Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on October 27, 2017

Synopsis

Ewan Mostyn thinks a job as a duke’s daughter’s bodyguard will be easy—but Lady Lorraine has a few tricks up her sleeve that spark an undeniable passion

Fiercely loyal to his friends and comrades, Ewan Mostyn is the toughest in a group of younger sons of nobility who met as soldiers and are now trying desperately to settle back into peaceful Society. Ewan trusts his brawn more than his brains, but when he’s offered a job watching the Duke of Ridlington’s stubbornly independent daughter, he finds both are challenged.

Lady Lorraine wants none of her father’s high-handed ways, and she’ll do everything in her power to avoid her distressingly attractive bodyguard—until she lands herself in real trouble. Lorraine begins to see Ewan’s protectiveness in a new light, and she can only hope that her stoic guardian will do for her what he’s always done—fight for what he loves.

Excerpt

Lady Lorraine manages to sneak off to meet Francis, her would-be-lover in the garden. Ewan Mostyn tracks them down and interrupts Lady Lorraine trying to convince Francis to kiss her.

_______________________________________________________________

“Kiss me,” she said, looking up at Francis with adoring eyes the bastard did not deserve in the least. “I could wait forever if you would but kiss me.”

It was perhaps the silliest speech Ewan had ever heard. It was the sort of thing he expected one of Beaumont’s women to say, and yet despite the melodrama of the sentiment, at that moment Ewan hated Francis more than he ever had when his cousin had been his daily tormentor.

His loathing was so strong and so incomprehensible that Ewan regained control of his body and stepped out from behind the topiary.

Francis saw him first, and he stiffened and stepped back, putting a respectable distance between himself and Lady Lorraine. His expression was wary and, to Ewan’s satisfaction, frightened. The lady spun around as well, but her face showed no fear, only annoyance. She gave a long sigh. “Mr. Mostyn, I believe you know your cousin, Mr. Mostyn.”

“Ewan.” Francis looked him up and down. “We seem to keep meeting. Run along now. Lady Lorraine and I were having a private word.”

Ewan held out his hand to Lady Lorraine. “Come.”

“I see your vocabulary remains much the same,” Francis remarked. “As I’m certain you will use your simple grunts and growls to inform His Grace about this meeting, be sure to mention that I did nothing improper.”

“More’s the pity,” Lady Lorraine muttered. “At least the lecture and scolding would have been worth it.”

Ewan had the urge to laugh. Instead, he beckoned her with his outstretched hand. She did not take it. “I am not a dog, Mr. Mostyn. You needn’t crook your finger at me.”

Francis bowed. “I see I am no longer needed. My lady, sleep well tonight. I will see you…soon.” With what Ewan perceived was to be a meaningful look, Francis marched in the direction of Carlton House.

Since the lady seemed to have such an objection to them, Ewan folded his arms across his chest. He waited for her to speak. He felt he should say something, but he was not certain what that something should be. He had supposed Francis to be taking advantage of the lady, while it appeared she was the one intent on ruination. Francis was no paragon of honor and virtue, and Ewan would have liked little more than to beat the man to a pulp. But he could not fault his cousin for the scene he’d witnessed tonight.

“You won’t tell my father, will you?” Lady Lorraine finally broke the silence.

Ewan let out a breath of surprised air—half laugh, half incredulity.

The lady grasped his forearm. “If you do, it will not only doom me, but it will reflect badly on you as well.”

Ewan inclined his head, acknowledging the point. He’d made mistakes before, and he always took his punishment like a man. He was not much of a gentleman, but he had retained enough of his upbringing to know that one did not lie or cheat to avoid trouble. One faced the consequences of his mistakes with head held high. “Then so be it.”

She gaped at him. “You do not even care? You will be dismissed.”

Ewan blew out a breath. He did care. He cared very much, much more than he wanted to admit to.

Her hand on his forearm tightened, and he looked down at her. The damned chit was shivering with cold. Ewan was impervious to all but the coldest temperatures, but she looked almost blue. “Very well. Tell him. Nothing happened anyway.”

“Not for your lack of trying. I should tell your father you don’t need a bodyguard. You need to be locked in a convent.”

Now her eyes narrowed, and she released his arm as though it were filth she could not bear to touch any longer. “So now I am to be censured by you?”

He frowned at her. “Why not me?”

“Are you married?”

The question took him off guard. Conversation with women generally had the effect of unsettling him. He could never predict where their maze-like minds might wander. Conversation with men began at point A and ended at point B. Women often meandered to C then R and back to L before coming to the point.

“It is a simple question, Mr. Mostyn. Are you married?”

He shook his head.

“I didn’t think so. Are you a virgin?”

Ewan gaped at her. The question was so wildly inappropriate that, in his opinion, she had abandoned the points of the alphabet all together.

She waved a hand. “Yes, I know I am not supposed to ask you that, but humor me. I am making a point. Just answer yes or no.”

He shook his head as he did not trust his voice at the moment.

“Of course you are not. And yet no one thinks anything of the fact that you have bedded a woman who is not your wife. If I had to guess, with those eyes and those shoulders and chest”—she looked him up and down, and he actually felt himself heat at her frank perusal—“I imagine you have bedded more than your share of women.”

Ewan’s head was spinning at the rapidity of her speech, but what he did understand was that she had just complimented him. She admired his body, and the thought of her eyes on him caused him to have to take a breath. His chest felt tight and he lifted his hand to loosen the goddamn cravat before he remembered where he was.

