On The Line by @Brittney_Sahin #NA #Romance @XpressoReads


On the Line
Brittney Sahin
(Dublin Nights, #2)
Publication date: March 11th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Suspense

On the day of Adam and Anna’s wedding, she won’t be there, and he’ll lay everything on the line to get her back.

With the help of former covert operatives, Adam works to track down Anna’s last steps to discover what happened to her, never believing her to be a “runaway bride.”

But as the truth unravels, and the McGregor family finds themselves under attack–Adam must not only rescue Anna in time but keep his family from danger as well.

A Dublin Nights – Hidden Truths crossover event. Find out what happens in the suspenseful follow-up novella to the international bestselling book, On the Edge.

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Book 1 in the series:

SNEAK PEEK:

Waiting until the wedding night would be worth it, I tried to remind myself, fighting the hot pulse of heat slowly crawling down my body like I was being unzipped. Ready to come undone.

I edged back enough to find his eyes. “Let’s leave.”

“Really?” His throat moved with a hard swallow.

I nodded. “If you think we can escape . . . I’m game.”

 

Author Bio:

Brittney Sahin began writing at an early age, with the dream to be a published author before the age of 18. Although academic pursuits (and, later, a teaching career) interrupted her aspirations, she never stopped writing–never stopped imagining.

It wasn’t until her students encouraged her to follow her dreams that Brittney said goodbye to Upstate New York in order to start a new adventure in the place she was raised: Charlotte, North Carolina. Here, she decided to take her students’ advice and begin to write again.

In 2015, she published her first novel, Silenced Memories (The Safe Bet). When she is not working on upcoming novels, she spends time with her family. She is a proud mother of two boys, and a lover of suspense novels, coffee, and the outdoors.

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Graphic Novelties by @M_Sembera #RomComedy #reading @PureTextuality


Mabelle Maxwell is a sarcastic introvert who is focused on making a name for herself in her beloved comic book community.

Nolan Cross is a headstrong country boy who insists the only thing he needs in life is to work his very own piece of land.

When a mutually beneficial arrangement presents itself, neither can resist, even if it means temporarily living under the same roof.

Mabelle knows better than to fall for a smooth talking cowboy.

Nolan has never been one to back down from a challenge.

In the small southern town of Wild Peach, country is more than just a state of mind. It’s a way of life and sometimes, listening to your heart can turn everything inside out.

About the Book

Graphic Novelties
by M. Sembera

Series
Inside Out Novella

Genre
New Adult
Contemporary Romance
Romantic Comedy

Publisher
Independent

Publication Date
November 7, 2017

Available Now For Just $0.99!
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About M. Sembera

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I now live in Brazoria, Texas with My Husband, Three Kids, Three Dogs and Two Cats. I wrote my first short story when I was in high school and instantly fell in love with writing. However, life sometimes gets in the way of aspirations and it wasn’t until years later, when my life calmed down, I was able to start writing again.

For me, each new book I write or character I create feels like the first time and I find myself falling in love with writing all over again.

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Hot coffee is a regular fixture in Hailey Warren’s life. Hot guys? Not so much… Latte Girl @KatiaRoseAuthor #NA #RomCom @XpressoReads


Latte Girl
Katia Rose
Publication date: August 17th 2017
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

Hot coffee is a regular fixture in Hailey Warren’s life. Hot guys? Not so much.

Her grueling shifts at a cafe in the heart of the city’s business sector are rarely punctuated by anything special, so when the gorgeous heir to the security company next door strides into Hailey’s life, it feels like punctuation with a capital P (or D, depending on your preferred terminology).

Jordan Knox is enough to send her heart racing faster than a triple shot of espresso, and when the attraction proves to be mutual, no hidden corners or empty offices are safe from their game of cat and mouse.

But when she’s ready to drop the pretenses, Jordan continues to hold back, and Hailey realizes he’s been hiding secrets that could make whatever’s brewing between them boil over and burn.

‘Latte Girl’ is a full length, standalone novel, and the debut title from author Katia Rose.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I manage to get my head out from under the desk, and find myself face to face with his crotch.

Interesting development, notes my very unhelpful brain.

I move my eyes from his crotch to his horrified face.

“I’m— I’m not. A stalker, that is. I wasn’t hiding. I mean, I was just— wait. Let me get out of here first.”

Wondering how I managed to get under the desk so quickly in the first place, I try to contort myself enough to escape. I scoot out with my legs still bent up to my earlobes and then try to haul myself to my feet by grabbing the top edge of the desk.

This, of course, overbalances me and I reach out for the only thing I can find to keep me from falling, which just so happens to be the armrests of Jordan’s chair. I catch my balance with my arms braced on either side of him, our faces inches apart.

A soft “Unph” sound escapes my lips.

He blinks.

“Hey,” he finally says.

“Hi,” I reply, my voice breathy.

 

Author Bio:

Katia Rose is not much of a Pina Colada person, but she does like getting caught in the rain. She prefers her romance served steamy with a side of smart, and is a sucker for quirky characters. A habit of jetting off to distant countries means she’s rarely in one place for very long, but she calls the frigid northland that is Canada home.

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Be careful what you wish for… My Roommate’s Girl by @JuliannaKeys #NA #Romance @ExpressoReads


My Roommate’s Girl
Julianna Keyes
Publication date: June 12th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

The day a judge gave me the choice between going to prison or going to college was the day I vowed to stop stealing. Never again would I see something beautiful and beyond my means and take it, just because I wanted it. Just because I could.

When I moved in with Jerry, it was with good intentions. I needed a place to live while I got my degree, and he needed a roommate.

Then I saw Aster.

Blond and beautiful, good, pure, sweet, smart…and Jerry’s girlfriend. She was everything I never thought I could have. Except…maybe I can.

So I put a plan into action. Yeah, I’d probably go to hell, but it would be worth it. I wanted Aster. I wanted her yesterday and tomorrow and every possible way.

But you know what they say.

Be careful what you wish for…because you just might get it.

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On pre-order SALE for $2.99!

EXCERPT:

I check the time on the display. “Okay, driving lesson’s over. I need to buy sixty rolls of toilet paper, then we have to meet Jim in half an hour.”

Aster consults her watch, in case I’m lying about the time. “Dammit,” she mutters, reaching for the gear stick. “Okay, let’s go shopping.”

I reach over to pull out the keys. “You’re not driving near real people.”

“What? Why not?”

“Because even though you’re so great at this, it’s only been one lesson.”

She thrusts out her lower lip and bats her lashes at me, but I’m not buying it.

“Get out,” I order. “Time to trade places.”

She harrumphs but does so, and when she tries to pass me in front of the car, I loop an arm around her waist pull her close.

“Don’t forget to thank me for the lesson.”

