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

Life and Other Inconveniences by @Kristan_Higgins #BookReview #WomensFic


From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. 

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?

Biography

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. She is a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for Best Work of Fiction, and her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year of many prestigious journals and review sites. If you want to keep up with Kristan’s new releases and get a free short story, sign up for her mailing list at http://www.kristanhiggins.com.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two long-lashed children, a couple of frisky rescue dogs and an occasionally friendly cat.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My Review

Emma London hasn’t had it easy. Her mother committed suicide when she was eight and her father dumped her on a grandmother who was the antithesis of sweet and kind-hearted.

At eighteen, Emma became pregnant. When she refused to give up the child, her grandmother kicked her out. Emma had to dig deep for her London strength and pride to get through the next few years- thank God for Pops. Her mother’s father took her and baby Riley in and the three of them formed a tight family unit.

Everything changed with one fateful phone call– Genevieve London (Emma’s perfect patrician grandmother) was dying.

Though it goes against Emma’s instincts, she packs up Riley and they go to Gigi’s aid, only to find she’s as judgmental and rude as ever. Tempted to leave her to die by herself, it takes along time before Emma finds it in her heart to understand the woman who had such a strong influence on her life.

Favorite Lines:

You never realize it until you’re pregnant, or holding your baby in your arms, but your heart, soul and peace of mind will never be yours again. The tiny hijackers take over before they draw their first breaths, and you would do anything to keep them safe. Anything.

Higgins, Kristan. Life and Other Inconveniences (p. 7). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Parenting isn’t always a peachy-colored glow. Half the time, it’s just showing up and doing your best.

Higgins, Kristan. Life and Other Inconveniences (p. 393). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Family ties aren’t always easy, but they play an integral part in the person you become. Kristan does a beautiful job creating a tough, yet vulnerable matriarch in Genevieve and a supporting cast of characters who are sure to steal your heart (even Mac- you’ll have to read the story to see what I mean 🙂 )

I give Life and Other Inconveniences 5+ lovely kisses- My favorite kind of read; #FamilyFirst

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Till There Was You by @MarieForce #NewRelease #Romance @InkSlingerPR


Today we are celebrating the release of TILL THERE WAS YOU, a contemporary romance title that is part of the bestselling Green Mountain/Butler, Vermont series by Marie Force. Check out the purchase links below.

 

Till There Was You by Marie Force

Available Now!


Book Blurb:

 

Being an adult has its advantages…

Lucas Abbott and his identical twin grew up sharing everything—including a reputation for funny, idiotic behavior. But now that Lucas is ready to shed that lovable-idiot image, grow up and have a real, adult relationship, the joke’s on him. He and his twin have fallen for the same woman.

Crushed and hoping a few days on the slopes will work out his frustrations, he heads for Stowe, Vermont. All thought of fun and relaxation flies away as a car spins out in a snowstorm, and his firefighter/paramedic training kicks into high gear.

Danielle Rowson is hoping to pick up the pieces and build a new life for herself and her daughter in Vermont. Winding up in a ditch in the middle of a blizzard isn’t part of the plan—and neither is the kind, sexy rescuer whose strong hands pull them to safety.

Lucas has been a little kid, a big kid and now an adult—and he discovers that adulting has more than one advantage. Especially when it comes to sharing with Dani and Savannah the one thing that’s his and his alone: his love.

 

Purchase Till There Was You now!

Kindle US | Apple | Nook | Kobo | Google

Order a signed copy from Marie’s store, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter 2

As usual, their mom had made pizza from scratch for their birthday—sausage and onion for him and pepperoni and peppers for Landon, along with special orders for the others. Normally, Lucas loved the traditions and the way his mother still paid attention to the details with each of her ten children, even though they were grown and some had kids of their own.

But tonight, with Landon and Amanda seated directly across the table from him, Lucas could barely swallow the delicious pizza or the beer his father had opened for him. He had nothing to say to anyone, which was rare in and of itself. Lucas Abbott always had something to say, especially in the midst of his boisterous family, all of whom had come to celebrate their brothers’ birthday. As the eighth child in a family of ten, one learned to speak up early or be drowned out by the noise.

When everyone was there, they were close to twenty people as his siblings were pairing off, getting married and having babies like wildfire these days. Their elusive, quiet brother Wade had shocked the living shit out of them recently by showing up with a wife none of them had met until after he and Mia had said “I do.” No one had seen that coming, but Wade seemed happier than Lucas had ever seen him. Mia’s long-lost father was throwing them a big wedding in Boston in June that everyone would be going to. Would Landon bring Amanda to that, too?

The noise level in the dining room was probably registering on the Richter scale. Normally, he’d be right in the middle of the fray. Tonight, he had a splitting headache.

Elmer nudged him. “What’s up with you?” Fortunately, his grandfather kept his voice down, so the question wasn’t heard by everyone else.