“Of course,” she went on, “it is seen as perfectly natural for a man to want to kiss a woman, touch her, undress her, take her to bed, and—”

Ewan cleared his throat, not only because the already inappropriate conversation had descended beyond the pale, but because her description of the intimacies between men and women made him think of doing those things with her. And now the woman had not only fired his blood but stirred his rod. If she continued in this vein, his state of growing arousal would be evident to both of them.

“My point,” she said—and thank God she was finally reaching it—“is that it is considered natural for men to want these things, but when a woman wants them, then we should be locked away.” She gestured wildly with her hand, losing hold of her wrap so it slid to the ground and trailed after her as she paced. “What is so wrong with wanting a man to kiss me?” She gave Ewan a direct look, challenging him to give her an answer.

About the Author

Shana Galen is the national bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books have been sold in Brazil, Russia, and the Netherlands and featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She is a happily married wife and mother of a daughter and a spoiled cat and lives in Houston, Texas.

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Posted in excerpt, romance, Spotlight, women on October 26, 2017

The highly anticipated and epic conclusion to the Chasing Red duology

THE RIVETING CONCLUSION TO RED AND CALEB’S EPIC STORY
Veronica “Red” Strafford’s painful past has made trusting Caleb Lockhart difficult. But Red might have pushed Caleb away one too many times…

I want you to fight for me. Just as I fought for you. But you wouldn’t.
I stood there, staring after him, tears pouring down my face.

 

Chasing Red Duology:

Chasing Red (Book 1)

Always Red (Book 2)

Buy the Book

Excerpt

We were back at the beach. It was past midnight, and the place was deserted, as if it had been waiting for us all day.

As if it had been waiting for this moment.

We lay on the sand, on the same blanket he’d brought when he took us here the very first time. It seemed like a long time ago. Before, he would have reached for my hand, threading his fingers through mine.

Not this time.

I turned onto my side so I could look at Caleb. His eyes were closed. The breeze blew a lock of his bronze hair against his forehead, and I wanted to brush it back so badly.

“I miss you, Caleb.”

He didn’t respond. His eyes remained closed, but I knew he heard me because I saw his breath catch in his chest.

I had hurt him badly, and he was probably still angry at me. He must hate me, but I would rather have that than a cold shoulder.

I needed to explain. I needed to tell him what I really felt.

I took a deep breath, gathering courage. “All my life I had to work hard to get the things I wanted. To reach the places I needed to be. I had to be strong—stronger than most people. Because I had to be. I shut out everyone. And why not?”

I rolled onto my back and looked up to the dark velvet sky, at the bright half-moon and the stars glittering like diamonds. It was so beautiful, so peaceful with the sound of the lapping waves. But a storm was brewing inside me.

“People are selfish,” I continued. “They always want something from you, and when they get it, they leave. So I never let anyone in. But then…I met you. You made me feel. You made me want things that I never allowed myself to want before. And it scared me. It scared me so much. So I didn’t trust you. I didn’t allow myself to. Every time I felt myself getting close to you, I pulled away.”

“Why?” he asked, his voice low and quiet. “Because…because it hurts to hope for the impossible. How can someone like you want to know someone like me? All I have is a suitcase of sad stories and a broken heart. My walls are high and impossible to break down, and I won’t let anyone in. But I felt your warmth…seeping through the cracks. How did you know where to find me?” My voice broke. “No one else ever worked to find me, Caleb. No one else stayed long enough to even try”—I felt a tear slide down my cheek— “until you.”

I sat up, pulling my legs close to my chest and burying my face in my arms. I felt him sit up and move closer to me.

“I didn’t trust what you felt for me,” I admitted. “I was scared. I kept waiting for you to disappoint me. Everyone else did. And I think that…that…somehow there’s something wrong with me. Something missing. That I’m not enough to make you stay, that somehow, someday you’re going to get bored with me and leave.” I sobbed. “All my life, my dad told me it was my fault. That I was the reason for all the bad things…” I swallowed. I didn’t want to talk about him. I didn’t even know why I’d mentioned him.

“I wish he was in front of me so I could hurt him,” Caleb said. “More than he hurt you.”

I heard the anger in his voice. He paused for a moment, and I could hear him breathing slowly, trying to calm himself. When he spoke again, his voice had softened.

“Red,” he whispered. “Do you know how I felt when you left me?”

I lifted my head and looked into his eyes. The emotion I saw in them—the intensity and the tenderness—filled my throat.

“I felt ruined. You ruined me. There is anger, but every time I see you, my anger fades away. And there is pain, but what is love without pain? Because, Red, every time you break me apart, you put me back together. And I always come out better than before. So.” He cupped my face, stroking my cheek with his thumb. “Ruin me.”

 

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Posted in Book Blast, Giveaway, romance on October 25, 2017

BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – LOVE UNCOVERED

Have you read Love Uncovered by Laura Barnard yet?  This sweet and sexy romantic comedy is the second standalone in the Babes of Brighton series.  It follows Brooke and Nicholas and their whirlwind of a romance.  myBook.to/LoveUncovered

Synopsis

Independent woman to her core, Brooke Archer has always been happy to hit it and quit it with the men in her life. But when her beloved Nan suffers from poor health, Brooke realises just how precious life is and decides it’s time to face her daddy issues and seek out her estranged father. Without so much as a name or photo, and a cagey Mum withholding vital information, it’s going to be no easy task.

Nicholas Parker is a relationship guy and always has been. Abandoned by his mum when he was seven he craves love and security. But finding a woman who can conquer his trust issues is no easy feat. Brooke is exactly the kind of woman he doesn’t need.