She’s trying to look angry, but her mouth twitches. “I’ll thank Wes when I see him.”

“No! Don’t mention this to him. He doesn’t know I let my girlfriend drive his car.”

Aster freezes and an endlessly long silence grows…and grows.

“Also,” I say awkwardly, face flaming, “I…kind of…think of you as my girlfriend.”

I see her gnawing on the inside of her cheek.

“But do you think of me as a good driver?”

Something inside of me softens and warms as I look at her. As I fall just a little bit more. “Am I going to get laid later?”

“Oh, yeah. Absolutely.” Her eyes sparkle. “Since you’re my boyfriend now.”

I’ve never been anybody’s boyfriend; never wanted to. And never, in my plan to make Aster mine, did I ever imagine I would be.

As a kid I’d wished on every star in the sky that my dad would stop gambling and we’d get our house back and our dog back and our things back. By the time I was twelve I knew wishes didn’t come true. I thought good things only happened to other people, people in the movies, make believe stories with a preordained happy ending. I didn’t think happiness was real, and I definitely didn’t think it was tangible, something you could hold, touch, feel. But now, as I slide my fingers through Aster’s hair and press my lips to hers, I see that I was the best kind of wrong.

 

Author Bio:

Julianna Keyes is a Canadian writer who has lived on both coasts and several places in between. She’s been skydiving, bungee jumping and white water rafting, but nothing thrills—or terrifies—her as much as the blank page. She loves Chinese food, foreign languages, baseball and television, though not necessarily in that order, and writes sizzling stories with strong characters, plenty of conflict, and lots of making up.

Excerpts, giveaways, behind the scenes tomfoolery – sign up for her very sporadic newsletter: http://juliannakeyes.com/newsletter.html.

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He always keeps his promises… Not Without Risk by Jennifer Lowery #RomSuspense #MilitaryRomance #mgtab @JLoweryauthor


Hi Jacquie and all you fabulous readers out there *waves* Thank you so much for having me today! I’m super excited to be here! The second book in my Wolff Securities series is now available for pre-order—Woot!! It’s been a long time coming, but I’m hoping it’s worth the wait! Nate and Macy were particularly tight-lipped during the writing of this book but I finally managed to get them talking, lol. I’ve included a little taste of what’s to come when the book releases on July 6th!

Not Without Risk (Book #2, Wolff Securities)

Romantic Suspense

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Blurb:

He always keeps his promises…

Private security specialist, Nate Wolff promised to rescue humanitarian aid worker, Macy Gibbs, not harbor a fugitive. Determined to keep his promise and not make the same mistakes his brother made, he risks his life to protect her from the terrorist group hunting her.

Keeping this one will be the hardest thing he’s ever had to do…

With a bounty on her head for the murder of a man who bought her in an illegal human trafficking ring, Macy Gibbs puts both her life, and the life of the tall, handsome stranger who’s vowed to rescue her, in danger. Emotionally scarred from her ordeal, she trusts no one. But, can the biggest danger she’s about to face be the impact this former SEAL has on her heart?

Content Warning: Sexual content.

 

Excerpt:

Copyright ©2017 by Jennifer Lowery

 

Blood. Everywhere.

Macy Gibbs looked down at her shaking hands, stained red, still clutching the bloody knife. Her gaze dropped to the man lying on the floor at her feet. His eyes stared empty into space. Fluid oozed from the wound in his chest where his heart should beat.

Her ears began to ring, her vision dimming. They would execute her for this. In this country, she wouldn’t get a trial. Women had very few rights here. An American woman had none. Especially one married to an Azbak man.

Revulsion turned her stomach. Married. What she’d been in was anything but a marriage.

The sound of the door handle turning snapped her out of her stupor. One thought ran through her head as she dropped the knife. Run.

Panicked, she spun in a circle, searching the small bedroom for an escape she knew she wouldn’t find. She’d been locked inside this room for weeks. Had there been a way out she would have found it.

Her eyes trapped on the door. Only one way out. One choice.

To keep fighting.

Forcing her legs to move she slipped behind the door just as it opened. A tall figure moved stealthily into the darkened room, lit only by a dim lamp in the corner. On auto-pilot, Macy struck, aiming for his jugular.

He ducked her blow, his hand coming up to capture her wrist. With a forceful tug, he had her arm pinned behind her, her back pressed to the wall and a forearm against her throat. Not enough to hurt her, but it felt like an iron bar across her neck. Afraid to breathe, she looked up into a pair of stunningly beautiful green eyes. The way he stared back at her made her blood race. Direct, lethal.

Her vision narrowed. Warmth slid down her leg but she didn’t feel the pain of her injury. Memories of what her bastard husband had tried to do to her filled her head. If she hadn’t fought back…

“Hey, breathe.”

Her attacker’s voice, low and smooth, broke through her thoughts. Macy blinked. Why did he sound so far away when she could feel every hard inch of him?

The arm on her throat loosened. She drew in a breath that made her head spin. “American,” she whispered, fighting to remain upright. He wasn’t one of Aziz’s men. Where were the guards? Surely, they must have heard her tussle with their leader. Then again, they were fully aware of what went on in this room and had not once intervened.

A hand gripped her chin, warm despite the chill in her bones. Gave her a shake. Her eyes snapped open.

“Come on, we’re getting out of here.”

 

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Meet Jennifer

NY Times & USA Today bestselling author, Jennifer Lowery grew up reading romance novels in the back of her math book and on the bus to school, and never wanted to be anything but a writer.  Her summers were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters spinning tales of romance and intrigue and always with a tall glass of ice tea at their side.

Today, Jennifer is living that dream and she couldn’t be happier to share her passion with her readers.  She loves everything there is about romance.  Her stories feature alpha heroes who meet their match with strong, independent heroines.  She believes that happily ever after is only the beginning of her stories. And the road to that happy ending is paved with action, adventure, and romance. As her characters find out when they face danger, overcome fears, and are forced to look deep within themselves to discover love.

Jennifer lives in Michigan with her husband and two children.  When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

 

Connect with Jennifer:

Read more about her books on her website: http://jenniferloweryauthor.com/

Join her on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jenniferlowery/

And on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JLoweryauthor

Please “like” her Facebook author page! https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferLowery/

Sign up for Jennifer’s Newsletter and get a FREE book: http://jenniferloweryauthor.com/join-my-newsletter/

Join Jennifer’s Street Team: http://jenniferloweryauthor.com/join-my-street-team/

Join her on Google+: https://plus.google.com/+JenniferLoweryauthor

And Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferloweryauthor/

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jenniferloweryauthor/

 

***BONUS***

For everyone who signs up for my NEWSLETTER you will receive an e-book copy of my short story, Taking Chances ($.99 value) for FREE!