“Nothing.”

“Not like you to pick at the pizza. You’re more likely to inhale than pick.”

“I’m not that hungry tonight.”

Elmer’s white brows furrowed as he placed a hand on Lucas’s forehead. “You’re not feverish.”

Molly zeroed in on Elmer’s hand on Lucas’s forehead. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. The pizza is great, Mom.”

Though she accepted his answer, he could tell by the way his mother looked at him that he hadn’t fooled her.

Per the tradition, she brought out one big cake, half chocolate for him and half vanilla for Landon, and they blew out their candles together. They’d done that twenty-six other times, and it had never once occurred to Lucas that he ought to have his own damned cake as a grown-ass man. Until now.

“Happy birthday, bro,” Landon said, giving him a warm smile.

“Same to you.” Lucas could barely stand to look at the face that was nearly the mirror image of his own. He felt naked without the beard that left almost nothing to distinguish him from his identical twin.

Clearly Amanda preferred Landon to him if the way she giggled at every stupid thing his brother said was any indication.

She’d worn her dark hair up tonight, which only accentuated her pretty green eyes and the smattering of freckles across her nose that he’d found both cute and sexy. He didn’t recall her giggling so much when they went out and was thankful for that. In general, giggling wasn’t something he found overly attractive in a woman.

But damn if he didn’t find the rest of her overly attractive. She was downright gorgeous. He’d thought so from the first time he saw her in the conference room, surrounded by sex toys as she indoctrinated the family on the line of products her company produced.

And no, it hadn’t been the sex toys that had gotten to him. It’d been her. The confident way she spoke about something that most people had trouble talking about in private, let alone in a room full of strangers, had really done it for him. This was a woman who owned her sexuality and her freedom to express it.

That’s where his attraction toward her had started. But it had only flourished during the evening they spent together talking with an ease he didn’t often experience with someone he’d just met.

They’d covered everything from their families to their hometowns to their favorite sports, movies, books, TV shows, and it had been… easy. Fun. He’d immediately wanted to do it again and had thought she felt the same way, but watching her now with Landon, he could see that she had found a connection with him, too. Perhaps a stronger connection than she’d found with Lucas. If that was the case, there was nothing he could do about it. The choice was hers to make, and she’d clearly made it.

He stood, taking his grandfather by surprise. “Where you going, boy?”

“Gotta get home. I’ve got an early morning tomorrow.”

“Where you got to be?” Landon asked.

“I’m covering for Denny.” Lucas referred to one of the paramedics they worked with. “His wife has an ultrasound, and they’re going to find out what they’re having.”

“Oh, cool.”

“You didn’t open your presents,” Molly said.

“I told you guys no presents.”

“When do we ever do what we’re told?” Linc asked.

Lucas took the time to open the gifts from his parents—some new tools for the shop, a sleeping bag to replace the one he’d trashed after the last camping trip, a pair of the cargo shorts he wore in the summer, a book about Lewis and Clark that he’d been meaning to get and a watch with GPS capability.

“Thanks, Mom. I love it all.”

“You’re very welcome.”

He appreciated that she seemed to get that he wanted out of there. But he hoped she knew it wasn’t because he didn’t love the time with his family.

Tomorrow, he would do the shift for Denny during the day, and then he had three days off before his next shift at the firehouse. That was enough time to hit the road and get out of town for a couple of days. If his brother was going to be falling all over Amanda, he didn’t have to stick around for the show.

After he said his goodbyes to the others, his mother met him in the mudroom.

“You really shouldn’t have gotten presents, Mom.”

She shrugged off the statement. “It’s fun for me to find things I think you’d like.”

“Well, thank you. For the gifts, the pizza, the cake. For everything.”

“Are you all right, Luc? You aren’t yourself tonight.”

“I’m all right. Just fighting off a cold.”

“Are you sure that’s all it is?”

“Yep.” The last thing he’d ever do is confess to anyone that he was jealous of his brother. Such a stupid, pointless emotion, and one he’d felt rarely enough to be unfamiliar with how to deal with it. He kissed his mother’s forehead. “I’ve got a few days off, and I’m going to take a run over to Stowe tomorrow.” One of his best friends from Bowdoin College lived there, so no one would question why he was going. They didn’t need to know that he wouldn’t be seeing Craig this time around.

“Supposed to snow tomorrow. Be careful driving.”

“I will. Don’t worry.”

“You know better than to tell me not to worry.”

“I’ll be fine. If there’s one thing your children know how to do, it’s take care of themselves. You saw to that.”

“True. I’m very proud of that.”

“Then don’t worry. I have snow in my DNA.” He hugged her and headed out the door before he had to see Landon and Amanda again. Was he being ridiculous running from them? Yes, and he knew it, but so be it. He didn’t want to deal with it, especially on his freaking birthday.

