Father Figure by James. J. Cudney #Suspense #Sale @jamescudney4


Father Figure is a .99 Kindle download from 5/23 thru 5/27 – help yourselves!

Thank you so much for your support in sharing, downloading, reading, and reviewing. I appreciate it! You should pick it up before the virtual book club coming up soon… check it out

This was my introduction into James J. Cudney’s work, and can I just say, wow! Here’s a link to my review- https://jacqbiggar.com/2019/07/11/father-figure-by-jamescudney4-suspense-bookreview/

Father Figure’s plotline is nothing short of brilliant, with a surprise ending you won’t guess is coming!

Download @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure for only .99 this week

Overview of Father Figure

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly.

Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.

Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent.

Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.    

Father Figure was officially launched for sale on Amazon on April 2, 2018 as both an e-book and a physical book. Reviews have been extremely positive between Goodreads and Amazon since the 5-day free download and 5-day book blitz.

  • Book Blitz: For 5 days, (4/30 thru 5/4) we posted promotions, hints, and feedback
  • Blog Tour: For 5 days (6/4 thru 6/8) we posted reviews, interviews and a giveaway

Reviews

★★★★★ – “The book deals with abuse, identity, acceptance, overcoming obstacles, crime, sexuality, family secrets, and knowing who you are. Another great story to read, especially if you love emotive, suspenseful family dramas.”

★★★★★ – “Gripping and emotional… Mr. Cudney has written a book full of twists and turns that kept my eyes glued to its pages.”

★★★★★ – “Amalia and Brianna are fully developed characters with all the fears, naivety, anxiety and angst of teen, young adults; full of questions and doubts… Can’t wait for James Cudney’s next work.”

***

Book Excerpt

Chapter One – Amalia, August 1984

“I didn’t raise no harlot, Amalia. When you’re done with softball practice today, you will go directly to the hardware store and help your father manage that cash register.” The stagnant air, sealed tightly like an old glass jar of long-forgotten jelly, refused to dissipate in the Graeme family home—even it was afraid of Janet’s wrath.

“But Momma, I’ll be home to cook dinner before sunset.” The strains in Amalia’s voice weakened with each of her mother’s refusals to let her live the normal life of a teenager.

“Didn’t you hear me the first time, child? Only little whores go to the lake.” Janet’s stern voice emptied through thin lips stained from devouring a blueberry cobbler before they’d started cooking breakfast. “Are you a little whore, Amalia?”

Retribution for daring to break any of her mother’s rules was always swift and fierce. Amalia had obeyed every word since her mother locked her in the storm cellar for ten hours when she was a toddler —punishment for spilling juice on an antique lace tablecloth. “No, I’m sorry. I thought you might let me celebrate just this once…”

The plea had barely escaped Amalia’s hesitant lips before the clammy grip of Janet’s bony hands shoved her down the hallway. “Stop your sass talk, girl. We can take another trip downstairs if you don’t care to mind me.”

Amalia’s left arm grazed the wall when stumbling from the kitchen into the dark mudroom. Dingy white paint chips rained to the floor and clung to her favorite new red blouse while passing through the dilapidated archway. She cradled her elbow, flicked off the last few flakes of her mother’s venom, and firmly held her ground. “It’s not fair. You let Greg hang out with his friends all the time.”

“Leave your brother out of this conversation. Your responsibility belongs first to this family and then to the hardware store. Who said anything about friends? Now get yourself off to practice.” Janet’s one good eye stubbornly left behind after diabetes stole the vision in her other glared while Amalia reluctantly marched toward the back door. “You’re a spiteful little child.”

“I’m taking out the trash, Momma.” Her voice carried the defeat of a soul unable to find the words or summon the strength to defend herself anymore. As she leaned over, the scoop neck on Amalia’s blouse revealed the slightest hint of cleavage between her ample breasts.

“Stop right now. What are you wearing?” Janet’s tone lingered thick over such insubordination. A special brand of disdain had been developed by watching her daddy preach to his Southern Baptist congregation for nearly forty years before he anxiously married her off to Amalia’s father.

“It’s just a pretty shirt I found at a yard sale. I’m not showing too much skin.” Amalia dropped the trash bag on the mudroom’s gray linoleum and recalled the similar, previous lectures. She refused to turn around to face the woman. “I’m not a child anymore, Momma.”

Janet stampeded through the kitchen and kicked the garbage into the far corner. Though the vinyl flooring had peeled away from the walls as the house settled, it was still not one of the more noticeable improvements desperately needed in their home. “It’s lesson time, girl.”

Amalia yelped and dashed to safety after a cast iron frying pan full of hot grease collided with bare skin on the back of her arm. “No, Momma, please…” She dropped to her knees, scooted across the mudroom floor, and cowered behind the pantry door to protect herself from any further blows. An acrid burnt plastic odor from a fiery singe on the linoleum beneath her wafted through the air as she shuddered in pain. The nerves in her forearm and elbow convulsed when the wound began to blister from the impact of her mother’s lesson.

“Someday you’ll learn how to behave yourself.” Janet grudgingly placed the frying pan on the washing machine and lifted Amalia by the curls of her hair. She tightly squeezed her daughter’s breasts while trying to raise the blouse over Amalia’s head. “I don’t know where you got these girls from. You’re hoping to entice all the boys to put their dirty little hands where they don’t belong.”

Amalia pushed away her mother’s sticky fingers willing to risk more punishment if she kept them off her trembling body. The putrid smell of Janet’s three-day-old sweat and decaying teeth littered the air between their lips. “Leave it. I’ve got a bra on underneath to keep them strapped down. I know the rules.”

Amalia’s breasts had begun to develop when she turned eleven years old. By thirteen, a custom-size bra was bought to contain them. Dresses were never allowed given the attention they’d drawn to her body’s hourglass shape. Though Janet’s words were enough of a rebuke, reduction surgery was still threatened should Amalia’s breasts grow any larger.

“I pray every night for them to stop getting bigger and for God to teach you some morals. It’s like you’re rubbing my great Aunt Tilly’s rose garden’s Miracle Grow on those dirty pillows. Tramps like you get themselves into some mighty trouble when they don’t protect their bodies.” Janet stomped back to the kitchen with the now-emptied frying pan and quickly snapped her fingers. “Cover yourself up or forget about going away to college this summer.”

“Yes, Momma.” Amalia heaved herself from the floor with the help of the door handle and collected the remains of her veiled dignity.

“And put out the trash already. It smells like a sewer in here,” snickered Janet.

Fighting back the tears brimming on the surface of her weary eyes, Amalia sighed with relief upon noticing the frying oil hadn’t ruined her blouse. In a rush to tend to her wounds while running through the living room and up the flight of stairs, Amalia crashed into her father, Peter. At sixty, he’d begun to settle into a grandfatherly presence contented by a quiet and ordinary life. He’d aged quickly in the Graeme household. Everyone did.

“Daddy, I’m so sorry. I was…” Amalia hugged her father, rested her head against his narrow chest, and listened to his enfeebled lungs wheeze with exertion.

Peter fell toward the wall and knocked over the family portrait they’d photographed during Greg’s high school graduation. “Oh, my pet, what’s wrong?” He pulled Amalia closer with one hand and adjusted the brass picture frame with the other. A thin layer of ashen skin on his face failed to cover years of misery being married to Janet. He’d long-accepted divorce would never be permitted by the daughter of a Baptist preacher and that his life would be fraught with reproach. “Did you have another squabble with your mother?”

Amalia sniffled and concealed her burns, desperate to splash cold water on the pain. “She hates me, Daddy. Momma never loved me the way she loves Greg.”

“That’s not true, honey. She’s tougher because you’re leaving later this month.” Peter brushed away a few loose curls from Amalia’s face and smiled with a fatherly love that hadn’t receded over the years. “What happened this time?”

A cherubic expression brightened her pale face with the hope he would understand but disappeared once she remembered begging had never helped before. “I asked if I could go to the lake today with the rest of the softball team for Brant’s town fair, but Momma says I have to work at the store like I do every other day.”

The population of their hometown, Brant, Mississippi, founded in 1784, hovered around five hundred inhabitants, the majority born and raised in the surrounding isolation. The Graeme family, still considered outsiders, had arrived in the mid-1800s settling about a half mile from Lake Newton—the livelihood once used to transport goods to the neighboring settlements. Over the years, as the county paved new roads to share crops more efficiently among all the nearby villages, the lake became a gathering place for the local families and visitors to enjoy each summer. Store owners had organized a bicentennial celebration for the upcoming weekend where all the citizens would barbecue ribs, hold square dancing lessons, and play various outdoor games. Amalia looked forward to it every year believing she always had the chance to find a new friend who might make the rough days pass by a little easier.

“Your momma knows best, honey. We need to be available for our customers.” Every penny was important to Janet Graeme, especially with two kids attending college—they could never close the store early. Janet often reminded them how pitching in around the house or store was impossible on account of her many illnesses. Peter nudged Amalia away and kissed her cheek. “You can leave work early to meet your teammates at tomorrow’s picnic. Will that make you happy?”

“It helps, but I’ll be the only one not going tonight.” Amalia buried her flushed cheeks into the crook of his left arm. He always smelled of Old Spice. She’d bought him the same cologne for Father’s Day every year since shopping on her own.

If Peter noticed the stinging red color or the slight favor of her left arm, he either ignored it or thought she’d injured herself in a recent softball game. He adhered to an insulated belief that his wife’s normal way of parenting didn’t include hurting or abusing their daughter. It wasn’t the first time he’d misjudged a situation. Peter once took Amalia to a movie theatre as an early birthday present telling Janet they’d stayed behind at the store to count inventory and order stock, but she found a few popcorn kernels on the floor of the family Dodge the next morning while driving to church. Janet waited until Amalia arrived home from school later that week to teach her daughter a lesson about lying. Though Amalia had only been trying to catch a schoolboy’s attention by lightening the color of her hair with lemon juice, it was a vengeful wrath she’d unexpectedly invited as Janet took a pair of shearing scissors to her daughter’s golden mane. The emotional scars from an abusive homelife were profound, but Amalia never regretted sneaking off to watch the movie. She was proud of being a daddy’s girl. He was her hero, the father she’d always treasure, the man who made it easier being the daughter of the wicked Janet Graeme.

Peter patted Amalia’s back offering any chance to ease her disillusion. “I know, but tomorrow when you go to the lake, everything will be back on track. Bring some clothes to change into so that you don’t have to come back home in between. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“I can’t wait. I love you, Daddy.” She hugged him again and raced up the stairs to change her shirt before her mother had another outburst. Amalia applied cream to her wounds, then chose a long-sleeve button-down sweater she fastened two inches above the dip in her neck. After checking the mirror and wishing a bit of foundation could hide the uneven colors, she splashed water on her face to erase the evidence of her pain. One of Janet’s more ridiculous judgments echoed among Amalia’s numbed thoughts. ‘Only the vile women in this town wear makeup!’