 

Thank you for having me today, Jacquie!! I just want to send out a big THANK YOU to all my readers out there! Without you I wouldn’t be here. My wish is to one-day meet each and every one of you so I can personally thank you for your generosity and support! 

All my best, 

Jennifer

Innocence For sale by Ada Scott #RomanticSuspense #NA @ExpressoReads


InnocenceForSale.com/Amy
Ada Scott
Publication date: May 26th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

I want you to be my first, Daddy…

AMY

I sold my innocence for over a million dollars. Don’t judge me. You have no idea how far I’d go to save my Mom and our home.

This was the only thing I had that could bring in enough money in time, so yeah, I did it.

What kind of a guy purchases a girl’s virginity though? I had no idea what I’d be walking into when I arrived at the airport.

Kris Lane sure doesn’t look like he needs to pay for it. Tattoos, muscles, abs like a god, he must be tripping over panties wherever he goes. A girl could do worse for her first.

But why is he making me work so hard? Why doesn’t he just take what he paid for? By the time I stumble upon what he really wants, he’s wrapped me around his little finger…

KRIS

Buying Amy’s virginity was a dare, a high-stakes wager with my business partner. He knew I couldn’t resist the challenge.

The rules were simple. One week with Amy. I had to resist her every advance and send her home just as untouched as when she arrived.

Little did I know that the photos on the website didn’t do her beauty any justice. Her body speaks to mine in ways I didn’t know was possible.

But I never lose. I was winning this bet, too, until she whispered those magic words in my ear. No man could resist her, and it’s time I got my money’s worth.

All bets are off.

But what happens at the end of our week together?”

Warning: This book is a million out of ten on the spiciness scale. When these two get together… this book does *not* fade to black. Keep a fan handy.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Kris

When the doors slid open I nearly forgot how to breathe. She stood there with those blue eyes wide open, catching the setting sun at just the right angle to make them look like they glowed with supernatural beauty.

I’d seen gorgeous women before. I’d seen women that turn every head in the room before. Hell, even Cindy turned heads that night I first laid eyes on Amy’s picture.

What I hadn’t seen before was a girl so beautiful that it made me ache to not be touching her. Maybe it was the month and a half of abstinence, but every flutter of her eyelash, curve of her face, the way her blonde hair bounced and the movement of her body almost physically pulled me to her.

Amy’s eyes shot down as if she didn’t know what to do with herself, and her youthful inexperience shone through. She was fucking adorable, and my two million plus dollars were in serious trouble.

I was immeasurably thankful for the few steps she took while looking at her feet, it gave me a chance to regroup. By the time she looked up again, I felt more or less in charge of myself, but watching her move wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Her eyes caught the sign I was holding and then travelled up to meet my gaze. I could almost hear a click when our eyes locked. Fireworks could have gone off next to me and I wouldn’t have turned to look at them.

Author Bio:

Join me here for free downloads, discounts and news:

http://adascott.com/free-bad-boy-romance-download/

A former office drone, a former nurse, I now spend every waking moment doing what I love, creating and publishing these steamy stories about bad boys from the mafia, motorcycle clubs, and mma that make me, and hopefully you, weak at the knees! Anywhere a bad boy can be found, I’ll be there taking notes and making it even sexier 🙂

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Tell Me How This Ends @victoriadelao3 #NA #Romance #RITAGH @Barclay_PR


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RITA Nominated TELL ME HOW THIS ENDS Sale Alert!

In TELL ME HOW THIS ENDS Ryan is in love, Jude is in denial, and Lizzie wants both brothers, but by the time the truth comes out everyone is in too deep. No one wants to get hurt, but love and desire have a way of testing even the strongest bonds. Fans of Tamarra Webber and Erin McCarthy will adore this emotional and heartfelt RITA nominated family drama.

Snag it while you can for just $1.99!

 

Dear Readers,

 

Years ago a restless, troubled man sprang to life in my head, and he wouldn’t leave me alone. He had a younger brother that he loved more than anything in the world, so I sat down and tried to write their story. And it wasn’t very good. But these brothers–Jude and Ryan–never left me. A decade later, I realized that, like Frankenstein’s monster, they were waiting for me to create their loves. And a few months later, Tell Me How This Ends was born.

The book is the first in the Tell Me trilogy, which is heartfelt, fun, and sometimes emotional. It was my pleasure to follow Jude, Ryan, and their friends through three books. I’m not going to lie; there were tears when I wrote the final scene.

I am so honored that Tell Me How This Ends has been nominated for a RITA award, but I’m even more humbled by the readers who have taken the time to tell me they love the book. I hope you love it, too.

 

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Synopsis:

 

2017 RITA® Finalist

 

Brothers Jude and Ryan McAllister are inseparable. When Jude stepped in to raise Ryan after the death of their mother, it became the two of them against the world. But the scars it left were bone-deep. Then Lizzie Price comes along.

Lizzie hopes Ryan’s kindness can help heal her wounds from a toxic relationship. But when she meets Jude, their powerful attraction makes him difficult to resist. The problem is, Lizzie doesn’t realize Jude and Ryan are brothers, and they don’t know they’re falling for the same girl.

By the time the truth comes out, everyone is in too deep. Ryan is in love, Jude is in denial, and Lizzie wants both brothers. All of them agree that no one deserves to get hurt. But love and desire have a way of testing even the strongest bonds.

 

Download at:

Amazon → http://amzn.to/2nMF5QZ

Nook → http://bit.ly/2ohKuDo

iBook → http://apple.co/2nnJhLr

Google → http://bit.ly/2oNW9dT

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2nnMdrK

Overdrive → http://bit.ly/2oNMiVi

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The Tell Me Series
Tell Me How This Ends
Tell Me Not to Go

Tell Me That You’re Mine (coming summer 2017)

 

Excerpt from TELL ME HOW THIS ENDS

Copyright © 2016 Victoria De La O

 

I can’t sleep, so I head to the kitchen. I don’t bother to turn on the lights, because the dark doesn’t scare me. Most of the terrifying things in life happen in the daylight.

Ryan must be up, too, because I see light coming from the kitchen. Sometimes we meet like this in the middle of the night and eat a snack. I make the PB&J, and he pours the milk.

There is someone standing at the faucet but it’s not Ryan, and my brain takes an extra couple seconds to compute what I’m seeing. Elizabeth is there, her back turned to me, her face in profile. Her hair is messy and long, and she’s wearing a shirt that comes to midthigh. She turns around and sees me. Her mouth and eyes go wide, but she doesn’t scream, like a silent movie actress.

“What are you doing here?” she asks, which doesn’t make sense to me at first. Then I see she’s wearing Ryan’s Panic! at the Disco T-shirt. My brain has apparently been dormant for the past two minutes, because suddenly, it chugs to life. My synapses fire, and I make connections, and I know that this is the girl my brother has just fucked, and even worse, has fallen for.