He got in the truck, started it and cranked the heat, hoping it wouldn’t take long to warm up. It was bloody freezing, as per usual for the last week in March in Vermont, where winter tended to hang on until after the first buds of spring appeared on the trees. Keeping an eye on his parents’ dogs, George and Ringo, who’d followed him outside, he backed out of the driveway and glanced back at the house to see his mom still at the door, watching him go.

Lucas hoped she’d forgive him for leaving the party early, but he’d needed to get out of there before he gave away how he was feeling to the whole family. This was all new territory for him. He wasn’t one to have secrets or things he wanted to keep hidden. What you saw was what you got with Lucas Abbott, and he had no clue how to navigate this situation.

Keeping an eye out for rogue moose, he drove to the family’s Christmas tree farm that was shuttered until spring planting. Normally, he loved the isolation and the serenity of life at the farm, but, like everything else the last few days, it didn’t bring the usual comfort. He was edgy, out of sorts, off his game and feeling lost in a sea of familiar places and people.

His plan to get the hell out of here for a few days was looking better to him with every passing minute. Inside the loft apartment over the barn, he started a load of laundry and pulled a duffel bag with the Butler Volunteer Fire Department logo from under the bed.

He and Landon were both lieutenants in the department, charged with handling most of the administrative work that earned them small salaries. Lucas’s was enough to cover most of his expenses, which were minor thanks to the fact that he didn’t have to pay rent. He got to live at the farm in exchange for keeping an eye on the place in the off-season and acting as the caretaker on behalf of the family business. Between his fire department salary and the sale of the furniture and other wood items he crafted, he eked out a pretty decent living, but his needs were minimal.

Would a woman like Amanda be satisfied with the life that had always more than satisfied him, or would she find it lacking? And since when did he care what anyone else thought of his life?

Since the best first date in history, that’s when.

He had put his laundry in the dryer and opened a beer when the phone rang. Seeing his grandfather’s number on the caller ID, he took the call. “What’s up, Gramps?”

“I was thinking about you on the way home and decided to give you a ring. You weren’t yourself tonight, and I’m wondering if I know why.”

Amused as always by his grandfather, Lucas leaned back against the kitchen counter and smiled. “Knock yourself out.”

“I think you and your brother have set your sights on the same woman, and that’s got you all turned around.”

Lucas knew he shouldn’t be surprised that Elmer had figured out his dilemma.

“Am I warm?”

“Pretty warm.”

“Ah, thought so. It’s a heck of a thing to meet someone who really strikes your fancy. Happened to me once upon a time, and it was the worst feeling in the world.”

Lucas stood up straighter. “When did it happen to you?”

“With your grandmother. I met her when she was dating my cousin.”

“No way.”

“Yes way, and it was awful, I tell you.”

“What did you do?”

“Nothing, and that was the hardest part. I loved my cousin. We were as close as brothers. I never would’ve done anything to hurt him.”

“Since I know how this story ends, I have to know how you ended up together.”

“She told him she fancied me.”

“Whoa! How did he take that?”

“Punched me in the mouth,” Elmer said with a low guffaw. “That’s how I knew she’d picked me.”

“Wow, Gramps. I had no idea.”

“We didn’t talk about it much after the fact. I remained close to my cousin until the day he died, and I went out of my way to make sure there was never any bad blood between us.”

“Did he ever get married?”

“Yep. Married a great gal a couple years later, and the four of us ran around together for the rest of his life.”

“I’m glad he ended up happy, too.”

“Believe me—so was I. Second-happiest day of my young life was standing up for him at his wedding.” After a pause, Elmer said, “You never really know what people go through before they end up with a happily ever after, son. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns or straight lines that lead from point A to point B. A lot of times, it’s hard and messy and painful.”

“Yeah,” Lucas said, marveling at how Elmer had homed right in on everything Lucas was feeling.

“But the most important thing is family. Your brother is your closest friend, your soul mate, if you believe in such things. The two of you have been like two peas in a pod from the word go. I’d hate to see anything come between you.”

“Me, too.”

“Then don’t let it, Luc. Amanda seems like a nice gal with a good head on her shoulders. If she’s taken a shine to Landon, well, then, there’s nothing you can really do about that. But being angry with him over it isn’t going to make it better for you. It’ll only make everything worse.”

Elmer was right. Of course he was. He was always right. “Very true.”

“I’m glad you agree. Amanda is only here for a short time. Brothers are forever.”

“Especially identical twin brothers.”

Elmer laughed. “Especially that. You okay, pal?”

“Yeah, Gramps, I’m good. This helped a lot. I’m going up to Stowe for a couple of days to ski and clear my head.”

“That’s a great idea. Have a wonderful time.”

“Thanks for calling.”

“Happy birthday, Lucas. I think this is going to be your best year yet.”

