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Forsaking Hope: Fair Cyprians of London by Beverley Oakley ~ Giveaway!

Please help me welcome Beverley Oakley, sharing her new release…

#AHAgrp

Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

About the Book: 

Two years ago, she missed their secret assignation and disappeared without a trace. Now the divine “Miss Hope” is in Felix Durham’s bed – a ‘surprise cheering-up gift’ sourced by his friends from London’s most exclusive brothel. Felix is in heaven – and he wants to stay there.

So does Hope, but she can’t.

Hope Merriweather lives by a code of honour – even if she’s a prostitute.

Having sold her soul, she’s prepared to sacrifice everything else to protect what she believes in.

Even if honour – in her eyes – comes at the cost of thieving and breaking hearts. Including her own.

Available for preorder here:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

~*~*~*~*~*~

Excerpt:

Chapter One

 Wilfred Hunt.

If there was a name to tip Hope into the abyss of despair she was hearing it spill from Madame Chambon’s lips now as the older woman directed Hope to take a seat in the reception room, presumably so Madame could loom oppressively over her.

With her hands on her ample, expensively padded hips, Hope’s benefactress—procuress, employer and gaoler were other monikers—sent Hope a beetling look that needed no interpreting: Regardless of Hope’s true feelings, Hope must project the required show of warmth and delight at being the chosen one.

Madame patted the side of her faux curls. Years of hot irons had reduced her hair to the texture of wool but her crowning glory these days was supplemented by the lustrous locks of those girls who dared cross her – before they were thrown back into the street from where most had come.

Nevertheless, Hope had to make her resistance clear. Surely Madame who knew her history would understand her loathing for this man, above all others. “I shan’t do it,” she whispered. There was little evidence of the willful child and wild adolescent who’d been the despair of her family. “I won’t—”

Outside, the noise of the traffic rumbling over the cobbles and the shrill calls of competing vendors settled upon the tense silence. Madame Chambon’s other girls, ranged around the sumptuously appointed room on red velvet upholstered banquettes, watched the exchange with prurient fascination. Hope knew it had been a calculated ploy of Madame’s to conduct her interview in public so that Hope would serve as an example to them.

No one crossed Madame Chambon.

The shrill cry of a fishmonger caused Madame to look pointedly out of the window. With something between a smile and a sneer, she smoothed a Marcel wave. “Is that where you plan to return, Hope? The gutter?” Her nose twitched and in the sunlight that filtered into the room, the grooves chiselled between mouth and chin were thrown into harsh relief, highlighted rather than hidden by the thick powder she used to conceal her age.

Madame Chambon’s comfort, now and into retirement, depended on obedient girls. Hope knew that as well as anyone. She’d had to bury her rebellious streak just to ensure food in her belly.

The Frenchwoman raised a chiselled brow and began to pace slowly in front of her girls. A painter with an eye for beauty would have been ecstatic at capturing such a spectacle on canvas. The discerning young man about town who visited 56 Albemarle Street was frequently rendered ecstatic by the range of delights Madame Chambon’s girls offered in addition to the visual.

“You forget yourself, Hope. I put a roof over your head and deck you out as handsomely as Mr Charles Worth ever did for his most discerning customer.” There was acid in Madame Chambon’s tone. “But for me, you’d be starving and glad of the pennies you could trade for a grubby stand-up encounter in a dark alley.” Madame Chambon thrust out her bosom and breathed through her nose, her response a calculated warning to the other girls arranged in various languid poses about the ornately decorated reception room that intransigence would not be tolerated.

“Mr Hunt has requested you.” She paused and when Hope remained silent, though her stance and expression left no one in any doubt as to her horror regarding this enforced assignation, went on. “Remember what I told you—what I tell all my girls when they first come here? The past must be forgotten the moment you step over my threshold. You are reborn, remodelled, refashioned into the most exquisite delectation of womanhood. A marquess, a prince, is well recompensed for the tidy sum he hands over in order to enjoy your sparkling wit, to converse with you in French, or if he chooses, on philosophy…to enjoy your charms…and,” she added significantly, “your gracious hospitality and tender ministrations to his needs. That is our agreement and you are no different. If Mr Hunt wishes you, Hope, to attend him at his residence then you will go.”

Faith, one of the kinder girls, patted Hope’s arm in silent solidarity. Hope didn’t expect any of them to speak up in her defence. Not when they all relied on Madame Chambon as much as she did to provide them with the necessities of life. Anything more than that was part of a strict contract that indentured a girl for life unless she was able to secure a generous benefactor to settle Madame’s severance bill. The fine clothes were part of the charade, necessary to entice a more elite clientele. Hope’s exquisite wardrobe did not belong to her though she’d have forsaken all the dupion silk and Spitalfields lace for the freedom of the gutter and to be mistress of her own destiny – and her body – if she could only be sure of a plate of gravy and potatoes every second day.

Closing her eyes, she hung her head, the carefully coiffed curls that fell forwards brushing against her tear-streaked cheeks. It was as well that they not be in evidence. Tears, weakness, vulnerability were like a red rag to a bull where Madame Chambon was concerned.

“How long…do I have to prepare myself?” She was not so stupid she couldn’t admit defeat when there was no alternative. Obduracy was beaten out of one, but tears ensured a girl got the very worst next assignment. Their clients weren’t all marquesses and princes, though they did require a very fat pocket book.

“Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow.” Hope repeated it in a leaden tone, and stared at her hands, clasped in her lap; white-knuckled. As white as the rabbit-fur that edged her fashionable black-and-white striped satin cuirass. Hope had the tall, slim figure suited to the scandalously tight tie-back skirts that were all the rage, the back flowing into a train adorned with elaborate swags and trimmed with bows. She’d turned heads the length of Oxford Street as she’d promenaded along the pavement following a walk through Hyde Park earlier that afternoon. In fact, for the first time in two years, she’d almost felt happy as she’d pretended a sense of freedom in the afternoon sun, blocking her mind to the prison to which she was returning.

She drew in her breath and forced herself to be brave, knowing the punishment she’d invite for daring to speak her mind. “Please tell Mr Hunt I will see him again under sufferance.”

Madame Chambon’s voice was surprisingly caramel. “Well then, now that you have made your objection clear, Hope, you will be pleased to hear that Mr Hunt’s desires are not only motivated by fond memories of your no-doubt mutually satisfying congress. I believe he wishes to acquaint you with news of your family.”

Hope hid her shock. “I have no family.” With care, she modified her tone so it was as leaden as before though emotion roiled close to the surface.

“Not even a sister?”

Hope raised her chin. Here was the chink and Madame knew it. The woman did her research.

Aware that the other girls who surrounded her were tense with anticipation, Hope struggled not to respond. Camaraderie existed at surface level but one never knew when it might profit one to have the dirt on a fellow prostitute. It was, clearly, another reason Madame Chambon had chosen to make this conversation public.

“Mr Hunt will see you at nine tomorrow evening,” said the so-called Frenchwoman who, it was whispered, was from the gutters of Lambeth, not Paris. “At his apartments in Duke Street. Now go and prepare yourself for Lord Farrow. Married to a monolith like the venerable Lady Farrow, he likes his girls vivacious and free-spirited. There’ll be less coin in your pocket if you sully the transaction with that long face, Hope.”

~*~*~*~*~*~

Author Info:

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

You can get in contact with Beverley at:

 Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Believe in My Heart (Tangled Hearts Book 4) by Maria K. Alexander

I LOVE hosting Wild Rose Press authors, and I also love Christmas stories, so today’s post is double the fun! Please help me welcome Maria K. Alexander…

 

Thanks to Alicia for hosting me on her blog to share my newest release, Believe in My Heart. It’s a friends-to-lovers holiday novella that’s sure to warm you up this holiday season!

Blurb from Believe in My Heart

This holiday, love is on the menu.

Culinary arts student, Hope Mastriano, is down on her luck. Homeless on Thanksgiving Day, she’s caught trying to break into her cousin’s apartment by her sexy boss and lifelong secret crush.

Since getting dumped seven months ago, head chef Vinnie DiFrancesco has been in a frustrating holding pattern. He returns relaxed from a retreat, but his life is sent into a tailspin when he offers Hope, the event coordinator at his family’s trattoria, temporary housing.

With the trattoria’s traditional Italian Christmas Eve charity dinner slated to be featured on a local TV segment and things heating up in his apartment, the two must set aside their different visions to make the event a success. When a computer glitch threatens their plans, Hope proposes a risky solution. Vinnie must believe in Hope and his heart in order to secure the future of the restaurant and make it a Christmas to remember.

 

Excerpt from Believe in My Heart

Hope raised her hands. “I know how this looks, but I can explain.”

“You can explain why you’re trying to break into this apartment?”

“It’s my cousin Faith’s place. And I wasn’t breaking in.”

Vinnie raised an eyebrow and shifted his gaze to the hanger on the ground.

“Okay, so maybe it seems as though I was breaking in, but the key she gave me no longer works.” She reached in her coat pocket and withdrew a key similar to Vinnie’s.

“Did you try calling your cousin?”

“Gee, no, I didn’t think of that,” she sneered. “She’s on a cruise and then staying in Florida a few days for business. I wasn’t kidding about my phone dying and not knowing the super’s number.”

Vinnie felt a pain in his temple. Probably from not having enough to eat or drink on the red-eye from LA. “Fine, let’s get your stuff in my place. You can use my phone.”

Hope grabbed a handle of a suitcase. “Thanks, Vin. You’re nicer than people at work say.”

He paused while unlocking his door. Well, hell. Is that what they say about me? Guess he needed to do damage control with his staff. Even though his parents owned Trattoria DiFrancesco, Vinnie was the head chef and in charge of hiring of anyone who worked in the kitchen.

Including the pretty spitfire who had just swept past him, Hope Mastriano.

He hoisted the stack of boxes and followed her inside. When she headed back out, he perused the hall to see how much more stuff she had.

There were two more suitcases and a pet carrier.

“You run away or something?” Vinnie asked.

“Moved out of Steve’s place. I’m done with that deadbeat.”

“On Thanksgiving Day and with nowhere to go?”

“It’s been long overdue. Besides, I thought I could crash at Faith’s until I figured out my next step.”

“And in there?” He nodded to the carrier.

Hope raised it up a few inches. “This is Lucky, my cat.”