I can’t help it: I start to laugh. I laugh so hard that my eyes water, and I slide against the cabinets to the floor. She walks around the counter and stands in front of me. I stare at her legs, which are long and smooth. She crouches down, pulling her—Ryan’s—T-shirt down so I don’t see anything essential on the way.

“Stop it,” she says, looking at me like I’m crazy.

“Guess it’s going well with college boy,” I say, taking in her bedhead. “You definitely picked the better brother.”

“Oh, my God,” She covers her mouth, and I feel like a bully, but I can’t care.

 

Praise for TELL ME HOW THIS ENDS:

 

“…readers will be so invested in these protagonists that they’ll keep flipping through the pages to see how everything turns out.”—Library Journal

 

“If you have not discovered Victoria De La O, stop what you are reading and go read Tell Me How This Ends! If you are an Abbi Glines fan, you will love Victoria De La O’s writing.”—My Girlfriend’s Couch Blog

 

“Tell Me How This Ends is one of my favorite books ever—I was totally engrossed in the love triangle between brothers Ryan and Jude and sweet Lizzie.”—Siobhan Davis, Amazon Bestselling Author

 

 

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About Victoria De La O:

Victoria De La O is the award-winning and RITA®-nominated author of the Tell Me romance trilogy, including Tell Me How This Ends. A native of California’s Silicon Valley, she spends time hanging out with her family, arguing about films, and partaking in chicanery.

She also enjoys writing about women’s issues, practicing Wonder Woman spins, and talking to readers, so hit her up on Facebook or Twitter.

Seduction Game by Candy J. Starr #NA #Romance @XpressoReads @candyjstarr


Seduction Game
Candy J. Starr
Publication date: March 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Do a overseas exchange, they said. Tokyo. It will be good for your artistic development. Yeah right. The only reason I agreed to the whole deal was so that I’d be well out of reach of my abusive ex.

The student co-ordinator even arranged for me to stay with a host family so I didn’t have to stretch my budget. Only, I seem to attract crazy – and this “respectable” family had their dark secrets. Can you believe they offered me money, a lot of money, to give their oldest son some life experience? Life experience meaning sex.

I know why they asked me. They think I’m a trashy whore.

But I’m not. Even though that money would give me an escape from my ex when I return home, I have principles. Anyway, Junichi is an uptight, arrogant jerk.

Then I discover Junichi’s secret life – and, as we grow closer, he comes far more enticing.

I’m tempted. Oh yes, I’m tempted.

This is just a game, a seduction game, and no one is going to get hurt.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

 

Author Bio:

Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. “Screw you,” she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity – totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.

Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She’s seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She’s seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.

But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.

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Legally Charming by Lauren Smith #NA #Romance @Barclay_PR @LSmithAuthor


A workaholic lawyer comes home during a Halloween party and finds a princess sleeping in his bed. Find out what happens next in LEGALLY CHARMING, first in Lauren Smith’s newest #contemporaryromance #newadultromance series, Ever After!

 

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Synopsis:

THE RIGHT DRESS CAN CATCH THE EYE OF PRINCE CHARMING…

 

Felicity Hart has one goal: Completing her masters in art. Falling in love isn’t part of the plan. She reluctantly agrees to attend a Halloween party with her best friend. After sneaking away from the party and falling asleep in an unoccupied room, she wakes to the sexiest pair of eyes she’s ever seen. Eyes that belong to the one man who could turn her well organized world upside down. When he flashes that wicked, panty-melting smile at her the vow to not fall in love seems impossible…

EVERY PRINCE IS LOOKING FOR HIS SLEEPING BEAUTY TO KISS…

 

Jared Redmond used to be the ultimate bad boy. But now his legal career is taking off and the partners of his firm are trusting him with high-dollar real estate transactions. Jared’s king-size bed is empty. But when he arrives home on Halloween to find a princess sleeping in his bed – his all work and no play attitude goes out the window. There’s nothing he wants more than to explore the hidden desires of this mysterious beauty and show her just how much of a bad boy he really is by fulfilling her every fantasy.

WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES AND COACHES TURN TO PUMPKINS…

 

Underneath the glitter of this fairy tale romance, Felicity and Jared might have found true love. But the mounting pressure of their real lives takes hold again and Jared and Felicity are pulled further and further apart. Can they find their fairy tale ending or will they be left with the dying embers of what could have been?

 

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Available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Add Legally Charming  to your GOODREADS TBR pile!

 

 

 

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About Lauren Smith:

Amazon Best-Selling Author Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

Connect with Lauren: Newsletter | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon  |
Pinterest | Instagram

 

It’s All About the Romance interview with Legally Charming author, Lauren Smith.

How do you approach starting a new book?

Answer: I always focus on the first scene, I want to start off with something interesting to the reader. And then I focus on how I want the book to end. For me, I really let the characters tell me how to get though the middle of the book, they really speak to me and often surprise me. I don’t do a lot of planning other than to know the main conflicts for my characters.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

Answer: I absolutely love Angela Knight’s book about writing erotic romance. Even though I write mostly steamy mainstream, her book does a great job of helping me capture the passion in each love scene. I also think The Emotion Thesaurus is a MUST-HAVE for all writers no matter what genre!

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

Answer: I love to watch tv, listen to music, read, exercise, draw and spend time with my friends.

Do you have any personal heroes/heroines?

Answer: Yes, my mother is one of my personal heroines. She’s a woman who has shown me that working mothers are great mothers, I learned how to cook, clean and basically survive at an early age and have a driving sense of ambition for my dreams because of how she raised me. She’s amazing. And my father is also a personal hero of mine. He served in Vietnam, and is one of the lesser valued veterans who was spit upon when he came back from the war. He lost is best friend of 20 years in that war and you would never know to this day that he was a veteran. He works as a lawyer, is quiet, funny and a real gentleman. He’s the ultimate hero to me.

Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?

Answer: I guess it’s always a bit of joke these days to say you’re a lawyer, but I am. It was a lot of hard work, I have two law degrees, one from the US and one from Canada. I think being a lawyer is noteworthy mainly because it’s an overlooked job that people like to sneer at. You always think lawyers are rich jerks, but in truth, a good lawyer is all that stands between a free world and tyranny. I’m proud to be part of a legal system, even if it isn’t perfect, I strive every day to be a good lawyer and fight for my clients.

What was your best date ever?

Answer: I was going to a fancy ball (seriously yes, a ball) with my current boyfriend in high school. I had an expensive dress from Macys, a real evening gown and he a tux, and we stopped at the dance, got our pictures taken for our parents and then we bailed out. He drove me to a hill that overlooks our local river and we parked the car. It was early January and the Christmas lights were still on the bridge that spanned the river and they reflected off the dark water. He turned on the radio and we listened to Samuel Barber’s famous Adagio and we simply talked. It was amazing and utterly romantic.