“I hope so.”

“Love you, son.”

“Love you, too, Gramps.”

Lucas put down the phone, feeling thankful for the unconditional love of his grandfather, who had always been a steady presence in his life. Elmer had made an excellent point. It would be foolish to allow a woman he barely knew to come between him and the twin brother who was also his closest friend. He wasn’t going to let that happen and would use the time away to get his head back on straight.

Amanda was a great person, and he really liked her. However, she certainly wasn’t the only woman in the world. If she had decided Landon was the one for her, Lucas would find someone else. Stepping aside was the right thing to do. He had no doubt about that after talking to his grandfather.

He couldn’t believe the story Elmer had told him about the early days of his relationship with Lucas’s grandmother. He’d never thought too much about how his grandparents might’ve gotten together, but he hadn’t pictured anything like the story Elmer had relayed.

The next day, after putting in a ten-hour shift at the firehouse that had included calls to a couple of snow-related fender benders and one elderly resident who’d needed transport to the hospital, Lucas set out for Stowe. Normally a ninety-minute drive, tonight it was slow going due to the snow that continued to fall. Lucas took his time, keeping the speedometer around forty and following in the tracks left by an eighteen-wheeler that was a mile or so ahead of him.

Driving in snow was second nature to him after growing up in northern Vermont. If Vermonters stayed home every time it snowed, they’d go weeks without leaving the house some years.

He’d called his friend Craig, who’d told him to use the house while he was out of town on business. Lucas had the security code to the house and was eager for some time alone on the slopes. Physical activity always helped to clear his mind, and he hoped it would have the usual effect on him this time.

He hated being out of sorts like this and needed to shake it off and get back to normal. Moping around wasn’t his style. At the peak of ski season in Stowe, he could also count on some good nightlife. Perhaps a night with a snow bunny would fix what ailed him. One thing he knew for certain was that getting out of Butler had already made him feel better than he had in days.

Two hours into the ride, he was yawning and guzzling the coffee he’d brewed at the firehouse to keep himself awake. His eyes were tired from staring into the snow that had seemed to intensify as he got closer to Stowe. Finally, he took the exit onto the local road that led to Craig’s place and found that it hadn’t been plowed.

“Awesome…”

He slowed the truck to a crawl, inching along while hoping he was still on the actual road. As he rounded a bend, he watched with horror as the car in front of him fishtailed wildly before pitching off an embankment into a ditch.

“A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.” —Carl Sandburg

 

 

 

 

Purchase Till There Was You now!

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—————

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE GREEN MOUNTAIN/ BUTLER, VERMONT SERIES

Welcome to Vermont and the Green Mountain and Butler Series, featuring the Abbott family, proprietors of the Green Mountain Country Store, and their Coleman cousins. Since All You Need Is Love was released in 2014, the Abbott/Stillman/Coleman clan has stolen the hearts of readers, and Fred the Moose has earned himself a cult following. Hope you enjoy Butler!

Green Mountain Series

Book 1: All You Need Is Love (Will & Cameron)

Book 2: I Want to Hold Your Hand (Nolan & Hannah)

Book 3: I Saw Her Standing There (Colton & Lucy)

Book 4: And I Love Her (Hunter & Megan)

Book 4.5: You’ll Be Mine, Will and Cam’s Wedding Novella

Book 5: It’s Only Love (Gavin & Ella)

Book 6: Ain’t She Sweet (Tyler & Charlotte)

Butler, Vermont Series (a continuation of the Green Mountain Series)

Book 1: Every Little Thing (Grayson & Emma)

Book 2: Can’t Buy Me Love (Patrick & Mary)

Book 3: Here Comes the Sun (Wade & Mia)

Book 4: Till There Was You (Lucus & Danielle)

———————–

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

About the Author

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. Duchess By Deception is the first in her new historical romance Gilded Series, that will continue with Deceived By Desire in September 2019.

Her books have sold more than 7.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list 30 times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journalbestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a three-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction.

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

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No Place Like Here by @ChristinaJuneYA #YA #NewRelease @PrismBookTours


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No Place Like Here By Christina June Young Adult Contemporary Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 288 Pages May 21st 2019 by Blink

From Christina June, author of It Started with Goodbye and Everywhere You Want to Be, comes No Place Like Here, a modern twist on Hansel and Gretel.

Ashlyn Zanotti has big plans for the summer. She’s just spent a year at boarding school and can’t wait to get home. But when Ashlyn’s father is arrested for tax evasion and her mother enters a rehab facility for “exhaustion,” a.k.a. depression, her life is turned upside down.

The cherry on top? Ashlyn’s father sends her to work with a cousin she doesn’t even know at a rustic team-building retreat center in the middle of nowhere. A self-proclaimed “indoor girl,” not even Ash’s habit of leaving breadcrumb quotes–inspirational sayings she scribbles everywhere–can help her cope.