Vinnie was not a fan of cats, with their sharp eyes and sneaky ways. He peeked inside and into the green eyes of a white cat. He closed the front door and stepped around Hope’s stuff, including the cat, which she pulled out of the carrier. Lucky leaned forward and sniffed him before letting out a soft mew.

Between the pixie-haired cutie and the cat, the peace and relaxation he had found out west was a distant memory. By the time he got to the trattoria for Thanksgiving dinner, Vinnie was going to need a beer or glass of wine.

Possibly both.

 

Buy Links for Believe in My Heart

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Publisher

 

Maria K. Alexander Bio

Maria K. Alexander is an award-winning author of Contemporary Romance. When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules. You can keep in touch with Maria at http://mariakalexander.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon | BookBub

 

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Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire The Sempervian Saga (Book 2) by Kayelle Allen

Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire

The Sempervian Saga (Book 2)

by Kayelle Allen

 

BLURB:

Humans created the Ultras, a genetically enhanced race, to defend mankind. Instead, Ultras became their greatest threat. With the help of traitors, humans captured half a million of the immortal warriors.

Exiled to an alien world with no tech, no tools, and no resources, their leader, Pietas, must protect his people, find food and shelter and unite them. But before he can, he must regain command from a ruthless adversary he’s fought for centuries–his brutal, merciless father.

Ultras are immortal, and no matter how they die, they come back. Reviving after death isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Some wounds heal instantly and a few take time, but battered and broken trust? Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever.

Genre: Science Fiction with romantic elements

Rating: PG13 for violence, no profanity or explicit content

Cover artist Brumae

DeviantArt https://brumae-art.deviantart.com/

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

Amazon Pre-Order Link

 

A Thunderclap campaign has been set up, we sure would appreciate your support. Please click here to add your support.

Excerpt: 

In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, Pietas and the search party sent to find him have stopped their upward mountain trek for a short break. Prior to their reunion the previous day, Pietas had spent a year in confinement, hands bound behind him. He’d been starved to the point of death, but because he’s immortal, he could not die. Although he’s healed since, the brutality left a lasting toll on his once robust physical body. As they prepare to get underway, he unwittingly reveals the impairment.

 

Wincing, Pietas stretched to ease cramps in his back.

His sister stood. “Tas!” she called up to him. She’d started using her childhood name for him since they’d reconnected the day before. “Are you hurt?”

A quick telepathic scan from Joss swept over him before he realized it was there. Pietas had still been a teenager when she’d trained him to shield his mind from those with her gift. Not that he’d ever been able to block her. She was far too powerful, but today, she’d read him with no more difficulty than a hunter spying trail signs. He’d been near no Ultra telepaths for over a year.

His affinity with Six had made him careless and he’d neglected the basic lessons Joss had taught him.

It wasn’t a lack of trust. Trust had never been an issue with Joss.

He treasured her, but he ought not to have been so unguarded and open. Vulnerable.

“Pietas.” Joss stood. The waves of emotion he picked up from her held love and concern in equal measure. And a bit of disappointment. “You’re injured.”

He ducked his head like a schoolboy who’d forgotten his lessons. Admit mortals had damaged him? Never. Neither would he lie about it. He’d take better care to hide the pain.

“Don’t worry about me.” Whistling, he circled a finger in the air. “Let’s go! Long climb ahead.” He leaped down from the rocks. “Joss, you lead.” Last thing he wanted was her behind him, using him as an object of focus.

What telepaths focused upon, they controlled.

 

Bringer of Chaos: The Origin of Pietas

The Sempervian Saga (Book 1)

 Why should Pietas end the war with humans?

His people are winning, yet they insist on peace talks. The Ultra people want to grant humans a seat on the Council. Pietas ap Lorectic, Chancellor of the High Council, War Leader and First Conqueror, disagrees. What’s best for mortals is oppression, control, and if necessary, elimination.

Pietas seethes with rage at the idea of human equality. Humans might have created Ultras, but the creation has far surpassed the creator. Humans die. Ultras are reborn, no matter how grievous the injury. They have no equals.

His people permit him no choice. He must attend these insipid peace talks on Enderium Six and what’s worse, be polite. To humans.

When a human special ops warrior is killed in battle, he’s resurrected in a secret process and inducted into the Ghost Corps. He’s given enough strength to perma-kill immortal Ultras. Ghosts are the most hated and feared of warriors.

When the ghost entraps and captures Pietas at the peace talks, the two begin a long journey toward Sempervia, an isolated and forgotten world. Once there, Pietas is marooned and the ghost abandoned alongside him. The two must either fight to perma-death, or join forces to survive.

As Pietas comes to trust the human, an unlikely and awkward friendship begins. Until he discovers how ghosts are resurrected…

Amazon Buy Link

 

Giveaway – Free Download

 Free — download Endure, Illustrated Quotes by Pietas (as told to Kayelle Allen). Enjoy an exclusive collection of quotes on the concept of endurance by the man known to other immortals as the Bringer of Chaos. https://kayelleallen.com/media/30-days-endure.pdf

Download a free adult coloring book you can print and share. Relax and color with friends. It’s fun! https://kayelleallen.com/media/pietas-coloring-book.pdf

Mythic Heroes and Misbehaving Robots:

Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with mythic heroes, misbehaving robots, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She’s a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.

https://kayelleallen.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/kayelleallen

Facebook https://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author

Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group Download four free books and get news about books coming soon. You can unsubscribe at any time.