Pulled together by some invisible force, can Brooke and Nicholas overcome their differences to uncover true love?

With reviews like this what are you waiting for?

‘What a fast, fun flirty little book!’

‘Read in a day, couldn’t put it down!’

‘A fantastic pick you up book of love and life.’

Head on over to her facebook page to enter her $10/£10 Amazon Gift Card giveaway.  Good Luck!

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Historical, Review, romance on October 22, 2017

Synopsis

When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled romance, eventually a family, and continued opportunities to develop as a writer. Her husband Calvin is completely supportive and said she must be a literary woman. Harriet’s sister, Catharine, worries she will lose her identity in marriage, but she is determined to preserve her independent spirit. Deeply religious, she strongly believes God has called her to fulfill the roles of wife and writer and will help her accomplish everything she was born to do.

Two months after her wedding Harriet discovers she is pregnant just as Calvin prepares to leave for a European business trip. Alone, Harriet is overwhelmed-being a wife has been harder than she thought and being an expectant mother feels like living another woman’s life. Knowing that part of Calvin still cherishes the memory of his first wife, Harriet begins to question her place in her husband’s heart and yearns for his return; his letters are no substitute for having him home. When Calvin returns, however, nothing seems to have turned out as planned.

Struggling to balance the demands of motherhood with her passion for writing and her desire to be a part of the social change in Ohio, Harriet works to build a life with her beloved Calvin despite differing temperaments and expectations.

Can their love endure, especially after “I do”? Can she recapture the first blush of new love and find the true beauty in her marriage?

Review

This book gave me a look into the past and what life might have been like for a woman that had more dreams than just being a mother and wife.

While this book is fiction, it is based on a real person, Harriet Beecher Stowe. While I have heard the name and know she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, I really didn’t know much about her at all. This authors story, while mostly fiction, does have some truth to it. There is a section at the end of the book that goes chapter by chapter to explain what is true and where she obtained the information. All I can say is a lot of research went into this book!

All that aside, I think I identified with Harriet. I wasn’t meant to be a homemaker. Sure I love to cook, but the cleaning? no thank you! Thankfully men have evolved since the mid 1800’s and don’t always expect women to be the homemaker. But at that time, women had really no rights and not much of a voice.

Calvin is a good man but was set in his beliefs about a family due to how he was raised and his first wife. Not that any of what he learned was wrong, but to fall in love with Harriett when she was the complete opposite, you would think he might adjust his thinking. Over time he did, but it took time and others to help him understand who he married and that she was not his mother or first wife.

I really enjoyed this book especially the last half of the book. I thought that the first half of the book was slow, but it was setting everything up so that the last half would bring all of the situations to a head. I learned something about Harriet and am now curious and want to learn more about this woman who was ahead of her time.

We give it 3 1/2 paws up!

About the Author

Kilpack, Josi-1Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney award for Mystery/Suspense in 207 and Wedding Cake, book twelve in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series won in 2014. Josi was also the Best of State winner in Fiction for 2012. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband, children and super-cute – but not very friendly – cat.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on October 20, 2017

Synopsis

As soon as the mistletoe goes up, that’s when life gets really interesting

Darcy Shaughnessy has gotten used to her overbearing brothers chasing away any man she wants to date. But a chance meeting with a brooding – and deliciously handsome – artist is about to make this holiday season one to remember.

There’s only one thing Benjamin Tanner loves more than his woodcarving: solitude. Then he gets snowed in with Darcy in his cozy cabin in the woods, and their heated feelings begin to melt the icy barrier between them.

With Ben’s need for privacy and Darcy’s love of family and social life, will opposites still attract once the snow clears and the holiday festivities come to an end?

Excerpt

This was not what he had planned.

Maybe it was what he had fantasized about, but this was not what he had planned.

But the instant Darcy’s lips touched his, Ben was lost. From the first time he’d laid eyes on her, he’d wondered how she’d feel in his arms.

Now he knew. Amazing.

From the first time he watched her move, he wanted to know how she’d feel moving against him.

Now he knew. Incredible.

From the first time he’d seen her smile, he wanted to know what her lips would feel like as he kissed her.

Now he knew. Sexy as hell.

His arms banded around her waist until he made sure there wasn’t even room for a breath between them. She went up on tiptoes to press even more intimately against him—which he totally appreciated—and it allowed his hands to linger and cup her denim-clad bottom.

And what a denim-clad bottom it was.

Gently, he squeezed it and even considered grabbing it harder and lifting her onto the counter, but he wasn’t ready to let go of the full-body contact just yet.

It was insanity. One minute, she was frustrating the hell out of him in a nonsexual way, and the next, he was so consumed with need for her that he almost didn’t recognize himself. This wasn’t the man he normally was. He didn’t pounce; he didn’t even think of initiating anything physical in a situation that was so mundane.

And breakfast was pretty mundane.

When Ben chose to sleep with a woman, there was, well, there was a certain protocol to it for him. There were the required three dates. There was the kiss good night that would build in heat over the course of the dates, and then it was normally at her house. Never here. Never in his bed. His home was just that—his. It was his sanctuary, and he was possessive of it. But right now, all he wanted—almost more than his next breath—was to have Darcy in his bed.

Under him.

Over him.

Another growl escaped before he could stop it.

For a moment, he allowed his lips to leave hers, because he was desperate to taste her in other places. His mouth trailed along the delicate line of her jaw, her throat, and up to nip at her ear, a spot he quickly learned made her knees buckle and had her gasping.

Good to know.