Amalia flew back down the stairs and searched for the trash bag she’d left behind, realizing it would mean another lashing if her mother had stumbled upon it first. As she rushed into the living room, her father handed her a banana and elbowed her out the front door. “I already put it in the outside bin. Get to softball practice, my pet.” His voice barely audible, his expression as loud as a parade.

Amalia smiled and released an uncontrollable giggle as her countenance relaxed for the first time that morning. Although the tense nerves in her neck retreated into partial hiding, her body remained hypervigilant and always waited for the next blistery strike from her mother. She left the house flickering with excitement for the town’s festivities over the weekend but frightened at what her teammates would say about her missing the lake party. No one ever declined their much sought-after invitations without hazardous repercussions.

Although she’d graduated high school two months earlier, Amalia continued playing in the county’s summer tournaments to keep her pitching skills primed for college games. Risking a loss of the unexpectedly received scholarship—as it was the only reason she could afford to go away to school—was not an option. After practice, where she conveniently forgot to tell her teammates about missing the upcoming lake party, Amalia worked side-by-side with her father for a few hours and avoided any further trouble with her mother at home. Once Amalia climbed into bed that evening exhausted from an emotionally and physically grueling afternoon, she drifted asleep clutching her pillow and wished things would somehow improve the next day.

****

The following morning, Janet took the family’s only car to the First Baptist’s services leaving Amalia and Peter to trudge the two-mile distance to the center of town. Graeme Hardware Store was part of the town’s original train depot when first built in the mid-nineteenth century. Shortly before World War I, the train line was re-routed to a larger city a few miles away. This prompted Brant’s town council to vote in favor of converting the train depot into a lunch café and expanding the footprints of local shops hoping it would draw more income from surrounding villages. The loss of the train station left Graeme Hardware Store with far fewer customers managing barely enough to keep afloat during a good year.

Peter unlocked the store and began his morning routine to review the previous day’s sales and prepare the inventory. While he dragged a rolling stand filled with buckets of nails and screws to the exterior porch of the store, Amalia brewed a fresh pot of strong coffee. She retrieved a starter till from the safe under the desk and counted a hundred dollars in small bills and coins, then placed it in the cash register atop the laminate countertop. She grabbed a few dollars to buy breakfast from the local café and strolled to the front of the store. The sharp clank of the bell loosely hung by a nylon cord on the door bounced off all the metal tools and reverberated throughout the building. Amalia held the outer screen door to prevent it from slamming shut and made a mental note to convince her father to repair the hinge that afternoon. Customers didn’t appreciate buying tools from a hardware store with a broken front door.

“I’ll be right back, Daddy.” Amalia bounded down three short steps and traveled the building’s main wooden pathway. Frustrated by the inability to meet the girls from the softball team the prior night, Amalia recoiled at how much of an encumbrance Brant had become to her over the years. She often daydreamed of leaving it all behind but remembered no one had ever escaped. She scoffed at her emotions, slid her fingers across the pathway’s splintered handrails, and ignored the desire to run deep into the woods.

Father Figure Purchase Links

Kindle: http://mybook.to/FatherFigure

Paperback: http://mybook.to/fatherfigurepb

Large Print: http://mybook.to/fatherfigurelp

About The Author

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

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

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

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

#FreebieFriday #VictoriaDay Edition


The August long weekend is upon us and the island is about to get inundated with visitors, which is great for the tourism industry. The highlight is the Victoria Day Symphony. It takes place on the water in the inner harbour and finishes with a fabulous lightworks display.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

I’ve been fighting flu-like symptoms the past few days, so I don’t think I’ll make it downtown, but we can see the fireworks from here.

Do you have big long weekend plans?

The Race is on to find a Killer in the heart of Kentucky horse country

Detective Augustus Grant is faced with his most baffling case to date. Well-respected race horse breeder, John Jorgenson, is murdered in his den days before the Kentucky Derby and the list of suspects is growing.

Complicating matters, Gus’ ex-girlfriend is the last person to have seen the victim alive.

Rebecca Hayes owes the Jorgenson family her loyalty. They gave her a new life after a disastrous affair leaves her alone and pregnant.

With all the evidence pointing in Becky’s direction, will Gus do his duty?

Or follow his heart?

Free for a limited time!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41560041-the-lady-said-no

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-lady-said-no-augustus-grant-mysteries-by-jacquie-biggar

Excerpt

Gus followed the stiff-necked manservant to the door of the den, though his emotions were tugging him back to Rebecca like a starved man to a banquet.

He couldn’t believe how beautiful she’d become. She’d always been pretty, but now there was an added maturity to her features that suited her face. The tomboy figure he fondly remembered had become hills and valleys he ached to explore. They’d been best friends, then lovers, then enemies. It’d been his fault, that was the worst of it. He’d let his drive for a career ruin the only good thing in his life. He could tell himself he’d done his part. After getting his degree and returning to Bourbonville he had tried to find her. But she was right, he hadn’t tried hard enough.

Their relationship had already been floundering; it had seemed easier to let it die a natural death. He regretted that now. One glimpse of her had brought back all the old feelings. Memories of happier times.

Ernest reached for the door knob and was stopped by the officer on guard.

“Sorry, only trained personnel are allowed.”

Ernest glared at him. “I’ve worked in this household for years; I believe I am trained.”

The sergeant exchanged a helpless glance with Gus. “I’m sorry, sir. Those are the rules.”

Gus stepped between the two men before a full-scale war broke out. “It’s okay, sergeant.” He flipped open his badge. “I’m Detective Grant. The…” He waved a hand toward the butler.

Ernest lowered his brows. “Manservant.”

Gus nodded. “Manservant, was just showing me the way to the crime scene.”

The officer checked his badge, then reached back to open the door. The stench of death was immediate, a toxic mix of human waste impossible to forget. Gus turned his head to draw one last clean breath and met Rebecca’s anxious gaze.

That look gave him pause.

Why was she worried? Just how well did Rebecca know the owner of Balmoral?

“Coming, Detective?” The sergeant’s voice interrupted his musings. Gus shrugged off his misgivings and followed the man into the room, sliding past the grim-faced Ernest.

Nancy knelt by the victim, her hands covered with white gloves and booties on her feet. She glanced up when he walked in and pointed at his shoes. Gus dug through his coat pockets until he found his booties, put them on, nodded to the sergeant, and made his way over to her side.

“It’s a bad one,” she said, turning attention to her preliminary findings. “Single shot to the temple, through and through. Near as I can tell, time of death was sometime between midnight and three a.m., no sign of defensive wounds.” She stopped and gazed at him with world-weary eyes. “Who would do this, Augustus?”

Gus observed the brain matter splattered on the leather tufted chair and rich, red Aubusson carpet and his stomach churned. His first thought was crime of passion. There had been some effort made to set the scene up as a suicide. The gun rested in the victim’s open hand, finger wrapped around the trigger. A cut crystal tumbler lay on its side nearby, a stain wetting the carpet. Gus touched the wet spot and sniffed, rubbing the tips of his fingers—bourbon. The good kind. Not something a man bent on ending his own life would let go to waste.

“I’m not sure, Nancy, but I do know the brass will be all over this one, so take your time, okay? We don’t want to miss anything.”

She huffed out an indignant breath. “You telling me how to do my job, now?”

He held up a hand to halt her blistering tongue. “The Jorgensons are big news, that’s all I’m saying. Don’t they have a horse in the Derby this year?”

The sergeant, who had remained by the door, and watched their exchange with interest, piped up. “Forever Humble. Lots of money riding on that colt.” His face became animated. “You ever see him race, Detective? He’s some kind of fast. Likes to run the outside track. Gives me a heart attack every time.”

Gus smiled. “You a betting man…?”

“Fish, sir. Everyone calls me Fish.”

Nancy chuckled and the young man’s neck turned brick red.

“I’m not a gambler, no sir, but I admit I like to spend a Saturday now and then down at the track. It’s some exciting. You ever been, Mr. Grant?”

Gus shook his head. “No, can’t say as I have. Not that fond of horses, though I guess that’s the wrong thing to say in this house.” He admired the landscape watercolor on the wall, rolling hills with a herd of wild horses barreling straight at him, eyes crazy and manes flying as though they were about to burst the confines of paint and canvas.

“Augustus, there’s something you need to see.” Nancy’s voice was muffled as she stretched, shapely butt in the air, to reach something under the leather chair. She grunted and tugged until a bronze sculpture came into view. When she stood it on the carpet, he saw it was about twelve inches in height, a warrior on a horse, raised arm carrying a spear.

“There’s blood and hair fragments,” she said, turning it carefully to inspect the evidence. “I can’t be sure until I get it to the lab, but this looks like a match to our vic.”

Well, that explained why there were no defensive wounds. The poor sop probably didn’t know what hit him. Gus looked around until he found the suspiciously empty spot on the desk. He gave a wide berth to the corpse, conscious of Nancy’s critical gaze. The desk was one of those massive claw-foot affairs, mahogany maybe, rich and elegant instead of simply functional. He pulled a linen handkerchief out of his pocket and checked the drawers. An assortment of papers greeted him, some on household expenses, most on Jorgenson’s passion—thoroughbreds. Nothing that looked like a cause for murder.

Gus was about to replace the documents when a slip of yellowed paper lodged in the back of the drawer caught his eye. He reached in, using the hankie, and retrieved the handwritten note.

Do what I told you to do, or the truth will destroy you

The threat inherent on the scrap of paper chilled his blood. There was trouble brewing in the Jorgenson household, and Gus was afraid Rebecca was somehow involved.

New Release- Just .99! Order your Copy Today

Devon Lyon has the perfect life. With childhood friend Mike Saint, they follow a long line of Saints into the fire academy, including Mike’s uncle who is the battalion chief. After graduation, Mike meets the love of his life, nursing student, Aisling Murphy. The last thing she has time for is marriage, so she talks Mike into living together. Then, right before fire season, she finally agrees to marry Mike, and the worst wildland fire in California history changes life for Devon and his best friends, the Saints.

Chances Are by @TraciWCarlise #SportsRomance #amreading


41mSCRoe+LL

It took a 15-second play to bring his career to a halt for the season.
It only took one second for her to bring his heart to a stop.

A bone shattering hit sidelines Antoni Cahill from his top spot as the Scranton Sparrows top-rated kicker, but he is dealt a crushing blow with the news of his grandfather’s passing. To keep his grandmother happy Tony helps her relocate to her childhood town of Chance, VA. His growing suspicion of her true physical health causes him to seek out a nurse/companion for her while he’s away. The woman standing on their doorstep may be exactly what the doctor ordered for his grandmother, but she takes his breath away.