 

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Anxiety Complete Series – Episodes 1 through 6 by H.D. Thomson

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome today’s guest, H.D. Thomson…

 

 H.D. Thomson is giving away a fabulous prize package during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

BLURB:

Jake Preston is on borrowed time.

If he doesn’t stumble upon a miracle and soon, he’ll end up dead. And even if he does, he still might end up dead with a clever killer hounding his heels. He believes that the one miracle and antidote to save him is in Margot Davenport’s house, across the country and miles away from Boston. Somewhere locked in her home is the key to reversing an experiment that is killing him with each breath he takes.

Margot doesn’t particularly care if she ends up dead.

She’s lost everything she’s ever cared for. A divorce and the loss of her job as a corporate lawyer has left her with little faith in herself or in anyone else. Most importantly, she’s lost the one person on this earth she’s looked up to and cherished–her brother, Johnny. His death in a car accident has devastated her, and she can’t find the willpower to pull herself from the chasm she’s fallen into. Her only solace is at the bottom of a wineglass. Having moved back to the small town in northern Arizona where she was raised, she’s made a point of isolating herself both mentally and physically from everyone other than a few chosen friends. Little does she know that her life is going to explode into chaos.

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

Excerpt:

 She opened her mouth to scream.

“It’s me, Jake,” he said from the darkness, holding onto her arms to steady her.

She let out a long, shaky breath. “What was that?” she asked in a hushed voice. “You must have heard it. It sounded so awful.”

“It was your cat.”

“Marmaduke?”

“Yeah.”

“But I could have sworn it sounded more human than—”

“I stepped on his tail.” He cleared his throat. “Scared the hell out of both of us. He took off somewhere. Sorry about getting you out of bed.”

“I’m just glad I found out what it was. But what are you doing up?”

“I couldn’t sleep.”

Relaxing, she glanced up, only to be blinded by the night. Thick, black and total, it draped over Jake and everything around her. His hands, warm and strong, grasped her upper arms. She grew conscious of the coolness of the house, of the silk of her nightgown against her skin, but most importantly of Jake, of the deep woodsy scent of his after-shave and how his hands, minus the gloves, were now slowly sliding up and down her arms. Her toes curled beneath her. He smelled like what she envisioned a man should smell like. Desire lapped against her skin until it seeped through her flesh and took hold of her body.

He slid a hand up her arm and over a shoulder to cup her throat, while the other curled around her waist to press against the small of her back, inching her closer to the heat of his body. She met his lips halfway, opening her mouth beneath his. The kiss deepened, demanded and took. She raised a hand to feel his own against her throat. He had a long fingered, strong hand, the skin smooth and flawless over the tendons and knuckles. She touched his face, his neck, his shoulders. Against her palms, his skin was satin over hard muscle. He was all male, all power.

He hauled her closer, pressing her sensitized breasts against his chest as his tongue mated with hers. His desire thrust against the shallow hollow of her hips. The thick, hardness of him scorched through the material of her gown to her belly and turned her legs to liquid. She slid her hands over the sleek texture of his naked back, over the muscles and tendons, down across the indentation along his spine and lower.

She froze.

He was entirely, absolutely, completely naked, every male inch of him. She whimpered as her breath came out in short, shallow pants, and desire slammed against her, painful in its intensity.

Margot stiffened. Oh, God. Had she completely lost it? Where was her sanity, her morals? She hardly knew this man.

“No!” She dragged in a lungful of air. “This is all wrong!”

 

 

Author Bio:

H.D. Thomson moved from Ontario, Canada as a teenager to the heat of Arizona where she graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Business Administration with a major in accounting. After working in the corporate world as an accountant, H.D. changed her focus to one of her passions-books. She owned and operated an online bookstore for several years and then started the company, Bella Media Management. The company specializes in web sites, video trailers, ebook conversion and promotional resources for authors and small businesses. When she is not heading her company, she is following her first love-writing.

Links:

Website Link: http://www.hdthomson.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/H.-D.-Thomson/e/B0069DZ1KG

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HD_Thomson

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CarolWebbHDThomson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5780414.H_D_Thomson

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

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

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

Contact: thomsonbooks@gmail.com

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Blame it on Fate Romance Anthology – Pre-Order for 99 Cents!!

#AHAgrp #99c

A sizzling new anthology at a bargain price!!

BLAME IT ON FATE

A Romance Anthology

Pre-order today for $0.99!!

Six stories about love, passion, and the role Fate plays in the lives of lovers. Six couples must decide whether to accept Fate or fight against it. Have your soul touched and your heart set afire. You won’t be able to put this anthology down.

 

Undeniable Fate by Mia London

 “Lily.” His finger lifted her chin, his thumb brushed her lower lip. “I’m not lying. I mean every word. Your body is perfect.”

My story is about a project manager, Lily Bennett, who makes a business trip to Rome and meets Brandon Morgan along the way. There’s a bizarre twist of fate when the hotel double-booked the room and Brandon enters her room by mistake. In the four days they have together, he slowly breaks down her insecurities and she dares to hope for more.