But she wasn’t having any of it for long. With her hand firmly anchored in his hair, she let him know the instant she wanted to kiss him again, and he went willingly. Over and over, his mouth slanted over hers until he thought he’d simply consume her. Tongue tangled with tongue. Breath mingled with breath. Never had the act of kissing seemed so carnal. So indecent and so damn erotic.

And that’s when he knew standing at the kitchen sink was no longer cutting it. He needed her. Wanted her. And from the sounds she was making and the way she was moving against him, Darcy felt it too.

This time when he reached down and cupped her ass, he lifted her up onto the counter. Stepping in close until he was firmly pressed against the juncture of her thighs, he cursed their clothes. Cursed the fact that the nearest soft surface was so damn far away. And cursed the fact that she tugged at his hair as she pulled away from him.

“Ben, wait,” she panted.

Well, shit.

A little dazed, he forced himself to open his eyes and focus on her. Her lips were wet and red and a little swollen, and her skin was flushed.

So. Damn. Sexy.

Resting his forehead against hers, he took a minute to catch his breath.

Was he supposed to apologize? Step away and start shoveling? Hell if he knew, but he was going to stay quiet and let Darcy say whatever it was she was thinking. So he didn’t move, and once his breathing was back to normal, he almost felt as if he was holding it.

“What are we doing?” she asked quietly.

Was she serious? Those were some fairly obvious moves going on, on both their parts! How could she be questioning it? And on top of that, she was the one who had initiated it! Lifting his head, he looked at her.

“I thought we were kissing,” he said simply.

She blushed, and it was sexy as hell to see. His fingers twitched with the need to touch her cheeks and feel the heat there.

“I…I know, but…I guess I’m just a little confused as to where that all came from.”

She was confused? Because now he was a little beyond that himself. Taking a step away, he frowned. “Why don’t you tell me?” he began levelly. “Since you were the one who reached up and pulled me into the kiss in the first place.”

The blush was instantly replaced by a look of mild annoyance. Darcy jumped from the counter, placing her hands on her hips. “I guess I got caught up in what I thought was a moment. I mean you came over and crowded me into the cabinets and then started touching me—out of the blue, might I add—so I guess I thought you were into it too.”

Oh yeah. He had forgotten about that part. Once she had reached up and kissed him, Ben had pretty much forgotten about his own actions leading up to it. “Fine. Yes. I came over here and—” He stopped and cursed, raking a hand through his hair. “I don’t know. I wanted to do that since you first showed up here.”

 

About the Author

Samantha Chase, a creative writing teacher, released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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Posted in Christian, Giveaway, Historical, romance, Trailer on October 19, 2017

LADY JAYNE DISAPPEARS

by

JOANNA DAVIDSON POLITANO

  Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: October 3, 2017

Number of Pages: 416

Scroll down for giveaway!

When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet house guest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance—and perhaps even her father’s death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano’s stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.

Baker Book House * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Christianbook.com

iBooks * Kobo * Lifeway * Books-A-Million

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Praise for Lady Jayne Disappears

“Emotional. Intriguing. Both haunting and romantic. . . In her historical fiction debut, Joanna Davidson Politano delivers a smart plot that navigates twists and turns with a mixture of wit, intelligent characters, and a refreshingly original voice. Reminiscent of Dickens’ classic storytelling, Lady Jayne Disappears is a debut to remember!” —Kristy Cambron, author of The Illusionist’s Apprentice

“Wonderfully unique, this compelling debut grabs you from the first intriguing line. The evocative English setting, textured characters, literary theme, and unusual romance make Lady Jayne Disappears a standout, the lovely cover offering a hint of the gem within. A must read!” Laura Frantz, author of A Moonbow Night

 

Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her on her website.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

—————————————–

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: Copy of Lady Jayne Disappears + 18pc Book Lover’s Basket

2nd Prize: Copy of Lady Jayne Disappears + Vintage Library Pendant Necklace

3rd Prize: Copy of Lady Jayne Disappears + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

October 17-October 28, 2017

(U.S. Only)

 


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17-Oct Excerpt Texas Book Lover
18-Oct Review Syd Savvy
19-Oct Book Trailer StoreyBook Reviews
20-Oct Review Missus Gonzo
21-Oct Character Interview Chapter Break Book Blog
22-Oct Scrapbook Page Tangled in Text
23-Oct Review Momma On The Rocks
24-Oct Deleted Scene The Page Unbound
25-Oct Author Interview The Librarian Talks
26-Oct Review Reading by Moonlight

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on October 19, 2017

Synopsis

An offer that’s impossible to accept…

Maggie Sinclair has tried everything to save her family’s business, including mortgaging their beloved beach house on the Jersey shore. But now, she’s out of options.

The Sinclair and Pierce families have been neighbors and enemies for almost thirty years. That hasn’t stopped Owen Pierce from crushing on Maggie, and he’s determined to invest in her success. Now he has to convince her that he’s more than just trouble with a capital T…

Excerpt

Sea Kiss, New Jersey

Tracy Parker was in love with being in love.

That worried her best friend and maid of honor, Maggie Sinclair, more than she cared to admit.

In the middle of the temporary dance floor, Tracy waltzed with her new husband in a satin-and-lace designer gown, gleaming with seed pearls and twinkling sequins. But the sparkle dimmed in comparison to the dreamy glow in Tracy’s eyes.

The sounds of wedding music competed with the gentle rustle of seagrass in the dunes and the crash of the waves down on the beach. The fragrance from centerpiece flowers and bouquets battled with the kiss of fresh sea air.