For Meagan Rowe, Sweet Grove has been a place of refuge after the death of her twin brother. For years her decision to become a nurse practitioner was the only one that made sense, both to her heart and the financial preservation of her family. Her budding career and most recent client brings her face-to-face with the extremely handsome yet adorably awkward football star.

It could be a match made in heaven if she wasn’t forced to keep his grandmother’s true health a secret or if his foundation hadn’t failed to help her family in their most desperate time of need.

FREE for a Limited Time!

7166RjUPumL._SY200_

Biography

Traci Wooden-Carlisle began writing poetry and short stories as soon as she was able to form words on paper. She used that as a way of creating worlds, as well as, to communicate with God. A native of Los Angeles, California, she grew up attending United Methodist Church under the leadership of a pastor whose heart was for youth. Once she finished college she found herself at a loss. She felt caught in the transition between childhood and adulthood. She surrounded herself with saints and volunteered her services as a graphic artist. Through the early-morning prayer, all night Friday prayer and 3-day shut-ins she started on her journey toward her most desired gift, an intimate relationship with God.
Today, Mrs. Wooden-Carlisle lives in San Diego with her husband, Mr. Carlisle. She teaches fitness classes, runs a jewelry and craft business, and is currently writing the next installment in her Christian-fiction series.

Come A Little Closer by @TheChrissyBrown #YA #Romance @XpressoReads


Come A Little Closer
Chrissy Brown
(Georgia Boys #2)
Publication date: January 13th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Sophie was the love of my life. Okay, we were twelve the last time I saw her but still. I’ve tried everything to move on—whiskey, women, weed. Nothing seemed to fill the void. Now, ten years later, she shows up out of the blue. The problem, I’m not the boy she used to know. I have a reputation that could ruin everything. Still, I have to try. Even if nothing happens between us, having Sophie in my life as a friend is better than not having her at all. Come A Little Closer is the second installment in the Georgia Boys Series. It can be read as a standalone novel.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I blush and shake my head. “We should get started on the bedroom.”

Kevin follows behind me, fiddling with his phone. I refill the paint tray and set it on the bedroom floor. Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” starts playing. Kevin comes up behind me, puts his hands on my hips and begins to move them to the music. He presses against my back. My hands fall to my sides, and I tilt my head against his chest.

“This is not helping my walls get painted,” I whine.

“Come on, dance with me.” he pleads.

I turn around and stare into his eyes. It would be so easy to get lost in them but I can’t. I won’t. My hips stop moving, but Kevin’s still dancing. I raise the paintbrush that’s in my hand and slap him in the face with it. Slap sounds violent. It was more like I grazed him with cream colored paint while my hand slowly moved in front of his face. Kevin stops dancing. His jaw hangs open.

“Game on babe.”


image1

Author Bio:

An avid reader who loves to write. When I’m not reading a book, I’m chasing around my twin girls or my two dogs. Visit my website http://www.chrissybrownauthor.com

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Wounded Hearts #BoxSet #Suspense #Sale


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Happy Easter!

 

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Tidal Falls:

Nick Kelley spent years working as a dog handler in the U.S. Marine Corps. His sole focus, to keep his team alive in the midst of chaos. When he fails to notice an IED in time and loses most of his teammates, Nick shuts down. It takes meeting and falling in love with a woman in danger to make him realize life’s worth living.

 

The Rebel’s Redemption:

Jared Martin left Tidal Falls a hotheaded youth. Eight years in the military has turned him into a cynical, disillusioned man.
Then he returns home to find out he’s a father.

When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew?

Or will it be too late for them to have a second chance?

Twilight’s Encore:

Ty Garrett fell in love with Katy Fowler from the moment they’d met. When her father’s betrayal yanks the young couple apart, Ty becomes bitter.
After a decade away, Katy returns to Tidal Falls with plans to get married in her family’s theatre. But she hadn’t expected to run into Ty Garrett, the boy she’d never forgotten.
When a series of sabotages wreak havoc on the theatre and danger threatens
Katy’s life, can Ty save her and win back her love, or is it too late for
these star-crossed lovers?

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Jack Garrett has been stung by love in the past, but he can’t deny his attraction to the new receptionist, Laurel Thomas.
When trouble comes to Tidal Falls, Jack worries that Laurel Thomas is in over her head.
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Exclusive excerpt from Twilight’s Encore

Ty watched over the loaders as they carefully placed the crate in the back of his truck. He closed the tailgate and turned to thank the store manager for doing such a good job of lightening his bank account. “I hope you feel bad about this, you old codger.”

The man just smiled, well aware he’d made a good sale today. “Come on now, Mr. Garrett. A purchase such as this is an investment in the future.”

“Whose? Your grandchildren?” Ty shook his head and climbed into the cab. He started the motor and with a wave out the window, drove toward the highway home. It had taken longer than he wanted but it would be worth it in the end. He couldn’t wait to see Katy’s face when she saw it hanging in the theatre. He’d had to drive damn near to Canada before he found a dealer carrying the right merchandise.

She’d be disappointed; Ty had promised he would be back tonight. That wasn’t going to happen now. Even if he drove straight through it would take three hours to get there. At least she’d given up the hotel room at his insistence. If it were his choice she’d be in his bed, but since her brother was staying with them they’d decided on her having the room down the hall that she’d occupied before. For now.

That hadn’t stopped him from some late night rendezvous however. It was actually fun tiptoeing around in his own house in order to get some booty. Ty grinned. He could just hear what Katy would say if she heard him call their lovemaking a booty call. He couldn’t wait to get home and see her again. It had only been a few hours and already he missed her.

Ty had tried dating over the years. He’d even come close to love a couple of times. There was a woman last fall he’d dated and thought that she could be the one, but then an old friend of Jared’s came to town and stole her away. In the end it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. As soon as Katy came back he knew there was no one else. They’d wasted so many years apart. But, no more.

He still had the ring he’d bought her in high school and planned on placing it upon her finger when he returned. It wasn’t near as fancy as the rock Katy’s ex had weighed her down with, but that was okay. He’d scrimped and saved as a teen because he’d chosen it as a gift of his love, and there was no price tag you could place on that. When he was closer to home, he’d give Jared a call and have him take Kyle out for a night on the town. Maybe stop at the store for some strawberries and champagne. Ty grinned. He would never have taken himself for a romantic, but he certainly was when it came to Katy.

He almost missed the warning chirp from his phone. He turned down the music and listened, but there were no incoming calls. Ty shrugged off the foreboding feeling twisting his gut in knots and lowered the window, whistling. He drove another ten miles before it dawned on him what that beep might mean. Jared’s new security system.

His hands tightened on the wheel and his foot pressed down on the gas pedal. He kept an anxious eye on the road until he found a place to pull over. Signaling, Ty turned in and slid to a dust raising halt. He grabbed his cell from the console and started thumbing, in search of the app that would connect him with the theatre’s new camera system. Why hadn’t he paid more attention when Jared walked him through everything after the install? He jabbed the little icon and waited for the application to load.

C’mon, c’mon already.

Shit, he only had one bar. Ty hopped out of the cab of the truck and using his arm like an antenna, wandered around the side of the road looking like an idiot. Suddenly the picture came in and what he saw stopped him in his tracks.

Kyle, at least it looked like Kyle—kind of hard to tell with the whole Carrie thing going on—was wandering dazed among chunks of what seemed to be cement shards all over the floor of the main gallery. His hair was matted with blood and grotesque rivulets ran down his face.

“Kyle, what the hell happened?” Ty roared. Where was Katy? Fuck, he knew he shouldn’t have left town. “Kyle.” No response. Obviously the audio feed was down.

Ty jogged back to his pickup and gunned her back onto the road with chirping wheels and irate honks from fellow travellers. Shit, he was too far away to do any good. Hopefully, the motion detectors had done their job and set off an alarm for the police.

Using hands-free, Ty called Jared.

“Yeah, I see it,” were his friend’s opening words.

“What the fuck happened?” Ty was beyond frustrated. His foot pressed the pedal to the medal and the scenery became nothing more than a blur.

“I don’t know, man. Everything was fine when I locked up last night.”

Ty had given the men a much-needed weekend off after all the hard effort they’d put in, now he wished he hadn’t. “I have no sound on my end, how about yours?” He was desperate to learn of Katy’s whereabouts. She must have decided to show off the theatre to her brother. There was no way she’d leave his side if he were injured.

Unless she had no choice.

“Me either. Some… knocked the wiring out or the cops would already be there.” Jared’s words came through the truck’s radio disjointed as Ty moved in and out of range.

“Call now. I’m on the way.” Ty swallowed hard. “Make sure she’s all right.”

“Will do. Don’t worry, she’s probably looking for the first aid kit, you know Katy.”

Ty hung up. He sure as hell hoped that’s what was happening, but the twinge in his gut had turned into a stabbing pain.

An opinionated tomboy must navigate the dangers of society, unaware her brother’s killer is lurking in her midst. A Perfect Plan by @AlyssaDrakemuse #Historical #Romance @PureTextuality


An opinionated tomboy must navigate the dangers of society, unaware her brother’s killer is lurking in her midst.

When her brother’s ship sinks off the coast of France, Miss Samantha Hastings surrenders her quiet, country life to manage his affairs. Suddenly thrust into society, Samantha faces an unfamiliar world and the unnerving green eyes of Lord Westwood-her brother’s best friend and her new guardian.

Benjamin, Lord Westwood, never intended on following through with his rash promise to act as guardian to Edward’s bratty little sister. Upon learning of his best friend’s death, Benjamin’s intention was to marry her off to the first acceptable suitor. When he finds himself falling for Samantha instead, Benjamin alights upon the perfect plan; a marriage of convenience.

The plan, however, quickly unravels when they discover Edward’s disappearance was due to foul play. Now, Samantha is in more danger than either of them realized and Benjamin is running out of time. Can he save the woman he loves or will murder ruin his perfect plan?

If you enjoy the mystery and intrigue of Amanda Quick and Lisa Kleypas, dive into this spellbinding series filled with history, romance, and suspense.

 

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About the Book

A Perfect Plan
by Alyssa Drake

Series
Wiltshire Chronicles Book One

Genre
Adult
Historical Romance
Romantic Suspense

Publisher
Independent

Publication Date
April 2, 2019

Purchase Your Copy Today for Just $0.99!
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Excerpt

PROLOGUE

 

June 19, 1842

 

He stared pitilessly, mouth twisted cruelly, as Mr. Matthew Hastings writhed uncontrollably on the mahogany desk. His arms flopped helplessly; a dull thud, thud, thud. Heavy green drapes, lining the picture window behind the desk, blocked any moonlight from streaming into the room. Only the dim light of fading embers bathed Mr. Hastings and his guest at this early hour. No sound echoed in the sleeping house. Anonymity cloaked the sole witness to Mr. Hastings’ excruciating demise.

