning to suspect it was meant that way. He and his men are being set up to fail.

With his best friend in the hands of the rebels, his commanding officer refusing to negotiate a peace treaty, and his own men ready to turn on him at any moment, Torien must decide once and for all how much he’s willing to sacrifice for an empire he no longer believes in.

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Excerpt graphic

Torien glanced up. “Send up the signo when you go, or see what’s keeping him. It’s been an hour since—”

Something moved stiffly against his fingers. A small, smooth-skinned, pink snake uncoiled from the silk and sank its teeth into the fleshy part of his hand, between thumb and forefinger.

He flung the box away by reflex. The snake clung to him. He stood with the thing dangling limp from his hand. Chion had dropped his cup and staggered up like a drunk. Torien drew his belt knife and cut through the body at the base of the head. The body fell with a soft thump on the sand. The head hung on stubbornly.

He looked up at Chion.

“Get it off,” he said. “I can’t.” His hands shook. He held out the knife. “Get it off.”

Chion took the knife. His face was pale green, the color of unripe olives. His teeth were bared in a grimace. He held Torien’s hand by the wrist and pried the head loose with the flat of the blade. The jaws sprang open. The head dropped on the sand, and Chion kicked it away.

Torien sank to his knees, leaning forward to steady himself on his hands. Chion crouched beside him.

“I’ll go for the surgeon,” Chion said.

Torien sucked a breath. His heart was racing.

“Advise the officers,” he said.

“What?”

“Advise the officers to prepare defenses down the hill.”

For a moment, Chion was very still beside him. “Yes, sir.”

“It’s my fault, Chion.”

“I’ll bring the surgeon,” Chion said.

“Leave that knife,” Torien said.

 

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Amanda McCrina author photo

Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey season.

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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New Release Review and Giveaway! BRING ME THEIR HEARTS by Sara Wolf

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Bring Me Their Hearts
by Sara Wolf
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 5th 2018
Entangled Teen

 

Summary:

Zera is a Heartless—the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera’s heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him—every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him—until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.

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Review:

GAH! How could I have forgotten, even for a minute, Ms. Wolf’s love of the cliffhanger ending???

Zera’s snarkiness and sass (much like Isis’s in her Lovely Vicious series) really makes this book So. Much. Fun. Throw in some healthy banter with Luc (and a duel! with swords!), truly lovely chemistry, and a seemingly impossible-to-overcome conflict, and I just dare you to put this book down before you’re done.

That last 15% or so? It’s brutal. I may never recover.

Fantasy isn’t my favorite genre, because I have a tendency to get bogged down in the particulars of the world instead of swept up in the story as much as I want to (plus with the unusual names I have a terrible habit of forgetting who’s who when they’re off the page for a chapter or so…or sometimes less…and then have to search to remind myself who they are)–I freely admit this is just me, though, so if you’re more of a fantasy lover than I am, expect this to be closer to a five-star read for you. It’s definitely a case of “it’s not you, it’s me” I admit–I have no complaints with the writing, or the characters, or the plot–it’s just my own reading tastes. My brain likes “normal”. Or its version of it, anyway. 😉

Despite that, you’d better believe I’ll be counting the days until the next book comes out, because I need to know what happens. NOW. Write fast, Ms. Wolf!!! (please)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the Author:author photo sara wolf

Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as Lovely Vicious. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

Author Links:
Website: http://sarawolfbooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sara_Wolf1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/authorsaraw/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorsarawolf/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sara-Wolf-476490705731978/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6862831.Sara_Wolf
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sara-Wolf/e/B00BVOVP08/

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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE LAST SUMMER OF THE GARRETT GIRLS by Jessica Spotswood

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Title: The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls
Author: Jessica Spotswood
ISBN: 9781492622192
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Synopsis:

One summer will challenge everything the Garrett sisters thought they knew about themselves—and each other in this captivating new novel by Jessica Spotswood.

Kat lands the lead in the community theater’s summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?

Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn’t sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen…

Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend…so it’s not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?

As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it’s hard to dream big when she’s so busy taking care of everyone else.

Told through four alternating points of view, readers will laugh, cry, and fall in love alongside the Garrett girls.

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

DES

Des has a morning routine. Des likes her morning routine. Her sisters slamming doors and screaming at each other is not part of that routine. Neither is the broken dishwasher, being out of sugar for her tea—-she grimaces as she takes another still–scalding sip—-or sleeping through her alarm.

“Des!” her youngest sister, Vi, screeches. “Kat locked me out!”

There’s a loud thumping as Vi pounds on the bedroom door that she and Kat share. A moment later, she rushes into the kitchen, her auburn hair still tangled from sleep, her freckled face flushed with anger. “Did you hear me?”

“I’m busy,” Des snaps, reaching into the sudsy sink. She needs to call Mr. Stan to come take a look at the dishwasher. And of course no one bothered to touch lastnight’s dishes. It’s Kat’s week, but it’s easier for Des to do it herself than to nag her sister.

“I got up to go to the bathroom, and Kat locked me out, and now she’s FaceTiming with Pen about what to wear to their audition,” Vi fumes. “Tell her to let me back in! I was sleeping!”

“Why don’t you go sleep on the couch?” Des suggests. She isn’t sure when she became the arbiter of all her sisters’ squabbles. They used to go to Gram with every skinned knee and hurt feeling, but lately—-especially since Gram’s knee replacement a few weeks ago—-it’s been on Des. It’s all been on Des: shopping for groceries, picking up Gram’s prescriptions, cooking supper, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry—-all that on top of running the bookstore. She thought things would go back to normal once Gram was home from the rehab center, but they haven’t.

Maybe this is the way things are now. Forever. Dread washes over her at the thought.

“Why do I always have to give in?” Vi demands, twisting her hair into a ponytail. “You just don’t want to fight with Kat.”

There is some truth there. Kat has been extra venomous since her breakup. “I don’t have time for this right now, Vi.” Des tosses the clean silverware into the dish drainer. “I have to leave in five minutes if I want to open the store on time.”