Connie and Emma, Tracy’s two other best friends and members of the bridal party, were standing beside Maggie on the edge of the dance floor that had been set up on the great lawn of Maggie’s family’s beachfront mansion on the Jersey Shore. Huddled together, Maggie and her friends watched the happy couple do a final whirl.

“She’s got it so bad,” Maggie said, eyeing Connie and Emma with concern past the rim of her rapidly dis- appearing glass of champagne.

“Do you think that this time he really is The One?” Connie asked.

“Doubt it,” Emma replied without hesitation.

As the DJ requested that other couples join the happy newlyweds, Maggie and her friends returned to the bridal party dais set out on the patio. Grabbing another glass of champagne, Maggie craned her neck around the gigantic centerpiece piled with an almost obscene mound of white roses, ice-blue hydrangea, lisianthus, sheer tulle, and twinkling fairy lights and examined the assorted guests mingling around the great lawn and down by the boardwalk leading to the beach.

She recognized Tracy’s family from their various meetings over the years, as well as some of Tracy’s sorority sisters, like Toni Van Houten, who in the six years since graduation had managed to pop out a trio of boys who now circled her like sharks around a swim- mer. Although the wedding invite had indicated No Children, Toni had done as she pleased. Since Tracy had not wanted a scene at her dream beachfront wed- ding, Emma, who was doing double duty as the wedding planner for the event, had scrambled to find space for the children at the dinner tables.

“Is that Toni ‘I’ll never ruin my body with babies’ Toni?” Connie asked, a perplexed look on her features. At Maggie’s nod, Connie’s eyes widened in surprise, and she said, “She looks…happy.”

A cynical laugh erupted from Emma. “She looks crazed.”

Maggie couldn’t argue with either of their assessments. But as put-upon as their old acquaintance seemed, the indulgent smile she gave her youngest child was positively radiant.

Maggie skipped her gaze across the gathering to take note of all the other married folk. It was easy enough to pick them out from her vantage point on the dais, where she and her friends sat on display like days’ old cakes in the bakery. They were the last three unmarried women in an extended circle of business and college acquaintances.

“How many times do you suppose we’ve been bridesmaids now?” Maggie wondered aloud. She finished off her glass and motioned for the waiter to bring another.

“Jointly or severally?” asked Connie, ever the lawyer. “Way too many,” replied Emma, who, for a wedding planner, was the most ardent disbeliever in the possibility of happily ever afters.

Maggie hadn’t given marriage a first thought, much less a second, in a very long time. She’d had too many things going on in her life. Not that there hadn’t been a few memorable moments, most of which revolved around the absolutely worst man for her: Owen Pierce.

But for years now, she’d been dealing with her family’s business and its money problems, which had spilled over into her personal finances. As she gazed at the beauty of the manicured grounds and then back toward her family’s summer home, it occurred to her that this might be the last time she hosted a celebration like this here. She had mortgaged the property that she had inherited to funnel money into the family’s struggling retail store division.

Unfortunately, thanks to her father’s stubborn refusal to make changes to help the business, she spent way too much time at work, which left little time for romance. Not to mention that none of her casual dates had piqued her interest in that direction. Looking down from her perch, however, and seeing the happiness on so many faces suddenly had her reconsidering the merits of married life.

“Always a bridesmaid and never a bride,” she muttered, surprising herself with the hint of wistfulness in her tone.

“That’s because the three of us are all too busy working to search for Prince Charming,” Connie said, her defense as swift and impassioned as if she were arguing a case in court.

“Who even believes in that fairy-tale crap?” Emma’s gaze grew distracted, and she rose from her chair. “Excuse me for a moment. Carlo needs to see me about something.”

Emma rushed off to the side of the dance floor, where her caterer extraordinaire, Carlo Teixeira, raked a hand through his thick, brown hair in clear frustration. He wore a pristine white chef’s jacket and pants that enhanced his dark good looks.

Emma laid a hand on Carlo’s forearm and leaned close to speak to him, apparently trying to resolve a problem.

“She doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but her Prince Charming is standing right in front of her,” Connie said with a sad shake of her head.

Maggie took another sip of her champagne and viewed the interaction between Carlo and Emma. Definitely major sparkage going on, she thought.

“You’re totally right,” she said with an assertive nod. Connie smiled like the proverbial cat, her exotic green-gold eyes gleaming with mischief. “That’s why you hired me to represent your company as soon as I finished law school. Nothing gets past me.”

“Really? So what else do you think you’ve seen tonight?”

Raising her glass, her friend gestured toward the right of the mansion’s great lawn, where some of the frater- nity brothers from their alma mater had gathered. One of the men slowly turned to sneak a peek at them.

“Owen has been watching you all night long,” Connie said with a shrewd smile.

“Totally impossible, and you of all people should know it. Owen Pierce has absolutely no interest in me.” She set her glass on the table to hide the nervous tremble of her hand as her gaze connected with his for the briefest of moments. Even that fleeting link was enough to raise her core temperature a few degrees. But what woman wouldn’t respond like that?

In his designer tuxedo, Owen was the epitome of male perfection—raven-black hair, a sexy gleam in his charcoal-gray eyes, broad shoulders, and not an ounce of fat on him, which made her recall seeing him in much, much less on a hot summer night on Sea Kiss Beach. She had been staying in the quaint seaside town on the Jersey Shore with her grandmother that summer, much as she had all her life. As they also had for so many years, the Pierce boys had been residing next door for the entire season.

The two beachfront mansions had been built side by side decades earlier, before the start of the Pierce and Sinclair rift. The cost of waterfront real estate had esca- lated so drastically since their construction that neither family was willing to sell their beloved home to put some distance between the warring clans.