“It is unfortunate I had to resort to this unpleasantness.” The man shook his head with feigned sadness, a sneer hovering just on the edge of his lips. He paused, deep in contemplation, and then spoke quietly, as if explaining an important lesson to a child. “I did caution you–several times–over the past few months. However, you refused to heed my warning.”

Leaning over, the man slid his fingers through Mr. Hasting’s hair, mostly black, but highlighted by the graying of age. His grip tightened, and he wrenched Mr. Hastings’ head sideways. Pressing his lips to Mr. Hastings’ ear, he hissed intimately. “You have something I want, something that was promised to me when I was much younger. Since you are unwilling to relinquish possession…”

He indicated a half empty glass of brandy resting precariously near the edge of the desk, just out of reach of Mr. Hastings’ twitching hand. The brandy taunted; its amber color glistened ominously. Mr. Hastings’ eyes rolled wildly as the toxin caused his body to spasm in a gruesome dance. His tongue remained paralyzed, locked, unable to form a simple word. Help.

The man released Mr. Hastings’ head, gently returning it to the desk, and then stroked his fingers down the side of Mr. Hastings’ contorted cheek. “This particular poison is quite painful. I must admit, I chose it because I knew it would cause you to suffer horribly.”

“Ugh,” replied Mr. Hastings. His flopping body beat its slow rhythm again; a fish gasping for its last breath of air. The raspy breathing echoed in the study. Although the sound was not loud enough to raise alarm in the house, the man’s eyes flew to the closed study door. Grabbing Mr. Hastings by his hair, the man yanked, crushing Mr. Hastings’ mouth with his hand.

“Stop this nonsense, this instance,” he hissed.

Jerking, Mr. Hastings threw his torso forward, ripping out of the man’s grasp, and stretching for the poisoned snifter. His fingers brushed against the glass, sliding down the side. The glass scooted further away, teetering on the edge of the desk. With a lunge, he wrapped his hand around the glass, locking tightly. Gasping twice, Mr. Hastings’ shuddered and then exhaled, his body slumping onto the desk.

Cautiously, the man relaxing his grip, straightening slowly. He studied Mr. Hastings’s with narrowed eyes, searching for any hint of movement. Nothing. He grinned and chuckled quietly as his gaze fell on the glass in Mr. Hastings’ grip.

“No clues.” He clucked his tongue. “A good attempt, however, kindly remember, I am much smarter than you.”

Prying the glass from Mr. Hastings’ stiff hand, the man dumped the remaining liquid into the fireplace. The fire hissed and burned red briefly before returning to its normal color. Wrapping the glass in a handkerchief, the man placed it carefully in his coat pocket. He patted the pocket twice before his eyes rose to meet Mr. Hastings’ empty gaze.

“I am sorry to steal you so young from your lovely wife. The loss will be devastating for her.” A horrid smile stretched across his lips. “Please do not concern yourself with the well-being of your dear wife or your children; I intend to take good care of your family.”

“Ugh, ugh.” Mr. Hastings choked. His hand slammed down on the desk. His head rolled to the side, lifting a centimeter from the desk. His blue eyes rolled madly, threatening to burst from their sockets. Agony racked his features; his entire face strained taut from the poison’s brutal assault.

The man laughed quietly and stepped toward the desk, his voice scornful. “You are a fighter. Perhaps I did not give you a large enough dose.”

His hand slid into his breast pocket, fingers closing around a tiny brown vial. A wheezing breath escaped from Mr. Hastings’ lungs. He deflated, his body twisted grotesquely over the desk; a lifeless marionette. Eerie silence filled the study. Mr. Hastings’ empty eyes, permanently frozen in a moment of anguish, glared accusingly at the man.

Placing his fingers to the side of Mr. Hastings’ neck, the man nodded with satisfaction. He leaned over the body and rifled through the desk drawers, his hands groping into the far recesses. Each empty disappointment brought a growl to his lips. Taking care not to disturb Mr. Hastings’ corpse, the man slid his fingers under the desk looking for a secret compartment or hidden drawer. He found nothing, not a key, not a clue, nothing, just an ordinary desk.

With a snarl, he stood, his eyes scanning the study, absorbing every detail, every nook and cranny. This was the only room left in the townhouse he had not yet had the opportunity to search. Yet they continued to elude him. He shook his head, chewing his tongue as he glanced over at Mr. Hastings. Such an inconvenience–this murder business–although this was by no means his first horrendous act.

His eyes swept the room again, taking inventory; various trinkets from Mr. Hastings’ travels decorated the bookshelves along the walls. Mrs. Hastings’s ornate writing desk, hidden in the far corner, was situated to face the beautiful garden hidden behind the green curtains, instead of the center of the room.

Mr. Hastings once teased his wife at a dinner party that her desk should be in his office, since she spent most of her time on the business of correspondence and all business should be performed in an office. In response to his remark, she requested the staff move her desk from the sitting room into the office the next morning, where she spent most of her time staring out the window at the foliage instead of writing letters.

“What wonderful a distraction!” She often exclaimed the sentiment, her musical voice bloomed with joy each time. “Surely if ever anyone has a reason not to respond to a letter, it is due to the beauty of nature.”

Gliding over, he ran his fingers lightly over the soft wood. Rebecca’s desk. He tried to open the desk top, but the rollup lid refused to budge. Snarling, he grasped a bronze letter opener from Mr. Hastings’ desk and shoved the edge roughly under the lid attempting pry it open. With a snap, the lock gave way and the letter opener sliced into the soft wood, gouging a deep scar across the delicate surface of the desk. The letter opener fell from his palm with a thunk, skittering across the floor and disappearing under Mr. Hastings’ desk.

The man searched all the crevices of the desk, pulling out every drawer and muttering with each empty outcome. His only discovery, an old pile of love letters tied with blue and white ribbons, was stashed in the rear of final drawer. He fanned through them quickly, annoyed to find Mr. Hastings’ tidy scrawl decorated the outside of every envelope. Sentimental value, apparently, why else would Mrs. Hastings store them in her desk? He shoved them roughly back into the drawer and slammed it with a snarl. Angered, he roared at the body sprawled across the desk.

“Where did you hide them?”

The corpse did not respond, but Mr. Hastings’ wide eyes appeared to be mocking his frustration. A last laugh in death, the man mused sourly.

“No answer. I am not surprise.” He cast a disdainful sneer at the body. “However, mark my words, I will find them, and no one will be able to tie me to your unfortunate demise.”

The man crossed the room once more. Wrenching open the study door, he leaned into the hallway and, with panic dripping from his voice, yelled. “Help, Mr. Hastings has taken ill. Oh please, help.”

The butler, awakened by the man’s cries, came running down the hallway through a door in the kitchen. He slid across the wooden floor in his stockings and rushed to Mr. Hastings’ side. Drinking in his master’s anguished eyes and immobile figure, the butler gasped. He examined the body but felt no pulse in Mr. Hastings’ wrist.

“What happened?” the butler asked, still bent over his employer.

“As we were talking, Mr. Hastings fell into some sort of fit, thrashing about, and then just slumped over.” The man forced a concerned tone into his explanation and leaned over the body as well. “I called for you as soon as the episode began.”

Twisting sideways, the butler studied the man. “We will need to fetch Dr. Barnes; however, I fear it is too late to save Mr. Hastings’s life.”

“Stay with him, do what you can; I will go for the doctor.” The man exited the study before the butler could reply.

Stepping out into the late evening fog, the man whistled a hollow tune, which echoed hauntingly in the mist. He called for his carriage with a quick snap of his fingers and climbed into the cab without a backward glance. As the carriage bounced along toward the doctor’s house, the man wondered if the butler noticed anything suspicious when he entered the room. His hand unconsciously curled around a glass hidden in his coat pocket; the final detail which needed to be resolved.

Perhaps it might be best to pay for the butler’s silence. However, if the butler was a loyal employee, a payoff would raise suspicions. An accident, on the other hand, would permanently guarantee the butler’s silence. How much tragedy could one family endure? He smirked in the darkness of the coach. Does a dead butler even count as a tragedy?

The carriage stopped suddenly, jarring him from his morbid thoughts.

“Help!” The man leapt from the carriage bellowing and banged loudly on Dr. Barnes’ front door. His voice strained with false concern. “Help, please, help, I need a doctor!”

“I will be right there.” The tired voice replied from deep within the recesses of the house. The elderly doctor blearily opened his front door, holding the nub of a candle. “I am Dr. Barnes, how can I help you, Mr…?”

“There is no time for introductions,” replied the man, his face partially concealed in shadow, as if the light recoiled from his visage. He shoved a parchment wrapped bundle into the doctor’s hand.

“What is this?” Dr. Barnes blinked, focusing his tired eyes on the solid mass in his hand.

“Mr. Hastings has died.” The man lowered his voice and leaned closer. “This is to ensure that he died of natural causes.”

Thumbing through the stack money, Dr. Barnes’ tongue caught between his teeth. He whistled under his breath, counting silently. He glanced up, realization glowing in his dim irises, and raised a suspicious eyebrow. “Did he?”

“Most definitely not. However, I am weary this evening and a bit reluctant to tolerate more than one death tonight. Although, if the need arises…” The man’s voice trailed off.

Dr. Barnes tightened his grip on the money and nodded once. “There will be no need, I understand your request.”

“I thought you might.” The man smiled. The sentiment did not reach his cold, dark eyes.

“I must leave at once,” replied Dr. Barnes. His tongue twisted around the words, garbling the sentence into mushy syllables of fear. Grabbing his medical bag from behind the door, Dr. Barnes threw a jacket over his arm and pulled the door closed behind him.

“Would you like to ride in my carriage?” The man bared his teeth, gesturing to his carriage; darkness seeped from the inside of the coach.

“No, thank you. I shall go on foot. Good night, sir.” Dr. Barnes shuddered once, and then nodded to the man, turning and walking in the opposite direction of the carriage.

“Doctor.” The man’s soft voice chased Dr. Barnes’ retreating back.

Dr. Barnes paused half-way down the street, his shoulders drooped. Reluctantly he turned. “Yes, sir?”

“It would do you well to remember I know where you live.” The man saluted him with a curt nod.

“Yes, sir,” answered Dr. Barnes. A tremor wracked his small frame. He pulled the jacket tightly around his shoulders, spun around again, and hastened down the street. He vanished around a corner without another word.

Casually walking over to a nearby bridge, the man dug into his pocket, and extracted the handkerchief containing the stolen glass. He leaned over the railing and dropped the contaminated snifter into the river below. Sucked into the swirling, black water, he watched the glass sink rapidly below the churning surface of the Thames–vanishing from sight. He folded the handkerchief, and replaced it in his pocket, patting it.

Humming the same haunting tune as before, he climbed back into his carriage and knocked on the window. The snap of a whip followed his cue, cracking twice over the backs of the horses. They pulled impatiently on the reins, jerking the carriage forward. The man leaned back into the darkness, pressing his fingers together in delight.