As CEO, Brandon is responsible for his company’s latest acquisition, one that will prove he can handle anything thrown his way. He just hadn’t planned on the encounter of a lifetime with Lily. But as a classic Type-A driver, a relationship is absolutely out of the question.

I enjoyed seeing how these characters transformed before me. And I knew my readers would fall in love with them. In fact, I was nearly 80% done when I realized the readers would want more of Lily and Brandon. So, this is in fact book 1 of a 2-book series. But don’t worry. There are no cliffhangers.

 

Temptations of Christmas Future by Lexi Post

 She thought she could stop him. Save him.

He didn’t need saving. He needed—her.

Temptations of Christmas Future is the 3rd in the Christmas Carol Series, but definitely not the last. It’s the story of two Spirits of Christmas Future who are helping a young widow move on with her life. Usually, spirits aren’t paired, but this is a tough case. So tough that I’ll have to write the fourth book for next Christmas, but don’t worry, this IS NOT a cliff hanger.

Malcolm is from Scotland in the future and he has a very pessimistic attitude about, well, everything, including women, but he has good reasons. Joy is from present day America, the Southwest to be exact. She is the ultimate optimist despite being a hospice nurse while still among the living. Of course, opposites attract and she is so attracted to Malcolm that she even dreams about him, and who wouldn’t? The man is walking sensuality. I may have had a couple dreams about him myself. Just sayin.

Sadly, the pressure of this particular assignment will break them both down, which will have them turning to each other for comfort and some hot bedroom, and non-bedroom, experiences. Still, comfort is one thing and success another. Unfortunately, the two may not be compatible, in which case, someone will have to pay the price for failure. Who? I can’t say as that would spoil it, but I promise there will be a happily ever after.

 

Highland Oath by C.A. Szarek

 He’d never had a lover like his little healer. She was so free, so receptive and reactive to his touch, his kiss. Would that she felt the same way about his heart.

Highland Oath is Angus’ story, for those of you are familiar with my Highlanders. If you’re not, that’s okay! His book is the first of a “spin-off” series and it was a long time in coming. It’s special to me because Angus is 9 years old in the first book of my first trilogy (Highland Secrets), and then he’s a 92 year old grandfather in Highlander’s Portrait. I revisited him with his parents’ story in The Princess and The Laird, (series prequel) so he’s been with me for a long time. His story was AWESOME to write, so it was great to see him meet his very own HEA, Lila.

 

 

Claiming Emerson by Heather Miles

“By day, I charmed wealthy benefactors into gifting the art world with their money and time. By night, I was the gift and my time didn’t come cheap.”

Claiming Emerson is book one in a new series by Heather Miles. It’s the beginning of Emerson Anee’s story. How she became the youngest curator to ever grace the floors of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, at the same time as being one of the most exclusive escorts in New York City. By day, she charms wealthy benefactors into gifting the art world with their money and time, but by night, she was the gift and her time didn’t come cheap. She lived a double life, conservative in one world, daring and risky in the other. It was a shell game. The art of illusion wasn’t just something she’d become proficient at, she lived it.  This is the story of what molded her into the woman she became and the men who tried to claim her as theirs.

 

A Twist on Fate by Jillian Stone

 They say that you don’t meet people by accident, that you cross paths with strangers for a reason. But then memes about fate are for morons, right? Thing is—after what just happened—I’m not so sure anymore.

Jenn Fenstermaker should be grateful––no––thrilled to be an assistant producer for Storyville Pictures. But the script is in rewrite, and the last thing her flagging film industry career needs is another box office mega bomb. Chronically late to work, she cuts off a BMW on the freeway.

Gabriel Tobias Grant feels terrible about the damage to Jenn’s car. He’s also attracted to the bold, beautiful young woman. Gabe is a San Francisco chef/entrepreneur and as a way of making amends, he offers to cook dinner. Both Jenn and Gabe are in for an amazing night of orgasmic appetizers, à la his sensuous grilled scallops, but neither one is prepared to deal with what happens next—an unwelcome intrusion by a stranger.

 

On A Whim by J.M. Walker

“You, my sweet girl, are a brat and I’m going to have fun showing you exactly what I do to them.”

On A Whim is about Kiki Smith and Bo Layden. Both of them work in the book world. Kiki’s a graphic designer and falls into her work after getting stood up at the altar. Bo on the other hand, gets screwed out of thousands of dollars by people he thought he could trust and is on a hunt for a new designer. When he contacts Kiki under his author name, B. Vesper, she doesn’t realize that they are actually the same guy. Cue dramatic music. This story was fun because Kiki was something fresh and Bo was my typical dark Alpha male…with a J.M. Walker twist.

Buy links: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Blame-Fate-Mia-London-ebook/dp/B0759GLD8N

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blame-it-on-fate-mia-london/1127065570?ean=2940158879616

ITunes Books: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blame-it-on-fate/id1274622371?mt=11

 

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Author Interview with Elizabeth Harmon ~ New Release: Shining Through

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Elizabeth Harmon, with an interview and her latest release!