Tell us something you are really proud of.

Answer: Staying positive in a seemingly harsh world. In this day and age, it seems like everyone has something they hate, or something negative to share. I’m really really blessed to be the sort of person that wakes up with a smile and a gung-ho attitude. I don’t let bad news or negative get me down for too long. I rebound like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh!

Can you confide something you wish you were better at?

Answer: Patience. I work really hard at a lot of things and I wish I had the patience to wait for when that hard work pays off. Sometimes I frustrated when things don’t happen fast enough. But I keep working anyway.

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Worth Any Cost by @BrennaAubrey #ContemporaryRomance #amreading @XpressoReads


Worth Any Cost
Brenna Aubrey
(Gaming the System #6)
Publication date: February 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

You are cordially invited to the wedding of the decade.

Adam Drake and Emilia Kimberly Strong have chosen a date to solidify their love in the bonds of matrimony.

Join them on their exotic destination wedding. Visit with their friends and loved ones. But hold the champagne toast. Fate has a few last tests for our couple on their way to the altar.

Natural 20 or natural disaster?

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EXCERPT:

Satisfied with my results, I settled on the bed, all snug and dry in my robe. Pressing a stack of clean washcloths to my mouth to muffle the laughter, I heard the water turn off. After a few seconds’ hesitation, he called from inside the bathroom.

“Hey. Where are all the towels?”

I didn’t answer, just laughed some more and smothered my giggles.

The slap of his wet feet on the bare floor sounded as he crossed the bathroom toward the door. He poked his dripping head out of the doorway. “What did you do?” His dark eyebrow arched, hair soaked and plastered to his forehead. A puddle quickly formed around his feet.

I held up one of the tiny washcloths. “You want this, don’t you? The hate is swelling in you now.”

His mouth quirked. “Something’s swelling, but it isn’t hate.” He pushed the hair away from his forehead and cleared the water that had dripped into his eyes. “Somehow I thought getting away with that was too easy.”

I smirked. “You should know me better by now. As for drying off…you could always use your dirty underpants.”

“Underpants? What am I, five?” He clenched his jaw and then grinned. “Don’t underestimate the power of the dark side, young Jedi.”

I rolled my eyes. “So you’re going to try to one-up me? So predictable. I’m shaking in my boots.”

His dark eyes gleamed as he came closer. Rivulets of water had collected on his tasty abs. It was fascinating to behold.

“And you should know me better, too.” He grinned evilly. “I don’t one-up. I one-hundred-up.” Then he shook his head inches from my face. Droplets of water sprayed everywhere. I let out a screech and pulled back. “You are looking too dry over there, little girl. Let me help you with that.”

And he promptly pinned me, dripping wet, to the bed and started rubbing his drenched face in mine. “You’re gonna soak the bed!” I screeched.

“Collateral damage,” he replied. He reached down and pulled the belt on my robe, opening it. Then he shifted, sandwiching me between his wet body and the bed.

I squirmed and wiggled, and he only seemed to like it more. He shook his head again. My hand smacked his hard chest. “You’re such a boy.”

He grinned. “I’m all boy,” he said, pressing his erection against me.

“I won’t take this lying down,” I muttered.

“You don’t have to take it lying down.” He laughed. “There’s always up against the door or the shower wall. Or you can take it bent over the back of the couch or a dozen other different ways. Whatever way you take it…you are taking it.”

 

Author Bio:

Brenna Aubrey is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary romance stories that center on geek culture.

She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover’s heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. She’s also a mom, teacher, geek girl, Francophile, unabashed video-game addict & eBook hoarder.

She currently resides on the west coast of the US with her husband, two children, and two adorable golden retriever pups.

Sign up for Brenna’s email list for release updates, and free content (deleted scenes, bonus stories, etc.) please copy & paste this link into your browser:

http://BrennaAubrey.net/newsletter-signup

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Forbidden Dance by Deanna Roy #CoverReveal #Romance @ExpressoReads @deannaroy


Forbidden Dance
Deanna Roy
(Lovers Dance, #1)
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Shy tender Livia has always been sheltered from the vulgar world of technology, television, and social media. At nineteen, she knows little of life beyond her immediate family, church, and the Dreamcatcher Dance Academy, where she studies ballet and assists a teacher with a group of spunky, beautiful dance students in wheelchairs.

Then comes Blitz Craven, the disgraced star of Dance Blitz, a bawdy, often-censored reality show where Blitz sleeps with as many dancers as possible under the guise of finding his perfect partner. His connections lead him to Livia, where the wheelchair ballerinas are his ticket back into the public’s good graces.

Blitz takes one look at the sweet talented Livia and he wants her. But Livia isn’t as naive as she seems, and her biggest, most tender secret is not going to be unraveled by a sexy muscled dancer who stands for everything she’s ever guarded herself against.

The complete series:

Forbidden Dance (March 28, 2017)

Wounded Dance (April 14, 2017

Wicked Dance (April 28, 2017)

Tender Dance (May 12, 2017)

Final Dance (June 6, 2017)

Each book is a standalone full-length HEA.

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Author Bio:

Deanna Roy is the six-time USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction.

She is a passionate advocate for women who have lost babies. She has several books on the subject, including her bestseller FOREVER INNOCENT, a romance about a couple whose baby is taken off life support at seven days old.

She has run the website PregnancyLoss.Info for fifteen years, including many large spin-off support groups both online and in person.

To learn about new releases, sign up for her subscriber list at http://deannaroy.com/news. She has regular giveaways in conjunction with major pregnancy loss events.

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Behind the Book by @HeatherDahlgren #NA #Romance #mgtab


Behind the Book
Heather Dahlgren
(Sexy, #2)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: December 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

London Tweed will protect herself at all costs, even if it endangers her heart…

London has achieved a thriving writing career, but her social life could use some work. She doesn’t have many friends and can’t even remember the last time she went on a date. If only the memories of her previous relationship would let her enjoy a little of the success she’s earned. London fears she’s lost the ability to feel anything, until she meets the cover model for her new book.

Blake Foster is proud of his career—and his reputation…

Blake is a model who loves the ladies as much as they love him. He’s got great friends, a successful career, and definitely no lonely nights. He can’t understand why anyone would want to settle down. Then London Tweed chooses him to be on her next book cover and invites him to attend a signing with her. He has a great time at the event and makes it his mission to get London to loosen up.

Temptation has never felt so right…

When the after party gets out of hand, London finally lets the walls around her heart down and starts to have fun again. All thanks to Blake. She wants to take a chance on him, but the fear of everything she left behind still follows her.

Can the past stay in the past? Blake’s ready to give up his playboy lifestyle for London, but can he convince her that his love is stronger than the world around them?