With a dangerously careless camp manager doling out grunt work, an overbearing father trying to control her even from prison, and more than a little boy drama to struggle with, the summer is full of challenges. And Ashlyn must make the toughest decision of her life: keep quiet and follow her dad’s marching orders, or find the courage to finally stand up to her father to have any hope of finding her way back home.

Fans looking for stories with elements of drama, romance, friendship, and an unflinching look into navigating and improving even the most difficult parent-teen relationships need look no further.

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Chapter 1

 

There is never a good way to find out your father is going to prison. Some are worse than others, though. For example, learning that your father has committed tax evasion via a social media post is on the top five worst ways list.

I might have missed it, if I hadn’t logged on to see if my best friend, Tatum, had posted any new messages for me. We’d spent the last school year apart—me at boarding school in the Shenandoah Valley and her at home, just south of Washington, DC—and we had been making plans for not only my big return home, but for the upcoming school year. Not that I’d actually asked my parents if I could come back for senior year yet. But I would. Soon.

And there, below a photo of Tatum and her boyfriend, was the news article from the Washington Post about my father. And the cherry on top? Cassie Pringle, the girl down the hall, hadn’t even posted it. Her mother had. With the message, “Cass, doesn’t this guy’s daughter go to your school?” Thanks, Mrs. Pringle.

The headline was the worst: “Millionaire Real Estate Developer Evades IRS.” It made my father seem like some creepy super villain who was ducking into shadowy alleys to avoid getting caught by the police. But, in a way, it wasn’t that far off. Instead of an alleyway and the police, my dad hid from the federal government behind a shiny exterior and seemingly pristine business.

I inhaled and exhaled in short, panicky little bursts as I skimmed the first few paragraphs.

Prominent. Community leader. Disappointing. Seven years without paying. Dead to rights. Plea hearing. Guilty. Sentenced. Jail time. No comment.

 

 

Other Books by the Author

 

About the Author

Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters. Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives in Virginia with her husband and daughter. She is the author of IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE, and NO PLACE LIKE HERE.

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1 winner will receive a print copy of NO PLACE LIKE HERE, a poster, and a book plate US only Ends June 5, 2019

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They say your destiny is carved in stone… Only a Breath Apart by @KatieMcGarry #YA #Romance @InkSlingerPR


 

Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people’s opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. “Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART is now available!

 

About ONLY A BREATH APART:

They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.

The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.

A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she’s psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

 

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Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.”
―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series


 

Add it to your Goodreads today!

 

 

EXCERPT:

~SCARLETT~

A scraping of a chair, a tray full of food and I glance over with my practiced smile in welcome. It’s not Camila, Evangeline, or anyone else from the group. It’s green eyes, red hair, a familiar mischievous smile that used to be reserved only for me, and my blood pounds with excitement as if someone lit a sparkler in my chest. Then I frown because I’m not supposed to feel this way. Not with him. Not with anyone.

Jesse Lachlin winks at me as he sits across from me like no time has passed from when we climbed trees together. “What’s up, Tink?”

Another thrill runs through me but then my muscles tighten. Stupid, antiquated reaction belonging to a dead past. “What are you doing here?”

Jesse pops a fry into his mouth, chews, then picks up another as if he has no intention of answering. I scan the cafeteria. Several people are watching us, curious as to why Jesse Lachlin is sitting with me, or is event at lunch, or even at school.

From the lunch line, Camila’s and Evangeline’s eyes are bugging out of their heads.

What is going on? Camila mouths.

I raise my eyebrows to inform her I have no idea. Jesse digs into his corn with his fork and that’s crossing a line. “Maybe you didn’t hear me, but I asked what you’re doing here.”

He lifts his eyes to meet mine and there’s a glimmer in them that causes my lips to flatten. Fantastic. He’s here to make my life a living hell.

“It seems obvious,” he says.

If he remembers anything about me, he should recall I was never known for my patience and that he should be speaking, and speaking soon. “Just answer the question.”

“I’m eating lunch.”

I honest to God groan in frustration. “There’s no room at the inn.”

He surveys the table, takes in the empty seats, my books, and then gives me a good look. A slow look. As if he’s trying to memorize every inch he’s drinking in. My cheeks redden because that somehow feels a little too intimate for lunch. Feels a little too intimate for someone I’m no longer friends with. It feels too intimate if we were friends.

I glance away, but I sense him still staring at me. God help me, I want to stare back.

 

 

 

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Katie McGarry Bio:

Katie is the author of the PUSHING THE LIMITS series, THUNDER ROAD series, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, and the upcoming YA novel, ONLY A BREATH APART. Her novels have received starred reviews, critical acclaim and have won multiple awards including being a multiple Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for YA Fiction, multiple RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award Finalist for Best YA Fiction, including a win in the category, and she was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick.