Good morning, Elizabeth. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I’m a lifelong Midwesterner and am a graduate of my hometown Big Ten university. My husband went there too, though at a different time. He grew up in a town about forty miles from mine, though our paths never crossed as far as we know. After graduation I moved to Chicago and pursued a marketing/advertising career.  We now live in the suburbs and have two sons, one in his first year of law school, the other in his first year of college. I adore cats and have a sweet buff-colored tabby who hangs out on my desk while I work all day. Our household also includes a little red fish,  whom my husband takes care of.

Where did you get the idea for Shining Through?

I knew I wanted to write Shining Through when I was writing the Red Hot Russians series’ third book, Getting It BackShining’s hero, Daniil Andreev, is the cocky rival to Getting’s figure skater hero, Misha. There’s a scene in that book in which Daniil trash-talks Misha in a delightfully cutting way, but there’s also an element of sadness to Daniil that Misha senses and wonders about.

I started wondering about it too, and once Daniil’s backstory began to take shape, knew I wanted him to have his own book. Because I love to cast opposites, I decided to pair my tattooed, guy-eyelinered Russian bad boy hero with a prim and proper blond American figure skating star, Tabitha Turner. But like Daniil, Tabitha is more than she seems.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

Usually I have trouble with titles, but this one came to me early on and it fit the story and characters perfectly.  I know there is another book with this title, but it came out in the 1980s and is in a different genre, so I hope people aren’t confused.

I also had a great time bringing back several characters from my earlier books, one of whom has changed considerably—for the better! But as with all the Red Hot Russians books, Shining Through is written as a standalone story. Readers who discover the series with this book, can go back and read the others in any order they like.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

When I began to write this book, I thought Daniil would be the character with the biggest transformation, with Tabitha in the role of catalyst. But as the story began to unfold, it became the opposite. I imagined Tabitha at the top of her sport, but also on the verge of aging out. As she enters the biggest season of her career, she’s burned out and exhausted by her own high expectations, and everyone else’s.  Daniil turns everything, including how she sees herself, upside down.

I also fell in love with Tabitha’s family. Her mom, Fiona is an ex-groupie who hung out with all the best 1980s LA glam-metal bands.  Tabitha’s sister Samara, is a Goth girl and film student, and the first person to recognize that Daniil is the perfect guy for Tabitha

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My husband, an avid reader and language arts teacher, has been an amazing support and my biggest cheerleader from the beginning. I think my sons would rather not think about what I write (sexy romance) but are very supportive too. My law student son offered suggestions to make Shining Throughs  courtroom scene more accurate. And one of my younger son’s friends was really excited to learn I write (in her words) “exotic Russian sex novels!” I absolutely love this description, by the way! My non-writer friends think I have a very cool job—which I do.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

That is a great question! I think it would come down to a toss-up between two well-meaning but misguided characters: Tabitha’s coach Peter, who has created her flawless but constricting public image, and her mom Fiona, who lives in a perpetual state of chaos.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

While attending Skate America, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several top figure skaters including Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Ashley Wagner, Jason Brown, Gracie Gold, and a number of others.  What impressed me was how gracious they are to fans, despite being quite young themselves and dealing with pressure I can’t even imagine.

How did you come up with the title? 

The title speaks to how both Tabitha and Daniil long to be accepted for who and what they are. In Tabitha’s case it’s about finding the courage to let her sensual, creative side emerge. For Daniil it’s a reflection of how he channels the pain of his past into his skating, and how his love for the sport shines through.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

Definitely. Regardless of whatever public mask we wear, or how flawless and in control we try to appear, everyone has imperfections, painful memories and mistakes. But instead of feeling ashamed or embarrassed, we can recognize that things shaped our strengths, as well as our weaknesses.

How did your interest in writing originate? 

I grew up an avid reader and always had a story going on in my head. When I was twelve, I actually put one of them down on paper and turned it in for a school assignment. My teacher wrote on the top, “I expect to see you published someday.” That was my first inkling that this was something I’d like to do. A few years later I wrote a teen romance for a creative writing unit in English class. I loved every minute of it, and the “A” I got was a bonus!

Your favorite…

Movie- my all-time favorites include 1980s romance classics like “The        Cutting Edge,” “Dirty Dancing” and “When Harry Met Sally,” plus            some    odd-ball comedies like “This Is Spinal Tap,” and “The Big   Lebowski.”

Music- I listen to lots of different things, but am particularly fond of acoustic country, bluegrass, etc. I love listening to Spotify while I’m working, and having it pull up a random playlist. The hard part is not to keep clicking over to see the name of some great song, or reading about a new artist I’ve never heard before.

Place you’ve visited– My husband and I visited New York City for the first time a few years ago, and I can’t wait to go back. I love the energy of a large city, and New York is like Chicago, on steroids.

Place you’d like to visit– In addition to cities, I love remote places near the water, where it gets cold. For that reason, Nova Scotia and Alaska are both places I’d love to go.

TV show from childhood– Like almost very girl-child of the 1970s, I loved “The Brady Bunch.” “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia…”

TV show from adulthood– My TV watching time is limited, but some favorite recent shows include “Downton Abbey,” “The Americans” and “Lost.” I loved how “Lost” layered so many mysterious elements into a simple storyline about castaways. I haven’t found a show that does it as well, though I’m excited about “Stranger Things!”

Food– I love Italian food, seafood, and like most Chicagoans, really good pizza.