Judging a book by its cover may not be fair, especially when you don’t know what’s going on…

Behind the Book.

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Author Bio:

Heather Dahlgren writes Contemporary Romance, sprinkling each book with a bit of humor, a lot of naughty and true love. She self-published her first book in 2014 and continues to do so today. Her over active mind promises the stories are in no short supply.

Heather grew up and still resides at the Jersey shore. She loves being so close to the Atlantic Ocean and the Pine Barrens. She is surrounded by the best of both worlds.

She is married to her high school sweetheart and has three kids. There is nothing more important in the world to her then her family.

When Heather isn’t writing you can find her getting lost in a great book, spending time with family and helping her fellow authors.

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Yours And Mine by Christine Duval #NA #Contemporary #mgtab @christineduval1


Yours And Mine
Christine Duval
(Freshman Forty, #2)
Publication date: February 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

The highly anticipated sequel to Positively Mine….

Picking up from the dramatic ending of Positively Mine, Yours and Mine continues the Freshman Forty series as we meet Danny Santoro, Laurel’s baby’s father, for the first time.

It’s been almost a year since he last saw her, that sultry morning she walked off the beach before dawn had even cracked the August sky. It seemed from her silence, she was out of his life forever.

But Laurel’s timing couldn’t be worse to tell him he’s a father. The last year hasn’t been easy. Danny’s own father was arrested for a DUI, his mother moved out, and Danny started sleeping with his brother’s old high school, drug-abusing girlfriend.

After Laurel shocks him with the news, she attempts to relinquish Danny of any parental responsibility leading to a heated custody battle. In an unorthodox arrangement, an eccentric judge orders Danny and Laurel to spend alternating weekends with each other for the upcoming school year.

Told from Danny’s point of view, Yours and Mine explores the second chapter of a romance that never got off the ground, the challenges of young parenting, and the hope of rekindled love.

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Sequel to:

18619423

 

Author Bio:

Christine Duval lives in New Jersey with her family. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Women Who Write, and the Authors Guild.

When not creating fictional characters or organizing carpools, you can find her walking through houses and writing about them for an upscale real estate company. She also has an extensive social media background and has worked for several well-known magazines.

Find her online at http://www.christineduval.com or on Twitter @christineduval1.

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Confessions of an Undercover Girlfriend by Kay Marie #Contemporary #Romance #mgtab


Confessions of an Undercover Girlfriend
Kay Marie
(Confessions #2)
Publication date: October 11th 2016
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

So, I’m no longer a virgin sex columnist—thank you, Ollie—but if I thought that was going to make my life easier, boy was I wrong! John is back in town determined to win my forgiveness. Blythe is more ready than ever to take me down. Bridget is totally onto the new twinkle in my eye. And, well, Ollie is just as distractingly delicious as usual.

So, naturally, I have a few more confessions to make.

Confession #1: I came up with what I thought would be the perfect plan to keep my relationship with Ollie a secret—pretend to get back together with John!

Confession #2: It backfired. A lot.

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Sequel to:

confessions-of-a-virgin-sex-columnist

Meet Skylar Quinn!

skylar-quinn

Name: Skylar Quinn – Skye to her friends, and well, anyone else who wants!

Occupation: Newspaper assistant and reluctant sex columnist…

Who Is She? Skylar is the main character of Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist! —the story is told in her first person narration. She’s a virgin, a sex columnist, and is, well, pretty much totally anxious about the whole thing. Throw in the secret crush on her best friend’s brother, who also happens to be her new roommate, and you might understand her frequent heart palpitations

Loves: Ollie! No, wait…she used to. She still does? Well, you guys can decide because Skye and I sure can’t! Other loves include coffee, desserts, sugary things in general, reading by the windowsill while it rains, cheesy love scenes, and writing of course—especially when said writing doesn’t include fabricating sexual scenarios for her column.

Hates: High heels, hitting on guys, the never-ending embarrassing moments that seem to plague her life, lying in general (yeah, I see the irony here), and, what did I forget? Oh, right. Ollie!

Guilty Pleasures: Reality television binge watching sessions with Bridget, and, um, secretly watching Ollie flex his biceps out of the corner of her eye!

You can visit my pinterest board now for all of the character images and the original websites where I found them! Thank you!

Pinterest link: https://www.pinterest.com/kdavisbooks/confessions-of-a-virgin-sex-columnist-character-in/

 

Author Bio:

Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie.

Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found indulging in some puppy videos, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com

To stay up-to-date with all of Kaitlyn’s new releases, sign up for her new release newsletter here: TinyLetter.com/KaitlynDavisBooks

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Forever My Soldier by Alison Mello #NA #Romance @AlisonMelloAuth


Forever My Soldier
Alison Mello
(Love Conquers Life #3)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: August 9th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

All Patricia Fitzgerald wants is to live happily ever after with her soldier…

With their relationship finally out in the open, and Carter on the fast track to recovery, Patty spends Black Friday helping him with his charity event. Their attempt to spread Christmas cheer is interrupted, though, when Patty’s ex-boyfriend Ben, who has been harassing her for months, shows up. Fearing for Patty’s life, one of the men on the protection detail springs into action.

Patty finally thinks her worries are over, but the media won’t leave her alone…

The press is everywhere. Patty wants to move on with her life, but they’re relentless in their badgering about the circumstances surrounding Ben. If that isn’t enough stress to endure, someone spikes Patty’s drink during a New Year’s Eve event, and it isn’t her meddling ex. Luckily, Carter is there to save her when she collapses, but this constant threat to her life isn’t going away.

Planning a wedding becomes tedious instead of fun when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder…

A cake tasting is supposed to be one of those days as a future bride when you get to sit back and take a break from the chaos of planning the ceremony. Someone new is out there, though, and they aren’t happy with how Patty handled Ben and her newfound fame in the press. Can Carter manage to keep his fiancé safe long enough to put their ordeal with Ben behind them for good and finally become…

…forever her soldier?

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Author Bio:

Alison Mello is a wife and stay at home mom to a wonderful little boy. She lives with her amazing family in Massachusetts. She loves playing soccer, basketball and football with her son.

After having her son, Alison started reading again and fell in love with Contemporary Romance. Reading made her happy and gave her something to do when she had downtime. As she started to read more, she started to noticed things she really enjoyed in a book and things she didn’t. She began to have ideas for writing one of her own. One day she literally woke up and started writing. She realized that if there was ever a time for her to write, it was now. She had a part time job to give her something to do. The hours at work were slow and she was bored with what she was doing, so while her son was off enjoying his friends over summer vacation she got started.