Well, make that the warring fathers, because as far as Maggie was concerned, she had no beef with Owen.

About the Author

Caridad Pineiro is a transplanted Long Island girl who has fallen in love with pork roll and the Jersey Shore, but still can’t get the hang of tomato pies. When Caridad isn’t taking long strolls along the boardwalk to maintain her sanity and burn off that pork roll, she’s also a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author with over a million books sold worldwide. Caridad is passionate about writing and helping others explore and develop their skills as writers. She is a founding member of the Liberty States Fiction Writers and has presented workshops at the RT Book Club Convention, Romance Writers of America National Conference as well as various writing organizations throughout the country.

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Posted in animals, christmas, excerpt, Holiday, romance on October 18, 2017

Synopsis

Sit! Stay! Speak! author Annie England Noblin’s novel takes one woman starting over, adds an aging pug named Teddy Roosevelt, and proves the power of a well-baked dog treat.

All she wants is a settled-down life.

What she gets is a dog—and a whole new normal . . .

There he stood in the doorway: overweight, depressed and nearly homeless—a pug named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy was Brydie Benson’s latest problem, arriving on top of her messy divorce and sudden move. Brydie needed a place to start over, so this rent-free home seemed a great idea. She just never counted on Teddy, or his owner, the Germantown Retirement Village’s toughest customer, Pauline Neumann.

And because rent-free doesn’t mean bills-free, Brydie gets a night-shift job at a big-box grocery. Whoever guessed there were so many people who wanted baked goods after midnight?

Then, she gets an idea—why not combine her baking skills with her new-found dog knowledge? And so her store Pupcakes is born. Along with a new start comes a possible new love, in the form of Nathan Reid, a local doctor with a sassy Irish Wolfhound named Sasha. And as fall turns to winter, and then to Christmas, Brydie begins to realize that life is a little bit like learning a new recipe for puff pastry—it takes a few tries to get it just right!

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Excerpt

After dinner, Nathan refilled their wineglasses and led her into the living room. Sasha and Teddy had settled there as well, and when Nathan built a fire in the fireplace, Teddy dropped right in front of it and started to snore. Sasha wasn’t far behind him.

“The living room at Mrs. Neumann’s house has a fireplace, too,” Brydie said. “I thought about lighting it the other night, but it hasn’t been lit in ages.”

“I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate it if you burned her house down trying to light the fireplace,” Nathan replied.

“No, I can’t imagine that would make her too happy.”

“Listen,” Nathan said, scooting closer to her on the couch. “I’m sorry if I asked too many intrusive questions earlier. I’m hopeless at small talk, and when I get nervous, I tend to fall back into doctor mode. I swear I didn’t mean to interrogate you over chicken.”

“That’s okay,” Brydie replied. “It was actually kind of nice to talk about it with someone who doesn’t know anything about my life before I moved here.”

“How do you like Memphis so far?”

“It’s getting better,” Brydie said with a sly grin. Between the wine and the fire, she felt deliciously warm.

“I’m glad to hear it.”

Brydie watched him watching her. She liked the way his curly black hair fell in his eyes when he was concentrating. She liked the way his T-shirt fit, not too loose or too tight. She liked the way he asked her questions—soft, curious, but not intrusive. It made her want to tell him everything, anything, just to keep him looking at her. Paying attention to her.

But more than that, she realized, there was something familiar about him, comfortable. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was, but despite the constant butterflies in her stomach, he made her feel calmer somehow. She could understand why people would be drawn to him as a doctor. She could even understand why a woman might visit her elderly aunt in order to be near him.

Nathan moved a hand up to Brydie’s face, tucking a wandering strand of damp hair behind her ear. It sent a bolt of electricity through her, and when he moved his hand away, Brydie felt herself grabbing a fistful of his T-shirt and pulling him closer to her until her mouth was on his, and she could taste the wine on his lips.

Brydie fell back into the couch and pulled Nathan down on top of her. She could feel his hands exploring her body underneath her T-shirt, and she burned with a need she hadn’t known existed until that very moment.

“Do you want—” Nathan began in between frenzied kisses, but before he could finish, the ringing of his phone in his pocket cut him off.

“Ignore it,” Brydie murmured.

“I can’t,” Nathan said, pulling himself away from her with a groan. “I’m on call at the nursing home tonight.”

About the Author

Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Her poetry has been featured in such publications as the Red Booth Review and the Moon City Review. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Trailer on October 12, 2017

Game Changer by Charissa Stastny

Meridee Mansford wants nothing to do with the popular crowd. She’s comfortable being invisible. But that doesn’t stop her from dreaming about the hunky football player who visits the campus ice cream shop where she works. Still, she’s smart enough to know he’d never notice a girl like her, and she’d never want him even if he did. Too much unwelcome attention.

Parker Harrington basks in the glory that’s been his since the game-changing passes he caught that pushed his team into the national spotlight. Sticky Fingers is his media moniker now, and the cheerleaders who used to ignore him when he sat the bench have become his most devoted fans. But when he accidentally crashes into a quiet coed and covers her in orange chicken, it throws off his offensive game.

As fate, ice cream, and orange chicken throw the opposites together, will Parker continue keeping company with women he knows are only using him for his fame, or will he change up the game and risk his heart on a genuine girl who despises the attention he craves?