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Board games, definitely! I love Monopoly, but I rarely win because I’m not cutthroat enough!

Sports team– We’re Cubs fans! And as you might have guessed, I’m a big fan of the Olympics, especially the Winter Olympics. It was a lot of fun to write about two figure skaters trying to get there!

Thank you, Elizabeth! I enjoyed the interview. I won’t hold it against you that you’re a Cubs fan. 🙂 (I would say ‘Go Reds!’ but they never ‘go’ :/) Elizabeth has a question for readers, and a giveaway!

Since “Shining Through” is a sports romance, let’s talk sports!  Please share your favorite sport and why you love it.  Also, have you ever met a famous athlete?

Everyone who posts a comment will be entered into a giveaway to win a digital copy of any Red Hot Russians backlist book.

When the sweetheart of American figure skating falls for the bad boy of Russian figure skating, it puts her quest for Olympic gold on thin ice.

The Biggest Season of her Career…

America’s sweetheart Tabitha Turner is on track to win figure-skating gold in the Winter Games. Her family has sacrificed everything for her career, but the pressure is taking its toll. Burned out and living a lie, can the Golden Girl let off a little steam without melting the ice?

The Last Chance of His…

Russia’s bad boy of skating Daniil Andreev is determined to prove the toughest thing about him is his competitive fight. When Tabitha tempts him to help her take a secret walk on the wild side, he gives her a taste of the freedom she craves, never expecting that one unforgettable night could turn into something more.

Two Hearts on Thin Ice…

Chicago, Vancouver, Paris… the international figure skating season unfolds. Tabitha and Daniil compete and fall in love, but as the pressure mounts in a make-or-break season, can they set aside their painful pasts and spiral into a shining future together… or will their dreams shatter like thin ice?

“Dirty Dancing meets Olympic figure skating in this sweet and sexy sports romance!

Available for Pre-order, releases Oct. 2!

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074JCPX3B/ref=docs-os-doi_0

iTunes Books:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/shining-through/id1267307249?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Barnes and Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shining-through-elizabeth-harmon/1125546492?ean=9781537865041

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/shining-through-6

Google Books

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Elizabeth_Harmon_Shining_Through?id=f1UvDwAAQBAJ

Enjoy an Excerpt from Shining Through!

She was queenly and poised, taller than the average skater, with the bearing of a ballerina. The one thing that didn’t fit with that picture was her hair.  It wasn’t the sleek blond curtain she’d worn on TV, but a riot of blond waves, more like a gypsy than an ice princess. Soft. Untamed. Touchable. And his fingers itched to do it.

“Will you be at the other competitions this weekend, or just the pairs?”

“Oh no,” he said. “I plan to watch as many as possible, and cheer on all my favorite skaters.”

“Katia Filipova?”

“Of course.” His gaze held hers. “And others.”

Her smile faded. “Viktor Domachev?”

“I suppose. Are you a fan?”

“Hardly. This morning he said something to Katia that seemed to upset her. I called him on it, and then he said something to me. It was in Russian, so I don’t know what it was.” She lifted one shoulder. “Who knows? Maybe he was complimenting my earrings.”

“Doubtful.” Daniil’s mood darkened as he imagined the ugly possibilities. “But whatever it was, I’ll make him damn sorry he didn’t keep his mouth shut.”

She softly drew in a breath. “No. Please don’t. I’d hate to see you in any more trouble.”

The fact that Domachev had acted like a douchebag wasn’t exactly a surprise, but her concern for Daniil’s well-being, was. Other women would have encouraged him to fight for their honor. But Tabitha was thinking of him. Though she couldn’t have known about the vow he’d made to stay out of trouble, she encouraging him to keep it. For her, he would.

He nodded. “Demochev’s an ass. No one likes him.” Well, almost no one. Bogdanov and the rest of the federation seemed quite enamored. Daniil began to skate in lazy circles beside Tabitha. He ought to be starting his warm-ups, but didn’t want this to end. “And he pads his dance belt.”

Her eyes widened with momentary shock, and then she laughed. “How do you know that?”

“I’ve shared a locker room with him enough times. You watch at tonight’s competition. See if you don’t notice an abnormally large package.”

“Oh my God. Are we really having this conversation?” Her gaze dropped from his face to below his waist and the curve of his tight black skating pants, apparently curious about what was inside his dance belt.

Daniil grinned. “No padding, all me. Covered in the flag of glorious Mother Russia.”

She let out a laugh, even as color rose in her cheeks. “Seriously? Your dance belt has the Russian flag on it?”

He liked the sound of her laugh, echoing in the deserted rink. He gave her a wink, did a quick spin, showing off a little. “Care to see?”

 

 

Website:

http://www.romancewriter-girl.com

Blog:

https://elizabethharmonauthor.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/elizabethharmonauthor?ref=hl

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/romanzwrter_grl

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23440537-elizabeth-harmon

BookBub

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/elizabeth-harmon

Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RY9SY0S

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway, New Release

Getting to Know Leanna Sain ~ New Release: Half-Moon Lake

I’m extremely happy to introduce today’s guest. Leanna Sain is one of my authors at The Wild Rose Press, and I LOVE her writing! 