“Okay, okay.” Vi yawns. “Where’s Gram?”

“Miss Lydia picked her up and took her out for breakfast.”

Vi points at the baking dish next to the stove. “Is that a strawberry crumble?”

Des nods. That’s why there’s no sugar for her tea. Des woke up when Bea came to bed at two in the morning after her late-night stress baking. That’s been happening often enough lately that Des is starting to worry. She thought after Bea’s acceptance to Georgetown—-or at least after being named valedictorian—-Bea would be able to chill out a little. She hasn’t. If anything, she seems more tense than ever.

Des feels stretched in so many directions right now and inadequate in all of them.

Vi grabs the strawberry crumble and a clean fork. “Yay, breakfast!”

“Use a plate. And wash it when you’re done.” Des drains the sink, gulping down the rest of her bitter tea. God, when did she become their mother?

Footsteps pound down the wooden stairs, and then Kat saunters in, wearing high–waisted white shorts and a black The Future Is Female T–shirt. “What do you think? Do I look like a modern–day Jo March?”

“That’s my shirt!” Vi protests.

Kat smirks. “It looks better on me.”

Vi plants her hands on her slim hips. “You’re going to stretch it out! Des!”

Des closes her eyes. Maybe if she closes her eyes, they’ll go away.

“You’re calling the sister with the eating disorder fat?” Kat scowls, tossing her red curls over her shoulder. “Nice, Vi.”

“I was talking about your ginormous boobs, and you know it,” Vi retorts.

“Okay, no talking about Kat’s body.” Des frowns. She’s been worried about Kat relapsing since her douchebag boyfriend broke up with her last month. Is Kat’s lack ofappetite normal teenage heartbreak, or does she think Adam would still love her if she had a thigh gap? Des isn’t sure.

“Fine. Wear the shirt. But you are my least favorite,” Vi spits. It’s their worst sisterly insult, ever since Gram banned them from saying I hate you.

Vi’s right. She is always the one to give in. It’s not fair, but at the moment, Des is grateful for it.

“It’s your turn to clean the bathroom, Kat,” she says. “Today, please. It’s gross.”

Kat doesn’t even acknowledge her. She’s too busy squealing and fending off Vi’s attempts to stab her with the strawberry–stained fork.

Des grabs her tote from the back of a chair and whirls around the kitchen for her phone, planner, and keys to the store. “I’ve got to go. See you two later.”

There’s probably a better way to handle this, but it would take time and patience and an authority she doesn’t have. She’s only nineteen; she’s not their mom.

Lately, she really misses their mom.

ß

The purple–haired waitress is back.

Des watches as the girl outside paws through her enormous black leather bag. She pulls out a sketchpad, a pair of headphones with three colored pencils caught in thetangled cords, a bottle of Diet Coke, a wallet, and a set of keys. The bottle falls to the brick sidewalk, followed by the keys. The girl drops her bag and cusses. Des can’t hear the words from inside the store, but she can read the shape of the girl’s dark–lipsticked mouth. The girl looks up and down the street hopefully. The past two days, she’s bummed change from kind passersby.

That’s how people in Remington Hollow are: kind. And curious, especially about strangers.

Des is no exception. She doesn’t have any customers, so she grabs a dollar in quarters from the register and strolls outside.

“Hey,” she says. “Do you need change for the meter?”

“Oh my God. Yes. Thank you so much.” The girl takes the quarters from Des’s outstretched hand. “Why can’t I pay with the app on my phone? What kind of stupid hick town still requires actual quarters for parking meters?”

Des laughs. “Welcome to Remington Hollow. We peaked during the Revolutionary War.”

“Ugh.” The girl leaves her stuff splayed across the sidewalk and starts feeding the meter next to her beat–up silver Hyundai. “I guess. I have to remember I’m not in the city anymore.”

“Where are you from? Annapolis? DC?” Des guesses.

“Baltimore,” the girl says. “I go to MICA. Maryland Institute College of Arts?”

Des hasn’t heard of it, but she feels as though she should have. She’s an artist too, isn’t she? That’s the kind of thing she should know. Her not knowing feels like proof that Remington Hollow is a stupid hick town and, having lived here all her life, having no real plans to go anywhere else, she is a stupid hick too.

Of course this girl is an artist. She looks like one, with her vivid purple hair and mouth and the bright tattoos spiraling up and down her pale arms. Des feels embarrassingly plain in her ripped blue jeans and faded, worn–soft Pride and Prejudice T–shirt. She’s not wearing any makeup, and her red curls are pulled back in a simple ponytail. Everyone in Remington Hollow already knows how she looks—-how she looked at four and nine and fourteen too—-so there’s usually no point in trying very hard.

“I’m here for the summer. Staying with my grandmother.” The girl confesses it like a prison sentence.

Des looks at the bookstore on the corner, at Tia Julia’s next door, at the SunTrust and the pharmacy farther down Main Street. At the wooden benches spaced along theuneven brick sidewalks, and the U.S. and Maryland flags flapping in the wind outside the post office. Down the hill, four blocks away, the river sparkles in the sun. Thebriny scent of the water carries on the breeze, hidden beneath espresso beans from the Daily Grind and the fragrant blue hydrangeas in Mrs. Lynde’s window box.

Des loves Remington Hollow. Yeah, it’s small. But she has never been desperate to escape, to get away for college like some of her classmates. Like her best friend, Em. Like Bea and Kat and sometimes even Vi.

It’s a good thing Des doesn’t want to escape, because Gram is counting on her. Most people are retired at seventy, not running their own business and raising four teenage girls. Gram needs Des, and honestly, Des has always liked being needed.

She looks up. The girl is watching her. She’s pushed her sunglasses to the top of her head, revealing smoky eyes and long, black lashes. Des flushes, knowing that she’s going all blotchy–pink from the vee of her V–neck all the way up to her cheeks. It’s the downside of being a fair–skinned, freckle–faced redhead: she can never hide her mortification.