 

 

 

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A secret half a millennium in the making… Bleeding Heart by @StaciTroilo #BookReview #RomSuspense


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In the heart of Pittsburgh awaits a secret half a millennium in the making.

After her father’s brutal murder, Franki discovers she and her three sisters are the only surviving, secret legacy of the Medici. The same people who brutally murdered her father now target her and her family for assassination. Unprepared to battle an unknown enemy, she finds her safety depends on the Medici Protectorate, the warriors who guarded her bloodline for centuries, but who failed to protect her father.

Gianni, Franki’s protector, blows his first meeting with her, but knows he must garner the trust of not only Franki, but also her sisters. Without that, he fails too, and that is unacceptable—not only to him but also to the Medici Protectorate. His troubles grow larger, for as he assumes his new role, he also undergoes inexplicable, explosive physical changes… transformations he can’t control. One of those is his uncontainable desire for Franki.

Their worlds collide in passion and violence, and Franki struggles to trust Gianni. When her life is on the line, Gianni will have to conquer both her fears and his own personal demons to rescue her in time.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Staci

Staci Troilo grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in her free time, so it was no surprise that she studied writing in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and she worked in corporate communications until she had her children. When they had grown, she went on to become a writing professor, and now she is a freelance writer and editor living in Arkansas with her husband, son, daughter, and two dogs.

Staci is a multi-genre author and an Amazon bestseller. Her fiction combines dark, dangerous heroes and strong, capable heroines woven together into a contemporary tapestry of tantalizing romance. Compelling villains and gripping mysteries engage the reader from page one of her novels and her short stories feature ordinary characters conquering the odds in extraordinary situations.

When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably playing with her dogs, relaxing poolside, or working in the kitchen. She loves to cook and bake and is an award-winning recipe developer.

My Review

This book opens with a wounded hero trying to save the men he’s pledged to protect- except they aren’t men, and he’s dangerously attracted to Francesca Notaro, the eldest sister of an ancient Italian family.

Giani knows it’s his job to keep the Medici descendants safe; he and his brothers carry stone daggers which allow them special powers, for this reason, but Franki isn’t making it easy. She’s willful, independent, and passionate. He’s captivated by her beauty.

Franki is, at first, skeptical of the stranger who unexpectedly shows up on the day of her murdered father’s mass, but then strange things start happening and she agrees to his help.

As the danger grows, so too, does their attraction.

Bleeding Heart is a fast-paced novel mixing action, suspense, romance, paranormal magic, and mystery, into one delightful story.

I give Bleeding Heart 5 lovely kisses and look forward to reading book 2 in this series!

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The Dating Game by Lorhainne Eckhart #WomensFiction #FamilySaga @BPICPromos @LEckhart


 

The Dating Game
by Lorhainne Eckhart
Series: The Parker Sisters, #2
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Family Saga
Release Date: June 30, 2017

 

 



From a Readers’ Favorite award-winning author and “queen of the family saga” (Aherman) comes The Parker Sisters, a new spinoff series of the Married in Montana series.

Twenty Six year old Ivy Parker is a Nurse by day, but an unlikely attraction with a mysterious man will turn her world upside down as she finds herself in, The Dating Game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorhainne Eckhart recently received the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Award for Suspense and Romance for her two titles Vanished & The Bloodline. With over fifty titles under her belt, her big family romance series are loved by fans worldwide. Books that celebrate love, family, commitment, hope, and making a relationship work. With flawed strong characters, characters you can relate to. Lorhainne writes the kind of books she wants to read.

She is frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, such as romance, western, military, and mystery/suspense. She has written multiple series, including The Outsider, Walk the Right Road, The Wilde Brothers, Saved, The Friessens, Married in Montana, Kate and Walker: Deadly, Dangerous, and Desired, and her newest addition and spinoff of the bestselling Friessen Series THE MCCABE BROTHERS.

 

 

***Limited time offer** 

New York Times Bestselling Author Lorhainne Eckhart has entertained 100,000’s of readers with her big family romance series – and she is giving away free novels. Subscribe to her mailing list to receive your FREE STARTER LIBRARY: http://gem.godaddy.com/signups/162081/join

 

 

 

 

The bonds of history run deep… The Apple Orchard by @SusanWiggs #WomensFiction #FamilySaga #BookReview


#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs brings readers into the lush abundance of Sonoma County, in a story of sisters, friendship and the invisible bonds of history that are woven like a spell around us.

 

 

Tess Delaney loves illuminating history; returning stolen treasures to their rightful owners and filling the spaces in people’s hearts with stories of their family legacies. But Tess’s own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, and a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter.