 

Please tell us a little about yourself, Leanna

I’m a NC girl through and through. I live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of western NC on a small organic farm where we grow an abundance of fresh fruit, veggies, and cage-free eggs. I’ve been married to my best friend for almost 32 years, and have two grown sons and  one grandson. My husband and I own and operate a high-end custom Amish furniture store, and when I’m not writing, I do free-lance portrait paintings.

How did you come up with the idea for Half-Moon Lake?

The story seed for Half-Moon Lake came while my husband and I were travelling through the Nantahalla Valley on a furniture delivery. It was while winding along that mountain road that I saw a school bus that was almost completely covered in kudzu. Ding! My mind immediately set to work. My genre is romantic suspense, so I needed a couple. Ta-Dah! Kate and Levi. Kate is an identical twin, but doesn’t know it. Her sister drowned in the waters of Half-Moon Lake when she was nine and the trauma caused her mind to block all memories prior to that time. It’s not until she’s summoned back to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father’s will that she discovers everything about her life has been a lie. Digging for truth only seems to uncover more mystery and danger. Levi is the childhood sweetheart she can’t remember, but there’s no problem with making lots of new memories.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

To me, the most difficult thing about writing a book is the re-writing, and re-writing, and re-writing. Bleh! I have a blast with the initial writing. It’s the monotony of re-writing that gets me bogged down.

Do you have any tips or tricks to share about your writing?

A trick I try to use with my books is tying the stories together if I can. So far, I’ve been able to tie both books in my GRITS series with my “Gate” trilogy. I think it’s a special treat to those who have read those books already and I hope it piques the interest of those who haven’t yet.

Is there a book you wish you’d written?

A book that I’ve read (multiple times) that I wish I’d written is Outlander, by Diana Galbaldon. She’s the ultimate story-teller as far as I’m concerned.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is from one of the Harry Potter books. Albus Dumbledore speaking: “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

What is your most prized material possession?

My laptop. All my notes, and stories, and photos, and music are captured in it.

Have you written other books that have not been published?

Yes, I’ve written other books which haven’t been published…yet. Two are complete, one is about half done and two more have been started.  Also notes and outlines for another trilogy. Ideas for a hundred more. I’ll have to live forever to get them all written.

Are your characters taken from people you know or completely made up?

My characters share characteristics from people I know (sometimes a bit of ME,) but mostly they’re from my imagination.

How do you come up with your titles?

The titles come up with themselves. None of them have been changed by my publishers yet.

Thank you for joining me! It was fun getting to know you better. Now, please tell us about your book:

 

Blurb

When Kathryn Dorne is summoned to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father’s will, she discovers a shocking truth: everything in her life—including her name—is a lie.

Learning that her name is Katelyn Eubanks is only the first surprise. Second, she had an identical twin sister who drowned at the age of nine. Since Katelyn can’t remember anything prior to that age, it seems more than mere coincidence. The biggest surprise is that her father, a man she never knew existed, left his entire estate to her, enraging other would-be heirs.

With her unremembered, but closest childhood friend, Levi, as well as help from the estate’s deaf-mute gardener, and the outspoken cook, Katelyn searches for answers to questions that have plagued her all her life, but doing so, opens the proverbial Pandora’s box.  As her memories return, so does the terrible danger she escaped fifteen years earlier.

Excerpt

I awakened to the sound of my own scream. Breathless, heart pounding, pajamas drenched in sweat, I was desperate, clawing at the tangle of sheets wrapped around me.

“Nooo,” I whimpered. “No, please…no!”

I stared, with wide eyes, at the ceiling, concentrating on the shimmery patterns cast by the outside lights around the pool, and gulped deep breaths in an effort to calm down, all while my heart and mind raced.

The nightmare was back. It had plagued me almost every night since I was nine, but about two years ago it stopped, and I thought I’d finally outgrown it. Looked like I was wrong, and begging wouldn’t change anything. Disappointment left a bitter taste in my mouth Why now? What made it return? What could’ve triggered it?

The letter. That had to be it. Everything had been going fine…well, as fine as I could expect things to go in my dysfunctional life, and then I’d gotten yesterday’s mail. There had to be a connection. Maybe—

No! If I allowed my mind to start thinking about it, picking apart every sentence, mulling over what every little thing could mean, I’d never get back to sleep. Tomorrow would be—I glanced at the clock—correction…today was going to be a big day. I needed all the rest I could get if I expected to be able to face it. “Go back to sleep, Kate.”

I flipped my pillow over to the “good dream” side, and twisting my long hair up away from her neck, I sank back into the pillow’s cool softness. It might be silly to still practice such a childish ritual, but it reminded me of my mom and right now, I needed that. The familiarity brought a measure of comfort, which in turn, calmed me. If clinging to the fairytale helped me go back to sleep, then so be it.

I’d face the rest later.

 

Buy links:

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=half-moon+lake&submit_search=

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=half-moon+lake+leanna+sain

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/half-moon-lake/id1241572035?mt=11

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/half-moon-lake-leanna-sain/1126450434?ean=2940157456566

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/half-moon-lake-1

Bio

North Carolina native, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone, YA crossover.

Her Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books.

She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com

 Contact Links

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

Twitter: Leanna Sain@Leannasbooks

Website and blog:  http://leannasain.com

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

 

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release