“I am not finished with your family yet, Mr. Hastings.”

 

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of A PERFECT PLAN by Alyssa Drake, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Alyssa Drake.  Giveaway ends 4/6/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

About Alyssa Drake

USA Today Bestselling Author ALYSSA DRAKE has been creating stories since she could hold a crayon, preferring to construct her own bedtime tales instead of reading the titles in her bookshelves. A multi-genre author, Alyssa currently writes Historical romance, Paranormal romance, Contemporary romance, and Cozy mystery. She thoroughly enjoys strong heroines and often laughs aloud when imagining conversations between her characters.

Alyssa graduated from the University of the Pacific, with a B.S. in business and a concentration in French literature. Currently she resides in Northern California with her blended family, where she works full-time at a chocolate factory.

She believes everyone is motivated by love of someone or something. One of her favorite diversions is fabricating stories about strangers surrounding her on public transportation. Alyssa can often be found madly scribbling notes on a train or daydreaming out the window as the scenery whips past.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

 

 

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Story of Us by Jody Holford #Read #Romance @authorspal @1prncs


 

Meet the Author:

Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile.
Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

 

About the Book:

Declan James has been Brockton Point’s most ineligible bachelor––happy with his short-term relationships and focusing on his business. But now that his closest friends have found their happily-ever-afters, he can’t help but wonder what that might be like. And then Sophia Strombi shows up on his doorstep.
Sophia’s life is––well there’s no other word for it––a mess. She’s grateful to have some work at her brother’s best friend’s bar, and a place to stay. Since she’s working hard to get her life back on track, she’s desperately trying to ignore the fact her boss makes her heart pound in a good way. Wait––no. That’s not good at all.
Besides, she has a huge secret she’s keeping from everyone––one that’s a life-changer.

Add to Goodreads

 

Excerpt

He waited and the only sounds were the gentle buzz of the computer and their combined breaths. She hoped only she could hear the heavy beat of her heart.

His fingers came to her cheek and he turned her to face him. “Are you going to stay with your parents?”

Stretching her mouth into a phony smile, she shook her head. “No. Would you move back in with your parents at twenty-eight?”

He snorted out a laugh and dropped his hand, leaned back in his chair and gripped the arms rests. “Not in this lifetime. I love them, but no way would I bunk with them again. But that’s different. I haven’t been gone ten years.”

“I bet, even if you had, you wouldn’t crawl home.”

Declan stared at her, his dark eyes too intense for the rollercoaster of emotions Sophia was juggling. “Your parents—your family—love you, Sophia. Whatever happened, they’ll be thrilled you’re home. Why are you so scared?”

She hated that word. It was exactly what she felt, not that she’d tell him that. “I’m not scared. I’m an adult. I’ve moved back into town and I’ve secured employment. Next on the list is a place to live. Then I can show up and tell them I’m just fine.”

Declan reached our and took one of her hands. He rubbed his thumb over the back of it and sensations tumbled around like her emotions. It wasn’t even noon yet. How could she feel so freaking much?

“Are you?”

Her eyes shot up to his. “Am I what?”

He leaned into her space again and she wondered what it would be like to press her mouth to his. It was hardly the first time she’d wondered if his lips were as soft as they looked. She wanted to run her hand along his strong, square jaw and feel the rasp of his stubble against her palm. Against her neck.

“Are you fine?” His voice came out a husky whisper.

Blinking back tears and taking a deep breath, she nodded. “I am. Stop worrying. I don’t need another big brother, Declan. I needed a job, you gave me one. And I stand by what I said, you won’t be sorry.”

As they turned back to the spreadsheets and he showed her his accounting program, Sophia wondered if she’d be sorry. Sorry for coming back, for staying away, for keeping secrets. Stealing little glances at Declan while he spoke, she wondered what her life would have been like if she’d stayed. Would she have worked for her family, settled down, married someone they approved of and had a happy little family?

Sophia put a hand to her stomach and swallowed the lump in her throat. No sense wondering “what if” when she had a whole hell of a lot of “what now” to face.

 

SoU1

 

 

Giveaway:

$15 Amazon Gift Card

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2 #FREE #Kindle romance novels JAN 17-21 The Single Daddy Club: Jason and Reece By Donna Fasano @DonnaFaz


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The Single Daddy Club: Jason

Blurb:

For widowed police officer Jason Devlin taking care of his baby girl is usually a piece of cake–until his housekeeper quits, leaving him desperate enough to hire the first qualified person who rings his doorbell.

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Biography

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DONNA FASANO is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl’s Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her novels have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #1.

Donna has a website: DonnaFasano.com. And she can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Contact her through her website or any of her social media platforms. She loves to hear from readers.

What others are saying about Donna’s books:

“…complex, funny, and realistic…” ~Wilmington News Journal

“Excellent!” ~Bookreview.com

“Could not help myself from reading excerpts to my husband and friends. This book is well written, the characters are real, everyday folks. It is very easy to identify with them. Donna Fasano is a talented author.” ~Elizabeth M. Caldwell on Amazon 

“…a fast paced riotous look at family life today. Donna Fasano is right on target!” ~Donna Zapf, SingleTitles.com

Catch Him if You Can by @JenniferShirk #amreading #Romance @Barclay_PR


In Jennifer Shirk’s newest installment in her Accidentally Yours series, town widower Wade Roberts is being bombarded by Cape Harmony’s matchmaking mamas. His only way to stop them: pretend to be in a relationship with his sister’s best friend, Arden Pearson. But when what started as an act begins to shift into something more, it might take a village to convince Wade that Arden’s his perfect match.

We are excited to announce that CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN is currently on sale for only $0.99! Don’t miss out on this flirty, fun contemporary read and snag your copy today! Be sure to enter the giveaway to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice)!

Rafflecopter for Catch Him If You Can Sale Alert Book Blast Giveaway:

Jennifer is offering one lucky winner a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card (winner’s choice)! To enter for your chance to win, please fill out the Rafflecopter link below:

Direct link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29605

About Catch Him If You Can:

Title: Catch Him If You Can

Author: Jennifer Shirk

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 13, 2018

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Series: Accidentally Yours

Format: Digital eBook

Digital ISBN: 9781640636156

Synopsis:

Veterinarian Wade Roberts is done with love. But try convincing the elderly folk of Cape Harmony who are determined to play matchmaker. Now the young single women in town are bombarding him with baked goods and love notes, and being “taken” is the only way to stop the meddling grannies—which is why he needs a fake fiancée. Fast.

Arden Pearson loves planning weddings. Other people’s weddings, that is. After her own engagement ended in disaster, she prefers to live vicariously through her work. But when she needs to persuade a big client that she’s capable of planning the celebrity wedding of the year, she’s willing to go as far as pretending to be engaged herself to her best friend’s older brother.

Soon their ruse has everyone in town believing they make the perfect couple—including Arden. She’s always been nothing more than a kid sister to Wade, and it might take a village to convince him otherwise…

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

!!!!NOW ON SALE FOR $0.99 thru January 21, 2019!!!!

Available:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

Excerpt:

Copyright© 2018 Catch Him If You Can

Jennifer Shirk

He threw Arden a tight smile, hoping she’d get the hint and play along. “Yes, because I’m dating Arden here. We’ve been waiting to finally make it official in town.” He gave Arden’s shoulder an extra squeeze when her mouth dropped open. “Didn’t want to tell people too soon. You know, in case it didn’t work out. But I think we can finally come clean, don’t you agree, honey?”

Arden slowly blinked her ocean-blue eyes up at him as if coming out of a yearlong coma. “Uh, right…babycakes.”

Babycakes? Seriously? That’s the first nickname she could think of?

Wade’s smile was frozen in place as he turned back to Judy. “See?”

Judy pushed her dark-framed glasses up her nose, then laid a hand on her heart. “Oh my. This is such wonderful news! Better than I’d hoped. I knew something was going on between you two.”

You did?” they both asked. He and Arden regarded each other. She seemed as confused as he felt.

Judy nodded. “Yep. I’m an expert on true love. Been married sixty years next month,” she said proudly.

“That must be why you’re so good at matchmaking,” he lied. “Sorry to take your work out from under you like this.”

She blushed and waved his comment away. “You’re too sweet. But the girls and I just wanted to see you happy for a change now that Kinsley was settled.”

Happy for a change? Was he really that miserable looking?

Arden cleared her throat, nudging him in the side with her knuckle. Ow. The woman had steel for bones.

“Babycakes,” Arden said between her teeth, slyly poking him again, “I really need to buy my coffee and get going. I have an appointment this afternoon to prepare for.”

“Oh right. I forgot. Well, you know your money’s no good when you’re with me, honey,” he said, winking at Judy. “Order what you like. I’ve got it.”

Arden smiled up at him sweetly before ordering. “Two regular macchiatos—no, make that grande macchiatos, a bag of regular ground coffee, and four gingerbread muffins. Oh, and you might as well throw in a couple of those ham paninis. It’s almost lunch time after all.”

Wade narrowed his eyes. “Two coffees, a bag of coffee, four muffins, and a couple of paninis, honey?”

“Yes, babycakes,” she said with an innocent smile. “I’ve been so very hungry lately. Gee, I hope I’m not eating for two.” When she gingerly pressed a hand on her belly, he choked.

“Uh, she’s kidding,” he told Judy, handing her the money. “That’s what I love about her.” He gave Arden a sidelong glare. “She’s so much fun to be around.”

Fun as a rabid rottweiler.

Judy winked as she gave him back his change. “Trying to one-up Kinsley with a baby, huh?”

He shook his head. “No. There’s no baby.”

“Yet,” Arden chimed in.

Wade gritted his teeth. At that very moment he wasn’t sure who he was more annoyed with: his nosy personal matchmaker or his sassy, fake, almost-pregnant girlfriend.

One of Judy’s staff came over to the counter and handed Arden her bag of food and take-out tray of coffees. “Thanks so much,” Arden said. She gave Wade a wide grin. “And thank you, baby lips.”

It’s babycakes. Couldn’t she even keep the nickname straight? She was a terrible fake girlfriend.

Judy chuckled. “You two are so cute together.”

Wade harrumphed as he watched Arden sashay to a side table for napkins. “See you later, Judy.” He pointed a finger at her before turning away. “Remember, no more matchmaking. Arden is very jealous.”

“Oh, of course.” The older woman folded her hands and seemed insulted. “I wouldn’t think of it now.”

Halleluiah. He was almost sure he heard angels singing, and hoped what Judy said was true. No more matchmaking. No more women. No more gifts. And if it were true, he needed to ensure pronto that his newfound-fake girlfriend didn’t blow his cover. He glanced around, and when he saw Arden had left, rushed out the door to catch up with her.