“I’m Paige,” the girl says, holding out a hand with lavender nails.

“Des. Desdemona, but everybody calls me Des.”

“Desdemona?” Paige raises two perfectly winged dark brows.

Des winces. She’s not used to having to explain. Everyone in Remington Hollow already knows the Garrett sisters and their tragedy.

“My mom really loved Shakespeare,” she explains. “My sisters are Beatrice, Katharina, and Viola. She named the bookstore too.” She gestures behind her at Arden Books. “As in the forest of, from As You Like It.”

“That’s some serious literary devotion. So your mom owns the bookstore?”

“My grandmother.” After the accident, Gram remortgaged the house, quit her job as an English teacher up at the middle school, and devoted herself to the store. She thought it was important for the girls to have that part of their mom. Maybe it was important for Gram to have it too.

Thankfully, Paige doesn’t press. “Are you working here for the summer? I’m waitressing next door. Grandma Lydia got me the job.”

Des isn’t a college student home for the summer, working at Arden to pay for books and extras; she’s been working there full–time since she graduated last June. Even before that, she worked after school and every weekend. Arden Books is her past, her present, and her future. She’ll take over when Gram retires.

But she decides not to get into all that. “Grandma Lydia? Lydia Merrick?”

“Oh my God, does everybody in this town know everybody else?” Paige crouches on four–inch black heels and starts tossing everything back into her bag.

“Pretty much, yeah. My gram is friends with yours.”

Paige covers her face with one hand. “Grandma Lydia is the most—-she’s so—-I mean, I love her, but—-”

“She’s a character,” Des agrees charitably. Lydia Merrick is one of the town matriarchs, owner of the Tabby Cat Café, and an enormous gossip. “Why aren’t you working for her?”

Paige’s big gray eyes dart up and down Main Street like she’s checking for spies. She lowers her voice to a husky, secret–telling whisper. “I told her I’m allergic. Have you been inside that place lately? I loved it when I was, like, five, but as a grown–ass adult, it gives me nightmares. Those porcelain plates are going to come to life someday. And all those cat figurines? They’re going to form an alliance with the real cats and organize a mutiny and take over the town.”

“You don’t like cats?” Des asks dryly.

“I think Snowflake is their general,” Paige whispers.

Des throws her head back and laughs. Snowflake is Mrs. Merrick’s finicky, long–haired Persian. “Not Cinnamon?” Cinnamon is the original tabby the café was named after. He’s fat and affectionate and super spoiled.

“Oh my God, you know all my grandma’s cats. This town is so small!”

“Haven’t you ever visited?” Des doesn’t remember her, and she feels like she would. Even without the purple hair, Paige stands out in Remington Hollow.

“Not since I was ten. Mom and Grandma had a falling–out.” Paige turns toward the river. “Last time I was here, we went to a Fourth of July raft race. Do they still do that? And the reenactment on the old ship?”

“Definitely.” The Fourth of July is a huge deal in Remington Hollow. Townspeople reenact the Remington Hollow Tea Party, a smaller and less publicized version ofthe Boston Tea Party, in which a group of intrepid citizens boarded the ship anchored at the town dock and dumped crates of tea in the river to protest the British tax. Remington Hollow was kind of a big deal in colonial times. Now, men dress up in Revolutionary War–-era costumes and march with old muskets down Main Street. Thehigh school band plays, and the color guard twirls red, white, and blue flags. After the parade and the reenactment, there’s music and food and vendors in the park. Then, the next afternoon, everyone watches the big race across the river on homemade rafts. People get extremely creative—-and extremely competitive. Last year, Bea’s team built the raft that won, and Kat’s raft sank but got the most applause, because she and her drama club friends were singing songs from Hamilton as it went down. “That’s tradition. Remington Hollow is very big on tradition.”

“Oh wow.”

Des can’t tell whether Paige means wow as in cool or wow, what a totally stupid tradition.

“Yeah.” Des doesn’t say that it’s her favorite weekend of the whole year. “So, how come you’re staying with Miss Lydia for the summer?”

“It wasn’t exactly my decision,” Paige explains, winding her purple hair into a neat bun and checking her phone. “Damn. I’m going to be late—I’ve got to go.” She flashes Des a dark–lipped smile and hurries toward Tia Julia’s. “Thanks again for the quarters. See you around, Desdemona.”

Des doesn’t correct her, even though literally no one else calls her Desdemona.

It’s the third week of June, and the whole summer stretches out before her, lonely as hell, except for her endless to–do list. Her best friend—-former best friend?—-is too cool for watching old British murder mysteries or decorating their planners or anything else they used to do together. She’s barely texted Des since she’s been home from college. What is there to look forward to? Everything—-all the work at Arden and at home—-will keep falling on Des, at least until Gram can get around better.

Des bites her lip, remembering the conversation they had about Gram’s living will and her funeral wishes. Just in case, Gram had insisted. The doctor and the physical therapist say she’s making good progress. But Des can’t help worrying. Gram has always seemed young and strong and indomitable. It’s been hard to see her weak, in pain, looking…old. It hurts Des’s heart, and it makes her wonder how their family will function, moving forward.

What if all her new responsibilities aren’t temporary?

The Garrett girls’ roles have long been established among themselves and around town. At fifteen, Vi is the sensitive, bookish one. At sixteen, Kat is the diva: emotional, theatrical, and never afraid to make a scene. Eighteen–year–old Bea is the brilliant, ambitious one, off to Georgetown in the fall. And Des? At nineteen, Des is the oldest. The responsible one.

The boring one, maybe. Next to glamorous, artistic Paige, she felt hopelessly dull.

But Des wants things for herself beyond running the bookstore. Beyond taking care of her sisters. Maybe she needs to try to carve out more time for her illustrations. For making new friends. For figuring out who she is now, a year after high school graduation.

What if she isn’t boring, responsible Des this summer?