Then the enigmatic Dominic Rossi arrives on her San Francisco doorstep with the news that the grandfather she’s never met is in a coma and that she’s destined to inherit half of a hundred-acre apple orchard estate called Bella Vista. The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen, the half sister she never knew she had. Isabel is everything Tess isn’t, but against the rich landscape of Bella Vista, with Isabel and Dominic by her side, Tess begins to discover a world where family comes first and the roots of history run deep.

 

susan wiggs

 

Susan Wiggs’s life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people. At the age of eight, she self-published her first novel, entitled “A Book About Some Bad Kids.”

Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries. Her recent novel, Marrying Daisy Bellamy, took the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and The Lakeshore Chronicles have won readers’ hearts around the globe. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature.

She lives with her husband and family at the water’s edge on an island in the Pacific Northwest, where she divides her time between sleeping and waking.

 

My Review

Susan Wiggs has a way of sneaking up on a reader and hooking them with her fascinating characterizations, and the beauty of her settings.

Tess Delaney knows something is missing from her life, but she could never have guessed it would be a sister she’d never heard of, or a family she’d never met.

What follows is the story of discovering herself through the connections of a family she’s always dreamed of having, and maybe a little romance along the way.

This book touches on tough family dynamics, forgiveness, and love.

A truly enjoyable read!

I give The Apple Orchard 5 lovely kisses

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LOST AND FOUND SISTERS by @JillShalvis is coming June 20/17! #LostandFound #WomensFic @InkSlingerPR


 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins. Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below and pre-order your copy today!

 

 

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.

 

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EXCERPT:

“Mick?” she whispered.

“Yeah?”

“Are you feeling something?”

“You could say that,” he murmured. “You?”

She licked her lips and he nearly groaned. “I think so,” she whispered.

“That’s good.”

“Are you going to kiss me?”

He cupped her face, let his thumbs trace her jawbone, his fingers sinking into her silky waves. “No,” he said quietly. “And not because I don’t want to, but because when I do, I want to know you’re ready. That you’ll feel it.”

She sighed. “Guys do whatever they want all the time, no emotions necessary. I want that skill.” Another shaky breath escaped her, and since they were literally an inch apart, they shared air for a single heartbeat during which neither of them moved.

Her gaze dropped to his mouth. “Okay, so I’m definitely feeling things.” She hesitated and then her hands came up to his chest. “Maybe we should test it out to be sure.”

God, she was the sweetest temptation he’d ever met, and he wanted nothing more than to cover her mouth with his. Instead, he brushed his mouth to her cheek.

“Please, Mick,” she whispered, her exhale warming his throat.

He loved the “please,” and he wanted to do just that more than anything. But when she tried to turn her head into his, to line up their mouths, he gently tightened his grip, dragging his mouth along her smooth skin instead, making his way to her ear.

“Not yet,” he whispered, letting his lips brush over her earlobe and the sensitive skin beneath it.

She moaned and clutched him. “Why not?”

It took every ounce of control he had to lift his head and meet her gaze. “Because I want to make sure you’re really with me, that you’re feeling everything I’m feeling. That there’ll be no doubt, no regrets.”

“You sure have a lot of requirements.”

He laughed. And she was right, it was all big talk for a guy who didn’t do relationships anymore. Still, he forced himself to step back and shut the passenger door.

As he rounded the hood to the driver’s side, he tried to remind himself of all the reasons she was a bad idea. He lived two hundred miles away and he was hoping to move his mom up by him and never come back here. Not to mention that Quinn lived an equal two hundred miles in the opposite direction and she was in a deeply vulnerable place. No way would he even think about taking advantage of that.

But when he slid behind the wheel and their eyes locked, he realized that while his mind could stand firm, the rest of his body wasn’t on board with the in-control program.

 

 

They say life can change in an instant …

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood.

Pre-order your copy in any format and receive an exclusive crossover Heartbreaker Bay meets Wildstone bonus scene, featuring Archer and Elle going to Wildstone, CA, the town in which Lost and Found Sisters takes place – read about their night in a haunted B&B!

 

Simply enter your order number OR upload a screenshot of your proof of purchase. Entries must be received by June 25th and you will receive content via email on June 27th!

 

Preorder and fill out the form here!

 

 

About Jill Shalvis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

 

 

 

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When the unthinkable happens… Family First by Lorhainne Eckhart #WomensFic #FamilySaga @BPIC_Promos @LEckhart


 

Family First
by Lorhainne Eckhart
Series: The Friessens, #7
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Family Saga
Release Date: November 30, 2016

 

 

When the unthinkable happens a family’s life is changed forever.