Other Books in the Accidentally Yours series:

Bargaining with the Boss (Accidentally Yours #1)

Kinsley just wanted to have some fun for a change. Then she wakes up in a stranger’s bed, with her bridesmaid dress on backward and a hazy memory of what happened at her friend’s wedding. With a quick escape, she can get back to her predictable life. But then she meets her new boss—the same guy she’d woken up next to—and seeing him with a clear head doesn’t make him any less attractive.

Mixing business with pleasure has never been Damon’s style, and easily avoided, but the hotel he just bought comes with an unexpected perk—its manager. “Sensible” Kinsley today is as alluring as “impulsive” Kinsley was the night before, and she talks him into a deal. If she can turn around the hotel by the end of summer, he won’t tear it down to put up a more profitable condominiums.

Their plan is simple…until falling for each other becomes more than they bargained for.

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

About Jennifer Shirk:

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Montlake Romance and Entangled Publishing. Her novel, FIANCE BY FATE—a 2015 Readers’ Crown Finalist—became an Amazon #1 best seller for Series Romance. And recently, Wrong Brother, Right Match, WON the Sweet Traditional category of the 2017 Golden Quill Contest and became a #1 Amazon bestseller for Holiday Romance.

She resides in a beach resort in NJ, so when she’s not writing or working on her tan, she’s taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter and puppy (Sox).

Check out her website for News and Links: www.jennifershirk.com

And don’t forget to join her mailing list for a chance to win monthly giveaways and free ARCs: eepurl.com/Q6TH1

Connect with Jennifer:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub

What’s in A Name by Sally Cronin #Anthology #BookReview @sgc58


There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow. 

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

I am one of those people who has led an eclectic life. My father was in the Royal Navy so we lived abroad several times and I only really settled down in the UK at age 14. My education suffered a little from switching between seven schools in different countries but I now have a repertoire of swear words second to none!

I trained as a secretary as my parents felt that my dream to be an actress and music diva was probably a little unrealistic!  I started well in my first job but a pregnant chair side assistant who developed a phobia to blood meant that I had to step into the shoes of dental nurse, a career I enjoyed before moving to the hospitality industry.

This resulted in me meeting my husband (known as room 40) nine years later and we had a whirlwind courtship over five weeks and married 36 years ago. We still have the whirlwind courtship moving over several continents to reach the final outpost here in on the East Coast of Ireland in a small harbour called Courtown. Luckily with the Worldwide Web it is still possible from this terrific place to keep in touch with all the amazing people we have met off and online.

I have spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Hospitality, Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, radio and television and had a blast. I love learning new skills and eventually I might even master WordPress!

I have written short stories and poetry since a very young age and when I went ‘Indie’ in 1998 I combined my retraining as a Nutritional Therapist with this love of writing with my first book. I also began contributing columns in the media in the UK and Spain and my own monthly newsletter.

My first health book  was Size Matters which told the story of my journey from a very overweight 24 stone – 330lbs to a slimmish and healthier individual.

Over the last 18 years this love of writing has developed into another eleven titles, my blog and also into Indie Publishing in 2004.

Some of my printed books are available from me directly but here are the books that you can buy from Amazon in E-book.

Over the last 13 years I have managed to fit radio and Internet television both in front of the microphone and camera and behind in a producing and directing role.  So whilst I never became the UK Esther Williams I did get to perform without getting too waterlogged.

You can find more reviews and follow me on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Social Media connections.
I would love to connect with you on other sites too and here are my links.

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

Books
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/author/sallycroninbooks

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin or you can buy safely direct from my own selling pages.

If you would like to talk to me about guest blogging or to participate in any of the FREE book promotions you can find details at this link.I

Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

My Review

I’ve long been a fan of Sally Cronin’s wonderful blog, Smorgasbord, and was excited to read her books. What’s in A Name, much like the author, is filled with stories to inspire, make us think, and for me, shows the fundamental strength and support of family.

Each story in this anthology stands on its own merits. Some are sweet, others sad, and some, like Clive, deeply touched my heart.

Life can take many twists and turns, no matter where you live, but we all share a common thread- Love.

I give What’s in A Name 5 lovely kisses- It’s like a cozy blanket for your heart!

Just in time for the #Holiday #Reading Crowd! Wounded Hearts is #Free


Join the men and women of Tidal Falls as they learn love can conquer any odds

Adventure Romance Super Bundle.
Four action-adventure romance stories set in the quaint little town of Tidal Falls, Washington, where all is not what it seems.

Tidal Falls:
Nick Kelley spent years working as a dog handler in the U.S. Marine Corps. His sole focus, to keep his team alive in the midst of chaos. When he fails to notice an IED in time and loses most of his teammates, Nick shuts down. It takes meeting and falling in love with a woman in danger to make him realize life’s worth living.

The Rebel’s Redemption:
Jared Martin left Tidal Falls a hotheaded youth. Eight years in the military has turned him into a cynical, disillusioned man. 
Then he returns home to find out he’s a father. 

When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew? 

Or will it be too late for them to have a second chance?

Twilight’s Encore:
 Ty Garrett fell in love with Katy Fowler from the moment they’d met. When her father’s betrayal yanks the young couple apart, Ty becomes bitter.
 After a decade away, Katy returns to Tidal Falls with plans to get married in her family’s theatre. But she hadn’t expected to run into Ty Garrett, the boy she’d never forgotten. 
 When a series of sabotages wreak havoc on the theatre and danger threatens
Katy’s life, can Ty save her and win back her love, or is it too late for
these star-crossed lovers?

The Sheriff Meets His Match:
Jack Garrett has been stung by love in the past, but he can’t deny his attraction to the new receptionist, Laurel Thomas.
When trouble comes to Tidal Falls, Jack worries that Laurel Thomas is in over her head.
Laurel loves her dysfunctional family, but dreams of a place to call home. Just as she settles into a new life, her old one catches up to her and delivers chaos to the town.
Can these two strong personalities find a way to trust in each other enough to give love a second chance?

Fall in love with your next book boyfriend! 

A truly enjoyable box set. With each novel, more is learned about the citizens of Tidal Falls and they become more and more like friends.

Enjoy the first four books in the “Wounded Hearts” series…then go reach for book 5.
(ajk) avid reader

Excerpt from The Rebel’s Redemption

Jared’s world narrowed down to the little black barrel of the gun pointed at his chest. Funny, in all the years of being in the SEAL teams he’d never been in this situation. Not to say he hadn’t dodged his share of bullets. It’s just they’d always erupted like a hailstorm, out of nowhere. This was somewhere. The back alley of his mother’s freaking café in freaking America to be exact. What the hell?

If he wasn’t so pissed off at himself for getting into this situation, he might have laughed. Eight years overseas off and on, and he was going to get shot in his own backyard. How’s that for ironic?

“Look man, why don’t we talk about this?” Jared forced his gaze to focus on Sergei’s steely gaze instead of the muzzle of the semi-automatic.

“The time for talk is past,” the Russian said. “You ignored my advice and instead made a fool out of me with that stupid trick you performed.”

“Advice? You call beating the livin’ shit out of me, advice?” Jared ground his teeth together, and fought to keep a level tone. “You can’t blame a guy for wanting to retaliate.” A crash by the garbage caused both men to crouch into a fight stance. A tabby cat raced away. Jared straightened, his heart knocking against his ribcage, as desperate to escape this mess as the animal. He needed to defuse the situation before someone came upon them; please God not his mom.

“Okay, you’re right. I shouldn’t have set off alarms or caused those slots to pay out. But seriously dude, you can’t go around acting all KGB, we’re in the good old USA now.” Jared kept a careful eye on the guy’s trigger finger and cursed his loose tongue. What part of defuse couldn’t he figure out?

Sergei tipped his felt hat back on his bald head like an old time gunslinger. His hand holding the gun never wavered. “You have big mouth.”

Yeah, I’ve heard that a time or ten.

“Why don’t we handle this like two adults? I’ll call your boss, tell him I screwed up and it’ll never happen again…” There was no doubt on that, if he ever went near a casino again he’d kick his own ass. “And then you can go back to ruling your little kingdom far, far, away.”

Click.

The sound of the hammer cocking reverberated with frightening clarity in the small alley. There wasn’t even anywhere for him to take cover. The garbage can was at least ten feet away. Jared’s jaw cramped from the tension. His skin crawled as if overrun with fire ants. Where was his team when he needed them?

He’d just decided the only alternative was to rush the son-of-a-bitch when the alley erupted with the screams and laughter of children. Two kids rounded the corner at full speed on pedal bikes, racing each other to an imaginary finish line.

Fuck.

Sergei seized the opportunity, stepped between the bicycles and scooped the kids off their seats. The bikes, wheels still turning, fell to the ground in front of him creating a barrier. The kids—God, it was Chris and little Jessica—shrieked until Sergei shook them, then they froze, eyes wide and frightened, hanging under his arms like rag dolls.

“Let them go, you motherfu…” Jared’s voice came out low and lethal. Every muscle in his body prepared itself for the moment of attack. His breathing slowed until he could count each heartbeat as the blood coursed through his veins. Waiting. Watching.

Barnikov laughed. Laughed. The prick.

“Now it my turn to play game.” Jared made a slight move and Sergei’s smile flat-lined. He dropped Jessica to the ground in front of him but kept his forearm wrapped around her neck. The gun nestled the side of her head pointed straight at Chris dangling from his other arm. “Move and I shoot.” He shuffled the trio back towards the mouth of the alley. “We’ll talk again, my friend.”

And then he disappeared around the corner, leaving nothing but the slowly turning tire on a bike, and Jared’s heart as it shattered.

Celebrate your love of Sweet & Mild Christmas Romances with @BookSweeps and enter to win more than 25+ – PLUS receive a collection of FREE reads! bit.ly/Sweetmildxmasrom-dec2018 📚 #books #amreading


I have a fun surprise I’d like to share with you.

I’ve teamed up with 25+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Sweet & Mild Christmas Romances to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner!

Oh, and did I mention you’ll receive a collection of FREE reads just for entering? 😁

You can win my novel Mistletoe Inn, plus books from authors like Bree Wolf, Erica Ridley, and more.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 bit.ly/Sweetmildxmasrom-dec2018

Good luck and enjoy!