Alison finished the first book in two weeks and decided that she really enjoyed writing, so she kept going. She already had ideas in mind for books two and three, so she kept writing. That is how the Learning to Love Series was born. Somewhere along the line, one of my Beta readers convinced me that Michael, a character from Finding Love, needed his own story. That is when Alison added the fourth and final book. Alison hopes you enjoy her books as much as she enjoyed writing them.

She’s so glad she started this writing journey and hopes you will stay with her for the ride. Chasing Dreams is scheduled to release in April and the first two books of the Love Conquers Life series will be out this summer!

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Season, Unforgettable by Keta Diablo #RomanticIdea #romance #MFRWauthor @ketadiablo


400x600 IAN Seal

 

Someone wants Season’s land. And they’ll do anything to get it. Even murder.

Season, Unforgettable

by Keta Diablo

 

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

 

 

Blurb:

  • Nominated for a Rone Award
  • Finalist Independent Author Network Best Book

 

Season Scrimshaw isn’t selling the land her parents left her when they died, not even to the gorgeous Rann Brogan who saved her life in the forest. Especially not after she finds out he was in the woods to survey her property.

The company Rann works for, his mother’s company, wants the land for a luxury condo development and they want it bad. He never dreamed they’d go to such extreme lengths to get it.

Lives spiral out of control, lies and betrayal play center stage. Caught in the middle between his rich and powerful mother and the woman he loves, Rann discovers love is complicated…and sometimes lethal.

A stand-alone contemporary romance with elements of suspense.

 

Excerpt:

Looking at the road Season traveled, a sense of the unfamiliar hit her. Holy crap! This isn’t right. Don’t panic, take a deep breath. You’re not on Mars, at least I don’t think they have red barns and silos on Mars.

 

Cows grazed in the pastures, a black crow or two crossed the sky. She realized she must have made a wrong turn leaving the 7-Eleven. Was she supposed to go right to get back onto the Interstate or left? She’d have to backtrack and that shouldn’t be a problem since she couldn’t have traveled more than four miles. The gravel road didn’t want to cooperate with her plan. The straight path she’d been on had now turned into a bend, an elongated curve with no end in sight. Still no reason to panic. Hey, if it is a never-ending bend I’ll end up back at the little store.

 

About to reach for her cell in the passenger seat, she checked her rearview mirror first. A cloud of dust had formed behind her car, a whirling dervish that screeched fast and furious. If it didn’t slow down, and there wasn’t a lane on either side to pass her, how would it navigate around her?

 

Kaboom! The car slammed into her tailgate. Her neck whipped forward and then back again. Full-blown terror snaked down her spine. The car hadn’t stopped; it was still swerving and swaying behind her. She didn’t dare pull over. This was no accident but an intentional act. She wracked her brain. Had she pulled out in front of someone unknowingly? What about the clerk at the store? God, she couldn’t even remember what he looked like. Had he followed her?

 

Kaboom! A scream seized her throat. The Denali veered to the right. Tires squealed, hers or the other vehicle’s she didn’t know. Curve eternal still loomed ahead with no driveways or turnarounds in sight. Frantic now, she searched the seat for her phone. Her hand met flat leather. It must have fallen during the last ram.

 

With one eye on the gravel road, one in the rearview mirror, a beam of sunlight illuminated the maniac’s car. Spiders crawled over her skin. Silver SUV? No, it can’t be! An engine roared and then brakes squealed. She clung to the steering wheel and prayed.

 

Bam! The Denali screamed its outrage or was it the sound of broken glass? A steep bank ahead flashed in her line of vision. Dear God, help me! Oh no, oh, no! Like a spinning top, the Denali flipped, ass over tea kettle. Immense pain shot through her body. Something warm and sticky ran down her face. Why hadn’t the air bag deployed? Her vision faded in and out, and she couldn’t form a rational thought. Oh, Pearl, we’re dying. Duna! Oh, my God, Duna, I-I shouldn’t have listened to you this time, should have followed my aura meter.

Lying snake. 

Complete, utter darkness engulfed her.

 

Bio:

Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of woodland. When she isn’t writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature. She adores animals and donates her time and support to local food and animal shelters.

Keta is a multi-published author in contemporary romance, erotic romance and gay fiction. She’s also an Amazon best-selling author. Her erotica novel Decadent Deceptions was a finalist in the MOLLY contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America and was nominated for a Red Carpet Award in 2014. Her paranormal novel Meko’s Woman was nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark and her historical novel Sky Tinted Water was nominated for a RONE Award by Ind’Tale Magazine. Her latest contemporary romance novel, Season, Unforgettable, was a finalist in the romance category sponsored by Independent Author Network Book Awards for 2015.

 

Keta’s books have received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month, and Recommended Read awards from top professional review sites.

 

 

Download Season, Unforgettable

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1K1nXBr

Nook: http://bit.ly/23w8Qn3

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id992988050

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/season-unforgettable
Follow Keta on the Net:

Author Blog: http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KetaDiablo.Author

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ketadiablo

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

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Keta-Diablo/e/B002BODURI/

 

 

#RomanticIdea

When summer comes to the Midwest, we think lakes!

One way I love to pass a sunny afternoon is to pack a picnic lunch and head for the water on a Pontoon boat. What could be more romantic than spending a lazy day cruising the lake? The crappies are biting, the sun’s sharing its awesome warmth and the cooler is filled with our favorite beverages.

This is also a great time to catch up on my reading (a romance novel, of course). As the sun sets, we head on over to one of the many restaurants on the lake and enjoy a delicious meal together.

Now this is my idea of Romance!

Happy sailing and happy reading! ~ Keta ~

 

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Loving Liam by Loretta Lost #NA #RomSus #mgtab @LorettaLost


Clarity 5: Loving Liam
Loretta Lost
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Happily ever after isn’t always easy…

Helen and Liam are engaged to be married and their relationship is stronger than ever. But when Helen encourages the young doctor to mend fences with his estranged family before the wedding, she unintentionally opens a dangerous can of worms.

A devastating secret from Liam’s past emerges, threatening to tear him apart. The horrors of his family skeletons make him feel that it is a huge mistake to try to start a new family with Helen. Unable to cope, he pushes everyone away, including his fiancée and even his best friend Owen.

Now Helen must do all she can to save the man who has saved her so many times. Liam has put himself on the line to help her heal in the past, and she hopes to do the same—if she can even get close enough to try…

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READ THE PROLOGUE:

Liam Larson, 1989

I am standing on the side of the road and holding a newborn infant.

She is looking up at me with curiosity on her face, and I can already tell she’s going to be my best friend. We’re going to do everything together, especially coloring and making snow angels. She’s really tiny right now, but I’m sure that when she’s a little bigger she’ll love playing catch with me. I have a ball, but I don’t have anyone to play with.

First, I need to know her name.

“What are we going to call her, Mama?”