Praise for the Book

“A fun and flirty new adult romance. It’s a sweet indulgence that keeps you turning pages. The start to what is sure to be a great new series. – Jennifer Peel, author of Pianos and Promises series

“Opposites attract when the overlooked sweet girl lands herself the popular football star in this quasi-Cinderella story. It’s the perfect read to keep you up way past your bedtime…”Taylor Dean, author of Chasing Fireflies

 

 

Excerpt

Twiddling my fingers, I waited for Ken to make up his mind. I hoped he’d order without looking up so he didn’t recognize me. Not that he would. But just in case, I kept my chin tucked as I stared at the counter.

“Um, let’s see.” His head stayed bowed. “I’ll have a triple waffle cone with a scoop of caramel cashew and…” He paused and scratched his head as though solving a physics problem. “…a scoop of huckleberry ripple, and, umm…I guess I’ll try a scoop of that…”

When he paused, I peeked up to see if he pointed at a flavor. Instead, I found him staring at me.

“Y-you,” he sputtered.

I cringed and wished a hole could open up in the floor and swallow me.

“You’re the girl I crashed into in the CUB yesterday, aren’t you?”

My cheeks burned and my throat felt like sandpaper. “W-what was the last flavor you wanted?” He hadn’t finished ordering.

“Oh, uh, yeah. Um…” His gaze dropped, but shot right back up to stare at me again.

“What’s your last flavor?” I determined to keep him on task.

His brows furrowed. “I guess I’ll have the licorice since it’s new.”

I shuddered, and attempted to ignore the infuriatingly sexy man gaping at me as though I had horns sprouting from my head. The tightening in my chest and labored breathing proved I tried in vain.

 

 

About the Author

Charissa Stastny is an avid reader, happy writer, wasp-hater, iris-lover, and food connoisseur (especially sushi and chocolate, but not together). She was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, but has never pulled a handle of a slot machine and can’t shuffle cards to save her life. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has four children that make her smile and laugh all the time. She called Idaho her home for years, but has recently moved to Utah, where she was thrilled to discover dozens of flavors of hot chocolate to keep her happy in the winter. The cherry one might be her favorite (this week). She is the author of five books and ‘imagine-eer’ of many more.

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amazon or paypal$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/5/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in Christian, excerpt, fiction, romance on October 4, 2017

Hello. I’m Excited. This is one of my stops during the one month tour for Sons of Ishmael Reintroduction Tour: The Danjuma Brothers. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs September 11 – October 5, 2017.  Follow the tour here.

Genre: Christian Fiction/Romance

A SCOOP OF LOVE~ SONS OF ISHMAEL BOOK I

Synopsis

The oldest of the Danjuma brothers, Rasheed was a self-made man. He’d learned at an early age that love and commitment brought with it complications he didn’t want to deal with. His single-minded focus had paid off. He was able to step into the shoes of his absentee father by taking care of his mother and twin brothers. But just when he thought he could stop carrying the weight of his family on his shoulders, he gets a call that could change the trajectory of Rasheed’s life.

Ibiso Jaja, a professional caterer, had gambled on the love of a man and lost. Through the redeeming love of God, she had picked herself up and was now living her dream as the owner of Bisso Bites, a bistro in the heart of Abuja. However circumstances conspire to threaten the bistro and bring her face to face with the type of man she has vowed to avoid. The attraction is instant.

Once again, Rasheed is forced to do something he has done all his life – put the needs of his family ahead of his own. This time however, he crosses path with the sassy, independent, Jesus-loving caterer who is bent on making him see the power of forgiveness and God’s love. Just when Rasheed lets his guard down, a deadly sabotage causes old demons to rise. Will Rasheed continue to pursue power and success or surrender to the light of God’s love?

 

Excerpt

Rasheed Danjuma sighed aloud at the sight of another unwanted email from the law

offices of Ezekiel and Stanley. These lawyers were beginning to work his last nerve. He placed his finger over the touchpad of his laptop, directed the cursor to the delete icon and pressed it.It had been six months since Zayd Danjuma, the man that contributed to his genetic makeup had passed away. And his lawyers were still hounding him. Rasheed had thought his non-attendance of the funeral service was a clear indication of his disinterest in anything they had to say about his so-called father.

Determined not to let the email ruin his day, he picked up the receiver and dialed his

assistant’s extension. She picked up at the first ring.

“Yes, Rasheed?”

“Have you heard anything back from those clients in the United States?”

“No, I didn’t,” she said. “But while you were on your conference call, your mother

called.”

Rasheed felt a strange rise in his stomach. His mother almost never called him on his office phone unless she wanted to reach him in a hurry. “Did she leave a message?”

“No, she just said to let you know she called.”

“Okay, thank you.” He disconnected the call.

Rasheed walked over to his jacket and pulled out his cell phone. Looking out of the large window of his Hyde Park office, his sense of unease grew. He checked, and there were three missed called from his mother. His voice mail was empty. What was going on? He dialed his mother. She answered on the third ring.

“Mama, you tried to reach me. Is everything okay?”

“Nna, I really don’t know how to answer that.”

His mother used her term of endearment, Nna, for her sons when she wanted to ask for something she knew they didn’t want to give.“What is it?”

“Those lawyers from your father’s estate came to see me today,” she said. “Rasheed, I don’t want those men in my shop or house. I’m asking you again to come home and see what they want.”

Rasheed’s jaw set. How dare those lawyers hound his mother? Why was it so important that he and his brothers attend the stupid will reading? Even though it had been twenty-five years since their father had walked out of their lives, the memory of that morning was still vivid. Their father didn’t care about them in life, so why was he so concerned about their well-being in death? Squaring up against those lawyers himself was one thing, but when they involved his mother, it was totally different. He wouldn’t have it.