Katy and Steven never imagined their happily ever after could go so wrong, but six months in and this newlywed couple’s carefully crafted future is crumbling. Even after the couple overcome the distance, the secrets and a divided family that could have Steven walking away. The couple is faced with their biggest challenge yet when a shocking disappearance and the questions being asked could lead to answers that could ultimately destroy this family.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorhainne Eckhart recently received the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Award for Suspense and Romance for her two titles Vanished & The Bloodline. With over fifty titles under her belt, her big family romance series are loved by fans worldwide. Books that celebrate love, family, commitment, hope, and making a relationship work. With flawed strong characters, characters you can relate to. Lorhainne writes the kind of books she wants to read.

She is frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, such as romance, western, military, and mystery/suspense. She has written multiple series, including The Outsider, Walk the Right Road, The Wilde Brothers, Saved, The Friessens, Married in Montana, Kate and Walker: Deadly, Dangerous, and Desired, and her newest addition and spinoff of the bestselling Friessen Series THE MCCABE BROTHERS.

 

 

***Limited time offer** 

New York Times Bestselling Author Lorhainne Eckhart has entertained 100,000’s of readers with her big family romance series – and she is giving away free novels. Subscribe to her mailing list to receive your FREE STARTER LIBRARY: http://gem.godaddy.com/signups/162081/join

 

 

 

 

The Reunion by Lorhainne Eckhart


The Reunion
by Lorhainne Eckhart
Series: The Friessens, #1
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance

Cover Designer: Steven Novak

Release Date: April 28 2015
Come celebrate the release of The Reunion with Lorhainne and her special guests on Thursday, April 30 from 12pm-2pm EST. Click the banner to join the party!
The family you thought you knew.
A Reunion you’ll never forget.
A love that lasts forever.

This emotionally charged family saga will reunite all the Friessen clan in this timeless romance and a heartwarming celebration.

Oh?” She smiled up at him and left her book open as she stood, putting her hand on the flat of his chest and stepping closer so he could wrap his arms around her. She fit so perfectly, and he could have looked down at her book and read it, he was so close. But he couldn’t do that to her. The diary was hers, her thoughts, something personal and private. He knew he couldn’t cross that line—even though he wanted to know everything she was thinking at every moment.

“You love writing in that book,” he said. “What it is you put down in there?”

Candy couldn’t hide from him, and he could sense the moment she felt uneasy. It was so subtle, the change in her body, from leaning into him, her energy reaching out and touching him, to pulling away. He rubbed her back and lower, over her sweet ass, holding her to him, not hard but in a way that let her know she could step away if she wanted. He wanted her with him, always, to stay close to him, but it had to be her choice. That nearly killed him at times, but the saying was “If you love someone, set her free, for if she truly loves you, she will always return.” For Neil right now, because of what he’d done, he’d learned that with Candy, it was so true. He couldn’t push, not ever again.

“You don’t have to share it,” he said.

Her eyes darted up so fast. He could see the surprise, maybe because he’d always pushed, expecting her to share everything, body, mind, and soul. He still wanted that, but something had changed when he’d hurt her with his betrayal—his secrets.

No more, ever.

“They’re just my thoughts, feelings,” she said, and she didn’t need to say any more. He could tell she expected him to push.

“These are things you don’t want to share with me?” He had to know, to have some idea of where she was in her head with him, just to understand where they still needed to go to heal.

“You’d think they’re silly, I’m sure. I’d feel foolish voicing them, but I want to be able to put it down. It helps me,” she whispered.

He nodded although he couldn’t help feeling a little hurt that she didn’t want to share everything with him. He also knew he couldn’t push, not anymore.

“Thank you,” she said.

“For what?”

“For not pushing, for not insisting on reading it. You’ve never looked at it, have you?”

Before, he would have. That was the old Neil, who was so obsessed with having Candy and molding her into who he believed she should be. What a fool he’d been. “No, I wouldn’t do that, although I am curious,” he teased.

She slid her hand around his waist and slapped his butt playfully, hugging him closer. She had the most beautiful smile as she leaned in and tilted her head up, again biting her lower lip. “Maybe one day I’ll show you.”

What could he say to that? She watched him with a lightness in her eyes that melted away the uncertainty that had been between them moments ago. He wanted her to trust him again. Oh, he knew she did in some things, but he wanted that ultimate trust where she would believe that her precious, vulnerable heart would be safe with him regardless of what life threw their way. If and when she trusted him completely again, he swore to God that he would never let her down again.

“I would love that,” he said.

Additional buy links for Barnes & Noble and All Romance will be available soon!

USA Today Bestselling Author Lorhainne Eckhart’s books have been described as Longmire meets old-school Dallas, and she recently received the 2013 Readers’ Favorite Award for Romantic Suspense for her title Lost and Found. With over thirty titles under her belt, she is frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, such as romance, westerns, and mystery/suspense, including such series as The Outsider, Walk the Right Road, The Wilde Brothers, The Saved, and her most recent addition, The Friessens: A New Beginning.

Lorhainne lives on sunny Salt Spring Island with her family, where she is working on her next novel.