Turning to the side, I look at my mother who is sitting in the driver’s seat of the car and crying softly. I think she’s crying because it hurt a lot to take the baby out of her stomach. There is blood staining her dress, and she is clutching her midsection as her shoulders shake with sobs. She barely makes any sound, but she is shaking so hard that the car is trembling beneath her.

I thought she needed to go to the hospital, but she said no.

The baby in my arms is bloody and red. Maybe that’s why Mama never wanted to touch her. When she came out, I tried to wipe most of the gooey stuff off her before wrapping her up in Mama’s green sweater. Once I got it all off her face, I was able to see that she’s perfect. She has clear blue eyes and chubby little fingers. Her bellybutton was funny. I asked Mama what to do about the floppy string, but she wouldn’t help me.

“Liam,” my mother says from the car, and she is crying so much that she can hardly breathe. “Leave her there. Hurry! Before someone drives by.”

I look around in confusion. It’s early morning, and there aren’t many other cars on the road. Why would Mama want me to leave the baby here? It’s winter and there is a thin layer of snow on the ground. I shift the baby in my arms, because they are growing tired. She might be tiny, but I’m not that big and strong yet and it’s hard to hold her.

“Please, Liam,” my mother says again, placing her face in her hands as though she cannot look at me. “Put the baby down and come back into the car.”

“I don’t want to. She’ll be cold.”

My mother wipes her face on her sleeve, trying to remove some of the tears and clean her runny nose. She sits up a little straighter and grasps the steering wheel tightly. “Liam, if you don’t get your ass back here this instant I’ll tell your father that you disobeyed me. He’ll give you a good beating!”

I flinch at this prospect, and hug the baby tighter against my chest. I don’t want Papa to hit me anymore. He’s been away for a little while, but I know he’ll be back soon, and he’ll start hurting me again.

“For god’s sake, Liam,” my mother whispers desperately. “If you don’t do as I say, your father will kill me. He’s going to strangle me to death, and who knows what he’ll do to the baby. He hates little girls.”

She’s right. I have seen my father choke my mother before, and he always says mean things about girls. I begin to grow very afraid. Will he treat the baby in my arms even worse than he treats me? If putting her down means she won’t get punched or kicked by Papa, is that better? Somehow, she feels glued to my chest, and I don’t want to let her go; not for anything.

“Please,” my mother says frantically as she waves me over with her hand. “Please just leave the baby there.”

“But… but she’ll get hurt. If cars drive by, they could hit her.”

“We’ll come back for her, soon. I promise. I just need to go home. I’m in a lot of pain.”

I look down at the ground fearfully. “Are you sure, Mama?”

“Leave her, Liam!”

I quickly move to do as she says, and place the baby down in the snow on the side of the road. The little girl looks at me in confusion as I stand up, and her tiny arms move a little, reaching out for me. I can tell she already misses the warmth of being held; she misses me. My heart is breaking. This feels wrong.

“Quickly, Liam!” my mother shouts.

Ripping my own coat off my shoulders, I lay it over the baby as an extra layer of protection. She makes a cooing sound as she looks up at me, and I feel tears falling from my eyes onto her cheeks. “I love you,” I tell her, bending down to place a kiss on her forehead. “I’m sorry. We’ll come back for you, little sister. Mama promised.” I have a terrible feeling, but I’m too afraid to go against my mother, so I run back to the car. I can hear the baby start to cry, and my insides ache.

I have barely jumped into the vehicle before my mom starts driving away. I didn’t even get a chance to close my car door, but it slams shut with the force of the car’s acceleration. My mother is sobbing and the car is veering dangerously as she drives away at breakneck speeds.

“Mama?” I ask her nervously. “Are we gonna go back for her soon?”

“Who?” my mother asks brokenly.

“The baby.”

“What baby?” Tears pour down my mother’s face as she shakes her head violently. “There is no baby. There never was a baby.”

Her words confuse me, and I look behind the car to try to see where I laid the infant down on the side of the road. I can still hear her cries echoing in my ears. I can still see her sweet face looking up at me. “Mama, we have to go back,” I say as panic begins to fill my chest. “I left the baby there and it’s so cold. She doesn’t even have clothes yet. Can we go back now?”

“There is no baby,” my mother says quietly, repeating the words to herself over and over. “There is no baby.”

I am terrified. There’s something wrong with my mother and I don’t know what to do. What’s going to happen now? Is my little sister going to be okay? I am her big brother. I was supposed to protect her.

What have I done?

 

Author Bio:

Loretta Lost is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories where very bad things happen to good people. Mystery, tragedy, and danger complicate her unique romances between characters who will do anything to protect each other.

In the two days of summer that she gets in Canada, she grows a garden of the hottest peppers in the world. She loves using these peppers to torture her guests and challenge their manhood. This could be why she isn’t married.

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Interview with Loretta Lost

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Sure! Writing will destroy your life. If it doesn’t, you’re not doing it right.

Are there any writing rituals you’ve developed? For the last few books that I’ve written, I’ve stopped washing my hair until they were completed. It’s an effective way of keeping myself trapped in “writing mode.” When I do wash my hair, I feel attractive and energetic, and yearn to go outside and do human things among other humans. If my hair is gross, I feel too embarrassed to show my face in public and I am forced to stay at home and keep working.

How do you deal with the isolation of writing? I believe it’s important to have friends who are also writers so that you can share the struggles. I also recently got a cat, and he provides a little companionship by cuddling up to me when I’m working.

How do you stay healthy when sitting on your butt all day? You need to get up and take walks regularly. Personally, I need to move to different locations throughout the day to keep things interesting, because I get sick of sitting one way. Having good posture while writing plays a huge role in avoiding headaches or neck pain.

What is your favourite food? I’m obsessed with nachos and could eat them every day of my life.

What are your favourite TV shows? Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Good Wife, How to Get Away with Murder, The Affair, Firefly, Charmed, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and the list goes on…

If you could be anything other than a writer, what would you be? Definitely an assassin.

What is your secret wish? I would be overjoyed if the world ended and we were all plunged into the zombie apocalypse. I think everyone would have a lot more fun. I would miss writing and publishing books, but I would really enjoy all of the physical activity involved with constantly fighting for survival.

There is a lot of medicine in your books. Did you ever want to be a doctor? I would have enjoyed going to med school if my father didn’t love the idea. I despise my father, as he is a terrible human being, and I would never give him the satisfaction of doing something he’d approve of.

There is a lot of romance in your books. How do you feel about marriage? Sadly, I have almost stopped believing that true love and mutual respect in relationships exists outside of fiction. As I get older, I find myself turning down marriage proposals and saying, “Let’s be friends instead. That way, nothing can go wrong.” This makes me even more dependent on my stories for love and romance—writing creates a safe place where one can be optimistic and risk getting hurt.

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