“You mean they came to your shop?” Rasheed asked as though he didn’t hear her the first time. Anger shot through his feet as he began to pace the length of his office.

“Yes.” His mother’s voice sounded shaky. “It’s one thing for them to call but to show up,I don’t appreciate it. They almost scared my customers away.”

After his mother had retired as a school administrator, she had decided she couldn’t sit idle. Her love of fashion led to the opening of a boutique in the heart of Abuja’s business district. Within months, the business had flourished. Rasheed had supported her because whatever made his mother happy made him happy, too. After many years of living in pain, she deserved to live her life in peace. They all did.

Rasheed’s mind went back to the email he’d received earlier in the day. Since these

lawyers were playing hardball, it was clear he had no choice but to travel to Nigeria. “If those lawyers call you again, tell them I’ll be there soon.”

His mother’s sigh expressed her relief. “God bless you, my son.”

“It’s okay, Mama. They better make it worth my while. If not, I won’t be held responsible for my actions.”

ANCHORED BY LOVE~ SONS OF ISHMAEL SERIES BOOK II

Synopsis

When cardiac surgeon, Jabir Danjuma met Damisi Odinga at the University of Michigan seven years ago, it wasn’t necessarily love at first sight. With love comes commitment and he knows that’s not a promise he could keep, after all he is his father’s son. However, their attraction can’t be denied. Their ensuing one year romance is passionate and intense, and he begins to feel the forbidden emotion—love. Just as he starts to let his guard down, Damisi breaks up with him and moves half way around the world to Lagos, Nigeria. He knows immediately that the demise of their relationship has something to do with that church she joined. She becomes unrecognizable and wants to change him into something he is not. His studies are the most important thing to him, so he did what any sane man would do, let her go.

Popular television personality Damisi Odinga, needs to end the fourth season of her show Becoming Ruth, with a bang. The trending topic in the country is the fairy-tale wedding of the heir to the Danjuma empire. The family has been shrouded in secrecy ever since the unknown sons resurfaced in the country last year. Coverage of the wedding weekend will give her show the boost it needs and seal its number one rating. No one can get an interview with the couple but she had a way in, her ex man, Jabir Danjuma. So what if he broke her heart and she hasn’t been able to get over him? This was kingdom business, right?

Years ago, Damisi left him without an explanation and now Jabir has her just where he wants her. Their encounter sets off a series of events that leave them both with fresh pain and hurt. Angry, they leave Abuja to their destinations. If they didn’t set eyes on each other again it would be too soon. But little did they know that fate has another thing planned. Will they stick it out long enough for the Potter to perfect their scars and pain for His purpose or will distance and time steal the day.

Excerpt

Thirty minutes later, Jabir was in the KTN lobby waiting for Damisi. He got curious stares from the receptionist and guard. He didn’t know whether it was because he looked like Kamal—someone they’d recognize—or because Damisi never received male visitors. He hoped it was the latter.

The space was decorated in light colors, and the walls were decorated with paintings or pictures of guests of their shows. He walked to the one the one that had Damisi in it. She was on the set of her show and looked beautiful. She had a microphone in her hand and was smiling. From the picture, he could see she loved what she did. His eyes saddened at what the scandal would do to her career. If they acted fast, she might have a chance of salvaging it, but she was too stubborn, and his approach wasn’t helping either. He had to get her to see reason.

“What are you doing here?” she whispered behind him.

Jabir turned around and marveled at how gorgeous she looked. He smiled inwardly.

“I figured you could use breakfast.” He handed her the smoothie and the box of pastries.

She took it from him slowly, her eyes softening with gratitude. “Thank you, but you shouldn’t be here.”

Jabir frowned. “Why? Expecting someone?”

She grabbed his wrist and tried to pull him to the corner. He resisted at first, but caved when he saw the plea in her eyes. “I really appreciate the breakfast, but I thought you were supposed to be on your way to Badagry. I really don’t need any rumors started.”

He lifted his brow. “Rumors? I’m not doing anything but making sure you’re fed. The baby needs to eat.”

She looked around in shocked horror. “Shhhh. Do you want to say it a little louder?” She rolled her eyes at him and he chuckled. “Jabir, please you can’t be here. In case you forgot, you look like one of the most recognizable Nigerian soccer players. I can’t do the rumor mill now.”

He wanted to dismiss her argument, but he was running late, and she was right. But then he had another idea. “Okay, I’ll leave on one condition.”

“Really?”

“Really.” He smirked.

Some people walked past them and did a double take. Damisi panicked. “What is it?”

“Have dinner with me when I get back.”

Damisi hesitated, then someone she knew walked over to say hello to them. By now, he could see the fury in her eyes. The daggers in them were aimed at him. He raised his eyebrow.

“I can’t believe you. Okay. Go,” she said hurriedly and turned away. He watched her go, but smiled when she walked back his way. “Thank you, and please drive safe.”

Yep. This new approach just might work. There was hope.

About the Author

Born in Akron, Ohio to Nigerian parents, Unoma Nwankwor is an award winning, international best-selling author of several fiction titles, and a champion of purpose. She is the recipient of the Nigerian Writers’ Award 2015 for Best Faith Based Fiction Writer. At the end of 2016, she was short listed for the Diaspora Writer of the Year. She was also recently named as one of the “100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40”

When she is not writing fiction, she empowers women of faith to remain rooted in hope by building confident expectations in the promises of God. She’s the host of the Anchor Talk Podcast, the COO of KevStel Group LLC and Founder of Living A Life of Expectancy.

Unoma resides in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

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