What if she tries being Desdemona? That’s what Mom named her, after all. Maybe it’s past time she tried it on for size.

 

Review:

Oh, goodness. Such a cute story– Little Women meets “Gilmore Girls” by way of Sarah Dessen, indeed! (And it only took me until the “about the author”section at the end to remember why her name seemed so familiar–we met her at the Rochester Teen Book Festival a few years back–duh!)

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls is told in alternating POVs–each sister gets a turn, from oldest to youngest, which was fun even if it did sometimes feel like we were just getting into one of them when poof! it was off to the next sister. Still, I liked seeing things from each of their viewpoints. (The tense of the story was a bit strange, though–present instead of the usual past. It tended to throw me at the beginning of chapters, though for some reason mid-chapter I never seemed to take notice.) It really made understanding their motivations–especially when they made really questionable choices–a lot easier. (Bea, for example–I usually have a huge problem with people who cheat, but seeing her nearly wrecking herself with all of the pressure and the guilt made it understandable, even if she was still wrong. Also, it seemed appropriate that this articleshowed up in my inbox while I was reading her story.)

I already have two of Ms. Spotwood’s anthologies–I’ll be keeping an eye out for more of her longer fiction now too!

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About the author:Jessica Spotswood author photo

Jessica Spotswood lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and works as a children’s library associate. Visit jessicaspotswood.com.

Links:
Website: http://jessicaspotswood.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessica_shea
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessicaspotswood/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaSheaSpotswood

 

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New Release and Giveaway! UP TO YOU by Daisy Prescott (Love with Altitude #4)

Today we are celebrating the release of UP TO YOU by Daisy Prescott. This is the fourth book in the Love with Altitude standalone series. Check out the buy links and teasers for the book below.

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UP TO YOU
by Daisy Prescott

(Love with Altitude #4)

BOOK BLURB:

I’m the last single woman among my friends. Don’t feel sorry for me. I’m fine with flying solo, especially with ski season right around the corner. You won’t hear me complaining. Until my mother decides I need a date for my cousin’s wedding … and chooses the worst man in the world for me.

Landon Roberts is the human equivalent of a parka with every ski pass he’s ever purchased hanging off of his zipper. Apparently my mother is the last person in Colorado to know about Landon’s reputation.

To make things worse, his super hot brother Aiden’s back in town. Still gorgeous and still not remotely interested in me.

I can survive this wedding disaster as long as I pretend my date is someone else.

***

As one of the stars of Aspen’s rugby club, I don’t need help meeting women. Tell that to my mother. She’s picked out my date for the biggest wedding of the year.

Mae London is the local girl who broke every heart in the valley before she left for California. Now she’s back and hotter than ever. Too bad she hates me.

Enlisting the help of my brother, I’m going to become the ideal man, and charm Mae right out of her bad opinion of me.

This wedding date will be perfect as long as I pretend to be someone else.


ADD UP TO YOU TO GOODREADS

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Excerpt:

“Yes, Mother Dear?” I fold my hands and put on my wide-eyed innocent face.

“Save it for your revolving door of women.” She places her empty glass on the island counter. “Do you have a date for the wedding?”

“What wedding?” I ask because I’m sure there is more than one upcoming wedding on her radar.

“The London-Tierney wedding, of course. Unless you’ve had one concussion too many and can’t remember our conversation from five minutes ago.” She’s not even a little amused by me right now.

“Why would I have a date for a wedding I’m not going to?” Crossing my arms, I lean against the counter. Mom’s had too many glasses of rosé.

“You’ll be invited. Invitations will be sent out this week.”

“I think I’ll be out of town. Playing rugby.” There’s no way I’m missing one of the last tournaments of the season for some society wedding.

“I thought the season ended mid-September with Rugby Fest?” Aiden’s grin tells me he knows he just threw me under the bus.

“It does. Didn’t Mom say September was the wedding? I’m sure I’m busy every weekend.” I feel the solid ground of my excuse begin to slip out from under my feet.

“It’s Columbus Day. That’s mid October,” she adds like I’m an idiot, which apparently I am because I just blew my out. “And you have to go because I’ve already told Mrs. London you’ll be Mae’s date.”

“What?” I ask, my voice cracking.

“Why?” Aiden sets down his beer with too much force. The glass makes a loud cracking noise against the marble, but doesn’t break.

“Yeah, why?” I echo him. “If I have to attend, I can bring my own choice of dates. I’m not some sad sack who needs his mother to set him up. Not like Aiden. Make Aiden shave off the recluse disguise and take her. If either of us needs help with the opposite sex, it’s him, not me. I’m sure he doesn’t have any other options.”

I can’t believe she thinks this crazy idea is going to fly with me. Anger heats my neck as I try to process why she thinks I’ll go along with her plan.

“Fuck off, Landon,” Aiden mumbles, wiping the bottom of his bottle with his open palm, checking for leaks.

Mom’s lips curve with the start of a small frown. “Can you two be in the same place for more than five minutes without sounding like the dialogue from an R-Rated mob movie?”

“No,” I say, sarcastically.

“It was a rhetorical question, Dumbass.” Aiden stares at the ceiling before mumbling, “I really need to get my own place as soon as possible.”

“You could always move back in here. We have a guest suite on the lower level with its own bathroom.” Mom touches his forearm, hope shining bright in her eyes.

“Thanks, but I can’t move home with my parents. I’m thirty, and while I’m not even in the running for wedding date material, I do have some pride left.” Aiden rests his hand over hers.

“Oh, sweetheart. I assumed you’d be gone before October. Plus, Landon and Mae are friends.” Mom reassures him, her voice all lovey and doting.

“We are?” I ask. “Since when?”

“Aren’t you? You grew up together and I know you run in similar circles in Aspen. When I ran into her at the bridal shower she was with Sage Blum, who dates your team’s captain. You can go to the wedding as foursome.”