Jacquie Biggar

In Servitude by Heleen Kist #Thriller #BookLove @HKist


Inservitude

I thrilled to share this gorgeous book today! In Servitude by Heleen Kist, has been blowing readers away in Europe since it’s release and now is taking North America by storm! Today I will be sharing an exclusive excerpt, and inviting you to enter an international giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of this exciting thriller! In Servitude is also available for review through R&R Book Tours. Find out how you can get a copy below! InServitude_HeleenKist_Cover_.jpgIn Servitude Recently voted Top 50 Best Indie of 2018 on Read Free.ly Publication Date: August 23, 2018 Genre: Thriller/ Suspense/ Mystery Do you owe your family your life? Grace thought her sister led a charmed existence. She was wrong. Now she has to pay the price. When Grace’s beloved sister Glory dies in a car crash, her carefully planned life spirals out of control. She discovers Glory had been manipulated into illegal activities at her trendy vegan café. What’s worse, Grace finds herself an unwitting accomplice now forced to take over her sister’s shady dealings. Determined to keep her fingers clean and protect those Glory left behind, Grace plots to escape the clutches of Glasgow’s criminal underworld. But her moral certainty is challenged when more family secrets emerge and her sister’s past intentions remain unclear. Grace grows convinced Glory was murdered. Why won’t anyone listen? Seeking justice, she finds betrayal… Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

inservitude_heleenkist_cover_1.jpg

Blue pulled at the lead. I let him off once I’d scanned the area and noted no loose dogs. Only a lone figure loitering. His eye line crossed mine as he also examined the park, and paused on me long enough to raise a creepy sensation. I moved to a bench by the play park and pretended to tie my laces. When I straightened up, the man was striding straight towards me. I searched for Blue, hoping for a semblance of protection, but he was nowhere to be seen. Nor was anyone else. Before I could stop him, the man sat down next to me. He whistled and shouted, ‘Here boy!’ then faced me with a disturbing grin. As if he knew the dog wouldn’t come. I jumped to my feet and looked around. What had he done? On the second blow of silent air through my dry mouth, Blue appeared from behind a tree thirty yard away. Safe. He showed no interest in me or the man, instead sniffing out the ground’s many treasures. I turned back to the intruder. Standing over him gave me an edge—at least I thought it did—and I raised my chin and my voice when I asked, ‘Do I know you?’ He chuckled. ‘Nah, hen. I’m only the messenger.’ ‘What?’ His smile faded. ‘We’re not very happy about you closing the café for so long. You need to open up again. There’s a delivery coming on Thursday.’ ‘What do you mean? How do you—’ His eyes turned to ice as he grabbed my wrist in a flash. ‘We’ll be very disappointed if you’re not there to receive the goods. Ken what I’m saying?’ He rushed off, his dark coat billowing behind him like a cape, almost engulfing Blue who circled his legs, tail wagging, until he turned towards the road.
For a limited time, In Servitude will be on sale, so be sure to download your copy today! Amazon US only 2.99 Amazon CA only 3.99 Amazon UK only 1.99 Europe only 2.99 Paperback also available Barnes & Noble & other outlets! About the Author InServitude_HeleenKist_Author Heleen Kist is a Dutch businesswoman who lived all over the world while growing up and for her career. Then she fell in love with a Scotsman and his country, and now writes about its (sometimes scary) people from her garden office in Glasgow. She was selected as an ‘up and coming new writer’ and awarded a Spotlight at Bloody Scotland 2018, the International crime writing festival. Her debut psychological suspense novel ‘In Servitude’ was inspired by Heleen’s expertise in small business finance mixed with her friend’s courageous idea to open a vegan cafe in a city renowned for its dubious diet. She is currently working on her next book, which will be dark women’s fiction.

Heleen Kist | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

2 paperback copies of In Servitude by Heleen Kist are up for grabs!!! *International Giveaway Winners will be selected at random on 23 December and notified personally, only your initials will be used in the winner’s announcement.

Enter Here!

Book Blitz Organized By: R&RButto200x200 R&R Book Tours

True love and the truth are often at odds… The Changeup by @MaryBilliter #Mystery #Bookish @itsybitsybkbits


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Changeup (A Resort Romance Novel Book 6) by Mary Billiter

BUY NOW – https://amzn.to/2NVa3mR
#Standalone #AResortRomanceNovel #TheChangeup
Hosted by Itsy Bitsy Book Bits
Genre – Women’s Detective/Romantic Mystery
Page Count – 253 Pages
Illustrator – Claire Smith
Publisher – Hot Tree Publishing
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40981649-the-changeup

A hot deputy, a woman in hiding, and a murder that changes it all. True love and the truth are often at odds in Mary Billiter’s latest installment in her resort romance series.

The Feds changed her name, occupation, and location, but Cupid and crime still found her. Both Witness Protection and her position as a hotel conference services manager require Rebel Roberts to maintain a low profile. But when she finds herself at the center of high crime and high romance at the high-rise Point Resort in Long Beach, even the best-laid plans are subject to change.

Former college baseball pitcher Ryan McHenry plans on becoming a deputy sheriff like his late uncle. But when Rebel literally stumbles on a dead body by her hotel, helping her change the narrative may throw a curve in his career plans.

Can Rebel and Ryan find true love and happiness with so many lies between them?

~ AMAZON US ~

~ AMAZON UK ~

~ AMAZON CA ~

~ AMAZON AU ~

~ KOBO ~

~ ITUNES ~

~ NOOK ~

 

Author Mary Billiter followed in the footsteps of her father, an award-winning journalist, by earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from California State University at Northridge. She earned her Master of Arts degree in Adult and Post-Secondary Education at the University of Wyoming.

Mary teaches fiction writing courses through the Life Enrichment program at Laramie County Community College. When school’s out, Mary can be found on a bike discovering new trails with her husband and children.

Mary resides in the Cowboy State with her unabashedly bald husband, Ron Gullberg, her four amazing children, two fantastic step-kids, and their runaway dog. She does her best writing (in her head) on her daily runs in wild, romantic, beautiful Wyoming.

~ WEBSITE ~ TWITTER ~

WEBSITE ~ FACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ PINTEREST ~ YOUTUBE ~ INSTAGRAM~ FACEBOOK GROUP

 

New Releases and Giveaways too!! ☕❄☕🎉 #Reading #Romance #AuthorsHelpingAuthors


close up photography of white cat besides christmas lights
Photo by Eftodii Aurelia on Pexels.com

 

One Month Until Christmas!

I happened to glance at the calendar today and almost had a heart attack; Christmas will be here before I know it!
I’m so ill-prepared this year. Normally, I begin shopping as early as June (I know :)) but I hate trying to come up with ideas at the last minute. There’s nothing worse than spending hard-earned cash on a gift you just know is going to end up in a corner or under a bed somewhere, right?
I considered going the gift card route- easy, safe- but my daughter would probably disown me, lol.
So this is what I’m going to do:
Tell me your best gift ideas ( not too expensive- struggling writer here! ) and I’ll choose three of the best to receive $10 Amazon gift cards, winner determined in next month’s holiday update post.
Good luck!

PS. Follow me on Bookbub and see which books I recommend!

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Unforgettable Thrills

It’s Release week!
Get captivated by Unforgettable Thrills, a bundled set of saucy, mind-blowing suspense stories of Passion and Power that will stoke your desire, build a hunger for thrills, and then feed you with a banquet of romantic delights you hope will never end. Our strong, savvy heroines conquer overwhelming odds with their ingenuity and skills – their protective heroes bringing pleasure beyond expectations. This unsurpassable mix by NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors will have you cheering alongside them as they triumph over life’s challenges.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JMHB9ZW

International: http://books2read.com/UnforgettableThrills

 

 

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A Holiday Romance Novella

Mistletoe Inn- Available December 3, 2018

One of my favorite childhood books was about a lonely man trapped in a beast’s body who meets and falls in love with a beautiful woman, but feels unworthy of her heart.
Of course, this is the story of Beauty and The Beast, a classic that has been retold many times over the years.
Mistletoe Inn is my version of this tale, I hope you’ll enjoy this sweet and heartwarming story.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HY69RPL

International link: http://books2read.com/MistletoeInn

TBR List- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42204464-mistletoe-inn

 

 

CoversSellBooksImage

On Sale Today!
Silver Bells

Will a Christmas wish give a lonely author a family?

Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.

Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that is her landlord, Joel Carpenter.

Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants most?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N58D23M

http://books2read.com/Silver-Bells

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31345617-silver-bells

 

GIVEAWAYS

Find a Comfy Spot and Fall in Love with these Great Books and enter our giveaways!

RomanceByFirelightGiveaway

November 05-25
ROMANCE BY FIRELIGHT GIVEAWAY

Enter for Your Chance to Win Nov 5-25!!
https://bookwrapt.com/romance-by-firelight-giveaway/

Whether staring up at the stars or lounging on a soft, furry rug in front of a hearth, nothing is more romantic than snuggle-time beside a roaring fire. Join us for a celebratory giveaway of the season. You could win a Kindle Fire, ebook prize pack, or Amazon gift card!

https://bookwrapt.com/romance-firelight-book-fair/
Enjoy every minute of fall’s romantic days and nights with our page full of discount books. Over 40 titles, every one of them 2.99 or less, plus don’t miss out on the FREE Shortie Download and bonus giveaway!

 

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November 01-30
Authors’ Billboard November Contest

2 X $10 Amazon Gift Card Special Giveaways
Plus…The Billionaire Werewolf’s Princess by Michelle Hauf
The Lake House Secret by Debra Burroughs
3 free box collections the winners can choose from the Authors Billboard Books!

Enter Here

 

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Love Audio Books?

Start Listening Today

Haven’t joined the latest craze yet? Join here and get a free book!- https://www.audible.com/pd/B0799XFY23/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-106676&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_106676_rh_us

And check out my other #audiobooks here: https://www.audible.com/author/Jacquie-Biggar/B00MSIJQBG

 

 

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Review Team

Are you an avid reader? Would you like to be a member of my Reader Team? You would get advance copies of each book before it is released, with a chance to be first to leave a review.
There’s still room!
Email me at the address below with the topic – Reader Team.
Reader Team

 

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Sharing is Caring

Here’s a sample of new releases and deals from my friends. Just click a cover to learn more, enjoy!

On Sale Today!
Just .99 Pennies!

 

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Whispers of Winter: A Limited Edition Collection of Winter Romances
Winter may be rolling in, but that doesn’t mean your days and nights must be cold.

 

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The Pam of Babylon Boxed Set: A Contemporary Romance Series
At last, the bestselling series starter collection! Contains the first five full-length novels plus two additional stories!

 

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New Release
Tales From the Irish Garden by Sally Cronin
The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.

 

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New Release
Atonement in Bloom by Teagan Geneviene
“Atonement in Bloom” continues the urban fantasy from the point where “Atonement, Tennessee” ended.

 

See you next month!

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Shop the ROMANCE by FIRELIGHT BOOK FAIR! Books on sale in every romance genre, plus Amazon gift card giveaway! November 5-25. https://goo.gl/ShwFbv #bookwrapt


ROMANCE by FIRELIGHT

All-Genres Romance Giveaway

November 5-25

 

RomanceByFirelightGiveaway

Kindle Fire 7 • Ebook Prize Packs • Amazon Gift Cards

 

https://bookwrapt.com/romance-by-firelight-giveaway/

Whether staring up at the stars or lounging on a soft, furry rug in front of a hearth, nothing is more romantic than snuggle-time beside a roaring fire. Join us for a celebratory giveaway of the season. You could win a Kindle Fire, ebook prize pack, or Amazon gift card!