Yeah, she’s definitely been pounding the pink wine if she believes any of that bullshit. I don’t even know where to begin unraveling her words.

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PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

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NEXT TO YOU (A Love with Altitude Novel, #1)

GET IT FOR FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME!

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CRAZY OVER YOU (A Love with Altitude Novel, #2)

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

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WILD FOR YOU (A Love with Altitude Novel, #3)

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

————–

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

daisy prescott author photo

USA Today Bestselling Author Daisy Prescott writes romantic comedies about real love.

Her Modern Love Stories feature characters in their thirties and forties finding and rediscovering love in unexpected and humorous ways. Her Wingmen books star regular guys who often have beards, drive trucks, and love deeply once they fall. Daisy’s Love with Altitude latest small town, rom com series is set in Aspen, Colorado. Bewitched is a magical serial set in Salem, Massachusetts. Don’t miss her standalone, Tinfoil Heart, a rom com about love, letting go, and little green men.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Newsletter

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New Release and Giveaway! WHAT HAPPENS IN SUMMER by Caridad Pineiro (At the Shore #2)

What Happens in Summer cover

She knows the kind of man he is;
The kind who breaks hearts.
But a hot summer at the Jersey Shore
Might be just what they need to light up their lives…

As the only daughter of a single mom, Connie Reyes swore she would never put herself or her child in a similar position. But when she runs into oh so tempting Jonathan Pierce at a wedding, she knows she must stay away. She’ll fall for him—hard. And he’s not the type to stick around.

Ever since he left town after their teenaged fling, Jonathan hasn’t been able to forget about Connie. He can’t wait for the wedding—to show her the man he’s become. And when the night finally comes, their mutual desire will lead to unexpected consequences neither of them were prepared for…

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2y6hi4h
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GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2hKg3BW
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Kobo: bit.ly/koboWHS

Excerpt:

Jonathan Pierce stared hard at the mirror, wondering what Connie Reyes might see tonight when she and her friends came over for the dinner his brother Owen had arranged. What Connie might think after so much time had passed.

The teen she had known seven years earlier was gone as was the man she’d run into shortly after Hurricane Sandy.  That man had been replaced by one who had known his share of hardship and success. Barely perceptible laugh lines that hadn’t been there that last summer bracketed his mouth and eyes. There was a thin scar above one brow thanks to a crash while testing a new vehicle prototype on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Another jagged white line on his jaw was courtesy of shrapnel when a hydrogen fuel cell had unexpectedly exploded in their lab.

He looked away and leaned heavily on the edge of the vanity, noting the other assorted nicks and scars on his hands. They were the hands of a man who had lived life to the fullest and made himself what he wanted to be and not what others expected. He knew he’d sometimes hurt people with his choices, especially his older brother Owen, who’d had to shoulder the burden of the family business as well as their father’s ire whenever one of Jonathan’s escapades caught the attention of the media.

He’d gotten used to the interest the press had in him. After all, he was the renegade son of a wealthy family. A self-taught inventor who had sold his first small invention for millions. He was now revolutionizing the motor vehicle and battery industries with his innovative designs, unconventional methods, and fearless experiments.

He had brought idea after idea to life with detailed research and hard work. There had been failures along the way, but that had only made the successes that much more enjoyable. He had celebrated those successes with his team, his brother, and a bevy of actresses and models who were only too keen to be seen on the arm of a rebellious multi-millionaire who might soon be a billionaire if his company’s stock prices continued to climb.

Only… none of those women could hold a candle to Connie.

Connie, who he would see in just a few hours thanks to his brother. Owen had finally decided to fight for Maggie Sinclair, and he was happy that his brother was following his heart.  But while Jonathan would do almost anything for Owen, he wasn’t happy about having to spend time with Connie.

Smart and beautiful Connie, he thought with a sigh and a shake of his head.

He’d managed to avoid her for the last several years. Sure, he’d seen her after Sandy and occasionally from afar when Maggie and her friends had come down to Sea Kiss. Or every now and then when he’d gone to some business event in the city.

He’d tried to tell himself he didn’t like the sleek professional woman she’d become. That she wasn’t prettier than ever. He tried not to imagine peeling off those elegant business suits to reveal the real woman beneath. But he was lying to himself.

He had never really gotten over the Connie Reyes that had emerged that summer they had shared.  The woman who had learned to live for the moment and have fun.  Who had been carefree and willing to explore their love. He doubted he would ever forget that women and wondered if she was still there, trapped inside her very prim and proper suits.

Maybe he’d find out tonight, he thought, and prepared himself for what might be a very difficult dinner.

***

Connie Reyes splayed her hand across the nervous butterflies in her stomach that were beating their wings so violently, she felt like throwing up. She was tempted to beg off from dinner with the Pierce boys, only Maggie needed her moral support and Connie never disappointed a friend. Especially Maggie, who was like a sister.  She’d do anything for Maggie, even suffering through a meal with Jonathan Pierce.

“You feeling okay? You’re looking a little . . .” said Emma Grant, her other BFF. Emma eyed her intently, her green-eyed gaze inquisitive.

“I’m just fine,” she lied, but it was clear from Emma’s meaningful stare that her friend suspected something was up as they followed Maggie onto the patio and to the long row of tall privet hedges that separated the two Jersey Shore mansions.

She tamed the flutters much as she did when arguing a case before a judge and trudged along behind Maggie as they eased through the hedges and approached the entrance to the Pierce mansion. They had barely reached the front porch when Owen threw open the door, a big friendly smile on his handsome face.

He welcomed them warmly, but Connie couldn’t resist mumbling to Emma, “Said the spider to the fly.” As much as she wanted things to work out with Owen, she still worried about how Maggie would be hurt if they didn’t.

Emma jabbed her in the ribs and luckily, it seemed as if Owen either hadn’t heard her comment or if he had, was choosing to ignore it. She gave him props if it was the latter, since it indicated he was truly trying to be nice for Maggie’s sake.

They quickly walked through the foyer and living room and back to the dining area. Jonathan was in the kitchen, an apron over his jeans and T-shirt. The T-shirt hugged his broad, muscled chest and laid bare the powerful muscles of his arms. His light brown hair still had the kiss of the summer sun and was tied back from his face, revealing the sharp lines of his features.

He looked older, but still so handsome.

She had thought she could handle this dinner for her friend’s sake.  That she could face Jonathan and not get caught up in the emotions from years past.  But it was impossible to forget the way he’d held her in his arms, a dimpled smile on his lips, his sea-blue eyes bright with humor and love. With that memory, the flutters in her stomach were replaced by an ache in the region of her heart.

 

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New Release Review! COLD BLOODED by Toni Anderson (Cold Justice #9)

Cold Blooded available now

About COLD BLOODED:

Searching for the truth…

Disgraced investigative journalist Pip West is devastated when she discovers her best friend’s body face-down in a tranquil lake. When cops and federal agents determine that her friend overdosed then drowned, Pip knows they’re mistaken and intends to prove it.

Special Agent Hunt Kincaid doesn’t trust journalists and has no patience for Pip’s delusions, especially since her meddling could reveal why the FBI is interested in her friend’s last days. The dead scientist worked at the cutting edge of vaccine research and might have a connection to a new, weaponized, vaccine-resistant anthrax strain that just hit the black market.

…just turned deadly.

Pip is thrown off her game by grief and her unexpected attraction to the handsome federal agent. Hunt battles the same unwelcome pull, determined to resist the heat that threatens to consume them both. But the more Pip digs, the closer she gets to both the sexy FBI agent, and to a bioweapons terrorist who’s more than capable of cold-bloodedly sacrificing anyone who gets in his way.

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Get your hands on COLD BLOODED:

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Review:

OMG, this book–crack it open and hang on for the ride!

Pip and Hunt’s story has many twists and turns, both with their relationship and in the suspense plot. I can’t tell you how much time I spent telling various characters in the book, “No, it WASN’T a drug overdose! What’s wrong with you people???”–honestly, I think I said it more than Pip did (especially since at one point, even Pip started wondering…) I gasped out loud while reading more than once. And OMG–what Ms. Anderson has happen to one of the characters toward the end–I may never recover. I had to re-read a few paragraphs just to make sure that yes, yes, that did really happen. Argh.

Fortunately, she made up for it (kinda, sorta but not totally–but at least she kept me distracted) with some absolutely adorable long-distance(ish) courtship between Pip and Hunt. The last 20% of the book has things happening at breakneck speed–first with the drama of the suspense plot, then with Pip and Hunt–so much so that you almost feel as if you can’t take a deep breath until you manage to reach the final page at last. Phew!

A lot of people die in this one (it started to feel a little out of control), and at times the story got a little bogged down in some of the science-y anthrax parts of the plot, and yeah, Pip and Hunt go pretty fast from fairly antagonistic to something a lot closer, but still this was one heck of a read. I don’t know why I haven’t read more of this series’ books, but you’d better believe they’re all in my TBR now!

Cold Blooded is the 9th book in the series, but really should work just fine as a standalone if you’ve been meaning to pick it up.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About Toni Anderson:

Toni Anderson author photo

New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.

Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She’s addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.

If you want to know when Toni’s next book will be out, visit her website (http://www.toniandersonauthor.com) and sign up for her newsletter. If you want to read other fascinating stories about life in a city that, during winter, is sometimes colder than Mars, friend her on Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/toniannanderson).

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Pinterest

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New Release Review! SURRENDER by Elisabeth Naughton (A 1001 Dark Nights and House of Sin novella)

From New York Times Bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton, comes SURRENDER, a new novella in her House of Sin Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!

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About SURRENDER:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton comes a new story in her House of Sin series…

The leaders of my House want her dead.

The men I’ve secretly aligned myself with want her punished for screwing up their coup.

I’ve been sent by both to deal with her, but one look at the feisty redhead and I’ve got plans of my own.

Before I carry out anyone else’s orders, she’s going to give me what I want. And only when I’m satisfied will I decide if she lives or dies.

Depending, of course, on just how easily she surrenders…

 

Surrender cover

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Excerpt:

“You think you know a lot about me, Mr. Garcia.”

“I think you and I both know you’re down here with him”—he nodded toward Comb-Over passed out on the floor—“because you’re afraid to be down here with me.”

He was wrong. I was down here for the damn file. But he was also right. I was also afraid to be here with him. Because the longer he looked at me with those fiery, lust-filled eyes, the more my mind wandered from the reason I was even in this mansion and zeroed straight on him.

“Hm?” Those lush lips curled on one side, tempting me to kiss that sexy smirk right from his face. “Admit it. I scare you because you already know how good it would be.”

He leaned close to my ear. “Imagine it. My lips on your skin. Kissing. Licking. Biting you gently until you shivered.”

My eyes drifted shut. And as his warm breath sizzled over my neck and down my spine, my fingers curled against his shirt, and I struggled to keep from melting against him.

“I’d start right here.” He brushed his lips against the soft skin behind my earlobe. Not a kiss. A caress of his lips. One I felt everywhere. “Then I’d move to your throat.” He lifted the hand at my hip and gently trailed his finger down the side of my neck to my collarbone. “I’d take my time. Over the hollow right here.” He very softly skimmed the indent between my neck and my shoulder. “And when I got to the strap of your dress…” He fingered the thin strip of fabric, tracing it all the way from the top of my shoulder down to the square neckline of my dress, so low his touch teased my breast and sent tingles straight to my nipples. “I’d tug it off with my teeth.”

My whole body trembled, and my hands slid to his shoulders. Before I could stop myself I lifted against him and rocked my hips against his—against that heavenly erection that was all but calling my name.

“Mm.” His lips skimmed my throat again. And he whispered, “I think you’d like that.”

I knew I’d like it. And I was pretty damn sure this man could make a woman bark like a dog and enjoy every moment of it.