 

https://bookwrapt.com/romance-firelight-book-fair/

 

Enjoy every minute of fall’s romantic days and nights with our page full of discount ebooks. Over 40 titles, every one of them 2.99 or less, plus don’t miss out on the FREE Shortie Download and bonus giveaway!

 

(This giveaway is sponsored by the 45 authors listed below)

 

Allie Hayden • Amanda Uhl • Ashlee Price • Aubrey Wynne • Carrie Whitethorne • Constance Bretes • Crystal Dawn • Debbie White • Elizabeth Sa Fleur • Fiona Murphy • Gemma Snow • Holly Cortelyou • Honey Phillips • Jacqueline Diamond • Jacquie Biggar • JC Andrijeski • Jennifer Wilck • Jordyn White • Josie Riviera • Karyn Gerrard • Laura A. Barnes • Laura Ashwood • Leigh LaValle • Linda Mooney • Liz Durano • Lucy Lakestone • Maria Geraci • Marilyn Peake • Melissa Belle • Mona Sedrak • Nina Crespo • S.L. Sterling • Shaniel Watson • Simone Leigh • Soraya Naomi • Stacy Gold • Stephanie Queen • Suzanne Jenkins • Tabitha Barret • Tena Stetler • Tracey Cramer-Kelly • Victoria Grant • Zoe Dawson • Zoey Gong • Aileen Harkwood

Maggie’s Revenge by Jacquie Biggar #Suspense #Read #mgtab


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DEA Special Agent Maggie Holt is fierce, smart, beautiful– and in over her head.

 

Maggie has been working undercover 15 months when she is taken by Chinese-Mexican cartel leader, Chenglei. She tries to escape with 8 other women and is captured and brutally punished.

Adam O’Connor is angry and frustrated. It’s his fault his partner, and one-time lover, is missing and no matter how many leads he chases, they don’t bring Maggie home.

An unexpected break in the case sends Adam south to Texas. His old SEAL Team Chief, Frank Stein, offers his home and his help in the search effort.

Will these two strong men find Maggie? And will their decades old friendship be destroyed by their love for the same woman?

Read the exciting continuation of the Wounded Hearts Saga today!

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Free for a limited time!

http://a.co/9pcFOF1

International Link: books2read.com/MaggiesRevenge

Add to TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36604203-maggie-s-revenge

Excerpt

The sky had shed its drab gray coat and donned one of sparkling midnight velvet by the time Adam awoke. A warm weight lay on his shoulder and across his thighs. He glanced sideways at Amanda and smiled. She snored. Something he could hold over her head at a later date, perhaps? Speaking of which—he carefully moved her hand from his lap—an inch closer and she could have grabbed hold of his…

He cleared his throat and she moaned in her sleep, turned away, and cuddled up to his jacket in the corner. Lucky coat. Why did all his thoughts circle around to sex with her? He straightened in his seat and met Frank’s amused eyes in the rear-view mirror.

“What?” he growled under his breath, irritated at his libido, and at Frank for noticing.

“Almost there,” was all he said, lowering the window a third allowing the cool desert air to filter into the car.

Amanda sat up in a rush. “What happened? Where are we?” Her gaze landed on Adam, then blinked away as though she too felt the chemistry between them.

Get over yourself, O’Connor.

“We’re nearing the extraction point,” he answered her, scraping a hand over his stubbled chin.

“Oh.” She made an effort to straighten her clothes and sweep her hair into its usual knot, but it was having none of it tonight. “Okay, good. Do we have a plan then?”

Adam was surprised she was allowing their input. At the office Amanda was known as a hardliner. She gave the orders and her agents followed them, or else. He wasn’t used to this softer, less certain version of his dragon boss.

“Find the drop zone, check the area for enemies, and rescue our operative. Should be a breeze, right, Chief?” He felt more than saw Amanda stiffen beside him. Good, they were back to being frenemies, much safer for both of them.

 

 

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The Calloways of Rainbow Bayou. A small-town contemporary #romance series by @LiviaQuinn #reading


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The Calloways of Rainbow Bayou. A small-town contemporary romance series.

Get buy links for all books and retailers here https://bit.ly/2PqkaRW

 

“I have to say this is one of the best written stories I’ve read in a while. I loved the way this was written and the story it tells…I can NOT give this book enough praise.“ The Naughty Librarian

“If you’re looking for a good romance with dashes of humor, military and living out your dreams, pick up this book! There’s one surprise that will endear you to Buffy, as it did me. Another gem by Livia Quinn!” NNLightsBookHeaven

 

The first three books release this month and until September 17th you can get books 1-6 at just #99. After that, the rest will be #99cents during preorder until their release dates.

 

Rainbow Bayou is home to the Calloways and Larues, a large family of military servicemen and women who are heroes at their core and steadfast in their loyalty to their family, community and country. If you love heartfelt small town romance series with plenty of emotion and humor, try Livia’s contemporary romance series. Though the books are standalones, many characters reappear and their stories progress throughout the series so some readers may prefer to read them in order.

 

When the Right One Comes Along (Ridge and Buffy, book 1) Former Army Ranger, now billionaire CEO is on a mission for vets. He meets Buffy under very unusual circumstances which complicates and threaten that mission and their relationship. The Calloways have always know when the right comes along but will Buffy be the exception?

 

Too Good to Be True. (Luc and Delilah, book 2) Former Naval officer, Luc Larue left the service to open a teen center to help disadvantaged teens in his hometown. But when tough cop, Delilah Burke, discovers Luc in his mercenary “uniform” at a crime scene, she’s undeniably attracted to the sexy hero. But is he too good to be true?

 

Only the Heart Remembers (Nick and Brenna, book 3) Brenna McLaren has a really bad feeling, is it the approaching tropical storm? Nope. When a stranger attempts to break in to her cabin she whacks him with a fireplace shovel and he awakens thinking they are a couple. But as their relationship grows, images from his past begin to surface and danger threatens their future together.

 

Christmas Wishes (the holiday get together, book 4). Miracles and second chances happen for Beau and Maddie, Jed and Sam, Del and Luc and Buffy and Ridge. Join in the festivities and get a taste of upcoming books.

 

At Long Last Love (Beau and Maddie, book 5) Madison Hart has been in love with Beau for most of her life. When he comes home from unexpectedly, Maddie’s traitorous heart leaps at the thought of a second chance. But an accident on Beau’s Hollywood movie set has sent him home a changed man, in more ways than one. Maddie makes a sacrifice that pushes Beau even farther away. Will her love be strong enough for both of them?

 

It Had to Be You (Jed and Sam, book 6) When Jed started dating Samantha Larue he knew she was pregnant and still he found her wildly attractive, but when their relationship turns more serious, Jed broke it off saying he’d sworn off marriage and kids after an abusive childhood. Then six months ago, he delivered Sam’s baby and now, every time he sees little Nina he wonders if he made a mistake. New developments from Jed’s past turn his long-held ideas upside down. When Sam is threatened and her secret is exposed, can he convince her to give him a second chance?

 

Livia Quinn is a DC native transplanted to the wilds of the Louisiana bayou. She’s protected from the alligators, bears and snakes by her husband and their Cajun husky (Pom), Dusty.

 

Connect with her in your preferred method.

Books2read author page https://bit.ly/2PqkaRW

Website: http://liviaquinn.com

Blog https:liviaquinnwrites.blogspot.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter    http://twitter.com/liviaquinn

Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/livia-quinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Goodreads http://bit.ly/22VXuev

Amazon Author page http://amazon.com/author/liviaquinn

Google+ http://bit.ly/2guNZn9

Instagram http://instagram.com/liviaquinnauthor

Livia Quinn Readers Group http://bit.ly/2gBFQ12

Newsletter http://bit.ly/2J35skU  

Celebrating a #CoverReveal with a #Free day! #mgtab


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Celebrating a New Cover!

 

If you’re an indie author, like me, you know there’s a lot more to creating a successful marketing plan than writing the book. While an engrossing story is important, it doesn’t do you any good if no one knows about it.

Editing, beta reading and critique groups are a good start and a necessary set of steps in order to make your book baby look the best it can (on the inside.)

But what do you do after that?

 

GET A PROFESSIONAL COVER ARTIST!

 

I can’t say how many times I’ve been turned off of what could have been an award-winning story because of a weak cover.

One of the first things any potential buyer is drawn to, whether online, a library, or in a brick and mortar store is a standout cover. It is critically important that YOU, as a hard-working writer, DO NOT skip this important marketing step.

Okay, you have your masterpiece and the perfect frame for it, now what?

I recommend creating 5-6 memes that you can switch out in your social media posts. Try Canva or Covers Sell Books, both are great. Yes, you need to play nice on Facebook and Twitter 🙂

Seriously though, having a strong social media presence is crucial if you want to get the word out about your books.

Next, set up a newsletter–you’ve been building up subscribers at the same time you’re building SM contacts, right? :)–and send it out with the big news. It’s recommended not to push your sales, so take the time to be personable. Your followers want to know you, share a piece of you and they will respond, trust me!

We’re doing great!

Books are selling, reviews are trickling in, but then as time goes by the initial excitement wanes, now what?

 

 

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Placing your book on sale is a good marketing strategy. Not only do you regenerate interest in the product you’re promoting, but it often gains you readers for the rest of your backlist, as well.

Again, this is where your growing social media connections can count. Rather than shoving the sale in their faces though, use those pretty memes you made and share them on Twitter and Facebook group pages in your chosen genre.

I also like to book professional sites to share my sale, such as ereader News Today, Book Gorilla, and ebook Discovery, to name a few. Just make sure to decide on a budget beforehand, and stick to it. Keep in mind that while on the dace of it, your sale book may not pay out the cost of the fees, subsequent sales on all your books will continue for days or weeks after as your name moves up in Amazon (or other retailers) algorithms.

Another choice you can make is upgrading to a new cover. Maybe, for whatever reason, the old cover isn’t doing its job of catching the attention of new readers. This is a guessing game, of course, but sometimes a cover with brighter colors, or a stronger image can make all the difference.

I’ve decided to take that course of action with my 1950’s murder mystery, Missing: The Lady Said No. The title was clunky, so I dropped the Missing and added An Augustus Grant Mystery subtitle to define the series.

The original cover was dark and moody, and didn’t explain the era as well as I wanted it to.

 

Missing The Lady Said No eBook

 

The new cover is flashy, using a bright, bold color palette and an eye-catching image that does a much better job of hinting at the genre and storyline.

What do you think?

 

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In celebration of this cover, which I love, The Lady Said No is Free one day only, Saturday, Sept, 1st.

Get your copy here!

 
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