 

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Review:

My first from this series, but not from this author!

Being a novella, there wasn’t a lot of space devoted to world building, so not having read the other books I felt a bit out of the loop re: what the Houses are/were. (I’m still not 100% on this…) Still, this was an enjoyable story. Things happen fast–Marco and Felicity meet, feel an attraction (for him it’s pretty instant), are drawn into a mystery, are put in danger, and figure out who’s behind it all–but overall it didn’t end up seeming overly rushed, despite the short time frame. The characters were likable, and I heard just enough about the mysterious Luc to want to pick up his story (book 1– Forbidden ) soon! Undoubtedly the other two will follow it onto my TBR.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Elisabeth Naughton author photoABOUT ELISABETH NAUGHTON:

Elisabeth Naughton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Elisabeth: “I was never one of those people who knew they wanted to be an author at the age of six. I didn’t have imaginary friends. I didn’t write stories in my journal or entertain my relatives by firelight after Thanksgiving dinner. For the most part, I was just a normal, everyday kid. I liked to read, but I wasn’t exceptional at it. And when my teachers complimented me on my writing abilities, I brushed them off. I did, however, always have a penchant for the unique and absurd. And as my mother told me all throughout my childhood, I should have been an actress—I was a drama queen before my time.

“Years ago, my husband bought me Scarlett: The Sequel to Gone With The Wind. If you ever saw the book, you know it’s a long one. I sat and read that thing from cover to cover, and dreamed of one day being a writer. But I didn’t actually try my hand at writing until years later when I quit my teaching job to stay home with my kids. And my husband? After that week of reading where I neglected him and everything else until I finished Scarlett, he vowed never to buy me another book again. Little did he know I’d one day end up sitting at a keyboard all day drafting my own stories.

“My writing journey has not been easy. I didn’t just sit down one day, decide I was going to write a book and voila! sell my very first attempt. As most authors will probably agree, the path to publication is filled with hours of work, pulling all-nighters I thought I’d given up in college, sacrifices, rejections, but a love I discovered along the way I just can’t live without. Instead of a big, thick book to read by lamplight (I do read much smaller ones when I get the chance), I’ve traded in my reading obsession for a laptop. And I’ve never been happier.

“I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful family and fabulous husband who put up with my writing—and obsessive personality—even when life is chaotic. More than once my kids have been late to swimming or baseball because I needed just five more minutes to finish a scene. Their support and encouragement mean the world to me. I also have amazing friends and a support network I couldn’t survive without. So to all of you out there who have encouraged me along the way, sent me emails and fan letters, phone calls and congratulations, I just want to say, thank you. You make this whole writing gig that much more enjoyable. I truly wouldn’t be here without you.”

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Author Goodreads

 

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Elisabeth Naughton’s SURRENDER – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

June 13th

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews – Review

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

June 14th

A British Bookworm’s Blog – Review

Cup of Tea Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Literary misfit – Review & Excerpt

SBB Reviews – Review

June 15th

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Nerdy Dirty & Flirty – Review & Excerpt

Thoughts of a Blonde – Review

June 16th

Ash P Reads – Review & Excerpt

Canadian Book Addict – Review & Excerpt

Kari’s Book Reviews and Revelations – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

June 17th

All Things Dark & Dirty –Excerpt

Evermore Books – Review & Excerpt

Sofia Loves Books – Review

June 18th

My Nook, Books & More – Excerpt

Read Review Repeat – Review & Excerpt

Reads All the Books – Review & Excerpt

The Heathers’ Blog – Excerpt

June 19th

Louise’s Book Buzz – Review

Nadine’s Obsessed with Books – Review & Excerpt

June 20th

Books 2 Blog – Review & Excerpt

Obsessive Reading Disorder – Review & Excerpt

Ruby’s Books –Review & Excerpt

June 21st

Only One More Page – Review & Excerpt

Scandalous Book Blog – Excerpt

June 22nd

Bookgasms Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Romance Schmomance – Review & Excerpt

Up All Night with Books – Review

 

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New Release and Giveaway! THE BATTLE IS O’ER by Laura Vosika (The Blue Bells Chronicles #5)

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Battle is O’er
(The Blue Bells Chronicles #5)
By Laura Vosika
Historical Time Travel, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 470 pages
March 23rd 2018 by Gabriel’s Horn Press

In the gripping conclusion to The Blue Bells Chronicles, just as Shawn is steadily regaining all he feared he had lost forever—his career, his son, and even Amy’s heart—he learns of MacDougall’s vengeance against Niall, for the act Shawn himself committed. He wrestles with a prophecy and an ancient letter that never changes, a letter that details the fate of his own son, if he cannot stop it—and possibly the fate of the world itself, as he learns of Simon Beaumont’s plan to use his knowledge of the future to destroy it.

Shawn’s selfishness once cost him everything. His newfound selflessness may do the same.

The Battle is O'er cover

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Excerpt:

Angus Warns Shawn

“Sit down. We need to talk.” Angus’s voice snapped Shawn’s attention back to the hospital room. Angus sat in a wheelchair by the hospital window, wearing jeans and a heavy fisherman’s sweater, a book in his hand. He laid it down on his lap.

“You’re up!” Shawn stopped in the doorway, feigning energy. In truth, he’d had multiple late nights, on top of a heavy load of arranging for the album Ben wanted out yesterday. He wanted nothing more than to be in bed, asleep. But when he collapsed in bed, he turned and rolled restlessly through the dark hours with nightmares—if he slept at all.

“Shut the door.”

Shawn did so, and tossed himself into the hard excuse for an armchair in the corner. “You can imagine I was a little surprised to hear from you. What’s up? Did you finally come to your senses about Amy?” He hoped not. A few more weeks, they’d go home together. He’d solve this problem about Niall, and they’d go home.

“My senses are grand, thanks.” Angus gave him a sour look. “’Tis yours that concern me. They say some madman’s running about Glenmirril at night shouting, It’s a trap.”

Shawn coughed into his hand, covering his surprise. “Um, no. There’s no madman at Glenmirril. Who’s telling you these stories?”

“Clive. He was on duty when a young couple called.”

“Yeah, well, he got it all wrong. I wasn’t running.” If he’d been prone to blushing, he’d be doing so with a vengeance. Fortunately, he’d never seen the value in blushing. He smiled, cool as Scottish mist.

“Are you an eejit?” Angus slapped the book onto the window sill. “Running or no, he thought it best if I talked to you before he lets it get into the data base.”

“Is it against the law to walk through castles yelling It’s a trap?” Shawn cocked an eyebrow.

“No, they’ve not thought to make a law so specific, seeing it’s never before been an issue. But there’ve now been two reports, in addition to a wee news program online.” Angus cocked an eyebrow right back at Shawn. “They’ll not be able to ignore it forever.”

Shawn heaved a sigh. He supposed Angus was right, and no smart comeback would change that.

Angus wheeled his chair around to stare out the window. “I suppose it has to do with the parchments they left you?”

“I suppose there’s no other explanation,” Shawn shot back.

Angus’s next words came out with less the authority of the Inverness police, and more the concern of a friend. “What’s happening?”

Shawn relaxed back into his chair, his eyes closed.

“I met him,” Angus said. “In a room just down the hall from here, when we  thought he was you. Believe it or not, I care what happens to him. And those he loves.” He cleared his throat. “Loved, aye? ’Tis past now. But still, I feel I know them.”

The weight of it settled on Shawn, the ugly images that haunted his dreams, jarring him awake drenched in sweat, of Niall’s bound hands, the jeering crowds. Holding back the words kept the worst of it at bay.

 

Other Books in the Series:

Covers to other books in series

About the Author:
Laura Vosika author photo

Laura Vosika is the author of the beloved series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, a tale of time travel, action and adventure, romance and redemption, ranging across modern and medieval Scotland. She runs Gabriel’s Horn Press, and is active in poetry as a member of the League of Minnesota Poets, routinely performing at local open mics. She has appeared in The Star Tribune, and on WCCO and Channel 12, and hosted Books and Brews with Laura Vosika on AM 950.

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Tour Giveaway!

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l winner will receive a print copy of Blue Bells of Scotland (book one in the series) and a Team Shawn or Team Angus t-shirt (US only)
1 winner will receive an ebook of Blue Bells of Scotland (open internationally)
– Ends June 27th

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Tour Schedule:

June 11th:
Launch
Bri’s Book Nook
June 12th:
Among the Reads
Two Points of Interest
June 13th:
E-Romance News
Hearts & Scribbles
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Andi’s Book Reviews
June 14th:
Paulette’s Papers
June 15th:
Becky on Books
June 18th:
Stacking My Book Shelves!
June 19th:
Daily Waffle
June 20th:
Mel’s Shelves
June 21st:
Koops Konclusions
SilverWoodSketches
June 22nd:
Teatime and Books
June 23rd:
Grand Finale
Grab Our Button!

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Release Day and Giveaway! BREAK YOUR HEART by Tracey Alvarez (Bounty Bay #5)

Title: Break Your Heart
Series: Bounty Bay #5
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 15, 2018

Blurb:

Fake girlfriend. Real sizzle. What could possibly go wrong?

Sam Ngata has the talent of creating something out of almost nothing in his successful wood carving business, Kauri Whare. That talent doesn’t extend to producing a serious girlfriend out of nowhere when he implies to a huge overseas investor that he’s a one-woman kind of man. Big on domestic bliss and honesty, the investor is due to arrive in less than ten days time with a deal that’d provide Sam’s family-operated business with invaluable future security. Now Sam just has to find a woman willing to fake it until they make it — the deal, that is — with no strings attached.

Single mum Vee Sullivan needs a man in her life like a flightless kiwi bird needs wings to soar. She has a precocious little girl to provide for and she’s in the middle of expanding her clothing business — with an eye on Kauri Whare’s newest retail space. Unfortunately, it’d take a small miracle for her to afford the lease. So when childhood crush, Sam, offers her a one week only role of pretending to be his ‘serious’ girlfriend in exchange for three months waived lease, Vee is sorely tempted. But saying yes to fake girlfriend means she might not be able to say no to real passion. Someone’s going to get their heart broken…

 

Break Your Heart cover

Purchase Links:

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS
GOOGLE PLAY

Teaser graphic drew her in

Excerpt:

“What you’re saying is I’m crap at kissing?” Then realizing that sounded a little whiny with a side of fishing for a compliment, she added, “I mean, crap at kissing you, in particular. I’m a good kisser—a great kisser under normal circumstances, but nothing about this situation is normal. With you, I mean. There’s nothing normal about kissing you or you kissing me, for that matter.” Somebody shut her up. Right about now she’d welcome becoming a great white shark’s predinner snack.
The corner of his mouth ticked up. “Come here.”
Whoa, now.
She was close enough to see the gleam in his eyes. The gleam from a man who’d been issued a challenge and wouldn’t back down.
“No need,” she said. “I’m reading you loud and clear. I’ll add more hand-holding, proprietary grooming, sweet-nothing whispering, and snuggles to my routine. Good talk.”  
She made to splash past him but he snagged her wrist, and, aided by a swelling wave, reeled her in. He released her as the wave swept her into his chest and she was forced to grip his shoulders. Okay, not precisely forced, but since her feet still couldn’t reach the sand it was either hold onto him or sink.

 

Teaser graphic oh god
Also Available:

 

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Hide Your Heart is FREE for a limited time!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Author Bio:

tracey alvarez author photoFuelled by copious amounts of coffee, USA TODAY bestselling author Tracey Alvarez writes steamy but heart-warming contemporary romances set in New Zealand. Her two series, STEWART ISLAND and BOUNTY BAY, both focus on small coastal towns, close communities, and family.

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